Updated NOUSAINE subwoofer data list - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 02:26 PM
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hmmm, how many DBT's are conducted in your own room, using your own choice of source material, with your own system (except the tested piece)?

With the test subjects each optimized? The answer is none that are documented that I've seen, and I've read every one I can find.

When picking small nuances apart, these factors are critical in evaluation
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post #32 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 02:28 PM
 
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Maybe. I've not heard a sub sound better in a corner, unless that's the sound you like. Too heavy and boomy for me and not accurate at all sounding. However, if you can EQ it, then I suppose you can make it flat. Tom Norton mentioned that he used RABOS or whatever to EQ the Revel sub so that it was flat coming out of a corner. So, Steve, while I respect what you've come up with in your rooms, I haven't experienced this at all. On the other hand, I'm at a high altitude and that changes the Q so maybe that has something to do with it. I want good bass thoughout the room because I don't usually sit to listen. I have too many "Honey Do's" to take care of. I can tell you that if I can get the garage turned into a theater, it will likely have 7 acoustic suspension subwoofers, one for each channel and I'll personally invite all of you for a "bass schooling" an show you what accurate, clean, low distortion, integrated bass is all about. :) You too Tom.
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post #33 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 02:31 PM
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Ran,

I'd like to see any results you may have from your DBT of cables, and amps. PM me if you'd like to email it to me....or just post the link if you have one.

I do agree that measurements do have their place, and are beneficial to a certain extent. I don't actually have a difinitive opinion as to the ideal location of a sub. I have seen numerous excellent setups that used many differing layouts. There is no right or wrong....every situation is different IMO.
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post #34 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 02:36 PM
 
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Don't forget that many of the products on that "list" were tested many years ago (including the preproduction prototype with poor suspension alignment TN1225HO ;) , although a single VTF-2 did hit 109.7db's avg spl <10% distortion in max output mode), and the products that are tested most recently have the natural advantage.

Also, some products that do not "test" so well under Nousaine are still very highly regarded by audiophiles for their sound quality, such as the ACI Titan. Ultimately, user preferences will naturally dictate.
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post #35 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 02:44 PM
 
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Oh, yes. We had completely forgotten about the poor suspension alignment, thanks for reminding us :rolleyes:
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post #36 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 02:56 PM
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Craig,

The amp comparison was done almost 20 years ago in a university setting(U.of Illinois engineering) and I used to have a copy of the informal write-up but it's burried in a storage locker somewhere. I remember that none of us could reliably tell the differences in the amps if they weren't being overdriven. The SBT was at a friend of a friend's house(about 4 years ago)using one of those wire comparator boxes. Same results...we couldn't tell a difference between the cheap zip cord(Home Depot?) and the expensive stuff. Nor could we tell any of them apart.

Ran
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post #37 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by theranman
Craig,

The amp comparison was done almost 20 years ago in a university setting(U.of Illinois engineering) and I used to have a copy of the informal write-up but it's burried in a storage locker somewhere. I remember that none of us could reliably tell the differences in the amps if they weren't being overdriven. The SBT was at a friend of a friend's house(about 4 years ago)using one of those wire comparator boxes. Same results...we couldn't tell a difference between the cheap zip cord(Home Depot?) and the expensive stuff. Nor could we tell any of them apart.Ran
Like I said, inherently flawed. In both of those cases, way too many variables to decipher. Like every other DBT test out there, poor control of variables.

