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Help with MC1 Setup

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Mark Ward, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    My MC1 arrives before 10:30am on Thursday. I had to change my sig file early just to see what it looked like :D

    I've decided I really do have to go 7.1 straight away, but until my temporary rears arrive I'll need to configure for a 5.1 setup.

    with this layout
    http://www.wcarrot.demon.co.uk/me/fivepointone.jpg
    could any MC1/DC1 owners tell me whther I ought to setup as if I have no SIDES or no REARS?

    I imagine I'll be using logic7.

    I've bought some 70S surrounds from GaryG in the classifieds to act as temporary surrounds BTW. They have reference matched drivers so I'm hoping they should integrate quite well.

    Cheers.

    Mark.
     
  2. fatrich

    fatrich
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    Mark
    untill recently i had a dc1, excellent purchess by the way (mc1) i have had a look at your current set up, i would personally set the speakers to rear (small) with no side speakers, see how it sounds with material with known rear effects then if u wish then try the side setting with rears off.I think u will find the first setting should be the best.Make sure u set the parameters correctly for all your speakers.
    Once youve got all your speakers (7.1) in place u will use nothing else but logic 7 its brilliant!!!!
    let me know how it sounds

    richard
     
  3. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I don't concur with the last post...

    In the Lexicon, it doesn't make a difference if you configure your sides or rears as "none". Steering in all modes will be the same with either configuration. I would however place your current surrounds as much to your sides as possible, because the Logic-7 modes work best with side speakers directly to the sides of the listener (Logic-7 simulates rear speakers when using only 5 speakers). Also, configure them as "small".

    The position where you have currently set up your surrounds is good for rear placement when you get the second set of surround.
     
  4. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Thanks for your replies...

    My surrounds are TDM34DS's but the rears will be Kef70S.

    I could leave the TDMs where they currently are, considering them to be rears and place the 70S as sides.

    From a Wife friendly approach this would suit be better than using the massive TDMs at the sides.

    I did figure on This setup for 7.1 but with the 70S's at the back. This will be very difficult to hide cables though.

    So how would Di-pole rears with direct firing sides work under L7?

    Cheers,

    Mark.
     
  5. garmtz

    garmtz
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    Both configurations could work well. Dipole speakers are meant to be placed directly at the sides of the listener though, because of their dipole "null". Also, Logic-7 works best with the side speakers a little in front of the listener. Below you can see my own configuration (all direct radiating ML dipoles).

    [​IMG]

    My room is about 18x18 ft.
     
  6. Beamer

    Beamer
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    Over the last two weeks I have been installing an MC12 setup and can offer the following from experience.

    Initially due to delays in amplifier delivery I needed to install as a 5.1 configuration so I chose to use side speakers rather than rears. The speakers were on stands about 8 inches above my ear and 6 feet either side of me. The result was lack of depth and a feeling that the side speakers were not calibrated as they sounded too loud. This weekend I installed the speakers at the rear of the room 2 feet above listening level and Bingo everything came together. Aircraft were flying overhead and storms felt as though I had been caught right in the middle.

    Personally I would install the side speakers last and I would very much avoid having the speakers at the same level as your ears. Check out the Dolby site on the positioning of speakers, I seem to recall that they recomend speaker height be 2-3 feet above the listening point. My speakers are direct radiating Dynaudio 42W's
     
  7. garmtz

    garmtz
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    Non taken! :)

    I have made a drawing of the "optimum" ITU recommended speakers schemes:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the best spot to place surround speakers is at 110 degrees from the center. This changes however for 7-channel setups. When I turn off my side speakers or place speakers too much behind me, I can hear a "gap" in the soundfield between the fronts and surrounds, which is more important to me than having hard panned sounds behind me. The great thing about a 7-channel setup is that there is no compromise: perfect integration between fronts and surrounds and great hard-panned rear effects!

    Lexicon recommends placing surrounds at the sides of the listener, although these recommendations are not in the MC-12 manual anymore. Everybody has their personal preferences though. Nothing wrong with that! Just go with what sounds best.
     
  8. Beamer

    Beamer
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    Garmtz

    Is there any reference to surround speaker height?

    During a visit at the weekend to my local HiFi dealer to pick up my new surround speakers, they were proposing I consider placing the side speakers slightly in front of the listening point!

    Since the mixing studio's do not mix for side speakers in most cases, I wonder how important positioning really is?

    What do you think of Dolby's stance of having the side speakers slightly behind the listener?

    http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTheater.0110.pdf
     
  9. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I don't know if ITU says something about speaker height, but I think they will recommend placing all speakers at ear height. The ITU standard has been proposed to give studios a consistent norm for speaker setup. Dolby's recommendation to place the surrounds up high is something from the past, when Dolby Surround had limited bandwidth on the surround channels, which were also mono, so directionality was not an issue. With discrete surround sound formats, directionality becomes more important, so placement at ear level can become benificial. Placement at ear level can also be worse than high up, if the surrounds are placed very near to the listener. The speakers might becoming distracting. The best thing to do however is to EXPERIMENT with speaker height. Remember, all these guidelines are just that: guidelines. They help you find the best spot in your situation.

    I understand why Dolby recommends placing the side speakers slightly behind the listener: they want to have 5.1 compatibility with a 7.1 setup, so 5.1 soundtracks played with the rears shut off will still sound good. However, in most amplifiers, side and rear speakers will play the same signal, so a "phantom" image between the speakers is still heard at about 120-130 degrees, about the place where you would normally place surround speakers in a 5.1 setup.

