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woofers and SUB-woofers

Discussion in 'Audio' started by muddysub, May 26, 2002.

  1. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    i was reading something about "mid-bass" and subwoofer bass and how they are different, but i still don't get it. okay i want bass but i want hard hitting accurate bass, not like what you hear coming from ricers where it's just like BOOOOOOMM-BOOOOMMMM. i think that sounds terrible. i want a good all around sound and that includes high pitch notes too. so what is meant by mid bass? if i am understanding it right that is what i want. (i think)
     
  2. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    mid bass is the not as deep as bass from a subwoofer, yet it is equally important in a good sounding system. If you want hard hitting bass i would look at either some Audiobahn Alum12x's in a sealed box or some JL Audio subs in a sealed box. A 10" subwoofer will have more accurate bass, but it wont be able to play as deep as notes as a 12" woofer. /if you want crystal clear highs i would recommend a couple set's of 6.5" component speakers for your suburban, and last but not least if you want it to sound good make sure you have a good head unit, i have a pioneer DEH 7400MP and it made a big difference it quality from my older pioneer
    hope that helps
     
  3. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Scott,

    I generally think of bass in three categories...bass, mid-bass and upper bass.

    Bass is what you experience when you hear (or feel) the low frequency stuff. The "BOOM" systems tend to exaggerate this type of bass, especially in the 60Hz region. I would characterize this type of bass as anything from 20Hz up to maybe 80Hz.

    Mid-Bass is the next octave or so above the previous category (say around 80 - 160Hz) It's a different kind of bass because it's not really LOW, but it's needed to re-inforce the low frequency bass. If you had a system with only 6x9's....this is probably what you would be hearing. The speakers wouldn't be capable of playing "bass"....just mid-bass.

    Upper-bass is even higher in frequency than the previous two categories (160Hz+ ). I only mention it because there is an extra "realism" to music if you can get all three of these types of bass to blend together well.

    Remember when a 40Hz bass note is played, there are also harmonics of that note created at 20Hz, 80Hz, 160Hz, etc. If all you do is recreate the 40Hz note....you miss out on the dynamics and "liveliness" of the music....those harmonics add a lot of dimensionality to the music.

    Some people focus on LOW bass (15" subs, etc) and don't properly address what to do to create mid-bass and upper bass in proper BALANCE with the bass that the subs are producing. This is the "heart" of your question, I believe.

    To do it well, you need to make sure that you add speakers that are efficient at playing in the 80Hz - 160Hz+ region and that their output (volume) is adequate to blend in with the subwoofers you've selected.

    In my K5, I chose to use two 10" subs for "bass", and a total of four 6" mid-basses to play the mid & upper bass notes. (I probably would have used 12" subs if my space requirements weren't so strict) I was sure to provide them with plenty of power, so that they were not overwhelmed by the 10" subs. The result is that the system can play very LOW notes, but the "attack" of drums and other instruments is very intense and realistic. To me, the "key" to the whole system are those mid-bass speakers. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  4. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I'd have to agree with Greg72, Mid-bass is impotent, and mid-bass is what most systems are lacking !!!! Alot of people will get a good headunit, good amps, good 6.5 tweeters and midrange speakers, and good subs, but it's still lacking. Altho the 6.5's do have a mid-range speaker in the set, I add more to help fill in the void. I use 2 sets of 6.5's in the rear and 1 set of 5.25's up front. Speaker angle is importent also in my opinion. I try to "fire" all the speakers about head level above the center console.
     
  5. walt88

    walt88 1/2 ton status

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    Some speakers, I think the infinity 6.5's have moveable tweeters so you can fire them to your head.

    Mid-bass, at least for me is a hard thing to acheive. I am running a bazooka EL1500 Mono to 2 Audiobahn AW1200X's. The deep bass hits great, high quality. My audiobahn amp A4400E powers 2 kenwood 6.5's and 2 jbl 3.5s in the dash. I can barely get any midbass out of my system. I have an xm-3 crossover too. the 3.5s dont put out any mid-bass and the cab of the K5 is hard to fill with sound.
     
  6. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    so if i run a pair of 6x9s out back a pair of 10"s out back and a pair of 3.5"s in the dash, should i get some good "mid bass?" now what about a head unit? i like the pioneer DEH-P47DH it's big enough to fit into my dash perfectly but will it sound good? should i not worry about size and get what sounds better? oh and if you could reccommend specific speakers it would REALLY help me out. thanks
     
  7. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Scott,

    Oh if were only THAT easy.....! /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif

    A couple of things for you to consider:

    With the exception of the subwoofers (which can go almost anywhere in the truck and sound fine), you really should be trying to use your "best" speakers up front. If you use the 6x9's in the back, it's pretty likely that the majority of your sound will come from BEHIND you. Those 3.5" speakers simply can't put out enough sound to balance the rest of the equipment.

    There is an expression in car audio "Front Stage, Rear Fill"..which basically means try to get the majority of sound up front, and use the rear speakers to create "ambience". This is easier said than done, but if I had to use the equipment you mentioned, I'd put the 6x9s up front (somehow) and use those 3.5" speakers for rear fill. That would be a big step in creating a good overall balance.

    The next question is really tougher, HOW do you get midbass? To be honest, it's going to depend on what speakers you ultimately choose for up front (...and it's not going to be a 3.5" speaker) and how they are crossed over with everyting else you are using. The amount of power you feed them will also factor into it pretty heavily.

    These answers can be pretty frustrating because "it all depends...." So let me give you a scenario that might explain a way to get there from where you are now.

    Power - I guess since you've got a couple of 10's out back, lets just keep it simple and say they each get 100W of power. Let's also use a crossover to make sure that they only play from 20Hz to maybe 80Hz (Low Bass only!). If the crossover you are using is not very steep (like 12dB/Octave) you might want to set the upper limit (the 80Hz value) even lower to compensate for the slow rolling-off of the bass frequencies. For the mid-basses, it's not unrealistic to also give them 100W since they are going to be working hard for you too. (matching the power of the subs and the mid-basses might be a good rule of thumb here) . You really need to find a 6 or 6.5" speaker for this job. A 3.5" simply can't move enough air to create the mid-bass in the quantities you'll need to blend with those 10" subs.....sorry about that! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif The working range for these speakers should be ~80Hz - 300Hz or so (the upper value will vary depending on what other speakers are used, and what their proper operating frequencies are). Treat the mid-basses like subwoofers and give them good solid enclosures to work in. Otherwise, you will be cheating yourself out of the sound you are working so hard for!!!

    Midrange/Tweeter - Your 3.5" might be good for this. Again though, you'll need to limit what frequencies are going to them. Don't let them play down into the mid-bass frequencies...they'll be lousy and will "muddy" the sound from the other speakers. As far as power goes, they are moving a lot less air (and speaker mass) so you can probably use 1/2 of what you powered everything else with....in this case, 50W would be fine.

    Rear speakers - Don't go overboard here. Use a decent coaxial or use those 6x9's you mentioned and play them down to the mid-bass level of frequencies....maybe lower if they sound OK. Remember, the rear speakers are a very minor effect. You should barely even notice the rear speakers are playing from the front seats. In terms of their contirbution to the overall sound, I'd only rate them at 10 - 15% of the overall picture here.

    So that should get you started. The crossover points are key! Make sure that the speakers are playing in their most efficient frequency range and that they have decent power. Trust your ears and keep adjusting those crossover points until the sound seems to be nicely blended together. Sometimes it helps to only listen to one set of speakers at a time when "tuning" so you know what they're doing.....
     

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