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  1. #1
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    dissapointed - HT setup

    Hey guys,

    I've been thinkin about selling my gear. I've lost interest in the whole HT hobby. After playing endlessly with my setup, I'm still disappointed with the sound.I've read every thread I can find about every technology and every placement option and every acoustic fix and still...it ain't workin'.Room modes , bass loading , phase shift ,spatial loading ,crossover suggestions,sound stage enhancements, non directional bass, room vibrations on and on...I've just come to the conclusion that without an advance EQ filtering system it's a hopless.Unless and until the audio industry comes out with an affordable ( whatever that means) and detailed EQ that is self calibrating ,then I think I'm out of the game for a while.Try as I might, the dialogue is muddy or the dialogue is just fine and it's way to fu@@in' loud.I've read about the 85db standard "dialogue will sound muddy at lower levels" ..blah blah blah and have the various test disc like Avia and others,still doesn't work.I doubt very much there are many guys out there that can hear a peak at 300hz and a dip/standing wave at 310hz, and even if you did,what would you do about it?To correct this you'd need a EQ or room equalizer that would have most guys eating Mac N' Cheese for a year.Iv'e heard that Denon has a new EQ system on its top o' the line reciever and various other companies have "room equalization" but for the working slobs like me, 5k is out even if it sounds like Scarlet Johanson (spelling?) is takin' just to you.Maybe one of you guys has a fix for me that isn't Rave audio or Lexicon....

    Thanks in advance.....
    Ed

  2. #2
    cam
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    Need more power cam's Avatar
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    Well good riddens, get lost, who needs you anyway. Actually I'm just kidding. Sorry to hear about your quest for HT heaven not working out so great. But every single room has a number of sound comprimises that need to be looked at or atleast addressed if possible. There are sometimes I think I have everything sounding perfect, from my center to my bass to my surrounds and then I change movies and all of a sudden it doesn't sound as good as I remembered it did. So I then make some changes to where it is acceptable again and then wouldn't you know it, all of a sudden there is a picture that starts to rattle at certain frequencies. I fix it and then all of a sudden my movie doesn't have the bass punch that I feel it should. A few changes later everything is great, up until I feel the dialogue is low where I feel I'm straining to hear and then all of a sudden the movie becomes so freaking loud I'm starting to think, what the f%@k. Ya welcome to the world of home theater, isn't it great.

  3. #3
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    "Well good riddens, get lost, who needs you anyway".....lol

    In a word...Amen cam..Move from Gladiator to Lost in Translation and the system is unrecognizable.I use to enjoy screwin around.. with speaker a little more left,surrounds need more delay maybe....turn up the center...delay the center...turn delay off....now I just want to watch a f@#%in' movie .....bass it too loud...bass is too weak...recalibrate....crossover is too high...crossover is too low....recalibrate.....should I move the center down some.....maybe I'm gettin slap echos...

    "Ya welcome to the world of home theater, isn't it great."........right again.....

  4. #4
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I don't think it's your system

    Quote Originally Posted by hometheaterbug
    "Well good riddens, get lost, who needs you anyway".....lol

    In a word...Amen cam..Move from Gladiator to Lost in Translation and the system is unrecognizable.I use to enjoy screwin around.. with speaker a little more left,surrounds need more delay maybe....turn up the center...delay the center...turn delay off....now I just want to watch a f@#%in' movie .....bass it too loud...bass is too weak...recalibrate....crossover is too high...crossover is too low....recalibrate.....should I move the center down some.....maybe I'm gettin slap echos...

    "Ya welcome to the world of home theater, isn't it great."........right again.....
    It's you. If you don't like tweaking stuff then why bother. It' you've got a good setup it should sound decent.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  5. #5
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    hometheaterbug If you own the equipment you listed on your profil then its you thats doing something wrong.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Once a system is set up properly. There should be no reason to change anything. Except for maybe bumping the center or sub level a few db here and there. Keep in mind movies can sound different and some are just mixed really bad therefore a good system is going to reveal this.

    Plus you give us little to go on. Someone here might be able to offer some solid suggestions. Why not offer a description of your room and an equipment list with model numbers. With the brands you listed there should be no reason why you can't achieve a quality HT. To be blunt its probably you who is the problem. No offense.

