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Author Topic: Choosing the best sub for me  (Read 18135 times)

Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2015, 01:14:56 am »

You are missing the point. Due to the phase shift in the crossover your subs did not have a good phase alignment even though you lined up the fronts. If you want to do a phase alignment using delay to get the subs and mains corrected through the crossover range it hardly matters whether you are adjusting for 7ms or 15ms. On the other hand, if you don't care about the phase alignment, and for years hardly anyone was even aware of it, it won't sound terrible with either type of speaker. Choose a speaker type for its performance characteristics, not its latency.

Mac

I fully understand what you are saying. However, if the bass reflex subs are theoretically phase shifted by x amount from the tops and sound fine, the tapped horn subs would be even more out of phase and potentially not sound fine. Unless you're saying the amount of latency involved here doesn't make an audible difference.

Also, if you applied an 80hz HPF to your tops and a 80hz LPF to your subs, wouldn't your tops and your subs be phase shifted the same amount, therefore staying in phase and making this entire point irrelavent?

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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2015, 06:02:36 am »

After doing a bit more research I'm starting to consider investing into a Martin H3+ rig down the line instead of a dB Tech T8 rig. This would push me much further towards wanting to get the WS18X because not only would it go great with the H3+, but it could easily be paired with the WS218X. As attractive as the Danley is, having a full Martin system is more attractive. And even further down the line I'd probably invest into their line arrays too.

I haven't talked to my dealers in my area yet, but the dB Tech/Martin dealer that covers my area is Audio Associates, and the Danley dealer is Lienau AV Associates. I'm kinda new to this, but I'm not exactly sure how OK both companies would be with demoing speakers for me at the same time.

You are not considering similar technologies at all if you are looking at H3+ vs. T8.  T8 is a line array system and is relatively recent in terms of technological development.  Martin has some very good options along those lines but...H3+ is not one of them.  H3+ is a dance club box built with a slightly older school technology that still works great for clubs when you are dealing with EQ curves designed around the sonic perceptions of those with altered realities.
It sounds to me like you need to define your needs and then look at what systems will answer those needs.

Dealers or reps should not have a problem demoing side by side if you are serious about buying and if you are comparing somewhat similar products.  That said, they aren't going to come out and set up a couple of $250.00 speakers but they may send them to you to try.  The speakers that you are talking about represent a significant enough investment that I would think dealers or reps could work out a demo for you.

As far as subs go, the WS18X and the WS218X can work nicely together.  From a cabling perspective think it through.  WS18X has an NL8 with +1+2 & -1-2 feeding the driver and +3/-3, +4/-4 passing through.  The WS218X uses +1+2, -1-2 to feed driver 1 and +3+4, -3-4 to feed driver 2. 
Keep in mind that there is no problem with utilizing subs from one manufacturer and mains/tops from another.  Don't knock Danley out of the running without hearing it.

Listen to what Mac is saying about phase relationships.  Learning more about the interactions of your speaker systems with each other and with their processing can only help you do a better job.

Lee
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2015, 07:06:43 am »

I fully understand what you are saying. However, if the bass reflex subs are theoretically phase shifted by x amount from the tops and sound fine, the tapped horn subs would be even more out of phase and potentially not sound fine. Unless you're saying the amount of latency involved here doesn't make an audible difference.

Also, if you applied an 80hz HPF to your tops and a 80hz LPF to your subs, wouldn't your tops and your subs be phase shifted the same amount, therefore staying in phase and making this entire point irrelavent?
Alex, we're struggling with inconsistent signals from you. On one hand you have a tight budget where you can't afford a DSP, then you are shopping for dB T8 or Meyer stuff. On one hand you are shopping for touring class boxes, but on the other you're willing to throw out the TH-118 because it needs slightly different processing than other subs (which need their own processing too).

All subs need time alignment, EQ, and high and low pass filters. ALL OF THEM. Some products are prepackaged with this built-in if they are a powered box designed to work with a particular main box, but other than that, external processing is required. For that matter, you probably need DSP on your mains to work with the subs from that direction, too.

