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Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell
02:17 PM Liked: 606
post #31 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 2,134
Joined: Nov 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
Agreed, the FV15HP is superb for music, I'm amazed how good it sounds taking over at 60 hz for solo double bass, for example.

Still curious about the non-linearity issue for ported subs, though.
I'm not sure about the non-linearity issue you are speaking of. The data-bass tests were run using the same testing parameters, but even then there are microphone tolerances, distance tolerances, weather condition tolerances (heat, humidity, cold, wind) that can cause slight variances, and that doesn't include when the microphone was last calibrated (calibration is another tolerance) or perhaps another microphone was used. When one talks about 1 or 2 dB output difference, to me they may be virtually identical in performance because of all the tolerance build up involved. Now, when one is talking 5 or 6 dB, that is significant. But once that sub is place into a home, all that goes out the window. The tests are there for basic comparison purposes, and won't necessarily predict what the outcome will be inside a home environment. And even if a subwoofer's performance was perfectly flat through the frequency range during testing, I can pretty much guarantee you it won't be once it is inside your home.

I think we get so caught up with numbers, charts and graphs, and getting that last ounce of performance that we forget to kick back and enjoy ourselves.
niccolo's Avatar niccolo
02:22 PM Liked: 38
post #32 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 455
Joined: Aug 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I'm not sure about the non-linearity issue you are speaking of. The data-bass tests were run using the same testing parameters, but even then there are microphone tolerances, distance tolerances, weather condition tolerances (heat, humidity, cold, wind) that can cause slight variances, and that doesn't include when the microphone was last calibrated (calibration is another tolerance) or perhaps another microphone was used. When one talks about 1 or 2 dB output difference, to me they may be virtually identical in performance because of all the tolerance build up involved. Now, when one is talking 5 or 6 dB, that is significant. But once that sub is place into a home, all that goes out the window. The tests are there for basic comparison purposes, and won't necessarily predict what the outcome will be inside a home environment. And even if a subwoofer's performance was perfectly flat through the frequency range during testing, I can pretty much guarantee you it won't be once it is inside your home.

I think we get so caught up with numbers, charts and graphs, and getting that last ounce of performance that we forget to kick back and enjoy ourselves.
What I meant is that around the port tune there's an output hump, right? In other words, if a sweep was played, the ported sub would be louder for a part of the spectrum. Sure, the room matters, but one would have to get pretty lucky for the room to smooth the sub's non-linearity, no?
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell
02:38 PM Liked: 606
post #33 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 2,134
Joined: Nov 2009
I think we may be talking about two different animals. One being output, the other being frequency response. If anything, a slight hump in loudness at the lowest frequencies is a good thing. Our hearing is not nearly as efficient at lowest frequencies as they are at midrange and upper frequencies. We quickly lose detail at lower frequencies. I guess our ancient ancestors could feel an elephant coming and was more in tune to the rustling of leaves and grass for other predators .
niccolo's Avatar niccolo
02:43 PM Liked: 38
post #34 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 455
Joined: Aug 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I think we may be talking about two different animals. One being output, the other being frequency response. If anything, a slight hump in loudness at the lowest frequencies is a good thing. Our hearing is not nearly as efficient at lowest frequencies as they are at midrange and upper frequencies. We quickly lose detail at lower frequencies. I guess our ancient ancestors could feel an elephant coming and was more in tune to the rustling of leaves and grass for other predators .
My understanding is that in an anechoic chamber, a paradigmatic sealed sub would have flat output down to some frequency, at which point that output would gradually decrease. In contrast, the ported sub would be flat for a while, have an output hump around its port tune, and then decrease. Maybe I'm mistaken about that?
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell
02:50 PM Liked: 606
post #35 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 2,134
Joined: Nov 2009
I believe that is correct. A ported sub will have a steep rolloff below the tuning port, while a sealed sub will have a more gradual rolloff, but with less output. One of the reasons ported subs are so popular is their ability to play loud at the lower frequencies, where a sealed sub would require better drivers, more powerful amplifiers and cost twice as much to get that output that is critical to our enjoyment.

BTW, I apologize to the O.P. for taking your thread off target.
smile's Avatar smile
03:04 PM Liked: 11
post #36 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 101
Joined: Jan 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I believe that is correct. A ported sub will have a steep rolloff below the tuning port, while a sealed sub will have a more gradual rolloff, but with less output. One of the reasons ported subs are so popular is their ability to play loud at the lower frequencies, where a sealed sub would require better drivers, more powerful amplifiers and cost twice as much to get that output that is critical to our enjoyment.

BTW, I apologize to the O.P. for taking your thread off target.
Your digression has been helpful to me. Allow me to further digress:
5500 cf rectangular room. Music and movies. Bias to tight and controlled over the last lowest hz. Moderate listening levels. Considering a SVS SB13 Ultra for its smaller size as well as reputation. Might this be adequate/pleasing?
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell
03:15 PM Liked: 606
post #37 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 2,134
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^^ I PM'd you.
WarpSpeed2013's Avatar WarpSpeed2013
06:15 PM Liked: 10
post #38 of 43
08-14-2014 | Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I believe that is correct. A ported sub will have a steep rolloff below the tuning port, while a sealed sub will have a more gradual rolloff, but with less output. One of the reasons ported subs are so popular is their ability to play loud at the lower frequencies, where a sealed sub would require better drivers, more powerful amplifiers and cost twice as much to get that output that is critical to our enjoyment.

