Bigger is Better? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Bigger is Better?

I have dual SVS PB-1000 in the front of my home theater room, and they probably acoustically coupled, acting as a single larger subwoofer, because the separation is only about 8 feet.

My AV processor LFE is set to -2.0 dB for each subwoofer, which is turned way up from Audyssey setting of -8.0 dB. The dials on the back of the subwoofers are both set at just under 50%. So I have lots of room to "turn up" the subwoofers. And if I do turn them up more, then the bass is just too overpowering in all but the heavy LFE sections of the movies.

But I am not getting the impact you feel in your chest as much as I want. So now the question is, if I get a larger subwoofer and put it up front, and put the two PB-1000 in the back corners, would that give me a noticeable increase in that impact you can feel in your chest, or will it just smooth out the overall bass response throughout the room?

I can't get my head around it. Does the bigger driver give more pounding sensation at the same levels? Because I have my existing subwoofers very underutilized already. So it is a confusing subtlety for me.

I hope my question is clear.

The options I am looking at are:
- single PB-3000
- single PB-2000 Pro
- dual PB-1000, placing each in all 4 corners

I have a 7.2 AV processor with 5x200w XPA-5 and 2x300w XPA-2 amps, and speakers that can handle the power. Theatre room is about 20 ft long x 16 ft wide.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on how all this works.
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlGat View Post
Does the bigger driver give more pounding sensation at the same levels?

No. The more subs you have, the better your frequency response and your seat-to-seat response will be. Generally speaking, the more drivers the better. Scattered around the room in non symmetric patterns.
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post #3 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 08:02 AM
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which version of audyssey are you using ? mulltiEQ XT32 ? if so when going through the subwoofer level matching calibration aim for 80dB (not the recommended 75) then boost the sub trim from -12 to -9, this will help the "slam".

Try that first and see how it feels. The way it's currently setup you're limiting you subwoofers amplifier dynamic capabilities because the gain is set so low.
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post #4 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 08:03 AM
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Is it like this only at your listening position or rest of room also?
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post #5 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the replies so far. I now see there is a thread on tactile response (TR), so I will definitely be reviewing that thread as part of my research on this.


It appears the answer to my question is bigger will not get me more TR, so getting a bigger more powerful subwoofer will not get me what I am looking for. But that said, I have learned some things from the replies so thank you for that.

I have the Integra DHC-80.3 processor. According to the manual it is running Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 Full Calibration. I did notice it was light on the subwoofers so I did dial it up from what it said to do, but I will heed your suggestion of aiming for 80 dB when running it next time and see what that does. Thank you for that insight.

And I do notice that the bass response in the room changes with position, and there is some cancellation in my listening position. I guess I was hoping to kill two birds with one stone, which I now see is not valid. So I will fool around with splitting the subs up randomly as suggested, and perhaps I may end up going for a second pair of PB-1000 making it a 4 subwoofer setup. But first I will try moving one around and see what happens with response. I haven't done a subwoofer crawl and now I think it is a wise next step.

So my first priority is to see what alternative subwoofer positions will do for me, and then perhaps add more PB-1000 if I think it is needed. I am reading that getting bigger ones will not accomplish anything because they are already turned down quite a bit. And I don't really see the value in trying to get a relatively small improvement in my lowest frequency by going bigger.

And I plan to review the TR thread before making any changes as well.

Thank you for clearing up my confusion because it made it clearer what I have to do.
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post #6 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 09:21 AM
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If it's a sealed rectangular room 4 corner loaded PB1000's would be awesome. You may need to grab a MiniDSP 2x4HD /rew/umik-1 if you're having difficulties integrating them though, especially if they're all difference distances to the main listening position.

all miniDSP equipment is available here in Canada: https://solen.ca/manufacturer/minidsp/



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post #7 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 10:22 AM
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Solid advice given so far. I agree you should try spreading your subs out so they can interact differently with the room since you have cancellations at the MLP. I would try one up front and one in rear opposite corners. Next I would try both near field close to the MLP.


Far as setting sub level. For more bass output, You need to manually move the sub trim up post calibration. Shooting for 80db will put the sub trim further into the negative range allowing you more adjustment on the sub trim level without going into the positive range. I normally shoot for 80db which puts my subs around -10, then manually move the sub trim to -5. That gives me a good amount of bass and maximum headroom if you push the volume to extreme levels. The closer I get to 0 on the sub trim, I run into clipping issues above MV-0. That is really only a issue if you push the volume level beyond that level.
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post #8 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 10:47 AM
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Adding another sub will make it statistically more likely that you will get better bass, but the only truly honest answer to your question is "maybe." The single best bang-for-the-buck investment you will ever make in home theater is this $75 piece of equipment:

https://www.minidsp.com/products/aco...urement/umik-1

Then download REW software - for free. Watch a video or read a guide on how to get started with REW. There's a good one linked above. There's a fantastic downloadable step-by-step guide listed here:

https://www.minidsp.com/support/comm...by-austinjerry

None of us have any idea what kind of bass your subs are producing now. You may have wild peaks in a few areas and huge nulls in other areas, in which case you'd only be hearing narrow slivers of the bass spectrum. Turning up the gain would just blast those narrow slivers louder giving you more/louder unsatisfying, incomplete bass.

