How to PO your spouse in one easy lesson

February 27, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

How’s that headline for clickbait? Not too bad, eh? 🙂

But, I am serious.

A week or so ago I visited engineer Darren Myer’s house. Darren’s home is an audiophile’s temple. In one room is a beautiful pair of Wilsons and in the main living room a gorgeous white pair of PS Audio FR30s.

Both rooms are sonic stunners.

So, I am sitting in the Wilson room and Darren puts on a classic Reference Recording of Felix Hell at the pipe organ. Suddenly, as Hell’s feet dance upon the instrument’s pedals I find myself in the hall where it was recorded and there’s so much perfect sounding bass from those massive pipes that I am stunned.

“Wilson’s don’t have that kind of bass,” say I.

“I know, right?” He grins.

“What the hell?”

Darren tells me to turn around. Behind the couch I am sitting on, not more than a foot from my head, are pointed at me two of the biggest badass subwoofers I have ever seen. 18″ Eminence low distortion, high excursion, beauties and each with its own Stellar M1200 monoblock power amplifier feeding them.

Nearfield subwoofers. Subs not impacted by the room because they are not “in the room” but rather you are in the subwoofer.

I am certain this sounds insane. It is insane but it works. Properly set up you don’t even know there’s a subwoofer present. I didn’t.

Those Wilsons just had bass.

The damned woofers were inches from my head and I didn’t even know they were there.

Now, that’s magic and much for this poor head of mine to digest.

We shall be exploring this subject a great deal more.

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64 comments on “How to PO your spouse in one easy lesson”

  1. Oh I know how to PO my wife, however she & I can’t stare venomously at each other for more than 10 seconds without cracking up & laughing our heads off…lucky us.

    I live in an apartment & so two strong, beefy subwoofers here are right out of the question.
    However, the compromise, that shakes me to the core, is my ALPINE – ‘Bass Engine’ arse-kicker chair.
    Whether you are in the subwoofer or the subwoofer is in the room or in the attic, that sort of ultra-low bass will travel through a building…there’s no two ways about that.

    Having said that, I am amazed at how low the O/93’s can go all by themselves with all of my reference CD tracks 🙂

    **OFF TOPIC** (Political)
    So, now that we know that China is backing Russia,
    should we still be buying goods made in China?
    It’s a real moral dilemma…isn’t it?

    “Money, it’s a gas, grab that cash with both hands & make a stash”

    1. FR said, “**OFF TOPIC** (Political)
      So, now that we know that China is backing Russia,
      should we still be buying goods made in China?
      It’s a real moral dilemma…isn’t it?”

      This is a false narrative. A dangerous one too.

        1. Secret (how appropriate),
          And if you believe that, I’ve got a pair of high-end,
          audiophile grade BOSE – ‘501’ loudspeakers to sell you.
          I’m pretty sure that when Putin & Xi had their meeting two
          weeks ago that Putin said to Xi, ‘And when I invade Ukraine next week,
          make sure that you don’t help me…you know…under the table’ 😉 😉

          1. Barsley,
            Your ignorance is breath-taking;
            on more topics than just home-audio.
            It’s like you have no idea how well versed & rehearsed the CCP are with inventing & publishing fake news & fake photo opportunities.

            1. Like I stated before your last incredibly rude comments were removed, your comments are not a reflection of who I am, but a reflection of who you are and your character.

              1. Barsley,
                Paul has also removed some of your comments…so what’s your point?
                As usual you are talking out of your arsehole, but that’s to be expected…what’s new?
                Constantly repeating,”your comments are not a reflection of who I am, but a reflection of who you are & on your character” doesn’t make it true, it’s just your way of deflecting from when attention is drawn to your own inadequacies.
                Your & ‘CtA’s way of denying your own individual levels of ignorance is to deflect, & I am not the only one to point this fact out to you.
                The sort of ignorance that you display concerning the whole China-Russia alliance is incredibly dangerous, but I fear that your low level of intelligence will not allow you to see that.

                Have a great day! 😀

                    1. Remember, when you point, three times as many fingers point right back at you… But your response eloquently proves what I said.

