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For Music, how low does a speaker have to go before you'd forgo a sub? - Page 4

post #91 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by gvr4ever View Post

If the sub doesn't peak above the mains, it will blend so well, it will not take away from the stereo effect. Can you tell that sound is coming from the middle? Sure, but the "weight" of the sub should only come in effect if the sub is setup louder then the mains, or the crossover point is not set up right, and both the sub and the mains are playing the same thing, causing a huge db peak.

In my testing, 2.1 channel it is noticeable as low as 50hz. In 5.1 channel it is very difficult. After trial ans error with my 2.1 setup I found that 40hz blended in beautifully and was not directional. The SMS-1 was allot of help in seting it up correctly
post #92 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

THX was designed around the use of bookshelf-sized speakers. And once 80Hz was decided upon as the best crossover to use, THX speakers are then designed around that. Everyone doesn't use THX speakers. In fact, most do not.

80Hz may be a great crossover point to use if one doesn't want to fiddle with figuring out what might actually be the best crossover point for their room, their speakers, their sub(s), and their personal preference, but to simply say that 80Hz should always be used is a generalization.

See my post#47.

THX is for movies, and this is a stereo question. I too use to follow the THX numbers too, and for HT and most HT speakers, it is still a good guide. Adding a sub to full range speakers is going to be different and 2.0 is different.

I don't know if the 80hz THX crossover point is for HT only or what. I doubt that full sized THX certified theaters have the same specs, but who knows. At any rate, 80hz is probably best for a THX movie as they probably set up the audio to work with the THX crossover point. I'm just guessing, but the THX standards are not all a joke.

The concept behind THX is that properly setup, and with proper equipment, the movie will look and sound like it should. It's really that simple. It's nothing more then a standardization of equipment and setup. Now, the full size theater check list is really long. You can read about it at the THX web site. Home stuff is different as crappy computer speakers get the logo. Now, Onkyo has a THX HTIB. Any good? I'd really like to know, but I am putting less faith in the THX brand, just because it gets over used. A lot of speakers and amps can support the specs, they just didn't pay for the branding and pass the THX standards to receive the branding.
post #93 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

Another reason to run a sub as low as possible, Directionality. At 80hz you can hear the direction of the sub (especially if you only have one ) At 40hr it is extremely difficult for most people.



No, unless you listen outside or with subs that distort much (many do) you will not hear directionality at 80 hz. All the reflextion in the room at this low level will make it a non issue.
post #94 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

The bass from the sub sounds different then the bass from my main speakers. Do you think all speakers sound a like?


I think Hammerfall is bad music, then all music is bad?
Just because you have tried bad subs don't make it a bad thing for those that use good subs/basmodules.
post #95 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

No, unless you listen outside or with subs that distort much (many do) you will not hear directionality at 80 hz. All the reflextion in the room at this low level will make it a non issue.

Sorry, I disagree.
post #96 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

Sorry, I disagree.


Prove it! I guess it is placebo, bad filters or just distorting sub.
JAES are waiting for your result.
post #97 of 230
You Prove it, Plasebo...please! LOL! I would go with no sub before I would run my sub at 80hz, with my system. Again, I have a setup for movies and one for HT.
post #98 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Sorry, but that's a generalization. Not necessarily wrong, but a generalization, nonetheless.

Some generalizations also happen to be facts. Law of gravity is a generalization, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

As I said in that other post, it is possible that an 80Hz crossover point may be "best" for a pair of speakers and sub(s) in one room yet a 40Hz crossover be "best" for the exact same equipment in another room.

Can you please give me an example of when 40Hz cross-over will provide more accurate sound reproduction then? I can think of 4 scenarios:

1) The subwoofer in this particular situation is not up to the task of handling upper bass accurately.
2) Subwoofer in this particular set up is not built competently, so speakers in fact sound better.
3) Subwoofer in this particular set up is not calibrated correctly and does not blend in properly with the speakers.
4) Subwoofer is localizable due to room related acoustical problems.

In scenarios 1 and 2, replacing the subwoofer will almost always provide with superior sound reproduction than running the bass through speakers. I am assuming budget is not a concern since a competent subwoofer-satellite combination is usually cheaper than towers that can go 40Hz and below.

