OFFICIAL Hsu MBM-12 thread - AVS Forum
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok guys. The other thread got shut down, rightly so, so here's a new one. No talk about patents, politics, or opinions on the business practice of others, no b.s. Let's get to the meat and potatoes of the MBM-12.

Are you thinking about buying one? Why?
If you own one already:
Why did you buy it?
Where did you place it?
What equipment are you using it with?
How did it integrate?
Settings?
How did everything sound before?
And now?
General opinons?

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Old 02-03-2007, 11:09 PM
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I currently have a Velodyne 5000R but plan to replace it soon with an HSU HO and MBM combination. Based on everything that I have read I believe I won't be disappointed. I am also interested in hearing others impression of the MBM, especially how easy/difficult it was to integrate it with their sub.
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:31 PM
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I am definitely going to get one! I'm sorry that I didn't act sooner though, because they are now 100 bucks more. I am a music lover and I hope that the MBM gives me the punch that I am lacking.
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:01 PM
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I just ordered a MBM-12 last week. It should be here Wednesday. I have a older Velodyne F1800XR (250 watts 18") subwoofer that is currently front center. I will be moving it into the corner and placing the MBM-12 behind the couch.

I am very happy with the low bass output of the Velodyne, but I am looking for improved impact and some added dynamics. Hopefully the MBM-12 will do the trick.
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm seriously considering the MBM-12 to go with my VTF-3 MK3. My only problem is that they will both be along the front wall, the same distance from the listerning/viewing area at about 6-7 feet. I am just wondering if it will still be as effective??

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Old 02-05-2007, 10:21 AM
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I currently have a VTF-2 Mk-1. My new MBM-12 and a VTF-2 Mk-3 will arrive on Wednesday. If you already own a HSU sub, make sure you ask for the discount on the MBM-12. I am going to compare just the VTF-2 MK-3 and the VTF-2/MBM-12 combo. My satellites (Atalantic Technology System 170) only go down to about 100 Hz so I am looking for improvement in the 50-120 Hz range with the MBM-12.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:05 PM
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Would someone else with the MBM and a Velodyne SMS-1 compare results when using a wide band pink noise vs. the SMS's generated frequency sweep.

When I get a flat frequency response with the frequency sweep, then switch to wide band pink noise, the range of the MBM elevates.

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Old 02-05-2007, 09:00 PM
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I feel really bad for even posting as it isn't really going to do any good. But I have the MBM-12, with a SMS-1 and a Velodyne 5000R. (Atlantic Tech 4200e's still in the box.)I have them all for a new room I'm building, but I am a ways away from really setting it up. I'm using them all with really good results with the MBM-12 being the last piece and really enjoying the impact it gave. If by the time I get them working and there is still interest I will give more detailed account. But I'm looking at somewhere close to two months.

Sorry
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:31 AM
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Well the MBM-12 arrived right on time and I set it up immediately when I was home. I was very excited to get to try it out. Here are my initial impressions.

The box seems nice and solid. Looking through the huge 4" port I can see a cross brace and a good bit of stuffing. You can feel the top of the woofer just below the port so the woofer is fairly large extending up about halfway inside the box. The woofer seems very stiff and it has a accordion style surround (like you see on pro audio drivers).

I had pre-moved my Velodyne F1800XR into the corner in the front left of the room. It was originally in the front center. I ended up having to adjust the gain down some and I was happy to see that I was getting some additional corner boost from the new location.

My house is a open floor plan design with the living room / dinning room / kitchen all basically in one big room. The HT area occupies about 1/2 of the living room / dining room space. My couch sits in the middle of the room with nothing behind it so I immediately put the MBM-12 behind the couch. I did a quick calibration with a SPL meter to set the levels. With my Velodyne turned off I level matched the MBM-12 with the mains and then turned the Velodyne back on (~50hz xover on the Velodyne). When both subs were on the overall subwoofer level was about 3db hot so I dialed the master sub-out level down to match the mains. This seemed to get me in the ballpark with the levels.

The MBM-12 is super efficient. Including the min and max level stops there are 7 total hash marks around the volume control. I had it turned up about 3/4 of the way to the "first" hash mark past min. I am running powered monitors which are reasonably sensitive so it isn't like I am matching the MBM-12 up to Magnepans.

