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Answered Help in setting up 2.1 audiophile system (mainly for music)

BarKohba

Established Member
Hello.

I recently finished acquiring a full set 2.1 system - I did this after a few showroom listening sessions and reading some opinion pieces about options for full range sound.

My System is comprised of a Yamaha 803D stereo receiver (with the ability to set variable frequency cuts for speakers and subwoofer - it has an automatic room correction calibration programme using a provided mic - it automatically set the low cut at 80hz), Yamaha B750 Bookshelves (60hz-50khz) and Yamaha SW700 Bottom Firing Sub (20hz-120hz).

I've got some degree of flexibility however I really don't know how is the proper way to arrange my setup considering I'm interested in music-performance first (I do watch movies and play video games occasionally - the system is hooked up via optical to my tv).

I have my speakers on 60cm Triangle Stands - the subwoofer is bottom firing (with a special 4 way fanned base to spread the soundwaves around - the bass doesn't hit the floor - maybe google SW700 to see how it's constructed), and they have to be arranged on both sides of my tv. While I've got a good idea about speaker placement, since it's generally easy - on both sides of the tv, about 1.6 meters appart and slightly toed-in, i have NO idea what's the best position of the bottom-firing sub in this equation.

Should it be on the inside of the speakers, outside, angled or parallel to the wall, etc?

I'd really appreciate some input from people who actually have experience with 2.1 systems and specifically bottom firing subwoofer placement for music-performance.
 
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Cameron583

Prominent Member
Best position is what sounds best to you - start off with everything being square, sub on the outside of the two speakers (left or right) and go from there. Try turning the speakers in a little if their stereo imaging isn't great, and then try moving the sub until you get a decent amount of bass that isn't boomy, and play with the crossovers until you're happy
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Can you provide some description of room size and shape. Is the floor carpeted or wood / laminate / tiled. Where is your listening position relative to your speakers? Do you have any large windows / bifolds / french windows in the room ?

All of the above will provide some better understanding of your listening environment.
 

BarKohba

Established Member
Best position is what sounds best to you - start off with everything being square, sub on the outside of the two speakers (left or right) and go from there. Try turning the speakers in a little if their stereo imaging isn't great, and then try moving the sub until you get a decent amount of bass that isn't boomy, and play with the crossovers until you're happy

I think I got the crossover good and the speakers are toed in - but you specified the sub to be outside the speakers - so it's better on the outside or inside? I assumed inside is better as it should "merge" with the speakers sound.
 

BarKohba

Established Member
Can you provide some description of room size and shape. Is the floor carpeted or wood / laminate / tiled. Where is your listening position relative to your speakers? Do you have any large windows / bifolds / french windows in the room ?

All of the above will provide some better understanding of your listening environment.

The room is a rectangle of around 18 sq meters, there's only "windows" on the far right side of the room, as it's conjoined with my closed balcony (4 double weather and soundproof windows).

My listening position is about 2.5 m away from the speakers, the speakers and sub are on wood (no carpet).

I have a large L shaped sofa - that's the listening position basically, in front of the speakers + tv (on a 1.2m long hi-fi table), on the left I have a door and on the left wall my office desk with a char and a small wooden cabined - on the left a larger wooden cabinet and the open entrance to my trapezoid-shaped closed balcony, as well as a large opening (on the wall where the hifi system is set up) toward the kitchen (the opening starts where the speakers/sub ends).

Hope that can paint a picture in your head, can't be more exact.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Because of the much longer wavelengths that Sub’s produce, their directionality is not always as critical as higher frequencies with shorter wavelengths. This effect was heavily exploited by Bose with their ‘cubes’ and ‘acoustimass’ sub units. To this end, your sub placement is likely to be less critical to the overall musical presentation as the placement of your speakers. That is not to say that there are not better placements for it, but some of this will be down to individual room characteristics. Personally I would start with speaker placement 2.0 without the sub and find your sweet spot for positioning and listening. Once you are happy with your speaker placement, I would introduce the sub, maybe trying it in various locations, to see if it has any marked effect. Once you are happy with both, then add room correction to see if you get any improvement or degradation in the sound.
 

johnplayerson

Established Member
You want to place the subwoofer in the location where ascertaining the direction of where the bass is coming from is minimized. This is harder to do with one sub, which is why most times
two is recommended.

