What am I doing wrong with my set up / Whats the biggest bottle neck of my set up?

Somedood

Member
This is gonna be a long post because I'm gonna try and put in as much relevant information as I can but I'll try my best to keep it structured and succinct. I'll start with as much relevant information I can think of before getting to the actual meat of it.

Setup:
TV: 55inch 4k Sceptre LCD
Receiver: Denon AVR X2000 connected as 6.2 channels
Fronts: Klipsch R-14M
Subwoofers: Left-Klipsch R10SW / Right-Polk PSW10
Surround Sides: Velodyne CHTSBV
Surround Backs: Sony SS-B1000
Fronts are on speaker stands, surrounds are all mounted 1ft from the ceiling pointing down at a 45° angle towards listening position.

Usage Scenarios:
At this point I actually use the set up about evenly for music, movies and gaming but I know it could never be set up perfectly for all 3 use cases so if I had to choose i'd prioritize movies with music being an extremely close second, followed by gaming. (although, of course, it has to at least perform decently for all three) All of the content I utilize is through streaming services, Tidal for FLAC quality music, but sadly just amazon video, Netflix, Disney+ for movies and shows. The only way I get 7 channel sound (not including the built in surround virtualization modes) is by using Netflix or Disney+ Windows 10 apps that support dolby atmos playback, and using the dolby access app to enable dolby atmos on my pc, which tricks the streaming services into thinking I have atmos capability, and then by the time that data gets sent to my receiver it just decodes the 7 channel track and does nothing with the atmos metadata. I use a firestick 4k connected to a HDCP 2.2 compliant HDMI splitter running to the TV and AVR separately, as well as my gaming laptop connected the same way but instead of a splitter both HDMI's run directly from the laptop

Layout:
View attachment 3084248
(I forgot to add it in the sketch, but there is one 5' x 2' window behind the bedhead)
My room is L:21ft x W:11.25ft x H:8ft


Causes for concern/Potential problem areas:

Acoustics & Calibration
Acoustically the room is fudgein sh*t, what it comes down to is that this room is built into the back corner of a very large very tall 4 door garage which is on a concrete slab, but it is free standing and the walls are all just bare corrugated metal sheet, like a tin roof, which it also has. Now my room is properly built the way you'd expect any room in a house to be, plasterboard walls, carpeted, insulated, etc. Problem is, the wall that the desk is against, and the wall that the TV is against, are both only a few inches of insulation away from corrugated metal, so I feel like that definitely has something to do with why this room still has echo. I've got a large fluffy rug under the surround backs, some cheap foam acoustic diffusion panels on the TV wall, curtains over the window.
I've recently purchased the Audyssey ACM1HB calibration mic which will arrive on Friday and im hoping that will make a significant impact on the overall sound of this system. But up until then, Its been running on the manual set up I did, but since I don't have an actual sound pressure meter, I used a dB meter app on my phone to match all the tones (im sure its way off, but I figured its still closer than what i'd be able to get with just my ears)

Subwoofer situation
Originally when I was running one sub I did the subwoofer crawl and it came down to the subwoofer being in the left corner next to the TV, but now I run "stereo" subs because one 10 inch just doesn't cut it, Im really hoping to replace the Polk with a matching Klipsch, because there just seems to be too much inconsistency with the subs, one track would have barely any low end and then the next track would knock my fudgein lamp off its shelf, I get that would be expected with differences in types of music, but it happens between episodes of a TV show too, and even when I'm gaming, it just like there's either not enough low end or its way too much and sounds muddy, overbearing. I only feel like the subs are ever just right on rare occasions, and even then, those occasions tend to just be a very bass heavy track to begin with. The Klipsch is rear ported but it has enough space behind it to where it doesn't chuff. I never go past half gain on the Klipsch, and even less on the Polk because that just gets real noisy and muddy. At this point I've messed around with so many different combinations of gain/crossover frequency/sub level/tone adjustment settings that I've just lost track of what I should even be doing anymore. I think the crossover is currently set to 120hz, but it varies from 120hz-200hz depending on if it bothers me enough, but I find that range to give the most natural balance between the sound between the subs and fronts.

