Mission to replace my... missions (done, replaced...)

dms

Active Member
I've got a bug to replace my front facing missions (so 2x 702e and a matching centre) and my sub (Yamaha YST-205 sub) . It's not entirely rational to be honest as much of the time I'm very happy with my setup but more of a feeling that as a middle age man with a decent projector I'm feeling restless about having the same speakers I bought in the 90's when I started work.

If I had to say (as in what I tell the wife) what's wrong with my front setup it's that I've heard way better more enveloping soundstages from other set ups, and also I want cleaner, less wooley, more impressive bass. My wife is convinced that more expensive speakers just mean louder speakers and given she's a physicist/mathematician and classically trained to boot I'm amazed she doesn't pay more heed to sound (she really cares about visuals though).

I'm not that inclined to go to demo's for a couple of reasons i) what matters is how the sound works in my room not in a perfect environment (which my room isn't!) ii) what matters is how the speakers would couple with my existing equipment/receiver and I'm not inclined to change that.

I suppose I could/should ask the proprietor of a local decent hifi shop if he'd do a demo at my place (in my price range he has Fyne/Sonos which I know nothing about) but reading on here it's the XTZ and Arendal ranges which sound, ahem, very tempting especially with their longer tryout periods.

Thinking through what I have leaves me with a variety of questions about my set up because I'm lost about various aspects of this.

Any comments welcome !

Receiver ok?
My receiver is a Yamaha 3070 which I get the impression can drive the XTZ/Arendal fine.

Won't "need" a power amp will I?
I appreciate I could use the Yamaha as a decoder and put the sound through a poweramp to drive the f/r/c but if I go that route is it just a case of starting to pour endless money into my set up?

Mixing 4ohm/8ohm speakers?
I believe I'm right that keeping my existing rears (so as to avoid having to ceiling mount anything else and as my mission dipoles passed the WAF) which aren't 4ohm won't be an issue with the receiver?

I'm very fond of those mission rears, but that's probably that due to them being mounted utterly wrongly for 5.1 (directly behind me and ceiling level) they produce an amazing soundstage for some of my most important moments in some of my favourite films (e.g. Vangelis in Bladerunner).

Speaker cable ok for 4ohm over 12m?
13m is the longest cable run I have (to front left) and I have QED micro cable. Audioholics are giving me the impression that cable really is "not ideal" for the 4ohm and distance. Is the gauge/distance really bad enough to cause real world problems to someone with very ordinary ears?

//edit
Seems there are enough posts here that suggest I really should go for 2.5mm cable for a 15m run. I'll have to hunt for cable which has limited shielding and if I can't get it in my ducting I'll have to be creative somehow!


Wireless signal to sub?
Due to the size of the ducting I installed with the wife along the ceiling to hide the speaker cables and also the fact that the people who installed my projector (and also ran more ducting alongside a part of it) gluing a 90degree piece in place I don't think I can open the current ducting and replace the cabling. I also suspect I'm screwed trying to run a sub cable through it as I won't be able to get the 90degree piece off cleanly.

This may mean I need to use a wireless bridge to the sub which I'd like in front of me rather than beside me in a cabinet where the yamaha is now. I get the impression the SVS sound bridge would be fine and the yamaha could cope with the delay?

I would in the first instance try running micro sub cable of course but I don't think I can buy that without ends, run it round 90deg and then terminate it myself.

Placing a front on a sub?
People seem to have put centres on sub and said they'd happy with it, but then again some people eat marmite ;-) Presumably this set up works fine as long as the sub doesn't vibrate?

In my case I have a table on which my current centre sits as to hide hideous cables from the previous owners which go through the wall (sat/speaker/cable tv connectors none of which we use). The lazy options involve not replacing this table at all or replacing it with the sub. I'm loathed to cut the cables and plaster/paint the hole because I may want the Sat cables one day.

The Arendal 1723s centre or XTZ M6 centre would both be on on this table. The problem is due to tonal matching that would mean I'd need the 1723s or XTZ M6 range for the fronts. I want tower speakers (so M6 out) and for the bass I'd ideally want the Ardenal 1723 over the 1723s anyway.

