Down-firing vs front-firing? Sub placement? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 25 Old 05-22-2009, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Myron_H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What are the advantages/disadvantages of each type? What is the best placement for small rooms?

I am currently living in a downstairs small apartment that is pretty well insulated from the other apartments. My living room is small with the couch flush against the back wall. My TV is directly across from the couch along the other wall. The only place I can put the sub is next to the couch on one side, or by the TV.
LL
Myron_H is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 Old 05-22-2009, 06:16 AM
Senior Member
 
chpwaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I think most will say that you shouldn't notice the difference between a down firing or front/side firing sub...if your sub is crossed over correctly you should not be able to even tell where the sub is at in the room.
chpwaman is offline  
post #3 of 25 Old 05-22-2009, 06:26 AM
 
SteveMo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The Shop
Posts: 3,564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
You can place a front-firing subwoofer closer to walls with less gain on the low-end so they can help when space is a concern. A down-firing may look less like a subwoofer and more like furniture.
SteveMo is offline  
post #4 of 25 Old 05-22-2009, 06:48 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Hksvr4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 3,383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 33
I don't think it makes a difference because bass waves are non-directional.
Hksvr4 is offline  
post #5 of 25 Old 06-21-2009, 07:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
deepstang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas-Irving, TX (from Nawlins!)
Posts: 1,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMo View Post

You can place a front-firing subwoofer closer to walls with less gain on the low-end so they can help when space is a concern. A down-firing may look less like a subwoofer and more like furniture.

What does that statement mean: "with less gain on the low-end"??

If a front-firing sub yields "less gain on the low-end" when placed close to walls....wouldn't that be a bad thing
deepstang is offline  
post #6 of 25 Old 07-16-2009, 03:15 PM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hksvr4 View Post

I don't think it makes a difference because bass waves are non-directional.

Actually, according to the following post Brian of Rythmik seems to think that it does make a difference:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15927422
I am thinking of replacing my down-firing sub and the selection is much better if you go with a front-firing one (at least for my needs). Unfortunately the sub will be placed directly behind my listening couch and I'm concerned that a front-firing sub's location will be more discernable from there (that seems to be what Brian is saying in the above post).

Anybody have any experience with the near-field positioning of a down- vs. front-firing sub with regard to localization?
av-ra is offline  
post #7 of 25 Old 07-17-2009, 06:18 AM
Senior Member
 
chpwaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by av-ra View Post

Actually, according to the following post Brian of Rythmik seems to think that it does make a difference:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15927422
I am thinking of replacing my down-firing sub and the selection is much better if you go with a front-firing one (at least for my needs). Unfortunately the sub will be placed directly behind my listening couch and I'm concerned that a front-firing sub's location will be more discernable from there (that seems to be what Brian is saying in the above post).

Anybody have any experience with the near-field positioning of a down- vs. front-firing sub with regard to localization?

This is interesting because Rythmik's 15" Sig Edition sub is a downfiring (their most expensive product). I think if you research, you will find most will say that there is not a discernible difference between downward and front firing. Of course, location makes all the difference.
chpwaman is offline  
post #8 of 25 Old 07-17-2009, 09:45 AM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chpwaman View Post

...I think if you research, you will find most will say that there is not a discernible difference between downward and front firing. Of course, location makes all the difference.

That last statement is key. My current sub's location could be discerned if placed in the corners of the room (where it maximized the 30/60Hz resonances of the room), either in a corner far away from the listening area or the one right next to our listening couch. Once we put it directly behind our couch (where it didn't excite these resonances as much) it pretty much disappeared, but it is a down-firing Velo ULD-12. So...the reason for my question is whether the disappearing act will continue if I replace the ULD with a front firing sub in the same behind-the-couch location (which then leads me back to Brian's post where he states that a front firing sub can have localization issues more so than a down-firing one). I am guessing that if a sub disappears, it will disappear regardless of its configuration (though perhaps not if it's a front-firing sub pointing right at you a few feet away, especially if it is ported...).
av-ra is offline  
post #9 of 25 Old 07-17-2009, 10:06 AM
Member
 
Max Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 81
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
One huge advantage of down firing becomes quickly apparent if you have pets or small children. My dogs bump the subwoofer often when they are playing if it had been front firing the would have been damage by now.
Max Mike is offline  
post #10 of 25 Old 07-17-2009, 10:13 AM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Mike View Post

One huge advantage of down firing becomes quickly apparent if you have pets or small children. My dogs bump the subwoofer often when they are playing if it had been front firing the would have been damage by now.

And my wife's vacuuming technique involves a lot of aggressive jabs, but without kids/dogs I think I can take that risk....
av-ra is offline  
post #11 of 25 Old 07-18-2009, 06:42 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ditch-digger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In the middle of the woods New Hampshire
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
my .2 cents...

i have owned both front and down. i find the down hits harder it seems to feel more powerful to me.

my current sub is the ed a5-350. i have tried it both ways and find the down fire position gives me more impact.

just my input. i love the way fronts look, but cant see them when watching the movie
ditch-digger is offline  
post #12 of 25 Old 07-18-2009, 08:36 AM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

my .2 cents...

i have owned both front and down. i find the down hits harder it seems to feel more powerful to me.

my current sub is the ed a5-350. i have tried it both ways and find the down fire position gives me more impact.

just my input. i love the way fronts look, but cant see them when watching the movie

The other advantage is that there's a bit less challenge in placing the sub since there's no grille orientation to worry about. So with these advantages it leads one to question why so few down-firing subs are available. Does it really come down to something as silly (to me) as wanting to see the speaker move during high excursion material?
av-ra is offline  
post #13 of 25 Old 07-18-2009, 08:37 AM
AVS Special Member
 
deepstang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas-Irving, TX (from Nawlins!)
Posts: 1,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

my .2 cents...

i have owned both front and down. i find the down hits harder it seems to feel more powerful to me.

my current sub is the ed a5-350. i have tried it both ways and find the down fire position gives me more impact.

just my input. i love the way fronts look, but cant see them when watching the movie

What kind of floor is the down-firing sub placed on?

