Wednesday

Another post to AVS.

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I once visited a home with a tiny, heavily-furnished room where I could clearly hear a person playing the piano.
I was completely mistaken about the piano. A pair of ESL57s had been inserted somehow at random and sounded utterly convincing.
The limited number of other electrostatics I have heard since then have not made convincing music.
All draw attention to themselves in one way or another. Boom tizz-tizz. Boom tizz-tizz.

Claiming that only small subwoofer cones work is to ignore physics.
They are also horribly uneconomic to make their area larger by using a greater quantity.
You can make no useful sound with a postcard until you stick lots of them on a large board.
Only then can you move enough air to become convincing at lower frequencies.
A postcard needs an excursion of several yards to produce low notes.
Even if it were remotely possible the sound would be horrendous and it would take literally ages to move that far!
We just don't have that much time for that much excursion every time we need to hear something h_a_a_a_p_p_p_e_n_n....

A large set of 15" or 18" cones can reproduce convincing bass without any visible movement.
So they need no time [AT ALL] to get to that nowhere fast. Dynamics and VLF to die for!
Hit a large sheet of metal with a hammer and it shows no excursion either.
Hit a shipping container with a even larger hammer and it shows no excursion.
Yet both sound strangely convincing. Don't they? I wonder why?
Ear defenders may be considered important for this thought experiment.
Though closed back headphones will do at a pinch.

The problem with audio reproduction is the desperate [almost completely futile] attempt to match reality at all frequencies.
And, to do so in a realistic manner where the dynamics are also reproduced accurately.
Nobody suggests anyone sits and "enjoys" a steady 120dB. Pardon?
But surely it is a useful momentary target if accurate [real to life] reproduction is the goal?
I'd love to see your 10" cones matching that little waif on the marching band, bass drum!
Now that would be something else and would probably require excessive intoxicants to become remotely convincing. Hic!

Back to the OP: Learn to adjust your subwoofer down in volume to match your speakers.
Hopefully there will not be a huge frequency gap between them.
Move the subwoofer around the room to minimize those nasty unnatural booms made by the room.
Well away from the walls and corners [and you] is often best but not usually the loudest.
Loud is only for teenage parties because they have absolutely nothing useful to say to each other.

Learn to differentiate between miserably poor upper bass humps and better quality bass from your better subwoofer.
Then just keep adding to the quantity and quality of your subwoofers until you grow old and opinionated.
Keep turning them all down until you can no longer hear the subwoofers but only the [more realistic] music.
At some point on your very long journey you will learn to grow very afraid of that little girl walloping that bass drum.
She was your terrifying first step and your final goal on your exhausting journey towards musical realism.
Your constant reality check, if you like.

BTW: Some really big, ugly blokes can pound on the bass drum too.
But you'll have to wait for completely new technology to get even close to that "alternative" reality.
But above all: Remember that 10" woofers are only for 10" drums.



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