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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read a lot about subs and there is so much technical info on what to look for, i still dont really get it (i understand some...lol). I currently have a denon 3311ci that was powering a cerwin vega 12" non powered sub. it actually was doing a decent job considering it was being powered by 110 watts rms (i think that is what the 3311ci actually puts out). Considering my living room is fairly large and opens into the dining room and kitchen, not to mention my living room has a 20' ceiling. i asked about which powered sub to buy on another thread based upon my future HT room dimensions (going to be bilt at a later date) and got some excellent advice.


I purchased a cheap (theater solutions RT500D "200 dollar sub" for 160 bucks) powered 12" down firing sub with a 350 watt rms digital amp. i was thinking that it would be a decent starter sub and I would eventually upgrade to a real sub when time gets closer to my HT room being finished next year. I was thinking it had to be better than what i already had and it comes with a no hassle 30 day money back guarantee with free return shipping (what do I have to loose with that). Well to my disapointment, this "350 watt rms" sub does not really come close to my cerwin vega non powered sub (pushed by my 3311ci). My denon seems to push the cerwin vega 12" sub better than the powered sub I just got. the 2 positive things i have noticed about the powered sub is that its not drainging power from my denon and the sound stage for the bass seems better (the powered sub is in about the same location against the wall in a corner). other than that, the cerwin vega hits harder (not sure it goes any deeper, just shakes the house more).


Why would that be? The powered sub seems to have a smaller cabinet than the cerwin vega. The port on the powered sub is much larger than on the cerwin vega. Obviously I have realized that in this case, more power does not equal more bass. I think I know the answer to this question, but will ask to confirm my other thought. The cabinet that the cerwin vega sub is in is 39% larger.....that has some to do with it.....right? Thanks for your help understanding subs.
 

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How does the 3311ci "push" the CV when it lacks a powered sub or LFE output?


How can you have been using any effective bass management or Audyssey with this configuration?


Why is the sub in a corner? That's the worst place for it, especially without room EQ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/20886417


How does the 3311ci "push" the CV when it lacks a powered sub or LFE output?


How can you have been using any effective bass management or Audyssey with this configuration?


Why is the sub in a corner? That's the worst place for it, especially without room EQ.

The cerwin vega has a crossover built in it so I wire the towers into the subs crossover and then speaker wires out from the sub to the denon (front left and right). I guess the audyssey compensated for it? I did select the option to skip the sub and select no sub on the calibration. I guess the crossover on the cerwin vega took all the bass and the mids and highs went to the definitive technology BP6 towers. On some movies, the cerwin vega really rocked (I almost decided not to buy a powered sub, but from what i read I did not want to overload my denon)! i put the sub in a corner because that was what most sites said to do for a down firing sub. They said to try the corner 1st. To my ears and the design of my living room, that is where it sounded best.


Not to get off topic, why would my non powered sub 12" down firing sub sound better than this so called 350 watt rms 12" down firing sub? Thanks for all your help understanding subs.
 

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First, you yourself described the new sub as "cheap" and I see absolutely nothing impressive at their website. Specs are lacking. So, it does not seem to inspire confidence that it is a good performer.


Second, the connection arrangements are so different that you are not comparing the subs directly. I believe that using the CV crossover as opposed to proper bass management will influence what you are hearing more than any inherent quality or performance differences in the subs.


Thus, third, I do not believe you can draw any global conclusions from this sort of comparison. To do so, you would have to buy a decent sub-amp so that you can run the CV from the same output connection as you do the new sub and apply the same bass-management.


All that said, I do not believe that there is a generic superiority between self-powered and non-powered subs. You still have to power the latter and, by popular default, modern A/V equipment expects to connect to a self-powered sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/20886592


First, you yourself described the new sub as "cheap" and I see absolutely nothing impressive at their website. Specs are lacking. So, it does not seem to inspire confidence that it is a good performer.


Second, the connection arrangements are so different that you are not comparing the subs directly. I believe that using the CV crossover as opposed to proper bass management will influence what you are hearing more than any inherent quality or performance differences in the subs.


Thus, third, I do not believe you can draw any global conclusions from this sort of comparison. To do so, you would have to buy a decent sub-amp so that you can run the CV from the same output connection as you do the new sub and apply the same bass-management.


All that said, I do not believe that there is a generic superiority between self-powered and non-powered subs. You still have to power the latter and, by popular default, modern A/V equipment expects to connect to a self-powered sub.

Thank you for your input. I know its like comparing apples to oranges. i guess I got caught up in the "350 watt rms" and figured it would at a minimum, pump more bass than the non powered sub. I was not going for sound quality, but more bass....if that can make sense.
 

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You have the powered sub connected to your receivers LFE output, and the CV sub connected at the speaker level ahead of your stereo speakers correct?


If that's so, it's very likely the CV sub has a highly efficient "pro" type driver, with a higher tuning point, making it by default very loud. It should also tell you on the back of the sub what its internal crossover is, I'm guessing its higher then 80hz.


