Why does my larger 12" sub have less mid bass then my 8"???? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated

First, my current system:

Denon HT receiver AVR-1707 reg $450 (display model recent B&M purchase for $200)

FRONTS: Infinity RS1 ($75 on Ebay with shipping 2 years ago)....made circa 1999
on 31" wooden stands (Sanus?)

CENTER: Infinity entra ($30 with shipping on Ebay 2 years ago)

SUBS:
Sony SA-W3000 180 watts 12" fiber cone (for lower bass) purchased on black friday 2007...lists for $250...purchased for $99 new
Sony WM20 50 watts 8" paper cone (mid/upper bass)
ebay 2 years ago...$50 with shipping


Rears:
KLH...2 way wooden bookshelf (5" woofer)...yeah cheap stuff...but do the job...about 10 years old...clearance sale...B&M...$60

________________________________________


1 bedroom apt...all floors carpeted...8ft ceiling
living room 17 x 12
(plus an L extension dining area about 8 x 6)
volume low to medium (although a neighbor below me complained about the volume the first night I had the sub...never got any complaints before that)


I am planning to upgrade the 2 front speakers (maybe Infinity Beta 20’s)…I am on a poor man's budget. I recently purchased the larger sony sub to actually do away with the little sony sub. So far that doesn't seem reasonable. I realize you get what you pay for. But I figured that if my little sub had some impressive mid-bass for tv watching, listening to the digital music channels and cd music, the larger sony would go deeper and replace the other. I have only had this about a month and am dissapointed in this subs mid and upper bass...it's just not there. Maybe there is a break in period. I don't know. When I play it with my RS1, there seems to be a "hole" in the sound. Then I ran the larger subs out to the smaller sub and wow...that hole was gone. I have the larger sub's adjust set about 1/3 up (50-200 is on the dial) and the same on the other. When I try to raise the larger sub to a higher frequency and turn it up, it's barely audible and sounds like forced mud. When I keep it at a lower HZ I get that deep bass and rumble missing from the smaller sub which bottoms out on movie soundtracks. (when I only had the little one...during Transformers, I thought the sub was going to tear from the little box....I quickly turned it down)

Everything on my receiver is set to flat and the sub output at maximum...I have tried different settings to no avail.....heard no difference on either the fronts or the sub...currently running front speakers at "small" and crossover setting on receiver at 90hz (I'm not sure if this means my little speakers will play only above 90 or that my sub will stop at 90 and little speakers will take over....I hear absolutely no differnce in any music when listening in standard stereo mode no matter what I set the receiver at)

I’ve tried moving the larger sub to different places in the room….and closer to the wall…no difference

And I have it connected with a 12' monster cable 400 sublink...for what that's worth

I was considering opening it up to see if there is foam inside. I have heard some sonys sound better with more foam...but I have to get allen wrenches as sony didn't screw on the woofer with standard screws

It’s possible that if I get other fronts that aren’t as thin sounding, I wouldn’t need the second sub anyway.

Will spikes make that much of a difference? (I have some somewhere from an old set of speakers I no longer own. But it means drilling into the bottom) Should I face the back into the corner? Shold I push it closer or further away?Is there a break in period? I just don't get it. My brain is telling me that if I have sub that is newer, larger, made of better materials, more powerful and supposedly much higher up the sony food chain...it should not just go lower but sound better overall...Now I realize it's not a velodyne…but

Thanks
Gregg

PS....FYI...More on large sub...

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665089196
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 02:39 PM
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Wow, 10% distortion on that Sony according to their own specs. I understand what you might mean with the "mud" reference. High distortion is not as bad in a subwoofer as in other speakers, but that's still high.

The reference to a "hole" at first sounds like a null. The opposite of a peak. Normally caused by reflections of sound off a hard/dense surface, so that the waves at a certain freq cancel each other out on the return. The freq which cancels is normally determined by the dimensions of the room. But if both subs are the same location, I don't see why one would give you a null and another would not. Also, you say that you moved the offending sub around and still have the same "hole". I believe that at different locations the sub should excite different modes (peaks and nulls), so it sounds less and less like a null to me. Also, you say that the sub doesn't benefit from being near a wall. Boundary loading, especially in a corner, should increase output, although maybe at the expense of accuracy. So I don't get that either.

It sounds like you are playing with the sub's internal crossover control. Try using only the receiver's crossover instead of cascading 2 crossovers. Set the sub's crossover knob as high as possible.

What is the sub's line level output set for in the receiver? If it's too high, you'll clip the signal and add even more distortion before it gets to the amplifier which is already distorted on a good day. If it's too low, you'll end up relying on the sub's high distortion amplifier for any volume. I would set the receiver's sub level above flat. Maybe +2 or +3.

