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BASS ( an old post renamed b'cos I was bored :) )

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by dUnKle, Jan 19, 2001.

  1. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    REL subs !!!

    This has to be one of the most popular subwoofers around and still seems to be selling well so how do you use yours ?

    This is more me being curious than anything else.

    I set mine up using advice from the articles section on the home cinema web site.

    However im still a little unsure as to the roll off settings on the back. I have mine fully turned all the way to MAX and have the sub connected only by the phono connection, does anybody else do this ?

    [ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: DuncanWardle ]</p>
     
  2. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Hi Duncan.

    My Q Bass has a similair set up.
    I just followed my instruction book.
    Set Vol. to max. then turn up cut off until it kicks in. Then back off vol. so as it's 'just so'. Then over a few days, I adjusted the two up and down until I 'hear' the optimum setting.
    I know when I've over/under done it as it's either too thumpy or too weedy.
    Others here as you've read, use SPL meters, but personally I always go by ear.
    I found it simply took patience rather than anything else.
    Have fun with it. Bound to be a blast.

    It also helped to know my main speakers go down to 100-80 Hz or so, so a rough guess on the cut off setting is a good start, for me 3/4 way round on the dial.

    And I've connected mine via high pass connections, ie, from the main speaker left/right outputs. That way the sub is adjusted to the exact level in sympathy with the speakers, to ensure a good bass underpinning. My amp route all bass to main speakers. So KEF Q15 + Q Bass meld quite well and the bass is nice.

    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]
     
  3. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    How you get the .1 depends.
    I use the amps bass mangement to suit my room and setup.
    I know my speakers are supposed to be rated at 80HZ-100Hz or so, but I just don't trust manufacturers figures.
    So I merge the two as above to ensure that the bass I do get is is as good as it can be, according to the Gospel as written by General.
    Did you go to Ramius's link in the listening levels post? That may help more.
    But......... peolpe in my experience are too trusting in technical figures etc. Use them as a guide, but I'd always go on what it sounds like in the end.
    In my room, if I don't have true .1 when watching a film, then God help my neighours if it was to become anymore potent.
    One thing I don't like about the phono connection is that you get 80Hz and below, and that's it from your sub.
    I like the flexibility to alter if I want, where it comes in and at what volume, when I like.
    That's me. I know others here would disagree with that, but I like what I hear, and so be it.

    I do not have a THX set up. I do not have 'measured' anything in my room. My room is not the perfect shape. I have no idea where my room 'nodes' are. I enjoy every film I watch.
    Last night Arnie kicked arse in Predator DTS General Adventure. I know it to be praying to a false God, but so what.
    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]
     
  4. HT Dude

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    General - if your amp is set to route all bass to the main L+R speakers including, of course, the bass from the LFE, and you connect up the sub via the high level inputs from the main L+R amp terminals, then provided your main speakers can cope with the demand of producing their full range sound plus the bass from all the channels including the LFE channel, then that's fine.
     
  5. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Just one thing.
    When you say the speakers can't cope with 'all' the sound, what do you mean?
    I believe the only thing, is that the speakers will not produce any audio below, let's say 100Hz, so that's where the sub comes in.
    It doesn't matter if the speakers can't do anything with all the information produced, there just wouldn't be any sound below that point, sans sub. Make sense?
    They're not going to blow.
    At worst they just wouldn't sound the best.
    But thanks for the support Spin.

    I wasn't ranting above, just saying I like it this way.
    Duncan, how are you planning to do yours?
    Sticking with the phono route?
    Whatever, I know you'll enjoy it. [​IMG]


    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]
     
  6. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Im not sure now !!!

    I know that I only get the .1 part of the soundtrack by using the phono connection. I think that is the whole point of the 5.1 sound. Im not going to get rid of the phono cable because of this. As far as I am aware if you do not use the phono cable then it is the same as setting the amp to say that you have no sub connected. Im no expert but im guessing that if GENERAL was to keep his amp connected as he has but set the amp to NO SUB his bass output would be the same. Thats why there is a SUB OUT socket on the back of the amps.


    However I am very tempted in using BOTH speaker and phono connections. GENERAL seems to like the way he has his set and thats a good recommendation for me. Does anybody do this or at least tried ? Will I get the best of both worlds. I know I will have to set front speakers to large but im guessing it will be worth it. Im on my long weekend at the moment b4 starting my week of nights so I may try it.
     
