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You Won't Bleive It (SVS 25-31)

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#1 of 38 OFFLINE   Lee M T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 05:43 AM

I may just be the first person that feels unsatisfied. But perhaps I'm not doing something correctly.

My 25-31PCi came in last Friday. I set it up on Saturday and have been toying with it since. I do not yet have an SPL meter, so my concern right now is not how the sub interacts with my other speakers. I'll worry about that problem when I get my meter at the end of the week. My problem is just bass in general.

My system consists of a Yamaha RX-V640 receiver, Mirage Omni 60 bookshelves, and Mirage Omni CC center channel. I have no rears just yet. My room is 11' x 10' x 9'. My theater setup is along the shorter side of my room, the 10' side. I'm wondering if perhaps I'm having standing wave issues or something? My system won't work on the 11' side because my stupid closet and main doors are horribly placed.

With such a small room, one would think my room would implode, but quite the contrary. The first thing I did was set the gain to a 1/4. Actually, not sure where to start the gain at? Then, I placed my sub at my listening position and then walked around the room. I really didn't get much at all. Some high bass, maybe 60-70 Hz got really loud, but 40Hz and below just sounded extremely dead and flat. Not much definition and just is not loud at all. So, I just picked a corner and placed the sub there. It's right along the front with my other speakers. It sits right next to my left bookshelf speaker in a corner. I go to my listening position which is about 7.5' away and still, I really don't get much. No jaw dropping experience. Sometimes I'll get some low bass that will wow me, but for the most part, as I said, 40Hz and below just sounds dead and I don't even feel it really.

The material I used are as follows:


Dave Mathews (Sounds really good on my system actually)
Nelly Furtado
Three 6 Mafia: The End (This album will pound you into submission in my car, but not in my room)
Brian Setzer (This sounds good too)
Bass Mechanic (high bass sounds good, 40 and below is nonexistent)


Metal Gear Solid 2 (DD portions sound almost perfect, PLII portions, like the intro sequence, sound boomy and inaccurate, but the bass seems enough)
Ratchet & Clank II (Enough bass, but lacks definition, too boomy)


The Two Towers (inaccurate, boomy, sometimes there is loud enough bass though, but sometimes not so much)

Any thoughts? Surely this isn't an SPL meter fix is it? That should just be for evening out all of my speakers correct? I'm thinking it's a standing wave issue, or something that really just needs a new room to fix? hehe Oh yeah, another thing. I hear talk about wind coming out of the port "like a hurricane" and what not. There is virtually no air coming out of my port, ever. But I can feel the sub down below moving a lot. It's so strange.


#2 of 38 OFFLINE   Nick Breckon

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Posted March 09 2004 - 05:56 AM

I'll just tell you what everyone else is going to tell you right off the bat - drop everything and go buy an SPL meter and a calibration disk (Avia). You need to properly calibrate the sub to reference levels and then see what's going on. I'm guesing you'll probably end up adjusting the gain a good deal higher.

#3 of 38 OFFLINE   ChadLB



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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:13 AM

Is this your first sub.....if not you are used to the old boomy sounds..... Otherwise like others mentioned calibration/placement are key.

#4 of 38 OFFLINE   Craig Forsythe

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:18 AM

If you dont want to snag a meter and avia/DE right away you could try just making a quite tone test and play it.

Say make a 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 etc, hertz tone that does each for 10 seconds and make sure your getting output at each hz level.

I know I read a thread either here or avs a few days ago and the guy also had a Yamaha receiver and they mentioned about 5 different settings you have to make sure are right on the receiver or it doesn't output correctly to a sub.
I'll try and find its link.

Ha! there is was, right at the bottom of this page.

Here is the important part that Bob posted:

From Yamaha's site:

am using a powered sub, but there is no output.
There are a couple of things that need to be checked. The first one is to make sure that the subwoofer is connected to the jack marked "SUBWOOFER OUTPUT", and not the jack marked "SUBWOOFER INPUT" located in the 6 CHANNEL DISCRETE INPUT section.

The second item is to check the BASS/LFE OUT settings found in the receiverÕs set menu system. If the setting indicates MAIN, there will be no output sent to the SUBWOOFER OUT jack. If the setting indicates SW, the bass will be directed to the SUBWOOFER OUT jack. The exception to this would be if the surround (effects) processor is turned off.

