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#122704 - 01/02/06 01:21 PM Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoofer
mr_rodge Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 10
Loc: United Kingdom
OK, first of all I'm 18 years old and from England, and I take great pleasure in rattling both the neighbours on the street and my parents in the house. I recently upgraded from a horrible PC 5.1 sound system, totalling 65w RMS, to a Yamaha RX-V657 Receiver, an Infocus X2 Projector, (DVD player supplying progressive scan signal via component video), a VP-100 centre channel speaker, and 4x M3ti's for the front and surround channels. (The reason for the front channels being the same size as the back being that I enjoy listening to music with small gatherings as background, therefore I require the same sound from all sides when enjoying music. From this setup I have a number of queries as I am fairly new to the whole idea.

However, so far I am EXTREMELY impressed with the clarity and lack of distortion even at high volumes with the Axiom speakers. I do believe however that the VP-100 sounds the weakest link in the setup.

My queries are as follows:

1) Is this configuration too small for my room? It is approximately 12' by 13' and is around 8' high. I am restricted to bookshelf speakers due to certain furniture arrangements. (This is my bedroom, and I do realise that this does penalise me due to poor acoustics)

2)Is the receiver I have too small for the speakers? It only amplifies 95w per channel, and I understand the power handling of my speakers is much greater. Does this mean that my maximum safe volume will be lower than that of a higher-spec amplifier?

3)As you may have noticed, I do not yet have a subwoofer, as I do not know enough about them. I am on a very tight budget due to my age, and I understand that my receiver is currently outputting the LFE channel through the 2 M3ti's on the front left and right channels. I am worried that this channel will be causing damage to my m3ti's, however there appears to be no audible distortion at the higher volumes. I have considered the 175w subwoofer from Axiom, however I am NOT a big fan of overpowering bass within music (I am a LEAD guitarist and therefore I find bass intrusive). My question is will this subwoofer compliment my system? What effect will this have on my music? I don't want the bass to sound like it is only coming from one location, nor do I want the bass to be overpowering. I have no idea when it comes to setting crossover frequencies, and I have no idea how the subwoofer connects i.e. if it has its own crossover, does this mean the LFE channel will be partially output via the M3ti's? I had a listen to my relation's BOSE sound system and was not impressed, overpowering bass being one major drawback along with a tinny sound from the tiny satellites. I am currently very happy with the sound when I play music, (I use my PC with a high-end sound card to perform high-quality guitar recordings and as a jukebox to play music) as I feel the bass is more than adequate which worries me when looking at purchasing a subwoofer in order to take full advantage of the LFE channel. What effect will this have on my music listening? Would a 125w sub be a compromise? Although I do like a lot of bass in movie viewing.

Thankyou for your time, I understand this is a long post, any replies will be greatly appreciated. Axiom speakers are very impressive for the price, and hearing the BOSE system of my relation gave me great satisfaction when it was no comparison to my system. I hope to soon have, in my opinion, the prefect system for my room. I'm sure there will be more queries as I continue to add to the system.

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#122705 - 01/02/06 02:11 PM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoof
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17739
Loc: NoVA
Congrats on such a nice system and good taste at 18... I think I had some no name 2 way 8 inch towers stacked on top of 10 inch 3-way Fisher floorstanders at the time...
1) Nope. You might consider a sub, though.

2) No. The maximum output is merely a figure that indicates that an amp outputting (not rated) at that wattage won't destroy the things. JohnK will be along shortly to point out that you only use about 1 watt for normal listening.

3) I wouldn't use Bose crap as a benchmark for anything except crap, crap, and more crap. A good (well calibrated) sub will compliment main speakers, not overpower them. I hate to say it, and Amie may revoke my post count for it, but I'd look at Hsu or SVS over Axiom for the lower end sub range (sub $1000). Had I, oh, say, $1200-$2000, Axiom's the first place I would look. But from reading these boards, you can get bigger bang for the buck from Hsu or SVS at $500 or below.

Anyway, welcome to the board. I'm jealous.

