CS400i Large Or Small - Male Voices

Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
edited April 2002 in Speakers
Hey Polkazoids:

I keep experimenting with my bass management and speaker size settings (haven't we all at one time or another).

I'm running a CS400i center, and I have noticed when the center is set to "small", certain male voices are noticeably thinner and lack resonance. On "large", the problem goes away. I don't know what my crossover point to the subs is on "small", but it's gotta be pretty high (at leasst 150 Hz?) to affect the sound of certain male voices.

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

On the surface, the solution would seem simple - just keep my center on "large". However, that triggers a bunch of other issues:

Setting the center on "large" also requires the mains to the set on "large". This in turn hurts the bass response because the RT800i doesn't handle bass at 80 Hz (my guess at the "large" crossover point) as well as the two PSW350's do. This in turn requires the use of "Cinema EQ" (bass booster) to bring my bass back.

Also, running everything on "large" also taxes the receiver and main/center speakers more, since they are both being asked to handle more bass signals.

Any suggestions? I wish I could set my center to "large" and my mains to "small", but I can't.

Thanks in advance,

Spec
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"

Ed Mullen ([email protected])
Director - Technology and Customer Service
SVS
Post edited by Dr. Spec on

Comments

  • OrangeToupeeOrangeToupee Posts: 488
    edited April 2002
    What you're telling me sounds very strange:

    A 150Hz crossover when set to 'small'? RT800i's can't handle 80Hz? Well, I sort of agree with the last statement, I prefer my sub to handle the RT800i's bass, up to about 100Hz.

    I personally set all of my speakers to small, and use my Denon's bass management to set my speaker's crossover at 100Hz. That is what I would recommend. But what you're saying is that you cannot do that, that setting your speakers to 'small' will give you a 150Hz crossover, right? I'm not sure if I believe that, maybe we need to know what receiver you're using. Also, how might your subwoofer volume effect the resonance of your male vocals?
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited April 2002
    yes, what kind of receiver are you using?

    I also fiddle with the large/small setting for the center on my receiver.. when it's set to small it sends more bass to the sub and to the fronts (RT800i's). but when set to large.. it appers that the front soundstage is more even between the three front speakers. I don't really notice much difference in the sound quality in terms of bass when the CS400i is set to large or small. setting it to large doesn't add any more deeper male voices on my set up. it seems to mostly only affect the sub and fronts bass outputs.
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited April 2002
    Guys:

    I'm running a Kenwood VR507 receiver. I'm using the LFE sub out connection running to the unfiltered LFE sub connection on my PSW350's. The sub setting is always "on", regardless of whether my speakers are set to "small", or "large", and the subs definitely work in both settings.

    Honestly, I don't know what the exact crossover frequency is to the subs is when the speakers are set on "small" vs. "large". Are there industry standard settings for sub frequency crossover settings for "small" and "large" speakers settings, or is it up to the individual receiver manufacturer?

    When the speakers are set on "small", there is VIRTUALLY NO woofer movement in the CS400i, or the RT800i, even at high volume, and the subs work hard and the bass response is accordingly strong and excellent.

    When the speakers are set on "large", there is SIGNIFICANT woofer movement at high volume in the CS400i, and the RT800i (to the point where it worries me), and the subs do not work nearly as hard and only seem to come on strong in the very lowest octaves. This necessitates the need for "Cinema EQ" to get back strong and satisfying bass from the subs. To make matters worse, the use of Cinema EQ makes the receiver, and CS400i and RT800i woofers work even harder, and woofer cone excursion on the CS400i and RT800i borders on ridiculous at high volume with the speakers set to "large" and Cinema EQ "on".

    The effect on male voices from the CS400i when the speakers are set to "small" is noticeable to the discerning ear, especially on males with deeper resonant voices. I have had several people listen double blind to the same male voice soundtracks on "small" and "large", and to a person, every one of them correctly identified the speaker setting.

