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post #1 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Advice on current system

Hey everyone!! So I'm looking on suggestions on what I should do. First up, a look at my current system:

AVR - Denon x3500h
Front - B&W 685 S2
Center - B&W HTM62 S2
Rear - B&W M1
Sub - HSU VTF2 MK5 (got this based on recommendations here on AVS and love it)

I love the sound but I sometimes realize the sound isn't as crisp as I would like. I already ran audessey and what not, but I'm thinking my open floor concept is taking away from the sound. (The sub is perfect btw)

So I was thinking, should I buy bigger speakers for the front (maybe floor standing?) and move my current ones to the back? (And if I do that, maybe taking the M1's and making my system a 7.1) or is it just a matter of maybe buying an amp? Or is it something that can just be done through messing with the settings on my receiver?

Any suggestions are welcomed! I've never been led wrong on these forums so figured I'd seek y'all advice.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anieves23 View Post
Hey everyone!! So I'm looking on suggestions on what I should do. First up, a look at my current system:

AVR - Denon x3500h
Front - B&W 685 S2
Center - B&W HTM62 S2
Rear - B&W M1
Sub - HSU VTF2 MK5 (got this based on recommendations here on AVS and love it)

I love the sound but I sometimes realize the sound isn't as crisp as I would like. I already ran audessey and what not, but I'm thinking my open floor concept is taking away from the sound. (The sub is perfect btw)

So I was thinking, should I buy bigger speakers for the front (maybe floor standing?) and move my current ones to the back? (And if I do that, maybe taking the M1's and making my system a 7.1) or is it just a matter of maybe buying an amp? Or is it something that can just be done through messing with the settings on my receiver?

Any suggestions are welcomed! I've never been led wrong on these forums so figured I'd seek y'all advice.

Thanks!
What are the settings you are running in your Denon.

Speaker size?

Crossovers?

Are you running Audyssey Reference, Bypass, Flat, custom or "off"?

What optional EQs are you using, (ie. Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ, Cinema EQ etc.)?

Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
What are the settings you are running in your Denon.

Speaker size?

Crossovers?

Are you running Audyssey Reference, Bypass, Flat, custom or "off"?

What optional EQs are you using, (ie. Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ, Cinema EQ etc.)?
Hey there!

So this is what I'm currently running:

Small Speaker Size

120Hz Crossover for Speakers

Running Audessey Reference

and using Dynamic EQ
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:21 PM
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Clap your hands in the center of the room, does it echo? If so, the problem is probably not with the speakers, but with the room. Some well placed treatments would probably do a lot more for the quality of the sound than replacing the speakers. Do you have lots of bare walls, glass, hard floors, wood, leather furniture? All of these are reflective surfaces and detrimental to good sound.

Getting some soft items on the walls / floors would probably be the best approach, to start. If you are still having problems, then look to a company like GIK Acoustics to design a solution for your room (design services are free).

"Not as crisp" means ... you are having trouble with dialog or something else? B&W's sound signature is typically fairly detailed, so something is amiss .... how is your center channel placed?

Pics of the area would be helpful in determining what might be contributing to your issues.
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Last edited by RayGuy; 05-22-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anieves23 View Post
Hey there!

So this is what I'm currently running:

Small Speaker Size

120Hz Crossover for Speakers

Running Audessey Reference

and using Dynamic EQ
Try 80hz for the front three and only using Dynamic EQ on low quality audio, not high quality audio sources.

I find Dynamic EQ muddles the sound of my center and sub when used without an offset with high quality audio sources like modern movies and TV shows/sports etc.

With older content like older documentaries, especially if in black and white, Dynamic EQ, for me, can be helpful with some offset.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anieves23 View Post
Hey everyone!! So I'm looking on suggestions on what I should do. First up, a look at my current system:

AVR - Denon x3500h
Front - B&W 685 S2
Center - B&W HTM62 S2
Rear - B&W M1
Sub - HSU VTF2 MK5 (got this based on recommendations here on AVS and love it)

I love the sound but I sometimes realize the sound isn't as crisp as I would like. I already ran audessey and what not, but I'm thinking my open floor concept is taking away from the sound. (The sub is perfect btw)

So I was thinking, should I buy bigger speakers for the front (maybe floor standing?) and move my current ones to the back? (And if I do that, maybe taking the M1's and making my system a 7.1) or is it just a matter of maybe buying an amp? Or is it something that can just be done through messing with the settings on my receiver?

Any suggestions are welcomed! I've never been led wrong on these forums so figured I'd seek y'all advice.

Thanks!
What do mean by "crisp"? Too laid back? lack of clarity? Not enough presence?

In the meantime, set your crossovers to 80hz as advised above.

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 12:57 PM
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If you purchase the Audyssey MultEQ app, you can further customize your Audyssey room correction, including turning off the MidRange Compensation. This should brighten things up a little.

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post #8 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
What do mean by "crisp"? Too laid back? lack of clarity? Not enough presence?

In the meantime, set your crossovers to 80hz as advised above.
I would say more like Lack of clarity, and will do! I'll see if it makes a difference when I get home
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by anieves23 View Post
I would say more like Lack of clarity, and will do! I'll see if it makes a difference when I get home
For me turning off Dynamic EQ usually results in much much better clarity.

Good luck.

BTW is the lack of clarity issue still there if you play music in Pure Direct Stereo?

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 03:02 PM
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The B&W 685 S2 is a small bookshelf speaker with a single 6.5" woofer. B&W specifies them 53 Hz, but that is an anechoic measurement, and your in-room measurements could be completely different.

