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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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    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

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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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    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?
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  6. #6
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    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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  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!
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  9. #9
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I have never heard of such nonsense.

    For one, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a properly designed ported enclosure. In case you haven't noticed, there's PLENTY of crap sounding sealed designs out there as well as ported, so that entire theory is a mute point. The only reason people think sealed is better is because they are simpler to design, have a larger margin of error in enclosure design/size, etc, etc.

    Second, there's absolutely nothing wrong with connecting subs via high-level inputs from the amp outputs or at the loudspeaker binding posts. In fact, most times, you get the best results from the subs being connected this way.

    Third, if you have capable loudspeakers and capable amplification, you shouldn't have to be concerned with the woofers doing more work, or the amplifier(s) providing more current for allowing the loudspeakers to run fullrange. A lot less to worry about with extra unnecessary phase shifts, distortions and extra boxes/garbage in the signal chain with additional crossovers.

    In other words, there's so much wrong with that "35 years of research" it's not funny. None of it is a "matter of fact", and there's always going to be pros and cons of each.
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  10. #10
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    When you add a subwoofer to an existing 2 channel setup you become a loudspeaker system designer. Results vary dramatically because few people have to tools and knowledge needed to pull it off.
    Tom

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  11. #11
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I've been awake 30 minutes, been reading through several different "technical-ish" threads on this forum, and this is the third one already that has a ton of mis-information in it. And no shocker here, some of the same members are in all three of these threads, spouting out all sorts of mis-information.
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  12. #12
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I sympathise with many of the original quotes too, apart from:

    "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."

    It may be an inexpensive way to get lower frequencies, but what's wrong in that? It's a bit like saying adding a turbocharger to a 2 litre engine is a cheap way to get more power. Well it is, but it's likely also to be the best way as the alternative is to install a 5 litre engine! If it’s OK for nearly all professional studio monitors (ATC, etc), it should be OK in domestic speakers too.

    Apart from that, I rather agree that bunging a subwoofer at a system that lacks bass is not the best way of achieving good sound, particularly when the main speaker is a stand-mount. These systems consist of 4 or maybe 3 enclosures from different companies that all need floor space and much more careful tuning and set up to sound good. Better to use a pair of speakers that offer the bass you want right from the start. They take up little more space than stand-mounts, are easier to set up properly and (in theory) should be less costly as you're paying for 2 enclosures, not 4 or 3 - and probably extra amps too. Often people with subs resort to "room equalisation" to get the subs to integrate with the mains, but this is rarely needed if big floor-standers are bought in the first place and carefully set up. In fact, I've yet to find a room correction system that's built into a full-range and that doesn't suck some of the life from the music. I'm taking about Dirac, RoomPerfect, MARS, etc. They often appear to sound great as the speakers are poorly set up, but listen carefully and the “tingle factor” (you use an alternative expression, Jim) is slightly diminished with any room correction system that requires the entire full-frequency signal to pass through it. Peter
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  13. #13
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    As long as you know what you're doing (many obviously don't), you can have perfect or near perfect integration between subs and loudspeakers, including stand-mount monitors. And even with fullrange floor standing loudspeakers, no matter what their bass extension capabilities are, subwoofers (yes, more than one) are required to get a smooth flat response in the room at the listening seat.

    If I've said it, I've said it a hundred times or more. It doesn't matter even if your mains reach down to 15 Hz, you do NOT place your mains in the proper locations in the room to produce a smooth, flat bass response. You place them for best imaging and sound staging. That's where the subs come in.

    And that's where I'm stopping. I'm not going into the full monty of proper loudspeaker and subwoofer setup and integration here.
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  14. #14
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    chops, so you are connecting multiple subwoofers to the speakers binding posts?

  15. #15
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Yup
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  16. #16
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    even the ones at the back wall?

  17. #17

  18. #18
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    There is no "imaging" with a single subwoofer.
    There is also no "imaging" if the frequencies under 50 Hz are summed to mono
    Rob
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  19. #19
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    There is also no "imaging" if the frequencies under 50 Hz are summed to mono
    Even if they aren't, there's no "imaging" <40-50hz range regardless of number of discrete channels. Mono is fine there, although >1 sub is better yet, just not for spatial rendering.

