Need help to choose a subwoofer placement solution

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Toffi, May 11, 2017.

  1. Toffi

    Toffi
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    I am in the process of building our new house and the main lounge area will also be used a lot to watch movies.
    The think is that we have a very modern design : flat dry-wall with no cabinet, all speakers will be in-wall speakers + in-ceiling speakers for surround.
    I am looking for a solution for a subwoofer.

    I thought of maybe going for an in-wall sub such as InWall Subwoofer, but I understand that both these sub are less effective + I have a very large open area and in any case I will need something strong so this might not be such a great solution , but it will be very expensive.

    I am trying to convince my wife and the architect to build a "Nish" into the room behind which is the main bedroom suite,but having problems to convince them that this is more essential than the looks.....

    In the attached picture you can see the layout:
    In purple - is approx TV location
    In Green - is where I am trying to convince them to build a "nish" which would stick out ~40 into the room
    In Red - is a 3rd possible location.

    My question is regarding the 3rd option marked in red.
    This location can either be behind the door to the room, but in that case I cannot have it deeper than 35~40 cm
    or a second option would be to have it above door height and in that case I can have it as deep as I want.

    So 2 question:
    1. How bad is the location of the sub when it is directly under the TV , centered on the wall and not in the corner?
    2. How much worse would it be to have the sub located up high neat the ceiling (height would be between 2.4 - 2.9 meters)
    3. how do these 2 options compare to using a 10" in-wall sub, which fits in a 10cm depth, but would be located near the corner?

    Which of the 3 would you recommend I go for?
    Thanks
    sub_placement.png
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Sealed Box, Ported Box, Cylindrical, On-wall, In-wall, In-ceiling, Rotary Fans - there are a million and one Subwoofer configurations you could consider.

    Placing a Sub in a Corner generally gives you a bass boost - which may/may not be a good thing in your room.

    No reason to not have the Sub on/in the 'TV' wall - lots of high quality Cinema rooms go that route.

    If you build it into a box which protrudes into the bedroom you will need to ensure you isolate it from the bedroom!

    Open plans rooms can be a nightmare - you are not going to deliver 'surround sound' plus even coverage across the whole area unless you have a big budget.

    What sort of budget are you allocating to the TV/Cinema system and what (if any) plans do you have for distributed audio around the rest of the area/house?

    Joe
     
  3. Toffi

    Toffi
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    The box built into the bedroom will be out of concrete. Will that be sufficient?

    Budget is medium - but could upgrade over the years.
    For now I am just trying to choose the best out of what is possible - which is not much....
     
  4. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
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    Joe is absolutely right.

    Quality sound in your open plan area is going to be hard to achieve. Just the amount of glass you have provides a reflective surface that you're not going to be able to treat in any meaningful way. So it's not just sub placement that will give you issues.

    However, having accepted the limitations of such a space, my personal preference would be for a sub in front of your TV. They can be hidden quite effectively within pieces of furniture with just a bit of effort. So, a 'coffee table', or other 'occasional piece of furniture' could have hidden gems within!

    It's been done within these forums before, and plenty of examples over in the States, where people have hidden even quite monstrous dual 18" subs within dressing tables!

    Personally, I'd forget trying to build an alcove for a sub for several reasons, but basically, it would limit you size wise in any future 'upgrades' and primarily, we have no idea what it would sound like - it's not like the position can be moved to give the best effect. You might get lucky, and get OK bass, but getting decent bass from a single immovable sub is highly unlikely.

    Far better to have a sub that can be moved a little, or better yet, two subs that can be moved. Two identical coffee tables? I'd be considering more the wiring solutions that will be needed, rather than where to stick a hole in the wall.

    Your layout is not dissimilar to our kitchen/dining area, and we have a TV (with just a sound bar underneath). There are plenty of other problems with a setup like this, firstly, the noise from the kitchen area, ovens, dishwashers, ice machines in fridges, all make noise which means you'll struggle to achieve a low noise floor. When you're shopping for your appliances, be sure to buy the quietest of everything! - this will make the biggest difference to your enjoyment of such a space.

    Also, consider what furnishings you're going to have around you. You'll have practically nowhere to 'soften things up' in a space such as this, so consider what materials your sofas will be made from - we have a cheap IKEA bonded leather sofa, which doesn't help at all, so again sound is compromised.

    In summary, be flexible with your sub placement if you can, don't fix it to one location. Also, think more about the other issues of such a room, and how they might be overcome, or at least, adjusted to help. I haven't even mentioned light control in such a space either - trying to watch a movie in the daytime is a waste of time for us, as we have no form of light control whatsoever, so the TV is full of reflections!

    Probably not what you wanted to hear, but just my two cents.
     
  5. Toffi

    Toffi
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    Thanks dreamer - not what I hoped to hear but I rather hear the truth.
    I am probably not going to build these special alcove (thanks for the word...) but try to find an other solution.

    Maybe since in any case Im not going to get great sound in any case - go back to the inwall sub :

    I wonder is 2 of these inwall Monitor Audio subs would give a better affect than only 1?
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  6. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
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    Certainly in-wall subs will be discreet; and multiple subs will almost always be better than just a single sub - assuming they're placed far enough apart to not simply act as a single sub.

    Multiple subs is not (for most people) about adding more power, it's about providing a more even bass response around the room, which multiple subs can do by cancelling, or reducing, peaks and troughs of bass due to reflections of the long sound waves. (Shorter wave length sound (higher frequencies) don't suffer this problem).

    In short, yes, multiple in-wall subs will probably be a good option.
     

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