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RF 82's just don't deliver enough bass :(


Bleeding
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Hi, I'd read a lot through the postings here and found the community here to be very helpful and competent, so I'm very hopeful that I found some help here on my problem with my Klipsch RF home cinema set (RF 82, RC 62, RS 42, RW-12d). I'm no native English speaker so please excuse if I might not find the correct words do describe how my setup sounds, I hope you know what I mean anyhow ;)

So, I have this speaker set in my living room that's absolutely not ideal environment as it's large, combined with a kitchen, rather reflecting walls and floor, a circle-like wall on the backside... so yes, it's a compromise to have a home cinema in this room but I have no other options. I don't expect to have perfect sound there but I have this set for 1 1/2 years now, powered by a pretty potent Yamaha RX-V3900, and I was never able to get enough bass out of the RF 82's when listening to music in stereo. I listen to all kind of (hard) rock & pop music, a little bit of metal - but I don't like electronic music or drum & bass or anything so I'm really not the guy that want as much bass as possible - I just want a straight, strong, kickin' bass that compliments the sound well.

But what I get is a really thin sound. I love it when I can distinct the different parts of a drumset while hearing clearly, to hear out the volume of the drums, but it's not there. Sometimes the bass really "sinks" whithin the heights and mids so I really have a hard time really hearing out the bass guitar. Also, the bass, when it's there, sounds mostly airless/muffled, not clear contoured. It's not much fun to listening to music this way.

The set plays great when watching to movies though ... not just the explosion effects, also music/soundtrack in films come really strong and straight out of the set as I would like it also when listening to stereo. So the power and the quality is there ... I just doesn't seem to deliver in stereo. Of course it also depends on source material ... when listening to Dave Matthews' "Big Whisky and the Gru Grux King", sound & bass is pretty good althought not as good and strong as I'd expect. But on most other material, I never come close to this.

The Yamaha has the ability to increase bass over it's menu but the result is underwhelming ... while the bass gets (a little bit) more intense, it also gets more "muffled"/less clear. When I walk around in the room to see if room accoustics are better on other positions - yes, it gets more intense on some places, but also not nearly as much as I want and its also a little bit like increasing the bass on the Yamaha ... it sounds less clear than in my regular sitting position.

I can't belive that is all that can come out of this large RF 82's ... heck, I know it can be better as when watching movies everything's fine. I tried to set the front speakers to "small" instead of "large" and experimented with crossovers but it made little difference in the overall listening experience regarding to bass. I'm sure the speakers are connected correctly. I would be very thankful for any ideas what could be wrong or what I can do to improve the bass.

I thought about replacing my Yamaha by a Denon as I always was a Denon fan ... but my Dealer told me that Klipschs are better paired with Yamaha ... but maybe the "natural" sound of the Yamaha is just too natural for my taste. On the other hand, I don't believe replacing the Yammi by a Denon can make this much difference in bass power to resolve all my issues.

So, as you can see, I'm really unhappy as I invested so much money in this system but can't get the results I had with a much cheaper satellite system, at least regarding bass - of course I'm very satisfied with the clear and detailled heights and mids of the speakers. Again, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

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have you checked to see if you have a phase issue. what you discribe does not fit with consistant comments of excellent bass from these speakers. if your speakers are in phase (internal connection of the drivers matching left and right speakers) then you might consider a sub or to or different speakers. best regards Moray James.

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I really don't have the answer for your issues, but I wanted to tell you that your "English" is excellant....! I understood every word that you wrote and I can not say that for some people on this Forum from THIS country.

You said your "Dealer" said the Yamaha was a match for the Klipsch. Did you purchase your system through him? If so, he should be able to help with the issue. Sounds like you only have a provlem when you play 2 channel music. Could be some setting that you have overlooked in the set up. Yes, could be that simple. If it sounds good with movies, you should be able to get that same experience with 2 channel music. With your room like it is, you may need to add an additional sub woofer, but I don't think that is your problem.

Others on here more familiar with that Yamaha will chime in and WELCOME to the Forum. The people here will do everything they can to help you, just be patient.....Again, your English is fine....!