_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#122706 - 01/02/06 02:16 PM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoofer
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Welcome, mr_rodge!

The speakers will be fine for your room. Also, your receiver is fine for the M3s. They are a relatively easy load and should pose no problem. You will not damage the M3s unless you crank the volume ALL the way up.

As for the subwoofer, it can definitely add to the bottom octave. Don't worry too much about overpowering bass as you can adjust the gain on the sub to play as loud or as little as you want. If you are happy with the performance of the M3s by themselves, don't fret too much about the sub. It's all about preference. The M3s should put out a fair amount of bass in a room your size.


_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#122707 - 01/02/06 03:44 PM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoofer
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

I have no idea when it comes to setting crossover frequencies, and I have no idea how the subwoofer connects i.e. if it has its own crossover, does this mean the LFE channel will be partially output via the M3ti's?


Welcome, mr_rodge!

I love the international aspect of our hobby, and am always pleased when someone from another country pops in. Every now and then I pop in over at AVForums which is in the UK, to see if I can learn something, or be helpful to someone else.

Now, to your above question. Your receiver has a group of outputs, just above the front speaker connections, labeled "PRE OUT." You'll notice one of them is labeled "subwoofer." With a powered subwoofer, like Axioms, or Hsus or SVSs, which have their own power amplifier built into the subwoofer, you simply run a subwoofer cable, with RCA plugs at each end from that subwoofer output on the receiver to the appropriate input on the subwoofer. This means you will be utilizing the crossover in your receiver as opposed to using the crossover in the subwoofer. This is the desirable setup.

I see that your receiver has the option of sending the LFE to either the fronts, the subwoofer, or both (Page 64 of your manual). While you are without subwoofer, I would recommend setting this option to FRNT. Doing so should do no harm to your M3s. But, until your subwoofer purchase, just don't expect much LFE to come out of the M3s. When you add a sub, set this setting to SWFR.

As to the crossover setting (also Page 64), you have a number of options. The M3s are rated +- 3 dB down to 60 Hz. I'd start with the crossover set to 80 Hz. If you wish, you can try 60, or 90, or 100 Hz to see if you have a preference, but I think you'll find 80 Hz will be fine. It is the generally recommended crossover point.

I wouldn't worry about "overpowering bass" with music. You control the volume of the subwoofer, and, if you wish, you can lower the volume, or turn it off altogether, when listening to music
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#122708 - 01/02/06 10:26 PM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoofer
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10359
Rodge, my welcome as well. Your room is smaller than average and as the previous replies have indicated, in no way are your M3s too small for it. As Ken mentioned, I'll also point out that at a comfortably loud average listening level(say about 80dB at your listening position)your M3s will be using no more than 1 watt, and even brief peaks are likely to use less than 100 watts. So, the "only" 95 watt rating of your 657 is likely to be more than you'll ever need.

A sub would give you significantly stronger bass below about 60-70Hz than do the M3s(an 80Hz crossover set by the receiver would be appropriate)and this would apply to low bass sounds occasionally present in music, as well as the separate LFE channel for special effects sometimes present in DVDs. So yes, you may find that a sub would significantly increase your enjoyment, and might be the most worthwhile purchase to make next. Incidentally, the power of the sub amplifier is only one factor in its performance, and isn't a very good criterion for making a buying decision.


_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#122709 - 01/03/06 05:51 AM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoofer
mr_rodge Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 10
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks everyone for the prompt replies, this has indeed helped and I shall purchase a subwoofer as soon as I can fund it. One more query (Purely as a matter of interest) The volume control on my receiver appears to be measured in db. I.e. A very quiet volume is around -40.0db, and 0.0db is, as i consider, a very loud volume. What is the effect of going above 0.0db? Is this when distortion begins from the amplifier? Thanks.

