Atmos speaker advice

Davyb100

Standard Member
Hi all, this is my first post so apologies if it’s already been asked or is in the wrong place.

I recently bought a new AVC X3700 receiver as I wanted to get into Atmos, I upgraded from an Onkyo TX SR606 and was expecting a big improvement but tbh I’m a bit underwhelmed as the sound seems to be a bit flat and the centre channel in particular is hard to hear even though I increased the output after running Audyssey. I really have to crank the volume up to get any sort of decent clarity. I am currently using my original speakers, KEF iq50’s for my fronts, iq60c for my centre, Eltax HT-2 bipolar for my rear surrounds and a B&W ASW610 sub. I will say though I have noticed better bass output from my sub and rear surrounds since changing to the Denon. i was intending on getting a couple of KEF q50a upfirers to sit on my fronts for Atmos but after reading mixed reviews on Atmos on here I’m not sure if they are worth getting. My question is would I be better investing in new fronts & centre rather than adding atmos modules? I do like my kefs and if I did upgrade I would likely go for the Q550’s & 650c but being Q series again I’m not sure if this would be an upgrade over my current ones.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Did you use the cardboard mic stand? And moved the mic in the positions shown in the on-screen setup/manual if you did 8mic positions, so rather close each other? Room was 100% silent and you weren`t in a way of mic/speakers hopefully either. If you do have couch against rear wall and the mic was close to rear or side walls then it can also affect negatively results. The recommendation is about 0,5meter away from any boundaries.

How does your speaker positioning looks like at front? Take few pictures ja post here if possible.

Also you could post the screenshots of different settings you have now or after if you have to run it again due to making some mistakes.

Spend 9min watching this short clip to learn the basics and some mistakes people does. When the setup phase is optimized we can then look the settings you got as most of times some little tweaking is needed.

 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
Thanks Gasp3621, i did use the cardboard mic stand but only took 4 positions as we really only use the couch facing the tv when watching it. I will take some photos this evening and watch the video. I might run the set up again in case I messed it up. The couch is against the back wall which isn’t ideal i know and my surround speaker placement isn’t perfect either but worked ok with the Onkyo. The main reason I changed the receiver was because of the Atmos capabilities but not sure now if Atmos will be an improvement especially after reading some of the forums opinions on upfiring which is my only real option.
 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
Here’s some photos of my room, as you can see I am fairly limited in where I can place my speakers. If I do go for the Q50a’s then I will probably have to place them on the unit close to my fronts because of the rounded tops on the iq50’s. I didn’t get a chance to run Audyssey yet but after watching the video there are a few things I might have done wrong so I think it will be worth trying again.
 

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Davyb100

Standard Member
Sorry for the delay but only got to run the setup again tonight. Here are some pics of the readings. Does it look ok?
 

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jonjames

Active Member
Set your front speakers to small and change your crossovers on the fronts and centre to 80hz.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Sorry for the delay but only got to run the setup again tonight. Here are some pics of the readings. Does it look ok?

Do the changes jonjames said! Although i would run the Audussey again with the center channel pushed forward. Have you changed subwoofer distance figure? The subwoofer is little bit in odd place. Have you tried in front of right main speakers against wall? If you could move the lamp then it might fit there.

Bad_vs_Good_grande.png
 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
Thank you jonjames I will try that. The subwoofer I have to lift out when I’m using it because the unit is so close to the door. I will try it where the lamp is and see how that goes and then run Audussey again. Never thought about moving the centre that far forward so will do that too and let you know how I get on.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you jonjames I will try that. The subwoofer I have to lift out when I’m using it because the unit is so close to the door. I will try it where the lamp is and see how that goes and then run Audussey again. Never thought about moving the centre that far forward so will do that too and let you know how I get on.

Yes after moving speaker and sub run Audussey and make the changes then from menu..
 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
I followed your advice and it has definitely made a difference. I watched a film last night and the centre channel is a lot clearer and the fronts seem more detailed. I also noticed the surrounds weren’t as in your face as before and more subtle. I assume that is down to your tips on how Audussey should be run. The crossover on the sub is 120hz, should I leave that as it is? I’m definitely a lot happier with my set up now so thank you.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I followed your advice and it has definitely made a difference. I watched a film last night and the centre channel is a lot clearer and the fronts seem more detailed. I also noticed the surrounds weren’t as in your face as before and more subtle. I assume that is down to your tips on how Audussey should be run. The crossover on the sub is 120hz, should I leave that as it is? I’m definitely a lot happier with my set up now so thank you.

If you meant LPF for LFE under Denon menu, then yes 120hz.

As for the subwoofer knobs behind it:


Home Theatre Settings
Set the VOLUME (LINE or SPEAKER) control initially to
the 9 o'clock position. (don´t worry this too much cause you set it via on-screen with Audussey)
Set the LOW-PASS FILTER switch to OUT.
Set the EQ switch initially to position A.
Set the PHASE switch initially to 0°.
Set the LOW-PASS FREQ (frequency) control to 140 if
the speaker level inputs are used. The setting is
irrelevant if the line level inputs are used.

