Why doesn't my subwoofer sound better than or add anything to my towers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Boka, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Boka

    Boka Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been looking at purchasing a subwoofer for awhile but decided to bring one home and audition it before making the decision. I plan on buying the HSU VTF-2 but the only thing locally available to test was a B&W ASW 500.
    So anyway, I brought the sub home from the store, hooked it up (sub pre-out on receiver to line in on sub), calibrated it (phase, level, crossover with Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune-Up) and set up the the receiver (all speakers to small, 100Hz crossover), and waited to be amazed...and waited...and...well, you get the idea.
    Movies:
    using The Matrix on DVD
    The sub sounds kinda boomy and I'm definately not "feeling the bass"
    Everything sounds better when I set my fronts (JBL S-310's) to large and put the receiver (Pioneer VSX-D508) in "midnight" mode.
    Music:
    Bass seems crisper without the sub and is just as deep if I put bass to +3 on the receiver.
    Am I doing something wrong?
    Can I expect this same level of nothingness from the HSU VTF-2 ?
    I've been led to believe that a subwoofer was going to rock my world.
    The JBL S-310's each have a 10" woofer that they claim is good from 37Hz on up.
    The B&W is 10", 70W, 32Hz-80Hz
    As a side, if anyone in the Kaiseslautern, Germany area has a setup that I could listen to that would better be able to show me what a sub can do, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for any input/help
     
  2. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    First of all, make sure that the subwoofer is turned on, through the pre/pro. I'm sure you did that, but just in-case. Check to make sure that the sub is working, hand on the woofer etc.

    The problem is most likely placement. Without proper placement subs can sound non-existant. Corners are usually reccomended. You results may vary.


    -rob
     
  3. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    On the 508 you can adjust the crossover. Drop it to 80hz instead of 100hz. Follow Rob's advice as well. And also make sure you have the sub level matched with the rest of the speakers.

    Then the VTF2 is a lot more sub than a B&W ASW500. B&W isn't know for it's subs. Over priced and under performers. Go see about auditioning a Paradigm PW2200. A VTF2 won't output as much as a PW2200 but it will give you a much better idea.
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Going from a pair of 10" woofers to one 10" woofer might be the reason you have not been impressed.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2000
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Boka-

    If you can get the VTF-2 then the VTF-3 should also be available. You will definitely be impressed with that unit.

    I love B+W speakers (I own CDM's), but they seem lost in the subwoofer department.
     
  6. Boka

    Boka Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The sub is on, it just doesn't seem to make a diff if low freqs go to sub or if low freqs go to tower
    AFAIK the 508 only has presets (200, 150, 100) so I can't set it down to 80. Sub is sound matched using the Radioshack cheapy SPL. No chance to audition any other subs either. BTW, I used to live in Sask.
    I know its two 10" woofers to one, but hey, that one is powered. I thought having a sub was supposed to be a day and night difference for HT.
    The only thing I can think of is maybe a positioning problem. I did walk around though and it didn't sound better anywhere else.
    Who knows. Where's the best place to put the sub? Here's a map of my living room. Forgot to draw the surrounds but my prime use is home theater.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    try placing it in a reinforced corner. Like one that has strong framing or brick or concrete, left of your entertainment center.

    then walk around the room, see where the bass is strongest just so you can get an idea of how much placement matters.

    I also agree that the sub probably doesn't put out as much bass as your mains.
     
  8. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmm, I used to own a 508. They must have changed it since I had one since I'm sure I remember having 80hz as an option.
     
  9. Boka

    Boka Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So then....my real question is:

    Obviously this sub doesn't do it for me. Can I expect signicantly better from the HSU VTF-2? $500 better?

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  10. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I guess your problem can be related to two things, sub position regarding your listening area and phase. Have you tried to invert phase either on your mains or the sub?

    Im specially concerned about your feelings in music, they can be related to phase cancelation.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Calibration? If you didn't calibrate the levels of the mains vs the sub, it won't sound correct.

    I have to completely agree with the placement recommendations, your location is not ideal for bass reinforcement, but it is more likely that this sub just doesn't do the trick.

    37Hz is definitely NOT low, but not unexpected for towers.(sorry, you DID list low frequency extension of the sub :b ). If it isn't much lower than the mains, it WON'T make much difference.
     
  12. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
     
  14. Craig Woodhall

    Craig Woodhall Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't know if somone else metioned this but you should turn off the midnite mode.. It is like dynamic compression, and definately should be turned OFF.. It is for watching late at night to not disturb people..

    Craig
     
  15. Liam Shan

    Liam Shan Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just another comment on the ASW500. I tried an ASW500, and then an ASW300 (among others), and much prefered the 300. The 500 is an older discontinued model, and although it has a bigger woofer than the new ASW300, it is underpowered and it's frequency range isn't great.
    I found the ASW300 (8", 100w, freq range 23 hz - 40/180hz) to be much better for HT and packs a real punch for it's size (in a small/medium room). I wouldn't recommend the ASW500, and although i'm sure the factors mentioned in previous posts are resposible for your bad experience, try a different sub aswell.

    Just my experience anyway,
    Liam.
     
  16. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  17. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,383
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    my miserable $0.02's worth as a relative newbie is that a proper sub DOES make a significant difference.
    my fronts are Mission 782s, which apparently are no slouches in terms of bass extension, although SPL is not that hot. however, compared to the SVS25-31PCi, it is indeed "night and day" in terms of sheer bass "volume", for want of a better word. when playing music and switching between source direct (i.e. only the two fronts and no processing or re-direction), and either multi-channel stereo (DPL2, CS5.1, Neo6, whatever) or even plain "stereo" but with bass re-direction for sub 80Hz material, the amount of "oomph" in terms of bass coming out of the system is noticeable, at least to me.
    I have not properly calibrated the sub yet (no SPL meter on hand) and have only adjusted by ear and "feel", and I even suspect I am now running the sub a little "cool", but anytime I switch between 2-fronts only/no sub, and sub included, the impact is immediate. pop music now feels like you're in a disco, even at moderate volumes which don't "hurt" the ear, and you can really "feel the beat". in certain instances, really bass-heavy music causes a nasty "buzz" at one particular note, no doubt the room's resonance.
    if you're not getting any impact, either the sub is underpowered -- I can't comment on this since I have NO idea what your B&W sub is like -- or as others have suggested placement and phase need to be seriously tweaked.
    if the Hsu VTF-2 is anywhere near the SVS -- again I can't really comments since I don't know anything about the Hsu -- then it should provide good results. my living room is about 26 x 13, slightly larger than yours, and I have NO problem with insufficient power -- if anything, the SVS is OVERPOWERED [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    even my older HTiB gives better extension compared to the TV's speakers, although it doesn't "rock" the way the SVS does.
     
  18. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
     
  20. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page