I Need Advise on How to Get Better Bass from My Dual Subs Without Moving Them - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I Need Advise on How to Get Better Bass from My Dual Subs Without Moving Them

So I have dual VTF-3 MK5 HP subs in my living room area that is about 25 ft x 20 ft, with 15 ft ceilings. The entire area is large and VERY OPEN (to the kitchen, foyer, stairs to the 2nd level, etc...). The problem that I have is that given how the room is laid out, there is literally only ONE speaker configuration that will work and not be completely clumsy, and that is with my subs in the front next to my tower speakers with a wall behind them. I literally have nowhere else I can put these things due to my room layout and size. The issue that I am having is that if I stand to the side of my subwoofers a few inches from them, the bass is WAY more room shaking than where my normal listening spot is (about 11 ft from them centered in between them). I have the sub volume knobs at about 60% right now, but I am wondering if I should go higher. I also have one port closed on each sub. I'm not sure if I should crank the volume higher, or if there is some other trick/setting/configuration that I need to implement to get better bass from my subs (again, a sub crawl won't work). I am NOT a trained audiophile like some on here, but is it possible that the bass that I am hearing and thinking is good bass is that "boomy" bass that people always say isn't actually good? The bass is very strong in the corner right next to my subs too.

Any help given would be great, I just want to get this as right as I can given the constraints that I have.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
So I have dual VTF-3 MK5 HP subs in my living room area that is about 25 ft x 20 ft, with 15 ft ceilings. The entire area is large and VERY OPEN (to the kitchen, foyer, stairs to the 2nd level, etc...). The problem that I have is that given how the room is laid out, there is literally only ONE speaker configuration that will work and not be completely clumsy, and that is with my subs in the front next to my tower speakers with a wall behind them. I literally have nowhere else I can put these things due to my room layout and size. The issue that I am having is that if I stand to the side of my subwoofers a few inches from them, the bass is WAY more room shaking than where my normal listening spot is (about 11 ft from them centered in between them). I have the sub volume knobs at about 60% right now, but I am wondering if I should go higher. I also have one port closed on each sub. I'm not sure if I should crank the volume higher, or if there is some other trick/setting/configuration that I need to implement to get better bass from my subs (again, a sub crawl won't work). I am NOT a trained audiophile like some on here, but is it possible that the bass that I am hearing and thinking is good bass is that "boomy" bass that people always say isn't actually good? The bass is very strong in the corner right next to my subs too.

Any help given would be great, I just want to get this as right as I can given the constraints that I have.

Thanks.
One thing I can think of off the top of my head is to flip the phase on one of the subs. I did this when I had a couple of sealed subs and it made a noticeable difference. You could have have a null right in your MLP, using REW and a umik would help you "see" if you do.

However, while you do have some really good subs, you are in a huge open room, which may be bit too much for them. And you are a good distance away from the subs. Hypothetically, if there is nothing wrong with your FR, 2x15" subs are going to struggle a bit. And naturally, the closer you are to them the louder they will be as opposed to your MLP.

Can you give us a little more info on your receiver? Do you have audy xt32? Do you have a receiver with any type of room correction? You very well may need to turn them up but if you have a null that will not do much. What did you do to set them up to begin with?


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post #3 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 05:24 PM
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Move your seating if you can - 11ft in a 25ft room is pretty close to the middle where the biggest nulls are usually found. If you can bring it forward a foot it may help, but since the room is open, it may not either.
Can't hurt to try.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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One thing I can think of off the top of my head is to flip the phase on one of the subs. I did this when I had a couple of sealed subs and it made a noticeable difference. You could have have a null right in your MLP, using REW and a umik would help you "see" if you do.

However, while you do have some really good subs, you are in a huge open room, which may be bit too much for them. And you are a good distance away from the subs. Hypothetically, if there is nothing wrong with your FR, 2x15" subs are going to struggle a bit. And naturally, the closer you are to them the louder they will be as opposed to your MLP.

