How much should I set the subwoofer volume level at?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Basi Nanda, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    After procrastinating for six years, I finally caved in and bought a subwoofer for my HT sytstem. I have bought the Yamaha YST-SW215 subwoofer (I live in a small apartment and this sub is perfect and very tame -- no complaints from my neighbors so far).

    I have a few questions on set up:

    1. At what level should I keep the volume control of the sub at? At present I have kept at halfway between the min and the max levels and it seems to sound fine. Is there any correct way of setting this up?

    2. My AV receiver (Yamaha RXV795) manual says that the cutoff frequecy for the receiver is 90. So should I keep the crossover knob on the sub at exactly 90 or will it be OK to keep it at maximum?

    3. I have used the AVIA disc for calibrating my 5 speakers, but I am not sure how to calibrate the sub, as it is very confusing. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    It shouldn't be any different from the main speakers- maybe you could be more specific on why you're confused.
     
  3. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    The Avia disc has 5 test tones for the left main,right main,center and the two rear speakers, but for the subwoofer, it has none. There are some separate test tones for the sub that is a combination with leftSpeaker+sub, rightSpeaker+sub etc which is kinda confusing. I bought my Avia way back when it first came out (1999 I think). Maybe a newer version might have better test tone options?
     
  4. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Having the Avia myself and having the sub set at 80 and the Denon at 60Hz,it was smoother having the Denon at 80, same as the sub. Now the other filter on the sub is all the way at 120
     
  5. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Basi,
    you came accoss the answer in your last post. Using AVIA, put the subwoofer test tone 'Left Speaker + Sub' on a continual repeat by selecting 'Repeat Patteren On' from the main screen, then use that one test tone alone to calibrate your sub level using your meter. The sound will alternate back and forth between your sub and your left front speaker.

    Considering that all of your other speakers are all level with each other, it's not necessary to use every test tone in the subwoofer set-up test area, just the one will do.

    Also, here's a tip that you may want to try, many people, myself included, like to set their sub level just a tad higher than the other speakers, maybe 2 or 3 dbs higher just to give it that little extra OOMPH. [​IMG]

    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  6. Vince Antrim

    Vince Antrim Agent

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    Ok, have a dumb question.




    So which is it, crossover on the sub all the way, or not? I have the HK AVR 325 and the MTX SW2, but have the crossover on the sub set at 80, can't remeber what the reciever is set at. Not really new to all of this, but still stupid just the same!:b
     
  7. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Do you have a lpf and a hpf on you sub?
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    A crossover (or, really in this case a Low Pass Filter) filters out high freq sound and leaves you with only the low freq sound going to your sub. If you ahve a receiver with a crossover setting in it- and you set it, for example, for 80 hz-- it will filter out all sounds above 80hz, sending ONLY 80 and down to your subwoofer.

    So, if you place your Receievr at 80 and your sub at 100- the sub is, essentially, refiltering material that is already gone.

    As far as using "both" at the same crossover point- this can work just fine-- however it is important to know that the crossover doesn't just "stop" all signals above its crossover point: instead it filters the signal with a specific roll off slope, so it gradually removes the signal above 80hz (so 81 would be a little be reduced, 82 a little more, 83 a little more and so on).

    The filter in your sub and the filter in your receiver might not match slopes and even if they do- the two could interact and create weird response at the crossover point. It's easiest to just pick on and go with it.

    But you can try it out and see what you like best. On a side note many subwoofers disable the crossover knob when coming in via the RCA line-in anyway (the crossover function was in place for the speaker level connection to allow high-freq signal to be passed on to the mains back in the day before the modern A/V receiver).

    -V
     
  9. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    I read somewhere for most of the time,the lpf should not be set above 100.
     
  10. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Vince, dude, are you trying to destroy my house? [​IMG] I just tried your idea about turning the level all the way up on my sub and using the reciever to level it, with disastrous results.

    I turned my low pass frequency control all the way up on my sub (which is where I always keep it anyway) as well as the level control, then on my reciever, I turned the LFE all the way down and the SW volume all the way down to start. I set up my meter and popped in AVIA, calibrated all of my speakers first because they may have drifted some since the last time I did it.

