advance bass management ?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by sam_sark, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. sam_sark

    sam_sark Extra

    Jul 5, 2003
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    is it a good idea not to buy a subwoofer...i was looking at the B&W 600 series and Energy connoisseur series along with yamaha receivers 530/630....the salesperson said that the receivers have some sort of advance bass management system and can direct the bass to the other speakers if you do not have a subwoofer so one in essence would not need a subwoofer ? is that true ..can i do without buying a subwoofer?
  2. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

    Oct 23, 2002
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  3. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

    Sep 22, 2002
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    I'm not sure what is "advanced" about what the salesperson was describing, but he is correct.

    If you set your mains to "large", and your sub to "no/off", and the remainder of your speakers to "small", then the AVR will do the following:

    1) Send a full range signal to the L/R mains;

    2) Send the mains any low passed bass from any other speakers set to "small" (i.e., center, surrounds);

    3) Send the mains the LFE (".1") channel.

    Is this a good idea? Not in my opinion, unless you have extremely bass capable mains that can properly handle essentially all the bass present in today's hot DVDs.

    In almost all cases, you are far better off setting all your speakers to small, your subwoofer to on/yes, and running a high quality subwoofer off the sub pre-out jack at the back of the receiver. Let the sub shoulder the bass load; that's what it is designed to do. Your speakers and your receiver will thank you with cleaner and more dynamic sound.

    Check out this article, also.


  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Aug 19, 2002
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    What Ed said. To reproduce the VERY low bass well, and loudly for movies requires a very capable speaker. The vast majority of the time a subwoofer is the best thing for this because it is designed just for bass, and lots of it, and only bass. Designers aren't worrying so much about looks and mid-range and highs and imaging and all that stuff that is far more important in a full-range speaker, but just bass. It also gives you more placement flexibility, if you have very large floorstanding speakers and the amps to power them so that they can dish out lots of bass (which may or may not be good/loud/deep bass) their correct placement may not be at all where the bass will sound the best. Some large speakers have built-in amps, in essence creating powered subwoofers in those speakers, which are most likely capable of delivering a good amount of bass, but not nearly as much as a dedicated, high-quality bass-monster sub like an SVS and the like.

    So SOMEWHERE in your system, you need to have either a subwoofer, or speakers that REALLY can dish out lots of bass. The bass management the salesperson was speaking of is only capable of re-routing the bass to the subwoofer, or the speakers that can dish out that bass. Obviously, if you have no sub, and speakers that do bass poorly or not at all, you won't be hearing the bass as you should.

    There are a few people out there with very large, and very capable main speakers that won't need a subwoofer because their speakers really can dish out SERIOUS amounts of bass. Most often these "speakers" comprise of separate speaker and subwoofer towers or arrays, which essentially gives you the same thing as a subwoofer, in that the sub portion of the "speaker" can be placed separately. This is definitely NOT the norm, so almost always, no matter how big/bassy your mains may be, it's still better to have a dedicated subwoofer that is well-placed and calibrated, and send it all the bass from all your other speakers.

    The B&W 600 series is not bass-shy particularly, so they should suffice fine without a subwoofer for music, but not for movies.

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