With measurement you can find the location in your room that truly delivers the most complete bass. Then you can look around the room for another location that fills in whatever "holes" the first location might have.



Here's two spots in my room. They both stink but they're the best my room has to offer. Alone each of these locations sounds empty and unsatisfying, and it's no wonder, they're delivering bass in narrow peaks at discrete frequencies. Together, however, they fill in each others shortcomings and combine to play pretty flat and sound very nice.

Finally, on "chest slam," this is worth a quick watch:

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post #9 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlGat View Post
I have dual SVS PB-1000 in the front of my home theater room, and they probably acoustically coupled, acting as a single larger subwoofer, because the separation is only about 8 feet.

My AV processor LFE is set to -2.0 dB for each subwoofer, which is turned way up from Audyssey setting of -8.0 dB. The dials on the back of the subwoofers are both set at just under 50%. So I have lots of room to "turn up" the subwoofers. And if I do turn them up more, then the bass is just too overpowering in all but the heavy LFE sections of the movies.

But I am not getting the impact you feel in your chest as much as I want. So now the question is, if I get a larger subwoofer and put it up front, and put the two PB-1000 in the back corners, would that give me a noticeable increase in that impact you can feel in your chest, or will it just smooth out the overall bass response throughout the room?

I can't get my head around it. Does the bigger driver give more pounding sensation at the same levels? Because I have my existing subwoofers very underutilized already. So it is a confusing subtlety for me.

I hope my question is clear.

The options I am looking at are:
- single PB-3000
- single PB-2000 Pro
- dual PB-1000, placing each in all 4 corners

I have a 7.2 AV processor with 5x200w XPA-5 and 2x300w XPA-2 amps, and speakers that can handle the power. Theatre room is about 20 ft long x 16 ft wide.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on how all this works.
What speakers are you using? You have plenty of power and you say that your speakers can take that power so, try a lower crossover like 40hz and let your speakers handle the "punchy" frequencies. You might also want to try them full range AKA double bass or whatever Integra calls it. That's generally frowned upon in these here parts but I do it occasionally at lower listening levels to help fill in the bass.

At higher volumes the bass becomes a little bloated though so I don't do it for heavy bass movies (anymore )

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post #10 of 28 Old 01-08-2020, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Some pretty good suggestions here, and definitely worth following up on to understand what I have before buying more subwoofers that I might not need.

So I will order the UMIK-1 and will download REW, and then the fun begins with trying to generate some room response curves, and then see where that takes me from there. Pretty much a consensus on that, and the videos also say how important this step is.

Sorry, I didn't give a complete list of all the gear in my setup, and no specifics on my speakers, so here my 7.2 gear all listed in one place:
Integra DHC-80.3 Processor
Emotiva XPA-2, Gen 1, power amp: 2x300w on front towers
Emotiva XPA-5, Gen 1, power amp: 5x200w on center, surround, and rear speakers
Dual SVS PB-1000 subwoofers: 19-270 Hz, 10" driver, 300w RMS / 720w peak
Energy Veritas V-6-3 Tower Speakers: 31Hz - 25 kHz, 250w power handling, 93.5 dB sensitivity
Energy Veritas V-5-2-C Center Speaker: 48Hz - 25 kHz, 200w power handling, 93.5 dB sensitivity
Energy Veritas V-S Surround and Rear Speakers: 58Hz - 25 kHz, 125w power handling, 89.5 dB sensitivity

Audyssey said to set front towers to 40 Hz but Ed Mullens at SVS suggested setting it to 50 Hz primarily to protect the speaker from woofer busting LFE content such as Edge of Tomorrow (aka Live Die Repeat). Audyssey said to set subwoofer at 120 Hz which is the current setting.

It will be a while until I get the mic, and another while until I get it all figured out, and then finally generate some room response curves. I have no idea how long that will take but I will post the results here. I will not buy any additional subwoofers until then.

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post #11 of 28 Old 01-11-2020, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I had forgotten ... I bought the UMIK-1 a couple of years ago, and then just put it away and never used it. So luckily I remembered before buying a second one! So I downloaded REW, hooked up the UMIK-1, used the calibration file, and watched a few videos to learn how to generate curves. I have HDMI on the computer which was already hooked up to my processor, so the hook up was already done.

I tried lots of things but finally settled on the attached curve to start out with. The mic was at ear level at my MLP. It is only a sweep from 10 to 200 Hz but it shows the problem areas, especially in the 45 - 65 Hz range, which of course is where the body slam is probably missing.

My main speakers are set to 50 Hz so I wonder if that major dip at 45 - 65 has to do with that? I plan to fool around with changing that to 80 Hz and see if it changes the curve significantly. But I wanted to get this curve posted because I am sure your collective experience has seen this a million times.

I already tried turning on the Audyssey EQ and it just elevated the same frequency curve with no change to the dips or highs.

I also attached a picture of the gear up front, and a scan of my home theater layout where the grid is in feet. That way all of you can see exactly what I am up against for placement. Yes I know it would be nice to have more separation on the towers and subwoofers but that is the maximum width I could get with the limitations on the space.

