SVS Speakers... I am not happy, can anyone help

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by urjo, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. urjo

    urjo Extra

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    I recently bought SVS's 5.1 MBS Book Shelf with a PC + Sub Woofer. It costs about $3700.00. I also bought a Sony Blue Ray DVD player and Denon 3808CI Receiver. Now this is suppose to be a very decent setup. However, i am not so satisfied with the outcome.

    My friend has B&W speakers which she put on top of her 2 6feet book shelf. These are just 2 stereo speakers that she has combined with old Sony Receiver and it sounds much better. Yet, she does have high 11 F celling compared to 8 feet celling in my apartment; but i doubt if that makes a huge difference...

    Now with SVS, it says you can't go wrong but i am not satisfied with it. I don't mind spending another 2K and getting a better type speakers but should i go that route?

    I tried several combination with the speakers location and also aligned with the Denon's microphone. It sound good but not so great. I somehow have higher expectation to the quality.

    I am only interested in listening to music. I am not interested in any movies by any means. Does that mean i should return the Subwoofer and just keep 2 speakers with 1 center speaker or what...

    Any help will do..

    Thank you

    Urjo...
     
  2. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    If I wanted a great sounding system for music I would invest in a single pair of high quality towers and wouldnt buy a 5.1 setup designed for movies. However, I'm still a bit surprised to read that you are this unhappy with the SVS MTS system. I've not read a negative thing about SVS ever. Most music is recorded in stereo. Make sure your receiver is on the appropiate setting. You generally dont want to have all 5 speakers playing when listening to music. Unless of course you are listening to an SACD or DVDA that has a 5.1 track on it.
     
  3. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    It's bound to be something in the setup, somewhere. I just can't imagine those SVS speakers not sounding outstanding. If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate buying them. I think I'm one that recommended them to you.

    Is the room lacking in furniture, with hardwood floors? Maybe the room needs some acoustics help? With the combination of Denon receiver, SVS speakers and sub, it should be sounding awesome.

    Here is a user review of these speakers, from a fellow forum member (at another forum). See what he says about them:
    IG/COF: Review of SVS MBS-01 v.2 loudspeakers Oct. 2008 - Audio - Sound and Vision

    I hope you get this figured out soon. Sorry you aren't liking them so far... [​IMG]
     
  4. B&W

    B&W Auditioning

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    I agree with Jimi. Unless you're listening to multi-channel music, nothing beats two good quality speakers.
     
  5. urjo

    urjo Extra

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    Hi Ed Moxley,
    Thanks again for replying and helping me…

    Yes, your recommendation was very handy and I also did an intense research prior the purchase. I don't doubt the quality of the speaker, they sound great; but not to my expectation and comparison to my friend's B&W speaker. I know I am not allowed to be disappointed from SVS, but I just don't know how to obtain that quality which my friend has.

    I just know the quality when I hear “The Mass” and “Requiem” from our beloved Mozart. I really go deep into meditation with my friend’s speaker which I don’t with mine.
    First I tried putting all the speakers at sitting level, then I tried putting 2 at 6 feet height, and now i have put 2 at 7 feet height and 2 at sitting height to cover every height. Somehow, i like the sound when I put the speakers at 7 feet height but everyone says they shouldn't be so high. Yes, I do put all the speakers on while listening to the CD not just 2 of them; but that kind of fills the entire room with music and I enjoy that; yet, I haven’t tried putting only 2 speakers on and leaving the others off…

    Yes, i don't have enough furniture in my apartment. It is almost empty with some 10 plants, a desk and a sofa. I do have hardwood floors.

    So, I am going read the Denon’s manual thoroughly and try few things in set up again and see….
    Thanks again.

    ~Urjo
     
  6. motulal

    motulal Auditioning

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    Hi Urjo,

    It would be helpful to know the model # of the B&W speakers, receiver and source. Also, the dimensions of your room and your friends room.

    Initial guesses would be some sort of misconfiguration or unoptimal configuration on the receiver. I have seen that more often than not on Denon's. The other possibility might be the acoustics of your room.

    /// Motu.
     
  7. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    It sounds like you might be having some acoustic problems. You said you have hardwood floors and room is almost empty. I doubt that the B&Ws would sound very good in there either. Your friend's house have furniture and carpet? Acoustics plays a bigger part than most people realize. It's good to have furniture, rugs, carpet, etc. Some people even buy acoustic panels, to place at reflection points of a room, to make their sound better. Your setup, in your friend's house, would probably sound a lot better to you.

    Check out this site:
    http://www.mytheater.net/
    Looked kinda interesting to me...........
     
