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post #1 of 11 Old 06-07-2012, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a B&W AS608 sub. Here is a link of the rear

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-S2JEo-UJBhY/TtbPkV1ZhQI/AAAAAAAAAhk/0WyYjVxIRow/s1600/BW-ASW608_Rear.jpg



I also have a Pio VSX52 receiver to hooked to my pio speakers. Currently I am using the bookshelf speakers the 21s, as my fronts and its compliment dedicated the center channel. I hope to get the 51's, the floor standing speaker a few weeks. I have done the MCACC with the receiver. Although it came back with my speakers set as large, I set them back to small. My question is what should my other settings be. I currently has the sub cross over at 80hz but is that correct? I have seen several post that say I should set it at 120, but the VSX gives me the options of 80, 100, 150 and 200. I don't even know what cross over does or means. Moreover, even if the number via the MCACC were correct, I do not know/understand how the settings on the back of the sub itself would affect those settings.

Could someone assist me with these numbers/settings and then give me a small crash course and sound engineering? Thanks
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 06:07 AM
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Even large, floor-standing speakers can't produce the best low frequency sounds. Speakers with larger woofers can go lower. So far as the speakers are concerned, the crossover frequency should be set just above the point where the woofer's low frequency response starts to fall off, so that they're redirected to the subwoofer, which can provide better quality low frequencies. So far as your electronics are concerned, the crossover should be as high as is reasonable in order to reduce the load on the receiver's amplifier circuits. The woofers in a speaker use the most power. The sub has its own amplifier to take over that job, leaving the power in the receiver better able to produce higher volume levels at the higher frequencies without distorting the sound.

For most speaker systems, a crossover of 80 Hz is a reasonable compromise. Speakers with tiny woofers, less than 5" in diameter, are unable to provide very much power in the low frequncies. For them, higher crossover frequencies usually are needed -- above 100 Hz, and sometimes quite a lot above that. A quip that I like to use is "tiny speakers sound tinny" -- because all they can produce are the upper frequencies.

The settings on the back of the subwoofer are primarily designed for use in systems which do not have built-in bass management (e.g setting a crossover frequency). The high quality, sophisticated audio management that's in your Pioneer receiver is a relatively recent development. It's been available for less than 10 years or so, and is getting better every year. Many traditional two-channel audio enthusiasts continue to prefer to use much simpler electronics which only select the audio source and amplify the sound. Those back-panel adjustments on the sub are designed for them to use. When used with a modern surround-sound receiver, most of those adjustments need to be disabled or bypassed.

Most important is the knob which controls the sub's "low pass frequency". It should be turned up all the way so that it doesn't limit the high frequencies getting to the sub. The "Low Frequency Effects" audio channel of a movie disc, Blu-ray or DVD, can contain frequencies up to about 120 Hz. You don't want to be blocking those. Also, if your surround-sound speakers are tiny, the sub needs to be allowed to produce sounds up to their rather high crossover frequencies.

Does this help?

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 06:49 AM
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thanks a lot Selden...I know you have helped me as I have a nearly similar setup as the OP...cept I have 4x fs51s, and a pio vsx-1122.....so regardless of Pio's MCACC we should turn up the low pass frequency on the sub?.....thanks
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 08:56 AM
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Right: the low pass filter which is physically on the subwoofer itself needs to be turned up or disabled, not set at 80Hz. The receiver's internal crossover filters will properly redirect the lower frequencies to the subwoofer from the other speakers. The LFE audio channel is always sent in its entirety to the subwoofer.

There is one minor subtlety: the lossless multi-channel audio tracks on Blu-ray movies allow the full range of frequencies (0Hz-22KHz or higher) in the LFE channel, unlike the lossy DVD LFE channel which has an upper limit of 120Hz. This sometimes is overlooked by the person mixing the audio for a Blu-ray, who accidentally allows spurious higher frequencies to get into the LFE channel. As a result, it's reasonable to set the sub's low-pass filter to just slightly above 120 Hz if your other speakers don't need it to be higher.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 12:08 PM
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I have a quick question as well concerning B&W towers. My CM9 come 6.5" woofers and can go as low 40Hz, which I changed to 60Hz to allow the sub to do the work. Should I change it back and widen the overlap between the towers and the sub?

