Pioneer VSX-520 Large and Small Speaker Option-Some Advice Needed. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-31-2013, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone.

I'm new to the site, and this is my first post. I've been searching for information, but to be honest I'm a bit overwhelmed by some of the things that I find, so I thought it might be best to just ask my question. I'm sorry if this has been asked and answered before.

I have a bit of a working knowledge of home theater stuff. I've been slowly building a very budget sound system for my main TV. I started off with an RCA Home Theater in a Box setup about 9 years ago, and two years ago I upgraded to a new TV and with that I upgraded to a new receiver. I quickly realized that the speakers that had come with the HTIB system weren't up to the task, so I started upgrading them.

I have a Pioneer VSX-520 receiver...not the best in the world, but for me it does the job pretty well.

I had that paired with the following speaker system:
Sony SSB1000s for the front and rears
Klipsch Synergy C-10 for the center
Some Sony powered subwoofer that my father had from a HTIB setup, not sure of the model number

Anyways, I recently noticed that the subwoofer was seeming to be on it's last legs. It was bottoming out a lot in the movie "Prometheus," and overall it just didn't sound very good any more.

So, I upgraded the sub to a Polk PSW10 unit.

This sub really rocks my small room. It sounds great. However, it also caused me to realize that I needed to do some tweaking to the crossover settings and such on the receiver, as I noticed that in the TV show "Hawaii Five-0" some of the male voices were being picked up very strongly by the sub, so I noticed that the crossover on the receiver was set to 100hz, so I turned that down to 80hz and this annoying thing that was happening with the voices went away.

Then, I was looking at the frequency response of the SSB1000s that I was using for front speakers, and it's listed as going down to 80hz.

I had been planning on upgrading those front speakers to something with a bit more "oomph" pretty soon, and I figured I may as well go ahead and get it done. Seeing as I liked the sound of the SSB1000s a lot, I went with a set of Sony SSB3000 speakers for the new fronts.

These speakers have a frequency response down to 50hz.

So, this is where I'm starting to get a bit confused, and after all of this writing I get to the entire point of this post.

My receiver has an option for the front speakers to set them as "Large" or "Small." I have always had the SSB1000s set as "small," because to be honest they just seemd like small speakers to me.

However, when I read the manual, this is what it says about the speaker options:

"Crossover Network

This setting decides the cutoff between bass sounds playing back from speakers selected as LARGE, or the subwoofer, and bass sounds playing back from those selected as SMALL. It also decides where the cutoff will be for bass sounds in the LFE channel."

Now, the way I am reading this is that if I select LARGE as the setting, then even frequencies below the selected crossover point (currently 80hz) will still be sent to those front speakers. Does that seem correct?? Or am I somehow really misreading all of this??

Next, conversely to this, I read this as if I set the speakers to SMALL, then the crossover will NOT send any frequencies below that cutoff point to the front speakers. Obviously, if my first ascertation isn't correct, then this one won't be as well.

My current plan is to hook up the SSB3000s, leave them set as SMALL, but change the crossover to 50hz on the receiver...by doing this, in my mind, I will be getting full range sound because I'll have the sub for stuff below 50hz, and then everything above that will be going through the SSB3000s.

Or...I could set them as LARGE, and leave the crossover at 80hz, which would then allow the front speakers to get every frequency, and the sub still pick up on things under 80.

I'm wondering if anyone can give me any advice on a good starting point?? Should I set these SSB3000s as LARGE or SMALL?? Should I leave the crossover at 80hz and allow the sub AND the front speakers to play those frequencies between 50 and 80hz (that's what the front speakers have as their lowest freqency range, the 50hz)??

I've been racking my brain over this, and on the current setup with everything set at 80hz for the crossover and small for the speakers, it seems to work pretty well...however, the SSB1000s don't have a frequency respons below 80hz, so the sub is producing sounds that the speakers couldn't.

With these new SSB3000s, the frequency response goes quite a bit lower, so I'm not sure if I should have the front mains playing the full range, and the sub only picking up frequencies that they don't play, or if I should have them playing their full range and the sub picking up some slack in the lower range that the SSB3000s actually produce, but the sub would probably produce a bit better??

I guess that last thing I wrote is my main question...should I be having the sub and the SSB3000's frequencies overlap, or am I better off having the crossover separate them so that the sub is only playing sounds that the SSB3000s don't??

Thank you in advance for helping a newb.

Jeff
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-31-2013, 11:16 PM
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You're correct about the large and small. Usually it's recommended to set your crossover at 120 Hz, but that's with a real sub. With that sub I'd just set it at 50 hz like you said, or maybe 60 hz. I don't think that sub would be sufficient at higher than 60 hz, and it probably barely goes to 30 hz.

edit: didn't realize the bookshelfs only go to 80 hz, i'd put this sub at crossed over at 90 hz in this case.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm sorry, I guess I don't know what you mean by "real sub." Is there something I'm not seeing about the Polk, as it's one of the highest rated lower cost units I could find. Hardly anyone has anything bad to say about it.

I'm also confused on what you mean by "it barely goes 30hz." The sub's frequency response goes down to 35hz, so what does 30hz have to do with it?

I'm sorry, your answer just isn't very clear to me.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpdiggity View Post

I'm sorry, I guess I don't know what you mean by "real sub." Is there something I'm not seeing about the Polk, as it's one of the highest rated lower cost units I could find. Hardly anyone has anything bad to say about it.

I'm also confused on what you mean by "it barely goes 30hz." The sub's frequency response goes down to 35hz, so what does 30hz have to do with it?

I'm sorry, your answer just isn't very clear to me.


well... the ratings are comparing it to other $80.00 subs. for the price it's good, i guess, that's what ratings are based upon. I guess what I mean about a "real sub" is one that can actually reproduce "subwoofer frequencies" or LFE which is at least 20-80 hz, sometimes lower. the psw10 is only 50w, which isn't really enough power to do much.

I don't want to gear bash or anything, but the psw10 doesn't really output much bass, and a high percentage of tower speakers would outperform it in lower frequencies even. it trying to play anything at a reasonable volume it's gonna have a ton of distortion, which is why i recommend you only use it for frequencies your mains can't play, so crossed over at EDIT: 90 hz.

I hope i don't make you regret your purchase or whatever, but spending just a bit extra, like 200-250 bucks gets you a sub that is literally 10x better such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078 or http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-12-Inch-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B000092TT0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359755430&sr=1-1&keywords=psw505
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 02:02 PM
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Good point! What he means is that a "real sub" is much larger than yours and goes down to below 30 Hz; ignore that if it is working well in your room.

1) The frequency control ON THE SUBWOOFER should be set so that its upper f of operation is around 70 Hz. Play with the setting until the bass sounds best. Oh...no control on the PSW10? Well, set it up for 80 Hz and below on the receiver.

2) You should set the front speakers to large and just let them operate with no crossover setting at all; let them operate as low as they will go, which is really around 60 Hz or so.

The sub should never operate above 80 hz.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpdiggity View Post

I'm sorry, I guess I don't know what you mean by "real sub." Is there something I'm not seeing about the Polk, as it's one of the highest rated lower cost units I could find. Hardly anyone has anything bad to say about it.

I'm also confused on what you mean by "it barely goes 30hz." The sub's frequency response goes down to 35hz, so what does 30hz have to do with it?

I'm sorry, your answer just isn't very clear to me.
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