Multiple Home Theater Subs, 12's x 4 or 15's x 2? How to measure? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-18-2019, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Multiple Home Theater Subs, 12's x 4 or 15's x 2? How to measure?

Hi all,

I currently have two BIC F12's and two Polk PSW505's. Obviously budget end of things, but they're good budget subs and still kicking it over 8 years later from purchasing over the years during sales. I'm currently reading about how to best organize them and on Audioholics it shows a best setup being one in each corner of a symmetrical room. Also, from reading, my understanding is that multiple smaller subs will flatten out response and increase output of lower frequencies a little bit so that the overall sound is smoother and more consistent in almost all listening positions in the room.

So my real question becomes.... do I stay with 4x 12's like this, or do I consider trading them out for two 15's (such as Monoliths, HSU, etc). Obviously higher end units than my current budget subs, however, does that even matter for movies and when comparing 4 of them to a smaller number of larger subs? Conventional wisdom seems to be more is better.

Room size is around 22 feet x 18 feet.

I'm curious about resources on how to measure sub response with a microphone too. I've seen others doing this. I'm curious about any easy to follow guides on how to do this so I can take a better look at how well the 4 subs are performing versus just soaking up electricity?

Thanks!

Very best,
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-18-2019, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX
… So my real question becomes.... do I stay with 4x 12's like this, or do I consider trading them out for two 15's (such as Monoliths, HSU, etc). Obviously higher end units than my current budget subs, however, does that even matter for movies and when comparing 4 of them to a smaller number of larger subs? Conventional wisdom seems to be more is better.

Room size is around 22 feet x 18 feet. …
For greater overall output and significantly better extension, I'd start fresh with a pair of powerful 12" or 15" subs and add one (or two) more if desired.

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… I'm curious about resources on how to measure sub response with a microphone too. …
Inexpensive way: Buy a UMIK-1 mic and download REW (Room EQ Wizard) for free.
More-expensive way: Buy a Dayton OmniMic (mic + software) from parts-express.com.
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-18-2019, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, that REW software looks like what I need to learn to use. Just have to figure out the microphone part now, I see the recommended ones, I'm curious if I can make something I already have work, otherwise, I'll look into the suggested microphones as I get deeper into measuring things for optimal placement.

I'm still curious how two powerful 12's is going to truly compare in the room to four budget 12's, versus of course, two 15's.

Very best,
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-18-2019, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
Thanks, that REW software looks like what I need to learn to use. Just have to figure out the microphone part now, I see the recommended ones, I'm curious if I can make something I already have work, otherwise, I'll look into the suggested microphones as I get deeper into measuring things for optimal placement.

I'm still curious how two powerful 12's is going to truly compare in the room to four budget 12's, versus of course, two 15's.

Very best,
A pair of 12" subs like the monoprice monolith would be a significant upgrade over your 4 subs under 50hz or so. Above that your 4 subs will probably be equal.

A pair of 15"s would be a significant upgrade at all frequencies.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-18-2019, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks,

So basically these are just going to have to hold me over until I can get a group of "good" 15's then. Totally swapping these 4 subs with 2 new 12's just to gain some performance from 25~50hz doesn't seem worth the cost compared to doing an overall change to two good 15's and getting better performance across the board. So that takes care of that. I'll just monitor sales and look at getting two the HSU or Monolith 15's when I can and be done.

Very best,
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 06:41 AM
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Here's a REW measurement with UMIK-1 at 8ft (MLP) with my Dual Outlaw X12's located in opposite corners to give you an idea of what dual 12's can do (VTF2 mk5's would be even better)
my room is roughly the same size but is open to other rooms (5000 cu.ft. total)
this is max output before compression

Green line is max output
Red Line is max extension


*note i'm a complete newbie at REW (i'm sure someone will correct something i did wrong)
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
Thanks,

So basically these are just going to have to hold me over until I can get a group of "good" 15's then. Totally swapping these 4 subs with 2 new 12's just to gain some performance from 25~50hz doesn't seem worth the cost compared to doing an overall change to two good 15's and getting better performance across the board. So that takes care of that. I'll just monitor sales and look at getting two the HSU or Monolith 15's when I can and be done.

Very best,
malv...what part of Florida are you in?
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Here's a REW measurement with UMIK-1 at 8ft (MLP) with my Dual Outlaw X12's located in opposite corners to give you an idea of what dual 12's can do (VTF2 mk5's would be even better)
my room is roughly the same size but is open to other rooms (5000 cu.ft. total)
this is max output before compression

Green line is max output
Red Line is max extension


*note i'm a complete newbie at REW (i'm sure someone will correct something i did wrong)
Thanks, that's very interesting and if it's correct or at least close to it, it does suggest the improvement using the two together.

I'm interested to measure what happens from one to four subs active, since I have them, might as well see if it's truly doing anything or not and if not, I can free up space (and electricity).

Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsmith013 View Post
malv...what part of Florida are you in?
Central west coast, near Cedar Key and Trenton area, West of Gainesville. I see you're up in Jacksonville.

Very best,

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post #9 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
Thanks, that's very interesting and if it's correct or at least close to it, it does suggest the improvement using the two together.

