BK monolith and Sony STR-DA1200es

Marksony

Novice Member
Hi all, been away from the forums for year's as I didn't have space for an AV system. Just getting back in to it all now.

Have currently got a Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver, Sony SA-VE835ED speakers and a BK monolith.

Just have a few questions regarding the monolith. I have set all my speakers to small and the sub crossover level on the amp to 120hz and all speaker levels to 0.
On the sub I have the crossover to LFE phase at 0 and low level input at 9oclock. It integrates quite well. Would it be better to have the sub level higher and then adjust the level using the receiver settings to give more head room? And what is a good starting point for the crossover level on the receiver?

Also waiting for an SPL meter to arrive, should I set all speaker levels with the volume at 0dB or can this be done at any level.

Thanks in advance, trying to get the most from the subwoofer with out annoying neighbours too much.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hope you ordered SPL meter which has c-weighting and slow response selectable, otherwise it´s useless.

Below is good video that helps you set the levels correct way. :) As for now those settings sound ok for the sub. Just tweak the level by ear. With new receiver you typically get the subwoofer level around -8db to -4db and then tweak it to your liking (closer to 0db) via remote. Your speakers are quite tiny, i think 100-120hz is ideal crossover settings.

 

Marksony

Novice Member
Hi thanks, yes c weighting and slow response. The speakers are small but go loud without distortion, they are roughly the same size as the small bowers and Wilkins or the kef 3005se. I'll have a watch of that video shortly.
So turning the level up on the sub to say 11o clock for extra headroom and then adjusting the sub level on the receiver is fine.
I'm still trying to find something on Netflix to test it out, so far oblivion was great but I had to turn the sub level down lol.
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Yeah, I will have to have a proper play around with the settings. I've only set it up quickly for now, have turned the low volume level on the sub to the 11oclock position and then had to back it down to -6dB on the receiver.
Just watched the opening scene of saving private Ryan and it sounded a bit boomy, but that maybe due to the position. I'll have to wait for my brother to come round to help me lift it in to my seating position and then do the sub crawl.
I still haven't heard fully what the subwoofer is capable off. I got a tease in oblivion. I'm not going for all out loudness, but when the bass is there I want it to extend and not be boomy if that makes sense.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yeah, I will have to have a proper play around with the settings. I've only set it up quickly for now, have turned the low volume level on the sub to the 11oclock position and then had to back it down to -6dB on the receiver.
Just watched the opening scene of saving private Ryan and it sounded a bit boomy, but that maybe due to the position. I'll have to wait for my brother to come round to help me lift it in to my seating position and then do the sub crawl.
I still haven't heard fully what the subwoofer is capable off. I got a tease in oblivion. I'm not going for all out loudness, but when the bass is there I want it to extend and not be boomy if that makes sense.

Your av-receiver doesn`t eq sub so you have to play with the placement and even then i doubt it sounds as good as with newer receiver (w/ sub eq) or buying Antimode 8033 Cinema (235£ BK Electronics sells it). Push it bit away from walls/boundaries. Subwoofer crawl is not the best method either with limitations, but better than nothing. If you have square room download REW program and have a look where the response looks smoothest without huge dips and so that you get good extension well below 20hz which should be possible with Mono. Peaks you can flatten with Antimode or if you are considering buying new receiver in near future (one with Audussey MultEQ XT32).

If you have square room then download the REW and use room sim. It´s explained here:
 

Marksony

Novice Member
I didn't think subwoofer technology would have changed that much since I last had a dedicated setup. I'm not disappointed with the mono, but so far no wow factor. Maybe I am being too considerate to my neighbours. I will be updating the AV receiver and just had a look at the receiver's that have audessy, shame Sony don't. I think my sub placement is wrong. Did a crude test using an SPL app with C slow weighting, I don't expect the figures to be accurate at all but wanted an idea of what is happening.
Disconnected all speakers accept the sub, and played known test tones from 120hz down to 20hz. Set 120hz as my control reading. These are the result's.

120hz=79dbc
110hz=80.5
100hz=76
90hz=77
80hz=80
70hz=91
60hz=87
50hz=80
40hz=73
30hz=74
20hz=71

Again I don't believe the dbc to be accurate at all but wanted a rough idea of what is happening.
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Also, just had a quick look. Can you get REW in app form or does it need a laptop etc? Would be interested to see what the room simulation suggests. My room is 4.4m x 4.7m
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Would be appreciated if someone could answer this or provide more information.

I've just ordered a radioshack digital SPL meter with C weighting and slow response.

In order to find the best position for my subwoofer to my seating position. I plan to use known test frequencies from 140hz down to 20hz in 5hz adjustments.

