User experiences on Velodyne SMS-1 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at the Outlaw LFM-1 EX/ Velodyne SMS-1 promo. I'm tempted, but I want to hear from others about the SMS-1. At this point I am not concerned if you own an Outlaw sub or not. I just want to know if the SMS truly has made a difference in your own set-up.
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post #2 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnyd View Post

I'm looking at the Outlaw LFM-1 EX/ Velodyne SMS-1 promo. I'm tempted, but I want to hear from others about the SMS-1. At this point I am not concerned if you own an Outlaw sub or not. I just want to know if the SMS truly has made a difference in your own set-up.

Yes, the SMS-1 is a valuable tool that has made a significant difference. I use mine primarily to boost the low end in a sealed DIY subwoofer setup.

There are certainly less expensive solutions out there, but few can match the ease of use and instant results of the SMS.

There some issues with the freq response and distortion when overdriving the input side. The freq response/low end rolloff issue is supposed to be cured with the latest firmware update. The distortion issue can be cured by using the XLR input or keeping the input levels very low on the RCA side.

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post #3 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 11:30 AM
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I have one that I got very recently. The auto setup is super easy to use... but I haven't yet figured out how to do any manual tweaks.
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post #4 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 11:48 AM
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It is a far easier solution then others out there, and can have a significant impact to ones system, especially if you have multiple subs.... I really like mine and it provided me the opportunity to smooth out my room very easily.... and as jpmst3 has stated, some people are anxiously awaiting the next firmware release to remove the abrupt low end roll off....
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post #5 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 12:03 PM
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In addition to my acoustic bass traps and panels, the sms-1 has been a wonderful addition to helping achieve as flat of response as possible. The manual setup is the way to go in my opinion for best results and is very easy, just takes a little time.

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post #6 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 01:34 PM
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I love mine and don't want to do without it!! (or any other type of sub eq for that matter). It's so easy to use and helped me dial in my new PC-Ultra that I got last night. The great thing is that there is 6 different pre-sets so it gives you the opportunity to experiment without erasing the setting that you already have.

I have a setting for movies (sub playing by itself, flat from 15-80hz) and another setting for music, which I only use the sub to fill in the FR of my Aerial 9 playing as "large".
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post #7 of 332 Old 09-22-2007, 07:26 PM
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yes, it makes a big difference. I can tailor the response EXACTLY the way I want it. Unlike other people I don't want a perfectly flat response, but the SMS allows for that because you can shape the frequency response.

I really like the presets and its ease of use.

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post #8 of 332 Old 09-23-2007, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone,

You have no idea how these posts have helped. I'm going to print out this whole thread except this particular post. So here is the "rest of the story":

I had convinced my wife that we "needed" a new subwoofer to optimize our system. By negotiation we settled on a budget of between $700- $800.

By the way, here is a handy tip when looking at new gear. In our house, whenever I get something I want, I make sure that she gets something else out of the deal. (The home theater cost me an extra $3000 for an "upgrade" to the guest bathroom.) This new sub will cost me a new IPOD Nano for her.

Anyway, I looked at all the usual suspects and even considered the Hsu VTF-3 until she got a look at the optional turbo. I have finally settled on the Outlaw LFM-1 EX and bragged that I was coming in under budget at $650. Then I got the email Friday night for the promo combo of the EX/SMS-1 for $999. That raises the top end of my negotiated $800 budget another $200.

While it is part of the combo I can explain that the SMS-1 is not part of the sub. So I think I can make the case that we will have better performance and equally important flexibility in moving (make that "hiding" ) the subwoofer.

Guys, your comments will truly help me in making my case. Thanks so much for the feedback. However, I now have a suspicion that she will suggest that she "needs" an IPOD Touch instead of the Nano.
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post #9 of 332 Old 09-24-2007, 02:42 PM
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Tell her spending the extra 200 will make your 800 sub sound like the 3k units in the store (without EQ, even a 3k sub can sound bloated and boomy in a problem room, which is pretty much any untreated room). Seriously though, the SMS-1 will allow you to reduce room peaks at the listening position and will make any sub reach it's full potential, and the LFM-1 EX has a lot of potential. I had a 12db peak at 40hz in my room at my listening position, but once I tamed it with my SMS-1, it really cleaned up the bass big time. I'm of the opinion that anyone who's serious about clean, deep bass really needs an SMS-1 or other parametric EQ for thier sub.