So the 1x12 with a M8 centre would be fine (just) or the 1723 Sub 1 + 1723 centre would also be fine (better actually as the combined height is lower.

The XTZ/Arendal shops both do trials but what about the returns?
Is there much history of people trying out their kit and sending it back? Sadly neither has a UK presence so I can't just go to Epichomecinema for my order anymore which means sending the kit back must be very expensive (given the weight, I've not seen anyone do this). I'd also love to know how "fussy" the firms are with returns (i.e. what you end up paying for any marks that might appear when you install them).

What I'd love to do is order in both the XTZ Cinema M8 and Arendal 1723 and compare them in situ and in theory that is fine, the trouble would be if it goes sour and I lose a lot of money in returning one (or both) of them.

Another fly in the ointment is
The Mrs won't countenance me spending a penny on speakers until a certain debt I ran up is paid off (payment due 31 October). It's probably nothing to worry about but it could be the prices or shipping issues become more complicated then and I'd have to go to a UK dealer afterall or just wait things out! So I'd not be doing anything till later in the year anyway.
 
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dms

Active Member
Are you sure that's where you sit in room sim? It appears to be immediately in front of the left speaker and right next to a wall. Your peaky response is due to this.

It'll also be worth rotating (right clicking) on the subs so that the drivers are the actual orientation relative to the wall. That might be right but it's not common.

Lastly, if you co-locate the subs like you have you'll get the same response but more output - up to 6dB. If you want to achieve a smoother response you'll need to separate the subs so that one gives output where the other has a null, for example. If they're both in the same place they'll give very similar responses at the MLP.

Room sim will show you each subs response individually and how they're likely to combine without you having to enable and disable them. You can also time align them which might help smooth things out.

Any chance you can move them to the middle of the front wall? Happy to go into more detail if you're interested, maybe in a dedicated thread.

Cheers, I had no idea about the right click and driver orientation.

The middle of the front wall has a hifi cabinet and the centre speaker on top of that. The cabinet is purely there to hide hideous previous-owner cabling and give the centre speaker someheight. I guess there is nothing other than inertia to stop me getting a custom cabinet and putting a sub in it and the centre on top of it. Though I do have a height restriction that the screen is 79cm from the floor.

Roomlayout.PNG

But yes the layout is right. Maybe this diagram makes it clearer, but I'm next to the sub. There is a three person sofa and my spot is next to the receiver which is in a shelf above the sub. It's a hangup from the old house where that put me in the best position. Now on the sofa the middle spot is the best and the Mrs normally has it.

Actually that does make me feel I have the speakers too close together in the room sim, but I haven't measured things I've just mucked about with it.
 

dms

Active Member
Oh and for the last post here's a picture of the living room prior to the screen being installed. Just image the screen is just above the centre speaker and goes to just inside the left and right speakers.

//edit oh I also have an after picture to hand.
 

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dms

Active Member
And whilst I'm here.

Cabling
I've bought DCSK 2x2.5qmm cables for the F/L/C which I'll fit in existing trunking. For a sub assuming it'll be in the front I have some Fisual / QED Ultra Compact White Custom Subwoofer Cable.

Speakers
Having spoken to the Mrs who is pretty unimpressed with my desire to replace the missions it's the Arendal 1723s which pass her requirements. She would go for the XTZ Cinema 8 but thinks they're just too big and the centre wouldn't work without changing the cabinet which she isn't keen on (cost/effort not looks).

She is going to veto any suggestion of buying the XTZ and Arendal and testing them against each other with the mind of sending one back due to the risks involved.

Sub
Still not sure. Wondering about 1xSub2, 2xSub1 (or the new ones) but would probably be fine with 1 or 2x XTX 17.12 edge.

Poweramp
When (hope it's when!) I get the speakers and once they've had 50hrs warm up I'll try and get my hands on a poweramp to see if I can hear the difference.
 

Conrad

Moderator
That image makes much more sense. I’ll have a look at room sim in the morning. Could you put the sub along the front wall between either speaker and the Center?
 

dms

Active Member
That image makes much more sense. I’ll have a look at room sim in the morning. Could you put the sub along the front wall between either speaker and the Center?

