one subwoofer or two?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Tommy Rodgers, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. Tommy Rodgers

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    Hi guys-
    I just got my Aperion 522 system in (5.2)- I got 2 8" subwoofers, my reasoning being that the 8" would be tighter and maybe better for music. If I decide that they don't play low enough (volume of bass is not a concern), I could either go with 2 10" subs ($200 extra) or 1 12" sub ($200 less). Are there any advantages to dual subwoofers? Any drawbacks? Anyone have experience with Aperion in this type of setup?

    By the way- the Aperion speakers sound friggin' great. My SACD collection shines on these, much easier now to tell the improvement over a CD recording of the same material. Very open and clear sound, and MAN, what a finish (cherry) on those little boxes!

    Thanks,
    TR[​IMG]
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Nothing wrong with having two subs – I have two myself. Typically they should be kept together for best performance, like in or near a corner. Separating them introduces phase problems, which manifests as ragged low frequency response.

    I would have gone with the 1-12". 8's are pretty dinky for home theater, unless you have it set up in a really tiny room.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    Yep,FEW 8's or 10's can really handle HT,go12 and put that extra on a better sub.
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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  5. Nathan J

    Nathan J Stunt Coordinator

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    12" Pffff.......Go with a 18" [​IMG]


    I agree with Brian though....alot of people think that a smaller cone is going to be so much tighter or have faster transient response. That is not always true.


    Sell the 8"s and get a 12" or a 15"..........(or an 18") [​IMG]
     
  6. Chris Zell

    Chris Zell Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally think 2 subs are better than one, as long as they are capable units (I doubt the 8's are going to do it). I also disagree with the blanket advice to place 2 subs together. If you are not going to do much tuning, then you may want to co-locate them. But if you want the most uniform response, particularly over more than one listening position and are willing to work at it, generally separate locations are the best. Go to the Harman page and look up their white papers - there are 2 in there that deal with subs. They're very interesting, and have similar conclusions, that is that the law of diminishing returns (and difficult setup) sets in after 4, 4 is excellent, 2 is almost as good, and significantly better than 1 in most rooms.

    If the choice is 2 mediocre subs and 1 great sub, I would, however, go with 1 great one. What I think is needed is 2 great subs!

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  7. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Recently I've had a sound professional over my home, and I asked him the same question about 2 subs, and he said that Chris Zell is actually correct. He even said when dealing with speaker placement (subs) the rule of thumb is 5th's then 3rd's. Place one sub a fifth of the wall length and the other on the opposite wall one third of the way.

    He really had some ideas that were new and also strange to me, but he knew what he was talking about. I wanted to know how to get the same response to all seating positions and he said I would need to build a bass trap.

    If you guy's would like to question him, he is also a member here at the forum, you could shoot him a email/PM. 'chad b'
     
  8. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have golden ears, I don't extoll the virtues of exotic cables, I don't hear dramatic differences between the sound of different amps. but I find the sound of 1 sub unsatisfactory.

    for over a decade I believed that human hearing is nondirectional at low frequencies, that a well placed and set up sub should not reveal its position. But as hard as I tried to make it happen, it did not. I could ALWAYS hear a spatial lumpiness in the sound. turn off the main speakers, close my eyes spin me around and when I came to a stop, my eyes still closes, I could point in the approximate direction (45°-60° arc) of the subwoofer's location without fail every time. Even if I didn't get within 45°, I would always get within 120° as long as the level was that of normal listening.

    Bass may be non directional, but I suspect that the non directional frequencies excite higher frequency harmonics in the room that are of enough amplitude for the ear to get spatial information from. perhaps the human body's tactile sensations are able to detect the directivity of low frequency pressure pulsations in the air. I am just hazarding guesses here. However, I am more inclined to believe that the human body can feel the bass in parts of it other than the ear, to enough of an extent to detect direction. I will be perfectly happy to abandon this belief if I can be shown scientific testing that disproves it.

