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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I have recently built a dedicated theater room which I enjoy tremendously, but I would really love some input and advice on some things that I could do to make my listening experience even better. I have included the floor plan for the room in this thread, so as to give you a better idea what I am facing when trying to improve the sound quality in this space. The layout isn't ideal, but it was all I had to work with in my budget.

My biggest issue is that I have far too little bass in the room for what I was expecting when I purchased my sub. The Velodyne is rated at 1000 watts with a 15" woofer, so I am a bit surprised that I am not getting the response I expected. This could be a very general question, as I am new to this whole level of critical listening, but I "feel" something is off. After reviewing the room and equipment, if anyone has any opinion or comments to make on this issue , or my system in general, please feel free to share it. I appreciate any advice or constructive criticism. All are welcome. Thanks!

My Room



My Equipment

Infocus IN76 DLP Projector
92" Screen Innovations Fixed Screen
Harmon Kardon 635 A/V Receiver
Control4 Home Theater Controller
Sony DVP-CX995V 400 Disc DVD Changer
Pioneer PD-F1009 301-Disc Changer
Bell ExpressVu 9200 / 9220 Dual HDTV Tuner PVR
Xbox 360 (patched into home network)
Athena Audition AS-B2 Speakers (1 pair)
Athena Audition AS-R2 Bi-pole Surrounds (1 pair)
Athena Audition AS-C1 Center Channel Speaker
Velodyne DLS-5000R Subwoofer
Furman Elite 15 Power Conditioner (Components)
Furman AC-215 Compact Power Conditioner (Projector)
 

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Hi George and sorry for the inconvenience... undoubtedly you missed this part of the PM we sent you after registration...

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You must have a minimum of five posts in order to be able to post URL links and for a few other minor features. This is to help protect us from spammers. You may request an exception to this rule if you use the Contact Us link at the forum and simply let us know you are not a spammer. We apologize for this inconvenience.
I have upgraded your account... you can edit your post and include a link/URL if you so desire now.
 
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Oh thanks! I just sent an email requesting this. Sorry for the memory lapse. I read the warning, when I first logged on, but after I wrote my post, it never occurred to me as I hit send. :coocoo:
 

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Hi George,
Have you used an SPL meter to set the balance between speakers and sub., or just the Receivers auto setup?
Are you using bass traps? do you have any acoustic treatments?..
A little more info. would help in sorting out your problem..
 

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Gee George... you wrote a lot for it not to get posted... I hate that. We may have to look at an alternative for slowing down spammers. I know a lot of members may forget.

Are you familiar with REW (Room EQ Wizard)? I think the first thing to do would be make sure your levels are correct, as Prof. suggests. Then I think you should download the latest version of REW and let's measure your response. We may very well see the problem and be able to address it better.
 

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Is this room above or below ground? I'm a big believer in the value of room treatments and proper EQ'ing. I'm going to quote from bpape from another thread as to the methodology to address your problem.

- Deal with what you can first via placement of seating, speakers and sub.
- Treat the room to deal with modal issues and to bring overall decay time into place using broadband treatments
- Use tuned absorbers if feasible to deal with narrow, more stubborn issues
- Use EQ to deal with the last few peaks in response.

Bryan
Have you tried moving your sub around? Moving it closer or further from the wall? Moving to a different corner? A Velodyne DLS-5000R should rock that room like no one's business.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Hi George,
Have you used an SPL meter to set the balance between speakers and sub., or just the Receivers auto setup?
Are you using bass traps? do you have any acoustic treatments?..
A little more info. would help in sorting out your problem..
I have used the auto setup and my home theater guy did check the levels a few months ago and said it was good... but I still don't feel that punch I hoped I would. My bookshelf speakers are setup as LARGE as well as my rear bipoles (which seems a bit strange as they have small 5" drivers), I am going out to buy my own Radio Shack SPL meter and try the REW software with it. Hopefully the stats that I get from that will give someone with good knowledge of the software a good idea where the room/or equipment setup is lacking.

I haven't any bass traps or sound absorbers, although I have seen a few good diy projects that will be wife friendly in the looks department. ;) Although I am unsure where to begin placing them.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Is this room above or below ground? I'm a big believer in the value of room treatments and proper EQ'ing. I'm going to quote from bpape from another thread as to the methodology to address your problem.



