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post #1 of 31 Old 01-20-2020, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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5.0 System: Large/Small/Bi-Amp

I received surround sound speakers for Christmas, and they are rated for 80w of power. Since my receiver pushes 105w per channel with 7 channels, I'm concerned about overloading these new speakers. I am toying with the idea of setting the surround speakers to the small setting and then bi-amping my front speakers and keeping them set to large. Since I do not have a subwoofer, I will set the LFE to play out the front channels. Thoughts?

Receiver: Yamaha RX-V863 (105w x 7 channels)
Fronts: JBL Studio 280 (200w)
Surround: JBL Studio 2 6IW (80w)
Center: JBL Studio 235C (150w)
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-20-2020, 11:35 PM
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That 105w is probably closer to 20-30w RMS for your surrounds.
Run your LCR as Large and Surrounds as small
Bi-amping does nothing so don't worry about that.
Then turn it up loud and enjoy
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-21-2020, 07:35 AM
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if you don't have a sub there is no large/small setting.

and you will want to read up on bi amping facts when only using one unit.

you won't hurt 80w surrounds with a 105w receiver, it isn't that simple, what is actually happening is more complex, but not a concern for this set up.

Music, more music.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-21-2020, 09:10 AM
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If you go crazy with the volume knob its the center and front speakers that are most at risk, not the surrounds.


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post #5 of 31 Old 01-21-2020, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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So I just got off a chat with Yamaha, and the agent says that since the maximum power consumption is 400w, we can divide that by 7 to get ~57w per channel when running 7 channels. By bi-amping the front, he says that I'm doubling the 57w per front L/R channel, so the speakers carrying the LFE signal are now powered with 114 watts each. I looked at my manual and confirmed that I can send sub crossover levels as an LFE signal to my front L/R speakers. It looks like my surrounds will be properly powered at under 80w, and I should be a happy camper!!


Now, the only questions I have is if this power consumption divided by channels powered formula is a real thing, and if it is a real thing, would I be better off single amping my front L/R speakers for 80w per channel x 5 channels? With the extra LFE bass going to my front L/R speakers, I'd imagine bi-amping would be the way to go, but I'm open to hear what others have to say. It seems that bi-amping is frowned upon in this forum. Thanks.
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Forget bi-amping out of the same power supply. If you had a separate amp with a separate power supply, then it might be effective in that configuration. Just hook all the speakers up, one channel each and move on. There is nothing special necessary for you to have an enjoyable experience with your HT (except getting a sub). All those watt ratings are generally unimportant, and many are just made-up by marketing departments to sell their product.



Relax and enjoy your system.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #7 of 31 Old 01-22-2020, 04:19 AM
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My basic understanding :


400w is peak power consumption.

Divide by 7 = 57w peak
Divide by 2 = 28w RMS
Times by 75% efficiency = 21w RMS and 42w peak being sent to your speakers,



Bi-amping will not send 42w (2 x 21) to your front speakers - it will send 21w to the woofer and 21w to the tweeter.

21w will be further attenuated by the crossover to protect the tweeter



If you don't bi-amp :


400w is peak power consumption.

Divide by 5 = 80w peak
Divide by 2 = 40w RMS
Times by 75% efficiency = 30w RMS and 60w peak being sent to your speakers, which is then split between woofer and tweeter.
Potential split would be 21w/9w



So effectively the same as bi-amping



Either way the difference is probably so small as to be inaudible. If you decide to try it - try getting someone else to set it up and do the test half a dozen times and not tell you which set up is running and then see if you can hear a difference.
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-22-2020, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterida View Post
My basic understanding :
is wrong. The power number on the back of an AVR is not max power but an average power drawn from the outlet with all channels driven at 1/8th full power (to the load). It's to give a useful number to someone who needs to calculate thermal loads in a rack or distribution in a network (in Australia it's termed 'maximum demand', probably different elsewhere) for an appliance that draws a highly variable load. No amp is ever going to be outputting more than 1/8th power in the load for more than brief intervals, and for most amps it will never do it at all in most domestic environments.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-22-2020, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterida View Post
My basic understanding :


400w is peak power consumption.

Divide by 7 = 57w peak
Divide by 2 = 28w RMS
Times by 75% efficiency = 21w RMS and 42w peak being sent to your speakers,



Bi-amping will not send 42w (2 x 21) to your front speakers - it will send 21w to the woofer and 21w to the tweeter.

