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#149942 - 10/23/06 12:42 AM Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me?
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
I have the following setup in 7.1 now:

NHT SB3s (front)
Energy RC-LCR (center)
Energy RC-10s (side)
Energy CR-3s (rear, side-firing dipoles)
Axiom EP-500 sub
Denon 3805 AVR
Denon 2810 DVD
Cambridge DV89 DVD

I listen to more music than HT... that's why I have the Cambridge DV player as it is absolutely silent in its transport during the quiet music moments (and the Denon definitely is not, although the Denon is noticably better for video).

Problem? Even though the NHTs are rated 39-22K +/-3db there was always a noticeable 'gap' between them and the EP-500 - in music. HT seems fine. I've set both the 3805 and the EP-500 to a 80hz xo and experimented with 60 and 100 (can't tell the diff...). So adjusting the ext-in sub level and the channel volumes in both the 3805 and it sounds 'pretty good' - but the EP-500 seems to just 'boom' (volume control is at about 65%) rather than put out defined bass. I listen to a lot of stuff such as jazz and ambient techno and the bass is usually tightly defined on my other system.

Am I missing some adjustment? Would replacing the NHTs with M80s help - and if so, how would I tune them and the EP-500? Would I need to bi-amp the M80s (I can't bi-amp the NHTs) and with what kind of power and control (xo)? Or is there a way to tune the EP-500 better?

I already tried Alan's "sub-woofer crawl" to figure out the best place to put the EP-500 so I'm fairly comfortable about its placement.

So many questions... I just want to listen to good quality music!
_________________________
ken

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#149943 - 10/23/06 12:57 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: KenOntko]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5432
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
If you have a "gap" (presumably you mean a frequency response "hole" ?) between sub and mains that might just mean you need to flip the 'ol phase switch on the subwoofer.

If the mains and sub are out of phase then they cancel each other out at the crossover point...

You may not hear any change if you flip the phase switch yourself -- get someone else to flip the switch while you listen in the normal spot.


Edited by bridgman (10/23/06 12:59 AM)

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#149944 - 10/23/06 01:17 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just m [Re: KenOntko]
JasonB Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 105
Loc: St. Albert, AB
If you're running the sub from the low level outputs from your receiver, you should put the crossover on the sub either as high as possible, or preferably disable it completely (if it allows you to do this). The reason is that your receiver is already controlling the crossover before it sends the singal out to the sub. If you tell the sub to control it as well, it may cut even more out the the signal then the receiver intended, which could be creating the hole that you describe.

I also agree with Bridgman's idea that your sub may be out-of-phase.
_________________________
____________________________ M22 VP100 QS8 EP500 Yamaha HTR-5960

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#149945 - 10/23/06 04:44 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: KenOntko]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10404
Ken, your comment about the noise from the Denon during pauses in the music would make me think that your particular unit is defective in that respect. No player that I've ever had made more than a very faint whirring sound that could be heard with my ear close to it and the speakers muted. What you describe would certainly be unacceptable to me when listening to classical music and it's hard to believe that this would be a typical problem with Denon players.

As to the bass "gap", I'd like to add additional emphasis to Jason's point. If that's what you meant, you appear to be using the crossover in both the receiver and the control on the sub simultaneously. If the sub control is actually taking effect at a lower frequency than the receiver crossover(despite the same 80Hz setting)this could create a gap. In any case, the two crossovers may interfere with each other, so the sub control should be set to bypass.

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#149946 - 10/23/06 06:42 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: KenOntko]
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1127
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Ken, it sounds as if you know what you are doing, so please don't take offense to my question.

Quote:

So adjusting the ext-in sub level and the channel volumes in both the 3805 and it sounds 'pretty good' - but the EP-500 seems to just 'boom' (volume control is at about 65%) rather than put out defined bass. I listen to a lot of stuff such as jazz and ambient techno and the bass is usually tightly defined on my other system.





I am assuming that you are doing this with a test disc and an SPL meter? Along with what the others have suggested, if the 500 is just "booming" you may also have it's level set too high.

Also on those setup discs, they have frequency sweeps. With a meter, you will be able to tell "where" in the frequency range (and "where" in the room) things are dropping out at.

Quote:

.....and the bass is usually tightly defined on my other system.





What are you running for speakers in the other system? For kicks, have you tried swapping the subs, the mains, or both? I know I was happier with my system in the basement of the old house than I am with it on the main floor of the new one. A big part of it may be the room.
_________________________
Shawn

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

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#149947 - 10/23/06 08:39 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: KenOntko]
MarkSJohnson Online   happy
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10941
Loc: Central NH
Quote:

I've set both the 3805 and the EP-500 to a 80hz xo




I agree with Jason above. You've got TWO crossovers inline.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#149948 - 10/23/06 11:20 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
Wow! Thanks guys. I'll try some stuff out later.