Many amps these days basically throw in DSP capability for free. If you have a non-DSP amp, DSP functionality can be had for just a couple hundred dollars from a Behringer DCX-2496. Setting that up requires a little skill, or you can hire someone to help you once, then save those settings for use the rest of the time. For best performance of your many-thousand dollar rig, this is required no matter what subs or mains you end up with.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2015, 07:46:05 am »


Although a big concern about the Danley would be that if I just got one now, if it broke I wouldn't have a backup. If I got two smaller subs, if one broke I would have a backup.


And if you get 2 "weaker subs", you will be pushing them harder-meaning they will be more likely to break.

And the whole time you own them you will be getting output and low freq extension.

Do you also carry twice the top boxes-twice the amps-2 DJ mixers and so forth?

What if they break?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2015, 07:57:51 am »

Everything people have said about the inherent delay caused by the crossover filters and such is true.

But in the "ol days" we did not have delay to line up bevices-and i t worked just fine.

People often confuse "being perfectly acceptable" and "perfect".

In most cases if you run a full range cabinet with a TH118, all you have to is reverse the polarity of the TH118 and you will be perfectly fine.

It won't be "as good as" it could be-but you are probably 90% there.

Having delay available to you -and not have a measurement system and knowledge to use it, is only a guess.  Unless you are dealing with known quantities.

It is easy to get all "worried" about the little things that really don't matter to most people.

YES, it all the little things that ADD UP to a great sound, but only looking at one of them is not going to somehow magically make it sound better.

In my opinion-in your setup, I would not worry about it.

Flip the polarity and have a good day :)

HOWEVER, just be forwarned that "Flipping the polarity" is a SUGGESTION.  What is actually best depends on the rest of the system-how the crossover is setup and so forth.

The BEST way is to LISTEN to it with the polarity flipped and normal and then determine what give you the best "sound".

This applies to ANY sub/top combination.  Sometimes you will trade low freq for punch.  YOU have to make that call.

Maybe not a good analogy, but worrying about the delay time is like choosing a car depending on what oil it uses---------------

They all need it, and you can change types-it is not the end of the world or a reason to choose a different car.  Color is more important-------- :)

OK before the car guys get involved-YES I understand the differences in oil, but was trying to make a simple analogy-that was what came to mind.
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Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2015, 10:17:55 am »

You are not considering similar technologies at all if you are looking at H3+ vs. T8.  T8 is a line array system and is relatively recent in terms of technological development.  Martin has some very good options along those lines but...H3+ is not one of them.  H3+ is a dance club box built with a slightly older school technology that still works great for clubs when you are dealing with EQ curves designed around the sonic perceptions of those with altered realities.
It sounds to me like you need to define your needs and then look at what systems will answer those needs.

You're right that they're very different options, but for my use case I think the Martin would be better suited. The system my company is looking to invest into would be used mainly for 500-1000 person EDM party type events. Basically small local EDM concerts. I loved the T8 because it's versatile, scalable, and loud enough to do the job. It could also be used for a wide variety of other events. I also couldn't think of any trap boxes that would be loud enough to do the job other than the EAW KF850 and the RCF 4PRO 6001-A, but I was already looking at getting dB Tech subs and I liked the thought of the versatility that came with a line array. Now, after really looking back on it, I think I like the Martin cab better for this use case. It's a lot cheaper while it should be as loud as a 4x T8 hang that's splayed to cover the same area, and since we do a lot of school related events, for homecomings we could potentially use it as a selling point. "We have the same sound system as one of the best sounding dance clubs in America! (U Street Music Hall)" Although, if you're saying the box is only really good for clubs with certain EQ's, I might have to reconsider.

Quote
Dealers or reps should not have a problem demoing side by side if you are serious about buying and if you are comparing somewhat similar products.  That said, they aren't going to come out and set up a couple of $250.00 speakers but they may send them to you to try.  The speakers that you are talking about represent a significant enough investment that I would think dealers or reps could work out a demo for you.

Thanks for the info. How exactly do I go about asking them to do that? When I email them both do I just tell them that I'm interested in hearing both speakers and am wondering if they'll be willing to let me A/B them?

Quote
As far as subs go, the WS18X and the WS218X can work nicely together.  From a cabling perspective think it through.  WS18X has an NL8 with +1+2 & -1-2 feeding the driver and +3/-3, +4/-4 passing through.  The WS218X uses +1+2, -1-2 to feed driver 1 and +3+4, -3-4 to feed driver 2. 
Keep in mind that there is no problem with utilizing subs from one manufacturer and mains/tops from another.  Don't knock Danley out of the running without hearing it.

