AVR or amplifier that can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Question AVR or amplifier that can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others?

My living room speaker setup consists of two KX-12 Series Two speakers serving as my front-left and front-right speakers, a KX-Center Series Two speaker serving as my center speaker, and two KX-6 Series Two speakers serving as surround speakers. All of them are made by DCM. My AVR is a JVC RX-8000VBK. I don't have a subwoofer, so I have my AVR set to redirect the LFE channel into the other five channels when I am listening to Dolby Digital or DTS content, but it doesn't amplify the LFE channel like a subwoofer would. So while I can hear the LFE channel playing through my speakers, it sounds quieter than the five full-range channels. Is there an AVR or amplifier that, when I am listening to Dolby Digital or DTS content with a discreet LFE channel, can amplify the LFE channel independent of the other channels, and then mix it into the five main channels for output to my speakers? My AVR allows me to increase and/or decrease different frequencies from 100 Hz to 10 kHz, but that isn't of much use, since I don't want to turn up the bass on any of the five main channels, I only want to increase the LFE channel. I don’t want to blast it. I only want to turn it up a little bit, at least enough to equalize it with the other five channels.

If there is such an AVR, how much does it cost? I might be replacing my current AVR anyway, since it doesn't have HDMI inputs.

Also, when I am listening to two-channel music via my computer (which is connected via its headphone-out port to the stereo RCA "CD" ports on the back of my AVR), the bass sounds a little weak then too. In this scenario I would turn up the volume on the low frequencies in the two stereo channels since with stereo music there isn't an independent LFE channel, but again, my AVR doesn't allow me to adjust the volume of any frequencies below 100 Hz.

Here is the manual for the KX Series Two line, for anyone who wants to help me make sure that my speakers can handle the additional bass: http://www.dcmspeakers.com/manuals/kx-series-two.pdf. The manual is tiny, more like a pamphlet or a brochure, and it gives specifications for all of the speakers. In the picture on the manual's first page, the KX-12 Series Two is the one in the middle (the biggest one). The KX-Center Series Two is the one in the bottom-center of the picture. The KX-6 is the one on the left, sitting on top of a subwoofer.

I suppose that if I'm going to buy a new AVR, I should wait for one that can decode object-oriented audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos.
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post #2 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 09:04 PM
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I don't know of any AVR's that do what you want?.

Is there a reason why you don't want to add a
Subwoofer into your system? Decent subs can
Be found for under $300.

Certainly would be cheaper than replacing an
AVR and still not having a sub.
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post #3 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 09:05 PM
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I have never heard of an AVR set up as you describe that did not include the required 10 dB gain. I would check or ping JVC to see if there is a gain switch or setting someplace to adjust the LFE level. Also, IIRC, the diagrams I have seen only route to the front speakers, and only if they are set to "large".

Any modern AVR should handle LFE and bass management with aplomb.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #4 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post
I don't know of any AVR's that do what you want?.

Is there a reason why you don't want to add a
Subwoofer into your system? Decent subs can
Be found for under $300.

Certainly would be cheaper than replacing an
AVR and still not having a sub.
I'm considering replacing my AVR anyway, since it doesn't have HDMI inputs. I might buy a sub, but I have to be careful not to disturb my neighbors, since I live in an apartment complex, and I have had to ask my upstairs neighbors to turn down *their* sub (twice, I think). Also, correct me if I am wrong, but I think that my KX-12 Series Two speakers have a lot of power that isn't being utilized, so why would I spend money on a sub when I can take better advantage of the speakers I already own?
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post #5 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 09:44 PM
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Well, you don't have to run your sub so loud as to
Disturb your neighbors.

Your speakers say they can
Get down to 25hz, but they don't give a plus/minus
Variation to scale. For example your speakers may put
Out 90 db's at 60hz but then could taper down to 40db's
At 25hz. Yeah sure they make sound at 25hz but you can
Hardly hear it. I seriously doubt your speakers have any
Serious output at 25hz. Sorry.. It takes some VERY expensive
Floor standing speakers to get usable bass down to 25hz. And you need some serious watts to play
Bass that low from a floor stander.$$$$$

You need a sub!!!

