Theater is done … Need help making more bass - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I’m discouraged with the results of my theater construction. Any help with what my expectations for bass should be or what I need to add to be able to “feel” the bass and make the couch shake would be appreciated.

My basement home theater is 18x25 with a 10x12 bar area off this room and an 8’ ceiling. Walls are 2x4 construction with full spray foam floor to ceiling. Walls/ceiling are 5/8 dry wall and floor is ¾ dry core plywood screwed to concrete. I have a Klipsch RF 7II system with the SW-115 15’ sub and moving the sub around the room is not helping.

The system sounds good and the sub moves a lot of air but I don’t get any seat of the pants feel. I don’t know if it’s the solid floor or I have to move a lot more air (more or bigger subs or both). I can put in a double door to the area with the bar to shrink the room some. Would lifting the seating on to a riser and then putting subs on the riser do the trick? Would buying a couple more 15” subs get me there or will I need to move to a different class of subs for the room size?
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 12:12 PM
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post #3 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 12:21 PM
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A ~4,560 cu.ft. room on a concrete floor - that's tough for any single "mid-level" sub to pressurize! Closing it off would help, although you'd still have a ~3,600 cu.ft. room to pressurize.

IMO, doubling up on your current sub would help, as would moving to duals of say:
- HSU VTF-15H
- Rythmik FV15
- PSA XV15
- ChaseHT VS-18.1
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post #4 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 01:41 PM
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Just get yourself some bass shakers and be done with it smile.gif
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post #5 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the list .. I was looking at dual HSU VTF-15H but not sure if that would move the needle. I’m new to the world of subwoofers and not sure if the 15” HSU would just move the similar amount of air. Is higher wattage what I should be looking at or more square inches of drivers (more 15-18” subs).

I was able to demo some butt kickers at the local store and I wasn’t sold on them.
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post #6 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
I was looking at dual HSU VTF-15H but not sure if that would move the needle.
Really? From what I've read, I'd be surprised if they didn't.
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Is higher wattage what I should be looking at or more square inches of drivers (more 15-18” subs).
Personally, I'd go for both. smile.gif I went from a single 12" ported SVS PB12-NSD to dual 18" sealed ChaseHT SS-18.1s in my ~3,375 cu.ft. basement (laminate over concrete) HT room. The single SVS was excellent; two of them would have been better; but there's no doubt that dual 18s are VERY satisfying. cool.gif

The VTF-15H is a well-rated sub, and a single one of those, IMO, will blow away your Klipsch. I can't imagine that duals would fail to "move the needle". smile.gif
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-11-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

Thanks for the list .. I was looking at dual HSU VTF-15H but not sure if that would move the needle. I’m new to the world of subwoofers and not sure if the 15” HSU would just move the similar amount of air. Is higher wattage what I should be looking at or more square inches of drivers (more 15-18” subs).
I was able to demo some butt kickers at the local store and I wasn’t sold on them.

Working off memory here. An added sub will give you a 3dB boost as long as the subs are within one wave length of each other, that's about fifteen to twenty feet, depending on the note you choose; 60Hz vs 20Hz. The 60Hz note is approximately +18'.

If the subs are in a corner, you get another 3dB boost. So if both subs are within eighteen feet of each other, while in a corner, theoretically, you'd get an additional 6dB out of adding another sub. That's 9dB minus the 3dB one sub gets by sticking it next to a corner. The point, yes, you will take benefit of a second sub and depending on placement, can expect approximately a doubling of perceived sound level quality. It never hurts to have a SPL meter in your hand, either.

(Please, will somebody with a better memory than I, correct my sonic hash. That would be kind.)

-
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post #8 of 27 Old 09-13-2012, 11:39 AM
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I'm just going to give my 0.02 . Bass is a funny area of audio. It would seem easy enough to flop down a sub and get some good results.... almost never the case. If you havent done so, get into some measurement gear so your money is spent well.

The science that goes into subwoofer design should also be used when that sub ends up on your doorstep. Try to do some reading regards to measuring inroom response.

