Musicality in Subwoofers
Despite the fact that the current state of the ID subwoofer is something of an output/extension arms-race. Some are obviously less concerned about output/extension than about overall musicality.
I understand that musicality and high output need not be mutually exclusive, but I'm curious about whether a subwoofer that was made just for music would be designed differently than, e.g., the VTF-2 MkIII.
ACI and REL are reputed to sell very musical subs. They are certainly more expensive than comparable Hsu subs. I believe they both offer sealed enclosures (I know ACI does). Is there any correlation between this form and "musicality." Is there any reason for the reputation that these are unusually "musical" subs other than marketing puff?
If two subs have equally flat response curves from 20 hz to 90 hz and are also free of distortion at reasonable volume levels, is there any real distinction between the subs w/in those volume levels?
Is there any "musical" advantage to a sealed ACI sub over a big ported Hsu sub?
I think generally the speed at which a driver can react to changes in the music affects musicality. If a driver is slow and sloppy and can't keep up, it's fine for certain R&B maybe but would sound awful with most music. Tight, fast bass is required for most music.
Regarding sealed vs. ported: I believe sealed generally gives you a smoother response curve throughoutt the usable frequency range, but generally won't play as low as the same driver in a ported enclosure. Also, ported enclosures tend to have peaks in the response curve around the tuning frequency, and are, generally, less smooth than the equivalent sealed enclosure.
In automotive settings, I generally prefer a sealed box. But for home theater use, you'd need a ton of power going into a sealed box to get enough output. Plus it wouldn't play as low, which is bad for home theater which often demands very low frequency output.
I'm no expert though. I'm sure someone will come along and correct/augment what I've said. :)
Still waiting for my VTF3-MKII, should be arriving on Friday to replace my Infinity PS-12... can't wait! :)
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