Underwhelming Performance from BIC PL-200 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Underwhelming Performance from BIC PL-200

So I finally got everything ready last week and setup the home theater over the weekend.


Here's my setup:


Polk Monitor 70 Series II as front speakers
Polk CS2 Series II as center speaker
Polk Monitor 40 Series II as surround speakers
BIC America PL-200 subwoofer
Yamaha RX-V677 receiver


After I connected all the cables, I started the receiver and use YPAO auto configuration. Before I ran the test, I set the crossover frequency knob on the subwoofer to the max (90Hz?) and the volume knob (gain?) to half the volume as suggested in the RX-V677 manual. After running the YPAO couple times (I got errors like front presence speakers or rear presence speakers detected) I was finally able to pass the YPAO sound check. During the sound check, I couldn't hear or feel anything at all from the subwoofer. After messing around with the receiver and the subwoofer, I found that setting the volume knob on the subwoofer to max or 3/4 of the volume will yield some results from the subwoofer. However, it is still very unnoticeable.


So I played with the setting on the receiver, changed the crossover frequency on both the subwoofer and the receiver to 80, changed all the speaker sizes to small and turned the subwoofer volume knob (gain?) to half. I can finally hear and feel the bass but it is still very underwhelming. First of all, I have to turn the volume on the receiver way up and louder than I would prefer (like 65%) in order to hear and feel the bass. Still, it is not very distinguishable that I don't know if the bass is coming from the front speakers or the subwoofer. I have to touch the subwoofer to feel it in order to confirm that it's outputting bass.


This is my first home theater setup and I am quite disappoint with the subwoofer. I owned a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers and its subwoofer has very nice output. I only turn the bass and treble to like 25% on the Klipsch and I already have great results.


So moving from the $100 2.1 speakers to a $300 subwoofer, I was expecting drastic improvements, like earth shattering bass but that's not the case. Even at the 50% volume (gain on the subwoofer) and turning the receiver volume to 60%, I couldn't tell if the bass is coming from the subwoofer or the front speakers.


Also, the volume on the receiver is not very loud. Turn the volume to like 60% and the loudness will be the same as a $20 dollar speaker set, continue turning the volume up and it gets louder but not by much. I would say at around 75-80% there is a drastic sudden change in the loudness and it doesn't sound normal and I have to turn it down, is this normal?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 02:05 PM
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I suggest you set the volume level on sub low. 1/4 volume or so. Then run YPAO again. At that point you will have plenty of volume control to raise the sub level to your preference.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 02:16 PM
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When you run YPAO, pay attention to the trim level of all speakers. If sub gain is in the correct range, you front speaker should be close to 0 trim level, and sub should be -6 to -9. If sub trim is higher than -6(i.e. -3 or +2 etc), then raise the gain on the sub. If sub trim ends up -10, lower the gain and rerun YPAO. Once you get in the -6 to -9 range, set speakers to small, 80 Hz, adjust subwoofer trim level up 6 dB in your AVR, and see how it sounds to you. If the bass still does not seem quite strong enough, try turning Enhancer on. If it is still not enough bass, something is wrong. Should be VERY bass heavy at that point.

You may also need to check that all your speakers and subwoofer are in phase.

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 02:18 PM
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dwang: One will not get "earth shattering" bass in a $300 sub. That being said, BIC uses butyl rubber for their surrounds and it takes a good 40 hours to break them in where the subwoofer starts to perform as advertised. Give it time before running your EQ.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwang98 View Post
So I finally got everything ready last week and setup the home theater over the weekend.


Here's my setup:


Polk Monitor 70 Series II as front speakers
Polk CS2 Series II as center speaker
Polk Monitor 40 Series II as surround speakers
BIC America PL-200 subwoofer
Yamaha RX-V677 receiver


After I connected all the cables, I started the receiver and use YPAO auto configuration. Before I ran the test, I set the crossover frequency knob on the subwoofer to the max (90Hz?) and the volume knob (gain?) to half the volume as suggested in the RX-V677 manual. After running the YPAO couple times (I got errors like front presence speakers or rear presence speakers detected) I was finally able to pass the YPAO sound check. During the sound check, I couldn't hear or feel anything at all from the subwoofer. After messing around with the receiver and the subwoofer, I found that setting the volume knob on the subwoofer to max or 3/4 of the volume will yield some results from the subwoofer. However, it is still very unnoticeable.


So I played with the setting on the receiver, changed the crossover frequency on both the subwoofer and the receiver to 80, changed all the speaker sizes to small and turned the subwoofer volume knob (gain?) to half. I can finally hear and feel the bass but it is still very underwhelming. First of all, I have to turn the volume on the receiver way up and louder than I would prefer (like 65%) in order to hear and feel the bass. Still, it is not very distinguishable that I don't know if the bass is coming from the front speakers or the subwoofer. I have to touch the subwoofer to feel it in order to confirm that it's outputting bass.


This is my first home theater setup and I am quite disappoint with the subwoofer. I owned a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers and its subwoofer has very nice output. I only turn the bass and treble to like 25% on the Klipsch and I already have great results.


So moving from the $100 2.1 speakers to a $300 subwoofer, I was expecting drastic improvements, like earth shattering bass but that's not the case. Even at the 50% volume (gain on the subwoofer) and turning the receiver volume to 60%, I couldn't tell if the bass is coming from the subwoofer or the front speakers.


