Sub/Sat speaker setup with a Yamaha RX-V1400?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MikeLievre, May 1, 2004.

  1. MikeLievre

    MikeLievre Auditioning

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    I'm very very new to HT and have been trying to absorb as much as possible from the forums but I thought I'd ask for some clarifications.

    I've recently purchased the Yammy RXV1400 and the Polk RM6700/PSW303 package. Boy was I in for a surprise when I went to set it up - it seems there are more than a few options =).

    As most of you probably know, Polk suggests that the best way to hook up a sub/sat setup is to hook the front outputs from the receiver to the sub's speaker inputs and then from the sub to the speakers. The front speakers on the receiver should be set to LARGE and the sub setting to off. The centre and rears are then set to SMALL.

    Please let me know if I understand this correctly. This means that the full range of sound for the front channels goes to the sub and the sub does the filtering so that the mid and high range go to the speakers, and the sub handles the bass. Apparently the LFE affects don't have to go out the LFE/SUB channel and this setup works well?

    On to the questions and clarifications:

    Does this suggest that the sub can do a better job at filtering than the receiver?

    Will I still be able to use YPAO to successfully configure my receiver with this setup?

    Would I be able to get a better sound using the line out to the sub and connecting all speakers directly to the receiver with this hardware? Can I avoid the double filter issue with this hardware?

    If the best setup is to follow Polk's advice, should centre and rears be set to SMALL? Where does MEDIUM come into play? What happens to the low range of the centre channel? Does it just vanish because the receiver has the sub channel set to off? Do I even need to worry about small/medium/large if YPAO does its thing?

    OK, I'll stop now before I ask too much any no one wants to respond =).

    Thanks for taking the time to read and share your HT words of wisom!

    Mike
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Yes, you are correct in this assumption. More than likely, Polk probably included some 22 gauge speaker wire for you to run between the sub outputs and the dedicated speakers. Just get some good 12 gauge wire and you should be all set. Let the crossover on the receiver handle what gets sent to the sub. Also, set the crossover on your sub to the max position (e.g. 160Hz.) to disable it. [​IMG]
     
  3. MikeLievre

    MikeLievre Auditioning

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    Thanks so much for the reply Wayne - I appreciate it.

    I had planned on listening to both speaker configurations anyways to hear for myself what sounded best, but I thought I'd ask for advice and see what experiences people have had.

    Polk seems pretty insistent that the best way to connect satellite fronts is through the sub (Polk article: polkaudio.com/home/faqad/advice.php?article=bassmanage - and in box setup instructions). My assumption is that this might be the case with a lesser receiver, but I'm hoping that a receiver such as the rxv1400 will have the ability to correctly configure any speaker combination that is directly connected.

    If anyone has any experience with this sub and these speakers (or something similar) I'd still love to hear from you.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  4. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Mike,

    I was able to find the frequency responses for your satellite speakers. Freq. response: 95Hz - 24kHz.

    Clearly, the 3.25" drivers can't be setup as large speakers - because they will not be able to handle all the bass being thrown at them.

    But, I now see why Polk recommended the 'large' speaker settings. If you are running a pair the leads from the speaker outputs to the subwoofer (for handling the crossover function) you would want the 'large' setting because it will send both the high and the low frequencies to be crossed over.

    However, referring back to my original post, you are better off making dedicate speaker connections off your receiver, setting the front speakers to small and the crossover point on your receiver to 100Hz.
     
  5. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I used to have the same Polk set up as yours, except that I have the PSW404 sub. Polk is right (naturally), since you connect your receiver's main outputs to the sub, you should set the front mains to "large" so that the sub gets the full range of frequencies, including all the lows. By setting the sub to "no", or "off" etc., the center and surrounds to "small", the LFE signals as well as the low frequencies in the center and surround channels (below the XO points) will be re-directed to the front mains. Basically, in this configuration, the sub will get all the low frequencies (yes, including the LFE signals) in your source material.

    Given that you have such a capable receiver, you could certainly ignore Polk's recommendations and go ahead and set your front, center, surrounds all to small and hook up the sub out to the "unfiltered" (to avoid double filtering) input at your PSW303. In that case, I recommend you set the front, center, and surround channel XO points to 130, that is, the -3dB point of those satellites. The XO for the sub should be set at 130 to 160. Those tiny satellites really need as much help as possible from the PSW303.

    If you go the receiver way, however, you will find that it will work great in H.T., but will not do well in 2-channel music. So it is up to you, but Polk does know what they are talking about!
     
