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Athena AS-B1' muffled?


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#1 of 14 Nick-G

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Posted January 12 2004 - 04:54 AM

I recently upgraded my main speakers to a pair of athena AS-B1's from the satellites that came with my Sony HTIB, and I can't help noticing how much clearer everything sounded with my old satellites. I was wondering if this could be because of placement, etc or if I should return them. Everything else I am using (reciever, sub, other speakers) is what came with my HTIB. Because of space limitations the speakers are located directly on either side of the TV, so they are only about 30" or so apart. Also, my couch sits pretty low and so ear level is actually just about at the bottom of the woofers. The manual says they should be at least 6' apart and the tweeters should be at ear level, but I didn't know how much of a difference this would actually make.
I realize that people will say that I should just get some speaker stands and try them out, and I would like to, but I'll have to wait until I get $80 or so and I can solve the space issues in my oddly shaped apartment! So, basically what I am asking is whether they will sound much better when I can set them up how I would like, or if I should exchange them before the return period expires.

#2 of 14 ColinM

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Posted January 12 2004 - 07:55 AM

I went from NHT 'Ones to the Athena B1. I think they are 'clean', and maybe brighter, but not sure yet. I wouldn't think they were muffled at all. 24" stands worked out well for me and my chair, but the difference wasn't that great coming down from 30". Give them time, and then switch back to the old ones for comparison.
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#3 of 14 jon_ad

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Posted January 12 2004 - 11:54 AM

i have the as-b1s as my surrounds and find them to be much clearer than my original rca htib speakers. Did you break them in as suggested in the manual. This can change the sound a good bit.

#4 of 14 Dave-Z

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Posted January 12 2004 - 12:59 PM

You probably already checked, but just in case, ensure the speakers are wired properly, and aren't out of phase.

As well, I'm not sure if this would work, never had to attempt it, but with your set-up, I wonder if 'toe-ing out' your speakers a bit might give you a wider soundstage. I know it might mess up sound towards the back of your room, but it might give you better sound seperation where you sit.

btw, I currently have a pair of as-b1's as temporary surrounds, and have no muffle issue. They are regarded as the best bang for the buck for their price range. The main reason I got them. When I get my stratus mini's, the Athenas will be a nice extra set of speakers for another room.

Don't know if I'm way out of line on the toeing out idea, but I'm sure someone will let me know if I am. Good luck.

#5 of 14 NicholasTS

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Posted January 12 2004 - 04:40 PM

don't toe them out! The tweeters in those speakers are designed specifically for extra wide dispersion. Toeing them should have nothing to do with the clarity of the sound. What receiver are you using? The Sony DE series I suspect. Thats your problem... The AS-B1's are wonderful! Another possibility could be that you got defective units in which case you should exchange them. More than likely it's your lower end receiver though; it doesn't do so hot when mated with a wider-freqency-response speaker. Basically you put garbage in, you get garbage out. The bass response does seem to be a bit heavy in the Audition Series Athenas
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#6 of 14 ColinM

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Posted January 13 2004 - 01:06 AM

Position is everything. Move them if you can - Mine are 18" from the back wall, 12" from the sides (No choice) and barely toed in, almost straight ahead and 7' apart from each other.

I fiddle every few days, and a few inches makes a difference.
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#7 of 14 Nick-G

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Posted January 13 2004 - 03:48 AM

thanks for all of the responses. I figured it might have to do with my POS reciever and the poor positioning. I had tried toeing them out, but that didn't really help things at all...when I get home from classes today I'm going to try and mess with the positioning, I even got my fiancee to suggest we get speaker stands to allow for better positioning, now I just have to find some. I have a major hurdle in the shape of my living room. This isn't really my exact apartment, but it is very very close. We have the TV, etc on the right side wall of the living room between the fireplace and the hallway because my fiancee doesn't want to put our backs to the fireplace, with the couch in the middle of the room. So, I was thinking about getting stands and putting the left speaker just to the left of the hallway and the right one just to the left of the fireplace. Its so awkward having a corner fireplacePosted Image !
Anyways thanks again for all the responses!

#8 of 14 Nick-G

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Posted January 13 2004 - 03:58 AM

as for my reciever it is the STR-K740P

#9 of 14 ColinM

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Posted January 13 2004 - 04:14 AM

Maybe a little stand for the TV in front of the glass door? Good luck!

PS - I am using the Standesign BB75? adjustable from 24 to whatever. So far so good, but a bit front heavy.
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#10 of 14 VinhT

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Posted January 14 2004 - 01:18 AM

Your old Sony speakers were just probably extremely bright, making them seem clearer and more detailed than the Athenas.
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#11 of 14 cabreau

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Posted January 14 2004 - 02:46 AM

Is it possible that the Athenas reach a bit lower than your little satellites, causing you to actually "hear" more sound? Many people thing that larger speakers aren't as clear because they are actually hearing more than just the highs that satellites put out.
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#12 of 14 Adam.Heckman

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Posted January 14 2004 - 04:55 AM

I have heard the b1s and own b2s. I run them through a Denon. Not an issue about 'muddiness'. I would say, when you get the chance, spend some cash to upgrade you're reciever. There's crazy deals on the internet, many people have had good experiences with refurbed, especially HK. You can hook up a low end onk/denon/HK for around 200. Definately worth the investment. My experience with sony equipment has been bad, they seem very very harsh at the top end to me. Way to 'bright'. This may be why you hear 'mud'.

FWIW I love the Athenas, and will get b1s for my surrounds.

#13 of 14 Nick-G

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Posted January 14 2004 - 05:45 AM

I have no doubt that I am hearing a more full range of sounds, and I suppose that this is a fair trade for giving up clearer highs. I also realized that I had switched them to LARGE to experiment when I got them and had not switched them back to SMALL. The switch has helped a bit since even when they were large the sub still was putting out sound (whether at a lower crossover or doubling even what was supposed to be sent to the mains I don't know). Also, they seem to clear up some when I turn them up louder, and when I played around with the postioning a bit by putting them on a couple of chairs.
I plan to upgrade my reciever when I can, but monetary restrictions and guilt from my fiancee (she bought my the HTIB and felt bad that I even wanted to upgrade the speakers after "only" 1 1/2 years) will probably force me to wait until the summer to do so. Thanks again for all of the suggestions

#14 of 14 ColinM

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Posted January 14 2004 - 11:17 AM

Try them "Large", and drop the xover on the sub all the way down, but include L/R+LFE in the signal.

The sub will play under 50Hz, with the L/R bass plus LFE and should help clear things up a bit.

Also lower the subs output until you get used to the mix.

Have fun!
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