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  1. #1

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    Default Help! Can't get Lsi's sounding up to par

    I have been struggling to get my system to sound the way it should and creating a sound stage. It could be speaker placement it could be all the settings I've messed with on my receiver to get the best perceived sound.

    My Set up

    Room is 12x16x9 with a 6 foot opening to enter the room on one side.

    Gear:
    Polk LSi15 towers
    Polk LSiC center
    Polk LSiFX surrounds

    Pioneer vsx-1120 receiver
    Emotiva XPA-5 amp
    PS3


    Front sound stage is located along the 12ft wall, with seating 14ft back. Speakers are equal distance from side walls, and equal distance to listening position with slight toe-in.


    When listening to music, blu-ray, and dvd audio I am not getting clear seperation of instruments and cannot create a sound stage. I have read many links to speaker placement ect. which makes me believe it is my reciever settings. (heck an ancient pioneer reciever paired with wharfdale speakers in a rental beach house sounded better!)

    I need help. Is there another source I can look to? Will having the local professional come out to the house even be worth it? Im 6 miles from POLK HQ can they come out or worth a trip there? Im located between Baltimore and DC, are there any other suggestions? Local member help? installer help?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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  3. #3

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    How far apart are your speakers? According to you they're about 14ft apart which doesn't sound possible.

    To achieve better imaging, you might want to pull the speakers away from the walls, back wall and side wall and put them closer together. Experiment with toe-in. A nice point of reference I've heard is to aim the speakers so they point about a foot or two behind your head. This doesn't always work but it's always nice to try.

    As far as imaging goes, I wouldn't mess with any receiver settings and just run it direct/stereo. Unless you have something wired incorrectly such as inversing your polarity, speaker placement and room acoustics are to blame, not your gear.

  4. #4

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    I personally would try moving the speakers about 3' from the back wall and close as possible to the side walls (to get them further apart) with enough toe-in so they intersect about a foot in front of your knees. The positioning can be such that a few degrees toe-in difference or an inch movement could make all the difference. I've had a few rooms where the speakers demand precise placement and really did not work in any other position. In such rooms its tedious to find the right placement but once you do its worth it. Take a few hours and play around. In my last room I resorted to trying positions which really didn't make sense to me and one of them worked...

    Of course all the other things like speakers being mis-wired (polarity switched on one), mono switch not engaged, sound coming from all drivers should be checked as well.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  5. #5

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    Do you have a subwoofer ? Did you use the auto calibration on the receiver ? If so, did you have the mic set at ear level in your listening position ? I would highly suggest using the auto calibration if you have not.

  6. #6

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    I have an app on my iphone for this...it may or may not work but worth trying. I also had this same set-up not to long ago. L/R 9'1'' apart from one another, your listening postion (seat) 10'11'' from the front wall, if your using your FX's as sides place them 13'1'' from the front wall, which will be behind you on the sides of yoru walls, if you like as rears find the center of the back wall and put the rears 5'10'' for one another. the front stage should then point to the rears! Maybe it'll help, maybe it wont!!!
    TV:Sony Bravia XBR4 52'
    Mains: Lsi m 705
    C:Lsi m 706
    Rears: Lsi m 703
    Sub: Epik Empire
    Pre:Marantz AV 7005
    Amp:Sunfire TGA-7400
    Blueray: Opp 93
    A/V Component: Panamax M5100-PM
    Cables: Signal Cable, White Zombie, MIT, Pepster's power cables

  7. #7

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    Usually having your seating so close to a back wall is gonna produce some thick mid bass, masking some of the soundstage magic. I agree with Max, move the apeakers out more into the room, and if possible, nudge the couch further up to them. If the mains are on carpet, try spiking them to clay tiles placed over the carpet.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  8. #8

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    Whatever the issue is, I doubt its your speakers or amp-avr, I am running almost the same stuff diffrent, avr and rear surrounds, and I along with others who comment,are more than a little impressed with the sound, adjustments of some kind should do the trick.
    Emotiva XPA5, Sony ES 5300, Lsi 15,s LSIC, Monitor 70,s, ( side surrounds) FXI 3,s, (rear surrounds)Micropro4000, Velodyne DEQ 10, Sony 46 inch XBR 5, Sony BDP 770 Bedroom rig SonyES 3200 RTIA1,s CSIA4 FXI3,s polk PSW 10 SONY 34inch XBR960SONY BDP550

  9. #9

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    Your using a PS3 as a source right? Think about a Universal player or something that is made to play music if that is the main concern. Or if for HT, you still need to step up from the PS3.

    It ALL starts with the source, either movies or music!!