I also have an old subwoofer that I replaced with the dual SVS PB1000 a couple of years ago. The old one is Energy Veritas V-SW10 subwoofer: 23-120 Hz, 10" driver, 300w RMS / 1200w peak. So I pulled it out of the box and was thinking I can use it up front and try the two PB1000 in the two back corners. It might help figure out what works with smoothing out those dips. Maybe it is a bad idea, but I am still thinking in terms of adding subwoofer(s) and putting the PB1000 in the back corners.

Looking forward to your advice.
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post #12 of 28 Old 01-11-2020, 02:44 PM
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I had forgotten ... I bought the UMIK-1 a couple of years ago, and then just put it away and never used it. So luckily I remembered before buying a second one! So I downloaded REW, hooked up the UMIK-1, used the calibration file, and watched a few videos to learn how to generate curves. I have HDMI on the computer which was already hooked up to my processor, so the hook up was already done.

I tried lots of things but finally settled on the attached curve to start out with. The mic was at ear level at my MLP. It is only a sweep from 10 to 200 Hz but it shows the problem areas, especially in the 45 - 65 Hz range, which of course is where the body slam is probably missing.

My main speakers are set to 50 Hz so I wonder if that major dip at 45 - 65 has to do with that? I plan to fool around with changing that to 80 Hz and see if it changes the curve significantly. But I wanted to get this curve posted because I am sure your collective experience has seen this a million times.

I already tried turning on the Audyssey EQ and it just elevated the same frequency curve with no change to the dips or highs.

I also attached a picture of the gear up front, and a scan of my home theater layout where the grid is in feet. That way all of you can see exactly what I am up against for placement. Yes I know it would be nice to have more separation on the towers and subwoofers but that is the maximum width I could get with the limitations on the space.

I also have an old subwoofer that I replaced with the dual SVS PB1000 a couple of years ago. The old one is Energy Veritas V-SW10 subwoofer: 23-120 Hz, 10" driver, 300w RMS / 1200w peak. So I pulled it out of the box and was thinking I can use it up front and try the two PB1000 in the two back corners. It might help figure out what works with smoothing out those dips. Maybe it is a bad idea, but I am still thinking in terms of adding subwoofer(s) and putting the PB1000 in the back corners.

Looking forward to your advice.

Hi,

Most people seem to feel chest punch most strongly between about 50Hz and 80Hz. One study found that the peak sensations, for the test subjects, occurred with sudden percussive content at 63Hz. At least two subwoofer makers, including SVS (on its higher-end subs), offer PEQ centered on 63Hz, in order to maximize that mid-bass sensation.

Looking at your FR graph, you have an area of reduced SPL starting at about 45Hz, and continuing through 75Hz. So, it is no wonder that you aren't getting much chest punch. In my opinion, the very narrow null, at 60Hz, is probably less significant than the overall reduction in bass occurring between 45Hz and 75Hz. But, it certainly isn't helping.

I wouldn't be quite so concerned with the symmetrical arrangement of the two PB1000's if I were you. I would start by moving one of the PB1000's, to another part of the room, in an effort to pull-up that whole mid-bass region. Putting one sub somewhere on the side wall or the back wall might help with that. I also definitely recommend using 80Hz crossovers for the speakers on your front soundstage. They aren't going to be nearly as good at <80hz frequencies as your two PB1000's are.

Whether the older Energy subwoofer can help you is an unknown. You might find yourself battling some additional cancellation if you introduce it into the mix. Or, perhaps not! I wouldn't try introducing it until I had already achieved the best possible frequency response I could with my two matching subs.

As to whether additional PB1000's will be helpful long-term, it depends in part on the results you get by moving at least one of your existing subs around. Two additional "matching" subs should theoretically give you a better frequency response at more listening positions in the room. (And, they will give you +6dB more SPL, averaged across the subs' total frequency response.)

But, whether they will necessarily give you a significantly better FR, at your main listening position, remains to be seen. If you can get a better FR with your two PB1000's, you might enjoy getting two larger subs, which can go lower, and play louder, with less distortion. Whichever path you follow, I would try to end-up with matching subs, if possible. That will make EQing them much easier.

Mid-bass chest punch, and ULF TR (tactile response), both require some volume to be really palpable. And, not everyone feels those sensations, to the same extent, at the same volume levels. If you are able to get a pretty good FR at your MLP, you may be better off going bigger and lower, if it is really more SPL and TR you are after.

I think that the first thing you need to do, now that you have REW going, is to experiment more with what you already have.

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 #13 of 28 Old 01-11-2020, 04:49 PM
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Hi,

In very big agreement with Mike @mthomas47 previous post.

First try different positions for your subs. I see 3 different scenarios for you, from your picture. And may work better, maybe not;
-move the right sub to the left back corner.
Or
-move the right sub to the left back corner.
Or
-either the one in the front, and the other back mid wall or a combination of all above.

Before doing all your measurements, I will also set the all speakers to 80HZ. Even when using Towers, and I also have Towers. I always set mine to 80Hz. While some say it is a waste of a tower, a crossover is not a brick wall and your main will sound much better. And I personally always buy towers, and still set them to 80Hz.

