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Home Theater questions I dare not ask @AVS Forums
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Chongo
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Apr 28, 2019, 03:06 PM
 
I have some questions for Laminar, or anyone else that wants to chime in, since Laminar has a dedicated home theater. I went with what I could afford for our TV room, I can’t call it a home theater.

Bear in mind this is until I can squirrel away money for some cash for home theater speakers that can do justice to music as well as movies.

I had a Yamaha AVR that was toslink/coax DD/DTS 5.1 only and several years ago and “upgraded” to a Yamaha HTIB with HDMI DD Tru HD/DTS MA.

My old system speakers consisted of Optimus center and rears from Radio Shack, a 200 watt RCA powered sub, and here is the “not on AVS” part, a set of Bose 301 series II I bought over 30 years ago. The reviews I read on the speakers that come with the HTIB said they were fine for movies, but not for music. I have found this to be so since we have began listening to more music since we updated to an ATV 4K to use our Apple Music subscription.

I ran the YPAO set up a few times. It set all speakers to small all but one time, and the cross over at 120 Hz. I reran it because it kept setting the sub at one foot. It finally set it at close to the actual distance after a changed the orientation.
Bose derision aside, should I leave the front setting at small? If I change it to large, do I set extra bass to on or off? Should the crossover stay at 120 Hz or be set tp 80 Hz per THX?

Yes I know, bare floor and walls, but evil Bose thrive on them.

BTW, the evil 301’s sounded great when I was running them with my Stereo back in the day, still do.


Who makes HT speakers packages that are not hideously expensive that do justice to music?
( Last edited by Chongo; Apr 28, 2019 at 03:20 PM. )
     
subego
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Apr 28, 2019, 03:25 PM
 
Polk Audio.
     
P
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Apr 28, 2019, 03:40 PM
 
Run it at what sounds good to you. That is not equipment that is going to be perfectly flat anyway. A quick google shows that those speakers have 8” woofers, so I would guess that 80Hz is OK. OTOH, the only win from that is that you get stereo width in he 80-120Hz range, which seems fairly useless.

Readinf further, those Bose have what looks like a huge gap in the midrange, so I hope you have a good center.

HTIB packages are dead, by the way. Soundbars killed them.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 28, 2019, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Polk Audio.
I saw these on Frys website:
https://www.frys.com/product/6481542...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

At $500 I will be sticking with my evil 301’s for awhile.
( Last edited by Chongo; Apr 28, 2019 at 03:56 PM. )
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 28, 2019, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Run it at what sounds good to you. That is not equipment that is going to be perfectly flat anyway. A quick google shows that those speakers have 8” woofers, so I would guess that 80Hz is OK. OTOH, the only win from that is that you get stereo width in he 80-120Hz range, which seems fairly useless.

Readinf further, those Bose have what looks like a huge gap in the midrange, so I hope you have a good center.

HTIB packages are dead, by the way. Soundbars killed them.
I bought it in 2012.
     
reader50
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Apr 28, 2019, 04:25 PM
 
The crossover sends low frequencies to the sub, and all higher frequencies to appropriate speaker locations. That lets you use smaller (less expensive) speakers, and splurge on the sub.

People cannot localize low frequencies (we feel them more than hear them), so a single sub works well on the low end. But if your regular speakers are too small, the crossover frequency will be set higher. This seems to be the cause of "muddy sound" complaints. Sounds people *can* localize are partially coming from the sub's location, in addition to the speaker they should come from. Likely to mess up music more than dialog due to the wider dynamic range.

THX specifies the crossover at 80Hz for good reason. Below 80, few can trace a sound's location. Above 80 most people can pick up a direction.

In practice, all your surround speakers need a 4" midrange driver or larger. 3" cannot reliably get down to 80Hz, and even 3.5" is marginal. Calibration will set your crossover to 90Hz or higher, and the higher it goes, the lower the sound quality.

That's about all I can offer. I'm not an audiophile, so I'm not super-fussy about the sound. I set up a receiver with a 10" sub, all other speakers have 4" mid-drivers, and didn't worry about it further. Visitors seem to like the sound quality.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 28, 2019, 05:08 PM
 
The 301’s have 8” woofers.
     
reader50
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Apr 28, 2019, 06:47 PM
 
I saw that - those two will be fine. But watch out for small satellite speakers. There is no guarantee surround sounds will only be high-pitched. All the non-sub speakers need at least a 4" driver or you get a too-high crossover setting.