21w will be further attenuated by the crossover to protect the tweeter



If you don't bi-amp :


400w is peak power consumption.

Divide by 5 = 80w peak
Divide by 2 = 40w RMS
Times by 75% efficiency = 30w RMS and 60w peak being sent to your speakers, which is then split between woofer and tweeter.
Potential split would be 21w/9w



So effectively the same as bi-amping



Either way the difference is probably so small as to be inaudible. If you decide to try it - try getting someone else to set it up and do the test half a dozen times and not tell you which set up is running and then see if you can hear a difference.
Did the Yamaha Rep say Peak power "consumption" is 400 watts or did you mean to type 400 watts peak output? IIRC output will always be less than consumption because they simply haven't figured out how to make 100% efficient receivers.

Reagardless, take it from someone who has chased the bi-amping/wiring rabbit down the hole - don't bother. I've done it from my old Yamaha receiver bi-amping to using separate 200 wpc Rotels for each main off that and my Integra Pre/Pros over the years.

The tweeter takes so little current removing that load and putting it on a separate channel is inconsequential. If you have the extra cables to experiment and just have to know for your self I totally understand but unless you're in megabuck gear with external x-overs, modifying the internal crossovers in your speakers to physically disconnect the Highs & Lows (blah blah take all the fun out of it blah) it's irrelevant . You can feel better about using all of the functions your gear can perform but it's really not going to yield any audible benefits.

You'll impact your system far more by experimenting with speaker placement, toe in etc, even putting a rug down to cover a hard surface floor. If that's not enough I'd say the next upgrade is to add a sub. That's your next bang for your buck return but do your homework and get the right one. It takes a lot of the power load off your receiver and add or reinforces octaves you're missing out on. (Honestly I'd totally forget about bi-wiring/amping and start researching subwoofers right now - but that's just me It can add a whole new dimension if you do it right.

From there - Room treatment. Whether it's acoustic panels or just re-arranging furniture, rugs, heavy drapes etc. it makes more of a difference than you can try to force with electronics and makes their job easier both in producing good sound (Fighting the room less) and also gives room correction software a better starting point.

Do what you have to do for peace of mind with the bi-amping but don't fool yourself. Just trying to save you some of the time I spent chasing my own tail with this. Trust your ears and have fun with it.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-22-2020, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artzilla View Post
IIRC output will always be less than consumption because they simply haven't figured out how to make 100% efficient receivers.
Of course; A/B is about 55% efficient max. However, it's how the consumption figure comes about which is what I explained just before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artzilla View Post
Reagardless, take it from someone who has chased the bi-amping/wiring rabbit down the hole - don't bother.
Biwiring = 100% waste of time. Passive biamping, ie the type used with receivers as described in this thread = 100% waste of time.


Active biamping, where there is no xover in the speaker and a line level unit does the xover/EQ before passiing the signal on to 4 ch of amplification can be very worthwhile.
Just being a pedant as the terms are often used interchangeable, and they shouldn't be.

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post #11 of 31 Old 01-22-2020, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Of course; A/B is about 55% efficient max. However, it's how the consumption figure comes about which is what I explained just before.

Biwiring = 100% waste of time. Passive biamping, ie the type used with receivers as described in this thread = 100% waste of time.


Active biamping, where there is no xover in the speaker and a line level unit does the xover/EQ before passiing the signal on to 4 ch of amplification can be very worthwhile.
Just being a pedant as the terms are often used interchangeable, and they shouldn't be.
Agreed - both different and I've tried both - but have not exploited true bi-amping to the extent it can actually be beneficial as I think we agree on. That was kind of my point for the OP - getting into a scenario well beyond where the OP seems to be. Perhaps I was less articulate/technical than I could have been but I think we are essentially saying the same thing. I touched on the active vs passive (in so many words - not literally - at least that was my meaning) but as a potentially beneficial, but unrealistic scenario for the OP.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
an average power drawn from the outlet with all channels driven at 1/8th full power (to the load).
Can you explain this a bit more ?
If my understanding of the above is correct then a 5 channel amp stickered at 400w should be putting out 640w per channel :

400 / 5 x 8 = 640
Obviously that is wrong but I am very confused about this.

I have seen amps advertised as xxWPC all channels driven and when you mulitply the wpc by the number of channels and then divide by 75% (an approximation of efficiency) the number always comes out at the advertised power consumption figure, give or take a few watts.



