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Old 16th November 2004, 05:40 PM   #1
keyser is offline keyser  Netherlands
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Default when does using a subwoofer make sense in a music-only setup?

hi guys! (and girls, if there are any )
i plan to build a subwoofer. however, i am not sure if it would make an improvement in my music-only system! My main speakers already go pretty deep. there is still usefull output below 35 hertz. do you guys think a subwoofer would improve my music?
also: what is your view of the obove mentioned subject.
("when does using a subwoofer make sense in a music-only setup?")
all replies are welcome!! !!
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Old 16th November 2004, 05:58 PM   #2
simon5 is offline simon5  Canada
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For me, a subwoofer in a music-only setup is absolutely necessary. It always depend on what type of music you listen.

Hip-hop, rap, techno, you need a sub.
For example: Lil Jon & Ying Yang Twins - Get Low
For example: DJ Tiësto - Battleship Grey
These tracks contains information at ~20 Hz.

You also need a sub for some metal, heavy metal, rock songs.
For example: Pink Floyd - Speak to me
That track contains information at ~20 Hz.

Any THX bass tests contains information at ~20 Hz.

You even need a sub for classical recordings! (organs, battle drums and such)

I have a Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 Ultra set and even with the sub which contains dual 8" flat to 30 Hz in-room and good extension at 25 Hz, it doesn't look good in these tracks, the sub is crying, overexcursioning, farting the whole time at high volumes.

That's why I'm currently building a sub that will be flat in-room to 15 Hz so I can play everything on it.
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Old 16th November 2004, 07:03 PM   #3
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Prior to Henry Kloss marketing the sub/satellite concept a couple of decades back there was no such thing as a subwoofer, and somehow we managed without them for 60 odd years. For pure music response to 35 Hz is quite adequate, though lower doesn't hurt. For HT going to 25 Hz will generally do it.
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Old 16th November 2004, 07:57 PM   #4
simon5 is offline simon5  Canada
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But then you look at high end stuff in that era, like Klipschorn, 104 dB/1W/1m efficiency and flat to 33 Hz fully horn loaded with a big 15 inches woofer rated at 100W RMS capable of 121 dB SPL in-room... that means at 20-25 Hz it still had adequate power...

We get more bass in new music than before, also you can experience organ bass in your home with a big subwoofer, something that you couldn't before...
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Old 16th November 2004, 08:21 PM   #5
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by BillFitzmaurice
Prior to Henry Kloss marketing the sub/satellite concept a couple of decades back there was no such thing as a subwoofer, and somehow we managed without them for 60 odd years. For pure music response to 35 Hz is quite adequate, though lower doesn't hurt.
Of course, most subs barely make it this far anyway, so it seems unsuprising that one could do without one.

You could look at this and say they are unnecessary, or you could look at it this way: for a sub to be worth having, it better get down really low and/or relieve the strain on the midwoofer. I think there could be some mileage in using lighter, more responsive midwoofs down to 50-100Hz and allowing the subs to take on the high excursion material south of there.

As usual, best approached as a system rather than shoehorning another transducer to cover a narrow 10-20 Hz window. My feeling is that approach gets you less coherence w/o much gain in extension.

If you look at megabuck systems, a lot are 4-ways which essentially have integrated stereo subs.
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Old 16th November 2004, 08:32 PM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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Like tiroth, my experience with subwoofing is confined to true infrabass-capable boxes- big and expensive. But the gain in naturalness is addictive; there may not be much music down there, but the phase behavior where there IS music is much improved.

And in my last two cone/box systems, I did essentially what he suggested: big old thangs (like JBL 2245H) running from 60-70 Hz down, high quality mid-size deals (like Dynaudio 17W-75) running the next couple of octaves. It makes integration a bit more complex, but actually easier to pull off.
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Old 16th November 2004, 08:51 PM   #7
morbo is offline morbo  Canada
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For me it is essential at higher volumes with the music I listen to, which has a good deal of sub-35hz content. IMHO for loud listening of bass heavy music in general, you need to either:

1. have a dedicated low frequency reproducer (whether this is a sub or the woofer in a 3way) or
2. filter out some or all of the low bass.

I would not be happy with most 2ways for loud rock, orchestral, or electronic music, not because the bass is deficient, but because the midrange usually gets very sloppy when trying to do lots of bass.
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Old 16th November 2004, 09:04 PM   #8
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Another reason to have a sub for music (or anything) is that, depending on your room, your main speakers might go plenty low but the best placement for imaging etc. isn't necessarily the best placement for delivering bass to your listening position. If you have a sub crossed over low enough, you can put it wherever it sounds best and leave your mains where they sound best.
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Old 16th November 2004, 09:52 PM   #9
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My ideas of the usage of subwoofers are to increase the low frequency to a point that is natural/normal. Secondly, to remove the subwoofer frequency from the main speakers to increase the efficiency and avoid duplication.

Sy mentioned running from 60-70 hZ down which is the way things are supposed to be set up. Too high a crossover point and your system sounds like crap. The frequency of 60-70 HZ is chosen in all good commercial systems because it is non-directional in nature and therefore the subwoofer doesn't become a point source.

Personally, I like my EVX 180's tuned 4th order with a 2nd order electronic filter. Big box big sound.
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Old 16th November 2004, 09:57 PM   #10
adason is offline adason  United States
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well it depends
first of all what kind of subwoofer are you talking about?
there are those shi$# ones which have 5" to 8" sort of woofers made in china not worthy $5 which are good just for farting and burping (b@se)
and there are those worthy $5k, which have 15" to 18" woofers, or even 24" like cabase, which will improve any system

i think it is a matter of personal preference
someone can have electrostats and prefere coherent midrange
and will happily sacrify the bass
someone else will support them with abequate subwoofer

if you have excelent minimonitors, you should consider subwoofer

if you have excelent florstanding speakers which go all the way down, why bother
rather spend money on music
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