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When Were Subwoofers Invented?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck C, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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  2. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    Q: When were subs invented??
    A: About a year and a half ago by Ron Stimson and Tom Vodhanel. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Actually this is a neat trivia question. I'm clueless so does anyone have a clue.
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    William
    Go Bucs!!
    MyDVDs
     
  3. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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  4. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    I'm might be way off here but I though Infinity invented the subwoofer way back in the late 60's early 70's, but most audiophile back then dislike them. It took till the 80's and the advent of dolby stereo to make them popular.
    This is simply a possibility that I have heard, I don't know if it is true or not.
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  5. John-D

    John-D Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmmm I think M&K would be right up there in the list of pioneers..
    and Dr. Hsu for cylinders sold commercially I guess.
     
  6. DaleB

    DaleB Stunt Coordinator

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    M&K capitalized not specifically the subwoofer, but the sub used with satellites. I believe the idea of adding a sub to a full range system goes further back, but I may be wrong here. First time for everything :}
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    I first read about them in the mid-’80s in magazines like Audio and Stereo Review. They were pretty scarce back then, though, because most decent speakers with extension to 40Hz could reproduce 99% of available music.
    That said, I’m sure they have been in limited use in professional installations since at least the mid-’70s.
    There wasn’t much need for subs in home systems before home theater equipment became available. I found Dolby Surround processors in my old Audio annual equipment directories as far back as 1986 (the earliest issue I have). There were also numerous receivers already available with video inputs and surround processing (can’t tell if it was Dolby Surround or merely synthesized music surround modes, though.) This directory also shows that subwoofers were available (although not yet so common that every manufacturer had them), as well as a few sub-sat speaker systems.
    Obviously, it is impossible to point to a specific date when subs became popular. Their popularity has mirrored the growth in popularity of home theater itself. It seemed to start really taking off in the early 90s with the advent of Dolby Pro-Logic receivers.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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  8. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    I could not find any definitive dates as to when THE 1st sub arrived.
    One of the first subwoofers I can remember is the Janis W1. (I also found the W2 and System 3 in an old Audio Directory.) The W1 was a 15", passive, 100 pounder. It was rated down to 30 Hz flat. (With today's technology, a 15 incher can easily go to 20 Hz.)
    Also in the early 70's, M&K came out with their subs. There have been a few interviews with Ken Kreisel. He started by building custom woofers for customers in the audio shop he worked in for Miller (can't remember his first name.) Word of mouth eventually brought to where M&K is today. One of the 1st powered woofers M&K sold was called the Volkswoofer, which had a 12" driver, weighed 66 pounds and included a 60 watt amp unit.
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    [Edited last by Chuck Kent on August 28, 2001 at 10:48 PM]
     
  9. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    This is the first home system sub I remember seeing circa 1968. http://follgott.tripod.com/Servo_Sta..._static_i.html
    Arnie Nudell, the founder of Infinity and Genesis invented the Servo system like Velodyne uses for subs in the early 60's I think. Quite the forward thinker!
     
  10. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    I believe Al Gore invented the subwoofer back in the 60's [​IMG]
    This is an excellent question. Nothing better than bits o' trivia like this to share with friends over a cold one... (Sounding like Cliffy Claven - "Most people don't know this, but the subwoofer was actually invented...")
     
  11. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Hard to say precisely but M&K have been marketing them since the early 1970's.
    Mark Levinson created the first 'MTM' design called the "HQD", (Hartley, Decca, Quad) again in the early 1970's. It consisted of a pair of Quad ESL's separated by a Decca ribbon tweeter, the bass was augmented by a single 24" Hartley subwoofer. The price tag then (1972)was $15,000 for the set-up
    I've used DIY dedicated subs since 1974
     
  12. Michael Roderiques

    Michael Roderiques Stunt Coordinator

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    If you listen to him, Bob Carver invented the sub-woofer
    way back in 1997.
     
  13. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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