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#307187 - 05/19/10 10:16 AM two way multiple sub system
Nick B Offline
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Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 504
I was wondering if a two way sub system could give the best of everything below 80Hz. Here is what I mean: let a big sub with a 15 or 18 inch driver handle the stuff from 40 or 50Hz and below and let a small sub with an 8 inch driver handle the stuff from 40 or 50Hz to 80Hz. My reasoning for this is that the larger drivers can dig low down in extension and have a lot of impact, which is a nice feature for movies. But, the subs with larger drivers can sound sloppy and flabby in the 40 to 80 Hz region. But a well designed 8 inch sub can be about as quick and nimble as a sub can get in this 40 to 80Hz region and even lower in extension. The main problem with such a small driver is that it won't have much impact with lower frequency stuff.

A good example of subs that I was thinking of is two Hsu ULS15's and two Axiom ep400's or two Velodyne MiniVee's. Put the Hsu's at the midpoint's of two walls facing each other and the two 8 inch subs at the midpoint of the other two walls facing one another.

With this set up it seems like you would have a flat frequency response, in the bass region, at every seat. The bass would dig down low with a lot of impact, when necessary, and yet be very musical.

What do you guys think? I'm just brainstorming here.


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#307191 - 05/19/10 11:19 AM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: Nick B]
jakewash Offline
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Registered: 12/26/03
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Loc: Calgary, Alberta
A pair of M80s is as good as a pair of EP400's, IMO, and during my brief time with the Ep400 I found its sound became lost when the EP600 was playing. I am not sure if adjusting the crossover on the 600 would have helped the 400 become more pronounced by keeping the 600 out of the range the 400 would be playing, hmmmmm, interesting............
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#307196 - 05/19/10 11:46 AM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: jakewash]
BlueJays1 Offline
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Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
You should read this article on subwoofer myths before proceeding. There are many discussions on many audio forums discussing the "musicality" of subwoofers especially those of a smaller driver being "faster" and "tighter" and larger drivers being more "sloppy" and "flabby". This article will explain many of these misconceptions.

The sections titled #3 Subwoofers are fast / slow, #4 Ported boxes don’t sound as good as sealed, #5 Subwoofers care what they play, #8 Smaller drivers sound better than bigger drivers you might find very informative.

http://www.audiopulse.com/know-how/subwoofer-driver-guide/myths-about-subwoofers/

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#307201 - 05/19/10 11:58 AM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: jakewash]
casey01 Offline
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Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
Another question one might ask is with such an arrangement with different subs capable of significantly different bass extension capabilities, is where do you set the volume levels? Obviously, regardless of size, they have to be balanced. You may run in to a problem with the small subs on some movies that have very loud and low bass extension that they just can't handle and overdrive them while the bigger subs handle this same bass quite easily. For me, on the surface and in this instance for the goal of obtaining a flat frequency response throughout your room, this would seem to defeat the very purpose you are trying to achieve.

I, personally, have never been a fan of these small subs anyway so my opinion tends to be skewed on the subject. I would go with four similarly capable subs or if there are budgetary constraints, replace the two small subs with one larger one along the lines you described for a total of three.

I have four subs all with at least 12 inch drivers and they handle music beautifully.

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#307204 - 05/19/10 12:09 PM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: jakewash]
Nick B Offline
aficionado

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 504
 Originally Posted By: jakewash
A pair of M80s is as good as a pair of EP400's, IMO, and during my brief time with the Ep400 I found its sound became lost when the EP600 was playing. I am not sure if adjusting the crossover on the 600 would have helped the 400 become more pronounced by keeping the 600 out of the range the 400 would be playing, hmmmmm, interesting............


With M80's doing the bass duties below 80Hz you run into the problem of best placement for bass versus placing the M80's as the main speakers. If you have the ep400 you don't have this problem. With two ep400's placed at the midpoints of the walls facing each other the bass would be uniformly flat in every seat.

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#307205 - 05/19/10 12:13 PM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: casey01]
Nick B Offline
aficionado

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 504
 Originally Posted By: casey01
Another question one might ask is with such an arrangement with different subs capable of significantly different bass extension capabilities, is where do you set the volume levels? Obviously, regardless of size, they have to be balanced. You may run in to a problem with the small subs on some movies that have very loud and low bass extension that they just can't handle and overdrive them while the bigger subs handle this same bass quite easily.


What I meant, but didn't say what that the little subs would have a low pass filter of say 40Hz and a high pass filter of 80Hz. The sub with a large driver would have a high pass filter of 40Hz.

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#307303 - 05/19/10 07:11 PM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: Nick B]
fredk Offline
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Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Earl Geddes is a big proponent of this setup, but for different reasons. He feels you get the best bass response by exiting as many of the room modes as possible, so he has one larger driver to handle the sub 50Hz stuff, runs his mains full range with a natural roll off (12db per octave) around 50Hz and then supplements with 2 or 3 subs covering the 50Hz - 150/200Hz region using high efficiency drivers in a bandpass config.

The trouble with using multiple subs in different frequency ranges is that they can be difficult to integrate. Realistically, a couple of good subs with larger drivers placed properly will get you good clean bass with decent headroom for dynamics.
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#307335 - 05/19/10 09:48 PM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: Nick B]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10631
Nick, your premise about the bigger sub sounding "sloppy" higher up compared with a smaller sub doesn't really have factual support. As the info linked by Dr. Horse indicates, subs operate at very low frequencies which are inherently "slow". Forget about those frequencies being "quick", "tight", "musical" or similar qualities. Set your sub for a crossover around 60Hz and listen to some bass-heavy music with the other speakers disconnected to get an idea of what the bass alone really sounds like. Any "quickness" in the sound from a bass instrument is due to the upper harmonics which the speakers, not the sub, play.
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#307377 - 05/20/10 02:48 AM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: Nick B]
grunt Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: nickboros

What do you guys think? I'm just brainstorming here.


Once this little surge exercise is done or I get enough time during it, Sean and I are already planning a subwoofer GTG so we can check out Charles’ AS-EQ1 on two identical and two dissimilar subs at the same time. Should be simple enough to just to reconfigure settings and test out your idea on his two small subs doing the midbass and my EP500 handling the low bass.

If there is anything specific you would like us to try let us know.

Cheers,
Dean
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#307397 - 05/20/10 09:52 AM Re: two way multiple sub system [Re: JohnK]
Nick B Offline
aficionado

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 504
 Originally Posted By: JohnK
Nick, your premise about the bigger sub sounding "sloppy" higher up compared with a smaller sub doesn't really have factual support.


This isn't factual support. But, many people around here have mentioned how when they run their m80's or m60's as large speakers with the sub off that the bass just seems quicker, tighter and more well defined. Many of those guys have Axiom subs. Granted, running no sub will not have as much low end extension as running a sub.

There are even some reviewers that always run their systems sub-less and mention the reason that they do this is for more musical well defined bass.

I'm more of a movie guy, in my home theater system. So I'm not going to run sub-less, even with a good set of tower speakers. I know that there is plenty of mis-information floating around, just look at the audiophile esoteric crowd on nearly anything audio related. I'm just trying to understand what is going on here.

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