I’d like to get burned on this opinion question.

9397SVTs

9397SVTs

Audioholic
Thanks for the replies/explanations.

So, is the performance just something that is measurable, or can you actually hear and notice a difference/deficiency between equal ported and sealed subs?

The sub guide on SVS's web page suggested PB 16 Ultra's, but that seemed a bit much to me.
 
S

SimplyEpic

Audioholic
Room acoustics can be so fun and play such a large role. I have an open floor plan and the main listening area is 25x15x20. With my 2 PB-4000's I think I have excellent bass but it has also taken a while to get things semi-tuned in and still have not got it completely optimized. I have a sealed subs in a different room and the main difference I have had has been the feeling of the bass. The sealed subs seem to be just about as loud but I definitely do not feel the bass like I do with the ported. This is an apples to carrots comparison with different size subs, different size rooms, brands etcetera but has been my general experience when comparing sealed vs ported. I think both when done well sound equally as good but the sealed subs just don't seem to give me the same hit you in the chest type of feel. The example above is just one of many I have had where I get the same similar sound but just not the same feeling.

Just my 2 cents.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Thanks for the replies/explanations.

So, is the performance just something that is measurable, or can you actually hear and notice a difference/deficiency between equal ported and sealed subs?

The sub guide on SVS's web page suggested PB 16 Ultra's, but that seemed a bit much to me.
It is definitely measurable. But keep in mind, content is king. If you’re listening to Bruce Springsteen, you won’t have much use for a huge ported sub(unless maybe you run it suuuuper hot). If you’re into movies that actually have a lot of low bass(or music) ported subs are much better.
To Ryan’s point about cabin gain, there are a lot of variables. Personally I think it’s often overstated. But again, room construction and overall size are the biggest contributors. I’ve seen a guys room that had a pair of sb2k’s that were flat to 20hz. Problem was they didn’t have much output. Another thing is integration with the system/room/placement.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks for the replies/explanations.

So, is the performance just something that is measurable, or can you actually hear and notice a difference/deficiency between equal ported and sealed subs?

The sub guide on SVS's web page suggested PB 16 Ultra's, but that seemed a bit much to me.
I can absolutely hear the difference. Ported subs have more output at the tuning frequency and with both ports open on my subs I have more output in the audible range (25 - 40 hz) than in sealed mode. The only real difference I notice when I plug my ports is it really tames them down. I much prefer both ports open.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
So much of what we do as audio hobbyists comes back to that very thing: Room Acoustics.

Spending time learning basic Acoustics is one of the best things any such hobbyist can do for themselves. To me, it makes the experience more rewarding by learning the rules by which we have to play our games by. :)
Books like the Master Handbook of Acoustics, 6th ed and Sound Reproduction should be basic reading for us. Likewise, I would go further and say that any true Audiohead should understand the fundamentals behind speaker design. ;) Books like Murphy's Intro To Loudspeaker Design and/or Weem's Designing, Building and Testing your Own Speaker System With Projects are great introductory books to the topic.

I'm not suggesting that we all need EE Degrees, or need to understand the Wizard Level aspects of Wave Theory to the fullest extent... :eek:

But being able to look at a room, understand the limitations it may have, knowing where and how to place Speakers (including Subs) for optimal performance...

THIS is what separates us from the crew that buys a $500 all inclusive trip to HTIB-Land. We are the ones going to local shops and eating real Tacos on the streets, not sipping slushies in a Cancun Hotel pretending we are experiencing the world. :D

*steps off soapbox

:cool:
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
One other thing I would add is that the vast majority of music isn't a very demanding application for subs. Typically the only musical elements that dip into subwoofer range frequencies are the fundamentals of basslines, and the fundamental of certain percussion instruments like kick drums or bass drums. It is very simple stuff.
Your comments here remind me of an on-going frustration I have with this forum.
First I agree completely with your statement.
My frustration is when we have someone asking for advise and he says "I am looking for a sub for music only" he gets told there is no difference and advised to buy an expensive sub!
I don't think it takes a $700 sub ($1400 for dual subs) to complement a pair of $300 (on sale) JBL 530s in a great sounding music system!
Based on your quote above, it seems reasonable that there should be a comparatively inexpensive sub that would fulfill the need for a music sub for most people (assuming these people are not pipe organ aficionados)!
Do you have any recommendations on a sub that is a good value for meeting the less demanding music needs?

