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Help With Audio SubWoofer Set-up

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by matmum, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. matmum

    matmum
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    hi

    i have a strata III subwoofer and ruark cl20 front speakers. i have not been able to integrate the speakers with the sub properly. to be honest i am not sure how to do it properly - so i just wondered if anyone had any tips they could give me in regards to how tightly the bass should sound - should it be audible or just felt - should there be a hole in the bass sound etc.

    another thing that i find quite annoying is the bass is different for every cd i put in - is that because i have set it up incorrectly.

    any help would be really appreciated as this is starting to really annoy me.

    cheers

    :)
     
  2. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    What's your pre-amp? - a normal Hi-Fi pre/integrated or using a AV amp/AV Processor? If you're using a Hi-Fi system- you'll be sending full-range to the subwoofer. If you have a AV amp it'll send (usually) 80hz and under - although most have selectable bass subwoofer settings.

    CL20 go down to ~40hz (of course in-room will be different) but that's a starting point.

    Hifi system...
    Try setting your subwoofer roll-off between 35hz-45hz. Play some bass-heavy CD's- Madonna Ray of Life album; increase/decrease subwoofer volume so the subwoofer isn't noticeable that's it's on- but you can tell low frequency sound is being reproduced - ie you can hear low instruments. Don't set too high. Increase or decrease roll-off again; so you get a idea where the sub/mains overlap- then increase/decrease volume again.

    A sign of subwoofer roll-off and/or volume is too high is - boomy bass and double bass.

    Av system.
    Set your subwoofer controls to max ~120/160hz? and use the AV amps/processor bass management- set to 80hz on the subwoofer, 80hz on the others.. OR 40hz on the subwoofer, 40hz on the mains. Adjust volume on sub/Processor.
     
  3. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    If your speakers go to 40hz +/-3db then i would set your sub a fair bit lower maybe 30hz or lower, if the Rel has a 3rd order crossover (18db/octave) then there will be presence to 40hz.
    if you are using a hifi amp then you might want to go with high level connectivity, full range will be no bad thing here.
    If you are going via an A.V processor at low level then if you chose an 80hz crossover then disable the sub's crossover.
    Personally i feel that if we are being picky then 80hz is not so non-directional as is commonly believed, were it my problem i would, if using an A.V pro try setting the crossover to something lower like 50hz (for music).
    Lots of people are of the opinion that a generic 80hz crossover point is the best full-stop, i am of the opinion that this is not necesarily so. You are into the realm of bass management and all that that encompasses, given that this can be/is the weak point of many an amp/processor etc. Certainly 80hz gives your amps driving your speakers an easy time and for lesser specified units will most likely help dynamics no end, but at the cost of poor BM and sub performance.
    I feel it is (in most instances) perhaps better to apply as little bass management as possible.
    More recent applications of THX processing allow you to specify crossover points with THX processing overlaid. In older models THX would simply apply a global 80hz X-over point to all channels.
    Set your Rel to 80hz and then listen to it with all other channels off you will, most likely discern vocals "et all"
    All that said if you are simply using a channel hifi amp/pre with the Rel then you should be able to get it to perform wihout too much effort whatsoever, just set the crossover AND volume low and work up from there.
    Subwoofer positioning is perhaps an equally critical factor.

    Of all the sub's out there (and i have played with a few) Rel's i feel are, in most instances relatively simple to set-up and integrate seemlessly, certainly compared to other much larger units with huge drivers (of which i certainly have some experience) which can be hard work to get right.

    Regards

    Steven.
     
  4. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Excellent comments Steve. I guess it all depends in-room response. For my own AV system, it sounds better (for DVD's) setting to small 80hz, subwoofer 80hz.. even though the mains go down to 40hz (Kef Ref 2.2's) For music it sounds reasonbly OK, but I would prefer the mains reproducing a bit more lower end stuff, with the subwoofer set lower crossover too. I guess if the room bass reponse didn't cause the mains to boom when set to 40hz- and if my L/R amp had more welly - I would keep to that.

    My Rel Storm also integrates easily (especially when used from the processors own bass management) sending it full-range from my Hi-Fi amp was alot more tricky.

    Basically suck it and see.
     
