Sub Psychology

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Peter314, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Peter314

    Peter314
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    I have learnt a lot of useful technical stuff in these threads over the last few weeks. Sincere thanks to the many helpful posters. You know who you are.

    But technical info has its limits, and what is notably missing is advice on the equally critical subject of sub psychology. My effort follows. This is going to get a bit rambling and technical, so anyone easily bored should stop reading now.

    Firstly, note that I’m not referring here to the science of psychoacoustics: the study of the relationship between perceived sound quality and the listener’s understanding of the system’s cost. No. I’m referring to a matter of acute and general practical application. I’m talking about WAF, or SWMBO-friendliness. Call it what you will, it can make or break a system, and standard textbooks are woefully silent on the subject.

    Let’s start with names. Names are important and need careful thought. An ill-thought-out name can spanner a sub. I’m looking at you BK… An example might help here:

    guy: “I thought we might get a new sub, for those deep notes that enliven music and provide movies with that extra sensory dimension.”

    swmbo: “Good idea, which one are you thinking of?”

    guy: *enthusiastically* “It’s called a Monolith; you should see the spec. – fantastic value and...”

    swmbo: “No.”

    guy: *puzzled* “You don’t understand; wait ‘til you see the graphs, proper bass down to 20 Hz and moves a shedload of…”

    swmbo: “Just, no.”

    And there you have it. You’ve blown it. No way back; or if there is, it will cost you. Big time.

    Yet the outcome was readily avoidable by thinking through the psychological basics. What image does the name ‘Monolith’ call to mind? Yep, a massive, black, field-of-vision-dominating obelisk surrounded by a bunch of prancing apes tossing bones about while Also sprach Zarathustra belts out from the skies.

    You see: powerful, great-value sub and beer-glass support. She sees: monstrous lump surrounded by ape poo.

    I have often wondered about the custom in some societies of having multiple names for the same person. From the biblical ‘Thomas, who was also known as Didymus…Simon, who was also known as Wayne’ and so forth, to modern Arabic: ‘Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen’. Why do they do that? Why can’t they have just one name?

    Then I remembered that I know two blokes called Bob. That is what they call themselves and that is what others call them. Except for their wives, who call them ‘Rob’. This can be a bit awkward when phoning: “Hi, is Bob in?” *coldly* “I’ll see if Rob is about… Robbie…phone…!”

    There are guy-names and girl-names, and a mix-up can have bad consequences. Clearly, Bob is a guy-name and Rob is a girl-name. No offence to Robs out there – I guess you get plenty of women. :)

    Which brings us back to the Monolith. It’s transparently clear what the problem is here, and – equally clear – what the solution is. Imagine for a moment that the sub had a different name, perhaps Molly, Mopsy or Midget. What a difference a name makes! Let’s re-run the discussion, and introduce a new idea:

    guy: “I thought we might get a new sub, for those deep notes that enliven music and provide movies with that extra sensory dimension.”

    swmbo: “Good idea, which one are you thinking of?”

    guy: “I’m not sure; it’s down to a choice of a Velodyne Behemoth or a BK Munchkin. What do you think..?”

    swmbo: *decisively* “Let’s go for the Munchkin.”

    guy: *enthusiastically* “Great choice, it’s less than half the price of a Behemoth!”

    Result – everybody happy! :smashin:

    Whether manufacturers of subs want to go to the trouble of designing separate guy-catalogues and girl-catalogues for their products is a matter for them to decide. But even without this useful approach by manufacturers it is clear that the right presentation can make all the difference. Note the new dimension of choice – the final decision lay with the stronger sex and she was all the happier for it.

    Now – and I can’t stress this too highly – the techniques outlined herein are not to be undertaken lightly. If you are going to try them out it is imperative that you plan for how you will handle the moment when the product is finally unveiled in your home. I will not be held responsible for marital break-ups or dis-harmony brought about by planning failure.

    This thread has rambled long enough. I will address tactics for the key product-delivery/installation moment later. Good luck, and good listening.
     
  2. shodan

    shodan
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    I would never buy a sub called Mopsy....
     
  3. Lewis123

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    Oh, the joys of not having a wife... :p
     
  4. iSix

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    If you're getting a mono don't tell her, just tell her you're getting a new side table... she'll never notice the difference :)
     
  5. xxGBHxx

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    LOL

    I think all of us with a SWMBO identify and sympathise with your plight.

    The only slight addition to that order would be immediately after saying "Lets go for the Munchkin" would be "How big is it and how are you going to hide the cables"

    Nice one

    G
     
  6. Member 96948

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    Peter,

    Thankyou, thankyou for one of the seriously amusing threads I've read in a long, long time.

