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Building a powerful home system - need direction

 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-12
I currently have a pair of JBL LXE 770 fronts - 8"w/4"m/1"t - they're powered by a JVC RX815 120W x 2 / 70W x 3 with a 7-band eq.

The LXE770s are OK. The mids are powerful and clear. The tweeters and woofers - although rich in sound - are not strong enough to match the midrange. I solved that over the years with the eq using the classic V pattern setting to boost low and high-end signals. The sound was rich. The problem was if I turned the volume past 1/3 it would destroy the woofers. I've replaced them several times. Can no longer do that - NLA.

I have a window of opportunity right now - i'm married and buying this stuff is challenging - the foam on one of the LXEs is torn - needs refoaming - but i'm not telling my wife that. as far as she knows I need new speakers.

I bought the JBL ES250P sub - 12" 400W / 700 peak - thinking that can save my woofers. i'd lose the bass side of the V on the eq and let the sub pump the bass. It isn;t working out so well. I can only drop the last slider (60Hz) the 150 and 400 have to stay up. the bass isn't combining as well as i'd hoped. not as powerful as I wanted. it'll rip the walls down - it's powerful as far as deep deep thundering bass. i want more punch - more power.

another thing - I didnt do much research - I bought the sub at JBL.com full price - paid $439 for it. Now it's on sale everywhere for $300. really ticks me off.

i'm going to do something in the next 2 days i just don't know what. I want rich powerful bass - rich sound. the LXEs are clear just not very powerful without heavy eq and that doesn't work when I turn it up without destroying woofers.

So - is the problem my LXE770s? The sub? both? me?

I love JBL speakers. I'm open to other brands - just bought a Def Tech Pro Center 200 center. I'm not too comfy with buying speakers online i've never heard. There's nowhere I know of where I can listen to these things. So if i'm buying blind online I tend to trust JBL. Lots of raving reviews also helps.

I have 3 ideas:

1) send back the ES250P, get 2 of the BIC F12s or Polk PSW505s - wouldn't really cost me anything - refoam the LXE770s and put one each on top of a sub - drop the 60Hz slider and let the subs be my deep bass - wouldn't be much different from what I have now and this doesn't sound quite right and I still think I could easily blow the woofers since I cannot hear how much bass i'm making the LXEs push out

2) keep the ES250P, get a pair of JBL L890 fronts and rely more heavily on the fronts - use 50Hz crossover on the sub and let it supplement the deep bass but get power from the fronts - with 2 8" woofers in each speaker it should handle what i'm throwing at them - if not - they're under warranty

3) send back the ES250P and buy a pair of JBL L7 fronts - that alone will be a great sounding system - won't really need the eq. - the problem is they're rarely ever on eBay (if they are it's always local pickup only and not near me)

Ideas?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2812
Registered: Oct-07
In Alexandria Va, I can't imagine NOT having some place to listen to alternative speakers....even the local Best or ???
And given the money in the neighborhood, you should also have some very nice dedicated, stereo / home theater stores from which to choose.
You are close to quite a number of towns some of which should have stuff of interest to you.

As for destroying your woofers? I suspect you were killing the amp with the 'v shaped equalization'.
Each 3db of increase doubles power required at that frequency.
And since more than half the power needed for typical music is below say......500hz or so, you really needed double the amp, not just turning 'up' the bass.
If you like pounding bass, find some Cerwin Vega speakers.

Setting up a sub is not generally as simple as finding a place where it'll fit or the spouse is happy with it. Also, with a single sub, at higher frequencies of crossover, it becomes easier and easier to 'hear' where it it coming from. The ear has trouble localizing the very lowest frequencies in a normal home. In a HUGE theater space, yes...home no. At least when properly set up. Expecting the sub to carry to the bass to 200hz + is not realistic.

Go find and listen to a good sytem and adjust your hearing.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17293
Registered: May-04
.

"So - is the problem my LXE770s? The sub? both? me?"


The problem is you.

Wait, let's look again.

Yep, you're the problem here.

Unfortunately, there are so many things you have made into a problem, it's not a simple task sorting them out. I would have to begin, however, with not telling your wife the truth. I'm not giving marriage advice but what you will need to buy to achieve the sound you say you want - that bachelor pad sound that lulls you to sleep with one note bass pounding your skull - is going to cost a lot of cash and take up the majority of any room you place the system into.

You're destroying the woofers because you are over extending their range of motion. The amount of power you have is immaterial if you insist on the speaker doing something it is not designed to accomplish. You're wanting the sub to take over and do the midbass to give you your thump and that's not what a "sub"-woofer does.


The only home speaker I can even begin to recommend would be a pair of Klipschorns at 104dB sensitivity using a 15" Emminence wooofer. You could alternately buy either a LaScalla or a Cornwall if you can't spring for the big dog.

Rather than trying to give you advice over a forum, my only suggestion would be you head to the local pro sound emporium - not a shop that sells consumer grade audio, you'll continue to blow up any home audio gear other than the big Klipsch speakers - and have them explain what goes into thumping bass and piercing highs. Then , if you have a Klispch dealer showing the horns, listen to those speakers. A few pro sound sops might carry Klispch and their industrial line is similar to their upper end home products in that they all have very high sensitivity specs.

Take your wallet and your wife 'cause she's gonna need to OK this for you. It ain't gonna be cheap and the speakers are gonna be big, if not humongous.



.
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-12
I did a very bad job on my original post. Yes the problem is me.

I didn't really put much thought into this up front - as evidenced by my initial post. My electronics problem is my front speakers - they're clearly not enough for me. Rather than spend weeks trying to repair their sound with the right sub - and 2 smaller subs would not work any better than the 1 I have now - I decided to get better front speakers and go from there.

The woofers in the LXE770 are not being blown - they're being damaged from being forced into a range of motion beyond their designed capabilities - you hit that nail on the head. Those speakers are not designed to be wall shakers and they never will be - no amp power - no equalization will ever change that. That became obvious to me after I sat down and actually thought about it.

As far as going to a store to listen - I cannot find one in this area that is in my price range and no way i'm wasting my time in Best Buy. There are places that will install a home theater system in your home - way out of my price range. Maybe i'm out of my league here. I'm just looking for something along the line of the old JBL L7 speakers and a few reasonable add-ons. I don't need Legacy speakers installed in my ceiling or walls - I don't have the need for a wall sized theater screen. Hopefully one day...
I can't find reasonably priced stores that carry what i'm looking for. I cannot find a Pro Sound Emporium. There's a Sound Emporium in Nashville. I've asked the guys I know and the only decent places we once had have closed. Buying cheaper online has its downside. I'm frustrated with that - there has to be somewhere in this big metro area where I can listen to these speakers. But then again "in the area" could be a 2-hour drive for me depending on the traffic. My window of opportunity closes this weekend (the company I work for is filing Chapter 11 by the end of the month - i'll have plenty of time starting next week - but spending $$$ on speakers - not going to happen once i'm out of work).

Anyway - I just bought a pair of JBL L890 front speakers. I'm keeping the JBL ES250P 12" 400W sub. I'm hoping to get the richness in sound that I want from the L890s - without relying on the equalizer very much (hopefully none). I'm not expecting skull pounding bass at this price level. I just want rich sharp punching bass rather than booming thunder. For example, the JBL P963 speakers (6x9) that I just put in my car sound perfect to me. The bass is sharp and powerful. It sounds like someone is sitting in my back seat pounding drums. It sounds real. It feels like some kid is behind me punching or kicking the back of my seat to the beat. I like that. It seems to me that the bass i've heard coming from the subs i've heard was mostly just what you hear in the parking lot or the men's room at a concert or a dance club. So yes - the problem is me - my expectations of a sub are off. They'll never replace good woofers. They'll add depth and realism to speakers that already have rich bass. So i'll start by getting front speakers that have rich sound and see how much the sub can compliment them. If I can get the system in my house to sound as good as what's in my car I'll be pleased.

Thanks for the info - it's not that i'm too hard-headed to take your advise it's just that I already bought the L890s before I saw these posts. But this is still good information. I may need it if the L890s don't work out. Thanks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14738
Registered: Dec-03
some random thoughts.
JBL: not my first choice in audio
JBL subs? worse yet. prone to failure of the AMI DSP board they use.
using an EQ? not advised, unless it's a room correction EQ that reads from a mic and corrects for acoustic issues as do many on newer AV receivers


my suggestion:
1. get a new AV receiver, with something like Audyssey XT32 and SubEQ room correction (ie, the Onkyo TX-NR818)

2. corner-load the subwoofer you have, so that it sits about 8-10" from the walls in a corner, firing into that corner if it's a front or rear firing sub, and not down-firing. Move the sub around. Find out where it sounds the best, ie loudest in your case, to make up for the floor speakers

3. USE that room correction

4. get the speakers that are damaged re-foamed. parts-express.com has a service that does this for a reasonable price for nearly any speaker if you can't do the job yourself.

5. do some google research on 2 things: room treatments/acoustic response for rooms (ie, carpet instead of hard floors, corner treatments, etc) and speaker positioning for a 2-channel system (how far from the walls, corners, what angles, toe-in, etc) and use this information to your advantage prior to running the room correction.

your speakers can sound very good if you get them fixed, lose that EQ you have, and take the steps above to make most of what you already have work for you.

Don't get carried away with looking at power ratings for amps. Truth is you only use a continuous 1 to 5 watts per channel or so, even at loud volumes, with the peak going to around 10-15 watts. You won't ever really need 700 watts, or even 100 for anything but an instant of peak transient demand at extremely high volumes. Most people don't have a good understanding of power to volume ratio, but as an example, to audibly double the volume, it takes ten times the power. twice the power is an increase of about +3dB, which is audible, but nowhere near double the volume. Think about that in reverse (ie, 700 watts at full output, so half the volume, is 1/10th the power, etc) and you see how quickly the power drops with a decrease in the volume knob. 100 watts or so per channel is more tahn enough for 99.999% of the audio systems out there.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14739
Registered: Dec-03
by the way, if you're in doubt to my claims on power to volume, take a look at Pass Labs amplifiers. Nelson Pass has one, the Aleph J I think it was? that puts out about 18 watts RMS per channel into two chanels. This amp can easily reach reference level volumes, and louder while sounding better and cleaner than most mass produced amps on the market rated in the 300WPC range.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2814
Registered: Oct-07
Jan's Klipsch and Glass's Aleph J = huge loudness potential.
Aleph J and my panels? not so loud.

I'd question Glass's power numbers, but agree with the general idea that you need only so much continuous / RMS power with peaks of at least 10x or more.

Matching amp, speaker and listening 'style' is very important. In my case, on very loud days, I pretty heavily dip into 500 a side.
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jul-12
The only brands I know enough about to trust buying online are JBL, Klipsch and Polk. I looked at their websites and the speakers I picked out:
JBL L890
Klipsch RF-82 II
Polk Audio RTiA9

They're all in the $700 range. The cheapest place I found to buy them was online. Amazon had the JBL for $383. They wanted $600 for Klipsch and Polk. I can get them from Klipsch and Polk for that price. Essentially the JBL were half-price - apparently not making those models anymore - so having a wife I went with the cheapest. I cannot tell which speakers are better - it's a tossup to me. So I got the JBL.

I looked at the pro speakers - like if I were building a dance club - the speakers i'd buy. They're dual 15" or 18" woofers with horn mids and horn tweeters. The JBL are essentially that same design. But then again so are the Klipsch. In fact the top JBL are the same design as all of the Klipsch. ??? I don't get the Polks. Why would I need 2 large midrange and only one small tweeter?

I did some research this weekend. I found Home Theater places around that have these speakers but none have them all out for me to listen to and decide which I like best so I can drive home and buy them online. Can't blame them. I noticed that NONE of them carry JBL. About half carry Polk and ALL of them carry Klipsch.

I'm a brand-loyal guy. I buy Sony TVs, Apple computers and JBL speakers. The upside is I don't always have to do tons of research when i'm buying. Stick with the brands you can trust. The downside is those brands can fall from grace and I find out the hard way.

Polk seems to be high-end quality at a reasonable price range. That's what JBL used to be. What are they now? My JBL car speakers rock. I love them.

The JBL LXE770 speakers I have now suck. They spent 3 years in storage and I wonder if that damaged them. Or maybe they sucked all along? I was never completely happy with them. I owned JBL speakers before them that I absolutely loved - but not these. When I bought them I had a small apartment main room - like 14 x 12. Now i'm in a house with a main room of 28 x 14. Maybe that's making these speakers suck more.

My research - and just thinking about the physics of these speakers - leads me to think the Klipsch would be the best speakers for me. I'm actually considering buying the Polks and the Klipsch - I've already bought the JBL - get all 3 of them here - and try them out - send back 2 of them and keep the winner. That would make for an interesting post from me - for a change.

If you won your choice out of the 3 speakers I listed which one would you choose and why?
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jul-12
And i'm assuming Jan is a vote for Klipsch. I see from my research what you mean.
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jul-12
About the Polk RTiA9

The crossovers are at 120 and 1.8k. That means the 3 7" woofers really are subs and the 2 5" mids really are woofers and the 1" tweeter is a mid and tweeter. My point is you only have a 1" dome playing everything 1.8kHz and above? And if you already have a sub those 3 7" woofers are duplicating what a good sub is already putting out. So your only sound generation is coming from a pair of 5" woofer/midrange drivers. I just don't get them. It seems like they need a titanium horn-loaded tweeter like the Klipsch have and maybe dual 8" woofer/mids instead of the 5s. I just feel better and better about the Klipsch the more I think about the physics behind these puppies.

So I vote Klipsch and i've already bought the JBL. Thank God for 30-day returns.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17295
Registered: May-04
.

Rocker, I could spend a day trying to clear up your mistakes regarding audio but I don't think it would be worth the time. I'm really not trying to insult you, guy, but your ideas on audio are truly off base. First, you sound like someone who has come to home audio through car audio and that is a bad place to start. Virtually none of the basics of car audio have any real world application in home gear. Punching you in the back bass is no more appreciated by neighbors than it is by those folks sitting on their porches when you drive through their neighborhoods.


The low down is, I've sold audio for over two decades and when I had a cleint with your expressed desires for sound quality, there really was no explanation I could make that would move them away from wanting a club sound in their apartment. And club sound comes from club equipment, not from home gear - not even Cerwin Vega's home gear. I can imagine what went through your mind when you saw dual 18" woofers - then you finally had your wife's image telling you what not to bring home.


For the type of sound you want, you need big speakers with very high sensitivity specs. "Klipsch" is not why I suggested you listen to the Klipschorns or the Cornwalls. I suggested those speakers because they have the highest sensivity spec on the home market and their Emminence woofers will withstand a lot of punishment from people who want club sound in their home. Quite a few club systems are built around Emminence drivers.

With high sensitivity in the speaker's design, you need very little amplifier power so you can apply your eq and still have a clean amplifier. With a very large cubic volume in the enclosure, you can have pounding bass without blowing out your woofers. But size and sensitivity go together to obtain the type of sound you want. Unless your wife allows that type of cabinet in the room, you will very likely continue to blow out speakers until you finally change how you listen.


Buying speakers because they don't cost much or because you found them $20 cheaper at another on line dealer is a stupid way to buy speakers IMO. The Klipsch you listed are spec'd at 98dB sensitivity, that is as high as you will find in a speaker that size and close enough to the big Klipsch that you should have a more difficult time damaging them. The JBL's are spec'd at 91dB and that will be sufficiently lower sensitivity to cut your useable wattage in half. 91dB is not high enough to satisfy someone with your penchant for loud, "puching" bass. You'll blow up the JBL's in no time. It has nothing to do with the speakers and, when we go back to your original post, everything to do with you.

The Polks are a very difficult load for an amplifier and they should be crossed off your list immediately. You will not be pleased with the Polks and neither would your amplifier. You will destroy them and possibly your amplifier in the process.


Rocker, buy sensitivity in the speaker, it's what you need to have close to club sound in your home. Buy the Klipsch and try to realize you are not living in a club.


Sorry if this sounds rude but, Rocker, I'm trying to explain what you need for your listening tastes in as short a post as possible. You either need to change how you listen to music and be satisfied with your car system punching you in the back or you need the highest sensitivity in a speaker that you can afford. There's no other way I can put it and I have tried for over twenty five years with all the other "Rockers" that I have sold to.




.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14744
Registered: Dec-03
I have to agree with Jan on what he's stated here. I too have been in the audio industry for over 20 years, and have a fair amount of experience as such qualifying buyers. It's good to have a budget to work with, but you really need to audition the speakers you plan to buy, if you can. I'm not a big Klipsch or JBL guy myself, and Polk has some really good speakers, and some that are really blah. Polk has been in business for so long doing this, and make such a massively wide range of products, that you really have to look at one specific speaker to judge it.
If you're willing to look at used speakers, I can suggest some companies to consider. KEF is one, known for high sensitivity speakers with a flat, resistive load well suited to even fairly small amplifiers. They tend to be fairly easy to drive (the opposite of something like an ESL from MartinLogan, that's a very complex and difficult load on an amp)
You could also look at Monitor Audio or DefTech (you'll get differing opinions on Definitive Technology speakers, but they are worth at least listening to.)

Anyway, a lot will depend on the size of the room being used, and how it's treated, in addition to power fed to the speakers. Environment plays a big factor in how speakers will sound, as does positioning and setup.

If you're curious as to how much power your speakers are really using at various volumes, it's not too difficult to actually see, using a DMM/ammeter to measure the voltages on the output side of an amplifier, if you're ever curious. You'd be surprised how little the average power really is for the most part. Having an amplifier with VU meters is a more simple way to see this, though much less accurate to be honest.

If all you want is loud, buy some amp stacks from Marshall or something.. if you want loud with critical listening capability, you'll not only need high sensitivity speakers, but ones that are able to output at or above reference level volumes, so you'll also need to look at the peak output measurements for those speakers. At that point, you're looking at speakers like KEF Reference Four~Two speakers and such, that tend to run in the $10,000/pair range, and will need a dedicated amplifier, or pair of monoblocks to sound their best. You will not hit these volumes driving speakers with an AV receiver as your amp stage. Most AVRs are rated for power output into only 1 or 2 channels, and not with all channels driven at full range simultaneously. They also just don't have the capacitance reserve and power supply (read: toroidal transofrmers) that a big, dedicated amp can offer.
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jul-12
I have done a REALLY BAD job on my posts.

Jan - this is good - you're making me THINK about what I really want. Do I want my place to sound like a disco? NO. I rarely ever turn the volume past 2. I am STILL able to damage my JBL woofers with the volume just past 2. It would be nice to listen to music and even turn it up a little if i'm moving around the house doing stuff and not worry about having to recone my speakers.

What am I looking for? In my car - i'm not cranking up the volume - usually around 3 to 5 (road noise). But I can turn it up and feel the power. That tells me the speakers I bought are quality speakers. I feel like I got my money's worth. There may be 50 other brands out there that would give me the same or more sound for that price or less. I don't care. I'm happy with the sound I have. I enjoy listening to the system in my car and I feel like I bought good speakers and not over-priced cheap crap.

Now - I'm on a mission to achieve the same thing in my house. I'm not looking to be a dance club. I see all these speaker brands - about which I know nothing at all - each with long lists of raving reviews all sporting some new revolutionary break thru in technology. Yada yada. I bet McDonald's could build speakers and there would be ample reviews out there with somebody raving about these wonderful McSpeakers. Hell they probably do make them. And the only stores I know of right off the top of my head where I can go listen to speakers - the Best Buy type of retailers - all they do is push you towards whatever brand makes them the most profit. I cannot tell what's the real deal and what's over-hyped cheap crap. I was hoping to find someone who knows Home Audio - since I clearly do not - who could help me separate the hype from the quality.

I looked at Dance Club speakers thinking dance clubs are not buying hype nor cheap. I figured the designs in those speakers represent what's real - not hype. If I understand you correctly that's a mistake - and I think the difference here is in what you would call Concert quality versus Studio quality, right?

I apologize for digressing - but take Newton's Law - F=ma - force equals mass times acceleration. It says that we can achieve "power" from 2 things equally - bigger - and faster. The "m" direction represents the concert quality speakers - big rugged high-powered large-magnet wall-shakers. The "a" direction represents the home theater studio speakers - small, light tight drivers that accelerate rapidly - thus reproducing the original sound more accurately - which Newton's Law tells us can be equally as powerful as the larger speakers - but are mechanically limited by the range of motion of the cones to a smaller sound output. To get more sound out of them use more and more small drivers.

So I also looked at top-of-the-line Home Theater speakers. The designs in those should represent the best in products available to me. I didn't really learn much from that except that Klipsch is a popular brand with people who sell these things and JBL is not.

When I listen to my home system now I do not enjoy it. I want to be able to listen to it and enjoy every kind of music I listen to. I want to be able to turn it up and go in the next room and not blow them.

It's like you buy a car - you take it out on the interstate and you floor it - you pass 100mph and feel good about the power that baby has under the hood. You're not going to drive 100 all the time. You smile knowing you have the power when you need it.

I was under the impression that if I turned up the volume on my home system and I could feel the bass in the walls and furniture - if I could open the windows and go out in the front yard and hear the music and it is clear and clean - then i'd know I have quality speakers. I would feel like I got my money's worth.

If I understand you correctly that is a mistake. Good sound is not the same as loud sound. F=ma - good speakers have "a" not necessarily "m" So I need to change my perspective since i'm never going to turn it up that loud anyway. If I can enjoy listening to my speakers - if they sound good to me no matter what i'm listening to - then i'll know I got my money's worth - that I bought quality speakers.

I appreciate all the help I can get. I'm learning.

If the JBL speakers I just bought do not give me what i'm looking for - then I may try the Klipsch - maybe not - but at that point i'm just going to find a Home Theater store - I don't care if it's a 2-hour drive - and let them guide me. I realize that will cost thousands but that's just the way it is. I would rather pay thousands and get a system I enjoy and know I bought quality than to pay one thousand and not be happy with my system - feel like I bought over-priced McSpeakers - and my wife will just have to understand that. i will succeed.

Thanks for the insights.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1831
Registered: Oct-10
Dave, if you are going to use a traditional graphic equalizer (using an eq should be your very last resort) to compensate for the fact that you midrange is essentially overwehlming your bass and highs, the way to do it is to reduce the midrange, not boost the high & lows. If for instance, your bass and treble needs to be 6 db (or what your eq says is 6 db) higher than your mids, set the bass and treble bands to zero (center) and your midrange bands to -6 db. You will probably have to play around with it to get it just right. This will be a lot easier on your woofers than boosting the bass will be.
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jul-12
"Punching you in the back bass is no more appreciated by neighbors than it is by those folks sitting on their porches when you drive through their neighborhoods. "

I finally get it. So then I started wondering - can people hear my music in my car? So I went out and tested - the CD I was listening to on the way home today has good bass - Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) - so I put on "I'm Alive" - I turned it "up" - about half-way. Outside of the car I can barely hear it. About 5 steps away and I cannot make out anything - just a faint tink of the bass. The car engine is louder and that's pretty quiet. (it's a stock JBL radio driving 6x9s) I put the windows down and turned it all the way up. You can hear it up to about 5 parking spaces away - barely - but you cannot hear the bass. It's all highs.

Now i'm remembering the kids that drive around here with the boom boom car stereos - the ones that you can hear inside your house - I cannot imagine how loud that has to be inside the car. That is INSANE. That's not even practical. So THAT is what you thought I was talking about?

I'm ROTFLMAO now thinking about that - a 46 year-old guy driving down the road in his Toyota Solara with ELO turned up so loud you can hear the music all the way inside your house. That's kind of funny - rather pathetic. Both.

CSLMAO about the dual 15" woofer dance club speakers. If you GAVE me a pair of those i'd donate them to charity. What in the world would I do with those beasts? Hey - I could put them in my car and crank up ELO and drive around the neighborhood with the windows down and show off how genuinely retarded I am for a man my age.

Probably not.

Still LMAO
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jul-12
Super - i've tried that and it sounds rather flat. For newer music recorded digitally that will work - and you're right I really should be doing that if i'm worried about blowing speakers. it's just that I turn it up loud enough to blow them so rarely it isn't worth it. the sound quality is so much better to boost the lows and highs. Does that say something about the quality - or lack thereof - of my speakers and/or amp?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1833
Registered: Oct-10
Again Dave, using the eq at all should be your very last resort. If you try what I suggested, you will need to give yourself at least a few days to get used to it.

As for the quality of your amp and/or speakers, the issue your having doesn't tell me anything about that. What you are experiencing tells me that your ear/brain combo doesn't like how your amp, speakers and room are interacting. You might want to try moving the speakers around the room and see if you find a better location for them. Back in December, I tried a different spot with my speakers and what a difference! The midrange benefitted most from this particular move.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17297
Registered: May-04
.

"But I can turn it up and feel the power. That tells me the speakers I bought are quality speakers."


That tells me you have typical one note thump in a car system, It has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with car stereo being designed to withstand abuse. Rocker, the best thing you could do is totally forget all the BS you have in your head about audio and just listen to someone who knows what they're talking about. Go buy Robert Hartley's books The Complete Guide to High-End Audio and Introductory Guide to High-Performance Audio Systems. Nothing you have said in any of your posts makes sense.

And, guy, you don't have to go 100MPH to have a nice car.



"I want to be able to listen to it and enjoy every kind of music I listen to. I want to be able to turn it up and go in the next room and not blow them."


Then throw away the eq. Reading what you post I don't have a clue how you buy speakers but you should not be buying speakers and then using an eq to completely alter how they operate. The eq is blowing your speakers if what you say is true and you do not play loud. And, if you do play music loud - "2" would be quite loud for most home systems - the eq is still what is blowing out the woofers. They're just giving out before the other drivers due to the excessive power requirements of bass frequencies.


Throw away the eq.


"F=ma - force equals mass times acceleration."


That describes inertia not "power".




.
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jul-12
Super

I tried your advice this morning and you're right. It took me a little while to get used to it but it really does sound a lot better. I think pushing up the eq on the ends was futile - it may have made up for the excess midrange but it distorted the sound to the point that no setting satisfied my ears.

I have it set at 0,+2,0,-2,-2,+2,+2 - just a mild adjustment. With the mids subtracted the balance is there. These speakers deserve and apology from me. They actually are very good sounding speakers (JBL LXE770).

When I turn the eq on and off now the music doesn't really get any louder either way. I think that will solve my problem of damaging woofers.

I have new JBLs on the way - hopefully they're balanced and I can forget about the eq completely. That's has been one of my goals all along.

Thanks
 

New member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jul-12
Jan,

Power is force times distance. Newton's Law refers to force. Power in the sense I used it in reference to speakers was a subjective perceptive label.

The thermal limitations all electrical devices have is best measured in current wattage. The DC impedance of a speaker coil is the advertised resistance. But actual AC impedance varies by frequency. Lower frequency sounds provide lower impedance and thus higher amperages. Your point that Watts do not equal decibels is valid. Speakers are electrical mechanical devices that convert AC currents into layers of air pressure variation. As you pointed out some speakers do a much better job of that.

The point I was trying to make is that i'm not turning my music up loud. But you can still feel the bass. It just seems to me that the best speakers i've ever heard - the highest quality reproduction of sound i've ever heard - came from speakers that you could feel without them getting very loud. Any McSpeaker can shake your walls if you feed it enough power and enough bass. The best speaker do not need much power at all - do not have to get loud - for you to feel the bass.

Cheap speakers: the bass guitar is as loud or louder than the drums. you feel the bass drum (I HATE the one-note thump of cheap speakers) Different notes from the bass guitar vary in loudness. the bass guitar and drums add together in volume. you move around the room and the bass varies in intensity (also comes from poor speaker placement)

Great speakers: the drums are louder than the bass guitar. The drums and the bass guitar never combine - they remain two distinct sounds. Every note the bass guitar plays sounds the same volume. You feel the drums and they sound real. You feel a thump from the little drums - not just the big bass drum. All the drums have a thump to them. It sounds like the band is there in your place playing music in front of you. And that involves all the instruments - not just horns and cymbals and acoustic guitars and voices. I care about the clarity of the bass too. and that's what quality bass sounds like to me.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14750
Registered: Dec-03
I would like to add, that if you're looking for a "live club" feel at what would be considered reference level volumes in the home, take a look at MartinLogan.
I auditioned a pair of their Odyssey speakers in a show room a few years back, and listening to some jazz, I really did feel like I was there in a small club, seeing a live performance. With a good amp, they sound amazing.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17298
Registered: May-04
.

"Lower frequency sounds provide lower impedance and thus higher amperages."


What you are referring to will be speaker to speaker dependent. It is primarily the large value components which make up the low pass filter in any multi-way design which will be accountable for the "lower impedance" of most consumer audio speaker systems. At the point where the system reaches its resonance, the impedance will actually spike upward by several magnitudes. The nominal impedance of the driver itself remains relatively stable in comparison to the effect of those crossover components. That is one aspect of the Polks you listed which will make life very difficult for any ampifier and the most important reason I suggested you not consider that particular Polk speaker system - it is a highly reactive system and, therefore, a very difficult load for any ampifier.



" Your point that Watts do not equal decibels is valid. Speakers are electrical mechanical devices that convert AC currents into layers of air pressure variation. As you pointed out some speakers do a much better job of that.


The amount of current required is rather immaterial in a system such as you describe. If you have 16 Ohm drivers, the voltage delivery of the amplifier is far more important than is the amperage delivery. As the load impedance drops, the need will be for more amperage to maintain a consistent "power" level according to Ohm's Law. However, with any of the typical consumer speaker systems you've mentioned, you will need some amount of current and you are likely to need it for sustained periods of time. You can mitigate how much current is required and for how long a period it is required by buying high sensitivity speakers. Due to the higher SPL output per watt of input the amp will stay in a lower power band where amperage and voltage are more abundant for longer time spans.

The point I was making regarding high sensitivity refers specifically to your eq. If you insist on eq settings which introduce a ten to twelve dB boost to the lowest frequencies, you are asking the amp to produce more than 10 times its "average" power into a frequency range which is already power hungry. Even at a six dB boost, you are introducing power input levels which will result in non-linear movement of the voice coil and suspension components of most consumer speakers. It doesn't matter whether you boost the ends or cut the middle, the difference between the vocal/midrange and the frequency extremes will be identical, you'll just have a different group of comb filters established by doing one vs the other. In most modern, high quality, home speaker systems, comb filters are designed out of the speaker system. Why put them back in with an eq?

If you boost the power by more than ten times running into the woofers, you are requiring the driver to make excessively large excursions fore and aft. This is what is blowing out your drivers, the power boost from the excessive eq which then requires the excessive excursions. If you don't want more blown drivers, dump the eq and listen to the speaker you purchased not the eq you think will sound like a club. This is basic stuff, Rocker, and I've explained it to dozens of "Rockers" over the years. EQ= Bad JooJoo. Graphic EQ's = Extremely Bad JooJoo. "Smiling" graphic EQ's = blown up systems.


If you insist on the eq, you need a speaker system with; first, a very high sensitivity and, second, a very benign impedance load across its frequency range. By adding the 7dB higher sensivity of the Klipsch vs the JBL, you will have that much extra headroom in the amp (virtually six times the useable wattage) and - hopefully - you will not be quite so effective at overdriving the woofers via the eq. However, the bigger the "smile", the more blown woofers you're going to have, no matter what.



" But you can still feel the bass. It just seems to me that the best speakers i've ever heard - the highest quality reproduction of sound i've ever heard - came from speakers that you could feel without them getting very loud. Any McSpeaker can shake your walls if you feed it enough power and enough bass. The best speaker do not need much power at all - do not have to get loud - for you to feel the bass."



Shaking objects or walls is merely a matter of hitting the resonant frequency of that object or surface. It has virtually nothing to do with power and absolutley nothing to do with quality. A speaker with a high sensitivity will play at higher SPL's for each watt it's fed and will still shake objects at much lower output power than will a speaker system with a lower sesnsitivy which requires higher input wattage. The resonant frequency of the object you wish to shake is not changeable with the speaker you buy.

What you are descibing as "feel" is just the system "Q" of a sealed system or the bass alignment of a vented enclosure. Once again, it has nothing to do with quality or power. A low frequency system with a low "Q" or a specific bass alignment will "hit" more than will a system with a higher "Q" or a different alignment. This is all in how the designer wants the system to sell. Certain buyers, especially those who feel a car is good when it has "power" to go 100MPH, perfer the alignment you have described - a "punchy" bass the buyer can "feel". More or less wattage into the system cannot change the alignment of the system and the speaker will "punch" at low or high volumes. "Punch", however, says nothing about the quality of the system, the accuracy of the system nor the bass extension of the system. A designer can build a system with an alignment that has lots of "punch" at 80-120Hz and most buyers will think this is "great bass" as you describe it. Everything happening beneath the system resonance will become one note thump - if it is heard at all. If low E on an electric bass occurs at approximately 42Hz- which it does in standard tuning, a speaker system with lots of "punch" at 80-120Hz will be a very sellable system as it will tend to jump off the shelf for an average buyer who is unaware of the difference a more accurate system can produce.

I can't argue with what you like, Rocker, all I can do is tell you how to go about buying a speaker system you are less likely to blow up. The problem will remain you and your listening habits.

I have no time not the desire to further explain what is happening with your eq as far as bosting frequencies which your speakers cannot reproduce. My best advice to you is; buy the highest sensivity speaker system you can afford and throw away the eq.




.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14753
Registered: Dec-03
Again I concur with Jan. A lot of misinformation in there. Yes the mechanical impedance of a driver can drop as you get closer to it's Fs, but there are other considerations such as enclosure impedance rise that will counter that effect, as well as environmental variables like transfer function of the room. LFE drivers will consume more power simply because they are larger, higher mass drivers that have to move more air to produce audible volume levels, in part, due to human hearing response. Moving a lot of air will require a considerable amount of power, even with a high sensitivity driver. You will also need cone surface area, and/or excursion to accomplish that goal. Really though, if all you want to do is feel bass, get a subwoofer or two. That will solve your problem right there. If you're really after a live reproduction feel, you'll want a mroe natural, flatter response, and you can get that with or without subs. The ML ESLs I mentioned each used a powered 10" and 8" woofer in the cabinet below the ESL panel for everything below 200Hz, and you could feel those quite well. No sub required.
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3068
Registered: Dec-06
As for the damaged woofers, I limit after EQ in my audio path when the volume control goes past woofer-safe levels. The first threshold works on a long time interval, limiting the average power (long low notes like big explosions can't exceed the threshold). The second threshold works on transients, limiting peak power. It's rather transparent until you've gone off the charts in level.

At lower (night) levels, I use the compressor instead. It basically uses a threshold of -50dB fast attack/slow release and is based on semi-loudness instead of signal level (simple side-chain EQ curve). It works very well - no surprises, consistent, and no pumping that I've heard yet. Great for YouTube and movies.

Neither of these are used at normal levels. These are software-based btw and I only use my computer as a source right now.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14757
Registered: Dec-03
typically "too much power" isn't what damages a speaker. I have very rarely ever seen this happen. Typically speaker damage is caused by clipping at the amplifier, which in turn, is caused by things like lack of sufficient current, or over-driving the input stage of the amplifier at the line level, or the amplifier just not having the required headroom to produce the volumes attempted by the user.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1834
Registered: Oct-10
"I tried your advice this morning and you're right. It took me a little while to get used to it but it really does sound a lot better. I think pushing up the eq on the ends was futile - it may have made up for the excess midrange but it distorted the sound to the point that no setting satisfied my ears."

Ok Dave, but again, that particular suggestion was as a VERY LAST RESORT. I was hoping you'd try relocating the speakers FIRST. You should still try relocating the speakers and see if they sound better somewhere else and again, give yourself a chance to get used to it. Now, I realize that these speakers are part of a HT system and you might need to keep the TV and consequently the front speakers by a certain wall. However, you should at least try moving them closer to walls, further from walls, closer together, further apart, aiming them different ways etc. while there is still time to cancel the order for the JBLs.

Speaking of JBL, I don't understand why you are replacing JBLs that you can't get satisfactory sound from (at least not in their current position sans equalizer) with another pair of JBLs. I don't know if JBL has a "house sound" or not, but even if they don't you probably won't like the new JBLs any better than the old ones unless the new ones sound Very different from the old ones. Otherwise, it't like deciding that you hate your solara and replacing it with another solara or similar model of Toyota. Also, if you've made up your mind that the JBLs must be replaced, you should be checking out many brands & models rather than just picking that which you already know. There might be something much better out there just waiting to be discovered by you.

Btw, have you tried GlassWolfe's suggestion of corner loading your sub?
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3070
Registered: Dec-06
Idk if the post before last was related to mine before it, but to be clear, I use limiting to keep the drivers out of audible distortion. Clip-free limiting. The only reason clipping might damage a woofer is if the increased power combined with the reduced cooling exceeds thermal capacity normally rated with a sine wave. I'm sure you know all this, no reason to go into it. At least go through the formality of the derivative logic so that newcomers get it, though.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17299
Registered: May-04
.

Andre, the "derivative" logic of woofers and clipping would be that clipping represents a non-linear function of the amplifier. While a clipped amplifier will tend to destroy tweeters first and foremost, it is the fragility of the motor assembly provided most conventional home audio high frequency drivers which accounts for this high (in comparison) failure rate. Manufacturers don't tend to build a product that does not reap them benefits. It is cheaper on the ledger sheets to replace a few dome tweeters under warranty than it is to build a more durable tweeter. Decades ago ferrofluid was supposed to be the saviour of the dome tweeter in consumer audio. Didn't really work out that way and more than a few of us remained unconvinced ferrofluid had no effect on the sound quality of a high frequency driver. But we were not going to switch to piezo tweeters despite their durability under hostile operating conditions. Better to buy a more powerful amplifier is how the illogic of dealing with audio's trade offs went. All the while, Paul Klipsch was still being quoted as saying, "What this country needs is a good five watt amplifier." What was not being said - mainly because PK's products were deemed "unrefined" at the time - was what the country also needed were the speakers to make that five watt amp a viable solution.


High end tweeters are a trade off, as is everything in audio; you get this and I take away that and maybe that too. The better the sound quality, the more likely the latest tweeter is to be more fragile than the last iteration. As to cheap tweeters paired with cheap amplifiers, well, ...


The point here is woofers will also suffer from the non-linearities of a clipped amplifier. And, as with higher quality tweeters, the more quality in the woofer motor, the less room there is for error. The tighter the gap in the pole piece to voice coil, the more fragile the woofer becomes - just go back and look at the history of Lowther drivers with their outrageously tight tolerances and their problems with idiots at the volume control of high powered amplifiers. Problematic in other ways possibly, but the destruction of Quad panels by arcing was seldom caused by excessive high frequency distortion.

With the conventional motor assembly found in the majority of consumer loudspeakers, a clipped amplifier is going to dislocate the voice coil in several ways and exceeding the travel limits of the suspension system is just one of them. Excessive distortion - clipping - causes excessive heat and heat is always a danger to a voice coil. Fortunately - I suppose, the very size of the structure makes a low frequency driver's motor assembly less prone to heat related failures than are those of the far more delicate high frequency drivers. But non-linear motion in the driver's motor is the result of a non-linear input signal coming from the amp. And, in the end, if left to their own devices, a damaged woofer would sooner or later result from a clipped amplifier.


I believe that's what you meant by, "The only reason clipping might damage a woofer is if the increased power combined with the reduced cooling exceeds thermal capacity normally rated with a sine wave."


No?





.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 11
Registered: Jul-12
Super - i've already tried moving these speakers around - and that did help - that was long ago. I cannot corner-load my sub. On the left is a door - on the right is a window (ceiling to floor). This sub is starting to break in and is sounding better every time I listen to it. I keep turning the volume down on it and the sound from it gets better and better and more and more even around my place. It's a keeper. It'll be fine right where it is now (i've tried 7 different places).

I don't agree with your logic about the JBL speakers. I had a pair of JBL LX44 that I absolutely loved. A girlfriend permanently borrowed them on the way out so I replaced them with what I thought was the newest version of the same thing - the LXE770. The sound is not as clear in the lower range. I've heard JBL L7 speakers that I absolutely loved. They no longer make those models.

Adding to that - now that i've listened to these LXE770 speakers with the mids subtracted as you suggested I like the sound they make. It's not the best i've ever heard. But it's rich and clean. The bass sounds so much clearer just by subtracting the overpowering mids. Actually the bass got clearer when I took the eq boost off the low end.

These LXE770s need re-foaming. I realize that's no big deal - $60 + shipping - 2 weeks or so. But - without going into too many wife details - let's just say it creates a good opportunity for me to upgrade to something better. Ideally I can turn off the eq and forget about it with better speakers. I'm a brand-loyal guy. I buy Apple computers, Sony TVs and JBL speakers (until I find a better brand). So I got the new JBLs that are supposed to be a better line than what I have now. We'll see.

If you're right again - the new JBLs are no better then they'll go back. They're supposed to get here today - so we'll see - soon I hope.

I do realize there may be another brand out there just waiting for me to find it and love it. That's a big reason why I posted this thread - to get ideas about what to look at and what to not waste my time on. And I have - I already have a game plan if the JBLs disappoint me.

Thanks!
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3071
Registered: Dec-06
@Jan

Yes. I chose not to go through it, though
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1835
Registered: Oct-10
Well Dave, while I have no real experience with JBL, I've been told by a number of former JBL fans that JBL USED to make great speakers and now they make lousy ones. Once a manufactorer cheapens its product line, it seldom goes back to making quality stuff. Case in point: Yamaha. Yamaha used to make what was IMO, the best products in their class. Their competition being; Denon, Marantz, Onkyo & Pioneer. Years ago, they cheapened their product line. Now Yamaha is worse than Sony, RCA and the like. So, for this reason, I doubt you'll like the new JBLs any better than the old.

I am all for brand loyalty PROVIDED the brand remains loyal to its customers by continuing to make quality products. Otherwise, it's time to move on.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1836
Registered: Oct-10
Sorry, had to cut it short. Im guessing that the LX44s were made when JBL made good speakers and that the LX770 since the cheapening. Whether it's due to lack of quaity, placement or any other factor(s), a speaker should not require an eq to make it sound right.

