Originally Posted by AudioFan810
Hi Folks…thinking about joining the Rhythmik family. Looking for a pair of sealed subs for an upcoming media room for a house under construction. Specifically, sealed subs with high SQ (with an emphasis on clarity, fast decay of sound, and ultra low distortion) and low/no TR. Critical point to address is that while my wife loves to hear well-define bass, she is very sensitive to hearing any distortion of sound at bass frequencies and hates chest punch
. Either of those and she will walk out and not come back until the problem is fixed (although I would hear about it on a very, very frequent basis, lol). Over the last 20+ years our basic solution has usually ended up by focusing on mid bass, buying pairs of very expensive sealed subs ($3k+ each) (...Yes, DonH50, I know exactly what you mean when you talk about your previous sub searches
) and to have the audio professionally calibrated.
The new media room will be about 2300 cu ft, sealed. It will be on a suspended wood floor
(2nd floor of a wood-frame house). It will be acoustically treated. The media mix will probably be about 50% music, 30% movies and 20% TV. We typically play at lower volumes, around 65-70 dBs with a bump up of +5 dB for bass with our current subs (although when by myself I will often raise the SPL to ~75 dBs, +10 dBs for subs).
I will let some of the other folks advise you on the specific Rythmik model to get, but I want to make some observations about the overall problem you are outlining. First, there are two major types of tactile response: mid-bass chest punch, and low-bass rumbling, thudding sensations. Chest punch requires two components, working in combination.
First, there must be some sudden percussive content, such as the strike of a kick drum, or a bass guitar or upright bass chord, in about the 50Hz to 120Hz range. That range is where most people feel chest punch sensations most strongly, and both subwoofers and competent speakers can contribute to those sensations. There is some research to indicate that most people feel the chest punch sensation most strongly in about the 60Hz to 70Hz range. (Some subwoofer makers add pre-programmed PEQ, centered on 63Hz, for that reason.)
Second, in addition to sudden percussive content, there must be sufficient SPL to convey the sensation. That SPL can be the product of either total SPL, or subwoofer boost, or of both in combination. Where I am going with this is, that if your wife hates
chest punch, you simply won't be able to use as much master volume or subwoofer boost, irrespective of the subwoofer model you choose, because all of the subwoofers you are considering will be able to produce perfectly adequate mid-bass volumes in a 2300^3 room.
What you may need to do, if this is a real problem for you, is to try to define where
in the frequency range your wife feels that sensation most strongly (60Hz to 70Hz; 70Hz to 80Hz, or whatever) and then implement some PEQ to be able to pull down the SPL in that specific range, when you are listening to the right content. Gunshot scenes in the John Wick movies would be an excellent example of where most people would be feeling strong chest punch sensations.
Implementing some independent PEQ might involve obtaining REW, to measure your frequency response, and a miniDSP to tailor it a little, if you were serious about doing this. But, I wanted to be sure you understand that chest punch is a mid-bass phenomenon caused by the combination of percussive content and mid-bass SPL.
Low-bass TR (typically under about 30 or 35Hz) is caused by a combination of several factors, including low-bass SPL. Sealed subs won't inherently produce quite as much low-bass TR as equivalent ported subs will, for several reasons. But, the suspended wood floor will enhance the low-bass tactile sensations, such as the rumble of an earthquake or a train, or the thudding sensation of the footfall of a T-Rex. (The floor won't affect chest punch. That is strictly an airborne sensation.)
If your wife is also highly aware of, and uncomfortable with, low-bass tactile sensations, then this is one of those times that I might recommend going with less powerful rather than more powerful subwoofers. I always like the idea of having more low-bass SPL on tap than someone can ever actually use. But, this might be an exception to that general rule, if you are deliberately trying to avoid having much low-bass TR.
The better Rythmik models might have sufficient user-adjustablity to allow you to back-off some of the more overt low-bass for those listening sessions where your wife wants to have less low-bass TR. If so, getting larger subwoofers would still be a good idea for those times when you are alone and really want to open them up a little. You might also consider putting something, such as an Auralex SubDude, under the subwoofers you ultimately select. Some people find that decoupling the subwoofer cabinet from a suspended wood floor helps a bit.
I think that Rythmik sealed subwoofers will be an excellent choice from both a quality and a service standpoint. But, even with low-distortion sealed subwoofers, the TR issue is a little different from the way that you might have been thinking of it initially. I hope that this explanation helps!