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Topic # 88499 17-Aug-2011 09:38
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Hi, I'm totally new to the world of Hifi. Yesterday I bought a Sony 7.1ch STR-DH520 receiver and two Kef C5 floor speakers. At this stage I've just connected the speakers by stripping the wire and turned it on.

There are so many settings and functions I don't know where to begin as to best tune the speakers or set up so to speak. Although I have found that using Night mode seems to provide clearer vocals and tighter bass.

It does include a microphone to auto calibrate, although I've yet to use it.

Any advice would be appreciated :)

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  Reply # 507893 17-Aug-2011 13:21
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As far as I know, "night mode" reduces the volume to the lower frequencies (normally 100hz and below), why this would give "tighter bass" is a mystery, but they are your ears.

As for how to set it all up?

With only 2 speakers, no need to think about it too much, if they are floor-standing speakers, set them up away from the walls and not in a corner (if you can), I would suggest at least 30cms, more if you can, this will help with tightening up the bass. You can just run them in stereo mode, so dont need to worry about any of the surround modes etc for now.

Odds are also that they will need running in a bit, a good 100hrs or so to let the drivers loosen up a little, this will change the sound a bit.

In terms of the setup of the amp, make sure that the main speakers are set to large, this will ensure all the bass is directed to the speakers, not try and find a sub that doesn't exist.

Whether or not you want to angle the speakers in towards the listening position is personal taste, many internet wars have been fought over the merits (or demerits) of doing this

Good Luck

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  Reply # 507901 17-Aug-2011 13:35
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A sub, centre, and rear speakers will really make the system come alive. I didn't bother much with the settings, I just plugged it in and let it go.




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  Reply # 507939 17-Aug-2011 14:12
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timmmay: A sub, centre, and rear speakers will really make the system come alive. I didn't bother much with the settings, I just plugged it in and let it go.


I spent hours setting up the Wharfedale speakers and subs from our Onkyo SR705 and it made a massive difference from out of the box, running in and then calibration. If you are going to spend decent money on something, you might as well get the best out of your system.

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  Reply # 507943 17-Aug-2011 14:18
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clevedon:
timmmay: A sub, centre, and rear speakers will really make the system come alive. I didn't bother much with the settings, I just plugged it in and let it go.


I spent hours setting up the Wharfedale speakers and subs from our Onkyo SR705 and it made a massive difference from out of the box, running in and then calibration. If you are going to spend decent money on something, you might as well get the best out of your system.


I have no idea how to do that. I just used the microphone thingy.




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  Reply # 508043 17-Aug-2011 16:09
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I think my next upgrade will be a sub. This would make it a 2.1 system? Is that right?

I'll probably get a secondhand one to start off with. As I've spent all my play money already.

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  Reply # 508058 17-Aug-2011 16:18
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Yep the sub is typically called ".1". Rear speakers are good for blu ray movies.




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  Reply # 508059 17-Aug-2011 16:19
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Calibrating does make a difference. It is easy if you have the calibration mic. A professional sound engineer would do a better job, but, in my experience it seems to improve over default settings.

The crossover settings on my subwoofer confused me a little though, I wasn't sure what to set it at.

Night mode compresses the dynamic range--ie, it squeezes the volume to reduce the differential between the quietest / loudest sounds. Advertisers also use dynamic range to make adverts 'sound' louder.

Some movies are mastered with ridiculous levels, such that you move the volume to hear the talking, causing noise effects to be way too loud.

Night mode is sometimes good, sometimes bad.




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  Reply # 508139 17-Aug-2011 17:55
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Calibration in a 2.0 system is not really necessary.

When you calibrate a 5.1 system, you are adjusting the sound level of each of the speakers so that they are at the same level and that the sound arrives at the same time at the listening position (usually done by measuring the sweet spot to the speaker and entering it into the amp), with 2 speakers only, there is no requirement to do this, plug and play.



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  Reply # 508180 17-Aug-2011 19:12
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Thanks for all the feedback thus far.

Would a sub be a good upgrade to make. I don't intend to go 5.1 or higher anytime soon. Just wanted some nice sounding front's for music and TV.