  7. Ramius

    Ramius
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    I agree with General.
    If you're asking your speakers to produce low frequencies they can't, will degrade the sound of the midrange. It also puts unnecessary load on your amp, low frequency's require the most power.
    I think in a home cinema setup it's best to use the phono connection and the amps internal crossover and let each speaker do the job it's designed to do.

    There seems to be a couple of threads with very similar topics. Nice one. I'll never get any work done this afternoon. [​IMG]

    Cheers
     
  8. Mad Max

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    I tried to use both Line and Speaker connections when I first got my REL Q100, but have found this configurarion to be too hard to setup.

    I finally gave up speaker level, and only use Line. The Denon 3801 does a pretty good job of separating the frequencies and sending bass to the sub, even from analog sources.

    I think the REL Q200 has a switch to activate either one, or both together. I like the idea, but for it to be acceptable to me, the switch should be allowed to sit on my remote [​IMG]
    Hopefully a Pronto soon...

    ------------------
    An adult is just a kid with expensive toys.

    Rui
     
  9. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    As far as I am aware my B&W603s can handle a fair bit of bass but I currently have them set as small so that they do not have to worry about low frequancies !!! I was also told that this should produce a cleaner sound as they are not being overloaded ( which seems to make sense )

    However, as I understand it GENERAL is not using the phono socket so not getting the .1 part of the soundtrack. Also he will have to have set his front speakers too LARGE so that the bass frequancies are now sent to the sub and so maybe overloading the sub.

    My Denon A1D allows bass to be sent to either, SUB ONLY or SUB AND FRONT SPEAKERS. What I think I will try is this.

    Keep the phono connection to be sure of the .1 soundtrack. Connect the speaker connection lead as well but keep the front speakers as small. Tell the amp to send bass to SUB AND FRONT !!

    Ill see what happens, but i have to cook tea tonite so i guess it will be 2morrow

    keep sharing you thoughts though

    cheers
     
  10. Ramius

    Ramius
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    Sorry, I misread Generals post, so it seems I disagree with him [​IMG]

    IMO use the phono only. All speakers to small using amps x-over, sub x-over to max.
    Use a calibration disc and SPL meter to set all levels.

    Hometime. WooHoo. [​IMG]

    Cheers.
    Have a good weekend.

    [This message has been edited by Ramius (edited 19-01-2001).]
     
  11. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Now you are all giving me a headache. [​IMG]
    My speakers are set to large. So?
    The sub merely takes over bass duties at the level I've set it too.
    I don't belive it to be overloaded.
    I'm open to all opinions.
    As far as I know, it's all ok. Why would my Q15 midrange suffer? Quite simply they don't give low bass, the REL does.
    See what you've started here Duncan, you're making me doubt my set up.
    When Ramius gets back on monday, this thread will be a mile long!

    I'm going to re read my Yamaha A2/REL manuals and see what's what. [​IMG]


    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk
     
  12. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    I have no problem at all with your set-up GENERAL but I am almost 100% certain that you are not getting the full sound ( ie the .1 of the 5.1 soundtrack ) because you are not using the phono cable.

    As I understand it you will be getting as much bass as possible from your front speakers and any that your fronts are missing is being picked up by the sub. However this is just the bass contained in the normal 5 tracks of audio. As I understand the .1 part is only sent to the sub via the phono cable.

    At present I would be getting ALL my bass ( that for each five speakers and the .1 ) sent directly to the sub. If I was to set the speakers ALL too large I would get ONLY the .1 soundtrack sent to the sub. The ideal speaker would be a good quality speaker for midrange with a built in sub for the bass. But thats an ideal world.

    I will try using BOTH connections at same time
     
  13. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    I'll be back on this one.
    I've got to re-dechipher my Yamaha Sub routing instructions.
    When I know what's what, I'll let you know.


    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk
     
  14. Ken

    Ken
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    From what I understand, when LFE is not selected during setup,ie. no .1 phono cable, and front speakers are set to large, then all low frequency effects are sent to the front speakers! So if the sub is integrated into the fronts, no problem. Phew!!
     
  15. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    That's what I said, but...... Ramius is the subwoofer king and knows a few tips.
    However, he won't be back till Monday.
    Get a PC Ramius! [​IMG]

    The non phono option, in my opinion is also a better option for non DD material.
    Most things we watch are Pro Logic/Stereo, and so we must allow for that.
    If you watch DD all the time then I see grounds for the phono route as a permanent set up. However, I do tweak, so I use the high pass route.

