AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I know this may sound stupid, but i'm wondering if anyone else has ever had any experience with this.


I just got my new home theater setup with the following:


Onkyo TX-SR674

ORB Audio Mod1 system with sub

Sony DVD DVP-NS75H upconvert

Scientific Atlantic HD DVR cable box (which, incidentally, I can't get to work through the receiver!!)

Philips 42" plasma

-all HDMI connections


The room is on the small side, at about 15x12. I did the auto speaker calibration and then added some dbs to the rear speakers because I couldn't hear them.


Anyway, I got it all together and watched a few movies. After a few minutes, I started to notice a dull pain in my ears, then a full blown headache. I tried to shake it off and try it the next day, with the same results. The rear speakers are about 5 and 7 feet from my head, L and R.


I have the crossover on the amp set at 120, and all the speakers set through the Onkyo to 120 as well - I dont know how this works so maybe that's my problem. I tried fooling with the level (volume) of the sub, but with the same results.


I can almost certainly say there is a high pitched (or extremely low pitched) noise causing this but am unsure how to find it.


has this happened to anyone before? My GF who was there didn't hear anything.


If there is something defective do you think it would be the speakers or the receiver?


Thanks SO much in advance.


Eli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,326 Posts
I have not read a report like this for many years now.


Owners that had really bright speakers with lower end Sony AVR's were happy, Then they replace the AVr for a variety of reasons with say a Yamaha and then woudl expeirence ear pain / fatigue with the new way brighter AVR.



So yes, I have read of similar reports, but it has bee a long time now since I have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,923 Posts
It's a normal experience to not be able to connect cable boxes via HDMI. A number of common cable boxes have an issue. Sometimes there's new firmware but the cable company has not bothered to make it available to their subscribers. You could google your model (probably adding HDMI into your search string) for more info.


I would certainly suggest you turn the volume down. Problem or no problem it sounds like you might be running it too loud. I would not run your system much above 95Db if you value your hearing. I have hearing damage (by the way) most likely from listening to rock and roll too loud through headphones and from some rock concerts.


In fact my ears rang for weeks after a Motley Crue concert. You DON'T want to have that as a permant condition, believe me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So are there any settings I can change to make it 'less bright'? Would you consider the Onkyo a bright receiver? What about the Orbs? Could it be a function of them breaking in?


thanks again!


Eli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/0


It's a normal experience to not be able to connect cable boxes via HDMI. A number of common cable boxes have an issue. Sometimes there's new firmware but the cable company has not bothered to make it available to their subscribers. You could google your model (probably adding HDMI into your search string) for more info.


I would certainly suggest you turn the volume down. Problem or no problem it sounds like you might be running it too loud. I would not run your system much above 95Db if you value your hearing. I have hearing damage (by the way) most likely from listening to rock and roll too loud through headphones and from some rock concerts.


In fact my ears rang for weeks after a Motley Crue concert. You DON'T want to have that as a permant condition, believe me.


But the thing is, its not too loud. The volume is perfectly acceptable to the other person in the room. It feels that if I dont have it louder, the rear speakers aren't even working.



I think my volume knob on the Onk was on the 45 setting, not sure if that helps.
 

·
Read the FAQ!
Joined
·
36,607 Posts
Typically this is a result of distortion, if you are not sensing it as distortion then it is likely in the bass, and likely because you have your crossover set too high for the subwoofer to handle things properly.


Try lowering your crossover to 80Hz in the receiver.


Presuming you are driving the subwoofer from the sub/LFE output of the receiver, you don't need any additional crossover in the sub itself. Your receiver is already limiting what goes out that output according to the crossover setting you make in the receiver. So either disable the crossover in the sub, or if it doesn't offer that option, set the sub's own crossover as high as possible.


Next get a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter from Radio Shack -- they are inexpensive. Use that to confirm that all of your speakers (including the subwoofer) are, in fact, balanced in volume after the auto calibration. Be aware that there isn't really SUPPOSED to be a lot of volume coming out of the side and rear surround speakers when playing many types of stuff.


