Is it best to let your sub handle all the bass? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-26-2006, 05:57 PM
Or is it a matter of personal taste. Does anyone here add bass from there receiver to there front and surround speakers while also using a subwoofer or do you leave your bass set to 0 on your receiver for your fronts and surrounds while using a subwoofer.

04-26-2006, 06:47 PM
From a purist' point of view, any additional tone control is a :nono: and for music, I don't even turn my sub on unless the music is mixed that way. I'll admit to subscribing to the theory that the less you have between the source and the speakers, the better.

From a practical standpoint, I have no problem with someone adding a bit a bass or treble to compensate for room factors. It's your music and you should be able to enjoy it however you want.

It's ironic because while most purist' rail away at indiviuals who choose to utilize tone control, they have no problem applying an eq to their system :rolleyes:

Audiophiles. Nutty bunch, eh?

04-26-2006, 07:06 PM
IMO, it's a tradeoff and depends on how your system's setup. If you use bookshelf speakers that cannot extend down past about 60 Hz, then you might need to use a sub simply because there's bass information that the speakers are physically incapable of picking up. With two-channel sources, topspeed's correct in nothing that a lot of audiophiles prefer to keep the signal as straight and unprocessed as possible. Going with some good full range speakers, you start with a fairly coherent sound in the bass. A subwoofer can and will present time alignment problems, and this affects how well it integrates with the mains.

The disadvantage of sending a full range signal to your L/C/R/LS/RS speakers is that in a typical two-channel or 5.1 alignment, the alignment that optimizes the spatial and imaging cues is rarely optimal for the bass reproduction. Bass reinforcement gets maximized by placing the speakers in the corner, but in most cases, the corner alignment will spread the main speakers in particular too wide to create an optimal stereo image.

IMO, the primary advantage of using a subwoofer is that it only plays the bass range, and that gives you much greater flexibility to position the sub in a spot that gives you optimal bass response relative to your seating position. A sub also gives you the option of using an equalizer to correct for room-induced problems, which tend to affect the lower frequencies much more than the midrange and highs.

Ultimately, the decision to go with a sub depends on whether you're willing to sacrifice some of the integration with the main speakers to better optimize the tonal response and provide more flexibility with the placement, level setting, and room correction options. A lot of new calibration and room correction features have started to find their way into subs and home theater processors that address the integration issues while retaining the flexibility that a sub provides.

04-26-2006, 07:16 PM
Thanx a bunch topspeed and Woochifer !