Author Topic: That fine line  (Read 1064 times)

Offline dflee

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That fine line
« on: June 15, 2021, 06:17:59 PM »
To not overload a room yet still have some bottom end at lower volume
without destroying it at moderate volume.
Can it be done and if so through speakers alone or does it take a combination
of equipment to get that sound and still retain the mids and highs.
Am I asking too much or is it just way outside my budget to even try.

Don
"Enjoy pleasure, not because it is fleeting, but because it exists at all." Sacrament, Clive Barker.

Offline P.I.

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 10:01:53 PM »
To not overload a room yet still have some bottom end at lower volume
without destroying it at moderate volume.
Can it be done and if so through speakers alone or does it take a combination
of equipment to get that sound and still retain the mids and highs.
Am I asking too much or is it just way outside my budget to even try.

Don
You are dealing with the results of the ear's non-linearity.  That old Fletcher-Munson curve:

https://www.grooveboxstudios.com/fletcher-munson-curve/

Achieving the same musical satisfaction/enjoyment over a broad range of listening levels, say 70dB peaks to 105dB peaks, using the same loudspeaker is simply not gonna happen.

There are reasons why good recording studios employ several pairs of speakers during mix down.  It is essential that a final mix "translates" well on different speaker types at different listening levels.  You don't use the same monitors to mix chamber music and gangster rap or metal.

The most cost effective method to meet your challenges is to get a great pair of small monitor speakers and team them up with a capable, high quality subwoofer that will allow varying the low pass/high pass turnover point between about 60Hz to 200Hz.  At very low listening levels one may want a 200Hz crossover point to fatten up the upper bass low midrange that the non-linearity dictates for fullness, but at higher levels that fattening up will result in bloated, muddy low frequencies.  At higher levels, the 60 Hz crossover point will sound more "right".

Getting musical reproduction to sound "right" is a complex soup of listening level, speaker type, content input, crossover points, room dimensions, driver diameter, number and type of LF drivers and on and on.

Bottom line is we never get it "right", only "right-ish".

Given your unique requirements I heartily recommend a monitor/subwoofer or a speaker with separately powered and adjustable low frequency components.  There is a plethora of options out there.  Step 1: find a monitor or small speaker that gets the midrange right.  Music is by and large a midrange event.  Make sure the highs aren't in your face.  Too much detail often is an indicator of a bump in the lower treble.  Next, try subwoofers that are adaptable like I mentioned.  Ask the monitor speaker builder what he/she recommends.  Make sure you have return privileges on the sub.  Getting a sub that blends well with smaller speakers demands a speaker with exceptional impulse response... the infamous "fast" sounding drivers.

Two things to remember: 

If you can hear the sub, it is too loud. 

Friends don't let friends buy Focal or B&W?  Just sayin'. 

The smaller speaker builders off the best performance/investment values.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 10:16:15 PM by P.I. »
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Offline S Clark

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2021, 04:25:57 AM »



...The most cost effective method to meet your challenges is to get a great pair of small monitor speakers and team them up with a capable, high quality subwoofer that will allow varying the low pass/high pass turnover point between about 60Hz to 200Hz.  At very low listening levels one may want a 200Hz crossover point to fatten up the upper bass low midrange that the non-linearity dictates for fullness, but at higher levels that fattening up will result in bloated, muddy low frequencies.  At higher levels, the 60 Hz crossover point will sound more "right"...


Sounds like you just need to push the "loudness" button on your 1973 Pioneer receiver. 
Seriously, looking back, that old gear had some good ideas, just not always implemented well. 
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline dflee

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2021, 06:51:10 AM »
Well, that is something I'll reread a few more times.
Is that why speaker manufacturers develop speakers with humps in certain areas? To
make up for that natural loss at certain frequencies at certain levels.
"floorstanding speaker delivers the series’ signature clarity and articulation along with visceral bass. The system will suit larger listening environments but is capable of revealing a huge dynamic range even when played at low volumes in smaller rooms"
This is taken from an advertisement for a speaker. After reading F-M Curve article can it be taken seriously?

Thanks
Don

ps: Forgot all about the loudness button (dang).
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 06:52:53 AM by dflee »
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Offline rollo

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2021, 08:12:04 AM »
 Great explanation Dave. Agree monitors and Sub. If on a budget look at Fyne from $500 up. Or Fritz for more at $3500.


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Offline P.I.

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2021, 08:23:22 AM »
Yeah, that "Loudness" contour was the only frequency control I would use during the way back era.  Always on at low levels and off at high levels.  There was that in-between volume that always was way too thick sounding.

Don:  an ad copywriter can say anything in print, but they can't warp physics in reality.  Advertising writers and political speech writers should all be distrusted!  :^o
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Offline steve

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2021, 03:04:21 PM »
Well, that is something I'll reread a few more times.
Is that why speaker manufacturers develop speakers with humps in certain areas? To
make up for that natural loss at certain frequencies at certain levels.
"floorstanding speaker delivers the series’ signature clarity and articulation along with visceral bass. The system will suit larger listening environments but is capable of revealing a huge dynamic range even when played at low volumes in smaller rooms"
This is taken from an advertisement for a speaker. After reading F-M Curve article can it be taken seriously?

