Subwoofer Problem or Not?
In my 5.1.4 system, I have a strange situation that I’ve never encountered before with any av receiver/powered subwoofer combo that I have previously owned (about a half dozen). Essentially, the receiver “powers” off the base on my subwoofer (Polk HTS-10] when it detects audio content with little or no bass. It doesn’t actually shut the subwoofer off, it simply causes my subwoofer light to go from green to red, indicating low frequencies are no longer supported through the subwoofer. In fact, if I were to then do the system speaker volume check, all speakers would produce a tone, except for the subwoofer. (BTW, I’ve switched things around as much as I could, e..g, overridden the receiver's “large speaker settings” from MCACC and turned to small, swapped out cables, turned double bass on, then off again. On the subwoofer, I’ve tried both the auto on and off settings, set the phase at zero, then 180.) All produced the same results.
Then, after a couple of days, I noticed that if I switched content on the fly, i.e., in the same sitting, the green light (and low frequency sounds) would be turned on accordingly, e.g., switching from a talk news show to an action movie,) Likewise, the system sound check would then produce a tone for my subwoofer. Since I found all this rather annoying, I contacted Pioneer. I must say, the phone support was rather helpful. He had me go through all the options I had already tried—same results, He then suggested I swap out subwoofers if I could. I grabbed an older sub from another room, and testing things for about a day, the problem seems to have gone away.
So, while it may appear that the problem is with my Polk subwoofer, perhaps not, which is why I come to you. I’m wondering if the communication between my Pioneer and Polk is doing exactly what it’s designed to do: turn on or off low frequencies depending on the audio source. The system sound check on the Pioneer just hasn’t caught up to this yet. When it’s told told there’s ‘no subwoofer' it neglects to send a test tone to the sub. (Perhaps this will be rectified in a firmware upgrade—system checks should override software settings.) So, before I contact Polk and complain about their sub—which is otherwise working fine, I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this with their Pioneer/powered sub combo? Thanks!