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  1. #1

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    Default New system - a few questions

    Ok, put in my new system yesterday. Words can't explain the thanks for the replies that I received on my previous posts, really helped me out. Just to recall my setup:

    Fronts = RTi70
    Center = CSi40
    Side = FXi50
    Back = RTi38
    Sub = SVS PB1-ISD (I saved up, as suggested)

    All of this being driven by a Sony STR-DA7ES, 7.1 setup. So far impressions are very outstanding. Just have a few questions. During the setup of the receiver should I select LARGE for all speakers? I also noticed while watching Black Hawk Down that most of the sound is coming from the fronts and center, which is normal I suppose. I verified that all speakers were operational with the test tones of the receiver and I did hear some gun fire here and there coming out of the sides and backs. Is there anyway to increase the volume of those speakers, I just think the sides and backs are being under-utilized? I posted a message on another forum asking about speaker calibration, I have the Avia DVD and Radio Shack meter. However, the Avia DVD suggests 85 db, as of now the highest I have gone on the receiver is -35 db, I think everyone within a square mile will hear the test tones if I went to 85 db, any suggestions?

    As always thanks for the replies and so far I am extremely happy with the install thus far.

    Hank

  2. #2

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    um...i think 85 db refers to the volume of the speakers when calibrating them, not the volume on the receiver. this means play the test tones and ajust the individual speaker volume so all of the speakers are playing at 85 db....you will have to look through your receiver manual to figure out how to do this

    having the speaker levels the same might help you rproblem alittle, or it could just be the movie idk.....have fun mesin around with it sorry if i didnt help

  3. #3

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    Set all you speakers to 'small' and the sub to 'yes' or 'on'.

  4. #4

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    Really, it should be SMALL huh. Ok, guess they are not as large as I thought. Thanks. I should RTFM.

  5. #5

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    Actually, you should *listen* to both settings (small / large), and see which one suits you best.

    Cheers,
    Rooster (of the large roosters)
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  6. #6

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    Hank,

    I am also running RTi70 with PB1-ISD, and have tried both large and small options for RTi70. In my room, running RTi70 as large doesnít provide any improvement therefore I have set them as small. Running them as small does provide some benefits if I drive my system at higher volumes. In this setting, RTi70's sound much more clean and open.

    As Russ said you should try both the options, but I am 100% sure that with this Sub, you will be much better running them as small.

    Izafar
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by hank1105
    Really, it should be SMALL huh. Ok, guess they are not as large as I thought. Thanks. I should RTFM.
    If you already know the following...please disregard.
    The large vs. small speaker setting has nothing to do with the size of speaker, but rather the frequency respone of the speaker. setting the speaker to small directs all of the lowe frequency sound ( from the crossover point and under) to the sub (your .1 speaker in a 5,6 or 7.1 system). Setting the speaker to large and keeping the subwoofer may provide a more favorable low end response for your room. The only way to know for sure is to try oth options. Try setting the crosover at 80hz and see how it sounds to you.
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: New system - a few questions

    Originally posted by hank1105
    Ok, put in my new system yesterday. Words can't explain the thanks for the replies that I received on my previous posts, really helped me out. Just to recall my setup:

    Fronts = RTi70
    Center = CSi40
    Side = FXi50
    Back = RTi38
    Sub = SVS PB1-ISD (I saved up, as suggested)

    All of this being driven by a Sony STR-DA7ES, 7.1 setup. So far impressions are very outstanding. Just have a few questions. During the setup of the receiver should I select LARGE for all speakers? I also noticed while watching Black Hawk Down that most of the sound is coming from the fronts and center, which is normal I suppose. I verified that all speakers were operational with the test tones of the receiver and I did hear some gun fire here and there coming out of the sides and backs. Is there anyway to increase the volume of those speakers, I just think the sides and backs are being under-utilized? I posted a message on another forum asking about speaker calibration, I have the Avia DVD and Radio Shack meter. However, the Avia DVD suggests 85 db, as of now the highest I have gone on the receiver is -35 db, I think everyone within a square mile will hear the test tones if I went to 85 db, any suggestions?

    As always thanks for the replies and so far I am extremely happy with the install thus far.

    Hank
    Nice speaker set up.

    I agree with the other fellows who suggest you run all your speakers on small. That will direct more low end bass to your sub.. where is belongs. You'll still have bass in your fronts.. it won't go away completely. The small setting will yeild a better mix... it did for me.

    With the Avia disc... i choose 75db instead of 85 db.. 85 is to loud for me.. or else I wear ear plugs when setting it up. Do one speaker at a time.. and this should help with your low no volume in your rear surrounds.

    come back if you still have problems. but once everything is properly set up and calibrated.. you should be rocking your house with some very sweet sound effects in Black Hawk Down.
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  9. #9
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    Try both, as suggested above, but there are advantages to running "small" mode, namely:
    - simplified bass management, and
    - conserving your AVR's power for the frequency range your speakers are capable of reproducing.