Good luck to you on your HT.... KG
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-13-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the 0.02 cents. I bought the klipsch sub at a pretty good price and the specs looked decent on paper. I know I have a lot to learn and thought this was a good place to start. I really have no reference to go from as I haven’t demoed any decent home theater set ups. The poor economy has taken its toll here and we have lost most of the A/V stores. Picking the projector and main speakers was pretty easy from the information here at AVS but the subs are a different story. Way to many variables price, wattage, driver size and number needed plus how they will work in my room. Next step for me is measuring equipment to see where I’m at with my current setup.

Could you point me to where I can get some good reference material to walk me through the basics and learn how the design differences in subs change their performance? What will I need beyond tones and a SPL meter? And what kind of SPL is typical for an above average room?

Thanks ….
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post #10 of 27 Old 09-13-2012, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

Could you point me to where I can get some good reference material to walk me through the basics and learn how the design differences in subs change their performance? What will I need beyond tones and a SPL meter? And what kind of SPL is typical for an above average room?

Check this site out. The freeware is professional grade. As to what's a normal SPL in a room? There is no normal. As to the standards, it's between 75dB and 85dB with reference going up to 105dB and subwoofers driving the SPL up to 115db.

See THX reference standard.

Hope the above helps.
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post #11 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions .. I’m going to get the REW package. I have to admit at first glance it looks pretty intimidating. I’m also trying to do a better job of using the search options on the site to get up to speed. Is there a book out there on audio that all the new guy’s should read?
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post #12 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 09:27 AM
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Get a Seaton SubMersive or a JTR S2 and be done with it.
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post #13 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Working off memory here. An added sub will give you a 3dB boost as long as the subs are within one wave length of each other, that's about fifteen to twenty feet, depending on the note you choose; 60Hz vs 20Hz. The 60Hz note is approximately +18'.
If the subs are in a corner, you get another 3dB boost. So if both subs are within eighteen feet of each other, while in a corner, theoretically, you'd get an additional 6dB out of adding another sub. That's 9dB minus the 3dB one sub gets by sticking it next to a corner. The point, yes, you will take benefit of a second sub and depending on placement, can expect approximately a doubling of perceived sound level quality. It never hurts to have a SPL meter in your hand, either.
(Please, will somebody with a better memory than I, correct my sonic hash. That would be kind.)
-

Close. Ideally, if the added sub is "much closer" than one wavelength to the first, you get +6dBSPL. Also ideally, each "close" boundary adds 6dBSPL. So vs. anechoic, floor is +6dB, wall is +6dB, second wall is +6dB.
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Check this site out. The freeware is professional grade. As to what's a normal SPL in a room? There is no normal. As to the standards, it's between 75dB and 85dB with reference going up to 105dB and subwoofers driving the SPL up to 115db.
See THX reference standard.
Hope the above helps.

Yes, REW is a good suggestion. While you're at it, you should also try out a "house curve." REW has a suggested one built in, and there are discussions on variations. But such a thing really helps get some realistic weight into both music and movies. Flat response may sound good in theory, but doesn't usually sound realistic, especially in a smaller-than-auditorium room.
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Get a Seaton SubMersive or a JTR S2 and be done with it.

Or, better yet, two+ of either!
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post #14 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 11:54 AM
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Where are you sitting in relation to the room? For example there is a bass null in the center of any room. Have you done the sub crawl?

I agree with others, you have a big space and one sub just may not be getting it done. You could either add a second Klipsch sub. If you co-locate them you can typically get another 6db of bass, but that will vary. You could also try bass traps, or locating the sub closer to your seating position if possible.

I have a similar size room with a single VTF-15H and my wife swears she can feel the couch move smile.gif

That said, I plan on adding another... Just don't tell her biggrin.gif
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post #15 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

A ~4,560 cu.ft. room on a concrete floor - that's tough for any single "mid-level" sub to pressurize! Closing it off would help, although you'd still have a ~3,600 cu.ft. room to pressurize.

