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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,


I have an Denon AVR-1911 and the HSU Research Enthusiast 2 Speaker package which came with four of the HB-MK1 Bookshelf Speakers, the HC-1 Center Channel and the VTF-2 MK-3 Sub. I have tried a few different home theater in a box setups and even tried the Mirage MX 5.1 Speakers and still wasn't satisfied. I love my new speakers and receiver and I think it has great sound, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with the sound. I still feel like it could be better. The only way I think I can acheive this is by having a professional come out and calibrate my system. My main issue is with the Center Channel. I don't feel like it sounds the way it should or can. Dialogue is low and it seems like some of the sounds coming from the Center are a hiit or miss. Maybe this is due to the sound mix on each sepcific blu-ray but it keeps coming up in different movies that I've watched. For instance, when I was watching "The Matrix" on Blu-Ray, the scene where Neo and Morpheus have their Kung-Fu Battle is a pefect Example. Anytime one of them throws a punch or lands a punch, the sound is coming from the center channel. The soundtrack is blaring and you can hear everything else perfect, nice and loud, but the effects coming from the Center just don't have that same punch. The punches and kicks they are throwing don't pop out of the speakers like the other effects are from the other speakers. I just don't understand this. I read reviews of this Blu-Ray and this is supposed to be a "Reference Quality" Blu-Ray so I know something isn't right with my surround. Another scene from the movie is the famous hallway shootout with Neo and Trinity. You can hear the shells falling from the front left and right channels perfectly, gun shots and the movie soundtrack. But when Trinity kicks the gun out of one of the guards hands and shoots him, it doesn't come through near as lound and clear as everything else. I just don't understand it. I've even raised the DB +3 on the Center Channel to see if that would help and I didn't really notice any difference. Does anyone have any other suggestions and what are your opinions on a professional calibration. Thanks guys.
 

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If you could post a picture of your setup (front stage) some might be able to offer some advice to help improve your sound before you end up springing for a calibrator.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewDaddy /forum/post/19645875


My main issue is with the Center Channel ... The punches and kicks they are throwing don't pop out of the speakers like the other effects are from the other speakers.

I agree about posting a photo so we can see what you have. In the mean time, I can tell you that a good pro calibrator will advise you to get acoustic treatment because that's mandatory for good sound, regardless of your individual speaker levels. But level balancing is important too. I use the Digital Video Essentials DVD as explained in this article:

All About SPL Meters


--Ethan
 

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An inexpensive SPL meter and any DVD that has the THX setup (Fight Club, Seven, Star Wars, etc), or the Digital Video Essentials or Avia, and you can probably do it yourself. As Ethan mentioned, acoustic treatments will make a better improvement, and you may not be fully satisfied with an audio calibration until some form of treatment is done to the room. The DVDs mentioned above have all the test tones, and will walk you through the steps to properly level match your speakers, and can be very imformative at the same time. Its not as in-depth as doing a video calibration and should be something you at least attempt on your own first.
 

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Calibration won't change much unless you have fully configurable audio processing in each channel. 1911 does not have that option.


Moreover there is no consumer electronic setup, that offers it. You need processor, that does audio decoding from HDMI and outputs resulting PCM data stream via ADAT to parametric equalizer. This is not allowed according to HDMI license.


The closest you can get to it, is by buying receiver that supports Audyssey Pro. Then you can order calibration services.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewDaddy /forum/post/19645875