When using the receiver in the 2 channel mode, the SUBWOOFER OUT jack is turned off with the BASS OUT/LFE set to SW. By selecting the BOTH option, the SUBWOOFER OUTPUT jack will remain on, regardless of other speaker settings or whether or not the processor is turned on. If the bass level appears diminished or quite low, check the CENTER SPEAKER SIZE selection in the SPEAKER SIZE settings. Set it to SMALL instead of LARGE.

#5 of 38 OFFLINE   Tony Genovese

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:21 AM

You say 40 and below is non-existent. How do you know this? How are you able to isolate frequencies so finely? I'd like to know as I've been unable to do so in 20 years of subwoofing and I have stereophile test disks, an Infinity Rabos test disk and microphone, etc.

#6 of 38 OFFLINE   Paul_Ptaaty


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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:28 AM

Try walking around the room when it is playing. You will notice you have a standing waves and different freqs will be emphasized. Get a BFD or other param eq... for now put the sub in the listening position, walk/crawl around the room to find where it sounds best. then put the sub where it sounded best (swap the sub back)

#7 of 38 OFFLINE   VinhT


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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:36 AM

My guess is that you have a ported sub in your car and you are expecting the same exaggerated infrasonic bass that car cabin gain can provide.
Vinh Tran

#8 of 38 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:37 AM

Dead flat under 40 is what good bass should be. Did it shake your couch? Paul's suggestion of putting the sub in your listening position and walking around the room is the easiest way to see if the placement is the problem.

#9 of 38 OFFLINE   Lee M T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:37 AM

My Bass Mechanic CD has about 80 or so tracks with each test tone from 99Hz down to 20Hz. Plus, I don't know, I can just kind of tell a ballpark figure of what frequency a note is. I can't tell you exactly, but I can give an estimate.

#10 of 38 OFFLINE   Lee M T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:45 AM

I guess flat is the wrong word to use. It's more like a thud, there's really no substance to it and it is extremely quiet no matter what my gain is set at. I mean literally, you get around the 40Hz level and it just completely drops off.

#11 of 38 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:44 AM

I've heard the 25-31PCi in a HUGE room, must have been nearly 30 x 20with high vaulted ceilings, and the SVS STILL flapped my pants leg from ~10' away. Needless to say, I was impressed.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
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#12 of 38 OFFLINE   Dan Halchak

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:45 AM

To me, I think calibrating will make the biggest difference. Also, I read through, but didn't see, did you put the Sub in a corner? That's your best bet for your sub is to find a corner. Once you get everything set up, you should NOT even notice the sub, it should blend in perfectly with your other speakers, sometimes I don't even notice mine is on at all, then when something like the movie, "The Haunting," is played you really notice it. To me it sounds like you don't have the sub in the best location. I would start with the sub set to 1/2 and the receiver set to -5db over the lowest setting on any of your other speakers (this is where the Ratshack SPL meter comes in handy). From this point, play something with a lot of bass, turn the sub up to 3/4 to see if you get the kind of bass you are looking for, if not, turn it back down to 1/2, turn the LFE up by 1db, and keep working it until you are completely satisfied. Most likely once you get your meter and avia/dve, you will find your sub is WAY to high anyways. An example of placement is just this, I took my PC+20-39 over my friend's house and played the Darla scene, The Haunting was the best - knocking on the door scene and the ceiling coming down on the girl in the bedroom. Over my friend's house we had it placed so good that the couch felt like it wanted to walk away. The sub was a good 14' from the listening position and on a concrete floor, I was amazed. We actually knocked some stuff off the shelves on the other side of the house during some of the demoing we did. I was completely amazed... Now in my room the sub is about 4' from the listening position and not set up in a good spot. Sometimes the sub doesn't even seem like its working right, but I know it's because of placement, but I'm stuck with where it is because of placement through the room is very very limited. So once I get a HT room set up, I'll be all good (if I don't go to the PB2+ hee hee). To me the quality of the bass is just so different from anything else I've heard. My friend likes the booming bass type of stuff, so he honestly didn't care for the SVS much at all. I think if he had listenend to the sub for a week or so, he'd absolutely love it, but it's that adaptation curve that he'd have to get used to.

#13 of 38 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:47 AM

So you are used to two drivers in a highly reflective enviroment the size of a large couch. A single driver, even a very good one, in a 990 cu ft space just isn't going to give the same effect. Was there no vibration under 40?

#14 of 38 OFFLINE   Lee M T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:21 AM

The sub is in a corner.

