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post #1 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Atypical Subwoofer Question

This forum and Google have unlimited threads on connecting two subs, but none answer my question:
If I connect one sub and set it to LFE (on the sub), and connect a second sub (using a "Y" adapter from the receiver) and set it to 60hz (rather than LFE), am I going to get the full LFE signal out of the sub set to LFE and only 60hz and below out of the sub set to 60 hz? (The receiver is set to LFE.)
Please only reply if you know the answer to my EXACT question.
Thank you.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 12:42 PM
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You already know the answer. Yes.

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post #3 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 02:29 PM
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Please don't ask questions you already know the answer to
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

WTF is wrong with you "nice" guys? I thought this was supposed to be a mature, considerate forum. I asked a genuine question and expected a civilized answer from someone who had experience with the particular setup I asked about.

Has anyone considered the possibility that the sub set on 60 hz could have an impact on the sub set on LFE, considering the fact that they are both connected to the same output on the receiver? This is the same as putting 2 speakers in parallel connected to one output, which obviously changes certain variables of the connection (compared to 1 speaker connected to the same output). There are also other factors to consider, such as the load the two subs put on the receiver, the receiver's settings related to LFE, crossover frequency, etc, all of which could possibly be influenced by (or influencing) the connection.

Maybe I'm over-analyzing the subject, but I like to be as well-informed as possible before before attempting anything that could have a negative influence on, or worse, possibly damage, my system (sub crossovers, my receiver, etc.). So I apologize if I asked (what seems like some of you consider) a "stupid" question, but I consider it an "intelligent" question, considering all of the unknown variables. So "jump on the bandwagon" and continue flaming me for asking an innocent question if you feel the need, but it would help me out more (and make the world a nicer place ) if someone politely replied with a "real" answer.

Thank you!
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Please only reply if you know the answer to my EXACT question.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 05:30 PM
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Simple answer (?):

Your AVR is just sending the signal, and your sub's amplifiers are producing whatever you have them set to.


Hope this helps,

Darrell




FWIW, You really did answer your own question.

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 07:23 PM
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^^^

I think that the real problem is that the answer to your question is either very simple (Yes!) or it is very complicated, if people try to help you understand all of the ramifications of doing what you suggest. Your initial post only required a binary, yes/no answer. And, you got that immediately, along with some teasing due to the way you phrased your question.

Your second post, however reflected some awareness that you might not actually be asking a simple question at all. For instance, if one subwoofer is only set to 60Hz, it will not only stop playing LFE content a little above that (there will be a gradual roll-off above 60Hz) but it will also stop playing frequencies above that in the regular channels, as well.

And, if you are using any sort of automated room EQ, I have no idea what it will do with one sub which plays 120Hz, and one sub which only plays 60Hz. I suspect that it will simply stop EQing at all below about 60Hz, because the combined SPL of the two subwoofers will be rolling-off by -3dB at that frequency.

If you had REW and a miniDSP, you might be able to make sense out of what you are proposing to do. Without them, I'm not at all sure that you can. So, there you go! That's a more serious answer.

Regards,
Mike
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d-rail34 View Post
Simple answer (?):

Your AVR is just sending the signal, and your sub's amplifiers are producing whatever you have them set to.


Hope this helps,

Darrell




FWIW, You really did answer your own question.
Hi Darrell.
First, thanks for the considerate reply. I am glad to learn that my connection will work as desired without causing, or being impacted by, anything I mentioned in my second post (Post #4 ).
Second, this is sincere, not sarcasm:
For my own benefit, I am trying to figure out how I "answered my own question." I read my original post several times and I see that I provided all the details, but for the life of me, I can't see anything that I wrote that answers the question asked. If you have time, can you please explain it to me?
Thanks again.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
^^^

I think that the real problem is that the answer to your question is either very simple (Yes!) or it is very complicated, if people try to help you understand all of the ramifications of doing what you suggest. Your initial post only required a binary, yes/no answer. And, you got that immediately, along with some teasing due to the way you phrased your question.

Your second post, however reflected some awareness that you might not actually be asking a simple question at all. For instance, if one subwoofer is only set to 60Hz, it will not only stop playing LFE content a little above that (there will be a gradual roll-off above 60Hz) but it will also stop playing frequencies above that in the regular channels, as well.

And, if you are using any sort of automated room EQ, I have no idea what it will do with one sub which plays 120Hz, and one sub which only plays 60Hz. I suspect that it will simply stop EQing at all below about 60Hz, because the combined SPL of the two subwoofers will be rolling-off by -3dB at that frequency.

