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A thread for testing $2000-$2500ish subwoofers

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Craig Chase, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Vidiot33 ... High efficiency is a fascinating aspect of performance when it comes to subwoofers. The original Eminence driver we used in the Chase line of subs was spec'ed to about 95 dB / 1 watt / 1 meter. In the sealed box, by the time we got to 20 Hz, it was about 80 dB 1 watt / 1 meter, and in the larger vented box it was about 85 dB.

    I am going to guess that the new driver in the V-3601 is closer to 90 dB in the 1 watt / 1 meter range for specified sensitivity in a free space (think infinite baffle) configuration. The mass of the driver is likely higher than the older Eminence, and the result will be about the same sensitivity in the really deep bass at the cost of some sensitivity in the upper bass. Output will increase in the deepest bass, with a small possible loss in the upper bass, again in contrast to the older Eminence.

    The V-3601 strikes a really good balance between the performance of the older Eminence driver and drivers such as the TC Sounds LMS-5400. Mid bass slam is not lacking, but the "shudder effect" in the deepest bass is definitely improved over the Eminence drivers.

    What astounds me is how PSA got this extension in a relatively small cabinet for two drivers in a vented enclosure. This is especially notable considering it was not done by under porting the unit. The slot port is MASSIVE - with a cross section close to a single 8 inch round port. Chuffing never occurs.

    To answer your question ... I think this driver/enclosure/vent tuning/amp/DSP combo is very well thought out. A lot of work went into the design to get this level of performance. It's not really efficiency that is making the performance, it's solid engineering.
     
  2. vidiot33

    vidiot33 Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful response.
     
  3. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Vidiot33 ... You are welcome. It was an excellent question, and thank you for participating in the thread. :)

    Great name, too.
     
  4. vidiot33

    vidiot33 Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks! And thank you also for this thread: your impressions of these various subs are invaluable, please keep up the great work, and I look forward to your further comments.
     
  5. 45 Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Good morning - This week was a very busy one around here, in a good way. My auto dealer business has never been better, and for that, I am grateful.

    Speaking of grateful, Last night, after a business trip, the movie choice was Ben-Hur 2016. As a movie, it was thoroughly enjoyable. It got mixed reviews, but I thought it was an excellent job of recreating the classic Ben-Hur while doing something I thought Hollywood would never do again: Depict Christ as a loving man of peace. Pardon the sermon, but the scenes with Christ in it gave me goosebumps. They are awesome. To the people who made this movie: Thank you.

    Ben-Hur is not one of those movies that is a traditional "Bass Fest" movies, but it is filled with "good bass moments". One of those is when this giant slab of granite falls at the beginning of the chariot race (which is shown in the beginning as a "tease" as well as at the end as the climax). It's one quick, deep THUD.

    And once again, the V-3601 was "perfect" in making this scene palpable. The floor shook, and it was felt in the chest.

    The single V-3601 is the best subwoofer I have experienced at combining powerful 14-25 Hz bass with that mid bass "in the chest" feeling. In many ways, it reminds me of a JL Audio Gotham in its immediacy in bass, while being more powerful than the $13,000 Gotham.

    Throughout the movie last night, there were fight scenes - punches were deep bass tight and tuneful. It's never sloppy - just clean, deep bass. The same goes for the many horse back scenes - it's not "War of the Worlds", but proper bass adds SO much to the experience.

    After ten days, the V-3601 is actually exceeding lofty expectations.

    Based on delivered price, it would be fun to have a JTR Captivator and an SVS PB-16 Ultra here for comparison.
     
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  6. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Tonight was a lot of fun: I watched Jurassic World with the Indominus Rex. As one would expect, the footfalls from the She Beast were floor shaking and the guns being fired were hitting in the chest again.

    What stood out was the GROWLING of the Indominus Rex. With the V-3601, not only was she DEEP in her growls, the growls were heard as a series of independent notes. They were not smeared together - they were distinct, and powerful.

    The V-3601 matched the Axiom's ability to delineate these notes, and did so with even more authority.

    Having this much fun should be illegal. :)
     
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  7. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Good morning - It has been two weeks since the last update. After a recommendation form my eldest, I started watching "The Man in the High Castle" over the last two weeks. First, it's a REALLY well done series based on the concept that Germany and Japan won World War II.

    Highly recommended if you like history combined with a gritty look at what could have happened.

    At the beginning of each show, during the opening scene, there is a flyover of a huge German super sonic passenger plane. The bass scene lasts about 3 seconds, and I swear the roof is collapsing EVERY time. It rolls through you.

    The Big News .... It looks like subwoofer number 2 will ship soon. As soon as it does, look for an update as to the actual model and estimated time of arrival. It's already broken in, so it will hit the ground running !
     
  8. Technosponge

    Technosponge Auditioning

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    Hello all. Big thank you to Craig for these threads. This is my first post in this forum. I'm looking forward to the SVS PB16 to show in this thread. As I can acquire this sub at an incredible price. However, the V3601 might just be the one to add to two Chase SS18s. I'd also like to thank the movie input as now Amazon's stock has raised in major part due to my recent bluray purchases.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Benjamin: :welcome:
     
  10. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Ben Jammin .... Good to see you here! It's been WAY too long!
     
