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How tactile is a sub supposed to be?

kthulhutu

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I'm curious how intense subwoofer tactility is supposed to be and if it only occurs at dangerously high volumes. I do most of my listening in ultra-nearfield with two Genelec 8341s and a 7360 practically at my feet.
I keep the volume to just under 80db usually (allowing for transients) and have the subbass response reigned in almost perfectly by GLM at my listening position. I have a downward sloping EQ curve with about a +4db sub-bass boost.

But tactility isn't much of a thing for me. I only notice it on certain (usually very well-recorded songs) or basshead tracks with massive transient spikes. Even then it's mostly just my feet that feel the floor vibrating and occasionally I feel it in my calves and hairs too if it's especially loud. It's certainly not anything close to chest-thumping or what a sub-pac would lead you to expect having a subwoofer is like.

I have played around with flipping the calibration on and off during tracks, and while I do certainly get more floor shaking from this, it's all just a result of a big volume increase from room modes, which makes me wonder if tactility is even possible without risking your ears. Or is it a function of the total power output of the sub and I'd need to be sitting much further away to run the sub harder while receiving the same amount of pressure at the eardrums?
 
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freemansteve

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I cover mine in tasteful fake leopard skin to make them tactile :) But you're asking 'how long is a piece of string' - I like to feel my trousers flapping, just like standing in front of a real kick drum...Not sure what SPL that is though.
 

Slayer

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I guess this would depend on your definition of what tactile response is.
To me it has nothing to do with spl capabilities, but rather how fast a driver can start and stop.
 

Loathecliff

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As 'Slayer' says, it's about speed.
TLs are the answer, but do near-field TLs exist?

Edit:- A switch to listening to Schubert piano sonatas will also fix the issue :cool:
 
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kthulhutu

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I guess this would depend on your definition of what tactile response is.
To me it has nothing to do with spl capabilities, but rather how fast a driver can start and stop.
As 'Slayer' says, it's about speed.
TLs are the answer, but do near-field TLs exist?
Tactile is speed to you??!
It's referring to the sense of touch, so I don't see how it could be meaningfully used to describe anything but physical sensations from sound pressure.
 
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freemansteve

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But what is speed? Surely the speaker must track the input signal, and any deviation is distortion?

To me, 'tactile' is more likely about the physical volume of air being moved back & forth..
 

Vacceo

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Can you demolish a wall when it works? Then you're doing it right.
 

Pogre

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I like my subs about 7.4 tactile myself...
 

Pogre

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Here's your tactile bass!

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Sancus

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Most folks report chest slam from frequencies in the 30-80hz range. It's not universal though.

 

Lambda

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Even then it's mostly just my feet that feel the floor vibrating and occasionally I feel it in my calves and hairs too if it's especially loud. It's certainly not anything close to chest-thumping or what a sub-pac would lead you to expect having a subwoofer is like.
Well you just don't get this a low volumes.
80dB is not mush.

With bass in the 110dB(A) range you get this full body tactile feeling.
At ~130dB(A) your vision starts to get blurry.

the A makes all the difference.
 

Kvalsvoll

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Tactile feel depends on sound intensity, not so much pressure. Though for typical in-room installations, because p and I are related, at p around 100dB peak (which you have at around 80dB rms) you will usually start to barely notice some tactile feel.

Then the physical effect on the body from sound is frequency dependent, because the acoustic impedance of the sound wave acts differently on the body at different frequencies.

Tactile feel is not limited to low bass frequencies, a good system will present tactile sensations well up into midrange frequencies.

Frequency response and phase also affects tactile fell, phase is more important for tactile than it is for hearing. This is the "speed" they are talking about.

A nice, powerful tactile feel requires spl above around 115dB peak. This means it will be quite loud, and many recordings that are too compressed dynamically will simply be too loud to enjoy at this level, but some recordings can work.

A system with nice tactile feel is addictive.
 

AudioSQ

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You can get tactile feel froms vibrations. A a second story will have more tactile feel than being on a concrete slab. A bass shaker would be an easier, cheaper, and safer for the ears approach. Sub placement also plays a factor. If you have your subs firing into the back of your couch, for instance. You can also fire subs into a floor riser.
 

DVDdoug

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When I feel bass in my chest my ears don't hurt (if it's only the bass that's loud-strong) so I don't FEEL like I'm damaging my hearing, but I'm not 100% sure. And I THINK I can feel bass without getting a temporary threshold shift (temporary hearing loss).
 

JRS

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The most tactile bass you-are-there experiences for me have been with scads of driver displacement (say 2 high output 18"s with a system q of 0.6 or so) in either an infinitely baffled or dipolar arrangement. It is then that the bass leaves the "box" and becomes a presence in the room. I am not sure why this fools me into believing the standup is parked in the room right over there where everything else seems "canned." But to me that tactility is to die for, and is not tied to high SPL's. Maybe someone here has insight into the pheomenon cuz woofers in boxes will always sound like woofers in boxes otherwise and not truly high fidelity. Seems like a lot of good choices in 18's and bigger are becoming available.
 

dasdoing

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put it behind your seat. Had my sub behind by couch for a while and it was actualy too much.
you only have 2 option. make seat vibrate, or make room vibrate. the first you only get bringing it very close to the seat, the second one only works with energy in the room modes (one note bass)
 
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