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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perhaps this is a newb question, but as stated in the title, I'm trying to understand how the open walls in a room and the room size affect the purchase of a subwoofer.


I assume bigger room = more watts or something to that affect.


How about open walls? The place I was going to put my sub in is in the front right corner of the room (two solid exterior walls) but the other two walls (left & rear) are somewhat open into other rooms (kitchen & dining room). The room is 16'x16' and has carpet floors.


When would you get a front firing vs bottom firing sub?


thanks in advance
 

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I don't think front vs bottom-firing is related to maximum output - the mighty SVS, Hsu, and many others are bottom-firing and conversely, the big Velodynes and others are front firing - it is a design choice made by the sub mfg - but I don't think output is the deciding factor.


Total cubic feet of all the connected areas is a critical issue for max SPL. Small, closed rooms are much easier to pressurize for low frequency effects than large, open rooms. I'm in the boat - my only available listening space is a large room with high ceilings and several openings to the rest of the house. Great for wine parties, not so good for HT. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yikes... ya my living room and dining room are just about one room, and the front entrance (with openeing to 2nd floor) is connected to the dining room and hallway to living room.


Should I just skip a subwoofer altogether?
 

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As Billybob said pressurizing a large room is difficult. Thats why i upgraded my subwoofer when i moved my system from fam room to the open basement HT. I am now running a 900 watt amp SVS PB12+2 - it is making an impact, but would be much better in an enclosed space.


What do you use the system for? HT/Music & whats the listening level?


Dont skip the sub - esp for HT. Music you can skip if your mains are large.
 

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No! You still want to have audible output down as low as you can. It's the whack on the chest pressure effects that will probably be lacking. Using a near-field placed sub might help, I know Dr. Hsu sometimes recommends placing the sub near or even behind the couch. You could send a message describing your room to Hsu or SVS and ask for their advice. Bass shakers might also be a way to get some sensory feel into the experience - I'm considering that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will use the system mostly for movies... music doesn't matter too much for me.


I sent a message to Hsu. I will need to get him more info so I will scan in a picture of the floor layout and send it to him with speaker locations and other details.


Sounds like I won't be able to get that chest-shaking experience as I doubt the girlfriend would like a wire running to the back of the couch (it's not against a wall) and I can't afford much over $400 for this sub/shaker/solution.
 

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Listen to a good car stereo with a subwoofer.

The bass will have tremendous impact and solidity.


Why?

It's not because car audio manufacturers know something that home audio manufacturers don't.


It's because the internal dimensions of a typical car are much shorter than any of the wavelengths associated with good bass reproduction.

This is the crux of the issue regarding punchy bass reproduction in a room with dimensions that are longer than the wavelengths in question.


Treat the standing wave problems, and any decently engineered subwoofer will hit hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The GAF is really coming into play... I explained to her something that I guess I shouldn't have.... I told her about how a sub can make you feel the bass if it's sized properly for the room and the room is closed... she said "I don't want to feel the bass!!" doh!
 

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Stay strong, consistent, polite and respectful. The GAF/WAF will subside in time. My wife just rolls her eyes or shakes her head each time I have new audio idea. The best part- she doesn't say anything. :cool:
 

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I ran my SVS PB10 next to & firing into my sofa in a large basement and I could feel the bass. It almost fits within your budget @450 - so that could be one choice for you. Sort of large & not very attractive to look at.
 

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The pressurization thing is still something I don't understand.


What's the difference between high SPL and "thwack" (our new audiophile term) from the bass? Can I have 120db at 50hz and no "thwack", or can I have 100db at 50hz and "thwack"?


I have a VERY large room, and my subs have no issues doing 105db+ nearfield at the lower frequencies. I don't have "thwack" though. Since SPL is just a measure of pressure, is there really a difference? SPL drops with distance, regardless of how much continuous air there is, otherwise doing tests outside would yield no SPL! Can you have good "thwack" outside?
 
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