Adding sub to "full range"... - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 48 Old 03-25-08, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Adding sub to "full range"...

Hi there... I've been running a pair of Klipsch RF-3 Towers for afew years as my mains, recently added a used RC-3II as center (used) and a pair of tin cans for rears... (not that bad really, just not worth the details)...

the RF-3's are spec'd to roll off at 37Hz, which is supported by my scans in REW... I'm now thinking of adding a sub to extend down for movies, and perhaps add backup even in music... music is and has always been the primary goal of my setup, but movies are gaining traction...

I'm aware of the "normal" 80 Hz crossover between mains and sub, but I would rather use my RF-3's to their fullest extent, and only use the sub to fill in where necessary...especially important in music, in my opinion, not to mention I spend the money on the towers, why use them as monitors? at any rate...

The issue becomes, my AVR, once the setting of the fronts is moved from large to small, only allows a cutoff as low as 60 Hz, more than half an octave above where my fronts are usable down to... so I'm looking for ideas...

One I've come across is leaving the sub set to off in the AVR and the fronts set to Large, and pulling the preamp out from the AVR as my sub signal, and using the crossover in the sub to limit it to lower than 37Hz... this sounds like a good idea, except I'm afaid that certain scenes could overdrive the fronts, as I already hear what I think is them flapping (yes, I turned it down right away...)...

So then I thought I could turn down the LFE mix on the receiver to a point where the fronts are safe, and turn up the gain on the sub... what does everyone think of this?

Obviously another option is to connect the sub to the sub output, and leave the fronts as large, but as I understand it, then the whole LFE could be pumped into the fronts, which doesn't do me much good...

Help?
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post #2 of 48 Old 03-25-08, 10:31 PM
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

Can you hook up main speakers in sub and use it a s a high pass filter? I think there are ways you will be able to get what you want but I have always had full range speakers and my Rotel pre can set each speaker from 40HZ up 150Hz so I never had to think that hard, I run full range fronts, 40Hz for center, and 80Hz for surrounds. Also I couldnt agree more about driving your speaker lower if it can handle it, there is alot of debate about the strict 80Hz rule (which I feel was mostly established with smaller speakers in mind, not the best ones) but I think that only applies if you can safely do it any better, after trying it both ways 80HZ across the board doesnt cut it.
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post #3 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 03:19 AM
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

I have very capable fronts. They can easily handle 40Hz at reference, and lower down if I don't go mental. Still, they sound so much sweeter when I cross them over at 80Hz. A properly set up subwoofer will "always" outperform a fullrange speaker down low. You are not using your system to it's full potential if you DON'T cross them over at 80Hz.


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post #4 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 04:33 AM
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

If you have a very capable sub that will blend well with the mains having the crossover at 60 isn't that bad of a deal. I am able to set my crossover to 40 or 60 and I really can't hear much difference if any with that setting for music or movies and like you my mains are good to below 40hz. Before trying all the other ways, try the 60 hz setting and see what it is like, you may find you like it.
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post #5 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 04:57 AM
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

The only way to get ideal integration and sufficient main protection as you seem to desire, it seems, is with an external active crossover with a great deal of flexibility/adjustment that your internal AVR crossover lacks(nearly all receivers have limited crossover adjustments). You could use, or example, a Behringer DCX2496, which would allow perfect integration, as this is a very powerful DSP outboard crossover/filter processor. But unless your receiver has a way to feed out the pre-amp signal AND feed the now processed signal back into the amplifier section of the AVR - you will not be able to use this method. The only way to get this method to work would be to use an outboard amplifier for the mains, thus using the AVR only as a pre-amp for the mains. The total cost, best case scenario, to add both the procesor and the amplifier, is probably in the $500 USD range.

-Chris
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post #6 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 05:15 AM
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

what is the model number of your AVR?
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post #7 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 07:12 AM
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

I too, have a Rotel receiver/amp with the ability to crossover the subs. Xover points are off, 40,60,80, 100, and 120 hz.

I built some really large custom mains and the dual sub tower in my avatar. I've played with the speaker setups in all configurations many, many times. My final optimal quality listening results for both music and movies to get the full benefit of the mains and the subs, is to set my mains to small, even though my mains are monsters, and have set my xover to 60 hz cutoff to the subs through the LFE sub outs.

This does two things that help me get the most out of my speakers. It doesn't "muddy" up my subs with anything higher than 60 hz because that's not what I built them for. Any higher freqs really have an impact on the quality of the bass my subs produce because they are also carring those extra higher frequencies that the mains are intended to produce, not the subs.

At 60 hz with all the speakers set to small, all 60 hz signals and below are sent to the sub through LFE and the rest of the signals are sent to my mains and surrounds. I get the cleanest and highest quality music and movie reproduction in this mode. Most mains and satellites should be able to reproduce 60 hz and up very clean in this mode. I used to have the mains set to large, but I have since changed them back to small with much improved results. You'll just have to keep working with your testing.

Different AV receivers have different features, settings, and outputs, so it would do you well to spend a bit of extra time with demos of different types of music and movies until you are tweaked in to your best.

I would definately use your LFE output to your sub(s), and set the mains to small and give it a try. That's what those LFE outputs are for. I think you will be very happy with that setup. I've seen the daisy chain of the main speaker wires from the receiver wired to the sub, then out of the sub to the mains. I've never liked that and have always had less than desirable performance this configuration. I've tried it on a couple of systems.

You mentioned you're desire was intended for music so I've included a chart showing the range of most musical instruments. By looking at this chart, you can see how much more musical reproduction has to be carried by the sub between 60 and 80 hz.

I hope this helps and have fun.....

Mike
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post #8 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one on that...I've always felt the 80Hz number was more to get the speakers off the floor to allow ideal placement for imaging that it was abuot being the actual point hearing becomes non-directional... In my case I don't have any problem getting the driviers into the place I want for imaging, so no need for small speakers, so I can afford the lower crossover if I can figure out how to do it...
a friend suggested connection using the sub to cross the fronts, just as you say... I don't have any reason not to, other than making sure that whatever sub I get doesn't color the audio it then sends to the fronts... suggestions?
Other than that requirement, I would have said I was counting on getting a Klipsch sub, but seeing their offerings, I don't think any help with this kind of connection, so I'm open to suggestions...
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post #9 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

Quote:
atledreier wrote: View Post
I have very capable fronts. They can easily handle 40Hz at reference, and lower down if I don't go mental. Still, they sound so much sweeter when I cross them over at 80Hz. A properly set up subwoofer will "always" outperform a fullrange speaker down low. You are not using your system to it's full potential if you DON'T cross them over at 80Hz.
Are you suggesting this for music as well as movie mode?
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post #10 of 48 Old 03-26-08, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Adding sub to "full range"...

Quote:
jakewash wrote: View Post
If you have a very capable sub that will blend well with the mains having the crossover at 60 isn't that bad of a deal. I am able to set my crossover to 40 or 60 and I really can't hear much difference if any with that setting for music or movies and like you my mains are good to below 40hz. Before trying all the other ways, try the 60 hz setting and see what it is like, you may find you like it.
Fair enough... only 1 thing: since I don't yet own a sub, and have no friends who's subs are "portable," I have to make a purchase before I can run the taste test, therefore I want to make sure before I purchase that the sub is capable of a backup plan just in case...

Also, knowing myself, I'll always feel bad that I'm not using the lower range of the towers... especially for music...
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