About getting the wife to go along wth your intentions (provided you're being reasonable of course), Shortly after I got my current receiver, my speaker cabinets started to fall apart (long story). I had a pair of cheap, crappy speakers handy and used them temporarily. My wife thought it should be a permanent fix. NOPE! So, every time we went out, I made excuses to go to any store that sold audio gear and look at speakers. It wasn't long before she said, "You're not happy with the Sony speakers are you?" Shortly there after, I was seriously shopping for speakers.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14760
Registered: Dec-03
yes I am aware of the various causes of driver damage, and that clipping can cause thermal damage, non-linear travel damage, and exceeding Xmech, etc.. my point was simply that clipping is a more common way to damage a driver, even subs, than "too much power" alone. too much clean power is rarely ever the cause of driver failure, unless you're competing in mobile audio SPL events in the Pro Unlimited classes and pushing drivers with tens of thousands of watts.

Anyway, my most basic of advice is to "KISS" or keep it simple. The mroe things you add to the signal path, the more problems you introduce. An EQ is one of the absolute worst things to add to a signal path if it's a traditional analog EQ. These add phase shifts galore to the output stage, and will cause you nothing but nightmares as a final result. They introduce more issues than they resolve.

Get a 2-channel receiver with room correction EQ like Audyssey or similar, and get a good pair of speakers. Make sure your room is treated appropriately with sound absorbant materials like a carpeted floor, drapes over windows, and so forth to avoid reflections, and you should have a great sounding system as a result if this is for 2-channel music. If it's for HT, do all of the above, but use a multi-channel receiver, and try to keep at least your front 3 speakers timbre matched.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1838
Registered: Oct-10
"An EQ is one of the absolute worst things to add to a signal path if it's a traditional analog EQ. These add phase shifts galore to the output stage, and will cause you nothing but nightmares as a final result. They introduce more issues than they resolve."

That is the general consensus Dave.

"Get a 2-channel receiver...."

Actually GW, Dave has a HT system and therefore a 2 channel receiver would only be practicle if he has a spare room and plans to put a dedicated music system threin.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2819
Registered: Oct-07
Agree w/Glass on the KISS principle. And many of the effects of ignoring it.
I DISagree about the OP getting an Audyssey equiped anything. Not that it wouldn't work, but rather the that he likes a certain presentation which a proper equalization won't give him.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jul-12
Super,

Good point. The JBLs I just got for my car are great so I was hoping JBL still has a few good speakers. I think Best Buy ruined their reputation. They made cheap lines for Best Buy. You'd hope they kept up the quality of the studio line though. We'll see.

Anyway - my new JBL Studio L890 speakers came today. Man these beasts are HUGE. I had no idea these puppies were so big and heavy. "Oh i'll just send them back" suddenly doesn't seem like such an easy thing to do. It's days like today that remind me what a wuss i've turned into. The grays remind me i'm not getting any younger but - let's just say I feel really really OLD right now.

The sound is very clean. The highs are crisp and loud. The mids are not too strong and clean. The bass is very powerful and deeper than I expected. THey have a studio quality sound. There's no doubt they're quality speakers. They sound a little bright. I hope they calm down some once they break in.

BTW the equalizer is OFF. The sub is off. I turned my sub on and it was way way too much bass. It did sound like a night club with the sub on. I guess the sub goes back. With these new fronts I need a sub about like a fish needs a bicycle. The bass from these beasts is as deep and as strong as anyone should ever need IMO.

It's hard for me to say right now. On the older music - especially live - Jefferson Airplane, CSN, Neil Young, Pink Floyd they sound really really good. On some of the newer stuff that seems to me like it has audio enhancements in it - like Lady Gaga - they sound - too much of something.

I turned on the eq - flat - and moved each control up or down one notch - with only I frequency control ever not at 0 at any time - just to see if there ware any holes in the sound or areas of excess. Every one of them in either direction caused the sound to become strange. Less natural. The flat signal across the board sounds best - with a few exceptions - like -2 at 60Hz helped Lady Gaga. I'm not too sure that means anything. In my car - I love the way my car system sounds - but Lady Gaga doesn't sound nearly as good in my car as the good old stuff from the 60s 70s and 80s does - which is most of what i'm listening to.

The louder I turn them up the worse they sound with the music that makes them not sound so right - whatever that means. But i'm never going to listen to music that loud anyway. I turned it up to 3 and it was incredibly loud - but still very clear - the woofers were barely moving. That's louder than i'll ever turn it up in practice - the point being I see zero threat of me damaging these woofers like I was doing in those old speakers.

2 things: these speakers need to break in - right? - i'm hoping they'll calm down some.

second - what will I gain if I bi-wire them? I could tell the highs were dipping on the bass in music with tons of deep bass - like Lady Gaga. I understand the physics of bi-amping. I'm not sure bi-wiring provides much except to move the noise back into the amp and out of the crossovers?

My wife is an electrical engineer. I asked her and all she said was to show her the schematics of the amp and speakers. Yeah. That's going to happen. Thanks baby.

In the end i'll bi-wire these puppies and see if it makes any difference. My up-front prediction is that it will - but mostly at higher volumes on music with deep bass. But i'm not listening to loud music and very little of what I listen to has deep bass. But it has to be an easier load on the amp - and for that reason alone I will do it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14761
Registered: Dec-03
To clarify my earlier comments, I did note that if he was using this for HT, to go with a multi-channel AVR. The Audyssey is for room or environmental correction, not really a "tweak it yourself" sort of EQ, and since it does everything in the digital realm, it won't induce any phase shift issues. Audyssey will just fix the issues with his room acoustics.

Now to answer the last two items:

"It's hard for me to say right now. On the older music - especially live - Jefferson Airplane, CSN, Neil Young, Pink Floyd they sound really really good. On some of the newer stuff that seems to me like it has audio enhancements in it - like Lady Gaga - they sound - too much of something. "

This is quite possibly more an issue with the source media mastering and not the audio system. Poorly mastered (read: a LOT of stuff out there) has a lot of dynamic compression, and poor mastering work which makes the music sound even worse on a good audio system. As the old joke goes, the better the stereo system, the worse the music sounds. I find some things don't sound that great on my stereo system, too. The problem in my case always turns out to be a poorly mastered album or CD. When I get a better version, like MFSL for example, it makes a world of difference. Many high end speakers can be extremely revealing in that regard, and will show any little flaw in the recordings far mroe so than a mroe forgiving speaker will.

In regards to bi-wiring, I'm an EE as well, and I can tell you this is a whole can of worms that could stretch into a big debate over the benefits or lack thereof in bi-wiring and bi-amping. I'll give you a quick run-down on it:

bi-wire is connecting all 4 terminals on the speaker (HF and LF + and -) to one channel of an amplifier. The only theoretical benefit of this is the impedance presented across the speaker wire, really. You aren't feeding a different amp channel to HF and LF inputs on the speaker, so the wire is the only real difference.

bi-wire would be having two amplifier channels per speaker. One channel for left speaker HF, one for left channel LF, and so forth.
The argument for this, is that by using monoblock amplifiers for each speaker input, you are separating the load presented to each amplifier channel, so that each channel does not have to handle as complex of a signal since one channel handles the high frequencies (HF) and a separate channel handles the low frequencies for each speaker individually. This also means that if there is a big transient spike in the LF range, say the bass hits really hard, this won't sap power from the high frequency drivers (yes, the amplifier's reserve power plays into this as well)
Anyway, the downside is that you need very well-made, balanced speaker cables to insure that the signal reaches both HF and LF inputs without any electrical propagation delay, and you need 4 mono amplifiers, or two stereo amps to drive two speakers in bi-amp mode (or an AV receiver that has 4 free channels and supports bi-amp mode, although doing this defeats the purpose of having 4 separate amps and thus 4 separate pwoer supplies to avoid sapping one when the other is in a heavier demand or duty cycle)
Anyway, is the difference audible? I run a bi-amp setup on my front 3 for my HT, and I couldn't really tell you that it sounds any better. I simply did it because I had the channels of amplification afailable to do it, and I built my own cables for the job, so it didn't cost me anything to do it. I personally feel that buying the gear to run bi-amp is a massive waste of cash that could be spent on things that will yield a much larger, more audible improvement.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1841
Registered: Oct-10
At the risk of sounding morbid, your next step should be to get that eq off the shelf and into an eq sized casket, dig a 6ft hole and bury the darn thing!

I wouldn't return the sub just yet. While you haven't mentioned watching movies, this is a HT system right? Next time you watch a movie, you might want to turn the sub on with both the frequency and level controls all the way down. Then, gradually turn the level control ONLY up and see how this sounds. I suggest this because movie sounds tend to go deeper than music. If doing this makes your movie viewing experience better, you can have it off for music, on for movies. If it has no real effect or makes things worse, remove it from the system. You might want to hold on to it though. At some point, you might want to listen to music in the bedroom, in the shop or other secondary spot. It may come in handy yet.

My understanding of bi-wiring is that it's about time correction. For some reason, higher frequency sounds coming from speakers arrive at the ear sooner than lower frequency sounds. Companies like monster, audio quest and others made a lot of money selling sets of speaker wire where a straight wire ran to the woofer while a wire for the midrange and tweeter was wrapped around the wire for the woofer. The idea here was that the mid/high signal had to travel further to get to the drivers than did the bass. Therefore, the bass and mid/high should reach your ears at the same time. You can deside for yourself how much of that is legit and how much is hogwash. If you try it and don't notice a difference, you've wasted a couple of hundred bucks on "time correction" speaker wire. Something to consider.

I'm glad you like the new front speakers.

Gotta go for now. Catch ya later.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17303
Registered: May-04
.

"The only theoretical benefit of this is the impedance presented across the speaker wire, really. You aren't feeding a different amp channel to HF and LF inputs on the speaker, so the wire is the only real difference."


This is incorrect.


"bi-wire would be having two amplifier channels per speaker. One channel for left speaker HF, one for left channel LF, and so forth."


So is this. I assume you meant to say "bi-amp" but Rocker has expressed no interest in bi-amping his speakers.


"Anyway, the downside is that you need very well-made, balanced speaker cables to insure that the signal reaches both HF and LF inputs without any electrical propagation delay ... "

Can't agree with that either. Balanced? As in "balanced circuit"? Propgation delay over an 8' cable would be so small as to be completely neglible. Further, propogation delay is not the reason to bi-wire - or bi-amp - a single crossover speaker system.


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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jul-12
My limited understanding of bi-amping is this: the mechanisms of an electric motor and an electric generator are essentially the same. One turns current into motion the other turns motion into current. A speaker coil being inside a magnet can be both. So when LF signals drop off the woofer is still in motion and that generates a signal back down the wires (EMF) that can interfere with incoming HF signals. The physics makes sense to me - that's what i've heard somewhere. The delay concept makes no sense because the speed of the electrons in the signal is more comparable to the speed of light - so if you wrapped the wire around planet Earth - maybe?

Bi-amping makes sense. Bi-wiring though - I don't see how it gains me anything if the wires all go back to the same amp. I have A/B speaker switches for the front channels - I can run 2 wires - the question is - do these amps typically run separate amps to 2 pair of front speakers? If it's just a parallel connection - which I'd almost bet - then it gains me nothing - the "jumper" is the A/B speaker switch and not the gold plated bar on the back of my speakers. Do these amps typically run separate amps for 2 pairs of front speakers? I bet some higher-end do and most do not?

I'm thinking it may be related to the length of the wires between the crossovers and where they connect - a short small wire versus the long speaker wires going all the way back to the amp - it provides that much room for electrons to push away from each other? So it shields the HF crossover from the EMF coming back from the woofer.

I have the extra wires. I'll just try it and see.

Thanks!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14762
Registered: Dec-03
yes, I did mean to say bi-amp, and in the end my asessment was that there really is no benefit to bi-wiring. You'll gain no audible difference either way, and yes I agree that the signal path length is so short that it would also make no audible difference even if the wires weren't equal in length. Speakers with bi-wire crossovers are really done for bi-amplification. Why people decided to bi-wire speakers to the same pair of amplifier channels still makes no sense to me, since it makes no real difference in performance at all.

As for the LF drivers still moving and causing some sort of feedback, that's really more dependant on the damping factor of the amplifier, and the Bl of the driver itself as to how well the driver's motor is controlled by the amplifier.

If you're looking at "bi-wiring" only, then don't bother. It's a waste of money and time for no audible benefit.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17306
Registered: May-04
.

"So when LF signals drop off the woofer is still in motion and that generates a signal back down the wires (EMF) that can interfere with incoming HF signals. The physics makes sense to me - that's what i've heard somewhere."


The "intereference" is not only an issue "when LF signals drop off ". You seem to be relating this to volume output and that's not the issue with biwiring. Rather simply, the issue is the constant difference in voltage required by the lower frequency drivers vs the upper frequency drivers. And the problem, if you care to believe those who find value in biwiring, is centered around how the crossover circuit is laid out. When common ground paths are shared by multiple drivers, you are correct in saying back EMF generated by one driver is seen at the inputs of another driver. Ultimately, the resulting errors in all drivers which occur due to EMF will be sent back to the amplifier's negative feedback circuit which will make incorrect adjustments to the out going signal based upon the error ridden NFB input.


Whether biwiring makes any improvement in a specific system is unknown until you try. "Biwiring" capacity is a selllable feature for a speaker manufacturer and very few people have a good concept of why they might want to biwire their system. So it's cheap for a manufacturer to add "biwiring" capacity to their speakers to make them more sellable. If the manufacturer hasn't done anything other than add a pair of binding posts, you'll probably waste your time and money experimenting with biwiring. If the manufacturer has a high quality, well laid out crossover to begin with, the effect of biwiring might be rather minimal though not altogether unnoticebale by some listeners.


Separate amplifier channels in an AVR aren't likely to be a good choice, IMO, for biwiring. What you would be doing when using separate channels of the AVR is more akin to bi-amping the speaker. However, just letting the speaker's crossover filter out the unwanted frequencies after the amp has fed it full range signals is largely a waste of time and amplifier channels. Different speakers react differently and, if you want to experiment, preception of a difference is as good as an improvement in most cases.


Almost everyone agrees it's worth the time and effort to replace the OEM jumpers with some decent short speaker cable or higher quality jumpers if you are not going to biwire the speakers.



"I'm thinking it may be related to the length of the wires between the crossovers and where they connect - a short small wire versus the long speaker wires going all the way back to the amp - it provides that much room for electrons to push away from each other?"




Huh? "Push away from each other"? Is that sort of like your earlier description of "power"? You know there's really only one electron travelling in that conductor, right? Every other theory has been disproven by now.




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Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1845
Registered: Oct-10
"JBL still has a few good speakers. I think Best Buy ruined their reputation. They made cheap lines for Best Buy."

I don't think it's fair to blame Best Buy for that. For starters, JBL didn't have to make cheaper lines for them. Last I chcked, BB carried B & W's lower lines. I'm pretty sure B&W didn't cheapen anytng just to be able to sell through BB.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2823
Registered: Oct-07
The damping factor mentioned by Glass is actually the RDon of the output devices of the amp.
RDon is Resistance of the Device when ON. Lower is considered better since not only is less power wasted and less heat generated but I suspect less feedback is needed for a desired level of 'control'. A plus.
And yes. I replaced the Chrome Plated Steel jumpers of my Maggies with home-brew Copper Jumpers fabricated from a length of #6 solid copper. They need to be pulled every 6 months or so to be polished (to remove oxide) and given a dose of Deoxit.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jul-12
Good point. I'll reword - JBL lost their reputation with the cheap lines they sold at Best Buy from what I can tell - that's when I noticed the attitude towards JBL speakers dropped. I don't really know that's just the impression I got. The only reason I didn't give up on them when the cheap lines showed up at BB was Circuit City still had L5 and L7 that to me was the best sounding speakers i've ever heard - which may speak more to my limited exposure to good stuff than to the quality of that line - but I believed JBL still made good stuff you just had to go to the right store and buy the right ones.

Jan - I understood that we were all trying to come up with a good explanation for bi-wiring making an improvement. I threw out what i've read/heard as rationale for bi-wiring - that hadn't already been shot down - and no it doesn't make sense to me either. I don't really understand what point you're making except that we all agree there is no good explanation for bi-wiring that stands the test of reason. For example: what do you mean by "there's only one electron in that conductor" - you're losing me.

I'm forgetting that this is like Jeopardy. I'm supposed to phrase everything as a question.

This is good advice. I'll replace the jumper brace with something better and make sure they keep polished.

So I should put my sub in a corner. I'm guessing here - the walls do to the low-frequency sounds what a horn does to the mids and highs that have them? It makes sense. The Klipsch RF-82 (dual 8" woofers / dome mid-tweeter horn) has a crossover point of 1.5kHz. The wavelength of 1.5kHz is about 8 inches - which is about the size of the horn. So if I assume from that horns magnify most the wavelengths most closely matching the horn itself - walls being 10 to 20 feet or so on each side would boost 100Hz and below - the bass. i've heard that effect. I don't have a corner I can use though - not in this condo - but i'll keep that in mind if we ever upgrade our nest.

quality of speaker wire - i've read the speaker wire itself has an impact on sound. Really? I understand something like a BluRay signal to the TV - low voltage high-frequency - digital at that - but a speaker wire? it's relatively low frequency and up to what - i've got 120W - it's an 8ohm speaker - that's 31V? So peaks up to a max of 50V (that would be 300W) that's not much. The wires I have now are 14 gauge - they're the same as most AC power cords that easily handle 120V. Ok. I'm not seeing how a speaker wire could make a difference provided it's big enough. Wouldn't the connection points be most prone to - interference? - bad connections? whatever it is that goes bad with speaker wires?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jul-12
after actually thinking about that last post - and looking at horn tweeter-mids - the wavelengths of the sound coming out of those horns are shorter than the size of the horns - so it would act to disperse them - like a kid blowing bubbles - the bubble ring - it would spread out the sound. But the sound coming out of a speaker in the corner would not be affected the same way - the wavelengths longer than the size of the walls - everything below around 100Hz - would be crowded together and intensified - the opposite effect of the horn on a tweeter. It would intensify the bass - which it does - i've heard it. There. I corrected myself. Saved someone the trouble.

Break-in - i've read about speakers needing time to "break in" - meaning the sound will even out as they get some playing time. I noticed this effect with my sub - after about 2 weeks I found myself turning the volume on the sub down a little bit every time I played music. The sound coming out of it got better and better. So i'm thinking the sound coming out of these new JBLs will get better as they break in. I think they sound good now. I'm trying to imagine how they'll sound after they break-in. The point being I cannot compare them to other speakers just yet. I should wait until they break in some before comparing them to any other speakers I listen to. Right?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1849
Registered: Oct-10
"quality of speaker wire - i've read the speaker wire itself has an impact on sound. Really? I understand something like a BluRay signal to the TV - low voltage high-frequency - digital at that - but a speaker wire? it's relatively low frequency and up to what - i've got 120W - it's an 8ohm speaker - that's 31V? So peaks up to a max of 50V (that would be 300W) that's not much. The wires I have now are 14 gauge - they're the same as most AC power cords that easily handle 120V. Ok. I'm not seeing how a speaker wire could make a difference provided it's big enough. Wouldn't the connection points be most prone to - interference? - bad connections? whatever it is that goes bad with speaker wires?"
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1850
Registered: Oct-10
Dave, About a year or two ago, I upgraded from 16 to 12 AWG speaker wire and it made a huge difference after a couple of days to "burn in" ("break in" in wire speak). We're only talking about a 2.1 channel, 80 watt per channel receiver used mostly for music at low to moderate volumes here. Unfortunately, I ended up paying $75 for the spool of wire because it was the only 12 AWG wire available locally and I didn't find any online till after the purchase. I am pretty certain that the improvement is due to larger wire Not Monster's ad hype non-sense about how the wire provides "time correction" over a single run of wire and that much cheaper 12 AWG would have been just as good.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17317
Registered: May-04
.

"I don't really understand what point you're making except that we all agree there is no good explanation for bi-wiring that stands the test of reason. For example: what do you mean by 'there's only one electron in that conductor' - you're losing me."


The point is "biwiring" is a currently in favor buzzword. Though many high end companies are moving away from the use of biwiring capacity today and simply saying they have a superior crossover circuit. Several high end companies never put biwiring posts on their speakers. "Biwiring" was a concept dreamt up (mostly) by a hifi magazine which, once it began to catch on with the general magazine buying public, was implemented as a selling tool. Soon many manufacturers couldn't sell a speaker unless it was "biwirable". I firmly believe there are many speakers on the market which coud benefit from splitting the crossover circuit to make a better overall circuit but whether biwiring will make an audible improvement in speakers which are simply biwired is a stretch too far for me. People do not understand biwiring and they certainly do not understand wiring a system for the best performance of the system. Therefore, biwiring becomes something they do with little rationale to what they are doing. As you have posted, " I have the extra wires. I'll just try it and see." There you go, the same approach most people use when experimenting with biwiring. Sort of like the "I cut the chicken up and stuck it in the oven" approach to cooking. If you want good results, you will first have to apply good thinking.


As to the electron comment, it is one theory of several regarding the operation of the universe at the quantum level. There are, what? five or more theories regarding this operation. However, when you get down to what is law and what is theory, theory is far more prevalent in how the world works. I wouldn't worry about it, it was merely a comment which was meant to say thinking of electrons as needing more space to push away from each other isn't a very well developed theory of of cable operation. But, then, neither is the idea that lower guage conductors will equate to better sound quality.


I hate it when simple threads turn into long explanations.


Once again, as you have posted, Rocker, "The thermal limitations all electrical devices have is best measured in current wattage." There exist so few high end audio systems which would actually test the sustained current/voltage limits of a low guage speaker cable that the concept of guage affecting sound quality is more than absurd to me. I build my own speaker cables for the most part and I prefer nothing heavier than 18AWG conductors of the solid variety. While my amps are far from "average", the speaker cables operate without issues of over voltage or over amping. The output impedance of any direct coupled solid state amplifier is so low as to make the insertion of 8-12 feet of decent quality cabling a non-issue IMO when it comes to the circuit's total resistance.


What is far more important in the circuit made by a speaker cable acting as the link between amp and speaker system would be the total impedance of the circuit. Therefore, more than resistance judged by guage, the issue of speaker cabling in most systems becomes one of impedance due to materials and construction of the cable. To most amps, the difference between self inductance of the conductors and capacitive coupling of the conductors could be significant. Not so much in a home theater installation but in a truly high end audio system, the difference in dielectric absorption of various materials could be an issue in how a cable performs as a component of the circuit between amp and speaker system. Materials quality and purity are a concern in a very high quality system. And, keep in mind I am referring a very high quality system - far more quality than the average home theater buyer will ever imagine.

Ask your wife this question about cables and I suspect my answers will be shot down. There are more than a few who, based upon commonly accepted theory, feel cable is cable in such short lengths as an audio system requires. Then there are those who make up their minds based upon empirical evidence. It is the old saw of the Platonic vs the Aristotellean approach to problem solving.

My advice to cabling a home theater system is to use good quality cable at the shortest distance required and to make good connections at all locations. Cheesy cheap "insulation" or crappy connectors will make far more difference to the final product of a home theater than will the guage of the conductor




"after actually thinking about that last post - and looking at horn tweeter-mids - the wavelengths of the sound coming out of those horns are shorter than the size of the horns - so it would act to disperse them - like a kid blowing bubbles - the bubble ring - it would spread out the sound. But the sound coming out of a speaker in the corner would not be affected the same way - the wavelengths longer than the size of the walls - everything below around 100Hz - would be crowded together and intensified - the opposite effect of the horn on a tweeter. It would intensify the bass - which it does - i've heard it. There. I corrected myself. Saved someone the trouble."


I wish. But you are not understanding the function of horn loading a driver vs the support a sound wave receives from reflective surfaces. When properly loaded into a horn or a waveguide, the horn or waveguide acts as an acoustic transformer which, by its nature controls and constrains the pressure wave in several ways. Possibly, if Andre is still around, he'd be better to describe how horns operate. He'll use less words than I would.


Placing a low requency driver into a position against reflective surfaces has little comparison to horn loading other than both serve to raise the "efficiency" of the transduction of electric watts into acoustic watts. First and foremost, efficiency in a driver or speaker system is quite different than is sensitivity in a driver. In the case of the corner loaded subwoofer, the efficiency gain comes from not loosing the SPL of the pressure wave which would otherwise move away from the listener in a free space or "free field" measurement. If you understand how a dipole/bipole speaker radiates output to the front of rear of the system, then apply that thinking to a subwoofer placed against a reflective surface. In either system, the rear firing soundwave is reflected off the constraining surface and bounced back toward the front firing wave. At some point the rear wave's reflection is "in phase" (though lagging in time) with the front firing wave and when this situation occurs the two waves are combined to make a louder or more efficient system - by +6dB in most cases with the dipole system. But only if the listener's ears are positioned at that point where the waves combine. Otherwise cancellation occurs and system efficiency actually decreases while the effects of comb-filtering become a more prevelant issue to deal with.

Due to the very large pressure waves of a subwoofer's output, they have little room to "combine" and the overall perception is the rear (and side also when corner placement is employed) wave is "adding to" the SPL produced by the driver. Pull the subwoofer into the center of a reflective wall - away from the benefits of the tri-surfaced corner - and the efficiency gain drops by -3dB. Place the sub on a stand to remove most of the benefits of the floor's reflection and you once again drop the efficiency by another -3dB. And, just as with the dipole speakers output, the problem in many systems is the sub and the main speakers must overlap some frequencies and those overlapping frequencies tend to make placement of a sub far more difficult than "stick it in a corner" would imply. Each room in which you place a speaker system in essence becomes the enclosure for each driver. If you really radically reduce your thinking to "stick it in a corner" as the rule for sub placement, then you might as well just buy "0" AWG cabling.


There are several placement plans/programs for arriving at the highest quality sound from a subwoofer. To go through the rules of placement for each plan/program and to explain how they differ in thinking, and most importantly in results, is far over and above what this forum is for. I would only suggest you spend some time reading and studying those plans and programs. Then spend a day trying out the practicality of those plans. Until you put them to use in your specific room, all plans remain only plans and all plans are just guides for proper system set up.



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Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1865
Registered: Oct-10
Before trying bi-wiring Dave, I'd break in the speakers first. Chances are, you won't notice any real advantage to bi-wiring.

The one advantage I see with bi-AMPing (or even tri-amping 3 way speakers) is that if you DIY a pair of speakers, you can place an electonic crossover between you preamp and power amps (provided you have seperates or your integrated amp or receiver has preamp out/power amp in jacks) thereby eliminating the passive crossover in the speaker. Doing so will get rid of the signal loss from that passive crossover. This will also make an easier load for the amps as the drivers have a relatively stable impedence. One thing to keep in mind is that this approach will be more costly as you'll need 1 or 2 extra stereo power amps or 2 or 4 extra monoblock amps to do this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jul-12
This is great info - thanks!

Today was one of those mornings - i'm listening to old tunes - crying like a little girl - remembering ... They say you're over the hill when your memories are more precious to you than your dreams.

I love philosophy and i'm probably too full of theories. But in this world of deadlines and budgets we're forced to live within the realm of what is known - what can be repeated, predicted. I was able to disprove this morning that any gain can be made from bi-wiring my speakers. My system was off. My sub was in stand-by mode. I removed the grills from my fronts and pushed the woofers in with my hands - gently - pumped them a little. The sub came out of stand-by. Only a signal can bring that sub out of standby - just turning on my amp does not do it - I have to play something. The amp was off and the sub is connected to the pre-amp stage. That seems to suggest that noise from a sub could effect the entire system.

Super - you were right about the sub. It adds a dimension to movies fronts will never give. I was thinking about sending it back mostly because of space. When we moved to DC our new condo is half the size of the old one. I gave away all kinds of really good furniture and stuff because we just couldn't fit it all when we moved. We're packed chin-deep now. If I'm not getting adequate usage out of the sub it'll get tossed out with the trash. I have standing orders now to throw away the old JBLs. I cannot stomach taking good stuff like that and just throwing it away. I'll give it away any way I can i'm just not throwing those babies away. I have scuba gear still sitting there for years I can't even give away.

It's been a crazy week for me. Funny story. My squirrel (surely you guys have figured out by now i'm not from this planet? come in Orson) Look - 2 baby squirrels fell out of a nest in the tree in my front yard - their eyes still closed - their mother was road-killed - they're lying there helpless, starved, scared - cats circling - I couldn't just leave them there to die - I feel we should cherish life in every form it takes - so I scooped them up and raised them. I let them go when they grew up - one of them wouldn't leave. So he's my pet squirrel. Anyway - I play with him in the mornings - like i'll hold my hands up and say "field goal" and he'll jump across the room and if he hits me in the chest between my arms he "scores" - he'll do that 20 times in a row - just warming up - they're about as smart as a small dog - very playful and they learn quickly so we have all kinds of play routines - we play every morning for an hour or so - eventually I put him back in his cage and go to work. This week he figured out that if he takes my car keys away I don't put him up and I don't go anywhere. So yesterday he took my car keys and wouldn't give them back. I chased him - waste of energy - way way too fast - and he was enjoying it too. So 2 hours later I finally tricked him into the cage with a bag of pistachios and searched my place and found my keys on top of the kitchen cabinets. I didn't get to work until 1pm. But i'm the boss so everyone pretended not to notice. My boss - the CEO wasn't there.

We build audio/video equipment. We're working on a home theater product line that utilizes satellite bandwidth to provide BluRay-quality VOD with DTS-HD master audio (7.1). It's not exactly VOD. You get a media server with like 8TB of storage and we keep 4TB of recent releases on it. You use the rest of the space for your library. We keep a carousel of a hundred or so recent releases beaming out of the birds. I build the user-interfaces. I built the website. I'm the GUI guy. My team built the computer technology that front-ends the service and bills customers etc - the engineers build the devices in your home. I deal with engineers everyday. I've found that they love to talk about the technology. If they're wrapped up in something I can start talking and say things that are just wrong or stupid and they'll quickly correct me and start explaining it to me the right way. I've noticed that about them - they're quick to correct each other too. I can get them into a long deep conversation just by starting out with something obviously incorrect. They cannot not correct me. It works. I'm like that too when it comes to computers. Maybe it's just human nature? Take a look at politics. It worked on this thread too. You're clearly very knowledgeable and you've all given me very good information - and good advice and I greatly appreciate that. Getting good advice and following it are not the same.

Back to speakers - i've been listening to these JBL L890 for a week or so and i'm just not liking them the way I was expecting. I could give you a detailed breakdown of how I think they sound to what music - but it wouldn't serve much purpose - I doubt you're any more interested in those details as you are in my squirrel running off with my car keys - the bottom line is am I happy with them - and for now i'd say no. I realize speakers need break-in time but I can't see how these things could change all that much from breaking in. If I do send them back i'll wait until the 30 days is almost up - so I have more time to break them in if that's what they need. The wrap-up is that the highs are as good as they get, the mids are clear and strong - maybe a little too strong - and the bass is just plain poor in quality compared to the mids and highs. The bass is deep. It's not the quantity of bass - it's the quality of bass that's lacking. I don't know how to describe it. They have the deep boom boom boom - the one-note skull crushing bass that Jan loves so much - j/k - they just don't have power and detail.

I get the feeling that with the proliferation of powered subs that a good number of speaker makers are cutting corners on cost by going cheaper with the woofers. There's 2 of them. If you pair them with a sub - will most people really be able to tell? You have a whole generation of kids who've never heard quality speakers. Maybe i'm in that group and just don't know it?

It's almost like - take a good pair of B&W or MLs (Diamond 802) and swap out the woofers with $15 replacement woofers from Radio Shack. There's nothing an equalizer or room placement or bi-amping will ever do to make them right. An eq can raise the quantity of the bass they put out. It cannot raise the quality of the bass. Nothing can but good woofers. Honestly i've heard a few other "high-end" speakers that fit that category.

I should've listened to you guys but I was too lazy to get off my butt and go listen to speakers. When I bought the JBLs that was probably just taking the easy way out. But at this point - i'm committed to doing what I have to do to get a sound that is just right - if it exists within my price range. That's the thing - maybe all the speakers in my price range will have something about them that I don't like. All I can do is get off my lazy butt and go listen to them.

There aren't many choices. The bulk of places in this area are the price-no-concern types that seem to be more about interior decor than sound. I guess "sounds great" is just assumed when you're shelling out $10k+ for speakers. Products separate themselves by being cool - flashy, fancy - unique. Yeah I need 300 lb. speakers that need 5 amps to drive them (Meridian DSP8000). A few other places will install home theaters for you using the very best products available from pioneer, sony and sharp. Do they make good speakers? There are a few places that carry Klipsch and Polk etc - what I perceive to be "the middle"

I'm heading out asap to listen. I'm not interested in the Polk RTi style speakers - with the built-in subs - to me those are just a center speaker sitting on top of a sub with an inflated price tag. If you're into hip hop they just might work. I'm not. They won't.

I'm looking at Polk TSI500 - has 4 x 6.5" and a dome, Klipsch RF-82, the dual 8" woofers with a 1" horn dome, Energy CF-70 has dual 6.5" woofers 5" mid and dome tweeter, ML Motion 40 with same as energy and B&W CM9 same too.

I'm satisfying my curiosity over the Klipsch reference towers - the speakers that based on what i've read and what little I know about speaker physics - should be the best sound for the money in my price range. I'll also hear for myself if ML and B&W are worth the extra dough. I suspect they are. I hope there is another brand out there waiting for me to fall in love with it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2833
Registered: Oct-07
Sounds like you're at the beginning of a very long road. Enjoy. Don't pick up any hitchhikers.
And for Pete's sake, DON'T let the Squirrel drive. They have notoriously poor eyesight and are difficult to get insurance for.

I just heard a pair of Paradigm....I think it was the Signature S6. It retailed for about 1200$ or so, which may be a little over the edge for you, but is representative of a good minitower / floor stander. Not massive bass but was tonally correct.

B&W may require better or more robust amplification. They can be a little picky or difficult to drive. ML? If you like the ML presentation, check out Magnepan which doesn't require all the extra plug ins of the ML and is somewhat easier to find a pairing amp for.
The 600$ Maggies are considered a near-bargain in the audio world and available only mailorder or on the used market. Not only do you get a free trial, but if the deal is still good, you get exchange value at a local dealer if you upgrade in the Magnepan line.
You will need a proper space for either the ML or Magnepan since they require several feet in back of them to function properly.
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3072
Registered: Dec-06
Depending on your room size and the exact problems you're hearing with the bass, it could be an acoustics issue.

I've heard different speakers with different bass response and quality tiers ($$) in different rooms enough to know that a speaker's bass response can be perceived to be poor when a) there's an anomaly in the response at a higher frequency (150-300hz prob), b) the room interacts with bass to cause a suckout or peak and the associated ringing, or c) the speaker really does have poor response for some reason (the signal driving it, weird distortions, etc).

I built a subwoofer a couple of years ago and learned a lot about diagnosing probems with sound quality. It turns out that the room the speakers are in is really important for bass quality. No amount of EQ will fix a room problem, although parametric EQ makes a big difference for me in getting bass that just touches the soul AFTER the room problems are fixed.

If you listen to Hollow Life by Korn (ignore my music preferences :P), the low synth notes should sound powerful but fairly even.

Then if you listen to Want by Disturbed, the bass should sound different (higher freq), but should complement the feel of the track perfectly.

The bass guitar in Born In Winter by Gojira should flow very well, never overpowering. In Planned Obsolescence, the palm mutes in the guitars should create a powerful CHUG (very audible but not overpowering) that continues through the beginning. The toms should also sound very audible, but not overpowering.

I know it's not much use to spout off subjective stuff like this, but I do it anyway

Rather than completing this post correctly, I'll leave it at that.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1899
Registered: Oct-10
"Back to speakers - i've been listening to these JBL L890 for a week or so and i'm just not liking them the way I was expecting."

In addition to what Andre says, I'd give the JBLs another week. They may not be fully broken in just yet. My Omnisats took almost 2 weeks to get all the way there. Then, they sounded beautiful! Right at this moment, it sounds like Sheena Easton is in the room with me.

I like the squirrel story and I agree with Leo about not letting him drive. Lol!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17330
Registered: May-04
.

Rocker, if you have an opportunity to audition any of the speakers from the Legacy manufacturing company, you might also give those systems a careful listen. I recently heard their display set up at a local audio show and they have many characteristics which are similar to the Killpsch sound; they are high sensitivity systems and they will tolerate a fair amount of volume level abuse if that is your preference. Personally, they're not my type of speaker but my type of speaker is diametrically opposite the Legacy's and the Klispch's in sound quality. For kick-butt bass either line is worth your time to audition.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17332
Registered: May-04
.

Upon further reflection and given the fact both Legacy and high quality Klipsch dealers are few and far between, you might also consider heading back to the music shops or the pro sound reinforcement dealers. Ignore the dual 18" woofer cabinets for now and ask to listen to their self powered monitors. You might find what you want from that sort of product and that type of dealer.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1902
Registered: Oct-10
Also Dave, if the verdict is that JBLs don't cut it, you might want to see about keeping the sub and replacing the JBLs with bookshelf speakers. IMO, bookshelf speakers generally sound better than floor speakers, but that's personal taste. When space is limited, using small speakers is a good way to make room.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 17
Registered: Jul-12
You mean I have to get insurance for Rocky (my squirrel) too? Unbelievable.

I found some home audio dealers with speakers in my price range. Most of them are "by appointment only" and if you have to ask "how much" you cannot afford them. I visited one place this afternoon. It was just across the street from where I work - only 4 miles down the road. The goal was to squeeze a visit in between the lunch traffic and evening rush hour. I got there in just under an hour. Spent less than an hour there but got caught in rush hour on the way back. Took over 2 hours to get back. My point is - in this area - something can be fairly "close" and still not be very easy to get to.

I listened to B&W 684, ML Motion 40, Energy CF-70, Klipsch reference and icons, audio monitor and a few others.

The B&Ws in my price range - these were the small ones - sounded good but if i'm getting anything it would be bigger than these were.

The speakers that stood out - to me - were the MLs. The Motion 40s had really good bass. I loved the low-ends on those babies. But that big 5" midrange up top right in your face - that would irritate me - I know it - too much. Leave that mid in the dryer until it's down to 4 or 3 and i'll think about buying them.

The MLs sounded very much like the JBLs i'm upgrading. The JBLs have better highs. The MLs richer bass. Both too much middle.

The Klipsch sounded like the new JBLs i've got. Almost too much bass and not tight enough. Nothing else impressed me.

But then the guy turned on some speakers by accident when searching for the Audio Monitors that had the sound i've been looking for - they were - drum roll - the RF-62 - the smaller Klipsch - with the 6.5" woofers in them. Those speakers sound good. The bass is powerful and clean - not too much of it - not as rich as the MLs - but tight - and the highs are good - almost as good as JBL. We switched between the Klipsch 8" and 6.5" reference models and to me the smaller ones sounded much better - much richer. The 8" for sure have higher "jamnitude" but I don't care - the 6.5" put out more than enough sound for me.

I still have not heard Polks. I cannot find them. I'm wondering now - if I prefer the sound of smaller drivers - then maybe the Polk TSi500 would sound good to me? They have 4 x 6.5" woofers and a dome tweeter. I feel like I owe it to myself to at least listen to them before making any decisions.

Jan - Legacy seems to make some truly kick-butt speakers. My ears are drooling when I look at them. My wallet runs away and hides though. My squirrel can't even catch it. No seriously - there probably are some really cool speakers out there used that I could afford if I knew the right places to look and the right price to pay. Some used Legacy signatures - that's an idea.

For now it's the Klipsch RF-62. Until I find something better ...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 18
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - you were right about the Klipsch sound being the closest thing to what i'm looking for available in my immediate market. Thanks a lot! Klipsch reference were not easy to find for listening (BB had the Icons but they were not hitting on much). It was your recommendation that drove me to keep looking until I found the reference Klipsch - I was not going to decide on anything until I heard them - and i'm glad I did. Thanks!

I'll bet you're right about the Legacy too. I've been looking at high-end speakers. Man those things are bad to the bone. Groovy. I'll bet those puppies require a very very good amp to get your $$$s worth out of them - and a forklift to move them around. The cabinetry on those bad boys is astounding. I could not imagine shipping them. How could you risk it? I'd have to use a moving company to get them here unless I lucked out and found some local.

I need to just stop with the Legacy idea. The Klipsch reference speakers are within my initial budget and fit the sound i'm looking for. I have a practical solution. I will take it.

In the end - I believe it was the design (6.5" woofers versus larger ones) that gave me the sound I wanted as much as it was the brand (i'll bet there are other speakers out there with dual 6.5" woofers that sound the way I like - maybe even JBL).

I noticed these Klipsch reference speakers have ports in the back. That means they have to sit away from the walls - right? What about putting a pillow between the back of the speakers and the wall rather than moving them out away from the wall? Will that kill the quality or help it? I can figure out a way to get them away from the walls if I have to - what 2 feet? 3 feet?

I listened to the Klipsch reference speakers driven by an amp running 50W per channel. I have 120W per channel. Is it going to make a significant difference in sound? I'm assuming the sound will only get better - richer and more powerful than it was there. The dual-8" reference would probably sound better on a bigger amp. When I go back to get the Klipsch - should I ask to listen again but with a bigger amp? Or would I just be wasting their time?

I'm going to give these JBLs another week or so. I'm going to send the JBLs back before buying the Klipsch. During the next few weeks while this unfolds i'll still listen to more speakers. I'd like to hear Polks just to satisfy my curiosity.

We'll see.

Thanks!!!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17335
Registered: May-04
.

While I haven't auditioned the entire Legacy line up I would guess their sound is fairly consistent from model to model. Legacy, like Klipsch, is very much into a high sensitivity system design. To maintain high sensitivity as the enclosure volume decreases the designer must sacrifice some deep bass extension - or make the simple combined sacrifice of giving up a bit of bass extension and giving up a bit of sensitivity as enclosure volume, bass extension and electrical sensitivity are tied together and altering one affects the other two. Good speaker designers though have many work arounds which can be used to accomplish their goals.

As I noted much earlier the punch and kick you perceive in the bass region is due to the alignment of the system. The "system" is the low frequency driver operating into the specific ported enclosure of the designer's choice. By selecting a specific alignment - what would otherwise be called the "Q" of the system in a sealed enclosure- the designer can have less bass extension yet give the impression of deeper bass by playing with the perception of the listener. This "trick", if you will, can give even a small enclosure system an apparent similarity in sound quality to a much larger cabinet.

