Hollow Acoustimass-7 center speaker - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Bose Acoustimas-7 for LRC & sub, and Bose 100 for the rear.
I also have a Panasonic 58" plasma which has nice sound for movies, news and talk. When I mute the TV and listen to the same sounds through my Onkyo TX-SR307 and Bose speakers, the center channel sounds hollow. The TV's sound is much more pleasing. I had the same experience using my previous Onkyo amp.

I have switched speakers around and no matter what I do the center channel sounds hollow. Seems like it is missing lower and mid-range freqs, but I can't tell exactly. Music from CD sounds OK, but I'm no audiophile.

I am using audio optical connection from Comcast cable box to SR307 for the surround plus HDMI from box to SR307 to TV. Onkyo speaker config is 'large', and cable box audio set to 'advanced' & 'stereo'. The Onkyo does detect Dolby Digital when TV program shows 5.1 being transmitted.

Any ideas for why I am getting crummy sounding center? I am ready to try substituting a new center speaker driven right from the Onkyo. I am not enthusiastic about scrapping the Bose, 'cuz I'm not interested in super speaker system or booming bass. If I had a decent center, everything would be Jake. (That expression ought to give you some clue about my age.)

Thanks for any help you can give.
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post #2 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 12:59 PM
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/sigh..

It's a Bose.

I'm sure if you use your search function for the forums you can find answers for this, but the general consensus is "Bose is all midrange, sucks at highs and sucks at lows".

Your center probably sounds hollow because it is. If you were to DIY build your acoustimass system with identical drivers, you would end up paying less than $500 for all of it.

Bose is marketing and name brand identity - driven by marketing.

You could save sunk $1200 into an Atlantic, Energy, Deftech, or CSW set of speakers and gotten more versatility, deeper, richer bass, and well defined highs...and probably been 100x happier with the final product.

If you really want to clean it up, I'd sell the bose system (they have good resale value) and replace with something (almost anything) else.

OR tell us what Onkyo you are using and what listening mode you listen in. Also, did you run Audyssey in 6 listening positions? What did it calibrate everything to?
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post #3 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Using Onkyo SR307. The Audyssey EQ was run in the three listening positions that the SR307 supports. Couldn't find a way for it to display what EQ settings it came up with. Sounds hollow in all the surround listening modes. Usually use Direct or PL II Movie.
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post #4 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 01:46 PM
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I don't know that much about the Onkyo speaker config - but you should definitely be setting them to "small".

That lets the Onkyo redirect the low frequencies to your subwoofer. Well - if you had one...

Bose accoustimass modules are the very DEFINITION of boomy.

It also sounds like you might be applying multiple layers of processing here to some degree. Bose processing hacks up the sound to make it sound like it's all still there when it comes through their tiny cubes. Running it through the Onkyo with PL IIc enabled is only going to add more processing.

I would second the suggestion to sell the Bose stuff for all you can get for it and replace it with a couple nice fronts, a matching center, and a real sub.
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post #5 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 01:48 PM
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In addition to the ideas here, which I agree with, I would look for a pro-Bose forum to ask this question & see if you are doing something wrong.

Ron
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Noubourne: Thanks for the reply. I had them on 'small' until a day or so ago, when a Bose tech support guy suggested I turn them to 'large'. Didn't see any difference between small and large, at least as far as the center channel goes.
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 03:31 PM
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With Bose Acoustimass, you run all the channels to the Bass Module and then wire the cubes from the Bass Module. With this setup, you should set the receiver to large as the crossover is handled externally. DO NOT hook the cubes directly to the receiver. My guess in this situation is that your PL IIc width setting is set high causing more information to go to the R and L instead of the Center.

As someone suggested, you should sell up and get something like Mirage Nanosats or Orbs if you need small speakers and then add a nice sub. Bose does has a decent resale value.
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post #8 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, rnatalli. I have been looking up the sales prices on eBay for Acousticmass-7, and they are not all that bad. I think I'll take you guys up on your suggestions, and hope that the center channel hollowness is just not my imagination, or my hollow head! Thanks.
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post #9 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryJarr View Post

Thanks, rnatalli. I have been looking up the sales prices on eBay for Acousticmass-7, and they are not all that bad. I think I'll take you guys up on your suggestions, and hope that the center channel hollowness is just not my imagination, or my hollow head! Thanks.

How much are you willing to spend including the funds received from your Bose sale? Also, what size room do you have and do you have to have small speakers?
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post #10 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 03:49 PM
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It's because your bose can't handle the signals that come from "large".

