Audio Era: Because Sound Matters

shark97

Banned
Nov 7, 2017
4,369
Ahh yes, been looking for this thread. the next electronics thing I didn't know I needed to cross my radar is the...dolby atmos soundbar/subwoofer.

I have a vizio soundbar/sub combo and love the simplicity and to my ears great audio it provides. the plug n play, low mess, aspect is perfectly what I desire. So now I see Vizio has a 5.1.2 atmos soundbar with good reviews that was at least 299 over BF, which is a very achievable price point for a poor like me.

So I guess if If I have to come up with questions they are:

Is Atmos the schiz or what?

The vizio bar in question doesn't support DTS-X. Is this a big deal? Is there any risk of it being obsoleted if DTS X wins some kind of format war?

Is there enough content to be worth it? Seems very low on the game side. For example Star Wars Fallen Order that I'm currently playing, doesn't seem to support Atmos.
 

Nabbit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,700
I bought Vizio SB36512-F6 for my TCL 6 series this Black Friday for $300, I think it's well worth it.
Thanks for the recommendation!

1 receiver will power 5 or more speakers, that is what the 5.1 or 7.1 label on it refers to. For example a 5.1 receiver will power 5 speakers and has 1 subwoofer input. A 7.2 receiver will power 7 speakers and has 2 subwoofer inputs. The Dayton MK's are some of the cheapest speakers you can buy new, but are objectively quite good (you can Google reviews). The Sony Core bookshelves are another well regarded budget favorite, sometimes going on sale for $70-$80/pair. Both of those in a 4.0 setup would significantly outperform the $150 Vizio. You would however see a very very significant improvement stepping up to a ~$300/pair bookshelf like the KEFQ150's or Focal Chorus while they're on sale (they are normally like $600+/pair). If all you've got is ~$200 the MK's and Core's are a great system, but if this is an arbitrary self imposed budget and you're not going to skip bills or meals over an extra $200, it is WELL worth stepping up to the Focals or KEF's as your front left and right mains. I would still stick with the pair of Dayton MK's or Sony Core's as the side/rear surrounds though, it's not imperative your surrounds match on a budget.
Thank you for all of this info. You can see I know very little about sound systems. I'd say it's a semi-arbitrary self-imposed budget tbh. So in this scenario would I be looking at $300 (bookshelves) + $88 (Dayton MK44 mains) + $100ish receiver? That is probably more than I'm willing to spend but I'd have to think on it.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,189
Hi guys.

So, since July 2015, I've been rocking the stock pair of ear pads on my ATH-M50x. It's the fake-leather type. They are kind of disgusting right now so I'm looking to replace them. A quick google around and it seems like people are recommanding these Brainwavz HM5 Velour pads: https://www.amazon.ca/Brainwavz-Replacement-Memory-Foam-Earpads/dp/B00MFDX4YO/

But it seems like it'll make my ears further away from the drivers so sound might take a hit depending on your subjectivity.
I could always go with stock pads but I kind don't like them after trying velour type recently. The stock pads does fit my ears inside and I also wear glasses.

So, I'd like to have suggestions for this. I don't want to spend a fortune on this either. ~40$CAD is the max I would throw around for.

Thanks!
I got the Brainwavz PU leather pads and even those had a fairly drastic negative effect on the sound and noise isolation, and supposedly the velour pads have an even bigger effect. Messing around with an EQ (easy on Windows at least, but I don't know where you use your M50xs so not sure if it's a possibility) helped a bit, but the fact is that since the drivers are a fair bit further from your ears with the Brainwavz pads, you're going to lose a lot of the... I guess body of the sound. At least for me it sounded considerably more tinny and thin, for lack of a better word.

That said, they were supremely comfortable and I'm sure the velour ones are even more so. Might be worth checking out for that alone.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Thanks for the recommendation!

Thank you for all of this info. You can see I know very little about sound systems. I'd say it's a semi-arbitrary self-imposed budget tbh. So in this scenario would I be looking at $300 (bookshelves) + $88 (Dayton MK44 mains) + $100ish receiver? That is probably more than I'm willing to spend but I'd have to think on it.
Yes, but the $300 bookshelves would be the mains (i.e. the front left and right). The Dayton MK442's ($88/pair) OR the Dayton MK402X's ($60/pair) would serve as your surrounds. Then of course a used receiver. So yea you'd be looking at around $500 with tax in that scenario.

Your budget option would be the $88/pair MK442's as the mains. While surrounds could be your choice of either a second pair of the MK442's ($88) OR the slightly cheaper MK402X's ($60), and a used receiver. So you'd probably be around $250 with tax in that scenario.
 

desu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
307
I got the Sony HT-ST5000 early this year for gaming and movies. Sounds good and it doesn't involve lots of wires. I think this is the best I can do for a soundbar at the moment unless there is a better alternative?
Just wondering, are you happy with the system (especially since it does not have rear speakers?).
 

BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
Hey everyone

Is it worth it to go to a Home Theater installation service? I just finished setting up my 5.1 system and I'm not blown away. I fiddled with the audio settings post-Audyssey calibration even and the speakers don't sound detailed and the bass is overpowering and harsh. Maybe it's my room, or maybe I don't know how to properly set up and test speakers, but I'm really not impressed. Mainly because I have to crank up the volume way past the halfway point to get any room filling sound.

