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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Subwoofers

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
Visionist Visionist is online now
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Default Subwoofers and floor flexibility.

I've heard that poorer quality (ie. anything built after 1970) apartment and upper-storey house flooring will negate practically any advantage to having a subwoofer at all, as the floor's high flexibility will "waste away the soundwaves" or..... something.
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Last edited by crazyBLUE; 02-19-2013 at 08:32 AM. Reason: removed word
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
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I've heard that poorer quality (ie. anything built after 1970) apartment and upper-storey house flooring will negate practically any advantage to having a subwoofer at all, as the floor's high flexibility will "waste away the soundwaves" or..... something.

Yes.

Tom V.

Last edited by crazyBLUE; 02-19-2013 at 08:33 AM. Reason: same in quote
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:00 PM   #3
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In perspective; I'm still running a second floor bedroom HTIB, in a modern, value-engineered (flimsy) house. Bass is especially lack-luster, but my old man says there's no point upgrading as I would recieve no audible benefits due to the flexible wooden beamed floor construction.

Is serious Home Theater really a ground-floor-in-a-detached-house or nothing game?
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Visionist View Post
In perspective; I'm still running a second floor bedroom HTIB, in a modern, value-engineered (flimsy) house. Bass is especially lack-luster, but my old man says there's no point upgrading as I would recieve no audible benefits due to the flexible wooden beamed floor construction.

Is serious Home Theater really a ground-floor-in-a-detached-house or nothing game?
There's no truth to his theory. If "wall/floor" flexing diminished bass production we wouldn't be able to enjoy very good bass in our vehicles.

I can assure you----any lack of bass from your system is a result of the components or the setup/calibration.

1)which model HTiB are you using?
2)rough dimensions of room?

Tom V.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visionist View Post
In perspective; I'm still running a second floor bedroom HTIB, in a modern, value-engineered (flimsy) house. Bass is especially lack-luster, but my old man says there's no point upgrading as I would recieve no audible benefits due to the flexible wooden beamed floor construction.

Is serious Home Theater really a ground-floor-in-a-detached-house or nothing game?
You can do a few things to improve the bass response in your room.
  1. Buy one or two better quality subwoofers.
  2. Put a thick area rug under the subwoofer to make it more stable. Additionally, a thick rug can absorb any noise that may come out of a subwoofer's port.
  3. A subwoofer riser can benefit your bass response.
  4. Use room treatment to improve the performance of your speakers. For better quality bass in the room, a few bass traps can help.
  5. Make sure you calibrate and equalize the subwoofer(s) properly.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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A riser on a thick mat is a good start. The sub is a sideways-firing passive unit, extremely light and practical, so obviously nothing decent. It's long oblong shape makes finding a ready-made riser that fits a shade trickier. The reciever & player are all-in-one which isn't ideal.

The HTIB is a Pioneer BCS-707 (which yesterday suddenly stopped accepting any discs- very annoying. It makes PS1-esque loading sounds, flashes a "Check Disc" notice and ejects the sucker. My discs are clean as a Preacher's sheets, WTF). It's very much an entry level unit, a small taster of true home theater. The room is too small for anything more substantial...

When it comes to proper seperate subs, is a beefy passive running off a Badass D-Type Poweramp a better deal than an Active Unit? For car audio this is generally the case...
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Visionist View Post
A riser on a thick mat is a good start. The sub is a sideways-firing passive unit, extremely light and practical, so obviously nothing decent. It's long oblong shape makes finding a ready-made riser that fits a shade trickier. The reciever & player are all-in-one which isn't ideal.

The HTIB is a Pioneer BCS-707 (which yesterday suddenly stopped accepting any discs- very annoying. It makes PS1-esque loading sounds, flashes a "Check Disc" notice and ejects the sucker. My discs are clean as a Preacher's sheets, WTF). It's very much an entry level unit, a small taster of true home theater. The room is too small for anything more substantial...

When it comes to proper seperate subs, is a beefy passive running off a Badass D-Type Poweramp a better deal than an Active Unit? For car audio this is generally the case...
I wouldn't bother with a riser/rug buts it your call. To me it would be like taking a stock "pinto" to the drag strip and pouring a can of octane booster in it expecting good performance. As you guessed the weight of the subwoofer indicates its overall quality in this case. Under 10 pounds.....I probably don't need to go into any further detail there. About 1/2 cu-ft enclosure volume...another problem.