    I got a second subwoofer to match my first, set them up in stereo, crossed over at 50Hz, and tightly integrated into the system. I get smooth, exquisite, seamless sound. I tried sticking them both together, stacking them in a corner, etc, but the increased boom never sounded good to me. THe spatial problems were quite pronounced, inspite of my efforts to integrate the set ups into the system.

    I returned to my stereo setup, and thats the way I will always use it. The two subs each have two 12" drivers. The four 12s may not be producing as much boom as they could in the corner in mono, but they produce enough to more than match the rest of the system move for move. I get very loud powerful, punchy, hard hitting bass without the subs even breathing hard. I don't need the "stick them in a corner" approach to get more.

    what I think is spatial non uniformity may also have elements of uneven frequency response. I couldn't say. I just know that 2 subs set up correctly work very well for me, 1 does not.
     
  9. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    I prefer and run multipul subs also.

    But placing them any ole place in the room is a absolute no no. [​IMG]

    ~{If you take the time to read the white papers mentioned}~ and ~{willing to spend time experimenting with placement and measuring}~, very good results can be had. No 2 rooms are the same so what may work for one persons set up may very well spell disaster for you. This is where the information in the papers can get you on the right road to placement.

    As far as the two 8" subs I would have to agree that a larger sub or subs would be a better choice. You might experiment with the 8's for now, stacked or side by side corner loaded will offer you the most free gain, but proper seperate placements of each may get you a flatter response. Again this requires time and expermentation.
    Bottom line, if the little guys make you happy thats whats important.

    You did make mention that spl (WAS NOT) important and the Aperions are very nice 8" subs.

    I think going to a single 12 or better yet duals would be a better route. But in the end, it's your set up and money so your the one who needs to be pleased and not us.

    You did not make mention of your room size?

    No matter the room size it's all about moving air. The bigger the area the more sub or subs you need to pressurize it.

    I've heard the 10" Aperion sub and it's an excellent performer. I can only assume the 12" to be more of the same but should reach deeper with much more authority, definitly a good thing if movies and or pipe music is important.

    Regards
    Geoff
     
  10. Tommy Rodgers

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    OK, I think the single 12" sub is the way to go for now (until I can afford a second, if needed). The room is 12' by 20', vaulted ceiling, and with an opening (large) into the kitchen, and a hallway on the other side. Will probably be hard to pressurize. Therefore....

    Could I use another sub that I already have (Mission 700asi) as a second sub somewhere else in the room? Maybe beside or behind the sofa (the Aperion would be up front with the mains) and maybe only turn it on for movie watching (extra bass)? Does it matter that the Mission sub is a 10" powered sub that only plays down to 30hz (Aperion 12" goes to 20hz)? Can you mix different subs like this with good results?

    Thanks-
    Tommy[​IMG]
     
  11. Antonio_B

    Antonio_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Tommy,how are you?

    The only thing you should pay attention to,is how big is your room cause it's useless to invest into audio/video equipements if you are not able to test them to their full capabilities.If you have a very big room then go with an 12" driver all the way.
    BTW,a 12" driver covers 2 times and a half more air-space than a 8" driver.

    Hope this helps.
    Later.

    Antonio
     
  12. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    As an Aperion owner, I'll chime in. First of, the mains and subs are both great, you've made a great choice. As for the sub, I'd go with 1 12". The thing to understand is more about low end extension than volume output. The 12" can product good bass down to 20Mhz vrs 25Mhz for the 10" and 30 Mhz for the 8". So, 2 8" can still only product bass down to 30 Mhz. While the vast majority of content is > 30 Mhz, some movies go lower and when your sub supports lower, it's a very good thing [​IMG]
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Brian,

    20-30MHz is not in the audible frequency range. I think you mean 20-30Hz. [​IMG]
     
  14. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Dooouuugh! You are very right. I think some brain cells must have gotten corrupted with computer speak [​IMG]
     
  15. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hell it's Monday, right?! [​IMG]
     
  16. Nathan J

    Nathan J Stunt Coordinator

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    Tuesdays are the worst......they're like mondays times ten for me.



    Sorry....back to the subject [​IMG]
     

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