Here's the set up (before wiring it all)

Towers R-620F
Center R-52C
Sub R-120SW
Surrounds R-41M
AVR Denon x1500

This should sound incredible coming from a freaking 2006 HT in-a-box-set, right?

It's a larger room. 14.5' by 19'
 

Barrel Cannon

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,349
I'm getting some active speakers and want to hook them up to my consoles and PC. The speakers have XLR inputs.

What would I need in terms of the equipment. I'm assuming some sort of mixer a DAC and XLR cables

Edit: they are a pair of bookshelf speakers(the 305 mk2). I'm not planning on putting a sub because my room is small and I'd never be able to crank a sub regardless in my home.
 
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RedlineRonin

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,574
Minneapolis
Hey everyone

Is it worth it to go to a Home Theater installation service? I just finished setting up my 5.1 system and I'm not blown away. I fiddled with the audio settings post-Audyssey calibration even and the speakers don't sound detailed and the bass is overpowering and harsh. Maybe it's my room, or maybe I don't know how to properly set up and test speakers, but I'm really not impressed. Mainly because I have to crank up the volume way past the halfway point to get any room filling sound.

Here's the set up (before wiring it all)

Towers R-620F
Center R-52C
Sub R-120SW
Surrounds R-41M
AVR Denon x1500

This should sound incredible coming from a freaking 2006 HT in-a-box-set, right?

It's a larger room. 14.5' by 19'
Nice!

my very first “real” HT setup was a Klipsch reference setup very similar to what’s pictured. Yes, this should blow your HTIB out of the water. And horn loaded speakers are super efficient, so any modest AVR will drive the daylights outta that system no problem!

im surprised by your setup issues.... Audyssey should do a solid job and volume should not be an issue at all with horns. Do you have the sources configured correctly? Are you using the right listening mode on the AVR?
 

BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
Nice!

my very first “real” HT setup was a Klipsch reference setup very similar to what’s pictured. Yes, this should blow your HTIB out of the water. And horn loaded speakers are super efficient, so any modest AVR will drive the daylights outta that system no problem!

im surprised by your setup issues.... Audyssey should do a solid job and volume should not be an issue at all with horns. Do you have the sources configured correctly? Are you using the right listening mode on the AVR?
What do you mean by listening mode? The only source I have at the moment is the PS4.
 

RedlineRonin

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,574
Minneapolis
What do you mean by listening mode? The only source I have at the moment is the PS4.
Listening mode would be the different presets like “movie” “standard” “stereo” etc. there are honestly a few things you could trouble shoot. In addition to above, can make sure Audyssey doesn’t have dynamic eq or dynamic volume on. Make sure PS4 is set for 7.1 or 5.1LPCM. Probably some others too, maybe someone with a more recent Denon(?) could jump in too.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Hey everyone

Is it worth it to go to a Home Theater installation service? I just finished setting up my 5.1 system and I'm not blown away. I fiddled with the audio settings post-Audyssey calibration even and the speakers don't sound detailed and the bass is overpowering and harsh. Maybe it's my room, or maybe I don't know how to properly set up and test speakers, but I'm really not impressed. Mainly because I have to crank up the volume way past the halfway point to get any room filling sound.

Here's the set up (before wiring it all)

Towers R-620F
Center R-52C
Sub R-120SW
Surrounds R-41M
AVR Denon x1500

This should sound incredible coming from a freaking 2006 HT in-a-box-set, right?

It's a larger room. 14.5' by 19'
Audyssey and Denon's calibrate to 75 volume being "reference", so having to crack it past 50% is perfectly normal (source gain varies so a lot of content will be too loud at 75, adjust down accordingly). There are several things to try though. Firstly when you run Audyssey, you want the mic exactly where your seated head is. The first position should be your main listening seat, as close to exactly centered on your seated head as possible (both height and width wise). You don't want the mic jammed right up against your seat back/headrest, give it several inches of clearance or recline the backs. You want the mic aiming at the ceiling and as level as possible, avoid tilting it forward or back. When it has you measuring positions 2 through 8, don't move the mic very far at all. Though the on screen illustration suggests otherwise, you're not actually supposed to measure every seat, if you read the text it's actually telling you to measure an at most 2' by 2' square around the main listening position. In my experience you actually get the best results measuring an ~1' by 1' square, basically a head sized box/dome. That is the seated center point, 3" and 6" left of center, 3" and 6" right of center, then some variation of 3" forward, 3" back, and maybe slight adjustments to height to fill out the 8 positions. When Audyssey's done it's going to ask whether you want to activate Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume, select No for both. You most likely turned on Dynamic EQ your first time through, which is likely where your boomy bass is originating. The "sound modes" the other poster referenced are the colored buttons along the bottom of your remote, hitting them will cycle through the sound modes. You'll want to use the Multi-Channel PCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS one depending on what's available for your source. Avoid pure and pure direct, one or both of them bypasses Audyssey's calibration entirely.

If after a proper Audyssey rerun you're still having problems you have several more options. The biggest difference is going to come from changing the subwoofer's location, adding a second subwoofer, moving your seats forward or back, or exchanging the X1500 for an X3500 which upgrades Audyssey to XT32 (which is significantly more advanced). I have a problematic room that XT was struggling with and found XT32 to be a substantial upgrade. You should be able to find the X3500 for around $500-$550 from authorized online dealers.
 