    I'm sure I'm as right as the phono option, but there are many ways to skin a cat Grasshopper. [​IMG]

    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 19-01-2001).]
     
  16. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    As I understand it if you dont use a phone connection you will never ever get the .1 part of the soundtrack.

    I turn the roll off to max, set the subs volume on the amp to max and then adjust the volume on the sub to get a reading of 80DB on the SPL
     
  17. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    After many an hour assing about I tried a fair few things.

    &lt; 1 &gt; USING SPEAKER CONNECTIONS ONLY, SETTING FRONT AS LARGE ALL TOO SMALL. SUB ON.

    In stereo BASS was much much strong and also tighter and more controlled. In DPL there was again more noticable BASS. In DTS and DD5.1 BASS was very noticably lacking. There was good controlled BASS in big scenes such as EXPLOSIONS and SHOT GUN BLASTS but the bass never went really low and dropped of too quickly.

    &lt; 2 &gt; AS ABOVE BUT WITH SUBWOOFER OFF !!!!

    Exactly the same !!!

    &lt; 3 &gt; PHONO CONNECTION, SUB ON, ALL SPEAKERS SMALL.

    BASS in stereo mode was not as good or noticable, same was true for DPL. However in DTS and DD5.1 there was much more focused and controlled bass. BASS notes went low and things like the THX trailer was much more impressive and the BASS could be felt.


    This is all I have tried as yet. However I am now certain that if I want the .1 part of the track I have to use the phono cable connection. To support this claim, I have NO sound from the sub when I disconnect the phono cable and try to use the amps test tone,

    Hope this helped
     
  18. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Ok,

    First, I think you may be off somewhere. If you turned your woofer off, then there should 'definately' be a difference in bass using the high level connection. I know as I once had my 'little fat boy' die on me (under guarantee) a long time ago, but only noticed as the sound was 'less' somehow. I checked it and it was not thumping as it should.

    I agree with your phono connection findings.
    A while back I tried this and found it lacking on a lot of material.

    I am building a long enough interconnect to go to my sub (4Mtrs) so I can test in my house the same thing. Have all I need, except time this weekend. I'll let you know how I got on.

    REL's website isn't that helpful with what's best as it's very audiophile in nature, AV is talked about and a main goal/aim whatever, but no real info on high/low level connection options.
    Will be reading up on DD/DTS on their sites to see what they say.
    It is becoming apparent to me that there is no one ideal setting for Stereo/DPL/DD/DTS. Each has to be a compromise somewhere.
    So it looks like we may have to prioritize!

    And Duncan, did you have a good night shift?
    Night night. [​IMG]
    Or should that be good morning when you get to read this?


    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 20-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 20-01-2001).]
     
  19. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Nights start 2morrow so Im still on my long weekend !!!!

    The point I was trying to get at is that in my experience you only get the full 5.1 experience by using the phono cable

    However to make the experience better use BOTH connections. The problem here is that you have to spend a LONG time tweaking the individual volume controls.

    All this and we have yet to mention wether speakers should be LARGE or SMALL
     
  20. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    After loads of tweaking I have come to the following conclusions !

    &lt; 1 &gt; If you set ALL speakers to SMALL and wire the subwoofer up via a phono cable then you get the .1 channel sent to the sub and ALSO bass meant for all the other 5 channels.

    This results in more BASS being present in stereo and DPL recordings as the amp is sending ALL the bass present in the recording to the SUB ! This was seen by listening to MTV in STEREO and watching BUFFY in DPL off video.

    &lt; 2 &gt; If you set ALL speakers to LARGE and wire the subwoofer up via a phono cable then the SUB only gives the .1 part of the soundtrack. Each of the other 5 speakers is then sent the bass that it should be given, however if your speakers can not handle the frequancy then you LOOSE that BASS.

    This is good if you have 5 speakers that can go very low. If some of your speakers do not get the bass notes then you may miss some of the experience. Also STEREO and DPL recordings no longer have the oomphhh unless your front speakers can handle the BASS. To demo this I temporarly swapped my B&W603s ( which give very good bass ) for an old pair of stereo speakers. The BASS in STEREO almost disapeared as the cheapo speakers could not handle the sound.


    RESULTS FOR ME.

    Based on the above demos I have done the following.

    Set my 603s as LARGE as they give very good bass sounds.

    I tested my CC6 on the left channel to see how much BASS it could handle and was not sure of the outcome here. I currently have it set as SMALL but if anybody thinks otherwise please let me know !

