It's obvious

July 21, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

It's funny how obvious something is once you figure it out.

Networking issues are like that for me. A blur of numbers and meaningless data points confuse and bewilder me until I can make a connection. And then, it's obvious!

Or, how for years you can work on subwoofer setup and come up with all sorts of tricks and methodology to get it properly placed so it works within a room. And then, you hear a direct field subwoofer setup that obviates the room problems. You slap yourself on the forehead and say "Dang! That's so obvious!"

It isn't always obvious how something becomes clear until you discover the answer to the riddle.

Then, it's obvious!

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19 comments on “It's obvious”

  1. In the modern world, “set up” is the consumers’ worst fear and to be avoided at all costs. WiFi, for example. I need good WiFi at home because I have about 80 IP’s of which about 30 do audio wirelessly at up to 24/192. I use an enterprise level product (Ubiquiti) where the technical set-up is done by the supplier remotely, making the units plug-and-play. Most software companies and some hardware companies push software updates so you don’t even see them. My lighting system went Roon Ready without me even noticing. Where physical set-up is required, my audio dealer does it.

    There are hobbyists that like to do this stuff, personally I hate it and avoid at all costs.

  2. '20/20 Hindsight' has almost always resulted in a slap on the forehead.
    There's a wonderful saying that, "you always find something in the last
    place that you look for it"...I've been told that it's an Irish saying 😉

    (watch out for 'foot & mouth' disease being brought into your country by an
    autocracy that I said that I wouldn't mention here's obvious)

  3. Tactile transducers have been around for a number of years now, however sadly, it's just not many know how to implement them. Back in the 80's, using a sub in the close proximity of a coffee table certainly gave a visceral experience to those who utilized them.

      1. Thanks. I didn't know what it was called. I had that kind of setup for a couple of years. Remarkably effective. I learned it from Steve Guttenberg about 12 years ago, who learned it from someone in the CNET office during a subwoofer review.

  4. All of this reminds me that i have been meaning to tweak the subwoofer I have in my video system. Something always comes up and I do not do it when I plan to do it. 😮

    1. I know I mentioned it in my post, but I see it so very seldom mentioned in regards to adding to the visceral experience of audio (and as much in video as well) is to add a tactile transducer to the listening position, as many sources include a second LFE output. You don't have to add a ton and a little goes a long way, without having to over emphasize a sub's level. Once you add done, you ask yourself, "why didn't I do this sooner?" Anyone who has experienced a Woojer with their headphone listening know what I'm talking about.

  5. Todays post makes an interesting observation.

    In many cases the hunt and peck or trial and error method yield great results. The biggest draw back is the time required…. And keeping notes or a good enough memory as to what variations have been tried. My forehead hurts and has a permanent palm print in it….

    1. Trial and error can be an expensive business. Most people don't have the financial resources to make mistakes, and expect a product to do its thing once installed.

      1. Could be expensive if you want to change equipment constantly. I was referring to working with what you have or can easily afford and maximizing their integration into a given room.

  6. I’ve been using 2 subs 3’ away on either side for years. Requires much smaller EQ massaging and the neighbors appreciate the lower levels involved

    1. Does using two subs in close proximity to your listening chair give you as much of an improvement as using two subs in the vicinity of your main speakers or in the front corners? Or would a single sub (being fed both channels) in close proximity to your chair be just as good?

      1. One sub close would be fine, I just like the overkill. I’m also back against the rear wall to avoid hearing reflected sound from the back of the room and my mains are about 5’ away. The room bass frequency peaks are much less than when the subs are out in the room and I’m able to get flat response from 16-50hz where the xover kills it

        1. 5' is a pretty tight triangle, Kevin. I expect your room is small. But this is interesting as I'm thinking of doing a second system in my small home office (formerly a small bedroom). In my big room, the speakers are along the (very) long wall and my ears are about 32" from the back wall, as you are. So it seems like placing at least a single sub by the listening chair is something I should consider. AC and signal cables will complicate this, as the gear and dedicated AC line is about 12' away, but fun seldom comes without effort. Thanks for your feedback, Kevin.

          1. What I am trying to achieve is a fairly nearfield system with a very smooth Faital compression driver (HF146) and a faital horn from 850hz on up driven by a First Watt SIT3 and then a 12” Dayton pro driver tuned to 39hz powered by a Krell 250W amp both with active 8th order crossovers and time aligned. These are on stands 8” off of floor and tilted to lessen midbass cancellation effects. At 5’ the drivers merge together well. I really don’t have to contend with side wall, rear wall or ceiling reflections and there is 30’ behind the speakers. If there is a system with better dynamics I’m all ears so to speak. Good luck with your new room! Cheers

  7. During my career as a design professional, faced with unique problems on all my projects, simple solutions typically became "obvious" only after hours or days of pursuing different fixes. Often the simple solutions, which were not at all obvious at first, led to other improvements in the design. The best designs emerged from show-stopping adversity (be it budget, schedule, unforseen site issues, client eccentricities, etc.) that forced a fresh new look at the whole design.

    Here's one example. On a small airport terminal project the client's program called for mechanized baggage claim devices (caroussels) like all the big city airports have. I incorporated caroussels into the design. Only problem was, the whole terminal project was over budget and I had to make cuts. After scratching my head for days, I proposed simple fixed baggage claim shelves instead of caroussels--the kind of shelves employed by nearly all small airports of yesteryear. The client proclaimed me a genius. That design change led to a look at all other unnecessarily design features to produce a better design. With the simple baggage claim shelves, the baggage handlers could drop off the bags, close the security doors and leave quickly, without having to hang around and wait for passengers to pick their bags off the caroussels. And passengers didn't have to wait for their bags to reach them on a slow-moving caroussel. A simple solution made obvious by budgetary constraints: a win-win for everyone.

  8. I utilize an enterprise-level solution (Ubiquiti), where the technical setup is handled remotely by the supplier, resulting in plug-and-play functionality. You don't even notice software upgrades that are pushed by the majority of software developers and some device manufacturers. Unfortunately, not many people are familiar with how to use active transducers despite the fact that they have been around for a while words from letters

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