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Home Theater Build Chapter 4 - What’s next and where are we going?

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Home Theater Build: Multiple Subwoofers

Almost any room can benefit from multiple subwoofers. Low frequencies are more susceptible to detrimental effects from your room. I’ve already talked about how the placement of a subwoofer is critical to achieving good bass in a room. Proper placement can minimize how much a room is affecting the bass, but even perfect placement can rarely fix all problems. Bass can still be uneven, as a room acts to magnify some frequency while it quenches others. In order to truly achieve even base response, our best approach is to start adding multiple subwoofers. Two, three, or even four subs can yield superior results to having just one. Are we looking to achieve louder bass? No, we are looking to attain more even bass – so that all frequencies are represented equally. Properly setting up a second subwoofer has never been easier. Audyssey MultiEQ XT32, which debuted last year in several receivers and preamp/processors, is capable of independently equalizing two separate subwoofers. Prior to XT32, even if your receiver was capable of powering two subwoofers, the signal sent to each was identical. With XT32, the levels and equalizing of each base can be performed independently, thus maximizing the results one can attain from a two-subwoofer set-up. If you not in the market for a new receiver, fear not: the same technology that is built into MultiEQ XT32 is available in an external box. SVS Sound manufactures the AS-EQ1, which is an external subwoofer EQ system, capable of performing independent subwoofer calibrations using the same algorithms used in MultiEQ XT32 receivers. I owned an AS-EQ1 before upgrading to my current receiver which contains XT32 and can attest to both its ease of use and effectiveness in helping you get great bass from your current equipment. Even a one subwoofer set-up can benefit from something like the AS-EQ1.

I am most certainly looking to add a second subwoofer to my existing system. It is probably of the highest priority of all of the upgrades I’ve discussed here. Given my room is small, good smooth bass has always been a challenge. An important note: identical subs are not necessary – you can add a sub of a different make or model than the one that you are currently using, though it is important to use a sub of generally similar quality.