Old gramps with a 2-channel system, looking for advice...

highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
The only treatments I'm doing right now are treatments to address obvious problems. Dampening curtains for the huge glass sliders. Couple of wall panels to tamp down the clear and audible reverb in the room. Just deadening a little. Not even going to mess around with corner traps or anything more elaborate until I've done the room analysis with a proper mic at the prime listening position.
Take some time to make small incremental changes to the speaker positions- a little goes a long way. I found that I had some issues with the sound from my system and took that opportunity to rotate, shift and move them farther/closer to the front wall- made a huge difference.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
The first thought I give to a cable when shopping around is, "How much marketing bullshit are they peddling here?"

Soon as some jerk starts talking about time-correction for skin effect, or break-in for the dielectric to molecularly align with the signal passing through the wire (as if!), or any number of other nonsensical (and unprovable) bullshit claims, I'm out. I believe in L/C/R, not audio astrology.
Astrology? HERETIC! BLASPHEMER! It's sorcery, not astrology.

"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away"- Tom Waits
 
J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
Take some time to make small incremental changes to the speaker positions- a little goes a long way. I found that I had some issues with the sound from my system and took that opportunity to rotate, shift and move them farther/closer to the front wall- made a huge difference.
I'd love to, except I'm pretty much pinned regarding where the speakers have to be in the room. Gotta keep the wife happy regarding the décor, y'know? Again, I'm lucky to the extent that the room isn't square or rectangular, and while there are parallel surfaces, they're at all sorts of different distances, with various breaks for doorways, outcroppings, etc. Hell, only thing better would be cathedral ceilings.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I'd love to, except I'm pretty much pinned regarding where the speakers have to be in the room. Gotta keep the wife happy regarding the décor, y'know? Again, I'm lucky to the extent that the room isn't square or rectangular, and while there are parallel surfaces, they're at all sorts of different distances, with various breaks for doorways, outcroppings, etc. Hell, only thing better would be cathedral ceilings.
I don't mean you need to move them far, just rotate them and scoot them around a bit.

The lack of parallel surfaces is good, but you also need to make sure the sound that reaches you at your main listening positions isn't being affected by reflections that cancel each other. If you move your head to each side and forward/back, you shouldn't hear obvious changes in bass response.
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
Nice retro Heritage rig, @Jerkface!

Yeah, don't overcomplexify the wire analysis. Chances are low that your line level interconnects are any sort of bottleneck or source of noise. Even if they are, you're using low gain amps (which is exactly what you want with Belles, good choice there), thus tend to keep the upstream noise floor essentially burried.

A possible bottleneck is the amp's rather low input sensitivity, requiring quite a bit more than 2v for full power, enough to clip the output of some AVRs. Granted, you probably never need full power, and if you used it it would probably rip your ears right off your head. So it's probably not an issue, and you have a nice, quiet rig feeding your Belles. But clipping of preamp output is a possible bottleneck.

Consider adding a sub. Belles don't dig particularly deep, and it would help with modal smoothing.

Don't be afraid of eq, specifically shelving down the mids/highs. Your ears will like it.
 
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J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
Nice retro Heritage rig, @Jerkface
Thanks! I fell in love with the KHorns and Belles when I toured Klipsch HQ back in '06, when they first started doing the Klipsch forums get-togethers. Nothing else in that shop, not Heresys, certainly not any of their modern stuff, sounded anything like those two speakers, and I knew I had to own a pair.

Yeah, don't overcomplexify the wire analysis. Chances are low that your line level interconnects are any sort of bottleneck or source of noise. Even if they are, you're using low gain amps (which is exactly what you want with Belles, good choice there), thus tend to keep the noise floor essentially burried.
Yeah, I realized after I talked it out earlier in the thread that the line-level is probably the *best* place to have a little extra resistance, because the impedance is already way higher than speaker-level.

A possible bottleneck is the amp's rather low input sensitivity, requiring quite a bit more than 2v for full power, enough to clip the output of some AVRs. Granted, you probably never need full power, and if you used it it would probably rip your ears right off your head. So it's probably not an issue, and you have a nice, quiet rig feeding your Belles. But clipping of preamp output is a possible bottleneck.
Actually, I'm not super worried about this with the Denon unit - its *fixed* output is 2v, and it can go up to 6v on variable out, which is pretty much what the Quicksilvers are looking for.

At some point in the future (no hurry right now - the Denon is super-clean and does everything I'd need a pre to do in my rig, since I'm not running any analog sources), I plan on shopping for a tube pre to pair up with these badboys, but lifestyle choices are going to come into play here - if it doesn't have a remote, for example, it's out.
 