I am glad that a good discussion on this topic is finally being brought up. I have a front firing Velodyne and I definitely have localization issues. I bought larger front mains so they can be crossed lower thus not making the sub produce those 80-120hz frequencies...and I still have localization issues. I acutally like my front firing Velo best when it was placed in a corner where the reinforcement of certain frequencies made a 200% difference in room bass response...in a good way. I pushed it out of the corner because of a new sectional and it sounds whimpy!

My other thought is that the driver for a front firing sub (IN THEORY) should have more freedom to move air (higher spl and accuracy?) compared to a bottom firing sub because there would be less turbulence and air compression to a boundry (the floor/ground).
deepstang is offline  
post #14 of 25 Old 07-18-2009, 08:38 AM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Mike View Post

One huge advantage of down firing becomes quickly apparent if you have pets or small children. My dogs bump the subwoofer often when they are playing if it had been front firing the would have been damage by now.

What down-firing sub do you own?
av-ra is offline  
post #15 of 25 Old 07-18-2009, 09:18 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ditch-digger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In the middle of the woods New Hampshire
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
ditch-digger is offline  
post #16 of 25 Old 07-18-2009, 11:13 AM
Senior Member
 
dcgilbert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Near Colfax, La.
Posts: 344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by av-ra View Post

the other advantage is that there's a bit less challenge in placing the sub since there's no grille orientation to worry about. So with these advantages it leads one to question why so few down-firing subs are available. Does it really come down to something as silly (to me) as wanting to see the speaker move during high excursion material?

"Good Heavens Holmes, I think you've got it!"
dcgilbert is offline  
post #17 of 25 Old 07-19-2009, 09:19 AM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post


Big it is (and size does count), but otherwise you got me...what is it?
av-ra is offline  
post #18 of 25 Old 07-19-2009, 09:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ditch-digger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In the middle of the woods New Hampshire
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by av-ra View Post

Big it is (and size does count), but otherwise you got me...what is it?

ed a5-350 previous model with the 550w amp. 15" weighs just over 110lbs i think also

ditch-digger is offline  
post #19 of 25 Old 07-19-2009, 10:02 AM
Senior Member
 
av-ra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

ed a5-350 previous model with the 550w amp. 15" weighs just over 110lbs i think....

Hmm...was this available in a down-firing configuration or did you/they customize it (i.e., I don't see the plate amp on top where I would expect it to be for the current model)?
av-ra is offline  
post #20 of 25 Old 07-19-2009, 10:35 AM
Member
 
ceiph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
its an older model a5
ceiph is offline  
post #21 of 25 Old 07-22-2009, 05:41 AM
Member
 
CubicleDrone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
The primary reason I got the down-firing sub was because of my kids. They spend a lot of time in the room where my sub resides and I was concerned about my reaction to them damaging a front-firing sub. I didn't read anything significant about the bass from either, so my circumstances made my decision.
CubicleDrone is offline  
post #22 of 25 Old 07-22-2009, 05:32 PM
Advanced Member
 
Steve.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 576
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I owned a down firing ported sub and it didn't compare sound quality wise with the several front firing sealed subs I've owned. Too boomy and muddled compared to my REL and Velodyne subs.
Steve. is offline  
post #23 of 25 Old 01-04-2010, 01:25 PM
 
diamonddelts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,055
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

my .2 cents...

i have owned both front and down. i find the down hits harder it seems to feel more powerful to me.

my current sub is the ed a5-350. i have tried it both ways and find the down fire position gives me more impact.

just my input. i love the way fronts look, but cant see them when watching the movie

I strongly prefer downfiring subs as well. Front subs just don't seem to give me the earthquake, groundshaking effect during movies that downfiring subs do.
diamonddelts is offline  
post #24 of 25 Old 01-04-2010, 03:02 PM
Senior Member
 
Noubourne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
It has also been my impression that downfiring/frontfiring is aesthetic.

These subs we're looking at are all EQ'd flat - so what difference could front/down possibly make?

From a placement standpoint - your downfiring sub is ALWAYS a certain distance from a room boundary. A frontfiring sub - not necessarily. So it would make sense (to me at least) that a front firing sub would offer MORE flexibility w/ respect to room interactions than a downfiring sub - which is always x" from the ground...

The aesthetics and kid/pet-proofing makes the most sense to me.

FWIW, I have a front-firing sub placed at the back of the room and most people that have experienced movies at my house think it is furniture until I take off the grill. The MBM-12 I have is placed more toward the front of the room - and it's downfiring.

During placement, the same spots were good for downfiring in the room vs. frontfiring. Makes sense, since the room shape didn't change between my moving the different subs around the place...

I can say with absolute certainty (based on both theory and experimentation) that placement is going to make a massively-huge difference in performance. I don't think anyone can say with confidence that the same is true for down vs. front.
Noubourne is offline  
post #25 of 25 Old 06-03-2012, 03:03 PM
Member
 
Superfluous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
does down vs side firing make a difference if the sub has to be up against (6 inches off) the shared wall of a townhouse neighbor? I don't want to disturb.
Superfluous is offline  
Reply Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off