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Evrythin is fine until things get loud..

865 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  stanger89
My cousin gave me a denon 3802 reciver with dts 7.1 & Klipsch SP1 speakers (with sides and center) and the ksw-12 sub.

Things sound great nice spacial and surround, with wind and stuff. But as soon as the action hits (opening squence when dennis quaid almost falls in the ice chasm in day after tomorrow for example) it all collapses:

Everything sounds too bright. Especially voice. no seperation, it sounds like a big loud muddy mess that hurts the ears. Do I have it too loud? but if i do when sounds turn to "normal" it might be too soft to hear.

Of course it sounds a lot better than my creative 7.1 speakers. :) my room is about 11x22 long. sofa in the middle, did speaker placements as recommend in denon manual. fronts center sides sub and 2 rears (cheap 10in rca speakers)

I have been reading a lot of what u guys have been saying...alot over my head..i kend a get the notion of nodes and stuff, but not what that means in placement...

I have toed the fronts in and moved away from front wall..it does sound better. but still not when things get loud and busy.

I am a poor gadget guy (the worst combination) and want to buy a sound meter and the cara software to make things sound good. Am I too much of a newbie to bother with this stuff? Will it even help my problem?...well i have already put a bid on a meter..:)
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Let me just say that either you like the Klipsch sound or you dont. I'm not a fan of those horn loaded tweeters either.

Regardless, if he actually gave it to you, then it sounds like a pretty good deal. Sell the front three and get something else.
Howdy wallmwallm,

You sound like you've been doing some reading......good for you! Yep....the Klipsch can tend toward the bright side. First......try to get a good stereo sound with the front 2 speakers. Set your EQ flat and work more with the placement to get a good image happening between the speakers that sounds pleasing. Even a small movement can make a big difference......so be patient and willing to spend some time moving them.....listening.....and moving them a little more until you get that nice stereo image.......then see how that sounds as the volume goes up.

Sub placement and selection of the best crossover point will also have a HUGE effect on the sound......so be willing to spend some time working with that too. It's not easy......I spent several weeks tweaking my system to get the sound right......but the payoff is worth the effort....so keep reading and trying new things until you get the sound you are after.

You might need to add some room treatment to help tame the brightness......do you have carpet on the floor? Drapes will help. Consider getting some acoustic tiles to help with first reflection points.

I'm sure some one else will chime in with other helpful ideas. Let us know how your situation progresses.
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Well things actually do sound better ( i got my comforter on my wood floor too ;))

But the speakers still....I turned the treble down all the way 12db, and it was better, still kinda muddy but not as tinny. i know this is not a good solution.

I do get a lot more seperation overall though.(noticed that when i played the opening of dayafter tomorrow again) For my reference now I am using the DTS-ES Gladiator sequence when he first enters the stadium, a lot of noise and loud.

Even playing direct (no sub or sides) it aint good

What do you think? I got crappy wires hooked up right now... would that make a real diff with real good ones?

Is it more the speakers or the reicever?

Is there a way I can test a speaker or both speakers, like in a small room with blankets and pillows everywhere?

I REALLY appreciate everyone on audioholics and avs for responding to this...if it is what it is ill live with it for now and save. It's not knowing what to try and that I could fix it if knew what to do that is frustrating.

You guys are really helping me out with that point, and i reeally thank ya!

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Howdy wallmwallm,

Glad to hear that you are making progress! Personally, I think your room is the problem. The muddiness probably means you need some bass traps. Make sure you not only have the speakers away from the front wall.......but also away from the side walls....with the tweeters at ear level when you are seated.

Keep working with the speaker placement until you can get those 2 front speakers sounding good before even thinking of adding the sub and sides. As long as your speaker wire is at least 16 or 14 gauge that is fine......that's not what is causing your problems......it's reverberation, probably from the ceiling and open side walls. Keep adding stuff.....like drapes etc......and seriously consider some bass traps.

So.........keep reading and trying things......
Get some temporary bass absorbers in there. They'll help with the muddiness, the dialog clarity, and general decay time control.
Is everything in that room curved, or are you using a fisheye lens?

Either way, the room looks very "bright". (Speakers are rarely bright by themselves, but may interact differently than others with a bright or reflective room.)
I almost wish it was curved ;) no I took a few pic with my camera and used autostich (its free).

I don't want to beat this thread into the ground. I am very sure your right about the accoustics, but two things and we can call it quits on this thread:


(see above illustration) could I hang velvet with say vinyl backing (or whatever you would suggest that would be strong enough to block and absorb) around the viewing area like in theaters, and curve it around back to minimize reflections? I could just pull it back to the screen for during the day. How important is the ceiling? (plaster about 9 feet high. the room is 12x22). Also bringing athe curtain around the back wouldnt have to deal with the reflections of the computer area/bar/corners. Could I put the sub back there and minimize reflections? actually the curtain would have to part about 4 or 5 feet for the projector to shine thru. (unless I mount it closer on the cieling vs. on the shelf.

