Please help me clear things up!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Debbie K, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    Hello all! I am new to home theater and recently made some purchases which I am now considering returning and exchanging for other items, but would really like some input if you would not mind.... some history....
    We recently purchased the Onkyo TX-SR600 receiver and the Onkyo speaker package SKS-HT500. I am absolutely not happy with the lack of clarity and am unsure of what to do next..
    My choices...
    Return the Onkyo receiver and try either a Denon 1803 or a Yamaha RXV630 to see if this clears things up....
    Return the Onkyo speakers and keep the receiver and get different (better) speakers. The speakers I am interested in are the Klipsch due to the clarity in the ones I have listened to so far. Thing is they are MUCH more expensive than what I have now like around 1 speaker for the price of the whole package I have now. [​IMG]
    We are using quality cables for everything so I do not think that is the problem. A DVD or CD does not sound too bad, but the TV signal sounds horrible, very distorted. Even on a DVD it sounds strange, kinda muffled or like people are talking through a tunnel. Hollow sounding and not natural at all. I just do not know if something like that would be caused by the receiver or the speakers.
    Well, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
    thanks, debbie
     
  2. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    My guess is exchanging the speakers would be the most productive route. Generally speaking, companies known for making electronics are not known for making speakers.

    Klipsch is a very good brand, however, when it comes to speakers the best advice is to listen to as many as possible before dropping cash. There is a lot out there and you want to be positive you find the best for you.
     
  3. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Debbie,

    First, I bet you shop at Circuit City.

    The reciever is a nice unit that should serve you well. Plenty of power and digital options.

    The speakers, well, if I were you...I'd take 'em back. Klipsch CANNOT be compared to the SKS-HT500. Unless you see similarity with a 1988 Yugo Sedan and a 2003 Jaguar Coupe.

    But wait a minute here. What you may be hearing is a improperly selected DSP mode on the Onkyo reciever. If you have it set on HALL or JAZZ or STADIUM, you will get strange and unnatural audio reproduction. Review your manual carefully, if your settings are correct on the reciever...then the speakers are to blame.

    Honestly, I bet the audio is not correctly set up on your reciever. But, if you can afford the Klipsch speakers...they will definitly make your receiver shine!
     
  4. GregLee

    GregLee Stunt Coordinator

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    If you haven't yet tried adjusting the receiver volumes for the various speakers using the receiver's test tones, do try it. Muffled and hollow sounding dialogue can result from insufficient volume from the center speaker. Or just put your ear close to the center speaker to see if you can hear voices coming out of it.
     
  5. Bry_DD

    Bry_DD Second Unit

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    Sounds like you didn't calibrate your set up. IF you did I guess you could return them and get the Klipsch. The Onkyo rec. is good rec. you can just hold on to that and just replace the speakers.
     
  6. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    This is Debbie's husband responding. We exchanged the center speaker with the right speaker, same hollow sound with voice. According to Onkyo's technical support, this could indicate a faulty center channel signal from the receiver. I did verify all the wiring, + to + and - to -, to ensure I didn't mix any up. We tried every setting we could find, including increasing and decreasing volumes, bass and treble, on the different channels ... no improvement. Tried both large and small settings for the speakers to see if that would make any difference ... none. Tried Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 DVD's, and tried every available DSP mode, including NONE, with just the TV sound being fed from the only audio output on the TV directly to the Video 1 Audio connections on the receiver. Debbie says thank you for your answers. I think our next step will be to return the receiver completely, go to another branch and buy another so we'll have the full 30 days return back. We are considering trying the Denon 1803, but do prefer the features of the SR600 ... much friendlier and learning remote (Denon's is pre-programmed only and is more complicated to use, having two multi-position sliding switches to select component and output affected), on-screen display not offered by Denon, same power per channel, same price. Overall, the Onkyo is more user friendly. If the next receiver does not resolve the problem, it will have to be on to different speakers. I shudder at the price differences though.
     
  7. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    This is Debbie's husband Neil again. We decided to buy the Denon AVR1803 receiver to see if it made a difference. The center channel did not sound quite so hollow with it, there was a noticeable improvement. However, it is also quite less user friendly than the Onkyo. The next step I believe would be getting another Onkyo and comparing them side by side. If the second Onkyo produces the hollow sound, proving it was not a faulty first receiver, but a characteristic of the Onkyo, we would stick with the Denon as of course the sound is the most important feature. Listening to the other speakers in the store though, that Klipsch center channel speaker running at $250 was extremely sweet sounding. It produced the clearest, most natural sound of all the speakers they had in that sound room at Good Guys. It's on our wish list for the future for sure.
     