And would also try this, set your LFE from your AVR to 80Hz and the same from your Sub Crossover on the sub itself. From Mike great Guide;
III-C: Cascading Crossovers:


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post #14 of 28 Old 01-11-2020, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been trying a bunch of things, and taking pictures of all the FR curves. I put them all onto one picture which I hope will work. I am a newbie on REW, and I need to experiment with saving data, renaming curves, and presenting all curves on one graph. But for now, I have this.

First Graph:
I of course measured my original setup with both PB1000 at the front of the room, with about 6 ft separation between them. Main towers at 50hz and center speaker at 60hz, surround and back at 80hz. It had a bad dip in the 45 - 65hz.

Second Graph:
Same as graphg one but set all speakers to 80hz, and that seemed to improve the SPL a little between 45-65hz but still had bad drops within that range so it helped but did not solve it.

Third Graph:
Put both PB1000 in the back corners. Main towers at 50hz and center speaker at 60hz, surround and back at 80hz. This seems to be the flattest FR of all of them, but FR is rolling off in the low 20's and lower.

Fourth Graph:
Same as third graph, but added my old Energy subwoofer 23-120hz front right. I messed with the Energy volume with test tone until I thought it was about same as back two combined. It didn't do much other than add a noticable hump on the FR at 35-60hz.
This is the only one that has the Energy subwoofer in it, and my conclusion is it didn't mesh well with the PB1000.

Fifth Graph:
PB1000 in back left corner and front right. Main towers at 50hz and center speaker at 60hz, surround and back at 80hz. I was very surprised to see all the dips between 20-40hz.

Sixth Graph:
Same as fifth graph but set all speakers to 80hz. Did not appear to make much difference at all.

Seventh Graph:
Single PB1000 in back left corner, all speakers at 80hz. So same as graph 6 but with only one subwoofer. Seemed to clean up the dips between 20-40hz but still something going on there. Also, pretty bad drop in 70-120hz but I wonder if that is just speaker volumes, so might clean up with Audyssey setup.

Putting subs in the middle of the walls will create a trip hazard, so I am reluctant to do that.

So after all of that I am even more confused. It does appear that two subs in the back corner is pretty good, but when combined with subs up front it looks like there are cancellations happening?

Tomorrow I plan to repeat most of this but with everything at all speakers at 80 hz. And save the curves so I can overlay them. But not sure what else to try.

EDIT - Thank you for the good suggestions Mike. And I see Darthray answered with a couple of other alternatives. I will try them and I will look at how bad the trip hazard actually is if placed mid-wall.

And I need to watch that video on setting up multiple subwoofers that macgallant so kindly provided. It is 1 hr 23 min, so I haven't done it yet, but is tonight's project.
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post #15 of 28 Old 01-11-2020, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlGat View Post
I have been trying a bunch of things, and taking pictures of all the FR curves. I put them all onto one picture which I hope will work. I am a newbie on REW, and I need to experiment with saving data, renaming curves, and presenting all curves on one graph. But for now, I have this.

First Graph:
I of course measured my original setup with both PB1000 at the front of the room, with about 6 ft separation between them. Main towers at 50hz and center speaker at 60hz, surround and back at 80hz. It had a bad dip in the 45 - 65hz.

Second Graph:
Same as graphg one but set all speakers to 80hz, and that seemed to improve the SPL a little between 45-65hz but still had bad drops within that range so it helped but did not solve it.

Third Graph:
Put both PB1000 in the back corners. Main towers at 50hz and center speaker at 60hz, surround and back at 80hz. This seems to be the flattest FR of all of them, but FR is rolling off in the low 20's and lower.

Fourth Graph:
Same as third graph, but added my old Energy subwoofer 23-120hz front right. I messed with the Energy volume with test tone until I thought it was about same as back two combined. It didn't do much other than add a noticable hump on the FR at 35-60hz.
This is the only one that has the Energy subwoofer in it, and my conclusion is it didn't mesh well with the PB1000.

Fifth Graph:
PB1000 in back left corner and front right. Main towers at 50hz and center speaker at 60hz, surround and back at 80hz. I was very surprised to see all the dips between 20-40hz.

Sixth Graph:
Same as fifth graph but set all speakers to 80hz. Did not appear to make much difference at all.

Seventh Graph:
Single PB1000 in back left corner, all speakers at 80hz. So same as graph 6 but with only one subwoofer. Seemed to clean up the dips between 20-40hz but still something going on there. Also, pretty bad drop in 70-120hz but I wonder if that is just speaker volumes, so might clean up with Audyssey setup.

Putting subs in the middle of the walls will create a trip hazard, so I am reluctant to do that.

So after all of that I am even more confused. It does appear that two subs in the back corner is pretty good, but when combined with subs up front it looks like there are cancellations happening?

Tomorrow I plan to repeat most of this but with everything at all speakers at 80 hz. And save the curves so I can overlay them. But not sure what else to try.

EDIT - Thank you for the good suggestions Mike. And I see Darthray answered with a couple of other alternatives. I will try them and I will look at how bad the trip hazard actually is if placed mid-wall.