    2. Hi Martin. I live in a building as well. I lightly set my subwoofer output to a low setting and I’ve yet to have a noise complaint mostly because I live in a corner unit with dense firewalls and the building itself was made with a ton of thick concrete between each floors. In 1965 Canada apartment buildings spared no expense on concrete. You don’t get this watered down crap you get today. I’m certainly grateful for what I have, but I certainly could not support a Darren Myers set up. I’d be evicted. 😉

      Anyhow. How often are you using your Alpine Bass chair ?
      I find I’m reaching for my SUBPAC S2 a lot more lately.
      Been digging some electronic dub step from THE ORB. That Dr. Alex Patterson certainly knows how to crawl across the entire bass frequency range even below human hearing.

      What I love about the chairs is that if you can’t hear it below 20 kHz than you can feel it. 🙂

      1. Neph,
        The ‘bass chair’ is mainly for when I’m wearing cans, although I have also sat in it when listening through loudspeakers, but hardly at all now that I’ve got the O/93’s (December 2, 2021) going so incredibly low (low enough to constantly impress me)
        I’m also in a ‘corner of the building’ apartment, on the top level, & it was also built ‘properly’ in 1972, as opposed to the paper-thin crap construction that is being foisted upon us these days.
        Still, bass will be bass…have bass; will travel 😉

        “Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it?”

        1. That is nice to know and those 0/93’s from Devore have a great frequency response. 30 to 30 ain’t that bad. 😉
          They look like they punch above their price tag. 🙂

          “I can feel it com’in in the air tonight. “ 😉

          1. “Hold on!”

            The DeVore Fidelity – ‘O/96’ floorstanders were the best sounding loudspeakers at the last Hi-Fi Show here in Sydney (July 2017) & so after pissing around with cheaper brands for the last 3 years, & getting no satisfaction, I decided to bite the bullet & just spend what it took to get the SQ that would make my Red Book CD library sing…especially with the future looking so uncertain.
            Life’s to short at 61yo to piss around anymore 😀

            1. Wait just a minute?

              You are doing well my friend.
              So does that mean you have both the O/93’s and O/96’s?

              And yes. Give those CD’s the best. I’m doing the same and I’m cleaning them well too! Thanks to some good advice from someone on here. 🙂

              1. No Neph, you got your wires crossed.
                I listened to the O/96’s at the Hi-Fi Show, but I bought the O/93’s because the O/96’s are too expensive & unnecessary for my 18′ x 13′ x 9′ listening room.
                Why would I have a pair of O/93’s AND a pair of O/96’s when I live in a small apartment?

                1. Lets just say I got my wires crossed. 🙂
                  Posting before coffee has its disadvantages for me at times.

                  Anyhow I just pictured you as a king having multiple listening rooms no matter what size your apartment may be. 😉

    3. Two apartments that I lived in allowed me to play my stereo as loud as I wanted, even with subwoofer reinforcement. One was an interior unit with tenants on all sides, but there were reinforced concrete party walls, floor and ceiling, and the front door into the corridor was thick and well insulated. The other apartment was a corner unit with a concrete floor, ceiling and party wall, but I had to build a removable sound vestibule with an interior glass storm door to keep the sound from being heard in the corridor and lobby.

      Today I live in a wood-framed house, and I can sometimes hear drumbeats from my neighbor’s stereo system with sound going through his wood-framed insulated stucco exterior wall, travelling 20 feet through open air and then through my wood-framed insulated wood-cladded exterior wall. I’m sure my neighbors can hear my audio system(s) as well, which is why I don’t play my systems very loud after 9 pm. I have been told that my digital pipe organ is audible for a couple hundred feet up and down the street, even with all my windows closed. The deep bass sound from summer season rock concerts at the Hollywood Bowl behind a hill a half-mile away comes right through my exterior house wall–until the blessed 11pm noise curfew kicks in.

      So, if you can rent or buy a dwelling with concrete walls, floor and ceiling, you would be better off than if you live in a wood-framed dwelling near other occupants or near a noisy outdoor concert venue.

