New PSB's lacking in low end..any ideas?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Michael__M, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Michael__M

    Michael__M Stunt Coordinator

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    I finally got to put together my new HT this weekend and did some listening. I decided to do some music listening first to get a feel for my mains (PSB Image 5T). I can't say I'm disappointed but I'm not impressed. They seem little thin to me. Imaging is good but the mids and low end definitely are missing a fullness that I expected. I'm coming off a set of bookshelves and these things don't seem to have the punch I thought they would. I am using a Yamaha RXV-640 that pushes 85w per (or at least it says it does). Are these speakers power hungry and I just didn't know it? Will changing the speaker position matter much for this problem?

    I added in the sub and it sounded better but there is definitely a hole in the bucket somewhere.

    P.S.- I took back my Velo DLS 3500 and got a Hsu STF-2. I'm still playing with it also. Don't know if it was a good move yet or not. Also found out that CompUSA has a 15% restocking fee if I take it back. Dammit, may have to do some packaging tape artwork if it doesn't work out.
     
  2. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i own the image 4t's, and they do not really lack in bass. a few things, that yamaha wont drive them well. i bought a rx-v630 and i took it back in 2 days. it just didnt give them what they needed. i now have the 1300 and it worked well on them.

    secondly, try bi-wiring or bi-amping with them. i bi-wired almost since i got them, and it helped quite a bit. lastly, try placement. instead of towing them in, stick them perpendicular to their back wall, about 1ft away. these will tighten up the bass a little bit.

    BUT, i will say, they shouldnt be thin or lacking in bass, they are an excellent speaker and WILL sound good.
     
  3. JohnGil

    JohnGil Stunt Coordinator

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    How do you have them positioned (distance from center of baffle to the rear and side walls). Proper set up of speaker position will make a night and day difference. Your reciver has little to do with it.
     
  4. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Positioning, amplification, size of room, and room aesthetics will greatly influence a speakers response. Also, the hotly debated breaking in period can contribute to bass response, but it minimalized compared to the other items IMHO.

    The Hsu STF-2 is not the most powerful sub, but it sure is not a slouch by any means. Hsu makes fine subwoofers. Again, positioning, room size and items in the room influence the output.

    I'd experiment with different placement before I'd jump the gun on amplification. As John has noted, proper set up and positioning is essential.
     
  5. Michael__M

    Michael__M Stunt Coordinator

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    My room is faily large. 20x30 with 9ft ceilings. One end of the room opens up completely as a loft over the lower level. I have the speakers set up on the closed end. Firing across the space , not out the open end. The speakers are about 8ft apart, about 1 ft from the rear wall, left speaker is about 4 ft from the corner, right is not bordered. My listening position is about 10ft from the mains and centered between the front and back walls. I am also having troubles getting my sub (Hsu STF-2) to sound good in this room setup. I was working with the mains first and will play with sub location after that. I don't want to rely on the sub to fill the hole I am hearing. I guess I just thought the towers would sound a little more robust and control the room a bit more.

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  6. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    That whole "pointing the speakers toward the center of the room" thing is overrated. Just point them straight ahead and then use an SPL to get the channels at the right level. I bet it will sound much better.
     
  7. JohnGil

    JohnGil Stunt Coordinator

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    Move your speakers into the room at least 4 feet from the rear wall and 6' feet apart(if you can). Start by moving them in 1'increments then 1/2'until the bass is crisp. Once you get good bass start the toe in proccess in 1/2" increments until the image floats in the center stage. This is a time consuming process but once you find the right spot you'll know.

    You could just start moving the out into the room in 1/2' increments which would work just as well. Avoid equal distant placement from front center of baffle from rear and side walls. Keep us posted.

    Room is a huge factor but with proper placement you should be able to achieve good results.
     
  8. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I have my Stratus Silveri 's toed in about 2" and placed about 2' in from wall. They sound pretty good! I've had them for over two years now. I also have the C6i center (high gloss black),Image 10S sides, JBL HLS810's in the rear With an SVS PB2+ sub pull'n up the bottom.
    I'd like to sell my speakers at this point and upgrade to B&W Nautilus.
     
  9. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Do you have an entertainment center or large TV between them? Try getting your speakers at least a foot in front of all that stuff. The 5T should be able to hit 35dB
     
  10. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Michael,

    Your room is huge – 5400 cubic feet. It will be perfectly natural for a speaker to sound bass-shy in a room that size, especially one with only 6.5” woofers.

    Also, your sub’s probably undersized for your room. Mine’s a little bigger - 6200 cubic ft. - and I’m barely getting the job done with a pair of sealed 12” Shivas pushed by over 600 watts.

    John,

    Did you read Michael’s post? His complaint is poor bass response, not imaging (indeed, he said he’s pleased with the imaging). Moving the speakers further from the wall will only aggravate the problem because it will decrease bass response.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    I do have to agree with Wayne A.

    Your room is way large.

    I have almost the exact same sized room...

    I went with large bookshelfs (JBL S38's), a 15" Velodyne, and a Denon 4802 to handle it.

    I think you are going to have to re-think some of your setup for good performance in this room.
     
