Searching for matching(?) Subwoofer solution


Hi folks,

I have a relatively new setup in my home office (12' x 14' with hardwood floor) and am seeking recommendations for a subwoofer solution.

Speakers: Ologe 5
Preamp:    Bryston P26 
Amp:         Forte 1A
Budget:     Flexible but just want something to provide a good match for the above components.
Music:       Mostly Classical and Jazz.  Some rock, some fusion.
Source:     Well, that's something else I am seeking advice on too and will post under the appropriate discussion topic

Problem is none of the local Hi Fi shops here in the Boston area have any experience with, let alone heard of Ologe speakers.  Couldn't get any recommendations there.

Has anyone owned or at least listened to these speakers? Or any of the other Ologe speakers?
The Ologe site (http://www.ologe-acoustic.com/) features a subwoofer called Ologe 20 at USD $8550.  
Just wanted to look into alternatives before dropping over 8 grand on the Ologe 20.
 I am open to but don't know much about subwoofer swarms.

I am not looking for anything overkill.  Just a subwoofer solution to nicely complement my somewhat modest home office system.

Thanks,
H
hleeid
The need to match subs all stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of how bass works in a room and what you need to do to get good bass. Almost everyone is held back by the old school thinking where the sub needs to be as "fast" or at least sound the same as the mains. Timing and matching and power and anything along those lines is unfounded and misleading. From the way we perceive low frequencies to the physics of low frequencies in a room all the evidence indicates the one sub solution can only fail. No matter how much money you throw at it, how big/powerful the sub, how great the EQ, it just never really works. It can't. The physics is all wrong.

What does work however is instead of trying to find the magic sub you drop that whole failed paradigm and go to what actually does work, using four or more subs in a Swarm or Distributed Bass Array type system.

With one sub, no matter where you put it or how good it is or how great the equalization it simply cannot overcome the physical reality of nodes where the response is cancelled to almost nothing or reinforced to way too loud. Equalizing can make it better at one location, but only at the cost of making it worse everywhere else.

With multiple subs however now each sub is creating the same problems with modes, but because they are in different locations each one will have peaks and troughs at different frequencies. With four spaced around the room these will all together average out into a very flat and even response. Much more flat and even than you can get with any one single sub, no matter how big and powerful and expensive and equalized.

Also because there are four they don't need to be nearly as big and powerful. Four 10" subs with 200 watts is plenty.

Both the ones I built and the ones Tim (noble100) uses are about $3k yet produce truly state of the art bass- deep, fast, articulate, and powerful. This approach works so well it works with any and all speakers, making the question of "matching" irrelvant. Only thing to "match" is the level. Search out the many threads. DBA. Totally the way to go.
Hello hleeid,

     Everything millercarbon stated is true, a 4-sub distributed bass array is the best solution.  However, in a home office environment in which I'm assuming you'll be listening primarily from your desk chair, I think a pair of SVS-SB1000 subs, currently on sale for 1/2 price at $499 each and $950 for a pair, will provide very good bass performance, if properly positioned in your room, that will also integrate or blend with any pair of main speakers used.  There's absolutely no need to use the same brand subs as your main speakers and you're going to save at least $7,000.
     Here's a link to the SVS website and the SB1000 subs:
www.svsound.com/products/sb-1000?gclid=Cj0KCQjws7TqBRDgARIsAAHLHP6Vm0QPz9ILXcyN2AvpfJDm-f5eEB6ODR4u6...
     These are very good quality subs at a great price. They also have all the necessary controls of volume, crossover frequency and continuously variable phase control that will enable you to seamlessly blend the added bass with your main speakers.
     If you decide to buy a pair of these subs, or any other pair of subs, I'm willing to describe the method to position and configure them for optimum results.  I have no financial interests in SVS, I'm just retired and willing to assist.

Tim 
Thanks for the great suggestions!
I like both the DBA and SVS suggestions. If I go with the SVS, I will graciously seek out your set up advice Tim.

Millercarbon - do you actually build DBAs? If so, and if I decide on a DBA I would prefer to send business your way.

Tim - Can the SVS be configured into a DBA if I purchased 2 pairs?  Or would that not be the correct approach?Also since each SVS has its own integrated amplifier, can they drive the main speakers too?

 I am still a newcomer to this hobby and am beginning to realize just how much there is to learn about these things.

Hans
Hello Hans,

    I bought my 4-sub DBA system, the Audio Kinesis Swarm, for $2,800.  Here's a link to a review of that that system: 

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/audiokinesis-swarm-subwoofer-system/

     Millercarbon built his own custom 4-sub DBA system, a copy of the Swarm but with upgraded woofer drivers, for about the same price.  I'll let him describe this option if you're interested.
     You could also build your own custom 4-sub DBA system by purchasing 2 pairs of the SVS SB1000 subs for about $1,900.  This option, however, is the most difficult to properly configure because the three important settings, volume, crossover frequency and phase, need to be set on each of the 4 subs.  With my Swarm and millercarbon's custom Swarm clone, all three controls only need to be set just once on the sub amp/controller for all four subs as a group.

     Any of these three 4-sub DBA system options will result in excellent perceived bass throughout your entire office.  The 2-sub option I mentioned will provide a more limited area of very good perceived bass centered on your desk chair position.  From your desk chair, all options will provide very good bass response that will sound seamlessly integrated or blended with your main speakers.

Tim

The Rythmik F12-300 Servo-Feedback Subwoofer is currently on sale for $700 shipped. That's of course $2800 for four, but if you buy more than one at a time, I believe you get a 10% discount on your order. Each sub has it's own 300 watt amp, and controls include x/o frequency, continuously-variable 0 to 180 degree phase, and damping.

The L12 entry-level Rythmik is $559 shipped, and it also features Rythmik's Direct Servo-Feedback circuitry.

Dear @hleeid : "" I am still a newcomer to this hobby and am beginning to realize just how much there is to learn about these things. """

In audio always there is something to learn and speaking of subwoofer subject a lot to learn/understand.

First is to understand why with passive speakers we need subwoofers, second if we are listening music in HT fashion or just stereo music and third the bass range quality level we want it.

If you mainly listen MUSIC ( stereo system. ) then please read with care this post:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/do-you-think-you-need-a-subwoofer/post?postid=310058#310058


Listening to MUSIC what we need is a good overall quality room/system at one seat position.

As a fact main speakers mid and high frequency ranges can have only one seat position where both frequency ranges are " optimal " and what we want is that the bass range be " optimal " too.

Now, your speakers small woofers handle a frequency range that goes ( -3db. ) from 48hz to 2khz and works down to 32hz.

That frequency range that handle those small woofers is really wide and makes that the Intermodulation Distortion levels in the speakers goes really high ( in that link is the explanation about. ) and this is the main reason why you need subwoofers that at the same time gives you not only a lot better quality room/system reproduction from your speakers ( midrange/high range. ) with lower overall distortions levels but now you will have at your seat position that really elusive and critical bass range, not boom boom but a true quality bass range and for this you need that the subwoofers bass range goes lower than 20hz that is where belongs a true subwoofer ( With all respect the ones in the link that other gentleman posted are not true subwoofers due that goes down only to 24hz but neither the ones that comes in the post speaking of 4 subwoofers. Both advises can’t give you the third characteristic I mentioned before: bass range quality. The kind of bass range at one seat position of those advises are rounded in the mediocrity/average. Perhaps in a dedicated thread I can explain to those gentlemans the real meaning on what I’m posting here. ) and that the subwoofers gives you a lower self distortion levels: you are looking for quality not only bass, at least is my understanding for what you ask. Of course that I can be wrong.

For just MUSIC it’s worth to invest in good quality pair of self powered subs with kigh pass filter. No, not 8k and you can find out true high quality subs in second hand market even here in the Agon list advertasing.

But if you want the subs mainly for HT then things are different because the HT overall need it quality is different too and had several seat positions. HT needs are different from just stereo MUSIC listening.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.



Hans,

     There are a large number of very good quality subs currently on the market that would work well for you in your home office and with your Ologe main speakers.  The choice is yours and I'd only caution you to make sure the subs you choose have the following features:

1.  Line level and speaker level inputs.  The line level inputs allow for connecting the outputs on a preamp to the sub via rca cables.  The speaker level inputs allow for connecting the speaker outputs on a power amp to the sub via speaker wires. 
2. Controls for setting Volume, Crossover Frequency and Phase.  The proper setting of these controls are required for seamlessly integrating or blending the bass coming from the subs with the midrange and treble coming from the main speakers.

