Protecting smaller speakers from low LFE frequencies in a system without a subwoofer - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 93 Old 05-19-2016, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Protecting smaller speakers from low LFE frequencies in a system without a subwoofer

I own Ascend Sierra-1 speakers, but this is more of a general question that applies to any speaker that technically isn't full-range.

The Sierra-1 is rated to 44Hz -3db anechoic with a typical in-room response of 39Hz.

Lets say someone wanted to use speakers like this without a sub and used them to watch movies at moderate volumes (i.e. -15 on their Denon AVR calibrated with Audyssey).

What is the best way to protect the speakers from low frequencies? I'd imagine you risk some damage if you configure them in the AVR as full-range/large, correct? Especially if you had some particularly low frequencies in a movie soundtrack.

I thought about lying to the AVR and setting up the speakers as "small" and telling the AVR that a subwoofer is connected and then setting the crossover point to 40Hz. If I do this, I can't really hear a difference when listening to music vs. telling the AVR that no subwoofer is connected and setting the speakers up as large/full-range (a good thing). No bass is lost in this configuration that I can hear. If I bump the crossover up to 60Hz without a sub connected, I can definitely hear the difference - too much bass is lost. So 40Hz it is.

So is my solution a good one? Will this protect the speakers from low frequencies vs. running them full-range? How quickly does the crossover in an AVR typically roll off the frequencies (I have a Denon)? For example, if I set the crossover at 40Hz, does that keep most of the content below 30-35Hz out of the signal being sent to the speakers? Am I actually able to protect the speakers using this approach?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 93 Old 05-19-2016, 01:53 PM
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Yes, that is fine. most music doesn't get below 40hz anyway. A crossover point is not a hard wall so some lower frequencies may be sent to your speakers. Set the crossover to 50hz if you can and see if it makes a difference.

But ultimately you'll want a subwoofer when watching movies. Much low frequency content is lost without a sub.
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post #3 of 93 Old 05-19-2016, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
Yes, that is fine. most music doesn't get below 40hz anyway.

But ultimately you'll want a subwoofer when watching movies. Much low frequency content is lost without a sub.
Thanks. I actually have a good sub, but we may be relocating out of state and into an apartment for awhile and packing the sub up in storage. So I'm just wondering what my options are for protecting the speakers from full-range signals (if it's even necessary to protect them) and have therefore been experimenting a bit.
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post #4 of 93 Old 05-19-2016, 02:36 PM
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The easiest protection is just to moderate the volume


I was thinking the same thing about using the small setting. Also, you probably have a setting that will send the dedicated LFE signal only to the [unconnected] subwoofer.
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post #5 of 93 Old 05-19-2016, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
I own Ascend Sierra-1 speakers, but this is more of a general question that applies to any speaker that technically isn't full-range. The Sierra-1 is rated to 44Hz -3db anechoic with a typical in-room response of 39Hz.

Lets say someone wanted to use speakers like this without a sub and used them to watch movies at moderate volumes (i.e. -15 on their Denon AVR calibrated with Audyssey).
For HT, at moderate volumes you should be fine even on "large"---by "moderate" I mean loud conversational level, when you can hear all dialogue clearly but the sound effects are not viscerally compelling. If you want an extra measure of protection, enable "night mode" which will dampen any sudden peaks.

For music, you should be fine unless blasting pipe organ music for some odd reason.

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post #6 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 09:07 AM
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If you set your mains to small then you'll lose the LFE track completely, not just <40Hz. So I suggest sticking with large. This also enables you to use a higher crossover with your other speakers, if they are smaller than your mains.

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post #7 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 09:32 AM
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Hi,

I sometimes get a little confused about what specific settings our AVR's will let us play with, and what the results are. But I am not at all sure that setting speakers to Large, with no sub, will prevent LFE content from being sent to those speakers. On the other hand, if you don't have a sub, I am also not sure that you can trick Audyssey and your Denon into believing that you have one. Not at least, while preserving your Audyssey calibration and room EQ.