That's not to say a true, well designed, DBT won't have the same results...which I doubt...I've yet to see a white paper on a true well-designed DBT!
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post #38 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 03:21 PM
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post #39 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 03:35 PM
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Steve,

You make it sound so easy to write off a long established scientific testing methodology by claiming it's inherently flawed or that there are too many variables. Coincidentally, that's what most of the snake oil peddlers do as well.
And since you suspect that a "well designed" DBT test would tend to show differences between amps and wires, how would YOU go about setting up such a test in order to lend credibility to the testing methodology? Should the test conductors wear white lab coats? Carry #2 lead pencils? etc.etc?
Even then, I suspect that you'd call the validity of the results into question since the test location wasn't in YOUR own living room...because YOUR living room is the ONLY location that a person can tell the differences between wires and amps, right? please
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post #40 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TV
>>>That's great, but which ones sound better?<<<

To most folks, the ones that extend the deepest (although extension isn't covered in this version of TN's data),stay the flattest, and have the cleanest (lowest harmonic distortion) output.
I've got to chime in and second TV's statement above.

I find it impossible to pick which full-range or satellites I like best solely from measurements, although measurements certainly can be helpful and explain many things that one hears from a speaker.

But when it comes to subs, I find measurements to be far more relevant. Indeed, if a sub is found to be quite flat from 20-80, have signficant maximum output at 20Hz, and have low THD across that range, then the odds are that such a sub is going to sound great. I mean, if it is clean, flat, and deep, then what more do you want a sub to do?

The common negative aspects of a sub, such as being too boomy, not being well resolved in the lower registers, having a muddy sound, being too "slow", and not having enough "thump" for one's taste, will tend to have measurements that bear these qualities out.

The specs shown on the referenced URL don't have enough information, for example a full frequency curve on each would be good to have. And the questions about placement and room effects are very important. If one has a room that excites the bass at 40Hz, then a sub with a minor peak there might sound terrible. But again all of this is measurable and even predictable with sufficient measurements.

If one knew their preferences well, and knew how their room behaves, then I think they could pick a sub using measurements and have a very high probability of liking it.
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post #41 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 05:20 PM
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>>>Also, I should say, Floyd Toole is 10 times the audio expert that Tom Noussaine is and he's apparently come up with the idea that one sub in them middle of the front wall and another sub in the middle of the back wall is a more recommendable and better way of setting up subwoofers. <<<


Here is one of the *rules* of good sound from Toole.

******Rules for good sound in room,

Start with the subwoofer in a corner. In theory we should be able to get huge gains from corner placement. And the tests shown in the slides show that if the conditions are right, the gains are there. Corners excite every resonance in the room. This may, or may not be bad. If it is good for that particular room, leave it alone and move on to the next problem. If it is not, find a better location. However a corner is a logical starting place. For many installations an unEQed subwoofer in a corner can work very well indeed. In fact I am listening to such a system in my office right now******


I interpret that as corner loading tends to work well.




>>>I don't "fear" Tom, I just don't think he should be misleading people about proper bass setup<<<

I don't feel he is trying to lead anyone in any particular way. If you know the man, you know he is a scientist. He performs experiments, tries to minimize/eliminate human bias effects and pubslishes the results for peer review. His POV is based on the evidence on hand...when counter evidence is presented he will be the first person in line to learn more about the issue.

Tom V.
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post #42 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 05:24 PM
 
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But Tom! My sub is only flat to 25Hz! I feel.....crippled. I mean, yes, it's flat +/-<1dB above that, but *sniff*, I guess I'll just have to be a loser now :(
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post #43 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 05:25 PM
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>>>TV,
On the Velo F1800, I changed the 16hz figure and deleted the 20hz. I found info that made me believe the 16hz and 20hz figures you had for it were from the small room, but the 25-63hz average was left alone.

I think I found the info for it on Styke's website where it was comaring the output of the Stryke's Power15 to the F1800, but most of Stryke's site is down right now. Is my info incorrect or is yours?<<<

AFAIK, the F1800 data is for the large room. About 5 years ago when I first started putting all this together I had several questions and emailed Nousaine and we got a few things straightened out. He mentioned that his text is often editted downstream and that pertinent details are sometimes left out of the reviews. The fsr15 definitely hit 109.5 in the large room though(per the TSS review)...so I think it jives well with the F1800 mkII hitting 111.9 in the large room.

