Author Topic: Subwoofer discusion thread - suggestions, tips and info  (Read 49532 times)

Offline petetherock

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Welcome to the new planet bass!

The name change reflects the development and evolutions from a small number of kick-ass subwoofer companies from REL to SVS and now the market is open to at least half a dozen other bass specialists, so you have plenty of choice and hence it is a good time to rename this place - Planet Bass!

I think it is important to avoid duplication with planet HT but most new members will still gravitate there, then migrate here to get dedicated or specialized bass discussions, tips and info.

Thought I try and compile info on this in a single easily searchable thread. It is another question frequently asked and the same issues arise.

Firstly some pointers:

- use the SEARCH button as for other items, much has been written on this.
- ask yourself what you want to do with the sub - HT, music
- room size -- if you ask for help here, give more info Get More Info
- WAF -- can you accommodate a bigger sun which can give you more SPLs like the SVS series.

Most important for new buyers:

BUDGET!

If you wish to spend peanuts, you get a monkey of a sub and the sound will NOT be anything like the demo room or the cinema. We all live within our budgets, but I have been there. A cheap sub doesn't do the trick and you end up spending more and discarding the cheap one.

First some links to important questions:

Does it matter where the woofer cone faces?

No

How about setting up:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=26968.0

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=53885.0



Using more than one subwoofer:

(note connecting them is easy, but the calibration of two subs is hard, however these days there is Audyssey XT 32 which makes it easier)

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=22796.0

Audyssey discussion thread:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=72814.0


Loud Oomph sound:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=12206.0

Sub calibration:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=42513.0




Subs last for quite a well, so it is a decent investment.

In the next link I will post some suggestions.



Some important links:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=26968.0

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=42513.0

Subwoofer connection:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=22796.0

CNET tips:
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11254_7-6360441-1.html?tag=bnav



A super collection of subwoofer setup tips:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1004573


Basic setup tips 101:

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/calibrate-your-system/home-theater-set-up-basics-101

A good FAQ site:
http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=31720

Crawling for bass:

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/speaker-setup-guidelines/crawling-for-bass-subwoofer-placement



Setup errors:

http://www.robbroy.net/HT/SubwooferErrors.cfm

Multilpe subwoofers:
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/get-good-bass/subwoofer-connection-guide

Something you will defintely need:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_level_meter

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/spl-meter_e.html
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 17:34 by petetherock »
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Offline petetherock

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For less than 500
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 21:51 »
I do not have a lot to say for this category simply because I have not seen much worth recommending without the owner coming back and spending more.

2nd hand is the best way at this price range

Brands like Wharfedale, Morduant Short etc carry subs for this range, go to the usual suspects in Adelphi and Sim Lim Square to hear them:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=53892.0

- KEC
- Anson Audion
- Seng Heng

- Merdeka
- City Electronics
- World of Audio

etc etc
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 05:07 by petetherock »
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Offline petetherock

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At 1000$ what can I buy
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 21:52 »
2nd hand is still a good option but others are available

Velodyne makes the CHT R series which is quite nice

Definitive Tech also has options in this range.

Paradigm, Wharf, and even the SVS PB 10 is in this range.
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Offline petetherock

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1-2k....
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 21:54 »
So this is real money, and you have much more choices

Apart from the large versions of the above brands, you can order SVS from the MOs or yourself.


http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?board=28.0

REL is another brand to consider
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Offline petetherock

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2-3k
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 21:55 »
Ah, a nice budget, and SVS, Hsu plus the serious subs from the usual suspects start to get into budget.

Will add more here later....
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Offline petetherock

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> 3000
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 21:56 »
For those with deeper pockets you can aim for serious subwoofery or... get multiple subs.

The 2nd option isn't easy and needs careful integration. If this is your first purchase, I suggest sticking to one good sub.

Brands like Thiel, SVS and many more make good single unit subs.

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Offline petetherock

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Please post instead of sending a pm, so more can learn.

My gear:
http://peteswrite.blogspot.com/2019/04/my-setup-42019.html

Offline petetherock

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Some common questions
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 22:13 »
Cables:
They do matter but not as much IMO, no need to go over board on this, and instead spend it on the subwoofer
Buy a longer and decent cable. If you buy just right, then the cable may be too short for you to shift the position

Which input for a mono input?
It doesn't really matter unless the manual recommends otherwise, I just use the white RCA.

LFE or high level input?

REL suggests a high level input, no harm trying

Power?
The power output is a flawed but simple way of understand the SPL output, best to AUDITION to understand if it is for you


Good deals:
Subs are like speakers, so some may have more than 1 shop selling but many only have one dealer in our tiny market. Go for value, but also reward for service. You won't gain by trying to go to the distributor who isn't likely to entertain a single customer.

For an idea of some one trying through the motion of considering a sub, see this thread:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=53427.0


Subwoofer hum:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=42697.0

Repair:

You can try Martin Electronics in Burlington Square for re-coning, but the dealer should be able to help.

Crossover talk:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=53801.0

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=24758.0


Connections:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=41553.15

Many AV amps have only 1 sub out, so just use one of the inputs.

