Could use a few suggestions on setup (Subwoofer settings, rear speakers)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Daria, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Mark Daria

    Mark Daria Extra

    Oct 5, 2001
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    Currently my system consists of:

    Sherwood RVD-6090R DD5.1 Receiver

    Pair of Paradigm Titans

    Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer

    I bought these parts after researching for days. These seem to be the best I could buy for the buck, while still staying reasonably affordable. Now for the questions:

    My receiver doesnt allow you to manually adjust the subwoofer crossover. The titans are a bit lacking in bass, so I bought the sub to compensate for that. The sub allows adjustment of the crossover...what should I set it to? I've gotten conflicting advice.

    One person says to set it to full, as the extra frequency response can only help, and never hurt. Another told me to set it to the approximate range in which the titans die off. That range seems to be ~140hz.

    So whos right, and am I anywhere near the correct range?

    I was also told to just set the sub volume at max and adjust it with the subwoofer channel level on the receiver. Good idea or bad?

    Also, I've heard of various mods that can be done to the sub to make it tighter. I'd certainly like it to be a bit tighter. But all these suggestions of using polyfill to line the insides and spiking the bottom are a bit daunting. I dont really have too much of an idea of what polyfill is to begin with, and I certainly have no clue as to what the inside of a subwoofer looks like. I'd hate to screw up the sub by lining the wrong things and shorting something out.

    And I'm thinking of buying a set of paradigm Atoms for the rears. I figure the lack of bass compared to the titans shouldnt be too much of an issue since theyre rears and I have the sub to compensate.

    Also, my space is pretty constricted. (Dorm Room) I've heard over and over that its best to have your speakers a certain distance from the wall, but this simply is not an option for me. Right now the titans are about 3 inches from the back wall of a desk. And the sub is sitting on the floor with about 3 inches from the port as well. I could turn the sub as such an angle that the port would be facing a wide open space, but then the driver would be pointing perpendicularly to the left of me, which I'm assuming is a bad thing.

    So...what effect is this cramping having on my sound? I cant really tell, because there really isnt anywhere else to put them in my shoebox of a room. Also, if possible, is there any way to use some sort of looping tube to get the ports in the front, with a few feet of room to breath (albeit pointing right at me)?

    Any help is definitely appreciated, but please keep in mind this is a budget system! Sorry about the rookie questions, but I'm eager to learn!
  2. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

    Jul 30, 2000
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    The sub's crossover should not be set to anything. It should be disabled. The receiver is already filtering out the frequencies higher than it should get. I'm not sure if the sony has a means to disable the crossover (an alternative input jack labeled "external crossover" or something similar or maybe a defeat switch). If it doesn't, the next best thing is as high as possible. The sub is equiped with an adjustable crossover in case you were feeding it a full range signal, which I would guess you are not, rather using a sub out or LFE out jack.

    Sub level-Max is probably OK depending on the design and quality of the amp in the sony sub. I would suggest 3/4 and trim from the receiver to the appropriate level. If this trim turns out to be near the high end of the receiver's range, then you may need to push it closer to max. Also, the higher that knob is, the more likely the line level input signal will be too weak to trigger the sub's amp from standby to active.

    Any gain from stuffing the sub is likely to be subtle IMO and not worth degrading the factory seal on the cabinet.

    Adding atoms for rears sounds good to me. Some would argue that adding a center would take precedence.

    Don't worry about what direction the sub driver is pointing- so long as its not directly into a wall less than 4 inches. Sideways or backwards is fine. The sub port only needs a few inches of clearence. Remember that many highly regarded subs such as SVS fire straight onto the floor. Sub pointing perpendicular is not a bad thing.

    A small room is also not a bad thing per se. It will make the sony perform at a higher level for one thing. You may want to try to deaden the walls by hanging a rug on large hard surfaces. The titans only need your 3 inches of rear clearence to "breathe". Do not try to extend the ports- that will change their tune. The advice to give speakers clearence (beyond 3 inches) is not to give the port more "breathing" but rather to decrease back wall reflections which applies to sealed and front ported speakers as well.

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