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subs felt only on music as well?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by 7 of 9, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. 7 of 9

    7 of 9
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    1. an old issue of what hi-fi i have says that subs should be only felt and not heard now i know this is right for movies but is this right for stereo music as well?

    2. in the new and latest issue of home cinema mag (not home home cinema choice very easy to confused with these two) there sub tuning advice dont turn a sub up too much not so it domionates or too low so cant feel much and spl meter struggle to register bass notes correctly, is this true?

    3. and they also say because of the above reason the easiest way to sat levels is play a familar piece of music turn the volume up until you can hear the bass starting to dominate a little too much - and then drop it back a nad, what do you think of this idrea is a good way to get bass levels right.

    thanks fro anwers you can give to the questions

    thanks 7of 9
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I've been saying this for years and am pleased that the magazines are now reading my posts to glean some tips :rotfl:

    My way is slightly different as I think that as soon as you can actually hear the bass from the sub it is too loud and the gain should be turned down.

    It is quite a good way to set up a sub but it isn't as good as using an SPL meter and getting it spot on (as well as the other speakers too)

    The bass being felt and not heard is mainly applicable to special effects in movies. If you play the sonic gun scene in Minority Report you won't hear a great deal but if you have a good subwoofer you will feel the wave of air pressure hitting you in the chest. Most music just doesn't go down that far so the bass is audible and not felt.
     
  3. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Using music is definitely a good way to go about tuning the sub to your tastes even after using an SPL meter - particularly if you havn't EQ'd the system.

    Less is definitely more when it comes to subwoofer setup. :)
     
  4. Nimby

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    I set my sub by ear on music and later discovered with my SPL meter that I was within a needle's breadth of correct matching level with my speakers on test tones.

    If it sounds like too much bass then it is too much. But it shouldn't sound like too little bass either so that it sounds weak.

    If it sounds right to you then it is right. Nobody else can tell you what bass level you should listen to.

    Once set I have never had to raise or lower the gain for different music types.

    Though my wife automatically turns up the gain to 12 o'clock from the normal 9 o'clock on the sub gain control for her "heavier" music tastes. While exciting, I find this setting far too heavy for classical, folk or light rock. It quickly irritates me on "normal" music. But on Metallica it is fine at a steady 100dB.

    12 o'clock is also the gain position I use for all DVD films and satellite TV action programmes.

    This gain setting provides 105-107dB peak bass effects on comfortable dialogue levels yet sounds perfectly natural without obvious bass emphasis. This represents a bass increase of around +3dB compared with my normal 9 o'clock setting.

    On all types of music bass is both heard and sometimes felt depending entirely on frequency, level and gain setting.

    Remember that the above applies only to my own system. Don't use this as a guide to your own settings. It is very unlikely that your system will sound the same on the same gain settings as mine.

    Nimby
     
  5. chedmaster

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    what about us people who have "isolated" our subs. I cant feel mine through the floor because its on an inch and a half thick slab, but i can definately tell its there even with crossover very low on films.

    i started this post thinking 'hmm this doesnt seem right', and now i cant explain what i hear/feel. Its as if my whole body becomes an ear and feels the lfe's coming through the air!

    my subs not very musical (not that i have much to compare it to) and i find the musical bass response of my floorstanders far tighter and better, but in films the floorstanders have no chance!
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You isolate the sub from the floor to stop unwanted vibrations which is something different. Low bass is all about air pressure which is what you can feel
     
  7. Londondecca

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    Depending on the sub and associated equipment but it sounds as if the sub is not interfacing with the room correctly
     
  8. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    its an ms908, floorstanders are eltax liberty 5+. Using a crossover test i dont get a very flat response, and since moving my room around i realised my seating position was in a complete dead spot for the sub, so i had to turn it up really loud. Now i have the sub on about half the gain as before, and it sounds better, but i still prefer the floorstanders for music :)
     
  9. Beobloke

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    The corner isn't really an ideal place for the sub...................
     
  10. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    its not in the corner anymore, its between tv and right speaker, once id moved my "chair" it was too boomy in the corner.
     
  11. docb

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    Beobloke

    the Audioholics guide to subwoofer placement Advises in loose terms to place the sub in the corner of a room to increase the base "slam" (their words not mine) from the sub.

    I dont know a great deal about the reasoning, but there alot of graphs showing the differing positions and frequencies/outputs etc..The graph of the sub in the corner certainly shows an increase in the decibel output for the same frequency of input.

    Doc
     
  12. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    tbh beobloke was right in my case, i got two ridiculous peaks in a 100hz - 18 hz sweeping test, and two dropouts, now its much flatter (to my ears at least).
     
  13. Beobloke

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    This will increase what is termed as "slam" because it will make the sub boomier, as chedmaster found. It will undoubtedly add grunt to explosions but won't do much for music!!
     
  14. micb3rd

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    Nimby hit the nail on the head IMO it deffers person to person.

    Some people want bass to be a purely a perfect invisible extention of the front speakers that just provides smooth low end below you front speaker capability.

    Others want very resonant (possible high Q) SPL impact bass that hits you in the chest in the upperbass, vibrates the whole room at lower frequecies and moves as much air as possible.

