Below 20 HZ Notes/Instruments

What are the music CDs and Music Instruments that have or produce deep notes under 20 hz? Want to set and tune the new REL subwoofer I just bought that is intended to supplement my 2 channel system. My main speakers are full range and goes flat up to 21 HZ ( Dunlavy V's in my room ).
e.g Pipe organ goes way under 20 Hz.

Appreciate your responses in advance.

If the link doesn't work
Wea/Atlantic/Erato - #14634 "Agnus Dei"

Most of the tracks are choral or choral w/ strings, but there are a couple of tracks (Hear my prayer) which contrast very low (but quiet) organ pipes with solo vocals ... to very good effect.

It's a great CD to own for a relaxing evening listen, not just for testing one's system.


TAS had a chart in past issues going through the instruments in the orchestra and their frequency ranges. Other than an organ with 32 foot stops, and synthesizers, I don't think any instrument goes below 20 hz in its fundamental pitch (double bass and contrabassoon go only as far as 27 hz, as I recall, and a tuba doesn't go that low). However, there is a great deal of ambient information in recordings that may extend below 20hz, even in recordings that might otherwise not have musical content in that range (some you might not want to hear, like air conditioning systems and subways); in that regard, a full range speaker that can reproduce those sounds is more likely to give you a better sense of an acoustic space. As far as recordings with deep bass go, I recall that the Michigan Woofer and Tweeter Society had a listing of recordings with deep bass below 25 hz, any members out there remember? I may have the list at home, I'll try to dig it up if no one else can find or recall it. One recording I do remember with content below 20 hz was an old M&K direct to disc record, The Power and the Majesty, a recording of a Los Angeles church organ reputed to have an 8 hz content if your phono replay system was up to it. I tried to play it to hear it, but the vibrations made me sick and caused my house to collapse, so I had to stop the record, and my system only goes to 20 hz! There may also be a sub 20 hz note at the very end of the first cut on Pomp and Pipes (the Karg-Ellert piece, not necessarily the other tracks on that disc), and the second (quiet, not the finale) movement of the Philips recording of the Saint Saens Organ Symphony with Gillou and the San Francisco Symphony has some true 16 hz pedal notes. I recall that I was surprised that there were not that many recordings with true sub-20 hz content. Just remember not to do your listening on a full stomach, as some of those notes can really make you sick at high volumes.
I bought my first Rel about three years ago and I was having a real hard time setting it up. I gave a call to Sumiko and they recommended using the movie Sneakers. I guess theres a part in it that has a 20 hz repeating thump on I think track twelve. There advice got my there without so I never tried it but I thought I would pass along the advice.
Thanks to you all. Rcprince, I did try the pomp and pipes, actually 2nd and 4 th cut which has both organ and kick drums. I also tried Asante from Maplesahde which contains lots of drums that ranges from 20 hz and up, with ambient info lower than 20 Hz,( by feel). Yes, Sumiko did suggest the Sneakers soundtrack, and I will see what others have to suggest. But so far my conclusion ( after spending about 3 hrs of listening and tweaking and right now completely tone-deaf)is that although the REL adds 'musical' Content at the basic reference 80 db level now up to 15 Hz, with - 4db at 13 Hz ( all measured withRadioshack meter with requisite interpolated corrections), it ADDS 3-4 db from 20 to 30 Hz, (even at lowest crossover point of 22 Hz and Volume set at midpoint), upsetting overall balance. The subwoofer location left and right speaker further deteriorates the perfact imaging (both time and phase coheraent) the Dunlavy V's are capable of. Overall result is obscured soundstage ( hard to believe but I trust my hearing) So I may use it for HT set-up or the Stereo surround casual and dance music, with cross-over now set at 49 Uz for that night-clib added, but musically clean PUNCH. What do you guys think? Am I giving up too early?
I also own SC-V's. I listen to a fair amount of organ and electronica which are the only instruments with fundamentals below 27Hz. I use a Sigtech and with a realtime analyzer measure my Sigtech corrected Dunlavy's flat to 22 Hz with very decent output at 16Hz due to room placement. (Try the Dutoit recording of the Pines of Rome with a 16HZ pedal on the final track).

I've tried several Subs and have found that they detract from the Dunlavy's for music reproduction. I only use mine when we set up the room for dance.
I wouldn't use a sub with your speakers. The bass the Dunlavy Vs produce is so deep, accurate and tuneful that it seems to me that you're more likely to hinder the overall presentation in both balance and soundstage.

Good luck, Dave
I found two things really made my rel sound good. First it was designed to go into the corner.

