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Surround Sound Receiver & Subwoofer Connections

Scarous
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I am new to the world of "real" surround sound, having upgraded from a soundbar with wireless surround to this 5.1.2 system. I got this system from a friend (lucky!). I just finished running the wires in the walls and need some advice on proper set up. 

 

Speakers: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091EVO512A/Focal-Sib-Evo-Dolby-Atmos-5-1-2.html?tp=34

Receiver: https://www.crutchfield.com/S-iYN40g24aUB/p_022RXV583/Yamaha-RX-V583.html

 

I really just have two questions:

1. Is this receiver the right "size" for the speakers? The speakers are rated for up to 200w and the receiver is 80w/channel, and I have read conflicting information stating under- or over-powering speakers can be harmful to the life of the speaker. Assuming the system is fine (it sounds amazing), but wanted to check in.

2. Subwoofer connection. Alright, so the sub has "Right" and "Left LFE" RCA inputs. The receiver has Sub1 and Sub2 outputs. Right now I have RCA from "Left LFE" to Sub1 and from "Right" to Sub2, sub volume at 75%, crossover at LFE, phase at 0, and power at Auto. (Picture of the back of the sub here: (https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091EVO512A/Focal-Sib-Evo-Dolby-Atmos-5-1-2.html?tp=34#&gid=1&pid=4). I have read articles saying I need to use a Y cable to connect both Left and Right on the sub to Sub1 on the receiver, and don't use Sub2. Some say don't bother and just connect Left LFE to Sub1 (ignoring Right and Sub2). My sub is very quiet, so I am concerned I have something wrong. What is the right way to connect this sub and receiver? 

 

Thanks all!

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28 minutes ago, Scarous said:

The speakers are rated for up to 200w and the receiver is 80w/channel

It's probably fine.

28 minutes ago, Scarous said:

Some say don't bother and just connect Left LFE to Sub1

Do this. The rest of the settings are correct as described, except the volume you can be set to preference.

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The receiver has plenty of juice for your speakers.  They are 25 to 200 watts.  Just don't go too loud, the receiver will kill them! Just run the sub with LFE.  I've got my SVS running like that and its 100% fine.

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18 hours ago, Scarous said:

General gear commentary - these are not the speakers I'd recommend at that price point. I'm assuming you got it free or cheap so enjoy it (otherwise look at Emotiva B1+, ELAC Debut 2.0, JBL 530, Polk ES15/ES10)


Also be aware that positioning matters. Try to get all of the speakers at ear level and then follow this - https://www.audioreputation.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/5.1-speaker-layout.png


Subwoofer can go anywhere. look into "subwoofer crawl" to help with positioning. Tip - get a decibel meter app for your phone and do frequency sweeps (youtube video works) from 20-120Hz or so for subwoofer placement (place sub where your ears would be while sitting). Ideally it's at the same level throughout, if it's louder or softer it's some combination of the subwoofer and your room's walls/floor/ceiling.

 

18 hours ago, Scarous said:

I really just have two questions:

1. Is this receiver the right "size" for the speakers? The speakers are rated for up to 200w and the receiver is 80w/channel, and I have read conflicting information stating under- or over-powering speakers can be harmful to the life of the speaker. Assuming the system is fine (it sounds amazing), but wanted to check in.

If you're in a reasonably sized rooms, it'll be fine. The wattage on speakers is half-meaningless. Usually what you SHOULD focus on is sensitivity (and Ohms). If you have low efficiency speakers, then you need a stronger amplifier. Eyeballing those, they're physically small, which usually means low efficiency. Still unlikely to be an issue.

 

In practice speakers usually use something like half a watt or 1 watt.
If for example your speaker is 85dB efficient at 1 meter's distance, you only need 1W to hit that sound level. If you're 2 meter's away you'll need 4x the power though and for 3 meters you'd need 9x.
 

18 hours ago, Scarous said:

2. Subwoofer connection. Alright, so the sub has "Right" and "Left LFE" RCA inputs. The receiver has Sub1 and Sub2 outputs. Right now I have RCA from "Left LFE" to Sub1 and from "Right" to Sub2, sub volume at 75%, crossover at LFE, phase at 0, and power at Auto. (Picture of the back of the sub here: (https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091EVO512A/Focal-Sib-Evo-Dolby-Atmos-5-1-2.html?tp=34#&gid=1&pid=4). I have read articles saying I need to use a Y cable to connect both Left and Right on the sub to Sub1 on the receiver, and don't use Sub2. Some say don't bother and just connect Left LFE to Sub1 (ignoring Right and Sub2). My sub is very quiet, so I am concerned I have something wrong. What is the right way to connect this sub and receiver? 