     In general for in-room bass, two subs will sound twice as good as one, four subs will sound twice as good as two and eight subs are valid grounds for divorce.    
     Once two or more subs are deployed in any given room, the very important and beneficial psychoacoustic principles come into play.  Psychoacoustics refers to how our brains process sound and perceptions of sounds are formed.  I'll post again soon to describe the primary role psychoacoustic principles play in explaining why the 4-sub DBA concept is able to provide such exceptionally good bass performance in virtually any given room.


Hi hleeid, I live just north of you.I was grew up in Newton.  Which Ologe speakers do you have and how far apart are they? If I remember correctly they are dipoles? Which wall do you have them on? What type of floor is it? Concrete or wooded joist construction? 
They are the 5s, I missed that. Are the enclosures closed in the back?
You certainly to need subs with those. If you could answer my other questions?
I use my office set up for only music and not HT.

mijostyn -
They are sealed cabinets. Not sure about if they are dipoles. Hardwood floors. Speakers are about a foot from the walls and about 6 feet apart.
Rocket 88 speaker cables.
I am in Reading. Are you close by?

Thanks to rauliruegas for the great resource and to bdp24 on the Rythmik suggestion.

Tim and millercarbon - Thanks for your explanations. Things are starting to become more clear to me.

Looks like I still have quite a bit of (enjoyable!) homework to do before making a purchase.

Hans
Hello Hans,
     I thought you might like a description of what bass performance to expect in your office by adding between one and four subs.  This is all based on my personal experience in my 23' x 16' x 8' room and my system but I believe these results are attainable in virtually any room, system and with any pair of main speakers utilized.
      I've discovered that one sub is able to provide good bass performance at a single designated listening seat if located properly utilizing the 'crawl' method but you may find it difficult, depending on the main speakers utilized, to configure it so that the bass seamlessly blends with the sound performance of your main speakers' reproducing the mid-bass or midrange on up to the treble. The bass may sound as if it's lagging behind and/or disconnected from your main speakers, especially on fast, smooth and detailed speakers such as electrostatic and planar-magnetic panels. I don't know much about your Olege speakers so I'm not certain if they're fast, smooth and detailed enough to cause integrating seamlessly with a single sub an issue.
    I understand most individuals would prefer to buy a single top-notch sub and be done with it but, unfortunately, the truth is that attaining good in-room bass response is not that simple no matter the price or quality of the single sub. The reason this is true really has more to do with the quantity of subs in a given room and how they're positioned, than the quality of the subs utilized. Better quality of subs never degrades from good bass performance, it's just not as important as most would assume. I'll try to explain why.
      Two properly positioned and configured subs in a given room typically provides bass response at a designated listening seat that's approximately twice the quality level of utilizing a single sub. Two subs provide increased bass output capacity and impact as well as increased bass dynamics due to the sharing of total bass requirements between two subs operating well within their limits and stress free with ample power reserves for sudden bass output dynamic demands.
    Psychoacoustic principles also begin to be applied beginning with the use of two subs in any given room that results in the bass being perceived as smoother, more detailed and better integrated with the main speakers.  
    To understand how this psychoacoustic process works, it's important to understand how bass soundwaves behave in a room with a single sub. Soundwaves increase in length as the frequency decreases and deep bass tone soundwaves are very long. A full cycle soundwave of a 20 Hz deep bass tone is 56' long, a 30 Hz is 36', a 40 Hz is 28' and a 50 Hz is 23'. For reference, a full cycle soundwave of a 20,000 Hz high treble tone is a fraction of an inch long. This mainly explains why humans are easily able to determine the originating source location (localization) of the shorter soundwave and higher frequency tones above about 80 Hz and are unable to do so on the longer soundwave and lower frequency tones below about 80 Hz.
    It's also important to know three facts:
1. Our brains can't even process the presence of a deep bass tone until the full cycle soundwave exists in the room and our ears have inputted this information into the brain.
2. Our brains require the input of at least three full cycle bass tone soundwaves before we're able to recognize a change in bass volume and pitch.
3. Our brains cannot localize deep bass tones (detect where the sounds are coming from) with frequencies below about 80 Hz.
    With the deep bass soundwaves being longer than any room dimension in many individuals' rooms, this means the soundwave will leave the single sub and need to travel as far as it can in the room and then reflect off the first room boundary (floor, ceiling or wall) it meets then keep traveling in the reflected direction until it meets the next room boundary. This process continues until the soundwave runs out of energy and with each subsequent bass tone launched into the room by the single sub. 
     These numerous bass soundwaves of various frequencies launched into the room by the single sub, and reflecting off room boundaries, inevitably run into each other at various angles causing what are called a Bass Room Mode at each specific room location at which they meet or collide. Depending on the specific angle at which the soundwaves meet, we perceive these bass room modes at specific spots in the room as either a bass overemphasis (bass peak), a bass attenuation (bass dip) or even a bass cancelation (bass null). The result is an overall perception of the bass from a single sub as uneven, not detailed, somewhat disconnected and not natural.
    However, when a second sub is properly deployed and positioned in the room, the very interesting and useful principles of psychoacoustics (how our brains process sound and our perceptions of it) begin to come into play, which results in a perception that the bass is smoother, more detailed, better integrated with the main speakers and more natural or realistic.
      Unexpectedly, this is accomplished through the second sub actually significantly increasing the number of bass room modes (bass peaks, dips and nulls) in the room. Our brains naturally and fortunately process the presence of multiple bass soundwaves below 80 Hz, by adding them together by frequency and averaging them out. This results in fewer bass modes being perceived in the room and a perception overall that the bass is smoother, more detailed, better blended with the main speakers and more natural.  
    Acoustical experts, such as Dr. Earl Geddes, Dr. Floyd Toole and others, have proven scientifically that in-room bass performance perception improves as more subs are added to virtually any given room, beginning with two subs and with improvements continuing up to the theoretical limits. Of course, there's a practical limit to the acceptable number of subs in a domestic room.
    I'm fairly certain the exact number of subs considered acceptable in a domestic room is higher for most men than most women but, interestingly, the scientists found significant bass performance perception gains were attained with each additional sub up to four but smaller more marginal gains were attained with each additional sub beyond four.
     Three properly positioned and configured subs in a given room typically provides bass response at a designated listening seat that's approaching the optimum quality level attainable at a single listening position. Three subs provide even further increased bass output capacity and impact as well as further increased bass dynamics due to the sharing of total bass requirements between three subs operating well within their limits and stress free with very large power reserves for sudden bass output dynamic demands.
     Psychoacoustic principles are more strongly applied with the use of three subs, as opposed to two subs, in any given room that results in the bass being perceived as even smoother, more detailed and better integrated with the main speakers.  
    My opinion is that the SVS SB-1000 (a small sealed sub with bass extension down to 24 Hz) and the PB-1000 (a slightly larger ported sub with bass extension down to 19 Hz) subs are ideal for utilizing in two and three sub bass systems because they're both very good quality, are relatively small, have all the necessary features/controls and are currently great bargains at about $500/each (slightly more for gloss black or white finishes).
    The larger and more expensive Olege,Seaton, Rhythmik, HSU and JL Audio subs may be better subs with more features but, remember, the critical factor for in-room bass performance is the quantity of subs used in the room and the quality and features of each is much less important. Besides, the reality is they're all high quality subs and room correction is not required for optimum performance on bass systems utilizing two or more subs.  
      However, if you prefer the best in-room bass performance, the Audio Kinesis 4-sub Swarm distributed bass array (DBA) system is definitely the ultimate bass system that I'm aware of. This is a complete $2,800 kit that includes four 4 ohm unamplified subs that are each 1' x 1' x 23", weigh 44lbs and have a 10" aluminum long-throw driver and a 1,000 watt class AB amplifier/controller that powers all four subs and controls the volume, crossover frequency and phase of all as a group.  
The use of a 4-sub DBA system will provide near state of the art bass performance not only at a single listening position but throughout the entire room. This is very useful if you have multiple seating positions in your room and prefer having very good audio at each position for both music and HT.
    Of course, only the designated listening position will be optimized for bass, midrange and treble response along with stereo imaging but very good full-range audio will still be provided at each seating position.
    They're also other benefits of the 4-sub Swarm DBA system. Absolutely no bass room treatments are necessary. You'd just need to incorporate room treatments for the midrange and treble response on your main speakers (first reflection points on each side wall and possibly some treatment on the front and rear walls). And these subs look very stylish in the room, kind of like hi-end wooden art gallery pedestals, since the 10" drivers face towards the nearest wall and have connections hidden on the bottom so all that's visible is three wood sides and the top in the wood of your choice. My wife usually has a small vase with fresh flowers sitting on one of the two that are visible in my room. They also make good end tables since they're an ideal height of 23 inches.  
    You also have the option of creating your own custom 3 or 4-sub DBA system, rather than using the complete Swarm system, by utilizing three to four SVS SB-1000 or PB-1000 subs at $499 each, or any three to four subs you'd like. I also believe adding one or two PB-1000 subs (that extend down a bit further than the SB-1000's 24 Hz to about 20 Hz) to your system would extend the perceived bass in your room down to about 20 Hz.
    The only down side of using a custom 3-4 sub DBA system is that you need to configure the volume, crossover frequency and phase settings individually for each of any self-amplified subs used rather than once for all four subs as a group on the Swarm system.
    As I've stated, I use the 4-sub A K Swarm system in a 23'x16'x8' room with Magnepan main speakers and it works like a charm. But, while I haven't personally tried it to verify, I believe three subs would perform nearly as well, especially at a single designated listening seat.

