In-wall speaker volume too low - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I recently moved into a house with speakers in multiple rooms. When connecting the receiver to the speaker, the volume is quite low both when I connect the speakers directly and when I go through a Monster speaker selector. The volume is fine when running the receiver through my home theater speakers.

My receiver is a Pioneer VSX-1020k and the speaker selector is made by Monster. Each room also has impedance volume controls.

Any advice on how I can remedy this would be much appreciated. Do I need an amp to power the speakers? Thanks!
bleumax is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 09:16 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 77
Is the speaker selector also impedance matching? If yes, then try a volume control that is not impedance matching.

What happens when you connector the zone speakers directly to zone 1 without the speaker selector box? The VCs likely have DIP switches that you set to tell the VC how many other VCs are on the same system. Find the VC manual. And read the speaker selector manual.

The quick answer is use a multichannel amp, but I don't think you need to resort to that. Yet.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Is the speaker selector also impedance matching? If yes, then try a volume control that is not impedance matching.
What happens when you connector the zone speakers directly to zone 1 without the speaker selector box? The VCs likely have DIP switches that you set to tell the VC how many other VCs are on the same system. Find the VC manual. And read the speaker selector manual.
The quick answer is use a multichannel amp, but I don't think you need to resort to that. Yet.

Thanks for the reply. So far, I've only attempted to go through zone 1 to test the speakers. I connected the receiver directly to the wall speaker and volume is low. I also tried connecting zone 1 to the speaker selector and then to the wall speaker. Same result, low volume. To make sure there wasn't a problem with the receiver, I connected the receiver to a floor speaker and everything is fine. Aside from the difference in speakers, the only other difference that I can think of is that the wall speakers have a volume control knob.

I'm not sure where I the DIP switches would be located. Do I need to look behind the VCs? Unfortunately, the VCs were installed before I moved in, so I don't have the manuals.
bleumax is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 07-30-2012, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
bump.
bleumax is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 07-30-2012, 12:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 77
google for the VC manual

Yes, you'll need to pull the VC out of the wall to find the model/markings.

Running multiple speakers off the amp will reduce volume. You need an impedance matching device between the speakers and the amp, if running more than a couple pairs of speakers off 2 channels/1 output. That impedance matching device can be in the VC or in the speaker selector box. Impedance matching in both locations may further reduce the volume, but not usually by much.

You need to find that manual to confirm that the VC has impedance matching.

How many zones total off the single output?

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 07-30-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

google for the VC manual
Yes, you'll need to pull the VC out of the wall to find the model/markings.
Running multiple speakers off the amp will reduce volume. You need an impedance matching device between the speakers and the amp, if running more than a couple pairs of speakers off 2 channels/1 output. That impedance matching device can be in the VC or in the speaker selector box. Impedance matching in both locations may further reduce the volume, but not usually by much.
You need to find that manual to confirm that the VC has impedance matching.
How many zones total off the single output?

Thanks.

I pulled out the VC. It is a Niles VCS-2D. I don't believe that it is impedance matching.

My 6 channel speaker selector is a Monster SS-6, which has impedance matching circuitry. My plan is to connect my Pioneer vsx1020 receiver to the Monster speaker selector out of Zone 2. I plan to have 3 zones (kitchen, dining room, and outdoor deck) with 2 speakers each connected to the speaker selector.

Since my receiver (zone 1) powers other speakers just fine, does that mean that there's either a problem at the VC or with the in-wall speakers?

Thanks again. It's much appreciated.
bleumax is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 07-30-2012, 06:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 7,704
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Liked: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleumax View Post

My 6 channel speaker selector is a Monster SS-6, which has impedance matching circuitry. My plan is to connect my Pioneer vsx1020 receiver to the Monster speaker selector out of Zone 2. I plan to have 3 zones (kitchen, dining room, and outdoor deck) with 2 speakers each connected to the speaker selector.
Since my receiver (zone 1) powers other speakers just fine, does that mean that there's either a problem at the VC or with the in-wall speakers?

I don't think there's any problem, there's just a combination of things that are giving you less sound than you expect.

First, that receiver's amplifier is not huge - and with 3 pairs attached to the 80W output, you're dividing that power as well. Second, the in-wall / in-ceiling speakers may be inexpensive, less-efficient speakers than your mains (resulting in less sound for the same power). Third, you've got two volume controls for the zones - the Zone2 level in the receiver (you should turn this up fairly high) and the individual volume controls.

