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5.1 B&O active speakers to non-B&O processor. Seems easy, but local installer claims I'm looking for trouble. Would like confirmation.

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NormanD
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NormanD posted on Fri, Nov 17 2017 5:52 PM
Hi, this is my first post. I've read a lot on this forum and think I found the solution for what I would want. However when I presented this to a local installer he told me it will not work. 

 

Situation is as follows: I want to replace old plasma screen with beosystem with Loewe 4k OLED. 
Speakers:  2 x Beolab 20 front ; 2 x Beolab 6000 rear ; center Beolab 7-1. Subwoofer purchase in the near future.  Powerlink cables run from cabinet through the walls to a powerlink socket. 6000 & 7-1 from socket to powerlink; the beolab 20 from powerlink socket to RJ45. I want proper surround 5.1.

 

I've read on this forum that a combination below should do the trick   

 

What the Loewe installer claims. I hope you understand the summary
  1. voltage/grounding problems resulting in hum, or even worse, damage to the processor or speaker. (I actually read something similar on this forum. Can't find it back though).
  2. The signal going to the speakers will be weak. The B&O speakers would therefore have to be set on very high level , leaving no extra headroom and killing all dynamics in a movie.
  3. Delay of audio signal. (I can't image that this would be more than a few millisec, which can be solved by lipsync feature on any reciever/processor)

 

How big is the risk 1/ and-or 2/ will happen? Does it depend on the choice of receiver/processor? If so, what should I look for ? For instance a "basic model "with preouts such as DENON AVR 3300 has analog rated output/maximum output: 1.2 V / 8 V. 
Am I right about 3/?

 

Or is all of the above just pure nonsense and can I just buy whichever av receiver/processor I want?
I prefer a 'normal' processor instead of eg that Almondo surround processor. https://www.av-connection.dk/?PNo=AO-MPSD . Mainly for calibration purposes -eg Audissey- and also all round connectivity. (I think I can use zone 2 pre out with a convertor to attach to B&O Masterlink which I also have)

 

I want to prove that guy wrong but need to be 100% sure it will work without any flaws.

 

Greetings,
Norman

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davidr
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davidr replied on Fri, Nov 17 2017 6:15 PM

Yes it will work.

I used that same cable (from Powmas cables) to connect a BL8000 & BL2 to a non-B&O preamp without issue in an earlier set up. Triggering worked perfectly and yes it handles standard 12v > 1,5v trigger no problem. You might also need a din8 >  b&o new-style rj45 cable to connect to BL20s.

B&O loudspeakers are line-level so therefore always at maximum volume, you control the actual SPL by attenuating the input signal. Properly wired and shielded cables do not introduce hum at reasonable distances. There's nothing special about B&O headunits.

Will be a bit of a mess of cables with splitting the trigger and all those outputs but should work.

Preouts from that Denon should be fine, it's all analogue signal level so just try and match volume. worst case with 'hot' preouts is lower the volume on the preamp.

If you don't already own that Denon you don't need to amplifier section of it, look for some preamp that has digital inputs and surround decoding.

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi Norman,

Welcome to Beoworld!  I am pleased to confirm that yes, you CAN use these Beolab speakers with a Loewe TV (or indeed with any non-B&O TV).  As most Loewe TVs have surround sound decoders built in, you wouldn't need a separate AV receiver, you just need the DAL adapter and Audiolink breakout adapter from Loewe to give you the pre-out sockets required for connecting the speakers.

As a quick note for future readers of this thread, Loewe and B&O are the only TV manufacturers who commonly fit surround sound decoders to their TVs, so for other brands of TV then you are quite correct that you would add an AV receiver with pre-out sockets in order to add the Beolab speakers.  There are no issues with audio delays or signal levels, as these receivers are designed to work in this situation and the RCA audio pre-out sockets are correctly matched to B&O speakers.

