Bass Management and LFE: NOT the same thing!

Should I use bass management in my AVR? What's the difference between the Subwoofer signal and the LFE signal?

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92 Comments

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Scott, the acoustical problems of your room don't really care if you are playing music or movies.  They need to be fixed so you can listen to the content they way they heard it in a calibrated studio.  If you have personal preferences beyond that, these are not something that Audyssey deals with.  It's not a content EQ method, but rather a room acoustics (and psychoacoustics) correction method.

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    Audyssey Labs

    MultEQ will run just fine if you don't have a subwoofer.  It is not in charge of redirecting the content to the sub.  It just measures whatever speakers and sub are in the system and creates a correction filter for each one to undo the effects of room acoustics.

    If you don't have a subwoofer, then your front L and R speakers can only be Large.  You don't have a choice.  Small simply means: "send the bass to the sub".  If you don't have a sub, you can't set the front speakers to Small.  You can, however, set the other speakers to Small.  In that case, their bass will be redirected to the front L and R speakers.  This is a good choice if the woofers in the front speakers are larger than those in the center and surrounds.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Do you mean that the upper frequency of the sub is 85 Hz?  Seems unusual... But, yes, if that is the case then you would be missing anything in the LFE track that is between 85 Hz and 120 Hz.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Yes, this recommendation is for any version of MultEQ.

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    HT

    Thanks Chris.  One more thing.  I read the guide and it states:

     

    After MultEQ is finished, check your speaker settings in the Setup Menu. If your AVR has set any speakers to “Large” or “Full Range”, change them to “Small”.

     

    Mine is currently set to Full Band and I still have bass coming out to my sub.  I don't have "Small" setting. 

    First of all, should I change it from Full Band.  If so, what number should I change it to?  The value is ranging from 40Hz to 200Hz.

    THanks again Chris.  You are awesome.

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    Mark L

    Hi Chris,

    I recently purchased a Denon AVR 3312CI and everytime I run the Audyssey auto setup it has my front speakers set to "Large".   These speakers are capable of going as low 40hz.  However, I believe I remember reading that you guys recommend setting all speakers to small if there is a subwoofer involved, which I do have.   Will it matter if I left the front speakers set at "Large" since Audyssey did pick up that the crossover for the fronts should be at 40hz?  Thanks so much for your help!

     

    Mark

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    scott benson

    @ chris Kyriakakis, Hi chris, been having problems with my 606 so bought an 875 lovely amp but when i set the audessey it sound totally different and not as dynamic as the 606 and to much treble, could there be a reason for this.

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    Joel Locsin

    Hi Chris.

    Audyssey calibration starts by asking to set the sub's level at 75db.  After calibration, it sets my sub's trim to +2.  Preferred level though has me increasing the trim by 6db to around +8.  I read though that it's best to leave the trim value between 3 and 4db so as to save the amp's power for the other channels, while utilising the sub's amp to handle the increase in power.   To achieve this, can I start Audyssey with the starting gain higher than 75db, so if I increase the trim later on by the same amount of 6db, it would fall w/in the trim value of 3-4?

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    Victor Mendoza

    I have a Onkyo TX-SR608 2010 AVR which has Audyssey 2eq. It automatically sets my fronts at 40hz frequencies and the center at 50hz. The subwoofer lpf is set to 120hz and subwoofer level is set at -04. Here's my issue, for movie playback, these settings sound optimal. I get rich thunderous bass from my Onkyo sub. The problem is that when I play music( any genre from Hip Hop to Metal, Latin or Classic just to name a few), I can hear all the bass through the front and center speakers but no bass from the subwoofer therefore I increment the sub level as far as +08 to avoid overexceeding it. At this point I hear a very minimal difference in sound and the sound at times is very distorted as if the sub was maxed out. I change the lpf to 80hz which also has very minimal effect. I've also manually reduced the front and center bass levels to -10 with no success and tried incrementing treble levels also with same negative results. I've also reduced the center speaker level output but same results. My sub is connected via monster sub cable to my receivers sub pre-out. I've also enabled my THX setting to double bass which according to my AVR manual, redirects all low frequencies from the front and and center channels to the sub for richer bass but does not help at all. My source output to the receiver is my HTPC(Home Theater PC) via Toslink or also known as optical cable. What is causing this and how can I solve it? as the receiver is new and it boasts great reviews. I know it's not faulty because most movies will output great lpe sound unlike my music whether it's Metal, Hip Hop, Latin or Techno or even Classic. Please Help.

