Where did the bass go? Need some help troubleshooting! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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A friend of mine is having some problems with his stereo setup. I have tried setting things up correctly, but I fail.

Here is the setup:



S = Speakers ( Klipsch RF7's )
CV = Cerwin Vega (HFA 21"SX)
AE1 & 2 = P1152 (AV15H) from AE Speakers (The subs are facing each other)

Couches = Listening positions

The length on the "left side" is not 6meters btw, but 8m. Did a typo!

As for amplifiers etc, he has:
Vincent SP993 = 2x200W (For Klipsch)
Behringer EP2500 = 2x600W (For the AE Subs)
Carver Preamplifier
Behringer DCX2496 for EQ

All the subs are connected to the DCX2496, and the DCX2496 is connected to the Carver Preamp via Subwoofer Preout.

So as you can see, his setup should be capable of some serious bass.

And that is the problem... I am having difficulties setting things up correctly..

I can say some of the things I have tried:


First of all, I mute ALL the subwoofers, and play just with the speakers. We try some different songs (with bass that varies a bit), I then measured approx how much SPL there was. The Klipsch speakers had no problems putting out around 106dB, at the LP.

Then I unmute the Cervin Vega sub. Same songs, same listening level. No difference in SPL. I try adjusting the phase from 0, 45, 90, 135, 180 degrees. No difference. I try setting the polarity to "Inverted" (And also adjusting the phase again). There is a TINY difference FELT when setting the polarity to inverted, but not much. The SPL is the same (around 106dB). No matter if the CV is CRANKED, there is no difference in the SPL. It's like the bass just.. goes somewhere else.

Note: When im up front with the CV, the bass is INTENSE. And there is a shitload of air coming out of it.. so it's pumping hard!

So, not much difference with the CV enabled. It's a huge 100 kilo subwoofer with a 21" woofer.. it should be able to put out some serious bass. But.. it's not.


Okey. The next thing I try is the following:

I unmute the CV.. Now I want to try and work some with the AE subwoofers. As you can see, these subwoofers are facing each other. The polarity is set to "Inverted" on both of them. We do the same thing, play some songs, measure (and feel). I then disable ONE of them (the one to the left on the picture), and there is NO difference FELT, and NO difference measured. I enable it again, then try to the set polarity to "Normal" on the DCX2496. Still no difference at all. I play around a bit with the Phase, setting it to 90, 180 degrees... no difference.

That's weird?

I would assume if hooked up correctly, the measured SPL should be approximately +3dB. But there really isn't any difference at all, when playing with 1 or 2 of these subwoofers. When stacked, there should be around +6dB increase, I think ?

Note: I have of course checked the drivers, they ARE PLAYING.


To sum it up:
1. Speakers only: A lot of nice bass!
2. With the CV enabled: A tiny bit more bass felt, but not measured (Phase & polarity has been played with)
3. I disable the CV, and try to work with the AE subs - there is NO difference FELT or MEASURED, when im using just one of them, or both (Phase & Polarity has been played with).

What is going on here ?


Any suggestions ?
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post #2 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:42 PM
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Is this a whole new setup ? What has changed ? Has it ever sounded great ? The fish must hate those subs. Do you have any gear to measure with ? Have you bypassed the Behringer at all and run it straight from the preout source ?
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post #3 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post

Is this a whole new setup ? What has changed ? Has it ever sounded great ? The fish must hate those subs. Do you have any gear to measure with ? Have you bypassed the Behringer at all and run it straight from the preout source ?

He's always had problems with "bass disappearing" in that room. Pretty much the entire setup is new, except the CV subwoofer. He do have some experience with it, for example that if he turns it around, he gets a lot more bass at LP. But it doesn't look very good when the CV is turned around. He has also tried it several different places with no big success.

In short: The room is a nightmare when it comes to bass. It always has been.. But I thought that problem could be fixed, by getting more bass spread throught the room (like it is now).

But one thing that was quite surprising, is that the RF7s play VERY LOUD in the room, where they are placed. Lots of punch/bass!