    The former stems from not having multiple bass sources all of which produce reflections. While there is little risk of this being a factor below 35 Hz or so due limitations of your "5" speakers, it could be an issue in the 35 - 80 range. Sound waves will either reinforce or cancel each other at various points in your room. The more sources you have, the more likely this is to occur in abundance. Check out multiple listening positions when comparing the speaker modes, not just your primary position.

    The latter is the source of the clean, open sound izafar reports. He has unburdened his amps, which are at least as, if not more, powerful than yours. The less powerful the amp, the more benefit will be realized by running speaker to small.
    More later,
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  10. #10

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    All of these replies are very much appreciated. I will try the small setting tonight, and I didn't know the SMALL/LARGE was more a bass thing, like a dumbass I thought it was the size of the speakers. I was just eager to hear what they sounded like, now I just have to tweak them. Thanks again.

  11. #11

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    I have a question about this too....

    With a DD receiver, you have the option for either Large/Small for all your speakers, but with my Onkyo Pro Logic receiver, that wasn't doable....Question is, would that ultimately mean that with my Onkyo I was running my mains on Large?

    Also, is it generally doable that you have speakers running Small when watching movies, but (and through a seperate player) with CD's have the speakers running at large? (or once you set to one setting, that applies to all sources running through the receiver) I don't want to have to switch the settings on the receiver every time I change sources though......
    Last edited by brettw22; 06-16-2003 at 11:39 AM.
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  12. #12

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    The others are correct about setting the speakers to small and the sub to yes/on, under the assumption that you are using a subwoofer cable is correct. However if you are taking the left and right speaker outputs from the receiver to the sub and then to the speakers, you set the mains to large and the sub to no/off.

  13. #13

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    brettw22,

    on my Marantz receiver.. it will remember the levels for each speaker when I switch between DPL, DD, DTS.. but it does not for the speaker size thing.. if I choose small. it will keep that setting for the speakers whenever i switch between the different decode settings. IN stereo it runs them (the fronts) on large, and I can not change that to small.

    I don't know if this is typical for other receivers or not.
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  14. #14

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    Originally posted by danger boy
    IN stereo it runs them (the fronts) on large, and I can not change that to small.
    How do you know that it's runnin on Large in stereo mode? When I've gone to listen to some of my music, it doesn't have the punch that it used to have with the Onkyo. Also, there are times when I have tried to listen to music through my cd player in 5 channel stereo, but there's no punch........seems kinda weird.
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  15. #15

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    Thumbs up

    I have a similar setup as yours and I have set my Rti70 to small and they sound really great.
    But sometimes I set it to large for music and its sounds better.
    Hope it helps.
    Arshad.

    My setup
    Front- Rti 70's
    Center - Csi40
    Surround - Rt600i
    Surround back - Fxi50
    Receiver - Denon Avr-3803
    Sub - PSW350 (to be upgraded) to SVS 20-39 pci

  16. #16

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    Question PB1 ISD Sub ???

    Hi,

    I am planning on buying this sub (PB1 ISD) really soon. I'd just like to get some feedback from anyone who has this sub already.

    Thanks,

    Ray
    Mains: Polk RTiA3's
    Center: Polk CSi40
    Surrounds: Polk FXi30s
    Sub: SVS SB12 Plus
    Receiver: Denon AVR-3805
    DVD: Sony Sony DVP-NC800H
    TV: Panasonic TC-P46G10
    Blu-ray: Panasonic DMP-BD60K
    Entertainment Center: Standout Designs Horizon N702
    Misc: AppleTV, Technics Turntable, Linksys by Cisco WET610N Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual-Band

  17. #17

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    Default Re: PB1 ISD Sub ???

    Originally posted by donahue
    I am planning on buying this sub (PB1 ISD) really soon. I'd just like to get some feedback from anyone who has this sub already.
    Ray, probably a good idea to start a new thread or search some of the past ones about this sub as it's been talked about in a few different threads over the past month or two........
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  18. #18

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    Default went subless for once

    Originally posted by brettw22
    How do you know that it's runnin on Large in stereo mode? When I've gone to listen to some of my music, it doesn't have the punch that it used to have with the Onkyo. Also, there are times when I have tried to listen to music through my cd player in 5 channel stereo, but there's no punch........seems kinda weird.
    brettw22,

    the receiver just defaults to large when in stereo mode. If i play music in DPL there is little bass.. and no punch. I'd suspect it's the same when you listen in 5 channel stereo.