And I need to watch that video on setting up multiple subwoofers that macgallant so kindly provided. It is 1 hr 23 min, so I haven't done it yet, but is tonight's project.
What color, I am suppose to look at since I do not use REW myself?
Because on the third graph from the top, the red line look pretty good. Just some minors dip around 20Hz, and the rest could be adjusted down.

That said, do not just rely on graph and number only, since they can be deceiving. All it matter, is how it sound to your hears. Since many time having a perfect flat line, do not sound the best for our listening preference.


Darth

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Yes, the third graph looks the best to me also. I put a title on each graph, and they are a single FR plus phase is a dashed line on each. Didn't know if phase would come into it, so that is why I included it. And the black smooth line is the mic target, which I left in because it seemed like a good reference or perspective.

Anyway, the third graph was the PB1000 in the two back corners. So just back subwoofers and nothing out front. In that one the towers were set at 50hz, so it will be interesting when I run it again tomorrow with all speakers set at 80hz.

EDIT --- Agreed that the final test is the listening test. So my goal is to find a configuration that I like and then run Audyssey to get them set up right, and then listen.

And I still haven't written off more and bigger subs, but first I need to see where I am at. With the original configuration I was running at -2dB on the processor, and the subwoofer volume knob was at just under 50%. So I had lots more volume, and they really weren't being worked hard - and that is where I started the thread asking if bigger subs made sense if I am running the existing subs at such underutilized volumes.

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what is your max spl? obviously some bigger/better subs can easily do 115db+. i had 2x 12inch subs do 110db max spl probably around 80hz. upgraded by adding a 15in sub and went to 117db spl and added another monster dual 15 sub to get mid 127 spl. then removed the 2x 12in subs and back down to low/mid 120's spl. had to remove the smaller subs cause couldnt keep up with larger subs. 120db spl is just barely enough in my space.
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Third graph for sure, raise crossover. The other sub, based on graph, is hurting your response due to cancellation down low where port tunes or roll offs are different. You have more bass with the two subs than with the three. That's why its not good to mix subs.

I'm guessing that setup will help a lot at least until the PB1000's run up against their limiters, at which point more powerful subs will help.
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Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Third graph for sure, raise crossover. The other sub, based on graph, is hurting your response due to cancellation down low where port tunes or roll offs are different. You have more bass with the two subs than with the three. That's why its not good to mix subs.

I'm guessing that setup will help a lot at least until the PB1000's run up against their limiters, at which point more powerful subs will help.
+1

Also from the those graph, it look like any sub/s in front is responsible for those mid bass dip. Maybe due the room been larger, in the back and been only speculation on my side. That said, the OP is trying very hard, and very good on him. And show that no two room is the same.


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Originally Posted by AlGat View Post
Yes, the third graph looks the best to me also. I put a title on each graph, and they are a single FR plus phase is a dashed line on each. Didn't know if phase would come into it, so that is why I included it. And the black smooth line is the mic target, which I left in because it seemed like a good reference or perspective.

Anyway, the third graph was the PB1000 in the two back corners. So just back subwoofers and nothing out front. In that one the towers were set at 50hz, so it will be interesting when I run it again tomorrow with all speakers set at 80hz.

EDIT --- Agreed that the final test is the listening test. So my goal is to find a configuration that I like and then run Audyssey to get them set up right, and then listen.

And I still haven't written off more and bigger subs, but first I need to see where I am at. With the original configuration I was running at -2dB on the processor, and the subwoofer volume knob was at just under 50%. So I had lots more volume, and they really weren't being worked hard - and that is where I started the thread asking if bigger subs made sense if I am running the existing subs at such underutilized volumes.
Hi,

From this Guide, cliff note #10 ;
Guide to Subwoofer Calibration and Bass Preferences

"After running Audyssey, it may be desirable to add most of your subwoofer volume increase with your subwoofer gain control, while not letting your AVR sub trim go above about -5. Typically, it is a good idea to raise the gain on the subwoofer high enough to achieve a trim level of about -10 or-11 during the initial level-matching process. After running Audyssey, we can raise the AVR trim to about -5, and continue to increase the subwoofer gain if we want even more bass than that. Section II explains the best ways to use the subwoofer gain in some detail, and explains why it is generally advisable to keep AVR subwoofer trim levels well in negative numbers."

Not really, -5 or -6 maybe. But your subs gain is already near the half point level, having bigger subs would help. First we must attack your present problem, and having both subs in the back do like the best solution. Without the third sub, as for the reason mention by @bear123

"The other sub, based on graph, is hurting your response due to cancellation down low where port tunes or roll offs are different. You have more bass with the two subs than with the three. That's why its not good to mix subs."

And I wish you all the best, and hope you find an happy result

Darth
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Thank you for all the input.

I have watched all of the videos you have all provided, and plan to read the set up guide you posted this morning Darth. So far all of your collective advice has been helpful in showing me that this is not nearly as simple as I thought when starting out.