  20. #20
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Like I said, a LOT of mis-information flying around.

    The mention of stereo and/or multiple subwoofers, everyone automatically thinks the wrong thing.
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  21. #21

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Even if they aren't, there's no "imaging" <40-50hz range regardless of number of discrete channels. Mono is fine there, although >1 sub is better yet, just not for spatial rendering.
    Yep. At low frequencies it's less about the speaker(s) and much more about the room. Multiple subs allow some room smoothing of the lowest octaves to reduce the worst of the nulls and peaks created by room modes.

  22. #22

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by chops View Post

    Second, there's absolutely nothing wrong with connecting subs via high-level inputs from the amp outputs or at the loudspeaker binding posts. In fact, most times, you get the best results from the subs being connected this way.
    The method described in the tread is as much about the mid range frequency as it is the low frequency. When connecting the subs to the high level input using speaker terminals the full frequency range is going thru the amp and the main speakers. The proposed method in this thread says by only sending the mid to high frequency to the mains and letting the subs handing the lows you improve the mid range on the mains.
    When I first heard of this method of sub integration using a crossover to only send mid/high to the mains I disagreed with it. My thoughts were is no way am I not using the full frequency range on my speakers when I spend so much money on them. I was wrong.

    I have tried several methods to integrate subs and I have been successful using different methods. However when I used a high pass filter to the main speakers there was a significant improvement in the mid range which you can not get by connecting subs to the speaker terminals.

    The draw back is adding additional equipment (crossover) to the signal path which was a concern of mine. I tested with and without crossover in place, no subs, just main speakers to see if the crossover was changing the sound. I could not tell a difference using the JL Audio CR-1.

    My current setup:
    Main Speakers: Aerial Acoustics 20T V2
    Subs: JL Audio F212
    Crossover: JL Audio CR-1. 78 Hz. 24dB/octave.

    Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGemState View Post

    I have tried several methods to integrate subs and I have been successful using different methods. However when I used a high pass filter to the main speakers there was a significant improvement in the mid range which you can not get by connecting subs to the speaker terminals.
    that sums it it up pretty well.

    in a ideal world there is only one way:
    active xo with 2 passive subs in the front and 2 passive in the back, all driven by the same type of amps as the main speakers.
    put an active bassabsorber in all 4 corners to make things perfect.

    simple as that. unfortunately a very expensive way.
    then we can go easier ways such as active subs or less subs or different connections and it might still provide a pleasant outcome. just keep in mind it is a compromise.

  24. #24
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I'll say it again... a LOT of mis-information flying around here.
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    just as a lot of frequencies are flying around doubled without xo.
    hey it makes it a little woofier wich was the intention somehow, so who cares

  26. #26
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    just as a lot of frequencies are flying around doubled without xo.
    Again... Wrong
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    you woke up today and after 30 minutes everything turned out to be flying around wrong, lol.

    what else is wrong? let it out, give it a name!

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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Whatever man. I'm not wasting anymore time with you and your mis-informed nonsense.
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    hey good morning
    you were calling everything and everyone wrong for this and other threads long before i wrote anything.
    you should articulate your concerns, so everyone can think about.
    otherwise everybody is accused out in the wind.

    naturally there is multiple opinions about how to put things together.
    you like active binding posts, you are not alone!

  30. #30
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by jadedavid View Post
    You apparently have a different opinion of what works as far as subs and set up.
    Would you care to explain more?
    Apologies for not responding , i had lost track of this thread until now ..!
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Thanks for posting the links , multi subwoofers is nothing new or recent back in the 70’s many played around with multiple subwoofers in an attempt to get quadraphonic sound “right” , i much later learned such multi sub discoveries or swarms ” were invented by “Geddes”


    Do agree a sub per channel is the way to go , a single sub needs to be placed equidistance from mains best is dead center to avoid localization ..




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

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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    As was made clear by the link AJ posted, multiple subs work well (probably even best) fed a mono signal. The purpose is not to provide separate bass “channels”, it is to try to provide the most even frequency response throughout the listening space.