Guys,


I have an Denon AVR-1911 and the HSU Research Enthusiast 2 Speaker package which came with four of the HB-MK1 Bookshelf Speakers, the HC-1 Center Channel and the VTF-2 MK-3 Sub. I have tried a few different home theater in a box setups and even tried the Mirage MX 5.1 Speakers and still wasn't satisfied. I love my new speakers and receiver and I think it has great sound, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with the sound. I still feel like it could be better. The only way I think I can acheive this is by having a professional come out and calibrate my system. My main issue is with the Center Channel. I don't feel like it sounds the way it should or can. Dialogue is low and it seems like some of the sounds coming from the Center are a hiit or miss. Maybe this is due to the sound mix on each sepcific blu-ray but it keeps coming up in different movies that I've watched. For instance, when I was watching "The Matrix" on Blu-Ray, the scene where Neo and Morpheus have their Kung-Fu Battle is a pefect Example. Anytime one of them throws a punch or lands a punch, the sound is coming from the center channel. The soundtrack is blaring and you can hear everything else perfect, nice and loud, but the effects coming from the Center just don't have that same punch. The punches and kicks they are throwing don't pop out of the speakers like the other effects are from the other speakers. I just don't understand this. I read reviews of this Blu-Ray and this is supposed to be a "Reference Quality" Blu-Ray so I know something isn't right with my surround. Another scene from the movie is the famous hallway shootout with Neo and Trinity. You can hear the shells falling from the front left and right channels perfectly, gun shots and the movie soundtrack. But when Trinity kicks the gun out of one of the guards hands and shoots him, it doesn't come through near as lound and clear as everything else. I just don't understand it. I've even raised the DB +3 on the Center Channel to see if that would help and I didn't really notice any difference. Does anyone have any other suggestions and what are your opinions on a professional calibration. Thanks guys.

Did you run Audyssey setup? How did you set channel levels, distance and bass management?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer /forum/post/19646788


I agree about posting a photo so we can see what you have. In the mean time, I can tell you that a good pro calibrator will advise you to get acoustic treatment because that's mandatory for good sound, regardless of your individual speaker levels. But level balancing is important too. I use the Digital Video Essentials DVD as explained in this article:

All About SPL Meters


--Ethan

Here are some photos of my living room. Any input is appreciated. Thanks again.









 

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Do your Audyssey setup if you haven't. Then listen using different sound tracks, True HD/DTS MA, LPCM, DD, DTS and determine which you prefer. I too have had to kick up my center channel. We are sometimes at the mercy of the audio mixer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/19648297


Did you run Audyssey setup? How did you set channel levels, distance and bass management?

Here are my settings.


Audyssey is On

Dynamic EQ is ON

Ref Level is 0DB

Dynamic VOL is OFF


Amp Assign: Zone 2


All Speakers are set to SMALL and are set to a Crossover of 80HZ (When I ran the Audyssey setup, it had all of the speakers set to 40HZ. I changed them to 80HZ by a recommendation from HSU Research.


SW Mode: LFE + Main

LPF for LFE - 120 HZ


Front Left - +0.5 DB

Front Right - 0.0 DB

Center - +2.0 DB (Audyssey had it set for -0.5DB but I changed it)

Surround Left - +1.5 DB

Surround Right - -1.0 DB

Subwoofer - -5.0DB


Are there any other important settings I could be missing?
 

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I would have mounted the left surround speaker on the side wall and the front three much lower. If you're open to changing the location, I believe you will find much improvement. After getting the proper location dialed in, some treatment on the side walls at the first reflection points would be a first step. With the speakers in their current locations, and all those hard flat surfaces close to the speakers, I don't think think any calibration will help you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wleehendrick /forum/post/19649177


I would have mounted the left surround speaker on the side wall and the front three much lower. If you're open to changing the location, I believe you will find much improvement. After getting the proper location dialed in, some treatment on the side walls at the first reflection points would be a first step. With the speakers in their current locations, and all those hard flat surfaces close to the speakers, I don't think think any calibration will help you.

I was going to say as much. Putting speakers up against the ceiling is as bad or worse than putting them on the floor (since one rarely carpets the ceiling).
 

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In addition to the room boundary problems already mentioned, I'll toss in the fact that the spread on your main L/R looks way too wide. Bringing them down off the wall onto stands flanking the TV would solve numerous problems. But mainly, get that center channel off the ceiling! That's bad, very very bad, Islamabad, Jalalabad even. And it doesn't even appear to be angled toward the listening position...Hyderabad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well that sucks. There really isn't anything I can do about the center channel. Not sure if you guys noticed this but there are three huge windows behind my tv, which leaves me no room at all for the center channel to be mounted any lower. I think I might move the surround left to the same wall as my surround right as suggested and angle the speakers down towards me. Nothing k can do about the center channel unless you guys know of another way.
 