The CV sub has been bypassed before, it behaves the same way with the DCX2496.

As for measuring equipment, Im just using a Digital SPL Meter from Radioshack (I do have an EMC8000.. but I don't see the point in using it. There should have been some dB differences with just the RS).
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post #4 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 07:00 PM
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L shaped rooms are notoriously bad for bass IMO, from first hand personal experience with them.

What you need to do is post your REW results on here of playing only one speaker at a time; with all EQ set to flat and level matched with the SPL meter.

Then, and I know how tiresome this can be, start with the problematic unit first and add one speaker at a time back into the mix and re-graph the results. When the results start to take a turn for the worst, then you know it is the interaction between that and the previous speaker; then you will have to play with the phase and placement until they jive. Repeat until all speakers are activated.

Worst-case, have one person sit down and the other person move the sub around until you find the optimal spot, and hopefully that is a spot you can live with. If that still doesn't work, then you might as well sell it because it's either faulty or you'd need to buy a lot more subwoofers to achieve what you're looking for.

Also try putting the subwoofer(s) nearer the kitchen, if you haven't tried that already.
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post #5 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 07:35 PM
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Try different sub locations and/or measure another location to see if your sitting in a null.

Need Graphs.

Try putting subs on other end of the "L"
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post #6 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 08:24 PM
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If everything is satisfactory EXCEPT the CV, then there is really only two options to be had, find a place for it that works or get rid of it.

If you know the CV works, then the problem is the room itself, and short of changing it there isn't much that can be done except overpower it with tonnes of subwoofers; which costs money and has zero WAF.
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post #7 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 08:38 PM
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The AEs are too close together, and too far away from the wall behind them due to the aquarium. The CV should be facing into the corner where you have an S, and the AEs would work better if you took one of them out of that alcove altogether and put it down closer to the kitchen.

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post #8 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 09:12 PM
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hey myg, follow the path of least resistance.

the pressure from your friend's subs is going to blow to the right toward the kitchen rather than build up in the 'nook' where couches are.

in order to pressurize the nook, you also have to pressurize the space to the right of it and the kitchen etc. that is going to require lots of subs and lots of power or a creative approach.

he could swap out the sealed ae subs and repurpose the drives into a pair of large tapped horns tuned to around 25hz or so (-3db point around 22hz).

300/20
1600/450
1600/20

with 1000 watts and 20mm xmax gives 125db+ at 25hz. two will give more.

that is over 20db more than he is getting out of a sealed av15h.

that should put some bass in his nook!

1w1m myghorn:



this one should be easy to fold up if you are interested.
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post #9 of 32 Old 04-23-2012, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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LTD02, although the idea is very nice, it's not an option (Might be for me though, in the future ). The P1152 are 'sealed', using 2 x 18" PRs, not sure if you know that or not (If not, then I assume they play a bit louder).

What we will try next:
When looking at the picture, we did try one AE sub all the way to the right (the corner with the kitchen opening).. But there was something very wrong with the DCX2496 then, so we got NO bass (They were pumping, HARD.. but it was seriously no bass to be felt, even when sitting close to it). Now that the DCX2496 is configured, we will try putting the AE Subs in that corner. If there is DECENT bass with one, we will stack them, and take it from there.

It should be noted that the owner of the setup has been annoyed with his troublesome room for quite some time, so annoyed that he took up a loan so he could buy a new house (yes, just to get a better room). Hehe.. im not kidding.

He will also get rid of that huge aquarium if need be, and try the subs way back there.


But, first thing first: We try the AE Subs on the right corner !


Edit: Still a bit puzzled though, that the RF7s do so well where they are placed, all on their own !
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-23-2012, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myggpower View Post

Edit: Still a bit puzzled though, that the RF7s do so well where they are placed, all on their own !

Because the shorter wavelengths they produce aren't suffering from room mode cancellations.

