speakers with subwoofer-style base drivers
I wonder if anyone out there has comments about subwoofer-based speakers (that is, small cabinet with downward-firing drivers) vs. the other approach (big enclosure pushing air forward) for music playback (ie NOT home theater).
I have new speakers with each speaker relying on it's own small cabinet with down-firing driver to produce anything below 250Hz (the rest is handled by electrostatic panels). I have not had this kind of speaker before. I know that all rooms have resonance behaviors that place a load on the bass drivers no matter how they are designed, but I seem to be having a more difficult time than I ever remember before getting even decent bass.
It seems that no matter where I place these speakers, I have severe bass nulling in the middle of the room. Along the walls, the sound is good, but move more than 2 ft from the wall and the bass just goes away, which really messes up the overall sound of this hybrid design.
Unfortunately, all the spouse-negotiated listening options are away from the walls. Another problem is that I don't get much bass "slam", but I do get deep bass when the note is sustained. So it SOUNDS like deep bass (house rattles), but it doesn't have any impact at first, only after it builds up. For example, with a drum hit, you can hear the sharp rap of the initial impact, but the bass note comes up later than it should. Just doesn't sound natural. Just a rap and a boom, no thump.
My sense is that the subwoofer approach relies on coupling with the house's construction and maybe it works best in a rectangular room. I have an open floor-plan house (ie, no rooms dividers) with a slanting roof and sort of an odd shape (imagine a room about 100 feet long and 15-20 ft wide wrapped into a fat letter G shape with beveled corners). I don't think I have any square angles in my house at all.
So I'm wondering if I will be able to get a subwoofer approach to work at all. And if subwoofers need to get a resonance going before you can hear the note, I wonder if the subwoofer approach can ever deliver "slam", or is it mostly good for sustained notes?
I hate the thought of it, but I wonder if I should switch to speakers with big ol' cabinets that aren't so dependent on coupling with the room.
Any comments / experience with this type of challenge?