Spikes will couple the sub better to the floor. Maybe a good idea if you have a concrete floor. Probably not a good idea if you have a wood floor.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 03:01 PM
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Possible reasons include

0) Different calibration. Even if you used an SPL meter, one sub having more bandwidth will mean it incorrectly gets set with less gain. You might compare levels with warble tones or octave-wide pink noise.

1) Lower distortion. With all else equal, distortion is a function of cone movement which is less at a given SPL when you have a larger driver.

2) Less of an intentional peak designed in to call attention to the bass.

3) Potentially inverted output. This will change how the sub and main speakers sum for better or worse.

4) Potentially different low frequency cut-off point or slope. Whether electronic or mechanical, high-pass filters introduce phase lead that decreases with increasing frequency. A lower F3 point means less phase lead and a steeper slope (ported vs. sealed) means more phase lead. The sub-woofer's phase response will change how it sums with the main speakers.

5) Potentially different high-frequency cut-off or slope.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhsens View Post


It sounds like you are playing with the sub's internal crossover control. Try using only the receiver's crossover instead of cascading 2 crossovers. Set the sub's crossover knob as high as possible.

What is the sub's line level output set for in the receiver? If it's too high, you'll clip the signal and add even more distortion before it gets to the amplifier which is already distorted on a good day.

thanks for your reponse! I would have thought that since it was a pre amp out setting the receiver at the highest output seemed to make sense. It's at 0db, just checked. I just turn it up to +5db and hear no difference in volume or distortion. I still have to learn how this receiver works (the remote is a nightmare of buttons and menus within menus to set anything...for all I know, that volume may only adjust the sub if you are connecting it via high level speaker lines and have no effect on the sub out) I couldn't hear anything unless. I now have it in the corner, where earlier today I had it against one of the side walls. I also moved it closer to the wall about 3" from the back port. Right now the frequency setting is about half way on the dial...sounds a bit better...but still not as "tight" as I hoped. I keep coming back to that possible break in period?

As far as the hole I referred to...I meant that there wasn't a seamless integration between the sub and the speakers...I am now wondering how much that will improve with better speakers that are not as thin sounding.

I guess the other sub was going into higher bass frequencies which covered some of the thinness. By the way....that sub is in a different corner behind a couch....hmmmmm how would the big sub sound there? Also my floor is cheap wall to wall...thin padding and then cement/concrete under it (I know...I looked). Spikes wouldn't be a problem.

Right now now, I'm running only the larger sub....hmm more break in time? spikes? Just thinking out loud

thanks again
gregg
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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From Sony:

"12 inch mica-reinforced cellular woofer
80 Watt Amplified Subwoofer (6 ohms, 80 Hz, 10% THD)
12" Mica Reinforced Cellular Woofer
Motion Feed Back Technology
Speaker and Line Level Inputs
Frequency Response 20-200Hz"

unforunately that 10% doesn't tell us much unless we know at what volume?.....20 watts? 150 watts? But you are right 10% is way too high

for that matter neither does the 20-20000 unless we know how flat it is
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregginflorida View Post

thanks for your reponse! I would have thought that since it was a pre amp out setting the receiver at the highest output seemed to make sense. It's at 0db, just checked. I just turn it up to +5db and hear no difference in volume or distortion.

I remember a review in Sound and Vision magazine a few years ago where they compared 3 preamps, a Krell, Anthem and Parasound Halo. One of the things they tested on the bench for was the level of subwoofer output at clipping. So they all clipped even before reaching their maximum level settings. So yes, you can clip the signal even before it gets amplified. Someone recently told me that a THX Ultra2 preamp/receiver is optimized for a 0 level setting. Whether or not that's true, I never feel comfortable going too far above 0. But it makes no sense that jumping from 0 to +5 would yield no difference. Something is really wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregginflorida View Post

Right now the frequency setting is about half way on the dial...sounds a bit better...but still not as "tight" as I hoped. I keep coming back to that possible break in period?

As far as the hole I referred to...I meant that there wasn't a seamless integration between the sub and the speakers...I am now wondering how much that will improve with better speakers that are not as thin sounding.

I guess the other sub was going into higher bass frequencies which covered some of the thinness.

I assume you mean volume setting and not freq setting, since you're using the receiver's crossover instead of the sub's. I can't get my subs up past the 1/3 point, and that's only during a demo. Normally set at 1/4 or less, so 1/2 sounds high enough to me where you should be getting better.

Even if break in is needed, which I've heard many people dispute, it would not account for these problems.

