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

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Jonathan,

    Audyssey is not in charge of sending bass to your subs.  That is the job of the AVR bass management system.  Some AVRs allow independent control of the level and delay in each sub and others simply copy the signal to both subs (essentially an internal y-cord).  That's what you have in your AVR.  There is no way for Audyssey to ping then separately because the AVR doesn't treat them as two individual subs.  The best you can do in this situation is to set their level knobs to the be the same and, if possible, place the subs so that they are at equal distances from the central listening position.

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    manu

    hello sir

    i have hsu uls-15 suwboofer like to know how much is this correct that subwoofer level in avr should be -3db to +3db

    and no matter what i do i still hear where sub sits or u can say i can hear the direction of the bass from right side of the sound where it place

    so is 2 subwoofer helps in localization is it true that single sub always shows it location

  • 0
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    Alex0925

    Hello Chris,

    I have AAD M-Series 5.1 speaker set with Onkyo TX-SR 707 AVR. I have set the crossover in the AVR at 80Hz, which seems to sound OK and balanced with the front speakers woofers. Subwoofer "low level" line in is connected to AVR subwoofer line out with a subwoofer cable (see attached picture). The question I have is regarding the crossover knob on the back of the sub: which position should it be set to after Audyssey room correction setup when playing audio material to make sure there's no interference with AVR crossover setting? Is there, in fact, any interference no matter which position the knob is set to, given that the crossover is already set in the AVR and, presumably, this setting sort of deactivates the subwoofer crossover knob given that there's a direct connection of subwoofer cable to "low level" line in on the sub?

    Your kind help is much appreciated,

    Regards,

    Alex

     

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Alex,

    The lowpass filter knob on the subwoofer should be permanently set to the highest frequency it allows.  This should be done prior to running MultEQ.

  • 0
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    Alex0925

    Hello Chris,

    Thanks for your prompt reply, I've re-run the MultEQ with the highest frequency setting of lowpass filter knob and with the phase knob set to 0 degrees as per your basic recommendations and now the sound is just right, so, THANKS A MILLION for your kind advice and putting a stop to my tormenting search of acoustical peace of mind! :-)

    Best regards,

    Alex

  • 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 

     

  • 0
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    patrick hansson

    Hello Chris, I am getting some weird playback issues with a new sub that I just installed. Marantz AV7005 with both subs ran off of a y cable. I did the Audyssey calibration per your post on the top of the this thread. First up I have noticed that while one sub will sound like a low rumble, the other sub sounds like it is considerably higher in pitch (on the initial test tone).

    I have done multiple tests and one of the subs is "bottoming out" with certain scenes after calibration. The only way I can get the sub to not do this is to turn all Audyssey processing off. While it is a fix, I wanted room correction!

    What are my options here.

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Patrick,

    First, it sounds like the sub settings are different.  The one with the higher pitch must have the filter setting on the back set to a higher frequency than the other one.

    Are the subs very different in size? If not, then it's not a good idea to combine them because the filter created for the larger sub will likely overdrive the smaller sub.  Remember, when y-cording both subs see the same filter.

  • 0
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    patrick hansson

    Wow, that was fast. One sub is an older Paradigm Servo 15 that has no controls on the back. It sounds fine. The other sub is a new HSU ULS 15, this is the sub that has a really high pitched sound when running Audyssey test tones. I have tried different settings and it still sounds the same. Again, the paradigm sounds like a rumble and the HSU sounds like a pop almost.

    I don't have to y-cord them, the AV7005 has separate sub outputs.

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    Audyssey Labs

    The separate outputs are internally y-corded.  I'm not familiar with the Hsu.  Does it have any controls on the back?  Or perhaps the Paradigm has a built in lowpass filter?  In either case, the two subs seem to have a different upper frequency extension and this makes them sound different during the test tones.  That's not a bad thing.  The bigger question is whether they are extending down to about the same frequency.  As they are both 15" I would expect them to.  Can you figure out which sub is bottoming out?  

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    patrick hansson

    The HSU has controls on the back, the Paradigm does not. I have talked to someone at HSU and they believe that the Paradigm "rolls off the highs pretty quickly. It sounds like I have deeper bass after adding the Hsu. The Hsu is the sub that is bottoming out.

