My down-firing Marty Cube build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 10-18-2018, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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My down-firing Marty Cube build

Finally bought a house this past May, and I got the greenlight from wifey to start this build. I had originally planned on going with one of Bill Fitzmaurice's designs, but was convinced that a Marty design would be better for my purposes after reading up on reddit and this forum. Pretty close to being finished so thought I'd share my progress so far. Big shout out to chalugadp and LTD02 whose many posts on this forum were essential guidance during this build process. Also a shout out to rec head and Sekosche who also posted very detailed build threads of their own that served as a great roadmap.

I have no experience in speaker building and only very rudimentary experience in any sort of woodworking, but my friend has a great workshop in his basement and agreed to help with this build process.

My parts list:
2 sheets of oak-veneer plywood
Dayton Reference 460HO-4 18" driver
iNuke 3000DSP amp
12" AWG wire and neutrik connectors
4 x 4" feet (I think oak)
Gorilla glue caulk, Elmers spray adhesive, foam padding, pocket hole & drywall screws

Not sure how to get images to show up in this post without them appearing huge, so I'm just going to post the imgur album link here:
https://imgur.com/a/CGLZzv7

(If there's some obvious step I'm missing let me know and I'll edit this post to embed the pictures)

Next steps are to mount the speakon post, actually test out the driver, add the feet and start the finishing process! Planning on adding coffee-colored trim to cover the screw heads, light sanding, then a few coats of varnish. Will post again once some more progress is made.
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post #2 of 39 Old 10-18-2018, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangaruse View Post
Finally bought a house this past May, and I got the greenlight from wifey to start this build. I had originally planned on going with one of Bill Fitzmaurice's designs, but was convinced that a Marty design would be better for my purposes after reading up on reddit and this forum. Pretty close to being finished so thought I'd share my progress so far. Big shout out to chalugadp and LTD02 whose many posts on this forum were essential guidance during this build process. Also a shout out to rec head and Sekosche who also posted very detailed build threads of their own that served as a great roadmap.

Congrats on the build! I hope you get it dialed in nicely and are experiencing some sweet bass as I write this. I’m glad my Marty cube build thread helped with yours.

Pics are looking good! That’s a great friend you have to help out with so much of the build. These Marty cubes are rock solid, and with the 460-HO can play surprisingly deep without a hint of strain, well below the ~20Hz tune.

That’s unfortunate your first driver was broken, but glad to see PE replaced it without hassle. This really makes me want to try a plywood build and my hand at veneer on my next sub, but that’s a long way off.

What size space is the Marty going in and what are your listening preferences? These are extremely potent and clean sounding subs for the money. Any thoughts on duals?

Speakers: PSA MT-210T x2, MTM-210C, MT-110SR x2; Atmos - SVS Satellite x2, DIY Volt-10 x2
Subs: PSA V1801 x2; DIY - 18" RSS460HO, 15" RSS390HO x2
Transducers: Crowson Tech x2, BOSS Platform w/JBL 12" x3
Processing: Denon X4200, NU6KDSP, 3KDSP
Video: Epson 3700; Screen: Silver Ticket 106" High Contrast
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post #3 of 39 Old 10-18-2018, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sekosche View Post
Congrats on the build! I hope you get it dialed in nicely and are experiencing some sweet bass as I write this. I’m glad my Marty cube build thread helped with yours.

Pics are looking good! That’s a great friend you have to help out with so much of the build. These Marty cubes are rock solid, and with the 460-HO can play surprisingly deep without a hint of strain, well below the ~20Hz tune.

That’s unfortunate your first driver was broken, but glad to see PE replaced it without hassle. This really makes me want to try a plywood build and my hand at veneer on my next sub, but that’s a long way off.

What size space is the Marty going in and what are your listening preferences? These are extremely potent and clean sounding subs for the money. Any thoughts on duals?
A good friend indeed. He's been getting really into woodworking recently, and he's an audiophile himself so I think he's been enjoying the process.

The final home for this sub will be to the right of the couch in these pics. I recently replaced my old Yamaha SW-160 with an HSU STF-2 I got off of Craigslist, so that's now behind the TV. That + the Cube should be... well I don't want to say that it will be "more than enough"... but it will be plenty of bass. The odd configuration of the room and the entrances on three of the walls do make for tricky acoustics, and hopefully the opposite-corner subs will help to even out some nulls. Once I get it set up I'll need to play around with REW and see where I'm at.

