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Surround Sound

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Contents

Introduction

The Davaar 55 software release introduces Surround Sound (multichannel) support to all existing DSM products that feature both HDMI and Exakt functionality. This document gives an overview of the surround feature and provides examples of the various configuration options available.

If you are using Exaktboxes please be aware that these will ONLY support loudspeakers that are listed HERE

Requirements

To support surround functionality, a DSM must have an Exakt interface to allow multiple speakers to be connected. The DSM must have an HDMI interface to enable delivery of surround audio content. A 3rd party source device (ex. Blu Ray player) must be used to deliver surround audio to the DSM via HDMI.
The source device must be capable of delivering (non-encoded/uncompressed) PCM multichannel content.

Terminology

Surround speaker configurations are expressed using two numbers separated by a dot (example "7.1"). The first number indicates the quantity of full frequency range (FFR) speakers in the system and the second number indicates the quantity of low frequency (subwoofer) speakers. A 5.2 system would therefore contain 5 FFR speakers and 2 subwoofers. Linn surround systems support a maximum of 7 FFR speakers with no limit on the number of subwoofers. Each speaker in the system has a specific role (type) which dictates the audio content that it plays.

The available FFR speaker types are:

  • Front Left (FL)
  • FrontRight (FR)
  • Surround Left (SL)
  • Surround Right (SR)
  • Rear Left (RL)
  • Rear Right (RR)
  • Centre (C)

The available subwoofer (sub) speaker types are:

  • Sub Mono (LFM)
  • Sub Left (LFL)
  • Sub Right (LFR)
  • Sub LFE (LFE)

Rules

When configuring a surround system the following rules apply:

  • No FFR duplicates: Only one of each FFR speaker type can be used.
  • No partial groups: The speaker types FL/FR, SL/SR, RL/RR, LFL/LFR must always exist in pairs.
  • Fronts must be present: FL and FR must always exist
  • No Rears without Surrounds: The RL/RR pair cannot be present if SL/SR are not present

If these rules are not adhered to, the surround speaker configuration will be invalid. The front panel will indicate this by displaying a "!" near the volume display. The audio may also be muted automatically.

Room Setup

The following diagrams show a range of typical valid surround room setups, indicating speaker types and positioning. Also shown are some invalid setups that break one or more of the rules outlined earlier.
Channel assignment and speaker offsets are set up in Konfig

Symbol Key

Key (Room Setup)

Stereo 2.0

Stereo 2.1

Surround 3.1

Surround 4.0

Surround 4.1

Surround 5.1

Surround 7.1

Surround 7.2


Invalid Surround Setup (No Fronts)

Invalid Surround Setup (No Surrounds)

Invalid Surround Setup (Partial Front Group)

Invalid Surround Setup (Partial Surround Group)

Invalid Surround Setup (Partial Rear Group)

Speaker Setup

In a traditional hardware surround system, speakers are assigned their type implicitly by the physical output they are connected to. With Exakt, any type can be applied to any speaker, using Konfig, regardless of how the speakers are physically connected. The following diagrams show various typical speaker connection examples for a range of surround configurations.


Symbol Key


Stereo 2.0

Surround 3.1 With Non Exakt Centre and Sub

Surround 4.0 All Exakt

Surround 5.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts

Surround 5.1 With Non Exakt Centre and Sub

Surround 5.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts & Surrounds, Non Exakt Centre & Sub

Surround 7.1 With Integrated Exakt Centre And Sub

Surround 7.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts, Surrounds And Rears

Surround 7.1 With Non Exakt Centre And Sub

Surround 7.1 All Exakt Box

Encoded Setups

Some HDMI source devices (e.g. Sky Q) only output encoded audio streams. To use these devices with a Linn DSM, a 3rd party AV processor or HDMI repeater must be used to decode the stream. The diagrams below indicate how these setups may be connected.

Encoded 7.1 Without Exakt

Encoded 5.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts

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?

No, if Konfigured for use to as an Exakt Crossover for specific speakers then its remaining channels CANNOT be used for any other purpose.



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.
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