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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Curt Palme wrote:
OK guys, question about surround speakers. I more or less always read that rear surrounds only process echo type sound, so you can pretty much use whatever speaker you want, nothing beefy. I assume that these JBLs realistically go down to 80Hz, maybe a bit less. On another forum, a member posted this:

Quote:
It does matter, In True 5.1 all speakers should be full range and at least go down to 20hz as some sound tracks do go down that low even in the rear channels. Some receivers you can the speakers to Large + sub. this will send all low frequencies to all speakers plus to the sub. So the sub will get LFE and the other frequencies. then you set the cross over to what you want, so you can have the speakers crossed at say 40hz and the subs will get the LFE plus any thing up to 40hz that was also being sent to the other speakers. Some like this if they have capable speakers all around.


I'll be the first to admit that I don't keep up with the latest technology, which is why I sometimes post stupid questions here. So now I'm probably asking another stupid question: Have things changed since the early days of 5.1 surround, and is the above paragraph totally accurate, or can (as in literally every HT system I've seen) the surround speakers be smaller and not as critical as LCR?


You have to be careful reading comments from crazy enthusiasts, Curt. Often, they're detached from reality.

First, do some soundtracks have content at 60, 50, or even 40hz in the surround channels? Yes. But, even if some do, so what? That's the whole point of bass management and why you set your surrounds to "small" or set the crossover at 80hz or 70hz.

Next, do most of us have a room where it's practical to use full range speakers as surround speakers? No. You'll have all kinds of fun with peaks and nulls when you have a 40z signal emanating from 3-4 more points in the room, and with no flexibility of moving it to adjust the response.

Next, is it hard enough getting the bass room response right with even a couple of subs without worrying about how 40z content is playing from three or four more large surround speakers? Yes.

Then there's amplifiers. Most people don't have enough amplifier power to drive even their mains with proper dynamic range at reference levels, and now a guy is suggesting they should also drive large surrounds with bass energy in the power-hungry region.

At AXPONA in Chicago, Mark Seaton set up a 7-channel system using three Catalyst 12C's for mains and Catalyst 8C's for the four surrounds. IIRC, he still crossed over the 8C surrounds over at 80hz because they're only good down to about 65hz, and he didn't want to burn amp power making the surrounds make bass when he already had something like six subs with probably north of 10,000W driving them. Keep in mind the Catalyst 8C he was using as surrounds each had it's own 1000W of ICE power in EACH of those speakers. I can tell you because I was there... That system sounded truly awesome. Of course, it was in ~3000 sqft hotel ballroom with 10-foot ceilings and 25 or 30 seats. Not exactly a typical home theater.

Anyway, while what the guy you referenced is saying is true in theory, in reality it's totally impractical for probably 95% of the people reading it. Nobody has the room, speakers, or amps to do it right, and even for those of us for whom it could be useful, it won't make near the difference he's suggesting it might.

Now, mains are a different story. Mains can absolutely benefit from being large with good extension. The soundtracks are designed for, and mixed on, large mains. That's the "big" sound I'm after ever since hearing it several different rooms and systems. But (and this is a big but), the "big" sound isn't just extension - it's actually more about dynamic range, something a small bookshelf just can't do. It takes either über-efficient speakers (i.e. compression drivers), plenty of amp power, or some combination of both, and almost always a large cabinet.

Cheers,
SC
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cosaw




Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 159
Location: Nottingham, England


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I have dreamed about having full extension on all my speakers. But like Mr ecrabb says, it's hardly practical. I'm behind the times and still only run stereo and my practical speaker experience only relates to a bit of subwoofer building and active crossover building. So the system I run is mains with L and R subs, so essential mains with as much extension as I can. Don't draw me into the debate of "there's no such thing as stereo subs" - anyway I've got a switch I can flick to mix both channels into a mono mix if I really want. Haven't got the room for anything past stereo at the moment and that's the limitation. I've been in some theaters that have so much front end (even when your sitting in the middle) that I didn't know the surrounds were there anyway. They've usually been really old theaters that have been restored or retrofitted though.

I read recently that Interstellar was a bit different in having all channels mixed and driven down as low as possible. The sound system I experienced it on was absolutely awesome and that was only on one of the LIEMAX screens - picture was still stellar though. Trust Christopher Nolan to throw a spanner in the works!

