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Subwoofer connection - stupid question time!

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Smurfin, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    In preparation for getting my projector on Monday:)grin: ) I've just relaid my living room.

    This has resulted in my separates stack being 9m away from the front soundstage.

    I currently have a Strata II and Q-Bass 50, which I have just positioned along the front soundstage...and the problem is they sound pretty dead.

    This is actually temporary as I should have 2 REL Storms arriving next week also, but it's got me thinking about sub connections.

    I've never had my subs so far away from the amp, so I've had to cobble 2 sets of phonos together [male phono to female phono connected to a standard phono-phono - one of the phonos is an ancient one which is like those which come bundled with AV gear i.e a crap one].

    I'm guessing I need to go out and buy a good quality 10m phono to phono....hopefully that will restore some of the "oomph" of the subs.

    The only other cables I have kicking around is 10m of component cables, but I guess I can't use those? Or can I? Have I just asked a really stupid question?

    So how do most people connect their subwoofers? I've always connected via line level, is this the most efficient way for good sound reproduction? Or is there a better way?

    Cheers
    Smurf
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK
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    The most likely cause of the problem is positioning.
    Room acoustics is a very complex issue - I can't give you a definitive answer as I haven't really got my head round it all myself, but suffice to say that every room is different and experimentation is the key. Perhaps Uncle Eric can be more definitive!

    Also check that the two subs are in phase with each other!
    Turn one sub off, and see if that improves the situation - if it does, you may well have a phasing problem you need to sort out (the subs are cancelling each other out).

    I seriously doubt the problem will be fixed with new cables, but hey, it's your money :)
    You can certainly use component video cables as subwoofer cables - video cables are 75ohm usually, and audio 50ohm, but for several reasons I won't bleat on about here, the characteristic impedance value of the cable is really pretty irrelevant at audio frequencies, especially on a cable which won't be passing anything higher than 120Hz or so (fair enough, in music, some amps just pass a full range signal to the sub, and let the sub's crossover do the work of attenuating out the higher frequencies - but even so, 20kHz is still pretty much irrelevant as far as ch.impedance goes)

    BTW, may not be the same the other way round - video freqs are much higher than audio (in the order of 000s of times higher).
    And may not be the same for digital audio as well, for the same reason (although I've used standard audio cables as temporary digital audio cables, and they seem to work fine - no audible difference as far as I could tell)
     
  3. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    So does it matter if you use a crappy interconnect for the sub or a good one?

    [PS I just needed to tweak the subs, played around with them and if anything they now sound more potent than previously...this is on crappy cable].
     
  4. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Ahh, the eternal question!! :)

    Opinion is heavily divided on the issue of interconnects, so you'll get advice ranging from it makes no difference at all, to a cable can transform the performance of your sub.

    All things being equal, I'm much more one of the former myself.
    I'd use a decent quality lead made from "proper" coax (ie RG58 or similar, 5-8mm in diameter), terminated with good quality all metal plugs (I have an aversion to plastic plugs :) )
    Personally I really wouldn't care whether it said Acme cables or some fancy name on the side, and I really don't care that much what colour it is, whether it has shiny plugs, if it has fancy packaging or whether it gets good reviews in the magazines.
    You can buy them for just a few quid, certainly less than a tenner even for long 5-10m ones. You can also spend hundreds of pounds too - so in the end it's up to you!
     
  5. Reiner

    Reiner
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    The only other cables I have kicking around is 10m of component cables, but I guess I can't use those? Or can I?

    Can. At least there is nothing wrong with trying it. If the sound improves just keep them.
     
  6. gmt steve

    gmt steve
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    Have you tried the "crawl around on the floor" method of sub positioning?
    You put the sub in the spot where you normally sit, and then crawl around the room on your knees, listening for the best response from the sub. When you find a spot with good response, then sight the sub there. Of course it may be a terrible position with regard to other equipment , furniture, doors, etc, but it will give you some idea of where the peaks and troughs are in your room. Do the same with the second sub to find a complimentry position for that one. As Mike K said, make sure the phase is correct on each sub, but do that lastly, after positioning each sub individually.
     
  7. micb3rd

    micb3rd
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    Hi Smirfin nice to see you at Avforums rarther than DVD debate.

    I use a 10 meter phono cable from my sub out receiver to my mono in on my IPL Acoustics Subwoofer and seem to get good results.

    I used the 10 meter cable originaly to tweek my placement but I found out that placement in between my mains not far from my amp was a very good place so the cable just stayed in connected.
     
  8. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    mic, I've been lurking here more often than the debate of late.....must stop visiting as I keep buying stuff!!!!
     
  9. micb3rd

    micb3rd
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    Yes the hardware bug does bite, often.......
     

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