To answer some questions (and maybe give me some help):

-> I'm running the sub from the sub-out in the pre-out area of the Denon, set to LFE (not LFE+main).
-> Unfortunately I can't disable the xo in the Denon. Do you suggest therefore that I set the EP-500 to 100hz and try to control with the Denon? Or the other way around? Or will it matter at all.
-> My other system (5.1) has Energy C-5s (front floorstanding) NHT SuperCentre (center) NHT SuperOnes (rear), and a custom 10" downward-firing passive sub driven by a NHT SA-2 amp/xo where the xo is continuously variable from 20 - 120hz. When I move this sub to the Denon system I set the xo to 80hz as well... and all the bass nuances (especially on my jazz stuff with acoustic bass) comes into focus.
-> I've tried the phase switch several times - but by myself. I'll get someone else to flip it tonight.
-> I'm using neither a test disc nor a SPL meter! Just my comparisons when I plug in the other sub... If you can recommend a test disc and a SPL meter please do so! (Thanks! )
-> I initially (Jan '06) had a Denon 1920 and the motor noise I found unacceptable. Figuring "what can you expect for $400" I upgraded to the 2910 in March. It had lower motor noise - but wasn't silent at all. So I took it back and in a quiet listening room did back-to-back comparisons with the 2910, the 3910, and an Integra. All had unacceptable transport noise during quiet parts of the music (sitting 10' away). After some research the Cambridge was pointed out to me and it is absolutely silent. I should mention that I have about 40 SACDs / DVD-As as well so needed that feature which restricted my choice somewhat.

I really appreciate the comments, folks!
_________________________
ken

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#149949 - 10/23/06 12:00 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: KenOntko]
HomeDad Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 3301
Loc: Central,California
Ken, what most of us do is set the EP500 on bypass and the receiver at 80hz. Along with all the speakers to small. Seems to work out very well.
_________________________
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

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#149950 - 10/23/06 12:16 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: KenOntko]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6252
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Quote:

->Do you suggest therefore that I set the EP-500 to 100hz and try to control with the Denon? Or the other way around? Or will it matter at all.



Hi Ken. Just set the crossover on the EP500 to "BYPASS." This will allow the incoming signal from your Denon to bypass the EP500's crossover entirely. This is what you want, since you'll be using the crossover in the Denon.

Quote:

-> I'm using neither a test disc nor a SPL meter! Just my comparisons when I plug in the other sub... If you can recommend a test disc and a SPL meter please do so! (Thanks! )




There are a number of good calibration discs available. The most common are Digital Video Essentials (DVE) (the NTSC version NOT the PAL version), The Avia Guide To Home Theater, and Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune-Up.

I just heard about the Discwasher DVD Home Theater Setup Disc. I'm not familiar with this particular disc, but I believe both Sirquack and Jakeman are. Maybe they'll stop by and share their experience with this disc with us. It is, by far, the least expensive of all the discs.

The Radio Shack Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter will do just fine.

Here are some links which will explain the various discs, and calibration in general.

AN INTRODUCTION TO TEST & CALIBRATION DVDS aka "Why the hell do I need one of these things?" (To learn about DVE, AVIA, and Sound & Vision scroll down far enough to read "THE DIFFERENT DISCS AND THEIR ATTRIBUTES")

Essential Accessories: The Radio Shack Sound Pressure Level Meter

A Quick Overview of Home Theater Calibration

Calibrating Your Home Theater System

How To Set Up a Subwoofer (or Subwoofers) for Home Theater

Subwoofer Setup Guide by Bossobass

Common Subwoofer Set-Up Errors by Edward J M

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#149951 - 10/23/06 12:43 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap' - or is it just me? [Re: Ajax]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
Thanks guys!

I'll try the "bypass" setting tonight and Jack's left me with some reading to do...
_________________________
ken

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#149952 - 10/24/06 01:33 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
Tried the bypass. Tried the phase switch. Experimented with the "flat" and "half" settings on the EP-500 (kids make great remote controls... ). Made sure all speakers were at 'small' at turned off DRC in the Cambridge. Experimented a bit with different xo cutoffs in the Denon (60, 80, 100, 120). And there is some improvement - now there's a harsh cutoff from the EP-500 to the NHTs. What this needs is some blending... if only I knew how. Sigh. The EP-500 just seems to 'boom' and not actually define musical notes. I have it sitting 3' from the side wall and 1' off the back wall. It's sort of mid-way between the center of the front speakers and the right front (the entire width of the front wall is 12').

