Looking for some advice on bass and the lows.... - AVS Forum
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to change up my current setup for a more sleek, "woman approved". Since I don't have a dedicated Home Theater room, I've taken over the living room.

I currently have a full system and the front stage all has 8" woofers (BIC Acoustic). We are redoing our living room, adding a fireplace insert and all that fun stuff. The fireplace will be in a corner with a full stone wall so I'm looking to get a sound bar with L/C/R inputs. Definitive Technology, Mirage are the two I'm leaning towards.

Here is my question, since the speakers are so much smaller. Going from a 8" down to a 3" or 4". Can I setup subwoofer(s) to make up for the mid bass punch? If that is possible, what sub do you recommend?

Room is about 3000 cubic feet. Thank you for any advice. This forum has been a great help so far.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:46 PM
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WAF often doesn't cover subs. I don't think you have a choice going from fairly small woofers to extremely small woofers but to get a sub to make up for the difference. How much can you spend? How big a sub (i.e. overall dimensions) will wifey let you have? What's a fireplace insert?

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 10-22-2012, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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The actual size of the sub, doesn't really matter. As long as it looks good and can blend into the room. Price? 500+/-. If I come across one that I have to have. I'll make cuts else where.

This is a fireplace insert. Mine will be "newer" looking.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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What I meant was going from a 8" speaker down to a 3" or 4" speaker. Was the actual speakers I'm using right now (BIC PL-89 and PL-28) down to a Definitive Technology or Mirage speaker. Which has (2) 3-4" woofers and a 1" tweeter
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

The actual size of the sub, doesn't really matter. As long as it looks good and can blend into the room. Price? 500+/-. If I come across one that I have to have. I'll make cuts else where.

This is a fireplace insert. Mine will be "newer" looking.

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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

What I meant was going from a 8" speaker down to a 3" or 4" speaker. Was the actual speakers I'm using right now (BIC PL-89 and PL-28) down to a Definitive Technology or Mirage speaker. Which has (2) 3-4" woofers and a 1" tweeter

Isn't that uncomfortable watching the tv up that high? Thanks for the pic for the insert, wasn't sure what you were describing. I use a regular fireplace...

So you want a particular wood finish to go with the walls/floors? At that price you might just get basic black. Although I did recently pickup a pair of Inifinity PSW310s on closeout in Cherry that might be an idea, not many left out there and not at the price I got 'em ($500 the pair). I knew what you meant, by fairly small woofer I was referring to your old speakers, and by extremely small woofers I was referring to your new satellite speakers, and that you pretty much have no choice with sats but to get a sub...

For $500 personally I think great bang for the buck is the Epik Legend but it is ID (internet direct) and you'll see in the Epik thread some aren't satisfied with their handling of some amp issues and generally customer service (I have an Empire and have had no issues with their customer service, though). You might look at Hsu, Outlaw among other ID sub brands. Maybe look at this, at $300 it's a good deal, $500 not as good http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078&name=Home-Audio-Speakers

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 10-24-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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You're going have to tell your wife you want this. Her choices are, cheap by comparison, black subs or some uber expensive wood subs. Things like subwoofers are not negotiable. What a subwoofer looks like, is.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Isn't that uncomfortable watching the tv up that high? Thanks for the pic for the insert, wasn't sure what you were describing. I use a regular fireplace...
So you want a particular wood finish to go with the walls/floors? At that price you might just get basic black. Although I did recently pickup a pair of Inifinity PSW310s on closeout in Cherry that might be an idea, not many left out there and not at the price I got 'em ($500 the pair). I knew what you meant, by fairly small woofer I was referring to your old speakers, and by extremely small woofers I was referring to your new satellite speakers, and that you pretty much have no choice with sats but to get a sub...
For $500 personally I think great bang for the buck is the Epik Legend but it is ID (internet direct) and you'll see in the Epik thread some aren't satisfied with their handling of some amp issues and generally customer service (I have an Empire and have had no issues with their customer service, though). You might look at Hsu, Outlaw among other ID sub brands. Maybe look at this, at $300 it's a good deal, $500 not as good http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078&name=Home-Audio-Speakers

That actually isn't my room. It was the only thing I could find online that was close to what I'm going for. Just not the whole "cabin" feel. The top of my TV is about 7' or so. It doesn't bother us because we have recliners so it works good for us. When we move it, we may bring it down a little. When I rented homes I always had to use a tv stand and wasn't a fan of my TV sitting 2' off the ground. Especially when my Doberman and Bulldog get in the playfull mood.