If you had REW and a miniDSP, you might be able to make sense out of what you are proposing to do. Without them, I'm not at all sure that you can. So, there you go! That's a more serious answer.

Regards,
Mike
Hi Mike.
Thanks for the detailed answer.
This is my scenario:
I had a 5.1 set of speakers and the sub just wasn't providing enough bass. So after a while, I purchased a nice big sub that accomplished the task. Now, about a year later, I just purchased a very, very good set of fronts and a matching center speaker. After experimenting with each sub, I find that with the new speakers, the system "blends" better with the smaller sub than with the newer large sub for "audiophile-type" listening. But when I listen to movies, or hard rock music, I want the bass to shake the walls and rattle the windows! Therefore, I want to add the large sub and have it do the heavy lifting below approximately 60hz when listening at eardrum-bursting levels, but still have the better balanced output from the small sub when the audio from the movie or hard rock is not outputting heavy bass requiring the large sub. Whew!
Thanks.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-26-2020, 09:06 PM
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You probably need to find a new position for the bigger sub that is not blending well. Bass is always all about position. Sub Crawl yet?

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-27-2020, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AVS For View Post
Hi Mike.
Thanks for the detailed answer.
This is my scenario:
I had a 5.1 set of speakers and the sub just wasn't providing enough bass. So after a while, I purchased a nice big sub that accomplished the task. Now, about a year later, I just purchased a very, very good set of fronts and a matching center speaker. After experimenting with each sub, I find that with the new speakers, the system "blends" better with the smaller sub than with the newer large sub for "audiophile-type" listening. But when I listen to movies, or hard rock music, I want the bass to shake the walls and rattle the windows! Therefore, I want to add the large sub and have it do the heavy lifting below approximately 60hz when listening at eardrum-bursting levels, but still have the better balanced output from the small sub when the audio from the movie or hard rock is not outputting heavy bass requiring the large sub. Whew!
Thanks.

You are welcome, but unfortunately, I don't believe my answer was quite correct with respect to automated room EQ. But then, you may not even have any form of room EQ. What you are proposing is extremely unusual, even by AVS forum standards, where people try unusual setups all the time. It can be very difficult to make subwoofers with inherently different capabilities play well together. The combined sound of two very dissimilar subwoofers may randomly peak at some frequencies and cancel at others.

As Ray suggested, the problem you are experiencing with the larger subwoofer, which doesn't blend very well for music, may be one of positioning. Or, perhaps it is related to something else entirely. You might, for instance, be using different crossovers now. I think if you wanted really serious assistance from people on the forum, you would need to describe your situation in detail, including the two subwoofers in question, how they are positioned in your room, what kind (if any) of automated room EQ you have, and what settings, including crossovers, you are using.

Making even a single subwoofer do what we want it to, in a room, is not always easy. Making two different subwoofers do what we want them to is even harder. Personally, if I really liked the larger sub, I would try to work with it to make it sound better for all my listening content. And, if I really liked the smaller sub that much better, I would get rid of the larger one and just have two of the smaller ones. Getting two identical subs to sound good together still isn't always dead easy, but you would have a much better chance than you will with two very different ones.

If after all of this, though, you are absolutely determined to proceed with your plan, I wouldn't try to use any sort of room EQ that affects the bass frequencies, because it will potentially make things worse. I would probably still do the sub crawl that Ray suggested. And, once I found the best spot for a sub, I would put the small sub on top of the large sub, with something in between to protect the finish.

Then, I would have only the small sub playing for "audiophile" music, and I would only have the large sub playing for room-rattling material. But, both subs would play full-range (120Hz) when it was their turn to play. Personally, I would recommend investing the time and effort to get the large sub to play better, or I would get rid of it. Having two completely different subwoofers is sort of a waste, and it's probably never going to work very well for you.

But, if you are determined to have one subwoofer playing most of your music, and the other subwoofer for movies and hard rock, then I would let them take turns playing, from the best spot in the room. And, I wouldn't try to use any sort of bass EQ in the process. That is likely to make things worse, instead of better, if you try to EQ them together, or EQ one and then change to another. I would just turn one off, and the other one on whenever I wanted to listen to each one, if I were really determined to do this.

Regards,
Mike

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* 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 #12 of 16 Old 03-27-2020, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d-rail34 View Post
Simple answer (?):

Your AVR is just sending the signal, and your sub's amplifiers are producing whatever you have them set to.


Hope this helps,

Darrell




FWIW, You really did answer your own question.
Put simply, above is right on.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-27-2020, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
You probably need to find a new position for the bigger sub that is not blending well. Bass is always all about position. Sub Crawl yet?
Thanks Ray.

