Subwoofer noob, please recommend uber budget, and setup

slim01

Active Member
Can hear/feel a very light humming sound coming from it as I turn the volume right up to max. Then pops a little when switched from on to standby and goes off.
Makes a massive pop if you unplug the rca whilst it's on (yeah, oops).

Tried cable in l r and also with the y splitter.
No change.

On the receiver...
Set to direct, from the pc as always have it (its getting dolby digital live from my pc, and I use eq settings from my asus xonar dx sound card):

When sub is set to yes I get to change fronts to large or small.
Option appears called "double bass" when speakers set to large.
All do nothing to the sound of the KEFs (to my ears).

Speaker distance:
Does nothing to the sub.

Tried sp config...
Sub From 0 to -15 to +15, no change.

Crossover from 40hz to 200hz
Changes nothing.



It worked at the guys house. Don't see how it could have got damaged on the way to mine.

I know it's plugged in ok because it marks a farty noise when playing the 5.1 test sound from amp or windows or from the amps test tones for level calibration.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
What's the display reading and what sound formats are you trying to hear? What's the source to?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Can hear/feel a very light humming sound coming from it as I turn the volume right up to max. Then pops a little when switched from on to standby and goes off.
Makes a massive pop if you unplug the rca whilst it's on (yeah, oops).

Tried cable in l r and also with the y splitter.
No change.

On the receiver...
Set to direct, from the pc as always have it (its getting dolby digital live from my pc, and I use eq settings from my asus xonar dx sound card):

When sub is set to yes I get to change fronts to large or small.
Option appears called "double bass" when speakers set to large.
All do nothing to the sound of the KEFs (to my ears).

Speaker distance:
Does nothing to the sub.

Tried sp config...
Sub From 0 to -15 to +15, no change.

Crossover from 40hz to 200hz
Changes nothing.



It worked at the guys house. Don't see how it could have got damaged on the way to mine.

I know it's plugged in ok because it marks a farty noise when playing the 5.1 test sound from amp or windows or from the amps test tones for level calibration.

Did you run the Audussey setup with mic so it plays the test tones for speakers and subs, sets the distances=delay, levels etc?
 

slim01

Active Member
Did you run the Audussey setup with mic so it plays the test tones for speakers and subs, sets the distances=delay, levels etc?
THIS.

This may be the issue. I hope. Was set when I didn't have a sub. But I have audyssey turned off and it's the same?

And, shanepj is right - the sub plays in "stereo" or "all ch set" mode.

What is the god damn point in that?!? It's the amp or sub doing that Shane? Bloody ridiculous. Stupid.
Direct is supposed to be playing back exactly what it gets isn't it? 2.1? Or 5.1? Not changing it to 2.0 or 5.0.


I want dolby digital live.
I have to use direct as otherwise I won't get surround sound from either the pc or TV.

My sound card does have a "pcm mode", but then it's just 2.0. I click the sub or do the whole sound card speaker position test and only get left and right tones.
So no surround sound for games/movies I don't think.

Anyway ill try with the audyssey mic now see if that changes anything. Thanks guys.
 

slim01

Active Member
What's the display reading and what sound formats are you trying to hear? What's the source to?
Not sure what you mean display reading?

If set to pcm in sound card I see pcm logo.
If set to dolby digital live on sound card I see the red dolby live icon.

Sound formats so far is iTunes on pc (flac and mp3) and YouTube.

Playing my speaker test playlist and YouTube "bass test songs".

To be honest so far the b&w has added sod all to the q55's. Once it gets to about the volume of the q55's it just farts. If I remember I had the same issue when once had a kef sub before. But honestly the bass these q55's are producing is incredible, will likely be 100% more useful for the q550.

Adds a certain richness to frankie goes to Hollywood:welcome to the pleasure dome... Not much to these bass test music tracks which I thought it would do. Kefs sound great alone.
but to be fair I haven't positioned sub yet or got the right crossovers settings for stereo mode OR eq settings (all my eq presets have been setup for direct mode, stereo changes the sound profile completely).
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
If you hear the sub over the speakers you have it go loud..it literally should not bring attention to itself
 

slim01

Active Member
If you hear the sub over the speakers you have it go loud..it literally should not bring attention to itself
Yeah ill need to fine tune it for sure, but tbh doubt I'll bother, looks like I'm selling the sub, and sending q550 back. I really can't afford another amp.

