Frustrated at bass response-- EQ? Room? Need suggestions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KyleGS, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Here's my problem. Here's my room layout.
    I'm running a 122L sealed Tempest with a PE250.
    I have a huge "suckout" in the center of the room at my listening spot.

    1)I've tried moving the sub to the two corners adjacent to the entertainment system.

    2)I've tried the sub right next to the ent. system on both sides.

    3) I've put the sub under the window on the front door wall.

    4) I've tried the sub under the kitchen window.

    In all these places I hear "mediocre" response at best at my listeing position. When I walk towards the kitchen wall or front door and near the wall behind the couch the bass sounds effortless and detailed. On my SPL I can get around 10db increase by walking a few feet AWAY from the couch. Is this because I am not around any boundaries at the couch?
    I don't think an EQ can help--- can it? Is my only option to re-arrange my entire living room to suit my bass needs? I've thought about a mono-31band or parametric EQ.

    I've thought about doing two things- putting the couch under the kitchen window and putting the entertainment system, speakers, and sub under the front window. This would take away an end table.

    Other option....try to EQ the hell out of it to get a sound I like.

    Thanks ahead of time to anyone kind enough to help me. I want my Tempest to sound like a Tempest. [​IMG]
     
  2. Andrus_R

    Andrus_R Stunt Coordinator

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    have u tried just placing the sub right next to you/couch?
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Kyle,

    It is the nature of low frequencies to “chase” boundaries, especially if the sub is near one. Therefore it is perfectly natural, with your couch in the center of the room, to hear and measure an increase in bass levels the closer you move to a boundary. There is nothing you can do about it, and as you can see re-locating the sub won’t help that situation. Neither will an equalizer. But it shouldn’t really be a problem, practically speaking – unless you roam around the room during movies...

    What an equalizer will help is the “mediocre” bass situation at the listening position. Any sub can use equalizing, because the room induces anomalies that adversely affect frequency response. A parametric EQ is a better choice than a 1/3-octave model. You may well find that after equalizing for optimal response at your listening position that things sound worse the closer you move to a boundary – just the opposite of what you’re getting now.

    That was the case in my room. I have my primary seat away from the walls, like yours. I found that after equalizing, response was acceptable at all seating away from the walls, but was boomy at the seats against the wall.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Well I would normally ignore the response and just listen to the sub like it is...however I have to turn the sub up quite a bit to get the response I want. I live in an apartment and when I get to cranking on the gain to get acceptable levels at the listening position, the walls of the apt. start bowing. [​IMG]

    I think I may try an EQ- I guess it couldn't hurt and I could always use an eq no matter how the sub performs to get it extra flat.

    Andrus_R-- I haven't tried it in that location b/c it would require moving an end table. However when the fiance is out I may try that out just for curiosity's sake.

    Thanks guys
     
  5. John E Janowitz

    John E Janowitz Second Unit

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    Kyle, you can try the reverse placement method... Not sure if that's what it's really called, but that is what I call it. Place the subwoofer in your listening position up on the couch. Then go around the room and measure the response, or just listen, and determine where it sounds best to you. Then place the sub in that position.


    John
     
  6. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    Go to Harman's website and read up on their technical white papers, specifically the one on getting the bass right. and anything else you see there that is interesting. A lot of the same information is available from Infinity (a Harman company).

    Use the Excell spreadsheet on the page to calculate your room's resonances. I am sure that you will find that your seating position is over top of several nulls. One of the only ways to fix that is to move the seating position. Read about it in the white papers.
     
  7. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    John- I just tried that out 2 minutes ago. I found the very best response via ear and SPL at the original location in the front right corner. I suppose I have it in the best location for the current listening position. Can an EQ help in this situation? Is the null so strong that an EQ is helpless? Ex. if 30hz is 10db down can I dial up +10 on the 31.5 hz band and voila? Even if that did work I don't have the headroom for that...
    I don't really have many options on rearrangement. I'll play around with the couch location more.

    Aaron- thanks for the link, looks like I have lots of reading to do (during Pharmacology) class [​IMG]
     
  8. John E Janowitz

    John E Janowitz Second Unit

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    Kyle,

    As a rule, you generally don't want to boost more than about 3dB. It's ok to cut by more, but if you're trying to fill in a null, it generally won't happen.

    I had the same issue in a past apartment I lived in. I found one solution that may or may not be possible for you. I actually elevated the sub so it was placed in the corner about 4ft off the ground.

    I had originally stood up on the couch and noticed that up closer to the ceiling there was no null like I heard when sitting. I moved the sub up about 3ft off the ground, and as a result the null moved away from my direct sitting position.

    John
     
  9. John E Janowitz

    John E Janowitz Second Unit

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    Oh and as a note to this, after finding that a better position was about 3ft off the ground, I built a new subwoofer. I just built in a large base so that the woofer was located at the same height that I had found optimal.

    John
     
  10. Stephen Dodds

    Stephen Dodds Second Unit

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    If you are finding nulls when the sub is at a boundary I agree your best bet would be to place the sub as close as possible to your couch. Directly behind you would be where I'd start.

    This way you get as much direct sound as possible. Having the sub there also makes for a dandy couch vibrator too.


    Steve
     

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