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post #11 of 32 Old 04-23-2012, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Minor update:



As suggested, we moved AE Sub 1 to "Location 1" (Near the kitchen opening). When playing with just the speakers & that sub, we were able to get peaks around 116dB (With just the speakers, we were able to get peaks around 106dB) - so that was nice!

Well, if one sub works in that corner, won't 2 be twice as good?

So we stacked both AE Subs in location 1. No matter what we did with the polarity/phase, there was NO increase in bass. 116dB MAXIMUM!

I would like to try the 2nd AE Sub at "Location 2" (Near the Kitchen opening). Perhaps we will get an increase there ? Note: We were not able to do that now, because he has a huge aquarium there now. But he is going to sell it.

If we are able to get an increase with bass there, I would also like to put one CV in the corner, with one AE sub on top of it.

Im still a bit puzzled that there is no increase what so ever, with two AE subs stacked, when one is working well

(On a side note: Im glad I don't have a difficult room like that )
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post #12 of 32 Old 04-23-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myggpower View Post

Minor update:



As suggested, we moved AE Sub 1 to "Location 1" (Near the kitchen opening). When playing with just the speakers & that sub, we were able to get peaks around 116dB (With just the speakers, we were able to get peaks around 106dB) - so that was nice!

Well, if one sub works in that corner, won't 2 be twice as good?

So we stacked both AE Subs in location 1. No matter what we did with the polarity/phase, there was NO increase in bass. 116dB MAXIMUM!

I would like to try the 2nd AE Sub at "Location 2" (Near the Kitchen opening). Perhaps we will get an increase there ? Note: We were not able to do that now, because he has a huge aquarium there now. But he is going to sell it.

If we are able to get an increase with bass there, I would also like to put one CV in the corner, with one AE sub on top of it.

Im still a bit puzzled that there is no increase what so ever, with two AE subs stacked, when one is working well

(On a side note: Im glad I don't have a difficult room like that )

Sounds like measurement error. 116db is getting to the limits of most measurement equipment. Lower your levels the same basic room interactions should still be visible in the 90-100db range.

Also since your so close to the kitchen now try running the sub amp to one of the kitchen outlets(assuming its on its own circuit) and see if its a power limitation issue, the EP2500 really needs its own 20A line.....

Buy a door for the kitchen

Just some thoughts.....
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post #13 of 32 Old 04-23-2012, 10:20 AM
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ive been considering closing off the "L" in the rear of my theater for some time now. I really think they play a bigger part than most understand, even though mine is only about 6x15. something a bout it seems to pull the bass right out of the main area.

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post #14 of 32 Old 04-23-2012, 11:12 PM
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3 subs, 116db, what is that a ~3200cubic foot room?

When you say "116dB MAXIMUM", do you mean the subwoofers were at max excursion/distorting or the amp was blinking red? dual 4-ohm?

What crossover settings are being used?
We really need to see some REW graphs.
We need more info.

Try placing all 3 here, with the cones pointing towards each other in a triangle formation.
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post #15 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes the room is approx. 3400 cubic foot.

When I say "Maximum 116dB", it is when it doesn't get any louder when the volume is cranked up. Red clipping on the amp, but the subwoofers are not clipping, just not going any higher.

As for Xovers, I belive I have a But12 at 90hz, on the AE Subs (I have also set a SS filter on them, at ~17hz). The CV subwoofer is configured to play up to 150hz.

I guess I could use REW to measure the AE Sub that is actually decent where it is placed now, then remeasure with the 2nd AE sub stacked on it - to see what is going on.. Why Im not getting double the output.

Placing all 3 subwoofers (facing each other), what is that good for? Wouldn't they cancel each other out? But surely we can try that, and see what happends!

Note: This is not me or my home, but I will try to measure the subwoofers when I have time, at his place, using REW.
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post #16 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myggpower View Post

Yes the room is approx. 3400 cubic foot.

When I say "Maximum 116dB", it is when it doesn't get any louder when the volume is cranked up. Red clipping on the amp, but the subwoofers are not clipping, just not going any higher.

