Subwoofer sounding terrible, boomy, bloated, no smoothness - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer sounding terrible, boomy, bloated, no smoothness

The subwoofer is SVS SB 2000 with QED Reference sub cable.

I previously had this hooked up to Marantz SR 7005 receiver. It took a whole but I got the sound perfect on most music and movies. Deep, clean bass with no distortion, no boominess, no rumbling during musical bass lines, only explosions in movies. Any issues with music, I adjust the tracks in Audacity, then burn discs. I have dozens of 5.1 surround discs, no issue with any of them.

My room is 14ftL 9.8W 8H

My speakers are PMC db1 i(all 5). Behind them are mini GIK Monster traps, with range limiters, not absorbing HF.

I then had to get rid of receiver due to problems with it responding to remote. I had it fixed, same issue happened again. I could not be bothered using it only manually. Unfortunately the warranty had ran out.

I decided to purchase a Marantz SR 7010 receiver after reading the features and a few reviews.

Whilst waiting I bought 6 Monster bass traps from GIK Acoustics, and made some DIY ones, using cardboard boxes. I filled all corners, and have the space in front of back window covered.

After much studying, the general consensus was bass can only sound better with corners filled, right?

I have ran Audyssey at all 8 positions using a mic stand. Subwoofer is in exact same position, where it sounded perfect before. Vocals sounded great, very clear, open. Highs are very clear without being harsh. The bass however is an absolute mess. Parts are quiet, and parts are bloated, distorted, with sub kicking in rumbling where it should not. I have reference discs that I know have smooth, deep bass lines such as Yes Blu Ray Audio, so it is not the material. Chris Squires bass lines are very apparent in every song. They should be clean, no rumbling from the sub, they should not be all over the place with some parts causing the sub to become obvious in the room.

Phase it at 0, LFE, volume is just past 1 o clock.

If I turn up sub on receiver to get volume to here I previously had it the issues are more apparent, if I turn it down I can barely hear bass lines. On Outkasts Stankonia 5.1 album, the track MS Jackson has some slap bass, I increased this before burning a disc. Previously the bass was deep with a slight 'kick in' form sub, but smooth, clear, no distortion. Now it is causing sub to rumble like an explosion in a movie would, totally ruining music listening experience. I do not have volume higher now on sub or receiver. Not only that but parts of bass lines I could hear before are not even audible any more.

This is immensely infuriating. I presume the problem is not receiver, it is working fine, and nobody else has reported issues with bass output. Although I have to note as soon as this receiver arrived, with any Audyssey I noticed bass output via sub was louder than previous SR 7005.

The sub was checked a few weeks back, due to still being under warranty, apparently working fine.

I am perplexed, any input would be appreciated.
cheers

Paul
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post #2 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 06:44 AM
 
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After much studying, the general consensus was bass can only sound better with corners filled, right?
It seems to me that you fixed something that wasn't broken, and as a result now it is.
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post #3 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 06:54 AM
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Have you got DEQ engaged or any of the compression modes? Otherwise as Bill says you may have broken something that was OK before in terms of room treatment, though like you I was lead to believe that putting treatment in room corners was almost a 'no brainer' decision.

I'll be adding some treatment to my room as I'm rebuilding it, but I'd planned on doing it a step at a time measuring with REW, starting with the 'bare' room and adding treatment a bit at a time. Maybe I'll be a bit more restrained with what I add given your results.
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post #4 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post
Have you got DEQ engaged or any of the compression modes? Otherwise as Bill says you may have broken something that was OK before in terms of room treatment, though like you I was lead to believe that putting treatment in room corners was almost a 'no brainer' decision.

I'll be adding some treatment to my room as I'm rebuilding it, but I'd planned on doing it a step at a time measuring with REW, starting with the 'bare' room and adding treatment a bit at a time. Maybe I'll be a bit more restrained with what I add given your results.
Yep!

So you think it is the treatment? I was thinking of buying a new sub.
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post #5 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 07:35 AM
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It's hard to know without measurements (and I'm no expert on analysing them, so I'll be putting mine up and asking advice when the time comes).

You could try removing some treatments to see if it improves things, but you'd need to redo your Audyssey set up each time, so a more scientific approach with REW or similar would make more sense. Otherwise you are literally stumbling around in the dark.