My primary aim is to have this be a great spot for movies, and I'm planning on getting some Chane A1.4s for L/R and A2.4 for center, and using my current Cambridge Soundworks for rears.
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post #4 of 39 Old 10-18-2018, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangaruse View Post

My primary aim is to have this be a great spot for movies, and I'm planning on getting some Chane A1.4s for L/R and A2.4 for center, and using my current Cambridge Soundworks for rears.

That’ll be a great sounding setup when you’re done!

Honestly, for most living rooms a single Marty cube is likely more than enough for even an above average bass enthusiast or someone just seeking to faithfully reproduce the majority of movie/music content. With your HSU in the mix and REW to help calibrate, I imagine you’ll be grinning ear to ear.

IMO, a pair of Marty cubes with a 460-HO driver would likely satisfy 99% of listeners, and the last 1%, well they wind up on AVS with a shared living space that looks like mine and just get crazier from there. My wife knows what’s in store when I get a dedicated room...floor to ceiling speakers.

I love this hobby.

Speakers: PSA MT-210T x2, MTM-210C, MT-110SR x2; Atmos - SVS Satellite x2, DIY Volt-10 x2
Subs: PSA V1801 x2; DIY - 18" RSS460HO, 15" RSS390HO x2
Transducers: Crowson Tech x2, BOSS Platform w/JBL 12" x3
Processing: Denon X4200, NU6KDSP, 3KDSP
Video: Epson 3700; Screen: Silver Ticket 106" High Contrast
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post #5 of 39 Old 10-29-2018, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Made some progress this weekend. Mounted the feet, the connector, flush trimmed the edges and did a bit of sanding. Also took Marty for a test drive and he's sounding good, although the true test will be how does he sound once he's home in the living room. My buddy and I did notice some air leaking from one (or maybe more) of the nuts we used to mount the driver. We're thinking it might be because of (a) the tight fit of the rubber seal around the out rim of the driver that is preventing the nuts from fully tightening down, and (b) rubber washers may be needed to keep the gap between the nut and the driver rim airtight. Imgur album link here: https://imgur.com/a/CGLZzv7, pics of the latest progress below.
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post #6 of 39 Old 10-29-2018, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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post #7 of 39 Old 10-29-2018, 03:17 PM
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Can you recess those screws, or at least screw them in a little farther so you can fill the holes with wood filler? Or maybe find a way to add some trim pieces around the outside edges to hide the screw heads?
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post #8 of 39 Old 10-29-2018, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig S King View Post
Can you recess those screws, or at least screw them in a little farther so you can fill the holes with wood filler? Or maybe find a way to add some trim pieces around the outside edges to hide the screw heads?
Do you mean the screws mounting the speakon connector? Definitely the least attractive part of the piece so far, I agree. We're thinking about covering the screws/visible caulk with some sort of decorative wood trim using stained ash stained to match the trim we'll be adding to cover the joinery.
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post #9 of 39 Old 10-30-2018, 04:36 AM
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I'm referring to the screws holding all of the edges of the plywood together. But it sounds like you're already planning to add trim around it to hide them.
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post #10 of 39 Old 10-30-2018, 04:45 AM
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Very nice! What are the overall dimensions?

I am pondering building a coffee table (I have two SVS PC39+ already), but not sure of the acoustics of such a setup. 20 years ago I built one with two 15" drivers, and the performance was very good.

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post #11 of 39 Old 10-30-2018, 05:29 AM
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Super interested in this, as I am in the middle of a similar build =)
Awesome work man!
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post #12 of 39 Old 10-30-2018, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Very nice! What are the overall dimensions?

I am pondering building a coffee table (I have two SVS PC39+ already), but not sure of the acoustics of such a setup. 20 years ago I built one with two 15" drivers, and the performance was very good.
It's about 2' on each side, give or take. We tried to follow the original Martsub FAQ cutlist as closely as we could: https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...8a637632ce.jpg

I was pretty close to going with Bill Fitzmaurice's Table Tuba design before I started this build: https://billfitzmaurice.info/TT.html

I ended up going with the Marty design for simplicity's sake, and it seems pretty tried and true on this forum.
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post #13 of 39 Old 04-16-2019, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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6 month update

So had a lot going on the last few months. Wife and I had our first baby and my in laws have been staying with us for a while to help out, so I put this project way on the back burner to focus on family time. Also took me forever to get the finish right working in a super dusty environment, and I'm just not great at finish work.

So the final verdict, now that Marty's finally hooked up and in his permanent home: I've only tested it out with a couple of songs so far tonight, but so far am disappointed, and I'm hoping something is just wrong with how Marty is EQ'd. I've got my iNuke set up for bridged mode, and I've set up my HPF at 20Hz, 12db Butterworth, no LPF. I have a Denon 730H, and I ran Audyssey with my other sub (HSU STF-2) turned off, and tested it just playing a couple of hip hop tracks (e.g. Kendrick - DNA, some deep sub bass in the tail end), and when I switched back and forth between having the Marty turned vs the HSU it just didn't compare. The HSU was far punchier and just seemed to fill in the low end much better.

