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Great Sounds from Techno Soup?


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Well fellow Klipschers, the Hey HornEd, need Phantom feedback... by T-man has gotten a little long in the tooth. Seb's last post there included the thread http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=42595 which covered much of the same ground but with greater contributor diversity. The last additions by Seb, T-man, MaxG, and Boa suggest that we are living in an age of transitional Techno-Soup and it is time to compare recipes for Great Sound... starting in with the center. So, here's an opportunity to refocus and revisit some of the issues with a fresh opportunity for more folks to join in.

It would seem that we find ourselves in the midst of a shift of technology focus that has left the speaker and preamp/amp manufacturers doing a syncopated dance with unsteady hands on the mixing board. Whatever the mix or the gear, the tango is always in the theater of your mind... and not the HT blasting all around you. Be it noise, music (i.e., structured noise), or a dedicated couch shaker... it all becomes a series of sensory cues that must be translated inside your head to be meaningful... unrivaled ecstasy or abject horror is neither in the eye nor the ear of the beholder... it is in the mind... your mind... the ultimate illusionist/processor.

Here are ten topics which sprang from the pursuit of T-man's challenge. Pick any number and give the rest of us your opinion pro or con. Use it to start a new thread, if that seems appropriate. Our "sound opportunities" seem to be shifting... and a consensus opinion just might steer the consumers among us to make wiser purchasing decisions if we share some thoughts. So here's ten concepts to chew upon:

1. Can designated center speakers effectively handle more sound traffic with less capacity than "main" speakers?

2. Does "near field" mixing (i.e., mixed for an HT rather than theater environment) tendencies place too much emphasis on the center speaker?

3. Does the "No speaker placement within close proximity of large objects" rule make a truly great HT soundstage beyond current technology?

4. Are special engineering technologies required for center speakers to achieve better dialogue intelligibility (e.g., Tapered arrays in the RC-7, where one woofer cuts out in speech frequencies so that two woofers are not competing to make one intelligible sound)?

5. Given that different placements negatively impact timbre, can effective timbre matching be achieved with speakers as dissimilar as most "matching" mains and centers?

6. If a "brutish" KLF-30 can be "horizontalized" to make a great "Center Main"... then what would the high tech accuracy of an RF-7 contribute if it were "horizontalized" (e.g., woofers flanking horns) and given a tapered array?

7. How long will it be before the average consumer can have a center speaker directly behind the screen (e.g., like expensive "perfed" projection screens)?

8. If L & R "main" speaker toe-in and center "main" speaker are zeroed in on the "sweetspot" with a laser pointer... should the point of intersection be placed just in front of, exactly on, or just behind the ears of a person sitting in the middle of the sweetspot?

9. Do audio engineers create 5.1 "near field" mixes for HT on the premise that the primary speaker they target(the center) will be less robust than the support speakers (left and right mains)... and expect di-polar diffusion speakers (ala THX) to handle both ambient and discrete program material?

10. Since every Two-Channel stereo rig is essentially using, by default, a Phantom Center and dependant primarily upon room characteristics to enhance ambience... and multi-channel fancier with less than six identical speakers get "engineered ambience" less the effect provided by room characteristics and an imperfectly matched center... how important is it to have little speakers that melt away into an essentially tasteful decor?


11. Just in from MaxG: For multi-channel music are you better off with a surround sound amp or with 2 stereo amps?

Who knows, maybe even Klipsch will be encouraged to use their new production and administrative capacity to follow our thread and find that your reply helps resolve the muddle of the middle. Confused.gif HornEd


Caution: Brain MUST Be Engaged Before Shifting Into EAR!


"Where Klipsch Legends Cavort Six Ways to Someday!"


KLF 30's: Left Main, Center Main, Right Main

SB-2's: L & R Front Effects on 5' sand filled columns


KLF 30's: Left Surround, Rear Effects, Right Surround


Twin SVS CS-Ultra subs, Samson Megawatt Amp


Mitsubishi RPHD1080i 65", Yamaha RX-V3000 Receiver

Toshiba Pro Scan 6200, Toshiba Pro 6-head SVHS W808

in constant homage of the Eternal Tweak!

Music Respite Room: Vintage Cornwall's in Transition

Klipsched Class "A" Motorhome: On the road testing

This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-07-2002 at 01:24 PM

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Here is a low resolution shot of my front speaker array. The tiger is from Gladiator in honor of its 6.1 dts format. The TV is a 65" Mitsubishi RPHD with 102 lbs of KLF-30 (45.25"x14"x16") on top!

