Sounding flat...any idea why?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by wolffcub, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    I was just wondering if someone might be able to tell me why I might be hearing somewhat of a flat sound from my new setup. Recently I purchased a set of Energy speakers. C-500 fronts, C-200 surrounds, C-C100 centre channel, and a S8.3 sub. I did listen to the same speaker setups in two different listening areas at the retailers and took some time before deciding on them. They did not sound this way at the retailers and I understand that listening rooms can change sound but this seems kinda extreme. I also just upgraded my old Yamaha RX-V459 amp to a Yamaha RX-V1600. I installed 2 sets of speaker wires for the front and rears because the speakers are bi-wire compatible. Currently I’m running the bi-wire to the rears and I’m using the bi-amp function on the amp to drive the fronts. For some reason the sound just doesn’t seem right even after calibrating with a sound meter. Even after trying the auto calibration feature on the amp, and then tweaking the auto calibration settings it still sounds flat. My room is 12’ wide and 25” deep and half is only used for the theater and the rest is open for use general use like darts and such. I would have to say the room does not sound dead nor is it too live. So ya… that’s about all I will type up for now hoping someone might be able to help or give suggestions.

    Just so you know I also tried running the speakers with only one set of wires per speaker and the bi-amp mode off turned off on the amp and they still sound the same.
    Thanx
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Try some different DSP modes............(Hall, Club, Movie, etc.)
     
  3. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    Still no different when using the DSP settings. This is going to bug me and drive me nuts. lol
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Double check and make sure the speakers are in phase.
    In other words, make sure you use the same side of the speaker wire, to connect the speaker's positive side, that was used to connect to the receiver's positive side.
    Seems like I've read that this can cause your problem........
    Good luck!

    Of course, there's always the possibility that room treatments (acoustics), are making it sound a lot different than in the store. That's why we say to take the speakers home and listen. If you don't like the way they sound at home, take them back, and get different ones.
     
  5. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    After posting my first comment last night I was listening to it some more and the rears seem to be fine but the fronts are the ones sounding a bit flat. The real time they sound flat is in action scenes of movies. Could the whole reason for this be the fact that I previously owned a smaller cheap pioneer HT setup and it might have wrongfully emphasized sounds in the movie? It was a ok setup but it was not clearest and lacked warmth. I have to say the new setup is crystal clear and enjoyable at all other times during movie viewing other than action scenes. This might be a stupid question but would installing the spikes on the front towers help? The room is a tight level loop berber with the standard underlay on concrete. The only sound panels I have installed in the room are at the very back and cover about 20% of the wall surface area so I don’t see that causing the room to be dead sounding but I will remove them and see what happens.

    I also went over all of my connections last night all checked out just fine. Thanx for the help Ed
     
  6. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    If you were acustomed to listen to speakers with a midrange peak, then speakers with a flatter frequency response will sound....... flat.
     
  7. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    I will have to do some reading about flat frequency response to fully understand. I”m just getting into this Ht stuff so I still have a lots to learn. In short does ‘flat speakers’ mean crap speakers?
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've always found Energy's speakers to sound relatively "flat". Flat meaning their response is less colored and more even, though that does not always translate to a great sounding speaker. No, that doesn't mean these speakers are crap, but it may mean they are not exactly what you were looking for, or that you have other issues that may be room or calibration related.
     
  9. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    TRUE or BS about the spikes?

    MIDBASS however is where our problem begins...midbass travels partialy through the air, and partialy through the floor...because we have 2 waves and a slight delay (the wave in the floor goes faster) we are stretching the midbass (altogether a bit of a nasty sort of bass if heared on its own) and hence we end up with a "muddy" sound...very noticable in some cases

    with the spikes, waves require a certain amout or low frequency to utilise the "coupling" and the midbass is *almost*all stoped from getting to the floor.

    this creates 2 plus points, the sound is now less muddy, and as the sub bass/bass has its own "highway" all to itself, it also comes across clearer.
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well, you could have some new-speaker-break-in issues and the fact that you were used to over-emphasized sound before may be why things sound funny.