    My final analysis is that the difference in the crossover frequency to the subs is pretty darn wide between the "small", and "large" settings - high enough on "small" to affect the sound of male voices, and low enough on "large" to hurt my bass response - I know the RT800i's can reproduce low frequencies, but they can't move nearly the volume of air that the two PSW350's can, and the bass suffers accordingly unless Cinema EQ is employed.

    I'd hate to scrap $100 worth of Monster sub cables and a Monster Y-splitter, but should I try speaker level connections to my subs (and how would I accomplish that with two subs), and set my speakers to "large", and my sub to "no", and manually select the crossover point to the mains with the filter on the PSW350's?

    Or should I sell the Kenwood and get a receiver that has a selectable crossover point to the subs?

    BTW, it sounds GREAT set to "large" and Cinema EQ "on", but my fear is I'm pushing the receiver amp, CS400i woofer, and RT800i woofers too hard to get the same great bass I experience on "small" with Cinema EQ "off".

    Thanks for the help.......

    Spec
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited April 2002
    I'm not familiar with the Kenwood VR507 receiver. Yeah some receiver makers set their crossovers at different levels.. to bad there is no standard for all receivers.. but then, they would probably all sound similiar if there was.

    Something you have probably already thought to check... but in case it may have slipped your mind.. you might want to go through and double check to make sure each and every speaker in your set up is in phase... meaning of course..that each speakers is correctly hooked up to the + & - on your receiver. Beyond that... yeah you might want to rewire your fronts to your sub outs.

    Let us know if you find a solution.. i'm very interested in what happens.

    good luck.
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,239
    edited April 2002
    I think I understand the question,
    But theres not 2 much difference between most receiver's LFE out crossover and large and small setting's,Most cut off about 90 hz,some at 80hz(ThX Rated),But alot are adjustable.]
    If you can adjust your low pass cuttoff point ,set it at it's lowest setting and listen from there.
    With the speakers you own, they all can be set to large,but this might not be the best way to go.
    The problem you find with the center channel is weird.I never noticed that in all 4 different receiver I ran with my cs400i.
    You could verywell have a possible miss match with the Kenwood.You problem might lie there, but maybe not.
    The rt800's play well down in the 40 hz area,but thats as far as they can go.The center is about the same in low extention,but not exactly.Running them all in large for the front three .........how does it sound compared to all in small with the exception of male voices?I think we can get around that with proper sub placement and setup.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • OrangeToupeeOrangeToupee Posts: 488
    edited April 2002
    Sounds like your receiver makes too much of an adjustment for your large and small settings. The juxtaposition shouldn't be so dramatic. That isn't by chance the now defunct, Kenwood "The Drama Queen" VR507 receiver, is it?
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,239
    edited April 2002
    hey no Kenwwod kicking unless your going to bash Integra/Onkyo as well.............what the hell kick all you want.
    Really you need to look into that Kenwood you own for some answers to your problems.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited April 2002
    Well:

    To answer your questions:

    1) Yes, all the speakers are in phase - I triple checked that on hook-up and also when I bi-wired the CS400i and the RT800i's.

    2) Yes, it sounds great with everything set to "small", with the sole exception of the male voices. And bass response is great without the help of Cinema EQ.

    A perfect demo example is Sly Stallone's voice in ANTZ - it is very deep and resonant, and on "small" it sounds thinner and lacks the deep inflections that make the male voice sound like - well - the male voice. On "large", it all comes back. If anybody has ANTZ, or "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" (George Clooney's voice) - try it on your receiver and see what happens.

    3) Yes, it is the Kenwood VR507, although I'm not sure I get the "Drama Queen" crack. And I don't think its defunct - it's a new line of receivers in 2001 and still on the website. Really, this receiver (aside from this one gripe) seems well constructed, has all the typical HT and listening mode features, has flawless DD and DTS decoding with good channel separation, and is more powerful (100 WPC 20-20K <0.7% THD x 5) than most of its similarly priced counterparts. Of course, we wouldn't be having this discussion if the receiver were perfect.....

