Guide to Subwoofer Calibration and Bass Preferences - Page 37 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1081 of 1410 Old 02-15-2019, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Photokid1970 View Post
I've read the guide from top to bottom, and it seems like that it would be a good idea to set the initial sub volume to 80db instead of 75db as suggested by Audyssey in order to give the AVR a little more room for adjustment. I think I will try that tonight.

When running Audyssey yesterday to account for new speaker placement, I became aware that I have only been running one sub after my latest rewiring of the stereo cabinet. I neglected to plug in the RCA cable for the second sub! So I'm looking forward to making some of the placement adjustments mentioned in the thread and then calibrating with both subs running. To that end, I have a question: How do I set the volume on the subs so that they are both at the proper level?

My initial idea would be to set the first sub (Velodyne DLS400R) to 80db (using the Audyssey setup mic to judge), and then turn it off. Then, I will turn on the second sub (Velodyne VRP-12) and set it to be the same volume. Next I will turn back on the first sub and see where the volume is. Not having done this before, I'm guessing at this point. If both subs together are too loud, then I will repeat the on/off process and try to reduce each sub by an equal amount until both together come out to be 80db. Is that close to how it should be done, or is there a better way?
Hi,



Reading the Guide from top to bottom is quite a task. My compliments!

If you only have one sub out, and are Y-connecting the subs, the way you are describing doing it is exactly what I would recommend. I might start a little lower than 80, though. Starting around 75 or 76db individually, might put you about where you want to be with the combined SPL from both subs. You should be able to run a test calibration, after three mic positions, and you don't even have to move the microphone, if all you are trying to do is to check your trim levels.

Then, once you get to somewhere around -10 or -11 (-11.5 max) in subwoofer trim, you can run the full suite of mic positions and save your calibration. Whether it will require 80db exactly, or some other decibel level, to get you to about -11 is the trial-and-error part of it.

I haven't looked-up your subwoofers, but if one is a little bit stronger than the other one, it would be a good idea to let the weaker sub be a little closer to your listening position. That way, both subs will be doing more nearly equal work, at the same volume level, and you can use all of the capability of the stronger sub. Of course, getting a good frequency response is probably the first priority in positioning your subwoofers. So, you may not always be able to position one sub appreciably closer to your listening position.

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #1082 of 1410 Old 02-16-2019, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadianatlas View Post
I like objective information, but I also like hearing personal opinions. Give me the facts, and then give me as many different personal experiences, in detail, as possible. Knowing how the speakers/subwoofers perform in many different situations, can help you to understand the general nature of the product.

Opinions are only useless to me when people don't give enough detail. Simply saying whether you like or dislike something isn't very helpful to other people, saying WHY you like or dislike it, is. Tell me about your room, like how big it is and what materials are used to make it, and your listening habits, like how loud you listen and what kinds of movies/music/TV/games you listen to and how far away you are from the speakers and walls.
Very good points, to be objective is one thing. And without trying to point out the why of a preference and bias is useless, as you point-out.
I believe Mike frustration, was due that too many people are set in their own bias. Without explaining why they prefer something. And do not look at the whole situation for the OP, for their own best interest.


Ray
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post #1083 of 1410 Old 02-16-2019, 09:50 PM
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Question about using REW to calibrate two DIY subs using an inuke - should I be calibrating them independently or applying the same EQ to both the drivers?
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post #1084 of 1410 Old 02-17-2019, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SeargentPeppers View Post
Question about using REW to calibrate two DIY subs using an inuke - should I be calibrating them independently or applying the same EQ to both the drivers?
Hi,

That's a good question. With nearly all systems of automated room EQ, there really isn't a good alternative to EQing the subs together, because the system is measuring them together. And, most of the time, that can work very well. Where you have the ability to measure the subs both independently, and in conjunction, and you have DSP that you can apply independently for each subwoofer, then you can tailor things to suit your own room and listening objectives.

I have never done DIY and never used an iNUKE, but I was under the impression that the DSP you have would be applied to all the subs powered by that amplifier. If that impression is incorrect, then you can experiment to decide exactly how the DSP works best--independently or collectively. At a minimum, you would want to be able to set timing, SPL, and phase relationships independently.

I assume that those settings at least are independent. If the specific PEQ that the iNUKE provides, applies equally to both subs however, then you could obtain a miniDSP to allow you to tailor the individual subs in individual ways. They aren't very expensive and that's what most people do when they want to tailor their EQ more precisely.

I certainly don't consider myself an expert on this, but it seems to me that you won't be able to predict in advance whether you need to independently apply DSP to your subs. Only if your measurements with REW show you that you have a problem, that you can't otherwise fix, would the independent DSP be necessary. Otherwise, you could just apply the same DSP to the collective response of both subs.

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.

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@MThomas Thanks so much for this guide. I've been reading/learning on avsforum for a long time and this is absolutely one of the best guides I've come across.

I especially like the 'Where And How To Add Bass' section about adding subwoofer gain, post calibration, as opposed to just increasing the AVR trim. Like you, I personally like higher bass, and for my Yamaha receiver and HSU subwoofer, I can't get the level I want without going into the positive digits in trim, which can introduce distortion. I understand the reasoning most people give w/respect to not touch the subwoofer gain control, because it's easier to see how much dB you're adding, but for some (like me), it's not adequate.

