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Reciever/Speaker setup question (1 Viewer)

Adam Sanchez

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I was messing around in my Reciever recently, an Onxyo TX-SR604 and got to wondering if things are setup omptimally for me.

We live in an apartment with a pretty symetrical living room which is where the home theater is. I had originally setup the speakers using the Setup mic with the Onxyo, the Audyssey 2EQ or whatever it's called.

So looking at the settings the other day, I noticed it set my surrounds and center for (I think) 120Mh and not full range. My center is an older Infinity CC2 and my surrounds are a pare of SAT750s if I recall right. Both speakers as far as I know CAN handle full range...so my question is do I want to change that? Have I been missing some sound by the way it's currently set? Even if they are set to full range, will the reciever still kknow to send all Bass below my cutoff to my sub, or does making those speakers full range mean they are going to get bass too?

I hope I'm making sense in what I'm asking. My Blu-Ray's have always seemed quieter to me than my DVDs on the exact same system. I usually watch a BD at about 60 volume compared to a DVD at about 50.

I don't know if that is related, but it's always sort of bothered me.
 

Brent Hutto

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I think Audessey (at least Onkyo's implementation) errs on the side of sending bass to the sub. As it should IMO since it allows the speakers and the amplifier driving them to function more effectively if they're not trying to reproduce the bottom octave or two. A halfway-decent subwoofer is immensely more suited to reproducing the 20Hz-80Hz range than any speaker/amplifier combo you are likely to find in a home theater. And your ear can't tell where the sound is coming from that low anyway.

If you set the cutoff to "Full" on a speaker, then unless you also engage some sort of "Double Bass" processing the bass will go only to the speaker instead of being sent to the sub. If you set any cutoff frequency other than "Full" then whatever is below that cutoff does not go to the speaker but is combined with the bass from below the cutoff(s) of all the other speakers as well as the LFE and that combination is reproduced by the subwoofer.

If there is a level difference between a Blu-Ray and a standard DVD on the same system then it's something about the disk. Or if you're using separate players perhaps something different about the players (although that would only make sense if your DD/DTS decoding were in the player rather than the AVR).

My advice is to let Audessey 2EQ do its thing. And even if you want to tweak 2EQ's settings I think it's almost always a serious mistake to try and make HT speaker reproduce bass below 80Hz or even 100Hz for that matter. BTW, if Audessey 2EQ sets the some cutoff frequency rather than "Full" then it's because it found a -3dB drop near that frequency. Keep in mind that Audessey's setup measures the real-world frequency response of your speakers as they interact with your room, which seldom matches up with the speaker's specifications taken in an anechoic chamber.
 

Adam Sanchez

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Really? Is that the proper way for speakers to be set in a 5.1 enviroment? The setup put my front L/R to full range and I never changed it, they are Infinity Floorstanding speakers. The model number eludes me at the moment, but they are definately full range.

Also, my Sub has a Crossover dial, and so does the reciever setup of course. Should their settings match?
 

David Willow

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Try it, see how it sounds. By setting the mains to 80hz, you take a load off the AVR and put it on the sub's amp.

Do you have a direct or bypass connection on the sub?

Just and FYI... When you ran Audessey, it found the the crossover was somewhere below 80hz. Because of this, Onkyo set your speakers to full range. We can't tell what the actual rolloff is with these receivers. It could be 70hz or 20hz - there is no way to know. Going by the specs on your speakers is not good either. Audessey looks at the rolloff in your room. It could vary greatly based on location...
 

Brent Hutto

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Set the sub's crossover to as high as possible. Your receiver (including the Audessey's DSP) will make sure only the correct frequencies get sent to the subwoofer. The crossover introduces rolloffs and phase effects that just get in the way of letting the AVR crossover work as intended.

No matter how big your speakers, they will do a better job of reproducing 100Hz and up if they aren't also being forced to reproduce a bunch of high-energy bass below 100Hz (or 80Hz if you prefer). It matters not how low they are capable of going in a subwoofer-less setup. What matters is setting up the receiver to get the best HT performance and that is virtually always achieved by letting the speaker handle everything about 100Hz-ish and the subwoofer everything below.

And remember, these AVR amplifier sections are not as robust and high-headroom as an audiophile amplifier. You are not doing the dynamics and distortion charactersitics of your setup any favors by having them using half their (puny) available power driving speakers in the bottom octave(s) when you have a powerful high-headroom amp built in to the sub.
 

Adam Sanchez

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Thanks for the continued input.

Should I set ALL the speakers to 80 Hhz? (Even the sub?)

I assume the system has enough sense to send signals to the 5 speakers that is ABOVE whatever I set it at, and for the sub to send it the signal BELOW whatever I send it at...correct?

My sub is direct connect. That's when you use a single cable into the jack on the reciever rather than wiring the sub to the front speaker terminals then out to the front left and right?

Sub is an Infinity PS28 by the way, if it matters.