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have you checked to see if you have a phase issue. what you discribe does not fit with consistant comments of excellent bass from these speakers.

James, yes the phase is correct. I also tried to intentionally switch the phase on one speaker to be sure and the Yamaha immediately told me that there's an phase error so the AVR would have let me know if I did it wrong in first place. The good comments about the speaker's bass are the main reason why I can't believe I can't get more out of those speakers - and of course the fact that while watching a movie, music output is just excellent.

I really don't have the answer for your issues, but I wanted to tell you that your "English" is excellant....!

Thanks Heli ;) - it's just that also in German, we have specific words to describe characteristics of speakers and sound that can't be obvious for non-native speakers and of course I'm not very familiar with the US "hifi slang" so I was not sure if the words I use deliver the right meaning for you ;)

Could be some setting that you have overlooked in the set up. Yes, could be that simple. If it sounds good with movies, you should be able to get that same experience with 2 channel music. With your room like it is, you may need to add an additional sub woofer, but I don't think that is your problem.

I really tried every possible setting over the last 1 1/2 years and got nowhere ... the only thing I havent tried is manually configuring the Parametric EQ of the AVR but this is just too advanced for me. I tried the different EQ presets the AVR offers based on Audyssey results but also there is little difference that doesn't change the main problem. In stereo, i normally use the "Large" setting for the RF-82s, so the subwoofer isn't on anyhow, but in movie mode, the one subwoofer does it's job very well - the system kicks *** when watching movies. But yes, maybe it's something I overlooked or some key part I'm missing ... maybe someone can put me in the right direction based on my problem descriptions ...

Make sure your speakers are set to "large" when listening in 2 channel. If they're set to "small" and the sub is off, you're not sending them any bass below the crossovers set point.

I always operated them in "large" mode but I also tried to put them to "small" and set the crossover to 60 or 80 Hz ... just in case it might get better when the Sub does some of the deep bass job ... but it really made no (or not much) difference. Have them set to large again after testing this.

Thanks for all your comments!

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I think Stephen may have a good thought here. I have the 82s and the bass really doesn't appear until I turn them up quite a bit, usually above WAF, so it doesn't happen very often. I don't manually adjust the bass output(unless playing MW3), because as you said it tends to muddy things up. I have never used an SPL of dB meter so I couldn't tell you the actual output levels where I am seeing the bass, but a normal listening levels, it is not powerful...

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I wonder with the speakers set to large, is the bass from the sub canceling out the bass from the speakers. This type of phase issue is know to occur. I have the VF 36's and set everything to small in the amp and get plenty of bass. The spec's on the VF 36 are similar to the RF 82 except the driver are different. We move around our subs for the best spot in the room, but this is not practical with our mains. Also, the bass control in the amp is analog and digital in the sub. This may also cause some phase issues. Just a thought.

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One thought: How loud do you listen to music? Do you find that as you turn the volume up (SPL @ listening position >80dB), the bass fills in a bit, or is the sound overly lean even at higher volumes?

I don't have an SPL meter so it's hard to say how loud I really listen ... I live in an apartment so I don't listen at really loud volumes most of the time, the volume setting on my Yamaha is somewhere between -45 and -30 db most of the time, only seldom louder going up to - 25 db but of course you would need the same setup like me to know how loud this would actually be.

But in general I don't have the feeling that bass fills in when going louder, rather in contrary that heights get even more dominant. But I will try to pull up the volume louder for testing and let you know.

I think Stephen may have a good thought here. I have the 82s and the bass really doesn't appear until I turn them up quite a bit, usually above WAF, so it doesn't happen very often. I don't manually adjust the bass output(unless playing MW3), because as you said it tends to muddy things up.

Yes I also have to respect the WAF and also my neighbours ;) so I'm also not listening at very loud volumes most of the time. But IMHO speakers like the 82's should deliver also on lower volumes ...

