file 650s Midrange Fix or Replace?

  • Space Cowboy's Avatar Offline school
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
    • Posts: 6
    • Thank you received: 2
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
Space Cowboy Posted 1 month 1 week ago
#27705
Hi,

Newbie to the forum but long-time GE customer and fan.

I just completed the installation of ten 650s as part of a whole-home audio upgrade and am less than thrilled with the midrange sound quality. The highs are great and detailed, imaging is fantastic, but just missing that midrange tone especially with vocals. Will DynaBoxes (or custom boxes or fiberglass insulation per the manual) correct that or do I need to look at replacing with another speaker? Some details:
  1. All are connected to Sonos Amps with a Sonus Sub to supplement the low end. I was hoping the addition of the Sonos Sub would bridge that midrange/bass gap but doesn't entirely. Vocals are missing the mid-lower end and the marriage between the GEs and the sub just isn't there.
  2. House is a ranch and ceiling insulation is spray material - not fiberglass batt insulation. I have access to all speaker locations via attic access. I'm not opposed to using fiberglass insulation per the manual if that's the right direction but if a DynaBox is better, fine with spending the additonal $. I would like to avoid building custom boxes for each one unless the difference is dramatic enough.
  3. House is a ranch and ceiling insulation is spray material - not batt insulation. I have access to all speaker locations via attic access. I'm not opposed to building custom back-boxes if that's the right direction but would favor an off-the-shelf solution and fine with spending the $ on DynaBoxes if that's best.
  4. Ceilings are 10' in the kitchen/nook (4 650s, 1 amp, 1 sub) and dining room (2 650s, 1 amp, 1 sub). The ceilings are 12' in the bathroom (4 speakers, 1 amp, 1 sub).
  5. I've played around with the Sonos App settings for crossover, sub level, bass/treble, loudness, etc. I just can't find the combination that fills that midrange gap.

I'd also be fine with replacing everything with HTR 7000s with the caveat it doesn't affect dispersion/imaging for my ceiling heights. That was the only reason I didn't go that route in the first place.

Thanks in advance for the input!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • rjohn79395's Avatar Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 2027
    • Thank you received: 4014
    • Karma: 2
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
rjohn79395 Posted 1 month 1 week ago
#27706
Hey, Space Cowboy

Impressive speaker installation!

You might want to let those ten speakers break in for at least 50 hours before making any decisions. I have 525's in a separate zone 2 that I use for music only. I play them full range at moderate SL's, and they sound amazing, including mid range. 650's should be a notch above. Mine are installed in a 9" ceiling with a protective cover and then probably 9" of loose fill insulation over that. What's over your speakers? If your ceiling installation is typical, they should break in nicely and sound better with time.

I power mine from a Marantz pre out through a Parasound 275 v.2, so can't comment on how a SONOS feed and amp might sound with any speaker. But I have used SONOS digital feeds to my system in the past and their 16 bit feeds were pretty good.

Hang in there. 650's are great speakers. Yes, HTR 7000's are a step above, and IMHO have good dispersion also, but 650's should play your music with real sound quality also. Break in does bring out the best in speakers, and other components.

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, Bluesound Node 2i
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Space Cowboy's Avatar Offline school
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
    • Posts: 6
    • Thank you received: 2
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
Space Cowboy Posted 1 month 1 week ago
#27709
Hi Rick - Thank you very much for responding and yeah, I'm pretty stoked about the set-up!

Good call on the break-in time. I did notice that with my SS50s and while that was a few years ago, don't recall being as critical about the midrange SQ. They did smooth out but wasn't drastic.

You mentioned a protective cover on your 525s. Did you build that yourself or buy something off the shelf? Mind sharing the details, please?

For my initial install, I just cleared away the spray insulation in the attic at each speaker. I think this is contributing to why the mids are struggling a bit. The sound is resonating in the attic space as much as in the rooms below. I was planning to overlay with fiberglass insulation, but if a back box would provide better performance, will do it . If I'm still not happy after break-in, I'll just bite the bullet and go the 7000 route.

Thanks again for the guidance!

Steve
The following user(s) said Thank You: rjohn79395

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • rjohn79395's Avatar Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 2027
    • Thank you received: 4014
    • Karma: 2
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
rjohn79395 Posted 1 month 1 week ago
#27711
Hey Steve

I have a total of 6 Invisa ceiling speakers installed; the 2 525's I mentioned earlier for zone 2 music plus a pair of 7000's and a pair of 525's as Atmos height speakers in the HT set up. All are installed the same: a tight weave fabric cover over them to protect them from loose fill fiber insulation, and then the insulation placed back over them. I. E. no air space other than what is below the fabric cover.

I guess my question about what is above your speakers is how much air space you have before the foam insulation. Is the foam really close to the drivers? I don't know how your foam insulation absorbs or transmits sound vs loose fill fiber or batts, but I have not felt any need to have boxes around mine despite the limited air space above my speakers.

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, Bluesound Node 2i
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv
The following user(s) said Thank You: Space Cowboy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Space Cowboy's Avatar Offline school
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
    • Posts: 6
    • Thank you received: 2
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
Space Cowboy Posted 1 month 3 days ago
#27739
Hi Rick,

Lots to share. I was able to get Sandy's ear for a few minutes on Friday. His feedback was the 7000s are a better fit for my situation for two reasons; 1) There won't be a hot-spot standing right under the speaker and actually have better dispersion than the 650s while still providing a sweet spot where aimed. 2) They will fill the midrange space slighter better due to the larger size and overall design.

He also said there's no reason to spend the money on DynaBoxes - a 3-4' long piece that also fills the gap between framing members (in my case, 2') is all that's needed.

So, I picked up a pair 7000s and swapped them in the kitchen where I have four total speakers on two separate Sonos Amps so I could toggle back and forth. I also spent Saturday placing 4'x2' strips of fiberglass insulation over all the speakers (BTW - sorry if I gave the impression I had spray "foam" insulation - it is the loose-fill material). It made a noticeable difference for the 650s and if I hadn't heard the 7000s in comparison, believe I would have been happy. But, when I walked the room with the 7000s playing, no hot spots, great dispersion, beautiful mids and nice low-end (with the sub off). The same test with the 650s and while the mids definitely filled out more with the insulation, wasn't as full, were still a skosh harsh, especially standing under a speaker.

IMO, the 7000s are worth the $220 more per speaker - decision made and are on order to replace all the 650s. The guys at ListenUp have been great to work with and willing to take back the 650s even though they were installed. Now maybe they'll actually get both of these installed in the same room to demo so future customers can hear the difference without the pain I went through.

I've been rocking out since Saturday - nearly at 30 hours and they're sounding better every day. Can't wait for them to fully break-in...

Thanks again for the feedback!
The following user(s) said Thank You: rjohn79395

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Moderator
menu
close
Menu
person_outline
arrow_back
You are here: Home Forum Clubhouse Show Off Your GoldenEar System 650s Midrange Fix or Replace?