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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Having real problems with my sound being too bright from my fronts.

My setup consists of:

Monitor Audio Radius 270 fronts (no centre)
KEF 3005 rears
powered by a Yamaha DSP AX761 amp
paired with a Quad L-ite sub.

I demoed the R270s with an Arcam Movie Solo and found that they generally sounded neutral, easy on the ear, whilst still extremely detailed, fast and punchy.

I did plan buying an Arcam DiVA AVR280 7.1 amp to run these (£600), but due to money constraints and the fact I was/am going to get a PS3 for Blu Ray duties I decided on getting the Yamaha as it was on sale from £500 to £200 and it accepts LPCM over HDMI.

Big mistake, I'm finding 50% of movies an ear ache at the level of sound I like for movies.

Anyone got any ideas :hide:
 

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sounds like you need some sort of Equalizer for on your mains. You can buy a stereo 1/3 octave eq used on ebay for around $100.
You place them between your receiver/processor and the amp that powers your mains. This will allow you to flatten the sound that your MA 270's output.
 

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Having real problems with my sound being too bright from my fronts.

I demoed the R270s with an Arcam Movie Solo and found that they generally sounded neutral, easy on the ear, whilst still extremely detailed, fast and punchy.

:hide:
First of all ... Welcome :wave: :wave: :wave:

Where did you heard the speakers with the Arcam??? ... at the dealers??? :dontknow:
If that's the case, maybe it won't help you ... you need to listening to them at your place (if it was a dealer I'm sure that have a treated room with accoustic panels :yes:)

I read that some speakers sound bright because of the room ... Have you used the autocalibration feature in your Yamaha??? ... that will help a little; I saw your other thread about the sub problem too; Do you have any accoustical treatment installed??? ... if not, you can start using some and see if the sound changes :yes:
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys!

I'm going to put my rug back down on the floor, to see if that helps, I want carpet eventually, which should help to.

DTS films seems to bring the worst out of films, Die Hard 4.0 especially. I can absolutely crank Transformers right up with no problems, also when my mate comes round with his PS3 we have so far watched Hitman:DTS HDMA and Rambo:DDTrueHD

I was wondering what 'real' power rating do you think I'm getting out of the Yamaha amp, I have a suspicion it isn't the 90watts they state. The reason I ask with some films, at high volume, I can hear something not right, I don't think it's distortion coming from the speakers, but I'm no expert!

I have been thinking about using either an Arcam power amp or an integrated amp that can be switched to be able to be used as a power amp. I would like to go down the integrated route as I can then keep my music away from the Yamaha and I can use a squeezebox with an external DAC too.

The only problem is will I gain anything from using a 50w integrated amp as I can get a brand new one at half price, which is within my budget or I could pick up a second hand 100w power amp.

Am I going down the wrong route?
 

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Have you run the YAPO on the Yamaha? the built in room correction should fix the peeks and dips in your speakers response.
How far do you turn up the Yamaha when watching movies at the volume you like? The Monitor Audio's maximum output is 140watts at 107.5 dB, and peak reference for movies is higher than that and could overload your speakers or the Yamahas amp.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, yous lot are very helpful literally every comment is helpful :T

Yer thanks I run the auto setup, I'm still trying to decide which setup is best Flat, Natural or Front, any one care to take an educated guess :scratchhead:?

I run most films at -10, but some films need to be at -5, Rambo on BluRay needed to be on 0, but I think that was because of the PS3 not the film.

I hate to say, as I'm against using a centre if the seating position is in the sweet spot, but will a centre like an R225 help? I really don't want to ruin my soundstage though.

If it is indeed the amp topping out would you say a power amp or whole new amp?
 

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Elite Shackster
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Yer thanks I run the auto setup, I'm still trying to decide which setup is best Flat, Natural or Front, any one care to take an educated guess :scratchhead:?
Which ever one sounds the best :nerd:

Running your speakers at -5 with no center channel in the system shouldn't be to much trouble for your amp. Especially with an 8 ohm load. At -5, film peaks would be right at 100db. With your speakers that is in the neighborhood of 10 watts of needed power. Of course you lose a few db with seating distance so assuming you lose 6db, you still only need 40 watts of power.