What could I be doing wrong in my setup? I can't imagine we screwed up the construction that badly. One thing that surprised me is that, even before running Audyssey, I ran a tone sweep to see how Marty sounded, and I needed to turn the volume on the iNuke up about 50% just to hear Marty put out any decent level of volume. Also, after running Audyssey, the relative speaker levels seem to be compensating for low sub output. These ended up at:
Front L: - 3.5 dB
Center: - 5.0
Front R: - 3.5
Surround R: - 7.5
Surround L: - 8.0
Subwoofer: + 0.5
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post #14 of 39 Old 04-16-2019, 08:15 PM
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not sure why the volume level got set so high, but i would suggest re-doing those cold solder joints... also, a bunch of strands were cut when the wire was stripped, but if you get a bigger soldering iron, you can heat the wire up fast, and run the solder up around the cut strands... use some heavy shrink wrap over the entire solder joint, it may help with stress relief.

i like the looks of that enclosure.

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post #15 of 39 Old 04-16-2019, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kangaruse View Post
So had a lot going on the last few months. Wife and I had our first baby and my in laws have been staying with us for a while to help out, so I put this project way on the back burner to focus on family time. Also took me forever to get the finish right working in a super dusty environment, and I'm just not great at finish work.



So the final verdict, now that Marty's finally hooked up and in his permanent home: I've only tested it out with a couple of songs so far tonight, but so far am disappointed, and I'm hoping something is just wrong with how Marty is EQ'd. I've got my iNuke set up for bridged mode, and I've set up my HPF at 20Hz, 12db Butterworth, no LPF. I have a Denon 730H, and I ran Audyssey with my other sub (HSU STF-2) turned off, and tested it just playing a couple of hip hop tracks (e.g. Kendrick - DNA, some deep sub bass in the tail end), and when I switched back and forth between having the Marty turned vs the HSU it just didn't compare. The HSU was far punchier and just seemed to fill in the low end much better.



What could I be doing wrong in my setup? I can't imagine we screwed up the construction that badly. One thing that surprised me is that, even before running Audyssey, I ran a tone sweep to see how Marty sounded, and I needed to turn the volume on the iNuke up about 50% just to hear Marty put out any decent level of volume. Also, after running Audyssey, the relative speaker levels seem to be compensating for low sub output. These ended up at:

Front L: - 3.5 dB

Center: - 5.0

Front R: - 3.5

Surround R: - 7.5

Surround L: - 8.0

Subwoofer: + 0.5


Make sure you have the right HPF in place, as the software is totally backwards for some reason on iNukes, so for them the HPF is actually the LPF and vice versa. As long as the graph looks like what you want, then you’re ok. Also, set all speakers to small prior to Audyssey calibration. Sounds like at EQ issue, and will hopefully get sorted out.

My Marty cube pounds with an NU6K with little effort. Which iNuke are you using?

Speakers: PSA MT-210T x2, MTM-210C, MT-110SR x2; Atmos - SVS Satellite x2, DIY Volt-10 x2
Subs: PSA V1801 x2; DIY - 18" RSS460HO, 15" RSS390HO x2
Transducers: Crowson Tech x2, BOSS Platform w/JBL 12" x3
Processing: Denon X4200, NU6KDSP, 3KDSP
Video: Epson 3700; Screen: Silver Ticket 106" High Contrast
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post #16 of 39 Old 04-16-2019, 08:36 PM
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My down firing Marty Cube with UM18 makes my house protest and that is with only one light on a bridged 3000dsp with the same HPF settings/slope. I have the inuke gain set at about 3/4 and about -9 with Audyssey through Denon AVR. So, like others have said, looks like something is amiss. Your cube looks very nice btw.
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post #17 of 39 Old 04-17-2019, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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My down firing Marty Cube with UM18 makes my house protest and that is with only one light on a bridged 3000dsp with the same HPF settings/slope. I have the inuke gain set at about 3/4 and about -9 with Audyssey through Denon AVR. So, like others have said, looks like something is amiss. Your cube looks very nice btw.
When you say gain, so you mean the knob ia turned 3/4 of the way to the right? Or are you referring to the “gain” setting in the Xover menu in the DSP (same menu that has the HPF and LPF)? My knob is turned halfway up, and the “gain” in that Xover menu is at 0.
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post #18 of 39 Old 04-17-2019, 11:58 AM
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When you say gain, so you mean the knob ia turned 3/4 of the way to the right? Or are you referring to the “gain” setting in the Xover menu in the DSP (same menu that has the HPF and LPF)? My knob is turned halfway up, and the “gain” in that Xover menu is at 0.
Yes, the knob on the inuke is turned to the right about 3/4. @LTD02 had a handy suggestion for setting the gain on the inuke where you set the receiver to 0 (full reference), disconnect the sub and run a demanding movie passage. You keep turning up the gain until you start to hit the red limiter light. Reconnect the sub and re-run room correction.
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Make sure you have the right HPF in place, as the software is totally backwards for some reason on iNukes, so for them the HPF is actually the LPF and vice versa. As long as the graph looks like what you want, then you’re ok. Also, set all speakers to small prior to Audyssey calibration. Sounds like at EQ issue, and will hopefully get sorted out.