As for Xovers, I belive I have a But12 at 90hz, on the AE Subs (I have also set a SS filter on them, at ~17hz). The CV subwoofer is configured to play up to 150hz.

I guess I could use REW to measure the AE Sub that is actually decent where it is placed now, then remeasure with the 2nd AE sub stacked on it - to see what is going on.. Why Im not getting double the output.

Placing all 3 subwoofers (facing each other), what is that good for? Wouldn't they cancel each other out? But surely we can try that, and see what happends!

Note: This is not me or my home, but I will try to measure the subwoofers when I have time, at his place, using REW.

When you clip the amp its not going to get any louder just scream distortion.......????????

Also when you say 116db what frequency are you talking? Max spl for a music track? Sine wave at some freq?
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post #17 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 08:52 AM
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Your amp is clipping, you're amp limited, it won't get any louder until you get more amps or a stronger one. Like a MA-5050 or QSC PL9.0 or LG 14K clone etc...

There are four things that cause subwoofers to be out of phase and cancel each other. Distance, room boundries, polarity, and the phase knob.

If the subwoofers are in phase with each other, putting the cones together will make it act as one larger subwoofer, instead of 3 smaller units. Solving the distance and multi-boundry problem (potentially).

Speakers not in phase with each other will cancel each other out (potentially). Thus, Phase is important. They should NOT be out of phase.

Phase can vary by frequency as well (it is not a constant), which makes things worse if the subwoofers are apart from each other (potentially); think of it as a temporal distortion.
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post #18 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I know he is amp limited.

The point I was trying to make, is that he reached a maximum of 116dB (peaks) on some songs, WITH ONE AE SUBWOOFER (+Mains). With TWO AE subwoofers then, he should be able to get MORE SPL (More than 116dB) at those songs.

So it was on some certain songs (measuring the peaks), not on a sine wave. Not certain what frequencies that were played during those songs.. I guess around 25-60hz.

REW ! REW ! REW !

In order to get to the bottom of this, I will do this, when I have time.


Quote:


If the subwoofers are in phase with each other, putting the cones together will make it act as one larger subwoofer, instead of 3 smaller units. Solving the distance and multi-boundry problem (potentially).

Now that is interesting, and as mentioned: We will try that!


Quote:


Phase can vary by frequency as well (it is not a constant), which makes things worse if the subwoofers are apart from each other (potentially); think of it as a temporal distortion

REW again!
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post #19 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 06:01 PM
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Doubling "total" watts from 1000w to 2000w gives 3db, doubling "total" subwoofers from 2 to 4 would give another 3db. Doing both gives 6db.

If the amp is in 2-channel mode, by adding a second sub it should be louder because you are increasing the number of subwoofers by 33% and ~40% more total watts output.

So let's say that is a total gain of 40%, on a log-scale that is not x2, it is somewhere between 1db and 3db.

If the amp is in bridge mode, by doubling the number of woofers you are halving the number of watts each one sees, so the difference may not be as great. 33% total gain = log 1-2db.

Not as great as you were probably expecting... once you factor in room losses, even less.
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post #20 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 06:54 PM
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As you stated zero subwoofers gave 106db.

Adding 3 subwoofers with a few more thousand watts gave another 10db; which sounds about right.

I was being generous with those figures for the adding of the third sub, 0.5 to 1.5db increase on average SPL.

Adding another amp and running them both in bridge mode should gain another 2-3db MAX spl, *if* the cones can handle it.
With that AND another 2 AE's you could expect 4-5db ~120db.

As you can see, the laws of diminishing returns kicks in hard beyond this point.
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post

As you stated zero subwoofers gave 106db.

Adding 3 subwoofers with a few more thousand watts gave another 10db; which sounds about right.

I was being generous with those figures for the adding of the third sub, 0.5 to 1.5db increase on average SPL.

Adding another amp and running them both in bridge mode should gain another 2-3db MAX spl, *if* the cones can handle it.
With that AND another 2 AE's you could expect 4-5db ~120db.

