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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    Audyssey Labs

    @William: That's right.  The crossover setting has nothing to do with the LFE track and its own separate LFE Lowpass filter.  The crossover's only job is to send low frequency content from the satellite speakers to the sub.  That content is then added to the separate LFE track (if it exists).

    As long as the sub reported level setting is not –12 dB you are fine and within range of the AVR.  You don't lose anything.  The point of level calibration is to set the levels to match the other speakers and to be at reference when you turn the volume on the AVR to 0 dB.

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    Varinderpal Choat

    Hi,

    please can you kindly check what I'm about to do is correct. 

    A rear picture should help: http://imgc.classistatic.com/cps/blnc/120418/082r1/4895c7c_20.jpeg

    I am going to set the crossover knob to av/lfe (as opposed to 80hz or 120hz).

    & please you clarify what to do with the knob next to it ( the Level AV/LFE knob).

    thanks.

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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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    Alex0925

    Hi Chris,

    Assuming I made a mistake when placing the mic during MultEQ correction setup and that caused unnecessary tone adjustments, I am going to re-run the MultEQ, but I still have questions about mic placement:

    1) Can a speaker (including the subwoofer) partially obstructed with a piece of furniture cause the mic to measure inaccurately resulting in incorrect tone adjustment? Should I remove anything that may even slightly obstruct the mic signal sent to a speaker?

    2) Is it OK to place a tripod on a couch, rather than on the floor?

    3) If I follow the recommendation of observing at least 2 feet distance between measurement positions (which will be in the same line) should the minimum 18'' distance also apply to side walls?

    4) The last measurement tip says: "Focus on the central listening area and avoid extreme positions such as the back wall or too far beyond the left and right speakers" - does this mean that I should place the mic in the center of the room even if my listening position is further back to the wall? "Too far beyond the left and right speakers" - what is the specific distance that's considered to be "too far beyond"?

    Thanks a lot for your help, Chris

    Best regards,

    Alex

     

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    Mark Fruehm

    Hi Chris,

    I have read through the blogs, and have tried the suggestions.  My Audyssey set-up is still not completing.  I have a Onkyo 606, Axiom fronts and center, and a SVS 10 inch sub.  The sub only has gain and phase settings, therefore I know it can't be a setting issue on the sub with respect to a low-pass filter.  I have put the phase to 0 as suggested.  When the audyssey set-up runs, it cycles through all speakers, and then when it comes to the sub, it always comes up with speaker error.  I have my crossovers set at 80 (for all speakers, including sub).    Does the sub possibly have to be set to "constant on" vs. coming on when it senses a signal?  Even that shoudn't be the issue, as I was using it to play music prior to running Audyssey, so  it should have been on.  Any ideas as to what's causing the error?

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    Audyssey Labs

    Please take a look at the Audyssey 101 post about this here.  Sending more content to the sub is a good thing if you have MultEQ or MultEQ XT because the filter resolution in the sub channel is 8x higher.

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    Owen Heuston

    Hi Chris,

    I recently bought a second subwoofer for my home theater and was wondering if I had connected it the right way and did I run audyssey EQ correctly if ran it with  both subs connected at the same time? My Onkyo SR608 has two subwoofer preouts, so I have one sub connected to one preout and the other sub connected to the second preout. I did read that the some people connect both subs using a Y adapter at the receiver end. Unplug one sub and calibrate with just one working. Then once it's calibrated , they un plug and calibrate the other sub. Once both subs are calibrated by themselves , plug them both in and calibrate using the receivers level. Is that really necessary or can have them connected the way I have and run audyssey 2EQ? Thanks for your time.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Michali,

    The Denon bass management is already applying an LPF at whatever frequency the crossovers are for each speaker.  Adding another LPF will have unknown (probably bad) effects on the phase of the blended speaker-satellite response. 

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Jeff,

    MultEQ sets the distances (actually the delays) based on the detection.  The assumption is that equidistant speakers and sub(s) produce a smooth blend.  The question is where is that blend measured? In a single point measurement after calibration, that may not be as evident...

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    Paul Godden

    Thanks Chris, for the great answers.

    2) Well they are not terribly obstructed.

    4) I didnt realise that the levels were set in the first positioning of the mike, thanks that helps a lot.

     

    One other snag I have been fighting with

    As the Onkyo has two sub outs, the Audyssey seems to set those levels independantly of each other and to the same level as the other channels, I have verified that with a sound meter and test tones. Now if I use a sound meter and run a LFE test tone from the dvd player (which outputs to both two sub channels),a 8db higher reading is the result, so the subs are running real hot. Is this by design of Ausyssey or an issue that was overlooked by Onkyo? Should in theaory the subs only be at best 5db higher?

