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#94350 - 05/14/05 08:26 PM EP500 setup and volume levels
aabouganem Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 81
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Guys:

I am a newbie in this forum, but a happy Axiom owner since 1yr ago. This is my first post, but I follow closely what is going on in the board.

I am calling now for your assistance with the setup of a EP500. I started with the EPIC 80-350 and I upgraded to EP500 and M22's in the rear (no EP350)... pretty good!! but I have had enormous problems trying to get the EP500 to work the way I expect it to work.

Actually I contacted the Axioms about the issue, because I want to replace it, but before going that far, I need some feedback...

The problem I am facing is with controling the output volume of the EP500 and the detail of the bass coming out of it. If I set the knob just at 9-10 o'clock and start calibrating the sub, I end up with -12dB in the sub and the rest of the speakers around +6dB... that's just wrong!!! But if I turn the sub just a little bit down in the knob, then I get almost no sound out of it, unless the recording is playing a louder note, so the EP500 reproduce it only above certain threshold of input... I dont know if I explain right... but I am trying.

Also, lets put the EP500 knob more than 9 o'clock and use only -6dB in the preamp... then, bass reproduced from the EP500 is not following very detailed the music... I mean that the M80 are doing a better job around 60-100Hz than the sub!!! And switching the DSP-EQ to "Full" or "Half" (to increase the response above 33Hz does not help, actually it sound 'better' in "Flat"). And the volume is overwhelming to hear and its too boomy and involving.

Below 60Hz, I cant set up this sub.. is just booming the room and do not follow the rest of the bass above 60Hz... its very annoying in other words...

So guys, if somebody faced this issue trying to setup the EP500, and fixed it with some positioning/x-over/setting, please let me know. The EP350 did not gave so much trouble as this one...I also tried the High Level input, and same results, if not worse.

I live in a single bedroom apartment, with 20ftx14 of living/dining combined without walls (I have no dining, I eat in the coach, so I could place the HT!!!!). The apartment rattles below certain frequency, as my neighbors already told me, I am thinking of listening the sub outdoors whenever I have the time for it, with a 30ft cable, to take away room resonance.. do you think that will be a good test? Does the sub need a room to sound good?

I will wait for your responses before going ahead and replace it for a new one. Whenever I do the outdoor test, I will post the result, I guess, unless somebody reply that is not useful.


Edited by aabouganem (05/14/05 08:27 PM)

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#94351 - 05/14/05 11:04 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5414
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Setting up subs is always a challenge because the room and placement have such a big impact. Let's start with the easy ones...

My very first thoughts would be that (a) some of the bass management (crossover) settings in your receiver are not right, and (b) the level on the sub is turned up too high to partially compensate for the funny crossover settings.

Can you walk us through the basics ?

1. What kind of receiver ? What are you using for input (DVD, CD etc..). How is the DVD player connected to the receiver ?

2. How is your bass management set up ? Are the M80s set to Small or Large ? How about the other speakers ?

3. What is your crossover frequency set to in the receiver ?

4. What are the settings on the EP500 ? I forget if it has a "crossover disable" switch but if it does is it set to "enable" or "disable" ? What is the crossover on the EP500 set to ?

Probably more questions will come but that is a good start. We'll get this figured out

BTW please don't be offended by the "start at the beginning" questions. I went from an EP350-class sub (PSB 6i) to a bigger / better sub (SVS PC+, decision made before the EP500 came out) and found the deeper bass of the new sub brought brought old problems to the surface much more dramatically. The new sub also fixed some problems (boomy pop music despite much time spent on placement) which was nice and an unexpected bonus.

It is definitely possible your EP500 has a problem but it doesn't seem that way yet.


Edited by bridgman (05/14/05 11:11 PM)

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#94352 - 05/14/05 11:33 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
bugbitten Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 2339
Loc: Madisonville, KY
Here are additional setup and adjustments. Manual
I'm too new. I will read and learn from Bridgman also.

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#94353 - 05/15/05 02:05 AM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1124
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Welcome Alberto,

John is absolutely right. It sounds like a room / crossover issue. While most setup & recommendations focus on maximizing a subs output, you should really focus on minimizing the nodes. Even moving it a few inches one way or another will change its performance. Also, do a search for "sub crawl".

On a side note, be careful! I can't beleive you have THAT system in an apartment - in Texas no less!! I've heard tell Texan's get a little ornery with outsiders that irritate. And every single one of 'em has a gun! LOL!! JK!

