Subwoofer journey of a newbie

Hello everyone,

I thought I would share my nightmare of trying to setup a subwoofer. If this could help someone else making this setup easier, great. If this could generate more tips and comments for the experts around here, even better!

I first setup my new system with 5 speakers and no sub (rti70, csi30 and rti38). The sound was great. But... there were a touch of bass missing, so I wasn't completly a happy camper.

So, I decide to add a sub. I wasn't willing to pay more for the sub that the others 5 speakers together... So, I let aside those marvelous sub that everyone talks about and went for a modest velodyne ct-10 (sorry Polk, my local store only carry the low-end PSW250).

Now, the fun part.... Trying to setup all of this together so that it sound good for any source of music or DVD.
##@!$^%*$#%_#...

I read and try many, many setup. Speaker connections, lfe, double filetering, single filtering, change the crossover level, etc....
##@!$^%*$#%_#...

Finally found out the single most important thing about subwoofer. It is writen all over if you read. But this would be a single sentence lost in all these other discussions about this.

The single most important thing is...
before trying to tweek ANYTHING ELSE...
it is...
where do you place the subwoofer in the room.
period.

So, my recommendation to other newbies out there adding a subwoofer to their system system is:
- choose a cd that you know contain lots of bass and play it
- crank the volume up
- adjust the location of the subwoofer until the room stop vibrating.

Then, and only then should you start considering all the other discussions about subwoofer hookup.

Now to make a long story shorter, my setup end up as follow:
Main RTi70 set as large
Csi30 and RTi38 set as small
Bass management to LFE connection only
SUB connect direct to LFE (xover done by the amp at 90 htz)

Some reasons I endup this way:
- The way it is setup, the swf play about 50% of the bass and the main play the other 50%. I like the blending. The touch of low bass that was missing without the sub is now clearly present.
- By having only 50% of the bass going to the sub, I can raise the sub volume higher. The advantage of this is higher punch from the LFE channel for DVD.

I hope this could help someone out there.
If anyone believe that I made wrong statements here please correct me. Also, If someone thinks that I should setup my system diffently and this would bring me to heaven, please let me know as well!!! :)

Stef
Post edited by stef_000us on

Comments

  • stef_000us
    stef_000us Posts: 29
    edited June 2002
    ...And a week or so after, I change this setup again...


    After how many months (years?) does one stop playing around with the subwoofer setup? Or is it just me ?!?
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,412
    edited June 2002
    I think by playing with it from time to time you will answer your own questions.
    Corner placement is a good place to start with a sub, then moving it out of the corner untill the bass smooths out.Boom you want to avoid,tight deep bass is the goal.
    You also want the sub to disapear in the room not drawing attention to itself.
    The blending you talk about is right on track.LFE out and your setup also sounds pretty good.
    A long road the sub will bring you down,a fun one.Keep playing, youll get it right.
    Helpfull tip.......use an SPL meter,makes life alot easier.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • stef_000us
    stef_000us Posts: 29
    edited June 2002
    Hi Mantis,

    Thanks for the reply.
    Originally posted by mantis
    The blending you talk about is right on track.LFE out and your setup also sounds pretty good.

    Well, I change that... Maybe am I fighting the "brightness" of the Yamaha receiver but after listening for a while to the previous setup I found the sound to be too "treble". I assume this is what people mean by "brightness".

    My new setup is:
    Main rti70 set as large
    csi30 set as small
    (I also shifted more of the center duty to the left and right rti70)
    surrond rti38 set as large
    bass management to main speaker
    ct-10 connect to main speaker out
    xover done by the sub at 60htz

    I seems to be fighting to find a middle ground for BOTH music and HT. For HT, I prefer my previous setup. The "brightnest" of it is great for the dialogues. But I found it to "treble" for music.

    This current setup is great for voice reproduction on music. But lack the previous clarity of dialogues for HT.
    Helpfull tip.......use an SPL meter,makes life alot easier. [/B]

    I already got the Avia calibration dvd on mail order. I guess a SPL with be my next investment.

    Thanks again,

    Stef
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,412
    edited June 2002
    I feel your pain,
    I owned Yamaha at one time and couldn't make the brightness go away.Thats why I don't own there receivers anymore,they make great stuff but you have to like that in you face high's.
    I switched out receivers 2 times since then And I'm looking to switch again.
    Good luck.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • stef_000us
    stef_000us Posts: 29
    edited June 2002
    Originally posted by mantis
    Helpfull tip.......use an SPL meter,makes life alot easier.

    OK, so I got a new toy now :)
    I think I calibrate the sound of the system. But since I have no clue what I am doing with my new toy, I would like to run it around here to validate.

    I hold the SPL in the listening position (ears level). Play the test tone. Move the speakers placement to get the same dB ouput from all speakers (when possible). When moving the speakers position was not really an option anymore, I adjust the dB level on the receiver (volume level in the case of the sub).

    Is this the correct procedure?

    It was interesting to see that in the end, I had no choice but to adjust the left/right balance to fit the room acoustics property (glass aquarium on one side and big coatch on the other side)

    Thanks again,

    Stef