Sure and to be honest that what I was going to try first. Though if I do that personally it's going to bother me without symmetry! The Mrs less so.

The Arendal Sub1 would fit in the cabinet where the current sub is and the driver would be facing me (through a cabinet and sofa). The smaller 1961 would fit even easier (the cabinet space for a sub is 50cm x 50cm) and fire into the room. The XTZ wouldn't fit in there.

My trunking would allow 3x speaker cable and 1x sub cable, though it wouldn't be fun running them through and the guy who installed our projector covered a right angle junction in silicon so it'll also be a faff opening it. Anyway, I won't be able to run two sub cables though which means if I go for two at the front I'll have to use a Y splitter once the cable appears at the front and I won't be able to use the receiver for timings.
 

Conrad

Moderator
I've had a quick look and the best I can see is to put the sub on the other side of the jut from the extension. It's a tough room and you'll likely need some EQ. I wasn't able to find a place where a second sub really helps, either.

I would suggest getting a really long sub cable (amazon basics will do) and try the sub in various places, measure, and see if you can get it somewhere that gives a decent response. You'll have compromises like WAF and cabling, but try it everywhere just so you can see the difference. Right in front of the middle of the sofa - where your table is now - gives an ok response, for example, but you can't put it there. Try between the sofas, between the sofa and the door, even in front of the door. For testing, it's ok.

If you can only run a single cable and you want two subs, I'd suggest running the single cable, then using a minidsp to split that. Then you can balance, time align, and EQ at the sub end.

But again, if you co-locate the subs you'll get an output benefit, not a smoother response.
 

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dms

Active Member
I've had a quick look and the best I can see is to put the sub on the other side of the jut from the extension. It's a tough room and you'll likely need some EQ. I wasn't able to find a place where a second sub really helps, either.

I would suggest getting a really long sub cable (amazon basics will do) and try the sub in various places, measure, and see if you can get it somewhere that gives a decent response. You'll have compromises like WAF and cabling, but try it everywhere just so you can see the difference. Right in front of the middle of the sofa - where your table is now - gives an ok response, for example, but you can't put it there. Try between the sofas, between the sofa and the door, even in front of the door. For testing, it's ok.

If you can only run a single cable and you want two subs, I'd suggest running the single cable, then using a minidsp to split that. Then you can balance, time align, and EQ at the sub end.

But again, if you co-locate the subs you'll get an output benefit, not a smoother response.

Cheers. The otherside of the jut has that sofa there but there is some dead space between it and the wall which I'll have to measure up but I'm sure could take a small sub. The cabling I've bought wouldn't reach there through the ducting but would reach it across the floor diagonally so I could test it there.

I know all the guides say the best looking place isn't often the best place for a sub... but really, hidden away in the "other room"?

If I only buy one sub it's likely to be the Sub2. Which way should the drivers face in that spot? Against the wall and sofa or against the jut and open space?

Also, I know the Yamaha 3070 has the YPAO mode, but when you say EQ would I be able to use the Yamaha for that? The EQ on the Arendals (not sure about the new small ones) are pretty "primitive" compared to what I think of an EQ (which is based purely on 80's boom boxes ;-)
 

Conrad

Moderator
Remember that wherever you put the sub, it's pressurising the whole room, so it doesn't really matter where it goes, to an extent. If you have open doors it'll be pressurising the whole space, which is why the response changes in a sealed room. Trying it in the other room is free, so give it a go.

Speakers don't see spaces like we do. We see a listening area bounded by sofas and the screen, but speakers and subs don't see that, they see a whole space. What you see as the other room is really just outside the left speaker.

As for orientation, trying it is the best way to find out, but I'd start with it firing in to open spaces. You might get some boundary reinforcement from the wall, but firing into the sub has potential to absorb a lot of the bass, which isn't ideal.

YPAO isn't great, as far as I understand, but I think you'll need something like a minidsp at some point if you want a flat response. And I guess you're not going to get away with room treatments.
 

dms

Active Member
YPAO isn't great, as far as I understand, but I think you'll need something like a minidsp at some point if you want a flat response. And I guess you're not going to get away with room treatments.

