Get Free, Friendly, Expert Advice
Call 1-866-244-8796 or email

Designed and Manufactured in Canada Since 1980


AxiomAudio Blog

Blind Listening Tests

Sneak Peek into Axiom’s Current Research and Development

Axiom’s Newest Speaker: The In-Ceiling M3

Wall'O'Fame
Experimental Atmos
Greetings fellow Axiom owners...
Who's Online
0 registered (), 52 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Financing
Forum Stats
13328 Members
11 Forums
22918 Topics
405141 Posts

Max Online: 378 @ 02/24/13 04:33 PM
Top Posters
Ken.C 17789
pmbuko 16289
SirQuack 13340
CV 11236
MarkSJohnson 10939
Meanwhile On Facebook

Did you get your "Golden Email"? The great gift certificate email giveaway star...

Here's a helpful article for everyone looking at putting a new stereo or home th...

Interesting article about who's getting the money from streaming radio services...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#64041 - 10/09/04 11:22 PM Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5431
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
OK, this is probably going to get the same response as my first question about break-in, but...

When I was running a stereo system with M2s and a PSB 6i sub, I tried running with the sub's high pass filter wired between pre-out and amp-in on the receiver. Helped a lot when playing at higher volumes, but I really thought it hurt the imaging noticeably. Not terrible, but not as good as when I had the M2s playing full range.

I wrote it off as a side-effect of having a 12 db/8va passive high pass filter vs. a 24 db/8va active low pass filter in the sub, switched back to full-range on the M2s, then got inspired one night and ordered M60s. Full range, no problem.

Fast forward to the present. Shiny new HK AV receiver with lots of good DSP bits inside. Hook up the M60s, set them to "small" with the sub taking the overflow. Initial default was 100hz cutoff -- didn't like that so much, so split the crossovers and went to 60hz on the mains, 80 hz on the surrounds -- definitely sounded more like I remembered the M60s sounding on the stereo hookup.

I was playing around with the crossover some more tonight, and tried setting the mains back to "large". Holy &%^*, the nice sharp imaging came back (I was playing music at the time). Didn't sound too bad on a couple of DVDs either.

So, here's the question. For you people who run a mix of HT and music, how are you setting the mains ? Small or large ? Does anyone else find that running the mains through the crossover hurts the imaging, or is it just me ?

I don't understand how an LF crossover can really affect imaging, which I *thought* happened mostly up in the KHz range... any ideas ?

Thanks,
JB

P.S. There's that song on the radio again -- "Amazing Grace" sung to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun". What's that all about ?



Top
#64042 - 10/10/04 12:28 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10403
John, I'm also puzzled by what you report. My understanding is also that imaging depends on midrange and upper frequencies and that strengthening response in the mains below 80Hz or so by setting them large can't affect it significantly since those frequencies are essentially omni-directional. Theory aside, in a system where I use a sub I always set all speakers "small" and it sounds a bit better(no change in imaging, however).
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



Top
#64043 - 10/10/04 12:29 PM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5431
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
OK, found the first clue. The receiver UI seems to include quite a bit of "if you set this then I automatically change these other settings" logic. I was running in "surround off" mode, which by default bypasses all the DSP processing. If the mains are switched from "Large" to "Small" then the surround mode is switched from "Surround Off" to "Surround Off + DSP", ie the signal starts going through the DSP in order to perform bass management.

Damn computers, I just can't get away from them.

I still wouldn't expect this to make much difference because I was playing the CDs on my DVD player through a coax digital feed so the only effect on the mains content should be the DSP's implementation of the 60 hz high-pass filter which I would expect to be negligible at the frequencies which matter to imaging.

Then again maybe years of abuse have rendered my ears incapable of hearing anything above 80 hz and so I'm getting all my imaging cues from the really LF stuff

One important point is that the better imaging in "Large" only applies when I'm playing in two-channel mode. Once I kick in a surround mode that extends the stereo content out to the surrounds (PL-II, Logic7 or Neo6) the difference between Small and Large is not really noticeable.

Top
#64044 - 10/10/04 01:18 PM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

P.S. There's that song on the radio again -- "Amazing Grace" sung to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun". What's that all about?


Isn't it great? The group that sings that one is The Blind Boys of Alabama. I had the great fortune of seeing them live as surprise guests at a Ben Harper show I saw at the Greek Theater in Berkeley a couple years ago. I highly recommend them if you're into that style of music.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

Top
#64045 - 10/11/04 10:22 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Oh my gosh...this is weird. I've owned my HK 630 for several months now and I just went back to do some large/small testing. The results were shocking! I didn't really do "stereo" testing. Mostly movie tests. 5.1 and 7.1 tests. Okay...bizarro but true. I tested the other night doing tons of A/B stuff with small vs. large. For the most part I focused on the center channel signal.
The test material was Lord of the Rings: Fellowship EE set to DTS-ES Discrete played in 7.1.

