Music sounds terrible - Marantz SR6015 + Monitor Audio Silver

KingsGambit

Standard Member
Mods: Not sure if this is suitable for this subforum, or speakers one as it straddles the two. I believe this is the correct place, please forgive if not.

Hi all, I'm hoping this is one of those issues someone has already encountered and knows exactly what the issue is. I'm going in circles trying to figure it out. I don't know if it's my speakers or receiver, tho I suspect the latter, a recently bought Marantz SR6015.

I've had teething issues getting my new 5.1 system setup. Ignoring that for now since it's all working now, I have Monitor Audio Silver 200 fronts, C150 centre and 50s rears. I have a separate BK Electric sub. Now I've been adjusting placement/toe-in etc and run Audessey to set it up, adjusted from there. Movies sound great, really immersive with distinct channels and wonderful sound reproduction. But my music sounds awful.

I can't say exactly what the issue is, but music sounds dull and lifeless. I think what's happening is that 90% of the sound is going to the centre channel, the other four do make some sound and the sub does little or nothing at all as far as I can tell. I've tried playing over HEOS, on MP3 and on vinyl (phono input). I think the amp is doing something but I don't know what or how to fix it. Ideally, I'd like the 200s playing L and R with the sub handling bass duties.

I'm very happy with everything otherwise. It's a new system in a new home and I'm hoping to get years of listening pleasure from it, but would love some advice to figure out the issue here. I've been incredibly lucky to have amazing help on this very forum in the past and hope to pick your collective brains again. Sincerest thanks in advance.
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
Have a fiddle with your crossovers in 2CH mode (settings). I have my speakers set to small, go through the setting for sub to see what suits.

At the moment I have my sub switch off for 2 CH as I'm still experimenting
 

moominter

Active Member
Mods: Not sure if this is suitable for this subforum, or speakers one as it straddles the two. I believe this is the correct place, please forgive if not.

Hi all, I'm hoping this is one of those issues someone has already encountered and knows exactly what the issue is. I'm going in circles trying to figure it out. I don't know if it's my speakers or receiver, tho I suspect the latter, a recently bought Marantz SR6015.

I've had teething issues getting my new 5.1 system setup. Ignoring that for now since it's all working now, I have Monitor Audio Silver 200 fronts, C150 centre and 50s rears. I have a separate BK Electric sub. Now I've been adjusting placement/toe-in etc and run Audessey to set it up, adjusted from there. Movies sound great, really immersive with distinct channels and wonderful sound reproduction. But my music sounds awful.

I can't say exactly what the issue is, but music sounds dull and lifeless. I think what's happening is that 90% of the sound is going to the centre channel, the other four do make some sound and the sub does little or nothing at all as far as I can tell. I've tried playing over HEOS, on MP3 and on vinyl (phono input). I think the amp is doing something but I don't know what or how to fix it. Ideally, I'd like the 200s playing L and R with the sub handling bass duties.

I'm very happy with everything otherwise. It's a new system in a new home and I'm hoping to get years of listening pleasure from it, but would love some advice to figure out the issue here. I've been incredibly lucky to have amazing help on this very forum in the past and hope to pick your collective brains again. Sincerest thanks in advance.
I never got my Marantz AVRs to sound listenable with music I had a SR6010 SR7010 SR7013 , they had been ok with movies but music was shocking , i had spent endless hours messing with settings and audyssey and most of the time it ended up worse , music sounded best out of the box without any adjustment but its still not great , i could never understand why as Marantz is supposed to the more musical amp.
I now have a NAD T778 and its just fantastic with both music & movies , the difference is unbelievable .
hope you have better luck .
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
I wouldn’t expect music from all speakers, just the front LR and maybe the sub. Try setting Audessey EQ to “flat” and using the “Pure” button on the remote try setting the AVR to “Auto”.
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
My setup at the mo. I'm sure SQ could be improved with a separate audio amp. Set sound mode to stereo
PXL_20220305_121927947.jpg

PXL_20220305_121948249.jpg
 

Nutty667

Active Member
If vinyl or mp3s are causing most of the content to come from the centre channel, then it sounds like you have some kind of upmixing or screwed up settings. 2 channel music should just come out of LR and optionally sub depending on settings.

