High level sub connection

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BradK, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. BradK

    BradK Stunt Coordinator

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    I posted this on the "tweaking" area, but they don't seem to get as much viewing as here. Hope it's cool to post same message on more than one area.
    I was reading reviews of my speakers(Energy Encore)and stumbled across this one. It basically says a high level connection to sub is the way to go for best bass and sound.I thought I read here somewhere that you should NEVER hook sub up this way? Does this method not cause the receiver to work harder? What do you guys think? Getting more confused with more info. I get ! Thx for help.
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    Summary:
    Proper hookup of the Encores will make a tremendous difference in your satisfaction. When I first hooked these up, I was not very happy. DVDs sounded pretty good through my amplifier, but music sounded downright terrible. I called Mark from Audioshop in Canada (where I bought them) as well as Energy customer support and was told the same thing...the only way to get great sound out of these speakers is NOT to hook them up in the traditional 5.1 setup (i.e. subwoofer connected to the amplifier via a subwoofer cable and all satellites set to SMALL on amplifier). Instead, the optimal setup for these speakers is as follows:
    * hook up the four satellites and the center channel to corresponding speaker posts on amplifier as normal;
    * use standard speaker wire to connect right High Level Input post on rear of subwoofer to FRONT RIGHT speaker post on amplifier. Connect left High Level Input post on rear of subwoofer to FRONT LEFT speaker post on amplifier. Do NOT use a subwoofer cable to connect the subwoofer to your amp. When hooked up correctly, you will have two sets of speaker wire running from each FRONT speaker post on your amp...one to a satellite and one to the subwoofer.
    * set front speakers to LARGE on your amplifier
    * set amplifier to indicate "No Subwoofer"
    * set the Bass and LPF dials on the front of your subwoofer (I set mine at 1 o'clock).
    * try it out!
    Basically, you are removing the subwoofer as a separate channel. Instead, your amp believes that you have a 3/2 setup with a set of LARGE speakers attached to the front channel and no subwoofer. Therefore, the amp will send a full (i.e. LARGE) signal to the FRONT speakers. The built-in low pass filter of the subwoofer filters out all but the low bass signal. The remainder of the signal is reproduced by the corresponding satellite speaker. Unfortunately, I found out about this after spending $50 for a premium subwoofer cable that I could not return (threw away the packaging/receipt). The setup above uses only standard speaker wire...oh well.
    http://www.audioreview.com/PRD_119502_1594crx.aspx
     
  2. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Brad,

    The problem is that the Encore's main speakers really don't have a very good "low freqency extension". Their output starts falling off at a frequency that is well above the crossover frequencies used in most receivers. This means that there's a gap between the lowest frequency that the Encore satellite speakers can reproduce and the highest frequency that the receiver sends to its subwoofer output. The crossover built into the Encore's subwoofer is at a higher frequency, one appropriate for matching with the Encore satellite speakers.

    The admonition to use a receiver's internal crossover assumes that the satellite speakers can produce a reasonable sound level down to half the frequency of the crossover. (For an 80Hz crossover, this would be down to 40Hz.) Unfortunately, Energy quotes the Encores as only going down to about 76Hz. They don't say how much signal is produced at that frequency. Apparently it isn't very much at all.

    I hope this clarifies things a little.
     
  3. BradK

    BradK Stunt Coordinator

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    Thx Seldon.

    Do you see any harm in hooking up sub this way? I bought some sub cable, but can exchange it for speaker wire if I can be convinced this is the way to go. I guess this a case of try it, and use whatever way sounds best? Just dont want to degrade signal to mains or somewhere else.

    Thx for help.
     
  4. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Your mains benefit by being relieved of low frequency signal which they are not nearly as well equiped to reproduce as the sub. With the speaker setup outlined above, your poor mains will be struggeling to reproduce the deep bass being fed to them including the content of the LFE track on 5.1 sources. In addition, your receiver's power reserve will be wasted in the vain attempt of the mains to reproduce deep bass, which takes much more amp power than higher frequencies. This is a very bad idea in my opinion, at least in theory. If it sounds better, it sounds better. But it should sound much worse. Let the specialists to their job. Set mains to small, sub to on, sub's crossover defeated and use your $50 cable !
     
  5. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Brian,
    Unfortunately, it seems to me that you may not have read the specs for the speakers that Brad has, or I may be misunderstanding what you're trying to say. [​IMG]
    The Energy Encore speaker package has a powered subwoofer, a center speaker and 4 identical satellite speakers to be used as fronts and surrounds. The subwoofer has a builtin crossover matched to the satellites. The receiver's front speaker outputs should be connected to the sub, not to the front speakers. The sub's outputs then connect to the front speakers. The subwoofer's internal crossover filters out the low frequencies and presents a high impedance to the receiver for that low frequency range. The sub's internal amplifier provides the power for those frequencies. The sub's internal high-pass crossover passes only the high frequencies on to the front speakers. As a result, the receiver only has to supply power for those high frequencies.
    Unfortunately, this kind of a configuration, although inexpensive, causes limitations in where you can put the speakers. Since the sub will be generating sounds up to a relatively high 100Hz, you'll be able to tell that they're coming from the direction of the sub. (Lower frequencies are much harder to localize.) This means that the sub will sound best if it's in the front of the room, near the main speakers.
    Also, if you want to be able to move the sub around to find the best place for it, you have to provide lots of slack -- both in the cables running from the receiver to the sub, and in the cables running from the sub to the front speakers.
    I hope this clarifies things a little.
     
  6. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Seldon,

     

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