9 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Subwoofer - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 67 Old 11-18-2016, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_Likes_Games View Post
Nice guide - I think it applies to me! I'm shopping to upgrade from a Dayton Sub-1200 (which I think was very good for it's cost...).

HOW does one determine if a sub has "good low-frequency extension but modest output"? Is it the +/-3dB frequency spec? How do we tell if it is "moderate output"? I thought the frequency plots were typically normalized to something like 80dB, but I'm not even sure I understand that exactly... So, how do we compare?
Hi,

The best and most comprehensive sub comparison can be found at Data-Bass. It takes a little effort to understand what you are looking at, but if you click on the specific sub you are interested in, you will go to a more detailed review of that particular sub. http://www.data-bass.com/systems

Some manufacturer's, such as SVS, do post data on their websites that does not reflect maximum output. That data is most helpful for comparing one SVS sub to another. The max output comparisons that Data-Bass does are the best ones I am familiar with for apples-to-apples comparisons across different makes and models of subs.

As for what constitutes modest output, that is such a general term that different individuals will use it in completely different ways. The amount of output you need in a particular room is, in my opinion, most directly linked to your distance from the sub, your listening level, and the amount of bass boost you like to employ. (Most people like to run their subs a little louder than the other channels in a system, as we don't hear bass frequencies as well as other frequencies.)

So if, for instance, your typical movie watching volume is -20, and you are only boosting your sub about 3db above the volume which your AVR set it during calibration, then you don't particularly need a sub which can play 20Hz at 110db, or anywhere near that level. In that case, you would try to define your extension requirements, based on that "moderate listening level" rather than on some relationship to Reference volumes of 0.0 MV.

I think it helps if you already have a sub that you can use as a baseline, saying for instance, "I know that I want to try to get several Hz lower extension, but I don't know that I will need a lot more output than what I have now." It also helps to audition something in your home that won't cost you an arm and a leg to ship back, if you decide you want to upgrade to an even larger sub. Since you are accustomed to having a ported sub, I would probably stay ported, and look for options you can compare on Data-Bass, within whatever price range you establish.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #32 of 67 Old 11-18-2016, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
Hi,

The best and most comprehensive sub comparison can be found at Data-Bass. It takes a little effort to understand what you are looking at, but if you click on the specific sub you are interested in, you will go to a more detailed review of that particular sub. http://www.data-bass.com/systems

Some manufacturer's, such as SVS, do post data on their websites that does not reflect maximum output. That data is most helpful for comparing one SVS sub to another. The max output comparisons that Data-Bass does are the best ones I am familiar with for apples-to-apples comparisons across different makes and models of subs.

As for what constitutes modest output, that is such a general term that different individuals will use it in completely different ways. The amount of output you need in a particular room is, in my opinion, most directly linked to your distance from the sub, your listening level, and the amount of bass boost you like to employ. (Most people like to run their subs a little louder than the other channels in a system, as we don't hear bass frequencies as well as other frequencies.)

So if, for instance, your typical movie watching volume is -20, and you are only boosting your sub about 3db above the volume which your AVR set it during calibration, then you don't particularly need a sub which can play 20Hz at 110db, or anywhere near that level. In that case, you would try to define your extension requirements, based on that "moderate listening level" rather than on some relationship to Reference volumes of 0.0 MV.

I think it helps if you already have a sub that you can use as a baseline, saying for instance, "I know that I want to try to get several Hz lower extension, but I don't know that I will need a lot more output than what I have now." It also helps to audition something in your home that won't cost you an arm and a leg to ship back, if you decide you want to upgrade to an even larger sub. Since you are accustomed to having a ported sub, I would probably stay ported, and look for options you can compare on Data-Bass, within whatever price range you establish.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Mike
Mike - thanks for the considerate reply. I'm sure many will find that helpful.
Unfortunately Data-Bass does not have data (of course) for any and all subwoofer choices. In my case it doesn't have data for some popular choices that I'm considering or would like to compare, so I'm left with manufacturer data and/or others reviews. (HSU VTF-1 Mk3, SVS PB-1000, HSU VTF-2 Mk5, SVS PB-2000)

For my situation, this guide and other posts I've read are pointing me to prioritize low frequency extension over max SPL output. So, even that is a good step in defining what I should be looking for and looking at...