Whats intresting for me is that increasing bass also mudden things up for you too as you are using a Pioneer receiver ... I blamed this on bad processing of my Yamaha. Also intresting is that you need to adjust the bass for MW3 as in movies and games the sound (and bass) is just right for me ... but this may be because you don't have a subwoofer according to your profile and also music in movies and games benefits from a larger support from the subwoofer.

That's a bit frustrating ... the RF 82's really should be able to play a strong bass even on lower volumes and also without help from a subwoofer. There must be anything that can be done about that ...

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You mentioned you may replace the Yamaha. There have been others in this forum who have recomended not buying them. Personally, I like Onkyo and Integra stuff. If you have any friends with a tube receiver or something who you could take them to, you could quickly tell if that Yamaha is the culprit. The processing they use is inferior to the Audyssey others use. It may be interfering.

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Set the bass out to mains + subwoofer in receiver set up. Try reversing the phase of the subwoofer. This made a world of difference for me. When the phase of the sub was set at normal, it seem to cancel out the bass from the mains. Also, check the parametric eq settings in the receiver set up, I prefer "through" mode as natural or flat settings boosted the high freqs.

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Bleeding,

Welcome to the forum.

Your English is wonderful[Y] like my German is terrible.[N]

If you are talking 2-channel listening without a sub, why not add a thumping 2-channel amp to your Yamaha to drive your RF-82's.

Taken from this thread:

http://community.klipsch.com/forums/t/156341.aspx

"You are pretty correct on this but amplification has a ton to do with that. I have run B&K amps with my RF-63's for a few years now and have been very pleased with the combination especially the way the midrange just flows out effortlessly while still having some low end grunt. When I ran the 63's in 2-channel only without sub and set to large, they sounded good but just didn't have that "snap" in the low and midbass.

Replaced the B&K's with and Acurus A250 and an Acurus 200FIVE. What a difference in the low end and highs. Gone were the rolled off highs and good bass and replaced with great bass with a punchy thump in the midbass that has the characteristics of my Fortes. The highs are now as detailed as ever which really shines with HT. Now the Acurus sounds very good in the midrange but does not have that sweet warmness of the B&K that is still very hard to beat. In this game there are usually trade offs but the improvements with the Acurus in the bass and highs outway the sweet midrange of the B&K.

Now my RF-63's sound bigger and fuller."

When I first added a B&K amp(200w/ch) to my Onkyo TX-SR705, the bass in my RF-63's came alive. The receiver alone just did not have the grunt to do justice with (6) 6.5 inch woofers.

Was very happy with that combination for a couple of years until I found my Acurus amp for a great price. Adding the Acurus was as dramatic an improvement over the B&K as the B&K was over the Onkyo. Now the bass response is fast, deep, and very punchy. Now I often listen only in 2-channel minus the subs just to watch those (6) 6.5 inch drivers move like never before.[:D]

Bill

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Hi....lemme chime in. This makes two of us facing the same problem. My setup matches yours somewhat i.e. RF-62 II, RC-62 II, RS-52 II, SUB-12, Behringer Feedback Destroyer Pro1124p for taming the sub, AND Yamaha RX-V3900. I am using 12 guage top quality cables for all speakers and Chord Crimson Plus cable for the sub.

I've been having the same problem with my system since I went Klipsch route about a week ago. It sounds very muffled with no detail and dynamic range both in music and movies. I think RX-V3900 is a complete mismatch with this setup. Like you, I also tried every possible tinkering with the receiver with speaker size and bass managemnet settings, but ended up with nothing.

Yammy RX-V3900, though rated 140 wpc @ 8 ohms, serves not more than 60-80 wpc all channels driven. But at the same time, even this wattage is enough to drive Klipsch as they are very efficient speakers. So, keeping this thing in mind I returned RF-62 II and ordered RF-82 II instead and hope it will solve my problem. Coz on this forum I read somebody running RF-7 off RX-V3900 and he is all praise about the receiver.

