Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers

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jkaldor

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I currently replaced all 5 B&W speakers (5.1) HT setup with x MTM in the front xcs center and and the xls as the back surround.  I know I’m wasting the sound of the xls but it works for me as I like it loud.  All speakers have the highest upgrades including tube connectors.  Love the sound. The x MTM is delivering outstanding base with the sub.  Listening 2 channel for music as well as Dolby is outstanding. 

I’m driving all speakers with rotel - rotel rsp1570 sound processor and and the rmb1075 120watt power amp. 

Problem;
I am having a hard time getting a distinct sound from the backs, in other words the surround sound still sounds like it’s coming out of the front speakers.  I have adjusted the fine tuning amplification to a plus 7 to the backs and still can’t get a distinct sound.  I am having to adjust the sound up to 65-70 in some cases to get a good sound stage, I do like it loud.  The sound stage is great at all levels but seems the more power the better with these speakers. 

Do I need a bigger amp?  Any suggestions on setup, amp, sound processor?  I do have a fairly large room 25x22

Open to any suggestions even criticism if need be.  Love the speakers, unbelievable sound stage!!!

RonP

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #1 on: 16 Jan 2022, 10:44 pm »
Does it sound "correct" when only the 2 rear speakers are playing?

(ie turn off the front LCR as a test)

jlucas

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #2 on: 16 Jan 2022, 11:18 pm »
Does that receiver classify the size (large/small) of the speaker?  Are the rears set to small?

jkaldor

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #3 on: 16 Jan 2022, 11:48 pm »
Does it sound "correct" when only the 2 rear speakers are playing?

(ie turn off the front LCR as a test)

Yes sir when playing 5 channel they all play at the same level or seem to be…..also when setting up each channel they are playing the white noise that is used to set them up….

jkaldor

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #4 on: 16 Jan 2022, 11:52 pm »
Does that receiver classify the size (large/small) of the speaker?  Are the rears set to small?

Yes, the front are set to large with crossover to sub set at 60 Hz.sound great and help disburse the base.  Back are set to small and 80Hz crossover.   That’s what’s odd with the B&W you definitely could hear the distinction.  The sound stage with his setup  is absolutely amazing blows B&W away and I was a huge fan of B&W.   Really happy with these.   

corndog71

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #5 on: 17 Jan 2022, 02:03 am »
Maybe try turning the X-LS to face up rather than directly at you.  Also, what are they wired with?  Hopefully at least 16awg wire.

mlundy57

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #6 on: 17 Jan 2022, 02:16 am »
You can try plugging the ports on the LS and see if that helps.

The Omni directional RS speakers make the best surround speakers with the LS as surround back speakers. Baring getting a pair of RS surrounds, try corndog’s suggestion of firing the LS up or at an angle so you get more of an off axis response

jkaldor

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #7 on: 17 Jan 2022, 02:45 pm »
Maybe try turning the X-LS to face up rather than directly at you.  Also, what are they wired with?  Hopefully at least 16awg wire.
Thanks for the replys guys I really appreciate the suggestions and trying them all.  They are currently placed slightly behind and out 4 above our heads so we are setting a slightly side directional but definitely not directly at us.  Yes they are wired with 16 gauge….
Thanks I will try moving them around and upwards to see if they works.

Thanks again

jkaldor

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #8 on: 17 Jan 2022, 02:47 pm »
You can try plugging the ports on the LS and see if that helps.

The Omni directional RS speakers make the best surround speakers with the LS as surround back speakers. Baring getting a pair of RS surrounds, try corndog’s suggestion of firing the LS up or at an angle so you get more of an off axis response
I need to get some foam plugs but will certainly try that as well, also trying corn dogs suggestions.  Again thanks for all the help guys, it restores my faith in humanity that others are offering to help!

VinceT

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #9 on: 17 Jan 2022, 03:09 pm »
My AVR has distance and delay settings

Try adjusting those settings as well if available. Great suggestions here so far. I would start with positioning and aiming first and foremost. I use Encores for my mains in HT. They sound best with ample distance. Maybe aim them behind the listening position so the sound bounces off the rear walls. Or try them laying on its side. Good luck, I am sure you will rewarded once you figure it out.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #10 on: 17 Jan 2022, 03:10 pm »
Before buying foam plugs, you can also use socks to stuff the ports to see if that aids in their performance.

