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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very much an amateur at this, so need help! I have old Adcom pre-amp and amp with Monitor Audio bookshelves.Both say are 8ohms. Based on advice received earlier, I bought SVS SB1000 sub and added it to system. Takes up space I'd rather use for furniture and still not right, so need help. The loudest I ever play music is about 11am on the dial, if that helps. That's pretty loud for my living situation. Usually softer. I have been using Holst's "The Planets: Mars, Bringer of War" and Queen's "We will rock you/the champions" for testing the bass. Most of my music does not have this much deep bass.


I have tried the following.


1. Just the speaker/amp combo with and without using the "contour" button on the amp. The contour button definitely increases deep bass as designed, but may make it slightly muddier. Not much, but a little.


2. Added the subwoofer using speaker level inputs.. Set crossover between 80 and 100hz and volume around noon. Left contour button on amp unpushed. Bass is slightly cleaner and louder, but not dramatically. Pushing contour button makes it muddier. Turning up crossover and/or volume does increase "boom" and shake and makes source of bass obvious but does not dramatically affect/ improve crisp bass.


3. Switched sub to line level. Used a set of Radio Shack Y-connects (only stuff available in town) to split pre-amp outputs between amp and sub. Seems crisper and a bit louder. However, oddly enough, not dramatically different from pushing in the contour button on the amp. Definitely cleaner, but not as dramatic as others have suggested it should be.


4. Finally, based on speaker manual suggestion, tried bi-wiring. However, since I did not know what was doing, think I may have really sort of bi-amped. I ran one set of speaker wires from A speaker output on amp to tweeter connection on speaker. Then ran one set of wires from B output to woofer connection. Yes, I did remove the jumpers. This actually sounded dramatically better both with and without the sub and with/without contour button pressed. However, did not have time to repeatedly hook and unhook to be sure was not my imagination.


This morning I looked up bi-wiring and saw that (a)most people say is nonsense and (b) I did it wrong. I want to continue to test this, but want to be sure that I am not overloading the speakers. Am I sending too much to the speakers so they will blow? Or is this a valid way to hook up?


I am trying to decide whether to keep the sub as virtually everyone I've talked to seems to think should be best, or whether to return it and get a better pair of bookshelf speakers. Need to decide soon. I asked a seller of Monitor Audio speakers and he indicated that newer Silver bookshelves will sound better than my old ones, but does not think it will be night and day. Said best bet is to go to smaller towers. However, the ones that I would be interested in are out of my price range. I admit that I want wood veneers, not vinyl, so price jumps.


I am not interested in switching to AVR right now. I have talked with numerous people (salespeople and otherwise) They all say to stick with what I've got until can afford really good stuff.


Help is greatly desired. Most urgently, is it safe to run 2 sets of wires from separate outs of amp to speakers or is this going to blow the speakers. And are there any other not-to-expensive things to try. I'm going broke buying wires and connects here!


Thanks. Sorry for the long post.
 

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Stop buying wires, and forget biwring. You are accomplishing nothing with them.


Even a really cheap AVR would do a better job of integrating your speakers and sub than what you have now. That's where I'd start.
 

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Connecting amps Speaker A to tweeters and Speaker B to woofer is fine as long as the jumper is disconnected. if you hear a difference, then let it stay.


Try setting the subs crossover to 40hz and move up if needed, 80 to 100 hz for audio is a bit high unless you have puny main speakers


stay with the subwoofer, no floorstander (unless you spend a fortune) will be able to match the bass the sub will produce
 

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If what you have is a 2-channel amp, wiring a speaker to the A and B outputs is simply biwiring from parallel outputs off of the same amplifier channel. And if this is the case, whether you remove the jumpers or not is actually irrelevant, although, in order to get the mythological benefits of biwiring, the jumpers would need to be removed.


(Depending upon how old your amp is there is a very slight chance that the A and B outputs might be serial outputs, but I doubt it. This can be easily discerned.)


#3 is probably the best way to connect the subwoofer unless it has high-passed speaker-level outputs that you want to try to use.



EDIT: After looking at that subwoofer's specs, I see that it has high-passed (@ 80Hz) line-level outputs. You may want to take advantage of these. Your setup (separate pre-amp and amp) is ideal for looping that in, actually.
 

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Your SB-1000 has the bass management that is missing from your pre-amp.


Send the signal from the pre-amp to the amp with RCA cables. Set the Crossover (the low-pass to the sub) at 80Hz to start, you may need to play with this a bit.


Connect the RCA outputs from the sub to your amp. These are high-passed at 80Hz.


EDIT: this is what sivadselim referred to in his edit
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I understand correctly, I can high pass the signal by running line from preamp to sub and NOT to speakers, then running line from sub to speaker inputs on amp. Can I use a y connect at each end of 2 lines or does this require 4 separate lines?


I haven't had real difficulty setting sub so that bass is non-directional, just not seeing dramatic change in sound from just preamp/amp with contour on. Contour is supposed to boost between 20hz-100hz and effect is reduced as volume is increased. Mains are rated at 40hz-2500khz, (edit: 45-2500)

if that matters. So they should go lower than many of the bookshelves I've seen.


Re the parallel v. Series wiring speaker connections. Not sure how to tell. If punch button for A speakers get higher tones, If B get lower end, if both get "normal" sounding music. Jumper is removed.


Problem with AVR is that low price AVRs do not have phono stages.


Hope this info clarifies my issues. It may just make my ignorance more obvious, but got to start somewhere!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcksnssn  /t/1524517/help-with-bi-wiring-bi-amping-stuff-subwoofer-issue#post_24537521


If I understand correctly, I can high pass the signal by running line from preamp to sub and NOT to speakers, then running line from sub to speaker inputs on amp. Can I use a y connect at each end of 2 lines or does this require 4 separate lines?

No Y connectors.


Just 2 sets of L/R RCA cables. pre-amp to sub-in, sub-out to amp-in
Quote:
I haven't had real difficulty setting sub so that bass is non-directional, just not seeing dramatic change in sound from just preamp/amp with contour on. Contour is supposed to boost between 20hz-100hz and effect is reduced as volume is increased. Mains are rated at 40hz-2500khz, (edit: 45-2500)

Once you get it dialled in, the SB1000 together with your mains will definitely sound better than the mains alone.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcksnssn  /t/1524517/help-with-bi-wiring-bi-amping-stuff-subwoofer-issue#post_24537521


Re the parallel v. Series wiring speaker connections. Not sure how to tell. If punch button for A speakers get higher tones, If B get lower end, if both get "normal" sounding music. Jumper is removed.

Yeah, this means they are the usual parallel outputs. If they were in series you wouldn't be able to play A and B individually. So, they are basically just facilitating easier biwiring at the amplifier end instead of having to use a single output for both pairs of wires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcksnssn  /t/1524517/help-with-bi-wiring-bi-amping-stuff-subwoofer-issue#post_24537521


I haven't had real difficulty setting sub so that bass is non-directional, just not seeing dramatic change in sound from just preamp/amp with contour on. Contour is supposed to boost between 20hz-100hz and effect is reduced as volume is increased.

You shouldn't need (or want) that setting once the sub is dialed in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcksnssn  /t/1524517/help-with-bi-wiring-bi-amping-stuff-subwoofer-issue#post_24537521


Hope this info clarifies my issues. It may just make my ignorance more obvious, but got to start somewhere!

Quit bashing yourself. You seem to me to have a pretty good handle on things.
 

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