AVR300 Subwoofer setup question

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by RaceTripper, May 24, 2004.

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  1. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    I have an AVR300 with a set of 7 Dynaudio Audience speakers (72/122C/52SE/62) and a Dynaudio Sub. I've got it sounding great, but think I still neeedd some working fine tuning the sub (placement, levels, etc). However, I have a relevant question for starters.

    Between all the speakers, the response goes down to 46Hz (+-3db) and lower (down to 28Hz for the 72s).

    I have the crossover setting on both Sub and AVR300 set to 60Hz. I'm assuming they should both be the same, but is there any advantage offhand to making the crossover point higher with these speakers (disregarding for the moment using a calibration tool and my own ears).

    I might surmise that raising the crossover setting (to say 80-90 Hz) could leave me more power for dynamic transients from the amp section of the AVR300 if more of the bass handling is offloaded to the Sub (which also has about 100 watts). Is this a reasonable assumption?

    What do people think?
    Does anyone from Arcam have insight on this?

    Thanks,

    Dean
     
  2. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Dean, you want to either bypass the crossover on your sub (if there is a control on the sub to do this), or set it to its highest value. This will allow the AVR300 to control the crossover point. What you don't want to do is set them to the same value, as they will interact with each other, quite possibly causing problems with the sound.
    It is a reasonable assumption. Some people prefer to set the crossover lower as they feel they can localise the sub at 80Hz. Some people prefer to use 80Hz for exactly the reasons you have given.

    I would suggest, since it is easy to change, that you try both for a few days and see which you prefer.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  3. RaceTripper

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    Really? How does that cause adverse interaction setting them both to the same XOver freq?

    It seems to me one could even introduce a problem by, say, setting the AVR300 XOver to 90Hz and the Sub XOver to 60Hz, thus setting a range that gets filtered away (i.e. AVR300 passes 90 and below to Sub, but Sub only handles 60 and below), leaving a hole in overall response. But I guess that would be silly to try.

    My sub doesn't have a control to bypass its XOver. It just has a range of 60-120 or so (plus phase and level). But I'll try your suggestion setting the sub to 120Hz and letting the AVR300 control passing 80Hz to the sub.

    Dean
     
  4. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    HI Dean,

    The AVR300 filters both the main speaker outputs and the subwoofer output. So if you set the sub frequency to eg 60Hz, the main speakers will all be filtererd off at 60 Hz and above and just the signal below 60Hz will be sent to the subwoofer.

    If you also set the filter on the subwoofer to 60hz this will mean that the subwoofer will internally filter the icomming signal and only alow signals below 60Hz through.

    The problem with this is that the AVR300 will have filtered the signal already so that it matches the main speakers in the crossover region, if you filter it again there will be too little signal from the subwoofer in the crossover region and you will get a dip in the base response at the crosover frequency.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  5. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi Again,

    The practical up shot of this is. You should set the subwoofer xover to its maximum setting and try to keep the software setting you use on the AVR300 a reasonable margin away from it. So 60Hz would be OK if your max setting for the sub woofer is 120Hz. Much higher than this and you will start getting a bit of a dip though the xover region, it is at its worst at the subwoofer xover frequency 120Hz.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  6. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    Thanks Andrew,

    I'll set my Sub to its max xover and the AVR300 to 60Hz and see how that sounds.

    May also have to spend some time with my Avia disk to do some Sub calibration and see how that sounds too.

    Dean
     
  7. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    Suppose for a moment that my Sub's crossover (Dynaudio Audience SUB-30A) is better than that in the AVR300, and I want it to control low freq. crossover. Is there anyway to utilize that? I don't see how.

    So right now I have the Sub set at 120Hz and the AVR300 at 60Hz.

    I also have all speakers set to Large (my center goes down to 46Hz, others even lower). Does the AVR300 even send anything but the .1 LFE to the subwoofer in this case?

    I'm just trying to understand bass management a little better since I now have options I didn't with the AVR200.

