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Point 1 Question:

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ed_Furcolow, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Ed_Furcolow

    Ed_Furcolow Member

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    I decided about four months ago to step out of the standard Pro-Logic dark ages and upgrade to a DD, DTS receiver. The first one I bought was a Sony. I Don't remember the exact model but my problem was that while I liked the discrete separation, it just didn't pack the wallop my old pro-logic receiver did, especially when it came to base. It would only produce base in the most extreme circumstances, I.E. the T-Rex footsteps or a Spaceship in Independence day, and even then it was no where near what it should be doing.

    My subs are the now out of production Cambridge Soundworks PSW1 and its slave. I've had them now for about five years and have loved them the whole time. They sound just as good now as the day I bought them, and can produce enough base that my next door neighbor has told me I've shook his windows before, and I'm in a house, not an apartment. The only reason I tell you this is to let you know that the problem isn't the subs, because they work just fine, it has to be the receiver.

    Back to my point though, I took the Sony back and got the Pioneer VSX-D510 and everything feel into place up until this last weekend. I was shuffling through some disks testing out my back speakers when I noticed that that base was dropping off again like it had with the Sony. Needless to say I was a bit perturbed. First I made sure all my connections were secure, and just to be sure I even took off my sub cable and reversed the ends. I know that's goofy, but I was desperate. (^_^) Anyhow, none of that worked. I went into the receivers menu's and everything was still set as it had been since I had set it up. I increased the power to the subs, but that still didn't work. What finally ended up working was I turned off the digital in and made my receiver downgrade to a normal Pro-logic signal. This somehow gave the subs a kick in the ass and they started working, even when I switched back to 5.1. Now the subs are working again, and I seem to have found a way to fix the problem if it ever comes up again, but I guess I'm asking if this is a common problem for DD, DTS receivers, and if so, what causes it, and does this become worse over time? Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. I've never heard of this problem before, and now I've had it with two receivers from two separate companies.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Well-Known Member

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    Ed

    I'm sure someone on this forum can suggest a step by step procedure to try to rule things out. The fact that it has happened with 2 DD receivers suggests that it is not the receivers but rather something in your settings or a problem with your sub.

    Since you are new to DD and DTS, my guess is that it is as likely a set-up issue as a sub issue.

    Some receivers are more flexible with bass management than others. For instance, some will allow you to run your mains in the large setting and also direct bass to the subwoofer. I believe other receivers when the mains are set to large do NOT pass the bass signal to the subwoofer. In such a case, signals below the receivers crossover point, probably 100Hz, will not get through to your sub.

    There is also the issue about the .1 channel specifically. I believe that some receivers will only direct the .1 channel to the sub. Not all DD or DTS soundtracks have real .1 content. So if you happen to play a DD soundtrack with little or nothing in the .1 channel AND the signal from 100 Hz down is being handled by your mains... no sub output.

    I think if I were you, I would reread your receiver owners manual very carefully, especially with regard to how bass is handled with digital signals and inputs.

    Because ProLogic sends the full range signal to your sub (where the upper limit is determined by your sub, your sub settings, sub volume, etc., the sub is going to give you whatever bass is to be had. DD is another bird altogether.

    Some receivers will allow only certain combinations of settings. For example, if you set the mains to small, you must set the surrounds to small. There are various combinations on various receivers. Again, study your manual for references to small vs. large speaker settings and subwoofer availability.

    Finally, there is your sub. I am familiar with the PSW1 and the slave. They are good units, especially from about 32Hz and up. They can't do the 16-32 octave but there isn't much there anyway. Unless there is a short somewhere the subs are probably not the cause. Perhaps, rather than just switching ends of the cable, a new cable wouldn't hurt. Cable ends can go bad over the years from bending etc.

    Somone else is likely to come up with more specific ideas for you in the next day or so.

    The fact that turning up the sub volume on your receiver did not help suggests to me a set-up problem.

    I was a fairly late convert to DD and bass management took some learning. Hopefully it is something you just aren't used to yet.