Initial listening test. I fired up some bass heavy CDs. OMG the bass punch is there alright, that little box can sure move some air. The bass was very tight and quick. I didn't notice any box noise or strange resonances. I did notice a huge increase in the tactile effect, in fact it was too huge. I initially set the unit up with the port facing the couch and this was just too much. I felt like I was sitting on a buttkicker. I turned the unit sideways with the port firing along the side of the couch and played with the levels slightly. Then I fired up War of the Worlds. Definite improvement in bass slam, the alien lasers were incredible. I know I am getting more total bass energy because I heard new rattles. The "True Sub" was impossible to localize with the 50hz xover. I had to turn it off to notice that it was actually working. Unfortunately I felt like I could localize the MBM-12 behind the couch (80hz xover on the processor). I mainly noticed it during the Tri-Pod steps. Next up was some Dark side of the Moon SACD. Here I felt like I couldn't really localize the bass except for the fact that I could feel the bass impact more on the back and bottom of the couch. I played some Linkin Park DVD-A and Blue Man Group Audio. The MBM-12 was incredible on both of those albums and I had definite improvements in bass even with my system level matched. However I couldn't get it out of my mind that the couch shaking tactile effect was a bit unnatural.

I moved the MBM-12 to the front of the room slightly off center (pulled out from the wall a bit) just to experiment with it. One benefit of the MBM-12 is that it's small size lends itself to being moved around. I adjusted the level and phase (I turned the gain up slightly to the first hash mark, plenty of headroom available).

I feel like the integration is optimum here and I am still getting improved bass response (more new rattles). It is not quite as effective on War of the Worlds as it was behind the couch, but clearly it is better for music listening.

So my evaluation will continue. I must say that I am impressed so far. The MBM-12 is the least expensive component in my system (Each of my Focal powered monitors cost considerably more) and it has made a definite improvement. I have never heard a 12" HT sub that can hit as hard as the MBM-12. I was skeptical at first since I already have a 18" sub and adding a 12" seems backwards, but the MBM-12 really works as advertised. My only minor complaint is that it doesn't have a variable phase control, on a item that is supposed to integrated between two other speakers it seems like that would be useful. I really like that the "True Sub" cannot be localized at all in the corner with the 50hz over.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaFlop View Post

Well the MBM-12 arrived right on time and I set it up immediately when I was home. I was very excited to get to try it out. Here are my initial impressions.

The box seems nice and solid. Looking through the huge 4" port I can see a cross brace and a good bit of stuffing. You can feel the top of the woofer just below the port so the woofer is fairly large extending up about halfway inside the box. The woofer seems very stiff and it has a accordion style surround (like you see on pro audio drivers).

I had pre-moved my Velodyne F1800XR into the corner in the front left of the room. It was originally in the front center. I ended up having to adjust the gain down some and I was happy to see that I was getting some additional corner boost from the new location.

My house is a open floor plan design with the living room / dinning room / kitchen all basically in one big room. The HT area occupies about 1/2 of the living room / dining room space. My couch sits in the middle of the room with nothing behind it so I immediately put the MBM-12 behind the couch. I did a quick calibration with a SPL meter to set the levels. With my Velodyne turned off I level matched the MBM-12 with the mains and then turned the Velodyne back on (~50hz xover on the Velodyne). When both subs were on the overall subwoofer level was about 3db hot so I dialed the master sub-out level down to match the mains. This seemed to get me in the ballpark with the levels.

The MBM-12 is super efficient. Including the min and max level stops there are 7 total hash marks around the volume control. I had it turned up about 3/4 of the way to the "first" hash mark past min. I am running powered monitors which are reasonably sensitive so it isn't like I am matching the MBM-12 up to Magnepans.

Initial listening test. I fired up some bass heavy CDs. OMG the bass punch is there alright, that little box can sure move some air. The bass was very tight and quick. I didn't notice any box noise or strange resonances. I did notice a huge increase in the tactile effect, in fact it was too huge. I initially set the unit up with the port facing the couch and this was just too much. I felt like I was sitting on a buttkicker. I turned the unit sideways with the port firing along the side of the couch and played with the levels slightly. Then I fired up War of the Worlds. Definite improvement in bass slam, the alien lasers were incredible. I know I am getting more total bass energy because I heard new rattles. The "True Sub" was impossible to localize with the 50hz xover. I had to turn it off to notice that it was actually working. Unfortunately I felt like I could localize the MBM-12 behind the couch (80hz xover on the processor). I mainly noticed it during the Tri-Pod steps. Next up was some Dark side of the Moon SACD. Here I felt like I couldn't really localize the bass except for the fact that I could feel the bass impact more on the back and bottom of the couch. I played some Linkin Park DVD-A and Blue Man Group Audio. The MBM-12 was incredible on both of those albums and I had definite improvements in bass even with my system level matched. However I couldn't get it out of my mind that the couch shaking tactile effect was a bit unnatural.

I moved the MBM-12 to the front of the room slightly off center (pulled out from the wall a bit) just to experiment with it. One benefit of the MBM-12 is that it's small size lends itself to being moved around. I adjusted the level and phase (I turned the gain up slightly to the first hash mark, plenty of headroom available).

