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Poor LFE and Bass Management.....Plssssss Help


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#1 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 05 2010 - 07:26 PM

This is my first 5.1 home theater, but I'm no novice in sound systems configuration. I've been in car audio for 15 years now and a big audiophile. So, I know the kinda quality I'm expecting outa my HT and have tried all possible crossover settings, but it's way below expectations and gives poor LFE and Bass Management. OK lemme explain the stuff I have.


Bedroom Dimensions and Dynamics

1.16' x 12' / Concrete flooring but wall-to-wall carpeted and drapped windows
2.Front speakers (Towers) are 51/2 feet apart angled in about 20 degrees toward the center of bed where I rest my head while watching movies. Sub is placed about 6 inches to the right of the front left tower speaker. Center speaker sits just below the Philips Ambilight 7803 and is equidistant from both tower speakers.
3.Front towers are about 6 inches away from the wall behind and sub is about a foot.
4.Surrounds are slight above the listening position on the side walls.
5.The front edge of bed is about 3 feet away from Towers/Sub/Center. Bed is not solid wood and the front side of it runs all the way down to the floor i.e. there's hardly 3 inches space under it.


System Description

1.Yamaha RX-V363 AV Receiver with YPAO / 100 Watts per channel x 5
2.Front Towers: Yamaha NS-7900 2-Way Bass-Reflex / 100W/180W Nominal/Max input /  Frequency (32 Hz - 25 kHz)
3.Center & Surrounds: Yamaha NS-P60

       Center: 60W/180W Nominal/Max Input --- Frequency (70 Hz - 30 kHz)

       Surrounds: 50W/150W Nominal/Max Input --- Frequency (80 Hz - 30 kHz)


•  4.  Klipsch KSW-10 Powered Subwoofer.
•  5.  DVD player is Pioneer DV-410V.
•  6.  Wiring: All speakers connected with $160 high-grade 12 AWG wire. DVD player is digitally coaxed into the digital input on AV receiver with gold plated RCA terminals. Sub is also connected with digital coaxial RCA cable with gold-plated terminals from digital out on the AV receiver into the Left (LFE) female slot of the sub.
•Current Settings
1.Gain on sub is at 8. Crossover settings are bypassed on sub by keeping the knob on max i.e. 120 Hz
2.Front Towers are set as LARGE rest all as SMALL.
3.Crossover on receiver is set at 60Hz. It offers (40/60/80/90/100/120/140/160/180) crossover options.
4.LFE/Bass out set to BOTH. I've tried setting all speakers to small and LFE/Bass Out to SWFR and setting crossover at 100Hz, but it didn't sound as good.
5.LFE is set to max i.e. 0 db. Options are from -20 to 0.
•Problem
1.The bass and LFE are localized and lack the rumble and thump. For example, gun shots sound like crackers on a 2 years old kid's birthday party. Tested on Saving Private Ryan (First 3o minutes). The closing of car and room doors lack bass depth. It should sound like a sand bag dropped but it sounds like an egg thrown on the floor. I have tried changing the placement of sub but to no avail.



#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted October 06 2010 - 02:12 AM

Welcome to the forum, Faisal.


Well, you've already learned one valuable lesson: the world of car audio is vastly different than the world of home theater audio.  In home theater, wattage is a largely useless specification, and ultimately, the goal of home theater is to accurately reproduce the sound as it was mastered, whereas the car audio world is all about eardrum-bursting, chest-thumping bass and power is king.  Now, these can be achieved in home theater, but it takes a slightly different approach.


A few thoughts on things from your post:


1) The 10" Klipsch subwoofer is probably not capable of producing the kind of deep, rumbling, chest-pumping bass you're expecting.  It's low end frequency response (according to specs) is 29Hz.  I would think you need to hit a good bit below 20Hz to get what you're expecting.  Oh, and size matters... going up to 12, 15, or even 18 inches will certainly help achieve your goals.


2) To route more bass to your subwoofer, you should set your main speakers to "small" rather than "large".  I know you have tower speakers that are "full range" but it's always better to let the sub handle the low stuff and keep your mains focused on the mids and highs.


3) A lot of folks on the forum are champions of "debunking high-priced cable myths" - in particular are HDMI video cables and speaker wire.  I'm sure the 12 gauge wire/cables you got are nice, but the money you spent on them would have been better served in getting a better subwoofer.


The subwoofers at SVSound are very popular with members here - they are internet-direct, so their value is light years beyond ANYTHING you can get at a store, and in fact, the founders were/are forum members right here!


I'm sure others can chime in with some other tips on maximizing the bass for your system.


Good luck.


