SOS - Subwoofer Optimizer System

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marvin E, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. Marvin E

    Marvin E Stunt Coordinator

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    Here are the specs for a new unit, SOS - Subwoofer Optimizer System, which is being sold by Speaker City:
    The system is described as "an automatically calibrating, subwoofer optimization component, that acts to attenuate an audio system's major room mode resonance to provide significant improvement in measured and subjective bass system performance. After installation and calibration, your system will have a more linear frequency response, bass evenness, tightness, extension, and improved sound clarity." There are no reviews for this product. Automated Controlled Environments, Inc., the manufacturer, doesn't have a Website. So maybe there is an engineer on this forum that can give his opinion about the claims of this system.
    http://www.speakercity.com/Sos/SubwooferOptimizer.shtml
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I'd be curious as to more info.
    But to be honest, looks like it does the same thing automatically as I did with a BFD manually. For $119. [​IMG]
     
  3. Sreeni

    Sreeni Extra

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    Kevin,
    Showing my ignorance, but what is a BFD?
    -Sreeni
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Behringer Feedback Destroyer. It's a prosound piece that is meant to be used for preventing feedback in stage mics. But it also has a bunch of digital parametric EQ features (something like 5 different sets of 24 parametric EQ bands). So it also makes for one the cheapest ways to get a good parametric EQ on your subwoofer. Current model is the 1124P.

    The SOS almost surely does the same thing. Nice to see in thier example curve that it doesn't try and boost nulls. However, I doubt it will do as good of a job as a Rat Shack SPL meter and BFD. The trade off though will be the BFD method will take a lot of time to dial in unless you invest in some software, where as this thing is almost plug and play.

    Actually looking at that graph again I think the SOS can only applied 1 EQ filter (which could also be why it didn't try and boost anything). With the BFD you could further reduce the 45, 55 and 70 hertz humps present in their corrected graph.
     
  5. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    It looks like they used a bose module or something as the sub? Seems to be dead
     
  6. Marvin E

    Marvin E Stunt Coordinator

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    This reply from Speaker City:
    "This is a brand new product that is just hitting the market this month, and up to date has had great response. We are currently sending units in for review and expect responses to be posted on our web site soon. The data on
    our web site is the most current information available at this time.
    ACE-I is a manufacturer of systems and circuit design for many different applications, primarily the high tech industry. You can go to their web site for a complete description of the company at http://www.acei-ca.com/. Mr. John Bring is the designer of the SOS and has been involved with audio for many years, and if you have any further questions you can ask to speak with him."
    I plan to contact John Bring to get more information and post the results in this thread. I know for me, subwooder optimization has always been an issue.
    ME
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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  8. Thomas J. Coyle III

    Thomas J. Coyle III Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Marvin:
    I have to agree with Dustin about the BFD. He is right that you have to manually search out the peaks and dips in your subwoofer's response curve, but for the price you can't beat it. Audiocontrol's Richter Scale subwoofer equalizer uses a microphone feedback circuit, but it has been criticized because of the chirp frequency method used for auto-calibration. You really need a parametric equalizer like the BFD which I believe has two channels containing six parametric equalizers each. You can use a RatShack SPL meter or you can use one of the computer driven RTAs to do the job. Sonnie Parker has written an excelent tutorial on using the BFD for subwoofer equalization . You can see it on his website: www.snapbug.ws/bfd.htm.
    Regards,
    TCIII
     
  9. Sundar Prasad

    Sundar Prasad Stunt Coordinator

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    The BFD actually has 12 programmable parametric filters per channel, which potentially allows one to use all 24 filters in a cascade arrangement. However, most users will find that they can tame their room very nicely with 4 to 6 filters. I have been using 4 filters on the BFD with my sealed Shiva sub for nearly a year and it has been one of the best purchases I ever made. All one needs in addition to a SPL meter is a CD with test tones (which I made myself).
     
  10. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    Yep, BFD rules, and once you learn the controls it's actually pretty easy to use. Though I have to admit that you guys who do it by hand with an Excel worksheet you have a lot more patience and perseverance than I do. I strongly recommend that anybody using a BFD go and get the demo of ETF 5.x from http://www.etfacoustic.com - it will make calibrations much easier, faster, and more accurate.
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Can you do 1/12 octave measurements with that demo software?
     
