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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that all the money is gone!!


I think that I have finally finished my HT room for now (I hope so....my wife said it will be 5 years before I get new audio equipment). Now that all of my purchases have been made, and I have included some of my older gear into the mix, I have a couple of questions.


First of all, I will list my equipment and the price I had to pay.... All products were purchased NIB from local authorized retailers:


Toshiba 61a61 analog 61" rptv ($950)

Dishnetwork PVR-508 ($35)

Panasonic s55s DVD ($100)

Hitachi ???? VHS ($400)

Pioneer Elite vsx-45tx receiver ($1200)

Paradigm LCR-350 center channel ($325)

Paradigm Monitor 9v3 fronts ($380 pair)

Paradigm ADP-350 surrounds ($450 pair)

Paradigm pw-2200 subwoofer ($500)

Monster Power HTS-2500 MKII surge protector ($200)


I am quite pleased with my setup considering the money that I paid. Now that I have it all in my house, I have only a couple of questions.


What should I set my cross-over to on my receiver? I have tried both 80hz and 50hz. My impressions differ each time. At 80hz, it seems like my subwoofer is a little more localized. This may be due to placement....as I'll ask about later. At 50hz, it becomes less localized, but I seem to lose a little impact. What do most of y'all set your x-over at?


Sub placement: I have been forced to place it at the end of my sectional sofa for now. I am going to be building custom case-work for my gear as soon as football season ends. I could then move the sub to the front of the room, but I will have some space constraints. At present I have a huge entertainment center that dominates my front wall, there is absolutely no room for the sub there now. If placement isn't a huge concern, I would be better off leaving it where it is. However, If having it at the front will make an improvement, I will make the modification to my design.


Subwoofer phase control: what exactly does this do, and where should it be set? It is variable from 0-180.


Standing waves and cancellations: how do I detect them, and what can I do about them?


Another questio. This time about the sub volume level. Should I set the volume on the sub hot and turn down the level at the receiver, or vice-versa? With the sub level at 50% MCACC set the sub to -9. After adjusting the sub level, I got MCACC to set the sub close to 0. Since I've only had this sub for a few hours, I'm not that familiar with it. I'm not sure which way is best as far as sub gain or receiver gain.


Oh, and another question.... Is it better to split the subwoofer-out from my receiver, or just hook up the single cable to the right (mono) input on the sub?

Thanks a bunch for the many who have posted before and those who continue to post. Y'all have been great. I will continue to post any useful information that I can, but I will probably start slowing down and enjoying my HT gear more.
 

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Ok no expert (yet) D:,


1. Sub placement is a matter of trial and error without a sound analyzer. Basically the sound from a sub is uni-directional, although placing it in a corner can add to the level (maybe to much). Think of it as waves from dropping a stone in a pond. Peaks and valleys. The room / sub, seating location dictates the size of the wave (depth). With pink noise on from receiver only to sub, turn it up and slowly walk about the room, you should be able to tell when your in a peak or valley. The phase is for align the waves with other speakers, like you R/L. The bass frequencies from them will again produce waves. If the waves collide the sound is canceled. If the waves are in sink the build the wave. Same as throwing multiple stones in the pond. So if they collide with 0 phase you can adjust to prevent this. Most set the cross overs at 80. This seems to be highly debated though. A good rule of thumb on the sub volume level is, without any sound or other speakers on turn up the subs gain until you can sit in your seat and hear it hum. Then back it off a little. This would be max, gain level. Now use the receiver adjustment to set desired volume. Get a analog SPL meter from radio shack $35. Use it to set SPL set with C weighting and slow response. Turn up the pink noise until you reach your reference level. I use 75dbl, some go higher.


2. I hope your not going to place your speaker inside you new entertainment center, not good.


3. Reflective points are one of the biggest issues. Sitting in your seat place a mirror on the wall at a point were you can see each of the front R/L speakers. This is a usually the first reflective point, can make dialog difficult to understand. Try putting something there to absorb the sound, plant, painting, whatever. Also carpet at the floors reflective point. Maybe the back wall too if you (eyes in back of your head) have too much resonance from the front speakers. The room plays a bigger part of sound quality than most realize.


Hope this helps!


Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Eddie,


Thanks for the post!


1. I am planning to purchase the SPL meter this weekend. I have known about the need for it for a while, but was not until recently totally convinced.


2. I was planning on putting the speakers in the entertainment center....here is my plan: I was going to build the floor and the inside wall of the speaker cabinet. Then I was going to line that wall and the bottom with some 1/2" high density padding like we use in the weight room. I was then going to cut the same padding to fit the other side and the top of the speaker with. My plan was to then tightly attach the side and top of the speaker enclosure, using the padding as dampening material. My speakers are front ported, is this still a bad idea?


3. I am not sure I quite understand what you mean by using the mirror. Are you talking about the side walls?


Again, thanks for your post and the advice.


Brian
 

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Inexpensive SPL meters like the popular Radio Shack models are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to bass measurements. So be careful if this is the SPL meter you intended to purchase. It is very good for meter for the other speakers.


Eddie was trying to teach you an old trick for finding out where the first reflection form your speakers will be. In a theater we want the ratio of direct to reflected sound to be low. Our ears ( brains ) are most sensitive to first reflections and less so to second and third order reflection ( because they arrive much later at our ears we ignore them.) We want to damp out this first reflection or at least decrease its amplitude. We can do this by installing some sound absorbing material at the place where the first reflection will arrive at its boundary. But where is this spot? The mirror trick will tell you the place where the first reflection from your speaker will hit the boundary ( wall, floor ceiling ). If you are seated at the listening position and a friend walk a mirror down the side wall, the place where you can see the speaker from your listening position is the place where that first reflection will arrive. That is the place you want to place your sound damping material.


