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Subwoofers (Again!) - Audio Enthusiast

About Subwoofers (Again!)

Previous Entry Subwoofers (Again!) Jan. 10th, 2009 @ 04:01 am Next Entry
They don't have "clarity" or "definition" because they don't produce a sound you can localise to one place. If they do, they're reproducing sounds above 80Hz or thereabouts, which they shouldn't be if being used in a Hi-Fi or studio system with "decent" main speakers/monitors. If they maintain a relatively flat output to 20Hz, then this is either a problem with the crossover frequency, or a case of severe harmonic distortion.

Unfortunately, all but the most expensive subwoofers and home-made efforts produce hideous amounts of distortion - I've yet to hear a single "subwoofer" from any mainstream manufacturer (excluding SVS) that couldn't be located instantly in-room.
A high amount (more than 20%) of harmonic and intermodulation distortion is a fact of life with any speaker, subwoofers more than most. Spending time and money eliminating this problem has happened in many studios and is attempted by many audiophiles.

Why, then, does it seem that budding musicians are apparently having it drilled into them at university or wherever, that a subwoofer needs to be a little box in the corner of the room and you need to be able to hear the noise it makes separately from all the main monitors?

I have a feeling this sort of thing could account for much of the bad mixing that's happening in studios today.

X-posted to my own journal, hope you don't mind =)
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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Date:January 10th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)

Random subwoofer thoughts

I largely agree with what you wrote.

Many home systems double for home theater and music, so there are conflicting requirements.

I love HSU subs.

The nonlinearities are important, but I also think phase is critical. I would say much more important than ruler flat response.

The room is critical, and the corner is rarely the best place for subs.

More than one sub is a great idea.
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