Have you tried moving your sub around? Moving it closer or further from the wall? Moving to a different corner? A Velodyne DLS-5000R should rock that room like no one's business.
Hi, Boomie. Thanks for the response. My room is inthe basement with concrete up to 2/3 of the wall behind the drywall. I haven't moved the sub too much yet, just where the theater guys placed it, but now I want to tune it to my ears..
 

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My bookshelf speakers are setup as LARGE as well as my rear bipoles (which seems a bit strange as they have small 5" drivers)
Have you tried setting them as SMALL? Set as they are, your reciever might be trying to send low frequency information to the bookshelves that it should be sending to the sub.

Also, basement rooms (like mine too) are notorious for having nasty axial modes. Treatments will go a long way there.
 

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My bookshelf speakers are setup as LARGE as well as my rear bipoles (which seems a bit strange as they have small 5" drivers), .
I think that might be your problem...
I tried setting my bookshelf speakers and side dipoles to LARGE at one time and found that the bass was almost non existant, particularly the mid to lower bass..
I finished up setting them all to SMALL, with a crossover to the sub at 90Hz..
 

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George,

When you set your speakers to large, the processing in your receiver sends the full audio signal to your speakers (everything from 0 Hz to 20 kHz). This may be why your sub is not "rocking" your room. If you set your speakers to small, then the bass management function of your receiver will send all audio signals above the "cutoff level" to your speakers and all audio signals below the cutoff to your sub. Depending on your receiver, you either get to select the cutoff level, or some receivers have only one set cutoff at 80 Hz. Set all your speakers to "small" and if you get the choice of setting a cutoff, set it to 80 or 90 Hz. Then buy a RadioShack or similiar SPL meter. Use the SPL meter (located at ear height at the main listening position) to match the levels of all your speakers. Then use it to set the level of the sub. I personally recommend setting the sub level so the sub test tone reads about 3-5 decibels louder on the SPL meter than the comparison test tone (usually the left front speaker). This is done to compensate for the fact that low frequency sounds just "sound quieter" than high frequency sounds. After you get that done, if it still doesn't sound right, then send us a diagram of how you have all your components connected and try taking some room measurements with REW.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Have you tried setting them as SMALL? Set as they are, your reciever might be trying to send low frequency information to the bookshelves that it should be sending to the sub.

Also, basement rooms (like mine too) are notorious for having nasty axial modes. Treatments will go a long way there.
Yes, this is my fear. I was confused as what to do about the LARGE/SMALL setting as I was getting different advice from manufacturers. Athena said that the bookshelf speakers should be run as large as they are capable... so they say. 6" drivers did make me wonder. And the auto EQ on the Harmon set them as large as well. BUT it didn't make any sense to me for the speakers to be set that way.

My next step is going to be locating a SPL meter from Radio Shack aka "The Source". I went to one store today to buy it, but the guys at this particular one near me, hadn't the foggiest what I was talking about. Anyhow, there is one downtown where I have actually seen them on display, and will attempt to go there tomorrow and start the tests. I will go this route and then perhaps on to some treatments if need be.
 
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I think that might be your problem...
I tried setting my bookshelf speakers and side dipoles to LARGE at one time and found that the bass was almost non existant, particularly the mid to lower bass..
I finished up setting them all to SMALL, with a crossover to the sub at 90Hz..
That is what I am finding for sure. I am going to do the setup setting them all to small and then do the EQ manually with an SPL meter.
 
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When you say it doens't have that punch you expected, can you elaborate on what you mean by that?
Hi, I would describe punch as thuds in movies/music that you can feel in your chest. My best analogy I can think of off the top of my head is I felt it in the movie theater while watching Resident Evil 2, when the "Nemesis" character is walking toward the police station. It was a resounding thud with each step. But upon watching it at home with my setup, I found the bass in this one spot that I remembered severely lacking. Almost non existent. I kept waiting for that "punch" but it did not come.

I hope that helps explain a bit better what I mean.
 
