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Arcam AVR390 / AVR550 / AVR850 including Dirac Live®

Ultra2man

Well-known Member
From whats been posted you are absolutely right. Utter nonsense as usual from Arcam. They really have no idea what they are doing.
I think that info came from REL and not Arcam.
 

markymiles

Distinguished Member

felty99

Active Member
Then, I will add the high level input back in, and put a load of bass on top of that which will not be Dirac'd.
But surely this bass will have been EQ'd by Dirac? That's the point REL are trying to make I think. So the Sub will only be playing EQ'd FL/FR bass at whatever hi-level crossover point you set on the REL. You just have to make sure the fronts are both set to Large when you run Dirac as well as during playback.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
But surely this bass will have been EQ'd by Dirac? That's the point REL are trying to make I think. So the Sub will only be playing EQ'd FL/FR bass at whatever hi-level crossover point you set on the REL. You just have to make sure the fronts are both set to Large when you run Dirac as well as during playback.
Yes, the front mains are always set to large ;)

This is an interesting discussion, I am struggling to grasp it though. How will the bass that is being played by the sub via the high level input be Dirac'd, if the high level input is not connected when Dirac is run?

For example, Dirac is expecting the front left speaker to roll off at it's natural bottom end, say around 60hz, so will be sending filters to the front left speaker to EQ that audio down to 60hz. However, during playback, the audio that is sent to the front left speaker, is also sent to the sub, so where the left speakers rolls off at 60hz, the sub is picking it up and in my case playing it down to 10hz or so. All of that audio going to the sub between the frequencies of 10hz and 60hz will not have been EQ'd by Dirac. Dirac is not expecting it to be there at all, so is not aware of any nulls or peaks in that section of the audio.
 
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felty99

Active Member
This is an interesting discussion, I am struggling to grasp it though. How will the bass that is being played by the sub via the high level input be Dirac'd, if the high level input is not connected when Dirac is run?
Think about what is being sent to the REL once back in situ via high level - it will be the bottom end of the FR at whatever hi-level x-over you set on the REL. But of course this has already been Dirac'd because that was how you would have run the EQ initially. So only the EQ'd low frequencies for FL/FR will pass through to the REL via high level.

Basically REL are arguing (I think) that blending low frequencies via high-level connections and large speaker settings are an improvement to using just the main LFE sub crossed over via low level connection with speakers set to small.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
But of course this has already been Dirac'd because that was how you would have run the EQ initially. So only the EQ'd low frequencies for FL/FR will pass through to the REL via high level.
No, REL are saying to run Dirac with the high level input NOT connected.
 

felty99

Active Member
No, REL are saying to run Dirac with the high level input NOT connected.
Yes, sure so Dirac corrects the entire freq range. But you then obviously re-connect it during playback!
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Yes, sure so Dirac corrects the entire freq range. But you then obviously re-connect it during playback!
How will it correct the whole frequency range if the high level is not connected? My front mains don't go down that low, they will roll off around 60hz or so, whereas the sub plays down to 10hz or lower!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I pass within a few hundred metres of REL's offices on the way to the beach. Cross my palm with silver and I'll call in and ask them to clarify.:thumbsup:
 
Dirac creates filters to adjust the behavior of a speaker. If during playback you change the setup of a speaker (by applying external bass management), the filters will be applied to the full range of the (new) speaker configuration, but not matching the new situation.
To my understanding the frequencies below Xover that will be send to the sub will be changed according to the Dirac filters meant for main speaker.
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
I received my AVR850 this week and its a useful boost in SQ over my 9 year old Onkyo as expected. I do have some operational quirks that are a little annoying.
  • I have an RTI control system which can control the Arcam via RS232 or IP, if I use IP then the app doesn't work as the RTI processor is already connected to it and it only allows one connection. If I use RS232 then the app doesn't work as the IP is turned off.
  • Once the control system is in use I don't seem to be able to use the music life app either.
  • I have to turn off the control system when its connected IP to use Dirac, or if its connected via RS232 it has to be changed to IP control in the Arcam to liven the network port for Dirac to work.
  • I knew the amp channels can't be re-assigned for the Atmos channels which is annoying but the digital audio inputs can't be re-assigned to specific sources either.
Any suggested workarounds?
 

felty99

Active Member
How will it correct the whole frequency range if the high level is not connected? My front mains don't go down that low, they will roll off around 60hz or so, whereas the sub plays down to 10hz or lower!
I see what you mean now. Yeah, might only be useful for those who have front speakers which go down much lower.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I see what you mean now. Yeah, might only be useful for those who have front speakers which go down much lower.
Even for those front speakers that do go down lower, once the high level is added back in, the volume of those frequencies will be different, ie louder as the sub and the front mains might be duplicating some of the audio around the crossover point, and the nulls and peaks will be different on audio that is emanating from the sub than it will be for the audio emanating from the main speakers.

The idea is when using high level inputs that you use the crossover on the sub to blend for the sub to pick up where the front mains drop off.
 

chordguy

Active Member
As the poster of the Rel, Arcam and Dirac post my understanding is that for sub connected to the main front speakers the volume on the sub should be really low in that you shouldn't actually hear the sub, should be just enough volume that it just fills out the bottom end that the speakers can't actually do themselves.
So take the sub front speakers hi level connection out of the Dirac process so the speakers just run as themselves, then after the calibration is finished then just connect the hi level connection again.
The Dirac calibration shouldn't be messed up as there shouldn't be a huge amount of bass being added via the hi level.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
As the poster of the Rel, Arcam and Dirac post my understanding is that for sub connected to the main front speakers the volume on the sub should be really low in that you shouldn't actually hear the sub, should be just enough volume that it just fills out the bottom end that the speakers can't actually do themselves.
So take the sub front speakers hi level connection out of the Dirac process so the speakers just run as themselves, then after the calibration is finished then just connect the hi level connection again.
The Dirac calibration shouldn't be messed up as there shouldn't be a huge amount of bass being added via the hi level.
That is interesting, I might give it a go next week, thanks for the info. It seems like a bit of a 'hack' but I would have thought that Rel should know a thing or two about bass management, so I am curious to see how that method sounds.