  8. urjo

    urjo Extra

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    My friend has 8 years old B&W speakers that costs $300.00. Don't know the model but the size it self is 11"x6"x7''; and she has a Sony receiver. Her room is Height 10.5f x ( L shape room 12f x 10f attached with 8f x 16f hallway)

    I have 22f x 12f with 8 f height which has 2 open entrance.

    My friend has very little furniture like mine, may be a bookcase or two more; but yet very simple and empty.

    As of now, i am determine to read the manual throughly and do a much more research and try few things. I will post the new results by Thursday.

    Thank you again
    ~urjo
     
  9. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    You are more than allowed to be disappointed with SVS speakers. If you don't like them, then you don't like them. Nothing wrong with that. That is why we say it is important to listen to speakers. Everyone has different tastes.

    I agree with everyone else here... Room acoustics impact the sound more than any other factor (assuming decent speakers). Try them in your friends house or have her bring her B&W's to your house.
     
  10. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    It sounds like the system needs to be calibrated and the speakers set to proper heights. You may have to fiddle with placement a bit based on your room description.

    If you haven't used a sound level meter and a calibration disc you will likely see a huge difference. Every room and setup is different, many rooms can make a $50k set of speakers sound like $100 white van products without calibration.

    Good luck, I think you will find the SVS quite capable and pleasing once they are dialed in.
     
  11. Rakie

    Rakie Agent

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    Alright Urjo, I haven't posted an introduction and I'm a little weary of saying this because my background in sound is not of the HT type and a lot of people here probably have a stronger foundation in sound due to the knowledge they've acquired over the years.

    However, I am a sound engineer. I record bands in studios. Music is recorded in stereo, and it's designed to be listened to in stereo. Unless as others mentioned, it has specifically made in 5.1 which is pretty uncommon.

    Before I started studying sound engineering I too listened to music in 5.1, but after learning what I know now and really sitting down and listening as a young engineer I noticed Stereo is where it's at buddy. No lie, you get much better imaging and clarity to the sound, and if you have really good speakers (Set really flat) what you can hear is amazing.

    I don't want this to sound too rough, but look at it this way. By listening in 5.1 and listening on any "colored" speakers, and not starting with a flat system you're throwing away an experts ear, talent and dedication to the art of mixing. A lot of these guys in the field really know a lot about sound, and if you set your speakers flat (Like the monitors in studios) you're going to hear more detail and clarity because that's what it was mixed on.

    After you get your system flat with a nice equalizer for your L/R Stereo speakers and give it a good, detailed listen THATS when you dial in the tone you want your room to achieve. Not forgetting room acoustics either. Which I haven't touched on because I don't have any experience designing a sound room, just using the equipment [​IMG]

    You have some great components, I think you just need to build it up from the beginning, starting with placement relative to where you'll be sitting while you listen, get it nice and flat (If you have an equalizer) and give it a good listen.

    I remember feeling like I was wasting my speakers listening in Stereo when I was young, so I know where you're coming from.
     
  12. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Hi Urjo,

    Please drop us a line with your room diagram, speaker placement, etc., and we'll help get these dialed in for you. We're not happy until you are. [​IMG]
     
  13. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I agree with those that state for listening to music, nothing beats a pair of good tower speakers... bookshelf speakers just don't cut it. Music produced for stereo should be listened to in stereo.
     
  14. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I completely disagree with everyone here stating that stereo tower speakers is going to 'beat' a set of monitors + subwoofer (at the OP's price point). Once you get into the 3-$4k+ range (for the mains) then I think towers start to shine but below that monitor+sub is the way to go. Reasons why monitors are better:

    1) Bass frequencies can be reproduced from the optimal room location (i.e. sub can be moved around).
    2) $1k monitors vs $1k towers: The monitors will have higher quality components and cabinets due to the smaller size. Less shipping costs, less storage costs, less required cabinet material, possibly less drivers and crossover components (2-3 way vs a 4-way design, etc.) will allow the designer to put more money into individual component cost and/or R&D.
    3) Diverting the lower frequencies to the powered sub frees up a significant amount of the receiver / amp's power (thus better power handling for the monitors which = less distortion & better dynamics).

    Some other comments about the OP's situation:
    1) Please listen to music in stereo mode (with the sub active).
    2) You have completely neglected the room which is the most influential part of the system. An expensive system that is poorly setup or in a room with poor acoustics will sound horrible.
    3) Contact SVS and take advantage of their excellent customer support.
    4) Try setting things up without the microphone (no auto-setup) and see if anything improves.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Jason Kirkpatri

    Jason Kirkpatri Second Unit

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    If it was me, I'd take two of the SVS's over to your friend's place and hook them up. Disregarding the receiver part of the equation, that should pinpoint if it's an environment/setup problem (which it sounds like it is).