I don't know if your receiver sets the crossover as a master value, or per-speaker. I think my older receiver uses a single value. If yours does that, a single small rear speaker will raise the crossover frequency for your entire system.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 28, 2019, 08:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I saw that - those two will be fine. But watch out for small satellite speakers. There is no guarantee surround sounds will only be high-pitched. All the non-sub speakers need at least a 4" driver or you get a too-high crossover setting.

I don't know if your receiver sets the crossover as a master value, or per-speaker. I think my older receiver uses a single value. If yours does that, a single small rear speaker will raise the crossover frequency for your entire system.
One crossover to rule them all, current setting is 120 Hz.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 28, 2019, 08:12 PM
 
I noticed when I set the front to large, it turns off the sub for two channel audio, making it a good old fashioned stereo. The owners manual says setting to fronts to large will “produce all front channel frequency components” letting the 301’s stand on their own. I’ll play some music from various genres and find what sounds best, small with sub, large without sub.
( Last edited by Chongo; Apr 29, 2019 at 10:38 AM. )
     
P
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Apr 29, 2019, 05:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
I bought it in 2012.
I bought an HTIB around that time as well, but they were dying. There were 3.1 systems for a while, because people didn't want to run wires to the rear speakers, but now they're all soundbars.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 29, 2019, 07:46 PM
 
I’m looking at keeping the 301’s and getting these from monoprice:

$80 for all three.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10800


https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=11948

( Last edited by Chongo; Apr 29, 2019 at 07:58 PM. )
     
reader50
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Apr 29, 2019, 08:09 PM
 
I've had generally good luck with Monoprice - though their eSATA cables turned out to be crap. I lost track of how many troubleshooting problems went away after I switched to better eSATA cable.

Note that the first speaker is out of stock, with no in-stock date. Both it and the center channel you list have 3" midranges, reflected in the specs: 110 Hz to 20 KHz.

Might I suggest this monoprice center channel. 4" midrange, 70 Hz - 20 KHz.

For the regular surrounds, try this pair (4", 75+ Hz, 50W) or this pair (6.5", 60+ Hz, 60W). Both are $50 per pair. The 2nd one is notably bigger, possibly an issue if you want the speakers to blend into a small room.
     
subego
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Apr 29, 2019, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
I’m looking at keeping the 301’s and getting these from monoprice:
This is what I was thinking of when I suggested Polk. It’s going to give you the same kind of value for your dollar at the next price point. If you can swing $200, their equivalent has 5¼” mids. The center has two of them.

https://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-...A2H3DYB5PUVNNI

https://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-...polk+su&sr=8-4

The $80 Monoprice set will probably sound like you spent $160. The $200 Polks will sound like you spent $400.

At least, if the experience I’ve had with their 2.1 systems carries through.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 29, 2019, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I've had generally good luck with Monoprice - though their eSATA cables turned out to be crap. I lost track of how many troubleshooting problems went away after I switched to better eSATA cable.

Note that the first speaker is out of stock, with no in-stock date. Both it and the center channel you list have 3" midranges, reflected in the specs: 110 Hz to 20 KHz.

Might I suggest this monoprice center channel. 4" midrange, 70 Hz - 20 KHz.

For the regular surrounds, try this pair (4", 75+ Hz, 50W) or this pair (6.5", 60+ Hz, 60W). Both are $50 per pair. The 2nd one is notably bigger, possibly an issue if you want the speakers to blend into a small room.
Thanks. It looks like I stopped scrolling a bit too soon.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 29, 2019, 09:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is what I was thinking of when I suggested Polk. It’s going to give you the same kind of value for your dollar at the next price point. If you can swing $200, their equivalent has 5¼” mids. The center has two of them.

https://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-...A2H3DYB5PUVNNI

https://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-...polk+su&sr=8-4

The $80 Monoprice set will probably sound like you spent $160. The $200 Polks will sound like you spent $400.

At least, if the experience I’ve had with their 2.1 systems carries through.
Those look good as well. The Polk speakers I looked at on Crutchfield are 125 Hz +
     
subego
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Apr 30, 2019, 03:26 PM
 
If at some point you want to ditch the 301s, which I think are good enough to throw $240 at for a replacement, these are good.

https://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-...x=rti+a&sr=8-3

Then, their 10” sub is $130.

https://smile.amazon.com/Polk-10-Inc...olk+sub&sr=8-3

I’ve heard this setup in person (with a Yammy receiver ), and it sounds like it cost way more than $370.
     
subego
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Apr 30, 2019, 03:54 PM
 
They look better on paper, certainly. 301s on the bottom.