One thing ..... try "Pure Direct" mode on yamaha. It will shut down all the internal circuitry on avr and send full signal to your two mains. And trust me you will be surprised at how your RF-82 II will sound. I did that on my RF-62 II and they showed their full range in stereo, which was nothing less than FANTASTIC. OR alternatively, use the pre-outs of your AVR and use a dedicated outboard amp for the mains.

By the way, I am worried now coz I have ordered RF-82 II and paid the money for them also and reading your thread here makes me wonder I probably have made a mistake :(. Nonetheless, I will take the plunge and if God forbid problem still persists, I will add a dedicated amp. Cost is soaring grdually but I have no other option.

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Thanks for all your comments. Sorry if I do not respond to everyone directly because of the sheer amount of replys and the work that has to be done to quote you all ... but I read every post and every one is helpful!

The sheer volume of the room may very well be too much for your sub and mains. Rather than buying a new receiver, consider running multiple subs.

As I said, in movie mode everything's fine ... I watched "R.E.D." with Bruce Willis a couple of days ago and the effects really made my room bounce :) and also the soundtrack was just delivered perfect with the right amount of clear shaped and strong basses. I even walked to the speakers to hear if the main amount of bass was coming out of them during pure musical scenes - and yes, the sub was silent, all bass came out of the mains. So, the set can handle my room and one sub is enough for it as i really have to tame the sub down as I want my wall paint on my walls a little longer ;)

It's just when playing stereo ... or even a Music DVD that might also have 5.1 mix in DTS or Dolby. Seems music is generally mixed a little bit more neutral as when used on movie soundtracks, and the Yamaha just does not make out enough of it. Maybe. I really don't know if it can be blamed on the Yammi, but as others said, it seems very well to be an option.

I wonder with the speakers set to large, is the bass from the sub canceling out the bass from the speakers. This type of phase issue is know to occur.

In stereo, the sub does not really play anything as the RF 82's do all the work. But I also had the sub turned off for a while and it doesn't really changed the sound. So this doesn't seem to be the issue in my setup (as also in movie mode, everything's just fine).

If you are talking 2-channel listening without a sub, why not add a thumping 2-channel amp to your Yamaha to drive your RF-82's.

I thought about that a lot. But I'm unsure. On one hand, the Yamaha is a very powerful amp and should have more than enough power for my RF-82's, even more because I don't tend to listen to music really loud anyhow. And in movie mode, the set is like an earthquake, even on music-only parts where the sub not really turns in. As I said at the beginning of this post, I just had a blast when watching "R.E.D." ... it was fantastic. I don't understand why only in stereo the set seems not to deliver the power it has.

Anyhow ... what stereo amp would you recommend? I also wonder if this won't overpower my 82's in move mode as only the left and right channels get extra amplification while other speakers, like the center, does not. Also, how does this work with volume control as the stereo amp surely will have its own volume settings? I have not really any knowledge of such a setup so I'm not really shure how to move on ...

By the way, I am worried now coz I have ordered RF-82 II and paid the money for them also and reading your thread here makes me wonder I probably have made a mistake :(.

BraveHeart, I hope the 82s improve your listening experience. Intrestingly, you also have a bad experience when watching movies where everything's fine on my side here. I also didn't hear much difference in Pure Direct mode when listening to stereo. While not muddy, bass was even a bit less strong than without Pure Direct. When watching movies, is everything muddy or just the soundtrack? Are effects (explosions) kicking or also rather flat and muddy?

I'm with you about all your comments about the RX-V3900 ... yes it really shoud have enough power to drive those speakers.

Please let me know if the RF 82s change anything for you. Would be really intresting.

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People who have had Yamaha receivers advice people not to buy them. There are multiple threads here on Klipsch forums about this.

Hi Mustang,

just wanted to reply to you too so you don't think I ignore your posts ;) ... the Yamaha is also my main assumption as the culprit, but as it souds great in Movie mode, i KNOW this system can deliver but why not in stereo ...

Anyhow, I really want to try a Denon with my system as I always was very satisfied with Denon AVRs, I also like Onkyos as they have a great value for the money but I think they're ugly ... but it's hard to just "test" a Denon as I don't know a dealer who would give me one for a weekend to test and just ordering one is a bit risky as replacing a (at time of purchase) 2.500 $ receiver with another $ 2.500 receiver with no proof that anything will really get better is not in my budget.