  8. Bry_DD

    Bry_DD Second Unit

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    how did you guys calibrate your system? with a RS SPL meter?
     
  9. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    Bry_DD, no meter, just using Debbie's sensitive ears. We set the distance for the nearest foot, 9 feet on fronts and center, 5 feet on surrounds. And used the white noise from the receiver and also the Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune-Up DVD. Did the same with both of the receivers, the original Onkyo and now the Denon. Even not using a meter, and just using the tones and ears, should not the center channel be clear and not muffled sounding, as though someone was speaking into a mic held too close to their mouth (as Debbie correctly described it)?
     
  10. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    Neil, Debbie's husband again, with the latest update on the problem. Debbie wanted to try the Denon 1803 so we would not miss anything and wonder later if we erred. So far, the speakers sound like they should, much more clear than they did with the Onkyo. We were debating buying another Onkyo SR600, possibly next weekend as we did not have time this one. However, despite the more user unfriendly remote of the Denon, and despite the features we prefer in the Onkyo, the Denon is working very well. It is possible that we may have encountered a faulty Onkyo SR600 to start with. But, we are growing accustomed to the Denon, and learning our way around it's more complicated interface. And although we enjoyed listening to the Klipsch SC-1 center channel and other Klipsch speakers at Tweeters today, we are finding that the current speakers, though cheap ($250 for the set of 5), are satisfactory with the Denon. They may not be terrific, but for a starter set and not breaking the bank, they can very well make due until we are again ready to splurge. Living in an upstairs apartment has its restrictions as well. We will still get more enjoyment than we had before, which is what counts to us.
     
  11. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    To Debbie and her husband I'd advise to definitely purchase a SPL (Sound Pressure Level) meter to calibrate your system (you'd be amazed at how inaccurate most people's hearing really is). Also a few tricks:

    1) buy one of those rubber door wedges and angle the center channel to the primary listening position, this is a very cheap and effective tweak.

    2) try to move the front of the center channel where it overhangs the TV slightly (also advise buying little rubber feet for tracking or use an old mouse pad) as the front of the TV will act like a large front baffle and give a muddled center channel effect especially on dialogue.

    3) I'd advise a change of speakers since most of the speakers that come from a Htib (Hometheater in a box) systems are pretty bad (which if I'm correct the Onkyo designed those for).

    4) Also if possible try to move the main listening position more into the room vs the boundry of the room (I know this can be hard due to limited space...) as most areas along the walls are nulls and will cancel a lot of the sound.

    5) Also state a budget, room size as this can help some of us to suggest other products that might work better for you two in the long run (even I or most of the others have "heard it all" but there might be others who have great suggestions of products that might fit you better in the long run). This might also confuse you two as well by throwing more straw into the pile of hay but the needle found might be the better than what you might expect.
     
  12. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Debbie and Debbie's husband:
    Not to sound rude, but quite simply, these speakers will not give you the sound quality you are looking for. A receiver like the Denon 1803 is usually paired with around $1,000 worth of speakers, including sub. I recently put together a friend's system which consisted of an Onkyo 595 receiver and about $1,200 worth of speakers/sub from Ascend Acoustics. The system rocks. If you are after really good sound, you need to consider getting a whole different speaker package. Here is a good place to start:
    http://www.hometheaterdirect.com
    The Level 2 system will likely blow away the little Onkyo system.
    Everyone else:
    Here's a link to the Onkyo system:
    http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...s=speakers&p=i
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Wow! Robert - great post.[​IMG]
     
