Protip: Using a sub? Plug your mains

Merry holidays, or drinking season, whichever you celebrate I support you.

For those of you with ported main speakers and subs, here’s a big tip: Plug your main speakers.

It will reduce the bass output, but also greatly reduce the movement of the driver below the port frequency. This combination increases the dynamic range, and reduces distortion, especially when used with a line level high pass filter. It also often makes integrating the subs easier thanks to less overlap. Use a sock, preferably yours and clean unless you are some weirdo. You don’t have to stuff the entire port length, just plug the end tight. I won’t be held responsible for those of you who lose their intimates inside their speakers.


Also, therefore, lastely and soforth:


This is a tip that is easy to try and reverse too. :)  Try it and listen.  No good, no damage.

@erik_squires , thanks so much for this tip! I felt compelled to chime in with positive results. Used a couple of sock pairs to plug port in right Tekton Enzo XL. It has really cleaned up and tightened bass. Plugging both speakers was a little bit of overkill.

I have single REL sub, and could never get bass dialed in. Bass trap, cross-over/gain adjustments, speaker/woofer positioning... nothing seem to eliminate bloat in room. Plus, I don't know the science behind it, but midrange SQ is improved too.

All the best, and happy listening!


Thank you for that, @strateahed - That's pretty innovative of you, I'd not have thought to only do one or the other but it makes sense.

Glad you were able to get what you wanted out of your system now. :)

@erik_squires How does plugging the port keep the amp from trying to play down low? I don’t have any high or low pass filters in my system. I want to try your suggestion but can you explain why physically plugging the port will change the amp’s output? I realize it will change the outcome, but why would it change the out put?


Hi @hilde45 - I’m sorry if I mistyped but you are 100% correct. The amplifier’s output is a function of it’s input, for the most part. If you mean, why does dynamic range get improved, it is because the speaker’s excursion below the original tuning frequency is no longer as big. That means there’s more excursion left for the music above that Hz.

As you have guessed though, the amplifier's voltage swing for those notes remains the same.