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post #1 of 48 Old 09-01-2016, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Compilation of Multiple Sub setup info

Hey guys.. If you're like me you have tons of links for subwoofer setup. On a facebook page I put together a compilation of those links for guys to easily find info. Of course this stuff isn't my info but a compilation of great guys around here and other places who've helped us all out. Here's a copy and paste.



For those who want to get their subs tuned to perfection!

First why is one sub a really bad idea ..unless you have one seat! Figure 1 in the link below says it all. But here's a quick view before you click on the link. This is why one sub is just bad!



http://www.d-toolsblog.com/newslette...le-subwoofers/

So where should multiples be placed..theoretically?

Well if you're here you must be tired of boomy bass here no bass over there ... you know the common issues with a single sub. It's impossible to get smooth bass seat to seat with a single sub.

First off...Get off the floor you're scaring the kids!

If you have multiples they interact with each other. This means crawling around while a sub sits in your chair is useless once a second sub is turned on as the integration changes everything.

But you're in luck...especially if you have a rectangular room. The link below will help guide you in deciding where to put them and what to expect... measurements are still highly recommended. If it's an odd ball shaped room or has openings in the wrong places just experiment and measure....measure even if it is a rectangle. You'll have to measure anyways for the electronic tuning.

So where exactly should multiples be placed..theoretically?

If the link doesn't work google "harmon multiple subs".




https://www.harman.com/sites/default...s/multsubs.pdf

Also skip to the 1 hour mark of this video for the section on multiple sub placement... then go back and watch the rest of the episode and accoustics 101 too.. priceless info.

Where should we sit?
Harmon has once again given us some extremely useful info. This is the best room mode calculator I've found. Of course as explained in the video above we can sit in the nulls If we must, we just need to properly place the subs to fix the nulls as best we can. It's best to just avoid them especially modal issues above the subwoofers range.

http://www.harman.com/room-mode-calculator

Gain Matching, Why sitting in the money seat and adjusting Multiple sub SPL is leaving performance on the table!

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...-matching.html

Adjusting phase between multiples and Integrating your subs with the mains...as you can see this can not be done to any to any high degree of success by ear, actually it's a sure fail. Adjusting a single bass tone so it sounds loudest is aiming for an out of phase setting. It's also ignores other frequencies which could be in a null. Once you start to measure you'll see how easily an out of phase system can cause peaks just as it can nulls and reallize how worthless doing this by ear is... getting it right takes lots of patience even when measuring... it's easy.. just a tedious process.

I will add that if your AVR has dual sub outs and during measurement 1 it pings each sub separately it has the ability to adjust phase for you so you may be able to skip the step but you still need to confirm as it's hit or miss and often ignores adjacent seats. If you have multiple rows or more than 2 subs you'll need to manually do it. The one issue with using dual outs is that it SPL matches when we want gain matching.

So you've spent hundreds or thousands on gear.. spend a measly $100 and Get a Mic!

If accurate bass and getting all the perfomance you can means anything to you.. get yourself a Mic such as this one... It's the best $100 you'll spend.
http://cross-spectrum.com/measuremen...ated_umik.html

If you don't have an Inuke with DSP or another way to EQ the subs, you can get one of these. They can adjust phase and EQ, set filters etc.


https://www.minidsp.com/products/min...ox/minidsp-2x4

The standard is severly limited with only 7.3 ms of delay which is fine if the subs are say all up front but often they need to be spread around the room along side walls or rear corners too and you can easily find you need more delay. The answer is the 2x4 HD. 80ms of delay and more resolution. Definitely worth it.

https://www.minidsp.com/products/min...iABEgL56PD_BwE

Both of these accept REW EQ files so you can use REW to match a response to your custom target and load the file into the minidsp in seconds.





Download REW

http://www.roomeqwizard.com/


Read the links below and get to work.



To get your Pc and HDMI talking with REW.


https://www.minidsp.com/applications...dmi-on-windows Don't forget to read the part about ASIO4ALL file. Many miss that part and have fits trying figure out what's wrong.

https://www.minidsp.com/applications...setup-with-rew


Watch how it's done.. check out the links below!

