Sub volume on the receiver vs. the back of the sub.

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by GregBe, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    I have read a lot of conflicting posts on this, and was hoping to hear what people do.
    1) I have heard it is best to set the subwoofer channel all the way down and turn up the volume on the back of the sub all the way up (and of course tweak it to match the other speakers) in order to avoid distortion from the receiver.
    2)I have heard it is best to not turn the sub channel too far below 0, because at lower volume levels the auto on feature on the sub will not activate properly.(Sometimes I do listen to movies late at night at lower volume levels)
    I noticed that SVS has suggested setting your receiver at -6 (on a -12 to +12 scale). "This will allow your amp to work with the cleanest signal possible from your receiver, while still leaving plenty of downward adjustment you can use from your viewing position (using the remote). " Both arguments make sense to me. I am confused to say the least.
    Thanks
    Greg
     
  2. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    Sorry, I meant to title this "Sub volume on the Receiver vs. the back of the sub". I pushed enter by accident. Maybe one of the administrators can help me retitle this.

    Greg
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, they all have generally the same reasoning: that turning the sub output on the receiver all the way UP, you may get distortion from the receiver. On the other hand, turning all the way down in the receiver, it may not be loud enough to activate the auto-on feature if your sub has that. Which is why the SVS advice is a pretty good compromise.
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    In general, I recommend setting the sub amp's level at 1/4-1/3 and then calibrating by adjusting the receiver's sub out as needed. In most cases, I've ended up with the sub out set somewhere around -6 so I think SVS' recommendation is a good one.

    I can't tell you the number of people that have tried the old "sub out all the way down, sub amp wide open" theory only to find out that the auto on flipping on and off drives them nuts. Doing as I described above has almost always fixed the problem.
     
  5. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    Thanks, I will try that
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you run the sub's gain at max, aren't you more likely to have potential for headroom issues? I'd rather run try to find a good blend between the two. I shoot for near 0 on my receiver, and whatever that gives me on my sub, but with my new sub, that put my gain almost all the way down, which seems a bit low, so I tweaked both a bit to get a better mix.
     
  7. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    John,

    I am glad you posted that. I was thinking the same thing. I guess I will go back to where I started with the receiver at 0. Since there isn't a strong consensus in either camp, I won't go to either extreme. If anything I will err on the side of notching the receiver's sub channel down a bit, but not too much.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I should have added YMMV, as your room and sub are obviously factors. In my room, it just happens that I get good volume about -2 to -3 on the receiver with the sub at 1/4 gain. Brian's recommendation is the way to start, IMO, but your setup will affect the end results.
     

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