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Can someone offer advice on my setup

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Floyd68, Mar 1, 2018.

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  1. Floyd68

    Floyd68 Auditioning

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    I would like more oomph from my setup and would like to know where to invest the money.
    Note... Unfortunately I need to be budget minded and need to supplement only where it makes sense.

    I find my sound to be thin and boring when I am watching movies and when I listen to music, it's even worse.

    RECEIVER - Pioneer VSX-1123
    FRONTS: Klipsch RP 250F
    CENTER: Klipsch RP 260C
    REAR: Polk R15
    SUB - Cerwin Vega LW 10

    I know I have a LOT of weak links and would like to figure out what you feel would be my first best thing to change.

    I often wonder if I have my Pioneer set up to maximize the speakers. I have run the Full Auto MCACC auto setup, set the speakers to small and then re-ran with the auto settings.

    The system just doesn't sound as good as I would home.

    Recommendations?
     
  2. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    A little more information [room dimensions, etc.] would probably help with making recommendations but I would say the absolute weakest link here is the sub. It is easily outclassed by your main speakers. Also, the receiver you have is rated at 90 WPC into 8 ohm loads [like your RP 250F's] and that is likely with only two channels driven. With all channels driven you're probably getting much less and your speakers want a minimum of 100WPC.

    I would start shopping for a new receiver and a new sub.
     
  3. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Sub yes. I wouldn't worry about the power of the receiver. Unless your room is HUGE it has more than enough to make your ears hurt.

    But before I would replace anything I'd suggest looking at your speaker placement and make sure it is optimized. Moving the sub even a couple feet can make a huge difference (assuming it is bass you are missing).

    Start by looking at this guide and see if you can get your speakers close (except the sub - try this instead if you can).
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Another for a better sub. And yes, sub placement is critical. In fact, moving a sub only a couple inches, nonetheless feet, can make a significant difference. The best place to start is a front corner, but not equal distance from any two walls. Your sub has a rear port, so face the driver forward and place it close (3-4") from the side wall and a foot or more from the front wall it, so the port has room to "breathe". Try that for starters, if the room permits. I seriously doubt you need more power with those Klipsch, which are quite efficient, meaning they don't need much power.
     
  5. Message #5 of 40 Mar 2, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    Floyd68

    Floyd68 Auditioning

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    So if I wanted to go with a new sub... What would be the best match for my klipsch fronts and center?

    My wife is going to kill me.

    What would I look for in regards to output etc?

    Another question...

    I do a lot of woodworking.
    Would it be better to build my own sub or to purchase one?

    I hear that a $1,000 sub only has about $250 in materials.

    I have looked for plans but have come up flat.
    What would be a good purchase or build for the speakers I have?
     
  6. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    No need to match the sub to your other speakers. Get the best one you can afford. Look at internet direct brands like SVS.

    If you can build one then absolutely go for it. Hang tight and I'm sure @Robert_J will be around to offer all sorts of good advice. :)
     
  7. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    You still haven't listed your room dimensions. That's a big piece of the puzzle.
     
  8. Floyd68

    Floyd68 Auditioning

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    It's my living room and the dimensions stink for home theater.
    This room also has a vaulted ceiling.
    <-------------------- 25'------------------->
    | TV
    12'
    | Couch
    <-------------------------------------------->
     
  9. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Your room is about the same size as mine and I have separates producing a minimum of 140 WPC [all channels driven] for each speaker. I don't have any experience with highly efficient speakers like yours [mine are 87dB] but, since your original concern was lack of "oomph" I don't know that I would rule out a receiver upgrade.
     
  10. Floyd68

    Floyd68 Auditioning

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    What
    What would you recommend?
    I'm a Home Theater Novice although I have been purchasing stereo equipment for 30 years. There is just so much I don't know / understand and it's easy to pay stupid money on stupid decisions.
     
  11. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    You are so right and I'm certainly not the smartest or most knowledgeable person here so please wait for others to chime in. In my opinion, however, you should be thinking about separates. A/V receivers are designed to offer a "one box" solution to your Home Theater processing and power needs. The problem is, real power takes space since power transformers are a bit large and need breathing room.

    As I read these forums there are so many things I wish I had originally done differently. Even now I'm considering a few changes [it's what we do in this hobby] but one thing is essential, "my system must ROCK at 50% volume and the neighbors need to know about it.
     
  12. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    A couple things about power... It takes about double the output to even hear a difference. The difference between 90 and 140 watts would be difficult to even notice. Second, if you actually put 90 watts in one of those speakers the neighbors across town would hear it. At 12 feet you would hit over 109 decibels. Ouch!

    http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html#anchor_13115
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Like David said, with your speakers you do NOT need more power. I'm a big advocate of separates, when the situation fits, but in your case it doesn't. At least, it isn't the right place to start. By far the weakest part of your system is the sub. Make sure your receiver didn't set any of the speakers back to large. Auto calibration likes to do that. The first thing I'd look at, even before getting a new sub, is to look at where it's placed. Sub placement and setup will make all the difference in the world. A front corner is the best place to start, but not quite in the corner. don't put it equal distance from any two walls.

    What would be your budget for a new sub?
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    You've fallen into a common misconception, that power is the same as gain. Gain is how loud a system plays at a given volume setting. It seems like it's the same as power, but they have nothing to do with each other. Cheap systems tend to have high gain, but low power to play on this misconception. So people who buy them can say "Look how powerful this is. I barely have the volume turned up, and the speakers are rattling." Better electronics, even amps that have massive power, tend to actually have lower gain, because high gain is wasted in most situations, and will even have a negative effect on sound quality by over-amplifying (again, gain, not power) the signal. That over-amplification is then countered by turning the volume down to 50% to "Rock" instead of being at 85%. You say you're an engineer, so this should make complete sense.

    I'll give you an example. I own a lot of Emotiva equipment. All their amps have the exact same gain. 29dB. So every amp they make, from the bottom of the line 80 WPC multi channel amp up to their big monoblocks will all play the same "loudness" at the same volume setting, with the same speakers. The difference is how loud they can play and how well they handle different speakers.
     
  15. Floyd68

    Floyd68 Auditioning

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    I would probably need to keep it under the $500 range.
    That's why I was wondering if a build as opposed to a purchase might be a better option.
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    You can get a nice sub for $500, or you can build a really nice one. Robert J is your guy for that.
     
  17. Floyd68

    Floyd68 Auditioning

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    I have been reading that to purchase a "nice" sub, I would be looking at $1000 plus.
    What should I consider?
     
  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    $500 is about the minimum. SVS PB-1000 or SB-1000, Hsu VTF-1 or VTF-2.
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    There's always the BIC F-12, for $200. Not as good as the others, but probably a significant improvement over what you have.
     
  20. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Possibly, but what I was trying to illustrate is that a 90WPC integrated receiver cannot actually deliver 90 WPC, all channels driven, nothing more. As stated in a previous post, I have no experience with high efficiency speakers so I don't know how likely it is that the OP's current receiver is sufficient. His original concern [and, IMO, room size] does suggest it may not be.

    Not really. There are many different types of engineers. I am a computer network engineer. I understand basic electronics but haven't studied or practiced in that field since my Navy days.

    In any case, I think the consensus here is definitely to start with a new and better sub.
     

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