This is how I setup my subwoofer: I ran YPAO w/the HSU knob at about the 11 o'clock position and aimed for an AVR trim of -9.5 (-10 is the limit). After hitting -9.5, I proceeded to increased the gain on the subwoofer to the 12 o'clock position, ran an SPL test and listened to some content. Then I adjusted trim -4.5 trim (+5 db increase), and it's now perfect. This gave me the perfect amount of headroom (for my personal tastes) to adjust bass levels via the trim.

Thanks again for the great and detailed write up!
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post #1086 of 1410 Old 02-17-2019, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hieu1004 View Post
@MThomas Thanks so much for this guide. I've been reading/learning on avsforum for a long time and this is absolutely one of the best guides I've come across.

I especially like the 'Where And How To Add Bass' section about adding subwoofer gain, post calibration, as opposed to just increasing the AVR trim. Like you, I personally like higher bass, and for my Yamaha receiver and HSU subwoofer, I can't get the level I want without going into the positive digits in trim, which can introduce distortion. I understand the reasoning most people give w/respect to not touch the subwoofer gain control, because it's easier to see how much dB you're adding, but for some (like me), it's not adequate.

This is how I setup my subwoofer: I ran YPAO w/the HSU knob at about the 11 o'clock position and aimed for an AVR trim of -9.5 (-10 is the limit). After hitting -9.5, I proceeded to increased the gain on the subwoofer to the 12 o'clock position, ran an SPL test and listened to some content. Then I adjusted trim -4.5 trim (+5 db increase), and it's now perfect. This gave me the perfect amount of headroom (for my personal tastes) to adjust bass levels via the trim.

Thanks again for the great and detailed write up!
You are very welcome, and I'm glad that the Guide has been helpful to you! I really appreciate your letting me know that it has been.

The way that you made adjustments is exactly the way I do it. Dead easy really, and since you know where you started with the gain control, you can always return to that gain setting if, for some reason, you ever want to.

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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I recently switched to a wired connection for my dual PC-4000s. Had been wireless as they are in the rear corners of my large living room. Was able to run long runs of Belden 1505F cable from BJC (53ft and 65ft) which worked out well. It’s very well shielded yet thin and flexible allowing me to make the in room run up and around moldings and conceal with narrow cable raceway. Came out very well and there is zero noise on the runs. Very happy with results.

So anyway in the near future going to re-do tweaking sub/main integration. Previously I had done the distance tweak and this did help with crossover cancellation issues but because of the wireless delay I had a distance limit for my subs imposed by my AVR and could only subtract distance. So now I have the option of adding distance as well. I imagine this won’t really matter too much as it still should accomplish the same thing. However I was thinking with the continuously variable digital phase control on these subs is it just better to change phase equally on each sub in x increments rather than doing the distance tweak? Seems it would accomplish the same thing, have more fine control, and keep the time alignment of mains and subs the same. Anything I’m missing here?
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Originally Posted by confinoj View Post
I recently switched to a wired connection for my dual PC-4000s. Had been wireless as they are in the rear corners of my large living room. Was able to run long runs of Belden 1505F cable from BJC (53ft and 65ft) which worked out well. It’s very well shielded yet thin and flexible allowing me to make the in room run up and around moldings and conceal with narrow cable raceway. Came out very well and there is zero noise on the runs. Very happy with results.
Congrats! Good to hear and know this...thanks for sharing! However, relative to your inquiry, I agree with your assessment and rationale but will defer to Mike and/or others with experience in this area.
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Originally Posted by confinoj View Post
I recently switched to a wired connection for my dual PC-4000s. Had been wireless as they are in the rear corners of my large living room. Was able to run long runs of Belden 1505F cable from BJC (53ft and 65ft) which worked out well. It’s very well shielded yet thin and flexible allowing me to make the in room run up and around moldings and conceal with narrow cable raceway. Came out very well and there is zero noise on the runs. Very happy with results.

So anyway in the near future going to re-do tweaking sub/main integration. Previously I had done the distance tweak and this did help with crossover cancellation issues but because of the wireless delay I had a distance limit for my subs imposed by my AVR and could only subtract distance. So now I have the option of adding distance as well. I imagine this won’t really matter too much as it still should accomplish the same thing. However I was thinking with the continuously variable digital phase control on these subs is it just better to change phase equally on each sub in x increments rather than doing the distance tweak? Seems it would accomplish the same thing, have more fine control, and keep the time alignment of mains and subs the same. Anything I’m missing here?
Hi,

That's a good question and I'm not sure that I know the answer. Both phase and distance adjustment can work, especially if you are only trying to address cancellation within a relatively narrow portion of the frequency range. If I were doing it, I would start with a new calibration, as you suggested, and let the AVR set the distances. Then, I believe I would tweak the phase on one of the subs, while leaving the other one alone.

You are just adjusting the phase of one sub in relation to the other. Doing that should enable you to either minimize crossover cancellation, or move it up to a higher frequency where it can't be heard. And, if that doesn't work, I would then change the distance setting on one of the subs to accomplish the same result.