I doubt you will be able to find and AVR that will do what you
Want in your original post.

You need a sub!!!

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post #6 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
I have never heard of an AVR set up as you describe that did not include the required 10 dB gain.
What is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
I would check or ping JVC to see if there is a gain switch or setting someplace to adjust the LFE level.
There is a setting called "LFE attenuator" that allows the user to switch between 0 dB and 10 dB. Currently, I have it set to 0 dB. The manual says that "if the bass sound is distorted while playing back a source using Dolby Digital or DTS Digital Surround, follow the procedure below." It then gives directions on how to change the setting, with 0 dB being the normal setting and 10 dB being what I should select if the bass sound is distorted. It isn't distorted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Also, IIRC, the diagrams I have seen only route to the front speakers, and only if they are set to "large".
I have set all of my speakers to "large".

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post #7 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 10:05 PM
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AVR=Audio Video Receiver

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #8 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 10:22 PM
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Sounds like it is set up correctly then, but your speakers and/or room do not provide the bass you desire.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #9 of 34 Old 07-24-2014, 11:10 PM
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The miniAVR might be able to do that. But don't quote me on it.
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post #10 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
The miniAVR might be able to do that. But don't quote me on it.
What is the miniAVR? I searched Google, and there were a lot of nonrelevant pages in the search results. Can you tell me more about it so that I know what to look for?
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post #11 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 05:33 AM
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The required 10dB gain that DonH50 mentioned is how LFE is recorded and processed by convention. LFE is designed to play 10dB louder than the full range channels, but to prevent clipping in transmission, it's recorded at the same level as the others. Receivers know to boost LFE the other 10dB. Your receiver should already be doing that before mixing it with the LR channels.

The fact that stereo sources also have weak bass suggests the problem is not how your receiver handles LFE. Perhaps your LR speaker positioning provides poor bass response in your room. One advantage to a sub is that it can be positioned anywhere while the main speakers must be placed for imaging.

Are you running all speakers as large? Setting the center and surrounds to small may help with overall bass response.

I am curious about something in the initial post. You say you can hear LFE playing in the other speakers, but it's quieter than the other content in those channels. How do you know what part of the sound originated as LFE and how do you know how loud it is supposed to be?

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post #12 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 12:55 PM
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I was in a similar situation as you. Apartment living sucks and you pretty much cannot own a subwoofer unless you want to deal with cops and or evictions. but I fould that two Clark Synthesis Silvers under the couch powered by a 300w plate amp did the trick!
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post #13 of 34 Old 02-07-2018, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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AVR or amplifier that can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others?

