Reverse Bass Setup

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Reader Ed Houck reminds me of one of the best methods for bass setup. It’s nearly foolproof and works not only for bass and subwoofers, but with full range loudspeakers as well.

I certainly couldn’t use this with the IRS in Music Room One because of their size, but if your loudspeakers are movable, try this great tip for setup. Might make a wonderful weekend project.

It’s called the reverse placement method. As an overview, you put the speaker in the listening position and then walk around the area you eventually want the speakers placed to find the optimal spot.

  • Place the sub (or full range loudspeaker) in the actual area you would like to sit, not in the positions where you want them ultimately placed.
  • Walk around the room with a roll of masking tape in the areas you’d like to place the speakers.
  • Listen for the best balance of mid bass and deep bass.
  • Mark that spot with a small piece of tape.
  • Continue doing this with as many spots as seem to present excellent sound. .
  • Once you have a number of options, simply place the sub or full range speaker into the place or places that offer the most reasonable WAF (wife acceptance factor).

If you have the luxury of a second sub, the same method can be used to get better bass in the areas of bass suck-out:

  • Locate the area of bass suck out
  • Place the sub in that spot
  • Walk around the room listening for areas where bass quality is high
  • Mark those spots with tape
  • Choose the spot you like best and place the sub there
  • If you have 3 or 4 subs you can continue to do this for a very uniform bass regardless of listening postion
  • Simple, quick, effective, and nearly foolproof.
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Paul McGowan

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