Questions regarding Sony sub setup

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by MarcusDiddle, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. MarcusDiddle

    MarcusDiddle Stunt Coordinator

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    I just picked up a Sony SA-WM20 from a friend for a cool $40. Seemed like a good idea seeing as I had no sub at the time. She says she'd only used it twice in the last year or so. I hooked it up, enabled the sub on the receiver, kicked on the power, and stuck in Two Towers (Battle at Helm's Deep to be precise). Sub sounds nice! But I have some questions regarding proper setup of this thing, and how to make it sound better...

    It's got 3 controls on the top of it:
    Phase (normal or reverse)
    Cut off freq. (50hz to 200hz)
    Level (Min to Max)

    What's the proper setup I should be using for this? I've got no idea what PHASE or CUT OFF FREQ. Should I set the levels on the sub itself or on the receiver, or both? I've got a Sony STR-DE885 receiver and a fairly small room (20x30). Also, what are some scenes in movies I can watch to really test this sub out and see what it's capable of? I'm not expecting much for $40 anyway! Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. JimIroc

    JimIroc Agent

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    the phase switch allows you to change the relative polarity of the speaker to help better integrate it with your other speakers. have somebody switch it back and forth while you're listening and choose the setting that provides the most bass at your listening position. This will ensure that the sub is in phase with your other speakers.

    Setting the level should be really easy if you're using the subwoofer pre-out on your amp. Turn the filter on the sub all the way to the highest setting, then set up your receiver to control the filtering. If you set your other speakers to "small" and set the sub to "on", it will get all of the content below 80 or 100hz (whatever frequency sony uses) and will filter those frequencies out of the other speakers.

    Another way to do it, which I find helps integrate the sound better with music, is to let the front speakers play full range (set them to "large" on the receiver) and use the adjustable filter on the sub (the cut off freq. knob) to play only up to the frequency that your main speakers start to roll off at.

    In other words, if your main speakers have a -3dB point of 50hz, you'd want to adjust that filter knob on the sub to approximately 50hz or slightly below. This will ensure that the sub is just picking up the slack where your mains left off.
     
  3. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    And 20X30 is no small room in my opinion...[​IMG]
     
  4. MarcusDiddle

    MarcusDiddle Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey thanks for the info!

    So Phase is really a matter of preference. I'll try it on and off.

    I am using the sub preout on my receiver. I'll kick the sub level to max and play with my receiver settings. I currently have my fronts set to "large", and I think they're handling a considerable amount of the bass (they're floor-standing Kenwoods with 12" subs). I'll set them to small and see if I can direct more bass to the sub.

    I still have a lot of learning to do with my receiver. I'm unsure of the proper frequency/level settings for each of my speakers.
     
  5. JimIroc

    JimIroc Agent

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    I wouldn't set the sub level to "max", just the crossover frequency knob.

    Leave your receiver's sub out level at it's preset level (most likely "0") and tune the sub level knob on the sub to get it close. Then you can use the receiver's level adjustment to "tweak" it just like you would the other channels.
     
  6. MarcusDiddle

    MarcusDiddle Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, note to self: do not max out tiny sub with Matrix Revolutions [​IMG] Just about blew the thing! After some adjusting, it sounded pretty decent, but no where near the level of bass I'd like. Now I know what I got for $40; not much. It does very well for Xbox games like Counterstrike and Splintercell. But looks like I might have to drop a couple hundred on a decent sub if I really wanna play with the big boys [​IMG]

    Does the length of the sub cable matter much? I'd like to place my sub in the rear of the room, behind the seating, but that's going to take about a 50 foot cable...
     
  7. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    more than a couple of hundred - maybe close to a grand... man, this HT hobby is EXPENSIVE!! [​IMG]
     
  8. MarcusDiddle

    MarcusDiddle Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I got two 25-foot sub cables and got an interconnect to hook my sub up in the back of the room. It seems to perform much better from the rear of the room than the front. It still leaves much to be desired for movies, but it really does a great job with Xbox games.

    I was looking at some new subs over the weekend. I'm working in the price range of around $400. What I found so far is JBL or Klipsch (SVS is just a tad out of my range at the moment). Are there others in my price range I should consider?
     

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