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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

I have been thinking lately of making some changes to my Home Theater setup and thought it would be wise to ask for advice from folks around here. You can see my 'components' in my signature.

I'm using it for about 70/30 music vs movies. I listen to both stereo and multi-channel - I am very happy with my Oppo BDP-105D (I use it's analog outputs into the AVR-S710W for 2.0 audio and HDMI output for multi-channel audio and video, decoding the stream on the Oppo).

This is my first system that I am truly happy with and most of the time it makes me smile when I listen to my favorite multi-channel King Crimson, Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd records. Classical music CDs and SACDs sound good too. The Interlude IL40s hold their own on well-recorded CDs, the last Leonard Cohen's album sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it.

I only listen on DIRECT and sometimes on MULTICHANNEL STEREO for stereo sources, the system is not calibrated with Audyssey, just manually set up the distances, x-overs at 90, all speakers set to Large, no EQ.

I'm a tinkerer and a knob turner by nature and I trust my ears generally.

I see a few different paths to upgrade:

1). Maybe the dual Yamaha YST-SW215 subs are just not up to par with the Infinity's? I would describe the bass in my system as somewhat muddy and uneven loudness-wise. It's also not the most 'musical' bass - the first note hit sounds great, but the signal front of the second note drowns. On some records they sound *okay* and even good and then on some it's like there is no bass recorded at all. And with movies they usually get the job done and produce some nice rumble.

I never had any other subs (these I had for about 15 years now) and I frankly not sure what to expect.

2). Maybe it's not a good idea to use this Denon as a receiver when I have 7 analog output channels from my Oppo, which is known to have a great DAC? Should I look into McIntosh MC205? Which receiver would you recommend that's in-between my pretty regular HiFi Denon and the MC205? (never heard the MC205, so not sure what to expect - is it even a good match for my speakers?)

3). What kind of speakers will clearly beat my Infinity IL40s? Or should I forget about upgrading them, as they are not the weakest link?

Thank you!
Dmitriy
 

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big monster 18in subs or at least 15inchers would be my rule #1...then we can go from there.
 

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Your sub placement may not be optimal. Having both subs up front with the mains is rarely ideal for optimal performance. You should do a sub crawl and place your subs where they need to be rather than where they look best.

You should place the subs property and see if there is any improvement in sound before spending a bunch of money on amps you may not really need. I would run audyssey to set proper distances, delays and bass management. You can turn off dynamic eq and dynamic volume as I do. Your subs are not active when running in direct or pure direct. I just use Stereo mode when listening to music.
 

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Hi!

....
I see a few different paths to upgrade:

1). Maybe the dual Yamaha YST-SW215 subs are just not up to par with the Infinity's?...
Sorry but those aren't SUBwoofer, since they only go down to 28hz, they are just woofers.

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/yamaha/yst-sw215.shtml

Can you tell us the approximate cost of the Subs new, and how many you have? (I think the implication is TWO Subs)


2). Maybe it's not a good idea to use this Denon as a receiver when I have 7 analog output channels from my Oppo, which is known to have a great DAC? Should I look into McIntosh MC205? Which receiver would you recommend that's in-between my pretty regular HiFi Denon and the MC205? (never heard the MC205, so not sure what to expect - is it even a good match for my speakers?)
Do I understand correctly that you are using Multi-Channel Surround amps for something approximating Stereo. The exact configuration is unclear to me.

Curious ... HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU SPEND?

3). What kind of speakers will clearly beat my Infinity IL40s? Or should I forget about upgrading them, as they are not the weakest link?

Thank you!
Dmitriy
The speakers have 8" bass drivers in a 3-way (woofer, midrange, tweeter) combination in a Tower Cabinet. I don't have frequency response specs on them, but this CNET Review makes them seem pretty good.

https://www.cnet.com/products/infinity-il40/review/

https://www.cnet.com/i/ce/ps/440/6899677_440_1.gif

But, I would not recommend running the system as LARGE, near universally, people, regardless of the size of their speakers, run their systems as SMALL. Let each speaker do what it does best.

Off loading the very low bass from the Infinity IL40 with take the strain off them and likely improve the Mid/High, or at least the Mid. Plus by pushing that bass off onto the Sub, means you only have bass coming from one source. I feel there is too much chance of timing interference when you have Bass coming for three (or perhaps four) sources. Too much room for clutter and interference. Again, let each speaker do what it does best. Let the Front deal with Mid-Bass, Mid-Range, and Treble, let the Sub deal with Low-Bass.

Again, I'm unclear about your configuration. Clearly mostly Music, but when you watch movies, do you watch them in Surround Sound? How Many Speakers? 2? 3? 5? 7? 9? 11?