Not arguing here - just want to understand it better


P.S and off-topic - A9X 308 - do you have one ?? I am jealous if you do
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-22-2020, 11:45 PM
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Most receivers are rated for two channels driven (simultaneously) ... so the wattage number can exceed 100 (folks like 100 watts, cause more is better, right?). In reality, once all the channels are driven at once, that wattage gets divided up among 7 channels, so you have significantly less than the rated wattage per channel.

Some really weak receivers show rated watts for only one channel driven (but it's over 100 watts!). Every once in a while you find an amp that is rated for all channels driven, but those are few and far between.

The bottom line is that it isn't just a direct mathematical equation ... and even if it was, you can't rely on the numbers being fed into the equation.

Put the numbers out of your mind and just listen. Does it sound good? That is all that really matters. Obsessing over the numbers is just going to result in more obsessing over the numbers. Stop while your sanity remains intact!


It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #14 of 31 Old 01-23-2020, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Most receivers are rated for two channels driven (simultaneously) ... so the wattage number can exceed 100 (folks like 100 watts, cause more is better, right?). In reality, once all the channels are driven at once, that wattage gets divided up among 7 channels, so you have significantly less than the rated wattage per channel.
However, this is a completely unrepresentative number as the all channels driven test is the same amplitude and phase sinewave. This will never happen with program, so it's an irrelevant and unrepresentative test and is best ignored.

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Can you explain this a bit more ?
Sorry, I saw this post after the other I just replied to. I'll expand tomorrow as I've just gotten home after 14hrs of work in 40+C temps and I'm stuffed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niterida View Post
P.S and off-topic - A9X 308 - do you have one ?? I am jealous if you do
No, I wish. The name came as I had dozens of different user names all over the place, and I thought about just having one. It was the day Brockie died, and my fave bit of Aussie motor racing is the final (record setting) lap in the 1979 Bathurst done in an A9X, so I thought it appropriate. I'm more of a Ford guy, but have loved the LH/LX since I first saw one as a teen.

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post #16 of 31 Old 01-23-2020, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everybody for the fantastic replies; this is exactly why I come to these forums. If it makes any difference, I've added some info from my owners manual. Is it possible that there are actually multiple amplifiers in this unit? From the way I'm reading this it shows that RMS output is 735 watts which I'd imagine to be impossible if power consumption is 400 watts.





From pg 2 in the Features category:



Built-In 7-channel power amplifier
Minimum RMS output power
(20 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 8 ohm)
Front : 105 W + 105 W
Center: 105 W
Surround: 105 W + 105 W
Surround Back: 105 W + 105 W




From pg 124 in the Specifications category:


Minimum RMS Output Power for Front, Center, Surround, Surround back:
20 Hz to 20 kHz. 0.06% THD, 8 ohm: 105 W




From pg 125 in the Specifications category:


Power Consumption : 400 W / 500 VA
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-23-2020, 11:11 AM
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^^ Try reading post 8.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zed6and789 View Post
Built-In 7-channel power amplifier
Minimum RMS output power
(20 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 8 ohm)
Front : 105 W + 105 W
Center: 105 W
Surround: 105 W + 105 W
Surround Back: 105 W + 105 W
There are 7 amps in your unit, each one capable of 105w, but not all at once.
In fact they are probably only capable of 105w with just 2 channels being driven.
Not exact science but 2 x 105w RMS is 210w, which is 420w peak - which is where the 400w power consumption comes from.
So with 7 channels driven it will be approx 30w rms per channel - 400 / 7 = 57w peak = approx 30w rms.
This not how it works but seems to be a rough guide to working out approx output capability of amps/avrs.
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Originally Posted by niterida View Post
which is where the 400w power consumption comes from.
No it's not.


Read this and think about it for a moment. Look at all the other pro manufacturers and you will find similar.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
No it's not.


Read this and think about it for a moment. Look at all the other pro manufacturers and you will find similar.

Thats why I said it wasn't exact science, but every single amp or avr that I have found that states power with all channels driven works out (within a few watts) of that "formula". Since very few manufacturers seem to give out reliable power ratings this will at least give you a ballpark figure.



