How do I tame the "boominess" out of the Denon? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I know that "boominess" is not a real word... I have a Denon 3312 and a Yamaha 2010 set next to each other... And I am trying to decide which one to keep based on sound, since I can get some stereo amps for zones 2 and 3 if needed.

I eq'ed both amps using their built in systems. I did both multipoint and single point. Right now I am on single point (it's faster to reset). I followed the Audyssey FAQ subwoofer instructions: phase at 0, low gain (1/4 volume; if I do 1/2 Audyssey gives up and sets the sub at -12 dB; 150 Hz low pass). Here's my conundrum: out of the basic eq, I like the Yamaha much much better. My sub never feels boomy. Even though the Yamaha says the sub is set at +0.5 dB (which I since bumped to +3 dB) I never feel the bass vibrations. The Denon, on the other hand, is VERY boomy. Ironically, its sub setting is a negative dB value. So I guess that one can't compare those +/- dB well across different brands.

The thing that I really like about the Denon compared to the Yamaha is Dynamic EQ. I have to turn the volume up on the Yamaha at night to get to hear volume (~ -25 dB on the Yamaha) but then explosions etc. are really loud (I have adaptive DRC set up to the max). With the Denon, I can go down to it's -30 dB to -40 dB and the dialogues are more intelligible (probably because they're raised a few dB all the time) and the explosions don't swing as much as on the Yamaha. But the sounds is very boomy. So much that it is tiring even at low levels. I am watching The Avengers as I figured I'd have plenty of swing in volume to test Dynamic EQ with smile.gif

That same boomy sound (Denon) vs not (Yamaha) happens while listening to music at higher levels (-25dB to -15 dB). How do I tame it? Lowering the sub eq doesn't seem to be the right thing, or maybe I haven't lowered it enough yet? If I can get to a sound like the Yamaha, I am pretty sure that Dynamic EQ will win me over for night listening. (Type I, as my girlfriend is trying to sleep with her head under the covers.)

Edit: I thought maybe the crossovers to the sub were wildly different but i don't know where to find them on the Denon. on the Yamaha the crossover was set at 160 Hz. Yes my speakers are really small (HTIB type: Cambridge Soundworks MovieWorks II).
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 04:59 AM
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Your Audyssey or speaker setup must be faulty, because a value of -12 db signals, that Audyssey can't correct the sub due to much volume in comparison to the rest of your speakers.
Additionally a value of 150 Hz as crossover frequency suggests, that your main speakers might have a problem, either being very ineffective or rather small, lacking the upper bass region or having other problems.
You should recheck your connections, speakers and cables.
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkey View Post

Your Audyssey or speaker setup must be faulty, because a value of -12 db signals, that Audyssey can't correct the sub due to much volume in comparison to the rest of your speakers.

It is not at -12dB, it only goes there if I set the sub's volume to 1/2. It is now set to -0.5 dB by Audyssey and I moved that down myself to -3.5 dB (it's still a bit too boomy). Fronts are at 0.0 and -2 dB respectively. Crossover (I found it!) from Audyssey is at 200 Hz for fronts, 250 for surrounds (small dipoles).
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Originally Posted by gurkey 
Additionally a value of 150 Hz as crossover frequency suggests, that your main speakers have a problem, either being very ineffective or rather small, lacking the upper bass region or having other problems.
You should recheck your connections, speakers and cables.

Speakers are quite small. The 160 Hz values were Yamaha's, the Denon is even more aggressive and sets them at 200 Hz. That's an 8" sub in the pic. Fronts are maybe ~ 10" high.



The Yamaha does a good job. Why can't Audyssey? (It's the MultEQ XT.)

I am considering getting a good sub, like the SVS SB12 that everybody raves about here. It's just another $700 I hadn't planned but I can't stand boomy bass.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 08:25 AM
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Are you using a camera tripod or mic boom stand as suggested in the Owner's manual and the Audyssey 101/FAQ linked in my sig? Run all 8 mic positions for the best Audyssey results. At what master volume level do you notice the boominess? Do you have Dyn EQ enabled? If yes, try disabling it as it boosts the bass.

