subwoofer setup tips wanted

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JeremyErwin, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I'm finally adding a subwoofer setup to my frankensteinish setup. The Dayton 10 inch is scheduled to be delivered today.

    I have an onkyo 502 receiver, currently hooked up to a pair of Infinity RS-9s and several Polk RM6005 satellites in a 6.1 configuration. I am hoping to add a bit of edgy bass to round out the sound, but boominess does not appeal to me, and nor do I think it would appeal to my neighbors (I live in a condominium.) I'm looking

    My living room is carpeted, although there is an area in front of the mantle that's marble. I'd like to limit my placement experimentation to a minimum, as I'm guessing the thing is fairly heavy.

    I have several questions.

    1. There seems to be a dispute over how best to connect the thing. I'd like some LFE-- I do listen to DVDs and most of my TV channels are dolby digital 5.1. So, I'm thinking subwoofer out to RCA in.
    There are two RCA inputs, however, and only one sub pre-out. Some have suggested using a Y cable to connect both outputs, noting that this will "boost the signal by 3db". But won't the Y attenuate the signal by 3db? So very confusing...
    2. I calibrate my speakers using a Radio shack sound level meter (the analog one) and receiver generated test tones. I understand that a correction must be applied, and there are various tables that show this, But presumably, an accurate correction depends on the frequency of the test tone. Anyone know what frequency Onkyo uses? I do have a few THX-optimode disks which might be useful in a pinch, but I don't have ready access to a specialized disk. (and I've heard that various brands are, in fact, deficient in the very tests I describe). I have ready access to Tower, if push comes to shove, though.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    1) The sub should be able to handle a single input. Check your manual to see if it matters which one it is, because it does on some. You will not boost the signal by 3dB with the Y, but you will get slightly more input voltage to the sub. The two inputs on the sub are simply summed back together at the sub anyway, as the sub is mono. If your sub shuts off (goes to sleep) during quiet passages during a movie, use a Y.

    2) Use your receiver's test tones. I don't know what frequency the Onkyo uses, but it should still get you in the right area for level. Adjust by ear to taste, once you have the ballpark level from the test tone and you should be fine.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    99% of the receivers use pink noise, which is a summation of the frequencies in the frequency range being tested. Since it sums all the frequencies, you cannot apply a correction factor, since these differ for each frequency and pink noise contains all frequencies. The correction factors are only useful if you are trying to further tailor you bass to the room by using a BFD or another equalizer and are doing fine calibration on small frequency ranges.
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Thanks. It arrived, and I'm all set up. I didn't quite imagine it would be quite this big. Ah, well. Hmm. I wonder if Jurassic Park or U571 is available at Tower [​IMG]
     

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