Denon AVRs 'Test Tone' not generating any significant sound for Subwoofer Output? Is this normal?

vm1451

Active Member
Sounds like I have a similar problem but I am at no where near the level of understanding that you boys are.
I have a Denon AVC-A1 and I've never really set it up properly due to time constraints, lockdown has changed that. The Denon model probably gives away the age of my kit but running test tones yesterday gives results from the 5 but not the .1, and yet the sub is definitely working when playing a movie. I would like to get it set up as best I can as a/ its about time I did and b/ I've got a new TV coming sometime this week!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It is commonly thought by many that their sub level is too low because they don't perceive the sub's output as being of a similar level to that associated with the passive speakers. THis is simply due to how we perceive the lower end frequencies. THe sub is more often than not correctly levelled and not outputting anything at a lower level.

This isn't helped by the fact that most SPL meters will not accurately measure the SPL associated with low end frequencies.
 

vm1451

Active Member
Not sure if the above was aimed at me? If it was, then it's not a question of the sub sounding much lower than the rest of the set up, there is no sound from it at all when the amps test tones are generated, (test tones are being heard from all the other speakers).
I know its not set up properly because during movie playback there are "holes" in the bass line, so I guess at certain frequencies the sub is cancelling out the bass from the other speakers? This is not based on using a meter as I don't own one! :(
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You should hear something during the calibration and while the sub is portraying the test tome.

What about when you manually invoke the test tome and set the master volume to 0db? Do you hear anything now?

Does the sub have an auto power feature? TRy running the calibration and subsequently using the sub without this being engaged and with the sub's power set to a permanent on setting if it allows for this.

The other question worth asking is what is the sub's own volume setting set to?

Lastly, what has the AV receiver set the subwoofers level to post calibration?
 

vm1451

Active Member
I'll run some test and get back to you on those questions. Regarding the last question though I'm don't think I understand it. Has the AVC-A1SR got the capability to alter the subs settings automatically? Or does this question prove that I haven't understood?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
When you run the calibration, the receiver levels the speakers and the levels in the speaker level settings reflect these afjustments. What did the AV receiver set the subwoofer level setting on the AV receiver to?

This is different to the volume setting on the rear of the sub itself. That setting should be set to about the 10 o'clock position and no higher than mid way prior to running the auto calibration. The sub's own volume dial and setting on the sub itself shouldn't be altered post calibration.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Does this AV receiver even include auto calibration? Did it come with a mic you connect to it for calibration?

If not then you'd have to manually level the speakers using an SPL meter. If you've never done tghis then this may be the reason why the sub's level isn't correct and why the sub's output is perceivable by you?

Sorry for not checking this when you initially posted, but your AV receiver pre dates auto calibration and requires that you manually level the speakers.
 

pedwar

Active Member
I think I worked out a little more what's happening here....

My other amps I've used like the Onkyo will play quite a broadband spectrum of pink noise.... so even with peaks and nulls in the room and where Audyssey landed with the sub level to your ears and a meter playback 'sounds' better and picks up better on most SPL meters.

With the Denon unit if you have a huge 37Hz room mode (like I do).. it takes that as the highest level, adjusts the sub as best it can to tame it but then when it plays back the 'Test Tone' it's pink noise almost seems to be at a different level.

  • If you get your sub reading quite flat then the 'Test Tone' on the newer Denons and Marantzs works ok from what I can see with my calibrated Mic I have now.
  • If your sub is peaky in-room then it doesn't play well.
  • In contrary the older amplifiers play a bit nicer to the ear/cheap SPL meters (or in phone apps) with a peaky room setup.
i.e. the Denon was taming my highest 37Hz peak to 75db. The test tone seemed to be player at a different frequency hence my massively lower reading. I PEQ'd out the 37Hz room mode on the Sub itself and now my test tone is usuable.

Hope that makes sense and I'm not just waffling.
 

vm1451

Active Member
No, there is no mic with it. I have to manually adjust the speaker levels when the test tone is run and although I get a test tone from the five speakers I, (like the OP), do not get a test tone of any kind from the sub. However, like the OP, I know that the sub is working during movie or CD playback.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
No, there is no mic with it. I have to manually adjust the speaker levels when the test tone is run and although I get a test tone from the five speakers I, (like the OP), do not get a test tone of any kind from the sub. However, like the OP, I know that the sub is working during movie or CD playback.


Manually invoke the test tone in association with the sub. Set the associated adjustment on the AV receiver to its middle default and then turn the sub's own volume setting up on the sub until you hear something.

