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How to use Phantom Gold as front speakers in 11.2 home theater set up
#1
Hello! I am from Thailand.  I have 3 Gold Phantoms, 2 Dialog boxes and 5 Reactors 600.  No dealers in Thailand seem to know how to set up the speakers except in streaming mode.  Can any one please advise me how to connect the 2 Gold Phantoms as front speakers in a surround set up?  My receiver has separate RCA outputs for each channel.

Questions for Phantom Gold:-

1.  Can I connect front right and left RCA outputs of the receiver to an Analog to Digital converter with one Toslink output, and then connect to the Dialog optical input and have it stream left and right channel sound to the Phantoms?  (The left and right channel sound have gone through the receiver's surround decoder with low frequency cut off set at 80Hz.)

2.  Or can I use 2 ADC's to convert the receiver's L and R channel separately, and connect the Toslink cables to each Phantom without using the Dialog at all? 

2.  If I can connect either way, will the sound level be matched to the rest of the system speakers?  ( I have 2 subs and 9 surround speakers and can set each speaker's level through white noise or Audyssey automatic set up.  Do I need line level amplification before connection to the ADC?

Questions for Reactor:-

1. Can I use RCA to 3.5mm cables to connect the receiver's RCA outputs directly to the Reactors as front left and right and center channel?  Again, will the sound level be matched with the rest of the surround system?


Finally, thank in advance for anyone who can advise me on this connection issue.  I love the sound of Devialet, but the set up to normal home theater system seems very confusing to an average user like me.

Best regards,
Chai
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#2
You're in for a tough time. When I last tried to use my White Phantom as a center speaker, using an ADC-Optical converter on the Center Channel Output, my Denon 3800 receiver couldn't cope with the extreme latency/delay it introduced.

You should at least try feeding just one Phantom with the TV/Receiver sound in the simplest way possible, to verify that you don't perceive any lip sync issues, before you go down the multi-channel route.

I think the only successful deployments of Phantoms as surround sound are with HTPC setups (where delays are much more controllable), or highly specialised processor boards that can output digital signals for each channel.
JRiver v24 (Windows) >> 220Pro/CI >> Tellurium-Q Black >> PMC Twenty5.23 + two REL T7i. One White Phantom.
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#3
@chaiwongwaiwit  Welcome to the forum...  

Unfortunately, it is not easy to use the Phantoms for home theatre because there is latency (delay) in each of the units.  It is much harder when you mix Premier and Reactor units.  @njaiswal has done this in this thread using Dante technology and other hardware.
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#4
(10-Sep-2019, 23:34)Snoopy8 Wrote: @chaiwongwaiwit  Welcome to the forum...  

Unfortunately, it is not easy to use the Phantoms for home theatre because there is latency (delay) in each of the units.  It is much harder when you mix Premier and Reactor units.  @njaiswal has done this in this thread using Dante technology and other hardware.

Thanks to both of you for the advice.

I used to play with home theater 20 years ago and have not kept up with the latest technology, so all this is very new to me.  Actually I currently have a new and good home theater set up with passive speakers and a high end receiver, and use the Gold Phantoms only for music listening.   I  now want to set up home theater at another place and want to use the Devialet speakers for front left right and center.

I contacted the Devialet help center and got a quick reply from Manson.  He suggested I use the Dante set up but I am still a little confused and don't know where to get the accessories in Thailand.  However looking through the manual to set up optical input, it says the Phantom will become stand alone speaker with no latency.  Also I believe my receiver has an option for lipsync correction.  I ordered some ADC units from Amazon which will arrive shortly.  I will try to tinker with how to set up the system and report back to this forum if there is an easier way to hook up the Phantoms or the Reactors.

By the way, my receiver has this auto EQ called Audyssey which I think provide delays for each speaker to compensate for distance.  Will this help in correcting the latency if there is any?

I welcome more suggestions and thanks to all.
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#5
(11-Sep-2019, 08:01)chaiwongwaiwit Wrote:
(10-Sep-2019, 23:34)Snoopy8 Wrote: @chaiwongwaiwit  Welcome to the forum...  

Unfortunately, it is not easy to use the Phantoms for home theatre because there is latency (delay) in each of the units.  It is much harder when you mix Premier and Reactor units.  @njaiswal has done this in this thread using Dante technology and other hardware.

Thanks to both of you for the advice.

I used to play with home theater 20 years ago and have not kept up with the latest technology, so all this is very new to me.  Actually I currently have a new and good home theater set up with passive speakers and a high end receiver, and use the Gold Phantoms only for music listening.   I  now want to set up home theater at another place and want to use the Devialet speakers for front left right and center.

