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  1. #1

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    Default Questions about DSW microPro 3000

    My Pioneer Elite VSX23 has automatic setup with microphone and so does my this sub, I was wondering which I should run first or if that matters at all.

    Also, could someone please explain phase 0, 90, 180, 270 to me? I dont understand what this is exactly.

    And finally, this little sub is powerful it def shakes the room but I feel like the actual bass notes arent loud enough however the sub is working hard. Is this because I am just used to boomier bass or is it a setup issue?

    As always, thank you!

  2. #2
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    Hello BC,
    Very good questions, in fact somebody at Polk marketing should make them part of the FAQ section. I'll try and offer some useful information. You would want to use the calibration system that is part of the sub-woofer since it uses adjustment test tones and analysis capability specific to your sub and the way it is positioned in the room. Use the receiver's setup calibration process first, then follow with the sub's.
    The best way to think about "phase" is to imagine two sine waves one above the other separated by a small distance. The top one we'll call A and the one below it is B. Think of a horizontal line going through each sine wave dividing them in half. When a point on the sine wave is above the horizontal line we'll call that "positive" when a point is on the line that's "0" and a point below is "negative". When the woofer cone in your sub moves out away from the cabinet we'll call that "positive", moving inward is "negative". The same for your main left and right speakers. When their woofers move outward that's "positive" inward "negative. If you hooked everything up "in-phase" the three woofers (sub, left and right) would all move outward together. The two sine waves would be identical, each point in A agreeing with B. Let's say you reversed the two pairs of wires going to your left and right speakers. Now the sub and the main speakers would be "out-of-phase". One sine wave would be flipped over from the other one, each negative point in A would correspond to a positive point in B. As to the way the speakers and sub would sound, their common frequencies (that is the sounds that are shared by the sub and the main speakers) would be canceled out. This happens because sound is made of pressure waves, high pressure and low pressure. When the woofer moves outward (positive in our example) a high pressure wave is created. When it moves inward (negative) low air pressure is created. When they combine they cancel each other out, assuming the volumes they are producing is close to being the same. So this covers "0" and "180" as a setting.
    If we go back to our two sine waves and allow the lower sine wave to be able to move left and right while the upper one stays stationery we can see how "0" and "180" can happen when we slide the B wave so that the highest point in A is over top of the lowest point in B. Now if we slide the B sine way halfway between where we started and the new "out-of-phase" position that would be "90" degrees "out-of-phase". If we moved B to the right past where the "180" degree complete "out-of-phase", halfway between "180" and a complete return to complete "in-phase" (360 degrees) we would represent "270" degrees.
    The reason all of this is important is that the low frequencies produced by the woofer and those produced by your main speakers have to be synchronized in order to have a good transition between sub-woofer and main speakers. But relative placement and your room characteristics can cause differences by the time the sounds reach your listening area. The "phase" or "polarity" adjustments "slide" the sub's polarity (think sine wave B) so that in your particular room all the bass frequencies, in their common frequency spectrum, reach the listener at the same time.
    As far as bass appreciation goes, I believe it takes a bit of self-training to begin appreciating truly realistic bass. Most of us have a bit of an exaggerated idea of how bass should sound. After experiencing a high quality audio system, most enthusiasts begin working to get all frequencies reproduced evenly. Nothing left out and nothing added to the original recording. You will actually hear more bass definition and detail if lower sounds are reproduced with the same strength as any other sound.
    I hope this has been helpful.
    Cheers, Ken

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