Question Receiver and subwoofer problems, I don't know where to go from here.

4x4monster

Active Member
Hi everyone. I'm having issues with my modest setup and its driving me crazy trying to get to the bottom of it.
I'll try and make this as short as possible.

My set up is currently a Pioneer VSX 329 receiver and a Tannoy SFX 5.1 speaker setup.
Everything was running great for years then recently I noticed my subwoofer was very quiet even when turned up full. I tried messing with the settings on the receiver but with no luck. I then figured that my sub must be dead, so I dug out my old spare from the attic and plugged it in and it was exactly the same still extremely quiet.

At this point I figured that maybe my receivers sub pre out was faulty so this was a great excuse for an upgrade. So today I went and bought a new Denon AVR-X550BT got home set it all up and tested it out and its still the same!!

Now I thought ill plug my sub into my phone with a 3.5mm to RCA cable and try that. Both subwoofers are working fine from my phone but not on either my Pioneer or brand new Denon receivers.

I really don't understand what i'm doing wrong.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
There is no tangible link, as you have swapped both the amp, cable and sub. Last thing is try’s different plug socket, otherwise Ocham’s Razor says you are the only common denominator. Time to get your ears syringed?
 

4x4monster

Active Member
I know I cant get my head around this problem, even when turning the sub volume up full I can hardly hear it. it may as well not be there it's so quiet.
 

JohnOfK

Novice Member
Interestingly, I have exactly the same speaker set and am in the process of installing to a new Sony DN1080 amp. Despite configuring it as expected, I am getting virtually no sound from the sub via the test tone option. At first, I thought it was off completely but, in fact, It’s just very quiet even after a 10db calibration boost. Yet the same sub works normally if I plug it back into my older Sony receiver and run the test tone.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The human auditory system is less sensitive to low frequencicies and less likely to hear them than the higher mid and upper frequencies within the auditory range. This is why the sub's output of the test tone doesn't sound as though it is as loud as that being portrayed by the other speakers. You cannot accurately level a sub by ear.

A lot of what the sub is intended to output or portray will be felt as opposed to being heard.

You ideally need the AV receiver to measure the sub's level and output or you'd need to uses a very accurate handheld SPL meter to measure the level with. What you perceive by ear is of little if any importance and you risk setting the sub's level inordinately higher than it should be if you try level it by ear. The sub used in the studio where a soundtrack is mixed will not have been levelled by ear so neither should the sub in your setup.
 
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Will I Aint

Active Member
I checked the specs but it doesn't appear to have app control which would at least allow you to see levels and adjust on the fly.
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
this was in the manual:

If “Speaker Config.” - “Front” and “Center” are set to “Large”, and “Subwoofer Mode” is set to “LFE”, no sound may be output from the subwoofers, depending on the input signal or selected sound mode. link
Select “LFE+Main” if you want the bass signals to always be produced from the subwoofer.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It basically means that if the speakers are set as being LARGE then the associayed channels of audio are not then subject to the crossover filters and the receiver's own bass management. In such instances, only the LFE channel would be sent out to the sub for it to portray if and when the audio the AV receiver is handling is inclusive of an LFE channel. If you designate speakers as SMALL then they are subject to the crossover filters for that associated speakers. The filter will redirect frequenciexs at and below that filter setting away from the speakers in question and output those frequencies to the sub for it to portray.

You should set the subwoffer to LFE as opposed to LFE + MAIN. The latter gives rise to bass boom and isn't recommended. It bassiocally duplicates the same bass frequencies simultaneously via the sub and the speakers.


I'd advise setting the subwoofer setting to just LFE. Set all speaker sizes to SMALL and don't set any crossover less than 80Hz.


You may find this article of interest:
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Maybe it would be a good idea to start from stratch and set things up again?

  • Set the sub's own volume dial to about what would equate to the 10 o'clock position
  • Set the sub's own filter to its highest setting or to a dedicated LFE setting if itr has one
  • Set phase on the sub to 0°
  • Turn any auto power feature on the sub off

Now run the AV receiver's auto calibration.

After this is complete, set all speakers as being SMALL with crossover settings no lower than 80Hz.