In scenarios 3 and 4, proper calibration and/or adding a second subwoofer is likely to produce more accurate sound reproduction than running the bass through speakers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

What is "best", anyway? And how would you determine that? With speakers that have no problems with the 40Hz to 80Hz range, for example, I do not know exactly what you would measure in a specific setup to see whether a 40Hz or 80Hz crossover setting is "best". And even if you had a few measurements to base a decision upon, you might actually prefer the other setting. But simply accepting that a sub will always be able to reproduce 40Hz to 80Hz best in any 2-channel music setup is a broad assumption.

Producing the bass via speakers is less than an ideal choice due to following reasons:

1. The ideal placement for the 2 front speakers is hardly ever the ideal placement for the subwoofer. It is almost always a good idea to separate the bass from the speakers. This will provide superior placement flexibility in overcoming room modes.
2. Speakers have cabinet size limitations and subwoofers don't. Thus, it is very difficult for a speaker to produce the same quality bass as a competently built subwoofer. $100K + speakers is not exception to this.

To summarize, in my opinion 2-channel sound reproduction without a subwoofer is one of many audiophile myths. I can't think of any scientifically-backed reason why someone would prefer a full sized tower with no subwoofer to a high end satellite-sub combo with decent sized drivers.
post #99 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

Not necessarily. In a 7.1 setup, you already have 7 speakers and a sub to play with. Another sub may not help much at all or may not be necessary.

2 subs will almost always produce more accurate sound than 1 sub and 3 subs will almost always produce more accurate sound than 2 subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

When I set up my system I play with bass mgmt for all speakers and placement and trim. I've never failed to get reasonable results in any room.

This may be true assuming you have an acoustically-well-treated room which also happens to be fairly small. However, the fact that you accomplished this, doesn't mean it is easily achieavable. In fact, it is simply not possible in large rooms with less than perfect acoustics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

And as B&W700 noted, not everyone has room for multiple subs. After all, it's getting a bit ridiculous for a family room with 7 speakers and a huge sub box and equipment racks and a screen. Now we "need" more huge boxes? I don't think so.

Now you are bringing the aesthetics into the equation. If you prefer looks to the accurate sound reproduction, then you do have a point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

How about buying decent full range speakers in the first place and taking full advantage of them? There's nothing magical about a sub when it comes to bass. Any speaker properly designed for low frequency output can do the same thing.

This is simply wrong. Full range speakers can not replace a subwoofer due to their cabinet design and placement limitations. Speakers can not do the same thing.
post #100 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

Really? Didn't they certify theaters? I think Lucas would differ with your statement

I agreed with you and now that I agree with you, you disagree that I agree

Anyhow, it is a fairly well-known fact that THX recommendations are provided for THX equipment. So, no Lucas would not differ with my statement for non-THX equipment, which was what we were discussing about.
post #101 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

You Prove it, Plasebo...please! LOL! I would go with no sub before I would run my sub at 80hz, with my system. Again, I have a setup for movies and one for HT.


Yes and as I said, just because your stuff is not good enough don't make it a fact. Please go out and listen to better stuff.
post #102 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

In my testing, 2.1 channel it is noticeable as low as 50hz. In 5.1 channel it is very difficult. After trial ans error with my 2.1 setup I found that 40hz blended in beautifully and was not directional. The SMS-1 was allot of help in seting it up correctly

If you can localize 50Hz, all that means is one of the 2:

1. Your subwoofer is not calibrated correctly.
2. Your room is acoustically problematic and requires to be treated. Achieving this can be a simple matter of moving subwoofer around or can also be a difficult task that requires treating your room and/or adding a second or a 3rd subwoofer.

In a proper set-up, it is phsically impossible to localize 70Hz, let alone 50.
post #103 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Yes and as I said, just because your stuff is not good enough don't make it a fact. Please go out and listen to better stuff.

I guess I will need to do that
post #104 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

If you can localize 50Hz, all that means is one of the 2:

1. Your subwoofer is not calibrated correctly.
2. Your room is acoustically problematic and requires to be treated. Achieving this can be a simple matter of moving subwoofer around or can also be a difficult task that requires treating your room and/or adding a second or a 3rd subwoofer.

