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  1. #1

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    Red face Am I missing something?

    I just bought and set up new HT system - RTi10's front, CSi5 center, RTi4's rear, PSW 505 sub, Denon 3808CI 130x7 receiver, Toshiba A20 HD-DVD, Mitsu RPTV. My room is pretty big - 20x20, but the seating area is approx 12ft in front of TV/front spkrs.

    I was really hoping to get blown out of the water with the sound from this set up - strong front speakers matched with powerful receiver - my first "adult" sound system (i'm 47). It sounds good, don't get me wrong, but I was hoping for outstanding! At low-med volumes, I was hoping for more stage - richer, broader sound - but I'm just not feeling it. I was not expecting to be able to even tolerate the higher volumes, -5db and up, but it doesn't really get intolerably loud - although I have been careful not to push above 0db.

    I am a relative newb to real equipment, but am reasonably well read, I think, and believe everything to be hooked up correctly. Are the RTi10's demanding of that much more power to really shine? Should I bi amp the fronts with the extra channels on the Denon - would that help- it appears in the Denon manual that that is possible to do. Should I have a "pro" come out and check everything and calibrate the audio? I'd rather not spring for a separate amp at the present, plus nearing the end of 30 day return period, if my expectations are too high and I should be buying something different period. I have had the set up for about 3 weeks, so hopefully the speakers are broken in.

    When shopping for the speakers, access to the Polk forums were a real differentiated selling point for me, and now it looks as though I can use your help already! Sorry if I am a complete newb, but can anybody comment?

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the club.

    You have a very nice setup.

    Now how have you connected your gear? Have you used the calibration mic w/ your receiver? How is your sub hooked up? what x over settings did you choose ?

  3. #3

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    Have you got into the Denon's setup menu at all and played with the channel levels and crossover settings? I'm guessing there is still a lot of tweaking to be done. Sub placement?

    edit: basically dup of above

  4. #4

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    Wow. Thanks for the quick replies!

    Did the auto set up on the Denon - Audysee, whatever it's called - distances came back all crazy - .3 feet, etc. - so I did the system reboot and set the distances myself by tape measure from the center listening position. I have not done the channel levels - is that where you set the individual speaker volumes to be equally loud at the listening position? Denon has a tone generator for this I believe - can I do this manually or do I go to Radio Shack for $50 sound meter? Are the rears supposed to be as loud as the fronts when doing this? I have also not done any individual spkr equalization.

    Sub is set up LFE+main, +15db (as per Denon manual), 80hz crossover thru the receiver - on the sub itself, volume is just past half (more and it's pretty overwhelming) and the crossover knob (?) on the sub is pegged up all the way, again, as per the Denon manual. Sub is placed about 2 ft out of corner on left side of set up, approx 5ft from left front spkr. Front spkrs are approx 2ft out on either side of TV, slightly toed in.

    I have not done any crossover settings for the other speakers - I think this can be done as per Denon - if so, where should these be set?

    Hope I am making sense here...forgive me if my terminology is confused...thx again!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by brikr View Post
    I have not done the channel levels - is that where you set the individual speaker volumes to be equally loud at the listening position? Denon has a tone generator for this I believe - can I do this manually or do I go to Radio Shack for $50 sound meter? Are the rears supposed to be as loud as the fronts when doing this?
    Yes. You use Denon's tone generator in conjunction with the Rat Shack meter. Yes, the rears should be as loud as the front.

    I like to bump my L/R/C to +5 or +6, then try to match everything from there.

  6. #6

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    You are making sense !

    When you did the auto set up, did you put the Mic in the general listening position?
    You can set the volume for each speaker by ear for now and or you can go buy the SPL meter from Ratshack. Another good idea is to buy, find or borrow a set up disk , like Avia or DVE.

    THX ( not that that means the world , but it's a starting point) suggests that xover should be 80.
    FWIW, I have my rti8's xover @60, but I'm also powering them with monoblocks giving them 200w each. So play around and try it. Your 10s can go low enough you may wish to try 60 as well.
    Your sub seems to be hooked up correctly.

  7. #7

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    Welcome. You have a great system, it just really needs more power.

    A common misconception foisted on the unknowing public is that it is NOT really 130wpc x 7. You should take that 130 & divide it by 7 which comes out to a little over 18.5wpc. You might get the 130 running in 2 channel, but you won't get it with all 7 channels running together.

    See how you like it once you have done the calibration. Maybe that is all that you need to be satisfied. If not, instead of taking back the entire system just start saving money to get a 5 channel amplifier of at least 200wpc.

    You can get more bang for the buck going used from Audiogon.

    But one step at a time, do the calibration & see how you like it, then report back here.

    Welcome once again.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  8. #8

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    Thx again for the replies.

    I did have the mic set up on a camera tripod in the listening position - actually the Denon has you do 6 positions - but my 10 year old was running around while I was doing this, so maybe I should try this again - this time by myself! Although I have read about complaints on this auto setup often being inaccurate.

