what do you set your sub crossover at? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 07-16-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What do people set their subs at and why?

Is it a personal preference?

Are you strictly following a technical specification/calibration?

I would like more bass with talking and music and was wondering how people are setting up their subs. I feel like my sub is being underutilized which may be because the calibration set the crossover too low, my previous receiver got more lows out of the same sub giving a richer sound.
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post #2 of 56 Old 07-16-2012, 11:43 AM
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This will help some: http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/get-good-bass/setting-the-subwoofer-lfe-crossover-for-best-performance

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post #3 of 56 Old 07-16-2012, 11:47 AM
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It depends on a number of factors, including the room acoustics and what speakers the sub is paired with, among others. A sub is ideally supposed to fill the room so the deep bass is everywhere. If the crossover is set too high, you start to get localization issues (you start hearing the sub from where it sits, rather than throughout the room.) If it's set really high, you could even get dialog coming from the sub, something it wasn't designed to do.

If it's set too low, and the other speakers can't dig down enough to compensate, then there's a "hole" in the frequency range of your sound.

My old receiver could go down to 60hz for a crossover, so I had my sub at that (my mains can get down to 35hz.) My new receiver only goes to 80hz, but I also moved to a new location, so the room is different. 80hz seems fine, though.

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post #4 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 11:57 AM
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I currently use 50Hz; I have tower speakers. When I had the RC Energy Micro 5.1 set, I used a crossover of 150Hz. It depends on your speakers.
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post #5 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 03:38 PM
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with todays new recievers best to just let them pick it. The smaller the main speakers the more work the sub will have to do. they decide on your main speakers roll off frequency which is where it goes -3db. In my opinion its best to have main speakers that can go down to at least 120hz

like kach says i have currently jbl cs6100 and audyssey set them to 150 also. but it sounds good blends nicely
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post #6 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb82 View Post

with todays new recievers best to just let them pick it.

I wouldn't blindly follow the receiver. Many receivers set the crossover at wherever the receiver feels that the speakers are starting to roll off (and you might want to set it higher), and many set speakers to large/full range when they should be crossed over with the sub.

However, don't go below what the receiver comes up with. Audyssey, for instance, will not EQ the speakers below the low crossover point it determines.

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post #7 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 05:54 PM
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"and many set speakers to large/full range when they should be crossed over with the sub." dont understand oh never mind got it. I wouldnt trust that auto calibration software then.

You generally want your main speakers to play down as low as they safely can why put it higher?
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post #8 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 06:07 PM
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Takes some of the load off your speaker and your mains if you use the sub instead. And your assumption is that the mains can produce the mid-bass/lower bass better. For example, I have two 18" sealed subwoofers. I cross them at 80hz. Why would I want the wimpy 6" drivers in my mains handling lower frequencies that the subwoofers can handle better biggrin.gif

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post #9 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 06:19 PM
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it will take strain off but no need to if its at roll off usually.

6 in can handle good low mids and add some punch to them.

An 18 at 80hz sounds good to me i dont know youre speakers roll off
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post #10 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb82 View Post

"and many set speakers to large/full range when they should be crossed over with the sub." dont understand oh never mind got it. I wouldnt trust that auto calibration software then.

You generally want your main speakers to play down as low as they safely can why put it higher?

it can easily be argued (and backed by measurements) that your xover should be set as HIGH as possible... you really don't want your mains to play as low as they can (assuming you are talking about speakers that actually can play low with authority)... strictly from a room acoustics standpoint, that's generally the wrong approach (in addition to what has already been mentioned)...

a subwoofer is designed to do one thing... reproduce 3 (or more in some cases) octaves... let it do it's job...

virtually everyone should be setting their xover to at least 80hz, unless proven (by measurements) that a lower one would be better (and those cases are few and far between)...

as a "fwiw"... the rc software doesn't set the xover... it merely reports the -3db rolloff point to the avr, and it makes that decision... that decision isn't based upon a "correct" xover for proper integration, room modes, etc.

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post #11 of 56 Old 07-17-2012, 11:12 PM
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well im not disagreeing with the 80hz if u have floor standing speakers. Im sure 80hz would be better for sub. to handle

setting ur xover as high as possible that statement makes no sense at all. its all relative to ur main speakers. i have 3 inch drivers for sattelites and xover is at 150 definitely would not want it to go any higher sub would sound stupid that high. and if it was lower could damage speakers at high volume.