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BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
Listening mode would be the different presets like “movie” “standard” “stereo” etc. there are honestly a few things you could trouble shoot. In addition to above, can make sure Audyssey doesn’t have dynamic eq or dynamic volume on. Make sure PS4 is set for 7.1 or 5.1LPCM. Probably some others too, maybe someone with a more recent Denon(?) could jump in too.
Audyssey and Denon's calibrate to 75 volume being "reference", so having to crack it past 50% is perfectly normal (source gain varies so a lot of content will be too loud at 75, adjust down accordingly). There are several things to try though. Firstly when you run Audyssey, you want the mic exactly where your seated head is. The first position should be your main listening seat, as close to exactly centered on your seated head as possible (both height and width wise). You don't want the mic jammed right up against your seat back/headrest, give it several inches of clearance or recline the backs. You want the mic aiming at the ceiling and as level as possible, avoid tilting it forward or back. When it has you measuring positions 2 through 8, don't move the mic very far at all. Though the on screen illustration suggests otherwise, you're not actually supposed to measure every seat, if you read the text it's actually telling you to measure an at most 2' by 2' square around the main listening position. In my experience you actually get the best results measuring an ~1' by 1' square, basically a head sized box/dome. That is the seated center point, 3" and 6" left of center, 3" and 6" right of center, then some variation of 3" forward, 3" back, and maybe slight adjustments to height to fill out the 8 positions. When Audyssey's done it's going to ask whether you want to activate Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume, select No for both. You most likely turned on Dynamic EQ your first time through, which is likely where your boomy bass is originating. The "sound modes" the other poster referenced are the colored buttons along the bottom of your remote, hitting them will cycle through the sound modes. You'll want to use the Multi-Channel PCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS one depending on what's available for your source. Avoid pure and pure direct, one or both of them bypasses Audyssey's calibration entirely.

If after a proper Audyssey rerun you're still having problems you have several more options. The biggest difference is going to come from changing the subwoofer's location, adding a second subwoofer, moving your seats forward or back, or exchanging the X1500 for an X3500 which upgrades Audyssey to XT32 (which is significantly more advanced). I have a problematic room that XT was struggling with and found XT32 to be a substantial upgrade. You should be able to find the X3500 for around $500-$550 from authorized online dealers.
Thank you so much for the replies. I'll follow through with all these, but I can tell you I did have Dynamic EQ/Vol on, so that may be the brunt of it. I had a guy from r/HomeTheater walk me through a lot of the receiver/Subwoofer settings post-Audyssey and it seemed weird he'd know just what my room and set up needed. In terms of Subwoofer set up, what's a common baseline for Audyssey calibration? Phase at 0? Gain at 12 o'clock? Lowpass at 80hz or all the way right to LFE? Subwoofer booklet indicates 50-80hz for large floor standing speakers...
 

Piggychan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,114
Hey everyone

Is it worth it to go to a Home Theater installation service? I just finished setting up my 5.1 system and I'm not blown away. I fiddled with the audio settings post-Audyssey calibration even and the speakers don't sound detailed and the bass is overpowering and harsh. Maybe it's my room, or maybe I don't know how to properly set up and test speakers, but I'm really not impressed. Mainly because I have to crank up the volume way past the halfway point to get any room filling sound.

Here's the set up (before wiring it all)

Towers R-620F
Center R-52C
Sub R-120SW
Surrounds R-41M
AVR Denon x1500

This should sound incredible coming from a freaking 2006 HT in-a-box-set, right?

It's a larger room. 14.5' by 19'
the sub woofer should have a dial at the back so you can set the bass to how you want it. Also maybe it's too close to corner move it out of there?
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
939
So, um, I just took the Sennheiser HD 660 S for a test ride and ... what the fuck did I buy?! I listened to some punk rock, female vocal pop, RL x Monstercat and suddenly all the songs have different volume levels in the same song? I don't get it. Do these headphones show imperfection in a recording like no other or is this like the next level of audio? Not sure what to think about them.

Edit: To clarify, the first test session was on Win 10 with Groove Music and flac files. Sound is coming from an ASUS Prime Z390-A Gaming Mainboard. Listening on my mobile phone now (OP5T) with Tidal, none of this weird volume level change is there. Gonna try'em tomorrow with the Marantz SR6013.
 
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BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
the sub woofer should have a dial at the back so you can set the bass to how you want it. Also maybe it's too close to corner move it out of there?
Perhaps. This is how I set it up in the receiver after the Audyssey calibration, Haint . Sub was set at -3.0dB. -9.5dB was Audyssey's doing.




I want more clarity out of the front and center channels too. Highs and Mids are muddled. Not muffled, but definitely not clear enough. I loaded up Pacific Rim and the robotic sounds, the thunder cracks, etc were all kind of missing.

Will a foam pad under the Sub plus an area rug improve things, bass wise as well?
 

Piggychan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,114
Perhaps. This is how I set it up in the receiver after the Audyssey calibration, Haint . Sub was set at -3.0dB. -9.5dB was Audyssey's doing.




