What's better ported or sealed subs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 04-12-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I was told sealed sound much smoother. I am looking at filling the room but at the same time not shake the house.
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-12-2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asere View Post

I was told sealed sound much smoother. I am looking at filling the room but at the same time not shake the house.

Ported subs might be better to fill your room since they can play louder. What is your room size?

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

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post #3 of 46 Old 04-12-2012, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Room size is 5400 cubic feet
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post #4 of 46 Old 04-12-2012, 09:24 PM
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Might want to read the sub shoot out threads as to the fact when subs are done right they guessed wrong if it was sealed vs ported. Myself it is hard to guess but the fact a ported sub will fill the room easier makes it an easy decision for me.
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post #5 of 46 Old 04-13-2012, 04:55 AM
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sealed dont have as much rolloff after 20Hz or so, but Ported will have more output down to their tuning point (which can be down to 16Hz)

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post #6 of 46 Old 04-13-2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Fineberg View Post

sealed dont have as much rolloff after 20Hz or so, but Ported will have more output down to their tuning point (which can be down to 16Hz)

This generalization is true for subs with similar displacement and amplifier power. When you compare subs with different displacement and amps it is no longer necessarily true. For example, the sealed Epik Empire has more output at all frequencies than the ported Outlaw Audio LMF-1 EX when it is in its lowest tune (1 port open). With both ports open, the Outlaw only has the advantage at around 25-31.5 Hz. The greater displacement of the Empire from having two 15" drivers gives it the advantage even though both subs are almost identical in size.
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post #7 of 46 Old 04-13-2012, 08:09 AM
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Thanks for the clarification i should have mentioned that

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post #8 of 46 Old 04-13-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asere View Post

I was told sealed sound much smoother. I am looking at filling the room but at the same time not shake the house.

How much is your budget?
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post #9 of 46 Old 04-13-2012, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asere View Post

I was told sealed sound much smoother. I am looking at filling the room but at the same time not shake the house.

THat's a good question for the search engine. Using advance search, title search only and "ported" as my search word, dozens of previous threads came up asking the same question. Here's a recent poll:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=ported

You'll find the other existing threads using the directions above. The search engine is the quickest way to finding information at AVS. I highly recommend it.

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post #10 of 46 Old 04-13-2012, 06:36 PM
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^^^^^^ +1

I like sealed alignments. I'm able to shape the response with little regard to the tune. Enclosure volume can assist in limiting over excursion. Trade off time... You better have alot of stroke in that driver, and alot of power, especially if you plan on extending down into single digits.... And speaking of single digits, it wont be done with one driver unless you bolt it to the side of your head Lol. Multiples are a must to create the feel of limitless bass and multiples also smooth out room modes at the LP.....and to get the SPL high enough at the LP.

So, with that said i will go back to watching Rush Time Machine Tour on BR......peace KG

.....errr and my six sealed subs bahahaha
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post #11 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 02:03 AM
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question for everyone on here........ why don't more people build a ported sub with round ports and then just plug them to see which sound they prefer?
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post #12 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adio View Post

question for everyone on here........ why don't more people build a ported sub with round ports and then just plug them to see which sound they prefer?

SVS has been doing that for years, i believe there is a little EQ magic in there as you have to activate some cicuitry as changes are made.

I look at it like tires on a car. Trade offs are all over the place, sticky tires for cornering wont last as long as a nice hard touring tire, they both get you to work, just a little differently....

I chose sealed at first for the ease of the build. Once i really started to take advantage of the benefits i made them my default alignment.

You can get your steak rare or well done, either way its a cut of beef...

I always find it interesting to revisit the benefits of both as long as we keep civil, sometimes boys will be boys...

Ok ported boys chime in LOL
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post #13 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 05:51 AM
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I choose ported subs because it simply is the better way to get the job done in my particular room. If it went with sealed, it would take at least twice as many subs with at least four times as much power and obviously considerably more cost just to get similar output levels down to 13 or 14 hz. Again, that's in my particular room. In a different type of room, everything might be different about my sub choices.
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post #14 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 05:54 AM
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I personally and subjectively have experienced no, as in zero, magic below about 16hz.