However, please don't try to trigger the speakers using the 12 volt output of either the Loewe TV or an AV receiver.  I have gone to great lengths investigating this option with TV and receiver manufacturers and every company that I spoke to said that this type of connection could cause problems (and in some cases would invalidate the receiver warranty).  There are other ways to connect the speakers safely, as outlined below:

For TVs without a surround sound decoder fitted, I would suggest looking at the Pioneer SC-LX59, Denon AVR-X3300, Yamaha RX-A830 or RX-V775 AV processors/receivers, all of which have audio pre-out sockets for easy connection of Beolab speakers for a Dolby surround sound setup.

You can connect stereo Beolab speakers (eg. Beolabs 20, 6000, 8000, etc) to one of these processors using these cables (one set of cables is needed for each pair of speakers to be connected):-

http://soundsheavenly.com/line-in-connection/6-av-processor-pre-amp-sonos-to-beolab-rca-line-in.html

If you have a Beolab 2 subwoofer, or a Beolab 7-x/Beolab 10 dedicated centre speakers, these each need a powered cable to generate the trigger signals that would normally be sent from a B&O television:-

http://soundsheavenly.com/line-in-connection/101--trigger-2rca-.html

Sorry for the long reply, I hope this helps to answer your questions.  If you need any further help, please feel free to ask!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

elephant
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NormanD:

I prefer a 'normal' processor instead of eg that Almondo surround processor. https://www.av-connection.dk/?PNo=AO-MPSD . Mainly for calibration purposes -eg Audissey- and also all round connectivity. (I think I can use zone 2 pre out with a convertor to attach to B&O Masterlink which I also have)

Steve, I agree with you about Loewe probably doing the deciding especially as it is a recent OLED model.

I am puzzled that the OP/ Norman does not rate the Almando ... what do you think ?

BeoNut since '75

NormanD
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Thank you all for the quick reply.

Steve, now I'm confused again :-). I initially thought to use the RCA line in on my speakers. I connected a Sonos and that worked. For stereo music that would be perfect. However, isn't it so that in a dolby surround setup it might happen that , when some channels are not in use during the more 'quiet' scenes, the speakers go in standby mode? That would annoying. Apart from probably not hearing a fraction of the sound I do not want to hear a relais clicking X times during a movie.  

You are right about the surround decoder in the loewe tv. I 've checked the manual and a Digital Audio Link port (RJ 45) sends out a digital surround signal. They sell a convertor cable that transforms this signal into 6 x anologue RCA. The questionable quality of the digital to anologue processing by a simple convertor cable aside, choosing this option will mainly depend on the auto-standby question above. 

About the powerlink. Is DavidR just lucky then ? I thought the 12V trigger cable has a stepdown to 3V (or even 1,5V) and is therefore only sending the necessary signal to keep the speaker on. What's so different about the http://soundsheavenly.com/line-in-connection/101--trigger-2rca-.html ? And I guess I can also use 5 of these wall socket powered cables?

Kind regards

 

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi Norman,

Most stereo pairs of Beolab speakers (eg. Beolab 20, 6000, 8000, etc) have RCA Line inputs.  However, Beolab 7-x, 10 and 2 (centres and subwoofer) don't have this option.  Hence, these speakers must be given a trigger signal to activate them.

Whilst some companies will offer to sell you a cable that activates the speakers from the 12v output of the Loewe TV or a receiver, this can cause major problems with the equipment (the issue is not simply what voltage is presented to the speaker, but how the speaker deals with this signal internally).  When a receiver manufacturers tells us that using their 12v trigger output for Beolab speakers would void their warranty, that tells you something.....

The Loewe TV will have a high quality digital to analogue converter fitted so there shouldn't be any quality issues with the sound.  If you decide to add an AV receiver with pre-out sockets, this would equate to around £500 GBP as a starting point at UK prices for something like the Denon AVR3400.

I generally find that Beolab speakers used in Line mode will only tend to click on and off when they are used at low listening levels, or for long periods of dialogue (eg. during news broadcasts).  They don't often affect movies at normal listening levels.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

NormanD
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NormanD replied on Sun, Nov 19 2017 11:53 AM

Conclusion: given your 12V trigger info, the local installer was not completely wrong with his claim.