Audyssey measures the in-room response of the speakers and sets the crossovers accordingly. Audyssey will not provide any correction below the crossover frequency it set. (Correction could only involve "boost" below the low frequency roll-off point, and Audyssey won't boost below that because it could endanger the speaker.) Therefore, if Audyssey set the crossovers to 120 Hz, and you *lower* the crossovers after running Audyssey, there will be NO CORRECTION applied below 120 Hz. If Audyssey set the crossovers to 120 Hz, DO NOT lower the crossovers to 80 Hz. Not only could you endanger your speakers, (slightly), but you'll have a "hole" in the room correction between 80 and 120 Hz.

The only possible issues to consider with a 120 Hz crossover are the potential for sub localization, and the possibility that your sub is not capable of flat response to 120 Hz. If you're not hearing sounds coming directly from your subs, like male voices, or other low mid-range sounds, sub localization is not a problem. According to Hsu, that sub is flat to 200 Hz, so the second issue is not a problem:


To your question at hand, (system not sounding "crisp"), this could be many things. The first thing we need is a better definition of what your expectations are. Are you missing the high frequencies? Is dialogue muffled and hard to understand? Is the bass overwhelming? Does it sound like the room is too "echo-y"?

Is the lack of crispness on all sources, or just one or some? How do you have your sources, (BluRay/DVD/CATV/Streaming) connected to your receiver? Is everything set to Bitstream? Make sure everything is connected via HDMI and set to output Bistream.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ should not affect "crispness" per se' but it does make the bass more prominent at lower listening levels. Try using a 5 or 10 dB Reference Level Offset, which will decrease the amount of bass prominence by changing the point where Dynamic EQ is added to the signal.

Room treatments can also help, as mentioned above. However, until we have a better understanding of the exact problem and what's causing it, it's hard to be more specific. I presume you don't have any kind of measurement gear to measure your acoustics or your system?

Craig
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-23-2019, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post
The B&W 685 S2 is a small bookshelf speaker with a single 6.5" woofer. B&W specifies them 53 Hz, but that is an anechoic measurement, and your in-room measurements could be completely different.

If Audyssey set the crossovers to 120 Hz, DO NOT lower the crossovers to 80 Hz. Not only could you endanger your speakers, (slightly), but you'll have a "hole" in the room correction between 80 and 120 Hz. Craig
Craig, Audyssey setting the crossover to 120hz is due to his room acoustics and nothing to do with the specs of the speakers. So there is no possible way changing the crossover to 80hz could endanger his speakers. The 685's obviously play comfortably well below 120hz. Am I missing something? Also, even though he would be losing room correction from 80-120 it's possible they would sound better at 80hz and worth experimenting.

Someone asked Audyssey in their forum that if his speakers play well below 80hz is it ok to change the crossover lower and a rep from Audyssey replied:
"Hi Jeff, looks like you did find the answer. It's OK to change the crossovers. 80 Hz is always a good first choice. It sends enough content to the sub where the higher resolution MultEQ filters are. You can also try 60 Hz. Don't expect huge differences. They will likely be subtle." The link is below and has a lot of good info. They do recommend sticking with the setting that Audyssey recommends.

https://audyssey.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...nning-Audyssey

Also, to the OP - try turning off Dynamic eq. In every system/house/apt I've had it muddied the sound.

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-23-2019, 06:22 AM
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Craig, Audyssey setting the crossover to 120hz is due to his room acoustics and nothing to do with the specs of the speakers. So there is no possible way changing the crossover to 80hz could endanger his speakers. The 685's obviously play comfortably well below 120hz. Am I missing something?
Ok, let me clarify... I did say that he "could be endangering his speakers, (slightly)". I should have mentioned that that would only happen a very high SPL's. His speakers have a single 6.5" mid-woofer. They have a sensitivity of 87 dB/1 watt/1 meter. They have a power handling spec of 100 dB. IOW, they are not designed to be SPL monsters. If the OP were to try to play the speakers at high SPL, (say close to Reference Level), with an 80 Hz crossover, he could be endangering his speakers, even though they are "specified" to 53 Hz. The danger would be reduced by using a 120 Hz crossover,( although even then there are limits to what the speakers can do.) Nonetheless, The OP could play back his system louder, cleaner and SAFER with a 120 Hz crossover than an 80 Hz crossover.

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Also, even though he would be losing room correction from 80-120 it's possible they would sound better at 80hz and worth experimenting
Technically, it is "possible" that it could sound better with an 80 Hz crossover, but if Audyssey found the F3 (-3 dB point), at 120 Hz, then it's not likely that the rolled-off bass from the speakers will sound better than sending that bass to the subwoofer, which isn't rolled off. Also, Audyssey has much high resolution correction on the subwoofer channel than on the speaker channels, so it would be corrected "better" by sending it to the subwoofer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
Someone asked Audyssey in their forum that if his speakers play well below 80hz is it ok to change the crossover lower and a rep from Audyssey replied:
"Hi Jeff, looks like you did find the answer. It's OK to change the crossovers. 80 Hz is always a good first choice. It sends enough content to the sub where the higher resolution MultEQ filters are. You can also try 60 Hz. Don't expect huge differences. They will likely be subtle." The link is below and has a lot of good info. They do recommend sticking with the setting that Audyssey recommends.

https://audyssey.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...nning-Audyssey
While that thread is 8 years old, it does have some excellent information in it. Nothing in that thread contradicts what I said. A little further down, Chris points out that lowering the crossovers after Audyssey leaves a "hole" in the room correction.

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Also, to the OP - try turning off Dynamic eq. In every system/house/apt I've had it muddied the sound.
No harm in trying it turned off... or in trying a -5 or -10 RLO. None of those suggestions cost anything.

Craig
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