Is it wrong to like boomy bass?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Patrick Ja, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. Patrick Ja

    Patrick Ja Agent

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    I used to own a paradigm ps-1000 and seemed to love it but after I started reading forums people were saying it was a boomy sub. So I started to believe that then returned it and bought a hsu vtf-2. When I had the ps-1000 I did not know how to set up subs(no rat shack meter). I just really miss that sub now. The hsu is great but it just does not hit nearly as hard. I listen to a lot of r & b, hip-hop and action movies. What sub can hit like the ps-1000 but stay flat.



    Thanks in advance

    Jason
     
  2. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Patrick:

    This hobby is about choices and enjoying your system. Do what makes YOU happy and don't worry what others think/say.

    Rich B.
     
  3. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    It's not wrong, it's simply not accurate.

    That said, Richard gave good advice.
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Do you care if its wrong?

    I don't know if a sub can "hit" like the PS-1000 and stay flat. It might be the "non-flatness" that sounded good and "hard-hitting". Here's my suggestion. Stay with the "better" subwoofer, but try to simulate some of the character of the PS-1000 with your hsu.

    I think I know what you are concerned about and I feel the same way sometimes. I admit I don't mind some of the over-emphasized bass that I here in various stereo systems and speakers. I like it. But I bought a "real" subwoofer because I wanted to feel the lowest of the low bass and when I do, I appreciate it, but I do sometimes miss the "colour" of the less than perfect bass from less sophisticated bass systems.

    I think you would be better to try to borrow the PS-1000 from a store that you want to buy an EQ like the Behringer BFD-1124 Feedback destroyer. Play the PS-1000 the way you liked it, and then record the frequency response as best as possible. Return the subwoofer and try to simulate some of the response of the PS-1000 with your new hsu subwoofer. Perhaps you'll play around and find some other things out about response that you like and/or dislike.

    I think that is the way to keep the "better" subwoofer, the subwoofer which plays lower, louder and cleaner, while still enjoying the "flavour" of the other subwoofer. I wouldn't go back, cause you'll probably miss the qualities of your new sub, so try my idea. A BFD ain't too expensive, though proper use requires a PC and some software. Thats my idea anyways. I can't garantee that it will work.

    Is the HSU a servo subwoofer? Or a subwoofer with some other limiting stuff? Is the HSU ported or sealed? Just wondering how it compares to the PS-1000.
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    It's funny, but I actually agree with everyone! [​IMG]

    Boomy isn't accurate, but if it's what you like, then that *is* a valid choice.

    Small story: I started with a Velodyne HGS-10, my 1st sub. I really liked it. Made the room "come alive" during movies. Wanted to go bigger (deeper bass), tried a bunch of subs out, and settled on the Vandersteen V2W. Definately went deeper, but I was a little bit disappointed, because it "disappeared" into my system like the Velodyne never did. But over time, I realized that that is what a sub is supposed to do. You're *not* supposed to be aware of it's presence.

    I would also recommend a BFD, because usually boominess is an indication of a room peak somewhere, and the BFD is a good way to deal with that. Hsu makes great subs. You could try to goose it a little and see what that does for you. (Turn it up a little, maybe 1 - 3 dB from "flat" with the mains.)
     
  6. Patrick Ja

    Patrick Ja Agent

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    I really appreciate all of your suggestions. Maybe I can get a more powerful sub that can stay flat such as svs(+), paradigm servo-15 or vtf-3. That way I could get the same impact as a ps-1000 with a better response.
     
  7. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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  8. Patrick Ja

    Patrick Ja Agent

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    You know what chris, your right. I did'nt even know there was such a thing as tight bass until I started getting more into this hobby.
     
  9. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    There's a reason companies make so many boomy subs- many people enjoy them. If your goal is to get loud with bass, then it is more efficient for me to design a boomy sub. By the time most people "know better," they're hooked on the boom and might not like a really flat sub. I have to admit that it took me a long time to like the sound of my car subs without the bass-boost at 45Hz cranked up +6dB cause that's what I had gotten used to.

    As far as tightness goes, it is hard to find the exact scientific reasons for what everybody perceives, but group delay is likely a major part of it. As far as the SPL response curve goes, you could have peaky bass that's still accurate in time.

    As already suggested, with a well designed sub with high output, you can always EQ to get the response you want. But if you try to boost up a sub, you probably won't be as happy with the result.
     
  10. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'll almost guarantee that the popularity of boomy speaker bass originated with all those car subwoofers people built with no damping material inside.

    LJ
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    WHAT EVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT!!! DONE.
     
  12. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Patrick- You don't say how long you have had the Hsu, but I know it can be configured for maximum output, or maximum extension. Have you tried it both ways?

    The reason I ask is that I owned one for over a year, and when I switched to an SVS 20-39PC, I felt that the VTF-2 had more impact than the SVS. No doubt the SVS went lower, and was more effective at lower volumes and those elusive sound cue rumblings that some movies employ. But for straight balls to the wall demo stuff, the VTF-2 kicked like a mule.

    I have a small room- 12x13x8, so the VTF-2 never reached its output limit. It kicked.

    As for the initial question- enjoy your bass boomy or whatever. Bass is a great thing...
     
  13. FrantzM

    FrantzM Stunt Coordinator

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    "whatever you like" is too simplistic a way to approach the reproduction of music. There has to be a reference else one (and the world) would be totally lost. We find comfort in saying everything is relative but a total absence of references brings anarchy and madness.

