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post #1 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey gang.  I have been mentioning this and discussing it a bit with people in various threads, so I figured I would keep the other threads clear and start a fresh discussion here.  The other day, while testing the capabilities of my new sub, I was playing some individual frequencies from 1-30 Hz to see how low my sub would play and what kind of effect I would notice.  The result...my sub started playing frequencies under 10 Hz, but at first I did not hear or feel anything.  Then, like a light switch, my room started shaking and rumbling at exactly 16 Hz.  Since then, I have been considering this and discussing the effects of low frequency with people.  Most seem to indicate that there is a nice effect below 16 Hz but only with a high enough SPL.  Others seem to assume they are getting lots of effect from below 16 Hz but have not tested in a way to be sure; they are assuming.

 

What made me really want to make this thread was this post I just read on the DIY forum:

 

"When we ran rew in your room the measurement for 15hz was over 120dbs. It was an impressive number but I didn't feel a thing."

 

Wow...120+ dB and no effect.  It would take an absolute sh!t pile of money to break 120 dB at 15 Hz with most ID subs.

 

Discuss.  Are we wasting money chasing output below 16 Hz?  Is there a reason most of the big ID companies tune their subs to have good output down to 16-17 Hz but in most cases no lower?


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post #2 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 01:07 PM
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It sounds like you found the resonant frequency of something in your room when you played back 16 Hz. It doesn't take much output for resonant frequencies to make themselves known. Whether its worth it to chase after 16 Hz playback, well that would be a personal choice, so there is won't be any absolute answer to that, of course. You can read conflicting reports of people who perceive deep frequency bass against those who sense nothing at those frequencies. According to wikipedia, frequencies as low as 12 Hz can be discerned in the right conditions.
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post #3 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post

Is there a reason most of the big ID companies tune their subs to have good output down to 16-17 Hz but in most cases no lower?

One more thing, one of the reasons why sub companies don't normally tune their subs lower than 16 Hz is because the port has to be huge if you don't want a lot of port chuffing at such a low tuning point. 16 Hz tuning already necessitates a larger cabinet than most people are willing to tolerate.
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post #4 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

It sounds like you found the resonant frequency of something in your room when you played back 16 Hz. It doesn't take much output for resonant frequencies to make themselves known. Whether its worth it to chase after 16 Hz playback, well that would be a personal choice, so there is won't be any absolute answer to that, of course. You can read conflicting reports of people who perceive deep frequency bass against those who sense nothing at those frequencies. According to wikipedia, frequencies as low as 12 Hz can be discerned in the right conditions.


I imagine some can detect or even hear these lower frequencies, just as some can see better than others or hear higher frequencies.  My question is more along the lines of:  if 16-30 Hz gives you 99% of the effect that you get from LFE, should the average home theater enthusiast concern themselves with specifically chasing sub 16 Hz output at great expense.


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post #5 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post

Are we wasting money chasing output below 16 Hz?  Is there a reason most of the big ID companies tune their subs to have good output down to 16-17 Hz but in most cases no lower?
You are if you're trying to hear it, because you can't hear that low, for a number of reasons. If you want to feel vibrations that's something else entirely. FWIW commercial theaters don't bother trying to reach below 25Hz, as the required speakerage and amplification to do so in a large space is too expensive.
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According to wikipedia, frequencies as low as 12 Hz can be discerned in the right conditions.
What's actually being heard is harmonics. Even elephants, who communicate via very low frequencies, don't hear anything that low. They sense very low frequencies via their feet, which 'hear' those very low frequencies via ground conduction.