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  Reply # 508217 17-Aug-2011 20:45
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The sub will help with movies, but depending on your musical tastes, it may be superfluous, or at worse... distracting.
A non-musical sub will have little tonal range, (just straight out boom boom boom, rather than boom Boom BOOM), smear the bass (thwup thwup instead of boom boom) and piss off the neighbours. Sure, if you're into ska, reggae or dubstep, then go nuts with a sub. Just make sure you don't detract from your enjoyment with a poor performing subwoofer.

Personally, for movies and TV, I believe a centre speaker is far more important.



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  Reply # 508229 17-Aug-2011 21:13
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Dunnersfella: The sub will help with movies, but depending on your musical tastes, it may be superfluous, or at worse... distracting.
A non-musical sub will have little tonal range, (just straight out boom boom boom, rather than boom Boom BOOM), smear the bass (thwup thwup instead of boom boom) and piss off the neighbours. Sure, if you're into ska, reggae or dubstep, then go nuts with a sub. Just make sure you don't detract from your enjoyment with a poor performing subwoofer.

Personally, for movies and TV, I believe a centre speaker is far more important.


So potentially I would be better off with a center speaker rather than a sub? I'm not after a loud thumping racket. I bought the speakers because they sounded great with acoustics.

Would this also be deemed a 2.1 setup?

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  Reply # 508236 17-Aug-2011 21:18
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If your focus is home theatre, then grab a center speaker, then a sub... then surrounds.
The center + 2 x stereo speakers would be a 3.0 setup.
The .1 is referring to the subwoofer.
But if you're into music, well, a stereo pair is what dominates the music listening world. Personally, I'll probably never run home theatre, as I'm more interested in music. Horses for courses and all that.



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  Reply # 508243 17-Aug-2011 21:30
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Dunnersfella: If your focus is home theatre, then grab a center speaker, then a sub... then surrounds.
The center + 2 x stereo speakers would be a 3.0 setup.
The .1 is referring to the subwoofer.
But if you're into music, well, a stereo pair is what dominates the music listening world. Personally, I'll probably never run home theatre, as I'm more interested in music. Horses for courses and all that.


Thanks for that. I'm certainly more music than movie focused.

If I added a center, would all the dialogue go through the center speaker, or would all of the speakers carry dialogue.

At the moment I'm just trying to get my head around the fact that most center speakers look the same as the other floor speakers. Being that they both have two mid range speakers and one tweeter. How would this function differently, or improve the system.

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  Reply # 508257 17-Aug-2011 21:47
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Yes, the dialogue goes through the center speaker - if you tell the receive you have a center speaker, then unplug it... the movies dialogue will effectively sound like Charlie Brown's teacher (whaahaha waaa wwhmaaa etc).

The centre speaker typically has a driver on the left, a tweeter in the middle, with another driver on the right.
This is to mimic what you find in a movie theater.
If you ever get to see behind a movie screen, there are effectively two banks of speakers, one on either side. They are simulating one person talking to another, one on the left, one on the right.
Your center speaker is trying to mimic this.

Sure, your stereo speakers will be able to give great sound without a dedicated center, but it won't offer the fully immersive sound stage that you typically experience at the movies... After all, movies are typically edited to offer FANTASTIC sound - including the center speaker. Heck, 70 percent of a 5.1 soundtrack is sent to the center speaker.

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  Reply # 508302 18-Aug-2011 00:06
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Ideally you want the transition of sounds from speaker to speaker to be as natural as possible. You don't want a Ferrari passing from left to right through the soundfield to sound like a ride-on-lawnmower as it goes through the middle.

The surround channels tend to be much more forgiving but up front, you should aim for a matched set.
The center speaker will lock dialogue to where it belongs - as close as possible to the lips of whoever is talking. Without the center speaker, you need to be sitting squarely in the sweetspot (dead center) and never move your head.

Occasionally, films/tv and (my pet peeve) video games feature sound mixes where two characters are onscreen talking and the one on the left has the left speaker and the one on the right... It does my head in!
With inbuilt TV speakers, its not so bad, but with front left and rights that are spaced away from the TV, it disembodies the voice from the person. Fortunately that doesn't happen all that often, but without a center speaker, that is what you will experience one hundred percent of the time if you are sitting off-axis.


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