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Listening for BASS nuances in 2.1


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#1 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:22 PM

Having designed and built my own Quarter Pie bass horn, as a Klipsch MWMs derivative, I thought I would share my top 3 tests for bass definition after re-tuning my system.

1) From the best selling jazz recording of all time "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis, cut #5, "Sketches of Spain": The very beginning has notes from a plucked acoustic bass. You SHOULD clearly hear that the third note is done as a 2-3 string CHORD and not a single string like the first note. This repeats on the 5th note from the bass also. The clearer you hear each string in the chord being plucked, the better. If you then listen to the alternate take of this song on the bonus track #6, the chord is gone and he's using a single note in the same spots with stronger pluck.

2) On the Eagles CD "Hell Freezes Over" on "Hotel California" intro before the vocals and after the guitar: When the bass drum kicks in with 2 beats each time with the congas, the second beat has a distinct pitch shift for each set of two beats on the second beat each time. It will be almost undetectable if you have mushy bass, but clear and distinct otherwise.

3) On "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Victor Wooten's bass should growl at you and where having a sub to get you down to 30 Hz. at least get you to feel the notes as well as clearly hear his fingers sliding over the strings in the midrange. If he's not using a 5-string bass, then he must be lowering his E string on a 4-string bass to get that low.

Khorns, LaScalas, Belles, Choruses, and Cornwalls all roll off above 40 Hz., so this shows the advantages of a good 2.1 setup in the lower registers, especially for 2 and 3.

There are other test tunes, but these are in the top 3 for me. Happy listening and I hope to hear YOUR results here.


Edited by ClaudeJ1, 10 February 2014 - 02:36 PM.

2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#2 Schu

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:01 PM

Something with Mick Karn... maybe dalis car or some solo work for electronic nuances.
For acoustic, I might pick some Indian Carnatic or Raga with lots of deep tabla and lots of violin.

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#3 jason str

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:14 PM

Just off the top of my head.

The Band - Up on cripple creek

Stray cats - Stray cat strut.

Queen -Dragon attack

These should give a little kick but not the lowest of lows.

I love the bass guitar on horns, and everything else of course.


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#4 JBryan

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:17 AM

I enjoy bottom end as much as the next guy BUT it seems to be the convention these days for folks with xovers and multiple amps to bump their low end gain up a bit (and sometimes a lot). I've listened to several audiobuds who utilize an active xover and to a man, they have boosted their bottom end at least 5 or 6dB. How do I know this?.. I first noticed a somewhat heavier bass encroaching on the mids. I'd ask 'em if they had measured the system and if not, I would do it with them. Like polarity, its just one of my audio peeves and apparently, I'm sensitive to it. Most of my friends would freely admit that they had added a little extra gain, after all, its nothing to be ashamed of - its your system, it should sound like you want it to. Hell, when my friends come over for a listen, I'm happy to add a couple of dBs down low if they point it out - I just back it down when they leave. I prefer the bottom end 'flat' because it seems to sound more clear and coherent with the rest of the speaker. A boost in the bass tends to muddy up the low-mids a bit and that's where a lot of good music resides. I attribute this peeve of mine to the fact that I attend quite a few shows - many in small venues where the nuances of an acoustic bass are easily discerned. When I sit down in front of my system, that's what I wanna hear and perhaps in my system, a little boost from 'flat' adds a touch of distortion that may throw off the sound, staging and the illusion I'm looking for.

OK...sorry for the rant. I just wanted to point out that in order for others including myself, to truly appreciate your notes and hopefully use them to listen to the tracks you've listed and compare our systems correctly, it'd be good to know how you've set your levels. Again, I'm not accusing or judging anyone and there's absolutely no reason not to listen to your system the way it sounds best to you but I just keep running into this phenomenon and wanted to mention it... I feel better now.

BTW, Victor Wooten is a bass GOD! He can play circles around those that most of us consider great bass players (and they're really good). I've seen him a few times, with Bela and solo and he's a joy to watch as well as hear. While he does play the 4-string bass (Fodera) most of the time, I have seen him play 5 and 6-string rigs as well. If he can play it, spin it 'round and twirl it, I think he's OK with it.


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#5 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:53 PM

I've listened to several audiobuds who utilize an active xover and to a man, they have boosted their bottom end at least 5 or 6dB. How do I know this?.. I first noticed a somewhat heavier bass encroaching on the mids. I'd ask 'em if they had measured the system and if not, I would do it with them. Like polarity, its just one of my audio peeves and apparently, I'm sensitive to it. Most of my friends would freely admit that they had added a little extra gain, after all, its nothing to be ashamed of - its your system, it should sound like you want it to

I'm glad you made this post. Between looking at ISO equal loudness curves (too much bass IMHO) Measuring things flat, and making listening and measuring tweaks, I agree with you. It's very difficult to get smooth, impactful, "bottomless" bass without encroaching on the midrange, but I feel I have done it. However it took my own horn design, 6 years of slow R&D, and more sophisticated room correction to do it.

