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  1. #511

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    You might give them a try anyway, just to see what happens.

    Jim

  2. #512

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    Unfortunately due to other furnature, etc. it just won't be possible. Bummer town.

  3. #513

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    Talking

    Our Surroundbar and 42"G10 is within a Cabinet, SW is just to left of it, with some polk rears behind couch.

    The speaker calibration with the Onyko 906 Audyssey MultEQ XT took a couple of tries to match speaker placement/distance, but sounds great now with the Surroundbar (best final calibration was completed in middle of night with our two furnaces off). The addition of rears does provide a effective wrap around of sound. It would also sound thin without a SW.

    I also agree that a good set of "B" channel speakers + SW works best with music.

    Our living room is 18' deep by 12' wide, cabinet in center of one on the 12' walls. Listening to movies with Surroundbar + SW + rears does provide a very good soundstage for our viewing area. We sit 9' from screen.

    Relatives who get to view a movie here are always surprised with the sound stage of the Surroundbar. Works very well for us.

    My spouse especially likes the lack of speakers everywhere. But just like the episode of Modern Family last night, she does require some assistance on occasion with the Logitech controller. She laughed her head off last night.
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  4. #514

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    Great pic Infotree....you in the system showcase yet?

  5. #515

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    Will do that!

  6. #516

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    A bit more time was spent with the surroundbar. The bar sounds great, but the soundstage feels so lacking, even with 2-channel audio... Any other hints or pro-tips out there to help? Thanks!

  7. #517

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    Have you calibrated it? Make sure you're not running thin on your front stage levels...center channel especially. I've found it best to boost them. YMMV.

  8. #518

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    I've read to boost the surrounds, but not the front stage levels. Also, for movies, I do boost the center channel.

  9. #519

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    Hmmmm...got a couple pics of how you have it physically setup? Just curious.

  10. #520

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    Yeah, I'll get some pics up this evening. Something just seems odd, and I can't quite figure out the problem. Here is a crude layout of the room: (Listening position is center of the green box)


  11. #521

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    That's good enough for me. Has it always been off? Are you sure a soundfield isn't engaged on the AVR? Do you use an EQ of any kind?

  12. #522

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    With my previous crap speakers from some old HTIB, there was a wider soundstage. There is no soundfield engaged on the AVR. No EQ either.

  13. #523

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    Played more this weekend with different delay/distance settings on the AVR and just cannot get this thing to sing. I know my listening position is not optimal, but I feel that I should be getting at least 180 degrees of sound.

  14. #524

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    One Polk tech support guy told me that 180 is the best you can expect from the SB42. This past week I was reviewing the SB Instant Home Theater. It did much better, even creating sounds behind my listening position. This is from a two channel system.

    This is just a guess, but I can't help thinking that your seating is too close to the back wall. Have you tried sitting closer to the SB?

    Jim

  15. #525

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    I wish that i was getting 180. I know that I should be further from the back wall, but in my space, it is just not possible due to other furniture and the size of my couch.

    FWIW, I did demo some Monitor 60's a few months ago, and the sound stage was magnificent in exactly the same setup and listening position.

  16. #526

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    Default Review: SurroundBar Instant Home Theater

    I have always been intrigued Polk Audio's SurroundBar technology since their first model came out. I have the SurroundBar 42" in my home theater. When a chance to test a SurroundBar Instant Home Theater I jumped at it.