    I like to place the sides slightly in FRONT of the listening position, because it helps to blend the side speakers with the fronts.

    Do not make the mistake to see the rear speakers as the original 5.1 surround speakers! Remember that in EX encoded movies, the back surround channel has been ADDED, NOT the side channels! The side channels are the "old" 5.1 surround speakers and are used more than the back surrounds in EX/ES encoded movies.
     
  10. Beamer

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    Garmtz

    Thank you for the nice post! I now understand your bias towards using side speakers instead of rears. My second set of surround speakers arrived today so I will have the chance to test 7.1 albeit with another Yamaha amp. Following you comments I think I will try placing the side speakers slightly forward of the listening position. I will let you know how it works out!

    BTW I finally got a delivery date of two weeks for the SST amps with 230V supply, seems Bryston are flat out catering for the domestic configuration of 115V.
     
  11. garmtz

    garmtz
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    You're welcome! :) let me know how things work out for you!

    Great to hear that Bryston is going to deliver soon! They are great amps.
     
  12. Lowrider

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    I couldn´t resist anymore, going, in a minute, to pick a pair of speakers to complete a 7.1 setup... :D

    I am going to follow Garmtz advice, makes sense to me, and let you know monday...

    Have a nice weekend... :cool:

    Viva Brasil...
     
  13. garmtz

    garmtz
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  14. Lowrider

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    Friday I bought a pair of Sonus Faber Signums, and borrowed a TAG P100 and cables from the store, to upgrade from 5.1 to 7.1 (I felt there was a gap between the surrounds, in the back corners, and the front)...

    I placed them beside me, about 60cm ahead...

    First impression, as the missus promptly said, "the living room looks like a store"... even though the speakers are beautiful, she was right, it ruined completely the decor...

    Second, the gap was gone, now the room was "full" of sound...

    Then more serious testing:

    With music, now I could ear the room, full, but I could ear it, with 5.1 it disapeared, like there where no walls, we didn´t like what 7.1 had done...

    With 5.1 movies, instead of listening the effects focused, coming from behind, they where all over the place, smeared...

    I don´t have any 7.1 movies, so I didn´t test that, I am sure they would sound great, but there aren´t many, so I don´t think it is worth it... so I gave up 7.1

    In the end I kept the Signums to replace the surround Concertos, as they match much better the front EAII, the gap is less noticeable now, so me, and specially the wife, are happy with 5.1

    It was worth the experience, at least I won´t be wishing I had 7.1 for a while...
     
  15. Beamer

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    Lowrider

    Sorry to hear that 7.1 did not work out for you. As it happens I spent the whole weekend doing exactly the same testing as you. I set-up my 7.1 system early last week but was not very happy with the results, I had echoes where none existed before and the sound seemed false. I was using B&W 3002's for the side and Dynaudio 42W's for the rear, my second pair of Dynaudio's were on order.

    At the weekend my second pair of Dynaudio speakers arrived and I set about replacing the B&W's with them. Testing the system again I found an incredible difference but still had an echo that I did not like. Following input from Garmtz I decided to relocate the surround speakers to just above ear height when sitting.

    Bingo!!! Echo gone, imagery back to normal with a fullness that could not be achieved with 5 speakers.

    It seems to me that the surround speakers are very sensitive to being matched and height is all important. It could be that the B&W speakers were out of phase at certain frequencies with the Dynaudio speakers causing poor imagery but believe me the difference was night and day after changing them to the same type.

    This morning before leaving for work and after reading your post, I decided to test the system with DTS surround switching between 5 & 7 speakers and also switching between Logic 7 and straight DTS. At first when you switch to 5 speakers, the sound seems clearer for a moment but it soon become clear that this is a trick on the ears because they do not have so much information to deal with. 7.1 for the moment seems worth the extra cost and effort but seems to me that the setting up is much more difficult than 5.1. Speakers levels and distances are extremely sensitive versus 5.1.

    I have really only listened for two evenings with the new configuration. If I find out anything more useful I will let you and other know.

    BTW one of the test samples I used was Gladiator in DTS EX, Boy oh Boy in the initial war seen when the arrows are let fly, they actually seem to be passing either side of you and landing close by. 5.1 has never been able to achieve that feeling of presence.

    I still have a lot of testing to do but at least I have made significant progress, time will be the ultimate test!
     
  16. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I can only say that 7.1 is superior only when identical or very closely matched speakers are used and much, much, much care has been taken to get speaker setup correct (both in physical placement and levels/time alignment). I have my sides about 30 cm in front of me, every inch to the front or back of the room decreases the effect. It is all very critical... But when done right, it's magic!
     
  17. Lowrider

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    I also noticed the sound was fuller, and I liked that, what I didn´t like, with music, was that I lost the space my front set-up creates, the sound filled the room, but without the side speakers it was larger than the room... maybe with Logic 7 it is different, but with DPLII and 5.1 we preferred just 5 speakers...

    As for movies, it is only logical that sound mixed for 2 surround speakers, will smear reproduced by 4, and that is what happened... I am sure it would be perfect with 7.1 or 6.1 DVDs, but there are so few, I don´t think it is worth it right now...

    I am pretty sure the speakers I used didn´t cause any of the "problems" mentioned, as they match very well the fronts, and being treble shy, quite small, (and small drivers 3/4" tweeter + 5" midwoofer), they blended perfectly...

    I am glad it works for you, and many others, as everything, particularly in AV, there are always compromises, and different tastes...

    The Signums where besides the coach, about 60cms ahead, in the back where Concertos...

    [​IMG]
     

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