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Tweak settings - What can i do?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I hope you can help me out. My kids are starting to enjoy action movies more now and i'd like to revisit my system and make some adjustment with the current set up.

It's been awhile since i made any really adjustments to my setup. Actually, the only thing i've ever really performed was a speaker level adjustment utilizing a Radio Shack SPL meter after my initial AVR setup. I purchased an external usb Creative Sound Blaster Live 24-bits years ago but never did anything with it as life got busy (kids and wife).

Here's what i have for 5.1 setup.

AV Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR 3600 (I use for processing only)
Amp: Emotiva LPA-1. (Powers my mains and rears)
Subwoofer (sealed): 15" Rythmik DS1500 with 350w plate amp. (this was a DIY kit)
Speakers: Infinity Primus 360's for L/C/R and 150's for rear.

I'm very interested in phase control with the subwoofer but overall just maximizing what i currently have. Relocating my subwoofer will not be possible primarily due to room configuration and furniture as it's in a family with limited placement options. The other constraint is the WAF. I've played around with changes to crossover settings (i can set individual set the crossover for each speaker) and speaker sizes within the AVR settings but only slightly.

So the question is what can i do with a radio shack SPL and a USB creative sound blaster to make improvements to my existing gear?


Hope you can help.
post #2 of 7
The first thing you have to do is to define what is lacking in your system. At this point we don't have any idea what your system sounds like and you haven't really described any faults. The AVR3600 has a complete EZ setup system with omni directional microphone that will set the levels and delay timings for each of your speakers as well as the equalization. I would let it do its thing and pretty much realize that you aren't going to get much better than that unless you start moving things around or change speakers. Not sure that the Creative sound blaster brings a lot to the party. You didn't mention a DVD player so not sure whether you are using a PC with the blaster or what.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoyleS View Post

The first thing you have to do is to define what is lacking in your system. At this point we don't have any idea what your system sounds like and you haven't really described any faults. The AVR3600 has a complete EZ setup system with omni directional microphone that will set the levels and delay timings for each of your speakers as well as the equalization. I would let it do its thing and pretty much realize that you aren't going to get much better than that unless you start moving things around or change speakers. Not sure that the Creative sound blaster brings a lot to the party. You didn't mention a DVD player so not sure whether you are using a PC with the blaster or what.

My primary objective is really to gain knowledge in how to properly calibrate a system utilizing tools that i have and possibly acquiring additional tools to better improve performance. As i previously mentioned, i would like to utilizing and know how to set the phase control on the subwoofer to ensure it's properly phased in with the mains. I know there are other factors that may have an impact on sound (or perception of bad sound) but knowing how to identify and correct is what i'm after.

I currently don't like how overpowering the bass or LFE is to where the dialogue is difficult to follow or hear. It may be a result of many things such as room size, AVR settings, subwoofer amp settings, lack of room treatments, etc.

I have always performed the speaker settings manually (distance from listening positions, etc.) utilizing DVE calibrations disc on both a DVD and my PS3 with a RS SPL meter. I'm guilty of reading threads complaining of how bad/off the EZ setup is and applying it to my own perception without actually trying out the EZ setup.

I also have a desire to utilize measuring software such as REW (that was actually the original purpose for buying the Creative Sound Blaster) or others so i can visualize what's going and see how i can improve.
post #4 of 7
As a start, you might go ahead and use REW to Map your current setup.
I think I would then try the automatic EZ setup and then Map it and compare the difference in sound to what you see in the two maps. I don't think anyone is prepared to try to walk you through a detailed training session. You pretty much have to read the manual and then address the items that you feel you understand. The people here on the forum are all different levels some are electrical or sound engineers, others have years of experience gained from personal study and experimentation. It is difficult to condense a lot of that down into a few paragraphs in a post. If you can understand the various graphs and their purpose in REW then you shouldn't have too much trouble with the measurements. If a lot of it is Greek to you then I think you are going to have to supplement it with some reading before trying to do a lot of measurements. I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but there are not a lot of other posts to your questions and what you are after could require a lot of personal study.
post #5 of 7
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoyleS View Post

As a start, you might go ahead and use REW to Map your current setup.
I think I would then try the automatic EZ setup and then Map it and compare the difference in sound to what you see in the two maps. I don't think anyone is prepared to try to walk you through a detailed training session. You pretty much have to read the manual and then address the items that you feel you understand. The people here on the forum are all different levels some are electrical or sound engineers, others have years of experience gained from personal study and experimentation. It is difficult to condense a lot of that down into a few paragraphs in a post. If you can understand the various graphs and their purpose in REW then you shouldn't have too much trouble with the measurements. If a lot of it is Greek to you then I think you are going to have to supplement it with some reading before trying to do a lot of measurements. I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but there are not a lot of other posts to your questions and what you are after could require a lot of personal study.

Thanks.......I'll focus on personal studying and be more specific on posts.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoko2 View Post

Go to this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hp?t=824554and read.

thank you.
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