Polk 404...what wiring for best setup?

Hello Polkies,

I have a Polk 404 Sub, which is a 10" 200w RMS. My room is 13x14x7 with the basic 5 channel setup. My Tv is in the corner of the room, along with the 2 main speakers and center.

1) I wanted to know how I should wire this sub to get the most bass out of it.

2) What is some really good wire to buy? like brand names..type?

Danny V
57" toshiba cinema series
H/K 525
"pos" Panasonic DVD progressive scan
Front: Polk Rti1000p
Center: Polk Csi40
Rear: Polk Fxi30
Sub: Velodyne CHT-10
Post edited by DannyV on


  • Dr. Spec
    Dr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited February 2003
    Speaks to small, filter point to 80 Hz at the AVR, LFE volume to -3 (on a scale of -10 to +10) at the AVR, sub cable from pre-out to LFE in (unfiltered) at sub, adjust volume at sub plate amp to match with other speaks.

    Cable? Any RCA cable will do - I use Monster Cable because it's shielded and will be more resitant to picking up stray hum, and also seems very well built. Whether it offers a sonic benefit, I don't know - the shielding and the build quality were enough to sell me.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
  • TonyPTX
    TonyPTX Posts: 545
    edited March 2003
    Remind me again why it's better to set the sub at -3db and adjust at the sub plate amp rather than leaving it at 0 and pulling back a bit on the sub volume control.

    What concerns me is that if I do the -3db setting, i've got to significantly raise the volume over the 12 - 1 o'clock position to get the bass that I want out of the sub. and from what I hear, others have bottomed out their 404's from cranking past 12-1 o'clock.
    Damn....8 lines...I've gotta put my sig on a diet now....
  • Dr. Spec
    Dr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited March 2003

    Last post.

    Remember - the two settings (receiver and plate amp) are relative. If your receiver is set lower, you can run the plate amp higher. Don't worry about where the plate amp is set - it really means very little as long as the system is calibrated properly.

    Believe me - it is possible to nuke a sub with the plate amp at 9 o'clock - it's the combination of the input and the plate amp together that matters.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
  • pjdami
    pjdami Posts: 1,894
    edited March 2003
    The reason I suggest a little less than midpoint (-3) is to give the user a little upward adjustability (maybe to 0 or even +1) for music (which is generally less powerful than HT with the sub output) and still leave plenty of breathing room for the LFE pre-amp to not distort the signal via clipping.

    Okay Doc. I can understand this now. I have my Yamaha RX-V1300 receiver at 0 db for the sub. I use the LFE out. Yes, this is fine for music listening but the sub can get a little overpowering during some passages in watching movies. So this is why you recommend the -3 for watching movies.

    Let me throw another "wrench" in the works. My Yammie has a 4.0 volt LFE preout. The other preouts are 1.0 volts (mains, surrounds, center). The Integra 6.3 receiver that I auditioned prior to my Yamaha purchase had a 1.0 volt preout for the sub. Currently I have the plate amp on my PSW350 set at about 9 - 10 oclock position. Had to set it at 12 o'clock with the Integra. I've thought the 9 o'clock position is a little low (due to the 4.0 volt preout from my receiver). I don't know too much about the amplifiers that Polk uses in their subs but from my experience amps tend to have some distortion on the low end and obviously on the high end. Finding the "sweet" spot is important. I'm guessing that perhaps I would benefit also from a -3 db setting on my receiver for the sub preout so that I can increase the plate amp gain "in the sweet spot" at 12 o'clock.

    Which leaves the million dollar question "why did Yamaha put a 4.0 volt preout for the sub?" Cleaner preout signal I'm sure but this also tends for the user to turn the gain down at the plate amp. I'm wondering if this affects performance any. Also I'm not sure if the 9 o'clock position is "in the sweet spot". I have never heard my sub distort though which is encouraging.
  • bensontm
    bensontm Posts: 31
    edited March 2003
    I have set my Onkyo 600 to all speakers small and the subwoofer to -3. I can turn the volume up to six o'clock and still have the auto on/off light stay at red.

    I have to turn the AV receiver on a -12 to +12 scale to a subwoofer setting of +10 and the volume on the receiver to 20 to 24 for digital satellite television. The subwoofer volume know is turned to 12 o'clock. I have not tried the -3 with DVDs and my 303 Polk subwoofer although I have to turn the AV receiver's volume up to 40 to 50 for DVDs to get the same volume as the digital cable television stations. ????????????????????????????Bensontm
    "Time will tell the tale"

    Onkyo 600 AV Receiver
    Subwoofer - Velodyne CHT-12
    Fronts - Infinity Entra 3 towers
    Center Front - Infinity Entra Two
    Surrounds - Infinity Entra 3 towers
    Surround Center - Polk CS400i