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #1090 of 1410 Old 02-18-2019, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
Hi,

That's a good question and I'm not sure that I know the answer. Both phase and distance adjustment can work, especially if you are only trying to address cancellation within a relatively narrow portion of the frequency range. If I were doing it, I would start with a new calibration, as you suggested, and let the AVR set the distances. Then, I believe I would tweak the phase on one of the subs, while leaving the other one alone.

You are just adjusting the phase of one sub in relation to the other. Doing that should enable you to either minimize crossover cancellation, or move it up to a higher frequency where it can't be heard. And, if that doesn't work, I would then change the distance setting on one of the subs to accomplish the same result.

Regards,
Mike
Thanks I guess I'll just have to experiment. However I was not thinking of starting out changing phase one sub at a time but rather together similar to how one would do the distance tweak keeping the subs relative distance or phase to each other similar. And then only after that tweaking one sub to see if it can get any better. Will see what REW shows this time around but I believe there was not much cancellation between the subs alone but only when mixed with the mains.

Edit: I will eventually do a full re-calibration but did one recently that I was happy with and haven't had the time to do a full calibration yet which to be honest I hate doing. However what I did was run the Audyssey level matching to set gains and then a quick 3 position calibration skipping height channels and leaving mic at MLP just to get new sub distances and trim. Then restored prior calibration and adjusted sub distance and trim accordingly. Should be pretty close for now.
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post #1091 of 1410 Old 02-18-2019, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SeargentPeppers View Post
Question about using REW to calibrate two DIY subs using an inuke - should I be calibrating them independently or applying the same EQ to both the drivers?
The subs should be EQ'ed "as one" unless you are using something like MSO (Multi-Sub Optimizer). It would be nearly impossible to manually calculate all of the filters needed to optimize each subs FR individually and still have an acceptable combined FR.
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Originally Posted by confinoj View Post
I recently switched to a wired connection for my dual PC-4000s. Had been wireless as they are in the rear corners of my large living room. Was able to run long runs of Belden 1505F cable from BJC (53ft and 65ft) which worked out well. It’s very well shielded yet thin and flexible allowing me to make the in room run up and around moldings and conceal with narrow cable raceway. Came out very well and there is zero noise on the runs. Very happy with results.

So anyway in the near future going to re-do tweaking sub/main integration. Previously I had done the distance tweak and this did help with crossover cancellation issues but because of the wireless delay I had a distance limit for my subs imposed by my AVR and could only subtract distance. So now I have the option of adding distance as well. I imagine this won’t really matter too much as it still should accomplish the same thing. However I was thinking with the continuously variable digital phase control on these subs is it just better to change phase equally on each sub in x increments rather than doing the distance tweak? Seems it would accomplish the same thing, have more fine control, and keep the time alignment of mains and subs the same. Anything I’m missing here?
Using the phase adjustments on the sub amps would not only be less precise than the distance settings in the AVR, you wouldn't actually be keeping the time alignment of mains and subs. Adjusting the sub's phase will change that alignment just as much as the distance setting.

My advice is to just use the distance setting. It's more precise and will align the drivers at a wider frequency range than the phase controls.
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post #1093 of 1410 Old 02-18-2019, 02:54 PM
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Using the phase adjustments on the sub amps would not only be less precise than the distance settings in the AVR, you wouldn't actually be keeping the time alignment of mains and subs. Adjusting the sub's phase will change that alignment just as much as the distance setting.

My advice is to just use the distance setting. It's more precise and will align the drivers at a wider frequency range than the phase controls.
Thanks Alan. I trust you but just trying to understand the reasoning. On the SVS subs phase can be adjusted using the app from 0-180 in 1 degree increments. How come the distance is more precise? Is the mechanism by which the sub amp is altering phase is just by delaying the signal?

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post #1094 of 1410 Old 02-18-2019, 03:08 PM
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Thanks Alan. I trust you but just trying to understand the reasoning. On the SVS subs phase can be adjusted using the app from 0-180 in 1 degree increments. How come the distance is more precise? Is the mechanism by which the sub amp is altering phase is just by delaying the signal?

Ahhh, I was not aware of that. That is definitely precise enough.

However, it is my understanding that a change in delay (distance) will effect a wider range of frequencies than a change in phase. Here are some AVS threads on the subject if you want to delve deeper.
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post #1095 of 1410 Old 02-18-2019, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
Hi,

That's a good question. With nearly all systems of automated room EQ, there really isn't a good alternative to EQing the subs together, because the system is measuring them together. And, most of the time, that can work very well. Where you have the ability to measure the subs both independently, and in conjunction, and you have DSP that you can apply independently for each subwoofer, then you can tailor things to suit your own room and listening objectives.

I have never done DIY and never used an iNUKE, but I was under the impression that the DSP you have would be applied to all the subs powered by that amplifier. If that impression is incorrect, then you can experiment to decide exactly how the DSP works best--independently or collectively. At a minimum, you would want to be able to set timing, SPL, and phase relationships independently.

I assume that those settings at least are independent. If the specific PEQ that the iNUKE provides, applies equally to both subs however, then you could obtain a miniDSP to allow you to tailor the individual subs in individual ways. They aren't very expensive and that's what most people do when they want to tailor their EQ more precisely.

