Official Soundmatters/Aperion Slimstage owners's thread - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 187 Old 12-16-2010, 01:53 PM
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I just received an email from elektrowelt24 saying that they are out of the 50's but have 40's. I had asked them for cost of shipping and if VAT would be discounted on an item shipped out of the EU. These questions were not addressed, however I replied to the email asking the same about the SLIMstage 40 as this would still be acceptable if the price is right.
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post #92 of 187 Old 12-16-2010, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rxcats View Post

I just received an email from elektrowelt24 saying that they are out of the 50's but have 40's. I had asked them for cost of shipping and if VAT would be discounted on an item shipped out of the EU. These questions were not addressed, however I replied to the email asking the same about the SLIMstage 40 as this would still be acceptable if the price is right.

I already discussed this with elektrowelt24, you can read about it on previous page and consensus was that with shipping charges it's not worth it.

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post #93 of 187 Old 12-17-2010, 05:34 AM
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The US Postal Service offers Priority Mail International for packages up to 42" long. Using the weight and dimensions of the outer box for the SS40 the shipping comes to about $130 from the East Coast to Germany. I don't know what the German post office offers. Otherwise a European purchase might have to wait for a trip there.
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post #94 of 187 Old 12-18-2010, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLM View Post

Conjecture is fine if you are familiar with the designs.

These units are all similar 2 way designs and have almost nothing in common with conventional speakers. They each have the identical 4 mid-hi drivers identically enclosed, so they can be mixed and matched at your pleasure. In the 40 and 50 the L & R pairs are each spaced apart; those in the 30s are adjacent. I think that makes the spread effects in the 40 & 50 more pronounced than in the 30. I would guess that the 40 and 50 are very much alike in that regard. With the effects turned off, used in what they call stereo/bypass mode longer could/should be better depending on the distance you sit from the unit.

Otherwise it's the number of very small woofer units (also each identically enclosed): 2 in the 30, 3 in the 40 and 4 in the 50. Since you can turn these down, I would think that more is better than less; more does spec out better. My experience bears this out.

Have you heard all three speakers? Have you done any double-blind comparisons with any?

I have read the specs on all three and am somewhat familiar with speaker design.

I have never read anywhere that having more distance between drivers, especially in a one piece sound bar would give a better sense of surround. If anything, the opposite would be true as closer together would avoid possible cabinet defraction and timing issues as you move the speakers further off center. I have not seen anyone defend the notion of keeping drivers further apart in any technical paper over the last 30-35 years. Typically keeping things closer together avoides cabinet defraction and cabinet induced standing waves as well as making time alignment more simple.

Also, I have never seen the technical paper saying that more drivers will give more accurate sound. If anything, most technical papers over the past 30 years have pointed in the opposite direction. Additional drivers would increase spl with a corresponding increase in power, but for most home installations, any of these units are capable of spl's capable of causing hearing loss.

Surround modes in soundbars are typically created electronically by using time delay and phase shifting, not by spacing drivers further apart. A larger cabinet could give deeper bass response. However, none of these cabinets are designed with deep, accurate bass response in mind. From my reading and reviewing of Asperion's specs, it appears that their unit will reproduce lower frequencies than most and have the possibility of working with a real-world sub-woofer for extended bass response. Most so called sub-woofers for soundbars are really just woofers as they typically are required to reach into the mid and upper bass areas where the soundbar lf rolloff begins.

I don't really care if Hicks works for Asperion or anyone else. If thier people have listened and prefer the 30, that is great. Unless given the opportunity to listen in a double blind a/b comparison, I will withhold judgement on any of these units in comparison with the other.

If anyone has had the opportunity to a/b these units, double-blind or not, I would more than welcome your feedback as these, along with the new Yamaha 2200 are high on my list to replace both an inexpensive soundbar and a rather expensive hi-fi over the next twelve months.

Finding a soundbar good for home theater is easy and rather inexpensive. Finding one that is also good for music and audio has been rather like Percival's search for the Holy Grail.

Please forgive this thin skinned response as you may be much more aware of more modern research than I. I used to keep up with audio research from many quarters, but presently only read the articles that are of pertinent interest to me. So I freely admit that everything I think I know may be completely wrong.

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post #95 of 187 Old 12-19-2010, 10:40 AM
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Excuse me David for what follows, but it's hard to respond to a post that pontificates about speakers the writer freely admits he has never heard, or perhaps even seen. My own experience with these speakers is limited, but I have had the SS30 and then the SS50 in my house and in front of my 50" screen, each for a couple of weeks. My experience with good sound at home is extensive. Current components include VPI, Lavry, Sim Audio, Von Schweikert. I don't evaluate components using double blind methods.