I contacted the Devialet help center and got a quick reply from Manson.  He suggested I use the Dante set up but I am still a little confused and don't know where to get the accessories in Thailand.  However looking through the manual to set up optical input, it says the Phantom will become stand alone speaker with no latency.  Also I believe my receiver has an option for lipsync correction.  I ordered some ADC units from Amazon which will arrive shortly.  I will try to tinker with how to set up the system and report back to this forum if there is an easier way to hook up the Phantoms or the Reactors.

By the way, my receiver has this auto EQ called Audyssey which I think provide delays for each speaker to compensate for distance.  Will this help in correcting the latency if there is any?

I welcome more suggestions and thanks to all.
I think Dante would be “the” answer but without a referral which may be valid for Thailand that may be an uphill battle.  That said, I agree that the direct mode may be a solid alternative.  I am curious to know the extent the phantoms specs are changed and if the A/V unit’s input would make the less than plugin play effort worth while.  Please keep us posted as things develop.

Regards,
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#6
I am now successful to incorporate the Phantom Gold as my right and left front and center speakers with my home theater using an 11.1 receiver and 8 passive surround speakers and 1 powered subwoofer.  It is fairly simple with the following accessories:-

2 Analog to Digital converters (with 2 RCA L+R inputs and 1 optical output.)
1 Toslink optical splitter
1 RCA to 2RCA Y splitters
3 Toslink  optical cables

What to do:-

1 Set the 3 Phantoms to "Direct Optical" mode by
  a.  For each Phantom, tap the power button 3 times to reset.
  b.  Load the "Devialet Phantom" app from the App Store and open it.  Also turn on Bluetooth.
  c.  After a short time, the speaker will make a sound.  Choose each Phantom as "New Speaker" and place the phone near it. (Easier to do it one by one)
  d.  Once the Phantom is found it will make another sound.
  e.  On the app display, tap any empty area around the circle 10 times until the option to choose "Motion" or "Optical" appears.
  f.  Choose "Direct Optical" and choose the channel as left or right and 0dB.  I also use the third Phantom as the center channel and chose it to be left.

2.  On the receiver, connect the ADC to the left and right channel pre-outs.  (The output should now be combined optical left and right.)
3.  Connect the optical out to a Toslink splitter.  (The 2 optical outputs now have equal left and right channel signal.)
4.  Connect each output to the optical input of the left and right Phantom. (This procedure is a pain because the optical input is right next to the power plug.  Hard to connect and keep it there)
5.  For the center channel, connect one RCA Y splitter to the center pre-out and then connect the two outputs to the ADC.  (The ADC's optical output now contains same signals, and I choose the left channel for the center Phantom).

Initially, the resulting sound was very bass-heavy and boomy because as we know, the Phantoms have adequate bass response by themselves, but I am also using a powered sub.  The bass was coming out from the Phantoms coupled with the sub.  Then I used Audyssey room correction with the following set up:-

1.  After the room correction has been applied, I set the front speakers to "Small" and set the low frequency to 80 HZ.
2.  Set all other surround speakers to small and set the frequency to 100Hz.
3.  Set the LFE to 120Hz.

The sound is now perfect!

Side notes:- 

My old system used the receiver's front pre-outs to 2 monoblock tube amplifiers, and connect to old B&W 801's.  The old sound was a bit "warmer", but the Phantoms now have "brighter" sound, but not so much.

The help center of Devialet warned me that the optical direct of the Phantom has no latency, but the Reactor does!  I tried using the Reactor as the center speaker, but I think the "latency" was just too much.  After checking if Audyssey made any correction, I found that it placed the center speaker 0.2 ft. from the listening position while all other speakers were 15-16 ft!  I don't have much knowledge, but I think it tried to compensate for the delay from the center speaker too much.  So much that I was afraid to use it until I am sure the Reactor's latency is reduced to near zero.  I have no way of measuring the delay.  (It would be nice to be able to use the Reactor as center speaker since 3 Phantoms are a bit much in front of the screen.)

Using 3 Phantoms and corrected with Audyssey resulted in better sound than using the Reactor as the center, obviously.  But I also found using the Phantom as center rather than my old passive center speaker resulted in more "open" sound after the correction, even in stereo.

