Multiple Subs (2nd attempt)

Posted by: Nick B

Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/01/11 10:13 PM

I tried posting a topic, hoping for some suggestions from some folks who have listened to several different performance levels of subs or even have multiple subs, but the thread was derailed by some guy who really doesn't like Axiom subs for some reason. Anyways, maybe he can argue as much as he likes about it over on the other thread and we can discuss the original thread topic over here. It doesn't seem like it will end over there any time soon.

I have an original LFM-1 Outlaw sub and have been thinking that a few years down the line that I would like to upgrade to something with a little more extension and output. I wouldn't want to spend more than around $2000 total. So there are four options as I see it.

1. Go for an all out $2000 subwoofer that extends flat down to 15Hz and maybe lower and has plenty of headroom, for no matter how much the movie scene is calling for or how large the room is.

2. Go for two $1000 subs to help smooth out the bass in most of the seats.

3. Go for three $600 - $700 subs and try to integrate my LFM-1 for a total of four subs.

4. Try to integrate the LFM-1 with scenarios 1 or 2.


With (3) I could get the LFM-1EX and there is likely no doubt that the subs would work well together since they have the same driver (and I think enclosure) as the LFM1. They just went with a slightly more powerful amp and a different EQ. This would give the flattest response at every seat. At the other end of the spectrum, I could do (1), which would give the best bass in the money seat, but probably not any other ones.

Another question that comes from these different scenarios is how well will different subs work together in a room? Would a well designed $600 sub play well with one of a different brand?

Will a well designed $600 sub play well with a $1000 sub or even a $2000 sub?

This was a nice article which just scratched the surface on this topic.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/subwoofers-4-2-or-1-0
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/01/11 10:14 PM

Good call on starting a new thread. Sorry about that.

My understanding is that subs from different brands will be ok together. I think my choice would be the 2 $1K subs, but that's just me.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/01/11 10:31 PM

NIck, ideally I think you should get matching subs, but sometimes that's just not in the cards. I run multiple subs from different manufacturers and have good results. The main sub is a Hsu VTF3 mkII followed by two smaller 10" sealed subs. Yeah, it looks horrible on paper, but the smaller subs do a good job of filling in the gaps created by room nodes. I've always run them in rectangular rooms.

On the other hand, grunt (Dean) has tried out multiple subs (I loaned him mine to test) in his listening room and had worse results than just running his single EP500. His room has some odd nooks and crannies and I wonder if those do weird things to the room response?

For the most part, I think running multiple subs is beneficial.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/01/11 11:06 PM

Nick, i have an EP600. I have also lived in 4 different locations since buying the 600. I have never had a problem with lack of output/fill, Also there have never been "bad" seats in any of the locations i have lived, I do plan on adding another 600. However, this is for a stereo setup, not due to lack of output.

If you check out the auction site, you might be able to pick up a pair of EP600's for your budget, or close to.


When the amp for my 600 gets back, next week. I can tell you how my current pair 8" JBL subs mix with the 600 if you want?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 12:22 AM

Nick, the most significant difference in avoiding/cancelling room modes for smoother overall bass response occurs with two correctly-positioned subs. Basically, from research by Dr. Toole and others, this is at the mid-points of the side walls or front and back walls, or diagonally opposite corners. Four subs do make for some further improvement, but less than going from one to two.

The most cost-effective change for you would appear to be to add a second sub similar to your LFM-1. More costly would be to instead get two subs which had more bass extension than the LFM-1.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 12:26 AM

Depends how complicated you want to get. Floyd Toole and Harmon suggested 4 matching subs. Earl Geddes suggests 3 subs to handle 50-150/200 Hz and one for below 50 (has to do with room modes).

I suspect if you use non matching subs there could be more EQ work to get a flat frequency response. Think about it. If you have 3 subs contributing at 100 Hz and one contributing at 40 Hz, it seems reasonable you are going to have more output at 100 Hz all else being equal.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 08:19 AM

Nick, I am in the same situation as Sean in that I have what would appear on paper and to the average Axiomite the absolute mismatch made in hades, a first generation EP350 and an EP600 coupled together along opposite mid-sidewalls of a 14' x 25' dedicated room that was brought together by pure happenstance. I've ran this setup for a couple of years maybe and without throwing numbers around that I probably wouldn't know too much about anyway I can tell you that the combination works surprisingly very well.

