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New ML system and help needed

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jtwadsworth

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Hi all. I am new to ML and to HT for that matter so be gentle. Here is my current system:

Main: ML Ascent i
Center: ML Cinema i
Sub: ML Grotto
Surround/Rear: ML Fresco (currently on order)
Processor: Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi
Plasma: Pioneer Elite Pro-1120HD

I am in love with the ML speakers and ESL for that matter already.

My problem I am in desperate need of help for is how to hook up the Grotto. I have done it two ways, both are way wrong to my ear.

1. Using just the LFE/.1 out on the processor the LFE/.1 in on the Grotto - I know this will not give me the bass I want/need for 2 channel music, even though the bass is quite good on the Ascent i's.

2. Using the Sub Out from the processor to a Y-connector to the R & L line in on the Grotto - This is how it was installed. This never gave me the bass in 2 channel music either.


I have tried to do some reading on the subject and see that many recommend hooking up both the LFE/.1 AND the R&L line in. My only problem (and I am ashamed to admit) is that I have no idea which output to use for the R&L in option coming out of the processor.

Any help would be appreciated and I can even duck some blows if necessary. I simply want to get this subwoofer working like I know it should based on how the other ML speakers have impressed me.

jtw
 

Robin

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Bass for 2 channel....

jtw,

Welcome to the ML Club! :D

I have a, "Pioneer Elite VSX 59TXi", A/V Reciever, I am currently using it as a preamp / processor. :) My Pioneer 59TXi, is hooked-up, using RCA - "Monster Cable" from the, "sub - out". This connection goes to my, ML Descent subwoofer, "LEF in-put". The 59TXi, is then programable to choose to have the subwoofer "ON", during 2 channel play-back or "OFF". I have it "NO", using the subwoofer, during 2 channel play-back. The bass is more than ample. I works really well.

IMHO, the "Pioneer Elite A/V Reciever", owners manual is not the greatest...
I had to resort to using a magnifying glass, to really see the connection points, just to read (the hard to read) diagrams. I also think, that the wording of instructions are alittle conveluded too..., but if you are patient, you will have sucess, I hope... :)

As everyone here knows, I wish, I had never purchased the 59TXi A/V Reciever... I wish, I had purchased seporates like the, "Anthem D1" or "D2" processor, instead, but that's another story... IMHO, speorates are a better way to go, in the long run.

Again, welcome, jtw, it's good to have you here. :D

Good luck!

-Robin
 
J

jtwadsworth

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Robin,

Thanks for the reply!

I have read at least with the Grotto, that if you use the LFE/.1 input on the Subwoofer that you are disabling the low pass filter of the sub. Is this so ? I will try my speaker settings via the processor, but I am getting confused after reading so many options for hooking this up. More info would be appreciated.

I also appreciate the comment about going to separate components. Unfortunately, I will not be able to do that for a time and want to maximize this current config.

jtw
 

Jeff Zaret

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jtw,

My setup is a little different than most but what I did is similar to what is described here. My first preference is 2-ch and then HT. My preamp only has one set of outputs which go to the amp. What I have done is to "Y" off of the pre-out and one pair goes to the amp and the other directly to the sub. This is a RCA connector and my sub is a ML Depth.

For my HT I use the LFE from the processor to the Depth. For me this works just fine. Again, this is a RCA connection.

I would concetrate on one thing first, either 2 ch or HT and get it the way you want.

These are just suggestions and your milage may vary.

Jeff :cool:
 

Robin

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Low pass filter...

jtw,

I know with the, Descent, the low pass filter is not disabled. I do not know if the same is true with the Grotto... IMHO, I would recommend listening to the sound, after it is hooked-up, as I've suggested and see if it sounds good. "Trust your ears", are words to live by, here at the ML Club.... :D

Enjoy! :D

Cheers

-Robin
 
J

jtwadsworth

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Well, as it is hooked up now (from sub out to a Y connector to the Grotto R & L line in) I get the bass.

I set the processor setting for sub to "plus" which supposedly routes all the bass for "small" set speakers to the sub and routes the bass to the sub that also goes to the "large" set front speakers. The LFE/.1 is not connected.

The bass is there but seems a bit "boomy". I am not getting that nice tight "thump" in 2 channel mode...its more rumbly.

jtw
 

Peter Hogan

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jtwadsworth said:
Well, as it is hooked up now (from sub out to a Y connector to the Grotto R & L line in) I get the bass.

I set the processor setting for sub to "plus" which supposedly routes all the bass for "small" set speakers to the sub and routes the bass to the sub that also goes to the "large" set front speakers. The LFE/.1 is not connected.

The bass is there but seems a bit "boomy". I am not getting that nice tight "thump" in 2 channel mode...its more rumbly.

Any other opinions?

jtw
Hi,
When you set speakers to "small", the receiver redirects the bass to the LFE output. You say you do not have the LFE connected, so you're not getting any of the redirected bass to the sub.

The way I have mine connected is to set ALL the speakers to small (that will route any bass below the receiver crossover settings from all channels to the sub). I have the sub connected to the LFE output.

I then adjust the receivers crossover settings for each channel, depending on what I have for a speaker there. For example I have small satellite speakers in the rear, and set the receiver crossover for the rear channels to 120Hz. I have ML CLS's and woofers (2 x 12" but NOT subs, along with an active crossover) for fronts. I have the active crossover set to 140Hz, so the CLS's get everything above that, and the woofers get signal between 140 and the receiver crossover setting of 60Hz, everything below this goes to the sub. I have an 18" velodyne for a sub, and it gets everything below the receiver crossover settings from all channels. I bypass the crossover that is built into the Velodyne, as the receiver is handling the crossover, and I don't want to limit response, or cause weird results by having a double crossover (crossover in the receiver plus the one in the sub).