After you get your SMS-1, it'll be time to start working on her to add bass traps to your room. That'll be tough, bass traps have low WAF. Might have to involve jewelry for her...
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post #10 of 332 Old 09-24-2007, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Deneb,

Bass traps won't cut it unless I want to put a down payment on the Hope Diamond, which is a little out of my price range this year. It's tough enough that I have to "close" her on this deal before Outlaw shuts the door.
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post #11 of 332 Old 09-24-2007, 07:15 PM
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I just got my SMS-1 today, and it is an amazing product! To be able to watch the nulls in your room on a screen and then correct it, priceless. It is very easy to use, and for how much difference it can make it is easily the best $600 you can spend on your system.
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post #12 of 332 Old 09-24-2007, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

I just got my SMS-1 today, and it is an amazing product! To be able to watch the nulls in your room on a screen and then correct it, priceless. It is very easy to use, and for how much difference it can make it is easily the best $600 you can spend on your system.

Congrats and enjoy!

Now if they would only release the firmware update to correct the rolloff we will be all set!

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post #13 of 332 Old 09-25-2007, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

I just got my SMS-1 today, and it is an amazing product! To be able to watch the nulls in your room on a screen and then correct it, priceless. It is very easy to use, and for how much difference it can make it is easily the best $600 you can spend on your system.

Boosting nulls with EQ (SMS-1 or other EQ) isn't a good idea, you'll run out of headroom on your sub amp very quickly. EQ is great for reducing peaks, but to reduce nulls, your options are experimenting with placement and phase on your sub as well as adding bass traps.
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post #14 of 332 Old 09-25-2007, 07:55 PM
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yes, please don't boost nulls. Maybe go +2db on a dip, and that's it.

Update on my setup. As I said before, I just got a PC-Ultra and I'm using an XLR connection from the SMS-1. After a few days of experimenting, I settled on the 15hz tune. For several reasons that i won't get into here, it wasn't giving me the performance I had hoped to get. So I decided to put my Servo-15 back into action, together with the SVS. SVS in front, Paradigm in the back. Without EQ, I was very fortunate to score a fairly flat FR with the Servo-15 in a serviceable location. Be careful though, one could go either way when it comes to multiple subs. In my case, one helped the other, and now I can drive each sub lower, as well as getting the highest number of "listenable seats" in my theater. Putting the subs to test through The Haunting (DTS), Day After Tomorrow, Flight of the Phoenix, PotC 2, and Master and Commander finally left a smile on my face.

The SMS-1 made the process easy. I sat near my Servo-15 and dialed in exactly how much gain as I watched the screen. I was able to quickly determine the FR of each of my ten seats so I know how many "bad seats" each location generated. Technofreaks will tell you it's not a perfect product, but i'd rather live with its flaws than not have it at all.
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post #15 of 332 Old 09-26-2007, 07:21 AM
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There was a giant thread on the SMS-1 that was archived. It had a tremendous amount of useful information about the device. Here it is for anyone who wants to learn more about the SMS-1:
http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/...=sms1+accuracy

I wish there was a way to revive this thread. I had a post on Page 41 of that thread about the progression I use to setup my SMS-1 with my receiver's auto-setup routine, YPAO. I'll quote it here in the hopes that the OP will find it beneficial:

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I have a Yamaha RX-V4600 and here is the progression I use to incorporate both the SMS-1 and the YPAO:

First, I ignore self-EQ and Auto-EQ; I go straight to "Manual". I start with the SMS-1 at the factory default settings and in the "setup" mode. I then go back to the receiver and set the bass management, (all speakers "small" and LFE/subwoofer output to subwoofer.) Remember that the SMS-1 can only EQ the sub, so sending LF bass to all speakers will make the EQ much less effective. There are several other advantages to this setup, even if you have nearly full-range speakers. The key is the crossover point. My mains extend into the mid-40's, so I use an 80 Hz crossover. If your mains extend lower than that, use a lower crossover. Just remember that any bass produced by speakers other than the sub can't be EQ'd with the SMS-1. Also, the SMS-1 has a fixed 80 Hz high pass crossover, so it's output drops dramatically above this.

The next thing I do is set up the subwoofer. I set the volume control to approximately 10:00 (or whatever is reasonable on your sub). I turn the sub's internal crossover all the way up to it's highest point. If it can be disengaged, I do that. I'm using bass management in the receiver and it set's the crossover point. Using another one in the sub is not only redundant, it can be detrimental. I set the phase control to "zero" or "+".

The next thing I do is run the the YPAO, but I disengage the EQ's. I just have it set speaker levels and distance. If it selects the wrong crossover or speaker size setting, (which it always does), I change it. Now I'm ready to start EQ'ing because I'm using the correct size, level and distance settings that I will eventually be using when I'm finished. If you do the entire EQ first and then change something later by running the YPAO, you will affect the EQ.