Unfortunately, I have the same dilemma that many people do: I have very limited wall-space that isn't used by furniture. That limits me to choosing between the few spots the big sub will fit in, or getting a divorce because I moved the furniture. (The more I think about it, the better the idea of getting a divorce sounds!) I tried the sub crawl in the limited available locations with the big sub, and it sounds best where it is. The small sub just happened to sound perfect right where I "plopped" it down the other day when I got my excellent fronts and center.

I think I will have to just use the small sub alone for "audiophile" listening and use the big sub alone for the rest.

Thanks for the reply.
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Originally Posted by mthomas47 View Post
You are welcome, but unfortunately, I don't believe my answer was quite correct with respect to automated room EQ. But then, you may not even have any form of room EQ. What you are proposing is extremely unusual, even by AVS forum standards, where people try unusual setups all the time. It can be very difficult to make subwoofers with inherently different capabilities play well together. The combined sound of two very dissimilar subwoofers may randomly peak at some frequencies and cancel at others.

As Ray suggested, the problem you are experiencing with the larger subwoofer, which doesn't blend very well for music, may be one of positioning. Or, perhaps it is related to something else entirely. You might, for instance, be using different crossovers now. I think if you wanted really serious assistance from people on the forum, you would need to describe your situation in detail, including the two subwoofers in question, how they are positioned in your room, what kind (if any) of automated room EQ you have, and what settings, including crossovers, you are using.

Making even a single subwoofer do what we want it to, in a room, is not always easy. Making two different subwoofers do what we want them to is even harder. Personally, if I really liked the larger sub, I would try to work with it to make it sound better for all my listening content. And, if I really liked the smaller sub that much better, I would get rid of the larger one and just have two of the smaller ones. Getting two identical subs to sound good together still isn't always dead easy, but you would have a much better chance than you will with two very different ones.

If after all of this, though, you are absolutely determined to proceed with your plan, I wouldn't try to use any sort of room EQ that affects the bass frequencies, because it will potentially make things worse. I would probably still do the sub crawl that Ray suggested. And, once I found the best spot for a sub, I would put the small sub on top of the large sub, with something in between to protect the finish.

Then, I would have only the small sub playing for "audiophile" music, and I would only have the large sub playing for room-rattling material. But, both subs would play full-range (120Hz) when it was their turn to play. Personally, I would recommend investing the time and effort to get the large sub to play better, or I would get rid of it. Having two completely different subwoofers is sort of a waste, and it's probably never going to work very well for you.

But, if you are determined to have one subwoofer playing most of your music, and the other subwoofer for movies and hard rock, then I would let them take turns playing, from the best spot in the room. And, I wouldn't try to use any sort of bass EQ in the process. That is likely to make things worse, instead of better, if you try to EQ them together, or EQ one and then change to another. I would just turn one off, and the other one on whenever I wanted to listen to each one, if I were really determined to do this.

Regards,
Mike
Thanks for another detailed reply Mike.

The only type of EQ I have available is the very limited Audyssey system built into my Denon receiver. I think your last paragraph is my best choice (use the small sub alone for "audiophile" listening and use the big sub alone for the rest) due to the limitations outlined in my reply to Ray.

Thank you again for the help.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-29-2020, 08:04 AM
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Hmmm....is it just me?

OK, you want an EXACT answer to a very vague question while you provide no real information except "big sub", "little sub" and "audiophile". Granted, you are a noob but as with everything, garbage in = garbage out and it is hard to dig up good information out of the garbage can of information you provided. Now that is an EXACT answer!

Most noobs list their subwoofers assuming everyone on AVS forum as a working knowledge of every subwoofer manufactured in the past 30 years--they assume wrong. Or, for some unknown reason the forum members are supposed to look up whatever subwoofers they use then spend our time figuring out what is wrong. If they don't do that, the OP gets butt hurt so we live in fear of not being "nice"? Really?

OK, this is what you SHOULD post. I have Subwoofer X which is a sealed/ported/bandpass/infinite baffle/horn loaded sub with this size driver(s) inside. I am attempting to mix it with Brand Y subwoofer which is sealed/ported/bandpass/infinite baffle/horn loaded sub with this size driver(s) If they are ported/bandpass, they are tune to a frequency of X Hz. The size of my room is X cubic feet/cubic meters and I listen at XXX dB. My main speakers are Brand X and sealed/ported/infinite baffle/in-wall or mounted in the ceiling.