I want more clarity out of the front and center channels too. Highs and Mids are muddled. Not muffled, but definitely not clear enough. I loaded up Pacific Rim and the robotic sounds, the thunder cracks, etc were all kind of missing.

Will a foam pad under the Sub plus an area rug improve things, bass wise as well?
your sub woofer should be 8-12 inches away from any wall I think I read somewhere years ago that carpets could dampen the sound. Have you checked the speaker wiring too incase some are loose ?


I'd only use a foam pad for CD/DVD/Blu Ray players / record decks where any vibration could have an effect on playback
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Thank you so much for the replies. I'll follow through with all these, but I can tell you I did have Dynamic EQ/Vol on, so that may be the brunt of it. I had a guy from r/HomeTheater walk me through a lot of the receiver/Subwoofer settings post-Audyssey and it seemed weird he'd know just what my room and set up needed. In terms of Subwoofer set up, what's a common baseline for Audyssey calibration? Phase at 0? Gain at 12 o'clock? Lowpass at 80hz or all the way right to LFE? Subwoofer booklet indicates 50-80hz for large floor standing speakers...
On the actual subwoofer itself the rule of thumb (though it will vary by your room, brand of sub, placement, etc...) is to start with the gain/volume at 50%, the phase at 0, and the lowpass knob all the way to the right at (usually) 180/200Hz. This is because the receiver will handle the lowpass/bass management. If you set the sub's physical knob at 80 or 100 and the receiver sets it's crossover at 80 or 100 there is potential they will conflict with each other, so as a rule you turn the sub's physical lowpass all the way up to avoid it. If the sub's volume knob is too high or too low Audyssey should prompt you to adjust it in the very beginning, or at least XT32 does, I don't recall if XT does as well. You can however tell if you're too high or low by what it sets the subwoofer trim to at the end though. If it has the sub at + or - 12 or 15db (one of which is the most Denon will allow you to adjust a single speaker) you'll need to adjust the subs physical gain knob up or down in kind to keep it from trying to apply so much correction. If it's setting the sub at say +/- 0 to 6db your gain is probably good for that particular location.
 
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GrayDock

Member
Oct 27, 2017
136
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
My experience with audyssey in denon receivers always make me alter those speakers gains. Center with -8db?! Nah. Fronts with -7db?! No way. I always add some to those, with the only caveat of adding the same value to all speakers to keep the balance. Start with +1db and test with some 5.1 Dolby or DTS bluray and keep going until its good for you.
One nice tip for sub placement is to put the sub where you seat, on the floor of course, and walk around the room with some lfe sound being played and find the place where it sounds better, which will be the best place for the subwoofer. Of course it'll be trick to put it in the best position sometimes, but at least it'll give you a place to start with.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Perhaps. This is how I set it up in the receiver after the Audyssey calibration, Haint . Sub was set at -3.0dB. -9.5dB was Audyssey's doing.




I want more clarity out of the front and center channels too. Highs and Mids are muddled. Not muffled, but definitely not clear enough. I loaded up Pacific Rim and the robotic sounds, the thunder cracks, etc were all kind of missing.

Will a foam pad under the Sub plus an area rug improve things, bass wise as well?
Those settings look pretty typical and the crossover seems normal. You might try lowering the sub's physical gain knob a little bit. If you're still experiencing boomy bass after a re-run you're going to have to test out other subwoofer locations, moving your seat, or a combination of the two. The boomyness is probably coming from the subs corner placement, but SVS does make some subwoofer isolation feet if you suspect a rumbling floor is the cause, I think they're like $50 for a 4 pack or something. To improve clarity of the highs you might try angling the center channel up (place some sort of riser under the front) so it's aimed at your head and also "toe in" the towers so they are also aimed right at your head. When you make changes and rerun Audyssey you can stop after 3 measuring positions, you don't have to run all 8. I'd suggest taking the 3 measurements at your main center seat, ~4 inches left of center and ~4 inches right of center and stop there while you're trying to trial and error you way to something that sounds right. You may have a particularly problematic room that is running into the limits of Audyssey XT and might need to try XT32. While I can't see the whole room, it also looks like there's a lot of bare hard floor and bare walls, which are nasty reflection/echo points. A large thick/plush area rug between the TV and seat and perhaps some strategic acoustic panels on the walls may improve things further.
 