Thanks for the sub advice, there is a guy somewhat local to me that has a used HSU sub. Asking 325 for it, he said it's meant to be used behind the couch and not to handle the really low lows. I'll see if I can find a model #.

I guess I've never heard quality subs (home audio) the PL200 is the best sub I've heard. Will these just blow it away?
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

You're going have to tell your wife you want this. Her choices are, cheap by comparison, black subs or some uber expensive wood subs. Things like subwoofers are not negotiable. What a subwoofer looks like, is.

She actually likes the bass biggrin.gif So as long as I can get it to sound good in the house. I'm sure she'll eventually be ok with it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

She actually likes the bass biggrin.gif So as long as I can get it to sound good in the house. I'm sure she'll eventually be ok with it.

Since she is such a fan of bass (women like impact bass just as much as guys) then I'd recommend going with a 15" sub. Now I know you posted $500+/- but since my advice is free, my recommendation is going be a recommendation worth buying. smile.gif

I personally have not investigated the $500 subwoofer market. I'm good with the $300 subwoofer market and I'm good with the $750 market and some of the internet direct sellers that are a lot more expensive. But in the final, I'm only aware for our situation, a 3,500 cuft, 12' cathedral ceiling that opens into an entryway and a large kitchen area with laundry area. Our budget limits us to about $1,500.00 or a pair of SVS, PB12-NSD subs. Everything I've read says that once I put these bad boys in our living room, I'm going be a happy camper. I look at all the other possibilities and anything that's going be an improvement over the PB12-NSD's, is going require a major increase in budget. An increase of up to $2,500.00. And I have no doubt we'd benefit by the purchase of a pair of bigger subs such as the SVS, PB13-Ultra but I get the impression the bigger subs are more ego than a necessary equipment upgrade; fun to have but not necessary to use. In the final analysis, I don't see $2,500.00 worth of upgrade. I'm sure the upgrade is there is added radiators and amplifiers but I don't see it there in value. So in the end, it boils down to how big of a budget can your budget support and one goes from there.

The deal. One needs enough sub to fill (pressurize) the room. One sub, you have concentrated sound as opposed to sound being spread out. All things being equal, two subs are better than one sub, four subs are better than two subs and eight subs are better than four subs so as to fill in the null points. That sort of thing.

The above being posted, back to one sub and your budget. You can see how budget severely limits choices and effectiveness and why a single 15" sub is better than a single smaller sub in your room but I'd recommend two 12" subs over one 15" sub of equal quality so as to smooth out the bass if you're wanting good "impact" bass to make your wife smile.

Two, Klipsch, 12D-RW subwoofers, sale ends tomorrow at Newegg; $600.00.

One Hsu, Wife friendly, ULS-15, delivered, $1,268.00.

Two, SVS, PB12-NSD, delivered, $1,461.00.

Make your choices from the above or from other recommendations. Pretty much, the sky is the limit.

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:58 PM
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I think the Klipsch subs are your best bet due to room size and your budget. To fill your space you would need at least one Epik Empire. Great for
mid bass. But that is over your budget.

Also I like dual subs, and actually have 2 Epik Legends. But I can't recommend them (Epik). I've had no problems with them and like them a lot.
But the amps on both get very, very hot, and that's not a good thing. Chad (owner of Epik) has always taken good care of customers, but lately
that seems to be slipping as they (from what I've read on the Epik thread) they are very hard to get a hold of. I hope I don't run into any amp
problems if what's being said in the thread is true.

The HSU sub that the guy has for $350 is probably a HSU Mid Base module. It only goes down to 50HZ, and if it"s out of warranty $350
is to much to pay for it. I just sold mine for $275, but it was out of warranty and a MK1 model.

