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Oppo UDP-205, Harmony, BL50, and BL17 for surround

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LuffeDK
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LuffeDK posted on Mon, Sep 14 2020 10:16 PM

Hi all,

I am a first time poster who have enjoyed and learnt a lot from this forum for a while.

I have recently placed an order for a Harmony, 2xBL50, and 4xBL17.

I am also close to getting my hands on an OPPO udp-205 in good condition.

The equipment will soon arrive and I have a few questions related to the “recommended setup” for music and surround sound:

Music

I have ripped my CD collection (FLAC) and thousands of cd’s are on my NAS. I have a few high-res files on my NAS but I will mostly be listening to actual cd’s in the OPPO and ripped Flac files from my NAS (via DLNA).

I am also subscribing to Deezer Hifi.

How good is the DAC in the Harmony compared to the DAC in the OPPO? - do you recommend I use the dedicated audio out from the OPPO and connect it directly to the BL50 versus using the sound center in the Harmony ?

I have other B&O speakers in other rooms and I am using the Deezer/B&O app for the multi room ”experience”. The above mentioned questions are not related to multi-room - I would like to understand how I get the “best” audio quality when listening to music on the BL50 only.

Video/Surround

For video I will connect the OPPO to the Harmony via HDMI - I will be watching movies/concerts on the Harmony only.

Initially, I planned for a 7.0 type setup but I have seen posts where some of you recommend other setups.

My plan is of course to use the BL50 for front left/right.

Due to cosmetic reasons I plan to position the 4xBL17 above the listening position (angled down towards the listening position):

- one set at the “junction/corner” between the side wall/ceiling (side ceiling left/right)

- one set at the “junction/corner” between the back wall/ceiling behind the listening position (back ceiling left/right)

The living room/TV room is approximately 35sqm and the listening position is located in the centre of the room (almost optimal)

Due to the room layout it is difficult to add additional left/right wall speakers (ear level) but I could add another set of speakers on the back wall (left/right ear level). It could be an additional set of BL17 (I need to buy them before they are discontinued) or 2x Balance if they will support this type of setup in the future. Shape is another option....

Will an additional set of back speakers improve the surround experience noticeably?

I apologise in advance for the long first post! 

PS. After having heard the BL90 I would have liked to go for those but they could not fit into the room. Furthermore, I don’t think they match up with the BL17 for surround.

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LuffeDK
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LuffeDK replied on Thu, Sep 24 2020 11:06 AM

The 205 is in my opinion better for audio.

Compared to the 205 the Panasonic might be lacking in the audio department but in terms of video my guess is it is on pair with the 203

seethroughyou:
What about a 203 instead of a 205?

 

LuffeDK
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LuffeDK replied on Thu, Sep 24 2020 11:09 AM

I agree - it is not even installed yet.

I will keep my eyes open for a 205 but I would still like to know if the Panasonic can do what I would like from it.

 

Millemissen:

How about keeping on searching for an OPPO.....sooner or later you find one.

In the meantime there are plenty of other things to ‘play with’ with your new setup.

MM

 

trackbeo
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LuffeDK:
Page 12 in the manual mention: “Audio is not output from HDMI OUT terminal” in the section describing when optical or coaxial is used.
Right you are.  Worse, they also say that Audio is not output from HDMI OUT terminal for any *analog* outputs, which appear immediately below (page 12)!  Ick.  There is simply no reason for that, neither circuitry nor HDMI licensing.

I assumed they actually meant that audio would not flow from the separate HDMI(AUDIO) connector, not the main HDMI(VIDEO) connector -- because they say (page 14) "It is not possible to simultaneously output audio from both the amplifier connected to the HDMI AUDIO OUT terminal and the other amplifier connected to the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT/Analog AUDIO OUT terminals."  Now *that* makes sense to me, and would not affect your use.

But alas, if you go down to the settings menus (pages 31&33) they repeat exactly what you say, but then imply that it is your *option* to turn HDMI audio off.  BUT if you go to the "no audio is coming out" troubleshooting, they make it very UN-clear again (page 40) because they imply that stereo output only turns off the audio from the main HDMI connector when you independently also choose "Settings for high clarity sound."  Ugh.

