How should I upgrade my system (or not) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-31-2013, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi - looking for some advice here about my current set up. Audio is extremely important to me - probably even more so than picture quality when watching tv, movies, etc. When I first set up my system 2 years ago, I was on a tight budget so I bought a home theater in a box. I tried to research what would be the best one to buy and didn't want to completely cheap out. So I picked up the Denon 591BA system that came with a set of Boston Acoustics speakers. link

I have not been happy with this system at all. I don't know if I'm not configuring it properly, or if it is just not meeting my expectations. The main problem I have is that dialog is low, so I have to turn up the volume. Then when an effect or music comes on, it's way too loud. I know this is a common issue. Also in general, I find that on broadcasts that use the back speakers, the sound is too loud in the rear and it's hard to hear anything from the center and front channels. I went through the Audyssey set up many times to no avail. Also tried playing with the individual speaker settings and could not get satisfactory results. Is it possible that something is not connected properly, or I used the wrong type of speaker wire, etc?

Anyway, I figure I have 3 realistic options at this point:

1) Assume I must be doing something wrong and continue to try to configure/calibrate this system.

2) Keep the speakers I have and replace the receiver to fix the problems.

3) Keep the receiver and get a new set of speakers.

Buying a completely new system is not really an option at this point.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

H
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-31-2013, 08:34 AM
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Your problem may be speaker placement, especially the center, and room treatments. While the HTIB you bought won't provide the best sound, Audyssey and manual calibration should give you well balanced outputs, which is why equipment alone may not be the issue.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-31-2013, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. That's what I thought too, but I've experimented with all different types of placement of the center channel. First in front of the TV, then under it, and finally I purchased a stand that let me mount the center speaker above the TV and point it downward. Putting the center speaker in front and below the TV gave the best result, but I still have the problems I described.

One other question - not sure if this has anything to do with it. When installed my system, I ran speaker wire through the wall, and under my floor to connect the rear speakers. I put in a "banana plug outlet" in the front and back walls so that I could just plug in speakers in the back. So, I have three segments of speaker wire going to the back. One going from receiver to wall. Another going from front to back walls under the floor, and a third segment going from the back plugs to the speakers. Is it possible that this could have something to do with my problem? I seem to not think so because my issue is more with the front speakers not being loud enough, but figured I should explain this just in case.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-31-2013, 09:53 AM
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You can set the individual speaker volumen and relative distance in the receiver setup.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-31-2013, 10:04 AM
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Didn't the OP say he'd already tried adjusting the individual speaker settings? If not, that's definitely something to try. Calibrating with an SPL meter may also be helpful.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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If I decide that I want to upgrade my system, should I or could I just buy a new receiver and keep the Boston Acoustics speakers? Or should I keep the receiver and replace the speakers?

Also, would investing in a high end center channel speaker help my situation? Or do the speaker specs need to all match each other?
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Didn't the OP say he'd already tried adjusting the individual speaker settings? If not, that's definitely something to try. Calibrating with an SPL meter may also be helpful.

I think the OP was stating he used auto calibration (Audessy) to set the speakers. I think the replying poster meant to adjust the channel levels manually, setting them to what "sounded best" to the OP.

I would suggest looking at the set up of your system first. Based upon your system, I don't think it should sound "bad". I would do the basics first: check the set up menu settings and verify them. i.e. get out the tape measure and measure the actual distances. Double check the wiring, etc.

Further, I would make sure the speaker placement is optimized. It sounds like you're doing some of this now, but look at your area as a "stage" and position the speakers as best you can.

Again, I would make sure you have optimized the set up before spending money. Optimizing means "what sounds good to you", so for example, turning up the center for voices, turning down the surrounds, etc. "Time" is essentially free, so experiment with different settings and explore if you can improve. Then decide if that optimized improvement is enough to satisfy you, then go "listen" to many options before buying.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I bought all this "stuff" to enjoy it!
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hominamad View Post

If I decide that I want to upgrade my system, should I or could I just buy a new receiver and keep the Boston Acoustics speakers? Or should I keep the receiver and replace the speakers?

Also, would investing in a high end center channel speaker help my situation? Or do the speaker specs need to all match each other?

Would it be possible for you to post a couple of pictures of your room and speaker placement. You know, sometimes a couple of pix is worth more than a 1,000 words. smile.gif

Looking forward! smile.gif
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-02-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a few pics of the room (pardon the horrible mess). If another shot or angle would be more useful let me know. The center channel is currently underneath my TV but the usual place I have it is on a shelf that I mounted directly behind the TV and pointing down. I'm actually getting better results with this current placement though - but still not meeting my expectations.

Also, I saw Amazon has this deal on the Yamaha RX-V673 right now for $379. Would my Boston Acoustics speakers work with this receiver and would it even be worth it? You guys did motivate me to give the Audyssey set up another shot but if this is a good deal maybe I should take it?







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post #10 of 11 Old 04-02-2013, 10:07 PM
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Typically speaking, the biggest improvement in sound quality is better speakers. That said, what you have should produce decent sound.
Does that Denon allow you to set per speaker cross-over points, or is it a global setting?
Where did Audyssey set the cross-over(s)?
The cross-over point(s) could make a huge difference in sound quality...

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post #11 of 11 Old 04-02-2013, 10:21 PM
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It seems doubtful a new AVR would make much of a difference. If anything, I'd suggest upgrading the L/C/R speakers. Moving the surrounds to the sides would also be a good idea.

Have you manually adjusted channel levels, especially the center channel?
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