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  11. theJman

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    This almost sounds like confession; "bless me HTF for I have sinned, my last update was two weeks ago". :D
     
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  12. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I'm not quite sure what is being tested here... is it volume and extension? Because that isn't the problem with most subs. Most of them can go low and loud, but that doesn't necessarily sound good (sensuround sounded lousy in theaters!) Getting a smooth response and even dynamics that works in both music and movie LFE is my goal. I can easily shake the walls with my sub, but why do I want to hear rattling wall boards during a movie? I just want to feel the bass and sill hear all of the the details in the mix.
     
  13. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Bigshot - I recommend you take the time to peruse the text in its entirety. The discussion is a lot more than "shaking floors" and "going low and loud". You will also find that it is mentioned on a few occasions that we have discovered some new rattles that need to be eliminated.

    A truly powerful sub will shake a wood floor when required, the rest of the experience is a "feeling" as if the walls and ceiling are going to come down. It's not from rattling, it's from the pressure of the subwoofer. I did find the two new rattles and eliminated them.

    We also look for details in bass - for example - when the Indominus Rex growls in Jurassic World, a really good subwoofer presents it as a series of deep notes, each distinct. The V3601 far exceeds what the lesser subs did with this scene, matching the Axiom EP800 for its ability to easily present each note as a separate entity. This ability alone makes a V3601 worth the extra money.

    These threads also tend to take quite a while to do, as updates are done as we experience the subwoofer. There will be some serious music listening done with several reference discs - I am looking forward to what the V3601 sounds like on Steely Dan's Two Against Nature.

    Stay tuned. :)
     
  14. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    I am a Methodist. We skip the middle man and explain directly to the big guy what a reprobate we have been. :D
     
  15. 55 Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    bigshot

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    Do you ever use your sub for music? That is what separates the "men from the boys" when it comes to performance. I judge subs by taking music with a descending bass line where every note is given even weight and listening to hear sections of the response that dip or peak in volume. If you can get your sub to have even response from 80Hz all the way down, and a clean crossover from your mains above that, you have good bass response. Just being loud is easy. Getting balance is much harder, especially since so many subs are designed to produce huge volumes at the expense of balanced response. Imbalances are what makes bass sound monochromatic and lacking in definition. You can't judge that with a tyrannosaurus bellow. You have to listen to organ music or other types of music that has carefully controlled low frequency information in descending patterns.

    If you get a smooth response, everything- both movies and music- will sound perfect.
     
  16. Technosponge

    Technosponge Auditioning

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    Would there be any adverse effects if the v3600 were to be put on it's side?
     
  17. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Perhaps you could educate us. Which subwoofers have you tested? Can you provide some measured response curves for the forum members to see? It is highly likely that a lot of people would be interested in learning which subwoofers lack a balanced response, and which subwoofers HAVE a balanced response.

    Looking forward to reading your test results.
     
  18. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Not at all.
     
  19. theJman

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    During the days of class A/B amps this could potentially be a problem as the cooling fins went from a vertical alignment to a horizontal one, and frequently that cut down on total radiating area as it relates to convection and dissipation. But as Craig noted that's not longer an issue today because most amps are class D, H or a hybrid like BASH. Rarely will they have any cooling fins, so orientation isn't an issue for them.
     
  20. 60 Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    bigshot

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    No matter what speaker you use, it won't be flat out of the box. That's because the room has as much of an impact on the response as the speakers do. In theory, any sub capable of producing sound loud at all frequencies can be made flat through equalization .It's easier to pull things back be EQing subtractively than it is to boost dips.

    I have a 12 inch Sunfire True Sub designed by Bob Carver. I don't think they make them any more, but Sunfires have huge power amplifiers that are designed to produce a lot of sound in a very small footprint. The way I calibrated my system was to listen to music that had descending bass patterns (Reiner's Marche Slav on Living Stereo is perfect for this) and calibrating the crossover by ear to try to balance all the notes as they descend. There is a Beatles song on the White Album that does the same thing, but right now I forget which song it is. When you EQ, you also need to balance the bass to the midrange and the treble, so you have to work the whole response at once in passes. The ear is more sensitive to imbalances at loud volumes and spikes need to be worked out progressively, so it's best to start at a low volume and work your way up. Relative volume of the six channels can make a huge difference too, so you are balancing two things that affect each other at once. That takes time and parallel parking to get right.

    When I had the entire audible spectrum on each of the 6 channels the way I wanted it, (it took about 2 months of listening and adjusting to get there) I called in a friend who is a professional sound mixer. His job is to EQ concert and club sound systems. He ran tone sweeps and checked to see if my ballpark EQ was correct. I only have a 5 band parametric equalizer, so my ability to do notch filtering on very narrow imbalances is limited,. But he verified that with just a small 2-3dB adjustment in the upper mids, I was as close as I could possibly get with my current equipment.

    The nice thing about subs is that the lowest octave is felt more than it is heard, so there's a lot more leeway there. The hardest thing to achieve is an even crossover at 80Hz from the mains to the sub and down to 40Hz. That's why I said before that the sub bass that shakes the walls is easy. The hard part is integrating the sub with the mains to make the bass smooth from top down.

    Hope this helps.
     

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