As far as seamless integration, that could easily be the phase of the sub. Both the sub and the main speakers are producing frequencies at or around the same crossover point. If they are not coordinated in doing so (out of phase), it could sound a little wrong. I picture it as one driver pistoning forward while another pistons backwards at the same time. But not in my opinion bad enough to account for what your describing. I'm at a loss.
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-27-2007, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks!

but maybe I'm just use to the warmer smaller sub that covers up some of the thinness of my little infinitys.....actually turning up the frequency knob to MAX and moving it closer to the wall seems to help a bit....it's too late for me to try any new placement or experimenting with volume tonight (I don't think the neighbors would appreciate it...it's midnight) so I'll try tomorrow...

BTW...I can return it up to jan 31st...from BB

I was wondering about the Velodyne VX-10...vanns has it for $169 and maybe matching that up with infinity beta 10s (89 each) instead of 20s (120 each)...no tax and free shipping for everything

as far as noticing no difference with the sub volume on the reciever...I'm not even sure if I did it right....after I up-ed the volume it still displays that on the receiver...I can't figure out how to EXIT out of that...it takes way too many steps to do anything and terribly confusing remote....I've only had it 3 weeks...so I'm sure in time I'll get used to everything.....

oh...the volume on the sub is between 1/3 and 1/2

gregg
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-28-2007, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregginflorida View Post

...actually turning up the frequency knob to MAX and moving it closer to the wall seems to help a bit...

Yeah, that's what I meant when I said NOT to use the sub's crossover, and only use the receiver's. Nothing good will come from having both the sub and receiver set at 90 hz. Use the receiver's crossover, and leave the sub's crossover either bypassed (best) or turned up all the way, which is effectively the same.

Moving closer to the wall will help to boundary load. It's simple physics. But won't help as much as loading into a trihedral corner. Again, keep in mind that you may sacrifice accuracy/flat response in getting greater output.

If you don't exit the receiver's menu properly, I don't know if the setting will take.

I don't know much about the Velodyne unit you mention, but I'm in Fla as well and I can tell you that I've seen great deals at the Best Buy and Circuit City stores from all the returns. Velo isn't the only game in town.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-28-2007, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks again

but it looks like I will have to call denon to figure out how to exit the menus....I have had many systems and have never been more bewildered by a remote, receiver and this terrible manual.....

In the manual every adjustment stops at the end of the adjustment with not indication how to exit (other than the power off/on button....not a a good thing to do). You have to exit because all the functions except volume are locked out.

I have spent the last two hours trying to figure out how to get into those subwoofer settings...just can't figure out what I did...the manual shows two arrows as the first step...that's great, but that's step 2 or 3 once you have the menu up....hopefully in a month I can look back at this and laugh

I have been thinking that more and more....my denon may be exposing the limitations of the RS1 speakers, circa 1999 (they were hooked up to a 10 year old sony receiver a month ago)

vanns has the Infinity Beta 10's for 89 each and the Beta 20s for 119 each (the differnce being a 5" or 6.5" woofer) and free shipping and the velodyne for 169 and free shipping (and no tax on any of this)

oh....here's something to think about.....I had both subs going and I walked across the living room toward the walls were both subs were (different corners about 12 ft apart).......and it was as though I passed into another room when I was 5ft from the wall the sub energy jumped....there was an exact point were I could hear the difference....standing waves?

I put the sub on the floor and on 4 empty tuna cans in the corners of the sub....turned upside down with a piece of rubber on them

even before the cans as legs...the sub sounded tighter....moved it about 5" from the wall and the bass was tighter...no question about it....I had the crossover at full and the volume at about 75% (we had a power failure for about an hour yesterday and I suspect the receiver defaulted to a low output setting for the sub...when I can figure out how to change it...I'll see if there is a difference)

not much in the upperbass though....shouldn't it go up to 150 or 200hz like the small sony does? I have until jan 31st to decide if I want to return it to BB....the reason I was thinking of the velodyne is their reputation and it's only $169....there aren't to many subs at that price that are worth considering. Whenever I have shopped for them, the lower price ones seem to leave out either the crossover adj or the volume control

here is a link to epinions....this guy actually was using my small sub and upgraded to the cheap velodyne

http://www.epinions.com/content_1687...kin_id=7001245

velodyne

http://velodyne.com/products/product...8&sid=120h345j

infinity Beta 10 and 20

http://infinitysystems.com/home/prod...USA&Country=US

http://infinitysystems.com/home/prod...USA&Country=US




what equipment do you own?

gregg
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-28-2007, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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wow....with only the large sub on...as I crossed in front of it about 6ft away....I could hear the sub frequency level jump or in this case go way down...maybe it's my room and placement...still doessn't to have the higher bass fullness the little one has but maybe that's ok...time will tell as I move stuff around.....

the low frequencies are quite lower then the little one
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-03-2008, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregginflorida View Post

From Sony:

"12 inch mica-reinforced cellular woofer
80 Watt Amplified Subwoofer (6 ohms, 80 Hz, 10% THD)
12" Mica Reinforced Cellular Woofer
Motion Feed Back Technology
Speaker and Line Level Inputs
Frequency Response 20-200Hz"

unforunately that 10% doesn't tell us much unless we know at what volume?.....20 watts? 150 watts? But you are right 10% is way too high

for that matter neither does the 20-20000 unless we know how flat it is

Actually 10% is not bad for a sub at lower frequency's. I've heard some subs go as high as 50% at low frequency's. So not knowing where the 10% was measured does not mean anything.
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-03-2008, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer101 View Post

Actually 10% is not bad for a sub at lower frequency's. I've heard some subs go as high as 50% at low frequency's. So not knowing where the 10% was measured does not mean anything.

