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New guy having a problem getting good results


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 19 2008 - 07:52 AM

Hello all - My name is grant, this is the first time i have posted to this site. i joined up because of an issue i am having.

First off its almost impossible for me to get the full immersive sound i am looking for out of my surround sound.

sounds are not distinct - they more muddle together and create a mesh of difficult to hear music.

bass response is low even though i have what should be a powerful enough subwoofer - when i turn it up, bass becomes way to boomy and powerful.

My surround back speakers are humming - i have hooked up a power cleaner to them, to no avail. still humming at me =(

Its really hard to reach an appropriate level while watching a movie - its too quiet during quiet scenes and way way too loud during loud scenes - causing me to turn it up and down continuously. *now i do wear hearing aides* could be causing some of the problem.. =)

My system as follows
LR- M-Audio BX-8a Active monitor
C - M-Audio BX-8 Active Monitor
SRSL- M-Audio BX-5 Active Monitor
Sub - JBL EP250 Northridge 250 watt 12 inch woofer
Reciever - Yamaha htr-5760 (i am just using the preouts on this none of the amped signals.)
PS3 hooked up with a toslink cable to the reciever

during movies i generally set the reciever to DTS cinema

My setup within the reciever is as follows
LR-large
bass out - subwoofer
crossover - 60
center - large
srsl - small

I used the Yamaha mic to figure out distances and speaker levels.

My room is rather large - but the living room area is not so large maybe 14x14 the whole room
*then the room opens out into the kitchen and to the stairs and the dining room*


If there is anything you guys can reccomend i would love to hear it - i have been seriously considering a preamp - the outlaw 990
would that help with what im describing? if i did that i would get all XLR cables - not sure where i would get them from but thats what id shoot for.
Thanks very much for taking the time to read this!!

#2 of 17 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 19 2008 - 08:07 AM

Quote:
sounds are not distinct - they more muddle together and create a mesh of difficult to hear music.

Is this when you're watching movies or when listening to music?

Quote:
during movies i generally set the reciever to DTS cinema

This is only an option if the disc you're playing actually has a DTS soundtrack, and you've selected it from the DVD's menu. DTS is an option and many DVDs don't have DTS soundtracks, and it is never the default soundtrack even when it a DTS track is available.

You don't say how your DVD player is connected to the receiver - digital coax? Digital optical?

That humming sound from the rear speakers is almost certainly the result of a the polarity being reversed on a connection somewhere in your system - probably in the speaker wires for the surround speakers.

If you're using a powered sub, your speakers should be set to "small" regardless of their physical size. (This directs most of the bass to the sub.)

Quote:
I used the Yamaha mic to figure out distances and speaker levels.

I've never owned a Yamaha receiver, but it is almost always the case that you'll get better results using a calibration DVD like Avia Guide to Home Theater or some flavor of Video Essentials and a $25 (analog) Sound Pressure Level meter from Radio Schack than you will with the receiver's built-in adjustments or test tones.

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 19 2008 - 10:52 AM

Alright - ill change the speakers to small - thanks
the cabling is a rather odd way to do it... but the M-audio's use either a TRS or a XLR cable system - well my reciever only has RCA so for the rears which are about 25 -30 feet from the amp i used a coax cable with a RCA end on one end and an rca on the other end which goes to TRS

and the muddled sound is during both - let me try to explain it again - it just seems to have a hard time filling the room with immersive sound, things are not very distinctive..
I realize that i have to manually put it to DTS on all dvds and this i do
when its not DTS i just use the dolby surround
Awesome idea on the DVD and mic i am going to get one =) thanks a lot on that

The set up is this -
Blu ray (PS3) to reciever - uses Optical
receiver to speaker uses the aformentioned TRS to RCA

Thanks a lot for your reply - any idea as to how to fix the humming problem another way as i dont know how i could have reversed the polarity. i just have to plug in one cord.. =)

#4 of 17 chuckg

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Posted February 20 2008 - 05:09 AM

These are powered speakers? The hum may be coming from a ground loop. What that means is that your speakers have a power cord that is grounded to the house grounding system, and your receiver also has a grounded cord. The loop created by house AC wiring ground and signal ground in the cables to the speakers can cause plenty of hum.

The easiest way to kill the hum is to "lift the ground" at the speakers...get some of those three-prong to two-prong AC adapters, and put them on each of your speakers.



The too-quiet versus too-loud is an issue everyone struggles with. Movies are made to be very loud during explosions, and very quiet during most dialog. The only cure is to engage the "dynamic limiter" in your Yamaha. I can't remember if you set the dynamics all the way up or down...but it won't help much anyway -it doesn't limit the signal variation enough.

You can also try setting your center speaker 6 dB louder. This will make most of the dialog louder with respect to the music and effects. Do this in the audio setup menu, or at the speakers.




Too boomy? What kind of room are you in? If it is tile floor, big glass windows, and hard, unadorned walls this could cause too much bass. Put in some rugs, close the drapes, hang some tapestries or whatever. You can decrease the amount of bass, and that will help with clarity too. If your chair is up against a wall opposite your subwoofer, you will have extra bass. Just turn down the sub a bit.