Can you give us a little more info on your receiver? Do you have audy xt32? Do you have a receiver with any type of room correction? You very well may need to turn them up but if you have a null that will not do much. What did you do to set them up to begin with?


Todd
Yeah I was going to go with 12" subs but everyone on here was like NOOOOOOOOO go with at least 15" and up, LOL. I could have been much worse if it wasn't for you guys! And I am afraid that I just may be sitting in a null, because sometimes when I move farther away it feels like the bass gets BETTER. As for my receiver I have a Sony STRDN860 with the auto calibration, but I did tweak a few things (very minor) to make it sound a bit better to me. I can try your phase idea and see if that helps at all.
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post #5 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by niterida View Post
Move your seating if you can - 11ft in a 25ft room is pretty close to the middle where the biggest nulls are usually found. If you can bring it forward a foot it may help, but since the room is open, it may not either.
Can't hurt to try.
I can try but it's gonna be hard. I was worried that my issue was simply that I'm in a null area, which pretty much sucks. I'll try to move the seating as much as I can. My room configuration just makes it pretty difficult. My worst fears may be coming true...Darn nulls...
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post #6 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So I tried the phase trick and I didn't notice much of a difference. I also moved my listening position as much as I could, but it didn't change very much at all. I'm starting to think that I may be stuck in a null area which would really suck. I basically bought these subs for nothing.
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post #7 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 07:10 PM
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Basically you have 3 options.
1. Try reversing the phase
2. Try moving your seating
3. Move one or both subs.
Since 1 and 2 did not help, you only have one more option. At least try moving one forward and the other back if you can, it may help you some.
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post #8 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
Yeah I was going to go with 12" subs but everyone on here was like NOOOOOOOOO go with at least 15" and up, LOL. I could have been much worse if it wasn't for you guys! And I am afraid that I just may be sitting in a null, because sometimes when I move farther away it feels like the bass gets BETTER. As for my receiver I have a Sony STRDN860 with the auto calibration, but I did tweak a few things (very minor) to make it sound a bit better to me. I can try your phase idea and see if that helps at all.
This forum is not kind to ones wallet, budget.........or marriage!

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Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
So I tried the phase trick and I didn't notice much of a difference. I also moved my listening position as much as I could, but it didn't change very much at all. I'm starting to think that I may be stuck in a null area which would really suck. I basically bought these subs for nothing.
I wouldn't give up just yet. A few other guys might chime in with some other suggestions. If you are willing to go down the rabbit hole a bit more to see what's going on, you should seriously consider getting a umik and downloading REW. At that point, depending on what's going on, you might consider a miniDSP. The miniDSP is like room correction on steroids, although it does not do this automatically, it takes some input from you. It may not completely solve your issue the way an ideal room placement might but you should be able to improve your situation.

One other thing you might consider is the sub distance tweak in audy.

Todd

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post #9 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 07:51 PM
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Sometimes keeping the subs where they are, but rotating them, so the driver faces the side walls, or even the front corners can help. You can try that, nothing to lose. I suspect your biggest issue is seating placement as others have noted.
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 09:46 PM
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You said you have one port closed. Open all ports in a room that’s wide open like yours. That will give you max spl. Trying to reach for a few extra hz. extension in a large room won’t net you anything. And don’t be afraid to bump up the gains.
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post #11 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 10:22 PM
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Get a Umik-1 and download REW see what is really going on...IMHO for that room size I would check out bigger subs... Two PSA V1811 would do a better job of filling that huge room...or if you have the budget, their TV36iPal would be idea... great midbass and tuned to 14hz with 9hz in to extension.
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post #12 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 10:54 PM
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One position that is recommended for two subs is to have them placed at the 1/4 and 3/4 positions of the full width of the front wall. If they are at any other position, you have them in a non-optimal spot. Even when placed optimally, there is no guarantee that the sound will be optimal.

That said, if you really want to get the most out of them, start thinking outside the box for speaker position options. Side table, plant stand, art stand, additional seating (with suitable padded cushion atop), hidden in the back of the room, etc....