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post #6 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 02:04 PM
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Your electronics and your ears will thank you for using the higher crossover. smile.gif

Getting low frequencies out of woofers takes more power than getting the higher frequencies out of tweeters and midrange drivers. Having the subwoofer's amp provide the power for the low frequencies results in more of the receiver's power being available to handle peaks in volume in the midrange and up. As a result, those peaks are less likely to be distorted.

Of course, if you have a high-powered receiver (>150W/channel) with efficient speakers (>90db) in a small room (<18ft on a side), it'll have lots of power to spare. The intermediate conditions are hard to predict, though.

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post #7 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 04:56 PM
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Thanks. Adding to the list of things to do this weekend while working on integrating a mid-bass sub. They're already set at 120Hz crossover, just need to do the same to front mains.

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-09-2012, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank your for your quick resposne your info was most helpful.

To follow up, so you suggest that even when I get the larger speakers, the 51's, to still keep my speaker settings as small even though my receiver will read them as large?

Secondly, I noticed that my receiver does not have an LFE output as you mentioned. I simply have a R and L line in to confirm. How would not havine the LFE affect my home theatre experience? BTW i have the sub jack plugged into the L out put does any of that matter?

Thirdly, what exactly is sub EQ? I know that unlike some other automate room calibration systems, MCACC does not have this. Moreover, certain subs are coming with a like feature built in. Since i do not have either, what do you recommend.

Lastly, is the cross over frequency the reason why I do not hear my subwoofer during talking scenes and why it may go into standby during a viewing. Prior to getting the receiver, I had my sub plugged directly into my TV, The TV had a sub jack. There for my sub was always on and I felt as thought I got good bass during talking scences. Now I feel as though I hear my sub in only action and music sequences in a movie. Is this because during all other moments in a show or movie, the frequency in what was being detected by the receiver was not low enough for it to send it to the sub to push out?
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-09-2012, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamina1914 View Post

Thank your for your quick resposne your info was most helpful.

To follow up, so you suggest that even when I get the larger speakers, the 51's, to still keep my speaker settings as small even though my receiver will read them as large?
Correct. This is for at least three reasons.
1. The left and right sound channels of movies include sounds which are below the lowest frequency that can be reproduced by any but the very largest, self-powered woofers -- ones which would be subwoofers in any other system. When you set speakers to Large, the receiver will send those low frequencies to the speakers and they'll be lost.

2. When the lowest frequencies are emitted simultaneously by two woofers facing the listener, they often will interact with one another, causing peaks and valleys in the sound levels heard near that position. Adjacent locations would experience significant differences in the volumes of the lowest sounds. You need to be able to move subwoofers to different locations in the room to get the best audio response, especially when you're using more than one sub.

3. It's good to relieve the receiver from having to provide the power needed to generate the lowest frequencies.
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Secondly, I noticed that my receiver does not have an LFE output as you mentioned. I simply have a R and L line in to confirm.
I'm somewhat confused by this description. A line-in on a receiver is for connecting to a player, not to a speaker. Do you mean a line-out?

I've downloaded the manual for your receiver. The VSX-52 a high-end model designed for use with as many as two subwoofers. It has two subwoofer RCA connections in the middle of its back panel. See page 11 of the manual for a picture, and page 12 for a description of how to use those connections. As it says, you should connect your subwoofer to the connection labelled "Subwoofer #1", which is immediately above the "center channel" RCA preamp output.

If your receiver doesn't have those two subwoofer RCA jacks, then it isn't a VSX-52.
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How would not havine the LFE affect my home theatre experience?
Remember, LFE is the name for an audio track on a disc, not for a receiver's output. A receiver takes the LFE from the disc's audio and sends that audio to its subwoofer output(s) along with low frequencies from the other speaker channels. When using receivers or amps without a separate sub output, you would have to connect the sub to both the Left and Right front speaker outputs. This is when you'd need to use all the controls on the back of the subwoofer. This should not be the case for you.
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BTW i have the sub jack plugged into the L out put does any of that matter?
If you mean that you've connected it to the Left Front preamp output, you'd get only the low frequencies that are sent to the left front channel, and not hear what is being sent to the Right Front speaker. If you've actually plugged it into the left-hand "Subwoofer #1" output, then it is connected correctly.