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BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
My experience with audyssey in denon receivers always make me alter those speakers gains. Center with -8db?! Nah. Fronts with -7db?! No way. I always add some to those, with the only caveat of adding the same value to all speakers to keep the balance. Start with +1db and test with some 5.1 Dolby or DTS bluray and keep going until its good for you.
One nice tip for sub placement is to put the sub where you seat, on the floor of course, and walk around the room with some lfe sound being played and find the place where it sounds better, which will be the best place for the subwoofer. Of course it'll be trick to put it in the best position sometimes, but at least it'll give you a place to start with.
Yesss, the dreaded Subwoofer crawl. Fuck me, I already installed wire covers. I'll pump up the levels on the front speakers and see if that improves clarity. Thanks!
Those settings look pretty typical and the crossover seems normal. You might try lowering the sub's physical gain knob a little bit. If you're still experiencing boomy bass after a re-run you're going to have to test out other subwoofer locations, moving your seat, or a combination of the two. The boomyness is probably coming from the subs corner placement, but SVS does make some subwoofer isolation feet if you suspect a rumbling floor is the cause, I think they're like $50 for a 4 pack or something. To improve clarity of the highs you might try angling the center channel up (place some sort of riser under the front) so it's aimed at your head and also "toe in" the towers so they are also aimed right at your head. When you make changes and rerun Audyssey you can stop after 3 measuring positions, you don't have to run all 8. I'd suggest taking the 3 measurements at your main center seat, ~4 inches left of center and ~4 inches right of center and stop there while you're trying to trial and error you way to something that sounds right. You may have a particularly problematic room that is running into the limits of Audyssey XT and might need to try XT32. While I can't see the whole room, it also looks like there's a lot of bare hard floor and bare walls, which are nasty reflection/echo points. A large thick/plush area rug between the TV and seat and perhaps some strategic acoustic panels on the walls may improve things further.
Yes, lots of hard surfaces everywhere. Area rug is definitely coming. Maybe even some tapestry and curtains. I've already toed in the towers to aim straight at my head, and spaced them out evenly. I've moved the sub away from the wall, and I'll put some foam under it to see if it cancels out that harsh floor rumble.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Yesss, the dreaded Subwoofer crawl. Fuck me, I already installed wire covers. I'll pump up the levels on the front speakers and see if that improves clarity. Thanks!


Yes, lots of hard surfaces everywhere. Area rug is definitely coming. Maybe even some tapestry and curtains. I've already toed in the towers to aim straight at my head, and spaced them out evenly. I've moved the sub away from the wall, and I'll put some foam under it to see if it cancels out that harsh floor rumble.
FYI there are a variety of universal wireless subwoofer kits you can add on to avoid having to run a subwoofer cable, they're as low as $50 or $60. I've never used or done any research into them so I can't make any recommendations, but if you find your best position is somewhere you can't run a cable keep them in mind.

I'm getting some active speakers and want to hook them up to my consoles and PC. The speakers have XLR inputs.

What would I need in terms of the equipment. I'm assuming some sort of mixer a DAC and XLR cables

Edit: they are a pair of bookshelf speakers(the 305 mk2). I'm not planning on putting a sub because my room is small and I'd never be able to crank a sub regardless in my home.
Last black friday I got in on one of the crazy MK 308 MKII sales that were like $70/ea, but wound up canceling them cause the daisy chain of pro audio gear I found suggested to make it work was both ridiculous and more expensive than a high end AVR. I was and am still unclear on why there's seemingly not a single sensibly price box that will handle this. From what I recall I was being directed to Preamp Volume Control Interfaces that possibly required converting TRS to XLR (and/or vice versa) none of which had remotes (which seems kind of import to a volume control interface...), which would then have to run into a DAC (possibly with more TRS to XLR conversions), all topped off with questions of balanced vs. unbalanced cables. I unfortunately can't offer any help, but am curious if you get this to work in a straightforward manner at a sensible price, with creature comforts like remote volume control.
 
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BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
FYI there are a variety of universal wireless subwoofer kits you can add on to avoid having to run a subwoofer cable, they're as low as $50 or $60. I've never used or done any research into them so I can't make any recommendations, but if you find your best position is somewhere you can't run a cable keep them in mind.
Neat, will do. Cheers!

So, um, I just took the Sennheiser HD 660 S for a test ride and ... what the fuck did I buy?! I listened to some punk rock, female vocal pop, RL x Monstercat and suddenly all the songs have different volume levels in the same song? I don't get it. Do these headphones show imperfection in a recording like no other or is this like the next level of audio? Not sure what to think about them.

Edit: To clarify, the first test session was on Win 10 with Groove Music and flac files. Sound is coming from an ASUS Prime Z390-A Gaming Mainboard. Listening on my mobile phone now (OP5T) with Tidal, none of this weird volume level change is there. Gonna try'em tomorrow with the Marantz SR6013.
I don't think your on board audio is nearly enough to drive those headphones. You need a DAC and Amp. I have the 650's and recently purchased the Schiit Magni and Modi 3. You can do some research and come to your own conclusion as to which brand you'd like based on the sound they produce paired with your Senns.

Sennheiser is known for spacious soundstage. They tend to shine with male voices. It's possible that with female pop songs your experience was mixed, but again, without an Amp you're not getting the proper performance out of those cans.
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
939
Neat, will do. Cheers!



I don't think your on board audio is nearly enough to drive those headphones. You need a DAC and Amp. I have the 650's and recently purchased the Schiit Magni and Modi 3. You can do some research and come to your own conclusion as to which brand you'd like based on the sound they produce paired with your Senns.

Sennheiser is known for spacious soundstage. They tend to shine with male voices. It's possible that with female pop songs your experience was mixed, but again, without an Amp you're not getting the proper performance out of those cans.
Thank you for your input, sadly it was just user error. As it was late at night, I thought I disabled all the sound effects, but instead I enabled DTS heaphone X... Boy do they sound normal now, haha. The PC I have in the office (older one) should be able to drive headphones with up to 300 ohm. At least that is what the specs on the page of the motherboard says.

But I have to say it was quite an experience with DTSX. Modern Warfare sounded awesome, never going too loud etc. xD

Edit: I have a "plify level" which I can set to extreme on the PC, definitely more power in the Senns now. Gonna look into the combo you are talking about as well.
 
