using multiple subs, different size woofers - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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using multiple subs, different size woofers

What happens if I mix in a pair of 12" woofers with a more powerful 18" sub, I would have the lowest response only from the 18" unit and the 12" would roll off sooner, does that mean I would have more volume above 30hz that needs to be EQ'd down?

Is this a good idea in general? I am looking to even out reponse with more than one woofer placement.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 03:11 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

It will take a bit of effort to get it right, but if you have the time and inclination the results could be very good.

Your main obstacle is going to be low end eq, as your still only running one sub. The upper bass will be well taken care of, but depending on how they integrate, the 12's might not actually add anything into the mix thats worthwhile.

The answer to this question really does lie in how the 2 different types of subs integrate with each other. Personally, for this setup, I would expect sealed 12's (with a HPF at probably 40 hz) and a ported 18 (tuned nice and low) to work best together, but its a complete guess once you put those into a room.

Trial and error is the key to figuring this one out, which should nicely take up a few hours of your time
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 03:17 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

I'm considering doing the same thing with my system just figuerd it would take some time to intigrate the 2 for a seamless sound. I know back when i messed with car audio, the sound quality guys would do this.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

The other concern I have is with multiple subs (playing the same signal)
don't we need to be careful how far to place them as we want the sound to arrive at the same time, otherwise wouldn't it sound like distortion

let's say even if we can place it equal-distant from the listening position, then the next seat over still doesn't have the same benefit.

Or, as audiophiles we only want to make 1 good position available to myself?

Or maybe multiple subs will mask out the standing waves and benefit outweight what I mentioned above, anyway.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 03:30 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

ME,Myself and I are the only ones who care about how my system sounds. So to answer your last question i'd say yes only one ''sweet spot'' but that is probly not how it should be done. My wife hates the bass and my kids are way too young too understand plus can't enjoy the system anyways when they are around, don't want to screw up there hearing before they are old enough to enjoy things in life such as audio.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

It was suggested to me that if I get multiple subwoofers they must be exactly the same model (if it wasn't DIY) or you will have poor integration.
I am not sure if I quite agree with that unless the room has nothing in it and 100% treated.
What do you think? Obviously I am not talking about taking your kid's 6" computer sub and try to add it. If I doing what I mentioned in the original post, the drivers will be the same brand using similar technology, material and methods, only different sizes woofers in different tuned boxes
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 04:04 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

Mixing different subs can be a bad idea. If one sub is obviously superior to the other(s) then it will be limited by the performance of the inferior sub. Volume will be limited by the inferior subs capabilities, and the inferior sub will start to distort sooner, and this will be added into the sound you hear basically rendering the superior cleaner subs abilities obsolete.

Generally, mixing different subs of different types means your superior sub is being waited. This will be different if you can get the 18 and 12's operating different ranges, but there is always a chance the 18 will be at least as good as the 12's with upper sub bass anyway. If you can get a good response with the single 18, the 12's are then simply adding to your electricity bill and thats about it.

Its a little different with DIY subs, as you can specifically tailor them to suit your design idea, and you could use an 18 and 12 inch driver from the same family making the match that much better.

This is not to say mixing subs will never work, but if you can use multiple subs of the same type, your making the job of integrating them much easier, and you know there is no waisted performance in your system anywhere, which would be a shame.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 04:04 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

I have two Atlas 15's each in 10 cu.ft. tuned to 18 hz and two IXL-18's each in 12 cu.ft. tuned to 16 hz. All have their own plate amp with adjustable phase. It took some experimenting to "get it right" and the results are spectacular for movies and music in my specific room.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 04:43 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

I always wondered if Sealed subs that play low together would play well with a ported sub that also played well. I thought that on ported subs the output from the port was 180 degrees phase difference. Would this cause an issue?
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-22-10, 05:45 PM
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Re: using multiple subs, different size woofers

The output from the port is in phase with the output of the sub.
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