Reproducing below 20 Hz makes no sense - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Reproducing below 20 Hz makes no sense

Discussion continued from a post in an AVR owner's thread:
@m. zillch
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Reproducing content much below about 20Hz makes no sense for a number of reasons and is a completely unnecessary and gigantic burden for both drivers and their amps so it actually harms real world sound reproduction. Of course there are zillions of people who don't understand this so there is a great reason to include correction capability for infrasonic content below 20Hz: marketing.



Unfortunately the driving force in audio these days is not the truth; it's money.
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post #2 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Reproducing content much below about 20Hz makes no sense for a number of reasons and is a completely unnecessary and gigantic burden for both drivers and their amps so it actually harms real world sound reproduction. Of course there are zillions of people who don't understand this so there is a great reason to include correction capability for infrasonic content below 20Hz: marketing.



Unfortunately the driving force in audio these days is not the truth; it's money.
This is your original statement, which was proven wrong

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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Arguing with the people who think the term "infrasonic" is a myth is endless. For them to admit that their bank of 10 refrigerator-sized subwoofers, put in place in order to reproduce 10Hz and below at extremely loud levels serves no purpose if one limits one's exposure to reference level playback levels only [and doesn't cheat by pegging the EQ up at 10Hz and below] is something they rarely concede.

Another issue is that hardly any of them [none that I know of] buy special, infrasonic capable measurement mics and instead they really on typical ones such as these:


Let's say for argument they use one of these mics, above, and their mic is, let's say, exactly 5 dB down at 10Hz. Let's also assume they have a bank of subwoofers, each the size of a refrigerator, and through a superior calibration system [much more accurate than what they own, with a proper infrasonic capable mic good down to 1Hz or lower] they have a system capable of nearly perfectly flat movie sound reproduction down to 3Hz.

Question: They now own one of the flattest ultra deep bass reproduction systems out there however their calibration mic is only, lets say, "consumer grade". What will their REW response graph show? Answer: It will show their room response is 5dB down at 10 Hz, even though it actually isn't, because their consumer grade mic is flawed and 5dB less sensitive at 10Hz than it is supposed to be [see the manufacturer's response graph above].

So what do they end up doing? Ignorant their measurement system is compromised, they jack up the 10Hz and below EQ so their inaccurate mic will show a flat response at 10Hz and below, yet in truth, if measured with a superior quality mic designed for infrasonic accuracy, such as a pricey B&K Type 4193, they now have a non-flat, 10Hz jacked up response possibly now reaching human hearing threshold with a reference level reproduction playback level, so through their "cheating" system they'll say "10Hz and lower reproduction makes a difference I can detect, even if I limit myself to reference reproduction level playback, and I appreciate it".
Why do you change the subject when your previous statement is debunked? My microphone is calibrated to 5 Hz, by the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Which commercial movie theater in the US shows a measured capability of much lower than 20Hz reproduction? Name one.
Changing the subject again? You seem to ignore the fact that sound pressure decreases with each doubling of distance. If a subwoofer 2 meters away produces 105 dB at the listening position, at 4 meters away, it will need to be 6 dB louder, 8 meters 12 dB, and so on. For commercial movie theaters, subwoofers that capable can get very expensive, fast. Still has nothing to do with the sound editors artistic decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Name one where there isn't simultaneously loud content in the non-controversially important 20-30Hz range.
Your argument is based on a false premise. It's like saying I can't hear a gunshot in a mystery movie because the heroine is screaming at the same time.