J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
The lack of parallel surfaces is good, but you also need to make sure the sound that reaches you at your main listening positions isn't being affected by reflections that cancel each other. If you move your head to each side and forward/back, you shouldn't hear obvious changes in bass response.
Absolutely. And no, the bass response doesn't shift anywhere in the room. I can definitely hear HF phase cancellation (and a not-insignificant amount of reverb), which is why I'm taking the little steps that I know will help immediately, like the blackout curtains.

An RTA software package with a pre-calibrated mic is happening in the near future, though, just to see how far I need to go to get to 90-95% of ideal without my wife cringing over how the room looks. Gotta walk that tightrope...
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
There's a lot of utility that the Denon front end offers (bass management, eq, both which you should explore).
 
J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
There's a lot of utility that the Denon front end offers (bass management, eq, both which you should explore).
Yeah, it's super-weird using an app on my phone instead of a remote, but I'm adapting...
 
J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
Actually, I'm not super worried about this with the Denon unit - its *fixed* output is 2v, and it can go up to 6v on variable out, which is pretty much what the Quicksilvers are looking for.
And... I just discovered that 2v is the cap on the variable out. Oops. Oh well, if I need more gain, I can always stick a pre into the mix.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Absolutely. And no, the bass response doesn't shift anywhere in the room. I can definitely hear HF phase cancellation (and a not-insignificant amount of reverb), which is why I'm taking the little steps that I know will help immediately, like the blackout curtains.

An RTA software package with a pre-calibrated mic is happening in the near future, though, just to see how far I need to go to get to 90-95% of ideal without my wife cringing over how the room looks. Gotta walk that tightrope...
I would recommend downloading an RTA app or program if you have a laptop and check the room with pink noise- most are decent enough, even if the mic won't do well all the way to 20KHz. You'll definitely see what's happening below 10KHz.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
And... I just discovered that 2v is the cap on the variable out. Oops. Oh well, if I need more gain, I can always stick a passive pre into the mix.
Most consumer power amps need about a volt to reach full power, some less. Pro-sumer amps often have an input selector for .7V and 1.4V, so I wouldn't worry that your AVR outputs 2V.

Passive circuits don't usually provide gain- not sure you you propose to do that.
 
J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
I would recommend downloading an RTA app or program if you have a laptop and check the room with pink noise- most are decent enough, even if the mic won't do well all the way to 20KHz. You'll definitely see what's happening below 10KHz.
Yep. Already have a package on tap, as soon as Sweetwater gets more of the mics in.
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
Most consumer power amps need about a volt to reach full power, some less. Pro-sumer amps often have an input selector for .7V and 1.4V, so I wouldn't worry that your AVR outputs 2V.
His amps do require 6v, they're boutique tube amps.

I suppose if we wanted to be thoroughly helpful it would be easy enough to calculate what the Quicksilvers do with 2v. It's probably sufficient, unless @Jerkface is aiming for live marching band, super-headbanger spls.
 
J

Jerkface

Junior Audioholic
His amps do require 6v, they're boutique tube amps.

I suppose if we wanted to be thoroughly helpful it would be easy enough to calculate what the Quicksilvers do with 2v. It's probably sufficient, unless @Jerkface is aiming for live marching band, super-headbanger spls.
Yeah, with 104dB sensitive speakers, I can't imagine losing roughly 4.5dB of output gain is going to be the end of the world. On the rare occasions that I crank these babies up, it's not for very long, and it's usually because we're hanging out on the lanai and it's too hot to leave the sliders open.
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
If you hard clip your pre-outs you'll know it right away, your ears will tell you. If you haven't noticed anything awry yet, you can probably check that off your worrry list and boogie down to some tunes.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
His amps do require 6v, they're boutique tube amps.

I suppose if we wanted to be thoroughly helpful it would be easy enough to calculate what the Quicksilvers do with 2v. It's probably sufficient, unless @Jerkface is aiming for live marching band, super-headbanger spls.
I just looked at the specs- the stated input sensitivity of the Horn Mono is 9V, which I think is ridiculous- the rest all show 1-1.25V sensitivity.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yeah, with 104dB sensitive speakers, I can't imagine losing roughly 4.5dB of output gain is going to be the end of the world. On the rare occasions that I crank these babies up, it's not for very long, and it's usually because we're hanging out on the lanai and it's too hot to leave the sliders open.
Consider also that Klipsch overstates sensitivity, typically 4-5 dB or so.....
 

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