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Old 01-03-2013, 03:10 AM   #14
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu-Dog View Post
BD (ironic we share the same screen name initials), I don't want to belabor this issue, but in the very thread you cite, you give a sterling example of exactly what I'm talking about. I don't understand why you strongly disagree with my comment.

A person had a question, concerning subwoofer placement in an irregularly shaped room. He gave significant detail about the features of the room, and his current subwoofer placement. He asked for advice; this was your response.


Clearly, you see it the same way I do. While there is science in the propagation of sound waves, the factors are so complex that it requires intuitive deduction, and active experimentation, to come up with the optimum solution. It is an art, the same way a painter understands the blending of colors that is defined by certain rules in the visible spectrum to obtain an effect, or the designer of an aircraft tries different configurations to acheive the optimum shape. In both cases, software simulations and rules of engineering and science are a starting point only.

Clearly, you have a deep understanding of these rules, yet they are only a starting point for experimentation - and the precise science behind these rules are often ignored by brute force to obtain a desired result. Clearly, you've followed this non-scientific, artful method yourself, and recommended it to others.

While I have not documented all my subwoofer builds for this forum (you do an excellent job of this), I currently have three custom built subs in my home, and have just delivered two more to one of my sons. I'm prepping two new additional bulds for my other son.

There is the scientific ideal, and then there is the wife, making sure we don't throw out all the seats to place a subwoofer in an "ideal" spot - which may not make that much difference. While your advice about nulls and other critical matters is quite scientific, your advice to "Also, stack them on top of each other and decide if you like it" has a scientific basis, but is definitely an artistic effort.

I just want to be sure that if we are in disagreement, the differences in our opinions is substantial. In this case, I don't think it is.

I also think that you dispense excellent advice. Good work, my friend.
My disagreement was mainly over the highlighted statement: ďPlacement is an art, not a scienceĒ.

That statement is not accurate. The locations where a subwoofer can be placed in a home theater room can be scientifically predicted. The reason why some locations in the room work for placement of a subwoofer and some locations do not work has everything to do with the science of wave interactions and standing waves. I donít understand the Art of placement. These locations are not random and require some calculation.

Let me clarify things so that there are no misunderstandings about subwoofer placement and my posts in the past:
  1. In my posts, I have never directly or indirectly implied that science places no role in subwoofer placement.
  2. In a typical rectangular dedicated HT room where you have many choices for placing a subwoofer, it is fairly easy to predict the best locations and where the nulls are. I have done that manually in the link I provided above. Alternatively, you can use an Excel Worksheet to predict room modes. There are other calculators of room modes such as: Calculator 1, Calculator 2, or Calculator 3.
  3. Many people use their living rooms as their nondedicated HT rooms. These people fall into three categories:
    1. They do not have any knowledge of standing waves and room modes.
    2. They have heard of standing waves and have some basic knowledge of it, but they do not fully comprehend it or they are not in the position to perform calculations.
    3. They have full understanding of standing waves and room modes, but there are other considerations that prevents them from using scientific knowledge to find optimum locations for a subwoofer.
  4. When you use your living room as your HT room, there are very few options available for placing a subwoofer because of several reasons:
    1. There are other furniture and obstacles in the room.
    2. They need to hide the subwoofer because of aesthetic reasons.
    3. They are afraid of offending your spouse and having to sleep in a doghouse.
    4. There are children or pets in the house and the subwoofer needs to be out of the way.
  5. If your choice are limited because of the factors mentioned above, you need to experiment and find out the best location out of the very few options. That location may not be the best and optimum location for a subwoofer, but you have to compromise. I have always encouraged this group of people to experiment. My intention has never been to ignore scientific principles of wave interaction and room modes.
  6. Letís not forget that HT is about fun and enjoyment and not a physics lab. For this reason, experiments at National Research Council (NRC) of Canada and at Harman International have found that when you have four subwoofers and a typical rectangular HT room, the best positions for the placing the four subwoofers is the four corners of the room or the middle of the four walls. In all cases, the subwoofers should be placed a foot or more away from the walls so that they do not become too boomy.







In conclusion, placement of subwoofers in a room is all about science. Art plays no role.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-03-2013 at 04:11 AM.
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