Amplifier setup / calibration advice?

Sarah110175

Established Member
Hi There everyone!

I’m writing to gain advice on ‘sound quality / setup’ from for my home cinema system. I appreciate that is a very subjective topic, as everyone has their own taste / prefs. But I actually don’t think I’m even near this, I believe I am miles off from gaining the kind of quality you should expect from such a highly rated amp. (Sony DA 2400ES)

This is my 2nd home cinema amp which I’ve had for a year, previously I had a pioneer VSX1016.
The other elements of my 5.1 setup are:

EPOS ELS SUB SUBWOOFER
Q ACOUSTICS 1010i SPEAKERS (stand mounted)
Q ACOUSTICS 1050i SPEAKERS (floor standing)
Q ACOUSITICS 1000 Ci Centre Speaker
Please see photos.

The other photos show my XBOX360 system connected to my 32 inch LCD. They are using a 5.1 LOGITEC system. And of the 5.1 infact I only have 3.1 setup. It is no underestimation when I say. This 3.1 system with it's basic wiring sounds INFINITELY better than my 5.1 system which set me back over 2000 quid!. I’ve configured and re-configured the Sony STRDA / QAcoustics setup, but it just sounds so basic, and no where near the umph! /warm and atmospheric output of the Logitec. (yes I know it’s subjective!)

I also acknowledge one could fairly say aspects such as cabling, speaker position make a difference, accepted, but not to the extent that a £100 Logitec system should simply sound way better than a £2000 setup. No matter what setup you have on Home Cinema system (i've tried a few, movies, games, music)

I am 100% certain there is no fault on Amp. The amp operates fine, picks up 5.1 fine on the PS3 and XBOX, Dolby and connection to PC etc, the amp has fantastic array of inputs etc. But it's just not right!

I also note from the forums, that one or two other users flagged similar issues on ‘sound quality’. One of which changed amps in the end:

AVForums.com - Search Results

Can changing the speaker cable have significant impact?. The cable I’m using is the usual copper/O2 free, that I used on my previous setup. I note the speakers also have 'dual' connections, I believe for something called Bi Wiring, I'm not even sure what that is, or whether I could / should implement it.?

I would be grateful for any thoughts / recommendations :lease: Frustrated!.

Cheers:thumbsup:

Sarah
 

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PSM1

Distinguished Member
Cabling is not going to improve the sound nor will biwiring.
For a start the rears are too far forward (or your seats too far back). The rears should be behind you and pointing towards the listening position (just above head height) and not facing forward by the side of you. Have you run the the auto setup on the amp? What settings are in the amp i.e. what have you set the speakers too and what crossover settings are there?
What is axactly missing from the sound? I have a similar Logitech system and to be honest they sound awful so can not see how the QAs could sound worse. The bass on the Logitech systems are just so flabby and monotone that the EPOS has to sound better if set up correctly. What are the settings on the back of the sub?
 

Sarah110175

Established Member
Hi PSM1

In response to your kind queries:

Speaker settings

Front Left: Level 0.0dB, Distance 2.45m

Centre: Level +4.0dB, Distance 2.54m

Front Right: Level 0.0dB, Distance 2.53m

Surround Right: Level +2.5dB, Distance 1.47m

Surround Left: Level +2.5 dB, Distance 1.0m

Sub woofer: +4.5 dB, distance 1.83m

Manual setting sub woofer:

Low filter: 40Hz
High filter: 80Hz
Phase: 90

Please refer to photos for typical options from the Sony GUI setup screen.

Crossover settings are blanked out?, what are these for?

On the amp I can choose a number of cinema settings, these appear under 'sound field' and I can adjust the effect from 100% (current) up to and inc 150%, don't know the relevance of this.

Finally the auto calibration has 4 settings that I can select during or for calibration:

Full Flat (current calibration)
Engineer
Front reference
Off.

Being honest I don't what the relevance or best option is here??

In answer to what is wrong with the sound. It arise mainly when I'm playing MKV HD files via my PC (optical out). But also, in my humble opinion the surround effect from games on XBOX360, PS3 (5.1) doesn't give the same atmosphere is the logitec (as explained in my original post). I fully accept this is most likely due to my Amplifier / Speak settings.

One final point, the cooper oxygen cable I'm using is about 6 years old, kept from my first set of speaker Amps. The cable length are approx the same for the pairs of surround speakers.

Hope this is a good start in terms of info, and may now kindly lead me to further specific advice/recommendations on how to improve things.

Look forward to your feedback.

Many thanks :thumbsup:

Sarah



Cabling is not going to improve the sound nor will biwiring.
For a start the rears are too far forward (or your seats too far back). The rears should be behind you and pointing towards the listening position (just above head height) and not facing forward by the side of you. Have you run the the auto setup on the amp? What settings are in the amp i.e. what have you set the speakers too and what crossover settings are there?
What is axactly missing from the sound? I have a similar Logitech system and to be honest they sound awful so can not see how the QAs could sound worse. The bass on the Logitech systems are just so flabby and monotone that the EPOS has to sound better if set up correctly. What are the settings on the back of the sub?
 

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PSM1

Distinguished Member
The first thing I would do is set the speakers to small and then set the crossover in the amp to 80 Hz (these are currently blanked out due to speakers being set to large). Then turn the crossover on the sub up to max or AV setting. I would also set the phase on the sub to 0. What is the gain set to on the back of the sub? This is normally best set about half level before starting the auto calibration is run.
The rear distance looks wrong too since they are very close to the seating. You can set distances yourself by measuring the distance from the speakers to the listening position.
Try this and see how that goes.
 

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