It's awkward to do exact back-to-backs with my other system but the C-5 towers seem to blend a lot better with the other sub. BTW the AVR (a Sony ES series) is set to a 80hz xo and the front speakers to 'large' in that system.

Oh well.
_________________________
ken

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#149953 - 10/24/06 02:05 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
JasonB Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 105
Loc: St. Albert, AB
Well that could be a positioning problem. You can try either moving the sub to a different location, or for less hastle, even turn it 90 degrees or something. Just something to give it a new position/orientation to see if your results change at all. Sometimes even a very slight adjustment (a couple inches) can make a noticable change in sound.
_________________________
____________________________ M22 VP100 QS8 EP500 Yamaha HTR-5960

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#149954 - 10/24/06 03:00 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10404
Ken, as to the "blending" that you speak of, this is exactly what the receiver's bass management is designed to do. For example, when 80Hz is set, the mains are rolled off(not sharply cut off)below 80Hz at 12dB per octave, and the sub is rolled off above 80Hz at 24dB per octave. So, it's unclear what the "harsh cutoff" you mention is.

Boominess is certainly not a characteristic of the EP500 that other users have experienced. As Jason and others have pointed out, this may have to do with your listening room, or more specifically the position of the sub within it. Another point is have you calibrated the levels of the sub and speakers with the automatic setup on the 3805(if you have the setup microphone)? Simply having the sub too loud in relation to the speakers can give an impression of boominess. The sub shouldn't be loud enough to draw attention to itself; the impression should be that it isn't working, but that the speakers are putting out more bass.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#149955 - 10/24/06 03:10 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1127
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Ken, as much as everyone will argue against it, in my current room I found I needed to run the mains "large" and "LFE+main". (and I have the M80's & EP600) With every other setting, I was unhappy with music. Movies are always great, but music......

Try this, and experiment with the Denon x-over and the sub phase switch again.

Also keep in mind that your other sub may have a mid-bass "hump" that may make it seem fuller near your main's natural roll off, whereas the 500 has a flatter response.
_________________________
Shawn

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

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#149956 - 10/24/06 10:05 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5432
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
What are your room dimensions, and where is your listening position ? I noticed you said the sub is at 65% -- that seems pretty high at first glance. Wondering if there is some kind of response dip in the room forcing you to turn the volume up higher than normal to compensate, giving you a boomy result...

You mentioned another sub -- have you tried putting it in exactly the same spot as the EP500 ?

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#149957 - 10/24/06 10:06 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6252
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Ken, until you properly calibrate your system using an SPL meter and either the tones from your receiver or one of the discs previously mentioned, we can't be sure just exactly what is going on. When balancing individual speaker volumes by ear, it is very common to have the subwoofer volume set way too hot resulting in excessive ("boomy") bass. I'm not saying that is what's going on in your case, but we won't know until your system is accurately calibrated.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#149958 - 10/24/06 10:23 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: real80sman]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13340
Loc: Iowa
Hey Shawn, currently I use 80hz crossover with all small. Seems fine for music and movies to me with my 60's and ep500. I'll have to give the LFE+Main option a try again for the 60's, they put out killer bass, this could be like having a second sub in my HUGE room.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#149959 - 10/25/06 07:49 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: SirQuack]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
I'd like to thank everyone for their help to date. Very much . I will need a bit of time to do the SPL meter / test disc sort of thing so I'll let you know how that works.

To finish off the last bit of questions (which I don't expect a reply to!):
-> Alan Lofft and I were going back and forth earlier this year about my other sub (which I have tried in the same position as the EP-500). Reason? There is a minor null spot in my room that effects the EP-500 but not the downward-firing sub. He was curious... regardless I have now placed the EP-500 in a place that avoids the null spot.
-> The room is 12'x22' (x8' high). The null spot strangely enough is between 4' and 6' on either side from the front. I have french doors mid-way on one long side and directly opposite them a smallish fireplace.
-> Yep, I may have the EP-500 way too 'hot'. As Jack said, without the SPL meter its hard to tell. I'm only comparing it to my other sub + the C-5 towers where the (mostly acoustic) bass seems better 'defined' - but that's by ear only.
-> the changes suggested by everyone *have* made a difference to the better. By 'sharp cut-off' what I mean is that there are some notes, mostly noticed in cello, (yep I listen to all kinds of stuff, I also like jazz, Paul Weller, and Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac) that seem to 'roll up' from the EP-500, go sorta 'flat' and then get picked up by the NHTs. Nothing real dramatic at all, just not quite as 'full' as the other system.
-> and yes, on ambient music the system does now sound a lot better. I do think that I had 'duelling crossovers' going for a while there.

