My 2 cents based on my past experience and the fact that you say " I mainly use the setup for listening to music"May I suggest having a dedicated 2 ch music system based around your new Pendragons?
Originally Posted by arexsvn
I've just received a set of two Pendragons and had some questions about setup. I am new to this forum and this is my first set of decent speakers so I apologize in advance if any of these have been answered before.
Just some details about my setup:
Room : Home is an 'open concept' with post and beam construction so doesn't have a normal layout. About 22 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 12 foot ceilings at the highest point. There is a massive chimney in the middle of the room.
Receiver : onkyo 818 (not using any separate amps, but am considering adding a Crown NXLS2000 to drive the fronts)
Sub : ADS MS3-u
Pendragons are spaced 2 feet from the back wall and six feet apart from each other. About two inches of toe-in.
Center/Surrounds/Surround Rears : Carried over from my last system which was a onkyo htib. Plan on upgrading these eventually, but wanted to get the fronts upgraded first as I mainly use the setup for listening to music.
So far I'm pretty blown away by the sound but have noticed that the bass doesn't have as much 'impact' as I would've expected. I know that most reviews seem to emphasize this aspect so I'm guessing something about my setup is off. I'm getting a nice full range of sound, it just seems like the power in the mid and lower range isn't quite there. I'm not expecting subwoofer levels of bass but by the size of the drivers it seems like there should be a significant 'punch'.
Some causes might be:
1. Insufficient 'break-in'. I've only played them for about 5 hours so far, not sure what kind of difference waiting the recommended break-in time will make (I've read 40-200hrs).
2. Insufficient amp power - The 818 is a pretty lowly receiver for this caliber of speaker so maybe it is to blame? The thing is I can play them plenty loud without distortion, but the bass impact doesn't seem to scale up with the higher volume like I expected. Would more amp power improve this? Also, the woofers don't seem to move much even at high volume...is this normal with these speakers or do other owners notice much movement while playing loud?
3. Bad room setup - I used the audessy xt32 setup of the 818 which seemed to apply good settings (the pendragons are crossed over at 40 hz). Not sure if the distance from the back wall or the weirdness of the room in general might be robbing some of the bass impact. I've tried running from multiple sources with audessy enabled and disabled and while the sound definitely changes the bass performance seems similar.
4. I've read one post in these forums from user 'Brouham' that he had the speaker terminals reversed so that the positive terminal was connected to the black (negative) binding post and vice versa. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446325/tekton-pendragon/150
Has anyone encountered this with their Pendragons? How would I test something like that?
Thanks for any input.
I know I will get many folks that will not agree with me on a AV form full of theater guys but my thoughts is that it is hard to find one system that will do everything well but I also understand having a bunch of AV systems is not practical for most people. However, a simple modest system consisting of the Pendragons with a CD or vinyl or high res file, direct into to a 2 ch amp is something special. No digital processing or crossover junk or unmatched center channel speaker or boomy subwoofer getting in the way... We only have 2 ears, so why do we need 7 to 10 speakers for music?
( let the theater guys come after the 2 ch guy on the form)
I am not completely out of touch as I did go to a IMAX theater last weekend but I will always use a 2 ch system for my music.
I am biased and an audio purist that thinks a bass and treble control get in the way of music but hey thats what my ears tell me... The simplest, shortest path from the source to my ear is my preference.
Sounds to me you may have a few weak links in you system compared to the quality of the Pendragon? I am from the school that you are only as good as your weakest link. Crossing over those Pens and such you may be doing more harm than good, is my thinking anyway.
My suggestion for now before purchasing anything is to unhook everything but the Pendragons, your Onkyo and a source. Set it up in basic 2 ch mode with no processing...To give you a starting point and do some listening over a day or so this way. If possible I would move those speakers all over the place. My Pens are close to the wall as I have no choice but you may want to move them out a bit and spread them out depending on the listening location. Then start adding subs and center speakers after a day or so and see if you are adding or taking away from that special sound you are looking for.
Check your speaker phasing both on your end and internally in your speakers via a battery and or ear or Google speaker phasing test.
Some friends of mine in local band a few years back purchased a large new Carvin PA system. They were adding sub after sub chasing more low end.
After a listen and some investigation I found they had a brand new Carvin power amp from the factory that was internally wire out of phase on one side.
In the pro world I don't trust any speakers builder so In a pinch I have used a 1.5 v battery on my speaker terminals many times over the years to make sure the woofers are all going the same direction. I have seen many a speakers box wired wrong internally. Humans do put these together so it can happen.
The room... In the past I had a room that was so bad I could get almost no low end out of my system but my neighbors could hear my low end perfect!
I added a sub and it just made my neighbors more mad at me and did nothing in my room. I sold the sub and just gave up till I moved.
Based on your description of your room I would bet It sounds nice but rooms can be great or horrible.
I am in a different room now that still has challenges and is a work in progress but I am playing around with room treatments. I am a fan of the rather cheep Auralex bass traps for low end issues.
Last time I checked Sams club sold cheep theater panels online that are priced nice and includes shipping but I had to find the bass traps on Amazon.
Also the Pendragons will start to open up after some break-in...50 - 100 hours I would guess...
Long story short, I would start with only 2 channels and move those Pens all over the place and find a sweet spot in your room. Doing this will tell you if you have a room issue. I would then move to room treatments and then you will have plenty of time to add amps, and such but proper placement and wiring is the 1st step IMO.
In my pro experience a great system in a bad room = a bad sounding system.
)Edited by Soundman5000 - 12/8/13 at 4:59am