Hope this helped you a bit,
                Tim
Dear @bdp24 : I have to say that never had the opportunity to listen the
Rythmik subwoofers but I like that are servo controled and the manufacturer has a lot of models.

As any other audio items the manufacturers of subwoofers build and put in the market for sale at a very carefully choosed price point for a specific market segment.

Any audio item designed in specific at a market price point comes with the respective quality level performance. Not all " similar " subwoofers comes with the same quality level performance.

In my case quality level resolution with very low distortion levels is a main subwoofer characteristics because I use it for two channels listen MUSIC only inside a system very hard tunned to very high resolution with very very low room/distortions.

Normally with subs what we pay for is what we get on quality level performance.

Example: https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

do you think that the owner of this two channels room/system could " live " with 2-4 or what ever number of subs you name it of Rythmik subwoofers/DBs instead those self powered/active subwoofers towers that can go down to 3hz with almost no distortion levels at full power?

Certainly not no matters what.

If the name of the game on each one of us room/system is Quality then we have to pay for ( obviously not of what offers that dream link system. ), especially if we are talking of two channel system for listen MUSIC.

But even at your price point or my price point there are differences in the quality level of subwoofers and we have to understand that fact.

Some of the gentlemans that post in this forum and that posted here always recomend the same kind of subs and the same number of susbs no matters what: it’s a no-sense advice because there are many things to take in count that are importan to the different OP needs that we must know before give any advice. With all respect to them seems to me that their attitude is not a human been one but a " robotic " one.

Of course that we are in a free world and we can say whatever we want, it’s our privilege to do it.

Btw, @leeid if your subs are to listen MUSIC then you need only two of them and this is a very good offer and alternative for you:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9a30g-velodyne-subwoofers-dd-12-subwoofers-2-pair-near-san-subwoofers

its THD at 120dbs is only 0.5% ! ! ! . Well, my subs came from Velodyne too and I know exactly what I’m talking about but as any thing in audio is only an opinion and could be wrong.. Who knows? The best opinion is yours that will be the gentleman whom will live with what you decide: 1 or 2-4-6 subs. What you decide is important only to you.

lways is difficult to understnd and talk about subwoofers subject and as you said needs a lot of homework for a newcomer, well maybe not a lot. My advise is that first try to define your priorities at the MUSIC/sound quality level.

Quality level for you could means something different for other gentleman depends of each one of us live MUSIC experiences, what we like and the best way to enjoy it.

Good luck with your quest/hunt and enjoy it, always is a learning lesson.

R.
I am going to suggest something different than the distributed array given the size of your room. Tim (Noble 100) will undoubtedly have a meltdown, as he is a member of the distributed array church and no others are allowed to suggest there is any other way to add subwoofers to a system. With that disclaimer, here are my thoughts:

1) Your room has a good distribution of nodes, with your major bass nodes at 40 & 47 hz, followed by 70 and 80hz. In the case of your 40& 47 hz, they are located immediately against the walls, an unlikely seating position.
2) One failure in Tim’s analysis of rooms is that while a distributed bass array is better at providing more uniform bass throughout a room, for a single seating position, you can virtually always get as good of response with two subwoofers. He seemingly ignores that it is the literature he relies on for the basis of his belief of a distributed array that also studied a single listening position.

3) Run an active crossover to relieve those 5" drivers in your main speaker from bass duties. By reproducing deeper bass, especially as the volume level increases, the driver will experience increased distortion. Marchand Acoustics builds some excellent active crossovers.

4) I would use 2 Rythmik F12 subwoofers (or even due to your room size two F8 Rythmiks) which have a built in single band parametric EQ’s that can address if you still have any issue with you 40&47 hz nodes after careful setup.

5) Setup, Setup, Setup- Spend time getting the subs setup. You will need to place each carefully and phase each to integrate with your main speakers. There are many guides on how to do this. I personally suggest using Room EQ (free) with a calibrated microphone ($60-80) as you can run sweeps and see what is going on in seconds and the effect of any adjustment. It makes placement and phasing much faster.

All in this puts you at $2,500 for excellent sounding subs that will blend in perfectly with your mains.  
Hey Hans, I live 15 miles north of you in Atkinson NH, just across the border. 
Your speakers are only 6 feet apart so although I would prefer two subs one better sub with an eye towards getting a second in the future would be better than two cheaper subs. The Ologe model 10 price is a bit steep for two 10 inch drivers. For that price you could have two JL labs Fathoms complete with amps and room control. Buy one now and get the second later. With one sub you would put it in the middle up against the wall. With two you would put them in the corners. It is a squarish room so you are going to have some standing wave issues best handled by moving the listening position to an area where the bass is hot then using room control to flatten it out. You could use 4 subwoofers but in a room that small that approach might be problematic. Again, 2 good subs is better than 4 not so hot ones. At any rate crossing over at 100 Hz 24 db/oct will be fine. I am sure there are several JL Labs dealers in the area. 

Mike
Hello mcreyn,

     I view this thread as a collaborative effort to try and assist Hans in arriving at the optimum solution for good bass performance in his home office in combination with his pair of Ologe main speakers, not a competition.
     If you reread my posts, you’ll realize I mention a 4-sub DBA system as the optimum solution but not the only solution. I agree that a two sub solution may be a very good solution in his particular case. If Hans decides on a two sub solution, I think it’s still important he realizes there’s a wide range of suitable subs he could use of varying qualities and prices. It’s also important that he makes sure the subs have the required volume, crossover frequency and phase controls and that they’re optimally set. We can let him know how to best set these once he makes his decision on the subs and configuration to use..

Tim
Dear @noble100 : """ I view this thread as a collaborative effort to try and assist.... """

werll that’s what you say but the true reality is that for you that 4 bass array/A K Swarm is a " religion " and good that you are satisfied with that kind of quality level performance.

Because you posted in this thread I know that for you is more important quantity of subs over the quality of subs performance.

@mijostyn speaks about quality over quantity and agree with him because that’s mu take too and even that @mcreyn did not said exactly usin the word quality he perfectly took in count it the importance of subs in two channels MUSIC system in what he posted as number 3):

""" crossover to relieve those 5" drivers in your main speaker from bass duties. By reproducing deeper bass, especially as the volume level increases, the driver will experience increased distortion.... """

that’s what makes a paramount difference in quality system performance: lowering the Intermodulation Distortions levels on those Ologue 5 main speakers.

You can’t speak about quality because your system quality level for MUSIC is to low. Is so low that you just can’t listen/hear the big difference between listening a passive speaker in its original frequency range design and the same speakers relieved from low bass frequencies.

With all respect only a " deaf " or in a very poor quality level system can’t any one listen/appreciate the enormous differences when the main passive speakers are relieved of the low bass range ( 80hz and down. ).
The difference is, believe it or not, nigth and day and has a name QUALITY level performance. Unfortunatelly you use too for HT your system.