If you run an Audyssey calibration without a sub, you may not have the option to set your speakers to Large. (I think you don't.) If after running the calibration, you then tell your AVR that you have a sub, so that you can set your speakers to Small, that will disable your Audyssey calibration. That deliberately happens anytime you add a speaker (channel) to your system, because the calibration (and resulting room EQ) would be invalid at that point, anyway.

In my opinion, if you aren't able to run your system with a sub, for whatever reason, and have no way to set crossovers while maintaining room EQ, then your best bet is just to control your volume, as suggested. My guess is that you might not be able to run at -15 MV in a small apartment, either with or without a sub. But you can judge that when the situation arises. Personally, I would probably try to keep the sub in my system and just run it softly, or with some Low Frequency Containment engaged.

The other thing I might be careful about is DEQ, because that boosts bass in all channels. Even without the LFE channel in the equation, some action movies encode a lot of bass content into the normal (non-sub) channels. And at -15 MV, DEQ can boost up to 8db at about 20Hz. If I used DEQ at all in the situation without a sub that you describe, I would probably do so with some RLO (Reference Level Offset). The FAQ, linked below, has some information on that if you are interested.

I hope I haven't confused things more, but Audyssey is a pretty sophisticated technology with a lot of details to understand. The good news is that you also have a lot of options at your command.

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
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post #8 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
Hi,

I sometimes get a little confused about what specific settings our AVR's will let us play with, and what the results are. But I am not at all sure that setting speakers to Large, with no sub, will prevent LFE content from being sent to those speakers. On the other hand, if you don't have a sub, I am also not sure that you can trick Audyssey and your Denon into believing that you have one. Not at least, while preserving your Audyssey calibration and room EQ.

If you run an Audyssey calibration without a sub, you may not have the option to set your speakers to Large. (I think you don't.) If after running the calibration, you then tell your AVR that you have a sub, so that you can set your speakers to Small, that will disable your Audyssey calibration. That deliberately happens anytime you add a speaker (channel) to your system, because the calibration (and resulting room EQ) would be invalid at that point, anyway.

In my opinion, if you aren't able to run your system with a sub, for whatever reason, and have no way to set crossovers while maintaining room EQ, then your best bet is just to control your volume, as suggested. My guess is that you might not be able to run at -15 MV in a small apartment, either with or without a sub. But you can judge that when the situation arises. Personally, I would probably try to keep the sub in my system and just run it softly, or with some Low Frequency Containment engaged.

The other thing I might be careful about is DEQ, because that boosts bass in all channels. Even without the LFE channel in the equation, some action movies encode a lot of bass content into the normal (non-sub) channels. And at -15 MV, DEQ can boost up to 8db at about 20Hz. If I used DEQ at all in the situation without a sub that you describe, I would probably do so with some RLO (Reference Level Offset). The FAQ, linked below, has some information on that if you are interested.

I hope I haven't confused things more, but Audyssey is a pretty sophisticated technology with a lot of details to understand. The good news is that you also have a lot of options at your command.

Regards,
Mike

Thanks Mike. I'm pretty familiar with Audyssey (been using it for years) and I do use DEQ on the lowest setting with a RLO of 15.

You might be right about lying to the Denon AVR after running the Audyssey calibration without a sub. I may not be able to set the front speakers to small at that point and keep Audyssey enabled, as this would require me to indicate that a sub was connected in the AVR settings/GUI. I haven't tried that, as I currently DO have a sub (I'm experimenting with lying to the AVR, but the calibration was done with the sub hooked up). This may not be an option if I run Audyssey in an apartment without a sub hooked up at the time of calibration.

And of course, if I set the mains to large/full-range, the crossover setting has no effect, so there is no real way to keep sub-40Hz content from being sent to the mains. It seems odd to me that there is no way to prevent this. Surely I'm not the first person to have this need/desire to protect their bookshelf/monitors from damage due to low frequency LFE content????
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post #9 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Thanks Mike. I'm pretty familiar with Audyssey (been using it for years) and I do use DEQ on the lowest setting with a RLO of 15.