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    omkar

    yes the Wharfedale Diamond SW150 subwoofer  i have has a a knob which you can select crossover from 35hz to 85hz, so does  this mean i can set the LFE on my onkyo to 90hz instead of 120hz?  which will help the sub crossover do less work?  thanks chris

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    Danny

    Thanks a lot Chris. One more question. 

    Does this hold true also when I am using MultEQ XT32. After the calibration, can I set them to small. I am asking this because I m planning to upgrade my AVR to Denon 4311 and it comes with XT32. 

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    VK

    Chris 

    Thanks for all ur assistance.

    I need some clarifications . Sorry if these are very naive questions..new to all this.

    My Onkyo 608 Multi EQ configured the speakers (Def Tech 60 series) fronts to 150Hz, Center to 120 and Surround to 100 . My sub is connected via LFE port from Onkyo . Sub is set to "yes". I understand the THX mode sets up everything to 80Hz. I was wondering considering the setup which came up ...are there any frequencies which are missing from between 130-150 (from center/fronts) which are not send to the sub.

    I have noticed that setting the fronts and center channels to Fullband makes sound richer. 

    Also , is LFE to connect the sub. I managed the bass via the bass management options to set different levels. 

    Is there a optimal way to set it this setup.

    Thanks

    VK

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    Alexander Baranov

    Chris, I have a question about one of your comments from 2010:

    Victor,

    Make sure that when you listen to music that your speakers are not set to Full Range.  This is a common issue.  AVRs switch speakers to Full Range which means that no bass will be sent to the subwoofer.  This also happens when you listen in Direct or Pure mode that turns off all digital processing including Audyssey, Bass Management, etc.

    I do not have a subwoofer, my front speakers are full band floor standing Cerwin Vega speakers (AVR Onkyo SR608, Musical Fidelity V-DAC Mkii). Does your above comment apply in my case? If yes, how can I make sure that my speakers are not set to Full Range when I play 24-bit 96Khz music? Thanks, Alex

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Stephen: I have never understood the reason for connecting high and low to the REL sub.  The LFE level is set by the bass management in the AVR and should not be changed if you are interested in reference listening.  The subwoofer level (different from the LFE) is also set in the AVR.  

    The LFE+Main selection is a bad idea because it ends up doubling the bass in the overlap region and this can cause muddy bass.  So my suggestion is to connect the sub to the Sub Out (line level) and set the mode to LFE.  Then both Audyssey and the AVR bass management can work as intended.

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    Audyssey Labs
    1. You should always always always run all available positions.  The algorithm needs to collect as much information from the room as possible.  The mic placement should follow the guidelines shown here.

    2. There is no need to re-run the calibration if you change the level.  Audyssey is setting it to film reference.  If you have a personal preference for a different sub level then you can change it after the calibration is finished.  All AVR settings prior to running the calibration are ignored.  

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    Rick

    I too have an Onkyo 608 and love the Blue Ray movie imaging but any CD stereo sound is very flat and plastic sounding.  My older Onkyo 602 has fantastic stereo sound.  Its rather frustrating when we buy newer equipment only to find out the old stuff is better (in some ways)

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    Barnet Feingold

    Thanks. I hadn't realized how limited my EQ was. I'll seriously consider a receiver that incorporates more sophisticated Audyssey circuitry. 

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Steve,

    Could it be that you are listening to stereo content in "direct" mode? That turns off all digital processing including bass management and Audyssey.  So the benefits of room correction are lost.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Yes, such a case can be made for the reasons you state.  

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Alex,

    If you don't have a subwoofer then you have no choice.  Your speakers will be set to Full Range.  Setting the speakers to Small means: send the bass to the sub.  In your case that's not possible...