I need to use direct... It's the only way I can feed the amp a 5.1 or 2.1 source (I think).
And direct forces 5.0 or 2.0? I just don't get it guys why would onkyo do that? Why would they turn the damn sub of for direct? And how the hell else are you supposed to feed it 5.1?
Its literally...
Stereo.
Mono.
Direct.
Pure audio.
All ch set.
And a load of fake surround sound theatre modes and effect modes.



But why if I play the 5 speaker test sounds (r l centre, sub, surrounds etc) on pc why do I hear the sub if its disabled?
I just don't get it.
 
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ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Direct or PureDirect just mean the AVR will not alter the signal being received. The Pure side just switches the video features off

It sounds like you have the sound card doing one thing whilst expecting the avr to do something else with the information it’s receiving

Do you have a cd/blu-ray/dvd player to hand where you can try a CD then a dvd/blu-ray and see what happens when running the system in Direct or PureDirect mode (with the CD and depress the Direct/PureDirect options - I suspect if a 5.1 movie is played, it will fire the woofer into life). Going back to the CD, it should only play via the front left and right speakers if Direct or PureDirect is selected unless it’s been told to do something different with the setting

I feel, the AVR may need a reset back to factory defaults as something has been altered seems to be making things worse and once this happens, sometimes starting again will resolve the issue. Check the manual I shared earlier (do note that you will erase all setting and you will need to run the eq system afterwards)

What operating system are you using on your PC, Windows 10/11? Take a look in the properties to see what options are checked. Take some screen shots of each tab and share them so we can see. I suspect that something within this is wrong. You also mentioned that you have some kind of equaliser, maybe add a screen shot of the setting on here to as it could be something going on here to

I’ll agree, something weird is going on, but if you heard the woofer in the tests, then it’s working and sadly, it’s something to do with the setup that’s causing the issues which you are experiencing

You aren’t the first and won’t be the last to change so many settings that things just present themselves if bizarre ways
 

slim01

Active Member
Ok getting somewhere...

Read a post on a forum for another onkyo yes indeed the direct setting cuts out the .1 sub channel "for purer sound" or some rubbish.
I still have no idea why I hear the sub on its own channel in the test tones of Windows, even when in direct, but if I set the amp to "dolby digital" the sub is on! Even when playing music!

I thought that dolby digital setting was a fake surround sound mode, because you can set that no matter the source input.

So now on to testing (finally), and I need
-some 5.1 game/movie with bass or explosions whilst on the pc
-see if I can find some lower than 40hz signals that my kefs can't produce and the sub can, as at the moment the sub hasn't offered much the kef can't do (but maybe not listed to much below 40hz).
-test 5.1 on Netflix from TV
-same again on 4k blu ray
 

slim01

Active Member
Direct or PureDirect just mean the AVR will not alter the signal being received. The Pure side just switches the video features off

It sounds like you have the sound card doing one thing whilst expecting the avr to do something else with the information it’s receiving

Do you have a cd/blu-ray/dvd player to hand where you can try a CD then a dvd/blu-ray and see what happens when running the system in Direct or PureDirect mode (with the CD and depress the Direct/PureDirect options - I suspect if a 5.1 movie is played, it will fire the woofer into life). Going back to the CD, it should only play via the front left and right speakers if Direct or PureDirect is selected unless it’s been told to do something different with the setting

I feel, the AVR may need a reset back to factory defaults as something has been altered seems to be making things worse and once this happens, sometimes starting again will resolve the issue. Check the manual I shared earlier (do note that you will erase all setting and you will need to run the eq system afterwards)

What operating system are you using on your PC, Windows 10/11? Take a look in the properties to see what options are checked. Take some screen shots of each tab and share them so we can see. I suspect that something within this is wrong. You also mentioned that you have some kind of equaliser, maybe add a screen shot of the setting on here to as it could be something going on here to

I’ll agree, something weird is going on, but if you heard the woofer in the tests, then it’s working and sadly, it’s something to do with the setup that’s causing the issues which you are experiencing

You aren’t the first and won’t be the last to change so many settings that things just present themselves if bizarre ways
So if what your saying is, in direct mode, if the amp is not changing the signal, then it's only being fed a 2.0 (not 2.1) signal in the first place? So the music on YouTube or iTunes is not 2.1, even if my windows settings are set to 5.1?

