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  1. #1

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    Default Am I crazy or what?

    I can't tell you how many different speaker configurations I've had, but my most current setup is the following:

    Fronts - RTi28
    Center - CSi30
    Surround - FXi30 mounted on wall directly behind me in bipole mode
    Sub - PSW303

    O.K., so here goes. I live in a 2 BR apt and everything is setup in an area that is approx. 12 x 14 or so. I love my front's and center channel, but still feel like the surrounds are not the greatest. Yes, I know they aren't supposed to draw attention to themselves, but really I don't get the warm fuzzy surround feeling I think I should be getting. This will probably cause a stir, but I honestly think from a surround and imaging point of view with movies only, my previous RM6700 setup did a nicer job with the exception of the center channel which I now attribute to the Onkyo receiver I had which I constantly had to adjust up and down for each movie. I will say I NEVER touch it now with my HK receiver. I have the FXi's 2 feet above my head at this point. They are a huge pain to mount and I can't really place them where I like them best prior to positioning them. Would I be completely crazy to consider going back to the sats again? If so, I'd like to move up to a bigger sub such as the PSW404 or a Velodyne CHT10. Any suggestions?

    Brian

  2. #2

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    Default

    Have you turned the level of the surrounds up a bit? You may find you get the 'feel' you're looking for if they were a little louder.

    Of course an SPL meter to balance all speakers would be best, but hey, if you want them a little louder.. turn them up, see if that helps. I'd have trouble believing the old setup was better... but it's your room and your ears.
    HT: Denon 1910, LG blu-ray, Def Tech ProCinema 100s, Stryke 12" sonosub.
    LR: Onkyo TX-84 (original owner), Aiwa AD-F850 (original owner), Philips TT (old school, 2nd owner), Philips CD (cheap-o), Monitor 5jr+ (original owner - actually, my wife is the original owner; she bought them new when we were dating - sealed the deal).
    Xbox 360/Wii/Kids: Old school huge Sony HD TV, Sherwood RD-6500, Philips DVD, pair Def Tech ProCinema 100.

  3. #3

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    Default

    I agree with burdette, try changing the levels to the surrounds, maybe +2 dB. I balanced all my speakers with an spl meter but found that I like the surrounds at a higher level, give it a try.

  4. #4

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    On the imaging side, small sat speakers when setup properly provide a much smaller, point-source. That can lead to wicked imaging, I've experienced it first-hand. Side to side, and front to back pans are easily localized and can be more obvious. For movies - thats a plus (imo).

    The biggest issue (drawback) I've experienced with sats, is loss of horizontal depth - compared to larger speakers. The front stage is very wide, but the plane is very flat.

    Does that make any sense?

    Bigger isn't always better, with your ears, your room, and your placement - the sats may be your ticket to Zen Whoopie.

    12x14 isn't a huge room, experiement with placement on your mains, perhaps pushing them out farther, and using some toe-in.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  5. #5

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    All-

    I have calibrated the speaks with an SPL and like I said, it's not that I want the surrounds to dominate the room, just provide better ambience I guess. I should mention that the 12' distance is the distance of my back wall to the viewing area and the 14' is the width of the room making for awkward placement of speaks.

    Russ-

    Finally someone agrees with me on the sat/sub imaging thing! I know music is better with the bookshelfs but I would say I'm 80/20 movies to music. I have been using your suggested method of spacing the fronts farther apart and towing them in. The front I like fine, it just seems the sats filled the surround area so much nicer? What do you think about the Velodyne 10" sub with the RM6700's? Will that sub play high enough to create a nice blend with the sats?

    I love this hobby, but sometimes I think I'm going stir crazy!

    Brian

  6. #6

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    I use the RT55i as surrounds for this same reason.

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

  7. #7

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    As far as rear placement, esp on a di/bipole speaker - I refer you to look at the suggestions others have made.

    I use direct radiating rears, almost equi-distant from my listening area as my mains, mounted on the side walls, about 2-3 ft higher than the l&r main.

