Subwoofers: are they really necessary for home audio? - diyAudio
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Old 8th February 2013, 03:05 AM   #1
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Default Subwoofers: are they really necessary for home audio?

I have two speakers for music listening and the give me a good bass, do I really need a subwoofer, or as I read around here, multiple subs to get a really good bass?

Anyone has a good experience with subs listening to vinyl?
I think the sound very strange... To me they are more usefull for movies, not music, but maybe I'm wrong...
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Old 8th February 2013, 03:54 AM   #2
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Depends what you listen to, and how capable your mains are of strong clean LF as low as the program material that needs it. Listen to string quartets, girl and guitar acoustic or most jazz, most of the time and you probably would see little benefit from adding subs. Listen to NIN at volume, and yes, they add a great dimension.

I have a friend with a pair of Maelstrom 18" units in his 2ch system and it sounds awesome. I'm personally going with 6, but mine is combined 2ch/HT.

I find that people who say subs sound weird (or choose your own adjective) probably haven't heard a well integrated sub/subs.
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Old 8th February 2013, 04:04 AM   #3
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To provide some context here, the OP has another active thread asking for help with room mode problems where lots of people are suggesting distributed subwoofers to stop that. Murillollirum, it seems strange to say that they "give me a good bass" when you've already told us that you have a bass problem.
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Old 8th February 2013, 05:34 AM   #4
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Your saying they sound strange suggests that you've experienced 'thumpers'. As you have implied, this is not hifi.

In the hope I can add a little perspective, I don't believe you need to 'hear' the subs as such. They don't even need to be as large as your mains. Eg: I also have 15" mains woofers although I use these for their midrange properties. I use 12" subs and they are not 'necessarily' louder than the mains for what it's worth.

Their effect is as important at low levels as it is at high levels and it isn't 'necessarily' about bass extension and furthermore, multiple subs is not the only method of getting good bass... but it is practical and within the reach of most as well as being effective. It's all about smoothing over the room so to speak.
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Old 8th February 2013, 05:43 AM   #5
balerit is offline balerit  South Africa
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There is no place for subwoofers in hi-fi. They seem to be a fad from car nuts with distorting subs.
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Old 8th February 2013, 05:52 AM   #6
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Balerit, I'm sure I can relate to the subs you're referring to and I totally agree. It sometimes seems a shame that the room augmenting woofers that some of us use are referred to as 'subs', but there you go. I'd have to assert that they're a completely different animal.
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Old 8th February 2013, 06:01 AM   #7
balerit is offline balerit  South Africa
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I guess so. A properly designed system should excite the room to give an overall good clean sound. My TQWP do that and it really a pleasure listening to them but to have monstrosities rattling the window pains seems to be bit over the top. Or maybe it's just me as I don't listen to modern day 'music' I'm old school rock.
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Old 8th February 2013, 06:46 AM   #8
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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TQWPs sounds good (I used to run Metronomes with FE108ESigmas). I have MLTLs in my garage and listen to them as I build my latest waveguides. Most satisfying.

I listen to my fair share of older rock. I think the thing I most like about distributed woofers is the smooth response. They don't boom, but each bass note is reasonably equal to the next. This way I don't have to cringe when a particular bass note is coming. I also don't need to be disappointed when a bass note should hit but fails to show. It's pretty much all there and hits as hard as it should, but nothing particularly stands out. I've always wanted this but have never been able to achieve it until I started using distributed woofers..
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Old 8th February 2013, 06:48 AM   #9
djn is offline djn  United States
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I don't think a really good sub should rattle the windows, just reproduce LVF when it is part of the music. Otherwise, you should not even hear the subs.
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:34 AM   #10
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"Subwoofers: are they really necessary for home audio?"

Look at spectrograms (e.g. Sonic Visualiser) of the music you're listening to. This shows how low the frequency response of your speakers should extend. Now the question becomes, "how do I get there?".
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