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REL Stampede Setup Problems

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by simonn5, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. simonn5

    simonn5
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    I have been having trouble trying to set up my new REL. The low level setting was relatively easy and I have managed to get good integration and slam with my speakers for movies but the low level input with music just doesn't sound right.

    So I want to use the high level input for music but after endless attempts I still cannot get the sub to integrate with the speakers - the sub cuts in and out very obviously (especially when using DTS Neo or Dolby Pro Logic) despite following the set up guide in the REL manual (which seems to go against everything you are taught about setting up the low level input).

    I have set the speakers to large on the amp and selected no subwoofer to ensure everything is being sent to the fronts. I then set the gain on the sub at midway (50) and set a rough sound level from the amp with an SPL meter. Its at this point on that things seem to go wrong as no matter what frequency I set on the sub it sounds either too obvious or cannot be heard at all

    Has anyone got any tips that they can share?

    Cheers
     
  2. eric2

    eric2
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    Hi Simonn

    I'm also having problems setting up the Stampede to the 3805.
    You say you have set up the low level OK. As I understand it you have to get the high level correct first playing back a CD. The Low level should not be connected when you do this. I think the problem that I am having is its position. I ran all the cables under the floor to position the sub beside the sofa. I cannot retrieve the cables now, but having read the manual they suggest to place the sub behind one of the front speakers. :oops:

    Yesterday I tried moving the sub as far away from the sofa as the leads would allow me, towards the front speakers. The sound seemed to improve. Before the sound seemed slightly out of sink with the speakers and you always felt the sound was coming from the wrong place. This time the sound (bass) seemed to be more in harmony with the front speakers (ie the bass seemed to coming from the front rather than from the side of me).

    What I'm not sure now is how to set up the low level with the Denon amp. Should I set the sub frequency and high level to what sounds best at high level or should I run the auto test with everything at half way ie freq 50Hz or 80Hz, High level 50 and low level 50?

    What were your settings Simonn before you did a auto test on the amp?
     
  3. simonn5

    simonn5
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    Eric,

    You've hit the nail on the head as I am sure its the amp settings that are the problem.

    I actually gave up trying to set the high level input and just tried to get a good sound from the low level. I've now got something that sounds ok but I'm sure it could be improved especially as it goes totally against the REL setup guide. On the amp I set front speakers to small and yes to sub. On the Sub I set low level gain to 50, filter to 99 and let the amp manage the crossover at 80hz. I then checked the level of the sub with an SPL

    In contrast the REL setup implies that all of the bass management should be done by the sub e.g. set speakers to large and no sub on the amp but when I tried this the sound was terrible - the sub was very obviously cutting in and out. This may be a numpty comment but surely if the filter on the sub is set at around 35hz and the front speakers frequency response drops off at 50hz there is going to be an obvious gap!
     
  4. AvAl

    AvAl
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    I think everybody should invest in a SPL meter and download the sub frequency chart if you really want to achieve the best you can - then you can make a fairly good graph of your sub response, and move it around and alter your setting till you get as good as you can get - it may frustrate you, but it's very interesting to see exactly how your sub responds in your room, and you may be suprised at what is actually happening with crossovers and responses. I certainly wouldn't be without it, and have come to some settings on the sub, I would never have chosen. Granted the basic setting on 80Hz on the amp and max crossover on the sub won't be miles off, but that certainly isn't the only or best choice, especially when you actually see what is going on.
     
  5. simonn5

    simonn5
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    AvAl,

    Will definitely give that a go.

    I spoke to Rel who were very helpful and have now managed to get a much better sound. The guy admitted that what was missing from the manual were the settings you should use on the amp.

    This is what I came up with:

    Amp:
    Set fronts to large
    Sub on
    LFE on
    Crossover 100hz (REL said even try 120hz but I found this too boomy)

    High Level:
    Gain 60
    Frequency 29

    Low Level
    Gain 50
    Frequency is bypassed and so has no effect on the low level output as all bass management is done by the amp (something else missing from the manual!)

    Now both the high level and low level outputs sound great. I hadn't realised that having both high level and low level outputs turned on during TV/films would give a better sound - as the LFE is a stand alone channel from the bass that is being sent from the fronts to the high level input. Now I just mute the LFE for music. Sorted!
     
  6. Nimby

    Nimby
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    simonn5

    29Hz? Interesting. Which main speakers are you using?

