Do I need two subwoofers? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Do I need two subwoofers?

I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.

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post #2 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 01:50 PM
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post #3 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.
You do not "need" two subwoofers.
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post #4 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.
You should post this question in the https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...s-transducers/ forum.


Unless you can measure and "see" your response, you have no way of knowing how smooth it is, (unless you have well-trained ears that can pick out and identify specific frequencies or bands of frequencies.) You could be listening to a large peak at a single frequency band. This will sound like a lot of bass, but it won't be high quality bass.



One cheap and easy way to tell how smooth your FR is, would be to download these test tones to a CD and play them back. Play back each tone and see if they all sound the same in terms of level. If some sounds are loud and others are soft, your FR is not smooth.



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post #5 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.
I've had high quality sealed servo subs since the mid 80s and only just had one with good results.

In your case you would likely notice a difference going to a higher quality sub with deeper extension, flatter frequency response and better driver control from HSU, Monoprice THX or Rhythmik, but if you are happy with what you have, enjoy.

But in my secondary room I was unable to place the single small 8" sub that I use for mostly stereo in 2.1 so I had to place it under the right hand end table of the couch and while it added depth to the sound you could definitely point to where the sub was which was distracting so I ordered a second and placed it under the other end table and then flattened the frequency response using REW, Umik and MiniDSP, (as the 30 year old analog receiver I use has no sub out or crossover I used the MiniDSP as the crossover/sub out as it is placed in between the pre outs/main ins).

The difference was astonishing.

Now that there are two the bass comes from nowhere/everywhere and there is little chance of realizing there are subs under the end tables.

My brother in law, a long time musician, was shocked that I even had subs as he commented that the LX16s sounded remarkably full for such small speakers and thought all the bass was coming from them.

When the single 15" sealed servo amp/EQ section fails again I'll likely replace with two 12" sealed servos in my main room I was so impressed.

But on a budget, and placed near the front three, one sub can be quite satisfying.
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post #6 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I've had high quality sealed servo subs since the mid 80s and only just had one with good results.

In your case you would likely notice a difference going to a higher quality sub with deeper extension, flatter frequency response and better driver control from HSU, Monoprice THX or Rhythmik, but if you are happy with what you have, enjoy.

But in my secondary room I was unable to place the single small 8" sub that I use for mostly stereo in 2.1 so I had to place it under the right hand end table of the couch and while it added depth to the sound you could definitely point to where the sub was which was distracting so I ordered a second and placed it under the other end table and then flattened the frequency response using REW, Umik and MiniDSP, (as the 30 year old analog receiver I use has no sub out or crossover I used the MiniDSP as the crossover/sub out as it is placed in between the pre outs/main ins).

The difference was astonishing.

Now that there are two the bass comes from nowhere/everywhere and there is little chance of realizing there are subs under the end tables.

My brother in law, a long time musician, was shocked that I even had subs as he commented that the LX16s sounded remarkably full for such small speakers and thought all the bass was coming from them.

When the single 15" sealed servo amp/EQ section fails again I'll likely replace with two 12" sealed servos in my main room I was so impressed.

But on a budget, and placed near the front three, one sub can be quite satisfying.
Thanks,

I can imagine that if the sub was near my couch I might be able to tell where the bass is coming from. In your case, it makes a lot of sense to have two subs.

I'll try and do some testing to see if I notice where the bass is coming from or if different seating positions matter.
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post #7 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post
You should post this question in the https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...s-transducers/ forum.


Unless you can measure and "see" your response, you have no way of knowing how smooth it is, (unless you have well-trained ears that can pick out and identify specific frequencies or bands of frequencies.) You could be listening to a large peak at a single frequency band. This will sound like a lot of bass, but it won't be high quality bass.



One cheap and easy way to tell how smooth your FR is, would be to download these test tones to a CD and play them back. Play back each tone and see if they all sound the same in terms of level. If some sounds are loud and others are soft, your FR is not smooth.



