Subwoofer volume setting question.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Barton Lynch, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. Barton Lynch

    Barton Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering what is best to avoid subwoofer distortion or overload and best response overall. Should the volume in the receiver be set low and the sub high? Or viceversa (low in the sub and high in the receiver). Or anywhere in between? What are you experiences. Thank you.
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  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I would recommend using Avia or Video Essentials to properly set the volume of the sub to reference level, so that it matches with the levels of the rest of your speakers and your specific room (as well as placement of the sub).
    You should be able to order either/both of them online without difficulty.
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  3. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    The control on the sub itself is often not level so much as it is GAIN. Many will recommend (and I agree from my experience) that the best thing to do if you listen at near reference levels is to set the receiver to -5, then use the knob on the sub to bring it to reference level. Doing this gives the amplifier on the sub more headroom for transient bursts of sound because of this higher setting.
    Of course, as with all things, your mileage may vary. [​IMG]
    I do agree with the previous post though... To set the subwoofer, you DEFINITELY need a calibration disc and a Sound Pressure Level meter. It may seem like an extraneous cost at first (about $35 for the meter from Radio Shack, and about $25-$40 for Avia or VE), but I promise you that it will be worth it. These tools are absolutely invaluable.
    [Edited last by Jeremy Anderson on September 13, 2001 at 01:30 PM]
     
  4. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Barton: there was an article floating around from one of the stereo magazines a few months back. The tested the distortion on the output of the LFE port on several receivers and found to their suprise that there was a LOT of distortion, even on flagship receivers like the Yamaha DSP-A1 (which I own).
    In truth: you cannot usually sense distortion under 10% at sub levels, and listening tests actually show people PREFER some distorition.
    But to get the cleanest signal the rule seems to be:
    - Let the LFE output down (-6 or more)
    - Use the intensity/volume control on the sub to adjust the levels to match the other speakers.
    You should also look at this message that talks a bit about how Avia does it's tones for leveling your speakers:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/043476.html
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Bob,
    Quick question:
    You said
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    - Let the LFE output down (-6 or more)
    -----
    Do you mean the sub level on the receiver, or actually trimming the LFE signal on a Dolby Digital or DTS signal?
    I have a Denon 3802, and I can set the sub level, and also trim the LFE level on Dolby Digital or DTS material from 0 to -10 db. I am just trying to figure out which level you are talking about. If you are talking about the LFE signal, then you are not allowing the LFE signal to be boosted to 10db over the rest of the bass like they wanted in the studio. This may not be a bad thing, because at loud volumes, 10db more is usually too much for a sub to handle.
    Do you know if they control how much the LFE is boosted? What I mean by this, is everything in the LFE automatically 10db higher, or can they record it so that is is level with the rest of the system, and only use a 3db bump when they want a little extra kick? I am assuming yes, but have never seen it stated anywhere.
    Thanks,
    Bryan
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Bryan: I believe I am talking about the LFE level on the receiver. It's taking this signal in digital, converting it to analog and then amplifying it that causes the distortion. So it should be the level adjustment that is in the same area as your other speaker-level adjustment. I dont know about the "LFE Trim" adjustment. Any other Dennon 3802 owners want to try and answer this one?
    Is the sound on a DVD recorded +10/0/-10 from the rest of the sound track? ... uhhhh
    I'm afraid I am guilty of not paying too much attention when this issue cropped up. I do know that the Video Essentials disk has the sub test-tones 10 db lower to compensate for something. So if you adjust your other speakers to 75 db when level-adjusting, you adjust your sub to 85 db.
     

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