file SuperSat 60s review

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icharis Posted 4 years 6 months ago
#6464
So I have had my system up now for a few days and would like to share a bit of my experience so far.

1. Form and build
They look FANTASTIC!!!! They look great in scale with my TV (80") and furniture. I have a fairly large room that is still missing its central area rug but the speakers looks perfect. The finish on them was impeccable and just looks classy. I have received a positive comment from every person that has seen them. A few things to be mindful when looking at these speakers. In my case I replaced an on-wall banana plate from having the house prewired. The standard hole behind this type of place in the drywall is wider than the back of the speakers which then shows up as a hole when looking from the side. Nothing that cant be fixed but something to be aware of if you are in this situation. The inputs to the speaker are at the bottom of the casing so keep that in mind if you are pre-wiring and working out the locations since you really want your speaker wire to come out right at the connections for a clean wireless look. This brings me to my biggest gripe in that it feels that the center channel SuperSat gives you a feel that it's an afterthought. The SuperSat Centers using the same casing as a standard SuperSat with the casing rotated 90 degrees clockwise which means your cable is on the left side. If you try to place this on a media console and not on the wall this can be an issue. For my case you actually enter the family room from the left so you are greeted with an ugly cable. I would really like to see this placed in the center of the speaker. I am sure that due to the tight form factor of these speakers there is a reason to having it to the left nevertheless it would be nice to have it in the center. The small legs with rubber tips that come with the center are sturdy enough to securely hold the SuperSat60C correctly pointed at whatever angle you want assuming you are pointing parallel or slightly upward from the floor.

There is no mounting hardware included in the packaging so be prepare to have some anchors ready. You are unable to angle these speakers with an on wall mount which is just the nature of these types of speakers. You could get a mounting bracket but you would totally loose the aesthetics of the speakers

2. Initial Setup
I initially configured the speakers per the GE manual with crossover set at 100 for the 60s and the 3s set at 120. I adjusted all of the distances and levels including the Forcefield 5 to 75 db. I had to drop the center channel down to -6 DB as it really seems to be smack in your face even at a listening position of 15 feet away. Everything is being driven by my Integra 40.5

3. Initial Listening
After a good break in period I sat down with my wife to give the speakers a good run. Since one of GoldenEar’s claim is that a speaker that excels in music playback will do a great job for movies we started with a bit of music. Starting off with current number 1 hit of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson we played Uptown Funk, followed by Selena Gomez The Heart Wants What It Wants, then Dave Matthews Ants Marching, and Marc Anthony Aguanile. My Wife and I both were a bit disheartened as we just expected more out of these speakers as when we auditioned them they had a lot more life in them. The sound was just flat. TV also sounded like it was coming out of a tin box. We watch quite a bit of TV and movies and the system was just performing at an underwhelming level. While these speakers are inexpensive compared to let’s say some Aerial Acoustics we know there was something wrong here. The biggest complaint in all of this was the center channel just didn’t seem to fit.
Going back to our AD they of course were not happy about our experience and wanted to make sure we are 100% happy with our purchase. We reviewed all of our configurations and description of what we had and we walked away with a set of new configurations and also a demo SuperSat XL.

4. New Setup
Per our AD we dropped our crossover settings from our initial value. The SuperSat 60s were dropped down to 70 and the SuperSat 3s were dropped to 100. The Sub was left the same and so were the speaker levels.
5. Second Listening
So we sat down and started playing around with the settings and I popped back in the same music. Sometimes the doctor knows best and the speakers really came to life. This newbie wouldn’t think that this crossover change would have that much of a dramatic change but I was wrong. Now were cooking with bacon on these speakers. The smack of the conga drums in Marc Anthony’s Aguanile came to life and his voice was full and with good presence. Everything really came together nicely. I played around with the receiver playback modes jumping between stereo 2.1, which really gave great imaging, to all of the other modes and settings these receivers have.
6. Center Channel
So here we are with the right settings and to be honest the center channel sounds much better but we have a SuperCenter XL sitting right next to me so I really wanted to make a comparison. We watch a lot of TV and Movies so the Center is going to be a work horse in this system.
I wanted to do some new comparisons and not really
It’s Saturday and we have some football playoffs coming on so let’s give this a test run. Patriots and the Ravens are going at it so I played the first half with the SuperSat60C and the SuperCenter XL. While the SuperSat60C played acceptably well the SuperCenter XL had a much deeper warmth and spread to the sound. The commentator’s voice were just simply more natural and enveloping than the SuperSat60C. One complaint that I have from the SuperCenter 60C is that it never disappears when you are watching TV or a Movie, you always seem to know that it’s there which isn’t the case for the SuperCenter XL. Luckily we have a media cabinet which the design blends into and works well for us.
7. Overall Impression
These speakers really deliver the goods and are at a pretty good price point for what they deliver. I was surprised to see how much I had to deviate from the manual to get the full sound that I got but they are still within the ratings given in the specifications from GE so I feel that this should still be a safe setting to play at. I will be exchanging the SuperSat 60C for a SuperCenter XL but I would say that the SuperSat 60C is not a bad speaker just not as rich and full sounding as a SuperCenter XL. The on wall mounting was simple and they have pretty wide imaging capability. Just don’t be afraid to play with settings to get them sounding like you want.