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George,

When you set your speakers to large, the processing in your receiver sends the full audio signal to your speakers (everything from 0 Hz to 20 kHz). This may be why your sub is not "rocking" your room. If you set your speakers to small, then the bass management function of your receiver will send all audio signals above the "cutoff level" to your speakers and all audio signals below the cutoff to your sub. Depending on your receiver, you either get to select the cutoff level, or some receivers have only one set cutoff at 80 Hz. Set all your speakers to "small" and if you get the choice of setting a cutoff, set it to 80 or 90 Hz. Then buy a RadioShack or similiar SPL meter. Use the SPL meter (located at ear height at the main listening position) to match the levels of all your speakers. Then use it to set the level of the sub. I personally recommend setting the sub level so the sub test tone reads about 3-5 decibels louder on the SPL meter than the comparison test tone (usually the left front speaker). This is done to compensate for the fact that low frequency sounds just "sound quieter" than high frequency sounds. After you get that done, if it still doesn't sound right, then send us a diagram of how you have all your components connected and try taking some room measurements with REW.
I will check out my manual again for these settings, thank you for the much appreciated step by step approach to doing this. It can be a bit overwhelming, so much to check. I hope no one will mind some inevitable questions once I start using the REW software. I am quite looking forward to using it though.
 

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Ok George, I have some advice for you...

Ok first up, the large small thing...

I did extensive testing with my reciever to figure out what was going on, yours might be different, but these are things to look for...

Large/small is misleading.
It should be labled:
Do not use crossover/Use Crossover.
In Large, not only is the full 20-20 signal going to the speaker, but none of it is getting routed to the woofer - This became apparent to me when I'd play content and my woofer didn't turn on.
It was even more confusing, becuase the .1 track in a 5.1 movie Does turn the woofer on.

(BTW, my reciever has a MAX mode, where the sub is always given the lower 100hz, even if the fronts are set to LARGE check to see if yours does too...)

ther other option is Small, but as I said, it should be labeled "use crossover" You might have huge speakers that go down to 35 hz, but you'd still want to cross them over and let the sub take over at some point.

There is a common belief that asking a driver to do 20-80 AND 80-xx is just asking too much of a driver, and that if you can route 20-80 to your sub, the 80-xx will improve as a result..

ok now on to the bass suggestion...
The phase of your subs must be in alignment with the phase of your front drivers...
if the phase is 180 degrees off, then the sub will cancel the fronts.
if the phase is 90 degrees off, then the output will be at 50% of max
if the phase is in alignment, then the output will be max


you tune the bass by putting on something that has some bass output that covers the crossover region - this could be a tone, but music with LF content works also...
with this playing, adjust the variable phase on your subwoofer until the bass is the loudest.
If you dont have a variable phase on your sub, you can achieve the same thing by adjusting the distance of your sub in the speaker setup of your receiver- distance is used by the reciever to set delay time, and delaying the signal is the same as adjusting the phase. the distance you end up with may be way off from reality (Ie it might show 27 feet when the sub is only 10 feet away) - this is ok. What is important is that you are aligning the signal so that the resulting pressure wave from all your front drivers is in sync.
 

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distance is used by the reciever to set delay time, and delaying the signal is the same as adjusting the phase. the distance you end up with may be way off from reality (Ie it might show 27 feet when the sub is only 10 feet away) - this is ok. What is important is that you are aligning the signal so that the resulting pressure wave from all your front drivers is in sync.
I concur...This was one area that I had problems with...The Receiver was setting distances different than the measured distance to the speakers, and it wasn't until I discovered that it's also taking into account time delay, that I ever got it to sound right..

I would also advise you to go into all your manual settings after the receiver has set them automatically, just to make sure everything is set right..

Another area to check is your spatial settings ie delays for fronts, relative to distance from the front wall, and delays for surround speakers..
With these set right, it can make a huge difference to the projected sound..

Good luck with it all...
 

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I would change all your speaker settings to small. Next try sliding that sub about 6 ft towards the couch. Get it out of the corner.
What are the output settings on the reciever and sub? Are they both turned down low? Is one low and the other maxed out?

I'd also get some absorbtion at the first reflection points. Your main speakers are against the walls which will reflect and cause a blurred image. Rigid fiberglass or GIK panels will help this immensely.
 
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