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Could one in the corner be the solution?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I’ve recently moved into a home with a large open L shaped living room, approx 5000 cubic feet.

And so begins the journey for bass nirvana, I come to this journey equipped with a Yamaha RX-V3300 powering the Andrew Jones Pioneer tower setup with two SW-8 subs an old Sony SA-WM40 sub and most importantly my trusty Radio Shack SPL meter.

Now keep in mind along this journey my listening consist of 55% music 40% TV and 5% movies. All generally in the 70-80db range with a max of 90db.

I know the SW-8 subs aren’t all that highly regarded around here, but for this part of the journey they will be adequate and I’ve actually been quite happy with their performance. As I’m mainly looking for a smoother frequency response from 90 to 30hz, which they can cover. (the Sony goes down to around 25hz, but has a bit of a spike in the 50-60hz area)

So after reading more posts and articles (Geddes, JBL, etc.) than I would care to admit to, I came to the conclusion the only way to fill this large open area is with multiple large subwoofers. But I figured before I start blindly spending money on subwoofers I might as well use what I have to at least test for positioning. Here’s where it gets interesting, the only place I could get a smooth response is the front corner (also the corner of the L). Any other sub position had various nulls with or without other subs running. So I now have both SW-8 subs stacked in the front corner and am once again quite happy with their performance.

I guess my dilemna is that it seems like from everything I have read, I should be nothing but disappointed with my current arrangement. I believe I read somewhere in one of Geddes post that with bass in this region you are mainly listening to the room. Could I have just hit the sweet spot in this L shaped room?

Is it possible that a single RW-12D or similar could give me all the volume and extension I would need in a room of this size?
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Is it possible that a single RW-12D or similar could give me all the volume and extension I would need in a room of this size?

Well that’s up to you but it sounds like you have a really good sweet spot. I never have tried out the RW-12D but plenty have as I’m sure you know. I can definitely see from how happy you are with what you have that you would be even happier with one or dual RW’s.
I see you have the WM-40.. Boy that sub brings back memories. cool.gif
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

Is it possible that a single RW-12D or similar could give me all the volume and extension I would need in a room of this size?

5000 ft^3 is a very large space, and I don't see a single RW-12D being able to fill it. A pair perhaps, but a single would more than likely be overwhelmed.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
This is what I would assume as well, but I feel like I'm running my subs a little hot now and I don't feel like they are straining at all to fill the area. The only thing I feel like I'm missing at this point is lower extension for movies. The only thing I can figure is that I'm not pushing everything to reference levels.

I guess I should consider myself lucky, as I feel like I could drop in one sub with lower extension and be set.

I just feel like I'm missing something when I see post with people running multiple PSA subs and the such. I just can't fathom needing that much sub to get a fairly flat response. Although I suppose things get a little different below 30hz.
post #5 of 27
If your not using your subs much for movies, most music has very little content below 30Hz. Unless you listen to drums & bass or pipe organs as those can sometimes reach below 20Hz.
post #6 of 27
If you are happy with what you have then that is all that matters. Good enough is subjective. TV and music don't have much in terms of LF, but it is there. Movies on physical media is where most of the ULF frequencies are. I think this is a case of ignorance is bliss. If you've never experienced a system capable of producing those frequencies with authority and clarity you'll be perfectly happy with what you have now. That is all perfectly fine. A single RW-12D should outperform your two 8" subs collocated, but is the expense worth the performance gain is, again, subjective. If that's your budget then it is what it is. You can always, use the 8" subs to smooth out the frequency response even further.

Will a single RW-12D provide the extension YOU need? Only you can answer that. Unfortunately that's probably not the definitive answer you wanted, but like I said, all that is subjective. For example, my cousin and brother are both happy and amazed with their 100W 8" subs in 15K+ ft^3 rooms. Me, I have two 18", a 15" and two 11" subs with over 20KW in a sealed ~2300 ft^3 room. I plan on replacing the two 11" subs for four more 15" subs to get more <20Hz performance. That being said, the other poster is correct, 5000ft^3 is an enormous room to fill for a 12" sub at any price let alone one from the lower echelons of the subwoofer world. Then again, it sounds like your needs are much more modest based on what you stated.

Wow, I think this has quite possibly been one of the most useless replies on this or any forum in existence. Sorry. redface.gif
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Wow, I think this has quite possibly been one of the most useless replies on this or any forum in existence. Sorry.

