Best Home Sub Woofer? “Why most Subs are Expensive Junk”

Which subwoofer is best for you?

If you have been looking for a good home sub woofer you have probably already run into one giant problem.

Which one?anti-standing-wave-.75in-detail

There are so many models and brands available…

Confused???

Which sub offers the options and features that are most important for you?

Do you need room correction?

How much power?

Which brand?

Here you will find the some less common subwoofer basics that are not often discussed by the local sales person.

By approaching sub bass systems from an acoustic perspective you will better understand how they work and know -what to look for.

Whats A better Sub Look like?

Sub Bass systems are probably one area of sound reproduction that most consumers understand the least.

Is any old sub all you need to add to the main speakers?

Sometimes it’s this simple…

…but more often the consumer really needs a custom solution for their home theater room or stereo speakers. Especially if you already have large floor standing speakers.

Some home theater system speakers are already capable of very high output down to a pretty low frequency –like say down to 50Hz.

Many main speaker systems can easily play this low.

If you have main speakers that can easily play down to 50Hz you should probably be looking at a subwoofer that can do something a little different.

A subwoofer system that plays from 60 or 70Hz down to the middle teens or from 15Hz to 70Hz for example. You don’t need it to play above 70Hz. The main speakers will easily do that.

So, your money can go much further if you are looking for a sub that only needs to play in this range. It won’t need to cover the range from 70Hz up to 150Hz. Are there any such subs on the market that can do this? Not many!

Most retail subwoofers are designed to play from around 35Hz to 150Hz.

This is only slightly lower than what a decent set of main speakers can play.

Why bother?

Sometimes space is an issue. And then very small main sepakers are chosen.

But usually space is not the issue…

…manufacturers produce their home sub woofer designs this way because they need the them be able to work in the largest number of consumer systems.

They are appealing to the masses- if you will.

Which is fine if that is what you want, but I think many of us shop and have no idea that we could have a different kind of home entertainment experience; one that is vastly superior.

I have a slightly different idea about subwoofers and how they should be built.

I think the home sub woofer should be more purpose built than the Retail Market is providing right now:

Seriously, subwoofers are easy enough to build, why not make them specific for what you need?Speaker Building – Build your perfect speaker with our parts and supplies from crossover components to full kits.

You wouldn’t try to pull a plow with a sports car and you wouldn’t try to race against F1 cars with a tractor. But this is basically what the speaker industry is providing for us.

Wilson audio offers some remarkable speakers -and yes they cost a small fortune. Here is what I like about the Wilson theory:

They make their main speakers to play pretty low; take a look at the Wilson Sophia –it will comfortably play down to the mid 30’s.

If you add in the WatchDog subwoofer, it will take the response down into the teens; down close to 15Hz. So the speaker plays pretty low already –the sub is really only going from 35Hz down to about 15Hz.

But this extremely deep bass is what is most difficult for a speaker to reproduce, and it’s the reason that Wilson built the WatchDog. It too can be yours for a cool 15k.

Or you can build your own for about 1/10th of that. To see some kits go to: Speaker Building – Build your perfect speaker with our parts and supplies from crossover components to full kits.

That may be an expensive example but we can do better -Take a cheap Polk Audio speaker for example; the tower speakers can probably play down in the mid 40’s.

So to mate well with a Polk Speakers system you might need a sub that can play from 15Hz to 60Hz max.

But what does Polk market with these speakers?

They sell subs that play from 40Hz to 150Hz with the main Polk speakers…

Most home sub woofers are built to be matched with tiny satellite speakers that only have response down to about 125Hz.

These puny subwoofers make sense with the typical micro satellite speaker, but make no logical sense with the larger tower speaker and better bookshelf speakers.

How does a good home sub woofer use solid acoustic theory in the best speaker box design?

Choose a subwoofer that is heavy.

Knock on the panels and make sure it is hard and solid. The sound should only be of your knuckle cracking on the surface.

Use a good sub woofer amplifier, either stand alone unit or plate amp.

If possible match the box type to that of your main speakers; sealed, ported, or otherwise. This will help keep the same speed and precision as the mains.

Other ideas

In most situations, you really need something that will get the response down to at least 20Hz in room.

After all, you are realistically using the sub from no higher than 80Hz down to 20Hz with nearly any midsized speaker systems.

Larger tower speakers can play even lower than 80Hz and often just need a subwoofer to take the response really, really, low.

This is where you will see a huge difference of sound quality over what is available with small speakers. A goo sub will offer the recorded ‘ambiance’ and not just slam factor. To recreate all of the information that is recorded on your media you need a sub able to get into the sub 20Hz range.

And it should be the main selling point to a ‘real’ subwoofer. My opinion is that all subs should be able to play down to 20Hz as a minimum.

Some will argue that this is too expensive and unnecessary. I disagree. You can easily built your own sub or use home sub woofer kits that are pre-designed to do just that.

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