What I can tell you is that the sounds of the SS30 and SS50 are virtually identical in their mid-hi frequency characteristics. No one, therefore who mixes any two of these would, IMO, find that they do not make a great matching pair for front and rear, if that's what the user decided to do. It was exactly that suggestion that prompted your first post.

I believe I was clear that my conjecture about the spatial effects deriving from the spread of the speaker pairs was just that, a conjecture. I said, "I think" it so. It was my speculation. Now that I have lived with the SS50 for a while I still think it so . . . but that kind of listening is not my principal interest in the speaker.

As these drivers are not in cabinets that have anything in common with standard speaker designs, I think your comments about diffraction effects are misplaced. In any event simply moving the drivers left and right would not affect diffraction, although it could affect interference. My listening experience says it doesn't. But then I don't expect a soundbar to withstand careful listening scrutiny like a fine audio set-up. Surely the stereo effect of the front speakers, and therefore the spaciousness using the stereo/bypass mode or even the music mode on the SS, is enhanced by the L and R speakers being further apart.

As for the more drivers, perhaps you misunderstand my remark or the speakers. I am only speaking of more woofer drivers, for the number of mid-hi drivers is the same in all 3 SSs. Notwithstanding other kinds of linear speaker arrays, woofer arrays are very common and are used on great speakers such as Infinitys and on modest speakers such as my own Von Schweikerts. Many designers prefer and use smaller woofers arrayed in a line rather than single large speakers for reasons that are well understood in the industry.

The 4 woofer arrays in the SS50 should result in a better bass quality and quantity, than the two in the SS30 and, based upon my listening, I believe that they do. Thus their ability to extend the bass lower than most sound bars is enhanced and any sub-woofer (to the extent that it is considered needed at all) should be able to be used with a lower frequency cut off on its low pass filter.
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post #96 of 187 Old 12-19-2010, 03:55 PM
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Excellent points all. My apologies as I must have been off of my standard feed yesterday.

Glad you could do the side by side comparison. Much better than speculation from viewing specifications.

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post #97 of 187 Old 12-23-2010, 03:03 PM
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Decided to keep slimstage30. I actually like it very much.

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post #98 of 187 Old 12-23-2010, 05:01 PM
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Same here; I think I will keep it too. Undecided yet if I should get a subwoofer. I also felt it sounds better if I aim the front speakers to my ears. Previously, I aimed it higher trying to get more "clearance" for the woofers.
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post #99 of 187 Old 12-23-2010, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reallychu View Post

Same here; I think I will keep it too. Undecided yet if I should get a subwoofer. I also felt it sounds better if I aim the front speakers to my ears. Previously, I aimed it higher trying to get more "clearance" for the woofers.

Davyo is the guru of soundbars and recommends them being mounted higher, but I prefer it aimed at ear level (tilted slightly up). I'm glad people are enjoying the slimstage. I can't give you too much feedback on the subwoofer since I have a substage 100, made by soundmatters that was designed to work with the mainstage hd or slimstage. If you could get a substage 100 (not really or easily available) for a good price and you watch a fair amount of movies, especially action ones, I think you would be happy.
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post #100 of 187 Old 12-24-2010, 07:10 AM
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I'm glad people are happy with the SS. I think they are very revealing of the sound put through them. They will sound awful with most of the awful audio that comes through a TV these days, but fed good material they can sound terrific. That's one of the criteria of a good system: GIGO. If a system sounds great on everything, there's a problem. As has been mentioned I also think a careful use of the EQ is a good idea. Like others, I found that raising the higher frequencies to be helpful. Sooner or later I'll put a test cd through it and really see what's what.

I returned my initial system to Aperion and I can tell you that they are a first rate company to deal with. About the most no-hassle dealing possible. Fedex pick up and delivery both ways paid for. Anyone who wants to try it out at home should feel free to do it.

I wish I could get one of those SubStages that benjammin writes about, but I think that is next to impossible. Although I think a SlimStage doesn't really "need" a subwoofer I'm trying out an Emotiva 10" sub right now. I didn't choose it because I think it's the best, though it is very favorably reviewed. But it is a sealed unit (which I prefer), seemed (according to its manual) to be fine placed at wall and corners, and (with a discontinued finish) is being closed out at a bargain price; you have to call to get it. It's also returnable, but the buyer pays the return freight.