     

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    Craig H. Lintner

    Sorry, after re-reading, I meant to say a similar sub as Pragere's!

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    Robert M. Bridi

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for all the help setting up Audyssey.

    I have a question about sealing my home theatre room vs. not sealing it.

    My home theatre room is 18X12X8 (1728 cubic feet) with a 7X4 opening to another room that is 30X10X8 (2400 cubic feet).  When I setup Audyssey, does it matter if I leave the doors on the home theatre room opened or closed?  Is there an advantage with keeping the doors closed (i.e., more bass because of room gain)?

    The reason I am asking is because something odd happens when I close the doors on the home theatre room and run the subwoofer test tone - I get a slightly lower SPL (using a Radio Shack SPL meter) reading in my sweet spot with the doors closed than with the doors opened.  I am not sure why this is happening and I am wondering if running Audyssey can correct this problem or not.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Rob  

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    Tim Catley

    Thanks Chris for the reply.

    Everyone here really appreciates your expertise.

  • 0
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    Santo Budi

    Hi, Chris

    Regarding the subs input chanel there are 1 LFE input & 1 pair L/R input. Are there any big difference for subwoofer performance if connecting subwoofer using LFE input to Receiver's LFE output rather than using subwoofer L/R input?

    I know that we have to turn the sub crossover freq to the max point when using L/R input.

    Thanks Chris. 

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    Audyssey Labs

    Josh, I believe you mean Onkyo SC-PR5508. Since that product has the Audyssey Sub EQ HT functionality you don't have to use an external splitter.  My comment was for products that have only one sub output or simply copy the content to a second output.  Sub EQ HT was designed to ping each sub separately at first, to find the proper distance and level adjustment between the two.  Then after applying the relative distance and level corrections, it pings them together to create the MultEQ correction filters for the combined acoustical response.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Wim,

    You can not make these settings before running Audyssey.  All internal settings in the AVR are ignored during the calibration.  You have to make the changes after the calibration is finished and stored.

    Changing the crossover to a higher frequency has no effect on the Audyssey filters.

    The best crossover setting will depend on the acoustics of the room and the placement of the speakers.  That's why it is important to measure.  In your case it seems that the speakers are found to be extending down to 40 Hz, which is why the AVR is setting them to Large.  I recommend setting them to Small by selecting a 60 Hz crossover.  

    The center and surround speakers do not need any adjustment from what Audyssey measured.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Greg,

    The 5808 does indeed allow individual control of each sub.  It also lets you decide if you want the subs to playing the same content (after they have been individually corrected) or different content (e.g. one sub plays the bass from the left side speakers and the other plays the bass from the right side speakers).

    My recommendation is to use the subs in mix mode (i.e. playing the same content).  Since your AVR provides individual control of the subs you don't need a y-cord to feed them.  That advice is only for products that don't provide this capability (most...).

    I can't answer the question about the LFE level knob because I don't know what it controls.  The sub receives the following content (on one cable): bass below the crossover frequency from each speaker plus the content in the separate LFE track.  But since it's all added together I don't see what a separate LFE knob would be used for.  The sub level is controlled by the sub volume control.  Perhaps the manual explains the purpose of a separate LFE control?

    If you connect the speakers to the sub then it's no longer a sub.  It becomes a powered woofer for each speaker and each speaker will be found to be Large.  That means you are leaving the bass management up to the sub instead of the digital domain in the AVR where it belongs.  I recommend against this configuration. 

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    john o

    Chris,

    Thanks for the response and quick too even on a Sunday!

    Quick questions, does the Audyssey sound check tend to move low end subs (ie. less quality/reputation) subs further in distance (feet) whereas high end (ie, better quality/reputation) subs tend to be set at a closer/lower distance (feet ) from the listening area? Is there a correlation?

    Lowpass filter...should I set this as high as it will go before I do the sound check? or do I set it to max after I do the sound check? Said another way..I should only decrease the volume level so that Audyssey can discover the sub?

    Thanks so much

     

     

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Tim, just connect the Audyssey mic and start MultEQ.  The first step in products with SubEQ HT is the coarse sub level setting to 75 dB.  This is just to make sure that the sub level control on the back of each sub is not set too high so the back of the AVR runs out of adjustment range.

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    Audyssey Labs

    In that case there is little or no benefit in setting a lower crossover.  Audyssey will not apply correction below the frequency it found to be the roll off.

