Not satisfied with new setup and would like advice... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I recently picked up a new setup a what I thought was a great price. This was to replace an almost 10 year old Panasonic 5.1 HTIB that was no longer responding to IR commands. I have to say, even though the MSRP of the new equipment I bought totals over $5k, I am rather disappointed with the performance. Here's what I bought:

- Harman Kardon AVR 2650
- Klipsch Gallery G-28 x 3 (LCR)
- Klipsch Gallery G-16 x 2 (SL, SR)
- Klipsch SW-311

I really expected to be blown away by this system, but right now it honestly doesn't sound significantly better than the old $300 Panasonic I am replacing. I figure I have to be doing something wrong. The new system can get quite a bit louder than the previous, but I was hoping to get room filling sound. I've also heard people discuss how "in your face" the Klipsch horns can be, but I'm just not feeling it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also dealing with an issue where I get a random "chirp" coming from the speakers when audio is being played. It gets louder relative to the volume, and only seems to happen when content is being played. I'm at a loss on this and I'm looking to you for help on where to start tracking this down. Let me know if there is any other info you might need.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Phil
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post #2 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 07:33 AM
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Phil,
Sorry to hear that you are not enjoying your system. Electronics doesn't make much of a difference then speakers. First thing to do is to take your speaker out of the room in an open space like a backyard and listen to them with very little reflections. You need to like the timbre of the speaker without the room. If you like what you are hearing, then its the room and you can fix that. If you don't like the sound, then unfortunately speaker has to go.

If you like the Klipsch sound then there are many options to make your room sound better.

Regards
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post #3 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 09:04 AM
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The setup you have is somewhat akin to buying a new Corvette and equipping it with some undersized $25 Pep Boys tires and wondering why it doesn't corner well at 100 MPH.

In short, you have a very good receiver and some very low-performance front speakers.

The so-called "woofers" in those G-28 speakers are 3-inch speakers! That is appropriate for a clock radio in a cheap motel, not a front speaker in a high-fidelity sound system. That is a bad joke. The cone area of those speakers is about 20% of the minimum needed. That guarantees poor dynamic performance and very limited output.

6-inch drivers or larger are the smallest that are going to be satisfactory for front speakers IMO.

I suggest that you spend $500 for a pair of Klipsch RB-61 front speakers. That will totally transform your system, and give you performance that will put a smile on your face.

One G-28 should be OK for a center speaker if you set it for 100 Hz or 120 Hz minimum, and don't play the system super-loud. Despite its deceptive specs, that speaker is useless below 100 Hz.
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post #4 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslax15 View Post

I really expected to be blown away by this system, but right now it honestly doesn't sound significantly better than the old $300 Panasonic I am replacing.

Besides the good advice you already got, I imagine the reason both systems sound the same is because your room is dominating what you hear. Even minimal acoustic treatment will go a long way toward improving the sound quality.

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post #5 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslax15 View Post


I really expected to be blown away by this system, but right now it honestly doesn't sound significantly better than the old $300 Panasonic I am replacing. I figure I have to be doing something wrong. The new system can get quite a bit louder than the previous, but I was hoping to get room filling sound. I've also heard people discuss how "in your face" the Klipsch horns can be, but I'm just not feeling it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
-Phil

I'll second Ethan's suggestion - the problems you have are due to something that you didn't change. The room is the most likely candidate for that role, no?

I can tell you for sure that a great-sounding room can do wonders for even a mediocre system, and a bad room can make just about anything sound like pi$$,.
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post #6 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I'll second Ethan's suggestion - the problems you have are due to something that you didn't change. The room is the most likely candidate for that role, no?
I can tell you for sure that a great-sounding room can do wonders for even a mediocre system, and a bad room can make just about anything sound like pi$$,.

So it's pretty much if your room acoustics suck then don't buy expensive gear?
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post #7 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by vivatech View Post

So it's pretty much if your room acoustics suck then don't buy expensive gear?