    Gordon
    2 Channel -
    Martin Logan Spire, 2 JL Audio F112 subs
    McIntosh C1000 Controller with Tube pre amp, 2 MC501 amplifiers, MD1K Transport & DAC, MR-88 Tuner
    WireWorld Eclipse 6.0 speaker wire and jumpers, Eclipse 5^2 Squared Balanced IC's. Silver Eclipse PCs (5)
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  10. #10

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    First off welcome to the forum.

    Ok for your speakers I hate your receiver and amp combo. Get rid of all that and get a NAD T785HD receiver. This will give you all the sound quality and amp power. Next it sounds like your positioning is not quite right. There are many rules to follow in order to get the most out of your room with the speakers with in it.
    Speaker wire as trivial as some may think , you might not have enough quality there to bring out the best in your sound.
    Using the PS3 as a source well depending on your recording quality this could be a good or very bad thing.
    To many things it could be , also the fact you just might not like the speakers is always a consideration.
    Stupid question but do you have the left speaker in the left position and the right in the right?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  11. #11
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    Principles and techniques.....
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  12. #12

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    A bit drastic, don't you think? He's already spent the money so he's probably stuck with it. He MIGHT be able to get a better receiver in place of the Pioneer but telling him to scrap both is sort of a slap in the face IMO. I would recommend keeping the amp for now but start looking at other receivers. Marantz, Pioneer Elite, NAD, Denon are all good choices.

    For music, the PS3 isn't that great. It will get the job done, but that's about it. A stand alone cd player from Marantz or Cambridge Audio is a good bet. PS3 is perfectly fine for Blu Ray but doesn't seem to cut it for anything else.

    I agree with Mantis about speaker wire. You can get away with cheap wire but it's definitely worthwhile to look into offerings from companies like Blue Jeans or Kimber. It's also a good idea to make sure you have cables that are up to the challenge. Analog is more important than digital so keep that in mind.

    For the 6 foot opening to your room, hang thick curtains to help contain the sound. Acoustic treatments may also be necessary for the rest of the room. If you have hardwood floors, a plush rug will help with unwanted reflections.

    My fiance's sister is moving in so I had to move my entire theater from my dedicated room in the basement to the upstairs living room. The dedicated room was fairly well treated and my system sounded great. The upstairs living room is untreated with hardwood floors, opens into the kitchen and has windows EVERYWHERE and my system sounds absolutely terrible.

    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    First off welcome to the forum.

    Ok for your speakers I hate your receiver and amp combo. Get rid of all that and get a NAD T785HD receiver. This will give you all the sound quality and amp power. Next it sounds like your positioning is not quite right. There are many rules to follow in order to get the most out of your room with the speakers with in it.
    Speaker wire as trivial as some may think , you might not have enough quality there to bring out the best in your sound.
    Using the PS3 as a source well depending on your recording quality this could be a good or very bad thing.
    To many things it could be , also the fact you just might not like the speakers is always a consideration.
    Stupid question but do you have the left speaker in the left position and the right in the right?
    Display: Sony 42" LCD
    Sources: Harman Kardon DVD-27,
    Panasonic DMP-BDT110 blu ray player
    AVR: Sony STR-DA2400ES
    Amp: Kenwood KM-894 x 2(fronts and surrounds)
    Fronts: Polk SDA2
    Center: Polk Monitor 7C
    Surrounds: Polk Monitor 7C
    Subwoofer: SVS PB10-ISD

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    First off welcome to the forum.

    Ok for your speakers I hate your receiver and amp combo. Get rid of all that and get a NAD T785HD receiver. This will give you all the sound quality and amp power. Next it sounds like your positioning is not quite right. There are many rules to follow in order to get the most out of your room with the speakers with in it.
    Speaker wire as trivial as some may think , you might not have enough quality there to bring out the best in your sound.
    Using the PS3 as a source well depending on your recording quality this could be a good or very bad thing.
    To many things it could be , also the fact you just might not like the speakers is always a consideration.
    Stupid question but do you have the left speaker in the left position and the right in the right?
    Way to go shooting the guy in the face Mantis. It's all about positioning, then running the calibration to get those things set up correctly. Guy spends a couple grand, then told to get rid of it for other stuff. That would suck if it were true.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    Way to go shooting the guy in the face Mantis. It's all about positioning, then running the calibration to get those things set up correctly. Guy spends a couple grand, then told to get rid of it for other stuff. That would suck if it were true.
    Who knows. I have lsi25/lsic/lsifx/b&k 7270 sii that I bought all at the same time, hoping to enjoy them and I ended up using them in 5 different rooms, in many different settings with multiple amps/sources and never thought I really got out of them what I should.

