Dedicated HT Sub

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Samuel Des, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Just curious: Do you use your sub solely for HT use?
    My full range speakers seem to do very well for HT. Based on my experience, it is difficult for me to imagine the advantages of complicating the equation with an outboard sub (though I have no doubt that a sub will work for other people!). [​IMG] I can remember a few DVDs where the speakers did VERY well.
    One member once admonished me when I posted a similar question elsewhere, saying to realize full HT, one must have a sub. Most of the time when I demo, though, it just seems to me as though things are louder, not better.
    Anyway, just soliciting opinions and impressions, while posting my own. I have a feeling that the response will largely be in the sub corner. Didn't subs used to be looked down upon?
     
  2. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    My setup gets used for both 2ch audio (2.1 actually) and HT. For me, the sub is a requirement for decent 2ch music as well as HT.

    My towers will only (cleanly) reproduce down to about 47hz before they start rolling off. There is still plenty of musical bass below that. Towers that will play cleanly down to 25hz or so are rare and quite expensive. They also do not offer the same placement options that a seperate sub does. Some would argue that the placement and x-over options a seperate sub provides increases the listener's ability to get a better and more accurate acoustic response at a competitive price.

    --Steve
     
  3. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Steve - That's a good point. I probably AM missing some bass. If I get a chance this weekend, I'll go visit tweeter, and report my impressions.
     
  4. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Sam,
    Most mains, even massive ones, start to roll off HARD in the 35-55Hz range. They just can't reproduce deep bass at what most folks would consider satisfying levels of sound. Plus having bass even that deep in multiple locations in your room often leads to a nighmare of phase cancellation which can further attenuate what actually gets to your ears in the critical 25-63Hz range. The 80Hz bass crossover (more or less defacto THX standard) was not arrived at by accident.
    Look at some of the "waterfall" charts here:
    http://svsubwoofers.com/faq.htm#moviedemos
    and notice that you are probably now missing close to a 40Hz "window" of audio information that will astound you when filled with accurate sound. Once you have heard a quality subwoofer (there are many out there) in your system, and have it properly set in terms of location and level, I don't believe you will ever go back. Even for two channel music the difference can be startling. Let's be charitable and say your system is strong and flat to 35Hz (sometimes with really high-quality and large mains this is possiblem, but typically only at relatively low sound pressure levels or SPL. That is to say, you might get fairly low in frequency extension but only at SPLs that are essentially inaudible. Once the wick is turned up in volume, the deep bass in that region will distort or grow increasingnly "peaked" so that say 45-64Hz is many times louder than 25-45Hz, which is NOT what you want of course)....then look at what audio is just flat out being lopped off now.
    Perhaps you heard a "boomy" sub before. Probably it wasn't set up correctly in terms of its level vis a vis the main speakers. Poor subs and or bad setup CAN sound bad, no question. I shudder to think how many cars thumping on the side of the road, or just plain crappy subwoofers in HT environments have convinced some people that "they don't like subwoofers". But losing all or most of the information below 35-55Hz is much much worse in my book. Getting the bass without it "just sounding louder" is much easier and less complicated than you might think.
    I liken the difference to getting a new correction in your eye glasses (if you have them), or getting a tune up for an old car. You rarely notice what's missing until you fill the gap. For moderate levels of pop music a good set of mains is all you really need; but I agree that a home theater without a good subwoofer is missing a major ingredient needed for true theater sound satisfaction. I'd no sooner recommend someone set up a HT without a DVD player or a Dolby Digital receiver than run without a good sub (above and beyond business concerns, I'm a HT enthusiast first and foremost). Some folks are 100% pleased by mono VCR's played thru TV speakers. They aren't after TRUE HT sound obviously. If YOU are, subwoofers are critical I believe.
    There is a wide degree of variance in how much real bass various movies and music tracks contain, but even the worst "tin ear" will note a large improvement in sound with a good subwoofer. In store demos are a good start but there is no substitute for integrating a sub in your home system and living for it a while. Try to get a demo unit with the proviso you can return it if you want to shop around some more.
    Ron
     
  5. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Ron - That was an amazing response. Thank you for the info. I didn't know that you guys had expanded the site. got some reading to do. Thanks again.
     

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