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I need help with my PB-10 ISD!


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#1 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 01:30 AM

Hello,

I'm not going to post a review of the subwoofer just yet, but I have some problems that I hope you guys couold help me out with.

I got my PB-10 ISD two days ago, but I haven't really been playing around with it yet, so I'll just post my first impressions. It's huge. Make that massive. I must say, I'm not blown away with it (not yet). I know I will be once it's set up properly, though.

Okay. I put in the Matrix, and I watched the scene where the helicopter hits the building. The bass is deep. But I'm not feeling any bass. Also, the bass seems a little bit boomy.

Presently, the subwoofer is located right in the middle of my front right main speaker (right in the middle of it). Behind my subwoofer is a couch. It's right behind it. It's more or less about a meter from the right side corner.

I've tried putting it in the left corner, but IMO, the bass is a little more boomy. I haven't tried the right front corner, but I don't have much space since there is a big wall unit that is taking space.

Alright. I've got the gain on 50%, and the subwoofer level on about -6 (from -10 to +10). My listening area is about 2500 cubic feet (which opens up to the kitchen, so it ends up around 3400 cubic feet. There are two rooms that connect to the lounge area (which are not included in the 3400 cubic foot measurement, so it will probably be a bit bigger since both doors were wide open when I did my evaluations).

The subwoofer is about 2.5 meters away from me. Okay. So I popped in AOTC, and watched chapter 2, where the ship is flying by. The bass here is very deep. I was impressed. But still, I'm not feeling any bass. The windows were rattling a little bit, but I wasn't feeling any bass.

Perhaps I don't have the subwoofer up loud enough, but, I mean, I've got it at 50% on the gain, and -6 on the subwoofer level, (which is high, isn't it?) so I don't know. I don't know if it's my room, or if it's where I've got the subwoofer positioned, but I know that there must be something that I've either not done, or still must do, because so many people have said that the subwoofer shakes the room, and that they feel the bass (from the PB-10 ISD).

I mean, I read Ed's review of the PB-10 ISD, and he says that the subwoofer pressurizes the room and can reach down to 15 hz. I'm not there yet. I don't know if this helps, but I've got laminated wood floors, so that might be a clue, I don't know. I haven't calibrated the subwoofer yet, since I don't have an SPL meter, but I'm going to buy one next week.

I'm still a little concerned that I haven't felt any bass yet, at all. Please, guys, help me out. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

PS My speakers are all set to small, subwoofer on, of course (Posted Image), compression settings set to no/off, LFE out to subwoofer. That's about it.

--Sincerely,

#2 of 123 Charlie Campisi

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Posted June 29 2005 - 01:40 AM

You need to calibrate it. Until you do that, there's no way to tell what the problem is. Keep experimenting to see if you find a position or gain level that works, but you need to calibrate.

#3 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 01:52 AM

Hi Charlie,

Well, I have the gain on 50%, and the subwoofer level on -6, which I assume is a high level to set the subwoofer.

But on challenging material, like the AOTC chapter 2 scenes, I'm not feeling any bass whatsoever. I wish I knew why, though.

I know that I must calibrate the subwoofer, but if I have the subwoofer set too high (which might be the case right now), then it's not going to make much of a difference to the deep bass scenes if I calibrate it, right?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

--Sincerely,

#4 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 02:00 AM

I was just thinking, perhaps I'm not playing the system loud enough to percieve the bass waves that people around here keep talking about.

I'm starting to think that that might be the main reason. I've put the system loud enough (for me), and it doesn't do the job, so I honestly don't know how loud I have to go before I start feeling any bass. I've gotten to a point where the windows are rattling a little bit, but that's all. I still don't feel any bass, at all.

I always hear people talking about how the room shakes, or how they feel the bass (even with the PB-10 ISD). Maybe my master volume is not loud enough to be able to feel the really low bass scenes. But then how high must it be set to? It's just a thought that came up.

Any other suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks.

--Sincerely

#5 of 123 Charlie Campisi

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Posted June 29 2005 - 03:14 AM

The answer is still the same. Keep playing with it in the meanwhile to see if you can find another setting/position you like, but until you calibrate there is no way to know if your sub level is matching the rest of your system. Maybe someone with a PB-10 can chime in about the specific settings they use, but it still would only be a guess as to what would work for you.

I know that I set up my STF-2 too loud before I calibrated it. It was too boomy. When I calibrated it, I then was able to use the system at a higher volume. The sub blended much better and sounded louder because of the better integration with the rest of the system, even though I had dialed it back. Keep playing with it, but until you calibrate, you are just guessing.