  7. #7
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    anamorphic:

    "Once a system is set up properly. There should be no reason to change anything. Except for maybe bumping the center or sub level a few db here and there" In a perfect world your right.Just adjust the system properly and prehaps have the bass a little rich if thats to your liking and bump up the center a few db if you like and your set....I may be looking for performance beyond the ability of the equipment...Your right I think , it''s me.

    room - rectangle, roughly 26'x12x8 ...no open doorways, real paneling on walls, and the ends are concrete
    .................................................. .................................................. ..........................
    main HT Equipment: Rotel : rsp1066 ,rvd 1080 , rmb1075 - Klipsch: rf-3,rs3,rc3 , sub -SVS 20-39 pci

    seperate small Infinity system - IL10 - IL25c, infinity Entra sub12 (so so at best) Polk surrounds ...

    other toys - psb 400i,klipsch ksw12 ,nad bbe320 <- gave these to my sister
    .................................................. .................................................. ........................

  8. #8
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    hometheaterbug Maybe had a receiver with Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer works for me and one that as subwoofer crossover .Man I love my Yamaha .

  9. #9
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Do you have any room treatments up ? With hard surfaces like you have youre probably getting alot of reflections.

    Im in a square room which is much more difficult to deal with than yours. Especially in the bass area. I have spent about 200 dollars on treatments and it was the best money I have ever spent. Considering the size of your room it may cost more. But is well worth the investment.

    Dont give up though. Especially with that sizeable of investment. Im more thant willing to bet some different speakers will do the trick.

    The Klipsch speakers you have use horns and tend to have an in your face type sound that can be a little grating over time. Possibly trying something with a warmer more neutral sound will probably do the trick. What your stating as being to loud could be the in your face sound of the Klipsch speakers.

    Speakers and acoustics play the biggest factor over any other componet in a system.


    Try looking at Energy, PSB Stratus Series, Ascend Acoustics, Vandersteen. These companies tend to have a more even and neutral sound.

    Your electronics and subs are top notch. I would not touch a thing there. Especially those subs.

    On another note 85db is the setting used in commercial cinemas. I would try using 75db which is what THX calls for in a HT set up. Some people use 70db. Also keep in mind alot of movies are mixed poorly.

    PatP is also correct. Maybe getting a nice receiver such as the Yamaha RXV 4600 with its room correction system will work. Sell the Rotel processor and use the pre outs on the Yamaha with the Rotel amp and you would have some more control over your room acoustics. Especially since the Yamaha will do the corrections for you with its mic.

    Hope this helps a bit. Keep us posted.

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Did you use a disc to setup?
    Look & Listen

  11. #11
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    After playing endlessly with my setup, I'm still disappointed with the sound.
    Yep, common problem, I once too had the Theateritis illness it was bad with a fostgate model 3A matching amps and the entire 8 speakers JBL 4410 & 4408's w/dual subs. It was fantastic the first ... ... oh say 1000 movies.

    I found a cure in about 3 years, but it laid deep within my soul, but I had to ask myself just one question first.
    "You have what it takes for 2 channels only... ... ... well do ya punk?"

    It took days...no more like months to finaly say "damn right I do" and pull the trigger
    Looking back over the last 4 years years I think my music collection has quadrupled since the CURE was found.
    Best thing I ever did
    There's a solution for that problem,
    Its called 2 channels

  12. #12
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    twochannelsonly

    You have what it takes for 2 channels only... ... ... well do ya punk?"

    ah, the good ol' days when life was simple

    PatP
    hometheaterbug Maybe had a receiver with Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer works for me and one that as subwoofer crossover .Man I love my Yamaha .

    Started this great adventure with a yammy Pat, good stuff .I had a RXV1000 and loved it.The various theater modes were a gem and made the system shine.I bought into the "seperates" idea and sold the yammy. Truth be know I think the yammy did many things better.Power? I expected to be wowed by the new Rotel setup and it does do many things well but darned if I can tell ANY difference in power.The Rotel system did clear up some brightness issues I had with my Klipsch speakers.On the whole, I wish I'd stuck with the yammy

    ananmorphic:

    Try looking at Energy, PSB Stratus Series, Ascend Acoustics, Vandersteen. These companies tend to have a more even and neutral sound.

