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Manually tuning subwoofer without Yamaha YPAO

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
In another thread I talked about a W3 level error I was getting, and had to turn the volume on the sub way down to get rid of it. I've decided to run YPAO without the subwoofer and then adjust it manually later. In the future I can get an SPL meter, but for now I just want to set the volume on the sub by ear.

Here's what I don't understand...Should I flip the crossover switch on the sub from bypass to active and adjust on the sub, then set my speakers to small and 80Hz? Or, should everything be adjusted somehow on the receiver? Another thing that I've heard is that you should keep the distance setting that YPAO uses. How do I do this when the sub will be initially disconnected before YPAO is run?

If anyone else had a similar issue with YPAO and ended up tuning their sub manually, could you please give me details? Thank you!
post #2 of 20
On the subwoofer, set the X-over to Bypass.
Next set the subwoofer X-over in your AVR OSD, then adjust the subwoofer level as I already advised previously...

Just my $0.02..
post #3 of 20
Which Yamaha receiver? Some you can copy the settings of the Auto set up and then make adjustments.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

On the subwoofer, set the X-over to Bypass.
Next set the subwoofer X-over in your AVR OSD, then adjust the subwoofer level as I already advised previously...

That's what I'm confused about. In your post you said
Quote:


set the subwoofer manually, set the subwoofer X-over @ 100Hz and level to about 50%. Next set the subwoofer level in the AVR to 0dB

At the time this sounded to me like I should manually adjust the crossover on the back of the sub.

I can't find a low pass crossover setting in the AVR menu. All you can do is set the crossover setting for the L&R, C & surrounds after selecting "small." You can adjust distance and level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Which Yamaha receiver? Some you can copy the settings of the Auto set up and then make adjustments.

It's a Yamaha RX-V3900. Here is my previous post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1412128

You're right, you can make changes if you copy the settings, then tweak them. Here's a quote from a post I made in another thread:

Quote:


In the PEQ Select menu, you can choose between manual, flat, front, natural, or through. When you choose manual, you can then go back up to the previous menu that was greyed out under subwoofer, but now is selectable. Under "param," hitting enter cycles between Band/Gain, Freq./Gain, and Q/Gain. When you select edit under Band/Gain, you can choose between 4 bands and adjust the gain up and down. Under Freq. you can move from 31.3Hz all the way to 250Hz. There are 10 points in this range you can move the gain up and down. With Q it goes from 0.500 to 10.080 with 14 points to adjust the gain up and down.

OK, I just figured out what PEQ Data Copy does. You can copy what YPAO already did, whether it's flat, front, or natural and edit it just as I described above. This also enables you to see the details of what YPAO actually did.

I'm really afraid to mess around with these settings, especially since I don't have the equipment to take proper measurements.
post #5 of 20
If the speakers are set to Small then the subwoofer X-over in the AVR is also set. Now adjust the level for the subwoofer starting @ 0dB (AVR indication) with the level control on the subwoofer @ about 50% rotation.

How much bass output from the subwoofer do you have?
a. Too high?
Decrease it lower in the AVR's OSD
b. Too low?
Increase it higher in the AVR's OSD

As I mentioned previously you want to find a subwoofer level adjustment point which is not too boomy and not too little bass.

I hope that helps..

Just my $0.02...
post #6 of 20
I would advise using test tones with the spl meter so you can dial it in properly.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

If the speakers are set to Small then the subwoofer X-over in the AVR is also set. Now adjust the level for the subwoofer starting @ 0dB (AVR indication) with the level control on the subwoofer @ about 50% rotation.

How much bass output from the subwoofer do you have?
a. Too high?
Decrease it lower in the AVR's OSD
b. Too low?
Increase it higher in the AVR's OSD

As I mentioned previously you want to find a subwoofer level adjustment point which is not too boomy and not too little bass.

I'm sorry for all the questions, and I appreciate your help. I'm glad you specifically mentioned that dB levels should be adjusted in the AVR OSD. I thought since I was doing it manually that I could just use the knob on the back of the sub after the initial 50% setting.

I understand that when the speakers are set to large, they play full range and only send LFE to the sub, and that when set to small, you adjust them to 80Hz or so and the sub ends up playing MORE than just LFE. Are you saying that the 80Hz setting I use is a dual purpose high pass AND low pass? I thought you'd be able to set these separately and turn up the low pass to allow the sub to play at 100Hz, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

I would advise using test tones with the spl meter so you can dial it in properly.

I agree with you, but the settings I'd like to do now aren't permanent.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPowers View Post


I understand that when the speakers are set to large, they play full range and only send LFE to the sub, and that when set to small, you adjust them to 80Hz or so and the sub ends up playing MORE than just LFE. Are you saying that the 80Hz setting I use is a dual purpose high pass AND low pass? I thought you'd be able to set these separately and turn up the low pass to allow the sub to play at 100Hz, for example.


The subwoofer handles the LFE track plus the low frequencies from all channels that the speakers are set to Small.
Try setting things as advised, lets find out How it sounds..