In a proper set-up, it is phsically impossible to localize 70Hz, let alone 50.

What don't you get...its corrected Have you read my posts? How about you buying a new subwoffer? All so, make it new speakers
post #105 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

What don't you get...its corrected Have you read my posts? How about you buying a new subwoffer? All so, make it new speakers

I am pretty sure I get it. Do you?
post #106 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

I am pretty sure I get it. Do you?

Much more then you do Now you can go back to THX and 2 channel
post #107 of 230
Doesn't anyone consider the actual response curve created by the crossover?

I really doubt crossing any main speaker @ 40hz is creating a decent response curve at all since the slope is probably a hard knee type slope which would create a peak response when we add the slope of the sub.


two things to know....

1. Subs are important even for music IF YOU WANT to create the best in room response. A 2.1 setup is going to be techinically superior to a 2.0 setup. Full range speakers are a joke when it comes to bass!!

2. People should try to crossover their main speakers atleast an octave above their F3 point.




btw, I did the localization test with friends (I have a small seal sub I can move any where and they can pick the location with the sub was anything above 70Hz in my room (which is about a 1/4 wavelength of 4 feet).
post #108 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

If you can localize 50Hz, all that means is one of the 2:

1. Your subwoofer is not calibrated correctly.
2. Your room is acoustically problematic and requires to be treated. Achieving this can be a simple matter of moving subwoofer around or can also be a difficult task that requires treating your room and/or adding a second or a 3rd subwoofer.

In a proper set-up, it is phsically impossible to localize 70Hz, let alone 50.

Not going to debate 50Hz but 70Hz can be localized. Just ask any of the experts in the DIY forum.

It depends on the size of the room and the 70Hz wave length is about 16 feet.
post #109 of 230
Hey Pen, how are you doing? On the 40HZ x-over setting. I put about 4 hours in my last placement and that seems to be the best sounding for my room in 2.1 channel. I had a hump I tamed with my SMS-1 from 45hz down to about 30hz as I remember. Again, I don't have that many places to put my sub.
post #110 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

2 subs will almost always produce more accurate sound than 1 sub and 3 subs will almost always produce more accurate sound than 2 subs.

What are you smokin jack? Pass that crackpipe. So 12 subs will always be better than 11 subs, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

This may be true assuming you have an acoustically-well-treated room which also happens to be fairly small. However, the fact that you accomplished this, doesn't mean it is easily achieavable. In fact, it is simply not possible in large rooms with less than perfect acoustics.

Well, my room is about 6,000 cu. ft. and has no audiophile room treatment products whatsoever. Everything I did was within the confines of normal room contents and the shape of the room itself. I guess I must have a smaller room than most people or an "acoustically perfect" room. Who knew? What exactly is an "acoustically perfect" room? I don't think I've ever heard one. What qualifies as a large imperfect room where bass response can only be reasonably flat with massive numbers of subwoofers? Metal aircraft hangar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Now you are bringing the aesthetics into the equation. If you prefer looks to the accurate sound reproduction, then you do have a point.

And if people want a system they can actually use for social gatherings with groups of friends I have a point. On the other hand, if you have no friends or just choose to hide alone in an "acoustically perfect" man cave, I guess you can litter the room with equipment to your heart's content. No one will mind. You only need one seat in a "perfect" sweet spot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

This is simply wrong. Full range speakers can not replace a subwoofer due to their cabinet design and placement limitations. Speakers can not do the same thing.

Are you serious? A subwoofer is nothing more a driver in a box (sealed or vented), with a certain volume, and adjustable crossover, and amplification applied. How could you ever imagine that it's impossible to mount a midrange and tweeter enclosure on the same structure and not have the resulting speaker produce low frequency output equivalent to a subwoofer?

And BTW that full range speaker would have been designed to blend the drivers seamlessly and "matching" wouldn't be a consideration. And it wouldn't need an adjustable physical crossover.

The only things a subwoofer gives you is placement flexibility and the possibility of propagating a wave from more than two (main speaker) locations and the option of smaller main speakers that aren't full range.
post #111 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

What are you smokin jack? Pass that crackpipe. So 12 subs will always be better than 11 subs, right?

