Does my Home Theatre Salesman know what he is talking about??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Sun, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. Robert Sun

    Robert Sun Agent

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    Finally saved up enough to purchase a subwoofer to complete my system. I have a Marantz SR4200, Mains :Energy e:XL26 Centre Energy e:XLC2 Surrounds: Energy e:XL15. Today I purchased a Sound Dynamics RTS-1000 sub.

    The salesman suggested I hook up the sub in the following way. Use speaker wire to "piggyback" into the recievers Front R & L main speaker outputs into the subs R & L inputs. Set the main speakers to LARGE and the rest to small. Set the reciever to say NO subwoofer. He said by doing this Bass will go to the subwoofer while playing other sounds apart from a DVD (i.e music). Where as if I used an RCA cable to hook up the sub to the amp it would only be used as the "0.1" channel in DVD's 5.1 channel soundtrack and not be used any other time.

    Is this the best way to set it up??
     
  2. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    If your receiver has a SMALL/LARGE setting for your main speakers and a YES/NO setting for the subwoofer out then setting the mains to SMALL, subwoofer to YES and using the RCA jack is normally the best way to go. That will route the low bass to the subwoofer for music *and* DVDs. The advantage of this approach is that there is less load on the receiver than using the high-level-out connection your salesperson recommended.

    One disadvantage to the RCA out approach is that the crossover frequency (that is, the frequency at which the low bass is routed to the subwoofer rather than the main speakers) is configurable by the receiver. Some receivers provide significant flexibility and others use a fixed crossover. Most newer receivers either offer various crossover settings or set the crossover to 80Hz which is great for most applications but some older receivers set it to 120Hz (too high IMO).

    --Steve
     
  3. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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    Steve is right. Setting all your speakers to small and sub to yes, then using an rca cable from the sub-out on your receiver is the best way for you to go. Basically, your HT salesman doesn't understand the concept. When your speakers are set to small ALL information below the crossover point in the receiver is sent to the subwoofer. So you are not missing any information hooking it up this way. In fact, if you go the way he suggests you will be missing out on a lot of the low freq. information in the surrounds and center that is below the crossover point. It will still be there, but rolled off to the point that your probably won't hear it.
     
  4. Robert Sun

    Robert Sun Agent

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    Steve,

    Is there any way to tell what the x over point is on my receiver? It does not allow a manual setting on 80 100 or 120.

    I'll be buying an RCA cable tomorrow and change the setup!
     
  5. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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    It should say in the manual.
     
  6. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Robert many receivers do not. My next one will. If you should compare or try the two different options--you will go with the prevailing advice and do the opposite of what the salesman recommends which will limit your bass big-time.
     
  7. Heath Wade

    Heath Wade Auditioning

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    Robert,

    I've got the SR7200 and it has a fixed crossover at 100. I'm not sure about the 4200 but I would guess it is the same.

    Heath
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    All of the x200 series use a fixed 100Hz x-over except the 8200 and 9200, which are both THX cert (which means it must be 80Hz).
     
  9. Robert Sun

    Robert Sun Agent

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    THanks guys for all the advice. I'm out to get an RCA to hook up the sub as you suggested. This is the second time I've got "bad" advice from salesman (different stores). The other time one guy tried to tell me for longer runs of speaker cable the thinner the wire the better!
     
  10. Jamie Doucette

    Jamie Doucette Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to come to the dealers defence here.

    What Steve says i totally agree with and that is the way I have my system configured. Now with Dan's statement I think it is misleading. If you set your mains to LARGE, all frequencies should be routed to your sub and mains. You should not loose any bass if hooked the way the dealer suggested. I always thought that if the MAINS are set to LARGE all frequencies are transferred to those set speakers, and the cross-over is not in effect for the MAINS. If i am wrong please tell me.

    Now, I would not say your dealer gave you bad advice, I'd say he gave you his personal preference. I have heard people prefer one route over the other.

    If you are going to buy a RCA cable (which I would do any ways), why not experiment and see what you prefer!

    just my thought.

    Jamie Doucette
     
  11. mark rush

    mark rush Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello, this is my first post here, I have a similar question, I have a rx-v1 yamaha running 4 klf20's,{2main-2surround}and a klfc7 center I just bought my first sub its a Paradigm pw2200, I have the rxv1 set on low bass to BOTH and mains to LARGE, seems to have better sound and more bass this way any thought's? I am running my sub with the mono connection out of rxv1 going into sub low level the Tributaries cable has a built in Y to plug into the sub, should I try a different way with this setup, thanks for any input
    Mark
     
  12. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    more info needed on the sub , your listening habits, low freq output on your mains, desire for dvd-a/sacd, other bass mngmnt issues that you may face,etc.......
    I can think of some needs and circumstances and equipment that could benifit from the salesmans suggestion,,,can anyone else??
     
  13. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Think about this case...

    During a 5.1 movie you are sending a full range signal to the subwoofer crossover for it to filter out the highs and send the lows to the sub.

    OR you could go RCA and have an uninterrupted signal path from the DVD's .1 channel to the sub.