    Artie
     
  3. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Well-Known Member

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    So, you have two subs???? Interesting! The wheels are turning in my wallet.[​IMG]
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

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    I addition to Arthur's suggestions, have you calibrated your audio setup so that all speakers, including the subwoofer, are set at the same level? If not, a worthwhile investment would be a calibration disc such as Avia and a Radio Shack SPL meter.
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Well-Known Member

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    Earl

    These Cambridge Sound Works were designed from the ground up to work with a "slave" i.e., a duplicate of the powered unit without the power. The powered unit has an amp rated at 100 watts when used by itself, and 140 shared watts (lower impedance) when connected to the "slave". They are also unusually shaped being tall only moderatley wide and not very deep. Sort of like a computer tower only about 60% larger all the way around. The driver is on broad side. These are sealed units.

    Scott

    Don't some reccomend the .1 channel be 10 db higher than the rest of the channels?

    Ed

    I am still hoping someone on the forum will walk you through your set-up. I am also a Cambridge Sound Works speaker owner. I have enjoyed their 5.1 surrounds for some years now. I have them working with a passive sub and run them in the large setting.

    I hope you can get your situation resolved quickly. I know these things can be frustrating.

    Artie
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

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  7. Ed_Furcolow

    Ed_Furcolow Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies.
    Artie, I agree with you that it must be something in the way I have it set up, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. I know it's not the cable, because the cable is actually just as new as the receiver which I bought only about four months ago, and as I said, it's working again now after I switched to Dolby-Pro and back to 5.1 to get the subs working. Even though odds are very good we don't have the same receivers, I'll quickly run down the list of settings I have that pertain to my subs.
    1. I have all my speakers set to large since I went out and bought Polk Audio RT35i's for my rears which are full range book shelf speakers more than capable of handling all the base I can throw their way. A lot of people actually use them for their fronts.
    2. My next setting is called: "Subwoofer On/Plus/Off mode," and I have mine set to "Plus."
    3. My next setting is the "Crossover Frequency." My receiver allows me to choose from 100Hz, 150Hz, and 200Hz, but since I have all my speakers set to large it defaults to "***" because it says the crossover can't be set if all speakers are set to large.
    4. Next is my LFE attenuator mode. Here I have the option of 0db, 10db, or **. I have mine set to 10db.
    5. Fifth is my "Low Cut filter setting which can only be set to On or Off. I have mine set to Off.
    6. Then lastly I can manually go in and set the power to each of my speakers from -10 to +10 Db.
    I have my subs set to +2 Db.
    As far as the subs themselves I have them set to 55Hz, Line level Input, and anywhere from a 2 - 6 power setting depending upon the source material.
    Like I said, this is how they have been set from the beginning and have sounded great, and they sound good again now. It's just that I was a little freaked out when they went out during the weekend for apparently no reason. I'm just hoping that this isn't indicative of a problem that is only going to get worse as time goes by.
    earlthepearl: If you are in the market for these subs, they have been discontinued by Cambridge Soundworks for about 1 to 2 years now, but if you want them you can still find them up for auction at e-bay or somewhere similar. The powered sub went for $700.00 new and the slave $400.00. I lucked out and picked them both up brand new at Best Buys when Cambridge Soundworks quite doing business with them. I only paid $199.00 for the powered sub and $99.00 for the slave. I was broke at the time, but couldn't believe they were that cheap and couldn't pass them up. You might be able to find them on auction for around the same price. If you want a review on them the link below is the closest I could find since Cambridge Soundworks doesn't have anything listed on them anymore. Trust me when I say once you get these puppies set up right, they can literally move the hair on your head when they get pumping if that's what you want them to do. (^_^)
    http://www.flash.net/~darkdune/Power...erReviews.html
    Scott Merryfield: I was actually going to purchase either AVIA or Video Essentials this weekend. I know I will end up getting both eventually, but right now I'm only getting one. So is AVIA the one you feel is the most bang for the buck to start with?
    Thanks again for your replies guys.
     
