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#59604 - 09/03/04 08:36 AM Subwoofer Woes
wyatth Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Texas
Hello all.
I'm still leaning hard toward Axioms, but I visited Hillcrest and Tweeter (HT stores in Dallas) this past weekend. Still can't find a sub that I really really like. I had them play "Go For It" by Billy Cobham for reference. I futzed with their subs for a while and got something that sounded OK, but then when I changed volume the balance was all out of whack. For example, If I started loud, got the sound so that the sub complements the music, and turned the volume down the sub all but disappeared. The guy at Hillcrest recommended a $1500 Velodyne since I was so picky. I don't think I'm that picky, but I think that the amp ought to keep the sub level proportional to the rest of the audio. Are there amps out there that would let you do this? Are there subs out there that let you adjust the gain?


#59605 - 09/03/04 09:06 AM Re: Subwoofer Woes
bigjohn Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
great, a fellow texan.. nice to speak with you.

first off, what were the brands of subs you were testing? the market leaders around here are SVS and HSU. i believe those are factory direct companies, so i would guess they didnt have those for you to listen to in the stores. and to answer your question on the the gain.. YES, almost ALL subs worth anything have gain/volume controls on the sub itself. now, they arent remote control or nothing, i mean you have to physically get up and adjust the sound, but they have them! as a matter of fact, the higher end subs should have a gain adjust, a crossover adjust, a phase switch, and the ability to daisy chain additional subs. that is just the basics, but a good polace to start.

depending on your price range, you can get a good SVS or HSU sub from $300-$800 bucks, just depending on what you want to spend. go to their respective web-sites and look at what they have to offer.

good luck in your search, and hope you can find a good one. BTW- you will be very pleased with your axioms.. awesome speakers!!


#59606 - 09/03/04 09:45 AM Re: Subwoofer Woes
mwc Offline

Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 958
Loc: Texas(DFW)..that country to th...

You could also visit Audio Concepts in Dallas (also on Preston RD). I bought my Magnepans there. These guys really know thier business. I use a HSU VTF-3 and it sounds great with my Maggies and my Axiom M22s.
*Does your train of thought have a caboose?*

#59607 - 09/03/04 09:55 AM Re: Subwoofer Woes
alan Offline


Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3216
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight

You should never "notice" the sub at all once it's properly set up with the satellites. The loss of deep-bass extension should only become apparent when the sub is turned off. Subwoofer performance is so dependent on integration with your listening room, the sub location, and your seating area that it's almost impossible to do realistic comparisons of a different subwoofers in a store.

But it is possible with experimentation in placement, gain, and crossover frequency, and a reasonably well-designed subwoofer, to get satisfying integration with the main speakers in most rooms.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#59608 - 09/03/04 11:27 AM Re: Subwoofer Woes
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18029
Loc: NoVA
Were they running these subs off of the tape outputs or something? Most receivers/processors(?) these days control the output of the sub/LFE out through the volume knob, just like the speakers. That should alleviate your problem, but maybe I'm misunderstanding.
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#59609 - 09/04/04 06:22 PM Re: Subwoofer Woes
wyatth Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Texas
I'm sorry, I should have been more explicit. They demo'd a Polk and a Velodyne, both with 10" drivers. I didn't want to spend too much time futzing with their subs since, hey, that's their business. I would expect the sales-dudes to want their system to sound it's best, but I did turn the crossover to the highest freq and tried to adjust the gain so that the sub was just noticable. Even after setting the gain, it felt to me that I'd need something like a multi-point curve fit on the denon 3805 that was pushing the music. This way, no matter what the volume, the sub would be just on the edge of perception.

Note: my wife has come up with a great suggestion - throw away the Billy Cobham CD since no system can play it to my satisfaction :-)

Other note: Bray's Axiom/Velodyne setup has performed the best so far, but I'm going to need more power for my larger room so I'm still testing the waters so to speak.

#59610 - 09/04/04 06:36 PM Re: Subwoofer Woes
TonyM Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello Wyatth,

Hope you are well. It is almost impossible to calibrate a sub in the store.

To ballance the sub I generally turn all the mains down as far as they can be turned down in the setup.

Turn the gain to a little less than half on the sub.

Set the receiver's crossover to 80Hz.

Disable the crossover on the sub, you don't want double crossovers.

Set all the speakers to small, no matter the size of them.

Make sure the store is using the LFE output to the sub.

Now with the mains turned down all the way, increase the volume of the receiver till acceptable bass is heard or measured with an SPL meter. Now increase the main speaker channels until they are ballanced with the subs output. Once this is accomplished you should have acceptable bass at all volume levels.



#59611 - 09/04/04 09:34 PM Re: Subwoofer Woes
wyatth Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Texas
Thanks Tony,
One would think that the HT store would do as you describe. Maybe I'll try again. Or else, just order the dang Axioms (80's, qs-8's, VP150) with a SVS PC-Ultra and chance it :-)


#59612 - 09/04/04 09:53 PM Re: Subwoofer Woes
NeverHappy Offline

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
In reply to:

SVS PC-Ultra and chance it :-)

As one of the first owners of a PC-Ultra anywhere in North America, trust me on this, as far as the SVS goes, you are not taking a chance. I have heard bigger subs, more $$$$$ subs, and I never go home after listening to another sub thinking I need a new sub. I was a little nervous spending the money on the Ultra given what you are getting compared to a standard SVS but I have since heard a few other SVS subs and the Ultra with the proprietary TV-12 woofer is simply awesome!

#59613 - 09/04/04 10:01 PM Re: Subwoofer Woes
CosmicVoyager Offline

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 789
Loc: Asheville, NC
Or you could just get an Earthquake SuperNova MKV15 .
This sub will loosen your fillings, no sh*t! I almost hate the damn thing, It will vibrate every f***** thing in the house. It's fun to demo though, the chicks love it

M80's VP150 QS8's Earthquake SuperNova MKV-15
Integra DTR-7.4 Outlaw 755 Outlaw M200's Outlaw ICBM

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