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New Speakers. What's wrong?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Andy Dee, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    Looking for opinions/advice on this one.

    I auditioned some Kef Q4's and the sounded lovely and very detailed. The room was a lot smaller than my front room (something i had overlooked :blush: )

    I auditioned them with the Kef PSW2500 Subwoofer.

    I have got them home and wired them with Decent QED speaker wire and checked (and double checked) polarity.

    The amp is a Yamaha 750SE.

    My problem is that i feel there is something missing in the low/midrange area (kick/snare?)

    Its a big room, but this isnt a volume problem. I run audition CD's at -10dB. The upper mids and highs are fine, and the sub seems to handle the lows really well, it just the punchiness seems to be very weak.

    I have spent ages fiddling with the amp adjusting the crossover, but still never been really happy.

    This could be me. I have worked in small studio's before and used Tannoy reveals (165mm LF Drivers) and JBL 4208 (200mm LF driver), so perhaps my ears are just expecting too much from these Q4's?

    Strange thing is they sounded good in the Shop since i have had them in my front room i haven't been able to stop fiddling, never quite happy. :confused:

    I bought a 5.1 package Kef Q4's Qcompacts Q6C and PSW2500 subwoofer.

    I am looking at my options. Replace the Q4's ( less than 6 weeks old, i am gonna lose a wedge) with something? any suggestions what?

    Any tips for getting them to sound punchier?

    DVD sound perfect BTW.

    Cheers

    Andy


    It
     
  2. ab1385

    ab1385
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    Have they been run in properly? They could well loosen up when they've been played for a bit. What have you set the crossover frequency to on the amp? And on the sub? I don't have any problems with my Q1s in the lower mids, though I don't have a sub to cover the bass properly yet...
     
  3. Mango Bob

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    Andy, is the amp new, or did you just run auto-setup by any chance?

    Have a quick look for the several 750 setup threads - lots of people have had a lack of midrange problem with this amp (me included!)...the speaker levels are different in stereo and multi-channel. Autosetup set my fronts to -5dB in stereo (Pure Direct) - up it to +3dB and you'll have your bass/midrange back!
     
  4. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    Yes the speakers and amp are both new. The speakers have about 30-40 playing hours on them. I relalise i am going to need double that, but will this really make a BIG difference?

    I have the Subwwofer accepting all Freq. then use the amp decide the crossover point. I have tired setting the crossover to 140Hz allowing the sub to work harder and tried it at 80Hz. I was initially happy with a 100Hz setting, but after trying a few more CD's not so sure again.

    I have looked at Yam setup, and have made some adjustments. It always backs off my subwoofer ( which i immediately turn back up) It sets my speakerss to lge, i change them to small.

    I haven't tried messing with the phase control on the Sub, could this possibly help?
     
  5. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Andy – I have the exact same system as you (Q4’s; Q6C; PSW-2500 sub and Yamaha 750SE amp). You say that you’ve spent ages fiddling with the settings so I presume you’ve already manually tweaked the settings after using the auto setup.

    Have you got the Q4’s set to ‘small’ or ‘large’ on your amp btw? I imagine your auto setup set them to small but mine were large and I had to manually change them. They sound a lot cleaner when set to small.

    What source are you using for cd playback? This may be having an effect in how the speakers sound. I find that my dvd player provides lifeless cd playback, even my 15 year old JVC player sounds better!

    I am finding that my Q4’s are still being run-in, although they definitely don’t lack anything in the midrange. I’m not entirely happy with the stereo sound of things but am looking around for a dedicated cd player which I’m hoping will make a big difference. From here, I hope to add a stereo amp using the preouts on the 750SE. Although one step at a time…
     
  6. Mango Bob

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    Hi Andy, please note I'm not talking about the volume slidebar you access from the "Manual Setup" menus. I'm talking about the discrete dB level settings you access from outside that menu.

    Press the "Level" button on the front of the amp or cycle through from the Level button on the top left of the arrow key grouping on the remote.

    In stereo mode you should see dashes for all rear speakers and the centre and a dB value for the front left and right speakers - it's probably negative in stereo but positive in multichannel.
     
  7. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    OK I will try that. I don't think i have come across that.

    Hope it sorts it. The just seem a bit lost in a room this size (approx 25ft X 25ft and bay window)

    I have spoken to the retailer who suggests it is a "quality" of sound issue, which i can understand due to my time spent listening to the Tannoy reveals and JBL's at high levels, but i can't retrain my ears :rolleyes:

    Tejstar- I agree CD on DVD did sound awful. I have a 5 year old Pioneer CD player that didnt sound a great deal better.
     
  8. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Andy - I see you've put your Q4's up for sale. Given that they were only run-in for 30 to 40 hours i think you should have given them more time.