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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 06 2010 - 05:56 AM

I agree with everything Jason says.


Faisal, since you are coming from the car audio world you may have different expectations over the amount of bass that is appropriate or how it should sound.  How was everything calibrated?  At minimum it should have been an SPL meter and proper calibration DVD.  You can even get more advanced with test tones to plot the frequency response of your sub.


Also, since you come from the car audio world, did you ever build your own enclosure?  Many do that for their own home theater.  If you have the tools then it is a great way to save some money while getting excellent performance.



#4 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 06 2010 - 07:34 PM

Thanx Jason and Robert (sorry if u guys are using aliases). I know all the minor stuff u mentioned but my problem still persists. One correction....Saving Private Ryan did sound off initially when I ran auto setup on A/V receiver with YPAO. But then I gave a reset to the AVR and played the same movie on factory default settings. I can hear the rumble and heart-pounding bass and thumpy door slams. Tested Cliffhanger also, and it also sounded tonnes better than before esp the rumble of chopper blades. Not all the movies with special LFE sound the same. Does every movie have LFE recorded at different SPL and also does DTS sound better than DD 5.1??? I mean do I have to adjust the SWFR level for every movie or does one glove fit all????     


#5 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 06 2010 - 08:48 PM

Can u recommend any good digital SPL meter and home theater calibration DVD?



#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 07 2010 - 12:26 AM

I setup my sub a few years ago and haven't touched it since.  DTS vs. DD - That argument has been going on for years.  It's a personal preference.


You don't want a digital SPL meter.  You want the Radio Shack analog model.  It is the most popular and the one with the best correction values.  The two best calibration DVD's are Avia and Digital Video Essentials.


Do a search in the Speaker and Sub section for any of my posts containing PEQ.  I explain how to plot the in-room response of your sub and how an uncalibrated sub impacts the auto calibration on the receiver.



#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted October 07 2010 - 01:40 AM


Originally Posted by BraveHeart123 

Not all the movies with special LFE sound the same. Does every movie have LFE recorded at different SPL and also does DTS sound better than DD 5.1??? I mean do I have to adjust the SWFR level for every movie or does one glove fit all????     


That's precisely the point I was making in my first post.  All movies are mixed differently - the best we can hope for is for our systems to accurately reproduce the soundtracks as they were mixed.  The only common "reference" that we have is to use an SPL meter and calibration disc as Robert suggested.  "Reference" level for home theater audio is about 75dB (some say 70, others say 80..).  Once the system is properly calibrated we generally leave it alone.  If you really feel the subwoofer needs to be adjusted on a film-by-film basis, make your adjustments using the volume knob on the back of the subwoofer - it's the easiest, quickest way to do it that still allows to to "go back" to the reference level without much hassle.


Modern action and sci-fi movies tend to be mixed much more bass-heavy than dramatic and comedy films.  If you search this and other forums for discussions of "demo" material, I'm sure you'll find a nice list of movies with outstanding sound and video.


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#8 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 07 2010 - 05:51 PM

Thank you folks for ur prompt help. In nutshell, I figure out I need an SPL meter and a calibration DVD. Then it's all tweaking as per one's own preferences.

Sorry to bug u guys, but one last thing..... pls specify the model number of radio shack SPL meter. Also, is "Sound & Vision Home Theater" setup DVD better than AVIA & DVE?? I think um gonna pick up S&V coz it has far better reviews than the later two.



#9 of 22 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 07 2010 - 10:45 PM

The Spears&Munsil (it's designed for BR) is another excellent calibration disc. I've also found that these auto-setup programs seem to adjust the sub woofer level a bit on the low side, at least for me. I've had Audyssey, MCACC and EZSetEQ but not YAPO yet.

I have the digital version of the Radio Shack SPL meter (the analog wasn't available at the time) and apparently it isn't as accurate as the analog version but it works well enough (I guess). I just try and set the volume to "bounce" between 75 and 76 db.


I'm also a "tweaker". I adjust the volume of the sub woofer, and occasionally the center channel, once in a while to please my ears (and my neighbors). But I make the adjustments with the individual volume levels on the receiver which is easy enogh to do with the remote control (my subs aren't very accessible). I had the calibrated volume levels on a sheet of paper on an end table but by now I know them "by heart" so putting them back is easy enough. I also change the crossover setting on the front speakers. I like 60 for music and 80 for movies. We're all different. Do as you like.


"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted October 08 2010 - 01:10 AM

This is what I found on the radioshack website.  It's different than the one I have (it looks smaller and more "modern") and it's a bit pricier than I remember, but it's a good bit of equipment to have.


