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Home Theater Magazine Subwoofer Test

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Magazines, Industry & Jobs' started by Ian J, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Ian J

    Ian J New Member

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    My eagerly awaited copy of Home Theater Magazine arrived today which contained the second part of a fairly lengthy two part subwoofer test.

    The subwoofers on test were :-

    Adire Sadhara
    Canton AS50SC
    Earthquake Supernova 10 Mk 4
    JBL Studio 120P11
    NHT SW12
    Triad InRoom Silver
    Totem Thunder
    Velodyne SPL-1000 Mk 2

    The two most interesting things about the test for me were the fact that none of the subwoofers were well known in this country or widely available, even though the Velodyne brand is known to forum members, and secondly that in order to get around room acoustic problems all the testing was done outside.

    The summary came up with some interesting facts as his conclusion was that the bass that people hear is shaped by :-

    1) The room the subwoofer is in
    2) Where it is in that room
    3) Where you are sitting in that room
    4) What furnishings and acoustic treatments there are in the room
    5) What equalization is being applied

    Although we know the above, the author then concludes that taken individually, each of the above factors influences bass quality to a greater perceptible degree than the difference between any of the two subwoofers in the survey.

    When asked which subwoofer he would buy he answered that he wouldn’t buy a single one of any of them but would plump for two of the same model, probably the Totem or Triad if he had the money or the JBL or Adire if he couldn’t afford the first two.

    He said that he would experiment relentlessly with placement and when he had it about right he’d touch it up with an equalizer, leaving alone the frequency dips that are due to room cancellations and hence inherently unfixable. He would make his own bass traps and flexaural absorbers to control known acoustic problems then retest and re-equalize before coming to the best bit of all – dip the lights and enjoy.

    I found it a lengthy but very interesting and different article to what we are used to reading.
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon Active Member

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    Interesting how did the canton fair??? and the JBL???
  3. JUS

    JUS Active Member

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    Very interesting...but no SVS. Shame.

    What would my wife say about having two subs in the same room:eek:
  4. avanzato

    avanzato Member

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    After all the investigations I've done recently into room acoustics I have unfortunately come to the same conclusion.

    Two subs, a bit of Eq. and room treatment.

    Unfortunate because I can't really afford another SVS and if I could would have to rearrange the room again just to fit it in.

    And it puts the subwoofer p*ssing contests in perspective. In the room they all sound crap. :devil:
  5. andy572

    andy572 Member

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    Hear, hear! :devil: :laugh: :devil:
  6. lowrider

    lowrider Member

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    I told you all about the two subwoofers bit... :rotfl:
  7. Ian J

    Ian J New Member

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    But we didn't ear you :D
  8. lowrider

    lowrider Member

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    I know... :nono:
  9. hornydragon

    hornydragon Active Member

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    He he when did they let you back in matey????
    Yeah but WAF is stopping me having one let alone 2!!!!!!!!!
  10. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes Active Member

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    Sounds like a breath of fresh air, I will have to sort iout a copy. Sounds like someone with something worthwhile to say. :)
  11. Plump

    Plump Member

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    I also have two (2 Storms) but found one (it was too expensive - so had to send it back) JMLAB much better than two storms.
    It is very dependable on the room, VERY.
  12. avanzato

    avanzato Member

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    Check out the Harman 'Subwoofers: Optimum Number and Locations' article for how it can be done. Subject to the room not having furniture in the wrong places and the WAF. :)
  13. lowrider

    lowrider Member

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    Two, simetrical, will cancel the odd order harmonics, like a pair of speakers, so it is a great advantage to start with...
  14. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX Member

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    TMREQ / AURALEX / BFD etc etc


    vacant expressions abound again no doubt.


    Steven
  15. Anodyne

    Anodyne Member

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    Wouldn't they have to be operating out of phase with one another to do this?

    BTW how's Cascais? My mother lives out there so i know it quite well!:hiya:
  16. Dom H

    Dom H Guest

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    I've just spent the practically a whole week trying to get my sub to sound right in my new house. It went from sounding absolutely garbage to very smooth indeed but this took hours of work and umpteen different positions and readings from an spl meter.

    In my opinion you can't tell diddly squat about a sub in a room, the most expensive sub in the world put in the wrong place will pale in comparison to a cheaper sub well placed.

