Author Topic: Update - Audio in the Cave  (Read 1235 times)

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Update - Audio in the Cave
« on: December 16, 2015, 09:28:32 PM »
I am changing things around again to test out the theory that a properly set up home theater can sound as good or better than a two-channel rig n Dolby PrologicIIx Music.  To that end I have installed Golden Ear Triton 1s FL and FR speakers and a SuperCetner XXL.  Surround sides and back remain in-ceiling 8 inchers - that may change for the sides, to GE Aon 3s or 2s.  Right now I am using the Denon 4520ci as a preamp,  with Emotiva XPA1Ls as FL and FR and the Sunfire 405 x  5 for the rest. This weekend I am switching to an Emotiva XMC-1 pro that has a cleaner pre and DIRAC Live software (instead of Audyssey XT32) that allows me to use better microphones to set up the system and make a bunch of other adjustments.  Will report on sound soon and post pictures. 

One notable lesson so far: the height at which you set the calibration mic at can make a huge difference in resulting sound. A bad calibration will ruin the effect,  and just a few inches off (from where your ears are going to seating down) can screw the whole thing. Did not thought that would be the case but it is. 

Regards

OBG

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 07:53:35 AM »
I place my calibration mike right where the space between my ears will be (yes, the space is probably empty).  However, this only works well for solo listening.  In the Theater room, I took several measurements and struck an average, then measured again and made tweaks.

However, I am using a pure analog approach and imagine the automated software in your pre/pro will adjust for some of what I do manually.

Pepe, I do agree calibration mic placement makes a big difference in how things turn out and experimentation is the way to the best outcome.  Most of the rooms I have measured take a few attempts before I am satisfied.  When your ears like the result, you are done.
MAC C-46 pre, MQ 108 eq, MC 352 amps (2), MR 78 tuner, MCD 500 CD, MPI-4 scope, LS 352 speakers, Sony HDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD tuner, Denon DRS 810 cassette, Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, Music Hall MMF-9 w/B&O MMC2, Revox A-77 R to R.

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 08:49:49 PM »
I use a camera stand that is height adjustable to hold my Denon calibration mike.  Have always tried to get it at ear level in many seating positions.
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
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Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 01:19:07 AM »
I wish they made those mics like regular mics so I could just use a boom stand to get it where it needs to be.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 03:42:37 PM »
Good feedback, thanks.  The Emotiva XMC-1 arrives today so I will probably spend tomorrow installing it - but I must say that Denon 4520 did a pretty decent job as a preamp processor after I figured out the right placement of the mic height wise.   In fact,  I think I could live with it for a while if necessary.   


Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 02:35:25 PM »
I am changing things around again to test out the theory that a properly set up home theater can sound as good or better than a two-channel rig n Dolby PrologicIIx Music.  OBG

@OBG - is Dolby PrologicIIx Music two channel or multichannel?

EDIT - I Googled it, appears to be multichannel.  Why did you pick Dolby PrologicIIx Music as the comparison standard?

You've got me thinking about picking up an Emotiva XPA-3 early next year so I can play with different HT amplification.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 02:37:40 PM by bmwr75 »
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 09:00:02 PM »
There are several audio modes for music in most receivers,   but the most natural sounding to me is Dolby Prologic IIx Music.   The others seems to have a flat sound-field or artificial reverberations.

I keep the Dimension parameter to 3 or so- so that the effect on the surrounds is minimal/nuanced. The center fill works out well at 4 0r 3 for me,  but it is a matter of taste. 

Better amplification is a great thing,  any decent class AB amp will better the cheap class D designs in most receivers.  I am very happy with the Emotiva XPA1Ls running class A the 1st 35 watts and AB the rest of the way to 250.  Worth it for me anyway.  The Sunfire 405 x 5 is a decent class D switching power supply that handles center, sides and back in my HT.  I am a happy camper with that setup, but if I were to start with no amps I would consider 3 monoblock XPA1-Ls and let the receiver handle the rest.

Next for me is improving the side surround speakers.  I am using in-ceiling 8" Parasounds. Looking to install full range speakers at ear level with bass extension to 40Hz. A lot of movie  sound action in those channels,  it turns out. 

OBG

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 09:02:23 PM »
There are several audio modes for music in most receivers,   but the most natural sounding to me is Dolby Prologic IIx Music.   The others seems to have a flat sound-field or artificial reverberations.

