Some advice needed

J40NYR

Active Member
Ok so I'm having trouble getting my head around some aspects of my home cinema setup that I have now just finished regarding loudness on films.

I have the following

Fronts B&W 685 S2 (sensitivity 87)
Center B&W HTM62 (S1)
Sub B&W ASW608
Rears B&W 685 (S1)
AVR: Denon AVR X2000 (95w into 8ohms)

Front speakers around 4 metres from sitting point

My problem is this, I just cant get the system loud enough without it sounding too harsh, it's as if it is being held back if that makes sense. To give an example I remember hearing the Pod race on star wars episode 1 as a kid and it blew me away. Mine is loud in parts but everything else is just washed out, I've spend a couple of thousand on this gear over the course of 18monthes and although it sounds 10 times better after getting rears its still not what I was expecting.

I've set all speakers to small and all to 80Hz crossovers, did audyssey in 3 locations, sub is properly set up (was at -12 which i know is wrong)

I don't know what else to try? My concern was that my amp isn't powerful enough but reading into it if i gained another 30 watts per channel it would make 1.5 db increase? which sounds nothing, most films I play around -13db but on episode 1 it has to be about -7 are some films just recorded quiet?

Thanks for reading, I'm still new and its such a big hobby I feel like I've not even reached the tip of the iceberg!!
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Where and how are the speakers located (on stands or wall mounts etc)?
If you have set your amp up correctly then 0dB on the scale should be reference level for movie watching
dB is a logarithmic scale so the amount of dB an extra 30watts would give would depend on the sensitivity of your speakers etc.
Your receiver is reasonable and consistent with the quality of your speakers so there should not be an issue with the speakers 'being held back'. I suspect there could be a setup issue but without understanding how it is all set up and placed in the room it is hard to say.
I assume to fix the sub issue you turned the gain on the back of the sub down and rerun Audyssey.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
The front right and left are on unfilled B&W stands (60cm the more basic ones) the center is in the tv stand quite a bit lower than the other fronts. The rears are on unfilled atacama nexus stands again 60cm.

The front centre is 4metres away the front Left is 3.6m front Right 3.20m surrounds are quite close rear R is 1.4m rear L is 1.2m.

I fixed sub by turning gain down :)
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The centre being in the unit is far from ideal. I used to have my centre like that and it made a noticeable difference when I wall mounted it under the tv. The sound was clearer and less boxy. You may find your issue is the position of your centre. If so a new avr is not going to help.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
great thanks for that. What do you reckon to the harshness of the speakers? Could the low volume just be the center placement? I feel like I'm really pushing the speakers to get decent sound.

Someone had said using a proper microphone stand for audyssey helps? I just sit with it in my hand

Thanks

Jonny
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Are you stood behind the Mic when you run it? If so this is not ideal. Try laying down with the mic held up to avoid this or place mic on something.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
Yes I am, I have got a camera tripod to try but I'm not sure if it will work or not as it doesn't adjust an awful lot.

Does it make much differncy running auddysey in more than 3 locations?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The biggest impact is from what is surrounding the mic. I would have thought there is diminishing returns in terms of the number of locations you use.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
Usually either Ps4 or xbox one through hdmi inc sound havent decided which is a better source if there is one!

I do find things sound much louder with the onboard spotify? if that helps

:edit: format usually Blu-Ray and DTS HD 6.1 (cant select 5.1)
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I've set all speakers to small and all to 80Hz crossovers, did audyssey in 3 locations, sub is properly set up (was at -12 which i know is wrong)

I am not as familiar with audyssey but on the Yamaha it normally sets the cross over frequency automatically, obviously you can adjust afterwards but does this give you an option.

Why do you think the sub is set wrongly ?

When my own systems have sounded bright\harsh and I assume we are hearing the same :) then its been the amp that has been struggling. I initially thought it was the speakers just would not go any louder but pairing a power amp with a Yamaha DSP-A1 (old school) and floor standing Kefs and surrounds improved the sound at higher volume levels. It seemed to smoother and easy to listen to.

It could be the amp is struggling particularly if the speakers are going down to 3.5ohms as the specs. Its not all about power though.

I note that the fine purveyors over at What Hifi ;) note the amp sounds a bit bright at higher volume levels. If the speakers are bright themselves then you could end up with a double whammy and if you are not happy with it then you would need to swap out one or more of the components.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
I am not as familiar with audyssey but on the Yamaha it normally sets the cross over frequency automatically, obviously you can adjust afterwards but does this give you an option.

Why do you think the sub is set wrongly ?

When my own systems have sounded bright\harsh and I assume we are hearing the same :) then its been the amp that has been struggling. I initially thought it was the speakers just would not go any louder but pairing a power amp with a Yamaha DSP-A1 (old school) and floor standing Kefs and surrounds improved the sound at higher volume levels. It seemed to smoother and easy to listen to.

It could be the amp is struggling particularly if the speakers are going down to 3.5ohms as the specs. Its not all about power though.

I note that the fine purveyors over at What Hifi ;) note the amp sounds a bit bright at higher volume levels. If the speakers are bright themselves then you could end up with a double whammy and if you are not happy with it then you would need to swap out one or more of the components.

I know the sub was wrong as -12 is the limit of correction that auddssey does which means the gain needed to be lowered.

The amp being underpowered was my first concern being a complete newbie I said well my avr is obviously not powerful enough, but the model up which was considerably more expensive due to the deal I got on this only produced 10 more watts into 8ohms which I would doubt would make any difference.

I've spent so much money now as much as I enjoy buying bits an bobs I wanted to put it to bed for a bit!

Thanks for you replies :)
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Yes sub volume is too high so normally set at 10 o'clock.

Its not all about the Watts though, some components work better together and it may well be.

Also its 95W for two channel rather than 5 channel driven so this can drop off dramatically in some cases.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
oh I thought it was 95w per channel on my receiver? How do I find out about such things?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The best way to see how much power you have is compare the size of the power supply itself and not the over inflated powers per channel.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
The power supply is 500W so you can't physically draw more than from the wall. Some will also be lost in heat, some driving the processor etc.

Lets say for arguments sake 50% makes it to the actual power amp. That's 250W so only up to 50W a channel driven when driving 5 channels. Still allows 2 channels at 95W though....

Some reviews do test the load and in some cases they have found decent manufacturers amps with under 20W output when all 5 or 7 channels are driven.
 

J40NYR

Active Member
So do you think it's the receiver causing the problem? The x3000 draws 600w from the plug, would that make a big difference from 500w of my current x2000 or do I need more? Its getting so complicated but makes sense when music is so much louder.
 

Longy00000

Well-known Member
I recently had some issues with my centre speaker sounding really harsh or muffled. Long and short of it is I spent many hours on the settings and basically it was the cross over. Auto calibration had set all speakers to 80hz but upping the centre to 110 or 120 massively improved things.
Just trying to suggest that sometimes many hours fiddling with the settings can and usually does reap rewards before you have to spend money changing kit.
 

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