    There is no right, there is what is right for you.

    As for placement that depends on the room and the subwoofer used. Corner loading can work it can also not work.

    There are logical advantages and disadvantages to corner placement for rooms, your exiting certain mode/nodes, which depending on you room/application can be a good thing or a bad thing from a frequnecy response. Corner placement also may lead to extra subwoofer location problems dragging the sound stage apart....
     
  15. Ian J

    Ian J
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    There is a creed in the software forums that the regulars often seem to be arguing over and that is "What The Director Intended" as that seems to be the all important phrase when selecting a film. Many will not buy the Region 2 version of a film because it has a two second cut and is thefore "Not What The Director Intended".

    I often wonder how many of these same people set up their sound systems for as flat a response as possible in order to listen to the soundtracks "Just As The Director Intended" and then whack it up so that their personal preferences are overriding those of the All Powerful Director.

    To my mind there is no difference between buying a film that has been cut or censored, buying one in a different aspect ration or turning the sub up louder so that it is out of balance with the rest of the sound system if one is a member of the "What The Director Intended" fraternity. I am not saying that either are right or wrong but it is interesting that people refer to "Running the sub hot" as if to justify what they are doing by inventing a nice sounding phrase.

    For information only. I generally couldn't care less whether the film has the odd cut or two, or if the widescreen aspect ratio is different on the DVD to the way it was presented in the cinema but I do like my sound system to be as flat across the audio spectrum as possible
     
  16. Nimby

    Nimby
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    While your points are perfectly valid Ian I think one should remember that it's supposed to be fun. There is always the danger that those who can't achieve absolute perfection within tight paramaters will feel inadequate or fail to enjoy their music or film watching. Straightjackets like a perfectly level response are always system/listener dependant.

    There are so many variables (not least the listening room) that affect the final result that setting tight targets for reproduction is a pointless exercise.
    By all means aim for the moon. But if you fall short and still enjoy your sound quality then that is all that is required. It was never meant to be a test!

    The worst situtation is where members of a forum feel they have to ask permission to go ahead with a change in their system. Personal opinion is all it ever is. Let it guide you but don't lock yourself into a schedule for improvement or tweaking. One will break the bank and the other will just drive you crackers.

    By all mans do what you can to optimise your own system within its limitations. But remember, even if you spend £100,000 on your system you are still stuck with your room.

    Try to sit back and enjoy what you have instead of endlessly analysing how it sounds (and looks) and always wishing for the next step on your way to pefection. You'll know soon enough when you have outgrown your present system and need to add another shiny new box. Waiting for it will add to the pleasure of ownership and reinforce the audible or visual advantages that your purchase brings without wasting money on half-measures. If you keep changing boxes you'll never know when you find the sweet spot in your system's capacity to please. Beyond that point the law of diminishing returns makes you hypercritical. That's when you've lost your sense of direction and the pleasure of enjoying a great film or piece of music becomes a distant memory.

    Now what was the question again? :blush:

    Nimby
     
  17. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You're preaching to the converted as I am firmly of the belief that AV hardware is a means to an end and not the end itself and the last time that I touched any of the settings was two years ago when I slotted the SVS into the system. I very rarely listen to the system as I am normally too busy listening to the film in which I like to get completely absorbed.
     
  18. micb3rd

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    There are valid reasons why we would want to run the subwoofer around 3-6db hot even when running a system with a totally flat response.

    As humans our hearing rolls off toward the low end, this is refrenced by Fletcher – Munson Equal Loudness curve.

    http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/roomacoustics/HumanHearingAmplitude.php

    From my real world testing with SPL meters and my hearing both in the home and in the car the Fletcher – Munson Equal Loudness curves do seem to indicate some truth.

    Play a 20hz tone and find the starting threshhold of your hearing (normally around 60db min), then do so with a 1500hz tone and there is a huge difference!

    Ever wondered why mobile phones are so anoying, they tend to play the majority of the tones in the region our ears are particulary sensitive to 1000hz-5000hz.

    So if you have a flat system as our hearing is not flat, we get a lack of low end at lower volume levels, this is not such a problem if we run our system loud in the becuase we are hearing more flat by that volume point, so it makes sence put in a 3db-6db lift if we play at lower levels.

    Quite a few people in home theater setups don't run flat responses they dial in a raising curve on there parametric EQ (like a BFD) starting starting around 80-100 hz and go up towards 20hz, this gives us a house curve matched more to our hearing curve.
     
  19. Nic Rhodes

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    All subs should be felt and not heard. If you hear a sub I bet you you are hearing distortions and harmonics. These are things that should NOT be reproduced by a well designed sub, unfortunately......most do.

    I run my subs hot, it sounds better :)
     
  20. 30CenturyMan

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    Sounds better? Are you not using a well designed sub? ;)
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I'm happy with them:) It is the likes of the REL Stentor that sits unused here. Keeps bottoming out and has too high distortion for me, ain't flat either and struggles with low bass. Nice glass top though:)
     
  22. 30CenturyMan

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    Nic,

    I was pulling your leg about the slight contradiction in your two sentences in your previous posts. I'm well aware of the subs you use, I am also a user. :)
     
  23. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    You are not the only one who can pull legs :)
     

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