What the installation will be then / cables to buy from you: (subwoofer not taken into account). As explained in the first post, I have Powerlink cables already inside the wall.

  • Beolab 6000: single RCA preout via Loewe convertor or AV receiver : RCA to powerlink connector male => B&O powerlink connector female to powerlink connector female (?) => through the walls to female powerlink wall socket => again powerlink connector male to single RCA.
  • Beolab 20: same… => input speaker is double RCA. So extra RCA Y splitter needed.
  • Beolab 7: Your powered trigger cable RCA to powerlink connector male=>… => Powerlink cable I already have today

Cables needed:

Or  

  • 4 times RCA to powerlink connector male
  • 5 x powered trigger cable RCA to powerlink connector male 
  • 5 x RCA -Y splitter
The only difference being that with the latter option, I’m 100% sure the speakers will never turn off. (although not that much of an issue as you explained above) Correct ? Then I can go ahead an place an order.

 

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks Norman,

I can get everything working via your existing Powerlink cables, please drop me a line via my sponsor link below and I will be pleased to quote for the cables and adapters required.  where there are no existing cables in place, I have cables available from stock to run directly between the TV/receiver and the speakers.  Where there are existing cable that need to be used, I am always happy to quote for custom build cabling to make best use of your existing wiring.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

BillC
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BillC replied on Mon, Nov 20 2017 12:14 AM
Good Luck Norman with setting it up. Looking forward to hearing about how it goes.

Btw just an FYI I’ve up my Beosound 2, Beolab 18 and 3 hooked up to a 5.1 surround sound setup via Oppo 103 using the audio out from the Oppo.

My media is sent into the Oppo via the HDMI in and I place Blu-ray using the Oppo.

I haven’t yet bought a PrePro but will do so in the new year as part of moving the setup to another room where I’m going to see if I can use the BeoSound Shape for the ceiling speakers in a Dolby Atmos.

Pity the market doesn’t seem to warrant a Beosystem 5 - would have preferred that than a PreProStick out tongue

NormanD
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NormanD replied on Tue, Nov 21 2017 10:33 AM

Hi Bill,

That is a great speaker setup you have there. I’ve read only good things about the Oppo’s audio and video processing. 

Have you connected your speakers with Powerlink or RCA (on the speaker end). If you use RCA can you back-up Steve’s claim that speakers going into standby mode during TV / movies is not really an issue in real life ?

Adding a Beosound shape to the ceiling…. my goodness. :-) An amazing eye-catcher and depending on which size you choose, I guess it's not unlikely that the overall sound quality from all speakers will benefit from the improved acoustics in the room. 

 

 

 

 

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi Norman,

I should clarify that the issue with speakers turning on and off during use appears to affect around 10% of users, based on the replies that I have received.

Your listening habits (i.e. Programme choice and volume levels) are the main factor that would influence this.

Kind regards,

Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

BillC
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BillC replied on Tue, Nov 21 2017 10:15 PM
Hi Norman

My cabling is a real mess at the moment so please excuse me but it’s probably not the most optimal setup. To the BeoLabs 18 I’m feeding it via Oppo RCA ->Playmaker line in-> BeoLab 18 va RJ45

The Central channel is Oppo RCA->Beosound 2 line in

The rear is via Oppo RCA ->BeoLab 3line in. For

Line in I often use RCA to 3.5mm cables.

I haven’t really heard the speakers going off powering down but I suspect it might be a combination of the movies I’m watching and the source feeding that speakers. The source I’ve used is not silent. I haven’t tested the Oppo extensively yet under the current setup though.

One real pain is volume control - the volume is extremely weak using hdmi in of the Oppo. It’s really messy getting right volume.

The Beosound Shape would be ideal for me because of its look (aiming to shape it like clouds) and due to the fact it’s possible self install it without a trades man(need to check that out). I don’t like cutting holes into walls or ceiling for audio visual gear because we often changes the purposes of our rooms every few years lol

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