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Isn't that uncomfortable watching the tv up that high? Thanks for the pic for the insert, wasn't sure what you were describing. I use a regular fireplace...
So you want a particular wood finish to go with the walls/floors? At that price you might just get basic black. Although I did recently pickup a pair of Inifinity PSW310s on closeout in Cherry that might be an idea, not many left out there and not at the price I got 'em ($500 the pair). I knew what you meant, by fairly small woofer I was referring to your old speakers, and by extremely small woofers I was referring to your new satellite speakers, and that you pretty much have no choice with sats but to get a sub...
For $500 personally I think great bang for the buck is the Epik Legend but it is ID (internet direct) and you'll see in the Epik thread some aren't satisfied with their handling of some amp issues and generally customer service (I have an Empire and have had no issues with their customer service, though). You might look at Hsu, Outlaw among other ID sub brands. Maybe look at this, at $300 it's a good deal, $500 not as good http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078&name=Home-Audio-Speakers

That actually isn't my room. It was the only thing I could find online that was close to what I'm going for. Just not the whole "cabin" feel. The top of my TV is about 7' or so. It doesn't bother us because we have recliners so it works good for us. When we move it, we may bring it down a little. When I rented homes I always had to use a tv stand and wasn't a fan of my TV sitting 2' off the ground. Especially when my Doberman and Bulldog get in the playfull mood.

Thanks for the sub advice, there is a guy somewhat local to me that has a used HSU sub. Asking 325 for it, he said it's meant to be used behind the couch and not to handle the really low lows. I'll see if I can find a model #.

I guess I've never heard quality subs (home audio) the PL200 is the best sub I've heard. Will these just blow it away?

I like my tv at eye level and my Empire is my stand (for a 59" plasma). I live in a cabin-like place myself smile.gif But with kids or playful dogs, I'd be worried, too, but have neither. I have a cathedral ceiling living room with a stairwell, just the living room I think I calc'd to be 4500 cuft. I started with the Empire (dual 15" drivers, sealed design), then picked up the pair of the Infinitys (10" driver with two 10" passive radiators each) (telling myself I need to replace my 8" Energy in my bedroom) but the Infinitys have been in the living room helping me fill/pressurize the room, even though they won't go as low as the Empire, sounds frikkin great! IMHO. Total investment 1450 in the subs and movies are quite nice smile.gif as is music (the Epiks do very well with music as well if that's important, sometimes a sub is better at movie type soundtracks than with music).

Get the Hsu model number. Hsu is very reputable, but they have a wide range of offerings. The Epik will blow away the PL200 no doubt...not even close (it has dual 12" drivers in a sealed design), but doesn't go as low as some ported designs, but does quite well, will do 20hz no problem and the mid bass is exceptional. Used can be a good way to go but usually that restricts you to local as many don't want to box up and ship subs...they're kinda big sometimes (my Empire weighs around 120 lbs unpacked, the Infinitys I think are only around 50 apiece)

As someone pointed out the Legends have had amp issues, as have, to a lesser extent, the Empires (mine was replaced after almost 1.5 years). I believe Chad (the owner of Epik) has addressed this for the most part with his amp vendor, probably has cost him a bundle replacing quite a few (keep in mind the thread has relatively few reports overall of issues, and people come to forums with problems more than not). I've got no complaints about calling Chad, some have; I've also run small shops of my own (different business, though) and CS can be hard and still get everything else done. Epiks offer a lot of value for the price, more than SVS in my opinion, but SVS might have better customer service. YMMV. I will likely buy another Empire and move the Infinitys to the bedroom one of these days...what I lust for is a pair of Seaton Submersive HPs but that's a lot more coin.

Good luck in your search. I would overall suggest you up your budget and get something that you won't want to waste time and money upgrading later....there are many here in the forums who've gone through many subs to get to a point they're satisfied, as once you taste good bass, it's hard to be satisfied smile.gif

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 10-25-2012, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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WOW! Thanks you guys for all the advice. Looks like I'll be spending more time searching and really figuring out what I want.

So ^^^^ above says, (2) is better than (1) subwoofer and (4) is better than (2) and so on. . . . . I've got a couple questions. This maybe stupid but can you run 3 or 5 etc.. does it have to be in pairs? and would the Audessey be able to calibrate them or is there some other way I should go about getting everything tuned in.

I figure I can hide 2 subs under some side tables (one on each side) and then possibly another one behind the seating area. If I do go with 4 I could try and get one up front by the tv.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

WOW! Thanks you guys for all the advice. Looks like I'll be spending more time searching and really figuring out what I want.