    Whether your system works best using high and low pass filters or just a high pass filter on the sub(s) depends on many factors and there is no universal answer; this is a situation where one should trust one’s ears and perception.
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    If subjectively..!

    many different ways to approach the cat, everything works until it doesn't ..!

    Technically, bandwidth limiting of drivers for proper integration is essential and necessary ..




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

  34. #34

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGemState View Post
    The proposed method in this thread says by only sending the mid to high frequency to the mains and letting the subs handing the lows you improve the mid range on the mains.
    My preamp has a subwoofer output.
    And I have the possibility to cut or to let the full frequency range to reach the main speakers.
    Without any doubt, I like it much more when I don't cut and let the full frequency pass.
    I don't know if the perception of better mid-band can result from a feeling of greater detail that can be misleading

    Just my 1/2 cent

  35. #35
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Wilson Audio ActivXO & WATCH Dog Subwoofer | Review - Part-Time Audiophile

    interesting read, reflects a 100% my opinion. my dealer has the very same set up and also the rel-stack to compare.

  36. #36

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    My preamp has a subwoofer output.
    And I have the possibility to cut or to let the full frequency range to reach the main speakers.
    Without any doubt, I like it much more when I don't cut and let the full frequency pass.
    I don't know if the perception of better mid-band can result from a feeling of greater detail that can be misleading

    Just my 1/2 cent
    Thanks for sharing your experience. What sounds best is certainly preference and depending what speakers and subs you are using may get different results. This is why I listed my equipment.

    However speakers are designed around a frequency range, as the frequency moves outside of the optimal range the total harmonic distortion increased. Assuming the speakers and subs are of similar quality, meaning at their optimal frequency they have similar THD, an 8" driver is not going produce low frequency bass as clean at the 12 driver in most applications.

    This is not even mentioning the improvements when sending designated frequency ranges thru separate amplifiers. Check out Vandersteen's System Nine. I heard this system and it is fantastic. It applies the same concept as discussed here.

    To quote from his website, "When Richard Vandersteen heard the dramatic reduction in distortion realized by his patented Perfect-Piston2-Channel Subwoofer Integration drivers (US patent #8320604) in the original Model Seven, it was clear that the next frontier of performance would only be achieved by designing a completely new beyond-the-state-of-the-art high-pass amplifier from the ground up.
    Integrating the high-pass in the power amplifier is the ultimate realization of Richard Vandersteen’s approach to powered-bass system performance. Where many systems merely add “more bass” with subwoofers, a high-pass system in which the frequencies above 100Hz go to the power amplifier while the low frequencies only are passed to powered subwoofers is far more ideal. This creates the flattest frequency response at the crossover between speakers and subs for unsurpassed musical continuity, and it also improves the performance of the main amplifier by relieving it of the duty of reproducing the deepest bass frequencies. The result is beautifully improved midrange and treble performance from the main amp, coupled with unsurpassed dynamic clarity and bass authority."

    Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk

  37. #37

    2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    My experience with subwoofers is as follows:
    1. Two subs are better than one. Always.
    2. Manufacturers will tell you that their speakers don’t need subs. Yet every one of those speakers will sound better when using subs. (Remember that if a manufacturer tells you that you need subwoofers, they may lose a sale!)
    3. Properly integrating sub/subs with the mains require technical knowledge and patience. The reality is that many folks don’t have either and the results are poor! (But they don’t know because they only rely on their ears!)
    4. Active crossovers work best. They relieve your main amps and speakers of the low frequencies and let the subs do their job. (Don’t listen to the “purists” who complain about the extra box; more than likely those are the same guys who only rely on their ears - see above).

    Think of speakers as if they were electronic components. An integrated amp works in many situations but separates (preamp, stereo amp or mono amps) can always work/integrate better. Getting a speaker to do everything with just one box is the equivalent of having an integrated amplifier.

