26 Sep

Why use Sub-woofers in a HiFi system?

Category: Design features
Written by: Super User
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Why did we decide to use subwoofers?

We experimented for some time to get the very best reproduction. 

When using sub-woofers to handle the lowest frequencies the sound improved very noticeably both in the bass and generally, and the bass become one of the highlights of the system. 

During development of the system, originally a 3-way system with Bass, Mid and Treble drivers, we used DSP equalisation to boost the bass frequencies tailoring the system to give a flat response right down to 25Hz. So, in theory, we didn't need Sub-woofers. But, whilst the the bass was definitely there - it lacked some tightness and clarity. The benefit of the sub-woofer was clear - but the reasons behind it less so.

The most probable reasons are that the 10" bass driver has very low mass and suspension stiffness and that is not considered optimum for reproducing very low frequencies. It's the wrong type of driver. Another likely reason for the improvement is in the clue from Klippel's excellent website - that the biggest cause of driver distortion is cone excursion. So the big cone movements necessary for very low bass were increasing the overall distortion from the driver and this was affecting its ability to reproduce the low-mid frequencies it is involved with - male voice and acoustic instruments in particular.

So - using sub-woofers gives us a driver specifically designed to handle the lowest frequencies, and relieves the next driver up of the burden - which enables it to do it's own job a a lot better.

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