One of the best walk thru's I've seen. This one walks thru aligning the subs phase to mains As well.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...ow-thread.html

A little inside view from Mark Seaton (the Master when it comes to this stuff) during an install . You'll see we emulate his setup methods.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...rk-seaton.html



For those of us with Inukes.. Here's a link to get around the baked in 20hz HPF. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...z-dcx2496.html



House Curves

I just want to add that the above is geared toward a flat response. Keep in mind flat is boring. Our ears interpret Low frequencies and upper frequencies differently, A little boost as the frequencies drop sounds more natural. Dynamic EQ is based off of this principle. I'd recommend experimenting. Try flat. Then Use REW to set a house curve as a target and see what you like or use Dynamic Eq

Here's some great info including a way to find what sounds right to you.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...ed-how-do.html

Basically measure the SPL of an 80hz tone on an SPL meter. Now play a 30hz tone and change the volume until it sounds equal in level to your ears. Then measure the SPL of that 30hz tone. You should notice the 30hz tone is maybe 8db give or take louder. You can use that to set the target of your house curve.

And here's my personal raw response of my 4 corner loaded subs at one seat.


And here's the aligned response at 2 of my most used seats with my house curve. I have a very tight response at all 4 of my main row seats.
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post #2 of 48 Old 09-01-2016, 06:05 PM
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post #3 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eng-399 View Post
All great stuff here nice write up! I'm going to watch the video now and go through a few of these threads that I haven't read before.
Thanks! Those videos are great.. both 101 and 102. Everyone should watch them.
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post #4 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 05:47 AM
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You missed the multisub optimizer thread. That tool looks amazing but is so so so intimidating (at least to me.)
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post #5 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 06:01 AM
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And what all that means, is when you change genre from rock and roll to something like Lady gaga. You will need to go back to the drawing board and reset all your settings again............................. All that optimization does not take into account changes in actual tracks, nor would it take into account a change from say your Asus xonar STX card, to your CD player, Once again all that computer optimization, would have to be manually tweeked, to make the bass pleasant to your ears.

Further, the human hearing test for any individual will give a totally different curve to adjust to, than a supposed perfect world
test tone and microphone adjustments, which then again would be limited by the quality of mic. All computer adjustment measurements do not take into account the human ear.

When it comes to bass all the fancy gear in the world will not replace the fact you will have to manually tweak it, if you want to enjoy your bass listening experience. All this coming from a person with 6 rtas that I never use.

For bass 4 or more subwoofers is best!!!!, in a room with some extra effort for sound reinforcement.
Most bass being adjusted for is in the 100hz and under range. This narrow range of frequency does not require computers and mic to get it right. They do give a quick good starting point to manually tweak from, but that is about it. A good 5 band parametric equalizer will do the job nicely for anyone, or Maybe a few driverack pa's.

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post #6 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post
And what all that means, is when you change genre from rock and roll to something like Lady gaga. You will need to go back to the drawing board and reset all your settings again............................. All that optimization does not take into account changes in actual tracks, nor would it take into account a change from say your Asus xonar STX card, to your CD player, Once again all that computer optimization, would have to be manually tweeked, to make the bass pleasant to your ears.

Further, the human hearing test for any individual will give a totally different curve to adjust to, than a supposed perfect world
test tone and microphone adjustments, which then again would be limited by the quality of mic. All computer adjustment measurements do not take into account the human ear.

When it comes to bass all the fancy gear in the world will not replace the fact you will have to manually tweak it, if you want to enjoy your bass listening experience. All this coming from a person with 6 rtas that I never use.

For bass 4 or more subwoofers is best!!!!, in a room with some extra effort for sound reinforcement.
Most bass being adjusted for is in the 100hz and under range. This narrow range of frequency does not require computers and mic to get it right. They do give a quick good starting point to manually tweak from, but that is about it. A good 5 band parametric equalizer will do the job nicely for anyone, or Maybe a few driverack pa's.

Bless your heart.
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post #7 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post
You missed the multisub optimizer thread. That tool looks amazing but is so so so intimidating (at least to me.)
Got a link? I haven't seen that one.
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post #8 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post
And what all that means, is when you change genre from rock and roll to something like Lady gaga. You will need to go back to the drawing board and reset all your settings again............................. All that optimization does not take into account changes in actual tracks, nor would it take into account a change from say your Asus xonar STX card, to your CD player, Once again all that computer optimization, would have to be manually tweeked, to make the bass pleasant to your ears.