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post #44 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
For example, take a look at the numbers of the Paradigm Pw-2200, against those of the Paradigm Servo-15. The Servo-15 is a far superior sub, but the numbers might suggest different.
craigdcan, the numbers on the servo-15 were for the original model (not the 15a which has an improved driver and amp stage). Many of the other measurements on this list have the same problem (they are numbers from an older model). I think the best thing to do is look at the list and see what companies are performing well (Velodyne, SVS, Hsu, Paradigm, etc.). From this list start the audition process...
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post #45 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by theranman
Steve,

You make it sound so easy to write off a long established scientific testing methodology by claiming it's inherently flawed or that there are too many variables.
The fact of the matter is there is no "long established scientific testing methodology" in DBT, just a theory of testing (poorly grounded to begin with) with a heavy dose of statistics. Holding a degree in Economics, which is 90% statistical and mathematic analysis of statistics, I have studied and practiced how statistics can be made to say whatever you want them to. The recent linked article even alludes to that..in the end you have statisticians arguing over the various definitions of significance. "Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics" to quote a famous American. Sorry that I have studied enough about audio, scientific and statistical analysis to know that ABX testing is not provably valid. That also doesn't mean that I COULD design such a test!

Just one example..some listeners, in the prior linked article, were 7 for 7. Others may have been 0 for 7. The researchers average these 2 out and say 50%?!? Is it possible that some people DO have acute enough hearing to discern differences but others don't? I know I can't run a 4 minute mile...or the 100 meter dash under 11 seconds...does this mean no one can?

Most scientists and engineers won't admit this publicly, but there are many, many things they can't model or test for accurately, at least not yet. I can list 10 examples off the top of my head being that I'm involved in semi-pro roadracing! Heck, in audio, please describe the engineering or scientific test for the term soundstage or imaging when describing speakers.
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post #46 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 07:04 PM
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From the FWIW department...

I sent TN one of the earlier quotes about pioneer receivers thinking it would give him a grin...and he sent me this...

"""I have found the Bryston 4B to be sonically indistinguishable from a Parasound HCA-800, HCA-800II, HCA-1000, Bryston 2B, B&K super-capped unit an assortment of integrated amps and a Adcom car audio amplifier in actual double blind comparisons.

In 1987 Masters and Clark published an extensive ABX DBT comparison of a raft of high-end amplifiers were indistinguishable from a Pioneer receiver. I've also watched Steve Zipser fail to distinguish his Pass Monoblocks from a Yamaha integrated amplifier not once but twice.

I like to refer people to my 1990 AES Paper "The Great Debate: Is Anybody Winning?" found in the Proceedings of the AES Conference "The Sound of Audio" where, as of that time, there had been over 20 controlled listening tests of amplifiers and the only ones found to be sonically distinguishable had either a high output impedance or an operating fault. """

For those interested in learning more about the subject, I thought they would appreciate the AES reference.

Tom V.
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post #47 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 07:19 PM
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sounds like hes more qualified than many to give advice. as long as neither amplifier is driven to distortion (easier to do with the cheaper receiver) they will be indistinguishable in blind conditions, aka conditions in which the placebo effect cannot occur. the evidence speaks for itself. until there exists a blind test in which SS amps were distinguished, why would anyone believe otherwise.



Quote:
[i]He also believes and has told me this in person, that a $200 Pioneer receiver sounds EXACTLY the same as his expensive Bryston setup. Geez. And they let this guy try to tell us what to buy. [/b]
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post #48 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 07:32 PM
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Ok, Tom and I are going to disagree here, which really doesn't happen all that often, not because we know each other from Adam, but usually have reached many of the same conclusions independently...

Tom, is there any audio objectiveness who you did NOT trot out? Are they all engineers, with as much a bias towards objectivism as they claim subjectivenists have the other way? Is it not equally valid to question your opinion on the manner as being biased by being an audio engineer?