Re-running Dirac with 17 measurements and 10 speakers, is not a quick undertaking though :rolleyes:

For me, I have the high level volume balanced very precisely to how I like it to sound for music, where I run the Arcam in Stereo Direct mode, so as a 2.0, with a little BK XLS200 sub supporting my Kef R300 mains. I don't use Dirac there, and it sounds lovely to my ears for music, a bit 'untamed'. But, I am not sure if that will work for movies and TV as I use Dirac there to keep all the curves a bit flatter, I'll try it though.
 

crypticc

Active Member
I received my AVR850 this week and its a useful boost in SQ over my 9 year old Onkyo as expected. I do have some operational quirks that are a little annoying.
  • I have an RTI control system which can control the Arcam via RS232 or IP, if I use IP then the app doesn't work as the RTI processor is already connected to it and it only allows one connection. If I use RS232 then the app doesn't work as the IP is turned off.
  • Once the control system is in use I don't seem to be able to use the music life app either.
  • I have to turn off the control system when its connected IP to use Dirac, or if its connected via RS232 it has to be changed to IP control in the Arcam to liven the network port for Dirac to work.
  • I knew the amp channels can't be re-assigned for the Atmos channels which is annoying but the digital audio inputs can't be re-assigned to specific sources either.
Any suggested workarounds?
Fairly certain you can:

Set an input to be either hdmi or digital or analogue.
Set an input to have hdmi video or another input for audio.
Another button press gives you direct or via the EQ /pcm resampled to whatever you set that pcm output option to. (Affects input really)

Definitely hdmi/hdmi but you might like to try combining the two.

E.g. I have a mode getting video from my Nas but audio from analogue. I do that in order to get that analogue out of my oppo205 DAC but still see the picture from Kodi ruining on Linux from the NAS.
My cd input is configured to analogue (can also pick digital) but with video from vcr connection I don't use except from the nas.
 

rhinoman

Well-known Member
How do I check the firmware version please?
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Hi - does anyone know if the AVR390 support DSD over HDMI from a compatible player? The manual doesn’t say anything either way.
 

Steve356

Well-known Member
Hi - does anyone know if the AVR390 support DSD over HDMI from a compatible player? The manual doesn’t say anything either way.
It doesn't. I asked that same question of Arcam recently. Below is their reply.......

Hi Steve,

It doesn't have native DSD support. If the unit is connected to a unit by HDMI that can output DSD the source device would understand from the HDMI handshake that it is not a format supported and convert to PCM.

If the source device is outputting analogue from the SACD it will be converting the DSD to analogue and the AVR850 would accept that signal.

Kind Regards,

Sam Burkin
Technical Support Coordinator
ARCAM
JBL Synthesis
Lexicon
Mark Levinson
Revel

This was their response to the other question I asked about whether it could happen with a firmware upgrade.......

Sorry I forgot to address the second part of your question about firmware.

Native DSD could not be added via a software update as the HDMI board needs a direct connection to the DAC (not via the DSP) which is not physically present in the unit.

Kind Regards,

Sam Burkin
 

DT79

Well-known Member
It doesn't. I asked that same question of Arcam recently. Below is their reply.......

Hi Steve,

It doesn't have native DSD support. If the unit is connected to a unit by HDMI that can output DSD the source device would understand from the HDMI handshake that it is not a format supported and convert to PCM.

If the source device is outputting analogue from the SACD it will be converting the DSD to analogue and the AVR850 would accept that signal.

Kind Regards,

Sam Burkin
Technical Support Coordinator
ARCAM
JBL Synthesis
Lexicon
Mark Levinson
Revel

This was their response to the other question I asked about whether it could happen with a firmware upgrade.......

Sorry I forgot to address the second part of your question about firmware.

Native DSD could not be added via a software update as the HDMI board needs a direct connection to the DAC (not via the DSP) which is not physically present in the unit.

Kind Regards,

Sam Burkin
Thanks. Not a big deal, but at least I won’t waste time troubleshooting now!
 

JEDIBLADE

Active Member
Couldn't resist and ran Dirac 2.1.2, everything went fine, just wondering if I've done it right. Once the measurements were done and filters calculated I was presented with the graphs, on the old version I'd then be given the option to optimise, I couldn't find any option to optimise on this version though? Just exported and it went through OK. Have I done it right or missed a stage? I must admit I expected better instruction.
 

Jay130984

Well-known Member
Couldn't resist and ran Dirac 2.1.2, everything went fine, just wondering if I've done it right. Once the measurements were done and filters calculated I was presented with the graphs, on the old version I'd then be given the option to optimise, I couldn't find any option to optimise on this version though? Just exported and it went through OK. Have I done it right or missed a stage? I must admit I expected better instruction.
Why is there no instructions Dean
 

AdamAttewell

Well-known Member
Couldn't resist and ran Dirac 2.1.2, everything went fine, just wondering if I've done it right. Once the measurements were done and filters calculated I was presented with the graphs, on the old version I'd then be given the option to optimise, I couldn't find any option to optimise on this version though? Just exported and it went through OK. Have I done it right or missed a stage? I must admit I expected better instruction.
On Dirac 2.0 it automatically optimises when you proceed to the filter design section & will not let you proceed to the filter upload section until it completes so no you have not missed any steps.

You can see the progress of the optimization at the bottom the Dirac interface. Once complete it disappears which is why you may have missed it.
 

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