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

dms

Active Member
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.

I'll experiment with REW when I get the chance to solve this! I was mucking about it with on my desktop but I could only see L/R output. Presumably as I had headphones in and so it wouldn't let me output a LFE?

As to the load, yes it's true but given the Neumann have a specific amp for their 8" (and a safety cut off mechanism if you try and overdrive it) at my volume level it may be they are able to cope fine.

It's true though expecting the Neumann to do well at 20hz is asking too much. Unfortunately from memory the lowest cross over the Yamaha does is 40hz. That said the frequency response for them from 40hz up is flat.
 

Conrad

Moderator
I just confirmed, your amp does do what we think with the LFE. From the manual:

Select this option when no subwoofer is connected to the SUBWOOFER 1 or SUBWOOFER 2 jack. The front speakers will produce LFE (low-frequency effect) channel audio and low-frequency components from other channels when both "Subwoofer 1" and "Subwoofer 2" are set to "None"

So that's good.

However, the crossover point on the Neumanns is 650Hz, so having a sub that handles 0-80 would still be advantageous, it's < 1/10th (and the hardest 10th to reproduce) that you're removing from the Neumann drivers. Yes, you'll probably get similar sound to the Yamaha and it would be a fine start, but a "proper" sub will make the world of difference.

For the balanced cable issue, is the cable running alongside power or any other cables for significant distances? A decent shielded cable should allow you to run the distance you want without issue. I'd suggest you try a cable first before committing to something like that balanced/unbalanced converter.
 

dms

Active Member
I just confirmed, your amp does do what we think with the LFE. From the manual:

Select this option when no subwoofer is connected to the SUBWOOFER 1 or SUBWOOFER 2 jack. The front speakers will produce LFE (low-frequency effect) channel audio and low-frequency components from other channels when both "Subwoofer 1" and "Subwoofer 2" are set to "None"

So that's good.

However, the crossover point on the Neumanns is 650Hz, so having a sub that handles 0-80 would still be advantageous, it's < 1/10th (and the hardest 10th to reproduce) that you're removing from the Neumann drivers. Yes, you'll probably get similar sound to the Yamaha and it would be a fine start, but a "proper" sub will make the world of difference.

For the balanced cable issue, is the cable running alongside power or any other cables for significant distances? A decent shielded cable should allow you to run the distance you want without issue. I'd suggest you try a cable first before committing to something like that balanced/unbalanced converter.

Ta. For some reason I couldn't download the manual when I tried this morning from two Yamaha sites. Maybe my Kaspersky playing up here.

When I did the testing the cables were running along the floor from receiver to speaker, so no power cables no.

When I set it up for real the cables will run from behind the receiver to the ceiling, along the width of the room, back down again, and then along the wall to the speaker in question.

Due to the size of the ducting I have I'd want to use 4.85mm2 cable if I can (Van Damm do this). It does not have the full shielding of their 6mm2 cable. I think I could run 2x6mm2 and 1x4mm2 in my ducting at a push I'll need to test it, as ever it's the 90degree corners which are the issue.

For the first approx 2m to the ceiling I have 2 cable ducts going up. One on the left currently has 3 speaker cables and I'd use the XLR cables in there (hmm or is it 4? I can't remember if one of my surrounds is in there). Then there is another duct which has a HDMI and power cable (for the projector). Whether that's significant or not I don't know.

You're right of course. I'll try it, first with the cables on the floor, then in the ducting and if I have problems I'll work out how to get a balanced signal into the XLR cable.
 

dms

Active Member
DMS said:
I think I could run 2x6mm2 and 1x4mm2 in my ducting at a push I'll need to test it, as ever it's the 90degree corners which are the issue.

Thanks to the cable company not getting my order right I now have 2x6mm and 1x4.85 cables to fit in my ducting. I didn't notice their error till I got home and placed the new two cables next to the old one.

Oh well, hopefully it fits in eh ;-) I may try and fit a sub cable in there too for future proofing but to be honest I'm thinking I won't go the front sub route.

IMG_20191206_234809542.jpg

What a lovely mess eh. I haven't managed to pull my Missions away yet, but I didn't have much time this evening.

My current thinking is to buy the companion 180cm version of the Ikea AV cabinet and put it beside the 120cm one we have. That will be a bit longer than the screen is wide, hide all cables and means all three Neumann 310 will be the same height. It will also mean no space for subs at the front.

Considering I was set on Arendal, a poweramp and dual subs... well I've ended up quite different than where I was expecting to be.
 

dms

Active Member
Urgh. Got the XLR cables in the ducting... was a right pain and having the wrong diameter cables means absolutely no chance of getting a sub cable in there, not even the 3mm I had to hand.

So subs at the front ruled out both by cabling and....

