Arcam Amp Setup Advice

Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Hi and thanks for letting me join the forum,
I Initially came onto here when I goggled a problem with our dishwasher but when I found that it has an audio section I thought that can wait and that this would be the ideal place to ask a question with regards to setting up my amp that I don’t fully understand.
To put you all in the picture I have an Arcam AVR400 amp B&W802 main speakers HTM62 centre speaker ASW610 sub and a pair of CCM65 ceiling speakers for the rear channel, the 802’s are Bi-amped/wired.
My inputs are digital coaxial from my PC (iTunes), DVD optical, HD Sky box optical and PS3 analogue. (Only 2 optical inputs).
I listen to a lot of music via my PC but also watch films via Blu-ray/Sky
Each input to the amplifier you can adjust certain things individually to your taste like balance/speaker volume/bass/treble levels.
What I was lost on was some of the setting up on the amp, lots of setup options here so I will ask one at a time so not to confuse myself, I will ask only the ones that I’m not too sure about as the others are pretty obvious.

To start
Input Config,
Room EQ set to Off is this the best option?

Input Trim 1V 2V or 4V I have it on 2V?

Dolby Volume On or Off I have it on Off.

Stereo Mode,
As Spkr Types (currently on this setting)
Left/Right
Left/Right + Sub
Sub+Sat

And finally Sub Stereo
I have it on 0.0db

I hope that I have been clear with the info that I have given and hope that someone can help me with my question’s, Like i say I do have a few more but am only asking a few at a time,
Below is a link to my YouTube vid that I have uploaded some time ago but that is with my old amp.
Regards Swamps

 
Sponsored Links
Joined
10 Sep 2013
Messages
1,939
Reaction score
1,162
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
I haven't installed the 802, only the later versions and Diamonds. I have installed a fair range of the Arcam amps from the early 200~350 models through to the 400, 500, 600 and 888 and AV8.

Room EQ set to Off is this the best option?

Room EQ only affects 5.1/7.1 modes. It doesn't operate for stereo mode or stereo + sub modes. However, looking at your room layout and the front speakers positioned tight in to the corners then I'd say you need to have Room EQ set to On. Use the set-up mic and measure at the main listening positions.



Input Trim 1V 2V or 4V I have it on 2V?

This depends entirely on each source and it is only for use with analogue connections and not digital.

BTW, you do know that you can now connect the Sky box via HDMI for picture and sound, don't you? This will deliver the same sound benefits as connecting via Optical i.e. Dolby Digital for movies channels and HD channels that carry the encoding and PCM stereo (including Dolby Surround) for those without DD. In this mode you can use Dolby ProLogic II for Dolby Surround decoding or pseudo-surround.

Dolby Volume On or Off I have it on Off.

This is a subjective decision. Anything that monitors and automatically adjusts volume levels "on the fly" is going to involve some sort of dynamic range compression. It also applies a type of Late Night Mode equalisation to the bass and treble when listening at lower volumes. Since it is input specific then you can have it on for the source signal from the Sky box and DVD player, but leave it off for the input from the PC which is your main music source.

Stereo Mode,
As Spkr Types (currently on this setting)
Left/Right
Left/Right + Sub
Sub+Sat


We can rule out Sub+Sat since the 802's are definitely not small satellite speakers. :LOL: As Spkr Types simply follows the master speaker set-up and uses that mode for stereo music replay. In your case that would be to use the front pair and sub. The two other modes can be used to force the amp in to the opposite mode. In your case you might decide that the 802s provide sufficient bass and have greater agility in the bass range than the ASW610 sub. So in that situation you would choose Left/Right mode for stereo music playback. The sub would then not be active for music modes, only for surround duties.

And finally Sub Stereo
I have it on 0.0db


This is about tailoring the sub (if active) in stereo music mode. The feature is only active if the sub is used in stereo mode. It won't be effective in Left/Right mode or in AS Speakers mode if there is no sub in the system.

What this does is allow you to have less sub effect for music compared to movies. So where you might want the sub to be very active in movie modes to replicate a T-Rex stomping about in Jurassic Park or for those big explosions, you might not want it to be as active when listening to music because it exaggerates bass guitar or double bass. Set to 0.0dB then the sub is equally active in movie and music modes. Setting to -X.XdB means the sub's contribution is lower in music mode only.
 
