Sub level vs. receiver output level?

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

  1. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Hi. For normal TV, music, DVD audio, my sub vol. level is set VERY low, prob. 1/10th of its rotation. I haven't altered the EQ or output gain for LFE from my receiver at all.

    Would I be better off having the receiver output LESS signal and adding gain on the sub itself? Seems unlikely since that would decrease signal to noise I'd guess.

    Just seems odd I set my sub vol. so low since any higher and it's way too loud and intrusive on the movie experience for example.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  2. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    bump?
     
  3. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul,

    I don't know for sure, but it seems to me there's no problem with how you're set up. My sub also ended up at a low volume when I calibrated it with the rest of my speakers.

    The thing is that usually the sub is responsible for most of the room low-freqeuncy resonant modes, unless you have really big mains, and when you calibrate with test tones the average SPL level across the low frequencies becomes rather high, thus you'll calibrate your sub at a lower volume.

    If you try to get rid of those modes by moving the sub around looking for the flattest frequency response or if you add a parametric equalizer like the BFD to attenuate those peaks, eventually you'll turn the knob up a little bit.

    Going back to your suggestion, I would avoid stay away from extreme low and extreme high settings on the receiver and the sub to avoid any possibilty of running into non-linearities. Other than that, you should be fine.
     
  4. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    This was a hot topic on the board last year sometime. I think the recommendation was to turn down the setting on the receiver almost but not all the way and then turn the volume switch on the sub up if necessary. Then fine tune it with the receiver's setting if necessary.

    I'm not sure of the rationale for this. I think Vince Maskeeper was the one that recommended this.
     
  5. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Thanks guys.
    Marvin, not sure what you mean by turning the receiver all the way down - I have my receiver at '0db' meaning it's going out at unaltered line level to the line level input of the sub. I then adjust the gain on the sub itself with a rotary knob.
    Anyway, looks like I'm going to upgrade to an Elite 49TX receiver soon [​IMG] so hopefully it will help me figure it out!
     
  6. Tony Mc

    Tony Mc Stunt Coordinator

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    Below is a post from Vince Maskeeper, with his advise on how to set the sub's volume.
    Hope this helps.
    -----------------------------------
    quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------Heres my next dillemna Vince, I have a volume control on my subwoofer which will affect my decibal levels on my sound meter as well... So should I boost the subwoofer level to max out of the receiver and turn the volume meter to max on the subwoofer before reading the sound level??? Or should I turn them both halfway or what???
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Vince's answer:
    The volume knob on the sub controls the level, sure. However- you should also have a level control for the sub output in your receiver setup menu. I usually recommend that you turn the sub volume knob all the way up and control the sub level with receiver. This usually gives you the cleanest signal path.
    The level that it should be set at in the receiver will be dictated by the test tones you find on a test disc like avia using your Radio Shack SPL meter to measure the output.
    --------
    And like I said before- I usually suggest the volume control on the sub be placed at/near maximum. The reason why I say this is that this knob is not a volume knob as we usually understand them. The knob on the sub, USUALLY controls how much level is allowed to reach the amplifier stage of the subwoofer. So essentially- it cannot boost the level coming in (again, usually)-- rather it can only reduce it. It regualtes how much of the incoming signal is allowed to be sent to the amplifer to be amplified.
    So, if the sub is not turned all the way up, the sub is filtering the input level down a little in level, and passing that along to the amp. I usually tend to NOT trust the filters on these subs to do a good job at this. Granted, it's possible that the signal is not being affected in terms of quality (i.e. the sub has a high quality filter)- but the chances are that the volume knob will simply introduce artifacts.
    So it's usually best to bypass the volume filter on the sub entirely- leaving it all the way open (so it is not altering the incoming signal) and then regulate the amount of incoming signal with the receiver sub level control.
    Hope that all made sense.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf...&threadid=42419
    In that thread I said:
    quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    a disc like AVIA has test tones that will help you determine the levels of the channels in your system. I recommend, if you're serious about your audio system- getting AVIA and a SPL meter from radio shack. With these two, you can generate tones and calibrate the levels of all your speakers to the proper levels.
    Usually it's best to turn the sub itself ALL THE WAY UP, and control the volume level with the subwoofer adjustment setting in your receiver (if you have adjustments for sub in your setup).
    It's complicated to explain why- and I'm not saying your sub will be as loud as possible- rather it's usually best to allow all level control to be done via the receiver-- and if you turn the sub all the way up it gives full control to turn it up/down to the receiver settings.
    Vince
     
  7. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  8. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Another issue which favors turning the receiver's output down is distortion on the signal as you turn it up. So, if you keep the receiver's sub-out signal low, there's less chance for it to be distorted.

    The only down side to this approach is if you have a powered sub with auto-off feature; a lower signal from the receiver will usually result in your sub turning itself off more.
     

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