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MaxPlumage

Subwoofer positioning advice

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Greetings members

 

A question on positioning the sub. I currently have floorstanders for my LR and dual 12 inch subs - to the right of my L and to the left of my R.

 

Does it matter if the subs have to be in line with the floor standers and close to each floor stander to feel more 'integrated'? Currently the floor standers are placed about 15-20 cm behind the sub and toed in.

 

I'm fully appreciate of the fact that I will need to experiment and find what sounds good to me, just wondering what the general advice/best principles is.

 

Thank you.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, MaxPlumage said:

 

Greetings members

 

A question on positioning the sub. I currently have floorstanders for my LR and dual 12 inch subs - to the right of my L and to the left of my R.

 

Does it matter if the subs have to be in line with the floor standers and close to each floor stander to feel more 'integrated'? Currently the floor standers are placed about 15-20 cm behind the sub and toed in.

 

I'm fully appreciate of the fact that I will need to experiment and find what sounds good to me, just wondering what the general advice/best principles is.

 

Thank you.

 

 

MP, AIUI the issue is ... to get the subs time-aligned with your mains.  Your subs are inboard of your floorstanders - and close to them.  But the LP filter your subs have means that they are delayed, compared to your mains.  So, really,  you should have the subs positioned slightly in front of  your mains, to compensate.  But whether it's 15-20cm - or 5-10cm ... you should be able to work out by the frequency you've set the sub LP roll-off (and the slope) to.

 

(Knowledgable people - please kick in, here!  :) )

 

Andy

 

Edited by andyr

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MP, AIUI the issue is ... to get the subs time-aligned with your mains.  Your subs are inboard of your floorstanders - and close to them.  But the LP filter your subs have means that they are delayed, compared to your mains.  So, really,  you should have the subs positioned slightly in front of  your mains, to compensate.  But whether it's 15-20cm - or 5-10cm ... you should be able to work out by the frequency you've set the sub LP roll-off (and the slope) to.
 
(Knowledgable people - please kick in, here!  )
 
Andy
 
Thanks for the input - this could be done by adjusting the distances for the subs without actually moving the subs. Audyssey will delay the signals as dictated by the distances. In fact I most certainly noticed a bump in the bass after I increased aub distance by 1-2 m.

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I also have floorstanders and dual subs in the same position but they are all in line horizontally across the front wall.

 

I found by measuring with REW that I needed 1.19ms delay on the floorstanders to align with the subs which is equivalent to about 40cm. That was with all DSP in the subs bypassed as the xover is performed elsewhere.

 

Regarding 'integration', that was a much harder nut to crack. I got there in the end with miniDSP and Dirac.

 

It made a night and day difference, they are seamlessly integrated and you cannot tell them apart.

 

Don't guess. Measure :)

 

Cheers

Ben

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ive had heaps of problems integrating a sub within my room due to a null point at my listening position at 80Hz which sucks out all the energy. I experimented with heaps of different positions, room correction and room treatments.

 

what worked best -  I placed the sub itself at my listening position. (Had it sitting on a mdf board balanced  on a bar stool), I then played a song with a  tuneful bass track (you want something that is complex with a range of notes. I used a track by Kingswood called Golden has a nice running bass line which is pushed back into the mix and generally hard to follow on a poorly balanced system.

 

I then crawled around on all fours listening to the bass response in different parts of my room. In some spots the bass was louder but one noted in others you really felt the null point. I tried to find a spot which had the best balanced sound and allowed me to follow the bass line without any noticeable peaks or nulls.

 

This ended up being against my far wall about a third  in from the back wall. not a conventional position but I'm now very happy with the bass integration i'm achieving. 

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I also have floorstanders and dual subs in the same position but they are all in line horizontally across the front wall.
 
I found by measuring with REW that I needed 1.19ms delay on the floorstanders to align with the subs which is equivalent to about 40cm. That was with all DSP in the subs bypassed as the xover is performed elsewhere.
 
Regarding 'integration', that was a much harder nut to crack. I got there in the end with miniDSP and Dirac.
 
