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  1. #1

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    Default Problems with large room setup

    The music sounds weak and hollow like a transistor radio in an auditorium. Ugh!

    I have a house with open adjoining rooms so the audio space is family room + kitchenette + kitchen is 15x45 with most of it with a 35 degree cathedral ceiling that tops out at 16 feet.

    I have a 5.1 Yamaha receiver + an Adcom 5503 (3 ch @ 200W) + a Yamaha M-70 (2 ch @ 200W).

    For speakers I have a pair of SDA 1As and a pair of SDA SRS 3.1tls and some old small center speakers.

    The sound comes out dead. I moved a pair of Polks (and audio equipment) to my living room to check whether the equipment was faulty (std room with std height ceiling etc.) - the sound was very good.

    I also have a plasma TV to go with the audio. How do I work this so I can enjoy both visual and auditory quality presentation. Right now, I don't even want to turn it on.

    Help

  2. #2

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    I am going to assume youve got the SDA's setup correctly with regards to the walls and spacing.

    My thoughts would be take a camping chair with music playing and start moving forward from your main seating position. If sound gets better when you move forward then you might have your seating area in a null and that could be the problem.

    Also if you could post some pics that would probably be the most help for us.

    BTW thats a nice setup you have there for sure.

  3. #3

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    Yes, I have checked and rechecked the SDA setup. I have also spent hours adjusting the speakers positionings. There are sweet spots but the music still falls dead.

    It almost works with Polks in front and back but in the end, it is noise, not music.

    Bi-amping the 3.1s with 200 Watts + 200 Watts doesn't seem to make a lot of difference; of course that is with just a pair of Polks only.

    The best sound (not good mind you) is with all four Polks with 200 watts each in a amphitheatre arrangement where the speakers are arranged in a half circle (+/-) with the Polks angled toward the center. I kn mow that is not the right way to do it but that maximizes presentation nonetheless.

    I've been pulling my hair out and I don't have that much to spare.

  4. #4

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    Well your at least in Colorado. I know there are a bunch of Polkies in your state and many with a pair of SDA's, or two or three.....

    So hopefully one or two of them might be able to swing over and take a look at your setup and help....

  5. #5

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    Paul - If you can get it to sound good in one room, but not in another, that sounds like a setup issue to me. The 3.1's should be more than enough of a speaker to fill your space. Also, you should actually get much worse sound when you, as you called it, put them in "ampitheater arrangement". That should totally twist the sound of the SDA's soundfield and make it sound like garbage.

    Maybe we need to step back a minute and make sure you have the basics covered. I assume you have the Interconnect cable connected, the L/R in the proper positions, and speakers facing flat (relative to the wall), not toed-in?

    How close are the speakers to the wall behind them?

    A picture says a thousand words...

  6. #6

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    Yes I have the interconnects set up for both Polk pairs. On the 3.1s, I had to build one and used xlr connects. I Both pairs do not yet have updated XOs.

    Tonight, I'm going to do a cleanup and recheck all connections just to be sure. Then I can take a picture without embarassing myself with the wire mess.

    In the back of my mind I am suspicious of the Yamaha receiver - perhaps the pre-amp outputs are not up to spec. Don't know.

    It just seems that the room sucks the audio energy out of the system. Is there something that can diminish the power output of the amps?

  7. #7

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    Your gear is fine. Simply put it's your room that's causing the problems. Swapping out amps, IC's, PC's etc., etc. won't amount to a hill of beans until you address the room problems. You need to start brushing up on your Google research about room treatments & how the room is probably the most important & influencial piece of gear that effects the sound that you own.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

  8. #8

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    I have a room of similar dimensions, and had the same problem. I threw more power, speakers and basically money at it. If you look at my signature, the bedroom rig is what I started with, the living room is what I ended up with. Those open floor plans are great for living in, but death to audio.
    Living Room
    LSi 15
    LSi7
    LSiC
    LSiFX
    2 EPIK Empire
    2 W4S Sx-1000
    Monster HTPS 7000 MKII
    Parasound 5250
    Onkyo PR-SC5508
    Oppo BDP-95
    Pro-Ject RM 1.3
    LG 55 LED

    Bedroom
    RTi A7
    CSi A6
    FXi A6
    2 PSW 125
    Onkyo TX-NR1008
    Panasonic 60 Plasma

  9. #9

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    Looks like I have homework to do. I've never had such an awkward room for audio before and it has thrown me for a loop. I'll check into the net for what options I have. Thx.