I will have my AV receiver volume at 0dB. What frequency would be best to use and what dBC should I be looking for on the SPL meter? Eg, 75dBC with the receiver volume at 0dB at 40hz?
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Hi, think I have done this right using room simulation on REW. Entered room dimensions sub crossover and put the sub where it is now and me where I sit. Not sure if this is good or bad. I moved the sub around to smooth the curve, but then it was around 65db.
DSC_0627.JPG
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Picture further back so we see the whole thing (Room Sim) would be nice. That dip around 60hz is not good news though. How does the other possible placements look? Post photos with the response of each places. You probably can´t move the couch/seat?
 

Marksony

Novice Member
I did that at work earlier, the sub at the moment is in a corner with 50cm space to each wall and I'm on the opposite wall to the sub in the middle. Unfortunately I can't move the sofa. This image is the flattest that I could achieve.
DSC_0629.JPG
 

Conrad

Moderator
I did that at work earlier, the sub at the moment is in a corner with 50cm space to each wall and I'm on the opposite wall to the sub in the middle. Unfortunately I can't move the sofa. This image is the flattest that I could achieve.View attachment 1490482
that looks much better. The idea is to remove nulls as EQ can tame peaks.
I would also make sure you've set REW to align the sub and mains individually. You can also adjust the delay to see the effect that has on the integration.
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Even though the curve is below 75db? Hopefully my SPL meter and longer sub cable will arrive before the weekend. Then I will have a proper play on REW and place the sub in the positions and take some real measurement's from 120hz down to 20hz in 5hz differences and plot out a graph's for different positions and see what gives me the flattest curve?

I won't look at a sub EQ as I intent to update the receiver, so I'll look for one that can EQ the sub with auddesy.

When doing the test tones for the sub do I set my amp at 0db and then adjust gain until I get roughly 75db?
 

Conrad

Moderator
Even though the curve is below 75db? Hopefully my SPL meter and longer sub cable will arrive before the weekend. Then I will have a proper play on REW and place the sub in the positions and take some real measurement's from 120hz down to 20hz in 5hz differences and plot out a graph's for different positions and see what gives me the flattest curve?

I won't look at a sub EQ as I intent to update the receiver, so I'll look for one that can EQ the sub with auddesy.

When doing the test tones for the sub do I set my amp at 0db and then adjust gain until I get roughly 75db?
Don't worry about the levels in room sim, just look at the response.

If you're using the radioshack meter you should be able to load a cal file for it and just use it as an input device in REW. No need to measure every 5Hz, just take a sweep with the sub in each position.

Audyssey is fine for subs but it's not your only option. You might be better off not changing your AVR and getting something like an Antimode or a minidsp. That will give you much more control over the sub response and integration.

Any reason you went with a radioshack mic over an UMIK (other than cost)?
 

Conrad

Moderator
With the levels, you don't need to worry about absolutes. Lots of people like to make sure that 0 on their AVR is reference, but it's not really needed.

What matters is the relative levels between sub and mains. When you run a sweep that goes from 20Hz to 20kHz the line should be broadly flat. Maybe rising at the low end and dropping at the high end but it's to preference and system capability.

What also matters is that measure loud enough to be far from the noise floor. Usually the noise floor in a regular room is between 40 and 60dB. If you measure at 65dB you're close to the floor and you might get odd results. It doesn't need to be ear splitting, 75-80dB is good. This is 85-90dB when measuring the LFE channel.
 

Marksony

Novice Member
With the levels, you don't need to worry about absolutes. Lots of people like to make sure that 0 on their AVR is reference, but it's not really needed.

What matters is the relative levels between sub and mains. When you run a sweep that goes from 20Hz to 20kHz the line should be broadly flat. Maybe rising at the low end and dropping at the high end but it's to preference and system capability.

What also matters is that measure loud enough to be far from the noise floor. Usually the noise floor in a regular room is between 40 and 60dB. If you measure at 65dB you're close to the floor and you might get odd results. It doesn't need to be ear splitting, 75-80dB is good. This is 85-90dB when measuring the LFE channel.
Thanks, that makes sense now. Fingers crossed the meter and cable arrive by the weekend. Then I'll plot the graphs and post them. Hopefully I'll be wowed by the mono then, if I was younger I'd just crank the gain up and to hell with neighbours. But I'd like to be considerate now. Will have to wait until they are out to see what it can really do though.
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Quick update, got the longer RCA lead today. Placed the mono in my seating position and did the sub crawl and the REW room simulation was correct, it sound's best where I had the flattest curve. The SPL meter isn't arriving until next week.

Then I found my old handle for AV forums and seen how many sub's I've actually had lol, I'm now on my 8th one.
 

Marksony

Novice Member
Update, the SPL meter arrived today. Excuse the drawing I had no graph paper and haven't got the computer up and running yet.

Set all speaker levels at 0db volume, speakers were all 75dbc with 0 gain, sub was set at 77dbc with -5db gain, no eq set etc. Run the test tones with the volume at -24db and the crossover set to 100hz but I think I will bump it up to 120hz. Fairly happy with it, but 50hz and 80hz seem a bit strange. I certainly felt the 80hz tone @ 93dbc.

Again excuse the drawing, but the best I could do for now.
DSC_0664-1.jpg
 

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