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Crossover and Speaker Settings in Relation to Bass Management

dante01

Distinguished Member
The crossovers you've set will work and are acceptable. I'd personally try a lower setting for the surrounds though, maybe a setting of 160Hz if you've that option available to you?
 

tcb82

Standard Member
The crossovers you've set will work and are acceptable. I'd personally try a lower setting for the surrounds though, maybe a setting of 160Hz if you've that option available to you?
I can only choose 150Hz or 200Hz, unfortunately. I can not choose a number in between.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
My next challenge is to set the Crossover dial and Volume dial in the right position on the sub. Any good advice here? :)

This should have been done prior to running the AV receiver's calibration process. You need to do things in this order:

  1. Configure the sub's own settings
  2. Run the AV receiver's calibration process
  3. Deal with and configure the AV receiver's bass management


As to the sub's own cnfiguration. Set it volume dial to about one third, set phase to 0° and set the frequency dial as high as it allows or to a dedicated LFE setting option if there is one. AS said, these settings all need to be done prior to running the calibration and should not be altered aftward unless you intend to rerun the calibration again.
 

tcb82

Standard Member
This should have been done prior to running the AV receiver's calibration process. You need to do things in this order:

  1. Configure the sub's own settings
  2. Run the AV receiver's calibration process
  3. Deal with and configure the AV receiver's bass management


As to the sub's own cnfiguration. Set it volume dial to about one third, set phase to 0° and set the frequency dial as high as it allows or to a dedicated LFE setting option if there is one. AS said, these settings all need to be done prior to running the calibration and should not be altered aftward unless you intend to rerun the calibration again.
Thank you :)
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Sooooo... should you ALWAYS select front speakers to SMALL when you have a sub?

Yes, there's no advantage associated with not doing so, especially if listening to multichannel surround soundtracks where the amplification is already stretched and where handling the lower frequencies via the front speakers or other speakers can potentially lower the upper frequency headroom of your setup.

If you've a pair of large front speakers that are well regarded in relation to their portrayal of music sources, you may prefer to disengage the sub in instances where you are portraying 2 channel audio. It should be noted that even a few higher end stereo systems are now starting to include bass management alongside subwoofer pre outs so the benefits of such an arrangement isn't being ignored by the parties associated with the development and manufacture of such setups.

You are for all intense purposes better off using the sub to portray frequencies at and below 80Hz than you'd be if using even large floorstanders. True full range speakers are larger than what most households can accomodate with woofers in excess of 13" in diameter and good full range speakers cost tens of thousands to buy. Even if you've the funds to buy these and the space to accomodate such speakers, the power needed to drive the lower end drive units will put excess strain upon the amplification and lower the upper frequencies headroom.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I recently did the Audyssey setup. Is that still "correct" so that I can change the front speakers to small AFTER the setup?
Yes. Just to the manual set up where you can change to small and alter the crossovers if needs be. It will not effect any other Audyssey settings.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I better get home and change the speaker settings then.

I recently did the Audyssey setup. Is that still "correct" so that I can change the front speakers to small AFTER the setup?

It isn't actually Audyssey that is responsible for the bass management. Audyssey MultEQ does measure the roll off frequency for the speakers as part of the room EQ appraisal process, but has nothing to do with determining how to interpret that relative to speaker sizes and or crossover settings. It is the receiver's manufacturer who are responsible for this aspect of the calibration. Audyssey themselves suggest/recommend speakers always be set as being SMALL and that you manually override any bass management settings that are set otherwise. Audyssey's founding members started out as employees of THX and as such they endorse THX's guidance that all speakers b set as being SMALL with a crossover no lower than 80Hz be used.



The following originates from Audyssey:
Audyssey doesn't set crossovers in any product. It finds the low frequency roll off point of your speakers and reports that to the AVR. Every manufacturer uses that information differently. In your product, speakers found to roll off below 40 Hz are set by Onkyo to Full Range (i.e. with no crossover to the sub). That means that bass will not be redirected to the sub. Audyssey recommends that if you have a sub you should set crossovers for all your speakers. I would suggest starting with 80 Hz. I wrote much more on this topic here:

http://www.audyssey.com/blog/2009/05/small-vs-large/

Small vs. Large
Do you have a subwoofer in your system? Great. Then your speakers are small. Before you get all upset, read on. This is one of those audio myths whose time has come to be busted. To understand why, we need to talk about Bass Management.

In the early days of home theater it was thought that in order to reproduce the full movie surround experience at home it was necessary to place 5 large loudspeakers in the room. The reason for the size was the woofers. To play at theatrical reference levels and reproduce the deepest bass available in the content requires each speaker to have 12” or larger woofers. Let’s just say that this theory didn’t get very far in the real world.