Just my $0.02...
post #9 of 20
Don't worry about messing with your settings. You can always reset them and run YPAO again. Doing it manually does require some equipment. A 1/12 octave (or better) RTA would be best but you can do a lot with an SPL meter.

What are your speakers/sub and where are they placed in the room? Where is your seating?

Some basics, set the crossover on the back of the sub to its max position or bypass if it has that option. Sub at 1/2 volume on the back is a good place to start. You are using the crossover in the 3900 so you don't need to have a second crossover in the sub. You don't want to double up on the crossovers slope.

Good acoustics starts with location, location, location. Do the best you can with these. I know not all rooms are dedicated rooms and some compromises have to be made.

1. Seating location - Not against a wall or in a corner. Even moving it out a foot from the wall makes a difference.

2. Front Speaker location - Not in corners, close to the same height for the front 3, if freestanding speakers not too close to the walls, if on shelves bring them to the front of the shelf or TV stand. Aim speakers at the center of audience area. There may be more suggestions but without knowing more I can't make specific recommendations.

3. Not in a corner unless using a wimpy sub and need the output or using multiple subs for cancellation of room modes to smooth out the response. A safe bet would be between one of the front speakers and the center speaker against the front wall. A little experimentation is needed.

Run YPAO and put the mic on a tripod where your head would go. Don't rest it on your seat. If the sound is blocked by the chair (surrounds or backs) raise the level of the tripod so the mic has clear line of sight of all speakers.

If you have an SPL meter I'll go over manually doing it if these tips don't help first.

Natural - Is typically the best and most accurate choice.

Flat - Raises the high frequencies to make the sound flat at the listening position. Since high frequencies naturally roll off starting at 6-8khx in normal rooms and are a few or more decibels down by 20khz. So natural is the correct setting if you have accurate speakers. Flat will accentuate things like cymbals, glass breaking, and other things in this higher frequency range. Some prefer this especially if they have some hearing loss in high frequencies. It might get fatiguing after a while for others who don't though.

Front - A good option to use if your speakers aren't very accurate but you love your speakers. If YPAO is using all 7 filters per channel in its natural or flat settings it might be over EQing and I would try this setting. Too much EQ can be a bad thing.

No auto EQ (YPAO,Audyssey, ARC, MCACC, Etc.) beats a good audio calibrator but if everything is set up correct they should at least improve the sound. Since these things tend to be run in not ideal set ups they are often tricked and their correction does not always sound better.
post #10 of 20
Took me about 5 hours with Avia disk, SPL, and two subs. Almost perfect, but the SPL isn't at certain Hz. There was a correction table posted years ago for the Radio Shack units, digital and analog.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

The subwoofer handles the LFE track plus the low frequencies from all channels that the speakers are set to Small.
Try setting things as advised, lets find out How it sounds.

I understand what setting to small does, but I don't understand how the low pass crossover is controlled. As I mentioned before, the only crossover settings listed are for the main speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Don't worry about messing with your settings. You can always reset them and run YPAO again. Doing it manually does require some equipment. A 1/12 octave (or better) RTA would be best but you can do a lot with an SPL meter.

Great post, thank you! I'm just trying to do the basics now. I found a post last night which talked about a few different models of SPL meters. I think the Galaxy CM-130 was the best one they mentioned. I'll look into an RTA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

What are your speakers/sub and where are they placed in the room? Where is your seating?

It's a 5.1 setup. The couch is up against the wall with the surrounds on the wall turned inward (not ideal, but it's all I can do). The fronts are 10 feet away with the sub in the corner behind the left speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Some basics, set the crossover on the back of the sub to its max position or bypass if it has that option. Sub at 1/2 volume on the back is a good place to start. You are using the crossover in the 3900 so you don't need to have a second crossover in the sub. You don't want to double up on the crossovers slope.

Run YPAO and put the mic on a tripod where your head would go. Don't rest it on your seat. If the sound is blocked by the chair (surrounds or backs) raise the level of the tripod so the mic has clear line of sight of all speakers.

I did everything properly, but see this post for the reason why I need to do things manually:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1412128

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbobuick86 View Post

Took me about 5 hours with Avia disk, SPL, and two subs. Almost perfect, but the SPL isn't at certain Hz. There was a correction table posted years ago for the Radio Shack units, digital and analog.

5 hours? Ouch! I just gave away an Avia DVD that I never used. Maybe I should have kept it.
post #12 of 20
I can see why YPAO is messing up. Because your couch is against the wall you are going to be in a peak area for standing waves in your room. Because your sub is in the corner you are maximizing the volume of those standing waves. Can you move the couch out from the wall a foot? Can you move the sub to a better location?
post #13 of 20
I have my two subs acting as stands for my front speakers, works well for me
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

I can see why YPAO is messing up. Because your couch is against the wall you are going to be in a peak area for standing waves in your room. Because your sub is in the corner you are maximizing the volume of those standing waves. Can you move the couch out from the wall a foot? Can you move the sub to a better location?