Conclusion:
At this point I've raised two areas that I personally think have an effect on the enjoyment of my system, but as I've expressed I'm not completely sure how to remedy them or that how I plan to remedy them will even be the right course of action/make the difference I'm looking for.
So what do you guys think?
Am I looking in the complete wrong direction?
One last point i'll mention is that this whole set up was built on a very tight budget, everything was bought in used condition, my surround backs and the tv stand were actually free, I built the ceiling mounts and coffee table myself, the couch was already here, this whole build cost me no more than $300 but in actuality I traded up for a lot of it too, so it really started with about a $50 out of pocket initial investment, the reason I did that is because I have no idea how long I'm gonna be staying here and at some point, I will most likely have to sell it all. This is also why I exclusively use streaming services, BD's just aren't an option for me. I put this right at the end so that to those who may potentially reply to my post, will hopefully leave the suggestion that involve spending a lot of money, till last.

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read through my whole post, I appreciate all the help I can get.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I feel a few pictures will paint a much better picture than just words alone.

It sounds like returning to basics might be the best option as its sounds like more things could be wrong than right with the setup.

If I understand correctly, the speakers are all high up (this can create an unwanted muddy boomy effect), so honesty, you may need to move these speakers to stop this effect which are contributing to a lot of the issues

I also feel for computer side, this need more attention. I'm guessing you are using a web browser solution for streaming video for Netflix and Disney? Someone has created a browser addon for Netflix as browsers will not support everything yet. So watch some of the Youtube videos on how to add this option. Also make sure you have the sound card setup correctly. Follow Microsofts instructions and within the soundcard properties, also ensure that you have selected the Supported Formats" and "Advanced" tabs and that they are setup correctly. Every format the av receiver should work with should be ticked within the "Supported Formats" and within the "Advanced" tab, ensure you have the very bottom option selected (this is not Atmos though it will be the one above). It should be something like 24Bit - 192KHz Studio etc... This should allow 7.1 PCM playback from the web browser. This will not show Dolby Digital or DTS on your receiver as you need the browser to work with the wasapi driver which as far as I'm aware it will not. (if you haven't, download the latest Edge, once downloaded it will allow you to also create a browser app. See here for more information. Once you've created it, you can pin it to the taskbar giving you easy access)

Setting a woofer up when you are trying to blend speakers which are creating a muddy boomy sound will be almost impossible, without sorting this side out first, you will forever be on a loosing battle as it will be the mid-range which will be producing the unwanted muddy and boomy effects. As for the echo, this will require more thought as the only way to stop that is by adding more soft furnishing which for the ceiling is going to be a tough one I feel.

Lets see what everyone else says, as many heads will certainly help and remember to upload some photos as this will help everyone help you :)
 
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Somedood

Member
Alright, there have been some changes and things I've learnt so i'll go over them first to catch everything up to where I'm at. I've provided photos as suggested.
The biggest difference you might notice from the photos is that I've moved the klipsch sub to the right side, and the polk sub is now actually next to the couch, I also changed the crossovers to 80hz which actually sounded a lot better for watching shows, but I ended up putting it to 100hz when I was listening to music because it really needed it.
I received the Audyssey calibration mic which you might notice its on a tripod in the first picture, I ran the audyssey calibration yesterday as directed by the prompts and it set my subs to -12db and did a lot of other strange stuff.

One huge thing I also noticed, is that when the calibration was running and it was playing its blipping sounds, my rear right surround speaker has horrible tinny echoey sound, and I have a pretty good guess as to why too, when I installed these speaker mounts, one of the screws of the rear right mount didn't go in as smoothly as the others. I have enough experience with tools to know that its because I was driving that screw into metal. My guess is that since its all mounted rigidly and one of the screws goes into metal, that its reverberating the speakers sounds at certain frequencies, into the metal beam that I screwed it into, causing that echoey tinny sound. In saying that, I never noticed it till the Audyssey calibration played those blipping sounds, so it may not be the end of the world.

Also i'm sure everyone will notice the cheap foam "acoustic" panels behind my tv in a weird spot, thats because in my prior set up, my desk was in that corner, and those panels were behind me, they're only there purely because I havent got around to taking them down, and they do close to nothing anyway.