Can we assume you are using the Denon AVR-S710W 7.2 Channel AV Receiver? That's about a $500 Receiver, making it OK, but run of the mill. How far can you go in replacing the AV Receiver?

You might have some gain in putting the McIntosh 3-channel Amp on the front end, but that is an old discontinued amp. Are you sure you can even find one? And if you can ... How Much?

I have some suggestion for alternatives, but I'll hold them until I have a better understanding of the system.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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I'd second running auddessey and setting your speakers to small.

As far as upgrades how much do you have to spend?

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
big monster 18in subs or at least 15inchers would be my rule - we can go from there.
Which 15 inch sub would you recommend under ~$1K? I want a sub that would be decent enough for movies, but would especially excel in music.
 

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rhythmik has some sealed 15in under 1k and some bstock even lower
 

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Hey, I have the same front soundstage as you! The IL40s are great speakers, at least IMO, and you'd end up spending a bundle trying to beat them. Your receiver also seems fine. You could upgrade to something with a better version of Audyssey, but I don't think replacing the receiver is going to have a dramatic effect.

The subs are certainly a weak point - dual subs are nice, but 8" subs are barely subs. For around $1,000 a Hsu VTF-15H Mark 2, a Rythmik FVX15, PSA 15V or S1500, or an SB13-Ultra from the SVS Outlet would give you much cleaner, deeper, and more impactful bass for both music and movies.

Along with a better sub I'd also suggest setting the speakers to small and experimenting with crossovers, something between 60hz and 100hz typically works best in most rooms, 80hz being the THX recommended go-to.

The IL36C is a phenomenal center channel, but your placement is hurting it. If you can move it out of the TV stand and place it on a stand that raises it up a bit and angles it up towards the listening position that will do wonders for clarity.
 

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Your musical taste is similar to mine and I suspect that all you need is a good subwoofer. As has been mentioned, look at PSA, Hsu, Rythmik and SVS. SVS has a 45 day trial period and shipping (both ways) are included in the price. PSA has a 60-day trial period. Price includes shipping to your home, but not back to the factory.

As far as McIntosh gear, that’s getting up there in price, but will last a lifetime (I’ve had my McIntosh amplifier since 1978).

Since you’re a tinkerer, I’d certainly try integrating your sub(s) using your AVR’s bass management system (Audyssey for the Denon) as has been suggested. Sub location and proper integration is the key for great response.
 

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Hi!

I have been thinking lately of making some changes to my Home Theater setup and thought it would be wise to ask for advice from folks around here. You can see my 'components' in my signature.

I'm using it for about 70/30 music vs movies.

Thank you!
Dmitriy
I have a single Veldoyne DD15 in my main HT in a room that is about 18x15 and when it dies, as I find it too much for that size room, I intend to get another sealed sub but a 12" one; specifically the Rhythmik F12G as it offers better frequency response above 80hz for better integration with smaller surround speakers than the aluminum coned version.

About $1000/tax which about 25% the MSRP of the DD15.

I have owned sealed servo subs for decades and they are excellent for music and HT IMHO.

I'd start there.

If I was replacing my main HT speakers today it would be with these; the RAAL tweeter is said to excel if you like detail, (the folded motion tweeters in my LX16s in my secondary room certainly do and the RAAL tweeter is said to be a step above).

http://philharmonicaudio.com/slims.html

As for amplification, I found the Denon AVR I paid $500 for a few years back every bit as musical as the $2500 NAD AVR, (in today's money), it replaced.
 

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Since you’re a tinkerer, I’d certainly try integrating your sub(s) using your AVR’s bass management system (Audyssey for the Denon) as has been suggested. Sub location and proper integration is the key for great response.
I agree. I enjoy the process of experimenting with crossover frequencies, speaker volume levels and speaker/sub locations.

My approach would be to find a jazz piece with a good upright walking bass line, or other piece that that has one instrument that ranges from low bass to lower midrange. Get to know the the song well by listening to it at least a dozen times.

Then, set your speakers too small with a crossover of 80z. Listen to that song again. Set the subwoofer trim to the level where the walking bass line seems to have a consistent output from the lower bass range to the upper bass range. When it is fairly consistent, then the sub level should be about right to your ears. At that point start experimenting with the crossover levels. Try going down to 60hz and see if there is any improvement. You may need to adjust the subwoofer trim again. In the past I have run my crossover as low as 40z.

By repeating this process a number of times, you should eventually find the settings that are optimal for your tastes and equipment.

You may also find that you have been running your subs too hot. Several times I have cleaned up my friends' systems by simply turning down the bass and the sub levels. A hot sub sounds great for explosions, but can result in muddy sounding bass. It takes a while to appreciate more natural levels of bass.

After optimizing your current system, you can then determine what enhancements will offer the greatest improvements.
 