    Thought about changin to PSB , huge PSB fan.The others are a little out of my price range but who knows, if I'm wowed enough I'll take the plunge.

    Possibly trying something with a warmer more neutral sound will probably do the trick.

    Klipsches can be unforgiving no doubt. On the other hand they can be dazzling.Friend of mine was over and I popped in Gladiator -colleseum scene. When the tigers came out and the chains jingled my friend spontaniously says," WOW! Sounds like someone is draggin a chain across the room." So the system does do some things very well but the rest you already know.......

    Thanks for all the tips and hints guys...

  13. #13
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    There is something to be said for two clean channels and a good recording...

    jocko

  14. #14
    nightflier
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    Center Channel

    Could it be that there is something wrong with the center channel? Most of what you describe centers (no pun intended) on this. Could it be that there is something wrong with the center channel? Placement maybe?

    As a side note, I thought we had a center channel problem too when we were setting up a Polk system at my brother in law's house. We mucked around with placement and all kinds of settings but everything still sounded dull. Well, it turned out to be the room. Since we didn't have anything right away, we used what we had: we hung thick curtains on the side and back walls and put a rug on the tile floor. Substantial improvement. He now has professional treatments up (p.s. wife was furious about how it looked), but it now sounds very good.

  15. #15
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    nightflier

    Could it be that there is something wrong with the center channel? Most of what you describe centers (no pun intended) on this. Could it be that there is something wrong with the center channel? Placement maybe?

    The center is a problem no doubt nightflier.But at as you said the room has a huge affect on what your hearing.You can do fiddle around with placement room treatments and so on and that can make things sound alot better just as you said.What I was arguing earlier is that without a detailed sound spectrum analizer , you have a world of unknowns.Who do you diagnose and treat a problem if you don't know what it is?It's like going to the doctor because your sick and he treats you for cancer but has no way to tell for sure you even have cancer.But he does know your sick and that's good enough for an rectal cancer screen and a cast for your unbroken arm.

    All kidding aside , I ended up adding two center channels.I know I know , I can hear you guys saying that's WRONG MISTER.With all of the problems that can be introduced with the two channels functioning as one, it works, go figure.The Rotel is handling the 4ohm load just fine and center has a renew presence that's clear but not overbearing.In short a BIG sound yet if fits in the soundstage nicely.



    As a side note, I thought we had a center channel problem too when we were setting up a Polk system at my brother in law's house. We mucked around with placement and all kinds of settings but everything still sounded dull. Well, it turned out to be the room. Since we didn't have anything right away, we used what we had: we hung thick curtains on the side and back walls and put a rug on the tile floor. Substantial improvement. He now has professional treatments up (p.s. wife was furious about how it looked), but it now sounds very good.


    WAF is a huge problem, bigger than the sun and the moon

  16. #16
    nightflier
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    Too much anal-isis?

    Quote Originally Posted by hometheaterbug
    Who do you diagnose and treat a problem if you don't know what it is?It's like going to the doctor because your sick and he treats you for cancer but has no way to tell for sure you even have cancer.But he does know your sick and that's good enough for an rectal cancer screen and a cast for your unbroken arm...
    Well, if the Dr. doesn't know what cancer it is, a rectal screen is probably a good option, since colon cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer - something related to overstressing, ironically. In other words, doc, you've done everything right so far....But the cast on the arm (i.e. the two center channels) is probably overkill. Since you've got it narrowed down to cancer (i.e. the center channel) I would start troubleshooting by focussing there.

    Unfortunately, your system is just simply not going to sound like it did with the receiver, too much has changed for that, but it wouldn't hurt to replace your preamp/processor with a borrowed Yamaha receiver, leaving everything else alone. If that solves the problem, you'll know it wasn't cancer after all, but a bad heart (and you can transplant that). If it doesn't solve the problem, you still won't know if it was cancer, but you will know your heart is fine. Continue swapping out components, the amp, the sources, etc. until you find the diseased part and then cut it out with a rusty knife.