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Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
My experience with audyssey in denon receivers always make me alter those speakers gains. Center with -8db?! Nah. Fronts with -7db?! No way. I always add some to those, with the only caveat of adding the same value to all speakers to keep the balance. Start with +1db and test with some 5.1 Dolby or DTS bluray and keep going until its good for you.
One nice tip for sub placement is to put the sub where you seat, on the floor of course, and walk around the room with some lfe sound being played and find the place where it sounds better, which will be the best place for the subwoofer. Of course it'll be trick to put it in the best position sometimes, but at least it'll give you a place to start with.
My Yamaha's calibration does this but only with my subwoofer. I've never understood why.
It is calibrating to a "reference" volume, which I believe Yamaha defines as 85dB. I think this correlates to 0 on your volume dial (assuming you didn't make any changes) since I believe they use a negative scale for volume. Your particular speakers are producing more than 85db at "0" so it's reducing each speakers trim to reach it. I think Denon defines it as 75 or 80dB, but is doing the same thing to reach that SPL at 75 or 80 on the volume dial.
 
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Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,640
First off, I’m incredibly happy with my 5.1.2 system and fully appreciate how amazing good audio can sound.

What I don’t have any insight into is how a 2.0 system would work for TV viewing. I’m doing some work in my living room which has a bumped out fireplace with a TV above it (I.e. no place for a center channel). My main reason to add speakers is for music listening on the main floor but I don’t want not having a center channel to impact TV negatively.

paging RedlineRonin and GearDraxon
 

GearDraxon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,344
First off, I’m incredibly happy with my 5.1.2 system and fully appreciate how amazing good audio can sound.

What I don’t have any insight into is how a 2.0 system would work for TV viewing. I’m doing some work in my living room which has a bumped out fireplace with a TV above it (I.e. no place for a center channel). My main reason to add speakers is for music listening on the main floor but I don’t want not having a center channel to impact TV negatively.

paging RedlineRonin and GearDraxon
"Just" a stereo setup won't be a big deal for TV stuff. The vast majority of content that we watch on Hulu is only two-channel, and decent stereo speakers image well enough, especially if this is a secondary setup.
 

Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,640
"Just" a stereo setup won't be a big deal for TV stuff. The vast majority of content that we watch on Hulu is only two-channel, and decent stereo speakers image well enough, especially if this is a secondary setup.
Excellent, thanks bud. I figured it'd be fine but it's mostly for music anyway (which I know sounds great in 2-channel) so I'm good.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
First off, I’m incredibly happy with my 5.1.2 system and fully appreciate how amazing good audio can sound.

What I don’t have any insight into is how a 2.0 system would work for TV viewing. I’m doing some work in my living room which has a bumped out fireplace with a TV above it (I.e. no place for a center channel). My main reason to add speakers is for music listening on the main floor but I don’t want not having a center channel to impact TV negatively.

paging RedlineRonin and GearDraxon
In 5.1+ tracks, the left and right channels will both play what was destined for the would-be-center channel producing what is known as a "phantom center". It works very well even in sub-optimal placement/arrangements, but if you can center your seat between the Left and Right to create an equilateral triangle many prefer it to a physical center. Especially if the alternative is to put the center is at your shins/knees, or 3-5 feet overhead (which is how most people place them by necessity, excepting acoustically transparent projector setups). From a center seat, with a left and right channel sandwiching a TV, the phantom image will produce dialog that actually seems to originate from the TV (or characters on screen)--not from above or below the screen like a physical center can. The phantom image is also equally "colored" with the rest of the frontal sound stage (as the room acoustics and reflections are affecting it in the same way) and can create a more convincing panning effect, unlike a physical center where the often wildly different positioning will be effected by different reflections or the speaker itself may have different capabilities. "Different" in this context though could be either a good or bad thing depending on your particular room and arrangement.
 
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Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,640
In 5.1+ tracks, the left and right channels will both play what was destined for the would-be-center channel producing what is known as a "phantom center". It works very well even in sub-optimal placement/arrangements, but if you can center your seat between the Left and Right to create an equilateral triangle many prefer it to a physical center. Especially if the alternative is to put the center is at your shins/knees, or 3-5 feet overhead (which is how most people place them by necessity, excepting acoustically transparent projector setups). From a center seat, with a left and right channel sandwiching a TV, the phantom image will produce dialog that actually seems to originate from the TV (or characters on screen)--not from above or below the screen like a physical center can. The phantom image is also equally "colored" with the rest of the frontal sound stage (as the room acoustics and reflections are affecting it in the same way) and can create a more convincing panning effect, unlike a physical center where the often wildly different positioning will be effected by different reflections or the speaker itself may have different capabilities. "Different" in this context though could be either a good or bad thing depending on your particular room and arrangement.
This is a really awesome response. Thank you!
 

georaldc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,533
Is it normal for side/surround sound speakers to sound significantly louder than my front speakers? I have the Pioneer Andrew Jones set with 2 standing tower speakers and 2 bookshelf surround speakers (plus the center speaker and a dayton subwoofer) connected to a Denon x1300w and after running Audyssey, the end results are the side/rear speakers sounding way too loud. Not at home right now, but I also remembered disabling dynamic EQ and/or dynamic volume and the surround speakers still end up being much louder. It becomes really obvious when playing a game like an FPS and spinning in place. Any environment sounds are significantly stronger when played back on the 2 surround speakers.

