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PSB problems

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay, okay. Everyone said "for the money, get something else," but I couldn't pass up the package deal. I've had a PSB SubSeries 6i for about 2 years, and for around a year, I've been having some issues.

At first, it sounded OK, paired with T45s and B25s, and a C60 center. Great punch for movies, great musicality for tunes, all around ok. Not obtrusive, not even really obvious, but definitely filled out the soundstage.

Every once and a while though, I'd get a real over-bassy sound coming from the sub. Like way too much output or something, very muffled and muddy, but boomy at the same time. Comes on all of a sudden, in a noticeable way. Nasty.

If I backed all the levels as low as they'd go, on a Harmon/Kardon AVR 445, (bass level and subwoofer output both), it'd get bearable, but just barely. Sometimes unplugging the LFE and replugging would "reset" it or something, too, and the boomy sound would go away for a bit.

Not any more. The muddy nastiness is there all the time. It's so bad, no matter what the levels, that I've just pulled it out of the mix and am using the T45s as large speakers, sending the whole range to them.

I called PSB. They won't fix it under warranty (1 year) they say, even though this is my first experience with their speakers and I honestly didn't know what to expect from the sub given all the weird (and relative paucity of) reviews. I was a bit disappointed, as I spent around $2000 sight unseen on the strength of their reputation with the Image line.

They will, however, sell me parts. Two main components could be the culprit - the driver, or the amp assembly. The driver they didn't quote me. The amp is almost $500! new, and $175 reconditioned. Both are obscene, IMO, but it is what it is.


What I need is some advice. Spend the money on parts? Which parts? Any way to diagnose the amp and/or driver so I'm not stabbing in the dark? Is it possible it isn't a sub problem, but a problem with the HK? (i don't have another sub to test that with).

Or should I not throw good money after bad, and use some equivalent amount of cash to get a HSU or SVS or something?

Any guru help is much appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Nothing? No help at all? Is it the wall o text? I was trying to answer the questions that would be asked.

Here's the big stuff I need to know...

1) Is it more likely an amp or the driver that causes boomy, thick, over-saturated bass response from a sub?

2) Is it worth spending almost $200 to fix that part, or should I invest in something else?

3) If something else, recommendations in the $400 - $500 range?


Please help. Thanks!
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedcaum View Post

Nothing? No help at all? Is it the wall o text? I was trying to answer the questions that would be asked.

Here's the big stuff I need to know...

1) Is it more likely an amp or the driver that causes boomy, thick, over-saturated bass response from a sub?

2) Is it worth spending almost $200 to fix that part, or should I invest in something else?

3) If something else, recommendations in the $400 - $500 range?


Please help. Thanks!


Try unplugging the subwoofer from the power outlet and let it sit overnight. How does the subwoofer measure when you use the receiver spealer level test tones? Same SPL level as the main speakers?

That subwoofer is nothing special, and seems to sell for around $600 new.
post #4 of 6
Before anything else I would change the sub cable out. Use any old composite video cable you have laying around. Long shot? Sure---but might as well eliminate every possible variable starting with the zero-cost ones.

Next, would you be able to take the receiver out of the equation? Meaning----can you connect the sub to a different system in the home?(or a different sub to same system). If not, try hooking up the sub via the speaker level inputs(chaining into the main L/R outputs from your receiver). Any difference? Be sure to reset the main L/F speakers to LARGE in the receiver's setup menu during this experiment.

Lastly, if the problem is isolated to the sub....I'd lean towards the amp being the culprit.

Tom V.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both of you! Things to try. I will report my success or failure with your troubleshooting steps. Danka.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
For anyone in the same boat with the same indicated problems - no issue with the sub at all. Swapped out the HK AVR for a middle of the road Yamaha. Not only did the sub work flawlessly, the Yamaha really woke the thing up! System sounds fantastic now.
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