5.0 system setup tips, bass managemant

C

connta

Enthusiast
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3 1
#1
Hello all, first post here! Im an avid watcher of AH YT channel and i can safely say its the most objective audiophile channel ever...

I had Logitech Z5500 system that had a massive sub and that system with its all ups and downs wasnt bad but it was way too "bassy" or i guess "boomy" which is no surprise having such a massive sub so when that crapped out I got a 5.0 setup with Onkyo 646 receiver and Jamo 506 HCS3 kit which includes floorstanders as front mains.

The idea was to distance a bit from that strong bass and go for a bit more rounded system but now i need a couple of pointers to get the most out of it, namely bass management.

I tried 2 routes:
a) setting fronts to output 0.1 channel (large),LPF to LFE on 120Hz, xover for center and surround to 120Hz... this produced the rumbe in the magnitude of Z5500 but not as clear and there was deformity (as expected) so i tried to mitigate that by using an EQ preset on the fronts only and lowering 25 and 40Hz by -6 dB (max) so to not send the really low signal to the fronts and this kinda worked

b) setting fronts to small with xover at 60Hz, LPF to LFE on 120Hz (tho irrelevant in this setup),xover for center and surround to 120Hz and general bass setting to +4 (its equal to around +2dB on bass, all channels)... this gave very clear and precise sound with no deformity but the bass response is a bit low, rumble is non existent basically... if i set xover of fronts to 50Hz and cen/sur to 100Hz with general bass to +8 theres more bass thats for sure but almost no rumble at all... this is my sweetspot right now.

The question basically is, what would be the best route to get the most out of this setup considering i do not want window popping bass (no dedicated sub) but a lil rumble would be ok (the floorstanders definitely seem to be able to do it, even overdo it)?

Should i maybe EQ more bass to fronts only in route b) or maybe cut the bass also thru EQ only to fronts in route a)? if so which frequencies and by how much?

Onkyo 646 is very versatile in options, having xover separate for all channels same as EQ options... fronts are bi-wired... any input appreciated!
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
423 13 5
#2
I'd set the center and surrounds to 80hz and run the towers full range. I wouldn't mess with EQ settings, if the bass is boomy, it's likely due to poor placement, or improperly set up subwoofer levels. What are the room dimensions? How far from the walls (side and front walls) are the speakers? What about the seating position?
 
WaynePflughaupt

WaynePflughaupt

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
615
#3
With no subwoofer, the two L/R speakers should be set for “large,” with the subwoofer option turned off. If the bass is too much, go into the tone controls and reduce the bass level to your liking. There is probably a general bass tone control, in addition to the EQ.


Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
C

connta

Enthusiast
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3 1
#4
I'd set the center and surrounds to 80hz and run the towers full range. I wouldn't mess with EQ settings, if the bass is boomy, it's likely due to poor placement, or improperly set up subwoofer levels. What are the room dimensions? How far from the walls (side and front walls) are the speakers? What about the seating position?
ok, so, the positioning is near perfect, i made a quick diagram with room dimensions and seating positions... the green line is not a wall, its just an imaginary line separating sections of the room... the black lines are walls that have an arch in the middle on the right that leads to the rest of the house, blue is furniture...

all the speakers are on ear height level (~1.2m) and tilted about 30 degrees inwards... only red flag i can think of is distance of front speakers from walls, 30cm on the side (and thats on the left, on the right its about 1.4m) should be ok but on the back of the speakers its no more than 10cm distance, if that... more like 8cm...

i measured levels with high quality noise meter (B&K 2250) and they are near perfect on 2 prime seating positions in the center, all the speakers are within 0.5dB from each other... this probably comes from the fact that right side is much more open since the left side is 0.5dB louder, both fronts and back...

With no subwoofer, the two L/R speakers should be set for “large,” with the subwoofer option turned off. If the bass is too much, go into the tone controls and reduce the bass level to your liking. There is probably a general bass tone control, in addition to the EQ.
on that note, should i lower the bass thru general bass control (all channels) or just lower the bass frequencies of front speakers thru EQ, primarily the ones that the speakers arent rated for >40Hz? whats the better approach?

also what about the rule of thumb that i read on here that speakers should have their xover set to 1/2 octave higher than the specs? my cen/sur are rated at 75/80Hz should and by AH recomendation they should be set to 120Hz...
 