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post #5 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I set the microphone on a small coffee table in the center of the listening area at the same distance I am seated. I'll use a tripod if I do more measurements (I have not previously buy I have not held the mic by hand ever... and got similarly different results from both brands of AVR).

I am confused about the best way to do multi measurement. Audyssey says every listening position which for me would cover a wide range of locations: a chair on one side of my fireplace, a couch for three on the other side and then kitchen and a far chair. I suppose I should skip the last two as they are to the far left of the left speaker. But do I measure the first four where I actually sit, or, as one of the FAQ says, in the center and then in a few places within a 2 ft circle around it? Seems like what your FAQ recommends.

Dynamic EQ is on. That is the whole point. I love the difference it makes for surrounds when I listen at night at -40 dB or so. Boominess is noticeable all the time, the sound is definitely not as clean as the Yamaha but that may be also because of the whacky crossovers now that I think about it: crossover at 200 Hz to a sub with a low pass filter of ~150 Hz...

The booming is really bad at -25 or so for music.

I am going to rerun Audyssey, see if I get better numbers (mine do not make sense and my center is also set to a weird -10 dB...). Then I will set reference level to 10 dB for AirPlay and/or turn Dynamic EQ off for that source (is that a per source setting that the receiver remembers), then check that as well as movies again, and I will report back.

Edit: Audyssey also complains that my speaker's phases are off, though YPAO does not, and the wiring definitely matches (+ and - on the AVR match on the speakers post; my wires are properly marked on one strand). The subwoofer's phase is also set to 0. I am unclear weather I should move it to 180 after calibration.

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post #6 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 09:39 AM
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The mic needs to be placed at your seated "ear" height on either a camera tripod or a mic boom stand for more ideal results. The first mic position is the main listening position and the remaining 7 positions should all be within a 2' radius from that #1 mic position (and not where people actually sit). If speaker wiring is visually confirmed to be correct, always ignore Audyssey "Phase Error" warnings. Also note that once the settings are made on the sub (prior to running Audyssey), don't touch those settings again (ie. don't change the phase from 0).

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post #7 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

Okay, I know that "boominess" is not a real word... I have a Denon 3312 and a Yamaha 2010 set next to each other... And I am trying to decide which one to keep based on sound, since I can get some stereo amps for zones 2 and 3 if needed.
I eq'ed both amps using their built in systems. I did both multipoint and single point. Right now I am on single point (it's faster to reset). I followed the Audyssey FAQ subwoofer instructions: phase at 0, low gain (1/4 volume; if I do 1/2 Audyssey gives up and sets the sub at -12 dB; 150 Hz low pass). Here's my conundrum: out of the basic eq, I like the Yamaha much much better. My sub never feels boomy. Even though the Yamaha says the sub is set at +0.5 dB (which I since bumped to +3 dB) I never feel the bass vibrations. The Denon, on the other hand, is VERY boomy. Ironically, its sub setting is a negative dB value. So I guess that one can't compare those +/- dB well across different brands.
The thing that I really like about the Denon compared to the Yamaha is Dynamic EQ. I have to turn the volume up on the Yamaha at night to get to hear volume (~ -25 dB on the Yamaha) but then explosions etc. are really loud (I have adaptive DRC set up to the max). With the Denon, I can go down to it's -30 dB to -40 dB and the dialogues are more intelligible (probably because they're raised a few dB all the time) and the explosions don't swing as much as on the Yamaha. But the sounds is very boomy. So much that it is tiring even at low levels. I am watching The Avengers as I figured I'd have plenty of swing in volume to test Dynamic EQ with smile.gif
That same boomy sound (Denon) vs not (Yamaha) happens while listening to music at higher levels (-25dB to -15 dB). How do I tame it? Lowering the sub eq doesn't seem to be the right thing, or maybe I haven't lowered it enough yet? If I can get to a sound like the Yamaha, I am pretty sure that Dynamic EQ will win me over for night listening. (Type I, as my girlfriend is trying to sleep with her head under the covers.)
Edit: I thought maybe the crossovers to the sub were wildly different but i don't know where to find them on the Denon. on the Yamaha the crossover was set at 160 Hz. Yes my speakers are really small (HTIB type: Cambridge Soundworks MovieWorks II).