I want to post an update because I would still like to know if there is an AVR or amplifier that can do what I asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
The required 10dB gain that DonH50 mentioned is how LFE is recorded and processed by convention. LFE is designed to play 10dB louder than the full range channels, but to prevent clipping in transmission, it's recorded at the same level as the others. Receivers know to boost LFE the other 10dB. Your receiver should already be doing that before mixing it with the LR channels.
The LFE attenuator setting that I mentioned seems to lower the LFE channel by 10 dB when it is activated, meaning that when it is set to 0 dB it is normal, and when it is set to 10 dB the LFE channel is reduced by 10 dB. I figured this out by playing the Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark 2nd Edition Blu-ray's LFE channel level test while switching my AVR's LFE attenuator setting from 0 dB to 10 dB and back, determining that the LFE channel could be heard louder when the setting was on 0 dB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
The fact that stereo sources also have weak bass suggests the problem is not how your receiver handles LFE. Perhaps your LR speaker positioning provides poor bass response in your room. One advantage to a sub is that it can be positioned anywhere while the main speakers must be placed for imaging.
Since my previous post in this thread, I have purchased an Xbox One S and connected it to my AVR via its optical output, and on my Xbox I can play CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs (including 3D and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs), Spotify, streaming video services (I have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime), and, obviously, Xbox One games. I'm bringing up my Xbox because if I want to listen to music on this AVR and speakers now, I open Spotify on my Xbox, and no longer connect my laptop's analog stereo output to my AVR. The Xbox One handles two-channel audio interestingly: some apps spread two-channel audio across all five channels by applying processing/decoding, and I don't know whether a filter is applied to separate low-frequency audio and map it to the LFE channel. Other apps, including Spotify and, unfortunately, Netflix, simply map the left channel to the front left channel and the right channel to the front right channel, and I still don't know whether a filter is applied to separate low-frequency audio and map it to the LFE channel. This might be changeable by changing the Xbox One's audio output setting to bitstream output, but I digress. The important part is that all of my sources--including Spotify--are delivered from my Xbox to my AVR digitally, whereas before I bought my Xbox, sources like Netflix and DVDs were delivered digitally but Spotify was delivered to my AVR via my laptop's analog audio output. I have a Spotify playlist of two-channel audio tests, and I have the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray, and tomorrow or sometime soon I will run the Spears & Munsil disc's LFE and other speaker level tests to see if the LFE channel still sounds quieter than the other speaker channels. Hopefully there is a way to compare the LFE channel output to the low-frequency output of the front-left and front-right channels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
Are you running all speakers as large?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
Setting the center and surrounds to small may help with overall bass response.
I set them to large, following my AVR's manual's instructions for speakers with a woofer of their size. I think it said to set it to 'large' for speakers whose woofers are 4" or bigger, and my center and surround speakers, named above and detailed in the link I provided, have 6" woofers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
I am curious about something in the initial post. You say you can hear LFE playing in the other speakers, but it's quieter than the other content in those channels. How do you know what part of the sound originated as LFE and how do you know how loud it is supposed to be?
When I started this thread I used my Finding Nemo DVD, which includes THX audio tests, including speaker level tests; these include an LFE channel level test. If I recall correctly, I played the DVD on my PS2, which was connected to my AVR via an optical cable. The volume of the LFE channel was quieter than the volume of the other channels. As I said above, I'll repeat this test with my modern sources soon.




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TV: LG 47LW5700, AVR: Onkyo TX-NR787, speakers: DCM KX speakers:DCM KX-12 Series 2 (as front left and front right), DCM KX Center Series 2, DCM KX-6 Series 2 (as side surround left and right), sources: Xbox One S, Playstation 2 (fat model), Nintendo GameCube (model with digital AV output) with GameBoy Player, Panasonic VCR (PV-4661), PC: Microsoft Surface Pro (5th generation), phone: iPhone 7 Plus

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post #14 of 34 Old 02-08-2018, 07:13 AM
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My question is when the time comes that you solve this issue, what kind of bass response are you going to have.
It's like having an all wheel drive vehicle that has deep treads on two of the tires and minimum tread on the other two while trying to drive through deep snow. Will the sound actually be better? I remember Best Buy selling the DCM speakers.

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post #15 of 34 Old 02-08-2018, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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AVR or amplifier that can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post
My question is when the time comes that you solve this issue, what kind of bass response are you going to have.

It's like having an all wheel drive vehicle that has deep treads on two of the tires and minimum tread on the other two while trying to drive through deep snow. Will the sound actually be better? I remember Best Buy selling the DCM speakers.


I'm just trying to find a receiver or standalone amplifier that'll make better use of the speakers that I already have, since I need to replace this AVR at some point anyway. Maybe I should look for a receiver or standalone amplifier that can deliver 250 watts to the front left speaker, 250 watts to the front right speaker, 125 watts to the center speaker, 100 watts to the left surround speaker, and 100 watts to the right surround speaker, since that is the maximum wattage of each of the respective speakers, and that by delivering more watts to the front left and front right speakers--all 250 watts that each is capable of--I'll therefore get the bass that I think each of those two speakers is capable of delivering. I must admit, however, that I don't really understand what wattage means.

