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Complete idiot who knows nothing setting up Home threater system


msphill
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Ok, so I have no experience with setting up home theater speakers or fiddling with receivers or anything like that. I have done a bit of car audio, but that’s it. I purchased 2 KF-26s, a KC-25, and a SW-350, and have a set of Bose Acoustimass speakers to use as rears. This system is being powered by a Pioneer VSX823. I have it all set up and ran the MCACC or w/e that is, but I'm simply not impressed... Since running the ACMCC the subwoofer unit seems to no longer be in use while listening to music (and yes, it is on), Music sounds best using the "extended stereo" setting, which doesn’t seem logical, but the rears barely seem to do anything on any other setting, I tried playing blu-rays on my PS3 but the vocals sounded muffled and no surround sound settings seemed to feel like actual surround sound... have I messed something up horribly? I would appreciate any advice.

Edited by msphill
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Welcome to the forum! I don't have Pioneer, but usually when you run MCACC, Audyssey, or those type programs, it will set your front speakers to large. In 2 channel, unless you then have extra bass turned on, there won't be any additional output to the subwoofer. So, you'd want to go back and manually turn your fronts to small. If you make that change, the receiver should send the low frequency to the sub and the mids/highs to the fronts. Someone with more Pioneer experience will likely weigh in with more specifics, but this should at least help your 2 channel listening...

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Ok, so I have no experience with setting up home theater speakers or fiddling with receivers or anything like that. I have done a bit of car audio, but that’s it. I purchased 2 KF-26s, a KC-25, and a SW-350, and have a set of Bose Acoustimass speakers to use as rears. This system is being powered by a Pioneer VSX823. I have it all set up and ran the ACMCC or w/e that is, but I'm simply not impressed... Since running the ACMCC the subwoofer unit seems to no longer be in use while listening to music (and yes, it is on), Music sounds best using the "extended stereo" setting, which doesn’t seem logical, but the rears barely seem to do anything on any other setting, I tried playing blu-rays on my PS3 but the vocals sounded muffled and no surround sound settings seemed to feel like actual surround sound... have I messed something up horribly? I would appreciate any advice.

Are you getting equal SPL (Sound Pressure Level) out of each speaker from the main listening position? The Bose speakers may take quite a bit more wattage than the Klipsch speakers to provide equal SPL. I don't know what the sensitivity/efficiency of the Acoustamas speakers are (Bose used to refuse to publish those figures, but may have changed their tune :))

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Welcome to the Forum msphill. Forgive me for being the first, but someone is going to do it sooner or later.

So you have Boooose speakers Huh.

The best sound I heard from mine was when I loaded them into my cousin's pick up. And She don't use them. :P

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Welcome to the Forum msphill. Forgive me for being the first, but someone is going to do it sooner or later.

So you have Boooose speakers Huh.

The best sound I heard from mine was when I loaded them into my cousin's pick up. And She don't use them. :P

They were given to me quite a while ago, and I decided to use them to save some money :P

I will try messing with the speakers "large/small" settings manually

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Yeah mains on small crossed around 80hz is a good start. Make sure the levels all sound dang close by ear or if you have a spl meter try that. All speakers should read the same spl from the prime seat where you ran mcacc.

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Setting the fronts to "small" seemed to help. I see no "plus" option for the sub however.

I assume the subwoofer is set to "yes," or "on" on the AVR.

"Plus" may be called something like "LFE + MAIN," or "Double Bass" rather than "Plus." It varies with the manufacturer. You probably won't need it, though, if you have your other speakers to "SMALL." Ordinarily "LARGE" means "Don't send anything to the subwoofer!" All bass is sent through the speakers marked "LARGE," and only the channels with the speakers marked "SMALL" have some of the bass (usually below 80 Hz) sent to the subwoofer. If someone really wants to get around that, setting the AVR to "Plus," "Double Bass," or "LFE + MAIN" will send the low bass to both the speakers set on "LARGE" and the subwoofers. There is a potential upside and a potential downside to that. If you are really lucky, this setting will give you more bass, with adequate smoothness. Most experts recommend not doing it, though, because it may cause phase problems, bass with dips and peaks, and may (with newer movies) gobble up some of the headroom in your AVR. There are many ifs, ands, and buts about all this. In some rooms, with some speakers, in some room positions, with some listening positions, "LARGE" and "LFE + MAIN" might sound fine. In my room, etc, etc. it actually sounds better, and has a little fuller bass between 100 and 150 Hz, according to REW. I have a very hard time convincing people of that, though.

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... Ordinarily "LARGE" means "Don't send anything to the subwoofer!" ...

I think you mean don't divert any of the speaker sounds to the sub. The LFE signal should always go to the sub no matter what your large/small setting is.

If you are playing sounds that don't have LFE digitally mixed in, then the sub might idle. I'm not sure about that.

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Welcome to the forum msphill. You are off to a good start with that system. When the speakers are set to Small, bass management is fully activated and the sub is bassically on all the time but, depending on the source they may not be apparent. The Plus feature for the sub is used when the speakers are set to Large. It is better to set all speakers to small IMHO. If the rear speaksr are small satellites they may be a mismatch for the other speakers and really won't work well with that system. Extended Stereo does sound good because it is slightly louder than Stereo but, lacks the imaging. Just turn it up a little more to get the same volume out of Stereo play. Listen to the system for a good week to get use to everything. There are a lot of us Pioneer MCACC users on the forum and we are here to help!. Pioneer as a really clean sound and it may not be what you are use to.

Edited by derrickdj1
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... Ordinarily "LARGE" means "Don't send anything to the subwoofer!" ...

I think you mean don't divert any of the speaker sounds to the sub. The LFE signal should always go to the sub no matter what your large/small setting is.

If you are playing sounds that don't have LFE digitally mixed in, then the sub might idle. I'm not sure about that.

Yes, you're right. That's what I meant to write. Thanks.

I, too, suspect that when playing ordinary music CDs, the sub would be silent if the mains are set to LARGE, since CDs don't have LFE.

Edited by Garyrc
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