Quote:

Here's for example the 10Hz content in Edge of Tomorrow I measured electrically [in the digital domain through my DAW], but notice at the exact same time we get this deepest, loudest 10Hz exposure [100% synthetic, computer generated, BTW, i.e. it is an effect which never existed in air and they never recorded it with any mic] there's also loud content at 30Hz:

What's your point now? None of the aliens in the movie ever existed in air (even as actors in costume) either. They were all created in the digital domain.
Quote:

So what people who experience this with a 10Hz capable system have to prove to me is they aren't keying off the 30 Hz content nor any distortions/ sympathetic vibrations.
[I'd also bet money the person who inserted this 10Hz note didn't hear squat in their mixing room's system other than how the sound of the 30Hz sound was distorted by the doubly large cone excursions their woofs were undergoing through straining to play the 10Hz note.]
We don't need to prove anything to you. Your education is your responsibility. Again, see my comment above about a gunshot simultaneous to a woman screaming. YOUR subwoofer might strain, mine does not. When the intro to EOT is played, that 30 Hz tone is constant. A square wave is played, first at 5 Hz, then changing to 10Hz, 15Hz, etc. This is clearly discernable as separate from the 30 Hz tone (evidently, not on your system).
Quote:


When I play my Youtube frequency sweep with my modest SVS sub I hear the bass plummet but at about that same point my dishware starts dancing around frantically to the point I'm scared it could break. Even just a remote sitting on a coffee table could similarly start dancing but this doesn't prove "I can hear 10Hz", it proves my playback environment is causing unintentional sympathetic vibrations.
It only proves that your modest sub isn't as capable, and is transferring vibrations through the cabinet when its spider reaches the end of its travel. Just because your system isn't capable of producing usable sub 20 Hz content, doesn't mean it's not there, or that other people with better subs are deceived.

We can't see outside of the visible spectrum, yet infrared and ultraviolet (along with microwaves and radio waves) do exist. Glass blocks these rays to some extent, so if you existed in a glass bubble, you would never tan. Your argument is the same as arguing that people outside the glass were not really tanning (or burning) from the light.
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post #3 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 09:11 AM
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On AVS, one doesn’t just set off on a crusade against ULF. One must slay the dragon that is science and reason.

Are these people trolls that only represent the audible audio range in the industry? Lol
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post #4 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 11:54 AM
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post #5 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 02:13 PM
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The Telarc 1812 Overture recording ca. 1979 had ~6 Hz energy from the cannons. That was one of the things that drove me to dig a little deeper than 20 Hz with my first DIY servo sub. There are numerous other recordings of this and other music that contain significant content below 20 Hz. And of course multiple instruments playing together (or singers for that matter) create very low-frequency beat tones that are part of what "fills in" the sound.

My calibration mic, an Earthworks M30, is flat to about 3 Hz and my CSL-calibrated UMIK-1 about the same. The M30 shows my -3 dB point is about 7 Hz with four little Rythmik F12's tucked around the room.

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post #6 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 02:19 PM
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Makes sense to me when I’m rocking the goddam block full tilt maxed out flipping the bird to the haters and being the mother****in man on a Tuesday afternoon.

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post #7 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 02:21 PM
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Anyone who doubts the impact of a 10Hz capable system just needs to:

Step 1: find somebody with a system capable of reference output down below 10Hz
Step 2: listen with a steep 20Hz high-pass filter.
Step 3: listen without the filter.
Step 4: PROFIT... from expanding your awareness of the tangible differences.

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post #8 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 02:48 PM
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I think Mr. Zilch has some good points. In different words Mr Zilch explains what is known as sound masking when producing bass frequencies. Now Sound masking, does not really care about what kind of microphone you have , or weather or not it is flat to a certain frequency, the reason is............... it is caused by inadequacies in the human ear, rather than in any reproductive gear, or measuring device. The human ear..................... has no hope to keep up with any
microphone as far as hearing is concerned.

Depending on a persons hearing ability, which varies from person to person over life. 30 hz frequencies can get masked by 40 hz frequencies etc, and the lower
the reproduced frequency, the larger the possible masking effect by higher frequencies. This is why we run into many people who say, 20hz and under
frequencies are more for being felt............... rather than heard. However if we reproduce a single frequency in say............ some 10 hz range, with
no other frequencies above it present in the incoming signal.................. all of a sudden that frequency becomes more audible than in a normal situation
when one is listening to music that usually contains a broad spectrum of frequencies. Given this, in a situation when cannons are going off................
someone could hear dramatic results in a movie soundtrack, where no other low frequency content was present, at the very moment of fuse ignition.

