• 08-18-2005, 12:48 PM
    MCF
    Treble setting for loud room....
    I have my home theatre sounding pretty good and speaker locations are in pretty much ideal locations.....lf and rf equidistant from center channel and seating position to lf and rf creates an equilateral triange. Center Channel is slightly above ear level (on a shelf above fireplace and tv is about that). Problem is I have a very loud room (hardwood floors with little furniture for now...HT took precedence..hehe) and was wondering what the treble/bass settings should be (low, zero, high) to enhance voices. I have the system setup using SPL and AVIA so we don't need to get into all that....just wondering if messing with Bass/Treble levels could have an affect on dialogue. I can hear 90% of dialogue, but still have a little trouble occasionally.....have big cushy furniture on order which will lead to a large area rug which I am sure will soften the room up significantly...also plan on putting two large canvasas behind the couch on the currently blank wall which I am sure will help suck of some of the reflections.....and the wife thinks all this is for just for decorations....hehe..
  • 08-18-2005, 02:44 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MCF
    I have my home theatre sounding pretty good and speaker locations are in pretty much ideal locations.....lf and rf equidistant from center channel and seating position to lf and rf creates an equilateral triange. Center Channel is slightly above ear level (on a shelf above fireplace and tv is about that). Problem is I have a very loud room (hardwood floors with little furniture for now...HT took precedence..hehe) and was wondering what the treble/bass settings should be (low, zero, high) to enhance voices. I have the system setup using SPL and AVIA so we don't need to get into all that....just wondering if messing with Bass/Treble levels could have an affect on dialogue. I can hear 90% of dialogue, but still have a little trouble occasionally.....have big cushy furniture on order which will lead to a large area rug which I am sure will soften the room up significantly...also plan on putting two large canvasas behind the couch on the currently blank wall which I am sure will help suck of some of the reflections.....and the wife thinks all this is for just for decorations....hehe..

    MCF,

    Do yourself a favor and leave your processor or receiver's bass AND treble on COMPLETELY FLAT (zero).
  • 08-18-2005, 06:31 PM
    jasmit
    If you haven't done so already, angle your center channel speaker downward so that it's aimed directly at the listening position. That may help some. As far as adjusting the treble, just experiment with it to get the best sound.
  • 08-18-2005, 07:45 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Your best bet is to leave bass and treble at flat as so your DVD soundtracks are delivered as they were designed.
  • 08-18-2005, 11:38 PM
    Woochifer
    Dialog intelligibility is severely affected by the room acoustics more than anything. If you have minimal furniture and a highly reflective room, tinkering with the tone controls (if they're even available at all) will have little effect because it's not the frequency response that decreases the dialog intelligibility, but the time smearing caused by the room echoes.

    Once you fill in the room with furniture, rugs, and other items, it should provide a mix of diffraction and absorption to help increase the overall coherency of the sound. If it still sounds echoey, then you should consider some sort of acoustic paneling or foam behind the front speakers to tighten up the sound emanating from the front of the room. THX approved movie theaters require a baffle wall construction behind the screen for purposes of reducing reverberation and increasing the intelligibilty of the screen speakers.
  • 08-19-2005, 03:47 AM
    kexodusc
    Yeah, you can experiment with Tone Controls to your satisfaction, but I'm reluctant to believe they will deliver the results you're looking for. Best to do is what you're already doing - stuffing the room with furniture, rugs etc. Let us know how it goes...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MCF
    and the wife thinks all this is for just for decorations....hehe..

    Shame on you...tricking the wife like that...how are you going to explain the corner bass traps and absorbent panels on the side walls and ceiling? :D
  • 08-19-2005, 04:35 AM
    MCF
    THanks....
    thought of another question this morning...when measuing distance from the listening position to the speakers, should you just measure the horizontal distance to the speaker or the actual distance (i.e. my surround speakers are unfortunately hung from the ceiling...they are only about 2' behind and 4' to the left or right of the listening position, but are hanging from a 10' ceiling...makes a big difference..should the measurement be 6' (just horizontal) or 8' (actual linear distance between me and the speaker)?
  • 08-19-2005, 07:48 AM
    Lexmark3200
    MCF,

    Do leave your bass and treble settings on flat, though.
  • 08-19-2005, 09:44 AM
    kexodusc
    MCF - You should measure the distance to the tweeter usually...as this is most often used as the acoustic center of the speaker.