For the powered sub you will need to go into your receivers speaker management menu, set your mains to "small", change your crossover to the same as the CV sub, and increase the output to your sub channel.


That should allow you to do an equal comparison. Then change the powered subs x-over to 80hz and compare again
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 /forum/post/20886978


You have the powered sub connected to your receivers LFE output, and the CV sub connected at the speaker level ahead of your stereo speakers correct?


If that's so, it's very likely the CV sub has a highly efficient "pro" type driver, with a higher tuning point, making it by default very loud. It should also tell you on the back of the sub what its internal crossover is, I'm guessing its higher then 80hz.


For the powered sub you will need to go into your receivers speaker management menu, set your mains to "small", change your crossover to the same as the CV sub, and increase the output to your sub channel.


That should allow you to do an equal comparison. Then change the powered subs x-over to 80hz and compare again

Yes, the powered sub to the designated LFE output and the CV was connected to the front right and left. Thanks, I will try that. the CV said 110hz
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE FLASH /forum/post/20887156


Yes, the powered sub to the designated LFE output and the CV was connected to the front right and left. Thanks, I will try that. the CV said 110hz

At 110Hz, you are getting a lot of upper bass from the CVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/20887209


At 110Hz, you are getting a lot of upper bass from the CVs.

Thank you guys for your help!

If I see it right.....or hear it right, my CV is just loud producing some low frequencies, but mostly upper bass frequencies. That is creating the feel of a lot of bass, especially to one who does not know a lot about subs. Now my powered sub is really producing the lower frequencies so it seems to not be as loud as the CV. So in actuality, the powered sub is doing a decent job and my perception is skewed because of being used to the CV.....does that sound about right based upon all the info I've given?


So this inexpensive powered sub is giving me a taste of what it should be like and when I get a much better sub, I will be happier? Does that sound about right?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE FLASH /forum/post/0



Thank you guys for your help!

If I see it right.....or hear it right, my CV is just loud producing some low frequencies, but mostly upper bass frequencies. That is creating the feel of a lot of bass, especially to one who does not know a lot about subs. Now my powered sub is really producing the lower frequencies so it seems to not be as loud as the CV. So in actuality, the powered sub is doing a decent job and my perception is skewed because of being used to the CV.....does that sound about right based upon all the info I've given?


So this inexpensive powered sub is giving me a taste of what it should be like and when I get a much better sub, I will be happier? Does that sound about right?

Being happier with a much better sub is a fair assumption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 /forum/post/20886978


You have the powered sub connected to your receivers LFE output, and the CV sub connected at the speaker level ahead of your stereo speakers correct?


If that's so, it's very likely the CV sub has a highly efficient "pro" type driver, with a higher tuning point, making it by default very loud. It should also tell you on the back of the sub what its internal crossover is, I'm guessing its higher then 80hz.


For the powered sub you will need to go into your receivers speaker management menu, set your mains to "small", change your crossover to the same as the CV sub, and increase the output to your sub channel.


That should allow you to do an equal comparison. Then change the powered subs x-over to 80hz and compare again

That was it, I changed the front speakers to small and changed the bass setting on the avr to 110 hz. I also changed the setting on the sub to 105 hz. That made it sound close to the CW. I switched it back on the power sub so I get used to real....lower base and not all the higher base frequencies. Thanks again!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE FLASH
Thank you guys for your help!

If I see it right.....or hear it right, my CV is just loud producing some low frequencies, but mostly upper bass frequencies. That is creating the feel of a lot of bass, especially to one who does not know a lot about subs. Now my powered sub is really producing the lower frequencies so it seems to not be as loud as the CV. So in actuality, the powered sub is doing a decent job and my perception is skewed because of being used to the CV.....does that sound about right based upon all the info I've given?


So this inexpensive powered sub is giving me a taste of what it should be like and when I get a much better sub, I will be happier? Does that sound about right?
Mebbe. I have no great confidence in that sub but I was emphasizing that the comparison needs to be made more equitably.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1
.....it's very likely the CV sub has a highly efficient "pro" type driver, with a higher tuning point, making it by default very loud. It should also tell you on the back of the sub what its internal crossover is, I'm guessing its higher then 80hz.
I was just about to bring up this issue myself. Just like CV's home speakers, based on what I have seen their subs also trade off bass extension for volume level, the end result being speakers that require less power to reach X volume level.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE FLASH
That was it, I changed the front speakers to small and changed the bass setting on the avr to 110 hz. I also changed the setting on the sub to 105 hz. That made it sound close to the CW. I switched it back on the power sub so I get used to real....lower base and not all the higher base frequencies. Thanks again!
No prob. Another thing to consider when you upgrade is getting dual subs. This will allow you to crossover higher then 80hz without localizing your sub, so you can keep the mid bass impact you've grown to love.
 
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