Side vs front Firing Subwoofers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-01-2013, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Other than the obvious what is the difference between Front Firing subwoofers and side firing Subwoofers?

Is there any advantage of using one over the other in certain room conditions?
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-01-2013, 07:11 PM
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Sonically, nothing. If your room was carpeted in the 60's with deep shag, you may have clearance issues with the down firing sub. If the floor is not solid, the floor vibrations can be different due to the direction of the driver motion. If the floor is solid and not carpeted, you could get sub crawl with the side firing sub. All these potential issues are easily and inexpensively remedied.

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post #3 of 11 Old 11-02-2013, 08:28 PM
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If you have frequency response measuring tools the front firing driver may give you more opportunities to optimize your placement in your room. Sometimes directional changes in the facing of a driver can be lead to a flatter frequency response without actually moving the driver position. So effectively with front facing - you'd have four opportunities to potentially make a better frequency response in the exact same location. The differences may be minor - but they are there, and I've measured them with the omnimic in many rooms on many subs. With downward firing you'd be limited to the placement alone for frequency response optimization. It's not that big of a deal either way. I've owned both kinds - I wouldn't let it swing a decision alone, or be too much of a secondary concern.

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post

Other than the obvious what is the difference between Front Firing subwoofers and side firing Subwoofers?
The radiation pattern of subs is omni-directional, so it won't affect audibility in the sub passband. The main difference would be in the audibility of above bandwidth harmonics, which is highest with forward firing. Technically that makes forward firing the least desirable configuration, but it's the most popular, as the average user has no idea that sub bass radiation is omni-directional.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post

Other than the obvious what is the difference between Front Firing subwoofers and side firing Subwoofers?

Is there any advantage of using one over the other in certain room conditions?

You seem to have forgotten the third option which is down firing subs.

I favor subs that don't allow direct radiation from the LF driver cone at the listener because if there is distortion, that is a great route straight to the listern's ears. Of course good subs don't do that!

That means I favor down the most, and towards the back next.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 03:36 PM
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I have read that driver cone 'sag' can be an issue over time with down/up facing drivers! My SVS seems alright, though, and I think it's almost due its 10 year birthday biggrin.gif lol
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MemX View Post

I have read that driver cone 'sag' can be an issue over time with down/up facing drivers! My SVS seems alright, though, and I think it's almost due its 10 year birthday biggrin.gif lol

Sag is part of the parameters factored in a driver option, you can rest assured SVS took sag into account when choosing the driver. H B smile.gif

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post

Other than the obvious what is the difference between Front Firing subwoofers and side firing Subwoofers?

Is there any advantage of using one over the other in certain room conditions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ransac View Post

Sonically, nothing. If your room was carpeted in the 60's with deep shag, you may have clearance issues with the down firing sub. If the floor is not solid, the floor vibrations can be different due to the direction of the driver motion. If the floor is solid and not carpeted, you could get sub crawl with the side firing sub. All these potential issues are easily and inexpensively remedied.
Funny how the brain works, or doesn't work. I assumed your question was front vs down and not front vs side. Remember, the front is a side, but so is the bottom. The only products I can think of with side mounted drivers are ones with dual opposing drivers and had to use the left and right sides to allow the amp to stay in the back. Or, a ported design that needed the space to install a proper sized port or slot without having to make too many bends. To me, the only reason to consider one over the other is which allows for best driver orientation and still have to amp hidden in the back. Since you don't know if the best position will have the driver pointing to a near by wall or into the room, I wouldn't worry about the differences and instead concentrate on the better sub with overall performance as the main criteria.

Randy
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-04-2013, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I favor subs that don't allow direct radiation from the LF driver cone at the listener because if there is distortion,..Of course good subs don't do that!
All subs distort the original signal via the addition of harmonics not present in the original signal, though some are worse than others. Above bandwidth content is also present because few low pass filters are brickwall. Having the driver cone facing away from the listening area adds a measure of acoustic low pass filtering, so whatever the source of above bandwidth content so doing reduces its audibility. Downfiring into a carpet works best in that respect, as the carpet damps higher frequency reflections, while not affecting the sub bass frequencies.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-04-2013, 05:11 AM
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I don't hear much, if any, difference between down/side/front, but all things being equal, I try to avoid getting down firing subs since you have to be careful not to poke your fingers through the driver when picking them up.
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-04-2013, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
I try to avoid getting down firing subs since you have to be careful not to poke your fingers through the driver when picking them up.

I’m not being that serious in my question but are you being serious? smile.gif

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