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Have I bought too much speaker for my room?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a pair of Monitor Audio RX-2s for a 2-channel bedroom system. My room is about 11' by 11.5' with an 8' ceiling. I had auditioned a pair of RX-6s (the only model the local dealer carries) and really like the sound, but figured the towers would be a bit much for my room and the sound would be very similar with the RX-2s. Also, since I have 2 subs, which I prefer to co-locate with the mains, bookshelves seemed to make more sense.

So here's the problem... the RX-2s sound great in the midrange, but the crisp, detailed highs I heard in the RX-6s don't seem to be doing the same thing in my room. It's almost as if the highs are choked off a bit, like the speakers can't really breathe. If I'm about 2 feet from them, they sound fantastic, but where I normally sit (about 8' away), not so much. I had a similar problem with my previous speakers, which sounded like they were behind a pillow. The Monitor Audios don't sound nearly that bad, but they just don't seem to open up. I'm running them with an HK3490, and I also have an Emotiva UPA-2 I could pull out and try, but I don't think it's a power/amplification issue.

Any input you guys have would be appreciated.
post #2 of 22
The sound problem you're having is most likely a speaker placement issue or a room reflection issue. Or a calibration problem. Or a combination of all of these. Not a problem with the speaker. The proof is that you had a similar problem with the last pair of speakers you had. I would check all of the above problems and how to correct them.
post #3 of 22
Most likely a placement issue. You say you normally sit 8' away from the speakers. How far apart are the speakers from one another?

I have found that the distance between the speakers should be less than the distance of the speakers from the listening position, forming an isosceles triangle. I had a similar problem in my room and by keeping the speakers apart 2' less than the distance from my listening chair, coupled with about a 10° toe in, solved the problem. It brought the high end to life. In my case, speakers are 9' apart vs. 11' from my listening chair. It took some time experimenting to find this optimum placement. Have fun while you attempt the solve the problem. Hope this helps.
post #4 of 22
Where are the speakers in relation to room boundaries? Speakers on stands? Sitting on shelves? Construction of the room and what treatments/furnishings? When you're 2 ft away vs 8 ft away, same ear height? Details, man, details!
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

I recently purchased a pair of Monitor Audio RX-2s for a 2-channel bedroom system. My room is about 11' by 11.5' with an 8' ceiling. I had auditioned a pair of RX-6s (the only model the local dealer carries) and really like the sound, but figured the towers would be a bit much for my room and the sound would be very similar with the RX-2s. Also, since I have 2 subs, which I prefer to co-locate with the mains, bookshelves seemed to make more sense.

So here's the problem... the RX-2s sound great in the midrange, but the crisp, detailed highs I heard in the RX-6s don't seem to be doing the same thing in my room. It's almost as if the highs are choked off a bit, like the speakers can't really breathe. If I'm about 2 feet from them, they sound fantastic, but where I normally sit (about 8' away), not so much. I had a similar problem with my previous speakers, which sounded like they were behind a pillow. The Monitor Audios don't sound nearly that bad, but they just don't seem to open up. I'm running them with an HK3490, and I also have an Emotiva UPA-2 I could pull out and try, but I don't think it's a power/amplification issue.

Any input you guys have would be appreciated.

A square room could very well be the culprit. Try placing the speakers so their measurement's to all walls are different. Like two feet from the rear wall and five feet from the side walls.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraneer View Post

Most likely a placement issue. You say you normally sit 8' away from the speakers. How far apart are the speakers from one another?

I have found that the distance between the speakers should be less than the distance of the speakers from the listening position, forming an isosceles triangle. I had a similar problem in my room and by keeping the speakers apart 2' less than the distance from my listening chair, coupled with about a 10° toe in, solved the problem. It brought the high end to life. In my case, speakers are 9' apart vs. 11' from my listening chair. It took some time experimenting to find this optimum placement. Have fun while you attempt the solve the problem. Hope this helps.

The speakers are almost exactly 7' apart if measured form the center of one to the center of the other. I re-measured the listening distance to double-check and it is 9'. However, they are not toed in at all so that's worth a try. How did you measure 10 degrees?
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Where are the speakers in relation to room boundaries? Speakers on stands? Sitting on shelves? Construction of the room and what treatments/furnishings? When you're 2 ft away vs 8 ft away, same ear height? Details, man, details!