How DARE you question my ignorance!?!
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post #33 of 67 Old 11-18-2016, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_Likes_Games View Post
Mike - thanks for the considerate reply. I'm sure many will find that helpful.
Unfortunately Data-Bass does not have data (of course) for any and all subwoofer choices. In my case it doesn't have data for some popular choices that I'm considering or would like to compare, so I'm left with manufacturer data and/or others reviews. (HSU VTF-1 Mk3, SVS PB-1000, HSU VTF-2 Mk5, SVS PB-2000)

For my situation, this guide and other posts I've read are pointing me to prioritize low frequency extension over max SPL output. So, even that is a good step in defining what I should be looking for and looking at...
You are very welcome! Those are all good choices. The PB2000 should be within about +.6db of the PB12 NSD that Data-Bass reviewed. It is just a slightly newer model of the same sub. As for the others, I think you can find some extrapolations which should be quite close in a table on the first page of this thread: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...ulf-score.html

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #34 of 67 Old 11-24-2016, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
It is a bit of a shame that dual/multiple subs weren't very popular back in 2009 or I wouldn't have ended up with a single PB13. Now I much rather would have had four smaller ones but due to the weight and size of the PB13 it isn't going anywhere unless I have removls people move it again.
Same here; I love my DD15+ but I likely would have been a bit better of with 2 12" sealed subs; one where my DD15+ is now which is near the front left speaker and a second perhaps in the rear to the right of the couch.

DD15+ isn't going anywhere youst like your PB13 until it dies and can't be repaired.

BTW, the article/original post is outstanding and a perfect primer for someone new to subs.

Bravo to the author imagic.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #35 of 67 Old 11-24-2016, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Even basic measurements reveal the advantages of using multiple subwoofers, there's no voodoo or marketing to it. You get a better result, but it costs more.
Not necessarily as you pointed out in your original article.

I think two Rythmik L12s at just over $1,000 would be just as good if not better than my DD15+ with its MSRP over $4,000, (luckily I only paid $1,350 though which was a steal and only offered to me by Velodyne as they couldn't repair my ULD15 which lasted 20+ years...sadly the Velodyne of today doesn't even return other AVS members' phone calls).

Geoff A. J., California
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post #36 of 67 Old 11-24-2016, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Sealed doesn't go as low, so from that standpoint the neighbors won't hear as much.
But neither will you.
Sealed can go as low just not as loud, correct?

My DD15+ does both quite well in my medium sized room.

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...SFPHVlJKzFx.97

Geoff A. J., California
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post #37 of 67 Old 12-19-2016, 10:59 AM
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great article thanks.

just bought the pioneer SW 8MK2 subwoofer for my little room and the audioengine a5+ on my desktop.

was into portable audio for sooo long (sold off all my gear a while ago to get away from all the wires etc)
...fab little speakers are the a5+ for my desktop...have read great things on the pioneer so i got it for $100
used in great shape.

next is to start my home audio system: either HT or 2.1....unsure of which approach to take so we'll see.
(remember my bud once had just 2 sonus faber monitors and they kicked ass for both movies and music.
no sub was needed. but of course they were $10k or such.

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post #38 of 67 Old 12-19-2016, 12:21 PM
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I bought a Supernova 15 MK-VI with the 1500W IQ-1500. I am amazed by the beauty and brawn of this beast :-)
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post #39 of 67 Old 01-08-2017, 07:08 PM
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Great primer article, thanks. I was interested in the Definitive Technology ProSub 1000 ($375), but every where I looked it was $499. I must be looking in the wrong place. Can you point me in the right direction?
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post #40 of 67 Old 01-08-2017, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGou View Post
Great primer article, thanks. I was interested in the Definitive Technology ProSub 1000 ($375), but every where I looked it was $499. I must be looking in the wrong place. Can you point me in the right direction?
Get the SVS SB12-NSD. Great bargain at $399 from Amazon or Newegg.
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post #41 of 67 Old 01-09-2017, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Get the SVS SB12-NSD. Great bargain at $399 from Amazon or Newegg.
That is a seal box sub, the recommendations for a home theater was for a ported sub like one I was interested in.
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post #42 of 67 Old 01-09-2017, 06:17 AM
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I don't know where you can get a ProSub 1000 for $375, but I do know where you can get an Emotiva BasX S12 at an introductory price of $339, shipped: Emotiva.com

(If you want more information or input from AVS members, you might want to take that discussion to a new thread.)

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post #43 of 67 Old 01-09-2017, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DaGou View Post
That is a seal box sub, the recommendations for a home theater was for a ported sub like one I was interested in.
The ProSub is also a 10". I'd be surprised if it has significantly more output.

But if you want a ported 10" for $399, get the RSL Speedwoofer 10s.

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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
The ProSub is also a 10". I'd be surprised if it has significantly more output.

But if you want a ported 10" for $399, get the RSL Speedwoofer 10s.
The RSL looks like a real winner, thanks for the tip.
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post #45 of 67 Old 01-10-2017, 04:34 PM
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I'm moving from a 5.1 system to a 5.2.2. Is it important to have identical subwoofers in a system?

Thanks in advance for any reply!
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post #46 of 67 Old 03-29-2017, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by luckydog0411 View Post
I'm moving from a 5.1 system to a 5.2.2. Is it important to have identical subwoofers in a system?