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    Audyssey Labs

    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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    Bob Chachel

    Hi Chris, I ran Audyssesy Auto Setup for a 5.1 system and I have mixed feelings about the results.  I am pleased with the overall spatial effects of the surround sound, but I am not too happy with the volume of dialogue.  Before running Audyssey, dialogue was much louder for a given volume setting than after.  Now I have to raise the volume to about 70% of maximum to hear dialogue at the same level.  My settings are as follows:

    Crossover Frequency:

    Front 40Hz, Centre 40Hz, Surround 60HZ

    Channel Level:

    FL -5.0dB, C -6.5dB, FR -5.5dB, SR -4.0dB, SL -4.0dB, Sub -12.0dB

    From what I have read in the forum, the Sub channel level may be an issue, but I'm not sure.  Thanks for any assistance.

     

    Bob 

     

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    michalis

    thank you for your help.

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    Demis Broier

    Thanx for your quick reply!

    I quess needless to say i'm pretty disappointed with the answer though. The T305 is not a cheap set after all.. and then not have volume control while that is so important for setting up the AVR with Audyssey.. not so great from Kef then.

    I'm not sure what to do yet; i don't have an SPL meter, and maybe i should consider getting another sub.

     

    But thanx again for the answer Chris!

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    Alex0925

    Thanks for your reply, Chris

    Certainly, Onkyo might be afraid of scaring off new customers, but with manuals written as misleading as that they stand a good chance of losing LOTS of their customers. I guess that's the case when marketing ploys take priority over technology, and this is SO STUPID of them. Based on that I can tell they don't really care about customer satisfaction, and this is real sad...

    Anyway, words can't say how much I appreceiate your help and this forum, Chris, if not for you, I would never set up my system correctly, so, thanks a million!

    Best regards,

    Alex

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    Vivek Ramchander

    Hi Chris,

    Appreciate your patient responses to all our questions. Ask Audyssey is great knowledge, and support.

    I had a Denon 1911 with Polk TSI series speakers (7ch) and 2x Polk PSW110 subs (connected together with a y cable for the 0.1 channel). Ignoring the 7 speakers for a moment as they've always calibrated consistently across A/V receivers, and focussing on the 2 subs as I have a square room and 2 subs was the only solution to fix standing waves; I used to calibrate each sub at +1.5db individually with my 1911, as they together used to calibrate with MultEQ at 0db mostly, or rarely to +0.5db.

    I switched to a Denon 2113 today as I wanted to experience MultEQ XT (also somes with a new Audyssey mic which is different from my earlier Denon), and while all my other 7 speakers (fronts, center, surrounds, surr.backs) calibrate on the 2113 to about the same levels as they used to on the 1911, there are differences in how the subs calibrate.

    Both subs are exactly at the same volume as before, the low pass knobs on the subs turned up all the way to their max 160hz, the LPF of LFE on the Denon was set to 120Hz (default) on both the 1911 and 2113 as well. In short, no changes whatsoever in any calibration parameters/positions/sub volumes, etc. except that the 2 receivers are different and come with different Audyssey mics:

    On the 1911 with supplied DM-A409 mic: I ensured that each sub calibrated individually to +1.5db: because they together calibrated to 0db, or very rarely to +0.5db.

    On the 2113 with supplied ACM1HB mic: With the sub volumes unchanged, they both calibrated individually to -1.5db! (i.e -1.5db less that on the 1911) Together, they calibrated to -2db!

    Could you help me understand if anything's wrong? Not sure why there is a change, and also unsure how this will impact my listening experience.

    Regards!

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Tommy,

    Thanks for posting! We love to hear these stories.  I hope you enjoy your system.

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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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    patrick hansson

    Thanks for the help Chris, I could never get the issue dialed out unless I just turned Audyssey off completely.

     

    I did pick up an SVS Eq1 today and have messed around with it a little bit. It seems like a very easy process. My question is, without a remote for the unit, do you just leave it on all the time???

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    Frederic Thise

    Thx for the quick reply Chris ;)

     

    I was indeed confusing both terms but i meant to use the polarity one in my questions ;)

    So keeping that distinction in mind:

    1) am i correct to assume that if i change the polarity of one or more speakers then i do not need to redo the audyssey calibration?

    2) For the battery test, should i use a 9v or 1.5v battery? Should i unplug the sub from its power outlet first? Can i use a similar test for the satellites (MultEQ always consistently gave me a polarity warning on all the satellites so i guess i would have to make the test on only one)?

     

    Fred

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