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  1. #1
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    Question HT Subwoofer Theory, Knowledge & Advice Request

    HT Subwoofer Theory, Knowledge & Advice Request


    Your wisdom and knowledge would be a major help and greatly appreciated in my future purchase of a subwoofer for my Home Theater.


    My HT's main use is for movies (75%). Limited use for PS3 and Wii gaming (24%). Very little or no use with music (1%).

    Current Set-up:
    Receiver: Yamaha HTR-56760 (110w x 7)
    Fronts: Polk Audio Monitor 30 Bookshelves
    Center: Polk Audio CS1
    Surrounds: Vintage Pioneer 2-way Bookshelves (circa 1991)
    Subwoofer: NONE


    Room Size:
    23' x 16'
    HT is in my basement, so 3 walls are brick exterior walls with drywall and insulation over them, 4th wall is an interior wall. Also, my floor is concrete foundation covered with padding and carpet (between seating and tv is a two inch thick 7'x9' Oriental rug)



    Questions:

    1.) Future upgrades include the separate purchases of a subwoofer and of Polk Audio Monitor 70 Towers to use as front speakers (moving the 30s to surround). Since both need to be purchased 6 months to a year apart for cash flow reasons, am I correct in assuming the addition of a subwoofer (upgrading from 5.0 to 5.1) will have a more dramatic effect on my HT experience than upgrading my fronts and thus I should purchase the sub first?

    2.) I know subwoofer placement has a major impact on perceived performance and plan on doing a "crawl test" when I first get the sub home to find the best location within the room, however:
    - How does driver size (8" vs. 10" vs. 12") effect the sound produced?
    - How would two 8" subs with 100w rms each compare with one 12" with 200 rms?
    - How does sound (& vibrations) produced differ between down firing subs vs. front firing ones?

    3.) Given a budget of $250 - $500, any suggestions which sub(s) will give me the HIGHEST QUALITY "boom"-for-my-buck?


    Thanks in advice.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    for that king of money you would probably be better getting one good sub than two mediocre cheap subs. For your 250 to 500 dollars I would say to stay with a 12" model because in my opinion a twelve inch woofer if the enclosure is designed properly and powered by a good amount of clean power will usually give you a good balance of low frequency extension and clean tight bass. If you had a higher budget I would say go with two 10 or 12 inch subs which with proper placement in the room would give you the best overall balance of bass. If you have to have a new sub I would look at HSU research, they have subs in this price class. Now if tight clean bass is what you are after and if you were more interested in the music part of your system I would say the best bet would be the Martin Logan Abyss. Audio Advisor has the Abyss right now for $599 which is a damn good price seeing that it goes normally for over 1000 dollars. It is a sealed designed enclosure which you might give a little boom in the higher bass range but this sub will be more accurate in the lower frequencies and go lower than most subs of its size and price plus it is not that big and can be floor firing or front firing just depends on which works in your room better. I think you would be hard to beet the Abyss for the money but if you are willing to buy used then I would look close at SVS,Velodyne,HSU, plus a few others but the most important thing is what you want a sub to do and to get the right one for your room and your use.

    yamaha htr5560 receiver (HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  3. #3
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbfranchi
    HT Subwoofer Theory, Knowledge & Advice Request


    Your wisdom and knowledge would be a major help and greatly appreciated in my future purchase of a subwoofer for my Home Theater.


    My HT's main use is for movies (75%). Limited use for PS3 and Wii gaming (24%). Very little or no use with music (1%).

    Current Set-up:
    Receiver: Yamaha HTR-56760 (110w x 7)
    Fronts: Polk Audio Monitor 30 Bookshelves
    Center: Polk Audio CS1
    Surrounds: Vintage Pioneer 2-way Bookshelves (circa 1991)
    Subwoofer: NONE


    Room Size:
    23' x 16'
    HT is in my basement, so 3 walls are brick exterior walls with drywall and insulation over them, 4th wall is an interior wall. Also, my floor is concrete foundation covered with padding and carpet (between seating and tv is a two inch thick 7'x9' Oriental rug)



    Questions:

    1.) Future upgrades include the separate purchases of a subwoofer and of Polk Audio Monitor 70 Towers to use as front speakers (moving the 30s to surround). Since both need to be purchased 6 months to a year apart for cash flow reasons, am I correct in assuming the addition of a subwoofer (upgrading from 5.0 to 5.1) will have a more dramatic effect on my HT experience than upgrading my fronts and thus I should purchase the sub first?

    Since you already have fairly decent mains, I would get the subwoofer first. Since movies is your first priority, a subwoofer is a must.

    2.) I know subwoofer placement has a major impact on perceived performance and plan on doing a "crawl test" when I first get the sub home to find the best location within the room, however:
    - How does driver size (8" vs. 10" vs. 12") effect the sound produced?
    - How would two 8" subs with 100w rms each compare with one 12" with 200 rms?
    - How does sound (& vibrations) produced differ between down firing subs vs. front firing ones?
    Your room is a medium large room so I would stay away from a 8" or 10" driver size. I personally would go for 12" or 15" drivers for the sub.