Craig
Thanks, I'll try to find a way to get some tones for testing. I don't have a cd player. Maybe I can find them on bluray or DVD.

I don't have a well-trained ear at all. If I can't hear the difference then it's not worth spending money on another sub.
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post #8 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
Thanks, I'll try to find a way to get some tones for testing. I don't have a cd player. Maybe I can find them on bluray or DVD.

I don't have a well-trained ear at all. If I can't hear the difference then it's not worth spending money on another sub.
You can use these test tones and play them over your speakers with your pc hooked up to your receiver.

https://www.audiocheck.net/testtones...rsts20-200.php

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post #9 of 28 Old 11-11-2019, 09:16 PM
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Adding a second sub made a big difference for me.

Not only did I gain +6 dB from 0-30 Hz, but it evened out the frequencies at my seat and the surrounding seats. Everything sounds better.
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post #10 of 28 Old 11-12-2019, 08:55 AM
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Do you need two subwoofers? No. If you've maximized the placement and room acoustics you have and are happy with the performance you are lucky.

There are lots of reasons two or more subs greatly improve the performance and fidelity of most sound systems. Here's a link to a good article about it. https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-setup/two-subs Here's another link to a basic discussion in layman's terms https://www.soundandvision.com/image.../dualsubs.html

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post #11 of 28 Old 11-12-2019, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.
This is AVS the default answer is always MORE SUBS. Do you need 2 no, if your happy with what you got keep it. 2 subs gives you more headroom, allowing to play louder, and they give you the option to smooth out the frequency response in your room. To measure that you should probably pick up a UMIK and REW. But if your happy with the level of bass you have then don't worry about it. We are not normal here LOL, there is no such thing as overkill at AVS. IF your neighbors drywall isn't cracking when your watching a movie you need more bass.
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post #12 of 28 Old 11-12-2019, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
Thanks, I'll try to find a way to get some tones for testing.
I'm sorry, I meant to post a link to the free test tones. Here it is: https://realtraps.com/test-cd.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I don't have a cd player. Maybe I can find them on bluray or DVD.
I'm pretty sure that most every DVD player or BluRay player can play CD's. Even so, they can be burned onto a DVD or BluRay just as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I don't have a well-trained ear at all. If I can't hear the difference then it's not worth spending money on another sub.
If you have taken the time to register an account on AVS, and you've posted this question about multiple subs, you clearly have an interest. Just because you don't *currently* have well-trained ears, doesn't mean you shouldn't try to strive for the best sound possible in your system. Playing the above linked test tones will be the first step to help you identify different frequencies. It will also show whether all frequencies are being reproduced at the same level at your primary listening position, (PLP).

If you want to get a little more sophisticated, you could get an SPL meter. There are many inexpensive SPL meters on Amazon for $15 to $25. Use the meter to measure the SPL of each individual tone. Write them all down. Then look at the range of the lowest and highest. Divide by 2 and you'll have a rough estimate of the +/- FR of your sub at your PLP. For example, if one frequency reads 55 dB and another reads 80 dB, that would be a 25 dB range, divided by 2 would mean a +/- 12.5 dB FR at that position. Then take a look at the width of the peaks and nulls, if a peak is elevated over a range of 10 or 15 Hz, and a null is deep over only a 2 or 3 dB range, you would have an FR that is typically found in many living rooms/media rooms and dedicated HT's. Here is the FR of one of my subs in my room:


The highest SPL in this graph is 65 dB at about 40 Hz. The lowest SPL is 40 dB at about 52 Hz. That is a range of 25 dB or a Frequency Response of +/- 12.5 dB. If I just had this one sub, I would only be hearing the loudest notes from about 25 Hz to about 45 Hz, and then much lower SPL's until about 100 Hz. That's a very wide range of frequencies to be "missing", and the sound would be very boomy at the lower frequencies. Fortunately, I have 2 other subs that fill in all the nulls and bring everything up so that it's all in a more similar SPL range:

This is a range of about 14 dB or +/- 7dB. Audyssey can then perform it's magic and I end up with this:


That is a range of about 7 dB or +/- 3.5 dB. However, in the subwoofer range below 80 Hz, the response is closer to +/- 1.5 dB! The difference in sound between the first graph and the 3rd graph is stunning. Where the first graph is boomy and muddy, and all the bass sounds like the same one note, the final graph has all notes in the same volume range, each note is articulate and distinct as it's own individual sound.

