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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a pair of Salk SS8s in the basement, and my wife cannot stand the sound. She says it is too "crisp"--the background noise of, e.g., crickets is piercing her brain. Or if someone flicks a lighter. Etc.

I have finally talked her into letting me put some speakers in the living room (where we currently just use the built-in tv speaker... I know I know).

Her requirements:
- She dislikes deep bass. So maybe not even a sub, though I convinced her to let me put one in anyway. She certainly won't want it to be very good. (I have two Rythmik F15HPs in the basement, not cranked up but well balanced, and she finds them annoying, but tolerable.)
We used to have a soundbar + sub (the built-in receiver on the sub broke and we just never replaced the system), and that was a 8" (and more open space than in the basement)--she often asked me to turn the sub volume way down compared to the other volumes.

- She will refuse to use the speakers if they pierce her ears like the Salk's do. (Even at low volumes she says they sound too loud/crisp/clear. She has the same thing with TVs, can't watch 1080p (and some 720p) material on the basement tv; it is too crisp for her taste, she likes muddy 480)

Anyway, budget is not capped, but I imagine I won't be spending much given the above requirements. (I imagine
 

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Sure. Get your wife some nice ear plugs, then buy what you want.
 

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Is this for real?


"She will refuse to use the speakers if they pierce her ears like the Salk's do"
The Salk are not know to be a bright speaker, the opposite actually, details, yes, bright in your hears, No.


and for


"She has the same thing with TVs, can't watch 1080p (and some 720p) material on the basement tv; it is too crisp for her taste, she likes muddy 480"


Is this a Troll fishing expedition?
Otherwise your wife should be check for medical problem.


Ray
 

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Two JBL LSR 305s or 308s (The 308's might not need a sub for your purpose) with JB 310Ssub. These could be connected by a TVs audio output or headphone output. If you TV has an analog audio output it would need to be variable, I know most Sony TVs have this option.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR305
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR308
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR310S


If you have an optical output on the TV you could use something like this.
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/type=system-powered/model=milleniaone-ct/page=overview
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/type=system-powered/model=millenia-ct-2/page=overview


The advantage to any of these systems is they can use whatever remote you use now for volume and you don't add another remote to the system. If you have a Harmony or other universal remote then adding a receiver and speakers/sub might be a better option but I don't like adding complexity to a system especially if the wife is involved:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, not trolling.

I spoke more to my wife. She tried to clarify a few things.

1) With the TV thing, she says it is an issue of the background being too distinct from the foreground and creating a disorienting effect. This only happens on the basement tv, which is newer (but both our tvs are 1920x1080). Lower def material on the basement tv isn't problematic. (And I do not have on the high refresh rate mode, which does make the foreground pop out it seems to me... I think she sees a similar effect even when that mode is off.)

2) After talking to her more about the sound, she thinks it is a volume issue.

I got out my decibel meter. Downstairs (with the salks) the volume was generally between 60-65db during dialog. (I would listen louder on my own, she says this is still too loud for her.)

Upstairs on the crappy tv speakers at the volume she is comfortable with (though she points out she listens to it much lower when I'm not there), it was sitting around 53-57 db during dialog. My meter doesn't go low enough to measure it at the volume she listens when I'm not in the room (my guess is it would be 45-50, but my meter goes down to 50, so I can't really tell).


I can't get her to test in the basement right now, but maybe she would be ok at the lower volume in the basement...

SO, that would mean I am looking for a speaker that I don't need much volume from. But that will provide more clarity than the tv speaker for dialog.
(Also, regarding the bass, I bet she didn't like the old one cause it was muddy/boomy. She says she doesn't have a problem with the bass in the basement for tv.)
 

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I was serious about the earplugs. I take it that you two never go to a movie theater or out for a concert. My advice still stands, buy her some nice earplugs: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...ld-keywords=ear+plugs&sprefix=ear+plu,aps,366 I take earplugs along at indoor concerts. But I’d also have your wife’s hearing checked to see if it is a medical condition.

As far as the TV is concerned, while not common, there are people who find the picture too bright. My brother won’t buy an LCD because it bothers his one good eye (he still has an old CRT).

Since you have two rooms with audio, make one hers for low-end sound (she might like Bose), while you buy whatever the heck you want for your area. And do NOT neuter your Rythmik subs …. EVER. That is kinda like the eighth sin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The jbls look interesting. Would that be trs from the TV to the sub, then xlr to the monitors from the sub?

The headphone thing is a good idea, but she won't go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We do occasionally go to concerts, theater, and movies. She finds all disgustingly loud but puts up with it for a few hours as she doesn't have another option. At home she has the option of turning volume way down and does so.

She does get occular migraines from too bright TV in a less well lit room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She hates wearing earplugs and wont consider the idea. (She finds wearing them very unpleasant)

She thinks me getting headphones would be ok.
She would also be ok with the JBL 305s and the sub. But re-iterates that the volume can't go up, so its still gonna be around 55db. I would much prefer a little more sound with my stuff, so perhaps headphones are the solution...

I assume it is possible to set something up where she can watch with the tv speakers at whatever volume she wants, and I get a separate volume output to headphones? Or does such a setup depend on the tv?
 

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Me and my family will pray for you tonight.


Thank god im with someone who embraces technology and loves it. I cant help you sorry. Gotta go, the wife and I are about to go watch interstellar at reference level!

Avs needs a wife forum. I would love to have a conversation with all these women that are so against home audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Heh she is way cool in other ways. Just can't stand volume...

So I did some testing. My TV has RCA audio out jacks. I hooked those up to a stereo adapter and plugged in my Sennheiser Momentums. I get ~65-70db output according to the db meter, which is a good volume for me for tv. And the tv speakers are still at whatever volume she wants (the volume control doesn't change the audio out volume).