With all the review and reading I see that I made one huge mistake when setting it all up in the first place before all of this ... I corrected the Audyssey distances with measured. After the homework all of you provided, I see that was a mistake and in one of the videos he talked about it specifically as a "no-no". My intuition about that is that distance setting = delay measurements & setting = potential for creating nulls if manually adjusted.

And all of subwoofer placement that I tried was just volume corrected by ear. So I think I need to suck it up and realize that this is going to take more time and effort than I originally thought, and to start over and do a proper Audyssey set up on each configuration before doing FR analysis.

When doing the set up I will watch to see what my % subwoofer gain is on the knob, and the processor dB setting. And I need to refer to that setup guide. That should tell me if I need more powerful subwoofers.

I also think that if the FR curves continue to have the difficult dips after all that, then perhaps I should invest in a miniDSP 2x4HD and see what that does for me.

And finally, after all of that, then I will be in a better place to decide what improvements need to be made.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlGat View Post
Yes, the third graph looks the best to me also. I put a title on each graph, and they are a single FR plus phase is a dashed line on each. Didn't know if phase would come into it, so that is why I included it. And the black smooth line is the mic target, which I left in because it seemed like a good reference or perspective.

Anyway, the third graph was the PB1000 in the two back corners. So just back subwoofers and nothing out front. In that one the towers were set at 50hz, so it will be interesting when I run it again tomorrow with all speakers set at 80hz.

EDIT --- Agreed that the final test is the listening test. So my goal is to find a configuration that I like and then run Audyssey to get them set up right, and then listen.

And I still haven't written off more and bigger subs, but first I need to see where I am at. With the original configuration I was running at -2dB on the processor, and the subwoofer volume knob was at just under 50%. So I had lots more volume, and they really weren't being worked hard - and that is where I started the thread asking if bigger subs made sense if I am running the existing subs at such underutilized volumes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlGat View Post
Thank you for all the input.

I have watched all of the videos you have all provided, and plan to read the set up guide you posted this morning Darth. So far all of your collective advice has been helpful in showing me that this is not nearly as simple as I thought when starting out.

With all the review and reading I see that I made one huge mistake when setting it all up in the first place before all of this ... I corrected the Audyssey distances with measured. After the homework all of you provided, I see that was a mistake and in one of the videos he talked about it specifically as a "no-no". My intuition about that is that distance setting = delay measurements & setting = potential for creating nulls if manually adjusted.

And all of subwoofer placement that I tried was just volume corrected by ear. So I think I need to suck it up and realize that this is going to take more time and effort than I originally thought, and to start over and do a proper Audyssey set up on each configuration before doing FR analysis.

When doing the set up I will watch to see what my % subwoofer gain is on the knob, and the processor dB setting. And I need to refer to that setup guide. That should tell me if I need more powerful subwoofers.

I also think that if the FR curves continue to have the difficult dips after all that, then perhaps I should invest in a miniDSP 2x4HD and see what that does for me.

And finally, after all of that, then I will be in a better place to decide what improvements need to be made.


You have gotten a lot of good advice, and more importantly, you have been very industrious in implementing that advice. I am impressed by how quick you were to try different subwoofer positions, and by how quickly you got up to speed on REW. I also like the fact that you are doing a lot of research!

I have a few thoughts that may be helpful. Room modes can be very complicated, wherever a room has an irregular geometry, as yours does. (Darth was saying something similar.) Room modes typically form, in part, based on the convergence of two walls. You actually have three major rectangles in your room. First, there is the thinner rectangle (with no wall returns at the bottom of the rectangle) which occurs at the front of the room. Second, there is the wider rectangle (with returns) which occurs at the back of the room. Third, there is the entire room.

In retrospect, I think that we should not be surprised that putting subwoofers at both the front and the back of the room doesn't work, and that having subs at the back of the room (within a self-enclosed rectangle) works better. If I wanted to experiment with another subwoofer configuration, I would leave one sub in the back left corner, and try the other one either inside, or just in front of the alcove, to the right front of the listening positions. (That second subwoofer would either be inside the alcove, or facing the listening positions.) That would essentially correspond to diagonal placement within a rectangular-shaped room. I can't tell you whether that will work better, but it is something else you can try.

If you try that new placement, measure with REW, as you have been doing. One thing I would be sure to do, though, is to take at least 6 measurements in a small circle around your head, and then let REW average the results. That will give you a much more accurate representation of the binaural nature of our hearing, than a single measurement at a single point in space will. Sometimes, a bass FR can vary if we measure just a few inches away, and if one ear hears bass better than the other one does in that instance, our brains still register the bass sounds.

Next, once you have gotten the best native response you can, run XT-32. It may be able to help a little if you can give it a little better FR to start with. I would keep the microphone pattern pretty tight, to give Audyssey a more uniform area to EQ. Section II-B of the Guide makes some suggestions on that. (Of course, you will probably want to remeasure after running Audyssey and setting your front crossover to 80Hz.)

Then, I would set my front speakers to 80Hz, and start to experiment with subwoofer boost. You can do that either with or without DEQ engaged. I still suspect that having larger, more powerful ported subwoofers will help you with the lower-frequencies in your room. But, I would expect the combination of a better mid-bass frequency response, and closer proximity to your subwoofers, to immediately increase your chest punch sensations. (Proximity does help with respect to TR.) I would play something like a gun fight scene from one of the John Wick movies. You are looking for sudden percussive mid-bass sounds.