Thanks in advance for any reply!
I just replaced two mismatched subs that I had. Last night I got the new ones and spent some time setting things up again. I thought what I had was ok, but what I put in is light years ahead of what I had. (I went to a pair of SVS PB1000's)

So, I would say if you are able, yes. I doubt it is imperative, but....................................My 2 cents.

John
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post #47 of 67 Old 03-30-2017, 02:20 AM
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I found this response in another thread to a similar question as yours:

Quote from Ed Mullen from SVS:
"We don't recommend mixing ported and sealed due to the differences in the phase responses.

But mixing two ported models like a PB12+ and a PB-2000 is fine - just run the PB12+ in the 20 Hz mode to match the tuning on the PB-2000. Obviously a PC12+ and a PB12+ will work great together too (use the same port tune on both).

We can help you get the two subs properly phased so they are coupling and reinforcing to the extent possible from their respective room locations."

If I understand the take away on this, you would need to match the tuning on the two subs. Obviously, a pair of matched subs will make that a no brainer.

John
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post #48 of 67 Old 04-14-2017, 06:53 AM
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I want to. Upgrade my current sub and add a second. I live in a condo and between floors is 6 feet of concrete so neighbors do not complain about my movie watching habits. My next door neighbor is never around and I does not have very good hearing so I score there as well. Currently I have a 5.1.4 setup in a 1300sqft condo. My room is 12' x21'x10' with 9' ceilings and that does not include the kitchen which is an open and right next to it. The kitchen area is not that big. My setup is

3 - B&W CWM7.3 up front
2 - B&W CWM7.4 for surrounds
4 - B&W CCM682 on the ceiling
1 velodyne DD10

Processor is a Marantz 8802a
Amps are two Rotel RMb 1575 & RMB1565

I do not understand subs but know that I want more boom from explosions, gun shots etc. I do 95/5 movies vs music. I guy I normally buy stuff from at first was trying to sell me 2 JL F112's $7800 ilcuding tax or 2 JL E112's $4500. I could easily do the 2 E112's but am not sure if I am going to be happy enough because I am not sure if they will hit low enough to give me the big low end for movies. What I need is a place in Northern Va or Maryland with a good sales guy who will take the time to explain and let me demo the subs before buying so I do not have to haul them back to the store if I do not like them. Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks Dave

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post #49 of 67 Old 04-14-2017, 11:52 AM
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I have on order (still waiting for) the SVS SB16 Ultra. This will be mainly used for home theatre. I measured where it will be placed, and thought that the PB 16 Ultra was just too big. Do you think I will be disappointed with the SB over the PB? The sub will replace my Paradigm PS1000, so, I assume this will be a vast improvement anyway, but I don't want to regret not getting the PB. The Canadian supplier told me that the PB is more suited for HT, but it would only be a marginal difference, and that the SB would do great in my room.
Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Dale.
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post #50 of 67 Old 04-17-2017, 03:25 PM
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Rather than start a new thread, I thought this would be a good place to ask a general subwoofer room space question: Lot of subwoofer related articles/reviews talk about size of listening space in cubic feet, and make recommendations accordingly. What impact - if any - does a home with an open layout AROUND (not in) the listening area without clearly defined boundaries/walls have on subwoofer selection?

My main listening/viewing area is a living room with 16.5" cathedral ceiling over 75% of the room and lower 9' ceiling over 25% - the area directly behind the living room seating opens into the dining room without a wall separating it, and there are stairs leading from the living room to an upper level loft/office with waist high railing overlooking the entire ground floor. 17' x 18' is the "listening area" where I care about the sound - all the speakers facing main listening position on the living room couch - about 2265 cubic feet if you draw invisible barriers up from the backs of the rear speakers. Including the dining room and loft bumps it over 5000 cubic feet. I have dug around quite a bit & didn't see any posts addressing this, if there is a thread I missed, please steer me to it.

Thanks
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post #51 of 67 Old 04-17-2017, 03:34 PM
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I have found that you want to position the subs closer to the middle of the space for better sound, at least in my 50x30x14 space. placing the subs on walls causes nulls in my situation and therefore I need more subs.

