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What am I doing wrong? (speakers sound flat)


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I just set up my new Klipsch RP-8000s, 504c, and 502 surround speakers but they don't sound very full and I am hoping that someone can give me some advice as to help them sound better. I am using a Yamaha RX-V685 reciever.  Most of the clear sound is coming out of center channel but there isn't much coming from the RP-8000 front speakers.  I expected those to sound full with decent bass, but there isn't much sound coming from the two 8's. The 502s sound muffled, but I understand that they are supposed to sound that way, seeing as though they are more for surround sound.  I guess I just expected more clarity and full sound. Full disclosure:

- The speakers are currently set up in my garage and are not spaced very far apart. They will end up in my classroom when I go back to teaching (once the pandemic is under control). They will replace a sound system that blew out after 15 years. I'm sure the acoustics are a lot better in my classroom. 

- I listen to heavy metal...rap and jazz sound a little better but I still expected more fullness with the new system, even from heavy metal.

- I have very little knowledge with stereo systems, other than basic installation, so if someone asks me what frequency I have my crossover set at, I won't have any idea how to answer that. 

Thank you in advance for any help. 


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Do you know what DSP mode you had the receiver set to? If it was on something other than stereo, direct or Stereo 9 (or 7) Channel, you were probably listening to a mode that collapses most of the sound to the center speaker. When a stereo signal is processed like this, it does leave your main left and right speaker sounding a little funny and feeble if you put your ear up close, while the receiver tries to direct the voices and inevitably most of the content to the center channel. 


My recommendation is try setting your receiver to direct (or Straight) or Stereo 2 Channel. Then you should hear all the sound coming from your RP-8000's, and I'm sure they'll sound much better, even in your garage... 🙂

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Kababayan: Welcome to the forum!!


In my humble opinion, from your description of the sound being thin, it is quite possible that when you connected your speaker wires from your amplifier/receiver to the rear terminals of your speakers, that it is possible that one or more of the wires were not connected in proper phase with all of the connectors. In other words, the (+) Red terminals must be connected to the (+) Red terminals at both ends and the (-) Black terminals must be connected to the (-) Black terminals at both ends, while observing proper polarity within the speaker wires. Your wire might be labeled with pluses and minuses, or one wire might be silver and the other gold or the insulator might be red and white or black and white, etc. But, be certain that regardless of the type of markings, the same marking is used at both ends for the same terminal color!

It's also important to use the correct wire thickness as very thin wire will limit the power output from your amp to the speakers, especially in runs of 20 feet or more. Try to stick with wire sizes that are either, 16, 14 or 12 gauge, with 12 being the largest and 16 being the smallest. I do not recommend speaker wire smaller than 16 gauge, such as 18, 20 and the like.


Best of luck! -Glenn

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  • 2 weeks later...

Go to your "set up" button on the remote.  Under "speaker", you have many options such as configuration, distance, level and the parametric EQ.

I find the options that produce significant sound differences are "level" and the "EQ".  For surround, make sure your on 7 channel surround mode. For music, use 2 channel stereo.

I have my rear surrounds at maximum level and have adjusted the "EQ" on manual to my liking.  In "configuration", you can adjust the rear surrounds to "rear" or "front" mode.  

Also, the "option" button gives you tone control, volume trim and the enhancer.  Play with those as well.

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I'd definitely look at your settings.  You need to get in there and mess around a little to get better sound.  I'm not sure if you ran it through YPAO or just hooked everything up and left it.  If you haven't looked at your settings, I would expect it not to sound good.  Do you have a separate subwoofer running? How you set your speakers, including crossovers, depends on if you have a separate subwoofer.


Once you've messed with the settings, I would look at what "mode" you are running the AVR in.  For example, if you are in "cinema" mode, then the center channel is going to be enhanced quite a bit over the front towers.  If you put it into "music" mode, then the center channel is going to be off and everything is going to be directed to the towers. 


Your source material is also important.  If you are listening to music based on high-quality source material, I've found pure or direct modes to sound great.  However, some of the medium to low quality music on YouTube sounds terrible in pure/direct mode. If you are playing low-quality source material, then surrounds always seem to sound terrible. I remembered one time thinking something was wrong with my speakers when I first started using a 5.1 setup. I tried a variety of source material and realized this makes just as much of a difference, in not more, than anything else. Taking low quality music that sounds passable on two speakers, and using a mode that outputs sound to 5 or 7 speakers makes the quality just terrible.



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