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Bose Advice

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by everton91, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. everton91

    everton91 Auditioning

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    Hi there. Hoping someone can advise me with regards to my current set up.


    APOLOGIES FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS POST!!

    Equipment is

    Yamaha RX V373 receiver
    Bose Acoustimass 5 - Bass unit with 2 satellite cubes
    Bose 201 direct / reflect speakers.

    Only 1 input....A digital T.V which acts a a "stereo" and feeds into the reciever via the optical input.

    Recently replaced my faulty soundbar with a 2nd hand Acoustimass 5 coupled with a Yamaha receiver. The sound difference was amazing and I was more than pleased with it. However I since bought some bose bookshelf speakers , hoping to integrate these and improve the sound even further...I don't feel it has done this though...it's possibly made it even worse..

    Original set up was the acoustimass bass unit being connected to the main L and R speaker outputs on the reciever with 2 satellite cube speakers placed high up on the wall..sounded great.....

    I then added the 201 speaker to the "surround L and R (rear?) outputs on the reciever. have to say I was disappointed with the result. These new speakers sit either side of the TV.....due to space issues all speakers will be placed around / above the TV on the back wall.

    I then tried switching them around so that the 201 speakers are the main L and R , and thr acoustimass cubes feed into the bass unit and then into the Rear / surround L and R outputs..

    Finally...I have now configured it so the 201 speakers are fed from the Main L and R outputs via the acoustimass bass unit...with the 2 small cubes being fed directly from the Surround L and R outputs.

    I am not sure whether this set up is appropriate....the sound is good, its loud, but sounds completely different depending on whether I choose 2 channel Stereo on the Reciever ...or 5 channel (I realise that I may have to invest further in a centre speaker to bring this all together.

    basically. The "2 channel Stereo" mode on the receiver is a lot more "Bassy" as it uses the large speakers ,supplemented by the bass unit.....The"5 channel Stereo" option is lot clearer ...can hear much more going on....but it sounds like it's on really poor speakers now...almost (and forgive me if I get the terminology wrong) but but sounds "noisy" as if it's strained.. its as if the little speakers are already on full blast and straining and the bookshelf speakers with the sub are operating on really low power....

    the best all round sound was the original acoustimass set up before I added the 201s.

    i am just wondering if I am wasting my time trying to get this set up to marry up or is there a way of getting it all to work together.

    I'm doing all this on a budget by the way..

    thanks in advance for any tips
     
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    The small cubes are designed to go with the module only. The 201s dont have a module and arent designed to be connected to one, as you found. Thats why using the cubes with their module sounded best. The little cubes and their module, by themselves, will likely be the best sound you can get for your front speakers. You can also try just the 201s as the front left and right and see if they sound better than the cube/module system but I doubt it will be an improvement.

    Proper calibration using the mic might balance it out for you if you want to use the 201s as rear channels. Did you use the auto calibration after hooking up the 201s in the rear?

    No matter what you cant expect much with what you have, but obviously the cubes/module will be better than tv speakers. Bose are generally considered poor for home theater unless you just want an improvement on your tv speakers.
     
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  3. everton91

    everton91 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the quick response.

    I do have a microphone that came with the receiver...(for calibration , I assume) but not the foggiest on how to use it and looks like I will need to download the Yamaha instructions. The 201 speakers are currently the main L and R and I would say that they don't sound as good on their own as the module did with the cubes.

    auto calibration sounds interesting....is this a feature of my receiver , do you know.

    cheers again
     
  4. Message #4 of 18 Mar 19, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    everton91

    everton91 Auditioning

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    From looking on various forums I can also see that loads of people hate bose and that people have spent 1000s on home theatre set ups. I get that. this set up has cost 210 in total.

    60 for the acoustimas
    80 for the receiver
    70 for the 201s

    I am on a budget like stated before , and given that for a few years now I've been using a Boston Acoustic Soundbar...anything was going to be an improvement on that.

    I am not bothered about true surround sound as I am limited to space and as you can see, the speakers are all on the one wall anyway. I don't have the T.V very loud anyway and it's actually fine for tv....it's when I play music (loud) that I notice the shortcomings. electronic music tends to not highlight the quality as much. it's older music that tends to sound tinny / noisy / somehow lacking in depth / quality.

    cheers
     

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    On the front of the AVR is a mic input, plug in your mic and the AVR will automatically begin the process, just follow the instructions on the tv screen. Its important to place the mic in your seated position at ear level ( back of the couch is better than the seat itself). Its desireable you make a little stand to get the mic where you need it but the back of the couch will be fine as long as the mic has an unobstructed view of all the speakers. Heres a cardboard stand I made for mic calibrations:

    20190319_060215.


    When it comes to home theater, or even music reproduction, the goal is faithful frequency reproduction. Speakers surrounding you are producing 20,000khz to 80hz, 80hz and below is produced by a sub as the location of those lower freqs are not easily identified by the ear. As a result the sub can be placed in the room for the best performance and does not need to be pointed at the listening area like the rest of the speakers. Bose are known to not faithfully produce this full freq range and your module is not so much a sub but is forced to produce freqs well above 80hz to make up for the cubes lack of abilities to produce the needed freqs. This is definitely not desirable but, again, its likely a better sound than your tv speakers (which is not hard to do). If thats your budget, thats your budget.
     
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  6. Message #6 of 18 Mar 19, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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    Additional input to above....

