Originally Posted by Ethos4Lyfe
I love this sub, but sometimes I feel it just lacks a little detail. I know ported has this issue over sealed typically, but I wonder if there's a way to clean it up a bit? I haven't used a umik-1 or run REW. I've just used Audyssey settings (I have the Marantz 8805), and then adjust the subs gain. I know I can go in and mess w/ the EQ and room gain compensation and such in the SVS app. What is the easiest/best way to try and clean this up a bit?
Originally Posted by confinoj
There are lots of factors that could be playing a role. One could just be suboptimal placement so you can experiment with that if able. Corner placement may get you more gain but also more bloat and less detail. Some people find that Audyssey’s DEQ muddies the bass a bit. If you have it on you can either try turning it off or taming it’s effect by increasing the reference level offset. If you turn it off you will likely need to add some additional sub gain back especially at lower listening levels.
Originally Posted by darthray
The XT32 does a nice job for equalization for all speakers and the sub/s, so it can be remove as the culprit.
Since the OP @Ethos4Lyfe
has a PB4000, I also doubt it is the sub.
I suspect, it is the location of the sub in that room. And also with the DEQ set to On, it could emphasise the problem of that present location.
Since the DEQ increase bass level, when playing at lower volume. And not all sub can achieve reference level, especially if it is large area.
I think that both of these posts, and another longer one of Darth's that I left out, are very helpful to the OP. I would look first at the sub's location. The place in the room where the sub seems loudest may not be the place where the sub seems clearest, so there may be some compromise involved between loudness and clarity. Doing a sub crawl, either by moving the sub around, or by placing the sub in the listening position and moving around the room, really can help to find the best location.
DEQ is also a likely culprit when someone thinks that bass sounds muddy. First, DEQ adds bass to all of the channels, and not just to the subwoofers. For some people, that extra bass can make dialogue coming from the center channel less clear. Second, DEQ adds proportionally more low-bass to the subwoofers than it does mid-bass. Relatively heavier low-bass may make bass sound heavier/muddier than some people prefer.
This part of DEQ's action is a little complicated, but DEQ adds more boost below 70Hz, increasing to a maximum of 2.2db per -5 MV at 30Hz and below. That is the first way that DEQ adds more low-bass relative to mid-bass. But, there is a second way that relates to the way that we hear very low-frequencies in relation to higher bass frequencies. Our hearing is less acute below 500Hz than it is for frequencies in our normal hearing range of 500Hz to 5000Hz. That's why we add bass to begin with, especially at lower volume levels, and that's why DEQ was created.
At 1000Hz, a 10db increase in volume is perceived as a doubling in loudness. But, as frequencies drop toward 30Hz, we actually notice increases in volume more than we do with mid-bass frequencies. It's possible that is an evolutionary adaptation, since in nature low-bass sounds are typically not good. (Large predators and natural disasters may produce strong low-bass. So, perhaps we are wired to notice those low-bass sounds more than higher bass sounds.)
In any event, at about 30Hz and below, it only takes about a 5db increase in volume to be perceived as a doubling in loudness. So, by adding more boost at very low-frequencies, than it is adding at mid-bass frequencies, DEQ is actually calling even more attention to those low-frequencies than the amount of the boost alone would indicate. Boosting below 30Hz and above 30Hz frequencies equally would already have called more attention to the lowest frequencies, due to the way our hearing works. Boosting the lowest frequencies even more than the mid-bass and higher bass frequencies sort of doubles the effect.
Ported subs may already sound slower (they aren't) or muddier to some people, simply because they are emphasizing low-bass frequencies more than sealed subs do. And, SVS ported subs, such as the PB4000, put relatively more emphasis on low-bass frequencies than some other subs do. Now, throw DEQ into the mix, with it's greater boosts in the very low-bass compared to the mid-bass, and we add still another opportunity to make the bass sound relatively heavy. Some people may like that heavier sound and some people may characterize it as "muddy".
I would probably approach the issue systematically, starting with some variation of a sub crawl to find the location where the sub sounds clearest. Then, I might experiment with both the 20Hz Standard port tune and the 16Hz Extended port tune. I would definitely try turning DEQ off and/or using the RLO settings. And finally, I might try lowering the LPF of LFE to 80Hz, and experimenting with cascading crossovers, as Darth suggested in an earlier post.
I would be very surprised if the clarity of the PB4000 couldn't be improved by some combination of those measures.