    Since the SB IHT can accept any stereo line level input, I thought I would first give it a try as a stereo computer speaker. I first set it in front of my dual Apple Cinema Displays, and connected it up using a Griffin iMic as a USB digital-analog converter. Using an 1/8" mini-jack to RCA stereo pair adaptor cable I plugged the RCA ends into the SB inputs, connected the power cables to the SB and wireless subwoofer. I set the subwoofer on the floor near the corner of my office. Launching iTunes and playing a variety of music it soon became apparent that the SB was too close to my ears (27") and too crowded by other desktop stuff for the SDA effect to fully develop. I got a good spread of soundstage to the right, but it seemed like the printer to the left obstructed the sound. I would like to have been able to tuck the SB under the displays, but it is too tall for that; I would have to buy some articulating monitor arms to make that arrangement work. So my next step was to mount the SB on the wall above the window across from my desk. I made some angled blocks so that I could aim the SB downward 30 degrees towards ear level at my sitting position at my desk. Now 7 feet away and completely unobstructed, the SDA effect was fully developed, spreading out to fill the 12 foot wide space and about 150. This would have been wonderful except that sound quality suffered from wall mounting. Upper bass or lower mid range notes resonated in this 12' x 10' room in a very unpleasant way. I don't fault the SB for this; I think it is a room effect aggravated by mounting the SB on the wall. My last option was to set the SB on an open shelf behind and above my monitors. This puts the SB-IHT about 36" away and just above ear level. This proved to be just about right; I still get a 150 soundstage spread and the resonance is gone.

    I have never had computer speakers before, so I can't compare with others of the type. I can say that sound quality is very clean, stereo imaging is good and the subwoofer, when properly located, provides just the right amount of bass. The only downside of the SDA-IHT for this use is that it will reveal the defects of low bit rate MP3s. Most of my iTunes library is encoded at 320 kbps or in Apple Lossless. I definitely notice the difference on those that are encoded at lower bit rates. I kept this setup for a week and continued to like what I heard.

    After a week as a computer speaker I then replaced my SurroundBar 42 with the SB IHT in my home theater rig. My SB42 is mounted on the same pivoting bracket as my 37" Sharp Aquos, positioned above the screen. I have found that I get a wider soundstage if the SB is above most of the surrounding furniture. For over the air HDTV the IHT worked fine and sounds a lot better than the TV's built in speakers. But I was really surprised by its performance as a surround sound speaker. This is, of course, a 2 channel stereo speaker and yet I found that the sound really did wrap around me. One movie, There Will Be Blood, has a pipeline construction scene where hammering noises actually sounded like they came from behind me. This is better than the SB42 ever did. The IHT had plenty of power to fill a 13' x 19' room with sound and the subwoofer, while not thunderous, delivered low end thump that was satisfactory enough. I did miss having a center channel. I like to be able to boost the volume of the center if the other channels overwhelm the dialog.

    If I had to choose all over again between the original 42" SurroundBar and the SurroundBar Instant Home Theater I would go for the IHT based on its greater surround stage.
    5.1 System:
    Sharp Aquos 37" LCD
    Front: SDA-CRS+
    Center: CS400i
    Surround: Monitor 7A
    PSW10 subwoofer
    Onkyo PR-SC886P Pre/Pro
    NAD T955 5 channel power amplifier
    Technics SL-1710 MK2 turntable
    Audio-Technica AT14Sa cartridge
    NAD 106 pre-amp
    Panasonic DMP-BD85 Blu-Ray
    MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz

    2.0 Office System:
    Monitor 10A (Peerless)
    Outlaw 1050 receiver
    Parasound HCA-1000A power amp
    MacPro

  17. #527

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo1421 View Post
    One Polk tech support guy told me that 180 is the best you can expect from the SB42.
    I completely agree.

    The SB50 is a much better overall unit and SDA's a helluva lot better. The only Polk SBar that really blew my mind was the SB 360.

  18. #528

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    Really?

    I've been pondering the 360 system for TLW....hmmmmmmm.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  19. #529

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    You know who to get the what and enjoy the what what after she gets her what on with the fact you bought the what from the who.

  20. #530

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    Since my last post, I've spent a ton more time tweaking and playing with the SurroundBAR. Probably unsurprising to you all, the speaker is starting to grow on me.

    I replaced my old Sony HTIB receiver with an Onkyo TX-SR507, and the SurroundBAR is starting to shine. I ran Audyssey a few times and tweaked some settings here and there, and BAM, soundstage.