  38. #38

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    That's all great in theory - a "minor" problem is that there is no 100% transparent high-pass filter. Unfortunately. It took me quite some time to get to this
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  39. #39
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    My experience with subwoofers is as follows:
    1. Two subs are better than one. Always.
    2. Manufacturers will tell you that their speakers don’t need subs. Yet every one of those speakers will sound better when using subs. (Remember that if a manufacturer tells you that you need subwoofers, they may lose a sale!)
    3. Properly integrating sub/subs with the mains require technical knowledge and patience. The reality is that many folks don’t have either and the results are poor! (But they don’t know because they only rely on their ears!)
    4. Active crossovers work best. They relieve your main amps and speakers of the low frequencies and let the subs do their job. (Don’t listen to the “purists” who complain about the extra box; more than likely those are the same guys who only rely on their ears - see above).

    Think of speakers as if they were electronic components. An integrated amp works in many situations but separates (preamp, stereo amp or mono amps) can always work/integrate better. Getting a speaker to do everything with just one box is the equivalent of having an integrated amplifier.
    1. Not every loudspeaker benefit from powered subs ..!
    2. Active Xover have their warts , many times Passive into mains and active into subs are proven to be the best way forward ..

    3. Integrating subs , into room and speakers be it active or passive is a very complex deal and IMO not easily discuss in such shallow discussions, your above over simplifications is just that
    In no way does one path fits all situations and sadly we all have to use our ears to listen regardless of how many test instruments are used ..

    Balancing the audio scale can be very elusive ...!!!!



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

  40. #40

    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    1. Not every loudspeaker benefit from powered subs ..!
    2. Active Xover have their warts , many times Passive into mains and active into subs are proven to be the best way forward ..

    3. Integrating subs , into room and speakers be it active or passive is a very complex deal and IMO not easily discuss in such shallow discussions, your above over simplifications is just that
    In no way does one path fits all situations and sadly we all have to use our ears to listen regardless of how many test instruments are used ..

    Balancing the audio scale can be very elusive ...!!!!



    Regards
    In case you missed my first sentence, that has been MY experience. Whatever your opinion is, it doesn’t change my experience and quite frankly is immaterial to me.

  41. #41
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Hahaha ,

    so-“your “ experience is some loudspeakers are like integrated amplifiers .


    You still listening with your milky and a pacifier ..



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

  42. #42
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I just stuck my SB13 Ultra in the middle between the speakers. Sounds great, must have got lucky.
    Marty

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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    I have read >1 subwoofer does help with room modes.

    Perhaps because I listen in an acoustically designed room, from my center listening position I'm hearing the bass exactly where I heard it prior to the single F212 via the CR1. When an instrument with low bass is playing, it's location is where it is in the recording, except more authoritative and palpable. And frequencies >90Hz have improved by virtue of the reduced vibration in the main speakers and the amplifier relieved of low bass demands.
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  44. #44
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Location cues for what is thought to be low bass are actually due to higher harmonics, not the low bass primary frequency. So, yes, the "imaging" will be the same no matter how many subs are in use. See AJ's link several posts above; this has certainly been well known for more than 35 years.
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  45. #45
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    My experience with subwoofers is as follows:
    1. Two subs are better than one. Always.

    3. Properly integrating sub/subs with the mains require technical knowledge and patience. The reality is that many folks don’t have either and the results are poor! (But they don’t know because they only rely on their ears!)

    4. Don’t listen to the “purists” who complain about the extra box; more than likely those are the same guys who only rely on their ears - see above.

    5. Think of speakers as if they were electronic components. An integrated amp works in many situations but separates (preamp, stereo amp or mono amps) can always work/integrate better. Getting a speaker to do everything with just one box is the equivalent of having an integrated amplifier.

    1. Agreed

    3. Agreed

    4. Disagree... Maybe for some, but not all. I have several stand-alone DSP's, active crossovers, RTA's, software and knowledge to get the job done right, and yet after plenty of measuring, testing, tuning, etc, etc, it sounds good UNTIL one day you remove it from the system and go back to the "purist" version of the system only to realize that that "extra box" was literally sucking all of the life and dynamics out of the music/system.

    5. No, it simply doesn't work that way.
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post

    1. Not every loudspeaker benefit from powered subs ..!

    3. Integrating subs , into room and speakers be it active or passive is a very complex deal and IMO not easily discuss in such shallow discussions, your above over simplifications is just that
    In no way does one path fits all situations and sadly we all have to use our ears to listen regardless of how many test instruments are used ..

