Jump to content

Just got a receiver for my RB-5's: some comments and questions...


Jack71
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just picked up a used Rotel 1056 receiver locally to power my Klipsch RB-5 II's. Right now I'm running it in 2-channel stereo mode so I'm getting the full 100 watts per channel. I put the RB-5's on stands and am using them as my fronts (no sub or middle speaker, yet).

The RB-5's sound nice but I'm not really hearing them clearly at regular listening volumes. I'm not sure why this is. Is the 100 watts per channel not enough to push these things sufficiently? Is it the room? They are set up in my family room which opens into a larger area (kitchen and breakfast area). Perhaps I simply need to boost certain frequencies with an EQ? Would pairing them with a powered subwoofer and crossover help by assigning the extreme lower frequencies to the sub only and away from the RB-5's? I've heard alot about the importance of that "first watt" but I'm not sure I understand the concept. Is there a way to look at the specs of a receiver or amp to see whether it delivers sufficiently in that first watt realm?

I'm pretty sure either way that I want to pick up a decent powered sub and external EQ unit to pair with my receiver. Can you guys recommend a decent EQ unit that I could pick up used for around $100 or less? I also need suggestions on a good powered sub that I can pick up used for about $350 or less. I should mention, as far as the sub goes, I'm more interested in something tight and musical rather than loudness. Thanks in advance for the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly "watts" as used in audio is a pretty loose term & should not be confused with an amp's ability to actually drive speakers.

Secondly can you define "not hearing clearly?" Is it the low end that's missing, vocals are gone or something else entirely? Your speakers were designed to work in a wide range of domestic environments, obviously these will make differences to the sound but not as drastically as you seem to infer.

An external EQ is a weapon of last resort and fraught with their own phase & noise problems. Any EQ worth inserting on a home system will almost always be prohibitively more expensive than fixing the cause of the problem rather than the sympton.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. Thank you for the response. I guess I would say the speakers sound kind of "distant" at regular listening volumes. I suppose I can't really expect to feel enveloped by sound running a regular two channel setup though.

So if wattage does not tell us whether an amp has the ability to adequately drive your speakers, what does? I went with the Rotel rather than some other similarly priced units with more watts per channel because I tend to listen to music more than watching movies and Rotel seems to have a good reputation for this.

Are you saying, even for listening to music, you would not employ an EQ unless it were one of the prohibitively expensive top of the line models?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah ha! Check that your speakers are wired in-phase. In other words, be sure that the hot/red terminal of each amplifier output is connected to the hot/red terminal of each speaker. Sometimes with certain speaker cables it's really difficult to see which conductor is which (I know, I have a pair like that). Out of phase (really polarity for the tech cops) speakers will cause a cancellation of all that is common to both channels leaving you only the differences, which in most modern recordings means you will miss most of the critical information such as vocals, drums & bass. The louder you turn the system the cancellation increases proportionally so although the actual mis-wiring will not damage anything the amp is driving harder to produce less acoustic output which can cause a failure of either the speakers or the amp.

This would also explain your lack of bass because the low frequencies tend to cancel more effectively.

It may be that the speakers are wired correctly & something else in the chain (most likely an interconnect cable) is causing the phase/polarity to be flipped on one channel which would prodce the same effect by the time it got to the speaker. Since this is a receiver, you might try experimenting with the FM radio as a source to solve the problem.

As for the Rotel, you made a good choice. Although not Red Wine equipment (in-joke here at the forum) it should gve you excellent results on your RB-5s. They have a sensitivity of 96db, 1 watt at 1 meter (literally, 1 watt of power delivered to the speaker will generate 96db of acoustic output 1 meter from the cabinet) which for these days is very sensitive. Your Rotel will be more than capable of getting the neighbors on the phone once you get this problem sorted.

As for EQ, there are 2 types. Those used for creative effect (such as brightening up a guitar input) and those used for correction such as across the outputs of a sound reinforcement system. The 2nd use is similar to applying one in the home and in theory makes some sense. However, the drawbacks of applying equalization are an increase in noise, distortion and phase shift. Even the top professional units exhibit these artifacts (I have a $9K Dolby Lake system) and the lower end units (pretty much anything under $1,200) deliver them in spades. This is an acceptable trade-off in a sound reinforcement environment where large room acoustics and less than ideal situations call for drastic measures. However, even then, most users try to use EQ sparingly and almost always as a cut not boost. The pro's will tell you there is no substitute for putting the right gear in the right place first then using EQ where needed. Hence, for home use it is highly preferable to get the playback chain & speaker locale correct (even if it means spending more $) than trying to correct problems already occuring with devices that create their own issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eating up forum space here!

I just re-read your 1st post, checked out the Rotel & have another idea. Make sure you do have the speakers connected to the LEFT/RIGHT outputs of the receiver (not the Surround or Center) and also that any DSP modes/5.1 simulation programs are turned off. These will try to spread a stereo image across all 5 speakers causing all kinds of bizarre stuff if you're only listening to the front pair. If you can switch the unit to MONO when testing that will help considerably.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I thought about the phase thing. The speakers are wired in phase and connected to the main L&R (front) speaker outputs. I did notice that there is some faint electrical noise comming from the speakers. Kind of like a "zzzzzzzzzzt" sound. You have to put your ear close to them to hear it but it's definately there. Maybe the connections themselves are not great?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack, congrats on the Rotel. Once you get it set up properly, it should

be fantastic. My only thoughts on the issue is to turn every single

surround setting off on the receiver. Make sure there is no delay set,

no surround processing on, and go from there. Double check all your

connections and try a figure out what kind of room modes (if any) are

programmed into the receiver and see if those have any effect. Isn't

troubleshooting so much fun? And as for the faint hissing, that's

normal. It's just a result of an unclean power source. Happens with

most everything, nothing to worry about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack, congrats on the Rotel. Once you get it set up properly, it should
be fantastic. My only thoughts on the issue is to turn every single
surround setting off on the receiver. Make sure there is no delay set,
no surround processing on, and go from there.
Double check all your
connections and try a figure out what kind of room modes (if any) are
programmed into the receiver and see if those have any effect. Isn't
troubleshooting so much fun? And as for the faint hissing, that's
normal. It's just a result of an unclean power source. Happens with
most everything, nothing to worry about.

I would take that point a bit further that you need to like your receiver in "analog pass through mode" 2 channel only first.

Preffereably for a while disconnect sub and other speakers. Stands are super important for RB-5s. Mine on my bedroom pair are lead shot filler Sanus. RB-5s need space to breathe. I would keep Rb-5s at least 8-10 inches minimum from the wall. Maybe even more.

RB-5s are really unpleasant with some inferior digital sources.

Try 2 prong cheater plugs on Rotel or other components till you get the noisy ground isolated.

My sub was not a freindly introduction in to the home theater system for hum. Cheater plug manadtory for my sub.

Looks like a nice receiver to me.

Good luck.

RIck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...