Next step: I'll probably get some wireless headphones with volume control on them since there doesn't appear to be a way to control the volume from the audio out jack (I checked all the tv menus, only option seems to be to turn off the tv speakers, even then volume control doesn't change the audio out volume.)

The momentum's aren't comfortable enough to wear if we watch hours of tv (I have big ears, they are like a hybrid on-ear/over-ear instead of a fully over ear.)

I'll look into good options.
 

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I think the JBLs are a bad idea. Like the Salks, they will give you a neutral sound, which she already is not a fan of. What you need is a speaker with a less forward presentation, ie something 'laid back' or 'recessed'. It sounds like she is sensitive to sibilance as well. What you might try is a bit of compression and equalization. Compression will help with sibilance and equalization can knock down the highs. Many AVRs have a 'night' mode which is really just compression that knock down the peaks of louder sound, you might try that. Here is some compressors and here is some equalizers.

If compression or equalizers don't work, or you would just rather get new speakers than mess with a bunch of calibration, I would say go get some active monitors which have response shaping options on board. Some good monitors which will surpass the JBL LSRs in response shaping are the Mackie HRs (HR624 and HR824 or Focal Alphas (Alpha 65 and Alpha 80).
 

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Just a thought...

The louder volume you like....and the fact she feels its also set to sound too sharp which isnt comfortable for her....

These are classic setting preferences of someone with a incredibly common high frequency hearing loss. More volume and more treble than others like.

Ever had your hearing tested ?

The speakers may be perfect...just harsh to her better hearing the way you tune them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have had my hearing tested--all good except for one little band in one ear which is likely due to an identifiable event from 15 or so years ago.

I calibrated my system with audigy, not hand-tweaked. (I did measure response & waterfall & such, isn't perfect, but is ok)

The highs aren't doing anything crazy.

She thinks it really is just the fact that she finds 65db (as measured by me with a decibel meter) uncomfortably loud. As mentioned up-thread, on her own volume setting (if I weren't there) she listens at unmeasurably low volumes (my meter goes down to 50, twitches very slightly at particularly peaky parts, so my guess is 40-45 regularly).


I ended up ordering some Sennheiser RS160s; I want to be able to control the output volume, and wireless seems like less of a hassle for the living room.
 

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I think headphones are a good solution for your differing volume needs. I haven't heard the RS-160 but have a pair of their HD-600 which I think are great. Another unusual option if you don't want headphone might be a Yamaha YSP 3300 or 4300 sound bar. They have a listening mode called "target", you aim the remote at the sound bar and it directs the majority of the sound to that location and the person next to you hears it about half volume. It is a pretty neat feature and works good for people with hearing loss so they are not bothering everyone else in the room turning when they turn up the volume. The Yamaha sound bars don't have as good of sound quality as a nice pair of speakers but still much better than the TV speakers.


If you go with speakers any of the active monitors have a high frequency control to cut the high frequencies a little including the JBLs. The Focal and Mackie are better than the JBL but more expensive as well. However, those monitors (JBL, Focal, Mackie) won't work in your system without a pre-amp as your audio out is not variable. In this case the Paradigm system would probably be best if using your TVs audio out, it can be connected to the mini audio in of the Paradigm and the Paradigm can learn your current remote's volume so you don't need to have another remote. I'm probably less than 2 hours from you if you want to hear the Paradigms, I use them in my house.
 

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Me and my family will pray for you tonight.


Thank god im with someone who embraces technology and loves it. I cant help you sorry. Gotta go, the wife and I are about to go watch interstellar at reference level!

Avs needs a wife forum. I would love to have a conversation with all these women that are so against home audio.
OK, I'm gonna stand up for the women in the audience .... < crickets> ..... (pun intended).

Women do tend to have better high frequency hearing than men. What sounds fine to the man of the house can sound very unpleasant, harsh, loud, whatever to the woman. This is a genetic trait that men want to ignore and then blame the woman. Chivalry is dead ....:(

As to the bright picture in a dark room, that is a known issue to men as well as women. I personally HATE an overbright picture in a dark room, makes me squint and induces a headache. Nothing new here.

So, my recommendation to the OP is this:

1. Turn down the brightness (actually it's the contrast control) if you want to watch in a dark room, until it is reasonable for her to watch without discomfort. Set up two "modes" (neither of them should start in the pre-defined "Vivid" mode), one for daylight viewing (Standard), and one for nighttime viewing (Movie). Adjust the contrast and brightness in both modes until you get a nice balance of visible, yet black, darks and non retina-torching whites. You might also have an adjustment for backlight brightness that may need to be reduced significantly.

2. Get some room treatments! Rugs, curtains, textiles on the wall (or get actual wall panels made to absorb sound - some are even decorative - google). Lots of glass and wood will make any speaker sound harsh and bright.

3. As to new speakers, get some that are considered warm, not bright. Don't make her pay for your inability to hear dialog due to male hearing loss (might even consider having your hearing checked by an audiologist). Kef tends to be warm, Wave Tech (for cheap), and Totem. Speakers with soft-dome tweeters tend to be less bright. Neutral speakers to consider (non bright): NHT.

4. As to the bass, it needs to be well integrated into the speakers. Have you done the "sub crawl" (look up the procedure on this forum)? If not, you are most likely getting certain bass frequencies being reinforced by the room, causing boominess. Turning it down to cure the boominess significantly decreases the rest of the frequencies, and for all intents and purposes reduces your sub to a rather large paperweight. Yes, the sub crawl still applies, even with two subs.

5. Lastly, if you are using the receiver's internal room correction software, be sure you are PRECISELY following the directions for microphone placement, as incorrect readings can exacerbate any problems with the speakers and/or the room. It may actually sound better by turning it off completely.

As to the rest of you misogynists, just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist! :D
 
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