    Oh well, what are you planning on next :) I imagine you'll stick to the Q series to match the rest of the kit. What will it be, the Q5's or Q7's?
     
  9. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    I will continue to run them in, you can invert the polarity on a speaker and have them face each other 18 inches apart and run them in over the next day or so.

    I will also try All the hidden menu's on the amp to see if i can tidy things up.

    But i feel this is a room size issue. The listening position is approx 4 metres from the speakers and this is a big room. On top of that i think i have a liking for a punchier type sound (years of abuse with club sytems). Hence the speed of the FS ad.

    I don't think its worth trading the Q4's for the Q5's, it will need a more dramatic change to my ears.

    I will have a good think and take advice about possibly having going away from the Kefs for the fronts, but i am still not sure..lots to think about.

    :confused:
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    If you demo'd them in the shop and then bought without trying in your own room,then I think it unfortuantely highlights one of the pitfalls of shop Vs home demos.

    What sounds great in one room may sound awful in another,not including any differences in amplification(it's certainly not beyond some places I've known to put the speakers being demo'd on the end of an amp costing thousands of pounds).....room acoustics account for a huge amount when it comes to how a speaker will sound.

    In any buying situation,it's always best to arrange a home loan for a proper demo using your own gear and CD's etc....on a slightly different tack,I found that my previous speakers(triamped active Linn Keltiks) were superb in our previous house,but sounded awful in our current 250yr old timber framed house,and simply could not be made to work properly there,prompting their sale and yet another "upgrade"!

    It's also worth noting that your room is a fair size,and driving a room of that size with any speaker,will require good reserves of power and control as well,from the amplifier.
     
  11. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    Agreed. I should have thought about a home demo. I will learn a lesson (most likely in the wallet) and will be definately "trying at home" next time.
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff
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    It's extremely likely that a change in speaker positioning and/or listening position would fix this. Use the standing wave calulator on the Harman web site to figure out the places NOT to put the speakers or yourself.
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Not to say it doesn't work in most cases,Jeff,but I really wish it had worked in mine.....no amount of moving the Linns,altering the active crossovers(bass level,roll-off and treble etc) worked...the end problem in my case was just that of a large speaker with very extended bass response not working in a timber framed house.

    Very useful idea and tip for most cases though.
     
  14. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Andy - this just reminded me, have you fiddled with the tone settings on the amp? By default, bass and treble are both at '0', the sound on my Q4's improved a lot when changing these settings.
     
  15. alexs2

    alexs2
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    In my case,although it doesn't show in the quote,no amount of fidlling with these settings(not tone controls as such) did anything other than reduce the underlying problem....personally,I hate tone controls,but can appreciate that they can be very useful if properly executed in the amp design.
     
  16. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    I am trying to leave the tonal settings flat.

    I have had some success (by my ears anyway) i had the LFE set to "BOTH". ( the options are FRONT ,BOTH and SUB ONLY)

    If i understand it correctly "BOTH" sends the freq below the crossover level to the Sub, and the full range to the Fronts.

    I have changed it to "SUB ONLY" and set the crossover to 100Hz again. This removes the signals below 100Hz from going to the fronts?

    I have also adjusted the phase control on the sub, however this is really tricky to adjust without having 2 people - 1 to adjust and 1 to be in the listening position.

    There is a marked improvment. I am going to do some more tests over the weekend.

    Thanks for all the help.

    P.S Mango -Bob- I don't think i found the controls you are speaking of. I can find the level controls for each individual speaker. but thats it.
     
  17. Mango Bob

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    You've probably adjusted them then, it's the level button on the front of the amp and the levels will show in the display marked in dB instead of with a slidebar and white noise playing on the speaker. The settings will be different in pure direct from the settings in multi-channel (e.g. PLII Music)
     
  18. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    Thought it was only right to update this thread and possibly eat a large helping of humble pie :blush:

    I have had to spend hours experimenting with placement, re-arranging the layout and really getting into the guts of the yamaha 750se menu's options and settings.

    I am amazed at the difference a few tweaks on the amp and re-positioning the speakers can make. For the first time since ownership i have the sub set as a negative value, but have the punchy bass i was always after.

    The main difference seemed to be setting the LFE to sub only and setting the crossover to 100Hz. This seemed to clean up and make the Q4's more precise.

    I also added another 30 hours running in on the speakers.

    I have gone through a selection of my fave CD's and every one has surpassed my expectations. I really cannot believe these are the same speakers i was contemplating selling 3 days ago.

    I originally spent about 4 hours setting the system up, i think i spent another 16 over the weekend and monday.

    Thanks for the help. The Harman excel file standing wave was very interesting.

    Settings now are;
    All speakers set to small
    X-over set to 100Hz
    LFE sent to Sub only.