    I think my big problem before was paying too much attention to where the sound was coming from on the speaker. Every time I listened to 5.1 tracks, the surround effects sounded un-realistic and very clearly coming from the speaker. Once I stopped paying attention, and just watched movies, I began hearing surround sounds to the side of me. Of course the speaker will never sound the same as a standard 5.1 system, but it's starting to sound really good. In combining the SurroundBAR with the Onkyo AVR Listening Modes (especially the DTS Neo:6 Music mode for music), the soundstage has appeared.

    I plan on writing a full review soon, but for me at least, the SurroundBAR took some patience to get right. Thanks all for your continued help and support. I look forward to making the SurroundBAR sound even better in the years to come.

  21. #531

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    Mini Review:

    I installed the SurroundBar 42" for my father, which I bought off of this forum from a friend of mine. My father is technology illiterate, so I spared him all of the features and such and did a basic hook-up so as to not confuse him too much. He likes it now (it took a little while for it to grow on him), but something was always lacking to me. I realize that I had a skewed perception of what to expect being a 5.1 guy for the last ten or so years. Something just missed with this - admittedly it could be that I haven't tweaked it properly or something along those lines.

    Well, fast forward. After The IHT demo, I hooked the 50 up to my father-in-laws rig. Let me tell you something, this thing can really sound good. He has an entry level Yamaha AVR and no blu-ray. But the sound in his room (which is a perfect application for the surroundbar) was GREAT. The fit and finish of the 50 really blends well with teh television and components. It filled his room and was a much better "filler" that the 42" in my dads room. Whoever expects the 360 sound from this and to truly mimick a 5.1 set-up will be disappointed I think. In order to get the true demo you have to use a subwoofer. You can use it without one, but bass washes out other sounds from this speaker if you do not have a sub. But if you go into this with a realistic appreciation of what to expect from one speaker, you will be impressed. Surprisingly, he preferred the IHT set-up mostly because of its ease of hookup and use, as well as the subwoofer component for the IHT. However he admitted that he would choose the IHT because of price and convenience vs. the much better sound of the 50.

    I was actually looking to put together a small rig for the bedroom or the kids playroom. After this demo, i have completely changed my mind. When I am ready to set it up and when funds allow the 50" will be on my short list of rigs to get for these applications.

    Shawn

  22. #532

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    Exclamation Trouble in River City

    I am trying to use the 360 surround bar with an analog tv, about an 8 yr old picture in picture sony tv without much success. I can get sound from the Polk player, cds and dvds, but no sound from the tv or picture from the player on the tv. I've tried to do what the guide books says but nothing seems to work. Anybody have any suggestions. I'm a novice at this stuff and when I read all the letter abbreviations I have no idea what people are talking about. This tv does have a place for an s Video cable and I plan to buy the cable and check that out. What does the "s" stand for, Super?http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/images/icons/icon4.gif

  23. #533

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    I am new to this site, hope I put this reply in the right place.

    I purchased the IHT about 2 months ago. My living room is L-shaped and not all that tv friendly. Basically no room for tower speakers and I was not intereseted in running wires/drilling holes for rears. It took longer to take it out of the box than to hook it up. I was very dissappointed with the speakers until I adjusted the gain switch on the back of the sound bar. WOW that made these spekars come to life. I have it on the highest setting and there is absolutely zero distortion. Crystal clear sound. I have the the bass box set at a very low setting and it sounds amazing. The soundbar is hooked up to my cable box, not to my 42 inch LG. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

    I have not watched a DVD on these speakers yet, so I am only basing this on digital cable. Some cable channels sound great, others are somewhat muffled. There is definitely a difference from one channel to the next. ESPN seems to have the best sound quality.

    Do not expect these speakers to take the place of a set of towers. For what they were designed for they do an incredible job. I can't imagine anyone being dissappointed with this soundbar. They were a little pricey compared to others, but what is 100 bucks spread over a few years? I ordered from crutchfield, they were an open box item so I saved $50. You can return them no questions asked if you don't like them, so what do you have to lose?

  24. #534

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    Default SurroundBar SDA IHT vs. SurroundBar 360

    Would anybody like to offer any opinions on the sound of a SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater vs. that of a SurroundBar 360?

