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Discussion Starter #1
Benefits of 2 or 4 subs are pretty well established but if the room doesn't allow 4 corner subs, is adding a third identical sub to front or back to a 2 sub setup adds any value? If you have X amount of money to spend, is there any benefit of buying cheaper 3 subs over slightly better 2 subs. e.g. 2 x Rhythmik FV25HP vs 3 x FV18 OR JTR 2 x Cap 2400ULF vs 3 Cap 1400s.
 

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There is benefits to adding more subs whether it be even or odd numbers. Much of this is room and placement dependent, but anytime you add another sub there will be benefits. I would probably go with 2 good subs vs 3 slightly lesser. The benefits of more subs somewhat diminish as you add more. Starting with two good subs and dialing in placement and EQ is a great starting point.
 

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I ran 3 subs for a while, no problem with it but I agree with the above about buying 2 better subs.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I've currently got 3 Paradigm units all calibrated with PBK. However, I am currently on the quest for a new setup which might end up being 2,3 or 4 units depending on the size and type of unit(s) I choose.
 

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Benefits of 2 or 4 subs are pretty well established but if the room doesn't allow 4 corner subs, is adding a third identical sub to front or back to a 2 sub setup adds any value? If you have X amount of money to spend, is there any benefit of buying cheaper 3 subs over slightly better 2 subs. e.g. 2 x Rhythmik FV25HP vs 3 x FV18 OR JTR 2 x Cap 2400ULF vs 3 Cap 1400s.
Hi,

I agree with others who have posted that two really good subwoofers are generally likely to be superior to three lesser subwoofers. If the really good subwoofers have lower tuning points and bigger cabinets (as they do in the ported examples you used) you will get lower extension from the two really good subs than you will ever get from three lesser subs. From an output perspective, adding a third identical subwoofer will only net you an additional 3db, and that will be an average across the sub's full frequency range. You might not get exactly 3db at every frequency, although you should get the 3db increase for the very lowest frequencies.

A highly respected audio expert, Dr Earle Geddes has long advocated using a minimum of three subwoofers for optimum frequency response. And, I have tried his roughly triangular arrangement with good results in my room. Other equally respected experts, such as Floyd Toole and Todd Welti, recommend four subwoofers.

But, whether you use three subwoofers or four, there do seem to be consistent advantages to being able to engage room modes from multiple walls. Most of the experts who are recommending more than two subwoofers are looking at frequency response across large listening areas, though, and not for a single listening position, or for a single row of listening positions. In some cases, one good subwoofer can work, and in many cases, two good subwoofers can provide excellent results.

Different people attach different priorities to things in audio. My own perspective is to ideally start with the most powerful subwoofers that I think I will need, and then to add multiples (whether it's two or three or whatever) to achieve the frequency response that I want and/or the bass envelopment that I like. Others may prefer to start with multiple smaller subwoofers right from the outset in order to achieve the frequency response first, and the low-extension second (or to not ever achieve quite as much low-extension). You just have to decide what your own priorities are, because there is no one right answer to how we should approach buying subwoofers.

Regards,
Mike
 

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Don't mean to thread hijack, but I was actually going to start a similar thread. I have 3 subs. Hsu vtf2.5 ,vtf2.3, and outlaw ultra x12. Got them working pretty well together. My room is 16x11x8 not to big, but I do listen at -10 to -5 with subs about 6 to 8 db hot. I keep wondering if dual vtf3 would give me much more, or be more of a sideways move?
 

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Getting one sub "right" in a room is relatively straightforward (assuming a strong back). Getting two right is exponentially more difficult. Getting three right, is exponentially more difficult than two. Folks seem so willing to talk up the multiple sub scenario, leaving the poor buyer to sort out the mess it leaves behind.

So, yeah, two is better than one, and three is better than two ... ASSUMING you get them all tuned right. Tuned wrong, and you have subtraction by addition.
 

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Getting one sub "right" in a room is relatively straightforward (assuming a strong back). Getting two right is exponentially more difficult. Getting three right, is exponentially more difficult than two. Folks seem so willing to talk up the multiple sub scenario, leaving the poor buyer to sort out the mess it leaves behind.

So, yeah, two is better than one, and three is better than two ... ASSUMING you get them all tuned right. Tuned wrong, and you have subtraction by addition.
Yeah I think I'm getting a lot of the benefits of 3. My receiver has sub eq. So I have one sub in a rear corner on one sub out, And the other two in front,equal distance from the mlp on the other sub out with a splitter. Just started using r.e.w. but the graph looks better with each sub added. Sure it could be better with a minidsp or something. Drove my wife nuts moving subs around for days. Lol
 

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Yeah I think I'm getting a lot of the benefits of 3. My receiver has sub eq. So I have one sub in a rear corner on one sub out, And the other two in front,equal distance from the mlp on the other sub out with a splitter. Just started using r.e.w. but the graph looks better with each sub added. Sure it could be better with a minidsp or something. Drove my wife nuts moving subs around for days. Lol
Sounds like you are doing it right, placing your subs well and using REW. Seems you've also had a bit of luck, as not all rooms are as cooperative as yours seems to be. Congrats on making it all work well together (and on keeping your marriage). Persistence matters! :D
 