    Lex....there's nothing wrong with using the bass and treble or eq settings. Considering the sonic character that speakers display (never perfectly flat), and room acoustics, it's often required.
    Whether you use it or not all signals are passing through the circuitry. It's not as bad as someone might have told you. You'd be hard pressed to find pro equipment that didn't use controls like these.
  • 08-19-2005, 09:57 AM
    MCF
    Kexodusk....
    Do I actually measure the true distance? For example, the center channel is 8' in front of me...but if I measure from my sitting position up to the center channel (because it sits on a shelf above a fireplace) it comes out to be about 10' because of the angle...same with all my speakers, they are slight above listening position, especially surrounds. If I were to drop a string from the left surround or right surround and measure distance to the string, it would only be like 4'....but if I measure from my seating position up to the speaker, it is more like 8'....
  • 08-19-2005, 10:15 AM
    kexodusc
    Yep, actual true straight line to distance from seat to front of the speaker.
    The reason is time delay. That extra height adds enough distance for ears to be able to process as a delay. Easily solved though, that's why your receiver has delay settings.
  • 08-19-2005, 10:44 AM
    Lexmark3200
    "Lex....there's nothing wrong with using the bass and treble or eq settings. Considering the sonic character that speakers display (never perfectly flat), and room acoustics, it's often required."

    I have found, Kexo, just out of personal experience and talking with others who ARE pro's in the audio field, that the best way for material to be delivered to your speakers is by keeping a processor's TONE CONTROLS (bass, treble, etc) at FLAT; this is not to say that I wouldnt love the opportunity to incorporate an EQ into my system if it was logical or possible to tweak some DTS or Dolby Digital soundtracks more to my liking----but it is often agreed that keeping tone controls on flat will deliver a DVD soundtrack or CD recording "the way it was meant to be heard" without adding any discoloration to the sound.....at any rate, I keep my treble and bass on zero on my Onkyo receiver, and let my subwoofer handle the low notes.

    "Whether you use it or not all signals are passing through the circuitry. It's not as bad as someone might have told you. You'd be hard pressed to find pro equipment that didn't use controls like these."

    Well, like I said above, it has been my personal experience and via conversations with folks who install home theaters for their livleyhood that tweaking bass and treble and EQ settings somehow "discolors" what a sound engineer may have been going for on a certain soundtrack---and dont get me wrong----Im an advocate for the sound of a good graphic EQ running through a two channel music only system......it's just that I have found that by leaving bass and treble on ZERO, flat, there is more HEADROOM for the DVD soundtracks to breathe a bit easier with less distortion, and it delivers a more "neutral, natural, to-the-point" DVD soundtrack sound, whether it be Dolby Digital, DTS or Dolby Surround.
  • 08-19-2005, 01:08 PM
    kexodusc
    Most pros I've spoken with would say the opposite. It is more likely, since everyone's playback systems are different, that Tone Controls would be required to playback the original signal as intended. Just use common sense here, we can all agree that Polks sound different from the B&W's used in some studios. If the reference speaker exhibits a +2 dB peak at frequency X, and your playback speaker a -2dB dip at the same frequency, equalization would be required to reproduce what then engineer intended.

    You do share my own personal opinion however. If you must crank the controls up to whatever setting, then why did you buy the gear in the first place. For most of the spectrum, I don't find equalization all that necessary. Where room acoustics are concerned though, it can be absolutely essential.
  • 08-19-2005, 01:16 PM
    Lexmark3200
    "Most pros I've spoken with would say the opposite. It is more likely, since everyone's playback systems are different, that Tone Controls would be required to playback the original signal as intended."

    Hmmmmm.....interesting comment.....from my understanding, "original signal as intended" would require no tinkering with tone controls at all, hence left at flat.