Many have said in the past on this forum................. that if they had to do it all over again.............................. they would not have worked so hard
to try and set up a system capable of infrasonic, rather than subsonic content. This again is peoples opnions based on their audio use...................
another big variable............................ which basically says........................ if i like to hear lots of shot guns and cannons going off, I need the big
infrasonic performance, but if I listen to mostly music............................. I have no need for such infrasonic content.

In normal music listening................... I feel Mr Zilch is correct, trying to reproduce too much low frequency can have an impact on the quality of higher
frequencies being heard by the HUMAN EAR................... The microphone really means nothing.................... it is an measuring aid................. what we
actually hear does................. So this is where one can go waving his microphone around................ and yet it really means nothing............. What matters is a persons opinion on the output.................. by his or her experienice............. with sound..................... Unbiased by what equipment is trying to be
supported. Everyone seems biased about their own systems on this forum.............. Other than Bassthathz...........LOL.

If someone measures 3db down at 7hz................ how many db down do you think they really are .................. based on what they can actually hear. On the other hand.................... this smart article at audioholics gives more credit to our ears.............. I especially liked the
phrase............... If it sounds bad, it's not good. Seems there are other ear men out there........... and I thought I was all alone )))

https://www.audioholics.com/room-aco...ophone-or-ears

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post #9 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 02:58 PM
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This seems more like a rant thread to me, but I'll give my opinion notheless.
I'm sitting on a sofa which is placed on a concrete slab. Sub ~18Hz seems inaudible to me unless it gets very loud. For example, 13Hz at 120db makes me feel sick, but doesn't 'sound' like a note anymore, it feels like pressure on my ears. I can't really feel that frequency either since I'm not on a decoupled riser, so sub 18Hz content isn't anything useful in my room.
Also, refering to reference playback, thinking 115db peaks doesn't really make sense. Many people watch their movies at around -10MV with dynamic EQ on, plus running their subs like 10db hot or running a house curve. Play back a 7.1 mix and you get a theoretical output of 125db (-10dbMV, +5db DEQ, +10db boost, +5db summed LF content from the 7 other channels).
If you have a system capable of playing back at that volume down to say 10Hz, you'll definitely feel that if you're sitting on top of a riser.

Now, on the other hand, there are much more efficient solutions. I, for example, cut my SKHorn off below 20Hz, with either crowsons or a BOSS platform taking care of everything below that in the future. That way I have the same experience than on a riser without endangering my hearing with ridiculous ULF levels (not that the SKHorn is very good at that to begin with).

I think zillch just didn't experience reference level ULF on a decoupled floor before. He maybe tried out different scenarios with his(?) SVS sub (running the sub into the limiter to prevent it from over-excursion), coming to the conclusion that the ULF 'hype' is similar to the audiophile stuff: a product of suggestion.

What confuses me are his approaches to the topic with the EOT intro pointing out the harmonics or the mic discussion. I guess I just don't know the context well enough, because for me it just seems out of it.

Anyways, the reproduction of below 20Hz content isn't very useful if you're sitting in a concrete bunker. If your floor is decoupled, it is.

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post #10 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post
So this is where one can go waving his microphone around................ and yet it really means nothing............. What matters is a persons opinion on the output.................. by his or her experienice............. with sound..................... Unbiased by what equipment is trying to be
supported.