I certainly don't consider myself an expert on this, but it seems to me that you won't be able to predict in advance whether you need to independently apply DSP to your subs. Only if your measurements with REW show you that you have a problem, that you can't otherwise fix, would the independent DSP be necessary. Otherwise, you could just apply the same DSP to the collective response of both subs.

Regards,
Mike
Could be wrong, since the iNuke is power amp. I don't think it has the capability of calibration.
Only different volume option, with the cut off point for the frequency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeargentPeppers View Post
Question about using REW to calibrate two DIY subs using an inuke - should I be calibrating them independently or applying the same EQ to both the drivers?
Could you provide what calibration system you are using?
I think we need more info, to provide better answer.

As mike said, most calibration systems do the calibration as one sub.
The one that do two subs, only measure the distance for phase settings. Then do the calibration as one sub.
And this make sense, since both subs will be playing at the same time.


Ray
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post #1096 of 1410 Old 02-18-2019, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by confinoj View Post
I recently switched to a wired connection for my dual PC-4000s. Had been wireless as they are in the rear corners of my large living room. Was able to run long runs of Belden 1505F cable from BJC (53ft and 65ft) which worked out well. It’s very well shielded yet thin and flexible allowing me to make the in room run up and around moldings and conceal with narrow cable raceway. Came out very well and there is zero noise on the runs. Very happy with results.

So anyway in the near future going to re-do tweaking sub/main integration. Previously I had done the distance tweak and this did help with crossover cancellation issues but because of the wireless delay I had a distance limit for my subs imposed by my AVR and could only subtract distance. So now I have the option of adding distance as well. I imagine this won’t really matter too much as it still should accomplish the same thing. However I was thinking with the continuously variable digital phase control on these subs is it just better to change phase equally on each sub in x increments rather than doing the distance tweak? Seems it would accomplish the same thing, have more fine control, and keep the time alignment of mains and subs the same. Anything I’m missing here?
While some people have good results with wireless, I am not a big fan.
On my PC, my sister in law installed a wireless key pad. After trying-it for a while, I am switching back to wire one very soon. Too many delay

BJC do make very nice quality cables using very good components, and the custom length is an nice option to boot
Got lots of their cables in my system, also when it come to cable brand.
Belden is one of the best. The military use Belden for all there radar installation.

That said, I am talking about the quality of the product. Proper wire AWG size and well made, is enough to buy.
Belden is just super strict for Quality control, and therefore cost more. But you get what you paid for, that do what they are design for.
Without any snake oil, of promises that do not happen like some other cable company.


Ray
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A Question

Hi. Thank you for the guide, quite an accomplishment. I've been involved in Home Theatre for quite awhile, used to be quite active on another forum at one time, but not for many years (that every time I see MLP I think Meridian Lossless Packing, will give some of you an idea of the era that was). I have recently made some additions and upgrades to my system and that lead me to search out answers to some questions that ultimately, link after link, to Mike's guide. I have not yet read all of it, but, I believe, have read all the calibration information. This has raised some questions. I have also read much of this thread, and scanned through the rest, so I don't believe they have been asked yet. The first has to do with the following:


"The first thing to understand is that it is desirable to make the subwoofer amplifier send voltage to the driver, rather than having that voltage come from the AVR amp, because the subwoofer amplifier is much more robust and powerful than the amps in the AVR. This is an extremely important point, because using the subwoofer amp will help to prevent clipping. Clipping is a form of distortion, due to an alteration in the waveform. It can be audible in some cases, and if prolonged, can lead to overheating the voice coil in the woofer. When a waveform is clipped, the round top of the wave is squared-off---clipped-off. "


While I do seem to remember from the pre-digital room corrections days that it was better to level match with the sub-woofer gain, I would also have thought that the milliamps coming over RCA cables would not be able to tax an AVR amp to the point of clipping. Or, is it the sub amp that you're talking about clipping somehow?


Thank you,
Morgan.
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post #1098 of 1410 Old 02-22-2019, 08:32 PM
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Anyone have experience trying to use both software to get better bass from multiple subwoofers? I have dual JTR Cap S1 subs hooked up from my Anthem Avm60 to a MiniDSP 2x4HD. But after I got good PEQ settings from REW into my MiniDSP 2x4HD, I ran ARC and then frequency response turned horrible.

Does having MiniDSP 2x4HD negate the benefits of Anthem’s ARC for multiple sub calibration? Can ARC correct for only above my crossover point so I can keep the peq settings in the MiniDSP? Should I sell the MiniDSP and just use ARC to calibrate my 2 subs? I assume I need to turn off my peq settings to have ARC run effectively and vice versa?

How best to utilize the benefits of both ARC and a MiniDSP at the same time?

Thanks for any help on the two software. Am confused how to get them both working in harmony.