  6. MikeLievre

    MikeLievre Auditioning

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    OK. I seem to have a better understanding of bass management now and hopefully someone can verify if my understanding is correct.

    1) The RM6700 sat speakers are rated at Freq. response: 95Hz - 24kHz. Having said that, it seems there are a number of posts saying that the low end I should be worrying about for these speakers is actually 150Hz. I'm assuming this means that the built in crossover for these speakers isn't hard at 150Hz, but rather frequency output 'rolls off' below 150Hz. Does this mean that frequencies between 95Hz and 150Hz are still played through the speakers, but at lower and lower volume levels? Is that what roll off refers to?

    2) For the time being I've connected my fronts directly to the Yammy 1400 and the sub via the unfiltered RCA input vs. the speaker level in/out. The 1400 has a variable crossover with settings at something like 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 160 and perhaps some above and below that. Reading through the forums 80 seems to be a common XO setting; however, I understand if I were to set my XO at 80 with my current speakers I would completely lose the range between 80-95 and there would be some further loss between 95-150 were the rm6700 speakers roll off. Am I correct to this point? To compensate for the small sat speakers I can up the XO to something 150 or above. There will now not be the gap in frequency. The problem with doing this is that at a certain frequency (what is that frequency?) the bass from the sub can be localized - that is I can hear that the bass is coming from the sub in the corner (and ultimately you want the sub outputting bass low enough that it appears seamless with the other frequencies coming from the other speakers). This situation is the draw back to the small satellite speakers. Am I still on track?

    So now if leave my sub connected through the unfiltered RCA input my best options for XO are 120 or 160Hz based on the 1400's possible settings. At 120 I'm going to be missing some mids. At 160 the sub is going to be getting a pretty serious work out and the localization will be worse, but the frequency gap will be less. What happens to the 150 to 160 range that the speakers can handle? Is the avr XO setting a hard setting so that everything under 160 is sent to the sub, or is it rolled off as well? If it is hard then anything below 160 that the speakers could handle (150-160 at full volume, and 95-150 at reduced volume) will now be handled by the sub?

    If I've got all this right then I finally understand Polk's recommendations to set the Fronts to large and run them through the sub, allowing the sub to do the filtering. This would allow a completely variable filter so that I could pick something between 120-150Hz to get the best possible blend between the sub and sats.

    Have I seen the light yet? [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You've got that right.

    Most people say about 120Hz is where you will start to be able to tell where the sub is. Since Polk is not known for good subs, I'd try to limit it's range to as low as possible. The real problem is the main speakers not being capable of handling the lower midrange, which is normal for smaller satellite speakers, and this is why I don't recommend them.

    With a 120hz x-over, you can figure on a minimum of 1 octave below the x-over to still have some output (depends on slope), or 60Hz. Since the speakers start to roll off 95Hz (probably -3dB), this means you WILL end up with a gap or dip before the sub starts to blend in. With a 150Hz x-over, there is still potential for a gap, and the sub will be working in a range it should not be trying to reproduce.

    The receiver's x-over slopes are generally different for the mains vs the sub, with the sub being a higher slope, likely 18db/octave (which will roll off quicker). The mains may be 12db/ or 6dB/octave to allow them to play lower and blend more gradually.
     
  8. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    Mike,

    You have got all of the concepts absolutely correct. Polk originally came up with this recommendation when almost all receivers had a fixed crossover of 80 or 90 which are obviously too low for those sats. Now that receivers are more flexible, (certainly yours is) you should go through the receiver and use line level inputs. While it is true that if you go speaker level inputs you will have variable control of the crossover between 120 and 150Hz, I would do some listening and pick one and go through the receiver and the line level inputs. You have to decide between localization and possible boominess of the sub setting it at 150Hz, or a hole in frequency response if you set it at 120Hz. My guess is you won't notice a huge difference in frequency response and will be much happier with 120Hz.
    Greg
     
  9. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Mike,

    I have the RM6700 satellites, their -3dB point is 130 HZ, that's why Polk recommends Sub XO of 160. Sub XO of 120 is fine as Greg pointed out, provided you do not mind that "hole". I have a Polk PSW404, so I understand what you meant by "unfiltered" RCA input because Polk's XOX series have the "unfiltered" RCA inputs.

    The only problem I experienced with connecting the PSW's "unfiltered" input to the receiver's "sub out" was that I could not get the subwoofer in the loop when playing music CD using "analog direct". If you use the speaker level connection, then the subwoofer is always in the loop. I no longer use the speaker level now that I have upgraded to the RTi38, a much larger speaker than those satellites. Until you upgrade your satellites, the speaker level connection is a good compromise.
     

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