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I'm frustrated w/ my audio setup

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Pioneer 1120-k
Orb Audio Mod 2x
Orb Audio Super 8 sub

I've become increasingly frustrated with my theater setup. So much so that I want to start over. What has me the most frustrated is the near constant volume adjustment when watching movies. Up for dialog, down for action scenes. It seems that I have to crank things up to get the detail that i'm looking for -- even when listening to music.

I used the MACC calibration to set things up. The result is what seems like a scooped midrange with lots of top-end and very little bottom end.

I auditioned a NAD theater setup with Golden ear speakers (floor standing) yesterday. Was very nice, but the listening room was of course "acoustically perfect" with very little (if any) ambient noise. My home setup is in the basement living space. The room is about 20 x 30 x 9 with the primary listening seat being about 18ft away from the TV. The surrounds are at about the 18ft mark too where the ceiling / wall meet (basically right overhead). Back behind the listening space is open living space. Essentially I have a couch separating the 'theater room' from the other space in the basement.

I'm looking at everything from replacing the Orbs to the Pioneer (or both!). Maybe a by-ear calibration will help too? just not sure what to start with.

I don't care about all the wiz bang features on some of these receivers. Just great sound quality and 24p passthrough. Audio Streaming, internet radio stations, all the different hall/theather/etc effects, not interested at all.

I've been reading alot of of good things about Emotiva. The XPA-5 and UMC-200 seem to look pretty good.

Where do I go from here?
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinman View Post

Pioneer 1120-k
Orb Audio Mod 2x
Orb Audio Super 8 sub

I've become increasingly frustrated with my theater setup. So much so that I want to start over. What has me the most frustrated is the near constant volume adjustment when watching movies. Up for dialog, down for action scenes. It seems that I have to crank things up to get the detail that i'm looking for -- even when listening to music.

I used the MACC calibration to set things up. The result is what seems like a scooped midrange with lots of top-end and very little bottom end.

I auditioned a NAD theater setup with Golden ear speakers (floor standing) yesterday. Was very nice, but the listening room was of course "acoustically perfect" with very little (if any) ambient noise. My home setup is in the basement living space. The room is about 20 x 30 x 9 with the primary listening seat being about 18ft away from the TV. The surrounds are at about the 18ft mark too where the ceiling / wall meet (basically right overhead). Back behind the listening space is open living space. Essentially I have a couch separating the 'theater room' from the other space in the basement.

I'm looking at everything from replacing the Orbs to the Pioneer (or both!). Maybe a by-ear calibration will help too? just not sure what to start with.

I don't care about all the wiz bang features on some of these receivers. Just great sound quality and 24p passthrough. Audio Streaming, internet radio stations, all the different hall/theather/etc effects, not interested at all.

I've been reading alot of of good things about Emotiva. The XPA-5 and UMC-200 seem to look pretty good.

Where do I go from here?

That is absolutely a huge space for such small speakers.

That is where I would start-getting some speakers that are capable of filling that space.

Also, I would move the viewing area closer to the tv.

Any idea what your budget is for this?
post #3 of 19
Quote:
That is absolutely a huge space for such small speakers.

That is where I would start-getting some speakers that are capable of filling that space.
+1. Bigger/better speakers AND sub(s).
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Slight correction - I was a bit off on my measurements, but it seems speakers still aren't sized appropriately.

Room size is 12x35x8 - one end is the TV, the other are double doors leading into a work-out room. With these open (and they almost never are), it's another 20ft. So, yah, it's a big space.

Budget - I'd like to keep it under $2k, but will spend more if there is exponential performance gains. I just don't want to get into the spend another $1k for incremental gains. Thinking the a L/R/C + sub would be best to start out with. I've always wanted and HSU sub smile.gif.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinman View Post

The room is about 20 x 30 x 9 with the primary listening seat being about 18ft away from the TV.
Where do I go from here?

eek.gifeek.gifeek.gifeek.gif Unless you've got a 200" PJ screen, definitely consider moving the primary seating closer to the 10'-11' mark.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Huh... Seems like i have alot of things wrong smile.gif.

The 18ft distance is due to the way the room was architected + the furniture we have on hand. I'll have to go back to the aesthetics committee and reopen a discussion, but it is possible.

I should mention that it's not a dedicated viewing area - it's more multipurpose.
post #7 of 19

You may get some ideas here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1172966/show-me-your-living-room-non-dedicated-theater-pics

Creating a 12 x 12 "viewing area" would be a good start, so move that couch WAY forward. You still have plenty of room for "multipurpose" behind it.

And plan on two subs. ;)

Did you follow this guide for MCACC setup?

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1112470/official-pioneer-mcacc-thread

post #8 of 19
Leave the furniture where it is, and add a projector instead. biggrin.gif

But first - and especially since you're not complaining about video, but about audio - get better speakers and at least one better sub.
post #9 of 19

Something from here will save you some money:

http://www.parts-express.com/cat/subwoofer-system-kits/287

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok, assuming that I can move things forward, where do I start with speakers?

I'm thinking L/R/C/sub for starers. I don't have much flexability for the rears -- the orbs are doing the trick.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinman View Post

Ok, assuming that I can move things forward, where do I start with speakers?

I'm thinking L/R/C/sub for starers. I don't have much flexibility for the rears -- the orbs are doing the trick.


Budget?
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
$2k +/- $200
post #13 of 19

Room (and approval from aesthetics committee) for two subs?

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes on both. I only have 1 sub output on the 1120k though. I suppose I could let the subs do the crossover and wire them direct to the speakers? Is this the preferred way?
post #15 of 19
In the meantime I suggest you raise the center channel level in manual MCACC so you don't have to struggle to hear dialog and don't have to change volume all the time. I agree with the others that the speakers are a bit on the small side for your room.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinman View Post

Yes on both. I only have 1 sub output on the 1120k though. I suppose I could let the subs do the crossover and wire them direct to the speakers? Is this the preferred way?

Huh? No, you use a splitter like this:

http://www.sfcable.com/RCA2-2.html?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&cvsfa=3023&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=524341322d32&gclid=CKPGhZ6657sCFbFxOgod7DQAyQ

Crossover is set in the AVR (usually 80Hz).

For your budget, you may want to look at the sub kits I linked above, or consider used. 

Have you seen this?

http://www.avsforum.com/a/avs-forums-top-8-low-cost-surround-speaker-packages

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

In the meantime I suggest you raise the center channel level in manual MCACC so you don't have to struggle to hear dialog and don't have to change volume all the time. I agree with the others that the speakers are a bit on the small side for your room.

Or just raise the 1KHz level in the center channel; that will help dialog and not make the center channel too loud overall.

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ahhhh!! The 1KHz bump helped! Did some tweeks to the auto MCACC too in terms of channel volume. I'm surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

I've been thinking about the Aperion 5T setup. Although, I don't think I can use the back channels - they are too big for my room.
post #19 of 19

Got room for the 4s?

http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/intimus-home-theater-speakers

Otherwise, get two 5T towers and the 5C center for $1250, use the speakers you have for rears, and spend the remaining $800 on one good sub. Save up for another $800 sub, and you should be plenty happy.

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