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How many SPL is a loud sub ???

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
What is a good sub capable of doing at say 20hz ? 30hz? 40hz ?

How many db is "loud" or "good" ??
post #2 of 95
Depends.

What do you consider loud?

A. Disturbing the wife when she is watching TV in the next room?
B. Rattling the neighbors windows 100 yards away and not hearing the cops beating on the door with a billy club until you get to a break between songs?
post #3 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobeer4don View Post

Depends.

What do you consider loud?

A. Disturbing the wife when she is watching TV in the next room?
B. Rattling the neighbors windows 100 yards away and not hearing the cops beating on the door with a billy club until you get to a break between songs?

Good response, it just depends on the listener. I've had someone complain that was pretty far, maybe 70 yards away, that we were having a house party. Turned out we were watching a movie. IMO 120db down to 20hz. Any less... meh

More than that? Invite me over.

To achieve beyond this cheaply, build 4 f20s or 4 lilwreckers at a cost of around $1300.. Hope you have a big basement. If you don't go diy, expect to pay around 8k for 4 "smaller" subs.
post #4 of 95
I'd agree with 120 hz @ 20hz is good. I know people think I'm crazy when they see my system but who cares, I'll rattle their brains around for a few minutes and ask them again! lol
post #5 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post

Good response, it just depends on the listener. I've had someone complain that was pretty far, maybe 70 yards away, that we were having a house party. Turned out we were watching a movie. IMO 120db down to 20hz. Any less... meh

More than that? Invite me over.

To achieve beyond this cheaply, build 4 f20s or 4 lilwreckers at a cost of around $1300.. Hope you have a big basement. If you don't go diy, expect to pay around 8k for 4 "smaller" subs.

haha how about 8 micro wreckers ? i built 8 of them for my dj rig but havent had a gig large enough to put all 8 into service yet, that all changes next saturday though, as ill be running all 8 and i cant wait
post #6 of 95
You guys are throwing around 120dB @ 20hz like it's what everyone else has.

I have listened to a movie where the sound averaged around 100dB @ 25hz ~ flat-ish to 20khz @ seating position, and it was pretty damn loud. Not "that's a little loud, can you turn it down?", but I was actually squinting a little. As if changing my ocular disposition would affect the waveforms assaulting my ears. I could have turned the sub up a little more, but it sounded fine where it was.

Now, 120dB @ 20hz? Have you ever heard a hard hitting 20hz? Even a small amount of that is enough to rattle picture frames - hell I hit just under 110dB and the floor felt like it was moving. None of that is normal lol. (Well I think it was around 20hz... its the Tron Legacy scene where buddy enters the Tron world and the big ship picks him up and flies him to the arena. Floor shakes.


Ok here's what I think. Yes, I love 20Hz moving my floor, and people smile when they experience it. However, "LOUD" depends on what your life experiences have ruined you for. If your only sub was a 12" ported from polk audio, then you probably feel like the king of the world when that thing puts out anything more than the TV sound. At that point you are probably barely dipping into the 100dB range at the 40-60Hz peaks. Then you DIY and get a taste of extension and considerable SPL increase. At this point, anything else you can afford at the store will sound like an expensive fartcan with a nice logo.


After hearing everything I have, and being a little bit practical, I would say that for most uses - a sub that reaches 20hz @ 100dB (-3dB groundplane) would give the average spouse a satisfactory sub that usually wouldn't see more than 90dB with the wife/kids around, and when you feel like it, take advantage of the corner loading and put out 100-110dB - which is actually pretty loud.
post #7 of 95
Thread Starter 
My goal is north of 120db@20hz.

Just wondering how realistic that is?

What does a higher end multiple sub set up usually do ?
post #8 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

My goal is north of 120db@20hz.

Just wondering how realistic that is?

It can be very realistic sounding.
Quote:
What does a higher end multiple sub set up usually do ?

I have 3 friends who have subs in this performance category.

You are talking multiple (4 or more) units large Xmax 18" subs and killowatts of amplifier power. To be more specific, the minimum among my friends is 4 units of the Stereo Integrity 18, with its own Behringer 4K amp. I think all 3 systems have the amps on a dedicated 230 volt circuit.

