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  1. #1
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    Harman Kardon AVR 3600 Dolby Source Issue

    I just picked up one of these cheap to temporarily replace an older system until I could research a new one. I've had it set up and running fine for several days, but just now it stopped using Dolby Digital and sets everything to Dolby Pro Logic II. This happened while tv/receiver was on. No idea why this happened, hasn't happened before. I tried turning the receiver, tv and cable box on/off but didn't do anything. Any idea why this may be happening? I called HK customer service but it will be a day or two before they get back to me.

    My set up is fairly simple, just an optical cable going from directv box to the receiver, HDMI from directv to tv for video. Like I said, this was working fine and then it just stopped.

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    First off, not every network show uses audio that is recognized as DD. At least this is the case in the Atlanta market and Pro Logic II is pretty much the default when the is no detectable audio codec on many AVRs.

    I'm not sure if this is the case, but I had to turn Digital Dolby on in my DVR's audio menu. Although, it doesn't make sense that it worked and now it doesn't, but it's worth looking at.

    As for your setup, why not run HDMI from the DTV box into the AVR, and then into the TV? It would mean one less cable and I know that the DTV box will pass Dolby Digital via HDMI.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. The receiver is older so it doesn't support 4k, was the reasoning behind using the optical in for audio so video would go straight to the tv.
    The 'problem' has now resolved itself. The receiver is set to automatically choose the correct format, so if the source is in Dolby Digital it should choose that, etc. Whenever the source changes (ie. coming out of a commercial which is not in DD) the rec takes a second to switch. I think it got caught coming out of commercial and for some strange reason couldn't recognize DD sources. I tried numerous live and recorded sources that I knew were in DD (really, almost everything I watch is).
    Anyway, the rec was finally able to start playing back in DD again. I would just reset the Source setting to always be DD but it doesn't have that option. This might just be a bug I have to live with until I can get a new receiver.
    On a related note... any recommendations for receivers I should look into? Looks like I'll need to upgrade sooner than I thought

  4. #4
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    If I were buying today, I would check out Anthem and Marantz.

    I have been so impressed with my Anthem preamp and LOVE their ARC software but they are a bit pricier than most AVRs. Marantz has always been solid. A buddy of mine bought one of their "slim-line" AVRs a couple of years ago and I am really impressed with it too. Also, the preamp that I had before the Anthem was a Marantz and it too was pretty nice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I agree with Tracy...Anthem (which I love) or Marantz. I currently use the same pre/pro as Tracy and I have no desire to upgrade, which for me is really saying something. I go through audio equipment like crap through a goose.
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  6. #6
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Vaughn View Post
    I agree with Tracy...Anthem (which I love) or Marantz. I currently use the same pre/pro as Tracy and I have no desire to upgrade, which for me is really saying something. I go through audio equipment like crap through a goose.
    WOW, that's pretty high praise, David. I can see this on an Anthem ad.

    ...I have no desire to upgrade, which for me is really saying something. I go through audio equipment like crap through a goose.
    David Vaughn

  7. #7
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    WOW, that's pretty high praise, David. I can see this on an Anthem ad.
    ROFL Tracy.
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  8. #8
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    Thanks, I'll check out some Anthem and Marantz models.

    Regarding preamps, if I only have one or two sources and a small room, would I gain much benefit from using one?

  9. #9
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyIncognito View Post
    Regarding preamps, if I only have one or two sources and a small room, would I gain much benefit from using one?
    Absolutely !!!

    In my opinion, buying into a preamp and separate power amp will outperform an AVR, mostly in terms of the amp. Most AVRs use power supplies that are somewhat limited in the amount of power they can provide to 7+ channels simultaneously. This can be made much worse if you have difficult to drive speakers, a big room, or like your listening levels at or near reference. Quality power amps do not suffer from this issue.

    The reality of it is I feel that both Anthem and Marantz do a great job with their AVRs, especially with the amp section. Also, if you have a smaller room, that takes some of that out of the equation. Many of the AVRs have preamp level outputs, so adding a dedicated power amp if needed is an option.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    Absolutely !!!

    In my opinion, buying into a preamp and separate power amp will outperform an AVR, mostly in terms of the amp. Most AVRs use power supplies that are somewhat limited in the amount of power they can provide to 7+ channels simultaneously. This can be made much worse if you have difficult to drive speakers, a big room, or like your listening levels at or near reference. Quality power amps do not suffer from this issue.

    The reality of it is I feel that both Anthem and Marantz do a great job with their AVRs, especially with the amp section. Also, if you have a smaller room, that takes some of that out of the equation. Many of the AVRs have preamp level outputs, so adding a dedicated power amp if needed is an option.
    Thanks. Unpacking all of that, would it be reasonable to say that, having a smaller space, I should be narrowing my search to Anthem/Marantz AVRs that have a built-in preamp?

    I'm fairly restricted by my space. I live in a rental so I don't think I would be able to use Atmos since I can't install ceiling speakers. To be honest, I have serious doubts whether I can even practically install a 7.1 system since I have almost no space behind my seating area and really no alternative to how I configure the room. My tv can only practically go on one wall. I could do it (install a 7.1 system), but I think the 2 surround channels to the sides and back would end up within 3 feet of each other, and the rear channels would be right behind your head.

    To your point of being able to listen "at or near reference" I would definitely put myself in that category. I want to hear what was intended, and would also say I wouldn't want any channel getting less (or more) relative power than needed to reproduce the intended audio. Does that make sense?

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