Subs: JTR Captivator S1 x2 Speakers: KEF R300 (L/R), KEF R600c (Center), KEF Ci160QR x4 (Atmos), Dynaudio Audience 50 (Surrounds) Processor/Amps: Anthem AVM60, Anthem MCA325, Rotel RB985 mkII Misc: Samsung K8500, ATV 4k, Sony PS4, MiniDSP 2x4HD Video: BenQ HT2050, 100” Screen Room: 2500 cu sq. ft. sealed on suspended floor
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Originally Posted by morgiastic View Post
Hi. Thank you for the guide, quite an accomplishment. I've been involved in Home Theatre for quite awhile, used to be quite active on another forum at one time, but not for many years (that every time I see MLP I think Meridian Lossless Packing, will give some of you an idea of the era that was). I have recently made some additions and upgrades to my system and that lead me to search out answers to some questions that ultimately, link after link, to Mike's guide. I have not yet read all of it, but, I believe, have read all the calibration information. This has raised some questions. I have also read much of this thread, and scanned through the rest, so I don't believe they have been asked yet. The first has to do with the following:


"The first thing to understand is that it is desirable to make the subwoofer amplifier send voltage to the driver, rather than having that voltage come from the AVR amp, because the subwoofer amplifier is much more robust and powerful than the amps in the AVR. This is an extremely important point, because using the subwoofer amp will help to prevent clipping. Clipping is a form of distortion, due to an alteration in the waveform. It can be audible in some cases, and if prolonged, can lead to overheating the voice coil in the woofer. When a waveform is clipped, the round top of the wave is squared-off---clipped-off. "


While I do seem to remember from the pre-digital room corrections days that it was better to level match with the sub-woofer gain, I would also have thought that the milliamps coming over RCA cables would not be able to tax an AVR amp to the point of clipping. Or, is it the sub amp that you're talking about clipping somehow?

Thank you,
Morgan.
Hi Morgan,

First, welcome to the thread, and thank you for the compliment! I have very little expertise in electronics, but my understanding is that it is the voltage coming from the AVR amp that can cause clipping of the sub amp. For a more expert explanation of this you could consult someone like Mark Seaton, of Seaton Sound. He is probably the one I would turn to if I wanted to understand the actual mechanism better.

The whole gain/trim issue is a little more complicated, because different makes of AVR's may have different voltage structures in their sub amps. For instance, Yamaha AVR's have historically output a lower voltage signal to the subs than Denon/Marantz. That has changed in the last couple of years with at least some of the higher-end Yamaha's. The older, or lower-end Yamaha AVR's, have been less likely to induce clipping with positive AVR sub trim levels, but it has also made the subs less likely to turn-on from Sleep mode with lower trim levels.

Denon/Marantz and Onkyo AVR's, on the other hand, have never had a problem with outputting enough voltage to make subwoofers turn-on automatically, at most negative trim levels. But positive trim levels, especially combined with higher master volumes, have been more likely to induce clipping with those AVR's.

Another complicating factor is whether subwoofers can achieve their max RMS SPL with lower gain levels? Some subwoofers can't. I know a very experienced HT owner who used a Yamaha AVR, and who had resisted setting his AVR trim at a negative level. When he tried going down to about -3 in trim level, and increasing his subwoofer gain proportionally, he picked-up an additional 3db of headroom in his measured compression tests.

I don't pretend to have sufficient expertise to predict particular AVR/subwoofer/gain/trim/master volume relationships, or even to understand the exact reasons for the relationships. So, my default advice is simply to keep trim levels in negative numbers, and somewhere around -5 or -6 appears to be a pretty optimum range.

I think that trying to stay in about that optimum range kills two birds with one stone. First, it helps to insure that we won't be clipping the subwoofer signal. Second, it helps to insure that, if we want our subs to produce a lot of SPL, we will be increasing their gain settings in order to do it. For subwoofers which need higher gain levels in order to produce max SPL's, that will be an advantage.

I have also heard that dropping the trim level too low (thereby reducing the voltage coming from the AVR amp) can also potentially degrade the sound. Ed Mullen, of SVS, referred to it as cutting the quality of the AVR signal. I don't pretend to understand that mechanism either. What trim level is too low? I'm not sure, but to be on the safe side, I probably wouldn't go below about -7 or -8.

Is a particular range of -5 or -6 really going to make a big difference in the headroom or sound quality of a particular subwoofer, in a particular room, at a particular listening level? I really can't say. But, from the standpoint of trying to give good general advice, and to establish a simple best practice standard, I think that shooting for about -5 or -6 in AVR sub trim makes some sense.

I know this answer goes well beyond your original question, but I thought it might be worth making a more complete answer for the benefit of others who may be silently reading along.

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leehan76 View Post
Anyone have experience trying to use both software to get better bass from multiple subwoofers? I have dual JTR Cap S1 subs hooked up from my Anthem Avm60 to a MiniDSP 2x4HD. But after I got good PEQ settings from REW into my MiniDSP 2x4HD, I ran ARC and then frequency response turned horrible.

Does having MiniDSP 2x4HD negate the benefits of Anthem’s ARC for multiple sub calibration? Can ARC correct for only above my crossover point so I can keep the peq settings in the MiniDSP? Should I sell the MiniDSP and just use ARC to calibrate my 2 subs? I assume I need to turn off my peq settings to have ARC run effectively and vice versa?

How best to utilize the benefits of both ARC and a MiniDSP at the same time?

Thanks for any help on the two software. Am confused how to get them both working in harmony.
Hi,

There are at least two schools of thought on the use of independent DSP, in conjunction with systems of automated room correction. One school of thought is that you should use automated room correction first, and see what it can do to resolve issues and to provide a relatively smooth frequency response. Then, you can just use a miniDSP to tweak issues that room EQ couldn't fix, or to create a specific house curve, tailored to your personal preference.