You might be right about lying to the Denon AVR after running the Audyssey calibration without a sub. I may not be able to set the front speakers to small at that point and keep Audyssey enabled, as this would require me to indicate that a sub was connected in the AVR settings/GUI. I haven't tried that, as I currently DO have a sub (I'm experimenting with lying to the AVR, but the calibration was done with the sub hooked up). This may not be an option if I run Audyssey in an apartment without a sub hooked up at the time of calibration.

And of course, if I set the mains to large/full-range, the crossover setting has no effect, so there is no real way to keep sub-40Hz content from being sent to the mains. It seems odd to me that there is no way to prevent this. Surely I'm not the first person to have this need/desire to protect their bookshelf/monitors from damage due to low frequency LFE content????

You are very welcome! I will give you my thoughts on this whole protection issue for whatever they are worth.

First, I don't see the situation with LFE content as being particularly dire. Let's forget about LFE for a moment and just take a hypothetical example. Assume that we're listening to jazz (acoustic instruments) with no sub, and bookshelf speakers that have an in-room response of 60Hz. What happens to the musical content below 60Hz? I believe that the speakers simply roll-off naturally below 60Hz. The roll-off is faster if they are ported speakers, and slower if they are sealed speakers, but in either case they just play frequencies below 60Hz much softer than frequencies above 60Hz, until they are no longer audible at all. That means in our jazz example that we won't hear the low fundamentals of a kick drum or an upright bass. We will still hear most of the notes (and our brains will fill-in some of the missing information) but we won't hear the lowest notes at normal volume, or at all.

A problem only arises if we try to boost our MV, or use bass tone controls, or DEQ, to try to force those speakers to play frequencies louder than they are inherently capable of playing them. So, if we are listening to jazz at -20 or -15 MV, and we hit a low bass section and decide to increase our MV to -10 or -5, or even Reference, then we might have a problem. And it would probably be a problem for both our speakers and our amplifier, in that case. We would probably have distortion if nothing else. But at reasonable or "normal" volumes there shouldn't be an issue at all. We just wouldn't hear some of the low fundamentals of certain instruments with speakers that only went down to 60Hz.

I believe that the same reasoning applies to LFE sounds potentially going to Large speakers, or very low frequency sounds deliberately encoded into the front channels with films or electronic music. As long as we are operating at reasonable listening levels, our Large speakers will just naturally roll-off wherever they do, and there won't be a problem. It's only if we tried to push the speakers to do something that they can't, with trim level or MV, or whatever, that we would encounter a problem.

I also believe that Audyssey would not contribute to the problem with its filters set during calibration. When Audyssey does its pings, it is setting each speaker pair, independently of any other channels in the system, based on the measured F3 point of that pair. So, at the lowest frequency where one speaker is down 3db in volume, Audyssey will stop setting filters for that pair so that there will be no chance of boosting a speaker below its low frequency capabilities. So, Audyssey will provide its own protection to the speakers irrespective of Large or Small settings subsequently made by the AVR, or by the user.

DEQ is a bit of a wildcard in all of this, IMO, because it does boost bass across all channels. But it sounds as if you already have a good handle on that. One thing, which you probably already know, is that if you set your MV at -15 with an RLO of -15, DEQ will essentially not do anything. When you set an RLO of -5, you tell Audyssey to start engaging DEQ at a -5 MV. An RLO of -10 engages DEQ at a MV of -10, and so on. Audyssey's explanations of this have never been very clear, but there are graphs in the technical addendum of the FAQ which show the measured effects of DEQ at different MV levels, and with different RLO settings. So, for instance, a MV of -15 with an RLO setting of -10 would allow DEQ to do just a little bit of boosting. Again, you may have already understood that part.

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 #10 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon O View Post
The easiest protection is just to moderate the volume


I was thinking the same thing about using the small setting. Also, you probably have a setting that will send the dedicated LFE signal only to the [unconnected] subwoofer.
^^
This. My understanding has always been that the LFE .1 subwoofer channel was designed to add additional bass emphasis, not so much to add new bass sounds. The idea being that the subwoofer can handle the extra bass. If this is true, then no problem if you don't add the LFE channel. What do you lose?