Further, the human hearing test for any individual will give a totally different curve to adjust to, than a supposed perfect world
test tone and microphone adjustments, which then again would be limited by the quality of mic. All computer adjustment measurements do not take into account the human ear.

When it comes to bass all the fancy gear in the world will not replace the fact you will have to manually tweak it, if you want to enjoy your bass listening experience. All this coming from a person with 6 rtas that I never use.

For bass 4 or more subwoofers is best!!!!, in a room with some extra effort for sound reinforcement.
Most bass being adjusted for is in the 100hz and under range. This narrow range of frequency does not require computers and mic to get it right. They do give a quick good starting point to manually tweak from, but that is about it. A good 5 band parametric equalizer will do the job nicely for anyone, or Maybe a few driverack pa's.
LOL.. funniest thing I've read all week. I'd rather get it right, get it accurate and enjoy. Did you read any of the links..about manual placement of multiple subs.. the optimal number of subs etc...???? Physical setup is key...Phase is absolutely mandatory and must be measured.. that's not an option unless you just don't care and enjoy sub par performance. The EQ is icing on the cake.
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post #9 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post
You missed the multisub optimizer thread. That tool looks amazing but is so so so intimidating (at least to me.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdy2179 View Post
Got a link? I haven't seen that one.
You can find it at the Multi-Sub Optimizer (MSO) home page. There is also an AVS Forum MSO discussion thread. The software was inspired by an Earl Geddes video on multiple subwoofers:


This video also has a PowerPoint presentation associated with it. These ideas are related to, but not the same as, an article by Welti and Devantier called Low-Frequency Optimization Using Multiple Subwoofers. That article describes a Harman product called SFM (Sound Field Management), which is part of their ARCOS system. The ARCOS "white paper" can be found here. The hardware for it (SDEC-4500) costs big bucks, and the user can't run the optimization, but must pay a certified person to do it. The theory of it is still of interest to some people though.
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post #10 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andyc56 View Post
You can find it at the Multi-Sub Optimizer (MSO) home page. There is also an AVS Forum MSO discussion thread. The software was inspired by an Earl Geddes video on multiple subwoofers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCWL-zusyqw

This video also has a PowerPoint presentation associated with it. These ideas are related to, but not the same as, an article by Welti and Devantier called Low-Frequency Optimization Using Multiple Subwoofers. That article describes a Harman product called SFM (Sound Field Management). The hardware for it (SDEC-4500) costs big bucks, and the user can't run the optimization, but must pay a certified person to do it. The theory of it is still of interest to some people though.
Yeah I've seen that video a few times.. it's a great one! Thanks for the links! Those are full of super good info.

I just checked out MSO, looks pretty cool. Looks like it basically does what we do when manually adjusting phase for multiple seats/rows and multiple subs which is a very tedious process.
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post #11 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 10:16 AM
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Tweeters are much harder to deal with than subwoofers are, they always have comb filtered responses in anything less than an anechoic chamber. Lots of spectacular reflections. Think of it like sun glare but applied to the world of audio.
Hence the need to always activate REW's var or 1/6th filtering to hide the room nasties and cabinet reflections...

As for subwoofers:
What I like to do is place the subwoofer on the seat at ear level, and walk a UMIK-1 around the room scanning for the 4 best spots in REW.
Then place as many stacked subs in those 4 spots as-needed. With the correct delay.

It's simple and effective.
That usually does a great job of smoothing out the bass and eliminating the need for absurd amounts of EQ.

Phase usually isn't an issue if you have the delays and polarity set correctly, because at bass frequencies, being a significant number of degrees out of phase requires a fair bit of distance (or it is because you are attempting to mix sealed and ported etc, which can't really be reconciled with DSP, more or less...)

"Usually" the 4 best spots are the 2 front corners and 2 side-walls (or 1/4th's or 4 corners), with the cones facing the wall; or a nearfield combo mix.

As the number of subs goes up, regardless of placement, the general pattern is that they become smoother, louder, and less-easily localizable (because they are everywhere...)
All of this with minimal to no effort.