So far I can say that it is a bit smaller and a major improvement (and better specs) over the Aperion for about the same money. It must be used judiciously for it can outblast the SS and sound bad. But at reasonable levels it goes low down without doubling. Set correctly, on most poor TV material you will think it's not on. But when the signal is right it does pretty well. I haven't yet decided to keep it, and if I do I'll probably get a wireless arrangement for it and tuck it away. Thanks to the SS it carries only the lowest frequencies and can be placed anywhere.
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post #101 of 187 Old 12-25-2010, 09:14 PM
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The issue that I mentioned on previous page been driving be crazy where digital display staying in Dimmed state and not turning off completely. I thought this was a result of my remote control but after additional troubleshooting I discovered that was not the case.

My setup is Mac Mini connected via optical out to D2 optical in SS30. My dimming preferences on SS30 are set to OFF. To reproduce the issue:

1) Make sure SS30 display is off
2) Play any audio content
3) Pause it for about 30 seconds and play again

Result: Display on SS30 turns on into Dimmed state and stays On until you make any changes to the volume or anything else with SS30 remote

If you set dimmed state in the settings, you'll notice that blue lights don't dim, but my reported issue above these blue lights actually don't appear which is a plus.

This issue exist only in optical inputs D2 or D3. I tried analog and it works as expected.

I am going contact Aperion for either replacement or some suggestions here.

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post #102 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post

The issue that I mentioned on previous page been driving be crazy where digital display staying in Dimmed state and not turning off completely. I thought this was a result of my remote control but after additional troubleshooting I discovered that was not the case.

Mine also stays in the dimmed state sometimes (actually pretty often). If I then change something on my Harmony One remote (e.g. volume), it will go back off. I have not been using the SS30's remote since initial set up as I programed my Harmony One to function with it. I have my TiVO and my DVD player hooked up to two of the optical inputs on the SS30 while the video from both of those components are hooked up to my HDTV via HDMI. I wasn't sure if something was not working right with the SS30 or if there was some other trick involved. I will be interested to see if others are experiencing the same thing.
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post #103 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 05:15 AM
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seems to be a bug or something. also with the ss40 the displays stays dimmed, although it should be off.
i don't care as i have it set to dim all the time.
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post #104 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post
The issue that I mentioned on previous page been driving be crazy where digital display staying in Dimmed state and not turning off completely. I thought this was a result of my remote control but after additional troubleshooting I discovered that was not the case.
I had the same issue with the SS50. I set it to go off, rather than dim, but it didn't take.

However I resolved the problem by setting it to go off and then resetting the unit, easily enough done by pulling the plug for a minute or two. It's been working perfectly ever since.

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post #105 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 10:19 AM
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has anyone ever experienced sound coming from the rear of the slimstage even without any rear-speakers attached?
i could swear that with the right material i hear sounds coming from the rear as well.
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post #106 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 10:37 AM
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Now, I think mine (SS30) stays dimmed as well, despite setting it to off. But it's so dimmed that it does not really bother me.
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post #107 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLM View Post

I had the same issue with the SS50. I set it to go off, rather than dim, but it didn't take.

However I resolved the problem by setting it to go off and then resetting the unit, easily enough done by pulling the plug for a minute or two. It's been working perfectly ever since.

Len

It doesn't reset your settings though if you unplug it, but there is a setting in the menu to reset the unit. Although, that doesn't help either.

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post #108 of 187 Old 12-26-2010, 05:20 PM
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You're right klas, resetting was a poor word choice. The SS's memory is non-volatile and unplugging it doesn't reset it.

My original SS30 came from Aperion and, if I remember correctly, was set to have the panel go off when I received it. I never had any problem with it and I probably didn't realize that it could be set any other way.

When I received my used SS50 it came to me set for dim and I wondered if there was something wrong with it. That's when I read the manual. I changed it to go "off" and it may have stayed off for a while, but always returned to dim. Then, based on something I read, I think, I tried pulling the power supply out of the unit for a while. The "off" setting remained and the panel has gone off ever since and works perfectly
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post #109 of 187 Old 12-27-2010, 06:16 PM
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Interesting, that "unplug for a while" trick seemed to work. Now works as expected. I will update if it comes back.

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post #110 of 187 Old 12-29-2010, 10:52 AM
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I am confirming that the issue went away with MLMs suggestion to simply "unplug for a while" There is probably some firmware bug if you play with the settings too much and something enables this.

