Are subwoofers bad for music? - Page 5
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  1. #41
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Sorry you feel that way. I respectfully disagree. I understand Jim’s post but take it from a vantage point of a professional, not a hobbiest. Big difference.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Sorry you feel that way. I respectfully disagree. I understand Jim’s post but take it from a vantage point of a professional, not a hobbiest. Big difference.
    I agree with and will use your statement above:

    Sorry you feel that way.


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  3. #43
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Sorry you feel that way. I respectfully disagree. I understand Jim’s post but take it from a vantage point of a professional, not a hobbiest. Big difference.
    Fair enough, Joseph, but this professional has improved the sound quality of scores of hobbiest’s listening rooms by adding subwoofers to their systems. Just sayin...

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  5. #44
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    You may have missed my post. I prefer just speakers without a sub for 2-channel music, personally. Just because integrated subs has definitely been in the minority of systems I've heard with subs. Also, listeners tastes are different, most times to boost the bass is just too much a temptation for those using subs.
    However, I know from hearing integration of a sub is not impossible and I wouldn't argue subs are necessarily bad for music.
    Pro's use subs as well. When I worked in the business the company I was at built enough EV folded horns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    So except for me, it seems the general concensus is subwoofers are good for almost all speaker systems. Whether they are good for music may (or may not ) be another story. If I were a manufacturer catering mostly to rich clients, there is no doubt I would pair my quarter of a million dollar TOTL speaker with another quarter of a million dollar subwoofer. But is it remotely possible that this could lead me to design a speaker system that would benefit from a sub of my own design ? Could this be nothing short of a marketing tool ? Just some hypotheticals.

    I heard some live music yesterday. The bass player had two instuments on stage. A standup bass and a Fender bass guitar. During the show he never picked up the standup acoustic bass. There was no doulbt in my mind that there was too much bass in the mix. At one time the bass was an accompanying instument. Jack Bruce and others have since made it a “lead instument”. Just as an aside, the lowest note of a bass guitar is 40hz. Playing professional guitar for years, I am enamored by tasty bass players who comprise a rhythm section. As with any musician, playing as a band member and not a solo act is what I look for and enjoy.

    It seems to me that the audiophile community is moving in the same general direction. As I visit other people’s systems it is common place for more and more subs to be added to their systems. Like Avant Garde, Scana and other high end manufacturers “the more the merrier”. I have heard systems with six to eight subwoofers. And sometimes placed in rooms other than the main listening room. If audiophiles enjoy this, so be it. After all this hobby is for enjoyment purposes. But I also must stand my ground. For me bass is the flavoring of music and not the main event. Just like drums or cannons. I enjoy listening to true acoustic bass much more than electronic bass guitar bass. The analogy of “playing like a band member” holds true for a speaker system. It is more important to me to have a seemless integrated speaker system than to single out great anything (like bass or high frequencies). For me a speaker designer that does that is what I look for. And to do this in a domestic environment is also important. My modest sound room could never accomodate stereo cannons of the 1812 overture. I would never expect any room of my house to.

    To each his own.
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  6. #45
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    I know it's been a month since the last post in this thread, but wanted to add to it...

    What I have always noticed most with your "average" user who uses a sub or two is that they NEED to hear their subs in order to justify their purchase. They typically have the crossover set too high and definitely have the gain set too high, both of which make it very obvious there's subs in the room and they're drawing way too much attention to themselves.

    Also, a lot of typical consumers look at specs and only care about how deep said subs are claimed to go. This may be fine for explosions and crashes in movies, but not necessarily for music. There are far more important features of a sub to look at that are capable of playing nicely with music. The top one above all else is known reputation for being good with music. Your average consumer would probably instantly look at brands such as Klipsch or SVS, whereas audiophiles in the know will be instantly looking at brands such as REL, JL Audio or Martin Logan.

    I've gone through tons of subs over the years that were thought to be great quality, and they were for movies. But when it came to music, they were all slow and sluggish, muddied up the overall sound, some tended to be boomy no matter what, and all were simply not fit for music.

    Other than a really big, really ugly pair of open baffle subwoofers I built years ago utilizing four 15" pro woofers (two woofers each), these little JL subs are the next best sounding subs I've ever owned. They're agile, light on their toes, are quick and detailed, keep up with whatever music I play, blend seamlessly with the mains, and simply get out of the way of the music and just disappear. When they are called upon to reproduce bass, it literally seems like the bass is coming from the main speakers.