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post #6 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 07:49 AM
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Sounds like the room calibration is boosting the lower frequencies.
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post #7 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Sounds like the room calibration is boosting the lower frequencies.
Yes, but it has always done that. Never been a problem before.
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post #8 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 10:40 AM
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maybe the output voltages on the avr's are different and you have to readjust the gain on the sub
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post #9 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenly View Post
It took a whole but I got the sound perfect on most music and movies...
...
...After much studying, the general consensus was bass can only sound better with corners filled, right?
Wrong. The objective of bass traps is to smooth the frequency response with the least possible intervention/cost, not to plaster over it with 'perfect' treatments. Optimization of bass traps to the level you are attempting can only be accomplished with manual acoustic measurements.

If you were dissatisfied enough with the sound to change the room treatments, maybe the sound was always a little 'broken', especially if you are not measuring but trying to optimize anyway. Odds are you initially had problems but made them worse.

Assuming that nothing substantially changed in the system except the bass traps, you can readily identify them as the culprit by restoring your prior room configuration and recalibrating.

If you live in the SF Bay Area and decide you need to recoup some of your investment in bass traps, message me please.

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On Outkasts Stankonia 5.1 album, the track MS Jackson has some slap bass, I increased this before burning a disc.
If you felt the need to alter your recordings, that is a strong indication that you had pre-existing system issues before you added all those new bass traps, as is your naive approach to fixing it.

Also, if you are listening to hip-hop and related genres, the bass is more percussive than melodic as well as usually way over-boosted. You are going to have a really difficult time tuning your system with that sort of bass since it keeps repeating the same notes over and over rather than traversing the whole musical scale frequently, and the variety of bass instruments (drums etc) is small, with most of them synthetic and overly processed for effect.

Try the original recording, not your bass-boosted version. How does that sound?

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Originally Posted by keenly View Post
I then had to get rid of receiver due to problems with it responding to remote.
Did you duplicate your post-auto-cal manual crossovers and levels and polarities etc.? Everything identical? Based on your statements it seems like it. One step you might try is factory resetting the receiver, though I suspect you already did that too.

You might temporarily wire up your old receiver and see if the problem goes away. Still have the old receiver? Still calibrated? That might be easier than removing your new bass traps.

If that option is out, or seems too drastic/hassle-prone at this point, you can try to simplify the problem using your new receiver.

'Direct' mode with analog or stereo/mono input gets rid of all crossovers and EQ for you, as does 'pure' mode that also shuts off as much of the digital circuitry as possible (these sound modes might be called something else on a Marantz -- I have Onkyo).

If the sound of your bass-limited channels is similarly affected, your room treatments are probably at fault, though it is potentially difficult to tell without measurements confirming your perceptions since those speakers are not going to produce much bass alone.

Another potential investigation is to run the subwoofer full range and see how it sounds alone.

Quote:
My room is 14ftL 9.8W 8H
Any discontinuous walls? Any subdivisions, louvered closets, etc? Open to kitchen, dining area, living room, hallway, etc? Irregularly shaped rooms can behave unpredictably and can also be difficult to tune when you change the acoustic treatments and/or speaker placements. Ask me how I know.
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post #10 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CherylJosie View Post
Wrong. The objective of bass traps is to smooth the frequency response with the least possible intervention/cost, not to plaster over it with 'perfect' treatments. Optimization of bass traps to the level you are attempting can only be accomplished with manual acoustic measurements.

If you were dissatisfied enough with the sound to change the room treatments, maybe the sound was always a little 'broken', especially if you are not measuring but trying to optimize anyway. Odds are you initially had problems but made them worse.

Assuming that nothing substantially changed in the system except the bass traps, you can readily identify them as the culprit by restoring your prior room configuration and recalibrating.

If you live in the SF Bay Area and decide you need to recoup some of your investment in bass traps, message me please.



If you felt the need to alter your recordings, that is a strong indication that you had pre-existing system issues before you added all those new bass traps, as is your naive approach to fixing it.

Also, if you are listening to hip-hop and related genres, the bass is more percussive than melodic as well as usually way over-boosted. You are going to have a really difficult time tuning your system with that sort of bass since it keeps repeating the same notes over and over rather than traversing the whole musical scale frequently, and the variety of bass instruments (drums etc) is small, with most of them synthetic and overly processed for effect.


Try the original recording, not your bass-boosted version. How does that sound?



Did you duplicate your post-auto-cal manual crossovers and levels and polarities etc.? Everything identical? Based on your statements it seems like it. One step you might try is factory resetting the receiver, though I suspect you already did that too.

You might temporarily wire up your old receiver and see if the problem goes away. Still have the old receiver? Still calibrated? That might be easier than removing your new bass traps.