So ^^^^ above says, (2) is better than (1) subwoofer and (4) is better than (2) and so on. . . . . I've got a couple questions. This maybe stupid but can you run 3 or 5 etc.. does it have to be in pairs? and would the Audessey be able to calibrate them or is there some other way I should go about getting everything tuned in.

I figure I can hide 2 subs under some side tables (one on each side) and then possibly another one behind the seating area. If I do go with 4 I could try and get one up front by the tv.

As I said, I'm running 3. Theoretically they should be matched (same sub), but doesn't necessarily need to be in multiples of 2. My Empire plus two very different Infinitys work very well. Many AVRs only have one sub preout (and even when two sub preouts, its just a splitter inside until you get fairly high end with the avr). Sub eq can be more difficult, but that's if you even have the ability. What AVR? You mention soundbar so maybe you may need to look at what you can do with those if not using an AVR (personally find the soundbars useless).

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 10-26-2012, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Whoops, sorry it's been a long day.

I'm currently running a Onkyo 7.2 reciever. Can't remember the model number right now. We've been talking and since we are so into movies, we may try and make room for the towers we have. Or look for nice bookshelfs.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:12 AM
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Whoops, sorry it's been a long day.

I'm currently running a Onkyo 7.2 reciever. Can't remember the model number right now. We've been talking and since we are so into movies, we may try and make room for the towers we have. Or look for nice bookshelfs.

Me too on the long day...should be asleep but now I'm wired after finally getting home, especially now that I've just watched Wrath of the Titans....good sub demo material smile.gif

I use an Onkyo HTRC370 myself....definitely has the internal y splitter. Nice thing about those Infinity subs is they come with wireless, nice and easy to run both subs off one of the avr's sub preouts so I don't even need a y-splitter externally (which is just fine, by the way). I highly recommend the best speakers you can for a good experience (I have Ascend Sierra-1s with the nrt upgrade across the front three, Ascend HTM200SEs for surrounds and some old Energy Takes for rear surrounds. I also have Ascend 170SEs that I'm going to play around with as front wides soon as my Onkyo will handle 9 speakers but only output to the appropriate 7 depending on mode (I use two outboard amps to supplement the AVR).

Happy upgrading wink.gif

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 10-26-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

WOW! Thanks you guys for all the advice. Looks like I'll be spending more time searching and really figuring out what I want.
So ^^^^ above says, (2) is better than (1) subwoofer and (4) is better than (2) and so on. . . . . I've got a couple questions. This maybe stupid but can you run 3 or 5 etc.. does it have to be in pairs? and would the Audessey be able to calibrate them or is there some other way I should go about getting everything tuned in.
I figure I can hide 2 subs under some side tables (one on each side) and then possibly another one behind the seating area. If I do go with 4 I could try and get one up front by the tv.

I was simply doubling as I state the obvious, two ones equals two and onward from two. tongue.gif In the case of subwoofers, odd or even, there's no limit as to how many one can pack in a room. The idea is to use multiple subs to smooth out the null points in the room. Null points are going depend on how squared up your room is and how many angles the sound has to bounce off of, as parallel walls, floors and ceilings create standing waves which cancel each other out. By coincidence, our furniture placement, coupled to our cathedral ceiling, makes all the walls at angle to each other and the main listening position and then, due to the kitchen and entryway, all the waves run into the entryway and kitchen and do most of their bouncing around in there; room baffles.

The downside, when someone is banging around in the kitchen with sink water running while cleaning dishes or breaking up ice, the sound is channeled directly into the living room and disrupts the listener's listening pleasure. Sort of a quid pro quo thingy.

As to Audyssey and bass calibration, Audyssey can calibrate a single subwoofer. Not being a curious type, I figure Audyssey sums the bass notes up and EQ's accordingly. On the other hand, Audyssey, MultEQ XT32 can calibrate for dual subs, if the AVR has separate sub-outs as opposed to a more typical, as pointed out by others, internal Y-splitter.

Before buying four subs, remember, it's not only about the subs but how deep the subs can dig and how much energy, at the lower frequencies, the sub can generate. Four $300.00 subs will not equal one 15" sub when it comes to how deep the sub can dig. Based on your above enthusiasm, how would you characterize your subwoofer budget?

