I wanted to follow up on my post awhile ago where I was comparing the distance my receiver set my subs at vs. the distance Rythmik's Subtuner calculator gives.
My theory was that if one of these was out of phase slightly, you might hear the frequencies where the crossover exists to be lower. So I finally got some time alone in the house without the wife and was able to take some measurements.
- Rythmik calculator sets the distance at 6' 9"
- Pioneer MCACC sets the distance at 9' 8.5"
- Crossover point is 80 Hz
- Used one of the new Radio Shack SPL meters - have no idea how good it is at bass frequencies, but figured for a relative comparison it didn't matter.
- Used warble tones for my frequencies, they tended to jump around a little bit on the meter. So the degree of accuracy included me watching a moving number and trying to figure out what the overall average is. So these numbers are probably not very exact. I'd say min +/- a couple dB's error margin.
You can see the graph in the attachment. Basically in terms of pure SPL there didn't seem to be much of a difference. Maybe ever so slightly in favor of the Rythmik calculator above the crossover point.
But I spent some more time listening to music between these two. I think there is more to the story here than SPL.
Electronic dance music is a great genre to test out this type of thing because the instruments are done in a computer and perfectly aligned. So if you hear a drum beat and a bass beat or bass line, you can actually tell if they are aligned well or not.With Pioneer's MCACC setting
(which is actually very close to the real distance the subs are from listening position), bass seemed muddier and actually like there was more bass. I think I can attribute this to a longer delay than there should be on bass notes. So for instance the drum beat hits, you hear the higher frequency part of it, then slightly later the subs kick in. So the actual drum beat lasts a bit longer than it should = "more" bass that sounds muddier. When there was a very busy bassy party of a song, the bass from the subs seemed decoupled from the music and was just rumbly.With the Rythmik Subtuner setting
, the bass sounded tighter, and more controlled. It gave the perception of less bass, but it was a lot cleaner. It's obviously not less bass in terms of SPL given my measurements, so I think it's just a perception probably due to the slightly shorter time span a drum beat exists from the snap to the bass note. In the same busy bass part of the track that sounded rumbly before, now you could tell the drum beat that the bass note was attached to.
Hopefully you guys find my experiment interesting. I did. I fully expected to see more discrepancy between these two in terms of SPL. But it looks like Brian's program does a great job at making the cleanest, tightest integration between mains and subs. Thanks for taking the time to create this Brian!