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  1. #1

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    Default PLEASE HELP! Bought Used Really Nice Denon Receiver, Issues With Subwoofer

    So My old non HDMI sony receiver was outdated, underpowered for the $2500+ speakers I have and I needed something new. So i have been saving and checking craigslist daily. I bought a Denon 2309 CI, a $900 Receiver when new in 2009. It has 4 HDMI ins. and has a lot of great high tech stuff for the time. IM having issues with my sub though. THe Denon has a microphone that set ups your system for you. The first day I set it up I was very impressed with the sound. but today I hooked my ipod up to listen and all of a sudden I cant get my receiver back to the 5.1 channel audio, and im good with this stuff, or def above avg . So I decided to re calibrate it. and the difference in how the receiver calibrated it from how it did two days ago made me wonder big time how good it really is.

    Anyways by sub is a Sony subwoofer, I have a 5.1 channel system, my Polk's are my rear speakers which are the FXai6's which are incredible surround speakers, expensive but worth every single penny!! I have a B&W center, and a company that went out of business and got $1500 speakers for $600!! amazing speakers, my front channels. So the sony sub has a light where the power button is, if its totally off no light of course, if its on standby red, on green. SO my receiver is recognizing the sub and putting it as " LFE", I saw someone elses thread and people recommending picking the "LFE and Main" instead. but everyone has got an opinion. Its hard to tell what to do. Ive heard a lot of people who say you should set all your speakers to small because if you have a nice system the sub will do all the low end sounds anyways, but my fronts have great low end capabilities, so does the center channel, and having the low end spread out seems like the way to go.

    SO my questions are:

    1. Do I rely on the calibrator? because before it set my subwoofer to a negative something number, like -8.5, now its saying +10, while everything else is -5.0+. and I can tell too because the sub is way too loud, ive had to manually go over and turn it down on the sub.

    2. SHould I set it to "LFE" or "LFE+Main"

    3. WHy is my sub showing up on standby when the system is turned on, then during certain shows will turn on and then work?


    BTW, the guy I bought it from the first time I went to look at it the sub channel didnt work at all, being someone who worked at an audio place, the guy, he said he would bring it in to his tech to look at, first he emailed me it was a simple solder issue, then days later he said it wasnt and he just had to factory reset it and it works fine. When i test the channels it does work. but it seems like the receiver is confused sending a signal when being used while watching a movie, or playing a game. I love Denon, but man is this receiver not very user friendly. Im new here, love stereo's, and hope someone has some ideas.

    Thanks -Josh

  2. #2

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    The Audyssey version that receiver has does not always work great with setting the subwoofer levels, so you may have to do it manually (get an spl meter if you don't have one already). If the sub is just set to LFE, it will only play on soundtracks with an LFE track. I would personally set all speakers to small and play with crossover settings. As far as the LFE or LFE+Main, try both and see what you would prefer. (By saying what model for the center, subwoofer, and fronts, we would have a better idea.)

  3. #3

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    Taken from the Audyssey Guide on AVSForum

    What is ‘LFE + Main’ or ‘Double Bass’ and should I use it?

    The short answer is ‘No’ – you should not use these settings and, if you have a subwoofer, you should never set your speakers to ‘Large’. For the more detailed reasoning behind this, read on…

    Denon units have a setting called ‘LFE + Main’ and Onkyo units call this ‘Double Bass’. They both set out to achieve the same thing. Before we look at the issues surrounding these settings, we need to clarify what your AVR manufacturer means when they say speakers are ‘Large’ or ‘Small’.

    For starters, these designations have nothing whatsoever to do with the physical size of your speakers. In AVR-speak, ‘Large’ means “no bass management” and ‘Small’ means “bass management is used”. For our present purposes, ‘bass management’ means that you have a subwoofer and you want to send bass frequencies to it – usually all the frequencies below a certain crossover level that you have chosen (or which your AVR has chosen when you ran your Audyssey setup routine). Often this crossover will be 80Hz.

    If you set your speakers to ‘Large’ then ordinarily no bass management at all is used. This means that your expensive subwoofer is doing nothing other than handling the relatively small amount of content in the LFE channel (the .1 in 5.1).

    If , however, you decide to use a crossover to send the low frequencies to your subwoofer, then you will need to set the speakers to ‘Small’. In some AVRs, you don’t specify ‘Small’ – the very act of setting a crossover means that the speakers have been designated as small.

    However… what happens if you set your AVR to use the ‘LFE + Main’ or the ‘Double Bass’ setting?