Shame, in my ignorance I've always loved Yamaha! Then again I've never owned any over receiver... so love is blind eh.

Room treatments would likely end in.... divorce. The Mrs keeps banging on that it's a living room. She loves watching films on the system too but is agitated I haven't come up with a system to protect the screen yet. She'd like to be able to have young kids playing in there, I mean how absurd ;-)

//edit. So a sound processor for the sub (which I assume would sit between the LFE out on the receiver and the sub) or one for all channels, in which case if I stuck with the yamaha I'd have to use the pre-outs to a processor? Or would the processor sit between the 4k player and the receiver?)
 
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Conrad

Moderator
The YPAO might do a decent job, I haven't owned a Yamaha receiver for years, maybe decades. And if you have the ability to measure before and after then you can test, and it's free.

Something like a miniDSP will do the sub in the way you suggest, between LFE out and the sub.
There are other options like getting a processor with something like Audyssey or Dirac and using the Yamaha as a power amp, but in that instance I'd probably just swap the Yamaha for a different receiver with better EQ build in, like an Anthem or a Denon. The Yamaha looks like a good receiver so you'll need a decent level alternative. But it feels like that's jumping the gun a bit. Get the sub and see how it sounds and measures in a few places. Then you'll have more information to make your next step.

If you get a decent sub, like you're considering, then whatever your next step is it won't be wasted, you'll only be improving on what you have.

As for protecting the screen, have you considered covering the kids in bubble wrap or some sort of microfiber suit? That way everything in your house is protected!
 

dms

Active Member
The YPAO might do a decent job, I haven't owned a Yamaha receiver for years, maybe decades. And if you have the ability to measure before and after then you can test, and it's free.

Something like a miniDSP will do the sub in the way you suggest, between LFE out and the sub.
There are other options like getting a processor with something like Audyssey or Dirac and using the Yamaha as a power amp, but in that instance I'd probably just swap the Yamaha for a different receiver with better EQ build in, like an Anthem or a Denon. The Yamaha looks like a good receiver so you'll need a decent level alternative. But it feels like that's jumping the gun a bit. Get the sub and see how it sounds and measures in a few places. Then you'll have more information to make your next step.

If you get a decent sub, like you're considering, then whatever your next step is it won't be wasted, you'll only be improving on what you have.

As for protecting the screen, have you considered covering the kids in bubble wrap or some sort of microfiber suit? That way everything in your house is protected!

Fair cop, that's my plan get the speakers, see if I'm happy and see what else I can do to improve things down the road. Though if I buy them new and I don't like the sound I'd likely return them and stick with what I have rather than change everything for the thrill of it.

As I found with calibrating the projector there is a warm feeling in knowing the equipment has been set up right.... but the difference won't necessarily be apparent to me.... so it might be I'll be happy with the kit out of the box even if the pro's wouldn't!

As to the kids (I have one and she knows very well you don't touch the screen, she thinks dancing near it is ok though...deep breathe) I've had more trouble from adults being idiots (you know the sort who use speakers as mug holders) and the sort who think it's funny to wind me up!
 

dms

Active Member
Using REW to see effect of subs under monitors...
 

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dms

Active Member
Demo'd Newman 310
I've got to give my demo Neumann 310 speakers back tomorrow. Once I've not had them a day or so I'll think things over. They were seriously impressive.

Will listen to some serious hifi gear
By fluke I'm visiting a friend this weekend who from memory has the best sound system I've ever heard, so I'm hoping I get to listen to it and chat to the guy about it a bit. It's a hifi passive system with preamp per channel, power amp, decent speakers but I don't recall the details. I also didn't hear anything I know on it when I last saw him about 6 years ago.

Worried about balanced cables
I'm a bit torn about going active and worrying about long (13m) unbalanced cable runs, the faff of trying to get a balanced signal to them (say with a clean box pro or dcx... more cables more cost more power possible gain loss) from my Yamaha 3070, annoyed the Yamaha process is so much more expensive than the receiver even though all it has I'd need is balanced XLR and my 3070 isn't even 2 years old.

Active also means very expensive speakers which are rammed full of electronics, albeit they are professional kit.