I'd be more interested in having the WS18X supplement a WS218X rig if it was needed, rather than planning on using them together from the get go. I would also have seperate amps for the WS18X's because they would be a part of my "small" system.

As for a mismatched system, trust me, I know! In February I used SoundBridge 7218SWX's along side EV ETX-35P's for mains and ZLX-12P's for front fills, and for years I'd used Behringer subs with no name MTX tops. The thing is, a matching system is a matching system. No matter how illogical it is, it's a matching system. I'm also not the person who makes the final call. If my boss likes the idea of a matching system better, then that's the route we'll be taking. But he'll also be there with me when we demo the subs, so the Danley will definitely have it's chance.

Quote
Listen to what Mac is saying about phase relationships.  Learning more about the interactions of your speaker systems with each other and with their processing can only help you do a better job.

Lee

I have been! I was never arguing with him about whether or not a crossover caused a phase shift, I was simply trying to get the point across that I don't know how to deal with the extra phase shift inherent to a tapped horn box. But Ivan's already told me that it's basically not an issue, and a basic way of how to deal with it if I need to.


Alex, we're struggling with inconsistent signals from you. On one hand you have a tight budget where you can't afford a DSP, then you are shopping for dB T8 or Meyer stuff. On one hand you are shopping for touring class boxes, but on the other you're willing to throw out the TH-118 because it needs slightly different processing than other subs (which need their own processing too).

I'm not quite sure where you got the idea that I couldn't afford a DSP, as I was looking at getting one anyways. I was being put off from the Danley because I don't know how to deal with it's extra phase shift. I guess I really wasn't making that clear. Bassreflex cabs don't need that extra processesing, at least in my experience they haven't. However with having no experience with the Danley, I have no idea what I'm getting into and no idea how to deal with a potential problem. Although Ivan has already well informed me that it's pretty much not an issue, and that I shouldn't worry about it. Telling me that all subs need delay doesn't help me when I've already used plenty of subs, only delaying them to match the tops in terms of physical distance differences.

Quote
All subs need time alignment, EQ, and high and low pass filters. ALL OF THEM. Some products are prepackaged with this built-in if they are a powered box designed to work with a particular main box, but other than that, external processing is required. For that matter, you probably need DSP on your mains to work with the subs from that direction, too.

Many amps these days basically throw in DSP capability for free. If you have a non-DSP amp, DSP functionality can be had for just a couple hundred dollars from a Behringer DCX-2496. Setting that up requires a little skill, or you can hire someone to help you once, then save those settings for use the rest of the time. For best performance of your many-thousand dollar rig, this is required no matter what subs or mains you end up with.

Like I already said, I never said I wasn't buying a processor. I was actually looking into getting that exact Behringer processor, if only for protection for any passive subs I end up getting.

And if you get 2 "weaker subs", you will be pushing them harder-meaning they will be more likely to break.

And the whole time you own them you will be getting output and low freq extension.

Do you also carry twice the top boxes-twice the amps-2 DJ mixers and so forth?

What if they break?

The only other "weaker sub" I'm looking into would in a pair be comperable in output to one TH-118. But that's besides the point, as I wouldn't push the weaker sub to make up for its downfall, as you're completely right that would increase it's chances in breaking.

It's ironic that you use those specific examples as I actually do have backups for those, haha! However I do see your point, but let me say this. If I'm running 4 tops and 2 subs, what happens if one sub or one top goes out? I still have sound, just not as loud. If I only have one sub and it goes out, I no longer have any bass at all.

Everything people have said about the inherent delay caused by the crossover filters and such is true.

But in the "ol days" we did not have delay to line up bevices-and i t worked just fine.

People often confuse "being perfectly acceptable" and "perfect".

In most cases if you run a full range cabinet with a TH118, all you have to is reverse the polarity of the TH118 and you will be perfectly fine.

It won't be "as good as" it could be-but you are probably 90% there.

Having delay available to you -and not have a measurement system and knowledge to use it, is only a guess.  Unless you are dealing with known quantities.

It is easy to get all "worried" about the little things that really don't matter to most people.

YES, it all the little things that ADD UP to a great sound, but only looking at one of them is not going to somehow magically make it sound better.

