Quantcast

Soundstage reduced!

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

FOUNTAIN

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
491
Reaction score
0
Location
Georgia
I just recently purchased a pair of Martin Logans (Aeon i) and have enjoyed them tremendously until I tried to add a sub into the mix. Currently I am just doing a two channel setup using a Rega Apollo cd player, Rega Cursa 3 preamp, and Adcom gfa 5802 amp. My preamp has two sets of preouts and I used the second pair to run into my PW 2200 Paradigm sub. Until I added the sub the soundstage was nice and open, but as soon as I hooked up the Paradigm it immediately sounded thin and reduced. Why is this? I went back and forth between sub and no sub and my wife and I noticed a huge difference. I have the crossover set on the Paradigm at 80hz and only have the volume up to about a quarter of the way. I would like to add this sub for a little more bass but not at the expense of an open soundstage. How in the world could adding a powered sub affect the soundstaging coming out of my Martin's? Thanks for any help or comments.
 

cstory

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Messages
171
Reaction score
0
Fountain,

Interesting that you experience a closing of the sound stage with the addition of the subwoofer. I experienced the exact opposite when I added an SVS PC-Ultra to my Aerius i's.

I have a couple of suggestions that may help.
Since the Aeons are running full range, with no crossover (If I understand your set up correctly), you may want to lower the crossover frequency of your sub even more. Try 60 Hz or even 40Hz and see if that helps. It may be that the subwoofer output (level, or frequency) is too high, which may be contributing to the soundstage collapse.

If you are setting the subwoofer level by ear, you may want to pick up one of the oft recommended Radio Shack analog sound level meters and a CD with some test tones (Stereophile Test Disk 2 for example) to help set the levels more accurately. The tones are played at different frequencies, so you could plot the sound meter reading vs frequency to get a visual picture of the response. This will let you know if you have a hump, or a null in the room frequency response. You may need to move the subwoofer some to help achieve a smoother in room frequency curve.

Hope this helps.

Chuck
 

Peter Hogan

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
294
Reaction score
0
Location
Fitchburg, MA
I just recently purchased a pair of Martin Logans (Aeon i) and have enjoyed them tremendously until I tried to add a sub into the mix. Currently I am just doing a two channel setup using a Rega Apollo cd player, Rega Cursa 3 preamp, and Adcom gfa 5802 amp. My preamp has two sets of preouts and I used the second pair to run into my PW 2200 Paradigm sub. Until I added the sub the soundstage was nice and open, but as soon as I hooked up the Paradigm it immediately sounded thin and reduced. Why is this? I went back and forth between sub and no sub and my wife and I noticed a huge difference. I have the crossover set on the Paradigm at 80hz and only have the volume up to about a quarter of the way. I would like to add this sub for a little more bass but not at the expense of an open soundstage. How in the world could adding a powered sub affect the soundstaging coming out of my Martin's? Thanks for any help or comments.

Hi,
Check the phase setting of the sub. It sounds like you may have it set out of phase with the ML's. This will have the effect of cancelling out (instead of adding to) the bass the ML's make, and giving a 'thin' sound as you describe.

Peter
 

Gordon Gray

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
3,962
Reaction score
5
Location
Alto, NM
Too much bass sucks!

Fountain,

Too much bass can definitely have a negative impact on the overall openess of the ML's. Good news is the ML's are very quick. Bad news is you have to be very careful when you try to integrate a sub with the ML's. I know, with my Summits, that I can literally "collapse" the soundstage with the 25 and 50HZ x-overs settings set too high. Read less attenuation.

I would recommend setting the sub x-over at 40 to 50HZ. That's where your ML's will start to roll off on the low end. Get a CD that has a well recorded acoustic bass and play with the sub placement, x-over, phase, and volume level. The Patricia Barber "Modern Cool" CD is, IMHO, a great CD and has a very well recorded, low end. You might also want to try "Night Club" (less abstract, more melodic) or a "Forte Night in Paris", a wonderful concert CD.

I'm sure the other members of this great forum will have their own recommends on other suitable recordings with a well recorded acoustic bass.

Good luck.

GG
 

Audioseduction

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Messages
978
Reaction score
0
Location
Florida
I would agree with Pete. I have a pair of Aeon i's and a Paradigm Servo-15 v2 to fill in the bottom end. I still have awsome sound stage. :)
 

Cherian

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
0
I will say that adding the ML Depth sub was one of the best moves I have made. However, bass management is a tricky thing. I have had my depth for about 3 weeks now, and I’m still playing with it. Sometimes an adjustment will make thinks sound good, and then another adjustment will make things sound boomy. Some CDs sound good when my woofer is set one way then other CDs will sound not so good set the same way. Bass management takes time and a lot of trial and error.
 