I feel like the integration is optimum here and I am still getting improved bass response (more new rattles). It is not quite as effective on War of the Worlds as it was behind the couch, but clearly it is better for music listening.

So my evaluation will continue. I must say that I am impressed so far. The MBM-12 is the least expensive component in my system (Each of my Focal powered monitors cost considerably more) and it has made a definite improvement. I have never heard a 12" HT sub that can hit as hard as the MBM-12. I was skeptical at first since I already have a 18" sub and adding a 12" seems backwards, but the MBM-12 really works as advertised. My only minor complaint is that it doesn't have a variable phase control, on a item that is supposed to integrated between two other speakers it seems like that would be useful. I really like that the "True Sub" cannot be localized at all in the corner with the 50hz over.

Excellent review. I love reading how you moved it around, the feeling in different places....a great review to check out if you are considering buying one.

About how loud of a master volume do you listen to movies....like WOTW or anything really. I know DD and DTS volumes can vary.

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Old 02-08-2007, 11:44 AM
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Nice review MegaFlop. Like you said keep experimenting and you should find that "sweet spot".
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:08 PM
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What we really need is someone to plot some graphs of reponse with their speakers turned off and just their main sub playing. Then do the same thing only this time add in the MBM...

Run some frequency sweeps and see how things pan out.....also use movie scenes and music to see how that plays out as well.

That would give us the true picture of what exactly this sub is doing for the system besides the persons listening perspective...

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Old 02-08-2007, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgillyjcu View Post

What we really need is someone to plot some graphs of reponse with their speakers turned off and just their main sub playing. Then do the same thing only this time add in the MBM...

Run some frequency sweeps and see how things pan out.....also use movie scenes and music to see how that plays out as well.

That would give us the true picture of what exactly this sub is doing for the system besides the persons listening perspective...

Dreamcatcher has already done the FR sweeps.

Dreamcatchers SMS-1 graphs

Start at post #71
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:55 PM
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I received my MBM-12 and VTF-2 Mk-3 yesterday, too. I went home at lunch and hooked them up. Both together played lower and with greater impact than my VTF-2 Mk-1 (10" woofer). I didn't have much time to fully test them and play with placement, but I did use Room Equalization Wizard to run some sweeps. My frequency response was much flatter with no nulls in the 50-120 Hz range.

I did listen to parts of a few songs from my XRCD of Eagles - Hell Freezes Over with the MBM-12 hooked up and crossed over at 120 Hz. I have the MBM-12 located on the side wall of my living room about 5 ft from the listing position with the port opposite the wall. It is in the same location that my sub had been located. I put the new sub in the front right corner of the living room.

The MBM-12 blended very well with my satellites and I was not able to localize it. However, because it was in the same place that my VFF 2.1 had been, I thought the mid-bass sounded about the same. I still need to do some more calibration and experiment with the delay and phase. My initial impression of my satellites is that they sounded more articulate and sweet. I only changed my crossover from 100 Hz to 120 Hz, but I also didn't have a null in the 80-120 Hz range.

I am very busy and won't have time to fully calibrate and test for probably a few weeks. I will post more after I have finished (If one is ever "finished.")
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgillyjcu View Post

Excellent review. I love reading how you moved it around, the feeling in different places....a great review to check out if you are considering buying one.

About how loud of a master volume do you listen to movies....like WOTW or anything really. I know DD and DTS volumes can vary.

I was hitting 104-105db at the seating position during the emergence scene on WOTW (laser blasts into buildings) That is about as loud as I ever listen. I had no indications of distress from either of the subs at that level.
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt34 View Post

Dreamcatcher has already done the FR sweeps.

Dreamcatchers SMS-1 graphs

Start at post #71

He had some pretty amazing comments about the HO/MBM combo, considering the wide variety of good subs he's had in his system. Very cool.

(Yes, I'm a HO owner so I noticed)

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Old 02-09-2007, 05:22 AM
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i have the vtf 3.3 playing fantastically with my orbs mod 2's. was thinking of getting the mb12, but i still have the super 8 sub that i got with the orbs. the super 8 is great for midbass, but it doesn't have a low pass crossover, so i can let in up to 200 hz, but won't be able to block anything under 50. is there a way to do this? i'm thinking this will give me a similar mb12 experience, but don't know how to stop those lower freq's fom playing on the super 8. any ideas?
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:58 AM
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external crossover ... I was looking at the behringer crossovers myself.

please try it out and report back

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Old 02-09-2007, 08:37 AM
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can the left and right outputs on the behringer be adjusted independently of one another?
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:53 AM
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can the left and right outputs on the behringer be adjusted independentlyof one another?
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaFlop View Post

Including the min and max level stops there are 7 total hash marks around the volume control. I had it turned up about 3/4 of the way to the "first" hash mark past min. I am running powered monitors which are reasonably sensitive so it isn't like I am matching the MBM-12 up to Magnepans.

