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  1. #1
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    2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Barry Ober has more than 35 years research into the best methodology for the easiest and most comprehensive subwoofer integration and system alignment, including speaker imaging.

    I've read most of his website and used his techniques to integrate my JL Audio F212v2 with my 2-channel system. Bass dynamics, imaging, and clarity are significantly better than any 2-channel system I've experienced at RMAF, Audio showrooms, or in my home. All but a very few ported speaker systems with separate bass towers should have subwoofers to experience evocative low frequency bass.

    The following are excerpts from his extensive website: (The Sound Doctor)

    A ported speaker is ALWAYS nothing more than a cheap way to attempt to get free bass out of an enclosure and /or driver that's too small. It's a holdover from the 1930's when because of driver inefficiencies (especially when compared to today's units) you had to do everything possible to increase the useable output over the desired range of low frequencies.

    When the manufacturer of a speaker cabinet defines the frequency response (i.e., 37 Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB) this is what is defined by the entire arrangement of the port and the air in the cabinet and the driver. At some low frequency the port air is exactly out of phase with the driver air pressure and since they cancel, there is NO output from the cabinet into the room. Therefore with a ported cabinet, the entire sloppy concept is this juggling game between the response of the drivers under air pressure, the passive crossover inside the box, the port size and placement.

    Simply connecting a sub to existing mains speaker (or amp) terminals is the WORST POSSIBLE WAY to do this. EVERYTHING scientific and acoustic about this method is wrong, from the additive delay issues to the back EMF of the mains affecting the LF signal. However there are plenty of people who simply do not understand correctly integrated bass, and they will be reasonably happy simply sticking another box on to their system without regard to timing, phase and frequency issues, and they will think it sounds "ok" or "good" and for those people it doesn't really matter.

    Some audiophiles don't want to introduce yet another active "thing" in their precious signal path, not realizing that adding the crossover is very much the lesser of two evils.

    Actually adding a crossover is really a WIN-WIN situation:

    WIN # 1) Since you are now NOT putting in 20 Hz - 80 Hz into the mains you are not using up the available LF cone movement with bass, so the LF cone in your mains is able to play its higher freqs (up to IT'S crossover point) much more cleanly. You get an apparent 6dB or more dynamic range. You can play your system LOUDER, and also with less compression distortion in the LF driver when you're having that Saturday night dance party and you're playing urban bass technopop at 110+ dB. Really.

    WIN # 2) Since you are not putting bass into that same driver you are not Doppler modulating everything between 80 and 600, or whatever the next crossover point is. This means cleaner mids. By far.

    WIN #3) You are not sucking current out of your main power amp at low frequencies, so there is more current reserve to play those highs louder...

    WIN # 4) Since the cones aren't moving as far at the low freqs the driver itself is not generating as much back EMF therefore the damping factor and all of its issues are greatly negated. And you don't need to run silver plated cold water pipes to your mains as speaker wires because there is less current draw by the speakers.

    WIN # 5) Freqs below 80 are now NOT causing transient intermodulation distortion with the higher freqs (and vice versa) in your power amp. Cleaner still.​

    If you have a 2-channel only system if you do not correctly use a crossover you are both wasting your time and you will be frustrated.

    If your speakers are ported, you SHOULD close (seal) the ports. Towels will do for a test but you might consider purchasing a 3", 4", or 5" thick slab of "foam" at a notions / sewing store. What you are trying to accomplish is to NOT have multiple sources of differing phase relationships (the main driver, the port air, and the sub driver) at or near the crossover frequency.

    Invert the polarity of the MAIN speaker the sub is CLOSEST TO. Disconnect all the other speakers in the room. Place your head equidistant between the sub and the speaker it is closest to. Play the 80 Hz tone. Adjust the phase control AND the level control and both settings of the polarity switch until you hear a distinct NULL. (IT MIGHT EVEN DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY) There should be some setting of the two controls on the JL sub which will provide a rather sharp null - this is a CRITICAL setting and you might find it to be very sharp. Now put the wiring back the correct way to that one speaker. Reconnect the other speaker and you're done.
    ________________________________
    Len
    Acoustic Frontiers Acoustic Design media room; Raidho D3; Boulder 1160; JL Audio F212v2; EMM Labs DV2; EMM Labs XDS1v2 (transport); JL Audio CR-1; Ansuz Mainz8 D-TC; Solidtech ROS; Nordost & Ansuz cabling & resonance control.
    http://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5013

  2. #2

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    This is method I am using to integrated my 2 F212s with my Aerial Acoustic 20T V2 main speakers. Works very well.

    Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    316

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Simply connecting a sub to existing mains speaker (or amp) terminals is the WORST POSSIBLE WAY to do this. EVERYTHING scientific and acoustic about this method is wrong, from the additive delay issues to the back EMF of the mains affecting the LF signal. However there are plenty of people who simply do not understand correctly integrated bass, and they will be reasonably happy simply sticking another box on to their system without regard to timing, phase and frequency issues, and they will think it sounds "ok" or "good" and for those people it doesn't really matter.
    Lots of satisfied REL customers might find that statement challenging. I think it is absolutely correct.
    Tom

    Audio:
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    Amati Homage VOX Center,
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  4. #4
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by LenWhite View Post
    Barry Ober has more than 35 years research into the best methodology for the easiest and most comprehensive subwoofer integration and system alignment, including speaker imaging.

    I've read most of his website and used his techniques to integrate my JL Audio F212v2 with my 2-channel system. Bass dynamics, imaging, and clarity are significantly better than any 2-channel system I've experienced at RMAF, Audio showrooms, or in my home. All but a very few ported speaker systems with separate bass towers should have subwoofers to experience evocative low frequency bass.

    The following are excerpts from his extensive website: (The Sound Doctor)

    A ported speaker is ALWAYS nothing more than a cheap way to attempt to get free bass out of an enclosure and /or driver that's too small. It's a holdover from the 1930's when because of driver inefficiencies (especially when compared to today's units) you had to do everything possible to increase the useable output over the desired range of low frequencies.

    When the manufacturer of a speaker cabinet defines the frequency response (i.e., 37 Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB) this is what is defined by the entire arrangement of the port and the air in the cabinet and the driver. At some low frequency the port air is exactly out of phase with the driver air pressure and since they cancel, there is NO output from the cabinet into the room. Therefore with a ported cabinet, the entire sloppy concept is this juggling game between the response of the drivers under air pressure, the passive crossover inside the box, the port size and placement.

    Simply connecting a sub to existing mains speaker (or amp) terminals is the WORST POSSIBLE WAY to do this. EVERYTHING scientific and acoustic about this method is wrong, from the additive delay issues to the back EMF of the mains affecting the LF signal. However there are plenty of people who simply do not understand correctly integrated bass, and they will be reasonably happy simply sticking another box on to their system without regard to timing, phase and frequency issues, and they will think it sounds "ok" or "good" and for those people it doesn't really matter.

    Some audiophiles don't want to introduce yet another active "thing" in their precious signal path, not realizing that adding the crossover is very much the lesser of two evils.

    Actually adding a crossover is really a WIN-WIN situation:

    WIN # 1) Since you are now NOT putting in 20 Hz - 80 Hz into the mains you are not using up the available LF cone movement with bass, so the LF cone in your mains is able to play its higher freqs (up to IT'S crossover point) much more cleanly. You get an apparent 6dB or more dynamic range. You can play your system LOUDER, and also with less compression distortion in the LF driver when you're having that Saturday night dance party and you're playing urban bass technopop at 110+ dB. Really.

    WIN # 2) Since you are not putting bass into that same driver you are not Doppler modulating everything between 80 and 600, or whatever the next crossover point is. This means cleaner mids. By far.

    WIN #3) You are not sucking current out of your main power amp at low frequencies, so there is more current reserve to play those highs louder...

    WIN # 4) Since the cones aren't moving as far at the low freqs the driver itself is not generating as much back EMF therefore the damping factor and all of its issues are greatly negated. And you don't need to run silver plated cold water pipes to your mains as speaker wires because there is less current draw by the speakers.

    WIN # 5) Freqs below 80 are now NOT causing transient intermodulation distortion with the higher freqs (and vice versa) in your power amp. Cleaner still.​

    If you have a 2-channel only system if you do not correctly use a crossover you are both wasting your time and you will be frustrated.

    If your speakers are ported, you SHOULD close (seal) the ports. Towels will do for a test but you might consider purchasing a 3", 4", or 5" thick slab of "foam" at a notions / sewing store. What you are trying to accomplish is to NOT have multiple sources of differing phase relationships (the main driver, the port air, and the sub driver) at or near the crossover frequency.