Unfortunately that Yamaha link doesn't mean anything to me
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post #21 of 31 Old 01-23-2020, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
However, this is a completely unrepresentative number as the all channels driven test is the same amplitude and phase sinewave. This will never happen with program, so it's an irrelevant and unrepresentative test and is best ignored.
As you say, it's a lot more complex than simple numbers on a page.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #22 of 31 Old 01-23-2020, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The way I'm seeing this is that bi-amping my receiver is actually detrimental to the sound. I am taking power away from my surrounds and center channel, and providing that power to my front speakers. However, since the signal is sent 50/50 to my highs and lows, my crossovers then filter out 50% of this "upgraded" power leaving me with less per channel that I did in my mono-amped configuration. Using niterida's numbers (after calculating for efficiency), my 5x30w system essentially becomes a 5x21w system. Using my numbers, 210 total watts splits from 5x42w to 5x30w.



I have actually already bi-amped my setup, and although I think I may hear more rumble (placebo?), it may be that I'm just turning up the volume higher to test the system's capacity. I will remove the extra wires and put the jumper back in my speakers. Thank you to everyone for the explanations and assistance with this decision, and to hell with Crutchfield and the other bloggers who tell us that we are wasting unused amplifier power by not utilizing the 6th and 7th outputs of our 7.1 systems.
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post #23 of 31 Old 01-24-2020, 05:58 AM
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To inject some sanity into the concept,

You can go to a Dolby Digital theater which uses 64 channels and 8 channels for bass. The more speakers you have running at full power, the louder it gets so how loud would 64 channels be at full chat? Deafening! The reason you have so many channels is to move the sound feild around, not to blow up the room with deafening SPL. Never mind 64 channels pulling maximum power alll at once would probably blow breakers or burn the wiring. The concept to drive all the channels in stereo is not a good idea either, it makes and absolute mess of the sound but it is a "feature".

You need to think of it as it is--multiple channels feeding off a common power supply. If the main LCR is going full blast, can you hear the subtile surround effects? No, that won't happen because the blast from the front will dominate and the sounds coming from the back will be blown out and way off axis. To actually hear surrounds, back off the power/SPL going to the front and shift the sound backwards, it being off axis makes it tough to hear with clarity so you reallly need to back it off. The power demands depend on where the SPL demands are located in the sound field, if you "need" high power say to the left, panning to the center then the right---shifting to the surrounds, the amp channels shift that around.

This is multi-channel, not stereo! I keep seeing some weird demand that all the amp channels need to be full power but that is not how it works (unless you like all channel stereo) Say you have a 7.1.6 system and now you "need" full power to 15 speakers--really? Think about how LOUD that would be! Flipping back to movie theaters, do you think the movie companies ever mix a movie to go full blast on all channels at once? That would blow breakers and shut the movie down quickly--not exactly the hot setup for ticket sales. For this reason, movie soundtracks are mixed by professionals and the entire content is scanned to make sure it does not damage theater equipment. The days of a bunch of yokels snorting coke and spinning knobs around by ear are over. 2-channel pan pot stereo is not that critical, once you go to dozens of channels in calibrated theaters for public consumption, the demands to do it right are critical.

The FCC came out with their tests 50 years ago to protect the consumer from audio fraud. They still use the same 2 channel loading test that was modified a bit around 20 years ago. I'd like to see it updated for multi-channel, say a 3 channel load test or something but audio is not important anymore in the greater scheme of things. I'm sure the industry could get together and come out with a test methodology to help the consumer and proivede education to get things clear. Bwahahah! This is audio, it is a tradition to keep the consumer a mushroom.... the last bastion of magic in a technical world.

Yes, my AVR does not do 100 watts on each channel alll at once. It will do 100 watts to each channel when required for a few channels that track the sound field. The mythical (and wrong) way people jibber jabber about "all channels at once" my AVR should be clipping hard, getting hot and shutting down when I turn it to reference levels. It has never clipped, got hot or shut down--not once. To be fair, I don't run it all channels stereo at reference--never tried it but I do know it sounds terrible. What? Another useless feature from audio companies? Next thing you know some geek will tell me to not use "double bass" because it utterly destroys bass accuracy also! (don't use double bass)

That being said, it is good to simply things to better understand them--but over simplification causes much more confusion and makes things worse. There is stereo, their is stereo with subwoofers, there is multi-channel and there is multi-channel with overheads (Atmos, Auro etc.) All of those do something different and have different power demands and are setup differently. You are not helping when people ask about how much power they need and give a generic answer--not enough information is provided to even get close.

