Help me choose a subwoofer!

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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:26 am

Skullzer wrote:Also, I had my receiver setup to recognize my main speakers as "small" speakers, could that have contributed to the failure of my sub?

If your receiver is like mine, setting any of the speakers to "small" does cause additional low-frequency material for those channel(s) to be routed to the subwoofer. Sounds like you don't have a choice, though, since 2-way bookshelf speakers are not low-frequency powerhouses. The Beta C250 is a pretty decent center channel but its low frequency roll-off (at 55 Hz) is actually higher than your mains.

So, at the very least I would tend to move up to some sort of 12" sub, since it won't have to work as hard to move the same amount of air. Preferably stick with a front-firing type as the down-firing types tend to put more energy into the floor.
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:45 am

Skullzer wrote:Hi all,

So far you have helped me build a pc and choose a monitor, now I'm looking for help in choosing a subwoofer for my home theater system.

I currently have a Sony receiver, not sure of the model number but its only 2 years old. I have 2 Infinity primus bookshelf speakers, an infinity center channel, and infinity rears. My current infinity 10inch sub had started over heating and while googling a remedy I have learned that it is a very common issue and I would like to avoid the brand if possible.

I would like to spend no more than $300. Any suggestions where to buy? What brands? My current usage is tv, blue ray, and music. I do share walls with my neighbor so I won't need anything that will rattle the walls too much haha. Just looking for some low frequency for a better listening experience.

Let me know if you need additional information about my current setup.



Just read this thread in an appropriate forums:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1364182/list- ... 0-and-less
It's somewhat old, but many choices are still valid, and teh thread is still active. Personally, with your neighbors being sensitive about extra noises, I would just get a good brand of headphones (from Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic) so you could enjoy watching movies and enjoy music at whatever volume you want to, at any time of the day.
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:21 pm

Have you considered something like a Clark Synthesis Tactile Transducer instead of a traditional subwoofer? Excellent performance and great for situations where you don't want to bother people. The only potential downside is the installation which might be an annoyance. You can pair a Clark Synthesis TST209 with a Behringer iNUKE NU1000 amplifier for less than $300 total.
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:44 pm

Perhaps a bit overkill, but the Klipsch Reference RW-12 is currently on sale for $290 at Newegg with coupon code EMCYTZT3114, which looks like good value. There are mentions in the reviews of people receiving theirs with loose port tubes, but apparently they can be positioned back into place without too much difficulty...

Here's a mostly positive review. I don't have any experience with it myself.
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:19 pm

cynan wrote:Perhaps a bit overkill, but the Klipsch Reference RW-12 is currently on sale for $290 at Newegg with coupon code EMCYTZT3114, which looks like good value.


This does seem like a good deal. And you can never have too much overkill...
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:51 pm

Ifalna wrote:I'm just asking if I miss some super secret sound absorbing forcefield generator that lets you blast in your flat and not aggravate the neighbors. :D


Well, it's not quite a forcefield generator, but there is a product for this, and Amazon sells it: http://www.amazon.com/Auralex-Subwoofer ... ex+subdude

It is an isolation platform which keeps the vibrations from carrying through the floor. Read reviews on it: normally, the story goes that the person installing it feels brave and turns the subwoofer up, and the next time he sees his neighbor a week later, the neighbor asks if he turned it down. :D They make bigger (and uglier) platforms designed for guitar and bass cabs as well, which should work very well if your sub is quite big.

Apart from that, the only thing that will help is isolation. Cringe every time someone mentions "sound proofing", because there is no such thing. But there is isolation, and that is achieved primarily through mass, and secondarily through isolating vibrations between masses (think floating floors). Isolation and good bass is a difficult conundrum, since if you have super thick walls of very dense materials, like concrete, you reflect all of that bass back into the room, which creates serious peaks and nulls in the frequency response. You want the bass pass through the walls, unless you have neighbors complaining.

If isolation is serious, construct two or three walls that don't connect to each other in a way that vibration could pass between them. The simplest definition is to "build a room within a room". But, if you're like me and live in a residential area, this isn't even remotely practical.