My Marty cube pounds with an NU6K with little effort. Which iNuke are you using?
I have the NU3K. I believe I have the HPF/LPF straight, the graph displayed on the Xover screen looks right, with a roll-off at 20hz (see thumbnail).
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post #20 of 39 Old 04-17-2019, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the knob on the inuke is turned to the right about 3/4. @LTD02 had a handy suggestion for setting the gain on the inuke where you set the receiver to 0 (full reference), disconnect the sub and run a demanding movie passage. You keep turning up the gain until you start to hit the red limiter light. Reconnect the sub and re-run room correction.
So I tried this suggestion - went back to the speaker levels and set all back to 0, picked a few LFE-heavy scenes from Thor: Ragnarok with Marty unplugged... and I had to just about max out my receiver volume (unplugged all my speakers) with the iNuke gain at 100% to get any of the orange limiter lights to turn on, and the red limiter light actually never did. What could I be overlooking here? Attached are photos of my amp settings.
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post #21 of 39 Old 04-17-2019, 09:30 PM
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Have you hooked up the inuke to your computer and set the voltage/wattage limit to the appropriate amount? My modeling shows about 900 watts for the RSS460HO. Since you are still getting so little output, it sounds like your pre-out may not be putting much voltage? I have used an inuke from a Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer AVR and haven't had any problems with insufficient voltage where I couldn't get good output/up to clipping (red light) if turned up enough. An aside, be sure you set your phase to 180 in the inuke as both the 1000 and 3000 dsp models are reversed from the factory.

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post #22 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 09:46 AM
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My down-firing Marty Cube build

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Originally Posted by kangaruse View Post
I have the NU3K. I believe I have the HPF/LPF straight, the graph displayed on the Xover screen looks right, with a roll-off at 20hz (see thumbnail).

Yes, your DSP looks correct. Not sure if it’s a wiring issue then, double check you’re setup properly inside the Speakon connector for bridge mode to the correct terminals. The input sensitivity of the iNuke is very low, so nearly all modern AVR’s output voltage can drive them full tilt with no issues. It sounds like you’re only getting a fraction of the available power which could be the case.

I think it’s supposed to be wired with an NL4 connector to 1+ and 1- at the speaker and 1+ and 2- at the amp end for bridge mode. Did you wire it up this way?

Speakers: PSA MT-210T x2, MTM-210C, MT-110SR x2; Atmos - SVS Satellite x2, DIY Volt-10 x2
Subs: PSA V1801 x2; DIY - 18" RSS460HO, 15" RSS390HO x2
Transducers: Crowson Tech x2, BOSS Platform w/JBL 12" x3
Processing: Denon X4200, NU6KDSP, 3KDSP
Video: Epson 3700; Screen: Silver Ticket 106" High Contrast
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post #23 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 11:19 AM
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I think it’s supposed to be wired with an NL4 connector to 1+ and 1- at the speaker and 1+ and 2- at the amp end for bridge mode. Did you wire it up this way?

Pretty sure it's +1/+2 at the amp end for bridged mode. All other connections in the chain should be +1/-1.
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post #24 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Pretty sure it's +1/+2 at the amp end for bridged mode. All other connections in the chain should be +1/-1.
I actually wired all of my connections to +1/+2, including the port on the sub cabinet.
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post #25 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kangaruse View Post
I actually wired all of my connections to +1/+2, including the port on the sub cabinet.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...mode-help.html
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post #26 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zarkoff500 View Post
Have you hooked up the inuke to your computer and set the voltage/wattage limit to the appropriate amount? My modeling shows about 900 watts for the RSS460HO. Since you are still getting so little output, it sounds like your pre-out may not be putting much voltage? I have used an inuke from a Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer AVR and haven't had any problems with insufficient voltage where I couldn't get good output/up to clipping (red light) if turned up enough. An aside, be sure you set your phase to 180 in the inuke as both the 1000 and 3000 dsp models are reversed from the factory.
I haven't changed any other settings aside from the crossover menu, I don't think. You're talking about the Peak Limiter setting, right? I just realized I never set that at all, including the load. I just set that to 4ohm and I was able to adjust the voltage peak so that the wattage is around 900, but the "load" setting isn't staying at 4ohm when I close and reopen the Remote Connect software.

