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dual-subwoofer monitor setup?
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groover
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Joined: 01 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:30 pm    Post subject: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

I am wanting to improve the LF extension in my monitoring set-up. Since PMC IB2S are out of my range [ 8~) ] I am looking for a less expensive alternative. The KRK 10-3 has a nice feature set, but it is from their lower-level Rokit series. There seem to be a dearth of choices between the "entry-level" under $1000 range and the over $3500 range.

Cut to the chase - I am considering adding two subs to my smaller monitors to create de-facto 3-way monitors. I don't want to go the single-sub route due to the more complex placement considerations, and maybe irrational reasons.
I could probably find a pair of good subs for under $1000

Thoughts? Has anyone on this forum done this? It seems that I have seen at least one picture of a mastering room with something that appeared to be this kind of set-up.
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Nick Sevilla
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

I only have used two subwoofers one time. Giant ones for a Beyonce session. Because the label could afford it. And it was loud, and it took a long time to calibrate them to sound good.

If your room is not big enough, then you absolutely should not use more than one subwoofer. Because all low frequencies are NONDIRECTIONAL. They simply will fill the room enough, and if too much will actually hurt you.

Cheers
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vvv
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Listen to Mr. Sevilla, he knows whereof he speaks.

From me in the peanut gallery, my living room set-up is a pair of Klipsch Synergy B3's with a a 100w./side amp, and a pair of 100w. Yamaha active subs.

I set the volume on the subs by ear to accommodate the B3's 55Hz low freq. spec and I really like the rig.

That said, I do hear some directionality - mebbe the subs' 25 hz to 140hz -10db spec is consistent with directional, such that they're not really subs at all up that high?

I should emphasize that that's my living room, for pleasure-listening.

In my bedio I have Tannoy PBM 6.5II's as my main monitors; I've never liked subs when mixing, me, except as a final check for weirdness (ex., I forgot to hi-pass a kick that needs it).
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groover
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

per Nick's post: They have volume controls don't they? I would plan on finding volume settings that, when combined, work in the room.

per vvv's post: It sounds like you are employing the same concept as I am proposing. I'm glad to hear it's working.

So the count is 1 and 1.
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Snarl 12/8
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Yeah, but only one of those guys has a grammy for mixing. No offense, vvv.
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vvv
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:50 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

None taken, and do note the first sentence of my above post!

That said, I just try to report on my experience; like I said, I don't think 140hz is actually considered subwoofer territory, so that to the extent my cheap Yamahas (@ US$200, each) extend that high (and can actually go to 180hz with the built-in pass-filter adjusted), I suspect that is the reason they are directional.

From the first page of googling, "subwoofer directionality", here says 80 or 100hz and above is directional; here cites 180 or 200; here cites 80hz, etc. A lot of the audiophile sites speak of "room loading" as a factor; there are no citations given here but the discussion seems pretty assured.

Noting that the wave-length of 80 Hz is 13.75 feet, I may be finding more directionality in my livingroom than one might in a small studio, and particularly if using near-fields ...
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Nick Sevilla
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:41 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Most subwoofers are designed for 120 Hz and below,
With most really designed for 80Hz and below.

Some might handle as high up as 160Hz or even 180Hz, but that is no longer really "low end", but low midrange, as it starts becoming directional above that, thus needing a directional type of speaker enclosure for reproduction. NO longer possible with a subwoofer which is not designed for directionality to begin with. Some subwoofers point the speaker towards the floor, while still others have complex tunnel arrangements to help "throw" the sound without direction. So even attempting to make these type enclosures be directional would be really a futile attempt at the impossible.

But, what do I know, I'm not an "audiophile", just an engineer. Rolling Eyes

As soon as you go from audio engineer land, to audiophile land,
it becomes a matter of crazy debate.

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Nick Sevilla
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:46 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

VVV,

Instead of going on crazy audiophile sites, if you really, really want to know the physics on this subwoofer stuff, try these guys:

http://www.vueaudio.com/

They know their stuff better than I ever possibly could.

Cheers
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vvv
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Thanks for the link.

But I do need to note, I find "audiophile" a pretty silly thing; I have some friends that buy into the knee-jerk $ part of it all, and I get great amusement.

That said, I only just googled the phrase as stated above - otherwise, I leave that shite for the alleged golden-ears enthusiasts who love their ridiculous original-headphones-equipped I-Pods as much as their multi-thousand dollar tube stereos and 6' high speakers.
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JWL
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:45 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Yeah, adding 2 subs changes things quite a bit. Are they in mono? Stereo? What frequency are they crossed over at? Are the satellites crossed over?

Here's the thing: when bass waves move around the room and interfere with each other it makes comb filtering. This is true with simple reflections from one mono subwoofer. So adding a second subwoofer (esp if they are both in mono) makes this even more challenging.

With good placement, you can have them cancel out in beneficial ways. There are tons of papers on this online.

At the end of the day you have to experiment in your room.
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groover
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

My idea is to have them in stereo, as "ad hoc" LF components of the main monitors.

effectively 1 small 2-way monitor + 1 10" subwoofer = 1 3-way monitor.

Taking the caveat that proper adjustment of level and crossover settings would be essential as a given, is there an error in my logic?
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floid
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:47 am    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Another layman opinion here, but to look at it from a different perspective:
"Mixing for vinyl" has some commonsense applicable to most situations. LF content in stereo can eat headroom w/o adding much to a mix, as I understand it a common mastering process is to mono-ize a mix below a certain freq. So why monitor this content in stereo, inviting possible attendant listening position problems?
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groover
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

So why do mastering engineers use stereo monitors that extend to the lowest end of the audible spectrum?
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ashcat_lt
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

I have never bought that thing about non-directionality and whatever other excuses people use for just one sub. I know for a fact that I can feel when a subwoofer is off-center in the room. I also worry about phase alignment. Very often the sub gets stuck somewhere off-plane from the rest of the speakers. How can that be a good thing? Especially in near-to-mid-field monitoring, it really does make a difference to me.

I have done about exactly what the OP and vvv are talking about. I've got my Yamaha monitors sitting on top of a pair of smallish Yamaha subs. The monitors themselves have pretty good low end extension, but the subs allow me to not have to push those LF drivers (or their amp) quite so hard, so I can have nice clean bass even after I blow up the mid drivers. Smile
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groover
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: dual-subwoofer monitor setup? Reply with quote

Thank you ashcat_lt, that's what I'm talkin' about!
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