Where is the subwoofer positioned?
If in a corner try moving it..
If by a wall pull it out a little..
Controlling low frequencies is a major challenge, and some Room EQ schemes are better for this than others, my personal preference is the Harman/JBL EQ software that Dr.Toole developed..

When balancing things make sureany dynamic range or loudness feature is turned off, these will not work/sound correctly until the total system transfer function is relatively smooth..

Note that if the low frequencies especially room resonances and peaks are not smoothed out the entire system will not deliver its tonal balance properly...

Just my $0.02.... wink.gif
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 02:18 PM
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Better yet, give the "Subwoofer Crawl" a go. smile.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV3oLLMgS-M

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post #9 of 18 Old 11-13-2012, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I need a longer cable before I can do the subwoofer crawl... But I've been thinking about it. Though reasonably there will be only two good spots: where it is now, i.e. a foot away from a wall and two feet away from some cabinets (on 6" legs, so not like a wall all the way to the bottom). And (what would be my preference but could be worse) in a more corner-like position right next to where I'll be sitting (corner of wall and window).

My sub is down firing on hardwood floors. Not sure if that changes anything? Would getting a forward firing sub be better?

I redid Audyssey, eight positions, using a makeshift tripod getting the mic immobile at the right height. The "right height" is a bit difficult since I spend most of my time listening standing up in another position (my kitchen), but I did my evaluation from the couch.

The calibration looks the same as far as crossovers and levels. Audyssey still wants to set my center to a big low (-8.5 dB) and my sub is at -4.5 dB (I can get it back to -3.5 by putting the level at 2 instead of the mid position---it was on 3). Crossover is still 200/150/200 Hz for LR/C/SR,SL.

Should I be worried that the levels are drastically different than the Yamaha's levels or would I be comparing apples and oranges? The Yamaha's very consistent on L/R/C (from 0 to -1 dB) and puts -0.5 dB on the sub. Crossovers are at 160 Hz.

It seems that at -30 dB listening, the Denon and the Yamaha sound similar enough (which astonishes me given the widely different crossovers and levels, but hey---I guess that's only part of the story). That is progress. The main thing that I can improve right now is setting the reference level for Dyn EQ to 10 or 15 dB for AirPlay (I could use a -25 or -30!) and leave it to 0 dB for movies. It does make a perceptible difference and seems consistent with Audyssey's recommendations? I might eventually also just turn it off for music.

I really want to make Dynamic EQ work. It's very nice at night, and I think having a couple static presets for day vs night listening would only be a gross approximation. Now, why on earth did Denon also get rid of optical output on the 2011 models?! Looking for a workaround...
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-14-2012, 02:35 AM
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Is the Audyssey mic the original mic that came with the 3312CI, a DM-A409? Where is the center speaker positioned? It's possible there could be an issue with the mic.

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post #11 of 18 Old 11-14-2012, 11:41 AM
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As many on the forum are aware we are a Certified Audyssey Pro Installer, and we have found certain listening rooms which are very challenging to tame the low frequencies. It starts with a thorough analysis for loudspeaker and subwoofer positioning given the room's dimensions, contruction materials, basic furniture placement relative to the target listener's position. Firstly, the placement of the subwoofer (or subwoofers) is the primary consideration as if the low frequencies are not controlled then the tonal balance of the system will never be achieved. Certain rooms have multiple resonances, peaks and nulls that directly affect the end result, an dthese must be compensated for. The consumer Audyssey MultiEQ XT uses up to 8 listener measuring positions while the Pro system uses 32 positions, also the measurement microphone used in the consumer version is an inexpensive condenser type (OE cost < $5) that has limited bandwidth and a very wide dB tolerance compared to the custom-calibrated microphone in the Pro version. If one is unable to satisfactorily EQ their system with the consumer version, time to call in a Pro.. rolleyes.gif

Though on may think its cost is high, when one considers the amount of time and $ spent of the entertainment system it is one of best bargains out there..