    You mentioned the speakers dropping off at 50Hz and a gap above 35Hz?

    But now the gap is even wider? :)

    Nimby
     
  7. simonn5

    simonn5
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    I know what you mean as it sounds as though it should not be right but this is how REL suggest you set up the high level. The key seems to be that the high level only supports not adds to what the front speakers can deliver - it is a very subtle effect but when set up correctly weight is added to the fronts bass response without the sub working right up to the bass response of the fronts which in MA Radius terms is around 50hz.
     
  8. eric2

    eric2
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    Hi Simonn

    Glad you finally got the sub sorted.
    I borrowed some new cables from the hi-fi shop yesterday to test the sub by the front speakers. This helped dramatically. Less so with films but a big difference in music. Its interesting to see your hi-level settings are similar to the ones I found worked best with my Kef Q4s.

    I have given the cables back to the hi-fi shop and ordered some new ones.

    What I'm still unsure about, and wondered if you could help here Simonn as you have spoken to Rel, is what are the best settings to set the Sub to before making a auto setup test on the Denon amp?

    Did you to the auto test with the settings you have posted? or are these the settings you changed to after the auto test?

    I found the crossover on the amp best at 80 or even 60Hz (I have Kef 5005 for the rears and center) but have to wait until the new cables arrive before I can play around with this anymore.
     
  9. simonn5

    simonn5
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    Eric,

    The High Level is set without using auto set up.

    As far as the Low level is concerned I set the gain at 50 before activating auto set up and ended up with an amp level of +9.5db for the sub at 70db on the SPL (sub is 3 metres from my listening position). It doesn't actually matter what the frequency is set at as this is bypassed for low level so all the bass management is handled by the amp. REL recommended a crossover of 100hz or even 120hz but I found this too boomy

    As you say interesting to see your Q4s had a similar high level setting - I auditioned the Q4s and thought they were very similar to the Radius 270s although maybe a touch more bass
     
  10. eric2

    eric2
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    I have received a reply from Denon regarding the auto setup with a sub.

    They suggest setting the volume to midway or, on some subs to optimum.
    The frequency to be set at maximum or just above the crossover setting
    in the amp. Then afterwards adjust the volumes and delay time if they are not 100%.

    This got me wondering whether setting the frequency does make a difference when activating the auto setup. Although the frequency is bypassed for
    low level. I have noticed the amps Channel Level check on the amp varied dramatically depending what the frequency was set up on the sub. I could
    be v wrong here, but why would Denon say set the frequency to max if it made no difference?

    So as far as I understand, in the case of Simonn the optimum sub settings before activating the auto setup on the amp would be:

    High-level= 60
    Low-level= 50
    Freq = 99 (or above 100, but I think 99 is the highest setting on the sub)
     
  11. AvAl

    AvAl
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    You may be interested to know of a test I did on my Q100E last week. I got my amp back, and left the crossover at 70Hz - I then went through my subs response using my SPL meter and frequency test CD and used various crossovers on the Sub varying from 52Hz through to 98Hz. It was interesting that each tweak gave slightly different sub response curves (generally + or - 1 or 2dB in the specific frequency crossover point you set the SUB to and in the very upper frequency of the Sub's response, the dB's tailing off more as the crossover setting on the sub went down ). Obviously setting to MAX would give different response again. Admittedly the differences were not major however it did prove that responses are influenced by both amp settings and sub settings, and altering both or one has an overall effect - not sure how much that helps you, however if nothing else it is interesting to know :)
     
  12. simonn5

    simonn5
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    Eric,

    What Denon have said for standard subs is correct but I'm not sure it will work with the REL.

    If you think about it if you have the high level setting connected before auto set up then the amp will almost certainly set the front speakers to large (as the Denon mic will pick up the high level output from the sub). This is fine.

    However, the amp will also set the sound level of the fronts by adding the sound from the high level output from the sub. I'm not sure this is what you would want.

    So, I would set the low level first with auto set up and then set up the high level using your ears as per the REL set up guide.
     
  13. eric2

    eric2
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    AvAl, proves I'm not going mad ;)

    Simonn, Rel said the opposite, ie disconnect the low level and get the high level right first, but what you said does make sense, so I should disconnect the high level or turn the volume down to 0, Denon auto test, then play around with the high level. I'll give that a go when my new high level lead arrives. Thanks for your help.

    Will get there soon
     

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