Subwoofer setup and MultEQ

Many powered subwoofers have controls that are set manually.  It's important to follow some simple guidelines to avoid having these controls interfere with proper subwoofer calibration and integration with the satellite speakers.

  1. If the subwoofer provides a direct input (sometimes called LFE input) then it should always be used.  That input bypasses the filters in the subwoofer and allows the bass management system in the AV Receiver to operate properly
  2. If there is no direct input, then the lowpass filter knob on the subwoofer should be permanently set to the highest frequency it allows.  That way it will not interfere with the MultEQ measurements and bass management
  3. The level control on the subwoofer is often set too high.  This can cause the AV Receiver to run out of level correction range when MultEQ tries to set the subwoofer to reference level.  Set the subwoofer level control to the midpoint.  If MultEQ reports high negative trims (e.g., –12 dB) for the subwoofer, then you should turn the level control further down and run MultEQ again
  4. If there is a Phase control on the sub it should be set to 0°

If you have a subwoofer with room EQ, then you should run that first in the subwoofer and then run MultEQ in the AVR

If you have an external subwoofer processor (such as the SVS AS-EQ1 or the Audyssey Sub Equalizer) you should run the calibration in that processor first and then run MultEQ in your AVR

If you have two subwoofers, there are some additional steps to take:
  1. Place them at equal distances from the main listening position
  2. Set the level controls on the back so they both play at the same level
  3. Connect a y-cord to the sub out of the AVR and then connect to both subs
  4. Turn off processing in the subs as it will not be able to give you the same resolution that you will get from MultEQ (thousands of points vs. a few parametric bands)
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399 Comments

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    Dave Sudaria

    Per items 4. Note: I own the Sub-EQ and have it configured as the default 1in - 2out.

    if one sub has its own internal 7 band eq, that attempts to adjust the sub to a flat response from one listening position, as in the Velodyne Optimum series, should this be done first before running the Audyssey Mult EQ in the AVR or via the Audyssey Sub-EQ or via the MultEQ Pro calibration?

    My other subs has one additional control of a built in parametric EQ. Prior to Audyssey, it'd set it to -6db @ 42Hz as there is a large peak in my room. Likewise, I could set it do nothing -OR- to a +6db @ 25Hz to give it a bass boost but that does not help with removing the 42Hz Peak. What should I do with this setting?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    If you wish to use processing in the sub, then it should be done first prior to running MultEQ.  I don't think you will get much benefit by applying a single parametric band cut and certainly would not recommend adding a parametric boost.  Probably best to leave that knob at 0.

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    Bill Sokoloski

    Sub Equalizer Connections (page 10 of the setup manual for Audyssey Sub Equalizer) are confusing. The diagram show everything and does not explain what not to hook up if you have the Audyssey Pro Kit. I have done this 2x now and still get lost. I have Audyssey Sub EQ and Integra DHC 9.9 with Pro insalled. I got the Pro Kit to do it all myself and a new diargam of hookups using the Pro Kit would be helpful to those who are not professional installers. When running the Sub EQ do I still have to connect 1a to 1b? And when running the Pro in Integra, do I still leave this cable hooked up?

     

    Bill

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Bill,

    If you are using the Audyssey Pro kit for both the Sub Equalizer and the Integra then you can ignore anything that has to do with the consumer mic.  There is no mic pass-through connection needed and no need to connect 1a to 1b.  That is only needed for those that are running the built-in room correction in the AVR (not Audyssey Pro).

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    Anonymous User

    If I have 2 subs, and only 1 output on the AVR, could i use the sub equalizer to integrate both subs into the HT? (One sub will be in the front, while the other will be in the back.)

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Yes, that is the preferred method even if you have two sub outputs on the AVR. 

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    Anonymous User

    is there any difference (performance-wise) between the audyssey and svs sub equalizer?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    The algorithms and hardware used are identical.  The Audyssey processor requires the MultEQ Pro Installer kit (sold separately).  It also allows you to set up two subs in two different rooms.  There is no difference in performance.

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    Mauro LoRusso

    I have to agree with Bill that the connections for the Audyssey sub eq on page 10 are confusing.  One more question Chris.  Do I need to connect the sub eq  (SAT) to  the CENTER channel on my AVR.   Item #3 on page 11?  Also, I spoke to Installer support at Audyssey today and they told me that I can calibrate my subwoofer separately without being connected to my AVR.  Can you tell me how to do this?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Luke in Tech Support can help walk you through these steps.