I am soon to part ways with that little EP350 so just maybe I'll finally pair the 600 with another same or very similar sub upon much procrastination after six years.

My vote would be a pair of matching subs to fill that gaps that a single might not be able to accomplish on it's own but as always and depending on your particular room, layout and acoustics your mileage may very.


Posted by: Nick B

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 09:53 AM

As JohnK mentioned the most budget-friendly thing that I could do sometime soon would be to add Outlaw LFM-1EX to my current setup. The LFM-1 and LFM-1EX are pretty much matching subs, except the EX has slightly more head room and slightly more extension (but same driver, port size, number of ports and cabinet). Would adding a midrange pair of subs (maybe around $800 to $1000 price range, such as SVS, Axiom or Hsu), when the budget allows for it, work out well if the Outlaw subs were in diagonally opposite corners and the midrange subs were in diagonally opposite corners of a rectangular room?


I am thinking that the midrange subs would add some more extension and impact, but the extension that they add would be smoothed out for every seat. The frequencies that all four subs play well would be really smooth for each seat.
Posted by: INANE

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 12:07 PM

I can see positives for both having the same subs and for having different ones. I would believe all subs would have slightly different response curves so you could use that to potentially create a smoother overall response, but it could also potentially create larger peaks and valleys depending on how the compliment each other.

IMO without spending a ton of time analyzing it I'd just say either way is fine.

My personal experiences with multiple subs has left me weary of cancellation effects. I assume it has to do with how the walls reflect the sound into the waves of the other sub. That said I'm planning on used two subs in my new HT.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 01:49 PM

I would expect it would be preferable to have two or more subs of the same manufacturer but I've read many accounts of people successfully integrating different subs in their systems(at least of similar output/quality).

I'll also throw this out here for discussion....I was talking to a local P'digm dealer who insisted that a good SINGLE sub works better than multiple subs using the two drops in a pond analogy, that soundwaves may have the effect of cancelling each other out when they collide.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 02:06 PM

Well crap, I posted in the "other" thread.

In addition to that post, I tried running the LF1 in addition to two 500's in the same room and ended up pulling it out. It did not play well with the 500's AT ALL.
Posted by: J. B.

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 02:08 PM

i would say that they do both: reinforce one another and then cancel out one another.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 02:41 PM

Nick, do you have an ICBM, BFD or that Velodyne thing? Seems like having some control over the subs independently would be "good".

Personally, I'm skeptical that you're going to hear or feel the difference between 20Hz and 17Hz, so I don't believe $2000 subs are a good bargain.

I'm kind of on a big-sealed-sub-with-room-gain jag intellectually at the moment, probably because I have a ported sub.

Have fun, eh?
Posted by: Nick B

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 03:07 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d

In addition to that post, I tried running the LF1 in addition to two 500's in the same room and ended up pulling it out. It did not play well with the 500's AT ALL.


You have the original LFM1? Is your room rectangular? If so this is the answer to one of my questions.

Originally Posted By: michael_d

Nick -

I have an LF-1, 2 500's and a 600. The LF1 is no where near the playing field as the 500. I think two 500's would be more than enough for your room. I actually prefer them over one 600 (in the same room).


This is really helpful. So you prefer two midrange (roughly $1000 in price) subs over one more high end sub (roughly $2000 in price).


Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I'm skeptical that you're going to hear or feel the difference between 20Hz and 17Hz, so I don't believe


You may not feel a difference between 20Hz and 17Hz, but if your sub doesn't play lower than say 20Hz, then anything encoded in the movie in that range you be missing out on. The trouble is, to get any of that stuff below 20Hz, equally well at each seat costs a lot of money.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 04:24 PM

Yes, it's the original LF1. And yes, my room is rectangular, unlike Marks square room of suckage. 12' X 18' or thereabouts.

When I had the single 600 in this room, it worked great, but was simply too tall and a hindrance to placing furniture, so I decided to try two 500's. I find the LFE to be, for lack of a real description - smoother. I do not miss that we lil' bit of LFE the 600 had over the 500 in the freq range. And for your reference, I have the sub knobs in the 30% range, so in other words, they would have the same effect in a much larger room.

As an experiment, I tried the LF1 in this room with the twins, and it was absolutely horrible. It simply can not compete with the 500's. Huge, huge difference that anyone can tell. No need for charts or graphs.