#6 of 123 John Garcia

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Posted June 29 2005 - 03:52 AM

What are the dimensions of your room?

Don't expect to FEEL the sub like some do, as that will vary depending on your room, where you sit in that room relative to the sub, and where the sub is located. In fact, what you describe sounds about right, you should NOT hear the sub much at all, until something deep comes along. You will probably not get pants flapping levels out of the PB-10 in the typical room; it doesn't move quite as much air as it's larger siblings, and your room as well as proper calibration will be a factor as well.

I've found the PB-10 to be rather subtle, but with enough grunt where it needs it without working itself to death, and it's just right for my needs.

My room is over 4K cf. and I have it at 50% gain and +1 on the receiver.

It sounds like a combination of placement and room modes to me though. Put the sub near your seating position and go over to it's possible locations - whichever has the strongest bass, is where you should locate the sub.

Having seen the PB-12, the PB-10 doesn't seem that big Posted Image
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#7 of 123 BrianWoerndle

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Posted June 29 2005 - 04:40 AM

If you think that is big, you need to look at my dual 16-46CS+s

Your original placement seems like it almost puts it out in the middle of the room. That will lower the output and make it harder to feel.

Your best options are to place the sub closer to you, or buy a bigger sub. It takes a lot of woffage to pressurize a room, and your room is pretty big.

I have 2 16-46CS+s in a 1250 cu/ft room. That is what it took to really get the deep bass that you can feel at reference levels. But I have 2 12" drivers and 6 - 3" ports, which is over 3 times as much surface area.
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#8 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 06:01 AM

John, which, in your opinion, placement wise, would result in the deepest, loudest bass response?

Because this subwoofer is only 2.5 meters away from me. I don't understand how I wouldn't be able to feel anything if this subwoofer is relatively close to me.

It's supposed to be capable of very high SPL (at very low frequencies). I know that placement is key, so I'll have to move this thing around tommorrow.

The thing is, I haven't felt a single thing since I started playing around with it. You, and others, might be right in saying that I shouldn't expect the same kind of "pants flapping" bass that others experience in smaller rooms, but the thing is, I can't feel a single thing. Not a thing.

Something isn't right. I mean, is that all? This thing is huge, weighs a heck of alot, and can't produce low bass waves that I can feel? I can't believe that. It's not as if I've reached the limits of this thing, I haven't even calibrated it yet.

--Sincerely,

#9 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 06:03 AM

Brian, I just would like to know, how have you calibrated your subwoofers? Thanks.

--Sincerely,

#10 of 123 BrianWoerndle

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Posted June 29 2005 - 06:19 AM

Using Digital Video Essentials, I have the combined output set to reach 78-79db on the SPL meter. This allows for a minor compensation for the SPL meter being off at low frequencies, and should have the subs running 1-2db hot compared to my main speakers. That provides a nice balance.

The only reason that I have 2 is because 1 started to distort at high volumes. Having 2 gives me the additional headroom that I need. I am now flat to 13hz at reference volumes.
The only way to safely double your money is to fold it over once and place it back in your pocket.

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#11 of 123 John Garcia

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Posted June 29 2005 - 06:28 AM

I don't really feel the rumble of my PB-10 either. I just notice things in the room start to vibrate, and the room does have some compression in it, but not to the level of a bigger, more powerful sub. Though it has great output, maybe you are expecting a little too much, even from this sub? I defintely don't get chest thumping sound out of this guy, but it blends seemlessly with the rest of my speakers and sounds great at both low and near reference levels.

I would expect a corner to do the trick, and one up front near the mains is typically a good place to start, so it could be that the boominess is coming from the fact that you don't have it calibrated yet.

Have you walked around the room to see if bass is strong in certain spots? You may have some serious room modes. Is your room nearly square?
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#12 of 123 GregBe

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Posted June 29 2005 - 06:41 AM

John was nice enough to have me into his home to listen to the PB10. It taught me a lot about proper calibration. You don't need every little thing to rumble the room. Set it correctly, and most of the time the effects are subtle, and when called for, the jaw dropping effects are there too.

