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Sound & Vision article: four subwoofers is better


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted November 09 2006 - 10:18 AM

Posted Image

I saw this article yesterday in Sound & Vision magazine but didn't finish reading it - to me the concept just sounded like waaaaaaay overkill. Though to give them credit, in their example they were using "mini" subs.

Anybody have thoughts on this?

FYI: anyone who regularly reads my posts knows I'm kind of a take-it-or-leave it guy as far as subs are concerned, so I won't comment anymore on this - I'll just be a lurker because I'm still quite interested in the physics of this situation.

BTW: one thing I (think I) finally realized about home theaters after seeing this article & reading posts here and elsewhere for years:

* there are people who literally want a theater in their home i.e. a dedicated room & system used *only* for that purpose

* there are people who like having a home theater system in their living room so they can better experience their movies & TV shows and maybe their music too (I'm in this group).

I'm not complaining, judging etc, but am just stating what I think might affect a person's HT priorities.

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   AlanZ

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Posted November 09 2006 - 10:23 AM

Got a link, bro?
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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:18 PM

It's in this months issue on newstands, you know, the version made of mashed up tree trunks that doesn't need a hard drive or batteries. Posted Image

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted November 09 2006 - 12:57 PM

It's not overkill. If you go look at Harman International's web site, there are a few papers over there, and the one they referenced in the S&V article, that talk about this.

With that being said, they *also* say in the article that 2 is almost as good as 4. Posted Image The issue being: smoothing the peaks and valleys in loudness vs freq due to constructive and destructive interference at difference points in the room due to how the different wavelengths from the sub(s) couple with the room boundaries.

But, you can *also* get quite acceptable performance with 1 sub and judicious use of parametric eq'ing.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Rory Buszka

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Posted November 09 2006 - 01:06 PM

And, of cour$e, it's a great article for those $&V advertisers who want to $ell more $ubwoofers.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted November 09 2006 - 02:50 PM

Here is the Harman study: http://www.harman.co...df/multsubs.pdf

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted November 09 2006 - 10:07 PM

And here is Tom Nousaine's comments on that study back in 2004 strongly suggesting that this is no cakewalk unless you're willing to invest a very serious amount of time, effort, and measuring for each subwoofer. http://groups.google....56134c2323e609

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted November 09 2006 - 11:26 PM

It's also worth noting that Welti's recommendations are not necessarily for flattest response, they're for most uniform response over a listening area. Achieving such should allow any FR corrections applied via EQ (assumed in the study) to have the same benefit over a number of seats, which is rarely the case with eq (correcting for the "sweet spot" can make things much worse just one seat over).
There may well be positions that result in flatter response at a given position, but that wasn't the point of the study.
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#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Alan M

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Posted November 10 2006 - 08:52 AM

"Achieving such should allow any FR corrections applied via EQ (assumed in the study) to have the same benefit over a number of seats, which is rarely the case with eq (correcting for the "sweet spot" can make things much worse just one seat over)."

Agreed.Before my current subwoofer,I ran two subs in my HT.Placement and calibration to give equal performance for all seating positions was a royal pain in the A**. Posted Image

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted November 10 2006 - 12:17 PM

I have been thinking about going from just 1 sub to 2 subs for a while. The major thing that holds me back is, doing it right! Posted Image Anyone can hook up two subs, put them at 2 different places in a room, crank it up and ignore all the details, but I can't. Even just two would be a pain in the butt. Phase between the subs, phase to the rest of the speakers in the room, and then EQ on top of that, and then changing crossovers and levels for flattest freq response too.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted November 10 2006 - 01:04 PM

I followed the example in the Harman study and placed one sub center front & the other center back. The front sub is a 12" front firing Sony. The back is a 10" down firing JBL. (Both were gifts and the room is too big for just one.)
To set them up, I turned off the back one & set the SPL on the front. Then turned off the front & set the SPL on the back so both were at the same level with the meter placed in the middle. Both are run through a BFD and I spent about a day getting a flat response. I have never went to each seat to check SPL levels, but I can't notice any difference between any of the 8 seats. I am currently building a new house with a new theater. I am hoping that Santa will bring a new SVS.

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   johnADA

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Posted November 11 2006 - 12:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory Buszka
And, of cour$e, it's a great article for those $&V advertisers who want to $ell more $ubwoofers.

DITTO!!!!

Unless you have a extremely LARGE room and I dont mean a normal sized house one, you dont need more than one, or I'll even maybe go 2.

I've tried 2 subs and unless there both in the front, or pointed in 2 totally different directions from each other, they cancel out parts of each other.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted November 11 2006 - 04:09 AM

I'm sure if you leave one of the subs next to the fireplace along with some milk and cookies with directions to where the good beer is kept, Santa will take your wish most seriously drobbins.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted November 12 2006 - 01:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
I'm sure if you leave one of the subs next to the fireplace along with some milk and cookies with directions to where the good beer is kept, Santa will take your wish most seriously drobbins.
I have tried the milk & cookies routine with no success, I will try the beer this year. Maybe thats the ticket!

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   MaRtIn^dB

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Posted November 13 2006 - 07:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceJ
Posted Image

I saw this article yesterday in Sound & Vision magazine but didn't finish reading it - to me the concept just sounded like waaaaaaay overkill. Though to give them credit, in their example they were using "mini" subs.

Anybody have thoughts on this?

FYI: anyone who regularly reads my posts knows I'm kind of a take-it-or-leave it guy as far as subs are concerned, so I won't comment anymore on this - I'll just be a lurker because I'm still quite interested in the physics of this situation.

BTW: one thing I (think I) finally realized about home theaters after seeing this article & reading posts here and elsewhere for years:

* there are people who literally want a theater in their home i.e. a dedicated room & system used *only* for that purpose

* there are people who like having a home theater system in their living room so they can better experience their movies & TV shows and maybe their music too (I'm in this group).

I'm not complaining, judging etc, but am just stating what I think might affect a person's HT priorities.
...and then there are those who want all this performance in a "bedroom"...hehe...hello from Lafayette, La. btw...you should come visit and hear my .45 Qtc. 2x15" in a 1800ft3 room...before i add a third driver to the system!...you need lots of headroom for the "viscious", visceral theatrics of movies like WOTW...the 2x15 will play down to 8 Hz in-room...having reached reference level output, now it's about cleaning up distortion and cutting driver load at higher SPL...integrating 4 independent subwoofers into a cohesive presentation is something i'd prefer not to tackle...it's hard enough with just one...i would use bass trapping and hope for the best...the quad setup would only be feasible in a dedicated space, as you mentioned...to each his own though...





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