Unfortunately, nothing can be moved. Space is very limited.
post #15 of 20
If you can't move anything you will probably have some boominess to your bass. To set your levels run YPAO first. Write down the sub distance. To set your levels get an 80hz test signal and set all your speaker levels and the sub level using this test tone it with an SPL meter.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

If you can't move anything you will probably have some boominess to your bass. To set your levels run YPAO first. Write down the sub distance. To set your levels get an 80hz test signal and set all your speaker levels and the sub level using this test tone it with an SPL meter.

Are you saying that home theater rooms shouldn't have ANY furniture against the wall? About a week ago, I moved the microphone away from the speakers and seating area to see if it would get the same strange subwoofer measurement, and it was the same.
post #17 of 20
"Are you saying that home theater rooms shouldn't have ANY furniture against the wall?"

Yes, I'm saying if you have it against the wall it is not going to be the money seat. It is not a good acoustic location. It sounds like the error you are getting is due to the sub being too loud. These microphones are not precision instruments and their measurements and EQ algorithms can easily be tricked.

There are standing waves that happen in a room and they will always be peaked near a wall. These waves exist no matter what (can't change physics) but placement of the sub will determine how much these standing waves are excited and how loud they will peak. Placing a sub in the corner excites the bass energy as it reinforcement from three surfaces (floor and 2 walls).

So you have a double whammy, seating near a wall where bass will be loudest (actualy corner would be a little worse) and sub in the corner where you are getting maximum bass output from the sub. Your standing wave frequencies will be peaked and the other frequencies are also at their maximum. You have too much bass energy and the receiver can't compensate for it.

I recommended you use an 80hz test tone for setting levels as that is your crossover point. You also want the phase of your subwoofer and mains to match at the crossover frequency. YPAO usually does that pretty good even if the subs distance measurement doesn't seem accurate, this is what sets its phase. It is compensating for phase and delays caused by subwoofer amplifiers. When you use standard pink noise it plays it plays all frequencies in that range and if your standing waves are peaked it is going to have a high SPL average and you don't have enough room to cut it down in the receiver without turning your sub volume way down.

The best you can do is run YPAO and hopefully it knocked down the standing waves a little with its EQ and then set your levels with a test tone at your crossover frequency and not pink noise or with YPAO. Hopefully, you don't have a standing wave at 80hz. You can get idea of what your frequencies standing waves are and what dimensions they affect by downloading one of the many room mode calculators available. Harman has one I think. If you happen to have one at 80hz then set the crossover to 90hz and try that.

When you say you moves the mic away from the speakers and seating where did you move it? You might still have too much bass energy with a sub in the corner.

Hope this helps.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

I recommended you use an 80hz test tone for setting levels as that is your crossover point. You also want the phase of your subwoofer and mains to match at the crossover frequency. YPAO usually does that pretty good even if the subs distance measurement doesn't seem accurate, this is what sets its phase. It is compensating for phase and delays caused by subwoofer amplifiers. When you use standard pink noise it plays it plays all frequencies in that range and if your standing waves are peaked it is going to have a high SPL average and you don't have enough room to cut it down in the receiver without turning your sub volume way down.

I had an obsolete Avia DVD, but gave it away before ever checking it out. Is a disc like that how I'd play an 80Hz test tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

The best you can do is run YPAO and hopefully it knocked down the standing waves a little with its EQ and then set your levels with a test tone at your crossover frequency and not pink noise or with YPAO. Hopefully, you don't have a standing wave at 80hz. You can get idea of what your frequencies standing waves are and what dimensions they affect by downloading one of the many room mode calculators available. Harman has one I think. If you happen to have one at 80hz then set the crossover to 90hz and try that.

I ran YPAO with the sub disconnected the other day, reconnected, then turned the sub up to 1/2 and the receiver sub control to 0dB. This was way too loud, so I turned it down to -5dB, then -6dB. Although I'm really enjoying the bass, I can see how the system would benefit from actual tuning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

When you say you moves the mic away from the speakers and seating where did you move it? You might still have too much bass energy with a sub in the corner..

You're absolutely right. If you're facing the front speakers, the mic was placed way to the right of the right speaker in the dining area.
post #19 of 20
There are discs with test tones on them. You can download one here but has a 10 second limit. Either make a CD out of it or connect your computer to your system. You want to make an 80hz sine wave.
http://www.audiocheck.net/audiofrequ...r_sinetone.php

If you want a longer one you can try here and pay about $7. Use the setting that says tone.
http://www.wavtones.com/functiongenerator.php

Here are some 30 day trials you can try. I haven't tried either of them.
http://download.cnet.com/Test-Tone-G...-10070156.html
http://www.esseraudio.com/test-tone-...st-factor.html

There might be some free ones around. We have a signal generator we use as part of our TEF measuring system.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

There are discs with test tones on them....

Before the forums close, I just wanted to thank you for all the detailed information. You've been extremely helpful. I guess I have some reading to do before I take this on.
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