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View Full Version : 2 Subwoofer question?


bfuerst
05-16-01, 12:49 PM
Will 2 8" subs give me more bass than one 12". I've been looking at the Cambridge SoundWorks 8" Powered Subwoofer. I've seen them go for around $100.00 on ebay. I've also been thinking about getting the Sony sub that everyone raves about. The only downside with the Cambridge SoundWorks sub is that it is refurbished, but I've bought all my other home theater speakers from them and they look new to me and sound great. Anyways which should I get. Please help!

Kevman5002
05-16-01, 03:06 PM
I bought the Sony sub back in early april, and i was a little skeptic at first because it was a sony. When i first had it it was in my dorm room, you want to talk about base, we had the windows rattling and people atleast 12 rooms down the hall said they could hear it. Now i have it at home, and it's in a room that's 18' by 15' or something like that, and still sounds great. I haven't heard much to compare it too but my friend is really into stereo and home theater and said it was one of the best sounding subs he's heard. I've never heard a set up with two subs but if you really want one the Sony is so cheap a few budget cuts and you could easily afford two. Even if you just want one i recommend the sony heavily.
good luck,
Kevin

D113
05-16-01, 07:08 PM
Hey man,

I had a single front firing 10" 150 W sub,

Then I watched fight club's mid-air collision scene.

I bought a second.

My 2 10" 150W'ers kill my friends 15" down firing 400 W sub.

BUT, it's hard to get solid 20-40Hz out of an 8" woofer unless you buy a Sunfire!!!!

D113
view my dvd collection @
http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mycollection.asp?alias=D113

DVD_O_Rama
05-16-01, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by D113
BUT, it's hard to get solid 20-40Hz out of an 8" woofer unless you buy a Sunfire!!!!


I don't know what you mean by 'solid', but at 20Hz, you aren't going to get any sort of serious volume out of <b>any</b> 8" woof, period. Unless you like distored bass coming from your sub, that is.

audrey
05-16-01, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by DVD_O_Rama
Originally posted by D113
BUT, it's hard to get solid 20-40Hz out of an 8" woofer unless you buy a Sunfire!!!!


I don't know what you mean by 'solid', but at 20Hz, you aren't going to get any sort of serious volume out of <b>any</b> 8" woof, period. Unless you like distored bass coming from your sub, that is.

actually the sunfire has excellent response down to about 18HZ and usable output to 10HZ. pretty amazing when you consider the size and relatively low cost of the product.

DVD_O_Rama
05-16-01, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by audrey
actually the sunfire has excellent response down to about 18HZ and usable output to 10HZ. pretty amazing when you consider the size and relatively low cost of the product.

The Sunfire Jr. has a max output of about 95 at 25Hz, well below what I would consider 'excellent'. This thing won't touch 10Hz in it's wildest dreams. If you've got data to prove otherwise, please share.

(EDITED TO ADD THE FOLLOWING)
I guess it would help if we were clear on what model Sunfire sub was being discussed. Regardless, there isn't <i>any</i> Sunfire sub with an 8-inch driver that will play 18Hz with authority or clarity.
I don't know of <b>any</b> sub on the planet with a single 8" woof that will play 10Hz louder ("usable output") then a mouse fart.





[Edited by DVD_O_Rama on 05-16-01 at 07:45 PM]

audrey
05-17-01, 12:41 AM
i haven't heard the Jr. below are the basic specs on the MkII (not the signiture which uses a larger driver). the -3db point at 18hz has been confirmed in numerous reviews.

regarding the jr. IMO 95db is still pretty loud. there are a lot of subs on the market w/ much larger drivers that don't perform that well.

mind you, i'm not advocating the sunfire (i bought a HSU 1220 instead), but the MKII is amazing for the size.

2700-watt amp featuring patented Tracking Downconverter power supply
Input coupling is optical and it accepts standard and high-level inputs
Bore 8 inches – stroke 2.35 inches
Total air volume displacement is over 235 cubic inches
Crossover points variable from 35 Hz to 100 Hz
Crossover slope 36 dB/octave
Input level (volume) control
Phase continuously adjustable 0 to 180 degrees
<b>Frequency response: 18 Hz to 100 Hz (plus 0-3 dB)</b>
Passive 70 Hz 6 dB per octave hi-pass line level output for Satellite loudspeakers
Two-year warranty
Dimensions: 11 inches by 11 inches by 11 inches
Weight: 48 lbs.
US$1495 + 220v transformer $200 all excl taxes

From <b>The Perfect Vision</b>:
http://www.theperfectvision.com/equip/equip_speakers_03.htm
And it definitely has some stuff to strut. With both test tones and demanding music, the Sunfire revealed that the "true" in its model designation refers to its ability to reach down into subterranean territory. Not only could it reproduce sub-20Hz frequencies in my room, it could do so with accuracy. For example, the pitch definition on the Duruflé Requiem [Telarc 80135] - a piece I've been using throughout this survey - was the best I've yet experienced. The True 2 has perfect pitch.