      1. That is very interesting and phenomenal how sound (air pressure waves) can really have their way with things. Sound to me is a living and breathing thing. After your story, Joseph I think I may be right about that. 🙂

    4. China was accused of Crimes against Humanity (they are guilty) because of its treatment of the Uyghurs.
      I will not invest in mutual funds or ETF that invest in China (emerging markets investments) nor will I purchase a tool that has China on it. Actually I go to extremes to avoid anything made with slave labor.

      1. Hi Tim,
        I just watched a documentary on how China is buying 80% of all the cobalt in
        the Congo to make LiON (lithium ion) batteries for everything from ‘phones to cars.
        The Congo currently holds 70% of the world’s supply of cobalt, in the ground.
        China gives back virtually nothing for all of what they take, while Congolese children die mining for this metal…no Chinese money is spent on safety for the Congolese miners.
        When miners (children) die from mining accidents there their corpses are buried quickly so that the world doesn’t see what’s going on there.
        No assistance from China with building any sort of infrastructures or schools in one of the world’s poorest nations.
        The Chinese overlords sit behind glass screens, in a separate room, & watch on as the freshly mined cobalt is tested for it’s purity by the Congolese workers, exposing them to deadly chemicals.
        Don’t you just love this modern world?

  2. Pure, clean bass with real punch not only requires time-aligned subwoofer drivers but also a listening room whose acoustical optimization requires a budget much much higher than the price of the subwoofers and their matching amps – unless your listening room has the size of an opera house or stadium. It would be interesting to know the budget Paul has to spend for the acoustic treatment of his new Octave studio control room. Or the budget Darren has spend.

    1. We don’t have an enormous amount of money budgeted for the acoustic treatment of the rooms. I have about $15,000 in wooden acoustic diffusers and a smattering of dollars for absorbers to be placed where needed. For bass we decided to let our speaker and resident acoustician, Chris, do what he wants to—which, it turns out—will be to spend a boatload on a pair of giant 21″ woofers in a ported box tuned to 15Hz and driven from a Stellar M1200. These will then be tuned very low and placed mid wall front and rear, then DSP’d for flat response.

      1. Thanks, Paul. My pair of Dynaudio pro subs demanded an investment of $ 2,000 and are strategically placed for minimum room mode effects. The main speakers however require flattening the bass peak. I remember the impressive power of big drums near ear level from military marches and carnival parades. But I have no ambition to pressurize my listening room with such “music” when the intend is to relax. 🙂

  3. Darren’s subwoofer setup, from my personal exhausting experience, makes perfect sense to me. Looking forward to the follow up Paul, alongside more details of Darren’s arrangement of his subs.

  4. Reproducing a large pipe organ in a 14’x18′ room is so far away from what I think home audio is about, I can’t even put it in to words. Plus, I enjoy listening to music with my wife, we do so much of the time, and the last thing I would want to do is annoy her. Some people may get kicks out of this kind of noise, but not me.

  5. Darren’s hifi podcast focuses on b)leading edge audio.
    I do wonder about his experiments with different AC leads (I am a general believer) and trust his ears:
    I take away some new truths about the dreaded Radio Frequency intermodulations for example, and more. Much more. Do try Darren and Duncan.

  6. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s one of our popular solutions, long before subwoofers were the rage, we produced a coffee table LF system which was in fact a nearfield sub, the LF-1 (passive) and the LF-2 (active) models.

    1. They became unpopular when too many half-full cups of coffee ‘walked’ their way to the edge of said coffee tables (due to the ultra low vibrations) & fell off onto the floor.

  7. I think it was Steve Gutenberg that was at an audio show,and at a sub woofer room, with dozens of subs in front of him and it sounded great. The sub guy said only one sub is playing can you guess which?. Steve couldn’t ,and the sub guy told him it was the one right next to Steve’s chair. None of the dozen on display. I tried it with one of my 100$ subs and most of the time it worked but the other time I could tell there was a sun next to me. Cool experiment.

  8. I share the enthusiasm about perfectly set up full range systems and the influence of full bass extension and quality on quite everything.

    By the way: where are Darren’s Dunlavy’s? 😉

    It seems due to upcoming PSA subs, it’s time to turn the story focus from “the FR30 don’t necessarily need separate subs” to “subs are always better” 😉 Right so.

