Help With A New AV Setup


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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi Guys,

I am new to the whole AV world crossing over from the Stereo route. Having a few issues in getting the correct setup and sound from my system, at the moment this is a more 'testing' setup with the current JBL speakers as will be looking to upgrade to something more high end once i move house.

Have 5.1 setup using x1 JBL for centre speaker, x2 rear and x2 front with the SW150 Sub placed behind the TV in corner of room as no room to go anywhere else. The room is approximately 5x5metres squared with viewing angle facing one corner of the room. The chimney breast is in middle of facing wall with alcoves each side.

The SW150 is a great sub even at very low volume at night you can still hear the low end bass but it's not quite punchy enough, same for the JBL Control One's, there spec suggests 80-20,000Hz but seems to be missing certain frequencies mainly with mids and punchy-ness.

Any suggestions or help with this much appreciated.


I have the following setup:

Samsung 46" D8000Smart 3D LED

x6 JBL Control One

Wharfedale Diamond SW150

Pioneer VSX-521-K

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D BluRay Player

x6 XO Platinum HDMI Cable (1.4a)

25m 2.5mm (216 Strand) Speaker Cable

Philex 20m (79 Strand) Speaker Cable

Fisual Pro Install Series 3M Subwoofer Cable

Tacima 6 Way Mains Conditioner & Radio Frequency Interferance Filter


Interesting about the crawling but i literally have no space to move the sub other than around the tv area. Would it matter which way the sub faces? I have it facing outwards towards me. Also having trouble getting the right balance between the two fronts and centre with speech, i tend to turn the output of the centre to around +3.

I am thinking about sending the VSX-521 back and getting the Onkyo TX-NR609 for an extra £150, would this be a worthwhile upgrade?


Welcome to world of home theater! Maybe i can help with this as i have had a very hard time with my subwoofer.

I have a room with a stair case against the rear wall, so the problem i was having was that all my bass was going up the stairs and being sucked out of the room.

It sounds like you have a similar problem in that the coner placment of your sub is sucking the mids out the room and your colouring that with boomy bass and no amount of eq will stop that (it will help but not stop). Unfortuanally the only way to stop that completly is to move it and it dosnt have to be by much an inch at a time will do.

Having said that the sub really dosent have to go up front and in some circumstances it can be the worst place. Now i know you said you have no room for maneuver but i have found when it really tight on good postions a near field placement of the sub can be good.

Mine for instance is directly behind me 90cm behind or so. Now my placement has some plus sides! This placement means you can have the sub turned down so not to disturbe the neighbours and it will give you some really good welly allowing you to feel the sub more adding to the experiance of action movies and even the slower ones (allowing you to feel the score).

Also off to the side really helped me but the other half like the fact that it was out sight. Also try faceing the cone/port to towards the wall (forget this if its a downward firing)

But above all dont throw money at anything untill you have exhausted all possibilities.

I hope my ramble will help you in some way but what i have writen is not gosspel and what suits me might not suit you!


Sorry I forgot to mention about your front three speakers, if the levels are out you the sound will be coming at you uneven eg slightly louder one side than the other (can give an echo effect sometimes) really you need to get an SPL meter to help balance the speakers there inexspensive, i have a radio shack one which i got for £15. Then you can tune each speaker to 75db, not so good with the sub though!

Personally I wouldn't change the amp yet i dont really get on with audyssy that much. In my older onkyo the implamentation of it is very heavy handed. May of changed in the newer ones! In my experiance the pioneers macca system is pretty much spot even with the lower ranges but its really up to you

I always say if your humming and harring dont do it and stick with what you have got.


Hi Gareth,

Appreciate the detailed feedback, some good sounding advise there. I do have the option of moving the Sub to another side of the room although not ideal, say the opposite to left where it would have more space to breath and also could go at the back of the room but each would require a new cable being at least 10m in length.

I need to re-do the MCACC as i have not done it with the sub yet, i have two kids and work long hours so getting that quiet time but not late at night is difficult to calibrate so it's setup manually at the moment. Where should i place the mic? We have a two seater sofa and a single so the listening area is around the whole room.

I understand the way bi-wiring works but my speakers don't have that connection or on my amp, is it still possible to bi-wire without blowing anything? Speakers are 8ohms.



Hi Newformz

How many sweeps dose your macca system do? my Onkyo dose 6 sweeps to get a sort of force field of EQ around the listening area.

If your signle seater is not in listening area do not take areading from that area eg. If all 5 of your main speaker are pointing at your sofa that is your main listening area and not the hole room the singel seater would be out side of this and the amp wont like that. hope that makes sense.

If your amp only dose one sweep the reading should be taken at the centre postion of where you sit most often at ear hight (not being held in the hand) and make sure its above the sofas back and at least 30cm from a main wall (the more the better) and on a tripod or something similar.

If your setting up maually( and there is nothing wrong with doing this as i have done this with my system) its very hard to do by ear so make sure you get the slp meter and use the in same way as above pointing the slp meter in the air (mic towards the ceiling) and dont forget to set all your crossovers and distances as this will have a hugh bearing on how the system sounds.

Subwoofer cable can be had quite cheaply from some hifi stores, it dosent have to be of the same quality as audio interconeccts. I have an ixos on the cost me £10 for 10 meters but that was a few years back.

and the bi-wiring i would say no but i dont tend to bi-wire unless the speakers have been spcificly designed for this, 2 sets of terminals on the back. Just my opinion plus there is no real gain to be from bi-wiring sat speaker in my case.

Hope that all helps and all makes sense im not the best speller in the world i draw toys for a living and dont tend to write much.


That's great help thank you, I will give it a go tonight when i have some quiet time and just re calibrate everything from scratch. I didn't realise the MCACC mic would need to be positioned in that way, i had it placed on the arm of the sofa last time. If i remember it does just one sweep, whole process takes about 2 mins, don't think the VSX-521 is as in depth as the higher end models.

Also would some quality cable help at all? I just bought what was highly reviewed on Amazon at the time, it's thick with many strands. Does equal lengths make any difference?

So much to learn :)


Cables is another in it self many people will argue that all digital cables are the same as it data bepassed and not electrial signal being passed through. I have 3 HDMI cables at home a cheap on on the ps3 and it on my blu ray player and i couldn't tell the difference from the 2 although the qed one look really pretty in the back of the tv :grin:

For speaker cable again people will argue that there is no diffence between thick flymo cable and specific speaker wire. But i personally do hear the difference between good quallity cables and poor ones. But it depends on budget. Remember even the cheapest cable can get very exspensive due to the lengths involed. A good guide is to spend 10% of your system on cable which has always served me well. As for equal lengths it dosent really matter when its under 4-5meters but over that you start to get some signal deaggregation but i wouldn't worry to much i have all the wire cut to length to fit in with the room and most of my cable is over 7m or so.

Have fun


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