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Old 29th August 2011, 01:00 AM   #1
60ndown is offline 60ndown  United States
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Default Do all subwoofer boxes/designs sound the same?

Im wondering if its my imagination (psychoacoustics) or if anyone else believes (or knows why) different boxes,

even when set up/eq'd to perform the same (94db from 30-80 hz) for example.

actually have a different sound, some more 'boxy' some 'harder' some 'smoother' some 'looser' etc

im guessing its something to do with the way the box rolls off either end or the Q?

am i alone in this belief/experience or have some of you also noticed this?

and if you have,

which kind of box type/design do you prefer the sound of?

Last edited by 60ndown; 29th August 2011 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 29th August 2011, 01:06 AM   #2
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Folded horn boxes can sound woody.

I tend to use sealed cabinets or cabinets with a bass port.
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Old 29th August 2011, 02:46 AM   #3
18Hurts is offline 18Hurts  United States
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It all depends,

That is why there are so many designs to choose from. Sealed subs are the easiest and smallest--but, as with everything--there is a limit. To get a sealed sub down to 20Hz for movies requires a huge box with a huge amp.

Most speakers at the stores are ported since that improves the lower bass output and they are more efficient. The louder/lower one gets the sales so it is a money thing--not a sound issue.

All of them can sound really, really good--if they are setup correctly and used for their intended purpose. Technically, you could use a sealed sub in a PA system and a front horn in a car (BIG car!) Some designs make more sense in some specific uses.

Some folks have no problem with huge straight horns, 20 cubic foot 21" subwoofers with four 18" passive radiators on the sides or having twelve sealed subs spread all over the room. I don't either, but my wife does! So we all do the compromise dance play with Hoffman's Iron Law.

My compromise on size favorite sub is passive radiator (ported) tuned low with weights at it's final location. "Garage" or PA sound--give me the dynamics and output of a horn since size is less of an issue and I like "big" sound in a garage setting. Smaller sealed subs work great in the car or for music only systems. Bandpass--I owned one of those in 1991, it was a B&W isobarik bandpass tuned to 30Hz...it just never sounded "right" to me.

If the question turns to "You're trapped on a desert island and can have only ONE type of subwoofer for your bamboo villa" kind of thing--easy. A huge Infinite Baffle monster in the basement venting through the floor. Sixteen TC Sounds 15's should do it.

http://www.nousaine.com/pdfs/Subwoof...he%20World.pdf
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Old 29th August 2011, 11:26 AM   #4
Pallas is offline Pallas  Pakistan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60ndown View Post
Im wondering if its my imagination (psychoacoustics) or if anyone else believes (or knows why) different boxes,

even when set up/eq'd to perform the same (94db from 30-80 hz) for example.***im guessing its something to do with the way the box rolls off either end or the Q?
EQ'ing them to perform the same would by definition mean matching the rolloff slopes outside the passband as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60ndown View Post
which kind of box type/design do you prefer the sound of?
I tend to prefer closed boxes, because they are smaller (key when one is doing multisubs), pressurize the room below box tuning, and one gets extra efficiency from having multiple cones around the room playing bass anyway. If wall current is an issue, though, it's IMO not a bad compromise to use a good passive radiator sub, e.g. the Peerless XLS Application Note, and give up the sub-20Hz stuff for size and efficiency above that.
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Old 29th August 2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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lol, it's all in the way you tune the box.... it's usually a trade-off between range, efficiency, and power handling/driver control. honestly, someo of the nicest home theatre subs i've ever heard, which were truley ominus and noise free- were just sealed 10's great range and depth. and most ported boxes are tuned to like 60hz or so, and they can get loud, but imho, they lack lowend, and tend to sound a tad resonant. but they sell because of loud, boomy, and realatively cheaper. in my cars, i tend to stick to a vented enclosure, tuned a s low and efficient as possible, while still keeping a decent range
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Old 29th August 2011, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60ndown View Post
Im wondering if its my imagination (psychoacoustics) or if anyone else believes (or knows why) different boxes,

even when set up/eq'd to perform the same (94db from 30-80 hz) for example.

actually have a different sound, some more 'boxy' some 'harder' some 'smoother' some 'looser' etc

im guessing its something to do with the way the box rolls off either end or the Q?

am i alone in this belief/experience or have some of you also noticed this?

and if you have,

which kind of box type/design do you prefer the sound of?
Different designs have different delay, phase, directivity and distortion characteristics, all of which are independent of frequency response.

When size, sensitivity, and SPL level are not a concern, I'd prefer a sealed cabinet for the best sound quality.
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Old 29th August 2011, 03:04 PM   #7
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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My opinion is that group delay makes the difference in different box designs. In this respect best is the open baffle, next is closed box with Bessel alignment, next is ported box again with Bessel characteristics. The more tuned (resonant) acoustic element is in the design, the worse it sounds. Efficiency, cutoff frequency, size and sound quality are all related. There is no free lunch
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Old 29th August 2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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On the motorcyle forums, we have a recurrent nightmare called "the oil thread" where people endlessly debate "dinosaur" oil versus synth.

A good question indeed... like the oil question, of course. Yes, they have to sound different and they can't be EQ or anything else to sound the same.

A love my Klipschorn - although with a bass limit that doesn't pump a lot below 38 Hz. Sitting in the corner, a corner horn pushes great masses of air around in my music room, which no other speaker can (feasibly) do. That I hear as truly wonnerful soul-filling classical music bass (and doubly so for organ music).

I am not talking metaphorically, speaker boxes interact with the room in different ways, even if you could EQ them to be kind of similar in freq response anechoically.

Other parameters that may not be so easy to find specs for but also matter for sound, like distortion or like the way cones continue to rumble in a resonant box but are damped in a sealed box by the negative feedback of the air. Not saying you couldn't measure it that but I do say you might not be able to change it in the resonant box.

Yup, different suspensions do sound different although some days you could easily confuse one for another blind in a lab, in a short test, or unsuitable music or....

Ben
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Last edited by bentoronto; 29th August 2011 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 29th August 2011, 04:45 PM   #9
60ndown is offline 60ndown  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
Different designs have different delay, phase, directivity and distortion characteristics, all of which are independent of frequency response.



cool, thanks or that answer - its not my imagination then

Last edited by 60ndown; 29th August 2011 at 04:48 PM.
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