My current receiver's specifications say 100 watts per channel when in multichannel mode. Later, I'll find the specifications of my current AVR online and post a link to them here. My point is that my current AVR is not delivering the 250 watts power per channel that those KX-12 Series 2 speakers are capable of handling, nor the 125 watts that the KX-Center Series 2 speaker is capable of. But again, I must emphasize that I don't really understand wattage.


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TV: LG 47LW5700, AVR: Onkyo TX-NR787, speakers: DCM KX speakers:DCM KX-12 Series 2 (as front left and front right), DCM KX Center Series 2, DCM KX-6 Series 2 (as side surround left and right), sources: Xbox One S, Playstation 2 (fat model), Nintendo GameCube (model with digital AV output) with GameBoy Player, Panasonic VCR (PV-4661), PC: Microsoft Surface Pro (5th generation), phone: iPhone 7 Plus

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post #16 of 34 Old 02-08-2018, 02:33 PM
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[QUOTE=Drew Neilson;55655528 But again, I must emphasize that I don't really understand wattage.


Well, you're doing a pretty darn good job so far. To even ask the questions regarding LFE shows your understanding to a certain level. I'm not at full understanding...yet. I think the receiver and amplifier manufacturers should include a wattage meter on the front panels of the equipment.
When you turn the volume up there is a point when distortion and clipping happen in the amplifier. This is the critical point when damage to the speakers can happen.
You are better off using a higher powered amplifier because the signal is going to be clean to the speakers vs. not having enough power and clipping the amplifier sending damaging signals to the speakers...Headroom.
The issue of using a subwoofer vs. not using one, and setting the receiver's speakers to small vs. large is another topic. Can't you set the speakers that reach the lower frequencies to "large" and the others to small. The lower frequencies will be redirected and played?

Espo77's living room equipment: RECEIVER: Yamaha RX-A3030- SPEAKERS: Boston Acoustics M350, M25 center, surrounds, and front heights-
BLU-RAY: Oppo BDP103D- SUBWOOFER: HSU VTF-15H MK2- dedicated circuits for A/V- TV: Vizio P55C-1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Neilson View Post
I'm just trying to find a receiver or standalone amplifier that'll make better use of the speakers that I already have, since I need to replace this AVR at some point anyway. Maybe I should look for a receiver or standalone amplifier that can deliver 250 watts to the front left speaker, 250 watts to the front right speaker, 125 watts to the center speaker, 100 watts to the left surround speaker, and 100 watts to the right surround speaker, since that is the maximum wattage of each of the respective speakers, and that by delivering more watts to the front left and front right speakers--all 250 watts that each is capable of--I'll therefore get the bass that I think each of those two speakers is capable of delivering. I must admit, however, that I don't really understand what wattage means.

My current receiver's specifications say 100 watts per channel when in multichannel mode. Later, I'll find the specifications of my current AVR online and post a link to them here. My point is that my current AVR is not delivering the 250 watts power per channel that those KX-12 Series 2 speakers are capable of handling, nor the 125 watts that the KX-Center Series 2 speaker is capable of. But again, I must emphasize that I don't really understand wattage.


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Okay, it is now Feb 2018, the original post was 3.5 years ago. You still haven't purchased a receiver to meet your needs? Wow!
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post #18 of 34 Old 02-08-2018, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
Okay, it is now Feb 2018, the original post was 3.5 years ago. You still haven't purchased a receiver to meet your needs? Wow!

...oops

...Drew, are you interested in selling the DCM's?

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post #19 of 34 Old 02-08-2018, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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AVR or amplifier that can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others?