Last edited:

babydoc

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
257
Reaction score
0
I agree with most of the advice that you have received. You did not indicate the placement of your subwoofer which is also a critical element in integration with your main speakers. I think the main points are:
1. Setting the crossover so that it most closely meshes with your primary speakers (Aeons). This is not so simple because arbitrary filters may be set anywhere from 25Hz to 100Hz or more. The Aeons have their woofer crossover set rather high (I think > 250Hz or so). To have a good blend will need to be done by trial and error since the Paradigm subwoofer is not specifically designed for the M-L ESLs.
2. The subwoofer should be out of the corner. This will reduce the effect of "directionality" and possible boominess.
3. If you can adjust for phase you need to try all phase combinations until the subwoofer "disappears" but your midrange actually improves and your bass response is tight. Most subwoofers with M-Ls work better in some out of phase relationship but this will vary with model.
4. You should then have the subwoofer volume at its lowest level as adjusted with deep bass material that has content below 50Hz. Organ music is very good for this.

M-L has a helpful monograph that is associated with its subwoofer series. It can be downloaded for the Descent, Depth, etc from their website. It discusses in clear times the issues for mating subwoofers. There is also a recent (last month) article in Sound & Vision that deals with subwoofer placement and integration.

Hope this helps.
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
Some great advice here so far from folks on helping integration of a sub with speakers.

A couple of things people did not mention I will suggest:

1. Room Acoustic Treatments
2. Bass EQ with SMS-1 or Behringer or R-DES
3. Room acoustic graphing software like ETF and a Rad Shack Meter

Treatment will greatly improve bass response in your room for a very good price compared to performance. GIK and Real Traps are some major players in this area, and both provide some excellent support for you on where and what to do.

Room EQ for Bass is something that is really going ahead full steam in the audio world. The SMS-1 will give you everything you need to EQ your sub with your mains and your room. The nice thing with the SMS-1 is you have remote control of your sub - volume (which I could not live without now), and you also have Presets you can program for different curves or different settings. The nice thing about the SMS-1 is while you make changes to things like polarity, phase, low pass xover, sub-sonic xover, etc., you can see in real time how these adjustments affect the sound at your seating position!!!!! No more guessing or thinking: "Does it sound better or worse?"

With my SMS-1, I sit in my listening position adjusting the bass response to accomodate a bass heavy or bass thin recording - and never move!!!! SWEET!!!

But remember, the room is a major factor in how your sub or low end will or can sound.

For equipment like the Behringer or R-DES having programs like ETF make things a lot easier to see how changes made to setups or Bass EQing makes a difference in your response.

Just more to digest in your quest to add a sub to your setup.

Dan
 

ralflar

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2006
Messages
596
Reaction score
0
Location
Houston
As a simple rule of thumb for 2.1 mode, the crossover of the sub needs to be set to approx. 70% of the lowest response from the main speakers. In the case of the Aeon i the sub cutoff frequency should be no higher than 0.7 * 43Hz = 30Hz. Of course, both the main speakers and the sub need to get the full range signal from the pre-amp.

Another rule of thumb is to keep the sub's volume down. It should extend the bass range of the main speakers but not add bloat or even be perceived as a separate entity.
 

benleeys

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
353
Reaction score
0
Location
sgp
Fountain,

If all else fail, maybe you should try using only 1 set of pre-out. Connect the pre-out to your sub input, then from the sub out to your Aeon i, that is if your sub has a set of output connections.

Ben
 
Last edited:

FOUNTAIN

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
491
Reaction score
0
Location
Georgia
Thanks alot for all the helpful information. I finally discovered the problem with the soundstage. For some reason if I connected the sub to both the Right and Left second set of preouts it would change my front Aeon i's into a mono signal, at least this is what I think happened. The sound would reduce and become very centered and what appeared to be no channel seperation. If I just used the Right or Left preout instead of both, then it did just fine. Bass was good and the soundstage didn't seem to be affected. I've got a call into my local Rega dealer to see what the best way to hook up a sub to this preamp would be. As for all the other helpful info on integrating the sub with the Aeon i's, it will take me some time to sift through it and try different settings. Thanks again for all of your help. I'm sure once I figured out this soundstage problem I would have had to ask about placement and sub integration. :D You guys are great!
 

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
20
Location
Queensland, Australia
Bass is just so difficult. There is obviously some anomoly with your system. I'd try reducing the output of the sub and see if that helps. Next, adjust the crossover. That would be the easy part. If that fails, you will need to experiment with positioning of the sub as you probably have standing waves or some like problem. If that fails, you may need some sort of bass EQ such as an SMS-1 or a Behringer DSP1124, but I don't think it will come to that.
 
Top