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Here's my proposed layout (pic); should I do 1 or 2 subs?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am trying to setup my first home theater. I do not have an avr yet, and I do not have a subwoofer.

But I do have 7 speakers which are all Energy speakers:

1 pair of RC-70's towers, 1 pair of RC-10's bookshelfs, 1 center RC-LCR, and 1 pair cb-5's bookshelfs/satellites. Here's the links for the specs of all of those.

70's http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...pecifications/
10's http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...pecifications/
LCR http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...pecifications/
5's http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...pecifications/

It may be debatable...IDK...But would it be better to go with one nicer subwoofer, or two lesser subwoofers?

I'm actually not sure how much I am looking to spend on a subwoofer, basically because I am trying to figure out the best way to play this out. I mean, I know there is no one way to go about acquiring all the pieces to ones ht, and I am trying to figure out the best point of attack here.

I'd like to go ahead and get something now, subwoofer wise, but I don't think I should go more than $500 or so, for right now. Maybe if I waited a few months I could go up to, say, maybe $1000. But there in lies my question. For the same total amount of money spent, are two subwoofers better than one? Or is one superior subwoofer better here?

Any suggestions for subwoofers, either way?

Would you guys have any suggestions of where you might think the best area to place one would be?

I'd say my ht will be used for 75%movies tv / 25% music (but I really want to enjoy my music)

Any, and all advice is appreciated. Thanks.

(Here is a picture of my proposed layout (with the couch in brown). This is my basement, and I believe the dimensions are pretty accurate, give or take a couple inches here and there. One block is 1ft x 1ft.)
LL
post #2 of 25
The most inexpensive sub, that's generally acceptable is the BIC F12. There's just nothing cheaper that would be acceptable. At around $200, nothing can touch it. Two of these would easily fit into your $500 budget, and you could scale up and purchase 2 more when the situation permits. There are many outstanding reasons to go with multiple subs. Optimizing the sub/room interface is difficult at best. Multiple subs makes this endeavor much easier, and generally brings with it a higher quality experience.

Also, there are single offerings of more powerful subs that would be fine to. They may exhibit more peaks and nulls in the room response, but they would be powerful, and adding more of them as finances allowed is always an option. Your room looks like the front two corners would allow for decent response, and likely about the best LF loading possible.

The ED A7S-450, a sealed 18" 1.3kw powered is a strong performer, and under $1k. The HSU, VTF15H is vented, at around the same price. The Epik Empire is a sealed dual 15 in the same price range.

This paper will illustrate why multiple subs tend to be optimum. It is an industry standard reference.

This paper is by Toole, and also illustrates the manner in which to optimize one's LF in room.

Learning about the speaker/room interface is key. Your room is odd shaped but you'll be fine.



Good luck
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all of that. I really like links that I can study as well, thanks.

Isn't there a list somewhere here of, basically all, the different subs that are currently selling these days?
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

.....

Isn't there a list somewhere here of, basically all, the different subs that are currently selling these days?

Not that I know of.

Many of us are just aware of the commercial products availed to us, and can just rattle them off. Their are many unsuccessful one offs, that don't get much chatter, but anything that can exhibit a solid performance/dollar ratio gets the attention of enthusiasts quickly...and that news travel fast. There are cost no object approaches as well, but oddly many of these under-perform for HT.

JL for example, superior workmanship, remarkable linearity, however they don't plunge the depths that the LFE standards require for contemporary soundtrack releases. Their F113, a revolutionary product in it's own right, however it has a -3db point whereby much lower frequency content would elude the listener.

Their flagship Gotham, a dual 13", 300lb masterpiece, it costs around $8K, and would be great in any system. It excels at music because music doesn't have the ULF requirements that HT does. It is an excellent product, by any standard...but, for extreme low frequencies that exist these days, there are better options for HT. For around $2k, one could get a Seaton Submersive. Larger drivers, more powerful amplifier, and it plunges about as deep as the material requires. So one could get 3 Submersives, which offers 12,000 watts across 6 drivers in technically superior dual opposed cabinets....all this and money to spare.

