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#353836 - 08/31/11 05:03 AM Ditching front QS8's
da-drifter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 30
I have a 7.1 system with 4 QS8's. I find the forward QS8's just are not directional enough. I think a blend of back surround QS8's (for general ambient sound) coupled with single direction forward surrounds would be the best of both worlds. I find I have to crank the QS8's up to high to get decent directional sound so my idea is to use M22 on wall speakers for the front surrounds. One possible problem I see is the specs are different but hopfully not critcal. Other ideas would be appreciated or if you think this set up would cause problems let me know.
Thanks!
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#353852 - 08/31/11 11:54 AM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: da-drifter]
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 6115
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Are you using the system more for multichannel music or for movies ? It seems fairly common to prefer directional speakers for surrounds with music, and QS8-style surrounds for movies.

One trick I saw was to use directional speakers for *rear* surrounds, QS8-style speakers for *side* surrounds (what you referred to as front surround), then wire the surround channels from your music source to the rear surround inputs rather than side surround inputs (obviously this works better with analog interconnects ;)).

That seemed to be a good "best of both worlds" solution and one day I hope to have time to try it.


Edited by bridgman (08/31/11 11:55 AM)
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#353853 - 08/31/11 01:01 PM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: bridgman]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
Depends on what you are trying to do. Like many, when I had a HTIB system, I cranked the side surrounds to hear lots of surround sound directly from the speakers.

However, as my system grew and I learned more, I learned that if you correctly calibrate your system so that all speakers are equal, that you not only get surround sound appearing from the speaker itself but all of a sudden, it can appear to be emanating from almost anywhere in the room.

If you think of the stereo effect up front, (meaning sound just doesn't appear to be coming from exactly the left speaker or exactly the right but can appear to be coming from anywhere in between,) producers also mix their surround sound effects to do the same between the front speakers and the side surrounds and rears if you have them and there is a 7.1 track.

If properly calibrated, a plane flying over doesn't just suddenly switch from the front to the side speaker. Instead, you will hear the plane in the front and the plane will literally travel through the room inches at a a time from front to side to back, giving you a much more realistic and 3D experience.

Opinions may vary, but around these parts the general consensus is that bi or quad-polar speakers are very good at creating an enveloping sound as side speakers. For rears, some people like a bit more direct action and go with a directional speaker in the rear. Yours is the first time I have heard someone say they might reverse this.

My suggestion is to try calibrating your speakers first. It's fun and meters can be had from just 20 bucks up. It will take you a while to get used to what you might mistake as "less" surround effects" but in quality mixed movies, you will get even greater enjoyment when sound starts coming from all parts of your room, not just the speakers themselves.

Examples:
One of my favorite demos to watch peoples's head turn as they follow a particular sound as it does a slow but complete 360 around the room, is in the the 'extras' video track of "only" on the Nine Inch Nails DVD called "Beside You In Time". Reznor mixed this version of the song in 5.1 and obviously spent a lot of time playing with the placement of the various sounds in the song. This particular sound effect crawls slowly around your room like a bug on the wall.

On the movie side, in one of the early scenes of "Master and Commander" when the camera is moving around below deck... you hear someone walking or something above deck and the sound actually appears to come from the left part of my ceiling. Totally freaked me out the first time I heard it as not only was it in between my fronts and my surrounds but it also 'appeared' to be coming from above.

In the end though, do what makes you smile.
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#353859 - 08/31/11 04:59 PM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: Murph]
da-drifter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 30
bridgman,
My goal is strictly movies. I'm a little confused about your wireing. Are you saying to wire the rear directional speakers to to "side surround" output on the AV receiver? I have thought about that but think it might sound wierd. I am using HDMI for my whole home theater BTW. I have played with all the possible settings on my Denon AVR-3311CI including the auto calibration but find that the QS8's just don't play loud enuf to give good direction for me. The front L/R M80's seem to over power the surround channels even when turned as low as possible and the QS8's cranked. In fact, I think I may have destroyed my QS8's because now they all have distortion. In the end I just want a killer movie setup. My system has the EP800, M80's, VP150, and 4 QS8's. I am totally blown away with everything but the surround sound. I don't have room for 4 more M80's for surround but I bet that would do the job...lol. I realize that surrounds are just for ambient and special FX but when I see action traveling left to right and front to back I expect to hear the same from the surround speakers with them increasing and decreasing in volume and the other channels acting the same way. I know it's also all about the movie sound track mix. I have the perfect spacing and position for all my speakers and only want one listioning position.I have not tried a sound meter because I thought audesy cal was the best. I have a lot to learn about home theater and appreciate any imput.
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Samsung 65" 3D LCD TV, Samsung 3D Blu-Ray Disc Player, Denon AVR 3311CI, EP800, M80's, VP150, 4QS8's

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#353862 - 08/31/11 05:31 PM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: da-drifter]
da-drifter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 30
Update: just spoke to Brent at Axiom and more then likely my calibrations where way off initialy so I never really have heard the true QS8's before blowing them. Major thanks to Brent and Axiom for working to fix this under warrenty even though it's really my fault. I will definately be a return customer!
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#353870 - 08/31/11 08:28 PM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: da-drifter]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5329
Loc: Marion, IA
Great customer service as usual. grin

Next time, stop in here first before doing anything that just seems wrong, like needing to get the QS8s cranked to your liking. Clearly something isn't quite right, and we are all most than willing to try to help out. Plus, you should be able to get the results that you want without nuking your speakers. cry We are all hobbyists here that love great sound, and really like to share knowledge with each other so that others can experience great sound to.

