What's up with all these small 1CF subs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StevenK, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    I've seen several small subwoofers in the press recently. These are quite dinky looking, yet are paired with a 1500Watt amplifier. The mags rave about them, but then they rave about anything. I'm considering picking one up and replacing my big ole 150W 12" Paradigm sub. I wonder if anybody here has experiences with these mini-subs and if they really are as good as advertised. And how are those amps rated...that is, is 1500 Watts truly 1500Watts or is a peak number only?
     
  2. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    my understanding (limited) is that for a sub to seriously go to 20hz or close to it, a few things need to happen, amoung them are, either the the box/enclosure has to be fairly large OR the box can be small but run with tons of power. Many other factors come into play, but that is just 2.
     
  3. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Hoffman's Iron Law.

    Extention; Effeciency; Enclosure Size

    Pick any two, the third will be dictated to you. When you get down to the 1ft^3 size it takes a lot more than 1500W to do 20hz at any significant level.
     
  4. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    I would think that it's cheaper to build a bigger sub than it is to incorporate a bigger amp. But I guess that's why these mini-subs cost upwards of $1000. I could definitely see the size being an advantage though.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    1CF subs = damn WAF at play
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Those small 1ft^3 (or smaller) subs require several things. First of all is a big ass amp. The smaller the enclosure, the more power it takes to reach a specified SPL at a particular frequency. The next thing that is required is a driver with HUGE power handling and excursion capabilities. Then substantial EQ/boost is needed to get any real output down into the 20Hz range.

    And Ned is right. These designs are dictated by WAF, just like an MTM center channel.

    Brian
     
  7. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Ned. These small wondersubs sell like hotcakes because they promise big bass without the big box. Whether they deliver or not depends on your definition of big bass. Some of the Sunfire models dance on the ground from all the sound pressure being generated. As a person living in New York City, I can understand the appeal of these tiny cubes. When space is at a premium, the appeal of a tiny, yet powerful, sub outweighs any badass 18 inch Velodyne or an SVS. It's a matter of appealing to a certain lifestyle. The people for whom these tiny subs appeal to would be the people upgrading from those expensive-ass Bose Lifestyle systems. For them, looks are more important than all-out sound quality, which means as unobtrusive as possible. But more power to them. At least we have our SVS and Hsu.
     
  8. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Ned. These small wondersubs sell like hotcakes because they promise big bass without the big box. Whether they deliver or not depends on your definition of big bass. Some of the Sunfire models dance on the ground from all the sound pressure being generated. As a person living in New York City, I can understand the appeal of these tiny cubes. When space is at a premium, the appeal of a tiny, yet powerful, sub outweighs any badass 18 inch Velodyne or an SVS. It's a matter of appealing to a certain lifestyle. The people for whom these tiny subs appeal to would be the people upgrading from those expensive-ass Bose Lifestyle systems. For them, looks are more important than all-out sound quality, which means as unobtrusive as possible. But more power to them. At least we have our SVS and Hsu.
     
  9. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    I'd like to see some independant testing specs on the lot of 'em to see which stack-up ...........
     
  10. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Yee-Ming,
    No speaker is designed to be laid on it's side. By doing so off axis response is compromised. If you sit directly in front of the center this isn't as much of an issue but anyone off center will notice dips in the response. Whenever possible the center speaker should be upright just like your left and right main speakers. Since most folks can't/won't/aren't allowed to place their center channel like this you see all these MTM speakers lying on their sides. Luckily, my wife doesn't mind the 12" high speaker standing on top of my RPTV. Of course, she did ask my it was angled forward. [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  12. John Desmond

    John Desmond Stunt Coordinator

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    For those who want WAF and small, I'd think the new ACI Force might be a nice compromise. It's a little bigger than 1 ft, but it is still pretty compact and attractively styled. I'm sure it won't play as loudly as the SVS etc., but I bet it will sound very good and go loudly enough for a lot of folks. Might be just the ticket for those that want to keep it small and attractive but not give up sound quality.
     
  13. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    Im a single male and dont want a HT to dominate my living room. These small subs fill a nich bigger than most here realize I thinks.
     
  14. John Desmond

    John Desmond Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark, I agree completely. I have many friends that are into audio and HT to varying degrees. Many of them don't mind spending some $$$. Most of them want it to look good and integrate visually with the room. I used the term WAF in my last post, but it is much more than that. It isn't just women who want it to look good. I can do anything I want in my home, but I'm not a fan of big black boxes/tubes etc. Luckily, there are many options available.
     
  15. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    As a side note - unless you have actually heard one, you really can't judge it.

    I have a Velodyne SPL1200. It is a tiny box, and produces very deep, clean bass. Now, it won't make an SVS or Hsu run for cover, but in the S&V review by Tom Nousaine, he was very impressed with it, and it measured very well. I also like the home theater to blend well with the room. Some people like all out muscle cars (performance kings, but lack refinement), and some people like BMW M5's (great performance with luxury and refinement). They both get the job done in different ways.

    Bryan
     
  16. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Stunt Coordinator

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    I would say, that regardless of size, almost nothing is as good as advertised. [​IMG], ..but if you have the need to accommodate a space problem and/or your wife’s or even (god forbid) your own esthetic preferences, then I would say that it’s better to buy a powerful, and sometimes expensive, little subwoofer than to go without any subwoofer, or settle for a marginal "woofer" pretending to be a subwoofer.
    On the other hand if you have the space why not go for the best you can afford, recognizing that bigger is not automatically better. Another point to consider is if you are interested in really deep and powerful infrasonic bass, then perhaps it's not a subwoofer you want at all. Perhaps you need one or more tactile transducers, which by the way, can usually be hidden a lot easier than any subwoofer.
    With regard to the ratings in advertisements, I think it’s safe to say that most are quoting peak watts.
    Larry
     
  17. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Larry:

    Cool HT! Especially surfing on your big screen. And your speakers, very nice.

    Rich B.
     
  18. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Stunt Coordinator

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    Richard:
    Thanks for the compliment regarding my home theater. It's very kind of you to say so, especially since I'm one of those poor unfortunate souls with one of those "tiny subs".[​IMG]
    Larry
     
  19. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    Larry:

    my anti-Bose crack wasn't meant to dis people like you who are not in a position to have the big box but want bass. BTW, you have a very nice home theater. My comment makes light of how these tiny cubes have no problems selling themselves when most of them cost over $1000, putting them out of the reach of the average home theater shopper. Then again, considering most of them get sold at places that sell Lexicon, Krell, and the like, I would hope Bose gear doesn't find its way into high-end shops.

    That being said, I've chosen to forgo deep bass in my tiny New York apartment. The worst part of it is, I know what I'm missing, and I miss it dearly. However, I wouldn't feel good with myself shelling out over $1000 for an apartment-friendly subwoofer that won't outperform a $500 Hsu or SVS. I've decided to suck it up and get by on a pair of Paradigm Atoms for now. Luckily for me, the stay in New York won't be permanent. Once I move back to California this summer, it's subwoofer time again!
     
  20. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I'm another one of those "little sub'' guys and I must say I'm quite satisfied with my True Sub Jr. No, I haven't seen it hopping across the floor lately. Even folks with ranch style homes in the suburbs have space limitations. New York apartment-dwellers haven't cornered (pardon the pun) the market in that arena.

    Some of us just don't want a huge black box (or cylinder, for that matter) in the family room. I've seen the True Sub Jr. rated at 25Hz, which is good enough for me anyway. My Jr. mates quite well with my B&W CDM1SEs.
     

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