Best speakers in the $400 Range?

Mister X

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turn the distance on the front speakers up.
what kind of cable are you using for the sub?
 

serbiaNem

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Alrighty, I just tried it in one more spot and voila... Very strange indeed. I was listening to the police and thought the bass was coming from the center speaker and the sub wasn't even on. I looked down and saw the sub doing it's job however. Thankfully that was only temporary. Now where do I get rca-minijack cables? Even radioshack didn't have em. I need ones that will fit a soundcard obviously...

The driver still lags, but the sound doesn't seem to when I'm in the right spot :confused: .. I'm using a big ole 14gauge wire, shouldn't be a prob.
 
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The HC6's are a great budget set. I had mine for about 8 months before I just upgraded to a high end set. I was going to put them on Audigon but if anyone is interested in them let me know. They will beat any HTIB by a wide margin.
 

serbiaNem

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It apparently is still lagging on some songs :( I hear the music and then I feel the vibration in the floor a little later...
 

Mister X

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I'm using a big ole 14gauge wire, shouldn't be a prob.

Seeing as how my magic hat is busted again I have to ask you wtf that means.

Let's try to establish some basic information here. :p
How is the sub connected to the receiver?
What "mode" is the receiver in?
What is the source?
etc etc etc...
As far as the mini to RCA adapter goes.......
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=42-2551
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=42-2550
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=15-2474
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=274-369
Take your pick. ;)
 

serbiaNem

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Alrighty, here goes, a truckload of info for your analysis.

The cable resembles this, if not exactly this. http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=15-1599

The sub is connected to the receiver using a preout on the receiver and line in on the sub.

The source is a Sony DVD player model DVP-NS425P connected to the receiver in dolby digital mode using DTS through a digital coax cable. The receiver is in PLII Music mode, with crossover at 80Hz. No panaramo or anything else. The receiver is in DVD mode. Says dolby d on the main screen.

Anything?
 

ccotenj

Gawd
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Mister X said:
turn the distance on the front speakers up.
what kind of cable are you using for the sub?

something tells me that this is the answer to the lag...

you DID enter all the speaker distances and make at least an attempt at equalizing by ear, right serbia?

lagging "some of the time"??? explain... something tells me that if it's lagging "some of time" that it's not really lagging "some of the time", it's lagging "all of the time" and the time you don't think it's lagging (i.e. when you didn't think it was on) the bass that is supposed to be coming is getting eaten by a HUGE null in your room... especially since it "went away" for some things when you moved the sub around... the lag didn't really "go away"... the bass itself probably went away...

sub positioning is REAL important... as you found out with your brief experiment... you are gonna have to at least spring for a spl meter, so you can find out exactly where you can create the "best" fr curve for your sub... or at least where you can position it so whatever nulls you might have are somewhat neutralized...
 

serbiaNem

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Yea, I did set the speaker distances while listening to a bass heavy song (one with the most apparent lag). Since I won't be listening to the speakers much through the digital input, I'm just going to see if analog through my sound card fixes anything. I'm also going to buy a monster sub cable and pray.

Edit: Also going to pick up an SPL meter and follow that faq.
 

ccotenj

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why would the cable produce a lag?

why would you need to listen to a "bass heavy" song to set the distances?
 

serbiaNem

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As it turns out, the cable I was using before wasn't shielded. And I needed a bass heavy song so I could clearly hear the bass and if it was lagging. I'm in the processes of doing more testing now. And I bought an SPL Meter also.
 

ccotenj

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why would an unshielded cable produce a lag?

again, why would you need a "bass heavy" song to set the distances? to set the distances, you don't have to "listen" at all... you measure how far away the speakers are from your listening position...

to set the LEVELS, you should be using test tones... "bass heavy" will only make it seem that the bass is too loud...
 

GodsMadClown

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A song featuring an identifiable line with synchronized bass and treble components to it will help reveal if the sounds from the sub are arriving "in phase" with the sounds from the other speakers. I like jazz bass lines (Mingus!) for this purpose. The higher frequency "buzz" from the strings coming from the tweeters should sound naturally in sync with the deep bass notes coming from from the subwoofer.

A continuously variable phase control is really handy for tweaking this, however making minor adjustments in the positioning of the subwoofer with respect to the speakers and room boundries can tweak this too. It takes much more trial and error bother with this method than twisting a knob, but continuously variable phase is more of a high-dollar feature. Move it around the room to where it sounds best, and then scoot it around 5-6 inches at a time to fine tune it.

Read that guide I linked. It's where I learned all this stuff. Well, that guide and experience with my own subwoofer.
 

ccotenj

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yes, that's true when it comes to phase, but i'm talking about levels...

it helps to do stuff in sequence... rather than just randomly...
 

GodsMadClown

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Well, that guide does stuff in a very logical sequence. I was just trying to explain what I thought serbiaNem meant by "lag".
 

ccotenj

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oh, yea, i agree, he SHOULD be following the guide... :) it does lay it out in a logical sequence and it's a clear well written guide on what you gotta do...

i suppose a third of a second could be a phasing issue, i'm not sure, i've never experienced being THAT far off before... but before he even gets that far, he's gotta get his distances and levels right...

actually, he needs to get the sub positioned in the correct spot first... judging from his posts, he's got a wicked bad null in his current position...
 

GodsMadClown

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It could also be a setting in his reciever.

