A few questions that HT pros know...but I don't. Please help me!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Rogers, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    First of all, I'd like to say I like this basics forum.
    1. Ok, heres my setup.
    Sony-kv27fs17 T.V.
    Onkyo ds595 reciever
    Bose 701 tower speakers for front
    Bose vcs-10 Center channel
    Sony dvpns-300 dvd player
    I am not a big bass fan. At all. I don't like set-ups where my drink shakes during dialogue if you know what I mean..[​IMG]
    I care for the most part about dialogue. I don't want anything that "beats". I only have 3 channels right now. The 2 fronts and the center.
    When I select Dolby Digital on my reciever, it obviously turns on the center channel, but the "highs" or dialogue from that point on seem filtered and not quite there. When I switch it back to Stereo and use just the front left and right I hear the dialogue much, much better.
    In fact most of the time I switch from DD to stereo just b/c the talking is more clear. Is this b/c DD NEEDS the 5.1 setup and I only have 3 channels? Would a better center channel be the solution?
    The Bose vcs-10 that I am using is quite thin and does not take up too much space. It wasn't the cheapest either.. I think around 200 dollars.
    If I want to get some rears, should I go with Bose also? Any reccomendations? Any help would be most appreciated.[​IMG]
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    The problems you are experiencing are mostly likely the effect of Bose speakers. They are well hyped but poorly engineered. I hate to tell you, but they aren't worth what you pay for them. My suggestion is to sell all three speakers to some unsuspecting...um..."customer" on Ebay and use that money to buy a better set of 5 speakers. You can get something much better than what you currently have for under $1000. Just say no...to Bose!

    By the way...you might want to look into getting a subwoofer (after you replace those Bose) even though you aren't a "bass head." The sub will help to releave the speakers of the effort of creating those low-lows and decrease distortion. A good sub won't be boomy, but will help fill in the low end and clean up the sound.
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hi, and welcome.

    FYI, I'm a recent non-newbie, so this is my first attempt to play Obi-Wan. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. HTF enthusiasts will cringe when they read that you have Bose speakers, so beware. I haven't heard them, so I can't say anything, but don't worry about it.

    2. Rear speakers.

    Definitely get them. After all, it ain't surround sound with nothing behind you. You should get the same brand as your front speakers. Some brands can be mixed and matched, but you're safe going with one you already have for your front and center. You could get small, low-end Bose speakers for rears and it won't cost much.

    3. Have you found out how to adjust the sound levels for your individual speakers? This is a functionality that is found on your receiver. Sometimes, it's called "Test" or something like that, where your receiver plays white noise through each speaker, allowing you to adjust its volume. Check the instruction manual if you don't where this is.

    This allows you to tweak your sound.

    4. Bass

    If your system is setup properly, you shouldn't be noticing a specific excess or defecit of base. Do you have a subwoofer? If not, I highly recommend getting one, even if it's only a small one. It takes low-end stress from your main speakers.

    5. The best way to ensure a proper setup is to acquire a setup DVD, like Avia. It provides you with all sorts of tests signals and picture-thingies and tells you how to make sure all your components are set-up correctly.

    You'll also want to get a sound level meter. It measures the volume from a sound source. As the setup DVD goes through its test signals, you read the result on your meter and adjust accordingly. The goal is to get all of your speakers to reach the same volume- reference level (usually around 70 - 80 decibels, depending on your preference).

    I found this invaluable, because I had a similar problem with my center sound, which I think is a common concern. My center just needed to be turned up a decibel or two over the mains, and I was good to go.

    This also helped a lot with my subwoofer, because then you have to deal with phase and cross-over and other thing-a-ma-jigs that the Avia test signals cleared up for me. I used to constantly adjust my bass setting because I couldn't get it right. Now I just leave it alone, and it always sounds good.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  4. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    Ahhh the dreaded Bose comment!!!:b
    Yeah, I heard that a lot after I bought them!!! HAHAHA
    " No highs, no lows.....must be Bose!"
    An particular brands you suggest?
     
  5. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  6. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    The usual suspects are Paradigm, PSB, B&W, Energy, Klipsch etc, etc. Also remember you don't have to pay retail for any of these, any good dealer should be willing to give at least a 10% discount off MSRP, in some cases you can get as high as 30%.