Is it because of my proximity to the surround speakers? There isn't much space in my room, so they stand fairly close to our seats and a bit at the back



while the front speakers are probably around 5 feet away

 
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RedlineRonin

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,574
Minneapolis
In 5.1+ tracks, the left and right channels will both play what was destined for the would-be-center channel producing what is known as a "phantom center". It works very well even in sub-optimal placement/arrangements, but if you can center your seat between the Left and Right to create an equilateral triangle many prefer it to a physical center. Especially if the alternative is to put the center is at your shins/knees, or 3-5 feet overhead (which is how most people place them by necessity, excepting acoustically transparent projector setups). From a center seat, with a left and right channel sandwiching a TV, the phantom image will produce dialog that actually seems to originate from the TV (or characters on screen)--not from above or below the screen like a physical center can. The phantom image is also equally "colored" with the rest of the frontal sound stage (as the room acoustics and reflections are affecting it in the same way) and can create a more convincing panning effect, unlike a physical center where the often wildly different positioning will be effected by different reflections or the speaker itself may have different capabilities. "Different" in this context though could be either a good or bad thing depending on your particular room and arrangement.
Ya Bumrush this is pretty much right. The comments about not “Above or below” might be ymmv bc if it’s going to be above a fireplace, you’d need some enormously tall floor standers to still create an image that’s emanating from the TV.

but if your above statement about mainly being music is the thing, I wouldn’t worry about it. Get something with maybe a 8” if possible and you’ll have plenty of bottom end with a decent AVR and you’ll be fine without a sub.
 

Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,640
Ya Bumrush this is pretty much right. The comments about not “Above or below” might be ymmv bc if it’s going to be above a fireplace, you’d need some enormously tall floor standers to still create an image that’s emanating from the TV.

but if your above statement about mainly being music is the thing, I wouldn’t worry about it. Get something with maybe a 8” if possible and you’ll have plenty of bottom end with a decent AVR and you’ll be fine without a sub.
Most definitely...I remember the 8” deal from when I was asking a million questions during my theatre build. Thanks for the response bud
 

BiGBoSSMk23

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,492
It is calibrating to a "reference" volume, which I believe Yamaha defines as 85dB. I think this correlates to 0 on your volume dial (assuming you didn't make any changes) since I believe they use a negative scale for volume. Your particular speakers are producing more than 85db at "0" so it's reducing each speakers trim to reach it. I think Denon defines it as 75 or 80dB, but is doing the same thing to reach that SPL at 75 or 80 on the volume dial.
Update time!

I recalibrated and it corrected the Sub to -12.0dB, which was odd. Last time was -9.5 or something. Crossover also set itself to 40hz for the fronts. I said fuck it and left it, and then upped the levels across-the-board. Holy shit. The bass improved tremendously, in terms of smoothness. I can't tell if it's because of the felt foam mat I stuck under it, or the cross over. But set at -3dB, I'm now sitting in the bass, as opposed to being hammered by that dry rumble before. It's rich and enveloping.

I'm sure I'm not doing this right, equalizing all the levels, Audyssey be damned. Lol

It does sound better than before, at least. I just need to see if I can get better separation of the different frequencies, more definition. IDK what 40hz crossover is doing for my fronts. Maybe there's an abundance of bassy sounds coming from the Sub, or maybe there's a lack of them...
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Update time!

I recalibrated and it corrected the Sub to -12.0dB, which was odd. Last time was -9.5 or something. Crossover also set itself to 40hz for the fronts. I said fuck it and left it, and then upped the levels across-the-board. Holy shit. The bass improved tremendously, in terms of smoothness. I can't tell if it's because of the felt foam mat I stuck under it, or the cross over. But set at -3dB, I'm now sitting in the bass, as opposed to being hammered by that dry rumble before. It's rich and enveloping.

I'm sure I'm not doing this right, equalizing all the levels, Audyssey be damned. Lol

It does sound better than before, at least. I just need to see if I can get better separation of the different frequencies, more definition. IDK what 40hz crossover is doing for my fronts. Maybe there's an abundance of bassy sounds coming from the Sub, or maybe there's a lack of them...
Yea if Audyssey's putting the sub at -12dB you need to turn down the physical volume/gain knob on the sub itself and rerun. Maybe try it at 30-40%, not 50%. I'm pretty sure Denon maxes out at +/-12dB for trim adjustments so it's probable Audyssey was wanting to set it even lower than that but couldn't. Also after Audyssey's finished, you will want to go into the manual speaker settings and change the crossover from "Individual" to "All", and set it to 80Hz (which should apply it to all channels). While a lot of towers and even bookshelves can hit 40Hz, they're generally taxed too hard to achieve it and you're usually better off offloading it to the Sub (which is obviously specialized for those frequencies). That is the widely accepted standard at least, but you may want to try it both ways (possibly try a 60Hz or 100Hz crossover and well) and see what sounds better to you.
 
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Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,640
You bet! Tbh if you like Elacs I’d maybe consider another set? Idk what the specs are, but if you’ve found something you like, that’s a good thing
I do love them but again I do faaaaaaar more movie, TV and game listening on them than music. I’ll have to spend some time listening to music on them — and I’ll probably go back and do a round of speaker auditions again with just stereo music. Any recommendations for music particularly?
 