  14. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    Robert, great post, thank you.
    1. Debbie brought home the rubber door stopper today.
    2. She'll look for some rubber feet to stick under the front edge of the speaker.
    ...
    Robert and Richard:
    3. A change of speakers would be nice. But ... money is tight and we are trying to make due as best we can. We know more expensive speakers would definitely yield a big improvement, but, we're basically happy to have the receiver at this time and the crappy speakers. We would like to make the best we can out of them.
    ...
    Robert:
    4. The speakers are at the front of the TV, 24" from wall to fronts, 6 1/2 feet between the left and right fronts (either side of the entertainment unit), the center in the middle, above the TV and also 24" wall to front.
    5. Budget ... what's that? Well, $250 invested in current speakers (1 week left in return period), maybe another $500 max added in at the most. Room is 12.5' X 16', carpeted, no drapes, very high, plain wood, cathedral ceiling. TV is in middle of the long wall, couch on opposite wall, loveseat middle of left wall in front of large picture window with vertical blinds. Right side of room is completely open, walkway to bedrooms and dining area, no walls/doors between living room and sliding glass door in dining room. Moving TV setup to narrow wall in front of window would not be practical. For one, it would be a major task moving a fish tank and stand, block cross-ventilation, and place bright sun-lit window behind TV during daylight hours. We do realize that putting it in that configuration would probably be best as far as allowing better speaker placement, but prefer not to majorly adjust furniture or room. It is an apartment, so there is no telling how long we might live here. Been 5 years now, but in California, one never knows when they'll be moving on again ... by design or by force. Landlords here are basically uncaring jerks, and renters are at their mercy, unfortunately. So to spend another fortune on drapes or wall hanging to contain sounds ... is basically foolish and inviting fate to step in and kick you out.
    ..........
    Debbie describes the center speaker as sounding as though there is a blanket over it, now that she is getting used to the Denon. Funny as it sounded OK the past couple of days. I think she was spoiled by listening to those great Klipsch' speakers. As for the sound pressure meter .... aren't you supposed to set it to what sounds good to you, rather than to something specific?
     
  15. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Debbie K

    Debbie K Extra

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    Wil, you got us thinking about the JBL's now. We do have a Best Buy nearby that we could listen to some, perhaps Wednesday evening. The price is right .... maybe the sound would be better than we have. One thing that gets us though ... how can the miniature speakers sound as good as a full size speaker? Debbie says she has read good things about JBL though, she's the one heavy on the research.
     
  17. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    First of all thanks for the compliments (even with all my misspellings and other errors above) I always like an ego boost when it comes my way.
    Now for the more serious, helping another hobbyist, the $500 price point is a pretty good one though you will definitely get the most out of your money going online. I'd have to say the JBL package (I've heard it and have recommended it in the past and it comes with built-in brackets, and could always be moved into the bedroom on the next upgrade though I'd stay away from their subs) is quite good and also comes in white (assuming you intend to wall mount them, some people prefer this to blend into the walls, though I've never seen them in this color in person). Another good brand is the Nht SuperZeroes (these are what I use for my computer though a sub is very necessary) which can be bought at www.onecall.com (unfortunately they would be kind of high in your budget at $75-85/speaker which includes delivery but you'll need to buy brackets) which are being reduced in price due to being discontinued.
    If you have access to tools I'd advise build your own sub(s) (or even some of the www.partsexpress.com kits) as this is a very simple style of speaker and very hard to mess up on (plus imho, the biggest bang for the buck in hometheater if budget is tight). I'd advise hopping over to the Diy advanced area on this site if you need help or suggestions on this.
    The reason I and others on this site push the use of spl meters is that it is the cheapest and easiest way to calibrate your system for accurate playback, compare products at equal decible levels (some speakers might be more/less sensitive than others so the volume control or speaker level adjustments should be made so all playback is at an equal level for comparative analysis), and very handy for trouble shooting (one of the easiest way to check for peakishness of a speaker with a test tone sweep). You would be amazed at how some movies are mixed at different levels (that's why you'll note that some post that certain movies are mixed hot, meaning much louder than the established norms that is used by most theaters and sound engineers) and gives us a reference point to have a frame work of understanding each others assessment when it comes to somewhat describing sound and it's related problems. I'll admit it sucks having to buy one when you're on a tight budget but it might be the best tool you'll have to comparing systems for now and future purchases (most places allow you to calibrate their demo system so you can also demo gear and have a common reference to somewhat gauge an items performance).
     
  18. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, a subwoofer doesn't come as part of the NSP 1 package. Still, at $209.00 this is a great value for 5 good quality speakers.

    As for a budget sub, I've heard people on this forum happy with the Sony WM-40 priced around $199, although I have not heard it myself.

    I would echo other people in suggesting you return the Onkyo speaker package and get the JBL plus an inexpensive appropriate sub.

    Bill
     
  20. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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