IMO, doubling up on your current sub would help, as would moving to duals of say:
- HSU VTF-15H
- Rythmik FV15
- PSA XV15
- ChaseHT VS-18.1

What he said.


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post #16 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I found that the best spot for the sub ended up being in the front corner of the room. Unfortunate I sit in the middle of the room and now know that it will bring some challenges. The klipsch is probably a great sub value and I’m sure another one would make a big improvement. After spending a couple of years building and setting up my theater room I’ve built up some pretty high expectations. I’m starting to clue in that I better change my sub budget or start looking into the DIY possibilities.
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post #17 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

Thanks for the list .. I was looking at dual HSU VTF-15H but not sure if that would move the needle. I’m new to the world of subwoofers and not sure if the 15” HSU would just move the similar amount of air. Is higher wattage what I should be looking at or more square inches of drivers (more 15-18” subs).
I was able to demo some butt kickers at the local store and I wasn’t sold on them.

Compared to most of the other options, butt kickers are a bargain. Until you try them for yourself you should withhold a final decision.
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post #18 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

I found that the best spot for the sub ended up being in the front corner of the room. Unfortunate I sit in the middle of the room and now know that it will bring some challenges. The klipsch is probably a great sub value and I’m sure another one would make a big improvement. After spending a couple of years building and setting up my theater room I’ve built up some pretty high expectations. I’m starting to clue in that I better change my sub budget or start looking into the DIY possibilities.

If you either move your seating, or move your sub, and you are in the middle of the room, I am not sure if any sub will address the bass null. You could try and do something like leaving the Klipsch in the front and adding a mid-bass module closer to the seating area for the punch...

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/mbm-12mk2.html
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post #19 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

If you either move your seating, or move your sub, and you are in the middle of the room, I am not sure if any sub will address the bass null. You could try and do something like leaving the Klipsch in the front and adding a mid-bass module closer to the seating area for the punch...
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/mbm-12mk2.html

Before the OP spends a minimum of $542 on an MBM-12 he should read this Sticky:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/330436/shakers-simple-cheap-hookup-visual-guide/2310

I get the feeling that butt kickers give you more bang for the buck, not to mention they are largely invisible.
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post #20 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 02:37 PM
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I see no advantage in a "Midbass Module" over an additional traditional subwoofer.

 

Yes measure, measurements are your biggest keys to whats going on ultimately in your room.

 

Multiple subs can help mitigate the mode responsible for the null with surgical placement.  You will however at least have to get an spl meter to measure and ideally use automated software like REW.


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post #21 of 27 Old 09-14-2012, 08:58 PM
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I see no advantage in a "Midbass Module" over an additional traditional subwoofer.

Yes measure, measurements are your biggest keys to whats going on ultimately in your room.

Multiple subs can help mitigate the mode responsible for the null with surgical placement.  You will however at least have to get an spl meter to measure and ideally use automated software like REW.

The point of the mid bass module is to place it next to the listening position to give the OP the punch at the listening position that he is looking for. If you are placing it far away, them yeah, I don't see the advantage.

As fot butt kickers, not my thing... Been there, done that. Find them very annoying for non action movies.
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post #22 of 27 Old 09-15-2012, 07:07 AM
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Hi Ack_bk,

I did a tour hsu products. i listened to a setup with a Vtf3-mk3 and MBM. It was properly integrated but i was underwhelmed. A second sub provides slam and ULF. Its hsus thing and it works but not apreciably better than an additional sub IMO.

Not to mention integration issues, most people cant even integrate a single sub properly.

