Is Subwoofer technology evolving or are we there now? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 12-03-2013, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys

Just sitting here after work thinking about my sub choices,and wondered about current sub tech.

Is it the simple movement of air with a speaker cone and an amp?

Or is there some advanced tech lurking out there that will make all we know (and own now) obsolete?smile.gif

Just wondering.

Shawn
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post #2 of 33 Old 12-03-2013, 05:28 PM
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Is Subwoofer technology evolving ... ?
Yes. smile.gif
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post #3 of 33 Old 12-03-2013, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Where do you see it in 5-10 yrs?


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post #4 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 04:32 AM
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Better drivers, more-efficient amps, better DSP capabilities.
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post #5 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 04:44 AM
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^ that is evolutionary. Does anyone think we will have anything revolutionary?

The basic system hasn't changed, do you think it will?
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post #6 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 05:06 AM
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^ that is evolutionary.
Yup.
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post #7 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 05:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ozzie Isaac View Post

Does anyone think we will have anything revolutionary?

The basic system hasn't changed, do you think it will?

Maybe. Why the wonder? Are you holding off on upgrading your current system because you think there's something revolutionary in the wind?

In my opinion, what we have is pretty much what our children are going have unless someone comes up with something like a ribbon subwoofer or a horn subwoofer.

The big deep sound waves need big deep hollows (boxes) and amplifiers to produce the big deep sound we all are wanting so in my opinion, it's going take big boxes, drivers and amplifiers to give our children's, children's, children, the big deep subwoofer sound their relatives wanted.

(maybe someone will figure out how to make smaller drivers produce bigger sound but I don't expect this in our lifetime)

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post #8 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Better drivers, more-efficient amps, better DSP capabilities.
None of the above. What might be seen is lower prices on amps and DSPs. Better drivers, not really. Everything we know about drivers we've known for going on 20 years now. The major change in that time frame has been the gradual increase in excursion capability, but that has pretty much gone as far as it can go. There comes a point where more excursion results in too much distortion, and we've reached that point already.
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post #9 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

None of the above. What might be seen is lower prices on amps and DSPs. Better drivers, not really. Everything we know about drivers we've known for going on 20 years now. The major change in that time frame has been the gradual increase in excursion capability, but that has pretty much gone as far as it can go. There comes a point where more excursion results in too much distortion, and we've reached that point already.

Now that you rained on our parade biggrin.gif Where do you see the tech evolving in the future? I find it hard to believe manufacturers will sit on their laurels. What changes do you see happening in the industry?
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post #10 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 10:30 AM
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None of the above.
Huh. I didn't realize I had answered the question "Where do you [eljay] see it in 5-10 yrs?" incorrectly.
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post #11 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozzie Isaac View Post

Now that you rained on our parade biggrin.gif Where do you see the tech evolving in the future? I find it hard to believe manufacturers will sit on their laurels. What changes do you see happening in the industry?
Whatever will happen will mainly be in the electronics, not the speakers. Speaker technology is very much settled in. That's not to say there isn't a lot that could be done to improve the products out there, but it would be with existing technology, not new technology. But that applies mostly to mains, not subs. Sub technology has definitely peaked.

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post #12 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 10:43 AM
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Hi guys

Just sitting here after work thinking about my sub choices,and wondered about current sub tech.

Is it the simple movement of air with a speaker cone and an amp?

Or is there some advanced tech lurking out there that will make all we know (and own now) obsolete?smile.gif

Just wondering.

Shawn

A true powered subwoofer will be revolutionary. That I don't see happening ever.

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post #13 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Huh. I didn't realize I had answered the question "Where do you [eljay] see it in 5-10 yrs?" incorrectly.

Didn't realize you didn't even know where you saw subs in the future did you?
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post #14 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 12:24 PM
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Nope. It sure is perplexing... wink.gif
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post #15 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 12:56 PM
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This is new tech. Think outside the box

http://www.rotarywoofer.com/

Statements like, "Such and such technology has peaked" are heard everyday in every industry around the world. If everyone believed them nothing revolutionary would ever happen

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post #16 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 01:12 PM
 
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Just saying:

Pricing:

TRW-17 transducer $12,900.00

Motor Controller $450.00

BT-42 Amplifier and crossover $1050.00

Design and installation, typical $8,000-$12,000*

Total $21,950-$25,950

Rotary Subwoofer:

"In the early 1970s, researchers noted that while humans could detect frequencies below 20 Hz, the ear was much less sensitive to these frequencies. As a result, increased sound pressure levels are required to perceive these sounds. These frequencies are often not audible but still subliminally detected by humans (see: Infrasound). Typical subwoofers using moving cones do not transmit energy very well to the air below 20 Hz, and thus their sound pressure level (SPL) falls off significantly below this frequency.