A few random thoughts:
This evening I listened to a few songs from the Jill Scott album "Who Is Jill Scott?", songs that have a bass line that is decidedly present. I listened to them on Spotify. The bass line sounded decent on my KX-12 Series 2 speakers, but that may have been because the songs might have been recorded that way.
Next, I listened to a bit of the DTS audio track of the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" DVD, the first few seconds of "Hotel California", and the bass sounded a little weak, but that may have just been that particular track.
Next, I listened to some low frequency sweep tracks, and was reminded that the KX-12 Series 2 speakers' low end frequency response during the sweep does not sound flat: it sounds like it gets louder at times, and quieter at others. This makes me wish that I had software like Audessey to flatten the frequency response of all of my speakers, as far down as each speaker supports (on my KX-12 Series 2 speakers, all the way down to and including 25 Hz). I don't even know if Audessey offers that. Can anyone tell me if any software offers that, whether that software is stand-alone or is included with AVRs, and if I need an AVR that offers that, what AVRs to look at?
Is there a multichannel frequency sweep that plays frequencies down to 20 Hz in the 5 or 7 main channels and THEN SEPARATELY plays frequencies down to 20 Hz in the LFE channel? That would help users compare the low-frequency output of their main speakers to the low-frequency output of their subwoofers, or if they don't have a subwoofer, tell them how well their AVR's or amplifier's LFE channel redirection is working.
At my local Best Buy today, I was told that an AVR or amplifier that would provide different wattage output maximums to different speaker channels would cost thousands of dollars, and that a less-expensive option is to amplify the front left and front right channels via a separate amplifier from the center and surround speaker channels: one rated at 250 watts, whereas the center and surround channels would be powered by an amplifier rated at 100 watts per channel. My existing AVR could power the center and surround channels.

(Also, I played the Jill Scott songs and the frequency sweeps on Spotify on my Xbox, and as I said above, Spotify on Xbox One does not spread the audio across the five channels; it only uses the front left and right channels, so all audio tests preformed using Spotify only test the front left and front right speakers. So those songs and tests only tested my front left and front right speakers, the KX-12 Series 2 speakers).


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TV: LG 47LW5700, AVR: Onkyo TX-NR787, speakers: DCM KX speakers:DCM KX-12 Series 2 (as front left and front right), DCM KX Center Series 2, DCM KX-6 Series 2 (as side surround left and right), sources: Xbox One S, Playstation 2 (fat model), Nintendo GameCube (model with digital AV output) with GameBoy Player, Panasonic VCR (PV-4661), PC: Microsoft Surface Pro (5th generation), phone: iPhone 7 Plus

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post #20 of 34 Old 02-08-2018, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post
...oops



...Drew, are you interested in selling the DCM's?


No. Why are you asking?


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TV: LG 47LW5700, AVR: Onkyo TX-NR787, speakers: DCM KX speakers:DCM KX-12 Series 2 (as front left and front right), DCM KX Center Series 2, DCM KX-6 Series 2 (as side surround left and right), sources: Xbox One S, Playstation 2 (fat model), Nintendo GameCube (model with digital AV output) with GameBoy Player, Panasonic VCR (PV-4661), PC: Microsoft Surface Pro (5th generation), phone: iPhone 7 Plus
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-09-2018, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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AVR or amplifier that can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others?

I just roughly measured my TV room's space, and it is about 7' wide by 9' deep by 7' tall. My TV is on the 7' wide wall. Those are rough, probably inaccurate measurements done using an iPhone app called Cubits, which uses iOS's ARkit, but they should give you an idea of how small this room is.



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TV: LG 47LW5700, AVR: Onkyo TX-NR787, speakers: DCM KX speakers:DCM KX-12 Series 2 (as front left and front right), DCM KX Center Series 2, DCM KX-6 Series 2 (as side surround left and right), sources: Xbox One S, Playstation 2 (fat model), Nintendo GameCube (model with digital AV output) with GameBoy Player, Panasonic VCR (PV-4661), PC: Microsoft Surface Pro (5th generation), phone: iPhone 7 Plus

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post #22 of 34 Old 02-13-2018, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Drew Neilson View Post
I'm just trying to find a receiver or standalone amplifier that'll make better use of the speakers that I already have, since I need to replace this AVR at some point anyway. Maybe I should look for a receiver or standalone amplifier that can deliver 250 watts to the front left speaker, 250 watts to the front right speaker, 125 watts to the center speaker, 100 watts to the left surround speaker, and 100 watts to the right surround speaker, since that is the maximum wattage of each of the respective speakers, and that by delivering more watts to the front left and front right speakers--all 250 watts that each is capable of--I'll therefore get the bass that I think each of those two speakers is capable of delivering. I must admit, however, that I don't really understand what wattage means.