Your suggestion is correct, in adding output, we just disagree on the tool. Sub recommendations are funny, everybody has their pet. smile.gif

Cheers
Nicholas

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post #23 of 27 Old 09-15-2012, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

Hi Ack_bk,
I did a tour hsu products. i listened to a setup with a Vtf3-mk3 and MBM. It was properly integrated but i was underwhelmed. A second sub provides slam and ULF. Its hsus thing and it works but not apreciably better than an additional sub IMO.
Not to mention integration issues, most people cant even integrate a single sub properly.
Your suggestion is correct, in adding output, we just disagree on the tool. Sub recommendations are funny, everybody has their pet. smile.gif
Cheers
Nicholas

Forget about one or two subwoofers.
The ideal setup is four subwoofers.
Quote:
Enter Dr. Floyd Toole and Todd Welti. Dr. Toole has been an invaluable asset to the sound reproduction industry and has devoted a great amount of his life to understanding how sound propagates in a home environment*. Todd Welti did a lot of experimentation with subwoofer placement, numbers, and bass sound quality. This breakthrough work on bass reproduction is a true revelation that has allowed us as home theater designers to create a room where we can significantly minimize bass response problems. The resulting whitepaper on the topic was a culmination of countless tests and acoustical models of playing with multiple subwoofers in different locations in a room to improve bass response over a much wider listening area. In the end, Dr. Toole and Todd Welti concluded that the most ideal scenario for bass reproduction is to have one subwoofer located at the midpoint of all four walls. This configuration displayed the least amount of variation in bass response from seat to seat. Alternately, four subwoofers can be used in each corner.

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post #24 of 27 Old 09-18-2012, 02:24 PM
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Much as I like HSU, for $1,000 delivered the VTF-15H, the OP can get FIVE Energy S10.3, so a measly 4 (Energy S10.3) would save $200 and give the optimum number of subs according to Floyd Toole, Todd Welti, and Dr. Earl Geddes. For $800 delivered 4 Energy S10.3's deliver more bang for the buck than anything I can think of.
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post #25 of 27 Old 09-18-2012, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Much as I like HSU, for $1,000 delivered the VTF-15H, the OP can get FIVE Energy S10.3, so a measly 4 (Energy S10.3) would save $200 and give the optimum number of subs according to Floyd Toole, Todd Welti, and Dr. Earl Geddes. For $800 delivered 4 Energy S10.3's deliver more bang for the buck than anything I can think of.

Yeah but those won't deliver home theater infrasonic bass most people are looking for in a home theater. The dual hsu 15's are probably the best value and probably plenty for his situation

butter and jelly please.
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post #26 of 27 Old 09-18-2012, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Much as I like HSU, for $1,000 delivered the VTF-15H, the OP can get FIVE Energy S10.3, so a measly 4 (Energy S10.3) would save $200 and give the optimum number of subs according to Floyd Toole, Todd Welti, and Dr. Earl Geddes. For $800 delivered 4 Energy S10.3's deliver more bang for the buck than anything I can think of.

Lol give me a break! First of all, calibrating five subs to play together would be a headache to say the least, so if you are going through the trouble of doing that, you might as well make sure the subs warrant the effort. You probably still wouldn't match the output of one powerful sub like the VTF15h unless you co-located them, and even then who really knows. I can't think of many scenarios where four so-so subs will trump one good one.
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post #27 of 27 Old 09-19-2012, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I exchanged the 15” SW_115 klipsch sub yesterday. It had a bad buzz that kept getting worse over the week I owned it. I thought it was the cabinet but due to how much better the replacement is performing it might have been the amp or driver. I was going to move to a more expensive sub but it seemed similar (not better or the same) to the HSU VTF-15H on paper and had a great street price. It will leave some funds on the table for a new Denon AVR with Audyssey multi EQ XT32.

The best spot I found by ear for placement is in the front corner of the room. I’m going to pick up another for the opposite corner next week when they get a new shipment in. I figure I can move these to the back of the room when I figure out what the next step is ... I’m guessing it will be building a couple of DIY subs when I get up to speed.

Thanks for the feedback on Butt Kickers. I prewired for them and will pick some up to play with when I get my seating platform finished. I’m sure they will bring another layer to the experience. I just didn’t think of them as part of the overall solution of low bass output.

I have another related question … Will too big or too much base trap (lose fiberglass style) lower the perceived bass output?
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