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FS2AV Speakers: Easily distorts at moderate to loud volume levels?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by tk2001, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Hi,

    I was watching 'Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me' today and I noticed something odd and quite upsetting.

    I have my FS2AV setup in my living (medium-size) and when I watch DVD movies I tend to have my volume levels from between -10dB to 00dB. Well, when I was watching Austin Powers, I noticed that whenever there were 'high-pitched' voices been spoken in the film, my 'center' fs2 speaker would sound as if they were distorting but technically they wasn't and I'll try to explain why.

    When ever I jump to the scenes in the movie that causes this 'distortion', I then play the scenes back and forth and go right up to my centre speaker to see if the speaker is really distorting. Upon close inspection, I found out that the centre speaker wasn't distorting but the plastic case holding the NXT panel was actually 'vibrating' due to the high frequency of the voices "SEND IN THE CLONE!!!", thus causing a 'distortion-like' sound. When I then held the speaker firmly in both arms (off the floor) I found that the plastic case holding the NXT panel was no longer vibrating probably due to my hand absorbing the vibrations.

    There must something I can do to stop the plastic casing of the center speaker from vibrating at loud volume levels?. That was one of the main reasons why I brought the FS2AV speakers in the first place - to be able to watch my DVD movies at loud volume levels!

    Has anyone else notice this problem with their FS2AV set and do they find it annoying?
     
  2. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Don't want to sound snobbish but do you really think the speakers were designed for that particular purpose!?
     
  3. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Prior to owning the FS2AV setup, I actually owned a budget PC multi-media 5.1 speaker package called 'Playworks DTT3500' and looking back, they were actually very very good for the price I paid for it.
    The point I'm trying to make is that the budget PC speakers I had were only 7W per channel, and offered comparable loud volume levels as the FS2 speakers which are 75W per speaker!!.

    Base upon the wattage, I actually thought that the FS2 speakers would be able to hold loud volume levels without breaking up but apparently not.

    Please explain to me why a set of 'budget' PC speakers can offer the same loud volume levels as the FS2 speakers AND not distort?
     
  4. Shirker

    Shirker
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    How have you go the FS2's set up. What sort of volume have you got the sub turned up to in comparrison to the Amp?
     
  5. mjn

    mjn
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    got to agree with Reiner here....you pays your money, to takes your choice.

    when you demo'd them, did you try them at the volumes at which your using them now?
     
  6. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    tk2001, I've had them at this volume and higher with no problem.

    however, I did set mine up with a few really deep bassy pieces of music.. and got both my left & right speakers to vibrate and crackle... traced it to a loose end piece on one and the speaker cable tapping on the back on the other.

    ie... they vibrate a lot... its the way NXT works after all but they should go upto 75-90W+ without a problem.

    they were originally £800 speakers after all.

    mine are all wall mounted bar the centre... how do you have yours? stands for all?

    I dont suppose you tried the classic "piece of blu-tack" under the centre stand?
     
  7. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Heres how my FS2AV is setup:

    Due to my living-room being a medium-size rectangular room, I have to stick my 42in RP TV in the corner of the room and because there isn't enough room to stick the centre speaker on top of the actual TV itself, I have to place all 3 front speakers just slightly in front of my tv. My subwoofer stands upright in the far left-hand corner of the room and my settings are just below half on bass, and below half on contour (I still haven't worked out how the contour affects the bass).

    I have my rear-speakers mounted onto the back of the living-room wall, so its just the on the same level as my ear level.

    I know this was stupid, but I never got a chance to hear the FS2AV in action before buying it - it was the ammount of awards it won that sold me the system.

    Another thing, do owners of the FS2AV's feel as if the subwoofer offers aa decent amount of 'punch' when listening to DD & DTS movie soundtracks?
     
  8. tk2001

    tk2001
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    In your honest opinions, do you believe that the FS2AV package is the best av package you can get for under £500?
     
  9. MartinCo

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    yikes tk2001! this must be getting you & sleep... 6:12AM? (unless you're abroad of course).

    re: the best av-package under £500 question... its a tricky Q.
    I got mine for £400-500 and at the price I'd say yes. beats my previous stand mounted tannoys by miles, both in stereo & cinema.
    once you go above say £500-800 then other packages come into competition.. e.g the kef eggs and conventional speakers with a (cheap?) subwoofer. ie.. more competition, though they still do very well against them.

    really depends on your requirements, room space and room you want them for - the usual wife/ girlfriend factors.

    once you've got them setup properly, they should be fine though.. still rated best buy in HCC this month and regularly used in What-Hifi.

