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Thread: Sub integration problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    23

    Default Sub integration problem

    I just received a PSA s1500 sub to go with my Sierra Towers (w/ RAAL), and after using the REW software to level match the Towers and the sub, it sounds great -- very well balanced. BUT, the only way to get the levels matched is to run the sub at virtually full gain! My prior (and much older) Velodyne sub could be level matched at only about 70% of full gain. They are in the same spot in the room.

    Any thoughts on what could be the problem (if it is a problem)?
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    BTW -- the Sierra Towers sound better each time I listen to them!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    Do a subwoofer crawl to find the best spot for the subwoofer. Most probably your MLP is in a null and the only way to fix that is changing the subwoofer location.
    Enrico Castagnetti @ Rythmik Audio
    Media Room: Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers w/ RAAL, Horizon w/ RAAL, Sierra 2s & Lunas | Rythmik F12SE (x2) | Emotiva XMC-1 | Emotiva XPA-3 & XPA-200 | Oppo 105D | Bluesound Node 2 | Sony HW40ES |
    Desktop: Dynaudio BM5 mkIII | Rythmik L22 | Apogee Quartet | 27" iMac|
    Bedroom: B&W 685 S2 | Rythmik LVX12 | Marantz NR1606 | Emotiva XPA-200 Gen 2 | Samsung UN50JU6500 |

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    That's what I thought as well, so I tried the sub in 3-4 different locations in the listening room including in the corner facing the MLP, all with the same result -- to get the same sound level as the Towers (measuring 0 on my Radio Shack meter with C weighting), I have to turn the gain on the sub virtually all the way up. It still sound great, but this can't be right. Can it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    What amp/preamp or receiver are you using?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    I'm using an Apt-Holman pre-amp (so no test-tones there, that's why I'm using the REW software on my laptop) and the Emotiva A-300 stereo power amp (150 wpc, 20-20k).

    As for the REW software, I'm running pink noise at the -3db setting using the subwoofer setting for the sub and full for the Towers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    More information:
    I re-ran the entire process, and noticed that the output from my laptop (which goes out to the pre-amp through a 3.5 mm to dual RCA plugs) was registering a very low "3" level (it runs from 0-100). When I have my laptop in its cradle and attached to Audioengine speakers, it registers at 100 (max) and the volume is adjusted completely with the level control on the speakers.

    So, I turned the gain up on the PC output about halfway, and when I repeated the speaker level adjustments, the sub now could be run at about 75% of its full gain rather than the nearly 100% previously (remember that the PC was providing the same input levels to both the sub and the Towers).

    Question: should I turn the PC output gain up to 100 and allow all volume adjustments to be done through the REW software (ensuring that both the sub and the Towers are getting the same sound levels) and then adjust the volume of the sub to equal that of the Towers?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    If it were me and it sounds fine and measures fine and you don't hear a hum from the sub because you have the gain all the way up, I wouldn't worry about it.

    You might just call customer service over at PSA to give you piece of mind, but it is likely because you don't have gain adjustment in your preamp to help out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    it sounds fine and measures fine and there is no hum...and I have a call into PSA! I'll let you all know what they say.

    thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    and the folks at PSA say that running it at 75% of full gain is not a problem...although they suggested that I turn up the output gain on my PC (although not to 100%...perhaps to 90%) to make sure there's enough signal to get good readings for the mains and the sub.

    so, I have one more iteration and then I should be good!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Somewhere in the Boston area
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Sub integration problem

    You only mention level, but could it also be an issue with phase? Whether you adjust the sub to MLP distance in your pre-pro/AVR settings or adjust phase it manually with the switch/knob your sub has, that also has an impact.

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