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post #6 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 01:58 PM
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I believe Carp or Archaea here did some extend test with low pass filter engaged centered at the low frequency and the conclusion was they prefer bass >16hz. Carp's system with 8 seal 18" SI's has tremendous output down to single digit by the way. He mentioned in one of the thread that below 16hz, his house and everything were shaking violently but didn't feel it much at his MLP. Hopefully he can chime in when seeing this thread. OTOH, other folks seem to enjoy <16hz with their capable system. I listened to the famous BHD Irene scene (down low to 7Hz IIRC) with THREE Triaxes and didn't feel much where I sat at the MLP (Not worth the bass demo scene even with three very capable Triaxes).
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post #7 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvuong View Post

I believe Carp or Archaea here did some extend test with hi pass filter engaged centered at the low frequency and the conclusion was they prefer bass >16hz. Carp's system with 8 seal 18" SI's has tremendous output down to single digit by the way. He mentioned in one of the thread that below 16hz, his house and everything were shaking violently but didn't feel it much at his MLP. Hopefully he can chime in when seeing this thread. OTOH, other folks seem to enjoy <16hz with their capable system. I listened to the famous BHD Irene scene (down low to 7Hz IIRC) with THREE Triaxes and didn't feel much where I sat at the MLP (Not worth the bass demo scene even with three very capable Triaxes).

I am wondering if this is due to people feeling and enjoying the >16 Hz content, and mistakenly thinking they are getting great effect from <16 Hz just because it is in the scene and their system can play it?  Most of what I am seeing suggests this might be the case.

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post #8 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 02:52 PM
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^^ The only way to find out is to have folks with capable system apply a low pass filter at 16hz and play that Irene scene or any scene that has less than 16hz so that only 16 and below are playing.
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post #9 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 03:24 PM
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Certainly worth it from my listening position. And as bill says, it is the vibration that you experience the most. I have played a 120db sine wave @5hz and in my room it feels like you are under water the pressure is that much.

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post #10 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 04:25 PM
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Worth it! Read a little there are plenty of threads about this topic. I depends on many things and room and signal chain are the big two.
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post #11 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 04:45 PM
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To tackle the ultra low frequencies, the signal chain of your equipment comes into play as certain components may roll off in response proving counter productive. Having an enclosed room helps greatly as well as the type of floor, positioning of subs and the eq'd response. Once all the contributing factors are in working order, below 16hz is great depending on the movie. I have 8 sealed 18s and at 10hz my room goes crazy but not much in comparison at the seats. For that reason I purchased Crowson tactile transducers which are good down to 1hz. It takes the room out of the equation and if your signal chain supports, guaranteed to feel everything in any movie track. If I had my choice to double displacement making 16 subs or 8 subs and transducers, I'd take the transducers no question. My theater is in an open living room and on concrete slab so that also plays a factor.
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post #12 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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So regular subs for output down to 16 Hz, and beneath that go with transducers to get effective results <16 Hz.  That seems common as well, people can tell it is affecting their house, even in other areas, but are not getting a lot of effect at the MLP.  Although it seems as though extreme capability may begin to change things, which is not likely to happen with many ID options.


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post #13 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:00 PM
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That sounds like a good recipe to me. The transducers make the experience so much more engaging I'd never be without them. Even guys who have top tier set ups such as Craig John, JapanDave and Notnyt still appreciate what the transducers provide beyond just their subs.
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post #14 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:06 PM
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I haven't experienced transducers, but I don't see the appeal as much. Place your subs near-field if you want your body to be rocked. Transducers will shake your seat, but real sound pressurization will do that and also punch you in the chest. Accept no substitutions!
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post #15 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:08 PM
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The room construction/layout is a big part of what you feel at the listening position. I have the HT in the basement and the tactile is good at the MLP. The room above the HT and adjacent area vibrate like crazy. The trick would be how to focus all that energy at the MLP. Transducers are a smart choice if one wishes to have more seat shake'in experience. A vented sub tune to 17 Hz will have some added extension with room gain and tremendous output in the critical 15 Hz area. A couple of vented subs mixed with some sealed subs may do the trick. I already know people like to use identical subs, lol. Peak volume displacement is a useful tool when selecting which sub to buy. For example, an 18 in sub will almost have twice the displacement of a 15 in. sub.

