1st time Subwoofer owner: I need some tips/modding advice please!

Hey guys, I just got my first sub ever, a Dayton Audio Sub 1200 as a B-day gift, I’m finally getting into speakers instead of just headphones. I wanted one to pair with my Vanatoo T0’s just to take some strain off them and of course add lower frequencies to my music. I hooked it up yesterday and I’m still breaking it in, but it feels “slow”. Just to check I put my hand on it while listening to my speakers and the bass doesn’t seem to attack or decay fast enough to keep up with my speakers. Is there anything I can do to tighten up the bass? Such as plugging the port, add more filling, etc? Also I have just one RCA cable running from the sub (R mono) to the Vanatoo’s. I’ve heard you have to use both L and R RCAs to the speakers to get the most out of it. Thoughts? I am also kinda disappointed with the output, I have to crank the gain up to almost 3 O’clock and I’m not really getting much bass or “thump”, I thought that a 12" sub would be way overkill but it doesn’t feel like it’s even pressurizing my tiny room (10x10). Will furniture risers help? For reference I have the crossover set to 80hz and the T0’s are set to the “flat” DSP.

Before anyone laughs and says, “just buy a better sub” I hear ya. I plan on buying an SVS SB 1000 Pro or the new tiny 3000 coming out for my small room when I can afford to, however right now it’s just not feasible.

Use both left and right. Then play it for a couple of weeks to allow the suspension to loosen. After that, see where you’re at. Also you may want to do the “sub crawl” (google it) to find optimum placement (because you maybe sitting in a null). What sub is it? Is there any DSP onboard?

No sub crawl necessary if you’re using it nearfield like your Vanatoo T0. But if you haven’t played around with the crossover frequencies yet, there’s an entire science (religion) to is. Not knowing what sub you got, I can’t dive into the tuning but in the end you don’t want to hear the sub, you want to hear your speakers and with a sub they now “seem” like they have a ton of bass.

As far as it feeling show, you may be crossing it over too high.

As per the channels, what @A_Jedi said is spot on, you’re cutting the signal by 50% if you don’t feed both channels. Get an RCA splitter.

Whoops I just fixed that thanks! It’s a cheap Dayton Audio Sub 1200. I’ve tried it in 3 different positions so far. The cleanliness changed a bit but everything else not so much. My last resort will be to put it in a corner under my desk (L shaped desk). I agree, I wasn’t going to return it that quickly just on first listen without breaking it in first. I know break-in is especially important on subs, I only know this because I was a percussionist for a long time (drum head break-in could be a pain in the ass sometimes…). I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have DSP since it’s such a cheap sub. Thank you for your advice!

Sorry about that, I just fixed it in the thread. It’s a cheap Dayton Audio 1200. I set the crossover to 80hz since that is where the flat DSP of the T0’s is set to (the “shelf” DSP is 125hz). Would you recommend going higher? I wish I could set the T0’s to have a 60hz crossover so that the sub only had to worry about the real low stuff. If I set it any lower I will be missing frequencies… I completely agree with wanting the speakers to sound like they all of a sudden have bass (and not just hear a sub blasting), so many youtube videos researching and everyone recommended that lol. For some reason it just sounds “disconnected” from the speakers, like both are playing the same song but the sub is a split second behind. I just ordered a 2 male to 1 male rca cable, I hope that makes all the difference. Thanks for all the advice! Knowing now what sub I have do you have anything else to add?

Oh, and yes it is set nearfield.

56Hz – 20K Hz ±3dB (Shelf Mode in room)
52Hz – 20K Hz ±3dB (Flat Mode in room)

Just looked, that’s the frequency range I see. If that’s the case, I’d start setting the sub to 50 and begin playing there. Again you want to make the Vanatoos work and the sup is there to “fill” the low end. Oh and play with the phase.

I thought that was the frequency response before you plug in the sub no? I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time lol .

You can always try stuffing the port hole once it’s burned in.

Question: Carpet or flooring? Because carpet will kill bass output. Many people cry about their subs but have them on carpet. Best to put the sub under a board.

And for the most part, I think people try to rely on subs too much. Like if you want musical bass, focus on bigger speakers first. Subs can help fill in the low end and thump below 80hz, but again the help the low end. And cheaper subs really don’t measure as people expect–there’s always going to be a bass hump around 80-120hz regardless of how low you set them. Just a fault to cheaper drivers and cabinet designs.

Yeah…mine is 100% on a rug, however I may be able to find a space for it on the wood floor. I get what you are saying. I’m not one of those people that need to have my house shake, I just wanted to hear lower frequencies magically appear from my speakers. I wouldn’t want to overpower the T0’s, I love how they sound! Thanks for the tip on the flooring, I didn’t even think of that!

Yeah I just double checked the manual, the crossover is 125 for shelved and flat is 80…I was hoping you were right so I could go back to shelved since my speakers are definitely not 2 feet away from a wall.

There’s your problem.

Find something hard to put under it and the sound should be a night and day difference.

I did want to ask would raising it with bed risers help even if it was still on carpet?

I just tried your suggestion, you were 100% right. The bass changed drastically! It’s now resonates much more. I think I prefer it cleaner on the rug though. Fingers crossed that the rca splitter will give me the change I’m looking for. I will keep that in mind for the future. I was worried about sound bleed and didn’t think about the sub resonance…derp.

Yep, probably the #1 issue for new sub owners is carpet.

That sub’s port is downward firing, so a lot of the bass tone is being dumped down. Rising it on carpet… won’t help much, but you can throw it up on books to test that. Carpet can both starve the port for air, and kill the bass resonance from that port. Other sub makers work around this with front ports so carpet isn’t as much of a factor.

If you want a faster bass note and less thump, I’d suggest experimenting with plugging the port. Once it’s well-burned in. The issue is this sub was made to run as ported sub–allowing to be in a smaller box. Plugging the port, varying in how muffling the plug is, could make the driver respond better and lower the thump.

If I was you, I’d put it on a board and then play around from there. That’s how it was meant to run. Pull it away from the wall, maybe dampen the wall with foam or cloth, play around with the crossover, and then consider stuffing the port.

For the most part, ported sub was cheap and easy to make, smaller boxes and lots of THUMP. But if you’re focusing on music and not much 30hz rumble for movies, a sealed sub is where it’s at. The issue is sealed subs won’t put out as much volume, and are better for “filling in” the lower frequencies for larger speakers.

What’s the source RCA coming from? Is it a dedicated sub out or L/R RCAs? If it’s L/R, you need to feed it both - not just using a Y adapter from one (or you’re only giving it half the signal).

Also, you don’t want risers. You want the sub to couple with the floor. Think of the floor like a mirror - like an extra sub there. Also, you want a hard interface to the floor - no rug or dampers of any kind.

That makes sense, I will try the board idea. Is there anything specific you would suggest or just any kind of board? I knew I should have asked for a sealed sub lol.

Meh, doesn’t really matter. Any kind of wood that goes underneath. It would be good, however, to put feet on that would to separate it from the carpet abit. Especially if you can throw on some carpet spikes.

Roll up a sock and stuff it in the vent. Seriously.

I will give that a shot next time I’m at Lowes. I’ll have to look into spikes as well of the board idea doesn’t fix it by itself. Thanks for all the help!