I would like to figure out how the larger photos get into this Forum without a whole lot of struggle... any helpful photo Klipschers out there? If someone will give me a clue, I post some more photos... including a couple of action shots of kite-surfing and hang gliding (taken with a 420mm lens) for a change of pace. I used an Olympus E-20 Five Megapixel SLR with a 1 Gig IBM microdrive to store the photos. The original photo had over 10MB of data... so there is a lot more detail to be seen.

cwm40.gif Since the last edit, things may be better...

Photo is of Klipsch speakers without grills, taken at eye level from the "sweetspot" with the equivalent of a 35mm lens using a flash bounced off the ceiling. Obviously, I moved the left front effects speaker while removing the grill, the columns are mounted on a swivel base for easy positioning. Hmmm, maybe a little too easy.

The custom KLF 30 motor board is 3/4" MDF finished as I understand the Klipsch factory process. The "middle bottom" grill fastener was omitted to get the horns as close to the bottom as practical. No change was made to the stock vents. The center speaker is angled slightly downward. The little carved figure on top is from a village near Bali.

The image has been carved in the same manner for over 3,000 years in the same little village. It represents a monk praying for all the problems in the world. Supposedly, you even take him on trips and give him your problems to worry about while you concentrate on more important things. Seemed like a good thing to put into a home theater.

The Front Effects speakers are Klipsch SB-2's, the 3MAINS KLF-30's and the subs are a matched pair of SVS Ultras. The solid wood tables have hinged tops and hold hundreds of DVD's, CD's, and videotapes.

Hope you enjoy the photo... 'cause I sure enjoy the sound. cwm4.gif HornEd

This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-14-2002 at 09:13 AM

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Ed, that is just pure dang beauty! cwm9.gif

& 1 nice big center too! thanks for letting me see what you hear. for me though the center 30 would extend over the tops of my main 30s. that's how tight it is. maybe when i get the bigger tv & house. but then i plan on khorns, belle or cornwall center, & cornwall rears. maybe i could turn the 30s sideways for side surrounds. cwm5.gif

great work! your mom is lucky to have such a great son!


My Home Systems Page

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No, Boa, I am not quite that far gone... It was done in PhotoShop. I sure would like to find out how to make Forum photos better. Well, this monkey is really on my back... Hey, check the first photos again, I think I found my tail!cwm42.gif HornEd

This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-06-2002 at 11:37 PM

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HornEd, get a Website!


they give you 150 megs of free space, good place to put pictures on. That's where my website is now. That way we can all enjoy the full-resolution pictures!

Other suggestions guys?

Oh, by the way, it's really nothing difficult, I use Frontpage to make my pages and I've never taken a class or have much experience with it, and my pages turn out okay. Just don't use frames with the website I suggested, they put a banner on top of every frame and it's annoying. Still haven't figured out a way to make navigation easier on my site...


'cuz not a lot of people have ever said

"Pump up the treble!"

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Thanks Seb... I do have more than one web site but they are commercial. I really feel like a fool for having to grope around so much. If you get a chance look at the photos in the first post and see what you think.

When I am not up to par, it shows! Thanks for the lift, guys. The last upload was done after preparing jpeg files for the web in PhotoShop 6.0 to meet the 200k limit. The original files were over 10MB.

Now its back to another red hot movie cwm39.gif HornEd

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No, Boa, I am the one taking the picture of the kite surfer making knots... although I may be able enough to still portray the whale! I also took this one of a guy named Phoenix taking his first flight. He was supposed to just walk up to the edge and build his confidence. When he looked over the edge, he figured he had better do it there and then... or get a new hobby.

The little guy is no Chia Pet... its a carving from near Bali in the South Pacific that represents a monk taking on all the worries of the world. Just the ticket to promote a carefree home theater. I'll post a photo of me with my Journeyman's Press made from plans drawn in 1470. No, Boa, I am really not THAT old.


This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-07-2002 at 03:16 AM

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also a nice shot there ed. admire the room, equipment & your photo-J talent. no more dumb questions from here in jest. though I did wonder about the title on your awning caus it looked so realistic. cwm5.gif

as you & I go back to your 1st post here, I hope the others don't think i'm being rude. & you're a great sport. cwm11.gif

now my front 30s are only 4 ft. apart. placed like yours but i only have that 27" tv in a cabinet a few inches wider. my lil 50sish ranch home is not too

accomidative to those massive displacements.

but w/ the now adjustable crossover in the pre/pro the bigger center makes even more sense to me. maybe it'll

change w/ a future upgrade, but right now the high pass crossover setting is one size fits all (the new denon 4802 also operates this way).

that means to get the best setting for the mains 30s & sub blend requires the center & rear center to also go at the same 50hz. if you can believe it the C7 do handle the load pretty well, though sometimes if the mixer puts a lot of low bass in the centers they do show some strain. not a real biggy though as the tone tests show the C7 can produce down to 50hz pretty well w/ a room node of about -5db around 60-75hz on the way down.

but the 30 as front center would be much better. for rear center I guess another cornwall would be best. but again the lack of space here.

i still need to conduct the phantom center test. will try soon & post back on that respective thread.

rock on! cwm35.gif


My Home Systems Page

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Add another topic to your list HornEd:

11/ For multi-channel music are you better off with a surround sound amp or with 2 stereo amps?