It will depend on the size of your room. For example, for a mid-sized room, you will need about 4 subwoofers if you want to have an accurate in room-response. You may need more or less, depending on your room size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

Well, my room is about 6,000 cu. ft. and has no audiophile room treatment products whatsoever. Everything I did was within the confines of normal room contents and the shape of the room itself. I guess I must have a smaller room than most people or an "acoustically perfect" room. Who knew? What exactly is an "acoustically perfect" room? I don't think I've ever heard one. What qualifies as a large imperfect room where bass response can only be reasonably flat with massive numbers of subwoofers? Metal aircraft hangar?

There is no such thing as an acoustically perfect room, unless you design the room from scratch, even then..

My point was one subwoofer maybe adequate for a small room, or maybe not. It would really depend on your room's response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

And if people want a system they can actually use for social gatherings with groups of friends I have a point. On the other hand, if you have no friends or just choose to hide alone in an "acoustically perfect" man cave, I guess you can litter the room with equipment to your heart's content. No one will mind. You only need one seat in a "perfect" sweet spot.

If aesthetic concerns are your priority, then you do have a point. Please note that this is not the case for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

Are you serious? A subwoofer is nothing more a driver in a box (sealed or vented), with a certain volume, and adjustable crossover, and amplification applied. How could you ever imagine that it's impossible to mount a midrange and tweeter enclosure on the same structure and not have the resulting speaker produce low frequency output equivalent to a subwoofer?

I am serious and you are wrong. A speaker's cabinet size imposes serious restrictions on the reproduction of low frequency extension. No speaker can ever sound as good as a competent subwoofer from the likes of JL, Seaton, or Paradigm. Exotic speakers are not an exception to this. Also see Penn's post right above (No. 107).
post #112 of 230
LOL, You quote Pen? I though you said that a sub at 80hz can't be directional?
post #113 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

LOL, You quote Pen? I though you said that a sub at 80hz can’t be directional?

Yes, I did. Anything below 80Hz should not be localizable, but all of this also depends on your room response, like I said before several times. Even lower than 70 Hz can be localizable if you have a poor implementation.
post #114 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Yes, I did. Anything below 80Hz should not be localizable, but all of this also depends on your room response, like I said before several times. Even lower than 70 Hz can be localizable if you have a poor implementation.

LOL...Please you have been regurgitating the same BS. . I think you need to work on your own application skills. By the way, what do you have? Oh, and still waiting on your THX 2 channel comments.
post #115 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Some generalizations also happen to be facts. Law of gravity is a generalization, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

Laugh. The LAW of gravity is NOT a generalization. And it doesn't depend upon the room, either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Can you please give me an example of when 40Hz cross-over will provide more accurate sound reproduction then? I can think of 4 scenarios:

1) The subwoofer in this particular situation is not up to the task of handling upper bass accurately.

How about the subwoofer in question is more than up to the task of handling the upper bass but the upper bass is STILL handled more accurately by the speakers than the sub in this particular room, in the speakers' and sub's (or subs') particular locations? Is that so hard to imagine?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

2) Subwoofer in this particular set up is not built competently, so speakers in fact sound better.

How about the subwoofer is built even more than competently but the speakers in question STILL sound better than the sub in the 40Hz to 80Hz range in the speakers' and sub's (or subs') particular locations? Is that impossible to fathom?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

3) Subwoofer in this particular set up is not calibrated correctly and does not blend in properly with the speakers.

How about 40Hz crossover provides much better integration and FR than an 80Hz crossover in a particular room with the speakers and sub(s) in question? I know you can wrap your head around that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

4) Subwoofer is localizable due to room related acoustical problems.

How about subwoofer is not localizable even with a 120Hz crossover but a 40Hz crossover STILL sounds better, measures better, is more accurate, etc. than an 80Hz crossover setting? Why is that so unbelievable?



You're not listening to what I am saying. It is very possible that a particular setup might sound best with an 80Hz crossover in one setting yet sound best with a 40Hz crossover in a completely different setting. Or be more accurate. Or measure best. Or whatever your criteria for "best" might be. Yes, if you could measure the "accuracy", it is very possible that a particular setup might be most accurate with an 80Hz crossover in one room yet a 40Hz crossover in another.