I just did another retest of the amp after changing this setting, and if I put the knob to about 3/4 the LFE effects are alright, but I could easily turn it all the way up with the volume around -27, and it's fairly strong but nothing to write home about. Attached are screenshots of the DSP Setup and Crossover screens before I made that change, and the Setup screen afterward ("Load" and "W" fields are blank as those settings aren't staying populated for some reason).
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post #27 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
Hm, wish that was my issue but I don't think I'm having the same problem that guy was. All of my connectors/posts are 4-post, and every connector terminal and post is wired so that +1 = positive = red wires, +2 = negative = black. Also if that was my issue I don't think it would explain my amp limiter lights not illuminating unless I nearly max out my receiver volume.

Appreciate the idea though, I'm new to this so I'm sure I'm missing something obvious.
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post #28 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangaruse View Post
Hm, wish that was my issue but I don't think I'm having the same problem that guy was. All of my connectors/posts are 4-post, and every connector terminal and post is wired so that +1 = positive = red wires, +2 = negative = black. Also if that was my issue I don't think it would explain my amp limiter lights not illuminating unless I nearly max out my receiver volume.



Appreciate the idea though, I'm new to this so I'm sure I'm missing something obvious.

I’ve never ran bridge mode on my amps, but I was fairly certain you don’t wire them all at the exact same leads on each end of the NL4 like you have. Could be wrong, but double check how you have it wired is correct per the manual and other forums.

I can’t get my amp to tickle more than a few lights on my marty cube and that’s OK. I have a 6KDSP, so essentially the same power on one channel as you’re running bridged. Due to my fairly nearfield placement about 3’ to the right of the MLP, it uses very little power and I have maybe seen two lights ever during extremely heavy bass with the bass well at or above reference level and with extra EQ applied. So not seeing your amp max the limiter is more room/placement dependent.

This still doesn’t explain why your output is low though. Without measuring your room response, hard to say.

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post #29 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sekosche View Post
I’ve never ran bridge mode on my amps, but I was fairly certain you don’t wire them all at the exact same leads on each end of the NL4 like you have. Could be wrong, but double check how you have it wired is correct per the manual and other forums.

I can’t get my amp to tickle more than a few lights on my marty cube and that’s OK. I have a 6KDSP, so essentially the same power on one channel as you’re running bridged. Due to my fairly nearfield placement about 3’ to the right of the MLP, it uses very little power and I have maybe seen two lights ever during extremely heavy bass with the bass well at or above reference level and with extra EQ applied. So not seeing your amp max the limiter is more room/placement dependent.

This still doesn’t explain why your output is low though. Without measuring your room response, hard to say.
No you're right, I definitely didn't need to change all of the connectors' wiring, but I misunderstood the instructions I read and had already changed most of them, so I just kept going. From what I read though, it shouldn't matter as long as the path from the +2 coming out of the amp ends up at the negative terminal on the driver, I should be fine, and I've checked all the connections a few times now.

Regarding the limiter lights, I'm sure I'd rarely if ever be every playing Marty that loud, but is it right that I should need to nearly max out my receiver volume and 100% max my amp volume to get any of those lights? If not, then I have to assume something is off in either a) my receiver settings, which I don't see how that could be the case since my HSU hits much harder than Marty is able to right now, or b) my iNuke settings, which could very well be the case since I'm a noob at this and had completely overlooked setting the limiter.

Just did a quick by-ear test of the relative volume of Marty vs my HSU STF-2 using the "THX Subwoofer Test" track on youtube, and I'd say the Marty with amp gain at 100% is about equal to the HSU at 50% volume.
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post #30 of 39 Old 04-18-2019, 09:49 PM
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It sounds like you would benefit from a UMIK and REW. Try turning the knob fully clockwise and see if you can get audyssey cal to-11dB. Then if you want more bass go back to the AVR after the cal and increase the sub trim back another 6dB or so. That approach seems to work for many people, and if you want to get more you should buy yourself a UMIK so you can measure the response. Some of what you hear could be the sub responding with the room and if the sub isn’t crossing over to the speakers properly.
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