Radio Shack Analog Sound Meter


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#11 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 09 2010 - 10:42 PM

Thank you all for some handy tips.

OK FOR ALL YOU HT LOVERS...........here's my take.

Since I mentioned at the start of this thread that I was a big audiophile and had been in car audio for 15 years and knew what exactly I wanted in terms of rumbling bass and SQ, I have tuned up my HT to pump out exactly the same audio effects (thought um a first time user). Now listen to this ..... I tossed the YPAO in the bin coz it sets all the levels way too low and differently to what my ear drums vibrate to. I did all the settings manually myself without an SPL meter and calib' DVD. Um sure they will further improve on my manual settings when I get them.

In the nutshell, it all comes down to what ur ears like....Dont rely on these hi-tech gadgets (due respect to all the engineers who develop such things).



#12 of 22 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 10 2010 - 03:02 AM

That's the main reason why we constantly advise people to listen to as many different speakers as they can. What sounds good to me may not sound good to you.


Most members around here are looking for a flat frequency response. They want to hear things the way the Director or Artist wanted them to hear it. They feel an spl meter and a calibration disc help them achieve that goal. As for the automatic setup and equalizer programs like YAPO, they can go a long way toward fixing poor room acoustics. This is one area that really wasn't discussed in this thread. The room can have a very big effect on what you hear. But they also try to do the same thing regardless of what the listener actually wants. Again, what sounds good to me may not sound good to you. Or YAPO.


As I said before, I haven't had the chance to play with YAPO yet but I have had positive experiences with Audyssey and H/K's EZSetEQ. Pioneers MCACC has been a bit of a struggle. But they all had less than satisfactory results with the calibration of the sub woofer. In the end, I setup the eq myself as you did. I'm beginning to think a flat response isn't what I'm after. I also don't hear as well out of my right ear as I do out of my left.


The one thing I do like about MCACC is that it shows you what eq graphs it came up with. using this, along with the results from the calibration disc and spl meter, give me a solid reference point to start from. I them re-adjust things more to my liking.  I usually start off by over-adjusting the settings, then as time goes by I back them off until there not that much different from reference. The adjustments turn out to be subtle, but important.

Like you, I care more about what I like rather than what Audyssey, MCACC, etc., a calibration disc, an spl meter or even an Artist/Director thinks I should like. But once again, we're all different. In the end, being happy with what you've got is all that's important.


"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 10 2010 - 08:38 AM

I say give the flat response a try before going back to the old configuration.  You might like it.  I thought that the picture of my TV looked dull after calibration but after a while I started to notice things in the picture that weren't there before.  Now when I see the TV's in the showroom I think they look terrible.  Too much red, sharpness cranked to the max and way too bright.  Same with my sound.  When I was a boom and sizzle guy, my ears would be fatigued after a long listening session.  With a flat response there is no fatigue even after hours of music or movies.



#14 of 22 OFFLINE   shunli

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Posted October 10 2010 - 07:10 PM

Recently I was annoyce of it , thank you for this act and let me learn a lot, I want to take advantage of it



#15 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 10 2010 - 07:23 PM


Mind you, my setup is not budget ripper and has no Def Tech components; it's rather a basic entry-level $1200 system (details mentioned at the start of this thread).

You don't have to spend thousands of your hard-earned dollars to acheive car-audio-like SQ if u can visualize what I mean. One of the biggest things to keep in mind while calibrating ur system is to make all components work in sync and must complement eachother coherently. For example ... You set ur crossover frequency at 80 Hz and set the front main speakers as LARGE and keep LFE/Bass Out setting to BOTH (sub + front spkrs). During explosions like in (Saving Private Ryan), the sound should start from sub and terminate in the surround speakers. What it means is that the sound should switch from sub then to front mains and culminate on the surround speakers depending on stage-wise frequency level.

To illustrate this, see below (frequency ranges may or may not be correct to trigger the required compnent);


Frequency @ time of explosion: 30 Hz
Your sub should kick in here coz of the crossover setting (80 Hz).

Frequency @ time of explosion + 3 seconds: 80 Hz
 It should be a seemless hand shake between your sub and main front speakers coz the intensity of explosion is receding.

Frequency @ time of explosion + 6 seconds: 2 KHz
It should be a seemless hand shake between your main front speakers and surround speakers.


Same rule must apply if the sound is reversed i.e. a high pitch sound ending in low pitch.

Your system must be able to create this RELAY RACE effect to pass the batton on to the next compnent seemlessly OR else there is no rumble and enveloping effect in sound. Any sound that traverses through various frequency ranges must be handled by the respective component seemlessly as I mentioned above.

