Sub woofer and speakers setup advice.


Active Member
I've read loads of info on avforums about setting up my sub, lots of it very useful, but some things aren't still 100% clear and I've got some specific questions about my setup I'd like some help with.

Until very recently I was using an Onkyo 607 with a Tannoy SFX 5.1 set-up. Recently I've replaced the front/centres and the sub. I'm now using a pair of Castle Pembroke floor standing speakers that I used several years ago for hi-fi (there's nothing wrong with them and it seemed a shame to waste them) and I've replaced the Tannoy centre with a Cambrdige Audio S50 (it needed to fit in fron of and under the TV and was one of only few I could find locally that met that brief). The Tannoy sub was replaced at the weekend with a BK XLS200, the original Tannoys are still being used as satallites.

Notwithstanding the fact that these speakers weren't bought as a "matching set" I'd like to get the optimum setup overall, mainly for DVD/BD movies, with a little CD music from time to time.

When I run the auto set-up on the receiver I get the front speakers set to full range, centre at 40hz and satellites at 120hz. I've been playing with these settings, after looking at the specs on the manufacturers web sites here and here I've currently have the crossovers set to 60hz for the Castles and 90hz for the centre. I' have the crossover for the satellites set at 150hz (specs here). I'm thinking of replacing the satellites with the Cambridge audio S30 to match the centre in the near future (not sure if this will help?).

When it comes to the sub I'm a bit less clear. My XLS200 does have the "hum" problem on LFE at more then 12 o'clock gain and I will ring BK for some advice on this. I've also (currently) got the sub connected via both inputs, RCA and the supplied Neutrik.

The sub is set to LFE and the crossover currently at 120hz with the gain at approx 11 o'clock and when watching movies there seems to be plenty of oomph, much lower down than the sub I was using and with a lot of control, bass sounds tight and is "felt" as much as heard.

I have the LFE cross over on the receiver set to 80hz at the moment.

I'm looking for the best integration I can get at the moment and advice on:

1) Should I leave the front speakers set to full range or set their crossover on the receiver about 60hz, which is just under 10hz above the 52hz response quoted by castle?

2) With the receiver set to LFE should I leave the crossover dial at 120hz on the sub or have it set to 80hz?

3) Should the centre crossover be set approx 10hz above the 80hz response quoted by Cambridge Audio?

4) Should I set the LFE crossover on the receiver to 120hz or change it to 80hz?

5) I've also found that after the auto-setup I amend the volume levels on the speakers, centres (couple of db louder), satellites (couple of db lower), sub (reduced by -5 db).

6) Is using a mix of speakers in this way a bad idea fundamentally or one that can be resolved through tuning the config?

7) Would adding the S30's or something similar (size and price wise) help in any way?

Right no I'm not unhappy with how the system sounds but i guess part of that is having something to reference it against and if I don't have a point of reference, unless it sounds truly awful (i.e. amending phase 180 degrees removes most bass) will I know?

Any specific advice welcome, if it's go and buy a full set of matching speakers for £1500 I'll take that onboard, but at this point I'm looking for advice that will help me work with what I have.



Active Member
79 views but no replies am I asking really difficult or really stupid questions?

Any help appreciated.
Last edited:


I was in the middle of replying to this but then got distracted. You can't expect everyone who views to reply, particulary with so many questions.......... :)


1) Set them to small

2) Bypass the crossover on the sub. If you cant do that set it to max

3) See Q1

4) Set it to 80Hz

5) OK, if that suits your tastes

6) Generally a bad idea due to tonal matching.

7) Yes if they are from the same family.

8)You probably wont be able to hear the phase adjustments with your ears. As you change it, you probably wont hear the difference

9)See above


Active Member
Fair comment Kev and cheers for the reply.

Re: the "set the speakers to small" on my receiver there is no "small" but a range from 40 to 200 hz.

Should I set the fronts to approx 10hz above the bottom of their range?


Member 639844

Former Advertiser
The recommended frequency to set HT speakers to is 80hz, but there is nothing to say yo cant experiment with that. You should check your speakers specs though, if they are only rated to say 70hz anyway, there is no point going below that.