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    claus linde

    I own 2 subwoofers. One is in the front right corner and other is in the back left corner.

    Will any of the multieqxt AVRs EQ each sub individually?

    What I mean is, can the multieqxt EQ 2 subs?

    /claus

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Yes, if the AVR with MultEQ XT provides individual control of the two subwoofers then MultEQ XT will create filters for each sub separately.

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    claus linde

    Ok thank you.

    So it filters for each sub seperately. However, does it consider each sub then working together?

    My dilemma is - should I upgrade my reciever or just get for instance, an dedicated sub EQ like the SVS AS EQ1 or would a new AVR serve my purpose plus HDMI 1.4 etc.

    Perhaps you can further assist me. Can you point me in direction of an AVR which has MultiEQ XT and the dual sub EQ feature?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    No, it doesn't consider the subs together.  If you want to do that, then we recommend using a single sub output and a y-cord to your subs.  Of course, then you won't be getting the benefit of individual time and level alignment of the subs.  To get the best of both worlds you will need to move to an external Sub Equalizer.

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    Bobmyers

    I own 3 subs attached to 3 sub inputs on a Denon AVP-A1HDCI.

     

    Two of subs sitting next to the front B&W 800's (Velodyne Digital Drive 15's) have a mic menu calibration system.  The other sub is in the rear corner of the room (an older Velodyne HGS 18).  It was used as an LFE sub when I had my Lexicon MC12. 

     

    With the new AVP what is the best way to prepare these subs for an Audssey calibration?  With the AVP I have them all of them set to LFE+Main.

     

    Thanks

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Bob,

    If you wish to use the calibration systems in any of the subs, you should do that first before running Audyssey. Please be aware that digital processing in the subs introduces additional signal delay.  So, when you run MultEQ the reported delays/distances for such subs will be longer than the physical distance.  This is normal and is part of the correction that MultEQ performs to make sure that signals from all speakers and subs are arriving at the main listening position at the same time.

    Audyssey recommends sending the same signal to all three subs.  This can be achieved with y-cords out of one sub output on the AVP-A1HDCI or by setting the Subwoofer mode to "Mix".

    It is not a good idea to use the LFE+Main mode.  That mode sends the bass to both the subs and the speakers and often leads to improper responses in the overlap region.  We recommend to always set the subs in LFE mode in the pre-pro or AVR. 

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    Bobmyers

    Using the Denon AVP-A1HDCI, I have three subs attached to the 3 sub inputs on the receiver.  They are in the 3SP Mix mode.

     

    The receiver does not give me the option to turn OFF LFE+Main. 

     

    The chooses for that button are:  Selectable items

    LFE–THX or LFE+Main

     

    How do I disengage this option?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    You should select LFE-THX.  

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    Owen Heuston

     My question is about choosing the subwoofer crossover. I have a Paradigm PDR-12(direct input) which can be set between 50hz-150hz. My front Paradigm Phantom v2's are 55 Hz - 20 kHz and a low frequency extension of 40 Hz, so what would I set my sub crossover at on the 608? I would appreciate any help.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    There is no such thing as a "sub crossover".  A crossover consists of two parts: (1) a highpass filter that sends the higher frequency content to the speaker and (2) a lowpass filter that sends the lower frequency content to the sub.  So, when you set a crossover for each of your speakers (say, at 60 Hz) the content above 60 Hz goes to the speakers and the content below goes to the sub.

    Unfortunately, there is a frequency knob on subwoofers.  That is only half of a crossover.  It is only a lowpass filter.  Very often it has the wrong slope and so it is not recommended to use it.  It is there for legacy 2-ch gear that has no built-in bass management.  It's best to turn it all the way up to the highest frequency it allows and leave it there always.

    As to what crossover to set for your speaker/sub combination, I would start with 80 Hz.

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    Mauro LoRusso

    I used to have my crossover set to 80 Hz on my receiver,  I recently decided to lower it to 60 Hz so that the fronts and center speakers take on more bass.  Do you think that was wise to do?  Should I put back to 80 Hz and have more sent to the sub?  What do you think?