Next get a calibration DVD such as Avia or Digital Video Essentials (DVE), use the bass audio tests you will find on it to double check polarity and phase settings and to see if your room has nasty amounts of resonance at certain bass frequencies (a common problem). Minor repositioning of the subwoofer and/or judicious adding of some deadening materials can help tame that.


In the course of all this, make sure you aren't using extreme settings for any of the EQ or volume balancing stuff in the receiver, as this may drive it beyond its abilities to play without distortion.

--Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
wow, thanks so much bob.


I am driving the sub from the lfe out on the Onk. I will adjust the settings tonight and see if that helps.


can you, in a few sentences, explain to me what the crossover does? to me, it limits the hz of one output (like surround speakers) because another (like a sub) is creating it's own frequency at that hz so it's unnecessary?


TIA,

Eli
 

·
Read the FAQ!
Joined
·
36,607 Posts
The receiver does "bass management" for you. That means it extracts bass from the signal destined for any speaker you identify as "small" and steers that to the subwoofer. It also adds in the LFE bass signal from multi-channel audio sources (the .1 of a 5.1 signal).


It uses the crossover setting to "roll off" the audio going to "small speakers" and to "roll on" the bass going out the subwoofer output. These are not hard cutoffs so you will get some audio below the crossover going to your main speakers and some above the crossover going to your subwoofer.


Since the receiver handles all that, you don't want a SECOND crossover circuit in the subwoofer getting in the way. So you disable the sub's own crossover or set it to as high a frequency as possible to get it out of the way.


The rule of thumb is that the crossover should be at roughly twice the lowest frequency the main speakers are spec'ed to support. If your mains go down to 40Hz (according to their specs) then a crossover at 80Hz is about right. 80Hz also happens to be the crossover setting mandated for "THX certification".


But you have to be careful here. If you set the crossover too low, you may cut out some LFE (sound effects) that you WANT to go to the subwoofer -- in addition to sending bass to the mains that they may not handle all that well. And if you set it too high, you may be sending audio to the subwoofer above what IT can handle. Ideally the subwoofer you use should be spec'ed to work above the crossover just as the mains should be spec'ed to work below it.


I think you may be getting bass distortion out of your subwoofer due to having set the crossover too high.


In addition, bass audio "couples" with the room much more than higher frequencies. You will get rather dramatic resonance peaks and cancellation dips in bass response at different frequencies, and these will even vary dramatically from location to location. For example, if you and your girl friend are seated at either end of a sofa, she might not be experiencing boomy distorted bass due to a room resonance at, say 60Hz, whereas you, just a few feet away, ARE experiencing it.


It is hard to judge such stuff by ear -- thus the SPL meter and calibration discs with bass test sweep tones.


Also distinguish "clean" peaks and dips from "distorted" peaks. Distortion happens because you are asking the subwoofer to produce too high frequencies, or because the subwoofer is too small to pressurize the room to the bass volume you want. If you happen to measure bass output at a location suffering from a dip, you may, in an effort to compensate, turn up the sub's volume beyond what it can really handle -- given the cubic feet of room it has to pressurize -- and thus it distorts.


------------------------------------------------------------------


You'll also get distortion in mid-range and high frequencies if you push the receiver to extremes with it's EQ stuff or it's volume trims. And you'll also get distortion if your speakers need more power than the amps in the receiver can produce.

--Bob
 

·
Read the FAQ!
Joined
·
36,607 Posts
Another important factor is to get the Polarity and Phase settings correct for the subwoofer.


Essentially what you want to do is make sure the cone of the subwoofer is moving out when the mains are moving out, and in when the mains are moving in. If you get that wrong, then the subwoofer and mains cancel each other out in the overlap area near the crossover frequency.


You won't hear this as bad imaging, as you would with incorrect polarity between your two front speakers for example, since bass doesn't localize that way. But you will hear it as a "dip" in bass, and when you boost bass volume to compensate you may produce distortion.


Polarity reverses the direction of the subwoofer motion across the entire range of frequencies. Phase adjusts that timing in the vicinity of the crossover frequency.


The calibration DVDs will provide some guidance for experimenting here and picking the settings that maximize bass in those overlapped frequencies.

--Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One more question, more for the guys who have an Onkyo with the Audessey automatic speaker setup. Is there a way to set the speaker size to 'small' even though I used this function to setup my speakers?