From where came my statement that you have a very poor quality listening system. Well from your self statements made it in other threads:

Your small Magnepan psssive speakers has at specs:

Low-Pass 12dB/octave @ 650Hz

Band-Pass 6dB/octave @ 500Hz-950Hz


tyhat means that the quai-ribbon driver handle a really wide frequency range with very high IMD levels and even that you posted:


""" In my system, I’ve tried both configurations of running my planar panel mains full-range and with my mains as satellites with their low frequencies filtered out by the sub amp supplied with the Audio Kinesis Debra DBA system, This amp has a L/R high pass outputs for sending frequencies above the bass crossover setting to the main speakers amps.
I thought my system sounded best with the main speakers running full-range. The mid-range and treble range sounded very similar to me with both configurations """



I had for 4 months Magnepan speakers and I like it and know very well other planar ( electrostatic. ) speakers as the top of the line Soundlabs where the owner of them can’t believe what he listened when he added two subs in his great room/system ( only MUSIC, not HT. ). No matters what is almost imposible not to be aware of the differences for the better when the low bass range gone from the main speakers.

You not only did not been aware about but the system sounded best with main speakers running full range ! ! !

Well that is the quality level you have. I’m accustomed to a way different quality level.
As I said a 4-bass Swarm religion. Quality?: who cares !

I think that before any one of us can help to any one we have to know where we are truly " seated ". Please not bad feelings, I'm not against you or your free rigth to post whatever you want it: NO.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.





Even the AK SWARM manufacturer/owner posted in this forum:

"""  You can get good bass in one sweet spot with two equalized subs  """. Not 3 or 4 but TWO.

Obviously that for him the 4 SWARM is not his personal " religion " and he is the man behind the AK sales ! ! !.

R.
Hi @hleeid,

My rig is nowhere near the quality as some you folks here but where I did spend some coin was on the subwoofers. I had owned many SVS subs over these short few years but was never quite satisfied with them. Then doing research as we do when looking to ’upgrade’ I stumbled across the Power Sound Audio or PSA AVS Forum. To make a long story short I ended buying 2 subs from PSA after researching the Vandersteen brand of subs and a bunch of others.

Apparently the ’Vandy’s’ as they are so affectionately called are a well beloved sub here on Gon and elsewhere and this is what Mr. Vandersteen had to say about subwoofers:

’Mono or Stereo Bass

There are significant advantages to using two subwoofers. Modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high-resolution music files, and Blu-ray Discs maintain full stereo separation to below 20Hz. Summing the channels into a single subwoofer reduces or cancels all the low-frequency information containing phase differences between the channels. Stereo subwoofers reproduce all of the bass information complete with the phase differences that help provide the imaging and location cues we use to place people and things at distinct points in the sound field. Stereo subwoofers also improve linearity on mono as well as stereo sources by coupling the bass to the room at two points and lend themselves to natural placement near the corners where low frequency room gain is often desirable.

Ultimate Multi-Channel

A pair of SUB THREE subwoofers is the premier configuration for high-quality multi-channel home theater systems where the surround-sound processor can be programmed to redirect the LFE (Low Frequency Effects) information to the main speakers. In addition to the benefits of stereo bass, disabling the surround processor’s LFE output often improves the system ’s midrange clarity and articulation. For the ultimate system, additional SUB THREE’s can be added to the surround channels.’


After reading about what Mr. Vandersteen had to say about subwoofers it was good enough for me and researching PSA subs I knew I couldn’t afford the Vandy’s but I could afford dual PSA subs.

One of the owners of PSA is Tom Vodhanel who was/is the ’V’ in SVS subwoofers.

Here are some of the reasons I bought PSA subs:

1) They are very well built.

2) Have very forward engineering.

3) Have a 5 year warranty. Even the used ones in the PSA outlet center. And there is nothing wrong with buying used as they are thoroughly gone through and up to specs and  are very cost effective.

4) Customer service is the best in the subwoofer business.

5) Has a trade up/trade in/trade down policy and not only pays for the shipping TO the customer but pays for shipping the subs BACK to the PSA manufacturing site! This comes in handy when you want to audition at home.

6) They sound damn good too, without that annoying booming sound some sub manufactures have. Just good clear, clean sound.

7) Has many subwoofer choices with multiple price points and all the PSA subs benefit from the company’s same proprietary designs.

Here is the website: https://www.powersoundaudio.com




rauliruegas:
"Even the AK SWARM manufacturer/owner posted in this forum:

""" You can get good bass in one sweet spot with two equalized subs """. Not 3 or 4 but TWO.

Obviously that for him the 4 SWARM is not his personal " religion " and he is the man behind the AK sales ! ! !

R."


Hello rauliruegas,

     Easy, I completely agree and said so on my first post on this thread.  Here's a direct quote of my initial post:

"Everything millercarbon stated is true, a 4-sub distributed bass array is the best solution. However, in a home office environment in which I'm assuming you'll be listening primarily from your desk chair, I think a pair of SVS-SB1000 subs, currently on sale for 1/2 price at $499 each and $950 for a pair, will provide very good bass performance, if properly positioned in your room, that will also integrate or blend with any pair of main speakers used. There's absolutely no need to use the same brand subs as your main speakers and you're going to save at least $7,000.
    Here's a link to the SVS website and the SB1000 subs:"

     Calm down, everything's going to be okay.

Tim
Post removed 
Dear @noble100  : """  , a 4-sub distributed bass array is the best solution. """

For who or whom?. Certainly was and is the best solution for you or millercarbon but thta does not means is the best solution for other gentlemans.

Your needs, priorities, room system, MUSIC/sound experiences, ears sensitivity,  knowledge levels and many other things are not the same for all of us.
So, there is not that " best solution ". That's what you like it nd that's all.

In the other side the HT needs are different than the specific needs for people like me or the OP that only want to use our room/system  to listen MUSIC in  two channel equipment where normlly we re looking for the higher quality level we can chieve with the higher room/system resolution.

Quality first and quantity not main target.

Problem is that in  a thread you read " subwoofer " and your personal solution is the 4 AK Swarm no matters what.

No one own a perfect system and certainly not yours or mine. Who told you that to listen only MUSIC in a system the best is your solution: who?

Certainly it's not the " best solution ". With passive speaker designs two good quality subs are what we need.

Seems to me that your posts are way  HT oriented that goes more in specific to your solution. For just MUSIC your approach is wrong/non-adequated, at least for me.

In your solution you don't care about the quality of the subs but I care a lot of and I'm not only talking of the subs facilities but its overall quality performance levels that's why I choosed Velodyne. Yes for other audiophiles preferences can be different there are several very good subs out there.

Normally no one cares about subs distortion levels and as  fact the subs manufacturers just does not disclose in the subs THD specs. That I remember only Velodyne did it but other more expensive subs as the ones by JL udio does not do it. The 0.5% THD in Velodyne is an achievement. 
The JL Audio ( I can't remember the model. ) through  Stereophile review  measured a  value around 5%-6% ! !

I'm sure that you don't care about in the same way I do it.

People like me are looking for subs that can't degrade the bass information range that we take out from the main speakers. So we are looking for better mid/high frequency range quality levels along better overall bass frequency range quality levels too. We want it " all ".

Anyway, obviously you are free to post what you want. No problem but I explain my self in the overall subject because does not exist " a good for all solutions " and that AK DBA/Swarm solution is at a very low price point that goes along same quality levels.If we need quality then we have to pay for it.

R.


Hello rauliruegas,

     You really need to chillax, my friend, you might burst something important.  
     Didn't you read my last post stating I agree with you?  More specifically, I believe that the Swarm DBA system is an exceptionally good bass solution for music and HT but may not be the best solution for everyone.  I think each individual's bass requirements, room and system circumstances and budgets create unique situations that deserve unique bass system solutions.  
     I know high quality, large and expensive subs are not always necessary for good overall performance but also understand using better quality subs normally can only improve results.  I agree that low sub distortion is important, there are many good subs on the market and good bass performance can be achieved using one or more subs in a given room provided they're positioned and configured properly.

     My intent for this post was to make it crystal clear that I agree with you and then request you just cut it out. Agreed?


Thanks,
  Tim
noble100

I seriously doubt someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Mr. Vandersteen would make the numerous obviously false statements contained in your supposed quote of him you cited above in your last post.

Please verify this quote as valid by referencing your source for this quote. I’m almost certain you’ll be unable to do so, however, and you’ll likely just fail to ever provide any reference, never admitting to your deliberate false quote ...

It’s amazing how just how common the "all bass is monophonic" canard is and how reluctant some audiophiles are to reject it. After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings.

