Originally Posted by sunPin
Are my subs “bottoming out”?
I’ve got dual 15Vs in a 1400 cu ft closed room. I recently picked up the Inception 4K disc, which has fantastic low end effects. But it’s sounding to me like, at -10dB and up, the subs are sort of getting limited or choked on the high volume, very low sequences, like when Saito’s fortress starts to come apart because of the Molotov cocktails in the dream above.
It feels like the effects are calling for more output at a lower frequency than my subs can produce, but I’m in a kind of disbelief that these subs, in my small, sealed room, would have that problem. What would the normal soundbar population hear??
Am I hearing something real or is this movie’s mix planting an idea in my head?
You may be asking that question in the wrong place. I don't think you will find many people in the "normal" soundbar population around here to tell you what they hear in that movie.
You may very well be hearing something real, if it sounds as if your subs were struggling in that scene. But, low-frequencies can be deceptive. Sometimes, the frequencies that we think are the lowest, because they are so loud, really aren't. For instance, looking at a graph of the peak bass volumes in Inception
, it appears that the loudest low-bass peaks are around 25Hz.
That matters, because in a 1400^3 room, you will already be getting room gain at around 30Hz or so, but your strongest room gain will be occurring much lower than that. So, the room might not be helping you quite as much as you think it will at 25Hz, and the subwoofers may have to do most of the work themselves at that frequency. (And, you never know whether you might have a dip in frequency response in about the mid-20's that coincides with some extreme bass effects. Once you get to even lower frequencies, let's say around the low-20's in your room, the room modes won't affect the FR any more, and the bass will only be amplified by the room.)
Whether or not your subs actually were bottoming-out on that scene probably depends a lot on the combination of your listening volume and your subwoofer boost. I probably wouldn't be too concerned if that is the only time it happens. That might have been just the right frequency to trip your subs up a little. If you decide to watch that movie again, you might want to either back-off your MV by a couple of decibels, or back-off your subwoofer boost, when you approach that scene. It is possible to find the limits of most subs, with just the right content, at the right volume levels. But, if it doesn't happen very often, I wouldn't worry about it too much.