Yet, when I have measured LaScalas, FH-1's, Belles, and Khorns, there are peaks, but they all roll off above 40 hz. They are NOT flat, so unless you bi-amp and have some kind of PEQ for your bass, you will not have anywhere near flat and you will get used to the sound. As impressive as the MWM is for bass power and definition, there is a pronounced 55 Hz. peak that give the listener a free "disco thump" when no EQ's out and things get really weird above 300 hz., which is why Klipsch chose to add a Mid Bass section in the original MCM 1900 and the current 4T offering. This peakiness/rolloffs is also the reason why the Jubilee bass bin get PEQ's in active or passive form, and to a certain degree, the modern version of the factory Khorn.

Personally, I think bass SOUNDS flat to my ears when it's GENTLY tipped up about 2-3 db/octave on the way DOWN, which is the OPPOSITE of what speakers naturally do, unless room gain does this for you.

Great bass is THE most expensive AND finicky thing to get right in any room. After getting the best mid and tweeter horns I could afford, I have spent WAY more money on the range of 13-300 Hz. in electronics, horns, sub-horns, and amplifiers than the rest of the system combined.

I have a friend who does GROSS adjustments, constantly riding, the tone controls on his pre-amp to adjust for what he deems lacking in each and every song. Drives me nuts.

What I have tried to do is LISTEN with my eyes shut, on all my favorite recordings to get the very best power, depth, and definition in the bass WITHOUT encroaching on the delicacies of male and female vocals, guitar, sax, etc.

Yes I agree with you about people who like to SHOUT BASS rather then simply letting sound as natural and powerful as it would be in a live situation. That is my reference point and motivation. So my system attempts to strike a good balance with ALL recordings. If bass is thin or thick, that's how it comes out. I NEVER touch a tone control. The system runs as flat as I can make it between measurements and listening.

But I will say, that you will NOT get that with an all-passive speaker of any kind because the ROOM always messes up even the most expensive and "flattest" of speakers regardless of price or technology.

I just feel that horns replicate the TRANSIENT response of live instruments better than anything I have ever heard, except for Dave White's home made Electrostatics with Transmission Line Subs and Direct Drive OTL tubes. But that was a long time ago, so I would put up my system against his today, as I have gone WAY beyond vanilla Khorns that I owned and enjoyed for over 30 years without tone controls.


Edited by ClaudeJ1, 11 February 2014 - 02:01 PM.

2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#6 Quiet_Hollow

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:31 PM

Great bass is THE most expensive AND finicky thing to get right in any room. After getting the best mid and tweeter horns I could afford, I have spent WAY more money on the range of 13-300 Hz. in electronics, horns, sub-horns, and amplifiers than the rest of the system combined.

+1 :emotion-21: My subwoofer DSP represents the single most expensive component of my system...and it is worth every penny. The entire component assemblage (cabinets, DSP, and power amp devoted to the subwoofer) exceed the cost of my mains by a factor of 2.

If there's little to no realistic capability in the system's bass region (which can require A LOT), then the system arguably has no realistic capability.


Edited by Quiet_Hollow, 11 February 2014 - 08:01 PM.

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#7 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:52 PM

Great bass is THE most expensive AND finicky thing to get right in any room. After getting the best mid and tweeter horns I could afford, I have spent WAY more money on the range of 13-300 Hz. in electronics, horns, sub-horns, and amplifiers than the rest of the system combined.

+1 :emotion-21: My subwoofer DSP represents the single most expensive component of my system...and it is worth every penny. The entire component assemblage (cabinets, DSP, and power amp devoted to the subwoofer) exceed the cost of my mains by a factor of 2.

If there's little to no realistic capability in the system's bass region (which can require A LOT), then the system arguably has no realistic capability.

Amen brother, we can sing that one in unison because it's true. Physics cannot be cheated, only worked with.


2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#8 derrickdj1

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:54 AM

100% agreement on getting the bass right is the hardest things to do in a system and can be the most expensive. Anything less is not a Hi Fi system in audiophile terms.


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#9 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:26 PM

100% agreement on getting the bass right is the hardest things to do in a system and can be the most expensive. Anything less is not a Hi Fi system in audiophile terms.

Yes. It is also the main reason that companies like Audyssey put most of their analytical time and frequency domain data correction points in the Subwoofer rather than satellites in all their products.


2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#10 PrestonTom

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:23 PM

I guess that I am confused.