I’m not the one who posted Vandersteen’s observations, but Google shows this quote came from Vandersteen’s own website. (Scroll down towards the bottom of the page.)

There is a lot of research into sound and directional cues, including LF. It's puzzling how hard some will work to deny or ignore it.

Ologe 5’s frequency response was spec’ed at 48 to 30,000Hz at ±1dB. Extremely flat response with Very interesting driver configuration and I can only guess that they are also designed to be wall mounted. 

Having had some form of office system throughout my career, I found that 99.9% of the time, I’m the only one to listen to music from behind my desk. Movement limited, frequency shift is quite minimal. Henceforth I’m not too concern about bass response issues other than my listening location.

Although I also advocate using multiple subs, it was unfeasible to use more than one subwoofer in my small office. One setup I’d tried to excellent effect was to place a subwoofer right next to my office chair, actually right behind. I kept the crossover frequency sufficiently low, 45hz or lower, and carefully tune it to blend with the main speakers. With all music materials, I can’t hear when the sub kicks in.

With the low 48hz +/-1 of the Ologe 5, just make sure to find a sub with sufficiently low distortion and damped cabinet. Place it next to/behind your chair and tune accordingly.

Thanks for listening
Mosler666
@cleeds,

My man! I wasn’t going to take the trolls (noble100) bait - but thanks for having my back! The quote referenced is on the Vandersteen website here: https://vandersteen.com/products/vandersteen-sub-three

I also find it interesting that Richard Vandersteen on his Ask Richard website here: https://www.vandersteen.com/support/ask-richard

His latest ask and answer question is:

’Hello Richard, I am thinking of purchasing the Treo CT and using it together with my Audio Kinesis Swarm subs (4 10 inch subs in separate enclosures driven by 2 amps in stereo). Would I be better off using a Dspeaker X4 crossover to crossover the Treo at, say 100 hz or to drive the Treo full range and adjust the subs separately. I see you are using a passive xover in the Quatro at 100hz. Thanks.

Hello,

You need to be careful because you don’t want any digital processing in you signal path going to the Treo CT so I would use our M5-HPB for an 80Hz or 100Hz high-pass. Use whateve3r you use to manage your subs as this should require very little correction because multiple subs automatically give a linier response in the room. This should be amazing as we have always been a supporter of multiple subs.

RV’


The above being said - I have come to enjoy this hobby of hi-fi/audiophile and the sharing of information to learn and have fun and groove with the Aha! moments of audible sonic bliss (almost) everytime I upgrade from learning something I learned from one of you cool hi-fi/audiophiles here.

But I want to make this clear. I do have what is commonly referred to as a life - away from this website and it’s a shame - that a certain person here....needs to get one.









cleeds:
"It’s amazing how just how common the "all bass is monophonic" canard is and how reluctant some audiophiles are to reject it. After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings.

I’m not the one who posted Vandersteen’s observations, but Google shows this quote came from Vandersteen’s own website. (Scroll down towards the bottom of the page.)

There is a lot of research into sound and directional cues, including LF. It’s puzzling how hard some will work to deny or ignore it."

Hello cleeds,

Very interesting that you responded before tyray and that the supposed direct quote from Mr. Vandersteen is actually from his website’s promotional information for the 2W subwoofers.

I read the linked website info and it reads more like the work of a professional advertising copy writer promoting a client’s product that he doesn’t completely understand, which is actually the case, than a knowledgeable and experienced speaker designer sharing his expertise on how his subs are able to take advantage of his knowledge of speaker design and how bass soundwaves behave in a typical home room environment to provide high quality bass reproduction.

The quote from the Vandersteen website referred to by tyray and yourself, listed below, contains too many errors for me to believe that Mr. Vandersteen would vouch for its accuracy. It seems much more likely the numerous errors are the result of an advertising copy writer plying his trade on a subject and product he has a general lack of knowledge about. I seriously doubt Mr. Vandersteen even scrutinized the content of this promotional quote since I doubt he would approve this much misinformation. I’ll explain the errors and my reasoning below after the advertising quote.

"Mono or Stereo Bass

There are significant advantages to using two subwoofers. Modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high-resolution music files, and Blu-ray Discs maintain full stereo separation to below 20Hz. Summing the channels into a single subwoofer reduces or cancels all the low-frequency information containing phase differences between the channels. Stereo subwoofers reproduce all of the bass information complete with the phase differences that help provide the imaging and location cues we use to place people and things at distinct points in the sound field. Stereo subwoofers also improve linearity on mono as well as stereo sources by coupling the bass to the room at two points and lend themselves to natural placement near the corners where low frequency room gain is often desirable."

1. "Modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high-resolution music files, and Blu-ray Discs maintain full stereo separation to below 20Hz."

This is the exact opposite of the truth and Mr. Vandersteen would surely know this but an advertising copy writer likely would not. The truth is that acoustical engineers and experts have known for decades that humans are unable to localize sounds (determine where the sounds are originating from) below about 80 Hz and humans absolutely cannot localize sounds below the human deepest audible bass tone limit of 20 Hz. Acoustical scientists have also known for decades that humans are progressively bettert at localizing sounds as their soundwave frequencies increase from about 80 Hz all the way to the human audible treble tone limit of 20,000 Hz.

The reality is that not only can we not localize bass tones below about 80 Hz, the fact is that there are absolutely no modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high resolution music files and Blu-rays that maintain full stereo separation to below 20 Hz, all of these recording methods sum the entire bass content to mono below about 80 Hz.

What a shame, cleeds. Even if you were the only known human in the history of humans to be able to localize bass below about 80 Hz as you claim, and even if acoustics, physics and neurologic scientific facts didn’t prevent there from being such a thing as stereo deep bass, it still wouldn’t really matter since there are no recordings that contain stereo bass below 80 Hz, anyway. Don’t believe me? Then name a single commercially available music recording, of any music genre, on any recording format and recorded since the beginning of life on earth that has any stereo bass content below 80 Hz.

But wait a minute, oh yeah, you already stated: "After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings."

Make your own recordings? Recordings of what? You and your buddies garage band, The Didgeridoo and a Tuba Quartet, practicing on your tuba and 2 didgeridoos? Awesome, what else have you got?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUGytDzsgew

So, where does all this leave us on the whole subject of does deep stereo bass exist?

1. All existing scientific evidence has declared very decisively, convincingly, emphatically, undeniably, honestly a bit sarcastically and loudly through a bullhorn on full volume with fresh batteries: No Flipping Way!

2. You’ve already acknowledged that there are zero commercially available music recordings on any format with stereo bass content below 80 Hz, since you've previously stated you had to revert to recording your own content with stereo bass below 80 Hz.

3. True stereo deep bass below 80 Hz therefore does not exist but, here's the good news, individuals using multiple subs run in mono mode will still perceive the bass in stereo due to psychoacoustics. Here’s how it works:

The fundamental bass deep bass tone on a 20 Hz recording will be reproduced by the multiple mono subs and will not be able to be localized. However, these deep bass tones also have bass harmonics or overtones that will extend in frequency above 80 Hz (the bass localization threshold) that are reproduced in stereo through the main speakers.and are able to be localized. Our brains are fortunately able to associate these higher frequency harmonics/overtones with the related fundamental 20 Hz deep bass tone and, as a result, determine where the deep bass tone originated from in the soundstage illusion. For example, the bass drum is perceived as being at the rear center of the soundstage and the upright bass is perceived as being at the front left side of the soundstage. This is an example of a psychoacoustic effect. Psychoacoustics is the study of how the brain processes inputted soundwave information from the ears and forms our perceptions of sounds.

Cleeds, I believe you are experiencing this psychoacoustic effect on deep bass fundamental frequencies below 80 Hz on your system and assuming that humans are able to localize deep bass tones this deep. We’re not consciously aware that the higher bass harmonics/overtones frequencies above 80 Hz are the clues our brains actually need and utilize to localize deep bass tones. It’s our amazing brains, with the assistance of higher frequency bass harmonics/overtones, that are actually responsible.

I think you made a logical assumption and hope you agree this distinction is the likely cause and explanation of our disagreement on the existence of true stereo bass below 80 Hz.