I didn't read your entire post because I thought it was just too hard to read with all the dots, but I don't agree with this.
Having a system EQ'd to flat gives us the best baseline to work with. A system EQ'd to a flat FR is a requirement in every mixing studio, since you'll be able to trust your ear without having to account for equipment colouration, so you're basically contradicting yourself there by saying that measurement work 'means nothing'.
A flat FR is where people can start building their house curve upon. A flat FR eliminated room modes (only peaks, not dips thou). Getting a flat FR is the very definition of Audyssey (to remove speaker and room colouration from your audio system).
It's pretty OT thou, too. Most of the time, after Audyssey measured a system to 'flat', people will add bass afterwards because that fits their personal preference better.
IMO you can only be really unbiased about your equipment when the equipment doesn't colour your sound.
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post #11 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 04:39 PM
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Why is this thread even a thing? It's like saying that it's pointless to have a 1000 HP street car in the US when speed limits rarely exceed 65 MPH. That your Prius will do just fine. While you are welcome to have your opinion it does not make it wrong for someone to pursue the limits of what technology and engineering can provide. And if they have the wallet to do it it will only serve to benefit the lower tier products via trickle down tech.
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post #12 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
I like sub-20Hz bass.
Same here.
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post #13 of 145 Old 04-20-2019, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augerhandle View Post
Discussion continued from a post in an AVR owner's thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Reproducing content much below about 20Hz makes no sense for a number of reasons and is a completely unnecessary and gigantic burden for both drivers and their amps so it actually harms real world sound reproduction. Of course there are zillions of people who don't understand this so there is a great reason to include correction capability for infrasonic content below 20Hz: marketing.



Unfortunately the driving force in audio these days is not the truth; it's money.
This is complete and utter nonsense, likely from someone who has the inability to produce sub 20hz bass, and is trying to make themselves feel better about it.

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post #14 of 145 Old 04-21-2019, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake18 View Post
This is complete and utter nonsense, likely from someone who has the inability to produce sub 20hz bass, and is trying to make themselves feel better about it.
+1

While my subs are set with a cut-off point of 20Hz, due to my room introducing too many vibration problems.
I know that I am missing something that many Enjoy, with a lower tune setting.


Ray
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post #15 of 145 Old 04-21-2019, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B3ntwooki3 View Post
Why is this thread even a thing? It's like saying that it's pointless to have a 1000 HP street car in the US when speed limits rarely exceed 65 MPH. That your Prius will do just fine. While you are welcome to have your opinion it does not make it wrong for someone to pursue the limits of what technology and engineering can provide. And if they have the wallet to do it it will only serve to benefit the lower tier products via trickle down tech.
+1

While I do understand, what you are trying to say

For me, a sub is like a nice car. Cruise along, and when you need to pass someone that is holding traffic.
Step on it and go from 56 to 90 MPH, and go Than cruise back at 65.
Power that is not normally require, but when needed. You have-it

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post #16 of 145 Old 04-21-2019, 02:22 AM
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because a gunshot or a locomotive going by only produces sound down to 20hz.
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post #17 of 145 Old 04-21-2019, 06:41 AM
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Reproducing below 20 Hz makes no sense

I am amused of the effort all of us make to have the perfect reproduction of the sound, we even qualify it “as the author intended it,” almost as if that were anything but relative. Relative to their equipment, to their ears, even subjected to their mood at the time of the final adjustment of that sound. And we try our best to reproduce that, first by using a non-subjective set of measurement tools. Then we place all those results against our own equipment, room and ears. Now we’re trying to find if that is relevant ... to you, me and everyone else, whether having equipment to “reproduce” those sounds “perfectly / as intended.”

I enjoy my sound the way it is, and when that gets less interesting I’ll change stuff that I can change. But will still use my own ears and likely listen to that perfect sound in my room.
May your equipment, space and ears give you the perfect sound, at the frequencies that make it the perfect experience ... for you.



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post #18 of 145 Old 04-22-2019, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Reproducing content much below about 20Hz makes no sense for a number of reasons and is a completely unnecessary and gigantic burden for both drivers and their amps so it actually harms real world sound reproduction. Of course there are zillions of people who don't understand this so there is a great reason to include correction capability for infrasonic content below 20Hz: marketing.

