What to do to best controller my Bass Tranducers? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-13-2019, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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What to do to best control my Bass Transducers?

Hey all, long time member but havent posted much. For some time now I've had a Denon 1912 AVR (7channel) and has done me pretty well. Also have a 7.2 setup along with 2 1000w buttkicker tranducers using the big ol Buttkicker amp they used to sell. Anyhow because I have an older AVR, I have to split off my 2 Polk subs using a Y splitter, and then split it yet again to send the signal to my Buttkicker Amp.

My questions lie more so in the current crop of products, whether it be newer AVRs (ie Denon X4500 etc) or some sort of signal processor, etc.

So from talking to Buttkicker they have told me that the ideal scenario for their transducers is to get a flat signal from the AVR. Right now I have only one output, and even like the Denon 4500 has 2 (which I assume I would use one per sub), so is there a way to have the 1 or 2 outputs but then when I feed the buttkicker amp, I somehow flatten the signal at that point? Another scenario, if I have the higher end AVR with 2 outputs, since my subs are identical and positioned more or less identically mirroring one another in my room, would there maybe be some benefit to use a splitter for both subs on a single output and then use my 2nd output to the buttkicker so I can do bass mgt within the Denon accordingly?

Just trying to understand this better, and if I have any options really. I also thought of "what if" a AVR had 3 sub outputs but I think that is just crazy talk for this day and age but shrug, no idea. Also not familiar enough with processors to know if they would modify the signal in some way to get rid of any processing and whatnot.

In the meantime, I have tried to make it so my AVR boosts the channel signal to the sub as little as possible, and then physically increase the gain on the subs and the buttkicker amp so the line itself has as little boosting in it. Hopefully thats the next best thing.

Anyhow any thoughts if anything out there can help me out and if my way of doing it now is the 'next best thing' without adding additional components? Thanks all!

Last edited by Roachforlife; 05-20-2019 at 08:19 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-13-2019, 03:40 PM
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What you are looking for is a MiniDSP HD.

In order to get a flat signal to the BK amp you have four options;

1) Run the AVR without room correction enabled (by turning Audyssey "OFF"). You would then EQ your subs with the MiniDSP using 2 of the 4 outputs, using a 3rd output to send an un-EQ'ed signal to the BKs. Unfortunately, with this option you lose Audyssey on the satellite speakers.
2) Reverse engineer the EQ that Audyssey is applying using the MiniDSP.
3) Make sure your sub response is relatively flat before running Audyssey. Audyssey will then apply very little EQ, providing the BKs with a relatively flat signal.
4) Don't worry about it and call it "good enough!"

Options 1, 2 and 3 will require you have the ability to measure your response in order to properly apply the EQ filters in the MiniDSP (REW+UMIK-1).

Depends how far you are willing to venture down the rabbit hole.

Last edited by Alan P; 05-14-2019 at 09:59 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-13-2019, 08:37 PM
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What I do is use a tape out or zone 2 out to get an un-EQ'd signal.

I also prefer to run my BK's at a constant level regardless of the listening level, which this also does.

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post #4 of 13 Old 05-14-2019, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post
Another scenario, if I have the higher end AVR with 2 outputs, since my subs are identical and positioned more or less identically mirroring one another in my room, would there maybe be some benefit to use a splitter for both subs on a single output and then use my 2nd output to the buttkicker so I can do bass mgt within the Denon accordingly?
Even with independent sub pre-outs (eg. X4500H), you would only be able to connect an actual sub to each pre-out and then connect a "Y" splitter to sub pre-out 1 to pass to the buttkicker.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all, appreciate the response.

For now since my Denon AVR is pretty old, it is more limited but perhaps looking at your list of options Alan, once I eventually get a X4500 or X4600 or whatnot, then I can use the added app to see the exact curve its applying and then try to replicate as you mentioned. Based on my current knowledge level this may be a difficult task but I guess one I can keep in the back of my pocket.

Regarding option 3 to make sure its relatively flat, is the best way to do this to set the gain on both of my physical subs higher, so the signal is more flat, or is this more to it?

On a similar note, are there any acoustic or performance differences (not counting the BK in this scenario) between doing a high gain, low signal vs a low gain, high signal, if in the end they 'total' the same?


Lastly noah, on your comment, right now I dont think I can use Zone 2 since I am using all 7 channels on my AVR and there are no extras, but if I chose to use 5 (or in the scenario where I have a nicer unit like the x4500 or whatnot), would I be able to send the source to both zones simultaneously like that? One with Audesey and one without for the BK. Sounds promising as an idea. Would I still be using the sub coax cable of just standard RCAs to the BK amp from the tape out source or whatnot as you mentioned?