Buy what you will, but if your room acoustics suck, you aren't going to get good value out of your equipment investment, whether large or small.
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post #8 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 02:20 PM
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We do not have any information at all that would indicate that his room acoustics are a problem. Assuming that to be the case is illogical and ridiculous. I guess if you are in the business of SELLING acoustical treatments, you make unmerited assumptions because business is business, huh?

On the other hand, any fool can see clearly that his G-28 speakers are totally inappropriate for the way they are being used...duhhhh. There is NO WAY they are going to sound good.

It is also not hard to guess that the old Panasonic speakers are not sounding good, since they were crap to start with and have not improved with age.

Changing from one crappy set of speakers to another proves that the room is the problem? Someone needs to take a refresher course in logic! What nonsense!

If you get some speakers that are KNOWN to be good speakers and try them in that room, THEN you might have some basis to BEGIN to discuss the room acoustics. Until then, it is silly to even bring up the subject.
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post #9 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 02:58 PM
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When we have good reason to believe that both sets of speakers that have been tried are likely to sound lousy in ANY room, do we have a basis to investigate or consider the acoustics of this room? The answer is "absolutely not!". What a fallacious and completely illogical statement.

You can talk about acoustics all day and it does not make the subject relevant to this situation.

Your erroneous and pompous assumption that you know more about acoustics than I do is ridiculous, since you have no knowledge to base it on.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfyr View Post

Actually, assuming the room is a problem is the one source of error that actually makes sense, especially when changing out the systems do not.
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post #10 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 03:19 PM
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Apparently you think that the 3-inch drivers in those speakers are adequate to produce an adequate SPL in that room; that would seem to be the thrust of your remarks.

That is SO ludicrous that I need not comment further.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfyr View Post

And speakers have to be what diameter to be "adequate" in a given space????
I'm curious, does this figure scale linearly or exponentially with room volume?
Yup, its readily apparent that you know what you are talking about!
LMAO!
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post #11 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 03:25 PM
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I do not see how do you manage to spend five grand on this setup. For $5000 you should be able to get B&W 683/685/61 combo and nice subwoofer from HSU or SVS . That would be night and day with what you have today. If you still can, return speakers and start looking again.
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post #12 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfyr View Post

And speakers have to be what diameter to be "adequate" in a given space????
I'm curious, does this figure scale linearly or exponentially with room volume? (And feel free to qualify this for the Q and loading of the system, be it acoustic suspension, horn, or other...)
Yup, its readily apparent that you know what you are talking about!
LMAO!

I couldn't decide whether or not to join this thread to help out pslax15 and correct with our resident mr know it all, but it seems you got a good bit of that under control. ROFL

To pslax15: Your new speaker setup got a decent review from hometheater.com, so I would agree with everyone else that look to other causes for your problem before the speakers. Speaker placement and/or room acoustic issues certainly do seem a likely culprit (could you post some pics?). However, before jumping into solutions for that, did you run the microphone EQ setup with your HK receiver? That will help improve the sound quality.

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post #13 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfyr View Post

And speakers have to be what diameter to be "adequate" in a given space????
I'm curious, does this figure scale linearly or exponentially with room volume? (And feel free to qualify this for the Q and loading of the system, be it acoustic suspension, horn, or other...)
Yup, its readily apparent that you know what you are talking about!
LMAO!

I couldn't decide whether or not to join this thread to help out pslax15 and correct with our resident mr know it all, but it seems you got a good bit of that under control. ROFL

To pslax15: Your new speaker setup got a decent review from hometheater.com, so I would agree with everyone else that look to other causes for your problem before the speakers. Speaker placement and/or room acoustic issues certainly do seem a likely culprit (could you post some pics?). However, before jumping into solutions for that, did you run the microphone EQ setup with your HK receiver? That will help improve the sound quality.