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post #11 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I think one of the issues is that the AVR probably won't let me lie to it and tell it I have a subwoofer and still keep Audyssey enabled if I run Audyssey in an apartment without a subwoofer hooked up at the time of calibration. mthomas47 pointed this out above.

So if I:

1. Move to small apartment and do not bring subwoofer
2. Run Audyssey without subwoofer

I don't believe the AVR will then let me change the mains from large/full-range to "small", as doing so also toggles the subwoofer setting from "no" to yes" and this would probably disable Audyssey altogether (not something I'd want to do).

So I'm not sure there is a good solution to keep the low frequencies from being sent to the speakers altogether (if this is even necessary - opinions seem mixed).

Years ago, with different speakers I ran a similar test. Without a subwoofer attached and the speakers set up as large/full range, I could definitely hear some odd sounds coming out of the speakers when playing a movie with explosions and such at moderately loud volumes (maybe -20 or so on the AVR). I'm under the impression (right or wrong) that this can't be good for the speakers and that's what I'm trying to avoid - anything that could be bad for the speakers.
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post #12 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Well, I think one of the issues is that the AVR probably won't let me lie to it and tell it I have a subwoofer and still keep Audyssey enabled if I run Audyssey in an apartment without a subwoofer hooked up at the time of calibration. mthomas47 pointed this out above.

So if I:

1. Move to small apartment and do not bring subwoofer
2. Run Audyssey without subwoofer

I don't believe the AVR will then let me change the mains from large/full-range to "small", as doing so also toggles the subwoofer setting from "no" to yes" and this would probably disable Audyssey altogether (not something I'd want to do).

So I'm not sure there is a good solution to keep the low frequencies from being sent to the speakers altogether (if this is even necessary - opinions seem mixed).

Years ago, with different speakers I ran a similar test. Without a subwoofer attached and the speakers set up as large/full range, I could definitely hear some odd sounds coming out of the speakers when playing a movie with explosions and such at moderately loud volumes (maybe -20 or so on the AVR). I'm under the impression (right or wrong) that this can't be good for the speakers and that's what I'm trying to avoid - anything that could be bad for the speakers.

I don't know whether it's so much a matter of opinions being mixed on whether it's necessary, as opinions being mixed on whether it is even possible to prevent low frequencies from going to your speakers with 5.1 content. But to repeat, low frequency content is not limited to the LFE channel. The LFE channel adds sound effects emphasis, but there can be lots of sub-40Hz and even sub-20Hz content encoded into the regular channels with 5.1 movies, and with some synthesized music.

It is what it is. The key remains, to avoid DEQ, and to be careful with volume levels in the absence of a sub. The odd sounds you may have heard years ago at about -20 MV were probably distortion. In my opinion, you may not want to try to play at -15 MV in a small apartment, anyway. But if you hear audible distortion, you will want to turn down the volume to protect both your speakers and your listening enjoyment.

I still think that if I were you, I would consider taking my sub, and then set my speakers at Small with a crossover, as suggested in my first post. You might even be able to use it as an end table. Then you could choose to play your sub at a very low volume, if necessary, or to engage Low Frequency Containment, which reduces the volume of low bass frequencies, if your Denon has that feature. Having a sub in your system would keep all frequencies below the crossover (with a gentle roll-off) from going to your main speakers. Then you could play the sub as softly as you like--even below the Audyssey setting. That would definitely protect your speakers.

Perhaps none of those ideas seems like a perfect solution, but there's no reason to think that you will damage your speakers, either, as long as you exercise reasonable care.


Edit: One final thought on this. Your current speakers may be better, and with lower frequency response, than your old ones were. You have been experimenting a little anyway. With your sub disengaged in the Speaker Configuration Menu, and your speakers set to Large, are you hearing distortion with a 5.1 movie? A lot of the chest punch bass that you hear with explosions and the like is in the mid-bass range from about 50Hz to 100Hz. That is not necessarily super low. So, this is something you can test for a little bit now. Just be cautious in your approach. That may tell you whether you want to take your sub, if you are physically able to do so.

