Got my dream system, sounds like crap

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nate Hall, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    I recently put together a system that was the very best I could afford. This is my first HT system so I know I have a lot to learn about setup. The sound is not as impressive as I was hoping and I think some advice from a HT pro might help me realize the potential of my system.

    When I was deciding which equipment to go with, Bass was the most important thing for me as I am a total basshead. After hooking it up for a couple of months now, changing speaker position, changing phase, adjusting gains, changing speakers from large to small on my receiver, tracking down new rattles/vibrations, and creating new ones, I have been feeling unimpressed. The bass is not hitting me like I think it should.

    Here is a list om my equipment.

    Sony Wega 36 Inch

    Denon AVR-4800

    Denon DVD-1000

    Infinity IL-50 (10 inch 250 watt sub in each) Fronts

    Infinity IL-40 (8 inch woofer in each) Rears

    Infinity IL-36C Center

    1 pair SVS CS Ultra W/Samson 1000 amp

    Symetrix 551e EQ (not hooked up yet)

    Audioquest cables and interconnects

    I'm hoping the eq will help, but I was hoping to get someone who knows a LOT more than me to come help tune my system in. I just got my Radio Shack meter and Avia. Are there any SVS owners in the Seattle area?

    Anyone in the Seattle area up for a visit to Everett.
     
  2. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Could be several reasons for it not sounding like you want it to.

    1. Set all speakers to small. Do not worry about the built in subs.

    2. Let the SVS handle all bass.

    3. Calibrate your equipment.

    4. Is it possible your ears still need time to adjust to the clean bass the SVS puts out versus the boomy bass of other subs?

    5. What is your room size?
     
  3. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    Right now all speakers are set to small.

    My room is approx. 25X12X8 feet high, but it opens to another room. It's not a sealed room...far from it. Hardwood floors and a huge window (12X5)

    I have the Ultras in the corner together.
     
  4. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Have you tried setting the IL50s as "large"?

    Also, can you try putting one Ultra next to each main? It may make the bass less directional and give more impact.
     
  5. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    Yes, I have tried the IL-50's in Large mode. They sound great when the Ultras are powered off. It fills the room well with bass. When the ultra is on, it seems like they fill the lower bass, but the upper bass suffers. Like they are cancelling eachother out. I have tried reversing polarity on the Ultras with little improvement.
     
  6. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    They probably are cancelling eachother out. You can't have 2 different sized subs playing the same frequencies. This usually causes cancellation. If you can do the 10's at 50-100hz and the SVS's at 50hz and below, then that would work, but if they are both doing 100hz and lower, then you are probably experiencing cancellation. Can you disconnect the Infinity subs somehow and just run the SVS's to see if they give you the bass you want by themselves? If so, then sell the IL50's and just get some front's without a built in sub.
     
  7. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Have you taken SPL readings in the room. I'm sure you got to be hitting in the 120 dBs with 4 subs(especially with 2 of them being SVS ultra's. That's LOUD! If you find it's all calibrated correctly and you still need more bass, look at the Stryke kits, get 4 of those and you should be deaf after that. If not, then stick with Car Audio, as car cabin gain will stop your heart(literally)!!! I can hit over 125 dB in my car with a single 12" and 400W amp.

    But first, make sure your system is all set up properly and calibrated correctly. With the system you have, Nobody should be asking for more BASS.
     
  8. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    Maybe you could look your crossover situation. You might get a better response using something like the Outlaw ICBM to accurately distribute your bass to those nice big subs. This would help you avoid the bass cancellation problem it sounds like you might be having.

    -Max
     
  9. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    You might want to consider crossing your main speakers at, say, 40Hz...and then let the external sub take over from there.
     
  10. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replys.
    I have tried turning off the Infinity subs and have found that the bass is still not where I'd like it to be. I'm thinking that the room has some really bad valleys in the 30-80 hertz area. Maybe I'll try moving the Ultras next to my mains although Tom said I might lose a few Dbs.
    Maybe I'm expecting too much.
    I've had a pair of 8inch woofers that used to blur my vision in my car. I was hoping to get as close to that as I could with my HT setup. Maybe I need a sealed room.....hmmmm...maybe I should convert my garage [​IMG]
    BTW This is not at all a slam on SVS. I have found my whole buying experience with them a refreshing pleasure.
     
