my dharman or my wife?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Sedlik, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. Jeff Sedlik

    Jeff Sedlik Auditioning

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    I recently purchased a dharman sub from avia. From the moment the huge box arrived, my wife was shaking her head. When I opened the box the first thing she said was "where the hell are you going to put that thing?" (I am sure that she was about to tell me just where I could shove it). Actually it is a very large cabinet and I myself was a bit shocked. Then I set it up and put the attack scene from the Pearl Harbor DVD on. It nearly blew the windows out of our house. Enough bass to panic all but the most seasoned veterans. About 5 minutes in, my wine glass was knocked off the mantle by the vibrations and broke on the floor. Seriously. Needless to say, after we finished cleaning the cabernet and shattered glass from the floor, I proceeded to turn the sw "level" knob all the way down. The thing still rattles the walls.

    My problem is that the bass is very boooomy, and I prefer tighter bass. I have the crossover knob on the sw set to the minimum level. Increasing the setting just makes it boomier. The phase knob doesn't seem to help either. As this sub has been reviewed well, I'm thinking that the problem lies with the settings on my receiver, which is a (no flames please, I will change it when I can afford better receiver) Sony STR-DE935.

    The Sony has 2 sw out connections with both carrying identical signal. I have one cable going to the sub, with a "y" connector at the sw connected to both "in" connectors on the sw. Can anyone help me out with some advice to reduce the boomyness, aside from telling me to buy a different receiver?

    Also, I have a short cable on it now, but I need to run a 35' cable through the attic to get it to the optimum sw position. Who can I order a cable from, under $100 for that length, and what type of cable should I buy?

    Thanks!

    Jeff
     
  2. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Well, the boominess is more than likely not the fault of the receiver. Although you're on the right track to upgrading it in the future.

    If you can, get a hold of an SPL meter and a test CD to see what the offending frequencies are. A graphic EQ could go a long way towards eliminating that boominess.
     
  3. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Dharman .. it's not boomy at all, in fact, it's perfectly integrated with the rest of my system and sounds great and can handle everything I can feed it without bottoming out or clipping. Remember .. a good, properly calibrated subwoofer won't necessarily be heard as a distinct component.

    Properly calibrated with Video Essentials (or Avia, or any similar calibration source) and an SPL meter, I think I'm running the receiver at something like -10db and the volume on the dharman at maybe the 25% setting, if that high. My settings won't work for you, but I'm just quoting them here to give you an idea that doing it be ear or by eye won't work at all.

    If you are using the dedicated s/w out from your receiver, you want to set the crossover setting on the sub to the maximum setting to get the sub's crossover out of the way. In this configuration, your receiver is doing bass management if I'm reading what you said correctly. You probably don't need that y-connector either.

    -David
     
  4. Jeff Sedlik

    Jeff Sedlik Auditioning

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    david wrote:

    >If you are using the dedicated s/w out from your receiver, you want to set the crossover setting on the sub to the maximum setting to get the sub's crossover out of the way. In this configuration, your receiver is doing bass management if I'm reading what you said correctly.
     
  5. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    If you're going for accuracy:

    Put the LFE trim at 0

    Turn the Sub's crossover (on the sub itself) all the way up, or bypass if possible.

    Calibrate with Avia, VE, etc.

    Use an SPL meter and figure out your room's freq. response.

    Get a grahic (or parametric if you can afford it) EQ and tame the big humps.
     
  6. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know much about your receiver. Do you have the manual handy so you can look up how it does bass management? Are you sure you have it connected and configured properly?

    My receiver has settings for front/center/rear speakers that can be set to 'small' or 'large'. I think you probably want to set everything to 'small'. Some receivers allow you to adjust the x-over frequency. My receiver has a fixed 90Hz x-over frequency. In the setting with everything set to small, I'm sending everything around and under 90Hz (it's more of a curve than a straight dropoff) from the f/c/r channels to the sub, as well as sending the LFE to the sub. If your receiver has an adjustable x-over setting, you might want to set that lower than whereever you currently have it set. You really shouldn't be hearing any midrange sounds from your subwoofer.

    I'm assuming you're wiring your receiver main outputs directly to the speakers and not running them through the subwoofer. Is that correct? The only connection you need to the subwoofer is from the receivers dedicated s/w output, which should be an rca jack.

