Originally Posted by Mark Seaton
It always comes back to what guys want to compare.
There is no perfect comparison, only a series of possible snapshots. In the Omaha subfest, they decided to attempt to EQ each subwoofer to a similar passband target. This makes for an very interesting comparison of how designs differ beyond just the frequency response and looks closer at the potential from those spending more time measuring their systems, but helps some products much more than others. Those who are just plugging subwoofers in a room with moderate placement and level adjustment effort could have very different impressions. The usefulness of different comparisons depends on how similar the conditions are to other enthusiasts.
So far as singles or duals, the one problem is that to really get a feel for the VLF capabilities and how impressive some of the subs are, you need to listen at a sufficiently high level. For most subwoofers you will find a clear point where listening 5dB louder or softer will dramatically change what is heard. So what level do you want to judge the sub's performance at? What happens when the level you choose is just below this comfortable playback level of one sub, and just over another?
Using multiples gives a better chance of hearing what the subs can do within their output limits, but again is that what you want to determine or compare?
Hola Mark and all:
I believe the fact that "no comparisons perfect" goes without saying. There's countless variables- even slightly altered- that will change the results dramatically. I'm certainly no expert, but that much seems blatantly obvious, IMO.
In a comparison such as this one where it seems all involved will be hi to higher end heavy hitters, what's the point in essentially "masking" the limitations of a single unit by using a pair?
That's all you're really doing, right?: "hey we know sub "a" won't do "x" at level "y", but if we add a second it will be more aligned with sub "b" that does a better job within those parameters."
Seems a bit goofy for a comparison to me.
A level "below the comfortable playback level of one sub...".
I simply do not understand that assertion (assuming that by "level" you mean an SPL high enough to reproduce meaningful VLF)...although I can certainly agree with a level HIGHER than what another's capable of muddying things up.
But, as I said in the other thread, why not simply reduce playback levels -5 to -10dbs below reference? This is still plenty loud for SQ comparison, and surely all of these "contenders" should be able to reproduce these levels in this room, at least relatively near-field?
And- imperatively- if some cannot do it at 15 or 10hz, so be it. Again, I'm of the opinion that we find out what these do solo and then let the even semi-learned hobbyist apply the basic +'s of another unit like increased output and more uniform response. Just an opinion there, of course.
"Using multiples gives a better chance of hearing what the subs can do within their output limits, but again is that what you want to determine or compare?"
But again, I (and others I feel) simply liken duals to adding a supercharger to a Mustang so it can more "evenly compete" against a Ferrari. Bit of a leap in this case I realize, but the core analogy is sound.
What it really comes down to is this for me: WHY would you choose duals over singles?
So far the most resonable answer I heard was from Anarchea: essentially to even out room response as to benefit multiple listeners in varying areas of the room.
All others seem to just be saying one way or another: this sub can't do "x" so adding another will allow it to...or at least "better" than one.
I'm not tryin to be smart a$$ here or be flip, I've simply NEVER read or seen a pro review of multiple subs using pairs of each and I'm inclined to believe it's for good reason and not because they can't get pairs from the manufacturers.
If all of the aforementioned is a convoluted mess I'm going to blame it being run ragged by my 7 week-old daughter...she's my first!