  5. matmum

    matmum
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    hi

    thanks for your replies - i am however a newbie and i dont understand rolloff frequencies etc.

    i thought that i would list my components and the settings so u might be able to help me work it out in a more simple term for me.

    rel strata III - plugged into arcam p85 power amp with hi output (through speaker cables). also sub connected to low output with a phono lead (for home cinema) to the avr100.

    sub settings on the back of sub -

    mode selector -
    source phase
    1 - line 0
    2 - lfe 0
    3 - line 180 deg
    4 - lfe 180 deg
    (i have it currently set to 2)

    Rolloff Frequency hertz
    1 2 3 4 5 6
    a 22 23 25 27 28 30
    b 32 34 36 38 41 43
    c 46 49 53 56 60 64
    d 69 73 78 83 89 95
    ( i currently have 5b selected for music + 4d selected for home cinema)

    i have my main speakers connected to the power amp (phono leads connected from avr100 to p85) and the rest of the speakers are running from the av amp.

    can anyone help -
    cheers
    :)
     
  6. matmum

    matmum
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    sorry that rolloff table didnt come out very well
    here it is again

    1 2 3 4 5 6
    a 22 23 25 27 28 30
    b 32 34 36 38 41 43
    c 46 49 53 56 60 64
    d 69 73 78 83 89 95
     
  7. matmum

    matmum
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    sorry must be the way this thing formats text

    ---1---2---3--4--5--6
    a 22 23 25 27 28 30
    b 32 34 36 38 41 43
    c 46 49 53 56 60 64
    d 69 73 78 83 89 95
     
  8. avanzato

    avanzato
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    Don't know if the Strata works the same as my REL 200 did but the way I set mine up was...

    You want the mode selector on 2 or 4, try both settings and pick the one that sounds loudest. The LFE setting disables the subs low level crossover and you plug it into the LFE output on the AVR100 which handles the bass.

    TBH I wonder if you even need the sub with speakers that go down as low as the Ruarks do. If you do want to use it then as Steve says start at 30hz (6a) or lower on the high level selector.

    As for the volume settings play with them until the sub feels right.

    I don't know about the AVR100 but some settings on AV amps can mean you are getting bass output by the mains and LFE at the same time on music. My Yamaha can do this and it is a bad thing.
     
  9. matmum

    matmum
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    thanks for the reply

    i cant really integrate the sub properly with my fronts as each cd i play seems to create different bass loudness - just when i seem to get it perfect on one album - i put another album on and the bass seems too boomy - also im gettin some really annoying low bass noises when bass isnt even present - i.e. when theres some acoustic guitar playin - i get low rumbling noises -

    so i think the best thing would be to switch the sub off when listening to music.

    cheers
     
  10. menalaus

    menalaus
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    have you tried moving the subs position in the room?
     
  11. matmum

    matmum
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    cant really move sub - its the only place in room where i can put it as i havent got much room (its about a foot away from my right speaker next to amp)
     
  12. avanzato

    avanzato
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    CD's are all mixed differently some will have boomy bass.

    If it booms more with the sub on, then with the AV amp on stereo or bypass, lower the high level crossover and/or the high level volume. There'll be a combination where the only way you'll know the sub was working is when you turn it off. Setting the volume at low frequency by ear is hard, well for me anyway as my hearing doesn't go that low.

    This low rumble. Does it happen on many CD's or only one and does it repeat in the same places or at random?
     
  13. matmum

    matmum
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    the rumbling bass re-occurs in the same places everytime - and its really noticeable when theres some quiet music playing i.e. guitar - at the mo i have the crossover at 25hz (as my speakers go down to 40~) - sub bass annoying me now so shall switch it off for music.

    with my sub for the av side i have got it set to 83hz (4d), would it be wise to turn that down as well (i do however want the full bass range for explosions and stuff - but wanna make sure the settings correct).

    i have also set all the bass (av only) to go through th sub as the settings on my avr100 wont allow for full bass range in my fronts and small rears at the same time (either all large speakers or all small - so i opted for the later)
     
  14. avanzato

    avanzato
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    You want the mode selector on the sub on setting 2 or 4 and connect it to the LFE out on the AVR. Any settings you make on the low level crossover will be ignored with this selection as it will bypass the crossover and allow the full range of bass into the sub.
    With the speakers set to small the The AVR100's bass management will then redirect the bass to the sub. This is the correct way to connect up for movies and multi channel music.

    As you have the crossover at 25hz and are getting obvious rumbling when playing the cd, the high level volume could be to loud. Or something in your room is vibrating. Can you get the system so only the sub is running?
    It's easy to track down any problem vases that way. :D
     
  15. poda

    poda
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    Simple really, what you are getting is a room mode that is not excited by the Ruarks, either due to frequency or placement. Cure, probably the best bet would be to not use the sub for music listening, and just employ as a boom box for movies. Alternatively, you will have to experiment with positioning of the sub, or add another one.
     

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