Originally Posted by BDP24
Sealed versus ported certainly DOES have relevance in Chipless' case, as he said he would eventually be having his sub(s) in a smaller, sealed room. The advantage a sealed sub has over a ported in that scenario are far from "little nitpicks"; that's why Brian offers both, and recommends each for particular applications. If the difference between the two were so "little", would he, and other sub designers, offer both? The choice between a sealed and ported sub is the first and most basic choice one must make when adding a sub or two to one's system. If one finds "little" acoustical benefit of a sealed sub over a ported, that just might be an indicator of the quality of the system and/or room to which the sub is being added, and the expectations and standards of it's owner. In characterizing the difference between the two designs as nitpicking, well, isn't nitpicking what being an audiophile is all about?!
There is very little acoustical benefit, if any, to a sealed sub for music compared to a ported sub. Why do people make sealed subs, you ask? Primarily because they are smaller and cheaper(since they are smaller). And for people that don't want tons of output for movies or don't want a giant ported sub and are willing to live with less output. Do they extend lower, yes, but this does almost nothing for most people in most situations. Sealed subs usually do not overtake ported subs in output until the frequency is too low to matter much anymore. As in below 15 Hz in many cases, often times even lower. Plenty of ported subs that still have more output than similar sealed subs as low as 12.5 Hz. In fact, the FV15HP has drastically higher output at 12.5 Hz than pretty much any ID sealed sub made.
Is there a sound quality difference? For people convinced a sealed sub is more "musical", "tighter", "crisper", "tastier", whatever people try to convince themselves of is usually true.
But there is also a darn good reason why, when you take some of the best ID subwoofers made in the world, eq them flat in the same room, pull the curtain, and have many extremely experienced subwoofer/audio enthusiasts listen to them, they cannot tell sealed from ported from horn. Of course, if the "audiophile" were to see the "tight" sealed sub, it would then have a clear sound quality difference.
Now, someone is sure to bring up the issue of ringing, which is normal around port tune. Well, I can definitively say that my ported subwoofer's 18Hz port tune does absolutely nothing to affect the sound of my 40Hz plus music.
Someone also mentioned sealed subs being lower in distortion. Basshead81 disputed that one pretty well..the truth is usually just the opposite, although this seems to be in the lower frequencies and would likely have no affect on most music.
To borrow your words, if one finds "drastic" acoustical benefit of a sealed sub over a ported, that just might be an indicator of the level at which the "audiophile" is fooling themselves, and how the expectations and standards of it's owner are able to deceive themselves into hearing things that are not there.
Also not saying there is "no" difference between ported and sealed. Most certainly there are. But the main difference is size, and one has much lower output in the lower frequencies that matter for movies. I would bet if you pitted two FV15HP's against two F15HP's in the same room, perfectly level matched and eq'd flat, pulled a curtain(to avoid bias), and played most normal music, no one would be able to tell the difference. IMO. YMMV.