Subwoofer not performing

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by mikeabt, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. mikeabt

    mikeabt Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Pioneer VSX-41 Elite Receiver and recently purchased a Toshiba BDX2700 BD Player. Since the receiver was purchased in 2002, I am unable to connect to the receiver via HDMI. I want to enjoy the new audio formats and therefore connected the two with analog cables to transmit 7.1 to the receiver. All channels seem to be performing very well with the exception of the LFE signal to the Subwoofer (10" Velodyne). I do get some volume, but it seems to be somewhat attenuated and underperforming when compared to the other channels.


    I have also connected the player to my receiver via the optical digital cable and can play legacy 5.1 audio formats. The LFE signal is comparatively much more robust when listening to any given BD with the optical digital cable (DTS-ES Matrixed Back channels).


    I have verified that the receiver is not in any way attenuating the LFE signal via receiver settings. I do enjoy the "fuller", "higher fidelity" sound that the new DTS - HD Master Audio provides through all of the other channels (I have 6.1 speaker set-up). Only the sub seems to be holding back.


    Can anyone shed a little light on the potential problem? Am I expecting more from the new format than it is able to provide? Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Go into your BD player and adjust the levels on the analog outputs so that the LFE is higher. If your Pioneer is like mine, the analog inputs are volume controlled only. No individual level assignments are there in the receiver on these inputs.
     
  3. mikeabt

    mikeabt Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Robert_J.,


    Actually my Pioneer does have individual level assignments. I had pretty well determined that might be the answer. The only issue is that I will need to remember to go back and lower the LFE level after watching w/ 7.1 analog feed. Otherwise LFE will be a killer when other digital feed comes to the receiver. I have to add +9dB to +10dB to the LFE to get the performance to match the other channels.


    The only level modifier in the BD player is the ability to select L or S speakers in 7.1 setup.


    I probably should have mentioned it in my originating thread, that I had similar problems with an older DVD/SACD player that was connected to the same receiver. When in SACD mode the player provided comparatively low bass levels. I assumed then that it was the player or that the SACD multi-channel output did not make much of the discrete LFE output. Never really read up on that and don't know to this day regarding the LFE signal from SACD.


    Back when I purchased the SACD I didn't spend much on the three pairs of wire to connect it to the receiver. I may go back and replace those with higher performing wire (6 ft from BD to Receiver).


    Thanks again for the input. The receiver is the common link between the old SACD and the new BD player, so I am really concentrating on the receievr as the cause of the attenuated LFE.
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Glad I could point you in the right direction.


    Do equate expensive cables to quality cables. Monoprice cables are high quality at a great price.
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    I think that Robert meant Don't equate expensive cables to quality cables, instead of "Do".

    Quote:

    Do you know this for a fact, or are you taking it for granted that it will be that way?

    I ask because I'm thinking it really shouldn't be that way. When using the 5.1/7.1 analog outs of a player, the player is doing the processing, and very few players have any bass management. That's why we recommend that you set the bass level about 10db higher for those connections. When using the digital connection (optical or digital coax), the receiver is doing the processing, so there is bass management, but you don't get the benefit of the HD audio soundtracks. When using the analog connections, the signals are traveling an analog path, and with a digital connection, the signals are traveling a digital path. The two paths shouldn't cross. Therefore, my thinking is that the 10db hike in the LFE channel of the analog connections, shouldn't have any effect on the digital path. When I used to use my old Pioneer 563a universal player, I used the analog connections for SACD and DVD-Audio discs. I set the bass 10db higher on it for these same reasons. It had no effect on my optical connection, which I used for movies (not that I could tell anyway). Good luck!
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Ed, I think Mike was talking about remembering to lower the LFE in the Pioneer receiver before switching to digital, not the player .
     
  7. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Yeah, that's what I thought he was talking about. I just don't understand why he would need to. The LFE setting for the analog connections should have nothing to do with him switching over to the digital connection, unless I'm wrong about this. Why would he need to lower the LFE in the Pioneer before switching to digital? Make me understand please..........


    I never had to do anything like that when switching from analog to digital with my JVC or my Yamaha receiver. With my current Onkyo, everything is digital, so it's a moot point with it.
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I guess it depends on the receiver. Maybe some receivers only allow one speaker setup configuration regardless of which input is selected or whether it's digital or analog. I'm pretty sure on some receivers in the past that I've had hooked up to the analogs I needed to do what he's saying, reset the sub woofer level when changing back to a digital input. I've had so many receivers over the last two or three years (an Outlaw 990 is in transit.....I need help . Looks like you could be right, Ed.
     
  9. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Yes. In my old Pioneer universal player, I set it to the same settings I had in my receiver for the optical input, since that's what I calibrated my speakers to. Except of course, the added 10db to the bass channel for the player. I figured it was easier to write down and copy the settings to the player, than to break out the SPL meter, and go through another whole calibration, especially since I was very happy with the receiver's settings.
     
  10. mikeabt

    mikeabt Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed / Gene C,


    Thanks for the input gentlement.


    Yes Ed, my older DVD/SACD player was also the Pioneer 563A. Back then I did boost the LFE and always (OK.... typically ) get hit with a pretty boomy situation somewhere down the line. Most times I think I will be able to hear the lower rumblings before they get out of hand. So I will just have to up the higher LFE/SW level and live/work with it.


    Gene, the history lesson is much appreciated. I was beginning to think that I had a unique problem, but it sounds like the nature of the tehcnology is at play here. When I purhased the 563A it was almost solely for the SACD capability. Having to pay special attention to the player's output / reciever input levels in order to get the benefit of the format was an issue that may have indeed turned me complacent toward it.


    When I run the test tones on the receiver and, as well, through the BD player I get very minimal sound through the SW - none with the BD or other components. This is the way it has been since I purchased the receiver. I really don't have a "basis" for what the sound level should be comparitively speaking.


    Again, thanks to both.


    BTW - any recommendations about this one: I have only one 7.1 input array on my Pioneer receiver and have two components with analog outputs (the Toshiba BDX2700 for BD and the Pioneer 563A for SACD). Are either of you guys aware of a "switch" type component that will allow me to toggle between the two components? Just thought I would ask. (Maybe it's time to consider a reciever with HDMI inputs so I can pass the BD signal through it and let the 563A play the SACDs into the analogs.......nahhhhhhhh!)
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I don't know of any Multi-Ch switcher but I bet someone out in the vast home theater world could make one.


    As a stop gap you could hook the Toshiba up to the MC inputs and run just the front left and right outputs of the 563's Multi-Ch's to the CD input of the receiver and that way you could at least listen to the stereo layer of SACD's. This would cause the SACD signal to endure an analog to digital conversion, and then back to analog again, but you would then have use of the receivers bass managemant which should eliminate the low LFE issue. Just a thought.


    Back to the history lesson. The Onkyo-TX-1000NX, released in about 2005, is the only receiver I know of which has TWO sets of multi-channel analog inputs. Maybe you could look for one of those. But bring your wallet....and a hand truck.
     
  12. mikeabt

    mikeabt Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks again.


    How abour this one: Related to my initial situation - Can I just run directly from the BD player to the Sub? It's a powered sub and the signal from the BD player to the Receiver is a Line Level quality signal (I assume). Any reason I must go throught the receiver? Maybe a problem with timing?


    Just a thought.
     
  13. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I haven't heard of anyone trying that before. Interesting idea. But I'm pretty sure all low-level signals are not sent at the same level so make sure you turn the sub down before you try it.
     

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