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Home Cinema Fine Tuning?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by lunker, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. lunker

    lunker
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    Hiya All

    I’ve recently moved into a new house and setup my home cinema in the living room not ideal but as many people I’ve not got the space to have a dedicated room.
    I’ve set it up as best I can with the room shape but it doesn’t sound as good as I think it could.

    I’ve listed all my kit here and included a rough sketch of the room layout.

    TV Sony 28" 16:9 100hz
    DVD Sony DVP-NS430
    Amp Sony STR-DE475
    Front Speakers Mordaunt Short MS302
    Rear Speakers Mordaunt Short MS302
    Centre Speaker Mordaunt Short MS304
    Stands Sony Pascal Stands
    Sub Paradigm PRD8
    Digital Coax Radio Shack Gold Plated single phono
    Sub Cable 5M Coiled Cambridge Audio
    Speaker Wire "Bell Wire"

    Room Layout
    [​IMG]


    I find that dialogue seems quiet, the directional steering is not as it should be and the surround effects don’t envelop you as they should. As for the quality of the sound I think it’s (if I do say so myself) pretty good but I’m not too sure if I’ve setup the sub cross over correctly. My girlfriend complains the volumes changes randomly within the same scene, I can’t hear it but women have got better hearing!

    The layout of the speakers is shown on the diagram I’ve attached to the post. I’ve tried other layouts and this one sounded the best.
    I’ve configured the levels of the surround speakers by ear running the test tone and just altering the levels to make all speakers sound the same.

    I configured the subwoofer cross over by watching a scene of a film that had a lot of bass (Star Wars Episode I pod race scene) and adjusting the sub’s level until it sounded right. The high frequency cut off is controlled by the amp so the sub’s high frequency cut off is set to max.

    I would like to know if I’ve set everything up correctly and if theirs anything I can do to improve the problems. I’m thinking about getting a sound level meter from Maplins to make sure all test tones are the same. Are their any other tweaks I could think about I’ve got a lazy Sunday coming up so I could spend all day testing (watching movies).

    Is their anything in my list off kit that shouts replace me apart from the “bell wire?” This unfortunately cannot be replaced because it needs to run masked on top of the skirting and any thicker would stand out like a sore thumb. This is the only way at present because of the hard wood floors and rented house combo.

    I have been thinking about replacing the Amp and putting a centre surround in the position indicated on the room layout but I don’t want to shell this money out if something needs replacing first.

    Please help me

    Yours perplexed

    Ben
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The link to your room layout doesn't seem to be working. If you have balanced your speakers and sub by ear you could be miles out. We would need to know more about the positioning of the rear speakers to offer advice on that aspect but "Tons of Fun" may be able to advise more on speaker positioning as he works for Mordaunt Short.

    I'm not sure whether he looks in this section but if he hasn't noticed within a day or two try sending him a PM and asking his advice.
     
  3. lunker

    lunker
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    Sorry about the room layout picture strange things were happening last night when I posted but it seems to be OK now.

    Thats pretty good someone from Mordaunt Short maybe able to help me out :thumbsup:

    The stands make the speakers about 1M off the floor.
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    My initial guess is that the surrounds are too far apart as you are trying to get them to cover both seating positions.

    If the speakers are easily moveable try taking the centre surround offline and placing the right surround speaker there instead. That should make the two seater settee the sweetspot at the expense of the single seater. Also try variations of position with the rears - firing across the seating and angled forward to see if that changes things.
     
  5. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    It is not immediatley obvious where you sit on the diagram, but I think that Ian is on the right lines with the surrounds- moving them further in towards each other should start to improve the rear soundstage. Bipoles are a bit of a pig to get right when they aren't placed equidistantly from one another. A bit of experimentation will go a long way. The other area of experimentation really should be the distance/delay settings on the amp as this will allow it to compansate for the offset rears better than it probably can do at the moment.

    If you have any more questions, give me a PM or MSN so I can switch over to email- it is easier to get attachments sent around that way :).
    ToF
     
  6. binbag

    binbag
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    This looks a lot like my first AV setup. Try moving the rears to where you have your seats. It'll push the sweet spot into the centre of the room. I've read texts where the diagonal setup has been promoted for reducing axail reflections.

    How much open space is up those stairs? If it's a large volume then it could be responsible for your sonic difficulties.
     
  7. lunker

    lunker
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    Thanks for such a great response.

    Sorry it's taken so long to post back but I can only use the internet at home.

    I've updated the My Room layout to show where I sit and to highlight the wall up the side of the stairs is solid all the way up.

    I'm going to try moving the right surround to the proposed centre surround position today and test it out.

    I had already tried the speaker there and found it to be a bit close to my right ear so being all I could hear. I've moved the sofa left abit so it centers the sweet spot, I'll see how it sounds.

    I'll get my tape out as well to set the distance from the speakers and setup the delay. As I was pretty much an equal distance from all speakers before I left them all default.

    I've not got Bipoles for rears if that makes any difference they are just the Mordaunt Short Premier Plus with out the MS309 sub. (thats in the pipeline though)
     
  8. binbag

    binbag
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    My suggestion for your rears still work in that position but the sound will be very directional with monopoles; especially at sitting height. Some people do prefer this more obvious sound field.
     
  9. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    Can't you move your TV to the top centre where it says 3.6 metres,then it more central and centre will be facing you.Then try the front two much further apart,they look really close.I would then put the surrounds either side of the sofa,wouldn't bother with centre rear,then play with sound,you really want it symetrical,your miles away from that at the moment.
     
  10. lunker

    lunker
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    Thanks eveyone. :clap:

    I moved my right surround to where my proposed centre surround was and shifted my sofa left a bit and it sounds alot better. I've got some fine tuning to do but it's already better even when i sit in the arm chair.

    I'm also going to get a sound level meter so I know that the speaker levels are setup correctly. I've been looking at this one has anyone used one of these are they much cop?

    I can't move my TV as the box below the 3.6m is a fire place (my drawing is a bit crap) and has a gas fire in it. I've tried the front right speaker where the right surround was and it didn't sound quite right.

    Can anyone recommend a film to watch to give my Home Cinema a full surround workout?

    Many Thanks
    Ben
     
  11. Ian J

    Ian J
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    this is the SPL meter that most of us seem to go for.
     

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