My current receiver's specifications say 100 watts per channel when in multichannel mode. Later, I'll find the specifications of my current AVR online and post a link to them here. My point is that my current AVR is not delivering the 250 watts power per channel that those KX-12 Series 2 speakers are capable of handling, nor the 125 watts that the KX-Center Series 2 speaker is capable of. But again, I must emphasize that I don't really understand wattage.
As a result of the discussion I'm having here, I'm now thinking that maybe I don't need an amp that can deliver 250 watts of peak power to my front two speakers, since I've learned that with my current AVR set to a volume of 40 dB, each of my speakers is only receiving 1 mW peak power, so 250 watts peak power is overkill. I wouldn't avoid buying an AVR or standalone amplifier that provided 250 watts peak power, but I wouldn't make it a requirement. Unless I'm misunderstanding something; after all, other DCM KX-12 Series 2 owners on AVSForum have said that these speakers have INCREDIBLE bass if they're connected to the right amplifier. Maybe my AVR--a JVC RX-8000 VBK--isn't the right amplifier for these speakers. I'll try to find those posts and link to them here, and maybe you guys can help me pick out a new AVR.

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post #23 of 34 Old 02-13-2018, 07:22 AM
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My guess is, if anything, room modes and boundary reflections are killing your bass, not the AVR or the speakers.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #24 of 34 Old 02-17-2018, 12:44 AM
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I haven't read every single post in the thread but is it possible the front L and R speakers are accidentally wired out of phase? [i.e. one of the speaker's red(+) and black(-) binding posts has its wires flipped, or at the receiver's outputs]. That can suck away bass sound yet the "phasy sound" is easy to overlook since the center channel is doing most of the main content for 5.1 stuff.

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Subwoofers don't annoy neighbors; good bass sound does. It doesn't matter if it comes from two large speakers capable of bass or from a sub. In fact having a sub is desirable in such a situation because you often have a remote control level control for it plus it's easy to install an in-line kill switch for late night viewing. I bought one of these for that duty and simply ignore the video connections and the secondary channel jacks. Button A is sub on and button B is sub off.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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post #25 of 34 Old 02-17-2018, 12:53 AM
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If these speakers are bi-wirable a poorly seated jumper strap that fails to connect a woofer section can also kill bass.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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A revelation!