    So for me, I am definitely in the camp of "subwoofers are good for music".

    Lastly, when I picked up my Sonus Faber Venere 1.5's last week, in one of the demo rooms, there were a pair of Wilson Audio Alexx powered by a pair of beautiful Dan D'Agostino Progression mono block amps. Tucked back behind those Wilson's were a line array (stack of three per channel) of REL G1 MkII's, so a total of six!

    Not only were the Wilson Alexx's fully capable of disappearing, so were the G1 MkII's. Listening with your eyes closed, you just had a large wall of sound coming at you with plenty of natural bass extension that blended perfectly with the Alexx's. It was just one large wall of sound, which I might add was also capable of a very convincing holographic effect. The acoustics of the venue in the recording just engulfed you and transported you to the actual recording location. And it's funny that I just used the term "transported", because that's the name of that room/system, "The Transporter".
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  8. #46
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Dear Charles: You certainly sound like a guy who has mucho subwoofer experience. You also seem unbias as well. But it still boggles my mind that no matter how big or how expensive a speaker is, someone out there feels a subwoofer is needed. To me it is like adding a supertweeter to a speaker designed with a plasma tweeter. What’s next ? Midrange add-on’s ?
    == Joe ==

  9. #47
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Dear Charles: You certainly sound like a guy who has mucho subwoofer experience. You also seem unbias as well. But it still boggles my mind that no matter how big or how expensive a speaker is, someone out there feels a subwoofer is needed. To me it is like adding a supertweeter to a speaker designed with a plasma tweeter. What’s next ? Midrange add-on’s ?
    It's been said a million times before... If you have your mains located where they perform best for imaging and sound stage, then they are NOT going to be in the best place for reproducing bass. That's why you need subs, no matter what the speaker. The subs get placed in the best spots for bass reproduction.
    Charles
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    Sources: Bluesound Node 2, Roku Ultra, Music Hall MMF-7.3 w/ Ortofon 2M Bronze
    Speakers | Subwoofers: Sonus faber Venere 1.5 | JL Audio e110 x 2
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  11. #48
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Quote Originally Posted by chops View Post
    It's been said a million times before... If you have your mains located where they perform best for imaging and sound stage, then they are NOT going to be in the best place for reproducing bass. That's why you need subs, no matter what the speaker. The subs get placed in the best spots for bass reproduction.
    I don’t mean to be difficult here, but will say my piece and leave this topic forever. There is no evidence that this statement is true. Regardless of how many times it is said. There are so many different situations, acoustical enviroments and room variations that need to be taken into account. And what about adding bass to a speaker that was designed to be full range. Adding a subwoofer is modifying the design parameters. And not always for the better.

    If speakers are located based on imaging and sound staging alone, than the setup is wrong, Every aspect of performance should be taken into account. And to say one always is at the detriment of the other is circumspect.

    I would much prefer an audiophile saying “because I like It that way”. I can respect that.
    == Joe ==

  12. #49
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    I have had subwoofers and now do not use one. I believe they can add a lot but also believe it is very difficult to get one integrated properly. There is also a lot of personal preference and of course room acoustics involved.

    One thing I would like to mention is when setting up a room/speakers, referring back to Jim Smith's "Get Better Sound", the first thing Jim has you do is find the spot in the room where your main speakers give the best bass. Trying to work the room. Imaging and and sound stage are dealt with afterwards. Again you have to make the room work for you also, and therefore the best spot for proper bass may not always work for you in the room. You do the best you can, but you do need to live in your room also.
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  13. #50
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    Re: Are subwoofers bad for music?

    Hmm, guess I should have written post #30 more clearly. I didn't realize that it was ambiguous in any way.
    Small Green Computer, gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3, Sonore ultraRendu, MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB, Duelund USB, Curious USB; Lush USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; 4 Audioquest Diamond ethernet - 0.75M, 1.5 M, 3M, 5M; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - updated; Ayre QB-9 DSD; Ayre Codex; ASR Emitter II Exclusive; all electronics on Grand Prix Audio stands; mass-loaded Tannoy Canterburys on custom stands; Outboard Duelund xover bypassing internal Tannoy xover & Tannoy EQ; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; mass-loaded REL 212 SEs; AV Room Service EVPs, Duelund DCA16GA ICs; Duelund PCs, Stealth Dream PCs; dedicated custom room; various room treatments; etc.

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