BTW, the receiver should be in stereo mode at this point. The SMS-1 outputs a stereo signal and the receiver's bass management re-directs the the bass to the subwoofer output. Putting the system in a multichannel mode won't help, at least not at this point.

Before I start EQ-ing, I disconnect the mains. With the speakers disconnected, I'm only looking at the response of the subwoofer without any influence of the speakers. I also reset some of the factory defaults on Page 2. I defeat the low-pass crossover, (once again because I'm using the receiver's crossover and redundant crossovers can be detrimental.) I also reset the subsonic filter to it's lowest point (5 Hz with the new software) and the slope to 6 dB/octave. (When I'm finished I will reset these to 10 Hz and 24 dB/octave for safety purposes, but for EQ-ing, the levels are not high enough to be of concern.)

Now, after I've done all this, it's finally time to EQ the sub. This is the fun part! I use the manual mode and the "Setup" preset, as this will set the default EQ for all other presets. I look for the biggest peaks in my response. I ignore nulls as EQ can't do much to fix them anyway. (I used to use a lot of boost to augment the VLF response, but I've gotten away from that.) I move my sliders to points underneath the peaks and bring them down. I can also change the "Q" to widen or narrow the effect of each slider. As I reduce the peaks, I will also increase the overall volume to maintain the same average or total volume.

Once I've gotten the sub EQ'd to my liking, I reconnect the mains and evaluate the response. What usually happens is that the response changes most at and around the crossover. These response changes are caused by multiple speakers reproducing the same frequencies. At some frequencies they are out of phase with each other (causing cancelations). At other frequencies they are in phase with each other, (causing augmentation). Therefore, if the response with the stereo speakers engaged is not what I want, I will first try to improve it with the phase control on Page 2. I try not to change the EQ of the sub because I know it is correct by itself.

(You can also use the speaker distance control in the receiver to adjust phase. This control is actually a delay in the signal sent to the speakers which are "closer" than the furthest away speaker to bring them into time alignment. You can do this, but it's more complicated and I prefer to use the SMS-1 phase control and leave the speaker distances at the YPAO settings.)

Then I put the receiver in one of the multichannel modes, (PLIIx, etc.). This engages the rest of the speakers and shows how they interact with the sub. I usually don't change anything here, I'm just looking to ensure it doesn't induce any significant problems.

When I've finished with the SMS-1, I go back and re-check the levels of the speakers and sub manually with the receiver, (or with Avia and an SPL meter.) If the sub level is off, I don't reset it in the receiver, I use the volume control on the SMS-1. I never re-engage the YPAO's EQ's. I don't like what any of them do to the imaging so I don't use them.

Although my technique is a little different than what Velodyne recommends, I have used it with success. I have a reason for every choice I make and the end result works. I arrived at it through a lot of experimentation. I'm sure you will want to experiment with yours also. You'll find that all these controls in the receiver, the SMS-1 and the subwoofer interact and you'll want to set things appropriately for your system before you begin the EQ process.

Good luck.

Craig

Edit. I forgot one very important step. Before you begin EQ-ing, you need to move your sub into all the possible locations in your room to find the best baseline response. Most rooms only have a few possible locations from an aesthetics POV. Try the sub in each location, and even in a few variations within each location, i.e., move it a little left, right, front and back, turn it so the driver faces different directions, etc. This is really easy to do with the SMS-1 because the sweeps are so quick. Once you've found the best location, you can proceed with the rest of the EQ process.

I hope that helps anyone getting an SMS-1.

Craig

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post #16 of 332 Old 05-09-2008, 07:58 PM
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Maybe I missed it, and it's getting late... but what's the proper way to position the SMS mic? I have two subs, both on the left side of the room - one in front of the listening position, one rear of the listening position. Do you aim it upward, ala' an Audyessy mic? Toward the front of the room?

Thanks
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post #17 of 332 Old 05-09-2008, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

Maybe I missed it, and it's getting late... but what's the proper way to position the SMS mic? I have two subs, both on the left side of the room - one in front of the listening position, one rear of the listening position. Do you aim it upward, ala' an Audyessy mic? Toward the front of the room?

Thanks

Vertical, ear height at the LP.

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post #18 of 332 Old 05-10-2008, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

Vertical, ear height at the LP.

Thanks for the response - this is what I did, but I'm not a whole lot happy with the sound yet. I'll post my current graph and equipment information subsequent to this post.

