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Noob subwoofer advice


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Hi -- I have a pair of Adam A7x and an AudioEngine S7 subwoofer mated to a Benchmark DAC2.

 

Something is just...off on the low end. It's just blooms in a way that it shouldn't and I don't know what to do about it. I have the S7 at 50hz and below, which should fit nicely with the Adams, I think.

 

Not sure what to do here, or how to begin assessing it. I tried DSP via Dirac, but that turned out to be an (expensive) exercise in frustration. So it's back to basics.

 

Insofar as I can see, there are four major variables to consider, in no particular order:

 

1) gain

2) phase

3) roll-in

4) placement

 

1) is easy enough, in concept

2) I understand, in theory, although in practice I'm not so sure

3) I guess I get that, too, although, given the fact that I can't control the Adams roll-in, my implantation here is bit arbitrary

4) I've placed the sub between the two speakers' stands'; all are about two and half feet from the wall.

 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Sub placement.

Subs are V much influenced by their room location.

Have you tried moving it to different locations?

 

I guess that's the next thing. My impression was that the location I'd chosen--not near a corner or a wall--would tend to minimize the bass. And, again, I can always turn down the volume, right? Perhaps that's all there is to it? I'd just hoped I could avoid fiddling with sub woofer volume every time I played something...

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integrating a sub into a 2 channel setup is tricky business. i'm of the school of thought that you locate the optimal position for the sub (by doing the sub-crawl method) and that will give you the strongest and also evenest bass response. from there, optimally you would utilize some form of EQ. I use 2 velodyne subs with a velodyne sub amp with built in EQ. Dspeaker antimode is also a well reviewed sub eq. The lower the cutoff you can use (ie, the lower your main speakers will go) the easier it is to integrate. I've had much more success with blending in the sub at 40hz vs 80hz, for instance. I prefer to run the mains without going through the subs crossover. Others will report differently in that respect.

 

bottom line, it takes trial and error and don't be predisposed on the best location for the sub. it's often all about location location location.

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Without implementing more complex & technical resources, you could try using something like a Radio Shack SPL meter & do some frequency sweeps.

 

Even cheaper is to trust your ears.

You may be surprised how reliable they can be.

Try different room placements, volume settings, cross-over frequency settings, etc.

It is most helpful if you can persuade a friends help during the process.

There some basic instructions on sub placement & settings.

Google is your friend, but if I come across some info & will post links.

 

Here are the correction factors for the Radio Shack SPL meter.

 

10hz +20 db

12.5hz +16.5 db

16hz +11.5 db

20hz +7.5 db

25hz +5 db

31.5hz +3 db

40hz +2.5 db

50hz +1.5db

63hz +1.5db

80hz +1.5db

100hz +2db

125hz +.5db

160hz -.5db

200hz -.5db

250hz +.5db

315hz -.5db

400hz 0db

500hz -.5db

630hz 0db

800hz 0db

1k. 0db

1.25k. 0db

1.6k. -.5db

2k -1.5db

2.5k -1.5db

3.15k -1.5db

4k -2db

5k -2db

6.3k -2db

8k -2db

10k. -1db

12.5k +.5db

16k 0db

20k +1db

Bill

 

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob

 

....just an "ON" switch, Please!

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It's not clear from the OP if the problem is with subwoofer integration or more generally room modes. If the former, playing around with sub location, cross over point, and sub gain could ameliorate the situation. If the latter, EQ as provided by the DSPeaker AntiMode could help; but bass traps should also be considered.

 

Best luck!

 

Guido F.

For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

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Here are a few things to try that have not been mentioned yet:

1. If you don't have a lot of options in regards to subwoofer placement, consider moving around some of the other furniture in your room. The first mod that improved my subwoofer sound was removing a glass top coffee table out of the listening room.

2. Try different ways to connect the amp to the subwoofer. My subwoofer only has two phase settings, and neither was quite right when I used the LFE input. For various reasons, I switched to speaker high impedance inputs and the phase problems went away.

3. Clean up your power. Consider a power conditioner. In my case, an electrician put my subwoofer on a dedicated circuit. This helped with the detail quite a bit.

Bluesound Node 2-->LFD LE Mk V-->HSU VTF-1 Subwoofer (via high-level inputs)-->Harbeth P3ESR

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Lots of good advice above. Treat the sub(s) as just another component of your mains, whoops, you need two. Integrating a single sub with two mains is much harder, it often can't be done, in spite of what all the sub builders and sellers say. But for your case, *assuming* your mains are not high-pass filtered but run full range, I suggest as a starting point you place the sub between 0" and 1/2" inch closer to your ears than the woofer of your mains, and centered axially between them--use a long tape measure and another person (SO?) to help. Use masking tape to mark the exact floor positions. Set the sub for zero phase offset and try to have the subs roll in (-3dB) at the frequency where the mains roll off in *your* space. Most important: 1) keep changing the sub's position wrt mains until familiar drum recordings (bass and tom) sound totally real. 2) Then, adjust sub level and cutoff frequency a notch at a time, alternating from one to the other after each change. And never put that s*** in the corner.

Good Luck!

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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