Your crossover on those units is probably around 120-125hz in the best case, and your "sub" probably can't go much below 45hz with any volume (or without distortion).

Here's what you need to do. Turn to page 55 of your owner manual - yes I downloaded it off the website to help you out. I have a 707 and they should be relatively similar.

Set all your speakers to small, and your subwoofer to yes. Run audyssey again (page 33) after you set them all to small and make sure the sub is active.

After Audyssey is complete, go back to page 55 and check your settings - it will show you what crossovers the AVR set for each pair of speakers and center channel. I'm assuming that your R/L will be either 150 or 200hz and your center will be either 125 or 150. Make sure that you change it so your L/R and surrounds (since they are the same) show the same range.

Your center MAY possibly handle some lower content, so I'd leave it at what Audyssey finds.

Next, check your speaker distance. Make sure it's close to what you have in reality. If it's not, put a tape from the face of the speaker to your ear and enter that measurement (to the nearest 6").

I advise leaving your level calibration and equalizer settings alone. Let Audyssey figure that out.

Make sure audyssey dynamic eq is on.

That might help. If it doesn't, sell the bose on ebay and get some new speakers.
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post #11 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goros View Post


Set all your speakers to small, and your subwoofer to yes. Run audyssey again (page 33) after you set them all to small and make sure the sub is active.

After Audyssey is complete, go back to page 55 and check your settings - it will show you what crossovers the AVR set for each pair of speakers and center channel. I'm assuming that your R/L will be either 150 or 200hz and your center will be either 125 or 150. Make sure that you change it so your L/R and surrounds (since they are the same) show the same range. .

Goros: I don't quite understand. If I say I have a subwoofer and run the Onkyo that way, when in fact I have no subwoofer external to the Bose, then won't all the bass below the crossover freq be sent by the Onkyo into an open pair of connectors?
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post #12 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 04:20 PM
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Ah, I forgot the acoustimass runs everything though the "subwoofer" first and doesn't use the sub out from the receiver.

yeah, forget what I said.

bose makes my head hurt. sorry. set it like matalli said, and you probably can't actually use your audyssey accurately because of that - hence the hollow crummy sound.
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post #13 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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rnatalli: My room is about 300 sq ft. What I am willing to spend is going up as I see the prices of speaker systems I would like to spend $500 or so on speakers. I don't have to have small speakers, but I would prefer them. What speakers do you recommend? I could keep the Bose 100s for the rear surround and just get a 3.1 system.
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post #14 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 04:33 PM
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Lets just start over and get the Energy Take Classic for $150 and a $150 sub to go with it. Sell the Bose stuff and move forward!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-004-_-Product

http://www.thespeakercompany.com/T10...r-P157C17.aspx

You'll be able to get decent money for your Bose equipment and you'll be happier in the long run.

Afro GT
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post #15 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 04:36 PM
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Now that I see you're willing to get bigger speakers...get some Polk RTi4 and a CSi3 center.

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Per...1096491&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Cen..._bxgy_e_text_b

That's less than $300 for those 3 speakers. Then you'll also have money left for a real sub instead of the Acoustimass bass module.

Afro GT
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post #16 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Now that I see you're willing to get bigger speakers...get some Polk RTi4 and a CSi3 center.

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Per...1096491&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Cen..._bxgy_e_text_b

That's less than $300 for those 3 speakers. Then you'll also have money left for a real sub instead of the Acoustimass bass module.

Afro GT: Thanks a bundle. I appreciate the recommendations. Looks like it's Bose-bye-bye for me. I'll order something where I can return it if it's no better. Thanks again.
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post #17 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 05:10 PM
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where do you live? And those RTi4s will clearly be better than the Bose AM-7.

If you have a Fry's store locally, they carry the RTi4 for around $150/pr.

Afro GT
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post #18 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 09:30 PM
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Try not to buy something blindly without listening to them with music. For music polks are too bright for me and the Rtis are notorious for being bright http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post17712246

