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Sony STR-DH700 front speakers sound "tinny and hollow", help needed

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Greetings!

I used to run my receiver (Sony STR-DH700 in 2 channel with the fronts bi-amped and it sounded great, my mains are Polk Monitor 50s so it was lacking in bass but from midrange-high sounded awesome. A few months ago I picked up my surrounds (Polk Monitor 30s), center (Polk CS1), and sub (BIC America F-12). Since I am just running 5.1 I decided to keep my mains bi-amped. I have my fronts set to large and the crossover set to 80hz. It all sounds great to my ears except the fronts sound really tinny and hollow, I get nice full range sound from my center and rears though.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Anthony
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm open to any suggestions/ideas.

Anyone?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
thread bump
post #4 of 13
Aren't you always supposed to set your speakers to small when using a sub?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonyad View Post

Aren't you always supposed to set your speakers to small when using a sub?

Yes, you have to set speakers to "small", otherwise if left as "large" no bass will be re-directed to the sub from those speakers.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Yes, you have to set speakers to "small", otherwise if left as "large" no bass will be re-directed to the sub from those speakers.

I'll switch them back to small, but it doesn't correct the problem. Any other ideas?
post #7 of 13
You should set the front speakers to full-range, with no frequency limiting. Setting them to small is a bizarre and foolish idea; do they look "small" to you? they are rated to go down to well below 50 Hz, so USE them down to below 50 Hz.

The subwoofer's rolloff filter knob should be set to operate only up to about 50 Hz; no higher. Experiment with the setting, but keep it below 60 Hz.

Try it and you will see.

The problem is that your sub is operating at frequencies that overlap the main speakers (50-80 hz or so), and you are getting phase cancellation between the sub and main speakers; they are fighting each other in that range and cancelling out the mid-bass. THE SUB MUST NOT OPERATE IN THAT RANGE.

The main speakers need to operate down to 40-50 Hz, and the sub only below that; they MUST NOT OVERLAP EACH OTHER'S FREQUENCY RANGE.
Edited by commsysman - 9/9/12 at 7:34am
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonyad View Post

Aren't you always supposed to set your speakers to small when using a sub?

+1

@lunari - Run the AUTO EQ (DCAC) again if you haven't already and after doing so, reset the FL/FR speakers to SMALL with 80hz crossovers.

The issue could also be with the AVR itself as CNET doesn't give it a good review ...
Quote:
Sony's STR-DH700 is an inexpensive 7.1 AV receiver, but its lackluster sound and dearth of features make it tough to recommend.
post #9 of 13
try connecting your speakers the normal way, don't biamp them. Put the jumpers back in place and see if it makes a difference.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You should set the front speakers to full-range, with no frequency limiting. Setting them to small is a bizarre and foolish idea; do they look "small" to you? they are rated to go down to well below 50 Hz, so USE them down to below 50 Hz.
The subwoofer's rolloff filter knob should be set to operate only up to about 50 Hz; no higher. Experiment with the setting, but keep it below 60 Hz.
Try it and you will see.
The problem is that your sub is operating at frequencies that overlap the main speakers (50-80 hz or so), and you are getting phase cancellation between the sub and main speakers; they are fighting each other in that range and cancelling out the mid-bass. THE SUB MUST NOT OPERATE IN THAT RANGE.
The main speakers need to operate down to 40-50 Hz, and the sub only below that; they MUST NOT OVERLAP EACH OTHER'S FREQUENCY RANGE.

Hi commsysman (and all),

Actually large or small has nothing to do with neither the physical size nor the -3 dB roll-off of a speaker.

Here's a good read from Chris Kyriakakis/Founder and CTO of Audyssey where here explains the merits of modern bass management with a little historical background:

"Large vs. Small

Do you have a subwoofer in your system? Great. Then your speakers are small. Before you get all upset, read on. This is one of those audio myths whose time has come to be busted. To understand why, we need to talk about Bass Management.