With something playing, start with the Zone2 output level low, and turn one room on (only) from the speaker selector. Turn the volume knob in that zone all the way up. Now slowly raise the Zone2 volume level until you get to an acceptable volume. When you turn the other rooms on, you're going to have a noticeable drop in volume across all three. Nature of the beast...

Hope that helps,

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

jautor is online now  
post #8 of 15 Old 07-30-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I don't think there's any problem, there's just a combination of things that are giving you less sound than you expect.
First, that receiver's amplifier is not huge - and with 3 pairs attached to the 80W output, you're dividing that power as well. Second, the in-wall / in-ceiling speakers may be inexpensive, less-efficient speakers than your mains (resulting in less sound for the same power). Third, you've got two volume controls for the zones - the Zone2 level in the receiver (you should turn this up fairly high) and the individual volume controls.
With something playing, start with the Zone2 output level low, and turn one room on (only) from the speaker selector. Turn the volume knob in that zone all the way up. Now slowly raise the Zone2 volume level until you get to an acceptable volume. When you turn the other rooms on, you're going to have a noticeable drop in volume across all three. Nature of the beast...
Hope that helps,
Jeff

Thanks. To isolate the issue, I ran the in-wall speaker through Zone 1 without the speaker selector. Under this scenario, the speaker produced sound, but it was fairly quiet - definitely not suitable for listening. The only thing between the receiver (zone 1) and the in-wall speakers is the VC. This is why I initially suspected that the issue resided with either the VC settings or the speakers. Do you think that my receiver's amplifier is insufficient to power this particular set of in-wall speakers? Will I need to invest in a multichannel amp and/or a new receiver? Thanks.
bleumax is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 07-31-2012, 02:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 77
You connected the pair of speakers to zone 1, with nothing else running off zone 1, and there was insufficient volume from the speakers?

Maybe the polarity of the speaker cables is reversed, for 1 or both speakers?

As jautor said, is the volume turned up on the VC and the AVR? (Turn them both down before wiring, then turn them up.) Sound coming from both speakers?

Try another pair of speakers, from a different zone, connected to zone 1.

In-wall and in-ceiling speakers rarely break. It's a possibility.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 07-31-2012, 02:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 77
Make sure the connections on the VC are correct -

"The inputs of the VCS-2D are the connector pins
labeled “AMPLIFIER”. The outputs are the connector
pins labeled “SPEAKERS”. Be sure not to reverse these
connections or the VCS-2D will not function properly."

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Neurorad, I'll try to go through your suggestions tonight. I also plan to bypass the volume control (directly connected through Zone 1 without the speaker selector) to try to isolate whether the speakers are working.

Neurorad and Jauter, thanks for your help. It's definitely helping me to understand what the issues might be.
bleumax is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 08-02-2012, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So, I connected the speakers and speaker selector to a 25+ year old receiver and all the zones work. I still would like to connect the speakers to my Pioneer vsx-1020 receiver. I read in the manual that the ohm range defaults to 8-16. Any chance that the lack of impedance matching on the VC prevents the speakers from working properly?
bleumax is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 08-09-2012, 10:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 77
IIRC, the VC you have has some weird auto-volume something something.

Here:
http://www.nilesaudio.com/images/legacy/manuals/vcs2dman.pdf

'Niles volume controls use autoformers instead of L-pads for the
volume controlling element. This assures minimal internal
power dissipation with virtually no power wasted as heat.'

Maybe this is inherently problematic, or it's broken. I'd try a different brand of VC, or a different one that you have already, in its place.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
bleumax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

IIRC, the VC you have has some weird auto-volume something something.
Here:
http://www.nilesaudio.com/images/legacy/manuals/vcs2dman.pdf
'Niles volume controls use autoformers instead of L-pads for the
volume controlling element. This assures minimal internal
power dissipation with virtually no power wasted as heat.'
Maybe this is inherently problematic, or it's broken. I'd try a different brand of VC, or a different one that you have already, in its place.

Neurorad, thanks for the research and follow-up. I've been swamped lately, so I haven't been able to try a different brand of VC. I have one sitting in an Amazon box. Hopefully, I'll be able to try that out soon.
bleumax is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 10:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 77
If you have another VC that seems to be working correctly, you should try swapping that one first. Also, it may be connected incorrectly.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
Reply Home A/V Distribution

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off