Now since the Audyssey calibration was lackluster to say the least, I'm taking steps to give it a bit of help. I received a suggestion to use Room EQ Wizard, at this stage it would be too soon to go out and buy a flat calibrated mic for that program till I atleast solve some of the easier glaring issues, but I have plugged in my ACM1HB audyssey mic to see what REW can do, im sure its not even close to using REW with a proper mic and calibration file, but since REW is free, it cant hurt?
My plan is to use REW to find the optimal location for my subs, if it helps at all I might consider buying a proper mic for it.

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Somedood

Member
I also feel for computer side, this need more attention. I'm guessing you are using a web browser solution for streaming video for Netflix and Disney? Someone has created a browser addon for Netflix as browsers will not support everything yet. So watch some of the Youtube videos on how to add this option. Also make sure you have the sound card setup correctly. Follow Microsofts instructions and within the soundcard properties, also ensure that you have selected the Supported Formats" and "Advanced" tabs and that they are setup correctly. Every format the av receiver should work with should be ticked within the "Supported Formats" and within the "Advanced" tab, ensure you have the very bottom option selected (this is not Atmos though it will be the one above). It should be something like 24Bit - 192KHz Studio etc... This should allow 7.1 PCM playback from the web browser. This will not show Dolby Digital or DTS on your receiver as you need the browser to work with the wasapi driver which as far as I'm aware it will not. (if you haven't, download the latest Edge, once downloaded it will allow you to also create a browser app. See here for more information. Once you've created it, you can pin it to the taskbar giving you easy access)
I didn't get too into it because I feel like that side of things could be a whole 'nother thread of its own, thankfully I am a lot more experienced with PC's than I am with home theater systems but to give a bit more context; I dont use web browsers for streaming. As far as I'm aware, only the microsoft store app versions of netflix, disney+, etc. support playback in more than just 2 channel stereo. I do use studio quality bitrate for gaming and set it to 7.1 in windows and the game and that works like a charm, but the streaming services only support 5.1 or dolby atmos, so what i've done to get a better 7.1 channel soundtrack through these services is kind of exploiting the 7 channels of sound that atmos has (which I wouldn't have to do if they just provided a 7.1 channel option but nevertheless..) The way I do that is by using the Dolby Access app so that I have the option for"Dolby Atmos for Home Theater" instead of just the regular stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 options. Although my receiver cant do anything with the atmos metadata, it actually does send a 7.1 signal in most cases, encoded in DD+ so lossy but still actual 7.1
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
As far as I'm aware, only the microsoft store app versions of netflix, disney+, etc. support playback in more than just 2 channel stereo
I've got Disney+ via Microsoft's edge chromium which certainly streams more than stereo even though it only shows PCM (in my case it shows PCM 7.1 as that is how I have it setup which means the PC is up sampling the 5.1 to 7.1) Wonder if its HDCP as I have no issues and don't have the atoms addon from Microsoft installed. I do output via HDMI to the amp. As Netflix's is built into the TV, I haven't needed to get it to work on my PC even though I did find the info about Netflix web browser addon for surround sound which I tried to see if it would show DD which id didn't unlike what some say, so I removed it. Sound wise, I cannot tell the difference between Netflix streamed from the TV and Disney+ from the PC to my receiver

If you look at some of my other thread's you'll see I've had my Silent Media Server for quite a few years and it took me quite a few years to get it to the level its at. I've have comment on it in the in past threads. It's a tri boot solution which I built myself. Two of the boots are for media with one purely for movies, the other boot for music and these have been treated to a windows strip with only minimum background protocols running plus certain components running in "real time" with the CPU being designated to particular jobs where available, so it's quite a tuned PC. The other boot is for watching Disney and general archiving material as Disney doesn't enjoy working on the other two boots oddly

So, please have another look as you may find you have something else which is causing the issue which you hadn't thought of. Like I said, mine works perfectly without any glitches with a standard windows operating system installed (again without atmos addon) as I feel you are always going to be on a loosing spiral until you can sort the first part out
 

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