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Mamax70

RF7 mk1 + R115SW sub + Klipsch general thoughts

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Hello guys,

 

I'm kinda new here, but have been reading posts of this forum for ages, thought I'd join to try to find the best way to get the max out of my

beloved gear !!!

Here's my concern:

I've been owning RF7 (1st gen) for many years. I used to drive them with Audio research LS2 préamp + Audio Research V70 amp (tubes).

I know drive them (for the last year or so) with an awesome Class D Audio SDS470 (2 x 300W RMS @ 8 ohms) and am really pleased with

the Stereo setup. I listen to everything but classic and opera, but mostly blues, bluegrass, folk, acoustic, jazz...

 

I recently got an awesome deal on a center KLF-C7 + RS3 surrounds (almost for free). I had a couple Rotel RB850 amps in my cellar and

now use them to power the center C7 with one of them in bridged mono and the surrounds RS3 with the the other one. Sofar, so good...

I just got a R115SW sub to complete my system to a real 5.1 setup. 

Everything is driven from my PC through an ASUS Xonar STXII Essence 7.1 soundcard. On the soundcard interface, I can setup front, center,

surrounds seperately to "Small" or "Large" and there's a general setting for the LFE crossover frequency.

 

MY QUESTION: what's the best setting ? 

Sofar I set the center KLF-C7 (response 75-20000 Hz) as "small", the RS3 (response 49-20000 Hz) as "small", and the RF7 (32-20000 Hz) as "large"

with the soundcard crossover setting at 75Hz and use the same 75Hz setting on the sub... I have good bass but the addition of the sub somehow

lets me a bit disappointed...

Should I set the RF7s as "small" also ? I tried, but now I feel like I'm missing some bass... the bass on my RF7 (especially with the great classD

2x300W amp) in the primary setup is punchy and deep, I feel it's quite a waste to cut them below 75Hz... Should I still set them as "small" and then

maybe crank up the volume a bit higher on the sub ? do you think that would make more sense ? 

 

I'm actually also in the process (dunno if it'll work or not) of trading my old 110V Audio Research tube pre+amp (I live in France and 110V gear suffers

from going through a 220v->110V line conversion) with a mint pair of Klipsch Chorus (1st gen, with Electrovoice 15" woofer and bass reflex design).

Do you think it might be wise to replace the RF7s with the Chorus ? The benefits from the sub might be more obvious ?? A pair of KLF30 might be

in sight too...I would have to sell my Martin Logans but I don't uses them much anymore, I'm listening louder and louder since I started to take the

Klipsch road !!

 

These are my general considerations about my growing gear and I'd be glad to have some wise advice from guys who know well this kinda stuff !!!

 

Thanks in advance for you thoughts/advices ;)

 

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It is best to set all the speakers as small and use the same XO of 75 or 80 Hz on all the speakers.  Does your system have any type of autocalibration or are you setting speaker levels, distance, phase, ect.?  No need to replace the RF 7, things just need to get setup correctly.

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Thx for your reply Derrick !!

My system doesn't have any autocalibration, the sound card sends a signal to each speaker one after the other to allow me setting the levels "by ear".

This is pretty simple for the 5 speakers level, but regardig the SW level, it's pretty tricky...

The distance cannot be changed much, only the sub's placement...and its phase.

Do you suggest using the same 75/80Hs XO setting on both my sound card and the back panel of the SW ?

 

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There are two common ways to set the XO.  The first way is 10-15 Hz above the weakest speaker.  The second is to use the THX XO of 80 Hz provide the 80 Hz XO can work with the speakers.  Since it is generally recommended to set all speakers to small in a multi-channel system, there is no need to set the XO  off the low extenssion point for each speakers.  A XO of 80 Hz should work for the sub and speakers.

 

With measurement gear like REW or Omnimic this could be fine tuned.  Just play some music and movie and adjust by ear to taste.  Your KLF center and the RS surrounds are sealed speaker and the RF 7's are ported.  Try a 12 db slope XO on the speakers and use a 24 db slope for the sub.  You can also use and 18 db slope XO on the sub and be safe in doing it.  see which gives the best blend.