  8. Ed_Furcolow

    Ed_Furcolow Member

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    Hey, Earl. Not to get to far off the topic of this section of the forum, but I noticed from some of your other posts that you have a 61inch TV. I myself have the Toshiba 61H80. Which model do you own? I'm am very happy with my choice to go with 4:3 because I still watch a lot of normal broadcasts and do MUCH video gaming on the PS2, GC, and X-box.

    For my DVD's I made a set of black felt "TV Bra's," as I like to call them, that wrap around the TV to cover the black bars and attach with some Velcro I placed on the back of the TV. The color matches so well with the TV that I've actually had people come and see the TV and think it was a 16:9 set with the lights on, and with the lights out the black bars are completely invisible.

    Have you been happy with your set?
     
  9. Ed_Furcolow

    Ed_Furcolow Member

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    Artie, one more thing. I actually have a set of the Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 Surrounds in my house right now, and am in the process of sending them back, but certainly not because they sound bad. I started with a set of JBL's that sounded good for a while, but started to crackle right around the end of my 30 Day grace period. So I took them back and purchased the Cambridge Soundworks 5.1's through hifi.com. While I think that they sounded great I wanted to see if I could get my rears sounding a little meatier, so I purchased the Polk RT35i's. While I feel the 5.1's are much better than the JBL's I owned, they just don't have the presence that the Polk's provide me. If I hadn't tried the Polk's I would have definitely stuck with the 5.1's though. They really are great surrounds. Cambridge Soundworks really makes some quality products, and I've always had a good experience with their customer service. Have you heard anything about their Newton Series Tower Speakers. They look incredible. I would love to hear how they sound.
     
  10. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Well-Known Member

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    ED, I have the 61sdx01b Hitachi. It has been perfect in everyway, and I wish I would have bought one sooner. I can't stand a 32" tv anymore. They have come a long way in making these so you can't see the lines, bright picture, and a more clear picture. All in a room full of windows.[​IMG] [​IMG]
    The bra idea is a hoot.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

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    Ed,

    Have you tried setting your speakers to SMALL to see if your bass response improves? While I am not familiar with Polk's speaker line, most bookshelf speakers have difficulty producing lower frequencies. I checked Polk's website, but they only had specifications for the RT38 and RT28 models listed, not your RT35's.
     
  12. BruceD

    BruceD Well-Known Member

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    With all speakers set to large the only bass you will get from a sub (connected to the receiver's sub-out jack) is the .1 LFE bass in DD modes. And since you also selected the "Subwoofer-Plus" mode, the LFE may be passed to both the sub and your main speakers.

    Because you are also setting the xover on your sub itself at 55Hz, you are cutting off all the LFE source material from the receiver between 55Hz and 100Hz (the bandwidth of the LFE channel is approximately 20Hz-120Hz).

    A receiver sub xover of 100Hz is a little high. Have you tried listening with the following setup?;

    All speakers=small, receiver xover=100Hz, xover on the sub itself "OFF" (or the highest setting like 150Hz), receiver "Subwoofer On" mode, receiver "LFE attenuator" mode to "0dB"
     
  13. Brandon B

    Brandon B Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought -

    Is your sub amp an "auto-on" type that powers up when it detects a signal?

    And if so, possibly it is losing this signal under Dolby Digital for some reason, and switch to PL and back kicks it back in?

    BB
     
  14. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Well-Known Member

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    I noticed you have the LFE attenutor set to 10dB. This is reducing the LFE by 10 db I beleive. I have the same receiver and I think that setting should be set to 0db
     
  15. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Well-Known Member

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    oops I didn't realize how old this question is! Oh well
     
  16. Joe Barefoot

    Joe Barefoot Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the last three posts.

    Set all speakers to small.

    Crossover at 80-100 Hz.

    Sub - yes.

    LFE/Sub cut OFF or all the way up

    LFE cut to 0 dB

    Make sure your sub triggers on if that is an option. If it isn't, turn it to on and leave it there.

    Let us know.
     

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