    "Just use common sense here, we can all agree that Polks sound different from the B&W's used in some studios."

    Sure.

    "If the reference speaker exhibits a +2 dB peak at frequency X, and your playback speaker a -2dB dip at the same frequency, equalization would be required to reproduce what then engineer intended."

    Well, technically, yes, I am simply saying that folks I have discussed tone controls with who install home theater systems have always indicated that for the most part, in general, equalizing and twisting the tone control dials on a processor or receiver simply distracts from the overall intended presentation, of course, depending on room, etc. I have always been advised to leave settings on flat, which I do, for the reasons I outlined in my first post.....there is more headroom to be gained when you don't crank a bass or treble control to maximum, would you agree?

    "You do share my own personal opinion however. If you must crank the controls up to whatever setting, then why did you buy the gear in the first place."

    Which is how I feel about my receiver; I enjoy the tone controls at flat; if the unit NEEDS massive bass and treble boostings, something is wrong, and its just my personal opinion only that adding these tones "colors" soundtracks that, at times, are said by DVD manufacturers "do not require any equalization because they have been OPTIMIZED for DVD playback....."

    "For most of the spectrum, I don't find equalization all that necessary. Where room acoustics are concerned though, it can be absolutely essential."

    True; and I could let this spill into an entire adding-an-EQ-to-a-surround-system fiasco once again, which I feel coming on...lol....oh no....

    In the days I was running a two channel music only setup, I ALWAYS enjoyed the sound that a graphic EQ added to the system----it simply "brightened" everything up and made the entire system jump to life, whether I was running a two channel integrated amp or two channel receiver --- I LOVED EQ's for my music only systems. Now, being bitten with the multichannel bug and being an absolute diehard home theater enthusiast, I have often wondered IF adding an equalizer would somehow be possible or even recommended to a home theater receiver in order to "brighten up" Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks....from what I have been told, the process is utterly confusing and complicated without using separate power amps to equalize each channel of the system........

    So the question comes down to......SHOULD WE listen to our DVD soundtracks "as is" through receivers or pre-pros and amps with no equalization added to them, or CAN or SHOULD DTS or Dolby Digital signals BE tampered with via equalization even though this would probably change the intention of the sound engineers.....

    I keep thinking back to what I have seen on the menu screens of some NEW LINE HOME CINEMA DVDs: "OPTIMIZED FOR DVD: NO EQUALIZATION REQUIRED"........
  • 08-19-2005, 01:28 PM
    EdwardGein
    No One Will Like this But Change Your Optic Cable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    No one is going to like this answer & as a favor to everyone I won't get into a debate over this but fiber optic cables do affect the sound. Here are 2 cables (I do not have a financial interest in so my endorsement is genuine)under $20I recommend: 1. Glass fiber optic cable I use for mt TV sound- this guy sells regularly as a Buy it Now Item on Ebay see item 5800447771 (& for my DVD & for DVD and Cd's 5799729284 under $8. I don't use the glass cable for CD's and DVD's because it brings too much crap out but for TV its ideal.

    Also what are your DVD set up controls set on?

    I would also make sure your using the same speaker wire for each speaker & its on the correct channel.

    Lastly rent Master & Commander as a test. This has great sound but if you don't have your system set up correctly, you will have problem with the dialogue.

    Also, set all your DB levels to 0 except for your sub (+2) and see if that helps.
  • 08-19-2005, 01:39 PM
    edtyct
    Gee, I never figured that this question would have such moral implications: Should we use tone controls or not? It's no secret that much of what has been come to be known as the high end avoids tone controls like the plague on the grounds that they degrade the signal, even if only by complicating it a bit, or that they are too imprecise to do what we might want them to do. It hardly seems worthwhile to enter this debate, but one thing is sure. Nonlinearity is the rule rather than the exception in reproduced music. Recordings are rarely flat, and sound systems are even more compromised. Not even human hearing is flat. The degree of distortion that well-executed tone controls can add to room or speaker correction might be small enough by far to allow someone to exercise his/her own judgment about whether to use tone controls in a given application. Under those conditions, it doesn't hurt to have them, especially if they can be bypassed and turn out to be the lesser of two evils. I understand why certain high end manufacturers keep them conspicuously absent--to announce confidence in the fidelity of their components--and rarely would they be missed on advanced systems with these components. But in the real world, imperfection and personal preference have a different story to tell, and tone controls just might come in handy.