Again - thanks a lot guys. No reply expected... I gotta do some SPL work now.
_________________________
ken

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#149960 - 10/25/06 11:20 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
After all that, the answer, to my ears, was very simple.

Change the front speakers to 'large' but leave it on LFE (not LFE+main). I'm still subjectively listening to the xo at 60 and 80 to see what I like best - but there's a huge change. Stunning, really. I feel good!
_________________________
ken

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#149961 - 10/26/06 09:35 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: real80sman]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3915
Loc: Up yonder
Quote:

Ken, as much as everyone will argue against it, in my current room I found I needed to run the mains "large" and "LFE+main". (and I have the M80's & EP600) With every other setting, I was unhappy with music. Movies are always great, but music......




I just did this yesterday. I also set my center speakers (M22's in parallel) to large. The surrounds and backs are set to small and at 100. I'm much happier with it and LFE is very smooth to my ears and the SPL meter. I think over the past week I’ve spent close to twenty hours moving speakers, tweaking things with an arsenal of remotes, SPL meters, Test tones, test dvds, listening to different cds and dvds. I’m done and I ain’t changing a frigging thing.

I reckon it just goes to show that the common assumption that speakers should be set to 'small' doesn't always hold true. Everyone should try different things to achieve what they think sounds best to them, in their particular application.
_________________________


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#149962 - 10/26/06 10:14 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
Spoiler Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 680
Loc: South Florida
Quote:

After all that, the answer, to my ears, was very simple.

Change the front speakers to 'large' but leave it on LFE (not LFE+main). I'm still subjectively listening to the xo at 60 and 80 to see what I like best - but there's a huge change. Stunning, really. I feel good!





Just so I understand your situation... I've got the 3805, and according to the manual, setting the front speakers to large and subwoofer mode to LFE (only) will result in the sub functioning only during Dolby Digtal or DTS signal playback.
Since your issue was with music playback, is your sub now playing with those settings when playing music?
This is assuming, of course, that I understand the manual in this regard... which would be an accomplishment!
_________________________
Epic 80 / SVS PB13 Ultra
Denon 3805 / M2200 Outlaw Monos /
Sammy 55" LED

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#149963 - 10/26/06 11:50 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: Spoiler]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
Well, I can't pretend to explain it because I read the manual the same way. But the sub is still very active when I set the 3805 to "direct" or "pure direct" (which is stereo 2 channel - or more correctly 2.1 channel). Still sounds pretty good to me ! We read the manual the same way - but maybe it lies. The sub still gets a LFE signal with my setting (fronts to "large" and sub mode to "LFE").
_________________________
ken

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#149964 - 10/26/06 11:59 PM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: KenOntko]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13340
Loc: Iowa
This is my understanding and how it works on my 2805.

For HT/Movies - If you have your mains set to large and your sub to LFE and a crossover of 80hz. Any freq's below 80hz on your center channel and surrounds will be directed to the sub. Anything below 80hz directed to the mains will stay with the mains, so you will be losing a lot by not directing some of that to the sub, which is its purpose. LFE+Main is different, then the LFE from the left/right mains is directed to both sub and mains. This can be good and bad, as you really should let your sub do its purpose, LFE.

Music - is different. In Stereo, Direct, or Pure Direct your sub should play any low music unless you have Sub = No set in the receiver.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#149965 - 11/27/06 12:23 AM Re: Will M80s fill the sub 'gap'? [Re: Spoiler]
KenOntko Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Burnaby, B.C., Canada
Ahhh. Remember this poor thread.

So after setting the speakers to "large" I was quite happy. But being afflicted with bad upgraditis I was planning to get a pair of M80s anyhow and even though Alan (thanks! ) told me the Denon 3805 would drive them very nicely I sort of kept my eye opened for a decent 2-channel amp for them.

As fate would have it I managed to pick up a NAD C272 for a very good price ($500) and while waiting (and dithering on ordering) on M80s I hooked up the amp to my current NHT SB3s.

So... THAT's where the bass and smoothness went. Hawly smoot! I had no idea a separate amp could make so much difference. I had no idea the Denon was so lacking (it isn't really, just doesn't do the same things as the NAD I guess). Wow.

I'm sure other amps do the same good job as the NAD but for those who haven't tried and are working solely with an AVR - however good - I have to say it's a real eye-opener.
_________________________
ken

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