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Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
423 13 5
#5
ok, so, the positioning is near perfect, i made a quick diagram with room dimensions and seating positions... the green line is not a wall, its just an imaginary line separating sections of the room... the black lines are walls that have an arch in the middle on the right that leads to the rest of the house, blue is furniture...

all the speakers are on ear height level (~1.2m) and tilted about 30 degrees inwards... only red flag i can think of is distance of front speakers from walls, 30cm on the side (and thats on the left, on the right its about 1.4m) should be ok but on the back of the speakers its no more than 10cm distance, if that... more like 8cm...

i measured levels with high quality noise meter (B&K 2250) and they are near perfect on 2 prime seating positions in the center, all the speakers are within 0.5dB from each other... this probably comes from the fact that right side is much more open since the left side is 0.5dB louder, both fronts and back...



on that note, should i lower the bass thru general bass control (all channels) or just lower the bass frequencies of front speakers thru EQ, primarily the ones that the speakers arent rated for >40Hz? whats the better approach?

also what about the rule of thumb that i read on here that speakers should have their xover set to 1/2 octave higher than the specs? my cen/sur are rated at 75/80Hz should and by AH recomendation they should be set to 120Hz...
Are you saying your room is 6.5x5.4 meters? If so, that's a fairly large room.

The surrounds should not be against the back wall, they should be just barely behind the rear couch.

Again, if the bass is boomy, I wouldn't mess with tone controls or anything like that, I'd try pulling the speakers out from the front and side walls first, and see if that clears it up.

No need to crossover that high unless you're hearing distortion. Also, for a room that large, you might want to look into some higher efficiency speakers with greater dynamic range, like Klipsch Rp 280fs and 160ms as a minimum. You will also need at least two hefty subs. Even though those speakers might have usable response down to 45hz, there is no way they'll manage to get loud enough below 80hz to fill that room without massive levels of distortion. Keep in mind crossing the other speakers over into them combined with the LFE requires an extra 15dB or more of bass headroom.

Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Samurai
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1,542 5 1
#6
Most definitely move them into the room. Try like 5’ (just for science) out and then move them back I few inches at a time until you hear bloat. Then go back away from the wall until it’s clean again. Being stuffed into corners adds a lot of room gain. Maybe as much as 9db at some frequencies. Agree with yep on the subs too. That’s a lot of spáss for báss. I’m guess your an a suspended floor? That can accentuate bass like crazy, and make it hard to deal with.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

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#7
Also, the old “sub” was very likely a high “Q” sloppy one note wonder not capable of remaining linear. These kinds of subs are very obnoxious and annoying at any volume level.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
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#8
What the others have mentioned but I think you still need to reconsider subwoofers. The 10" sub your old Logitech setup had is not massive in subwoofer world, it's rather small. Likely as William said, not a terribly accurate sub either.
 
C

connta

Enthusiast
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3 1
#9
yeah, the room is quite big... i get that z5500 sub is not much compared to "the good stuff" but what im trying to tell ya is that even that was too much and i had no need for it... the idea was to invest in a better rounded set not just a bass machine (which z5500 essentially was)...

while i understand that subs do have their place some of the best systems that i ever heard music on had no dedicated subs at all and had woofers in the range of 6-8" in the floorstanders, sure they couldnt blast the volume but i dont blast it either... the jamo set also aint that great but it is a very decent set for the money and i do not think i need stronger or better, this set can fill up the room quite nicely and even overdo it and also there is an issue of my library of sources which is mid quality at best... theres really no point at investing big money on a sound set if your library is mostly 192kbs mp3 and 384kbs ac3 rips...

my theory was that since the floorstanders play marvelously xover'ed at ~50Hz it must be something in the full range signal that is "booming" them... and tbh im not that sure im using the correct term here, boomy, it is definitely different with full range enabled and less pleasant at higher volumes... it feels like its resonating from something else... is boomy the correct term for such effect?