BTW, I apologize to the O.P. for taking your thread off target.
Not a problem. I'm learning a lot about subwoofers from this conversation!

It is making me consider a sealed sub more and more, just because I care more about tight, controlled bass than being loud at lower frequencies. But as you said before, both ported and sealed can be good, just depends on the sub and personal preferences.
AudioFyle's Avatar AudioFyle
10:42 PM Liked: 13
post #39 of 43
09-06-2014 | Posts: 54
Joined: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarpSpeed2013 View Post
Not a problem. I'm learning a lot about subwoofers from this conversation! It is making me consider a sealed sub more and more, just because I care more about tight, controlled bass than being loud at lower frequencies. But as you said before, both ported and sealed can be good, just depends on the sub and personal preferences.
Sealed sub + bang for the buck...these are your current best choices.

http://www.powersoundaudio.com/colle...roducts/xs15se

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/...ered-subwoofer

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb-2000

Any one of them would leave you with a big ole stupid grin on your face, depending on your music/home theater priorities. For mid bass "slam" - so vital to good music reproduction - any one of the three will deliver in spades. For low end grunt - more crucial to movie effects reproduction - I would personally give the edge to the XS-15se. Although in all fairness, I have not heard the RA sub. But the reviews indicate that it is not the ultimate in sub 20hz performance, hence my nod to the PSA sub in that regard. As I said, if music is your priority, any one of those three subs once properly dialed in will leave you deliriously happy.
WarpSpeed2013's Avatar WarpSpeed2013
05:32 PM Liked: 10
post #40 of 43
10-23-2014 | Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioFyle View Post
Sealed sub + bang for the buck...these are your current best choices.

http://www.powersoundaudio.com/colle...roducts/xs15se

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/...ered-subwoofer

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb-2000

Any one of them would leave you with a big ole stupid grin on your face, depending on your music/home theater priorities. For mid bass "slam" - so vital to good music reproduction - any one of the three will deliver in spades. For low end grunt - more crucial to movie effects reproduction - I would personally give the edge to the XS-15se. Although in all fairness, I have not heard the RA sub. But the reviews indicate that it is not the ultimate in sub 20hz performance, hence my nod to the PSA sub in that regard. As I said, if music is your priority, any one of those three subs once properly dialed in will leave you deliriously happy.
I was taking a bit of a break from researching subwoofers, but I've been thinking about it again lately and wanted to jump back into the thread. When I started this thread I was going for a maximum price of $600. After some discussion here, I decided to wait and save up a bit more and go for something around $800 or less.

I'll admit the XS-15se has gotten my attention. It sounds like it will be good for music while still having the low-end ability for movies and games. I haven't heard many people who own the XS-15se, most seem to own the XV-15se. I was originally keeping music as the top priority, although I'm realizing that as I play games and watch movies, I'm really missing having a subwoofer. That being said, just as before, clean and accurate bass is my top priority. If it sounds muddy with music or even home theater effects, I'll find myself turning it off.

I think my final list is the XS-15se, SB2000/PB2000, Rythmik LV12R and the HSU VTF-3 Mk4. I'm a little concerned that the LV12R might be a little underpowered for the 3,600 cubic foot room (3 rooms that open into each other). That being said, I live in an apartment so I can't be blasting any of these to wall shaking power anyway. I'm just looking something to quietly fill out the low end of my sound system.
WarpSpeed2013's Avatar WarpSpeed2013
05:41 PM Liked: 10
post #41 of 43
10-23-2014 | Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vodhanel View Post
I think we have 1 XV15se b-stock left at $799. Same 5 year warranty, 30 day trial, free shipping both ways, etc.

Reaction Audio is another great option too.

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/...ered-subwoofer

That is a lot of subwoofer for $799..

And this seems very hard to beat for $499

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/...ered-subwoofer

Start with one at $499 and I bet Jeremy would discount a little on a second one down the road if you felt the need. Dual subs often = smoothing, more accurate bass at the seating position(s) too.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Thanks for the advice! I was looking around the ReactionAudio site, it seems the models have changed, but they still look good.

I've also heard great things about both the PSA XV-15se and the PSA XS-15se, but I haven't found much that describes how the two differ in sound. If music is a top priority would you recommend the XS-15se over the XV-15se?
JimWilson's Avatar JimWilson
09:18 PM Liked: 461
post #42 of 43
10-23-2014 | Posts: 4,854
Joined: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarpSpeed2013 View Post
I'll admit the XS-15se has gotten my attention. It sounds like it will be good for music while still having the low-end ability for movies and games. I haven't heard many people who own the XS-15se, most seem to own the XV-15se.

I've heard the XS-15se. Check out this link for my take.
bltoe's Avatar bltoe
06:24 PM Liked: 11
post #43 of 43
10-24-2014 | Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2003
Useful advice in this thread, thanks everyone!

Gear in this thread - SA-WM250 by PriceGrabber.com
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