Are there any AVRs that do this? (high-pass filters to protect speakers + Audyssey) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there any AVRs that do this? (high-pass filters to protect speakers + Audyssey)

Problem:
Let's say someone is using smallish (bookshelf/monitor) speakers in an apartment and does not wish to run a subwoofer for various reasons (not wanting to be a bad neighbor, etc.).

If you run room correction software such as Audyssey without a subwoofer, then the front speakers are set to "Large/Full-Range". This will cause all low frequency LFE content to be sent to your small speakers which probably can't play below about 40Hz without the potential for damage when listening to movies at reasonably loud volumes (-20dB down from reference levels). I actually started a thread about this in the speaker forum if anyone cares to read it (Protecting smaller speakers from low LFE frequencies in a system without a subwoofer). The consensus is that the potential for speaker damage definitely seems to exist under such a scenario.


Possible Solutions:

The only real workarounds seem to be:

1. Turn off Audyssey and set the speakers to "small" which then enables the crossover (it is disabled if you don't have a sub hooked up). One could then set the crossover point to 40Hz to keep low frequency content out of the speakers. Your smallish speakers probably can't play these frequencies anyway, so protection is gained and nothing is lost. However, if you do this (at least in my older Denon 3311 AVR), setting the speakers to "small" forces the "subwoofer" setting from "no" to "yes". The addition of this new speaker/subwoofer (which doesn't really exist) forces Audyssey to become disabled, as Audyssey thinks that a new speaker has been attached and this invalidates the previous calibration. So this workaround only "works" if you want to leave Audyssey (and all associated Audyssey features like Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, etc.) disabled.

2. Hook up a sub. Run Audyssey with the sub attached and then turn off the sub (or lower the volume significantly) after calibration if you want to be a good neighbor. Obviously this is a ridiculous solution if someone doesn't wish to use/own a sub in a small apartment. Depending on building construction techniques, subwoofers and apartments can be a very bad idea in some cases. Some buildings are built better than others in this regard.


Challenge:
Are there any AVRs that would allow you to do what I've described in workaround number 1 above while still using Audyssey? My older Denon will not, as my Denon forces the subwoofer to "yes" when indicating that your speakers are "small" after running Audyssey and this in turn forces Audyssey to be turned off. Do newer Denon AVRs still behave this way?? I was actually thinking of upgrading my AVR to the Denon x4200 but I'm guessing it behaves the same way as my older model.

Alternatively, if the AVR manufacturer allowed someone to set a separate high-pass filter for the speakers to limit certain content (i.e. below 40Hz) from being sent to the speakers, this would also solve the potential speaker damage issue with low frequency LFE content. Do any AVRs allow this??


This problem seems like a significant oversight by AVR manufacturers and/or Audyssey. If you can in fact damage smallish speakers when watching movies at moderately high volumes without a subwoofer attached, why can't we keep those damaging frequencies out of the speakers somehow??

Last edited by jkozlow3; 05-27-2016 at 10:21 AM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Problem:
Let's say someone is using smallish (bookshelf/monitor) speakers in an apartment and does not wish to run a subwoofer for various reasons (not wanting to be a bad neighbor, etc.).

If you run room correction software such as Audyssey without a subwoofer, then the front speakers are set to "Large/Full-Range". This will cause all low frequency LFE content to be sent to your small speakers which probably can't play below about 40Hz without the potential for damage when listening to movies at reasonably loud volumes (-20dB down from reference levels). I actually started a thread about this in the speaker forum if anyone cares to read it (Protecting smaller speakers from low LFE frequencies in a system without a subwoofer). The consensus is that the potential for speaker damage definitely seems to exist under such a scenario.


Possible Solutions:

The only real workarounds seem to be:

1. Turn off Audyssey and set the speakers to "small" which then enables the crossover (it is disabled if you don't have a sub hooked up). One could then set the crossover point to 40Hz to keep low frequency content out of the speakers. Your smallish speakers probably can't play these frequencies anyway, so protection is gained and nothing is lost. However, if you do this (at least in my older Denon 3311 AVR), setting the speakers to "small" forces the "subwoofer" setting from "no" to "yes". The addition of this new speaker/subwoofer (which doesn't really exist) forces Audyssey to become disabled, as Audyssey thinks that a new speaker has been attached and this invalidates the previous calibration. So this workaround only "works" if you want to leave Audyssey (and all associated Audyssey features like Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, etc.) disabled.

2. Hook up a sub. Run Audyssey with the sub attached and then turn off the sub (or lower the volume significantly) after calibration if you want to be a good neighbor. Obviously this is a ridiculous solution if someone doesn't wish to use/own a sub in a small apartment. Depending on building construction techniques, subwoofers and apartments can be a very bad idea in some cases. Some buildings are built better than others in this regard.