    Dean
     
  8. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi Dean,

    If a speaker is set to large then the base from that speaker stays in that speaker. Only the LFE and base from speakers set to small will go to the Subwoofer.

    If you want to use the xover in the sub the only way I can think of doing that is to set the speakers to large and use the natural roll off of you sepakers as the High Pass filter then set the low pass of the sub woofer to fill in below the roll off of the main speakers. The problem with this is it does not control the amount of energy sent to the main speakers or their excursion and if you are playing them loud you may get thermal compression in the speakers and distortion of the mid range due to doppler interference from the low frequency movement of the driver. So this may or may not sound better depending upon how these distorion mechanisms interact with the xover frequency.

    You cannot turn on only half of the crossover to use an external analogue xover in the sub which is what you would realy want to do to use the subwoofer xover. It is a requirement of the dolby specification that both of the signals are filtered so we cannot work arround this.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  9. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    Thanks, that clears some thing up.

    The obvious answer to my next question is to try things out, but maybe you can suggest a starting point.

    I have Dynaudio Audience speakers all around. All are 4 ohms (center is 6 ohm) and 86db (2.83 V/1 m) sensitivity. All are bass reflex with port plugs removed. I have them set to Large in AV300 setup, with xover at 60Hz. Additionally...

    Front L/R (72): 28Hz-24KHz (+-3db), 210 Watts (IEC Long Term Power Handling)
    Center (122C): 46Hz-23KHz, 200 Watts, 6ohm
    Surround (52SE): 45Hz-26KHz, 150 Watts
    Rear(62): 38Hz-25KHz, 150 Watts
    Sub (SUB-30A): 23-150 (+-5db), amp > 90 W RMS, xover at 120Hz

    So do you recommend any settings other than what I have? The speakers are all pretty much full range. Maybe I should see how Small sounds for all but the fronts?
     
  10. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    It depends on what you want to achieve, the setup you have will probably give you the best sound quality. However if you want to play things really loud then it would be better to redirect the base to the subwoofer.

    Andrew
     
  11. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    Thanks. It definitely gets pretty loud (or loud enough) as it is. I played "LOTR:Return of the King" the other day with the volume control at 80db and it sounded really good (and loud).

    Then I guess one other question is...

    If all the speakers are set to Large, and the only thing that goes to the Sub is LFE, then what effect does the xover setting on the AVR300 have at that point? Does all the LFE go to the Sub in any case, or only that lower than the xover setting? If that later what happens to LFE above the xover setting?

    Dean

    Dean
     
  12. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    When I tried using Small settings on my speakers I found the sound quality less satisfying (loss of clarity and detail, less dynamic).

    I also noticed that soundstage imaging wasn't as good. Someone tried to claim that's not possible (i.e. low end can't affect imaging). I don't buy that. Am I wrong and imagining things?
     
  13. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    I'm still having some trouble tuning the sub's phase setting. I have a hard time telling what sounds better (or correct) with movies.

    So I'm thinking of trying a different approach. I have a jazz recording of a paino trio (Tete Montoliu), with lots of acoustic double-bass. I'm very familar with how it should sound based on a German pressed analog LP on my Linn LP12.

    I'm thinking of setting the AVR300 stereo to Large+Sub with xover, at say 80Hz or so, playing a CD of the same recording, and using that to adjust the sub for phase. Does that seem a reasonable thing to do? Will the results of that translate well to multi-channel digital sources?
     
  14. Barend

    Barend
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    Dean,

    I agree you CAN hear direction below 80 Hz, I tried it out with stereo sound, each speaker standing on its own REL Q150E.
    Since the REL has many adjustments, I could set it whichever way I wanted.
    I found disabling one led to a sorta "fuzzy" bass, using both sounded better.
    Fed in my generator and I could truly hear which of the two REL's 60Hz was coming from (my wife too).
    For me this meant that whatever I did on my new 7.1 setup I had to allow as little as possible bass redirection to the one remaining effect sub, letting all speakers fend for themselves...
    This gave me a really "embracing" sound on sacd and dvd-audio, and a very detailed wrap on films (I'm not the explosion-type, love detail instead).

