Sub is very quiet?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Nick.S, May 6, 2004.

  1. Nick.S

    Nick.S Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought a new home theater system. All JBL e90 fronts ec-35 center and e10's for the sides and my sub is the 250p. This is getting pushed by a Yamaha 2400. To be quite honest I am a little disappointed with it all. It can get crazy loud and it still very clear I just have a hard time hearing the surround speakers. To be fair I have not spent much time tweaking it though. My main problem is that my sub is very quiet. I have the gain turned all the way up and it is just about perfect. The thing is that I would not think I would have to have it all the way up to get expectable bass. I have it hooked up with the sub pre-out on the amp. Should I be hooking it up any different?

    Nick
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You could try adjusting the sub level on the receiver. This may also help with you surrounds. Do you have an SPL meter and calibration disc? If no, then get one of each and calibrate the system and you'll probably be much more pleased with it.
     
  3. Nick.S

    Nick.S Stunt Coordinator

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    I do have a calibration disc, and I just purchased a analog spl meter from radio shack. I just need to spend some time and calibrate everything. My sub just has so many conections on the back I did not know if there was a better way to hook it up.

    Thanks
    Nick.S
     
  4. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Supporting Actor

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    Did you plug it into a good outlet, & is it
    turned on....[​IMG]
     
  5. Theon

    Theon Agent

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    Make sure you experiment with the location of the sub in the room. Try putting it in a corner and see if it helps.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You only need to make one connection to the sub via the receiver's sub/lfe pre-out to the sub's line level input.

    Location in the room and calibration are critical for a sub to perform well.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Make sure your DVD is attached to the recevier via a digital (optical or coax) audio connection and DD/DTS/Bitstream is urned on at the DVD player. Someone had the same "Sub is not loud enough" complaint last week and this was the problem. Also, calibrate, calibrate, calibrate!
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    All the suggestions to get a SPL meter and calibrate are on the money. Until you do, you won’t know for sure if you are getting the output that you should. It is impossible to calibrate by ear—even very experienced professionals cannot consistently do this to any reasonable degree of accuracy. Calibration will also ensure that your surrounds are at the proper level. I’m sure that you are aware that there are many movies with minimal surround content.

    Even if you don't have a calibration disk, you can use the receiver's test tones to calibrate. Set your receiver to generate a 75 dB or 85 dB tone in your front left speaker. Then adjust each of your other channels in turn to get the same dB level. Finally the sub. The Radio Shack meter is a bit off for the lower frequencies. For a start just get the same SPL level for the sub as you do for your other speakers and you will be pretty good (actually your sub will probably run about 3 dB hot—louder than your other speakers—if you do it this way).

    Jeff’s last point is also a possible place to correct.

    One more thing to consider—if your sub has a ‘phase’ control you might consider changing that. This often has a dramatic effect.

    When you begin to calibrate, I would suggest that you put the sub’s gain at somewhere between 50% and 75%. Turning it up all the way may get you in a situation where the sub’s amplifier has no headroom—that is it will not have enough reserve power to meet a peak demand. Use a combination of your receiver and sub to control the level of the sub.

    Your receiver manual probably has suggestions for proper settings and on how to calibrate—look through those—I’d probably begin by setting all of your speakers to ‘small’—make sure your sub setting is set to ‘on’ or ‘yes’. Assuming that the receiver has some type of dynamic range control (probably called DRC), make sure that this is set to ‘off’ or whatever causes the least amount of compression.

    And so on.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  9. Nick.S

    Nick.S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all of the replys! I will take the time and calibrate everything tonight. I have just a few more questions.. What does it mean when you set the speakers to large or small? Also I know this is the wrong forum, but does the yamaha 2400 have a EQ built in somewhere? Was wondering if this is why my sound it a bit bland.

    Thanks
    Nick
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I thought the 2400 has YPAO, so you shouldn't need to do the calibration yourself.

    Forum rules state that you should not list your gear in your signature.
     
  11. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    When you set a speaker to small it will use the receiver's crossover and send everything below that level to the sub in addition to the LFE. When set to large it sends full range to the speakers and only LFE to the sub. If you have bookshelves all the way around you should probably go with small on all speakers. If you have big floorstanders that can dip really low go with large (or set the crossover really low).
     
  12. Fred_Krampits

    Fred_Krampits Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know about the Yamaha but my Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi has a setting for the sub called plus. On plus it sends out bass to the sub as well as the my other speakers that I have set to large.

    I have currently 2 big old Fishers in the front (soon to be upgraded to JBL E100s), 4 JBL E50s as surrounds and a JBL EC35 center and JBL E250P sub and my bass rocks!
     

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