Study the differences that vented and sealed offer, and how each alignment would be best for your room. Learn how optimization will enable you to get a lot more out of your system. Don't discount the need for additional headroom. Headroom, or the gap between the operational level, and the max potential of the system, is the most critical aspect in proper sub-woofing. Headroom cures nearly all non-linearity issues. Rarely is someone regretful about buying too much sub. Oftentimes however, they realize they should have pursued a more robust product. Buy something that you can buy more of later, to increase in scale. A multi-sub approach is the theoretical ideal. Keep in mind the power ratio of 3db for every doubling in power. So power reserves get gobbled up fast with EQing, which every system needs. Remember that for every halving of frequency, a driver must quadruple it's excursion to maintain the same volume level.

The dynamics in HT, the wildly swinging levels exceed music substantially. 30db swings are commonplace. These dynamics must be tended to produce a realistic experience. This takes a lot of air movement,..there is no substitute for displacement. Explore DIY, and the incredible high value encountered in that arena.

I'll stop..too much caffeine.

Good luck and no, I don't know of a list of subs
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks. Yeah, I take anything I can get over here, advice wise.

I haven't begun reading the two articles you put up yet, so it might be in there, but as far as a recommended subwoofer in relation to the cubic feet of the room, how does having two subwoofers interact with that equation? (I've seen sites that say, "you have a 6000 cu.ft room you need this sub". But would 2 subs for a 3000 cu. ft size room be the same?
post #6 of 25
If you're open to spending $1000 later on, then I think I would wait and spend $1000. In that price range you start getting into some of the real heavy hitters. Hsu VTF-15H, Elemental Designs A5-350, Epik Empire...

OR

You could buy one ~$500 sub now, then add another $500 sub later. Dual Hsu VTF-2's, dual Elemental Designs A3-300's, dual Outlaw LFM-1 Pluses... All good choices.

I think the BIC sub is probably good for people that just want one cheap sub. But if there's a budget for buying a higher quality, higher power sub, I say skip the Bic and go for something better.

That is a pretty big, oddly shaped room, so I think I would go for dual subs personally.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

If you're open to spending $1000 later on, then I think I would wait and spend $1000. In that price range you start getting into some of the real heavy hitters. Hsu VTF-15H, Elemental Designs A5-350, Epik Empire...

OR

You could buy one ~$500 sub now, then add another $500 sub later. Dual Hsu VTF-2's, dual Elemental Designs A3-300's, dual Outlaw LFM-1 Pluses... All good choices.

I think the BIC sub is probably good for people that just want one cheap sub. But if there's a budget for buying a higher quality, higher power sub, I say skip the Bic and go for something better.

That is a pretty big, oddly shaped room, so I think I would go for dual subs personally.


Very good points, however, what's good, and available at ~$500 The Epik Legend is in that area, but, not available.

This is a very interesting situation. Would a BIC $200 scale out, and be contending with a more effective solo sub. Four BICs against a HSU vented 15"...interesting. Thread worthy.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I actually got my parents a bic f12 with their Energy Take 5 classic satellites, although I really haven't had much time to listen to their system all that much, unfortunately. So I am somewhat familiar with the f12.

I really don't think I would want to do more than 2 subwoofers and I understand that your links may say that multiple subs are better than less than multiple (still haven't read the links yet...will get around to them next day or so).

I am wanting to go with better quality sub than the f12. From what I have gathered it is hard to beat for the price, but that the f12 of course does have it shortcomings (music maybe?) when compared to some of the other subs (some already mentioned).

That's just my question jball77...How would those $1000 dollar subs compare to two $500 subs?
I think I would rather go the two $500 subs route. That way I could maybe go ahead and get one soon (budget permitting) and then think about what I want for my 2nd one later, when again budget permits.

If I went dual subs, would they have to be the same subs or not? Would they have to be of the same family type (similar sub-brand type).

Thanks again guys.
post #9 of 25
recommended subs thread (more appropriate for low-end)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1246684

The above advice that individuals have given you is excellent.


Consider two Hsu VTF2.3s or two Hsu VTF3.3s. You have a very large area.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post
That's just my question jball77...How would those $1000 dollar subs compare to two $500 subs?
I think I would rather go the two $500 subs route. That way I could maybe go ahead and get one soon (budget permitting) and then think about what I want for my 2nd one later, when again budget permits.

If I went dual subs, would they have to be the same subs or not? Would they have to be of the same family type (similar sub-brand type).

Thanks again guys.
I don't personally have any experience with the 2x$500 vs 1x$1000 question, but I do know that it has been discussed here more than a few times.

