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I want to run my mains as large ... (1 Viewer)

Marcus Lewis

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I have a Rotel RSX-965 which according to tech support has a 100hz crossover.

However, at that level I notice voices sometimes trying to be reproduced through the sub ... Very annoying.

I noticed when I set my mains (crappy bookshelves) as large, the crossover drops (not sure to what level) and voices no longer try to come through the sub ... Much better for music, but movies do loose some "oomph". Logically, because the bookshelves currently in use have no grunt ...

I want to run my mains as large to take advantage of the lower crossover setting while maintining the "oomph" for music/movies.

Any suggested bookshelves? And how low (frequency) should they be able to extend?

I am looking strongly at the Axiom M22 or Jbl S38 ... The S38 seems to be more what I'm looking for due to its "punchy" nature as described by reviewers.

Unfortunately due to geographical limitations, I cannot audition in home, nor am I willing to change my reciever at this point.

The Outlaw ICBM? is a strong consideration at some point in the future, but I need better speakers any how you swing it.

Oh yes, I like it LOUD ...
 

ColinM

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You run the dual SVS rig, right?

No crossover available on the sub amp, I suppose.

Strangely, my HK crosses at 100, and I have never heard voices.

Sorry to hear about the problem, good luck!
 

Philip Hamm

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Marcus, If you run your speakers as Large then no bass information is being sent to the sub at all. Booshelf speakers are not capable of reproducing low bass. You should run your speakers as small. Set the crossover as low as it will go on the pre/pro. Unless you buy very expensive truly full range tower speakers you will lose a LOT of bass if you use the large setting.
 

GaryAR

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i've got a denon avr3300 amp and energy encore speakers. in the manual they recommend setting the speakers as large, which i did. i think they sound pretty good, but after reading this thread i'm having second thoughts. anybody else here have the encore speakers? any recommendations for which setting i should be using?

thanks

-gary
 

Marcus Lewis

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Yes I have the dual SVS rig, 16-46 CS+'s with a S1000.

No crossover on amp, reciever has a crossover fixed at 100hz according to Rotel support. Settings are sub y/n, and any combination of speakers as large/small.

Fact is with the mains set to large and sub set to yes, I still get kicking bass out of my sub, just not the higher frequency bass ... I'm guessing the crossover drops to 80hz or so for the sub, but with the full range of sound being directed to the speakers.

My problem is the speakers are crap and unable to reproduce 80hz (approximate) bass with authority ...
 

Ron-P

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Marcus, If you run your speakers as Large then no bass information is being sent to the sub at all. Booshelf speakers are not capable of reproducing low bass.
Actually, I disagree. My Marantz receiver lets me set everything to 'large' (which I do) and the sub to 'yes' which sends the bass info to the sub. Sounds perfect. Lots of hard hitting bass with full range sound all around.
As for bookshelfs not producing bass, I run Polk Audio RT55s and a CS400 for mains and center. I have them set to 'large' and they sound excellent. If I remember correctly, the RT55s got to 35Hz and the CS400 to 40Hz. Sure it's not down to 20Hz like my Sonosub, but these babies can handle up to 200 watts full range. I am putting less then half that in them and they sound beautiful with zero distortion or bottoming out. Polk actually recommends them being set to 'large' and they are bookshelfs. The mid-bass punch from these when set to large is outstanding.
Peace Out~:D
 

Harold_C

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If you are hearing "voices" from a subwoofer crossed over at 100 Hz, then you have something out of whack in your system. I don't even think that very many human voices can sing a 100 Hz note.

If I had to guess, you probably have your subwoofer levels cranked up WAY too high and bass fundamentals are totally drowning out the harmonic structure of the recording.

A 100Hz crossover is NOT the reason you are localizing the subwoofer.
 

Marcus Lewis

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Well, "hearing voices" is too strong a statement ...

With the very lowest voices at my typically very loud listening levels, you can get a low end voice rumble coming through ...

Doesn't happen often, but it's irritating when it does happen ...

My sub levels are at the absolue minimum setting for all sound modes.

I really don't have these issues once I set my mains as large ... My main issue is some good speakers ...

Ron I'll look into the Polk's ... They sound like just the ticket ...
 

Harold_C

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relative said:
Look at it this way. You have spent the money for TWO of the biggest SVS subwoofers and a 1000 watt amplifier to drive them. But, you want to set your speakers to LARGE so that nothing gets sent to the subwoofer except the LFE channel on Dolby Digital and DTS recordings. That doesn't make logical sense -- there is no speaker that you could possibly buy for the fronts that will reproduce bass as capably as your sub combo.
Setting you front speakers to LARGE isn't changing the crossover point. It is sending no bass, nada, zilch, zippo from your front speakers to your two large SVS subs and 1000 watt sub amp.
The only thing that could possibly happening when you set your bookshelf speakers to LARGE is that you are signficantly reducing the amount of bass below 100 Hz. If this sounds "better", then it is a dead giveaway that your subwoofer levels must be too high and/or that your subs are exciting a big room resonance in the 80 to 100 Hz range.
If it were my system, I would try moving the subs out of the corner a bit to tame any room resonances (you have the luxury of doing this because you have subwoofer output to spare) and I would calibrate the system with an SPL meter to make sure the subwoofer levels are set properly.
 