_________________________
Shawn

Epic 80/600 + M3's + Custom Finish Algonquin V3's

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#94354 - 05/15/05 03:29 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
aabouganem Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 81
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Bridgman:

Thanks for the answers. I am not offended by the "start at the beginning" questions. I have done mostly everything that is in the board about setting up the subs, but there is always the possibility I am doing it wrong. My other HT friends are not that fanatic to follow a message board for a year just to learn more about, so it might be good to start the basics with you guys here at the Axiom board just to get everything done the way it should be.

So, the answers to the questions:

1. What kind of receiver ? What are you using for input (DVD, CD etc..). How is the DVD player connected to the receiver ?

I own a NAD T163 preamp / processor, and a OUTLAW model 770 7-channel amplifier. I have available Digital (both Coax and Optical) and analog inputs from the DVD (NAD T572 5-disc DVD changer) to the T163 (I use mainly the Optical, but I had to troubleshoot a <0.5sec skipping at the digital inputs, so I have all the cables, that is another history)

2. How is your bass management set up ? Are the M80s set to Small or Large ? How about the other speakers ?

The T163 bass management is not that exciting. I am waiting to solve the EP500 issue to send the T163 back to NAD for an upgrade to V2, to get a little better handling of the sub and the bass management. At this moment, the bass management is just the Large/Small setting and a sub x-over setting. In stereo mode the T163 cant set the M80s to Large and have the sub simultaneously (that issue is already fix in the V2 upgrade), both in the other surround modes it does, so I mainly leave the M80s set Large. Sometimes, while listening some stereo and depending of the recording, I set the M80s to small and use the sub.

3. What is your crossover frequency set to in the receiver ?

Well, with the EP350 I let the x-over in the T163 at 80Hz almost permanently (sometimes at 100hz for some music, like latin jazz, or rock like Marillion). With the addition of the M22s I should set the EP500 to 60-80Hz I guess... I am trying still, so I dont have the perfect x-over for this sub yet. I dont want to go down to 40Hz in the X-over, because I like the bass strings to be enhanced and, actually with less than 80Hz all the bass strings is going to the M80s, with the recordings I have. Another thing I am considering, is to get one OUTLAW ICBM bass management for the all the speakers but the M80s. With that I can set the T163 to Large in all speakers, and have a x-over only for the sub.

4. What are the settings on the EP500 ? I forget if it has a "crossover disable" switch but if it does is it set to "enable" or "disable" ? What is the crossover on the EP500 set to ?

The EP500 does have a x-over bypass setting that allows to use the preamp x-over. I am using that setting now, but I have also tried using the EP500 x-over, and also tried already the High Level Input with the EP500 x-over. I cant tell a final setting right now, as I dont now where is going to end. I will like it to be bypassed and use the preamp. I tried a Polk sub from a friend just to confirm that the preamp output was not damaged, and is not.

Those are the answers to the questions you ask. Hopefully they will give you a more detailed panorama of the setup I have.

To real80sman, I must say that you're right about a stranger coming to Texas and disturbing the neighbors, and all of them carry guns... Well, I am in the deep south, in the border with Mexico, in a place called McAllen, so things are not that difficult with the Texans. My upstairs neighbors are mostly Mexicans and we already talk about the hours I can play, so they are nice in that respect. But I cant still get that loud because the neighbors in the sides are texans, and the sub rocks the whole building man, everything shakes when I am playing some movies...

Thanks


Edited by aabouganem (05/15/05 03:38 PM)

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#94355 - 05/15/05 07:06 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5414
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks. Very good answers... and a real nice system as well !!

Maybe I'm missing something, but...

I think you're saying that you normally leave the M80s set to Large when playing DVDs, right ? Without the firmware upgrade to give you the Enhanced Bass option, any speaker set to Large does not send any signal to the subwoofer. This is true for all inputs and modes, not just stereo.

With the M80s set to Large, the only bass you are getting through the sub is (1) the LFE channel, (2) low notes from the center channel, (3) low notes from the surrounds. This would give you exactly the results you are hearing... relatively little output from the sub except on the louder events when the soundtrack might punch some energy out to the LFE and surround channels. A lot of the "interesting" bass seems to go only/mostly to the mains.