From <b>Audio Revolution</b>: http://www.audiorevolution.com/equip/sunfiresub/index.html

Deep solid bass in today's blockbuster movie soundtracks is essential. While there are plenty of subwoofers out there, few are capable of performing like Sunfire's True Subwoofer. Rated at 2,700 watts the Sunfire's can deliver all the way down to 18 Hz!






[Edited by audrey on 05-16-01 at 09:58 PM]

shaka
05-17-01, 01:30 AM
I picked up two of the Sony SA-WM40 subs at the Navy Exchange sale for $129 each. They can be hooked up with a built-in output from one to the input of the other. Placed them in the front and back of my room and they sound great.

bfuerst
05-17-01, 02:30 AM
Thanks for info. About ten years ago when I started buying home theater equipment I was on a very tight college budget and was going to build my own sub. Then I remember reading that subs do not respond to the environment like other drivers do, and that the more air that is moved the more low frequency response you will get. I remember it had something to do with pressure and surface space or something like that (I wish I still had the book I picked up at radio shack that described it). So my thinking is that 2 8-inch subs will have more surface space than 1 12-inch sub and that will create more bass. I know I'm simplifying things quite a bit here, but is my thinking off base (no pun intended).

Frank S
05-17-01, 02:33 AM
Even if this sub CAN do 18Hz. it will without-a-doubt be horrible sounding as the small drivers will NEVER do any good at very low bass. The rolloff at that level would be absolutely horrendous! Anyone who thinks they do must be thrilled to death with their Bose Accoumass module! -wink-

If you want low/clean bass you really need at least a 12" driver.

Adding up the total of two sub to compare with one bigger sub is no good what-so-ever! The facts are that to produce bass you need to move lots of air (from within the enclosure) and the larger the driver the more air you will move. Each 8" driver will move air for itself not as a joint manuver. Each driver will produce the same frequencies whether you have one in a room or two. The only difference is you will get a bump in db's from the additional sub but you will not get a extended lower bass response with two instead of one sub. Also an 8" driver will have a much quicker rolloff at a much higher frequency then a 12", 15" sub and the distortion will be VERY noticable.

[Edited by Frank S on 05-16-01 at 11:44 PM]

DigIt
05-17-01, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by bfuerst
I remember it had something to do with pressure and surface space or something like that (I wish I still had the book I picked up at radio shack that described it). So my thinking is that 2 8-inch subs will have more surface space than 1 12-inch sub and that will create more bass.This logic only really applied to a single driver. You will be able to move more air with 2 subs, yes; but as you can see from other posts, you will not get the same performance from each individual sub that you would from a larger one. More bass is not lower bass, and LFE is what you're shooting for. Get one big sub.

audrey
05-17-01, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Frank S
Even if this sub CAN do 18Hz. it will without-a-doubt be horrible sounding as the small drivers will NEVER do any good at very low bass. The rolloff at that level would be absolutely horrendous! Anyone who thinks they do must be thrilled to death with their Bose Accoumass module! -wink-
(snip)

If you want low/clean bass you really need at least a 12" driver.


this dialog reminds me of talking to the flat earth society. those who doubt the Sunfire's abilities might want to take the time to listen to this product or at least read the white paper which describes the technology before reaching a conclusion. this sub is not perfect--at low levels distortion is higher than on some other designs. but it does sound good, plays low, and offers a tiny footprint.

Regarding air movement, from the <b>Audio Revolution</b> review:
Sunfire's push-pull design allows the Sunfire True Subwoofer to <b>displace 251 cubic inches of air!</b> For comparison, your average fifteen inch woofer only displaces 66 cubic inches of air. The dual driver design also cancels the internal forces of such a powerful amp, preventing it from hopping around the room.

From <b>Widescreen Review</b>
With the contour switch in the flat position, and the microphone at the listening position about three meters away, the Sunfire subwoofer produced 109dB at 40Hz, 108dB at 35Hz, 109dB at 30Hz, 104dB at 25Hz, and 104dB at 20Hz. I got 98dB at 15Hz but the sound was far from clean at this very low frequency. Pitch definition on musical selections, while not great, is more than acceptable. The ease with which a listener can follow the rhythm and pace of music is on par with other vented designs and punch and slam are very good to excellent. Your friends are guaranteed to be impressed when you show them the tiny subwoofer that just blew them off the chair. (snip)

Knowing well the compromises required to make this product work, my expectations for sound quality were low. But, the Sunfire sounds a lot better than I anticipated. It’s actually pretty good overall, with a bias towards home theatre as opposed to critical music listening. The Sunfire is just a little thick sounding and it lacks the “airy,” spacious sound and bass clarity of some much larger, lower distortion subwoofers when reproducing music, but effects are delivered with authority and surprising impact, and the results are very satisfying. Unlike some of its bigger brothers, there is no annoying intrusion on the midrange. (snip)

* * *
this OT diversion began with the comment that no 8 inch subwoofer could produce a 20HZ signal with authority. i think the above shows that the Sunfire achieves this target. let's just agree to disagree and move on :-)

bfuerst
05-17-01, 10:52 AM
Thanks to everybody. I'm so glad that I started this tread. I'm going to get 1 Sony 12" sub for now. I knew my logic had to be flawed when it came to 2 8" subs. Maybe in the future and if I can get it by my wife I will get a second one.

