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Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin

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Chapter 6. Subwoofers

Hacks 48–54

Ah, the rumble of a ’65 Mustang’s engine; the sound of a jet fighter flying overhead; nuclear explosions that rattle your teeth. These are the effects that most of us live for in a movie theater and desperately try to reproduce in a home theater. The key to all of these effects is, of course, the bass in your system—specifically, the subwoofer (or subwoofers) that you’re using. Even more exciting, room size (and a healthy dose of physics) allows you to go beyond sheer reproduction. Commercial theaters rarely can produce clean bass at under 30 Hz due to their size, but smaller home theaters actually can produce bass at 30 Hz, and even below 20 Hz, with authority. Of course, all of this depends on the right sub (woofer) and the right setup.

In the last chapter, you got the lowdown on speakers—floor-standing speakers, surround channels, placement, wiring, and more. However, you might have noticed that the big square box that all the bass comes out of was left out of those discussions. That’s because subwoofers are really a topic completely unto themselves. You’ll recall that when choosing speakers, you’ll want to buy the same brand [Hack #37] , except in the case of a sub. That allows you more flexibility in choosing the best sub for your room, but also means you’re going to have to know even more about subs than you already do about speakers. We’ll start with some technical terms, and then get into the hacks.

Learn Sub Talk

Before diving into subwoofer ...

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