Not getting much bass out of my subwoofer - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Previously, I had my subwoofer in the corner wall next to my TV and I could hardly feel any bass from the sub. I then moved it to the other side of the TV stand so it was in the middle of the room against the wall and that made zero difference. Just now I pulled the sub out a few feet from the wall from where it was in the middle. This made it so that I was sitting about 1.5-2 feet from the sub in my chair. Doing this, I did feel more bass because I was sitting so close to the sub and I felt even more bass when I pressed the bass boost button on the receiver. However, I am still not satisfied with the amount of bass the sub is producing. I should note that my sub is connected to the receiver with 18 gauge speaker wire through the front left and right terminals on the receiver because it does not have a subwoofer jack. The actual front speakers are connected to the subwoofer with 18 gauge wire as well. Also, the volume on the sub was turned up to its max volume during this whole process.

Would upgrading my 18 gauge cables to 16 gauge increase the bass? With the space constraints of my room, I only have two more spots that I could put my sub to test the bass. Those two spots are on exact opposite sides of the room, several feet (3-4ft) from the corners of the room and this would still be on the side of the room that my TV is on.

I wonder if maybe my sub is just not powerful enough to produce enough bass in the room I have it in? What can I do?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I also want to add that I have not tried those two other spots because I would need to buy more speaker wire and I am trying to avoid spending money if I don't need to.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I keep forgetting stuff. I own a JBL 230 watt subwoofer and JBL speakers.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 07:45 AM
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Unless you have really long runs of speaker wire, switching from 18ga. to 16ga. won't make a difference. A couple of possible reasons you're not getting sufficient bass:
- your room is too large for the sub / the sub is not powerful enough; and/or
- your primary listening position is in a null.

IMO, you should unhook your speakers from the sub, move the sub to your primarly listening position and do a "sub crawl" to find out which spots in the room will work best for bass. It may be that one of the two spots you haven't tested yet will work best, in which case you'd have a good reason to invest in some additional speaker wire.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Unless you have really long runs of speaker wire, switching from 18ga. to 16ga. won't make a difference. A couple of possible reasons you're not getting sufficient bass:
- your room is too large for the sub / the sub is not powerful enough; and/or
- your primary listening position is in a null.

Agreed.

What make and model sub do you have? How big is your room in cubic feet (volume), including any adjoining open areas?

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 08:21 AM
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What is the crossover on your sub set to? And does the sub have a gain or volume knob you can increase?

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 10:12 AM
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What are your Bass Management settings in your receiver? With your connection method, you want to set the front L/R to Large and all other speakers to Small. This will route all the bass, including the LFE channel to the L/R speakers, which first go to the sub. Then, the crossover in the sub will extract the bass and route it to the sub, and send the rest of the signal on to the speakers. I

t would be helpful to know what speakers and sub you have so we can suggest a crossover setting on the subwoofer.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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From what I can tell, the model for my JBL subwoofer is Bass16 and I have JBL Sat10 speakers. These are both 15 years old. I can't set the crossover frequency for the sub on the receiver because the sub has no sub output jack and it is connected to the receiver with speaker wire. There is no knob on the subwoofer to adjust the crossover frequency but on the back of the sub it does say 60hz, which I assume is the default crossover setting for the sub (I'm a beginner with all this so bear with me).

The sub has a volume knob and it is turned up all the way and was when I tested the sub yesterday.

My surround setup is in a basement room and that room is 1,134 cu. feet. There are no adjoining rooms. The room has a rectangular shape and my TV and surround equipment is located at one of the short ends of the room.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to test what Craig John suggested and report back. Previously I have had all my speakers set to large but now I will only keep the front left and right set to large and set the rest to small.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Craig, I did what you suggested and couldn't really notice a difference by keeping the front left and right speakers large and then setting the center and rear speakers to small but it still makes sense to keep it that way. I also changed the crossover frequency of the center and rear spears to > 90Hz. Previously they were at > 120Hz by default. I lowered the crossover frequency because several websites I have looked at suggest that when the surround speakers are set to small, they should be set in the 80-90Hz range. On the receiver the speakers can be set as low as 60Hz. What is the best cross over frequency to set "Small" speakers at and why?

However, I went through my receiver's equalizer menu and saw that I could change the level of the bass for the front left and right speakers. For testing purposes I increased this level from 0 to 10dB (the max setting) and I could finally feel the bass from the subwoofer. I tested this in two locations. In the middle of the room against the wall next to my TV. In this location, the sub is also between my TV stand and desk. The other location was also in the middle of the room but out roughly 4 ft from the wall and roughly 2 ft from my listening position. In both positions, I could feel the bass but I think I could feel in more when the sub was against the wall between the TV stand and desk.

I also noticed that I could set the frequency level of the front bass on the receiver. By default, it is set at 250Hz. What is the best frequency to set the front bass at?
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally my sub was in the corner wall of my room next to the TV stand. I moved the sub because I was not feeling any bass at all. I think I will move it back to that position with the front bass increased to 10dB again and see if I can still feel the bass.

When I had the sub in the corner of the room before I had the receiver resting on two old game systems and then my ps3 resting on top of the receiver and they were all on top of the subwoofer. That was quite a bit of weight resting on the sub. If that much weight is resting on my sub, does that affect the sound coming out of the sub (i.e. suppress the bass, absorb sound, etc.). I only did this because when my sub was in the corner of the room I had no where to set the receiver and ps3 except for on top of the subwoofer.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave2441 View Post

I wonder if maybe my sub is just not powerful enough to produce enough bass in the room I have it in? What can I do?

That could very easily be the problem. According to what I could find, the JBL Bass 16 has two 6.5" downfiring drivers and a 100 watt RMS amp. Its frequency response spec is 40hz to 150hz (+/-3db). Not a very heavy hitter. Something like the Energy S10.3 would be dramatically better.

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