  11. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    Hi Nate,
    I would also suggest investing a little time in RTAing the room.
    You can DL a nice program for a free 30 day trial
    www.spectraplus.com
    And then just using your RS SPL meter as the mic...you can use your computer as a nice real time analyzer. This will give you a good idea of the bass response for each of your key seats. You can try this with everything playing,just the subs,subs in phase,subs out of phase,just the mains,mains set ot both small/large...ect. You should be able to get a very accurate idea of what exactly is happening as you tweak so many different parameters in your system.
    It would also be a good idea to give us some idea of the SPLs you're hitting on bass heavy songs/DVDs now. I mean...if you're measuring 110dB peaks from the subs routinely...it may be that you just need even more woofin(as you're an admitted basshead [​IMG] )
    TV
     
  12. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    It sounds like a mixture of two things:

    1) You haven't calibrated your subwoofer yet. Hook up your EQ to the subs and measure SPL at 1 Hz increments (doesn't have to be loud). Copy down those measurements (10Hz->80Hz) and post them here. We can suggest how to setup your EQ appropriately from those measurements. Calibration makes a _huge_ difference.

    2) You are accustomed to distorted bass.

    What sized room is this system in (and are there any openings to other rooms)? Where are the subs placed (they are together, right)? Set all the speakers to small & the sub to "on" in your receiver.
     
  13. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    Greg-

    Yes, the room does open to another room.

    Maybe I am used to distorted bass.

    I have heard a lot of nice car audio setups and realize HT is a whole diffent ballgame, but I have also heard some KlipschHorns some years ago that when the bass hit, my hair was blowing backwards and my friends hat was jumping on top of his head. I was hoping to come close to this.

    I'm still convinced that my lack of tuning knowledge is holding my system back. I guess I'll hook up the EQ this weekend and see if i can keep the smoke inside the wires.
     
  14. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    BTW I have not Done any SPL measurements...just seat of the pants adjustments.

    Thanks Tom...I'll DL that program and see if i can get some real measurements for you guys.
     
  15. Ron_N

    Ron_N Extra

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    Nate Hall wrote:

     
  16. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    ...and because the room is not self contained. Time for a door or heavy acoustic curtain.

    Dan
     
  17. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    you really dont need those subs in your mains, and the problem undoubtedly is the 'inferior' subs in your towers cancelling out the goodness those Ultras put out. leave the bass to SVS. [​IMG]
    also, i COMPLETELY agree with Ron_N. until you calibrate, dont form any opinions on how the stuff sounds!
     
  18. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Well something hasn't been addressed yet!!!

    Did you allow proper break in time for your speakers? Basing the sound of them right out of the box is NOT the way to do it! The reason it may sound different in the stores is they have been playing for 100's of hours!!! I would try to give them 100+ hours (do it soon so you can return them if ya still don;t like them). Run the receiver all night on low volume for several nights a week and see what happens!

    I have an Infiniti 12IN 125W sub in a townhouse with an open floor plan and I do not feel there is any problems with lack of bass...any louder and I would be evicted!

    Michael
     
  19. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Auditioning

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    I had a little time to use the RS SPL meter tonight. I adjusted all speakers to 85DB using the test tones on my receiver. It didn't differ much from where I had levels set by ear. I also used the Sub level limiter test tone to see how high I could get the dbs and was able to get 110-112db from my twin ultras. I'm not sure what HZ that test tone was though. I'll get Avia up and running soon. Meanwhile, off to read HTF archives. Thanks again for all the usefull responses. My invitation is still open for any HT pros in the Seattle area who might want to hear SVS subs and help me calibrate.

    -Nate
     
  20. ToddJoseph

    ToddJoseph Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Nate,

    I don't if you tried this or not, but on your Denon 4800, have checked and made sure that the LFE signal is at (0)It goes from -10 -0, make sure tha bass limiter is off, (three settings Low, high, off), Make sure you have your sub setting on, with sub only, set your feet or meter setting to make sure you have the right distance from listening area, on the samson amp for your SV, turn you amp settings up pass half way and adjust your trim on your denon, make sure your bypass on the amp is set to on, so that your Receiver bass management will take over, corner load your sub.

    I have a huge room 23 x28 with a room that opens to the kitchen. I have 1 SVS 20-39PC, Klipsch Reference all around powered by a Denon 3300. Some CD material is just not bass loaded like you think it is, while others will rattle and thump your chest. You have very good equipment and it also needs calibrated........
     

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