Thanks,

Tim



Using sine wave test tones at five Hz intervals audiophiles can reliably locate 60 Hz and a few even down as low as 50 Hz. Nobody can locate 45 Hz. Below that the whole house is shaking. At 20 Hz your vision blurs. My wife can not locate 80 Hz. 
Having said that it is my understanding that mastering engineers mono bass below 100 Hz because they can get another 3 db before every ones systems start distorting. 
Hans, you still alive or has everyone burn out all your fuses?
Hello mijostyn,

     Was that a legit scientific experiment with published results you could refer me to? If so, my thinking that locating deeper bass tones (below 50-60 Hz) still requires the assistance of higher frequency bass harmonics above 80 Hz for localization is still valid but will need revising downward from 80Hz. I wonder what % of humans can locate bass tones down to 60 Hz?

Thanks,
  Tim
noble100
I read the linked website info and it reads more like the work of a professional advertising copy writer promoting a client’s product that he doesn’t completely understand, which is actually the case, than a knowledgeable and experienced speaker designer sharing his expertise ...
Opinion stated as fact. Have you contacted Vandersteen to confirm your speculation that he neither wrote the quoted material nor believes it to be true?
The truth is that acoustical engineers and experts have known for decades that humans are unable to localize sounds (determine where the sounds are originating from) below about 80 Hz ...
Opinion stated as fact. I’ve already provided you references to scientific material that conflict with this claim. You might want to do some research.
CDs, DVDs, digital high resolution music files and Blu-rays ... all of these recording methods sum the entire bass content to mono below about 80 Hz.
Opinion stated as fact.
You’ve already acknowledged that there are zero commercially available music recordings on any format with stereo bass content below 80 Hz, since you’ve previously stated you had to revert to recording your own content with stereo bass below 80 Hz.
I never, ever said that. Ever.

It’s futile to have a conversation with someone who’s going to invent quotes as he goes along, so we’re nearing the end of your little "debate."
Psychoacoustics is the study of how the brain processes inputted soundwave information from the ears and forms our perceptions of sounds.
There’s much more to pyschoacoustics than just that, dear sir. Did you know, for example, that pyschoacoustics also includes studying how expectations, such as prejudice, influence what we hear? That part of the science may be of particular value to you!

Here is my favorite site that explains in detail how the swarm works.If you scroll down past what is offered for sale,there is much to learn there
http://jamesromeyn.com/old-pages/home-audio-gear/dsa-1-0-distributed-subwoofer-array-5-pieces-4k-usd...
@noble100,

I have never heard of or seen, in my life, and I am at retirement age too as you are and have seen and heard a lot - anything like the psyco bass bable b******t you actually take the time to write here and spew.

@hleeid,

Please don’t be dissuaded from ever posting here again. There really are some cool folks here that are willing and able to answer and share with you in a nice, considerate and courteous manner.

Thank you for your original post question as I got to share some of my very limited experiences (not knowledge) with you and others when trying to decide what subwoofer(s) brand to purchase. Please comeback.
cleeds:
"noble100
"You’ve already acknowledged that there are zero commercially available music recordings on any format with stereo bass content below 80 Hz, since you’ve previously stated you had to revert to recording your own content with stereo bass below 80 Hz.
cleeds: "I never, ever said that. Ever." 

Hello cleeds,

You never stated this, ever? This is a direct quote from your previous post on 8/12/19: 
cleeds:
"It’s amazing how just how common the "all bass is monophonic" canard is and how reluctant some audiophiles are to reject it. After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings."


Tim
noble100
You never stated this, ever?
Correct. I never stated there "are zero commercially available music recordings on any format with stereo bass content below 80 Hz" or that  I "had to revert to recording (my) own content" to get stereo bass below 80 Hz.

I'm not sure why you keep insisting that I said that, but you're free to believe whatever you like.
Hleeid-

whatever you do, speaker setup and room should be considered  as well. Since your not doing a dedicated space, there’s going to be several issues by default.

You won’t know what your speakers will sound like until that’s found.


cleeds:
"noble100
You never stated this, ever?
Correct. I never stated there "are zero commercially available music recordings on any format with stereo bass content below 80 Hz" or that I "had to revert to recording (my) own content" to get stereo bass below 80 Hz.

I’m not sure why you keep insisting that I said that, but you’re free to believe whatever you like."

Hello cleeds,

My point or question is what did you mean when you posted this?:

"It’s amazing how just how common the "all bass is monophonic" canard is and how reluctant some audiophiles are to reject it. After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings."

Specifically, why would you state: "After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings."

It makes it sound like you couldn’t just play any commercially available recording that, according to you, generally have recorded stereo bass below 80 Hz. Then you don’t just state the question over whether stereo bass below 80 Hz actually exists or not can be resolved by listening to any commercially available recording, but you qualify it by adding "especially if you make your own recordings."
I’m not even sure what this means exactly. What are you recording? Commercially available music from another source or your garage band live? What recording device, what recording format, what is the format’s recording resolution and frequency range capability?

Thanks,
 Tim
Hi HLEEID, While these guys argue you should go to the TBI website and take a look at their subs, they are the most musical subs that I’ve ever heard. I used a pair with my Sonist Concerto 2’s and the bass sound was very organic sounding, they will totally disappear and it just sounds like your speakers have more bass with the same quality as the rest of the spectrum.
As far as stereo bass I don’t know the science, but when I used two of the TBI subs in stereo the sound stage increased in size or at least that was MY impression.
They do come up used from time to time and would be worth it to check them out.
good luck! TISH
Hi racamuti,

Will take a look.  I am also going to take a step back and address room concerns as indicated by tablejockey.  Perhaps move things around. Get some damping material ready, etc. before deciding on the actual subwoofers.

At this point, given the smallish room size and relatively dedicated chair (listening) position, I am leaning towards two versus four subs.

Seems like speaker placement is more important with main speakers versus subwoofers, no?

I realize the best way to determine placement is by experimentation but are there any guidelines to use as a starting point?  Don't dos? i.e.  don't place in corners or too close to walls, windows, etc?

Thanks everyone!
Hi hleed,

I think you’re already on the the right track because you’re just going to have to experiment. Once you figure out where your furniture can and cannot go, you already have an idea of where you want your main speakers, how far apart from each other and how far they should be from their back wall.

There is a misconception that all subs are ’omnidirectional’ only. That is not necessarily true. If you sit in your office chair and close your eyes with you main speakers turned off or unwired and play some music with only your subs you will sense where the subs are being played in your office room with your hearing whether they are coming from the left, right or center of the room with your ears alone and you will feel with your body which part of the room the tones are coming from.

Since I listen to mostly music than use my system for 4K dvd watching I have my front firing subs in the corner of the opposing walls about 4 to 5 inches from the back wall and the outside wall from the subs, if this makes any sense. This way I get a total enveloping of the bass sound in the entire room because they are in opposing corners and you have to leave room for you sub interconnects. This suits me quite well since I’m a bass head.

My subs are front firing and in the same general plane or in line with my main speakers along the same wall. In other words sitting on my couch I’m looking at my mains and subs. In my situation the mains will always be closer to each other than the subs are to each other. Some folks will put a sub directly behind their couch or chair for watching movies to feel the effects of the exploding bomb/space shuttle track rumble. But you also have to have the room for that too. I’ve even known people who didn’t have enough room to put their dual subs in opposing corners or one behind the couch stack them on top of each other, since they had the same footprint! And they actually sound damn good too!

Do you want front firing subs? Or down firing subs? Sealed, vented or ported? Here is a link for you to get a good visual idea of how forward firing, down firing, vented, ported and sealed subs look and there different sizes and price points:

https://www.powersoundaudio.com/pages/subwoofers

You’ve got some decisions to make!