From what I can glean from the threads I've read, it's a trade off that depends on your room. If you have an "easy" room with some good room gain and no big nulls, one big sub would give you more output and probably lower freq response. BUT, if you have a "difficult" room, dual subs would give you a more even response over the listening area.

There's also some math that I don't understand about co-locating subs (stacking them) vs having them in different areas of the room. I guess co-locating the subs gives you more of an output gain than two separated subs would, but I don't understand the theory on that... Maybe someone better informed than me can chime in on that.
post #11 of 25
Rule of Thumb: Two identical subs not co-located +3 db, tend to smooth out room effects. Two identical subs co-located +6 db.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys. (there's that list)
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinkler View Post

Rule of Thumb: Two identical subs not co-located +3 db, tend to smooth out room effects. Two identical subs co-located +6 db.

This is frequency dependant. If two subs are less than 1/4 the wavelegth, cone center to center, they too enjoy the benefits of mutual coupling.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

This is frequency dependant. If two subs are less than 1/4 the wavelegth, cone center to center, they too enjoy the benefits of mutual coupling.

Interesting..... So if the subs are 6 ft apart, they would see a +6dB gain from 1Hz to about 47Hz, then +3dB gain from 47Hz on up?
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

Interesting..... So if the subs are 6 ft apart, they would see a +6dB gain from 1Hz to about 47Hz, then +3dB gain from 47Hz on up?


The benefits gained for theoretical co-location aren't an all or nothing proposition. The manner in which these spl gains occur don't baseline at zero (given the 3db gain inherent to a second, like powered source), and jump to 6db at full co-location. It's a gradual process whereby the two distinct sources operate entirely separate from one another, and slowly sum to the total +6db due to constructive superimposition at the LP.

When two sources, sub-woofers in this case, are positioned relatively close to one another, whereby their acoustical centers are approximately within 1/4 wavelength, mutual coupling is the consequence. This mutual coupling sums their acoustic outputs over the frequency range involved (within 1/4 wavelength) and will couple combine and propagate as one unified waveform. The incremental nature of the constructive superimposition is due to the sources being increasingly in phase at the LP, then the two drivers essentially act as one larger, more capable driver.


In live sound at an outdoor event, we know two sources producing the same signal, regardless of spacing relative to one another, will mutually couple on axis and will result in a 6 dB increase in level. However, as the LP begins to move off axis, the coupling decreases as the distances from each sub to the listener increasingly change. Now the higher the frequencies involved, these changes occur much quicker.

Clearly, we see that the degree of the mutual coupling at any point off-axis is dependent on the sub spacing, and the frequency the sub is producing. This creates what we term "power alley". The on axis shotgun area whereby the LF is the strongest perpendicular to the stage. The are many methods to alleviate this, if one chooses to do so. To start with, one could utilize a single point source sub system. That method would alleviate any lobing and inconsistencies, however, those individuals close to the system would be experiencing much greater levels than any other seat Even nicely directional cardioid sub-woofer coverage patterns are easily achievable in which high levels of LF can be directed into the audience area, and off the stage where it is highly problematic. There are off the shelf cardioid subs, or one constructs an array on site via delay and proper box spacing.


Interesting topic.



Good luck
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

The benefits gained for theoretical co-location aren't an all or nothing proposition. The manner in which these spl gains occur don't baseline at zero (given the 3db gain inherent to a second, like powered source), and jump to 6db at full co-location. It's a gradual process whereby the two distinct sources operate entirely separate from one another, and slowly sum to the total +6db due to constructive superimposition at the LP.

That's pretty cool. It's certainly another argument for multiple subs vs a single. Especially if the duals were close enough that they had the coupling effect in the the lower frequencies where lots of cheaper subs struggle. But it also highlights the need for at least a rudimentary EQ for multiple subs, lest the coupling effect get out of hand and lead to a big hump down low in the frequency response.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

But it also highlights the need for at least a rudimentary EQ for multiple subs, lest the coupling effect get out of hand and lead to a big hump down low in the frequency response.
Regardless of coupling, every sub system can benefit from EQ. You've got to knock the boom down to the point whereby you can hear the textural qualities of the LF. More head bob, more air bass
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
So something like the Onkyo nr3008 avr that has Audyssey MultiEQ xt32 (which includes Sub EQ HT, apparently) would be very nice for incorporating 2 subwoofers.