    To round-up. I will be keeping the Q4's and can thoroughly recommend them once set up correctly. :)

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  19. Mango Bob

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    Good news Andy! I'm still experimenting with the 750 setup, I have a nasty feeling that I'll never feel like I've got it "right". As with most things there's probably a point where I'll have to say "enough is enough" lest I be consigned to sleeping on the sofa :laugh:
     
  20. Tejstar

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    That is superb news Andy. :clap: When setting mine up, I found that the positioning of the fronts made such a big difference to the sound stage. Initially I was very unimpressed but once they were toed in slightly and as equi-distant to the tv as possible it made a massive difference.

    I'm still playing around with the 750SE settings all the time, seeing if I can improve the sound by the slightest.

    Seeing as you have a similar setup as me, would you mind checking out this thread. I just wanted to know whether you're having the same problems I am. Cheers!
     
  21. Andy Dee

    Andy Dee
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    I will certainly look out for it on the next DTS DVD i view.

    I ditched the auto-setup all together, the centre is set to +2 and the Sub is set to -2. The fronts are set flat.

    I have found the dynamic scenes on DVD's have nearly made me jump out of my skin (the nuclear explosion in "Sum of all fears") But i am lucky enough to not have any neighbours either side of the sitting room walls.

    I will see if there is a difference on DTS.
     
  22. Stinky985

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    Andy are you happy wirh stereo music too now? through pure direct mode or any other?! I am really turning towards this amp, but the stereo is a must for me!
     
  23. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Ok cheers mate :thumbsup:
     
  24. Andy Dee

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    I am very happy with Stereo music, but i am not the best person to ask about pure direct. Pure direct would disable the Subwoofer and as the Q4's arent a particularly "bassy" speaker this is best avoided for me.

    This is obviously a limitation of the Speakers and not the amp so don't let this put you off a very capable amp.

    I have used the Neo6 mode and the "Straight" mode and the sound is superb!.

    The other amp i considered was the Marantz SR7400, which was similarly priced, sounded superb but i could only get in black.
     
  25. Stinky985

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    i have also considered the 7400 but decided if i'm buying one i want the lip sync stuff for the future lcd/plasma purchase. Though to be honest not sure if it is worth it. The other thing is the Marantz is huge! Ever seen a black 750se? i want to compare silver and black but cant find a picture of a black one!
     
  26. balders

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    Andy,

    I listened to some Q4s today, and the chap in the hifi store was pretty convinvced that they should be set as Large for either Music/ Home Cinema. The only exception was if you were going to be really pumping up the volume. This seemed to be against just about everything I've read before which indicates that if you've got a sub, set fronts to Small, just as you've done.

    It sounds like you had a poor experience when you had them on Large though, so I'm more than a little confused!

    They sounded pretty good in the shop, and I'm quite tempted to get myself a pair.

    Balders.
     
  27. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The interaction between any speaker and your room is unpredictable at best,as Andy found above,so it's still worth arranging a demo in your own home,and most dealers should be willing to go along with this.

    Try them out in a variety of sites in the room,be willing to move them around a bit,and to try the various crossover settings for the sub and speakers until you find something that works....don't necessarily take what the rep says as gospel when it comes to setting up a speaker....he's going by what works in his demo room,not your living room.
     
  28. Tejstar

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    I initially had my Q4's set to large, but after some extensive demo'ing found that the stereo performance improved hugely when the Q4's were set to small. The Q4's do lack bass so I think this worked for them, however I wouldn't say this as a golden rule. Depends on speakers, room etc.
     
  29. balders

    balders
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    Thanks Tej, Alex. That goes a long way to confirming my suspicions that there's no substitute for just playing around...

    A quick question on the Q4's - can they be mass loaded? I'm not thinking of this with the goal of improving accoustics, just to make them more stable when my little nippers collide with them!

    Thanks,

    Balders.
     
  30. gizlaroc

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    You say that you tried your crossover from 80 and up to 140hz, but have you actually tried it set closer to your speakers lower freqency?

    Your centre goes down to 50Hz and your Q4's go down to 42Hz, I would try setting centre to small, mains to large and setting the crossover on the amp to 55Hz, this should give your mains some nice snap in the bass which you can't be getting with it set at 100Hz.

    I would try this with the sub crosser off, and the vol off and slowly up the sub volume to fill in the low levels, but so it is not obvious, which it must be now.
    Also make sure that all your levels on the amp are zeroed, well matched, but keep the sub on 0 and adjust on the sub itslef.
    Do this with some cds spinning, you can then up the levels of for the sub on the amp for PLII, DD and DTS etc. as needed.

    One of the best sub set ups I have heard is with the sub not letting anything pass above 28Hz! and even with music where it sounds like there is no deep bass you can tell when you turn the sub off.
     

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