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Scott: The 875 has MultEQ XT so you should be getting much better bass performance due to the higher resolution filters than 2EQ that was in the 606.  Are you sure Onkyo is not setting your speakers to Full Range?  

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    Andy Hill

    Hi Chris,

    I have an Onkyo 609 and have been very impressed with Audyssey 2EQ.

    I calibrated my speakers by running Audyssey Quick Start continously adjusting the gain on my sub (Paradigm) until I got a channel to 0dB (+/-3dB) so the centre is now -3db.  This put the sub gain at about 9 o'clock and a reading of -3dB.  I then ran a Full Audyssey setup and saved it.

    Crossovers are front (floorstanders) 40Hz, centre 40Hz and rears 90Hz as set by Audyssey and so I have left them alone.

    I only tend to turn the sub on (at the mains, always shown on, on the 609) for movies as there is ample bass for music but for movies the sub is lacking.

    Have I setup my speakers correctly, adjusting to get a speaker channel as near 0db as possible?

    Am I better tweaking the sub level by changing the db setting towards 0 or adjusting the gain on the sub?  It feels at the moment that the Fronts are dealing withg the bass.

    Many thanks!

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    Audyssey Labs

    Victor,

    Make sure that when you listen to music that your speakers are not set to Full Range.  This is a common issue.  AVRs switch speakers to Full Range which means that no bass will be sent to the subwoofer.  This also happens when you listen in Direct or Pure mode that turns off all digital processing including Audyssey, Bass Management, etc.

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    Audyssey Labs

    2EQ was designed for AVRs that don't have enough processing power to run higher versions of Audyssey room correction.  So, unfortunately, 2EQ does not apply filters to the subwoofer.  In the main speakers it will apply correction, but the amount depends on the speaker response.  It can make adjustments to some problems, but does not have enough resolution to catch narrow peaks and dips.  You can see the relative resolutions of each version of Audyssey here.

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    martinodacosta

    Hello, i have on my avr MultEQ XT32 . After the auto setup my subwoofer has less punch. Is this because of the flat frequnecy response audyssey makes to my system?

    When i disable the Audyssey EQ the bass punch is back again.

     

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    There are no frequencies missing.  The crossovers set for each speaker make sure that everything below the crossover frequency is sent to the sub.  If you set speakers to Full Band then no bass from those speakers is sent to the sub!

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    Olivier

    Hi Chris,

    i ran an audissey auto set-up on a marantz processor AV8003 with Adam active speakers and as a result all the low frequencies were routed to the speakers with none reaching the sub: it remained switched off even in "action" scenes; I checked the settings and noticed that all speakers were on "Large". So according to your recommendation, I set all speakers to "Small" to have more LFE redirected to the sub. So far so good. I haven't changed the crossover that Audissey has set at 60Hz.

    My question: I would love to have as much bass routed to my speakers as I had at the end of the calibration, when nothing was going to the sub; the sound was rich, full BUT I would also  like to have more bottom end and have the sub come into action more often as well.

    1- So am I right in setting the speakers to SMALL?

    2- Shall I also set the crossover to 80Hz?

    3- And will this leave all the bass BUT the bottom end to be handled by my speakers?

    Thanks

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    Stephen Powell

    Thanks Chris - re-ran the 3808CI setup following those suggestions and it worked perfectly without me having to "post" tweak anything.  Speakers were set small, x-overs were good, eq is good - well, maybe I had to bump the LFE filter point back up to 120 - can't remember if setup put it there or 80 this time.  At any rate, sounds much better this way leaving the "high-input" stuff out of it.  Much more straightforward as well.

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    Andy Hill

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks very much for your help.

    Excellent product!

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    Rick

    Tried everything at least 5 times, hours and hours of tweaking, swapping and comparing the 608 against the 602.  The 608 can't reproduce CD stereo sound nearly as well as the older 602.  The 602 although rated slightly lower in watts weighs about 10 pounds more than its upgraded 608 brother, perhaps a change in amplifier design is behind the weight/sound changes.  Front speakers are set to 85 and speakers are flat but sub works.  Tried full range and speakers improve slightly but sub is gone.

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