    So many subs get slated for being slow and boomy when all they really need is to be placed correctly.
  17. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2 Active Member

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    Surely the phase issues of interference depend entirely on where you're standing and the frequencies involved? A slight deviation from axis will make a huge difference unless both subs are on the same axis (stacked). That's if I remember my degree level Physics properly...
  18. Anodyne

    Anodyne Member

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    That's what I thought, the subs should be co-located and operating mechanically out of phase...
  19. lowrider

    lowrider Member

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    Do you wire your speakers out of phase... :confused:

    Of course the subwoofers have to be on phase... :smoke:

    Cascais is great as usual, PM me when you visit your mother next time, so we can have a drink, and you listen to my system... :smashin:
  20. Anodyne

    Anodyne Member

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    Sorry, what I meant was in order to cancel the odd order harmonics the subwoofers would have to be located together and operating mechanically out of phase. Its the same principle that M&K use with their push-pull subs, and SVS use it in the B4-plus.

    Will
  21. avanzato

    avanzato Member

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    I don't think anyone ever does but please read the PDF I linked to earlier. :smashin:

    From my limited knowledge of speakers push/pull works cos the drivers are in the same cabinet.
  22. Anodyne

    Anodyne Member

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    Is being in the same cabinet is essential? For instance M&K market a K-11 sub with an inverted driver which is designed to be used in tandem with the K-10 in order to create a push-pull system using two enclosures.

    Will
  23. avanzato

    avanzato Member

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    Like I said I'm not up on speaker design.

    I've downloaded the K11 manual and it seems a weird product. Why not have a single box push/pull version of the K10 and sell that or (as it doubles the size of the K10) buy a bigger sub in the first place. The biggest gain I can see is that M&K get to sell two boxes instead of one. The K10 alone is about £700 isn't it?. The manual also says it cancels even order harmonics is that correct?
  24. Anodyne

    Anodyne Member

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    I suppose the idea is to give the option to upgrade at a later date. Maybe it give the usual advantages of two subs plus helps cancel even order harmonics as a kind of bonus.
  25. Wasabi

    Wasabi Member

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    Guys,

    here is another respectable US magazine "soundandvision magazine" with a test of 10 subs if you don't have a copy of Home Theater Mag.

    Canton AS 20 SC
    Atlantic Technology T70.1 PBM
    PSB Subsonic 5i
    Velodyne CHT-15
    M&K V-76
    JBL SP120 II
    Cambridge Soundworks Newton P500
    Pinnacle Baby Boomer
    B&W ASW 675
    Bag End Infrasub-12


    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=478&page_number=1&preview=

    Also for each sub there is pdf's of the test lab & subwoofer setup secrets.

    Happy Reading.

    Wasabi
  26. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes Active Member

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    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

    :smashin: wise words :smashin:
  27. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy Member

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    Why didn't I think of that - two subs instead of one! Now I just need to get myself another ATC Concept 4.... somebody want ot lend me £2 grand....?

    Seriously, though, positioning and setup really is the key to top-notch subwoofery. If you want your sub (whatever make or model) to perform its best, you really have to spend time keying it in to your room and finding that sweet spot.

    Dunc
  28. Peter

    Peter Guest

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    I've finally succumbed to putting two subs in my room - hard to throw off my luddite, 2-channel mentality! The difference already is remarkable, and I haven't finished locating them yet. Once they're located (ETF is great for helping with this) I'll see if EQ needs to be applied; I already have ASC bass traps.

    Even just by ear you can easily tell the difference they make over one sub. Certain troublesome modes are just not as apparent now. I sat a friend in front of the opening titles to Top Gun just before the France / Fiji game last night - he was mightily impressed!

    Wish I'd done it sooner...!
  29. lowrider

    lowrider Member

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    Better late then never... :laugh:

    It is the easiest thing to show too, you just switch one sub off, and the bass colapses, moves into the corner, so obvious... :rotfl:
  30. Peter

    Peter Guest

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    An ETF overlay shows the difference very well too. Incidentally, experimentation showed me that with one of the subs at 180 phase, I got a far more even response. I still have to move them around some more though to find the best place before I start with TMREQ. Trouble is, there are so many possible permutations now with the extra sub, especially when you take phase into account!

    I hear the Krell doesn't allow you quite so much flexibility for EQ Antonio?

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