The room has the largest impact on the sound of the system after the speakers. Electronics up stream (other than the souce) rarely have any impact on the quality of the sound.

Adding a center channel will take a great deal of strain off of your mains but is the most important speaker in home theater. Make sure it is at least as good as your mains. Soundstaging will only improve as the film was mixed with this channel in mind.

I'd look into:
Room Treatment
Center Channel
New amp

in that order.

If you want take a pic of the room and start a thread over in the Home Audio Acoustics forum of the Shack. There are some extremely smart and helpfull people there!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Adding a center channel will take a great deal of strain off of your mains but is the most important speaker in home theater. Make sure it is at least as good as your mains. Soundstaging will only improve as the film was mixed with this channel in mind.
For me the Negatives out weigh the positives for a centre.

1. A different sized speaker
2. Tweeters wouldn't be in-line
3. R270s stand vertically, while the R225 would sit horizontally

Also when I had a centre the temptation is always there to boost the volume a tad, which IMO ruins all the hard work the film makers did setting the volumes etc

£200 is alot of money to waste if it doesn't help things, I'll post a pic to show you my setup, might help.
 

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Yer thanks I run the auto setup, I'm still trying to decide which setup is best Flat, Natural or Front, any one care to take an educated guess :scratchhead:?
How many memories can you save in your AVR??? ... I have RXV 2700 and I can save 6; so what I did is I ran YPAO one in flat and another in natural and save it on the AVR. (To tell you the truth, I couldn't hear a big difference between them; but I suppose if you have to choose one ... choose flat :yes:)

I hate to say, as I'm against using a centre if the seating position is in the sweet spot, but will a centre like an R225 help? I really don't want to ruin my soundstage though.
Could this be an issue??? ... if you're sending the center channel signal to front, maybe they're demanding more power from AVR and that's why they don't sound to good (I don't know exactly how AVR works) ... :dontknow:

Try to use any speaker as a center and see what happens ...

If it is indeed the amp topping out would you say a power amp or whole new amp?
If it were me, I go with an external amp for the fronts ... your AVR has the preout already.

I don't will be the same to get a 200WPC amp just for the front than a new AVR with 140WPC to run all speakers :bigsmile:

Double or triple check your settings ... to be sure you haven't engage something that is cutting the power to speakers (night mode, LFE output, speaker levels, etc...) :bigsmile:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The room has the largest impact on the sound of the system after the speakers. Electronics up stream (other than the souce) rarely have any impact on the quality of the sound.
Surely an amp like a Yamaha (IMO brighter than Denon, Marantz, Onkyo & Pioneer) compared to a very warm, musical amp like an Arcam or even on the cheaper scale Cambridge Audio there is going to be a big difference in the tone of the sound, granted not as big as the room though.

My problem is considering the listening room is my lounge and its small I can't do a lot with it as we kinda try to not clutter it up, I need a bigger house :hissyfit:
 

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Nice set up ... :T

Definetely I think you need room treatments ...:yes:

I'm not an expert on accoustic, so I suggest to start a thread on the accoustic section :yes: ... I know we have to use/set according to the room we have; the speaker near the window and near the walls are not helping you ... I'm sure there's a lot of reflections there :yes:
 

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Elite Shackster
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Nice setup indeed!

Ya bare walls, wood floors, sliding glass door... lots of reflections. Head over to the Acoustics forum with those pics. I suspect they can help you the most:T

Also when I had a centre the temptation is always there to boost the volume a tad, which IMO ruins all the hard work the film makers did setting the volumes etc
If that were the case listening to a movie at anything but reference would ruin the hard work? IMHO the center channel is the single most important speaker in the system. It literally carries 90% of the sound in a movie. The sound engineers also mix with the channel in mind so for the most accurate reproduction a center is necessary.

As for differences in sound quality from amplifiers... it remains to be seen a credible double blind listening test that can prove a difference between amplifiers with nill distortion operating within their design limits. I'm not saying there is no difference, just that the differences are infintesimally small compared to something like room acoustics or speakers.

