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Integrating Subwoofer with Mains (1 Viewer)

Ron Duca

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 29, 1999
Since the volume of a powered subwoofer can be controlled by both a physical knob on the back of the sub and by a subwoofer volume setting within a receiver or pre/pro, it is my guess that the receiver or pre/pro setting should be set to its midpoint of the range and then the volume control on the sub should be adjusted to blend its sound with the mains. Is this the corrent approach when calibrating and integrating the sub?


Supporting Actor
Jun 14, 2002
Not necessarily. It might be a nice place to start out, but I had to mess around with my subwoofer volume before it got near where it should be. What you want is for your sub to be near "0" on the LFE output on the receiver, that way you can adjust in the future with the receiver and not play around with that volume control on the sub again.

I personally have it a little bit past the half way point on the sub, and I believe it's at "-1" on the receiver. So if I ever want more or less bass, I can change it on the receiver.

Bill Kane

Feb 5, 2001
Yes, cant go wrong following a golden mean....

Conventional set-up suggests that at the outset the AVR or prepro SWFR Level should never be max'd -- to avoid any overvoltage distortion.

In practice (with a Yamaha) one can set the AVR's SWFR Level well BELOW midpoint, closer to 1/3 on the lower end of the scale. Then playing the testtone to 85dB or 75dB thru a Main, raise the Sub's internal gain control until matching. No one knows where this will end up til calibrating. Usually, internal sub amps can do the work as low as 1/4 on the knob all the way to 3/4.

Once calibrated set, the sub's knob can now be ignored with the AVR's remote used in the chair to adjust up/down per yer taste and music/TV or other sources. This would be the time to keep the SPL meter in the listening spot and use the remote to adjust the sub to any desired permanent boost, such as the 4-5dB "hot" suggested by SVS folks. I keep track of both matched and boosted levels on a notepad along with main/surrounds trims.

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