    If you are willing to try online there are Swans Diva, nOrh, Axiom, Ascend Acoustics. These are factory direct so no discounts here.

    Of course SVS, Adire Audio and HSU for subs.

    I'm not sure what you spent on the 701 towers, but Bose lists them at $1000. So if I use that I'll assume you have around a $1200 budget. With that you could get a Swans Diva 4.1 and C3 ($700 and $500) and there would be absolutely no comparison.
     
  7. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    Mike, I've tried fiddling around with the sound level, turned up the center about 3. It helps a little but not much. Another thing---it keeps resetting every time I turn the receiver off.

    When I watch a new movie I have to turn up the center AGAIN!! I take it theres a way to program this and I'm being stupid. My friend who sells audio doesn't even know why it keeps switching back.

    In terms of cost, I work for Nebraska Furniture Mart and the discount here on Home audio is pretty cool so I'd be willing to lay down a tad more for surrounds.
     
  8. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    If the 595 is still the same as the 575 then after you make your adjustments to the levels, turn the test tone on and then off. This saves the settings.
     
  9. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    I think that might be it---I haven't even done the test noise yet. (begin heckling and throwing bricks)
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Jeff,

    I can speak from experience -- the Bose VCS-10 center speaker may be the worst cost/quality value in all of home theater. I had a pair of old (mid-1980's) Bose 601 speakers I was trying to match a few years ago, so I tried both the VCS-10, and before that its previous incarnation. The sound quality of each was terrible, especially at that Bose price. The sound was thin and unnatural.

    I have since upgraded to B&W speakers (several years ago). The person I sold my Bose to recently upgraded to an Acoustic Research 5.1 speaker setup, and he also commented on how bad the Bose center speaker was in comparison to his new center channel. However, he was happy, since he was able to sell the entire Bose speaker setup on Ebay for more than he paid me.

    The one good thing about Bose is they have a high resale value. I never heard the 701's you have, but if they are similar to the old 601's they are not nearly as bad as the Bose Acoustimass system. You should be able to get a reasonable price on Ebay for them, as well as the VCS-10. I doubt you will be able to acoustically match the Bose 701's with a center speaker from another manufacturer.
     
  11. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    Well crap........ [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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  13. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    I have the Video Essentials (feat. Manheim Steamroller) Anyone have any experience with this one?
     
  14. Chuck_C

    Chuck_C Stunt Coordinator

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    ===============

    I have the Video Essentials (feat. Manheim Steamroller) Anyone have any experience with this one?

    ===============

    I use it. Get yourself a Radio Shack analog sound pressure meter and watch the VE DVD. It takes you through the whole setup step by step.
     
  15. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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  16. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    Well, if I swapped the Bose towers out and used them for rears that would take care of those I guess. I would need 2 new towers. I am not against spending 700-900 for a pair of towers. I get a decent discount so that will help too. So I get 2 new towers and a new center--matching of course---this is probably my most feasable option right?
     
  17. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    If you are going to use the Bose as rears, I strongly suggest you then buy 3 speakers that are identical to each other (and not Bose) for the front/centers.
     
  18. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    I agree with the above. I would definitely get rid of those Bose speakers and get a different brand (you can get superior quality at half the price of any Bose speaker). The following I would recommend (B&W may be out of your price range, though):
    B&W
    JBL
    Paradigm (I'd definitely recommend checking out the Paradigm Reference Studio 40 Bookshelf speakers)
    Infinity
    Energy
    Kenwood
    Yamaha
    and yeah, even Klipsch speakers sound better than Bose.
    For your center channel, you might want to look at the Paradigm Studio CC if you decide you want Paradigm Speakers. I heard the Studio 40s and CC together and the dialogue sounded crisp and clear (very nice balance between them). Also, I would look at an SVS subwoofer to even out your lower end. You'll notice a world of difference if you upgrade from Bose. [​IMG]
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    In addition to Brian's suggested list above, you may want to check out Boston Acoustics. If you like B&W's sound, the BA's have a similar sound (to the B&W 600 Series) and a lesser price.
     
  20. Andy F

    Andy F Stunt Coordinator

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    The paradigm's have a better sound than the Boston Acoustics and cost much less. If you are going for seperate surrounds i would take a good look at klipsch. they make very efficient speakers that work great as surrounds if you must place your surrounds a little farther away than you would like to. Just my opinion though.
     

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