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I have found that you want to position the subs closer to the middle of the space for better sound, at least in my 50x30x14 space.
Your situation is the opposite of the norm.
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Your situation is the opposite of the norm.
So in general; do people need to factor in the cubic footage of open spaces surrounding the main listening area (to the rear of all speakers)? I'm not clear on the acoustic impact that adjacent space has on subwoofer related discussions about nulls, room gain, etc.
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So in general; do people need to factor in the cubic footage of open spaces surrounding the main listening area (to the rear of all speakers)? I'm not clear on the acoustic impact that adjacent space has on subwoofer related discussions about nulls, room gain, etc.
Overall room volume affects the amount of acoustical power required to 'fill' the room with bass. Long room dimensions complicates both sub and LP placement due to the shifting of boundary cancellation nulls to lower frequencies. This explains the latter:
http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/speak...-interference/
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post #55 of 67 Old 04-21-2017, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Overall room volume affects the amount of acoustical power required to 'fill' the room with bass. Long room dimensions complicates both sub and LP placement due to the shifting of boundary cancellation nulls to lower frequencies. This explains the latter:
http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/speak...-interference/
Thank you, that is a great link about room acoustics and speaker placement, the graphics are a particularly good explanation of boundary cancellation - I have a lot to learn in this area.

After reading through the article & particularly the subwoofer section is in Part 3, nothing seemed to directly address the impact of surrounding room volume on subwoofer selection, aside from how to deal with boundary cancellation. Most of it was focused on professional/purpose built studios, nobody would set up a mixing studio with a large volume surrounding space like many living rooms have to contend with.

Comparing two otherwise identical listening areas - the only difference being that one has large volume space surrounding it outside of the speakers: is there a significant impact in the selection of subwoofers? Does that extra space definitively requiring going a notch or two larger in sub selection, or make using multiple subs essential to get the same "filling" effect? Subwoofer marketing material & reviews that compares cubic feet as the coin of the realm make me think that the answer is yes.
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Comparing two otherwise identical listening areas - the only difference being that one has large volume space surrounding it outside of the speakers: is there a significant impact in the selection of subwoofers?
The main difference is if the room is small you can use sealed subs and still get good response to 20Hz and lower, due to cabin gain. Larger rooms pretty much demand ported cabs. The dividing line between small and large is where the longest room dimension is about 18 to 20 feet. You can use sealed cabs in large rooms, but to get the same output below 35Hz or so you'd need twice as many of them.
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post #57 of 67 Old 04-21-2017, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
The main difference is if the room is small you can use sealed subs and still get good response to 20Hz and lower, due to cabin gain. Larger rooms pretty much demand ported cabs. The dividing line between small and large is where the longest room dimension is about 18 to 20 feet. You can use sealed cabs in large rooms, but to get the same output below 35Hz or so you'd need twice as many of them.
That small vs large room size is a key piece of info for selection that I would suggest the OP edit into the first post related to the ported/sealed pros & cons. That info plus the OP's recommendation to go with ported over sealed for home theater/movie viewing has steered me away from sealed for my room setup.
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post #58 of 67 Old 04-25-2017, 11:43 PM
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This is another newbie-type acoustics question about that I thought would be good to have in this thread instead of a separate post: for front-firing subs, is it inherently a problem to have the driver/port facing 90 degrees from the main listening position with crossover set to 80-90 Hz?

How about partially blocked by furniture? I've seen some behind-the-couch placement questions, but I'm talking about a huge shelf unit that sits directly on the floor with no space underneath & runs about 7 feet tall.

I want to go with ported vs sealed for my room size, but the models I'm most interested in are just a bit too deep to fit in the space I have unless I rotate them 90 degrees left or right - firing into a wall in the corner (and partially blocked by a tall shelf unit), or directly at my home theater cabinet. If I rotate 90 degrees, I'll have 10-12 inches of room to adjust the sub left/right and maybe 4-6 inches front/back based on "sub crawl" testing. Tight fit. I may have to buy a new house to fit my sub
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post #59 of 67 Old 04-26-2017, 05:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9985 View Post
for front-firing subs, is it inherently a problem to have the driver/port facing 90 degrees from the main listening position with crossover set to 80-90 Hz?
Port output is omni-directional. Where subwoofer wavelengths are concerned so is the cone output.

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How about partially blocked by furniture?
Anything less than a wavelength in dimension low frequency waves go around. With an 80Hz crossover the shortest wavelength in the sub pass band is 14 feet.
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post #60 of 67 Old 04-26-2017, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Port output is omni-directional. Where subwoofer wavelengths are concerned so is the cone output.

Anything less than a wavelength in dimension low frequency waves go around. With an 80Hz crossover the shortest wavelength in the sub pass band is 14 feet.
Thanks so much for your help, I just pulled the trigger on ordering a SVS PB-2000, can't wait to try it out!

Main system: Samsung UN65JS8500, Denon X4300H, Oppo UDP-203, DirecTV HR54 w/4K mini, XBox One S, Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB, Toshiba HD-XA2, ancient Fisher cassette deck & rarely used JVC HR-S4800U S-VHS because I can't part with electronics
7.1.2 speaker setup: B&W DM601 S2 (FL/FR & SBL/SBR), CC6 S2, Onkyo SKH-410 (Atmos), Atlantic Technology 254 (SL/SR), SVS PB-2000
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