Or go passive
Going passive could be much cheaper (there are some decent 1723 even going second hand atm) and I'd be relaxed about the wiring. However without a demo of the system I'd want to buy as I had with the Newmann I'd be worried they wouldn't be as amazing! If I buy new and demo 1723s the price differential is much smaller.

Subs
If I go for the Neumann I'm very likely to go twin XTZ 17.12 to initially use them as "stands" for the monitors. They would be about the right height and the width would match up.

I've pretty much decided I want twin subs to smooth the response (after trying REW), and if I put them in the front I want symmetry.

I'm at a complete loss in the Arendal Sub1 or Sub1s vs XTZ comparisons. I prefer the look of the Arendal, the fact they have larger drivers and that people refer to them as musical. XTZ are cheaper, a lot of people seem very happy with them and I can run them ported if I feel the need. Also Arendal's side firing means I can't place them within 10cm of a all and that restricts me.

However if I don't go for the Neumann I'll likely get a Arendal Sub1 or Sub1s and just put it in the cabinet where my Yamaha is... even though it's not a great spot.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
I've not read through all the of the discussion above, but here's a quick example of a better setup if you don't restrict yourself to subs being under the main speakers. What makes this good is the absence of significant dips in the response, with the peaks likely to be straightforwardly managed with EQ. The position I've placed your 'left' sub may of course be totally impractical in your room but I'm just giving an example.

SubSetup1.JPG


Note that as well as thinking about subwoofer positions you may well find the sound from your left and right main speakers is better if they are further from the front wall than it looks like you've been considering.

As you rightly said above simulations are approximate and so only really useful as a guide of arrangements to try out for real.
 

dms

Active Member
I've not read through all the of the discussion above, but here's a quick example of a better setup if you don't restrict yourself to subs being under the main speakers. What makes this good is the absence of significant dips in the response, with the peaks likely to be straightforwardly managed with EQ. The position I've placed your 'left' sub may of course be totally impractical in your room but I'm just giving an example.

View attachment 1221920

Note that as well as thinking about subwoofer positions you may well find the sound from your left and right main speakers is better if they are further from the front wall than it looks like you've been considering.

As you rightly said above simulations are approximate and so only really useful as a guide of arrangements to try out for real.

I'm sorry I'm not better at drawing so I can't do a decent plan of my room. If you check one of my pictures above though you'll see that lower position for a sub isn't possible as the room has a giant "kink" and that lower corner is in fact another room in the house. It's a shame as the 100hz response is much better in your version ;-)

I'm sure it wouldn't be as good but the "kink" is home to my 4k/blu/dvd collection so there is no space there to put a sub without a major overhaul of the room. Frankly there is no where else to put those in the room either due to windows/furniture.

The Neumann musn't be between 80cm and I think 2m from a wall so I could only pull them out that far and I may well try it if I go for them. Unfortunately owing to a sofa (also in the picture as a brown blog) I couldn't leave them there.
 

dms

Active Member
Well that listening to serious hifi gear this weekend was a disappointment.

I understood what the gear was this time, before it had meant nothing to me. It was a Naim system, a pre-amp, two power amps, and power conditioner (so it was described). Two Epos speakers (didn't see the model but I expect they cost a grand or so 15-20 years ago) which were bi-amped with the bass both to one poweramp and the tweeters driven by the other, apparently he'd tried l/r but preferred it this way.

Times had changed for home though and clearly it was a regret how much he's spent on it and the speakers weren't central to the room anymore, the balance of the speakers were out, the cd player was dead and so all I got to hear was streamed from Amazon over the headphone jack to two photo connectors. It didn't sound special one little bit... nothing like how I remember it.
 

Conrad

Moderator
If your friend is able to hear the difference between two of the same power amps powering L/R and bass/treble then he either has amazing hearing or something is flawed in his system.

You're actually not far from me (I'm in Bedfordshire) so if you want to come and hear something completely different from your system and your friends system, and hear how different amps don't make that much difference between the same model of speakers, and different speaker cable doesn't make that much difference, then you're more than welcome. I can also give you a run through of REW if that's of any use.