Wouldnt somthing like this take care of everything in one cheap swoop?

I am still worried about those speakers though...like I said im sure u guys are right..but this is what I tested:

I am playing speakers direct, and testing with both and one at a time (NO SUBS OR SIDES). the crowd in gladiator still sounds harsh, (if anyone has it with a good system, play that scene if ya can, can u really get a loud crowd sound that is clear and distinct?)

I am turning the speakers every which way, even toward the walls! i loose spatial quite a lot, but that range of sound always sounds muddy, like either the speakers can't get that defining range or the reicever can't differiencate the sound. This moment in the movie is very midrange to high. Like I said, when things quiet down or even fairly active with bass it sounds acceptable, not the best it could be im sure, but ok. but whenever that range of sound (lots of wind, breaking ice, people yelling, or crowds), it sounds cramped/harsh, i wish i could describe it better.

I am really happy with what I got, I would just like to try something inexpensive to help things. But I will save up you guys think it is the best thing to do and buy absorbers/speakers/ recivers in whatver of importance first.

Ok thanks, thats it!!!
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Hmmmmmmm........very interesting design. I like it! I'm no installation specialist.....but my feelings are that would help a lot. However......I don't think it would address the bass/muddyness problem.......so......you'd still need some bass traps to help tame the low end. The plaster ceiling is important and would likely need treatment at the first reflection point......but you don't want it completely dead in there.....so that might be all you would need for the ceiling.

Ummmmm.......have you thought of taking this system over to a friends house and seeing how it sounds there........just the front 2 speakers and the receiver?

In your photos.......it shows one of the SP1 speakers on a stand about 2 feet off the floor and right next to the wall. I hope you have changed that. Those speakers should absolutely be placed on the floor and moved at least 2 feet away from the side and back walls. Remember ....you want the tweeter to be at ear height when you are seated........so........about 30-34 inches from the floor.

You know......I've checked out the specs and reviews for both the Denon 3802 receiver and the SP1, SS1, and SC1 speakers.........and they all get wonderful reviews.........so I think you should check out a few other things.

What are you using to as your source device? How is it hooked up to your receiver? With analog or digital cables? You might need to check the menu settings on your DVD player to make sure you are outputting the correct audio signal.......and what setting are you using on your receiver to playback the movies?

Hmmmmmm....since you say you got this receiver from a friend.......have you gone into the main menu and reset everything to zero.......like all the channel volume settings? If you have the manual.......you might just want to do a total reset to get it back to the factory settings to make sure that is where you are starting from.

Ok......check those things and get back to us.......I really like the way you are thinking.....keep at it!
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Doing that will kill the highs way too much and do pretty much nothing to deal with bass ringing and excessive decay times. Sorry.
Equipment has such a small signature on the sound...Klipsch or whatever speaker.

It is the room, acoustical treatments and EQ that can most impact the sound. Changing hte speakers or receiver will give you a minor change in sound..

You;ve gotta address 1st reflections at a minimum and place a lot of abbsorption in the front of the room to address those shrill highs at high levels..
U guys are right your right.

I got about 7 1/2in 2x4 fiberglass acoustic panels today. leaned them nillywilly all over the place (even one on top of the ceiling fan!) just too see.

God I can't believe it. the seperation, the clarity. can actually start hearing the voices in the opening of day after tomorow when the ice shelf cracks. Things are still shrill, but soooo much better.

So...now, lots of reading, making traps, deflectors, what are and where are 1st reflections yada yada..thanks a lot guys!! I can see I am gonna get really obsessive!! ;)

I'll start askin questions after i know a lot more....

Do you have any pics of the treatment you have in your HT?

I don't think I've ever seen any on your site.

I got about 7 1/2in 2x4 fiberglass acoustic panels today. leaned them nillywilly all over the place (even one on top of the ceiling fan!) just too see.

God I can't believe it. the seperation, the clarity. can actually start hearing the voices in the opening of day after tomorow when the ice shelf cracks. Things are still shrill, but soooo much better.
If only they had these types of comments on large posters in Home Theatre stores.
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Originally Posted by wallmwallm
I am a poor gadget guy (the worst combination) and want to buy a sound meter and the cara software to make things sound good.
I can't really add too much to what's been said but two things:

1) An SPL meter is your friend.

2) Cara is a fun piece of software, but not very practical for what you want. RoomEQWizard is a great (free) software that can tell you a lot of interesting things that you'd have trouble figuring out without it, or experience.
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