    Perfectly set up subs are a game changer, not even mainly for low bass extension and organ recordings. And they should be EQ’able as you plan!

  9. According to my wife I need no tutoring in how to PO your spouse. I try as hard as I can not to PO my wife, thus she is involved in any audio purchases of significant size.

    Also, she loves PS Audio’s trade-in policy since it means no accumulation of more boxes. PST appears, DMP disappears. P15 appears, P10 disappears.

    I do not indulge in pipe organ music, but I do indulge in rock ‘n roll. I do not play it as blistering loud as a certain member of this group ( whose initials are FR ) does, but I do play it loud. So far ( four years in ) I find slam and bass of my S7’s is all that I need. I do feed them with 750 W per channel ( which requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit ). To sub or not to sub – YMMV.

  10. [Paul: Properly set up you don’t even know there’s a subwoofer present.]

    Agreed Paul!

    Other than visually, you’d never know the sub was turned on in my music room, till the Music calls for it!! 😉

    1. That’s right, exactly as it should be. An ‘obvious’ sub is not what’s required in a quality home audio set up. I think the mistake that can be made is when you’ve paid good money for a sub you want to make sure you’re hearing it. It takes a certain willpower to dial it back to an appropriate level. Of course everyone’s ‘appropriate’ will be different.

  11. Talking about bass articulation and isolation through the many different avenues of setup and configuration is a topic that has always interested me.
    I hope we explore more on this.

    Bass frequencies are the hardest to get right in a dedicated listening room. This much I know. 🙂

  12. The detail nerds in the crowd (like me) want to know, what model Wilson does Darren have? And what are electronics and source and the Wilson Room although I think I can guess the electronics.

        1. I had a feeling that Darren has the Sasha DAW’s & not the Alexia’s.
          In Australia the DAW’s are AU$37k & the Alexia’s are AU$97k…
          that’s a helluva price difference; nearly x3.

  13. Not that I’m easily influenced but today I moved my slightly wrong pair of REL T7’s behind my listening chair at ear level and started dialing them in. Wow! Thanks Darren and Paul for the mention. This positioning makes the whole system clearer and more satisfying. Now what about all these new wires running everywhere?

  14. My experience with improving gear and setup effort is, that we partly judge recordings and gear components completely different than before. Especially when bass quality improves. I think the product quality of those producing gear or recordings is the better, the more those people really go into detail and optimization. I think exceptional quality is not reached just by some basic decisions.

    It would be interesting how different e.g. the mastering result of such an organ recording would be, depending on the monitoring equipment. And if monitoring on a perfectly set up and performing system and room, results in a recording, which also plays better on less perfect setups. Those experiences of engineers would really be interesting.

  15. Between yesterday and today it feels like the acceptance of the sub(s) for 2 channel audio is (has) changed, along with the fact that great bass integration can and does happen.

    The next few days Should be fun

    1. It’s a German company and I do not remember the brand. Chris ordered them. About $800 each for the drivers. Darren went with Eminence 18″ drivers. Amazing. I can’t wait till Chris designs our own woofers for our someday PS Audio subwoofers.

  16. I’ve built the same subs that Darren uses. It’s the Eminence Tour Grade, 21″, stuffed into a Parts Express flat pack enclosure. The design is based on the simple idea that you’re using massive drivers well below their max. capacity and so with very little distortion. Even in heavy bass passages you will not see those drivers move.

    They cannot just be hooked up to any old amp as you’ll need something with at least 32 db of gain to avoid clipping them and then the miniDSP requires biquads to get down to 20 hz. They also have to sit about 4 feet out from your main speakers because of the miniDSP’s processing latency. It’s taken time to dial them in, but as Darren has said on the Darren & Duncan podcast, getting them in the system “will change you.”

  17. Interesting. I have a dedicated audio/HT room that has it’s bass challenges even though I paid for an acoustic design. After much experimentation, I found the best place for the smoothest bass response, contrary to common advice, was in the center of the back wall in between the two back row seats. It’s ‘good’ there but still not great. I might have to try moving it even closer to the sweet spot chair (front row center), or raising it up to a higher level. Moving it forward would block access to one of the back row seats, but it may well be a worthy experiment.

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