A better and more practical approach came after studying human perception. The mechanisms that we use to determine the direction of arrival of sound depend on the frequency. At high frequencies the wavelength of sound is small and so sound coming from the side is shadowed by our head. That creates a level difference between the sound reaching the ear closest to the source and the ear on the other side. Our brain analyzes these level differences and produces an estimate of where the sound is coming from. But at lower frequencies, the wavelength of sound gets longer and our head is not large enough to produce a level difference at the two ears. Instead, we analyze the difference in time of arrival of sound at the two ears. Sound arrives first at the closest ear and we use that to determine the direction. But even that ability fails us below about 80 Hz. The wavelengths get very large and it was found in listening tests that 80 Hz is the frequency below which most people can not localize the direction of sound.

Taking advantage of this apparent “deficiency” in our hearing was what made home theater practical for millions of homes. Five satellite speakers of reasonable size could now be used because they no longer required large woofers. A subwoofer (or two) can reproduce the lower octaves and it can be placed out of sight since its content is not directional.

But there is also a practical advantage: directing the bass to a dedicated subwoofer channel with its own amplifier greatly improves the headroom in the main channels. The idea behind this was proposed in a Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPTE) meeting in 1987. The participants could not agree on the minimum number of channels required for surround sound on film. Various numbers were being shouted out until a voice was heard from the back: “We need 5.1”. Everyone’s head turned around to look at Tom Holman. He proceeded to explain what he meant: Take the low frequency content from all 5 channels and redirect it away from the satellite speakers to the subwoofer. If we do the math, then the content below 80 Hz is 0.004 of the audible 20,000 Hz bandwidth. But 5.004 didn’t sound as catchy so Tom rounded up to 5.1. By the way, don’t make the amateur mistake of calling it 5 dot 1. It is a decimal: 5 point 1.
Fast forward to the early 90s when the first DSP powered home theater receivers started to appear. Along with progress came complexity. Some industry forces believed that Bass Management should be an option that could be turned on and off by the consumer. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but to make an informed decision requires much more knowledge about the system than what was available to the typical consumer. So, the Large and Small rule of thumb was established. The idea was to look at the size of your speakers and decide whether their woofers were “large enough” to reproduce the lowest octaves at the required levels. It was a noble thought, but looking at it 15 years later I believe that it has led to nothing but massive confusion. The poor consumer was led to believe that Large is somehow a good thing and was then left wondering why there was nothing coming out of their subwoofer.

Redirecting the bass to the subwoofer relieves the receiver amplifiers from having to work on reproducing the low frequencies and this greatly improves the headroom. If you happen to be using Audyssey MultEQ for room correction, you will achieve much better low frequency performance because the MultEQ subwoofer filters have 8x higher resolution than the filters in the other channels.

Here is a better rule: All speakers are Small. In today’s complicated AVR lingo that just means: If you have a subwoofer you should always turn bass management on. Always. Even if your receiver clings to the past and automatically sets your speakers to Large.


80 Hz is a typical recommendation. If MultEQ finds a roll off point higher than 80 Hz then don't change it. But, if any of your speakers are set to Large, then change those to 80 Hz.

Audyssey doesn't set speakers to Large or Small and most certainly doesn't set the sub to LFE+Main. These are decisions that the AVR makes. We recommend that if there is a subwoofer in the system, then all speakers should be set to Small and the sub mode should be LFE (not LFE+Main).

The LPF setting for the LFE channel should always be 120 Hz. This is not a crossover, but a filter that applies only to the separate LFE track found in 5.1 content.
Crossover frequency : Ask Audyssey




You can readilly override the bass management configurations arrived at by a calibration without it having any detrimental effect upon your receiver's room EQ correction.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
So I set all the speakers to Small. Do I set the crossover on the bass or in the OSD on my AVR or both?
You set the crossovers on the receiver, 80hz for front is the best. Leave the surrounds as calibrated. Do not drop the crossovers from that which has been calibrated it's fine to raise them. On the sub itself set the crossover to it's maximum, usually 120hz-140hz. The receiver should already have the sub set to it's maximum by default. on LPF for LFE, again usually 120hz.
 

Pretorian24

Active Member
Ok. So this is what I did.
the LPF for LFE was set at 80. I changed it to 120hz.
The front and center was set at Large so I changed to Small.
The SW Mode was set at LFE + Main so I changed to only LFE.
When I come to crossover all speakers was at 40hz and I canged ONLY Front to 80hz. Should the other speakers be left at 40hz?
On the subwoofers back I changed the crossover from 60 or 80hz to maximum 150hz.
So am I good to go?
 

Pretorian24

Active Member
I will change the rest of the speakers to 80hz. I tried it yesterday and it sounds great. Not sure if I can HEAR a difference but it just "feels" good. Thanks for this! (Love my home cinema 🥰)

EDIT: I should do a test with the Blade Runner: 2049 soundtrack score. I know that my fronts almost left the room when playing that intro.
They should work "less" with these new settings, right?
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
EDIT: I should do a test with the Blade Runner: 2049 soundtrack core. I know that my fronts almost left the room when playing that intro.
They should work "less" with these new settings, right?
The receiver will be working so hard with all audio below 80hz being taken up by the sub. It can certainly help refine the mids and highs.
 

tcb82

Standard Member
This should have been done prior to running the AV receiver's calibration process. You need to do things in this order:

  1. Configure the sub's own settings
  2. Run the AV receiver's calibration process
  3. Deal with and configure the AV receiver's bass management


As to the sub's own cnfiguration. Set it volume dial to about one third, set phase to 0° and set the frequency dial as high as it allows or to a dedicated LFE setting option if there is one. AS said, these settings all need to be done prior to running the calibration and should not be altered aftward unless you intend to rerun the calibration again.
I followed your guide, and used Audyssey setup. The result was that the fronts and the center was set to 40hz at crossover. Is that to low? Should I set it to 80hz?
Also, the fronts was set to Large. Should I set Them to Small?

