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15 tips for better sound from your home audio system

  • Jeffrey Felahi from Harwich

    Posted on 1/28/2021

    COVID 19 lockdown and you suggest going to a concert ?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 1/29/2021

    Jeffrey - Thanks for pointing that out. This article was originally written in 2008, so it made sense at the time. We'll remove that reference going forward.
  • Tom OSullivan from Saint Louis

    Posted on 1/2/2021

    Any powered speaker pairs for television that have a midrange control? My hearing loss has been searching for a pair.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 1/4/2021

    Tom - The ELAC Navis speakers have switches on the back panel that allow you to change high, mid, and low frequency response separately. Speakers by KEF and Bowers & Wilkins offer app-based EQ that should let you tweak the sound for better hearing as well. Thanks for the question!
  • Giles from Bucharest

    Posted on 11/25/2020

    nothing about amps or speakers ?

  • Foley Hund from Seattle

    Posted on 4/19/2019

    As a professional vocalist, pianist and organist I have had the pleasure of a substantial amount of live listening. So, consider the best live sound you have experienced and attempt to duplicate that in your home listening environment. It's not just our ears that sense sounds. The entire body absorbs sound energy that we feel. I don't believe any recordings come close to being truly "real" as one poster stated that recordings tend to be massaged into something less than perfect audio. Telarc had decent dynamics. There are too many imperfections in recording equipment, starting with microphones and their placement. Consider multiple amps over 200 watts rms, quality efficient speakers such as Klipsch, and an excellent pre-amp such as an old Sony E9000ES can be found on eBay without breaking the bank. An advantage to components is if one components craps out, the remaining can be configured to leave you totally silent. Go big on power to duplicate the most suttle of sounds from any instrument or vocalist. Chose amplification that leaves plenty of head room. As for bi-amping, I ran the sub bass directly to the folded bass horn on Klipschorns. And yes, the ribs in one's chest will rattle. Obviously be careful with bi-amping not to exceed the watts a particular speaker cone can handle if bypassing the crossover circuitry. Just my thoughts.

  • .ark

    Posted on 12/10/2018

    14. Hey I don't claim to be anybody, a couple that come to mind are Dark Side of the Moon, and Rush 2112. Peace...

  • Ted Kunz from Vinton

    Posted on 6/30/2018

    Regarding #15. This idea will work only if you can listen to the instruments themselves, without a PA system.

  • Jeff from Perrysburg,OH

    Posted on 4/22/2018

    Paul form NC, thank you. I was going to post the same comment.

  • T

    Posted on 3/16/2018

    Something not mentioned....Using a sound pressure meter (Yes there' an app for that) to make sure both speakers are playing at the same level. Even 1 db will dramatically alter the sound.

  • Larry from Kalamazoo Mi.

    Posted on 3/10/2018

    First do the people understand what they are asking? Do u know the difference between biz ping and bi-wiring. Byiamping needs a xover to divide the frequency range. After divided the signals (low end hi end areis sent to a amp which is dedicated to to that band or freq. so u 2 amps for bi an 3 amps for triamp. Biwiring is where u run 2 lengths of spkr wire. One goes to the tweeter spkr terminal an one to the woofer terminal. So u need 2 amps biamping. Biwiring you need to 2 cables per spkr but. Only 1 amp. Either way improves overall sound. Biamping should be obvious how it improves sound. Biwiring improves sound by effectively doubling the spkr wire diameter. By doing that it reduces the resistance of the cable by 4x. This will lower resistance in the cables which will transfer amp power more efficiently less power loss giving u a better overall sound. If u have a nice system u will hear a improvement in sound. This will also help dynamic range, imaging an distortion. As u can see a quick yes or no is not sufficient to anwser the question. It really doesn't increase power it makes the use of the power your amp produces. I hope this helps with your questions on biamping an biwiring. In case your wondering I have been an audio tech for 40. Years. I have done component level repair an commercial an home installation. I do not work for anyone I just trying to help fellow music lovers.

  • gitoy from torrance, ca

    Posted on 10/24/2017

    like the other poster, as soon as i saw the slides i did not bother... i will not be following this site anymore if this continues...

  • Commenter image

    Jim Richardson from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/18/2017

    Thanks for your comment. You'll find lots of great tips on how to position your speakers and your furniture in our article about stereo speaker placement: Hope this helps.

