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Vandertones Tk 9, 10 ,11


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Recently acquired my 5A Carbons and have reached the sub calibration stage. Following RV's YouTube video I'm using my Radio Shack meter and setting the volume level. Tk 9 and 10 are within 0.5 dB of each other but Tk 11 reads +6 (76 dB). The video gives the impression that the level of Tk 11 is close enough to 9 & 10  to reach an average that allows a volume level close to 70 dB. With Tk 11 being almost off the meter at the 70 dB scale I'm struggling to find that average. Anyone else had a similar experience? How was it resolved? Many thanks.

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Do you have room dimensions?

If you plug in you room dimensions into a room calculator you can get the various modes for boxy shaped rooms.
http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-roommodes.htm and many others.

If you have a few different modes all in same frequency band then it is easy to get a build up of energy there.

Some people try to passively such out the extra energy with bass traps.

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Thanks for the room calculator link. That resource should come in very handy.

A bit more detail regarding the unusually high level of Tk 11 - After measuring Tk 9, 10 , 11 in my main system (with the 5ACs) I also did the same measurement on my desktop system. I downloaded the Vandertones and replicated the outcome of the main system measurement. Same off-the-meter level for Tk 11. Rooms were completely different so although I understand the room mode concern my guess is that the anomaly has another explanation.

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Tried again to set my preamp level in preparation for sub EQ adjustment per Richard’s video “How to Setup Vandersteen Adjustable Bass Room EQ”. I’ve found the video extremely helpful in navigating the process but I am still unable to arrive at an average level using Tk 9, 10, 11 per the instructions. Again, Tk 9 & 10 both get to 70 dB at almost the same preamp level. But Tk 11 is much higher in level so replicating Richard’s results has been impossible. Take a look at the video segment from about 1:35 to 4:38 to see the step I’m working on. I have gotten the exact same results of Tk 11 level using 3 different scenarios:

1.      Using my main system with the 5ACs and the Vandertones CD.

2.      Using my computer system in a different room using the Vandertones file downloaded from the website.

3.      Using my computer system and measuring the audio from the instruction video.

Please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that establishing the level is critical since all pot adjustments are referenced to that initial level setting. But if Tk 11 is +5 or +6 dB then reducing the preamp level to 70 dB will not result in the readings for Tk 9 & 10 that are indicated in the video. Level-adjusting Tk 11 to read 70 dB will result in Tk 9 & 10 being several dB below 70 dB. An average of those readings would result in a level quite a bit higher than the “18” level shown on the video preamp.

Has anyone followed Richard’s video to setup their subs and had similar results with setting the initial level? Should Tk 11 just be disregarded or should I go with whatever average results from my readings despite the high level of Tk 11? Any help is very much appreciated.

Charlie

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47 minutes ago, A440 said:

Tried again to set my preamp level in preparation for sub EQ adjustment per Richard’s video “How to Setup Vandersteen Adjustable Bass Room EQ”. I’ve found the video extremely helpful in navigating the process but I am still unable to arrive at an average level using Tk 9, 10, 11 per the instructions. Again, Tk 9 & 10 both get to 70 dB at almost the same preamp level. But Tk 11 is much higher in level so replicating Richard’s results has been impossible. Take a look at the video segment from about 1:35 to 4:38 to see the step I’m working on. I have gotten the exact same results of Tk 11 level using 3 different scenarios:

1.      Using my main system with the 5ACs and the Vandertones CD.

2.      Using my computer system in a different room using the Vandertones file downloaded from the website.

3.      Using my computer system and measuring the audio from the instruction video.

Please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that establishing the level is critical since all pot adjustments are referenced to that initial level setting. But if Tk 11 is +5 or +6 dB then reducing the preamp level to 70 dB will not result in the readings for Tk 9 & 10 that are indicated in the video. Level-adjusting Tk 11 to read 70 dB will result in Tk 9 & 10 being several dB below 70 dB. An average of those readings would result in a level quite a bit higher than the “18” level shown on the video preamp.

Has anyone followed Richard’s video to setup their subs and had similar results with setting the initial level? Should Tk 11 just be disregarded or should I go with whatever average results from my readings despite the high level of Tk 11? Any help is very much appreciated.

Charlie

Take the average (add the 3 together and divide by 3) but be sure you are using test tones for 100Hz high-pass.  RV

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53 minutes ago, A440 said:

Tried again to set my preamp level in preparation for sub EQ adjustment per Richard’s video “How to Setup Vandersteen Adjustable Bass Room EQ”. I’ve found the video extremely helpful in navigating the process but I am still unable to arrive at an average level using Tk 9, 10, 11 per the instructions. Again, Tk 9 & 10 both get to 70 dB at almost the same preamp level. But Tk 11 is much higher in level so replicating Richard’s results has been impossible. Take a look at the video segment from about 1:35 to 4:38 to see the step I’m working on. I have gotten the exact same results of Tk 11 level using 3 different scenarios:

1.      Using my main system with the 5ACs and the Vandertones CD.

2.      Using my computer system in a different room using the Vandertones file downloaded from the website.

3.      Using my computer system and measuring the audio from the instruction video.

Please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that establishing the level is critical since all pot adjustments are referenced to that initial level setting. But if Tk 11 is +5 or +6 dB then reducing the preamp level to 70 dB will not result in the readings for Tk 9 & 10 that are indicated in the video. Level-adjusting Tk 11 to read 70 dB will result in Tk 9 & 10 being several dB below 70 dB. An average of those readings would result in a level quite a bit higher than the “18” level shown on the video preamp.