Thanks
Don

ps: Forgot all about the loudness button (dang).

Yes, the F.M. curve can be taken seriously, RCA Radiotron Designers Handbook uses the graph in their discussions. Scott has it right, just use a loudness button, or use a Bass control with different spl levels, with a bypass switch to remove/bypass the control/parts out altogether at high spl levels. The switch will probably affect the sonics a little, but less than all the connections and parts.

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 03:08:47 PM by steve »
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Offline James Edward

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2021, 05:22:59 AM »



Well, that is something I'll reread a few more times.
Is that why speaker manufacturers develop speakers with humps in certain areas? To
make up for that natural loss at certain frequencies at certain levels.
"floorstanding speaker delivers the series’ signature clarity and articulation along with visceral bass. The system will suit larger listening environments but is capable of revealing a huge dynamic range even when played at low volumes in smaller rooms"
This is taken from an advertisement for a speaker. After reading F-M Curve article can it be taken seriously?

Thanks
Don

ps: Forgot all about the loudness button (dang).

Yes, the F.M. curve can be taken seriously, RCA Radiotron Designers Handbook uses the graph in their discussions. Scott has it right, just use a loudness button, or use a Bass control with different spl levels, with a bypass switch to remove/bypass the control/parts out altogether at high spl levels. The switch will probably affect the sonics a little, but less than all the connections and parts.

cheers

steve
I don’t know what equipment you have, but I would seriously consider this, or something similar from another company. https://www.svsound.com/products/sb-1000-pro-subwoofer

They have a true free tryout period- free shipping both ways. I’m not a shill for SVS- I use Hsu for my sub- but Hsu doesn’t offer the remote adjustment of the SB1000.

It has speaker level inputs, which will work if you don’t have bass management built into your equipment. Most of what us 2 channel old codgers use doesn’t.

Just as importantly, you can turn it on, off, and adjust it from your phone or ipad. There is your ‘loudness’ control…

I’ve been battling bass issues, and a sub is sometimes a good answer.
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Offline steve

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2021, 09:05:17 AM »



Well, that is something I'll reread a few more times.
Is that why speaker manufacturers develop speakers with humps in certain areas? To
make up for that natural loss at certain frequencies at certain levels.
"floorstanding speaker delivers the series’ signature clarity and articulation along with visceral bass. The system will suit larger listening environments but is capable of revealing a huge dynamic range even when played at low volumes in smaller rooms"
This is taken from an advertisement for a speaker. After reading F-M Curve article can it be taken seriously?

Thanks
Don

ps: Forgot all about the loudness button (dang).

Yes, the F.M. curve can be taken seriously, RCA Radiotron Designers Handbook uses the graph in their discussions. Scott has it right, just use a loudness button, or use a Bass control with different spl levels, with a bypass switch to remove/bypass the control/parts out altogether at high spl levels. The switch will probably affect the sonics a little, but less than all the connections and parts.

cheers

steve
I don’t know what equipment you have, but I would seriously consider this, or something similar from another company. https://www.svsound.com/products/sb-1000-pro-subwoofer

They have a true free tryout period- free shipping both ways. I’m not a shill for SVS- I use Hsu for my sub- but Hsu doesn’t offer the remote adjustment of the SB1000.

It has speaker level inputs, which will work if you don’t have bass management built into your equipment. Most of what us 2 channel old codgers use doesn’t.

Just as importantly, you can turn it on, off, and adjust it from your phone or ipad. There is your ‘loudness’ control…

I’ve been battling bass issues, and a sub is sometimes a good answer.

Hi James,

Check the bottom of my post for components.  :)

I have a parallel adjustment control on the 11A Line Preamplifier to compensate for different amplifier input impedances (Z). My 25PPT monoblocks have switchable treble and bass controls (parallel parts in power supply) to compensate for tube near end of life aging, for personal adjustments and screwy room and components.

There has never ever been a sub I have liked, so won't use them. I would rather use a large box design, each with a woofer. No worries concerning stereo imaging. Response is -3db at 28hz and easily reproduces to 20hz.

I use a 12" woofer, with Qts I wanted, and modified 4" full range driver. The crossover is a quasi 2nd order ~165-170hz, with 2 control adjustments, each down to hundreds of thousandths of an ohm adjustment. (This requires the amp/speaker connections to be pristine and quite tight as well.)

cheers

steve

« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 09:04:33 AM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline James Edward

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2021, 09:31:06 AM »
I was replying to Don’s original post. I’ll bow out now.
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Offline doug s.

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2021, 09:09:54 PM »
it may be counter intuitive, but you will actually get better results, and less likelihood of overloading your room with a pair (or even two pairs) of properly set up subs.  and active crossovers also help a lot, freeing the mains and their amp(s) from seeing the lowest frequencies.  i've also found that, (in spite of bass supposedly being non directional below ~80hz), the fact is soundstaging is better w/stereo subs.

doug s,

Offline P.I.