I think I said above that in my AVR's settings, I've set all five speakers to "large" and have adjusted each of the five channels to be about the same level. I'm pretty sure that I set my AVR up that way years ago, when I moved my audio/visual equipment--my speakers, TV, AVR, etc.--to it's current room. All five speakers might not be 100% the same volume level, but they're probably as close as I could make them by listening to them and adjusting them while running my AVR's sound level tests. And as I said above, I've set my AVR's setting for subwoofer to "no", which makes my AVR redirect the LFE channel into at least the front-left and front-right speakers, if not all five speakers.
Today, I ran the Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark 2nd Edition Blu-ray sound level tests while monitoring audio using an iPhone app "Decibel X Pro", an SPL meter app. All of the five channels have roughly the same SPL, which I expected, but the revelation that I wanted to update this thread with is that while the LFE level test was playing, the app reported roughly the same SPL as it did while the tests for the other channels were playing!
What this tells me is that even if my DCM KX-12 Series 2 speakers are capable of reproducing low frequencies as low as 25 Hz with the same SPL as they can reproduce mid-range and high frequencies, the reason that I'm not hearing those low-frequencies at the volume that I want is that my AVR isn't sending them to those speakers at the volume that I want. It's sending them at the same volume as the other frequencies; if it weren't, Decibel X Pro would not have reported a similar SPL for the Spears & Munsil's LFE channel test as for the other channel tests.
My AVR doesn't allow me to independently adjust the volume of the sub-100 Hz frequencies. I wish that it allowed me to set a point (be it 100 Hz or anything else), and then boost the volume of that frequency and every frequency below it, such that when two-channel content is playing, that frequency and all frequencies below it would be boosted however much I want. And when multichannel content (content mixed in 5.1 or greater) is playing, the five full-range channels would be mapped to the five speakers with none of their frequencies being boosted, but the virtual LFE channel would be boosted to whatever volume I want, and then be mixed into the front-left and front-right channels, if not also the other channels, after being boosted.
My KX-12 Series 2 speakers seem to be capable of delivering low frequencies loudly if my AVR were delivering them in the manner I described in that last paragraph, but my AVR is not delivering them that way, and so therefore is not up to the task.
To independently make those low-frequencies louder, if an AVR that does what I described doesn't exist, and if there isn't a pre-pro or amplifier that does what I described, then I have to buy a subwoofer, set the crossover on my AVR properly, and then set the subwoofer's volume to whatever I want.
As for those web pages in which I've read other DCM KX-12 owners saying that their speakers deliver loud bass and that those speakers remove the need for a subwoofer, I'm guessing that they have two-channel setups and have simpler AVRs that have simple knobs for bass and treble, and that they've turned the bass knob up. I could, however, be wrong about that. I might look at those pages again to find out.

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post #27 of 34 Old 02-18-2018, 10:48 AM
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There is a setting called "LFE attenuator" that allows the user to switch between 0 dB and 10 dB. Currently, I have it set to 0 dB. The manual says that "if the bass sound is distorted while playing back a source using Dolby Digital or DTS Digital Surround, follow the procedure below." It then gives directions on how to change the setting, with 0 dB being the normal setting and 10 dB being what I should select if the bass sound is distorted. It isn't distorted.
You are taking the manual too literally. [They are cautioning that people with small speaker may suffer from distortion with the bass at the correct level, not you.] That switch is the 10 dB bass boost you are missing but need. Put it to the position which gives the stronger LFE sound during your testing.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #28 of 34 Old 02-18-2018, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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You are taking the manual too literally. [They are cautioning that people with small speaker may suffer from distortion with the bass at the correct level, not you.] That switch is the 10 dB bass boost you are missing but need. Put it to the position which gives the stronger LFE sound during your testing.
I get better bass when the LFE attenuator setting is set to 0, not 10. I just confirmed that by turning on my Xbox One S, opening Spotify, and playing a song called "Bass I Love You" by Bassotronics. I think that when I change the LFE attenuator setting to 10, it attenuates--reduces--the low frequencies by 10 db. That would explain why I hear less bass when it is set to 10 than when it is set to 0.
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post #29 of 34 Old 02-19-2018, 09:50 AM
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That should be a -10db setting. Put into AVRs for when(years ago) some DTS tracks were messed up and had the LFE 10db too hot. It allowed us to get it back to a normal sounding bass.
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post #30 of 34 Old 02-26-2018, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Official DCM KX speaker series discussion thread

I've created an Official DCM KX speaker series discussion thread and I encourage everyone who owns, uses, and/or is knowledgeable about DCM KX speakers and/or subwoofers to subscribe to that thread. I'm still trying to find out what an amplifier's specifications would be if it was designed to make my five DCM KX speakers sound their best, and since that means talking specifically about those speakers, I created a thread for the KX series. Help is still appreciated. From this point going forward, I would prefer it if receiver and amplifier recommendations for my DCM KX speakers be posted there because that way, those recommendations are more likely to be seen by other DCM KX speaker owners. However, if any recommendations have the ability to amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others, please post this information in both threads, and put a link in each post to the other post, because if it's an AVR or amplifier that is well-suited for DCM KX speakers AND can amplify the LFE channel and then mix it into the others, then that information really belongs in BOTH threads (and if the posts are linked to each other, people can find and read all responses, no matter which thread those responses are in)! Thanks.

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