If that option is out, or seems too drastic/hassle-prone at this point, you can try to simplify the problem using your new receiver.

'Direct' mode with analog or stereo/mono input gets rid of all crossovers and EQ for you, as does 'pure' mode that also shuts off as much of the digital circuitry as possible (these sound modes might be called something else on a Marantz -- I have Onkyo).

If the sound of your bass-limited channels is similarly affected, your room treatments are probably at fault, though it is potentially difficult to tell without measurements confirming your perceptions since those speakers are not going to produce much bass alone.

Another potential investigation is to run the subwoofer full range and see how it sounds alone.



Any discontinuous walls? Any subdivisions, louvered closets, etc? Open to kitchen, dining area, living room, hallway, etc? Irregularly shaped rooms can behave unpredictably and can also be difficult to tune when you change the acoustic treatments and/or speaker placements. Ask me how I know.
Sounds terrible because the original is horrible, hence editing in Audacity until it sounded perfect. I lowered the sub channel and increased bass in center channel for a clean, slap bass guitar sound. There was NO rumbling before, no boominess, no uneven sound. Now the notes are lingering and rumbling, instead of being fast and tight.

I do not primarily listen to hip hop. I mostly listen to prog rock and metal, but not in stereo. I collect surround sound discs.

There were no issues before that I could hear apart from right side of room being louder. The bass sounded sublime after I had adjusted in Audacity. Steven Wilson mixes sounded great without any tweaking.

I sold my old receiver.
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post #11 of 77 Old 08-07-2016, 03:57 PM
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Stop using Audacity to fix the problems in your system. Leave the original recordings as they were, then address your system/room. GIGO !!!!
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post #12 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 07:15 AM
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I might have missed it in the thread, but what levels did Audyssey set your sub to after calibration? I noted that someone mentioned the voltage from the receiver to the sub, which very likely could be the issue - if the voltage to the sub is higher on the new receiver, you would need to lower the gain on the sub to compensate. You may want to try to remove the panels installed, rerun audyssey and see if that fixes the problem. The only way to know for sure is to do quite a bit of testing. You may also try a sub crawl - with the new sound treatments, it's possible your sub is no longer in the best place for bass. If nothing else fixes it - you may have a faulty receiver, and need to exchange.

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post #13 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 07:23 AM
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what rayguy sez

when you have issues the first thing to do is remove ALL eq, including whatever sound shaping thing with a mic you use as that stuff can make pure crap, especially with the sub, and in your case, remove all sound traps.
Then play original recordings. Then MOVE the sub around if you have any holes or booms.
After you have exhausted all of that if you are not happy then try eq etc.
But as you are doing now you are starting from a vastly 'corrected' place for a different set of gear, and trying to get back to normal. That is an impossible task.
Also, play your stuff using 'direct' in stereo only and start with NO sub at all so you can first get the mains right.
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post #14 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 07:24 AM
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If you have the gain on the sub too high then Audyssey can't bring it down to where it should be. If it shows -10, you may be too high. Room correction can only do so much.

Someone already mentioned this, but you didn't respond to it.

You mention that it was too low, so you boosted it on the receiver, I'm not sure what you mean.
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post #15 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 07:43 AM
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I'm impressed that you were ever able to get a single sub to work well in the room. It's a small room, and I bet loaded with modes, especially those that boost your upper bass (boom boom). Can you run REW and provide a CSD/Waterfall plot?
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post #16 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenly View Post
Yep!

So you think it is the treatment? I was thinking of buying a new sub.
Hi Paul,
I can't say that I know why your sub sounds so bad but I can say that I have dual SVS SB 2000 and I have the Marantz 7010 and I am in a room with no specialist room treatments, only normal furniture.

My subs sound wonderful played from the 7010 with no boominess or bloat. They sound clean, precise and agile. I only used Audyssey on the 7010 to do the set up and am very pleased with the results.
Of course I did take a lot of care over initial positioning, which I feel is an absolute must.

What I am trying to say is that , given that your sub is not faulty, the SVS SB 2000 is capable of giving excellent results and if your receiver is O.K. then it can only be the room or the positioning of the sub in the room.

Have you tried playing some music with a varied bass line and altering the sub's position ?
Perhaps try the subwoofer crawl.
If it isn't the sub's position then that seems to leave the room treatments that you added.
Perhaps recreate the room as it was when you had good bass and see what that sounds like.
I don't think , at this stage , I would start replacing the sub as it is a very capable sub and can, under the right conditions, give you the results that you want.