Having said all that, at this point, we can't tell if you would benefit from a second sub or not. The results of the test tone measurements will help to know if the PLP is smooth enough. Audyssey may have done an adequate job of smoothing the response at the PLP. However, if you have other seating positions that people sit in, and you care about the response they hear, then a second sub could be more beneficial. Let's start with the measurements at the PLP though.

Of course, as others have said, if you're currently happy with the sound you have, then you don't *need* to do any of this.

Craig

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post #13 of 28 Old 11-12-2019, 06:06 PM
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check your bluRay player. Chances are you can probably use a thumb drive to play the sound files through the BluRay player or even the AVR
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post #14 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.
While two subs would indeed smooth out the bass response (which, honestly, you probably wouldn't notice unless you took physical measurements with a mic and REW software), there's no rule saying you *need* two subwoofers. If you're happy with one, then continue to be happy with one.

Home Theatre: Onkyo TX-NR747 | Polk Audio RTi A3 Front L/R | Polk Audio CSi A6 Centre | Polk Audio RTi A1 Surround L/R | HSU ULS-15 MK2 Subwoofer | Sony XBR55X900E | PlayStation 4 Pro | Xbox One S

Music: Cambridge Audio AXR100 | Stanton T.62 | Cambridge Audio AXC35 | KEF Q150 L/R | Elac S10EQ Subwoofer
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post #15 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 10:15 AM
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Search YouTube for subwoofer test tones. You'll get plenty of hits. Here is one example:


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post #16 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin View Post
I have a Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer. It shakes my house. I feel like I don't need any more base.

But I see lots of people with two subwoofers? If low frequency sound is not directional, what's the point? Does it make a big difference?

I did some research but lots of the info comes from people trying to sell me subwoofers. I'm hearing that you get "smoother frequency response." But I'm skeptical that I can currently notice any problem I have now with frequency response.
Multiple subs is fantastic way to even out the base response in your room without having to use bass traps.

I HIGHLY recommend two identical subs. I think there are rapidly diminishing returns to adding more subs than that.

But, no, of course you don't have to do anything.

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Subs: dual SVS PC-12 cylinders
Speakers: RBH SV-661R and SV-661CR fronts, Jamo 626k4 side/rear surrounds, DefTech DI6.5R heights
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post #17 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 02:40 PM
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^^^. I would also recommend 2 of the same subs to eliminate any nulls, and maintain symmetry, based on my personal experience. That being said, I now have 4 subs and I believe now I have reached the point of diminishing returns, I have two 15" upfront and two 12" in the rear, since I have tier seating and I love it. However, watch out for the rabbit hole, yes, I took the blue pill, Additionally, DSU for music sounds better with multiple subs at least to me. YMMV.

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What if you have the option of a single 15" sub or dual 12" subs? Would dual subs often be the better option?
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post #19 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by WutDaFunk View Post
What if you have the option of a single 15" sub or dual 12" subs? Would dual subs often be the better option?
It would really depend on many variables, your personal taste, music or movies, quality of the sub, budget, environment,.etc. If I were going to pick one , I would chose dual (Qty:2) 12 inch non-ported quality subs, Unless you meant dual 12" sub in a single enclosure, then that would be a horse of a different color.

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Originally Posted by Azekecse View Post
It would really depend on many variables, your personal taste, music or movies, quality of the sub, budget, environment,.etc. If I were going to pick one , I would chose dual (Qty:2) 12 inch non-ported quality subs, Unless you meant dual 12" sub in a single enclosure, then that would be a horse of a different color.

