Help figuring what's wrong

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarlonT, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. MarlonT

    MarlonT Extra

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    Here's my HT set-up;
    Sony DB940
    Polk speakers (RT800, CS400, RT35i rear)
    Velodyne CT100 sub
    Zenith projection TV
    Sony DVD (cheap model)
    Well lately the sounds from movies and CD's are not that great and wonding if it the receiver or something else is wrong in this set-up. Most of the time watching/listening I have to fiddle with sound setting on the receiver. Is it time to drop my receiver and get a better unit or my speaker set-up is way off. Thanks all input is much appreciated.
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    can you provide more info? what exactly is wrong with the sound? too boomy, too shrill, fuzzy, etc?
    you state "lately" - did it used to sound good in the past? did you change anything to the gear or room? did you accidently push a button that you're not aware of?
    blah, blah, blah???
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  3. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    The "lately" caught my eye, too. From purely personal experience with one Sony receiver (don't even know the model), it is possible that the receiver is going out. Mine seemed to die one "DSP" at a time. The regular mode, which was pro-logic, was weakened to the point that it unlistenable, but I switched to something else (Live) I think and it was very strong, then a month later it weakened as well. And it happened a third time.
    Now, here's the thing. I can think of no logical explanation for this. I've not heard of it being a Sony "trend" (mine was probably a fluke). So, I'm not very helpful at all, in retrospect. I should just erase this post and not waste your time. But it was the first thing I thought of when I read your post. I've been irrationally mad at Sony ever since.
    So, does changing the DSP setting make any difference (aside from the expected, that is)?
     
  4. MarlonT

    MarlonT Extra

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    What I mean about lately is more of a comparison to friends sound/set-up. He said it my receiver since were using almost same speaker well sort of (he's rear is f/x500i) and since he's using yamaha (forgot the brand). Also guys at GoodGuys metion that Polk needs higher amp receiver of is it "high end" models. I don't think it sound different now from when I got it but listening to other HT makes me wonder?
     
  5. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    So you don't think the sound of your system has changed at all, it's just that you've heard other (and possibly) better systems, and are now wondering if you like your system as much as you used to.
    That's a completely different issue from what your first post implied, where it seemed that something had started malfunctioning and you were asking for help in identifying what it was that had gone wrong.
     
  6. MarlonT

    MarlonT Extra

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    As I mention on my first post, I'm not sure if it's the receiver or speaker or both is my issue. What I'm trying to get is decent sound from movies and music with out drying my wallet. Sorry if I sound like I'm comparing my HT to friend of mine but I just want to find out if I can improve something here.
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    marlon -
    can you borrow your friends receiver? since you have similar speakers it would be an interesting test and i think would answer your questions.
    [​IMG]
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  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Alright, if I came across as sarcastic, I apologize.
    So you want to improve the sound of your system, without throwing down a big chunk of money. That's not hard to do at all. You need to start out with identifying what you think needs to be improved. Comparing your system to your friend's is a good thing, because it lets you see things about your setup that could be improved, that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
    If you can, go back and listen to the other system that you like some more, and try to put your finger on what it is about your own system that isn't as good. Volume? Clarity? If you're into music, soundstage/imaging?
    Some suggestions - if all that differs between your system and his is the receiver, then yours isn't inherently "worse". Yamaha and Sony receivers differ in their "personalities" - Yamaha receivers tend to have a brighter sound than many other manufacturers. To an untrained ear, bright usually sounds more attractive in a short audition. Don't get fooled by this though, because for lots of people, bright is also more fatiguing in the long run. It's possible that this is the only difference you're hearing - your friend's system seems to sparkle more, and yours sounds dull by comparision. However, don't switch from Sony to Yamaha (or, generally speaking, warm to bright) gear until you're sure you like that sound. Over time, that sparkliness might get on your nerves.
    The next thing is calibration. If you've never calibrated your system, I think that is pretty important. Get a Video Essentials or AVIA DVD and setup the speakers using that - it will make a noticable difference.
    I hope that gives you something to go on. If you do wish to change the sound of your stereo, there is a lot you can do by way of calibration/speaker placement/other free changes that would have an effect. However, you do need to figure out what it is you want to change.
     
  9. MarlonT

    MarlonT Extra

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    I'll try since he's the one telling me how bad my receiver is, thanks Ted. I think Sony DB940 is a decent receiver to match with polk speakers.
    I apologize for making this post unclear or complicated, I guess it's my perception that people always bite your head off if you ask something stupid nowadays.
     
  10. MarlonT

    MarlonT Extra

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    Thanks Saurav. I'll try to do that calibration again.
     
  11. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    whoops! i just read how that sounded...better clarify...
    i didn't mean screw Saurav...i meant "screw that dude" as in you marlon. (dude = buddy)
    sorry saurav if that seemed to be pointed toward you! [​IMG]
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  14. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    lol
    let's just say i have really big "speakers"...
    [​IMG]
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  16. MarlonT

    MarlonT Extra

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    LOL
     
  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Well, I'd take a tight bass presentation and pinpoint imaging over big speakers any day, but that's just my taste. Maybe you're the kind of person who prefers a wide and deep soundstage, and well-rounded tonal balance?
     
  18. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Marlon, The Sony recievers have a good equalization system for each speaker(Center,Mains,Surrounds and Sub) it sounds to me like your original EQ settings have been inadvertently changed. I would fiddle with and reset my EQ then take it from there. BTW try resetting the EQ of the normal surround setting first as opposed to the cinema settings.
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  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    saurav -
    i need to be alone for a while...
    [​IMG]
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  20. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Guys...dont make me go for the bucket of cold water!!
    Marlon: Top of my head, there could be 2 problems:
    A) Psychological: the units at home do not sound as good as the ones in the store/at a friends house. The "grass is greener" effect.
    B) Your friend has done a better job arranging his speakers in his room.
    The solution for A is this: only listen to AM radio in your car or home for a week. Do not watch DVD's. Only rent VHS tapes.
    After a week, you will be suprised at how good your system sounds.
    The solution for B will take a bit of time, but if you get your friend to help, you can have a fun afternoon / evening adjusting things.
    Make sure your speakers are pulled out from the walls. They sound best with 2-3 foot of room on all sides. If you have the center speaker sitting on the TV or a shelf, get some rubber door-wedges and make feet out of them.
    Use a laser pointer to see where the L/R speakers are pointing. Some people like the focus to be about 1 foot in front of the listening position. I like mine about 1 foot behind. Use some music and try both and pick whichever sounds best. (Turn off all DSP modes so that only the L/R speakers are involved.)
    Then play with the center speaker. Use the rubber door-wedges. Also - pull the front of the speaker towards you so that it over-hangs a shelf/tv cabinent by about a quarter-inch.
    Get the center speaker to angle so it points at your head. An ideal placement would have the tweeters on a 3 front speakers at the same height. Try this if possible.
    Now: get the Radio Shack SPL meter out and level-adjust your speakers.
    Get out your favorite movie with lots of effects and fire it up. Turn OFF the TV and just listen to the sounds. Do they transition around your speakers well?
    One other point: How long has your system been hooked up and sitting there? You may need to a "cleaning". It's simple:
    - Disconnect every interconnect and wipe the plug and socket with a soft cloth (to get the dust off). A soft toothbrush works good as well.
    - Disconnect every speaker wire and examine it. Is the copper still bright and shiny? If not, trim it back about an inch to expose clean copper and re-wire.
    Hope this helps.
    [Edited last by Bob McElfresh on July 16, 2001 at 04:23 PM]
     

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