    I'm weeping with joy at the quality of prose and had to nip outside for a breath of fresh air prior to replying. So overcome was I pleasure, that I had to calm myself prior to an initial response. Their will be many here abouts that will confirm that I'm not normally short of a word or two, especially where less would do! Indeed, as a 'lurker' you may well have noted such detail for yourself.

    It's sad, but as of recent times, I had begun to expect every new contributor to post in a language that was understandable only to the 'text' generation alone. We'd consider ourselves lucky if they had taken the time to appreciate such arcane concepts as punctuation, capital letters and, god forbid, paragraphs.

    None the less, calmed as I now am and replete with oxygen, I have considered a reasonable response to your entirely reasonable question and it is this;

    Get a hold of your ******** and buy the sub you so clearly want. It's Monolith time!

    Yours, hoping to be of further help,

    Russell
     
  7. Member 96948

    Member 96948
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    Upon inspection of your prior forum contributions, I note that you have indeed taken the plunge and bought one of these bad boys.

    I therefore retract my previous assertion that you needed to find your privates with one, if not both, hands.

    The Monolith is only big by the standards of the more common high street fayre. In comparison to many of the forum favourites, it's actually the smallest of the full sized subs. None the less, it takes effort to achieve the best results and I do hope you'll not be shy when it comes to asking for assistance in optimising it's operation.

    Either way, a belated welcome to this corner of the forum. Your presence will enrich it.

    Russell
     
  8. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Peter

    Welcome to subwoofer insanity. :smashin:

    You seem to have brought your own contribution in quite a large box. :D

    Conversely, trying to satisfy the bass needs of one's better half can occasionally prove frustrating.

    When a Milly is not enough then a Megan has to be brought to bear. :devil:
     
  9. recruit

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    Well i am left speechles :eek: well not quite, but hey welcome to the sub forum :D
     
  10. Turtles

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    I’m hoping to get an SVS Penguin Ultra in time for Christmas!
     
  11. blue max

    blue max
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    Rule no.1 - never discuss hifi with the wife. Be creative if push comes to shove. How much are those speakers. Quote the price each :D

    How much is that amplifier you just bought. Deduct any funds you could potentially get for your old gear.

    Brucey bonus. Try and slide it in unnoticed. I nearly got away with a sub under a table until the hoover made an appearance. It was banished for all of two weeks while I was incredibly helpful around the house.

    My next event is adding a power amp, which will join the BFD behind the av rack, covered in a bin bag to hide the lights.

    Nipping out to cut-off the courier before my wife even realises there is a delivery is an art form. Whispering it's a present helps keep voices down.

    Will there ever be pink hifi? I fear not and until then we have to outsmart them. It all adds to the thrill of the chase!

    Graham
     
  12. AngelEyes

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    Indeed a lovely thread, the like not seen for a while :). We have had to endure the very dregs of grammar, punctuation and unitelligable composition lately. Line breaks as 'commas' anyone? :rolleyes:

    If you haven't been scared off yet, then all the better for us :)

    Adam
     
  13. Member 96948

    Member 96948
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    I take it two Millys would never be preferable to one Megan?:D

    Russell
     
  14. Nimby

    Nimby
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    No-no-no-no-no. :nono:

    But I'll spare your blushes and avoid the technicalities. :D

    Just wait until you hear about Gigi. :devil:

    Two genetically modified Megans on steroids in the same bed! :suicide:

    I just hope we all survive the experience! :cool:
     
  15. binbag

    binbag
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    "It'll make everything else in the room look smaller, including your bum."

    How's that for psychology?
     
  16. Nimby

    Nimby
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    There has always been a very fine line between bravery and outright stupidity. :eek:

    Or was it madness and genius? :D

    Name your poison. :devil:
     
  17. xxGBHxx

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    Am I to understand from some of these posts that we are setting out our stall as the Internets' last best hope of salvation from the screaming hordes of illiterate and illegible forum posters?

    Does this mean I should now pay attention to what I type and positively refuse to answer questions until they are written legibly and coherently? Does this include Russ when he's had a few too many to drink or Nimby when he's on an IB rant?(which itself must be very close to being classed as trolling by now surely?)

    I feel this thread has far reaching implications far beyond the confines of appeasing SWMBO!

    ;)

    G
     
  18. binbag

    binbag
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    Thats my Monolith behind the smaller looking sofa with very flat seat pads on it. :D

    If the 'M' on mine stands for anything, it would be 'Mjolnir'.
     
