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  1. #1

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    Default Polk 7.1 setup/advice

    I'm currently using a Polk 7.1 setup in my theatre which is configured as follows.....

    Fronts - Rti A9
    Center - Csi A4
    Surround - Fxi A4 (dipole mode)
    Rear Surround - Monitor 30


    I have not been impressed at all with the surround in the room, and I'm thinking it might be due to not having the right speakers in ideal locations. Should the rears be the Fxi and the surrounds be the Monitors? Should I have the Fxi speakers set to bipole rather than dipole?


    Any feedback I can get would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2

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    What are you powering them with? Welcome to CP BTW!!

  3. #3

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    Thank you! Denon AVR-988, advertised 100W x 7 channels.

  4. #4

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    Welcome to CP!

    As Ken says, we need to know the rest of the picture to be able to give solid advice. What are all of the associated electronics? Can you post pics of speaker placement, or at least describe it?

    Off the bat, the FX's should be the sides, and the Monitors should be rears, HOWEVER, it would be a lot better if you replaced the Monitors with RTi's, either bookshelves or another pair of FX's. I would personally get another pair of FX's. I like running bipole instead of dipole.

    You may also consider upgrading to the CSiA6 center channel speaker. It is a beast, and a much better complement to your A9's.


    We can help with audio settings/equipment choices once we know what else is going on.

    Cheers!
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaveydude View Post
    Thank you! Denon AVR-988, advertised 100W x 7 channels.
    Receiver doesn't not have enough W to drive the fronts for sure, not sure about the other speakers..

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaveydude View Post
    Thank you! Denon AVR-988, advertised 100W x 7 channels.
    A9's need some juice. Running 7.1 off that AVR is a bad idea. If you listen at any volume you risk friying speakers/ AVR or both...

  7. #7

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    I was wrong, the Center is the A6. Click image for larger version

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    I'm not completely sure by what you mean by associated electronics, so I will just list everything in the rack.....

    Infinity PS212 sub
    Denon receiver
    PS3 via HDMI
    Apple TV via HDMI
    Xbox via HDMI

  8. #8

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    And it's actually 110W x 7

  9. #9

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    1) As everyone else says: your speakers need more power. Period. Receiver wattage ratings are not close to accurate with all channels driven. Luckily, your receiver has preouts, so you can EASILY add an external amp!

    2) Have you ran Audessey with the mic? How do you set the channel levels for all the speakers?

    3) What surround settings do you use with your ps3/xbox/apple tv?

    4) What source material are you playing?

    5) I suggest using another pair RTi FX's as rears


    Very cool setup, congrats! Those speakers can sound EXCELLENT when properly setup. Don't worry, you'll get there.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  10. #10

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    1) I was considering a new AVR anyway, recommendations?

    2) I've used Audyssey in the past but it sounds flat and lifeless I find. I've been turning it off and using a meter to balance the channels.

    3) Everything is set for Dolby Digital 5.1. PS3 is set for 7.1.

    4) Mostly Blu-ray Discs from the PS3 or my Panasonic blu ray player. No difference between them I find.

    5) I will be using Fxi's in the rear eventually, but what about for the meantime? Leave them where they are? Set them to bipole instead of dipole?

  11. #11

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    1) Why have you been considering a new AVR? Just for more power, or are there other features you're looking for? If you're just looking for more power, you are MUCH better off by adding an external power amp instead. No AVR can match a good external power amp!

    2) Sounds good, but try running the sides and rears a couple db hot.

    3) Sounds good. Just make sure you're letting the native DD or DTS soundtrack play through.

    4) Sounds good.

    5) Leave them where they're at. Try bipole.

    6) Sub: get an SVS or two!!!
    Last edited by falconcry72; 04-11-2013 at 08:06 PM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  12. #12

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    I was looking for more power and more features, specifically more HDMI inputs. If you have a recommendation for a power amp that would help too I guess. Might be cheaper than a whole new AVR. The decoding is fine as well, I know that for sure. I will try running the sides and rears a few dB's hotter and change the sides to bipole and see what happens. Thank you kindly for the help, will update once I try it out!