    Why can I not go into the settings for Audyssey and look at what it is doing with the Sub? I check settings for all the other speakers, but not the sub.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Unfortunately Marantz decided not to show the subwoofer filter in their GUI.  One thing to try is the Hsu by itself (no Paradigm connected).  If the problem goes away, that means that the Paradigm was extending lower and the MultEQ filter created for that sub was also applied to the Hsu and causing it to over extend.

    What controls does the Hsu have and how are they set?

  • 0
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    patrick hansson

    I will try that. I would think that the HSU would extend lower than the Paradigm, but I could be wrong.

     

    The Hsu has

    "volume" set at around 11 o'clock

    Crossover (which is turned off)

    ULF trim (ultra low frequency roll off goes from 16hz to 50hz. It is set on 16hz. 

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    It could also be that the 16 Hz is a little optimistic.  I would move it up a bit if the first test above still exhibits the issue.

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    @Bob Chachel

    Sorry for missing your post earlier.  It sounds like you may have Dynamic Volume engaged. The purpose of that technology is to let you raise the volume of the dialog to where you prefer it and then it makes sure that nothing gets too soft or too loud, automatically.

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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???

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Patrick
    Yes it's fine to leave it on

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    Fahd Korambayil

    Thank you! (repeat as many times as you've said speakers should be set to small)

    No seriously, thank you Chris for all your help and suggestions and for taking the time to respond to all these comments and questions.

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    You are most welcome Fahd.  

  • 0
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    patrick hansson

    Hey Chris, sorry for all of the questions and thanks for the help. I have been messing around with sub placement with my two subs. I can get the "after" graph to be somewhat flat, but I get a 10db suckout at 20hz that I cannot get rid of. Why would EQ1 not boost that signal at 20hz? Can I just go with it and then run MultiEQ on my AV7005 and that will bump the 20hz 10db? Do you have any better suggestion?

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Patrick, 

    The max boost MultEQ will ever apply is 9 dB.  If this is a true "infinite" suckout then putting any energy into a boost is rather futile.  The only way to address it is to move the sub.

  • 0
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    patrick hansson

    Hey Chris, I "fixed" the problem by running the two subs as "discrete" subs with the two outputs on the AV7005 (even though it is the same signal). I am sure that is not the ideal way to fix this. For some reason either sub would eq perfectly at the current positions, but if you ran them together they would have the huge 20hz suckout. I then ran odyssey Multieq xt on my processor over that. Do you think this will be a problem?

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    David Hewison

    Hi Chris,  Just a quick note to say how impressed I am with both your product and your customer service..  I can't think of any other instance of both those being so good in any other company.

    In regards to MultiEQ XT - I have just set up a new system: Denon AVR1912, Wharedale fronts and B&W centre and rear.. and a Velodyne 12" sub.   I know they don't match - long story..

    My room is 35' long and about 25' wide with a hard floor and brick walls.  We have a ~25' cathedral ceiling which doesnt help!  We rent, I am hoping the next place will be more HT friendly!

    Anyway, I never expected I would achieve much from the new home theatre given the conditions.. But, after following the directions in the manual and reading your blogs (Setting speakers to small makes sense, I don't get why others miss the point with this!), my setup sounds amazing, i mean.. REALLY good.. It shouldnt - not in this room. Yet, your technology has done it's job perfectly, as advertised.

    I wanted to congratulate you on such an innovative product and refreshing support.. Keep up the great work!

    I hope this doesnt get lost in the noise, I wasnt sure where to post this, so here was as good a place as any!

    Cheers,

    Dave. 

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Dave,

    I really appreciate your message.  Thanks for taking the time to write and please feel free to come back any time should any questions arise.

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Patrick,

    I don't think this is a problem the way you have it set up.  Not sure exactly why it's better, but as the old audio saying goes: "if it sounds right, it _is_ right".