    I'm torn between telling you to stick with them for 2-3 weeks or advising you to take them back because they dont work well in your room. (the room DOES play a large part).

    In my case - I did not like my DefTechs when I first got them and it took a few weeks before I began to appreciate them.

    What I will do - is move your post to the "speakers" fourm where you may get more advice (or stories [​IMG] )
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Studies have found ruler-flat frequency response at anything but loud volume levels is perceived by most people as rather dull, bordering on bright. This is the main reason you see graphic EQs with their sliders in the "smiley face" configuration, even when used only by an adult.

    This is why so many audio professionals say they love how their studio monitors can reveal problems when checking a recording they just did (monitors are known for their very clean/very flat/uncolored sound), but can't stand them when listening to music for its own sake.

    So if that Yamaha has a loudness button, push it! That will activate a circuit that will boost certain bass and treble frequencies since the ear is less sensitive to these sounds* at lower volume levels (do a search for "Fletcher-Munson Hearing Curve"). Though sometimes the specfic frequencies the loudness circuit boosts don't match well with certain speakers and the result isn't exactly pleasing (particularly the lower frequencies: the bass center point of my Pioneer SX-6's loudness circuit is centered at 100Hz - this causes one set of my speakers to sound unacceptably boomy). Or, it could just be the speakers and no amount of tweaking can help.


    * this is most probably why so many people feel the need to run their subwoofer a little "hot" when listening at non-reference levels.
     
  12. angelsmith

    angelsmith Auditioning

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    Try some different
     
  13. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    Thanks to all who helped me out. The problem has been resolved.
     
  14. Adam Stoltz

    Adam Stoltz Stunt Coordinator

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    What was it? Was it a phase problem with wiring? I was going to chime in, but too late as you have found the culpret.
     
  15. Paul_Dunlop

    Paul_Dunlop Second Unit

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    If you had time to post this, you really should have posted the resolution as well

    This forum is for learning, and I check back with threads that I am interested in

    Whatever the resolution was, it might / probably will be helpful to others

    Hope you post the final resolution for us
     
  16. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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    Now no need to get sassy….. I re-hooked the old Pioneer system and tested the same movies and found all sounds seemed exaggerated and unclear. The new setup is nice and clear and now I hear the movie the way it was made (loud is loud and quiet is quiet…lol) I guess it is true about having to get used to a new system by listening to it for a while. I was just expecting everything to be loud like before. However this was only half of my problem…….another thing I found is when I was first listening to my new setup I was only using HD movies on the Xbox360 HD DVD. I then swapped over to my standard DVD player and tested the same movies in standard format and the flat sound went away. I can’t understand why this would be because even if I use the toslink on the standard DVD player it still sounds better than the HD player. I have to read up and see if other Xbox HD owners have the same problem.

    Now this has me concerned with another problem about HD players. If I pick up the Toshiba HD-A2 will I get the same problem with the audio sounding flat? I plan to run audio using HDMI to the amp because I have been told its better than toslink, but I still have to read up on that to fully understand why. I guess all I can do is pick one up and give it a try and I will let you know how is goes.
     
  17. Paul_Dunlop

    Paul_Dunlop Second Unit

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    thanks for letting us know - enjoy the new speakers

    I don't have any input for you on the HD side - haven't made the jump yet
     
  18. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    When you learn why it's better, how 'bout telling us? I don't understand how it would be better, because both are digital, and just a bunch of 1's and 0's. So they should be the same. The only advantage I see, is with HDMI, you'll have one less cable (toslink).

    I don't have HD yet, but aren't you supposed to use analog outputs from an HD DVD player, to get the True DD or DTS Plus sound (as with dvd-a and sacd)? Does the Xbox have all those analog outputs? This is what I've read somewhere. Since I don't have HD yet, I can't say for sure............. [​IMG]
     
  19. wolffcub

    wolffcub Agent

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  20. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Ok.........I'm gonna dig deeper about this. I know that HDMI carries audio, but didn't know about the True DD and DTS Plus. Well, good then. That's good to know. If I find out anything more, that's interesting, I'll let you know..... [​IMG]
     

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