Bass extension switch to A which gives best extension for movies.

Bass eq switch: Position A gives a "drier" alignment, more suited to placing the
subwoofer in a corner or compensating for a resonant room. Position B is suited to a less resonant room acoustic and use away from a corner.
 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
Yes it was the LFE setting I meant ok, I’ll check the settings on the back as well. As I said above I was initially disappointed with the Denon, even after giving it some time to bed in it wasn’t producing the results I was expecting but the sound from it now has vastly improved thanks to your advice.
I’m happy with my current speakers so I think I will go ahead a get the q50a’s. Have you any experience with upfirers? I know there are cheaper ones on the market but there are not many reviews and unfortunately these days trials in a shop are impossible. BTW I had to leave the sub where it was as I was banned from moving the lamp but I’m ok with it as it still sounds good.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I’m happy with my current speakers so I think I will go ahead a get the q50a’s. Have you any experience with upfirers? I know there are cheaper ones on the market but there are not many reviews and unfortunately these days trials in a shop are impossible. BTW I had to leave the sub where it was as I was banned from moving the lamp but I’m ok with it as it still sounds good.
The KEF Q50a are very good upfiring speakers indeed only surpassed by the old R50 and newer R5a. If you are going to use them in the upfiring role then place on top of the front left and right speaker. Connect them to the Height 1 speaker terminals and configure as Dolby Front in amp assign.

After running Audyssey change the crossover to at least 120hz, possibly 150hz. Lift the levels by 2db to 3dB. Don't expect the ceiling to come alive with sound. What you notice immediately is that the front soundstage sounds taller, that's normal with modules. Atmos is quite subtle and it's easier to miss it after a while rather than expect it instantly, it's more of creating a bubble of sound.

If you feel the audio is not reaching your MLP then it's acceptable to place something under the back feet to increase the angle. I've been using R50s for six years now and it does bring a lot to the party.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yes it was the LFE setting I meant ok, I’ll check the settings on the back as well. As I said above I was initially disappointed with the Denon, even after giving it some time to bed in it wasn’t producing the results I was expecting but the sound from it now has vastly improved thanks to your advice.
I’m happy with my current speakers so I think I will go ahead a get the q50a’s. Have you any experience with upfirers? I know there are cheaper ones on the market but there are not many reviews and unfortunately these days trials in a shop are impossible. BTW I had to leave the sub where it was as I was banned from moving the lamp but I’m ok with it as it still sounds good.

If you have activated Audussey Dynamic EQ then try with that on/off, the Dynamic Volume feature is more for late night listening/loud commercials so normal times keep it off.

You can also try under XT32 to change the Audussey Reference (default) curve to Flat. This doesn´t do high frequency roll off so you might prefer it more, or not. Try it out with same chapter of movie or just give more time for it and then see after week or so which you want to keep.

No i haven´t heard the upfirers. If you meet the below requirements plus sit about 3meter away max, then it should definitely add something.

For optimal performance, the ceiling should be flat (not angled or vaulted), with a height between 7.5 and 14 feet (2.3 to 4.3 meters), and made of an acoustically reflective material (drywall, plaster, hardwood, or another rigid, non---sound-absorbing material).
 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
The KEF Q50a are very good upfiring speakers indeed only surpassed by the old R50 and newer R5a. If you are going to use them in the upfiring role then place on top of the front left and right speaker. Connect them to the Height 1 speaker terminals and configure as Dolby Front in amp assign.

After running Audyssey change the crossover to at least 120hz, possibly 150hz. Lift the levels by 2db to 3dB. Don't expect the ceiling to come alive with sound. What you notice immediately is that the front soundstage sounds taller, that's normal with modules. Atmos is quite subtle and it's easier to miss it after a while rather than expect it instantly, it's more of creating a bubble of sound.

If you feel the audio is not reaching your MLP then it's acceptable to place something under the back feet to increase the angle. I've been using R50s for six years now and it does bring a lot to the party.
That’s good to know, the reason I changed my receiver was to be able to try Atmos properly. Discs with an Atmos soundtrack always sounded better on my old receiver compared to non-Atmos so I am looking forward to trying it. Thanks for the tips on the settings.
 
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Davyb100

Standard Member
If you have activated Audussey Dynamic EQ then try with that on/off, the Dynamic Volume feature is more for late night listening/loud commercials so normal times keep it off.

You can also try under XT32 to change the Audussey Reference (default) curve to Flat. This doesn´t do high frequency roll off so you might prefer it more, or not. Try it out with same chapter of movie or just give more time for it and then see after week or so which you want to keep.

No i haven´t heard the upfirers. If you meet the below requirements plus sit about 3meter away max, then it should definitely add something.

For optimal performance, the ceiling should be flat (not angled or vaulted), with a height between 7.5 and 14 feet (2.3 to 4.3 meters), and made of an acoustically reflective material (drywall, plaster, hardwood, or another rigid, non---sound-absorbing material).
I will try the different settings over the next few weeks. My room should meet the requirements for upfiring speakers so I am sure it will be of benefit.
Thank you for your advice and time, much appreciated.
 
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