  12. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I'm downloading the ETF now to see what the demo is and then maybe crack the serial code, jk.

    In regards to demo software and using a PC to record responses. Doesn't this largely depend on the quality and type of microphone and sound card used? I have a cheesy PC mic that I just don't trust to dictate the response using PC software. Also the microphone gets plugged into a separate breakout box from the PC so I might be losing more signal there.

    With a radio shack SPL meter and compensation numbers arn't ppl getting close measurements to the actual? At least the numbers should be the same with everybody that uses the rat shack meter given they are built with precision.
     
  13. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    The only limitation of the demo is that you can't save data files. 1/12th Octave, not really sure. All I know is it gives you a response curve from 2-200hz.
    RE: Microphones. I use the Radio Shack SPL meter for the mic, it has an RCA output that you can hook up to your soundcard's line-in. Getting everything hooked up can be a bit confusing at first, but this guide published by another HTF member is quite useful: http://www27.brinkster.com/jmag999/
    Note, for anybody who happens to be using a M-Audio Delta 410 soundcard, the hookup is slightly different from what's shown in the guide above, let me know if you need any help.
     
  14. Marvin E

    Marvin E Stunt Coordinator

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    I talked to John Bring, the developer of the Subwoofer Optimizer System yesterday for about an hour. His response to using the BFD and ETF software was that it was somewhat tedious to use. He also questioned the accuracy of both the Radio Shack SPL Meter and the whole BFD/ETF calibration process. His device, which he personally designed, has a variable parametric filter. The user places the SOS microphone in the viewing position and the built-in microprocessor automatically performs the calibration. Total time: 2 minutes. He said a great deal of interest has been shown by the professional HT installers because of the efficient way in which the SOS works.
     
  15. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Did he say how many parametric filters it uses? That is my concern. You surely won't need 24 of them, but you will also surely need more than 1 of them to do a proper job. Like Sundar said, 4-6 should do most people.
     
  16. Sundar Prasad

    Sundar Prasad Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to add that the RS meter + BFD will probably yield better results even if there is more sweat involved in the calibration process. I doubt that a package which costs less than 200 dollars (after accounting for development, profits, dealer markups etc) will include a microphone better than what the RS meter has. In addition, I get the feeling that the SOS provides only one parametric filter with a variable centre frequency, gain, and Q. Did I mention that a BFD also looks very cool (just wish I could shut off all the LEDs on it though).
     
  17. Marvin E

    Marvin E Stunt Coordinator

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    Sundar:
    How would you calibrate two subs using a BFD and the Radio
    Shack SLP? One sub is for the front soundstage and the other for the rear.

    ME
     
  18. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    I don't doubt that the SOS is easier to use, and I think this product can definitely find a market with people who are looking for something quick and easy who don't mind spending an extra $75 over the price of the BFD. I can think of a few people I know who I might recommend this product to. But I don't really think the tweakers on forums such as HTF are the target market for this device.

    I seriously doubt it can do a better job than manually EQ-ing with a BFD and RS SPL meter. If it could, they would be charging a lot more than $200 for it.
     
  19. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Marvin, with great difficulty. Are they both receiving the a sub preout signal (LFE plus whatever bass management directs them)? Or is the rear sub just handling bass from your surrounds (if so how do you have it connected into the surrounds and with what crossover settings)?



    Personally I'd love to see a unit you could put inbetween your processor's/receiver's sub preout and the amp that will power the sub that has the following.

    Adjustible rumble filter (say choice of several slopes and corner frequencies), a continously variable 0-180 phase control, and 6-8 parametric EQ bands. And possibly some sort of gain control or whatever is needed to allow consumer processors/recievers to better match with proaudio amps. Basically something like the SVS Bass Interface but with a bunch of parametric EQ bands too.

    If someone could deliver a unit like this in the $200 or less price bracket (I'm dreaming here I know :p)) I think it would be a real winner. Especially with the DIY crowd.
     
  20. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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