The only way to know for sure is to own one and test it.

LuffeDK
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I agree, I need to test

Do you recommend I use both HDMI outputs (video & audio) and connect them to the Harmony?

I am not sure if that will improve audio quality for movies?

 

Secondly, what output do you recommend I use if it is possible to connect the Panasonic to the BL50 (optical or coaxial) ?

 

Thank you for the support !!

 

trackbeo:

LuffeDK:
Page 12 in the manual mention: “Audio is not output from HDMI OUT terminal” in the section describing when optical or coaxial is used.
Right you are.  Worse, they also say that Audio is not output from HDMI OUT terminal for any *analog* outputs, which appear immediately below (page 12)!  Ick.  There is simply no reason for that, neither circuitry nor HDMI licensing.

I assumed they actually meant that audio would not flow from the separate HDMI(AUDIO) connector, not the main HDMI(VIDEO) connector -- because they say (page 14) "It is not possible to simultaneously output audio from both the amplifier connected to the HDMI AUDIO OUT terminal and the other amplifier connected to the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT/Analog AUDIO OUT terminals."  Now *that* makes sense to me, and would not affect your use.

But alas, if you go down to the settings menus (pages 31&33) they repeat exactly what you say, but then imply that it is your *option* to turn HDMI audio off.  BUT if you go to the "no audio is coming out" troubleshooting, they make it very UN-clear again (page 40) because they imply that stereo output only turns off the audio from the main HDMI connector when you independently also choose "Settings for high clarity sound."  Ugh.

The only way to know for sure is to own one and test it.

 

Millemissen
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LuffeDK:

I agree, I need to test

Do you recommend I use both HDMI outputs (video & audio) and connect them to the Harmony?

I am not sure if that will improve audio quality for movies?

 

Secondly, what output do you recommend I use if it is possible to connect the Panasonic to the BL50 (optical or coaxial) ?

 

Thank you for the support !!

 

Certainly there is no need to connect both HDMI’s.....I would not jnow how to do that either.

Using both HDMI’s is when you have to split the signal going into two seperate devices - one for picture and one for sound.

(Basicly that is what you did earlier on, when there was no (proper) passthrough to the display in the A/V receiver).

 

Best try both ways (optical/coax) out yourself....however, I bet you won’t notice the slightest difference (assuming the cables are ok).

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

LuffeDK
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LuffeDK replied on Thu, Sep 24 2020 11:50 PM

I need to test as the manual confuses me. The manual mention: “You can enjoy richer sound by using the HDMI AUDIO OUT terminal. (Audio is output in high resolution.)”

It also mention that there will not be any audio sent from HDMI out if optical/coaxial out is used. As per previous posts I was recommended to connect the player directly to the BL50 but I am now not sure if it is possible.

Millemissen:

LuffeDK:

I agree, I need to test

Do you recommend I use both HDMI outputs (video & audio) and connect them to the Harmony?

I am not sure if that will improve audio quality for movies?

 

Secondly, what output do you recommend I use if it is possible to connect the Panasonic to the BL50 (optical or coaxial) ?

 

Thank you for the support !!

 

Certainly there is no need to connect both HDMI’s.....I would not jnow how to do that either.

Using both HDMI’s is when you have to split the signal going into two seperate devices - one for picture and one for sound.

(Basicly that is what you did earlier on, when there was no (proper) passthrough to the display in the A/V receiver).

 

Best try both ways (optical/coax) out yourself....however, I bet you won’t notice the slightest difference (assuming the cables are ok).

 

MM

 

LuffeDK
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Hello again,

The Harmony, 2xBL50, and 4xBL17 have now been installed and it sounds very good. 
As per your recommendation, I am now experimenting with 7.0 vs 5.0.2.

I am not sure if I have made the setup correct so please comment if I am wrong.

For the 7.0 setup I name the BL17 above me left/right surround and I name the BL17 behind me for left/right back.

