How should I setup my equipment?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Guillermo_F, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. Guillermo_F

    Guillermo_F Auditioning

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    Hello,
    I'm a rookie in home theater, however I enjoy good sound and I would like to fine tune my equipment to play sound as it was intended.
    This is what I have:
    - Sony STR-DE675 Receiver
    - Klipsch SB-1 Bookshelf Loudspeakers (FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 60Hz-20kHz±3dB)
    - Subwoofer D-Box David 302 (FREQUENCY RESPONSE 25Hz to 160Hz)
    I'm really confused about how to setup the receiver's EQ and the subwoofer's cross-over. I have no idea how this work together. I also notice that my subwoofer has a phase control and I have no idea what is this for.
    This how I have my receiver's EQ set for the main speakers:
    - Bass Level +4db
    - Bass Frequency 99Hz
    - Treble Level +6db
    - Treble Frequency 10Khz
    This how my subwoofer is set:
    - X-over set to 80 Hz
    - Phase 90 (the subwoofer is located in a corner)
    - Volume (50%)
    Is this setting correct? Can I improve it somehow? Do I need different settings for watching TV than watching movies or music?
    Thank you very much!
    Guillermo Ferrero
    Nanaimo, BC Canada
     
  2. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Selden
    Guillermo,
    I think you may be making it too complicated. Let the receiver do all the work.
    Connect the subwoofer to the receiver's LFE line output.
    Bypass the crossover in the sub if you can, or turn it up all the way so it doesn't block the higher frequencies sent from the receiver. Use the crossover built into the receiver: tell the receiver that all of your speakers are "small" and turn on the LFE sub output. This will redirect the low frequencies from the front, center & surround channels plus the Low Frequency Effects channel to the receiver's subwoofer output.
    You'll need to purchase an inexpensive sound level meter. Setting levels "by ear" can be very misleading. Subwoofer levels are very hard to get right, since they don't sound as loud as higher frequencies. Radio Shack sells an analog SPL meter for about US$30 (don't buy the digital version: it doesn't work well when trying to adjust levels, although it's fine for measuring ambient sound for OSHA). I don't know how available it is in Canada, though.
    You can use the SPL meter to help set the subwoofer phase (before you match the speakers' levels). One way to do this is to adjust the subwoofer's phase knob for the maximum sound level at your listening position. You want the subwoofer's highest frequencies to be in-phase with the lowest frequencies coming from your other speakers at your listening position. Those are the frequencies on either side of the crossover. If they're out-of-phase, there will be some cancellation between them and the total volume will be lower.
    Set the volume on the sub to maximum (no attenuation).
    Adjust the receiver's builtin multichannel sound level controls so that all speakers, including the subwoofer, produce the same sound level (usually 75dB) at your favorite listening position.
    How you set the receiver's internal equalizer is up to you. Many people use it to make the response of their systems as flat as possible. That can be rather difficult without a spectrum analyzer of some kind. Of course, making the sound pleasant to your ears is what it's for.
    If you haven't already done so, you should consider buying or renting either of the DVDs "Avia Guide to Home Theater" or "Video Essentials" They'll guide you through step-by-step in seting up your home theater system.
    I hope this helps a little.
     

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