The diameter of the low frequency driver is not as important today as we have moved into an era of long excursion drivers with superior control. However, and I'm not completely aware of the design golals of the Klipsch speaker you are listening to, when the designer combines two smaller drivers to carrry the same frequency bandwidth, the perceived "speed" of the system is improved while low frequency extension can remain that of a significantly larger driver. There are complications to this concept though as there are, unfortunately, no real world free lunches in audio. However, the idea of other lines having similar sound to the Klipsch due to the use of two identically sized drivers is not exactly true as each driver will have its own parameters and each driver placed in a specific enclosure with a specific port or vent will have a character uniquely its own. The Klipsch designer could have, and possibly did, place the identical drivers in a slightly different enclosure system along with altering the venting system somewhat to arrive at a total system which had a distinctly different character.

Oh, well, there must be something left over for next year's models.


Where you position a speaker system in relation to your room is in most cases a personal decision. I've given an explanation of how low frequency drivers positioned close to intersecting room surfaces increases the efficieny of the system in a particular frequency band by essentially increasing the SPL of the driver arriving at the listener's ears. Of course, going back to the idea of no free lunches in audio, once you've increased the efficiency in one badwidth, you have perceptually decreased the efficiency in all other bandwidths. In addition, when we are discussing bass wavelengths, the closer to a corner you place the system, the more the room reacts and loads up at specific locations (determined by the room's dimensions and the specific placement of the low frequency driver relative to these dimensions) which creates not only larger standing waves where bass is essentially non-existent or possibly boosted by many decibels but also contributes to many more comb filters which have far more phase and time issues.

Therefore, yes, you can place rear vented systems close to a wall but, is that where they will sound best to your ears and in your room? I suggest no one go about speaker placement without a solid plan of some sort. In the years when I first became interested in audio, speaker placement was not much more than you either had a bookshelf speaker or a floorstanding speaker. If you had the floor standing system you became aware of the division of wavelengths which were designated as "pi" or +3, +6 and +9 pi as the low frequency system was moved closer to intersecting surfaces. Today much more is commonly understood by the audio community about the interaction of low frequency drivers with the room itself and speaker placement has become a relative science in its own right. I would highly encourage you to read a few placement programs to get an idea of how this is done with modern speakers. Remember, each time you increase the efficiency of one bandwidth, your preception is that you have decreased the efficiency of all other bandwidths. Therefore, speaker placement is a balancing act between desirable vaues in sound qualities. Put "loudspeaker placement" in a search engine to get started with a few programs and after reading several thoroughly make use of the best ideas from each to establish where your speakers sound best to you at your listening position. Also keep in mind where you sit is highly important to what you preceive from the system. The difference of a few inches can, in some rooms, make a very dramatic difference in sound quality. Also listening height relative to the placement of the speaker is an important value to work into your set up. Position your ears too low or too high and you will perceive a very different character from the system while specific speaker system designs will dictate that your listening position be at a fairly specific height and distance away from the drivers. I can't tell you the specifics of your system though you reading a few set up programs should assist you in making more correct decisions and, if all else fails, you can always call the manufacturer for some after the sale assistance. I wouldn't suggest pillows behind speakers though I would suggest certain speaker systems can integrate more easily with certain rooms when the port is plugged with some closed cell foam product or even a small amount of polyfill. This will, however, make for a competey dissimilar enclosure alignment - and, therefore, a different sound character through the bass region - than what came from the factory and should only be done after consultation with the manufacturer.




Wattage is rather unimportant and certainly the high electrical sensitivity of the Klispch products makes the point that with their designs you can achieve a lot of "sound" with very few watts. Most listeners in most situations can be quite happy with a large pair of Klipsch speakers and about a 25 watt amplifier of the highest affordable quality. Adding more watts just to have more watts is fruitless then and even more so if you deduct from the overall quality of the amp. Yes, you would be wasting the shop's time to have them hook up a higher wattage amp when the most significant "difference" you will hear from the speakers is how they integrate with your specific room. Given what I perceive to be your priorities in sound character, if you are to ask about a different amplifier, I would suggest you ask about an amplifier with a different character of its own sound. I assume you are using a solid state amp with bipolar outputs. Klispch can find favor with some listeners when driven by high quality vacuum tubes or MOSFETs - though this would create issues integrating another amp into your HT system. And, I suspect, you would not appreciate the change in bass "kick" if you went to other output devices. But trade offs are trade offs and you might hear another quality which you found attractive in a tube amp/Klispch pairing.

In the end - we are approaching the end for now, right? - I would say given the output impedance and damping factor of a solid state HT amp paired with the Klipsch, going up in quality in the amp would be my only suggestion and then I would have to warn you that most HT receivers have hit a plateau in sound quality rather early in their line up and, as I said, buying higher wattage for the sake of having more watts you will not use is rather silly with the Klispch. Now, if you want to step up to, say, a McIntosh level of HT system, then I wouldn't bet against you not perceiving an improvement overall.

In the end though, speaker placement is what you should be concentrating on right now as no two speakers sound the same in different rooms and no single speaker system will sound the same in two different locations with any specific room.



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 19
Registered: Jul-12
1) eject JBL
2) insert Klipsch
3) STOP listening to speakers
4) resume listening to MUSIC
5) ROCK ON

I sent back everything. I got the Klipsch RF-62 reference towers with the 6.5" woofers and an RC-52 center. I didn't even have to get off my couch. I called IQ Home Entertainment in Farifax and told them I wanted them, they drove to my place in less than an hour and dropped them in my floor. Cool huh? The aggravating part of it is all the BS that I put myself thru dealing with sending back the JBLs. Live and learn (I hope).

They're a little harsh out of the box. They need to break-in. The bass is almost scary. They sound much bigger in my place compared to the big sound room at IQ. I bet the RF-52 would be enough. No i'm not swapping them. I have the eq OFF and they sound perfect just like they are. That's what I was looking for. The highs are not as clear as the JBL but the bass is far superior and to me that's what defines a great speaker.

The Klipsch setup didn't sound all that great for HT though. Too overpowering. Here's a case for the eq! I can take out some bass and bump up the mids and highs and get a better HT sound using the eq.

I do not have a sub now. i sent back the JBL sub because I sat there asking myself - what am I doing with a 700W 12" sub? For what? For movies? I don't need it for music - the volume was on 1/4 for movies.

I'm thinking about adding back a small out-of-the-way sub. This is not a decision based on space or $$$ either one. If I need a rockin sub i'll get the Klipsch SW-308. But i'm thinking the ML Dynamo 300 is probably all i'll need. I only need to add some realism to movies. I'm not planning on playing it at all with music. With the RF-62 fronts I do not need a sub for music. Any suggestions on a small sub? a good 8" sub? ML Dynamo 300? Polk PSW111? Klipsch SW-308?

Anyway - thanks for all the info guys! This was extremely helpful.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1917
Registered: Oct-10
"Here's a case for the eq! I can take out some bass and bump up the mids and highs and get a better HT sound using the eq."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

No EQ DAVE! Give the speakers a chance to break in for starters! Break them in BEFORE trying to place them, before critical listening and BEFORE deciding to keep them or not. And get that EQ the motherf*** off of that shelf!

"I'm thinking about adding back a small out-of-the-way sub. This is not a decision based on space or $$$ either one. If I need a rockin sub i'll get the Klipsch SW-308. But i'm thinking the ML Dynamo 300 is probably all i'll need. I only need to add some realism to movies. I'm not planning on playing it at all with music. With the RF-62 fronts I do not need a sub for music. Any suggestions on a small sub? a good 8" sub? ML Dynamo 300? Polk PSW111? Klipsch SW-308?"

My suggestion: Check out all of the subs you mentioned as well as the Mirage Omni S8, see which one like. Once installed, break it in, then work on placement and adjustments BEFORE deciding for or against it. Keep it slow and enjoyable.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17348
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.parts-express.com/wizards/searchResults.cfm?srchExt=CAT&srchCat=634&C FID=1853621&CFTOKEN=83348236
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3076
Registered: Dec-06
Ahahahaahaha. Oi. The glory of transcribed thought.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 20
Registered: Jul-12
I call this one "Rocky Rocks"

Upload
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 21
Registered: Jul-12
The equalizer is integrated - just like iPod / iPhone player - with presets and custom settings. OFF is as far as I can lose it.

The eq is good though. I absolutely LOVE bass. My wife HATES bass. The eq allows me to have rich, powerful bass and still be able to play music whenever she wants to listen to some of her collection without much bass in it - she has no idea there is an eq on the thing and doesn't really care anyway - all she knows is that she likes the sound of our new speakers.

Were you thinking I had the old school eq - a separate unit that you have to run the signal through? I received a recommendation to buy an amp with an eq in it - some kind of room adjustment thing - so an eq can be a good thing. But everyone seems to be against using an eq whenever I mention it. What's wrong with taking some of the bass out of the music if that's the way she likes it? It's a lot easier to take a little out for her than to buy bass-weak speakers and try to add it back for me. I use the bass and treble controls all the time in my car - to make up for deficiencies in the older music mostly. That is technically a 2-band eq - no different than the 7-band eq i'm using in my home system. I like to think of it as 2 bass, 3 midrange and 2 treble controls - because technically that's what it is. I don't use it much at all for music when i'm listening - only to subtract bass from movies because to me it becomes unpleasant if the sound level changes too much in intensity during the movie.

I did figure out something. After reading your recommendation to stop using the eq I began wondering why the system is so loud during action scenes. I had my BluRay player set for TV sound - downmix to stereo. I changed it to output Dolby Surround and DTS and set the dynamic range to wide (from narrow) and it made a world of difference (duh). I could actually get away with no eq now.

I apologize for being so stubborn with stuff like that - but I have made it a goal to avoid the eq as much as I can. Getting speakers that I truly like helps a lot.

For movies i'm a little strange. I like to turn up the center - +12 or so and turn the master volume down. That makes the background sound coming from the fronts a little low. The sub adds subtle background depth. That way the voices are loud and clear, the action is still sounding full but no so loud. The sound level doesn't change so dramatically from one scene to another. That way i'm not turning up the volume during the quiet talk scenes just to hear what they're saying and then turning it back down when the gunfight or the chase scene starts. That's pretty much what the center speaker is there for isn't it? Rather than splurge on a monster center speaker I just turn up the volume.

I damaged my ears scuba diving. I don't hear as well as I used to. I need lots of bass for some reason for it to sound right to me. I'm so glad I didn't have to buy dual-18" woofers to get a sound I enjoy! Thank goodness dual 6.5" woofers did the trick. Only God knows exactly what's wrong with me. All I care is that I like the sound of these Klipsch reference RF-62 and my wife does too when I subtract some bass from them. Thanks for all the help in getting there - I doubt I would've made it to this point without this thread. As stubborn as I am you guys still got me fixed up.

Now I just need to get the right sub. I'll get back over to IQ Home Entertainment this week and listen to some subs. I do not want it for music - the Klipsch RF-62 is the perfect bass for me. Just for movies. So I really should not need all that much of a sub? What am I looking for in an HT sub? Depth? Clarity? I don't really care so much about how loud it gets. I'm hoping a good 8" will do the trick. We'll see.

Apparently one of the engineers I work with went to college with (roommates?) some guy who bought some foreclosed house in the Seattle area and turned it into a speaker lab - he builds speakers - said he wants to test them in a house - where they actually get used - he started his own speaker company called Sunfire I believe. I've seen some Sunfire subs on Amazon. I looked at your sub threads and apparently this guy is not so gifted. I will not share that tidbit of info with my coworker.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1933
Registered: Oct-10
DAVE! HOW MANY DRIVERS DO YOU HAVE TO BLOW BEFORE YOU REALIZE THAT EQs ARE BAD NEWS?!?!?!?!

Not to be harsh, but you need to keep that thing turned OFF! OFF! OFF! 24/7! Get it?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1934
Registered: Oct-10
Cute squirel btw.

Like your title says: "...need direction"

Step 1) Turn eq OFF and leave it OFF for all eternity.

Step 2) Pretend you don't have an eq.

Steps 3 & 4) Repeat step 2.

Step 5) Make sure speakers are fully broken in.

Step 6) Move speakers to where they sound best. Yes, they're heavy, but you can do it. Just be careful.

Step 7) Listen to music and watch movies with speakers in best location to see if you are happy with them. If so enjoy. If not, return 'em and start over.

Step 8) Repeat step 2 over and over and over....
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17350
Registered: May-04
.

"That's pretty much what the center speaker is there for isn't it?"


Nope, the center speaker is there for "family listening enjoyment".

Home theater mixes have generally followed the trends of movie house mixes. While there are discrete mixdowns for DVD's and BluRay's, they tend to closely match that of their in house mixes. What we heard in the theater is what we want to expereince from our home video system. For the most part, that is the standard of HT reproduction and components which stray from accurately providing that experience will be labelled as less than satisfactory. Of course, since very few of us have experienced a thermo-nuclear implosion of an entire galaxy first hand or the near field explosion of a fighter jet engaged in combat, most of us have no real idea what "accuracy" in a home theater should be other than what has been provided by those who mixed the channels and those who created the effects in a studio. In other words, there is no corresponding real world "accuracy" for most of what we experience in a HT system as there is for the real world live music experience.

Taking a look at the history of "surround sound" in consumer audio we should probably begin with the simple matrixed circuits such as David Hafler's DynaQuad add on component. Its main technical advancement was to retrieve ambient sounds by scouring the combined two stereo music channels for "out of phase information" which it then directed to one or more rear "surround" channels. Since the rear mounted speakers were tied to out of phase information captured in the recording process the matrixed format was at times more successful than others when used with a purely two channel source. However, by pure analog standards, the DynaQuad circuit brought new thinking to the consumer market searching more a more immersive experience which more closely resembled what they perceived in a live music setting.

By the early 1980's two further advancements had changed how the consumer listened to music and, more importantly, how they viewed films. The consumer market had been through a series of, first, analog and then digital "bucket brigade" type surround decoders intended for the home audio market. Still largely relying on matrixed signals and suffering from the small data handling capacities of the time, these too were more or less successful at their job. The single largest buyer's regret factor however remained the admonition from the manufacturers to keep the surround (rear) chanel information at very subtle levels. Units selling for approximately $700- 1500 in 1978 dollars were not appreciated when the buyer was told they really shouldn't hear what they had just spent a goodly sum to experience. Buyers at this time were more used to spending on a new amp or pre amp which brought some immediate and obvious changes to their system's sound and those items which were not to be heard - such as Infinity's pop and click removal system, a dismal commercial failure despite the fact it mostly suceeded at its job without intruding on the music playback signal - were seldom commercial success stories though they did pave the way for further improvements in consmuer surround sound buying.

Enter the VCR which brought the idea of viewing movies in your home to a popular success. Now the shift was on from having surround systems being the sole province of the music listener to that of the movie goer who wanted the same experience at home as they had heard in the theater. What the in theater movie goer seeing the first generation of Star Wars for the first time had heard was the early generation of Ray Dolby's digital "surround sound" system. This was still a simple matrixed system still hobbled with matrixed mono rear channel information but it was inventive and, most of all, new and consumers wanted that same experience in their home. It would take a few years for the consumer technology to catch up with the next major advancement in professional in house releases where discrete multi-channel mixes were taking hold. When "HiFi" VCR's were made available to the public (and the more discriminating buyer would opt for the early LaserDisc format) the ability to retrieve those two extra rear channels made its way into the home. This advancement made it possible to hear in your home the four speaker (two front/two rear) channels as discrete front and matrixed rear signals mixed specifically as ambience information. Mixing techniques which included "logic steering" allowed for the more dramatic effects of the in house movie goer to now have both quiet scenes which enveloped them in the ambience of the scene and to have jet fly overs and gun shots seeming to ricochet around the room a near possibility.


The problem with the matrixed systems remained what to do with the listener not positioned in the center of the room, in the "sweet spot", for the digitally dimensioned effects. In a commercial movie house anyone seated off to the extreme sides of the house would not enjoy a smooth transition from stage left to stage right movement of foley effects. Actors' voices, cars moving from left to right (or vice versa) or bullets flying from one side of the screen to the other would make sudden and auditorilly dramatic leaps from one spot on screen to another in the listener's perception. What was being viewed on the screen did not at times correspond to what was being heard from the simple four channel matrixed speaker mix.

The first adjustment to this issue was the introduction of Dolby's "Pro Logic" circuit which went back to the matrixed circuits of days prior to retrieve the "similar as" information from the two front channels. This "similar as" material became the matrixed addition to a now included center channel speaker which captured most of the dialog but more importantly filled in many of the perceptual gaps of the off center listener. The inclusion of Dolby Pro Logic circuits which extracted five channels of (mostly) matrixed information from two (front) stereo chanels of information was the first to include a center speaker in both the movie houses and eventually in the consumer's home theater. Now those listeners seated off to the sides of the sweet spot were no longer experiencing jarring leaps of perceptual incongruity.

From the time of matrixed Pro Logic circuits to today's multi-channel systems made from purely discrete mixing techniques the idea of the center channel has not changed in any significant manner. The center channel is provided as a method which makes for a more satisfying movie experience for all listeners and not just those positioned in the sweet spot of the mix. Listeners seated far off to the sides of the screen can still enjoy a visual field which (more or less) corresponds to the auditory experience. Of course, the selection and placement of the individual speakers along with the set up of the decoding system makes for some strange abberations of this concept and neglecting any part of the process would bring the in home experience back to the days of 1978 level performance. "Timbre matching" has some part in creating a well balanced theater experience in your home and a well set up "surround system" would be made up of a group of speaker systems made from almost identical drivers in each location. In operation this is far more important for the multi-channel systems used for music playback by the "serious" listener though discrete multi-channel music playback is not within the limitations of "Redbook" CD (the digital medium's standard of operation since 1976) and audio equipment buyers have apparently all but rejected any encroachment into the more than two channel playback of music. SACD won the battle against DVD-Audio but essentially lost the war of "better than" 44.1/16 bit, two channel music reproduction.



Since most home theaters are set up more for convenience and the ability to accomodate both traffic and seating patterns in the room plus spousal acceptance, most real world home theaters are not going to meet the standards for set up established by the Dolby circuit's needs for "accurate" reproduction of five (or more) channels of information. Given that most systems are not set up "correctly", anyone who tries to preach a specific set up or adjustment manner is likely to meet with considerable resistance.

In the end, it's your system and you get to do with it as you please. Anyone who tells you anything other than that should be; A) ignored or, B) politely listened to and then used only as a reference for another group of opinons. And opinions are, as we all know, as common as ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Pro_Logic


Regarding the use of EQ, the same rules apply. It is your system and you get to use it in a manner which satisfies you and anyone else in your home who has a say in the matter. The issue of EQ does, however, become one of significance when a customer has complaints of burned out drivers. Listener preference cannot trump the laws of physics for long. Ignoring the basic rules of how to operate an audio system can be as damaging to the system as would be ignoring the laws of how to operate your car in a safe and thoughtful manner. "Bulling through" to get what you want can often times lead to constant frustrations with equipment that is not defective but which has been operated in a way that ultimately leads to mulitple failures of the equipment.


For many listeners on the audio end of the equipment, any EQ added to the final playback chain violates some rather basic principles of how a high quality audio system should be set up. IMO this again approaches the "preaching" nags of someone too concerned with what should be important to someone else. I cannot insist that you make a value of, say, "soundstaging" or "timbre" as being as important a value to you as it might be to me. If one listener has never experienced what realistic soundstaging or timbre might bring to the music experience, then preaching they must do what ever it takes to preserve those values is ridiculous. If someone has never tasted raw oysters, don't make raw oysters the only thing you intend to serve them.

In the end, don't break stuff and enjoy your system. Things always sound better when they are in your home rather than in the repair shop. And constantly buying new to replace the broken gets expensive.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17351
Registered: May-04
.

I assume you have done a proper channel balancing set up after installing the much higher sensitivity Klipsch speakers. Levels should have been adjusted across the board to accomodate their higher output for the same watt input as you had with your previous speakers. As with EQ you can either lower the output from the Klispch - which will defeat their electrical/mechanical benefits - or you can raise the other channels to match the Klipsch's significantly louder output. Unfortunately, the latter method risks driving the amp into distortion while trying to keep up with the high sensitivity of the Klipsch's output. The most appropriate set up now would, of course, be an all Klipsch system.



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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 22
Registered: Jul-12
Super - if you knew my wife you would understand why i'm ROTFLMAO at the idea of an eq downgrading her experience - or her damaging equipment. Seriously - most of the music my wife listens to she sits in front of her little Windows PC and does YouTube videos thru the computer speakers. That's her home audio system. I scored points the day I sat with her with my MacBook and downloaded songs she likes on iTunes and burned her some music CDs - mostly for the car. In the car I have to turn the bass all the way down for her. In our condo - I subtract bass the same way using the eq. One day I put the thing in 3 CH mode and turned off the fronts - only the center was playing. I asked her if she thought the music sounded any different and she said no. She couldn't even tell that the front speakers were not on. I could put trash bags over the speakers and if she didn't see it she would not notice the difference in the sound. This weekend i'll turn the speakers around backwards facing the wall and see if she notices. $20 says she doesn't.

There are people in this world who don't care or cannot hear details in music. Music is music. To a person who's happy with computer speakers I seriously doubt the eq is going to diminish her experience. And if she ever turned the volume above 1 i'll drop dead of a cardiac.

I damaged my old JBLs back in the days when I was jammin out to loud music. The eq was the main cause. One of the objectives of this mission - this thread - was to find speakers that sounded good to me without needing an eq - and now i have them. You're right that I will destroy these too if I go back to cranking them up as loud as I can with the eq pumping up the low-end bass. I've been sober for 12 years and 9 months now. If I ever relapse i'll remember to forget the eq is even there. I hope.

Jan - that's interesting info. From my unknowing end-consumer perspective - what value I perceived the center channel gave me - was that the voices seem to channel through it and everything else - the "noise" - goes into the fronts (and the sub - which is just an extension of the fronts in my system - I have Pro Logic - the "4.0" version of surround sound). I had a Hi-Fi VCR and I loved it - but I remember having to turn it up to hear voices in places and then turn it down when the action became too loud. With a center channel turned up loud I do not find myself doing that so much anymore.

I do not have rears. With my version of surround the rears - as i've understood it - are just echoes of sounds from the fronts. I have nowhere I can put rear/side surround speakers that isn't really in-the-way so to me the little bit of value it may add is too insignificant to justify the cost of adding rears. If/when I ever upgrade to a 5.1 system I just may try it. I'm waiting for them to come up with wireless satellites - I know - they still have to have a power connection - so that's solving only half the challenge - but for me it prevents wires going from one side of the room to the other - and that's not an easy task to solve!

Sorry Jan but I just cannot resist: a thermonuclear implosion of a galaxy would technically make no sound since there exists no "elastic medium" through which to transmit the sound. Now if it exploded outward the shock wave just might be a bonafide "sound" wave especially if it knocked me off my - seat - which it would - I imagine - but you are right that I have very little experience with implding galaxies. I'll ask Rocky when I get home - he's watched every Star Trek episode and movie several times over by now i'm sure he knows the answer.

I sent back everything when I returned the JBLs - center and sub too. I got a Klipsch center - RC-52 - to go with the fronts for the very reason you pointed out - the high efficiency of the Klipsch. I was worried about the dinky little center I had at the time keeping up with the Klipsch reference fronts. The Klipsch center can barely keep up with them. I read somewhere on this board about matching timbres - add in the appearance factor - and it seemed like an all-around good idea to get a Klipsch center while I was at it. Glad I did.

You make a good point - that in the end all that matters is that we enjoy listening to our audio gear. I was just thinking this morning about how great this thing sounds now. I cannot say how glad I am that you pointed me towards the Klipsch reference fronts.

The saddest part of it is - when I was young and into loud music I would've loved to have had a system like this - these Klipsch RF-62 fronts ROCK like no speaker i've ever owned before. In a sense they're too much speaker for me nowadays. When I was young I couldn't afford a sound like this. Now that i'm older I can afford it - obviously since it's sitting in my place - but i'm not into loud music anymore. I'll never truly appreciate the jam power I have. Jamnitude aside - the sound is incredible - even at the low levels i'm playing them. I will appreciate the rich, powerful and clean sound they have - for many years to come (assuming I live that long and our galaxy doesn't implode). And for that I thank you all for helping me get there. I learned something valuable. It's not the deep bass I love. It's the mid-bass. I don't need big woofers but rather small ones with strong mid-bass. I've been looking for the wrong thing. We finally got me looking for the right thing. Now if I can just get a nice little sub...

I checked out HSU and SVS. They both seem awesome. They're both way out of my league. I can imagine a thermonuclear imploding galaxy would sound about right spot on with one of those babies in my place. But I only need a small 8" just to add some depth to my movies. It would be just plain wrong to take something that nice and let it go to waste in my place adding photon torpedo sounds to my movies. The Mirage looks pretty nice though.

So does a carpeted floor make any difference to a down-firing sub? I'm having a hard time accepting the down-firing sub. I know the low-freq sounds are so different - long wavelengths - but i'm so old-school - hey at least i've accepted these "remote control" things.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17352
Registered: May-04
.

"I'm waiting for them to come up with wireless satellites ... "


We've had those for several years now. I'm sure Crutchfield and probably Audio Advisor would have a good selection. Any wireless speaker can be a wireless surround since the speaker doesn't discriminate between the signals it receives.



"Sorry Jan but I just cannot resist: a thermonuclear implosion of a galaxy would technically make no sound since there exists no 'elastic medium' through which to transmit the sound."


As I said, HT does not represent reality based audio. However, Rocker, you're only thinking of the universe as we experience it in a three dimensional world. Going back to the quantum universe we have at least eleven dimensions to deal with and most of them have little to no relation to what our senses and Newtonian physics predict. In the quantum universe we are still considering how a particle/wavelength travels through a void and at what speed. Can a particle exist in two locations simultaneously? Is Schrodinger's cat dead or alive? It's possible that in at least one of those eleven dimensions implosions in space do have a sound.


You're probably best going with a Klipsch sub for the same reasons as you went with a Klipsch center. Otherwise, most down firing subs can be elvated slightly so they do not have interference from even the most plush, deepest, thickest carpeting.




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Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1936
Registered: Oct-10
"Super - if you knew my wife you would understand why i'm ROTFLMAO at the idea of an eq downgrading her experience - or her damaging equipment."

Actually, no Dave. My wife hates bass too and having a music choice channel on with music coming through the TV speakers (RALPH!), is her idea of listening to music. However, I know and you should too what an EQ can do to speakers. Okay, enough about the EQ.

"I subtract bass the same way using the eq. One day I put the thing in 3 CH mode and turned off the fronts - only the center was playing. I asked her if she thought the music sounded any different and she said no. She couldn't even tell that the front speakers were not on. I could put trash bags over the speakers and if she didn't see it she would not notice the difference in the sound. This weekend i'll turn the speakers around backwards facing the wall and see if she notices. $20 says she doesn't."

DITTO!

"And if she ever turned the volume above 1 i'll drop dead of a cardiac."

Oh my gosh! There are two of them!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 23
Registered: Jul-12
Wireless satellites? A powered sub has a built-in amplifier. All the wireless thing does is xmit the pre-amp signal. A satellite - to be wireless - would have to have its own built-in amplifier. What am I missing?

But let's say you're right - and you usually are - as long as galaxies are not involved - I'll still find a lame excuse to avoid rear speakers. I haven't experienced them in a way that made me want it for myself. Unti I do the motivation factor is pretty low.

Here's what Rocky said: the latest as far as we know - and nobody is keeping me in the loop - is String Theory - which suggests something like 7 dimensions - mathematically. That stuff is way over my head - most things are - but I get the feeling that whenever you take mathematical equations and make reality fit into the numbers you get a universe that exists only on paper. For example: The pre-Roman Greeks devised mathematical equations that could accurately describe the motions of the planets. The standing belief of that time was that everything in the universe revolved around the Earth. The planets - every once in a while - would stop going in the circle all other objects (stars) were going in and reverse direction for a while and then start going back in a circle - and the rate was discontinuous. They described the planets' motion mathematically and explained the phenomenon as this: the planets - having been punished by some god - had to stop and back up and then go forward from time to time. The equations worked. Centuries later Copernicus suggested that the Earth and all the planets revolved around the sun - the breakthrough idea - then Kepler added the fact that planets have elliptical - not circular - orbits, and then Galileo added that the planets speed up as they reach the closet point to the sun, perigee, and slow down as they reach apogee, the farthest - this final idea that gave us true actual mathematical equations that described planetary motion - without 7 dimensions and an angry god. My point is - it always takes me a long time to get to the point doesn't it - I think they're a long way from getting there - there is some breakthrough idea on the order of E=mc2 that needs to happen and everything will come together nicely. But for now we live in a universe filled with "dark matter" being blown apart by "dark energy" and terrorized by Dark Helmet - with not one astrophysicist on Earth able to explain what dark matter is - it is numbers that we cannot explain in mathematical equations that fit the world we think we live in. Equations that change faster than even the astrophysicists themselves can keep up with. As far as imploding galaxies - technically all galaxies are in a constant state of implosion. We've discovered that there are supermassive black holes at the center of every galaxy constantly sucking in matter. You didn't factor that into your 401k planning did you? That's ok neither did I. So sit outside at night and stare into the center of the Milky Way and listen. You can hear it. It's whatever you imagine the sound to be. Welcome to modern science.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 24
Registered: Jul-12
I looked at the link to the DIY sub kit and that put a smile on my face. When I was in HS - I had a little turntable/tape/tuner tri-mode thing with dinky little full-range speakers. I wanted a real sound system for college but had little funds. I bought a receiver from a friend - used - put out 40W / channel. Cool. Needed real speakers. The guy at Radio Shack had a replacement woofer sitting around he was willing to give to me if I bought a match to it. So I bought a replacement 15" woofer to the Mach One speaker and got a free one to match. I bought replacement midrange from the Mach Two that were 5" ferrofluid cooled. Cool stuff. I then bought a Pyle silk dome tweeter from Lowe's along with some wood. I built boxes that matched the Mach One in dimensions and then built a crossover using inductance coils and capacitors from Radio Shack. The speakers sounded pretty good to me at the time. For the $$$ I put into them I got one hell of a pair of speakers. Total cost was like $120 or so. They jammed. I kept them all through college and eventually replaced them with the JBL LX44. They were too much for apartment living. I sold them to a friend who made car speakers out of them. That's probably why I got so used to having mega bass in my music and liking it. That and the fact that my ears were damaged scuba diving. My ears don't equalize well and the pressure of the water can rupture your ear drums if you don't equalize right. As I understand it bass comes through the bone behind your ears and is picked up by the cochlear nerve too - not just the auditory nerve and your ear drums. That's how cochlear implants work. I learned that when my girlfriend lost her hearing. She took some antibiotic for a week and it destroyed her auditory nerve. She went deaf. We eventually got her a cochlear implant that piggybacked on the cochlear nerve. She had limited hearing with that device. She would not have noticed an eq either. The point - finally getting there - is that i've already done the DIY thing and I know i'm too old and lazy to actually do a good job with that nowadays. I'd be better to stick to the Klipsch SW-308 - that's the sub i've picked out for now. But - buying a JL Audio subwoofer and building a box that matches their box and putting a descent amp inside of it - that would be a fun project that would definitely pay off if I had the brains and the motivation to actually do it. I just know me a little too well by now. But thanks for the idea. It's something to ponder. Gotta run I think Star Trek is on.
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3077
Registered: Dec-06
Hmm. I grew up listening to JBL 4311s hooked to a receiver with maxed tone controls. I've had tubes for my eustachian tubes (younger years). I'm sure that all influenced my sound perception.

As a college student, I only prefer a slightly increased bass response, a soft shelf from 120hz to 40hz (a few dB). It's an important thing to note that different ears have different spectral sensitivities, so produced music could sound better to some with EQ adjustment. I don't know about live music.

Randomness..
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17354
Registered: May-04
.

"A satellite - to be wireless - would have to have its own built-in amplifier. What am I missing?"


Self powered speakers; http://audioengineusa.com/

Self powered monitors are big business in the pro music shops; http://www.musiciansfriend.com/search/search.jsp?sB=r&question=powered+monitors


You can also find plenty of powered speakers intended for playback from an iPod, MP3 or computer. Many of those speakers would be adequate for surrounds.



" ... I get the feeling that whenever you take mathematical equations and make reality fit into the numbers you get a universe that exists only on paper."


Certainly the most central issue with quantum theory is that it deals in quanta. And string theory deals with theoretical wiggly things which are so small they are well beyond even the smallest particle humans can detect. Therefore, they must "exist" only on paper, no?


" ... this final idea that gave us true actual mathematical equations that described planetary motion - without 7 dimensions and an angry god."


And using nothing more than those centuries old predictions of planetary movement and Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity we put men on the moon more than once. One from Column A, Newtonian physics, and one from Column B, relativity which was the precursor to quantum mechanics. The actual number of dimensions existing in quantum theory have yet to be defined while some physicists want there to be no more than the three dimensions we can perceive plus the fourth dimension of time. But string theory suggests time did not exist before the Big Bang and time had to exist before the Big Bang actually occurred. And, of course, the real question is, what happened three minutes and thirty three seconds after the Big Bang?

The debate among many who believe in string theory and those who do not would be, is quantum theory a science which can be described by the mechanics of physics? Many of the theories have been proven in experimentation. Yet they are proving the behavior of objects so small their existence can ony be guessed at.

Or, is quantum theory a philosophy which has nothing to do with science? Certainly as Probability Theory defines quantum mechanics and the Many Worlds Interpretation is at its core, quantum science begins to sound more and more as if it were an Eastern based philosophy rather than a Western based logic; http://www.amazon.com/The-Tao-Physics-Exploration-Anniversary/dp/1570625190



"I think they're a long way from getting there - there is some breakthrough idea on the order of E=mc2 that needs to happen and everything will come together nicely."

That is the basis for quantum mechanics' operation, the Theory of Everything; http://search.mywebsearch.com/mywebsearch/GGmain.jhtml?id=XQxdm014Z7us&ptnrS=XQx dm014Z7us&ptb=44F35101-C8DE-459E-A72A-7A7561F9BC32&ind=2012011522&st=bar&n=77ecd c02&searchfor=the+theory+of+Everything

Einstein spent the last thirty years of his life attempting to complete his theory which explained all things yet died before he had found the proper equation. Since that time a theory of everything has been at the heart of quantum mechanics; if we are made up from particles and particles were at the very beginning of the Big Bang, understanding particles - down to the strings which exist at their core - will explain ourselves.


"As far as imploding galaxies - technically all galaxies are in a constant state of implosion. We've discovered that there are supermassive black holes at the center of every galaxy constantly sucking in matter."


Despite it all, the universe continues to expand. And we continue to see further into the beginnings of the universe. Now the question is, does light move at the same speed when we are observing those first moments after the Big Bang?

Don't know and I'll probably not live to see the time when we do.


I would highly suggest "Through the Wormhole" on The Science Channel.




"So sit outside at night and stare into the center of the Milky Way and listen. You can hear it. It's whatever you imagine the sound to be. Welcome to modern science."


Unfortunately, I live my day to day life within the confines of Dallas where the lights from the city obscure all but the brightest and largest of stars. On the clearest night I can just about count the visible bodies on both hands and, maybe, one foot. The one trip I've been able to make to the Davis Mountians found the MacDonald observatory closed for tours. However, sitting outside at night up in the mountains and without light obstruction from any large city is a marvelous experience.

http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/







" ... the planets speed up as they reach the closet point to the sun, perigee, and slow down as they reach apogee, the farthest "


When will we have an audio company named "Perigee"? Andre, you're in charge of that.







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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17355
Registered: May-04
.

"As I understand it bass comes through the bone behind your ears and is picked up by the cochlear nerve too - not just the auditory nerve and your ear drums. That's how cochlear implants work."


That is how "Perception" operates. Perception exists well beyond the eardrum and far into the mind. Perception is, therefore, far more malleable and far more fragile than hearing alone.


I'd still recommend staying with the Klispch subwoofer. If you'd like to see what diy can do for a sub; http://www.parts-express.com/cat/subwoofer-system-kits/287 One screwdriver and you can complete an entire kit.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17356
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/1acupoftea.html
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17357
Registered: May-04
.


"It's an important thing to note that different ears have different spectral sensitivities, so produced music could sound better to some with EQ adjustment."


That sounds like someone with an eq they're dieing to hook up. "Produced music" already implies eq has been a part of the production.

Every room has its own spectral fingerprint. Every centimeter of every room has its own spectral fingerprint. EQ alone will not solve those issues. Even if you were so foolish as to ignore phase and time while concentrating only on amplitude, any adjustment to one location would be incorrect in a location just one centimeter away in any direction.



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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 25
Registered: Jul-12
If I have a line of people consisting of only men and women that is x members long, with x > 2, and there is a man standing in the front of the line and a woman standing in the back of the line - prove to me that somewhere in that line there must be a man standing directly in front of a woman. Take it further: if x is an even number and there is a man in both the front and back: prove that somewhere in that line there must be a man standing directly in front of a man.

Higher mathematics and certainly quantum physics are not so much about what you observe - but describing it in logical terms. We have tons of observations gathered by smashing particles together and gathered from the Hubble and other new eyes in the sky. Where we're falling behind quickly is in quantifying what we observe into theories, models, equations that describe our observations in predictable ways.

The cup of tea analogy - although you may have directed that at me to tell me to stop being so stubborn and shut up and listen - which I do need to hear - honestly I think anyone who can pass a drug test needs to hear - from time to time - also fits modern quantum physics. The example I gave was kind of the same point: the brains of yesteryear were certainly smart enough to solve planetary motion - in fact the way they went about solving it was even harder - the problem was perspective. It was a change of perspective that paved the way for solving that problem in simple and accurate terms. The perspective being the sun - not the Earth - being the center of revolution - and the Earth not being a fixed point - but one that also revolves around the sun. Quantum physics today is an effort to describe our observations within the frameworks we have. It isn't working. And the 2 frameworks we do have don't play well together.

Like you said - the universe is expanding and that expansion is accelerating - even though our current mathematical models suggest the universe should be collapsing in on itself by now. So we invent this stuff we call Dark Energy that explains away this phenomenon. But we know there is a lot of gravity we cannot explain otherwise galaxies themselves would fly apart - they're spinning too quickly to be held together by gravity alone - gravity as we understand it. So we invent Dark Matter to explain the gravity that must be there. I think our perspective is wrong. And the brains behind quantum physics know this all too well. String Theory is the latest good attempt to arrive at a new perspective. I keep forgetting that there are actually 5 "string theories" and that they're up to 11 dimensions now. When Witten first laid that out - if I remember correctly - he only needed 7 dimensions. But as more and more observations poured in - we're at 11 now huh? It'll be 15 before they scrap the string idea for something better. Anyway - only God knows for sure - but I think the real step forward will happen when someone gets the right perspective out there for everyone else to build on.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2848
Registered: Oct-07
IMO, the proper use of theory is predictive, not DEscriptive. For example, theory indicated a very heavy particle. result was the search for the Higgs.
A theory should not just describe what you observe, but predict what can later be verified.
A theory in competition with the dark matter / dark energy line of thought is MOND. Modified Newtonian Dynamics in which the gravitational constant apparently isn't. It is possible to account for many of the observations in this manner and make some predictions to be verified BY observation and experiment.

And Jan, if you ever should find your way to Southern California, I'll personally take you up to Mount Palomar. And in-season....out to Borrego Springs (pretty dark) for either the Leonids or Perseids in December and August, respectively.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 26
Registered: Jul-12
I like it. The MOND approach is to expand on what we already know - taking into account factors previously ignored or in this case not observable in our everyday lives but much so in our observations of the universe where the laws of physics are on display on the grandest of scales. Dark matter / dark energy / dark helmet - this approach is to take some quantity of energy / mass we cannot explain - give it a name - and pretend we've solved something. That's what I hate about it.

I believe that the universe goes thru a never-ending cycle of explosion - big bangs - and eventually collapses back in on itself and repeats that cycle. I think black holes are the vacuum cleaners that will eventually pull it all back together. I also believe there is another form of existence we cannot possibly understand inside of a black hole.

I wonder if the Higgs will explain dark matter. Maybe that's all it is.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 27
Registered: Jul-12
I think it is interesting to look back at the 60s and 70s - science fiction - the attitude - we had just landed on the moon - human technology had just leaped forward unimaginably in the previous decades - the general consensus was that that rate of expansion of human knowledge and technology would continue into the distant future. Humans would be colonizing the moon within decades. We would be visiting distant star systems soon after that. Remember the Jetsons? Space 1999? Star Trek for that matter. We have not been back to the moon. It turns out its too dangerous to send people up there - cosmic rays from solar storms will kill them and we have no way to protect against that. A mission to Mars alone is a monster exercise. It kind of makes the idea of ET showing up and saying hello a little far-fetched. I think if an alien life form ever did "visit" the Earth they would do what we would do for something so far away - send an un-manned craft - a probe. I think it would be nothing but a machine sent here to record data and beam it back to wherever.

Human brains are finite in their capacity to understand things. There has to be a logical limit to human intelligence. At some point we will hit a plateau - a limit to what we can understand. Maybe we're a lot closer to that point than anyone is willing to admit? I personally believe a "theory of everything" is likely beyond our capacity to achieve - because it's beyond our capacity to understand or at least beyond our ability to measure or observe. I think the final equations will be mostly un-provable theories because we will not stop trying to explain things we don't understand until we do reach something we cannot understand. Understand?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 28
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - I told you they have wireless rear speakers and you just wouldn't believe me. Like I said - Crutchfield has a selection of HT speaker systems - all with wireless rears. The answer is to attach a wireless transmitter to the main system - I have pre-amp outputs for the rear channels as well as a sub - so that's what i'd use them for - to connect to the wireless transmitter - then on the couch side of the room I'd plug-in the rear amplifier and connect my rear speakers to it. Problem solved. Glad I came up with that solution.

I noticed that ALL of them have built-in equalizers with several settings - I guess everyone is going to blow their HT speakers. Those things claim to have like 167W per channel going into a 2.5" driver. For real? What's the catch? How is that possible? Are those like 1 ohm speakers or something? Is it really like 20W? If I took my computer speakers and plugged them into my 120W per ch I cannot imagine that being anything but utter destruction - with or without the eq. Whatever.

