disappointed in new sub - help

happyhiker

Active Member
Hi, I've just upgraded to a BK Gemini Mk2 SW and I'm a bit disappointed. I'd previously demo'd a MJ Acoustics pro 50 mkii SW in superfi that sounded amazing, really tight and enough basss to make the floor tremble, a totally different beast to my old Yamaha cheap SW. However I ended up getting a BK, and was expecting at least the same sort of sound, but its not that much better than my old one. I might have just set it up wrong, or maybe I expected too much, but any help would be appreciated. Heres the details...

I used the start of LOTR, fellowship battle with Sauron as the reference. When he explodes you get a wave of sound and can feel it, even with my old SW. On the BK I get a slightly better quality sound (less boomy) but the tactile experience is less. On Music I can feel the Bass on my Chest, but its not boom boom shake the room. Now I know shake the room isn't always what you want, but I expected to be able to get it when I turned everything up just whilst mucking about. The MJ Acoustics I demo'd was playing Drum and Bass and via superfi's amp and was no doubt picked to impress. But it made the floor shake. I get none of that, though I only have Gorillaz to demo, not Drum and Bass.

My set up is in the sig. I have front speakers 2.3 meter from me, the rear about 1.2 and the SW 3.5m. Its not on spikes yet, on a wool carpet over floorboards, Spikes may help, as might a tesco's chopping board, but I think I'm looking for a bigger difference. I have tried LFE(which makes it a bit boomy) and 95-80 crossover and the gain from 75% to 25% turn. 25% gain makes it feel flat, 75% is loud but no vibration. Am I doing something wrong? I've seem posts about the sofa shaking etc, am I expecting too much ?

To be fair I haven't rerun the Amp setup since switching SW, because I ended up changing everything anyway. The Amp only has SW 100,150 and 200 settings, with distance and +/-db. I have the SW set to +3db which I haven't played with but it seems loud enough as it is. ( ie on LFE, speech goes through the SW and makes speech seem muffled, so I think its loud enough). I've checked all the distances and they are correct. Am I doing something wrong? Please help.
 
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KRW

Active Member
Don't write it off yet. It took me a good few days to get the set up and position right with mine and I'm not done yet. Spikes did make a difference with mine so try that before anything else. At first, all I could get out of mine was a nice deep warm sound which was better quality than my old one, but had no oomph to it. I've adjusted all the speakers slightly since.

It could be youre expecting too much. it's only a little sub, but I have to say mine sounds great and I do get that tactile chest thump sort of thing, but my living room is quite small and there isnt a lot of air to push about :D Def play about with the settings more.
 

nonumb

Well-known Member
Also check your amp has all the right settings front speakers set to small etc... My sub wasnt performing very well then I set the fronts to small and it completely changed the sound.

Sorry if this is very basic and you've tried it I dont mean to patronise but sometimes people dont check these things
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Hi Happyhiker

I just read your thread sw150 Vs Mj pro 50 V's BK gemini and was wondering how you got on as the Gemini is one that i have plans to get (many times put back :(). Price, size and general concensous is what i was going on as there is little to no chance of a demo.

I will be connecting it up to both a AV and Stereo amp and even tho the reviews and 99% of people are singing it praises with films, not many spoke of music.

Since your amp is an AV amp, it won't reproduce music same as a comparatable stereo amp and will be lacking in certain areas. Maybe this is one of them. I cannot offer any advised on Sw as i do not have one - yet

However, it will be interesting to know how you got on after a abit of bedding in time and trying the amp/sw configuration tips suggested.

If still no change, then i may bite the bullet and get the XLS200 as this is meant to be more suited to what we want from it with regards to music - as others has suggested on your previous and other threads.

Like you - i want that thump in my chest. :thumbsup:
 
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happyhiker

Active Member
Don Dadda - I think its too early for me to say anything yet.

nonumb/KRW - thanks for the replies. I have all speakers to small (though it made a huge difference back when I first did it). The room is quite big (3M x8M maybe) but the MJ Acoustics SW I heard was just as small as the BK, but had bags more oomph. I can give the spikes a go. Do you guys get the Oomph you expected ?

Edit: Just realised it was the mj acoustics pro 50 mkii I demo'd not Q Acoustics at all. I've edited the original post .
 
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swiftpete

Distinguished Member
3m x 8m is quite a large room. I think you're just expecting too much. I have a 3m x 4m room and have a monolith in there. If I were you, set the sub phase to 0 and run auto setup on your amp again. Then increase the sub level +3db on the amp. See how it sounds. If it doesn't have the balls, you probably just need a bigger sub. I had a 250w sub in my room that's half the size of yours and sold it in the end as it didn't really have the power I wanted out of it and I don't listen at crazy levels.
The best bet if it isn't powerful enough would be to return if possible and order a monolith or get one secondhand. You shouldn't have any problems with power then.
 

happyhiker

Active Member
3m x 8m is quite a large room. I think you're just expecting too much. I have a 3m x 4m room and have a monolith in there. If I were you, set the sub phase to 0 and run auto setup on your amp again. Then increase the sub level +3db on the amp. See how it sounds. If it doesn't have the balls, you probably just need a bigger sub. I had a 250w sub in my room that's half the size of yours and sold it in the end as it didn't really have the power I wanted out of it and I don't listen at crazy levels.
The best bet if it isn't powerful enough would be to return if possible and order a monolith or get one secondhand. You shouldn't have any problems with power then.
Oh dear that's not what I want to hear at all :-(
I've measured the room just now it's 3.1m X 5.8m
is that still too big ?