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 93 Old 05-20-2016, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Well, I think one of the issues is that the AVR probably won't let me lie to it and tell it I have a subwoofer and still keep Audyssey enabled if I run Audyssey in an apartment without a subwoofer hooked up at the time of calibration. mthomas47 pointed this out above.
Just curious: how does your system sound WITHOUT Audyssey?

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #14 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 03:35 PM
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I think you have gotten good advice so far.

I personally don't see a problem with just running the front speaker full range. You just have to except them as they are. You can't try to get the same level of bass from the Front speakers that you previously got from the Subwoofer; that's just unrealistic. But, they should be fine.

Run Audyssey without the Sub and see what it comes up with. Likely the front speaker will be set to large.

It is not bass, but VOLUME that will damage the Front speakers.

It is never under-powered or over-powered amps that damage speakers; it is always the buy running the volume control. Don't be that guy.

Also, within a certain context, without the Sub, there is no LFE. LFE is a specific unique audio channel in the sound track that only goes to the Subwoofer. So, no Subwoofer, no LFE. Though that does not mean that the sound track can not have substantial bass without a direct LFE channel.

Many of use are using Stereo systems to listen to movie. Trust me I'm not lacking for bass, but, again within a context, I don't get a true LFE channel.

If you really want to protect your speakers, and assuming your AV Receiver is sophisticated enough to allow Sub Crossover adjustment on each channel. Set the Front to Small, and set the crossover to about 40hz. That will increase the rate at which the Front speaker roll-off and protect them from deep bass. Though I honestly don't think that is necessary.

I think you will be fine simply using the speakers full range. But you have to temper your use with reasonable expectations. The bass is what the bass is, you have to accept that. The volume limits are what they are, and as long as you accept those two things, you should have no problem safely enjoying your movies.

Also, though I may have missed it, are you simply taking the AVR and Front Left/Right speaker, or are you taking Center and Surround too?

Again, many people, myself included, listen to movie with Stereo system, and other than the enveloping effect of Surround Sound, I don't feel like I am missing anything.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #15 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Also, within a certain context, without the Sub, there is no LFE. LFE is a specific unique audio channel in the sound track that only goes to the Subwoofer. So, no Subwoofer, no LFE.
Receivers don't throw away the LFE track. It's mixed into the front l/r speakers. The level may or may not be the same as with a subwoofer (it's never documented what the mix levels are, and you can't change them), but it's there.
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post #16 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
My understanding has always been that the LFE .1 subwoofer channel was designed to add additional bass emphasis, not so much to add new bass sounds. The idea being that the subwoofer can handle the extra bass. If this is true, then no problem if you don't add the LFE channel. What do you lose?
Sadly, there's no consistency to how LFE is used. How many thousands of mixes have an LFE track despite having zero low frequency effects? Just because the marketing department wanted the "5.1" buzzword. Sometimes the LFE track will be created by duplicating the bass in other channels. Other times it will be created by removing the bass from other channels. There's no logic to it.
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post #17 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I found this interesting quote in another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

I would never run full-range to a limited-range speaker unless I knew the crossover rejected the OOB (out of band) energy. Most subs include a LPF, but many bookshelves do not roll off the low end except as the speaker stops moving/outputting significant sound. This can (may) cause driver heating and dynamic range compression due to the large, unheard, bass signal.

So the $64k question is, how does one prevent this if a subwoofer isn't used??

In my AVR (and probably most AVRs), I believe that if I run Audyssey without a sub that there would be no way to prevent the low frequency signals from going to the speakers and still keep Audyssey EQ enabled. If I try to lie to the AVR after Audyssey calibration and tell it that there *is* a sub (and set the crossover to 40Hz and mains to "small"), Audyssey will be disabled, no? I guess I can try this, although it will throw away all of my current Audyssey settings and force me to do a lengthy full re-calibration.

I can't believe AVR manufacturers don't allow any easy way to restrict these low frequencies from potentially damaging people's speakers.

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post #18 of 93 Old 05-20-2016, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
In my AVR (and probably most AVRs), I believe that if I run Audyssey without a sub that there would be no way to prevent the low frequency signals from going to the speakers and still keep Audyssey EQ enabled. If I try to lie to the AVR after Audyssey calibration and tell it that there *is* a sub (and set the crossover to 40Hz and mains to "small"), Audyssey will be disabled, no?
Yes, I think that's correct.