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    Vivek Ramchander

    Hi Chris,

    My Home theatre is setup my multi-purpose room which is square in dimensions, and I had to add another sub to help even out the bass in the room. Unfotunately they are 2 different subs (one Onkyo, and one Polk), and are at different distances from the listening sweet spot (this is due to the nature of the room and how the furniture is setup).

    My current Onkyo 577 is hooked up to these 2 subs using a Y cable and calibrated using 2EQ, but I'm looking to upgrade to a better 7.2 receiver with MultiEQ that can apply sub freq corrections to improve the experience. Would the latest Denon 2311 or Onkyo 708 receivers calibrate each sub seperately and apply individual corrections, or would both subs be calibrated together?

    If they're going to be calibrated together, then would you suggest that I need to first run Audyssey with one sub connected at a time and get them to the same db levels by tweaking volume controls on the sub, then run finally Audyssey MultiEQ with both of them connected together ?

    Thanks! Appreciate your responses.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    @Mauro  Lowering the xover will send less content to the sub where the MultEQ filters have 8x more resolution.  Also, MultEQ will not apply correction to the main speakers below the roll off point that it measured.  So, I would not recommend lowering it.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    @Vivek  You will get better results by using the Audyssey Sub EQ HT function found in newer models.  The two subs are first aligned in time and level and then corrected by MultEQ as "one".  This gives better results that applying individual correction to each sub.  For a list of new AVRs with Sub EQ HT please check here.

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    ryan daley

    hi chris i recently added 2 subwoofer to my 7.1 set up, my subwoofer has a digital eq on it that has three setting.  flat,punch, and depth i ran the audessy with the flat setting a few times  i got this setting. it sounds good but im wondering if i should do some more tweeking. the distance setting is 30ft, with a +6db settings. now my setting is half the the distance from my sitting area  15ft, and the volume on both my subs are set at -29 to me this setting is not right what do you think? my subs are klipsch rw12

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Ryan,

    The reason for the longer distance is because the processing in your sub adds delay to the signal. MultEQ sees that and adjusts for it so that the signal arrives at the same time as the other speakers.  You should leave it as found.  The volume setting is also made so that the sub plays at the same level as the other speakers.  This is how systems are set up in the mixing room. If you have a preference for more bass that is higher than reference then you can change it, but you will no longer be listening to the content the way it was mixed.

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    ryan daley

    So what about the eq on the subwoofer settings should i run the audyssey with flat, punch , or depth? also i thought that it was a good idea to get the audyessy to set the subwoofer gain between -3db to +3db?   

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    brodricr

    I have some spare channels available on my ASE. Am I better off using a y-cable on the output of the ASE to EQ 2 subs, or put the y-cable on the sub output of the AVR and EQ the subs individually on discrete ASE channels?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    You are better off putting a y-cord on the output of the Sound EQ and pinging the subs together as "one".  Try to set the volume control on each sub to the same position so they play at the same level as each other.

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    Dennis J Laslo

    I've got a few sub-related puzzles to solve:

    1) Currently I have one, big expensive sub with the left wide speaker sitting on top of it.  Because of the sub's size-there's only one place I can put it in the room and stay married.  I was considering purchasing a second sub (I have a new Onkyo 3008) and was wondering what I gain with it.  There are a lot of recommendations out there for a two-sub system.  

    2)  After a slight furniture rearrangement, I re-ran Audyssey and also changed the sub settings (changed the low pass filter to By-pass (not sure this does anything with low level inputs) and there is a knob for changing the "crispness" of the bass which I fiddled with.   Surprisingly, the result was awful---I have, it seems, a lack of lows on my main speakers and the sound is somewhat annoying with female singers and horns.  Before - it sounded great.    I ran Audyssey once more with a similar result.  I'll try a third time but with more mic positions (Iused 4-5 above) and if it is still sounding tinny - what's next?   Fiddle with the sub klnobs again?  

    3) In the current issue of Home Theater, the author suggests running Audyssey eq and then checking the results with a Radio Shack dB meter and a tape measure and adjusting accordingly.   I did this and the Audyssey readings were fairly good, so I left them alone.  I question this advice as it seems counterintuitive.  He also suggests a trial and error approach to sub placement before running Audyssey for the loud, crisp bass position.  This too seems odd, as I'd expect the trial and error results without Audyssey filters to be tainted.   What do you think?

     

     

     

     

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