In the early days of home theater it was thought that in order to reproduce the full movie surround experience at home it was necessary to place 5 large loudspeakers in the room. The reason for the size was the woofers. To play at theatrical reference levels and reproduce the deepest bass available in the content requires each speaker to have 12” or larger woofers. Let’s just say that this theory didn’t get very far in the real world.

A better and more practical approach came after studying human perception. The mechanisms that we use to determine the direction of arrival of sound depend on the frequency. At high frequencies the wavelength of sound is small and so sound coming from the side is shadowed by our head. That creates a level difference between the sound reaching the ear closest to the source and the ear on the other side. Our brain analyzes these level differences and produces an estimate of where the sound is coming from. But at lower frequencies, the wavelength of sound gets longer and our head is not large enough to produce a level difference at the two ears. Instead, we analyze the difference in time of arrival of sound at the two ears. Sound arrives first at the closest ear and we use that to determine the direction. But even that ability fails us below about 80 Hz. The wavelengths get very large and it was found in listening tests that 80 Hz is the frequency below which most people can not localize the direction of sound.

Taking advantage of this apparent “deficiency” in our hearing was what made home theater practical for millions of homes. Five satellite speakers of reasonable size could now be used because they no longer required large woofers. A subwoofer (or two) can reproduce the lower octaves and it can be placed out of sight since its content is not directional.

But there is also a practical advantage: directing the bass to a dedicated subwoofer channel with its own amplifier greatly improves the headroom in the main channels. The idea behind this was proposed in a Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPTE) meeting in 1987. The participants could not agree on the minimum number of channels required for surround sound on film. Various numbers were being shouted out until a voice was heard from the back: “We need 5.1”. Everyone’s head turned around to look at Tom Holman. He proceeded to explain what he meant: Take the low frequency content from all 5 channels and redirect it away from the satellite speakers to the subwoofer. If we do the math, then the content below 80 Hz is 0.004 of the audible 20,000 Hz bandwidth. But 5.004 didn’t sound as catchy so Tom rounded up to 5.1. By the way, don’t make the amateur mistake of calling it 5 dot 1. It is a decimal: 5 point 1.
Fast forward to the early 90s when the first DSP powered home theater receivers started to appear. Along with progress came complexity. Some industry forces believed that Bass Management should be an option that could be turned on and off by the consumer. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but to make an informed decision requires much more knowledge about the system than what was available to the typical consumer. So, the Large and Small rule of thumb was established. The idea was to look at the size of your speakers and decide whether their woofers were “large enough” to reproduce the lowest octaves at the required levels. It was a noble thought, but looking at it 15 years later I believe that it has led to nothing but massive confusion. The poor consumer was led to believe that Large is somehow a good thing and was then left wondering why there was nothing coming out of their subwoofer.

Redirecting the bass to the subwoofer relieves the receiver amplifiers from having to work on reproducing the low frequencies and this greatly improves the headroom. If you happen to be using Audyssey MultEQ for room correction, you will achieve much better low frequency performance because the MultEQ subwoofer filters have 8x higher resolution than the filters in the other channels.

Here is a better rule: All speakers are Small. In today’s complicated AVR lingo that just means: If you have a subwoofer you should always turn bass management on. Always. Even if your receiver clings to the past and automatically sets your speakers to Large."

Link here.

Take care. smile.gif
Edited by mogorf - 9/9/12 at 12:51pm
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
First off I would like to say THANK YOU!!! to everybody that took the time to respond, I was expecting there to be no responses when I checked this. First off I will try rerunning the calibration then I will try the front speakers normal (not bi-amped). I will post back with the results.

Thanks,
Anthony
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Also, I adjusted the xover to 40hz for my mains (there wasn't an OFF option I could find), doesn't seem any different yet. Next thing I will try will be running the auto-cal again. Will post back with results (have to find the mic).
Thanks,
Anthony
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Problem is solved, I had it hooked up wrong like a noob. smile.gif Sounds great!
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