Subwoofer 101 Needed...

I have just picked up a used custom made 15" subwoofer to supplement my existing speakers. It came with an extensive array of variable control parameters. (Please see included photos.)

Sub 1

Being a Newby to the world of subwoofers, I would like to ask for a bit of guidance in their use. What would I expect to hear/measure (using REW) using them? (For example: varying Q?)

I am not interested in thunderous AV, but rather an unobtrusive refined extension to the bottom end for listening to classical, jazz, world and occasional pop music.

I look forward to your thoughts and appreciate any assistance. Thank you!


The icons are links to images: you will have tap and follow link on 

(I couldn't figure how to actually embed an image...)

The icons are links to images: you will have tap and follow link on 

(I couldn't figure how to actually embed an image...)

Maybe it's just me and my old worn out computer, but I am actually not seeing a link/icon that I can even click on. 

Thanks Eric,

That link is quite a discourse on 'Q'! I will tinker, listen and measure in that order...

Hey. Listen, the most important thing you need ot know is that the actual response of any speaker in the bass is a crap shoot. I mean it’s not very closely related to it’s specifications or settings anymore because the room/speaker interaction is fierce. Knowing what a setting, like the Q does really only gives you the ability to make RELATIVE changes.

To achieve what you want, you need a gently descending FR from 16 Hz to ~ 80 to 120 Hz. Descend about 1-2 db / octave. Then you may need the overall level to be raised up, around 4-6 dB vs. your main speakers. Also, if your mains are ported, plug them, it will make things easier.

You may also suffer from big peaks which need to be clipped with an EQ.

Lastly, check out the AM Acoustics room simulator web site. It will show you were the worst room modes are. Try to keep all 3 of your speakers away from the lowest one’s as well as your listening chair.

Hi immatthewj,

The links are little rectangular boxes labelled Sub1 and Sub2. If I tap on them with my (Android) phone I have the option to preview or download.


Some interesting ideas, thanks. (Like blocking the ports of my main speakers!)

I will tinker and explore.


Maybe I’m just old school, but I’d start with using the proven “crawl method” first to find the places where the sub will naturally sound best in your room.

Then I’d use these simple but effective instructions to set volume, crossover, and phase.

I’d start with these basic fundamentals and then measure your heart out after that.  Hope this helps, and best of luck. 

OP:  Some of the biggest improvements in clarity and imaging from adding a subwoofer happens from adding a high pass filter to the main speakers, so if you can I encourage it.  80 Hz is about as low as I'd go.  Many audiophiles try to add a sub under 30-40 Hz to fill in, but they are amazed when they let the sub take over more of the range.

Just a couple days ago Steve Guttenberg did a YT video with a Hsu 12" sub ($689). Well worth watching