Audyssey takes in account the room acoustics thats what its made for that is usually good enough the roll off to set xover at. cant really argue with that

i never said at least i think i did not about letting a speaker play down to 80hz yeah thats def in sub territory there is no argument here
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post #12 of 56 Old 07-18-2012, 03:45 AM
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^^^

if you would like to learn what audyssey reaaly does, come join us in the audyssey and audyssey pro threads...

"as high as possible" did NOT imply "as high as it can be set"...

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post #13 of 56 Old 07-18-2012, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Takes some of the load off your speaker and your mains if you use the sub instead. And your assumption is that the mains can produce the mid-bass/lower bass better. For example, I have two 18" sealed subwoofers. I cross them at 80hz. Why would I want the wimpy 6" drivers in my mains handling lower frequencies that the subwoofers can handle better biggrin.gif

If you did not have a sub equalizer or a sub with an already perfectly flat response, which is where many people are at, then setting the crossover higher can cause the higher range of bass to be louder than it should be and the low end to quiter than it should be. If you cross over lower you can get a flatter response from the sub since it is covering a smaller range.
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post #14 of 56 Old 07-18-2012, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kach22 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Takes some of the load off your speaker and your mains if you use the sub instead. And your assumption is that the mains can produce the mid-bass/lower bass better. For example, I have two 18" sealed subwoofers. I cross them at 80hz. Why would I want the wimpy 6" drivers in my mains handling lower frequencies that the subwoofers can handle better biggrin.gif

If you did not have a sub equalizer or a sub with an already perfectly flat response, which is where many people are at, then setting the crossover higher can cause the higher range of bass to be louder than it should be and the low end to quiter than it should be. If you cross over lower you can get a flatter response from the sub since it is covering a smaller range.


Not very good advice.  Your speakers could experience the same issues, boosting one frequency over the other because of the room and placement.  At least with the subwoofer you can change it's location to try and get a flatter response, while moving the speakers will change imaging and soundstage and usually isn't an option.

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post #15 of 56 Old 07-18-2012, 06:24 AM
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so if u have audyssey you should crank the xover the clibrations roll off.

kach22 and primetimeguy sum it up

audyssey apply's correction to sub at xover point


i think an 8in sub could handle the higher range bass frequencies ok but an 18 sounds good low low 80hz is not setting xover high
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post #16 of 56 Old 07-18-2012, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by primetimeguy View Post


Not very good advice.  Your speakers could experience the same issues, boosting one frequency over the other because of the room and placement.  At least with the subwoofer you can change it's location to try and get a flatter response, while moving the speakers will change imaging and soundstage and usually isn't an option.

True, but more people have the ability to equalize their speakers and could more likely correct the speaker response. I was just giving an example of why someone might want to use speakers over a subwoofer, I do not think this is ideal, but in some cases it may be a good option.

I use 50Hz because my towers can reproduce low frequencies down to around 40-50Hz very nicely and even though my 8" subwoofer also sounds good above 50Hz, even up to 150Hz, it is lacking at very low frequencies (its spec range is 36-180 Hz ±3dB). I can run MCACC with speaker settings locked, so by setting the crossover to 50Hz beforehand I was able to turn the subwoofers power up to twice what is was at with an 80Hz crossover without MCACC telling me the subwoofer is too loud (and it was), and this really seemed to squeeze some extra low end out of the subwoofer, even below its specified frequency range. I could have just bought a different subwoofer, but I already have this one and I was able to make it work for me; once I move and have a more legitimate home theater space, I will definitely upgrade.

I think the main thing to take away from this discussion is that there is no single way to know what the best crossover is for your setup, you need to try out different settings and find the one that sounds best.
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post #17 of 56 Old 07-18-2012, 04:27 PM
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^^^

have you ever measured your system?

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post #18 of 56 Old 07-19-2012, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
have you ever measured your system?

Not with anything besides MCACC. It has some "reverb" charts that it outputs which seem to just be the speakers frequency response charts, I never looked at them in too much detail, besides noting that they were flatter after calibration. It just seems to me that the very low frequencies showed up much more after the adjustments. I could take another look at the charts MCACC has and see if there is a SW graph; if not, what method would you recommend using to measure?
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post #19 of 56 Old 07-19-2012, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kach22 View Post

Not with anything besides MCACC. It has some "reverb" charts that it outputs which seem to just be the speakers frequency response charts, I never looked at them in too much detail, besides noting that they were flatter after calibration. It just seems to me that the very low frequencies showed up much more after the adjustments. I could take another look at the charts MCACC has and see if there is a SW graph; if not, what method would you recommend using to measure?

