100-200 hours should suffice.
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I started with a pair of the subs, which I found confusing, so in the interest of simplification, I unplugged one.
I've been trying to determine optimum placement and settings in my room, and so far have not found the sweet spots. :)
Where did you position your subs and what settings work best for you? 55 or 60 hz seems about right to me, with the volume knob about midway, depending on source material. With some acoustic jazz, the sub seems to fill the music out nicely without calling attention to itself. With material that is more bass heavy, such as reggae, r&b, and electronic, the sub often sounds too prominent. I've yet to experiment with large scale orchestral works.
I'm hoping I can eventually "set it and forget it," but this early in the game, I'm not sure the sub (s) are going to be an improvement.
Your room is small, and that makes it difficult to get a sub working properly. Try keeping it away from walls and corners. Start with low volumes relative to the main speakers and bring the subs up slowly. Some tweaks you may want to try are spiked feet, a separate crossover to filter out the lowest frequencies and stuff some kind of fabric into the port.
Thank you all for your responses.
I played the test frequencies on the Stereophile test CD and with the Pioneer, 40 hz is somewhat audible but actually more "felt" than heard. The Sonus Faber Liutos are producing the 50 hz tone on that CD but at greatly reduced volume compared to the higher frequencies. I've got an SPL meter which I'll be using as I proceed.
One thing I'm pretty certain of, is that the frequency adjustment knob on the back of the subwoofer is not accurate. With the dial set to 40hz, if I put my ear to the port I can hear higher frequencies. I hardly expect REL quality, but I do think the Pioneer has potential given enough experimentation. I've got lots of feet and spikes to play with, too.
While I try to get off the merry go round, and I always place primary emphasis on the music, rather than the gear, I'm beginning to think I could use a 12-step program tailored to audiophiles. :)
At least for the past few years, my audio obsessiveness is inexpensive or free tweaking.
"One thing I'm pretty certain of, is that the frequency adjustment knob on the back of the subwoofer is not accurate. With the dial set to 40hz, if I put my ear to the port I can hear higher frequencies. I hardly expect REL quality, but I do think the Pioneer has potential given enough experimentation. I've got lots of feet and spikes to play with, too. "
If you can, try the sub in a bigger room. Your current room is probably too small to reproduce very low sound waves.
"If you can, try the sub in a bigger room. Your current room is probably too small to reproduce very low sound waves."
The listening room rear wall has a 7' opening to the much larger living room. There's also a doorway to the adjacent kitchen and a 3'x5' opening in the upper right of the wall shared with the kitchen.
After approximately 15 hours the sub is loosening up. Response is much faster than out of the box. I decided to reposition the monitors by placing them closer to the front wall (front baffles are now 34" from wall) and spacing them a bit further apart. I also reduced toe-in so that the speakers fire almost straight ahead. One other monitor tweak- I put taller brass spikes under the front of the monitor stands to tilt them up about 3 or 4 degrees.
I then centered the sub between the monitors but about 6 inches away from the front wall and replaced the factory feet with four of Herbie's fat gliders. I also experimented with phase and found that 180 works best with the monitors rather than 0.
Overall performance is greatly improved. I've got the sub crossover set at about 55 hz according to the markings on the knob. So far, so good. This is really coming together!
Over 80 hours of break-in at this point and I'm quite pleased. Subwoofer volume level is set low enough that it doesn't call attention to itself. Crossover @ 55hz seems optimum for most of my listening. I'll report back once I've got 200 hours on the sub. I'm going to continue to experiment with placement but IMO, this little, inexpensive Pioneer subwoofer is one helluva great buy, and one of the best ROI's I've ever gotten in our hobby.
Latest, and likely final update:
Once I was satisfied with the placement of a single sub- I introduced a second Pioneer sub into the system. Yes, two is better than one. I've got both units set @ 55hz and the gain dialed in at about 11:00 AM on the Pioneer volume knob.
These subwoofers satisfy my need for slight lower bass and "punch" when the source material is appropriate. I'm especially pleased that my monetary investment was so modest. Integration is essentially seamless at this point. I figure more fiddling with sub placement and a bit of room treatment will yield even better sound.
Or, maybe not. :)