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Author Topic: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II  (Read 58685 times)

Ivan Beaver

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2007, 01:37:23 pm »

Yes loud levels are impressive in one way and that is the easiest to talk about.  Loud is fun and amazing, but there is more to it than that.  However there was lots of discussions during and after the listening, in which quality of sound was discussed.  There were a lot of audio professionals there, who did get critical of the quality.

Yeah the quality is more important (to me) than just level, but it does  have to get loud enough to do the job.  On the other hand it does not matter how good it sounds if the listeners cannot hear it.

What was interesting was how tight-or lose- different cabinets sounded when pushed hard.  Some started making noises like "I don't particularly like what you are doing to me, but I will keep trying to keep up" and others were fine-they just kept getting louder.  Others had whistling and "flapping" noises (grills/foam) that showed up at loud levels.  Those noises were more apparent close to the cabinets and not so much at the back of the room.  Some of the cabinet reps are going to be looking into that.  All in the interest of making better cabinets.  

As long as the bar continually get raised, the customers will benefit from better sound.  It also helps to separate the "real" cabinets from the entry level stuff.
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Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.
Danley Sound Labs

John Chiara

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2007, 01:38:31 pm »

Tim Morin wrote on Sun, 04 February 2007 12:33

I agree, we would also be intersted in a shootout of this type. the problem will be that most of these are mostly about loud and painful. I have read threads about the NY sub shootout and most of the fuss is who's cabinets were the loudest. I have not seen any threads on the musicality of the subs as that is truly what determines which of these manufacturers will be on a major tour or install in the future. just my 2 cents.


It's so hard to quantify what is in most cases "claimed" to be  subjective. The top box situation is very complicated and dependent on need..although I think that actual need is often not addressed for a variety of reasons. One major attribute in most cases I see are finding a top box that has a low enough cutoff and pattern control to actually interface correctly with whatever subs are in use. I just last week repowered my SH 50's and boy did I hear a difference. The show last night and church today was great because the boxes are capable of great vocal presence with plenty of full low end. This would not be the case if I had to cross to subs at 100-125HZ for example. It would be great to hear a bunch of high qualtiy boxes next to each other..I'm just having trouble envisioning how we could level the playing field in a way to make it factual and useful. I'm sure we all walk in on mixes and absolutely hate what someone else thinks is "rockin'"..find annoying what someone else thinks is "kick ass"..etc. Could be tough.
John
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2007, 01:58:43 pm »

We have setup lots of blind tests between full range boxes.  It can be difficult to set a level playing field.  The low end response in particular (and overall flatness of the response) is a tough puppy to be "fair" with.  

What we have decided is the best way (we are open to other opinions however) is to put full range pink noise into each one and set the level as close as possible using a C weighted SPL meter.  We use a custom switcher that I designed/built that allows for individual adjustments over the cabinets and then allows for bypassing each level control so sensitivity differences can also be heard.

When you listen to them you will hear (with different source material) that some boxes sound louder than others and on other tracks the levels seem more matched.

The boxes with the most lowend will sound warmer and will skew the "sound" of the upper freq.  When you have the extra extension on the low end end the higher freq don't seem as harsh.

So if you say to highpass all the cabinets at say 100Hz, you are unfairly robbing performance of the cabinets that are capable of truly full range response.  You would be surprised how many cabinets that claim to be full range really aren't-despite what the specs say.

When you have a switcher and multiple boxes setup next to each other, you can really hear all sorts of differences between boxes.  The little details really stand out.

A shootout would be fairly hard thing to do-especially in a small area as you would have to have at least 2 of each box (to check for arrayability and how well they play together) and be able to switch easily between them.

I think there would have to be some strict guidelines setup as to what will and what won't be done during the comparisons.

I think you would have to set some guidelines as to different types of boxes that should be compaired to each other-

It would be really telling however.
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For every complicated question-there is a simple- easy to understand WRONG answer.

Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.
Danley Sound Labs

Paul Bell

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2007, 02:05:55 pm »

Can somebody start a thread on top boxes so we can leave the sub shootout thread a sub shootout thread?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2007, 02:11:54 pm »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Sun, 04 February 2007 12:57

Very nice photos, Will. By far the best capture of the venue and the atmosphere.

I'm surprised by the very small amount of hearing protection in evidence. Most of the testing was reasonable volume, eh?

-Bink
This would be me wearing mine.  Cool

Mac


index.php/fa/7804/0/
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2007, 03:48:09 pm »

Because of the crutches?