Unfortunately the driving force in audio these days is not the truth; it's money.

From 10000 Hz to 20000 Hz you have ten thousand frequencies, a lot of them, and thats an octave.


From 10 Hz to 20 Hz you have, quite the surprise, another octave.
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post #19 of 145 Old 04-22-2019, 02:11 PM
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post #20 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyzipper View Post
Anyone who doubts the impact of a 10Hz capable system just needs to:

Step 1: find somebody with a system capable of reference output down below 10Hz
Step 2: listen with a steep 20Hz high-pass filter.
Step 3: listen without the filter.
Step 4: PROFIT... from expanding your awareness of the tangible differences.
This would prove nothing about how amazing 10Hz output is for me personally, as 15 Hz is VERY tactile but 10 Hz is barely noticeable other than seeing the drivers go nuts at reference. In other words, the sharp filter at 20 would cut frequencies that matter above 10Hz, along with those that don't from 10 and below. Losing the ones above 10 Hz would be drastically noticeable. Put the same filter at 10 and I bet most wouldn't notice.

The 17ish? Hz tone in Bass I Love you is incredibly tactile in my room, while the 10Hz EoT tone is lackluster at best.

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post #21 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 04:28 PM
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the same thing can be said about spl vs space. 110db spl in a bathroom would kill me, but 140+ db at nasa launch 20 miles away is nothing.

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post #22 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 06:08 PM
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the same thing can be said about spl vs space. 110db spl in a bathroom would kill me, but 140+ db at nasa launch 20 miles away is nothing.
good point.
wonder why ?
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post #23 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 06:36 PM
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I always answer the same way, would one cut frequencies above 10khz? Do we think we will notice a 15khz tone when somebody is screaming or during a loud explosion? It all adds to the overall experience. Whether subtle or shakes your seat.

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post #24 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 07:52 PM
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I can easily hear to 14hz on my system, and my floor is 100% concrete (3ft thick).

I love the 7hz pulse in BassILoveU, it just WOULDN'T be the same on a 15hz ported sub with a 15hz HPF...

The EOT intro almost broke my projector, I watched it before the bass warnings came out.
It almost killed my LMS-18's, good thing I was massively underpowered at the time...
I now use that movie to calibrate my gain structure to [email protected] LOL!

They put the harmonics in there so that people with systems that aren't infrasonic-capable could STILL hear the effect (but differently and to a lesser degree, obviously...)

People said getting into space was impossible and expensive too. I know for a FACT satellites exist because I used to live in the middle of nowhere back in 1992 before wifi or LTE or cell-towers-everywhere was a "thing", I was sandwiched between two 3000ft mountains 300miles from the nearest-anything, in any-direction, and I could STILL get tv (with an 8ft dish). The nearest store, hospital or school was a 1hour drive on a windy dirt road at near high-way speeds, the whole thing was an animal-crossing zone. So I know for a FACT we CAN get into orbit, at the very-least...

When I was out there I once saw a girl get her leg ripped clean-off during a water skiing accident, no idea if she even made it to the hospital in time. But I will NEVER be attached to a rope behind a boat EVER!!! I guess the rope got wrapped around her leg and the rest is history!

The moral of the story being: Don't know what you don't know UNTIL you live-it and learn-it! hehe

My CSL UMIK-1 cal file is like -3db @ 5hz and therefore with the cal file it is flat.
My TermLab goes to 2hz in NASA-mode, which being digital solid-state should be -0db, and it's rated for 120-180db. Factory calibrated, never goes out of calibration and the readings are non-tamperable.
Both read the same SPL to 5hz so it must be correct. My CM-140 handheld also agrees with the C-weighted figures. All 3 are within 1db of each other, after weighting and calibration is factored.

How's this for a house-curve? 29 subwoofers and 100kW.
Gotta have me my boats and hoes (and bass...)


(My FP amps are -3db @ 2.7hz, and that's pretty much what I get...)