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Moderator Posted 4 years 6 months ago
Last edit: 4 years 6 months ago by Moderator. info_outline
#6465
Glad you got it sounding good, but your description leads me to believe there is a setup issue of some sort. Just based on your picture, I can tell you the sub needs to get out of the corner, move it next to the cabinet. I can't see exactly how the center is positioned, but it needs to be all the way to the front edge of that cabinet and angled up towards ear level for best results. Also, the speakers will need about 50 hours of playing time to achieve full fidelity. It is not unusual for them to sound a lot better after the first few hours of playing time.

SuperSat 60 and 60C are identical sonically, one is just designed for horizontal use. There is no difference between the SuperSat 60C and the SuperCenter XL other than the SuperCenter will play lower and can therefore have a lower crossover point. The higher crossover setting of the SuperSat center can be an issue if the subwoofer is not in the front, fairly close to the center speaker. The crossover settings you are using are not correct, but also will not hurt anything as long as you don't play the system too loud.

I would suggest a review of the settings, especially any EQ, tone controls and/or room correction that may be unintentionally active. The dealer offering to sell you an alternative center speaker was very nice, but does not address the "why".

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icharis Posted 4 years 6 months ago
#6466
So the speakers have been playing since Tuesday all day pretty much over 10 hours a day with something going whether TV or music at a decent level.
I would assume that as of today it has well over 50 hours of playing and good news I still have the SuperCenter XL to play with and swap back and forth. The SuperSat 60 in that picture is 1 inch away from the front of the cabinet and the sub is placed 1 foot away from the back wall and the side wall. I will play around with the sub more and see if I can bring it closer to the cabinet. What change should I expect from moving the sub closer to the cabinet?

As of now the only settings I have touched are
1. Speaker Level - based on a hand held SPL through iPhone and just by ear
2. Cross-Over Points, described above
3. Distances, This distances are set by hand based on my physical measurements

I did play with Phase Matching Bass setting (On/Off) and I would change listening modes.
All EQ Stuff and other items are set to off or untouched.

Would you recommend any specific listening mode when testing out the speakers (Dolby Digital PLII Music etc?)

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Moderator Posted 4 years 6 months ago
Last edit: 4 years 6 months ago by Moderator. info_outline
#6467
Sub location will cause corner loading and significant additional output at the rooms resonant frequencies. Move it right next to the cabinet, pulled out from the back wall so the front is even with the front of the media cabinet.

Setting sub level with a hand held spl meter won't work, set it by ear (especially for sub, but also for the other 5 speakers). From what I understand about iPhone meters, they don't work at all due to the mic input having a limiter and compressor. Good for setting "a" level number on identical speakers at identical distances only. You will have a significant loss in dynamic range with a 70 Hz crossover, but that won't matter for modest playback levels. With the higher crossover point it is very important to get the sub level and placement correct, as it will be handling the frequencies below this point.

In our experience room EQ stuff once run does not always go away easily, make sure it is really off/defeated and not active. Nine out of ten times that has turned out to be the culprit in sonic issues.

Modes for music playback - Stereo (2.1)
Modes for movie playback - None for 5.1/7.1 material / PLII-movie for all else.
Turn off all other audio modes and effects modes. Defeat tone controls too.
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icharis Posted 4 years 6 months ago
#6484
In response to some recommendations:

SUB Placement: I moved the sub around including next to the cabinet and there isn't much of a difference where it is placed. This may be due to the irregular shape of my room. Its is about 28 feet long from side to side and 18 feet from the back wall to a knee wall which then extends into a breakfast room and then into a kitchen. The family room is also a two story family room. Speaking with my AD it is pretty much the shape of the room works really well for bass. I can not be happier with the sub response. I was watching Top Gun last night and you can feel the F-14 taking off of the aircraft carrier. Just awesome.

Center Channel:
So I have been playing around with a lot of settings with and without audyssey settings and cross over settings etc. There is nothing I can do to get the SuperSat60C to sound as good as the SuperCenter XL. In fact I feel it just doesn't have the fullness of the SuperSat60 L/R speakers I have. This sounds crazy because it is the same speaker as pointed out but I think this may be due to the way the speakers are mounted. The L/R speakers are mounted on the wall and the SuperSat60C just sits on the cabinet. This seems to be be the only explanation I have on the difference into what I hear.

I have ordered the SuperCenter XL FWIW.


Thoughts on Audyssey.
I set my system to 2.1 and started playing various music tracks. I found that with Audyssey it makes everything bright and as soon as I turn it off it makes me react as if something is missing. If I let it play though it feels that my ears adjust and I find that the sounds are more natural. I found this specifically true when playing come Counting Crows' Omaha as a reference.
In regards to TV it really matters on what your watching. I found that Audyssey does really well for moderate to low listening of SitComs and what I would consider regular TV.
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icharis Posted 4 years 5 months ago
#6590
Adding a little bit of my experience. I have come to a conclusion that these speakers needed a much longer break in time. I was doing some listening last night and I have to say either I have adjusted to the speakers or the speakers have really bloomed. Watching some TV a cheerio's commercial came on with a group called Naturally 7 singing. I have seen these guys as an opening act for Michael Buble and I ran to Tidal and tried out some of their music. Listening to a song called Wall of Sound really showed off some awesome imaging by these speakers and really made me say wow. Listening to them in stereo I tricked my wife where she really thought I had the center channel on to the point that I started questioning it and had to check by walking up to it :-)
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