I'm watching Indy 4 right now, but I'm gonna go tweak it a little.
 

gene c

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As I mentioned earlier, set the fronts to 80 or 100, the center to 100 or 120 and the surrounds to 120.

Looks like Brent beat me too it! Well, some of it anyway.
 

Adam Sanchez

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Before your post Gene I set everyhting too 100 Mhz, but I will adjust everything according to your recommendation. Changing the sub dial is something I've never did. I've had all my subs for my HT setups set at about 80 for YEARS. Oops?

Maybe I am misunderstanding what "Full range" means. Even my Towers aren't full range? I need to go look at the model numbers, as I can't seem to remember what they are but I always thought they could be used as stand alone, full range stereo speakers (Bass and all) if I wanted them to.

Wife and me are going to be getting some good quality yet SMALL wall mounted speakers soon to go with our TV along the wall soon so this might all be a moot point. Considering the next level up form the 750s, the 1100's to use as fronts. Anyone have any thoughts on that? I know I'm sort of getitng off topic.

I've come to realize maybe I don't need big ass front speakers. In a 5.1 system, isn't it often better to have more closely sized speakers anyway? Since every channel can potentially get equal the audio, why should the fronts be any different I'm thinking.

Besides we're in an apartment and I'm always trying to simplfy things. I know small speakers can produce incredible sound, like those demos of BOSE I often see in Best Buy and such. My system's never sounded like that.
 

gene c

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The closer in size all speakers are is usually better for the reasons you mentioned. I'm not a big fan of smaller speakers, but if tha'ts your pleasure then audition a few other brands like Definitive Technology and Paridigm, among others. A little more money but probably worth a look.
 

David Willow

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Please, RUN, Don't walk, as quickly as possible away from the Bose. You can do much better and still get smaller speakers for WAF (wife acceptance factor).
 

Adam Sanchez

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Thanks, any other brand suggestions maybe closer to the price range/quality of Infinity? (I've had Infinity for years, my first ever 5.1 was all Infinity. I guess I'm just use to them.)

Of all the things I've upgraded/researched/changed in my HT over the years, speakers are easily the least changed part. I had RS4's forever, and now I have Primus 250s. I finally went and looked.

Over the years Ive evolved my thinking, like that everything needs to be the same brand. Now I get a brand that excels at a certain product... like Onxyo for a Reciever for example. It's not to open to new options.

I set my Sub Xover in the Onxyo to 100 right now. Every other speaker is 100 or above. If I set the sub to 80 and leave the other speakers where they are, would I lose 20 hz of sound?
 

gene c

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I think my reply to this was wrong :eek: . Since the low pass cross-over is only applied to the LFE signal the sub would still produce the 80 to 100 range that it receives from the fronts, center and surround channels. OOPS!
 

Brent Hutto

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I'm pretty sure Gene's "oops" is correct. That low-pass is just an LFE thing, the rest works however you set the speakers. For that matter the rest of Gene's suggestions are right, too...including the Bose part. I'm a big fan of the Audessey processing and IMO using Bose speakers with their funky response characteristics would probably make the Audessey much less effective. Plus as stated there are far, far better value-for-money propositions out there.
 

Adam Sanchez

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Good morning and thanks again for all the input. I might of got a little confused...so yes to upping my Subs LPF crossover on the reciever to 120 and other than that, I should be set?

And don't worry I don't have Bose on speeddail. I just basically threw that name out there. We will be getting 2 good fronts and possibly a center too that can be mounted on the way but I haven't really even began researching that. That's why I hinted about it here to try and jump start my research. I've only thought about the SAT1100s to become our new fronts but I've yet to read anything about how they'd do in that position.

I am fine with not using Infinity, like I said above I've moved past brands and just get whatever brand makes a good item I'm looking for. That being said, I am going to be looking for something that is comparable to the rest of the stuff I have in this setup. I don't need $2000 speakers with a $300 reciever!
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
 

David Willow

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Well actually :)

You should spend the majority of your HT budget on your speakers. Speakers are the biggest factor in how your movies sound (along with your room). Speakers will last much longer than a receiver (maybe a lifetime). I have over $5000 (MSP) worth of speakers (Axiom and SVS) connected to my $899 AVR. I will most likely upgrade my AVR several times in the next 15 years, but I do not plan to purchase speakers again for a long, long time.
 

Brent Hutto

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That's a good point...if/when I ever get around to setting up a stereo listening rig again the pair of speakers I paid 400-odd big, fat late-70's dollars for still sound better to me than anything I could buy now for a few hundred bucks. They're in the closet patiently waiting to be brought out and hooked up to state-of-the-art electronics whenever I get the urge.

That said, we settled for Polk HT speakers which are at least a decent enough sounding sow's ear that Audessey can make a silk purse out of them. One day that center channel has got to go (CS245i) but as long as we don't make it work below 100Hz and we stay below reference volume it's passable.

So just how much does a decent mid-fi center channel speaker cost nowadays, can you get anything worthwhile for 3-400 bucks?
 

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