Ironically, I came across this mic-position answer from 2005 post on the archived thread about the SMS-1 on AVS http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/...=sms1+accuracy (from a "Curt C" - Velodyne employee? Installer?)
Hi,
We normally point it straight ahead on a stand or table just in front of seated position.
Curt
Perhaps it doesn't matter a whole bunch - I find it odd the manual doesn't seem to indicate directionality of the mic at the listening position.
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post #19 of 332 Old 05-10-2008, 05:40 AM
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i pointed mine straight ahead as well...great results
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post #20 of 332 Old 05-10-2008, 05:47 AM
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Althought the mic is considered omnidirectional. I aim mine towards the front at about an 45 degree angle from the ceiling.

Just a thought, while the SMS-1 is cycling through the frequencies, change the angle of the mic and see if there's any difference between straight up, 45 degrees and 90 degrees.

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post #21 of 332 Old 05-10-2008, 06:33 AM
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So here's my manual EQ - I don't have a shot of Page 2 at the moment, but will post shortly...



My Setup:
Onkyo 905/EarthQuake Cinenova Grande 7 - all speakers set to 80Hz - Mythos ST L/R - not using LFE inputs on ST's...Two sus connected to the SMS - JL Fathom 113, internally calibrated, reference volume level - crossover bypassed. DefTech Supercube 1, about 3'oclock on the volume knob, crossovers defeated. 905 sub trim at -2.5. About 75 db RatShack SPL prior

Room treatments. Not a lot - wall to wall carpeting, homemade triangular rear corner bass traps (4 foot stack of mineral wool board), two rear 2x4 by two inch mineral wool (note, in the room pictures, the 2x4 panels are behind the front speakers, but they were moved to the rear walls beneath each back surround prior to using the SMS-1)






Crossover OFF in SMS. I tweaked PHASE and POLARITY settings to get the graph as smooth as possible, then EQ'd as seen here. Tried to cut more than gain, as per my reading of the manuals and on AVS

After EQ'ing with the SMS, I check the internal test tone of the 905 for the LFE, and it remained around 75 db

But on listening tests, the low end sounds a bit weak and at times coarse/uneven (listened to WOTW/DTS and I Am Legend, DTS MA

I have yet to re-run Audyssey (I loathe that step...) Is this critical? Should I use the Fathom 113 ARO internal calibration (as I have), or should it be bypassed?

I'll get screen two posted in a little while.


Thanks
LL
LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #22 of 332 Old 05-10-2008, 06:59 PM
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I have a SMS-1 in a 2 channel system and love it. For the time being I am driving my mains full range and use the SMS's low pass crossover to my sub's LFE input. I have experimented with the SMS's high pass crossover and it's first order slope works well with several speakers that I've tried in the past. I will probably go back to the high pass crossover to the mains as it's better at higher volumes or when playing a DVD with a lot of bass.

My room had some nasty peaks, the worst being a 8 dB hump at 40 Hz that the SMS did a great job at taming. As great as the SMS is I can honestly say that the number one improvement in my system's bass and overall clarity was when I put a Auralex SubDude under the sub. The difference that this $50 tweek made was incredible, so much so that I had to re-EQ the sub. The peaks were about 3dB lower just from decoupling the sub from the room.

While I can recommend the SMS highly, I think the SubDude has a much higher performance/price ratio and should be used FIRST. My room was an acoustical nightmare with hardwood floors, 9' ceilings, 6' windows, and a tin ceiling. Before adding the SubDude everthing vibrated, and being a 120 year old house there wasn't much I could do. The combination of the SMS and SubDude was staggering, the rattles were gone and the bass was deep and tight. It's amazing how great a system can sound when room resonances don't impart their own nasty signature.
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post #23 of 332 Old 05-10-2008, 10:36 PM
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thrang,

My guess is that your system doesn't respond well to having 1 equalizer adjusting 2 subs.

If you've got the time, unplug one of the subs and do a screen capture of the resulting frequency response plot. Then do it again with the other sub unplugged and the first one plugged in.

Also....very important...be sure that you peak out the crossover region by adjusting the subwoofer distance adjustment in your preamp/receiver. Your 75 hz boost indicates somethings going on there.

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post #24 of 332 Old 05-11-2008, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve. View Post

I have a SMS-1 in a 2 channel system and love it. For the time being I am driving my mains full range and use the SMS's low pass crossover to my sub's LFE input. I have experimented with the SMS's high pass crossover and it's first order slope works well with several speakers that I've tried in the past. I will probably go back to the high pass crossover to the mains as it's better at higher volumes or when playing a DVD with a lot of bass.