No I don’t think so.. it’s all subjective like you mentioned. Not all will go the route that many do. Start off small, or should I say inexpensive and then the sky is the limit once we get hooked. From there DIY maybe added with some other turnkey purchases. I think Jimmy the poster aught to run like heck and get away from this forum while he can and stay happy. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve nn View Post

I think Jimmy the poster aught to run like heck and get away from this forum while he can and stay happy. biggrin.gif

This is probably the best advice, but I think we're all here because we can't resist tinkering. Besides I heard there were cookies. smile.gif

Out of curiosity (and since the girlfriend wasn't home) I figured I would see what these two little subs actually can do in this room. So using the lowest test tone on my receiver of 35hz I was able to get to around 100db at the listening position before I chickened out. I will admit they weren't happy about it at that level but the seemed quite happy around 90db, which is generally my maximum listening volume anyway. Now I know I'm going to want a little headroom above that for movie effects, but any subwoofer with deeper extension is going to easily outperform these.

Based on these numbers it still seems that most any subwoofer that has the desired extension should be enough for this room if put in the magic corner.

I guess I would be curious of other peoples definition of being able to "fill" an area. Is it a certain frequency range at a certain db?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

This is probably the best advice, but I think we're all here because we can't resist tinkering. Besides I heard there were cookies. smile.gif

Yea, but only your browser gets to have them... biggrin.gif
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Yea, but only your browser gets to have them... biggrin.gif
Dang, ya beat me to it. biggrin.gif
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Is it a certain frequency range at a certain db?


In part. Some like to ad multiple like subs to get the best response at all seating also. It gives you more headroom as does collocating. 18-20 Hz with authority would be a nice mark to shoot for (many want lower) imo. You would notice a big difference and would be able to experience many different flavors of bass. A $500 to $600 unit would serve you well considering your criteria... 90dB smile.gif
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well I decided to step up it up to the next level and got a calibrated mic. It turns out the trusty rat shack SPL meter isn't as trustworthy as I thought. I would actually say, after seeing my original frequency response, it's barely adequate for the job. I also found out the magic corner wasn't as magical as I thought. Turns out there was quite a null around 80hz.

The other thing I learned in this little experiment is that location really dictates a subs performance.

The 12" Sony is in red, the 8' pioneer is in blue, notice how they mimic each other in each location.

Left "magic" corner


Right center


Overall I was able to get a decent response curve using both locations.


Now I just need some deeper extension. biggrin.gif
post #13 of 27
Have you opened each of the cabinets up to check for insulation? Stuffing a box with poly-fil, expectedly will help with the left end of your graph. It's costs less than $20.00 to stuff your boxes and is nothing more than removing the driver, inserting a small sheet of one inch foam to create a circle or half-moon and then stuffing the void between the foam and the cabinet walls with tuffs of fiber-fil.

Here's a link to the sound meter we use.

Just do a cut-n-paste of the product name to find another source. Even though other sources are more expensive, after going through four sound meters to see what the best one was for our needs, I found this sound meter to be the best of the bunch.

-
Edited by BeeMan458 - 6/12/13 at 5:02am
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

Now I just need some deeper extension. biggrin.gif
That can only come from big subs. As for your 'magic' corner, it subjectively seems to give a great result because the average listener is off by a full octave between what they think they're hearing and what they're actually hearing. A 60Hz bump give the impression of big bass, because that's the 2nd harmonic of 30Hz, and where low frequencies are concerned what we mainly hear is the 2nd harmonic, not the fundamental.
post #15 of 27
Gosh Jimmy! That's a pretty nice looking response. Good Job!

Oh....to extoll the Virtues of MULTIPLE Subs! smile.gif

5,000 cubes is a pretty big room, but the layout sounds vaguely similar to my own (substantially smaller) room, and I also have One (R) sub near the Right corner, and the (L) sub approximately mid-wall on the left wall (long wall)....and in my case also, the FR is super nice, and gives me the best of BOTH locations.

The rest for you looks like maybe just a bit more icing on the cake. Like the others have stated, Maximum output/ & extension will likely come with "stacked" subs, or simply Larger/more Powerful Subs in your "Golden" location .

Good Work! You're definitely going in the right direction.

Enjoy!

CV
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Have you opened each of the cabinets up to check for insulation? Stuffing a box with poly-fil, expectedly will help with the left end of your graph. It's costs less than $20.00 to stuff your boxes and is nothing more than removing the driver, inserting a small sheet of one inch foam to create a circle or half-moon and then stuffing the void between the foam and the cabinet walls with tuffs of fiber-fil.