The speakers are about 2' from the side walls, between 4" and 1' from the back wall - I've played with everything in between the 4" and 1' and it doesn't seem to change much if at all. Unfortunately, pulling them out any more would make walking around the room impossible. They are on stands, yes. Construction of the room... carpeted floors, sheetrock walls, I believe it was built in the mid 70s. Furnishings are typical bedroom: full size bed, double dresser, plus the tv stand and speakers. Yes, same ear height when 2' or 9'.

More details?
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

The sound problem you're having is most likely a speaker placement issue or a room reflection issue. Or a calibration problem. Or a combination of all of these. Not a problem with the speaker. The proof is that you had a similar problem with the last pair of speakers you had. I would check all of the above problems and how to correct them.

Definitely not a calibration problem as I'm not using any. The few experiences I've had with AVRs and room calibration sounded much worse to me than no calibration at all. Everything seems to go dull and lifeless. I'll definitely try some more placement options as that keeps coming up. I have them placed so that they are at 1/5 points of the wall they are on, which seems to give me the most accurate and clean bass response.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

A square room could very well be the culprit. Try placing the speakers so their measurement's to all walls are different. Like two feet from the rear wall and five feet from the side walls.

Unfortunately, 5' from the side walls would put them in the center of the room in front of the tv Maybe I should just go with a center channel only? kidding. As they are now, I can have them anywhere from against the back wall to 1' away from it (I've tried everything in between those and the sound was practically identical) and 2' from the side walls. Are you suggesting I try having them slightly asymmetrical with regards to the room? As in say 1 of them 2' from the side wall with the other closer or farther away?
post #10 of 22
Definitely try toeing them in. High frequencies roll off off axis.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

The speakers are almost exactly 7' apart if measured form the center of one to the center of the other. I re-measured the listening distance to double-check and it is 9'. However, they are not toed in at all so that's worth a try. How did you measure 10 degrees?

Just eye ball it as you start to experiment by slowly toeing them in. Imagine a circle around your speakers. If you toed both in to where the grills were facing one another that would be 180°. The they were at right angles, that would be 90°. So you can see 10° is pretty slight toe in. You may need a little more. But if this is one of the adjustments, you have not tried yet, it is definitely worth the effort. Good luck - I hope you find your answer. You have very nice speakers.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

Unfortunately, 5' from the side walls would put them in the center of the room in front of the tv Maybe I should just go with a center channel only? kidding. As they are now, I can have them anywhere from against the back wall to 1' away from it (I've tried everything in between those and the sound was practically identical) and 2' from the side walls. Are you suggesting I try having them slightly asymmetrical with regards to the room? As in say 1 of them 2' from the side wall with the other closer or farther away?

Yes...avoid equal distance.
post #13 of 22
I am having a similar problem in my 12x12 office with wood floors.

I brought in an onkyo tx-sr805 I had setup with Audyssey in my 14x18 HT room.
In the 12'x12' room I am using all Polk, 2 Monitor 40's, 1 CS1 and 2 Monitor 30's.
I also have an 18" deftech sub in the office.

The polks sounded great when I first fired it up with the room EQ applied from the
HT; but the sub was off. I decided to re-run room eq in the small office, and everything
sounded worse. I went manual (turned off Audyssey EQ) and things sound ok. It's a
pain but I'll get it right someday by fooling around with audyssey. I think my 6 mic
points were to close together.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

I recently purchased a pair of Monitor Audio RX-2s for a 2-channel bedroom system. My room is about 11' by 11.5' with an 8' ceiling. I had auditioned a pair of RX-6s (the only model the local dealer carries) and really like the sound, but figured the towers would be a bit much for my room and the sound would be very similar with the RX-2s. Also, since I have 2 subs, which I prefer to co-locate with the mains, bookshelves seemed to make more sense.

So here's the problem... the RX-2s sound great in the midrange, but the crisp, detailed highs I heard in the RX-6s don't seem to be doing the same thing in my room. It's almost as if the highs are choked off a bit, like the speakers can't really breathe.

How did you set the levels of the subs? If the subs are set to high, the balance of the system will be weighted towards the subs, and the mids and highs from the speakers will sound recessed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

If I'm about 2 feet from them, they sound fantastic, but where I normally sit (about 8' away), not so much.