But to the OP's question, I think the REL is a competent sub (aside from costing so much) for the less demanding music application and it probably benefits from having less low output (higher roll-off) because if someone puts one in a corner, the room gain isn't going to ruin the sound of his music the way a lot of HT-capable subs would.
I believe the REL fan-boys are a different crowd. These are stereo purists who are finally coming to terms with the idea of adding a sub to their system. However, they would consider using an AVR blasphemy! Consequently, they absolutely are not using any room correction or even competent bass management. Just an integrated amp or maybe a 2 channel pre-amp. I suspect the REL (because of their inefficacy) are less prone to offend.
In reality, these guys would be aided tremendously by having the control of a good DSP unit, but that is heresy in their "straight wire is best" world!

It would be nice to see someone like HSU come out with a series of subs which replicated the limited capability of the REL's and provided an inexpensive option for music only customers!
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Your comments here remind me of an on-going frustration I have with this forum.
First I agree completely with this statement.
My frustration is when we have someone asking for advise and he says "I am looking for a sub for music only" he gets told there is no difference and advised to buy an expensive sub!
I don't think it takes a $700 sub ($1400 for dual subs) to complement a pair of $300 (on sale) JBL 530s in a great sounding music system!
Based on your quote above, it seems reasonable that there should be a comparatively inexpensive sub that would fulfill the need for a music sub for most people (assuming these people are not pipe organ aficionados)!
Do you have any recommendations on a sub that is a good value for meeting the less demanding music needs?

But to the OP's question, I think the REL is a competent sub (aside from costing so much) for the less demanding music application and it probably benefits from having less low output (higher roll-off) because if someone puts one in a corner, the room gain isn't going to ruin the sound of his music the way a lot of HT-capable subs would.
I believe the REL fan-boys are a different crowd. These are stereo purists who are finally coming to terms with the idea of adding a sub to their system. However, they would consider using an AVR blasphemy! Consequently, they absolutely are not using any room correction or even competent bass management. Just an integrated amp or maybe a 2 channel pre-amp. I suspect the REL (because of their inefficacy) are less prone to offend.
In reality, these guys would be aided tremendously by having the control of a good DSP unit, but that is heresy in their "straight wire is best" world!

It would be nice to see someone like HSU come out with a series of subs which replicated the limited capability of the REL's and provided an inexpensive option for music only customers!
Some subs that would be fine for music, the Speedwoofer 10S, probably the SVS SB-1000 or PB1000, the sealed Monolith subs, the ULS-15 mk2, MartinLogan Dynamo subs, to name just a few. If you are asking about really cheap ones like the Dayton Audio subs, I don't know since I don't have any experience with subs in that product class.

As for Rel, they can make some fine subs, but they cater to 2-channel purists too much. I can't say a lot about them since I haven't seen any serious data on any of their products in years. As for DSP, there may be good reason for not wanting a DSP sub in an otherwise analog system. The reason is that DSPs always add delay to the sound, and there is no way to compensate for that delay in an analog setup. The delay can be 20ms or more. That is a pretty significant chunk of a cycle at mid-bass frequencies like around the crossover point. I don't know how audible that is but I wouldn't be surprised if you could hear the difference.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I think you just need to determine your goals for subs....what extension do you want and at what spl? What gear do you have to integrate it/them with? If for "music" the type of music/instruments can make a difference....
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Your comments here remind me of an on-going frustration I have with this forum.
First I agree completely with your statement.
My frustration is when we have someone asking for advise and he says "I am looking for a sub for music only" he gets told there is no difference and advised to buy an expensive sub!
I don't think it takes a $700 sub ($1400 for dual subs) to complement a pair of $300 (on sale) JBL 530s in a great sounding music system!
Based on your quote above, it seems reasonable that there should be a comparatively inexpensive sub that would fulfill the need for a music sub for most people (assuming these people are not pipe organ aficionados)!
Do you have any recommendations on a sub that is a good value for meeting the less demanding music needs?

But to the OP's question, I think the REL is a competent sub (aside from costing so much) for the less demanding music application and it probably benefits from having less low output (higher roll-off) because if someone puts one in a corner, the room gain isn't going to ruin the sound of his music the way a lot of HT-capable subs would.
I believe the REL fan-boys are a different crowd. These are stereo purists who are finally coming to terms with the idea of adding a sub to their system. However, they would consider using an AVR blasphemy! Consequently, they absolutely are not using any room correction or even competent bass management. Just an integrated amp or maybe a 2 channel pre-amp. I suspect the REL (because of their inefficacy) are less prone to offend.
In reality, these guys would be aided tremendously by having the control of a good DSP unit, but that is heresy in their "straight wire is best" world!