    Sometimes, I would think they sounded pretty good, but other times, they sounded so bad that I found myself fiddling with settings instead of listening to music or watching a movie.

    I spent hundreds of hours troubleshooting, posting on this forum, calling polk, etc. I ended up being so discouraged from the experience that I gave up HT entirely. The speakers ended up sitting in my parents basement for a year collecting dust, until I finally convinced my parents to move them into their living room setup.

    To this day, I still haven't quite decided whether I like them or not... maybe if I had given up and sold them 4 years ago, I would have had much less frustration with this whole experience. Or, who knows, maybe not.

    edit: I don't mean to discourage the OP in any way. There are too many happy LSi owners to call my experience the norm. In fact, I was met with disbelief when I posted my experience. I just think it is a reasonable concept to consider if your setup agrees with your ears. If you cannot make the system sound good to you, perhaps minor tweaks like cables/speaker position/frequency adjustments simply will not completely change the sound of your system to your liking.
    Last edited by cokewithvanilla; 04-01-2011 at 08:34 PM.

  15. #15

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    I am running a similar set-up, and I believe the ps3 maybe be the culprit. Is there another source you can use? Maybe just purchase a new bluray player to test out this theory, and return it if it doesnt pan out. But I have a strange feeling its the PS3.

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    way to go shooting the guy in the face mantis. It's all about positioning, then running the calibration to get those things set up correctly. Guy spends a couple grand, then told to get rid of it for other stuff. That would suck if it were true.
    lol.
    ALL BOXED UP for a while until I save up for a new place :(

    Home Theater:
    KEF Q900s / MIT Shotgun S3 / MIT CVT2 ICs | KEF Q600C | Polk FXi5 | BJC Wire | Signal / AQ ICs | Shunyata / Pangea PCs | Pioneer Elite SC 57 | Parasound NC2100 Pre | NAD M25 | Marantz SA8001 | Schiit Gungnir DAC | SB Touch

    2 Channel:
    Polk LSi9 (xo mods), Polk DSW MicroPro 2000 sub | NAD c375BEE | W4S DAC1 | SB Touch | Marantz SA-8001 | MIT AVt 2 | Kimber Hero / AQ / Signal ICs | Shunyata / Signal PCs

  17. #17

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    I get superb imaging out of my LSi's so you can too. Like some others I think it's your source. But it's possibly source plus the processing in your AVR. Does your AVR have a Pure Audio or Direct mode that bypasses the DSP? If so try a good CDP with analog out and run it Pure Audio/Direct. Back in the day when I ran off my AVR I learned very quickly that the DSP killed the imaging.
    System
    ModWright SWL 9.0SE Signature Preamp | Aragon 8008 Mk II Amplifier
    Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeakers
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    | Jolida JD-100A CDP | Sansui TU-717 Tuner (Joseph Chow Mods)

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    Way to go shooting the guy in the face Mantis. It's all about positioning, then running the calibration to get those things set up correctly. Guy spends a couple grand, then told to get rid of it for other stuff. That would suck if it were true.
    Without a strong backbone , the system doesn't stand a chance to perform it's best. He doesn't have to do as I say , he can take it into consideration. Honestly I don't care what he spent , his system doesn't have balance. Position and set them up all you want , if your system isn't balanced , it isn't balanced.

    I have no problem telling people this.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTguru1982 View Post
    A bit drastic, don't you think? He's already spent the money so he's probably stuck with it. He MIGHT be able to get a better receiver in place of the Pioneer but telling him to scrap both is sort of a slap in the face IMO. I would recommend keeping the amp for now but start looking at other receivers. Marantz, Pioneer Elite, NAD, Denon are all good choices.

    For music, the PS3 isn't that great. It will get the job done, but that's about it. A stand alone cd player from Marantz or Cambridge Audio is a good bet. PS3 is perfectly fine for Blu Ray but doesn't seem to cut it for anything else.

    I agree with Mantis about speaker wire. You can get away with cheap wire but it's definitely worthwhile to look into offerings from companies like Blue Jeans or Kimber. It's also a good idea to make sure you have cables that are up to the challenge. Analog is more important than digital so keep that in mind.

    For the 6 foot opening to your room, hang thick curtains to help contain the sound. Acoustic treatments may also be necessary for the rest of the room. If you have hardwood floors, a plush rug will help with unwanted reflections.