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post #16 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpmbc View Post

That sounds like a good recipe to me. The transducers make the experience so much more engaging I'd never be without them. Even guys who have top tier set ups such as Craig John, JapanDave and Notnyt still appreciate what the transducers provide beyond just their subs.
Greg, look like I need to be back at your place to test the transducer. It was awesome without it and now it must be awesome...er?
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post #17 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I haven't experienced transducers, but I don't see the appeal as much. Place your subs near-field if you want your body to be rocked. Transducers will shake your seat, but real sound pressurization will do that and also punch you in the chest. Accept no substitutions!

Not sure if I agree with you Shady from what I am starting to learn about transducers.  Read up on them a bit and see for yourself what you think.  To me, it is simply a smarter and much more effective way to feel the effects of ultra low frequencies down into the single digits without spending many many multi thousands of dollars to do it.  Or if it is a normal living room and not a dedicated theater where a dozen 18" subs with 40k watts may not be feasible.

 

I agree a near field sub will improve how much you feel it at the frequencies it can play, but zero output at 9Hz does not do anything no matter how close it is :) 


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post #18 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:39 PM
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Greg, look like I need to be back at your place to test the transducer. It was awesome without it and now it must be awesome...er?
Thx bud, the difference is substantial. I'll hopefully be finishing my AE 18" MBMs and coaxial surrounds this weekend. It'll be a new experience for sure when you come. When you came last time, I had the one transducer with an amp that was clipping which severely neutered the response/output. Now I've got 4 with the amp built for them and my furniture modified to bring the best out of them- whole new ball game.
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post #19 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:41 PM
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^^ can't wait to be back there.
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post #20 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is something I am considering doing:

 

Apply a high pass filter in the 16-20 Hz region with a shallow roll off to drop output under 16 Hz, which should provide a lot more headroom above 16 Hz on scenes where my XS30 is playing its guts out on the 10-16 Hz stuff.  Add 2-3 dB of Eq in the 20 Hz area, which should still net a big increase in overall headroom available, and see what happens.  Then replay scenes like the washington monument, pod emergence, WWZ grenade scene,  to see which method gives the most impressive effects.  I don't listen at reference so perhaps this wont be too much eq down low, I listen at -15 to -10(if the wife is not around).


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post #21 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
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Not sure if I agree with you Shady from what I am starting to learn about transducers.  Read up on them a bit and see for yourself what you think.  To me, it is simply a smarter and much more effective way to feel the effects of ultra low frequencies down into the single digits without spending many many multi thousands of dollars to do it.  Or if it is a normal living room and not a dedicated theater where a dozen 18" subs with 40k watts may not be feasible.

I agree a near field sub will improve how much you feel it at the frequencies it can play, but zero output at 9Hz does not do anything no matter how close it is smile.gif  

What the transducer won't give you is the feeling of pressure in your ears, stomach etc.... that high output ULF will.

Stand at the fence as a top fuel rail or IME a triple jet engine semi runs down the strip. Not only LOUD but the pressure is INTENSE. Standing or sitting on a transducer cannot replicate that feeling.

Though I'm sure it adds greatly to the movie experience.

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post #22 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 06:57 PM
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I agree and in a perfect world, I'd have subs, nearfield subs and transducers. I've experienced them all and they all contribute in their own unique way. In reality, get as close as you can within your means and as your room allows.
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post #23 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpmbc View Post

To tackle the ultra low frequencies, the signal chain of your equipment comes into play as certain components may roll off in response proving counter productive. Having an enclosed room helps greatly as well as the type of floor, positioning of subs and the eq'd response. Once all the contributing factors are in working order, below 16hz is great depending on the movie. I have 8 sealed 18s and at 10hz my room goes crazy but not much in comparison at the seats. For that reason I purchased Crowson tactile transducers which are good down to 1hz. It takes the room out of the equation and if your signal chain supports, guaranteed to feel everything in any movie track. If I had my choice to double displacement making 16 subs or 8 subs and transducers, I'd take the transducers no question. My theater is in an open living room and on concrete slab so that also plays a factor.

