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Arcam AVR390: Help setting up 5.1

Mroy62

Novice Member
I have recently purchased this beautiful amp/receiver. My speaker configuration is: two front, one centre, 2 subs and 2 rear. I had assumed that the rear speakers are connected to the SBR and SBL. is that correct? Or should they go in the SR and SL? The reason I ask is that when I set my speaker size to none for SR and SL there option to set the sizes for the rear speakers is greyed out and not selectable.

I have read the manual but that does not seem to provide any clear info. I would appreciate any advice that could help me. Thanks!
 

dave1956a

Well-known Member
SBR, SBL are for use in a 7.x set up

In a 5.x set up they are not used, SR and SL are the ones you need to use. The user manual shows the set ups on page E15
 

gibbsy

Moderator
5.1 connections are to surround, not surround back which is preserve of 7.1 or where you would need to connect two speakers for the Atmos domain in a 5.1.2.
 

Jim Whitaker

Standard Member
I've installed 5.1 and get all but the sub, which is inconsistent. Streaming Spotify I might get sub but if I change sources to an usb thumbdrive playing mp3, it wont be there and if I change back to spotify it's not there either. Ideas?
 

Mroy62

Novice Member
I've installed 5.1 and get all but the sub, which is inconsistent. Streaming Spotify I might get sub but if I change sources to an usb thumbdrive playing mp3, it wont be there and if I change back to spotify it's not there either. Ideas?
Make sure that the system doesn’t go to Direct mode. Mine did that when I first got it. This forces pure stereo and so bypasses the sub.
 

Jim Whitaker

Standard Member
Make sure that the system doesn’t go to Direct mode. Mine did that when I first got it. This forces pure stereo and so bypasses the sub.
Thanks. How do i ID myself as a novice, which is what I am for sure let's face it. I was thinking this may be the problem as I have pushed the direct button, and then again. But how to know if it's in direct mode, which it may well be. And be it the case that it's in direct mode, how to get out of it? all in all, of course, the detail and soundstage are great, and realizing all this may sound pretty dumbbell to the savvy, but i'm used to an asian device which had a lot more, and a lot less if you know what i mean.
 

Mroy62

Novice Member
I too am a novice... I find the Direct mode a little confusing. What I discovered was that Direct only works when listening to music from my CD player which is connected using RCA cables. Pressing Direct any other time, essentially "turns-off" the sound. One of the things that really helped me was to become familiar with the menus. I just experimented and learnt through trial and error. You can change the levels for each of the speakers. Have you tried that? I have had my Arcam now for about two months and yesterday I ran the Dirac Live software - this really helps balance out the sound.
 

Jim Whitaker

Standard Member
Thanks, we're on the same team... late to the party, but we benefit from the earlier users who had to get in the weeds with the various issues that gave Arcam a bad rep. The 850 seems like a very good item at this price point. I got all 7.1 going today and it sounds incredible. What is even more incredible is the soundstage, definition and placement using direct. Just two speakers but the sound comes out of the wall somewhere between the two. You'd think the center was active, but no. I found out that a lot of the function buttons have to be pressed again to exit. So if you press direct, you get out of it by pressing again. Same with menu and probably others. Only way is to trial and error, but if we get stuck this group seems very supportive and for that thanks to all. My next stop is Dirac when my UMIK-1 arrives. Will very likely have questions after a few false starts.
 

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