So what would I gain from upgrading to a 5.1 DTS-HD system? If i'm not going to add rear speakers then it isn't really worth the upgrade - is it? All i'd get is an LFE channel that I do not have now. I already have a center channel being decoded - my sub is just the front signal filtered down to low bass. Now if I had rear speakers - which I could pull off with a wireless amp - then it might be worth it. Maybe.

Do you guys - who are truly serious about music - ever listen to music in a Dolby / DTS mode? All i've ever listened to is my fronts for music. That's it. The version of Dolby Pro Logic that I have does nothing but manufacture rear sounds and it degrades the quality of the sound enough to make me avoid it. Sub aside - do you ever listen to music with more than just the fronts? The center is not supposed to be part of music right? Is there any music out there that's encoded in DTS or any of the shmancy audio formats BluRay discs are encoded in? I need to research super audio. I've heard that buzz word before. I guess what i'm asking here is - do you guys listen to music with more than the front speakers? If not then i'm not wasting much time researching that stuff because I know I would not be happy with the sound if it's any lower in quality than the Red Book format my music CDs are encoded in now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2849
Registered: Oct-07
Human intelligence IS very finite. It has yet to be proven that it has 'survival value'. At least long term.

Exponential growth is the big enemy. Be that population, resource consumption, pollution or whatever.
Everything is related in a series of positive and negative feedback loops. Fairly simple loops like population increase vs better healthcare are fairly easy to understand, though with widespread implications. Factor in standard of living, resource usage and mineral 'reserves' and you have quite a mess. I've seen chromium used as an example. Back in the '70s and based on static usage, the reserves were estimated at about 400 years. Given a couple % growth of consumption, that dropped by over 60%. Increases in reserves only added marginally to the useful life of the mineral resource. Than, for good measure, toss in recycling and there you go. Additional expense, but at the good effect of potentially less pollution and 'stretching' of reserves.
http://resources.metapress.com/pdf-preview.axd?code=u37154786x52025n&size=larges t
And while 'static' reserves appear to have gone up for some minerals, factoring in exponential growth makes those numbers less impressive.

For a really amazing 'alien' connection, look up BaalBek. While the top ruins are doubtless Roman, they built on a site of unknown age. Some of the stones are well-over 1000 tons. The Romans are not known to have moved stones over maybe 25 tons.
Other sites of 'inexplicible' origins exist. Some stonework survives today from multiple thousands of years ago. Some are built to amazing standards and have features which leave modern people, including engineers and stone masons simply scratching their heads. In Egypt there are some ruins with holes drilled in Granite. Perfect.Some 'arced' pieces exist, too, and their is some evidence of machinery used to cut stone. I saw an Oblisk in quarry of over 1000 tons.

As for human limits? I suspect a human / machine cooperative will be smarter than either. Huge relational database driven by real organic curiosity. Deep Blue and Watson, both IBM creations are just fun experiments compare with what's to come.
 

Gold Member
Username: Arande2

Rattle your ... Missouri

Post Number: 3078
Registered: Dec-06
@Jan I don't know what I want to do, but an audio company sounds okay. We'll see :P Also, my use of EQ is limited to bass adjustment for shelving or notching problem frequencies that cause more harm than good, especially in headphones. I actually have to cut the high bass (200hz range) and the mid-highs a bit on my canalphones. Since I'm out and about on campus all day, that's about all I listen to.

I avoid putting out my ideas in convos like these, at least for now, due to the theoretical nature and the limits of back/forth transcribed trains of thought. I WILL say that I am very slow to allow new information into my field of memory/thought, so I have to consider the "upper" mathematics with great caution. And politics... well... same deal.

That's it for now.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 29
Registered: Jul-12
Leo - you make a good point.

If you think about it - every "empire" the human race has ever built - every "advanced" society throughout time - was built on the backs of slaves and animals and a few machines with limited sophistication. Our modern technological world - the industrialized world in which we now live - was built on fossil fuels - mostly oil, natural gas and coal - machines that convert the suns energy trapped in these chemicals into motion or heat. It took millions of years to form all this oil and coal. And when it's all gone - it's gone. Big oil is right about one thing - there are no viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

We may not run out of oil in my lifetime but when we finally do it's going to be ugly. I can only imagine the wars that will take place as everyone fights over the last good oil wells or coal mines. We'll probably get a preview of that in our lifetimes when we start running out of cheap lithium, copper, titanium and other things that will run out first.

Our good mines are apparently the result of asteroid impacts - devastating ones - that melted miles of the Earth's crust - allowing metals to form layers based on relative density. When the pure and easy minerals run out - then what?

And you know every government on Earth is lying about how much oil and coal and gas that country has. And you know governments are going to keep it a secret when we get close to running out - keep the good times rolling as long as we can - so the "end" will likely be a market crash that we can barely imagine. I hope I live long enough to not see that.

My lifetime was filled with people who firmly believed that we're not going to run out of oil in my lifetime - so fill 'er up. What we have now is a generation of young people who are starting to consider that we will run out of oil in their lifetimes. The middle east youth are showing that frustration more and more everyday. Our youth are showing that in their political voice. Hopefully this machine will slow down some. Eventually it has to.

I firmly believe that the future of the human race looks more like the 19th century than it does Star Trek. I believe we're going to start moving backwards as the commodities we now take for granted become increasingly expensive. We may already be at that point. The point where the human standard of living moves down - not up - over time. I just hope that the advances in science and technology that we make - the apex of knowledge that we reach in the industrial age - is not lost to the indifference and mayhem of wars and suffering. I don't think we'll get to a theory of everything before the hourglass runs out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17358
Registered: May-04
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"Human brains are finite in their capacity to understand things. There has to be a logical limit to human intelligence. At some point we will hit a plateau - a limit to what we can understand."


On that point, I have to disagree. As humans we understand what we understand as we need to understand it. What we did not know in the year 1000, we now know. What we didn't know in the year 1950 or 2000, we now know. There is no apex to human intelligence, simply a continual movement to expand our grasp of how things operate and why they operate in that fashion.

We've been proven wrong on numerous occasions but we continue to march forward on the backs of our own errors. Until the day comes when we outlaw curiousity and knowledge, humans will continue to ask questions and those questions will need to have answers. (OK, don't go into a Taco Bell at midnight on a Friday night and look at the people in there or you'll be convinced I'm entirely wrong on the fate of the human race. There are a few humans who ask more piercing questions than, "Uh, ... what all's in a Burrito Supreme and can I get one for $2?")

Unfortunately, you cannot separate anything from the politics of the situation as we become more and more polarized in our opinions. Politically it benefits a certain class to have all other classes possess less and less knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Regrettably, the quanta of advancement is being removed in multiples as the ruling class wishes to move the people under their control back to the 7th c/ - or just to some imagined golden era of the mid-1900's. The propaganda machines are constantly telling every listener to not believe the opposition - the opposition being anyone who does not preach their party line. "They are biased against your values", is the first message. "Only believe what comes from us, we are on your side", is the second. "You are being oppressed by them", is the third. "You are of a superior intelligence to believe only what we tell you", is the fourth. Mission accomplished in any argument from any prospective. An "argument from authority" is still one of the most successful debate strategies though it will always remain a logical fallacy. The emperor has no clothes beyond those we perceive him to be wearing. As I said in an earlier post, "perception of a difference is as good as an improvement in most cases." Human perception is quite malleable.

Just recently in another forum dealing with an unrelated field I made a comment regarding electronic component "break in". The first response was from the person who began his post with, "As an EE with over thirty years experience... ", and then added the words "voodoo" and "snake oil" to his "rebuttal" of my statement. The second comment was from someone who attempted to discredit the magazine from which I drew a quote. When I responded I would prefer they debate the subject and the intent of the quote and not just the source of a single quote from a secondary source in that magazine, they responded with another attack on the magazine and told me to "wake up, stupid". People do not understand how to have a respectful debate today, they only know how to shout the other side down.

In another instance when I commented on "the effects of bacteria", another poster said I was wrong because bacteria had been recognized decades earlier. I reiterated that I had said "the effects of bacteria" and was ignored for the second time and I was once again told how wrong I was about the discovery of bacteria. Until we once again learn how to actually listen to another opinion, we are doomed to exist within our own echo chamber. That is, IMO, the limitation of human intelligence, it is self imposed because it is inconvenient to do otherwise.

Here in Texas one political party's official 2012 - 2012!!! - platform includes a plank which says the party will not support nor will it promote any public education program which encourages "critical thinking". When asked about such a position it was explained the development of critical thinking skills in young minds leads to the questioning of authority ... which will ultimately undermine those figures in authority. The Texas Schoolbook Commission, which supplies textbooks to more than half of the states in the US, has eliminated names and information which they see as potentially leading to an@rchy (this very forum will not allow the word "an*rchy" to exist); names such as Barbara Jordan and, in one reference, Thomas Jefferson. If you have been told only to believe those with whom you can agree on "this" subject, then you automatically fall in line, and in agreement, with those who make "that" policy within the echo chamber. When the debate has been divided by political control, power and money into issues viewed as either black or white, up or down, right or left no other voices from those with less political power, less control or less money are allowed to enter the discussion. As income diversity widens, so too will knowledge diversity - unless the system is reversed. The ever widening income gap and the political control it brings with it, however, do not bode well for that alternative.

Human knowledge cannot be squelched though it can be dampened as it resonates outward. Say the word "chakra" to most Americans and they have a remarkable degree of distrust and at times outright hostility toward any idea which is not already common to their knowledge base and their belief engines. Say the word "organic" or "holistic" to someone and you just might be called a quack - or worse! - despite the fact "traditional" agriculture techniques have really only existed since the middle of the 20th c/. At Texas A&M, the university which turns out approximately 87% of the veternarians in Texas, the students receive one hour of education in nutrition - not one hour's credit in classwork but simply one hour. Many of the school's programs are sponsored by Dow Chemical and, in years past, internships were awarded at the Dow plants. Conformity has replaced curiousity in many schools of higher education. When your livelyhood depends upon conformity over curiousity, which are you most likely to accept?

Where I see human knowledge being limited is in the acceptance of those things which are uncomfortable to comprehend. Higgs-Boson has been called the "God Particle". How much attention did the most recent news article regarding Higgs have and for how long? There are many reasons not to rearrange the place settings on the table and undermining the credibility of forces which have been used to control human thought for several thousand years would be just one of those reasons.

Humans will inevitably continue to search as we always have. The problem will be that when we finally begin to understand how 1000 ton stones were moved and cut with precision still unavailable to modern man, there will always be more than a few who will want to shout down the messenger in order to discredit the message. That system will never change because there is no control without people who willfully believe they are being intelligent to, or their livelyhood depends upon their desire to, only accept what they are told by a controlling interest.


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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17359
Registered: May-04
.

"Big oil is right about one thing - there are no viable alternatives to fossil fuels."



"Big Oil" presently has enormous amounts of political power, control and wealth, Rocker. Think about what else that provides them. How large is that megaphone when it comes to shouting down the messenger? We are in the infancy of alternative fuels just as burning whale blubber in the 1800's was at the earliest stages of our transformation into the Industrial Era. We're already fighting wars over who controls access to those metals and minerals which will allow the next major transformation to occur. Afghanistan warlords are becoming rich as we establish contracts which will allow us to mine those precious resources which drive our modern communications systems.


Besides, we will be fighting future wars over water and who owns it and who controls it, not over oil. That future is already baked into the cake.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17360
Registered: May-04
.

Have you seen the pet food commercial which says, "We discovered that by blending botanicals into our pet foods ... "

Really! they "discovered" that?! How do you suppose they made that "discovery"? By observing how animals eat when left to their own devices? By paying attention to what animals do when they are not under the domestication of humans?

If mankind ever "discovers" the how and why of the systems which make soldier ants do what they do, mankind will face either complete annihilation or complete conformity. The choice will have been made for us.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17361
Registered: May-04
.

"Also, my use of EQ is limited to bass adjustment for shelving or notching problem frequencies that cause more harm than good, especially in headphones. I actually have to cut the high bass (200hz range) and the mid-highs a bit on my canalphones."


You're obviously sourcing your music from a too common provider, Andre, then applying your higher end audio thinking to its playback. Most contemporary music is, and has for decades been, mixed specifically for playback in cars and on portable devices where that 200Hz boost is largely desired. Though, given your stated priorities in playback, I can see why reducing the energy in one bandwidth would provide sufficient energy to another.




"I avoid putting out my ideas in convos like these, at least for now, due to the theoretical nature and the limits of back/forth transcribed trains of thought. I WILL say that I am very slow to allow new information into my field of memory/thought, so I have to consider the 'upper' mathematics with great caution. And politics... well... same deal."


You're what age now, Andre? Sixteen going on seventeen? You'll have plenty of time to discover the direction you want to take and you might take several. That seems to be a more prevalent career path today than even when I was young. You have curiousity and, once you are curious, you dive into a subject head first. That's a good trait to have, if you apply it to all that is of value. Have fun along the way. Discriminating what is of value is, unfortunately, something you tend to realize late in life. I wouldn't trade my life experiences for anything as they have made me who I am today. But I've always been the type who as I knew more realized how little of the subject I actually knew or could ever know. I'll turn 60 next month and to think I should have all this under my belt by now is the regret of age. I hate to say it, Andre, but if you stay curious, you will think of that one day as you are about to turn 60. The future is your's only if you control it. In many ways, I envy the youth of tomorrow despite all I have witnessed along the way. In many ways, if I were young today and knew what I know now, I would be, like CSN at Woodstock, scared ****less.


For you, Andre, no one makes music like this any more; _Stills,_Nash_%26_Young,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crosby,_Stills,_Nash_%26_Young

At one time my generation was full of "hope and change" and that music was the hope which would bring that change to be.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17362
Registered: May-04
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"Do you guys - who are truly serious about music - ever listen to music in a Dolby / DTS mode?"


This section of the forum is about two channel audio systems. There is a home theater section and maybe you'd get a more diverse opinion over there. HT is a secondary system for me. I sold high end audio for a few decades which eventually became high end audio and video in the 1980's and then morphed into home theater in the '90's with the housing boom just beginning. So I've had a separate HT system for quite a few years but its quality is only slightly above average.

Multi-channel music recordings have never caught on with the public for numerous reasons. One thing which has hampered the most recent acceptance of multi-channel music systems would appear to be the way "audiophiles" and even the average joe tend to think about recorded music vs those who produce the music. Multi-channel recordings have had the tendency to break from a realistic stage presentation towards one which is more ... uh, ... "immersive" is the best way to say it. Guitars exist in several channels and stretch from front to rear. Recordings are often mixed to place the listener inside the drum kit itself. Vocals are a thing of huge dimensions on some recordings. For a few recordings this style works but largely becomes a distraction to experiencing music as you might hear it at a live performance - the very thing high end audio has tried to capture for the last century.

Modern studio mixers have no fewer than 168 channels on average and that is too few for most modern recordings as far as the engineers are concerned. IMO the very best recordings I own were made with only three microphones or less. My main two channel system is in another room away from the HT system. That's where I listen to music when I want to actually listen to music.


"So what would I gain from upgrading to a 5.1 DTS-HD system? If i'm not going to add rear speakers then it isn't really worth the upgrade - is it? All i'd get is an LFE channel that I do not have now. I already have a center channel being decoded - my sub is just the front signal filtered down to low bass. Now if I had rear speakers - which I could pull off with a wireless amp - then it might be worth it. Maybe."


What you own is determined by what you want to hear. I'm guessing you would have been a fairly average client when I was selling gear and I would have sold you on the experience by demonstrating action films and possibly sports. For those sources a fullly discrete surround system is as impressive as a 60"+ hi-def TV. Sounds move around the room in ways which no matrixed system can come close to replicating. When the scene shifts to a close up of the quarterback, forward or pitcher you are, as I said earlier, immersed in the experience of sound from all points. Jet fly overs actually move around the room as oposed to just existing in the room's front quarter. What you hear in the theater is what you can accomplish in your home. To some people that's important.



"The center is not supposed to be part of music right? "

Actually, three channels of music across the front is how "stereo" began. Early demonstrations of music playback in the 1930's indicated two channels alone were not enough to capture the realistic soundstage dimensions of a symphony orchestra. Though several of the limitations were due to speaker design of the time, the first three channel systems were created in the late '30's. The limitations to acceptance in the home was due to the source players available at that time. Once tape recorders were available which had the ability to carry more than one channel, three channel systems were made available and many better quality pre amps were outfitted with a center channel output. Paul Klisch was a proponent of three channel systems and his later speakers after the Klipschorn were intended to be used as centers with the Horns. Many of now classic recordings of the era were made with three microphones which were later mixed to two channels as stereo became the norm. Stereo won out for economic reasons, it was cheaper for the music producers to stamp a thousand copies of a disc rather than run off a thousand tapes one at a time. To the end user, the ability to place the stylus on exactly the track they wanted rather than fast forwarding through a tape was a convenience feature which sold stereo LP's as the dominant media.

With the introduction of SACD at the turn of this century, multi-channel music sources were once again available though engineering marvels such as Thomlison Hollman (THX) were already arguing for as many as ten channels. Despite its many advantages, SACD never caught on with the buying public though a few studios still use various parts of the technology today for high end audio recording purposes. Telarc, a high end music production label, has recently dropped its production of SACD's leaving only a small handful of labels which are still tied to the SuperAudio format.



" I noticed that ALL of them have built-in equalizers with several settings - I guess everyone is going to blow their HT speakers. Those things claim to have like 167W per channel going into a 2.5" driver. For real? What's the catch? How is that possible? Are those like 1 ohm speakers or something? Is it really like 20W? If I took my computer speakers and plugged them into my 120W per ch I cannot imagine that being anything but utter destruction - with or without the eq. Whatever."


Surrounds, even in a discrete system such as DTS, don't carry a heavy load as low frequencies are filtered away from the surround channels. The size of the drivers and the amount of watts are somewhat immaterial as the surrounds only need to balance with the fronts in a way that is "subtle". Set up of a HT system should have the surrounds remaining unnoticed until a signal exists which obviously draws your attention to their presence - if that makes sense. Ambient sounds are the largest portion of what surrounds will produce and the times when, say, an explosion enters the surrounds it doesn't stay there for long.


Wireless surrounds?!!! Hmmm, I've never heard of such a thing. What will they think of next? Battery powered amplifiers?





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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 30
Registered: Jul-12
I've seen CSNY 3 times - all 3 here in DC back in the 80s and 90s. I have some stories to tell coming from those experiences. Good stories. Loved the sound.

Jan - first let me say I agree with most of everything you've said. Sometimes I become a bit of a "devil's advocate" to promote intelligent discussion. That has become quite challenging lately.

It seems to me there are a few mind control strategies in play - all funded by very wealthy interests who's concern is only to protect and expand their own sphere of power and wealth. Knowledge is power. Power is money and more money is more power.

The immediate one is to convince people: everyone else is lying to you - I am telling you the truth - listen only to me - ignore what everyone else tells you - it's a form of voluntary brainwash that works rather well - people ignore the obvious truth sitting right in front of their faces. A large part of that is the illusion that only one side of the political spectrum is represented by the media. Bomb the public with the dumbest ideas of your opposition all day every day. Do not allow the intelligent voices and ideas of your opposition to ever be heard. Then march out your man, identified as the objective expert, to lay down your propaganda, presented as the common sense truth that the media refuses to tell you. It works. The best way to describe this approach: suppress the truth - and if you can't, disguise it - and if you can't, program people to ignore it. How many times have candidates been caught by the media in an outright lie and all they have to do is back up and blame the media for "gotcha questions" or for attacking them in an unfair way?

Second - is to convince everyone that there is no intelligent middle. As you put it: left and right but no center. Convince people their only choice is between this extreme or that extreme - there is no middle ground - that way you get people to accept your extreme positions.

Third - attack the opposition. Attack ads work. That was proven by the most recent successful political campaign.

They've done a good job of getting control of the least intelligent demographics. Where they've failed is with the more intelligent. That's where the desire to control our schools and universities comes into play. They've even written their own version of the Bible that fits their political agenda. I'm no saint - I have no grounds upon which to preach to anyone - but the last thing in this life I would ever do - is use God's name to enrich or empower myself.

Look back at the former Soviet Union. The Russian people never accepted socialism - never liked it. The communist party controlled them for 7 decades. How? I call it "wallet control." Want to get into a good college? Join the communist party. Want to climb the ladder where you work? Join the communist party. Want a cool flat in downtown Moscow? Join the communist party. Want a dacha in the Crimea? You know how to get it. Speak out against the communist party? Enjoy Siberia.

We don't have that level of control over us yet but I suspect it is coming. Look at how many rulers in this world actively control information. N. Korea being the best example. Whether you call it capitalism or communism or davism - whatever you call it - in the end its control - control of information and control of opportunity. It's the same thing over and over throughout history.

Capitalism becomes broken when the wealthiest use the power of their wealth to expand their wealth and its power by taking all the newly-created wealth for themselves. Capitalism becomes oppressive when the wealthiest use the power of their wealth to expand their wealth and its power by taking wealth from the working class because the broken economy no longer produces new wealth. That's where we're heading.

You're assuming human knowledge is cumulative - that every generation builds upon the knowledge of the generation before it. That has been true only since the birth of modern technology - which took place in what is now France in the early 11th century. They figured out that moving crops around from year to year made them grow better - that horses made better plow animals - that putting a harness on their shoulders and not a rope around the neck allowed them to pull harder and longer - and that their manure helped plants grow - the steel plow - windmills - water mills - it was all about growing lots of food which lead to lots of cattle which led to high-protein meat diets - large populations of strong, healthy people became possible. Europeans grew in number and have dominated the Earth ever since. And it started with a horseshoe.

But the knowledge of the Romans was lost when the Empire fell apart. That knowledge was recreated later - over a thousand years later - by different peoples not building on what the Romans had learned - but by figuring it out for themselves.

My fear is that - as you pointed out yourself - political will today is to control human knowledge. I'm not certain that our current level of knowledge will survive. As was pointed out - even today we cannot explain how various stones were moved, cut and placed with such delicate balance. To me that represents knowledge lost. Exactly how much knowledge - we cannot know. Apparently right much.

You're right again when you point out that more wars have been fought over water than any other resource in the history of the human race. Iraq and Syria would destroy the dams in Turkey in a heartbeat if they could. Mexico would target dams up-river too. Don't forget that battles have been fought over opium poppies too. And gold - which may reemerge in the future.

If I look back at any time in my life - I always wish that I could've known then what I know now - the logical conclusion is that at some point in my future i'll look back on today and say the same thing. In a way i'm glad of that - it means I never stop learning. If I ever reach a time in my life where I look back at the past and I no longer feel that way i'll know i've stopped learning. And that will be a sad day.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 31
Registered: Jul-12
jan - I think you were typing your latest post when I was typing my latest War & Peace according to Dave. I didn't see your latest post the last time I saw this thread.

Again - thanks for the info. I can Google my way around for hours and get mostly pointless facts. It's so much better to have someone who knows shift from shinola telling me what's real and what's not worth my time. Thanks.

If I understood you correctly - you're telling me that I need to go listen to a good HT system that uses 5.1 - forget about the echo-rear sounds I might get from my current amp - and hear what i'm missing - and decide from there. I think I also heard you agree with me - that until i'm ready willing and able to install rear speakers i'm better off to keep what I have. Right?

My audio has always been about music. The fact that I became able to plug my Hi-Fi VCR into my jam system and get cool movies was just fries on the side. Where's the beef? I'm pointing to the speakers, the amp and the CD player. Has been since college - that would be the Reagan years. Still is.

I bought a BluRay last year and audio didn't enter my mind - it was mainly about getting my money's-worth out of my LCD TV - which I bought mostly because the 36" Sony tube TV that I had at the time only weighs 286 lbs - and I'm sad to say that in my late 40s I am no longer able to lift and carry it. It had become burdensome. The flat LCD is bigger and weighs like 40lbs or something. My wife can pick it up.

Back on point - this BluRay player has audio settings with all kinds of buzz words I don't understand. I plugged it into my amplifier. I set the audio output to downmix to stereo and forgot about it.

Until lately when I needed to replace my car speakers. I've had a "Dolby Surround Sound" amplifier for 17 years and never used it to drive anything but 2 speakers. My job 5 days a week has me working with Engineers who are building a DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio capability into the product we're building (which I've never heard from a position inside the speakers - only from down the hall - but it sounds good from my office). My curiosity got the best of me. I decided to at least try the 3-channel version of movies so I bought a center speaker for my home audio system while I was at it. I also bought a sub to improve the bass coming from my little JBLs.

I then started this thread - because I knew I was venturing into the unknown and would benefit greatly from the wisdom I could find here - and I have - thanks to everyone who contributed.

I quickly learned that the center channel has no place in music - just movies. And now that i've upgraded my front speakers to the RF-62 - a sub is not needed at all for music either - just movies.

So I have the same old stereo i've always had - 2 good speakers - for music. For movies I also have a center and a sub. I switch on the Pro Logic - it stays in 3 CH mode - the center in WIDE mode. I switch on the sub and i'm set. It sounds better than what I had before so to me I have succeeded.

The points you made make total sense from an unknowing-consumer perspective. As I just explained - my choices were driven more by necessity and convenience rather than from a technologically-educated one. How many consumers truly understand the details? I don't. I'll bet a lot of people are scared away by all the things they don't know.

I'm going to make it a point to go listen to a 5.1 system for sports and for movies too. Thanks.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2852
Registered: Oct-07
quote:
I'll bet a lot of people are scared away by all the things they don't know.
This is perhaps one of the reason for the low-penetration of hi-end sound into the real world. It IS a daunting task to try to figure this stuff out and most people content themselves with OK->Poor.

My neighbor has a HUGE record collection. Some of his vinyl is even collectable...and unopened or autographed.
The very mention of 1000$ for a 'good' TT, power supply and cart left him blanched. 'What can I get for 200$?'

BTW, isn't it true that the original 'stereo' experiments INCLUDED a center channel? It was abandonded because the speakers of the day were huge, not to mention cost restraints.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17363
Registered: May-04
.

"We don't have that level of control over us yet but I suspect it is coming. Look at how many rulers in this world actively control information. N. Korea being the best example. Whether you call it capitalism or communism or davism - whatever you call it - in the end its control - control of information and control of opportunity. It's the same thing over and over throughout history."


Leo and I have had a few conversations regarding politics. On some aspects we are not very far apart. On others we are on each side of the Grand Canyon shouting across to the other.

I remain astonished that the debate over "freedom" comes down to whether you can buy a 100 watt incandscent lamp or prove your freedom by buying a chemical laden chicken sandwich filled with artificial hormones and antibiotics. Our political discourse has come down to a sideshow.


"But the knowledge of the Romans was lost when the Empire fell apart. That knowledge was recreated later - over a thousand years later - by different peoples not building on what the Romans had learned - but by figuring it out for themselves."



Is that not the result of a hated totalitarian regime? When the empire fell all that was associated with the empire had to fall with it. My three current dogs are of the Havanese breed which was created by the Italians as a gift to the Cuban royalty. When the Cuban Revolution took place in the 1950's and the royalty were overthrown, the revolutionaries began to destroy all vestiges of the old Cuba - right down to shooting the dogs which had been declared the exclusive property of the royals. When the Taliban took over in Afghanistan in the late 1990's, they began destroying anything which represented opposition to their power. You'll probably remember they blew up several ancient Buddhas against international outcries. Our knowledge of cave paintings and stone temples is lost because somewhere along the line they represented a threat to someone in power. They still do.



.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17364
Registered: May-04
.

"If I understood you correctly - you're telling me that I need to go listen to a good HT system that uses 5.1 - forget about the echo-rear sounds I might get from my current amp - and hear what i'm missing - and decide from there. I think I also heard you agree with me - that until i'm ready willing and able to install rear speakers i'm better off to keep what I have. Right? "


Certainly, go listen. Ideally, spend some time with the system rather than just a ten minute demonstration with the salesperson picking the demo material. Ask them to delete the rear speakers and compare one to the other. Do this on a quiet weekday afternoon when disabling speakers won't create problems for future clients. You might even want to call ahead and ask to speak to the store manager/owner to set up an appointment where you can be given some time to think and listen. Don't be too quick to judge either way. I generally avoid any DVD with a gun on the cover as a selling point for the movie but I would seldom have no need for the surrounds in my HT system even when they are contributing very minor amounts of information. However, as I said, I do not use that system for music playback. The center would be more easily removed from my HT system though my seating positions do not require a center to compensate for a less than good front speaker array which can create a credible phantom center image. In quite a few systems I've set up for clients, speaker positioning would dictate a center as a necessity.



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 33
Registered: Jul-12
I just bought a subwoofer: Klipsch SW-308

The first sub I had - the JBL - was a bit much - it was 16"x17"x20" and weighed like 50 lbs.Even though 50 lbs is not all that heavy to me - this is a sub - the idea being to stick it away underneath or behind or wherever it is out of the way - ideally it goes where it sounds best - but real world - it goes where you have room for something like that - which usually involves sticking it under or behind something - and a woofer that weighs 50 lbs. - you cannot slide it on carpet - has to be lifted and set into position - is not an easy thing to do at that weight. It was a 700W 12" sub. It sounded good. The main reason I sent it back was all the negative reviews I saw with people having problems with the things dying on them. Several opinions on this board were that JBL subs are to be avoided. I'm familiar with the China roulette wheel. The company I work for had a chip/board built in China - that's the only place in the world nowadays where you can get one built - the first one was fine. We built a second one - this time it was even cheaper - and the board/chip was such a total piece of junk - it didn't work well at all - it couldn't handle the heat is was supposed to - had many bugs in it - so we went thru a process of testing it and fixing issues with embedded software - you use software to correct for the hardware - that process went on unti we ran out of funding and in the end that board couldn't deliver the speed we needed to provide the features we had been advertising for years. Our product never made it to the market - now we're just marketing the technology itself in an attempt to recover investor losses. That company in China went out of business - there's nobody we can sue - that's always a long-shot in China anyway. Basically this piece of dung chip/board sunk our entire company and caused investors to lose a hefty 8-digit figure. I imagine Harman had some nightmare experience along these lines. I know what total crap they're making over there and I chose not to own it. Is the Klipsch sub the same thing? Maybe. But it will not be running through my mind everytime I listen to it.

It is kind of funny. I sat there looking at the old sub asking myself - why in the world do I need a 12" 700W sub for movies? This is outrageous. I only need something small. So I went shopping for an 8" sub. I pondered the NXG Technologies sub for $100. The Polk for $220. When they finally put the Klipsch on sale for $300 I couldn't resist. So now i'm ending up with a 650W sub. Oh well. If the day ever comes that I decide to use it for music I have a sub that will work for that just fine.
It is only 11" in each dimension. It's the same size as the supercube or the minivee - for less than half the price. Is it as good of a sub? Close enough for government work.

That completes my all-Klipsch system. I prefer to have them all be the same brand and line anyway - matching sounds. I like the Klipsch sound. They're not the clearest speakers on the market. But for the price tag they have a very clean sound. I like their rich tonal quality. They lend themselves well to rock and roll of all types - my music collection. I can tell these things can handle it loud very well even though i'm not planning on using that feature it is still nice to know that i'm not going to blow them or damage them if I do decide to crank them up for whatever reason.

Anyway - thanks again for all the help everyone!
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2856
Registered: Oct-07
Sub power needed would appear to be inversely related to size. Those small subs NEED 650 watts. (whose watts?) while my larger HSU sub is 250 or so and easily keeps up with my panels...and 500x2.

The 'smaller' HSU STF series may have filled the bill. I live about an hours drive from HSU HQ and was easily able to drive up...do an audition....and stick one in the back of the car, skip shipping and get a cash discount. Sweet.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 38
Registered: Jul-12
I'm jealous leo.

The Klipsch sub showed up today. Sounds sweet so far.

Help me understand something: this past weekend I finally connected my Tivo HD DVR to my audio receiver. I had not done that before because - long story - but we now have 30 "music choice" channels in our cable line-up and I wanted to tap into that. Anyway - my receiver is 17 years old. It has only the RCA analog stereo inputs - it has no HDMI or optical digital inputs. Just RCA analog.

But - the sound I get on those "Music Choice" channels is immaculate! I love it! Why doesn't my CD player sound that good? Listening to those music channels does impress me - I really do enjoy listening to them. I have not reached the point where I truly enjoy listening to my home audio system until I found these. This is the quality of sound i've been searching for.

But how is this possible? I'm only connecting using RCA analog cables. My receiver is 17 years old - it has Dolby Pro Logic but i'm not using that - I have the Pro Logic processor turned off. I'm listening in stereo. I've tried it with Pro Logic turned on in 3CH mode and it sounds good - but not as immaculate as it does in stereo with the Dolby off.

My Tivo is THX Certified - it outputs Dolby Digital - I have it set to do that. But if I have the Dolby processor turned off it should be downmixing to stereo - right?

I'm mostly curious about how this great sound is happening from my Tivo. What I really want to know is how to make it sound like that from my CD player if that's at all possible. I doubt that it is.

My BluRay player can output Dolby Digital True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio and a number of the predecessors to them. I have it set to output those audio signals. But again - it's connected to the receiver using RCA analog cables. It DOES make a noticeable difference in the sound if I set the BluRay to downmix the output to stereo rather than to output Dolby Digital. I have not played a DTS-HD disc yet. The only movie i've watched in this new setup is - goes without saying - a Star Trek movie - encoded in Dolby Digital True HD.

I suspect this conversation is going to circle back to me getting a new receiver. I already have the wife on-board with that idea. She's past getting involved in this. Unless I bring home Diamond 800s she's staying out of this from now on. If I do get a new AVR i'd like to keep this old receiver and use it to bi-amp my fronts. I'd hook everything into the new AVR using HDMI cables and feed the TV a signal from the AVR using an HDMI cable. I guess I could feed my old receiver using the Zone 2 output. Is that controlled by the master volume or not? Is there a way to feed a pre-amp signal to the old receiver that's controlled by the master volume on the new one?

Some of these new AVRs seem to have bi-amping capabilities built into them. The back of the Onkyo TX-NR616 that I like has a label on the 7.1 speaker outputs "Surround Back or Front Hi" - that sounds like you can use the extra surround channel amps to bi-amp your fronts if you'd rather do so - which I would. Even though I do not need the extra power with Klipsch speakers all-way around - i'd still get the top of the line AVRs because they have all the decoders I would ever need and mostly they have the room correction EQ capability that has been highly recommended to me - by you. And I like equalizers soooo much ...

Anyway - the main point of my post - is can someone give me an intelligent reason why the Tivo-fed-across-RCA-analog "music choice" channels sound so much better than my CD player even though the Dolby Pro Logic processor is off? I've found something I love and i'm not really sure what it is yet.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2859
Registered: Oct-07
My dishnetwork receiver has settings for audio output. Since I have only stereo I set it for 'PCM only' and no mention of Dolby or anything else. The RCA Is 'analogue stereo' only, as far as I can tell....no multi-channel analogue outs to confuse me.
When set for 'you decide', I couldnt' get sound on HD movies.....my DAC wouldn't decode the non-PCM bitstream.
Above is all thru the optical output....to a Cambridge Audio DAC.

As for quality? I enjoy it too. I'm listening as I type. I'm going to change back to analogue tomorrow and put the optic cable to the OPPO upsampling DVD player. The sound is only SLIGHTLY better from the small dish while using optical. None of my sample rate lights work (on the DAC) while using the small dish. That means 32KHz signal output. The quality? Probably equal to MP3 160 or so. BUT, no noise so it is really better than old-school FM. I like small dish audio, too.
I also turn 'OFF' the sound leveling. This helps preserve dynamic range which when sound leveling is 'on' kind of gets crushed. You may want it 'on' for late nite TV viewing to prevent blasting and inaudible dialogue.

Louder stuff sounds better. In order to see which you actually prefer, you should play the same music.....and it should be 'level matched'.

I have a copy of the Kubrick classic....'2001 a Space Odyssey' and it has 2 choices for English audio. One sounds noticable fuller...even when I tell the PS3 to output only PCM. It is possible the analogue outputs ONLY output PCM downmixed stereo?
The PS3 has only optical out. So, no RCA for me!

BTW, I've always been told, and believed thru observation that most if not all HT receivers are 'temporary' things. The amplifier sections are so-so and will NOT meet spec with 'all channels driven' except in a few overachiever cases and most certainly won't like difficult loads like some B&W or low impedance speakers. My panels need not apply. IF I had the space, money and inclination to do a HT setup, I'd have a pre/pro sep'd from the amp(s). I'm not current enough on the pre/pro front to know if anyone makes a programable one which would be 'forward compatible' with future developments. Amps are more stable and good today should be good tomorrow.
I would suspect that NO HT receiver will work well with the Diamonds.
Your 17 year old HT receiver still working is a freak accident.

We should also distinguish between old-school equalizers and the newest iteration, the Audyssey system. In the old system, you set the curve by ear. More advanced units had a tone generator, a mic and meter.
Today? You, the meter and choice have been removed. The Audyssey will 'flatten' it out for wherever you place the mic. Some of 'em will even draw an 'average' curve for several sample points. So, put the mic in the 3 or 4 primary listening spots and the machine will make an average curve giving everyone the 'best' possible response. NOT the same as an old equalizer which was almost ALWAYS sorely abused. I had an old audio control 5 or 6 channel used for low bass and hi treble ONLY. The mic was calibrated and the tool came with a warble tone generator. I ended up bumping up the 30hz, and reducing 60 and to a lesser extent 125hz. This got rid of the bass bump in my bass reflex 'studio monitors'. They were JBL 4311 copies of similar vintage.
After you are done 'equalizing' you are still left with the room.

The TIVO will output whatever....without regard to the downstream component, they do NOT talk. Go to the TIVO setup menu and tell it 'PCM only' The stereo RCA should already do just that, anyway, right?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 39
Registered: Jul-12
Thanks for the info Leo. Sometimes I feel like i'm an old man lost in a new world. It's good to know that this really is not a simple thing. Lots of consumer choices always mean lots of conflicting technologies and more technologies to bridge the gaps.

I'm thinking out loud just like you were.

When the CD player first came out it entered a world where amps were analog devices. The fact that my receiver - and it was the top of the line at its time - has only RCA analog inputs is a reflection of this fact. CD players had to convert their output to analog since most amps needed and expected that. I'm burning these discs using iTunes to standard "CD quality" which is a 44.1kHz sampling rate. The bitstream rates are usually around 176 kHz which corresponds to a 4-bit depth? That adds up - 44.1k samples times 4 bits would be 176.4 bits per second. Every signal coming into my receiver is analog - you're right about that - has to be. So maybe the signal coming across the cable is a much higher bitstream than standard CD-quality? Sounds like it HAS to be!

I do not think it will matter in my case what output setting I select on the Tivo since i'm only using the analog outputs to connect to my receiver. I think if I had a new receiver with optical and HDMI inputs and I were to use HDMI to connect to the new AVR then it would make a difference - i'd have to select something my AVR could handle - which I imagine any good new AVR would.

If I understand Dolby Surround sound correctly the multiple channels are encoded into the 2 existing bitstreams using over-sampling. As long as my RCA cables can handle the higher bitstream it should work for Dolby.

Think about it - in 1995 when I bought this receiver - obviously the surround sound technology worked - and all we had was RCA analog cables. When people say you have to use optical or HDMI to get Dolby surround to work that cannot be true - if that were true then on the day I bought this thing they were selling me technology that would not work until something that wasn't invented yet was invented. Getting full-blown 7.1 sure i'll believe it but for 4-channel audio RCA cables clearly worked.

I'm hooked on equalizers. It's hard for me to let go. I've been equalizing for 30 years. I know what settings go with every CD that I have. The eq in my receiver is like the one in iTunes - I have presets to choose from and I can build my own settings and give them names. I have "More Bass" and "Clean Highs" and "More Clear" and several others - all designed to compensate for the quality of the music. I've never used eq to compensate for the room. That's a whole new ball of wax to me. Sounds interesting. THe standard bass and treble controls are technically a 2-band eq with levers at 100Hz and 10kHz.

I think I will buy that Onkyo today along with a pair of Klipsch RF-52 and KEF C7. I want to try smaller woofers to see if that sounds better to me. These RF-62 put out too much bass - at first it sounds kind of cool but over time it wears on me, I'd also like to try a non-horn high-quality speaker to see if the highs are more appealing to me. I'd also like to hear B&W 683 and 684 - but I can do that just by going to the local home theater place. I have to trial-run the other 2. It's much better to get them here anyway. That's the only way to truly experience speakers is to put them on my amp against my walls and listen to my CDs from my man-chair. Bring it on baby.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2861
Registered: Oct-07
Too Many 'Dolby' products exist for a near-normal person to keep track of.
Here 'ya go. Early systems used 'matrix' recordings to carry 4 channels over stereo.
I have no idea where your ancient receiver comes in, but modern stuff from BR is all 'discrete' having multiple channels processed by the disk provider. All you need is the HT controller / amps / speakers. ('all', what a joke)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Pro_Logic

Good luck trying to figure THAT mess out. What it appears to mean is that your stereo RCA cables were able to carry 4 channels of information. but it would be invisible unless the decoding were applied. Your note of it sounding better without dolby would be probably because of the additional noise BS added by those circuits. You and I are also now accustomed to 'good' multi channel sound by even cursory movie attendance.

Standard tone controls? They operate over several octaves each. Equalizers, even the '10 band' has controls which are an octave apart are designed to minimally effect adjacent frequencies.....Except for a little matter called phase shift, which ends up to be it's own form of sonic disaster. 1/3 Octave units are out there, but at that point, appeal mainly to the button/ leve/ knob geeky types.

Why B&W? is it just a name you kept hearing? I can think of a dozen or more 'names' for audition.......most of which I prefer to the B&Ws.
Have you considered Paradigm? Vandersteen? Polk? Dali? Harbeth? Magnepan? Martin Logan?

If you are really putting the speakers 'on your wall', that may be a good place to start.....pull 'em out a couple feet and try again. Or better yet? Go to the Cardas website and check out the setup guide for loudspeakers. At worst, it is a good exercise while it may be the magic bullet for 'ya. At least you'll get experience with the different sounds and abilities of your current setup......

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=faqs&content_id=7&pagestring=Listening+Ro om+Design
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 40
Registered: Jul-12
Thanks for the setup guide. I need that.