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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink Who you calling crazy!!!!

Very Happy

Nashou

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jbmeyer13




Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:


Now, mains are a different story. Mains can absolutely benefit from being large with good extension. The soundtracks are designed for, and mixed on, large mains. That's the "big" sound I'm after ever since hearing it several different rooms and systems. But (and this is a big but), the "big" sound isn't just extension - it's actually more about dynamic range, something a small bookshelf just can't do. It takes either über-efficient speakers (i.e. compression drivers), plenty of amp power, or some combination of both, and almost always a large cabinet.

Cheers,
SC


Oh, Crabb you no nothing about sound..lol

Seriously, that was a good post and hopefully now Nash will stop telling me everyday how his subs go down below 40hz.

IIRC, you have/had the same MK750 speakers I do. Have you replaced them with full range or did you simply upgrade the sub?

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Jeremy112




Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 2643
Location: Fond du Lac, WI


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you brought the speaker size up Curt, I've been wondering the same thing myself as right now I really don't have any home theater speakers, and was debating on doing a full 7.1 setup with full sized speakers. The new area I'll have for the theater should be plenty big (20x18). So it's interesting to see other peoples thoughts on this Smile
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbmeyer13 wrote:
Oh, Crabb you no nothing about sound..lol

Seriously, that was a good post and hopefully now Nash will stop telling me everyday how his subs go down below 40hz.

IIRC, you have/had the same MK750 speakers I do. Have you replaced them with full range or did you simply upgrade the sub?


Yep, I used 750THX's as my mains the entire time I had a home theater, and even earlier. Still love them. For music or even home theater, at reasonable listening volumes, in smaller rooms, I still consider them an excellent speaker - especially for the price. But, after owning them for about 15 years, I finally let them go with the theater when I sold my house earlier this year.

Here's my progression, and how I came to arrive at my current wants/needs. Wink

- Collected M&K THX Select bookshelf speakers, surrounds, and matching subs for several years before I'd even built my theater, buying used on eBay whenever deals came up. I've known M&K from the early-80's as a pioneer in satellite/subwoofer, and always loved the sound.

- Built my dedicated theater in 2005. 13x18, six seats, M&K 750THX mains, Surround-550 surrounds, and a V-75 Mk II for 6.1, driven by a Marantz component HD AVR. Very happy. For a few months.

- The bass was pretty inadequate, meaning if I ran the system at anywhere near reference, the sub just wasn't very noticeable, so I added a second matching sub. Bass was better, kept up with mains now in the room. Much, much better output, and better response in the room. Still little response below 40hz, and non whatsoever below 30hz, but I was pretty happy. For awhile.

- Now, the room needed some acoustic treatment. Badly. It was way too lively. It was always planned, but I got on the stick and bought some panels from ATS Acoustics, hung them up and got back to calibrating and watching movies. Wow. Major improvement. Huge. More than any single upgrade. Imaging much better, articulation and dialog much better, just a much, much cleaner overall sound. Very happy for some time.

- Realized pretty quickly that the room treatments also reduced perceived system output. Now, I couldn't even play the system at anywhere near reference levels without the AVR starting to sound very distressed and adding significant distortion. No headroom whatsoever. Perfect storm of small, inefficient speakers, treatments, and low-powered AVR. sh*t.

- Bought three Crown XLS-202D prosound amps. Receiver was like 120W into the 4-ohm M&Ks, but the Crown's are 300W into the 4-ohm M&K's, and of course two channels per power supply. Wow. Massive improvement. Huge. Still plenty dynamic at near-reference levels. Sweeeeeeeet... Very happy. For awhile.