    I'm not a big fan of sats that can't play down to at least 80Hz (-3db) just due to the fact the localization of the sub tends to become more apparent.

    In your given scenario, if I was to use the Polk sats (what do they play down to anyway?), I would give a lot of consideration to running 2 'stereo' subs, seperated on the front stage. That or get a single sub as close to center stage as possible. Simply to fight localization of the sub, due to the fact that they would need to be crossed over at a higher freq, than with the speakers you have now.

    As far as sub selection goes, there are a myriad of choices. I guess the most important facts here, would be how low the rm sats play, and your budget. Then the guys here can narrow the field a bit.

    Final note, a $10 tweek that may help your mains a little with imaging here:

    http://www.audio-ideas.com/tweaks.html

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  8. #8

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    placement is everything with surrounds.. while I have the older version of your speakers.. i find that that rock just great.

    sounds like you set them up right with your SPL meter.. that's good. play around with bi/di pole modes.. i run mine is bi pole since they are placed about two feet above me on the side walls.. near the back of the room.

    On some movies.. lilke Black Hawk Down.. i sometimes find myself ducking because it feels like the helicopters are hoovering right above my house. :p

    I'm with Russ on this.. bigger is IMHO always better. I have never owned sats, but from what i've heard in other peoples houses.. i wasn't very impressed. Mostly with the sound.. to tinny for my tastes.

    What kind of receiver are you running? Does it have a distance setting? Does it have a delay setting? Also, some DVD's just don't make good use of the surrounds. If you watch "chick flicks" all the time.. you'll be disappointed.. those movies are almost all dialog and very little explosions and don't use the surrounds much.

    Finally, seriously.. those little wedgie surrounds.. should kick your hiney when it comes to good sound. Later tonight. i'll post a list of good DVD's to watch that utilize the surrounds a good deal. then go from there.

    good luck. Al
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert

  9. #9

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    HBomb-

    You use the RT55's for what reason? I got lost somewhere? Also, I have to have the surrounds mounted on the wall directly behind my sofa so do you have them mounted with brackets?

    Russ-

    Great advice. I think the imaging of the front's are O.K. to my tastes, just want a little something extra in regards to the surrounds. I did above state that I felt imaging was better with the sats though. The 2 sub recommendation may be the ticket if I go back to sats, but it sounds like everyone is steering me away from that. BTW, the sats play down to 95Hz. I prob. shouldn't say this here, but I heard the Energy Take 5.2 sats, they sounded great, and play down to 80 Hz.

    Danger-

    I have the HK AVR225. Yes, it has distance settings and they're all set. I run the surrounds in bipole mode due to them being on the wall directly behind me per Polk's recommendation. I have the driver and tweeter side facing in towards the listening area once again per Polk customer service although the speakers are labeled otherwise. In other words if you go by the L and R labels on the speakers, the tweeters only side would be facing the listening area and the driver tweeter side facing outward. Confused yet? LOL. Any ideas?

  10. #10

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    Default

    Originally posted by brianwayne671
    HBomb-

    You use the RT55's for what reason? I got lost somewhere?
    Crap I have been so busy I forgot where my thoughts were...

    I think... I was commenting on my preference to a direct rather than diffuse surround field. I have listened to the di-polar type speakers but was more confused by what I heard rather than impressed.

    For me I want my surrounds to be pin point rather than ambient because in real life if someone yells to you from your left do you look right or back??? No... I look left so thats what I want my system to do while watching a movie. I realize its not the standard or convention for surround speakers but I really enjoy what I hear.

    Just my Opinion

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

  11. #11

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    Default

    Hey HBomb-

    How do you have them mounted? Do you have them on stands, or wall mounted? My issue is mounting direct bookshelf size speakers on the wall right behind me.

  12. #12

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    I simply placed them on 2 end tables to the left and right of my couch and they sounded darn good to me.

    In my new place I have a problem because french doors are where I need to place my surrounds. I'm scratching my but on what I'm going to do. To be honest though... my solution will probably be some abomination of what should be done and I'll be ready for a spanken around here.:)

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

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