 

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Thx again !

will try tonight...I'll definitely put all speakers in "small" mode, and try different settings with the XOs...

my concern is that I don't have the slightest idea of the slopes on both my XOs: slopes are not adjustable

because one is built-in on the R115SW sub, and the other one is built-in on my soundcard (ASUS Xonar essence STX II 7.1)

would it be a good idea to try "overlapping" a bit the RF7s (say, with the soundcard XO set @75Hz) and the R115SW sub set

@80Hz to avoid a "hole" in the frequency response or would it increase the chances of having a "bump" around that 75/80Hz zone ?

I'll try different settings but it's really hard to tell, especially being a newbie with subs. I've had tons of great stereo gear but am

completely unexperienced when it come to HT !!

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It is hard to say what will happen to the FR without graphs and a bit about the room.  Start with both XO's at 80 Hz and go from there.  Do you know if the sound card will set a hpf to protect the low end near 20 Hz for the sub?  Hopefully some of the computer savvy guys chime in for a little help.

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I doubt it offers a hpf in the soundcard but i think MLP mentioned there is a limiter in the sub at 18hz

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Hey Derrick !

tried everything @ 80Hz yesterday, with all speakers as small, and cranked up the gain setting on the sub to 2/3,

and everything seems much better !! just a bit of fine-tuning and perfect sub placement and it's gonna be close

to pure satisfaction !

One last thought: I doubt using the sub on my stereo setup (in 2.1) benefits to pure music listening, as my RF7s already

go down to 32Hz and no music instruments (I only listen to real instrumental music) except pipe organs go that low (and

I don't like pipe organs !). What's your view on that ??

 

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Many on the forum would use the RF 7's full range without a sub.  They will produce a lot of bass.  Adding a sub is preference.  When I use the avr/power amp, speakers set to small and with a sub.  When I use the tube amp, RF 7's set to large and no sub.  I like it either way.  Using a sub in not a negative or lessen the SQ, just a preference.

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ok, if you are not setting your speakers with an analog SPL meter, you are missing out.  you need to get one, use a tripod, and correctly place all your speakers.  this isn't a 5 minute ordeal.  this may take a day or so.  go to THX.com or DolbyDigital.com look at the optional placements and put your speakers there.  run a test.  then change the speakers slightly and test again. repeat until it sounds the best to you.  Sub placement is a tricky science.  the Sub crawl will get you very close, then you need to mess with the sub's crossover setting on it to dial it in. 

i personally have my RF-7's set to 40hz and i think the sub is at 80hz.  i don't know the exact number off my head, but it's the one that sounds the best (in my open living room).

Spoiler: THX says all speakers should be set at 80hz.  start there and adjust as needed.  i think i have my center at 100hz. it takes a while to figure out what sounds best to you.

you surround speakers, not only do you need to adjust the placement length wise against the wall, you need to mess with the height of them.  move them in 6" increments.

oh, in the future, if you ever think the RF-7's are the issue, you did something wrong! lmao!

 

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I wasn't sure if the original question was answered, but the reason your sub is not impressing you is that the gain is not set properly.

Whether you send the RF7s to the sub or not, the sub still has to be set to a gain level that the sub output matches the systems output.

 

So in your case, with no measurement equipment, you can use your ear to raise the gain a bit at a time until it sounds "right" to you.

Without buying a meter, you can use your phone, download an SPL app, and even though it won't be super accurate -- it will likely measure different signals in the same room quite well. So who really cares if it knows what 70db is, as long as the sub can be set to 70db and then the fronts and others?  Make sense?

 

The placement and crossover issues are very important too for overall sound, but reading your original issue it sounds like the gain has been set too low for your current room setup.  You will know it is too much when it becomes boomy and overtakes the rest of the range...you already know what too low sounds like (thin, weak, wimpy, not like a R115SW is easily capable of sounding) 

 

Only in the largest rooms with a single sub would you not be able to get the gain high enough to blast you out of the room :)

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