    If you want to make the most of your system those cubes need to come down to ear level. Their spread should be the same distance as you are seated from them. If you cant get them spread that far thats fine but they do need to be taken down off the wall and down to ear level. Are they mounted or just sitting on the sconces? If you can wall mount them make sure not to mount too close to a side wall as you will get reflections of sound off the wall and it will make things sound hollow. Move them in towards eachother if you must but maintain at least a couple of feet from the side wall. Id say wall mounted directly below your sconces as your best bet and at that position that speaker is too close to the side wall. I recommend sitting in your favorite spot and have someone hold a mirror on the side wall, move the mirror along the wall and when you see the speaker in the mirror thats your reflection point. At that spot mount a 2" thick piece of rockwool (you can use spray glue and cover it with fabric). A 3' by 3' panel should work. This rockwool will eliminate the reflection. This is optional but is desirable if you want to get the most from your system....
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Ty, I feel you might be over complicating it a bit.
     
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    Perhaps but Auto cal, better speaker placement and acoustic treatment of that right channel is kinda whats needed to get the most of his budget. All these things are optional but at least he knows whats recommended.
     
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    My very first surround sound system was Bose 901 VI, VCS100 center and 301 IV surrounds. I wish someone would have explained whats covered in this thread before I made such a serious investment in Bose but alas I never asked (and the internet was in its infancy at the time). So yeah, I have a soft spot for newbie Bose owners seeking home theater nirvana (as it were).
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    My point is, the fundamentals of surround sound and what each distinct speaker (left, right, center, side surrounds) is intended to do has been completely skipped over. The result is heading toward what I call a "Frankenstein" system. I'm at work at the moment, but was thinking over suggestions of how to start over with what the OP has, explain what speakers do in a surround system and how to start with a more intent driven motive.

    And yeah, when it comes right down to it, Bose is bad for movies. But, here we are.
     
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    Looking forward to your input John. I did miss that he hooked up the 201s to the surround outputs and then placed them next to the tv for testing. :unsure:
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Ah, I forgot. It's nothing you can't explain as well, I'm sure. Or, I'll try to remember tomorrow. You just can't throw a bunch of random speakers on a wall and get good results.
     
  13. everton91

    everton91 Auditioning

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    Thanks for your replies. Interesting stuff.

    I hope I'm not irking any purists with my ramshackle attempt at throwing together a sound system Haha.

    I probably should have stopped scouring Ebay once I just had the receiver and the acoustimass. it did the trick for what I wanted.

    I've now got the acoustimass unit and cubes as the main L and R, and the 201s are in the left and right surround outputs. its debatable whether the sound is better or not with 2 or 5 (4) channel stereo though. I just can't decide. it differs depending on the genre / age of the music really.

    The calibration microphone worked...or at least it finished its cycle up to 100% (i first tried it with just the cubes in the surround outputs and it gave me an error message.

    Think I'll just leave it as it is now and if I see a cheap centre speaker at some point on gumtree then I may get one of these. I can't believe that I would also need a sub , given I have the massive acoustimass bass unit...but after looking through various forums , it looks like this is the case. i just don't have the room really, or the budget.

    all i!⁸f your advice is much appreciated and I'd welcome any further comments if you feel the need. In particular.. what sort of centre unit / spec should I be looking for. especially as this will need to go on the floor under the tv cabinet as I simply don't have space anywhere else. see attached pic ( or should I not bother at all with this)

    cheers all
     

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    Unless you have speakers where surround speakers should be you shouldnt have anything connected to the surround speaker outputs on your AVR. only the front left and right and the center channel outputs should be in front of the seating area. Connect only the cubes/module and rerun the autocal. Heres how it should look:

    speakerplacement-5-1.
     
  15. everton91

    everton91 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the tip, Ty. What's your opinion on me disconnecting the 201s from the surround output and feeding them into the main L / R outputs.



    So It's looking to be one of

    Leave it as it is ( i'll live)
    Do what I am asking about doubling up from the main L and R outputs
    Sell / give away the 201s ( or indeed , the acoustimass)

    cheers
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Don't do that!
     
  17. Message #17 of 18 Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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    Your AVR is not designed to output to four speakers off the front left and right channel outputs. Not only will it sound like crap, it will probably damage your AVR.

    See post #7 to get most from your cubes/module and use them, and only them, as your front left and right speakers. If you can install the 201s in the proper location for surround channels as indicated in the image in post #15 then do it, otherwise they are of no use to you.

    Its hard to recommend any center channel in your situation, I would not buy any more Bose products. If you come up with a budget, of some kind, we will all recommend cleansing (selling off all) your house of Bose and starting again with a matched three speaker front stage (LCR) from an entirely different manufacture. Maybe a sub when money permits. Otherwise stick with your cubes and module for 2.0 only.
     
  18. JohnRice

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    Pete, this just isn't the way to make decisions. Each speaker belongs in a specific location and serves a specific purpose. It's never going to give decent results to just put them wherever and connect to whatever channel.

    What I would do is set the receiver back for stereo (two channel) playback and put one pair of speakers, like the cubes, to the sides of the TV. Try them for a while, then switch to the other pair in their place and use them for a while, so you can decide which ones you like better. Once you've decided which ones you like better, you can keep them at the sides of the TV and keep using them for your L/R speakers. If you want the others to be your surrounds, then they need to be located to the sides of the viewing area, at ear level or higher. then, you can look into getting a center speaker and/or a subwoofer, if you want. From what I can tell, you currently have the 201s connect to the surround outputs, with them sitting next to the TV. That will never sound good.
     
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