If you just randomly plopped 4 subs down without any measurements and set the correct delays, then you would almost-always have a better no-EQ response than say: just 1 sub.
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post #12 of 48 Old 09-02-2016, 10:45 AM
 
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Cool idea for a thread.
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Measurements is the way to go. I forgot the sub crawl after the third sub. A distributed system gives the smoothest FR but, may sacrifice some spl. Sub localization in a distributed system may not be noticeable at the MLP but, walking to near subs not next to speaker may be noticeable. Not so much with movies but, more apparent playing music.
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post #14 of 48 Old 09-03-2016, 06:59 AM
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There's an article written by Floyd Toole in March of 2016 that's worth reading, called "History of Multi-Sub & Sound Field Management (SFM) for Small Room Acoustics".
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post #15 of 48 Old 09-03-2016, 11:40 AM
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Mso is pretty intimidating but I think it's power comes from that you can do so much
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post #16 of 48 Old 09-04-2016, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdy2179 View Post
LOL.. funniest thing I've read all week. I'd rather get it right, get it accurate and enjoy. Did you read any of the links..about manual placement of multiple subs.. the optimal number of subs etc...???? Physical setup is key...Phase is absolutely mandatory and must be measured.. that's not an option unless you just don't care and enjoy sub par performance. The EQ is icing on the cake.
All that is not hard to do. As I said you will have to change all your settings based on genre, based on input signals of different sources, and based on actual placement of subwoofers. 4 subwoofers in different locations is considered optimal based on well known test results that show automatic flattening of the bass signal.

As I told another member who was having trouble getting good bass..................... He was up to four subwoofers now..................... using his auto eq in his Yamaha unit.................................. I told him first go check your outputs after you use your auto eq................ what you will find is that auto eq has lowered all your subwoofer outputs because you have added more subwoofers. I told him why would you want to lower all your outputs on your subwoofers when adding more subwoofers to get more bass???.
This is what most auto eq functions do.................. because they manage bass on a 20 to 20000hz curve
rather than a zero to 150 hz curve, which is where all you subwoofer output actually is.................

He was quite amazed to see why his output was so low............................ This combined with the fact his input and output levels were not matched,which brings another point. IF you do not have your system set up right in the first place, there is nothing auto eq can fix...................... LOL.

While I appreciate you are reading lots, it may be time to read some comments from the experienced. Rta's and auto eqs are a tool for adjusting your music to your liking. They are not an end all problem solver, and the rta medium has its own limits and drawbacks.

All the best. And if it makes you feel better.... I find what you write the funniest thing on earth as well.

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post #17 of 48 Old 09-07-2016, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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All that is not hard to do. As I said you will have to change all your settings based on genre, based on input signals of different sources, and based on actual placement of subwoofers.
That's just it, we don't go changing our setting. Once it's flat and accurate however the recording was mastered is how it will play back in your room. If it's supposed to be bass heavy it will be. But you must have an accurate response.. from there you can always add a house curve if you wish as some like it a tad hot. What you're describing having to constantly tweak it sounds like a response that has issues with peaks and nulls.


This thread obviously isn't for you.. Feel free to start a thread with your own setup methods.
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post #18 of 48 Old 09-07-2016, 01:00 PM
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That's just it, we don't go changing our setting. Once it's flat and accurate however the recording was mastered is how it will play back in your room. If it's supposed to be bass heavy it will be. But you must have an accurate response. What you're describing having to constantly tweak it sounds like a response that has issues with peaks and nulls.


This thread obviously isn't for you.. Feel free to start a thread with your own setup methods.
I can apply EQ on a per song or movie basis if I want, but I don't. Like you, I tend to playback the recording as it was mastered. Thus I was surprised to read what Floyd Tool wrote in the thread about the article AndyC56 posted earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole
I will repeat, ad nauseum, my assertion that we don't need full bandwidth room EQ, but we do need user friendly bass and treble controls to restore good spectral balance from recordings that are so variable. Broadband EQ aims to be a fixed tone control, and that is not what is needed. The target curve, whatever it is, is substantially determined by the recording you are listening to, and that needs to be adjustable in real time.

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post #19 of 48 Old 09-07-2016, 01:40 PM
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But you must have an accurate response.
Accurate to what? That is, what response are you using as a reference?

