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Author Topic: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?  (Read 18390 times)

Mike {AB} Butler

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2008, 08:00:57 am »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Sun, 30 March 2008 04:55

I know Cerwin Vega constructed the Sensurround subwoofers in '73 and '74 for the movie "Earthquake" but those Universal-designed boxes only reproduced a simple triggered noise track. What about subwoofers that were expected to reproduce music and actual sound effects? Who made the first ones?

-Bink

Bink,
The first true sub I saw was in late 1979, and it was John Meyer's box - I'm only guessing it was his first. It was an 18" EV-looking driver inside a very nondescript grey large ported box, and had a 1U processing unit to go with it (of course). The shop spent like 2 days rattling everything in the shop.. and I never saw it again.. but I think they ended up getting some. I remember the comments that it was hard to justify a 30 hz box.. when the JM-3's already were going that low..  Cool
HTH,
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Mike Butler,
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Dascott Technologies, LLC

Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 12:16:03 pm »

Mike {AB} Butler wrote on Mon, 31 March 2008 05:00


Bink,
The first true sub I saw was in late 1979, and it was John Meyer's box - I'm only guessing it was his first. It was an 18" EV-looking driver inside a very nondescript grey large ported box, and had a 1U processing unit to go with it (of course). The shop spent like 2 days rattling everything in the shop.. and I never saw it again.. but I think they ended up getting some. I remember the comments that it was hard to justify a 30 hz box.. when the JM-3's already were going that low..  Cool
HTH,



Heh heh heh. JM3s go that low... that's rich. Maybe in a large array measured with a -10dB ruler.

McCune had a pile of single 18 gray carpeted subs when I arrived in 1989. They were rarely used; they weren't considered "musical" by the old hands.

If it was 1979 it must have been right before Meyer split to form his own company across the Bay. Funny how all the Meyer promotional material mentions his time in Switzerland at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in "the 1970s" but not his time at McCune.  Rolling Eyes

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Iain_Macdonald

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 01:19:54 pm »

index.php/fa/15052/0/

Hi Craig,

The pic is an 8182 Altec dedicated cinema sub from 1981/82. THX research started in 1982 at Lucasfilm before the name THX was incorporated. Design work was done specifically for Return of the Jedi, #3 in the series.

Iain.
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Mike {AB} Butler

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 03:14:19 pm »

Actually, He HAD already split off and started his own company by that point.. the controller box DID say Meyer (not sure if it was Labs or Sound Labs, though..)..
As far as the boxes going to 30 Hz.. I ended up running sound from some researcher that had a lecture hosted at the SF in Union Square. The playback was SO low the standard SM4's weren't going to cut it.. so we ended up using a single JM3 inside that small meeting room - sort of analogous to a elephant piggy-backing on a dog - and I was "chosen" one to go and do this. Most of the stuff he had WAS indeed sub-40 hz.. and the JM-3 had at least enough to make it sound believable down there. Good thing they weren't screaming for more than 90 db C weighted though..  Laughing And I bet the group in the next room over got a good massage out of it..  Twisted Evil
That.. and the JM Sub.. were the reason I am doomed to spend my life building and enjoying subs..  Cool
Best,
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Mike Butler,
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 09:53:49 pm »

Iain Macdonald wrote on Mon, 31 March 2008 10:19

index.php/fa/15052/0/

Hi Craig,

The pic is an 8182 Altec dedicated cinema sub from 1981/82. THX research started in 1982 at Lucasfilm before the name THX was incorporated. Design work was done specifically for Return of the Jedi, #3 in the series.

Iain.



Dude, you're awesome.  Cool

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2008, 06:07:38 pm »

8182 Altec, -thats exactly the one I couldn't remember.  Some audiophiles were using them too -They went quite low, but weren't very powerful but who cares because they out-did everything else in that 25-30Hz range.
Also remember coming across some pre-1970 30" EV drivers in the back of a theater once too -about the size of a minivan and with a 90-watt tube amp.  -They were probably for the organ.






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Craig Hauber
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DAVID J. SYRKO

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2008, 07:03:46 pm »

Popular Electronics had a DIY article on how to build a cabinet for the 30 inch driver. I have it laying around somewhere. The front of the cabinet was almost the size of a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood!   Much 2X4 framing inside.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Altec 8182
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2008, 08:21:26 pm »

Craig Hauber wrote on Tue, 01 April 2008 15:07

8182 Altec, -thats exactly the one I couldn't remember.  Some audiophiles were using them too -They went quite low, but weren't very powerful but who cares because they out-did everything else in that 25-30Hz range...


This document says the 8182 was tuned to 20 Hz. Nice.

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Duane Massey

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Re: Altec 8182
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2008, 12:39:40 am »

There was a design called the Imperial folded horn that we built several of in the early 70's. We did one small disco with four of them lined up along the dance floor, and they were fairly impressive.

Didn't spend much time in theaters back then (still don't), but we did pull some old Altec 2x15 horns out of the Windsor theater here in town in the late 80's that were fairly massive, although I doubt they would be classified as subs.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

TrevorMilburn

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Re: Who made the first decent professional cinema subwoofer?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2008, 06:45:40 am »

For the world premi
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