You shouldn't necessarily expect the settings for movies to work for music. Music is heavily compressed already, so turn any dynamic volume off for music. Disable dynamic eq, or change reference offset down a few notches, and set EQ to flat to stop the high frequency roll off.
I never got my Marantz AVRs to sound listenable with music I had a SR6010 SR7010 SR7013 , they had been ok with movies but music was shocking , i had spent endless hours messing with settings and audyssey and most of the time it ended up worse , music sounded best out of the box without any adjustment but its still not great , i could never understand why as Marantz is supposed to the more musical amp.
I now have a NAD T778 and its just fantastic with both music & movies , the difference is unbelievable .
hope you have better luck .
There's nothing preventing a Marantz/Denon receiver sounding great for music, it just comes down to having it setup correctly, and performing the room correction as per Audyssey method.
 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
I would argue that those speakers should be set to small so that the subwoofer is in use for stereo music. And I agree, you should not hear anything from center channel (unless it's a phantom center) in stereo mode.
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
For me direct or pure cuts the base off at the knees
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I would try the Direct option. This will give you a stereo soundstage but will by-pass the bass management of Audyssey and the sub will not be used as the front speakers will be treated as full range. This is probably the best option as there is little processing going on as well.
 

moominter

Active Member
For me direct or pure cuts the base off at the knees
Exactly my view , even setting everything to full range in direct stereo the sound was very lean through floor standing KEFR500s , I then got a REL sub to connect with the high pass connection and the sound was just wrong , like I said countless hours off messing with settings and test tones lost , all depends what you think is acceptable , for me it never was , it wasn’t just the bass but the processing was jumbled and wrong .
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
Exactly my view , even setting everything to full range in direct stereo the sound was very lean through floor standing KEFR500s , I then got a REL sub to connect with the high pass connection and the sound was just wrong , like I said countless hours off messing with settings and test tones lost , all depends what you think is acceptable , for me it never was , it wasn’t just the bass but the processing was jumbled and wrong .
Well, I did improve things a little, wife is still not impressed.

Long-term going to buy an amp with HT bypass (Just missed an Exposure in the classifieds recently) with a further upgrade for my thirty-year-old fronts in a year or two. when I've recovered from the ear bashing when I tell her how much I've sent on the amp
 

KingsGambit

Standard Member
My setup at the mo. I'm sure SQ could be improved with a separate audio amp. Set sound mode to stereo
View attachment 1663253
View attachment 1663254
Thank you, this is really helpful. Do you save that as a preset? The receiver offers two presets so perhaps that could be an option, then just switch preset to play movies or music.

If vinyl or mp3s are causing most of the content to come from the centre channel, then it sounds like you have some kind of upmixing or screwed up settings. 2 channel music should just come out of LR and optionally sub depending on settings.

You shouldn't necessarily expect the settings for movies to work for music. Music is heavily compressed already, so turn any dynamic volume off for music. Disable dynamic eq, or change reference offset down a few notches, and set EQ to flat to stop the high frequency roll off.
This is helpful, thanks. I'm not quite sure which settings it would be specifically but I'll keep an eye out. I've set the MultiEQ to flat already, will look for the other settings.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Try

Disable room correction
Use direct/pure direct
Don't use MP3 use lossless flaxlc
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Since you have small speakers, you need bass management. Hence Subwoofer must be ON and the front speakers must be SMALL. An 80Hz crossover will be fine, higher should be unnecessary with the MA Silver 200, whilst lower is merely detrimental.

You are getting sound through the centre speaker. This means you're trying to "up-sample" the stereo to surround. Disable this feature fully (repeatedly press MUSIC until Sound Mode = STEREO).

This should resolve your core problems.

I would leave room correction as it has been set up initially, or rerun it late at night if you feel it didn't work due to ambient noise.

You can experiment with Pure and Pure Direct, but fixing the above two issues should achieve a huge improvement.

If you do want to use multiple speakers for stereo music, try out the various MUSIC sound mode options one by one, until you reach the point where the advantages and disadvantages of upsampling balance out in your ears. But first get used to stereo replay through just the fronts + subwoofer.
 

Nutty667

Active Member
Thank you, this is really helpful. Do you save that as a preset? The receiver offers two presets so perhaps that could be an option, then just switch preset to play movies or music.
It normally let's you configure different settings for each input mode.
For example my network audio settings are different to ARC and HDMI input settings which are configured for movies/tv.
The 2 presets are for when you want to switch between 2 settings on the same input.
 

DrH

Well-known Member
I have the SR6013 AVR with Kef R3 speakers and a BKXXLS400 sub. It is possible to get very good music reply from this combination.

