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post #1 of 14 Old 03-29-2014, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to lose confidence in my Rotel RSP 1066. It's in my HT system, and listening to a particular CD I'm familiar with doesn't sound quite right. That CD sounds better in my family room system, but given the speakers and electronics in each room, it shouldn't. Is there a way to directly measure the output from the pre pro across the audio frequency spectrum? I don't want to invest a great deal of money in bench testing equipment, but it seems it should be possible to do this with a calibration disc and meter. Any ideas? Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-29-2014, 07:53 PM
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I'm starting to lose confidence in my Rotel RSP 1066. It's in my HT system, and listening to a particular CD I'm familiar with doesn't sound quite right. That CD sounds better in my family room system, but given the speakers and electronics in each room, it shouldn't.
It's not the equipment. It's the room.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon Middleton View Post

I'm starting to lose confidence in my Rotel RSP 1066. It's in my HT system, and listening to a particular CD I'm familiar with doesn't sound quite right. That CD sounds better in my family room system, but given the speakers and electronics in each room, it shouldn't. Is there a way to directly measure the output from the pre pro across the audio frequency spectrum? I don't want to invest a great deal of money in bench testing equipment, but it seems it should be possible to do this with a calibration disc and meter. Any ideas? Thanks.

Testing preamp/processors with software like the freeware Audio Rightmark and Windows PC with a fairly good (SOTA not needed) audio interface should uncover most things that can go wrong.

Just loop audio from the output of the audio interface through a cable to its line level input to establish a baseline, and then insert the pre/pro in the loop to see how much it degrades things.

http://audio.rightmark.org/download.shtml

You will probably need a couple of cables like these:



http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021817&p_id=9767

and one of these:

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021816&p_id=9764



Within your budget? Must be about $10 worth of cables plus shipping and you may already have some on hand!
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Arny. That's within budget and sounds pretty simple. Not sure I understand exactly how to do it, but will try to figure it out. Your suggestions are always common sense and helpful.

I enlisted help from my reluctant wife last night in listening tests. We listened to a couple of female vocalists, Jennifer Warnes and Adele. The systems definitely sound different, we both prefer the family room system. One difference is that the downstairs system interconnects from the prepro run in wall from the equipment rack to the screen wall, about 35' of Canare LV-61S with BNC connectors. Canare recommends unbalanced cable runs be under 15' due to noise, and I wonder about attenuation being a problem. I get 60Hz hum from the front speakers when the recessed light circuit is on in the HT, but not with the low voltage circuits.The surrounds aren't affected, but the amp for those is in the equipment rack and speaker wire runs in wall.

Today I'm going to take the other preamp downstairs (Adcom GFP 565 Mk II, a relic from the '90's) and bypass the in wall stuff to see if that changes anything. If not, that would settle the question of whether the Rotel or in wall stuff is the issue. I doubt it's the room or electronics, but most likely it's speakers. The good news is that the LF channel hasn't been cutting out since I resoldered the ouput jack ground on the Rotel. That was frustrating.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon Middleton View Post

Thanks, Arny. That's within budget and sounds pretty simple. Not sure I understand exactly how to do it, but will try to figure it out. Your suggestions are always common sense and helpful.

Here is the wiring you use to test the pre/pro with your comptuer's audio interface:



Hope this helps!
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again, Arny. That looks simple enough.

I did the comparison mentioned above. I used a Sony BDP S590 with the Adcom GFP 565 into my Bryston 4B SST, compared to the Rotel RSP 1066 fed by an Oppo 103 into the Bryston via the Canare in wall ICs. My wife and I agreed there was no discernible difference. This despite the fact that the sub wasn't involved with the Adcom/Sony gear. Interesting that we also agreed that the system sounded better today that last night. So, no electronics expenditures are required. EQ would be nice, but at least the Rotel is working properly and the Canare stuff doesn't seem to be a problem.

It's the speakers or the room. We both prefer the B&W 801's to the WATT/Puppy 5.1's. Wouldn't break my heart to move the Wilson's down the road. Also, I've never bought into the hype that electronics, or even more silly, cables, make any difference so long as you don't clip your amp. I only splurged on the Bryston because it such a nice piece of gear. The build quality is awesome, and the warranty is unsurpassed.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 06:25 PM
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It's the speakers or the room.
It's usually the combination. How much leeway will the wife give you on dealing with the room?

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon Middleton View Post

Thanks again, Arny. That looks simple enough.

I did the comparison mentioned above. I used a Sony BDP S590 with the Adcom GFP 565 into my Bryston 4B SST, compared to the Rotel RSP 1066 fed by an Oppo 103 into the Bryston via the Canare in wall ICs. My wife and I agreed there was no discernible difference. This despite the fact that the sub wasn't involved with the Adcom/Sony gear. Interesting that we also agreed that the system sounded better today that last night. So, no electronics expenditures are required. EQ would be nice, but at least the Rotel is working properly and the Canare stuff doesn't seem to be a problem.