  13. #13

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    What kind of budget will you have for an amp? You can look at Parasound, Emotiva, or Adcom just to name a few. Running 7.1 with an AVR you may be better off running a 5ch amp and running a 2 of you rears off your AVR to give them full wattage and no strain on the AVR's power supply. That said, 5ch amps aren't usually cheap. There was a used Parasound HCA-2205 (220w x 5ch) just recently that would have cost just over 1000.
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

  14. #14

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    I went through a similar situation a few years ago, but had 4 RTI10s (predecessor to the RTI A7s) and a CSi5. I started out with an old Sony receiver, nothing special, and although it was better than my old satellites, I wasn't all that impressed either. I proceeded to buy a receiver with more power, and again, a little better, but something was still missing. I ended up trying a few different setups, starting out with 3 Outlaw mono blocks for the front stage and using my receiver solely for the rear speakers. Things were starting to get better! I eventually sold the monoblocks and ended up with an Emotiva XPA-5, only using my AVR as a processor. I can vouch for more power making a HUGE difference. I'd actually like to find a pair of RTI12s or an RTiA9 to replace the front speakers, but aside from that, I think things sound great and I've never reached the upper volume limit. I concur with others, look for an actual amp to power your speakers and use your AVR to process your sound.

  15. #15

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    The Emotiva 5 channel amp is priced right but if I'm going to get a power amp, I might as well go all the way with a pre as well, which is why the AVR route is so appealing. I need more high speed HDMI ports which I would get with a newer AVR. Emotiva makes a nice affordable 7 ch. pre but their 7ch. Power amp is crazy expensive. They make a 100W model as well but that doesn't solve the power shortage. I'm trying to spend as little as possible here, 1500 is a good number I think.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaveydude View Post
    The Emotiva 5 channel amp is priced right but if I'm going to get a power amp, I might as well go all the way with a pre as well, which is why the AVR route is so appealing. I need more high speed HDMI ports which I would get with a newer AVR. Emotiva makes a nice affordable 7 ch. pre but their 7ch. Power amp is crazy expensive. They make a 100W model as well but that doesn't solve the power shortage. I'm trying to spend as little as possible here, 1500 is a good number I think.
    The emotiva XPA-5, I believe would be a good decision. It packs 200wpc and would def. help you get the most out of your center and L/R A9s! Your AVR can power a set of your rear/surround speakers with no problems! I wouldn't really consider a 100wpc amp unless you do a nice 2ch amp to run your Left and Right A9s, then a smaller 5ch could run center and rear duties fairly well I'd think.
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

  17. #17

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    A 150W AVR wouldn't cut it though, would it?

  18. #18

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    I'd go with the Emotiva XPA-5 with your current AVR...
    Samsung UN55C6500 55" LED
    Onkyo TX-NR3007
    Polk Audio RT5000
    -RT3000 front
    -CS1000 center
    -FX1000 dipole
    Polk Audio PSW1000 5.1 sub
    Polk Audio microPRO 4000 x2 5.2 subs

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaveydude View Post
    A 150W AVR wouldn't cut it though, would it?
    By itself? No. Every speaker you add to an AVR lowers the wattage it can put out. Most wattage on AVR is rated with only 2 channels actually being driven. My onkyo for example puts out 135w but only 2 channels being driven. Any more speakers after the first 2 that are hooked up start dropping the output to each speaker. (hopefully this makes sense). This is why we are recommending you get a 5ch amplifier to run your center, L, R, and 2 of your surrounds. Your other set of surrounds can be run off your AVR and receive all the power the AVR can offer without stressing it.

    If you run all your speakers from that one AVR, your in essense getting, maybe 50ish or less watts per channel. There is a way to figure the actual number, but every speaker added after the first 2 makes the output drop significantly.
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris23120 View Post
    I'd go with the Emotiva XPA-5 with your current AVR...
    Agreed!
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

  21. #21

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    What do I do when I want to upgrade the pre to add more functionality? Buy a whole new AVR to act as a 7 channel preamp for my 5 channel power amp? Would it be easier if I switched my mains to my Monitor 50's??

  22. #22

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    [QUOTE=Peaveydude;1907540]What do I do when I want to upgrade the pre to add more functionality? Buy a whole new AVR to act as a 7 channel preamp for my 5 channel power amp?[QUOTE]

    In a word Yes. Thats how I use mine. Now I'm sure there is a such thing as a HT preamp to support multiple channels but I can not speak to those.
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

  23. #23

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    From a cost effectiveness standpoint it seems rather less than ideal doesn't it? An Emotiva 7 channel preamp is 499 and an AVR like mine is at least 1200. Then you add the 900 for a 5 channel power amp. Unless of course when you go the AVR/Emotiva route you don't need to buy a 1200 AVR anymore?

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaveydude View Post
    1) I was considering a new AVR anyway, recommendations?