Thanks for posting this... I have my MBM-12's gain control set at basically the same position. I've been meaning to contact Hsu support to see if this hypersensitive gain control is 'normal'. It seems excessively sensitive to me - almost to the point of being difficult to adjust. (I started with the gain turned to about 20% and thought I was going to flip my chairs over when it kicked on...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaFlop View Post

My only minor complaint is that it doesn't have a variable phase control, on a item that is supposed to integrated between two other speakers it seems like that would be useful.

I totally agree.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:27 PM
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I don't think it would be very beneficial to have an analog variable phase control. If you want something to time align to the true sub, then you can use the Behringer Virtualizer (DSP2024P), which is available online for around $100. Dr. Hsu got his from American Music Supply.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:08 AM
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Would that issue go away if you had the MBM just handle 50hz and up and your other sub crossed over to just handle the 50hz and below material??

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Old 02-16-2007, 09:02 AM
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bgillyjcu

The problem here is that cross overs are not like a brick wall. It isn't where at 50hz the MBM is active and at 49 hz its dead silent. Nor would the woofer be active at 49 hz and dead silent at 50 hz. If you look at discussions on crossovers, the term slope pops up. Basically, it describes at what rate the SPL decreases outside the crossover frequency. Its not uncommon to have a 24db drop per octave. That may sound like a lot, but near the crossover the drop isn't all that great. So if your phase is off, the out of phase signals serve to cancel each other.

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Old 02-16-2007, 07:15 PM
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Let's say you have 4 or 8 seats. Even if you time-align the MBM with your sub to get perfect response at the main LP, you still might have cancellation issues at the other LP's, right? So, you can't have everything perfect, and most people still find this acceptable. Therefore, can't you get a nearfield MBM + farfield sub to sound just as accectable at multiple LP's without time alignment?
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:31 AM
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gbondioli,

I think its going to depend on one's definition of what's acceptable. As you mentioned, when you have 4 or 8 seats, how can you possibly have it sound premium in every seat? There's got to be some compromising somewhere.

After getting the MBM and sub time aligned to each other and aligned to the mains, today I found that other sounds above the sub and MBM range sound slightly distorted. So, I'm back at the drawing board once again. Reverted back to my Velodyne sub, SMS-1 and regular speakers to give myself a break to regroup.

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:58 PM
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I just purchased an MBM after reading many of the threads in here on how it was a great upgrade for the price. I am pairing it with a SVS PB12-ISD. I have the MBM behind my recliner about 7ft (regular sub is 13ft away) After my initial runthrough I have to say I don't see much of a difference. IT just feels like a sub that I put behind me. Nothing more nothing less. It seems just like any other sub. I'm not a HUGE audiophile but I like my stuff to sound great. I think I'm gonna do some more testing tomorrow on my off day but as of right now I'll probably be sending it back for refund. I will say it did sound good RIGHT behind my recliner but it isn't a practical spot and I'm sure it would be annoying after a 2/3 hour movie. I have my main sub set to 50hz and below and the MBM at 50 and up. It was turned about to about 9 o clock. These are just my thoughts though... OH and by the way I have a 3000cubic/ft room.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movies2090 View Post

I just purchased an MBM after reading many of the threads in here on how it was a great upgrade for the price. I am pairing it with a SVS PB12-ISD. I have the MBM behind my recliner about 7ft (regular sub is 13ft away) After my initial runthrough I have to say I don't see much of a difference. IT just feels like a sub that I put behind me. Nothing more nothing less. It seems just like any other sub. I'm not a HUGE audiophile but I like my stuff to sound great. I think I'm gonna do some more testing tomorrow on my off day but as of right now I'll probably be sending it back for refund. I will say it did sound good RIGHT behind my recliner but it isn't a practical spot and I'm sure it would be annoying after a 2/3 hour movie. I have my main sub set to 50hz and below and the MBM at 80. It was turned about to about 9 o clock. These are just my thoughts though... OH and by the way I have a 3000cubic/ft room.

Shouldn't your MBM be playing from 50hz and up if you are crossing your main sub at 50hz and down I mean?

pt
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:35 PM
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Yeah it is... I just worded it badly.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:36 PM
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movies, may I see a sketch of your room, including dimensions and the current positions for the deep bass subwoofer and mid-bass module? You should notice a big difference in mid-bass impact (probably +10db higher output in the mid-bass region) in addition to signficantly improved mid/upper bass frequency response linearity. The entire bass system should actually improve as you take some of the load off the deep bass subwoofer.

Note that you shouldn't place the module 7 feet away behind you. I would recommend placing it sideways behind the primary listening position, with the deep bass subwoofer in the front corner.
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