Better bass management. Which way works best without breaking the bank??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris PC, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I own an SR6200. I am happy with the sound quality and power in general but I have not enjoyed the bass management of 100 hz. I want to have better bass management. I want to keep 6.1 capability and would also like to keep DPL II. I will be happy for now if I match the power and sound quality of this receiver. I was thinking that the Outlaw 950 Pre-Pro would be a good bet used along with a Marantz MM9000 5 channel amp. I'd have very good bass management and better power, but to purchase both items, I'd be stretched thin. Noticabley better than whats in the 6200. In thinking about this, I have come up with a few interesting other ideas. Opinions? Benefits? Drawbacks?

    Ideas

    1) Outlaw 950 pre-outs>Marantz SR6200 7 channel input>speakers (with the exception of Outlaw sub preout to my subwoofer of course)? 6200 stays locked on 7 channel input. Ultimately, if I want more power, I would shop for a Marantz MM9000 and sell/trade my SR6200. Its just that I came to the realization that if I bought an Outlaw 950 (whenever they are available) I could use it the second I got it out of the box. The only question is.....what if any bass management is applied to the 7 channel input? If there is none, then fine, otherwise, its useless right?

    2) SR 6200 pre-outs>ICBM>Marantz MM9000. This has one added bonus. I have two complete 5 channel amps. maybe good for a second zone somehow?

    I have no other way of improveing my current receivers bass management except for one last option. This might be the least expensive, but there are issues...

    3) SR 6200: FRONT=LARGE and SUB=NO. RIGHT and LEFT out into crossover. Crossover sub out into sub, left and right out into stereo amp. Say an NAD C270? Problems include the fact that with SUB=NO, with the center and surrounds set to SMALL they will crossover the bass to the fronts, which will then crossover AGAIN to the subwoofer. I believe thats cascading crossovers and may not produce optimal results.

    Remember, the idea is to spend as little as possible but acheive 1) better bass management and 2) more power as an added bonus in the end.

    Any ideas on which way is best?

    Is the Marantz MM9000 one of the least expensive but GOOD amps for use with the 950?
     
  2. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    #3 would be the least expensive. I assume your sub has a built-in amp and that it also has line-level in/outs and adjustable crossovers. If that is the case, send the 6200 main pre-outs to your sub left/right in, your sub left/right outs to the 6200 main amp-ins, set your fronts to large, center and surrounds to small. This effectively bypasses the 6200's bass management and allows your sub to handle it.
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    1) SR6200 DOES NOT have MAIN=OUT/MAIN-IN loop. If my receiver had a MAIN-LOOP I'd have tried that first with a good two-channel crossover.
    2) My subwoofer has inputs but no outputs. Again, if the subwoofer had outputs I'd have experiemented with a stereo amp a LONG time ago.
    But that said, I could still do #3 with just a two channel crossover like a mirage LFX-1 if I could find it and a good stereo amp. What I'd be worried about is that IF I set my center and surrounds to small, they'd be crossed over once inside the receiver, sending the bass to the main left and right, and then again in the outboard crossover.
    thanks for the input
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Will

    Will Guest

     
  5. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Chris,

    I've been using a similiar setup to your #3 for the past 3-4 years,and it works extremely well. Plus you get the benefit of the sub in 2-channel mode.

    see my equipment list below

    That is Mains=Large, Sub=NO, center and surrounds=small, no sub connected to the sub-out of the processor. My processor also does a 100Hz xover for center and surrounds.

    The good part is that with an electronic xover on the mains (I use the Marchand XM9-L), you can customize the xover frequency for the best blend with your mains and sub, I use 60Hz. You can also put a parametric EQ on the bass only output from the xover to the sub and cut those bass peaks caused by room modes. As a benefit the Marchand also gives you individual level controls for mains and sub, plus level control at the exact xover frequency, it also has a L+R sum bass switch for mono bass output to a single sub.