But then it's not being fed a 2.1 signal in stereo mode either? But stereo mode will affect the signal its being fed to send the bass to the subs. 1 channel? It CREATES the .1 channel?
 
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rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
So if what your saying is, in direct mode, if the amp is not changing the signal, then it's only being fed a 2.0 (not 2.1) signal in the first place? So the music on YouTube or iTunes is not 2.1, even if my windows settings are set to 5.1?

But then it's not being fed a 2.1 signal in stereo mode either? But stereo mode will affect the signal its being fed to send the bass to the subs. 1 channel? It CREATES the .1 channel?


That's the problem YouTube isn't 5.1!
 

slim01

Active Member
That's the problem YouTube isn't 5.1!
Right OK so I think this explains some of my confusion...
I know YouTube doesn't support 5.1 but was under the (idiotic perhaps) assumption that basically all music was 2.1, when in fact then I assume basically none of it is.

So even when I play music from iTunes or YouTube with amp set to "stereo" (or "dolby digital") and the sub works, the amp is not playing a .1 channel at all, it's playing 2.0, but the amp/receiver is managing the bass to kind of "create" a fake .1 signal that the sub can use.
It's still 2.0, but the sub is being fed the bass frequency from the audio.

And in "direct" or "pure direct", it won't do that because that sort of bass management is not being used to create a fake .1 channel, it will only play a REAL .1 Signal, from say a 5.1 movie.

Is that correct?

With that in mind, "direct" still shouldn't REMOVE the .1 channel, that would make more sense to me.

edit
Confirmed sub works when playing 5.1 movie in windows, I guess when the director intended it to. Not fake.
Not sure who said that the sub channel is removed in direct, maybe I read it wrong.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
You Tube is stereo only, ie, 2.0. Pure Direct will play 2.0 from You Tube. Pure Direct will play any audio in it's native soundtrack, so 5.1 would involve the LFE channel and the sub would be active.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
So if what your saying is, in direct mode, if the amp is not changing the signal, then it's only being fed a 2.0 (not 2.1) signal in the first place? So the music on YouTube or iTunes is not 2.1, even if my windows settings are set to 5.1?

But then it's not being fed a 2.1 signal in stereo mode either? But stereo mode will affect the signal its being fed to send the bass to the subs. 1 channel? It CREATES the .1 channel?
That's correct

Direct will only play audio to the channels it receives (if it was PCM 5.1 then that is what you would see to). When you place it into Stereo, it seems the Onkyo defaults it to 2.1 (so it should include the woofer even though the stream from YouTube doesn't include this format), meaning the Onkyo splits the signal accordingly with the Hz (setting most likely 80Hz) filtering sound away from the front two speakers and onwards to the woofer.


So, just to clarify like everyone else, YouTube is 2ch audio. You can then if your avr allows it to convert it to any soundstage your avr will allow. So if you wanted "all-channel-stereo", then you would need to choose that option and in place of it showing stereo on the front, it would show "all channel-stereo" and the sound would then come out of all the speakers including the woofer even though the audio inputted is still 2ch stereo. This is called an "up" conversion/sample/mix whereas if you want to reduce the amount of speakers you are hearing, you would then place a "down" in front of whatever terminology you use as this would concentrate the sound to those fewer speakers. 5.1 -->2ch. YouTube at present is 2ch and when selecting Stereo it changes 2ch --> 2.1

Basically Direct and PureDirect means whatever you put it, you will get out and the display should show that to. If you choose one of the many other soundstage options, then you are relying on the Onkyo's own ability to create the soundstage
 
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ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Where things become a little more difficult (and confusing for sure) is if you are using a PC and you haven't given exclusive control to the external device within the soundcard "properties". These signal being sent to the avr will have already been reconfigure (to what ever the soundcard "config" is setup to output) by the PC and then these signals will want to be reconfigured again by the avr. So if you are using a PC, then do make sure you have this side setup correctly as it will only confuse you more
 

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