What level do you set your gain? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm wondering what level people set their gain and why? I've got a PB12-NSD and the manual said between 10-12 but why is that? I would normally have the bass set to 12 while watching TV and I would turn it up between 1-3 while watching a movie.
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post #2 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 05:48 AM
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Gain varies depending on the sub and the room it's in. Once you've set the gain on your sub and calibrated your system, any further adjustments should be made using the subwoofer level in the AVR.

FWIW:
- The gain on each of my sub amps is set to ~10:00.
- YMM - and likely will - V. smile.gif


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post #3 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I'm supposed to get my final speakers this week for my HT setup after which I plan to run Audyssey MultEQ XT on my X1000 AVR. I guess a more appropriate question might be what am I trying to accomplish with the gain on my sub? Is it essentially turning the dial until you hear the sound effects it produces?
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post #4 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 07:21 AM
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You want to set the gain on the sub so that you get the best overall calibration with Audyssey.

Generally speaking, this is what you want to do:
1. Set the gain control on the sub to roughly "two o'clock"; crank the LPF knob fully clockwise (to disable the sub's LPF) and set the Phase to "0°".

2. Run the first cycle (all 6-8 positions) of Audyssey, calculate, store and then check the levels in your receiver's speaker set-up menu.
i) If the speaker levels are at around 0dB, and the sub level is within ~6dB of the level of the speakers, proceed to step 3.
ii) If the sub level is too low, lower the gain on the sub itself; if the sub level is too high, raise the gain on the sub itself; then re-run step 2.

3. Run all cycles of Audyssey, calculate and store. Then go into the speaker set-up menu and:
- set all speakers to "small";
- set the crossover to the level suited to your speakers (for good-quality bookshelf speakers and larger, that's usually 80Hz);
- leave the LPF of LFE at 120Hz (if you have the option to do so; if you don't, it will likely be defaulted to 120Hz anyway); and
- bump the level of the sub by ~3-6dB (if desired) but do NOT touch the gain control on the sub itself.
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post #5 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Run the first cycle (all 6-8 positions) of Audyssey, calculate, store and then check the levels in your receiver's speaker set-up menu.
i) If the speaker levels are at around 0dB, and the sub level is within ~6dB of the level of the speakers, proceed to step 3.
ii) If the sub level is too low, lower the gain on the sub itself; if the sub level is too high, raise the gain on the sub itself; then re-run step 2.
"Sub level is too low, lower the gain, sub level is too high, raise the gain" does that mean >6dB, lower gain, <-6dB, raise gain?

Thanks for the help, I'll make sure to re-read that when I go through the Audyssey setup process.
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post #6 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 09:52 AM
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Gain is on the sub itself; level is in the AVR speaker set-up menu.

During the calbration process, if the sub level as shown in the AVR's speaker set-up menu:
- is too low, lower the gain on the sub itself;
- is too high, raise the gain on the sub itself.

After the calibration process:
- Boost the subwoofer level in the AVR (not the gain on the sub itself) if/as desired.
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post #7 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 02:41 PM
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I agree with most of the advice you've got from Eljay, but;

You don't need to run all 6-8 positions of Audyssey to determine if your sub gain is set correctly. You only need to do the first position then "calculate" and see where your sub trim is. You should shoot for -6db to -9db. You then have a good amount of trim to run your sub "hot" if you so wish.

After you get Audyssey to set your sub trim between -6db and -9db (by re-running the 1st Audyssey position, calculating, adjusting sub gain knob), then you can run all 6-8 mic positions and finalize the calibration.

Eljay correctly advises to set your crossovers to 80hz, but missed an important caveat - you should never lower the crossover from where Audyssey sets it (i.e. Audyssey sets your surrounds to 150hz). If you do, you risk damaging your speakers.

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post #8 of 41 Old 06-04-2014, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P 
Eljay correctly advises to set your crossovers to 80hz, but missed an important caveat - you should never lower the crossover from where Audyssey sets it (i.e. Audyssey sets your surrounds to 150hz). If you do, you risk damaging your speakers.
If you lower the crossover to a point at which you risk damaging your speakers, you have not - as eljay pointed out - "set the crossover to the level suited to your speakers". wink.gif


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post #9 of 41 Old 06-14-2014, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
1. Set the gain control on the sub to roughly "two o'clock"; crank the LPF knob fully clockwise (to disable the sub's LPF) and set the Phase to "0°".