I now use the 600 in my great room for the two channel rig. It's simply awesome. This room is big, 28' X 32' with 10' wall height and a 23' vaulted ceiling. For music, I love the 600. It blends in so nicely, you'd never guess a sub is in the room - but you can feel it. Hell, I can feel it all over the house when things are a rockin...

So are the EP's worth the cost or can you find something better??? maybe, maybe not. I don't care. I like Axiom stuff and they always take care of me. That means a lot to me. Plus the free shipping puts them at a very competitive price point when considering that everything gets shipped to where I live 2 day air.

Good luck and don't forget to make this a FUN journey!

Apple sucks Ken....... smile (signature idea, just for Ken)
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Have fun, eh?

Look at Tom, being all Canadian-ey.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 04:55 PM

Tom secretly sneaks across the border once in a while for a Double-Double Timmies.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 04:56 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d

As an experiment, I tried the LF1 in this room with the twins, and it was absolutely horrible. It simply can not compete with the 500's.


Yes one answer that makes sense is that the LF1 cannot keep up with the 500's. But, maybe there were issues with cancellation and addition since you tried an odd number of subs together. Though, Randy has 3 subs and is quite happy with the results, it seems like figuring out the correct placement would be difficult. The only way to be sure is to replace one 500 with the LF1 and see if the bass is still horrible.

You probably are right that the LF1 cannot keep up with 500, if you try to integrate them though and I'm leaning towards just saving up to upgrade for two midrange subs like you suggested, but what I mentioned about is one possibility that came to me when reading your post.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 04:57 PM

I could stand to sneak across the border and re-live that last trip. I could use that right now, and I'm OK with missing Christmas.

Adrian, I'll buy?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 04:58 PM

(Sorry Nick, I'm derailing your thread and you've already had to restart it). frown
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 05:00 PM

Anytime.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 05:29 PM

I want in!

Quote:
...maybe, maybe not. I don't care. I like Axiom stuff and they always take care of me. That means a lot to me...


Right on, Mike. There's the forum mission in a nutshell. We aren't sure about science, we don't care about inconsequential matters, we like stuff and we take care of each other.

Clink!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 05:35 PM

Clink?

Is that you Col. Hochstetter?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 06:15 PM

grin

I know nothing.

It was just, you know, that noise you make when you touch glasses after saying cheers or skol or salut or whatever.
Posted by: cb919

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 07:56 PM

But when you cheers with a Timmie's it's more of a clunk than a clink.

Nick - I would go with the 2nd option as well for two really good subs instead of one uber sub. Not that I have any experience with multiple subs personally (yet) but that seems the most logical option to me if you don't need to chase down those final very very low Hz.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 09:14 PM

Why stop at two?


Posted by: JohnK

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/02/11 10:06 PM

Nick, yes that should work out well. Each pair of subs that are diagonally opposite should be as similar as possible. The diagonally opposite corner arrangement depends entirely on cancellation effects to minimize room modes. When the wave from one sub reaches the opposite one the sound at the mode frequency will be reversed in polarity and will partially cancel that mode frequency. A similar response of the subs at that frequency leads to a better cancellation when they meet their partner.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/05/11 01:51 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Nick, yes that should work out well. Each pair of subs that are diagonally opposite should be as similar as possible. The diagonally opposite corner arrangement depends entirely on cancellation effects to minimize room modes. When the wave from one sub reaches the opposite one the sound at the mode frequency will be reversed in polarity and will partially cancel that mode frequency. A similar response of the subs at that frequency leads to a better cancellation when they meet their partner.


Maybe this is the route that I will go. I'll try another Outlaw sub and see how happy I am with the bass for a while. If I want a little more then I'll also add a pair of midrage ($1000 each or so) subs and arrange the Outlaw subs in diagonally opposite corners and the other brand in diagonally opposite corners.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/07/11 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I could stand to sneak across the border and re-live that last trip. I could use that right now, and I'm OK with missing Christmas.
Adrian, I'll buy?


Sharon says you can come visit, but only if you bring Buddy.
No ice or snow here yet so make sure your iceboat is well caulked.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/07/11 01:53 PM

Is it about me at all? Or really, is it all about Buddy?

Buddy is the only reason BobK visits as well.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/07/11 02:32 PM

You mean Bob is not coming too?
Posted by: fredk

Re: Multiple Subs (2nd attempt) - 12/07/11 08:14 PM

He only has one collar.