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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does The "Subwoofer Crawl" Really Work?

Here are the reasons it seems like it would not be very effective:
  • The ear is notoriously inaccurate at perceiving frequency response, even under good conditions.
  • At subwoofer frequencies, the ear is very inaccurate at perceiving frequency response.
  • Crawling around on the floor and pretending to be a microphone seems like a haphazard way to determine a good place for a loudspeaker.
  • It is not clear to me that the physics support that interchanging the locations of the sound source (the sub sitting on my chair) and the mic (my head) can expect to yield the same auditory result at low (or any) frequencies.
I am open to the possibility...... kinda. But I have my doubts.

The only experiential data point that I have was once at Sonnie Parker’s Cedar Creek Cinema where he was looking for the best place to put a subwoofer, where we spent the better part of a couple of hours with him carrying the subwoofer around room, locating it in every imaginable location and angle, even holding it at different heights sometimes, taking REW measurements all the while, to find the best location for that sub to work with his speakers. It was rather comical. And I remember noting that, although I could hear differences in the low frequency response as the subwoofer got moved around, no way would I have ever been able to say one was good and another was bad.
 

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The ear may not hear the sub frequencies very well but you do feel them. Sub frequencies are non directional however in room response will affect how those waves reflect and bounce around. As gets mentioned numerous times two subs will make placement much less an issue but if your stuck with a budget for only one I'm a believer that the sub crawl does work.
 

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Tony is right. while the crawl isn't ideal it's very good place to start.

dual subs will almost always be better than one just make sure you run them as a mono channel and ideally get some with a phase dial as opposed to switch. if you do this you'll have two dials and be able to center the LFE signal like an etch-a-sketch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, "as a starting place," maybe. Like, determining the difference between "abysmally bad" placement and "not quite so horrible" placement. But, while you might hear big, terrible peaks, you are unlikely to hear narrower nulls.
 

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What if you do the subwoofer crawl, and then run REW to check the results in each location?
 

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It is a good way to get started for someone who has no SPL meter or mic, IMO.
 

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It is a good way to get started for someone who has no SPL meter or mic, IMO.
I started like this...now I have a new sub, rew and a better speakers placement and continuing to learn and improve.
So I agree, it is a start but not the end of the story !!
 

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I've done a couple pub crawls, but can't fathom why one would do that with a sub.
It does not take as long if you have a drink at each stop. After a couple you find the best sounding spot.
 

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I read and read that the sub crawl is an integral way to handle placement of the subwoofer, but, I don't do it as it just does not seem to work, imo of course. Now I use what I think it a good placement based upon experience and then do the inch by inch crawl by moving the sub until it pops into place. Not very scientific I suppose but it works for me. Now that pubcrawl does seem to make a great deal more sense.
When do we go ?? :)
 

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In all seriousness, while the "crawl" might end up placing the sub where it sounds better than the previous location, who listens to just a sub?? It's still critical that it integrates seamlessly within the system IMHO. The crawl does no such thing. Again, IMO, having a hole centered at 35Hz at one particular LP, is far more benign than one at 80-100 Hz (crossover frequency) on one entire side of the room. Modes become more sparse at lower frequencies anyway. Peaks can be tamed with judicious EQ.
To each their own I suppose. When not pub crawling, like in my home/HT room, I tend to walk upright. YMMV.

cheers,
 
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