Polk SL2000WC $3 DIY mod. Smaller the uf, the less harsh your SL2000 is.
1. SRS: .47 uf/250v mylar cap top SL2000, 1.0 2nd, 1.0 3rd, .47 bottom
2. 2.3: 1.0 middle
3. 1C: 1.0 top
4. 2B: 1.0
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post #19 of 28 Old 12-17-2009, 10:44 PM
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I have a set of ls-500's, one lsc-100 and a pair of ls-100 bookshelves for my setup, over the past year I have spent a mere $550 collecting it all. You may want to check out AV123 right now, they have an ELT 5.0 set for $700 shipped which after selling your Bose and adding ~$200 will be atleast 20 times better then your current setup.
Also check out:
Acoustic Research
Aperion
Ascend
Athena (ls series at audioadvisor, Brand discontinued by Klipsch therefore RARE)(I personally own a 5.0 set of LS series speakers)
AV123 (All products are excellent)
Axiom
B&W
BIC (good sub: HC-100)
Boston Acoustics
Canton
Definitive Technologies
EMP
Energy (C-series)
Fluance (Really cheap with good reviews, they have an eBay store)
HSU (good subs)
HTD
Infinity (Beta & Primus)
Jamo
JBL
KEF
KLH
Klipsch
Mirage
Monitor
Orb Audio
Paradigm
Polk (RTI8 and Monitor)
PSB
RBH
The Speaker Company
Streem
SVS (good subs)
Tweak City Audio
Yambeka

XBL Krimzen Rage
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post #20 of 28 Old 12-18-2009, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

where do you live? And those RTi4s will clearly be better than the Bose AM-7.

If you have a Fry's store locally, they carry the RTi4 for around $150/pr.

AfroGT: I live in San Jose, CA, and Fry's is my second home. Thanks for the info.
Malovich: Thanks to you too. Leaning toward getting something locally, where I can just drive them back to the store if I don't see any improvement. Eg, Fry's
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post #21 of 28 Old 12-18-2009, 09:11 AM
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I just switched out my Bose myself after 15 years or so. While the Bose always sounded good to me, the new setup is night and day and I didn't get the biggest or the best. A set of polk monitor 60's and a cs2 center. I still don't have a sub but these sound great compared to the Bose.
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post #22 of 28 Old 12-18-2009, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucko72 View Post

I just switched out my Bose myself after 15 years or so. While the Bose always sounded good to me, the new setup is night and day and I didn't get the biggest or the best. A set of polk monitor 60's and a cs2 center. I still don't have a sub but these sound great compared to the Bose.

Thanks, Bucko72 for your reply. I'm a little leery of the Polk, with the comments above
about excessive brightness. Do you have a comment on that?
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post #23 of 28 Old 12-18-2009, 02:47 PM
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You don't have to be leery Harry. You live in San Jose, take a CD with you to Fry's and try them out yourself. Then our opinions won't matter.

Even better would be to take the Polk Rti4s home for 20-30 days and test them in your environment. Return them if you don't like them.

Afro GT
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post #24 of 28 Old 12-19-2009, 07:20 AM
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Well, where I live I don't have a lot of choices as far as brands to listen to. I did listen to some Klipsch and a couple of other brands. The Klipsch were by far the brightest that I listend to. The polks sound great to me but I have a fairly large room 20x24 open to a hallway down one side and half open to the dining room in the rear and fully carpeted. I don't know how much difference that makes but again the polks aren't bright to me just a much fuller sound than the Bose had.
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post #25 of 28 Old 12-19-2009, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Bucko. After Christmas I'll try the Rti4 / CSi3 combo, and maybe hang onto the Bose 100 for the two surround speakers.
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post #26 of 28 Old 12-19-2009, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornhulio View Post

Try not to buy something blindly without listening to them with music. For music polks are too bright for me and the Rtis are notorious for being bright http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post17712246


Man i gave up on listening to stuff years ago because it NEVER sounds the same once you get it home. I went threw this for years with guitars, amps and pickups. Everything sounds so much different when you get it in your home and you plug everything into the rest of your own equpiment.

What i wound up doing with guitars is buy the neck and look then make the thing play and sound the way you want it.

This surround sound is different because you cant really shape or EQ the sound much. They try and set everything as flat as possible and that doesnt always seem to sound good in all rooms.

The large and small speaker setting did help my jamos when i first got them. Changign from the "Small" to the "Large" setting adding alot of lower end to my center making it sound WAY better. I was not happy with it at first.

The problem i see, is if you use the small and it redirects the lower end to the sub where is your sub? IS it behind the couch muffled by the couch? is it in the front under the center speaker? if its not a full range type sub it wont fill much of the gap between, least mine didnt seem to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsantos
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have friend slide mirror on wall
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post #27 of 28 Old 12-19-2009, 10:51 AM
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yep, I am still using the am-5 set for my rears.
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post #28 of 28 Old 12-19-2009, 10:53 PM
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This seems to be a pretty good deal for $800 for a complete 5.1 system. I can't vouch for it, but I'm sure you could find some reviews around here.

http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm

Here is a full 6.1 set for $550, with small speakers but a decent reputation

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/performance2.html
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