Newbie underwhelmed, asking for some advice. - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 03:11 PM
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Try this:
remove all the external amps. connect the speakers to the Denon AVR. Connect the sub directly to the AVR.
Run the audio stuff... give it a try and see how it sounds.
(In an 8/11' room, you may be surprised)
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post #32 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfraser View Post

PS *I* would not use the A100 amps with those Paradigm speakers, or anything Signature. I wouldn't use my Denon amps with anything even 1/4 that good, but that's me. smile.gif

That's just silly.

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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Try this:
remove all the external amps. connect the speakers to the Denon AVR. Connect the sub directly to the AVR.
Run the audio stuff... give it a try and see how it sounds.
(In an 8/11' room, you may be surprised)

Definitely try this.

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post #33 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Try this:
remove all the external amps. connect the speakers to the Denon AVR. Connect the sub directly to the AVR.
Run the audio stuff... give it a try and see how it sounds.
(In an 8/11' room, you may be surprised)

+1.

Sometimes we outsmart ourselves and create problems for ourselves that can be easily resolved if we apply the rule of KISS. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) ;-)

Been there done that many times.
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post #34 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biship View Post

Wow I am learning a lot here. So much for walking into a store, buying gear, setting it up and just enjoying!

So the $9k of S8's are receiving too much power, from what i consider a budget/mid-range $900 amplifier.
I find that confusing considering the range of other way more powerful and expensive amps available.

I see the next step is installing line level attenuator, but decreasing the power just sounds silly.

I always thought the more power the better (providing you don't exceed the speakers max input).
Thus allowing for the booms and other sudden loud sounds.

I will try to research what the S8 specs really mean:
Suitable Amplifier Power Range: 15 - 500 watts
Maximum Input Power: 250 watts

I understand completely what you are saying in your first sentence--I thought the same thing setting up my first system. eek.gif

Fwiw, those specs mean that you could play your speakers in a much larger room and then of course need more power than you are currently using The 500 watts would be the maximum the mfg would recommend before you damage your speakers. Insofar as your AVR is concerned, I consider it an upper end AVR and $900 is a great price--I paid $1300 for it's "lower end twin" the AVR-4311ci after it was discontinued.
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post #35 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfraser View Post

PS *I* would not use the A100 amps with those Paradigm speakers, or anything Signature. I wouldn't use my Denon amps with anything even 1/4 that good, but that's me. smile.gif

That's just silly.

Why? Did you read anything else I said? I know Denon amps of this ilk (have many, unused lol) and I know speakers of his ilk (have numerous). Why punish yourself if you don't have to? He can clearly afford better, and did. Some people just like to have/use nice(er) things. But when it gets to the point that the "nicer things" are crippling the performance rather than enhancing it (or at least doing nothing at all), then you have to turn around. That's all. smile.gif [In my case some of my main system speakers are 4 ohms, and amps can get picky with that, so might as well do 'em all with the external amps.]
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post #36 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 05:53 PM
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I always find these discussions fascinating and it is confusing when you look at the specs...As mentioned, I have no experience with Paradigm speakers but when I did the search and found they were 92 db/1 meter with a power recommendation of between 15 to 500 watts, they also had a similar caveat as my Klipsch RF-7s of being "compatible with 8 Ohms." For some reason Klipsch dropped that designation and now says they are "8 Ohms" but recommend "250 watts continuous/ 1,000 watts peak and still say they are efficient with a 102 dB Sensitivity rating...{Edit: I also realize that Bill Fitzmaurice gives a good argument that klipsch massaged the numbers but...}

For the record, I have a less than 2,000 cu ft room and sit right at 10 ft from my front soundstage and Audyssey set their trims of the RF-7s at -8 & -8.5 with the Denon AVR-4311ci alone (no external amp). {Note: I also no longer post on the Klipsch Owners thread because oldtimers and newbies alike seem to get offended when you say that not everyone needs an amp.}
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post #37 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

I understand completely what you are saying in your first sentence--I thought the same thing setting up my first system. eek.gif

Fwiw, those specs mean that you could play your speakers in a much larger room and then of course need more power than you are currently using The 500 watts would be the maximum the mfg would recommend before you damage your speakers. Insofar as your AVR is concerned, I consider it an upper end AVR and $900 is a great price--I paid $1300 for it's "lower end twin" the AVR-4311ci after it was discontinued.

I'll clarify that 500w figure was a peak power figure, not continuous/rms. Also the speakers were rated 89dB anechoic and 92 dB in room per S8 webpage. I'd agree, that avr is nice stuff and at $900 was an exceptional deal if new.