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #13 of 28 Old 10-16-2019, 11:29 PM
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Move your seats - or move your sub. Those are your options. You can't boost out of a null.

If you want to locate a better place to put your subwoofer, but don't want to buy a calibrated microphone, then put the subwoofer on your couch where your main listening position is (sitting where you sit) Rerun your autoEQ again to calibrate the sub for the new distance/timing with the mainspeakers and then walk around the room while playing bassy media. Where in the room the subwoofer sounds the way you want, then that is the spot you should place the subwoofer. (then re-run autoeq). You said it was louder in the corner - sometimes a corner can re-enforce bass in a room with a double boundary wall - especially if it's an outside concrete wall corner. (subwoofer bass reflection isn't terribly affected by a single layer of drywall as far as a reflective boundary). Could you try placing your subwoofer there?

Otherwise - consider putting the subwoofer alongside, or behind your couch as an option. Get creative - make a subwoofer ottoman or table. Google image search for ideas.

Without a calibrated microphone, or without doing the subwoofer crawl I described above you are just throwing darts in the dark. You might also find your local enthusiast meet thread in the area meets sub forum. introduce yourself and ask if anyone with a calibrated microphone could find some time to swing by for some setup assistance. Make it worth their while with some pizza and beer.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/61-ar...theater-meets/


May be your expectations aren't realistic - perhaps demo other bass setups in your area:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...ts-thread.html

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post #14 of 28 Old 10-17-2019, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. The first thing I'm going to do is open up the ports on my subs as suggested to get more output. I'm also going to look in to the UMIK-1 and REW and possibly moving my subs, because moving my seating position is not an option. Moving my subs is going to be extremely difficult, but it's more viable than moving my seating position.

I'll update as I progress. Thanks a ton for all of the advice so far!
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post #15 of 28 Old 10-17-2019, 09:48 AM
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You could try and stack them, although that would be a long shot if you are in a null from where both subs are now.

Sometimes moving them or listening position just a foot or two can make all the difference.


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post #16 of 28 Old 10-17-2019, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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So guys, I just figured out my problem. I mistakenly had the crossover switches on the subs set to have my receiver control the low level frequencies being sent to my subs. Once I switched to having the crossovers on the subs themselves control the low level frequencies being sent to my subs, it's like NIGHT AND DAY. If I'm sitting in a null right now, then I'm completely fine with that, LOL. These things are thumping now.

Thanks to everyone who offered advise. You guys are the best!
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post #17 of 28 Old 10-17-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
So guys, I just figured out my problem. I mistakenly had the crossover switches on the subs set to have my receiver control the low level frequencies being sent to my subs. Once I switched to having the crossovers on the subs themselves control the low level frequencies being sent to my subs, it's like NIGHT AND DAY. If I'm sitting in a null right now, then I'm completely fine with that, LOL. These things are thumping now.



Thanks to everyone who offered advise. You guys are the best!


You sure you don’t have that reversed? You want the AVR to control the LPF crossover. You want to disable, or max out, the crossover (LPF) on the subwoofers plate amp. Set it to 150 or 200hz or whatever the max frequency is on the plate amp if you can’t turn it off outright. Dual crossovers for LFE from both the AVR and the Subwoofer is not a good thing.

That said your AVR might have set the crossover frequency from your mainspeakers to the sub too low for your preference and maybe you need to raise it in the AVR. THX suggests 80Hz. I typically prefer 90Hz with my setup. It’s a bit subjective preference thing along side the fact it’s also related to equipment capability. But the crossover should be engaged only on the AVR.

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post #18 of 28 Old 10-17-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
So guys, I just figured out my problem. I mistakenly had the crossover switches on the subs set to have my receiver control the low level frequencies being sent to my subs. Once I switched to having the crossovers on the subs themselves control the low level frequencies being sent to my subs, it's like NIGHT AND DAY. If I'm sitting in a null right now, then I'm completely fine with that, LOL. These things are thumping now.

Thanks to everyone who offered advise. You guys are the best!
I agree with Archea, this is not how it should be configured.