And, setting the crossover at the sub to 200 mhz ( the top of the scale, IRC) will effectively disable it and allow the reciever to do the crossover work?


My ORBs only work down to 80hz, so should I set the crossover in my receiver to 160?


TIA
 

·
Read the FAQ!
Joined
·
36,607 Posts
I doubt your crossover goes up to 200 mhz. (grin!) But 200Hz will get it out of the way.


HOWEVER, if your main speakers only go down to 80Hz you may have a problem, because it is unlikely your subwoofer goes up to 300Hz. I.e., you can't find a crossover which will work for both with sufficient overlap for both.


In that case you'll have to play around and decide for yourself which seems to work better.


Even the best subwoofers tend to peter out by 200Hz.


I would suggest you try 80Hz, 100Hz, and 120Hz (your current setting) and see which sounds better to you. My guess is you'll end up at 80Hz, even though that means you are sending too low bass to your main speakers.

--Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
I had a similar situation with my last setup, although it took several hours of listening at a decent volume to get a headache.


I had small bookshelf speakers for my mains, which I had switched out for 2-way towers, which were put in the rear. I did this because the bookshelf speakers featured the same mids/tweets.


Anyway, the bookshelf speakers were very bright and lacked midrange, let alone bass (over 100Hz). After 2 hours of King Kong (150~180 minutes?) or a few hours of listening to music, I'd start to get a headache. I believe this was from the uneven frequency response, with a big dip in the higher bass and up to the mids. This happened to me while watching King Kong, although my wife didn't notice anything.



I also get a headache with boomy bass in my wife's car, stock stereo. It lacks deep bass, and at "0" the bass is just boomy in the 60-80Hz range, I'm guessing. It sounds okay for hip hop and pop, but I mostly listen to rock, with natural/acoustic instruments. So I leave the bass set to -5 to -6, which sounds just about right.


My head also started to hurt yesterday when I was at Target and tried the "demo" on the Bose 2.1 cinema system they had on display. It sounded like crap, of course, but after a few minutes my head was hurting and I was turning down the volume on the remote and wanting to move away.



In the OP's case, I wonder if the higher sub crossover is putting sound, like the lower registers of male voices, through the sub - this is what other people are addressing. I have mine set at 80Hz now, but with DPLII watching Battlestar Galactica this weekend, I had to drop the xo to 60Hz because the processing was putting parts of the male voices through the sub, which was very annoying and would have caused a headache if left alone (sub is running 3~4dB hotter than speakers). I don't have this problem with the 80Hz crossover on DVDs or other TV shows (although most of the shows I watch are in DD).


The sub's response could be very boomy as well, with some big peaks not being too noticeable, but enough to cause headaches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
I had the same ear problem as you with my setup (which is different setup than your). I minimized my problem by repositioning speakers. Also, putting damping materials around 1st sound reflection point helped. So my problem was mainly room problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
Yeah, I have panels at my 1st reflection points as well (and bass traps, with a BFD eq). Of course my Ascends are much, much better speakers than my 10yo entry-level Infinitys were, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Seeing as how this is the Orb Audio Super8 packaged sub, and designed to work together with the Modi's, I would hope they are compatible for the frequencies. BTW, just looked and the sub is adjustable from 40-160 hz.


Eli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:


I set the Sub phase to 180, cranked it all the way to 160 hz, then changed the hz on the speakers through the Onkyo to 80hz, went with that for a while, then to 120 hz. It seemd to work better, and my ears didn't bother me too much through X-Men 2 last night, but I think it's still happening (the mystery sound that is).


I'm really starting to feel like it's a really really high pitched noise coming from my receiver.


I feel like i'm taking crazy pills!


Is there some kind of meter at radio shack that can detect ultra high frequencies?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Also, I have the Sub plugged into the Pre-amp out even though it's powered and has it's own crossover - am I wrong? I am so lost here it's not even funny!!!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,103 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbrock /forum/post/0


Also, I have the Sub plugged into the Pre-amp out even though it's powered and has it's own crossover - am I wrong? I am so lost here it's not even funny!!!



That's exactly where you plug your powered subwoofer in.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top