A lot of the "boomy" bass will be the room response of the sub. I'm using a program called ETF (you can read more about it here: http://www.etfacoustic.com/ ), and a 1/3 octave equalizer in the sub line, to equalize the subs room response. This is mandatory in my book, as a subs frequency response varies WIDELY, depending on the room, and its placement in the room. This is true for ALL subs in ALL rooms. If you move the sub around in the room, you can vary the response a lot, and flatten the response to a certain degree that way. Most people don't have the luxury of leaving the sub in that ideal location though. It usually ends up being in the middle of the floor, or in front of a door. My sub had a monster room peak at 40Hz (of around 12dB!...this was the cause of the "boominess"), and a trough at about 65Hz. Using the equalizer to level these out (pretty much...it's not exactly flat, but a WHOLE lot better than unequalized), the bass really tightened up. No more boomines, just tight clean bass.

I plan on replacing the equalizer I'm using with the Velodyne SMS-1 when it comes out, the parametric equalizers it uses are better than the 1/3 octave that I'm presently using. With a parametric equalizer, you can set the center point of the filter exactly on the response peak, rather than using the filter (or two) that comes closest to it with the 1/3 octave equalizer. You can also set the "Q" of the filter to best match the width of the peak, rather than having fixed width filters in the 1/3 octave equalizer. In short is has more adjustability to better flatten the response curve.

HTH,
Peter
 
J

jtwadsworth

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Very helpful, Peter, thanks!

I had read a smiliar setup to what you describe. The problem is that with the Grotto, if I use the LFE/.1 input on the Sub, the Sub's crossover is disabled. I am then using the crossover in the receiver instead which I am sure is not as good as the Grotto's.

Remember, I still have the signal coming out of the Sub port on the receiver; it is just split with a Y connector to enter the L and R line in on the Sub. That way the Sub's crossover is still utilized and it should still be getting the LFE/.1 signals from the receiver. I will try tweaking the receiver settings to send more bass to the sub from the fronts.

jtw
 

Zorro

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Use Recommended Best Practices

Hi jtw,

Firstly, this is my first posting in this forum, so pardon my protocol if I make mistakes here :)

You have a wonderful setup with full ML speakers, a privilege many aspire to! I was going through the Pioneer's manual and IMHO, this is what I would do to get best sound in both stereo & HT modes:

1. In Pg 66 of the Pioneer VSX-74TXVi manual, there are instructions to change the speaker impedance from 8ohms to 6ohms. This will provide slightly better drive capability to the Ascent i fronts.
2. Connect the Pioneer sub pre-out to the LFE input on the Grotto. Although this bypasses the Grotto's low-pass filter, it would be better to let the processor manage HT bass. Let the low-pass filter function only in stereo, which I will explain in point 3.
3. To have the Grotto do bass in Stereo mode, connect the Pioneer's Front L/R preouts to the Grotto's L/R inputs respectively. Utilising this method, the Grotto's low-pass filter would be useful to fine-tune the bass. There is no need to use a Y-connector here, just a pair of interconnects will do. Ensure that SP A is activated on the Pioneer.
4. As a fine-tuning process, start with Stereo mode first to finalise the integration between the Ascent i and the Grotto, since the Grotto will be augmenting the Ascent i's bass even in HT mode. Just remember to set the Front speakers to 'Large' and disable the 'Plus' setting for the subwoofer (Pg 42 of the Pioneer's manual). Then follow the setup instructions in the Grotto's manual under the 2-channel mode. By now, you would have finalised the Level, Phase, 25Hz & Low-pass settings on the Grotto, which would also apply in the HT mode.
5. Once, you have completed the Stereo adjustments, switch to HT mode and without touching the Level, Low-pass, 25Hz and Phase settings, use the Pioneer's bass management (THX crossover & subwoofer level) settings to obtain best integration for HT.

I would like to place a caveat over my suggestion with the assumption that you value 2-channel performance as much as HT. If you find the bass in HT unsatisfactory, you would need to compromise by doing some fine adjustments on the Grotto in Step 5 and going through Steps 4 & 5 again.

Hope this helps and many happy returns to you. :)


__________________________________________



jtwadsworth said:
Very helpful, Peter, thanks!

I had read a smiliar setup to what you describe. The problem is that with the Grotto, if I use the LFE/.1 input on the Sub, the Sub's crossover is disabled. I am then using the crossover in the receiver instead which I am sure is not as good as the Grotto's.

Remember, I still have the signal coming out of the Sub port on the receiver; it is just split with a Y connector to enter the L and R line in on the Sub. That way the Sub's crossover is still utilized and it should still be getting the LFE/.1 signals from the receiver. I will try tweaking the receiver settings to send more bass to the sub from the fronts.

jtw
 
J

jtwadsworth

Guest
Zorro,

Thank you tons for that complete walkthrough. I have hooked it up as you outlined and I am very pleased with it. There is still a bass node right where I sit but if I stand at the same position, I am filled with nirvana by the sound of this system.

More tweaking still with the HT as I have not put in a good movie with effects yet but I can't wait to do it.

Thanks again ! I needed it put just the way you did.

jtw
 
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