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Old 24th June 2005, 04:24 AM   #1
tjpries is offline tjpries  United States
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Default vocals coming out of subs?

I have a couple of friends, aged 16, they seem to know everything about stereos and subs. I think they dont. THey paid a stereo shop to install subs, words are coming out of these subs, I tell them they are not hooked up properly because words are on a different frequency than the sub freq. They argue with me and being 16 they know everything. I tell them the subs sound bad with words coming out of them, they say it sounds great and there would be no difference if the words weren't coming thru the subs. Can any one explain to me- to help explain to them that words coming out of the subs is wrong? This should be easy for all of you that know there subs. Thanks
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Old 24th June 2005, 04:36 AM   #2
Stocker is offline Stocker  United States
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There is no crossover installed or it is faulty. Words (vocals) will be usually well over 100Hz unless you are listening to some male Bass singer. Subwoofers should operate from 80Hz on down, because you can usually tell above that where the sound is coming from (localize the source). Tell them they got ripped off on the so-called professional install because this is how 16 year olds install a first system, not how somebody gets PAID to do it. It's ridiculous. It is usually considered to be Not The Way Things Are Done.

That said, I like the way it sounds. I have a sub in my trunk that is uncrossed-over and some instruments and vocals do come through. I have no rear speakers and occasionally it sounds like there is some rear fill. I listen to the radio (music and talk) and have FAR from a pure sound quality setup. But it sounds OK to me. This is, after all, a CAR we are talking about here. Sound quality and cars don't exactly mix very well when cars are driving on the road. If it were a home system, I would say to go ahead and mock them until they are ashamed, but it's "only" a car system.

The moral of the story is: If they like it, they like it. They may have gotten ripped off if they paid much for the install, but to each his own.
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Old 24th June 2005, 07:21 AM   #3
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Subwoofers normally have a frequency response of 20Hz to 150Hz. The human voice in some cases can reach well below 150Hz.

Type of voice..............Frequency range
------------------------------------------------
Bass .....................87.31Hz to 349.23Hz
Baritone................98.00Hz to 392.00Hz
Tenor....................130Hz to 493.88Hz
Contralto...............130.81Hz to 698.46Hz
Soprano............... 246.94Hz to 1,174.70Hz

As you can see all voices except the soprano can extend below 150Hz. Wether you hear the voices or not coming out of the subwoofer is a function of the crossover to the subwoofer and at what frequency it is set. If the crossover is set lower than 87Hz you would not hear voices come from the subs and if it was set higher you would start hearing them again. I hope this helps.
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Old 24th June 2005, 11:05 AM   #4
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Huh dam kids !

Did you get the brand of the subwoofer they using ??
i have an old, old pioneer IMPP 10inch hooked ot my pc using a 150 watt rms amp and a 24 db linkwitz-riley 35Hz Fc x-over !
Mother god ! the sound is so good it will whip the most expensive audio systems i came across !

well playing games using a sub with words coming from the sub sounds very bad!That is if are aware of the bad sound.

Cheers !
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Old 24th June 2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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In serious audio the subwoofer response will be in the 20-80 HZ region. No subwoofer system worth its weight will be above 80HZ.
It isn't done in good theatre systems or in commercial systems.
I know because I do this for a living.

It sounds like the car stereo buffs got just what they paid for from the typical car stereo shop. They seem to associate the term bass with anything up to and including 250hz or higher. If there is a passive (inductor) installed it is of the wrong value. Keep in mind this will roll off the frequency at 6db per oct where as a good electronic crossover will roll off at 24db per oct or higher.

The fact is this.... most typical car installations are done by the uneducated self taught wanabee's.

When a professional job is done the result will be totally different but then again I personally see absolutely no need for car stereo in the first place and feel it should be totally outlawed.
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Old 24th June 2005, 12:21 PM   #6
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Just some thoughts:

1.)
It is impossible to remove ALL vocals from a sub using an LPF of only 4th order - and it isn't necessary either IMO.

2.)
There are even high-quality subs using only a 1st order LPF - in order to integrate better in the time-domain:

http://www.vandersteen.com/pages/Pdffiles/2wlit.pdf

Regards

Charles
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Old 24th June 2005, 03:14 PM   #7
morbo is offline morbo  Canada
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Phase Accurate is totally correct. Some of you guys talk as if the subwoofer crossover is a brick wall, with nothing over 80 or 100 or whatever making it through. Anyone who has played with crossovers on a sub knows that depending on the slope, you WILL get some slight vocal output. For example, when I crossed at 80hz, 3rd order, I could still hear the lowest parts of the male voice through the sub. I had to go either 5th order at 50hz to make these bits inaudible. Incidentally, this really cleared up the sound noticeably.

As for your 16 year old friends, let them enjoy their setup, if they are happy that it 'hits hard' and can be showed off to their friends, more power to them. Most kids at that age just want something that will 'sound cool' to their friends.
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Old 24th June 2005, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by burnedfingers
In serious audio the subwoofer response will be in the 20-80 HZ region. No subwoofer system worth its weight will be above 80HZ.
It isn't done in good theatre systems or in commercial systems.
I know because I do this for a living.
The crossover frequency of a subwoofer is highly system dependant. Also, even high order electronic crossovers will allow enough higher frequency information through so that vocals are intelligible.

Scott
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Old 24th June 2005, 03:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: vocals coming out of subs?

Quote:
Originally posted by tjpries
I have a couple of friends, aged 16, they seem to know everything about stereos and subs. I think they dont. THey paid a stereo shop to install subs, words are coming out of these subs, I tell them they are not hooked up properly because words are on a different frequency than the sub freq. They argue with me and being 16 they know everything. I tell them the subs sound bad with words coming out of them, they say it sounds great and there would be no difference if the words weren't coming thru the subs. Can any one explain to me- to help explain to them that words coming out of the subs is wrong? This should be easy for all of you that know there subs. Thanks

Do the vocals sound muffled, like there is a pillow in front of them? Or do they sound, bright, edgy, honky? (For lack of a better term.) If they are muffled, the crossover is probably working just fine-see my previous post.
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Old 24th June 2005, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:

Phase Accurate is totally correct. Some of you guys talk as if the subwoofer crossover is a brick wall, with nothing over 80 or 100 or whatever making it through.

You have a misunderstanding here. When the signal is crossed at 80HZ this doesn't mean the signal will stop at 80HZ. If using a 24 db per oct filter the signal will be down 24db at one oct lower than what the filter is set for. Yes, you will hear slight vocal information. This will still beat the crap out of a 6db per oct passive inductor or a cheap 12db or 18db filter.

It is still totally unnecessary to cross a system over at anything above 80HZ unless you are working with junk.
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