In my opinion-in your setup, I would not worry about it.

Flip the polarity and have a good day :)

HOWEVER, just be forwarned that "Flipping the polarity" is a SUGGESTION.  What is actually best depends on the rest of the system-how the crossover is setup and so forth.

The BEST way is to LISTEN to it with the polarity flipped and normal and then determine what give you the best "sound".

This applies to ANY sub/top combination.  Sometimes you will trade low freq for punch.  YOU have to make that call.

Maybe not a good analogy, but worrying about the delay time is like choosing a car depending on what oil it uses---------------

They all need it, and you can change types-it is not the end of the world or a reason to choose a different car.  Color is more important-------- :)

OK before the car guys get involved-YES I understand the differences in oil, but was trying to make a simple analogy-that was what came to mind.

I never doubted or argued with anyone about whether or not a crossover creates a phase shift. My point was that I don't know how to deal with the extra phase shift inherent in a tapped horn. However thanks to you, I now know that it's not nearly as big of an issue as I was making it out to be. I honestly didn't know whether or not the extra phase shift inherent in the box would make an audible difference for the worse. And all anyone was telling me was that "all subs need alignment". That doesn't help me! While I'm appreciative that I'm now aware of this information, I've never aligned bass reflex cabs to tops other than to make up for physical space differences and had no issues. So my main concern was that the EXTRA phase shift inherent in the Danley would be something I wouldn't know how to deal with, and would end up not sounding as good as a bass reflex cab.

Regardless of all of this, I would like to thank everyone with their help so far. It's very much appreciated.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2015, 02:11:37 pm »

You're right that they're very different options, but for my use case I think the Martin would be better suited. The system my company is looking to invest into would be used mainly for 500-1000 person EDM party type events. Basically small local EDM concerts.


Alex,
Given EDM the H3+ may be an O.K. choice.  I would suggest the H3T+ which can be tri-amped.  There are advantages to the eq and limiting that you can accomplish.  Limiting being a very good thing for EDM.

You are also going to want want more than a couple of anybodies 2x18 subs for EDM with the tops that you are considering.

As far as getting a hold of demo gear.  just call the rep to ask what would need to happen.

Lee
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2015, 02:32:59 pm »

I never doubted or argued with anyone about whether or not a crossover creates a phase shift. My point was that I don't know how to deal with the extra phase shift inherent in a tapped horn.
Backing up a bit, if you admit that a front loaded system can be optimized by time aligning the tops and bottoms, then you simply do the same thing when one of the boxes has a longer path length.  What if you put KF850s over SRX728s?  It would be the other way around.

There are two common ways to do this.

The high end way is to run Smaart or something similar and tune the phase relationships precisely.

The other way is to run a test signal through both centered at the crossover frequency and adjust the delay in your DSP for maximum output (or with one side flipped in polarity for minimum output).  Not as sophisticated but gets you in the ballpark and prevents things being way off to the degree that the boxes are fighting each other.

This should be done with any combination of boxes.  Regardless of if they are from the same manufacturer or not, or use different technologies with different path lengths.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2015, 02:38:34 pm »


As for a mismatched system, trust me, I know! In February I used SoundBridge 7218SWX's along side EV ETX-35P's for mains and ZLX-12P's for front fills, and for years I'd used Behringer subs with no name MTX tops. The thing is, a matching system is a matching system. No matter how illogical it is, it's a matching system.

 My point was that I don't know how to deal with the extra phase shift inherent in a tapped horn.
I would love for somebody to explain to me how a matching system (other than physical size and flyware) works any better than different brand tops and subs.

It doesn't-as long as the freq bands overlap enough.

And if you are thinking that all products from a particular manufacturer will sound and perform the same-that is simply not the case.  They are all different.  And in some cases you would be BETTER OFF mixing brands.

You keep talking about the "extra phase shift" of the tapped horn.  Have you ever looked at the phase response/shift of a bass reflex/ported cabinet?  You do realize that the port freq are out of polarity with the freq from the front of the driver?  That is a lot of "phase shift" especially over a narrow freq range.

How do you deal with that?

I'm sorry, but if you are not delaying the subs to the tops, then you are not getting the best performance.  The FACT is that by using a normal crossover of either analog or digital, the lowpass filter adds delay/phase shift.

