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Balancing sub with rest of speakers

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Daneel, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Daneel

    Daneel
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    My system is detailed in my sig below. I am having trouble getting the right balance between my sub and the rest of the speakers. I don't have a SPL meter yet, but I'm not sure how much it would help in this instance.

    I have the sub volume set so it sounds balanced with the rest of the system at normal listening level (about -35 to -40). If the volume is low, the sub can hardly be heard at all, and if the volume is turned up, the bass from the sub dominates the sound.

    I have a feeling this is due to the sub being connected to the pre-out, and the rest iof the speakers being power by my receiver, but that is the way it's supposed to be set-up right?

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    Daneel
     
  2. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Hmmm..

    This is what I did... balanced the rest of the speakers using the internal test tones to 75db on my sound meter (using the amps reference level).

    For the Sub I left the internal setting at 0 and then adjusted the volume on the amp to level out at 75 (luckily the volume is at 12 oclock so its easy to remember).

    Now I am not 100% its the perfect way to do this (i have a crap sub at the mo) but it does not sound to bad.. though I am open to ideas of ways to set it up properly.!

    Matt
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    its not easy is the honest answer.

    On the Avia disc it says that if you calibrate to a reference level and then listen at very low levels, the bass will suffer (and so will the surround channels). So try to listen close to reference if possible (that reference volume can be whatever you choose - doesn't have to be 75dB). The main point is to try and get equal volumes across all speakers at or near the volume you will listen at.
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I find that SPL meters don't work very well for subs and prefer to set them up by ear.

    Turn the volume up to your normal listening level and then increase the gain on the sub until you can just hear it and then turn it down a fraction. Possibly it will still be too loud so may have to be turned down a touch more.
     
  5. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Ian,

    Do you do that with a test tone from Avia or similar, or just when listening to a clip of a movie you know well?

    My mains are OK, but my sub is still off somewhat - either too boomy or too quiet.
     
  6. Lowrider

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    I do it as Ian, must be the age... ;)

    I use bass heavy discs, the TAG demo is good for that...
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I tend to use a music dvd rather than a film as the bassy bits tend to go on longer.

    Getting the sub right is more than a ten minute job as you will be tweaking it ever so slightly for quite a few days until you have it just right.
     
  8. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    No idea if it's "right" but just personal preference...

    ...i use track 6 "Charly" The Prodigy Experience to do the rough setting. Then work thru music CDs i know very well to do the fine tweaking. I normally find it necessary to tweak the sub back a nibble for movies compared to CD. Just checking using test tones my sub is around 8dB above the rest of the speakers on dBc, 12dB under the rest on dBa...like i say no idea if this right, wrong, indifferent.

    spence
     
  9. Swinnydon

    Swinnydon
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    Do you have the sub power switch to auto? If this is the case, you may find that the power is not actually on when you have the volume at the amp quite low. I have read this somewhere (might actually be in the manual of the sub cos I have the same sub-thx Uncle Eric) and one way of getting around this is to get a Y connector to split your single phono to two for both of the inputs at the sub. Otherwise, switch the sub on and off instead of leaving it on auto.
     
  10. EvilMudge

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    I'm not surprised you have to tweak it back a bit when you set with Charlie: Trip into Drum and Bass Mix - the bass tones on this mix are seriously enhanced relative to the rest of the instruments. There's a seriously low tone during the 'little bit of bass bit' that just isn't there on some systems, and can kill others if the volume is cranked up a bit.
    Apparently it was a deliberate attempt to make the track unplayable on kiddies' stereo systems at any kind of serious volume.
    EDIT: Pretty damn good track though, prefer the Alley Cat mix.
     
  11. juboy

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    That's a very good point... I notice you're using a Velodyne CHT-10 Daneel, one thing I was surprised at is just how loud the signal needs to be before the Velo auto-powers up. Luckily mine is in a darkish corner so I can see the red or green glow against the back wall without having to go and check.

    Swinnydon is right, I've been caught out a couple of times when watching the News or something on TV and have thought the sub would have auto-powered up but in actual fact hasn't.
     
  12. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I leave mine in the on postition. I have found auto to be completely useless. The only way I got it to power up was by putting my reciever into test mode.
     
  13. HotblackDesiato

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    That's the section on the track i find particularly useful.
    ...over crank the subs gain, it's a disaster.
    ...under do it, and it'll leave you cold.

    Like i say it's only for rough setting, i then work thru more mainstream stuff i've used to demo gear for years... trying to strike a balance right to my ears.
    I think it also depends on the sub...i'd not checked mine using a SPL until last week and it was 8dB C above the other speakers.
    But i've heard Uncle Eric's Velo, flat with the rest of his speakers, and another 8dB would result in seismic activity in north London.

    spence
     
  14. uncle eric

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    Many American sub manuafacturers include an Auto On/Off facility. I always advise against the use of this facility as it can often get caught out. Luckily Velodyne had the sense to also give us plain old off/on.

    Julian, I think it's not so much the loud or quiet passages that effect the auto power but rather the <80Hz or >80Hz signals it senses. If you want to increase sensitivity just use a splitter to link both RCA inputs. If you need one (or want to experiment) let me know and I'll send one off to you.

    All the best,
    Eric
     

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