    Jason
     
  16. urjo

    urjo Extra

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30518848@N06/3177261385/

    Above is the link to my room design and placement.

    [My background: I play several musical instruments like, Guitar, Indian Flute, Egyptian Tablas, and lately a big fan of "Dilruba" which is similar to Violin, but has 22 strings under the main 4 strings that resonates itself to the assigned tuning scale; it easily takes about 40 minute to tune this instrument. I certainly don't know much about the speaker and receiver, but definitely know the good delicately tuned sound for sure.]

    1) I read enough to place the speakers at ear level or 1 F above the ear level. However, when I placed one Speaker at 6-7 F Height and placed the Receiver to Stereo (Pure Direct), that one (Front Left) Speaker sound was just from Beyond. No questions or doubt on the quality of speaker. It felt like the entire sky was singing and playing divine music. Then i put on the Renee Fleming (London Symphony Orchestra; Signature Series) and put the Receiver to Stereo (Pure Sound); Aahh,, can word describe how it sounds....

    2) [​IMG] When i put both speakers on and the Receiver on Stereo, The sound quality went just a little down, and i couldn't figure out which speaker sounds better than other due to the placement or height. [​IMG] Now the other speaker (Front R) is placed on 2.5 F Height which came recommended for height.

    2a) This is after i changed the location of the speaker and feel a little better. The sound has improved much overall; yet i have a feeling it can be improved much much better.

    3) My only interest is to setup the 2 Speakers for music first; I really don't care for movies, and the 5.1 channel setup.

    4) I don't know, but something about place speaker at 6-7 F Height makes sound so better i feel. I can play a bit louder as well and the entire room feels filled with music... I am not too sure if this is the proper height to place speakers but did any one try doing this? Placing speaker that high? I will try with both speakers in a few days and check as well.

    5) I am not a big fan of these Base Guitar sounds that most speakers are aggressive about that is in most of the new music; however, I do enjoy solid drum set. So should i setup the receiver in that pattern or style in order to achieve/receive such output?

    I will wait for some ideas and try few things by Friday and then post the final results by Sat....

    Again, such genius help is nowhere to be found....
    ~urjo
     
  17. Rakie

    Rakie Agent

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    Greg, lots of good points there. I agree with you. In the studio's I've worked with the best sound I've ever heard was from 2 single Genelec speakers, 10" driver and 1" tweeter, crystal clear and flat, lets you hear everything thats going on, and had EXTREMELY accurate reproduction of lows (IN music, 20hz was nice and smooth)

    And that was without a subwoofer. However, those speakers were about $3,000 each, not a pair, Each. And there were many other options in their from our 15" $12,000 mains in the wall, to the Yamaha NS-10, and Tannoy 4" smalls (To replicate computer speakers).

    I should have been more specific but for home theater, "Stereo" is 2.1, I was just saying stereo as in L and R, disregarding the sub, which I think is essential for the home to even out the sound.
     
  18. Rakie

    Rakie Agent

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    4) I think the sound you like is the reflection coming off the ceiling. Do you and your friend have a hard ceiling, or is it a textured ceiling ? Reflecting sound is usually really bright, to some people it may be brittle and "crispy". Not saying you don't take care of your ears, but your age may be part of the reason, as you get older it becomes harder to hear higher frequencies. Once you hit 30-35 most people start having difficulty hearing 8kHz.

    5) As far as Bass guitar tones go (I have played bass for a number of years) that is largely on the engineer. Mixing bass guitar and kick drum is a delicate game of balance. You don't want your kick and bass "walking" on eachother. Sometimes you mix your kick on solo, un-solo the board and all the sudden the bass guitar disappears whenever the kick drum hits. Then you go adjust the bass.

    Sad truth is the bass is lower on the priority list then most anything, because unless the music promotes bass (Jazz, Funk, RnB etc) the fan isn't there for the bass. It's quite a trick to get them working together. In heavier music a lot of the time they record bass through a DI (Most bass players are very dirty players, honestly they lack a lot of technique) the DI is a Direct Input, it cleans up the playing in real time, that is recorded and sometimes is "Re-amped" through a guitar stack, adding a little distortion. Then when it gets to EQ if you want you can bring up all the finger noise, you can get every nu ounce of the finger scraping the strings and whatever tones you want.

    In reality, the way you hear bass in "new music" is largely how it's being produced these days. It's not like that in all music, but in popular rock, thats part it for sure.
     
  19. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Pure Direct mode I believe eliminates the sub. Is this what you intended?
     
  20. urjo

    urjo Extra

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    The "Pure Direct Mode" is more of playing the MP3 or compressed songs to ultimate performance mode... I turned of the Sub anyway as i am trying to concentrate on alignment and position.
     

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