Peace and blessings,

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Sorry, not trying to hijack this thread! However, let us say it would be for 50/50 HT/music use. 17x15x8 room, with Hsu or Rythmik subs. Would you still go with dual, individual 12" subs?
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I have two Rythmik F12G subs in a room slightly smaller than yours. In terms of clean output and extension, they have way more than I'd ever need for music.

Do you watch movies at or near reference volume and want body shaking low frequency effects? If so, you might be better served with a single 15" ported sub like the FV15HP. Some of the LFE tracks on action oriented Blu-Rays have extreme levels of low bass, and the F12 gives you the most output if you set the bass extension filter to 28 Hz/low damping, whereas for music you'll want to set them to 14 Hz or 20 Hz with high damping.

So it depends on whether you want the best performance with music or the best for LFE.

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post #22 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 06:31 PM
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I could have written this same OP. I have the same BIC sub and see no need for a 2nd. I do notice when I move close to walls and corners in the room, I hear the bass change, so maybe if you like to work out while watching movies, running circles around the room, dual subs would keep it more even all over, hehe.
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post #23 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 06:37 PM
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It isn't really just about "even bass around the room". It also improves the bass in your seat by evening out the lows and highs.
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post #24 of 28 Old 11-13-2019, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WutDaFunk View Post
Sorry, not trying to hijack this thread! However, let us say it would be for 50/50 HT/music use. 17x15x8 room, with Hsu or Rythmik subs. Would you still go with dual, individual 12" subs?
Dual 12's will most likely be better.
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post #25 of 28 Old 11-14-2019, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WutDaFunk View Post
Sorry, not trying to hijack this thread! However, let us say it would be for 50/50 HT/music use. 17x15x8 room, with Hsu or Rythmik subs. Would you still go with dual, individual 12" subs?
Yes, definitely dual 12"s, however if you could afford it and have the room, I would push my budget and get dual 15"'s. Buy once, cry once .

Peace and blessings,

Azeke

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post #26 of 28 Old 11-14-2019, 05:29 AM
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@MowTin, can you download REW? There is a room simulator that you can use to see possibilities of 1 VS 2 VS 3 subs...This would also start you down the path of optimizing your subs. Are you on a concrete slab? Is your room wide open? What are your room dimensions? There's more to shaking your house with subs, and once you get your sub(s) dialed in, you will know/feel the difference. You could be sitting in a major null, and not really know the difference at this point.
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post #27 of 28 Old 11-14-2019, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WutDaFunk View Post
What if you have the option of a single 15" sub or dual 12" subs? Would dual subs often be the better option?
When my single DD15 sub dies I'll be getting dual 12" sealed subs from Rhythmik.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #28 of 28 Old 11-14-2019, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Adding a second sub made a big difference for me.

Not only did I gain +6 dB from 0-30 Hz, but it evened out the frequencies at my seat and the surrounding seats. Everything sounds better.
Same for me, significant, quite noticeable difference - especially since my forced placement was less than ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liffie420 View Post
This is AVS the default answer is always MORE SUBS. Do you need 2 no, if your happy with what you got keep it. 2 subs gives you more headroom, allowing to play louder, and they give you the option to smooth out the frequency response in your room. To measure that you should probably pick up a UMIK and REW. But if your happy with the level of bass you have then don't worry about it. We are not normal here LOL, there is no such thing as overkill at AVS. IF your neighbors drywall isn't cracking when your watching a movie you need more bass.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erod View Post
Multiple subs is fantastic way to even out the base response in your room without having to use bass traps.

I HIGHLY recommend two identical subs. I think there are rapidly diminishing returns to adding more subs than that.

But, no, of course you don't have to do anything.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
It isn't really just about "even bass around the room". It also improves the bass in your seat by evening out the lows and highs.
Yes.

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