Has anyone followed Richard’s video to setup their subs and had similar results with setting the initial level? Should Tk 11 just be disregarded or should I go with whatever average results from my readings despite the high level of Tk 11? Any help is very much appreciated.

Charlie

Be sure you have the tilt and the spikes adjusted properly because most of the sub-woofer energy goes through the bottom.  This distance affects the bass response.  RV

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Just a check but are you starting with  all EQ potentiometers set to flat ? 

Since you get same measure. w desktop…maybe you have a badd RS SPL meter, i can send you mine as a loaner if needed and i have done facetime vandy setup help a few times w great results. my service are free. Jim

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Richard - I'm following the video instructions so as long as the 100 Hz test tones are Tracks 9, 10, 11 I'm good to go. If not please advise. 

Also, on your advice to take an average of the levels - should the levels that I'm averaging be the ones where 9 & 10 are at 70 dB and 11 is +6 dB or where Tk 11 is at 70 dB and 9&10 are lower? Each of those two scenarios results in a different average.

Thanks, Charlie

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Jim - I was wondering the same thing. So to verify I used the digital version of the RS meter and confirmed. Same results as with my analog RS meter. I'm fairly confident of it's accuracy now.

Thanks so much for the offer!

Charlie

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1 hour ago, A440 said:

Richard - I'm following the video instructions so as long as the 100 Hz test tones are Tracks 9, 10, 11 I'm good to go. If not please advise. 

Also, on your advice to take an average of the levels - should the levels that I'm averaging be the ones where 9 & 10 are at 70 dB and 11 is +6 dB or where Tk 11 is at 70 dB and 9&10 are lower? Each of those two scenarios results in a different average.

Thanks, Charlie

Track 9 and 10 would be -2 dB because these pots typically have limited effect.  RV

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100 HZ comment was where your high pass filter should be set. Only tracks 10 and 25 ( on the CD Vandertones ) are 100 HZ test tones.

 

Attached is a recent run i did with model 7’s…. as you can see at a gain setting of 15  on my preamp 6 test tracks are below 0. db w RS meter set to 70 db. 5 tracks are zero or positive.  So i use 15 on the volume control and move on to adjustments using RV instructions to make small moves without trying to achieve ruler flat.

Remember no other speaker offers this level of analog adjustment for room allowing you to place for best stereo image and then correct bass. Hope this helps…

Jim

DAD47050-DC7E-40EA-91E9-4387D9D7B125.jpeg

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Jim - good clarification on the high pass. I just followed the chart on the M5-HP which specifies my amp (ARC REF 150SE) at the 300k ohm setting. I should probably break out the multimeter and confirm the setting.

But on my original question about the initial step of setting the level (gain) I'm still struggling with reaching what should be an easily configured average. On the 5 there are only 3 tracks (9,10,11) available for getting there. Having the additional tracks with the 7 allowed you to be confident in your selection of '15' which probably translates to decent accuracy in configuring your subs.

Now, given the fact that I'm a complete newbie when it comes to Vandersteen setup and although I'm used to wading through technical literature as an ME, I could be misinterpreting the instructions. Otoh, following Richard's video doesn't take a seasoned veteran, right? He uses 3 tracks with the 5A to set preamp gain and no pot adjustments are made in this step. Including information about pots in suggestions about how to arrive at an average preamp setting completely loses me. Pot adjustments follow the gain setting step. At least that's my understanding.

I'll check crossover impedance to see if an adjustment is needed and go from there.

The worksheet you sent was a big help so thank you. 

Charlie

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32 minutes ago, A440 said:

Jim - good clarification on the high pass. I just followed the chart on the M5-HP which specifies my amp (ARC REF 150SE) at the 300k ohm setting. I should probably break out the multimeter and confirm the setting.

But on my original question about the initial step of setting the level (gain) I'm still struggling with reaching what should be an easily configured average. On the 5 there are only 3 tracks (9,10,11) available for getting there. Having the additional tracks with the 7 allowed you to be confident in your selection of '15' which probably translates to decent accuracy in configuring your subs.

Now, given the fact that I'm a complete newbie when it comes to Vandersteen setup and although I'm used to wading through technical literature as an ME, I could be misinterpreting the instructions. Otoh, following Richard's video doesn't take a seasoned veteran, right? He uses 3 tracks with the 5A to set preamp gain and no pot adjustments are made in this step. Including information about pots in suggestions about how to arrive at an average preamp setting completely loses me. Pot adjustments follow the gain setting step. At least that's my understanding.

I'll check crossover impedance to see if an adjustment is needed and go from there.

The worksheet you sent was a big help so thank you. 