I've moved the speakers 13" from the wall and the bass was uneven across the listening area. It was unusually and unpleasantly concentrated at my seat. If I moved them 3' away from the wall the bass sounded pretty good - not too loud not boomy - and even across the listening area - that is definitely the correct solution. BUT - being "Married Man" (ever heard that sketch on the GreaseMan's radio show?) my speakers have to go where they make sense. 3' away from the wall isn't an easy thing to pull off.

I found that if I stick them flush up against the wall the bass is heavy but even across the listening area - it's not as loud at my man-chair versus when they're 1' away. That's the solution i'll have to go with to keep "wife unit" happy.

My approach is this: rather than move your "perfect speakers" around and make your furniture and room layout fit them - buy the speakers that sound best in the spot where you need them to be. If the RF-62 have too much bass against the wall maybe the RF-52 will have the right amount of bass - and listening to them in the music store cannot answer that question - they have to be against my wall with me in the man-chair.

I'm being stubborn again huh? Ok i'll study the speaker placement guide and learn. Thanks for the link.

I heard the ML Motion 40 - the bass was perfect - loved it - but the ESL tweeters in those things suck. I haven't heard B&W yet - not the ones (I think) I want - the 683 (or 684) or maybe the CM9 (or CM8). If they sound like the Motion 40 but with a real tweeter then I can already tell you that I absolutely LOVE them. I want them. I'm keeping those as a backup. If the Klipsch reference line doesn't work out i'm driving to IQ Home Entertainmenthttp://www.iqhomeentertainment.com/ and listen and buy the ones that sound best - knowing this time that the bass will be stronger at home versus in IQ.

The only brands i've considered are JBL, Klipsch, Canton, B&W, ML and Monitor Audio - the brands sold at IQ - the only place I can go listen to them - i've recently added Polk and KEF to that list although to hear them i'd have to buy them online from Amazon and listen to them at home - if I don't like them I can ship them back - all it costs me is my time plus return shipping (which is anywhere from $20 to $80 depending on the weight of the speakers). So I figure it's costing me about $50 on average to audition a pair of speakers in my home for up to 30 days. I like that better than going to IQ because the sound there is not the same as it is in my place in my man-chair on my ancient steam-powered amplifier.

Today i'm buying Klipsch RF-52 - we'll see how they sound
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 41
Registered: Jul-12
I figured out what it is about the "Music Choice" channels that makes them sound so good to me.

This morning I was listening to the "Music Choice" channels and a song came on that just so happens to be one I have on a CD that was in the 6-pack in the player - so I swapped between the two sounds. The difference was huge - the CD was much louder with the bass being much much deeper and stronger. The music choice stereo effect was much broader. In fact I found that I could move the 60Hz slider up and down on the music choice song and it didn't make a lot of difference - do that on the CD and watch out! The bass would blow you away. I also noticed the sub didn't make much sound on music choice but made a lot on the CD (more deep bass).

So it seems they have decreased the deep bass - filtering it down somewhere around 80Hz or so and they expanded the stereo effect.

After thinking about that - it seems they've optimized the sound for playback on a television set or a small-speaker HT system. Duh. Why didn't I think of that?

What this tells me is this: I like music better without much deep bass. So I need smaller woofers.

I've already decided to not use my subwoofer for music. I do not like it. I bought it for movies. This reinforces what I now believe.

Given that - the B&W 684 just may be the perfect speaker for me. Let's see how the Klipsch RF-52 sounds to me versus the RF-62. I thought the 62 sounded much better than the 82. Makes sense.

I don't know much about equalizer technology. In an ideal world we do not need them. I should go study them if i'm going to use them. Thanks for the info!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 43
Registered: Jul-12
Tonight I bought a pair of Klipsch Reference RF-52 II - they'll come in next week. I'll put them beside my RF-62 II and compare. Good thing I have A/B speaker switches on my ancient receiver - switching between them will be fast and easy.

I'm deciding on a new AVR. The Onkyo TX-NR717 looks good. It has more than I need - the TX-NR616 would work for half the price but the reviews are not good and Amazon is not selling it now - it's under review - red flag! So the 717 it should be - that AVR has a label on the surround speaker connections that says Front Hi (Bi amp). I like that.

I'm trying to take everyone's advice: take it slow and study my options.

I looked at the speaker placement layout link you gave me - the Golden Cuboid - that is so cool. It makes sense. Rather than try to predict what the room is going to do to the sound - put the speakers in places where you know that whatever effect the room has on the sound it is the exact same for both sides. If I ever get another house that has an extra room - i've had them before - turned it into an office - but next time I think i'll turn it into a golden cuboid. Seriously. With a monster TV hanging on the rear wall and a dead-bolt lock on the door to get in or out of it and the wife unit doesn't get a key. Rock on. The thought of that made me smile. I really needed that with the day i've had.

He suggested soft covers on the walls. I wonder if exercise mats would work - or blankets stapled to the walls? I've heard of pinning pillows between speakers and the wall behind them to kill the bass-magnifier effect the wall has. I have full-length mirrors on my walls - i'll bet that an acoustic no no. Nothing is easy in life is it? Thanks for the link.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2863
Registered: Oct-07
Just an OPINION. But, unless you NEED the FM radio, you'd be best served by a pre/pro and sep'd amplifier(s).
HT receivers are generally considered a disposible product. Some are difficult to service after just a few years. The ones that are not difficult to service are IMPOSSIBLE to get fixed. They use lots of proprietary parts which endlessly complicates things.
My original Magnepan speakers were factory serviced after they were over 20 years old. The only question? What color do you want the grill fabric. THAT is equipment of value.

There are 3 things you can do to a surface......Reflection. the easiest and probably the way it is NOW. you can Absorb. This is frequency dependent and requires some 'mass'. OR you can diffuse. A 'beam' of sound gets reflected in random directions. All have their use in home audio.

My listening room is fairly long.....well over 24 feet. I have a small Peruvian Woolen rug on the back wall. It is about 2" from the wall (spaced) and acts to reduce the echo from that surface. It was far enough away from the speakers to be a distracting second sound source.
Stuff like that.

Jan MAY contribute more to this, but personally, I'd start reading up if I was seriously concerned with treating my room.

But, soft covers on the walls? Like padded vinyl? It'll reflect sound just like the wall and may help with some absorbtion. Not much. Try panels made of THIS.

http://www.atsacoustics.com/item--Owens-Corning-703-Case-of-6--1004.html

A little construction time.....some acoustically transparent cloth and a bunch of staples.....you're done. I think youtube has a couple vids, even. Before final wall attachment, test 'em in various locations.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17370
Registered: May-04
.

" ... my receiver is 17 years old. It has only the RCA analog stereo inputs - it has no HDMI or optical digital inputs. Just RCA analog ...

My Tivo is THX Certified - it outputs Dolby Digital - I have it set to do that. But if I have the Dolby processor turned off it should be downmixing to stereo - right?"



First, a Tivo that is THX certififed? On the face of it, that would seem to be absurdly unreal and a waste of money as THX certification is not cheap. The signals the Tivo would accept will come from where? I've not been on top of all the BS in the HT market but I know of no external source - cable, satellite, off air antenna, etc, - that has the ability to output a THX certified signal. So, you've paid for what if the Tivo has no input which is THX certified? My advice, don't pay for THX certificiation in any component since it is still largely a marketing tool used to dupe low information consumers.

Ignoring the absurdity of where the Tivo will get these THX signals for now, THX means nothing unless the entirity of the system is THX certified and the room along with the system has been set up according to strict THX standards. Only a small, small percentage of systems could actually benefit from the inclusion of any THX certified component. Leave THX in the movie theaters and don't be concerned about a system that doesn't apply to your situation.


"HDMI" is yet another buzzword which has very little meaning in the actual operation of most systems. Until we reached the level of Bluray discs with very broadband frequency requirements, HDMI did not much other than make a bundle of cables into one cable which would cost you more than a comparable bundle of cables. Only the video content of BluRay demands the latest HDMI carrying capacity - and even that is questionable. Most video circuits wouldn't notice the difference between the latest HDMI cable and the old stadard RCA cable when dealing with a BluRay player's output. Most video monitors wouldn't be noticeably different with the only slightly lower resolution of a high quality RCA to RCA cable. And certainly most users would not notice the very slight differences which exist in a RCA cable's transmission capacity when their screen resolution is restricted by the low quality of most consumer "TV's". I will tell you from experience 99% of consumers have no idea how to buy a high quality video system and the manufacturers know this. "Jump off the shelves" factor is high in any video store. Even if you assume the the movie industry and the video manufacturers are preparing the way for much higher resolution formats in the future, you are today being sold a bill of goods in most every system. Virtually any component which would benefit from a higher resolution format would be outdated by the adoption of a higher resolution format just as a video monitor designed for 420Hz resolution is in no way acceptable for 1080p. That assumption of what's to come doesn't even address the issue of having a higher resolution format accepted and implemented in the US. Considering the delays and backtracking which took place just to get to "Digital TV", there's not much hope for those few fringe players wanting even higher resolution formats. For example, if you think about the number of HT systems which have been set up to play 3-D vs the total number of HT systems sold, you can get some idea just how another new format would go over with the public even should we miraculously return to those boom times when credit was cheaper than anyone anticipated until they got the real bill of boom and bust.

The cynics in the crowd would argue that HDMI is nothing more than one more reason the audio/video marketing folks have for a consumer needing to scrap their old equipment. This has been the story of HT receivers since they first entered the market, build another connector or add another circuit which the consumer will be told is a must have on current equipment. When the old receiver breaks, the consumer might as well "step up" to the newest technology instead of repairing what they already own. On average that cycle is repeated every five to six years. If you wanted to stay on the bubble of technology, you would be changing out the bulk of your system every two to three years.


DVD video could easily be transmitted without loss through a conventional RCA to RCA cable or through several other options which have had some degree of acceptance in the HT market for at least a short while. To the best of my knowledge there are no current audfio formats which cannot be transmittted through those very conventional RCA to RCA cables - it would simply require many individual cables to accomplish what HDMI does in one. So think of HDMI first, as a way to tell the consumer their gear is out dated and, second, as a housekeeping device which minimizes the cable jungle which is constantly spreading across any HT system.



"My BluRay player can output Dolby Digital True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio and a number of the predecessors to them. I have it set to output those audio signals. But again - it's connected to the receiver using RCA analog cables. It DOES make a noticeable difference in the sound if I set the BluRay to downmix the output to stereo rather than to output Dolby Digital. I have not played a DTS-HD disc yet."



Any of the formats available beyond your Dobly Pro Logic circuitry will be lost to you as long as you are using the PL limited processor. I doubt your old receiver has any video processing circuits in it but, if it did, they would be totally inefffective when confronted with the video signals from any source newer - or "higher quality" - than a S-VHS tape machine can output. (Not to mention video enhancements were pretty ineffective even with that technology.) Setting your source components to output formats which will not be compatible with your receiver is naturally going to downgade the signal quality as the receiver is not accepting the format information it can handle. For instance, Dolby Digital 5.1 - one of the more "ancient" formats still in use - but the standard for, say, "HD TV" or DVD - will output discrete center, surround and LFE signals which a Pro Logic receiver is unable to detect. The result is nothing more logical than disconnecting the right channel cable from your Pro Logic inputs and expecting the processor to still accomplish the decoding process which is based upon a two channel input. If you don't have the processor to decode the format, then you really need to set up all your sources to output plain old stereo - which is the highest quality of surround formats your Pro Logic circuits can make sense of.


"Anyway - the main point of my post - is can someone give me an intelligent reason why the Tivo-fed-across-RCA-analog "music choice" channels sound so much better than my CD player even though the Dolby Pro Logic processor is off?"


We're again at the point where you need to stop pushing buttons. Music never was pleasing through Pro Logic circuits. Later formats addressed this issue but with only more complexity which many music listeners avoid. But, once again, you're asking the processor to do things it cannot accomplish due to technological limitations. Formats sound best - and keep in mind your PL receiver is at the very low end of the food chain when we say "sound best" - when they are sent, received and processed in their original data base. You can set your Tivo or satellite dish receiver to output any Dolby Digital or DTS format you care to, but that will only affect signals which are already in that format. Outputting DD 5.1 to a PL processor is like listening to a conversation between two people not using the same language. The music channels sent over such a system are two channel only, setting up the receiver to output 5.1 channels is fruitless since there is no 5.1 information available to the system from a two channel music source. Using a PL processor, nothing you hear - no matter how you have the rest of the sources set up - will ever be more than matrixed information retrieved from the two main front channels. If you are not sending the processor, say, the center channel information from a source set up to output DD 5.1, then the PL processor can only do a minimum of work with the signals it has available to it. Telling the DD 5.1 source player to output 5.1 signals is a waste of time when the original source - the source which feeds signals to your source - has no 5.1 signals to send.


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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17371
Registered: May-04
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Bi-amping? Why? That's a bit like taking a cup of echinacea tea when you've had your leg amputated and you're having a heart attack.


Rocker, you are the perfect salesperson's dream customer when you walk into a store. (Less so once you get equipment home.) You are attracted by every bright and shiny object they show you and the more they show you the better.

As I previously stated, it's your system and you get to do with it as you please.

However, you should understand that most of what the HT market is offering you is simply marketing BS. You do not need it and most of the time you will never actually benefit from its inclusion. What all the HT BS allows is for a very less than great, informed and talented salesperson to sell the remote and the rear panel of a component. And the crow in most of us says all that glitters is gold and we pull out the platinum.


Whatever new format you buy today will be obsolete in five years time. The idea that any product today will have all you will ever want is, I'm sorry to say, ridiculous. As I said, to stay on the bubble of technology would require you replace the bulk of your system every two to three years. You've had your current receiver for seventeen. It is as outdated as if you went to your cardiologist and asked to have a valve repair based upon 1995 technology.

Room correction EQ is not what you liiiiiike so much. Not even close. And I can see you using the room correction eq and then adding your in line eq into the system to try to get back what the room correction system has done. After a while - a very short while in most cases - you get scrambled eggs. To make a souffle, you first need to have the ingredients for a souffle and you need to know how to assemble and prepare them. You're unlikely to have a great souffle using turnips. In other words, Rocker, the way to a high quality system is to have a few first order priorities which you must meet. Now, if your priorities are those of someone who doesn't know what they like and who is willing to buy and buy and try and try until they hopefully stumble upon a sound that attracts them - for the moment, you'll spend a lot of time and money and drive a few salespeople crazy along the way and you will never really have what you want - because you don't know what you want - until you finally have run out the desire to continually spend for something you'll never really achieve.

The past few posts have been very dense with misinformation. More than I can really respond to. Facts of how an audio/video system operate are being dispatched by assumptions which have no footing in reality. Rocker, I see a kid in a candy store and you've convinced your wife to go along for now. Once again, in my experience, this never turns out well. In my experience, this fact will finally hit you some night at about 2AM when nothing you want the system to do is happening and you've pushed enough buttons and changed enough values that you can't even get back to a starting point. That's when you'll finally say enough is enough.

I really can't identify where and in how many locations you've made incorrect assumptions or jumped from one shiny bright thing to another and then another. It would take all day and then some to do so and, from what I've seen, you're not really listening anyway. You need to slow down and get off the express train to frustration. We're over 100 posts int this thread and, unfortunately, I can't see that we've actually made a shread of advancement from your very first post.

It's your money and your system ultimately, and you get to do with it as you please. It would, however, be useful to you to actually decide what it is you want. Not "this is the sound I want" on Monday and "no, this is the sound I want " on Thursday. Again, from experience, having it all is a fairly mutually exclusive concept when you get into HT. Employing all the gimmicks and tricks offered by current HT receiver technology is a house of cards which begins with a very shakey foundation. Please understand the more BS on the remote and rear panel, the more the component must cost to produce and not that long ago the cost of an outboard Audesssy eq was significantly higher than the current cost of most top o'the line HT receivers. Money - and quality - must come from somewhere and, if the manufacturer cheapens the quality to fit more and more BS into a price range something has to give way. The more BS you include in the system, the more difficult it becomes to understand and operate. The less attention you pay to quality over quantity, the less likely you will be to have either.

You seem to want information but once it's been given, your "of course, that's how it works" circuits reject what you've been given. That's true for bi-amping, that's true for woofer size, formatting, cables, sources, etc.

Stop reading brochures, Rocker.


Slow down and find a very high quality independent shop or advisor and allow them to give you some instructions without your "of course" engine kicking in. Lay out in the simplest terms what your priorities will be - not bi-amping and having your CD sound like your Tivo - those are not priorities because neither is real and constant. What sources are you going to use and how will you use them is a priority in a HT system. How the system will be set up in your room is a priority. What limitations to SAF will be imposed? Understanding that music and video do not sound alike and that most dual purpose systems achieve neither to the best values of each is a priority. Having the ability to actually sit down with a consultant and identifying "the sound" you find acceptable for either music or video will be a priority. But jumping around like a frog in a hot skillet as you have here is not going to set any priorities any consultant can work with. You sort of need to disconnect those "I like that" and "of course ... " systems you've been working with in this thread. You need to know enough to recognize pure BS when someone tries to pass it off, but, beyond that you need to sit and listen. And, if your budget allows, you need to get out of the mass market crud which permeates HT sales.


I can't see that you've made any headway with this system and - from experience - once it becomes a minor obession, SAF suddenly begins to go down dramatically.





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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 44
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - go back and read your post. You're telling me i'm the perfect gullible customer that salespeople LOVE to take advantage of and then your're telling me to go to an audio store and just trust what they tell me without trying to understand what they're telling me?

I'm a 46 year-old man who does not care to try to keep up with the latest and greatest because it would require me to upgrade every year. I have a sound system that i've listened to for 17 years. I decided to upgrade at long last.

I started by taking the lazy way out and buying a brand I once trusted. That didn't work out.

So I went on a mission to find the right system - all along wanting to keep as much as I can of what i've already got. I know i'm clueless about all the products out there. I suspect most of it is marketing hype but some is genuine.I started by trying to learn about all the technologies and products. I did some online research and I started a thread here.

My biggest problem is that there is no shiny little audio store just waiting to help me find what i'm looking for. In this region it could take hours to visit one store - assuming I could actually find it. I work for a living. I do not have time to visit every little Best Buy clone of an audio store to hear the same cheap speaker line-up again and again. I do not have the $$$ to walk into the nice places and say let's work together. I've only found 1 audio place that sells the brands you guys have been mentioning. I went there and listened and bought the speakers that sounded best to me. They do not sound nearly as good at home as they did in the store. So i'm still looking. I had to miss work for an entire afternoon just to go to that 1 store that 1 time. It is actually easier for me to buy speakers from Amazon and listen to them in my own home and send them back than it is to drive around the big city trying to find audio shops that do not have the time for me anyway. That sounds to me like a shortcoming of the industry itself. I am no different than any other consumer. I know little about this technology and i'm not apologizing for that. I'm doing everything I know to learn everything I can and make as informed of a decision as I can. If i'm not getting anywhere that sounds to me like an industry that has focused more on marketing their products than on the products themselves.

My frustration is that I cannot find a store that I can go to and listen to systems and get straight, informed answers that I trust. I deeply mistrust salespeople by nature and refuse to accept their recommendations without gaining some degree of understanding about the products they're trying to sell me. I can usually tell when a salesman is BSing me and that's most of what i've gotten in the audio stores around here.

It's not like buying a car. I can tell someone exactly what I want in a car. I can tell if a car is for me easily. Quality is another issue. But with sound systems it's no so easy. I do not know how to tell anyone what I want. I'm not really sure I know what I want. Of course i'd love the best sounding system on planet Earth but I realize I cannot afford it. So i'm just trying to get as close as I can to a sound that amazes me - that I enjoy listening to. I've encountered 2 such sounds lately and i'm using those as a guide. That sounds to me like a very logical thing to do. I've analyzed what it is about those sounds and from that i've come to understand a great deal about my personal tastes in sound. Being spread across 110 posts that fact escaped you but it is what I consider to be progress.

I have followed the advice of everyone i've come to trust so far - and that includes you. I would've never found IQ Home Entertainment nor Klipsch reference speakers either one without your advice. Thank you. I've moved speakers around in ways i've never done before. I didn't waste my time bi-wiring my speaker but if I do buy a new amp that has bi-wiring capability why not use it? I'm not saying that's the answer to all my problems less filling tastes great all i'm saying is if I have that ability sitting in front of me - why not use it? It can help - at least that's what i've been told by people I do trust.

I bought the Tivo because it was the best DVR available to me sa far as I knew at the time. The THX certification was something I didn't even understand what the hell it was until here lately. I just mentioned that because it could be relevant. If not - never mind. I used HDMI cables to connect my Tivo to my old steam-powered receiver because the Tivo has only ONE audio output - an RCA analog L/R connection. I had to use that to connect the Tivo to the receiver. The only way to get sound to my TV then is to use an HDMI cable - which has sound as well as picture. Now my wife can watch TV and have sound and not learn how to operate the receiver. All she has to do is turn on the TV. She is happy about that she just doesn't know it. I had component video cables running from the Tivo to the TV and RCA audio cables running the sound. I was getting 720p picture quality. After running HDMI from the Tivo to the TV and sending the only audio outputs it has to my receiver I now am getting 1080i picture quality - noticeably better - and now I can hear the Music Choice channels in my audio system - which sounds really good to me BTW. The whole purpose of all of that was to get the sound from the Tivo to the receiver.

The only advice I see in your post is to find an audio store in my area and go listen to what they tell me. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks.

Other than that you're frustrated with me for not solving this problem the way you would and i'm not apologizing for that either. As a manager I always have to have a solution available. Deadlines move. I've had a solution in my home from day 1. I'm constantly trying to improve that solution. That's how we build electronics BTW. We start out with a simple product that required low up-front investment and get revenue coming in and build up the product using that revenue. Go look at the first iPhone or e-Reader that came out and compare it to what's available now.

One question I have wrestled with all along - and everyone I ask gives me a different answer - so no i'm not apologizing for taking what everyone tells me with a grain of salt - even you - can my old steam-powered Dolby "4.0" Pro Logic processor decode a center channel from the Dolby Digital movies? We know it cannot decode surround channels but I don't care about surround channels because I do not have and do not plan on getting rear speaker. I do have a center speaker and it does enhance my movie experience. I can tell a difference between the sound quality when I tell the BluRay player to output Dolby Digital versus stereo. That very well could be that my receiver does a better job synthetically manufacturing a center channel from the Dolby signal than the down-mixed to stereo one. I'm trying to assess the value in upgrading my receiver.

I'm not really building an HT system. I care mostly about the sound of music. If I can get a half-baked version of surround sound movies with my sound system and a center speaker then that's just gravy. Maybe I never stated that clearly before but when I talk about those things i'm just thinking that I have technology sitting there that i've already paid for I just need to figure out how to use and to use it - like this Dolby Pro Logic processor i've had for 17 years and never used. People like me are filled with that in this world of technology that is far above most people's heads. I'll bet there's a ton of things you can do with your computer or your smart phone that you don't know you can - and do not apologize for that - that's the world we live in. I'm not apologizing for being unaware of audio technology and trying to use everything I have at my fingertips.

I hear you unloading 20 years of frustration with stubborn customers. I get it. I do that too. I mostly build websites and it is a rapidly-changing and complex technology. I get very angry with websites that do not work and customer-support that's worthless because I watched (almost) the entire industry move to the other side of the world in the past decade - all for a boost in the stock price for one quarter. Now consumers get to suffer the consequences of it for a very long time. If this thread helps you vent frustration then that's fine. It helps me stay focused - keep my eyes on the prize - and not be distracted by everything that shines. It has helped me. And for that I thank everyone who participated.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 45
Registered: Jul-12
A correction is badly needed:

I have followed the advice of everyone i've come to trust so far - and that includes you. I would've never found IQ Home Entertainment nor Klipsch reference speakers either one without your advice. Thank you. I've moved speakers around in ways i've never done before. I didn't waste my time bi-wiring my speaker but if I do buy a new amp that has BI-AMPing capability why not use it? I'm not saying that's the answer to all my problems less filling tastes great all i'm saying is if I have that ability sitting in front of me - why not use it? It can help - at least that's what i've been told by people I do trust.

I'd like to point out something: when I upgraded my video connection from my Tivo to my TV from component video to HDMI the picture quality improved from 720p to 1080i. This is NOT because the HDMI cable provides a better signal. That is an illusion created on purpose by the industry. Allow me to explain.

The makers of the Tivo were not allowed to output an analog signal of that high quality - because analog signals can be copied. HDMI was all about using encrypted signals that require handshakes on both ends - so you cannot pirate the content it transmits.

For example - the video/audio equipment we make had to receive certain "certifications" before the studios would allow us to have access to their content. These certifications are all about quality to the consumer - on the surface - what they really are is the content providers making sure that nobody can use our equipment to easily pirate their content. In fact we had to encrypt the content on the disc drive so you cannot take it out and steal the digital media content. You cannot plug it into another machine and pirate it.

If you try to take the drive out of a Tivo and read it it will be useless crap. The machines are programmed to erase the drives if they do not match the machine they're supposed to belong to.

I just wanted to point out that angle - that some of these "features" the equipment makers carry are not really features at all - it's all about content providers protecting against piracy.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 46
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - I was thinking about this thread on the drive from work and I have to add one more thing. I had no problems upgrading my car speakers. 6x9 - same old car speakers i've always had.

Upgrading my home speakers was not as easy. Speakers have changed a great deal in the past 20 years. The speakers i'm used to are short and fat with either an 8", 10" or 12" woofer in them and a midrange and tweeter. Balancing those 3 and deciding how big of a woofer you want were the choices. I preferred the sound of the 8" woofer - powerful and clean but deep enough. That is evidenced by the last 2 pairs of speakers i've owned - both 8" JBL 3-ways.

Speakers nowadays are tall and thin and deep with dual woofers and tuned ports. They're called "towers." I've spent weeks trying to equate the sound to expect from a dual-woofer tower with the sound i'm familiar with - the single woofer box.

I went for the dual 8" woofers thinking that would have the sound I love - the powerful, clean 8" woofer sound - times 2. It does not. Nowhere close. I figured out for myself that the physics involved dictate that 2 woofers in a speaker are far different than having 2 mids or 2 tweeters - and that's because the wavelengths of the sounds they produce are larger than the space they occupy. You should understand this. It means they must combine their sounds together to act as one driver - acoustically. Also the boxes have changed a lot. They make the woofers sound deeper.

My point is - after buying 2 pairs of speakers I finally figured out for myself that in order to get the 8" woofer sound I prefer I need to buy dual 5.25" woofers. That's the modern-day equivalent. We'll see if i'm right when those RF-52 get here. $20 says I am.

It's not that I don't know what I want. It's that I could not equate the sounds i'm familiar with - the sounds of decades past - to the sounds of the towers of today.

I hope this thread will help anyone else out there who is in my situation. If you have no experience with dual-woofer towers and you don't know what size you think you will like - when you look at the Klipsch reference series, for example, and you see dual 4, 5.25, 6.5, 8 and 10 inch woofers - imagine them as being the old-school single woofer boxes with a 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 inch woofer in them - because that's the equivalent sound they make. (remember: A = pi * r^2) So if you prefer 10" woofers get the RF-62. I may have saved myself some time and money with that information a month ago.

Leo - thanks for the info. I'm not really sure what you're talking about though. pre/pro amp - is that a dolby decoder unit by itself? I guess you're saying I can get a dolby decoder and a separate amplifier and have a higher quality system? What exactly fo I look for? I found a surround sound pre-processor that was over $2200. I don't see anything on Amazon like what i'm imagining. What are they called? Sorry for being so ignorant - I tried to find what I think you're talking about and I suspect i' looking in the wrong place - but this definitely sounds like the kind of equipment I would prefer. Thanks!
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1946
Registered: Oct-10
"Speakers nowadays are tall and thin and deep with dual woofers and tuned ports. They're called "towers." I've spent weeks trying to equate the sound to expect from a dual-woofer tower with the sound i'm familiar with - the single woofer box."

Speakers today come in many shapes, sizes and configrations Dave. There are single driver, 2 way and 3 way speakers in various cabinet styles, etc. Look through stores, both physical and online, magazines and ads here. 3 way, dual driver is far from your only choice.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17373
Registered: May-04
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"Jan - go back and read your post. You're telling me i'm the perfect gullible customer that salespeople LOVE to take advantage of and then your're telling me to go to an audio store and just trust what they tell me without trying to understand what they're telling me?"


That's not what I was saying, Rocker. First, and I can only speak for the way I sold equipment, it's impossible for a salesperson to take advantage of a client. Good salespeople are taught how to sell and they practice their profession with pride and dignity, not willing to live up to what the general public thinks of salespeople. The training alone does not make them dishonest. Good sales training teaches, first and foremost, the process of qualifiying the client - in other words, finding out what the client thinks they want. It is only after the salesperson has heard what is desired that they can honestly try to find those products which might suit that client's needs and desires. You must have salespeople on staff to "sell" your products, go talk to them about how you distrust salespeople and find out what they have to say about how you feel. Because, if you don't have good, honest salespeople, you won't have a business for long IMO.

If I have to make an excuse, there are dishonest people in every profession just as a certain number of people will be lefthanded or blonde and blue eyed. Training is not meant to weed out the lefthanded or the dishonest. The profession does that itself when it comes to the dishonest. Those people become con men and they sit in parking lots trying to get you to buy the speakers in their van that were loaded on by mistake but that you can have at a great deal. They know how to work with a person's greed, the motivation which makes them want to have a great deal. IMO, if the customer is motivated by greed - and many are when it comes down to why they buy what they buy, then they deserve what they get. If, however, they can see beyond the dollar amounts and the huge discount they are being offered, then possibly they are someone who will be willing to listen to a professional salesperson. Unfortunately, IMO, too many people are of the opinion they; 1) either know how to beat the salesperson at their own game or, 2) they feel they have been put at a disadvantage because they find sales to be a mysterious craft of taking advantage of the customer.

Let's be plain, I never held a gun to anyone's head and I never forced anyone to buy anything. My opinion was a happy client was a client who would return and hopefully tell friends about the person who could assist them in their decision making. On the other hand, I can't stop someone from making what I consider to be a rather large mistake when they say, "I want .." or 'I'll take ,,, ". My ears are only my ears and I've sold with several others who held opinions I did not agree with and with salespeople who owned vastly different gear than I do. IMO a good salesperson walks a fine line, particularly in a market where subjective opinions and too much marketing BS exists to confuse a client.

As far as I know, no one has sold more Klipsch LaScallas in one day than I have. Yet, I worked with a salesperson who virtually sold nothing other than Klipsch. He was known as the Klipsch guy and I was the high end person. His closer was, "It's good enough for me", while I had every intention of finding what the client really wanted.

I'm a little disappointed when I hear anyone say they have an innate distrust for salespeople. In a way I understand what they're saying but, from the other side of the aisle, I see that many people do not trust salespeople because they have made poor decisions by themself and a salesperson has simply stood back and allowed them to proceed. Had the salesperson tried to intervene, the client wouldn't have taken kindly to that either. In my early days of sales training I was taught a very basic rule of how to sell; ask for the sale and then shut up. Everyone interprets that differently and the most common interpretation is "the one who speaks first looses". I've actually had some rather hillarious situations where I've been buying a product and the salesperson knows I've been in sales myself; they ask for the sale and I say nothing ... and we sit ... and we sit ... both laughing at the idea neither of us is going to be the first to say something.

The point being, salespeople are there for the client only up to a point; once the client says they are ready to close the sale and take the merchandise home, the salesperson has to step back and accept the client's decision whether the salesperson agrees or disagrees with that decision to buy. I've had cases where that has eventually led to large heaps of buyer's regret with clients who get home and someone says, "You spent how much?!", or, "I could have got the same for less", "You were taken", or simply, "What have I done?"

In each case I knew it was not my pressure to buy which had resulted in the decision to buy. At some point the client said, "Yes", of their own volition. I also knew buyer's regret is a typical lead in to someone not trusting a salesperson. So when I stood at the front of the showroom and extended my hand in greeting only to be ignored or treated as some POS that needs to be removed from a shoe, I had a pretty good idea who had made a few bad decisions in their time and who has been blamed.

Sales is a conversation and no salesperson can establish trust where none is to be given. Any salesperson can tell when they have a client's trust and when they do not. In my experience, it's very difficult to assist someone who does not want my assistance.

I would encourage you to get over your distrust for salespeople, we are all salespeople in one way or another. I'm not trying to excuse the truly bad salespeople who seem to abound in today's stores. Quite honestly, I wouldn't buy a penny candy from most salespeople I meet. Not because they are dishonest, but because they are stupid and they have no desire to not be stupid. Or they don't know how not to be stupid because no one has ever told them they don't have to remain stupid. They are simply bad at what they are doing.

But the vast majority of salespeople I have worked with over the last four decades have not been dishonest or anything close to dishonest. I've worked with many people who simply sold the same system over and over to all comers. They weren't dishonest, just lazy. There are lazy, blue eyed people in every profession also. The customer didn't get a bad system, just possibly one that they might not have chosen with another salesperson who had a greater interest in what the customer said they wanted.

In some cases I can excuse their ignorance, I won't buy from them but I know why they have remained stupid. They aren't being taught how not to be stupid. They are being taught, if they are not just put out on the floor with nothing to support them, how to turn a product. The last two shops where I sold audio are an example of the store being against the salesperson and, therefore, against the clients. When a new product was placed on the shelf, the box and manuals that went with that product all went to an offsight warehouse. The sales staff were left on their own to figure out what any new product could do. A few of us who were interested would do our own research but even that didn't tell us everything the product could do or how to get it do it those things. The education provided was more in how to sell the product without showing the product. Factory reps were, at one time, the main source of information for a salesperson. In the last few years reps have been just as illiterate about their products as are the salespeople.

I bought a new car this year and when I tried to test drive a Prius, the salesman had been at the store for two weeks and one and one half weeks of that were spent not in product training - he didn't know diddly squat about the car - but in how to get the customer into the position where a sales manager could take over the close of the sale. I don't blame the salepeople, I feel sorry for them in that you cannot be a success when you are fighting a headwind set up by your own management. I don't know any good salesperson who would remain in that environment which means turn over is high which then justifies to management that training their salespeople isn't in their best interest because they won't be there for long. That, then, becomes a vicious circle of incompetence feeding further incompetence. I cannot justify it, I just know it exists and I walk away from it when I encounter it. I'd really rather buy nothing than to buy from a shop that has not earned my business.

However, in the end and to bring this post to a close, the sales process is a conversation and both the salesperson and the client will get out of any conversation only what they are willing and able to put into the exchange of ideas. Talk to your salespeople about your issues with sales. I'm sure they will have plenty to say on the topic.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17374
Registered: May-04
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"I'm a 46 year-old man who does not care to try to keep up with the latest and greatest because it would require me to upgrade every year. I have a sound system that i've listened to for 17 years. I decided to upgrade at long last.
I started by taking the lazy way out and buying a brand I once trusted. That didn't work out."




And now, as I understand it, you feel that line turns out cr@p. No, they still turn out good product, just not a product you found at your price range that you liked. Don't blame the company when ...

" It's not like buying a car. I can tell someone exactly what I want in a car. I can tell if a car is for me easily. Quality is another issue. But with sound systems it's no so easy. I do not know how to tell anyone what I want. I'm not really sure I know what I want.

If you do not know what you want, Rocker, no one can provide it for you. Don't blame the company, take stock of what you need to do to find what you want. So far I don't feel you've done that well because you have been all over the board with what you think - and most of it is wrong. Sorry, just plain old outright "wrong". So, if you've put bad information into the program, what are you going to get out of the program? I believe the saying is, "Garbge in = garbage out". That is, unfortunately, where I have to start this process. You have built one bad conclusion upon a half dozen poor assumptions and that leaves no foundation from which to build.


"I've analyzed what it is about those sounds and from that i've come to understand a great deal about my personal tastes in sound. Being spread across 110 posts that fact escaped you but it is what I consider to be progress."

"My point is - after buying 2 pairs of speakers I finally figured out for myself that in order to get the 8" woofer sound I prefer I need to buy dual 5.25" woofers. That's the modern-day equivalent. We'll see if i'm right when those RF-52 get here. $20 says I am.

It's not that I don't know what I want. It's that I could not equate the sounds i'm familiar with - the sounds of decades past - to the sounds of the towers of today"




So, which is it, Rocker, "It's not that I don't know what I want"? Or, "I'm not really sure I know what I want"?

I would opt for the latter of the two. If I were to sit you down and go through the qualification process of a sale - the portion of the sale which involves the salesperson asking questions which will lead the client to explain that they think they want, I would say you know nothing about what you actually want. You just have a lot of half baked ideas which make you feel you are in control. I do know this is true when it comes to what you think you want, "I do not know how to tell anyone what I want."

And, in the end, you do not know how to tell yourself what you actually want. You just want to be in control of the situation. That you do know.

And how is anyone supposed to explain to you want you might find helpful when you cannot explain what it is you want? How is anyone to provide the information you need, the information which would be useful, when you are constantly being "logical" but you're absolutely wrong? How can assist you when you insist on being the one in control of a situation you do not understand?


That's the issue I am having tremendous frustration with, your approach to throwing pasta against the wall to see what sticks but you forgot to boil the water first. Over and over again through the years I have told clients both here on this forum and in the stores they had to have "priorities" which I could meet. Without priorities, we are both just throwing pasta at the wall. Most often when I said that, their response would be, "I want tight bass, clear mids and clean highs."

Hallelujah! Don't we all? Now, do you have about $20k set aside to achieve those priorities? Tight bass, clear mids and clean highs are the sonic equivalent to, "Of course i'd love the best sounding system on planet Earth", which is typically followed by, "but I realize I cannot afford it."

OK, you can't afford that, so, what do we have left? From a salesperson's point of view, we have nothing left because we've tossed out those things you said you wanted since you cannot afford them. Let's try again, if you can't have all those things you cannot afford, what is it you think you would like that you can afford? " ... I'm just trying to get as close as I can to a sound that amazes me - that I enjoy listening to." Great, what is that sound? Do you have a reference we can both work with? " I've encountered 2 such sounds lately and i'm using those as a guide. That sounds to me like a very logical thing to do. I've analyzed what it is about those sounds and from that i've come to understand a great deal about my personal tastes in sound." I see, there are two "sounds" you like? So, if I have this right, you would like to have a cupcake and ... an elephant? Because the "sounds" you say you like are not at all similar from how you have described them to me. You say this is logical to you but it is not logical to me because we are still coming back to, " i'd love the best sounding system on planet Earth", and, " ... " I'm just trying to get as close as I can to a sound that amazes me - that I enjoy listening to".

That, to me, says, "I do not know how to tell anyone what I want." And, in the end, you do not know how to tell yourself what you actually want. You just want this process to be "logical" and you want to be in control of the situation you do not understand.





"Jan - go back and read your post. You're telling me i'm the perfect gullible customer that salespeople LOVE to take advantage of and then your're telling me to go to an audio store and just trust what they tell me without trying to understand what they're telling me?"


What that actually meant was, you need someone to talk to you and to listen to what you are saying and, when you say something that makes no sense, you really need someone to say, "Stop, that makes no sense." Because what you have said in many cases does not make sense. As a salesperson I would interpret what you have said as the "logical" thinking of someone who wants to be in control of a situation they know little to nothing about. So you've come to me - and a dozen other "salespeople" who all have their own ideas of what they would buy, or more appropriately, what they would sell to you since they like it too - and you still cannot tell me what it is you think you want beyond a sound that" amazes" you.


I hear you unloading 20 years of frustration with stubborn customers. I get it."


Good, then we can proceed with the idea that I am frustrated by the idea someone wants my help but they also want to be in control of something they know little to nothing about? That I'm frustrated by someone who I've explained a few facts to but that person hasn't really listened to my explanation and, instead they have gone about drawing inaccurate conclusions using poor assumptions which are in direct contradiction to what I have told them? We can proceed with the understanding I am frustrated by someone who wants me to show them something they cannot explain ... but they will know it when they hear it and when it "amazes" them? And that I am frustrated by someone who really only wants "tight bass, clear mids and clean highs"? But who knows they cannot afford to buy those things.

OK, Rocker, I'm going to give you the exact same advice I have given everyone who has come my way with those same frustrations already loaded into their cart. I'll try to be as succint as possible. However, while it is simple to state something inaccurately in a single sentence, it is difficult to explain why the statement is wrong and then to explain further what is right about the real world situation. And that's the very frustrating part of this, you have so many things which are wrong in your statements and which lack logic, that it will take some time to work through all or even a few of them.

So, hang in there for the next post which will have to come when I have more time to devote to this. For now, what I really need you to do is to stop, what you have said makes no logical sense even if it appears to from your perspective. You are wrong - period! What I would like you to do is to degauss everything you have put in your head in the last week or so. If we can take this from the point of a beginner trying to make sense of what exists in the universe - a single electron, we will get somewhere. If I have to constantly correct where you've strayed off the path, then we'll have a more difficult go of it.

So stop thinking, Rocker, stop being logical in an illogical manner until you've heard me out. If what I say makes sense to you, then we can proceed. If it does not, well, not all sales conversations turn into closes. From the salesperson's point of view, sometimes you just have to stand back and allow the customer to make their own mistakes.

I'll be back as soon as possible.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17375
Registered: May-04
.

Do this for me, Rocker, explain to yourself what it is you want. I don't want you to think about woofer size or cabinet shape. All the stuff you've come up with on woofers and cabinets is wrong. Just accept that fact, what you think you know is wrong. So don't bother mentioning what's wrong.

I don't want you to think about Tivo or HDMI or Pro Logic or anything about anything other than what values of music are important to you. What are your "priorities" for music? And, understand that "bass" is not a musical value. What bass does in music, why it's there and how a musician and a listener will approach bass is a value. It is a constant, and it hasn't changed in a thousand years. But bass alone is nothing other than a word that will get in the way of getting you what you want. Bass is no more a value in music than is a 10" woofer. It must be those values that a 10" woofer can (re)produce which are identical to the values a cello or a piano or an upright bass possess and which the performer exploits in order to "make music" which are the values of music you need to explain to yourself before we can get anywhere.

I want you to take about five or six sentences and explain what music sounds like to your ears and to your logical, analytical brain. What are your most important values in a live musical performance? Which values are of a more prioritized manner and which are less important?

Not the sound of a ten inch woofer. That's BS! Just describe what values in music only, not equipment, you think you would be satisfied having in your home.