Exactly what you need is based on the room and its absorbency which is based on flexibility and geometry.
post #9 of 95
Everyone has different definitions of loud and good, and what constitutes a good sub.

Some people find 100db to be loud, others think 120db is loud, while some may think 140db is loud.

Some people like the rumble of the low end in movies, others like synthetic/electronic bass, and some like a kick drum.

Some prefer vented, others sealed, others horns.

It's all a matter of personal preference.
post #10 of 95
So many variables involved in finding a solution....... Room size, distance from LP to the subs, does the room open to other rooms. Budget will be the key factor as ArnyK says, this will take multiple subs, measurement gear and DSP EQ. Also as mentioned these amps dont get plugged in the wall, dedicated service would be best option. Then where do the amps go, in room will require some mods to fans ect.

With enough money, you can do anything !!!!!
post #11 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

My goal is north of 120db@20hz.

Just wondering how realistic that is?

What does a higher end multiple sub set up usually do ?

Ok, at this point you are passed the point of practicality and reason, and you are at the point of slight insanity, which is an inherent trait here on the forum.. including yours truly biggrin.gif

That goal is easily reachable in a corner loaded situation, especially in a smaller closed off room. I'm pretty sure Lilmike's F20 can reach that level corner loaded at around 20hz... I figure a pair of F20's would do the job quite well - at around 250-300 watts a cab.

Otherwise if you want to go sealed, then you are talking 18" drivers and kilowatts. However you would get extension below 10Hz.

So the real question is - how realistic is 120dB+ @ 20Hz with a budget of _______ ?
post #12 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decadent_Spectre View Post

Everyone has different definitions of loud and good, and what constitutes a good sub.

Some people find 100db to be loud, others think 120db is loud, while some may think 140db is loud.

Some people like the rumble of the low end in movies, others like synthetic/electronic bass, and some like a kick drum.

Some prefer vented, others sealed, others horns.

It's all a matter of personal preference.

+1

It also depends greatly on frequency...I have experienced a legit 130dB+ of 16Hz more than once and I would not call it loud to the ear at all, more like audible but many orders of magnitude more of a "physical" body phenomenon than any discomfort on the ear mechanism itself. In fact it makes you afraid for the surrounding structure or vehicle. Now 130dB+ 3 octaves higher at 125Hz is a whole other thing which will cause ear discomfort in most people and is accompanied by less obvious physical sensations on the rest of the body and surroundings but is many times more subjectively loud. If you increase the frequency another 3 octaves to 1000Hz this same SPL level will cause less noticeable physical sensation on the body or surroundings (No concerns for a building or car interior) but will cause severe ear pain in most people since this is an area where the ear is far more sensitive than way down in the bass.

Typically it is easy to get enough sub for more headroom than needed from 40-150Hz...Say 120dB at your headrest, which would probably be more than enough for the typical listening habits of most. But maintaining headroom gets increasingly difficult as the desired extension is lowered from 40Hz to 30 to 20 to 16 to 10 etc...Even with typical room gain this requires huge increases in total displacement, SD, power, etc...Most of the improvement in bigger sub systems is often targeted at more deep bass headroom and deeper extension. The difference in equipment needed for a sub system that can deliver 120dB to the headrest at 16Hz versus one that can only deliver that much at 32Hz is huge.

Just for reference of what an excessive multi driver DIY setup can do in a 3200 cubic foot room here is what my 8x sealed XXX 18 / 2x Powersoft K10 system will do when measured at my headrest with the CEA-2010 program. I am limited by the available amp power and tiny sealed enclosures to about 4dB less than what the drivers could theoretically do at xmax, but nonetheless doing these tests broke a door frame and 3 pictures. The CEA-2010 burst signals are less than half a second duration. I stopped after the 31.5Hz burst caused a large picture to fall off of the wall in the hallway upstairs and break on the tile foor. I decided to call it good at that point. I have a large peak at my listening position at about 45Hz so undoubtedly 40Hz would have been over 140dB. I also measured over 128dB at 7Hz with a sine wave with this system. In no way would I want to experience these levels in my home for any sort of real duration if split second signals cause such devastation already. This is a brick and concrete room on 4 out of 6 boundaries too. I'd hate to think of what it could potentially do to an older wood frame structure. I typically listen at -20dB below this systems potential so it's way overkill for me.


post #13 of 95
You can achieve your goals for cheap if DIY or spend some money and can do it ID.

