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Recovering from bad audio investments

Alice of Old Vincennes

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My guess is you want >100dB SPL between 50-100hz to really feel the bass. In a car this is pretty easy to achieve, you also experience more pressurization than anything since it's a small space. On paper the 18" ultimaxes are also more than capable of this, looks like they can do up to 118dB or so in-room, so the question is whether you are actually getting the best from the subs or not.

Most likely the lack of chest thump is due to room interactions... bass is notoriously difficult to get even SPL throughout the room. You will want to tackle that with placement, lots of measuring, DSP, and possibly 2 more subs.

As for the overall sound quality, you can probably get pretty far with DSP on the mains as well. My advice would be to look at swapping the receiver for one that has Dirac or Trinnov or something?
I don't think different room correction will solve his problem or needs. JBL pro gear will thump your chest.
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

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Looks like the OP is LG (long gone), but I very much remember the car audio systems of the era that he's attempting to replicate. They were pure sh!t, and intentionally so. Completely out of balance with absurdly overemphasized bass causing all number of resonances, buzzing and rattling from the poor vehicles in which they were installed.

My recommendation would be to reset expectations to something that actually sounds good. Something with proper balance. Leave juvenile mispursuits behind.
He could be remembering clean pressurized base. Maybe not.
 

madrac

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Someone mentioned SVS and Monoprice for subs - also have a look at Rythmik. Variety of models, both sealed and ported, and very accurate bass.
For additional tactile sensation, particularly for movies/LFE, look at some transducers - Crowson Technology - not exactly cheap, but very lifelike.
As to speakers, take a look at Ascend Acoustics. Their Sierra LX have a ton of bass - hard to believe they put out that much bass for a bookshelf. Or if your budget permits, their ELX Towers & Horizon center.
 

Anton D

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I drink champagne to console myself over a bad decision, and I drink champagne to celebrate a good decision.

Works every time.

Over time, anything that was on your path to being happy right now was a good thing.
 

snaimpally

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One of the tactile transducers from Parts Express might be the ticket:
 

madrac

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I've not tried the Aurasound transducers so can't comment. That said, when I was doing research on transducers, I thought they may have been a little weak and the spec indicates they aren't useable below 20 Hz, so would be questionable for LFE below that.

I did start with the BK-LFE. First with using their furniture mounting kit. I wasn't impressed and didn't really transmit alot of force, IMO. I then mounted them to the frame of my chair. That provided a better transmission of force but I didn't feel they were that natural. Also, could be a bit noisy with the slug/piston moving up and down.

I did ask Rythmik (Enrico) about adding an additional sub or two (nearfield) to improve tactile response. He recommended the Crowson's instead of another sub (or two). So, I went with two of those (original plans were 1 for each seat, but since my wife doesn't really watch movies with me, I used both on my seat). These were a big improvement over the BK's, easy to install, and provide really good/life-like tactile feel. I drive them with a Crown XLS1002.
 

egellings

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Are your 18" subs right up against the back of your seat? That might help with tactile sensation. Maybe tactile transducers mounted in your risers and/or seating....maybe just more subs....

ps could just be your expectations of a room in a home to act like a vehicle's cabin....
Pity the neighbors, though.
 

AdamG

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The OP has not returned to log back into his account since April 10th (6 months +). I suspect he was not enthralled with our responses. Just FYI. ;)
 

Axo1989

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I should think that if you want "chest thump" the rest of it is gonna be rather loud if balanced.

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Great image/guide.

Even threads by vanishing OPs can have value. Also, more fun to think about than (just) the Harman target. :)
 

Mingtao1

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I love good audio, but I’ve made some poor investment choices.

I got the itch when I was 16 or 17 (I’m currently 45). It was a few friends that sunk big money into their car audio systems. My eyeballs would shake and I could experience the tactile kickdrum in a way that’s still indescribable. These weren’t mega bass machines, but in the environment of a car, I was experiencing my favorite songs in a way that's hard to describe, but wonderful, and I continue to chase it.

When I turned 18, I got a credit card and took my 1996 Chevy S-10 to the local car audio shop and had them build me an enclosure that took the entire extended cab area with 3 12 inch subs (I believe they were MTX powered by a 700W Soundstream amp). I got some relatively good separates (tweeter mounted near dash, woofer in the door).

I was so excited to pick up my car when the work was completed. It looked so good. I turned it on and put a Type O Negative cd into the Alpine.

It sounded horrible. I probably spent $2500 on the custom work and it was terrible. Even when the subs were really low, it sounded ******. After a few days, I asked if I could exchange the subs or do anything. They removed the custom enclosure and gave me a 10” sub in small box. It was okay, but nothing like what I had experienced in my friends car that got me hooked. I was also unwilling to spend any more money chasing that dragon. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure the shop had no idea what they were doing and the enclosure they built was the wrong internal volume for the subs.

Fast forward to my 40s. I can afford good sound now. I want that chest thump. But car audio seems too difficult with all the integrated electronics in my Ford Flex (that, and the stock system is decent). In 2017 I decided I wanted a home theater system with big chest thumping bass. I found 2 SVS PB12-NSD’s for 500 bucks each on Black Friday and got them. Got a Denon X3300 and 5 KEF Q100s (I seriously focus on bang for the buck). Got a projector and I knew I was gonna be in audio heaven.

Nope. I think it was the room. I tried moving subs everywhere. Got REQ and tried my best to get those subs going, and it was “okay”, but nothing like what I really wanted. So a few months later I found a deal on Klipsch RP280F (huge towers) and a RP450C (huge center). I just knew those speakers will give me that tactile sensation when I crank it. Nope. They are beautiful to look at, but they sound like shit in the two rooms I’ve set them up in. (and now that I’ve spent time in ASR, it’s clearly that center's horizontal dispersion). I then built two Ultimax 18 subwoofers in sealed enclosures and got a behringer 6000W amp. Tried running just the 18s, with a minidsp, I could get those real low notes, but the mid pass punch was non existent. I tried all 4 subs I had (2 PB12NSDs and 2 UM18s) and while the bass was okay, the system just didn’t sound very good to my ears.

