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  1. #1

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    Default Need help calibrating my system

    Hi guys, it's been a while and I need some help with calibrating my system and guidelines on proper use of the different modes of my receiver. I'm very happy with the way the system sounds for movies, but it fails a bit short for music.
    So first of all, my system consists mainly of:
    Speakers: 2x M70s, 1x CS2, 2x M40s, 1x PSW505
    Receiver/Amp: VSX-1121k, Carver AV 705x (Driving all 5 speakers)

    Problem description: When listening to music, I feel the sound is a bit muddy. It's a bit hard to explain but it seems that some frequencies don't produce enough "bang". I would say things like drums or Dance beats don't sound as snappy as they should.
    The Receiver/Amp combo should be plenty to run those speakers, so I don't think the issue comes from a lack of power.

    Things I've tried:
    I've tried CDs/Lossless M4As with all my different sources and I still get the same result. Therefore I don't think it comes from the source either. I've tried the different listening modes but I find that anything but Stereo or Advanced Stereo has too much fake surround for my liking.
    I've ran the MCACC and tweaked the distances/levels to my liking, but it looks like I'm missing something.
    By the way, I don't have a lot of issues with very low frequencies, the sub seems to handle those fairly well.

    What to do next?
    I'm considering playing with the Pioneer graphic equalizer and boost some of those frequencies that seem a bit weak. Does anyone have any suggestions? (Maybe what specific frequencies to tweak, maybe some other settings to look at...)
    Change the crossover frequency to something higher (I believe it's set at 80 right now, so maybe 120?).


    What you can do to help:
    Please let me know of any suggestions you may have. It kinda sucks to have a descent system and not get a matching experience with music.

    Thanks,

    - Olivier
    Last edited by cascius; 09-28-2012 at 03:36 PM.
    Main System:
    Front: M70s
    Center: CS2
    Surround: M40s
    Sub: PSW505
    Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1121k
    Amp: Carver AV 705x
    TV: Samsung LN52A650
    Media Player: Boxee Box
    BD Player: Sony BDP-472
    Consoles: Xbox360, Wii

  2. #2

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    Default

    What cables (interconnect, speaker, power cord) are you using? Also, what power conditioner are you using?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    What cables (interconnect, speaker, power cord) are you using? Also, what power conditioner are you using?
    Good question BlueFox.
    I use a 14 Gage speaker wires No longer than 4 to 5 feet from the Amp to the M70s.
    The interconnect are MIT cables, I can't think of the name right now but they're pretty good.
    Power cord: the one that came with the amps :(
    Power conditioner: none :(
    I don't know if that makes any difference, but I leave in a very recent large apartment building (2008) and was hoping that the power signal would therefore be fairly clear. I really don't know much about power signals though...

    What do you think?

    - Olivier
    Last edited by cascius; 09-28-2012 at 04:08 PM.
    Main System:
    Front: M70s
    Center: CS2
    Surround: M40s
    Sub: PSW505
    Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1121k
    Amp: Carver AV 705x
    TV: Samsung LN52A650
    Media Player: Boxee Box
    BD Player: Sony BDP-472
    Consoles: Xbox360, Wii

  4. #4

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    you might need better speakers to produce more life like sound....for HT Monitor series are fine but for music I find them a little short handed....
    Video: LG 55LN5100/Samsung LNT4065F
    Receiver: HK AVR445
    Source: OPPO BDP-93
    HT: POLK SPEAKERS RTi6, FXi3, CSi5 - Sub SUB-1200
    2Ch system: MC2105, C-26, AR-XA, MR-80, AR-2A, AR9, BX-300

  5. #5

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    More importantly, what are you using as a source, exactly. 14 ga wire is ok for the fronts, but I would go 12 ga and better quality. While their is no doubt the MIT's are good cables, they don't gell with every piece of gear out there so just for giggles, try another interconnect you may have laying around.

    Now, are the M70'S set to large or small ? Set them to large if not and see if you like the sound better. What are they crossed over at too ? Try your music listening mode in direct 2 channel. I'll also agree with the previous poster, the M70's are good for HT, just ok for music.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    While I understand that these aren't the best speakers out there, I do feel that even my $20 Sony headphones sound better at times. Therefore I think something is off somewhere.

    The source that sounds the best is playing back lossless m4a music directly from the amp or from the Apple tv.

    As far as trying different cables, I could but unfortunately these are the ones that sound best so far.

    I need to check but I'm pretty sure I set them to large, I'll double check.

    I do like the idea to try better speaker wires. Also I will definitely try stereo direct, if it sounds better I'll know my calibration is off...

    Another thing I can think of is the placement of the speakers, I really don't have much breathing room around them. I'll upload a photo this week end and maybe you'll have some suggestions.

    It's a shame they sound so good for HT and so-so right now for music.

    - olivier

  7. #7

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    So I finally looked at the EQ settings that were made by the mcacc and found the culprit: the frequencies I felt were lacking were at - 7db compared to the rest. I also don't like that there were some spikes at other frequencies . Half an hour of tweaking later: I'm much more pleased with the results. :-)

    The A/B testing using pure direct vs stereo helped a lot in figuring things out.

    Thanks a lot everyone for the help!

    - olivier

  8. #8

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    Glad you have it worked out. Checking the auto calibration settings is a must do, they don't always get everything right. Enjoy.

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