One last word--it is NOT "Bi-amping" it is PASSIVE bi-amping which means a drastically different thing. Go to a place that sells professional sound equiipment, it can be basic to 6 figures per piece--ask them to show you pro sound gear that can be "passively bi-amped", there is NONE! There is plenty of pro sound gear that can be actively bi/tri/quad amped so you have dozens to hundres of choices. Odd, not a single pro sound speaker can be passively bi-amped but most fiarly expensive pro sound speakers offer ACTIVE bi-amping. Now look back at consumer speakers, how many of them offer ACTIVE bi-amping? I'm sure there might be a few but for the most part I've never seen one (although I don't look too hard) It takes actual skill, knowledge and understaqnding to actively bi-amp a speaker without damage--you do it worong you blow it up. That is fine, if you are a professional you know this and accept the risk going in. On the consumer side, if a consumer speaker had active bi-amping functions--people would just wire it up, fire it up and blow it up. Then trash the speaker on Amazon, cry about it on Facebook and blame the company for making garbage. How many posts on AVS have to do with not reading the book? I don't blame consumer audio companies from not allowing ACTIVE bi-amping--the AVR people could easily add an adjustable electronic crossover setting to AVRs to alllow for proper active bi-amping--very easy! How many AVRs have an adustable electronic crossover for say 500 to 8 KHz to properly bi-amp speakers actively? Not a single one on the planet--not one! No problem, you can give them the "bi-amp" buzzword without dmaging the speaker because the passive crossover is not bypassed--and the speaker companies can blow a buck or two for additional terminals as a "feature". Does it do anything? No, but you "Have" to put that crap on the back of speakers now because that signifies "aduiophile" or something. The good thing is that is chaning, Revel rolls out their new $4,000 monitors with only one set of input terminals, no "bi-wiring" or "passive bi-amping" allowed. This is called knowing your customer, a professional that sees the ability to "passively bi-amp" a studio monitor will think it is aimed at idiots with performance to match. Not a good idea to offend your customer so Revel puts two terminals on the back, not four.

My Friday rant! Sorry, it just bothers me that "rules of thumb" or jibber-jabber that is wrong becomes gospel while understanding what is going on takes the back seat. Red cars get more speeding tickets so that makes red cars faster! Uuuuhhhhh....
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post #24 of 31 Old 01-24-2020, 11:55 AM
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Nice rant, Hurts. However, I do have to take exception to one item:

Quote:
The days of a bunch of yokels snorting coke and spinning knobs around by ear are over.
C'mon! This is America! We got Yokels doing this all over the country. Soon to be deaf Yokels, but Yokels all the same!


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Thank you everybody for the fantastic replies; this is exactly why I come to these forums. ...
Just be careful which forums you include in "these."
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post #26 of 31 Old 01-24-2020, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I solved all my problems by ordering a SVS SB12-NSD subwoofer. The extra 400 watts should be great to compliment my system.
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-24-2020, 06:39 PM
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I solved all my problems by ordering a SVS SB12-NSD subwoofer. The extra 400 watts should be great to compliment my system.
Don't assume that the new sub would just go in the same place as the old sub. Do your sub crawl (google on youtube , if unfamiliar) and position the sub where you get the most even frequency response. To get the most from your investment, you need to position it properly.
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post #28 of 31 Old 01-24-2020, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't assume that the new sub would just go in the same place as the old sub. Do your sub crawl (google on youtube , if unfamiliar) and position the sub where you get the most even frequency response. To get the most from your investment, you need to position it properly.

In place of my old sub? I don't have a sub, so now I'm upgrading my 5.0 system to a 5.1 system where I'll set the LFE to omit the lower range frequencies from all my channels. I'll no longer worry about overloading the 'weak' surround speakers that I got for Christmas. I'll look into this sub crawl, but I don't have many options for placement in my living room.
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post #29 of 31 Old 01-24-2020, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by zed6and789 View Post
In place of my old sub? I don't have a sub, so now I'm upgrading my 5.0 system to a 5.1 system where I'll set the LFE to omit the lower range frequencies from all my channels. I'll no longer worry about overloading the 'weak' surround speakers that I got for Christmas. I'll look into this sub crawl, but I don't have many options for placement in my living room.
My mistake! Not very many 5.0 configs here. Good luck with your new toy!

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post #30 of 31 Old 01-25-2020, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zed6and789 View Post
I solved all my problems by ordering a SVS SB12-NSD subwoofer. The extra 400 watts should be great to compliment my system.
Good Call. Once you get it properly integrated you'll have no regrets. Do the diligence though. I don't have the link handy but check out Home theater Gurus on Youtube for some instructional videos. Enjoy!
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