Here are 4 F-20s hitting 122 dBs with a sine wave(much harder than movies) with 10% THD. It sound really good at this level and this was 14 feet away at my LP. It cost about $300 per sub and a simple EP-4000 could power them all! So for $1500 you could do it. This same system also hit 116 dBs at 15 hz and 111 dBs at 10hz with the same THD(10% is my limit I want).

Again, this is with constant sine waves and much harder to replicate than movies. I probably have 6 dBs extra with movies.

post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

You can achieve your goals for cheap if DIY or spend some money and can do it ID.

Here are 4 F-20s hitting 122 dBs with a sine wave(much harder than movies) with 10% THD. It sound really good at this level and this was 14 feet away at my LP. It cost about $300 per sub and a simple EP-4000 could power them all! So for $1500 you could do it. This same system also hit 116 dBs at 15 hz and 111 dBs at 10hz with the same THD(10% is my limit I want).

Again, this is with constant sine waves and much harder to replicate than movies. I probably have 6 dBs extra with movies.


Wow. 120 @ LP. eek.gif
post #15 of 95
Here is my current setup at 20hz

post #16 of 95
For 15-25hz I need at least 120db at the LP, and thanks to the horns Ricci designed I'm well above that.

A couple days ago I was playing Bass I Love You, and a common re-occurring note throughout that track is 17hz, and my SPL meter pegged at 126db during that note at the LP. However, by that point, the structural integrity of the room becomes a problem.
post #17 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Here is my current setup at 20hz


So your 130db @ 20hz with low distortion ? Very nice biggrin.gif
post #18 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So your 130db @ 20hz with low distortion ? Very nice biggrin.gif

Yes, it shows how a room can help subs. Ricci has 2.9 times the displacement and gets over 130 dBs at 20hz. I get close to that in my 2100 cubic foot room. If I had his 8 XXX's I would get 140 dBs!
post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Yes, it shows how a room can help subs. Ricci has 2.9 times the displacement and gets over 130 dBs at 20hz. I get close to that in my 2100 cubic foot room. If I had his 8 XXX's I would get 140 dBs!

Isn't 140dB unobtainable? If a sub is rated at 90dB per watt, you will need 10x the power for every 10dB increase. So you need 10w for 100db, 100 watts for 110dB, 1000 watts for 120dB, 10,000w for 130db or 100,000 watts for 140dB.

My Dayton 15" sub is rated for 87dB per watt. Even at 1,000 watts, I can only get about 117dB out of it before the speaker hits its physical limits.
post #20 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Isn't 140dB unobtainable? If a sub is rated at 90dB per watt, you will need 10x the power for every 10dB increase. So you need 10w for 100db, 100 watts for 110dB, 1000 watts for 120dB, 10,000w for 130db or 100,000 watts for 140dB.

My Dayton 15" sub is rated for 87dB per watt. Even at 1,000 watts, I can only get about 117dB out of it before the speaker hits its physical limits.

The room literally changes EVERYTHING.
post #21 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Isn't 140dB unobtainable? If a sub is rated at 90dB per watt, you will need 10x the power for every 10dB increase. So you need 10w for 100db, 100 watts for 110dB, 1000 watts for 120dB, 10,000w for 130db or 100,000 watts for 140dB.

My Dayton 15" sub is rated for 87dB per watt. Even at 1,000 watts, I can only get about 117dB out of it before the speaker hits its physical limits.

Not with 8 18's and 104 l of displacement and 10 dBs of room gain.
post #22 of 95
If you have 1 87dB sensitive sub and you move to 8 identical units your sensitivity is now 96dB with the same input power. Now add the room acoustics that can also boost or drop the sensitivity depending on the particulars of each setup and you may end up at well over 100dB sensitivity at some frequencies.