To help people to perceive the very low frequency content available in recorded material, Bruce Thigpen of Eminent Technology experimented with new methods of producing the required SPL. The rotary woofer displaces far more air than is possible using moving cones, which makes very-low frequency reproduction possible."

"Eminent Technology:

"In 1985 Eminent Technology began developing planar magnetic loudspeakers and in 1987 introduced the world's first full range push-pull planar magnetic loudspeaker, the LFT-3. Another of the company's products is the so-called Thigpen Rotary Woofer."

The point, the rotary subwoofer is developed technology.

2008: Niagra's Fury uses six rotary subwoofers.

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post #17 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 01:12 PM
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This is new tech. Think outside the box
http://www.rotarywoofer.com/
New? Nope. Not even close. Not commonly seen, yes.

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post #18 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 01:26 PM
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New? Nope. Not even close.

Reference? Please show me how this is not even close to new.

Niagra's fury is 2008. I'd call that new.

Neither of the Wikipedia quotes above mention when the rotary woofer was developed. Earliest references I see on the net are 2005.

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post #19 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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Ahhh, come-on. This day and age, six months is considered obsolete technology. The 2005 reference is eight years old and rotary subwoofers use electric fans. We all know that electric fans do not qualify as up and coming, let alone revolutionary. tongue.gif

The rotary subwoofer incorporates, helicopter swashplate technology.

"As an analogy, the hub of the rotary woofer's fan is somewhat like a helicopter's swashplate which allows a stationary source of reciprocating motion—the voice coil of the subwoofer—to change the angle of the spinning set of blades."

Images of rotary subwoofers

For Home Theater purposes, the rotary subwoofer is limited.

"A rotary woofer is designed to produce only frequencies lower than 20 Hz;..."

CES, 2006: It will even wave hi to you. tongue.gif

A 2007, diyAudio discussion.

(all credit given to Google as I don't know poop about nothing)

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post #20 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SXRDork View Post

Reference? Please show me how this is not even close to new.

Niagra's fury is 2008. I'd call that new.

Neither of the Wikipedia quotes above mention when the rotary woofer was developed. Earliest references I see on the net are 2005.
The technology dates to the 1990s, if not earlier. No one did much more than to tinker with it before Bruce Thigpen. I'd quote the JAES issue where I first saw references to it, but my memory isn't that good. Or was it Speaker Builder? Maybe Elektor? confused.gif

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post #21 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 03:32 PM
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Well those are a couple of "special" responses...rolleyes.gif

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post #22 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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Well those are a couple of "special" responses...rolleyes.gif

I hope you're not trying to treat my thoughtful efforts with the disrespect of snarkyness. If you are, next time do your own research to bolster, verify or disprove your claims.

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post #23 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 04:18 PM
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I hope you're not trying to treat my thoughtful efforts with the disrespect of snarkyness. If you are, next time do your own research to bolster your claims.

If you were truly trying to be helpful, I appreciate it. However, my research was done before I first posted in this thread. From your postings, I cannot discern whether you were supporting my claim or Bill's.

From all indications I can find, the rotary woofer is new technology with the first working demos appearing around 2005. There have been several other designs that utilize something other than a traditional voice coil and cone to displace air (even some using fans) but this technology is unique and new. One could claim that technology dating back to 2005 is not new but I would argue the contrary, considering the traditional voice coil design is somewhere around 150 years old.

As to Bill's response, "The technology dates to the 1990s...but my memory is not that good," just doesn't cut it. I know there were the Danley designs back then but those are not the same thing at all.

I've seen your numerous posts over on the ULF score thread, so surely you can understand the desire to reproduce sub 20Hz content. It is also clear that achieving ULF playback in a home (or any) environment is a difficult task and individuals will go to extreme lengths in their attempt to reproduce the lowest frequencies. It is my contention that it would be foolish to state that the technology has peaked and that there will be no further advances when it is clear that the current technology is not delivering what a growing number of individuals are after. Hence the Danley and Thigpen designs. I'm sure they will not be the last either...

