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OT: Powered Subs
"I'm going to buy a powered sub very soon. I narroweed it down to the
following (below). Any experiences with these? I don't need to go stereo
with a sub, right?"
Let me start off by saying that I am NO expert on this subject matter.
However, from 30 years of working in different capacities as a live
engineer (mixing many different pop and african groups in 100 and 200
in Santa Cruz, 1,000 seater Catalyst rock showclub and 2,000 person Civic
Auditorium (Spirit of Africa Festival, et. al.), as an Audio Engineer in
as a Producer in recording studios and then just doing live sound for my
small gigs one thing occurs to me about subs:
The human ear , with the exception of distortion in the sound, does not
reproduce bass waves very accurately, due to their very long wave lengths.
We really hear accurately in the midranges where our neurophysiological
has strong peaks in the range of human intelligibitity.
Also, saliently, one tends not to need the kinds of high wattage of
subsonic speakers for most of the playing situations where we do our
They would overwhelm the room and the frequency spectrum with their power
(most of the ones you mentioned looking for).
Also, depending on the crossover point of your sub (which you can set on
anything decent), many excellent professional speaker systems (especially
powered monitors) accurately handle frequencies down to 40 and 50 cycles.
This means that subwoofers are usually called on to reproduce those
frequencies that are at the very bottom (and somewhat innaccurate end of
and the ones that we feel as much as hear.................those powerful
Soooooo (conclusion time and a practical solution for subsonics in one's
I just went out and listened to a bunch of home stereo subwoofers that
in the $200-$300 range (and occasionally as cheap
as $100 in sales) advertised at places like Fry's and concluded that
they didn't have tremendous wattage, power or volume, that they sounded
added to my little RCF 10" monitors or my Mackie 12" powered monitors.
The volume of these things is not loud, but at the normal volume that
I play at in small venues, they really round the sound out well and were,
well......................inexpensive and fit my budget (they are also not
very large usually).
The way I figure it, is: If you need more wattage than that for a gig,
almost invariably, you will using a pro sound system for the performance,
so, in a way, why pay a lot of money for something that is both
and heavy and bulky to cart around.
Then you can put the $700-$800 you save towards your next tony miniature
tube preamplifier or you obsessive collection of Robert Fripp memorabilia.
Now, I'm totally okay to change my mind about these conclusions if there
people who have a lot more knowledge than me on the subject, but
I found this to be a perfectly acceptable solution for the reproduction of
subsonic frequencies in my live looping performances.