help! MUST a subwoofer sit on the floor?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by eddieZEN, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    I have an IKEA Oppli media shelf, it's 59" wide x 20" deep x 16" high with 2 rows of shelves underneath. (I'd post a link to the Ikea photo but am not allowed to in this forum until I've had at least 15 postings.)

    On top of it is a 20" TV and a Sony compact system, in between 2 small bookshelf speakers on the sides. My powered sub is on the floor next to it.

    When my new receiver arrives on Thursday, I'll put it in the center bottom shelf and get rid of the Sony compact on top.

    This should leave me just enough room to squeeze the subwoofer into its place, next to the TV and with the two bookshelf speakers remaining at the sides. Is that a good idea?

    Questions:

    1. I'm assuming the sub is shielded, but how will it and the TV affect each other in terms of heat, vibrations, interference, etc.?

    2. How will having the sub right next to a speaker affect each other?

    3. How will the sound of the subwoofer be changed by having it 15 inches off the ground, but more centered to where I'll be sitting? Will it result in a big drop in bass output?

    If this is a completely idiotic idea, by all means let loose! :b
     
  2. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't place the sub there, not because it MUST be on the ground, but because it is very unlikely that on the rack will be the best place to get good bass response. Others will no doubt chime in with better explanations as to why (I'm not a sound engineer) but I have experimented extensively with sub placement in the last 4 months and I don't think the position you describe is at all optimal.
     
  3. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    1. Almost all subs are NOT shielded.
    2. A lot of the sound from the sub comes from the sound waves bouncing off the floor and walls. Placing it in the air would reduce the output.
    3. The deep bass waves will vibrate the heck out of the cabinet. Not only is that bad for the furniture, but it is also going to cause a lot of vibrating noises.

    You would be best to leave it on the floor.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If the sub is boomy, raising it off the ground might actually help, but in this case I don't think it would be the way to go. Placement in a rack is generally not a good idea for the reasons Brian mentioned, most notably the fact that very few subs are shielded. Start with the sub in a corner somewhere out of the way.
     
  5. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Thanks guys!

    I was hoping that since it's a forward firing sub not a downward fire one it might sound better facing me, but after hearing all of your feedback I'll perish that thought.

    John: the sub (a cheapie JBL E150 at 10" and 150 RMS) is okay but not incredible, part of the reason being that the room is fairly big with high cathedral ceilings and my entertainment center is against the center wall. If I could do it again I'd spend the extra $40 for the E250 (12" and 250 RMS)

    I was trying very hard to avoid having wires running across the floor to trip over on, but I just might have to bite the bullet and get a long sub cable to move it to a corner opposite of the entertainment center, next to my futon. And since I'm doing that, I might as well include two extra speaker cables to get some surround sound going on!

    Hee hee, my wife's gonna kill me... [​IMG]
     
  6. Eric Ha

    Eric Ha Stunt Coordinator

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    You know, this raises an interesting question. Back in the 80's when I had large JBL floorstanding mains, I put them on 12" stands to reduce "boomyness". They sounded much better, and still had a nice amount of clear sounding bass. Wouldn't this also work for my SVS PB12Plus/2? It has way more headroom than I need, and could increase the sub's gain to compensate for any loss of room gain. Has anyone tried this? Should I not go home tonight and put that hulk of a sub on my ottoman to test the theory?
     
  7. Nick Bum

    Nick Bum Stunt Coordinator

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    Dont put it on an ottoman! That will muffle the sound and it might very well sound like crap. If your going to raise it up their will be two ways to do it. In live sound we will put a sub on the cealing sometimes, or hang a sub by chain. But the best thing to do if your not going to put it on the floor is to get a good stand. Otherwise it wont be grounded well enough for it to have a good sound.
     
  8. Eric Ha

    Eric Ha Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Nick,

    I was half kidding about the ottoman. However, there are two schools of thought on what to set a speaker on. One camp says use a firm base to ground it as you say, the other is to isolate the speaker from the floor to eliminate resonances through the floor and walls. I think I'm going to experiment with both isolation as well as height.
     
  9. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    If on your rack I would really worry about any vibrations taking their toll on your TV and gear.
     
  10. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Put it on the floor. The floor and any walls act as waveguides for the long-wavelength bass frequencies the subwoofer makes. If you put the sub in the corner, you can get some extra reinforcement to the output.
     
  11. Jeremy_R

    Jeremy_R Stunt Coordinator

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    There is a product called a subdude that is available at sweetwater.com. It is supposed to decouple the sub from the floor and make the bass better.

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SubDude/

    There are some threads on this forum about these you can find by using the search.
     

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