Subwoofer Setup

Setting up a Carbon series subwoofer is actually quite easy as most AVR systems have the ability to tune and correct for room related anomalies. 

As each subwoofer has a number of presets available to the user through the display interface, it is quite easy to get your subwoofer set up and optimized for your listening preferences. 

What you will need:

  1. Stand alone measurement system. I recommend Omnimic V2 by Dayton because it is fast. You only need track 2 (omniphonic short sine sweep), and you can run that test track for 10 min and see the result of your adjustments live as you change settings without having to reset and sweep each individual setting change. It very easy to see an improvement as it happens.

  2. Patience. 

  3. Read your AVR manual and source online publications for in depth information. 

What you want:

  1. You want to be able to fine tune the auto calibration after it is done. This will allow you to use the base line settings as a datum point and then improve from that point. Make sure that your AVR can do that. 

Rules to follow:

  1. Use as few eq filters as possible. I shoot for 4 total. 

  2. Cut in EQ, then boost back what was cut in the gain

    1. If you have a null, cut around it in the EQ, then boost back the overall in the gain to restore output. ​​​

    2. I use a ratio of 6 dB cut to 5 dB gain boost. 

    3. Boosting in EQ will hit the limit faster in the amp at that one point. This means that the amp is having to work harder to cover more changes within its own frequency response. This can make your system sound stressed and yucky. 

Steps

  1. Match your levels from your mains to your sub/s.

  2. Run the sub/s to the upper limit of their advertised response. If it advertises 100 Hz, run it to 80-100 Hz. ​​

  3. Rough in the delay. Set your delay up according to the physical distance of your speakers from MLP. 

    1. This will not be perfect because it does not account for system latency, but it will get you close.​

    2. The goal is to match the speakers so all the sound hits the MLP at the same time.

  4. Provide a gap to the main speaker crossover. If the sub is at 90 Hz, then set your main speaker to around 105 Hz and adjust the slope and move it up and down in frequency until you get a nice big sum (bump upwards) in the crossover range. 

    1. Generally you will see about 15-25 Hz gap between the sub and the main speakers.​

    2. You want to look for the smoothest transition.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the best possible sum; this will be a combination of timing delay and crossover work. So you will have to work both in smaller increments to get the best possible sum. Be patient.

  6. Now that you have a big sum (bump upwards) you can be sure that you do not have any cancelations between your main and your sub.

  7. Write down these settings.

  8. Now tune or auto calibrate your system.

  9. See if your system will allow you to adjust the crossover after the auto calibration.