    I've seen the standard fs2-av demo-ed in a large-ish 20ft x 35ft-ish room being driven by a denon amp (av1se?? the model at £1500+) at high levels (0-5db+) with absolutely no problems.


    as I understand it the two dials are for:-

    bass-volume - level of bass being put out by both the sub AND the fs-2 satellites. ie.. zero on the dial would give you no sub & terrible sounding satellites.. too much and the sound will be "muddy" & incoherent. half is the usual starting point... your room may need more/ less.

    bass-contour - the low frequency response of the sub... ie how low it goes down & general "thump"... not sure what to, presumably from 80Hz down to xxhz. there is some mention of setting this in the manual with respect to lfe in dd/dts films. pick your favourite explosion/ scene and try 1/4->1/2-> 3/4 to test.
     
  10. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Its a bit sad, but due to the fact that I works nights, sometimes it hard to switch back to normal waking hours so I just stay up nights.

    Incidently back to the topic, have you set up your FS2AV with the aid of an SPL meter and does it come highly recomended?

    Whats the highest level of volume you have had on your amp
    (i.e. 00dB to +10dB) whilst watching DVD movies with DD & DTS soundtracks, and at what level can you get away with before your FS2's starts to distort?
     
  11. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    no, didnt use a SPL to set them up, just my ears.

    usually run my amp between -12 & -02 db, but have run the fs2s upto 00db and beyond on a few occasions... no distortion problems.

    dont really need to do that regularly since -10 to -02 is plenty loud on my Denon... think my room is bigger at 22ftx13ft, plus the speakers are all wall mounted apart from the centre.

    think I mentioned to you previously I have my centre & rears levels up +2-4 to pull the dialogue & effects out... sounds better to my ears... would probably allow you to lower the overall volume a touch in your setup.

    I know you said your front l/c/r speakers were slightly in front of your RP TV in the corner... whereabouts are they exactly, and what distances apart?

    could you wall mount the centre speaker behind the TV?

    I assume the sub is inside the distance between the left & right speakers, but you mentioned its in the left corner..is this the same one as the TV or not?.

    set the sub to half & half on the two dials and see if it makes a "pleasureable" difference. you may prefer more.

    as is, the FS2s should be LOUD at the volume you mention though... how loud do they sound?
     
  12. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Well, LOUD is a very relative term and higher wattage is not necessarily a guarantee for louder sound, also the sensitivity of the speaker does influence this, as does the size of the room.
    Perhaps the speaker is not at fault but the amp? When driven too hard it can distort, too (so called clipping).

    I hope you learned a lesson from that, don't buy any equipment, especially speakers, just on recommendations or based on awards ...
     
  13. tk2001

    tk2001
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    My receiver is a Marantz SR-5200 and outputs 90W per channel - the same as the Denon 2802 - and due to Marantz's high build quality on all their equipment (up there with Denon IMO) , I doubt my amp is at fault here.

    Yes, I think I've learned my lesson now. Its just that when you've got your eye set on something and then you read that it has received 'best buy' awards across the board, it is very hard to resist not to buy it.
     
  14. tk2001

    tk2001
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  15. MartinCo

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    the room layout sounds like it will make a difference...

    as reiner says it could be clipping or some sensitivity with the Marantz, but it originally sounded like vibration problems with the centre speaker's stand so you should be able to fix it easily.

    yes, the sub settings should change things for the better... you've got it in a corner so less than half for volume.

    the bass contour is really upto you.. but would make a difference with LFE in DD/DTS soundtracks without affecting music/ normal sound I assume.
     
  16. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Ok, noted and basically agree. However, any chance of trying another (perhaps stereo) amp for comparision? Means to narrow down the problem and perhaps exclude the amp as source of the problem.

    Unfortunately a common mistake which I do understand though. Well, next time just use reviews or ratings/awards to narrow down the equipment of your choice and then audition, audition, audition. Can actually be quite fun and a good dealer will be patient enough to assist you with that, perhaps even allow a home demo.
     

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