ExaktSurround

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Surround sound via Exakt

Overview

  • Exakt surround allows a DSM to receive multi-channel audio over HDMI and play it through an Exakt system. It is usable on any DSM with HDMI inputs and Exakt outputs.
  • Any sensible speaker configuration is supported from 2.0 to 7.4.
  • No need for a dedicated AV processor.
  • No need to manually setup down-mixes or delays.
  • The Linn DSM has no surround sound decoder (i.e. bitstream decoder) fitted as standard. Although this is available as an upgrade. This means, without the upgrade, that the audio must be delivered to the DSM as PCM (this has the original bitstream already decoded at the HDMI source into seperate channels: FL, C, FR, SR,SL, SSL, SSR, SUB). Most HDMI sources are capable of this; any that don’t (e.g. early Apple TV) can be supported using a HDMI repeater, placed between the original HDMI source and the Linn DSM, that is capable of Dolby/DTS to PCM conversion (e.g. Oppo 205, CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXUHD) on the HDMI link.
  • DSM models with analog as well as Exakt outputs can use the analog outputs to feed one or two non-Exakt speakers (e.g. Exakt fronts with analog surrounds for a 4.0 system).
  • Each Exaktbox can support 1 or 2 loudspeakers for full digital crossover or, from Davaar68, Surround channel assignment option.
Eaxkt-Surround.jpg

Sample 5.2 system. Front speakers are Exakt, rear speakers are analogue but can be made Exakt with another Exaktbox.

Examples of speaker setups can be found HERE

Channel Assignment

Ensure that HDMI is ENABLED on the Linn DSM to show all surround channels
This setup is used by Linn DSM with or without a Linn Surround Processor

Go to the Exakt tab in your DS configuration page. ExaktSurroundExaktTab.png


System configuration is largely like that for a stereo Exakt system: Exaktboxes are configured in the normal way then all channel assignments can be made. Note that the channel options for each speaker now contain all speaker positions for a 7.1 system.
ExaktSurroundChannelOptions.png


If you want to use analog outputs from your DSM for 1 or 2 surround channels, select which speaker(s) are connected then assign channels for these too.
ExaktSurroundAnalogOutputs.png


System setup is very flexible but must follow some basic rules:

  • All systems must contain front left & front right
  • If rear or surround speakers are present, they must have both left & right
  • Surround speakers (i.e., back speakers in a 5.1 setup) must be present before rears (i.e., back speakers in a 7.1 setup) can be used
  • Centre and sub are optional but can be used with any other setup



Once all channels have been selected, press the Apply button.
ExaktSurroundChannelsApply.png


Note that the configuration for all Exakt devices must be applied together. (This allows Konfig to validate the speaker configuration for the overall system, enforcing the rules above and providing meaningful feedback if an invalid speaker configuration has been selected.)
You can now use the Test button beside each speaker to confirm that channel allocation is correct. If you make any changes (e.g. reversing left/right for a pair of speakers), press Apply again.
No manual setup of down-mix mode is required. Konfig will automatically apply the most appropriate down-mix based on the channels assigned to your speakers.

Subs

A subwoofer can be assigned one of 4 possible channels:

  • Front left
  • Front right
  • Mono
  • LFE

Selecting front left (or right) instructs the sub to play the same content as the front left (or right) speaker. You should only select this if you have 2 subs, one assigned to each left and right.

Selecting Mono instructs the sub to play a down-mix of both front left and right.

If you are NOT using a Linn Surround module on the HDMI board and using a front left/right sub pair, a mono sub, or no sub, any LFE content will be directed to front left and right speakers.

Selecting LFE instructs the sub to only play LFE content for multi-channel tracks. An LFE sub will be silent when playing stereo music.

Sub channel configurations are mutually exclusive. Only one type of sub configuration may be present on any system (a sub configuration counts as a front left/right pair, Mono, or LFE).

Note that a sub on an analogue output will only be used for HDMI sources. (Analogue and Exakt channels cannot be synchronised on Playlist or other stereo sources.)

Optimisation

The process for this is equivalent to a stereo system, just for more speakers.

Delays

No setup of speaker delays is required. The linear phase audio delivered by Exakt means that the correct delays have been applied automatically.

DSM HDMI inputs will default to minimal latency. If you require additional delay for lip sync, the process for this is unchanged – set the delay mode for the relevant HDMI source to “Video sync” then adjust latency using either the Ir remote or the configuration tab in Konfig.

Volume Equalisation

Once Space+ Optimisation has been applied, you can apply volume offsets to equalise volume between speakers in the system.
ExaktSurroundVolOffsetsEntry.png


Pressing the Play icon beside any speaker will play pink noise through that speaker.
ExaktSurroundVolOffsetsPlayIcon.png


The +/- buttons beside this can be used to adjust volume for that speaker.
ExaktSurroundVolOffsetsPlusMinus.png


Once you have completed setting volume offsets, press Apply.
ExaktSurroundVolOffsetsApply.png

Switching between surround and stereo modes

The DSM will automatically switch between stereo and surround content. No user changes are required.

Songcast

Songcast of surround streams is not currently supported. A future release will send a stereo down-mix of surround content to any songcast receivers. This will not affect any down-mix applied in your surround system.

FAQ's

Operation

Linn DSM products with HDMI Audio pass-thro and surround processing

Release Davaar 4.2.3 (14th Oct 2011)

The Linn DSM products HDMI output will:-
1. Pass-throu the HDMI audio when the Linn DSM is in Standby.
2. Pass-throu the HDMI audio when the Linn DSM is listening to an Analogue or Digital Audio input.
3. BLOCK the HDMI audio to the TV if the the DSM is listening to a HDMI input.


From Davaar50 (Sept 2016) the 'stripped' surround audio is no longer fed out of the Linn DSM - HDMI OUT to a surround processor. This is now processed with Exakt speakers, check Surround speaker setup.
The HDMI pass-throu and HDMI block still occur as above.


Common setup

The Klimax Exaktbox has 6 outputs, can I use each output to drive a loudspeaker in my 5.1 surround system?

Yes if your Linn DSM has Davaar68 or higher firmware. This will allow you to setup individual surround channels for specific outputs of the Exaktbox.


What setting do I put on my Linn Sub-woofer with this Surround setup?

Put all Sub-woofer settings back to their default settings. (Check the Product Manuals for a guide to reset Linn speakers.)

I have an exclamation mark icon (!) on my DSM display. What does this mean?

Your DSM has not detected all the speakers that were originally configured for surround. Open Konfig, select your DSM then the Exakt tab to see which speakers have been detected.
If you have removed a speaker from your system (e.g. a centre channel), you may need to temporarily change channel assignment of another speaker. When you return this to its original value, Konfig will allow you to save the new surround configuration.

Do my front left/right speakers always have to be Exakt speakers?

No, you can configure the analogue outputs of you Majik/Akurate/Klimax DSM to feed the front left/right and the Exaktbox/Exakt speakers for any other channels. However this will not be the best Musical option as the passive speaker will never sound as good as the fully Exakt'ed speakers.