- Home Theater FAQ's and Information
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is the best place to put a subwoofer in my room?
of all, it is generally believed that the bass you hear below
approximately 100Hz is non-directional. This means you can point the
loudspeaker in any direction and the sound will still reach the
listener's ears. Since much of the bass that subwoofers produce is
below that frequency, you can place the subwoofer almost anywhere in
the room. This is the opposite of full range speakers, which have
just a few placement options in a room that allow them to sound
good, as they must be positioned for the best combination of imaging
and tonal balance. Putting a subwoofer in a corner of the room will
make the sub sound the loudest. If your subwoofer is a ported
design, keep it at least twice the diameter of the port exit
(probably 6-12") away from the nearest wall so that air flowing
out of the port is not obstructed. If the bass seems too
"boomy" you can "fine tune" the sub by moving it
farther from the wall until it sounds smooth to your ears. www.oregondv.com.
A popular way of finding the best place for your
subwoofer is to hook it up and put it right where you will be
sitting in the room. Play something with good, consistent, deep bass
and walk around the room. The spot you stand at where the bass
sounds best to you is a spot where you might put your subwoofer.
Corner placement of the subwoofer is best because this yields the
loudest output (highest efficiency). This does not mean that it will
always sound best in this position, and therefore, experimenting
with placement is always suggested. It's also important to have the
sound from the sub reach the listener in sync with the sound from
the main speakers, otherwise the sound will never blend properly.
You should not be able to "hear" your subwoofer as a
separate entity; instead, it should seem that your main speakers go
deeper with greater impact and authority. To achieve simultaneous
arrival, the subwoofer should be similar in distance to the listener
as the main speakers. It also helps to put the sub in the same
general area as the main speakers. If you do not need to maximize
sub output, try putting the subwoofer about 1/3 of the way along the
front wall of the room as that may offer a smoother tonal balance
than corner placement.
Can I put more than one subwoofer in my room?
are some people that feel you can never have enough bass. This is a
personal preference, of course, and as long as the subwoofers are
placed right, multiple subwoofers will produce more bass. It is
important to note here that unless the second subwoofer goes deeper
than the first one, adding additional subwoofers will only raise the
volume of bass. This will not produce deeper bass. Just like finding
the best place for one subwoofer, you need to experiment with
different positions to find the best places for two or more
subwoofers. Some people use one subwoofer for a certain frequency
range and the second for another (such as the LFE channel in 5.1
recordings). Other options used are connection of one subwoofer to
the front channels and one to the rear channels or one to the center
channel and the other to the remaining channels.
Sometimes, adding a second subwoofer can smooth bass response
throughout the room. This is due to strong acoustic standing waves
in the room which are dependent on the basic room dimensions
(height, length, and width) and the placement of the sub and primary
listening area. With a single sub, it is possible to obtain strong
bass at one spot, with very weak bass elsewhere in the room. You can
hear this by carefully listening to bass as you move a few feet in
any direction. If you have strong bass/weak bass problems, using a
second sub in a different location may reduce the severity of the
problem. The important thing to remember is to find what sounds best
to you! Each room is different, experiment until you find the
placement that produces the most pleasing bass to your ears.
are the different ways of hooking up a subwoofer?
first method works with all amplifiers and receivers whether they
are set up for home theater reproduction or not. Connect the
positive speaker terminal of the receiver/amp to the corresponding
(right channel, left channel, etc.) positive speaker input terminal
on the subwoofer. Then connect the negative speaker lead from the
amp/receiver in the same manner. Repeat for the next speaker.
Connect the speaker leads from the receiver (main L&R) to the
subwoofer speaker level inputs. Then run wire from the sub speaker
level outputs to your main L&R speakers. This method allows the
subwoofer to produce the low frequencies, sending the upper bass,
midrange and high frequencies to each connected speaker. Most
subwoofers have controls so that the user can determine the range of
low frequencies they want the sub to produce.
The second method applies to amps/receivers that have a separate
"subwoofer out" jack or a separate LFE (Low Frequency
Effects) jack. The LFE output is the .1 in the Dolby Digital 5.1
designation and applies to those amps/receivers that have that
feature. Remember that 2 channel recordings never have any LFE
signal. These connections use an RCA jack, so a cable with those
jacks is necessary (special "subwoofer cables" use these
jacks and may be purchased separately). Connect the "line
out" jack of the amp/receiver to the "line in" jack
of the subwoofer (or the "LFE" out to the "LFE"
in) describe here the difference between : normal sub out and LFE
signal. That is, two-channel signals will have sub out but NEVER LFE
out. This connection allows the amp/receiver to control the low
frequencies going to the subwoofer. These frequencies are directed
by the "bass management function" in the amp/receiver.
Examples of "bass management" include, but are not limited
to, speaker size settings (i.e. Large or Small) or subwoofer output
controls located in the amp/receiver.
The third method of hookup involves some combination of all of the
hookups listed above (see next question).
What is the best way for me to hook up my subwoofer?
there is no one "best" way to connect a subwoofer. Every
receiver or amplifier is different, every brand of subwoofer is
different, every room is different in the way it supports or cancels
low frequency information, and the quantity of bass desired may
differ for each listener. Additionally, the same hookups to the same
amps/receivers and the same subwoofers can produce different results
if "bass management" settings (speaker size selectors,
etc.) or subwoofer settings are different. The best thing to do is
to experiment. Depending on the amp/receiver you have, hooking just
the "LFE" jacks up usually only sends bass special effects
of a 5.1 encoded movie to the subwoofer. In that case, when music is
played on a two-channel source (CD or such) for example, the
subwoofer would not receive any signal at all. That situation would
call for a hookup of both the "LFE" jacks and the speaker
terminal jacks to a subwoofer in order for the subwoofer to produce
bass with all sources. The best way to hook up a subwoofer is what
sounds best to you, with your equipment and your individual tastes!
It does take some time and experimentation, but when you have
listened to all your options, you know which one is best for you.
& Granite Audio
Salem, OR 97303
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