increasing subwoofer input level vs raising volume on unit
Hi guys. I used to have a Denon receiver which didn't offer much in the way of adjusting subwoofer level. So after running Audyssey my VTF-15h was set at the 9:00 position. Perfect for music, but I bumped it up to 10:30 or 11:00 for movies. Again, everything sounded perfect. This was about four years ago.
Now I just bought a second VTF-15h MK2 (my wife says I don't need it and she's probably right, lol). I also now have a Marantz AV7703, which offers several options for boosting subwoofer input levels. After running Audyssey with the subs at the 9:00 position, sub1 (the older unit) was at -11 and sub2 (the new one) was at -5. This didn't seem like enough bass for me, so I bumped them up to -6 and 0, respectively, in the Audyssey settings. Also, the newer sub had more trouble "waking up", so I went to the subwoofer input level in the Marantz settings and bumped it up +3. This worked. So far so good. The AV7703 also allows adjusting levels of all speakers, including subwoofers "on the fly." The current settings are great for music, I usually adjust between 0 and -5 depending on the source. So much difference in mastering and remastering these days.
My question is about getting more for punch for movies. After reading about distortion/clipping and especially damage to the driver, I worry about how much I can bump up the input from the controller, as I have already done so from the original settings. Would it be safe to go as high as, say +10? I worry about going into the positive numbers so much, or would it be better to increase the volume at the sub itself? Or would this increase the chance of clipping and possible damage to the driver, since the Audyssey setting was at 9:00.? I know the golden rule is set the volume and don't touch it again! I never had trouble doing it that way before I started learning more about how levels and gains worked. I just haven't learned enough. I guess ignorance is bliss! as the saying goes.