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Positioning the MS 309

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by nheather, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. nheather

    nheather
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    I'm currently buying a Mission-based budget speaker system (I saying buying because some of it isn't in stock) but the one thing I am unsure of is the sub-woofer.

    Subs are totally new to me and I have no idea how to tell an okay one from a poor one (Note my budget puts me in sub-£230 range).

    I have just received a Mission ms8 and whilst it sounds okay I have a niggle that I should put a few quid towards it and get the MS 309.

    The Mission is a downward firing sub and as such claims to be easier to integrate.

    By contrast the MS 309 is forward firing and I've read posts that this makes positioning more tricky. Since the room will limit position and more importantly I don't really know what I should be listening for, I wonder whether there are any useful guides and tips ....

    My speakers are:

    Mission m31i fronts
    Mission m30i rears
    Mission m3c2i centre

    Would a total novice (like me) struggle to get the best out of the 309?
    Would I notice a big improvement over the ms8?


    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I am completely unfamilar with the Mission sub so have now idea of its comparitive ability with the 309. Positioning the 309 is not hard however. Placing at the front of the setup is best but corners can work as well. As long as the unit is on its spikes and has had the notch filter set up, it can produce excellent results wherever.
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    It is unfortunate that amongst all of the useful information on forums there are also nuggets of rubbish and the fact that forward or downward firing subs may be more difficult or easier to position than the other is one such nugget.

    Some subs may be more difficult to position than others but the direction the driver faces isn't normally the cause.

    The most important thing to try and achieve with your sub is integration with the other speakers so that the frequency scale from low to high is seamless. If you can hear the sub it's too loud. Unlike most other aspects og setting up an AV system the integration of the subwoofer isn't something that is done in 15 minutes but can take days to achieve to your satisfaction - especially if you have never had a sub in the system before.
     
  4. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    The MS309 is an excellent sub and is probably worth the extra over the Mission (I'm not familiar with Mission subs).

    As Ian says, the direction the driver faces doesn't affect how easy a sub is to integrate. It's very much subwoofer dependent although in my experience sealed subwoofers are a little more forgiving. The most important factor is what front speakers you use and how your amplifier implements the bass management. There shouldn't be any trouble with what you've selected.

    Also, Ian says that it can take days to get the subwoofer (and amplifier bass management settings) right for you and your room. If you follow a few basic starting rules you'll have a decent starting point from which you can tweak it to your heats content.

    First, set all of your speakers to small in the amplifier settings. Make sure the subwoofer is set to on. If you can, set the amplifiers crossover to 100Hz.

    Put the subwoofer where you'd like it to go (it doesn't have to stay there and may be better elsewhere, but I'm sure you've got somewhere in mind for it).

    Make sure everything's plugged in properly.

    Use the amplifiers test tones to set the volume of all of your speakers including the subwoofer. Ideally you want an SPL meter for this. As it's new and you'll undoubtedly want to hear it turn it up a tiny bit :devil:

    Play some music that you know (best to use the "stereo" mode on your amplifier in my experience) and sit in your listening position with a cool beverage. Tell your lackey to slowly adjust the crossover on the back of the subwoofer from it's maximium position down to it's lowest position and get them to stop when you feel happy with the way the sub integrates with your speakers. Remember that it may sound best anywhere across the available range, from "bypassed" down to whatever it's lowest value is. In your case, with those Mission speakers I would expect it to be best at bypass or somewhere around 65Hz.

    You should now have a subwoofer that is at least usable for watching a few films and showing off to people but there is far more potential in it. Try your amplifier crossover setting's elsewhere (80Hz), try your subwoofer in other room positions, try different crossover settings on the subwoofer. There's plenty of ways to tweak it. The MS309 also has a basic single band parametric equaliser which will be useful but consider that something of an advanced feature. Nimby's sticky at the top of this forum will tell you how to start with that. :)
     

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