It made a night and day difference, they are seamlessly integrated and you cannot tell them apart.
 
Don't guess. Measure 
 
Cheers
Ben
Good point. I haven't used REW to measure the response. I, however have run multiple calibrations using Audyssey Multi EQ XT 32 which I put some faith in to do good room eq.

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ive had heaps of problems integrating a sub within my room due to a null point at my listening position at 80Hz which sucks out all the energy. I experimented with heaps of different positions, room correction and room treatments.
 
what worked best -  I placed the sub itself at my listening position. (Had it sitting on a mdf board balanced  on a bar stool), I then played a song with a  tuneful bass track (you want something that is complex with a range of notes. I used a track by Kingswood called Golden has a nice running bass line which is pushed back into the mix and generally hard to follow on a poorly balanced system.
 
I then crawled around on all fours listening to the bass response in different parts of my room. In some spots the bass was louder but one noted in others you really felt the null point. I tried to find a spot which had the best balanced sound and allowed me to follow the bass line without any noticeable peaks or nulls.
 
This ended up being against my far wall about a third  in from the back wall. not a conventional position but I'm now very happy with the bass integration i'm achieving. 
I guess what I am (perhaps naively assuming) is that by placing the sub close and in line horizontally with the floorstander is that the aub in the floor stander and the dedicated sub will act as one, or work seamlessly.

Or I could be mistaken and the low frequencies could actually be interfering with each other just around the crossover point.

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Unfortunately, It is much more than experimenting with a few locations and listening.  There is a lot more effort involved.  You need to understand your room by measuring it and then finding the right locations where the dual subs can help even out the bass.  To do it properly, you should be using a DSP as well to provide time alignment and equalisation. 

 

Please have a read of this thread which covers many of the things you need to consider.

 Sorry, it is not trivial.  Done right, dual subs enhances the music experience.  

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42 minutes ago, MaxPlumage said:

I guess what I am (perhaps naively assuming) is that by placing the sub close and in line horizontally with the floorstander is that the aub in the floor stander and the dedicated sub will act as one, or work seamlessly.

only as far as timing wise...

 

42 minutes ago, MaxPlumage said:

Or I could be mistaken and the low frequencies could actually be interfering with each other just around the crossover point.

will need to measure....can usually play with phase for anything around xover point, but will likely be minor the effect. likely need some EQ on the sub to integrated seamlessly ...given likely right next to mains is possibly not THE ideal sub placement and even if were, you'd likely still need little eq or adjustment in level to integrate :)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mpearce38 said:

ive had heaps of problems integrating a sub within my room due to a null point at my listening position at 80Hz which sucks out all the energy. I experimented with heaps of different positions, room correction and room treatments.

 

what worked best -  I placed the sub itself at my listening position. (Had it sitting on a mdf board balanced  on a bar stool), I then played a song with a  tuneful bass track (you want something that is complex with a range of notes. I used a track by Kingswood called Golden has a nice running bass line which is pushed back into the mix and generally hard to follow on a poorly balanced system.

 

I then crawled around on all fours listening to the bass response in different parts of my room. In some spots the bass was louder but one noted in others you really felt the null point. I tried to find a spot which had the best balanced sound and allowed me to follow the bass line without any noticeable peaks or nulls.

 

This ended up being against my far wall about a third  in from the back wall. not a conventional position but I'm now very happy with the bass integration i'm achieving. 

Liked what you did for your single sub and the effort put in.  Sub crawl can work for 1 sub but not for dual subs.  The complex interaction between the mains and 2 subs requires measurement and calculations.

-----------

For OP, you can either put in the effort to measure and learn to do things.  Or take an easier path by getting a DSpeaker from Deep Hz Audio (Australian agent that is  good to deal with) to do the work, budget permitting of course.  I also note that you referred to Audyssey which is OK for movies but not recommended for music.  

Edited by Snoopy8
Typos

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Some great info and links here, thanks all. Will take a look, might have to invest in a umik / mini dsp. But first, more reading :)

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not sure if you are using the 2 subs for music or movies.. cant see the point for music but for movies why have 2 at the front? try one at the front and one at the other end of the room. do you have 1 or 2 rows of seating?