I also have pretty good examples of how speakers and subs that are too large/too many for the room can still sound good. I've made a lot of compromises with my HT and I think it still sounds great.
 

dms

Active Member
If your friend is able to hear the difference between two of the same power amps powering L/R and bass/treble then he either has amazing hearing or something is flawed in his system.

You're actually not far from me (I'm in Bedfordshire) so if you want to come and hear something completely different from your system and your friends system, and hear how different amps don't make that much difference between the same model of speakers, and different speaker cable doesn't make that much difference, then you're more than welcome. I can also give you a run through of REW if that's of any use.

I wasn't going to argue with him, and to be fair to him it became clear he had taken advice from "people who know" and they had chosen the components and set up for him. He used to work in a hifi store and was slaving away and spent the money on the gear with a considerable staff discount employed. Whether he would have been better off with a different job and just paying the going rate... I suspect he thinks he would have been. In any case it sounded damn fine the first time I heard it when it was pride of place in his then new pad.

Was chatting to the Mrs tonight and I have to admit I'm getting very close to thinking it's three Neumann 310 I want and am considering forgoing the subs owing to the budget. Or even possibly just slotting a Arendal 1s in where my Yamaha is. I was starting to doubt I care about the big bass as much as I initially thought... but I haven't demoed subs of course.

The Mrs kindly said I could get the expletive deleted subs as long as I sorted the system out and never spoke to her about it again ;-) She was pretty peeved at the idea I'd demo anything else or get temporary lounge furniture.

What system do you have? The idea of popping over for a demo/chat is appealing if I can make it work before I pull the trigger and order kit. I'm quite sure I won't be able to be objective about how it would sound vs the Newmann!
 
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Conrad

Moderator
I have three systems.

Living Room is b&w nautilus 805 powered by a Classe sigma 2200i.
Office is B&W nautilus 802 powered by a Sony db940 (it’s my retro 90s digital system and has a minidisc deck and a dat recorder!)
HT is B&W nautilus 802 with htm1 Center and 4 dm600 surrounds. It also has three subs in it and is powered by a Classé ct2300 For the LR and a ct5300 for the rest.

Very different from what you’re looking at but it’ll give you a chance to hear the same speakers on a 300wpc amp and on a 140wpc channel amp that probably doesn’t get close to that. I can also let you hear the difference between van damme Blue speaker cable and solid silver, as well as solid silver interconnects and Amazon basics. Spoiler alert: not a lot of difference.
 

dms

Active Member
Playing with REW....

Given the Neumann310 are +/- 3db at 34hz that strikes me as sub-lite especially with their position near a wall.

I'm struggling to see based off the simulation if I'll really be better off with two subs in the front and a 80hz cross over compared to the speakers set to large and one sub where I have one now.

Only sensible thing to do is take real measurements when I have new speakers but maybe I can just get a 180cm version of the Ikea AV unit I have at the front, put it alongside the 120cm one (so 3m wall covered and cable hidden zone) so I have no height issues. Then if one sub in the corner is ok then a Arendal 1s would fit in the same space in the same cabinet.

I have an issue that if the Centre channel doesn't work ok with my length of balanced cable part of my budget (when I mentioned I may need a processor a Mrs mandated budget suddenly appeared) will have to go on a processor or a SAM-1Bs/4-kanalig to get balanced XLR, but the Mrs has said if I change the lounge furniture it's to stay that way (so no getting temporary furniture to get the height of the L/C/R right then getting subs later).

1subwhereucrrentlyis.JPG
2subsfront.JPG
 
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Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
I'm confused what the centre speaker balanced cable issue is? Balanced cables aren't especially expensive, and another option would be to buy extension cables to make your current ones longer.