I am definately used to car audio. But, I'm what I guess you could say, a low-budget audiophile. I'm a perfectionist and a musician. So I basically know when something sounds like a piece of crap. I can actually tell that the SVS sub is/will be a very nice sub once I figure it out. LoL. I didn't go in thinking it should equal or better my two 12's in the trunk. I didn't go in thinking it was going to shake me that much either. But it really should be doing much more than what it is now. I'm not just some arrogant fool trying to bash SVS nor am I an immature little kid who just wants to make noise. Not saying anyone is accusing me of such, because you all aren't. I'm just making a statement. Posted Image

At the 40Hz and below level I can hear a couple of vibrations in my room, I can tell there is some sort of bass playing, but I really don't feel hardly any vibration at all and there is virtually no air coming through the port. This is with my gain at about 1/3 at the current time and my Yammie receiver volume at around -30dB. My Mirage speakers can't take much more above -30dB. They are about as loud as I can stand it at that point.

BTW, can you get Avia or DVE at a store? Like a Tweeter or something, or can you only order it?

#15 of 38 OFFLINE   Jesse Sharrow

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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:37 AM

My recommendation would be.... BASS SHAKERS! I think you need more of a tactile bass. So I think you either need a bigger sub or bass shakers.

#16 of 38 OFFLINE   BradZ


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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:46 AM

Lee, do you have level settings in a menu on your receiver. just listening to your story my feeling is that you might have your sub-level turned down on the receiver vs. your mains level. also- stupid question, but did you select yes on subwoofer in the receiver menu and set your mains to small? even a bad sub-woofer should be able to rattle the room a little. something tells me you're not getting a good signal to your new beast. Try switching sub cables?

end of transmission...

#17 of 38 OFFLINE   Mike_P



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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:50 AM

I would suggest you sit down and read your Yamaha manual very carefully, especially the section about setting up the receiver. It sounds to me like the receiver is not set up right. As an experiment, set all the speakers to small, and see if that makes a difference. The bass on the Avia disk is all in the main channels, so if you have them set to large, no bass goes to the sub. SVS has a good set of instructions for setting up subs on their website. They would also help you if you send them an email, or maybe call them on the phone. Something is definitely wrong, a 25-31 in a 10x11 room should blow you out the door. Mike P

#18 of 38 OFFLINE   Chris A H

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Posted March 09 2004 - 09:12 AM

I will assume you have correctly set the phase of the sub for the position in the room. This made a HUGE difference in my PB1-ISD performance. Went from "oh, well" to "OH, WOW."

#19 of 38 OFFLINE   Lee M T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 09:15 AM

I believe my settings are okay. I'll go over them in a second. Let me first start by saying I just moved my sub to a different location. It's basically where it was before, but on the other side. So now it's up against the same wall, but it's not in a corner. It's right beside my right main speaker and just to the left of my main door. I also noticed I had the crossover switch on as well. So I flipped that off since my Yamaha is already crossing over at 90Hz. It's starting to improve. Posted Image Though I haven't listened to a whole lot yet in the new position. But, I am still finding holes. I played the Beverly Hills Cop theme (hehe) and the bass sounds great and I can feel it for most of the bass notes, but there are two notes where I can tell there is a note there, but it feels sort of void, I guess is the word. I know it's there, but I don't hear it or feel it much. But I'm really about out of locations to put my sub. I think I'm going to have to live with it until I can move out of this joint and into a place where my speakers can breath just a tad more. Anyhow, I've skimmed through about six CD's thus far in this new position. Just getting a feel for things. I'll go through them more thoroughly later. Next I am going to skim through some movies and through some games. Oh yeah, I readjusted the gain a little as well. When playing these six CD's, it sounds like I may actually be close to having my speakers matched. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out when mI get my meter. I can't wait to see how far off I am. haha But they actually seem to blend rather well right now, and I don't notice the sub at all. I hear it a lot more now than I did before, but I can just close my eyes and enjoy it a lot more.

As far as settings:

- Main = Small, Center = Small (even though it is rather large), Rear = none, Sub = Yes
- Distances are correct
- Levels are 00 for all speakers right now

Am I missing anything?

#20 of 38 OFFLINE   ScottCarr


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Posted March 09 2004 - 10:07 AM

"Am I missing anything? " Yes the fundamental aspects of subwoofering, CALIBRATION DISK AND SPL METER. Not to judge your abilities but I know a few HT installers and not one of them goes by their ear. They all have calibration disks and spl meters along with other gadgets. Can I pick your brain in which two notes they might be? I will run it through my system and see if they are there. Thanks Scott

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