In a nutshell the hard fact is, there are NO universal standard settings to go with every system. There are so many variables with just one constant i.e. your home cinema. Room dynamics completely drive u insane and so do any aiding calibration gadgets. It all comes down to manual tweaking and nudging that is pleasing and acceptable to your own ears coz its YOUR system at the end of the day.   

       


#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 11 2010 - 12:54 AM

Good example but the only thing we have in common is the sub crossover.  My mains are capable of 35hz (Fb of the enclosure) but I still have them set to SMALL in my receiver.  One point source of bass makes sure there are no phase issues in the bass region of the sound spectrum.


You are also correct that you don't have to spend thousands to get car audio sound quality because 99% of car systems suck.  They are not configured correctly.  You wouldn't wouldn't watch a movie with your main speakers firing directly into your calves.


I really enjoy your enthusiasm as a new member here but I will disagree that it does not come down to "manual tweaking and nudging."  There are a set of published audio and video standards and that's why I we suggest that you at least TRY a proper calibrated system for a while.  You may notice things in movies and music that you didn't hear before.



#17 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 11 2010 - 06:42 PM

Why try??? Why not calibrate my ownw system to those specs. Ok Robert I give it a shot just coz u said it .....Pls specify a good analog SPL meter and HT Calibration DVD. I'll check if they do anything better than what I have done manually.


Also pls lemme know if a calibration dvd is any better than the built-in test tones in my av receiver. It's Yamaha RX-V363 with a mic for YPAO. 


#18 of 22 OFFLINE   BraveHeart123

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Posted October 11 2010 - 11:59 PM

Do I require Calibration DVDs for my receiver? It  is already equipped with mic driven YPAO for auto calibration which i tossed in the bin coz it would set all the levels way below the reference levels including the sub, which didn't even reverberate at those settings. This one time it happened so much so that I took the sub to the retailer telling him that it was busted, but later on found out that it was calibrated by YPAO way too low on the receiver in terms of gain. Also YPAO always sets the crossover at 160 KHz (at least in my bedroom) keeping the mains as LARGE, which is a joke to be honest.


This very thing put me off and made me do it all manually and trash YPAO. So, plain and simple...... DO I NEED Calibration DVD and SPL meter whereas my AV is already equipped with auto calib' tonnes for auto setup? Pls let me know coz spending an extra 70 bucks won't matter to me, but is it really worth it???????????????



#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted October 12 2010 - 01:11 AM


Originally Posted by BraveHeart123 

I'll check if they do anything better than what I have done manually. 


Unfortunately, I think it's pretty clear that your definition of "better" is quite different from ours.  As we've alluded to, folks that come to home theater from the car audio world bring with them all their preconceived notions about what "good" is.  Frankly, these views are contrary to the primary goal of most home theater enthusiasts.


Yes, your system should sound good to YOU - after all you are the end user of your system and you must be satisfied.  However, most home theater enthusiasts also strive to preserve the sound (and video) as much as possible to the intent of the filmmakers.  It's this BALANCE between good and accurate that seems to be a difficult concept for car audio enthusiasts to grasp.  We set up our systems so that when we play a movie that has chest-thumping and ear-shattering bass, it is reproduced naturally, accurately, and as intended.  We don't FORCE every movie we watch to sound that way.  Not every movie is intended to sound that way, anyway.


I'd bet it's safe to say that you have a certain musical taste that your car audio setup is naturally tuned to complement.  Is it smooth jazz?  Twangy country?  Gospel?  Have you listened to any of those genres of music in your car system?  How about the Beach Boys?  I'm sure there's music out there that doesn't sound very good on your car system the way it's currently set up.

That's another big difference bewteen music and movies - most people have one or maybe two types of music they like to listen to, so it's easier to set up a system specifically for those types of music.  With movies, it's just not the same.  Sure, many of us here probably enjoy action and sci-fi movies to romantic comedies and documentaries, but we're MUCH more likely to have a wider range of genres in our movie collection.  Naturally, then, it makes little sense for us to set up a system that is always biased towards one genre over the other.


Regardless of all this - the point is, you've found what's made you happy, and in the end that's all that really matters.  However, as a long time member of this forum, I can say with a very high degree of certainty that your goals are not typical of most around here, so please keep that in mind for any future discussions.


Best of luck.


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#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Maggi Magg

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Posted October 12 2010 - 02:05 AM

I think it's obvious that Faisal  wants his room shaking and rattling with overbearing bass and feeling it banging his body.

Few of my friends have had this "syndrome" until i calibrate their systems correctly.

After the calibration all of them have agreed that calibrated sounds better.

But Faisal please continue to experiment Posted Image


Cheers

MM