    With Denon units, if you set the mains to "Large" and ‘LFE+MAIN’, the mains will receive the full frequency spectrum, and bass from the main channels will also be sent to the sub (LFE) simultaneously. The same thing happens with Onkyo units if you set ‘Double Bass’. In both cases you are now sending low frequencies to both the main speakers AND the subwoofer. The problem is, this is a really bad idea for the following reasons:

    First, there is the possibility of phase cancellation when the main speakers and the subwoofer play the same bass frequencies.

    Second, in the region where the frequencies overlap between the subwoofer and the main speakers, the bass frequencies are doubled and tend to become bloated, boomy, and exaggerated.

    Also, the XT and MultEQ versions of Audyssey apply more correction filters to the subwoofer frequencies. If the same frequencies are sent to the main speakers and the subwoofer at the same time, you will apply higher resolution filters to the same frequencies in the subwoofer and lower resolution filters to the same frequencies going to the front speakers. When the two low frequency sources are combined, we will have unpredictable results to say the least.

    Finally, read what Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey has to say on the subject:

    "LFE + Main should not even be an option because it just causes duplication of bass content by sending it to both the sub and any speakers set to Large (Full Range).

    A "high ranking" official in a "well-known" AVR company told me that LFE + Main was invented to appease customers that were upset when their speakers were being set to Small. These customers had a complete lack of understanding of what Small means (i.e. turn on bass management and redirect the bass to the subwoofer) and felt... inadequate. LFE + Main allows them to set their speakers to a more manly Large and still have bass management. But it's a compromise that can cause boomy bass if the speaker and subwoofer overlap in the lower frequencies."
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio LSi15 x 2
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio LSiC
    Rear Speakers: Polk Audio LSiF/X x 2
    Subwoofers: Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    AVR: Denon AVR-3313CI
    Amp: Emotiva XPA-5

  4. #4

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    I am 32 now and it took me about 8 years of saving and buying maybe a pair of speaker every two years, and receiver and other components to build up my system, I have health issues so I have little money so it took me a LONG time to build up my system, but I ended up with a very nice one, it just so happens the largest supplier of high endSpeakers on the internets store is 5 miles away , www.Audioclassics.com , So like my front speakers you can find amazing deals there. Like the Phase technology speakers I got.

    -In the front - Phase Technology SM-600's

    -Subwoofer , Sony-Sa-WX700 ( I almost got a "better" company but this subwoofer got really high reviews when it came out, so I took a chance and got it, and it is a very good speaker, I should of been a little more patient and saved up maybe $200 more and gotten a Polk sub, but I think the other speaker I was going to get was a Polk or some other great company, but for that price point this sub was supposed to be the best for the money)

    -Center Channel B&W LCR6 S2

    -Surround Polk Audio F/Xi A6's

  5. #5

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    Welcome to Club Polk.

    Looks like the difference between large and small speaker settings have been covered, so a little guidence.

    Start with manually setting the volume button on your sub to aprx the halfway point. Set your speakers to small, and run your auto-cal program.
    Check the speaker settings and values. If your auto-cal program set them to large, change them to small. All of your speakers should have a value between +/- 5db, especially the sub. If the sub is out of that range, adjust the volume accordingly, using the knob on the sub, and rerun your auto-cal program. Repeat again if necessary.

    All manufacturers have some auto-cal program built into their AVR's. Some are better than others, but none are perfect. Once you get your sub closer to 0db, then tell use what the othr speaker readings are, and maybe we can help a little more.

    Things to remember

    That mic is very important. Best to put it on some type of stand/pedistal. do not hold it in your hand or set it on pillows, and place it about ear high, where ever it is that you sit. The guests are secondary,if they are that lucky.

    If you notice that readings, the db ones, are inconsistant, check your wire connections, and you may even want to star saving for higher quality wire/cables. This is also true for that simple looking sub connecter. Budget cables are not worth the trouble, so stay away from your local hardware store.

    Sometimes speaker placement will do more than you realize, as well as that bi/dipole setting on those fx speakers.

    This is a starting point, get your sub right, try turning your fronts toward your favorite sitting position a little, rerun you auto-cal program, and come back with more questions. Most here are more than happy to help all they can.

  6. #6

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    Heres a few pictures if I can get it to work of my system. My TV I also Love !! a Samsung 55 inch LCD LED backlit Hd TV thats like half inch thick. The picture is incredible. I got it for such a good deal! So yea I think I figured it out, heres my system.
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  7. #7

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    RPF 65, The problem with setting the speakers to small then running the mic test is the mic test basically overrides anything that has been set up before hand. You could go in after and mess with the settings on the speakers. like small or large. I did a retest, I used big pillows before, this time I stacked up Tupperware tall and thin bins, and mostly I got close settings. I did set my sub volume in the 12 position like it says to do in the directions.