But for the love of donuts, don't cover your walls in egg-cartons. They diffuse sound over an extremely narrow frequency range and otherwise do nothing audibly. They are just an eye-sore and a fire hazard. (Real absorption and diffusion is another topic.)
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:06 pm

Those Auralex (or similar) subwoofer isolating platforms don't work miracles. I've used them. If you have poor acoustic isolation in your walls you share with your neighbor, no amount of physical isolation between the subwoofer and floor is going to allow you to play it substantially louder. While it may reduce the overall sound energy propagated to your neighbours to a small degree, what it mainly does is help eliminate potentially annoying vibrations, rattles, buzzes, etc, which, depending on the construction of your building and materials in your room (and your neighbours'), may reduce some disruptive side-effects that would normally occur at lower volumes that might be tolerable otherwise.

Then again, If you are entertaining the idea of having a significant subwoofer experience with neighbors sharing your wall, I suppose every little bit may help...

If you are serious about adding noise isolation (and you can't build a room within a room) a more practical compromise might be to add a second layer of drywall on the adjoining wall, with some of this goop in between. It's designed to eliminate much of the sound energy that hits it by converting it into heat - so if you play your sound system loud enough, you may even cut down on heating bills in the winter! But in seriousness, I haven't tried something like this myself. It's just something I would look into if I was stuck for any length of time in a poorly acoustically isolated living space.
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:45 pm

Correct, the isolation platforms don't work miracles. They cut down on rattles throughout the house, things like cabinets and door knobs, etc. Also, they help prevent your walls and floors from acting as transducers (in this case, acting as speakers themselves).

Personally, I'm considering an alternative solution: asking my neighbors when they aren't home. :) I made a pie for them and attempted to deliver it seven times so far, but they haven't answered the door yet. Either they are seriously shy, or they aren't home enough for me to worry about playing loud music during reasonable hours. :D
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:05 pm

cynan wrote:If you are serious about adding noise isolation (and you can't build a room within a room) a more practical compromise might be to add a second layer of drywall on the adjoining wall, with some of this goop in between. It's designed to eliminate much of the sound energy that hits it by converting it into heat - so if you play your sound system loud enough, you may even cut down on heating bills in the winter! But in seriousness, I haven't tried something like this myself. It's just something I would look into if I was stuck for any length of time in a poorly acoustically isolated living space.

I have some doubts about the "special acoustic damping properties" of that product, given the installation instructions -- it appears to be a glorified construction adhesive. The technique of adding a second layer of sheetrock using a plastic glue (and staggering the seams, natch) existed a long time before that stuff came to market. The benefit is obtained by having a non-rigid interface between the two sheetrock layers, which allows the outer layer to vibrate without transmitting the vibrations to the inner layer, which is screwed into the studs and will otherwise propagate the wave into the wall structure.
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Re: Help me choose a subwoofer!

Postposted on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:31 pm

ludi wrote:I have some doubts about the "special acoustic damping properties" of that product, given the installation instructions -- it appears to be a glorified construction adhesive. The technique of adding a second layer of sheetrock using a plastic glue (and staggering the seams, natch) existed a long time before that stuff came to market. The benefit is obtained by having a non-rigid interface between the two sheetrock layers, which allows the outer layer to vibrate without transmitting the vibrations to the inner layer, which is screwed into the studs and will otherwise propagate the wave into the wall structure.


I think the key is to have realistic expectations. Nothing save complete physical isolation (in addition to the appropriate mass to absorb sound energy) is going to get you anything close to complete isolation. However, for many, extensive structural reconstruction is not an option. And depending on your situation, every little bit can help. These substances are supposed to go one step further than regular plastic glue insofar as reducing shearing and converting excess energy into heat, but I don't know how effective it is personally, or whether that is mostly marketing speak.

However, the National Research Council of Canada has done some research on this stuff (they call it viscoelastic material, and apparently, it can help a little, but it seems it's better suited, like most of these things, to mid or higher frequencies.
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