    The rear speakers I have at this time are TANNOY M2s which I have set at small as I have not tested them for bass response at the moment.

    I have then wired my sub up using the phono cable at set the ROLL OFF to MAXIMUM ! I then set its volume at 5db more than the other speakers ( its set at 80db ) I the ALSO wired the sub up to the front speakers and adjusted the volume for that input to almost off.

    At present I think this is the best set-up for ME. It was most worth the effort but I would value your opinions
     
  21. Spaceman

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    Hi,

    My setup:
    JVC RX-884R
    B&W 305,302,CC3
    REL Storm III

    On my REL I have a rolloff setting and two volume controls (high level and low level volume controls). So I can connect my REL to my amp's speaker out (high level) and my amp's subwoofer out (phono, low level) both at the same time. My REL sub will always choose the low level signal. If there's no low level signal, it will use the high level input. That means that when listening to music it always uses high level input (but on my amp I have to set subwoofer to OFF!!). When playing DVD's, I set my amp to subwoofer ON. It's GREAT to have two separate volume controls, because the level of the low/high level input is always different.

    I have my rolloff set to 36Hz. For music it is NOT a good idea to set it at max. This will sound very boomy. When listening to DVD, you should set it at max, but on your amp you MUST have set subwoofer to ON so that your amp will control the bass. My REL has a mode setting which will pass the crossover filter so that the amp is in full control of the bass.

    About SMALL/LARGE... I set my front speakers to large and the center/surround to small. I also have a rolloff setting for the speakers that are set to small. I can choose 80/100/120. I've set this at 80Hz, because my center/surrounds are capable to produce bass at 72Hz and higher. Any higher setting causes a boomy subwoofer. Also, bass above 100Hz is directional so you don't want to send that to the sub.

    Han


    [This message has been edited by Spaceman (edited 22-01-2001).]
     
  22. Ramius

    Ramius
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    Excellent thread.

    Duncan, Yeah, I agree on your two points made above.
    However, your 603's as large? Obviously 'what ever sounds best to you' but looking at the specs from the B&W site-

    Frequency Response 48Hz - 20kHz ± 3dB on reference axis
    Frequency Range -6dB at 37Hz and 30kHz.

    Have you tried swapping between large and small while spinning Jurassic Park? That disc has high amplitude 30Hz signals in the left & right channels. As you can see, as good as the 603's are, this bass info is going to be lost.
    What about the unnecessary power demand on your amp? If you're listening at high volume levels, would it be struggling? Possibly. Those low frequencies demand power.
    I don't think your 603's will be sounding as sweet as they normally would be either. They'll be asked to produce 30Hz at, say over 100dB's. Would they be struggling?

    IMO leave it for the sub. If you want better bass get a better sub. Louder, lower, cleaner.

    It was the release of Jurassic Park on DVD that caused the very long Bass Management thread I linked to in another post. I think a lot of people had their systems set-up incorrectly. Many had their mains set to large just because they were 'large' in size.
    I doubt many people own main speakers that perform as well as a quality sub down to 30Hz let alone 20Hz.

    The Avia calibration disc demonstrates the small/large thing very well.


    General. Subwoofer King? You must be joking, I know a little more than bugger all.

    How exactly is your sub connected. I know it's using high level.
    Your amp is set to 'no sub' sending the LFE into the left and right channels. What about your center and rears? If you set these to small will it redirect bass into your front L&R?

    Does the speaker wire connection go directly from your amp into your sub, through an (internal) crossover then onto the L&R channels?
    Or is your sub in parallel with your L&R channels?

    I hope this doesn't read like gibberish.

    Cheers
     
  23. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    The clarity and quantity thing is definatly something that I dis notice ( my tests took a fair few hours but it was the best way to make sure, I hope they help some people )

    The B&Ws never sounded out of there depth at any time but im lucky that I have a Denon A1D amp, although this has now been superceeded it still is ( after many a demo ) as good as any of the models in DD and DTS. The amp also has plenty of power and is able to drive the 603s well at all time. However I did find that at almost full volume and with ALL speakers set at LARGE things struggled !

    I have also demoed a few of the newer subs, and whilst good none of them warrented the money they cost for the performance increase over my REL Q100E.

    The only thing I am sure of is that the PHONO cable MUST be used to get the .1 part of a soundtrack BUT all the rest of the settings seem to be more personal pref
     
  24. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Apparently the Dolby Digital standard refers to large as speakers capable of going under 100Hz. The problem is that people are having to use a sub to mask the inadequacies of their amp/receiver. In a quality setup you would have all the speakers set to large with the sub just filling in the 20-60Hz range.
     