Assembled a 180cm wide Ikea AV unit the same as the 120cm one in the picture so now I have AV cabinet a bit longer than the screen is wide with the there Neumann on. It means they are a little but not hugely closer in than the Mission were before.

I just couldn't cope with them on those nightstands and being in front of the screen a minute longer.....

So now it's one sub only and I want to get that sorted this week. I had been set on Arendal Sub 1S, but I've seen a discounted SVS SB3000 which would be available next day....

I sat down and watched 30mins or so of La La Land again, I'm falling in love with it from the start to the free jazz scene. It sounded very good... but I miss having my missions to switch to so I can hear the difference between what I had and now have!

I also cranked it up and I couldn't hear any obvious signs of interference which may be caused from the less than parallel 2m run of power cable (to projector) in the ducting next to the ducting my XLR are in. Of course the 6mm cables have better shielding anyway. BUT I couldn't cope with the idea of running a test with my ducted cable vs the 6m RCA->XLR cables I originally used although that would make some sense.

I am tempted to get a decent (as in pro grade) unbalanced -> balanced converter so see if I can detect any difference, in a perfect world I'd borrow one.

On the way to Ikea my kid has asked for my Missions which is a huge relief as it gives me an excuse to keep them a bit longer.
 

dms

Active Member
Got the SVS-3000. So having said I'd never go for gloss... well apparently I will if it's cheap enough! it does look gorgeous, real shame it'll be hidden in the cabinet.

So that's me done.

Started off wanting Arendal's and a poweramp with XTZ ported subs... ended up with Active Monitors and a SVS gloss sub back in the cabinet where my Yamaha was.

Played a bit with REW on the sub, did the Yamaha room correction.... Blade Runner never sounded so good (in my house).

IMG_20191208_115214443.jpg
 

Conrad

Moderator
Is there a sub in that picture?

Any REW traces to share?
 

dms

Active Member
Is there a sub in that picture?

Any REW traces to share?

No. The sub is in the corner. Horribly blurred photo I took for the Mrs who wanted to know what I'd done.

IMG_20191210_135310414.jpg

Shame, it's really very fetching without the grill... but you know it wouldn't last a day down there.

The sofa and the one next to it carries on to the door and after that there is a "chunk" cut out of the wall. My old sub ... well I didn't manage to carry it out the room yet and there is just, "just" enough space to wedge it between the two sofas and still shut the door.... it's very tempting to try it there and see if the Mrs notices. Plan B would be push the sofa out and put it behind ;-) Of course the old sub is utterly different quality.

Speaking of which.


old_vs_new_sub.JPG

I started losing the will with REW and just wanted to listen to some music/film. I only managed 45mins or so of playing that even though I was working from home today.. the problem is I do work ;( I appreciate I've turned the new sub down a bit during my calibration compared to the volume I had the receiver on for the old one.

The red is the new sub, the blue the old. REW thinks the new is +/- 3db of the target. I wasn't playing attention and that's the default.

I haven't run REW for the Neumann. To be honest my excuse is to run them in their 50 hours and then do it ;-)

I'm still not sure if I prefer the Sub with the really tight and clean effect I get after REW or a bit heavy handed if it's just left flat... but then again I've barely used it.
 

dms

Active Member
It was bothering me if I preferred the bass of my Neumann or SB3000 so I've been listening to music and trying the settings in the Yamaha 3070 to work it out.

The setting I was trying was the size of the speakers, the cut off point, the sub on/off etc.

First off I was being clumsy and had the setup in 9ch stereo which I always used to use and this meant I had trouble factoring out the rears in my hearing. I was also bothered it was hurting my ears listening to music I liked.

I realised what I'd done and got it set to straight which meant the bass was managed by the 3070 (as opposed to pure direct which did not use the sub at all) so I could do some testing.

At one point I started switching the PEQ settings and realised that the Flat setting sounded bright, really too bright. By bright I mean far too much treble.

Looking at the PEQ from the auto config on the Yamaha I saw that the L/R had both big elevations to very high frequency namely 16hz +5db and 8hz +2.5db. Those were less sever in the natural setting, which sounded muddy though.

Looking it up I saw mention the automatic configuration gave too bright a sound. Checking REW out it looked like the high frequencies were just flat, but adjusting those very high +db down a couple of notches made a world of difference and the music was much much better. Perhaps just too high an adjustment by the Yamaha was causing problems? @Conrad. had mentioned to me over adjustment of the output could cause issues, though admittedly with very different kit and levels of adjustment, but still it puts the thought in my mind.

With those adjustments I could listen to Pendulum Other Side comfortably whilst adjusting the sub / bass settings and it felt very good. The best setting was definitely 80hz cross over and the low end from the SB3000, and around the 54 second mark I was feeling real kick from the bass line. Not kicks in the chest but really full and satisfying none the less. Adjusting the volume of the sub from -10db to -60db or +10db it was also obvious what the sub was contributing!