I use Jubilees with the recommended crossover settings and placement. Contrary to what some have hinted at above, I hear sufficient, clean bass with more than enough low freq extension for music. No sub is needed at my house


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#11 Boxx

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:33 PM

This may be way more than what you need or may want but you can find sufficient bass (lows) on....

(This one will rumble the house.)

DSC_0636.jpg

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#12 Boxx

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:34 PM

I hear sufficient, clean bass with more than enough low freq extension for music. No sub is needed at my house
Refreshing to read this....

"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."  Thomas Jefferson

 

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#13 jason str

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:40 PM

Jubilee is a great sounding speaker but if you are not running a proper sub to compliment your mains you really are missing out.


LaScala's W-Tuba sub

Chorus II

 

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#14 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 05:31 PM

I guess that I am confused.

I use Jubilees with the recommended crossover settings and placement. Contrary to what some have hinted at above, I hear sufficient, clean bass with more than enough low freq extension for music. No sub is needed at my house

Have you ever curved them? I never did until 1 1/2 years ago when I did some engineering work on a Jubilee Drone for one of the two US Klipsch dealers. The ones I curved were the Golden Jubilees, of which, there are only 2 pairs in the world. They roll off but they do sound great on music.

It all depends on the sub 60 Hz. content of the music you like and whether or not you want it flat. To get Jubes flat to 38 Hz. you need PEQ and should use a sub below that. After all his PEQ's for the Jube, Roy recommends a sub below 40 Hz.

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Edited by ClaudeJ1, 14 February 2014 - 05:55 PM.

2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#15 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 05:32 PM

I hear sufficient, clean bass with more than enough low freq extension for music. No sub is needed at my house
Refreshing to read this....

Everyone has different NEEDS and wants. Good for him. I like the idea of having bottomless bass. Where if a recording has an electric bass player that never hits his open E string, you never get to 41 Hz. but if a bass player detunes the fat string on his 5 string bass to get below 30 Hz. he will never know that he missed. I like the idea of getting to 15 Hz. and mostly never needing it until the music recording says so.


Edited by ClaudeJ1, 14 February 2014 - 05:34 PM.

2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#16 PrestonTom

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 09:29 AM

Regarding the bass on the Jubilees, Yes I have measured the freq respsonse on the bass bins. As you know, there is some technical and logistical difficulty in doing so. They measure fine when placed in a corner. For the very low bass, the recommended PEQ does help.

Please keep in mind that my application is for music and not home theater. At those lowest ocatves, there is actually not much energy in the recordings, What is produced is more of a vibratory experience as opposed to an "auditory" experience. Not much to do with music ....

In my experience, when a sub is added they are usually not integrated very well and the sound quality is not up to snuff. That is a typical result and perhaps simply indicates the difficulty in finding a good sub and setting it up correctly.

As I said before, at my house, no sub is needed. Maybe some day I'll take up the challenge (although I suspect the benefit will be limited), but quite frankly there are other things I would rather deal with than the energy between 20 to 35 Hz.


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#17 jason str

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 10:25 AM

Regarding the bass on the Jubilees, Yes I have measured the freq respsonse on the bass bins. As you know, there is some technical and logistical difficulty in doing so. They measure fine when placed in a corner. For the very low bass, the recommended PEQ does help.

Please keep in mind that my application is for music and not home theater. At those lowest ocatves, there is actually not much energy in the recordings, What is produced is more of a vibratory experience as opposed to an "auditory" experience. Not much to do with music ....

In my experience, when a sub is added they are usually not integrated very well and the sound quality is not up to snuff. That is a typical result and perhaps simply indicates the difficulty in finding a good sub and setting it up correctly.

As I said before, at my house, no sub is needed. Maybe some day I'll take up the challenge (although I suspect the benefit will be limited), but quite frankly there are other things I would rather deal with than the energy between 20 to 35 Hz.

I have a unfinished 16" LS Table Tuba with a high output 8" driver that i would be happy to lend out to you for some testing if you like. Its not going to be the ideal match to your mains but it will be fine for low to medium listening levels and give you the opportunity to audition a proper horn to match your mains.

Find a shipper within reasonable distance from me and i will be happy to drop it off.

E-mail me if interested. jasonstr1969@yahoo.com


LaScala's W-Tuba sub

Chorus II

 

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#18 ClaudeJ1

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:12 AM

In my experience, when a sub is added they are usually not integrated very well and the sound quality is not up to snuff. That is a typical result and perhaps simply indicates the difficulty in finding a good sub and setting it up correctly. As I said before, at my house, no sub is needed. Maybe some day I'll take up the challenge (although I suspect the benefit will be limited), but quite frankly there are other things I would rather deal with than the energy between 20 to 35 Hz.