  12. JohnGil

    JohnGil Stunt Coordinator

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    Did you read Michael’s post? His complaint is poor bass response, not imaging (indeed, he said he’s pleased with the imaging). Moving the speakers further from the wall will only aggravate the problem because it will decrease bass response.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Wayne, Im sure you have more experience than I in the world of HIFI. However speaking from my own experience. When my speakers are 1/2-1' from the fromt wall the bass is muddy and boomy out when I bring them out into the room the bass is more natural, tight and articulate. I agree that his room is huge and there is no way he's gona fill the whole thing with bass with what he has but at the listening position he should be able to get good sounding bass from his speakers.
     
  13. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Michael,

    As Wayne has noted, you have a very large room. You may not want to rely on the sub, but I would think the sub would/could enhance and help fill the void you say you are hearing.

    If you are strictly a two channel person who turns the sub off with music, those speakers may not meet your expectations in your room size. It's entirely possible that they may not give you what you desire. I am not bashing the PSB line in anyway with that statement.

    I would suggest as John mentions, re-thinking your setup with placement and arrangement and of course playing with your location of the sub. Also, that HSU model number, may not have the capbilities to fill your room.

    Perhaps you could email the HSU staff and see what they would recommend? I know it sucks if you would have to take a hit on the restock fee for the HSU. However, it may be better to be satisfied with the end result then sit there and be frustrated while listening.

    There are many different points of view on incorporating a sub into an audio system. Many people purchase speakers that have limited ability to produce low frequencies and supplement the lower frequencies with an ample and powerful subwoofer. Time to perhaps retool.

    Good luck,
    Charles
     
  14. Michael__M

    Michael__M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the ideas and thoughts. I will play around with the placement tonight (till my wife tells me to shut up). I'll keep playing and see what I can come up with. It still sounds to me like the amp just doesn't have the cajones to push these guys. If I get the volume up the sound is definitely more full. I might have to borrow my cousins 5803 to see what happens with a little more juice behind them.
    As far as the sub goes, I'm not a real bass fanatic. I like to have a decent sound floor but not the shake my pants off kind of bass. The problem I have with the Hsu is the sound quality. It just sounds funny to me and it doesn't blend well with the mains. The Velodyne I had before this sounded a bit better.
    I went from just using my bookshelves and adding a center, to getting these towers, adding the sub, and now I'm about to try a new receiver. Damn this forum (and my wife seconds that thought). [​IMG]
     
  15. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    What might be a problem is two things. The room is large, which in itself can require more power, but also, your room might also happen to have a poor shape which has some nodes that rob you of some lower end frequencies. Remember though, that although the Image 5T's go down to 35 hz in their frequency response rating, they drop off steeply below that. I have 6T's in a smaller room (only slightly better bass than your 5T's with a 32 hz lower limit)and I have had problems with not enough of the lowest frequencies. Overall, the sound is still better than my older large bookshelf speakers, but some of the very bottom is missing. Thats why I have a Mirage BPS-400 [​IMG]
     
  16. John Robert

    John Robert Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you tried the old "switch" trick? Lug your sub up into your listening position and then, while playing some bass heavy material, walk around the room and note the locations where the low freq sound the best. This worked in my room, ended up with the sub 2/3 back along side wall.

    Let us know what happens,

    John
     
  17. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    How are you using the sub? Are you using the LFE output? If so what is your crossover set to? Are your mains set to large? What is your CC? Is it the matching PSB CC? Does it sound this way for both HT and music?

    If you are using the LFE and have say a crossover at 100hz you aren't sending anything below 100hz to the PSBs. You say the bass sounds funny and doesn't blend well. You may need to adjust the crossover point. The first run of the STF-2 had improper seal of the woofer. Search for the thread on how to test the seal, to see if you got one of these, and repair options.

    Have you tried them w/o the sub and set to large to see what that sounds like?

    Have you calibrated everything with a soundmeter?
     
  18. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    The fact that you say the Mids and low ends are lacking bothers me. The sub won't help with the mids, more amplification might, but I think maybe you just don't like the sound of the speakers in your room.

    You should try all the suggested tweaks but then do an honest listening. If your still not satisfied then change to something else.
     
  19. Michael__M

    Michael__M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all your help. This is a great group here on this forum. I am still playing with the placement of the mains. I had them on each side of my big screen. Moving them out a bit to clear the TV seemed to help and I will keep playing for a few days to see if I can find the sweet spot. I also will borrow my cousins 5802 for a few days. Hopefully I can get a little more mid attack with the power. I've heard the PSB's a few times and i'm pretty sure they will give me what I want.

    I emailed SVS and they backed up your comments on the size of the sub. The Hsu is probably too small to truly fill in the low end of the mains to my satisfaction. The upper bass is just getting lost in the room. I was able to run some sweeps and found a few strong resonances in the room. That is probably what is bothering me so much. A hole caused by the inadequate sub and then the drone of the resonant frequencies (70,50, and 25) makes it sound really strange and unbalanced. Ron suggested a PB2-ISD or PC-Ultra for the room. Both of these are quite a bit (ok, a whole lot) bigger and badder than the STF-2 and will probably help the situation. I will also do a little sub-crawling as you guys suggested to find a good spot for the sub.

    Thanks again for you help so far. I am learning a little more everyday since I've been here and am confident I will be able to tweak this thing to get it right. The size of this space and my needy ears has made my little HT project more than I bargained for but I know it will all be worth it in the end.
     
  20. JohnGil

    JohnGil Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad to hear there sounding better. Do you have hardwood floors? First reflections can also kill the midrange. If you do have hardwood floors, do an experiment and put a heavy rug on the floor between you and the speakers.
     

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