Of course there is a cavet that the Sub has been adjusted by REW settings to give a smoother curve and the Neumann 310 have not had that treatment and are relying on the Yamaha 3070 so I could probably get better bass from them than I'm experiencing.

Oh and it was interesting that having always thought my missions sounded flat in stereo for music (hence I always had 9ch stereo on) my system now sounds best in 2ch/straight mode, and the 9ch doesn't add anything at all, if anything it detracts which might well be a sign of the difference between my Neumann 310 at the front and Mission 77ds at the rear!
 

dms

Active Member
I have a better idea of whats going on now I changed the scale of my REW readings.

Here is the PEQ at through so no EQ applied.
Note the huge 40hz bump. Looks like I need to reduce the bass setting on the speaker itself.
Neumann310_THROUGH.JPG


Here is PEQ at flat. Notice 40hz is reduced by this setting but that the high frequencies are brought up to the same level and are basically peaking. Clearly for my ears that was too much, painful in fact.

Neumann310_FLAT.JPG
 

Conrad

Moderator
I'd turn as much processing off in the amp that you can, just have them on a discreet or direct or whatever your amp calls it so that it uses 5.1 when it's given a 5.1 signal and 2.1 when it's given stereo. Even on direct I would have thought the crossover would still be engaged?

Even if it means running without the sub for a while, spend some time getting used to how the speakers sound, what you like about them, what you don't, etc. Try out their different settings as you are doing. Once you're used to them and you've got them as you like then start playing with the amp modes. At the moment you're changing loads of things without a solid baseline. it puts too many variables in play and I think you'll end up getting frustrated.

For working out whether something sounds right, I tend to listen to things on decent headphones and then compare to in room. That way I know what the recording sounds like without the room in the equation. Playback is always a combination of the equipment and the room (and the room is a major part).

It's common to have a mode of around 40Hz in uk rooms. It's something to do with the average uk room being half as long as a 40Hz wave or something. Taming that seems to have worked well, but the trough between ~80Hz and 200Hz is pretty wide and deep and will cost you a lot in the upper bass and could well be impacting speech intelligibility. Also, your treble is rising from 1KHz to 10KHz which is probably making things pretty bright, as you said. The default shape in REW has a fall from 1KHz upwards. Human hearing gets more sensitive with higher frequencies so standard practice is to have a "house curve" rising from about 200Hz on a 24dB/Octave and a similar but more gentle fall at the top end. It's common for people to find overly bright systems tiring to listen to.

In REW use a scale of 5dB, that gives you the right level of granularity. 1dB makes the measurement look all over the place and more than 5dB doesn't show you enough detail.

And stick a minidsp on your christmas list :)
 

dms

Active Member
I'd turn as much processing off in the amp that you can, just have them on a discreet or direct or whatever your amp calls it so that it uses 5.1 when it's given a 5.1 signal and 2.1 when it's given stereo. Even on direct I would have thought the crossover would still be engaged?

Even if it means running without the sub for a while, spend some time getting used to how the speakers sound, what you like about them, what you don't, etc. Try out their different settings as you are doing. Once you're used to them and you've got them as you like then start playing with the amp modes. At the moment you're changing loads of things without a solid baseline. it puts too many variables in play and I think you'll end up getting frustrated.

For working out whether something sounds right, I tend to listen to things on decent headphones and then compare to in room. That way I know what the recording sounds like without the room in the equation. Playback is always a combination of the equipment and the room (and the room is a major part).

It's common to have a mode of around 40Hz in uk rooms. It's something to do with the average uk room being half as long as a 40Hz wave or something. Taming that seems to have worked well, but the trough between ~80Hz and 200Hz is pretty wide and deep and will cost you a lot in the upper bass and could well be impacting speech intelligibility. Also, your treble is rising from 1KHz to 10KHz which is probably making things pretty bright, as you said. The default shape in REW has a fall from 1KHz upwards. Human hearing gets more sensitive with higher frequencies so standard practice is to have a "house curve" rising from about 200Hz on a 24dB/Octave and a similar but more gentle fall at the top end. It's common for people to find overly bright systems tiring to listen to.

In REW use a scale of 5dB, that gives you the right level of granularity. 1dB makes the measurement look all over the place and more than 5dB doesn't show you enough detail.

And stick a minidsp on your christmas list :)

Lol. My christmas list has been shredded after these recent purchases!

Now I understand better what the Yamaha was trying to do and what the consequences were I think I'm going to try again when I get some time and see if I can't do better with REW and the bands the Yamaha offers on the PEQ.

I'm assuming the Yamaha is trying to deal with the 40hz mode even though with bass management applied at the 80hz range there is a strong cut off down below 80hz.