Hello Hans,

     I just wanted to let you know that taking any of tyray's advice on his last post is done at your own peril.  There's so much bad advice and false information in his post that it would take me hours to catalog them all and explain each of them to you.  Unfortunately, I don't currently have the time to do this.  So, I suggest you're better off just disregarding his entire post
     He obviously lacks the knowledge and experience required to be giving good information or advice to anyone about attaining good in-room bass response performance.  I believe he just doesn't know what he doesn't know.
     From what I could learn online, your Ologe 5 are high quality speakers that are just lacking high quality low frequency output below about 48 Hz.
    I have no doubt that your overall office system sound quality performance will be significantly improved by a single good quality sub, properly positioned and configured, since it will provide the missing frequency range from 20 to about 50 Hz.  But my experience is that 2 subs will sound twice as good as 1 sub and 3-4 subs will sound twice as good as 2. 
     The reasons multiple subs perform so well is due to the total bass output duties being shared so that no single sub is operating near its limits, the combined bass power and impact being increased, there being increased power reserves for better bass dynamics and the presence of multiple points in the room producing bass results in the perception of smoother and faster bass response that better integrates or blends with the main speakers' midrange and treble output.
    In your situation, I would describe your choice as between good, better or best.  In other words, between 1 sub, 2 subs or 3-4 subs. 
     If you're currently unsure or don't want to take a risk, I'd suggest a good way to begin is with 2 SVS SB1000 subs, 2 SVS PB1000 subs or one of each because I'm certain this type of sub setup will deliver significantly better overall sound quality performance,  costs $1,000 or less with no shipping costs, allows a 45-day free in-office trial period and, if not completely satisfied with their performance, offers a full refund with free return shipping.  
     I understand you've decided to take some time to get your room straightened out.  When you're ready and whichever option you eventually choose, however, I'm still willing to help you with step by step procedures for optimum sub hookup, positioning and the setting of sub volume, crossover frequency and phase settings.  Just send me a pm when you're all set.

Later,
Tim

    
  
Dear @cleeds   @noble100  @hleeid : Atmasphere that has first hand experiences on the overall recording proccess posted in other thread what oput true ligth on that mono/stereo subs issue:

"""  Its not so much the limitations of the format as it costs a lot of money to pay an engineer to work a way around "out of phase bass". If you spend the time with the recording, you can usually find a way to master it without having to process it. But that takes time and at $500/hour most often bass processing is used. This is a simple circuit that senses when bass is out of phase and makes it mono below about 80Hz for a few milliseconds until the event has passed. This makes mastering LPs less expensive!
But CDs do exist where out of phase bass exists. This can happen because a microphone is out of phase with the rest of the recording when a bass guitar or bass drum is recorded. For this reason, the recording engineer has a phase inversion switch on every channel of his mixer but he may not have thought to use them.

If the recording is done in its entirety with only two mics, out of phase bass will not exist.  """

In the other side we can think that we can't be aware the direction where are generated  fundamental frequencies as low of 40hz-20hz or even lower.

Well certainly not through our ears but a human been not only hear through the ears but from all body: ears, skin, bones, skin hairs, head hair and the like. The skin hairs are truly sensitive to very low bass frequency and we have a fenomenal transducer name it brain.
So we can be totally sure we can't identify direction of very low bass frequencies.

Now, I read through the AK site the quality myths about low bass range and I disagree with.

When we are talking of two channels system MUSIC dedicated listen quality of the subs drivers and the overall subs design is way important because MUSIC start with the fundamental frequency but what we really listen is where MUSIC belongs that are the harmonics of that fundamental frequency/note and those harmonics will be developed with the quality level depending of the quality level of the fundamental note reproduced by the susb.
Harmonics are what put the color and rythm in live MUSIC and home systems. As better quaklty be the subs as better will be the room/system experiences we have.

The first 3-4 harmonics are the ones due its SPLs the ones normally we can listen but the 7-8 or even up harmonics puts some kind of small/tiny " colorations " to what we are perceiving.

So we can't disgard the quality of the subs. Not all drivers and driver materials has the same qualiity level that's why manufacturers choose diffrenet build materials from different metalic ones to kevlar or puilp-paper. Obviously that the amp and crossover electronic quality design and quality parts are very important too.

In a two channels MUSIC only normally we are looking for quality  because the main speakers have a high quality levels and if the harmonics developed by the subs are not at same quality level then we can't really enjoy the listening experiences.

@hleeid  , first determine where you can get the best ubication for your speakers through listening tests. Where do you achieve the best listening experiences in the mid/high frequency range? and after that it will be more easy to find out ( by tyesting it. ) the two self powered subs you need.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


Finger mistake: "" So we can be totally sure we can’t identify direction of very low bass frequencies. """

must says:

We can’t be totally sure we can’t identify source direction of very low bass frequency range .

Additional to what I posted we have to remember that our body/skind body is full  ( by mm2. ) of nervous terminations that not only sense temperature or pain but SPLs level too and are really sensible about.

R.
Dear @noble100 : After reading your last post that I was unaware of I only can say that you are incredible?/terrible man, because before your post you posted to me:

" that I agree with you and then request you just cut it out. ""

even that the OP already posted he use his system only for MUSIC two chnnels experiences you insist in that the best " room bass response " ( 4 subs. ) when what the OP needs is only good bass response at one seat position, nothing else. Got it?

You posted in reference to other gentleman:

""" disregarding his entire post
He obviously lacks the knowledge and experience required to be giving good information or advice to anyone about attaining good in-room bass response performance .... """

I proved with your own statements/words that you neither has that knowledge levels you think you have but even that fact you diminished the opinion of that gentleman. Go figure ! ! !

Again, even the AK designer/owner from where came your 4 bass array configuration posted in this same forum that two subs for two channel stereo MUSIC are ENOUGH. But you follow/insist entilted in : " one solution good for all " and you ask for I cut about ! ? ! ? ! ? and till now you just do not understand why quality subs levels is so critical/vital to listen MUSIC ONLY ( not HT as you. ) in two channels room system at one seat position to blend to the mid/high one position frequency ranges.

QUALITY not quantity as you like. QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY , tha’s the name of the game. You are totally wrong not only because your 4 bass array but because you are accustomed to very very low quality levels in your room/system.

First learn and listen to room/system with top quality performance levels before following making posts with your true bs information.

Maybe you have some personal limitations that preclude your understanding about. Sorry for you.

R.




Hello rauliruegas,

     Regarding bass phase and recordings not done with only 2 mics or CDs with out of phase bass, my opinion is that we really have no control over that and can't do anything about it except avoid listening to poorly recorded music content.

     Regarding whether we can localize bass under 80 Hz using our ears and brains or any other body parts, I know I can often feel sharp 55 Hz strikes on a kick drum with my body but it doesn't inform me where it came from within my system soundstage. I believe I perceive the kick drum, that I can feel and hear, as being located in the rear center of my system soundstage because of the higher frequency harmonics/overtones of the 55 Hz fundamental tone, that reach above 80 Hz that we are able to localize, and our brains are able to relate or associate them to the fundamental tone of the kick drum strike and determine its location within my system soundstage.  In other words, we are only able to localize fundamental bass tones with frequencies below 80 Hz if the harmonics/overtones related to that fundamental deep bass tone that are above 80 Hz are also heard, usually through both of our main speakers.
     I understand this is a complex thought to convey and I hope you understand what I wrote.
     I don't consider this true stereo deep bass but rather what I've termed Psychoacoustic Phenomenon Psuedo Stereo Deep Bass.

    I agree with you that using better quality subs will only improve the quality of bass reproduced.  I think this is true whether one uses a single sub or multiple subs.

Tim
@rauliruegas wrote:
" Even the AK SWARM manufacturer/owner posted in this forum:

""" You can get good bass in one sweet spot with two equalized subs """. Not 3 or 4 but TWO."

I probably said the first part, but just to be clear I DID NOT say the second part ("Not 3 or 4 but TWO"). Imo three or four subs intelligently positioned are superior to two, whether or not EQ is involved.

Quoting rauliruegas again:

"Again, even the AK designer/owner from where came your 4 bass array configuration posted in this same forum that two subs for two channel stereo MUSIC are ENOUGH."

I don’t remember saying that in so many words, and if I did, the word "ENOUGH" is highly subjective and I should have been careful how I used the word.

The basic problem is, the room imposes a significant peak-and-dip pattern on a subwoofer at low frequencies. The peaks are especially undesirable because they take longer to decay and can make the bass sound slow, boomy, one-note, etc.

We can move the subwoofers and change the peak-and-dip pattern, but we cannot eliminate it by positioning alone.

We can use bass traps to absorb bass energy and reduce the magnitude of the peaks and dips.

We can use EQ to reduce the energy going into the peaks and maybe even boost the energy going into the dips, which can work well at one location, but will usually make the bass worse at other locations because the peaks and dips will be at different frequencies.

We can use multiple subs spread intelligently around the room so that each produces a significantly different room-interaction peak-and-dip pattern, and the sum of these different patterns will be pretty smooth, and this smoothness will hold up well throughout the room. In general two subs intelligently distributed are twice as smooth as one, and four subs are twice as smooth as two.

I see no reason why these different approaches cannot be combined.

