Dual or Single Subwoofer Theories?

Harley

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Aug 11, 2001
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91
I was wondering about subwoofer theories.

Would it make more sense to buy two $500-$1000 subwoofers as opposed to buying one $1000-$2000 subwoofer?

I realize that for a small room, one would be enough, but in a medium to large room would the more expensive (hopefully better quality) subwoofer perform as well as two lesser priced ones.

The reason I'm inquiring is that I'm on a budget and I cannot afford to buy top-of-the-line, so I'm seeking the best I can afford and then have to live with it for quite some time.

Harley
 

John F. Palacio

Supporting Actor
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Jan 6, 2002
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575
Harley.

Just giving a price range does not provide enough information. Do you have a particular make and model in mind? Also it would help if you give room dimensions as well as listening level preferences and whether you listen primarily to music, HT or both.

John
 

Harley

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Aug 11, 2001
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91
Do you have a particular make and model in mind?

NO

Also it would help if you give room dimensions

28X13


as well as listening level preferences and whether you listen primarily to music, HT or both.

Both


I should have said: As a general rule which is better one or two?

I remember on another site there was a debate as to whether one or two subs was the way to go and it turned into a war which ended up having nothing to do with the question "Is one sub as good as two"

So I guess my question is also for others as well as myself.

I would like to see opinions related to the pros and cons of one or two, no matter what size room you have.

Harley
 

John F. Palacio

Supporting Actor
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Jan 6, 2002
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"I should have said: As a general rule which is better one or two?"
Two "A" subs will double (+6dB) their output if placed next to each other. However one sub "B" could surpass two "A" subs.
"I remember on another site there was a debate as to whether one or two subs was the way to go and it turned into a war which ended up having nothing to do with the question "Is one sub as good as two"
Two will ALWAYS give you more output. Some will claim that you will loose "speed" or "tightness". If you place two subs in different locations in the room, it becomes a new ball game as now you are dealing with other variables such as phasing.
What are your listening levels?
 

Marc H

Second Unit
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Aug 22, 2001
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In general, two is very nice. It evens out the bass response throughout the room and minimizes hot spots.
 

Dustin B

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It depends on output, extension and sound quality.

Pairing subs does not improve sound quality (well it does in the sense of extending clean output, but not over all sound quality) or extension. If coupled properly they will produce a 3dB increase because of a doubling of input power (two amps) and another 3dB increase because of a doubling of cone area (two drivers).

Preferences vary for what capabilities are most important to the listener. But you'd have to listen to/ measure the two options to see which one fits your desired profile of output, extension and sound quality.

You can get all three pretty cheap from DIY. SVS/Adire/Hsu come the closest to giving you all three at a reasonable price.
 

Charles Gurganus

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Mar 2, 1999
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689
A sub like the NHT subtwo, which has 2 10inch drivers, may also be a good choice, if you can find one. This discontinued sub that listed for $1200 can be had for $800. And with 2 drivers in the box, one might be enough. That is a big room though so 2 would be great.

Been hearing great things about the HSU VTF-3 as well. Similar in price range to the NHT subtwo but with lower extension. Two VTF-2's ($500 each I think) would work as well.
 

Doug_NHT

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May 9, 2002
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I use two NHT Sub2i subwoofers with the 12'' drivers. I have NHT VT2.4s and VS2.4s(5) for my mains and surrounds. Having the subs in stereo makes a big difference. Since they are connected to the sub controller with continuaously variable phase and high/low pass filter settings, one can integrate these subs seamlessly into your system. Yeah, since the evolution series is out now, it may be next to impossible to find this model anymore. When I just had one sub2i, I was experiencing some serious bass loading in one corner but now that doesn't happen.

Doug
 

Stephen_Dar

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Feb 8, 2002
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Here's my experience so far. I searched about, did some listening, decided I wanted to avoid loose, bloated bass above all else (listen to mostly Classical, Jazz, and movies), so I bought a Bag End Infrasub to go with my B & W Nautilus 803s. I was curious about this multi-sub thing too as some people (magazine writers) have been claiming they can hear directionality in their subwoofers, and they need more than one. Well, my experience so far is that the bass I'm getting is pretty darn non-directional. In fact, when I play the combination together, I have the very strong sensation that the additional, subtle bass boost I'm getting (I keep the Bag End around a quarter volume up to maybe 2/3s on music) is actually coming from my front speakers! Very strong sensation. So, again, no expert here, but so far I experience bass as very non-directional and I would vote for a single good quality sub over the dual cheapies.

