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Tuning Subwoofer... volume vs DB? (1 Viewer)

BAMatter

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Hey everyone. I recently added a Polk HTS12 to my system which consists of a Sony STR-DN1080 receiver, Polk Audio T15 fronts and a T30 center channel. I’m trying to tune the sub, and likely overthinking things, or maybe not. I have the fronts and center crossover at 80hz, and have the sub hooked up via LFE. The sub has a volume knob, and I also have the ability to tune with the receiver setting the DB +/-, same as the speakers (I’m sure all of you know this already) So I’m setting the speakers up and they all hit around +3 DB on the receiver to get to the 75DB mark with the SPL meter. Here’s my question- do I set the receiver DB +/- to match the speakers +3 DB to achieve the 75DB, or do I set it lower and use the volume knob on the subwoofer? Or higher than that with a lower volume? Or, does it not matter? Seems to be a lot of different info out there, was hoping for some feedback. Thanks I’m advance!
 

JohnRice

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Like you probably guessed, there's no right or wrong answer. You just don't want the output setting on the receiver to be at any extreme, low or high. So for instance, you could set it to "0" in the receiver and then get the proper playback level by adjusting the volume control on the sub. Then if you want to fine tune it later on, use the adjustment in the receiver, since it lets you make precise, measured changes.
 

Al.Anderson

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I agree with JohnRice, but want to phrase it a little differently. Since the receiver adjustment is a calibration, not a volume preference for a specific source material, at least one of the speakers should ideally be set to 0 when you're done; e.g., when you're done calibrating, if you have -1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, reset them to -4, 0, 0, 1, 1, 3 (it could also be 0, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7; but I like to have the 0 be in the middle). If all of the settings are above or below zero, all you did was turn up/down the volume via calibration instead of the volume knob.) Usually you place the sub volume at the midpoint for the calibration. When you're done calibrating this represents the minimum neutral volume setting. Then if you want to turn something up/down you can use the volume selectors (and for the sub, since you know you started at mid, you know where to return it to for neutral).
 

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