What is the volume setting on the sub itself set to?
 

pedwar

Active Member
No, there is no mic with it. I have to manually adjust the speaker levels when the test tone is run and although I get a test tone from the five speakers I, (like the OP), do not get a test tone of any kind from the sub. However, like the OP, I know that the sub is working during movie or CD playback.
Do you get literally nothing?

i.e if you turn up the master volume and gently touch the sub cone (if possible) or cover the port (if ported) do you feel anything?

I was getting something just nothing auditable/usable when I had the original issue.
 

vm1451

Active Member
OK, back in the room!

The sub has multiple adjustment levels and inputs. It is connected with a low level phono lead connected to the 0dB input and a high level Neutrik socket. Both have volume control and both of these are set quite low but not off. I have fine and course roll off.
What I have discovered is that the Neutrik was plugged into the wrong socket! (There are two, one for connection to the speaker terminals of a stereo amp and one for a connection to one channel of a differential output or bridged to a mono amp). So using the test tones generated from the Oppo I am now getting a sound from the sub. Woohoo!
I have always been getting sound from it during movie playback, (albeit not right), as I'm guessing this signal is sent through the phono lead, but it looks like I wouldn't have been getting anything from it during CD playback.
Anyway I've moved forward so now I've got to try and tune it. Anyone used:-
The Soundoctor - Test CD ?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You are ordinarilly recommended to set the volume about midway prior to calibration so I'd suggest you do likewise. You only really need to discrete low level connection and to set the associated low level settings on the sub if the AV receiver includes integral bass management. I believe your AV receiver includes options to set the speaker sizes and assign crossovers onboard the receiver? Set the speakers as SMALL and set the associated crossover settings onboard the AV receiver no lower than 80Hz.


THe AV receiver will only engage the sub if there's an LFE channel present in the audio when your speakers are set as being LARGE. Stereo sources do not include a discrete LFE channel and that is what the .1 is in association with 5.1 and 7.1 multichannel sources. If you set the speakers as being SMALL then you can redirect the lower frequincies at and blow the associated crossover settings away from the speakers and out to the sub.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I have always been getting sound from it during movie playback, (albeit not right), as I'm guessing this signal is sent through the phono lead, but it looks like I wouldn't have been getting anything from it during CD playback.
If you use the stereo option in the sound formats then this will treat the front pair as being small with the set crossovers and should bring in all frequencies below your set crossover, hopefully 80hz. If you use Direct then the bass management will be turned off, the fronts treated as full range and no LFE signal to the sub.

Some Denons also allow you to set your preferred speaker options for two channel stereo. When I used my old X6200 for stereo music several years ago I set all PCM signals to be output at full range, again no sub involved.
 

vm1451

Active Member
Correct, I can set the speaker size as small or large but setting them to small doesn't tally with what the instructions tell me:-

Theatre and Film Applications: For Dolby Digital AC-3Ò or other 5.1 theatre systems, once the standard set-up for two-channel outlined above is complete, the LFE output from the processor or receiver should be connected to the low-level input and appropriate gain adjustments made. It may be necessary to take the crossover out of the low-level input using the “mode” switch if extra upper bass output is called for. Keep phase consistent with what was selected during high-level set-up by simply choosing the corresponding setting (1 = 2, 3 = 4). For this configuration, you must set the processor to the “large” or “full range” setting for the left and right speakers in order for the REL to receive the bass signal via the high-level cable. In this configuration, the REL provides support for both the left and right speakers for two-channel listening, and support for the LFE when movies are playing. Most processors will allow you to defeat the subwoofer output when listening in the two-channel mode. The effect of this set-up is one of greatly increased dynamics in the mid-bass range; no bass bloat; and a greater degree of space and timing from the Foley effects.

Obviously the above is out of context so for the full bedtime read:-


So now I am more confused! :D
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Read this:

REL have a weird habbit of suggesting you always make ahigh level as well as a low level connection. The fact is that there's no actual benefit associated with having a high level connection unless purposefully intending to set your speakers as being full range. You do not own full range speakers and would need to be spending well in excess of £10K to attain such speakers. THis is not to mention the size of the room you'd need to accomodate them in. All speakers are in effect SMALL.
 

vm1451

Active Member
Okedoke, thanks for the clarification! :thumbsup: and the link. I'll have a read.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The Neutrik high level input on the sub can however come in handy if you've an AV receiver with a PURE DIRECT mode. Such modes ordinarily bypass the bass management so the speakers size and crossover configurations are voided and the speakers are regarded as being full range while in such a mode. This is where the high level input would come into its own and allow you to still engage the sub while handling 2 channel stereo sources while in the AVR's PURE DIRECT mode.
 
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