    My fiance's sister is moving in so I had to move my entire theater from my dedicated room in the basement to the upstairs living room. The dedicated room was fairly well treated and my system sounded great. The upstairs living room is untreated with hardwood floors, opens into the kitchen and has windows EVERYWHERE and my system sounds absolutely terrible.
    Why is it a slap in the face? If I went out and purchased a Turbo charger for my car that doesn't fit and a Professional car guy told me to buy one that matched my car , is that a slap in the face because I spent the money?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cokewithvanilla View Post
    Who knows. I have lsi25/lsic/lsifx/b&k 7270 sii that I bought all at the same time, hoping to enjoy them and I ended up using them in 5 different rooms, in many different settings with multiple amps/sources and never thought I really got out of them what I should.

    Sometimes, I would think they sounded pretty good, but other times, they sounded so bad that I found myself fiddling with settings instead of listening to music or watching a movie.

    I spent hundreds of hours troubleshooting, posting on this forum, calling polk, etc. I ended up being so discouraged from the experience that I gave up HT entirely. The speakers ended up sitting in my parents basement for a year collecting dust, until I finally convinced my parents to move them into their living room setup.

    To this day, I still haven't quite decided whether I like them or not... maybe if I had given up and sold them 4 years ago, I would have had much less frustration with this whole experience. Or, who knows, maybe not.

    edit: I don't mean to discourage the OP in any way. There are too many happy LSi owners to call my experience the norm. In fact, I was met with disbelief when I posted my experience. I just think it is a reasonable concept to consider if your setup agrees with your ears. If you cannot make the system sound good to you, perhaps minor tweaks like cables/speaker position/frequency adjustments simply will not completely change the sound of your system to your liking.
    In your case after all your efforts to enjoy your speakers , I would have told you to sell them and get something else. If you have to put that much effort into something , you really didn't like them from the start.
    It was a problem with the LSI's when they came out , there was no where really to go hear them. Then the fact they where 4 ohms and required some power to make them sing made it even more difficult. Then when you found a dealer that did carry them , they where connected to an average receiver with little ability to show them off.
    In the case of this guy , he has some things against him that could be the reason he is unhappy with his choice. Ok lets try a few things and see if that helps. If it doesn't help , then maybe he just doesn't like his speakers and should move onto something else.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  21. #21

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    Default Polk Lsi15's

    Likely your pre/pro in your Pioneer receiver is causing your problem. Newer Pioneer AVR's have become rather cheap and gutless. The Pioneer Elite AVR's are better, but some people don't care for the sound.

    I have a set of Polk Lsi15's, and I am driving them with an Integra 80.2 receiver coupled with a separate power amp. These Polks are amazingly clean, coherent and tight with good gear. And I second an earlier comment about power - these speakers thrive on ample, clean power.

  22. #22

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    We all have opinions on this, but unless the OP participates in his own thread, the odds of solving his problems get pretty bleek. Just sayin' is all.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    Why is it a slap in the face? If I went out and purchased a Turbo charger for my car that doesn't fit and a Professional car guy told me to buy one that matched my car , is that a slap in the face because I spent the money?
    To hear that the gear I purchased sucks and that I would have to replace it to be happy is a hard thing to hear. I would be pissed if I just put all that money into something only to be disappointed. You're right though. His gear isn't bad - it just isn't the best match.
    Display: Sony 42" LCD
    Sources: Harman Kardon DVD-27,
    Panasonic DMP-BDT110 blu ray player
    AVR: Sony STR-DA2400ES
    Amp: Kenwood KM-894 x 2(fronts and surrounds)
    Fronts: Polk SDA2
    Center: Polk Monitor 7C
    Surrounds: Polk Monitor 7C
    Subwoofer: SVS PB10-ISD

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTguru1982 View Post
    To hear that the gear I purchased sucks and that I would have to replace it to be happy is a hard thing to hear. I would be pissed if I just put all that money into something only to be disappointed. You're right though. His gear isn't bad - it just isn't the best match.
    Guidance my friend , sometimes you have to hear what you don't wanna hear to move forward. I know this from making mistakes myself. As a former Lsi owner , I tried many different combos and found that the LSI's are very picky. This is a good and bad thing. They are not as forgiving as other speakers are.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTguru1982 View Post
    To hear that the gear I purchased sucks and that I would have to replace it to be happy is a hard thing to hear. I would be pissed if I just put all that money into something only to be disappointed. You're right though. His gear isn't bad - it just isn't the best match.
    I would love for someone to tell me where my system sucks and how to fix it. I've had people ask me about problems and have found it to be a tricky slope, some are happy to get an answer but most get mad if you tell them they should change something. Many let cost dictate this situation, though it really has no place in the discussion. "I paid $3K for that preamp, its not the problem!"
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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