Also, the volume on the receiver is not very loud. Turn the volume to like 60% and the loudness will be the same as a $20 dollar speaker set, continue turning the volume up and it gets louder but not by much. I would say at around 75-80% there is a drastic sudden change in the loudness and it doesn't sound normal and I have to turn it down, is this normal?
Did you try messing with the crossover in/out switch?



My thought is if you have a crossover set on the AVR, you want to defeat the crossover on the sub somehow. It sounds like you have two crossovers going right now.

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 05:30 PM
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I found I like to run my sub hotter than what a room EQ program like YPAO sets. Try boosting your subwoofer level a few dB in the receiver. I boost +3dB to +6dB depending on the content.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noman74656 View Post
Did you try messing with the crossover in/out switch?



My thought is if you have a crossover set on the AVR, you want to defeat the crossover on the sub somehow. It sounds like you have two crossovers going right now.
To defeat the crossover in the sub, just set the crossover switch on the sub to out.

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post #8 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 09:01 AM
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The only way your gonna get "earth shattering" bass from an inexpensive 12" sub is if you put it in a closet sized room, maybe...
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 06:05 PM
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Also, you're not supposed to be able to tell the bass is coming from the sub. It's supposed to sound like it's coming from the speakers. I think you're just not used to integrated bass yet. If you want more, turn up the bass level on your receiver.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 06:40 PM
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very true, it should sound blended, but make it's presence known when something big happens on screen. not trying to sound like some sub snob or anything, but there is a reason for the price differences in subs of the same size. you pretty much get what you pay for, and it sounds like you have champagne taste with a beer budget, lol. you just aren't going to get earth shattering bass from a budget sub, otherwise everyone would be buying a couple of those instead of a higher priced/better quality competitor. calibration can make a difference, and as bear said you will most likely find that running the sub 6db hot from what the calibration sets it at will be your sweet spot.
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 08:05 PM
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Room size affects subwoofer performance. What size is the room and how high is the ceiling? You may need dual subs.

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post #12 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 12:07 AM
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My suggestion is to turn up the subwoofer volume until it sounds to you like there's enough bass.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 09:19 PM
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Hmmm. I wonder where the OP is?
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
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Hmmm. I wonder where the OP is?
Maybe he's doing the sub crawl, which he should be doing if he hasn't done so already...
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-05-2014, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
Hmmm. I wonder where the OP is?
After reading through this thread and various other threads, I checked the speaker settings. It looks like YPAO set the subwoofer level to -7.5dB and I think that may be the issue to underwhelming subwoofer performance?

I haven't tried to manually adjust the subwoofer level but what's the safe level to begin with? is 0dB the reference point (meaning there's no increase or reduction in volume, the subwoofer is operating in its original volume?)?

I will do more testing next week when I have everything in place, thanks for all the help.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-05-2014, 09:45 PM
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Some people like to run the sub "hot". 0 would be very bass heavy if it was set to -7.5. I would think -5 or so would be good start but each person likes it different. Try turning sub gain to 11 o'clock and manual set receiver to -5 and see how it sounds. Also as said above it will sound better with some use.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-06-2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwang98 View Post
After reading through this thread and various other threads, I checked the speaker settings. It looks like YPAO set the subwoofer level to -7.5dB and I think that may be the issue to underwhelming subwoofer performance?

I haven't tried to manually adjust the subwoofer level but what's the safe level to begin with? is 0dB the reference point (meaning there's no increase or reduction in volume, the subwoofer is operating in its original volume?)?

I will do more testing next week when I have everything in place, thanks for all the help.
I do want to note that I have the PL-200 with a set of Polk RTiA speakers with it and it didn't feel weak compared to the rest of the sound system at all. As far as $300 subs go you picked an amazing one.

Some things to consider:

How big is your room?
Where is your sub located? Normally a corner is best
What are your speakers set at? (also -7.5dB approx?)

With my system the PL-200 was corner loaded, set to the 2 o clock position for gain, and was about 3dB louder than the other speakers.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-08-2014, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
dwang: One will not get "earth shattering" bass in a $300 sub. That being said, BIC uses butyl rubber for their surrounds and it takes a good 40 hours to break them in where the subwoofer starts to perform as advertised. Give it time before running your EQ.
I dont want to hijack this thread, but there is no science behind this. Speaker break in, at this time, is only a myth.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-08-2014, 12:29 PM
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^^ In your mind perhaps, but it's a well-known phenomena. The amount of time it takes to break in a speaker varies depending upon the material used. Some speakers are broken-in in a few hours (or at the factory when and if they run their tests), others may take a day or two, while others longer. Magnepan recommends at least a month or two in order to reach their full bass potential, but these are mylar panels, which is a whole different animal. I've owned BIC subs and can tell you first-hand it takes time, and a lot more time than most. And there is nothing subjective about it. The difference is THAT large. The butyl rubber is stiff and will take time to loosen up -- basic science. Not only that, all speakers will continue to change over time. Minute, yes. Perceptible, not from month to month, but compare a year old speaker and one that's only a month old, and there will be a difference. And yes, there is science behind this. Just ask Bill Fitzmaurice. He's measured it.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-08-2014, 12:36 PM
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Proper positioning and measurement are the keys to great bass performance. The subs position relative to the listener will have a greater effect on perceived performance than any other factor. There is no one right answer as to where to place a sub, but you do have to figure it out if you want to get the most out of your investment.

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