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Define Boomy

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 Ten_Smith


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Posted March 20 2002 - 09:15 AM

I see a lot of posts about sub-woofers that use this term. I know it will be difficult to define in writing, but I'd really appreciate it if someone would give it a try.

#2 of 9 keir


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Posted March 20 2002 - 10:25 AM

if theres a quick and heavy bass beat in a song, like techno music for instance, a boomy sub will just make a rumbling noise the entire time rather than defining each beat. you can still hear the bass between beats. if the bass were tight and quick, it would define each bass beat very well and it would be silent between them.

#3 of 9 Michael R Price

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Posted March 20 2002 - 10:42 AM

Boomy can mean any number of things. Usually one or more of the following.

Uneven frequency response. A big peak in the 40-80Hz range, which many systems have, is usually caused by a less than perfect subwoofer/speaker placement. Not many subs have this problem. This will emphasize certain frequencies over others, causing certain elements of music and movies to sound odd.

Poorly defined, or muddy bass. Many poorly designed subwoofers have a very steep phase response and hence a lot of group delay. Meaning that some bass frequencies are literally 'delayed' behind others, depending on what frequency the signal is. This could cause a sub to not 'stop' making a sound when its over (for example, spreading out the sound of a kick drum into a long 'boom').

Distortion. If a sub isn't capable of enough clean output then it may produce a lot of harmonic distortion at moderate volumes which will also cause a poorly defined sound. I'm not sure how to describe it.

#4 of 9 Manuel Delaflor

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Posted March 20 2002 - 11:23 AM

This is a rater complex subject and I guess most of people will call "boomy" to several distinct phenomena. Keir and Michael already tackled some of those, but I want to add resonance.

Either the box or the room will reinforce and cancel some frequencies, this would excite to much the reinforced frequencies and this also would sound "boomy".

Actually, correctly setting a subwoofer in a room is the most complex task in the audio world. The best sub in the world will sound "boomy" in a bad setting, and of course, the most "boomy" sub around will sound just fine if its location in the room is carefully chosen.
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#5 of 9 John Royster

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Posted March 20 2002 - 11:58 AM

bump..booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom

around 40-80 hz. that's boomy. no real attack or delay on the bass - more of a monotone, muddy boom. Think of the big fireworks explosions you hear on the 4th and how sharp and pronounced the large explosions are. BOOOM!!! no more, no less, that's good - very good.

On a good sub the above music/kick drum is...bump..thummmp.

Notice the enphasis on the mmmmpah. The sharp stop of the bass on the tail end. Quick attack of sound followed only by a natural decay/volume.

hope this helps, I'm really reaching here. Posted Image

#6 of 9 Chris Rein

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Posted March 20 2002 - 12:33 PM

Since it's perfect timing, with the sequel opening this Friday and all, one GREAT test of a sloppy or killer subwoofer (and its placement) is the opening music of Blade - a song called Konfuzion (during the bloodbath techno dance sequence). On a sloppy sub, it will sound like one long bass beat with absolutely ZERO definition. More like a whaahwaaahwaaahwaah sound.

With a great, non-boomy sub, each beat will clearly be defined (as previous posts mentioned) and sound more like a quick thump thump thump thump. A sound that comes and goes very quickly.

Listening to that sequence with a crap-ass sub will make you cringe in your seat. It will give you a headache too!

Just thought I'd throw my .02 in.

#7 of 9 Dave Vaughn

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Posted March 20 2002 - 02:25 PM

If you want to know "boomy", then listen to a SVS for about a week, then listen to most any other sub. You will definately hear the "boomy" after that. I always thought my neighbor had a good sub before I got my SVS, now I get a headache listening to anything at his house. Way too boomy of sub!
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#8 of 9 NickSo



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Posted March 20 2002 - 04:15 PM

Boomy is like.. BOOM...

tight is like... THUD... Posted Image Thats the best i can explain it...

Well, Boomy sounds more hollow, like if you knock on a plastic pipe, it goes boom and it resonates...

tight bass is like solid in the middle... it goes THUD and its direct and solid...

#9 of 9 Ten_Smith


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Posted March 21 2002 - 01:54 AM

Thanks all. Of course, just the word itself get's you part of the way to what people are talking about, but these comments definitely helped clarify it in my mind.

I guess you could say my understanding of Boomy used to be a bit boomy, but now it is tight and quick.