Or maybe you like it EQ'ed flat, that is possible too! Here is just my Left speaker with the dedicated-LFE subwoofers turned off:

(The woofers in my fronts just happen to be a pair of UM-15's, each.)

The dedicated subs are mostly 18's, 21's and 24's and are thus MUCH more beefy/powerful/bigger. (As they SHOULD be!) So yes I treat UM-15's like traditional fronts-woofers.
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Last edited by BassThatHz; 04-23-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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post #25 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
This would prove nothing about how amazing 10Hz output is for me personally, as 15 Hz is VERY tactile but 10 Hz is barely noticeable other than seeing the drivers go nuts at reference. In other words, the sharp filter at 20 would cut frequencies that matter above 10Hz, along with those that don't from 10 and below. Losing the ones above 10 Hz would be drastically noticeable. Put the same filter at 10 and I bet most wouldn't notice.

The 17ish? Hz tone in Bass I Love you is incredibly tactile in my room, while the 10Hz EoT tone is lackluster at best.
Whether you personally care about 10Hz or not, your "VERY tactile" 15Hz wouldn't and then would be present in the proposed test.

I still assert that test would clearly illustrate the falsity of, "reproducing content much below about 20Hz makes no sense".

Not sure what you're disagreeing with.
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post #26 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 09:21 PM
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Reproducing below 20 Hz makes no sense......
says the man who owns a polk 505.

sry, just had to.
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post #27 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyzipper View Post
Anyone who doubts the impact of a 10Hz capable system just needs to:

Step 1: find somebody with a system capable of reference output down below 10Hz
Step 2: listen with a steep 20Hz high-pass filter.
Step 3: listen without the filter.
Step 4: PROFIT... from expanding your awareness of the tangible differences.
This would prove nothing about how amazing 10Hz output is for me personally, as 15 Hz is VERY tactile but 10 Hz is barely noticeable other than seeing the drivers go nuts at reference. In other words, the sharp filter at 20 would cut frequencies that matter above 10Hz, along with those that don't from 10 and below. Losing the ones above 10 Hz would be drastically noticeable. Put the same filter at 10 and I bet most wouldn't notice.

The 17ish? Hz tone in Bass I Love you is incredibly tactile in my room, while the 10Hz EoT tone is lackluster at best.
What subs do you have?

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post #28 of 145 Old 04-23-2019, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodoubt View Post
Reproducing below 20 Hz makes no sense......
says the man who owns a polk 505.[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

sry, just had to.
Haha, yep, love it!
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post #29 of 145 Old 04-24-2019, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyzipper View Post
Anyone who doubts the impact of a 10Hz capable system just needs to:

Step 1: find somebody with a system capable of reference output down below 10Hz
Step 2: listen with a steep 20Hz high-pass filter.
Step 3: listen without the filter.
Step 4: PROFIT... from expanding your awareness of the tangible differences.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyzipper View Post
Whether you personally care about 10Hz or not, your "VERY tactile" 15Hz wouldn't and then would be present in the proposed test.

I still assert that test would clearly illustrate the falsity of, "reproducing content much below about 20Hz makes no sense".

Not sure what you're disagreeing with.
I do agree below 20 Hz would matter a lot for anyone regardless of room, so filtering below that would make a drastic difference. It was your mention of output below 10Hz that I don't completely agree with. I know there are a few guys with 120/130+ dB capability and the right room who can notice 10 Hz and below, but there are many for whom below 10Hz does almost nothing despite reference capability. So my point is that, for many, going to 8+ sealed 18's or huge IB setups to get the capability below 10 Hz, might not even matter at all. I'd be a little disappointed investing in so much capability to only then realize that it barely matters, if at all.

I have a pair of BMS18n862 in sealed cabs.
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post #30 of 145 Old 04-24-2019, 02:50 AM
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My Crowson's are rated to 5 Hz, everything below 20 Hz is more than welcome in my room.
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