But yes, I will try to find a way to test my system with another AVR.

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Here's my expereince with RF-62 II and RF-82 II. Go through another thread opened by me with following heading. I updated it this afternoon.

Help with RF-62 II

Yeah I experimented and failed miserably. I thot may be RF-62 II (125 Watts) were being over-powered by my receiver yamaha rxv-3900 (150 wpc) for which I paid US$ 1200 brand new. So, I wasn't accepting that my monster receiver had something to do with crappy response of RF-62 II. I instead returned them and got the higher end RF-82 II (150 Watts), and to my surprise they also sound exactly the same way.

I am no amature and know very well that all the hookups and settings are dead on. So, that's what I have concluded after wasting close to US$ 2400 on Klipsch Reference Series speakers (RF-82 II, RS-52 II, RC-62 II) though RC-62 II (Thinking of cancelling the order) is still on its way;

  1. Either Klipsch RF-82 II are extremely over-rated OR there is a terrible mismatch between Klipsch Speakers and Yamaha RX-V3900.
  2. This particular receiver is rated at 140 wpc, whereas it pumps out between 60 to 80 watts all channels driven. That means Yamaha, of which I was the biggest fan, is grossly misleading customers. But having said, experimented, and painfully experienced all that, Klipsch speakers are claimed to be very efficient. That claim is grossly misleading as well coz even 60 wpc should be enough to drive them to their potential, but they refuse to sound as claimed. It's like a huge ball of muddy, mushy, muffled, strangulated, mixed up response (sort of like a bowl of swirled up noodles), with zero imaging and music detail. I had to literally switch on the processor in my head to tell which sound came out of what. These speakers are terrible as of now.

I am hugely disappointed with the Yammy / Klipsch combo. Sorry but that's more than my 2 cents down the drain for no gain but tonnes of pain.

Yeah I experimented and failed miserably. I thot may be RF-62 II (125 Watts) were being over-powered by my receiver yamaha rxv-3900 (150 wpc) for which I paid US$ 1200 brand new. So, I wasn't accepting that my monster receiver had something to do with crappy response of RF-62 II. I rather returned them and got the higher end RF-82 II (150 Watts) instead, and to my surprise they also sound exactly the same way.

I am no amature and know very well that all the hookups and settings are dead on. So, that's what I have concluded after wasting close to US$ 2400 on Klipsch Reference Series speakers (RF-82 II, RS-52 II, RC-62 II) though RC-62 II (Thinking of cancelling the order) is still on its way;

  1. Either Klipsch RF-82 II are extremely over-rated OR there is a terrible mismatch between Klipsch Speakers and Yamaha RX-V3900.
  2. This particular receiver is rated at 140 wpc, whereas it pumps out between 60 to 80 watts all channels driven. That means Yamaha, of which I was the biggest fan, is grossly misleading customers. But having said, experimented, and painfully experienced all that, Klipsch speakers are claimed to be very efficient. That claim is grossly misleading as well coz even 60 wpc should be enough to drive them to their potential, but they refuse to sound as claimed. It's like a huge ball of muddy, mushy, muffled, strangulated, mixed up response (sort of like a bowl of swirled up noodles), with zero imaging and music detail. I had to literally switch on the processor in my head to tell which sound came out of what. These speakers are terrible as of now.

I am hugely disappointed with the Yammy / Klipsch combo. Sorry but that's more than my 2 cents down the drain for no gain but tonnes of pain.

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But in general I don't have the feeling that bass fills in when going louder, rather in contrary that heights get even more dominant. But I will try to pull up the volume louder for testing and let you know.

Any update on this?

That's a bit frustrating ... the RF 82's really should be able to play a strong bass even on lower volumes and also without help from a subwoofer. There must be anything that can be done about that ...

A loudness control would help. Unfortunately, if my theory is correct, the issue isn't with the speakers, but with how we hear.

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