Subwoofer cable

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Gary Shipley, May 26, 2011.

  1. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    I'm not a new member, just a returning one, but I wasn't sure where to put this particular question. I don't seem to be getting as much out of my subwoofer as I should. I have an SVS PB12-Plus connected to a Pioneer SC-05. I've used the automatic set-up and rechecked everything in the manual mode as well. I've even used my sound level meter. It just doesn't seem to have the punch that it should. Now, I am using 2 cables with a connector to make the run from the receiver to the sub. At the time I did this, I wasn't able to find a single length for the run. Could that be the problem? Would a single cable of the same length be better? Maybe that has no bearing on it, but I'm at a loss right now. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Combining cables vs a single cable will make very little to no difference. Have you tried different locations for your sub? Is this a new sub? What kind of meter do you have?
     
  3. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    I didn't think the cable would be the problem, but like I said, I was just trying to narrow down the possibilities. Sometimes the things you least expect to be the problem,are. The sub is only about 3 years old. The meter is a Radio Shack digital spl meter. I know the meter works fine as I used it on my system in my living room. I guess the only thing I haven't done is to move the sub to a different location. I don't know if you are familiar with that particular sub, but it's big, heavy, and not easy to move on carpet.
     
  4. Hicks

    Hicks Agent

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    If you don't think you are getting enough out of the sub there's certainly no harm in bumping up the sub channel level a few dB.

    I have heard from folks that the Pioneer SC series don't have as much subwoofer channel output as some other receivers.
     
  5. Martino

    Martino Supporting Actor

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    Are you setting up your system to output the same DB level for all of the speakers, including the sub?

    You have the control of the sub output level, and can bump up the signal to the sub - going for a +5 or + 10 DB difference for the sub if you want more of a punch. I originally had my system setup with a +10 DB sub signal, but that was a little much for my taste, so I changed it to +5 DB and it works fine...


    As for your actual question - a signal cable vs 2 cables - as long as the sub is calibrated, it should not matter.
     
  6. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    Thanks Jason. I'll be trying that tonight to see if that satisfies my needs. Much easier than moving that sub!
     
  7. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    Martin, yes I had them all calibrated at the same level. Really anxious to get home and bump up those numbers to see if that suits me. Thanks for your input.
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Yes, you can bump up the sub's output at the receiver. I bump mine up 3db after running the MCACC auto calibration. I also set my speakers to small.


    If that doesn't work, you have all of the tools to plot your sub's in-room frequency response. Download the PEQ spreadsheet - http://www.pvconsultants.com/audio/eq/peq.htm . Create a disc with test tones matching the frequencies on that spreadsheet (numerous sine wave generators are available for download). Set up your SPL meter at ear level in your seat. Play each tone and write down the number. Enter the numbers in the spreadsheet and turn on the meter correction factor. Look at the graph. You can then play with the built in EQ to flatten the simulated response. Once you get the response curve the way you want, you can enter the numbers into a Behringer Feedback Destroyer. Getting a BFD was one of the best $100 I ever spent on the audio side of my home theater.
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I'll second Robert's mention of placement. It is critical to sub performance. The best default location is in a front corner. I find near the front wall but about 2-4 feet from the side wall often works quite well. You just don't want it equally distant from two surfaces, unless it is less than about 1ft from them.
     
  10. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    Update: I went home last night, went into the manual set up on the receiver and bumped up the db to +5 and tried a coulple of movies. It was somewhat better. So, I went back in and went to +6.5 and that did it. As far as location goes, the sub is 3 ft from the side wall and 1 foot from the front wall. Anyway, thanks to everyone with their suggestions, I am now hearing what I was expecting to hear.
     
  11. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    If the bump at the receiver worked, that means you are not sitting in a null. I do suggest you going through the steps I listed above. It takes about an hour and if you have a bad in-room response then a good sub EQ is a huge upgrade.
     

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