    For the halibut, i watched Black Hawk Down last night without the sub on... and set all the other speakers to large. just to see what it would be like. Yeah it lacked some punch... but the 800i's seemed to do fairly good, so did the 400i. The sub in back on now again.
    What receiver are you running now? Your Onkyo was what a T-SR600? if I remember right.
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  19. #19

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    Default Re: went subless for once

    Originally posted by danger boy
    What receiver are you running now? Your Onkyo was what a T-SR600? if I remember right.
    Now I have the B&K AVR307......before it was Onkyo TX-SV727 (circa '96)
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  20. #20
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    brett,
    My B&K sets up to remember different speaker settings for each input. Your large/ small setting may be dependant upon whether you have selected sub on or off. Other than the old "consult your manual", I can't think of a way of telling what your AVR has going on other than to run some test tones.

    If there's a sizable difference in your mains' SPL for a tone 10 or 20 Hz below your AVR's sub crossover point and 20 Hz above it, then your speakers may be in small all the time. Assuming your AVR crosses at 80 Hz, 60 and 100 Hz would be the test tones to choose.

    If you do this with your sub disconnected and toggle the AVR between sub on/off it may shed a little light here.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
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  21. #21

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    WTG, Hank!

    For HT, "small" for all speaks with an 80 Hz crossover to the subwoofer, ESPECIALLY with an SV subwoofer.

    All the reasons for small have been well covered above, so I won't extrapolate on them.

    Regarding calibration, this is critical. You need to balance all of your speaker levels, including the subwoofer, with an SPL meter and a calibration disc.

    With Avia, the reason you use 85 dB is to establish a Dolby Labs Reference Level benchmark for playback. As stated above, you can certainly use a different SPL JUST for speaker balancing purposes.

    If you want to establish a reference level benchmark, you MUST use 85 dB with Avia and mark down the Master Volume setting. Then when you are playing back DVDs and you want to express how loud it was, you can say "I played Blackhawk Down at 10 clicks under Reference", and I know exactly how loud that is because I can set my Master Volume to 10 clicks under Reference and it will also be (with a dB or so) the same volume in my HT room.

    Set your SPL meter on C-weighted Slow on the 80 dB scale and place it exactly at head level where you will be sitting, facing forward, and tilted about 40-45 degrees upward.

    Set all your speaker levels to 0 in your receiver. Start the left main channel Avia test tone and increase the Master Volume until it reads exactly 85 dB on the SPL meter. Don't touch the Master Volume again.

    Play the Avia test tones for the other 4 surround speakers at the same Master Volume setting and adjust the receiver speaker level settings up or down to get exactly 85 dB for each speaker.

    For the subwoofer, keep the Master Volume the same, set the sub channel level to -5 in the receiver, play the Avia sub test tone for the left main or right main, and adjust the PB1 plate amp volume until the SPL meter reads just under 90 dB (maybe 88-89 dB). If you switch to the 90 scale on the meter, it will fluctuate less and be easier to read.

    Once you are done, you are channel balanced and your Master Volume is now calibrated to Dolby Reference Level. You will find that 10-15 clicks UNDER the RL setting is comfortably loud for most DVDs.

    Since Avia is a true Dolby Digital disc, and you have bass capable mains, the subwoofer calibration can end up being a bit on the "light" side (even at 88-89 dB) since the main speaker in question will contribute significant bass to the subwoofer test tone even when set to small with an 80 Hz crossover.

    So if you find the bass a bit underwhelming from a volume standpoint using Avia for sub calibration, that is the reason why. If that is the case at 88-89 dB, feel free to try it a bit hotter (90-92 dB) on that test tone, but don't go hog wild.

    Get back to us with any questions.

    I'll tell you how to calibrate the rear surrounds after you finish the above.

    Doc
    Last edited by Dr. Spec; 06-16-2003 at 02:29 PM.
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  22. #22

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    Doc,

    Thanks for the informative reply. Now I know what to do, I was totally confused before. You guys really know your s**t.

    To answer the other person question regarding the SVS, all I can say is that I am glad I listened to Doc and saved up. I was all set getting a Polk and was told to save up for the SVS. The SVS is the most expensive piece in my HT system, minus the HDTV and SAT Receiver.

    Funny story I shared on AVSFORUM. I was playing the Pod racing scene in Star Wars, SVS was cranked at about 1/2. My butt was vibrating on the couch, my neighbor then rang my doorbell, and thought someone fell. Her walls were vibrating, she most likely didn't think someone fell, it was just after 11:00 PM, which I admit was wrong, but my buddy and I finally figured it out. By the way I live in a condo and her walls are not even attached to mine, but her floor is :)

    The people at SVS are extremely pleasant to deal with. The sub was a little larger then I thought it would be, but it kicks major butt.