    Balancing the audio scale can be very elusive ...!!!!



    Regards
    1. Disagree... Every loudspeaker benefits from subwoofers, because it's the room that you're supposed to be optimizing with the subs which in turn makes whatever loudspeakers you have perform better. In fact, loudspeakers that extend down further benefit even more with subwoofers due to the more drastic nulls and peaks that they are creating on their own. The subs come in to help reduce and sometimes mostly eliminate some or most of those nulls and peaks.

    3. Agreed.
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    Location cues for what is thought to be low bass are actually due to higher harmonics, not the low bass primary frequency. So, yes, the "imaging" will be the same no matter how many subs are in use. See AJ's link several posts above; this has certainly been well known for more than 35 years.
    No, the studies cited show the complete opposite. Even in the summaries linked. There is no "imaging" with a single sub, because by definition, that's mono. Mono/single sub completely eliminates spatial rendering which exists in stereo recordings with decorrelated LF info, so not pop music, but classical, jazz etc.
    If an audiophile listens primarily to pop/electronic music, mono/1 sub is fine. For classical/acoustic music fans, not so much.

  48. #48
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    [QUOTE=AJ Soundfield;339647] Even in the summaries linked. There is no "imaging" with a single sub, because by definition, that's mono. Mono/single sub completely eliminates spatial rendering which exists in stereo recordings with decorrelated LF info, so not pop music, but classical, jazz etc.
    QUOTE]

    I think you are fundamentally wrong here, I'm sorry to say. The human ear cannot identify the direction a very low frequency sound is coming from, so "imaging" of bass is pretty much irrelevant, however many subs you stuff the room with.

    Imaging is generated solely by higher frequencies where the human ear and the brain that processes sound signals can identify with amazing accuracy where the source of the sound is coming from.

    I'm an anti-subwoofer believer (I prefer full-range main speakers only), but I've heard very convincing sound with very fine imaging from a pair of LS 3/5As and a single sub placed virtually anywhere in the room provided that position is sympathetic to the room's acoustics. But of course the XO frequency has to be fairly low.
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    Re: 2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Not wanting to get in unwinnable arguments - that I have never seen where one person changed the mind of the other in an online feud - I have refrained from comments on this thread, even though I've written numerous articles - such as the 7-part Subwoofery series in Copper e-mag, as well as having voiced hundreds of systems to rooms with subs.

    I do remember one system/room - actually an AudioShark member - whose room & system didn't appear to particularly benefit from subs, but that's a tiny percentage, way less than 1 percent.

    For me and my clients, I use a not-often-used-elsewhere statement to describe the benefits of a pair of subs - "It's not so much about the bass, as it is about the space." By that I mean the enhanced spatial quality, the increased sense of presence - a tactile reach-out-and-touch it quality that when set-up properly to do so, dramatically increases the ME Factor - Musical Engagement.

    And yes, I could present differing arguments on the bass quality, which is 100% among "Best of...." when heard here in my RoomPlay Reference demo room, but to what end?

    Please continue on with each of your positions - good luck getting even one person to change his mind...

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  50. #50

    2-Channel Subwoofer Integration

    Quote Originally Posted by chops View Post
    1. Agreed

    3. Agreed

    4. Disagree... Maybe for some, but not all. I have several stand-alone DSP's, active crossovers, RTA's, software and knowledge to get the job done right, and yet after plenty of measuring, testing, tuning, etc, etc, it sounds good UNTIL one day you remove it from the system and go back to the "purist" version of the system only to realize that that "extra box" was literally sucking all of the life and dynamics out of the music/system.

    5. No, it simply doesn't work that way.
    The flagship models for many of the high end speaker manufacturers include multiple towers. In other words, the manufacturer, when designing their ‘ultimate’ speaker, opted for multiple towers and/or boxes independent from the two main speakers because they must have felt that they could not accomplish what they wanted with just two towers. MBL Extreme (4 towers), Avant-garde Trio (separate bass array) are just two examples. That’s why I made the analogy of “integrated” (2 towers) vs “separates” (more than two towers). I know that this is a simplified view.

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