    The processor handles the timing and crossing of the re-directed bass frequencies and sends all of it (including LFE) to your mains. The electronic xover isn't really changing that, but simply routing the bass frequencies to the right driver (this isn't a cascading crossover because the mains are getting a full frequency signal). Just think about it, your 2 or 3-way main speaker is also breaking up the frequency spectrum sent to it (with passive xovers inside the speaker) and sending each piece to the appropriate driver.
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Will,
    Replace my receiver. Yes, excellent simple idea and I have thought of that. I am for instance, again reviewing the receivers that are out there, but I am not sure that there has been much new over the last 6 months. In particular, I am waiting to see about the new NAD receivers, if and when they come out. NAD receivers have great sound and provide power surely equal to my Marantz SR 6200. I have heard that they MIGHT have improved bass management. If that mearly means 80hz instead of 100 hz, I'm already un-interested. The SR 8200 is another upgrade option which has, I believe, an 80 hz crossover. Not enough reason to change. Sonys have good bass management and crossovers, so I will review their stuff again. Are there any other receivers you might suggest? The Outlaw 1050 is out cause its not got DPL II. I have it now, so I'd rather not lose that feature.
    Bruce,
    So you say the 100 hz crossover is done more or less in the digital domain? It must still have a slope, right? I remember discussions about this earlier last year. But alas, you say it works well for you?
    Thats encouraging advice. Like I said, I'll look for an external crossover. In particular, I'm trying to find a Mirage LFX-1 as it is small, simple but effective and CHEAP! It allows independent selection of both the HIGH and LOW pass filters infinitely from 50 to 100 hz. Continuosly variable I know isn't the best, but its hopefully good enough and inexpensive to boot.
    The Marchand XM9-L crossover you mention. What is the cost of that?
    What equalizer are you using and whats the cost of that also? Is that the Feedback Destroyer?
    The unit you are using are high quality indeed, but I wouldn't consider them if the overall cost is close to the cost of, for instance, an Outlaw 950 and a used Marantz MM9000 5 channel amp.
    What speakers do you have?
    thanx for the helpfull advice guys [​IMG]
     
  7. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Chris,
     
  8. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    How many crossover settings do you have to choose from with the XM9? It appears you have to rearrange parts in order to change the crossover?

    My subwoofer has a left and right input which goes through its internal crossover. It also has a single input which bypasses its internal crossover. The summing of the subwoofer output would be handy, but, could I not just connect a Y-cable RCA to the left and right pre-out? I didn't like the idea of combining outputs, but I've seen it in manufacturers diagrams (including Outlaw) and people have also suggested it too. Otherwise, I'm stuck going through the subs crossover.
     
  9. Will

    Will Guest

    I understand Sony and others sell receivers with DPL II, 6.1, and rather extensive bass managment. Some of those receivers are available for well under $800 as I understand it.
     
  10. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Chris,

    The Marchand xover uses resistor packs (resistors mounted on removable in-line DIP packages) that can be had in almost any xover frequency you want. I bought about 8 sets with various frequencies to test.

    You do need to remove the cover of the unit and you need one resistor pack for each stereo channel, but it's pretty easy.
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Will,

    Yep, I'll re-visit the Sony's. I like the Marantz sound, but there's a few goofy things that are not to my liking. I'll look into the Sony's again. They do have a number of features that I want too, like the bass management. IF you have any links, let me know. I'll probably just check out the Sony website.

    Bruce,

    That sounds useful. I may still try the Mirage crossover first and see.

    Have you ever done a test of your room frequency response? I guess you have using the BFD eh? Did that help you flatten the response somewhat at least for the listening position?
     
  12. Will

    Will Guest

    Even the Sony STR-DA5ES receiver, which may be (I'm not sure) Sony's top of the line ES receiver, is sold online for about $750 plus shipping. It does 7.1. If you want to pay less and also have 7.1, there's the STR-DA3ES receiver to consider. You have lots more receiver choices too. [​IMG]
     
  13. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  14. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Chris,
    Yes, I built a battery powered microphone preamp, bought a calibrated mic-wand (it came with a diskette and printed frequency chart), and use both with my notebook PC and ET5 Acoustic measurement software. website is ETF
    With these tools I get a very sophisticted room analysis system. This includes frequency charts of each speaker, impulse response graphs, and even 3D waterfall graphs.
    This enabled me to fine tune speaker position, sub crossover, and actually watch my bass room peaks disappear in a real-time frequency graph as I adjusted the parametric EQ for the sub.
    It also taught me a lot about room acoustics.
     