BTW - I understood what you meant when you explained your KLF30 becoming a centre channel but it is not until you actually see the thing that you realize how damn enormous it really is. You are totally certifiable my man - totally!!

BTW2 - Great shot of the tiger - maybe I'll have a go at getting the same scene on my TV (A lot less impressive than yours sizewize). On the other hand we could try to grab it off my friend's CRT projector....

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Thanks, Mike, coming from you makes it all the more meaningful. MaxG, the top post has been edited to add you #11. Thanks.

So, Boa, this time the photo is of me in my peasant garb getting my dusty press ready for another project. In early America, kids learned their lessons from "horn books." A cow horn would be cut and flattened and then a piece of printed paper would be varnished to the flattened horn with a protruding handle. That's how many of our American and European forefathers (& mothers) learned to read.

The term, "journeyman" meaning someone who knows his craft, comes from this style of common press. All of the press parts can be disassembled and put into the base (it's a box that opens on one side)... and put on a wagon to go a circuit of small towns that could not support a full time printer. Since people were wary of doing business with anyone not of their own village, a printer who could make the circuit and earn enough money to live on was called a "journeyman." This press weighs as much as three KLF-30's!

I made this photo up for all my Knotworthy Klipschers. The Celtic knotwork is a custom font that creates such borders in a very time consuming way... so I only use it for special occasions. The script font was made from scratch by my son and I from a scrap of writing that was attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer. The movie, A Knight's Tale reveals a side of the real guy that few people know about... but was probably fairly accurate.

So, a horn reference, a KLF-30 comparison and a movie bit... I hope that meets BobG's criteria for a worthwhile post. Wink.gif HornEd

This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-07-2002 at 02:50 PM

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Seb, I live where the San Andreas fault runs into the Pacific Ocean... this is earthquake country. Those vases are antiques handed down from my great grandfather... and they are weighted with sand and have special mats under them in case of an earthquake. As you can imagine, "earthquakes" happen around here on a daily basis.

If you have seen the photos of the kite-surfer jumping the wave or Phoenix taking his first flight... I took them just a few miles from my home in San Francisco. Each week I take a trip somewhere in the motorhome, take photos and write. I am designing a new motorhome with features so unusual I will have to build it from the ground up. Part of it will be a Klipsch based sound system designed into the structure.

In case you haven't noticed, Seb, I am not one to follow the crowd... but I do like being right... and "3MAINS" is right for whatever mains you can muster... and "6MAINS" with ethereal front effects and down-to-earth (and then some) bass makes poetry of music and movies. It's time you owned life beyond Sony... cwm37.gif HornEd

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hey, give me a bit of time!

I need to purchase my $2000 or RRSPs, then it's on for the RF-7...

It'll take me longer to get that than, say, RF-3s, but at least I won't have to upgrade too early down the road!


Bass is good...

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Sadly, Seb, time is what slips away while we are striving to garner the next tweak. Given you bent for acoustic knowledge, have you checked out the website BobG recommended some time ago?... http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/Loudspeakers%20and%20Rooms%20-%20Working%20Together.pdf called, "Loudspeakers and Rooms - Working Together" by Floyd E. Toole, Ph.D.

It covers the technical & math end... but in-between it answers a lot of questions that pop up on this board over and over again. Issues like:

1. Why having a separate subwoofer can cure the common aberrations in high bass and low middle shown by most full-range speakers.

2. Why "perfect" room dimensions are the stuff of myth and not "real world" sound.

3. Why many acoustic "fixes" are "Will-O-the-Wisp" tweaks of little or no consequence.

4. It's where Feng Shui meets Good Vibrations ...and if you get the feeling for it, you should be able to run up another 1,000 posts and make a whole lot of folks happy.

5. Moreover, it explains why, from time-to-time I remind my fellow Klipschers that I have an oversized, glove soft leather, LazyBoy recliner with a wireless sonic link to the Twin SVS Ultras... talk about good vibrations! I have one for mom, too!

Dr. Toole explains why you ought to turn up the bass and try it, Seb! It's your first step toward building your very own psychoacoustically optomized adaptive system! cwm32.gifTipsy.gif HornEd & his mom

This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-09-2002 at 07:49 PM

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