    Also, how about the same except what if a PSW111 sub was combined with the SurroundBar 360?

    Thanks in advance!

  25. #535

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    I just purchased a Surroundbar 50 and a PSW111 sub. The soundbar is being connected to a Harman Kardon AVR-254. I am trying to figure out which sub mode I should use:

    1. L/R+LFE which sends all low frequency information to the sub OR
    2. LFE which sends low frequency information in the left and right channels to the front speakers and directs only the LFE channel information to the sub.

    I think #1 is the better option, but I just wanted to make sure.

  26. #536

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    Is it possible to use the SurroundBar 360 without the DVD console? I don't have it, just the speaker. I ohmed out the pin-outs (8-pins) and I get:
    Pin 1-2: 1.2 ohms
    Pin 3-4: ~8 ohms
    Pin 5-6: ~8 ohms
    Pin 7-8: ~8 ohms

    And all other measurements are open circuit (i.e. between Pin 1-4 or 1-7)
    So I'm guessing the pin-pairs 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 are 8-ohm speaker connections (left, center, right)? I don't have a clue what Pins 1-2 are for.
    Can anyone shed some light?

  27. #537

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    Quote Originally Posted by index View Post
    Is it possible to use the SurroundBar 360 without the DVD console? I don't have it, just the speaker. I ohmed out the pin-outs (8-pins) and I get:
    Pin 1-2: 1.2 ohms
    Pin 3-4: ~8 ohms
    Pin 5-6: ~8 ohms
    Pin 7-8: ~8 ohms

    And all other measurements are open circuit (i.e. between Pin 1-4 or 1-7)
    So I'm guessing the pin-pairs 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 are 8-ohm speaker connections (left, center, right)? I don't have a clue what Pins 1-2 are for.
    Can anyone shed some light?
    Unless Polk is willing to provide you with the exact purpose of each pair of pins I would suggest you use a simple test tone to localize what exactly each pins set are driving. You are probably right about your LCR (but should also include the SDA technology). It is to be noted that there are no separate tweeters (the drivers are full range). Try to inject a test tone at pins 1-2 also and see what you get. Also, once you figure out how to drive it, keep in mind you will not want to drive them too hard; maybe 70 - 100 watts per channel max???)

    Good luck!
    TK

  28. #538

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    Thanks, I will run a test tone through each pair this weekend and see what happens.

    Another question: I have a IHT SurroundBar but no power supply. The back requires 24V, 2.7A input. Does anyone know where I can get a fairly cheap power supply that would work with the SurroundBar? Any idea what size connector it needs?

  29. #539

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    Quote Originally Posted by index View Post
    I have a IHT SurroundBar but no power supply. The back requires 24V, 2.7A input. Does anyone know where I can get a fairly cheap power supply that would work with the SurroundBar? Any idea what size connector it needs?
    Did you try Polk customer service?

    Jim

  30. #540

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    Quote Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post
    Unless Polk is willing to provide you with the exact purpose of each pair of pins I would suggest you use a simple test tone to localize what exactly each pins set are driving. You are probably right about your LCR (but should also include the SDA technology). It is to be noted that there are no separate tweeters (the drivers are full range). Try to inject a test tone at pins 1-2 also and see what you get. Also, once you figure out how to drive it, keep in mind you will not want to drive them too hard; maybe 70 - 100 watts per channel max???)

    Good luck!
    TK
    I opened up the speaker grill and there are 8 cones, 4 on the left and 4 on the right.
    I tested the 8-pin connection with a 9-volt as well as my amp and I got the following:
    Pin 1-2: no sound, had to REALLY crank the amp up to hear the sound out of speakers 1 and 2 and gome a bit of distortion along with it.
    Pin 3-4: sound out of speakers 3-4
    Pin 5-6: sound out of speakers 5-6
    Pin 7-8: sound out of speakers 7-8

    seems like the pins are direct inputs to paired speakers.
    I have a hunch that speakers 1-2 (and pins 1-2) are toasted. What could cause the impedance of the speakers to go from 8ohms to ~1.2ohms?

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