Difficulty getting my subwoofer to perform

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jay_Kr, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Jay_Kr

    Jay_Kr Auditioning

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    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I have an Infinity PS12 sub, and a Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver.

    Basically, I've had a very hard time getting my sub to produce bass. I'm not really sure what the problem is.

    There are times when the sub doesn't seem to be generating any bass whatsoever, even when it should be. There are times when I hear a strange beep/chirp sound come from it. I run the YPAO auto setup program on the receiver, and when it sends the test signals to the speakers, the sub barely makes any sound whatsoever. Two or three times during these setup tests, it's produced more sound, but usually it's a rather weak sound. There are times when I'm playing a movie that I go to check the sub and the red "standby" light is on, as though the sub isn't getting a signal from the receiver.

    The instructions for the sub say that if the receiver has a LFE connection, then you're supposed to set the receiver to "LFE", and that in this mode the crossover dial has no effect.

    I've experimented with room placement, it doesn't seem to make any difference.

    I've tried playing CD's that have a lot of bass, and it just sits there doing nothing.

    I've wondered whether my expectations were off - I was expecting a ton of window-rattling bass. But the performance of this sub has been underwhelming to say the least.

    I've considered that it's a problem with the receiver calibration. I've tried running the auto YPAO setup program, and also tried setting up the speakers manually. It doesn't seem to make a difference.

    I'd hate for the sub to be defective, but from the day I bought it I've never thought that it's produced the kind of sound I thought it would. Could the connections on the sub be loose, or not connecting properly in some way?

    Does anyone have any thoughts?
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    There's usually a setting in the receiver to turn the sub ON/OFF. Make sure that is set first. Next, there is usually a gain setting in the receiver for the sub that is on a scale of -10 through 10 (this may vary). Most people will set it at -5 to do calibration, but you may try to raise it some in your situation.

    If none of that works, you may see if a buddy can bring a sub over to try. If his sub works, then there's something wrong with your sub.

    I don't think this is a case of underperformance. While I do think your expetations were too high if you were expecting the windows to rattle from an Infinity, it should still produce something.
     
  3. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Jay,

    Go through this checklist thoroughly:

    http://www.robbroy.net/HT/SubwooferErrors.cfm

    As Seth pointed out, you may want to raise the sub level on the receiver end. Or, if the sub has an "on or auto" option, and it's on "auto", try leaving it at "on".

    -Robb
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    If that Infinity is working correctly, yes, it can rattle windows.....at least it did in my buddy's friend's brother's [​IMG] house. He recently bought a PS12 from Circuit City for his @20 X 25 living room w/8ft ceilings and uses it with a little Pioneer receiver (VSX-4xx series - can't remember exactly) and with his Matrix dvd & my Massive Attack CD (Mezzazine - scary, very low frequency bass) that effect occurred, along with various buzzings from the adjoining kitchen. The receiver was set at 3/4 of its max clean volume at the time, sub directly in a corner, gain set at 75%.
     
  5. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    75%??
     
  6. timZa

    timZa Stunt Coordinator

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    Lance, was the gain at 75% for test, or does he always run it that high. seems like he would get a lot of distortion at 75% and with the receiver level high also.
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    75% was the highest it could manage without distortion. There was some boominess present, most of which disappeared when the sub was pulled away from the corner about 10", but due to furniture arrangements it couldn't remain there.

    Since it was new, we were playing around with it to see its ultimate capabilities rather than actually calibrating it. I'm the one who advised doing this so he knew its limits: for calibration purposes and everyday use. I do the same thing with new cars* [​IMG] and other similar gear. IMO if you don't know your equipment's limits you can't properly utilize that equipment.

    * whenever I buy a new car, I go to a little-used back road & start slamming on the brakes to see how they react. I also try them in a more controlled manner i.e. no slamming but rather with a very firm pedal pressure. Because the last place I want to discover my brakes' limits is on a crowded freeway going 70mph.
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Jay,

    To test the sub itself, you can temporarily connect it to any other output of your receiver, e.g. the center channel (which then preferrably should be set to "large") or, even better, to the output of another source, like directly to a CD-player. The bass portion of the signal should be present very clearly (i.e. audible).

    It should also clearly be influenced by the volume dial on you sub and, if present, the crossover frequency dial (when the frequency is set higher, you should hear more of the original sound).

    If that's OK, you can connect it to the receiver again and try to find the proper settings on your receiver, as has been suggested above by other posters: subwoofer ON, other channels SMALL, LFE ON, etc.

    If it doesn't work in the first test (on your CD player), test the cable first (by changing it to a cable you know to work properly).


    Cees
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    At the risk of sounding like an Infinity shill, here are some sites for Infinity's Servo Static 3 piece speaker system (two mid/tweeter panels + subwoofer):

    The original from 1968

    A later version tested in 1975 The sub uses an 18 inch(!) driver with a 100 watt amp.

    Both use a servo circuit to make sure the sub's woofer is moving correctly.

    Here's an excellent German site with tons of photos, reviews in English and even schematics: www.infinity-classics.de
     
  10. Brian_cyberbri

    Brian_cyberbri Stunt Coordinator

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    Often, auto-setup programs in receivers will set the speakers to large, which means the only bass the subwoofer gets is the LFE channel (and no bass when there is no LFE content or no .1 LFE channel in the source material).

    You need to go in and do a manual setup of the speakers, setting them all to SMALL. If you have an adjustable crossover in your receiver, feel free to experiment, but standard is 80Hz or 100Hz, depending on your speakers and how well they blend with the sub.
     
  11. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    All to small,xover at 80 and thats a basic starting point.
     
  12. Jay_Kr

    Jay_Kr Auditioning

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    I'd just like to update this thread and let everyone know that after following the various suggestions, the performance of my subwoofer significantly improved. It now performs much closer to how I envisioned it. I think there are still issues with the room it's in (a large room with two walls open, and a high, vaulted ceiling). But I'm working to figure it out.

    Thanks for the advice, it really did help.
     

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