And, to this question, "can my old steam-powered Dolby "4.0" Pro Logic processor decode a center channel from the Dolby Digital movies?", no, it cannot not. I've explained why that is. Do you remember why that is? Do you remember how Pro Logic derives its center channel information? If you do, then you shouldn't have to ask the question in the first place. If you do not, then please go back and read the information provided. I'm not trying to be rude, Rocker, but you have to listen to what is being said if we are going to get anywhere. Pro Logic's center is channel is a "?" signal. What does PL do, and from what existing channels does it take the information, to create its "?" center channel?




Does that really matter to you? IMO, no. What really matters is you are still using a 17 year old HT receiver. More on that later.

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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 47
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - I did not direct that at you. But I can understand that when I say I distrust salesmen that includes you - I forget sometimes you're a salesman - to me you're the Jan that knows all the things I want to know about audio. Sorry if you felt that was directed at you.

I can remember going to buy a car as Rosenthal Chevy or Nissan here in the DC area. They wanted to inspect my car to assess a trade-in value. I gave them my keys. They kept me at the desk in teh pressure-sale spot for over 3 hours. I kept asking for my keys I wanted to go but they mysteriously couldn't find the guy who had my keys. I've heard several others tell the same story.

I went into Best Buy to buy a new TV - probably 15 years ago. I wanted the biggest TV available with tubes in it - I didn't like the projection TVs they had back then. I wanted a Sony Trinitron. They had one sitting on a shelf for $2200 and beside it was some other cheaper brand for like $1600 - I forget which one - and that salesman would not shut up talking about how cool the cheaper one was and that the parts are all made in the same place and that it is essentially a Trinitron with a different label on it. The point he kept making is that if I buy the Sony i'm paying hundreds for a name. The picture quality of the 2 seemed identical.

I got rid of him. I went up to the TVs and went into the menus and reset the settings for bright, contrast etc back to 0 on both TVs. The difference in picture was huge. I adjusted the Sony to the best picture - same with the other one - difference was even greater. When that salesman came back I pointed to them and said the picture on the Sony is way better - he looked and a tiny bit surprised said yes .. it ... is while wondering. I bought the Sony.

A main aggravation for me when it comes to audio is that most of the salesmen i've ran across do not seem to know much about the products. Regardless of the reason it doesn't help me find what i'm looking for.

I could go on and on. You make a good point about every field having good and bad people. I'm sure there are some people who made bad decisions and blamed it on the salesperson. I take responsibility for everything I do. All I expect from a salesperson is to be honest with me. Do not try to sell me the product that makes you the most money. We get a lot of that here in the DC area.

I've lived in the south most my life and shopping for stuff like this was measurably easier.

We do have good stores in this area with good sales staff - you just have to know which ones they are. IQ seemed pretty good.

Please allow me to restate my position - by default I do not trust a salesman - I can come to trust them - it just depends on how they go about doing their job and how knowledgeable they are about the products or services i'm considering. Trust is something that has to be earned - and it can be. One thing I love about this board is that nobody giving me advice has any motivation to lie to me. It's easier for me to trust this board than a salesman working on commission.

But in the end - and to close my point - how is my frustration with salespeople any less justified than your frustration with me?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 48
Registered: Jul-12
BTW - I have read everything I can find re- Dolby Pro Logic. I've received yes and no answers to my question: can my DPL decode the center channel. The engineers I work with gave me an answer - the same conclusion I came to - yes it can because the center channel algorithm has been the same all along - the half-common root of sound in the left and right channels. Any system that receives left and right front signals can decode the center channel. I'm not talking about the surround channels. The center. I have a 3.1 system.

I didn't post that before because honestly I think it is rude of me to post what I just did. You owe me nothing. Every word of advice you give me is a gift for which I am thankful. I'm not here to question what you tell me. I'm only trying to understand all I can. I greatly appreciate the tons of info you've given me. I didn't even know what the center channel is there for until you explained it. Thanks.

I'll try my best. Sorry if I do a lousy job but i'm a computer guy - i'm the kid you cheated off of on math tests. I'm an analytic, logical, mathematical-minded person. Put a horse in your front yard and it will eat your grass. Horses do that. Give me a problem to solve and I will analyze it. Analysts do that.

Music to me - sometimes it is the realism of the music that captures me - makes me feel like i'm there. But most music i've enjoyed in my life wasn't about realism - it was about the energy of the sound. The sound has power. It elevates me in ways ordinary music does not. I can play CD x in my home and it's just the same old music. It has whatever value that song has. I can play CD x in my car and it moves me - even music I may not like all that much - I still enjoy listening to it. It's like i'm listening to the sound more than I am to the music. When I put in songs I like it's an experience I cannot get in any other way from music. The combination of good music and the right sound is powerful.

I'll try to describe the sound. It's broad with a wide dynamic range. It has clarity and power. It's tonally rich. The mids are invisible. It's like you cannot hear the mids in any distinct way - they blend into the lows and highs in an invisible way - the way real sound does. The bass is not unnatural in any way. It may be loud at times but in a natural way. You can feel the bass the way you do at a live performance. All of the bass - not just the bass drums - you feel the little drums too - and the drums are the loudest element of the LF sounds - not the bass guitar/violin. And every note has the same volume - you do not have different notes at different parts of the scale getting louder than others. The highs are loud but in a pleasant way and with a natural sound that clearly sounds like the instrument making the sound - you can hear the stick hitting the symbols or the drums. The sound is pleasant. It can get loud and still not seem loud. I often turn it up higher and higher in my car to overcome road noise and no matter how loud it gets it doesn't seem loud to me. I can listen to the same old stuff that would not do much for me on any other audio system - and enjoy it - a lot - as if it's the first time i've ever heard it - everytime I hear it on that audio system.

Now i'm going back to being me for one minute - chomp chomp (i'm eating grass) - dynamic range and accuracy seem to be most important to me - the depth of the bass doesn't affect my perception as much as even I would expect - i've adored audio systems without a deep bass response (I personally don't believe there is much actual natural sounds in music in the lower frequencies anyway) I've heard "strong" bass that I liked and "strong" bass I hated. My analytical brain has deduced that deep bass - although present in natural music to a limited degree - is far too often distorted by the listening room and stuff in it - and that since I am able to enjoy music without much of it present in the sound i'm better off with an audio system that doesn't produce much of it (since we all know i'll never actually treat my home for improved acoustics no matter how many questions I ask and answers and tips you guys give me because it's not my house - it's OUR house) Balance also seems to be crucial to me also. I cannot imagine myself enjoying an audio system that is not balanced - with mids that invisibly connect the bass to the highs - that's why i'm an equalizer freak - to get the mids to vanish into the music.

I hope this is a good start. All I can do is try.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 49
Registered: Jul-12
And, to this question, "can my old steam-powered Dolby "4.0" Pro Logic processor decode a center channel from the Dolby Digital movies?", no, it cannot not. I've explained why that is. Do you remember why that is? Do you remember how Pro Logic derives its center channel information? If you do, then you shouldn't have to ask the question in the first place. If you do not, then please go back and read the information provided. I'm not trying to be rude, Rocker, but you have to listen to what is being said if we are going to get anywhere. Pro Logic's center is channel is a "?" signal. What does PL do, and from what existing channels does it take the information, to create its "?" center channel?

Jan - when I go into my BluRay player and tell it to output Dolby Digital or DTS-HD - you're right - if my receiver could get that signal it could not understand it. Those are digital-only signals. I'm connecting my BluRay (and my Tivo) to my receiver the only way I can - using the only connections the receiver has - RCA analog. So those signals cannot be sent across those wires - meaning that setting isn't doing didly squat to the outputs i'm using. It's sending front channels in stereo across those wires and my receiver is manufacturing a center channel from an algorithm. It's not actually decoding an encoded discrete center channel. I'm hearing a synthetic one - the same thing I get when I play a Red Band encoded audio CD and turn on the Dolby Pro Logic processor.

When I tell my BluRay player to "Downmix to Stereo" it down-mixes the 7.1 or 5.1 sound into a stereo PCM signal that contains a discrete center and surround channel encoded into it - and sends that into the RCA connections. In this case when I turn on my Dolby Pro Logic processor it does recognize the format and it does decode a discrete center and surround channel (that has 2 RL/RR matrix channels inside it). DVDs often contain multiple sound tracks and use different ones to prepare Dolby Digital versus Dolby Surround outputs. That's the difference I was likely hearing in my tests.

We were both wrong. Not only can my steam-powered receiver decode the center channel correctly - it can decode the surround channels as well.

I was thinking about it from a backwards-compatible viewpoint - why would Dolby come out with a new product that obsoletes everything already out there? NOBODY is that cool. Not Microsoft. Not even Apple.

I got this information from Dolby.com - I just thought i'd share it so anyone else out there asking this same question can get the straight answer.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17376
Registered: May-04
.

There are lots of bad salespeople, that I will agree to. Sales is a very transient profession in many cases. I could probably walk into a dozen stores today and get a job - probably not a job I want, but a job. Then there are the stores which want no sales experience whatsoever because they want to train the newbie to accept whatever they're told as the way things must be in sales. I wouldn't even apply to those places. I used to joke that I would accept a job but I needed to sit in the store for a day to see who did and who didn't come back after lunch. In a few instances that was all I needed to say to the hiring manager. They understood I wasn't going to tell an untruth to save their b*tt. On the other hand, I had been around enough to know when nothing more need be said. I've sold cars, not really a fun job in many ways unless you like people and you find sales interesting because of the people and you can tolerate the ones who feel like it's their duty to abuse a salesperson just because they can. Everyone thinks they know how to buy a car.



I've never truly worked with a dishonest salesperson in audio or auto sales. I have seen several honest salespeople who found their inner *sshole when they got promoted to manager. Happens in every profession. Ying and yang and then the salesperson has to learn how to navigate a field of managers to get what they, the salesperson, wants and not the other way around. I could go on and on about sales and salespeople. My experience is probably not at all like most because I will tell a salesperson I have been in sales for years and that normally establishes a different conversation. But, as I said, there are a lot of salespeople I will walk out on because they are very bad at their job and I prefer not to deal with anyone who is not very good at what they do whether that's a painter, a dentist, a carpenter, etc. One unfortunate casualty of this life we lead is the transient nature of most jobs and too many people who don't take the time to get good at what they do. And all it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch as they say, on either side of the salesdesk. I've had my share of clients who I never wanted to see again and, "HolyJesus! what did I do wrong? They're pulling in the lot again!" Good salespeoope are generally people oriented, but not so much in a Willie Loman way. You learn to roll with the punches and the next person through the door will be more interesting.

Some days you just can't win. So put it behind you and move on. Ying and yang.



No, I didn't take your comments to be directed at me, Rocker. However, other than my time spent in live productions, I have been a salesperson. I would have defended every brown eyed, right handed person whose name ends in a vowel too. I'm sure you've been in situations where you wanted to defend a supposedly crappy website manager/designer who was at the mercy of someone with more power.




"I get very angry with websites that do not work and customer-support that's worthless because I watched (almost) the entire industry move to the other side of the world in the past decade - all for a boost in the stock price for one quarter."


I couldn't agree more other than the industry I have worked in has been looking at those same trends since the 1950's. After WWII audio was a hobby for many people and that era's "Golden Age" of audio design was the result of many individuals who had a passion for their work. You can look back and see the thinking of people such as Marantz, McIntosh, Gow, Hafler, Hegman, Fischer, Kloss, Vilchur, Lansing, Harman and dozens of others who did what they did for the joy and passion of the whole thing. Their names are on companies and those with less familiar names still have their designs which are still sought after today. Who remembers the name of the person who created the last Onkyo receiver? The Sony Walkman? MP3? Hardly anyone because these were not design efforts led by a single person or personality. They were spec'd by a committee which told a group of designers what they wanted in a product that appeals to a specific demographic group who have "X" amount of money to spend. That's not how great audio - or great anything - gets done. Frank Lloyd Wright and Gustav Stickley didn't design by committee.


" I didn't waste my time bi-wiring my speaker but if I do buy a new amp that has bi-wiring capability why not use it? I'm not saying that's the answer to all my problems less filling tastes great all i'm saying is if I have that ability sitting in front of me - why not use it? It can help - at least that's what i've been told by people I do trust."



Why? Because you're trading away quality for quantity. You're looking at a product created by a committee, designed by a committee and built by a group who will build anything that comes their way for the lowest bid possible. Maybe you should buy a new garage door opener. Or maybe you should buy a garage first. Maybe you should buy a car so you'll have a reason to have a garage. Maybe you should buy a house where you can put your garage and your car. Sure, bi-amping done right can make theoretical improvements in the quality of music reproduction. But putting bi-amping ahead of buying a higher quality component? Or "doing it right"? Enjoy your garage door opener - it's a bright, shiny thing. Remember, "bright, shiny things" cost money and that money has to come from somewhere in the budget. When the committee has said they want more and more bright shiny things to attract more and more people who like that sort of thing, where does the money come from? Normally, it comes from those things most people don't pay any attention to - the less bright, less shiny things inside the product. And, wouldn't you know? it's those dull things most people don't know about that really make for the quality difference between a product designed and built in small quantities by someone like Nelson Pass and the rest of the market that has been spec'd and designed by a committee and then sent out for low bid so it can be distributed by way of the global mass market, Big Box chains which sell bright, shiny things over quality things.





" But in the end - and to close my point - how is my frustration with salespeople any less justified than your frustration with me?"


Fair question, simple answer IMO. You are frustrated with salespeople who cannot help you, even stand in your way in some cases. Those are shared experiences many of us have in common, even salespeople themself. Don't impose your frustrations on the nearest company just because you can't tell them what you want. You want to be in control of a situation you do not fully understand which conflicts with your shared sense of trust. I have no concern whether you trust me or not, Rocker. The forum will go on either way and you will end up with a system either way, with or without my assistance. Either you learn you can trust me because I have answers for your questions which make sense, or you don't. The forum will go on and I am not dependent upon the forum for any part of my income. I don't have to close the sale here and I can walk away at any time.

Mostly, you are frustrated with salespeople because they don't always do what you want them to do so you can be in control. Mostly, I am frustrated by clients and posters who ask for assistance and then ignore the advice I provide. I'm not saying I'm the only person you have to listen to, but I will try my best to give you the best information I know how to give. I cannot lead you to a system or even a single component. You have to do that part of the work yourself. I cannot get into your head to hear what you hear the way you hear it. You are frustrated with salespeople who do not allow you to follow your own intuition. You are frustrated with manufacturers who do not manufacturer what you want though you're not sure you can tell them what you want. I am frustrated - as much as I am, that is - with you because I have provided several answers and clues which you seem to have ignored in favor of some half baked "logic" which has no reference to what has been said.

And I've met you before, Rocker, you are the customer who doesn't like to be questioned about what you think you want because you know that you know what you want but you can't put it into words to tell me. So the more questions I ask and the more facts present, the more you realize you don't have the words to express what you think you want. The more I try to lead you to expressing those things, the more uncomfortable you become in a store situation. On line is quite different than in a store being asked to expain what you think you want.

What I haven't figured out yet is whether yo'ure someone who would be happiest if you had found someone who just said, "Buy this. It's good enough for me." This thread could have ended after about a dozen posts that way.

I tend to think not, but that means we both still have a good bit of work to do.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17377
Registered: May-04
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"when I go into my BluRay player and tell it to output Dolby Digital or DTS-HD - you're right - if my receiver could get that signal it could not understand it. Those are digital-only signals. I'm connecting my BluRay (and my Tivo) to my receiver the only way I can - using the only connections the receiver has - RCA analog. So those signals cannot be sent across those wires - meaning that setting isn't doing didly squat to the outputs i'm using. It's sending front channels in stereo across those wires and my receiver is manufacturing a center channel from an algorithm. It's not actually decoding an encoded discrete center channel. I'm hearing a synthetic one - the same thing I get when I play a Red Band encoded audio CD and turn on the Dolby Pro Logic processor."


Basically correct. Though it's "Red Book" CD standard.


"When I tell my BluRay player to "Downmix to Stereo" it down-mixes the 7.1 or 5.1 sound into a stereo PCM signal that contains a discrete center and surround channel encoded into it - and sends that into the RCA connections. In this case when I turn on my Dolby Pro Logic processor it does recognize the format and it does decode a discrete center and surround channel (that has 2 RL/RR matrix channels inside it). DVDs often contain multiple sound tracks and use different ones to prepare Dolby Digital versus Dolby Surround outputs. That's the difference I was likely hearing in my tests."


You've contradicted yourself. "In this case when I turn on my Dolby Pro Logic processor it does recognize the (stereo) format and it does decode a discrete (nope, it's still matrixed) center and surround channel (that has 2 RL/RR matrix channels inside it)"

The center and surrounds are always matrixed in Pro Logic. This is accomplished by using the "common to both channels" signals for the center channel processor. The (originally) discrete center from the DD 5.1 source will be a very strong "same as" in the downmix and would be seen by the PL processor as the signal to lock onto but the process would still be one of a matrixed center channel output as the processor must select "this" and disregard the rest. In other words, the PL algorithm says to use only "same as" and throw away (from the center channel output) all "different than" information. That is the matrixing process. You would end up hearing a center channel which was much more distinctly separate from the two front channels - which is not always the case in PL. But the PL processor has no provision for a truly discrete center channel output.

The surrounds are matrixed by using the "different than" information in both front channels. Technically, you would not say these signals are contained in the two stereo front channels - though "contained in" and "embedded within" are variations on the same theme - as the (mono) surround signal must be extracted from the two channels. A significant difference between matrixed PL and discrete DD are the distinctly different surround channels in 5.1 which allows signals to bounce around a room in DD while only vaguely hinting at movement in PL. We used to demonstrate the effect of DD vs PL by using the film "True Lies" and moving to the scene where the automatic weapon is dropped while it continues to fire. In DD the bullets bounce from corner to corner and back to front. Clients would follow the path of the bullet as it bounced around the room from speaker to speaker. UsingPL the scene is far less dramatic.

Dolby Pro Logic differs from the old Hafler ambience retrieval in that Dolby PL does employ more sophisticated (early) digital algorithms while the Hafler system was strictly analog. However, it's doubtful Dolby would have constructed his surround formats as he did without first knowing about Halfer's designs.

Depending on the mix of the soundtrack, the front channels of a DD 5.1 mix might be carrying some level of "same as" information which the PL circuit could use to create a matrixed center channel output. The problem here would be the inconsistency of the mix from film to film and even from scene to scene within one film. Best to have both circuits speaking the same language at all times.

When you downmix to two channel output from a DD/DTS multichannel mix, there are many other aspects of sound quality which are changed beyond just the multi-channel distribution of signals. You'd have to get into the weeds of the Dobly Labs white papers to see everything that occurs. Signals become compressed in dynamic range and some frequency and phase shifts are employed to avoid a "too hot" final mixdown or a mix plagued by comb filtering. So there are many reasons why you might detect differences, but not necessarily improvements, during your tests. However, once your source component has downmixed to two channel output, there is no longer a discrete center channel output. So, yes, Dolby Digital is retro-compatible with Pro Logic processors but you are not listening to anything which resembles the original DD 5.1 signals. Many DD 5.1 (and DTS) soundtracks include a separate two channel mix which can best be used by simpler formats. Once you've set up the DD 5.1 component to output stereo only PCM, it will typically default to those channels.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17378
Registered: May-04
.


Here are two reviews of two different loudspeakers written by two different reviewers for two different magazines (and, one might justifiably assume, for two different reading audiences);

http://www.avguide.com/review/hi-fi-plus-bowers-wilkins-684-floorstanding-loudsp eaker

Neither is meant to be used as a recommmendation of a specific product. I've included these articles as a guide to how, IMO, a review should and should not be written and, therefore, how it should be interpreted and used by a potential buyer. In other words, my opinion is one review tells me pretty much everything I need to know about the speaker's ability to (re)produce credible music while the other tells me nothing other than basic technical parameters of the design. One is replete with images of music being performed while the other is more intent on explaining how the loudspeaker operates. One is highly subjective while the other is more bent towards the objective.

Since the purpose of an audio system and its component parts should be to reproduce music in a fashion which is most convincing to the listener, I find one of these reviews to be extremely helpful in understanding what to expect from the loudspeaker under review. The other would provide me with nothing especially useful should I try to predict whether I might enjoy listening to music played through this particular loudspeaker.

Read the reviews and see what you think at the end of each. Has the review told you what you want to know about the product? Could you use the review as a guide when making a purchasing decision?



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17379
Registered: May-04
.

"Upgrading my home speakers was not as easy. Speakers have changed a great deal in the past 20 years. The speakers i'm used to are short and fat with either an 8", 10" or 12" woofer in them and a midrange and tweeter. Balancing those 3 and deciding how big of a woofer you want were the choices. I preferred the sound of the 8" woofer - powerful and clean but deep enough. That is evidenced by the last 2 pairs of speakers i've owned - both 8" JBL 3-ways.

Speakers nowadays are tall and thin and deep with dual woofers and tuned ports. They're called "towers." I've spent weeks trying to equate the sound to expect from a dual-woofer tower with the sound i'm familiar with - the single woofer box.

I went for the dual 8" woofers thinking that would have the sound I love - the powerful, clean 8" woofer sound - times 2. It does not. Nowhere close. I figured out for myself that the physics involved dictate that 2 woofers in a speaker are far different than having 2 mids or 2 tweeters - and that's because the wavelengths of the sounds they produce are larger than the space they occupy. You should understand this. It means they must combine their sounds together to act as one driver - acoustically. Also the boxes have changed a lot. They make the woofers sound deeper.

My point is - after buying 2 pairs of speakers I finally figured out for myself that in order to get the 8" woofer sound I prefer I need to buy dual 5.25" woofers. That's the modern-day equivalent.
We'll see if i'm right when those RF-52 get here. $20 says I am.

It's not that I don't know what I want. It's that I could not equate the sounds i'm familiar with - the sounds of decades past - to the sounds of the towers of today.

I hope this thread will help anyone else out there who is in my situation. If you have no experience with dual-woofer towers and you don't know what size you think you will like - when you look at the Klipsch reference series, for example, and you see dual 4, 5.25, 6.5, 8 and 10 inch woofers - imagine them as being the old-school single woofer boxes with a 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 inch woofer in them - because that's the equivalent sound they make. (remember: A = pi * r^2) So if you prefer 10" woofers get the RF-62. I may have saved myself some time and money with that information a month ago."







The above is your most illogical "conclusion" of all your illogical conclusions, Rocker.

Take these two lists as an example of multiples of similarly sized drivers and the manufacturer's description of how each driver individually "sounds";

http://www.eminence.com/support/tone-guide/

http://celestion.com/category/4/guitar/size/3/12%22/

After looking at the various sonic characteristics applied to each 10", 12" and 15" driver, we can see, and common sense should tell us, that no two drivers will produce the same "sound" even when the two are indentical in diameter. So while these are drivers used to create music and we are interested in drivers which reproduce music as it exists on the source disc, it should be come abundantly clear that all 12", 10" or any other dimension of raw driver does not automatically fall into a category we could ever define as the "sound" of a specifically sized driver.

Emminence builds raw drivers which are well suited to, say, swamp rock while Celestion builds drivers which are more suited to a classic rock - more specifically British classic blues rock. Swappping one manufacturer's driver out for the other manufacturer would not provide identical "sound" when both drivers are of the same physical diameter.

Why is that? First, because each driver has been built to what the designer perceives as their own personal interpretation of "music". When I first began selling audio in the 1970's, there still existed what were called East Coast and West Coast sounds in consumer loudspeakers. What this terminology reflected was the basic split between loudspeakers created by this group of designers and another group of designers. Each were designing their products to reflect their ideas of how music "sounds". Within the group of, say, East Coast designers the market was split between the AR, KHL, Advent, EPI, etc lines with each being a further subdivision of the individual designer's perceptions of music. Similarly, the West Coast sound had their JBL's, Altecs, BIC's, etc. A further subdivision would have existed which would have included the Southern designers such as P. W. Klipsch. The British, German, French, Japanese, et products also had their "national" personalities. Each group of designers had a similar "sound" they heard which they attempted to reproduce in their products. Each company within each group also had their own perception of how music should be heard by the owner of their products.

Materials differences in each driver along with structural differences between each driver and each enclosure type made for the broadest grouping of "sounds". Quite simply, a vented loudspeaker has a distinct and consistent bass roll out below system resonance. The same is true of a sealed enclosure system though the vented and the sealed systems are distinctly and consistently different in how each responds to the same frequency input. This would logically make two different loudspeaker systems with identical driver diameters uniquely dissimilar in how they reproduced music. A horn loaded driver has its own peculiar "sound" as the physics of loading a pressure wave into a horn constrains the sound in a way not at all like that of a direct radiator type driver. Each enclosure type can be manipulated for a specific character, what we have called in earlier posts to be the "Q" or the alignment of the system. Each change made to the "Q" of the system produces yet another character from the system. Each change made to the system is reflected in the bass extension, the electrical efficiency of the system or the physical dimensions of the system.

Eventually, many of the physical and electrical parameters which predicted the "sound" of a particular driver became known as the Thiele/Small parameters. You can use this site; http://www.41hz.com/forums/content.php?253-TSdb to plug in specific raw drivers which will give you the TS parameters for each driver in the database. As a loudspeaker designer sits down to create a new speaker system, these are most often among the very first values they will take into account. There is a wealth of information for the deisnger to be found in these databases. Unless you are a speaker designer they will mean very little to you as a consumer. That is a fact since these parameters reflect only the mechanical/electrical aspects of a driver's design. To an extent a very talented designer can interpret certain values of sound from the parameters included in the database. However, how a specific driver will "sound" - or more appropriately, how a specific driver will reproduce music - is only hinted at in these numbers. The database does, however, indicate the vast differences to be exploited between mulitple drivers of the same basic make up.

Not only will the loudspeaker designer select what they consider to be the most appropriate drivers for their new system, but they will create a total system. This means certain drivers are more adaptable or better suited to a specifc type of "system". Not only will the system be the combined "sound" of the drivers themself - if there is more than one driver in the system - but that sound will also be a reflection of the manner in which the drivers are mounted in or on the speaker baffle - if there is one - along with the materials and construction of the enclosure - is there is one. Common sense then tells us that the same driver mounted in five different ways in five different "systems" will produce five uniquely distinct, and consistent with the physics of the design, "sounds".

Skipping over many of the details of how drivers might be mounted and to which type of physical system they might be applied, each system and each driver are dependent upon the crossover which splits and feeds each individualt driver its signals - if there is a crossover. The crossover might be a passive system which splits the full range signals into two, three or more "ways" which would mean the number of divisions the full range signal has gone through. However, a specific frequency range might be handed off to one, two or twenty four drivers. The crossover might be active in which case the division of frequencies is preferrably placed in front of the amplifiers rather than after the amplifier(s). In selecting which crossover type to use in the new system, the designer will choose between the many filter types which are first broken down into "orders"; first, second, third and fourth order filters are the most common in consumer loudspeakers. Selecting which filter order to use will be a matter of several desired parameters of the final system which the designer is trying to control and in what manner is the control to be effected. A first order filter will have a different effect on which drivers the system might employ than would a fourth order filter. Again common sense tells us the filter type - or types as several filter orders affecting different frequency bandwidths might be used in a single loudspeaker system - is crucial to selecting a system of individual drivers just as much as the TS parameters play into the design. Once the filter order has been established on paper, the filter type must be decided on. In some cases a filter type dictates the filter order and in some cases it does not.

http://faculty.spokanefalls.edu/InetShare/AutoWebs/pamelam/crossover%20filters%2 0amundson.pdf

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/crossovers.htm


Next the crossover type is spec'd for either all pass, transient perfect or time perfect response characteristics. Selecting one subgroup of filters will very likely dictate where on the baffle - if there is one - the group of drivers being affected by that filter must be placed and how the baffle should be shaped. In some instances the division of frequencies between two or more drivers will dictate the designer's selection of a transient perfect filter over a time perfect filter. Either way, what the user perceives from each type of filter is, in many ways, far more important than any other decision the designer makes regarding the "sound" of the completed system and how reproduced music might be perceived when that system is in use.


Those are most of the values a speaker design is allowed to dictate in their product. Once the speaker system is in use, the designer seldom has the ability to control the environment the speakers must exist wthin plus how and where in that environment the speaker will be placed or what amplifier will be paired with the speaker. We have demonstarted in earlier posts just a bit of how the physical enviroment of the speaker dramatically influences the "sound" of the system.

Going back to the crossover - if there is one (or more) - the combined values of the driver's physical construction will dictate the electrical parameters of the system which are summed with the electrical values of the individual crossover component parts. As most passive crossovers are constructed from a either a series or a parallel connection (or a combination of the two) of capacitors and inductors (along with a few resistors in most systems as low frequency drivers are far less efficient than are upper frequency range drivers) the total impedance curve and electrical phase angle of the loudspeaker is largely determined by which components are used, how they are connected and to what extent do they affect the "work" which needs to be accomplished by the amplifier(s) in order to make the system respond to "music". Along with this the enclosure type - if there is one - will contribute its additional impedance hump - or humps - to the total system value.


Since we have yet to discuss amplifiers to any great extent there's no real reason to give many details about the circuit which is constructed when an amplifier's output is connected to a loudspeaker's input beyond the fact this is a circuit and the driving system - the amp - must respond to the demands of the load placed at its end. In very simple language, the amplifier must produce either sufficient voltage or sufficient current - or both simultaneously - to drive the load accurately. This is complicated by the fact the circuit of amplifier/speaker has a return leg to the amplifier which responds with a negative feedback circuit. NFB is a very serious issue in consumer amplifiers and one that is well beyond the scope of this post.


In summation, the selection of an approrpiate loudspeaker for an audio system is generally considered to be a bit more complicated than, ... "8", 10" or 12" woofer in them and a midrange and tweeter. Balancing those 3 and deciding how big of a woofer you want were the choices."




Where do we go from here, Rocker? We've just barely discussed music and, as I said, bringing music into your home in an enjoyable and hopefully "amazing" fashion is the real purpose of an audio system.

However, the issue remains that you have been looking through the wrong end of the microscope. Looking at the most basic components of a loudspeaker ignores the music. What I've placed in the above paragraphs are the individual electrons. Now, what you need to focus on would not be the individual electrons but the work they produce. In other words, if you are buying a new washer/drier, you do not need to concern yourself with how many electrons are floating around in the AC line but rather you need to focus on how well does the work produced by those electrons suit your real needs for a washer/drier.

The same is true for an audio system.





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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 50
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - i'm at work - not much time now - i'll post again later

You asked me to: "I want you to take about five or six sentences and explain what music sounds like to your ears and to your logical, analytical brain." I did that. I'm starting to think you missed that post. You've responded - with quotations - to every other post around it with no mention of that one - so i'm starting to think you missed it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17380
Registered: May-04
.

No, I read it.


" ... i'm a computer guy - i'm the kid you cheated off of on math tests. I'm an analytic, logical, mathematical-minded person. Put a horse in your front yard and it will eat your grass. Horses do that. Give me a problem to solve and I will analyze it. Analysts do that."


Just for the record, I didn't need to cheat in math but math became a bore when I entered college and I had declared my major.


Horses eat grass, yes, they do. Then horses deposit the processed grass back on your lawn so there will be more grass for them to eat. You need to complete the analysis, Rocker.


IMO that's where you're having problems in this thread, your analysis leaves out many crucial elements which will ultimately affect the conclusions you reach. What we're after in this is eventually going to have to turn to the process and its effect on music. Music is the goal, not gear is the goal. Not "sound" is the goal.


I appreciate your attempt at putting into writing what priorities you have in your experience with music. You obviously put some thought into that bit of introspection. I have to say though "realism" is about as non-descriptive as you could get. Most everyone would like "realism" from a better quality audio system. But realism doesn't exist on a disc as it does in a live performance. The live experience doesn't seem as important to you as the "amazing" experience of the gear which still leaves me short on what it is you want from a sound system.


" The sound has power. It elevates me in ways ordinary music does not."


You've already strayed from what music priorities you have to what sound you like. I have no idea what "ordinary music" might be.

You want balanced sound, that's the same as "tight bass, etc". Yet you want specific sounds of specific instruments to stand out above the rest. That would in my estimation mean you are not after balanced sound at all. Possibly, there's a better way for you to state what you want here?

And then we're right back into a description of gear. I don't want you to think about gear, Rocker. I want you to think about music as if there were no gear, as if you were blind and had only the music to make a decision on. I want you to think about music as if you were describing the elements of a live performance - you know, "ordinary music" - and what about that experience appeals to you. If all you want is the sound of the drums and the cymbals to stand out, you have that in the Klipsch you own.



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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 51
Registered: Jul-12
Part of my observation of what I call "real sound" is that certain instruments do stand out above others. At least that's what I hear at a live performance, and therefore also in what I call quality audio. Does my perception of live music differ from yours? Possibly. Do not discount my words because they're not the words you would use.

A guitar doesn't sound like a piano yet they're the same device if all you see is strings and a wooden box to amplify the sound they make when they vibrate. A speaker is essentially the same thing. You cannot make a guitar sound like a piano. Maybe I love the sound of a piano and you love the sound of a guitar. Only a piano will sound "good" to me. You may suggest I buy a guitar - after all - that's what "good" sound is - but it will not make me a happy customer. But at the same time - a "piano" is not a generic thing either. A Steinway grand is not the same as an upright Kimball. So i've been thinking piano or guitar and you're trying to make me think deeper. What kind of piano? Something like that?

Honestly I do not enjoy live performances nearly as much as I do listening to recordings of them (on truly good audio systems) because they're too loud for me. Of the live performances i've been to that I truly enjoyed they were not so loud I couldn't discern what I was hearing - but rather I heard good music in its most authentic form - like looking at a masterpiece in person in the museum rather than just a picture online. I know what it sounds and feels like to have someone in front of me playing the drums. I rarely hear and even more rarely feel that in audio systems the way I have heard it in person. What good does it do me to describe the sound of the drums? I tried that and you told me i'm not describing it properly. It's powerful. It has rhythm. It's energizing. I don't know what else to say. I can tell you that when I listen to live performance recordings in my car it sounds and feels very much like the real thing as far as I have experienced it.

Using the eminence tone guide as a key to proper description (I realize these are guitar amps and we're talking about floorstanding - i'm borrowing the descriptions) i'd say what I have now is Maverick and what I expect will delight my ears the most of these choices is red, White and Blues.

I'm not totally sure I understand what you're asking me. Music priorities? I listen to all kinds of music of all kinds of qualities. A quality audio system makes all of it sound pretty good. In fact the older crappier stuff sounds much better on a good audio system than a crappy one - the difference really stands out. The newer noise war stuff sounds kind of weird on a good audio system. Priorities? Do you mean bass is more important than highs? I'd say realistic, clean bass with punch is the top priority. Then i'd say highs with a pleasant explosiveness and last having mids that blend invisibly into the highs and lows - the fabric that ties the entire sound into one that is sound - not noise.

I'll think about this more over the weekend.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17382
Registered: May-04
.

"Priorities? Do you mean bass is more important than highs? I'd say realistic, clean bass with punch is the top priority. Then i'd say highs with a pleasant explosiveness and last having mids that blend invisibly into the highs and lows - the fabric that ties the entire sound into one that is sound - not noise."



So, if I have this right, after all your thinking what you've decided is, you want "tight bass, clear mids and clean highs"?



Halleujah! Don't we all?!!!


Keep thinking.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17383
Registered: May-04
.

"Part of my observation of what I call "real sound" is that certain instruments do stand out above others. At least that's what I hear at a live performance, and therefore also in what I call quality audio. Does my perception of live music differ from yours? Possibly. Do not discount my words because they're not the words you would use."


Of course our preceptions of music, a car wreack or last night's dinner will differ. That's why I ask the question. It's fairly useless for me to impose my concepts of music on what anyone else perceives. So I have to ask questions, the "qualifying" step in a sale. Or a visit to the doctor. Or what you probably ask when you are entering into a new business relationship so you understand what the client hopes to have as an end result. So I don't discount your answers at all, but they are not, IMO, complete answers. For one thing, you're still too focussed on the gear and not on the music.

You've said speakers have changed over the years. True, what has not changed are the elements of music; time, tempo, timbre, movement, etc. There are numerous audio components and speakers which years after they were taken from the catalogs are still found to be honest to the intent of the musician, they are "transparent" to what is on the source. Those are components and speakers which after fifty years or more are still instructive to listen to
; http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-116

For the most part these are components and speakers which avoid sounding like a hifi and emphasize their abilty to reproduce the music on the dicsc. They draw the listener into the music in the same manner that "real", "ordinary" music does.

I agree that most rock concerts are far too loud because too few techs know anything other than to raise the kick drum level to 12 and then try to get everything else just as loud. It's sonic mush served at 400 degrees. There are, of course, unamplified sources of music which you might consider listening to in order to have a bit more of a reference on "real music" and not the type which is dictated by some twenty something jacking with the mixing board. In many cases I have suggested a client go spend a little time with some live, unamplified or simply amplified music before they make an investment in an audio system. The impediment to your description of music as I can understand your wishes is, "But most music i've enjoyed in my life wasn't about realism ... "

That's sort of like saying, "Here, meet my invisible friend. Go ahead, shake his hand. No, he's standing over there." If what you want is something not based in realism but rather something based on "non-ordinary" music which exists only in your head, then I have a difficult time gaining much more from that description than "tight bass, etc, etc". Your Kilpsch should be giving you tight bass, etc, et. They should be providing "energy" as you put it, "it was about the energy of the sound. The sound has power. It elevates me in ways ordinary music does not." The Klipsch should be providing "power", they play very loud for not many watts put into them. What's missing?

So, the next question would be, what is "power" and "energy" to you? It can't simply be hearing a kick drum as distinct from the rest of the mix, again the Klispch will do that but you've said bass is now not that important to you.

To begin to feed you some possible answers, the kick drums establish "what" in music? The drummer does "what" for the music and the other musicians? If you say music "elevates" you, what element or elements of the performance - of music - are you talking about?

Do you play any instruments, Rocker? Ever have?


" A guitar doesn't sound like a piano yet they're the same device if all you see is strings and a wooden box to amplify the sound they make when they vibrate. A speaker is essentially the same thing."

Not at all, the piano and guitar create music, the speaker must only reproduce the music signal it is fed. We don't - or at least most of us don't - want the speaker to be a part of the creation process. When that occurs, the speaker will always be "creating" its own sound which, sooner or later, will be all we can hear because it intrudes on the music and all things will eventually sound like that speaker and not like music. Therefore, the desire for a guitar is to have a "tone". Many musicians spend their life chasing some illusive "tone" they have in their head - sort of ike your imaginary friend "non-ordinary" music. Few realize that tone exists in the player; hand BB King a $99 guitar and he'll still sound like BB King. For many of us, that's the thing we're after in an audio system, the "what makes BB King appear to be BB King"? It's not that the drums are "elevating" the listener. So, what is? What is it about how King plays that makes his music "elevating" to so many listeners? Because the same thing that makes King stand out is there in all music from Bach to RadioHead. There is something more central to the creation of music than just hearing "explosive" highs.


" ... but rather I heard good music in its most authentic form - like looking at a masterpiece in person in the museum rather than just a picture online. I know what it sounds and feels like to have someone in front of me playing the drums."

Now you have me confused again, you want "authentic" music but you also want something other than "ordinary" music? Is "authentic" just about hearing the drums?


"What good does it do me to describe the sound of the drums? I tried that and you told me i'm not describing it properly. It's powerful. It has rhythm. It's energizing. I don't know what else to say."


It's not that you are improperly describing the sound of drums, it's that you are telling me you hear only drums as the energizing source of music. You've focussed on drums and we keep returning to drums as though that were the only real instrument in the band. The rest is simply, " ... highs with a pleasant explosiveness and last having mids that blend invisibly into the highs and lows" Aren't the highs and mids meant to be a part of the music as you perceive it? What does blend "invisibly" into the highs and lows means? How can I shake his hand? You seem to be listening to the drums and the rest of the band is fairly inconsequential. As far as I can guess, the Klipsch you have in your room should be giving you a decent sound of a drum. So what makes you think its not the right speaker for you? Have you considered that maybe it's something other than your speakers that holds back your enjoyment? Or, do I have this wrong? You like the Klipsch but you want something different? You want that second of the two sounds you think you like?


"In fact the older crappier stuff sounds much better on a good audio system than a crappy one - the difference really stands out."


How does the difference stand out? If it's just that you hear the drums more, then that is not really an answer. That's the mix on the CD.





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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17384
Registered: May-04
.

"Part of my observation of what I call "real sound" is that certain instruments do stand out above others. At least that's what I hear at a live performance, and therefore also in what I call quality audio. Does my perception of live music differ from yours? Possibly. Do not discount my words because they're not the words you would use."


Of course our preceptions of music, a car wreack or last night's dinner will differ. That's why I ask the question. It's fairly useless for me to impose my concepts of music on what anyone else perceives. So I have to ask questions, the "qualifying" step in a sale. Or a visit to the doctor. Or what you probably ask when you are entering into a new business relationship so you understand what the client hopes to have as an end result. So I don't discount your answers at all, but they are not, IMO, complete answers. For one thing, you're still too focussed on the gear and not on the music.

You've said speakers have changed over the years. True, what has not changed are the elements of music; time, tempo, timbre, movement, etc. There are numerous audio components and speakers which years after they were taken from the catalogs are still found to be honest to the intent of the musician, they are "transparent" to what is on the source. Those are components and speakers which after fifty years or more are still instructive to listen to
; http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-116

For the most part these are components and speakers which avoid sounding like a hifi and emphasize their abilty to reproduce the music on the dicsc. They draw the listener into the music in the same manner that "real", "ordinary" music does.

I agree that most rock concerts are far too loud because too few techs know anything other than to raise the kick drum level to 12 and then try to get everything else just as loud. It's sonic mush served at 400 degrees. There are, of course, unamplified sources of music which you might consider listening to in order to have a bit more of a reference on "real music" and not the type which is dictated by some twenty something jacking with the mixing board. In many cases I have suggested a client go spend a little time with some live, unamplified or simply amplified music before they make an investment in an audio system. The impediment to your description of music as I can understand your wishes is, "But most music i've enjoyed in my life wasn't about realism ... "

That's sort of like saying, "Here, meet my invisible friend. Go ahead, shake his hand. No, he's standing over there." If what you want is something not based in realism but rather something based on "non-ordinary" music which exists only in your head, then I have a difficult time gaining much more from that description than "tight bass, etc, etc". Your Kilpsch should be giving you tight bass, etc, et. They should be providing "energy" as you put it, "it was about the energy of the sound. The sound has power. It elevates me in ways ordinary music does not." The Klipsch should be providing "power", they play very loud for not many watts put into them. What's missing?