I am not an expert in audio and I am also in my sixties.  My hearing may not be that good and I won't say I have golden ears, but I am quite satisfied with what I am getting from the Phantoms.  I have 5 Phantom Golds and 5 Reactors all over my home and condo.  I have been researching on how to use them in my home theater system, but until now I couldn't get the answer.  Most dealers in Thailand only know how to use it as a one Bluetooth speaker, or at best a stereo using the Dialog.  One dealer even tried to sell me a system costing $20k. to use with the speakers I already have.  I wish Devialet would put it in their manual on how to use the Phantoms and Reactors as nice powered speakers that can be combined with others.

P.S.  Thanks to Manson at the Devialet help center for his assistance getting in touch with the engineers and told me how to do it.
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#7
Oh! I also found when using Audyssey, and setting the initial subwoofer level at 75 dB, the resulting levels of the front speakers were increased to +8dB. while the subwoofer level was lowered by -2 dB. I think it means 0 dB. level of the Phantom is lower than other speakers. I tried the +12 dB. setting on the Phantoms and using Audyssey, it became too loud and there was no need for me in my system, so I reset them back to 0 dB.
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#8
(10-Sep-2019, 08:26)chaiwongwaiwit Wrote: Hello! I am from Thailand.  I have 3 Gold Phantoms, 2 Dialog boxes and 5 Reactors 600.  No dealers in Thailand seem to know how to set up the speakers except in streaming mode.  Can any one please advise me how to connect the 2 Gold Phantoms as front speakers in a surround set up?  My receiver has separate RCA outputs for each channel.

Questions for Phantom Gold:-

1.  Can I connect front right and left RCA outputs of the receiver to an Analog to Digital converter with one Toslink output, and then connect to the Dialog optical input and have it stream left and right channel sound to the Phantoms?  (The left and right channel sound have gone through the receiver's surround decoder with low frequency cut off set at 80Hz.)

2.  Or can I use 2 ADC's to convert the receiver's L and R channel separately, and connect the Toslink cables to each Phantom without using the Dialog at all? 

2.  If I can connect either way, will the sound level be matched to the rest of the system speakers?  ( I have 2 subs and 9 surround speakers and can set each speaker's level through white noise or Audyssey automatic set up.  Do I need line level amplification before connection to the ADC?

Questions for Reactor:-

1. Can I use RCA to 3.5mm cables to connect the receiver's RCA outputs directly to the Reactors as front left and right and center channel?  Again, will the sound level be matched with the rest of the surround system?


Finally, thank in advance for anyone who can advise me on this connection issue.  I love the sound of Devialet, but the set up to normal home theater system seems very confusing to an average user like me.

Best regards,
Chai


Chai, i read all your posts, and you are far from an 'average user'. I'd be surprised if i know half as much about audio and connecting stuff up like you are at 60 now vs when i'm 50 (in 12 years).

I have only just started in my audio journey in 2017. It's very addictive.
I have so far;
2 x phantom golds + dialog (TV speakers)
1 x classic phantom (from 2016, dining/kitchen listening)
2 x phantom reactor black 600w (PC speakers)
1 pair of KEF LSW50 (hooked up to chromecast audio, for reading my audio books)
1 naim mu-so 2nd gen (giving to my brother)
1 naim qube 2nd gen (will sell this soon)
2 x B&O beosound 2 (1 from 2017, the other new one is 2019 with Google Assistant)
1 x B&O beoplay A9 2nd gen (the satellite dish, haha. from 2017, no google voice assistant)
1 x B&O beoplay A9 4th gen (with GVA)


so far, the "best" sound to my ears, when watching TV sitting 3.7m away from screen, the oval shaped sweet spot of roughly 1.5m wide is with:
- phantom golds mounted on geckos 2.4m high and 3.9m apart (1.95m to L/R from the middle line of the TV)
- TV connects to 48port managed switch through ethernet cable (for streaming). both golds & dialog also connects directly to the switch.
- plug in a TOSlink splitter into the TV
- Connect the dialog via optical to splitter (dialog manages the golds for stereo)
- connect a DAC to the other side of splitter
- connect the RCA (red/white cable) to a Beoplay A9 which sits just below the TV
- both the phantoms & the A9 then have similar delay, which i then use the TV audio sync to compensate (~150-200ms)

The A9 seems to help the actors talk over the crispy bass of the Golds, and the slightly warmer bass of the A9 complements the Golds well as a center speaker. But it's the golds that really lend the UMPH factor to any movie we watch, its bass you can feel in your chest.

Thats my low tech way of 'brute forcing' the issue, but your posts have enriched this forum and i just wanted to thank you for listing all your steps clearly and showing your homework. This thread is bookmarked!
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