I really haven’t spent much time figuring out the best way to use two subs, because imo the improvement in going from two to four is worthwhile (assuming approximately the same total expenditure). If someone is limited to using two subs, then I suggest they go to one of my competitors. Not that I’m an expert on all of the subs out there, but ime Rhythmic makes some very nice ones.

Duke
guy who makes the Swarm
@rauliruegas,

When I got first got my front firing vented PSA V1801 subs I hooked up ONE on the left side front corner wall of my listening room and it replaced a down firing (almost vintage) SVS PB12-Plus/2 12.3 subwoofer. I could tell right away the location of that sub. And the same with the previous sub the SVS PB12-Plus/2 12.3 subwoofer. Was it subtle yes, but you could tell.

Not only could I tell the location of the ONE front firing vented PSA V1801 and the ONE SVS PB12-Plus/2 12.3 subs - placed in the far left corner - I could tell, feel, sense, hear, locate or whatever that the sonic wave, force or sound of the down firing sub was coming from the bottom of the down firing sub! There is a difference! I would suspect that is why so many sub manufactures make so many different types of directional firing subs.

Then when I set up the replacement front firing vented PSA V1801 sub I immediately noticed, could tell, feel, sense, hear, locate or whatever that the sonic wave, force or sound was coming out of the front of the sub front firing speaker! The only thing I have to go on is my own empirical experiences.

And that SVS PB12-Plus/2 12.3 sub? I still have it - as I have come to love that thing and the bass it brings! I just have come to like the ’sound’ of a front firing sub better.

I also have to mention that the above subs are beasts! And have a force of sound that can crumble motor in a brick wall and the sheer force (decibels) of the sound is probably what I ’feel’. And maybe I’ve been fortunate enough to actually have experienced a ’quality’ (sub) woofer too.

@audiokinesis

Mr. Duke,

When your Swarm first came out I and bunch of others were impressed at such a brilliant thinking out of the box idea. I completely believed and understood the science behind it. It’s just that when someone attacks, demeans, and literally calls you (me) out with their own psyco bass bable bullshit that is based on untruths and then goes and runs behind your outstanding design - sometimes you just gotta hit a bully in the nose and stand up for yourself.

The attacks here - I suspect are not the first. In fact there may be hundreds of B.S. posts by this poser - directed at others on Gon standing behind and using your Swarm technique - and others, without a leg to stand on his own.



Apologies to all! I didn't mean to stir up so much drama!

But I sincerely appreciate so many of you responding to my query.  This is still an exciting journey for me. I have enjoyed and learned quite a lot each of your postings.

So I have decided to empty my office, place my main speakers and perhaps two woofers, experiment with placement, acoustical room treatments, etc.

Looks like my next homework assignment will be researching the various subwoofer configurations (forward firing, down firing, vented, ported, sealed, anything I missed?)   
  
Should I take advantage of the temporarily empty office to lay down carpeting?

I will try to "furnish around" the speakers and then experiment again.

Many thanks!!

Hans
@hleeid'

'Should I take advantage of the temporarily empty office to lay down carpeting?'

My buddies that have man caves and and not only use their system for playing music but watching movies too - swear by adding carpet.   

Tyray wrote:

"When your Swarm first came out I and bunch of others were impressed at such a brilliant thinking out of the box idea. I completely believed and understood the science behind it."

Thank you very much. If there was any "brilliant" thinking on my part, it was in quickly recognizing the merit of the distributed multi-sub concept when Earl Geddes described it to me, and in immediately asking him if I could license his idea (he replied, "No, you can just use it," so I try to give him credit when the opportunity arises).

I also appreciate the Richard Vandersteen quote you posted above:

"... multiple subs automatically give a linier response in the room. This should be amazing as we have always been a supporter of multiple subs."

Indeed, I recall Richard recommending stereo subs long before I heard about using four distributed subs from Earl. Was Richard the first to propose that two subs are significantly better than one? I think he was.

I have always liked Richard’s speakers very much, and feel honored that a few of his customers have chosen my somewhat unorthodox little subwoofer system to go with them.

Duke

Up until some time nearly a year ago I had never heard of using more than one or two subs. All my personal experience was based on one sub, plus maybe once or twice hearing two somewhere. Based on all that it seemed getting really good smooth articulate bass, by which I mean bass every bit as good as the midrange and treble, was for whatever reason impossible.

I still think this is the case. My current understanding is the reason this is impossible is, briefly, what Duke stated above. Its a natural physical consequence of the physical character of house-sized rooms. 

The DBA idea seemed at first unlikely to work. But a lot of the threads I came across were like this one, where if you could somehow wade through the BS and sniping there were mentioned real research articles and work by guys like Geddes, which anyone interested can scroll up and see yes indeed once again he's mentioned. The question is will you dear reader take time out of your busy day opining and parroting and go and look it up and read it and actually try and understand what its all about.

Which I did. Which whatever it is, it sure ain't religion. 

Duke at one point when I said I was going to do this he thanked me for having faith. My reply was I had read enough and understood enough to know for certain and without doubt its going to work. This really is no different than someone teaches you math. You can then determine how many oranges each of 6 people can get if you have 24 oranges. Its not faith and it sure ain't religion. Its physics.

And psycho-acoustics. Humans do not perceive sounds anything like the meters so many wanna-be audiophiles put so much faith in. Which yes that is exactly the correct use of the term. Or maybe like Stevie Wonder said its superstition- when you believe in things you don't understand.

We don't perceive volume equally flat, go look up Fletcher-Munson curve. We don't perceive location equally with frequency either. We are really good at localizing midrange and treble. We can hear even just a millisecond snippet. At low bass frequencies we can't even hear them AT ALL until and unless its a full wavelength. At 20 Hz that means 1/20th of a second. 

The full range of sounds we are trying to create is so different in physics and perception it simply cannot be faithfully recreated with just the one approach. No two speakers can do it. No two speakers with any sub however good can do it. Two good speakers with four or more subs? No problem!

I've been using mine for a good six months now. One of the most amazing things I am still getting used to is the way really low powerful bass can present so many different ways. Sometimes its the low acoustic of the recording venue. In that case its so diffuse as to be completely unlocalizable. It is enveloping. It is what people mean when they talk about good bass expanding the sound stage to completely envelope you. Other times it is so precisely localized within the sound stage its every bit as palpably solidly there as the singer or drum or whatever. 

Never, ever, does it sound like the bass is coming from any of the five subs in my room. Often times early on I would walk right up to one and not believe it was even working until I put my finger on the driver.

There's a lot going on here that is very new and very different. Its a lot to get your head around. People interested will be well served to avoid the silly comments from people who haven't tried it and therefore haven't a clue, and instead read those who have and those who did the very impressive pioneering research that made this most revolutionary discovery in audio in many years.
Hello Duke,

     I'm glad you chimed in and shared your knowledge. 
     If you don't mind and have the time, I was hoping to get your honest opinion on my thoughts on how I understand multiple sub systems function in general as well as my understanding of how bass is recorded on CDs and vinyl.  Basically, I'm asking if you agree with my summary below?    
     
       We all are unable to localize deep bass frequency soundwaves, that is determine where the sound is coming from, that are below about 100 Hz but we're very good at localizing higher frequency soundwaves in the remainder of the audible spectrum, from about 100 to 20,000 Hz.
    This is the reason there's no such thing as 'true stereo' deep bass and why the bass is summed to mono on frequencies below 100 Hz on all vinyl and cd recordings. If you doubt this, try to find a single vinyl or cd recording that is not summed to mono. This means it's pointless to configure subs in a stereo configuration with one located by the left main speaker and one by the right.
    However, thanks to psychoacoustics and our remarkable brains, it is possible to create the perception of stereo bass in our systems. Here's how it works:
    Whether you use 2, 3 or 4 subs, run them in mono and optimize the bass at your listening seat. The bass below 100 Hz won't be able to be localized but there are bass harmonics or overtones of the deep bass fundamental frequencies that extend into higher frequencies that are reproduced by the main stereo speakers and can be localized. Our brains are able to associate the fundamental deep bass frequencies reproduced by the subs, that are not able to be localized, with the deep bass's higher harmonic frequencies, that extend well beyond 100 Hz, which are reproduced by the main speakers that are able to be localized. This psychoacoustic association allows us to localize the deep bass in the soundstage, for example the kick drum is located in the rear center and the upright bass is located in the front to the left, which would not be otherwise possible without this psychoacoustic association our brain's are capable of.  


Thanks,
Tim