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Author Topic: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?  (Read 1262 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« on: May 29, 2019, 12:02:25 pm »

We will be running an outdoor show this weekend that we have done many times before.
The stage is always set when we get there - not a huge stage area but it does the job.
We usually cluster the subs along the front of the stage centered and the past couple of shows, the staging company has left a couple of stage pieces (4ft -5ft square) for us to use also. So we have been placing them over the subs like tables  and then we can put 2 of the front wedges on the stage pieces which gives the band more room on stage. 
This has been working great but for some reason the bands seem to think that hanging their heavy gauge vinyl banners from the stage pieces is a good idea and I agree that aesthetically it probably is but this covers the subs completely and so far we have politely asked the bands to move the banners to a better positon which they have done willingly once advised why.
My question is this: does it make that much difference to the sub performance in the big scheme of things if I were to allow them to cover the subs in this way?
The reason I try to avoid it is because even when I use thin plastic over my speakers when it rains, I can easily hear the difference but would it be as noticeable with subs?
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John L Nobile

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 12:16:06 pm »

I've never noticed a difference with cloth or vinyl in front of subs. But it sure is fun to watch it pump to the kick.
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Patrick Cognitore

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 12:19:46 pm »

I have never noticed an issue with linen, or even vinyl tablecloth. Dont think I've done it with an actual banner, but I can't imagine it's much different. I think the wavelengths are just too long and the potential barrier too flimsy to make a difference.
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 12:20:01 pm »

Any kind of solid barrier between the driver and listener will make a difference, but that difference is significantly harder to discern (if at all) when dealing with subs. HF is much more susceptible to sound coloring which you experienced when you covered your tops for weather protection.

So long as the banners aren't covering ports or completely sealing off the grille you should be fine.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 12:25:58 pm »

I've never noticed a difference with cloth or vinyl in front of subs. But it sure is fun to watch it pump to the kick.

Ha ha yes - I agree!



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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 12:26:39 pm »

Thanks everyone....Maybe I could make sure to get the subs as far back as possible so there are a few more inches between the sub front and banner. I might even have listen with and without whilst running break music....
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Luke Geis

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 01:54:17 pm »

It makes a minimal if not a negligible difference. While I will say that its effect on the sound is minute, it does do something which may or may not be quantifiable, so ideally it would be best to not cover the subs. Try it and see. My bet is that you notice a small change, but not anything that ruins the performance.
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 05:09:15 pm »

I'm with Taylor about avoiding having the ports (vents) covered.  That could make a difference.  That said, when we are in that situation we try to have the subs 6" or so back from the banners.  Not always possible.
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2019, 06:20:08 pm »

Like others here I'd be worried about how it would effect the porting and air velocity coming out of the ports to effect the box tuning. Yes it would take quite a bit to plug a port all together but it may shift the tuning frequency up/down to effect the dampening factor of the ports tuning frequency. It may effect the cone control at Fb which could possible effect power handling somewhat. Also , depending on how much the banner effects the cone, it could cause back pressure against the cone and effect its power handling somewhat as well.  I'd hate to see you tear a cone up just for a banner. I wouldn't do it.

Douglas R. Allen
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Covering subs with banners- much degradation to sound?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2019, 07:32:07 pm »

Like others here I'd be worried about how it would effect the porting and air velocity coming out of the ports to effect the box tuning. Yes it would take quite a bit to plug a port all together but it may shift the tuning frequency up/down to effect the dampening factor of the ports tuning frequency. It may effect the cone control at Fb which could possible effect power handling somewhat. Also , depending on how much the banner effects the cone, it could cause back pressure against the cone and effect its power handling somewhat as well.  I'd hate to see you tear a cone up just for a banner. I wouldn't do it.

Douglas R. Allen

Oooh - good points Doug - Thanks.
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