Exit Music

Member
Nov 13, 2017
460
I apologize if this isn’t really the right place to ask, but if I’m 90% gaming and 10% movies, is it worth buying Atmos speaking going from my 7.1 setup to 5.1 Atmos? I have Chane A1 and A2 rxs and Polk rests with something the previous home owner installed in the ceiling as surround rears.
 

RedlineRonin

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,574
Minneapolis
I do love them but again I do faaaaaaar more movie, TV and game listening on them than music. I’ll have to spend some time listening to music on them — and I’ll probably go back and do a round of speaker auditions again with just stereo music. Any recommendations for music particularly?

lotta different stuff in there. Some new and some stuff I used to demo when I sold audio in my first life.

Wide range of stuff for testing accuracy, range, neutrality of sound etc
 

sora bora

Member
Oct 27, 2017
551
I believe Yamaha defines as 85dB. I think this correlates to 0 on your volume dial (assuming you didn't make any changes) since I believe they use a negative scale for volume.
I've long-wondered about the negative volume scale of my RX-781. I didn't even know it was called that. Thanks!

I had a couple Onkyo's and Sony's over the last 10-15 years. None of them used that. I figured it was something True Audiophiles might use. I just left it and learned it, as is.

I have no idea what I am actually talking about, though :D

EDIT: While I have your much-appreciated attention, I'm def a (reasonable) strong bass lover. I like my guns, rap, and explosions to feel deep/heavy. If I'm to adjust bass level to my preferences, then, should I leave the post-calibration level alone and instead adjust via the dial on the back of my sub and/or the "trim" adjustment on the Yamaha?

Much obliged.
 
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Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
I've long-wondered about the negative volume scale of my RX-781. I didn't even know it was called that. Thanks!

I had a couple Onkyo's and Sony's over the last 10-15 years. None of them used that. I figured it was something True Audiophiles might use. I just left it and learned it, as is.

I have no idea what I am actually talking about, though :D

EDIT: While I have your much-appreciated attention, I'm def a (reasonable) strong bass lover. I like my guns, rap, and explosions to feel deep/heavy. If I'm to adjust bass level to my preferences, then, should I leave the post-calibration level alone and instead adjust via the dial on the back of my sub and/or the "trim" adjustment on the Yamaha?

Much obliged.
I'd probably adjust it on the receiver and make a note of what you changed so you can easily go back if you want. The analog dial on the sub would be difficult to get back to where it originally was.
 

Dartastic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,024
Finally ready to start making a real audio set up. I have zero components and would love some Information or ideas on where to start, best deals, etc. To start, what should I expect to spend on a good receiver?
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Finally ready to start making a real audio set up. I have zero components and would love some Information or ideas on where to start, best deals, etc. To start, what should I expect to spend on a good receiver?
You will have to give us a ballpark of the budget, how many speakers you would like to start with, and how many you would ultimately like to have when completed.
 

Dartastic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,024
You will have to give us a ballpark of the budget, how many speakers you would like to start with, and how many you would ultimately like to have when completed.
Not sure on the budget yet, because I do anticipate building up over at least six or so months. Maybe I can save during that period and go full 5.1. I know at a minimum I'd want a receiver and two channels to start.
 

Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,640
Finally ready to start making a real audio set up. I have zero components and would love some Information or ideas on where to start, best deals, etc. To start, what should I expect to spend on a good receiver?
I got my entire 5.1.2 setup with Denon x3400H receiver for about $3,000. None of it would be considered cheap although none of it would be considered audiophile level stuff either.

Thing is...for the average human, what I have is all you would need.

Here are my components and what I paid at purchase:

Receiver: Denon x3400H ($700)
L+R: Elac Debut 2.0 F6.2 ($600 / pair)
C: Elac Debut 2.0 C6.2 ($300)
Surround: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 ($300 / pair)
Heights: RSL C34E ($300 / pair)
Sub: SVS PB-2000 ($800)

Highly recommend ALL of it and can answer any questions you have although many folks in here know a lot more than me about audio.

Edit: the one component I’d recommend over all others is the sub. You feel it in your soul yet it’s still REALLY crisp. Gamechanging.
 

Dartastic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,024
I got my entire 5.1.2 setup with Denon x3400H receiver for about $3,000. None of it would be considered cheap although none of it would be considered audiophile level stuff either.

Thing is...for the average human, what I have is all you would need.

Here are my components and what I paid at purchase:

Receiver: Denon x3400H ($700)
L+R: Elac Debut 2.0 F6.2 ($600 / pair)
C: Elac Debut 2.0 C6.2 ($300)
Surround: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 ($300 / pair)
Heights: RSL C34E ($300 / pair)
Sub: SVS PB-2000 ($800)

Highly recommend ALL of it and can answer any questions you have although many folks in here know a lot more than me about audio.

Edit: the one component I’d recommend over all others is the sub. You feel it in your soul yet it’s still REALLY crisp. Gamechanging.
I am an average human, so I'm sure you're right, haha. Is there any reason you went with that receiver over something in the $500 range? It seems like there are some good options out there in that price range, and I'm unsure what spending the extra cash really provides.