For a long time I had my center channel set to 80 Hz. I found that the sound was clear when set to this. But you know, the Axiom VP150 can go lower than 80 Hz...so I thought I'd test it at 60 Hz. My M60s (front mains) were set to 60 Hz...so why not balance the front end Hz cut-off. Seemed to make sense to me. Well...needless to say, the sound DID indeed change. The sound was a little fuller...on the low end. But again, we're talking dialoug...not something that should really be heard in the 60-80 Hz range. What took me a while to catch on to was that when I changed the crossover from 80 Hz to 60 Hz, for some odd reason, the high end of voices were getting cut off. Now, I don't know what the Hz range was...but it was well high enough that going deeper shouldn't change anything. So that's when I said...let's try large. Let's hear what an "untampered" signal sounds like. Whoa...not a huge change...but when you're being maticulous...it's a huge change.

There was just more subtle detail I was hearing in peoples voices. It was as it all should be heard. I tested these sounds with four peoples voices in the movie just to be certain. Bilbo, Gandalf, Galadrial, and Frodo. All utilizing different spectrums of sound. Each one had just a little bit more clarity and soundscape when set to large. Untampered. Now...needless to say this is depressing because my final analysis is that my receiver is compressing the sound in order to run it through the crossover. I'm obviously approaching this from a very analytical standpoint, but I feel when you spend thousands of dollars...you want to get the most of out of that investment.

Now, one might read this and say...if you like the large setting so much, just use that. Ahh...that's the biggest downfall. If you have all speakers set to large it considerably cuts down on subwoofer activity, which is very exciting in movies such as LOTR. So, it's a lose-lose situation, though setting the speakers to small is the best compromise as you get "most" of the sound out your main speakers and much more activity out of your subwoofer. But, compromise just doesn't sit well with me.

Harman Kardon definitly lost points with me when I found this out. I did everything I could think of even down to a factory reset (reboot). Same results.
So, what's my conclusion? I'm receiver shopping. Currently looking at the Denon 3805. Looking for a receiver that won't "mess" with the sound.

Sad It's a sexy looking receiver if anything, but not a pure one.
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

Top
#64046 - 10/11/04 10:44 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5431
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Don't be too quick to dump on the receiver... I believe I saw exactly the same issue when I was running through the analog high-pass filter in my subwoofer.

I have never heard any specific criticism of the HK signal processing; if anything the HK bass management is felt to be very flexible and to have high sound quality.

We should both try to run the same tests with a competitive receiver before we start thinking bad of HK... right now there is no reason to believe a Denon etc... would be any different. I'm not saying I have another explanation but I don't think we should blame the receivers too quickly.

Then again if you had posted this *before* I picked up my 630 I guess I would have said "yes, dump that piece of junk before it messes up your system any more... and sell it to me"

Top
#64047 - 10/11/04 11:32 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
H/K 525...I have my M50s set to Large with sub for music, and small with a 60 hz cross to the sub for TiVo/movies. I've got QS4s for surrounds, so I set those and the nonexistant center (well, the TV speakers) to cross at 100 Hz. The funny thing with the H/K is that you have to set a subwoofer crossover, too, if you set the bass manager to independant (by input). I had mine set to 60 Hz, from when I just had the 50s. I realized that when I was recalibrating today, and I set it up to 100. Dialog's significantly better now. I think the way it's set up is the sub's crossover setting on the receiver is the maximum cutoff for the sub, so sounds below 60 from the fronts get sent over, and sounds below 100 for the center/surround get sent over. It's very confusing, and not well documented at all.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

Top
#64048 - 10/11/04 11:45 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5431
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>The funny thing with the H/K is that you have to set a subwoofer crossover, too, if you set the bass manager to independant (by input). I had mine set to 60 Hz, from when I just had the 50s. I realized that when I was recalibrating today, and I set it up to 100.

Ahh, that's what "independent" means. I had initially assumed it meant "independent crossover fequencies", realized that wasn't right, but hadn't spent enough time reading the manual to find out what it *did* mean

Different x-over frequencies for different inputs. VERY interesting, this might help with the "music vs. HT" issue as well. Thanks !!

Top
#64049 - 10/11/04 11:48 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
Exactly. I figure it doesn't hurt to run the sub+mains on music, especially if I set them to large. Sure, it's going through some sort of processing, but I can't hear the difference.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

Top
#64050 - 10/11/04 11:51 AM Re: Large vs. small setting on mains for music, HT
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5431
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>There was just more subtle detail I was hearing in peoples voices. It was as it all should be heard. I tested these sounds with four peoples voices in the movie just to be certain. Bilbo, Gandalf, Galadrial, and Frodo. All utilizing different spectrums of sound. Each one had just a little bit more clarity and soundscape when set to large. Untampered.

Just had a thought... did you still have the center crossover set to 60 hz when you did this ? If so, maybe the mains were just filling in the "60-80hz hole" -- I bet the VPxxx speakers roll off a bit below 80 so you would get a small "hole" in frequency response between 60 and 80.

Other question for everyone -- in a typical DVD (let's say LOTR) do the mains get DIFFERENT lf content from the LFE channel, or do they just get another copy of the same information. In other words, is the "reduced subwoofer output" from setting the mains to Large just the fact that one copy of the information is lost, ie dropping a few dB which could be negated by raising the sub output level the same amount ?

Or, in simpler words, when we switch from "small" to "large" on the mains should we turn the sub up a bit to compensate for the lost LFE or is it more complicated than that ?

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Home  |  Corporate Info  |  Products  |  Message Board  |  FAQs  |  Warranty  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Statement   |  Contact Us

©2014 Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited
All Rights Reserved.