(I just learned, while posting this, that avr's with multie eq xt with dual subwoofer preouts already had sub eq ht provided...I thought that was new to xt32. Huh. Only xt32 has more filters.)

But Audyssey's newly named Sub EQ HT (http://www.audyssey.com/aboutus/pres...y-now-on-avrs-), or something similar, is a really nice feature and probably necessary for more than one subwoofer?
post #19 of 25
My home theater is very similar to yours as far as size of the room and size of the home theater area. I was planning on getting 2 Hsu VTF 2.3's, one at a time. Well, I got the first one and see no reason to add a second. Very, very impressed with this sub. I would recommend getting one of these and trying it in several different places and see if you would need another. I tried mine in 3 places and each one was very different. The difference of a few inches can completely change the geometry.


Edit:
Oh yeah, thought I should mention, my room is all hardwood, so that does effect quite a bit.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for putting up your opinion. Yeah, to me that sub is very interesting. My room is mostly all carpet, and I am concentrating my ht in just one section of the whole room. That's interesting how you noticed differences with just a few inches of placement difference. I would have never thought it could be that specific.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

So something like the Onkyo nr3008 avr that has Audyssey MultiEQ xt32 (which includes Sub EQ HT, apparently) would be very nice for incorporating 2 subwoofers.

(I just learned, while posting this, that avr's with multie eq xt with dual subwoofer preouts already had sub eq ht provided...I thought that was new to xt32. Huh. Only xt32 has more filters.)

But Audyssey's newly named Sub EQ HT (http://www.audyssey.com/aboutus/pres...y-now-on-avrs-), or something similar, is a really nice feature and probably necessary for more than one subwoofer?

Properly executed, Audyssey's multi sub time and freq EQing (and products similar) should have huge impact on quality LF in the home. I've never had the pleasure, however it takes a very complex issue, and addresses the major issues in sub-woofing.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
I ordered a Denon avr4311ci and it should ship early this week. (I realize I could have found a lesser avr, but I went back and forth for a long while and decided this was the route I would go, mainly for "futureproofing" somewhat and not having to do anymore research and upgrading anytime soon.)
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
My budget may be able to go higher on the subwoofers. I definitely would like to have two subwoofers. I now wonder if I should do vented or sealed subwoofers. Advice?

The drywall where the tv is has concrete behind it all the way across about 5 feet high. At some point towards the bottom left corner in the room diagram that five foot wall turns into basically an all concrete corner from top to bottom. (Starts about 8ft from the bottom corner, I'd say.) Then the bottom wall, in the diagram, there is solid concrete behind the drywall.

I am trying to learn how all of this concrete will affect the subwoofers. Any input?

(Once again here is my proposed "home theater" layout.)
LL
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post
My budget may be able to go higher on the subwoofers. I definitely would like to have two subwoofers. I now wonder if I should do vented or sealed subwoofers. Advice?

The drywall where the tv is has concrete behind it all the way across about 5 feet high. At some point towards the bottom left corner in the room diagram that five foot wall turns into basically an all concrete corner from top to bottom. (Starts about 8ft from the bottom corner, I'd say.) Then the bottom wall, in the diagram, there is solid concrete behind the drywall.

I am trying to learn how all of this concrete will affect the subwoofers. Any input?

(Once again here is my proposed "home theater" layout.)
In a room that size I would definitely go ported with whatever brand you decide. I have a sealed sub, so I have no bias. Buying sealed can get expensive when trying to fill such large rooms.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well I guess I am a little confused. I mean yeah I will be listening to music at the far end of the room. But for movies I will be in that alcove. I've heard of "pressurizing the room" and bass has no "direction" of sound, and what not. I guess I just am not sure how vented vs. sealed would react to my room.

I mean, I've never had a subwoofer before. So I trully do not understand the differences between sealed and ported, try as I might in researching.

I also am not sure how much is: enough, too little, or too much (ha..ha...if there is such a thing...I don't want to damage my house or worse, my loved ones).


Edit- I think I need to start a new thread asking people what subwoofers I should choose. The title of this thread asks if I should choose one subwoofer or two subwoofers in which either scenario would equal out to the same money spent. I believe the answer is two, especially now that I bought an avr which does the dual equalization thing (only now I believe I have to step up my budget). I find the answers I received in this thread to be VERY informative and I really do appreciate them. Thank you.
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