Second is the crossover setting. If your speaker cut out at 21hz then your Rel should be set at 20hz with the volume on the rel on the high side.

All crossovers have bleed through. The volume turned up on the Rel creates a little more bleed through and helps cover the small gap between 20 and 21 hz. If you put them both on 21 then they overlap and it gets boomy.

This is how Sumiko told me to set it up and it made a HUGE difference.
I think the answer would be to have two Stereo RELs Placed symetrically with the main speakers and then adjust the volume such that it blends with the Dunlavy's. Setting will be still at the lowest 22 Hz cross-over cut-off. So now the imaging is right from L-R but depth could be still off. I am considering to have the matching Tower subwoofers that Dunlavy makes. Of course the option is much more expensive both $ and space wise, and a question is still there if it is gonna work for music.( like the main speakers are capable of on their own. Bass originates precisely at certain region in sound stage full bodied and deep with lot of air) All for last 5-10 Hz!! If They are only for movies then I would not be interested. I must be crazy even to consider it. But I got extra amplifier and matching cables laying around... The quest continues.
I agree with you that if you really have to subwoof the SC Vs (and I don't really think you should unless you're willing to put up with the garbage that's down there as well as the rest and have a strong back to move the damned things around), the only way to go is stereo subwoofers, as the Dunlavys and the Duntechs are among the few speakers which actually seem to be able to localize low bass sources (don't ask me how, I never could figure that). A single subwoofer may run counter to that, unless you can cut it off steeply (24 db/octave or higher) at 20 hz or so. If you have unlimited funds and a big enough room, the Dunlavy towers are probably the way to go. But there really isn't that much down there in the regions you're going for that you don't already have a dedcent taste of at 22 hz.
I tried my strata in the corner and it sounded absolutely terrible. It's now sat just in front and to the left of the right hand speaker ... nearly in the middle of the room, with the volume turned up much louder ... and it sounds tremendous. Corner loading was certainly efficient (read loud) but very boomy and resonant. I have read that the REL crossover is not a steep slope, and so it will still produce output significantly above the xover frequency. So if your mains already go down to near 20Hz it may not work. However my mains (Spica angelus) are rather bass shy below 40Hz so it works just fine for me (crossed at 28Hz).
I have stereo rel subs like suggested by Nilthepill and if it is finicially possible for you I would recommend it. Stereo subs are amazing and it has benefits like clearer and deeper soundstage. Better seperation and of course a ton more bass. I was amazed on how much it cleaned my sound stage up.

Seandtaylor. You could be right. The dealer that sold me the Rel, who has never steared me wrong, told me not to put it in the corner and to put it exactly where you have yours. Sumiko claims that Rel is designed not to sound boomy in the corner. I also have a different model but Im not sure if that makes a difference.

I did find that it was clearer in the corner but maybe that has something to do with the room too. Im not sure.

I know you just cant throw it in the corner and you have to try different distances and even try turing the Rel the other way. Sumiko told me to put the Rel tight in the corner and with a continous 20 hz signal back it out an inch at a time until it gets clear and then when it just starts to get boomy again back it up an inch.
I was persuing the Dunlavy Tower subwoofers option futhermore. ( They have info on their web site- spec and description summary and some owner systems). The description mostly talk about the bass notes that can be heard from the movies. The built in cross-over 20-100 Hz tuned similar to the V's and that the DTS's should be placed right next to the V's. No mention of music! I am skeptical about musical merit of this arrangement. Of course I will have to call them tommorow to find out more. If this works, man that would be one heck of a stereo!!!
Even if you cross over at 21 Hz you will still tend to blurr the imact of the SC-V's on music. The ears sensitivity increases enormously as the tone goes from 21 to 42 to 63 to 84 based on the Fletche Munson curves. This effect will be magnified by half wave length standing wave room modes.

You didn't say what kind of room treatment and placement you have but it also takes very careful placement to not just load the room. I used a RTA to first position the speakers and then the Sigtech to align them for very smooth low bass. You can easily ear the difference on good organ and electronica recordings.

If you just want the explosions to jolt your house, these niceties don't really matter
You might want to check out this list of "Top 30 Bass CD's"
The human brain is unable to recognize the directional source of frequencies below approximately 100-150 Hz, (according to my M&K owner's manual.) This would make "stereo" subwoofer use unnecessary. Experiment with your corners for placement and ease your cutoff as low as possible over time. It is easy to think you really need to "hear" your subwoofer when you first get it. Give it time, you will love it. Happy listening. Charlie
Hi perfectimage .... I'm not sure it's a question of being right or wrong .. I certainly would never claim to be right in a matter so subjective as audio. I mentioned my experience because I have read so many posts saying that RELs should be placed in the corner and tuned in, and I just wanted to warn Nil that this might not work, and a position with a lower WAF might be required. I don't have the money for a second sub though I'd love to try it out... the sub cost more than my Spicas and I have a 5 month old daughter who takes priority.