It should be noted that isf the auto cal arrived at crossovers higher than 80Hz then you should manually set them lower than what was set by the AV receiver.


Note that bass management should be dealt with post calibration because running the calibration will erase any manual nass management configuration made prior to running the calibration.
 
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JohnOfK

Novice Member
Thanks for the advice everyone. I was aware of the ‘small’ speaker/ sub issue but, in fact, although I believed I had selected ‘small’ speakers, when I checked again, the front speakers were showing as large. I’ve switched that now and it seems to be working; however, there’s lots of good advice on this thread and it’s much appreciated.
 

JohnOfK

Novice Member
Can I ask another question please? Given that this receiver supports 4K, it it better plug sources through it on the way to the 4K tv or plug things directly into 4K inputs on the TV and pass the sound back to receiver via the TV’s eARC output?
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
It has passthrough so makes sense to put everything into the AVR with a single HDMI to the TV. Just ensure you turn off video processing on the AVR as that will ruin the picture, let the TV handle image processing. I couldn't figure out why picture looked bad on my old denon until i realised the AVR was trying to enhance the signal,
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Can I ask another question please? Given that this receiver supports 4K, it it better plug sources through it on the way to the 4K tv or plug things directly into 4K inputs on the TV and pass the sound back to receiver via the TV’s eARC output?
It shouldn't technically make a difference unless you are actually using the AV receiver's own video processing or scaler, but AV receivers still appear to influence the video due to processing circuitry involved in the introduction of the AV receiver's own onscreen menus and grapgics.

I'd not suggest you not pass the video through an AV receiver, but some gamers do appear to want to avoid any delay the AV receiver may be introducing to the video signal passing through them. I'm not a gamer though and happily convey all my HDMI sources through my AV receiver prior to my display.
 
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JohnOfK

Novice Member
It has passthrough so makes sense to put everything into the AVR with a single HDMI to the TV. Just ensure you turn off video processing on the AVR as that will ruin the picture, let the TV handle image processing. I couldn't figure out why picture looked bad on my old denon until i realised the AVR was trying to enhance the signal,
Thanks. It’s the kind of decision I need to make prior to putting the TV back on top of the stand as it’s hard to access the connections after that.
 

JohnOfK

Novice Member
It shouldn't technically make a difference unless you are actually using the AV receiver's own video processing or scaler, but AV receiver still appear to influence the video due to processing circuitry involved in the introducti=ion of the AV receiver's own onscreen menus and grapgics.

I'd not suggest you not pass thevideo through an AV receiver, but some gamers do appear to want to avoid any delay the AV receiver may be introducing to the video signal passing through them. I'm not a gamer though and happily convey all my HDMI sources through my AV receiver prior to my display.
Thanks. I’m not a gamer either so, hopefully, it will be fine.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
I thought that part of the reason for sending the video through the receiver was so that it could delay it to match the audio. It is delaying the audio to some channels due to speaker distance. So, I expected it to delay the video to match your most distant speaker. If your rears are a few hundred metres behind you then the video will be delayed by a full second but not many people have home theatres quite that big.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I thought that part of the reason for sending the video through the receiver was so that it could delay it to match the audio. It is delaying the audio to some channels due to speaker distance. So, I expected it to delay the video to match your most distant speaker. If your rears are a few hundred metres behind you then the video will be delayed by a full second but not many people have home theatres quite that big.
Only the audio can purposefully be delayed to syncronise it with the video. Any delay imparted on the video signal is undesirable and caused by the delays caused by video processing.

AV receiver don't give you any option to adjust the video delay. The only option devices give relative to syncronising the audio with the video is the ability to delay the audio in audio to syncronise it with video that may have been delayed due to processing.

YTou can delay the audio signal without having to pass the video signal through the same device.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
I can see that delaying the video would be harder but it also seemed more important as it may be necessary to delay the audio for some speakers to match others which are further away.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It is extremely unlikely that you'd ever need to delay the video.Video processing is the element that more often than not causes syncronisation issues so it is gar more the case that the audio has to be delayed to syncronise it with the processed video. THe video processing impacts upon the timing far more than any audio processing should. It is abnormal for the bideo signal to be ahead of the audio.
 

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