If you have mains set to Large AND sub turned on, the T163 seems to send low notes from center and surround to both sub and mains, while the LFE channel only goes to the sub.

Can you try something ? Set all your speakers including the M80s to Small, set crossover to 80 or 100 Hz (suggest 100 for now), and then do a quick calibration on the system to make sure the levels are right. If the sub levels need to be set very high or very low then adjust the sub gain so that you can have all the speakers fairly close to 0dB. If you still see the same problem in this configuration then you might have a sub problem, but my guess is that things will work OK.

When you get the Enhanced Bass support with the firmware upgrade THEN you can start playing with running M80s in Large

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#94356 - 05/16/05 11:55 AM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
aabouganem Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 81
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Well, that is something that I already tried, and I consider a good questions to get the picture of the issue. BTW I am getting the upgrade somewhere in the next 2-3 weeks.

All the settings I mentioned in my answers were calibrated with the EP350. With the EP500 I already tried setting the M80s in SMALL and change the x-over over and over... I spent close to 3 hrs yesterday with this setting and I moved the sub (again!!) around the room and even changed the sofa position...

What I notice with the speakers set at SMALL and in STEREO mode (I always test first in Stereo, and then go for the surrounds) what I get from the sub, is still having the "volume steps" I mentioned in the first post. With the x-over at 100Hz and a frequency sweep from 100Hz to 20Hz (AVIA home theater setup DVD) lets say with the knob at 9 o'clock the sub plays the sweep at certain volume but if I either move the volume knob a little bit higher or the gain at the preamp or the volume at the preamp, then the sub does not respond until I cross a certain threshold, and then it increases the volume not evenly.

Also after finding the sweet spot in the listening position, and listening to the sub closely, the sound its not that clear, tight and nice at it should be expected.

I think that using the High Level Inputs (the same that feed the M80s) I should not see the LFE effect that you mention in the reply, but I can still reproduce all the issues I mentioned above. That is determinative.

As I am writing this post, I just received an email from Axiom saying that a new sub its on the way. I will ask them to feedback whats the final word on the sub, and what did they found on it.

I appreciate your feedback a lot, it has been very nice to be part of the board. I will try to be more active on it.

Regards

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#94357 - 05/16/05 08:18 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5414
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>but if I either move the volume knob a little bit higher or the gain at the preamp or the volume at the preamp, then the sub does not respond until I cross a certain threshold, and then it increases the volume not evenly

Yeah, that sure doesn't sound right. Glad you have a new sub on the way... let us know how it works out.

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#94358 - 05/22/05 09:31 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
winterpeg Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 88
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
I am currently working on setting up my EP600 and it is all about placement from what I have experienced so far. I still have a ways to go but, there is some big differences in sound with location.

I have the NAD T773, same processor I believe but it is the V2. It does allow pretty good flexibility.

I have only one complaint about the NAD so far and it is the low hum between -74 and -8. Above that the noise does increase but I don't listen to it at that volume. I don't notice it when music or movies are playing. The sub is a work in progress, but moving it around to positions I found using the "crawl" were an improvement.

Let us know how it works out.

troy
_________________________
M80 VP150 4-QS8 EP600 Monitor Audio S8 NAD T 773 Anthem MCA3 II Hitachi 57" projection

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#94359 - 05/28/05 07:35 PM Re: EP500 setup and volume levels
aabouganem Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 81
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Winterpeg:

The NAD T163 produce a almost inaudible hum noise when either using the analog inputs, or when the setting is Stereo. When using digital inputs or a surround processing (EARS, MATRIX, DTS, DPLII, etc) I cant hear nothing, even pumping it to +15dB.

I am troublehsooting that noise with the NAD dealer, now that I am getting the upgrade done. I will let you know what we found.

BTW, getting the upgrade is what have kept me from posting the EP500 resolution. The new sub arrived but I have not use it yet. But I plug it and I can see that the "thump" noise that the old one had when shutting it down is gone, so high hopes for this one (I did not mention this noise in my first post, I discussed it directly with Brent Tombari at Axiom, as I was not sure of the integrity of the sub since it arrived)

The upgrade is not available inmediately. The dealer told me that they need the D-Tools software and the upgrade files. Some dealers in Houston area told me that it will take 2 weeks to get the upgrade, but my dealer in Austin was already working on getting it, so I expect less than a week. (I might travel overseas the next week, so please wait a couple of weeks before the EP500 is tested again)



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