+1

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post #14 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delay, but it looks like there's been some good input since I first posted this. It very well could be the room that are causing my lack of acoustic satisfaction, I'm just not as well versed in audio technology as I am in other types to know where the issue lies. See the attached pic of the room (old equipment is shown, not new). It is approximately 20 x 15, but also extends behind the camera about 8 more feet into a dining area. With the new gear, the G-28s are mounted horizontally sitting on top of the towers on each side of the TV. The center is on the shelf just below the TV. Surrounds are not ideally positioned but assume they are a little further back than what you see in the pic.

@ ap1 - I didn't spend $5k on this setup, I paid much much less. I was only quoting MSRP since I know specific pricing information is usually not allowed.

@cel4145 - I did run the mic-based auto-equalizer, which didn't seem to help significantly. This may give more credence to the thought that it is room acoustics that are the issue. Now the other thing is that we are going to be moving, so making any permanent modifications for room acoustics are not an option.

450
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post #15 of 24 Old 06-16-2012, 07:37 AM
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Well, HK's room EQ feature is not considered nearly as good as Audyssey that comes with Denon, Onkyo, and Marantz. If you can return the HK, you might find you get a little boost in audio quality from a different receiver.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #16 of 24 Old 06-16-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslax15 View Post

It very well could be the room that are causing my lack of acoustic satisfaction

Indeed, and I see several problems, such as a lack of left-right symmetry and being too far away from the speakers. I agree with the others that you need larger / better speakers too.

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post #17 of 24 Old 06-16-2012, 03:55 PM
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You have a large room. You current speakers won't be able to fill it with sound. If you want to stay with with Klipsch, get RF-82 for fronts and RC-64 as center. You may decide use RF-62 for surrounds. Then get 15 or better 18 inch subwoofer. This will be more adequate for your space. Do not forget to run setup procedure in your receiver using supplied microphone. If will definitely improve the sound.
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-16-2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The setup you have is somewhat akin to buying a new Corvette and equipping it with some undersized $25 Pep Boys tires and wondering why it doesn't corner well at 100 MPH.
In short, you have a very good receiver and some very low-performance front speakers.
The so-called "woofers" in those G-28 speakers are 3-inch speakers! That is appropriate for a clock radio in a cheap motel, not a front speaker in a high-fidelity sound system. That is a bad joke. The cone area of those speakers is about 20% of the minimum needed. That guarantees poor dynamic performance and very limited output.
6-inch drivers or larger are the smallest that are going to be satisfactory for front speakers IMO.
I suggest that you spend $500 for a pair of Klipsch RB-61 front speakers. That will totally transform your system, and give you performance that will put a smile on your face.
One G-28 should be OK for a center speaker if you set it for 100 Hz or 120 Hz minimum, and don't play the system super-loud. Despite its deceptive specs, that speaker is useless below 100 Hz.

I did a little research and found that not even Sound And Vison could find much good to say about them. S&V said that they were basicly for people who prized size over sound quality.

In a room this size, that strikes me as a recipe for disaster!

So, your comments seem to be very much in order!
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post #19 of 24 Old 06-16-2012, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I did a little research and found that not even Sound And Vison could find much good to say about them. S&V said that they were basicly for people who prized size over sound quality.

Actually, I read the same review, and S&V begins the listening test section by describing them as very capable of creating room filling sound. The tonal qualities were what they objected to.

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post #20 of 24 Old 06-17-2012, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Actually, I read the same review, and S&V begins the listening test section by describing them as very capable of creating room filling sound. The tonal qualities were what they objected to.

Well, here is the lead-off quote from that article:

"The Klipsch Gallery system isn’t one I’d recommend for purists seeking outstanding fidelity and natural reproduction. It’s for those who seek exciting 5.1 or 7.1 movie soundtrack reproduction — and who demand that their speakers look as sleek at their new 3D flat-panel TV set."