With all the subs I've heard in the three meets I've attended - as long as the ported sub is solid to 16 hz or 18hz or so(the limit of my hearing with test tones) I can't tell a difference in those "missing lower frequencies". As to tactile feeling in th subsonic frequencies I think its placebo in any real world material outside of test tones, to reach the spl levels you'd need to feel those subsonic frequencies you'd be beaten to death by the frequencies you can hear --- at least in any real world program material.

This is my opinion and experience. Others may have different opinions. We can choose to disagree based on our individual hearing capability and experiences. For my part I've heard multiples of identical sealed drivers and it still didn't make any magic in the frequencies below audible for real world program material like black hawk down, war of the worlds, hulk, etc.
I would also point to the fact in controlled blind testing at our recent subwoofer meet nobody else could either of nine voters.

IMO, a good ported sub is every bit as good as a good sealed sub. It just takes less of a good ported sub to reach a spl goal assuming similar driver capacities are used.

I've felt in previous sighted tests that sealed does slightly better for music and a good ported sub is slightly better for movies but after the 2012 blind sub meet linked in my signature, all bets are off.
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post #15 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 06:15 AM
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I guess it just depends on the sub design and keep in mind there are plenty of high end main speakers that are ported that are great with music where tight bass is essential.
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post #16 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 07:53 AM
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I have dual A7s-450s and they are sealed and have no difficulty filling the room with low, tight bass for movies and music.

Could probably have achieved same with one of them, but of course why be happy with one? ;-)
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post #17 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 08:17 AM
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There is nothing worse than a movie playing just a low rumble and you hear the port noise from a cheap sub, even if it cost $1200..
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post #18 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

There is nothing worse than a movie playing just a low rumble and you hear the port noise from a cheap sub, even if it cost $1200..

Same can be said for sealed when its overdriven no port noise just the mechanical noise of the driver bottoming out.
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post #19 of 46 Old 04-14-2012, 10:47 PM
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Now I'm going to be speaking in generalizations, but I think the vibe is that sealed is better for musicality and ported is better for generating more output.

I tried sealed and I did find it to have great musicality. But for movies it just didn't have enough output, so I went with ported. It's a trade off between the two. Of course, you have many exceptions to the rule, like people using variable tuning modes in their HSU subs to jump between sealed and ported modes, the best of both worlds.

Then you have subs like the HSU ULS15, which is an monster sealed sub that has strong output. The Epik subs also have tons of output as well for sealed subs too, which makes them exceptions to the generalization.

I suppose you really have to ask yourself what kind of sub do you need for your particular space and set a budget.
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post #20 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 05:39 AM
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The subs you defined as monsters I would not.

It takes about two uls-15s to equal a vtf-15h and I wouldn't define the vtf-15h as a "monster". A great sub yes! A monster of output? No.

Epik Empire - same thing.

Both good subs and great choices for ~ a grand, but not monsters I'd you are willing to spend more money or DIY there are certainly monster sealed options.

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post #21 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

The subs you defined as monsters I would not.

It takes about two uls-15s to equal a vtf-15h and I wouldn't define the vtf-15h as a "monster". A great sub yes! A monster of output? No.

Epik Empire - same thing.

Both good subs and great choices for ~ a grand, but not monsters I'd you are willing to spend more money or DIY there are certainly monster sealed options.

It all depends on the goals. Ported are great to their tune and slightly below in room but if you want more output lower than the tune then you need sealed or some monster ported subs. All sealed subs need need a boost down low, whether a shelving filter or LT circuit and if you compare a sealed VS ported without one the ported will always seem better for movies. Of course this assumes both subs are equal in the first place with the only the alignment being different.
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post #22 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 06:35 AM
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I'm sure those ULS15's are excellent subs, but the formula of a compact sealed sub powered with only 500 watts does not make for a lot of output. That's why they are frequently sold as dual packs and quad packs.
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post #23 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

I personally and subjectively have experienced no, as in zero, magic below about 16hz.