  • 0
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    Alex0925

    Hello Chris,

    Firstly, thanks again for your previous subwoofer setup recommendations, the low frequency response of my system generally sounds right, however, one of the music tracks out of quite a few I've listened to when checking bass performance had a short (like 2 seconds) bass peak when I listened to it in my listening position, whereas that peak wasn't there when I listened to the same track on my kitchen stereo system and in portable CD player headphones. Due to furniture placement and room space limitations my listening position has to be practically up against the back wall, which, as I understand, is exposed to boundary gain effect which, as I assume, has caused that low frequency peak. In my Onkyo AVR I do have a Boundary Gain Compensation feature for THX certified subwoofers but my subwoofer is not THX certified and even if I try to use that feature it doesn't really compensate boundary gain to the extent that I can tell the difference. In this connection, the question I have is does Audyssey room correction setup or other Audyssey fine tuning features provide for any compensation or elimination of such boundary gain effect? If not, are there any other ways to fix general boundary gain related issues?

    Thanks so much!

    Best regards,

    Alex

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Alex,

    I would not expect that portable CD player headphones would reproduce bass.  To do that you need to have a very good seal and that's not generally possible with portable headphones.  So, I would not recommend making any sound quality judgements based on that.

    The BG Compensation is a simple bass cut switch at a fixed frequency.  If your sub happens to exhibit a peak at that frequency then it will have the right effect.  If not (based on where it's placed) then it will cut at the wrong frequency.  Generally, it's better to let MultEQ measure and produce the appropriate cuts where needed for your sub and room.  The measurement looks at boundary and standing wave issues.

    Measuring against the back wall will result in a bass cut not peak.  The bass there is overly emphasized and so the mic will measure that and tell the filters to cut.  For that reason we recommend placing the mic at least 18" from the back wall even if that means it's slightly forward of the seated ear location.

  • 0
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    Alex0925

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for you prompt as ever reply! Actually, I got Philips SHP 8900 headphones with the frequency range of 5Hz to 30 Khz and they reproduce bass just great, anyway, I understand it perfectly with regard to THX, so I turned it off anyway because the vast majority of CDs I listened to don't exhibit any bass peaks and the only CD I heard that on so far was actually a pirated CD mastered from vinyl and I never encountered that issue on any other factory pressed legitimate CD so far. So, if I witness any other bass peaks on any legitimate CDs I will seriously think of re-running the MultEQ setup with the back from the wall distance you recommended rather than almost twice as long that I used,and if that would make a difference, I will let you know the results.

    Thanks so much again,

    Regards

    Alex

  • 0
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    Alex0925

    Hi Chris,

    I've listened to some other deep bass tracks and I came to the conclusion that it is a tone equalization issue, precisely stating I get occasional too harsh passages in the upper low frequency when they actually shouldn't be there, could it be a problem with my AAD M8-T speakers or is it a repetitive Audyssey MultEQ equalization error? Could it be caused by my AAD M-8T front speakers being placed too close to the wall (front speakers woofers are facing the walls and being in like, give or take just 1 foot away from it) - I had to place them like that due to room space limitations. I got a tiny room with the length of approx. 14.43 feet and width of approx. 7.21 feet and my front speakers and subwoofer are placed in the same line with subwoofer being to the right side of the front left speaker because there is front left speaker woofer facing the wall to the left side. Given the very small width of the room, when running MultEQ setup measurements, can I leave the mike at the same place without moving it for all the three measurement positions as the recommended 1 foot distance between the listening positions would make measurement results very controversial in this narrow kind of room? What should be the minimal distances from side walls? I have a couch in the middle of the room, could the bass response measurement inaccuracy be caused by the back of the couch partially obstructing the signal from the mike to the subwoofer, should the entire space of subwoofer speaker unobstructedly face the mike? After all, is it at all possible to achieve correct MultEQ room equalisation in this odd and tiny room?

    Sorry it took me so long to explain,

    Many thanks,

    Alex

  • 0
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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Alex,

    It's not a MultEQ equalization error.  We have data from thousands of systems that shows it working as expected.  I'm afraid it's an issue of comparison.  You are assuming that the headphones represent the true response and I doubt that this is the case.  There is a tone in the headphones that is different from what you are hearing with a flattened response from your speakers.

    MultEQ will measure any room--size doesn't matter.  But, you have to follow the mic placement instructions here:

    http://www.audyssey.com/audio-technology/multeq/how-to

    If you leave the mic in one spot you will get *much* worse results.  The algorithm needs information from the listening area to perform its calculations.

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