  10. #10

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    I'm guessing I need a bio-amped setup for the main speakers w/350 +200 watts to make a go of it. Don't have the hot bucks for that right now. I'm hoping my Yamaha receiver doesn't crater on me - it's touchy at best right now.

  11. #11

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    Strange but good update to my large room problems. There's a story here.

    My receiver went into an almost total brain freeze. And then recovered somewhat but not enough to do more than make noise. The bass and treble did not work. Direct processing did not work. The 105 watt amps did not put enough out to work in a shoe box. It was looking bad.

    This weekend I took the cover off and checked to see if there were any obvious issues like a blown fuse or a cap oozing and so on - nothing unusual except enough dust to make me sneeze a lot. Cleaned it up a bit and put the cover back on.

    Then I went through all the setup parameters, which are extensive, and reset them to normal, null, or off. I also toggled and whatever to anything I could on the unit. Turned it on and off many times. And so on.

    After disconnecting all inputs and outputs, I tried again. First, just the mains - left channel functioned, right channel did not. I switched right with left and it worked - switched them back and it still worked. Then I connected the rear Polks and made the appropriate volume adjustments.

    Still no bass and treble control - on/off, on/off - used the parameters to toggle bass/treble and lo and behold, when I checked it out, all functions worked including the channel amplifiers. The quality of the pre-amp outputs were GOOD and was appropriately reflected in the quality of the amps outputs (Yamaha M-70 and Adcom 5503) was GOOD.

    This is the first time in a long time that everything worked as it should. Why any/all of my fiddeling around did something, I do not know. I surmised that I had set conflicting parameters on the Yamaha receiver some time back and it was catching up with me - I know, that sounds really fluffy. But it works again and I have music and not noise.

    Still, I'm back to the initial issue I posted - seems like not enough power for the room size. to that, one recommendation was to look at what I can do about the room itself and the coatings on the wall perhaps. The other was add more power. THANKS ALL for the help and the inspiration to spend all weekend working esoterica. Yea, might need another receiver too but we shall see. Any further recommendations will be appreciated. I have a great need for a very very nice sound - I think about it all the time - when I have it, I feel good inside and out.

  12. #12

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    It kind of sounds like you had some gunked up buttons/switches/pots that just needed some fiddling with to get them operational again. Anyway, glad you got it figured out.

  13. #13

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    I bet I'm more glad than you on this turn. I'm downright happy about things.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulOne View Post
    I bet I'm more glad than you on this turn. I'm downright happy about things.
    You n?ed to start with room treatments before doing anything else since you changed room and your system sounded better.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  15. #15

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    I agree that the real issue here is your room. The room is large enough to have a problem with echo/decay. How does it sound if you stand in different locations and just clap you hands? What do you hear?

    It's so large that you are beyond normal home audio--this is a pro-audio situation. I would suggest talking to some pro-audio guys about room treatments and speakers. Your speakers are great for 'normal' rooms found in most homes, but may not work in the space you have.

    Good luck!
    Jim
    A day without music is like a day without food.

  16. #16

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    Hey: You, thsmith, and pearsall001 suggested room treatments. What is this? If you can give me a couple of words on what is meant by 'room treatments', I can start looking at what you guys are recommending. My house isn't that big - it's just open. Recently, I tore down the curtains in this area because, after 12 years here, I couldn't stand them anymore (previous owner ugly) - I'm sure these are a contributors. And the floors are oak with a not very big center piece rug - not much to soften the audio. If something like this is what you all mean, I have a lot of purchasing to do.

  17. #17

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    "Room treatments" is a generic term for adding materials to a room to help diffuse sound (by having materials of different heights and angles in relation to the wall or ceiling) and reduce reflections (with materials that absorb particular frequencies). An area rug can be considered a room treatment in a room with hardwood floors. So can curtains over highly reflective windows. However, some rooms will need more aggressive treatments (such as diffusers, bass traps, etc).

    If you make a room "too dead", you'd want to treat your room by removing absorbtive surfaces (or by adding more reflective surfaces).

    Jim's suggestion of walking around your room and clapping is an excellent one. If you hear your clap multiple times very quickly, your room suffers from flutter echos or reverb. More absorptive surfaces will help create a room where you'll hear the clap once, and it dies. If your clap seems to end prematurely, or seems "dead" (which I doubt is your case), that means you need more reflective surfaces.

  18. #18

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    Room Treatments can also refer to acoustical treatments like Real Traps that are made to absorb sound.

    Google Real Traps and see kinda what we are talking about. However I would do the area rug stuff first since its going to be much cheaper

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