For the 5.0.2 setup I name the speakers above me for left/right heights but I am not sure what I should name the speakers behind me - left/right surround or left/right back? Also, does it make any difference?

After having made the setup I can see that the Harmony L/R is off. I assume that is ok as I use my BL50 for L/R front and the Harmony-C for centre front. Please let me know if that is correct or if you recommend to utilise the Harmony L/R channel as well.  

thanks for your support.  

Mikipidia
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In the 5.0.2 the bl17 above you are left/right height surround and the bl17’s behind you are left/right (normal) surround.

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Curly
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Curly replied on Sat, Nov 28 2020 3:26 AM

Photos, Luffe! Photos!!

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Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

LuffeDK
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Thanks a lot for quick answer. 
What is the difference between e.g. left back and surround back - will it change the sound?

Furthermore, is it correct that the Harmony L&R should be off and only center is on when enabling the 5.0.2 setup?

 

 

LuffeDK
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Big SmileSure, I will send photos as soon as the renovation is finalised 

Millemissen
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LuffeDK:

Thanks a lot for quick answer. 
What is the difference between e.g. left back and surround back - will it change the sound?

Furthermore, is it correct that the Harmony L&R should be off and only center is on when enabling the 5.0.2 setup?

These terms are often used rather confusingly.

Normally what you call ‘left back’ would be the speaker placed and set as the left rear speaker behind you.

A ‘surround back’ does not really excist - surround speakers are those, that are placed beside the listening position.....and back would mean speakers that are placed at the back aka rear speakers.

You really should consult the Technical Sound Guide found on the B&O website - there you find good explanations for speaker placement and assigning these to the different roles. Also google for the Dolby layouts of 5.X/7.X speaker configurations.

As for how to use (or not) the L/R’s of the Harmony, when you want a multichannel setup, there are different takes on this.

As with all audio and audio configuration it depends on your room - and indeed on how far you have placed the BL5’s from the tv....also on your seating posions in front of the tv (especially when more people are listening).

You will have to experiment a bit - one good starting point would be to engage the LR as Center, set these up with a difference of 3 db to the C of the Harmony and set the distance of the C to approx 20 centimeters further away than the L/R.

See this video interview with Geoff Martin, where this also is discussed (head for 15:00):

https://youtu.be/svIUxzKzI8E

 

As always....don’t be afraid of trying things out, just keep record on what you are doing in order to find the right settings for you/your setup, once you have finished testing.

Note: you can easily make to Speaker Groups with different settings and switch between these........maybe even one for solo-listening and one for when you are more people.

 

MM

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Mikipidia
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Generally in terms of setup with a 5.1 track, the “rear” speakers are the surround audio track. With 7.1 the “rear” speakers are in the back track position and so in that case they should be in the back position, because the the surround speakers are the middle ones in the 7.1 tracks.

The left and right of the harmony aren’t on on mine either, you can turn them on (as MM reffered to, by Geoff) but i think it makes the center a bit boomy. That’s up to you, to me it makes more sense on an avant or eclipse as the harmony already kicks butt Stick out tongue

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Epsilon20
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I had an Oppo 205 connected to my 50s and the dac is indeed superior than The one in the harmony or 50s. The Oppo 205 DAC is considered one of the best dacs out there. I’ve gone through about ten external dacs in the last 2 years with the 5os so can positively recommend it. You just have to have 2 RCA leads into the RCA inputs. 

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Epsilon20
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I had an Oppo 205 connected to my 50s and the dac is indeed superior than The one in the harmony or 50s. The Oppo 205 DAC is considered one of the best dacs out there. I’ve gone through about ten external dacs in the last 2 years with the 5os so can positively recommend it. You just have to have 2 RCA leads into the RCA inputs. 

Beovision Eclipse 55 Brass Edition with Oak covers and Brass Orbital stand

Beolab 50s silver & Oak, Beolab 18 Brass with Smoked Oak, Beolab 18 Rose Gold with Maple Covers, Beolab 19 Black.

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