My room had some nasty peaks, the worst being a 8 dB hump at 40 Hz that the SMS did a great job at taming. As great as the SMS is I can honestly say that the number one improvement in my system's bass and overall clarity was when I put a Auralex SubDude under the sub. The difference that this $50 tweek made was incredible, so much so that I had to re-EQ the sub. The peaks were about 3dB lower just from decoupling the sub from the room.

While I can recommend the SMS highly, I think the SubDude has a much higher performance/price ratio and should be used FIRST. My room was an acoustical nightmare with hardwood floors, 9' ceilings, 6' windows, and a tin ceiling. Before adding the SubDude everthing vibrated, and being a 120 year old house there wasn't much I could do. The combination of the SMS and SubDude was staggering, the rattles were gone and the bass was deep and tight. It's amazing how great a system can sound when room resonances don't impart their own nasty signature.


Funny, I was looking at that same product just a few days ago. I'll give it a shot - thanks.
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post #25 of 332 Old 05-11-2008, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimP View Post

thrang,

My guess is that your system doesn't respond well to having 1 equalizer adjusting 2 subs.

If you've got the time, unplug one of the subs and do a screen capture of the resulting frequency response plot. Then do it again with the other sub unplugged and the first one plugged in.

Also....very important...be sure that you peak out the crossover region by adjusting the subwoofer distance adjustment in your preamp/receiver. Your 75 hz boost indicates somethings going on there.

I will try this and post some screen shots - are thinking the boosts in the 75 and 90 ranges are what may be causing my feeling that the LFE is coarse or uneven.

I'll also be ordering and installing four 2x4 by 4 inch ATS bass absorbers and probably two RFZ Real Trap panels for the first reflect points on the ceiling as well. I also may try the trick of putting rolled fiberglass insulation in the front corners, providing I can sew a slip cover with that ATS/GOM acoustically transparent material to blend it in to the room....

Thanks
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post #26 of 332 Old 05-11-2008, 05:05 AM
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Funny, I was looking at that same product just a few days ago. I'll give it a shot - thanks.

If you've got a carpet over concrete slab foundation, there wouldn't be any benefit to a subdude or similar product.

If your subwoofer is large enough to transfer energy through a concrete slab foundation......then the next home theater get to gether is at your place. We'll all want to see/feel it.

You've got a nice looking room. The problem I have at my place is in a non dedicated home theater with lots of windows, you really can't put enough panals in place to do it enough good to justify doing it. Its very questionable if the chase is worth the catch.

I do think that once you get your sub/equalization thing worked out, you're going to have more than enough bass. Then it'll be a question on how to refine it.

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post #27 of 332 Old 05-11-2008, 05:07 AM
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If you've got a carpet over concrete slab foundation, there wouldn't be any benefit to a subdude or similar product.

If your subwoofer is large enough to transfer energy through a concrete slab foundation......then the next home theater get to gether is at your place. We'll all want to see/feel it.

I wish...Actually, I have (as the pictures indicate) wall to wall carpeting, but it is over standard floor joists/plywood with insulation between the joists. So the SubDude would still be of benefit, I'm presuming (the Fathom is a fairly heavy mother - around 135 pounds...)
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post #28 of 332 Old 05-12-2008, 07:18 AM
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Just a warning, I purchased a pair of Subdudes for my F113 pair. The F113 is heavily weighted to the back of the unit and the F113's compressed the Subdude foam base so that they sat at an angle listing to stern by 15-20 degrees. I tried shimming the Subdudes with additional foam wedges in the back in order to have the F113's level. Ended up scrapping them.

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post #29 of 332 Old 05-12-2008, 07:26 AM
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I've read that the SMS best serves multiples subs. Is it worth getting one for a single sub system. I have an old Paradigm PW-2200. Quite boomy. I'm hoping the SMS can help me clear the boom.

Any thoughts?

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post #30 of 332 Old 05-12-2008, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

Just a warning, I purchased a pair of Subdudes for my F113 pair. The F113 is heavily weighted to the back of the unit and the F113's compressed the Subdude foam base so that they sat at an angle listing to stern by 15-20 degrees. I tried shimming the Subdudes with additional foam wedges in the back in order to have the F113's level. Ended up scrapping them.

thanks for this info - I did end up ordering the auralex gramma, so hopefully the larger base will give me better weight distribution

Havent had a chance to do any further experimenting with the sms-1 given mothers day yesterday, but today and tomorrow should yield more results.
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