Can subwoofers be built in?

July 15, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

15 comments on “Can subwoofers be built in?”

  1. I had two pairs of Kef Reference 104/2. The biggest problem with R104/2 is that the ferrofluid in the T33 tweeter gradually dries up and the sound becomes dull. I wasn’t able to find a satisfactory replacement tweeter or a repair service. The second biggest problem on the later pair was that the foam surround on the B200 woofers turns to dust. Still for a while they were great, all for a modest outlay.

  2. Having owned a pair of Infinity Betas for several years and used them in a relatively small room for their size, I traded down(in size, but not quality) for a pair of Genesis V’s, that I understand you helped develop while at your time @ Genesis w/Mr. Nudell. These speakers help accomodate the room size much better, and the sound is nothing short of spectacular in my humble opinion. The Genesis V’s have three 8″ subwoofers per speaker driven by a 600 watt amplifier. I find the bass to be sufficient(35-40 hz and listening to Boz Scaggs “Thanks to you”) and compliments the upper cabinet dipole configuration very well. While I ultimately would want individual subs just to see if it improved things, it would be a very expensive experiment to see if it offered any upside. Thanks for producing a great pair of speakers.

  3. So does that mean a stand-mounted 2way speakers and separate subwoofer is a superior design to a floor-standing speaker since the stand-mounted and sub can be placed in their optimum locations? Furthermore, the enclosure and electronics, and other variables can be tailored to get maximum musicality out of each?

  4. I don’t remember the mottles of them, but I yoost to sail them in grate moldable pares.
    Some 23 years ago, Polk Audio had floor standing towers that had a pare of 8inch subwoofers built in to them.
    They were driven by 1600 watt power amps.
    They were crossed over below 20 hertz.
    The rest of the speakers, had 6.5inch mid ranges, and 1and1.25inch soft dome tweeters on them.
    They sounded very sweet to me.
    If I had the room for them at the time, I would have bought myself a pare of them!

  5. Hi Paul,
    Will the woofer in the FR30 still be a powered woofer? With a powered woofer I was hoping to drive the PS Audio speakers with a 50 watt tube amps.

    Thanks for having the vision to design a furniture grade speaker line that can sit closer to the wall. Looking forward to seeing the latest prototypes.

    Best Wishes,
    Chris

    1. Chris, I don’t think the subwoofer in the FR30 is powered but because it isn’t you are saving enough money to buy your own subwoofer amplifier. The FR30 speakers will have biamp capabilities. Personally I’m not a fan of powered speakers. It adds weight to the speakers, you have to plug them in and you will have to make sure not to overload your AC wall circuit, and if you need to service the built in amplifier you are screwed not being able to listen to your speakers until it’s fixed. Many audiophiles will choose to power the speakers with the amplifiers of their own choice, either passively with a single stereo amplifier or dual mono amplifiers or biamp the speakers. Moreover most amplifiers have enough power where you don’t need to biamp and most speakers are pretty efficient. If your 50 watt tube isn’t enough power just buy your own separate stereo amplifier or 2 mono amplifiers and biamp it with the FR30. Maybe PS Audio will provide dedicated stereo and mono subwoofer amplifiers. I’m OK with powered subwoofers but not a fan of powered speakers. I like all of my amplifiers in my rack or on an amplifier stand not inside the speakers. For the reasons I stated above.

  6. Hi Paul. To sort of get right back to the topic. I have always been a fan of the idea of corner horn loaded bass. e,g, Klipschorn, or many other designs over the years. These could be considered “built-in” in that the only place then can go is in the corner. Arguments that I have heard is that the horn / corner position is a pressure “transformer” that is the most “gentle” loading of bass into the room. i.e it takes the high pressure / small driver (relatively) and transforme the wave into a lower velocity/pressure “wider” wave. Sort of like having a 100″ driver just doing a tiny excursion. A big bass horn is always going to outperform a small box subwoofer (even a 15′ woofer!) in my opinion – just the laws of physics (?). I plan to build in a pair of very large horn loaded subwoofers. With the mouths at each bottom corner of the front wall. Thoughts anyone ?

    1. Good morning PerthPete!
      I don’t see how that would be a problem.
      So I say on to you, go for it man!
      What you are talking about doing, I don’t believe Paul Klipsch ever thought about doing that himself, God rest him.
      But if you’re ever able to pull it off, get a Patten on it!
      After you do that, take it to the market!
      You could make some real serious money off of that!

    2. I have a friend who did something similar, only he built them into his wall, and to get the best acoustic impedance transfer – that’s what the horn is about – he built the exponential horn into the wall of his basement listening room. To get around the resonances of the wall, he did it with concrete. It sounded phenomenal!

      This was while he lived in New Hamshire. Then he moved to Florida where there are no basements and then to South Carolina and has never replicated that in-wall concrete exponential horn subwoofer. As far as I know, the in-wall subwoofer was not a selling point for the person who bought his New Hamshire house.

    3. Hello from Sydney, Pete.
      I’ve got a bedroom system, wherein I have positioned my 5″ two-ways right into the corners, obviously across from each other, along the wall where the headboard is (bedphones).
      They sit atop two vertically placed Besser blocks & are about 2″ out from the corners.
      Consequently the resulting bass notes coming from these two ‘shoe-boxes’ are just amazing…it’s all about how the corners amplify.

  7. I often get asked about the best placement for a subwoofer. Should it be next to the speaker, and if so, which one? How about in a corner? My answer is usually the same:

    Put on some music that has the kind of bass for which you purchased a subwoofer in the first place or, if you can, put on some filtered pink noise, such as the octave band centered at 63.5 Hz (there’s an app called Keuwisoft Dual-Channel Function Generator available from the Google Play Store – I don’t know about iOS – that can be used to set up the noise band).

    Put your subwoofer where your listening chair is. If it’s front-firing type, point it at the middle of the space between the speakers. If it’s a down-firing, place it on the floor. With the music or noise band playing, Walk around your listening room until you find the place where the bass from the music or the noise band is the loudest. In fact, if you’re able, crawl around your listening room to find that location – crawl because your subwoofer is going to be on the floor, not at ear level when seated or standing. That place is the best spot for your subwoofer if your only having one in your system. If that location is unsuitable for reasons not related to sound, such as in a traffic path through the room, mark that spot snd continue to crawl until you find the next best spot.

    If you are a measurement type of person and you own a sound level meter, you can rely on the meter set to the linear or Z scale and slow response if it lacks an octave-band filter capability. YOUR CELL PHONE IS NOT ADEQUATE FOR THIS TASK SINCE IT WAS NEVER DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU ACCURATE RESPONSES IN THIS FREQUENCY RANGE, NO MATTER WHETHER IT’S ANDROID OR iOS.

    So, no complaints.

    1. Good afternoon SoundDoc!
      I’ve heard of that app before.
      I do also, own an iPad.
      But me working with that, is a challenge all in itself.
      I say this because, that sounds like something you have to look at.
      Right there, is where the problem is for me.
      So you see, I am a blind man.
      But with this fact in mind, will that app work on either a desktop or laptop?

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