MK I only get about 4 or 5dB of gain at 20Hz. And around 12dB of gain at 10Hz in my space. You are getting more somewhere north of 14dB gain at 20Hz or something ridiculous like that.
post #23 of 95
Here is what 127db @ 22ft @ 20hz sounds like...

Remember, you have to add 7db (because it's C-weighted).

Now, why do subs have to be so damn room dependant? rolleyes.gif I think I need additional 4 FP14k's and another 4 LMS's in the back or something!!! eek.giftongue.gif
post #24 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Not with 8 18's and 104 l of displacement and 10 dBs of room gain.

Yes, if you start with a 90 db enclosure, and then add an identical enclosure, you automatically gain 3db in a mutual coupled pair. So at this point you start at 93. Double to 4 speajers and you get 96 db per watt. Double to 8 and as long as there remains mutual coupling, you should be around 99 db per watt. Now that is 1 watt split between all 8 speakers. If you were to corner load 4 per side, your response should average out higher, between a loss in mutual coupling but half space and corner loading gains.

In the end I would suspect around 110db per watt sensitivity for that system in an ideal room. 1000watts would push it to 140db.

Just rough calculations here.
post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by diaz View Post

You guys are throwing around 120dB @ 20hz like it's what everyone else has.

I have listened to a movie where the sound averaged around 100dB @ 25hz ~ flat-ish to 20khz @ seating position, and it was pretty damn loud. Not "that's a little loud, can you turn it down?", but I was actually squinting a little. As if changing my ocular disposition would affect the waveforms assaulting my ears. I could have turned the sub up a little more, but it sounded fine where it was.

Now, 120dB @ 20hz? Have you ever heard a hard hitting 20hz? Even a small amount of that is enough to rattle picture frames - hell I hit just under 110dB and the floor felt like it was moving. None of that is normal lol. (Well I think it was around 20hz... its the Tron Legacy scene where buddy enters the Tron world and the big ship picks him up and flies him to the arena. Floor shakes..

But I like when my hard wood floors feel like they are rippling under my feat smile.gif

But seriously, for over the top bass, I think it starts at 120db down to 20hz. Why? Not because I'm going to watch a movie at the level of sound, I couldn't take that for 2 hours. It's for headroom. For when you are pushing it little bit but not into totally uncomfortable levels. So when the car crash seen happens your sub doesn't take a dump.

And also for playing ridiculous rap or dubstep songs and showing your buddies it's limits while having a few beers... guilty.
post #26 of 95
I with the others, but 125db @ 5hz is more my goal, and then apply a house curve.

The below is with half my subs playing. With the house curve applied.

post #27 of 95
When it makes your eyes vibrate and your breathing labored, then it's loud enough. I feel my slab moving when the bass hits. I don't even want to get into what the walls are doing. When pushed, it's a good bit over 130db at 8hz with low distortion. At higher frequencies I reckon I'm well into the 140s.
Edited by notnyt - 7/18/13 at 1:08am
post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Isn't 140dB unobtainable? If a sub is rated at 90dB per watt, you will need 10x the power for every 10dB increase. So you need 10w for 100db, 100 watts for 110dB, 1000 watts for 120dB, 10,000w for 130db or 100,000 watts for 140dB.

My Dayton 15" sub is rated for 87dB per watt. Even at 1,000 watts, I can only get about 117dB out of it before the speaker hits its physical limits.

105db+ 1w/1m horns, that is how you break 140db with one sub.
post #29 of 95
I run a single 18" JBL 2245 (ported) with a 500 W plate amp. I get all of the bottom end (>24 Hz tuning frequency) out of it that I think I need or want. I can't imagine what some of these systems can do.

No, that isn't the system that got the cops banging on the door.
post #30 of 95
Yeah, I'm thinking a dozen Fi IB318's should reach that high in a 2700 cube room, along with four side positioned Tumults to get it flat at the LP's..........

I'm thinking our carbon footprint isnt green friendly hahaha
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