  15. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Will,
    Yeah. I have tried to look at the Sonys on the web, but its not easy. Sonys got one of THE most convoluted websites I've seen. I can't even find the 333,444 and 555 receivers on the Canadian website. I'd prefer to keep DPL II. Do the Sony's have DPL II. I can't believe the awesome bass management though. 40 to 200 hz for EACH CHANNEL in 10 hz steps PLUS an eq! Wow. Thats nice.
    Saurav,
    Yeah, I'm pretty much ok with trying the external crossover and amp setup. I can always throw in an equalizer in there too if I want. I don't like the X-30 because the high pass is limited to 50, 80 or 120 hz or something like that:
    http://www.paradigm.ca/Website/SiteP...Unit_Specs.htm
    The Mirage xover is infinitely adjustable from 50 to 100 hz just like on the subwoofer itself.
    Bruce,
    Whoa! Thats intense. I guess it does the job! I hope to at least measure my room response with my RS SPL meter and a test CD or two [​IMG] I guess I could technically use the RS meter with software in some way. There is an RCA connector on it and I can't recall what its for. Some day I'll try to achieve your setup, that would be cool.
    While I wait for a test CD, do you guys know any freeware test tones or public domain test cds? I have some tone generators, but its not so easy to record and burn CD's. I'll keep trying to do it properly, but I would rather also have some sweeps too.
    What would be ideal, would be to hook up a sythesizer with a straight sinewave sound to my system and just hit the keys to generate the tones.
     
  16. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Chris,
    While their prices are quite high, Crutchfield's website gives very good detailed specs on the Sony ES receivers.
    Sony5ES
     
  18. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    The 5ES' bass management is amazing. I also have a Marantz 7200 and am in the same boat as Chris (even opened a parallel thread yesterday before I saw this one http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=60267). Does anybody have a subjective opinion on how different the Sony and the Marantz sound?
    How about the B&K Ref 30 that has been suggested over at the other thread?
     
  19. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I have that tone generator. Its really cool, but it crackles when you slide the frequency across. I want to get a tone generator that I can burn track onto a CDR or CDRW. I've done that with, i think, the NCH tone generator, but it opos every time I switch tracks, maybe that a function of the Marantz Sr 6200. I guess I was hoping to find a freeware CD. Any musicians out there with a keyboard who are willing to record sine waves from 10 to 200 hz for me? Heh heh.
    I'll check out the Sony receivers. Not sure about their sound though. As I've said, I am very interested in the upcoming NAD receivers. Sound as good and/or better than Marantz, roughly, model for model, and hopefully better bass management.
    Dennis. I have a question for you. I have a 6200, PSB Image 6T fronts and a Mirage subwoofer. When I listen to music with the FRONT=SMALL and SUB=YES, I can definitely tell that the FRONTS are crossed over and drop off in the bass. When I listen to the subwoofer though, with the above configuration, I can swear that the sub is NOT rolled off steeply above 100 hz. I am not sure, and so I'm going to do some testing today.
    Do you have a subwoofer with your 7200 system? If so, could you do me a favour and verify if the subwoofer is crossed over at 100hz when FRONT=SMALL? Can you hear a definite drop off above 100 hz in terms of the subwoofer? I suspect the Sr 6200 subwoofer output is not crossed over above 100 hz. This is not a big deal, as I can simply use my subs crossover at its maximum of 100 hz, but I would like to verify what the Marantz x100 is doing to the subwoofer output. I'll test myself.
    thanx again for the input folks [​IMG]
     
  20. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    Yes I have a B&W ASW1000, crossed at 100 Hz. I've done some testing with ETF just like Bruce D and ended up finding a good position for the sub, where it will give me the flattest possible response (which is not even close to flat, yet). It does roll off above 100 Hz except for some room modes. I still need to get a hold of a BFD to complete my setup, though, and tame those peaks.

    My mains are set to SMALL and interaction with the sub is good, but that only came after I tried every possible position for the sub in my room. I firmly believe good speaker/sub positioning is critical for good results.

    Even though I'm moving forward and slowly improving the overall response, I'd still like to get better bass management, similar to what the 5ES has.
     

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