i do get quite good results with fronts to full, lpf to lfe 120Hz, xover cen/sur 80Hz and lowering just the fronts in EQ on 20Hz -6dB and 40Hz -2dB... the "boomines" stops at this setting... also lowering general bass control to -4 produces about the same effect as EQing the fronts as described...

anyway i am looking how to get max from what i got, not upgrade... theres definitely work to be done on the placement, ill experiment a bit and report back but so far i think ill go with cutting the low range thru EQ if the positioning experimentation does not yield some noticable results...
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

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1,542 5 1
#10
Have you tried moving the speakers out into the room some? 8cm is like 3”. That’s super close. That should smooth things out a bunch. Are they on stands, or on shelves or on the wall, etc? Also, iirc most “bass” controls are centered at 50hz. Lowering that range would surely help with boominess, but I would spend some more time with placement first. Placement seems to be overlooked when people are dealing with room acoustics, which is funny because it’s the first rule. Are you on concrete or suspended? Second floor suspended rooms resonate much differently. In that case you may benefit from some auralux pads or some decoupling. I would still get them out in the room first, and that’s free at least!
 
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C

connta

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#11
yeah im on a second level, concrete + hardwood (glued, not nailed) + carpet for the most of the room ~80% coverage and mains do have carpet under them and in front of them for at least 1.5m... also they are on spikes that came with em, its actually great for carpet...

im gonna play a bit with positioning over the weekend and report back but if its not "night and day" difference ill prolly stick with current positioning and solve the issue by EQ since moving the speakers inwards really impacts room aesthetics and functionality... it is a general living room, not a dedicated media room...
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

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#12
yeah im on a second level, concrete + hardwood (glued, not nailed) + carpet for the most of the room ~80% coverage and mains do have carpet under them and in front of them for at least 1.5m... also they are on spikes that came with em, its actually great for carpet...

im gonna play a bit with positioning over the weekend and report back but if its not "night and day" difference ill prolly stick with current positioning and solve the issue by EQ since moving the speakers inwards really impacts room aesthetics and functionality... it is a general living room, not a dedicated media room...
Interested in your findings and what’s gonna work for you. Sounds like you’ve addressed a lot already. I understand the multi purpose room as well. We have 7.3.4 in our living room, and I hear about it once in awhile. My side surrounds are(now) in wall but were once 35lb jbl monitors, rear surrounds are small jbl BS. Where I won’t give up is the front of the room, and that’s just how it is. That’s where 2/3 of the subs are and large jbl towers. We all have compromises though.
Curious about your findings. Have fun.
 
C

connta

Enthusiast
Ratings
3 1
#13
your system sounds really amazing but for me it would be an overkill, not to mention out of my price range coming from a developing country... i do understand the urge "if somethings worth doing its worth overdoing" but those 2 35lb jbl's could power a small concert alone (and quite well probably) and if my Z5500 was seriously rattling windows on 30% sub 50% system then what are 3 bigger, better ones doing to your windows? its a semi serious question, i would say you got a huge overhead with that setup... overhead is good, no doubt there but youre pushing it, prolly contesting smaller theaters in your city :D

anyway, thanks for the tips and see ya monday with results
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
423 13 5
#14
yeah, the room is quite big... i get that z5500 sub is not much compared to "the good stuff" but what im trying to tell ya is that even that was too much and i had no need for it... the idea was to invest in a better rounded set not just a bass machine (which z5500 essentially was)...

while i understand that subs do have their place some of the best systems that i ever heard music on had no dedicated subs at all and had woofers in the range of 6-8" in the floorstanders, sure they couldnt blast the volume but i dont blast it either... the jamo set also aint that great but it is a very decent set for the money and i do not think i need stronger or better, this set can fill up the room quite nicely and even overdo it and also there is an issue of my library of sources which is mid quality at best... theres really no point at investing big money on a sound set if your library is mostly 192kbs mp3 and 384kbs ac3 rips...

my theory was that since the floorstanders play marvelously xover'ed at ~50Hz it must be something in the full range signal that is "booming" them... and tbh im not that sure im using the correct term here, boomy, it is definitely different with full range enabled and less pleasant at higher volumes... it feels like its resonating from something else... is boomy the correct term for such effect?