And why the secrecy on the methodolgy? Put the full text of those papers on the internet, free for review. FWIW, of course ;)

Who is winning? That answer is easy....high-end manufacturers!
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post #49 of 91 Old 08-12-2003, 11:50 PM
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If you wanna get a little bit more flavor of Nousaine's style, see his reviews of 10 subs in the next issue of Sound & Vision.
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post #50 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 10:31 AM
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I don't know what the answers are in this debate, I mean, discussion, but I suspect that the '...how low, how loud at what % THD...' is a very small slice of the picture.

If I built relatively large ported subs that extend low, are loud and measure well as far as THD numbers in lab-like conditions, I'm sure I would say that these are the desired criteria.

Ported subs are not accurate. Anyone who has ears and has compared knows that. Being that all explosions, gunfire, power surges, etc., etc., in movie soundtracks are sythesized, there isn't a way to know if it sounds accurate or not, so how low, loud and 'clean' it is seems to matter to most average listeners...for now. But, for music reproduction, saying that a ported sub is 'accurate' (assuming that means a flat resonse graph) most certainly does not mean it sounds good. There are many types of distortion. THD is one type, but certainly doesn't prove a sub's distortion status.

I think the criteria should include features like phase adjustment, crossover, delay, amp specs, EQ specs, limiter specs, signal/clip indicators, system 'Q', etc. I would also like to see some sort of descriptive scale to describe the sub's sonic signature, which every speaker ever made has.

The THD numbers are taken with very contolled signal input/output at various frequencies. Real listening is nowhere near this arrangement. The transients in movie soundtracks and some audio only MC software are radically huge. They cause the preamp to send a clipped signal to the amp or a hot enough preamp signal to clip the amp. How would the sub's owner possibly know this with no indicators? That person's RS SPL meter, set to C weight, fast, is only showing 109 Db, so he/she thinks it's definitely 'clean' and well within the limits of the powered sub's capability because of the published test results. This is only one of many scenarios.

Corner placement of a sub is, generally, the best placement, but where in the corner? Too close can be bad, too far away can be bad and off center can be bad. Two subs is better, but not if they are different distances from the LP and not time corrected. These facts are rarely addressed when someone like TV or TN says 'corner placement'. Corner placement should have given parameters.

These are just rambling thoughts. As I said, I don't know the answers, but I don't review subs or tout test results/placement choices, etc. as criteria based on which anyone should purchase a subwoofer, so it isn't my place to know. I'm only pretty darn sure that a standard criteria list shouldn't be very hard for these industry leaders to come up with and adhere to. I'm disappointed that they haven't. Instead, speaker specs and tests and graphs mostly serve to confuse the newcomer and allow too many inferior products to swamp the market.

I wonder if TN has rethought his SACD/DVD-A comments which were mentioned above and along the lines of 'they cook the levels and tweak the EQ so that people will be fooled into thinking they're 'better' formats.' I believe this appeared about a year ago. I have no idea if he actually said or believes this. I hope not.
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post #51 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 11:01 AM
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Bossobass,

I was at a PSACS(Prairie State Audio Construction Society) meeting about a year and a half ago at Tom Nousaine and his friend Tom Perazella attended. When asked about SACD and DVD-A, they kinda snickered, then Tom Perazella described how they measured a SACD against an original of the same recording and noticed a nice bump up in the bass. Then he said with dripping sarcasm; "Hey now, THAT ain't supposed to happen now, is it?!"
Yep, these guys are skeptics, but then again, they've got the technical backgrounds and knowledge to back up their opinions...which is alot more than I can say about the many self-serving snake oil peddlers and shills that populate these boards and the hobby in general.

And for the wire believers, next time any of you folks need to purchase a $5000 set of hearing aids for your parents, you should just break those little puppies open to replace the little bit of copper wire with some silver ones. The improvement in sonic quality will be well worth voiding the warranty.

Ran

ps-end of sarcasm and rant for today.
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post #52 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 11:20 AM
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You refer to "snake oil peddlers" quite often. I ask you this though....who are bigger snake oil peddlers than "professional reviewers"?