     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Apr 30, 2019, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
I’m looking at keeping the 301’s and getting these from monoprice:

$80 for all three.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10800


https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=11948

I can’t resist or stop myself....

MAGA, am I right? Until it comes time to save a few hundred bucks on speakers, I guess.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 30, 2019, 05:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I can’t resist or stop myself....

MAGA, am I right? Until it comes time to save a few hundred bucks on speakers, I guess.
So much for Polk. I guess I’ll stick with my 35 year old Mexican made 301’s and my 7 year old Indonesian made Yamaha RX-V373 AVR and center/surround speakers.

https://forums.audioholics.com/forum...the-usa.49411/
( Last edited by Chongo; Apr 30, 2019 at 05:17 PM. )
     
subego
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Apr 30, 2019, 05:22 PM
 
I have a pair of boutique speakers which were made in America, but the tube amp I have for them is from Thailand.

They sound really nice, but I don’t have a place for them.

The Mackies in my studio were made in China.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 30, 2019, 05:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I have a pair of boutique speakers which were made in America, but the tube amp I have for them is from Thailand.

They sound really nice, but I don’t have a place for them.

The Mackies in my studio were made in China.
McIntosh, correct?

Someday I may splurge and get the Mrs this:

https://www.psaudio.com/products/sprout100-elac-system/



Built in Bolder, the speakers are made in Germany. I’ve been looking at getting her a turntable for the “TV room” but Shortcut has inspired me to keep MAGA.

She still has a bunch of vinyl and cassettes. I have a DVD player for her CDs and a cassette deck in the shed. I’ll set it up on an AV stand we bought for to put one of those ElectoBrand combo players a few years ago. I can hook them up to the Sprout and she’ll be GTG. I just need to get a moving magnet TT.
     
Chongo  (op)
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Apr 30, 2019, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
They look better on paper, certainly. 301s on the bottom.



Is that for the series II 301’s. I experimented with the settings: small (sub on), large (sub off for two channel audio), large with extra bass (sub on) etc.

I settled on large (sub off for two channel audio). I ran YPAO one last time after I moved the 301’s a bit closer to the back wall and it identified the 301’s as large , and set the crossover for the center/surround at 160 Hz. I changed it to 120 Hz after doing some reading that is best for voice dialogue in the center channel.

To tell you the truth, since adjusting the location for the fronts, they sound pretty dang good. Magic Man, Come Together, Whole Lotta Love sound like they should, as do the original Who releases. The jazz stuff sounds great as well. Bear in mind this is with the tone control set on bypass, no added treble or bass

Correct me if I’m wrong, I seem to recall reading the remastered Who releases done after Entwistle died bumped up the bass.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 30, 2019, 07:00 PM
 
I have an older pair of Polk bookshelf speakers in my studio and really like them a lot. They aren’t exactly being driven by any high-end electronics, though.

The Polks are way newer. Definitely bought in the 21st century
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Apr 30, 2019, 09:56 PM
 
I had a DAC from PS Audio a few years ago. It was really nice and I’ve regretted selling it a time or two. They make good gear.

Buy used. Only used. You’ll only lose a bit of money that way.
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subego
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May 1, 2019, 05:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
McIntosh, correct?
Nope. Mackie.



Accurate, monster 8¾” driver, and a built-in amp.

Unfortunately, not cheap at $700 a piece, but my experience has been this is the price right before diminishing returns kick in.

At the other end of the spectrum, I really like the $70 (made in China) Creative T-20 in my garage.


With the frequency response graph, I must admit I’m not sure which model it’s from. I just put “Bose 301” into image search and grabbed the first one I could find which was plotted in the same program as the Polk graph.
     
Laminar
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May 2, 2019, 09:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I can’t resist or stop myself....

MAGA, am I right? Until it comes time to save a few hundred bucks on speakers, I guess.
Miss you.
     
Brien
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May 2, 2019, 09:16 PM
 
I was able to get a pair of RTi A7’s on super clearance at Fry’s a few years back. I’d say spend as much as you can. Use that Qualcomm money.
     
   
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