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post #38 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cfraser View Post

Why? Did you read anything else I said? I know Denon amps of this ilk (have many, unused lol) and I know speakers of his ilk (have numerous). Why punish yourself if you don't have to? He can clearly afford better, and did. Some people just like to have/use nice(er) things. But when it gets to the point that the "nicer things" are crippling the performance rather than enhancing it (or at least doing nothing at all), then you have to turn around. That's all. smile.gif [In my case some of my main system speakers are 4 ohms, and amps can get picky with that, so might as well do 'em all with the external amps.]

Why? Because not using the Denon for amplification is silly. I didn't read any but your post in which you made the comment. I'm just having trouble why someone would spend that much on speakers and get a sub like that Emo.

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post #39 of 50 Old 04-06-2014, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biship View Post

You really think the AVR @140W would sound close/comparable to the 300W Amps? That's surprising.
140W vs 300W is 3.3dB. Not a great deal by any stretch. To be able to get twice as loud requires 10dB or 10x the power.
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post #40 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfraser View Post

I know Denon amps of this ilk (have many, unused lol)

It would appear that your alleged knowledge of Denon amplifiers is based on sighted evaluations, which means that your knowlege may not be as perfected as you assume.
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and I know speakers of his ilk (have numerous).

The above statement would appear to have a tone of "talking down".
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Why punish yourself if you don't have to?

That argument can go a lot of different places. For example why punish yourself by wasting money on excessively expensive electronics?
Quote:
He can clearly afford better, and did.

So you favor spending far more money than it takes to get the job done very well?
Quote:
Some people just like to have/use nice(er) things.

I agree that people have the right to apportion their discretionary income as they wish. They can spend their money as carefully or as exuberantly as they wish.
Quote:
But when it gets to the point that the "nicer things" are crippling the performance rather than enhancing it (or at least doing nothing at all), then you have to turn around. That's all. smile.gif [In my case some of my main system speakers are 4 ohms, and amps can get picky with that, so might as well do 'em all with the external amps.]

I find that the 4 ohm speaker issue is vastly overblown in many cases. I've got several of them and they work brilliantly with all of the amps that I have on hand.
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post #41 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biship View Post

Results after running Audyssey in all 8 locations:

Crossover check:
Fronts - Full Band
Center - Full Band
Surround - 100Hz

Distance Check
(all speakers 8.7ft +/- 0.2ft)

Channel Level Check
Front L -12.0dB
Front R -11.5dB
Center -12.0dB
Sub -4.0dB

Is that what you mean by trim levels?

yes
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Does it make sense to adjust everything up 4dB? (making the Sub at 0db and the rest 4dB higher).

One relevant question is: what is the input level setting on the subwoofer?

The basic strategy for making your main system volume control more responsive would be to add the same number of dB to each channel trim setting - IOW what you suggested.

The obvious weak spot in that strategy would be the current trim setting for the subwoofer. Changing the trim levels by 4 dB is not going to give you a dramatic change.

Obviously if we could adjust all of the trims by +20 dB (to +8) this would dramatically improve the responsiveness of your main system volume control.

If the levels were set by Audyssey we would have more of a reliable reference point.
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post #42 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

I always find these discussions fascinating and it is confusing when you look at the specs...As mentioned, I have no experience with Paradigm speakers but when I did the search and found they were 92 db/1 meter with a power recommendation of between 15 to 500 watts, they also had a similar caveat as my Klipsch RF-7s of being "compatible with 8 Ohms." For some reason Klipsch dropped that designation and now says they are "8 Ohms" but recommend "250 watts continuous/ 1,000 watts peak and still say they are efficient with a 102 dB Sensitivity rating...{Edit: I also realize that Bill Fitzmaurice gives a good argument that klipsch massaged the numbers but...}

For the record, I have a less than 2,000 cu ft room and sit right at 10 ft from my front soundstage and Audyssey set their trims of the RF-7s at -8 & -8.5 with the Denon AVR-4311ci alone (no external amp). {Note: I also no longer post on the Klipsch Owners thread because oldtimers and newbies alike seem to get offended when you say that not everyone needs an amp.}

If i understand you right, the speakers should be able to handle the load without issue (which is what I said earlier with (surprised that 9k of speakers can't handle $900 of (mid-end) amplification)).
The speakers have a pretty good efficiency rating, and 250W isn't *that* much.

Perhaps the room is too small? 99 cu ft, sitting 8.7 ft away from the speakers.

(to clarify - the denon receiver was $2.5k, the 2x250W amp was $900)
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post #43 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 07:17 AM
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Fwiw, your room is 99 square feet and to get cubic feet need to add in (multiply) your ceiling height. I have no idea if your room is too small for your speakers, but with room treatment it shouldn't be an issue--without treatment it still may not be, but my/our point is that your AVR should be able to drive those speakers at the level you want and adding the external amp isn't giving you a benefit. If you want to use the external amp then you should consider what others are saying about attenuation (or attenuators), but from your other post feel you understand that it is adding complication where it really isn't needed.