- sh*t. Now the subs won't keep up with the rest of the system. Dammit! Plus, I've been to other people's rooms - Art Sonneborn, I've heard Seaton Subversives, and some others, and I've felt good subs shake the chairs like they have ButtKickers installed, and I've got nothing even remotely close. I can hear the bass, and it sounds good, but it's not tactile like it should be in a movie! Clearly, I'm missing a ton of bass. Can't afford a Submersive or similar commercial high-end sub, and the DIY community was doing cool stuff, so I scratch-built two DIY 15-inch subs with Dayton Reference drivers and 500W ICE plate amps. Wasn't cheap, but wasn't bad, either. Total price including paint everything was around $700 for both. So, for less than one decent commercial sub, I built two good DIY subs. Reaction? Ho. Ly. sh*t. Judas Priest. OK, yeah - that bass between 20 and 40 that I was mostly missing... That's some important sh*t for movies. The M&K's were great for music, but for movies? Wow. FEELING the explosions. It's tactile! I'm hearing notes that didn't know existed before. Cue up the Tron Legacy soundtrack and listen to Solar Sailer on a really good system, with sub-25hz bass and you'll know what I'm talking about. Now, the whole system is very decent to over 100dB, and flat in the listening to position to below 20hz. Still sounds a bit dynamically compressed and a bit edgy at reference levels, but it's relatively clean and there's no amp clipping. The strained sound is just the silk dome tweeters in the M&K's running out of steam. I don't often watch at reference levels, so I'm very, very happy for several years and don't touch a thing.

- Fast forward a few years and now I've been to some HT meets, some shows, etc. and listened to some big speakers like Seaton's Catalysts, Jeff's JTR Noesis, some big line arrays, and more. A couple of meets, some blind listening, and I realize what I'm really after at this point. Big. Giant. Main. Speakers. The capper was one night at a buddy's big audio meet in Iowa. All the listening tests were concluded, everybody was drinking beer, geeking out on equipment, and they were just watching movie clips with Jeff's Noesis 212HT's. I'd already heard lots of music, and lots of different genres, and I know I already like the sound of the compression drivers. They were just so sensitive, so clear, so accurate. But, back to the after-hours craziness. They'd cued up Open Range on DVD. It didn't even exist on Blu-ray yet, or nobody had it. Anyway, there's a big shootout scene and the gunshots are apparently recorded really, really, well. I know this because they actually sounded like gunshots. Not just that they were clean and clear, but as in they were painfully loud and we should have had earplugs in as if we'd been actually firing weapons inside the house. They weren't harsh, or distorted... No, they were crystal clear. They were just LOUD. I believe peaks were in excess of 120dB. It was totally irresponsible for them to even be running them that hot, but I didn't care because I got a taste of what compression drivers could do in terms of maximum output. Then I asked what was powering them... Figured it was a big, expensive amp. Nope. It was a Denon AVR. On it's internal amps. Not cheap Denon AVR... It was a good one, but it was an AVR! Must. Have. Compression drivers.

I won't really want to spend it would cost to buy a set of Catalysts or Noesis 212HT's, so I started looking at DIY alternatives and ran into DIY Sound Group. I had heard some of the designs at one of the meets, but didn't know anything about it at the time. Now, I'm all over it. Check out the Fusion 15 Sentinel. I actually met Matt Grimes, the designer in Mark Seaton's room at AXPONA. Great guy. Can't wait to build these for my mains. Check out Matt's video of him testing it in his back yard. Skip ahead and start watching it at 2:58, and it'll blow your mind.

So, that's where I am now. I don't have speakers or a theater now, and I'm just starting to design my next room. Hoping to start building it in the spring sometime to be finished by next holidays, and I'll Fusion 15 Sentinels for mains, and probably V-8 Volts (coaxial w/compression drivers) for surround and Atmos.

Man, sorry for the massive post!!!

TLDR: I don't have the M&K's anymore, or my theater, so I'm designing a new theater and building big DIY speakers with compression drivers. Wink

SC
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gjaky




Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am wondering actually how many of you have seen THIS? Smile
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gjaky wrote:
I am wondering actually how many of you have seen THIS? Smile


WHAT??? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Mr. Green
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hansilili




Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: Köln, Germany


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gjaky wrote:
I am wondering actually how many of you have seen THIS? Smile


The last pic is the best Mr. Green

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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's a big freakin' room, and LOTS of big freakin' gear.

