rear speakers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-18-2003, 04:02 PM
i have a yamaha amp. expensive and high end athena speakers. and i cant seem to get the rears perfect.....

is it normal for them to have failry low volume. there about 5 foot 10" off the floor mounted on the wall. and we sit about 6 feet or so in front of them. i have them set to around 15 feet away to hear them.....

like they are very loud in movies like fast and the furious and fighting movies. when something flies by. but like when people are just talking outside the front right and left play like crickets or whatever wind etc... the rears are playing it to but at like 1/4 or 1/2 the volume. you cant even hear them unless you tilt your head in that direction and look for a while.

i know they dont have something wrong with them becuase when i turn on 6 channel stereo they drowned out my fronts. becuase they are turned up so high for movies.

is it normal?

12-18-2003, 06:36 PM
that entirely depends on the original source. You're not hearing a lot of activity in the rear surrounds because the sound designer did not intend for a lot of sound to go back there. In an action movie like Fast and the Furious, you'll have lots of sound effects directed towards the back. If the surrounds are set too high, you'll notice that immediately in the six-channel stereo mode.

Sounds like you've never adjusted the surround and center speaker levels. Rather than rely on the inconsistencies of movie soundtracks to correctly set your surround levels, you should get a SPL meter over at Radio Shack or Sears and use that in conjunction with the test tone in your receiver.

Also, if your surround speakers are closer to your listening position than the mains, then you also need to adjust the delay timing. Yamaha has a default delay of 5 ms. You need to increase the delay by 1 ms for every foot that the surrounds are closer to the listening positon than the mains. And if your center speaker is arranged along a straight line from the mains, then you'll need to probably set the delay timing for the center speaker at 1 ms.

12-18-2003, 06:51 PM
I exchanged my Yamaha 1400 for a 1400 with DPL2x .Now I am running Studio 100s Frt/Studio cc Center/ and Studio ADPs for surrounds.Just to play with th 2x I am using a pair of JBls for the back surrounds from my work shop.When running YPAO there is a big Difference in test tones from the JBLs and the Studios.How important is it to match these..I hate to pay $500 for a pair of Studio 20s when 99% of the time will be TV that is not 5.1 decoding...The 1% will be ex..I was thinking a pair of Titans...

12-18-2003, 08:00 PM
yea basically my amp is all standard settings still. because i dont want to go in and mess it up. like i set speaker size and room size and all that.

what should my dynamic range be set at?

mine is on standard right now

and high it says is for movies.......... and i turned it on and it sounded pretty much the same.

so the delays make a big difference ? i will have to set them up.

12-19-2003, 04:33 AM
like they are very loud in movies like fast and the furious and fighting movies. when something flies by. but like when people are just talking outside the front right and left play like crickets or whatever wind etc... the rears are playing it to but at like 1/4 or 1/2 the volume. you cant even hear them unless you tilt your head in that direction and look for a while. is it normal?

Yes, that's probably normal. Unlike stereo music, movies don't generally contain much information in all the channels it has available.

Most of the information is in the front center channel.

There is rarely much information in the surrounds. If it ain't there to begin with, turning up the levels in the surrounds won't really gain you much.

Most of the time, the surrounds simply provide sound effects, as you have noticed. At all other times they are practically silent or simply have ambiance information, which is at a very low level. In other words, you are not aware of their presense. This is as itshould be.

As another posted, use the TONE GENERATOR in your receiver to set the levels of ALL speakers to the SAME level at your normal listening position. A meter helps, but your ears can do a reasonable job to get you through the night.

Once these levels are set, volume from the surrounds will be correct relative to the fronts... and to the levels intended by the director.

As to how to do this in more detail, read your manual.

BTW, Athena's do put out a nice product. enjoy.

12-19-2003, 04:47 AM
I find changing the delay, room size, and other parameters is often limited by the acoustic environment of the room the speakers are in. I agree completely with Wooch and gang that you should set your delays to achieve accuracy. Play something in 5/6/7-channel stereo and you can sometimes here an incorrect "echo" if your delays aren't set properly. Of course, you can only get so accurate. My Mains are 4 inches further from the viewing are than my center is...I don't bother adjusting the delays for those, but I can definitely hear a difference with the rears which are about 2 feet closer. In my old house, roomsize and liveliness did very little in my 25 X 20 living room, but I have since moved my HT into a new, cozy 20 X 15 room and can really hear the difference. The only way to know for sure is to play with the settings.

46minaudio brings up an interesting point that ties into Uncooked's original posting. If your speakers aren't exactly the same size you may experience different output levels. Most people I know build systems with big floorstanding mains and bookshelf rears, which aren't always balanced despite timbre matching. I have a similar dilemna, even my SPL meter can only do so much, but it was a necessary compromise that I made in order to afford Studio 100's for mains when I listend to 2-channel audio. The Studio 20's are great, but just don't seem to generate as much sound as the 100's, oh well, I'm very happy and that's all that matters.

46minaudio: I had Titan's left over from a 5 year old system I used for rears for with my Studio 100's for 3 months and they worked great. If I didn't have such a large 5.1 audio collection and love my DSP's and Pro-Logic II so much the Studio 20's would not have been worth the upgrade. In my setup I really had to adjust the rear levels for the Titans to match the Studio 100's but I have a large room. The best part about the Titans is they're easy to sell if you decide you want something more...If you're a little more critical, I also fell in love with Mini-Monitors that I've since given to my parents...starting to choke up thinking about my old systems...

12-19-2003, 06:53 AM
Uncooked Im sorry I thought I posted this under a new topic...

12-19-2003, 08:36 AM
This is a common misconception about surround sound. Most people think that the surrounds should be as loud as the fronts. When listening to cd, am/fm, stereo sources in DPLII the receiver uses a dolby decoding mechanism to determine what sound is sent to the surrounds. This is normally ambience and some upper octaves. So it is perfectly normal for the surrounds to not be heard. The intent was not to bring attention to the surrounds but add ambience so that the sound is fuller and more room filling. On DVD encoded movies with 5.1 sound tracks, the sound engineers recorded sound for these individual speakers as noted in one of the other posts. Do not be afraid to adjust the speaker levels with an SPL meter and also to set the surrounds delay adjustment. I think I have mine set at 15ms delay. The most important adjustment I believe is the speaker level. Anyways, hope this helps.