The other school of thought is that some rooms may present problems too big for automated room correction to handle on its own. In that case, it might be better to make independent adjustments first and then let automated room EQ work with a better landscape. It seems to me that the measured unEQed frequency response, and the specific nature of the issues you are trying to fix, will suggest which method is more likely to work better. And, even then, it would still just come down to trial and error--testing things in your room to see what actually works.

One of the things to understand about automated room EQ is that it always operates within its programmed parameters. So, if you tweak some things first, ARC may undo something that you have done, or make the overall result worse, as the two types of EQ compete. Since you have already tried the second method, I would try the first method now.

Run ARC and see what it can do for you. It might do pretty well by itself. Some people with good systems of automated EQ get rid of their miniDSP's because they no longer really need them. That might happen in your case. Alternatively, you may find that there are still some things that you can improve, using your miniDSP.

The difference now, though, is that your post-calibration tweaks would be targeted to specific issues, or specific frequencies, and you wouldn't be competing with ARC's global approach to EQ. Using your miniDSP to create a specific house curve, for instance, might still be something you want to do, even if ARC gives you a good initial frequency response.

I would just keep experimenting, measuring, and above all, listening, if I were you.

Regards,
Mike
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* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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Hi, I am Using a Trinnov Altitude 32 Processor and SVS PB-16 Subwoofer. The Trinnov AVR has Auto Calibration and Bass Management. I set the subwoofer gain to match the 80db output required for calibration and 90 Hz Crossover(Bass Management). After the Calibration was Over I set the Trim Level for Subwoofer in Trinnov to -5db for Movies Preset and -10db for Music(Stereo 2.1). The Subwoofer Gain Level was adjusted to -5db.

The Music Preset works fine giving a solid bass response from the Subwoofer, but for Movies the bass sounds distorted.

Any Advise would be helpful as to where I am going wrong or what steps am I missing.
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Originally Posted by galaxyluv View Post
Hi, I am Using a Trinnov Altitude 32 Processor and SVS PB-16 Subwoofer. The Trinnov AVR has Auto Calibration and Bass Management. I set the subwoofer gain to match the 80db output required for calibration and 90 Hz Crossover(Bass Management). After the Calibration was Over I set the Trim Level for Subwoofer in Trinnov to -5db for Movies Preset and -10db for Music(Stereo 2.1). The Subwoofer Gain Level was adjusted to -5db.

The Music Preset works fine giving a solid bass response from the Subwoofer, but for Movies the bass sounds distorted.

Any Advise would be helpful as to where I am going wrong or what steps am I missing.
Hi,

I don't have any experience with Trinnov, but based on what you are saying, I don't know that you are doing anything wrong at all. A -5 gain level is fairly high, where the digital gain on the PB16 only goes up to 0. My guess is that the single subwoofer is simply having to strain a little too much for movies, and that you hear some distortion as a result.

Low-frequencies put more strain on a subwoofer than mid-bass frequencies do, and some movies go much lower in frequency, and require much more low-frequency SPL, than most two-channel music does. Among other things, the .1 LFE (low-frequency effects) channel is played 10db louder than the bass content in the regular channel. So, 5.1 movies can put additional strain on our subwoofers in several different ways.

Depending on your room size (which will affect how much room gain you are getting to augment your low-bass) and depending on your master volume level, which also requires your subwoofer to play louder, you may just be asking a single 15.5" subwoofer to do a little more than it is capable of doing. The PB16 is an excellent sub, but all subs have limits. Short-term, I would probably back down the movie trim level by a couple of decibels or so, and see if that helps. Long-term, you may just need more firepower for your room, and your preferred listening levels.

Regards,
Mike
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* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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Hi,

I don't have any experience with Trinnov, but based on what you are saying, I don't know that you are doing anything wrong at all. A -5 gain level is fairly high, where the digital gain on the PB16 only goes up to 0. My guess is that the single subwoofer is simply having to strain a little too much for movies, and that you hear some distortion as a result.

Low-frequencies put more strain on a subwoofer than mid-bass frequencies do, and some movies go much lower in frequency, and require much more low-frequency SPL, than most two-channel music does. Among other things, the .1 LFE (low-frequency effects) channel is played 10db louder than the bass content in the regular channel. So, 5.1 movies can put additional strain on our subwoofers in several different ways.

Depending on your room size (which will affect how much room gain you are getting to augment your low-bass) and depending on your master volume level, which also requires your subwoofer to play louder, you may just be asking a single 15.5" subwoofer to do a little more than it is capable of doing. The PB16 is an excellent sub, but all subs have limits. Short-term, I would probably back down the movie trim level by a couple of decibels or so, and see if that helps. Long-term, you may just need more firepower for your room, and your preferred listening levels.

Regards,
Mike



This reply makes perfect sense. For music, as you mention, there is no (or hardly ever) any LFE, so everything is OK.
If so, would lowering the cutoff below 90Hz reduce the strain on the sub? as the sub is now burdened by LFE PLUS ALL of the other speakers mid bass (which could be quite alot in 7.1.x systems). Understand the cascading discussions, but the sub can only handle so much so the tradeoff for movies would be to lower the bass mgt. to 80 or even lower depending on the speakers.