So, the next question would be, what is "power" and "energy" to you? It can't simply be hearing a kick drum as distinct from the rest of the mix, again the Klispch will do that but you've said bass is now not that important to you.

To begin to feed you some possible answers, the kick drums establish "what" in music? The drummer does "what" for the music and the other musicians? If you say music "elevates" you, what element or elements of the performance - of music - are you talking about?

Do you play any instruments, Rocker? Ever have?


" A guitar doesn't sound like a piano yet they're the same device if all you see is strings and a wooden box to amplify the sound they make when they vibrate. A speaker is essentially the same thing."

Not at all, the piano and guitar create music, the speaker must only reproduce the music signal it is fed. We don't - or at least most of us don't - want the speaker to be a part of the creation process. When that occurs, the speaker will always be "creating" its own sound which, sooner or later, will be all we can hear because it intrudes on the music and all things will eventually sound like that speaker and not like music. Therefore, the desire for a guitar is to have a "tone". Many musicians spend their life chasing some illusive "tone" they have in their head - sort of ike your imaginary friend "non-ordinary" music. Few realize that tone exists in the player; hand BB King a $99 guitar and he'll still sound like BB King. For many of us, that's the thing we're after in an audio system, the "what makes BB King appear to be BB King"? It's not that the drums are "elevating" the listener. So, what is? What is it about how King plays that makes his music "elevating" to so many listeners? Because the same thing that makes King stand out is there in all music from Bach to RadioHead. There is something more central to the creation of music than just hearing "explosive" highs.


" ... but rather I heard good music in its most authentic form - like looking at a masterpiece in person in the museum rather than just a picture online. I know what it sounds and feels like to have someone in front of me playing the drums."

Now you have me confused again, you want "authentic" music but you also want something other than "ordinary" music? Is "authentic" just about hearing the drums?


"What good does it do me to describe the sound of the drums? I tried that and you told me i'm not describing it properly. It's powerful. It has rhythm. It's energizing. I don't know what else to say."


It's not that you are improperly describing the sound of drums, it's that you are telling me you hear only drums as the energizing source of music. You've focussed on drums and we keep returning to drums as though that were the only real instrument in the band. The rest is simply, " ... highs with a pleasant explosiveness and last having mids that blend invisibly into the highs and lows" Aren't the highs and mids meant to be a part of the music as you perceive it? What does blend "invisibly" into the highs and lows means? How can I shake his hand? You seem to be listening to the drums and the rest of the band is fairly inconsequential. As far as I can guess, the Klipsch you have in your room should be giving you a decent sound of a drum. So what makes you think its not the right speaker for you? Have you considered that maybe it's something other than your speakers that holds back your enjoyment? Or, do I have this wrong? You like the Klipsch but you want something different? You want that second of the two sounds you think you like?


"In fact the older crappier stuff sounds much better on a good audio system than a crappy one - the difference really stands out."


How does the difference stand out? If it's just that you hear the drums more, then that is not really an answer. That's the mix on the CD.





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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 52
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - hang on. I think now would be a good time to take a sync point. I had it in my mind to do this post when I got the time so i'll do that - to get it out of my head. I'll read your latest post later this morning when I have time to absorb and think about it.

Forget about the JBLs I bought in the beginning and sent back. Mistake. Undone. Next.

I took the advice of this board and listened to as many different speakers that I reasonably could (considering I work for a living), and took your recommendation and listened to Klipsch. Thanks for the tip. I loved the Klipsch reference sound. I bought the RF-62 II. The only members of the Klipsch reference series I heard that day were the RF-82 and RF-62. The 30-days clock started.

The RF-62 have most of everything I want in a speaker. The sound is great on some music, bad on other music, terrible on some - mostly the new noise war stuff. I couldn't quite describe what was wrong with the sound. The parts were there but the whole wasn't.

An event took place one morning that to me had significance. As part of a routine wiring upgrade I discovered something. I had an idea to take one of the many HDMI cables I have in my electro-gizmo box of goodies (I have like 5 HDMI cables the engineers I work with handed to me when I bought my BluRay) and used that to connect my Tivo to my receiver since it carries sound too. That way I could use the one RCA audio output on the Tivo to feed sound to my receiver - and listen to the music choice channels and my wife can still get by using only the TV remote. It worked and the sound I got through my audio system was an improvement over what I get from my CD player. Comparing the sounds I realized it was less deep bass in the music choice that made it sound better. This contradicted what I thought I knew about my taste in sound. I learned.

I was on a mission to get the RF-62 sounding as good as I could in the 30 days that I had. Advice from this board led me to try various speaker placements. I had figured out that too much deep bass in some music was what I hated about the audio system as it stood. I found that if I pulled the RF-62 at least 3 feet away from the wall the bass issues went away. So it would seem the problem is bass reflection from the wall behind it? So then I got kind of annoyed. I had the right speakers but they were only so if I moved them into a location they could not stay. And moving them out to listen to music - although doable - is far from ideal. But that was my working solution. For now.

I went back to IQ and asked their advice. They suggested I buy a new amp and showed me a few Integra and Yamaha amps - brands I don't really know. I took that under advisement. I tried to determine what value I get from upgrading my amp. I cannot see where that will improve my sound all that much. I cannot see how it could help my bass issues. They said I could set an internal crossover in the receiver and direct all the low bass to the sub and not my fronts and that would solve my problem. If all I wanted from my fronts was that then i'd have bookshelf speakers - or better yet - the speakers I had before any of this began - the JBL that needed refoaming. You can call me a control freak if you want but I'm not shelling out $1000 for something I don't understand. I came here and tried to get a good idea of what I could gain by upgrading my amp. Dolby Digital would replace Dolby Surround (actually I have no guarantee that i'm getting Dolby Surround now) as my input sound for movies. Without rears - does it really make all that much of a difference? My center? We disagree on exactly what my center is right now. But that's a distraction. Even if it does get better it wouldn't have all that much value to me. I care about music - which doesn't involve Dolby anything. I suspect most of the new amps have bi-Amping capability built into them. I have plenty of speaker wires in the electro-gizmo box. Wouldn't cost me a penny. Would it really help? Probably not. Internal crossover point. No. I decided that upgrading my receiver would be a distraction I cannot afford right now. So all the center disagreement post ping-pong is a pointless distraction. I need to focus on getting the RF-62 to sound as good as I can before I have to finally decide to keep them or send them back.

I listen to them and feel like I hate this overbearing bass i'm sending them back. Then I start to think about the reality of actually finding anything better in the time I have. What am I going to do? Go to IQ and listen to more speakers? Their patience with me will quickly wear out of it hasn't already. Amazon? I'm going to pull up a list of speakers sold on Amazon and play Battleship? Yeah that'll work. In 5 years. Realistically - i'm close enough now that I should focus on the acoustics that are hurting the RF-62 - those same acoustics will affect every other speakers I bring in here too. Am I going to get speakers with so little bass that the reflection is absent? Then I won't like them because they don't have enough punch or power or something. The grass is always greener ...

The 30 days runs out this week. The window of opportunity I had for buying speakers on Amazon (Amazon Battleship) closed this past week. I wanted to buy at least one other set of speakers to put beside of these RF-62 to compare. At least one. I couldn't stop thinking about the RF-52. I wanted to hear them. IQ didn't have them in the sound room. I know me well enough to know that if I do not at least listen to the RF-52 i'll spend my life wondering if I should've bought those instead. I will not be happy if I do not at least listen to them. So I bought the RF-52 as my one pair to compare to the RF-62. Now - if they do not sound better than the RF-62 then i'll send them back and it will be worth the shipping costs to me so I can get them out of my head. They'll be here this week and i'll hear them and move on.

Meanwhile - while I have this thread and people willing to contribute their knowledge i'm learning everything I can to make whatever set pf speakers I end up with sound as good as I can. I've learned a lot already and I certainly do have much more to learn. I realize at some point not far from now the next thing in life will come along to take away my attention and my home audio will be what it is at that time - for a long time. If that happened today - if I had to keep what I have now for years to come - honestly - I would be fairly happy. I love the sound I have now (subtracting the bass distortion) I just hate the adjustments I have to make to enjoy that sound (moving speakers away from the wall). Jan - I wouldn't have found these Klipsch reference speakers without your tip. Thanks. I think we'll get me fixed - it's just a matter of finding the right adjustment to my listening room setup - something other than my equalizer.

I'll read your posts later and respond to them. Thanks again!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17386
Registered: May-04
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Once again there's a lot of information in that post to discuss. Since you're settling in on a way to solve your problem I'll only make one point. While I don't hold specifications - particularly loudspeaker specs - to be very informative when i am judging how music will sound when reproduced through a product, the specs for the 62/52 are virtually identical. The 52 gives up one Hz in bass extension and one dB in sensitivity. I understand you have convinced yourself the diameter of the woofers matters and you are looking for the "sound" of a "X" diameter driver.


Give a listen, Rocker.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17387
Registered: May-04
.

Once again there's a lot of information in that post to discuss. Since you're settling in on a way to solve your problem I'll only make one point. While I don't hold specifications - particularly loudspeaker specs - to be very informative when i am judging how music will sound when reproduced through a product, the specs for the 62/52 are virtually identical. The 52 gives up one Hz in bass extension and one dB in sensitivity. I understand you have convinced yourself the diameter of the woofers matters and you are looking for the "sound" of a "X" diameter driver.


Give a listen, Rocker.




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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 53
Registered: Jul-12
Jan - you're right as usual - i'm not consistent with what i'm describing. It most likely is a sound that exists only in my head. The more I think about true realism the more I feel like I want to steer away from it. I imagine that if I had a pair of Diamonds given to me i'd listen to them - decide they don't have enough bass or punch or something - and play with my equalizer to get them to what I call "good sound." And you're right about the Audesey correction system - I would almost definitely equalize whatever corrections it made right back in.

What am I looking for? Honestly my home audio search has been driven, pathetically enough, by my car system sound. I know I love the way it sounds. I've listened to it for months now and I keep loving it more and more. Ive used that as a gauge all along. Which does you or anyone else no good.

I honestly do not know what the truly top quality audio sounds like. I've never heard it. I've heard audio systems that were way above my price range many decades ago that set an image in my mind that has most likely become a sound i've wanted for decades and forgot about it until I heard it a few months ago when I turned on my new car speakers.

It's not realism that makes it good. It's just a clean, tone-rich sound that has enough clarity and power to it to amaze me in various ways from time to time. For example, one song has a part in it where it sounds to me like someone is sitting in the back seat paying a video game. It sounds so real I turn around and look back there every time I hear it. Another song has some distortion in it and every time I hear that song I test my speakers because I think i've blown one of them. There are parts to certain songs where some instrument stands out in some way i've never noticed before. It could be drums, cymbals, an acoustic guitar, some instrument that sounds so clear - it seems authentic to me - at least that't the only way I know to describe it. Would you or any other audio expert describe my car system as realistic sounding - as authentic? Maybe. Probably not. Anything truly authentic wouldn't have the tone-rich disco sound I call "good."

At first I thought you were a nut case venting frustration on this board that you can't vent at stupid customers at work because that's your job and they're paying customers. But over time, after reading over your posts a few times and thinking about what you're saying i've come to realize the old man actually knows what he's talking about. I really have no idea what truly good audio sounds like. I have an imaginary sound in my head that appeals to me and I cannot describe it in any logical way any more than you can shake the hand of my invisible friend. It's the sound I couldn't afford a long time ago - and i'm not really sure exactly where I heard it.

I do hear live performances all the time. Restaurants around here have jazz and blues bands often. The bands I grew up listening to are still touring the small arenas - we have several in this area - that I go to from time to time and the sound is not so loud. It's mostly old people like us so loud is not wanted nor appreciated. I haven't been to a concert in years but I get jazz bands very often. Voices are all that's amplified and i'm sitting 10 feet from the drummer feeling the bass as much as hearing it. When I feel the punch of the drums in my car seat it adds another level of enjoyment to the music - it's part of the realism of music - not necessarily realistic in every way. It may not be realistic at all - it's just one of those things that my brain picks up on - and I like it.

To answer your question - and to make the most important point - yes I think I have decided on the Klipsch sound. I don't think i'm going to find any sound I like more with the time I have left - if you have any suggestions please share them - so now it's down to using my last week to pick which one of the Klipsch reference will it be. The RF-7 and RF-42 can be skipped - too big too small - i've heard the RF-82 and RF-62 side by side and preferred the RF-62. This week i'll hear the RF-52 and RF-62 side by side and make the final choice. I will have listened to no less than 12 lines of speakers - visited many audio stores and auditioned 3 pairs in my home by the time I arrive at a final selection. That's pretty darn good for a married man who works for a living in the big city who started out 20 years behind the times. Thanks old man. I'll take all the help I can get in this world.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17390
Registered: May-04
.

Thanks and ,,, uh, ... thanks?

What I say on this forum are the same things I said to my clients and potential customers when I was selling. I haven't sold audio for over a decade. Why I stopped selling the stuff is a story too long to tell here.

There are quite a few things salespeople aren't going to say to a client, and I've had people walk out of the showroom when I began asking them what they were looking for - qualifying why they were in the store. I can't help everyone and no store I worked in allowed me the time and effort commodity to simply hook up every possible option in the store while allowing someone to sit without giving me a clue as to what they were after or whether I was even coming close to that imagined ideal. So the next customer might be more interesting - or even more difficut. You learn to roll with the punches and move on. Ying and yang. I think most good salespeople leave their frustrations at the door every morning unless the situation is something they can change. I couldn't change a client and had no desire to, I could only give them a bit of feedback to what they say to me.


The difference on the forum is I don't have to hook up gear or try to get you to identify whether you liked "A" or "B". I don't have to close a sale to eat. The forum will go on whether you want my advice or https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/711345.html


I don't know that I can help you at this point, Rocker. You want something that only you can hear in your mind and yet you feel that "something" is somehow tied to the size of the driver and your eq. You say you like what you have but don't want to move a speaker to get that sound. But you also don't want, or can't, do anything about the room acoustics to change that. Not to be rude but you're not that far off from that poster in the above link other than we've had alot more words and distractions before we reached that point.




You are who you are, Rocker and I have limited ability to change your perspective when I can't even shake your imaginary friend's hand. At this point the best advice I have for you is to ask yourself why you own an audio system. I know, that makes no more sense to you than, " It's just a clean, tone-rich sound that has enough clarity and power to it to amaze me in various ways from time to time.", does to me. However, you've said repeatedly it's the music that counts for you. Unfortunately, from my perspective, you're not listening to the music, you're listening to the "sound" of the hifi system itself. There's a Grand Canyon of difference between the two perspectives IMO.

What I consistently get from your posts is you are very focussed on the bass, mid, treble "sound" of the system. You really aren't focussed on the music at all, you want to hear kick drums, "explosive" highs and, "some instrument that sounds so clear - it seems authentic to me". You want the "punch" and the "feel" of the kick drum but you are ignoring what the drum is doing in and for the music itself. As I always told my clients, if what you want to buy is a system that sounds like a hifi, you'll have a hifi that, as you have pointed out, will change every few years as fads and trends change with the market. If, however, you understand that music is the reason for having an above average music reproduction system, then you can begin to see that music is a constant. The elements of music have been virtually unchanged for hundreds of years and, if we could bring Bach into 2012, he would be capable of playing 2012 music and would certainly find many of his own influences in that music. He would hear the flatted fifth of blues, jazz and rock which in his day was forbidden by the Church for its "evil" nautre. And he would comprehend the polyphonic structure of John Lee Hooker as he plays an entire song using only one chord - and only select parts of that one chord at that! The message being sent by those two elements of music alone would be just as powerful to Bach as they are to the Kings of Leon or John Fogerty. Music communicates emotional content, it is interesting because music first establishes tension and then provides a release for that tension. It "elevates" us, moves us in ways only music can and then it releases us to do with music as we see fit. http://sharperiron.org/2008/02/04/how-bach-used-the-devils-music

That is how I perceive music. That really is how we all perceive music whether we understand the structure and the process of making the message or whether we just hear " some instrument that sounds so clear". In a live performance the performer is taking their lead and it is called a lead simply because it is meant to lead the listener in a direction. Its intention is to stand out. In a live performance the rest of the band is comunicating the idea they are stepping back and allowing the lead performer to do the work for them at that moment. On a recording we hope the engineer didn't screw this up so badly that the performer's message in lost in the muck and mire of a job poorly done in post production. On the recording it's the mix that matters to whether we understand the intent of the performers. No one goes into the studio with the idea of putting on tape or disc some "punch" or "non-ordinary music". Yes, they want to produce music which "elevates" the listener but they accomplish that by being good on their chosen instrument and consistent as a group performing together. Punch is what a drum does and it is simply there for the musicians. It establishes a "beat" and that beat can be straight or it can be synchopated. The timing can be common time or cut time or any "time" desired including waltz time. It can emphasize the 1-3 or the 2-4 in 4/4 time. It can begin the riff on the first beat or on the second, third or fourth beat. Each change to "the beat" alters the listener's perception of the music and the intent of the performers. Bach understood these elements exquisitely and his genius was to implement them in his music in a manner which moved music forward through the ages, a manner which gave the listener greater freedom to perceive the emotional message of music.

All music tells a story and we respond to that story. We remember the story, whether in detail or just as another story. We can tap our fingers to the beat of a familiar song on a cheap AM radio on the car. We remember "punch" simply as something we heard from a certain piece of hifi gear or, at times, merely as something we have in our heads but can't express.

You do not need to be consciuously aware of these alterations to the structure of music, good music does the work for you. You do not need a course in music to buy a quality music reproduction system. You simply need to listen to the music rather than focus on the sound of the hifi. In a good jazz or blues trio you'll hear each performer responding to the input of the other players and "the beat" will simply be there as a timing element with which they play into or out of; ahead of, on it or behind it, sticking to a straight rhythm or moving to a polyphonic structure, leading the listener or having the listener follow their lead. You'll hear each performer step forward to take their lead and to have the opportunity to expand your perception of music's force. With a high quality audio system capable of getting out of the way of the music, you can understand how the other performers support that player and how who leads and who follows in structured into the "sound" of, say The Rolling Stones.

Once you've perceived music in this way, you can take that same perception to every concert you attend and you'll find the same elements at work in any performance you hear.

Yes, "older music" does often sound better on a higher quality music reproduction system, for several reasons. One is the music was not as homogenized when artists had more freedom to take chances and to create the message that was in their mind. Another is the recording techniques of previous generations were not as studio-time-is-expensive driven as today, the "sound" was not meant to be played on an iPod and music was not created with every performer in a different part of the world over a two month long period. Studios today do have mixers with 168 (or more) channels and each portion of the performance will be spread over those 168 channels. We have Les Paul, Roger Waters and John Lennon to thank for that. Ying and Yang, some things improve and some things step backwards. To hear what was in Lennon's head we needed more than four channels on the recorder. To record a great performance, we needed only one. Great music exists on mono recordings. Great hifi for many listeners require as many channels as they can fit into their room or to catch their attention on a 1000 song playlist.

The concept of most higher quality audio components/speakers has been, for the last 70+ years, to bring us closer to the performers and their musical intent. When you turn to look for the person playing video games in your back seat, you are experiencing a taste of realism which can be provided by modern audio gear. You are also listening to the hifi again. The recording engineer created that bit of "realism" as it very likely exists only in the studio processes of building the recording. The realism and authenticity many listeners seek from their audio systems is to forget the recording exists and to forget their system exists and to have the ability to listen through the window of the recording and the beyond system into the production of the music creation process - not the creation of "punch" or the "feel" of a kick drum. Those "elements" simply exist in their proper perspective when the system itself gets out of the way of the music. If the drum is not meant to have "punch" at a certain time, it does not. We don't want a system that creates "sound" on its own since that is not the intent of the performers. We may appreciate "punch" and how it works in the context of the music but we want it only when the musicians intend it to be there. We can appreciate music without the constant punch of a drum when that is appropriate to what the performer intends.



It's very common for many listeners to be focussed on the gear since they feel that is what they are buying - a "sound" that is pleasing to their perception. It's very difficult to take that listener and slowly guide them to the point where they have left behind all of their preconceptions about what audio gear is meant to do while moving them to the position where they forget the gear and focus solely on the music. The more we are nudged away from previously held positions, the more many of us dig in to what we have always accepted. Belief engines are nasty little critters.


All the stuff about Dolby is, as you say, mostly a distraction if what you care about is not surround channels but the music. I'll tell you this (and not expect you to listen but) music is typically much better in two channels than in three or more unless you are going to commit to more - which would include recordings originally made in more than two channels. What you are using the center channel to accomplish, Rocker, is to alter your hifi just as your eq does. You're still after a "sound" rather than the music. If you're like most of my clients who had similar concepts of how an audio system should work - and so far you're very typical of those clients, you would disagree that you are not listening to the music. The music elevates you and you feel its punch. And that's where I would have to begin with the "A" or "B" comparisons and allow you to chart your own course. As a salesperson my job was to close the sale and move the merchandise by having the client say they preferred "X" and they would be happy with that in their home. What I would own or why I would own it never really mattered.


One of the most common questions audio salespeople get asked is, "What do you own?" I think people ask that because they don't trust themself to know what to listen for when they hear music played through a high quality music system. They want a nice compact answer to what "sounds" good. For the most part I never owned gear that I was selling at the moment, my system was more made up of gear that was discontinued or made by such a small company that no store really carried the line. My McIntosh tube amps are now fifty years old and the rest of the amplifiers I might listen to are well below ten watts output. My pre amp is decades old. They produce music as I perceive it in a live situation and that's why I own them. I built my own speakers, subwoofer and cables and I did the set up of my system to suit my own priorities and those of no one else. All that is to say I frustrated a lot of clients who simply wanted me to point to what they should buy. I never once used the close, "It's good enough for me." What I wanted and what the client (thought they) wanted were always two distinct things which should not have crossed.


" I tried to determine what value I get from upgrading my amp. I cannot see where that will improve my sound all that much. I cannot see how it could help my bass issues... You can call me a control freak if you want but I'm not shelling out $1000 for something I don't understand."


Well, in one sense, no, the amplifier will not change your room's acoustics or what's in your head. In another sense, your amplifier is seventeen years old and the JVC line of receivers was not very high quality back then. I know why you bought it, a built in seven band eq. But the receiver itself is not very good. So, yes, a high quality amplifier will make an improvement in your enjoyment of music . But a new amplifier can only do that after you have made the transistion to listening to something other than the hifi - the "punch". Not that a new amp won't have greater punch or that it will not produce " some instrument that sounds so clear." It will, that's what a better component is meant to do in most cases. I don't think a Yamaha will do that and I even have my doubts about most of the Integra line but that is what "better" music reproduction is all about. Not because of Dolby Digital or DTS or matrixed and discrete channels. I would suggest, if you are really interested in the music and not in surround "sound", you should invest in a high quality two channel (integrated) amplifier from a company with a relatively higher pedigree in reproducing music. And consider that no system can reproduce a signal better than what has been extracted from the source player.

But that's another 100 posts on into this thread and as you say, "I realize at some point not far from now the next thing in life will come along to take away my attention and my home audio will be what it is at that time - for a long time." That's how it should be, an audio system should not be a life consuming affair for most people. I've sold to those folks also and they are really screwed up in most cases when it comes to buying a good system. Your clock is ticking on the speaker selection and that presents a problem for you. You could call the dealer and ask if you might be allowed more time though it's fairly uncertain you will hear anything next week that you haven't already heard from the Klipsch unless you totally up end your thinking. If I were the dealer and you asked me that, I would probably assume you're just asking for more time to make comparisons that will end up in some used equipment coming back into my inventory. I would instead encourage you to make up your mind about what it is you really want.




That's the advice I would have given any client, Rocker. First, stop listening for a "sound" that only you can hear but that you can't describe or put your finger on. No salesperson or manufacturer can fulfill that request since the ideal doesn't really exist as anything more than what you hear from one piece of music at a time in your car.

Consider why you are buying a music system and forget buying a hifi. Set a few priorities which actually focus on the music and how it is created rather than how it is reproduced.

And understand that a system is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.



I really can't tell you how many times I have given that same advice. Not everyone took it, some did. I did, however, eventually tell each client what would make me happy is if I never saw them again - because they were so excited about listening to music at home.



What else can I tell you? I've tried not be be didactic but the posts are bordering on the epic at this point.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17391
Registered: May-04
.
Looks like that one link isn't working. Let's try this one; https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/711345.html#POST2002298
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 54
Registered: Jul-12
When I first got the new car sound I went thru a stage of continual amazement where I was listening to the speakers more than the music. That eventually wore off and now although I still experience the occasional ooh-wow moment I have returned to listening to my ever-expanding music collection. That will happen with the home audio once I get out of the assess / adjust mode.

So I bought these Klipsch - plopped them in the spot where the speakers go - plopped down on the man couch where I go and expected the speakers to blow me away with amazement and after failing to do so - and equalizing it into wow-ness failed - my conclusion was to buy speakers that would blow me away from the proper positions. That really was the dumbest thing i've said in a while (it is an election year).

If I cannot move the speakers very far in any direction without losing furniture or buying a bigger house - one thing I certainly can move around easily - me.

I've read quite a bit about speaker placement and about the golden cuboid. I cannot convert our main living room into a golden cuboid without having medication suggested - but I can work with what i've got.

So I grabbed a wooden chair from the dinner table and plopped it down in front of the speakers and experimented.

I had the speakers 4' apart and i was sitting 15' away on the man couch directly in front of the right speaker. I didn't realize how ridiculous the original positioning was until I measured it.

These speakers have to be more than 4' apart - that becomes rather obvious immediately. I tried 8' apart - as far as I can get them without giving away a couch - with a slight toe-in. That was good.

I found that if I pulled them in to 5.5' apart with no toe-in and I sit about 7.5' to 8' back I get something wonderful.

I thought for sure my center speaker was playing vocals. I kneeled down to it but nope - nothing coming out of it. Sure sounds like it though. I hear instruments and vocals spread out across a stage larger than the wall in front of me. At some points in the music I could hear sounds coming from beside of me. I do not have surround speakers. I could close my eyes and point to the speakers - where I perceived them to be - and open my eyes - i'm pointing to spots about 3' outside where the speakers actually are. This is what you call the sound field? I've never heard anything like that before. I didn't know it even existed.

I'm excited about experimenting with this a little more. These speakers put out a sound field that is much larger than I could have ever imagined - had I actually understood what it is. I thought the sound field was how far away you can go and still get a stereo effect.

So that was my biggest ooh-wow moment of the day. As far as the sound quality itself - it is very impressive. I hear all kinds of details in the music i've never noticed before - in here. All the things I noticed for the first time in my car audio i'm hearing in here.

The links didn't work.

You do have my curiosity rising - if this JVC receiver is nowhere near high quality - I thought it was - I'm wondering what kind of sound field I can get out of these speakers with a good amp. Up until now my mindset receiver-wise has been "if it ain't broke don't fix it" But now i'm thinking it may be ready for retirement sometime not too long from now. I'll need to go back to life as usual once the speaker upgrade and placement project is completed. After some time passes i'll look into upgrading my audio equipment. I will enjoy listening to this system even with the JVC receiver. Hopefully one day down the road I can add a good amp to my system and add a fresh new sound. I might just go overboard and get surround speakers too...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17392
Registered: May-04
.

The first link should be working in the later post. The second can be reached here; http://sharperiron.org/2008/02/04/how-bach-used-the-devils-music If for some reason that link doesn't work, just place the wording of the link, "How Bach used the devils music" into a search engine.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17393
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/default.php

http://www.rotel.com/

http://www.audioclassics.com/detail.php3?detail=MAC4100&nav=cat



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2869
Registered: Oct-07
Also to look at:
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/products/new/711257.html

Or perhaps NAD, which Jan is not a fan of.....but some are.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 55
Registered: Jul-12
Leo, Jan - thanks for the links - This is great info!

The last few days were both horrible and wonderful. I think i'm ready to wrap up this little project.

Yesterday was horrible - had a headache - watched a Star Trek movie and the sound - with Dolby Pro Logic on (3.1 speaker setup) was terrible. It sounded better with DPL off. I couldn't get the BD player audio settings - played with them - couldn't get a good sound with DPL on - sounded better off. So why did I buy a center speaker if i'm not upgrading my amp? I chatted with Sony about the BD player and all they gave me was quotes from the user manual. I got really frustrated and reached a point where I was ready to send everything back and say **** it. All of it.

The Klipsch RF-52 showed up. They are exactly what I expected. Jan - you may call me crazy - but dual 5.25" woofers have about 40 sq. inches of surface - dual 6.5" woofers have about 60. That's about a 3 to 2 ratio. Add in excursion range and you could say the RF-62 has about double the bass power of the RF-52 - the 62 has 2 rear ports the 52 has one - that's what the laws of physics would dictate. I know speaker design is a factor - but they're the same maker same line - same driver designs same crossover designs same box designs same tweeter design just different sizes.

The RF-52 sounded just like the RF-62 but put out - as expected - about half the bass. And just as I expected - they had the exact same problem with patchy bass only the difference seemed more evident with the RF-52. I could sit in the sweet spot - not enough bass - turn on the sub full volume and bump up 60Hz +4 on the eq - sounds good. Then I go sit in the man couch - my spot - too much bass - I turn off the sub and move the eq back down to 0 at 60Hz. Sounds like it did in the sweet spot. That's a massive difference in bass! It's like a 400% change from one spot to another! I've never in my life heard anything like that!

Anyway - yesterday was a series of frustrations. I like the RF-62 but I cannot tolerate the bass being so loud in so many places - especially the one place I prefer to sit. The RF-52 sounds good. I can more easily manage the bass with those. I can turn on the sub to add bass if i'm sitting where I need it and turn off the sub when i'm on the man-couch. But isn't that exactly where I was when this all started? I had 8" JBL speakers that needed a bass boost from my new JBL sub. All of this for .... nothing?

I got very frustrated. The RF-52 are a little sharper than the JBL that I started with - but not enough of a step up to justify all of this. I really started to run out of patience. I was very close to just sending ALL of it back and getting my old JBLs back.

But things got much better. That's the next post that i'll get to in a minute. I figured out a lot of things.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 56
Registered: Jul-12
I started thinking last night - my problems with patchy bass HAS TO BE bass reflecting off the wall behind the speakers. Thinking about the speakers themselves - my JBLs did not have this problem - poor room acoustics cannot explain the massive difference in bass response i'm hearing around the listening area - it HAS TO BE related to the ports on the backs of the speakers. There is no other logical explanation. I've never heard anything like this before. I've never had rear-ported speakers before either. I think that's the connection.

So I researched it. Sure enough rear-ported speakers MUST be placed properly - they do bounce bass off the wall behind them. I ran across the idea of plugging the ports. But that would turn them into a sealed-box system - and these drivers are not designed for that. I've prefer not to plug the ports. So I got an idea: socks.

This morning I took 4 socks and folded them like I would 2 and stuffed one of those 4-sock thingies into each port and BINGO - the bass problem went away! The bass became richer and stronger across most of the listening area. The bass became weaker at the man-couch position.

The only logical explanation is that bass was reflecting off the wall behind the speakers (the walls of my condo are made out of steel-beam-reinforced concrete - they're VERY solid) and was adding together at the man-couch and cancelling out across much of the listening area between the couch and speakers - the center of the room. Now i'm getting a fairly even bass response across the entire room! Sure the bass gets a little bit stronger in some places but it's not that big of a difference - maybe 20% at the most. I can handle that. I've had that all my life - that's room acoustics.

The RF-52 are going back. They're not much different than the JBL that I started with. The RF-62 is clearly the superior speaker. I actually LOVE the sound I get from them now that the bass issue has been solved. And all it cost me was 16 socks. And the shipping charges on the RF-52 - but at least now I can forget about them knowing I made the right selection.

I was able to talk to one of the Dolby decoder team guys at Sony and my BluRay player does exactly what I thought - I can set the Downmix setting to either Stereo or Surround and it will downmix Dolby Digital audio tracks to either plain 2-channel stereo or to Dolby Surround Sound (4-channel) audio that my DPL decoder can interpret. They're both LPCM over analog RCA. Dolby enforced this on the users of their products to deliver the backwards-compatibility they promise to us consumers. The Dolby Surround downmix does have a discrete center channel that is identical to the center channel encoded in all flavors of Dolby Digital. The rear - surround - channels are a big question mark - they're matrixed - and are nothing like the discrete channels of Dolby Digital. Anyway - i'm not going to analyze it any further than that - my center channel is what it is - on some movies it sounds good on others not so good. I'll keep the RC-52 center - it matches my fronts. The sub adds depth to my movies - not needed for music. I'll get random use from the center. Worst case is my movies sound like the old HiFi VCRs we had in the 90s.

I'm wrapping up this project. I call it a success. I learned a LOT. Thanks a gazillion! I am very happy with the sound I have now (music) with the ports "socked." Speaker placement doesn't seem to make much difference in the sound with the magic socks in place. I like that. That's what i'm used to. The sound these RF-62 put out is richer and has a broader sound field than any speaker i've ever owned before. This IS a step up. Check off that one.

Yes this thread is bordering on epic proportions. But there is a TON of good information in here. I'm just glad the moderators didn't rename this thread to "Grumpy old men."

After the dust settles i'll kick off my next fun project: to upgrade my receiver. i'll lose the CD player and start wireless-streaming audio from iTunes on my MacBook Air. I have the links you guys sent me - thanks! I already have a center and a sub and fronts that I think will benefit slightly from bi-amping. I'll go all-out and buy some RB-51 bookshelfs and put them on stands and locate them on the back-sides of the man-couch. I'll get RS-42 surrounds and mount them on the side walls. I'll need a wireless amp to power the rear surrounds. I'm already excited about the next project.

This is the part where as team leader I congratulate the team on a job well-done. We either all succeed as a team or we all fail as a team. We succeeded. I feel the success level on this project deserves a day off reward - the only "bonus" I can give. Jan, Leo, Super, Glass and Andre - take a Friday off - and that comes down from the very top (Rocky).

Seriously, thanks everyone. ROCK ON!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17396
Registered: May-04
.


"But there is a TON of good information in here."



And, unfortunately, two tons of misinformation and bad "logic".


Good luck, Rocker, and stay happy.




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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2870
Registered: Oct-07
I just set up an airport express for the 70yr old neighbors. I made them get a Mac so they'd quit beefing about the PC which was alway screwed up.....I fixed it 5 or 6 times over the years....everything from new/more memory to a new HD, after service screwed it up.
Anyway, after updating the OS to the 10.7.4 level and getting the airport utility to match, everything went smoothlly.

The wife? She's rockin' out. I brought 'em 4gb of assorted music much of which they'd never heard, but some of it they love. Classic guitar was something they'd never heard.

All hooked up and a goin' concern.....

Next will be a training session so they can learn to put music ON the computer from CDs and how to make playlists.

Good luck, Rocker........
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17398
Registered: May-04
.

"And, unfortunately, two tons of misinformation and bad 'logic'."


Just to be clear for anyone stumbling across this thread and searching for information they might find useful, virtually everything Rocker described in those last two posts is factually/physically incorrect and/or poorly assigned to a "cause" which contributes to a mystical "solution" which suits Rocker's immediate needs - to wash his hands of speakers and audio components. His time for exchanging the Klipsch has run out and he needs to make a decision, so he invents several that will salve his mind.

For example, it is electronically impossible for a matrixed Dolby PL circuit to create/extract/produce - whatever word you would care to use - a discrete three channel output when it can only accept a two channel input. A "Dolby Surround" input is a two channel input, not a three, four or five channel input. The center channel of a DPL function is always a matrixed center channel output which has been derived from a two channel input by way of basic algorithmns which must -must! - matrix a third channel output and discard various pieces of information which will appropriately be placed in the front left/right outputs. Simple math says two in does not equal three out while five in does not equal three out either. Yes, Dolby circuits are backwards compatible, but not in the way Rocker describes.

From that bit of "I'll accept what I want to hear and not what is real" thinking Rocker went steadily downhill in his reasoning. If you're reading this, Rocker, and I assume you've closed the book and moved onto other things now that you have reached your frustration limit with the way things actually operate in audio, you are dead wrong on every one of your conclusions. If you really do not understand the non-existent difference between "plugging" the ports and "stuffing" the ports full of socks, then you understand nothing else about how speakers operate. The effect of altering the port volume, and therefore the system alignment, is the same no matter the material used to accomplish the task. Nor do you understand how rooms which contain speakers and their pressure waves operate, most especially the very long wavelength, omni-directional pressure waves of a bass signal. And so on and so on and so on ...

None the less, if you're happy with the results, it's your system and there's no more point in discussing how to approach system building with someone who simply is determined to go their own way despite facts and physics to the contrary. At some point, you must step aside and allow the other party to make their own mistakes no matter how great they may be.


Enjoy, Rocker.




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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 57
Registered: Jul-12
Thanks Jan - good luck and take care

Leo - sounds cool - sounds like the next project i'm already excited about - I have a MacBook Air with Lion and Airport. iTunes rocks (on a Mac - ??? on a PC) they'll love you for it even more once you get them straight.

Thanks and good luck, take care
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 58
Registered: Jul-12
I've ran across quite many guys my age - i'm pushing 50 - who are just as naive as I was about all the new Surround Sound technology. People come to these boards for information. I'd like to share what i've discovered about this subject over the past few months.

Short recap: I have an 18-years-old Dolby Surround Sound audio receiver. I was wondering if it was worth the $$$ to get a center channel and a subwoofer - to upgrade my sound to 3.1 from 2.0 without also upgrading my audio receiver to the newer Dolby Digital / DTS-HD models. As this thread clearly shows there is not much agreement on that subject. I never really figured that out with certainty during the life of this thread but I have since then. I'm sure this info has value.

The answer is yes - you can get a wonderful center channel on the old Dolby Surround Sound receivers even with all the new equipment but you have to tweak the settings properly to get it to work. I'll tell you how I got mine to work with a TiVo HD XL and a fairly new Sony BluRay player as input.

My old audio receiver has no HDMI inputs, no optical or coaxial - none of the "digital" inputs - just the old stereo RCA-plug analog inputs. So I connected stereo RCA cables from the audio outputs on the BluRay and the TiVo to my VCR1/2 inputs on my receiver. Then I used HDMI cables to connect the BluRay and TiVo to my TV - that transmits picture and sound so my wife can watch TV on the TiVo without learning to operate the receiver. She likes that.

I went into my Sony BluRay player - audio settings ... Dolby Digital output type and set that to "Downmix to PCM." Then to the Downmix output type and set that to "Surround Sound" (the other choice is "Stereo"). This is the backwards-compatibility we've been talking about. In this mode the sound is fabulous in stereo. It sounds even better when I turn on the Surround Sound processor. The soundstage gets wider - the voices are clearer and most importantly the overall sound is not as noisy. I live in a condo - i'm trying to not annoy my neighbors. A center channel is very helpful because it makes sound that is never noisy in the way that annoys my neighbors. Using the 3.1 configuration allows me to use the equalizer to subtract bass. The sub still puts out a good deal of bass and I still hear enough of it but it isn't so loud like it tends to get in stereo mode. I can turn up the center volume and get loud clear voices without the action noise getting too loud.

For my TiVo - I go to Settings ... Audio ... Dolby Digital and set that to "Dolby Digital to PCM." PCM is the thing to look for - it's a way of transmitting digital information over an analog connection - it'e the same concept used by the old dial-up modems. With this setting my audio system sounds fabulous but my TV audio sounds like crap. If I change the setting to the other choice: Dolby Digital - my audio system sounds like crap and my TV sounds great. So take your pick. I cannot get both to sound good, I use the audio system. I'm amazed every day at just how good television sounds. It adds a whole new dimension to the experience. I will warn you in advance: the stupid commercials sound better than anything else. I actually watch commercials sometimes just because the audio is so amazing. It's pathetic isn't it?

When I rent movies encoded in Dolby anything I can get it to sound fabulous in 3.1 using the downmix. I've turned the downmix off on my BluRay player - let it output Dolby Digital - and it still sounds just as great. But when I rent movies encoded in DTS anything I usually stick to stereo - the center doesn't come through well. The simple answer to that is that Sony built the BluRay but they didn't build any of the Dolby or DTS processing - they bought a board with a little chip on it from Dolby - that's how Dolby makes their money and guarantees the integrity of their product. That's why no matter what brand of BluRay player you buy it will have the downmix functionality i'm describing - because Dolby promised it. They also bought a second board from DTS to do the DTS processing. 2 different boards. The DTS board cannot downmix to Dolby Surround because that would violate Dolby's patents. So a stereo downmix is the best we can get for DTS. I can still turn on the Dolby processor but it's obviously a manufactured sound and it's not very good. Stereo sounds much better.

If this confuses you - Jan points out the fundamental differences between Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital but i'm telling you how to make it work - think about it this way: imagine i'm checking into a hotel that offers free DSL internet access and I have an old laptop that has a dial-up modem in it. Jan says I cannot access the internet in that hotel and I say I can. Who's right? We both are - it's just a matter of semantics. I cannot get DSL internet access - true - but I can access the internet using a dial-up connection because after all - it's still just a phone line. Right?

Jan - just between you and me - as I understand it - in Dolby Surround the center channel is derived from the left and right - it looks for common sounds that are in-phase. Any sound you get from the center has to be present in the left and right channels to begin with - that's what you mean by a matrixed center channel? Dolby Digital transmits the center using oversampling. You can put sounds in the center that are not in the left or right either one - that's what you mean by discrete? Dolby claims the center in Surround Sound is discrete but you were calling it matrixed so I looked into this. I think the terms actually apply to how the engineers get it to work. There are 2 algorithms: an extraction algorithm and a decoding algorithm. Remember that this stuff has to happen in real time - with no observable delay - which is the challenge for engineers - so processing power is limited to an extraction algorithm in real time - the hardware cannot do extraction and decoding in real time. A discrete channel in engineer-speak is one that only has to be extracted - so it can happen in real time. A matrixed channel is one that has to be extracted and decoded - so it cannot happen in real time. In Dolby Surround the center was discrete by the proper definition. The rears were matrixed and could not play in real time so they became an echo of the fronts with some delay - the delay the hardware needed to decode them. In Dolby Digital the need to decode went away because all the channels are present as oversampling - all they have to do is extract them - they're all discrete and can and do happen in real time. Back to Dolby Surround - if my old system extracts a center from a Dolby Digital signal that would have to be a manufactured one wouldn't it? Has to be. But what i'm hearing is clear as day - so there has to be some kind of downmix going on here? I'm not claiming to be an expert on this or anything but writing ridiculously long posts. Im just trying to share what i've learned. The bottom line is that I got it to work and it sounds fabulous.