Challenge:
Are there any AVRs that would allow you to do what I've described in workaround number 1 above while still using Audyssey? My older Denon will not, as my Denon forces the subwoofer to "yes" when indicating that your speakers are "small" after running Audyssey and this in turn forces Audyssey to be turned off. Do newer Denon AVRs still behave this way?? I was actually thinking of upgrading my AVR to the Denon x4200 but I'm guessing it behaves the same way as my older model.

Alternatively, if the AVR manufacturer allowed someone to set a separate high-pass filter for the speakers to limit certain content (i.e. below 40Hz) from being sent to the speakers, this would also solve the potential speaker damage issue with low frequency LFE content. Do any AVRs allow this??


This problem seems like a significant oversight by AVR manufacturers and/or Audyssey. If you can in fact damage smallish speakers when watching movies at moderately high volumes without a subwoofer attached, why can't we keep those damaging frequencies out of the speakers somehow??
Try turning down the LFE channel by -6db. Should provide decent protection from the lowest segments of movies while giving you some bass. Option for my old denon was under the surround settings near cinema EQ. Not sure where it's at in the newer ones.

My setup: Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 and center, Ascend HTM200SE surround, dual Rythmik L12's, Pioneer SC-95, Samsung PN60F8500
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianmlamb View Post
Try turning down the LFE channel by -6db. Should provide decent protection from the lowest segments of movies while giving you some bass. Option for my old denon was under the surround settings near cinema EQ. Not sure where it's at in the newer ones.
Hmmm. This could actually be a really good solution. Are you positive that this setting has an effect if the Denon is configured without a sub? Have you used it in this manner before?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 12:53 PM
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To be honest I think you're worrying about nothing IMHO.

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
To be honest I think you're worrying about nothing IMHO.

Well, not according to Dave @ Ascend. He has told me that there is definitely the risk of damage when run full-range without a sub if LFE signals are played over the speakers at loud enough volumes. Speakers can make some pretty weird noises when doing so if watching the right (wrong) movies!
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Well, not according to Dave @ Ascend. He has told me that there is definitely the risk of damage when run full-range without a sub if LFE signals are played over the speakers at loud enough volumes. Speakers can make some pretty weird noises when doing so if watching the right (wrong) movies!
IDK, CD's have tons of low frequency content depending on the music style and have been around for decades being played through bookshelf speakers on receivers with zero bass management and 20hz-20khz capability.

In the 70's I blew the woofers on some JBL's I had playing Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" album.

The problem wasn't so much with the speakers but with the nut controlling the volume control.

EDIT: the only way I could see this being an issue was if you had a powered bookshelf and for some reason hooked it up to the LFE channel.

Last edited by gajCA; 05-27-2016 at 01:13 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 01:28 PM
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How about using the analog outs from your DVD players and inserting some of these if you are overly concerned?

There are different ones available with different cutoffs.

http://www.parts-express.com/harriso...s-rca--266-248
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Hmmm. This could actually be a really good solution. Are you positive that this setting has an effect if the Denon is configured without a sub? Have you used it in this manner before?

Thanks!
I've used it with a sub and it works great, I'd try it out for you without the sub but I have the Denon packed up and ready to sell. You could easily test it out by playing a movie with some deep bass (Tron Legacy for ex.) Try playing it without the LFE adjustment and with. I think it should work as the LFE channel when not using a sub is directed to the mains, the receiver should be able to reduce that signal being sent individually regardless if it's going to the sub or the mains. I may be mistaken though. The other option is if you know anyone who has a sub, borrow it, setup your speakers with it, then just unplug it and let your friend take it back home, then you can set your crossover to 40hz, you'll lose all LFE track info this way though.

My setup: Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 and center, Ascend HTM200SE surround, dual Rythmik L12's, Pioneer SC-95, Samsung PN60F8500

Last edited by brianmlamb; 05-27-2016 at 03:10 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 03:17 PM
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Just use the darned sub. Easiest, cheapest, and most sensible solution.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
IDK, CD's have tons of low frequency content depending on the music style and have been around for decades being played through bookshelf speakers on receivers with zero bass management and 20hz-20khz capability.

In the 70's I blew the woofers on some JBL's I had playing Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" album.

The problem wasn't so much with the speakers but with the nut controlling the volume control.

EDIT: the only way I could see this being an issue was if you had a powered bookshelf and for some reason hooked it up to the LFE channel.
lol... loose nut on the volume dial ? That is my excuse.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 04:09 PM
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lol... loose nut on the volume dial ? That is my excuse.
You're not a true "audiophile" until you've blown up a speaker or two!
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-27-2016, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
To be honest I think you're worrying about nothing IMHO.
I agree, I've been running my system without a sub and mains as large for years and never had a problem, and I crank up the volume big time with movies or music.....
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