    2) I've used Audyssey in the past but it sounds flat and lifeless I find. I've been turning it off and using a meter to balance the channels.

    3) Everything is set for Dolby Digital 5.1. PS3 is set for 7.1.

    4) Mostly Blu-ray Discs from the PS3 or my Panasonic blu ray player. No difference between them I find.

    5) I will be using Fxi's in the rear eventually, but what about for the meantime? Leave them where they are? Set them to bipole instead of dipole?
    To calibrate with Audyssey correctly and end up with good sound you need to use a great boom stand to hold the mic. Just like this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and you'll need an adapter to attach the audyssey microphone. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Buy those and place you mic in different spots in the sweet spot about 1-2 feet apart from each spot and use as many listening spots as you can so the system can get a good reading of your room and make the right adjustments. So if you can do up to 8 spots use them all. Don't put the mic up close to a wall or a chair back and it will sound like a whole new system! Just make sure the house is dead quiet when you do it.. turn off the furnace/fridge or anything else that make the slightest noise.

    You cant just hold the mic with your hand and the mic should be level and point at the ceiling.

    Theres a ton of info in there main Offical Audssesy Thread here. http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/off...#post_21782993

    Night and day difference from before.. Before it was bad the first time I did it just holding the mic with my hand.. everything sounded bright as hell and nasty.. afterwards with the boom mic stand it sounds like I bought all new speakers and they never ever sounded that good before in the last 10 years!
    Last edited by eclypse; 04-13-2013 at 12:31 PM.
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

  25. #25

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    With your room i'd swap the rear speakers. Put the FXi speakers in the rear like 2-3 feet from the sides about 2 feet above ear level set on Bipole and the others where the others were as that looks like the ideal spot 2 feet above head level and to the side of the sweet spot just shooting there sound above you with those switched to bipole Or just get another set of Fxis for the rear.. of course try out the swap first.
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

  26. #26

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    Peaveydude, welcome!

    Falcon has pretty much summed most of it up! I agree with the surround set up, keep the FX's in surround as they provide more content than the rears. I also prefer mine in bipole mode. And as suggested, if you can upgrade your rears to fx's, go for it.

    If your current AVR is a 7.x with pre-outs, your solution is an easy one, XPA-5 and XPA-2. I've found in my set up, the XPA-2 does a GREAT job at driving my A9's. My XPA-3 drives the center and surrounds.

    Also in my experience, the more power you feed the 9's, the better they play.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


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    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  27. #27

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    I can do the Emotiva thing, but I still have an outdated AVR that needs to be replaced. I've started looking for an AVR where it's rated wattage is with all channels driven. Assuming this even exists. That way I would be getting a bit of both worlds. If all else fails I can still just get a 2 or 3 channel amp for the front.....

  28. #28

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    I don't think there is such a thing.. people say don't worry about watts on a receiver as your better off with a separate amp. All that matters is getting the features you want and the pre-outs to run the sep amps.

    Looking at the Denon line the cheapest (newest line) receiver that has pre-outs starts at the 3313ci. I was looking at the model below that till I realized that it didn't have pre-outs. Lukcy enough for me I was smart enough to go up to the next model that did.. just wish I went all the way to grab the 4520 since it had a full set of pre-outs and the best Aud version at XT512. Learn about this too late to return it!

    Emotiva has a new preamp that's cheap that would give you a lot that one would want in a receiver but 0 amp so you would have to grab a XPA-5 to run the speakers.
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

  29. #29

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    So I see a lot of recommendations for bi/dipole speakers for the back surrounds along with bi/dipole for sides. I always thought the rears were better being direct firing with bi/dipoles on the side? I'm assuming its a "what sounds best to you" sort of situation, but is there a basic rule of thumb?

    Even with direct firing in the back, I rarely hear sound from the rear speakers in the front row, I only hear specific sound from the rears if sitting in the back row. If i use bi/dipoles for the rear surrounds, there's even less chance of that. Should I be hearing specific sound from the rear surrounds from the front row seating?
    Sharp LC-80LE632U
    Pioneer SC-07
    Parasound 1500A (L&R)
    Rotel RMB-1095 (C, SS, SB)
    Front: Rti12's
    Center: Csi A6
    Side & Rear Surrounds: Mirage OMD-5
    Subs: Epik Legend x 2 and SVS PB12/+2
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    Pioneer BDP-320
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  30. #30

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    Calibrate the speakers from the front row seating. Level them all off from the front row and you should hear from the rears..
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

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