As shown in posts above you have some settings wrong somewhere

However through experience I have found streaming through HEOS to sound flat. Vinyl with the built in Phono stage is ok but not amazing.
You need to have quality sources feeding into the amp to get a decent sound from it.

Your post does not mention your vinyl set up?
I have gone through Rega P2 into the phono input sounded ok. Added the Rega phono stage, a big improvement. Now changed to a Rega P3 with TTPSU and another improvement.

For CD I have a player which has high quality DAC’s onboard. I tried through HDMI, optical output and the RCA output. The RCA output is the best sounding as it uses the internal DAC

The Marantz SR receivers can sound very good in my opinion
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
I have the SR6013 AVR with Kef R3 speakers and a BKXXLS400 sub. It is possible to get very good music reply from this combination.

As shown in posts above you have some settings wrong somewhere

However through experience I have found streaming through HEOS to sound flat. Vinyl with the built in Phono stage is ok but not amazing.
You need to have quality sources feeding into the amp to get a decent sound from it.

Your post does not mention your vinyl set up?
I have gone through Rega P2 into the phono input sounded ok. Added the Rega phono stage, a big improvement. Now changed to a Rega P3 with TTPSU and another improvement.

For CD I have a player which has high quality DAC’s onboard. I tried through HDMI, optical output and the RCA output. The RCA output is the best sounding as it uses the internal DAC

The Marantz SR receivers can sound very good in my opinion

For your Cdp make sure the marantz isn't doing any ADC. Use pure direct mode. Find out if it has true analogue bypass some units don't
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I have a separate BK Electric sub
I'm not sure if you have already answered this question, but I couldn't see it. For one, where do you feel your music is lacking? How are you accessing your music plus I notice you have a BK sub, does your sub have a High-level input?
 

Nutty667

Active Member
I don't think any 6 series or 7 series receivers have analogue pass through.

From AVSForums:
"Direct and Pure Direct modes completely bypass all DSP (Digital Signal Processor) processing giving you a 'direct' signal from the source. With that said, both modes still allow for bass management and volume control.Thanks,Marantz NA"

If it's doing bass management, it's still digitising the signal, so you're going through 2 DAC's.
Personally I'd use digital out from the CD player, less faffing with the signal and it saves you having to buy a cd player with a decent DAC.
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
How are you accessing your music plus I notice you have a BK sub, does your sub have a High-level input
What does the high level input do please?
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
What does the high level input do please?
Means the sub (with high level input) can be connected to an amps standard speaker binding posts (as a passive speaker would).

The advantage of this method is the sub receives the same full range single that the main speakers do.

Note most BK & Rel subs have this, option although some amp manufacturers (Lyngdorf for example) explicitly say to use "Low level" (ie RCA) connections for sub(s). So always worth checking your amps manual etc.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The hi-level allows you to also run an AVR in pure Direct whilst still using the subwoofer. Yes some manufacturers don't like it as it's important how you wire them into certain amps especially digital amps as this can cause unwanted damage

If the sub has the option, I would always use it and have done for many years and that includes using it with floorstands. You do have to work hard to tune the system as it's not as simple as using the avr alone as you are twiddling the sub's dials to marry it to the main speakers

But when you do it right, you will usually find that not only has the bottom end extended, but it also has a equal and opposite effect across the entire frequency range. The only downside can be timing and partnership with amps as they both really need to have similar levels of amplification to enjoy a seamless experience, but in reality, it is very rare to hear a miss match and more likely that the crossover and levels on the woofer are slightly out upsetting the balance as with music unlike cinema, the sub shouldn't be heard with you only noticing it when its powered off and you will at that point notice a massive void in the sound stage
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
@wiz Shane has given a much more "useful" reply as to pros/cons of this connection method than me! 😉🤣
 

KingsGambit

Standard Member
I'm not sure if you have already answered this question, but I couldn't see it. For one, where do you feel your music is lacking? How are you accessing your music plus I notice you have a BK sub, does your sub have a High-level input?
Hi there, thanks for the reply. I'm not sure I have the best words to describe it, but I will try. Music sounds very muddled, with everything mushed together. There is no life to it, it's dull and without warmth. I think the bass is lacking, but it's not tinny. All the parts are there, but none of them sound right at all.

The sub does have a high level input (on the top left of this image). I don't think my amp has that connection tho. This is the rear of the SR6015. Movies sound just fine, with discrete channels being very apparent and balanced. It's connected with the RCA lead that was included and sounds fine when it does work.
 

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