It's the speakers or the room. We both prefer the B&W 801's to the WATT/Puppy 5.1's. Wouldn't break my heart to move the Wilson's down the road. Also, I've never bought into the hype that electronics, or even more silly, cables, make any difference so long as you don't clip your amp. I only splurged on the Bryston because it such a nice piece of gear. The build quality is awesome, and the warranty is unsurpassed.

I have a friend who bought a Bryston, and while he rarely if ever has problems with electronics, the Bryston has been back to the factory twice. I'll take a cheaper amp that doesn't break! ;-)

I rarely have problems with electronics and when I do, its usually old enough that it owes me nothing or it is environmental damage.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

It's usually the combination. How much leeway will the wife give you on dealing with the room?

The room is a compromise and pretty complicated. Three lighting circuits, a fireplace, high end finish carpentry, etc. It will do triple duty as a HT, listening room and photography gallery to display my work. Once I finish the wainscot the carpet will go in, which may help. My son and DIL were over this evening, listening to both systems and watching the first part of LOTR. The ring drop scene shook the chandelier in the dining room, one floor above and a room removed. My DIL prefers the WP's, I think the 801's are slightly better. Overall, I'm quite happy. I'm not very interested in intrusive room treatments, as it's only 21'x14'x 8'. It won't be a blacked out man cave.

Haven't had and don't expect any problems with the Bryston. It's 300WPC rating is conservative. According to the test sheet that came with it, clipping is at 330WPC. It's a really nice piece of gear without the pretension of Krell, Levinson, Ayre, etc. Not cheap, definitely a splurge, but there are worse things to spend one's money on.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-31-2014, 05:28 AM
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It's the speakers or the room.
It's usually the combination. How much leeway will the wife give you on dealing with the room?

+1.

The hidden subtext to most posts on AVS and other forums claiming dramatic differences among power amps are actually heavily biased on listening via different speakers in different rooms and doing poorly-run listening tests.

The room is usually the strongest influence on system sound quality once the speakers and electronics reach a reasonable level of quality.
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-31-2014, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

+1.

The hidden subtext to most posts on AVS and other forums claiming dramatic differences among power amps are actually heavily biased on listening via different speakers in different rooms and doing poorly-run listening tests.

The room is usually the strongest influence on system sound quality once the speakers and electronics reach a reasonable level of quality.

What's "reasonable" for speakers? I have my sub crossed over at 80Hz. What should I look for as far as bass response in my main speakers? How low should they go? What price point and brands of speakers are leaders in value? Why don't reviewers post frequency response curves? I get really tired of narratives describing subjective impressions of specific pieces of music.

I know my room is compromised, but have no idea about room treatments or even where to start.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-31-2014, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

+1.

The hidden subtext to most posts on AVS and other forums claiming dramatic differences among power amps are actually heavily biased on listening via different speakers in different rooms and doing poorly-run listening tests.

The room is usually the strongest influence on system sound quality once the speakers and electronics reach a reasonable level of quality.

What's "reasonable" for speakers?

What sounds good. ;-)

Really, I'd bet that the guys who are really optimizing their speakers for their rooms and vice versa are the guys who are doing lots of technical analysis with Room Eq Wizard. If I was going to generalize on things that should maybe not be generalized on, I'd say that these guys tend towards speakers with the same kinds of drivers for bass and mid as people who do professional sound, but with subwoofers that have "Home Theater, Mongo Edition" written all over them.
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I have my sub crossed over at 80Hz. What should I look for as far as bass response in my main speakers? How low should they go?

As low as they need to and provide good sub-bass soundstaging. IOW as low as they need to go so that you have no audible clue as to the location of the subwoofer(s).
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What price point and brands of speakers are leaders in value?

Not that much - a few $100 each. However, it can be justified to spend the big bucks on speakers with smooth response, low distortion, lots of dynamic range and good directivity control.
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Why don't reviewers post frequency response curves?

Some do. Stereophile, Soundstage, Audioholics sometimes...
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I get really tired of narratives describing subjective impressions of specific pieces of music.

Agreed, and with a bullet! ;-)
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I know my room is compromised, but have no idea about room treatments or even where to start.

That journey starts with with trying your first absorber, and then Room Eq Wizard and then you are on the journey.

A little reading:

http://realtraps.com/

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-TrDpt1UOE4h/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers_roomacoustics.html

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec09/articles/beginnersacoustics.htm

Google is your friend.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-31-2014, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking at the Realtraps website, third photo from the right, I can tell you the WAF of the living room with diffusers everywhere will be zero. I like the 802's in the HT photo, though.wink.gif
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-31-2014, 10:56 AM
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Looking at the Realtraps website, third photo from the right, I can tell you the WAF of the living room with diffusers everywhere will be zero. I like the 802's in the HT photo, though.wink.gif

The usual solution to WAF problems is to stretch some decorative fabric over it:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1123719/lets-see-your-sound-diffuser-absorber-implimentations



If the wall treatment is a diffuser then the fabric needs to be acoustically transparent, but it is hard to hurt an absorber with fabric that absorbs too much sound.

http://www.spoonflower.com/create?gclid=CNiGu6Osvb0CFbFaMgod_04Amw

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