I think you are on the right track with the things you are doing, and I will be interested to hear how things work out.

Regards,
Mike

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That option to put the subs in the two back corners across from each other never occurred to me, and it is a good idea. I gave it a quick try, without doing a room set up with Audyssey, and it looks like it is worth spending the time to do a full set up and look it over, which I will do later. Interesting ... I changed orientation of the sub and it made a difference for both of them.

I ordered a miniDSP 2x4HD. I expect it to arrive Jan 24. So I plan to spend a little more time deciding which configuration to try it with first because the DSP can only enhance, so I still need to put the subs in the optimum place if I expect good results from the DSP.

I plan to follow the comprehensive instructions by "Home Theater Gurus" on YouTube that macgallant suggested early in this thread ... you were way ahead of me with that one, and it took me a while to get caught up to you! Anyway, this video covers the miniDSP 2x4HD specifically in a complete subwoofer set up guide, and it all makes sense and is easy to follow.

Anyway, I did a lot of trying different subwoofer placement options I saw the latest post suggesting cross corner in the back wide part of the room, but this is what I did ...
I did spend the time to put the subs two front, two back, front left corner and back right corner, front right corner and back left corner, and then midwall side and midwall back.
For each configuration
- I ran a full Audyssey setup for each configuration where I took 5 set up points (each of the 4 seats and middle of seating). I set each subwoofer to 80 dB instead of Audyssey request to set to 75 dB. I also changed all speakers to 80hz. Left everything else alone.
- After Audyssey setup was done, I ran REW to get FR curves for each of the 4 seats. I also experimented with a few other things while everything was set up.
It was very instructive, and a few learnings came into what I finally did.

First, lets get rid of the ones that were clearly poorer than the others:
- Both cross corner front to back (left corner and back right corner & front right corner and back left corner) were both terrible. Not even going to bother posting more curves. So I have dismissed those options and don't plant to re-visiting them again.
- The midwall side (right side) and midwall back was also terrible. I do not have the option for midwall on the left side because I have a large shelving unit there that really can't go anywhere else. I also confirmed that midwall on the right side is a trip hazard. So that one is also dismissed and I will not re-visit it.

So I had better results from dual fronts and dual back. And I think, after working it hard, they are actually pretty close to each other:
- overall average curve across all seats is decent
- horrible seat to seat variations

During this process I ended up running the Audyssey room set up 3 times on the dual front subs, and already had REW FR on the original settings, so 4. One result I redid without even measuring because it had SW2 distance of 0.1ft which was clearly wrong, so I just reran Audyssey. So I have curves on 3 Audyssey runs, and it was disheartening to see how hugely different they are from run to run!

So my first learning is that Audyssey is not the best set up tool, and it is certainly not repeatable. So if you don't like the sound, or REW FR curves, or whatever, then your first step should be to re-run Audyssey room set up again, for the same configuration, to see if you can get a better set up.

Second learning was that the experts are right about subs becoming accoustically coupled when placed close together. Mine are 6 ft apart, and Ed Mullens at SVS told me they would be accoustically coupled (act as a single subwoofer). I ran a REW FR curve with same mic placement for dual fronts, right front only, and left front only, and they were almost identical other than SPL (dual is louder of course), but they almost perfectly tracked each other. So my learning is that I could get a single bigger sub instead of two smaller subs ... good to know.

By the way, I ran the same single sub evaluation for the back two corners, and dual subs does improve it greatly over a single sub in either back corner.

So while waiting for the miniDSP, I plan to fully evaluate dual front vs dual back in various orientations including the new cross corner in the back part of the room.

I want to work it hard, and then pick the most likely candidate, and then fine tune it after that.

Also, a last learning about if I need a bigger subwoofer ...
Setting each of the dual subs to 80 dB (instead of Audyssey requested 75 dB) was back knob setting of about 25% at back of room and about 40% at the front of the room. After Audyssey room set up, it had dual front subwoofers at -7.5 dB in the processor. So I still believe that I have lots of subwoofer.

My typical listening is at -20 to -17 dB relative to THX on the volume knob, and louder is just too much. I can't recall ever going much higher than that. And I looked at the dB output of dual PB1000 (single max output +3dB for doubling, and then -6dB for each doubling of distance over 1 meter). I have lots, especially if I do dual rear which is what it looks like I will end up doing. So I don't believe I need more output.

So that is where I am going ... finalize placement (probably dual rear in configuration to be determined after testing more), use miniDSP 2x4HD and optimize as best I can, use it a while and see how it sounds, and then decide next steps. After all of that, I will probably be really tempted to get a PC-2000 Pro, but I want to do this one step at a time.

Again, a big thank you for all of the help. Without that help I would still be floundering.
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post #24 of 28 Old 01-14-2020, 11:55 AM
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Audyssey is very sensitive to mic height, vibrations and ambient noises.

