Why dont i like bass?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Allen Marshall, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I didnt notice when i first got my sub because i was to caught up in the craze of having it. It's either the complete opposite of what i THOUGHT subs were supposed to sound like or there's something wrong. It all sounds the same so it's just...boring. So what's with that, everybody else likes it but i dont?

    I like it for music cause there's actually material there that you can tell sounds different with your ears. With movies it's pretty much the same exact thing over and over it's just sometimes it's louder then others. The Forgotten trailer in Hellboy is my newest example, same sounding bass noise over and over again, why isnt there any outstanding diversity in the sound? It basically just sounds like loud thunder (the deep shaking part of thunder that comes after the loud crash), a shake machine if you will, instead of what i've previously interupted in my head as bass. So what's the deal, is something wrong or is it just not what its cracked up to be.

    Im alittle frustrated cause it's like...how could i not be satisfied? Bass is supposed to be such an uplifting thing that gets to yah but this is definetly not doin it.


    By the way it's calibrated, and wouldnt make a difference cause it still sounds the same..just stands out more. Speakers are set on small, bass is at 0, LFE level is at 0, Crossover is disabled, 20hz mode with one port plugged, phase 180 degrees, Gain 1/2, 2-3db hot, 13ft away diagonally, in a corner very close to the wall.

    According to my sound meter i've played my subwoofer really loud. But i havent gotten any stuff like pant legs flapping or feeling the bass in my chest. The only thing that's ever happened is slowly but surely the bass caused a landslide of stuff in a shelf in the kitchen cabinet. My vision went blurry during matrix revolutions when the drill was comming through the top of Zion.

    My brother and my friend were unimpressed to cause they noticed the same problem. So im hoping there's something wrong.

     
  2. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I'm with you Allen. Bass scares me.
     
  3. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    posts like these make me really doubt if a subwoofer is up to snuff, or setup right.

    bass is the same as music. it has notes, tones, and can have musicality, and all those other audiophile words... that was my complaint about the movie hellboy, because i thought the soudntrack had none of those features in its bass.

    BUT, a good bass track for a song can be amazing. it should be just another part of the music, not just this loud booming mess that makes it sound more full.

    maybe there is an integration problem with your sub, or a positioning issue or something? from the repuataion of the SVS', it shouldnt be the sub...
     
  4. KeithY

    KeithY Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds like you need a PB2ultra [​IMG]

    On a lot of movies, the Forgetten, the Haunting and others
    the bass is very similar. Then there's Finding Nemo, LOTR,
    We Were Soldiers where it's different.

    Your right music bass is different from song to song and
    different than what's in the movies. Either way, similar
    or not I love it all!
     
  5. JoeHard

    JoeHard Stunt Coordinator

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    Allen, I find Your post somewhat confusing, if Your sub sounds one note,calibration is no help, your bro and buddies aren't impressed, and You get no visceral effect, how can You rate your sub a "10"?
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    I think you should measure your frequency response from 20-160hz. You may have some really big peaks that are drowning out everything else and giving it that "one note" quality.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Allen, I think Ned is on the right track. I sounds to me like you have at least one big peak in your room response that is giving your sub a “one note” quality. That coupled with perhaps the sub being too loud in relation to the other speakers.

    More specifically to a large peak in response, the problem is that such a peak will dominate the entire low frequency range. Other bass frequencies above it and below it will be “drowned” out. I can assure you that not all movie low frequency content sounds the same. There are numerous instances of energy at different frequencies. For instance, a war movie where there are soft explosions in the distance, the bass will at a much lower frequency there than it will be for “up-close and personal” gunfire.

    What you need to do is get a parametric equalizer and smooth out your response. I suggest doing a search on this Forum, as well as our DIY and Advanced Projects Forum, for “Behringer Feedback Destroyer,” “BFD,” etc. You’ll get enough reading material to keep you busy for days.

    In the meantime, here is a “before and after” response chart that will show you the difference equalization can make:


    [​IMG]


    By the way, Allen and Keith, we aren’t supposed to include equipment lists in our signatures. You might want to change it before a Moderator notices. See #6 at this link, Forum Rules and FAQ.

    What you can do is have the Forum create a web page for you here. Then you can include the link in your signature.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Is that chart entirely the result of using the BFD? I'm curious because almost everywhere I've read about EQ, including serious fans of the BFD, says you shouldn't "fix" a null with EQ. I haven't tried it yet, and am open to the idea (easier than multiple bass traps, not to mention cheaper). If it's not only the BFD, can I ask what else was used/done to get this change in response?
     
  9. Juan_T

    Juan_T Stunt Coordinator

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    is a "Null" a drop in Dbs?
     
  10. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Just turn it off and/or send it back and use your HT without a sub...now that would sound awesome! Ok ok....I'm just giving your a hard time. [​IMG]

    I assume since you bought a PB2+ you actually new how much sub you needed for the size room that your in. Or did you just pick a sub and went with it? What are the dimensions of the room? How do you have it placed? What kind of room acoustics do you have? All very important questions to get to before you start wondering what your missing.
     
  11. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Two things Allen,

    First you said:

    "Calibrating" an un-equalized subwoofer without knowing the response is more of a best guess than any sort of calibration. Any peak above 40Hz in the response will radically throw off the level of the rest of the frequencies.

    Secondly, I recall your main speakers being a little HTIB jobber. As I have stated in other threads, the center channel is the anchor of the home theater, and the sub is the foundation. For the most part, all other speakers in the system support these two critical components.