MCACC doesn't do anything below 63hz (you knew that, right?) so has almost no impact on the low bass output. The graphs are basically useless as well - you need something like an Omnimic or REW to measure your system to see what is really happening.
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post #20 of 56 Old 07-19-2012, 10:01 AM
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MCACC doesn't do anything below 63hz (you knew that, right?) so has almost no impact on the low bass output. The graphs are basically useless as well - you need something like an Omnimic or REW to measure your system to see what is really happening.

Yes, I'm aware the equilizer only adjusts down to 63Hz, and it does not even have any equalizer adjustments for the subwoofer. MCACC does measure the subwoofer response but I think it is only for the purpose of auto-setup of the crossover and setting the SW channel level.

I did not think MCACC had anything to do with getting a lower frequency range out of my sub, but by forcing MCACC to adhere to the 50Hz crossover I was able to get its "approval" on the higher power setting on the subwoofer. I think due to my room's acoustics and subwoofer placement the higher frequencies were much louder at the listening position than the lower frequencies, requiring me to turn down the power to make the subwoofer blend well and sound good. By setting the crossover at 50Hz I was able to not only turn the subwoofer power up but also (not yet measured) cause the ±3dB range to move lower, to say maybe 30Hz - 55Hz while the crossover is in place.

I'm going to work on getting some proper measurements so I can get a better understanding of what is going on.
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post #21 of 56 Old 07-19-2012, 10:54 AM
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I hear what your saying makes complete sense to me
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post #22 of 56 Old 07-19-2012, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

MCACC doesn't do anything below 63hz (you knew that, right?) so has almost no impact on the low bass output. The graphs are basically useless as well - you need something like an Omnimic or REW to measure your system to see what is really happening.

Not quite so. Fact is that 63 Hz is the center frequency of the lowest band that you can control. The frequency bands don't have brick wall filters, but instead have shapes that are something like an old hill. The equalizer bands are centered at 63, 160, 400, 1KHz, 2.5 KHz, 6.3 KHz, and 16 KHz. . These bands are about 1.33 octaves apart which implies that they are about 1.33 octaves wide, and that each band goes about 0.66 octaves above and below the center frequency. In fact the band centered at 63 Hz has significant effects down into the 30 Hz range.

IME the main limitation of these bands is the relatively mild amounts of attenuation and gain that is available. But, they have reasonably strong audible effects. There is enough action there to make a difference, but not enough to get you into serious trouble.
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post #23 of 56 Old 07-19-2012, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not quite so. Fact is that 63 Hz is the center frequency of the lowest band that you can control. The frequency bands don't have brick wall filters, but instead have shapes that are something like an old hill. The equalizer bands are centered at 63, 160, 400, 1KHz, 2.5 KHz, 6.3 KHz, and 16 KHz. . These bands are about 1.33 octaves apart which implies that they are about 1.33 octaves wide, and that each band goes about 0.66 octaves above and below the center frequency. In fact the band centered at 63 Hz has significant effects down into the 30 Hz range.
IME the main limitation of these bands is the relatively mild amounts of attenuation and gain that is available. But, they have reasonably strong audible effects. There is enough action there to make a difference, but not enough to get you into serious trouble.
The main limitation of those bands is the complete lack of adjustability of the center frequency and Q. If you have peak at 42 Hz, it's completely worthless to have an EQ band at 63 Hz. All graphic equalizer suffer this limitation, making them virtually useless. A parametric EQ, with adjustable bands and Q's is a much more useful tool.

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post #24 of 56 Old 07-20-2012, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

The main limitation of those bands is the complete lack of adjustability of the center frequency and Q.

Agreed. In professional audio most experienced production people would take a 4-6 band full parametric eq over a 31 band graphic eq any day of the week. Even though the graphic has a lot more knobs it is just not as effective in the real world.
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If you have peak at 42 Hz, it's completely worthless to have an EQ band at 63 Hz.

I'm not quite there with a judgement of "completely worthless" as adjustment of the too-wide band can still help with tone quality. This despite the obvious cost in hurting a big crowd of sounds to deal with one bad actor. Its a lot less than I would prefer but I'm not sure I'd throw out the baby with the bath water given no other choices.
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All graphic equalizer suffer this limitation, making them virtually useless. A parametric EQ, with adjustable bands and Q's is a much more useful tool.

I'm beginning to suspect that many of the self-eq schemes in modern receivers are based on this same 7 band graphic equalization with all of the obvious limitations. This partially explains why they are generally better than nothing, but nearly as good as what many more experienced people even amateurs, do manually with more sophisticated equalizers and analysis.

