Originally Posted by Marc Alexander
Thanks for the correction/clarification/information!!!
I confused/combined Sterling Sound and Omega Mastering.
Enrico, do you care to comment on ported vs sealed for MUSIC ONLY? Would you ever recommend a FV15HP over a F25 for MUSIC ONLY? In a shootout vs a Seaton Submersive, JTR S1, and PSA S3600i would you send a FVxxHP or F25? I assume servo cannot makeup for the characteristics of ported designs otherwise why not make all you designs ported, right?
The comparisons I have read on equal grounds, Rythmik has been preferred sealed vs sealed. I have yet to read a comparison where a Rythmik ported has outperformed a competitive sealed offering solely for music.
In a music only application, its not that sealed is superior to ported, its just that there is no reason for the added size and cost of ported. Why? Because the benefit of ported is a drastic increase in output and efficiency around port tune, usually somewhere around or just below 20 Hz. This is meaningless for music, since the vast majority of content for music is 40Hz plus, but very beneficial for movies. The myth of ported being superior to sealed has been disproven so many countless times that it is hard to believe some still believe it. Now it is true that ported subs will usually experience more group delay around port tune, and that group delay has an affect on sound quality. Again though, this is down near or below 20 Hz, so irrelevant for music.
Now these are generalities. It does not mean that a $200 Polk sub with a 40 Hz port tune, high distortion, a bloated frequency response, and plenty of ringing/group delay in the audible music frequency range, will sound as good as a well designed sealed sub such as Rythmik.
Basically, if someone asks "hey, I want a sub for music only to put in my living room", sealed would generally get recommended. Not because sealed is inherently superior, but simply because it is the proper alignment since there is no need for the added size and cost of ported. Ported are generally superior for dual purpose movie/music subs as long there is not a strict size requirement since they are, in general, superior for movies and equivalent if not superior for music. As Enrico stated, ported can sometimes have an advantage for music even over equivalent quality sealed subs. The added cabinet size often allows the ported sub to maintain an output advantage well above port tune, and if dubstep type music is played, the ported subs will play it louder with lower distortion especially in a big room.
Also, keep in mind that in subjective(non fact based) reviews, it is not possible for humans to keep their bias out of their perception. If they believe a certain alignment is superior, it will indeed sound better(even if someone tricks the listener by playing their same sub back to back instead of switching....when they thought
their preferred choice was playing, they will choose it as superior sound even though it was never switched.)
Many blind tests have been done in which experienced listeners could not determine whether or not they are listening to ported, sealed, or horn alignments when listening to music at reasonable volumes that are within the subs' clean output capabilities. I don't mean to sound as though all subs sound the same. However, a handful of well designed high quality subs, eq'd to the same response in room, in general, listeners would not reliably be able to pick out what they believe to be their preferred sub for sound quality(if bias is removed).