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Many Thanks for your very detailed reply Lucid,
I will get in there and start experimenting with what you suggest as soon as I get a chance.
I did initially set-up the system with the mic but was far from happy with the results, No doubt at the time a lot of the settings were not correct but at least the speaker distances were, I just got in there and played with it until I was happy(ish) with the results. But I always wondered what it would be like if it was set-up as it should be, hence the reason for this post.
What I have found is the stereo sound to be ok, apart from the odd hum from the bass as far too much of it, but when in 7.1 mode the bass can be far far too much and you struggle to hear the voices and what is being said from the centre channel.
I have started to play with the speaker levels and recently found that you can adjust a lot of things for each input as mentioned before.
I did initially set-up the system with the mic but was far from happy with the results, No doubt at the time a lot of the settings were not correct but at least the speaker distances were, I just got in there and played with it until I was happy(ish) with the results. But I always wondered what it would be like if it was set-up as it should be, hence the reason for this post.
I am aware that HDMI from the Skybox/DVD and PS3 etc can be connected into the AVR400 but the reason why I haven’t done that is because I don’t want the system on 24/7. I only want it on for my special moments, the thought of Eastenders or children’s programmes thumping out constantly scares the hell out of me.

No for your suggested settings
Room EQ I will change to ON
Input trim I will leave this on 2V
Dolby Volume I shall try this ON for the Sky/DVD
Stereo Mode
Your description of this makes perfect sense and I will try this on Right/Left
Right/Left + Sub
And basically see how each one sounds, Wished this was explained in the manual.
Sub Stereo
Yes it is an active sub connected by a digital coaxial cable. I get what you’re saying so I assume that I just need to play with it to see what sounds best.
The sub has been the problem for me as one minute it sounds all great then the next it just hums as to much bass e.g. swapping from music to a film. So it normally ends up with me jumping up when the film has started to fiddle with the knobs on the back to turn it down, at least now I have something to try.
Many thanks for your reply its really appreciated.
The next few questions I shall post once I get a chance to get into the amp settings and go through to see what I need to ask.

Regards
Swamps
 
Joined
10 Sep 2013
Messages
1,939
Reaction score
1,162
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
You're welcome.

TBH I'm not surprised you're having problems with the bass. The extreme toe-in suggests that your listing position is very close. Also, the speakers are jammed in to the room corners. There's no space for them to breathe. The front soundstage is occupied by the AV cabinet and you have what looks like a media storage unit hemming in the left speaker. The sub occupies what space is left. Then there's the centre speaker. It's set back on the cabinet. That's not going to help intelligibility.

I know it looks neat but all those speakers (and the CDM 9NT's you had previously) really need some space around them to work properly. B&W recommends 20" from the rear and from the side walls.

EQ can only do so much. It's more a fine tuning tool. If the fundamentals of speaker position are wrong then your system will be handicapped from the word Go. There's no EQ system that can sort that out.

These things are difficult when furniture is involved. I've seen sensible rational people lose it at the suggestion that furniture comes second in the room they've earmarked as a listening space, so I'm not going to make any suggestions. Just bear in mind that your 802's were originally in the £8K+ range and they're capable of exceptional results given the opportunity.

Here's some 802D's I installed

and here's what I did with the lighting

and here's a 683 Home Cinema package I installed
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Hi Lucid,
Sorry for the delay in replying but I have been busy with work and things but I have also been into the amps menu and had a play with the settings.
Some really nice setups that you have installed, very nice indeed, I’m hoping one day when we move out of our present house to somewhere more remote and I plan to have my own room a bit like the ones in your pictures. Somewhere I will be able to have the perfect layout. I have also been told many times as by yourself that these speakers need to be away from the wall, but I only have so much space and not being funny most wives would have kittens if the husbands wanted these speakers so I am blessed that mine doesn’t complain.
I have taken on board what you have suggested and have tried them and can happily say some improvement has been achieved and are as follows,
Room EQ I found this best as OFF on all inputs
Dolby Volume On for the Sky & DVD
Stereo Mode is on Left/Right only for my main source of music eg the PC and I must say how pleasantly shocked I was with the sound from the 802’s bass wise.
Dolby Volume On for all inputs
But turning this on now brings up two more options Dolby Leveller & Dolby Calib Offset, Any idea what these are for or suggested settings ?
Speaker Types all set to large, do you think that the centre and rear are classed as large ?
Crossover Freq has a range from 40 – 200HZ currently on 40HZ do you think that this is correct ?

In Input Config there is a setting for Lipsync which is currently on 0ms, what would this be for ?

Holding in the Menu button for a few seconds on the amp you get to a sub-menu, some of the headings are obvious but do you have any idea what Store Service Backup is, I was kind of hoping it was for maybe backing up the settings say via the USB port.
Also it has a PIN section, how would you find what the PIN is.