Theater: Lyngdorf MP-50 7.3.4, Sony VW675ES, Revel Ultima Salon2/Voice2/Gem2(4)/Paradigm Be Atmos (4), Mark Levinson amps (53 L/R, 532 Center biamped, 531H side/surrounds), Atmos amp: Sherbourn, Oppo 203, Roku Ultra Premier+, DTV 4k, Velodyne 1812 Signature (LFE), Velodyne DD-15.
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post #1104 of 1410 Old 02-23-2019, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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This reply makes perfect sense. For music, as you mention, there is no (or hardly ever) any LFE, so everything is OK.
If so, would lowering the cutoff below 90Hz reduce the strain on the sub? as the sub is now burdened by LFE PLUS ALL of the other speakers mid bass (which could be quite alot in 7.1.x systems). Understand the cascading discussions, but the sub can only handle so much so the tradeoff for movies would be to lower the bass mgt. to 80 or even lower depending on the speakers.
That might work, although you might be trading away some mid-bass punch, for some extra low-bass headroom, if you went much below 80Hz. And, of course, there is always the issue of bass localization, depending on where your sub is positioned.

You mentioned cascading crossovers. If you implemented crossovers from your speakers to your subs at 80Hz, an LPF of LFE of 80Hz, in your Trinnov, and a low-pass filter with a 24db slope in your PB16, that might buy you some extra low-bass headroom while also giving you more mid-bass and dialogue clarity.

(You could try going as low as 60Hz with your front speakers, but I don't believe I would go lower than that. And, the other cascading crossover settings at 80Hz should still work perfectly well.)

Ultimately, though, you may still need more firepower.

Regards,
Mike
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* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #1105 of 1410 Old 02-23-2019, 01:49 PM
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Temporary adjustment while one sub down

Hi, I have 2 SVS SB16s, one to the left of the MLP and one a bit further away behind the MLP. Both on the walls, in a suspended floor room, plaster walls, 12 ft ceilings, 3500 cubic feet, some openings. The sub to the left of the MLP is out of service for a week for repair. As a down and dirty interim step, I was going to boost the output of the rear sub from -16db to -12db. My more interesting question is whether I should change the phase of the rear sub back to 0. In using REW, I have found that the sub left of the MLP at 0 phase and the rear sub at 60 phase has the best overall room response. I can do REW and experiment, but I thought I would post a quick question here for thoughts. I will be back to 2 subs in a week, so not a big deal whatever I do.
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Hi, I have 2 SVS SB16s, one to the left of the MLP and one a bit further away behind the MLP. Both on the walls, in a suspended floor room, plaster walls, 12 ft ceilings, 3500 cubic feet, some openings. The sub to the left of the MLP is out of service for a week for repair. As a down and dirty interim step, I was going to boost the output of the rear sub from -16db to -12db. My more interesting question is whether I should change the phase of the rear sub back to 0. In using REW, I have found that the sub left of the MLP at 0 phase and the rear sub at 60 phase has the best overall room response. I can do REW and experiment, but I thought I would post a quick question here for thoughts. I will be back to 2 subs in a week, so not a big deal whatever I do.
Thanks,
Mark


Hi Mark,

Boosting the gain on the remaining sub should, of course, be fine. But, I have no idea whether you will have to adjust the phase on the subwoofer back to 0. Out-of-phase conditions most often occur with multiple subs, but even a single sub can be out-of-phase with the front speakers or the center channel, at the crossover point. Since you have REW, I'm pretty sure that you would want to measure to find out, anyway.

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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Hi,

There are at least two schools of thought on the use of independent DSP, in conjunction with systems of automated room correction. One school of thought is that you should use automated room correction first, and see what it can do to resolve issues and to provide a relatively smooth frequency response. Then, you can just use a miniDSP to tweak issues that room EQ couldn't fix, or to create a specific house curve, tailored to your personal preference.

The other school of thought is that some rooms may present problems too big for automated room correction to handle on its own. In that case, it might be better to make independent adjustments first and then let automated room EQ work with a better landscape. It seems to me that the measured unEQed frequency response, and the specific nature of the issues you are trying to fix, will suggest which method is more likely to work better. And, even then, it would still just come down to trial and error--testing things in your room to see what actually works.

One of the things to understand about automated room EQ is that it always operates within its programmed parameters. So, if you tweak some things first, ARC may undo something that you have done, or make the overall result worse, as the two types of EQ compete. Since you have already tried the second method, I would try the first method now.

Run ARC and see what it can do for you. It might do pretty well by itself. Some people with good systems of automated EQ get rid of their miniDSP's because they no longer really need them. That might happen in your case. Alternatively, you may find that there are still some things that you can improve, using your miniDSP.

The difference now, though, is that your post-calibration tweaks would be targeted to specific issues, or specific frequencies, and you wouldn't be competing with ARC's global approach to EQ. Using your miniDSP to create a specific house curve, for instance, might still be something you want to do, even if ARC gives you a good initial frequency response.

I would just keep experimenting, measuring, and above all, listening, if I were you.