I only started getting consistent results when i picked up a cheap tripod stand with a boom arm(amazon , roughly $30). Using the cheap cardboard stand always gave me different results.

Also make sure you don't place the mic close to any seats as it can cause cancellations

here's a good video just on using proper mic placement:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Audyssey is very sensitive to mic height, vibrations and ambient noises.

I only started getting consistent results when i picked up a cheap tripod stand with a boom arm(amazon , roughly $30). Using the cheap cardboard stand always gave me different results.

Also make sure you don't place the mic close to any seats as it can cause cancellations

here's a good video just on using proper mic placement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okyNlhJ3Hvo
Nice link to this video and comment re couch spacing. I think I've always had my main mic position too close to the back of my couch (I've always tried to place the first position right where my ears would be, i bet its generally 6 inches from the cushion normally), maybe its common knowledge and I glossed over it. I have always had what looks like some nasty SBIR issues in my room even after adding treatments (and maybe still do, due to limitations I've got all my speakers on wall mounts). Maybe I just had the mic too close to the couch. Time to run XT32 for the 150th time.

So when you run do you find there is a certain distance away from the couch you want to keep the mic? I'm using a boom stick as well.

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Originally Posted by Matt Fowler View Post
Nice link to this video and comment re couch spacing. I think I've always had my main mic position too close to the back of my couch (I've always tried to place the first position right where my ears would be, i bet its generally 6 inches from the cushion normally), maybe its common knowledge and I glossed over it. I have always had what looks like some nasty SBIR issues in my room even after adding treatments (and maybe still do, due to limitations I've got all my speakers on wall mounts). Maybe I just had the mic too close to the couch. Time to run XT32 for the 150th time.

So when you run do you find there is a certain distance away from the couch you want to keep the mic? I'm using a boom stick as well.

Hi Matt,

There is a better method than moving the Audyssey mic away from the couch, to prevent comb-filtering due to early reflections from the smooth or hard couch back. Just put an absorbent blanket over the couch back, during the calibration process, to prevent spurious reflections from bouncing into the omnidirectional mic.

That way, you can measure, and let Audyssey EQ, where your ears actually are, which is about 4" or so forward of the couch back. Afterwards, just remove the blanket. It's only purpose was to prevent spurious reflections.

If I were you, I would keep at least six of the mic positions right at ear level (center of ear canal) with perhaps two positions a couple of inches higher than that. I would also use a pretty tight mic pattern. Audyssey performs best when it can be presented with a reasonably uniform listening area. That way, its system of fuzzy logic weighting doesn't have too much anomalous information to contend with.

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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That is a great video macgallant, thank you.

I also have a boom, and I turn off furnace and other noise sources before starting the measurements because I am trying to keep all background noises to a minimum.

Other than that, I learned that my measuring needs to be improved.

I am doing two things very wrong:
- mic too close to the chair - I am literally at ear position so only about 3" from the chair back instead of at least 12" (30 cm)
- after doing the sweep I don't worry about noise before it says to take next measurement - I had no idea that it was measuring ambient noise during that time

I also thought it would take unlimited number of readings and didn't know it is limited to 8 readings because I have never taken more than 5. I see merit in taking a few more minutes and taking those last 3 readings about 12" closer to the front.

I will definitely incorporate those learnings when I do the next round of trying different subwoofer placements.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
Hi Matt,

There is a better method than moving the Audyssey mic away from the couch, to prevent comb-filtering due to early reflections from the smooth or hard couch back. Just put an absorbent blanket over the couch back, during the calibration process, to prevent spurious reflections from bouncing into the omnidirectional mic.

That way, you can measure, and let Audyssey EQ, where your ears actually are, which is about 4" or so forward of the couch back. Afterwards, just remove the blanket. It's only purpose was to prevent spurious reflections.

If I were you, I would keep at least six of the mic positions right at ear level (center of ear canal) with perhaps two positions a couple of inches higher than that. I would also use a pretty tight mic pattern. Audyssey performs best when it can be presented with a reasonably uniform listening area. That way, its system of fuzzy logic weighting doesn't have too much anomalous information to contend with.

Regards,
Mike
Thanks Mike, if the problem is strictly related to how hard the couch surface is then I'm probably out of luck. My couch back is already made of cushy fabric pillows so I'm most likely stuck with my SBIR issues from having wall mounted speakers.

As I added treatments I eventually have strayed away from using Audyssey at all except on my LCR below 150hz or so and on LFE. I use the filter range with the multi eq app to accomplish this. My rears and sides have upper bass valleys that are probably just a consequence of a cavernous room and 12-13ft distances from MLP. Letting Audy EQ them would most likely eat headroom like candy so I avoid EQ'ing over 300hz with those.

For the front stage I can't really tell much of a difference XT32 on vs off in the mids and highs and I'd rather preserve headroom then risk having too much EQ applied in unnecessary places. In my room I have very few non-LFE cuts needed for the most part. All that being said I still like to try different tweaks to get a better looking 'before' graph with the multi eq app.

LCR is =/- 5db without EQ (even better over 1k), there are 4 or 5 narrow nulls (between 5-10db) that can't be EQ'd that I believe are SBIR related.
mthomas47 likes this.

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