i do get quite good results with fronts to full, lpf to lfe 120Hz, xover cen/sur 80Hz and lowering just the fronts in EQ on 20Hz -6dB and 40Hz -2dB... the "boomines" stops at this setting... also lowering general bass control to -4 produces about the same effect as EQing the fronts as described...

anyway i am looking how to get max from what i got, not upgrade... theres definitely work to be done on the placement, ill experiment a bit and report back but so far i think ill go with cutting the low range thru EQ if the positioning experimentation does not yield some noticable results...
The Logitech systems and subs are actually very impressive considering their cost and size, the sub itself is relatively flat so it was likely your room making it boomy.

I was under the impression this was for movies, if it's for music, you should be fine using the speakers for the low frequencies without a sub. Also, considering it's mainly music, do whatever you want with the EQ if it sounds good to you. I had a similarly sized room with a pair of RP-160m speakers, which also have an anechoic response down to about 45hz, since the major room mode along the length of the room is centered at about 28hz, I managed to get a flat in room response down to 32hz, which is plenty for music. The boominess at 40hz is likely due to the towers being so close to the side wall. Just experiment with pulling them in a bit.

The other thing you could do is use the accueq mic that came with the onkyo plugged into a PC or laptop and measure the bass response of the left and right speakers using REW. While the accueq mic is not calibrated, when compared to the calinrated Dayton omnimic it's pretty flat across the lower frequencies, and should be sufficient enough for seeing what frequency is overly boosted.



Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

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#15
your system sounds really amazing but for me it would be an overkill, not to mention out of my price range coming from a developing country... i do understand the urge "if somethings worth doing its worth overdoing" but those 2 35lb jbl's could power a small concert alone (and quite well probably) and if my Z5500 was seriously rattling windows on 30% sub 50% system then what are 3 bigger, better ones doing to your windows? its a semi serious question, i would say you got a huge overhead with that setup... overhead is good, no doubt there but youre pushing it, prolly contesting smaller theaters in your city :D

anyway, thanks for the tips and see ya monday with results
LOL I think some of us can challenge larger theaters' audio :) Small theaters I won't even bother with these days.
 
C

connta

Enthusiast
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#16
ok, some preliminary results...

seems that giving more room on the back of the front speakers yielded a noticeable result... 25 cm off the wall and the boomines is basically gone, somehow even the high tones seem to have cleared up a notch or maybe its just that the all around sound is better so i might be trippin... in any case it sounds better now than with any EQ adjustment so far... it was the positioning... hats off, gentleman... i guess a bit of length can go a long way, eh ;)

what i find most surprising is that the bass gained on power by 2dB according to an SPL and it also sounds cleaner... guess that pressure outlet on the back really benefits with headroom...

i still find lowering the 25Hz bar in EQ of the fronts by 3 dB beneficial, maybe it just clears the amp a bit or it might be total placebo, i guess ill need REW to know for sure... that gotta w8 for the next weekend or ill get the business from the missus :D
 
C

connta

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#17
heres the promised update, the findings are interesting...

first, i didnt use REW... i didnt have a decent, calibrated, mic but i did have access to a calibrated class 1 SPL meter (B&K 2250) with frequency analysis software so i used that...

the most interesting thing i found out is that jamo set has a built in hw xover for the fronts (or filter, whatever it is) at around 40-50Hz (they are rated for 45Hz) and basically wont go lower than that... my SPL meter gave 20 dB lower volume going from 50Hz test tone to 40Hz test tone while going up (60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz) the volume will stay +-2 dB (same listening position and amp volume ofc)... when i think about it, it could also be the onkyo assuming that fronts are not subs and having an "unspoken" xover (filter) that wont feed the fronts ultra low bass when they are set to work as subs... i can see this as a protection feature, i mean, why not...

this means that all my tuning of very low bass thru mains EQ in the range of 40Hz and under was a total placebo since measurements show that there is no difference and that those frequencies are already lowered by something drastically... it could also be that the amp power is "eaten" on sub 50Hz frequencies and thats why the drop in volume happens, i really dont have enough experience to tell... if anyone has an idea i wouldnt mind an explanation :)
 

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