B&W DM303 and SVS - need more low-to-mid

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by John Meeks, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. John Meeks

    John Meeks Agent

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    I have a 5.1 setup with 4 B&W DM 303's, the center-channel version of that speaker (forget the model #), and the middle-size SVS powered cyl. The B&W's are good for the highter frequencies, and the SVS is good for the low stuff, but I can't really hear the lower frequencies (ie. a bass guitar) very well. I'm running everything with an Onkyo TX-DS696. I tried hooking the sub to a line output instead of the sub output, and turned the crossover up, and even off, but I still don't really seem to get the stuff between the SVS's deep bass and the midrange from the B&W's.

    I was thinking of getting a B&W ASW-300 to fill in this area, but it's pretty expensive. I'd rather get a set of passive woofers (the Onkyo has another set of speaker outputs for the front channels). I don't care about the surrounds or the center, I just want a little more mid-bass on the main l/r speakers, and I'd rather have it in stereo instead of mono (as adding the ASW300 would do). I don't want to step on the SVS either, it seems like it would be tough to get all the crossovers right.

    I guess, in summary, when I play music on the system, it doesn't sound "rich" enough. If I had it to do over again, I'd probly get towers for the 2 front channels, but I have what I have.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well, I guess you should try to quantify just what is missing, and go from there.

    A CD with discrete test tones would allow you to do a crude FR plot, thus telling you what is missing.

    There could be crossover issues, room response issues, sub/main phase issues, or all three.

    At this point a $20 test CD and a $35 SPL meter would be my next purchases. Its quite possible, and even likely, that your gear is fine, but that there are some set up issues that will need to be addressed.

    BGL
     
  3. John Meeks

    John Meeks Agent

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    Any suggestions on a good SPL meter?

    And, I'll probly make my own test CD with cool edit...
     
  4. John Meeks

    John Meeks Agent

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    I tried hooking the sub up to the line-out on the amp, and turning the internal frequency filter off, so that it tries to play everything. This setup sounds better, about 75% of the way to the way I'd like it to sound, but I'm not sure if it's good for the sub to be trying to play the higher stuff, and it might also sound strange on certian songs, and especially on movies.

    As an example, the THX demo sound, the guitar (or whatever it is) doesn't sound very integrated, it's got high parts and low parts, but it doesn't sound like a single powerful note.
     
  5. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    John Meeks says:

    Have you checked phasing between your mains and your sub?
    The part about "doesn't sound like a single powerful note" coupled with the lack of mid-bass could be just that. You might have cancellations in the crossover region.
     
  6. John Meeks

    John Meeks Agent

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    Ahh, I think that was at least part of it. I also moved the sub around and found a place where it sounds a bit better too.

    For comparison, I'm trying to get it to sound as good as the same pair of speakers hooked up to my Pioneer SX-780, which sound excellent (I think it's a bit warmer than the Onkyo). I also messed with the settings in the reciever, told it there's no sub and that the front speakers are "large" even though they're not. I think if I had an equalizer I could get it to sound the way I want, maybe there's something in the Onkyo, I'll have to check the manual. When I was in the music store, I listened to a pair of speakers that sounded pretty much perfect. Unfortunately, they're $25,000/pair... hehe
     
  7. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    If you do decide to get a single or dual passive SVS, do not use the speaker B terminals on your amp- it won't be able to power your B&W main speakers plus the SVS. Buy a seperate mono bloc or two channel poweramp to power the passives.

    Try plotting the graph, as Brian said. You could do with buying a BFD and flattening out the response- possible you've got a valley in the area of 40-80hz.
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    The Radio Shack analog SPL meter would be suitable for the purpose at hand, although you will want to search the forum for the needed correction factors.

    BGL
     

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