What is a "big sub"? To me, it is a subwoofer that uses an 18" diameter driver or multiple smaller drivers that move several liters of air and can produce over 115dB of output at 20Hz. A "small sub" can't be defined, it can be a Bose bass box, a 6 inch driver used for computer desks or an 8 incher in a sealed box. Subwoofer drivers range from 6.5 inches (Tang Band for instance) all the way up to 40 inch PowerSoft stadium subs or a 50 incher or 80 incher from a manufacturer in China--they do exist.

To get the best sound quality out of subwoofers, it is best to use 2 or more of them--they should be the same alignment (sealed/ported/bandpass etc.) and when tuned, they should be tuned to approximately the same frequency or within a 1/4th octave of each other. If you mix sealed/ported/bandpass/horn loaded/infinite baffle together--you WILL have problems! There are ways around that but it requires one to get deep into the weeds, take a large amounts of measurements and processing and so on for success. That is not something a person that does not fully understand the physics should attempt--rolling the dice and keep screwing around with mixing different alignments of subs together does not favor chance.

Very easy to spot you attempting to take a ride on the fail whale. You are mixing two different subs together (alignment not specified) you are running each one on it's own (best to use more than one sub for best sound quality) but you did notice "smaller" subs are easier to setup. Want to know why? Simple! Generally speaking, smaller subs don't give you the extension of larger subs. They don't go as low with any meaningful SPL. The lower in frequency the subwoofer provides, the more standing waves, peaks and dips show up in the response because the wavelengths get much longer and as that happens--you create more problems. If you have a small "sub" that cuts off below 40 Hz then you have a big sub that gives solid response down to 16Hz--you just created acoustic chaos with the response unless your subwoofer is either outside or you live in a sports stadium so the 70 foot wavelengths don't fold over, create peaks/nulls etc. Very simple to screw around with 40Hz capability, very little skill required but once you want 16Hz or lower--then this becomes much more complex, much larger subwoofers, multiple subwoofers and so on.

For instance, my garage is not very kind to acoustics--it's a garage. Did some testing and I get some nasty stuff in the low 20Hz range, huge peaks/nulls and a standing wave that beats my garage door to death as it hammers away on the hinges. I built a dual 15" sub, tuned it to 24Hz and threw a high pass filter at 21Hz while undersizing the box to create a roll off at around 27Hz. That eliminated most of the problem by avoiding that peak acoustically and I can always open the garage door to change the "room acoustics" if you will. I designed to run the sub both sealed or ported so if I have to blast the system with the garage door closed, running sealed prevents high SPL response down low which prevents that standing wave. You design the system around the flaws in the location, heck...I had to build line arrays to prevent floor/ceiling bounce but that is the extreme. It does work very well for a garage--but way off the beaten path and a pain in my butt.

Some advice when posting, give all the information you have on your subs/mains and room used. Give us a clue of what you are using the system for, music, movies, gaming or whatever. Throw in a rough guess on what sound levels you expect to use and an idea of how low you prefer the subwoofers to play. Don't use vague, meaningless terms like "big", "small" or audiophile...we need real terminology because test gear, measurements, test results on speakers, amps or whatever don't contain marketing terms.

Final answer? You are doing it wrong--not the answer you want to hear. That's OK, all part of the learning process. Have no idea if you can mix those two subs because it is just a piece of the puzzle and the answer depends on many other factors that are unknown. If you want to know if you can use your existing system together or, how to get it to work better--that demands more information. The only exact answer I can provide is you are doing it wrong, if you want to get better results we need much more information which only you can provide. Some people like to throw money at a problem and hope that eventually by random luck they can get the sound they want. This is fine as long as wasting time, effort and money is OK with you--for some people that is the entertaining part of the hobby. However, most people on this forum don't want to waste time posting multiple answers over a period of days/weeks/months as most people tend to not have the time to follow the thread.

Good luck with your quest, hopefully some day the audio gods will smile upon you before you run out of time, money or sanity.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-29-2020, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
Hmmm....is it just me?

OK, you want an EXACT answer to a very vague question while you provide no real information except "big sub", "little sub" and "audiophile". Granted, you are a noob but as with everything, garbage in = garbage out and it is hard to dig up good information out of the garbage can of information you provided. Now that is an EXACT answer!

Most noobs list their subwoofers assuming everyone on AVS forum as a working knowledge of every subwoofer manufactured in the past 30 years--they assume wrong. Or, for some unknown reason the forum members are supposed to look up whatever subwoofers they use then spend our time figuring out what is wrong. If they don't do that, the OP gets butt hurt so we live in fear of not being "nice"? Really?