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I guess I can try this, although it will throw away all of my current Audyssey settings and force me to do a lengthy full re-calibration.
At least on mine, you can change the speaker configuration back with no need to rerun calibration. Good thing, since it's easy to accidentally change the speaker config when playing around with the setup menus.
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I don't have a system running Audyssey to test, but you should be able to set the speakers to "small" and set the crossover frequency appropriately to limit LF energy to the main speakers.I have done that with several systems including an older Audyssey-equipped AVR.

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Couldn't you just run an EQ slider so everything that's below 40Hz or so is rejected or at -10db?
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post #21 of 93 Old 05-21-2016, 12:25 AM
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Receivers don't throw away the LFE track. It's mixed into the front l/r speakers. The level may or may not be the same as with a subwoofer (it's never documented what the mix levels are, and you can't change them), but it's there.
I don't disagree, that some of the bass content is remixed into the front channels, but exactly what is unclear.

The point is, you don't really have the discrete LFE channel, even though you may have an approximation of the LFE content. Again, I don't know how or to what degree the mix occurs, but yes, with Stereo, the bass is still pretty impressive.

But LFE is a specific discrete channel.

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If you set the speakers to small LFE may be tossed or mixed above the crossover frequency into the other speakers. I have seen so many different diagrams that I am not sure who does what any more... My Pioneer tosses LFE above the crossover, my Denon mixes it into the L/R speakers, etc.

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post #23 of 93 Old 05-21-2016, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I just ran Audyssey (1 point measurement) as a test. As I feared, if Audyssey calibration is run with the subwoofer off/unplugged, there is NO way to go back into the Denon AVR afterwards and tell it to run the front speakers as "small" (thus enabling the crossover @ 40Hz for protection of the speakers). If you tell the AVR to run the front speakers as small, this automatically toggles the subwoofer to "yes" and there is no way around this. Doing so then disables Audyssey since a new uncalibrated speaker has been thrown into the mix.

So I guess there is no way (with Denon anyway) to keep the sub-40Hz signals out of the bookshelf speakers when a subwoofer is not being used if you want to use Audyssey. This is really disappointing. The only way to do so would be to calibrate it with a sub first and THEN get rid of the sub. If we end up moving out of state into an apartment, I may not even bring the sub with me. I don't want to be one of "those" neighbors. Yes, I could run the sub with the volume turned down, etc. but I'm not sure that this would really benefit me vs. simply running the speakers at full-range - I'd probably just assume sell the sub before moving to save space and money.

Ugh. Why don't AVR manufacturers provide a way to protect the speakers and limit the frequencies being sent when almost no speakers are capable of true full-range?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
If you set the speakers to small LFE may be tossed or mixed above the crossover frequency into the other speakers. I have seen so many different diagrams that I am not sure who does what any more... My Pioneer tosses LFE above the crossover, my Denon mixes it into the L/R speakers, etc.
Normally LFE is sent entirely (possibly low pass filtered) to the sub, if you have a sub. If you don't have a sub, it's sent entirely (possibly low pass filtered) to the front l/r. Anything else would be strange.

Incidentally, source devices with two channel outputs like DVD players and cable boxes almost always discard the LFE track (plus other horrors like dynamic range compression). This is why you need a 5.1 receiver even if you only have two speakers.
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post #25 of 93 Old 05-21-2016, 10:05 AM
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Sadly, there's no consistency to how LFE is used. How many thousands of mixes have an LFE track despite having zero low frequency effects? Just because the marketing department wanted the "5.1" buzzword. Sometimes the LFE track will be created by duplicating the bass in other channels. Other times it will be created by removing the bass from other channels. There's no logic to it.
That's too bad. I had read that was the original principle of it, and it made sense that it was for adding emphasis, rather than additional effects over 5.0.

