Is it important to have a sub that can go below 20hz?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jesse Sharrow, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Im interested in getting a sub for my system. When Im looking at frequency response the only one ive seen go below is a sunfire. Is this important?
     
  2. Jeremy Stockwell

    Jeremy Stockwell Supporting Actor

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    Important? In relation to what, exactly?

    In the grand scheme of things, little having to do with HT is important, let alone having a sub that goes subsonic.

    Having said that [​IMG], more and more, there are movie soundtracks (and occasionally, but less often, music) that have content down to, and below, 20Hz.

    Having a sub that is capable of playing this low at audible levels is definitely a fun experience, but it's hardly necessary for enjoying most movies.

    Oh, and you can do better than Sunfire. Do a search on SVS, Hsu, or if DIY is a possibility, Adire, Stryke, (more over in the DIY section.)

    JKS
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    This is an interesting question for me too, because I've measured the sub that I have, flat to 21 Hz, and down 6 dB at 20 Hz. Been thinking about the SVS PB2+, but I haven't been able to justify the switch yet (mostly bacause of how *big* and *heavy* the SVS is). I guess mostly happy with what I have. But I'm curious too what the answers this question are... [​IMG]
     
  4. Richard_M

    Richard_M Second Unit

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    I would like to ask another question if I may, Is the transmission of this subsonic bass a problem with neighbours?
     
  5. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    My guess is that most neighbors would have problems with bass ... even if it's at 60 Hz.
     
  6. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    I've been told that you can't hear anything below around 22-20Hz. You can only FEEL it, which brings me to my PW-2200. It kicks you so hard in the ba...Errrr...you can feel it ALOT. [​IMG]
     
  7. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    You can feel my PB2+ at what I would call fairly low listening levels on certain power hits.. U571, and such standing outside on the front sidewalk. My family/HT room is in the back of my house. As the power hits subside and the freq. goes up (to what I don't have a clue but I assume like above 30-40) you cannot feel or hear it that far away.
     
  8. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Personally, I could never go back to a sub that doesn't perform well to at least 20 Hz. While tunes that low are rare, they are extremely fun!

    -Robb
     
  9. MingL

    MingL Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you kidding? I've vowed never to get another sub that doesn't hit 16hz loud enough to feel it convincingly and cleanly. And trust me, there are many subs I've measured that don't go anywhere near 20hz cleanly.

    There is just too many movies lately that reach below 20hz. Too many to ignore........
     
  10. Steve Lumbert

    Steve Lumbert Stunt Coordinator

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    Not an issue if you have a Buttkicker [​IMG] There is quite a bit of subharmonic material out there. My subs (2 Audio Pro B1.35s) start to roll off at 25Hz but the Buttkicker fills in the gap down to 5Hz.

    If I was in a situation where I couldn't run a tactile transducer, I'd go with a sub that could do 16-18Hz over one that didn't go as deep but may have a higher SPL.

    If you have money for a Sunfire, I'd seriously look at the SVS subs (box and tube designs) which offer multiple tuning options and subsonic filters to meet your personal taste.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My buddy's sub is tuned to 17Hz. More or less just vibration at that point, but WOW is it entertaining [​IMG]
     
  12. Andrew*L

    Andrew*L Agent

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    Sure it's important...but there are also other things to consider when getting a sub which may be even more important. Like....

    1. Sub size - How big is it? Too small, and the sub won't fill your room with adequate sound. However, the bigger it is, the harder to place in a room inconspicuosly(and move around when you're trying to integrate it with your existing speakers[​IMG] )

    2. Matching - Does the sub integrate well with your speakers. If its seamless, you won't be able to tell where your speakers leave off and where your sub kicks in.

    3. WAF(Wife Acceptance Factor) - Subs tend to be harder for partners to accept, since most of the time, they're big black boxes.

    4. Extension AND Loudness - Sub manufacturers love to list low frequency ranges in their specs, but the thing to remember is that as frequency decreases, output will also tend to decrease. Look for a sub that can maintain reasonably flat response at the lower octaves, as opposed to one who lists sub-20 hz extension at -dB levels.
     
  13. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Most humans can hear below that to down about 16hz,which after that we feel through our bones,as vibrations.
    What I like to emphasize is beyond to get a good sub is,to set it up correctly,and reduce room modes.Most rooms suffers from the typical 40-60hz room modes[boost],which many percives as deep bass,as it's often "masks" the lower fundamentals.But to answer to the question if you wan't to reproduce what's on some DVD's then yes it's important to have a sub like that.
     
  14. MingL

    MingL Stunt Coordinator

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    We could go on discussing about how sub-20hz affects us till the cows come home but talk is just purely academical.

    Most that say infrasonics matter usually already are enjoying the infrasonics experience.

    Notice that I've associated infrasonics as "experienced" rather than "heard" coz thats what sub-20hz is all about: Experiencing it! Thats probably also why tactile transducers are also so popular.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    You have to be really careful with manufactures frequency response specs. Most are white lies. Two of the worst would be BagEnd and Rel with their 8hz and
     
  16. MingL

    MingL Stunt Coordinator

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    Which reminds me of my REL Storm3.

    The specs say the lower end goes down to 18hz. Turns out that the 18hz is at -6dB point.

    Worst still, the irritating port noise and distortion occurs at approx 25hz, way way above the spec-ed 18hz..... the volume isn't even anywhere near reference.
     
  17. Trevor_J

    Trevor_J Second Unit

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    I'd say it's extremely important.

    I was at a friends house tweaking his FP that he just installed. After tweaking the image I asked him to put in the DTS version of 'Titan:AE' and skip to the Ice Field scene. He has 2 subs in his room and while the response and tactile feel from say 35hz and up while watching other movies was great the sound during the Ice Field sequence was severely lacking.
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Any decent (and I stress that word) sub can be integrated with just about any speakers. You should not be able to detect the transition regardless.
     
  19. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    what's the lowest frequency we can hear?
     
  20. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    We are starting to see quite a few DVD's with significant sub-20 Hz. activity. However, these are typically only fairly recent films or *very* liberal remixes of older ones. I have a Paradigm Servo-15 that does a pretty good job with low end material, but the honest truth is that I mostly watch older films, so it doesn't get a workout from movies that often! On the other hand, I often listen to pipe organ music that has plenty of harmonics well below 20 Hz.. My point is that your viewing and listening habits will have a big impact on the importance of a high quality sub.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that the subs used in movie theaters are typically not tuned to produce significant output below even 30Hz! It takes uneconomical ammounts energy (a function of cone displacement) to pressurize a large theatre with tight low-end bass. In this respect, a good home theater with a decent sub can easily surpass the megaplexes when it comes to quality bass!
     

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