Anyway - I also learned something important about speaker placement: that finding the right position for your speakers is critical and that it is also just as critical to find the right position for yourself - the listener. I was trying for months to find the right position for my fronts - Klipsch RF-62 II - so I could sit on my couch (against the wall) and not get standing waves. I never did. I eventually realized i'll never be able to sit on this couch and listen to music. The only way I could get a good sound was to move the speakers out away from the walls at least 3 feet and sit away from the walls myself.

I eventually sold my RF-62 II on eBay and bought RF-52 II instead. The short story is that I live in a condo and need to not annoy my neighbors. Actually - I could not stop moving the RF-62 around and tweaking the equalizer. I never could get them to sound right. The midrange was not balanced and they lacked the details I wanted. The RF-52 II have a very balanced and detailed midrange. The RF-62 II and larger models use a ceramic motor structure in the tweeters that gives them a harsh horn sound. I hated that. The more I listened to the RF-62 II the more I hated them. The RF-52 II uses a neodymium magnet structure instead. The tweeters have a very pleasant sound. The midrange is very accurate. Hell, 5.25" is a size you'll find on a midrange more often than you will on a woofer so there should be no surprise the 5.25" woofers in the RF-52 II can play the mids with stunning accuracy. I love them. The more I listen to them the more I love them and most importantly i'm not playing with the equalizer anymore and I do not have to move them out to listen to music - they sound fine against the wall.

One thing i'm still trying to figure out though - what to do with my subwoofer. I still have an SW-310 sub. The only way i've found to get the sub involved in music that sounds okay to me is to turn the frequency dial all the way down to 40 Hz (lowest setting) and just let the sub be an extension of the fronts. Any overlap only degrades the quality of the bass from the fronts. I only have like maybe 10 songs that have notes that low. We're talking about the subcontra octave - below 40Hz. There really is almost nothing in music that low. So I have a sub for 10 songs? The sub does add to HT - the imploding galaxies are more realistic. But i'm afraid i'm going to annoy my neighbors with that. I may sell this sub on eBay.

I realize I have very limited knowledge of speakers. The speakers i've heard in my life usually the biggest problem they had was the top one or two octaves the woofers had to play - no matter how good the woofers were they could not match what the midrange was putting out above the crossover point so the midrange was "top heavy" in that the upper mids were stronger and clearer than the deep mids. The RF-62 had that problem too. The 2-way models had the opposite problem - a "bottom heavy" midrange because the woofers were better at the deep midrange than the upper mids. The best I found last time was JBL 8" 3-ways with small 8" woofers only playing up to 700Hz. They were pretty good for my budget. These Klipsch RF-52 II and my car speakers are both 2-ways but have amazingly good midrange. It's balanced and detailed. I figured out that this is what I love so much about them - the midrange. Speakers have changed a lot. I also love the strong upper bass - what I call punch - or more like pop and tap - something that was hard to find in the past. It's not so hard anymore.

What do you think is the biggest difference between a live performance and the recorded playback? I've been to a few restaurants lately with live jazz and blues bands. I thought about that question. I think one big item is the hard sounds - the crack of the symbols - the pop of the drumstick against the drums - the power of the snare drums. Recordings seem to lost that - the full essence of it. That's what I was hearing in my car audio that made me feel like I was hearing it live - the hard cracks and pops - especially the drums. I'm hearing that in the RF-52 II as well. I didn't hear them in the RF-62. I think the woofers in the Klipsch reference line are a tad bit on the heavy side which hurts the speed and accuracy. I know Jan will correct me on this but the RF-52 woofers are small enough to be light enough to still have speed and accuracy. I can hear details in those things that I don't hear in my Klispch Reference headphones. That's mazing to me. I've never owned a pair of speakers ever before that sounded better than a good pair of headphones. And now I have 2 pairs of them - the other one is in my car.

The bottom line is I absolutely love the audio systems I have in my car and in my home. You guys helped me get here. Thanks!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 81
Registered: Dec-12
Dave: There is little I can add here to what the others have said, but you obviously misunderstand what a home system can do, or is intended to do. It's not to shake the rafters. You should go to a live symphony performance and sit in the middle of the orchestra section (the lower tier of seats) to hear what real live music sounds like (not amplified music).

http://theater.about.com/od/glossary/g/orchestraseats.htm

Try to find a performance of Brahms, Beethoven, Wagner, or Mahler.

This will give you a better appreciation for proper musical levels.

If your ambition is to re-create something on the scale of a Pink Floyd arena sound, you'll have to get a couple of moving vans full of amps and speakers.

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/17953903/Pink+Floyd+2691535.jpg

Your speakers are being destroyed because you are abusing them.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17667
Registered: May-04
.

"The simple answer to that is that Sony built the BluRay but they didn't build any of the Dolby or DTS processing - they bought a board with a little chip on it from Dolby - that's how Dolby makes their money and guarantees the integrity of their product."



Dolby is a software only company, they don't sell anything other than licensing rights. The audio equivalent to the OS on your computer or smart phone. Chip makers buy the license to produce Dobly appropriate chips using the standards established by Dolby Labs. Same process applies to DTS and THX. It is the standards which make the system work, backwards compatibility included. In CD playback we would refer to this as "Redbook standards" as all 16 bit, 44.1 kHz sampled CD's must conform to the "Redbook standards" established by Sony and Philips at the introduction of the CD format in the mid 1970's (the time when these standards were actually established, not the time of CD's introduction as a commercial product). Other formats were considered but the Redbook standards prevailed and anyone wishing to build a CD player or stamp a 16 bit, 44.1kHz disc must conform to those standards. That's why the little "Compact Disc/Digital Audio" label appears on each and every CD and each and every CD player to this day. Each time that label is stamped Sony and Philips collect a royalty for their licensing rights.




"Jan - just between you and me - as I understand it - in Dolby Surround the center channel is derived from the left and right - it looks for common sounds that are in-phase. Any sound you get from the center has to be present in the left and right channels to begin with - that's what you mean by a matrixed center channel? Dolby Digital transmits the center using oversampling. You can put sounds in the center that are not in the left or right either one - that's what you mean by discrete? Dolby claims the center in Surround Sound is discrete but you were calling it matrixed so I looked into this. I think the terms actually apply to how the engineers get it to work. There are 2 algorithms: an extraction algorithm and a decoding algorithm. Remember that this stuff has to happen in real time - with no observable delay - which is the challenge for engineers - so processing power is limited to an extraction algorithm in real time - the hardware cannot do extraction and decoding in real time. A discrete channel in engineer-speak is one that only has to be extracted - so it can happen in real time. A matrixed channel is one that has to be extracted and decoded - so it cannot happen in real time. In Dolby Surround the center was discrete by the proper definition. The rears were matrixed and could not play in real time so they became an echo of the fronts with some delay - the delay the hardware needed to decode them. In Dolby Digital the need to decode went away because all the channels are present as oversampling - all they have to do is extract them - they're all discrete and can and do happen in real time. Back to Dolby Surround - if my old system extracts a center from a Dolby Digital signal that would have to be a manufactured one wouldn't it? Has to be. But what i'm hearing is clear as day - so there has to be some kind of downmix going on here?"



Rocker - just between you and me, you still have most of this wrong. "Dolby Surround" was the first consumer grade "digital" surround format which came directly from the movie industry into the nascent home theater market. It was, you could say, a three channel format which used the traditional two front channels found in a stereo mix and the "surround" speakers reproduced a "matrixed" signal which was derived from the "difference signal" of those two front channels. In other words, the Dolby Surround format used a mono surround channel distributed between two rear speakers. It was constructed of signals not common to both front channels. It was delayed by (adjustable) microseconds to act as an ambience enhancement and level adjustments were allowed to accomodate various installations. Strictly speaking, there was no discrete information in those rear signals, just difference information not found in both front channels.

Next came "Dolby Pro Logic Surround" which maintained those same matrixed (mono) rear speakers but added a matrixed "same as" front center channel. The signal was still derived from the two existing front "stereo" channels but now included, along with the "difference" signal sent to the rear speakers, a mono front center channel which was created by information normally found as identical in the stereo mix. Voices in particular were typically found to be identically paired in the mix when the voice was more or less center stage. The inclusion of the front center speaker was meant to increase the the "sweet spot" size for listeners seated off axis from the two front speakers or out of the sweet spot. A sound which travelled across the stage from right to left, a car for example, would, for a center seated listener, have no more "direction" to its travel than would that same sound effect in a well mixed, well set up stereo distribution. The difference would be for the listener seated well off to the side who would now hear the car travel seamlessly across the stage rather than make a sonic leap from one channel to the next. Effects such as jet fly overs had no specific path since the rears had no discrete signals to provide a credible (to any) listener pathway from front to back. Most often such sound effects had a rather false sound as the levels would sudenly jump from mostly front to mostly rear. Certainly any signal which was intended to travel from, say, right front over the listener's head and then exit at the left rear would not have been possible with the matrixed surround channel as both rears shared identical information.



"Discrete" means discrete. It means what is in one channel can be entirely made up from information which does not exist in any other discrete channel. If a mixer has 168 discrete channels(inputs), it can output 168 discrete tracks. Since there are no playback systems capable of handling 168 discrete channels, the mix down must be to however many discrete channels are available for the format. In Redbook CD standards, this would be two. In multi-channel DDS (Super Audio CD) this could be two, three or 5.1 In Dolby Pro Logic surround this is still just two. A stereo, "high fidelity" VCR or a stereo LaserDisc player were required for playback of this format. Two cables were run to the processor out of the player and the matrixing was performed by the Dolby licensed chip in the processor or HT receiver.

"Dolby Digital" was the next evolution of the surround format (also known as AC3) which now made all 5.1 channels of information totally discrete. The .1 channel was a "LFE" or low frequency effects channel which could be blended back into the front channel speakers if no sub was used. (While most 5.1 systems have the ability to play full range, including the lowest frequencies, through all channels, most home based 5.1 systems exclude the lowest octaves from the rear surround channels for practical reasons. Any discrete low frequency information occurring only in the rears would then be directed - steered - to the .1 effects channel.)

Additionally, the "5" channels could be made backwards compatible to a system set up for only Dolby Pro Logic since all the speakers were in place. However, a 5.1 compatible source player and a processor capable of discrete signal placement would be required for the full "Dolby Digital 5.1" effect.

DTS is a competing "surround" format which is used by several film production companies. It originally had no backwards compatibilty issues and was, therefore, considered by many to be technically and sonically superior to DD. Virtually any HT processor which is capable of DD playback can also intake DTS signals as the chips for HT processing are typically large scale affairs which try to be as widely compliant to multiple uses as possible. At the moment, I can think of no surround processing chips which would be "discrete" to only one of the formats at the exclusion of the other. Many HT processors and receivers also include additional surround formats, some intended to be used with video sources as an alternative to DD and DTS. Some are simply meant to expand the stereo music channels to a more wrap around format through matrixed or duplicated signals. Many if these formats can be found which will go so far as to include pre sets meant to duplicate the sound of specific music venues. You can pretend you are hearing Deep Purple perform inside some 14th century French chapel! The most elaborate of these systems also allow for individual adjustment of various parameters which in essence move the listener fore and aft, left and right in the listening space along with making the surround mix more "wet" or "dry", larger or smaller, etc.


Of course "extraction" and "decoding" can occur simultaneously in a chip. It's been possible since we moved beyond the old "bucket brigrade" type surround systems of the late 1970's. Processing speed has increased over the years and this speed has made more sophisticated systems useful in the HT context. Just as higher sampling rates and the ability to process more channels of information simultaneously has made higher resolution formats possible. Additionally, as with your example of dial up vs DSL, processing speed is the difference and backwards compatibility is typically the benefit. A DSL capable modem can work with dial up speeds but not vice versa. Cabling speeds have also contributed to an increase in processing speeds. Just as a USB 2.0 cable employs faster data transfer rates than does a USB 1.0 cable, a USB 3.0 is faster still. While HDMI cables' primary intent was to minimize the cable jungle of analog transfer in a 5.1 system, the latest HDMI generation of cables are required for good data transmission of BluRay video signals. If your cables cannot transfer data at speeds which are useful to your processor your video monitor - which is the "fastest" data in your HT system - will not produce its highest screen resolution.



Somewhere in your post you mentioned a DD signal which is created by upsampling. This too is incorrect. "Upsampling" would imply shifting, say, the 44.1kHz standard of CD's to, possibly, an 88.2kHz sampling rate. "Upconverting" the 44.1kHz signal would result in a sampling rate not mathematically related to the original, say, 96kHz or 192kHz. Upsampling is typically performed to achieve a higher resolution of fine detail by "looking at" the same signal several more times. None of this is required for any signal processing in a DD or a DTS signal. All signals are proceesed at the same sampling rate.


"Ceramic tweeters" typically refer to the material used for the diaphragm of the driver. Neodymium typically refers to the type of magnetic material used in the motor system of a driver. Therefore, a ceramic driver's diaphragm may be moved by a neodymium magnet structure rather than, say, an alnico magnet. Neodymium magnets - rather than alnico - can also include some ceramic materials which will make them lighter and more easily constructed. Of course, ceramics are not by themself permeable.



Yes, "subwoofers" are intended to extend the speaker system's bass extension into the lower octaves, that range beyond the reach of all but a few very large and very expensive full range speaker systems. They are typically best when they are used the least as there isn't much information in today's music recordings beneath the 42Hz of an electric bass guitar. Fans of large organ works and Boosendorfer pianos find a subwoofer much more useful than will the average "classic rock" listener. Very high quality subwoofers introduce other benefits to a top notch system but they are still rather inconsequenctial to the average system set up for most music. Of course, a powered subwoofer can provide the adjustment of levels which can add some additional "thump" when desired.


Hope that helps.





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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 59
Registered: Jul-12
Ornello - you don't have to stack speakers to the ceiling to get a realistic sound. I'm doing it with Klipsch RF-52 II - rather small fronts. My point was to discuss what aspects of recorded sound do you find lacking the most from the live experience? One thing I recently noticed was the hard sounds - the cracks and pops of the drums for example. I've always preferred the sound of smaller drivers - maybe that's one aspect of the sound I like - a sharper sound with more "pop?"

Jan - I give up. It's like I bought a boat - I live a mile away from the water and i'm planning to rent a dry dock to store the boat at the water some day in the future but for now the boat is in my driveway and i'm asking advice for the best way to haul it to the water in the meantime. Jan goes on and on with a detailed explanation about the difference between a wheel and a propeller explaining why a boat cannot drive on the road. I look at your "answer" and scratch my head - technically everything you said is accurate but what does it have to do with what I asked? Or are you just correcting all the little "guesses" I make along the way?

Jan - just for the record - what i've been trying to find out for 100 posts already - forget everything in this thread so far - all of it - start over. You're here at my place - it's October 2012 - I have an old Dolby Surround receiver and CD player, a Tivo HD XL that can output Dolby Digital 5.1 (AC3) and a Sony BluRay player with all the latest encodings except TrueHD. I have an LCD TV. I have Klipsch Reference RF-52 II fronts, a RC-52 center and an SW-310 sub. I have a box with every cable you would ever want - 10 of each - sitting here. I plan to buy a new receiver - some day - but not now. I'm out of work - my wife is working - need I explain why now is not a good time to buy a new amp? Not now. For now - i'm stuck with this old Dolby Surround receiver. Given that - what's the best sound I can get with what I have sitting here in front of me now? That's the question Jan. I'm not asking should I go buy a center channel speaker - i've already done that. It's sitting right here - bought and paid for - too late to send it back. It doesn't cost me one red penny to use it or to not use it. Can I get a decent sound thru this center speaker with this old Dolby Surround receiver? Or should I just leave it unplugged until I finally do get a new receiver? That's the question. It sounds like your answer - correct me if i'm wrong - is to leave it unplugged because I cannot get a signal of any kind with this old receiver for the center channel. Is that an accurate interpretation of your answer? If so - then I disagree. I've figured out a way to get a really good sound out of this center channel speaker using both the Tivo and the BluRay player (except for movies encoded in DTS). I detailed the settings I used to get it to sound good. It seems to me that instead of learning and becoming a more helpful person and thanking me for the info all you do is keep repeating over and over why a boat cannot drive on land. You're missing the point. Or i'm missing your point. I'm not saying i'm getting the same sounds from my 3.1 speakers that I would get with a receiver that has a Dolby Digital decoder in it. That's technically not possible with the technology I have. I'm saying i'm getting a good sound out of the center channel speaker - loud and clear - and to me it provides a better experience than stereo. Every person has to decide for themselves whether the sound is better than stereo. I think it is. The point is - if you have a Dolby Surround receiver and you somehow come into possession of a center speaker and you want to use it and want advice on how to get it to sound best - read my last post.

So Jan - let's take a "road trip" - tell me where I get this wrong. We jump in my Time Machine and travel back to the early 80s. President Reagan. Let's shop for a receiver. We spin them around backwards - the only inputs they have are ANALOG. Stereo RCA analog inputs. This is a purely analog amplifier. Cassette, VHS, phono - the inputs are stereo analog.

Let's jump forward 5 years or so. President Reagan. Part deux. The receivers still have only ANALOG inputs. But there's this new source called a CD player. The sound is encoded in digital using what's called Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) on the disc itself according to the Red Book format which governs everything about how it gets written on the disc including the sampling rate to be 44.1 kHz with signed 16-bit depth, a lead-in on the inside of the disc that describes the tracks and rates and a lead-out on the outside that says this is the end. The sound is encoded in PCM - which is a series of numbers that represent the amplitude of the sound wave (the air pressure) at given points in time. Since we have a 44.1 kHz sampling rate the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem says we can accurately represent sounds up to 22 kHz. We're cool. But the receiver is an analog device - how do we feed the sound into it? The answer: the CD player has what's called a "Digital-to-Analog converter," a DAC, inside of it. It outputs a stereo analog signal not unlike the cassette or the VHS. Higher quality. But analog just the same. Let's buy this receiver and stick a piece of green tape on the front.

Now let's zoom ahead 6 more years. President Clinton. The receivers still have only ANALOG inputs. Now there's a video version of the CD player. It still has to convert the sound to stereo analog so we can feed it into the analog receivers everyone owns. But this receiver has some fancy new thing called Dolby Surround Sound. It has connections for 5 speakers - but only stereo analog inputs. Hmm. We learn that this is the consumer version of the Dolby Stereo matrix - essentially a Dolby Stereo sound matrix processor chip that manufactures a center and 2 surround channels from the left and right channels. Cool. Let's buy this receiver and put orange tape on the front of it. Remember Jan - this is still an ANALOG device. ALL of its inputs are ANALOG including the Dolby Surround Sound matrix. This thing has no DAC. Analog.

Now let's zoom forward a few more years. President Clinton. Part deux. Let's look at the receivers - spin them around and look at the back - hey - these bad boys actually have DIGITAL inputs now! Cool. Optical. Coaxial. HDMI. We can feed them a digital signal. The video disc players now send a digital (AC3) signal to the receiver that it splits into discrete channels and then converts to analog. These receivers have DACs inside of them. They still have analog inputs for the old analog devices - a CD player still outputs analog - all the old VHS and earlier video discs still output analog. But this new Dolby Digital thing - AC3 - is a true digital signal. Let's buy this receiver and put blue tape on the front of it.

Now let's zip ahead to Oct 2012 - my place. We're looking at my stuff. I have a Tivo HD, a BluRay player and a receiver with orange tape on the front of it. How do I hook up the Tivo and the BluRay to the receiver? You start drawing a huge explanation of why this receiver cannot decipher a digital AC3 signal. I stop you. I'm not trying to drive my boat on land Jan. There is only one way to connect these devices to this receiver. The only inputs on this receiver are stereo analog. The only cable we can use to connect them is an RCA stereo analog cable. We cannot use optical, coaxial or HDMI - this receiver has ZERO digital inputs. None. SO I ask you - how could I possibly feed a digital AC3 signal into this receiver that it cannot understand - even if I wanted to - how could I do that? The answer: we cannot. So we connect them the only way we can - we set them both to downmix to Dolby Surround and we turn on the Pro Logic processor and we get a clear steady center channel. It sounds better than stereo - to me at least. Is it the same thing we'd hear if we hooked up the receiver with the blue tape on it? probably not. But that's not what we're trying to do - we're just trying to get some usage out of this center speaker until we can buy the receiver with the blue tape on it.

As far as Klipsch reference fronts - I read reviews and everything I could find from Klipsch about the speakers. Apparently all of them have HF horns using a titanium diaphragm. None of them are ceramic tweeters. But they mention the addition of what they call a "ceramic motor structure" that makes them more efficient. I have no idea what that is. It certainly does not mean the tweeters are ceramic. They're not. They're titanium. The documentation goes on to say this is something they came up with while designing the Palladiums. They chose not to use it in the Palladiums but later decided to add them to some Reference models - in the Reference II series - what they call the "trickle down technology" from the Palladiums - as a selling point in the Reference II series brochure. As far as I can tell the RF-62 II and the RF-82 II are the only ones that have it. My guess is that this is how they increased the efficiency of the base model horn to match the larger louder woofers in the 62 and 82. The rf-7 has a 1.75" horn in it. I see no mention of the ceramic motor structure in the RF-52 or 42. What I do see is they used a neodymium magnet in the RF-52. There's no mention of a neodymium magnet in any other model - just the RF-52. So I guess the rest of them have the standard ferrite magnet? My guess is this was how they bumped up the efficiency a tiny bit for the RF-52. The RF-42 could then have just the standard titanium horn with no modifications. Anyway - I had the RF-62 II and the RF-52 II sitting in front of me and I noticed a big difference in the tweeters. I jumped to the conclusion that what I was hearing was the difference in a "ceramic motor structure" versus a boron (neodymium) magnet. The RF-52 tweeter definitely wins.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17754
Registered: May-04
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Is there actually a question for me in that post, Rocker?


We covered a lot of ground in this thread and, yes, many times I was simply trying to give you correct information vs the information which you had that made you happy. I wasn't talking about a boat.

Seems to me the answer you wanted all along wasn't what was the correct way to do anything or whether or not a new receiver would have given you the ability to play with blue tape. It seems to me the answer you wanted, which could have cut out a lot of time, is, "I'm saying i'm getting a good sound out of the center channel speaker - loud and clear - and to me it provides a better experience than stereo. Every person has to decide for themselves whether the sound is better than stereo. I think it is."

I don't see anything I posted as incorrect or not related to what you were asking or what you had posted which was largely incorrect.

"Just to be clear for anyone stumbling across this thread and searching for information they might find useful, virtually everything Rocker described in those last two posts is factually/physically incorrect and/or poorly assigned to a 'cause' which contributes to a mystical 'solution' which suits Rocker's immediate needs ... "



Sorry to hear about your employment situation. I understand the financial pressures that places on someone.

That doesn't, however, change the facts regarding how Dolby Surround operates. You're apparently happy now with your current set up. What more can I do for you?



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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 61
Registered: Jul-12
What can you do for me? Seriously? Why don't you answer my question? Instead of calling my solution "mystical" and "incorrect" then offer a better solution.

If the only solution you have to offer is to buy a new receiver then you're less useful than Congress.

I have detailed exactly why there is only ONE solution to this problem - and I've detailed what that is. If you feel I am wrong then please enlighten me.

Or are you calling me a liar? I'm saying I'm getting a steady, clear center channel and you feel that I cannot possibly be getting that - that i'm wrong or just lying about it? It sounds clear to me. It sounds just as clear in 3-channel mode as it does in stereo - and both are very clear. I never said i'm getting the correct discrete front left/right and center channels i'd be getting with a Dolby Digital receiver. Maybe that's the part that you cannot get past. All I said was that the center sounds really good when I watch TV or movies and to me it improves the experience above what stereo alone offers. If I play a CD and turn on the Pro Logic processor the center channel sounds like crap. If I do not downmix the output from the Tivo or BluRay it sounds like crap. I have to set them to downmix (BluRay to "Dolby Surround", Tivo to "Dolby Digital to PCM") to get it to sound good. If that is wrong then tell me what is the correct settings to use? I've been asking this for how long now?

Jan - i'm a computer guy. No matter how smart someone is you can never know everything about computers - "everything" is changing faster than anyone can keep up with it. But managers don't understand this. In order to retain their confidence in my abilities and their respect I have to sound like I know whatever they want to talk about. I became very skilled at sounding like I know what i'm talking about even when I do not. More than 20 years later i'm not trying to convince anyone that I know everything. Life has humbled me. You know what i'm talking about. There's nothing wrong with saying I have no frickin idea how to get a Dolby Surround receiver to play the center channel using modern input devices that output digital signals encoded in ways that old equipment cannot decipher. There's nothing wrong with saying I don't understand the technical details of this stuff. The electrical engineers I work with do not understand the intricate details of this stuff. At least pay attention enough to see the info I gave you. I figured out how to get a good center channel using my old Dolby Surround receiver. Do you have a better solution? Are you calling me a liar and saying i'm not really hearing what i'm hearing every day? Or do you just not feel like dealing with this so you blow me off with your usual i'm right you're wrong you're an idiot response? You're like a digital parrot. You should run for President.

I'm back to work BTW. I am ready for that new amp.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1566
Registered: Jul-07
Dave, why don't you just ask the question you want answered. If the question is, is there a better way to do what I have done with this centre speaker, then just ask it. If that is the question, my answer is, if you're happy with it then yes, it's the best solution. As you have already made abundantly clear, you don't have a lot of options with your current limitations.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17755
Registered: May-04
.

"What can you do for me? Seriously? Why don't you answer my question? Instead of calling my solution 'mystical" and "incorrect' then offer a better solution."


Calm down a bit, Rocker. What question do you want me to answer? I don't see a question when you tell me you are perfectly happy with what you presently own. I can't recall nor can I find a spot where I told you you shouldn't be happy. I spent considerable amounts of time explaining how surround systems operate and why Dolby Surround is not a discrete center channel signal. Is that what you're upset about? That what I told you is true? You told me you were happy and thanked both leo and me. Forward a few months and you're p!ssed at me and claiming I need to answer a question I can't even find.

Offer a better solution ... ? I was under the impression I had already done that. I mistakenly got that impression when you thanked both leo and me saying you were very happy with the results of the advice we'd provided. I don't really care to go through the entire thread to quote all the locations where you said I was the person with all the knowledge you wanted to learn. Or where you thanked me - and leo - for all the help we've given you and how the results were exactly what you wanted. Now you seem to be denouncing all of my work as unhelpful and off topic. Some how I've become the demon you see as causing your failures?! I don't even know what failures you have when you say you're happy.

Does that sound like I'm calling you a liar? Really, Rocker, read your own posts.

You say you are happy with the sound you have. That's my fault?



"The bottom line is I absolutely love the audio systems I have in my car and in my home. You guys helped me get here. Thanks!"


I'm afraid then that you've lost me with this latest tack in your posting. I did what exactly to harm you?



"Are you calling me a liar and saying i'm not really hearing what i'm hearing every day? Or do you just not feel like dealing with this so you blow me off with your usual i'm right you're wrong you're an idiot response? You're like a digital parrot. You should run for President."


What is it with you, Rocker? Your orange taped receiver reminds you of Bill Clinton? You're certainly saying things I'd expect to come out of a Republican. You see something that I don't and that, as far as I can see, has never happened. But you have yourself in a wad over some supposed slight I've given you. I don't believe anything I have posted in this thread is incorrect and, that makes me a "digital parrot"?!

Honestly, Rocker, right now I don't have a clue what you're p!ssed about or why you're so p!ssed at me.

Your solutions would not have been my solutions. But they are your solutions and you seem to have the ability to convince yourself they are the technically correct solutions. They are not and I would prefer anyone reading this thread in the future understand that fact. Buying a vented speaker that produces too much bass and then shoving a sock in the port is not what I would call a technically adept or correct solution. But that was the speaker sound you said you wanted and you thanked me for directing you to the Klipsch speakers. At some point the speaker sound you wanted became the speaker sound you wanted with a sock stuck in it. That's my fault? Realizing your speakers perform better when they are out into the room and away from reflective surfaces such as walls and then shoving the back against the wall is not what I would say is the technically correct solution. But it's your system and you get to do whatever you want with your system. How is that my fault? Believing your Dolby Surround center channel is receiving a discrete signal is your belief, it is not technically accurate. I can't change that fact. And there is no reason for me to say I don't know that fact when I obviously do.

Do these solutions work for you? They seem to. I said early and often in this thread this is your system and you get to do whatever you want with it. Is that what has you p!ssed? That I can't make whatever you care to think become a reality?

Seriously, Rocker, I don't even know what you are complaining about now. Some how whatever you see as a problem, I've caused. How did I do that? When the last thing you said to me back in January was you were very content and leo and I helped you get there, how did I some how cause your discontent now?


Why should I say I have no idea how these systems operate when I've spent the time to carefully explain to you exactly how they operate? And how they came to operate in that manner. You don't have to beleive anything I've said, despite the fact you thanked me for saying it. Despite the fact you admit everything I've said is technically accurate? What I said is factually true and accurate and I can't change that fact. So, why would I say I don't know what I know? That it doesn't suit what you want to believe is once again acting more like a Republican than an intelligent audio consumer.

Did you know 48% of Republicans polled believe ACORN stole the 2012 election for Obama? Despite the fact the Republicans in Congress defunded ACORN in 2010 and ACORN no longer exists. But it makes Republicans feel better when they think about how they lost to convince themself something which is factually impossible was responsible for their problems. They ignore the fact that James the p!mp was dishonest and drew factually incorrect conclusions and they prefer to blame someone who they have decided they dislike. Some people just have an innate ability to blame someone else for what they've done to themself.

Just saying ...


Blow you off? You really know how to be obtusely offensive, don't you? This is the longest thread on this forum in months. How did I blow you off? I just don't get what you're complaining about, Rocker.





"I'm back to work BTW. I am ready for that new amp."


That's good. I have a friend who was unemployed for eight months and we've often discussed how that made him feel.

So, what do you want from me since you don't care for anything I've said over the last 125 posts? A roll of blue tape?

I don't know what you are complaining about or why you're p!ssed at me and I don't know what you want now.





"Rocker, you are the perfect salesperson's dream customer when you walk into a store. (Less so once you get equipment home.) You are attracted by every bright and shiny object they show you and the more they show you the better.

As I previously stated, it's your system and you get to do with it as you please.

However, you should understand that most of what the HT market is offering you is simply marketing BS. You do not need it and most of the time you will never actually benefit from its inclusion. What all the HT BS allows is for a very less than great, informed and talented salesperson to sell the remote and the rear panel of a component. And the crow in most of us says all that glitters is gold and we pull out the platinum."
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/710267.html#POST2002060



Just saying ...





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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17757
Registered: May-04
.

"If I play a CD and turn on the Pro Logic processor the center channel sounds like crap. If I do not downmix the output from the Tivo or BluRay it sounds like crap. I have to set them to downmix (BluRay to "Dolby Surround", Tivo to "Dolby Digital to PCM") to get it to sound good. If that is wrong then tell me what is the correct settings to use? I've been asking this for how long now?"




Looking back at the entire thread, unless I'm mistaken, you have never directly asked that question.

But the answer is, if you are happy with the sound, you're happy with the sound.

It's your system and you get to decide what makes you happy.


Are you happy, Rocker?



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Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 64
Registered: Jul-12
What annoys the hell out of me is this:

"Just to be clear for anyone stumbling across this thread and searching for information they might find useful, virtually everything Rocker described in those last two posts is factually/physically incorrect and/or poorly assigned to a 'cause' which contributes to a mystical 'solution' which suits Rocker's immediate needs ... "

You keep saying that I have a "technically incorrect" solution but you STILL have not given me another one.

I realize you're not a mind reader. When I started out I really thought I could get a discrete center channel - but after studying the technology I came to realize that it is not possible. But I was able to get a good sound from my center. For some time now i've been agreeing with you on that point - you'll see that if you go back and read my posts. I'm not claiming to get "the" center channel - i'm saying that i'm getting "a" center channel that sounds good. You apparently believe i'm arguing that I've found a way to get a the correct discrete center channel. I'm not. And i'll take the blame for that - I was arguing that point in the beginning and may not have been very clear about it when I started agreeing with you. If you go back and read my last few posts it's actually quite clear.

You're old and wise enough to know how important it is to not waste money on crap you don't need. I bought a center channel speaker without properly researching what I had. After some point I have a $400 center speaker sitting there that can no longer be sent back. Do I not use it? Do I have a glaring monument to my wasteful stupidity sitting there in front of us? I preferred finding a way to use it. I did. The answer was to downmix the output from the bluray / tivo.

What I keep hearing is you telling me that it is impossible for me to get any kind of center channel at all. And i'm sitting here listening to it every day. You want to call my solution incorrect. Fine. Tell me a better way to connect these devices together to get a better sound. Is there a better way? I realize the only way i'm going to get the correct discrete center channel is to buy a newer AVR with the "digital" codecs. What's the best sound I can get with the equipment I have now? (ideally something that includes the center speaker I already have)

Sometimes you jump to conclusions. Best example: in the beginning I had my bluray and tivo connected to my dolby surround avr using composite connections. I had a composite connection from the receiver to the tv. I was getting 720p at best and my wife had to power on the receiver to watch tv - she could use the tv for sound but the receiver had to be on (it does not have "pass-thru"). One day I was searching for a connector or something and saw the HDMI cables I had sitting in my box doing nothing and a light bulb clicked in my head. I connected the bluray and tivo directly into the tv - lost the composite connections - left the audio connections to the receiver in place. I started getting 1080p for movies and 1080i for tv - the tivo apparently does upconversion. as a bonus my wife could then watch tv without turning on the receiver. I felt dumb for NOT figuring that out before then. But you called me a glaring idiot for doing that. You called me a stupid kid chasing every flashing light. I don't think you ever quite understood what I was saying. And I know you still don't get what i'm saying about my center channel. You're still jumping to a conclusion. My long posts don't help much. Sorry about that.

If someone asks you - "I have an old dolby surround receiver and someone just gave me a center speaker - I hooked it up and it sounds like crap - is there any way to get this center to sound better with this equipment?" Jan - the correct answer is to tell them to change their audio settings to downmix and set the downmix type to "dolby surround." Then tell them this will give them the best possible sound with the equipment they have. This will not be the correct discrete center channel they should be / could be / would be getting with a new AVR - and there is no guarantee the center will not sound like crap on any given movie / tv show - but this is the best you can do with the old equipment you have. Finally, the best thing to do is to buy a new AVR with the proper decoders for all the formats movies and tv shows are encoded into these days. Now Jan - WHAT in this paragraph did I say that was wrong, mystical or incorrect? And don't just say that i'm wrong - tell me - what is the best solution using this old equipment if you have a better one?

I tried to get you to think back in time. What if I just bought an integrated stereo valve amp? How could I play this bluray player and tivo thru it? Could I? The only thing I can think of is to set them to downmix to stereo and connect them using an RCA stereo analog connection. Would that work? Would the integrated amp have to have a DAC for this to work? (for say - PCM analog?)

Thank you for the information you've given me.

i'm trying to get to something - what i call the low end of high end. i'm learning. this stuff has gotten way way more complicated than it was 20 years ago.

To put it simply - let's take a pair of speakers - the fronts - and add a sub - that's not all that complex - adding the sub - but once you stick the center and/or the surrounds into the picture the complexity and the cost of the equipment goes up exponentially. It seems to me the cost of building a high end - or just high quality - 5.1 system is 3 or 4 times as much as just sticking to good old stereo - or 2.1

I can get something like an Audio Note iZero, Cary Audio CAD 300 or a Napa MT-34 - an integrated tube stereo amplifier for $2k or less. The klipsch reference rf-52 that i have now would get me by for a while with a low power tube amp. they're high efficiency with fairly small drivers (5.25" woofers) so 7wpc would be fine - I don't need much power. the klipsch have an unusually strong low end with accentuated highs - a "subtle" midrange - which on a solid state amp sounds slightly overdone in the personality department - but add a low power tube amp and i suspect the mids will come out stronger and that extra bass will come in handy. i think it will be fine as an interim sound. eventually i add some really good fronts - right now I have my mind on Revel performa3 series F206. or all the way and get diamond 804. nothing larger because any tube I can afford is going to be low power. i can do this for less than 10 grand. my biggest remaining question is can I feed audio from a tivo and bluray player into these puppies? or do I need a DAC to do it?

It seems like once I add a center and/or surrounds to the mix the cost goes thru the roof - or the quality goes thru the floor - or both. a good prepro with all the multichannel codecs are $3k and up - Cary Audio cinema 12 is $5k. then add on amps - and better speakers - the cost goes up to far too fast. not for just a center and surrounds. not on my income. that's how i'm thinking these days. i'm still learning.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 71
Registered: Jul-12
Just to wrap up this thread. I have the answer that solves what Jan and I have been disagreeing on for 20 posts or more.

I was RIGHT. Jan was WRONG. It is that simple.

I bought a new AVR (I've sent it back already) and it was able to tell me the exact type of signal that i'm sending into my old Dolby Surround receiver. Jan has been saying that it's an AC3 Dolby Digital signal that my old receiver cannot possibly understand. I've been insisting that it has to be an ANALOG signal that any receiver can understand. I think it is common sense. The Dolby website says that "Dolby Digital requires a digital connection." I have ZERO digital inputs on my old receiver - I thought common F. sense would prove my point to be correct. I still cannot get Jan to understand this simple concept.

The signal i'm sending to my old receiver is ANALOG - PRO LOGIC. Exactly what i've been saying.

The only way to get a Dolby Digital (AC3) signal out of the TiVo or my BluRay player is to use DIGITAL connections - just like I said. Since I do not have any digital connections I cannot send an AC3 Dolby Digital signal into my old receiver even if I wanted to. Just like I said.

All the technical descriptions Jan gave about Dolby Digital and how it works and how it's different from Dolby Surround is useful information but like I said it has no relevance to this thread. Apples and Oranges.

Bottom line: if you have an old Dolby Surround receiver you can get a great sound out of a center channel speaker. Just use RCA analog connections - do not use HDMI or optical/coaxial if you have them (I do not). Just turn on the Pro Logic processor in 3CH mode and it will sound fabulous for most things on TV and movies encoded in Dolby anything (movies encoded in DTS may not sound as good).

This works because the TiVo and BluRay are down-mixing the multi-channel audio into 2 channel stereo analog - for backwards-compatibility - that any receiver can understand.

In fact - my old Dolby Surround receiver sounds better in 3CH mode using an analog signal than the new amp does using digital connections with 5.1 speakers and Dolby Digital or DTS-HD decoding in place.

In the end the quality of your amp makes more of a difference in the sound you get than any fancy cables or digital encodings.

Jan - you should stop calling me a liar and a fool and learn from this thread. I wish you could hear how good this system sounds. Even using an analog down-mix signal it sounds better in 3.1 than the new amp did with an HDMI connection using 5.1 speakers. It's frustrating to me for you to keep telling me that what i'm hearing everyday is technically impossible when common f. sense says that it is technically impossible for it to be anything but what i've described it to be. Study Dolby products. Learn the difference between analog and digital. Study the different ways to connect these devices. Learn about RCA plugs, coaxial, optical and HDMI connections. Then come back and read my posts and you'll see that common sense is on my side - as well as the facts.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17766
Registered: May-04
.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2236
Registered: Oct-10
For what it's worth, I don't know why you guys are arguing. What I am reading is that Dave realized that sending a down mixed, analog stereo signal to his Dolby Prologic receiver will give him A center channel, but not the discrete center he'd get using Dolby 5.1 AC3.

Meanwhile, Jan has been saying this all along, but neither realizes that the 2 are now in agreement.

Do neither of you realize that you are now in agreement and need to stop arguing? The argument is playing out as follows:

Jan: It's impossible to get the discrete center channel using Prologoic.

Dave: You're wrong Jan! It's impossible to get the discrete center channel using Prologoic.

Jan: No Dave, you're wrong! You can't get the discrete center that way.

Dave: No Jan, you're wrong! I can't get the discrete center that way!

...and on it goes...

You guys are spitting on each other's shoes for the sake of spitting.

Dave, are you happy with your current system the way it's configured? If so, enjoy! If not, is it important to you to get the 5.1 channel experience? If you, perhaps consider getting a different 5.1, 7.1 or 7.2 channel receiver than the one you had. If you can audition it with various brands and models of speakers, you might find a HT system that you'll really enjoy.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17767
Registered: May-04
.

I'm arguing?

Funny, I didn't think I had done that either.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2237
Registered: Oct-10
"I'm arguing?

Funny, I didn't think I had done that either."


What do you call it then Jan? Seriously, not trying to be a smart a** or disrespectful, but both your and Dave's recent posts in this thread do seem quite argumentative. More to the point though, why are you continuing to tell Dave what he found out already as if he is saying otherwise?

Dave, why are you telling Jan that he's wrong about something that is in agreement with what you found out?

Do you too guys just not understand what each other are saying? Has this thread become the tower of babble? If one says it in "Jannese and the other says it in "Dave-ese", it still means the same thing.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17768
Registered: May-04
.


My "recent" posts?


Let this drop, there is nothing left to say. Rocker claims to be happy, leave it at that.










.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17769
Registered: May-04
.

Oh, great! Now we have yet another pop up ad on this forum that creeps across the screen. I sure hope Brian is making lots of money as he allows this forum to go to he11.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3040
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
You might want to investigate 'ghostery' which blocks much of the bad stuff.
Of the 8 players on this screen, I allow ONLY 'Google Analytics', 'Twitter Button', and 'Google +1'.
The rest......are simply blocked. That helps both load time and the cookie burden. I'm configured for NO 3rd party cookies OR Java.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2238
Registered: Oct-10
Where you seeing these pop up ads Jan? There aren't any creeping across my screen. I use the pop up block that is on my computer that alone may solve the problem.
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