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Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
I just ran Audyssey (1 point measurement) as a test. As I feared, if Audyssey calibration is run with the subwoofer off/unplugged, there is NO way to go back into the Denon AVR afterwards and tell it to run the front speakers as "small" (thus enabling the crossover @ 40Hz for protection of the speakers). If you tell the AVR to run the front speakers as small, this automatically toggles the subwoofer to "yes" and there is no way around this. Doing so then disables Audyssey since a new uncalibrated speaker has been thrown into the mix.

So I guess there is no way (with Denon anyway) to keep the sub-40Hz signals out of the bookshelf speakers when a subwoofer is not being used if you want to use Audyssey. This is really disappointing. The only way to do so would be to calibrate it with a sub first and THEN get rid of the sub. If we end up moving out of state into an apartment, I may not even bring the sub with me. I don't want to be one of "those" neighbors. Yes, I could run the sub with the volume turned down, etc. but I'm not sure that this would really benefit me vs. simply running the speakers at full-range - I'd probably just assume sell the sub before moving to save space and money.

Ugh. Why don't AVR manufacturers provide a way to protect the speakers and limit the frequencies being sent when almost no speakers are capable of true full-range?

Hi,

I agree with your Ugh! I would like to have way more user control than we do, in all modern AVR's. But I think you are setting up a Catch 22 here. Either it is a problem to have low frequencies going to your speakers at normal volumes, or it isn't. I believe that it isn't a problem as long as you are sensible. And being in an apartment will undoubtedly make your typical MV's a little more conservative anyway.

But if you really do believe it's a problem, then include a sub in your system when you move. It could be your current good sub, or you could sell that one and buy a smaller, cheaper one (and keep it under the bed if you like ). The sole purpose of the sub, in that case, would be to enable you to divert lower frequencies to it. You could turn down the sub to such an extent that its bass was inaudible to you, or to the neighbors, but that would still prevent bass above the crossover, or any LFE content, from going to your speakers. So, there is a solution, even on a temporary apartment basis, if you are really concerned about the possible harmful effects of low frequencies going to your speakers.

Regards,
Mike
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post #27 of 93 Old 05-24-2016, 09:14 PM
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LFE will be sent to large speakers (i.e. those called "large" to the AVR) but not normally to small speakers. AS mentioned above there seems to be little consistency, however.

I used an active crossover with my system decades ago and hadn't changed until recently so my AVR experience is relatively limited as regards to how they handle LFE. I just know I have Denon, Emotiva, Pioneer, Sony, and Yamaha receivers in the house and I am not sure any of them handle it the same way.

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post #28 of 93 Old 05-25-2016, 08:06 AM
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The more I think about this, the more I believe it is an instance of trying to solve a problem where none exists. Any of you other long time regulars on AVS had this problem? Or see other members report it? No and no to both questions in my case.

I'd stop worrying about and just enjoy your speakers
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post #29 of 93 Old 05-25-2016, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The more I think about this, the more I believe it is an instance of trying to solve a problem where none exists. Any of you other long time regulars on AVS had this problem? Or seem other members report it? No and no to both questions in my case.

I'd stop worrying about and just enjoy your speakers
Yeah, but how many people here are running bookshelf/monitors in full-range without a sub and watching movies where 20Hz content is attempting to be reproduced by the speakers? Probably not many.

I've definitely heard some odd sounds from ported/reflex speakers when doing this and watching movies at moderately loud volumes.

Perhaps a sealed design (i.e. NHT Classic 3) would be better in this scenario than my ported Sierras? If so, I may just sell the Sierras and pick up some NHTs. If we end up moving, we'll probably be in a small apartment for the foreseeable future, as the majority of my wife's job opportunities are in very expensive cities where buying (or even renting) a house is prohibitively expensive.

Some of what I've read has led me to believe sealed speakers don't have the same risks of bottoming out due to over-excursion. It seems that all hell breaks loose on ported speakers below their port tuning point as the woofer moves wildly to try to play the low frequencies. Sealed speakers have some inherent protection because of the back pressure in the cabinet. That's how I understood a few of the articles I read anyway.

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post #30 of 93 Old 05-25-2016, 10:18 AM
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That sounds like a different issue to me. Port noise seems like the speakers are driven at or near their limits within their rated response, or it can be indicative of poor design.

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