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  1. #1

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    Default Polk Subwoofer Connection Method Question

    Hi I am new to Polk Community but I am learning all the way. I am a self confessed tweaker and always looking for ways to improve speaker performance. I sent this email to Polk and I have not received any replies yet. Maybe any member can help me with this...

    Dear Polk Audio,

    I am running RTi A3 as my fronts and PSW 505 subwoofer with an Onkyo TX-SR605 AVR. As usual, it seems on your website I am confused with the issue of subwoofer connection. The Polk recommended way certainly seems to produce better bass in my system. I connected the front speakers and subwoofer via parallel connection (figure 7 in your PSW 505 documentation – I did it to reduce the speaker wire and keep things looking neat) to each speaker. However, I have a question which was raised by Onkyo.

    Please see excerpt below:

    The subwoofer "pre out" of the receiver is using a filter.

    If you need full band, then connect the subwoofer to front speaker outputs left/right.

    Only possible if the subwoofer has the possibility? If the subwoofer has the possibility, in this case switch subwoofer to "OFF" at the receiver menu.

    If you use the front speaker outputs for the subwoofer, please attention.

    Important info !!!

    General our receiver can work with impedance from 4 ohm per channel.

    Impedance lower is not allowed.

    If you use two loudspeakers directly per channel, please give attention of the entire impedance, that this is not lower than 4 ohm!

    For example, if you use two 4 ohm speakers per channel is the entire impedance 2 ohm. That is not possible to use!!!

    If you use together a 4 ohm and 8 ohm speaker per channel, then is the entire impedance approximately from 3 ohm.

    That is not possible to use!!!

    If you use two 8 ohm speakers per channel is the entire impedance 4 ohm. You can use this.

    In the case, if you use a active subwoofer about the “subwoofer pre out" of the av-receiver:

    Please

    1. Turn the volume at the subwoofer to maximum.
    2. Turn the crossover frequency at the subwoofer to the highest frequency.



    What are your recommendations in this case? What does the impedance issue become or does this not mean anything and will not compromise the AVR?

  2. #2
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    Do whichever sounds best in your system. You're most likely getting more bass from the "speaker wires through sub" or "parallel" method because bass is being fed to both the main speakers and the subwoofer.

    The powered subwoofer does not place a "load" on the receiver, so the impedance issue does not apply.
    -Eric
    -Polk Audio

  3. #3

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    I have no problem, going Polk's route. But be warned, at higher dB's with a heavy bass movie, your RTi 3's are recieving an unfiltered, full range, signal.

    I would like to talk more about this way of connection.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  4. #4

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    Thanks for that. I have done it now via the parallel method. One more question: What volume level must I set for the PSW505 and what cross-over taking into account that I am using the RTi A3 as my fronts.

  5. #5
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    Might want to read this article on sub tweaking:
    http://www.polkaudio.com/education/article.php?id=20

    Crossover should be around 80 Hz, for the level- well it depends, but generally you want a rich and balanced sound. The bass shouldn't be so loud that its overbearing, nor should it be so quiet that the system sounds thin and bass shy.
    -Eric
    -Polk Audio

  6. #6

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    Volume and xover should be set my ear. There is not standard for those settings, being room and placement will effect the settings.

    Thats why Polk's way is alittle more complex than just using the LFE and setting a universal xover on the AVR.

    Play around with the settings, my guess would be xover about half way (which should be ~80hz-100hz) and volume about 1/4-1/2. But it might be different in your room.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  7. #7

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    My system is definitely performing better and better with the advice. I am getting more responsive bass from going to the parallel hookup method. What is better, the parallel method (figure 7 in PSW 505 owner's manual) that I am using now or wiring to the sub and then from the sub to the main front speakers (figure 6 in PSW 505 manual)?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    Volume and xover should be set my ear. There is not standard for those settings, being room and placement will effect the settings.

    Thats why Polk's way is alittle more complex than just using the LFE and setting a universal xover on the AVR.

    Play around with the settings, my guess would be xover about half way (which should be ~80hz-100hz) and volume about 1/4-1/2. But it might be different in your room.
    I agree that you should set your system to your preference but their IS a general standard for HT calibration and setup. 75db(85db), C weight, slow response is typical for calibration. I run my subwoofer and surround speakers "hot" because I feel, for my application, they are not suitable parameters.

    The "Polk" way isn't more complex than any speaker level input method to integrate a subwoofer.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 01-24-2008 at 02:00 AM.

  9. #9

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    When you say "hot", what do you mean?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post
    The "Polk" way isn't more complex than any speaker level input method to integrate a subwoofer.
    Well I feel it is, for a newbie just starting out, not knowing much about wireing, it would be confusing to him/her. Thats why Polk has to explain step by step how to do it.

    Speaker wire out to sub, then speaker wire from sub to speakers. Trying to find out what xover setting to set the sub and trying to find out what Fr responce the speakers have. Then trying to calibrate with an unfarmilliar device to some, such as the SPL meter. Then raising or lowering the main bass control, so not to blow your speakers or overdrive your AVR when watching movies like War of the Worlds, or LOTR. Then blending in sub with mains.

    I have damaged a good pair of Mirage by over driving them during a movie, because the AVR was set to Large, thus sending all signals to them. My stsem was callibrated to 80dBs. But an explosions, over drove the Mirage, thus frrying a midbass. I no longer run any speaker full range. Especially my 7's. 40-60hz, is as low as I need while keeping the sub Fr's for the sub woofer.

    In a pure music system, Polk offers the best choice for setup, but for HT movies, it is not.

    Too easy to damage speakers when set to large. Unless you listen in "quiet" mode.

    And now adays with auto callibration, that does a pretty darn good job, makes it very easy when running through LFE.


    I'm sure we could go on and on about different views, I just wanted to give mine.
    Last edited by jakelm; 01-24-2008 at 10:34 AM.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaharaj View Post
    When you say "hot", what do you mean?
    Hot = Louder...
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  12. #12

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    Jake - I understand completely, and I'm just doing the same thing, offering perspective. This whole hobby can get over explained in a hurry when in reality, it's not that hard.

    I think the speaker level method is silly and in this day and age, almost completely unneccesary. HTIB changes that but for the most part everything is LFE input now. Auto-Calibration is becoming more common and eventually the standard, probably along with DSP room correction. Who benefits from all that? Hell yeah....we do :)

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