Also, nobody has asked yet; do you have all speakers set to Small in your AVR? Where is the crossover set in the AVR and on the sub plate amps?

If you have or have access to an SPL meter ("C" weighted), you might want to verify that your subs are playing at an appropriate level in relation to your speakers. Sometimes auto-setup can get it wrong.

Last edited by Alan P; 10-17-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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post #19 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
You sure you don’t have that reversed? You want the AVR to control the LPF crossover. You want to disable, or max out, the crossover (LPF) on the subwoofers plate amp. Set it to 150 or 200hz or whatever the max frequency is on the plate amp if you can’t turn it off outright. Dual crossovers for LFE from both the AVR and the Subwoofer is not a good thing.

That said your AVR might have set the crossover frequency from your mainspeakers to the sub too low for your preference and maybe you need to raise it in the AVR. THX suggests 80Hz. I typically prefer 90Hz with my setup. It’s a bit subjective preference thing along side the fact it’s also related to equipment capability. But the crossover should be engaged only on the AVR.
Quote:
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I agree with Archea, this is not how it should be configured.

Also, nobody has asked yet; do you have all speakers set to Small in your AVR? Where is the crossover set in the AVR and on the sub plate amps?

If you have or have access to an SPL meter ("C" weighted), you might want to verify that your subs are playing at an appropriate level in relation to your speakers. Sometimes auto-setup can get it wrong.
Maybe I did have it reversed. I had to look up what some of the settings on the back of the subwoofers even did, so maybe I got that one mixed up when I posted. And Alan P, you are 100% correct. I also forgot to mention that my subwoofer distance from my listening position is about 11 ft, but my AVR was set to like 17 ft, so I changed that setting as well. After doing those two things I am noticing a big difference in the bass. All of my speakers were already set to small, and I made sure that the crossover frequencies were set correctly for those speakers as well.
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post #20 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
Maybe I did have it reversed. I had to look up what some of the settings on the back of the subwoofers even did, so maybe I got that one mixed up when I posted. And Alan P, you are 100% correct. I also forgot to mention that my subwoofer distance from my listening position is about 11 ft, but my AVR was set to like 17 ft, so I changed that setting as well. After doing those two things I am noticing a big difference in the bass. All of my speakers were already set to small, and I made sure that the crossover frequencies were set correctly for those speakers as well.
The subwoofer distance set by the auto-setup is most likely correct. Delay induced by the DSP in the subwoofer amp will add delay. It is very common for auto-setup to detect the distance as longer than the actual, physical distance.

If you would like to learn more about subwoofer setup, I suggest @mthomas47 's great Guide to Subwoofer Calibration and Bass Preferences linked in my sig.
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post #21 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 10:04 AM
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Yea I would run both subs at EQ 2, 2 ports open, crossover switch set to out (bypasses the knob setting). That would likely deliver more output than if the crossover switch is set to "in". Commonly, when it comes to low output, the biggest culprit is that the crossover knob is set low and the switch to "in". By 60%, do you mean the volume knob is around 1 o'clock position? In terms of distance setting, sometimes i like to play the 80 Hz test tone on the BAS test CD included and measure with the SPL the output with an SPL meter. I adjust the master level on the receiver until I get about 80 dB at my listening position and I start changing the distance. If the level starts to lower as I move the distance one way, I go the other until I get the highest level reading. Ultimately, if you're seated at a null, the best thing to do is try a different placement of either your listening position or the subs, as others have stated. Trying to correct for nulls by boosting will limit the amount of clean headroom you will have on tap.
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post #22 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
The subwoofer distance set by the auto-setup is most likely correct. Delay induced by the DSP in the subwoofer amp will add delay. It is very common for auto-setup to detect the distance as longer than the actual, physical distance.

