Originally Posted by Tom Bley
This next part I don't really like but, I was really underwelmed. I started with the gains at 10 o'clock and the receiver was a 0 like I've always kept it. Hardly any bass! I messed with the phase controls and nothing different. I had to crank the gains up to 2-3 o'clock on BOTH Sentinels to get better output. I had my one PB12-NSD at around 1' oclock & receiver at 0 and it has much more impact than the 2 Sentinels. Mind you the SVS still sounded clean to me but, with more output. So, I'm a depressed this morning as I was expecting them to blow away the PB12-NSD. I'm using a Y out of the receiver and going to each Sentinel, does anyone think the output should be cranked up on the receiver? I'm at zero now and have always kept it there and using the subs gain but, it just seems like I have to use a lot of gain on the Sentinels, especially with two off them.
I will have much more time to listen on Friday and the weekend but, I'll try some more movies and music tonight.
I had the same initial impressions when I hooked up my Sentinel. I had an Outlaw LFM-1 EX and it didn't take much to get a lot of output from it. I had the SW setting at -5 dB and kept the gain between 10 & 11 o'clock. The EX was room shaking at 11 o'clock setting. When I got the Sentinel, I hooked it up at the same settings and I was shocked at how there was so much less bass in comparison to the EX. I didn't have REW and an SPL meter or anything else with exception to my own ears. I was underwhelmed too, but I remembered that it took me some time to dial in the EX, so I wasn't worried. After listening to a lot more movies and music, I realized that I had to bring the SW level (0 to +1) on the receiver up and had to set the gain higher (1 o'clock). Also, there was definitely some break-in with my Sentinel. It was very stiff at first and didn't show as much excursion. Now, if I listen to some hip hop and get close and watch it and crank the gain a little higher, I can feel the insides of my ear canals shake. The driver never complains or bottoms out when cranking the gain higher while throwing a lot of bass at it. The only thing I've notice is my lights dim when the gain is set high (3 o'clock) and there's heavy bass thumps. I don't do this very often, but I get a kick out of it every once and a while.
As it stands now, I have my SW setting at +3 dB (it goes against standard convention, but it sounds good) and the gain set at 12 o'clock. Setting the gain too high can cause high amperage peaks, so I prefer to set the SW setting higher and keep the gain at 12. I have BIC Acoustech HT-75's and HT-65 center and they're really efficient, so I feel like I need more bass to match the output of the mids and highs from my mains/center. I have a 20x20x9 great room open to a large breakfast area/kitchen, foyer (open to the 2nd story), and surrounding walkway and I feel that my lone Sentinel is quite adequate and very satisfying. I watched UP on Blu Ray this past weekend at -10 dB from Reference and there was some couch shaking and chest thumping bass during the LFE heavy scenes. There was some great LFE action in Dug's special mission too (rock moving and rocks falling while he's running ahead of the other dogs). Music sounds excellent with the Sentinel and it stops on a dime. I noticed a big difference in SQ when directly comparing the EX. The bass on the EX just hung around a bit longer and didn't seem quite as clear while listening to music. With movies, this wasn't really noticeable with the EX. The EX shook the couch a bit more too, but I think it was due to the down firing driver/ports that seemed to couple more with the subfloor. I had thoughts of getting a GRAMMA with the EX, but I don't feel it's necessary with the Sentinel.
Hope this helps. Just give your Sentinels some time. I personally feel that they have a long break in period and seem to open up more and more as I listen to them. I agree that you should start with one and then try to bring the 2nd one in later and REW and an SPL meter would definitely help you with noise cancellation issues.