+1

The Crowsons are awesome. I was recently fortunate enough to demo gpmbc's system and the transducers are AMAZING. We demoed a few scenes back to back with and without the Crowsons on and it was a VERY noticable difference to the point where we definitely missed them when they weren't on.
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post #24 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 07:16 PM
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It seems whenever someone says 16hz is good you draw a conclusion. Most of the people that have a hard time feeling anything is usually on concrete! The low stuff is not your show off type of bass people are wowed by, it is the weight and pressure that comes in real life. I happens all the time and would sound and feel awful if filtered out in life because we are used to it and something would be off. Ever try listening to single tones of 12-20khz? Very faint and not impressive at all but people just don't chop them off that seems to be ok with low frequencies. It is much cheaper to build risers on concrete than buying transducers and it does not take multithousands to get it. Signal chain rolloff and concrete are the biggest reasons people don't feel anything. I have both concrete and wooden risers and I would not high pass my system which I can do on the fly. If I slam my theater door it creates a pressure wave and then a clack sound. I measured it and the pressure wave was at 3-4 hz. Slamming my door and not having that wave would be very odd to me which is the same as filtering out the low end. Sorry but I want the low end because it was supposed to be there. Any sensations I get in my theater is supposed to be there whether loud 30hz stuff or subtle 5 hz stuff, I enjoy all of it and happy to experience it all.
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post #25 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 07:18 PM
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As low as you can... I wouldn't break my bank account to get lower than 15Hz nor would I have a huge box in my living room to get there or give up sq, there's rarely content that low unless you want to watch the same movies over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again but for the other 99.9 percent of movies hitting that low doesn't do anything, just bragging rights that rarely get to be used.
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post #26 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 07:23 PM
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I can say 16hz feels awesome in my room...I played the Pulse server scene at reference and the entire seating area pulsated violently(not a hint of port noise). Actually all the walls and windows from the den to the kitchen were flexing. Nearfield placement can do wonders even with less capable subs.

That being said from my experience bass below 25hz becomes much less audible and more tactile. If more source content went below 15hz(less then 10% of all source digs below 15hz) I would be all over chasing single digit reference levels. Aside from that my room could not handle that kind of low frequency pressure. It takes a well constructed room to handle and effectively reproduce single digit output at reference levels. If the room is not setup correctly for it, all of the ELF will be colored with vibrations, buzzing, and rattles...not to mention possible structural damage.
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post #27 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 09:15 PM
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Hey bear123, I thought I recognized that quote in your first post! smile.gif

After having dual XS30's in my room and now my new setup that inspired your post that started this thread, I have to say for me I'd rather spend my money having crazy output from 15hz and up.
I still need to finish the last two subs but so far with just the two I'm extremely happy with what I have. Using the formula in the ULF thread MKtheater did a calculation for me on what my setup will do, and it would take something like 14 FV15HP's to equal my setup at 20hz.

If I wanted to chase crazy single digit output I would have kept my two XS30's and built two large sealed cabinets and installed two UXL-18's per cabinet. For me personally I feel I was much better off going ported and worrying about 15hz and up, not to mention I'm sure my house is happy that I'm not chasing massive single digit output smile.gif

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post #28 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 09:59 PM
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14 FV15HP's to equal 4 UXL-18's @ 20hz eek.gif
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post #29 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
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14 FV15HP's to equal 4 UXL-18's @ 20hz eek.gif

eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif was the exact same reaction that I had too!
My score is 65 @ 16hz.

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jbrown15 is offline  
post #30 of 175 Old 04-02-2014, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif was the exact same reaction that I had too!
My score is 65 @ 16hz.

Insane! You probably will never come close to pushing those to thier limits. I am guessing your system should be capable of 128db @ 20hz.

Edit

Just was doing some checking...unless my math is off it would be 9 FV15HP's to equal 4 ported UXL-18's...9 or 14 that is crazy. 12600.00 worth of Rythmiks(not including shipping)to equal 3200.00 worth of DIY UXL's. eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif
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