With all the subs I've heard in the three meets I've attended - as long as the ported sub is solid to 16 hz or 18hz or so(the limit of my hearing with test tones) I can't tell a difference in those "missing lower frequencies". As to tactile feeling in th subsonic frequencies I think its placebo in any real world material outside of test tones, to reach the spl levels you'd need to feel those subsonic frequencies you'd be beaten to death by the frequencies you can hear --- at least in any real world program material.

This is my opinion and experience. Others may have different opinions. We can choose to disagree based on our individual hearing capability and experiences. For my part I've heard multiples of identical sealed drivers and it still didn't make any magic in the frequencies below audible for real world program material like black hawk down, war of the worlds, hulk, etc.
I would also point to the fact in controlled blind testing at our recent subwoofer meet nobody else could either of nine voters.

IMO, a good ported sub is every bit as good as a good sealed sub. It just takes less of a good ported sub to reach a spl goal assuming similar driver capacities are used.

I've felt in previous sighted tests that sealed does slightly better for music and a good ported sub is slightly better for movies but after the 2012 blind sub meet linked in my signature, all bets are off.

This is extremely interesting, everything you're saying here.

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post #24 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post

SVS has been doing that for years, i believe there is a little EQ magic in there as you have to activate some cicuitry as changes are made.

I look at it like tires on a car. Trade offs are all over the place, sticky tires for cornering wont last as long as a nice hard touring tire, they both get you to work, just a little differently....

I chose sealed at first for the ease of the build. Once i really started to take advantage of the benefits i made them my default alignment.

You can get your steak rare or well done, either way its a cut of beef...

I always find it interesting to revisit the benefits of both as long as we keep civil, sometimes boys will be boys...

Ok ported boys chime in LOL

good analogies........ but i'm talking for the DIY world. idk why more regular ppl don't give it a shot.......
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post #25 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

The subs you defined as monsters I would not.

It takes about two uls-15s to equal a vtf-15h and I wouldn't define the vtf-15h as a "monster". A great sub yes! A monster of output? No.

Epik Empire - same thing.

Both good subs and great choices for ~ a grand, but not monsters I'd you are willing to spend more money or DIY there are certainly monster sealed options.

the only monster sealed sub i can think of has an 18" (or now a 21") sub and at least 1000 watts minimum. what makes a monster DIY sealed to you?
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post #26 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adio View Post


the only monster sealed sub i can think of has an 18" (or now a 21") sub and at least 1000 watts minimum. what makes a monster DIY sealed to you?

Another (and great) monster sealed sub is the Seaton SubMersive HP. Dual 15"s with a 2400w amp. Just an incredible sub, albeit at a higher price than most.
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post #27 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 07:42 AM
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Put a "monster" lms-5400 driver in a sealed cabinet (like I heard this weekend) up against the uls or empire and you'll know exactly what I mean. The lms-5400 was very impressive even powered by a ep4000 amp. The Seaton Submersive HP I would consider a monster sealed offering as well. I've heard all of theses subs mentioned on multiple occasions except the uls15 which I have not heard at all.

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post #28 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Put a "monster" lms-5400 driver in a sealed cabinet (like I heard this weekend) up against the uls or empire and you'll know exactly what I mean. The lms-5400 was very impressive even powered by a ep4000 amp. The Seaton Submersive HP I would consider a monster sealed offering as well. I've heard all of theses subs mentioned on multiple occasions except the uls15 which I have not heard at all.

Where did you hear that? Was it at the speaker GTG? Lucky bast*rd, I'd love to hear a lms-5400. Detailed impressions?
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post #29 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post


Where did you hear that? Was it at the speaker GTG? Lucky bast*rd, I'd love to hear a lms-5400. Detailed impressions?

EP-4000 won't do it justice BUT it should still be great. I just watched a few demos without my EQ boost down low and without it my DTS-10's were much better down low! Add in that low end boost the sealed is just as good! Of course you need lots of displacement to accept this boost.

I am with Carp here, Archaea how was it?
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post #30 of 46 Old 04-15-2012, 09:30 AM
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Yes at the wisconsin speaker meet this weekend. Ill probably write a little something up.

;p

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