SC
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Spanky Ham




Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crabb said a mouthful. I agree with most all of it. I would add that according to the podcasts linked below like 80% of a movies sound comes out of the center channel. Floyd Toole commented on how important the center channel is as well. So, I wouldn't even worry about full range surrounds when very little information comes out of them in the first place.


http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/229
http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/230

Another thing you should consider is putting five speakers up front. If you would have attended the Blendzilla meet, then you would have experienced Dr. Dog's five Seaton Catalysts speakers across the front stage. Tomlinson Holman of THX fame has advocated this set up for years. IIRC Floyd Toole said that it better replicates a concert hall. Since you are into music documentaries this might be better for your set up than rear speakers.

Finally, remember going two subs is better than one and four is better than two.



Crabb,
I talked to Mike Garrett the other day and he was saying that his DIY SEOS speakers were better than the kits sold on the webpage. They were more expensive, because he used a better midrange and woofer. I don't think they were break the bank though. I will have to read his thread and the other guy that built the same speakers.

You should also look at the Fusion 4s. Apparently they were surprisingly a hit at the latest meet. I had overlooked them as being to small or not as good as the better speakers, but for $140 a speaker they apparently are a hit.
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-diy-speakers-subs/1797337-fusion-4-amazing-sounding-speaker.html
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Melifluonze




Joined: 25 Nov 2013
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Location: Upstate NY

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PostLink    Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the "THT".

I built one of these guys (and cut the wood for the second). I drive it with a 250W Parasound amp and it shakes my whole house. I run everything below 60 Hz into it... you can see it in my HT pictures in the Home Theater Builds section. This link is to my build thread on Bill Fitzmaurice's forum. Took me about 3 days to build...

http://billfitzmaurice.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21618

Not hard to build, and it will beat any sub you put up against it with few exceptions. Fairly tight and flat down to 15 Hz (if you build the big one).

You don't hear this... you feel it. And they say I'm overdriving it too.

Cost me about $250 to make with birch plywood. It will exceed what jbmeyer is talking about by far, but you need the room for it. My THT is 30" x 36" x 36". My room is 28' x 16' x 8'. It's the big box to the left in the pic.

The nuts!!!! (Sorry if this is too far off topic...)



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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melifluonze wrote:
Check out the "THT".

Considering a THT for my next room, probably after everything else is done. Very impressive from what I've read. The size is a major concern, and I think probably makes it quite a challenge for most. My subs are nearly nearly half the size, and they're impossible to move by myself without a hand-truck.

I think I'll get the MDF all CNC cut though, as all the cutting and routing in the garage with a circ saw, clamps, and guides is a pain in the ass and is hideously messy. That's why I've decided to go with prebuilt kits for my mains and surrounds. The assembly and finishing I can handle... But, all the cutting. Been there, done that. Hoping I can find somebody local with a CNC router that will just cut everything up for me for a fair price. That will save a LOT of time and a LOT of cleanup.

SC
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ElTopo




Joined: 07 Nov 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will you install Dolby Atmos Curt ?
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noooo, not for a while yet. I prefer to run all used equipment, so when I see Atmos on the used market, I might spring for it.

What's going up today is the AT screen and the 6 THX approved JBL surround speakers that I bought.

Here's the start of it from 2 days ago. Drywall screen and frame are popped out, the wall'o speakers is gone from behind the screen, so is the 3 X 12" tannoy sub that was back there. Now going to use the two EAW 2 X 15" subs, 3 X 12" 2 way EAW speakers for LCR, and 6 X JBL surrounds.

My buddy is building a framework to put all three LCR at the same height along the bottom of the screen more or less. Will post more pix as it proceeds.

Also need to put in 2 more circuits to give the electronics some breathing room. Projectors on 1 circuit, and the pre/power amps and eventual lighting split between the other two.



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hal




Joined: 28 Nov 2012
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curt, it looks like you are moving that G90 around from one spot in the room to another.. What's with that (smile).. It must be for weighing down the carpet?? Happy to see you getting the new screen installed!!

I guess we should nominate your place for the "Northwest End of the Year Meet!"
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speakers going up. Yep, a little big, but hey, they were cheap!


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gnnash




Joined: 10 Jul 2013
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much do those blinds rattle with those subs going off? Laughing
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing yet, because the entire room is on a single 15 amp circuit! Blinds will come down once I get more POWA in!
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lookin' good, Curt! Keep the pictures coming!

You're going to love AT.

SC
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