Here's a link to the sound meter we use.

Just do a cut-n-paste of the product name to find another source. Even though other sources are more expensive, after going through four sound meters to see what the best one was for our needs, I found this sound meter to be the best of the bunch.

-

The Sony sub has already been stuffed. As for the pioneers, I never expected them to get much lower than they are now, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to give it a try.

Is there a reason I would want to use a SPL meter vs. the calibrated mic?
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

That can only come from big subs. As for your 'magic' corner, it subjectively seems to give a great result because the average listener is off by a full octave between what they think they're hearing and what they're actually hearing. A 60Hz bump give the impression of big bass, because that's the 2nd harmonic of 30Hz, and where low frequencies are concerned what we mainly hear is the 2nd harmonic, not the fundamental.

Subjectively is the key word there. I am intrigued by this 2nd harmonic phenomenon, are you able to point me to more info. on it?
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

Subjectively is the key word there. I am intrigued by this 2nd harmonic phenomenon, are you able to point me to more info. on it?
It will take some searching, but waterfall charts of the output of low frequency instruments are out there. Here's some for the electric bass, answering the very common question on electric bass forums why does one not need a speaker capable of going flat to 31Hz to handle 5 string electric bass.
http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/bass-frequency-waterfall-plots-what-they-mean-rigs-510749/

What the above doesn't mention is equal loudness, which is just as significant in what we really hear, as opposed to what we think we're hearing.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

Is there a reason I would want to use a SPL meter vs. the calibrated mic?

Several good reasons. The first being, the ability to easily and accurately gain match separate subwoofers. The second being, the ability to walk around the room taking random measurements. And the third, while the movie is running, the ability to randomly turn it on and take room measurements. Those are the main uses I find for a separate sound meter.

I also use it when running separate tones through the subwoofer and change subwoofer based parametric settings. While at the subwoofer I can easily see how the parametric setting change impacts the SPL; immediate feedback at any one time and point.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

It will take some searching, but waterfall charts of the output of low frequency instruments are out there. Here's some for the electric bass, answering the very common question on electric bass forums why does one not need a speaker capable of going flat to 31Hz to handle 5 string electric bass.
http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/bass-frequency-waterfall-plots-what-they-mean-rigs-510749/

What the above doesn't mention is equal loudness, which is just as significant in what we really hear, as opposed to what we think we're hearing.

Very interesting read, thanks
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

That can only come from big subs. As for your 'magic' corner, it subjectively seems to give a great result because the average listener is off by a full octave between what they think they're hearing and what they're actually hearing. A 60Hz bump give the impression of big bass, because that's the 2nd harmonic of 30Hz, and where low frequencies are concerned what we mainly hear is the 2nd harmonic, not the fundamental.

I just noticed the bass extension button on my receiver and it suddenly reminded me of this thread. And I realized I never really asked if there is really anything wrong with this phenomenon. If my subs are dropping off in the 30hz range anyway, is there really anything wrong running a little hot in the 60hz region? Again, this would mainly be for music, as Korean dramas don't have much bass. ; )
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

I just noticed the bass extension button on my receiver and it suddenly reminded me of this thread. And I realized I never really asked if there is really anything wrong with this phenomenon. If my subs are dropping off in the 30hz range anyway, is there really anything wrong running a little hot in the 60hz region? Again, this would mainly be for music, as Korean dramas don't have much bass. ; )
If it sounds good it is good.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
That's what I love about this hobby, it's like we combined math class with english class. It's all numbers but there are no wrong answers. It's all subjective.

I'm actually doing it all wrong and am really liking it. Mains are running large, subs running with some crossover engaged and both subs in one spot. (not the corner)
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Here's what I ended up with.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Bobarino View Post

Here's what I ended up with.

Nothing wrong with that at all for music, and it's not all that bad for HT either.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
I just figured out one more thing I could do wrong. This is probably going to give some people fits. ; )

I wanted to get the LFE out of my mains, so I figured out I can run one subwoofer off my main pre outs and the other on the subwoofer out. Now the weird thing is the sub on the pre outs likes to be run at 180 phase. The only thing I can figure is the pre outs are affected by the mains distance setting. The bass in 2 channel music now seems to have a transparency that I've never had before.
post #27 of 27
It could also be that ONE of those outputs feeding your Subs is "Inverting', and the other not.

Whichever setting gives you the better performance is the right one!

Cool.
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