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Author Topic: Subwoofer question!  (Read 13453 times)

Dick Rees

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 07:54:18 pm »

Silas....

You can't "just run signal from an aux to the sub".  You need to use a cross-over so that the subs receive only the frequencies they are supposed to have.  The Rane unit you have should be able to do that......I think.  You'll need to go from the aux to a channel in the Rane unit, set the crossover point and type, then output that signal to the sub(s).  It's not a question of affording something.  You need to have a proper setup or it will not function properly.

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George S Dougherty

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2010, 05:42:05 pm »

I run a single 30" wide Bill Fitzmaurice Titan 48 in conjunction with 4 Apogee AE-5's for services.  Purchased plans for $15 and materials cost with cabinet plywood from Lowes ran about $350-400 including a latex speaker coating for finish.

Brad's point is quite correct.  Sensitivity, power rating and power compression combined are more important factors than just power rating.  For instance, my single sub is a minimum of 100db efficient from 40Hz up.  That means 100W of power will produce 120db of output.  Usable sustained output capability is in the neighborhood of 124db with 350-400W RMS.  Adding a second gets you to about 130db.  Because they're so sensitive, you don't need an expensive high power amp to power them.  Our single runs off a bridged Mackie 1400i.

If you've got the ability to build them and the space for them, I've gotten nothing but positive comments on how clean and powerful they are.  In your budget range you won't do better unless you find a killer deal on some used pro-level subs.

I settled on the Titans after looking for subs myself and deciding the minimum $2K investment for a pair of quality 18's, beefy amp and crossover was out of my budget range.  I'd originally intended to find a box design or guidance on building my own 18" loaded cabinets since it's basically a wood box with some holes cut in it.  No regrets on going with the Bill Fitzmaurice designs.  I've compared them to many subs and I'll take the Titans hands down over anything else I've heard that's less than $2K for a single sub.
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2010, 05:48:57 pm »

Your Rane unit will provide the necessary processing.  You just have to have the software and ability to program them.  

100% agreed with Dick, you need to process the signal appropriately before it heads for the amplifier or a powered speaker.  Crossover is a must have to integrate a sub cleanly.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2010, 08:46:27 pm »

George S Dougherty wrote on Sun, 24 October 2010 14:42

...plywood from Lowes ran about $350-400 including a latex speaker coating for finish.


Perhaps Lowe's has higher quality plywood where you live or you got lucky, but I have not had good experience with buying cabinet grade plywood at Lowe's. It often has voids, and some of the surfaces require extensive filling. The core is usually a lower-quality wood (such as fir) between very thin layers of hardwood veneer. I have to wonder how/if the voids affect the resonant qualities of the cabinet.

If you go this route, you may want to get your cabinet-grade plywood from a local lumberyard. Some of the best is birch plywood from Finland with as many as 14 plys per inch of thickness (maybe more). You can order it with a birch core that is free of voids. Sure, you'll pay more for it, but the quality is much higher and you can actually leave the edges exposed if you want.
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Silas Ng

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2010, 09:58:09 pm »

Yeah, I understand.

Thanks for the explanation everyone! Smile

I think this might be over my head at the moment so I'll leave it for now until we have enough money to afford it.

For now, is it worthwhile to mic kick drum/bass amp into the STX4 even though we don't have a sub? I've just never done it so not sure how if people usually do that anyways.
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Brian Ehlers

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2010, 12:44:52 pm »

There are plenty of harmonics in the sound of both kick drum and bass guitar which can be heard without a subwoofer.  In fact, that's where most of the "character" lies.  If your main speakers are efficient down to 60 Hz or so, it is worth adding kick and bass to the main mix.  (Both of these instruments also have higher frequency content, say, above 1 kHz, which is worth hearing.)

Of course, my recommendation assumes that both your power amplifiers and main loudspeakers have enough headroom above where they're currently operating so that you can add kick and bass to their mix.  If they're already max'ed out, don't add any more;  it'll only hurt the rest of what they're doing.  Also, be realistic with your expectations.  Without subs you're not going to make it flap your pant legs or hit you in the chest;  you're just going to reinforce the acoustic sounds of kick and bass.
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 10:55:20 pm »

Jonathan Johnson wrote on Sun, 24 October 2010 18:46


Perhaps Lowe's has higher quality plywood where you live or you got lucky, but I have not had good experience with buying cabinet grade plywood at Lowe's. It often has voids, and some of the surfaces require extensive filling. The core is usually a lower-quality wood (such as fir) between very thin layers of hardwood veneer. I have to wonder how/if the voids affect the resonant qualities of the cabinet.

If you go this route, you may want to get your cabinet-grade plywood from a local lumberyard. Some of the best is birch plywood from Finland with as many as 14 plys per inch of thickness (maybe more). You can order it with a birch core that is free of voids. Sure, you'll pay more for it, but the quality is much higher and you can actually leave the edges exposed if you want.



The Auraco stuff my local shops carry is usable and has even plies of the same material.  It's prone to warping and not nearly as nice to work with as Baltic Birch, but it's also about 25% lighter than BB.  Of course, being less dense it's also more prone to denting.  It does have an occasional small void (size of a quarter) but they're few and far between.  For an install it's perfectly fine.  

The warpage is the biggest pain, but I haven't found reasonably priced BB around me so I live with it.  Just means I have to straighten panels out as I secure them.  The BFM designs are very well braced internally and almost self squaring during construction.  It just slows down my cabinet builds.  I'm not building in volume though, and time is not of the essence.
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2010, 10:58:36 pm »

Brian Ehlers wrote on Mon, 25 October 2010 10:44

There are plenty of harmonics in the sound of both kick drum and bass guitar which can be heard without a subwoofer.  In fact, that's where most of the "character" lies.  If your main speakers are efficient down to 60 Hz or so, it is worth adding kick and bass to the main mix.  (Both of these instruments also have higher frequency content, say, above 1 kHz, which is worth hearing.)

Of course, my recommendation assumes that both your power amplifiers and main loudspeakers have enough headroom above where they're currently operating so that you can add kick and bass to their mix.  If they're already max'ed out, don't add any more;  it'll only hurt the rest of what they're doing.  Also, be realistic with your expectations.  Without subs you're not going to make it flap your pant legs or hit you in the chest;  you're just going to reinforce the acoustic sounds of kick and bass.


I'd also be wary of running kick and bass through the mains if there isn't a low pass filter on them.  It's easy to toast a driver dumping power into a speaker that's unable to adequately reproduce low frequencies.
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Brian Ehlers

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2010, 01:09:08 pm »

Good point.  I was assuming that in any competent install the mains alreayd have a suitable high-pass filter to cut out low frequencies they simply can't reproduce.
(I believe you meant to say high-pass, not low-pass.)
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2010, 11:00:43 am »

Brian Ehlers wrote on Tue, 26 October 2010 11:09

Good point.  I was assuming that in any competent install the mains alreayd have a suitable high-pass filter to cut out low frequencies they simply can't reproduce.
(I believe you meant to say high-pass, not low-pass.)


Thank you, yes.  Thinking both low-cut/high-pass and my fingers typed an inappropriate combo instead of deciding on one or the other.

I'd hope that with a Rane processor and Renkus Heinz mains they were set up properly, but I'm helping a church right now with EV mains and a Biamp Audia Solo that was setup by somebody who had little clue when it comes to installations and speaker placement.  Waiting for the Biamp to come back from the repair shop for a dead PS so I can see how that was all setup.
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Re: Subwoofer question!
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2010, 11:00:43 am »


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