    -David
     
  7. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    BTW, for the cable, you can use any decent shielded composite video coax cable for the subwoofer, so just go find yourself one with decent connectors (perhaps at radio shack?) for the length you need once you get it working properly.

    There must be others lurking here who own or have owned the Sony receiver you have. Hopefully somebody will chime in. Is this the first time you are using the s/w out on the receiver?

    -David
     
  8. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    God, I love my wife. I showed here the svs subs, she was like when are we getting one. [​IMG] We are the perfect match for each other, like import cars and modding my car, like home theater systems. the only thing is she don't like shopping for the stuff, so i go get it, bring it back and we both listen to it.....perfect relationship![​IMG]
     
  9. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    My new sub is still in the den not being used[​IMG] [​IMG] My wife had a fit to.Valentines day next week and I hope that is her present to me,--that is to be able use it.If not then I think there will be another tiff.I wonder if the Forum ought to have a section for us guys or gals whose mate does not share our passion?As to your question about boomyness I will let the experienced members address.What I know has been covered. steve nn
     
  10. Jeff Sedlik

    Jeff Sedlik Auditioning

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    David wrote:

    >I'm assuming you're wiring your receiver main outputs directly to the speakers and not running them through the subwoofer. Is that correct? The only connection you need to the subwoofer is from the receivers dedicated s/w output, which should be an rca jack.
     
  11. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    My slightly older Sony receiver was pretty much as you describe. The problem is the Sony's Xover for the sub is like 100-120 Hz. I would get some higher freqs thru the sub also. My band-aid for this was to set my subs Xover to about 120 Hz. You can try this setting for starters and adjust it to get rid of the freqs you don't want coming from the sub.

    As was said, a SPL meter is essential for setting up a HT system. Well worth the $35 investment, as you will use it more and more if you like to tweak things and change equipment, etc.

    Pete
     
  12. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Also, do research on where in your room it would sound best. That may unfortunately put you on a collision course with the lady of the house... "You want to put THAT THERE? But that destroys the whole room layout visually!" That battle you'll have to fight on your own tho... but of course, that might be ammo for you if you need to give justification for getting a Behringer Feedback Destroyer and an SPL meter. "I can put the sub in the less optimal position, hidden way over there, if I can just get the gear to tune the sound a little..." [​IMG]
    A corner may be it, but on the other hand it may not. Depending on where you sit and where it sits, you can do a lot to improve things.
    As has been said, most likely it is your room that adds impact at certain frequencies based on its size. Since the sub is rated good by others, you probably have a huge camel hump of a peak at some frequency messing things up.
    I know I do, and am looking into equalization. I didn't pay what I paid for my sub to not enjoy it to the full.
     
  13. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    Did you find the receiver manual?

    BTW, my receiver has a bass out setting to s/w, mains, or both. I have it set to s/w only. In general, this is what you want to do with the Dharman. (Let the incredible Dharman handle all the bass .. you don't need to send it both mains and the sub.) Also, make sure you have any bass boosting circuitry in the receiver turned off, and set the EQ settings to neutral positions (can you just bypass the EQ settings for calibration?) for all frequencies and all speakers until you get the sub and speakers properly calibrated. Once you do that, you can use something like Avia's frequency sweeps to do a more detailed calibration using the EQ settings on the receiver if you find you need to do that, and/or adjust the settings to your taste.

    From what you and Peter are saying, your receiver has a fixed x-over frequency. If it's 100 - 120Hz, that should be ok (100 is pretty standard for many receivers that don't have an adjustable x-over frequency .. 120 is a bit high, but also ok). The EQ settings don't change the x-over frequency, but can help you equalize the sound for your space. I don't think you need a parametric equalizer at this point until you at least solve this problem, plus you mentioned you were thinking of replacing the reciever.

    You can use the sub x-over settings to mask out the higher frequencies, but in general, if the receiver is doing the x-over for you, you really want to move the sub's x-over setting to the highest freq. position to get it out of the way, otherwise you might lose some of the signal around the x-over frequency.