  25. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Hello again.

    Been looking for a couple of elusive phono plugs to make my phono lead to test Duncan's method. But I am onto it.

    I've been busy looking at REL, SMR, THX, Dolby, DTS and M&K (but couldn't access) to find out what they had to say about subs. All very informative on everything except the best connection option. [​IMG]

    My sub is connected in parallel to my main speakers which are set to large, centre and rear set to small. My Yamaha A2 routes all bass including LFE to the main speakers. The instruction book is a bit of a beast to understand on the speaker setup, and takes some interpretation!

    Ramius, don't be so modest, your sub is a 'beauty my boy'. [​IMG]

    Once I've been able to test Duncans method I'll be able to comment more fully.
    Interesting really that so far I've been unable to find a firm.....'do it this way'......from an official source.

    Oh, I intend to make the wife sit through my tests, as women have (alledgedly) better/more acute hearing than blokes. And a second opinion of the other user is worth its weight in gold! Plus I won't get into trouble if I blow my walls out into the street. [​IMG]

    And for the record, I have KEF Q15 main, KEF 60S as surround and KEF 80C centre. By nature they are all small, no question. I kept them from pro logic days as they are such good little communicators in a small room, 11' x 12' or so. Any more would swamp the place. The Q15 were a mild upgrade, at £100 they were worth it.
    I'd love to go bigger and better, but I need a bigger place to do that.
    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 23-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 23-01-2001).]
     
  26. mart.stokes

    mart.stokes
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    Well, the one problem with this thread is this; most amps do not manage bass the same. I have experience with three DD amps and every one was different.

    My current amp (which is the same as Duncan's, the AVC-A1D) has an interesting twist to it, you can set all of the speakers to "large" but still send all frequencies below 80hz to the sub (and even then the on screen display description is misleading).

    I spent a good two hours one day with "DVD Spectacular" which has frequency sweeps for each channel, I messed about changing the bass management options and found out what routed where. I then did some listening and came to the conclusion that there were only two settings that sounded "right"; 1) all speakers set to "small", all bass routed to the sub. 2) all speakers set to "large" AND all bass routed to the sub. 1 gave a clearer mid range (I can only guess that this was because the amp wasn't having to drive bass frequencies) but gave less bass from the rears (a bit of a sonic gap in the upper bass department methinks, this shouln't happen but the amp's 80hz cut off took too much away). 2 gave a sound that wasn't as clear (but I am nitpicking) but gave a better bass integration (despite doubling of some frequencies at the front).

    Any other bass management settings gave weird results, e.g. if I set my front L&R to "large" and my centre to "small" then anything like a car panning across the front soundstage would have a throatier sound as it hit centre, because the bass was going to the sub at that point (not being distributed to the L&R and maybe the sub as on another amp I had).

    I have only ever used a phono connection, it's an M&K sub so it isn't as "connection friendly" as a REL sub.
     
  27. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Have you had any experience with a REL Martin ?

    Just wondered if you had sampled or even heard anything about using BOTH connections ?
     
  28. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Good point.
    The Yamaha A2 is lacking in that area then.
    What, if anyone knows, is the A1 or AX1 like in the bass management dept?
    It is proving to be a very important part of the overall sound of any amp.

    Just been through it again, The Yamaha can do all small + LFE to sub.
    Front large, rest small, LFE and/or main speakers.
    Or, all large, LFE and/or main speakers ( I think).
    There are a couple more, but these are the ones I'm interested in.
    The cut off is 90Hz.
    Have bodged up a quickie phono and very quickly tried it.
    Sounds bassier, but slower. First impressions only.

    ------------------
    Douch!!......Wot's da madder, da CIA got you pushing too many penzils?

    Work: www.hughes-tv.co.uk

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 23-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by General Skanky (edited 23-01-2001).]
     
  29. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    So RAMIUS and GENERAL any more thoughts ?
     
  30. mart.stokes

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    Duncan, sorry I have no experience of REL. The question of if the .1 channel goes anywhere if you don't have a sub should not be important in some repects because sound SHOULD sound perfect in 5.0 when all 5 channels are full range. The .1 channel extends from low down up to 120Hz, I cut this off using my sub at 80Hz anyway, the better integration with my other 5 speakers is more important than getting that last 40Hz out of it.
     

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