I'm interested to measure what happens from one to four subs active, since I have them, might as well see if it's truly doing anything or not and if not, I can free up space (and electricity).



Central west coast, near Cedar Key and Trenton area, West of Gainesville. I see you're up in Jacksonville.

Very best,
yup take some measurements and compare/go from there

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post #10 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
yup take some measurements and compare/go from there
How complicated was it for you to do that in REW by the way, assuming no experience with already working with this kind of hardware/software? I see lots of written tutorials and I've yet to scour YouTube for a tutorial though I'm sure something exists that is fairly easy to follow. I'll pick up the appropriate microphone, it will be useful anyways with many applications, because I don't think it's worth buying better speakers and/or equipment if I'm not properly preparing the room, placement and correction, so between XT32 and REW maybe I can get a better handle on getthing the most out of a room and what I have before expanding into something better with a better understanding of how to properly set it up for best reproduction (I understand that good speakers in an untreated room with no correction may not sound much better if at all than decent budget speakers would, etc).

Very best,
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
Thanks, that's very interesting and if it's correct or at least close to it, it does suggest the improvement using the two together.

I'm interested to measure what happens from one to four subs active, since I have them, might as well see if it's truly doing anything or not and if not, I can free up space (and electricity).



Central west coast, near Cedar Key and Trenton area, West of Gainesville. I see you're up in Jacksonville.

Very best,
cool..not too far away...we have got a pretty strong group going in the Jax area.. we do have one of us in the Gainesville area @filtor1 we are very into the DIY scene..if you ever did consider going DIY for your subs..we can provide alot of info for you...once you go DIY on subs, you will never buy commercial again..

Chad
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 08:28 AM
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I see lots of written tutorials and I've yet to scour YouTube for a tutorial though I'm sure something exists that is fairly easy to follow.
Please start here (important enough that it's in my sig):
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-au...et-graphs.html
Michael

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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Don't guess, measure: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-au...l#post22789786
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Please start here (important enough that it's in my sig):
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-au...et-graphs.html
Michael
Thanks Michael,

I downloaded the PDF (AustinJerry) and followed Jason's thread after looking up what REW is. I'm chewing through it all. I appreciate the work and heads up. I'm sure it will be very valuable. So far it looks like I have everything needed and will be ready to go after I get the microphone to start testing things out. I would much rather get the most from what I have than to buy stuff only to just change minor things but not really gain improvement in reproduction.

Very best,
Marty
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chadsmith013 View Post
cool..not too far away...we have got a pretty strong group going in the Jax area.. we do have one of us in the Gainesville area @filtor1 we are very into the DIY scene..if you ever did consider going DIY for your subs..we can provide alot of info for you...once you go DIY on subs, you will never buy commercial again..

Chad
Thanks Chad,

A while back I had considered it, I really was interested in those sonotube DIY subs, but ultimately plans fell through as kids entered the picture. While my first born was tiny, the subs were off all the time anyways, it's only 5 years later that we can start getting loud again without it being a problem for general life having babies around. Now that they're older I'm able to get loud again without it being a problem and I have no neighbors in the country so it's "on."

Very best,
Marty
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
Thanks Chad,

A while back I had considered it, I really was interested in those sonotube DIY subs, but ultimately plans fell through as kids entered the picture. While my first born was tiny, the subs were off all the time anyways, it's only 5 years later that we can start getting loud again without it being a problem for general life having babies around. Now that they're older I'm able to get loud again without it being a problem and I have no neighbors in the country so it's "on."

Very best,
Marty
there ya go man..thats just how we like it...

and if u ever want to hear loud.. give @filtor1 a holler...has 4 DIY 18s in his living room...
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-19-2019, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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there ya go man..thats just how we like it...

and if u ever want to hear loud.. give @filtor a holler...has 4 DIY 18s in his living room...
Will do, I'm sure that would be quite the experience!

Very best,
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-20-2019, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Here's a REW measurement with UMIK-1 at 8ft (MLP) with my Dual Outlaw X12's located in opposite corners to give you an idea of what dual 12's can do (VTF2 mk5's would be even better)
my room is roughly the same size but is open to other rooms (5000 cu.ft. total)
this is max output before compression

Green line is max output
Red Line is max extension


*note i'm a complete newbie at REW (i'm sure someone will correct something i did wrong)


Looks good, just click the "Freq Axis" tab at the top right to change the horizontal frequency axis from Linear to Logarithmic (or press Ctrl+Shift+A)

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post #18 of 18 Old 06-20-2019, 06:14 AM
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Looks good, just click the "Freq Axis" tab at the top right to change the horizontal frequency axis from Linear to Logarithmic (or press Ctrl+Shift+A)
Thanks for the tip!

i'll give it a shot this weekend, I just picked up a mic boom stand so i'll be re-calibrating the system.

*note, i should of mentioned this in my original post that measuring at reference levels max extension had some chuffing from 15-25ish Hz (hard to pinpoint exactly what Hz it was) but Max output had 0% chuffing.

I listen between -10 to -15 and have recently switched to max extension mode, there has been no signs of chuffing yet.

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