Serbia, try to listen to musc on a two-channel setting before you listen in Pro-Logic.
 

serbiaNem

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I just hooked them up to my soundcard (a temporary soundblaster live 24-bit) and the bass problem is gone. It might have been something with the digital signal my DVD player or receiver was giving out. Either way, it's fixed now. Thank you all for the help, this setup sounds amazing.
 

serbiaNem

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Alrighty, another problem just popped up. When I play a DVD, i don't get surround unless I put on cmss/surround mode in the eax console, or turn cmss off and use neo6 on the receiver. The speakers are set to 5.1 in windows and creative. Is there anyway to get the true 5.1 from a dvd?

I used multichannel on the receiver and the creative speaker setting successfully played the right sounds through the right speakers, so that isn't the problem. When I put the receiver in DVD mode, I can use the neo6. But when I put it in multichannel dvd I can only use the cmss.

Am I just paranoid? Are the neo6 and cmss are actually real 5.1 surround formats? Just a newbie 5.1 question.

Edit: Which is better? CMSS or NEO6 for stereo MP3?
 

GodsMadClown

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Those are only matrixing out a stereo source. How do you have the soundcard connected to the receiver? If you are using the digital connection, that's why you're only getting a stereo signal.

serbiaNem said:
Edit: Which is better? CMSS or NEO6 for stereo MP3?

What do your ears tell you?
 

serbiaNem

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I have it connected analog through three minijack-rca connectors. And it is still only giving out stereo.
 

serbiaNem

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Sorry to double post, but does the soundblaster live! 24-bit support true 5.1 surround? Also, I can't setup my speaker distances anymore for some reason. It says dts and neo6 in little red boxes on the receiver. I hooked up the speakers correctly I'm sure. But for some reason only stereo sound comes out. When I lower the two front channels when in neo6 mode, nothing comes out. When I set the receiver to pure multichannel mode (no matrixing), I only get stereo out of my movies.

What is the problem?

Edit: I am using WinDVD 6 using Garden State as a test DVD.
 

serbiaNem

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It seems WinDVD is somewhat glitchy. Even with the proper 5.1 settings it doesn't work. With Media Player Classic, the sound works fine. So problem solved.

It looks like whenever I listen to music I will put the receiver in neo6 music mode. Then when I watch movies or play a game, it will go into multichannel mode.
 

hek1

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ccotenj said:
there's no such thing as "future proof" speakers...

why? because you'll like the 400 dollars set for awhile (cuz it's new, and you don't have anything like it now)... then you'll get used to it, and you'll hear someone else 1000 dollar speakers and say "i gotta have me a set of those"....

then you'll love those, and then you'll get used to them, and you'll hear someone's 2000 dollar set of speakers and say "i gotta have me a set of those"...

repeat... repeat... repeat.... :)

same goes for future proofing the rest of the hardware too... (sorry compslckr, you aren't future proofed any more than buying speakers first :) )....

imo (and only imo) 7.1 speaker setups are basically a waste of money for a pc setup... see the faq's and find the suggested starting positioning layout for an idea of why... you HAVE to have the proper positioning in order to make it "work"... and the only real way to properly position 7.1 speakers is to commit an entire room to them... you music will "not" sound good if your stuff isn't correctly positioned... it will sound like crap... your games will not "sound" right if they aren't correctly positioned...

frankly, imo (and only imo) 5.1 speaker setups are basically a waste of money for a pc setup... again, it's a positioning issue... it's very hard to have speakers surrounding a "normal setup" pc correctly positioned... if you are willing to commit the space in your room and the time to position them correctly, then they are worth it... but only then... i've seen some truly awesome htpc setups... but they didn't come out of a box, and MUCH time and effort went into speaker setup and equalization... i TRIED setting up a set of 5.1 speakers (logitech z5300e's) around my pc... i tried HARD... but i couldn't make it "work"... everything localized... couldn't get them equalized... ugh... oh they were loud... but they weren't "good"... nowhere near "good"...

if you have 400 dollars to spend, what i would do is buy a pair of "good" bookshelf speakers (a used set of b&w dm600s3's comes to mind, only because i have a pair for sale, but there's a bunch of others that will fall into that category, go scout your local hi-end hi-fi shops), and maybe that dayton sub that you can get for around 125 at parts express (or something along those lines)... scrounge up a receiver somewhere that you can use for the time being... you can probably find a used functional receiver somewhere for 25 bucks or so... push your budget a bit and find some stands for the speakers if you want, or wall mount them...

that gets you started... it will give you better sound musically than you will get out of ANY pc htib speakers, and the bookshelf speakers can be cannibalized into your surround speakers when you decide to set up your first "proper" 5.1 setup (or 7.1)...

again imo (and only imo), i would MUCH rather have a good sounding 2.1 setup than an inadequate and poorly positioned/equalized 5.1 setup... and even in the 2.1 setup there is going to be some compromises (i.e. the sub probably won't land in the spot where IT wants to go, it'll probably land where it's convenient for it to go, but that's a problem for down the road)...

all imo... but food for thought before you go rushing out to buy 7.1's....

dude, respect.

this reply should be c/p'd in a new thread and have that thread stickied, this information is gold for 90% of the wondorous noobs asking for help in here
 

BBA

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ccotenj said:
there's no such thing as "future proof" speakers...

why? because you'll like the 400 dollars set for awhile (cuz it's new, and you don't have anything like it now)... then you'll get used to it, and you'll hear someone else 1000 dollar speakers and say "i gotta have me a set of those"....
...


I don't know...I still havent heard any speakers that sound better than Celestion DL-10's from the mid '80s, give me 6 of those...I'd be in surround heaven.

(I know it's a little off target here...but just because speakers are old doesn't necessarily mean they will be worse than newer more expensive ones)
 
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