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Author Topic: Which is the best type of Sub?  (Read 5746 times)

Keith Schmidt

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Which is the best type of Sub?
« on: November 04, 2010, 09:26:50 pm »

Hello,

I have been looking everywhere, which as led me to this forum, and I'm hoping i can get some help.

I have been looking at subwoofers for my band's PA and there isn't enough information out there for me to feel safe knowing i made the right purchase. Money is tight, my budget is around $350-$600 per sub (They don't have to be earth shattering, just do their job)
and the information i have looked for, i couldn't find.


The big question i have is:
What is the difference between "Folded Horn", "Bent Horn", and what I'm assuming is a standard horn and how does each effect the sound?

My main forte is in recording and bass guitar, so I'm trying to get things right and not buy something that i will regret down the road.

Thanks!

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Duane Massey

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 02:58:51 am »

Folded and bent horns are the same basic thing. A front-loaded or straight horn is just what it says. I doubt you will find anything worthwhile in your budget.

Vented or ported boxes are more in your range. They are easier to build, and cost less as a result. They are not as efficient, and tend to be less effective at higher levels.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Jared Bartimus

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 10:53:32 am »

How many subs are you talking about purchasing at $350-$600 each?  One, two, four?

Would you be able to place a single sub at the center of the stage until you can afford to buy a second sub, instead of one/two on each side?

Is size a significant issue?
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Paul O'Brien

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 10:56:56 am »

Keith.. I think you'll get better results here if you describe what type band you have, the size events you play, how much pack space you have, and what other equipment you currently have. You have found the right place to get the info you need for this decision and to get educated on all things PA related, so stick around, ask lots of questions, and heed the advice of the pros.
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Keith Schmidt

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 02:22:18 pm »

Alright, to answer all the questions.

The budget would be $300 to $600 Per sub, i was thinking of a 2 sub setup, so total would be around 1,200. I would wait to get a bigger budget, but we need the punch to get the audience feeling the music. People like bass, and the severe lack of bass we have is disappointing. (Also im a bassist so i have a love for the low frequency)

We are a Screamo Metal band and we play in drop tunings a lot (Drop C and sometimes drop A), so we definitely need the separation of lows from the bass, and kick (Our vocalist doesn't do lows so that isn't an issue i don't think) and the Highs from our mains. However i know i can't run Aux-Fed because for one, the bass has a LOT of high frequencies because of the strings i use (Very punchy sound, hard to explain except with and example like Dig, by Mudvayne) and our mixer is basic and we need the aux sends for monitors (We have 4 Aux sends on a 16 channel analog mixer) Our current mains are each 200w active single 15" speakers. i think the response was like 40hz to 20khz (If that matters) I'm looking to upgrade this to a much more powerful passive system, but the bass is needed to drive more.


We usually play at generally high volumes (and 200w can carry in a small room), at least for small gigs up to about 400 people max and usually play on floor, not a stage. (When it is a stage, its not high enough to place a sub, or the place has a better PA anyway)

If it matters, i have read up that some subs instead of a unidirectional pattern have omni-directional patterns (at least compared to most subs) i would be looking for a more omni-directional enclosure, and basically want to rock the house as much as i can with the budget.

As for ported designs, which are the most effective? I've seen some where the ports run down the sides of the speaker, i think it was an EAW that did that, and probably a few others, i think the most common I've seen is the ported bottom, etc. What effect do different port types have on the sound and volume of the sub?

Hope this clears things up, and thanks for all the help so far!
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Art Welter

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 03:06:44 pm »

Keith Schmidt wrote on Fri, 05 November 2010 12:22


If it matters, i have read up that some subs instead of a unidirectional pattern have omni-directional patterns (at least compared to most subs) i would be looking for a more omni-directional enclosure, and basically want to rock the house as much as i can with the budget.

What effect do different port types have on the sound and volume of the sub?

Hope this clears things up, and thanks for all the help so far!

Subs are basically omnidirectional other than their higher frequency range, upwards of 100Hz. A horn loaded bass cabinet will have a bit of directionality up high.
Large arrays of subs will have directionality, but with your budget, they won't be happening.

The low E on a guitar is 80 Hz, Low E on a bass 40 Hz, Low B is 31 Hz, you can figure other drop tuning notes to be a bit lower.

As to ports, large and deep is good.

With out a large port, chuffing noises can occur at large drive levels,  the port will not work properly when all the air is blown out of it.

The larger the port, the longer it needs to be to tune at the same frequency. A large, long port reduces the interior volume of the cabinet. Low tunings generally require large cabinet volume. Catch 22.

Tuning too low can make make the speaker  run out of excursion up  where most of the kick and bass action is, in the 50-80 HZ range.

Ported cabinets can put out more low bass in a small size than horn cabinets.

Horn cabinets can put out more upper bass range in a given size than ported cabinets.

Large bass horns are very efficient, can go low and loud, and are heavy as hell and take up half a van.

Everything is a trade off.

Art Welter

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Jimmy Wright

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 03:20:31 pm »

look at Bill Fitzmaurice Titan line up.  I use the T39 and i love the sound.  Goes nice and low, but never sounds distorted.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 07:50:48 pm »

I would suggest spending as much as you can (since you have relatively very little to spend)on a SINGLE sub, an place it on the floor in front of the band.

Then when you get more money-buy a second sub-OF THE SAME MODEL.

One better quality sub will go further than a pair of cheap subs.

A note of clarification.  Running the subs on an aux does not mean that the bass insgtruments only go into the subs.  Ture they are the intruments that go into the subs-BUT THEY also go into the full range main cabinets.

The idea is to clean up the low end of the system-NOT to use the subs as the only amplification for the instruments.
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Duane Massey

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 04:41:28 pm »

Ivan Beaver wrote on Fri, 05 November 2010 18:50

I would suggest spending as much as you can (since you have relatively very little to spend)on a SINGLE sub, an place it on the floor in front of the band.

Then when you get more money-buy a second sub-OF THE SAME MODEL.

One better quality sub will go further than a pair of cheap subs.

A note of clarification.  Running the subs on an aux does not mean that the bass insgtruments only go into the subs.  Ture they are the intruments that go into the subs-BUT THEY also go into the full range main cabinets.

The idea is to clean up the low end of the system-NOT to use the subs as the only amplification for the instruments.

+1, well-said, Ivan.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Keith Schmidt

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Re: Which is the best type of Sub?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 01:07:30 am »

Ivan Beaver wrote on Fri, 05 November 2010 19:50


A note of clarification.  Running the subs on an aux does not mean that the bass insgtruments only go into the subs.  Ture they are the intruments that go into the subs-BUT THEY also go into the full range main cabinets.

The idea is to clean up the low end of the system-NOT to use the subs as the only amplification for the instruments.


This was a face-palm on my part, i wasn't thinking about the full system. I still am hesitant because the mixer doesn't have as many aux sends as id like. Something you can never have enough of is Aux sends I've found xD
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