Marcus Lewis

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Ok Harold, what you say makes a lot of sense ...
But, I'm still stumped because, other that the individual sub adjustments for the various modes, I have no other adjustment other than yes or no...
I think I'm finally getting somewhere and if you have a chance take a glance at my receiver's manual and see if you locate a setting I might be missing?
http://www.rotel.com/pdfs/manuals/RSX965.pdf
Thanks in advance ...
 

Harold_C

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But, I'm still stumped because, other that the individual sub adjustments for the various modes, I have no other adjustment other than yes or no...
It's on the TEST TONE menu. That menu allows to individually adjust the level of all five speakers plus the subwoofer using built-in test tones. You should try to adjust each speaker (including the subwoofer) to read 75dB on a Radio Shack SPL meter.

To to the TEST TONE menu from the MAIN MENU. Set all the lines on the TEST TONE menu to 0. Hold the SPL meter at your listening position with it pointed to the ceiling (set the meter on the 70dB position, Slow response, C-weighting). It's best to mount the meter on a tripod or otherwise figure out some way to just prop it up so you don't have to physically hold it. Adjust your Master Volume control until the LEFT FRONT speaker reads 75 dB (+ 5 on the meter). That Master Volume control setting is now your official Dolby reference playback level.

Now, leave the Master Volume control alone and go from speaker to speaker on the TEST TONE menu, using the individual adjustments so that all five speakers and your sub each measure the same 75 dB.

Actually, due to the weighting curve of the meter, this will probably set your subwoofer levels 3 to 5 dB too high. Most people probably like that little extra bass, but feel free to go down a bit from the sub setting you get from the meter. (I generally run my sub about 3 down from the measured response).

If you are trying to set this by listening to the test tones, then take your best shot at setting the subwoofer level so it matches, and then turn the subwoofer adjustment down by 6dB as a guesstimate. It's virtually impossible to set the sub level accurately by ear.

Before you make these adjustments, you should go back the Surround Mode menu and resent the BASS LEVEL to 0 dB for each surround mode. All tone controls should also be bypassed or set to 0.
 

Marcus Lewis

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Actually the test tone subwoofer setting is directly connected to the sub modes for all sound settings, i.e, they are both the same value ... MIN
 

scott cerv

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Harold,

Very informative post. I too want to run my fronts as large. In the very near future I will be getting the B&W 604S3, which I find to be a very nice speaker for the money. I thought they really blew away the Paradigm 100's and PSB Silver's. Anyway, I'm giving serious consideration to either the Outlaw or Rotel RSP1066. I think I might like to set the crossover at either 50Hz or 60Hz. If setting to small, will this still crossover at my specified range. I might go down to 40Hz, as I really like the sound of the towers and would like to get as much from them as possible. I've yet to decide on a sub. Either way I'll probably be crossing over at lower than the 80Hz that many choose as I feel it adds a little "mud" to some recordings. Also, I like it loud and record oncerts (WSP, Gov't Mule, Ekoostik Hookah, etc..) These sound great through the speakers as it was one of my audition tracks (I know I know, but I did listen to many other great recordings)

SC
 

Greg Bright

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Ron writes:

My Marantz receiver lets me set everything to 'large' (which I do) and the sub to 'yes' which sends the bass info to the sub. Sounds perfect. Lots of hard hitting bass with full range sound all around.

Most receivers do let us set all the speakers to large and set the sub to "yes". But this sure doesn't mean that all the low bass is being sent to the sub. In almost all cases it's still only the LFE channel being directed there. Except for the settings on a very few high-end receivers (possibly an oxymoron)that specifically allow "large plus sub" settings, the only surefire way to get ALL the low bass to the sub is to set ALL other speakers to SMALL. I have "flat to 35Hz towers", and I've tried all the options; ALL SMALL works best for me.

Greg Brigght
 

Harold_C

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Actually the test tone subwoofer setting is directly connected to the sub modes for all sound settings, i.e, they are both the same value ... MIN
Ok.

The "MIN" setting for the subwoofer output on the TEST TONE menu means that the signal coming from the RSX-965 to the subwoofer has been lowered by 10 dB relative to the front/center/surround channels (assuming the other channels are set to 0dB on this menu).

Basically, you've run out of adjustment room and I even more strongly suspect that your subwoofer levels are WAY too high.

This is not surprising. You have two massive subwoofers driven by 500 watts each and the rest of your speakers are driven by a 75 watt per channel receiver. If you set the volume control to a decently loud level for the main speakers, your subwoofers are going to be blowing a hole through your roof.

You have got to get a Radio Shack SPL meter.