For the record, I have all "cheap-ass" cables/interconnects. I have never tried a $1000 interconnect to see if it will make a difference or not, and I probably never will...are they better? sure, probably....is my $1000 better spent somewhere else? of course.

-Craig

PS - good point about the hearing aids, haha.
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post #53 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 11:30 AM
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As for the DVD-A/SACD skepticism.....

I have heard a couple very nice sounding ones, but I have heard far more "gimmicky, or cool sounding" ones. Of the ones I've heard, I still feel that 2 channel listening is my preference for music listening. DVD-A/SACD seems somewhat distracting to me. I think this had far more to do with the mixing than the formats though. I would imagine that once the mixing is perfected that it will be phenominal.
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post #54 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 11:41 AM
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Craigdcan,

Do some/many professional reviewers compromise their integrity to make a living?? Absolutely! It's up to the reader to do their homework(and read between the lines) to figure out who's a straight shooter, who's couching their terms in order to preserve their livlihood, and who is an outright bulls--t artist kowtowing to whoever waves a check under their nose. Ya get a feeling for this kind of stuff after a while...and an even better feeling when ya meet them at audio shows.
But back to your question of "who are bigger snake oil peddlers than professional reviewers?" Answer: The snake oil manufacturers, of course.

Are those $1000 interconnects better?
How do you define better? Better construction?-perhaps. Better appearance?-perhaps. Better resale value?-perhaps. Better pride of ownership?-perhaps. Better ability to pass a signal-probably not.

BTW- I hear that "cheapass" brand cables/interconnects are pretty damned good.
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post #55 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 11:54 AM
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Craig,

I've also found most SACD/DVD-A recording to be distracting.
Don't forget, the mixing will NEVER be perfected because each individual mixer has his own idea of what sounds good and their own perspective of where the listening perspective should be i.e.- in the center of the orchestra, more towards the bass section, from the first row audience, 15th row, etc. etc.
This is also why I feel that it's best to just listen to stereo recording thru something like Lexicon's Logic7 or DPLII so that it's mostly the ambience that gets moved to the side and surround speakers and played thru dipoles if possible...just personal opinion here.

Ran
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post #56 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 12:09 PM
 
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The job of any reviewer appears to be to get the reader to only trust them, no matter whether that is by telling you the differences between components or telling you there is no difference. Either way. BTW, Meridian has done some pretty good scientific work (Bob Stewart is an ACTUAL researcher) on the audibility of PCM at different bit rates/sampling and have come to the conclusion that anything over 20/96 is inaudible in blind tests, but since 24-bit is already out, that's what everyone is going with.
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post #57 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 12:15 PM
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John,

Agreed! I also seem to recall that Nousaine felt as though well recorded redbook CD was indistinguishable from 20/48-96.
On a related note, many insiders agree that Phillips(they own the patents for Compact Disc storage media) went with 24/96 in order to fill up all that empty space on the disc...instead of forcing the Labels to provide more music for free...which is what happened when we went from vinyl to compact disc. In return, the Labels "stuck" with Phillips when newer competitive media was available.

Ran
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post #58 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 12:37 PM
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The data should be used to filter the ones that you want to try. For example, the $1000 B&W sub tested in the latest issue of S&V would be a non-starter for me because it did not have > 90 dB at 20 Hz. No amount of adjusting it would have increased the output.

Give me ten men like Clouseau, and I could destroy the world.
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post #59 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 12:46 PM
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Bhagi,

For just two hundred more, the little Velodyne HGS-12 will provide the difference.

Randy
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post #60 of 91 Old 08-13-2003, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Missouri
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Randy, I was just giving an example, I have an SVS 16-46i and a Citation 7.4 running with 300w each in my 7500 cu.ft. room. I have a parametric EQ to tame a 17dB peak at 40 Hz and have all the bass that I need(for now).

Give me ten men like Clouseau, and I could destroy the world.
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Closed Thread Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

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