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Some subwoofer questions (1 Viewer)


Jul 26, 2001
My sub is the Sony SAWM40, and my receiver is the Yamaha HTR-5540.


1. I am using the LINE input on my sub. Do I need to worry about the frequency cutoff knob on the sub?

2. If the answer to the last question is yes, what do I set it to? it ranges from 50 to 170 hz. I can't adjust the cutoff through my receiver (I can only select small/large speakers - I set them all to small). In the manual it states that the cutoff freq of the SUBWOOFER jack is 90 hz.

3. If the answer to #1 is no, can I simply assume that setting all my speakers to "small", and my LFE/bass out mode to "subwoofer" will send all the appropriate info to the sub?

4. About the volume of the sub - It seems like I have a million different ways to set this. There's the "volume" knob on the sub itself, the "bass" knob on the receiver, an "LFE Level" setting, a way to adjust the level using a test tone, and a "level" button that let's you adjust the levels as you listen to a source. Does it matter which of these methods I use to adjust the volume of my sub?

5. How do I know how loud the sub should be? I have adjusted all my other speakers with an SPL meter, but I have heard that it doesn't work very well with the sub. What advice do you have for setting my sub to the "right" volume level? Keep in mind that I really don't know what the sub should sound like.

Thanks for any and all input you guys have.

-Chris House

Chris Tsutsui

Feb 1, 2002
I'm working on tuning my sub as well and this is how I'm going to approach it this weekend:

The crossover knob on the sub should affect sound, an easy way to see if it does is turn the knob when something is playing. I also heard of setting it to 160 and letting the receiver handle it.

But I'd leave that at default (90?) position for now.

First, I'd place the sub in a convenient location that gives the flattest response during a frequency response test.

What I'd do next is play the test tones that you used to calibrate your other speakers, and set the Subwoofer level to match your other speakers. Then listen to how it sounds in a movie. If it's not enough then add 3db to the sub, then maybe another 3db if u still want more bass.

After the level/gain is setup right, try the crossover test to see if your subwoofer and speakers have a flat response. Then I'd adjust the crossover on the subwoofer to achieve a flat response.

This is how I'm forced to tune mine since my sound card doesn't allow me to mess with any settings other than volume. (It's my computer)

Tuning can also be long and technical (recording data), good luck


Second Unit
May 7, 2001
Yes, the crossover knob on your sub does matter. Chris is on the right track with his statement ..."letting the receiver handle it." Think of ANY crossover as a filter. It filters the signal, telling the sub what parts to reproduce and what goes out to your other speakers. This is typically done either at the receiver/pre-pro or at the sub, BUT NOT BOTH. If all your speakers are set to small, with sub = yes, and you are connected via the LFE out. Turn the sub's crossover knob to it's highest setting or disable it alltogether if possible. The reason is because that config will enable to x-over on the receiver. If you do it again (at the sub), you are only filtering and already filtered signal. You'll risk gaps in your bass response. Setting the sub's crossover at the highest setting on the sub (effectively) gets it out out of the way.
As far as the sub's volume goes: I believe it's a dance between the volume knob and the channel levels on the AV rec. Use a combination of the two so that you get the same SPLs out of your sub as you do all your other speakers as Chris suggests. You don't want either the sub's volume or the Ch levels in the receiver set to their extreme limits.
Here's a couple of links.
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