Is it my speakers or receiver??? What to do...

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by BryanDO, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys, this is what my system consists of to start off...

    Athena AS-B2 bookshelves as fronts
    Athena AS-B1 as surround
    Athena AS-C1 center
    Dayont DLS-10 Sub
    Yamaha HTR-5640 Receiver.

    I bought this set-up a few years ago without knowing much about HT. Now that I am more knowledgable I realize that this setup is extremely bright! I'm just curious, should I get a different receiver or go for new speakers instead of receiver? If I got the speakers I'd probably go with a 3.1 setup from now on and sell my Athenas. What would make the most impact on the brightness, receiver or speakers? For receivers I really like the H/K AVR 235, for speakers im not sure, theres a few on Ebay for a decent price including a set of Paradigm floostanding. I can't afford to replace everything, I have a max of 500 CDN to save my HT, please help me out guys, thanks
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Some people say that some receivers are brighter than others, but there’s a better chance that it’s the speakers more so than the receiver.

    That said, it’s highly possible the problem is merely that your speakers are not well matched to your room. As a general rule, bookshelf speakers should only be used in fairly small rooms – probably under 2000 cu. ft. If you try to use them in a larger living room or family room, they won’t have enough bass output to blend with the sub. Poor bass response can be perceived as “bright.” Now, if you have fabulous bass, but sizzling highs, that’s a different story. If that case you definitely have a brightness problem. But since you’re using bookshelf speakers, I’m guessing that poor bass is what the problem really is.

    For more information on the whys and wherefores of matching speakers to a room, check out the second part of this article about House Curves.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the information Wayne, alot of great info there. But lack of bass from the bookshelves doesnt seem to be a problem. I can turn off the sub and still get great extension well below the desired crossover point. I've began to learn about "warm" sounding receivers and speakers. I'm thinking maybe I just got a bad combination while a was a naive young newbie to the HT scene. While I hate to admit it, I have the treble down to -10 Db on the receiver and it still seems bright with movies and very bright with music. I've had the system in a very large basement, and also in a very small one, but it made no difference to the brightness. Both rooms however, had hardwood floors and basically plain walls. Before I make the jump into trying to replace my stuff, I'd like to know if there will be a difference, and which component to replace for the biggest difference.
     
  4. Ben Nelson

    Ben Nelson Extra

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    The hardwood floors and plain walls are probably the culprit here. Try at least laying down a carpet and hang some pictures or something.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    -10 dB? Well, that’s definitely not the receiver.

    Ben has a valid point – you might just need some dampening.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    When the system was in the old basement, I should have dampened the room,but the room it's in now is so small I can't see how dampening will help. The room is only 12 x 12, and everything is very close together. I guess I'll have to wait to see how dampening will work when I move into a bigger place this summer. I really hope dampening the room cures my bright problem.
     
  7. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    I finally found a solution, well, it was more of a revalation. I set up the 5.1 again and gave a listen, as usual, very bright, unrealistic sound. I then laid blankets all over the place to dampen the room, a little help, but still too bright for my tastes. I then started remove speakers, and voila, hit me like a kick in the teeth. It was the center speaker. I removed it from the system, calibrated the receiver to use a "phantom" center and I was in sound bliss. The sibalance was completely gone, along with the brutal balance and brightness. Sound drifted seemlessly across the front soundstage and I was finally completely surrounded in balanced natural sound.

    5.1 just doesn't seem to be for me I guess. I'm gonna stick to either hi-fi 2.1 or 4.1 from now on. When I get a bigger place, I may try the ceneter channel again to see how it is there. Out of curiosity, how far are you guys sitting from your center speakers? And do you have it pointed at ear level? Perhaps I'm always sitting to close to the center?
     

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