#13 of 123 AlanZ

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Posted June 29 2005 - 06:45 AM

What I'm waiting to find out is whether the guy can actually feel anything or not. :wink:

My room is 15x25 and the PB10 is enough to startle me at times. I love this sub.
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#14 of 123 Mike^S

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Posted June 29 2005 - 07:47 AM

Here's a few ideas from a fellow PB10 owner (note these things would apply to any subwoofer. There's nothing wrong with the PB10 it's just that all subs have to be setup properly to perform their best).

You must experiment with placement. Try putting the sub in your sitting position and then crawl around the room and find the spot where you feel the bass. Then put the subwoofer there and listen again from your couch.

Is your sitting position near the middle of the room? There is almost always a huge bass null in the middle of a room. Try moving your sitting position closer to the wall. Sometimes if you are farther away from the sub but closer to a wall, the bass will increase.

Yes, try turning up the main volume on your receiver. You really have to be hitting around 95 db+ to feel the 20-25hz bass.

Try watching some scenes from the Lord of the Rings, like the Cave Troll scene in FOTR or the Oliphant scene from ROTK.

Good luck!

#15 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 07:51 AM

Thank you for the responses everyone. Alan, please tell me how you calibrated your subwoofer, what material you watch, what level, etc, so that I can get an idea of what you are experiencing.

Apparently, you are feeling the bass with your PB-10, so more information on how you set it up would be appreciated.

John, my room is rectangular. It's more or less 3400 cubic feet (if I count the kitchen area which opens up to the listening area). As I said before, my subwoofer is positioned right in front of my right front speaker. It's positioned on it's side, not forward firing).

I really don't think I'm expecting too much from this subwoofer, though. I mean, it's supposed to go down low. And I know that the bigger the enclosure, the deeper the bass will be, and it's simply a massive enclosure, IMO. Obviously not in relation to the other SVS subwoofers, but compared to many commercial designs.

I just read Ed's review of this subwoofer, and he sure is feeling things with it. This subwoofer can extend down to 15hz, correct? Perhaps I haven't watched anything that goes that low, although, so far, I've watched a few scenes from the Matrix, AOTC, and Hellboy.

About the boominess, I think I know what the problem is. Since I don't have an SPL meter, all my channels are actually low in comparison to the subwoofer. Far to low, in fact, since I could tell that when there was a lot of action, there was barely any information coming out of the front, center and surround channels.

The windows do rattle when I have the master volume a bit high (with 50% gain and -6 from the subwoofer level). Anyway, thank you for all the comments. So you guys recommend that I put this subwoofer in the corner?

--Sincerely,

#16 of 123 John Garcia

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Posted June 29 2005 - 08:02 AM

Try out The Incredibles. Posted Image I get some good rumble with AOTC during the fly-by scene.

Yes, you have to include the entire volume that the sub is working in, and that would include your kitchen too, so your room is actually pretty large. Mine is open to the kitchen too (shared space, cannot close it off), which is why my room volume is so large as well.
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#17 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 08:05 AM

Hi Mike!,

Concerning placement, where do you have your subwoofer? And about feeling the bass, what would you recommend that I use in order to do this? Any suggestions?

My sitting position is further back from the middle of the room. I wish I could show you a pic (I'll be getting my camera in a few days, though). And you bring up a good comment about sound pressure. The thing is, I have no idea how loud 95db's actually is. It could be a heck of a lot louder than I'm actually playing right now.

I have a Yamaha RXV-450 amp, and my master volume is around -10, but sometimes I have it at 0, which is no where near as loud as actually calibrating your system to reference level. I guess that my system is actually quite soft in comparison to many people here since it's not calibrated.

I spoke to Ron. He said that he would be getting more SPL meters on the 11th of July. Right now, I still have to experiment with placement. But for now, are there any scenes in the Matrix, or AOTC, or LOTR's where you feel the bass more than you hear it?

Suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks.

--Sincerely,

#18 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 08:07 AM

So John, have you ever felt any bass with your PB-10, yet? If so, could you please elaborate? Thanks.

--Sincerely,

#19 of 123 DevinJC

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Posted June 29 2005 - 08:39 AM

Go buy Titan A.E. ($5 at Target) and play chapter 16. Put sub in corner, tweak volume on AVR and sub amp until your skull rattles.

If the pb10 is hitting 15hz in your room, you will know it.

Although, honestly, AOTC chapter 2 flyby should be tangible at high enough volumes.

#20 of 123 Vaughan Odendaal

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Posted June 29 2005 - 08:54 AM

Hello Devin,

What kind of equipment do you have, where have you placed your subwoofer, what level have you calibrated to, room size, etc? Thanks.

--Sincerely,