If you would like to learn more about subwoofer setup, I suggest @mthomas47 's great Guide to Subwoofer Calibration and Bass Preferences linked in my sig.
That wasn't set by the auto-setup I believe. I'm pretty sure that distance was from my old setup and when my old sub was in a different space. I never ran auto setup again after I switched my setup, I just did everything manually, but probably forgot the subs.
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post #23 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HsuKevin View Post
Yea I would run both subs at EQ 2, 2 ports open, crossover switch set to out (bypasses the knob setting). That would likely deliver more output than if the crossover switch is set to "in". Commonly, when it comes to low output, the biggest culprit is that the crossover knob is set low and the switch to "in". By 60%, do you mean the volume knob is around 1 o'clock position? In terms of distance setting, sometimes i like to play the 80 Hz test tone on the BAS test CD included and measure with the SPL the output with an SPL meter. I adjust the master level on the receiver until I get about 80 dB at my listening position and I start changing the distance. If the level starts to lower as I move the distance one way, I go the other until I get the highest level reading. Ultimately, if you're seated at a null, the best thing to do is try a different placement of either your listening position or the subs, as others have stated. Trying to correct for nulls by boosting will limit the amount of clean headroom you will have on tap.
Yes my knob is at the 1 o'clock position. I will try the SPL meter test as well to see if I can get even better response. As it is right now I am getting much better performance than I was before. I'll do some more testing that you guys suggested and see what I find.

Last edited by Illustrator76; 10-18-2019 at 01:39 PM.
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 02:31 PM
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That wasn't set by the auto-setup I believe. I'm pretty sure that distance was from my old setup and when my old sub was in a different space. I never ran auto setup again after I switched my setup, I just did everything manually, but probably forgot the subs.
If you haven't run the auto-setup, did you reset all distances and levels (with an SPL meter)? If it was me, I would just do the calibration again to be sure those two things were correct.


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Originally Posted by Illustrator76 View Post
Yes my knob is at the 1 o'clock position. I will try the SPL meter test as well to see if I can get even better response. As it is right now I am getting much better performance than I was before. I'll do some more testing that you guys suggested and see what I find.
This is better known as The Sub Distance Tweak and can really improve things around the crossover region. A worthwhile endeavor!
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post #25 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 06:52 PM
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If you have an Android phone, dowload Spectroid and do a few sweeps to see if your MLP is in a null.

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post #26 of 28 Old 10-18-2019, 07:10 PM
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I Need Advise on How to Get Better Bass from My Dual Subs Without Moving Them

Your NX3000 gain attenuator knobs are turned fully clockwise for all this testing lately correct? 5pm ish?

That should do the most output with the the least incoming voltage from the source.


If yes - I’m starting to think just buy a clean box pro. You’ve shown you can get the excursion you want if you boost the incoming voltage to the NX3000 because when you play at 85 level (reference) on the AVR you get the excursion you want from the BOSS setup. Sounds like you buy a clean box pro and feed it from the output of the minidsp to you NX3000, then your problem is sufficiently worked around.

However, at this point maybe you just pack it all up, return it, and buy another buttkicker 1000 watt amp.

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post #27 of 28 Old 10-19-2019, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddct View Post
This forum is not kind to ones wallet, budget.........or marriage!



I wouldn't give up just yet. A few other guys might chime in with some other suggestions. If you are willing to go down the rabbit hole a bit more to see what's going on, you should seriously consider getting a umik and downloading REW. At that point, depending on what's going on, you might consider a miniDSP. The miniDSP is like room correction on steroids, although it does not do this automatically, it takes some input from you. It may not completely solve your issue the way an ideal room placement might but you should be able to improve your situation.

One other thing you might consider is the sub distance tweak in audy.

Todd
This is basically my advise. I had a similar setup, layout, etc and I had nulls at my listening positions and all over the room. REW and a good weekend for myself to run dozens of sweeps really opened my eyes to what was happening in my room.

Using phase controls and the delay/speaker distance settings for the subwoofer in my receiver changed all that. It's not quite perfect, now, but it's a zillion times better than what I started with.
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-24-2019, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post
If you have an Android phone, dowload Spectroid and do a few sweeps to see if your MLP is in a null.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=giG7mQ0QJdM
Agreed. This process is a lifesaver.

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