Subwoofer placement: does it matter whether it's in the back or rear of the room?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Dave H, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I recently moved my sub to the back of the room. It was in the front right corner of the room. I moved it to the back right corner now.

    I did this because my speakers might have been too close to my TV (magnetic concerns).

    While they say bass is non direction, I can sense it coming from the back a bit.

    Does it matter, from a performance standpoint, which direction it's coming from? It seems like I'm getting a bit less bass, but I can also try increasing the sub volume a bit. Using the Radio Shack sound meter the sub is at the same volume as the regular speakers....which really means its about 3-5 db higher than my speakers, right?

    Also, one of the back corner's wall is shorter (kitchen opening) than the front corner....this might be causing less bass.

    EDIT: I should note that the sub in the back of the room is just behind (and to the right) of seating position.

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  2. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    All things being equal, it shouldn't. When the sub was in the original corner could you tell it was there? Harmonic distortion make it easy to locate a sub and room acoustics play a huge role.

    Hopefully one of the bass experts from this forum can help.
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    And that's exactly what you just demonstrated. Applause for the man[​IMG] The problem is that those same frequencies are influenced heavily by their surroundings, walls, flooring, furniture, etc. Change any of those or move the sub and the sub is bound to sound different--better? worse? Who knows but different for sure.

    And those same things can give you "interesting" effects that result in output in the range that can be localized, which may be what you're hearing. The bad news is that trying to predict what a sub will sound like in position "x" of real-world room "y" is very hard. The good and bad news is that you may not need to move the unit very far to get rid of a problem.

    Bottom line is that no, there's nothing inherently wrong with putting the sub behind you but its not recommended because while it is hard to localize a sub its not impossible. So keeping it somewhere near the front arc of speakers and screen is normally what is done. However, if you need it back there just play with the positioning until you get something you can live with -- don't go for the perfect, go for the "good enough" or "best I can do under the circumstances".
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Thanks, Dick. I have noticed that the volume was a bit too low on my sub. Increasing it has helped. However, this puts my sub volume about 5 db higher than my speakers...and since LFE is hot with the Radio Shack sound meter, it probably means it's closer to 10 db higher than my speakers. However, my sub is not bottoming out or anything.
     

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