I keep the Dimension parameter to 3 or so- so that the effect on the surrounds is minimal/nuanced. The center fill works out well at 4 0r 3 for me,  but it is a matter of taste. 

Better amplification is a great thing,  any decent class AB amp will better the cheap class D designs in most receivers.  I am very happy with the Emotiva XPA1Ls running class A the 1st 35 watts and AB the rest of the way to 250.  Worth it for me anyway.  The Sunfire 405 x 5 is a decent class D switching power supply that handles center, sides and back in my HT.  I am a happy camper with that setup, but if I were to start with no amps I would consider 3 monoblock XPA1-Ls and let the receiver handle the rest.

Next for me is improving the side surround speakers.  I am using in-ceiling 8" Parasounds. Looking to install full range speakers at ear level with bass extension to 40Hz. A lot of movie  sound action in those channels,  it turns out. 

OBG

To state what I hope is obvious - all of these adds cost money - if money is tight I would recommend severely deprioritizing all this stuff I wrote about above and instead focus on putting food on the table, of course! 

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 10:17:14 PM »
I am using the same Denon 4520CI HT receiver as you.  But, am running full range speakers everywhere in the 7.1 set up.  The fronts are Klipsch KLF 20s with Crites diaphragms and crossovers.  The side surrounds are ADS L-1230s and rears surrounds are Klipsch Chorus 1s.  The center channel is a Klipsch KLF C-7.

The Klipsch speakers are all 98+ dB efficient and the ADS are 94 dB efficient.  I've watched Bluray concert and they have the potential to sound great.  DTS True-HD is the mode I use mostly if available on the bluray.  Peter Gabriels latest sounds amazing, while Rush's latest R40 is not nearly as well recorded and it is easy to here this while listening.

I've got a couple of Rogue Audio M-120 tube amps already sitting in the HT that I should run the Denon L/R preouts to and connect them to the KLF-20s as an experiment.   I've done this already using a Rogue Audio Perseus preamp and that was a definite step up in fidelity of two channel music.
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 07:26:42 PM »
I removed the second set of L/R speakers today.  Allowed me to move the Klipsch KLF-20s closer to the center of the room and further from the rear wall.  Probably 12" of movement on both axis.  Need to rerun the Audyssey calibration tomorrow.  I've got an Emotive XPA-2 I could but in the system as L/R fronts to take the load off the Denon receiver.  Thoughts Pepe?
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2015, 08:16:08 PM »
I removed the the front height and wide as well,  they added little to the audio field and, like you state, constrained placement of the mains. DSX may still be a thing: I may have chosen the wrong speakers (I was using loaned Polk RM6200s that barely hit 100Hz),  or positioned them incorrectly.  I doubt it though.  I found myself never using DSX surround modes and going with Dolby most of the time. 

The Denon 4520Ci seats on the floor awaiting a decision to sell or give to my oldest kid who teaches high school biology and is scraping by (teacher's salaries - don't get me started on that) and I am using the Emotiva XMC-1 with multiple amps.  Scott - as you have in your theater and Jim has suggested,  I need to invest in full range speakers for side surrounds.  There is a lot of signal coming in through there, and I need to get them closer to ear height. 

Cheers,

Pepe

IMG_1367.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2015, 10:08:22 PM »
The second set of L/R speakers were for a completely separate 2 channel system running in the same room.  They were KEF LS-50s running off Rogue M120 tube amps and Perseus preamp.  The LS-50s didn't sound that great on the tube amps, they like a really good solid state amp.  I've tried the Klipsch KLF 20s with the tube set up and they sound really good.  So that is will be my control in this HT receiver experiment.
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2015, 03:52:51 PM »
DTS True-HD is the mode I use mostly if available on the bluray.  Peter Gabriels latest sounds amazing, while Rush's latest R40 is not nearly as well recorded and it is easy to here this while listening.

@OBG  - excuse my temporary bout of dumbassery.....you are talking about making 2 channel music sound better.  I got off on a tangent about blu-rays.
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2015, 10:43:29 AM »
OBG - I played with speaker sizes (large vs small) and crossover settings in the HT yesterday.  On music using Dolby PLXII Music, the music sounded better with all the speakers set to small and crossovers set to 80 Hz.  However, the try a blu-ray concert and found that the Audyssey settings it chose of large full range speakers sounded much better on concert videos.  One size does not fit all.
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline bmwr75

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Re: Update - Audio in the Cave
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 11:34:25 AM »
Any update on your experimentation OBG?
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

 

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