    You are also making judgement without having ever gone to hear a well set up system. As I directed you before, and even offered for you to come hear a killer system, go join up at http://www.chicagoavforum.com/ . The idea is that a great system will draw you into the movie even more, enriching the suspension of reality. Hopefully it is not just bass for the sake of bass. That's what those cheap, horrid sounding car systems are for. Heck, we don't even know for certain if you have the system running in Dolby Digital or DTS? It's all about the details...
     
  12. Sam Robertson

    Sam Robertson Stunt Coordinator

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    i cant handle much bass either, i keep my sub real low.
     
  13. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Paul
    The short answer is “not necessarily.” Hopefully the above discussion answered your question.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  14. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Sorry about the delayed response, computer problems. And sorry about the signature thing.

    I gave it a 10 before i got to know the sub, but i'd still give it a 10 cause it's one hell of a dowhacky. My room is 20x30, my TV is in the right corner of the room on an angle, and my subwoofer is in the left corner of the room.

    Mark the most expensive system i heard was a Velodyne 1812, with those $50,000 Meridion speakers as fronts, and the step belows for rears and the best center Meridion makes. Then i heard B&W all the way up to there $10,000 a pair hooked up to..i think it was Lexicon..i cant remember, something really fancy looking, if it wasnt lexicon it started with a C. And of course i've heard Martin Logan systems hooked up to powerful amps and what not. All systems properly calibrated, in nice HT dedicated rooms.

    I was describing how i was extremely upset with the Velodyne 1812 performance and described it to Craig Chase, and by my description he guessed the sub wasnt calibrated. But it was, i was just expecting something different, so that's sort of an interesting story. But that sub still had more variation then mine. I

    I was watching LOTR: FOTR today doing alittle more study on my sub, and it feels like there's gap between the speakers and the subwoofer. When Sauron blows up at the beginning and that wave goes out, there's noise completely missing there at the beginning of the wave moving outward. It may just be me cause my fronts used to be on large and the bass was set on mains and the bass level was at +10 so i could get some bass you can hear out of the speaker subs. I really liked it, i liked how it turned unbass parts into bass parts. So i might just be to use to that noise, but either way i really liked it and wish the sub did it, but that's still beyond the real problem. If getting an equalizer will help i'll get one. There's this song called Nara by E.S. Pothumus (in The Clearing trailer) and thats the first time i heard variation in the bass. It was very nice and elegant. Completely different kinds of notes commin out of the thing, so thats when my hope was restored.

    I dont know how im supposed to describe room acoustics...we have carpeted floors, the ceiling is 9-10ft tall, not really sure on that one. There's 3 key listening positions and only one is a hotspot, the hotspot is 14ft diagonally from the sub, another seat is 18ft away, and the one close by it is 7ft away from the sub. The side of the sub is as close to the wall as humanly possible and the side with the ports is about 4-5 inches away from the wall.

    Wish i could do something about that damn plastic screen on the TV always raddling, it'll drive yah sometimes unless the highs and mids of the speaks flush it out. The subwoofer stands out pretty good cause i often dont watch movies past -20 reference if im gonna watch it from beginning to end, loud high and mid sounds makes me feel weird and i get headaches easily. I think it's cause of all those years i used to listen to music with headphones before i went to bed, but i cut that out!

    David i just picked one that my parents agreed with and i didnt feel guilty asking for. My mom shutters when she looks at it in her presish beautiful room. Thats why i had to lose my rear center, it was out in the middle of no mans land ontop of a drawer and a pile of books in the back middle of the room.

    I can handle bass that shakes everything to death but it still has to blend in with the movie or it'll drive me nuts. I dont like bassy sounds that come out of nowhere that raddle everything, they did that in hellboy alot, just random sound effects out of the breeze while they're just walking around alot. My subwoofer is calibrated alittle bit higher then suggested but that's to make up for me not turning the volume up to high cause i want big bass parts to have a big effect and alot of times it's not dynamic enough to please me (even though i am impressed at how dynamic the SPL of subwoofers can be [​IMG] ).

    Ned, by measuring the frequency do you mean pop in the AVIA disk and run that frequency sweep test? Im not entirely positive how you want me to do that.

    Wayne by "smooth out the response" do you mean getting a BFD and just leveling out all the frequencies/knobs at the samespot?
     
  15. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    So...what are your settings then?

    For example a VERY common way to have everything running is like this: All speakers are set to "small" The crossover in the receiver is at 80hz and your sub level on your receiver is normally right about 0 or even -1....rarely does it need to be higher. The volume or gain on the sub itself is normally around the half way mark and rarely needs to be higher.

    Again..this is just an example but it's a pretty common set up.
     
  16. micah bjj

    micah bjj Stunt Coordinator

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    David- with the setup you described...during different movies if you wanted more or less bass would you adjust the volume with the sub level on the receiver?
     
  17. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Yep..exactly....I never even touch the gain on the sub. I just adjust from the receiver. I still use an SPL meter to calibrate everything correctly....but sometimes I like to run things a bit on the "hot" side!

    By the way..micah bjj......does the bjj stand for brazilian jiu-jitsu by chance? If not...nevermind!
     
  18. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    David i got that stuff listed on my first post.
     
  19. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Got it....it says "crossover diabled" I assume you are talking about the subs crossover.

    What is your crossover set to on your receiver?
     
  20. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Glad I noticed your link. I got great measured results from the BFD, but then my input level was so bloody low, I could barely get the 2nd green input light to flash, and that's with my receiver LFE at max (+10), my amp gain all the way open, and even my ART 351 added in with its level boost. I'll try to bisect the initial FR plot rather than pull all the peaks down to a "common ground".

    [​IMG]
     

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