The very best of luck with, what must be, a very annoying problem.
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post #17 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:00 AM
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I have seen this happen when the crossover frequency for the sub is simply too high. If you have a dead spot between the subs and whatever you have for woofers you can compensate with better woofers and just change the crossover to something really low like 60 Hz. Some have commented about using a microphone for measurements. Yeah, unless you have like a $500 (Professional) microphone you are not getting good readings below 40 Hz.
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post #18 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenly View Post
The subwoofer is SVS SB 2000 with QED Reference sub cable.

I previously had this hooked up to Marantz SR 7005 receiver. It took a whole but I got the sound perfect on most music and movies. Deep, clean bass with no distortion, no boominess, no rumbling during musical bass lines, only explosions in movies. Any issues with music, I adjust the tracks in Audacity, then burn discs. I have dozens of 5.1 surround discs, no issue with any of them.

My room is 14ftL 9.8W 8H

My speakers are PMC db1 i(all 5). Behind them are mini GIK Monster traps, with range limiters, not absorbing HF.

I then had to get rid of receiver due to problems with it responding to remote. I had it fixed, same issue happened again. I could not be bothered using it only manually. Unfortunately the warranty had ran out.

I decided to purchase a Marantz SR 7010 receiver after reading the features and a few reviews.

Whilst waiting I bought 6 Monster bass traps from GIK Acoustics, and made some DIY ones, using cardboard boxes. I filled all corners, and have the space in front of back window covered.

After much studying, the general consensus was bass can only sound better with corners filled, right?

I have ran Audyssey at all 8 positions using a mic stand. Subwoofer is in exact same position, where it sounded perfect before. Vocals sounded great, very clear, open. Highs are very clear without being harsh. The bass however is an absolute mess. Parts are quiet, and parts are bloated, distorted, with sub kicking in rumbling where it should not. I have reference discs that I know have smooth, deep bass lines such as Yes Blu Ray Audio, so it is not the material. Chris Squires bass lines are very apparent in every song. They should be clean, no rumbling from the sub, they should not be all over the place with some parts causing the sub to become obvious in the room.

Phase it at 0, LFE, volume is just past 1 o clock.

If I turn up sub on receiver to get volume to here I previously had it the issues are more apparent, if I turn it down I can barely hear bass lines. On Outkasts Stankonia 5.1 album, the track MS Jackson has some slap bass, I increased this before burning a disc. Previously the bass was deep with a slight 'kick in' form sub, but smooth, clear, no distortion. Now it is causing sub to rumble like an explosion in a movie would, totally ruining music listening experience. I do not have volume higher now on sub or receiver. Not only that but parts of bass lines I could hear before are not even audible any more.

This is immensely infuriating. I presume the problem is not receiver, it is working fine, and nobody else has reported issues with bass output. Although I have to note as soon as this receiver arrived, with any Audyssey I noticed bass output via sub was louder than previous SR 7005.

The sub was checked a few weeks back, due to still being under warranty, apparently working fine.

I am perplexed, any input would be appreciated.
cheers

Paul
I may be missing something here but if the results wanted were perfect with the 7005, messed up after integrating the 7010, wouldnt the easiest way to troubleshoot be to go back to the 7005 and see if everything is as its supposed to be? if so, then you'll know at the very least the sound changes are from the receiver and nothing else... then you can focus on just that...
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post #19 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:22 AM
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One low budget fix you can attempt is location.

Position the sub at your listening position.
Play material where you are familiar with the bass line.

Walk your room and listen at the boundary areas, i.e. corners, floors.
Where the bass sounds the best is a start point to locate your sub.
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post #20 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
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I may be missing something here but if the results wanted were perfect with the 7005, messed up after integrating the 7010, wouldnt the easiest way to troubleshoot be to go back to the 7005 and see if everything is as its supposed to be? if so, then you'll know at the very least the sound changes are from the receiver and nothing else... then you can focus on just that...
Hi, The O.P. stated that he had got rid of the old receiver so I don't think that is an option.
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post #21 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by alexbarbel View Post
Hi, The O.P. stated that he had got rid of the old receiver so I don't think that is an option.
sorry - missed that...
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post #22 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenly View Post
The subwoofer is SVS SB 2000 with QED Reference sub cable.

This is immensely infuriating. I presume the problem is not receiver, it is working fine, and nobody else has reported issues with bass output. Although I have to note as soon as this receiver arrived, with any Audyssey I noticed bass output via sub was louder than previous SR 7005.

The sub was checked a few weeks back, due to still being under warranty, apparently working fine.

