Originally Posted by Mikes2cents
Where is my bass? No really where is it? How many times have we heard this? Well you just need to find it. I recently got my AVR back from ABL, the 809 for a HDMI sub out failure. It is repaired. I spent some time to be sure it was repaired but then needed to hook up the 818 and put it through its paces because I had not torture tested it. So in goes the Godsmack DVD and we listen to that DTS. Lot of playing around because that was a direct track but the 818 easily passes the test where an older Yammie fell on its' face and shut down at reference levels and even toasted one of my speakers. Here is what I want to say, after playing around a bit, I have found that the Dolby Digital EX TV Logic setting is a very good option and really puts out the bass in my setup. Just what I saw. Give it a try for TV viewing because it works well for me. Of course for movie viewing from BDs go direct.
f)5. Since I ran Audyssey everything sounds great - but where has my bass gone?
The most likely cause of weak bass is playing the system well below reference level. If your AVR includes Dynamic EQ, then turn it on and see if the bass comes in where expected. If there is no DEQ, then you must raise the subwoofer level yourself to get closer to correct spectral balance at moderate/low listening levels. (Thanks to AVS member Roger Dressler for this observation).
If you are listening at reference levels or have Dynamic EQ engaged and are still unhappy with your bass, chances are, if your calibration followed the Setup Guide recommendations, it hasn't gone anywhere. What you are now hearing is flat, 'reference' bass and this can take some time to get used to. Before you did your Audyssey calibration, chances are that room modes were causing large peaks and nulls in you bass response. If one or more of those peaks happened to coincide with a particular frequency that you experienced often - eg an explosion in an action movie - then that bass frequency would be exaggerated and you may have simply become used to it. When the peak is removed you can think something is 'missing'. The best advice is to listen for a week or two with the system exactly the way Audyssey calibrated it. Over this period you will become familiar with what flat bass sounds like - it will be 'tighter', 'leaner', more 'tuneful' and less 'flabby', 'boomy' or 'bloated'. If after listening for a couple of weeks you still feel that you would prefer a little more bass, then it is perfectly acceptable to turn up the trim in your AVR menu (see the specific question about that in the FAQ - linked below).
Most people find that Audyssey does a good job of correcting the bass in their room but do be aware that bass EQ gets better, the better version of MultEQ that you use. 2EQ, the entry level version, does not actually EQ the bass at all. MultEQ and MultEQ XT does a pretty good job and MultEQ XT32 does a superb job.
I recommend using music rather than a movie to evaluate your bass, as the bass in movies can 'come and go' quite quickly - also, you probably have a far better idea of what a bass guitar sounds like than what an explosion in the Nakatomi Plaza Building sounds like. A good instrumental track with a well played bass guitar or double bass will let you hear the difference Audyssey really makes. I usually use any track featuring Stanley Clarke on bass. You will hear every note, played at the loudness the musician intended, with no 'missing' or exaggerated notes. It should sound rhythmic and tuneful. Try turning Audyssey off and comparing the before and after!
Finally, remember that there is no substitute for getting your sub or subs placed properly in your room before running Audyssey. Audyssey cannot work miracles. Sub placement is outside the scope if this FAQ but if you google it there are numerous excellent guides out there. To start you off I've included a link below to a very good Audioholics article.