    Hank

  23. #23
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    Hank,
    I've got a feeling that you are going to be getting to know your neighbors really well... :D

    Edit: No common walls (or floors) for me until I'm back in diapers...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

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    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  24. #24

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    Hank:

    Some AVRs default to Master Volume 00 when the test tones are engaged. This is so you can have an easy to remember benchmark for reference level.

    On my 3803, at Master Volume 00, here are my settings to obtain 85 dB on Avia:

    left main: +2
    center: +1.5
    right main: +1.5
    right surround: +5
    left surround: +5

    The subwoofer is set to -5 and I have adjusted the sub plate amp for about 88-90 dB.

    Your Master Volume might have a 00 setting, or it might not. If it does not, then you'll just have to remember what the setting is for Reference Level.

    And of course your particular speaker level settings will be different than mine; that's the whole point. If we all adjust our own systems to the same reference standard, that eliminates rooms size and speaker efficiencies and amp power, etc. from the equation.

    Really, the only variable in calibrating to Reference Level is how hot you like to run your sub. Most people run it 3-5 dB hot for HT, and maybe 0-2 dB hot for music.

    If your AVR has the ability to remember the sub level for different inputs, it makes calibrating for music easy.

    Also, remember to get back to me for the rear surrounds when you are ready. There is a quick way to calibrate these once you've done 5.1 with Avia.

    Doc
    Last edited by Dr. Spec; 06-17-2003 at 09:25 AM.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

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  25. #25

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    Hey Doc, couple of questions:

    What are the pros and cons of using the internal test tones vs. using a calibration disc? I donít have Avia, but have Video Essential's calibration disk. I always found a lot of differences between the settings achieved using this Disc and the settings achieved by internal test tones. Also how can we calibrate the rear surround channels using a 5.1 calibration disc?

    The other question I have is that what is the difference between calibrating at 75db vs. calibrating at 85 db?
    -izafar

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    Fxi 3 Surrounds
    PSW 505 Sub
    ONKYO TX-SR828
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    Headphone Gear
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  26. #26

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    Each disc has a different calibration level to achieve a Reference Level benchmark.

    Most of the calibration discs require 75 dB, but Avia requires 85 dB.

    The end result will be identical though, because the test tones on the 75 dB discs (like Video Essentials) are mastered at 30 dB below Reference, and the test tones on Avia and S&V are mastered 20 dB below Reference.

    The calibration test tones are always better because they play through your DVD player whereas the AVR test tones do not.

    You can certainly use the AVR test tones to balance the channels and it will be close. However, they do not have a universal standard for how loud internal test tones are "mastered", and therefore you will have no idea how far off a true Reference benchmark you are when using the internal tones.

    For example, when I calibrate to Avia at 85 dB at Master Volume 00, the internal test tones (in comparison) all register 82 dB. So the 3803 is 3 dB low compared to Avia. This difference is the key to calibrating the rear surrounds.

    After calibrating with your disc, and without altering the Master Volume setting, adjust the rear surround channel levels to the same level as the other channels using the internal test tones. In my case, that would be 82 dB for each rear channel.

    Doc
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

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    Thanks for the advice. I will try this approach to calibrate the system. One more thing:
    Do you calibrate the levels in DD setting or DTS setting? There might not be any difference when calibrating the speakers, but the subwoofer is inherently mixed with different levels on these two formats (I think thatís why Denon has a separate LFE level setting for DD and DTS).
    -izafar

    HT/Gaming
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    CSi30 Center
    Fxi 3 Surrounds
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    Sony PlayStation 3 BR Player/Gaming
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    Panasonic Plasma


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  28. #28

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    Default Re: went subless for once

    Originally posted by danger boy
    the receiver just defaults to large when in stereo mode. If i play music in DPL there is little bass.. and no punch. I'd suspect it's the same when you listen in 5 channel stereo.
    Remind me what you got danger, Rotel RSX-1065 ?
    Damn....8 lines...I've gotta put my sig on a diet now....

  29. #29

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    Doc,

    All speakers calibrated as stated at 85 db and set to SMALL. Now I am impressed. I am also running the sub a little hot at around 88 db.

    In the Matrix, the bullet scene was awesome, with the 7.1 setup (I know it is decoding at 5.1) sounded unreal, bullets coming all over the place.

    In Star Wars II during the Jedi fight, the sabers were awesome sounding.

    With this said, I am very happy person. My wife was complaining that the bathroom picture was vibrating on the wall. The bathroom is about 13 feet away, hehe.

    Thanks again for everyone's help in this matter.

    Hank

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    Default Re: Re: went subless for once

    Originally posted by TonyPTX
    Remind me what you got danger, Rotel RSX-1065 ?
    oh heavens no.. my receiver is a Marantz SR5000 with the front mains being RT800i's.
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