As you can see, the laws of diminishing returns kicks in hard beyond this point.

Physics are a bitEUR#!
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-25-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post

As you stated zero subwoofers gave 106db.

Adding 3 subwoofers with a few more thousand watts gave another 10db; which sounds about right.

0 subwoofers = 106dB
1 subwoofer = 116dB
2 subwoofers = 116dB
3 subwoofers = 116dB

It wasn't 3 subwoofers that added 10dB, just ONE (The AE subwoofer). Adding one more AE subwoofer (stacked) yielded no difference. Adding a 3rd subwoofer (The CV) yielded no difference.


And if I understood you correctly, I should not be expecting no more than 1-2dB increase, by adding a 2nd AE subwoofer (assuming same wattage to it), or a 3rd subwoofer: the CV. Still, that should be ~2-4dB increase, over those 116dB I got with one.

For some reason, I have always thought that if I had one subwoofer that did ~110dB from 20-40hz, I would get ~113dB if I bought an identical subwoofer (not stacking them).. And that I would get ~116dB if I stacked them.
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post #23 of 32 Old 04-27-2012, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myggpower View Post

0 subwoofers = 106dB
1 subwoofer = 116dB
2 subwoofers = 116dB
3 subwoofers = 116dB

Have you tried swaping the singular sub's to ensure they can all do 116db?

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-leveladding.htm

If so, then it should look something more like this:
2 subwoofers = 119dB
3 subwoofers = 120dB
Or slightly more, depending on how it is hooked up.

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post #24 of 32 Old 04-27-2012, 07:01 PM
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If each sub independently summs with mains for net gain but not together then prob a phase issue.....
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post #25 of 32 Old 07-02-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I just thought I could come with a little update:

Instead of trying to fix the bass-mess he had, he bought a new house instead. He actually bought my brother's house (He was the previous owner of the AE subwoofers.. and they rocked !)

So... problem solved wink.gif New house, awesome bass!
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post #26 of 32 Old 07-02-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myggpower View Post

I just thought I could come with a little update:

Instead of trying to fix the bass-mess he had, he bought a new house instead. He actually bought my brother's house (He was the previous owner of the AE subwoofers.. and they rocked !)

So... problem solved wink.gif New house, awesome bass!

LOL thats gotta be the most expensive solution ever! :P

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post #27 of 32 Old 07-02-2012, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

ive been considering closing off the "L" in the rear of my theater for some time now. I really think they play a bigger part than most understand, even though mine is only about 6x15. something a bout it seems to pull the bass right out of the main area.

Wehn I re-did my basement for the second time after my flood, I WISH I would have closed off the L in my room and kick myself for not doing it. The L is a nightmare! Thats why I have so many subs, I have to fill my entire basement with bass lol

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #28 of 32 Old 07-02-2012, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

Wehn I re-did my basement for the second time after my flood, I WISH I would have closed off the L in my room and kick myself for not doing it. The L is a nightmare! Thats why I have so many subs, I have to fill my entire basement with bass lol

I'm in the process of rebuilding mine after a flood...I did precisely this, built a wall to cut off the shortest side of the L

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post #29 of 32 Old 07-02-2012, 04:40 PM
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I'm in the process of rebuilding mine after a flood...I did precisely this, built a wall to cut off the shortest side of the L

I did give it a lot of thought but we are planning on selling the house as soon as our new one is ready and I didn't want to make the basement look smaller, even though it's 1500SF but I regret not doing it as finding our new place has been a pain in the butt lol

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #30 of 32 Old 07-02-2012, 05:27 PM
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I did give it a lot of thought but we are planning on selling the house as soon as our new one is ready and I didn't want to make the basement look smaller, even though it's 1500SF but I regret not doing it as finding our new place has been a pain in the butt lol

Well luckily...er unluckily for me, I bought my house about 3.2 seconds before the market collapsed and so I'm about 9 bajillion % upside down right now. I'll be here for a bit.

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