PSW10 Speaker Level Inputs/Outputs or Line In?

Hello All,
I'm not sure what the best way to hook up the PSW10 to my system and speakers. It is a little complicated because I wanted to share my front speakers Monitor 30's with a stereo amp and a Yamaha RX-V577 AVR. The way I am using it now, is with a Russound AB box. I run the L/R outputs of the AVR and amp to the A/B box, and from there to the speaker level inputs of the PSW10. I run the L/R speaker wires out of the PSW10 to the Fronts. I have the crossover on the sub set to about 80 Hz. I wanted to set things up this way to get a lower end in HT and stereo, by sharing the PSW10 and the Front Monitor 30's.

A. Does this sound like the best way to set things up to be able to share the "2.1" for both HT and stereo?

B. Should I compromise on the lower end when using the stereo amp, and just use the A/B box to share the front speakers? Then I would use the line out to the RCA input on the PSW10, set the crossover knob to 120 as recommended. I'm not sure if this is true LFE.

I'm using the stereo amp for music, the AVR for movies and TV, occasionally music.

Am I better off not using the high level inputs/outputs on the PSW10? I've been told that the built in crossover in most subs isn't the greatest, and so I wonder if not using it would give a cleaner sound?

Comments

  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,846
    Hello,
    I believe you have connected everything correctly between the Russound and the subwoofer. I don't believe using both the speaker level input and the line level input with both the receiver and the amplifier would be a good idea. It is possible there would be an internal connection between the speaker level and line level inputs that could result in shorting one or both together.
    Keep in mind the speaker level output connection, on the PSW10, is unfiltered, meaning there is no change in the speaker level signal as it leaves the speaker level output of the sub. So, there shouldn't be much harm to overall fidelity using the connection method you've tried.
    With that said, probably the best plan for future goals for your system might be to find a second subwoofer and eliminate the Russound box. While I'm sure it is a fine device, it is probably effecting the potential between the power amplifier and the speakers somewhat (especially if as your username suggests you are a vinyl listener).
    You may also want to experiment on a few different low pass settings to see which one might be the optimum blending between speakers and sub.
    Regards, Ken
    "They thought we were too loud, but shoot, I had four army blankets folded over my amp, and the volume level was on 2. I'm used to playin' on 10!" S.R.V.
  • vickievinylvickievinyl Posts: 35
    edited March 2015
    Hi Kenneth, Thanks for your reply. Yes, I agree that the Russound box may not be the best idea. I was thinking about just using the switch box for the front speakers (not using the sub for the stereo amp) and using the line level for HT with the AVR. I am a vinyl listener and really didn't like the sound of the Yamaha for LP's. I got a great deal on an HK amp and it sounds a lot better. Am I missing out on low level content in movies by using the speaker level inputs? I set the fronts to Large in the AVR, and the crossover to 40Hz in the AVR so that the full frequency is sent to the sub via the high level outs. I set the low pass crossover frequency to about 80 Hz on the PSW10. Not sure what the slope is on the crossover in the sub. The Monitor 30's have a rated low frequency of 55 Hz, probably -3db?
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,846
    Hi VV,
    There are those (Paul McGowan of PS Audio) who recommend always using the speaker level inputs on a subwoofer. They maintain that since every amplifier has a sonic signature it is a good idea to pass that signature along to the subwoofer so the sound character of the main speakers will share these sound qualities with the subwoofer.
    In theory once the front channels have been setup as "large" all bass information is routed to the front and then to the subwoofer. Like most subjects in audio there will be people who support the opposite opinion.
    Probably the Monitor 30 begin rolling off their low frequency information around 100Hz and be down at least -3dB at 55Hz, depending upon their relative placement to large room boundaries. It would be nice to have a pink noise generator and an RTA to actually see the frequency response. Some of the CP members can recommend a way to use your computer to do this.
    It's nice to have another vinyl enthusiast posting.
    Cheers, Ken
    "They thought we were too loud, but shoot, I had four army blankets folded over my amp, and the volume level was on 2. I'm used to playin' on 10!" S.R.V.
  • Hi Ken, I'm sure that using some good test gear would help a lot. I used the YPOC or whatever Yamaha calls their EQ setup. To my ears, the levels were all off. I set up things manually using the test tone, not sure how close that is to pink noise, and balanced things a lot better. I'm running the EQ flat on all of the channels. I have tile floors and an area rug, but the room is lively, I 'm thinking about curtains for my windows, that should help a bit. My first floor is mostly an open floor plan and with the tile floors, the sound really carries! I live in a condo and in the summer, I can hear my music anywhere in my court with the windows open in my place, and the SPL's are relatively low when you are near the speakers.
  • MhledmMhledm Posts: 4
    VV and Kenneth, figured I could chime in with an experience that goes counter to the advice of using line level inputs/outputs with the sub.

    I have a 2.1 setup, with Polk Monitor 7c's and a Polk PSW10 all hooked up to a JVC RX5000V receiver. I use them primarily for listening to CDs on my JVC XL-F154 cd player.

    Originally, after doing my research, I decided the "bypass method" as described by Kenneth was the way to go. I bypassed the receiver's sub handling in favor of the PSW10's. To do that, I had the 7c's hooked directly to the sub via line level inputs, then connected the sub to the receiver using the line level outputs. I thought it sounded pretty good. I played with the crossover, volume, and phase until i found the best settings on the PSW10.

    One day way later I was changing up my room arrangement, hookups, tidying cables, etc., I wondered what would happen if I hooked it all up the "wrong" way: 7c's directly to the receiver, sub directly to the receiver via typical LFE and sub out. Suffice it to say, it blew the other setup out the window! The difference had me in disbelief how much better it was letting the receiver do its thing. The 7c's had suddenly come to life. It was like they were struggling for air before and now they could finally breathe. It sounded subjectively 30-40% better, and I didn't realize how much low end the 7c's could really bring to the table until that moment. The PSW10 supported the low low end pretty well, and it all came together. But with the previous setup, its like the 7cs low end was being choked, as well as its midrange for some reason too.

    I don't understand why, just thought I should share.

    Does my relatively anonymous receiver actually have decent sub crossover handling? Was it the PSW10's lack of decent handling? I don't know, but I've gathered the PSW10 hasn't had the best reputation as far as Polk subs go.
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