    I think Orange Toupee hit the nail on the head - the receiver makes too much of an adjustment between the "small" and "large" settings. I think the "small" setting was designed for those tiny satellite speakers you see as part of packaged HT set-ups. Those little satellites have no bass capability at all, hence the high crossover on "small". And I can't set the center to "large" and the mains to "small", nor can I manually select the crossover frequency to the LFE output jack. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the "small" crossover is around 150 Hz, and the "large" crossover is around 60 Hz. I think I'll email Kenwood and ask them.

    I can certainly live with it, because the system sounds great on "large" with Cinema EQ "on" - the sound stage is full, male voices are full, and the bass response is solid and strong. The downside (as I said) is much higher demand on the amp, and center/main woofers.

    On principle alone, I don't like this receiver glitch, and I might sell it and try something with more versatility in the speaker size selection and with a manually selectable LFE crossover frequency. Until then, I'm happy with the sound.

    Great thread - thanks for all your input.

    Spec
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • hoosier21hoosier21 Posts: 4,392
    edited April 2002
    I will agree with Dr. Spec, when I had the CS400i, and changed from large to small, "poof" went the lower end of the center channel, it was not redirected to the fronts, (sub set to no) just gone, it changed the voices completely. I have a Denon 3802 so it is not just the Kenwood.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."
  • Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited April 2002
    Wow Hoosier21:

    Thanks for the validation - glad you heard it too.

    Spec
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • mrpergomrpergo Posts: 35
    edited April 2002
    So Hoosier21 whats your settings?
    I got the denon 3802 last week and haven't really set it up with Avia and a meter yet because I'm waiting for the rear surrounds.
    I have rt 800i front l/r, cs400 ,fxi300 surround and a sony sub run with lfe on.All speakers set to small.I haven't really notice the male voice missing.Now I'll have to go and check it out.
    Mains:RT800i
    Center:CS400i
    Sides:fx/300i
    Rears:RT35i
    Subwoofer:SVS 20-39 pci
    Receiver: Denon 3802
    DVD: Denon 3800
    HDTV:Hitachi 57swx20b
    Remote:MX-500
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,239
    edited April 2002
    I listened to my cs400i male voice and found both setting to be deep and warm.I can't recreate the drop off you talk about.I currenty own a Denon avr3801,and the large setting sounds strong and clear,the small setting doesn't drop of that much to notice a thin voice or even a thin sounding or squeeky center.My crossover for LFE and small cuttoff is 80hz.My sub is the psw450.I have taken alot of time matching the system to work seemlessly together with placement, wire and matching.
    I also bi wire my center,I found bi iwring made a difference in clearness, it made it sound more open.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • hoosier21hoosier21 Posts: 4,392
    edited April 2002
    What was my settings? Fronts large, center small or large, no sub no surroounds. I would play with the center settings from small to large for the same reasons Dr. Spec said "I wonder if I am pushing the CS400i too much"

    Another thing I tried was turning off the separate amp I used for the fronts, and only play the center so I could only hear what it was doing, used 5 channel stereo, and listened to the 400i large and small, there is a big difference guys, at least to me, the -3db cutoff of the 400i is 50hz, changing it to 80hz and above sounded so different.

    Another thing that bothers me about center channel speakers, not just the CS4001, if you play around with center yes and no (take the center out of the picture) If you listen to something with the center on say an action movie and what do they say 80% of the sound comes from the center channel, well if you watch a shootem up blow them up, then watch it again using only the fronts (center = no) it is so much more powerful. If you have noticed some on here are looking for ways to use bigger centers or dual centers maybe the CS1000i is the answer? use a cheap sub connected to the center.

    I am trying to come up with "fix" for me, either a bigger center, dual centers, or something, or just throw in the towel and use the same speaker across the front ( I guess they do recommend this).

    All of this has a disclaimer, I do not have the perfect room or equipment, and no I did not spend a weekend fiddling with setups and settings.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."
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