While 30+ band graphic eqs are less desirable than far more modest-seeming full parametrics, they do deal with sound in roughly critical band intervals that have psychoacoustic signfiicance.

The current usage of generic 7 band graphic eqs yields far, far less capability than true 1/3 or 1/6 octave eq, which are the current professional standard. For example the current Crown/Harman IQnet power amp and speaker management DSPs cascade both graphic and full parametric eqs.
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post #25 of 56 Old 07-20-2012, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post

What do people set their subs at and why?
"People" use many misguided conceptions to set their subwoofer crossover freqs.

Is it a personal preference?
Yes.

Are you strictly following a technical specification/calibration?
I set the crossover approximately at or above the -3db point of the mains at the frequency which nets the flattest response.

I would like more bass with talking and music and was wondering how people are setting up their subs. I feel like my sub is being underutilized which may be because the calibration set the crossover too low, my previous receiver got more lows out of the same sub giving a richer sound.
Where do you currently have your crossover set?  I would not want any magnitude of the vocals coming from my sub.  What speakers are we talking about?  I prefer an accentuated bass setting on my music also, its a hangup from my days as a musician, I like to feel the kick.

 

Where should the crossover be set?

 

Approximately at or above the -3db point of the mains at the frequency which nets the flattest response, Final Answer(for me).+

 

In the absence of measurement capability, I'd set the crossover no lower than 80Hz and no higher than 200, shooting for as close to the published -3db point of mains as possible.

 

If you have Auto correction MCCAC or Audyssey etc, It might be ok to raise the crossover point, but I wouldn't lower the auto selected setting as its generally set based on the measured -3db in-room point.

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post #26 of 56 Old 07-20-2012, 09:19 AM
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If you stated it, I missed it. Is this a 2 channel setup or surround?

The case for myself, and I'd suspect for many others, is that I'm not using a single crossover frequency. There can be up to 8 full range audio channels on a blu-ray, and depending on the receiver you can use different crossover frequencies for all 8 of them. But as others here have said, I don't think there's a recipe to the best setup. It depends on your usage, and it requires some experimenting on your part. The things you're trading off are:

1. Frequency response
2. SPL capability and distortion (taking power off the amplifiers with the least headroom)
3. imaging (despite common convention, sounds below 80Hz are somewhat localizable)

Because you asked, my current crossover settings are:
Center: 80Hz
Mains: 60Hz
Surrounds: 80Hz
Back Surrounds: 80Hz
LFE: 250Hz (Thereshouldn't be any content on this channel above 120Hz, but there technically can be. It's not going to hurt my sub if it's there, so why not let it try to play it if somebody put something there?)

I'm not into "thumbs upping" or "liking". Don't take it personally. Just assume that I found your post helpful. Unless it wasn't.
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post #27 of 56 Old 09-25-2013, 11:01 AM
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I have the crossover on my receiver set to 50Hz. My receiver is a Pioneer VSK-521 and the subwoofer is an Energy/Klipsch EW/KW-100. The low frequency response of my Mission 702's is 45Hz -6db. All channels are set to large and the subwoofer set to plus. I want to have the subwoofer blend in with the low frequency of the Missions, Is 50Hz too much of a gap between the EW-100 and the 702's or would 80Hz be better? My centre is a Mission 70C3 and the rears are Mission 700's and both have low frequency ratings of 43Hz and 55Hz. The subwoofer is placed in front of a shelf that's in front left corner and the port is plugged with a small towel.
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post #28 of 56 Old 09-25-2013, 11:10 AM
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40hz

Reason is that is the frequency it best integrates with my mains.


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Rega - Apollo, Rega - DAC, Goldpoint Passive, (2) Classe CA-100 bridged power amps (350w)

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post #29 of 56 Old 09-25-2013, 11:16 AM
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Pick your favorite movie with lots of low bass. Run a xover that was original set by your receiver. Watch some bass clips. Set a 80 hz crossover and listen again. What sounds best to you? Only you can determine what is best for your listening in your room.

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post #30 of 56 Old 09-25-2013, 11:38 AM
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Since you ask, I set my sub Xover at 80 hz. Unlike most people, however, I run my tower speakers as large and tell the receiver to add the sub to frequencies below 80 hz rather than to replace those frequencies for the main speakers. So I'm getting the benefit of the main speaker woofers for mid bass down to 40 hz while allowing the sub to fill out the bottom end.. Set it the way it sounds best.
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