You need to be strong but you can do the same thing for the ceiling and the floor. When you see the speaker from your listening position place some sort of damping material at that area.


Alan
 

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Yes, I was talking about side walls.


Well putting the speakers inside a cabinet is generally not good. But if you must the idea you have with the foam is good. Basically you need to fill the area around the speaker completely. Otherwise they will become reflective points, many of them, as Audible pointed out you generally don't want strong reflective points. Even though you have front ports sound will still travel out from the speaker in all directions. So the foam filling the space helps.


Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys,


I am still trying every conceivable solution to keep my speakers out in the open and keep my marital bliss. The problem lies in that she is very picky about aesthetic decoration and I am very picky about stereo separation.


The only analogy that I can draw is: I have beer taste on a beer budget. But she thinks my beer would look better out-of-sight in the heat, and I want the most out of my investment by placing them in the fridge.
 

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Then perhaps you should investigate a sealed box recessed speaker. They are better suited to recessed mounting-even in a cabinet- and would be the superior choice to a book shelf that really wants to sit in free space.

Recessed sealed box LCR's can be found from about 500 each to......

I have no idea what a beer budget means in these days of micro breweries.

Theil, Triad, CAT are a few brands you may wish to take a look at, if your need for domestic harmony must coexist with your audio desires.


Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Alan,


But the Paradigms are staying. I only just bought the Monitor 9s to complete my system a couple of weeks ago. It was after this that she went crazy and decided we should redecorate the family room. I am weighing all of my options, but not the option of getting rid of my speakers.


On the budget side, I'm just a football coach and an English teacher....they don't get much poorer than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's a very good question. I don't think they like it as much as the old sub that was on the other side of the room. I wonder if it will cause any serious problems with them.....maybe have to get tougher fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, my fish are not enjoying the sub at all. I wanted to place it behind the sectional sofa...but it was way too large. my other option is to place it close to the fireplace, on the left hand side. it seems like I lose a little impact when it is located there.
 

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coach, could you rotate the whole room 90 degrees counterclockwise?


or slide the couch to the left, and put the sub next to it in that corner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
9volt,


Thanks for the post!

I tried rotating 90 degrees as my first option. However, my wife lost it when she found the sectional was only leaving a couple of feet entry into the room. I like the option of moving the sofa down....but again, "she who threatens to cut me off" said it was way to ugly. I have grown to appreciate the subs new placement....I had to increase the gain on the unit, but it is not as "boomy".


As far as the fish...when my sub was placed very close to the fish (at the end of the sofa), I had a couple of fish that started swimming sideways at the top. No big deal, the strong will survive. What tripped me out was that I have a very nice collection of river rocks that I have collected over years of float trips. I have them stacked to give shelter and hiding for the less aggressive fish. The whole thing fell, killing a clown loach and maiming a couple of barbs. Again, "she who has that which I like" said the sub had to be moved NOW.


My next concern is wall treatments. Since this is a new house....I haven't put anything that isn't on the diagram in the room. I hope to tame it a bit by carefully placed decor.


I have decided not to enclose my fronts. They have a nice rosewood look and I will put my foot down here. My TV/gear center will only be wide enough to support DVD storage on both sides of the set, with my AV equipment above. I won't start working on that until the season ends (with some luck....that will be mid December).


Please keep the feedback coming. I am by no means an expert, just an enthusiast.


Thanks again all!
 

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so i guess the count is fish 1 - ht 3


something you could look into to help out your sub would be a Behringer Feedback Destroyer. basicly a slick eq that can be had on ebay for about $100. there is really good info and setup instructions on the web


i have sub optimal sub placement to keep my kids from destroying the thing, and plan to get one of these as soon as i get around to opening an ebay account.
 

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Coach,

Where in Dallas are you? I'm in Mckinney and could possibly swing by sometime to help you with placement and such. I've got the RS SPL (modded to make it more accurate down low) and a bass test cd for graphing in room response of the sub.

Or you may want to purchase a simliar cd yourself. It's invaluable in figuring out dips and peaks at the lower frequencies. (I have the Stryke Basszone cd)
 

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Coach,


I think a Radio Shack analog SPL meter will work just fine. Here's a quick guide to using the SPL meter to help resolve the problems discussed above. Note that the correction values (which make the "notoriously inaccurate" Radio Shack SPL meter nearly flat) are listed towards the back of the document.

http://www.rivesaudio.com/files/Spl.pdf


Brad


Edited to add the link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Brian,


I live in Forney, but I work for Allen ISD.


Thanks for the replies guys....I won't get a chance to mess with my system for the next couple of days, but I am anxious to get started!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay guys,

Thanks 9volt for the sine waves. MCACC has done a very good job of calibrating the 5 freqs. it eqs for. I have some peaks and valleys in between. a couple are severe...I will have to use more individual tones, as I used the sweeps. It appears I peak most around 160-170hz, with a few variations along the sweep. I have some serious cancellation at variable freqs on the sub. I tried a couple of places for it, no consistancy. Right now I'm very low between 23-27hz, 46-52hz, and hot between 65-75hz. I may have to go the rout of eq-ing the sub. I don't think I can eq the Elite 45tx. Had the meter on loan and only spent a few hours, but very informative. Thanks 3-way for the instructions and variances. I didn't have a clue how to use the meter, let alone calibrate it. I had to use the sine waves from above local. What I have to do now is decide what I can live with and what is practical. I think I will buy my own SPL meter, as this will be a life-long process.
 
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