Then, I want to set everything on the TEST TONE menu and all the bass levels on the SURROUND MODE menus to 0.

Now, go to the TEST TONE menu and play the test tone on the front left speaker. Holding the SPL meter at your listening position pointing straight up (70 dB on the dial, SLOW response, C-weighting) adjust the master volume control until your meter reads 75 db (+5db). Now, leave the master volume control alone and go to each of the other speakers on the test tone menu and adjust each one up or down until it reads the same 75 dB on the meter. When, you get to the subwoofer, you will need to adjust the volume with the two big sensitivity knobs on the the front of the Samson. Start with them both all the way down and slowly increase them both the same amount until you get the same 75 dB reading on the meter. To balance your system, I guarantee those knobs will have to be set somewhere below "wide open" because you have more than ten times more power on your subs than any other speaker. Once you've got every speaker in the system (including the subs) reading the same 75 dB on the meter, your system is calibrated.

If you then want to make small adjustments in the subwoofer levels, you can now do it using the subwoofer level setting on the TEST TONE menu. You shouldn't need to adjust more than a range of -3 to +3 dB. A setting of -3 will probably be pretty close to flat response, but you might like a bit more bass. Anything more than +3 dB from your calibrated setting would be excessive.
 

Harold_C

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Very informative post. I too want to run my fronts as large. In the very near future I will be getting the B&W 604S3, which I find to be a very nice speaker for the money. I thought they really blew away the Paradigm 100's and PSB Silver's. Anyway, I'm giving serious consideration to either the Outlaw or Rotel RSP1066. I think I might like to set the crossover at either 50Hz or 60Hz. If setting to small, will this still crossover at my specified range. I might go down to 40Hz, as I really like the sound of the towers and would like to get as much from them as possible.
You do not want to set the crossover lower than 80 Hz for Dolby Digital or DTS recordings. The whole concept of the LFE channel and bass management assumes an 80 Hz or higher crossover point. The LFE channel has bass up to 80 Hz and if you set the crossover lower than that and you have a subwoofer in the system, you will be throwing away part of the LFE channel if you set the crossover lower than 80 Hz.

I know that it is a difficult transition to go from a 2-channel mindset to a 5.1 channel mindset. But, honestly, it's a new world and 5.1 channel Dolby Digital and DTS systems should really be thought of in terms of five speakers playing from 80 Hz up and a quality subwoofer playing from 80 Hz down. There are many, many reasons why this is the way to go with a 5.1 channel system -- not the least of which is the amount of power it takes to reproduce the unprecedented dynamic range of these recordings. If you run your B&W604's full-range instead of from 80 Hz on up, you are going to need DOUBLE the amplifier power for them - at LEAST 200 watts per channel.

Believe me, you won't be leaving anything on the table with the 604's by running them crossed over at 80 Hz. That's only one octave of bass that you will be redirecting to the subwoofer. In exchange, the 604's and the amp driving them will be MUCH better in the midbass and midrange and highs. They will play louder, cleaner, more effortlessly, and with better imaging as a result.

And you'll get better bass. As good as the 604's may be, there is no way on earth that two 7 inch bass drivers can match the bass performance below 80 Hz of a similarly high-quality subwoofer with its own dedicated amplifier.

Why fight it?

Now, if you want to hang on to the audiophile mindset for good old stereo recordings, fine. The RSP-1066 has an analog bypass mode that will allow you to do that. Just pop into the speaker setup menu and temporarily change your front speakers to LARGE and your subwoofer to OFF when you play stuff in 2-channel mode. This will bypass all of the digital processing.

But, for day in a day out playback of 5.1 channel sources, all SMALL is definitely the way to think about things.
 

scott cerv

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Harold,

Alright alright, I'll probably do just that then. Only issue I have with running the analog bypass is that the DAC in the DAT deck is trash. I'll look into better DAC's. Can't wait to be recording 24/96!

SC
 

Philip Hamm

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You do not want to set the crossover lower than 80 Hz for Dolby Digital or DTS recordings. The whole concept of the LFE channel and bass management assumes an 80 Hz or higher crossover point. The LFE channel has bass up to 80 Hz and if you set the crossover lower than that and you have a subwoofer in the system, you will be throwing away part of the LFE channel if you set the crossover lower than 80 Hz.
This is not correct. The receiver crossover settings on the "5" speakers does not affect the ".1" LFE output. The crossover is only for the selected speaker line levels.
 

Steve_Ma

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Scott/Harold,

Not that Harold needs my support, but (at the risk of being redundant), I think the below quote is right on the money. I own the 603s, BTW.

--Steve
Believe me, you won't be leaving anything on the table with the 604's by running them crossed over at 80 Hz. That's only one octave of bass that you will be redirecting to the subwoofer. In exchange, the 604's and the amp driving them will be MUCH better in the midbass and midrange and highs. They will play louder, cleaner, more effortlessly, and with better imaging as a result.
 

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