    IMO what Audio is about is to reproduce the performance in ways as close to the original as possible. Having a grossly inaccurate audio system (Bose?) is the literary equivalent of replacing the words one does like in a novel..

    I have "calibrated" displays for customers who would tell me , these displays looked strange, no longer like a color TV, after a few days they see how real TV could be and there is no coming back. Now back to boomy bass. It is difficult to say that what you liked was just boomy bass, it maybe that the placement and settings on your system allowed you to feel something ( I suppose in the Mid-bass) you no longer experience with your new system/setting. Proper mid-basss reproduction is very important for that sensation of punch of "weight" and "authority" one hears in live music. The way your subs/mains/system settings combination may have done that in a way your new setting is not.


    I would recommend you two things:

    Calibrate your Sub/main system as well as you can. The BFD at around $150 can take you a long way toward that. Be prepared to sweat and work some hours.. Now do hear your favorite CDs on the system and see if you do like what you hear
    Educate yourself by listening for "new" things on your system. A system with better resolution usually takes some time to get used to. Once you do, it will make your favorite cuts that much more enjoyable.


    I have speculated a lot. I do not know your system and honestly what you called boomy may have been may have been an accurate reproduction. No one can tell unless they hear your system.


    Frantz
     
  14. Patrick Ja

    Patrick Ja Agent

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  15. Doug BW

    Doug BW Stunt Coordinator

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    BFD: Behringer Feedback Destroyer. It is a piece of pro gear designed to filter out feedback at live performances. Its features include a parametric equalizer that's great for use with subs in home systems. Do a search on BFD and you'll get more info than you need.

    It's great for taming peaks. Equalization doesn't fix nulls, though.

    It's generally available on the web these days for about $120.
     
  16. FrantzM

    FrantzM Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

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    I must admit that my Tempest is tuned to 45hz. BUT, this is with pluggable ports, and it's USUALLY tuned to 23hz [​IMG]. Every once in a while when listening to rap or when I just wanna hear loud "bass" I open all my ports (45hz) and crank it.
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Didn't meant to imply with my quickie post above that all boomy bass is bad. It's just my ISP kept bumping me off & wanted to post that message before I hit the sack.

    A lot of music nowadays features boomy bass effects on purpose. For me, boomy effects are fine because that's what the artist wants me to hear.

    But personally, owning a speaker that adds its own boominess is a no-no. By boominess I mean: insufficient damping material or none at all, which means bass soundwaves are bouncing around unchecked inside that enclosure. All those extra bass reflections finally exit the speaker through the port or the woofer itself, resulting in that "booming" sound. But the thing is, that means I'm not hearing what the musician wants, and ALL my music will have this "boom" in it.

    But if we're talking about just different shades of bass tightness, then whatever you like.......you like. Speakers can be tuned to accentuate whatever bass frequency the designer wants, depending on the system's capabilities of course.

    For example, my old Advent "Baby" speakers (6.5" hi-excursion woofer in a sealed enclosure). Whenever they were tested they had a slight response "hump" at around 120Hz. This gave the little speaker the illusion of more bass than it really had (it actually could down to @60Hz but sucked major watts to do this. I always surprized people with their low bass capability). But it definitely was well-damped, i.e. tight & smooth, like most sealed designs are (I miss those little guys!). My Boston Acoustics CR9's w/8" woofers go down to 42hz but are ported too--they aren't quite as tight as the Baby's, but are more punchy or "exciting" with rock/pop music like most ported designs are. But, they aren't boomy either. Last example: B&W Nautilus ported speakers. For me, much less punchy than my Bostons at normal listening levels, most probably for accuracy reasons at high volume levels for orchestral music (my CR9's at their power limit--75 watts continuous--get a little flabby or "loose" sounding). The B&W's definitely aren't boomy at all. To me they are very tight, bordering on sterile. 311's Transistor played on a pair of N802's was sapped of its energy IMO--bleh.

    The ultimate kicky speaker for me? So far, it is Klipsch's La Scala. A horn-loaded speaker that doesn't go that low (maybe to around 50Hz) but at my dorm's X-Mas party.....oh my God those things could almost stop your heart!! Ultra-clean bass, mids and highs. A totally revealing system. The last (affordable) Klipsch's that had this character were the "KLF" series. Times change I guess [​IMG].

    I had better stop here (speakers are my favorite audio component)!

    LJ
     
  19. Leif Wall

    Leif Wall Second Unit

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    I have a couple 15s in my Ford Ranger and it's real boomy and I like it.

    For my home setup I have an SVS and it's not boomy and I like it.


    I have the best of both worlds. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Probably one of two factors. The other is that people just like bass, and good, clean flat bass is very difficult to do. You ever been to a concert with good, clean, low, flat bass? HAH! Besides most concerts being damagingly loud, there's no way that you're gonna be able to crank out that kind of SPL outside, so they go for the mid-low bass that is boomier, easier to do, and hits you in the chest. And then people get used to this. Even for me, it's hard to get used to flat bass. I have an SVS, and every once in a while i turn it up ridiculously, so that any "system blending" is shot, just to fulfill a little bass music craving, becaus I don't really like loud music, but loud bass I can stand. That and @#%^@%$ car audio n00bs. /end rant.
     

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