Your results may be "fine" but that does not mean they are as good as they could be if they were properly setup.

So what makes you think a Tapped horn is any different?

We do demos all the time with no delay on the subs and  the results are great.

Could it be better-sure. But the fact is you don't have to have delay to get a good result.

The wavelengths are so long at those freq- it is not as critical as it is with higher freq..

To me-this argument is taking one little piece of information and "blowing it up" into something bigger than it is, while completely ignoring the EXACT same problem with a different design.
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Alex Berry

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Re: Choosing the best sub for me
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2015, 06:40:53 pm »

Alex,
Given EDM the H3+ may be an O.K. choice.  I would suggest the H3T+ which can be tri-amped.  There are advantages to the eq and limiting that you can accomplish.  Limiting being a very good thing for EDM.

You are also going to want want more than a couple of anybodies 2x18 subs for EDM with the tops that you are considering.

As far as getting a hold of demo gear.  just call the rep to ask what would need to happen.

Lee

Thanks for the info! I'll definitely consider the H3T+. Have you heard the box? If so, do you have any impressions you could give me about it? I was looking into the WS218X specifically to compliment the H3. Probably something like 4 to start. With those duals being louder than the average dual, I think it would make for a good system.

Backing up a bit, if you admit that a front loaded system can be optimized by time aligning the tops and bottoms, then you simply do the same thing when one of the boxes has a longer path length.  What if you put KF850s over SRX728s?  It would be the other way around.

Yes but I didn't know specifically how to deal with it. I've never dealt with KF850s personally so if you hadn't explained how to properly align the boxes I wouldn't have known any better. I'm learning a lot from this thread, and am very appreciative! So I would like to thank you for the info!

I would love for somebody to explain to me how a matching system (other than physical size and flyware) works any better than different brand tops and subs.

It doesn't-as long as the freq bands overlap enough.

And if you are thinking that all products from a particular manufacturer will sound and perform the same-that is simply not the case.  They are all different.  And in some cases you would be BETTER OFF mixing brands.

Hey, I was agreeing with you! From a performace standpoint, I don't see any reason not to mix subs from one manufacturer with tops from another if they perform well together. The only thing is, and I really wouldn't know for sure, but I feel as if it would be harder to sell to a client a mismatched system than something like a full d&b system or a full L-Acoustics system. Although I don't know if that sort of thing would apply to me in my specific situation. Any thoughts would be helpful.

Quote
You keep talking about the "extra phase shift" of the tapped horn.  Have you ever looked at the phase response/shift of a bass reflex/ported cabinet?  You do realize that the port freq are out of polarity with the freq from the front of the driver?  That is a lot of "phase shift" especially over a narrow freq range.

I have, the sound coming from the port is 180 degrees out of phase from the sound radiating from the cone. My point was I didn't know that was something I had to deal with, and whether or not the extra phase shift from a tapped horn would be something I NEEDED to deal with. But thanks to you, I'm already aware that it's not an issue, so I thank you!

Quote
I'm sorry, but if you are not delaying the subs to the tops, then you are not getting the best performance.  The FACT is that by using a normal crossover of either analog or digital, the lowpass filter adds delay/phase shift.

I agree. Question. If you apply a lowpass to the subs (which causes phase shift) and a highpass at the same frequency to the tops (which I'm assuming also causes phase shift) wouldn't both the tops and the subs be shifted the same amount, therefore ceasing to be an issue? This is an honest question as I really don't know the answer.

Quote
Your results may be "fine" but that does not mean they are as good as they could be if they were properly setup.

So what makes you think a Tapped horn is any different?

The long horn length that the sound waves need to travel through made me think a tapped horn was different. But, again, thanks to you I now know this isn't an issue.

Quote
We do demos all the time with no delay on the subs and  the results are great.

Could it be better-sure. But the fact is you don't have to have delay to get a good result.

This is a huge deal to me, and I had no idea. This statement alone completely eases any concerns I had about "extra phase shift".

Quote
To me-this argument is taking one little piece of information and "blowing it up" into something bigger than it is, while completely ignoring the EXACT same problem with a different design.

I agree, but nobody was really understanding my concerns and I was totally uneducated to the fact. I am now educated, and we can move on!  ;D
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