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Best Speaker Configuration


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Rick Shepherd

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Posted February 24 2014 - 05:51 PM

I have a Pioneer VSX-322 receiver with HD Digital TV box, Laptop and Blu-Ray player attached through HDMI to the TV. No problems with the video.

My room is only about 9' by 12' and I don't have much room so my speakers are small.
I am currently using 2 x Sony SS-SR88 at the front with a Sony SS-CT381 center.
Behind me I have 2 Wharfedale Modus Cubes connected as Surround Back speakers through a Mitsubishi M-P04 Pre Amp and a Mitsubishi M-A04 Power Amp. I am using the Surround Back connections to give me more control of the volume and tone.
I do not (at this stage) have a Sub-Woofer.

I tend to listen to music as much as I watch TV and Blu-Ray. My receiver gives a lot of options for audio processing (including Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby PLIIX, NE06, Stereo, ALC Stereo etc).

I would like to hear opinions on whether my speaker configuration could be improved using the existing speakers. I have been told that as I listen to a lot of music, I should get floor-standing speakers for the front. I could probably manage to do this.



#2 of 8 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted February 25 2014 - 09:28 AM

GOOD bookshelf speakers are better than floorstanders of similar pricing to me (you'll get a much nicer bookshelf for the same money).  BUT, for music ONLY, I agree that a tower is a better choice.  Since you do both, stick wtih bookshelf / sub setup IMO.  For music, I tend to use NO audio processing; some of them are decent at what they do, but I generally find they all still sound "simulated" since that's what they are.  PLIIX and dts NEO6 if I had a choice.

 

Speakers make the biggest difference in the sound you hear, so the most improvement will come from a speaker upgrade.  Without seeing how the speakers are placed currently, it is difficult to advise on what sort of placement options might improve the existing sound.  Does your receiver have an Auto-calibration function?  (Audessey, MCCAC, YPAO, etc...)  If so, run it.


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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted February 25 2014 - 09:50 AM

That room is rough, 9' is very narrow. Using the existing system my first question would be have you done any acoustic treatments? I suspect you have not, most folks give you a blank stare when you ask. In a room that narrow I also suspect your front left and right channels are very close to the side walls, which means your first reflection points are unusually strong. What is the spacing between you left and right speaker, about the same distance you are seated from the center channel speaker? Have you experimented with toe to tighten or broaden your sound stage?
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#4 of 8 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted February 25 2014 - 10:14 AM

Good advice, and I'm guessing treatments are not likely either.  Other things apply as well - do you sit up against the rear wall?  Are the speakers relatively ear level when seated?  If no auto-eq, have you tried to adjust the levels of the speakers to match each other?  When you say "improve", are there things you don't like about the setup currently?


HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Rick Shepherd

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Posted February 25 2014 - 11:38 AM

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas.

 

The room is currently aligned long ways.

 

Because it is so narrow and the door opens inwards, everything is set up towards the left side of the room.

The front left speaker sits beside the left wall and the right is about 5.5 feet away from that. (37" TV is between them).

These all sit on shelving against the wall.

 

My seating is hard against the back wall and aligned so that the center is in line with the center of the TV.

The rear speakers sit on a window sill directly behind me, at about 1' below head height and at the same distance apart as the front speakers.

There is a window directly to the left of my seating.

 

Treatments ??? Some more info would be appreciated.

 

Is it likely that rotating the entire setup within the room so that left and right speakers are further apart would make any difference?



#6 of 8 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted February 25 2014 - 12:17 PM

It depends on the room, but usually the longer distance is the better choice IMO, and adjust the spacing of the speakers compared to the seating position.  The left speaker will be an issue - If you can't move it in as it sounds like, try giving it some "toe in" as in turn the R&L in a few degrees at a time and then listen at the seating position.  At some point you should achieve something like a "sweet spot" where the two blend the best for where you sit.  This will take some experimentation and with some speakers, can take me as much as a week to dial in - plus it costs you nothing but time and listening :)

 

If the rear speakers sound fine as they are, then leave them.  If there are issues with clarity, angle them up slightly.  Also they should not be pointed directly at your listening position.

 

Treatments can be commercial sound panels on the walls or can be as simple as hanging a heavier curtain over a window or a tapestry/rug on a wall at the primary reflection points once you've positioned your speakers.

 

Info and panels: http://www.gikacoustics.com/


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HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Rick Shepherd

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Posted February 25 2014 - 01:57 PM

Thanks John,

 

I will experiment with speaker placement and angles and try tweeking other elements within the room.

As you say, l am looking for that "sweet spot"  :) - trial and error is the only way to do it.



#8 of 8 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 25 2014 - 02:26 PM

Does that AVR actually give you the option of using 6/7 without 4/5? Cause using 6/7 w/o 4/5 connected could be the entire problem.




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