(these sure look like "sound guys" (and girls))

EDIT - Oops - I stand corrected. The gentleman with 4-legs was one of the Butler twins. Laughing
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2007, 03:53:29 pm »

That's Mike Butler on the crutches, not me!
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Mark "Bass Pig" Weiss

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2007, 06:11:35 pm »

Wow, I've been enjoying reading this whole thread!
I wish I could have been present, but with the wife working and me babysitting a 2-1/2 year old daughter, there was just no way for me to make the trip down, even though it's only a 2-hour drive for me.

I was intriqued by the Powersoft amplifiers, but what really gave me a good hearty laugh (which I shared with all my friends) was the story of how the Bassmaxx subs shook the apt bldg acorss the street. An amazing feat, in a large place of concrete and steel and wide streets. Sounds like comparing the space shuttle takeoff to a bunch of 747s taking off. Smile

I certainly wanted to be there as an observer. That would have been fun and it would have been a pleasure to talk with some of the folks in person. Maybe someday when my daughter is older and I can take her with me for the day.

Anyway, a fascinating read, interesting photos and stories. Loved it!

David J Lee

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2007, 06:37:21 pm »

Tim Morin wrote on Sun, 04 February 2007 11:33

I agree, we would also be intersted in a shootout of this type. the problem will be that most of these are mostly about loud and painful. I have read threads about the NY sub shootout and most of the fuss is whose cabinets were the loudest. I have not seen any threads on the musicality of the subs as that is truly what determines which of these manufacturers will be on a major tour or install in the future. just my 2 cents.



Hi Tim,

One of the challenges I have found in doing these types of things is fitting all you want to do in a very limited amount of time.  For future reference we should have the following in attendance if we ever do this again:

A time cop.  An event production manager who will keep things moving on schedule.

Predetermined testing methods and a list of the data to be recorded.

A predetermined list of songs or recordings (or instruments) to play.  

More space.  A football stadium would be nice.

Two more days.

A collection of the most popular and well known cabinets currently in use on large numbers of tours and stages.

You.  Yes you.  You, too.  Your ears.  If you care, be there!



Once upon a long time ago, in a place far from here, I went to a shootout that wasn't.  It was a listening workshop.  I live in Texas and when someone says shootout I think last man standing, as loud as it can go without ending up dead.   When someone says listening workshop I think of things a lot more subtle and a lot less violent.  To do both would be a great idea, if a very ambitious one, particularly if it were to be limited to a day or two.  

In this fantasy I really like the idea of blind testing.  Let all the listeners sit (stand, walk) on one side of a scrim and have some techs set up each system for listening.  (Better yet, set them all up in a very big circle in a big field facing inwards to the center and cover each in a scrim.)  The listeners can take notes, answer predetermined questions and score the contestants from 1 to 10 on a number of criteria.  When that's done, measure them all for FR and phase and distortion and whatever else you want to know and then go for the highest SPL each box can achieve without expiring in a cloud of smoke.  

Tally the blind votes and place the subjective scores next to the objective measurements and reveal the names.  

I personally think that you will find the boxes on those major tours are not the ones that sound the best, or go the loudest, or both.  They are most likely the ones with the most familiar names.  They are the ones who tend to shy away from competitions like this because they have a lot more to lose than to gain.  I would too, if I were them, but I am ready to go head to head with any of them, any time, any place.  May the best sound win!

Are we doing it at your house next?  Wink
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007 Results Part II
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2007, 06:42:05 pm »

Hi Mark-

The Bassmaxx Triples had been playing when the neighbor across the street came over with an attitude and threatening to call the police, environmental health, and anyone else he could think of that might be sympathetic.  I don't doubt that he felt the lows in his unit, but I bet he could feel the subway, too.  I suspect that he was taken aback by the *daytime* nature of the vibrations.  Lows do strange things, and the strata of NYC's subterranean structure possibly acted as a conduit to the pilings or foundation of his building.  Hard to say *why* it happened, but I don't doubt that it *did* happen.

Paul Bell had anticipated complaints from neighbors in the spaces above Club Rebel, and he had notices posted for a couple of weeks telling tenants about the Shootout with the dates and hours.  We only had one complaint from a tenant that I was aware of, and he seemed to be less upset after some discussion.  FWIW, the building is home to at least 2 recording studios and several other music related businesses.

Tim Mc
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