    Heres the results:

    Front:Large
    Center:Large
    Surround:Small

    ( I know the argument of letting the sub take care of the lower levels, but with surround sound dont you want your front speakers to take some of the lower end sounds if it helps with the surround sound?)

    DISTANCE:

    FL: 11.6ft
    FR: 10.2 feet
    C 10.3 ft
    SW: 11.9 ft
    SL: 6.8 ft
    SR: 2.5 ft ? I watch mostly from a position close to the the SR channel, but how would the receiver know if I put the speaker in 6 different listening points, unless it uses the first one you use as the main.

    CHANNEL LEVEL:

    FL -3.5 db
    FR -3.0
    C -5.0
    SW -5.0
    SL -7.0
    SR -10.5

    CROSS OVER FREQ. Check

    Front: Large:
    Center: Large:
    Surround:Small 60 HZ Not sure why its just giving a readout for the Polk surrounds, is it because its set to small?

    EQUALIZER- set to FLAT

    Its sounding pretty darn good right now. WAY WAY WAY better than my old SOny receiver I had to settle for years ago, It was almost $500 but not nearly as nice as a $900+ Denon.

    I put this info up for RPF65. It seems much more balanced then it was the first two times i tried. just the surround right that seems off, but again its like 3 feet from where i usually lay my head, so maybe its right how its set up.

  8. #8

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    Also I actually used to have my fronts forward from the rest of my system, notice if you look at the picture of my TV and stuff everything is basically right forward the same amount, I used to have until today the fronts to the very sides and angled towards the center of the room. I thought maybe if I put them back in the position they are now where they make the room look cleaner that maybe the calibration could make up for them not pointing right at the center of the listening area. It stinks because my couch is against one of the walls. IT just closes the room way too much by putting it in the spot that would be the best for audio. Maybe I should save up for a lazy boy type chair that I can move into place that is right in the center. but my money is so tight and they are so so expensive,and used furniture is kinda nasty. I do use my computer chair when im playing video games and put it in the perfect spot.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    Welcome to Club Polk.

    Looks like the difference between large and small speaker settings have been covered, so a little guidence.

    Start with manually setting the volume button on your sub to aprx the halfway point. Set your speakers to small, and run your auto-cal program.
    Check the speaker settings and values. If your auto-cal program set them to large, change them to small. All of your speakers should have a value between +/- 5db, especially the sub. If the sub is out of that range, adjust the volume accordingly, using the knob on the sub, and rerun your auto-cal program. Repeat again if necessary.

    All manufacturers have some auto-cal program built into their AVR's. Some are better than others, but none are perfect. Once you get your sub closer to 0db, then tell use what the othr speaker readings are, and maybe we can help a little more.

    Things to remember

    That mic is very important. Best to put it on some type of stand/pedistal. do not hold it in your hand or set it on pillows, and place it about ear high, where ever it is that you sit. The guests are secondary,if they are that lucky.

    If you notice that readings, the db ones, are inconsistant, check your wire connections, and you may even want to star saving for higher quality wire/cables. This is also true for that simple looking sub connecter. Budget cables are not worth the trouble, so stay away from your local hardware store.

    Sometimes speaker placement will do more than you realize, as well as that bi/dipole setting on those fx speakers.

    This is a starting point, get your sub right, try turning your fronts toward your favorite sitting position a little, rerun you auto-cal program, and come back with more questions. Most here are more than happy to help all they can.
    You say to try until it calibrates until the receiver shows up as 0 db's. why is that? It seems like the last calibration seemed to be pretty good except for the odd surround right difference.

  10. #10

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    Yes. When speakers are set to large, the full freq spectrum is sent to them. So there would be no need to worry about the cross over freq.

    When you set your speakers, and say yor crossover is set to 60 hz, that is the freq the AVR will start sending the signal to the sub. This isn't a hard cut off point. Your Denon has decided that your fronts and center can handle pretty much everything audio, but the surrounds are weak at freqs below 60 hz or less, so it starts tapering off signal strength to them, and diverting it to the sub.

    This is the point that people take sides of the large/small debate. Those that like large speaker would say leave everythin as is, or maybe set your center to small and cross over to 60 hz. Those that like small speaker settings would tell you to manually set everything to small, 60 hz, and give it a listen.

