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Tips on Improving Sub Sound? Any Suggestions?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   James Zos

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Posted May 11 2002 - 11:25 PM

Before I knew anything at all about HT, I bought a Klipsch KSW12 subwoofer (I would probably buy a different make and model now). Since I won't be upgrading to a new sub anytime soon, I'm trying to make do with what I have, but I'm not very happy with it. On some discs, when there is a particularly loud explosion (I'm thinking in particular of Apocolypse Now Redux) the bass sounds a little distorted and "scratchy." I have the volume level turned down on the sub itself and up on the sub out for the receiver, to minimize outside noise interference. The sub is downward firing, mounted on furniture spikes, and sits on a ceramic tile. Any tips on how to get clearer sound from my sub? What, for instance, does putting it in a corner do, exactly? I know it is supposed to increase the volume of the sub, but I don't really have a volume problem, its more of a clarity problem ... If you put a sub in a corner, how close to the walls is ideal? Three inches? Two inches? Does putting it in a corner muddy the sound? Any advice on tweaking my sub would be greatly appreciated.

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Ned


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Posted May 12 2002 - 04:03 AM

Spikes on tile is not a good idea. The sub can "dance" and you'll hear clicking sounds. Generally, corner placement gives the greatest and smoothest output. There are some old myths that corner = boomy but it doesn't wash. Sometimes the corner is less ideal than another location but usually it is the best. There isn't much else you can do to alter the sound other than placement and level adjustment. Phase and crossover settings just affect the blend of sub to main speakers, which doesn't sound like a problem for you.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeff D.

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Posted May 12 2002 - 09:30 AM

A good and easy test to find the best place for your sub: Place the sub in the listening position and crank the level with some bass-heavy music playing. Walk around the room and listen to the bass response. Wherever it sounds best - ie. deep and clean without being boomy - is where the sub should go. If there are only a few places where the sub can go (to keep domestic relations harmonious), perform the same test but simply move between the possible positions. Put it wherever it sounds best. Also, once the sub is place, experiment with positioning. My Paradigm PW-2200 sounds best with the driver/port firing along the length of a long wall, as opposed to firing straight into the room. Good performance from a sub requires patience in terms of setup, but the results are worth it. /Jeff

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   James Zos

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Posted May 12 2002 - 10:07 AM

Thanks to both of you for your responses! I'll try your advice. Ned, I'm not sure I have the "dancing" problem you mentioned. I don't think I hear any clicking sounds. The sub is pretty heavy and it's hard for me to imagine it moving very much, but I'll try it without the spikes to see how it sounds.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Phil Iturralde

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Posted May 12 2002 - 10:26 AM

FYI: For a detailed primer, read Stuart M. Robinson April 1997 on-line article Sub-woofer Purchasing, Positioning and Calibration.

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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted May 12 2002 - 10:44 AM

The advice I followed with the sub-in-listening position test was to crawl on the floor listening to the bass, not walk. The idea is to place your ears where the sub would be. I don't quite understand the physics of this, but I'm happy with my sub placement. My two subs wound up just outside the right speaker and just inside the left.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeff D.

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Posted May 12 2002 - 09:18 PM


I tried both methods and walking around worked just as well - and I didn't look like an idiot crawling all over the floor. Posted Image


#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Bob Sheen

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Posted May 13 2002 - 12:57 AM

You may want to try placing a small carpet that fits right under the sub and I would not recommend removing the spikes. Bob

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   James Zos

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Posted May 13 2002 - 07:07 AM

Bob--the floor is carpeted, but I have the sub sitting on a ceramic tile, because it is downward firing and I thought it sounded better on the tile than it did on the carpet. So...is there anyway to keep the spikes AND the tile? What if I put something - maybe even small squares of carpet - under the spikes only and left the tile as is? Maybe I'll try that. Thanks again to everyone who weighed in with advice!

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