More bass?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Micah Wells, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

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    I have just finished installing, calibrating, and am beginning to enjoy my new Ht, thanks again to this forum for all of the great help. After alot of research I now own HTD level 3 package (w/ the inceiling for the rears), Panasonic XR50, Pioneer 563, and the Dayton Tiny Mighty. I received my copy of DVE yesterday, and using the RS Sound meter calibrated it this morning. I have read that the DVE can give different readings for the sub channel, but it all sounds good, even to my wife. The only thing is that I bought the sub as a hold-over until I could get what I really wanted, either an SVS or a DIY. I like the look of the cylinder subs, but.....

    Now my question. I have the gain set in the sub at about the 11:00 position. What do I gain by buying a bigger sub? If I need more bass, shouldn't I just turn up the gain a little more? I'm not sure if this makes sense, but in my mind the better sub will only yield more bass. But if the calibration is telling me to keep the gain turned down, what do I end up with? Sorry if this is confusing, but I need some clarification.
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    a "better" sub probably goes lower, more cleanly, than a "lesser" sub at a given calibration level
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    A better sub will not just give you more (louder) bass. A great sub, such as the SVS, will give you a broader, flatter spectrum of bass as well as more available output. What you have now may be giving you an SPL meter reading of (just to use reference level as an example, your sub is probably straining to hit these levels) 115dB at 40-50Hz, but it will roll off quickly to say 80db at 30Hz and be almost unheard at 16-20Hz. This is not "flat" bass response and means you are missing out on a good part of the lower bass spectrum. This "low trolling" bass is more and more prevalent in today's movies. An SVS tuned to 22Hz, like the box models, is "flat" to 22Hz, meaning there is as much output for a 22Hz bass sound as there is for a 50Hz bass sound. Believe me, the impact of 115dB 22Hz bass is unimaginable compared to the same output at 50Hz. The same SVS still has significant output down to 16Hz, which is at the point that it is "felt" rather than heard. No "flat to 30Hz, bumped up at 50Hz" sub is going to give you that.

    So to sum it up - Not only do you get more "loud" bass without straining, you get more "loud" bass at both ends of the bass spectrum, especially the lower regions. This is what separates a good sub from a great one - flat response and output without strain.

    Edit - Also, just because your gain level is set at 11:00, does not mean you have a lot more available output. Depending on calibration, your amp may be straining at 11:00. If the signal coming from the receiver is calibrated at reference, you sub may very well be reaching it's amplifier limit if you turn your master volume way up, regardless of where the gain is on the sub. The amp still has to make the power to make the required sound and if it lacks power, it won't make it there without distorition.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Micah,

    If your sub will get down to a solid 25Hz, and plays as loud as you need without bottoming out, then you probably don’t need a new sub. The only reason to get a bigger, more powerful model would be if you wanted better (read lower) extension, or moved to a new place with a significantly larger listening area.
    The calibration, assuming you’re using an SPL meter, is “working” from the hottest peak your sub produces, because that’s what the SPL meter is going to register. These peaks are room-related, so you are correct that to some extent, increasing the gain is much the same as getting a bigger sub. A bigger sub in the same room would exhibit much the same frequency response (again assuming that your current sub is already a capable performer in your room).

    Re the “peaking frequency,” every sub can benefit from some precise equalizing. For the money this would buy you much more improvement in performance than a bigger sub. Do a search on this Forum and the DIY and Advanced Projects Forum for “Behringer Feedback Destroyer,” “BFD,” etc. and you get enough reading material to keep you busy for days.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

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    Things are starting to clear up. If I amfollowig, the output from about 40hz to 80 hz will be somewhat the same, but when you get below the 30 hz range, the SVS will put out higher SPL than the Dayton. I understand that the better sub will also sound better throughout the whole range, but as I stated in my first post, the Dayton sounds pretty good already. But, then again I haven't heard an SVS, only the Velodyne, Klipsch, JBL, MTX, etc that you find in the big storees, and they usually aren't set up properly. I did listen to the HSU that is sold at Comp USA, but since everything else was not done (the only speakers that would work were a pair of KLH cubes), I couldn't get a good feel for this sub.

    So, if I do turn up the gain to get more output down low, then the upper ranges will be too loud, and throw off the callibration. The light bulb is coming on....
     
  6. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

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    Wayne, I have followed many of your posts and figured that you would suggest the BFD. My question was whether it was a good investment for my setup. But you answered my question, I had already kind of decided that I was going to get the BFD if and when I upgraded the sub. So you suggest that I go ahead and get it now, and maybe I will be happpy enough that I won't need to upgrade. Probably not, since I was going to upgrade anyway. [​IMG] Thanks, now I'm headed to your link to read up on the BFD.
     
  7. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I used to run the level III towers with the center and found it a very nice option for the $$. Congrats on your new setup. Had the Tiny Mighty for a while also to see how it compared to the Sony WM-40. One impressive little unit for the $$ imo I tell you.

    I understand your reasoning in your question but believe me there is much more to be experienced. The Tiny Mighty will not be able to play the lower hz material that appeals to most so much. Bass that you can feel as well as hear is bass nirvana. Good bass will be tight, defined, timed correctly, no over-hang, tonal and have a polite authority to it. Some will differ but generally this is what most of us are looking for. The next statement is taken out of a Thread here on the HTF. The poster (MikeHU) just upgraded to the PB2+.

    I was in Shock and awe (sorry to borrow the phrase, but I think it fit here better than in the war conflict). Between Dori tapping on the tank (Nemo), and Monsters, Inc., my whole couch/room/house was shaking with clean tight bass. I readily admit that I know very little of graphs, peaks, etc., but what I felt was a total immersion into the movie experience.

    You will definitely get the tiny mighty to play loud in your room but it wont have the depth, authority, quality of bass a SVS/right DIY product will have. It will not play a good deal of bass that is mixed on much material also. If you ever decide to make the move then you will truly understand what i'm humbly trying to covey.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Micah,

    Absolutely. No reason not to go ahead and get it now. May save you some money on an upgrade! If you find equalizing outstrips your headroom and you need a better sub, you’ll be even more impressed. Depending on your current sub and its headroom capability, you may be able to squeeze a little more extension out of it with the BFD.

    Bottom line, for the money you can’t go wrong with the BFD.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

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    Wayne

    I was referring to the upper range of the sub (50-90 hz). I own the Dayton Tiny Mighty, and since it is hooked up to the Panny XR50 that has a crossover point of 100 hz, I have the sub set at a little more than 100 hz. Is this correct as well? When I did the system sweep on DVE, it sounded as if everything blended pretty well.

    Are there different models of BFD and where should I look to purchase? I'm hitting the net now, but any help is appreciated. Thanks again.
     

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