And What about Sub. mode? LFE+main? Or just LFE?

Thanks :)
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Again, you should configure the bass management manually after running the calibration. You'd ifeally set all speakers as being SMALL and assign them crossovers no lower than 80Hz. If the calibration set speakers as SMALL and assigned them a crossover higher than 80Hz then it would be inadvisable to set the crossover lower than the setting the calibration determined, but there's nothing preventing you from manually setting these crossover higher than the calibration determined.

Sub should be set to the LFE setting and not to LFE + MAIN. The LFE + MAIN setting can give rise to bass boom.
 

alextheg

Active Member
Over the last few years ive visited this thread with interest a number of times. Alas , ive ignored the advice given. Recently my wife has been complaining about the bass being too boomy. Now for me this isnt a problem , just a slight adjustment at the back of my REL T9 and everything is fine. Not something she wants to do and times when she has the sub settings end up shot to bits. This has arisen mostly with music , less so with movies.

For the last five years ive had the T9 hooked up exactly per REL instructions , using hi-level as well as LFE and for the most part had great results.

So today i finally took the advice of this thread. Disconnected the hi-level Speakon Neutrik cable. Ran an eight point calibration on my Yamaha RX A1070. The Yamaha set all speakers to large and 40hz crossover. I swiftly set all to small and 80hz. LFE gain on the T9 was set to 13 of 40 ( 1/3 ). The Yamaha set the sub level to -10db, a bit on the low side for me so i set it to -5db.

What followed was like an epithony. My system sounds like a whole new one . Im blown away by it. Movies and music just sound stunning. Everything is even and more natural sounding with plenty of punch. Literaly all five channels sound so much better.

Anyone in doubt of whether to follow the advice here , just do. The results will im sure surprise you. I now wonder though why REL are still giving such antiquated advice based on subs from years gone by. Bass management has obviously improved ten fold in AVR's nowadays. I for one will from now on let the AVR do its job .

While my T9 still sounds amazing , im suddenly feeling a tad curious to try something new...........
 

pure_geordie

Active Member
Hello peoples, May I have some advice after purchasing some new kit please, I have a Denon AVR-X2600H and Focal sib evo 5.1.2 setup, Just wondering if anybody has advice on optimal setup on the sub for Frequency and crossover. also the setting for the speakers. I haven't connected them up yet but thought I'd just get a little feedback about this setup. I will and can use the Audyssey auto calibration but if there is any manual adjustments I need to make also please advise. Many thanks in advance. PG
 

evh22

Active Member
Hi recently had the x2600 too and really pleased. I have KEF Q series 5.1.2 set-up.

Thanks to recommendations from Dante I ran Audyssey then in speaker settings changed speaker size from large to small.
All crossovers to 80hz and subwoofer to LFE only (@120hz).

Just check your speaker crossovers on manufactures spec don’t clash with above.
 

pure_geordie

Active Member
Hi recently had the x2600 too and really pleased. I have KEF Q series 5.1.2 set-up.

Thanks to recommendations from Dante I ran Audyssey then in speaker settings changed speaker size from large to small.
All crossovers to 80hz and subwoofer to LFE only (@120hz).

Just check your speaker crossovers on manufactures spec don’t clash with above.
Thanks evh22 much appreciated.
 

robase007

Active Member
Hi Dante,

I previously set all my speakers to small and 80hz but then recently purchased PMC speakers.

When I spoke to Rel they suggested that I am limiting the range of my speakers and that I run the high level neutrik cable in parallel with the LFE.1 cable
On the reciever, change the speakers from small to large and set the crossover on the reciever to 200HZ to send full range to the subwoofer,and then adjust the filter on the subwoofer to blend in with the left and rights speakers roll off of 27hz range.
I have played some movie tracks and music, and I must say is sounds superb.No booming at all and soundstage is very open and detailed.

PMC 25 24 27Hz - 25kHz
PMC 25 22 39Hz - 25kHz
PMC 25 Center 45Hz - 25kHz
Subwoofer REL 212
Reciever Arcam AVR 750

Can you advise if this is viable option to setting them small and 80hz?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Ignore what REL are suggesting. REL have an obsession with making both a low and a high level connection when only a low level connection is required. Just make the usual low level connection from the AV receiver's subwoofer pre out to the subwoofer's LFE RCA input. The guidance as far as bass management goes would be the same relative to your PMC speakers and REL sub as it would be using any other make of speakers and or sub.

Still set the speakers as being SMALL and use a crossover no lower than 80Hz.
 

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