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Sorry. It is a tough situation. If it was my room, I would rotate things 90deg and put the display and main speakers on the solid wall to the left of the window wall.


In any case, I would not invest in a professional calibration. Save your bux until you have a few more variables to control.
 

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I'd add a rug in the room to help reduce reflections.


Also try taking the front three speakers down and temporary line them up across the front. Try to keep the speakers a foot or so form the back wall and atleast a couple feet from sides walls. Try to get the tweeters near ear level. If it sounds good, purchase from speaker stands. For your center you may have to purchase a new cabinet with space for a center speaker...Salamander Designs have some nice products among others I'm sure.
 

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One thing you might try is to place the center speaker below the TV, on top of the cabinet, and place the TV on some kind of platform or riser or shelf which lifts it just above the center. Ideally you want the center to be aimed at the listener's ears, and I think the center on the cabinet will sound a lot better.


Have you tried using a phantom center- that is using the front left and rights to playback center channel programming. I don't know how your receiver handles that sort of situation, but look into it. It might be as simple as reconfiguring your receiver for 4.1 rather than 5.1. Also, try to angle the front left and right speakers down toward the listeners a bit more, like I said you want the tweeters to be aimed at your ears. Be sure the clamps are tight before you do that though, if you don't have the speakers screwed in, as you don't want the speakers falling out of the mounts.


To be sure about the problem, some of the sounds coming through the center sound fine but others do not? How is dialogue intelligibility? Is this a problem with certain movies but not others? You have to eliminate as many variables as possible. If one movie sounds fine and another does not, the problem could be the way the receiver is handling a sound scheme, like one of the Dolby or DTS variants, or perhaps it's doing some kind of other extra processing that is messing up the sound.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewDaddy /forum/post/19648700


Here are some photos of my living room. Any input is appreciated.

Lee and Kal already told you what I'd say about your speakers being way too high. Speakers should all be at ear level. More here:

How to set up a room


This will help too:

Acoustic Basics


--Ethan
 

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We should focus on what could be optimal in JD's room given the restrictions.


JD, try the following:

1) Definitely tilt/angle ALL the speakers so they are aimed at your ears, not @ the ceiling fan. That fan could very likely be breaking up the sound before it hits your ear. Re-run the sound setup after adjusting the speakers.

2) If that doesn't work then consider sticking the center channel under your TV. You may need to buy/make some additional support shelving for this. As a temporary measure you can stick the center on the milk crate / box in front of the TV just to see if it fixes the problem. Again, re-run sound setup before listening.


Give these 2 things a try and let us know if they fix the problem.
 

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JewDaddy, this isn't a particularly difficult or expensive problem to solve. Yes you have a window behind the TV. So what? I think you're constraining yourself with your current furniture. Get rid of that cabinet under the TV. Buy a cabinet that will allow you to place the center channel under the TV and angle it up slightly for seated listeners. Next, buy a pair of 24-28" stands for the front speakers, fill them with sand, and bring them closer together and away from the front wall. Last, drop your surrounds about 4' down the rear wall. Total cost? Under $1,000! Now run your setup. Still want professional calibration? Maybe it'll be worth it.


Perhaps "solve" is the wrong word. But doing what I mentioned above should provide enough elbow room that careful calibration may be able to achieve a meaningful benefit. What you've got right now is something that technology can't help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied /forum/post/19655041


JewDaddy, this isn't a particularly difficult or expensive problem to solve. Yes you have a window behind the TV. So what? I think you're constraining yourself with your current furniture. Get rid of that cabinet under the TV. Buy a cabinet that will allow you to place the center channel under the TV and angle it up slightly for seated listeners. Next, buy a pair of 24-28" stands for the front speakers, fill them with sand, and bring them closer together and away from the front wall. Last, drop your surrounds about 4' down the rear wall. Total cost? Under $1,000! Now run your setup. Still want professional calibration? Maybe it'll be worth it.


Perhaps "solve" is the wrong word. But doing what I mentioned above should provide enough elbow room that careful calibration may be able to achieve a meaningful benefit. What you've got right now is something that technology can't help.

He will still have the window wall behind the front speakers. Those windows will allow bass to leak out of the room but reflect higher frequencies.
 
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