    For the boominess, you need Video Essentials, Avia, or the equivalent and the Radio Shack $30 analog SPL meter to adjust the volume levels on the sub and the LFE levels on the receiver so they match all the speakers at the reference level setting for your calibration disk (eg: 75db for Video Essentials.) You'll be surprised that once you calibrate it down, that you won't really hear it as a distinct component with most material, but you will know it's there especially if you watch something like the "breath" scene from The Haunting DTS DVD or the beginning of Toy Story 2, or the D-day invasion scenes from Saving Private Ryan. If you can hear it as a distinct component (vs a well-integrated component), then it isn't properly calibrated. In all cases, you will "feel" it when there's lots of low frequency sound.

    If you find that the receiver has a higher x-over frequency than 100 - 120 or you suspect that the subwoofer out in the receiver isn't working properly, then I think you might try to wire the receiver main outs to the sub l+r in, then from the sub l+r out to the mains and turn off and disconnect the subwoofer output on the reciever, and use the sub's x-over settings (try it in the middle first and work your way up or down from there). I think this would be a second step once you try to calibrate it using the Rat Shack SPL meter and Video Essentials.

    I agree with those that said you should also experiment with the sub position, but you really need to be able to measure the output with a calibration source and an SPL meter in order to do it properly. Thus your first and most important step .. get a calibration disk and the RS analog SPL meter.

    -David
     
  14. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    Also .. did you get rid of that Y-connector?

    Does your DVD player have 5.1 outputs?

    -David
     
  15. Jeff Sedlik

    Jeff Sedlik Auditioning

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    * I found the manual for my receiver.

    * The dharman manual recommends that a y cable be attached to the s/w in to provide an additional 6db gain on the LFE channel, but I have removed it at your suggestion.

    * My DVD player is the sony dvp-ns700p and does not have 5.1 outs -- I figured I'd use the receiver's built in 5.1 processing.

    *I have "bass boost" off but I am using the on board eq to set the xover point of the bass for the mains to 100khz (the mininum).

    *I Don't have a bass out setting like yours which would allow me to select s/w, mains, or both for bass. Other than setting all speakers to "small" and modifying the crossover setting for the front bass.

    *I just ordered Avia and I'll head to radio shack and buy a meter. I understand how calibration and positioning will help me to get the sub to integrate seamlessly with the other speakers, but what I don't understand is how it will help with the sound quality of the bass, since I can turn the dharman's gain and xover all the way down to 40hz, turn all other speakers off, and still don't have tight bass when I play music or movies. Maybe its because of the dual ports. More likely because I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm learning, and appreciate all of the great infomation. I really wanted a s/w that would play both music and movies well.

    Jeff
     
  16. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Jeff , there has been many fine suggestions here to square away your subwoofer boominess issues.
    I have a suggestion for the wife part. It took me along time to BREAK my wife in on the hometheater front[​IMG] I find the best thing to do for me anyway, is unexpectedly buy or do something special for "Momma". Then wait for a small period of time and mention my next purchase to her, Works evry time..[​IMG]
     
  17. Jeff Sedlik

    Jeff Sedlik Auditioning

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    John Tompkins wrote:
    >It took me along time to BREAK my wife in on the hometheater front I find the best thing to do for me anyway, is unexpectedly buy or do something special for "Momma".
     
  18. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, The spa thing was a GREAT idea, not so sure about the kitchen knives, Remember Lorena Bobbit[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    Once you get it callibrated properly it will then be time to rejudge the sound quality. I suppose it's possible that something is defective in the chain, but my Dharman is not boomy .. it's tight, accurate, can handle everything I can feed it (this afternoon, I re-listened to Toy Story 2 opening scenes, and several scenes including the infamous breath scene from The Haunting, and a scene from Dances With Wolves, both from the DTS sampler DVD just to see how good it sounds and it sounds great.)

    This is why I was hoping you had a DVD player that had 5.1 outputs .. so possibly you could bypass the receiver and feed the sub directly to see if it's your receiver or the sub or something else in the chain. (Any possibility of buying a returnable receiver at Sears so you can rule out the receiver?)

    If calibration doesn't solve the problem and if you can rule out the reciever as the problem, I think you should contact Dan Wiggins at Adire Audio for some help. Actually, either way, you should contact Dan and point him to this thread so he can see what you've already tried.

    BTW, what is your room configuration and where is the sub?

    I have mine corner loaded, in the front right corner of the room, facing the main listening area.

    -David
     
  20. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    Does the manual have a section on bass management when using the dedicated s/w out connections?

    -David
     

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