Danvect ... maybe it's the power of suggestion, but I didn't feel that orchestral pieces (where the majority of the deep bass comes from the right of the sound field) sounded correct when the sub was placed next to my left speaker. I am sat in a nearfield listening position, less than 6 feet from the speakers (inc sub) and I feel that it is possible to locate the sub, albeit not exactly. It was a trade off placing the sub next to the right main, but I wanted to avoid centering the sub for fears of driving room resonance.

Anyway I stick with the main point in my previous post ... if your mains are flat to 20Hz then a REL will not work ... it will bleed into the bass of the mains and mess it up. The REL will only work if you can set the x-over below the mains so that the two don't interfere with each other.
Thanks P1s1. I will be sure to check out the top 30 bass CDs. Danvect, that is what I thought but in my case I could locate the 'pressure source' even with lowest possible cut-off of 22 Hz on the REL stormIII and lowest possible useful volume , perticularly with nearfield listening ( relatively speaking, my V's are 9.5 ft apart and sweet spot is at ~8.5 ft distance.)I tried the subwoofer at different loations; near left, near right, middle, back(never a corner since that is the last thing I would want) and each time disruption to main speakers occurs (to my ears,the wife and daughters can't tell the difference!). One thing is for sure , the REL does put out big clean punch during the casual listening and movies ( Watched the fast and furious and Pearl Harbor over the weekend). Seandtaylor is correct that for the V's REL or any subwoofer unless specifically designed would be just counter productive for music.
P1S1, What do you know, I GOT some of the CDs from the top 30 bass discs. 1812 overture, food for woofers #3(i got all 5 volumes), Illegal bass, techmaster P.E.B, Bass Mechanik (this is where I got the freq tone down to 10 Hz, actually this has tones for 10-11-12...100 Hz!)Bass erotica, Bass syndicate, bass society,bass hit, bass alliance,and many more bass cds. These were from my old car bass freak days ( I still am but towards flat and clean bass, My car stereo is so good I refuse to replace my old 88 Honda PRELUDE si) Thanks again. What are the acoustic instruments that can go that low? Not too many i think.
I agree that the rel has to be able to be set lower then the mains. If not its just going to get boomy. Maybe a better Rel? I have Stentors and I think they go down to 17.

Two Rels will break the bank. I had the first one for three years before I bought the second and the only reason I did, when I did, is because the Stentor 3's were coming out and I wanted a 2 to match my current one sonically.

Try the corner and let us know what you think. You have nothing to loose and you may be as suprised as I was.
I'll dig out another list of low bass CD's that I only have on paper. As for acoustic instruments it is pretty much a few pipe organs to 16HZ. The extended double bass and contrabassoon bottom at 27Hz. However the big Bosendorfer grand piano has a unique musical "rumble" below 32Hz due to resonating strings tuned below the end of the keyboard. A few years ago I had the chance to use an RTA on one and there was a fair amount of sound in the 16-32 HZ range but not enough to require any kind of sub woofer on top of the Dunlavy SC-V's

Lots of electronica these days has sub sonic electronic drums
Here is the list. I got it from Dr. Hsu of Hsu Subwoofers.

Telarc CD88097 Michael Murray at the Organ in Davis Symphony Hall

Telarc CD80146 Star Tracks II

Philips 412 619 Saint Saens Organ Symphony (16 Hz instead of the usual 32 HZ)

Dorain 90117 Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition played by Guillou on the Tonhalle Organ. A must (19Hz)

London 410 164 Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky. Cleveland, Chailly. Bass drum at around 25Hz

Argo 417 159 Hindemith Organ Works, Argo 414 420 Mendelssohn Organ works. Peter Huford. Very loud 19Hz notes!

London 410 145 Respighi Pines of Rome. Dutiot, Montreal 22Hz organ pedal in the Pines along the Appian Way.

RR 58 Pomp and Pipes Tracks 4 and 9 sub 20Hz

Laser Light15 Virgil Fox Franck’s Piece Heroique. Sub 20 Hz
Gentleman, to each his own. But, there are some fundamental reasons why subs are best placed in a corner. This doesn't mean jam it anywhere, of course, each room is unique. I just wish everyone could hear a good musical sub. Charlie