I have always been a fan of sealed setups. But carefuly designed bass reflex setups can near the quality of an acousticly suspended box (cad has really helped the design of bass reflex systems tremendously)
My mains are ported... it's how they can get the output and extension out of a pair of 10's.. But I would rather have 2 sealed 12's
I have a Yamaha NS-1000x with sealed acoustic suspension design. The specs claim it goes down to 40Hz and in reality it does go down around 45Hz. However the bass performance is magnificient at that range.
I also have Yamaha NS-300 towers with dual 10" woofers which claim to go down to 35Hz. It goes there most of the times but not as tight as the older NS-1000x with acoustic suspension design. However unlike the NS-1000x, the NS-300 are of narrow design and much lighter compared to the 50lb NS-1000x mid tower beasts.
Yeah that's one key area where Bass Reflex comes in handy and that's packaging size. My Towers footprint is roughly 7" wide and like 15" deep (32" tall) and they go down to 32Hz (Tuning) and roll off from there.. They do 20Hz but down -15 by the time they get there.. And they get a bit flabby below tuning.. Down to FS they are very tight.
Yeah as much as we're not suposed to admit it I do like my speakers to look as good as they sound (Don't tell anyone I said that ok? Shhh....) Slender and tall with a low footprint is preferable for taking up minimal space yet having enough internal volume for large drivers.
I certainly won't argue Bass Reflex has come a long way and with proper design the Transient Response and Group Delays can be "close" enough to that of an Acousticaly Suspended design and as long as you don't go below tuning on the Bass Reflex it will remain tight and fast. But take it below the tuning (as is the case with my AR9's) and they do tend to get flabby that is just the nature of the beast with any Reflex design running unloaded below it's tuning.
But down to 32Hz it's amazing how tight and accurate they are even compared to my dual sealed 12's in my car which are very tight!
I wish I had an answer for this. I'll simply say that the world of speakers involves trade-offs and you can find excellent as well as poor examples of both. Sealed though I think is easier to build for the DIY person.
To me, there is no answer. It's like asking "Which direction should someone travel from their home to get the best restaurant meal - East or West?" There's no right answer - it depends on where you live.
When it comes to audio, it's not the "design philosophy", it's the "designer's skill".
Thanks for your response Kevin. I understand what you are saying and agree. I just wanted to see what people prefer, sort like a poll for interesting reading for all. I like to to hear what audio enthusiast are thinking.
People on this board are very intelligent you can always learn something from someone or just have fun reading others thoughts on certain topics.
I personally dont see one being better than the other it truely comes down to drivers/design used & what is going to be the the use of the speaker itself. My home sub is ported but because of it being an 8" sub etc it still retains a very clean even and fast response and sounds great. My old car sub was a JL Audio 12" sealed enclosure and most people could not believe how low and hard it hit yet remained an outstanding quality and tightness. I think alot of car audio people come under the influence that a ported enclosure hits lower, and harder and uses less power than a sealed setup and quite frankly its just not true. like I said I really think it comes down to drivers used and design used.
Well it's true there is no clear cut winner and both have thier trade offs. But there are certain truths about each that are long based in fact. One of these facts is that a sealed enclosure has better dampening control and will let you run more power into the same speaker without loosing cone control.
Ported designs have good cone control untill you dip under the tuning frequency and that's where everything comes unloaded and you can easily over extend a cone in this manner. That's why the HT guys will generaly run a subsonic filter on a real crazy ported sub because the last thing you want to happen is tune it to 20Hz and have it come unloaded playing a 17Hz tone and shoot the cone out of the basket
Either way though, Vented or Sealed they can both be done right and they can both be done wrong. Either one can sound stellar!