This isn't the best news I'm sure but to get much better performance may require starting over. Your HTiB has the subwoofer amp built in. So there's no easy way to connect a decent subwoofer to the system anyway. Well, I guess you could use the speaker level method and run the main L/R speaker wiring through the new subwoofer.

For a budget first system you may be best looking into a 2.1 system.

Pioneer has some high value bookshelf speakers now that you can find in the 100 range(for both). You can get a good entry level receiver for $175-200. Add a high value $100-150 sub ( http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-629 ) and you'll have a respectable 2.1 system for $400ish. I'd wager this 2.1 system would sound magnitudes better than the speaker/sub you have now.

If that's not an option right now, you can try adding a powered subwoofer to your system via speaker level connection. The sub I linked above would be a good choice in that price range. But before making this type of purchase read your HTiB owner's manual to be sure you have some bass management options. Specifically, you'll need the ability to set the main L/R speakers to "large" and the subwoofer to "off/no".

Tom V.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom V. View Post
I wouldn't bother with a riser/rug buts it your call. To me it would be like taking a stock "pinto" to the drag strip and pouring a can of octane booster in it expecting good performance. As you guessed the weight of the subwoofer indicates its overall quality in this case. Under 10 pounds.....I probably don't need to go into any further detail there. About 1/2 cu-ft enclosure volume...another problem.

This isn't the best news I'm sure but to get much better performance may require starting over. Your HTiB has the subwoofer amp built in. So there's no easy way to connect a decent subwoofer to the system anyway. Well, I guess you could use the speaker level method and run the main L/R speaker wiring through the new subwoofer.

For a budget first system you may be best looking into a 2.1 system.

Pioneer has some high value bookshelf speakers now that you can find in the 100 range(for both). You can get a good entry level receiver for $175-200. Add a high value $100-150 sub ( http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-629 ) and you'll have a respectable 2.1 system for $400ish. I'd wager this 2.1 system would sound magnitudes better than the speaker/sub you have now.

If that's not an option right now, you can try adding a powered subwoofer to your system via speaker level connection. The sub I linked above would be a good choice in that price range. But before making this type of purchase read your HTiB owner's manual to be sure you have some bass management options. Specifically, you'll need the ability to set the main L/R speakers to "large" and the subwoofer to "off/no".

Tom V.
For sure a lot of ppl around here and in other forums will disagree with you regarding sub risers and rugs specially when when it comes to hard wood floors .
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Almadacr View Post
For sure a lot of ppl around here and in other forums will disagree with you regarding sub risers and rugs specially when when it comes to hard wood floors .
He's not combating the usefulness of that - he's combating just how truly effective that tweak would be on a sub that is the low-frequency equivalent of a Ford Pinto. You can only do yet so much w/ a passive subwoofer in a small enclosure that weighs 10 lbs, it has its own inherent limitations.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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Tom, please correct me if I am wrong but the only time a riser is going to make a noticeable difference is if you move the sub far enough in the vertical to effect the room modes you may be dealing with, which would normally require moving things feet and not just inches.

The other point is that it is the actual sound wave that makes the floor move and not the vibration of the cabinet, which of course shouldn't vibrate at all if it is well designed and built?

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JJ View Post
He's not combating the usefulness of that - he's combating just how truly effective that tweak would be on a sub that is the low-frequency equivalent of a Ford Pinto. You can only do yet so much w/ a passive subwoofer in a small enclosure that weighs 10 lbs, it has its own inherent limitations.
Yeah i was a fast trigger on that since i didn't saw that the OP is using a HTIB .
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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Tom, please correct me if I am wrong but the only time a riser is going to make a noticeable difference is if you move the sub far enough in the vertical to effect the room modes you may be dealing with, which would normally require moving things feet and not just inches.

The other point is that it is the actual sound wave that makes the floor move and not the vibration of the cabinet, which of course shouldn't vibrate at all if it is well designed and built?

Bill

1)How else would it make an audible difference? Although I do think a few inches can make an audible difference...it probably doesn't happen often in this context.

2)Of course, I can't even begin to imagine how much a subwoofer enclosure would need to resonant to transfer enough energy to the floor to cause the floor itself to vibrate. It is the acoustical energy (sound wave) from the driver , port, passive rad, etc.

Tom V.
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