    Should I try bi amping with the Denon? I would guess this would not be as impactful as a separate amp, but I believe the receiver allows me to do the 5.1 set up and then employ the unused surrounds (for 7.1) to bi amp the fronts? Does this add more power to the RTi10's and give me bigger sound?

    Thanks for taking the time with me - I'm like a kid in a candy store learning and playing with this - but sorry if it's all remedial to you...
    wait til I try to set up the ethernet/networking capability of this pig...yikes

  9. #9

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    Are you using a digital connection to your dvd player?

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    As for bi-amping with the un-used channels. IMO this is not worth it, after all power for all the speakers is coming from one power supply. So it's not like you are accessing a different amplifier. I tried this on my Elite receiver and RTi-10s and thought it sounded better NOT bi-amped.

    As suggested above do set the speaker levels. Another suggestion is to try speaker placement. I found my RTi-10s had a better separation and stage when I toed them in a little towards the listening position and most importantly angling them back slightly. Using a level I would guess around a quarter bubble. This last change was very noticeable to me.

    Edit to add: How far out from the wall are your speakers sitting? they should be out a foot or more into the room.
    AVR: Elite VSX-21TXH
    Amplifier: B&K 7250 Series ii
    Misc: Velodyne SMS-1
    Mains: RTi-10
    Center: CSi-5
    Rear: Boston DSi460
    Sub: SVS PC-Ultra
    TV: Panasonic TC-P58V10
    DVD: Panasonic DMP-BD60K

  11. #11

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    HDMI to the dvd, HDMI from receiver to TV, DVI from cable box into HDMI to TV/component audio from cable box to receiver - interestingly, cannot evidently do the DVI video from cable box to the receiver - video signal will not pass through rec to TV on DVI - Comcast doesn't have all HDMI in my area right now
    14g speaker wire to the mains and surrounds, monster sub cable to subwoofer

  12. #12

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    That's what we are here for Brikr!

    The Denon really won't do much cause you are still trying to get more power from the same amp. Some have said that it makes a difference. Try it & see.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  13. #13

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    What if you listen to 2ch on it only? is it better?

    Seems as though you're all connected properly. You need to have it set up and balance all your channels.

  14. #14

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    The fronts are about 18in from the wall - in line w/ front of TV. I do most of music listening on 2 ch - 2.1 w/ sub sounds best - with the DIRECT setting on the rec - it does sound good and even some of the surround mixes sound pretty good as well - I don't mean to beat a dead horse or sound ungrateful - - maybe my sights were set to high on an "audiophile" type of sound...heard some higher end spkrs w/ amps when shopping and figured w/ fairly powerful (?) a/v rec + RTi10's from 12 ft away I could get the same kind of imaging and impact... I just want to make sure I am getting all I should out of the set up - more complex than I thought it would be!

    Quick question on the physics of the bi amp using the one receiver - so if I have it set to 2.1 for music, am I getting all 130w power to the 10's and sub? And if I have it set to 5.1, is the 130w that much more diluted by being split to the 5 spkrs and sub? Also, really newb question, how do I angle these monsters back even slightly safely - is there some kind of special stand for doing that?

    This is like having my own group of experts on call - what a treat you guys are! I won't abuse the privilege and hope to pay it back some day when I know more...

  15. #15

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    Yes for the most part, your sights were set a bit high especially when comparing it to speakers powered by a separate amp. No receiver amplifier can match a separate amplifier.

    But also beware that getting a 100wpc amp might not give you the benefit that you are looking for either. Most including myself have found that 200wpc gives you the power you need to really hear a difference. (Especially for the purposes of Home Theater where there are lots of big explosions & whatnot that stress a receiver.) But music will benefit greatly as well.

    Outlaw Audio, www.outlawaudio.com has some good bang for the buck 200wpc amps.

    All speakers benefit from more power. (this is something that no one tells you in a store.) Most of the reason for this is because it DOES mean spending more money but having to go to another more specialized store in order to get what you need.

    Another reason is that some feel that lower priced speakers are not deserving of separate amplification whether they would benefit from it or not.

    Your thoughts on the other questions basically sum up why you aren't being wowed by your system as it stands.

    But you have put together a terrific system, now you just have to get the power that all your speakers need to really hear what they are capable of.

    I wouldn't be trying to tip those monsters back at all! try to pull them out from the wall a bit more & try toeing them in or out until you are satisfied with the sound.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  16. #16

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    Hey -

    Not that you were losing any sleep over it, but I just wanted to get back to you all. I spent a fair amount of time tweaking and listening over the weekend - did not get the time to try the bi amp - but anyway, watched a movie, listened to a bunch of cd's and even some .wma's on a flash drive - and REALLY started to enjoy the sounds emanating from this set up. A combination of the tweaks you all suggested, plus maybe the speakers breaking in a little more, the particular music or just having a beer in me and relaxing -whatever - it does sound great.

    So anyway, thanks again for talking me in off the ledge and for your suggestions and encouragement!

    Glad to be a Polkie.

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