It would appear that the OP is more interested in "outstanding fidelity" than room-filling sound.
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post #21 of 24 Old 06-17-2012, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Well, here is the lead-off quote from that article:
"The Klipsch Gallery system isn’t one I’d recommend for purists seeking outstanding fidelity and natural reproduction. It’s for those who seek exciting 5.1 or 7.1 movie soundtrack reproduction — and who demand that their speakers look as sleek at their new 3D flat-panel TV set."
It would appear that the OP is more interested in "outstanding fidelity" than room-filling sound.

First, that sound bite pullout quote they used from their summary on the last page doesn't say anything about the speakers' ability to provide "room-filling sound." You are reading into it. Second, read the whole review which contradicts your claim:

"The Gallery system may be slim, but it sounds gigantic. I noticed this characteristic not far into the Blu-ray of Road to Perdition, a period piece with a great soundtrack of hybrid Celtic/New Age music. (That combination isn’t as cloying as it might sound.) The instrumentation of the score sounded absolutely huge; my room suddenly seemed about 500% larger. The rainstorm that breaks out early in the movie sounded especially enveloping and realistic. I love me a good rainstorm in 5.1!"

Granted, some larger driver speakers could probably help in this situation. And granted, the OP is probably overpaying for performance for the sleek aesthetics. But, those Klipsch should do better than what the OP is describing as his problem: "I really expected to be blown away by this system, but right now it honestly doesn't sound significantly better than the old $300 Panasonic I am replacing."

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post #22 of 24 Old 06-17-2012, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

First, that sound bite pullout quote they used from their summary on the last page doesn't say anything about the speakers' ability to provide "room-filling sound." You are reading into it. Second, read the whole review which contradicts your claim:
"The Gallery system may be slim, but it sounds gigantic. I noticed this characteristic not far into the Blu-ray of Road to Perdition, a period piece with a great soundtrack of hybrid Celtic/New Age music. (That combination isn’t as cloying as it might sound.) The instrumentation of the score sounded absolutely huge; my room suddenly seemed about 500% larger. The rainstorm that breaks out early in the movie sounded especially enveloping and realistic. I love me a good rainstorm in 5.1!"
Granted, some larger driver speakers could probably help in this situation. And granted, the OP is probably overpaying for performance for the sleek aesthetics. But, those Klipsch should do better than what the OP is describing as his problem: "I really expected to be blown away by this system, but right now it honestly doesn't sound significantly better than the old $300 Panasonic I am replacing."

This set of speakers will be OK for 10x12 room, and will likely make THAT room feel "500% larger". But for what OP has they are BAD choice.
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post #23 of 24 Old 06-17-2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

This set of speakers will be OK for 10x12 room, and will likely make THAT room feel "500% larger". But for what OP has they are BAD choice.

First, realize that is a very wide angle shot and his primary living room may only be 12 to 14 ft deep (notice the perspective); this may only be a 14 by 12 living room. Regardless, you guys can keep harping on how he could have gotten bigger speakers, but more helpful would be to provide insight on how he could make better with the choice he has made.

Butterworth talked in the review about mounting the G-28s to either side of his 72" screen and raising the G-16s up even higher than the included stands. Looking at the picture, it seems that the OP has one of the rear surrounds far forward on the left.

I'm no room installation speaker expert, but it would appear to me that getting those front speakers up off the ground some more would help the front sound stage. Try putting something/anything under them to raise them up a good foot just to see what happens (books under the stands would work as a temporary solution).

Then abandon the idea of trying to create surround for that single chair with ottoman. Best you'll be able to do for surround is optimize it for the center of the couch. Put both rear surrounds to either side of the couch back much more, pointed in.

If that helps, then raising the center channel above the TV could assist, too. There are center channel speaker shelves (I don't know if this is a good one; do some research).

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post #24 of 24 Old 06-17-2012, 10:38 AM
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One more thing. Make certain that the front/left speakers are forward slightly from the racks you have on either side or pull them out from the sides of the racks a little more. That close and sitting slightly back may be affecting dispersion.

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