I still own 2 of the yamaha sw 800 , The bottom design is called Q bass. A four way deflector to help spread the bass force.

Back your speakers up away from the wall a bit is best. 6 to 12 inches if you have room.

Despite recommendations on placement, Most just have to deal with the room size and what is most appealing visually , and what is practical, for doing other activities, with other obstructions
in the room.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'I'd really appreciate some input from people who actually have experience with 2.1 systems and specifically bottom firing subwoofer placement for music-performance' - often 'No Sub' is the best option for Music playback and only use the Sub for TV/Movie viewing.

'the speakers and sub are on wood (no carpet)' - a rug on the floor between you and the Front LR speakers would be a good option to try out.

Joe
 

BarKohba

Established Member
You want to place the subwoofer in the location where ascertaining the direction of where the bass is coming from is minimized. This is harder to do with one sub, which is why most times
two is recommended.

I still own 2 of the yamaha sw 800 , The bottom design is called Q bass. A four way deflector to help spread the bass force.

Back your speakers up away from the wall a bit is best. 6 to 12 inches if you have room.

Despite recommendations on placement, Most just have to deal with the room size and what is most appealing visually , and what is practical, for doing other activities, with other obstructions
in the room.

I checked the sw800 - the principle is basically identical to sw700. How did you use them? How would you recommend I place mine (considering I only have 1 and not really sure I want to get 2) in order to get it well integrated or at least not easily identifiable as a source of bass.

Is it better to point it straight at me (parallel) or should i toe it in, maybe eve 90 degrees so that the dispersion is left and right around me (basically position it as a "diamond" as I would look at it vs a square) ?
 

BarKohba

Established Member
'I'd really appreciate some input from people who actually have experience with 2.1 systems and specifically bottom firing subwoofer placement for music-performance' - often 'No Sub' is the best option for Music playback and only use the Sub for TV/Movie viewing.

'the speakers and sub are on wood (no carpet)' - a rug on the floor between you and the Front LR speakers would be a good option to try out.

Joe

There actually is a rug on the floor between me and the speakers, just not beneath the speakers/sub.

Regarding the sub - I really needed that bottom extension, and after I initially became interested in trying it out (Paul from PS Audio and a few other audio engineers producing high end gear highly recommend subs) I went to my local hi fi shop to audition a few 2.1 combinations and there was a huge improvement. There's quite a lot of instruments, putting aside electronic music, that benefit and make the music sound much more alive and exciting.
 

dollag

Prominent Member
what are you crossing the sub and speakers at?

@mushii is right, place the bookshelves and get them right first, then focus on integrating the sub.

personally i'd try and cross the sub in at 60-80hz which the sound waves become omnidirectional and placement near the main 2 less of an issue and less localised
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Try this, but close the curtains first as your neighbours may worry about you.;)

Place your sub where the main listening position is going to be, play a track that has deep repetitive bass then crawl on your hands and knees until you hit the sweet spot. That is where you should finally place the sub. Then EQ the system.

Personally I just use my speakers as a stereo pair.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'Regarding the sub - I really needed that bottom extension' - with your 'Bookshelf' speakers the Sub has to do more than bass 'extension', it is going to be integral to a lot of what you are listening too.

The alternative approach was to audition a 'fuller' range LR in your room and decide which combination delivered the best overall balance for you within the same overall budget.

The rug is ideal if it is placed between you and the Front LR speakers.

As others have suggested I would optimise the LR speakers then introduce the Sub and play with its position (which it sounds like you have scope for) and crossover settings.

Joe
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I have a 3.1 setup with DF Sub. Don't use the sub for music but can see why you would want/need to with your particular bookshelves. However i'm Another here for getting the LR speakers right first. Critical IMO. The sub can wait till this is sorted.

