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Old 15th June 2010, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default Sound of vented vs. unvented enclosure

I don't know if it's just me or my ears, but I find vented enclosures to sound "pumping". At times this becomes so annoying that I can't stand listening anymore. Even though expensive high quality vented stuff doesn't sound too bad most of the time, I still enjoy big unvented enclosures more. Does anyone else feel the same?
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:51 PM   #2
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Vented enclosures can certainly make "port sounds" and there are formulas and design rules to avoid it. The comparison is difficult (impossible?) to make because vented and sealed systems never have the same response. Slope, amplitude and phase, they're completely different, so claiming to hear only one aspect apart from all others is suspect. I prefer sealed enclosures but the number of drivers that can work correctly in a sealed enclosure seems to be less than for vented, which I always found frustrating. IMO, a sealed enclosure is far easier to mate up with a subwoofer. The best vented enclosures I've heard used passive radiators, but I'm sure that's not an absolute rule.

CH
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Old 16th June 2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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It's definately possible that I've only heard cheap crappy stuff with badly calculated ports so far. While that... "sub" I have kicking around is nice for DVDs like Das Boot with it's explosions and under water noises, it can at times get annoying while watching TV and it's especially nasty when hearing any organ song from Bach. My RFT BR26 bass-reflex speakers are much MUCH nicer but still somehow sound awkward at times. My giant unvented RFT B91whatchamagothere are by far the best for listening to Bach IMHO.
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Old 16th June 2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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FWIW, I once built an 8 ft^3 vented subwoofer with a 15" driver. It was correctly calculated and extensively measured. The impact was tremendous, but nobody could stand the thing long term. Even set to barely perceptible levels it added a layer to the music that, though it might have been real and accurate, was disturbing for long term listening. Some people made me turn it off completely, as it gave them headaches. I'm not convinced that reproduction to 20 Hz and below is a good idea outside the movie theater. Also, don't forget that some material has been equalized based on your *not* having flat response down all that low.

CH
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Old 16th June 2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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I see! This would explain a few things! Looks like I have to crank out the EQ and do some testing with an SPL meter. I know that the BR26 are pretty weak below 20 Hz and the giant B9xxx do nothing until like 25-30 Hz. The sub is a cheap thing made for computers with no more than 20-30 W RMS at best. Well well, time for testing. 8-)

Edit: I'm curious, did you test it with organ songs as well?

Last edited by EBM_dude; 16th June 2010 at 03:24 PM.
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