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Old 6th December 2011, 01:45 AM   #1
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Default No sub = no bass... true?

Please tell me that's totally wrong...

I'm searching for a solution to a reasonably good quality multi-way speaker that would give me bass without having to add a subwofer. I'm a hater of typical "home theater" setup with only high hisses and boomy bass like all of my friends and neighbors got, and they're so proud to pollute my ears with their $1500 5.1 system playing as loud as possible, at 10% THD. I'm into stereo music, 2-channels, no sub, no rubbish "surround" sound. Just rock-solid non artificially-delayed sound. My options are quite limited as the trend is to have subs. Each product line of speaker companies recommends having a sub added. Are they getting lazy making good speakers or what? Or they're making more money by selling more boxes? I guess both...

I'm 40 now, and I remember at the times where we had plenty of choices of 3 and 4 way speakers, they were delivering bass... Maybe not as well tuned and controlled as it could be these days, but hey, we had bass without subs!
I still wonder if I should build myself good speakers, or continue trying to find a manufacturer that believe subs are crap. They fundamentally need to have the same minding as me.

Floorstanders are my kind of enclosures. I'm bored by the bookshelf and slim towers. They may deliver precision in the mids and highs, but hell they all lack bottom... no subs I want!!

I don't want to reinvent the wheel; a building solution could be the MagnaCumLaude project. But wait... what about the Cerwin-Vega XLS-215? How br00tal do they look HAHAHA! Ok maybe overkill as my living room is only 14'x16'.

I feel I'm cought in a no-sub = no-bass spiral... This aint true, isn't it? I must be stuck in a nightmare or something...

Heeelp!!!!

Thanks.
Martin.
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Old 6th December 2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canonnica View Post
Please tell me that's totally wrong...

I'm searching for a solution to a reasonably good quality multi-way speaker that would give me bass without having to add a subwofer. I'm a hater of typical "home theater" setup with only high hisses and boomy bass like all of my friends and neighbors got, and they're so proud to pollute my ears with their $1500 5.1 system playing as loud as possible, at 10% THD. I'm into stereo music, 2-channels, no sub, no rubbish "surround" sound. Just rock-solid non artificially-delayed sound. My options are quite limited as the trend is to have subs. Each product line of speaker companies recommends having a sub added. Are they getting lazy making good speakers or what? Or they're making more money by selling more boxes? I guess both...
By not forcing two smaller speakers to reproduce bass below 40hz, you can allow real transducers to belt out smooth response at LF. All the research shows that for accurate bass reproduction you most likely want multiple subwoofers globally EQ'd flat.

Subwoofers won't sound boomy or artificial if you know how to set things up well.

It will also allow you to use higher sensitivity woofers on your mains, allowing for stronger dynamic range.

Quote:
continue trying to find a manufacturer that believe subs are crap.
the key word is "believe" - IE guided by faith not supported by research and testing, and biased by improper setup and integration.

Quote:
Floorstanders are my kind of enclosures. I'm bored by the bookshelf and slim towers. They may deliver precision in the mids and highs, but hell they all lack bottom... no subs I want!!
A floorstander capable of the dynamic range and extension depth is a tall order, an yet will be as prone to room modes as any other speaker.

Quote:
I feel I'm cought in a no-sub = no-bass spiral... This aint true, isn't it? I must be stuck in a nightmare or something...
Let's define your goals clearly... from what I can tell is that your goal is

" A Passive Full Range Floorstanding Loudspeaker"

An irrational goal, but not a unique one either. There's plenty of 3-ways out there that will have the visceral impact you're looking for, though their bass accuracy will be at the mercy of the room and their sensitivity won't be phenominal. I do wonder why you're so against subs though. I'm building a 2-way with a 15" woofer and i'm willing to accept that if I want powerful dynamics in the midbass (100hz - 250hz) I have to sacrifice the deepest octaves and let 18" long throw drivers handle that, and spread multiples around the room so you actually get smooth bass not dictated by the room.

DOing is passively is also a big issue. it basically means you need a woofer capable of handling from 20hz to 300+ hz smoothly... it's a tall order. Acoustic Elegance has a variant of the TD12H that covers that range, but it isn't all too sensitive. That's where I would start though.

Last edited by RockLeeEV; 6th December 2011 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 6th December 2011, 02:17 AM   #3
stoc005 is offline stoc005  United States
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Choices

Take a look at the Ekta Grande. His site has many choices and I think he does make some excellent DIY options, if you can pay the prices for the drivers and XO components.
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Old 6th December 2011, 03:02 AM   #4
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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That's totally wrong. There, happy now?
How big a speaker do you want? How big a speaker can you live with?
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Old 6th December 2011, 03:20 AM   #5
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speakers with well designed good quality woofers will do the job just as well; subwoofers & home theatre are just marketing ploys to take money off you...
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Old 6th December 2011, 03:42 AM   #6
18Hurts is offline 18Hurts  United States
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Klipschorn Floorstanding Speaker | Klipsch

That should do it--they are very large but if you like the sound, the Klipschorn is a very attractive speaker. If you go a bit nuts with the bass, put a high pass filter at around 30Hz to keep the cone intact. Years ago a buddy of mine had the LaScalas--he cried when he blew the woofer...

The monster Cerwin Vegas would be the more party type speaker...

You are right, the big JBLs, Infinities, Polk Audios etc etc etc are gone. I'm thinking big speakers might be coming back, the big old monsters are showing up in garages and a new generation is being exposed to giants of yore--the little cube junk just can't compare.
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Old 6th December 2011, 04:38 AM   #7
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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subwoofers & home theatre are just marketing ploys to take money off you
Home theatre (and 5.1) are for movies, and the all the speakers are supposed to be full range (almost, 40hz rolloff) This is when a sub makes sense so you dont need 5 large woofers.
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Old 6th December 2011, 05:00 AM   #8
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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Seperate boxes for woofers (or subwoofers) do have some advantages in more freedom of packagings, placements, designs, and more uniform in room response if there're 3 or more.

Even in a pair of stereo big tower type of speakers, it's also good to have seperate boxes for woofers. Less vibrating interations with those fragile mid-high drivers.
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Old 6th December 2011, 05:49 AM   #9
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Floyd Toole. Sound Reproduction. Buy it. Read it. Explains how to get good bass.

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Old 6th December 2011, 09:17 AM   #10
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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I can see what you mean about home theatre subs and miniature full range cubes etc. There is also a good reason to use subs and it has absolutely nothing to do with money, spousal acceptance or convenience. It is a room thing, and therefore has nothing to do with the size of your main speakers.

By the way, there are a number of good reasons to have large floorstanding main speakers as well.
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