EDIT: Btw, your speakers can handle the external amps but it's Audyssey that is having problems adjusting the trims and EQing
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post #44 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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oops, yeah. 99 sq ft, but 760 cu ft.

Sub is set to Phase: 90, Low pass filter OFF (in by-pass mode), Crossover frequency 130Hz (which I think is ignored due to by-pass), Volume about 1/4.
It is connected directly to the AVR.

I will go research if these are the proper settings. They are OOTB.

What could possibly be making Audyssey have problems adjusting the trims and EQing? The Amps?
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post #45 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biship View Post

oops, yeah. 99 sq ft, but 760 cu ft./[ quote]

I have a slightly less than 2,000 cu ft room and it's considered small but I have a high a-frame ceiling and my HT is in my Library so I have a lot of natural 'room treatment.' If your dimensions are of the exact room and not have any other openings except the door what most folks here are saying it shouldn't take that much power to drive your speakers to a high volume level--That said, if you have bare walls it will be quite reflective and that is what could give you problems--Audyssey EQ or not.
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Originally Posted by Biship View Post

Sub is set to Phase: 90, Low pass filter OFF (in by-pass mode), Crossover frequency 130Hz (which I think is ignored due to by-pass), Volume about 1/4. It is connected directly to the AVR.

That sounds correct but make sure in the Denon Bass MGMT the subs high pass filter is set to at least 120 Hz (I think the max is 150)
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Originally Posted by Biship View Post

What could possibly be making Audyssey have problems adjusting the trims and EQing? The Amps?

Yes!
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post #46 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Biship View Post


What could possibly be making Audyssey have problems adjusting the trims and EQing? The Amps?

IDK that there's any problem EQing. The Denon cannot (or at least maybe cannot) adjust the channel trims to get each channel to the appropriate level (technically 75 dB at the listening position with a bandwidth limited pink noise source encoded at -30dBFS). It's trims don't go low enough. This has been seen with highly sensitive speakers (the Paradigms are reasonably sensitive but certainly not in the near-100dB with one watt range). Certainly it's possible that the outboard amps' gain structure is such that, coupled with the reasonably efficient Paradigms, the resulting output is "too high" to get within the receivers channel trim range of plus or minus 12 dB.

IMO this is a Denon design glitch, at least when it occurs with consumer speakers and the receivers' internal amps. (We just have to accept that Denon has zero control over how sensitive any given amp manufacturer wants to make the input stage of any given amplifier - - and they're different from brand to brand, and within brands from amp to amp. (for example, IIRC most Crown amps are rated to hit full rated power at the exact same input voltage. That means that a 100 watt amp hits 100 watts at voltage X and a 500 watt amp hits 500 watts at the same voltage X. That means the 500 watt amp is "louder" for ANY input voltage than the 100 watt amp. Which means that care must be taken to match them somehow as appropriate for whatever use they're being put to, when you have mixed amps. The Crowns have handy front panel level controls that would do the job if you didn't have a receiver or mixing desk making the necessary adjustments.

Anyway, AIUI, Onkyo's brands provide a 15 dB swing for calibration and you just don't hear nearly as much problem with them running out of calibration (but it still happens). Because it doesn't seem that anybody ever runs out of "plus" calibration room, IMO both companies should reset the zero point of their calibration system to be 3 or 4 dB higher, so that, for example, what might now come out as -10 would come out as -6 or -7. Magically gives you more downward trim "room" without changing any hardware (I assume).
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post #47 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Biship View Post

Channel Level Check
Front L -12.0dB
Front R -11.5dB
Center -12.0dB
Sub -4.0dB

I moved the speakers a little and re-ran Audyssey:
Front L -11.0dB
Front R -11.0dB
Center -11.5dB
Sub -3.5dB

Pretty much a 0.5dB drop across the board. Is this now within the limits?
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post #48 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 04:47 PM
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How does it sound?
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post #49 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

How does it sound?

I think the combination of things I have done from this thread suggestions have helped.

Change crossover settings from 40hz to 80hz.
Disabled LFE+Main
Re-ran Audyssey (3 times now)
Re-cabled
Re-positioned speakers

It sounds better, and I am very thankful for the suggestions.

I still feel it doesn't pack the punch I thought the system would.
The speakers sounded better in the audio store.
Perhaps the room acoustics and electronics were better or better installed.
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post #50 of 50 Old 04-07-2014, 05:20 PM
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There has been a bit of buyers remorse in a few of my decisions (which I usually get over, but have taken some things back) but the main culprit seems to me could be the subwoofer---Was the same sub used in the store with those speakers? If so, take some source material and your SPL meter back to the store and compare and see if you can get the same SPL on the meter on a familiar selection that you consider had "punch." Btw, I know you made sure you had Dynamic Volume off before, but that is something else to check.
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