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Sub Woofer - Can only hear it when I set it to Maximum (1 Viewer)

MikeBoehm

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
53
Howdy all,

I have a Sony STR-DE545 Receiver and just bought a Sony SA-WM40 SubWoofer. I connected it using the RCA cable. When I tested it out, I can't really hear (or feel) anything from the sub unless I have the volume (of the sub) set to Maximum.

Just looking for advice on what might be wrong. Is it better to connect the sub via the Speaker wires using the sub as a pass-through or is the dedicated RCA cable the best way to go since the Receiver has a built in Sub output jack. I'm not sure on the quality of the cables supplied with the sub (probably low quality) but would that make a difference in this situation?

When I'm sitting right next to the sub with my hand on the front screen, I can't hear of feel any vibratiosn unless it's all the way up to max. I have the THX segment with the guy with the jetpack flying around that I'm using as a test as well as some Sci Fi DVDs.

Any suggestions would be great.

If I left out any pertinent info, let me know and I'll add it.

Thanks,
--Mike
 

Joe Tilley

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
686
Mike,what is your level set at on the receiver for the sub out,or LFE out? If you have overlooked this it may be set at a low level & be why your not getting much output.

As for hooking up the sub it would be better to use the RCA line level instead of the speaker level inputs.
Hope this helps....
 

Joe Tilley

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
686
Something I left out if you are using the RCA that came with the sub I would suggest getting something a little better if you can. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with using the supplied cable,but a better quality cable will be less likely to pick up a ground hum & will sometimes make a noticeable improvement on sound quality.
 

MikeBoehm

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
53
Yeah I forgot to check the Sub settings at first ut I set the Sub otput to +6 (max) the LFE Dolby to 0 (max) and the LFE DTS to +10 (max). The general Bass setting is at +6 (max) and the Bass Boost is turned on.

Now I only have to turn it up 3/4 of the way to hear it. Jus not sure if that's normal and OK or if I shouldn't have to turn it up that high.

I'll look into picking up a better cable and try that as well.

--Mike
 

Joe Tilley

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
686
What are your other speakers set as Large or Small?
This will also affect the output of the sub (less bass will go to it if the other speakers are set to Large)
 

keir

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Messages
182
make sure the speakers are on small. if i put my sub on max it sounds extremely too loud and overpowerful. (even if i put my receiver at -10 subwoofer volume)

edit: my sub is also the sony sa-wm40
 

JamieZ

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
122
I just received my sony wm-40 sub yesterday and it is great. I can feel the bass throughout the house with it only turned up a little passed half way. I am running it from a pioneer vsx-d606s receiver.

Jamie
 

MikeBoehm

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
53
Well I set the front speakers to small (rest were already at small) and that helped a bit too. Still have it up at about 3/4. Will have to test it by watching an actual movie and see how it goes.

Also, I'm not sure I understand the difference in the Standard vs Reverse for the polarity or whatever that switch is for. Does anyone else notice a huge difference either way?

And I've heard a lot of people modify this sub by adding a filler inside of it. Does it make a huge difference for movie watching? And if so, where can I get info on that?

Thanks for all the help so far.
 

keir

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Messages
182
i would definately corner load it. people say its less accurate but i think most people do it anyway. sounds fine to me and high volume is much easier to get to. you can leave the phase switch at 0 most likely. i havnt heard of anyone using 180. as for the polyfill stuffing, i think it makes a huge difference. i noticed tighter and cleaner bass in music instantly after i made the switch. for movies though, its not as noticable. but basslines in songs are much cleaner and better controlled for me. my friend who bought the same sub had the same results. heres some instructions, you shouldnt have any trouble but if you do i can try to help further:

1.set it on the floor with the woofer facing upward.
2.take off the grill and unscrew all the screws around the woofer.
3.lift the woofer out and either have someone hold it or sit it on the side of the box (dont let it fall, the wires attaching it dont have enough slack for it to reach the floor).
4.wrap polyfill around inside against all of the inside walls. (i think i had about 3 inches of loose sheets on each wall)
5. staple it to the inside walls with a staple gun.

this is just the way I did it. you can adjust it to your liking and experiment if you wish. i didnt use anything scientific to judge the amount of fill, i just put in a decent amount.
 

Mark Tranchant

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
126
Also, I'm not sure I understand the difference in the Standard vs Reverse for the polarity or whatever that switch is for. Does anyone else notice a huge difference either way?
The amp outputs a waveform to all the speakers. Traditionally, the positive part of that waveform causes the speaker cones to move outwards (absolute phase retention), although you may have them connected so that they move inwards. A few members of the golden-ears brigade will tell you that there's an audible difference, but given the processing most music has passed through, I doubt many recordings maintain phase from the original source. Also, passive crossovers and box porting can change phase with frequency.

At the point (actually a range) where the sub takes over from the main speakers, you want the mains and the sub moving so as to complement each other rather than cancel each other out. This polarity switch helps you achieve this. Try it one way, then the other, and use the better setting. No-one but your ears will be able to advise you of the better position.

Note that, unless the original cable is damaged or defective, a better cable will not make a significant difference to the level of your sub.
 

david.byrne

Auditioning
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
12
Has any one wondered wether the sub is faulty, it's not impossible to buy something already broke.

I'd take it back and get the dealer to test it out, or a friends ht.

Dave
 

Mark Tranchant

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
126
You could quickly test this by plugging the sub into one of the "tape out" sockets in the back of the receiver instead of the sub output. Turn the sub right down before doing this as these outputs are not affected by the amp's volume control: in effect, they are always at "full volume".

If you have preamp outputs on your Sony, you could use those instead. Set your speakers to "large" if you go this route to ensure some low bass actually appears on the outputs.
 

Neil Joseph

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 16, 1998
Messages
8,332
Real Name
Neil Joseph
I haven't read the other responses yet so I probably will echo what has been said. Possibilities are...

- Front and/or centre speakers set to large
- Receiver sub level set too low
- Subwoofer placement creating a null at listening position
- Sub's crossover set too low

or a combination of these items.
 

MikeBoehm

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
53
Thanks for all the help. After checking everything, it seems to be working much better now.

It was a combination of a bunch of things (receiver settings, sub location, etc). It is now working very noticably.

Thanks!
--Mike
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
When SVS started out, a customer bought one and was disapointed in the weak output.

A new cable with tighter-fitting RCA plugs solved the problem. Subs seem sensitive to tight plugs.

Any good cable with RCA plugs can be used for the subwoofer so you dont have to buy one with the word "subwoofer" on the package.

Good Luck.
 

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