Thanks again guys, really appreciate!
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 09:23 AM
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The gain control has nothing to do with how flat the signal is but how loud/quiet it is.

Have you tried playing something with Audyssey on (not flat) and then with Audyssey off (flat) to see if the difference with the Buttkickers is different/better enough to go any further?

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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No I havent tried that. To be honest I hadnt really considered the idea of disabling Audyssey in my thinking, as I would think I would love one of the main selling points of the AVR. But I can give it a try and see how it is.

The main concern with this whole thing is because I feel like there is headroom for me to turn up the gain on the BK amp to get more out of it, but then, at times, it goes crazy and it sounds like its bottoming out. I guess I am a tad lazy and not looking to modify it constantly so I just lower it till I feel that its the 'best i can get' before it has issues with bottoming out. Which works, but at the end of the day I know I am leaving a lot on the table in terms of power that I could be using. With the 'flat' signal I was thinking/hoping this might reduce this drastically.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post
Thanks all, appreciate the response.

For now since my Denon AVR is pretty old, it is more limited but perhaps looking at your list of options Alan, once I eventually get a X4500 or X4600 or whatnot, then I can use the added app to see the exact curve its applying and then try to replicate as you mentioned. Based on my current knowledge level this may be a difficult task but I guess one I can keep in the back of my pocket.
The Audyssey app will not give you an accurate representation of your "after" response. The only way to do this is by measuring your response (i.e. UMIK-1 + REW, Omnimic).


Quote:
Regarding option 3 to make sure its relatively flat, is the best way to do this to set the gain on both of my physical subs higher, so the signal is more flat, or is this more to it?
As Dolus mentioned, no...again, you need the ability to measure your in-room response in order to see how flat your response is.


Quote:
On a similar note, are there any acoustic or performance differences (not counting the BK in this scenario) between doing a high gain, low signal vs a low gain, high signal, if in the end they 'total' the same?
Typically, low signal/high gain will have less of a chance of clipping.


Quote:
Lastly noah, on your comment, right now I dont think I can use Zone 2 since I am using all 7 channels on my AVR and there are no extras, but if I chose to use 5 (or in the scenario where I have a nicer unit like the x4500 or whatnot), would I be able to send the source to both zones simultaneously like that? One with Audesey and one without for the BK. Sounds promising as an idea. Would I still be using the sub coax cable of just standard RCAs to the BK amp from the tape out source or whatnot as you mentioned?
Using Zone 2 can be problematic because most AVRs will only pass analog signals to the other Zones...that may have changed with the newest crop of AVRs, though, I'm not sure about that.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post
Lastly noah, on your comment, right now I dont think I can use Zone 2 since I am using all 7 channels on my AVR and there are no extras....

Not relevant to what I was thinking - just Y together the RCA Zone 2 outputs, which will be un-EQ'd.



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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Using Zone 2 can be problematic because most AVRs will only pass analog signals to the other Zones...

I've done it, so not a problem AFAIK.

Noah
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 07:50 PM
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Y cables are for splitting: https://www.rane.com/note109.html
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-20-2019, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post

The main concern with this whole thing is because I feel like there is headroom for me to turn up the gain on the BK amp to get more out of it, but then, at times, it goes crazy and it sounds like its bottoming out. I guess I am a tad lazy and not looking to modify it constantly so I just lower it till I feel that its the 'best i can get' before it has issues with bottoming out. Which works, but at the end of the day I know I am leaving a lot on the table in terms of power that I could be using. With the 'flat' signal I was thinking/hoping this might reduce this drastically.
The gain control on the BK amp acts much like the gain control on a subwoofer. It is used to set the Buttkicker level to blend in with the subwoofers.

The secret is that 'less is more'. You should be trying to get the BK's to underpin the lowest frequencies the subs produce. It should feel as if the subs are producing the sensations you can feel. If you are constantly aware of the BK banging away under your butt then the gain is set too high.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-21-2019, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by millst View Post
Y cables are for splitting: https://www.rane.com/note109.html

And for combining.

Noah
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-21-2019, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolus View Post
The secret is that 'less is more'. You should be trying to get the BK's to underpin the lowest frequencies the subs produce. It should feel as if the subs are producing the sensations you can feel. If you are constantly aware of the BK banging away under your butt then the gain is set too high.

Exactly.

If you're aware that there are BK's beneath you, the level is too high.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post
I guess I am a tad lazy and not looking to modify it constantly so I just lower it till I feel that its the 'best i can get' before it has issues with bottoming out.

I forget if I already said this, but that's an advantage to using Zone2, assuming it has independent or no volume control - you can find that right level and not have to fuss with it when you change listening level.

Noah
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