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Sounds like you are doing it right, placing your subs well and using REW. Seems you've also had a bit of luck, as not all rooms are as cooperative as yours seems to be. Congrats on making it all work well together (and on keeping your marriage). Persistence matters! :D
Yeah. Persistence is the word. When we moved here couldn't wait to get my one premier acoustic p.a.150 into a small room. I expected it to have tons of mid bass slam . In our old house the room was quite a bit bigger and the p.a. did great for what it was, not much below 30hz but lots of punch. New house, it's sounded like a Logitech sub. No matter where I moved it I either had like a 20 db drop around 40 to 50 hz or a 20 db drop at 80 to 90. So I sold the p.a. and got the hsu 2.3 and same junk. Then finally realized one sub wouldn't cut it in that room. So before I got r.e.w. I was constantly changing the room around, moving subs and using test tones and a spl meter and graphing it out on paper. Not a computer guy, was intimidated by r.e.w. but after many different sub combos and once I get Rew down, I think I can get it ok. Right now I just know enough about Rew to do quick and dirty measurements. Once I learn it more and post some graphs, I'm sure I'll get schooled in how much I'm doing wrong. Lol
 

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Would still like to get some opinions of 3 12's or 2 bigger 15's. I think I have enough headroom with the 3 12's , but I keep thinking two hsu vtf 3 would have more midbass kick in the chest. Wish there were more people around here that we're into this stuff, so I could demo
 

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Would still like to get some opinions of 3 12's or 2 bigger 15's. I think I have enough headroom with the 3 12's , but I keep thinking two hsu vtf 3 would have more midbass kick in the chest. Wish there were more people around here that we're into this stuff, so I could demo

Hi,

I will give you an opinion on the question, FWIW. Chest punch, which as you noted is a mid-bass phenomenon, is almost entirely the product of mid-bass SPL. It is typically felt in about the 50Hz to 120Hz range. Some people are more susceptible to feeling chest punch than others, and some material offers better chest punch. Distance can also be a factor in determining how much chest punch we feel.

Where I am going with this is, if you are looking for more chest punch, you need to increase the SPL enough to feel it, and you need to have enough percussive material--a gunshot in a movie, or a bass drum strike in music, to create the sensation to start with. Two 15" subs might very well play louder in the mid-bass than three 12" subs. You should be able to determine that by comparing the max output numbers on the HSU website.

The main thing that I would expect to get from the two 15" subs would be more low-frequency extension. They should definitely be able to play lower frequencies more loudly than the three 12's. But, they might give you a fair bit more of both mid and low-bass SPL. When you do comparisons of max output, remember that two subs will average 6db more output than one sub, and three subs will average 9db more output than one sub. That will help you to compare two 15's to three 12's.

If you want to try posting on the thread linked below, you may be able to arrange some demos in your area.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-subwoofers-bass-transducers/1354149-i-ll-demo-my-subwoofer-other-enthusiasts-thread-23.html

Regards,
Mike


Edit: I decided to come back to add something to my post. I said that chest punch was almost entirely the product of mid-bass SPL and that distance was a factor in how much chest punch some people may feel. Chest punch is caused by the movement of air, and there are some things that increase the particle velocity which causes us to feel the chest punch sensation.

For instance, if you took one of your subs, perhaps the smallest one, and put it directly behind your listening position at about chest height, with the driver and port pointed toward your back, that should enhance the chest punch sensation. If you could set a high-pass filter on that sub of about 50Hz, or if it had about a 50 or 60Hz port tune, you might enhance it even more. There is an excellent thread which will tell you a lot more about chest punch and how to obtain it. Even reading the first page will give you a lot of helpful information. :)

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-subwoofers-bass-transducers/2434250-nearfield-ported-mbm-increased-mid-bass-tactile-response.html
 

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Thanks for the reply man. Yeah there's one guy I'm my area with dual PSA v1800 I believe. Maybe I can get a demo and check out a couple big guns, and see if I'm missing out. Probably have to get a loan off my 401k once I leave . A buddy of mine swears that 3 or 4 12's properly set up will match dual 15's or bigger. Have my doubts
 

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I had three Atlantic 642e Subs for at least a couple of years while they were better than running 2 of the same but since i upgraded to dual SVS subs i never looked back.

I would always recommend getting one good sub to start with then add a second identical one after a while, better than running 3 or even 4 smaller subs.
 

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@nonstopdoc1, I have 3 subs, but it takes some work to make them blend together. You are getting great help here, and keep looking/researching. @mthomas47 has given some great advise(as well as others) and I know that @basshead81 has also worked to get his 3 subs performing well. You could download RE(Free program), and run the room simulator to get an idea of what 1-4 subs will do in your space.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@nonstopdoc1, I have 3 subs, but it takes some work to make them blend together. You are getting great help here, and keep looking/researching. @mthomas47 has given some great advise(as well as others) and I know that @basshead81 has also worked to get his 3 subs performing well. You could download RE(Free program), and run the room simulator to get an idea of what 1-4 subs will do in your space.
Thanks! So far the conclusion I have drawn from discussion is to better go with 2 larger subs than 3 cheaper/smaller and avoid setup issues which does make sense

BTW, whats a 'RE room simulator'? I wasn't able to find anything on google?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
On a side note, when comparing subs on Data-Bass website what table should I use?

CEA-2010 Max Burst
CEA-2010 Short-Term Averages
Max Long-Term Averages

What frequency should I use for comparison of output? Lowest or 40 hz or a different one?

Thanks
 
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