FOH = Front of house
I understand that I'm jumping in the deep end here, however this is a learning opportunity for me. My knowlege level in these areas is not nearly equal to the level of the vast majority of the contributors to these forums.
Let's get back to the very basics sound capture and reproduction. I have to keep things simple so this is my way to help me, and perhaps the OP, in a better understanding of the "Two Camps".
As we all know, every item throughout the recording/playback chain must accurately track the signal waveform. I suppose it's arguable, however... the transducers at each end of the chain generally must overcome the most physics of our environment, air in particular.
Let's examine the lower octaves, since that's the primary focus of the lively discussion here.
Now just as the low E string on an electric bass guitar vibrates rather freely at 41.2, or the foot pedal beater hits the highly damped head of the kick drum, and it quickly decays away, the transducers responsible for the acquisition must do so in as much of a linear fashion as possible. In the case of the bass pickup, the electromagnetic interaction of the metallic string modulating the flux of the pickup is, for our purposes here, relatively symmetrical. Now on the other hand, as an artistic choice, the kick drum head is asymmetrically damped...i.e. the beater side is unencumbered, but the interior of the drum is damped with some nasty pillow that the drummer pulled out of his gig bag. Therefore the mic that is inside, between the two heads, must as accurately as possible track the asymmetrically damped beater head of the kick drum as well as the overall tone of the two heads.
If one's goal is the exact recreation of the captured event, (either with substantial electronic manipulation or pure and un-adulterated, be it amplified for mass consumption at a concert, or recorded for playback in our homes and theaters at a later time), accurate replication of the end product is the theoretical ideal.
That being said, throughout the entire chain, the asymmetrical waveform and all it's components must be maintained, and upon playback..., must be replicated as precisely as possible. Ideally, polarity must be maintained due to the asymmetrical nature of the attack and subsequent decay, ...i.e., the leading edge of the kick drum impulse is a compression and not a rarefaction. Now different elements in the mix vary in absolute polarity importance. Some are distinguishable and most aren't. For this discussion, I'm referring to the theoretical ideal.
That brings us to the final transducers in the chain; which in this discussion are sealed subs, one being a relatively small box and the other being an IB. When the entirety of the moving parts, all coupled to... in this case a cone, attempts to precisely track the asymmetrical signal voltage, would both the IB and the small box react identically or would one have the advantage over the other? There are legions of individuals that feel that the IB has the inherent advantage due to the (relatively) symmetrical manner in which each side of the driver is loaded respective to it's environment. Whereas the small box sees the room air on one side and the significantly smaller volume of air on the other.
Do these two air load scenarios, which are at opposite ends of the spectrum, favor the IB? Are the frequencies affected by this asymmetry to high to be discernible? In my opinion, as the owner of a sealed 15" that's sealed so well as to slowly relocate back to the center position after being carefully pushed back into the cabinet against the air spring, that the IB would be able to track the macro and micro dynamics more precisely than my sub. However, is this an aspect that we can hear?
Can adjustments in EQ negate any of these aspects of asymmetrical air loading of the drivers?
In my opinion, theoretically, the IB has the distinct advantage in the ability to track the waveform. Is this valid at these frequencies?
I know, that's a helluva first post. I began to ramble ...sorry. I've lurked here long enough and learned a great deal. I wanted to lurk long enough to get the proper context on the contributors to these discussions. I've got an incredible amount of respect for a lot of what I've read and I am looking forward to learning a great deal more.
I, for one, think I'm going to build me an IB to see for myself. Might be while... but I'll do it.