I'm going intentionally muddy the waters a bit in my following:

If I were to restate our subwoofer budget to include a third subwoofer (I'm a middle-of-the-road budget minded shopper), I'd go with two SVS, PB12-NSD's to start with. Later, we'd add a HSU, ULS-15 and call it a day. Now we have upped our subwoofer budget from a delivered price of $1,461.00 > $2,729.00. But I'd expect the bass sound to be phenomenal when compared to what we currently have. I'm even considering adding the Hsu, ULS-15 to our current set of subs and if this will work, we'll upgrade our current pair of subwoofers at a later time and date.

There are many ways to go as well as many ways to spend a boatload of cash on quality bass. One can even add tie a pair of Klipsch, 12D-RW subs directly to the mains and a third, 15" subwoofer, in another location in the room, later adding a fourth sub. So many subs and not enough money. tongue.gif

My above is intended to give you realistic budget ideas vs realistic subwoofer expectations. YMMV as you build your bass, base around your subwoofer choices. Subwoofers are funny animals where more is better but buying and feeding them gets expensive, fast.

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I have alot to look into now.


Where would be the best location for the mid-bass sound? or does it all just depend on my room layout?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Where would be the best location for the mid-bass sound? or does it all just depend on my room layout?

The main listening position?

In your above, I'm not sure what you're asking.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I just wasn't sure if placing a sub in the front, back, directly under the tv or some other place produces the best mid-bass? Does that make sense? I know if you place a sub in the corner it makes a boomier sound. Not clear bass, like placing it in the middle of the wall. Can't seem to find much info on where to place a sub for that mid punch.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:59 AM
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I know if you place a sub in the corner it makes a boomier sound. Not clear bass, like placing it in the middle of the wall.
In most cases that's not true. Corner loading tends to accentuate the lows, and the lows (below 80Hz) isn't where boom originates, the midbass (80Hz-160Hz) is. That said, there's only so much that placement alone can address. While some rooms can operate with a single sub most will require at least two subs to smooth room modes, and getting things perfect usually requires a good EQ.
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Going from a 8" down to a 3" or 4". Can I setup subwoofer(s) to make up for the mid bass punch?
Only if you make major compromises. Mid bass punch is mainly sourced above the subwoofer passband, which ideally extends no higher than 80Hz. You can run subs higher than 80Hz, but that introduces localization issues. I use fours down to 80Hz, but I have eight of them per side in the mains, six in the center.

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all this help.

I've never had a sealed subwoofer for home theater. Would it be bad or not sound right if I had a sealed and a ported sub?
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

Thanks for all this help.
I've never had a sealed subwoofer for home theater. Would it be bad or not sound right if I had a sealed and a ported sub?
Mixing different subs isn't a good idea.

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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So its better to go with all sealed or all ported? I was looking at (2) different SVS subs.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:00 PM
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Broadly, two identical subs will have the same frequency response, the same phase delays. So when you add them together you get, generally speaking, the two to add up nicely. Differenct subs will have different frequency response and different phase response. In short, if they roll off at different places at the low end, the speaker with greater capability in the lows will always be, relatively, too quiet once the contribution from the other sub goes away. You'd expect a 3 to 6 dB increase from the presence of the 2 subs in the passband they share. Once they stop sharing the sub that continues to have significant output will be 3 or 6 dB below the level of the two subs together in the higher passband. So your in room frequency extension may suffer.

Different subs, and especially ported versus sealed subs,may have very different phase relationships. Leaving aside other contributing factors a ported sub is 180 degrees out of phase with its higher frequencies at the tuning frequency. In a perfect world (identical locationh and identical behavior, output that is 180 degrees out of phase with another sub wiould yield silence. Essentially it's 1 + -1=0. It's never that bad in real rooms with real subs that cannot physiclly occupy the exact same space, but can be significant nonetherless. Depending a bit on the room placement and a lot on the room, you may have two mixed subs that subtract from each other over significant portions of thei passbands, instead of adding.

I think these are the kinds of things Bill F was getting at.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^ Thank you for clearing that up.

There is so many choices on subwoofers. I really appreciate all this help. I've always been into car audio and now trying to build a decent home theater system is a bit overwhelming.

So far through my home theater setups I've had tower speakers. Since now I am going to be going with a L/C/R speaker or bookshelf (or something similar) will having a better quality subs make up for the smaller speakers?

Only have had ported subwoofers and have been happy with their performance. Any reason why I should buy sealed subs instead?

*Only will be for movies/tv, no music will be played.
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