Sub-Woofer and 2-Channel Music

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy_Smith, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Andy_Smith

    Andy_Smith Auditioning

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    I'm new to home theater. Currently I have a 2-channel system and listen to a lot of music. My question is, when I use an AV receiver to listen to a 2-channel CD or vinyl record will the receiver send the low frequencies to the subwoofer? Does the answer to this question depend on which receiver I choose?
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    The answer depends on how you set up the receiver. Mine allows a digital source to play back 2 small speakers (cut off at 100Hz) plus a sub, or 2 large speakers (full range) and a sub getting L+R, or no sub at all.

    Most follow those lines pretty closely, many with an adjustable low pass, not fixed at 100 Hz.

    Have fun!
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Andy. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    Colin pretty much nailed it. Let me be a bit more generic.
    Modern AV receivers have something called "Bass Management". This allows you to define your speakers as LARGE or SMALL. If a speaker is LARGE, it receives the full range of sound. If a speaker is SMALL, the sounds below some value (80 or 100 hz) are sent to:
    - some other speaker defined as LARGE
    - an external subwoofer
    - both
    Yamaha receivers offer the "both" option, not all brands do this as it IS kind of odd.
    Also, a Dolby Digital system is called a "5.1" system with the ".1" being a separate channel for low-frequency sounds. Your bass management can route the ".1" channel to a speaker if you do not have a subwoofer attached.
    The higher-end receivers sometimes let you pick the crossover frequency that separates LARGE vs SMALL. But since many external subwoofers also have a crossover feature, you now have a bit more complex setup.
    Example: if you set the crossover on an external sub to something like 80 hz, and leave the crossover setting on the receiver to it's highest value like 120 hz, you will have a gap. The sub will ignore sounds above 80 hz, but the receiver will send all sounds below 120 hz to the sub. So the sounds from 80-120 hz will get ignored.
    Hope this helps.
    PS: Look at the top of the Basics section for the link to the Primer and FAQ. There is a TON of information in there about home theater systems.
    Enjoy your stay.
     
  4. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy - Also be aware that very few Home Theater receivers have phono inputs. Outboard phono pre-amps are typically required.
     
  5. GregLee

    GregLee Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're listening to a 2 channel source and you have Dolby processing turned on in the receiver, you'll get sound from all speakers, including the subwoofer. If, however, you have Dolby processing turned off in the receiver, you'll get sound from only the front speakers and the subwoofer. (Assuming you're set up to use the subwoofer at all, that is, and assuming your receiver works like mine.) So the answer is yes.
     
  6. dennis.d

    dennis.d Auditioning

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    New AV receivers can either output surround or stereo sound, its a matter of how you set up your receiver. However if you've set it up to output stereo then you will not output any sound to your sub. To be able to use your sub you need to set up your receiver to output surround sound, enable 'small' as your front speakers in the set up menu and de-activate the center, surround as well as the back (for 6.1 or 7.1) speakers. Even if your successful in reaching this far you still need to fine-tune your sub to take over the low frequencies where your front speakers roll off. This way you will have a seamless integration of sound coming from your fronts to your sub.
     
  7. Andy_Smith

    Andy_Smith Auditioning

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    Thanks, everyone, for your help. Here’s the equipment I’ve chosen: Yamaha RX-V1300, Green Mountain Europa’s for the mains, Audes SW 112A for the sub, Energy C-C1 center, and Energy C1’s for surrounds. I’ve already gotten the Green Mountains and the sub and have them hooked up to my current Nakamichi R1 2-channel receiver. The sound is outrageous! Regarding my question as to 2-channel music and the subwoofer, it seems, based on what you guys have said, that the Yamaha RX-V1300 will support what I want to do. It’s subwoofer cutoff is fixed at 90hz, however. I hope that will be Ok. The Audes sub’s cutoff is variable from 40-120hz. I guess I’ll just set it to the highest – 120hz – and let the Yam cut it off at 90hhz. I picked the Yam partly because I need phono input (I considered a similarly priced Denon and Integra as well). However, I will need to replace my Blue Point cartridge, as the Yam’s phono input is not sensitive enough. My dealer has suggested a Grado. I don’t remember the model. Any comments?
     
  8. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    ...wow...I want!
     

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