When you are closer to the speakers, they will be louder relative to the subs. Again, how did you set the levels of the subs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

I had a similar problem with my previous speakers, which sounded like they were behind a pillow. The Monitor Audios don't sound nearly that bad, but they just don't seem to open up. I'm running them with an HK3490, and I also have an Emotiva UPA-2 I could pull out and try, but I don't think it's a power/amplification issue.

Any input you guys have would be appreciated.

Do you have an SPL meter? You'll need one to balance the sub levels with the speaker levels.

Also, toe-in those speakers.

Craig
post #15 of 22
You should definitely toe them in so they are are aimed at the center of the listening position.

It actually sounds as if you may have a otical occlusion; ear wax buildup.

I suggest that you have your ears cleaned out professionally. A lot of people have this and don't know it, and it makes a heck of a difference in high-frequency hearing.

Of course males do suffer high-frequency hearing loss as part of the aging process; there is that too.






Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

Unfortunately, 5' from the side walls would put them in the center of the room in front of the tv Maybe I should just go with a center channel only? kidding. As they are now, I can have them anywhere from against the back wall to 1' away from it (I've tried everything in between those and the sound was practically identical) and 2' from the side walls. Are you suggesting I try having them slightly asymmetrical with regards to the room? As in say 1 of them 2' from the side wall with the other closer or farther away?
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You should definitely toe them in so they are are aimed at the center of the listening position.

It actually sounds as if you may have a otical occlusion; ear wax buildup.

I suggest that you have your ears cleaned out professionally. A lot of people have this and don't know it, and it makes a heck of a difference in high-frequency hearing.

Of course males do suffer high-frequency hearing loss as part of the aging process; there is that too.

The fact that he "heard" the highs in the store pretty much rules out everything you said, (except the toe-in part.)
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsoul View Post

I am having a similar problem in my 12x12 office with wood floors.

I brought in an onkyo tx-sr805 I had setup with Audyssey in my 14x18 HT room.
In the 12'x12' room I am using all Polk, 2 Monitor 40's, 1 CS1 and 2 Monitor 30's.
I also have an 18" deftech sub in the office.

The polks sounded great when I first fired it up with the room EQ applied from the
HT; but the sub was off. I decided to re-run room eq in the small office, and everything
sounded worse. I went manual (turned off Audyssey EQ) and things sound ok. It's a
pain but I'll get it right someday by fooling around with audyssey. I think my 6 mic
points were to close together.

Again, a square room is probably the most diffucult acoustic space.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone for their suggestions here, this forum always delivers.

I've been experimenting with toe in over the last several days with great results, so that seems to be the answer. I'm taking it slowly though, toeing them in a little, listening over a few days to really evaluate. I own the speakers, so I have all the time I want, right?
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions here, this forum always delivers.

I've been experimenting with toe in over the last several days with great results, so that seems to be the answer. I'm taking it slowly though, toeing them in a little, listening over a few days to really evaluate. I own the speakers, so I have all the time I want, right?

Ya sure you can handle that big guy? That toeing in stuff can be pretty tricky! Make sure those speakers know who's boss!?

I think back to my first good speakers (Original Advents, early s/n and all) and the only way it made sense was to toe 'em in for my LP.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Ya sure you can handle that big guy? That toeing in stuff can be pretty tricky! Make sure those speakers know who's boss!?

I think back to my first good speakers (Original Advents, early s/n and all) and the only way it made sense was to toe 'em in for my LP.

lmao! - The thing is, I've tried toeing in other speakers in the past and it didn't seem to do anything but either collapse the soundstage or just make a complete mess of the sound, so I'd given up on it. I'll chalk that up to the quality (or lack thereof) of those old speakers or just not knowing what I was doing. I had always heard to aim them at the LP, which is what I had done before, but I'm finding out with these that that's not necessarily the way to go.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokbyter View Post

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions here, this forum always delivers.

I've been experimenting with toe in over the last several days with great results, so that seems to be the answer. I'm taking it slowly though, toeing them in a little, listening over a few days to really evaluate. I own the speakers, so I have all the time I want, right?

Just aim them at the listening position. No need to tiptoe around with toe in.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Just aim them at the listening position. No need to tiptoe around with toe in.

Probably because my listening position is near the back of the room, but this sounds terrible in my room. Less toe-in so far is giving me much better results.
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