When I calculated the power draw for your mains I forgot you were running a phantom center. I think this summing of channels can increase output by 3db which could put you close to the rated output of the Yamaha.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How can you say I have a nice setup when you got M&K!!!! Makes me want to work harder or move to the US so I don't get rinsed by the dreaded £ :gah:

So after your workings out I am indeed topping out the Yamaha, so what sort of power rating 2ch amp should I be looking at pre-outing to? :scratchhead:

Can't believe how helpful you guys are! :jump:
 

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Elite Shackster
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How can you say I have a nice setup when you got M&K!!!! Makes me want to work harder or move to the US so I don't get rinsed by the dreaded £ :gah:
Thanks! I hear you. I traveled to Europe earlier this year. $$ don't get much over there.

So after your workings out I am indeed topping out the Yamaha, so what sort of power rating 2ch amp should I be looking at pre-outing to?
Given a worst case senario, at -5 on the mater volume (assuming your channel levels are all set at 0), 6db loss from speaker to seat and 3 db from the phantom center, you'd need 109db at 1 meter from the speaker. The specs on those state 107 as max SPL so you would not be able to achive this without risking your speakers. In practice though (and from the looks of your room) you're probably not losing 6db from the speaker to the couch. Also, reference level sound effects are extremely rare in film soundtracks and are usually very short. Gunfire, explosions etc... So on loud continuous playback it is not likely that your amp is overloaded unless something is wrong. Also, amplifiers of this type function normally with low distortion until just below it's limits. So you're probably not running out of power. If you want to upgrade your amp I'd look at something in the 150 watt neighborhood as the manufacturer recommends.
 

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So after your workings out I am indeed topping out the Yamaha, so what sort of power rating 2ch amp should I be looking at pre-outing to? :scratchhead:
At least 200RMS ... more is better (just don't turn it all the way up :bigsmile:)

Here is some choices (I read good things from members using Crown, QSC, Nady... I have an old Gemini for my DJ equipment that I use for music) :bigsmile:
 

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I wouldn't go more than 200Watts per channel, the cost of anything larger is a waste of money and wont be of any benefit to you.
Samson makes some nice inexpensive amps, There servo line is nice because most of them dont have cooling fans they rely on convection for cooling and have Toroidal Power Transformers for clean efficient power.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Also when I had a centre the temptation is always there to boost the volume a tad, which IMO ruins all the hard work the film makers did setting the volumes etc

If that were the case listening to a movie at anything but reference would ruin the hard work? IMHO the center channel is the single most important speaker in the system. It literally carries 90% of the sound in a movie. The sound engineers also mix with the channel in mind so for the most accurate reproduction a center is necessary.
:boxer: Well lowering the volumes of all channels is different, I would argue its similar to turning up the volume of the rears too high, its not what the director intended. Also considering the centre channel is a mono channel any decent amp can down-mix them and any decent pair of matching speakers will be able to project a good front image. I bet as long as you have the centre at the correct volume :neener: if somebody turned your centre off without you knowing and you was sitting in the sweet spot you wouldn't notice!

Just a light bit of debate and banter, not trying to offend by the way :innocent:
 

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I bet as long as you have the centre at the correct volume :neener: if somebody turned your centre off without you knowing and you was sitting in the sweet spot you wouldn't notice!

Just a light bit of debate and banter, not trying to offend by the way :innocent:
Boxing gloves on....:bigsmile:
That is somewhat true BUT your speaker placement, room size and shape is far from ideal and you would benefit greatly from a center channel you should also consider spreading out your fronts so that they are farther apart to improve the imaging of the 5.1 audio. By mixing the dialog into the left and right channels you are actually reducing the separation of the front image in movies as well .
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
:time-out:

Very interesting, so hypothetically of course :nerd: what benefits would I get using a Samson Servo 300 only 100watts into 8ohms though, the only one up on this has more than twice the power at 225watts into 8 ohms, the Servo 600 perhaps overkill, but by the look of it, there is a limiter.

Or would I just benefit a whole new receiver that actually has got more grunt, has better DACs and a better power supply? Something like this maybe?

Am I going around in circles :mooooh:
 
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