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  1. #1

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    Question PSW110, why did I have to use the Low Pass dial with LFE?

    I've had the PSW110 for a while now and was never really satisfied with it--until I started adjusting the Low Pass dial along with the AVR crossover setting eventually ended up with the Low Pass dial at the 12 o'clock setting rather than the LFE setting.

    To review the previous situation: when I used the recommended AVR crossover setting of 80 Hz plus the PSW110 Low Pass dial at the LFE setting, always ended up with way too much bass drum and not nearly enough bass instrument presence (e.g., bass guitar, bass synth, upright string bass). When I tried to use the phase 180 instead of phase 0, I got decent bass instrument presence at the expense of noticably muted bass drum presence from the subwoofer. I even tried various subwoofer channel volumes and either got too much bass drum at 0 phase or not enough bass drum at phase 180.

    So after some experimentation, I have ended up doing double crossovers, but now I have the desired bass instrument presence without also sacrificing the bass drum presence. It works out to something like this, with a Pioneer VSX-517K AVR:

    Quick Setup selections:
    - Is Subwoofer used? Yes.
    - Number of Speakers: 5.1 ch.
    - Room Size: Small.
    - Listening Position: Back.

    (Room size measurements are approximately 16 feet wide by 9.5 feet deep by 7.5 feet high.)

    Speaker Settings (after using Quick Setup):
    - Front: Small.
    - Center: Small.
    - Surround: Small.
    - Subwoofer: Yes.

    Speaker Distance settings:
    - Front Left: 9.0 feet.*
    - Center: 8.0 feet (increased from default of 7.5 feet).
    - Front Right: 9.5 feet (increased from default of 9.0 feet).
    - Right Surround: 3.5 feet (decreased from default of 6.0 feet).
    - Left Surround: 2.5 feet (decreased from default of 6.0 feet).
    - Subwoofer: 5.0 feet (decreased from default of 9.0 feet).

    * Quick Setup, Small Room, Back Listening Position default settings.

    Channel levels:
    - Front Left: +1.0 dB (increased from default of 0.0 dB).
    - Center: +1.0 dB (increased from default of -1.0 dB).
    - Front Right: +2.0 dB (increased from default of 0.0 dB)
    - Right Surround: -3.5 dB.*
    - Left Surround: -3.0 dB (increased from default of -3.5 dB).
    - Subwoofer: +6.0 dB (increased from default of 0.0 dB).

    (Subwoofer amplifier dial between the 8 o'clock position and 9 o'clock position, just slightly above the Min setting, with subwoofer phase switch set to 0. Low Pass dial also at the 12:00 positon between the 90 Hz and 120 Hz setting).

    * Quick Setup, Small Room, Back Listening Position default settings.

    Crossover Setting:
    - X.Over: 80 Hz.

    So now I am happy with the way the entire system sounds. It's also worth noting that all the speakers are calibrated to approximatly 75 dB peak and the subwoofer calibrated to approximately 65 dB peak at the receiver calibration volume of -18 dB. Now my system is in set-and-forget mode, and I am finally happy with the overall sound, but why exactly was it necessary to do double crossovers to finally get that proper sound (to my ears)?
    Main room speakers setup, 5.1 surround sound setup: Pioneer VSX-517K AV receiver, Polk Audio Monitor 40 Front speakers, Polk Audio CSM Center speaker, Polk Audio M10 Surround speakers, Polk Audio PSW110 Subwoofer.

    Secondary room, 2 channel stereo setup:
    Technics SA-GX170, KLH TW-09B.

    Computer, 2 channel stereo setup: Nata SL-200 Integrated Amplifier and Speaker System connected to a Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio Soundcard.

  2. #2
    Old School
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    Could be your ears... :tongue: But I'd bet on room acoustics coming into play.

    Kick drums' initial attack are in the 60 Hz range and roll up as they roll off. Your listening vs sub positions likely meant you were reinforcing, over-emphasizing in the 60 Hz area. Subsequently the phase change produced cancellation in the 60 Hz area.

    Sub placement is the key. Since you have recorded all your ear pleasing settings with things as they are... if you have the time, then you've nothing to lose if you reset to square one and play with the sub position.

    If you have test tones and an SPL meter (and the inclination), then placing the sub at your listening position and crawling around your room with the meter can ID hot, null and neutral(-ish) placement candidates.

    Then again, if you like what you're hearing now...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

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