Let us know when the QS8s are back up and operational and we'll all try to get you squared away! cool
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#353871 - 08/31/11 09:21 PM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: nickbuol]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13576
Loc: Iowa
I'm a bit confused, the point of "side" and "rear" surrounds (not front as you say) is to not be directional, that is the point. They are supposed to envelope or wrap you in the experience, not be diretional.

When you say "forward" surrounds, I hope your talking about the "side" surrounds which should be to the sides of the listeners?

The surrounds are for movie affects and background sounds during movies, unless your talking about cranking up music on them, which they are able to handle power.

My guess is you have something calibrated wrong, or placement is wrong. They should be set to "small" after you run your setup, and probably end up with a crossover around 90hz or higher.
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#353875 - 08/31/11 10:11 PM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: da-drifter]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Drifter, although you've said that your speaker positioning is "perfect", you also referred to the "front" surrounds, so that raises a question. There are side surrounds, which in a 7.1 setup should be directly to the side of the listening position and maybe 2-3' above ear level. The back surrounds on the rear wall should be separated about the same distance as they are from the listening position and also be about 2-3' above ear level.

If they're already well-positioned, the next point would be that they're calibrated for a level that blends well with the front speakers(your auto-calibration on the receiver should do this nearly perfectly, better than you could judge by ear). Many sounds aren't meant to be "directional" and to be clearly heard as coming from the surround speakers. If your surrounds are correctly positioned and level-calibrated you should be hearing what the producers of the source material intended.
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#353885 - 09/01/11 09:04 AM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: JohnK]
da-drifter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 30
Sorry for the confusion as to which speakers I'm talking about. I mean the side surrounds but for now I wont be changing anything until I replace 6 woofers, that's right, 3 out of 4 QS8's I fried. JohnK, my speakers are positioned as you say, maybe off an inch or two. This brings up some questions for me and please remember I'm new to home theater setups.

1. My denon AVR-3311CI is 125W for each surround speaker and the QS8 is 400W. I didn't think it was possible to harm the QS8's with 275W left over for the speaker. What is going on here?

2. Would a separate power amplifier help to increase sound quality in both high and low volume? If so, wouldn't the risk of damageing the speakers be even greater?

3. The Axiom A1400-8 is $3,880.00 so I'm wondering how much differance this will make. My whole system wasn't much more than this so can I expect at least twice the performance or are we talking about a small change in quality. Again I'm after movies with great surround sound. My EP800, M80's, and VP150 already work great.

4. I was advised to manually calibrate the speakers with a sound meter starting all speakers at zero DB. Has anyone done this? if so, how can it be better than the Audyssey set up?

These are my current Denon Audyssey settings:
Channel Levels
Front L = -6 dB
Front R = -6 dB
Center = + 7 dB
Surround R = -4.5 dB
Surround L = +9 dB
All speakers set to small and all distances were right except for the sub which is 12ft but audyssey thinks it's 23.7ft.

I was told that by doing the calibration manually I shouldn't need to go more than 2-3 dB above and below zero dB. So why do my Audyssey levels vary so much and what is going on with my sub distance. I have done the auto cal several times and get simular results. Also I'm calibrating to just one listioning position.

Thanks!




Edited by da-drifter (09/01/11 09:12 AM)
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#353888 - 09/01/11 10:43 AM Re: Ditching front QS8's [Re: da-drifter]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5329
Loc: Marion, IA
I will work from the bottom of your post on up...

Wow. I was wondering the same thing about the larger variances in dB from say Surround R and Surround L.

Room treatments and acoustics will make a difference, but that still seems like a lot.

I've seen sub distance estimates being off due to echo and wave cancellation, etc, again based off of room acoustics.

As for using an SPL meter, I haven't done it, but I have been told and have read that it is the best way to do it. I will let others that have actually done it speak about that point.

Separate amps (from decent brands) will pretty much always provide a better quality sound, and yes will boost output volume.

I will let someone else also talk about the watts. One thing that I will say is that if you start feeding a quality speaker a distorted signal or have too much receiver clipping even, at high volumes, this can damage any speaker.

There are a lot of mathematical numbers around what a watt means in comparison to sound levels and such, but like I said, I will let someone else speak to that.
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