Here is a link for more info..

http://www.audyssey.com/installers

Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-14-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Is the Audyssey mic the original mic that came with the 3312CI, a DM-A409? Where is the center speaker positioned? It's possible there could be an issue with the mic.

Maybe. The distances to S/B/L and other speakers are correct, and for some reason if I bump the center level up it sounds MUCH louder than the other speakers when the Denon plays test tones. So maybe it's right? I still don't understand why the Yamaha sets it to -0.5 dB and sounds slightly better. Can someone explain that? Shouldn't it much louder?

I'm getting used to it a bit better. Also getting Dynamic EQ's reference level to -15 dB helped a lot smile.gif... Maybe there is a combination of me not having listened with a subwoofer in years and my subwoofer being an HTIB 10-year old 8". I think I am committed to getting an SB12-NSD and better mains regardless.

My center is set like this (pardon the mess, I am A/B testing here). It is the small thing between the big receivers.

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post #13 of 18 Old 11-14-2012, 01:41 PM
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So then you are using a DM-A409 mic? Regardless of what the speaker trims are set to, you can adjust them to suit your preference without impacting the Audyssey filters. Regarding the sub, sooner you upgrade the better. smile.gif

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post #14 of 18 Old 11-14-2012, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll check the model of the mic tonight.

I'm excited to be getting a better sub that is small given how crowded my space already is, and I look forward to using it for both music and HT. I am looking for recommendations for speakers to match it with an emphasis on music.

It may be also an heresy, but I think I am going to also install a set of three Monoprice 7604 or 6816 (can't decide from reading on the forum) in walls in that white area on my wall (so unfortunately under the "screen" which is that gray wall) first to attempt to get an uncluttered look (I'll run twice as many cables so I can easily add "real" speakers). Maybe they'll work both for movies and music, and in the worst case I think have the home wired for audio won't hurt when I'll resell it. What do you think?

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post #15 of 18 Old 11-14-2012, 08:25 PM
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One consideration would be to get speaker that have a bit more power handeling ability. Ideally, once the sub is calibrated, you should not have to play with the gain control. The sub should blend with the front speakers and not exist has a speparate speaker. All of the other suggestion in the post are good. Two subs will even out the bass response in the room.....

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post #16 of 18 Old 11-15-2012, 01:17 AM
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The satellites used for the Front L/Rs' are too small for your room...
Also they have limited power handling when pushed..
Regarding the subwoofer this rolls off @ 250Hz and does poorly for the upper bass frequencies.
The Audyssey EQ is trying to deliver the proper tonal transfer function to your loudspeakers but they are incapable of handling this without high distortion and cone breakup.

The loudspeakers need upgrading...

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-15-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

The loudspeakers need upgrading...
Just my $0.02... wink.gif

I agree. I am working on it smile.gif
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-15-2012, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

I agree. I am working on it smile.gif

Comes down to basic physics..
The Front L/R satellite drivers are too small to move the required air to get the target SPL...
The Audyssey EQ has done its job but the loudspeakers simply cannot handle the higher volume level without breakup/distortion...

Keep in mind..
A good basic rule is that the 5.1 loudspeaker system including subwoofer should cost 2-3x versus the AVR. A possible soution is to consider the JBL towers Frys is selling for $288/pair and use these for the Front L/Rs'.. Your present satellites are probably acceptable for surrounds but not the Front L/Rs.. I can't really comment much more without seeing the actual listening room but since we sell/install many HT systems some costing up to $100K, we do have some experience here...
Good luck..

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
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