-V

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post #24 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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If you were truly trying to be helpful, I appreciate it. However, my research was done before I first posted in this thread. From your postings, I cannot discern whether you were supporting my claim or Bill's.

If it helps, I try to only do sincere or helpful and I try to denote humor with the "tongue.gif" icon. As to support for one or the other, the right answer would be neither. I was pointing out the history and facts that I easily found surrounding the rotary subwoofer. The intent is to without bias, let the reader make their own decision. Being that your research was done before you first posted in this thread, unless game playing, then you have a fiduciary obligation to the forum at large to post links that are supportive information regarding the rotary subwoofer being new, revolutionary technology.

It seems there's a difference in opinion regarding what constitutes new technology vs old technology, not to mention affordability as in my opinion, 2005, technologically speaking, was a very long time ago. In 2005, I was years away from retiring and now I'm retired. In eight years, a young person can go from entry high school freshman to finishing their undergraduate work, with a lot of summer/spring breaks in the middle.

Just saying, below reference levels @ <12.5Hz, the price of admission goes up exponentially and then there's issues surrounding profitability in retail sales. All of which impacts speed of development.

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post #25 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 07:54 PM
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As to Bill's response, "The technology dates to the 1990s...but my memory is not that good," just doesn't cut it. I know there were the Danley designs back then but those are not the same thing at all.
Of course not, those would have been the servo-drives he was doing long before he moved on to Danley Sound Labs. I'm sorry I don't have specific references at my fingertips, but if you don't want to take my word for it that I first saw the description of rotary woofers 15 to 20 years ago I won't lose any sleep over it. As for traditional voice coil technology, that's not 150 years old. Edison didn't invent the phonograph until 1877, and the triode vacuum tube didn't come along until 1906. Modern moving coil loudspeakers were patented in 1924. That's all of the top of my head, and it's for free. if you want me to dig into my archives it will cost you.

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post #26 of 33 Old 12-04-2013, 10:41 PM
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Of course not, those would have been the servo-drives he was doing long before he moved on to Danley Sound Labs. I'm sorry I don't have specific references at my fingertips, but if you don't want to take my word for it that I first saw the description of rotary woofers 15 to 20 years ago I won't lose any sleep over it. As for traditional voice coil technology, that's not 150 years old. Edison didn't invent the phonograph until 1877, and the triode vacuum tube didn't come along until 1906. Modern moving coil loudspeakers were patented in 1924. That's all of the top of my head, and it's for free. if you want me to dig into my archives it will cost you.

You are hilarious. What a wealth of information. I can get all you know off the top, bottom, and side of your head for free at my local library. (Your archives rolleyes.gif)

By the way, Leonardo Da Vinci had a description of the helicopter over 400 years ago. When the first one flew I don't believe society dismissed it as old technology.
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post #27 of 33 Old 12-05-2013, 05:59 AM
 
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By the way, Leonardo Da Vinci had a description of the helicopter over 400 years ago. When the first one flew I don't believe society dismissed it as old technology.

You're right but today, four hundred year old technology is hardly going be considered new or avant-garde technology. When technology goes mainstream, it's no longer new technology and when old technology is used in a new way, it too fails the new technology designation. The best one can do is say it's old technology being used in an extended application. Rotor blades are rotary blades whether used on a helicopter, house fan or a rotary subwoofer. In this day of innovative technology, at a morning office tailboard meeting, few if any would embarrass themselves and call any technology over eight years old as being new or revolutionary. Underutilized? Yes. New or revolutionary? Not a chance.

Wishing you well with this issue.
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post #28 of 33 Old 12-05-2013, 06:04 AM
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SXRDork: If you haven't already I suggest you click on Bill's name to read his profile and what his background with Audio and Acoustics is. Does Bill know absolutely everything, no nobody does, BUT I can tell you he knows far more than a lot of us on here know. Which is why Bill is respected because for audio he has a vast understanding and info and facts.

Shawn
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post #29 of 33 Old 12-05-2013, 07:18 PM
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The biggest revolution in subwoofers would be simple.

Low distortion and high output.

But that comes at a price.

And few are willing to pay for it.
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post #30 of 33 Old 12-05-2013, 07:46 PM
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The biggest revolution in subwoofers would be simple.

Low distortion and high output.

But that comes at a price.

And few are willing to pay for it.
The price is small, the cabinet isn't. It's called a horn, and it's not a new or revolutionary concept. But you knew that already, Mark, are you funin' with us? biggrin.gif
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