In a receiver which has no separate sub output, the option to set the front speakers either large or small isn't available.
Maybe you're looking at the wrong connections? Or not noticing the label "Subwoofer"? It's above and between the two subwoofer RCA connections. Here's a screengrab from the manual. I've outlined the subwoofer connections in red.
259
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Thirdly, what exactly is sub EQ? I know that unlike some other automate room calibration systems, MCACC does not have this. Moreover, certain subs are coming with a like feature built in. Since i do not have either, what do you recommend.
Sub EQ (subwoofer equalization) is shorthand for the ability to flatten (make more accurate) the volume and timing of the low frequencies heard at your listening position which are coming from the subwoofer. It's an optimization which has become affordable only in the past few years. There are other, more traditional methods to improve the sounds you hear from a subwoofer. One is called the "sub crawl". Put the subwoofer where you sit when you listen to music or movies. Then play some calibration sounds and crawl around the room listening for the best quality sound (not the loudest!). Then put the subwoofer there. The sound travels over exactly the same paths no matter which direction it travels between those two locations. You should disconnect the other speakers while you do this so they don't mislead you.
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Lastly, is the cross over frequency the reason why I do not hear my subwoofer during talking scenes and why it may go into standby during a viewing.
I believe so. From your description, your sub automatically turns itself off if there is too low or no audio signal coming in. Since it isn't sensing the higher volume upper frequencies, it's turning itself off. I believe that its auto-detection level is simply set too high, but that's not something you can change, unfortunately.
Quote:
Prior to getting the receiver, I had my sub plugged directly into my TV, The TV had a sub jack. There for my sub was always on and I felt as thought I got good bass during talking scences. Now I feel as though I hear my sub in only action and music sequences in a movie. Is this because during all other moments in a show or movie, the frequency in what was being detected by the receiver was not low enough for it to send it to the sub to push out?
I'd describe it somewhat differently, but yes.

You need to change a setting on the back of the subwoofer. There's a switch at the top left on the back labeled "on/auto/stand-by". Change it from Auto to On.

The subwoofer is turning itself off because the low-frequency sound level coming from the receiver is just too low in voltage for it to detect most of the time. Unfortunately, changing the setting does mean that you'll need to remember to turn the subwoofer off when you're not watching TV or listening to music.You might want to consider getting a separate power-strip which has an on/off switch, since I don't see a power switch in the picture of the speaker's back panel, and I suspect the Auto switch isn't designed to be changed frequently. (The picture is too blurry for me to determine that.)

Selden

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post #10 of 11 Old 06-09-2012, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I am really learning a lot from you. I do apologize for having your respond so much to my second point but it was a typo. I meant to say that it was my Subwoofer and not the reciever that did not have an LFE outlet and that the subwoofer simply has a L and R line in. To which I have my sub connected to my reciever via a sub cable using the L in jack only. I hope this makes more sense.

But yes I do have VSX 52 and to your point it does have two sub jack. This fact actually puzzles me since this receiver is/was advertised as a 7.1 and not a 7.2. With two jack does this automatically mean that it is a 7.2 or is there some small difference between the two. Once I saw the second jack I was very quick to say that I would buy me a second sub. Since HSU subs like the 15 would be an overkill for my system.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-09-2012, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamina1914 View Post

Thanks for the response. I am really learning a lot from you. I do apologize for having your respond so much to my second point but it was a typo. I meant to say that it was my Subwoofer and not the reciever that did not have an LFE outlet and that the subwoofer simply has a L and R line in. To which I have my sub connected to my reciever via a sub cable using the L in jack only. I hope this makes more sense.
Yup! You can use either or both inputs. Some people claim that if you use a Y cable to connect a receiver's single subwoofer output to a sub with separate L & R input connections, that will increase the volume of its output. The AVR speaker calibration should take that into account, though, and reduce the output voltage to compensate.

Edited to add: using both connections might help in your situation. I can't say for certain, but using both inputs might make it turn on when receiving lower sound levels. Until you get a Y adapter cable, you might consider running a second cable from the receiver's second subwoofer output, if you have a cable that's long enough. It can't hurt to try.
Quote:
But yes I do have VSX 52 and to your point it does have two sub jack. This fact actually puzzles me since this receiver is/was advertised as a 7.1 and not a 7.2. With two jack does this automatically mean that it is a 7.2 or is there some small difference between the two. Once I saw the second jack I was very quick to say that I would buy me a second sub. Since HSU subs like the 15 would be an overkill for my system.
I'm not certain, but I suspect that the receiver just has the two outputs connected together internally -- the equivalent of using a Y cable. Using two subs can produce better sound in some situations, especially in larger rooms. Since they're placed in different locations (you have to find the best position for each of them) the sound from one can fill in regions of the room which don't get much volume from the other.

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