Subwoofer and room size - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-18-2013, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I've always had a question about how people measure room size to determine which sub would be a good fit, especially for those rooms where the actal listening area is pretty small but opens up to other parts for the house. For example, my listening area is about 14'x12', with the TV on the 14' wall. However, opposite of this wall, beyond the 12' listening area, it continues in to a dining area and the kitchen, which is another 15' or so feet beyond. Which dimensions should I use to gauge what sub to get? Ceiling is 8' tall by the way and wood floors throughout. Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-18-2013, 10:58 AM
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Which dimensions should I use to gauge what sub to get?
None of them. There's not going to be a significant difference in the requirements of a sub between rooms of average size. There will be some differences based on the total area in the cabin gain you can expect in the extreme lows, but IMO you shouldn't count on cabin gain in your calculations; if you get some down low that's a plus, but going with a less capable sub on the assumption you'll get cabin gain would be a mistake.
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Ceiling is 8' tall by the way and wood floors throughout.
Carpet the listening room. Hard surfaces and good sound don't mix.

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-18-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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None of them. There's not going to be a significant difference in the requirements of a sub between rooms of average size. There will be some differences based on the total area in the cabin gain you can expect in the extreme lows, but IMO you shouldn't count on cabin gain in your calculations; if you get some down low that's a plus, but going with a less capable sub on the assumption you'll get cabin gain would be a mistake.
So are you saying 14'x12' (my listening area) vs 14'x27' (listening area plus everything behind it) won't make a difference in terms of what sub to choose?
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Carpet the listening room. Hard surfaces and good sound don't mix.
I'm afraid I can't change the wood floors out, but I'll be sure to pick out a good sized rug to put over the floor.

Just to give an overview of what I'm looking for, I want to find a good sub to match my Energy Take Classics for this room. I wouldn't say I'm an audiophile, but I do appreciate and can discern better sound than what cheap HTIB speakers provide. It will be 50% for music and 50% for movies. I used to own a PSW10, and while I thought it was acceptable in a room of similar size, I wish it got lower for music with lower bass tracks and for movies. A few subs I've been eyeing
1) Dayton Sub-1000 or 1200
2) BIC V1020
3) Pioneer SW-8MK2 (not sure how I feel about an 8" driver though, I figure it won't get any lower than the PSW10)
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-18-2013, 02:42 PM
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Carpet the listening room. Hard surfaces and good sound don't mix.

Unless you treat the ceiling. The rule of thumb is hard floor and soft ceiling is better than the opposite.

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-18-2013, 02:59 PM
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Unless you treat the ceiling. The rule of thumb is hard floor and soft ceiling is better than the opposite.
Not being a fan of early reflections from either above or below I have both a carpeted floor and a soft ceiling, and soft walls too.
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So are you saying 14'x12' (my listening area) vs 14'x27' (listening area plus everything behind it) won't make a difference in terms of what sub to choose?
Not really. In order of importance comes low frequency extension and output capability, but the two tend to go hand in hand. I can't think of many subs with an honest 25Hz f3 that can't go quite loud. Besides, you don't want to run one sub anyway, as that leads to room mode issues. I'd pick the best I could afford buying two, and if at some point you decide you're not bothering the neighbors enough with only two, add one or two more. That will both increase the output and smooth room modes even more. As for your choices, I wouldn't consider anything not loaded with at least a twelve. Very high quality eights and tens exist, but not at low price points.

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