It looks like the distortion figure is showing that the amp is capable of 80W of output into a 6 ohm load at 80hz. That's certainly not very impressive. Heck, most inexpensive receivers are rated at least 75WPC into 8 ohms from 20hz-20khz.

Another thing to consider is that the 20hz-20khz spec means absolutely nothing without either a +/- 3dB figure or better yet, an output level. I have a hard time believing that a $99 Sony subwoofer can reach 20hz with any kind of oomph at all. Sure, it might be able to reproduce 20hz, but when it can only do so with 50dB of output, it's meaningless (you won't hear, feel, or even notice 20hz at only 50dB).
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-03-2008, 10:13 AM
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Gregg,

I've used the Velodyne VX-10 in the past and it was a very decent performer. I don't know how it will do in terms of output compared to your Sony subs, but it should sound a lot better. Velodyne actually gives useful specs as well, and the VX-10 is conservatively rated as having a +/-3dB point of 36hz. In-room, there's a good chance you'll get usable output to around 30hz, perhaps even a tad lower. The little Velodyne packs a surprising amount of punch for HT, and can blend pretty well for music as well, unlike the Sony subs I've heard which just sound like boom boxes. I'd definitely recommend the Velodyne if you're looking for an improvement in sound quality. However, $169 isn't a very good price for it. I'd look to see if I could find either a better price for the VX-10 or if you could possibly step up to something better at that price.

EDIT: Gregg, I don't know much about the RS-1's, but I'm guessing your Sony subs are the main problem. I'd seriously consider getting a decent subwoofer before tackling the speakers. You can inch your way up and get a sub that's a tiny bit better, or you can get something that should be a lot better while still ending up well under $200. Take a look at the Bic PA-120 subwoofer (replacement for the ever-popular Bic H-100 here on AVS). If you go on eBay and search for it you can buy it through sound distributors for $229 with free shipping. It should be a ton better than your Sony subs, and a good deal more powerful than the VX-10 as well.

Also, if you have (or are up for signing up for) a paypal account, you can take advantage of Microsoft's live.com cashback deal. Right now it's 20%, but I've seen it as high as 30%. Basically you have to search through live.com for a product that comes up with eBay as a store. Click onto the Ebay link for the product and you'll notice a little graphic up at the top of the eBay page you've opened that says "Microsoft Cashback 20%". Now, any Buy-it-Now item you purchase during this session (I believe the session lasts for an hour or so) on eBay is eligible for 20% cash back from MS. The only catch is you don't get the cash back for 60 days. Still, buy the Bic PA-120 for $229, then in 60 days you'll get $45 back, so it'll only cost you a little over $180. That's a great deal on a very decent subwoofer. Assuming you can afford it, the PA-120 would be my choice. Good luck.
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-04-2008, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalakersfan34 View Post

It looks like the distortion figure is showing that the amp is capable of 80W of output into a 6 ohm load at 80hz. That's certainly not very impressive. Heck, most inexpensive receivers are rated at least 75WPC into 8 ohms from 20hz-20khz.

Another thing to consider is that the 20hz-20khz spec means absolutely nothing without either a +/- 3dB figure or better yet, an output level. I have a hard time believing that a $99 Sony subwoofer can reach 20hz with any kind of oomph at all. Sure, it might be able to reproduce 20hz, but when it can only do so with 50dB of output, it's meaningless (you won't hear, feel, or even notice 20hz at only 50dB).

Actually it is a performance line subwoofer from Sony at 250 retail, you can pick up at 150-180 most places and its rated at 180 Watt Amplified Subwoofer (6 ohms, 80 Hz, 10% THD) not 80. And the Frequency Response 20-200Hz.
Its much better than all the units we have tested in that price range. And better than many of the 400-500 dollar subs out there. Just because the name is Sony does not make it automatically bad.
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post #16 of 16 Old 12-04-2008, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer101 View Post

Its much better than all the units we have tested in that price range. And better than many of the 400-500 dollar subs out there.

Which other subs did you test? Where can the test results be found?
Who are "we"?
Which $400-$500 subs is the Sony better than?

Thanks.

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