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Disappointed with Home Theater System (1 Viewer)

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Jun 26, 2010
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james
I've been in the home theater crowd for a couple years now, and I'm just not satisfied with the results I'm getting from my own system I've built over the years. A little about my system and setup:

First off, my room SUCKS! I'm in limited space with little room to move things around, so I did the best I could. Here's how my setup works.
Yahama RX-V665
Polkaudio TL150 speakers
Klipsh Subwoofer, I believe the 450W (complete overkill)
42" Panasonic TV

All my speakers are wall mounted, angled and tilted pointing towards my seating position (couch).
My TV is about 9ft from the seating position. The front channel speakers are measured at about 8.5ft to the seating position, with the subwoofer at 8ft. The rears are measured at R-4.5ft and L-5.5ft. All the speakers are measured 4.5ft from the floor, except the center which is a little above 3ft, just under my TV.

The problem is that my setup does not have a surround feeling, except at very high volumes. I have all speakers properly setup using a sound meter, with the surrounds a could db higher. The only thing I could think of is that the surround speakers are behind my seating position. The are positioned wider than my couch, and pointed and angled at my couch. Also, the bass is terrible, as soon as I sit down the bass is gone. I can feel it, but that's about it. And if I stand up, I can hear it again. I tried changing the phrase, but it doesn't make a difference.

I don't know if I'm missing some important settings or my setup is just crap. Any tips would be great :).

I use this mostly for video games and movies.
 

Jason Charlton

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Hi James,

You didn't mention if your movie source is DVD or Blu-ray. I noticed a pretty significant improvement of audio clarity when I moved from DVD (lossy audio codecs) to Blu-ray and lossless audio.

If you are using blu-ray, then I assume it's connected via HDMI?

Along those lines, when you do listen to digital surround audio tracks, are you using any of the receiver's built-in audio listening "modes"? If so, try disabling them and listening to the soundtrack in "Pure" or "Direct" mode without any additional processing. The DSP (Digital Signal Processing) modes are, IMO, a novelty feature that should never be used for any sort of critical listening.

Surround speakers in a 5.1 system should be mostly to the sides and only slightly behind the seating position, but if you've gone through the receiver's setup function and used an SPL meter, I would think that you'd have compensated for any less than ideal placement.

Finally, with respect to the subwoofer issue - that can almost definitely be addressed by relocating the subwoofer (I know you said you were limited in placement) as it sounds like your seating location is in a null. The easiest way to correct this is by changing placement. Alternatively you could consider adding an EQ to tweak the in-room response of the sub, but that's a bit more involved.
 

schan1269

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You don't say where your sub is. Try moving it along the wall from the front to the back of the room. Even moving it a foot can have an enormous difference.
 
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james
schan1269 said:
You don't say where your sub is. Try moving it along the wall from the front to the back of the room. Even moving it a foot can have an enormous difference.
Unfortunately my sub is stuck in only one spot, the corner closest to my seating position. Imagine a square is my room. Naturally, everything should be centered. The seat in the middle, tv center on the wall, etc. but not in my case. Because my the door to enter my room, everything is shifted to the right. So my seat is more towards the right, and my sub is stuck in the right corner of my room. The left corner my door opens and closes.
Jason Charlton said:
Hi James,
You didn't mention if your movie source is DVD or Blu-ray.  I noticed a pretty significant improvement of audio clarity when I moved from DVD (lossy audio codecs) to Blu-ray and lossless audio.
If you are using blu-ray, then I assume it's connected via HDMI?
Along those lines, when you do listen to digital surround audio tracks, are you using any of the receiver's built-in audio listening "modes"?  If so, try disabling them and listening to the soundtrack in "Pure" or "Direct" mode without any additional processing.  The DSP (Digital Signal Processing) modes are, IMO, a novelty feature that should never be used for any sort of critical listening.
Surround speakers in a 5.1 system should be mostly to the sides and only slightly behind the seating position, but if you've gone through the receiver's setup function and used an SPL meter, I would think that you'd have compensated for any less than ideal placement.
Finally, with respect to the subwoofer issue - that can almost definitely be addressed by relocating the subwoofer (I know you said you were limited in placement) as it sounds like your seating location is in a null.  The easiest way to correct this is by changing placement.  Alternatively you could consider adding an EQ to tweak the in-room response of the sub, but that's a bit more involved.
I'm stuck using Netflix and DVDs for movies. But the video games are all in Dolby digital, connected via HDMI in 5.1. I use pure direct mode when I'm playing or watching movies, but if the movie isn't 5.1 I use the Dolby decoder.
The reason I didn't put the surround speakers on the side walls is because the right speaker would be just a couple feet away from the seating position. I figured that was too close.
 

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