I am perplexed, any input would be appreciated.
cheers

Paul
May I suggest using this CD to not only insure the sub is in the right place but other factors are positive as well <http://www.soundoctor.com/testcd/index.htm> I have no financial interest in this suggestion. There are references to white papers on subwoofer issues as well. Good reading.

http://www.soundoctor.com/testcd/index.htm

Regards,

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post #23 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webdzynes View Post
I may be missing something here but if the results wanted were perfect with the 7005, messed up after integrating the 7010, wouldnt the easiest way to troubleshoot be to go back to the 7005 and see if everything is as its supposed to be? if so, then you'll know at the very least the sound changes are from the receiver and nothing else... then you can focus on just that...
OP sold it.

I think we have about exhausted the possibilities. It's up to the OP now to troubleshoot this one down to root cause or bring someone over who can.

I can understand the temptation to 'correct' a mix to 'perfect', but in my experience that only puts the recording in worse shape unless the recording was absolutely terrible to begin with. It is impossible to re-do a mix with channel balance controls and tone controls unless the mix is trivially simple in the first place, e.g. one instrument per channel, and even then, without access to the advanced processing used in the recording studio you are still drastically limited in what can be done (especially when using a monitor system that was not installed by a professional recording engineering firm).

I have to say that I am not surprised that tight bass is difficult to achieve in such a small space. It is almost like tuning an automotive system. The first and usually the strongest room mode is high enough in frequency to be annoyingly boomy and there is significant cabin gain overboosting the very low end, especially with that very capable sealed subwoofer.

I bet that hip-hop and rap have good rattle in there. That's the sound of your brain whacking the inside of your skull.
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post #24 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 08:58 AM
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Just a few thoughts...

Check that your microphone is isolated from vibrations. During measurements, if the sub is vibrating the floor, and microphone stand is transferring the vibrations, you will have bad readings.

Make sure phase is set right on all speakers and sub.

Reset receiver and try without Audyssey. This could give you a hint where the problem is.
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post #25 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Stop using Audacity to fix the problems in your system. Leave the original recordings as they were, then address your system/room. GIGO !!!!
Leave TERRIBLE sounding recordings as they are? Great logic.

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post #26 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by webdzynes View Post
I may be missing something here but if the results wanted were perfect with the 7005, messed up after integrating the 7010, wouldnt the easiest way to troubleshoot be to go back to the 7005 and see if everything is as its supposed to be? if so, then you'll know at the very least the sound changes are from the receiver and nothing else... then you can focus on just that...
The 7005 became faulty and no longer recognized the remote control. I had this issues fixed, it became faulty again, thus I changed receivers.
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post #27 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bgavin View Post
One low budget fix you can attempt is location.

Position the sub at your listening position.
Play material where you are familiar with the bass line.

Walk your room and listen at the boundary areas, i.e. corners, floors.
Where the bass sounds the best is a start point to locate your sub.
I will do that. To be honest when I walk around room bass sounds horrible everywhere.
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post #28 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Frookster View Post
I have seen this happen when the crossover frequency for the sub is simply too high. If you have a dead spot between the subs and whatever you have for woofers you can compensate with better woofers and just change the crossover to something really low like 60 Hz. Some have commented about using a microphone for measurements. Yeah, unless you have like a $500 (Professional) microphone you are not getting good readings below 40 Hz.
Please elaborate, I do not understand.
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post #29 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm impressed that you were ever able to get a single sub to work well in the room. It's a small room, and I bet loaded with modes, especially those that boost your upper bass (boom boom). Can you run REW and provide a CSD/Waterfall plot?
Yeah, some 'acoustic experts'(those selling treatments) have said rooms this small are a lost cause, yet I have seen the pics from many with smaller rooms.

Not all bass lines were perfect before, it depends on mixing/mastering. I could make them perfect though with adjusting via Audacity.
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post #30 of 77 Old 08-08-2016, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by keenly View Post
Yeah, some 'acoustic experts'(those selling treatments) have said rooms this small are a lost cause, yet I have seen the pics from many with smaller rooms.

Not all bass lines were perfect before, it depends on mixing/mastering. I could make them perfect though with adjusting via Audacity.
Hi,
Before I went to dual SVS SB 2000 I was using a single SB 2000 aand in a small room (14 x 12 feet) The bass was great with no boom at the seating position. I have gone to dual in anticipation of a move to a larger room soon. The bass is still great and with more evenness.
So my experience tells me that it is possible to get great bass, in a small room, with one sub but it is easier with two.
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