Vibration:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30758.0

Boomy bass:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=29670.0


Wil add more of the same stuff we get asked all the time later...
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 22:38 by petetherock »
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Offline petetherock

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BFD?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 22:16 »
Some buy the Behringer Bass feedback destroyer with scant consideration for the fact that they actually do not know how to use it.

Read up about it first before you commit.

Lots of threads on this as well, SEARCH again.
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Offline petetherock

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Settings
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 22:32 »
Each sub is different and how you integrate the sub with the main speakers also depends on the size and type and brand of your main speakers.

Most speakers even floorstanders are best run as "small"

See the links in post 1 for more info.

Even though there is auto-setups in many new AV amps these days, it is still advisable to use a CD equipped with a room frequency to tweak things.

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=22030.msg145107#msg145107

From desray:

Quote
Below are some of my findings thus far...Maybe Jag can add in further or correct my understandings and beliefs of a proper Subwoofer settings...

1) Place the Subwoofer with a gap of about 15cm away from the Wall to avoid boomy sound. As a rule of thumb, the closer you position your Sub towards the Corner, the more boomy it will become.

2) For Main speakers which are set to "Small settings" - consider setting the LFE crossover to at least 80Hz (THX recommended level) to 100Hz.

3) If your Main speaker's settings are "Large" and - then consider to set the crossover to  about 50Hz to 60Hz.

4) For Phase Control - it's good to start off with an initial phase of 0 degrees as opposed to full 180 degrees. Then subsequently tune it to get a more full-integrated sound that blend in "soundly" with the Main speakers.

5) For fine-tuning of Subwoofer, do not use all 5.1 or 7.1 speaker settings for bass adjustment as it is generally not accurate...hence use the 2 front Main speakers will do.

6) If you're using THX-Fixed crossover settings of 80Hz - then tune the crossover frequency to 80Hz.

7) Play a Music CD which has a strong bass material and tune it to a normal listening level. with crossover freequency set at 80Hz, fine tune the Gain Control (alias Volume Knob) to a level just loud and tight enough but without any distortion. Once set no need to adjust the Gain Control anymore as the Subwoofer has been "more-or-less" tuned to the desire level taking into consideration all the room acoustic factors.

 Now adjust the Phase Control gradually to get a "seamless sound balance" and this is where the patience sets in...

9) If your Subwoofer has both Video and Audio Output settings either for Music or HT listening, always set to Audio mode before fine-tuning to get more accurate reading.

10) Play a few DVDs this time round to confirm with your new Subwoofer level settings

Room treatment:

This will help, but do it with the aid of an expert in this area. It is worth it to pay for this if you are not familiar.


http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30111.0

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Offline petetherock

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Bass Meisters
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 22:37 »
There is some serious pros here:
Jag
Jason Yeo
Desray
koma

and many others

Most bros here will allow you to hear their systems and give suggestions

For room treatment:

joamonte
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Offline petetherock

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Getting the thump
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 12:54 »
Using the Gain knob is not the way to bass heaven.

Thats more likely to cause damage. Most people leave it at 12 o'clock or less, but you should tune it accordingly.

The thump in the chest, and that rumble as I found out from the bass meisters is around the 28- 32 Hz frequency. First check that your unit can delivery good clean output with enough SPL at that frequency.

Thats where a sine sweep of the frequencies helps to identify dips and bumps in the freq range.

Simply turning up the volume will not help and can only lead to deafness.

To have an idea of the setup required, see the list of serious bros here with more than 1 sub, these bros have multiple subs to help them achieve that goal of Tactile bass, which is often difficult with one unit alone. I only know of Audio's 8k sub and Tsammysc's PB 12 plus 2 which can do that convincingly with a single unit.

And after you buy that sub, it won't work magically, effort has to be put into placement, room treatment etc before you achieve that great Holy Grail of the thump in the chest...
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Offline SiriuslyCold

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Re: Subwoofer discusion thread - suggestions, tips and info
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 14:36 »
Some buy the Behringer Bass feedback destroyer with scant consideration for the fact that they actually do not know how to use it.

Read up about it first before you commit.

Lots of threads on this as well, SEARCH again.

the official BFD guide is at
http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/bfdguide/


Offline petetherock

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A question
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2008, 16:48 »
Instead of pm, a post gets more opinions, esp from the experts, so I am placing a pm question here:

Quote
my system:
receiver- onkyo 875
dvd player- sony 78h
subwoofer- svs pb12nsd
speakers- ascend sierra 1
surround - q-acoustic 1010
spl meter -radio shack

after level matching all the speakers (80db) dial at -10db, i then play the 1kz test tone which reads 78db, i use this as the reference... i then play all the other test tones... and plot the graph.. for example if  50hz reads 90db i plot it as as +12db (90-78)..  is this the right way to do it all?? any advice from u will be much much appreciated, thanx to u in advance

I think that sounds alright....

Can all the bass gurus also chip in?

Cheers

« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 16:50 by petetherock »
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