    The thing to remember is the surrounds are the weak link in freq response, at least to the Denon mic. That is the lowest setting you want to use for the cross over setting. Again, another debate is to weather to set all cross over freqs the same or different. Personally I like small speakers with the cross over the same.

    You may want to try setting everything to small, 60 hz, and see how that sounds.

    I really don't know why that surround db is so far off from the other. Could be a foreign noise issue, even outside traffic could through those readings off. No auto-cal program is perfect, but if it sounding better, your on the right track. The good side is it seems that your sub is closer to what the Denon wants from your sub, at least it isn't at the end of correction range, so it should blend better.

    You said it is sounding better, what improvements are you looking for now? To your ears what isn't sounding quite right, maybe another easy solution.

  11. #11

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    Your sub is the only speaker that you can control the volume on, because it has it's own amp.

    If you look at the extremes of your volume control on your sub, 2 not really good things can happen. Say you turned your volume way down, like 1/8, your db reading would be at whatever the + end of the scale. What your AVR is telling you is you need more power to that sub. The sub may miss some audio, making a movie less enjoyable, and even go into stand-by mode. That would give you an ocassional bass thump here and there, which is annoying, and not very good for the sub.

    Turned up too high is also bad. The AVR will have problems controlling the bass, simply because even a small signal could be interperated as an explosion. You can also overdrive the speaker, destroying it.

    The AVR sends a signal to the sub, the stronger the signal, the louder the sound. Getting it caled to 0 is just simply the best place for it, because it is easier for the AVR to send the proper signal strength. EVerything in your system has a specific job. The trick is getting everything to do its job, and you never being able to tell exactly which part is doing whatever it is supposed to do. Good equipment just makes it a little easier.

  12. #12

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    So I want my Bass speaker to be at 0 db's when the system calibrates it? Or go in manually and set it to 0 Db's?

    You asked me is there anything sounding off and my only complaint is watching TV most of the time you just hear the sound coming from the front channels, sounds like mostly from the center channel specifically. Which is probably how its supposed to be. while the rear speakers seem to only be really sending any noise out if a movie, prob with dolby is being seen on an HD channel. and thats probably normal. But I rather hear more of the surround sound while watching TV, like its all around me, even if its not a movie with tons of action. The first thing I noticed before I even calibrated it was a movie with gun shots on and how clear and amazing they sounded coming out of my polk rear speakers.

    Also if a Polk Audio FX/Ai6 with 150 watts isnt a "large" speaker, not sure if any surround speakers could be. and maybe they arent supposed to be. because it says my Phase Technology front channels are Large and they are rated around 150 I think. of course those are all base numbers and not what they top out at.

    I just really wish I could afford a receiver that was 150 watts per channel to see just how great my speakers could sound. WHile i saved up for this receiver I almost used my best buy card to buy a receiver that had that kind of power to see how it sounds, then return it after I got enough money to get one i can afford. Kinda messed up to do, but Im a best buy silver member, they can afford putting reselling the one i try out.With silver to you have 60 days. but I think my limit is $800 on the card and I dont think they have a receiver with that much power for that much money. This Denon 2309 CI was $900 new and its 100 watts per channel. My old Sony was 100 watts rated as well and it was like $400 something. Seems like a Denon that costs double would have more power.

  13. #13

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    You want all speakers set to Small and crossovers set at 80. Also theres a big thread on Audyssey that i'll give you at the end.

    After setting your speakers up right you want to set the volume of your sub at the 12 oclock position on the sub volume dial itself and set the sub to "On" for the calibration. That way theres no delay with the sub turning on when its trying to get it to run during the calibration.

    Make sure the house is dead silent.. that means no fans running, no fridge on.. pc or anything else that emits sound. Its best to have a stand for the mic and the best that's recommended is this:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    and you'll need this adapter to attach the mic with. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    You want to use all the listening spots you can.. prob like 8 with your receiver. The first one in the main spot always and then each other spot about a foot or 2 from the last.. don't really matter where as you just want the receiver to get a good reading of your room but just make sure that your not putting the mic near a wall or the back of a seat. You want the mic dead still and about ear level and pointing to the ceiling. You cant just hold the mic.

    Then when its done and you've saved the setting go back in and make some adjustments as usually audyssey will set the speaker size and crossover different then you would want.. if it sets one at large change it to small and the crossovers to 80. Just don't change the levels and distances as those are important. Don't worry about the numbers it shows as its really not important.

    Big huge Audyessy FAQ

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/off...-faq-in-post-1
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

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