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I see a few different paths to upgrade:

What kind of speakers will clearly beat my Infinity IL40s? Or should I forget about upgrading them, as they are not the weakest link?
Aim to change the sub first -- also set speakers to small

Philharmonic Audio is a good future speaker upgrade choice
http://philharmonicaudio.com/BMR Philharmonitor.html

http://philharmonicaudio.com/PhilMTMCenter.html

http://philharmonicaudio.com/slims.html

NHT is also a good option
http://www.nhthifi.com/products/16546-c-3-bookshelf-loudspeaker

http://www.nhthifi.com/products/16550-c-lcr-center-channel-speaker?category_id=1968128-c-series

http://www.nhthifi.com/products/16544-c-4-floor-standing-tower-speaker
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry but those aren't SUBwoofer, since they only go down to 28hz, they are just woofers.



Can you tell us the approximate cost of the Subs new, and how many you have? (I think the implication is TWO Subs)
I got 2 of these Yamahas, they were about $200 each new. You're right, they are not really subwoofers, they are woofers. Everyone here suggests to try changing them first.

Do I understand correctly that you are using Multi-Channel Surround amps for something approximating Stereo. The exact configuration is unclear to me.

Curious ... HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU SPEND?
I listen to my Stereo recordings in DIRECT mode, but with LFE+Main turned on with LP filter set at 90Hz (signal below 90Hz is sent to the Yamahas subs) and with a 80Hz cross-over for Fronts, Center and the rears.
I sometimes turn on Multi-Channel Stereo setting on my Denon, and listen to stereo sources through all the speakers in my 5.2 setup (2Fronts/1Center/2Rears/2subs). I really enjoy this setting on my Denon. I'm not exactly sure what that DSP exactly does, but it utilizes all the speakers in the setup.

I have about $1K for subs and no more than $5K for the receiver / preamp+amp combo.

The speakers have 8" bass drivers in a 3-way (woofer, midrange, tweeter) combination in a Tower Cabinet. I don't have frequency response specs on them, but this CNET Review makes them seem pretty good.
I think the Interludes were nearly universally loved by everyone about 10 years ago. They are designed by Floyd Toole and according to many punch way above their price.

Can we assume you are using the Denon AVR-S710W 7.2 Channel AV Receiver? That's about a $500 Receiver, making it OK, but run of the mill. How far can you go in replacing the AV Receiver?

You might have some gain in putting the McIntosh 3-channel Amp on the front end, but that is an old discontinued amp. Are you sure you can even find one? And if you can ... How Much?
Yeah, the MSRP was $500, but it was never sold for that price. I bought it new for $400. That McIntosh MC205 is 5-channel amp, not 3-channel. It's still in production and it costs about $5.5K

Thanks for the Audessey suggestion!

Dmitriy
 

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About low as you want to go on the bottom of the list is the dayton 15 incher or the bic f-12........below that, it is not really worth it.


I went with 3 of the bic f-12`s.........:)

I picked them up open box for 150 bucks each delivered.
 

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...
I have about $1K for subs and no more than $5K for the receiver / preamp+amp combo.
...
How married are you to Surround Sound. Given that most of your listening is Stereo Music, have you considered simply switching to a Stereo system?

The Parasound Integrated Amp runs about $2500, and has 160w/ch of power, plus high quality DSD DACs, Digital Inputs, and most important of all, Bass Management for both the Front and Subwoofers.



You actually have three potential options depending on how much power you want and how much money you are willing to spend.

Parasound P5 Halo Stereo Pre-Amp + Parasound A23 125w/ch Power Amp - ~ $2000/set

Parasound Halo Integrated Amp, 160w/ch - ~$2500

Parasound Halo P5 Pre-Amp + Parasound A21 250w/ch Power Amp - ~ $3500/set

http://parasound.com/hint.php

http://parasound.com/p5.php

http://parasound.com/a23.php

http://parasound.com/a21.php

Though you are free to do as you choose, I think two smaller but qualtity 10" Subs are better than one large 12" or 15" Sub. Though if you have the Room and the Money, two 12" might also be workable.

You should be able to get the Parasound Integrated and two new quality Subs, for less than the price of the McIntosh amp.

A lot of us are perfectly content to listen to movies in Stereo. Most of us who do this, have our dominate priority in Music, and only secondary concern for Movie.

It is hard to say what will beat your Infinity speakers, but there are many great speakers out there at achievable prices. It is simply down to how much money you can dedicate to the task. But remember with Stereo you only need two speakers, not SEVEN. That means you can concentrate all your money on those two speakers.

Speculating -

$2500 = Parasound Integrated Amp
$1000 = TWO 10" Subs geared more toward controlled Music Playback
$2000 - $2500 = Speaker Pair
--------------------------
$5500 to $6000 = Total


Just a thought.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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