    Now on phase:
    I have read the very informative Q150E booklet, and it seems that setting it wrong unintentionally would only give you a little less level, but no worse bass quality. So I did some tests and I could really detect no difference.
    What REL says you should physically feel the energized air just in front of the sub when the phase is correct, dunno, suppose that may differ for other listening corners, mine's only 4x4 m.

    On xover holes:
    Dan's remarks also had me thinking, and I found that actually I had sometimes THREE filters in place, which as I see now leads to a high in band attenuation to the sub output...that is the DVD player + the receiver + the sub...so I guess just setting the filtering in the HK would be best, at the same time disabling the DVD-2900's and the Q150E's.
    Never gave this any thought, but since all 3 filters are bound to have their own slope and bandpass characteristics the bass might even sound better...
    Ah, more testing to do!

    So I'm very curious about your double bass testing, I feel playing approriate music is always better than using a generator, because of its leading to standing waves buildup (although I always set the sine to wobble +/- 5% or so). And I did a lot of speaker testing in the past, because my smallish room has a nasty high-bass boom which is difficult to control, and spikes don't help.

    What I did in my holidays
    Remember I had to go to France? Well 2 hours after arrival (12 hours drive)I managed to get a blackout and hurl myself down the 12 step cellar staircase, leaving me out for one hour!
    One day in a French hospital showed nothing was broken but I looked like a soldier coming back from the war, and my back hurt like hell...
    So we all went home again, only to learn the AVR300 still had not come in!
    All my returning efforts had been in vain! :oops:

    Barend
     
  15. Jim_R

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    What is LFE?
     
  16. Jeff

    Jeff
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    This is usually a sign of a poor sub or setup, you can have the crossover set much higher than 80Hz and be perfectly integrated.
     
  17. Barend

    Barend
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    Low Frequency Effects - special low bass effects included separately for explosions and the like...
    Only on films, never on DVD Audio nor on SACD.
    Good Luck
    Barend
     
  18. Jim_R

    Jim_R
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    Thanks Barend! I got my AVR300 yesterday, and spent the whole evening (until 12:30 AM) getting it set up and listening to CDs and DVDs. Getting the subwoofer set up just right is probably the trickiest part of the whole process. I think that I am 80% there. Bottom line is...I really love this thing. It sounds great.
     
  19. Barend

    Barend
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    Sorry to disagree, frequencies above 80 Hz are entirely directional, so it would be bad for the soundstage (be it 2.1 or 5.1) to mix these for all channels into one sub.
    There's lots of documentation on the web to support this.
    Barend
     
  20. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The Q150 produces lots of distortion, it the distortion and poor integration that makes it directional.
     
  21. Barend

    Barend
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    Must disagree completely! Your post is beside the point: directivity of soundwaves below 100 Hz. There is lots of literature about the fact that the human ear CAN detect direction in bass from 50 Hz upwards, a phenomenon you can easily reproduce with a blind test on some members of your family.
    On the distortion of the REL sub I can only say that it produces bone dry and very low frequency output, always completely consistent with the music it handles.
    As a matter of fact the electronics inside a sub is a simple affair- a power amp and a crossover filter, and some switching.
    I find the Q150E mosfet amps of good quality although the input impedance is a bit high on high level (speaker) feed, but the resulting effects (hum) can be easily remedied by placing a 4K7 resistor in parallel in the plug.
    I don't use the filter inside and let the AVR handle the sub cutoff.
    As you notice I am very happy with my Q150E !
    I even use two of 'em to seamless add some very low bass to my KEF Reference 203 speakers for organ music in stereo mode.
    Barend
     
  22. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Fair enough, if your happy that's what's important.
     
  23. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    I'm on vacation now, but plan to try this on return. We're at a beach house on the Gulf of Mexico, but it's storming now. :thumbsdow

    Dean
     

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