One other practical reason for that - a friend bought one of those $500 subs recently, a paradigm, and it sounds absolutely horrendous. Nasty bass bloat reminiscent of the car-mounted subwoofers you hear in kiddie cruiser cars. An amazing difference considerign my Bad End is only $1200. To me, $500 spent on crap is a terrible way to use money if you could double it and get quality.
 

Michael R Price

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Jul 22, 2001
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IMO, all your bass should be coming from one place. If you have dual subwoofers, stack them. When sound comes from two separate sources, you get cancellations, which are bad.

Anyway, I'd say you're likely to get more output from a pair of $500 subs and better sound quality from a single $1000 sub. Just a general rule of thumb though. If you have specific products in mind, it would be easier to tell though.

I personally can't hear where bass comes from and I don't think many of you can either. I really don't get the stereo subs craze.
 

jason celaya

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Jul 1, 2001
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depends greatly on the sub. I'd start with the best you could afford (probably will be enough) then add the same sub later and really have some low end extension
 

steve nn

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Jan 12, 2002
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I was going to post the same question today myself. When I first started out I bought a WM-40 Sony to go with my Kenwood 504 and it did quit well. I have many openings in my HT room- the living room. I use the Vel ct-150 now same as the cht 150. I was going to order the VTF-3 then I got to thinking if this dealer I know still had his demo. He does and he said he would sell it for $399 with the warranty. I have been very happy with this unit and feel it has allot to ofer at $399. I definitely do not need another sub but some of you know how it is. I run mine at 3-4 with a range to 10 and the receiver at -4 to +4. Depends on mood and who is home. Calibrated correctly -1. I could get the VTF-2 but would not be the same sub but probably would integrate just fine. The VTF-2 is down firing so if I did stack the ct would have to go on top? I don't know, the ct is quit a cube. If I were to stack two ct's that would be no problem. I could try separating them either or and see what the meter says. Choices are great but it can complicate decisions. O and then I could just forget about all this and just order the VTF-3 and just run it. Come to think of it-- I could try the 3 with the ct? Another option.
 

Carl Gaff

Second Unit
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Jan 26, 2002
Messages
281
I also had this dilemma. I posted a similar question on the forum but only received a couple of responses. I decided the best way to find out was to try 2 subs VS 1 sub. My original sub was a Velodyne CHT-15 (350 watts). I thought the bass and clarity were excellent but felt the response was a little slow. I added a Velodyne SPL-1200 (750 watts)and what a difference. I have the CHT-15 along my left wall and the SPL-1200 in the right front corner. I'm still working on the fine tuning part(the volume,crossover points and final placement) but I'm getting closer to the sound I want. I have them set so the 15''handles the lowest bass frequencies and the 12''handles the "higher" bass. As for price: I paid $450 (new) for the CHT 15 just before Christmas last year. I paid $750 (new) for the SPL 1200 just last month. It was worth the price!! Don't buy cheap under powered subs. You'll cheat yourself out of clarity, power, response and longevity. If you have to buy one good sub now and save some money to buy another good one later, do it.
 

Carl Gaff

Second Unit
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Jan 26, 2002
Messages
281
Steve I made a mistake. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I humbly apologize for listing power ratings on my sub that were 50 watts off. The CHT is in fact listed at 300 watts. Man, I didn't expect to make an honest mistake and be corrected on a post that had nothing to do with power and everything to do with 1 Sub VS 2 subs. I hope the call to Velodyne to check up on my post was at least toll free!!
 

steve nn

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Jan 12, 2002
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Whoops! Carl I am sorry. I did not want that to come across like I guess I did. " please forgive. I made the call about two months ago actually. I had been coming across conflicting web sight info so I gave them a call. The CT is the same as the cht--300-750. The front grill is a little different though. Once again this shows me how I need to be careful. If you can't here my tone or know me, how are you supposed to know how I mean a question.
 

steve nn

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Jan 12, 2002
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Thanks Carl. I would like to send a mail your way since we both own the same sub, but you having a second sub to. I don't see to much on the ct or cht subs on this forum. I don't want to sack Harley's post.
 

Harley

Stunt Coordinator
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Aug 11, 2001
Messages
91
Well I guess that there is no real consensus on which way to go, each reply makes sense which is very confusing.

Let me modify my original question of "Is one better than two", if you use two subs what would be the consequences of using two different brands, and what if one goes lower than the other, would this be unacceptable?

Harley
 

Bill Lucas

Supporting Actor
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Mar 20, 1999
Messages
530
Harley,

I disagree entirely with the stacking theory. While it is true that there may be cancellation at certain frequencies it is also true that stacking subs will only make room mode problems worse. Properly placing two subs on adjacent walls can offer smoother response than single placement of multiple subs. Regards.
 

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