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post #111 of 187 Old 12-31-2010, 03:42 AM
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I returned my SS30 (with subwoofer) today. It was OK, but sound quality was not as good as the much less expensive Vizio VHT510; of coarse the Vizio model had problems with the LED indicators not working (on mine and many others) and Vizio has not been up front about it. I really want the Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Summit Wireless System and will ultimately get it. I still need to find something as a stop-gap until it is available and I can afford it!

I heard back (email) from Elektrowelt24. They made an offer for €400.00 complete for the SS40 which comes out to about $535.00. It is reasonable I guess, but I am not sure I want to chance it.
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post #112 of 187 Old 12-31-2010, 08:04 AM
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i finally received the used mainstageHD which i intended to use as rear speaker for the slimstage.
first i played around with it a bit and was quite impressed by the sound the mainstageHD is able to produce. i have the impression as if the mainstageHD has a more balanced sound than the slimstage. with the slimstage i have tweaked the EQ a lot in order to have a more or less acceptable sound in bypass/stereo-mode. the mainstage has better mids and bass seems less boomy while similarly powerful. i was impressed that this little enclosure is able to output such powerful bass. i cranked it up quite a bit and could see the dust being pumped out of the woofer-grille.

now i have it attached as rear speaker to the slimstage and it works quite well, but i am not sure how to balance the front/rear volume best? are there any test-signals available, so that you can adjust the speakers accordingly?

i also wanted to ask if anyone knows more details about what kind of surround signals the slimstage is able to decode? what stands "PCM" for, i mean is PCM also able to contain surround-effects?
usually you can see on the display what kind of surround-signal the slimstage is receiving. for example DTS, or dolby digital 5.1 or dolby digital 2.0. but sometimes the display just shows "PCM", which i would assume is a simple stereo-signal.
recently i was watching a concert from my sat-receiver (it is attached digitally through coax to the slimstage), the slimstage was showing PCM again, but i could hear all clapping and other effects from the rear speakers. is this some kind of "fake"-surround the slimstage is creating on the fly, or might there be some real surround signals within PCM as well?
i hope someone can clear this up a bit!
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post #113 of 187 Old 12-31-2010, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oluv View Post

i finally received the used mainstageHD which i intended to use as rear speaker for the slimstage.
first i played around with it a bit and was quite impressed by the sound the mainstageHD is able to produce. i have the impression as if the mainstageHD has a more balanced sound than the slimstage. with the slimstage i have tweaked the EQ a lot in order to have a more or less acceptable sound in bypass/stereo-mode. the mainstage has better mids and bass seems less boomy while similarly powerful. i was impressed that this little enclosure is able to output such powerful bass. i cranked it up quite a bit and could see the dust being pumped out of the woofer-grille.

now i have it attached as rear speaker to the slimstage and it works quite well, but i am not sure how to balance the front/rear volume best? are there any test-signals available, so that you can adjust the speakers accordingly?

i also wanted to ask if anyone knows more details about what kind of surround signals the slimstage is able to decode? what stands "PCM" for, i mean is PCM also able to contain surround-effects?
usually you can see on the display what kind of surround-signal the slimstage is receiving. for example DTS, or dolby digital 5.1 or dolby digital 2.0. but sometimes the display just shows "PCM", which i would assume is a simple stereo-signal.
recently i was watching a concert from my sat-receiver (it is attached digitally through coax to the slimstage), the slimstage was showing PCM again, but i could hear all clapping and other effects from the rear speakers. is this some kind of "fake"-surround the slimstage is creating on the fly, or might there be some real surround signals within PCM as well?
i hope someone can clear this up a bit!

There is a lot here so I will do my best to give my perspective. I had the mainstage hd for 3.5 years before I bought the SS40. The mainstage is a nice unit but to me it does not compare to the ss for sound fidelity, quality, range, etc.

I don't know that there are test signals to balance the front and rear. One way to do so is to watch some movies that you might remember how they sounded in the movie theater and try to replicate that. Or you can simply balance it to your preference. I am frequently fiddling with it, depending upon how much rear sound I want for any given medium.

The SS is very revealing as I believe MLM pointed out. So if you are playing low bit rate MP3's for example, it will not be kind to them. If you are watching a tv show with bad sound or a commercial with bad sound it will reproduce it. Likewise, if you are watching a blu-ray with an excellent sound mix it will reproduce that as well.

I would think bypass-stereo mode would only be used for music. Since I don't listen to much if any music on it, I can't give any help there.