It would be nice to see someone like HSU come out with a series of subs which replicated the limited capability of the REL's and provided an inexpensive option for music only customers!
I like your angle here. I agree.
When I shopped for new computer speakers and was considering AudioEngine plus a Sub, I knew I didn't need ultra deep extension: that rig wasn't for those purposes! I was looking at the Outlaw M8 or the Speedwoofer. The Dayton Sub 1200 would have been good I think, but didn't go high enough for proper integration.

I wish more subs had options on the Amps to use Speaker level connections with a "through" option, perhaps even deactivate DSP altogether. Obviously this is a pipe dream, especially with some subs leaning so heavily on the DSP just to help hold them together. ;) (Yes, I know and understand this isn't always the case... I guess more appropriate would be to say that I wish the Sub was designed to operate at the best possible baseline performance without DSP and that DSP could be selected for additional options... though again this makes usage much more complicated than any plug and play solution which is what would sell over and over instead of a truly tuneable Sub... alas, I digress).

From our HelpDesk perspective, asking questions like Usage and Goals, room volume, placement options etc. is all important. Though we do frequently recommend the same base companies time and again, it is largely with good reason. We crave performance and want others to know that joy.
Perhaps the biggest sin is recommending what we own regardless of context. We see this all the time. And while I do recommend Outlaws, I know they aren't for everyone and don't think I have ever just tried to get somebody to choose Outlaw without recommending the pros and cons against the others in that group.
When Shady, for example, comments that there are not any real measurements or performance metrics for PSA or newer Rythmiks, I agree and find myself less willing to recommend their product. Point for Rythmik is that they work with Ascend and Salk and frankly don't think either would partner up if they didn't feel there was some merit to their product.

***edited. Thanks @lovinthehd

Regardless, maybe this is another point towards that proposed Subwoofer Primer I suggested above! :D
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Perhaps PSA will join GoldenEar as becoming part of the AudioQuest Family, :oops: since they are already shilling their Cables.
FWIW Power Sound Audio the sub company often called PSA doesn't shill the cables, that's PSAudio (or BSAudio as I prefer).
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
FWIW Power Sound Audio the sub company often called PSA doesn't shill the cables, that's PSAudio (or BSAudio as I prefer).
Thanks for the correction!
I was surprised when I read that as that doesn't fit my image of PSA/Tom V at all.
 
9397SVTs

9397SVTs

Audioholic
I'll do some research on room acoustics. Since my stereo and HT is in a common area living room, it already has compromises and limitations.

Asthetics, or the lack thereof, need wife approval.
 
9397SVTs

9397SVTs

Audioholic
Would it be worthwhile to have someone come and calibrate the stereo system and subs? Is it money well spent? I suppose this process would determine if my subs are sufficient or if I should move to a larger and ported sub.

While I guess it's possible to do this myself, I would have to buy the equipment and will have little understanding of what I am doing.

Thoughts?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Would it be worthwhile to have someone come and calibrate the stereo system and subs? Is it money well spent? I suppose this process would determine if my subs are sufficient or if I should move to a larger and ported sub.

While I guess it's possible to do this myself, I would have to buy the equipment and will have little understanding of what I am doing.

Thoughts?
I don't even think a lot of installers would have experience in doing what we are talking about specifically. And they would be more expensive than buying the equipment needed to do it yourself. All you really need is a calibration mic like this guy and a computer. The software needed is free. That will help you optimize subwoofer placement, which is like 75% of the battle. After that you can get a MiniDSP or something if you want to smooth out the response more.
 
9397SVTs

9397SVTs

Audioholic
Thanks.

I'm a bit intimidated to attempt this, as I am not computer savvy and limited in understanding.

Do these programs display an ideal output line? to compare against so you know where to make adjustments?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Thanks.

I'm a bit intimidated to attempt this, as I am not computer savvy and limited in understanding.

Do these programs display an ideal output line? to compare against so you know where to make adjustments?
You don't need an ideal output line, just a flat line, at least for bass frequencies. I don't recommend EQing the entire spectrum, just from around mid-bass frequencies and below. If your speakers are any good, you shouldn't need to EQ anything above that range.
 
9397SVTs

9397SVTs

Audioholic
I did some reading and ordered the miniDSP and mic, along with a pair of RCA cables. I'm still not comfortable with this, but willing to give it a try.
 

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