Subwoofer selection help for a commercial application...

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Greg Fullerton, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Greg Fullerton

    Greg Fullerton Auditioning

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    I am in the process of putting together a subwoofer system for a bar/ restaurant. I mostly do all custom residential work, so I'm a little new to this arena. Hopefully someone here can lend some advise. I understand that I could contact some manufacturers directly, but I want to hold off on that until I get some feedback....

    The Bar area is huge, approx. 30,000 cubic feet of air space. There is a doorway that connects the bar area to the main dining room. The owner wants to add some "umph" to the ceiling speakers in the bar area due to the crowd noise on the weekends. He doesn't need a rock concert style system, just some much needed help. All of his ceiling speakers are being driven off of a Crown CH2 amp.

    I have looked into going with something like another Crown amp with a Sub like a Bag End. The problem is, where do we put the thing? It eats up some floor space.

    I have also looked at getting into something like 4 powerful home audio subs that can be tucked away. For this avenue I can go with MK, Earthquake or perhaps another brand.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions!!
     
  2. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Well, certainly a single sub isn’t going to work in a room that big, for a number of reasons.

    For one, the people near the thing will be overwhelmed if it’s up high enough for the people furthest away to hear it.

    Along the same lines you have the inherent delay problem, with the people farthest from the sub hearing both it and ceiling speakers directly overhead.

    Also, are the existing speakers using a 70-volt set-up? The fact that they’re all driven by a single amp tells me this is probably the case. If so, depending on the existing front-end equipment, it might be a little tricky integrating subs with them, especially active subs.

    Since this is for background music, you don’t need “powerful” subs or deep extension. Response down to 50-60 Hz will be more than adequate. Even that might be more than you want. The problem is that bass travels: Get too much extension and you’ll certainly be irritating the patrons in the dining room.

    The idea for a number of subs is excellent, but naturally you don’t want them all over the floor, where people who have been drinking will certainly be tripping over them. You’ve already indicated that space is at a premium, so the ideal placement is overhead – depending on the construction of the building, either above the ceiling, hanging from the ceiling or sitting on high shelves. Anyway you cut it, getting them overhead will require fabrication, rigging adequate and safe structural support, etc.

    I honestly mean no offense here, Greg, but your friend has made a classic mistake in consulting a home audio expert for a commercial installation. As you can see from the little bit of information I’ve given above, the two are worlds apart in application requirements, installation techniques and equipment needs. The best bet for the owner would be to get in touch with a local commercial/pro audio installation company.

    If you are really interested in pursuing this, I strongly suggest you post your questions at a forum for professional users, such as the Installed Sound/Contracting Forum at ProSoundWeb.com. All you’re going to get here is advice relevant to home theater.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Contact Mark Seaton at Sound Physics/Servo Drive; they offer unique bass solutions for commercial applications. www.servodrive.com
     
  5. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    All I can say is some pro help might be a good idea. Can get VERY complex to do well.
     
  6. Greg Fullerton

    Greg Fullerton Auditioning

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    I have already contacted a friend-of-a-friend that deals with this stuff. We are going to look @ it tomorrow.
     
  7. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    Greg,

    A pro consult would probably be best, but there are options you can look into.

    My company has a conference room that is approx 30,000 cubic feet (a little more actually), and while we don't use it for the same purposes as the room you're dealing with, it does have a pro sound system with most of the house speakers being flush mount ceiling speakers. There are 40 overheads and 2 front of house Yamaha Club speakers on stands. A couple of years ago we decided to integrate some bass into the system and wound up going with a couple of Community CSX sub boxes. They're a dual woofer box that's not exactly small, but it's footprint is much smaller than many pro audio subs. Something like this might not work for you with your floorspace shortage, but a solution like this will work and it's something you could do yourself it you needed to.

    I believe the exact subs we used are discontinued in the US now, but here's a link to some specs. They're the CSX 40 S-2

    http://www.loudspeakers.net/main/art...ndow.php?id=18

    BTW, the end result was better than expected. It's nothing to really write home about, but it adds an entire new diminsion to music in that big room.
     

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