  • Alan from The Edge of the World from Dacula

    Posted on 7/29/2017

    You know, my ears over the years have lost a lot of the "audiophile" ability that they once had. It's from playing my music way too loud, and now I'm paying the price. What my friends say is spot-on sounds to me to be heavy on the base side. Now I use a set of over-the-ears headphones that cancel out any outside sounds and allows me to taylor the bass and treble to suit my needs. The closeness of the speakers greatly reduces my need to turn up my tunes to "eleven"... Having said that, I do have a few questions. How far is the ideal distance to sit from my speakers? How important is the angle of the speakers, as in should they angle up or should they be straight up and down? What about size of tweeters and woofers? Are midranges that important?

  • Tom from Clinton

    Posted on 7/6/2017

    The Onkyo and Yamaha receivers look very much alike. I am wondering if they are made by he same company or companies.

  • William of WBs sound from upper sandusky

    Posted on 4/4/2017

    I tri amp and good equalization is a very important factor when the room isn't very listener friendly. Great mids and high frequency drivers are essential for good sound always connect your speakers in phase +to + and of - to - or you will have loss of bass and weird sounding effect

  • roque valcarcel from new york

    Posted on 3/16/2017

    im interested in buying a new cd player im considering the nad 166be or the Yamaha 300 both are priced the same I play lots of cdr s which machine do you prefer since im going to buy it from you folks any way thanx

  • David from Arlington

    Posted on 3/15/2017

    I second that on seeking GOOD recordings. The majority of CDs and other digital formats made in the last 15 to 20 years have been mastered using hyper compression, brick wall limiting, and even intentional clipping in order to make them sound louder overall. This isn't just with newer stuff either, I have come across many reissues of older recordings that have gotten this treatment as well during remastering.

  • Robert Thompson from Saint Louis Missouri

    Posted on 2/24/2017

    I have kept my home stereo system simple. A pair of speakers with a subwoofer and a receiver and a cd player is perfect for me. Also since I love music cds I don't use music streaming services.

  • Andrea Johnson from Sedro-Woolley WA

    Posted on 1/19/2017

    I have a stereo that is about 25 years or so. It is a good condition system, just old and we can't even figure out how to set stations. But our question is how do get a less scratchy sound out of it.

  • Wayne lee from Philadelphia pa 1906

    Posted on 1/9/2017

    What is the best way to use my iPadpro to get good music from iPad Pro to my system thank you for your input

  • Aurell Cater from Oakland

    Posted on 1/7/2017

    Thank you, excellent starting information. I am looking to do a serious upgrade to ALL my components. I have a lot to learn. ????????????

  • Paul from Raleigh, NC

    Posted on 12/26/2016

    The comment from Mike P about biamping speakers in the manner mentioned here and in "Dave's post", having the benefit of separating bass and treble in the cable, is NOT true unless you are using an external crossover. You might get a bit more power overall but both cables are going to carry the full range signal up to the speaker's built in crossover. Simply put - aside from a little extra power, passive biamping does not provide much benefit.

  • Steve from Woodlands

    Posted on 12/24/2016

    If you want good sound you won't get it from a receiver designed to do home theatre. But something like a Classe processor or Primare the using separate amps will get you there.

  • Mike Pettit from Colorado Springs

    Posted on 12/1/2016

    7. Bi-amping your speakers does indeed increase their available power, but more importantly, it separates the bass and treble signals so they don't magnetically interact within the cable (this is one of the most common forms of distortion in a system).

  • Dana from Madison, WI

    Posted on 11/17/2016

    Some of the lowest quality sound I've ever heard has been at live music performances. Where the sound mixer is set way, way off. Poor acoustics, speakers which are much worse than I have in my living room, muddy bass, etc.

  • ROy from Monterey

    Posted on 9/20/2016

    Don't make me go through slides. The title got me here but I'm not even going to bother. It's annoying.

  • Melissa from Toledo

    Posted on 8/23/2015

    Your prices are amazing and the service you provide customers is unrivaled. I'm a Crutchfield customer for life.

  • Arnold Bradley from waterford

    Posted on 8/11/2015

    not only do you have affordable prices, I love the fact that your phones are always open to any questions or problems I have for equipment I've purchased from you.

  • chet sky from Oakland

    Posted on 7/20/2015

    Not much helpful information for the average Joe. How can you measure a speaker's range? and whether such colors the music? Does one need a loudness contour control? I Tune compression unclear as to avoidance,especially if burning to a CD. Any digital speakers? thanks for the info as for brian--the answer is "carefully"

  • Commenter image

    Jim Richardson from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/14/2015

    Brian, Sorry, but this isn't the place to get help with your installation. If you purchased your gear from Crutchfield, please call for tech support.

  • brian from minnesota

    Posted on 6/19/2015

    I have 4 binding posts on each speaker. how do I hook up to my receiver?