 

Thanks all!

Plug the cable into the LFE option if given a choice. Otherwise plug it into whatever is there and set the crossover to the highest setting.

 

The Y cable thing shouldn't matter, it just feeds the same signal in twice. You can also get a similar effect by upping the gain by 3dB or changing the level offset in the AVR by 3dB. The capabilities of the sub won't be enhanced by "amplifying" the signal this way vs just using level offsets.

 

Also be aware that bass can be hard to get working well in some rooms. Sound waves reflect off walls and you can end up with some frequencies where the sound is cancelled out. This is calls a null. They're annoying. Bass traps in the corners and multiple subwoofers is the counter to this.

 

Also, in general you'll want to configure everything using YPAO or whatever it is built into your AVR. If you're using the settings for your friend's room things will be a little off.

If

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Crossover is set to max and sub volume set to max. Still pretty quiet. The YPAO set up also maxes out the volume of the sub, still quiet. I have it plugged in with just 1 cable from LFE to sub1. I feel like I am doing something wrong. 

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Factory reset the receiver. Still cant get the sub any louder. I set the sub crossover to 100, turned on bass boost, set the front speakers to small, plugged in sub1 on receiver to FLE on the sub. YPAO auto configuration still maxes out the sub volume. YPAO does error W1 for a speaker out of phase, but apparently this is a common problem even if everything is wired correctly (I checked every speaker, couldn't find any reversed wires). I am just at a loss. No clue what I am doing wrong.

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23 hours ago, Scarous said:

YPAO does error W1 for a speaker out of phase, but apparently this is a common problem even if everything is wired correctly (I checked every speaker, couldn't find any reversed wires).

I guess there is the ever so slight chance a speaker's wires are wrong internally, so you could swap them one at a time and see if it goes away, but it can also just be room acoustics/speaker placement confusing it.

23 hours ago, Scarous said:

Still cant get the sub any louder. I set the sub crossover to 100, turned on bass boost, set the front speakers to small, plugged in sub1 on receiver to FLE on the sub. I am just at a loss. No clue what I am doing wrong.

Is the subwoofer known to work properly? Does YPAO detect the sub or what level does it set it to? The sub might also be placed at a less than ideal location creating a so-called null (or at least notably decrease sound level) where you sit or put the mic. Do check the aforementioned "subwoofer crawl". Either crawl around the room yourself, or try moving the sub around and see if that changes the situation.

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I think I got it! It is plugged into FLE, which I thought would automatically configure crossover. Not sure if that actually works with this receiver; I couldn't find a way to manually set it. Looking online, the sub is supposed to be set at a crossover of 120. Set it to 120, and now its LOUD. Had to re-do YPAO and set the sub volume to 75%. Seems like its perfect now! 

 

Speaking of though, why does this sub have a L and R channel? Should I be plugging in Sub 1 and Sub 2 into L and R? Right now, the R channel on the sub and the Sub 2 channel on the AVR are unused. 

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56 minutes ago, Scarous said:

I think I got it! It is plugged into FLE, which I thought would automatically configure crossover. Not sure if that actually works with this receiver; I couldn't find a way to manually set it. Looking online, the sub is supposed to be set at a crossover of 120. Set it to 120, and now its LOUD. Had to re-do YPAO and set the sub volume to 75%. Seems like its perfect now! 

 

Speaking of though, why does this sub have a L and R channel? Should I be plugging in Sub 1 and Sub 2 into L and R? Right now, the R channel on the sub and the Sub 2 channel on the AVR are unused.

Strange you couldn't find crossover setting. One reason I could think of is you set your speakers to large. Try changing to small on all your speakers and then double check if crossover setting is available. Usually AVR does the crossover work while leaving the sub's crossover to maximum.

 

Subs have L and R channel inputs because for amplifiers (usually stereo amps) that doesn't have sub output, it may have stereo line outputs for scenario like sub's L and R inputs.

 

AVR's second sub output is for another subwoofer which can be used strategically for better bass response. 

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