Active Member
The front Castles go to 52 hz and are currently set as full range. Should I set the cross over for them to 80hz?

The satellites go to 150 and are set to 150 in the AVR.

The centre goes to 80 and is set to 90 in the AVR.

The LPF of the LFE on the AVR is set to 80. The sub is set to LFE (turning the sub cross over off completely I believe). I currently have the cross over dial on the sub set to 12 o'clock (approx 80hz by my calcs) - does this make a difference if the sub is set to LFE (it does seem to, the sub gets "boomy" if the dial is wound full on to 120)?.

If I amend the fronts to 80hz am I right in thinking that the fronts will receive bass to 80hz and anything below gets routed to the sub. Similarly for the centre and based on my current settings it receives signal to 90hz and anything below goes to he sub. For the satellites, everything below 150 goes to the sub.

When I have the AVR cross over set above 80 and/or the cross over setting on the sub set higher than 80 it doesn't sound as good and I can hear "where" the bass is coming from, at 80 I can't I just get solid "thuds" as appropriate.

To be honest it does, even with this mish-mash of speakers, sound quite good to me at the moment. I think that the sub is doing what it should, but I am interested in getting the other speaker settings dialed in - if that makes sense?

All advice appreciated.




Are you getting the crossover setting on your sub confused with the gain/volume dial ? It seems like you are.

If it's the crossover dial, then set it to maximum and let the amp do all the filtering. Then set the gain or volume dial to around 10 or 11 o'clock to start with and see how you get on from there.


Active Member
I've got the gains (both of them) set at 11 o'clock. I've got the cross over dial at 12 o'clock.

I'd swear if I turn the sub cross over all the way to 120 the bass becomes more noticeable more of the time and quite/very boomy. The AVR LPF is set at 80 hz.
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IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
It's possible the rolloff in the amp is less agressive than the sub

I would start small all round and put the sub on max frequency, the adjust the amp to say 100, then 80 then 60 and see how things sound. Youll get an idea

Then at 80 (If that's preferable) dial in the sub cutoff down to say 90, then 80 and see what happens.

It should in simple theory make no difference ............. If you have a little boom with the sub on max I'd dial it just over the amp frequency ;)


So why let the amp and the sub do the filtering ?


Active Member
That's kind of where I'm at. But there are a couple of things I still don't understand fully understand.

I have low level filter on the sub set to Out/LFE which I thought would mean that there is no filtering i.e. the sub receives exactly what the AVR sends to it. Therefore I don't understand why changing this setting affects the sound?

Because I have the subs filter "turned off" as above and and the LPF of the AVRs LFE channel set to 80hz I thought this meant that the amp only sends signales of 80hz and below to the sub.

As things are if I turn the subs low level filter to 120 hz (fully open) the sound definately changes and does become localised - which I don't like.

If I have the fronts set to full range I get bass from them, which sounds ok with the sub. I then get bass from the sub below the capabilities of the fronts. The real furniture trembling stuff definitely comes from the sub.

Since last night I have the following config:

Fronts not set to full range (equivalent of small you guys keep referring to?) with the cross over set to 80hz

Centre crossover set to 80hz

Satellites set to 150hz

LPF of LFE on sub is set to 80hz

I still hear "bass" from the fronts and then more bass (as you'd expect) from the XLS.

The only other thing I've changed is that the sub level on the amp has been changed from -10db to -1db since I've changed the settings in the amp for my front speakers.


Active Member
Conituned with a few changes and I now have the fronts and centre set to 80hz, the LPF on the amp set to 80hz and the filter on the sub to about 90hz (one o'clock position) - setting all the way to 120hz still seems boomy and not quite right (I still don't understand why?).

I have the amp set to -2b for the sub channel. Now (watching Slumdog last night and Hellboy tonight) with DVD's even at modest volumes (vol = 30 on 607) I'm getting floor & furniture trembling low frequencies (my sub is to the immediate left of my listening position on a piece of granite).

The missus and the kids are in bed and nobody is complaining about the noise/vibration outside of the front room.

Possibly a real win/win!


If your happy then, i'd leave it at that.

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