What I also have is the bass/mid/trepple adjustments on the speakers themselves. I'm not entirely sure what ranges they apply to, but I'll simply experiment and find out! If I'm lucky the bass adjustment will help deal further with my 40hz mode without further impacting the 80-200hz range. From memory I have it at either -2.5db or -5db at the moment and it goes to -7.5db.

In any event I can use it in combination with the Yamaha 7 bands to try and smooth things out further.

I should have time to give it a go this week with a bit of luck.
 

dms

Active Member
Well I gave it ago taking readings of L/C/R with REW and using the equaliser to match the default curve.

The results were good in that the output seemed to match the curves well and the pyschoacoustic curves looked level enough (I guess they tend to!). However listening to Pendulum Other Side was awful. It sounded muddy, voices were unclear and the soundstage was very narrow. I tried La La Land and the effect was not as pronounced but that first song wasn't as clear or impactful as the YPAO Natural was.

So in disgust I went back to what I'd had before namely YPAO FLAT with the trebble down a little at 8khz and 16khz to stop those being completely "flat" and with my own sub corrections. I'll try to think over what went wrong. What I did notice though was the REW curve really does down down in the higher frequency and it's those frequencies being higher which to my ears gives a better wider soundstage. What I don't yet 'get is where the muddiness is coming from, if it's overblown mid frequencies or just low highs.

I did learn a couple of things on the way. I realised that yes when I send a test signal to a speaker the 3070 is sending a signal to the bass so I was able to turn that off (well set db to -60 could have turned it off on the 3070 of course) to see what I was actually getting from the speaker.

That also made it clear to me the output of my sub was dwarfing the Neumann at the levels I have the two set to at the moment.

I had a go at changing the sub phase too. I tried the pink noise PN test but frankly although I could see changes in response and different peaks/troughs as I changed the phase I was a bit confused by it all.

After that I tried 20-200hz sweeps with L and Sub together with different phases and 180degees looked flatter than 0degrees. I could also see a couple of troughs which I could target with the EQ on the SB3000; so that seems to be a way to go.... the pink noise test would be faster if I could get a grip with it.

I replayed Pendulum Otherside with the new setting and the sub down to -15db rather than -10db (it should probably be -20db to match the Neumann, or I could boost them at the speaker level) and it sounded good to me!
 

dms

Active Member
Still haven't touched trying to fix the curves since last year, and some time ago left it on the YPAO flat with the treble down a notch and some sub adjustment. I'd even forgotten it was that setting I'd used. Reading the recent review of the Lyman just reinforces my mind that I'll get a processor with XLR out and decent easy-peasy room correction one day.

With home schooling forced on me I bought some blurays of kiddy films because I really hate dvds on the projector even if my kid didn't notice the difference till I made blind tests of telling the dvd/bluray apart on one of her favourite films her school work... it took a while and I had to point her in directions to look for but then she could do it.

Anyway, on my old Mission system when I first got bluray I couldn't tell the difference between the dvd and bluray audio on any film I had double dipped in. I never tried a blind test but on anything I put in (Matrix, blade runner, star wars) I never felt I could tell the difference for audio, shore the video was light and day difference. So I remember when I did demos telling people I couldn't tell the sound apart and wouldn't pretend I could but the image difference was worth it (and I demoed the Matrix on Bluray vs DVD a lot in the old days. I think the last time I did it was to NCT people before my kid was born).

On the new system with the Neumann doing the blind test with the kid for video I was shocked how easily I could hear a clear night and day difference between the audio of the DD 5.1 track on DVD and True HD on the bluray. That was on dialogue or singing but the difference was huge. Her films which I double dipped on are all relatively new, live action and 2010ish onwards. These were films I'd either sat through with her or heard in the background when other people saw them with her many many times.

When it comes to bass rewatching various films (all kids films when the mother/father just can't take it anymore) which we've seen/heard many times I was also really impressed with the bass suddenly "feeling" it where I'd never noticed it before, all thanks to the SVS SB3000 sub.

Also whilst homeworking I've been able to listen to music, hurrah, which I couldn't do in the office. Really helps getting through the long shifts. Having heard the same Drum and Bass album (Hospitality Summer 2012 sent to me in error so I just paid them for it) over and over on my headphones I chucked it in on the main system for fun and again a light and day difference.

The kid has a second hand horrid minicd player with tiny speakers in her room left by the previous owners. Listening to an audio play neither her or I could understand a certain word, on my headphones it sounded better but still not clear. On the Neumann the play sounded utterly different with everything so clear it's like the composition of the audio tracks was in front of you.

No I haven't been given golden ears over night but I guess it all just goes to show how being really familiar with material makes the difference between systems more obvious.

Of course my old speakers aren't plugged in anymore so I can't do comparisons with them, but for me it doesn't matter anymore, I never went "wow" on a dvd->bluray upgrade with those for audio or went to them when something wasn't clear on my headphones.
 

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