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#122710 - 01/03/06 11:40 PM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoofer
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10359
Rodge, not necessarily. The output required from the amps in the receiver doesn't depend only on the setting of the volume control, but also varies with the sound level of the program material. For example, if the receiver has been calibrated with the test tones so that about 80dB is experienced at the listening position with the master volume control at 0(and putting out about 1 watt), if a quiet program is being played the sound level with the volume control at 0 might be only about 60dB and about a hundredth of a watt would be used, rather than 1 watt. In that case turning the volume control above 0(even all the way up to the maximum)might only get the sound level back up to 80dB and the use of 1 watt, which of course wouldn't result in increased distortion. On the other hand, very loud program material(louder than the test tones), which really wouldn't need even the 0 setting to achieve a comfortably loud listening level, could result in increased distortion on peaks if the volume control was for some reason set above 0.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#122711 - 01/04/06 01:20 AM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoof
LightninJoe Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Portland, OR
Welcome Rodge! As far as a sub overpowering your system you will have quite a bit of control over that aspect. The sub itself will have crossover and output controls, and your receiver might have separate controls for the LFE/sub output and crossover frequency as well. Also positioning a sub correctly in your room is crucial. I just received a pair of M3ti's I bought on eBay and WOW are they little performers! They are more than adequate for your room.

As far as the VP100, where do you have is set up? Is it above or below your TV? Are the speakers angled to the plane of your ears? If not try wedging a book or wedge-style doorstop under the front or back to point the VP100 directly at you. If the front of the speaker cabinet is behind the front of your TV try moving the speaker forward until flush with the front of the TV. Also if your receiver allows you to adjust the volume of your speakers individually I would look into picking up an SPL meter and adjust the speakers so the sound level is the same for each from your listening postition.
_________________________
"That's some catch, that Catch-22." "It's the best there is." M22ti VP150 EP350 QS8 M3Ti

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#122712 - 01/04/06 10:55 AM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoof
KC23 Offline
local

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 212
Loc: Southern California
I have read many posts regarding centers and the importance of placement. They need to be pointed right at ear level has been the call. So if you have it under your tv they need to be pointing up towards the listener. If it is high point it down to ear level.

I read one post about someone who had their center placed high and when he put a couple of hockey pucks under the rear of the center speaker to get it to point to ear level it made a huge difference.


Edited by KC23 (01/04/06 10:58 AM)

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#122713 - 01/04/06 11:17 AM Re: Small system, newbie queries regarding subwoof
mr_rodge Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 10
Loc: United Kingdom
OK...last query...until tomorrow!...I just need to clarify if I am right in what I'm thinking, so here goes.

1) I purchase a subwoofer and set the LFE on my receiver to be sent to the subwoofer (NOT both).

2) I set the subwoofer's own crossover to the maximum (As stated in the user guide of my receiver) and the volume control to a low-mid position.

3) I set the subwoofer crossover (On the receiver) to 80Hz.

If I was to carry out all of the above, am I right in saying that the LFE channel will be sent to the subwoofer? (Due to the fact that I didn't set the LFE to BOTH on my receiver) And will this be the ENTIRE LFE channel? i.e. NOT just LFE signals below 80Hz? Also, should there be any sounds lower than 80hz on the front L and R channels, these would be sent to the subwoofer along with the LFE channel?

Also, if there is no LFE channel present, i.e. if I'm listening to music, am I right in saying that only a small amount of bass will be taken from the M3's and directed to the subwoofer? (Due to the M3's only going as low as around 60Hz.) And most of this bass would not have been audible through the M3's anyway? If all my assumptions here are correct, wouldn't a crossover of the 60Hz lowest capability of the M3's be more suitable for my listening? (The idea of too much bass being separated to just one part of the room is off-putting) I should receive a more 'full' sound without it being overpowering, and I should be able to take advantage of the full LFE (Entirely from the subwoofer, no LFE at all from the L and R channels)? In simple terms, the subwoofer would be used more heavily for movies than with music listening, without having to modify any settings between listening to the various types?

Thanks for the help.

As for the VP100, it is mounted higher than the other speakers, so increasing the volume of than channel has appeared to help as it is the furthest away from the listening position. I have also noticed that Dolby Digital soundtracks do not seem to have the same clarity as DTS through the VP-100. Whether this is common or not I'm not sure. Thanks for the help, all is much appreciated.

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