Looking for an AV processor with flexible bass redirection for small speakers

pion1

Novice Member
Is there any AV processor out there that allows one to set each individual "small" speaker to have its bass redirected either to the subwoofer or to the main speakers?
I'd like to have the bass of my central speaker (a Magnepan) redirected to the main speakers, while redirecting the bass of my surround speakers to the subwoofer.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
All good av pre have speaker independent crossover size, my lexicon mc-8 does.

For example I can set my mains to small 60hz, with rears, sides, center to small 80hz. Subwoofer to 60hz.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
All good av pre have speaker independent crossover size, my lexicon mc-8 does.

For example I can set my mains to small 60hz, with rears, sides, center to small 80hz. Subwoofer to 60hz.
That;s not what the OP asked, they want to redirect the bass to different places.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Not that I am aware of. I can see all sorts of phase issues sending the bass to different speakers as described. What would happen if a bass effect was running through all 3 speakers, but with a slight phase shift to the left and right to give a wider sound field? By sending the bass as you have suggested would sound very strange.

Sending it just to the sub is preferable in almost every respect.
 

pion1

Novice Member
Here is what the manual for the Magnepan CCR centre speaker says, "There is a lack of flexibility with the majority of processors on the market. In the "small" center channel mode, most processors automatically route the center channel bass to the subwoofer. This will not give satisfactory performance with your CCR." Hence my interest in a processor with bass-redirection flexibility.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I can only think therefore that they are suggesting that the speaker is full range and bass redirection is not required. Their statement is a bit nebulous and misleading however.

The majority of AVRs will allow the size of each speaker pair to be set independently, including the crossover frequency. I think some Pioneer units are the exception to this.

To preserve common voicing across the fronts I would suggest the speakers are physically matched and the same settings are applied. I understand your question - re-routing the bass to similarly retain this but I really don't think that's going to be an option.

Might be worth contacting the manufacturer to ask them to explain their statement and supply their preferred settings to get the best from the speakers.
 

pion1

Novice Member
In my system my main speakers are Magnepan 1.7's and the centre speaker is a Magnepan CCR. The CCR speaker produces sounds only above approximately 200 Hz, so it definitely needs frequencies below 200 Hz redirected to a bass-handling speaker. Magnepan Inc insists that the CCR be redirected to the main speakers because, in their own words, "At a crossover point of 150-250 Hz, the discontinuity between the CCR's "fast" quasi ribbon midrange and the relatively "slow" subwoofer becomes very obvious" (taken from https://www.magnepan.com/pdfs/manual/CCR.pdf). What Magnepan suggests is to set the processor to "no subwoofer" to force bass to the main speakers, and then connect the subwoofer "by hand" by installing Y-adapters on the left and right preamp outputs of the processor and then using the electronic crossover in the subwoofer to set the low pass frequency. That's just too complicated and ugly for me.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Or to put it another way, they have designed a flawed speaker and expect the owner to sort out the issues!

You can use a high level connection into the sub - or use the summing (combining) inputs, but a straight Y connector will short the preamp outputs together and that cannot be a good thing.

Lots of amplifiers filter infrasonic frequencies on both the pre amp and speaker outputs, but not on the LFE channel. Depending upon the capabilities of the sub, this might also be a compromise.

200hz is far too high to crossover to a sub of any type. It will probably sound boomy and poorly controlled at those frequencies. I think I would connect up as a conventional 5.1 system with a crossover closer to 150 Hz and work from there.
 

pion1

Novice Member
I think they mean using two Y connectors, one on the left channel output of the preamp, and one on the right channel output, with one left-right pair feeding the amplifier and the other left-right pair going to the sub. But you are spot on, they expect the owner to sort out the issues, and it's really annoying despite the fabulous sound quality of the Magnepans.

Inspired by the mention of a Lexicon processor above, I looked up the manual to their MC-10 model, and found this:
"Crossover Freq – This is the frequency at which loudspeakers set as Small start to redirect bass signals to the Subwoofer or Large speakers in your system. Small speakers redirect bass to the subwoofer, if present. The exception is the Center speaker which, if Small, redirects its bass to front left/right provided that they themselves are Large. This is done to help keep Center bass directly in front of the listening position." This appears exactly what I have been looking for, although I've never heard of this brand before (I'm currently using a Marantz AV7701). Any opinion as to the quality of sound (I care more about sound than picture!) that may come out of a Lexicon compared to a Marantz?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
The Lexicon is a fine processor and no doubt was the sort of thing the speaker manufacturer had in mind when they designed them.

Not a design I have come across before and interesting technology. Would a DWM bass module linked to the centre not be a more flexible alternative? I remain unconvinced about routing the bass to the mains without some compromise.
 

pion1

Novice Member
Yes, a DWM bass panel would solve the bass management problem, but it takes up a lot of room and sadly I don't have enough space in my setup to accommodate such a panel. Very frustrating, but in any case, thanks so much for your input!
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The Magnepan 1.7 is not able to be driven full range in an AV environment, and should be set to small in any AV setup.

It would not be sensible to try to redirect bass from the CCR to the 1.7, given that the 1.7 is already seriously stretched by low frequency content.

The problem that "the discontinuity between the CCR's "fast" quasi ribbon midrange and the relatively "slow" subwoofer becomes very obvious" at higher crossover frequencies, is unfortunately a universal one when using planar speakers in an AV world (see sig for my solution). The Martin Logan BalancedForce subwoofers are perhaps the best solution - they are at least designed for this application, but ML's ESL centres also include internal woofers. (The DWM is not a subwoofer, nor is it marketed as such; it has the same lack of low end as the 1.7).

Measurements: Magnepan 1.7 - Measurements - Planar Speaker Asylum.
 

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