You are correct concerning good integration. Horns with time delays are needed for that. You are also correct concerning the diminishing returns aspect of getting the bottom octave and a half that is rarely called upon to work for music. That being said, if you did have it in a well integrated fashion, you would miss it when removed (off switch on power amp does the perfectly), but only on program material that demanded it.

It's a definite requirement for HT, and it is certainly responsible, from a sales and marketing point of view, for the proliferation of subs today which were not part of the equation back in the 70's. Basically, you and I have no fundamental disagreements here.

I will say this, the subtle extra FEEL that you get from having those extra octaves down below represent a solidity in contrast to "rolled off bass" that one must experience rather than describe with a keyboard.

I spent over 30 years with Khorns with a mono LaScala in the middle, per PWK and his mentors, convincing myself that subs were a waste of money, until HT demanded a change.

The Jube doesn't really go any lower than Khorn, and even though one can PEQ a Khorn for better perfomance, you would just create more distortion in trying to get something to work beyond it's natural capability.

It is VERY expensive money wise and SPACE-wise to get great sub bass, period. Simply look at the wavelengths involved. My Danley DTS-10's are basically 24 foot horns, while a LaScala, MWM, Jube, and Khorn range from 2 1/2 to 8 feet if your include the walls with the Khorn. Even though they are 24 Cubic feet of lumber space, the DTS-10's represent a small package for creating wavelengths that are 75-100 feet long!

That step is difficult to justify for some. Many people try the half-baked cheap solutions that are popularized on the web by people who are, shall we say, less knowledgeable technically, and complain that it doesn't integrate well............well, duh. But it doesn't have to be expensive. Anyone with access to a table saw can build two to four Kraken 212's (DIY Audio) with JBL drivers for about $300 each which would be very close to my Danleys in performance. That is what I would do, if I knew then what I know now.

In my case, I would never have another system again without the "bottomless bass" I get for music while more justifiably satisfying the requirements for great HT in the same space. I don't have two separate reference systems. I use the same stuff for 2.1 and 7.1 in the best room I have. Even if I only had 2 channels, I would never do it without the 0.1 subwoofage. Totally spoiled I have been, and all it takes is pushing one button on my remote to go from one to the other.


Edited by ClaudeJ1, 15 February 2014 - 11:29 AM.

2.1/7.1=R+L=QuarterPie Bass Horns/Eminence Kappa 15C driven by discrete gain B&K AV 1260 from Behringer DCX-2496 fed by Onkyo TXSR709 pre-out, Midrange=K402/K133, Tweeter=QSC PL-000446GP/B&C DE-250 each with single Capacitor HiPass driven by Onkyo 709 AVR Amp section. Twin Danley DTS-10 Super Spud Subs front and rear wall centers driven by 0.1 Pre-Out Y-connect to Adcom 555.
7.1=Heresy I Center, 4 KPT-200 Surrounds.
Oppo 83 SE with Sabre DACs for CD 2.1, HDMI out for 7.1 to Onkyo DSP's. Audyssey Multi EQ/XT room correction for ALL listening

#19 PrestonTom

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:53 AM

Regarding the bass on the Jubilees, Yes I have measured the freq respsonse on the bass bins. As you know, there is some technical and logistical difficulty in doing so. They measure fine when placed in a corner. For the very low bass, the recommended PEQ does help.

Please keep in mind that my application is for music and not home theater. At those lowest ocatves, there is actually not much energy in the recordings, What is produced is more of a vibratory experience as opposed to an "auditory" experience. Not much to do with music ....

In my experience, when a sub is added they are usually not integrated very well and the sound quality is not up to snuff. That is a typical result and perhaps simply indicates the difficulty in finding a good sub and setting it up correctly.

As I said before, at my house, no sub is needed. Maybe some day I'll take up the challenge (although I suspect the benefit will be limited), but quite frankly there are other things I would rather deal with than the energy between 20 to 35 Hz.

I have a unfinished 16" LS Table Tuba with a high output 8" driver that i would be happy to lend out to you for some testing if you like. Its not going to be the ideal match to your mains but it will be fine for low to medium listening levels and give you the opportunity to audition a proper horn to match your mains.

Find a shipper within reasonable distance from me and i will be happy to drop it off.

E-mail me if interested. jasonstr1969@yahoo.com

I appreciate the offer and it is tempting. But I am going to pass, maybe someday I will drink the Kool-aid.

Thanks,

-tom


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#20 Mallette

Mallette

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 07:04 PM

Please keep in mind that my application is for music and not home theater. At those lowest ocatves, there is actually not much energy in the recordings,

It's clear you don't listen to pipe organs. If you are getting a clean 16.5 Hz low C out of those Jubs that would be a miracle.

Dave


David A. Mallette "If it sounds good, it IS good!" - Duke Ellington
If you are SERIOUSLY bored, my BLOG. Some thoughts on audio in there if you look hard enough.