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Thread: Subwoofers vs Bass Traps

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    Subwoofers vs Bass Traps

    Does the use of a pair of subwoofers reduce the need for bass traps, due to wave excitement/ cancellation properties, or are the two complementary?

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    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    Yes to both questions if done right.
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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    Does the use of a pair of subwoofers reduce the need for bass traps, due to wave excitement/ cancellation properties, or are the two complementary?
    Although subs can be used as bass traps I think you will need a few of them strategically placed with independent equalizers for each sub for such purpose. I tried it with two large subs, but a very large properly tuned membrane bass trap showed to be subjectively much better sounding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dallasjustice View Post
    Yes to both questions if done right.
    Dallas, so what is your definition of "done right"?

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    Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] DonH50's Avatar
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    Unless the absorbers are very thick and/or there are very many of them they won't have much affect at subwoofer frequencies. Both subs and traps is best.
    Don Herman
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    [WBF Founding Member] Addicted to Best! JackD201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
    Unless the absorbers are very thick and/or there are very many of them they won't have much affect at subwoofer frequencies. Both subs and traps is best.
    You can always open a door or a window

    If one wants to use subs for cancellation I would say you'd need a 3rd unit or even a fourth. Bass traps need not be thick. They can be large without being thick. One third of my ceiling is mounted by frequency specific bass traps with narrow Q. They can also be smaller if you use tuned membranes instead of pure air velocity damping. There's more than foam, fiberglass and rock wool out there.
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    Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] DonH50's Avatar
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    If you don't have neighbors near.

    I assumed absorbers since that is what most people refer to as "bass traps". Whatever.
    Don Herman
    "After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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    [WBF Founding Member] Addicted to Best! JackD201's Avatar
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    Just sayin' there's many ways to skin a cat and circumstance would dictate or best narrow the options rather than the other way around. These days there are ways to make structures as extreme as green houses acoustically sound by passive means without sacrificing light.
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    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    Dallas, so what is your definition of "done right"?
    Which one? Room treatments? Multiple subs? Which room? Which seated position? Which frequencies? How many subs? Do you want to eliminate width modes, length modes, oblique etc. Is this a real question about a real room? Or are you just freestylin'?

    If you are asking these questions in an effort to help you improve your room, I suggest you post the following to help others help you:

    Room dimensions
    Speaker position
    Seated position
    At least a 1/12 smoothed per octave SPL/phase plot
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    [WBF Founding Member] Moderator RBFC's Avatar
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    Simply put, I believe you need enough sub(s) to achieve the SPL and frequency extension you desire, coupled with room treatment appropriate for the dimensions, along with some DSP to integrate them with respect to time/phase.

    Lee
    Lee Aldridge

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