If I stand next to the sub I still can't feel anything
so is it still size? I've left phase at zero cos I don't reall get what it does

I think spikes then run setup is the plan for tonight though...
 

Prize78

Well-known Member
Yeah, i'd tend to agree with the other posts. Maybe you are expecting too much, but in the same breath, give it a fair chance. Just (as covered) make sure the basics are right....crossover dial on sub to max, volume (gain) dial at 12 o clock or less, amp crossover around 80Hz etc etc. I've seen it before where the auto setup can set fronts as large (covered already, i know) and sometimes the "subwoofer yes/no" setting needs toggling correctly.

If all the basics are there, it may be in a bass suck out part of the room....try moving it around if possible, try some other big hitting bass movies....War of the Worlds, Transformers 2 intro, Ironman cave scene etc etc. If you've tried all the above, and it's set up correctly, then you need something with more balls i think. Let us know. :thumbsup:
 

mredvers

Novice Member
im no expert but i imagine the acoustics and room size were spot on in superfi for a sub that size.

im sure if you played about allot with positioning and possible isolation of the sub you could get a little (if not allot) more of what you want.

got a spare paving slab? paint it the same colour as you carpet and try it on that:smashin:
 

KRW

Active Member
I've asked in the other thread but if anyone has any tips for settting phase settings, I'd be grateful. When I twiddle, the bass seems to disapear about 12 o clock, so not sure what's going on. It's hard to test standing next to it, as standing over it it seems too boomy wherever the nob is and it sounds completely different when I sit down.

Other half no help as it all sounds the same whether its off or on :rolleyes:

Definitely keep playing with it, and try some other discs. Move it around and sort the spikes out. I'm very impressed with the things that come out of mine now and it took a while to get there.
 

swiftpete

Distinguished Member
Phase changes the timing of the sub in relation to the other speakers in your setup. If it's slightly ahead or before the others then the bass can be cancelled out. The phase setting is not an issue if you're using auto calibration on your amp. Whether you have it set to 0 or 180, if you're using the auto cal, it will automatically set the distance correctly, which will ensure that the sub phase is correct and it's not being cancelled or cancelling anything out. The easiest thing to do is to set it to 0, run auto cal then relax.


ps. Don't ask OH for help setting up your system. Most of the time the sound coming from the speakers is drowned out by the huffing and puffing.
 

Silver Serpent

Well-known Member
I've just gone from a Yamaha YST-SW160 to a BK XLS200 and it's a big upgrade.

The Yamaha is fine with music and decent with movies, however, with movies it has nowhere near the impact the BK has.

It can be gentle as a puppy one minute and ferocious as a T-Rex the next.

Going from an SW150 to a Gemini should be an upgrade. It may just be a case of finding the right material to show its potential.

If you have Cloverfield, when the monster makes its presence known is one subwoofer loving moment.

The gain on mine is set a little below 11 o'clock at the moment and I think I'm pretty close at that.

Phase is set to 0.

Frequency maxed out to 120hz.

Filter set to Out.

All speaker set to small and crossover at 80hz on the receiver. Levels balanced with an SPL Meter.
 
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happyhiker

Active Member
Ok, so I put in the spikes, and it made the distortion less at LFE, but not sure it did anything else.

I then re-ran auto setup with phase at 0, which of course messed up all my other settings, Speakers to Large etc, but interestingly it also set the SW distance from 3.5m to 4.1m, and the volume from +3db to -7db!

After playing with all the settings, mainly moving them back to what they were, speakers to S etc I ended up with a SW volume of -1.0db, so petty different from the +3 I had earlier, but seems to be just as loud or louder.

I then watched Stargate Universe, which has a pretty good low sounds on, and actually it was quite impressive. Good 3d Surround etc. So I think its still a Work in Progress but it seems like I have a louder bass, but at lower volume levels now. I've yet to retry LOTR or '9' to see if this gives me the physical oomph I was looking for, but it might just be tweaking.
 

swiftpete

Distinguished Member
Why don't you try putting the sub level up on the amp by 3db and running with that? That's a pretty popular way of doing it. I tried it without any boost for a while, but preferred it with +3db over autosetup levels.
 

happyhiker

Active Member
sorry I didn't explain it very well, set up recommended -7db, I'm now running at -1 db so thats +6db up from auto setup., However I think my auto set up is a bit thick, which is why I didn't run it straight away. Though the distances it has come up with seem to have solved the phasing problem you mentioned.

I was down the pub last night so didn't have time to play, I'll go back to playing '9' over and over and upping the volume until the wife complains :)
 

swiftpete

Distinguished Member
Ah ok. Well you're running it 6db hot which might be a bit much long term. I found with mine I used to run it that hot, but over time I brought the levels down. +3 seems about right for me. It's personal preference though, if you like it like that, then it's all good.
 

happyhiker

Active Member
Funnily enough I've dropped my SW to +3db above amp recomondation over the last week. :thumbsup:

I now think the BK is a good sub for movies, it integrates well and when not looking to shake the floor I get a better surround of sound, not directional, than I did with my cheap SW.

Music, well its ok for Music you get a small thump in the chest with good Bass, but not overwhelming. I probably should have gone bigger though and
the MK Pro I demo'd seemed Much better. But it was in showroom conditions, and my wool carpet can't help.

I know these BK's gets lots of praise here, but I can't help thinking just picking up a Wharfedale SW150 from Superfi would have done me just as well though.:)

Thanks for everyones input though.
 

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