Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Texas (rural)
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Subwoofer outputting less over time?
I've had a Dayton Sub 120 in our living room setup for about 8 years. I've changed receivers 3 times since then, and I also have always split the sub output signal to drive a separate amplifier powering some Aura Pro bass shakers that are mounted under the couch and loveseat. Also over that 8 years, we've added kids to our home, so I have much less time enjoying the home theater and really hearing it for what it can do. Having said that, each time I changed receivers and also periodically when I have a chance, I'll look at settings and tweak if necessary, as I learn more and listen better.
The other day I realized that to get the subwoofer volume I wanted, I had to turn it all the way up, and to me it sounds sluggish and weak...I've actually had this thought for years. I checked the output level in the receiver and it is at its max of +10 (keep in mind that the signal loses half when it is split before it arrives at the sub). I am almost certain that I used to run the gain years ago at about 1/2 (the room or placement has not changed).
I called Parts Express to pick their brains, as they are always so helpful. I mentioned that I had a Dayton Sub 800 in the bedroom that I just got in the past year, and that I find it to be superior at this point...tighter and more accurate (of course, it doesn't go as low), and plenty of presence (albeit in a smaller room) at 1/2 gain. They suggested doing some trouble-shooting by pulling the Sub 800 into the living room and A/B. I found that while the gain did have to be turned up all the way, I could get more out of the Sub 800 than the Sub 120.
The Sub 800 is an 8 inch driver powered by 80 watts. The Sub 120 is a 12 inch driver powered by 150 watts. The designs look similar. Is there any case where the Sub 800 should outperform the Sub 120 when they are both on the same receiver/settings, both full gain? Or, have I sufficiently determined that I'm not smoking crack, and the Sub 120 isn't what she used to be and either needs a repair or replacement? For the time being, I've bypassed the bass shakers and given the Sub 120 full signal, still +10 on receiver sub output, still full gain on the sub. The level is fine this way, but I've never had to run anything full throttle like that before, and I still wish she sounded nice and tight like the Sub 800 (but this could be the nature of the driver size).
Obviously if I'm buying Dayton stuff, I work within a tight budget...please don't blow me off and say I need to spend more on quality products or something...we all do what we can with what we have, and you'll find plenty of people that boast about the bang for buck some of the Dayton subs have offered for many years. For the money, they have definitely not let me down.
I would like to get back to being able to run my bass shakers AND sub without a compromise in LFE level from the sub. Any suggestions?
Last edited by Gracepreacher; 08-09-2014 at 12:08 PM.