Originally Posted by carp
Damn you guys, now you have me thinking of experimenting with nearfield again.
Near-field subwoofing can be fantastic, but really takes some work to blend well with the mains. I've been experimenting w/nearfield placement ever since my dual Velodyne days, and I really struggled to make it a positive overall experience, rather than simply a tactile/raw SPL thing. Back then, I found L-to-R balance was really fundamental, otherwise I could sense the placement imbalance.
I've since recreated those initial experiments more recently, and again have really struggled to make it ideally transparent and well blended with the mains. I did eventually find an ideal placement, flanking my primary LP, and rearward diagonally off my position by about 4 feet. With very exhaustive experiments w/low passing and time alignment, and careful use of acoustic treatment panels filtering the localization energy that the EQ'ing and LP doesn't catch.
I haven't really fully determined the ins and outs of this energy absorption ... treatment panel approach, but it's worthy of more examination for sure. It would appear as if utilizing OC703 rigid (or equiv) to attenuate out of band/aberrant output, may be another tool in the arsenal. By addressing the issue both electronically (and in this case mechanically
), by knocking down any spurious upper range stuff, the psycho-acoustic illusion that the bass is of entirely integrated within the mains image is heightened. Placing the panels right up by the drivers is what I've explored, much more to learn, for sure.
Anyway, nearfield advantages are multi-fold and not limited to
1.) FR smoothness
2.) Tactile immediacy
3.) Typically less modal excitation/tighter decay time*
4.) Lower operating level due to proximity
----a.) Distortion lowering
----b.) Less room excitation noise
----c.) Minimizing LF egress and bothering adjacent others/neighbors*
I'd suspect in most enthusiast systems, this issue is already lessened with EQ'ing.
Nearfield can be fantastic, however there is downsides, especially with uniformity across multiple seats, rows, and relative phase integrity w/mains in the upper range of the sub's bandwidth. That's tricky stuff for sure, ... those varying distances and maintain phase accuracy and impact in the top octave of the sub's coverage.
Good thread here, I'd not stopped in here for quite some time.