This year, I set up the KEF Q100s and the SVS PB12NSDs with a new Onkyo receiver upstairs, in my living room (the other setup is in the basement “theater”). For the first time, I really loved how the system sounded. The living room is a much more acoustically friendly space. I just added 4 SVS Prime Elevations overhead and it’s pretty amazing (missing the chest thump, but thats okay…. It sounds good overall).

I really want to fix that basement theater. It’s a 120” screen with a terrible sound system. I feel like I’ve spent alot of money in my life on equipment but I want to be very smart about the next purchase.

I want a movie theater that can double as a live music venue. I want chest slam like I felt in the car when I was 16, but also high quality cinema sound where the voices are clear and distinct. This is my gear list (from everything I’ve read, I imagine the big Klipsch center channel is causing me big issues)

2 Klipsch RP280fs towers
1 Klipsch RP450c center
2 Klipsch R41m surround
2 Sony SSCSE overhead (wall mounted as top middles)
Epson 5040UB
120" Silver Ticket Screen
Denon X3300H (7 channels)
2 Dayton 18" Ultimax Subs in sealed kit
Beringer NX6000-D amp for subs

The basement rec room is roughly 17’ W by 24’ L, open to a long hallway and staircase (I can close the upstairs door). Main couch is roughly 14’ from a 120” screen.

I also have 8 acoustic panels and DIY bass traps installed in the corners. Hard drywall ceiling and hardwood floors, with a thick rug covering a significant portion of the floor.

Please suggest an upgrade path. Should I upgrade LCR first? I have a budget of around $2000 right now. Anything above, I would need to save and wait. Which I wouldn’t mind doing if it could provide me the experience that I really want. All help and suggestions are appreciated.
I used to intentionally avoid the chest pounding feeling in pro audio environment by manipulating the cross over. I was specialized in setting up rave clubs, ppl hate that heart pounding effect when they are high. So perhaps my technique could be your solution to amplify that effect. All I can tell you is I avoid that effect by setting low pass filter to my subs at below 65hz, sometimes ur low 60. So if you let u set your cross over above that, maybe between 80-100? Try that.
 

Elder

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I used to intentionally avoid the chest pounding feeling in pro audio environment by manipulating the cross over. I was specialized in setting up rave clubs, ppl hate that heart pounding effect when they are high. So perhaps my technique could be your solution to amplify that effect. All I can tell you is I avoid that effect by setting low pass filter to my subs at below 65hz, sometimes ur low 60. So if you let u set your cross over above that, maybe between 80-100? Try that.

What?

Techno/Trance events and raves are almost completely based on that heart pounding effect, and when you are "under the influence" feels absolutely amazing.

Last Techno gig I attended was using a bunch of the Funktion-One Infrabass 218 subwoofers running hard enough to almost push the air back out of your lungs lol. I've attended 100's of these things and that huge kick to the body is an ever present theme. I couldnt think of a more sub bass driven environment, one tech I spoke to said they were running over 20+dB of gain under 80hz all the way down to 30hz.

If I turned up to a gig and heard the system was high passed at 60hz I honest to god would probably be out the door 5 minutes later!
 

Mingtao1

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What?

Techno/Trance events and raves are almost completely based on that heart pounding effect, and when you are "under the influence" feels absolutely amazing.

Last Techno gig I attended was using a bunch of the Funktion-One Infrabass 218 subwoofers running hard enough to almost push the air back out of your lungs lol. I've attended 100's of these things and that huge kick to the body is an ever present theme. I couldnt think of a more sub bass driven environment, one tech I spoke to said they were running over 20+dB of gain under 80hz all the way down to 30hz.

If I turned up to a gig and heard the system was high passed at 60hz I honest to god would probably be out the door 5 minutes later!
No we avoid that lol, in China the professionals call it to “adjust the sub to your dick’s level” ( not your heart). I don’t know how y’all can handle that heart pounding when you are high, it’s uncomfortable, even I agree to that. It makes me nauseas.
 

Mingtao1

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No we avoid that lol, in China the professionals call it to “adjust the sub to your dick’s level” ( not your heart). I don’t know how y’all can handle that heart pounding when you are high, it’s uncomfortable, even I agree to that. It makes me nauseas.
What?

Techno/Trance events and raves are almost completely based on that heart pounding effect, and when you are "under the influence" feels absolutely amazing.

Last Techno gig I attended was using a bunch of the Funktion-One Infrabass 218 subwoofers running hard enough to almost push the air back out of your lungs lol. I've attended 100's of these things and that huge kick to the body is an ever present theme. I couldnt think of a more sub bass driven environment, one tech I spoke to said they were running over 20+dB of gain under 80hz all the way down to 30hz.

If I turned up to a gig and heard the system was high passed at 60hz I honest to god would probably be out the door 5 minutes later!
Come to think about it, maybe it’s the listening heights that makes the difference. In a rave festival, everyone is dancing on their feet, versus the business and rave club I set up are usually only consist vip rooms with sofa, ppl are sitting down most of the time. Not sure if that made the difference.
 

Elder

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No we avoid that lol, in China the professionals call it to “adjust the sub to your dick’s level” ( not your heart). I don’t know how y’all can handle that heart pounding when you are high, it’s uncomfortable, even I agree to that. It makes me nauseas.

Interesting!

I'm from Australia and we love that 20-60Hz stuff. There's no "correct" way to enjoy yourself I guess.
 
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