2. Run the first cycle (all 6-8 positions) of Audyssey, calculate, store and then check the levels in your receiver's speaker set-up menu.
i) If the speaker levels are at around 0dB, and the sub level is within ~6dB of the level of the speakers, proceed to step 3.
ii) If the sub level is too low, lower the gain on the sub itself; if the sub level is too high, raise the gain on the sub itself; then re-run step 2.

3. Run all cycles of Audyssey, calculate and store. Then go into the speaker set-up menu and:
- set all speakers to "small";
- set the crossover to the level suited to your speakers (for good-quality bookshelf speakers and larger, that's usually 80Hz);
- leave the LPF of LFE at 120Hz (if you have the option to do so; if you don't, it will likely be defaulted to 120Hz anyway); and
- bump the level of the sub by ~3-6dB (if desired) but do NOT touch the gain control on the sub itself.
Setting to 2 o'clock resulting in the sub showing -11.5dB so I dialed back the gain to 12 o'clock re-ran Audyssey, calculated the results and it showed the following:
L -2.0dB
R -3.0dB
C -7.5dB
SL -4.5dB
SR -1.5dB
SW -5.5dB

I then changed my front speakers to SMALL from LARGE, changed the crossover on my fronts from 40 to 80 and my surrounds from 60 to 80, finally I went into Subwoofer level and increased the level from -5.5dB to -2.5dB.

Should my subwoofer mode be set to LFE+main or just LFE? I read from a few sites it should be LFE+main which I've set mine to but according to the Audyssey FAQ:

f)7. What is ‘LFE + Main’ or ‘Double Bass’ and should I use it?

The short answer is ‘No’ – you should not use these settings and, if you have a subwoofer, you should never set your speakers to ‘Large’.

Denon units have a setting called ‘LFE + Main’. They both set out to achieve the same thing. Before we look at the issues surrounding these settings, we need to clarify what your AVR manufacturer means when they say speakers are ‘Large’ or ‘Small’.

Thanks again for the help, newbie trying to get his 5.1 sounding awesome.
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post #10 of 41 Old 06-14-2014, 02:04 PM
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set all speakers to small
use a single xo for all the speakers of around 80 Hz
Use only LFE, the + main will give you double bass that may be bloated
Large setting means no bass management or quasi bass mangement
Small means full bass management

You just got the PB 12 NSD, leave it to do what it was made for, reproducing the bass!

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post #11 of 41 Old 06-14-2014, 05:33 PM
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If one has an older receiver that does not have internal equalization like Audessey but uses an outside box like BFD, then use the sub's volume control and not the one in the receiver. Otherwise one may encounter digital distortion. I learned this the hard way.

If one wants the subwoofer to work in stereo only mode then use Double Bass if one runs their mains large, like me. They are flat to 30Hz, and I'll be damned if I'll run them small. And when I play Pipe Organ music in stereo I need that extra 15Hz. And I also read that multiple low bass sources increases the bass smoothness at seats other than the sweet spot (as if I care).

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post #12 of 41 Old 06-14-2014, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLBright View Post
If one has an older receiver that does not have internal equalization like Audessey but uses an outside box like BFD, then use the sub's volume control and not the one in the receiver. Otherwise one may encounter digital distortion. I learned this the hard way.

If one wants the subwoofer to work in stereo only mode then use Double Bass if one runs their mains large, like me. They are flat to 30Hz, and I'll be damned if I'll run them small. And when I play Pipe Organ music in stereo I need that extra 15Hz. And I also read that multiple low bass sources increases the bass smoothness at seats other than the sweet spot (as if I care).
Double bass might sound okay if you otherwise cannot correct for equal loudness effects and like me listen at levels quieter than movie reference.