Regarding your latest comparison, note that there are potential advantages to using a sub over running the main speakers full range that you won't see in REW:

  1. Lower distortion due to the main speakers no longer handling the lowest frequencies (in the form of both lower harmonic distortion and lower intermodulation distortion). To what extent this is true, and how significant it is, will depend on the specific speakers and subwoofer(s).
  2. If using the main speakers for the lowest frequencies you will have a stereo signal at these frequencies, which may sound like a good thing but potentially isn't. If you set up the EQ so that it works well when both speakers play a bass note of equal amplitude at the same time, then when a bass sound is panned either left or right what you end up with won't be optimal. With a mono bass signal sent to a subwoofer you wouldn't have this problem. This effect is likely to be bigger due to the asymmetric layout the speakers in your room.
  3. If you don't use a sub you'd need to check that any AVR you were using included the LFE channel in the stereo downmix you'd nee to use. This may prove hard to find but others are much better placed to comment on this.
I'm not saying you definitely need to use subwoofers but don't make a decision based just on a REW simulation.

Neither of the predicted responses you've just posted look great to be honest. I assume it's deliberate that your head is off-center between the speakers? If you care about multiple positions across a couch you may want to look at the predictions for different positions

Are these the speakers you're talking about?

KH 310 A L G

Where did you get the pair to demo from out of interest?

I've not read all of this thread but in case it's of interest a cheaper active speaker option that I've seen recommended a few times are Edifier S3000 Pros. I've not heard them though and I think you'd struggle to find any to demo.
 

Conrad

Moderator
I just learned that, according to Dolby, if you set speakers to large the LFE is supposed to be mixed in with the L/R: https://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/Assets/US/Doc/Professional/38_LFE.pdf

I know that's not the case with Plex when you set the output to 2.0, and I guess it could be implemented differently in different receivers, but it's easy enough to test with a laptop and REW. Send a signal on channel 4 (LFE) to the receiver with the speakers set as large. If you get signal out then you know it's retaining the LFE. You should also be able to confirm whether it's keeping it at +10dB or not.

In the case of panning, I would assume that the mono LFE channel would be added to both mains, meaning that it doesn't move? What you're saying about panning would be true for below-crossover frequencies that stay in the L/R channels though.

Also adding to Ultra's comments above, I believe that adding a sub lightens the load on the amplifier. This is because receivers have active crossovers (i.e. the crossover sits before the amplifier stage). This means that, with the speakers set to small and the lower frequencies redirected, you only need to amplify from 80Hz up (assuming an 80Hz crossover). Given that it takes twice the power to amplify 70Hz as 80Hz to the same level*, and so on all way down to 0Hz in 10Hz increments, dropping this range from the amp helps the amp play louder, with less distortion, across the remaining frequency range.

*I think that's right, I'm pretty sure it is.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
In the case of panning, I would assume that the mono LFE channel would be added to both mains, meaning that it doesn't move? What you're saying about panning would be true for below-crossover frequencies that stay in the L/R channels though.

Yes. And in case it's relevant to the OP it would also be relevant to music playback (CDs or streaming) where there isn't an LFE channel.
 

dms

Active Member
I'm confused what the centre speaker balanced cable issue is? Balanced cables aren't especially expensive, and another option would be to buy extension cables to make your current ones longer.

Sorry, I've spread things over different threads.

My Uncle is very interested in electronics and I suspect his love of music is closely related to the electronics and technology in the chain with the end result of the sound being produced.

He's taken a look at the circuit diagram of the Yamaha 3070 and is concerned there is a weak link, as it were, in the pre-amp centre out. When I had my demo units I drove the L/R only (as I only had two) with 6m RCA->XLR cables and then one of them with a 1m RCA->XLR and 13m XLR extension. They sounded good to me, there was no noticeable interference and I couldn't hear any difference between L/R with the different cable lengths. However at the time he hadn't made his centre channel observation and now recons it's 50/50 if I can use such long cables for the centre without experiencing interference.

Given the cable length is over 5m to L/C/R perceived wisdom (and the Neumann manual!) would be to run balanced cables for the length. I'll have balanced cables anyway BUT my Yamaha 3070 doesn't have balanced OUTPUT so I'll need some means of sending a balanced signal.

The options for a balanced signal are i) replace my 3070 with a processor such as the CXA-5100 ii) use as decent unbalanced to balanced converted such as the SAM-1B Symetrie/Kopfhoererverstärker

Both options are "expensive" in the sense it's spending money for no real sound benefit over what I'd have if I had bought a processor instead of my 3070. Obviously I'd do best to try and get a second hand processor, but even then I'm sure I'm looking at £1.6k+ for something which isn't "better" than my 3070 and that pains me.

