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Are subwoofers worth it? [message #87219] Sun, 11 February 2018 03:30 Go to next message
Reinhardt is currently offline  Reinhardt
Messages: 19
Registered: February 2018
Chancellor
I just read this article, The Case Against Subwoofers for Music. I think the writer makes some valid points. I've always had difficulty getting the right balance between my subwoofer and speakers. It's not impossible, but it's challenging. I also have to agree that too much bass can easily muddy up a song. I rarely feel the need to get the bass to really boom these days (although I used to love it in the past). So for me, I don't think they're really worth it, so long as I have good enough speakers. What do you all think?
Re: Are subwoofers worth it? [message #87220 is a reply to message #87219] Sun, 11 February 2018 10:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17254
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

If you can tell the subs are on, you don't have 'em setup right.

I used to prefer systems without subs until Todd Welti introduced the multisub concept in the early 2000s. I expanded upon it to include the concept of flanking subs. Both approaches smooth the sound field in the lower frequency region. Multisubs are effective up to around 100Hz, and flanking subs are useful above that.
Study those concepts here at the links above. I think having a single sub is a bad idea, and I'd prefer not even having (just) one. But having more than one sub makes a lot of sense. You aren't adding subs to increase "boom boom" bass; Quite the opposite - you are doing it to make the bass smooth and the transition seamless. If you can tell the subs are on, you don't have 'em setup right.

Re: Are subwoofers worth it? [message #87227 is a reply to message #87219] Tue, 13 February 2018 23:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Reinhardt is currently offline  Reinhardt
Messages: 19
Registered: February 2018
Chancellor
Wow, thank you so much for sharing those links. I feel a little foolish now as I'd never really considered having more than one. Your concept makes a lot of sense. I should have been thinking bigger, or well, more. I'll have to see what I could do in the space I have.
Re: Are subwoofers worth it? [message #87230 is a reply to message #87220] Thu, 15 February 2018 16:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
monster is currently offline  monster
Messages: 17
Registered: February 2018
Chancellor
Wayne Parham wrote on Sun, 11 February 2018 10:48

I think having a single sub is a bad idea, and I'd prefer not even having (just) one. But having more than one sub makes a lot of sense. You aren't adding subs to increase "boom boom" bass; Quite the opposite - you are doing it to make the bass smooth and the transition seamless. If you can tell the subs are on, you don't have 'em setup right.


So, if I'm understanding correctly, if my budget could allow me to get one really great subwoofer or two pretty good subwoofers, you think I opt for the two instead of the one? Do you think it would be wiser to just save up some more for multiple higher-quality ones?
Re: Are subwoofers worth it? [message #87237 is a reply to message #87230] Fri, 16 February 2018 08:46 Go to previous message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17254
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Multiple subwoofers are better than one. Now then, if you buy subs that aren't adequate, then obviously your performance will be poor. But reasonably-priced subs aren't hard to find, and for even more savings, you can build them yourself.

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