But with respect to the apparent fear that your junk will shrink if you engage bass management ("small" really means "engage bass management") you might need to comprehend how sound works in home sized rooms at a deeper level. The right place for your mains in the critical 6 octaves or so from treble to low mids/upper bass may be just wrong for mid to low bass. That is not the speakers' fault it is just acoustics/physics. Also possible, but not necessarily relevant in your particular situation, to recognize the difference between extension that might be rated at -10 dB versus flat extension and at least as importantly whether a speaker that is flat to 30 Hz at 85-90 dB remains flat that deep at 105 dB (for those who choose to listen at reference). Lower frequencies compress first in this universe.
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post #13 of 41 Old 06-14-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatupdet View Post
I'm wondering what level people set their gain and why? I've got a PB12-NSD and the manual said between 10-12 but why is that? I would normally have the bass set to 12 while watching TV and I would turn it up between 1-3 while watching a movie.
it depends on the room and distance.
Mine is 13 feet away from my listening position in a brick-walled room. The subwoofer level knob is at 8 o'clock with audyssey trim at -3dB.
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post #14 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post
set all speakers to small
use a single xo for all the speakers of around 80 Hz
Use only LFE, the + main will give you double bass that may be bloated
Large setting means no bass management or quasi bass management
Small means full bass management

You just got the PB 12 NSD, leave it to do what it was made for, reproducing the bass!
Thanks, I changed it to LFE instead of LFE+main but I have two different crossovers since Audyssey set my center to 100 I didn't want to lower to 80 as it's indicated in the FAQ not to.
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post #15 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 09:20 AM
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Yes, that is the right way to do it...never lower a crossover as set by Audyssey.

So, how's it sound??
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post #16 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 11:39 AM
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When setting speakers to SMALL, it has nothing to do with the size of the speaker. Most towers don't do a good job of reproducing the low deep bass unless they have a 15 in. woofer, 2 ten or 12 in. woofers. My 90 lb tower is rated to go down to 34 Hz but, I set them as SMALL. Each tower has two 10 in. woofer and they are on 200 watt amp.

With the speakers not reproducing the deep bass, there is less cone breakup, less distortion, more dynamic range, and significantly better power management. For example, a 1 kHz signal at 1 watt will net 70 db. To double the spl add roughly 10 watts so, we would be using around 11 watts at 80 db. At 40 Hz to sound as loud at 70 db we need 10 watts, to go to 80 db we need 100 watt. Now the avr is putting out 111 watt at 80 db when the speakers are set to large. It is easy to see how headroom get's ate up real fast. That is why subs have their own amp. An additional 4-6 db in spl for the midrange is available when the speakers are set to small.

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post #17 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 02:31 PM
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So if you guys are setting the gain at 12 o'clock, does that mean you can't use more than 1/2 of the amps wattage?

 




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post #18 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatupdet View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post
set all speakers to small
use a single xo for all the speakers of around 80 Hz
Use only LFE, the + main will give you double bass that may be bloated
Large setting means no bass management or quasi bass management
Small means full bass management

You just got the PB 12 NSD, leave it to do what it was made for, reproducing the bass!
Thanks, I changed it to LFE instead of LFE+main but I have two different crossovers since Audyssey set my center to 100 I didn't want to lower to 80 as it's indicated in the FAQ not to.

Well that's stupid.

What if it detects my speakers and sets them to small 120hz, even though they're capable of 40hz, and I prefer them set to 80hz.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

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post #19 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 02:51 PM
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So if you guys are setting the gain at 12 o'clock, does that mean you can't use more than 1/2 of the amps wattage?
No, that's not how it works. The gain setting on the sub is only adjusting the input sensitivity not what you would traditionally refer to as a volume control.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatupdet View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post
set all speakers to small
use a single xo for all the speakers of around 80 Hz
Use only LFE, the + main will give you double bass that may be bloated
Large setting means no bass management or quasi bass management
Small means full bass management

You just got the PB 12 NSD, leave it to do what it was made for, reproducing the bass!
Thanks, I changed it to LFE instead of LFE+main but I have two different crossovers since Audyssey set my center to 100 I didn't want to lower to 80 as it's indicated in the FAQ not to.

Well that's stupid.

What if it detects my speakers and sets them to small 120hz, even though they're capable of 40hz, and I prefer them set to 80hz.
If Audyssey is setting your crossover at 120hz it either has good reason to do so (your speakers really aren't living up to the manufacturers claims, your room is effecting the response, etc.), the mic is defective, or your calibration routine is defective.
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post #20 of 41 Old 06-16-2014, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatupdet View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post
set all speakers to small
use a single xo for all the speakers of around 80 Hz
Use only LFE, the + main will give you double bass that may be bloated
Large setting means no bass management or quasi bass management
Small means full bass management

You just got the PB 12 NSD, leave it to do what it was made for, reproducing the bass!
Thanks, I changed it to LFE instead of LFE+main but I have two different crossovers since Audyssey set my center to 100 I didn't want to lower to 80 as it's indicated in the FAQ not to.