    Invert the polarity of the MAIN speaker the sub is CLOSEST TO. Disconnect all the other speakers in the room. Place your head equidistant between the sub and the speaker it is closest to. Play the 80 Hz tone. Adjust the phase control AND the level control and both settings of the polarity switch until you hear a distinct NULL. (IT MIGHT EVEN DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY) There should be some setting of the two controls on the JL sub which will provide a rather sharp null - this is a CRITICAL setting and you might find it to be very sharp. Now put the wiring back the correct way to that one speaker. Reconnect the other speaker and you're done.
    Seems like 35 yrs of bad research

    Most of it may sound good to those who have never heard a proper audio system setup with subs, seems mostly phooobie dust material for audio neophytes ..!

    Those who have heard proper subs usually move on and sell those silly little sub boxes for real subs, or give up completely, you can find the ads and comments plenty everywhere , i had , it was bad , system was always better without , blah , blah ..!

    Powered Sub sold ..!


    BTW , Audio novices prefer to work with sealed enclosures , because its the easiest to design and build requires very little setup knowledge and easy to simulate, there is nothing superior to it , worse are those using servo controlled units , nothing like correction after the event and worse artificial bass ..


    To each their own I guess ...!


    Regards
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  5. #5
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    Feb 2016
    Location
    west Michigan
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    641

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Seems like 35 yrs of bad research

    Most of it may sound good to those who have never heard a proper audio system setup with subs, seems mostly phooobie dust material for audio neophytes ..!

    Those who have heard proper subs usually move on and sell those silly little sub boxes for real subs, or give up completely, you can find the ads and comments plenty everywhere , i had , it was bad , system was always better without , blah , blah ..!

    Powered Sub sold ..!


    BTW , Audio novices prefer to work with sealed enclosures , because its the easiest to design and build requires very little setup knowledge and easy to simulate, there is nothing superior to it , worse are those using servo controlled units , nothing like correction after the event and worse artificial bass ..


    To each their own I guess ...!


    Regards
    You apparently have a different opinion of what works as far as subs and set up.
    Would you care to explain more?
    My System:
    Lumin A-1
    Joule Electra LA150 Signature Plus
    Pass XA30.5
    Line Magnetic 845ia
    JMR (Reynaud) Offrande Supreme V2
    18" Open Baffle Subs
    Cables: Teo Audio, Cerious Tech, Fusion Audio.
    Two dedicated 20 Amp circuits. Shunyata Hydra. EP2050
    DIY bass traps and custom curved diffusors.

  6. #6
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    Reno, NV
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    1,373

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    The first subwoofers were for 2-channel systems ("home theater" didn't really exist); e.g., Infinity Servo-Statik, Jadis, RH Labs, over 40 years ago. It's not very impressive that "35 years research into the best methodology for the easiest and most comprehensive subwoofer integration and system alignment" comes to essentially the same conclusions that those first systems used in their implementations

    There are just too many variables as well as advances in both main speaker and subwoofer technology for those same old principles to universally apply. I've had subs in and out of my 2-channel systems since 1977, using a variety of crossover and placement philosophies; I certainly have not found a "one size fits all" solution.

    YMMV of course.
    Rob
    __________________________
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    ​​​​​​​Stillpoints and IsoPods, Tube Traps, GIK

  7. #7
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I resisted putting another box (CR1) between my source and main amp for a long time. But I have to say Barry Ober's experience and knowledge worked out very well in my current audio system. I'm hearing visceral bass listening to music for the first time in all but perhaps one of the speakers I've owned. I had a pair of Infinity Beta's in the 80s that certainly had copious amounts of bass using twin bass towers. But it's been so long I really don't know if even they had the emotional impact.

    IMO anyone owning ported speakers should consider reading the article fully and try to listen to a system that has implemented a good subwoofer using this method.
    ________________________________
    Len
    Acoustic Frontiers Acoustic Design media room; Raidho D3; Boulder 1160; JL Audio F212v2; EMM Labs DV2; EMM Labs XDS1v2 (transport); JL Audio CR-1; Ansuz Mainz8 D-TC; Solidtech ROS; Nordost & Ansuz cabling & resonance control.
    http://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5013

  8. #8
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    The only issue I have is that - as usual with all of the sub set-up concepts that I have seen - the most important/primary/fundamental sub set-up actions were not mentioned.
    Even so - on the whole, an interesting thread!
    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

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2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

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