My uncle rates it 50/50 I'll be get a distortion free signal on my centre channel. He can't find the full specs of the relevant chip so he isn't sure. The proof is in the testing of course and if it doesn't work I'll need to get a balanced signal to the centre (and I'll do it for all three channels of course) hence the possible need for a unbalanced to balanced Converter or just saying sod it and getting a processor with balanced XLR out.

Regarding your latest comparison, note that there are potential advantages to using a sub over running the main speakers full range that you won't see in REW:

My current sub is a Yamaha YST-205 which is ported, has an 8" driver and sounded boomy low. From the manual I recon it's +/- 3db about 25hz.

The Neumann 310 are +/- 3db at 34hz and have a 8" driver which is triamped (so it has 3 drivers all with their own amp).

When I played the lobby scene in the Matrix with the sub off and the Neumann set to large in the Yamaha 3070 it just sounded much better to me.

I suspect i) there wasn't a great deal very deep in that one scene ii) the Neumann were playing louder overall than my sub.

My thinking is that as the Neumann has it's own amp for the 8" driver, and as I was going to put subs in the position they are in anyway then surely I'll effectively end up with fake-subs practically as good as my current Yamaha at the front anyway.

If you don't use a sub you'd need to check that any AVR you were using included the LFE channel in the stereo downmix you'd nee to use. This may prove hard to find but others are much better placed to comment on this

By the way I wasn't thinking of having no sub. I was thinking I'd experiment with setting the L/R to large or crossover at 40hz (which is where the Neumann 310 stop being perfectly linear) and using a sub in the current position in the cabinet. As I have a mental tick of getting rid of my Yamaha 205 I'd likely replace it with a Arendal Sub1s or Sub1 as they would fit in the cabinet; but I wouldn't be getting dual XTZ 17.12 at the front.

I don't know the exact details of how my Yamaha 3070 handles it. What I believe is the case is that if I set the front to small with a cross over (the easy bit) then any signal in that range is put to the subwoofer and added to the LFE mix. What I'm not so sure on is if I set the L/R to large and also have a sub if the LFE gets mixed to the L/R still or it's just a case that nothing is added from the L/R to the sub. Easy enough to test with REW I guess.

I'm not saying you definitely need to use subwoofers but don't make a decision based just on a REW simulation.

Absolutely. Current thinking is get the L/R/C test the room with REW using the L/R as large/small, test out my demo material whilst experimenting with large/small.

Then consider whether I i) leave my current sub ii) replace it with a single Sub1 or Sub1s in the same position as my current sub iii) get dual XTZ 17.12 edge in the front.

What REW, and the demo with the Neumann, the fact I may have issues with my long cable run on the centre channel, has made me do is push me to thinking I don't need to buy dual subs on day 1.

Neither of the predicted responses you've just posted look great to be honest. I assume it's deliberate that your head is off-center between the speakers? If you care about multiple positions across a couch you may want to look at the predictions for different positions

No. I can't get it flat or vaguely flat moving the speakers/sub to positions my room could tolerate. So what I'm aiming for is as tight a set of oscillations as possible with no deep troughs.

When I do the tests in REW I run it the length of the sofa.

When I'm watching a film with the Mrs I get the off centre position. It's a tradition that I always sit next to the equipment cabinet. In the last house that was the centre position, in fact before that when the then projector was on a table (previous flat) or kitchen surface (flat before that) being next to the equipment was also the centre position. I guess it's a tradition that's costing me now.

When I watch a film alone, which isn't that common, obviously I can sit where I like but unless the Mrs is away then I may as well be wearing headphones for the greif I get in an action film (John Wick 2 crossed a red line one night ;-)

Yes that's them.

I've been pointed at them as my Uncle demoed a whole series of speakers for himself (purely for hifi) and ended up with them. It seemed very easy for him to get home demos in Germany.

I had intended to demo a series of actives but i) the Mrs ruled our a great many ranges on athestics grounds, sadly the Hedd were instantly out and I quite liked the look ii) dimensions are an issue for my centre channel, I don't want anything too small or too large it has to be "just right".
 

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