Frank S
05-17-01, 02:13 PM
Don't you just love it when people quote a manufacturer's specifications and take it as the gospel truth!

DVD_O_Rama
05-17-01, 05:06 PM
I'll stand by what I said about an 8" driver playing at 20Hz with authority. Sure, the Jr may have output at 104db (according to Dick Hardesty's review), but how <i>clean</i> is it? How much is actual accurate output and how much is just doubling? Notice the difference between 20Hz and 18Hz...a 6db drop and probably sounded like pure garbage at that point, and in a properly calibrated HT would barely be audible. For me, I want <b>clean</b> loud bass...I guess if you are going for sheer SPLs, the Sunfire subs would make you happy.

If you want to read some real-world data, and not some over-inflated manufacturer specs (which may be accurate if your HT happens to be in an anechoic chamber, perhaps) check out Tom Nousaine's reviews, which includes the Sunfire Jr.
As I said before, this sub maxed out at 95-100dbs at 25Hz, not 20..but 25. This is with a 10% distortion limit, mind you. Anything louder than that below 25Hz is going to be full of noise.

I still have yet to see any data on the 'usable output at 10Hz' you mentioned earlier, from <b>any</b> review.

audrey
05-17-01, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by DVD_O_Rama
I'll stand by what I said about an 8" driver playing at 20Hz with authority. Sure, <b>the Jr </b> may have output at 104db (according to Dick Hardesty's review), but how <i>clean</i> is it? (snip)

Ok, this is getting old. First, let me repeat that I have not heard the Jr and have no opinion as to its qualities. Second, the <b>Jr.</b> sports a <b>6 inch</b> driver, not an 8 inch one so I fail to understand why the Jr. is relevant to this discussion. Finally, I have listened to the MkII extensively both in my home and at my usual hi-fi store. As noted, it is far from perfect; but it sounds much better than you might imagine.

This is definitely a niche product designed for people who require a subwoofer with a tiny footprint. Is it better than much of its larger competition? No. But then, no one said it was; only that it would play low---which all of the reviews I’ve seen and my own experience confirm.

Why don't you give it a listen before you form an opinion?

DVD_O_Rama
05-17-01, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by audrey
[QUOTE]Why don't you give it a listen before you form an opinion?


That's a pretty bold staement on your part, isn't it?
I have listened to many different models of the Sunfire subs, including the Sunfire Jr. and others at several of the hi-fi stores I frequent, and all faired as expected for a tiny sub: not enough cabinet volume to produce quality bass at low levels without distortion. For those who need a small footprint and don't listen at loud levels, they fair quite well, although not in the price category they fall in, imho. A bit too costly for peformance/value ratio, but of course...YMMV.

Yuo are correct partially correct, as the Sunfire Jr. has 6" drivers, although it does have 2 and not one. Considering most of the other Sunfire subs also featured 8" drivers, I assumed the Jr. did as well. That's what I get for assuming.

Still waiting on the 10 Hz info, though...

audrey
05-17-01, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by DVD_O_Rama
[B
(snip) Still waiting on the 10 Hz info, though... [/B]

There are 5 Sunfire models. Two have 8 inch drivers: the Mk II and the Mk II Architectural (which is designed to be mounted in a cabinet). All of the Sunfire models are dual driver designs, but only one driver is active; the 2nd is passive and functions somewhat like Linn’s Isobarik designs that attempt to create an infinitely large cabinet for the active driver.

BTW: My comment about listening to a product before forming an opinion was not aimed at anyone in particular. I am not defending nor advocating the Sunfire; only arguing that it achieves what it set out to do. It is not a product for everyone; I chose not to purchase one either.

</b> From Secrets of Home Theater</b>
Room Response - Sunfire True Subwoofer MK-II -- set to 90 dB at 25 Hz -- (This is not maximum output, but rather just the response in an "average" room with the volume set to 90 dB at 25 Hz.) <i>(note: the table below won't format properly)</i>

1 meter 13 feet
10 Hz 60.4 dB 10 Hz 59.3 dB
12.5 Hz 61.4 dB 12.5 Hz 65.7 dB
16 Hz 68.6 dB 16 Hz 69.6 dB
20 Hz 65.2 dB 20 Hz 83.8 dB
25 Hz 90.8 dB 25 Hz 90.7 dB
31.5 Hz 93.7 dB 31.5 Hz 86.0 dB
40 Hz 85.8 dB 40 Hz 92.4 dB
50 Hz 88.4 dB 50 Hz 83.6 dB
63 Hz 91.4 dB 63 Hz 92.4 dB
80 Hz 86.6 dB 80 Hz 71.5 dB
100 Hz 75.8 dB 100 Hz 68.8 dB
125 Hz 61.9 dB 125 Hz 62.3 dB
160 Hz 57.5 dB 160 Hz 59.2 dB


Both <b>TAS</b> and <b>Stereophile</b> have run in depth reviews of the Mk II. IIRC they have also printed response curves to 10HZ (but can’t confirm as I don’t have access to the mag’s).