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SUBstantially confused

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Mike-M, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    Hi All, :hiya:

    Up to now I've not bothered with a sub because the few systems I've heard with them seem to have been bass bass and more bass. However I'm wondering if I'm missing out.
    I've just returned from visiting a couple of local stores and come away with two very different views. So I thought I'd ask the experts.
    I've been told that the sub should take over where the main speakers stop so as to increase the range and it should compliment the overall sound. But I was also told that the sub should take over all the bass and I should switch the bass from the front's off. All advice would be greatfully recieved.
    I also don't want to spend much more that £200. But having trawled this forum I have not found many views / comments on subs much under £300. Can I get a reasonable sub for around the £200 mark, or would I be wasting my money?

    Many Thanks
     
  2. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    Oh !

    I forgot to add that While I will be using it with movies, music is my main "bag"

    Cheers
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    It is astonishing how many dealers don't know how to set a subwoofer up properly. If you can hear a sub it hasn't be set up right as seamless integration is what one should aim for.

    It will add depth to music but it also fleshes out sounds in the lower mid band that most speakers don't handle that well. It is for that reason that many AV people switch their front speakers to "small" in the amp's bass management and let the sub handle anything less than 80Hz although people who's interest is predominantly music may well keep their speakers as "large" and set the crossover lower.

    Unfortunately decent bass doesn't come cheap but the entry bar to good bass has been lowered from the £500 of a few years ago to half of that now. The Mordaunt Short MS309 at £225 is a good sub and a little further up the price scale leads to the MS409 or the BK Electronics Xl200 which are an extra £50 or £60. They should all be on your short list.
     
  4. belgrade

    belgrade
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    I'm also interested in investing in a sub, having gone without for a while now.(I'm struggling to find a reason not to order a svs pb10! :D )

    Ian, what is the difference between setting the speakers to 'large' as opposed to 'small' whilst running the sub at a crossover of 80Hz.
    By setting them to small, will the sub not be more noticeable, due to the fact that it will be handling more in the lower midrange, in addition to the sub bass?
     
  5. Sniper

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    if you set the xover on the sub to 80Hz (or let the amp decidie!) and you set the speakers to large - the speakers will also be getting anything under the 80Hz mark too!

    to get a good result you'de have to make sure sub and speakers are in the same phase - or else they'll cancel out.

    the problem with this setup is: let's say your speakers start rolling off at 80Hz and the lowest freq response is 30Hz - and let's assume you get a decent sub which can reproduce anything between 20 & 80hz quite flat (in a region of 3db). it's going to be hell to setup properly as the combined sound of the speakers & sub at low freqs will not be flat! you'll be getting a bass peak at around 80 slowly losing power down to 30 and then flat (but lower) from 30 to 20 as only the sub is in action!

    did i explain that fine!!?

    basically i would set the speakers to 'small' and setup the sub to match the db level of your speakers in the region of the change over (so lets say match the 90hz signal on you speakers to the 70hz signal on your sub) - properly setup you'll get seamless integration and you'll think the bass is coming from your speakers!
     
  6. belgrade

    belgrade
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    Yes, you did explain that well, even to a newbie like me :)
    I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about subwoofer setup, before I get one. I guess myself and Mike-M are in the same boat, in that respect.
     
  7. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    I've took the plunge and ordered a XL200. Costing me more that i wanted to pay, but don't everything !
    As I will be able to control the crossover via the AV or the Sub which one should I use? I assume that whichever I don't should be left turned up to full, am I right.
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Most of us will control the sub via the bass management in the AV Amp and will either switch the crossover in the sub off (if it has a switch) or to the maximum if not
     
  9. lowrider

    lowrider
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    By using bass management you will save your speakers and amplifier from having to play the very demanding bass, so you should have less distortion in the remaining frequencies, plus it should be easier to integrate speakers with sub and with room...
     
  10. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    Lowrider, by bass management do you mean turn the bass off to the fronts and let the sub do all the work?
     
  11. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Fronts and others, of course more important for the fronts...

    And it is not bass, but sub-bass, the speakers still have to do bass, but less on the lowest frequencies... ;)
     
  12. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    Sub arrived today. Where is the best starting point for setting the crossover on the amp?
     
  13. astirling

    astirling
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    I'd also like to know that. I have a pioneer AX5i and it claims to set up the sub automatically. The instructions indicate that I should set the sub volume at half but I don't have a clue where to set the crossover frequency.
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Much depends on which amp and speakers you have. Looking through your old posts I see that you have bought Tannoy Fusion speakers but you didn't say whether it was the bookshelf ones or the big floorstanders.

    As a starter try setting all of the speakers to small and in the amp setting the crossover to the THX recomendation of 80 Hz with the crossover on the sub switched as high as possible so that it is effectively switched off.

    astirling - same sort of thing applies to you in general terms only. If you have diddy satellite speakers you may need to have the crossover higher than 80Hz
     
  15. astirling

    astirling
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    I've got fairly old TDL RTL3 Floorstanders - they're bi-amped as well. At the moment, I think my sub is only used for the .1 channel
     
  16. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I won't be of much help with setting Pioneer amps as I have never used their auto setup facility but would have thought that if your floorstanders are biamped (what with ?) there isn't much point in setting the speakers as small in the amp's bass management system so try setting them as large.
     
  17. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    Thank's for that Ian, I'll give it a go tomorrow. I've got the Fusion 4 floorstanders.
     
  18. rob_w

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    I don't think this is quite correct. If you set your left and right speakers to large then they will get a full range signal ie: left channel full range, right channel full range. The sub will not receive the re-directed bass from the left and right channels as you've switched it off by setting them to large.

    There will be no interaction between the left/right and the sub if the left/right are set to large.

    Cheers,

    Rob
     
  19. astirling

    astirling
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    The AX5i is a 7.1 amp which allows for biamping using the two rear channels. I only really have room for a 5.1 setup in my room so I don't mind losing the use of these rear outputs. I currently have my front speakers as large and my rears as small. I'm happy with the sound I get just now...I just wondered if it could be better!
     
  20. lowrider

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    With speakers confortable down to 60hz, most I´d say, and certainly yours, I prefer, when possible, to set the xover at 60hz or lower, otherwise I hear the sub separate from the speakers...
     
  21. Sniper

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    A lot of amps (most infact) will allow you to have speakers set to large (so full audio freqs are send to it) and also the sub switched on.

    This means that anything below the sub xover point will be sent to both your 'large' speakers and your sub.

    What most amps won't let you do is set speakers to small and sub off!
     
  22. rob_w

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    Of course you still need the sub switched on to still get the .1 lfe stuff ;)

    I'm pretty certain if you set the speaks to large and put on a .1 sub test tone from avia you'll get nada from the mains. (I know some amps give you a choice of 'both' though in the sub menu - sub/both/off) - in fact I'll try it now :smashin:


    Rob


    EDIT:> On lexicon dc-2 with mains to large, sub on, using the avia subwoofer test tone (subwoofer sweep in the reference tones section) there is no signal in the mains at all. Mains are flat in room to 20Hz so they would definitely let me know btw :) I usually cross them to the subs at 40Hz if thats of interest.
     

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