My subwoofer adventure temporarily on hold

Discussion in 'Home Audio (Stereo Systems)' started by 2016aug29, Oct 10, 2017.


  1. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    I recently bought an active subwoofer to incorporate into my stereo system, not to get fat thumps or anything - just to get more extension and increase clarity by taking some load off the main speakers.

    I've read up on placement, crossover settings, polarity, etc., and I got really good results in my listening position.

    BUT - my listening room (living room) is smallish and square, but even though I set the subwoofer level really low (to make it "invisible"), the bass peaks in the corners are just unbelievably high. Extremely boomy. I live in an apartment complex, so I simply don't want to be "that guy". Placement options are extremely limited, and without getting another subwoofer (not happening) plus installing acoustic panels and bass traps, the subwoofer will have to wait until we move to a house.

    My bookshelf speakers have quite good extension, down to 42kHz, and I actually find that plenty for most music. Sometimes, though, it's great fun to put on some orchestral piece or a good funky tune and feel the huge, deep notes using the subwoofer ... Oh, well.
     
  2. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

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    What sub did you get?
    I’ve found that placement matters and if you limit placement you’re going to accept in most cases a less than tight and tuneful bass.
    I went semi cheap and got the $700 or so SVS, and it’s good but suffers for some note blurryness. I accept it as I didn’t want to spend $3000 to resolve.
     
  3. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    I got a 20-year-old Elac subwoofer. It's only 80 Watts, but more than sufficent for my listening needs. Quality should be good, if not great.

    But I've got a square living room with very limited placement possibilites, so it just didn't work for me. Using the bookshelf speakers by themselves gives enough bass, except that I don't "feel" it in my body. As a matter of fact I found "feeling" the bass somewhat distracting.
     
  4. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    20 year old sub? Might be time to replace with in new technology and more adjustments. An old trick to getting better bass is to place the sub where you sit and move yourself around the room until you hear low end that appeals. Yes you need to bend down with your ears near the floor.
     
  5. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    He-he Yeah, not exactly the latest word in subwoofers ... But it's all right.

    I know about the "subwoofer crawl", but my placement options are very limited, because 1) we have a fairly compact living room with non-negotiable furniture placement (enter The Wife) and 2) my speakers are connected to the sub (no sub out from the amp).

    I have a good enough ear and knowledge to figure out where it will sound good, but the way it is now, I'm better off with the two bookshelf speakers, which actually produce more than enough bass.
     
  6. spence

    spence Member

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    'Apartment complex' is the key phrase here, and secondly, subs are harder to integrate into a system than most people think. And by the way, 2 subs are better than one.
     
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  7. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    It's all about physics. That's why I just wanted to try out a pre-owned reasonably priced sub to see if it could work. It DID work when I could sit in a sweet spot, but as I moved out of that, there were several places where we normally sit where I experienced bass nulls.

    The solution that works best for as many people as possible in our room now is to use the bookshelf speakers only AND toeing them in quite extreme, i.e. so that they "cross" a good three feet in front of the center listening position. That gives a wide sweet spot, and music (and movies) sound good almost everywhere. For critical listening, I will adjust them in a different way of course.
     

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