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BC Dave
06-08-2007, 01:08 PM
I have had a long love affair with subwoofers. I bought my first one back in 1989. But I have noticed something interesting lately -- I don't always feel like having the sub on when listening to music or movies. It's as though the novelty has worn off, like going to a favorite restaurant too many times. My wife cannot stand having the room shake one moment during a movie and then having to crank the volume in the next scene to be able to hear the dialog, only to get blasted out by the next bass assault. I've been shutting the sub off to please her and I find I don't really miss it. Don't get me wrong. I love my sub (VMPS Original with updated Megawoofer driver and new passive radiator) and wouldn't part with it, but I find I need a break from subs once in a while. Can anyone else relate or am I just getting old?

06-08-2007, 04:46 PM
Sounds more like you should tweak with the bass so that you can rediscover why you enjoyed that sub so much in the first place!

Have you done any kind of acoustical treatment or EQing with the sub? If not, I would actually start there. The unpleasantness with subwoofers can often originate with where the peaks and dips created by the room acoustics occur (these boomy peaks can easily measure upwards of +20 db or more). Room treatments and EQ can even out the bass response, and let you hear the bass as it should sound, rather than how it sounds after the response has interacted with the room.

With music in particular, I've gotten used to not only the extended range, but also the improved midrange coherency that results from letting the subwoofer handle the lower frequencies. However, if not for leveling out the overall subwoofer response with a parametric equalizer, the bass in my room would be unlistenable.

Other areas to tweak would include level matching with a SPL meter (I generally go +4 to +6 db with the sub compared to the mains) and trying a different location for the sub.

After doing all of these setup steps, I hardly even notice that the subwoofer is there. I've gotten used to how the bass blends in with the rest of the speakers. I actually feel that something is missing if the subwoofer is switched off.

I will say though that certain movies totally overblow the bass. In those cases, I will lower the subwoofer level, but I've yet to run into a situation where I'd prefer to switch it off altogether.

06-08-2007, 05:01 PM
Yeah I can relate. Few years back I started to entertain the idea again of surround. Picked up digital receiver and a sub . That's about as far it went. Mostly listened in 2ch with sub. One day with spare time hooked old reliable amp w/out sub and whoa. The digital was sold and the sub went to the closet. Upgraded the speakers and all was well till this week. Opportunity to sell the sub, hooked it up and started to wonder. Well sub is gone and so are any regrets. Getting older (wiser?) yeah....growing up ..ahh not yet

06-08-2007, 07:45 PM
Sounds to me like you need to set the crossover to adjust for this. If you are not interested in the sub-sonic bass levels than you can simply adjust so that your bass sweeps are more subtle and are not drowning out the film. Most people typically have TOO MUCH bass to begin with, rather than quality bass. It's not always about the level of bass, but the bass response being accurate, detailed, and has depth. Look into acoustic treatments and EQ'ing as well.