Do you REALLY disagree with that?

If someone wants to throw their stuff in a room and just automatically set the crossover to 80Hz based upon generalizations, that is just fine. But some people might want to actually verify which crossover setting provides them with the best experience by whatever their criteria or means might be for evaluating that. Be it their ears or measurments (which might not necessarily agree).



Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Producing the bass via speakers is less than an ideal choice due to following reasons:

1. The ideal placement for the 2 front speakers is hardly ever the ideal placement for the subwoofer. It is almost always a good idea to separate the bass from the speakers. This will provide superior placement flexibility in overcoming room modes.
2. Speakers have cabinet size limitations and subwoofers don't. Thus, it is very difficult for a speaker to produce the same quality bass as a competently built subwoofer. $100K + speakers is not exception to this.

I (we) know the benefits to be had by reproducing bass at a subwoofer instead of at speakers. And there are others besides what you list.

But making a blanket statement that with sub-40Hz capable towers and, yes, an equally capable sub, an 80Hz crossover setting is "better" than a 40Hz crossover setting is being a bit silly, don't you think? You just can't make that sort of generalization.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

To summarize, in my opinion 2-channel sound reproduction without a subwoofer is one of many audiophile myths. I can't think of any scientifically-backed reason why someone would prefer a full sized tower with no subwoofer to a high end satellite-sub combo with decent sized drivers.

We're not discussing 2 channel only versus 2 channel supplemented with sub.
post #116 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy View Post

LOL...Please you have been regurgitating the same BS. . I think you need to work on your own application skills. By the way, what do you have? Oh, and still waiting on your THX 2 channel comments.

Science is not BS.

I am not sure what you mean by the THX 2 channel.
post #117 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Science is not BS.

I am not sure what you mean by the THX 2 channel.

Go back and read your posts.
post #118 of 230
Over the years I've been here, there have been a number of threads on this topic and they always end up where this one is now: with no definitive answer.

People who prefer a sub-less 2 channel system will continue to do so, as will those who prefer a well integrated sub (emphasis on well integrated).

Just for the record, I have a sub on both the 2 and 7 channel systems I have. For me, the difference has to do with room pressurization. What I mean is, a very good speaker can dig down and produce a very satisfying amount of bass for most music.

However, when I have the sub in the system, there are certain recordings where there is a pressure in the room during passages with very low bass. You can't hear it, but you are certainly aware that you can feel it.

I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, since quite frankly the use of a sub winds up being a matter of strong personal preference.
post #119 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

If you can localize 50Hz, all that means is one of the 2:

1. Your subwoofer is not calibrated correctly.
2. Your room is acoustically problematic and requires to be treated. Achieving this can be a simple matter of moving subwoofer around or can also be a difficult task that requires treating your room and/or adding a second or a 3rd subwoofer.

3. The subwoofer is generating audible harmonic distortion from the 50 Hz signal, and while you can't localize 50 Hz, you can localize 100 Hz (second harmonic) and 150 Hz (third harmonic)

4. The subwoofer crossover has a gentle slope and its leaking appreciable amounts of higher frequencies from the music into the subwoofer.

Quote:


In a proper set-up, it is phsically impossible to localize 70Hz, let alone 50

Agreed.
post #120 of 230
For everyone's consideration

Have you ever heard a live bass drum? Whether it was part of a drum kit, part of an orchestra or a marching band?

Have you ever heard a well-recorded drum kit on your system?

Did the experiences match?

For me, I try to get my system to match my live experience with this instrument. You need to deal with low bass energy that starts below 30 Hz that temporally matches up with much higher frequencies from the transient attack. Many full range speakers are capable of reproducing the frequency spectrum of this sound very well by themselves, but when you put them in a room, the room begins to dominate and it gets boomy or weak depending on speaker placement and listening position.

So, my answer to the original question is that your main speakers need to get below 30 Hz in the room and you need to be able to place them in the room to get even bass response and you likely need to treat the room for excess bass resonance. If you can do that, you don't need a subwoofer.

Disclaimer: This only applies if you're looking for accurate reproduction of the first octave. If you really haven't heard it yet, let your mind continue to fill in blanks. It's a lot less expensive.
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