  19. blueye

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    :hiya:
    I like to think I am a wizard at this sort of stuff.
    I get away with murder because I give my wife bundles of twaddle and she lets me believe that I think I get away with it. Which of course I do.
    I'm just about to take delivery of a pair of pioneer s1-ex ql. Big mothers by most speaker standards. Also I intend to add a svs pb ultra 13 in the new year.
    My wife is a psychotherapist and know her psychological onions by a country mile. But what ever coherent argument she thinks she can to rationalize a Tandy music center she can not deny one fundamental argument that I pull out of the old argue the toss bag when my back is against the wall.

    WAIT FOR IT GUYS!!

    "I'm going to die one day and I can't take money with me and it makes me happy"

    Now thats what I call uber twaddle.
    As she loves me and wants to see me happy it works every time. Believe me I have trundled all sorts of stuff through our front room.
    Come to think of it I think I enjoy the battle of the boxes as I always seem to win.
    My wife thinks I have an un-treatable personality disorder (she should know)
    So guys the moral of the story is call a sub by what ever name you want. The secrete is in the twaddle, and, if you are motivated enough to wear them down with it.
    Any one got a better idea??:
     
  20. Peter314

    Peter314
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    Thx m8. ;)

    Indeed. Ordering online, the question is posed as to where the buyer heard about the Monolith, to which my answer was "russ.will, of course!" If BK's marketing department aren't showering you with gifts, they should be!

    Still no sign of its arrival though. :(
     
  21. Nimby

    Nimby
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    blue eye?

    It sounds more like S&M than conventional psychotherapy. :devil:

    "I fell over a box" doesn't fool us for one moment! :D
     
  22. coldmachine

    coldmachine
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    I dont believe that a name sways anyones purchase decisions.

    Im totally happy with my Velodyne Ron Jeremy with 10" driver.

    I intend to upgrade to the 12" John Holmes model real soon.:)
     
  23. bsimmer3000

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    Lol good post. reminds me of when i tryed to convince my girlfriend that we needed a decent surround sound setup. She always let me have my own way until that day we viewed the speakers. every set i picked i got a (NO YOUR DEF NOT HAVING THEM FACE) In the end i decided i was going for the B&W XT set. She also gave me the same look about them so i didnt purchase them. Well to my surprise she bought me the whole set for birthday and that face she was pulling every time was just so i didnt buy them so she could. So people remember if she says No then it might be because she wants to get them as a gift and surprise you.
     
  24. Peter314

    Peter314
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    Quite, you would buy a Monolith, or other sub of your choice. She would acquire a Mopsy. ;)
     
  25. Peter314

    Peter314
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    No worries. Any swmbo with such a quantitative mind, and ability to visualise in three dimensions, will almost certainly enjoy the sub as much as you will. :D
     
  26. Peter314

    Peter314
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    You are correct that comparisons can be a powerful tool when used correctly. I will expand on this when I have the time.

    For now, as Nimby has intimated, all you need to know is that this particular comparison - eminently reasonable though it sounds - is flirting with disaster.

    There is enough in this subject to keep a team of professionals in PhD research material for years to come. For our practical purposes, all we need to know is to leave well alone. Being in the room when a female asks a question about the size of her bum is bad luck. Actively raising the question yourself is sheer lunacy. ;)
     
  27. binbag

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    My baby got back. :smashin:
     
  28. P-P-S-S

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    Even if you gave the sub a fancy name, when it arives home and the partner sees the size of it she will still go off her head anyway (and probably force you to take it back).

    Anyway since when has fear of the wife grasped the male population?

    The best cure for it is to be clever. When you buy something that she might not like, you go out and buy a dress or lipstick or a ring (or whatever else wives like). Then you make sure you get home first and install the sub and when she walks in you greet her with a big smile, passionate kiss and from behind your back out comes the present for her as if by magic (during this time the stereo plays her favouite song, with the sub emmiting those nice and sweet low tones). Rest assured that she wont even notice the sub (or even if she does she wont mind).

    PS: by the way dont ruin the moment by asking her for 'love making' because then she will think that you gave her a present because you were after only one thing (and no, i dont mean the sub either). If she asks you for 'love making' then that's a bonus.:D

    That's all the psychology you need to know about it i think.

    PPS: if the above doesnt work then i am affraid it's time to et rid of the wife. Oh hang on, on a second note that might cause more damage coz she will make sure that the sub is part of her hefty divorce package. Not because she likes it but because she wants to make sure that she demolishes it with an axe and sets it on fire after. :)
     
  29. recruit

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    Damn this thread is hard to moderate, i don't know whats on topic and what is not :rolleyes: :D
     
  30. Daddy k

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    :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::smashin: [​IMG]
     

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