The SS decodes 2.0 PCM. As an example, the Blackhawk Down blu-ray has PCM and DD 5.1. I prefer the PCM mix even with it being 2.0 as it has a richer sound. Hopefully it's not simply because it's louder. But I think having a front and rear speaker allows the SS to reproduce the rear channels better than it would by itself. As always, your mileage may vary.

This is just a very quick response. I may have more thoughts later.
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post #114 of 187 Old 12-31-2010, 03:47 PM
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hey benjamin, thanks for your response and happy new year from vienna! i am also fiddling around with the mainstage volume all the time. when i think to have found the perfect balance on a particular DVD or bluray i realize that it is completely off on another.
as there is no volume level indicator on the mainstage it is quite hard to judge and recall the right levels again.

for movies the slimstage is definitely a better solution, but i was listening to music and found that the mainstage was sounding more balanced. i tried listening to music with the slimstage and the music surround effect, but it sounds completely different to normal stereo. there is too much reverbation and bass is compromised compared to stereo/bypass. not so with the mainstage, the surround effect adds broadness, but doesn't change any frequencies or hide instruments into the background.

for me music reproduction is quite important as i wanted to ban my old stereo completely from our living room and thought of using only the slimstage for casual listening. but every time i want to listen to music i have to change EQ, adjust bass etc. i even noticed that with dialog+ in stereo/bypass mode the mids sound clearer, in the surround modes dialog+ changes too much for my taste.
this is a bit too much fiddling for quick music listening. it is a pity that the slimstage doesn't remember all settings for each source. only the surround mode is remembered (if set in the menu).
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post #115 of 187 Old 12-31-2010, 06:43 PM
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a) I have the aperion SS30. I recall in the "Advanced" menu, there is an option to set the EQ for each input source.

b) I have the bluray for the animation "Ratatouille". Some of its menus have test image patterns as well as test 5.1 sound signals. It sends a signal to each speaker in your sound system. I ran the sound test for SS30:
- For the center, I heard sound coming from the two inner drivers
- For the left, I heard sound coming not only from the outer left driver, but the outer right as well. Together, they produced a "faint" sound that appears to be coming from the left. Vice versa for the right.
- For the left surround, I heard sound coming from both the outer left and right drivers. But, the sound now seems "louder", compared with the left signal. It is simulating the left surround, I guess, but not that convincing in my opinion (loudness equals closer?)
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post #116 of 187 Old 12-31-2010, 09:22 PM
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c) For the subwoofer signal, I pretty much didn't hear anything out of the SS30.
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post #117 of 187 Old 01-01-2011, 03:20 PM
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Hello

Observed anybody the same issue with the slimstage? When connecting my Xbox360 with an optical cable directly (Xbox -> SS40) or indirectly (Xbox -> TV -> SS40) the slimstage suddenly freezes. This happens sometimes only every 10 hours but more frequent every 30-60 minutes. When this happens the SS40 does not react to any commands (remote control or directly at the SS40) and immediately stops playing sounds.
I have to unplug the power cable to get the system back to work regularly.

This is really annoying. The soundmatters homepage does not offer any solutions or firmware updates.

Regards from Germany
Hans
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post #118 of 187 Old 01-01-2011, 03:31 PM
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First I'm glad that the "unplug for a while" trick cleared up the "dim" vs. "off" for klas. I think it will do the trick for all the SlimStages.

I didn't think I would use the SS very much for movies with a BIG sound component, for I have a large sound system at a different TV. But one of my kids got a blu-ray Avatar set of disks and only the new TV with the SS has a blu-ray player attached. I didn't do any experimentation but set it to DD 5.1. I used the "movie" setting (3 blue leds) and was very entertained. There was a definite semi-circle of sound in the front of the room that was more than I was expecting.

I had also been wondering whether to keep the 10" Emotiva subwoofer, because for most uses the SS really doesn't need one. But it proved to be quite a blast with Avatar and now the kids won't let me send it back. While a 10" sealed subwoofer won't please some of the guys in the subwoofer forum, it is an excellent match to the SS and was a good deal at the closeout price.
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post #119 of 187 Old 01-01-2011, 04:54 PM
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hans, have you tried both of the optical inputs?
i have no xbox, so i cannot recreate the situation, but with my WDTV live player which is also connected optically i have not experienced any problems with the SS or freezes.
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post #120 of 187 Old 01-02-2011, 11:22 AM
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There is a listing on eBay now for a brand new SS40 in the US. Seller had it on before and it didn't sell. Now he's lowered the price a bit and is also asking for offers. Item number: 260715782141
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