MicroPro 2000 - Lack of Power?
I purchased a refurbished MicroPro 2000 from Polk's store on Ebay recently. I am an audio beginner and this is my first sub.
I realize that this is an 8" sub so will not have a ton of power, but despite that I'm pretty underwhelmed so far and wonder if I've received a defective unit. Perhaps I have a setting wrong or there's a setup issue.
Note, I have the volume turned all the way up to 40 and have tried volumes between 30 and 40 without any significant improvement. I am connecting my sub to the receiver with a single RCA cable between the receiver's "Subwoofer PREOUT" and the sub's "LFE IN". I tried a 2nd RCA cable to see if that was the issue, but there was no difference. LFE attenuate on the receiver is set to 0dB. My fronts are set to Small with crossover currently set to 80 MHz.
Here are the issues:
- For both music and HT, sound coming from the sub is quite weak (about 1/3-1/2 of what I'd expect); sounds like I've wrapped blankets around it. Very low frequencies are getting through, but still lack power. Frequencies at the higher end of the sub's range seem to be non-existent.
- When I raise the cutoff frequency on the Pioneer, the overall system's performance sounds worse. The Monitor 40's don't play the lower frequencies, but it doesn't seem like the sub is filling in the void. I have tried different setting's on the sub's low pass dial (40 Mhz to 120 MHz) and don't hear much difference between any setting.
- I have left the sub's Power switch to ON because when I put it on "audio sense" the power light glows yellow (not detecting any audio) until I raise the volume to about -35 to -30dB (then it turns green).
- When I ran the Pioneer's MACC calibration it correctly judged the distance of my front speakers at about 10 ft away and my center at about 9 ft away, but it says my sub is 32 ft away (though it is really <10 ft away - located between my TV and front right speaker).
- Another issue is that the power button on the sub's remote seems to be defective. I've only got it to work once out of about 60 attempts, while the other buttons seem to work fine.
Thanks for any help in advance. I love my Monitor 40's and can't wait to bring out the Monitor 70's and 30's that I've also purchased once I move out of my small apartment into a house.
Pioneer seems to output the sub signal too low
I had to deal with a very similar issue with an older Pioneer receiver I am using (VSX-517, so only has manual calibration) and I have to conclude that Pioneer may be outputting the sub signal too low for the automatic signal detection on these Polk subs at low volumes that should still have some subwoofer presence.
Chance are good that if the sub power light remains Yellow until the volume is turned up to about 40 or so, is the subwoofer channel level set to 0.0 dB?
If so, I'd say to forget about the automatic calibration for the subwoofer channel volume and distance, then get that receiver subwoofer channel level up to about +5.0 dB as a starting point, with the gain dial on the subwoofer set just a bit above the Min. indicator. Now, set the subwoofer gain dial to the desired bass level for music first (not movies), then afterward make fine adjustments to either the subwoofer channel volume or the main channel volume for movies (increase or decrease based on how much LFE is wanted in movies). This also means the subwoofer should be connected to the LFE connection with the Low Pass dial set to LFE.
Depending on the room acoustics, the subwoofer channel volume may be decreased below the +5.0 dB starting reference volume, but don't go below a subwoofer channel volume of +3 dB in order to allow the subwoofer to still activate around -65 dB +/- 2 dB for music and around -57 dB +/- 4 dB for TV/movies. (Note: the volume scale for the receiver I am using goes from -94 dB to -8 dB.)
Finally, here are the settings I am using for a smaller room, copied and pasted from the document I created after finally adjusting all the settings to balance for music and movies and not disturbing the neighbors, although your settings may vary:
Speaker Distance settings:
* Front Left: 9.0 feet.
* Center: 8.0 feet
* Front Right: 9.5 feet.
* Right Surround: 3.0 feet.
* Left Surround: 3.0 feet.
* Subwoofer: 6.5 feet.
* Front Left: -3.5 dB.
* Center: -5.0 dB.
* Front Right: -4.0 dB.
* Right Surround: -6.0 dB.
* Left Surround: -5.0 dB.
* Subwoofer: +3.0 dB.
* X.Over: 80 Hz.
Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode Settings:
* Center Width: 6.
* Dimension: +3.
* Panorama: Off.
* Phase Control: On.
* Dynamic Range Control: Off.
* Low Frequency Effects Channel Attenuation (LFE ATT): 0. (0 equals no LFE attenuation.)
Hope this helps.