    Ed
  • 08-19-2005, 01:59 PM
    Lexmark3200
    While all this discussion is extremely interesting, at the end of the day, I still say...leave the tone controls on FLAT (or, in the case of my Onkyo, at ZERO (0)) for bass and treble.
  • 08-19-2005, 02:15 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Well, technically, yes, I am simply saying that folks I have discussed tone controls with who install home theater systems have always indicated that for the most part, in general, equalizing and twisting the tone control dials on a processor or receiver simply distracts from the overall intended presentation, of course, depending on room, etc. I have always been advised to leave settings on flat, which I do, for the reasons I outlined in my first post.....there is more headroom to be gained when you don't crank a bass or treble control to maximum, would you agree?
    Let's face, a graphic eq is a specialized tone control. The really good eq's filters do not effect the adjacent frequencies that they effect(constant Que). In every step of soundtrack(and music for that matter) each element is created and monitored through a system that uses electronic eq for room correction. I would necessarily use my pre-pro's rudimentary tone controls to correct anything, however I would use eq.

    Quote:

    and its just my personal opinion only that adding these tones "colors" soundtracks that, at times, are said by DVD manufacturers "do not require any equalization because they have been OPTIMIZED for DVD playback....."
    The soundtrack may not have it theatrical eq (ISO 2969 house curve)removed which would make it sound flatter in smaller rooms. Some soundtracks are remixed in a small studio that resembles a typical hometheater room(Disney). However this may not account for the rooms enfluence on the sound directly. Room modes and nodes also color the soundtrack once it leaves your speakers. This requires external room EQ whether it be acoustical of electronic. .

    Quote:

    In the days I was running a two channel music only setup, I ALWAYS enjoyed the sound that a graphic EQ added to the system----it simply "brightened" everything up and made the entire system jump to life, whether I was running a two channel integrated amp or two channel receiver --- I LOVED EQ's for my music only systems. Now, being bitten with the multichannel bug and being an absolute diehard home theater enthusiast, I have often wondered IF adding an equalizer would somehow be possible or even recommended to a home theater receiver in order to "brighten up" Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks....from what I have been told, the process is utterly confusing and complicated without using separate power amps to equalize each channel of the system........
    The purpose of eq is not to "brighten" things up. EQ should be used to correct room modes. The process of adding eq to each channel is not all that complicated. There are several ways to measure a room response, some complicated that require much patience(using a tone generator with a SPL meter) to quick and easy and alot less complicated(using a RTA and or computer software base measurement).

    Quote:

    So the question comes down to......SHOULD WE listen to our DVD soundtracks "as is" through receivers or pre-pros and amps with no equalization added to them, or CAN or SHOULD DTS or Dolby Digital signals BE tampered with via equalization even though this would probably change the intention of the sound engineers.....
    I think tampered with is a poor choice of words. Your room/speaker interaction "tampers" with the soundtracks. You use the EQ to correct that "tampering". The sound engineers had EQ applied to each channel of the system he or she mixed the soundtrack on to correct the reponse of the dubbing stage speakers, so it is likely that you'll need the same to correct your system. Nobody's room is perfect that is for sure.

    Quote:

    I keep thinking back to what I have seen on the menu screens of some NEW LINE HOME CINEMA DVDs: "OPTIMIZED FOR DVD: NO EQUALIZATION REQUIRED"........
    They are not talking about room EQ, they are talking about engaging the re-EQ circuit on your receiver if you have one. Two different things here.
  • 08-21-2005, 11:35 AM
    Lexmark3200
    MCF,

    Do yourself a favor. Keep your bass and treble at flat (ZERO) on your processor or receiver.