 

https://www.harman.com/sites/default/files/white-paper/12/11/2015%20-%2006%3A12/files/multsubs.pdf

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As others have noted, putting the sub where you sit and then finding the best place in the room, then swapping is a good trick.

Personally, i've found you can do all the maths you want and the best DSP systems I've tried still get it wrong, every time.   I tune the time alignment by ear.  You can literally hear the bass go in and out of focus once you understand what to listen for.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hopefullguy said:

not sure if you are using the 2 subs for music or movies.. cant see the point for music 

It is to even out the bass due to the room. Music has little low end bass, but there could be dips in the mid bass due to room.  Rooms can be treated to reduce this but not everyone have this option. Dual subs do have a role in stereo systems, but some consider it a sacrilege! 

1 hour ago, DJGopal said:

As others have noted, putting the sub where you sit and then finding the best place in the room, then swapping is a good trick.

Personally, i've found you can do all the maths you want and the best DSP systems I've tried still get it wrong, every time.   I tune the time alignment by ear.  You can literally hear the bass go in and out of focus once you understand what to listen for.  

For a single sub, you can do sub crawl and listen. Aligning sub phase to the mains by ear is not difficult; it is one aspect of sub integration.  But there is more. Getting rid of bass holes is a lot more challenging. Measuring, using a DSP takes a lot of effort to get right.  If you are lucky, one sub can get rid of the main bass hole in the room, but there is often more than 1.  Even more challenging is making bass even across seating positions but we moving off a tangent.  

----

However, all of the above is hard work. Easiest is getting a box to do it. I have already mentioned Dspeaker, probably the least pain to get good results. Someone earlier said they used miniDSP with Dirac Live. Another easy to use solution, with the latest version of Dirac Live making it simpler for newcomers.

 

Do it yourself is the cheapest. It is tempting to tinker, but not easy to get good outcomes. * Especially so when 2 or more subs are used.

Edited by Snoopy8
Typo, * added

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29 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

It is to even out the bass due to the room. Music has little low end bass, but there could be dips in the mid bass due to room.  Rooms can be treated to reduce this but not everyone have this option. Dual subs do have a role in stereo systems, but some consider it a sacrilege! 

not disagreeing with you. but they (ie more than one ) are unnecessary in my experience for music and I have two identical very capable. and one is so well placed the second would just destroy the firsts ones such excellent response that needs little to no EQ. I do use both wiht HT though and with oodles of EQ to integrate. In my experience of playing around and that is possibly an understatement. I would say with some confidence the amount of time and effort and tech required is pretty significant for just one sub its a challenge enough to locate and integrate just one for most folk. very few i woudl suggest have the tech and will put in the time and effort to adequately place and integrate 2 subs. something yourself hinted at earlier ...and its a very valid thing to consider.

 

all that said OP does have two subs. so indeed should consider adequate placement of both... and it might not be the both upfront people seem to feel is most ideal thinking in some sort of stereo orientation when clearly sub bass is not and never will be stereo at freq the subs will be operating at ie below 60-80hz. :) 

 

even with two subs being located eg in the harman front back location. it has to be very carefully done. eg one can jut about work to cancel out the sub bass of the other .... on other hand what want instead is for them to work in a master slave means ie one big sub up front and the second one down back should be a smaller one really just to even out response not fighting the one up front :D some systems are enabled and work extremely well at this eg velodynes DD subs woofers have a daisy chaining ability where one sub becomes the master and rest work to optimising response :) 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, betty boop said:

I would say with some confidence the amount of time and effort and tech required is pretty significant for just one sub its a challenge enough to locate and integrate just one for most folk. very few i woudl suggest have the tech and will put in the time and effort to adequately place and integrate 2 subs. something yourself hinted at earlier ...and its a very valid thing to consider.

Well put. I was one of the crazy ones who jumped off the deep end with 2 subs, driven by having a system in a difficult shared room.  And doing it on the cheap but I do like a challenge. However this approach is not for everyone, hence my suggestions to go packaged solutions.

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