You can even alter the equalization (fancy tone controls) in the audio setup menu. Remove some of the lows, boost the upper mids. I would put the crossover at 80 Hertz....those 8" drivers probably don't offer much below 40 Hz, and typically you want the xover about an octave above the rolloff of the speaker. Just changing that crossover setting might clear up some of the muddiness.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#5 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 20 2008 - 12:58 PM

Awesome replies - thanks a lot =)

Now - I went and looked for the SPL mic and *sadly i live in billings MT* i was not able to find one - anyone have a good place to look for them online?
Also what surround setup dvd should i get?

im going to buy those prongs now hopefully thats the issue


So i have a question - is it worth buying a preamp with the system i have - will i really notice that much of a difference??
and is that outlaw 990 a good choice for what im looking at?

#6 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 20 2008 - 07:27 PM

I tried the 2 prong plug - and it worked!!! thanks so much i can listen to my stereo without it driving me nuts..
Anyways - i tried to post earlier i dont know where it went..

Do you guys think that a preamplifier would help my situation very much? would it breathe new life into these speakers??
I am looking at the outlaw audio 990 but i want to get away from spending 900 dollars on it =(
Would the 990 be a good choice?

#7 of 17 chuckg

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Posted February 21 2008 - 05:59 AM

Since you have powered speakers, you are using your Yamaha as a preamplifier. The outlaw audio preamp might be a better one, but then again the difference might not be terribly noticeable...and would it be worth another $900? With the outlaw, you would have no need for the Yammie.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#8 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 21 2008 - 10:18 AM

Oh - so you think the yamaha wont be much worse than a full surround sound preamp? i think it would be worth it if it was much better but if its only.. a little it may not be worth it..

#9 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 22 2008 - 11:59 AM

Does anyone have any insight on this? Would a preamp be able to showcase my system better than my current yamaha or would i be wasting money to get it? i will most likely be able to sell the yamaha for 250 to a friend of mine...

#10 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 25 2008 - 01:36 PM

No one has any ideas about this? is there anywhere anyone can point me?

#11 of 17 Greg Kolinski

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Posted February 26 2008 - 01:36 AM

You might get a little better response /clarity etc from the Outlaw processor,but I dont think $900 worth.I googled your receiver,and it seems like a good one.Before I gave up on the Yamaha I would get all the adjustment issues fixed.One thing I would recommend is dont use any of their "special" sound fields,just stick with Dolby digital and DTS
The more I learn about this stuff ,the dumber I get

#12 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 26 2008 - 06:25 PM

Alright - that seems to be a consistent idea with this forum - Thanks a lot on your opinion i think i will follow it. there are other things i can do with the money especially saving it =)
I have got the surround sound to sound pretty good at this point following all of your suggestions - I am pretty happy with it. i guess at this point i will just enjoy it for what it is, and when i get ultra rich - do some modifications to it =)

#13 of 17 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 27 2008 - 01:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubber
Now - I went and looked for the SPL mic and *sadly i live in billings MT* i was not able to find one - anyone have a good place to look for them online?

Just a follow-up:

A sound pressure level meter isn't a microphone, it's a meter - a small handheld device with an analog read-out that shows how many decibles your equipment is putting out. Radio Shack is one of the few companies still making affordable analog models, which is why I specifically suggested them. You should be able to order one from RadioShack- Audio/Video Electronics, MP3, LCD TVs, GPS, Digital Cameras, DVD Players, Accessories - or drive to the store, since it seems there is at least one Radio Shack in Billings:

Radio Shack
1903 Grand Ave.
Billings, MT 59102
406-252-5241

Regards,

Joe

#14 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 27 2008 - 02:05 PM

Awesome! I found it - When i went in last time they told me they did not have a SPL Mic well probably cause im not even sure if they exist - now i got the correct thing - cost me 50 bucks but i bought the digital one
Now whats the best calibration software out there??
I am at a loss as to how to use this thing properly..

#15 of 17 Ennsio

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Posted February 28 2008 - 05:34 AM

Duplicate post deleted.

#16 of 17 Ennsio

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Posted February 28 2008 - 05:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubber
Now whats the best calibration software out there??
I am at a loss as to how to use this thing properly..

The best calibration software would be either Digital Video Essentials, or Avia Guide to Home Theater. They will have instructions on the DVD for how to use the test patterns and the SPL meter, but you could always ask additional questions here.

In the meantime, if your receiver can play test tones for each of the speakers, you could stand with the meter in your preferred listening spot and play the test tone individually for each speaker and adjust the output level on the receiver so that the meter reads 75db. This will give you a rough balance, but using a proper calibration DVD will give more exact results.

#17 of 17 Dubber

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Posted February 28 2008 - 05:55 PM

Awesome I bought The Digital Video Essentials - but ive got to be honest with you. its not really a straight forward thing - i have not had time to sit and watch the whole thing i was trying to do it quickly but i could not find the proper part - the dvd is set up horribly at least in my opinion lol - any ideas? or so i just have to sit down and watch the whole thing??


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