OK, this is what you SHOULD post. I have Subwoofer X which is a sealed/ported/bandpass/infinite baffle/horn loaded sub with this size driver(s) inside. I am attempting to mix it with Brand Y subwoofer which is sealed/ported/bandpass/infinite baffle/horn loaded sub with this size driver(s) If they are ported/bandpass, they are tune to a frequency of X Hz. The size of my room is X cubic feet/cubic meters and I listen at XXX dB. My main speakers are Brand X and sealed/ported/infinite baffle/in-wall or mounted in the ceiling.

What is a "big sub"? To me, it is a subwoofer that uses an 18" diameter driver or multiple smaller drivers that move several liters of air and can produce over 115dB of output at 20Hz. A "small sub" can't be defined, it can be a Bose bass box, a 6 inch driver used for computer desks or an 8 incher in a sealed box. Subwoofer drivers range from 6.5 inches (Tang Band for instance) all the way up to 40 inch PowerSoft stadium subs or a 50 incher or 80 incher from a manufacturer in China--they do exist.

To get the best sound quality out of subwoofers, it is best to use 2 or more of them--they should be the same alignment (sealed/ported/bandpass etc.) and when tuned, they should be tuned to approximately the same frequency or within a 1/4th octave of each other. If you mix sealed/ported/bandpass/horn loaded/infinite baffle together--you WILL have problems! There are ways around that but it requires one to get deep into the weeds, take a large amounts of measurements and processing and so on for success. That is not something a person that does not fully understand the physics should attempt--rolling the dice and keep screwing around with mixing different alignments of subs together does not favor chance.

Very easy to spot you attempting to take a ride on the fail whale. You are mixing two different subs together (alignment not specified) you are running each one on it's own (best to use more than one sub for best sound quality) but you did notice "smaller" subs are easier to setup. Want to know why? Simple! Generally speaking, smaller subs don't give you the extension of larger subs. They don't go as low with any meaningful SPL. The lower in frequency the subwoofer provides, the more standing waves, peaks and dips show up in the response because the wavelengths get much longer and as that happens--you create more problems. If you have a small "sub" that cuts off below 40 Hz then you have a big sub that gives solid response down to 16Hz--you just created acoustic chaos with the response unless your subwoofer is either outside or you live in a sports stadium so the 70 foot wavelengths don't fold over, create peaks/nulls etc. Very simple to screw around with 40Hz capability, very little skill required but once you want 16Hz or lower--then this becomes much more complex, much larger subwoofers, multiple subwoofers and so on.

For instance, my garage is not very kind to acoustics--it's a garage. Did some testing and I get some nasty stuff in the low 20Hz range, huge peaks/nulls and a standing wave that beats my garage door to death as it hammers away on the hinges. I built a dual 15" sub, tuned it to 24Hz and threw a high pass filter at 21Hz while undersizing the box to create a roll off at around 27Hz. That eliminated most of the problem by avoiding that peak acoustically and I can always open the garage door to change the "room acoustics" if you will. I designed to run the sub both sealed or ported so if I have to blast the system with the garage door closed, running sealed prevents high SPL response down low which prevents that standing wave. You design the system around the flaws in the location, heck...I had to build line arrays to prevent floor/ceiling bounce but that is the extreme. It does work very well for a garage--but way off the beaten path and a pain in my butt.

Some advice when posting, give all the information you have on your subs/mains and room used. Give us a clue of what you are using the system for, music, movies, gaming or whatever. Throw in a rough guess on what sound levels you expect to use and an idea of how low you prefer the subwoofers to play. Don't use vague, meaningless terms like "big", "small" or audiophile...we need real terminology because test gear, measurements, test results on speakers, amps or whatever don't contain marketing terms.

Final answer? You are doing it wrong--not the answer you want to hear. That's OK, all part of the learning process. Have no idea if you can mix those two subs because it is just a piece of the puzzle and the answer depends on many other factors that are unknown. If you want to know if you can use your existing system together or, how to get it to work better--that demands more information. The only exact answer I can provide is you are doing it wrong, if you want to get better results we need much more information which only you can provide. Some people like to throw money at a problem and hope that eventually by random luck they can get the sound they want. This is fine as long as wasting time, effort and money is OK with you--for some people that is the entertaining part of the hobby. However, most people on this forum don't want to waste time posting multiple answers over a period of days/weeks/months as most people tend to not have the time to follow the thread.

Good luck with your quest, hopefully some day the audio gods will smile upon you before you run out of time, money or sanity.
Oh you Jerk! How dare you insult us with logical information

Obviously kidding

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