EdwardT

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #11 on: 17 Jan 2022, 03:19 pm »
Have you tried swapping the phase of the XLs?

VinceT

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #12 on: 17 Jan 2022, 03:21 pm »
I have tried socks in the ports of mine. It does make them a little more punchy, in all honesty not sure if it will solve the issue. As much as i live sealed speakers, I went back to the open port and sounds better IMO/IMR. Another question is break in. Being they are surround speakers how much time does the OP have on them? He mentioned premium parts were used, I know mine took a while to really open up.

jkaldor

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #13 on: 17 Jan 2022, 04:42 pm »
I have tried socks in the ports of mine. It does make them a little more punchy, in all honesty not sure if it will solve the issue. As much as i live sealed speakers, I went back to the open port and sounds better IMO/IMR. Another question is break in. Being they are surround speakers how much time does the OP have on them? He mentioned premium parts were used, I know mine took a while to really open up.

Vince you might be right they have only been used as surrounds so they may need more time to break in....we will give sometime and try the other suggestions.
I appreciate your suggestion...

jkaldor

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #14 on: 17 Jan 2022, 04:42 pm »
Before buying foam plugs, you can also use socks to stuff the ports to see if that aids in their performance.
Perfect we will....
Thanks Hobbs

mlundy57

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #15 on: 17 Jan 2022, 07:13 pm »
Vince you might be right they have only been used as surrounds so they may need more time to break in....we will give sometime and try the other suggestions.
I appreciate your suggestion...

With premium parts the X-LS Encore takes at least 50 hours of break-in to sound decent and will continue to improve for 200+ hours. When not listening, hook them up as main speakers and let them play continuously. This will speed up the break in process. If the speakers playing is bothersome, face them towards each other a few inches apart, switch the positive and negative speaker wires on one of them, throw a blanket over both of them and let them play. You won't hear anything.

VinceT

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #16 on: 17 Jan 2022, 07:52 pm »
Vince you might be right they have only been used as surrounds so they may need more time to break in....we will give sometime and try the other suggestions.
I appreciate your suggestion...


How far is the rear speakers to the closest listening position?

Norman Tracy

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #17 on: 17 Jan 2022, 10:03 pm »
jkaldor, are you setting the speaker levels in the processor using a SPL meter or by ear? My experience is with surround sound a meter is necessary. Use the meter to get the channels matched in level with processor's white noise then make final fine adjustments changing +-1 dB at a time.


Vince in TX

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Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #18 on: 17 Jan 2022, 10:44 pm »
I almost went this route back in 2020 when I bought pair of the X-LS Encores (with all the bells and whistles).    When I told Danny I was thinking about using them as my rear surrounds, he recommended against it.   So instead I bought two pairs of the A/V-1RS kits and couldn't be happier.   Your experience basically confirms what Danny was saying.   I hope you get it sorted out!

Side note, I just sold those X-LS Encores (still unassembled  in their boxes) to a forum member, so it wasn't a total loss.    :thumb:

WGH

Re: Not getting good surround sound out of xls rear speakers
« Reply #19 on: 17 Jan 2022, 11:52 pm »
I am having a hard time getting a distinct sound from the backs...

Sounds like a combination of areas need to addressed.

"The Rotel RMB-1095 that we reviewed a while ago had a laid back high end, and the 1075 continues in that mold."
https://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_8_3/rotel-rmb-1075-power-amplifier-7-2001.html

A laid back high end doesn't work as well with modern Blu-ray disks, all those quick, sharp directional ques will be subdued. Back in 2001 the Rotel sounded great because surround sound was closer to a matrixed mix instead of the Dolby Atmos object oriented sound that arrived around 2018.

The X-LS are probably less bright than the B&W so you will notice the drop in detail but better overall sound quality.

The Rotel RSP-1570 doesn't have room correction so you will manually have to set the distance and levels with sound meter.
New processors have advanced menu frequency adjustments to fine tune the speaker to your room if the highs are too soft.

I lowered the volume of the LCR speakers in the processor menu which made the rear speakers louder in comparison, I call it my "Dune" adjustment. I saw "Dune" in a Dolby Atmos theater and realized my surrounds were not adjusted loud enough. Lowering the LCR volume gives the rear speaker adjustment more headroom so the settings aren't maxed out. Even advanced computer/microphone room correction is only a starting point, fine tuning has to be done by ear.