Regards,
Mike
Those are good suggestions... I’ve attached one graph showing ARC’s sub calibration. The other shows how REW measured subs in the MLP. In REW the green line is peq only without any ARC. The blue is ARC and PEQ. And red is ARC and no PEQ. Chatted with a friend today who’s more proficient at REW than I am and it seems that I should let ARC just handle frequencies above my crossover point and let MiniDSP alone handle subwoofer frequencies. With ARC and PEQ’s doing different things to my graph, from what I’ve gathered, perhaps I should focus on getting my graph as straight as possible w/ PEQ’s alone?
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post #1108 of 1410 Old 02-23-2019, 03:34 PM
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Those are good suggestions... I’ve attached one graph showing ARC’s sub calibration. The other shows how REW measured subs in the MLP. In REW the green line is peq only without any ARC. The blue is ARC and PEQ. And red is ARC and no PEQ. Chatted with a friend today who’s more proficient at REW than I am and it seems that I should let ARC just handle frequencies above my crossover point and let MiniDSP alone handle subwoofer frequencies. With ARC and PEQ’s doing different things to my graph, from what I’ve gathered, perhaps I should focus on getting my graph as straight as possible w/ PEQ’s alone?
For what it's worth, I've been trying to use ARC, REW, and a MiniDSP 2x4 HD to optimize my home theater setup with two subs, and I'm not having much luck either.

You might want give Multi-Sub Optimizer a shot. I have read where others have had good luck with it, but I'm still looking for that magic combination of settings to get good-sounding results.
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Hi Mark,

Boosting the gain on the remaining sub should, of course, be fine. But, I have no idea whether you will have to adjust the phase on the subwoofer back to 0. Out-of-phase conditions most often occur with multiple subs, but even a single sub can be out-of-phase with the front speakers or the center channel, at the crossover point. Since you have REW, I'm pretty sure that you would want to measure to find out, anyway.

Regards,
Mike
Thanks Mike, that makes sense. I'll set up REW tomorrow and try it both ways. It will be interesting to know, even if only for a week.
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post #1110 of 1410 Old 02-23-2019, 04:29 PM
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Hi Mike,
Thank you for your reply. What you are saying sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps something I had read about back in the day, but didn't understand well enough for it to stick with me. Anyway, mostly a theoretical question, now for something more substantial.


This information disturbed me:


"As a general rule, crossovers can always be set higher than where they are set automatically by the Audyssey calibration. This is a user-preference issue, and may depend on what sounds (or measures) best to a particular individual. It is not a good idea to set crossovers lower than where they were set automatically during calibration, because those speakers will not be receiving any benefit from room EQ, somewhere a little below the original crossover point. They will also be down 3db in measured SPL at the point where the EQ stops. And, they will continue to play softer and softer as the frequencies go lower, so, they will not be providing much audible benefit at that point, anyway."


Since I first got into the Audyssey world with my AVR 3808, Audyssey has always measured my speakers low extension as way higher then it actually is. This seemed pretty common for other people at the time, so I just manually set the crossover at 80 and left it at that. I didn't realize that I was giving up Audyssey's EQing for those frequencies, or, probably more significantly, the db loss.


My speakers, northcreekmusicdotcom/Retired/Okara_II/okara_ii.html (sorry, not allowed to post links yet) (I have the Eska towers on the corners, Eska Centre, and Okara IIs for SB), are rated into the mid-low 50s, and I spent a few paranoid minutes earlier today confirming that with test tones.


I have recently replaced the 3808 with an X8500H (also replaced my DV-5900, and PS3 for Blu-ray, with a Cambridge Audio CXUHD and added a Sony VPL-VW295ES and a 120" motorized acoustically transparent screen) and had followed the instructions that came up as the calibration ran as to placement of the microphone, and subwoofer gain, etc. In the last few days I ran it again as I was trying out a pair of Martin Logan Motion 4is for height speakers (they won't be staying) and the results were similar: 200 for the fronts, 160 for Centre, an uncharacteristic 80 for the surrounds (which are identical speakers to the fronts), 150 for the SBs, and 60 for the 4is (which are rated to 70). Today I ran Audyssey several times, informed by the guide, threw a comforter over the back of the couch and chair, turned the gain up on the sub. I used a number of techniques ranging from three rounds just in the MLP to eight rounds throughout the room, including behind the couch, to, ultimately, the recommended pattern in the guide, where it's at now, just to see what would happen. Except for the last one I didn't listen to any results just looked at the numbers, specifically the cross-over. The fronts came up at 200 most of the time, with a few times, including the last time, at 250, the surrounds ranged between 40 and 200, the SB between 150 and 250, and the FH stayed at 60.


It's probably not controversial to say that a PC-13 Ultra doesn't do it's best work in the 200 Hz range, but not in my system, in any case. Also, tends to pull the image to the left, where the sub is located, so I'm crossing-over at 80 and living with the consequences, at the moment. But, it would be nice to know if anything can be done about it. Rearranging the room in any significant way isn't a practical option at the moment (all needs to be renovated, ultimately, but even just moving the furniture around to any significant amount isn't happening right now). Is there any way to force Audyssey to attend to those frequencies? They are there, I can hear them, even if the mic can't. Does the app allow for this, by chance?


Thank you,
Morgan.
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