    OK, enough anal-ogies (oops), but you get the idea. Considering how much you have tweaked with it already, you're probably pretty close to finding what's really wrong to your ears. Good luck.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    If you're unhappy with your home theater system, then you really should try and eliminate all other options for what might negatively impact the system the most. In systems with a subwoofer, the biggest culprit is with the room-induced effects in the low frequencies, and the manner in which the processor handles the low and high pass crossover slopes. Those will overpower everything else in your system. Given that you floorstanding speakers, maybe you should try your system out without the sub present first, and work backwards.

    The subwoofer goes into frequencies that are likeliest to interact and create peaks and nulls that drown out whatever else you might have going in the other frequencies. The low frequencies is where the EQ gives you the most benefit. For other parts of the frequency range, you not only have to concern yourself with room related changes to the frequency response, but with time domain issues as well that can only be solved with a combination of sound absorption and diffusion.

    Dialog intelligibility issues like you're describing are very much related to room acoustics and the speaker positioning. If you have the center speaker mounted inside an entertainment center or too close to a wall or set with the tweeters significantly higher or lower than the mains, then it will affect the midrange and dialog clarity.

    But, if you're complaining that the dialog is too high, too low, or too muddy all on the same system, then your problem is not with the system, but with either the setup (or acoustics) or simply the variability between the DVD soundtracks. Not all movies are recorded well, or done with similar balances between the different sound elements.

  18. #18
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    Unfortunately, your system is just simply not going to sound like it did with the receiver, too much has changed for that, but it wouldn't hurt to replace your preamp/processor with a borrowed Yamaha receiver, leaving everything else alone. If that solves the problem, you'll know it wasn't cancer after all, but a bad heart (and you can transplant that). If it doesn't solve the problem, you still won't know if it was cancer, but you will know your heart is fine. Continue swapping out components, the amp, the sources, etc. until you find the diseased part and then cut it out with a rusty knife.
    Good idea about the Yamaha reciever niteflier.Your right about swapping out components too, one thing at a time.Like a complete madman I shuffled out the two back to one again.A mad shell game...Better insane 3 am fiddling then the drunken-rage ball peen hammer solution

    In systems with a subwoofer, the biggest culprit is with the room-induced effects in the low frequencies, and the manner in which the processor handles the low and high pass crossover slopes. Those will overpower everything else in your system. Given that you floorstanding speakers, maybe you should try your system out without the sub present first, and work backwards
    Very interesting point Woochifer and I tried it.The system was much more crisp running sans the sub.I just eliminated all crossovers and let everything run "large" .I think the problem might be the crossover slopes (in part).I have screwed around with every setting you can think of (eached setting listened to for days) from running the slopes directly from the processor presets to running various combinations through passive sub crossovers and dialing softer slopes,constantly chasing after the movie zen experience.I'm the first guy to take diving leap into that sea of wires behind the TV.

    About the different sound tracks being way different, I couldnt argee more.

    Try this out guys.If you have Lost in Translation go to the beginnig of track 11 and turn up the dialogue until your db meter says about 52-62db (the convesation flucuates this much).This is a realitively soft conversation.Once you do that skip to 12 and let me know wether the it blasts you out of the room. Mind you I set my dynamic range to "min".

  19. #19
    nightflier
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    Bad Soundtrack...

    Quote Originally Posted by hometheaterbug
    Try this out guys.If you have Lost in Translation go to the beginnig of track 11 and turn up the dialogue until your db meter says about 52-62db (the convesation flucuates this much).This is a realitively soft conversation.Once you do that skip to 12 and let me know wether the it blasts you out of the room. Mind you I set my dynamic range to "min".
    Not blasted out of the room, but still anoying. I guess that soundtrack really does get "Lost in Translation."

  20. #20
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hometheaterbug
    Try this out guys.If you have Lost in Translation go to the beginnig of track 11 and turn up the dialogue until your db meter says about 52-62db (the convesation flucuates this much).This is a realitively soft conversation.Once you do that skip to 12 and let me know wether the it blasts you out of the room. Mind you I set my dynamic range to "min".
    Dynamic range set to "MIN"? Does that mean that the compression is fully engaged? If so, that might explain your dialog intelligibility issue, and why your home theater experience has been less than satisfactory. The dynamic range compression does not control the overall level on a sound source if it varies from scene to scene, only the difference between the loudest and softest sounds.

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