    Then, I went to calibrate my sub with the test tone I mentioned in my first post, the tone started in the front left speaker, read at 75db, fine, and then when the tone hit the sub, it sounded as if several very angry T-Rex's were stampeding through my living room, it scared the shit out of me! [​IMG]

    Even with the controls all the way down on my reciever, the sub was off the scale, reading around 90db or so. The only thing I can figure is that I have to turn my low pass frequency cut off on the sub either down or at about half, but I keep it all the way up so that all of the available signal reaches my sub, won't turning that down cheat my sub of some of the frequencies in the signal?

    Anyway, I started over and calibrated the way I normally do, with the low pass on the sub at max and the volume control at low, set the LFE control on the reciever at 0 and the volume control on the reciever at 0 and slowly turned the volume on my sub up to hit 75db or in my case, 77 or 78db because I like the extra punch.
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yep it happens sometimes. The point is that, in theory, on some subwoofers the volume pad is a filter which reduces the incoming signal. The cleanest path is with this filter bypassed entirely (basically by turning it all the way up). IN THEORY.

    However, in some (many cases) this filter can now actually BOOST the incoming signal when turned up all the way. So the old rules don't apply.

    But, I still say, WHEN POSSIBLE-- if you CAN calibrate with the sub volume maxed out, you should. If you can't, like in your case, I say try to run the sub vol at 3/4 and see if you can calibrate then.

    You should still have the LPF at max-- I wouldn't roll that back. The whole point is trying to "bypass" the controls on the sub and turn over the controls to your receiver. So the issue is just trying to calibrate with the volume pad on the sub amp itself as high as you can get away with and the LPF maxed out so your receiver has the full control.

    Rule of thumb, I'd guess you'd say.

    -V
     
  12. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice gentlemen. I will try out the suggestions this weekend and post my findings. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess LPF is the crossover frequency. What is a HPF? My sub has only one control to set the crossover though.
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    HPF is a high pass filter, which basically lets you set the lowest signal that is set to your sub. Kind of the opposite of a LPF (low pass filter) which removes the higher freq sound from the signal, the HPF removes the lower freq.

    Most home subs don't have a HPF setting,a lthough many of them to have a "hard" HPF built into the amp to protect the driver- so some cheaper subs filter off everything below 40hz or so.

    -Vince
     
  15. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Mine is a cheap sub (Original price is $150, but got it on a sale for $99.99 at Amazon combined with a $15 coupon which brought it down to $84.99). Since it does not have a HPF control, I would suppose it is hardwired into the sub at some preset value.

    I am using a Monster Standard Subwoofer cable for connecting the sub to my receiver and I am pleased with the result. I do not know what a really good sub sounds like, but this cheap one seems OK for my small apartment. The neighbor who lives above me told me that he does not hear the sub noise. I am not sure about my next door neighbor though.

    I am rewatching my DVD collection now with the sub turned on, and I am surprised at the new sounds in these movies that I had never heard before. For example, in ROTK:EE, when frodo and sam are marching along with the orcs, there is an orc hitting a drum. With the sub, I can actually hear the drum beat, whereas without the sub all I hear is a muffled thud. I guess I have been missing out on a part of my HT experience without a sub all these days.
     
  16. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Well my sub has a 40/80 switch for the HPF which i set to the same as my reciever which has 5 or 6 different settings.Both on 80Hz. Maxed out the LPF on the sub which is 0-120 knob. Volume on sub maxed because it works better for multi-channel settings in my DVD player. Speakers all set to small in reciever but found it sounds better if set to large on the multi-channel settings in the DVD player.
     
  17. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I assume this HPF iis actually only used for pass through on the sub (for full range being sent to the sub, then onto main speakers). If you actually HPF your subwoofer signal at 80 hz, that would mean you would lose all bass below 80, which I would find impossible to believe "sounds better" lol.

    Dany I would love to see how your system is wired- I'm wondering if you have your dvd player wired analog or digial to your receiver... or both.

    Interesting
     
  18. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    DVD dig & 6 analogs to 2805. 2805 LFE to sub. Pretty basic. I tried the 2805 at 60Hz and the sub on 80 but it wasnt as smooth from mains to sub as it was with both on 80Hz.
     
  19. Pablo.M

    Pablo.M Auditioning

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    my sub doesnt have an lpf or hpf control, but it does have a volume control. should i put this one to max and the control it from the receiver?
     

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