Charlie

Charlie, set the preamp volume to 68dB on track 9 or 10.  Follow the process from track 1 to track 11 to your calculated target.  Aways work from the 20 Hz track up, never go down because harmonics affect the higher frequencies.  RV

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On 11/10/2022 at 3:50 PM, Richard Vandersteen said:

Aways work from the 20 Hz track up, never go down because harmonics affect the higher frequencies.  RV

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this. If #3 does NOT need adjustment, but #4, #5 and #6 do need be attenuated, and #5 need to most attenuation, I would initially knock down #5 by 1/3rd and remeasure. This one adjustment will also affect #4 and #6 - maybe to the point where they will not need adjustment. 
 

Starting with #4 will require some addition gain on #3 upon remeasure, which may have an impact on #2. If I have to increase #2 I may need to decrease #1 to get #1 back to the point where it didn’t need adjustment. 
 

Starting with #5 will have an impact on on #4 and #6, but little impact on #3 and #7. Seems like the most logical approach. This approach gets me to target with the fewest adjustments. 

This is all predicated that I will not be touching #9, #10, and #11 (as they are too close to the crossover frequency).  
 

What am I missing? Granted I’m about to get off the couch and pour myself my 3rd bourbon (Garrison Brothers single barrel direct from the distillery). 

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less or more bourbon……

Lets go back to music from test tones…. a bass note has a LOT of harmonic energy above the fundamental, I will get off my tail, fire up the RTA and do a screen capture of track 13 or 14.  So adjustments made down low extend UP more than down. Because you have tge fundamental AND the harmonics….

Jim 

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What did the room dimensions and room mode calculator yield as predicted modal frequencies?

If those modal predictions comport with the measurements then you can only knock them down so much, and like a lasers they want to resonant at the chamber (room) freq.
If it is mostly one really bad freq, then it might make sense to try and get it absorbed/treated?
(then go back and re-EQ)

^It is more of a question^, but I think that the amount of EQ that one can do it limited when there is either a deep null or booming peak.

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@TomicTime,

1. There is no question that a musical bass note will throw harmonics well above the fundamental. However, none of those harmonics above 100 Hz (for the purpose of this conversation) are affected by the EQ of the powered sub. I’d argue those harmonics are not *significantly* impacted by pots #9, #10, and #11 given the first order crossover.


2. Harmonics exist in the signal irrespective of the sub EQ. Adjusting the EQ only changes how those harmonics are presented in the room. We’re trying to shape the EQ to address the room, not the signal. 

3. Each pot has an associated Q - the width of frequencies actually affected by the gain (or cut). I promise you, adjusting pot #4 (36 Hz) impacts both the 30 Hz and 42 Hz frequencies (which are adjusted by pot #3 and pot #5 respectively). Each pot acts like a little parametric equalizer, except we can only control gain (or cut) at a fixed frequency and not Q or shape. 
 

Which leads be back to where we started…why would you start with lower frequencies and not the center of the most significant peak?

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26 minutes ago, nrenter said:

… 

Which leads be back to where we started…why would you start with lower frequencies and not the center of the most significant peak?

The 20Hz harmonics are 40, 60 and 80 Hz.
But I am not sure that a signal cut to 20 Hz would affect the signal at 40Hz.

Any speaker distortion harmonics from the 20Hz happens at 40, 60 and 80 Hz.
So adjusting 20Hz could/might affect those speaker distortion harmonics.

We have a large tolerance for subwoofer distortion and harmonics, and most subwoofers have harmonics and distortion that are pretty high relative to a woofer, MR and tweeter.

 

But to answer your question… I would have thought that the significant peaks would be cut starting from lowest to highest freqs, in a few passes (like eating corn off of the cob.)
Just maybe not cutting them all the way down, but doing a “whack a mole” to “push them down somewhat”… but not all the way down… and then cycling through again and again.???

Edited by Holmz
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Randall - It’s a very complicated room…. i don’t know of a calculator that i have access to that does well with a 15 x 18 x 2 story ceiling w partially open loft, a 10’ opening into a dining room, kitchen, 2 stairwells wide 1 up, one down….. but i have run Vandertones  in this room w 4 sets of Vandersteen now….. in my listening position it’s obvious where the mode is…..see picture i posted…above….

Somebody i know said “ well then you  are blessed…a lot of speaker manufacturers and listeners would put that hump in there… for you…if they could…. “ He may or may not weigh in ….

 1.) Actually a 6 db per octave slope preserves the harmonics above the filter turnover.  IF pots 9-11 were unnecessary, a certain frugal speaker designer probably wouldn’t have spent $ on the, We are only down 6 db per octave…. play the scaling bass by itself just thru the sub…

2.)  actually both the fundamental AND the harmonic are important, it’s one of the reasons why you , me and many others love your Vandersteen and why WE find them so coherent….

3.) i am very aware of adjacent impacts up and down, RV based the EQ centers on typical roon modes not octaves or fractions of octaves, and there is more CUT than boost….. because trying to fill a standing wave null is a power hog and will clip even the biggest amp….

RV mentioned the order of things and WHY above…..

 best to all

Jim

 

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