    There is no difference between front firing and down firing subs. Bass wavelengths at the frequencies that the subs handle are so long that neither has an advantage. The problem with down firing subs is center around gravity pulling the driver downward over time, leaving it out of the gap which increases distortion.

    3.) Given a budget of $250 - $500, any suggestions which sub(s) will give me the HIGHEST QUALITY "boom"-for-my-buck?


    Thanks in advice.
    Look at SVS subs or HSU subs. They provide the most clean skin messaging output for the buck.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
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  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    for that king of money you would probably be better getting one good sub than two mediocre cheap subs. For your 250 to 500 dollars I would say to stay with a 12" model because in my opinion a twelve inch woofer if the enclosure is designed properly and powered by a good amount of clean power will usually give you a good balance of low frequency extension and clean tight bass. If you had a higher budget I would say go with two 10 or 12 inch subs which with proper placement in the room would give you the best overall balance of bass. If you have to have a new sub I would look at HSU research, they have subs in this price class. Now if tight clean bass is what you are after and if you were more interested in the music part of your system I would say the best bet would be the Martin Logan Abyss. Audio Advisor has the Abyss right now for $599 which is a damn good price seeing that it goes normally for over 1000 dollars. It is a sealed designed enclosure which you might give a little boom in the higher bass range but this sub will be more accurate in the lower frequencies and go lower than most subs of its size and price plus it is not that big and can be floor firing or front firing just depends on which works in your room better. I think you would be hard to beet the Abyss for the money but if you are willing to buy used then I would look close at SVS,Velodyne,HSU, plus a few others but the most important thing is what you want a sub to do and to get the right one for your room and your use.
    I would not recommend the Abyss for this size room unless he is going to get two or more of them. Velodynes at this price point are not nearly as good as SVS or HSU subs are.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  5. #5
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Are you handy with tools?
    Do you work well with wood?
    Can you do a little soldering?

    If so, you can get more bang for your buck with a DIY project.
    These kits could be built by about anyone. http://www.parts-express.com/wizards...TOKEN=49352732

    If you have more advanced skills, building your own cabinet can increase your bang even more.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    You are probably right about the Velodyne being too expensive for his budget but possibly in the used market he will fair better and might even score two subs if he shops right. And if he is capable the Dayton DIY subwoofer kits are very good especially for the money but I don't know if the OP is up to the task of putting together a subwoofer. I do know from experience that the Dayton kits are very well explained and very easy to assemble from the included instructions and straight forward design.

    yamaha htr5560 receiver (HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  7. #7
    Forum Regular
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by mbfranchi
    HT Subwoofer Theory, Knowledge & Advice Request


    Your wisdom and knowledge would be a major help and greatly appreciated in my future purchase of a subwoofer for my Home Theater.


    My HT's main use is for movies (75%). Limited use for PS3 and Wii gaming (24%). Very little or no use with music (1%).

    Current Set-up:
    Receiver: Yamaha HTR-56760 (110w x 7)
    Fronts: Polk Audio Monitor 30 Bookshelves
    Center: Polk Audio CS1
    Surrounds: Vintage Pioneer 2-way Bookshelves (circa 1991)
    Subwoofer: NONE


    Room Size:
    23' x 16'
    HT is in my basement, so 3 walls are brick exterior walls with drywall and insulation over them, 4th wall is an interior wall. Also, my floor is concrete foundation covered with padding and carpet (between seating and tv is a two inch thick 7'x9' Oriental rug)



    Questions:

    1.) Future upgrades include the separate purchases of a subwoofer and of Polk Audio Monitor 70 Towers to use as front speakers (moving the 30s to surround). Since both need to be purchased 6 months to a year apart for cash flow reasons, am I correct in assuming the addition of a subwoofer (upgrading from 5.0 to 5.1) will have a more dramatic effect on my HT experience than upgrading my fronts and thus I should purchase the sub first?

    Yes, I think we are all inagreement the sub should be next. You currently have nothing to reproduce very low frequencies in your system, plus the sub will allow to take advantage of the LFE (low frequency effects) in movie soundtracks.

    2.) I know subwoofer placement has a major impact on perceived performance and plan on doing a "crawl test" when I first get the sub home to find the best location within the room, however:
    - How does driver size (8" vs. 10" vs. 12") effect the sound produced?
    - How would two 8" subs with 100w rms each compare with one 12" with rms?
    - How does sound (& vibrations) produced differ between down firing subs vs. front firing ones?

    * The larger the driver the more air will be pushed, this is a good thing. You can't really go by power because the drivers themselves vary in efficiency (how loud they will play with a certain measure of power). The higher the efficiency the louder it will play for a given amount of power over one less efficient. A sealed enclosure will take more power where ported boxes are typically more efficient.

    3.) Given a budget of $250 - $500, any suggestions which sub(s) will give me the HIGHEST QUALITY "boom"-for-my-buck?

    Here's my choice: http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-cyl-pc12_nsd.cfm

    This is an incredible sub for $569.00. You will find it to be very fast and accurate, it will blend well with your other speakers. Properly set up you won't get big rumble but the bass will be deep and clean with low end detail like you probably haven't experienced before. I have a similar room but mine opens in the back. I bought a step up model and it works great.

    Thanks in advance.
    why won't this post
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