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post #20 of 48 Old 09-07-2016, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by desertdome View Post
I can apply EQ on a per song or movie basis if I want, but I don't. Like you, I tend to playback the recording as it was mastered. Thus I was surprised to read what Floyd Tool wrote in the thread about the article AndyC56 posted earlier:
I can buy that. However the sub setup doesn't change. Multiples, the tedious adjustments to align phase for a similar response seat to seat.. some EQ so you're getting a smooth response (if that's your target) all that needs to be done. Any changes would be a house curve basically.. which sure many do like for some material. But especially things like phase..if it's not done the response will not only rob performance it can still have peaks and nulls seat to seat.. so even if you have a house curve you still want a similar response throughout the seating areas.

So the only step that would change is in the last step EQ Where you may have a few curves you switch between for different music.. but personally once it's flat I never feel the need to change anything.
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post #21 of 48 Old 09-07-2016, 02:13 PM
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Speaking of multiple subs and target curves, there's an interview with Todd Welti of Harman that touches on both of these subjects and is worth reading. Figure 5 in that article refers to a target curve from a Harman AES article about target curves.
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Last edited by andyc56; 12-05-2017 at 03:34 PM.
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post #22 of 48 Old 09-21-2016, 12:52 PM
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The common answer would be to recreate what the director intended so we have to recreate the response the mastering studios master with.. which would require a flat response across the entire system bandwidth.
What if mixing studios don't have a flat response?


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post #23 of 48 Old 09-21-2016, 01:57 PM
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There's a reason high end installers aim for a flat sub response as well as popular EQ software.
The only EQ software that aims for a flat response is Audyssey. Others (Dirac, Lyngdorf, ARCOS, etc) all default to a downward tilted target curve.

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post #24 of 48 Old 09-21-2016, 04:13 PM
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Don't forget to get an explanation from Harmon why the can claim the M2 as accurate.
It's because the input signal matches the output signal IN AN ANECHOIC CHAMBER. When Harman deploys those speakers in the real world, the response they aim for looks like this:



Note that it is not flat, not even in the subwoofer range (the topic of this thread).
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Here's some info and feel free to use Google for more info as it's easy to find and understand why flat is considered accurate. http://www.centerpointaudio.com/HowT...onseGraph.aspx
That article discusses flat response as being accurate in the context of manufacturing audio products: "Flat audio response is used as a reference in many different fields in the manufacturing industry. In regards to an audio product, the flatter the audio response is, the more accurate it reproduces the sound from an input source."

Even movie industry gear is manufactured to be as flat as possible from input to output. But that doesn't mean they tune for a flat response, as evidenced by the various x-curves.
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post #25 of 48 Old 09-22-2016, 08:31 AM
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If mastering studios, speaker manufactures had no target we'd all be listening to garbage .
What's their target? If you believe it's flat, do you have any data to back that up?

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post #26 of 48 Old 09-22-2016, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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This entire thread is about setting up subs, house curves are up to the individual and their taste. OK just please delete all of this as like I said it has nothing to do with the topic.

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post #27 of 48 Old 09-22-2016, 01:55 PM
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The REW Room Simulator is fantastic for learning how multi-sub interactions work.

For a closed rectangular room, it's actually pretty accurate, and really helps with planning sub quantities and placements.

It's not a substitute for measurements, though.
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post #28 of 48 Old 09-22-2016, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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The REW Room Simulator is fantastic for learning how multi-sub interactions work.

For a closed rectangular room, it's actually pretty accurate, and really helps with planning sub quantities and placements.

It's not a substitute for measurements, though.
I've been getting the update new version pop up for a while I guess I need to update REW and try this out.
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post #29 of 48 Old 09-23-2016, 04:02 AM
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+1 rcohen,
I like the simulator and helped me get the subs located better than what I thought. Then did some tweaking, and also use the AMDC 2.0 Dual Core. I am happy with the bass that I have with my 3 subwoofers. It is pretty neat to be able to simulate distance and also delay to get a picture of what you can get with REW.
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post #30 of 48 Old 09-24-2016, 05:06 AM
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One caveat about the room sim is that it can make you over focus on frequency response.

Not time aligning the subs sometimes creates a better frequency response. I much prefer time aligned, even at the expense of frequency response.

Also, when using EQ, you can often get better results by minimizing nulls and maximizing output than going for the flattest natural response. The room sim can still help with that.
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