Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important? - Page 3 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #21 of 33 Old 02-07-11, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

Strange ... The first link took me to the home page, but when clicking on the individual lcons, nothing happened. The second link works fine. That is a LOT of work.
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post #22 of 33 Old 02-07-11, 02:44 PM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

Its probably because you use ie7, it should be fixed now. if you're still have problems at this point let me know what browser and settings you're using! Explorer has major compatibility issues compared to all the other browser so its difficult to design around it.
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post #23 of 33 Old 02-07-11, 04:35 PM
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I was reading on another test page that the testers were using every capability of the sub to make it sound it's "best" then start the actual testing of the subwoofer and it's limits. By capability I mean if the sub had parametric eq or a similar function; since it is part of the subwoofer, then use it.

This I think is getting closer to actual testing that is meaningful to a consumer. I realize there are many who just look at numbers, buy a sub, plop it down and turn it on without any regard for placement or tuning or equalization, but those folks are inherently wrong in the first place.

Ultimate standardization of the subs being measured in a home setting within the parameters of the sub will give the fairest actual useable results for comparison.
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-07-11, 11:45 PM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

By no means am I knowledgeable in this area. I saw the chaps at Audioholics basing their subwoofer testing on the CEA 2010 Subwoofer testing, which I assume it's standard-based.

The link :

Seems, like your testing is on a similar approach?

At the end of the day, as a consumer, what I would like to see is an objective results that compares the woofers tested. Based on this, I think I can go with the methodology of the testing by Audioholics or yours...
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post #25 of 33 Old 02-08-11, 02:25 AM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

Object is important. I think they did a great job with the reviews at Audioholics but I think there are two points to take away from all that bashing. 1. They are being critical of the language used. If you write a lot, you'll probably upset someone if you're even remotely negative about a popular product. The second issue is they seem to have not tested the multiple modes that the subwoofer offers. Like Ilkka's tests of the SVS subs, when we come across systems that have more than one configuration, we'll run each test and produce the results. The only thing we will skip on it the room EQ feature sets. For example, we'll likely re-test the dual SW152 as we did not have the right amp.
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post #26 of 33 Old 02-08-11, 04:53 PM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

craigsub wrote: View Post
Mike - You are onto something here. The opening criteria was posted with a specific reason in mind. I am curious how long it is until someone identifies the criteria as written.
Oh Craig you are such a teaser
No sane person would think the CEA 2010 standard is a good way to test a subwoofer
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post #27 of 33 Old 02-09-11, 02:48 PM
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craigsub wrote:
Hi all - This is an open thread to discuss subwoofer testing methodology. What is important when testing a subwoofer?

1. Frequency Response?
2. Max output at various frequencies?
3. Distortion at various frequencies and SPL levels?
4. Standard Features?

To get this started ... let's say this was proposed as a method for testing subwoofers, would everyone agree that this is the optimal approach?

Proposed testing method #1.

A. All subwoofers will be tested outdoors at one meter Groundplane.
B. Six different frequencies will be tested on each subwoofer at varied lengths of time, shown below. The purpose of using these test tones will be to find how much SPL, measured in dB, that each subwoofer can deliver at each frequency shown for the duration shown.
C. 20 Hz will have a test tone which lasts 0.325 second.
D. 25 Hz will have a test tone which lasts 0.260 second.
E. 31.5 Hz will have a test tone which lasts 0.206 second.
F. 40 Hz will have a test tone which lasts 0.1625 second.
E. 50 Hz will have a test tone which lasts 0.130 second.
F. 63 Hz will have a test tone which lasts 0.103 second.
G. Each test tone will be delivered at increasing SPL until the subwoofer is exceeding 40% THD at a given frequency.
H. Bass below 20 Hz will not be measured.

This is proposal 1 for a subwoofer test methodology.

Please feel free to chime in with opinions on this.
Just stumbled onto this thread.
WARNING, What I know about audio in relation to most of the posters here could probably fill a thimble but here it goes...
- Why would one not measure bass below 20 Hz in such a test? It seems like so many are looking for a sub's capability in this area.
- The length of the test tones seems really short. Wouldn't longer test tones give one more accurate results?
- Why only six frequencies within the listed range above? Wouldn't measuring at least twelve different frequency samples give you better granularity to the results.
- Is 40% distortion too high a figure? Can we not hear distortion from a sub at a lower percentage?

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post #28 of 33 Old 02-09-11, 03:05 PM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

Subs should be measured below 20 hz if the design has the capabilities. I agree the tone time length is too short. An example would be the Klipsch RW-12d. It's notorious for port noise in a HT application, 1/3 of a second test tones won't show it.
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post #29 of 33 Old 02-26-11, 09:48 AM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

craigsub wrote: View Post
So far ... 78 views and one suggestion. No one has commented on the first criteria as posted.

I will offer up what I think is important ...

1. Max output using sinewaves (either sweep or individual) before audible distortion is detected by the tester, who should be several meters away from the subwoofer.

2. Frequency response curves along with analysis of the posted response curve against maximum output curves. Why this analysis? Let's say we are looking at two sealed subwoofers. Subwoofer "A" is +/- 3 dB from 15 to 100 Hz while subwoofer "B" is down 9 dB at 15 Hz.

The first impression may well be that "A" is superior to "B".

But then we have the max output sweeps ... and we see that "B" delivers, say, 100 dB at 15 Hz while "A" delivers only 91 dB.

We can conclude that "A" likely has more eq built into the response curve, and that "B" was designed with less eq, but more output.

"B" is actually the more powerful, capable subwoofer.

Without analysis, people may miss this.

More later.
I am really just learning about sound quality and I understand that some people focus on raw output for maximum impact while others are more concerned about musicality. While I want both, I prefer musicality. That said, I guess I would agree that "B" is the more powerful subwoofer in the example above but I'm not sure it should necessarily be called the more capable unless I have misunderstood the meaning of the statement.
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post #30 of 33 Old 02-26-11, 02:41 PM
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Re: Subwoofer testing methodology - what do you think is important?

Ilkka's test are the gold standard. Anything less will produce less available information.
Add waterfalls covering the measured frequencies.
Test from 10-100 Hz. In my opinion that will include usable subs that fit/crossover with many mains and surrounds.
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important? , methodology , subwoofer , testing

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