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2021, 12:02:01 AM »
it may be counter intuitive, but you will actually get better results, and less likelihood of overloading your room with a pair (or even two pairs) of properly set up subs.  and active crossovers also help a lot, freeing the mains and their amp(s) from seeing the lowest frequencies.  i've also found that, (in spite of bass supposedly being non directional below ~80hz), the fact is soundstaging is better w/stereo subs.

doug s,
I am all about the subwoofer swarm to even out room response.  They don't gave to be big, just good subs.
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Offline tmazz

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2021, 02:58:45 PM »
it may be counter intuitive, but you will actually get better results, and less likelihood of overloading your room with a pair (or even two pairs) of properly set up subs.  and active crossovers also help a lot, freeing the mains and their amp(s) from seeing the lowest frequencies.  i've also found that, (in spite of bass supposedly being non directional below ~80hz), the fact is soundstaging is better w/stereo subs.

doug s,

The imaging is better because even though the crossovers get rid of most of the signal above the bass region some still slips in and if you have one sub they you have some summed mono lower mid-range leaking into a speaker that is not close to where at least one of the L & R speakers are, which messes up your imaging. You can somewhat reduce the effect somewhat by try to place the sub in a spot that is equidistant to both speakers, but it is better still if there are two subs placed in a somewhat L&R stereo position which  keeps the leaded signals closer to the places they are supposed to be coming out of, i.e. your L & R speakers. it is always a balancing act between the spots where the subs themselves sound best and the spot that makes the rest of the system sound it's best.
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Offline doug s.

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Re: That fine line
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2021, 03:45:34 PM »
the only way i've heard a summed mono sub not actually degrade the soundstaging is when it was centered exactly between the speakers, and in the nearfield - ie: a few feet directly in front of you.  this also helped with getting fuller cleaner bass because you didn't have to turn it up as loud.

and, there actually is some stereo low bass on some recordings, especially synth recordings.  like nusrat fateh ali khan and michael brooks' "night song".  tho i do agree that, even at 24db/octave slope, some info gets through, so yes, mono subwoofing is not the best, besides being harder to place w/o affecting room nodes, and having higher distortion for the same spl.  altho, when i've turned off my mains and only the subs are playing (usually for people not into audio systems that see these big cabinets and want to know what, exactly they're doing), the reality is actually "not much".  and i think another reason mono subs degrade soundstaging has to do w/the fact that, w/some recordings that haven't summed the bass, when you sum stereo bass, you're losing some actual info due to cancelation.

regarding set-up, i've always had my subs flanking my mains, regardless of room or what the mains are.  soundstaging comes first.  if you have good subs and a good x-over you will get good performance from your subs.  and, w/today's dsp available for low end, you can do it even w/difficult rooms.  in my kitchen system, which isn't nearly as critically set up as my main system, i still get pretty decent performance w/my meret re's setting directly on top of my yamaha yst-sw305 powered subs.  while they do go down to 20hz, i think it's something like -8db at that frequency.  but even tho they only have two 8" servo drivers per sub, and a 200w amp, the bass sometimes amazes me that i can actually "feel" it, even tho it's not usually very loud, and the room is pretty large, at ~24x26 w/a vaulted ceiling 16' high in the center...  sometimes i listen loud in the kitchen, (typically, when fip.fr cues something up that i really wanna stop what i'm doing and listen - heh!), but i'm usually in the other room when i want to listen loud. (you can see wire coming thru the hole in the wall to the left of the cabinet; that's a pair of interconnects from my main system's preamp tape outs on the other side of the wall, connected to the amp and preamp hiding in the cabinet.  the 3rd wire is the power cord from an isolation transformer also hiding in the cabinet; it's plugged into a balanced power conditioner that takes care of the front end gear in the main system.  this isolation x-former is what the kitchen amp & preamp are plugged into. you can see the preamp remote in the far left of the pic, on the book; the sensor is hidden in plain sight on one of the upper cabinet door hinges.)


doug s.
it may be counter intuitive, but you will actually get better results, and less likelihood of overloading your room with a pair (or even two pairs) of properly set up subs.  and active crossovers also help a lot, freeing the mains and their amp(s) from seeing the lowest frequencies.  i've also found that, (in spite of bass supposedly being non directional below ~80hz), the fact is soundstaging is better w/stereo subs.

doug s,

The imaging is better because even though the crossovers get rid of most of the signal above the bass region some still slips in and if you have one sub they you have some summed mono lower mid-range leaking into a speaker that is not close to where at least one of the L & R speakers are, which messes up your imaging. You can somewhat reduce the effect somewhat by try to place the sub in a spot that is equidistant to both speakers, but it is better still if there are two subs placed in a somewhat L&R stereo position which  keeps the leaded signals closer to the places they are supposed to be coming out of, i.e. your L & R speakers. it is always a balancing act between the spots where the subs themselves sound best and the spot that makes the rest of the system sound it's best.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 03:48:59 PM by doug s. »