As for Subwoofers, they tend be omnidirectional. So in theory, you should be able to place it anywhere without exactly pinpointing where the sound is coming from as already explained by Mushii.
 

johnplayerson

Established Member
I checked the sw800 - the principle is basically identical to sw700. How did you use them? How would you recommend I place mine (considering I only have 1 and not really sure I want to get 2) in order to get it well integrated or at least not easily identifiable as a source of bass.

Is it better to point it straight at me (parallel) or should i toe it in, maybe eve 90 degrees so that the dispersion is left and right around me (basically position it as a "diamond" as I would look at it vs a square) ?

LOL I always use two pairs of speakers, and I put the SW 800s ON TOP , of each pair of speakers. This was a room size issue, In any event I found that each sub blended right in with
each pair of speakers this way.

Jut put on your favorite music, head to your listening position, and keep moving the sub around until direction is minimized the most. Do not be afraid to manually change settings on the
subwoofer itself as well , including possibly a lower cross over frequency, closer to where
your speakers begin their 3db rolloff. Note that the Q bass system tries to reduce directional bass as well. Good bass is bass that fills the room and you cant tell where it is coming from. It should even sound like its coning from your speakers.
 

lmccauley

Prominent Member
I have a 2.1 system - L/R M&K S85, sub = SVS 20-39 PC+ (which is 12" downward firing). It was originally driven by an Arcam Alpha 10 DAVE, and now by a NAD T758v3.

I placed my sub in the front right corner of the room, and used an Anti-Mode 8033 automatic subwoofer equalizer to cut down the peaks. That has worked well for me, but every room is different, so you may need to experiment (as others have already advised)

I use it for TV, film, and music, and am very happy with it. Bass is seamless and it just sounds like I have a full-range stereo.
 

BarKohba

Established Member
LOL I always use two pairs of speakers, and I put the SW 800s ON TOP , of each pair of speakers. This was a room size issue, In any event I found that each sub blended right in with
each pair of speakers this way.

Jut put on your favorite music, head to your listening position, and keep moving the sub around until direction is minimized the most. Do not be afraid to manually change settings on the
subwoofer itself as well , including possibly a lower cross over frequency, closer to where
your speakers begin their 3db rolloff. Note that the Q bass system tries to reduce directional bass as well. Good bass is bass that fills the room and you cant tell where it is coming from. It should even sound like its coning from your speakers.

Thats a very strange setup indeed :)). I actually finally managed to ger a very good blend with the speakers, but it was also helped by the fact that the yamaha receiver has YPAO which is a freat room correction dsp thingy with a mic that takes the sub into account. After using it, it set the settings damn perfect, with the crossover at 80hz. This is my setup now, and im really amazed by how, when I play Lose yourself to dance by Daft Punk one could swear that deep bass is coming straight from the speakers.
IMG_20190221_192200_292.jpg
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Glad you got it sorted but having one speaker basically in free air and one in the corner of a room is far from ideal. You will be getting very different level of bass re-enforcement from the boundaries (or not) of the room which will produced an unbalanced sound and may have been one of your issues.
 

BarKohba

Established Member
Glad you got it sorted but having one speaker basically in free air and one in the corner of a room is far from ideal. You will be getting very different level of bass re-enforcement from the boundaries (or not) of the room which will produced an unbalanced sound and may have been one of your issues.

100% agree. YPAO did set different db levels (-1.5 on the right) and some more eq stuff in the room correction. HOWEVER, im im mov in a few months so this is only temporary. Gonna get some rugs on the floor and acoustic pannels in the new place.
 

johnplayerson

Established Member
as you can see he also has a room issue that is limiting options. The sub on the outside in the open is good. In the other corner it would be boomy , and more reflective.

BASS as signal is more nondirectional than other frequencies, but is not totally omnidirectional
unless you work at it, to get it that way. Lower frequencies like 20hz are more omnidirectional
than frequencies higher up , and continue that way as you go higher and higher.

He really has no place else to put the speaker unless he changes the whole room and uses the wall on the left in the picture.
 

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