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Integrated Woofers, Bass Modules, or Separate Sub Woofers

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  • Integrated Woofers, Bass Modules, or Separate Sub Woofers

    When designing a speaker, how do you decide to fill in the low end? I am working with Pete on a design using the Satori MW16P in a seald 10L enclosure. I like the sound of small 2 way speakers. I always anticipated crossing it to a subwoofer in the 80-120hz range. This will be used for both music and movies. Since they are going to be on stands anyway, do I make a bass bin for them to sit on? Do I have them on stands and then pick a nice sub design that I can move around depending on what sounds best in the room? Satori has 9.5" woofer. I could see a floor standing TMWW that would sound pretty impressive and wouldn't need a sub, but that would over $700 in drivers per speaker. I also think it would make a really nice 5.0 speaker setup with the current TM design being used as the surrounds.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ironman129 View Post
    ...pick a nice sub design that I can move around depending on what sounds best in the room?...
    ^ This. ( w Pete providing the insight to Sub design requirements )
    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
    “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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    • #3
      With Class D power available at your local gasoline station (cheap & can be found anywhere), I would build in to the main speakers, but of course the design has to be optimized, just like anything else. I'll be using Ultimax UM10-22's in my planned speaker build. For my music (metal), the bottom end is critical so it definitely has to be BEEFY so it can sound like a real metal concert. Haven't decided whether to use 2, 3, or 4 UM10-22's in each speaker.

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      • #4
        I wil say that in both music and movies, I love systems that disappear. I don't listen at high volumes, (either music or movies), but I thoroughly enjoy a a wide and detailed sound stage. When I don't have to turn the volume all the way up and still be impressed with the detail and imagery. I think that why I prefer the smaller sealer 2 way speakers. Being able to impress with the reproduction rather that the size of the speaker itself. That said, I do like feeling the music too. I am learning more about visceral frequency. I don't want an anemic sound system where the lower ends fades off. Hence the post.

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        • #5
          It sounds to me like you might like a good 3-way with a 10", or 12" woofer. I think that at lower SPL, the 3-way may have an advantage over a system with a sub. Once you are at a more lively SPL, I think it's a wash, and either should do fine. I have a sat / sub system, but I don't think I've even had my sub connected in the last two years.

          I prefer the look of a small speakers on stands. If I was going to go 3-way, I'd be considering RS270 woofers I think. They would be about the right performance / price point for my room, and limited budget.

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          • #6
            Each has advantages and disadvantages, and I think the choice is personal.

            Passive Woofers:
            Pro:
            Only need one amplifier
            Mid-bass handled by large capable woofer
            Con:
            Low crossover requires large passive components
            Speaker tends to get bigger, wider baffle might not be desirable.
            Bass is located at speakers, which might not be ideal in a given room

            Active Woofers:
            Pro:
            Low mid bass distortion
            Can play louder if midrange/midbass/treble is high-passed actively as well
            Con:
            More complex unless built into box
            Bass is located where speakers are, which may not be ideal
            Speakers even bigger than with passive woofers if amplifiers are in-box

            Active subwoofers
            Pro:
            Easy to implement
            Subwoofers can be positioned anywhere for smooth response
            Main speakers can be powered from a single amplifier
            Con:
            Main speaker's SPL potentially compromised if not high-passed
            Mid-bass/bass transition may not be as smooth.



            I think for smaller rooms, the sub with a high quality stand mount is the way to go. I am a big proponent of stand mount 3 ways for this reason - you can make a small speaker with excellent wide dispersion and imaging while still having a portable full range system.

            If output is a concern, or if you want to make a big speaker, the options start to make more sense.

            I think these days the big passive 10-12" three way speaker makes the least sense, which is not to say they can't be excellent.

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            • #7
              I'll add another vote for my favorite setup: separate sub(s) + stand mount bookshelf speakers. Cross them steep, with active high pass on your mains, and at or below 100Hz. With some careful placement and setup your integration between sub and mains should be seamless, and the bass output into the room can't be beat.
              Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
              Wogg Music

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              • #8
                I'd like to associate with most of what civit said. I differ on the last bit as I still find desirable good ol' monkey coffin-esque 3-way with big meats for nice drum and bottom end tone. Plenty do and not just for nostalgia

                When there isn't a WAF (or it's simply disregarded) a nice set of well made beefy floor standers can still crank the tunes with excellence. Even with those, however, I'd have a sub. Unless a specific, real sub woofer section capable of earthquake impact exists, such a system can't usually provide true bottom end boom as achieved when a sub is in the mix.

                Using a DSP makes it super easy to blend it all so the bass the 3-ways are pumping out are utilized for their deep rich tone while the sub picks up the real heavy lifting down low, especially for LFE, providing the actual house shaking earthquake.

                I wound up doing a hybrid of that, using smaller (but in parallel per speaker) woofers with parallel passive radiators in the towers and center. The result is a jam-packed cabinet with so much stuff inside there's literally no room for anything else. The XO are external, and gigantic but that's due to the component selections and desire to have headroom far exceeding what our ears could tolerate, preventing ever reaching the entire systems top end capacity keeping it crystal clear up to our physical limits only.

                You've got tons of options. Hopefully your final choice winds up being just right for what you're trying to achieve, and if it doesn't, DIY your way to bliss until it does do what you wanted.
                Feel free to rip my assumptions apart when wrong, or fix if close.

                Passive Radiators:
                All PR(s) Vd must at-least double all woofer(s) Vd. Calc = Sd x Xmax to get Vd for all PR(s) and all woofer(s). If all PR(s) Vd at-least double all woofer(s) Vd they'll work.
                For woofer(s) with large Xmax vs Sd, all PR(s) with Xmax at-least double all woofer(s) Xmax will work.
                A PR max weight is said to be its Mms x3

                PR Systems - tight focus with key parameters.
                PR Speaker Design - thorough coverage.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ironman129 View Post
                  I wil say that in both music and movies, I love systems that disappear. I don't listen at high volumes, (either music or movies), but I thoroughly enjoy a a wide and detailed sound stage. When I don't have to turn the volume all the way up and still be impressed with the detail and imagery. I think that why I prefer the smaller sealer 2 way speakers. Being able to impress with the reproduction rather that the size of the speaker itself. That said, I do like feeling the music too. I am learning more about visceral frequency. I don't want an anemic sound system where the lower ends fades off. Hence the post.
                  Bass frequencies being as large as they are introduce some interesting complications, such as placement interaction and room coupling.
                  I found that when L & R sources had 14.5' separation along with the low bass ( subs ) that it created what is called in Live sound a "power alley".
                  When pulled away ( and close coupled centered between L&R channels ) the integration and room coupling improved with less power required.
                  As far as
                  impress with the reproduction rather that the size of the speaker itself.
                  again because Bass frequencies are much larger than any driver available, that is the reason why size has advantages.
                  "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                  “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                  "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                  Comment

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