    Which one do you think will sound better? Also think about the signal path of the mains... During 2 channel music you are running the speaker wires through a subwoofer that you may not even use for music. I'd want the cleanest signal path from my receiver to the speakers which is obviously a direct speaker wire and not having a sub amp hooked between.

    Were talking what will sound "better" then clearly the answer is RCA sub cable. If the question is about what will yield the best frequency response then we'd have to take measurements and include a number of factors.
     
  14. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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    Jamie,

    I was referring to bass in the surround channels. With the surround channels set to Small and the Sub to NO then the information below 100hz (the Marantz crossover point) becomes severely limited as it will be rolled off.

    I'm not sure what you are trying to say, as I just woke up. Correct me if I'm wrong. You believe that if the mains are set to large, sub to NO, and all other speakers to small, then the bass below the crossover point is routed to the mains since they are designated as Large. Is that right? I really cannot say for certain if this is the way it is or not. Perhaps you are right.

    Matt Jesty,

     
  15. Robert Sun

    Robert Sun Agent

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    I bought the RCA cable and tried hooking it up this way. I used Toy Story 2 opening scence as a demo. I got to admit that the way the salesman suggested did certainly sound "louder bass" (don't know if this is "better" or not!)

    My "new" question is does anyone know how this wiring would affect speaker calibration using AVIA since this is not the setup they suggest?

    Would my front mains be "louder" because the sub is working with it? or would it have nil effect?
     
  16. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    This is not nearly as simple a question as folks here have said, especially when you consider the Marantz models. Here are my thoughts:

    Pros to the "Salesman approach":

    1. You can set the cross-over to anything you want rather than fixed at 100MHz.

    2. Music reproduction is usually much better when used with "Source Direct" mode. This "pure" mode bypasses everything in the digital field including the RCA Sub Out, so this (or using pre-outs) is the only way to use the sub with SD mode.

    Cons:

    1. More speaker cable and connections are needed.

    2. Since the "speaker-level" inputs are already amplified, you are pushing your reciever a little more and not making use of your sub amp.

    3. More connections introduce more potential for distortion in the speaker path.

    My opinion (for what little that is worth) is that it is not a good idea to use speaker-level connections. I decided to go with a more complex approach with an A/B switch. For music (A), I use source-direct and connect to the sub through L/R pre-outs. The sub is crossed-over to fill in the low end (< 50Hz where my mains roll off). For Home Theater (B), I connect to the sub through the standard Sub-Out and all speakers are small.

    Chris
     
  17. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    There is a lot of misinformation being spread in this thread. The salesperson's suggestion for setup is correct (mains on large, sub set to off), will give you the most versatile crossover, and cost the least amount of money (no long RCA cable needed). If you have the mains on large and sub set to 'on' the sub might not get any bass info with 2ch audio (depends on the bass management in the receiver). Setting everything to small _should_ route the bass to the subwoofer (test to be sure).

     
  18. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    If I read Dan's first post correctly, it seems that the salesman suggested that the speaker outputs from the receiver each have two pairs of speaker wire- one pair to the mains and the other to the sub with the sub's high pass outputs being unused. This is very different from the standard "mains large, sub no" hookup where the mains are fed from the sub crossovers high pass rather than the raw receiver output. If I interpreted Dan's description, then its not surprising at all that the RCA sub out connection sounded bass weak since his prior salesman suggested hookup involved a "double dose" of LFE and deep bass- the sub picking up everyting its crossover passed to it, and the mains trying to reproduce the entire unfiltered signal. The result would be very loud but boomy and/or flabby bass. Furthermore, the mains will have degraded performance in heart of the midrange because of the burdon of tryimg to reproduce sound below 40-60 Hz which most mains are not designed to do well.

    The two options to consider is the single RCA which would be better if your receiver didn't force you to 100 Hz (a little high unless your mains are small), or hook the sub to the R/L main outputs of receiver, then mains to the output of the sub.
     
  19. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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    Brian,
    After reading it again, yes that does seem to be how it is described. Good eye for catching that and make some valid points. But I think you meant Robert, not Dan. [​IMG]
    Greg,
    You also point out some important issues regarding where the better crossover is, as well as the sub amplifier not being bypassed. I guess my take on it is from this quote by the salesman:
    "...by doing this, Bass will go to the subwoofer while playing other sounds apart from a DVD (i.e music). Where as if I used an RCA cable to hook up the sub to the amp it would only be used as the "0.1" channel in DVD's 5.1 channel soundtrack and not be used any other time."
    I'm sure we all agree that this is false. No one knows everything about audio hookups. That's why we have forums like this. Something that bugs me is that if he is anything like the sales people I have dealt with, he will refuse to be corrected and say "That's what they told me in training."
     
  20. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Well you can try it both ways and find out which works best for you. When I set my mains to large and subwoofer to NO my subwoofer blends MUCH MUCH better with my mains. When I plug my subwoofer into the LFE on 3801 (the xo is 80hz) the sub just totally overpowers the mains and it just doesn't blend that nicely.

    I think the salesmans advice was pretty good, of course I also use a variable crossover for my subwoofer and I have it set to about 50 hz.
     

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