Regards Swamps :)
 
Joined
24 Jan 2003
Messages
1,874
Reaction score
284
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
In Input Config there is a setting for Lipsync which is currently on 0ms, what would this be for ?
Wow, a question I can answer!

Because video processing takes longer than audio processing, there's often a delay between hearing the sound and seeing (for example) the lips move. The Lipsync setting allows you to delay the audio to match what you are seeing. :)

BTW I think you'll owe Lucid AV several pints (or maybe a whole barrel) after this. He's done everything except come to your home!

Edit: Sound travels more slowly than light but this is hardly likely to be noticed in a smallish room and it won't compensate for the video processing delay. It's more noticeable between rooms.
 
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks Sam Gangee,
I thought it might have something to do with that but thought its better to ask and get a correct answer.
Sometimes when watching things on Sky I thought to myself its out of sync but then you turn the channel over and it's fine, am I loosing my marbles who knows ???
Yes your right a beer or keg is owed to Lucid, wish I could email mail him, but that's out of the question so all I can say is a BIG Thanks to Lucid and hopefully other members of the forum will learn from this post :D

Swamps
 
Joined
10 Sep 2013
Messages
1,939
Reaction score
1,162
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
Dolby Leveller & Dolby Calib Offset
These are both to do with how much or little the amp applies the volume matching feature between inputs and as it monitors the sound from a source.

Dolby Leveller - this is monitors the sound level of the source. So when you're watching TV through the system and the ads come on too loud then the amp reduces the volume, then increases it (if required) for the actual show/TV movie. The higher the setting then the more aggressively the amp applies the correction.

Calibration Offset - this allows you to trim the source input's volume level. So if you find that Sky is consistently louder than DVD then you can bring the volume down for that source input without affecting the other sources.

Both above rely on Dolby Volume being switched on.


Speaker Types all set to large, do you think that the centre and rear are classed as large ?
Crossover Freq has a range from 40 – 200HZ currently on 40HZ do you think that this is correct ?
Sam has answered your question perfectly on Lip Sync. Actually, that wouldn't have been hard to read and understand from the manual. I can understand your confusion though WRT Sky. The sound and vision timing is a bit variable across the channels, same as picture size and centring is a bit all over the place on some channels too.

Speaker Large/Small?Sub crossover freq: My preference is to set centre and surrounds to small when running with an integrated receiver. Midrange and bass frequencies are what takes most power from an amp. Setting the centre and surrounds to small means that some of that load is shifted to the sub. That way the sub is taking some of the heavy lifting duties.

Your rear surrounds should definitely be set to small. Your centre could be set either way. Personally I'd go with small though.

Once you do this then the subwoofer crossover starts to become more important. Try 80Hz as a start point and see how that blends.

Holding in the Menu button for a few seconds on the amp you get to a sub-menu, some of the headings are obvious but do you have any idea what Store Service Backup is, I was kind of hoping it was for maybe backing up the settings say via the USB port.
Also it has a PIN section, how would you find what the PIN is.

Okay, now you're just asking question that are blindingly obvious to answer if you read the manual. I'm happy to help out, but only if you're going to do your bit.

Page E-21

AVR400 support page
 
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks again Lucid and apologise for the late reply,
I haven’t had a chance to try out your recommended settings as of yet but will do as soon as I can.
I have no excuse for not reading the manual fully so I won’t try to make one, so all I can say is once again is thanks for all your input. I will say thou that the way you have explained things is a lot better and clearer than the manual has put things across.

Swamps
 
Joined
10 Sep 2013
Messages
1,939
Reaction score
1,162
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
I have a few jobs to do in and around London over the next few weeks. These are installs and a couple of set-up & calibration jobs. If you want your system setting up tiptop, or just an experienced eye/ear casting over it then give me the nod.
 
Joined
20 Feb 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
I have to mention that I had the pleasure of meeting Lucid last Sunday (6/04/2014) He said that he could improve my set up, I took him up and he came around and after a few non alcoholic drinks and a wee chat he got in there and started to do his bit.
After 3 hours and lots of chit chat boys talk and the like he left, What had left me with ? well he left me with a sound system sounding as it should sound, Movies sound stunning now before it was far too much bass and you struggled to hear the vocals.
What made us laugh was when he asked me what my last film that I watched and to be honest I couldn’t remember, since he set it up I have watched two films as the sound is just great.
He also asked me if I wanted my TV sorted, I said it was fine as it was HD was perfect to me, Well it seems as if I have discovered HD again as he did his bit to show me how bad it was.
Bottom line Thanks for your help Lucid I have saved your number for when I move, any other AV nuts out there then contact him to see if he’s in your town soon and let him set up your system, You won’t be disappointed.

Swamps
:D
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top