Well that's stupid.

What if it detects my speakers and sets them to small 120hz, even though they're capable of 40hz, and I prefer them set to 80hz.
well if you think that marketing driven specs are more real than reality, uh, cool. If you comprehend how room and speakers can result in measurements that depart from what the marketing department publishes, then you might want to live in the real world rather than marketing land. Or not. . Your choice.
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post #21 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Yes, that is the right way to do it...never lower a crossover as set by Audyssey.

So, how's it sound??
The best way I can describe it is my setup sounds much clearer now that it's set to LFE, plus last night I finally got HD audio tracks working on my blu-ray player and re-watched Lone Survivor, the sound was spectacular.
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post #22 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 07:01 AM
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well if you think that marketing driven specs are more real than reality, uh, cool. If you comprehend how room and speakers can result in measurements that depart from what the marketing department publishes, then you might want to live in the real world rather than marketing land. Or not. . Your choice.
What if I have JM Labs Grand Utopia and it detects them as small?

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post #23 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 07:18 AM
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I would refer you back to my answer in post #19 .
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post #24 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 07:42 AM
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BTW, my mains are Klipschorns which Audyssey of course detects as "large", but which I of course set to "small" because I want bass management.
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post #25 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 03:38 PM
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What if I have JM Labs Grand Utopia and it detects them as small?
Well if you think you feel your crotch shrinking rest assured it is purely a psychological effect and not due to the horrible wrongdoing to your speakers. The thing can only measure what actually happens in the room and absent some failure, dude it is what it is. You can of course rail against it until you are blue in the face but it won't change the reality that at least one of tje speakers in their locations in the room are - 3 dB somewhere above 40Hz (assuming your device follows convention (not an Audyssey driven requirement) setting "large penis" at 40Hz.

A rational person could try to figure out why. . Somebody afraid their junk is shrinking will have to engage in whatever nonsense works for them. Perhaps a tinfoil hat.
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post #26 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 06:40 PM
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Another guide on setting the XO in a home theater is to use the least capable speaker FR and set the XO 10-15 Hz higher Sometime what we feel setting the speakers and XO, is just that, a feeling , and not supported with sound science.

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post #27 of 41 Old 06-18-2014, 06:53 PM
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What if I have JM Labs Grand Utopia and it detects them as small?
What if it sets your Bose Jewel speakers to Large?

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."


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post #28 of 41 Old 06-19-2014, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
What if it sets your Bose Jewel speakers to Large?
That's perfect. Set crossover to 40. Turn on all bass boosting. Listen to some Electronica at +10 until the speakers blow.

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post #29 of 41 Old 06-19-2014, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
Well that's stupid.

What if it detects my speakers and sets them to small 120hz, even though they're capable of 40hz, and I prefer them set to 80hz.
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Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
What if I have JM Labs Grand Utopia and it detects them as small?
If you have any understanding of how Audyssey works, you would realize that there is something wrong with the setup of the speakers, or the acoustics of the room, if Audyssey is detecting and setting the crossover point much higher than the specified response of the speakers. This is NOT an Audyssey problem, and Audyssey is not "stupid" for doing so. Audyssey MEASURES the in-room response of the speakers, and it reports the -3 dB point, (F3), it MEASURES to the receiver or pre/pro. The engineers who designed the receiver or pre/pro have pre-determined what crossover to use based on the measured, in-room F3 of the speakers. So, if the crossover is set significantly higher than the native F3 of the speakers, this is a problem with the in-room response, (or it's a problem with the speakers themselves.) The next step is for the user to figure out WHY Audyssey is measuring such a high in-room F3 for speakers that have a significantly lower native F3. Correct that problem, and Audyssey will report a more appropriate F3, and the crossover will be set more appropriately.

Craig

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post #30 of 41 Old 06-19-2014, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
That's perfect. Set crossover to 40. Turn on all bass boosting. Listen to some Electronica at +10 until the speakers blow.
Yes, that would solve the "problem" of owning Bose Jewel speakers.

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