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What's the best subwoofer design for classical organ?

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  • #31
    Viscount C400 3-manual
    8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
    Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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    • #32
      Well, to answer your question, even though it's been over two years since I started this thread, and will soon be three years since I installed the Allen in my church, I'm still using a makeshift speaker setup. I sounds quite nice, in spite of the unsettled nature of my installation (i.e., a bit chaotic and untidy).

      I did settle some time ago on a well-balanced set of speakers to cover most of the audio range. Each of the two chambers has a pair of excellent full-range organ speakers (Allen HC-13s on the Great side, and Rodgers FR5.0s on the Swell side). Each full-range cabinet is augmented by an Allen PP-3 (small box with a 4" driver and a dome tweeter) to improve the dispersion angles. Further, the two Great channels are also connected through a choke coil (to smooth the response and pad down the level a bit) to a pair of good-quality piezo horn tweeters facing upward from the floor of the choir loft.

      I get a nice effect with this arrangement. The Swell stops emanate from the left-side chamber, while the Great organ seems to be spread out all across the chancel, since there are the cabinets in the right-side chamber plus the horn tweeters at the rear of the chancel facing the hard wooden ceiling for a good bounce.

      The bass frequencies are separated out from the Great/Pedal amp outputs by the simple passive 6 dB/oct crossovers that I've been using all along. So, the output of each Great/Pedal amp goes through a 3.5 mH coil on its way to the subs, and through a 100 mfd cap on its way to the full-range speakers. This is not a "textbook" crossover, but is what I arrived at by trial and error listening tests and does produce a good separation between the highs and lows for the speakers.

      For subs, I still have a mis-matched pair, one in each corner of the chancel, behind the choir seats. One channel feeds an old Rodgers SW7.5 cabinet with an Allen Alnico magnet 15" paper cone driver, one rescued from an old MOS installation. The other channel feeds a modern Allen SR5. The SR5 is of course much less efficient than the other one, but probably has a smoother response. I've gone back and forth on this, but right now the channel with the 32' contre bourdon is playing through the SW7.5 instead of the SR5.

      I've tweaked the bass and gain pots on the TG boards that produce my pedal stops to compensate for the varying efficiencies, and right now I'm satisfied. I shouldn't be, of course, but all the good solutions cost money and take time to implement, both of which have been in short supply the past couple of years!
      John
      ----------
      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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      • #33
        Interesting, thanks for the details! If you were close to me I'd offer the other Walker B2 I have for a good price, but it sounds like you have a setup you're happy enough with
        Viscount C400 3-manual
        8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
        Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

        Comment


        • #34
          That B2 must be similar in effect to the awesome Rodgers P32. A pair of high-compliance high-power 15" woofers in a well-designed and copiously-sized box can pump a lot of air, the necessary requirement for simulating the effect of huge 32' organ pipes.

          There could be several reasons why you don't get the bass you want in your setup. The small room may be a factor, as was mentioned somewhere above. The best 32' stops that I've heard have all been in very large churches. This brings up the dual nature of sound, as both a "wave" in a room and a "pressure change" at a given location. Making the pressure change happen would seem to be very easy in a small room, as the speaker doesn't have to pump that much air to change the pressure. But when the "wave" itself doesn't have room to develop, that seems to limit our perception of the bass. However, we've all experienced the "huge" bass in a well-designed car audio system, so it obviously isn't impossible to create low bass in a small space.

          Other than knocking out the walls and making your room as big as a cathedral, you might experiment with any channel level or bass boost controls on the equipment that generates your 32' stop. In a small room the limiting factor is probably not going to be amp power. While creating huge bass in a big church may require hundreds of watts, your small room is probably a thousand times smaller in terms of cubic footage, and so would require very little amp power to do the same job. The speakers have to be able to respond to frequencies that low, but many people with home theater systems seem to be able to re-create "earthquake" effects with relatively small subs, sometimes just 8" or 10" drivers.

          I would advise that you give ample consideration to how the bass is "coupled" to the room. Bass speakers in a corner or facing the wall or firing at the floor, or even tucked away under furniture seem to have an advantage over speakers just plunked down out in the middle of the room. So hiding the bass cabinet in a closet might actually result in an increased perception of the lowest frequencies, as the entire closet or even the structure of the house may be coupled to the speaker and help augment the lowest frequencies.
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

          Comment


          • #35
            We installed a few Walker B2's on Galanti Chroniclers and Praeludium III's, with the same crossover you have pictured in the thread, crossing into one of a couple Walker treble-only cabinets (usually 1103's/TP3's). They always worked really well for us on 32' flues, including the PIII's Sub Bourdon, and shook the room all the way to the bottom C. Only downside was that they were the size and weight of a refrigerator!

            A small room is going to present some significant challenges to the accurate reproduction of very low frequencies regardless of the subwoofer in use. There's no real way around that (except membrane-style bass traps, and even those have to be massive to have any effect that low).

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            • #36
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              Viscount C400 3-manual
              8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
              Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

              Comment


              • #37
                Hi,

                I have already dealt with the issue of lower bass response in this organ, on the other thread you started on this organ.

                One problem with this organ is the lack of voicing controls. You will never get what you out of the organ because changes are not possible.

                Second problem, getting good bass reponse in a small room is difficult at the best of times, but especially so in the bottom octave of a 32' flue .

                There are plenty of threads on this forum of those who have tried it. I would suggest you read them.

                AV

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by arie v View Post
                  Hi,

                  getting good bass reponse in a small room is difficult at the best of times, but especially so in the bottom octave of a 32' flue .



                  AV
                  We have already been told that the room currently being discussed is TINY. I sent the original post about very low bass sounds not being possible in small rooms. It is basic physics, due to reflection from the walls, which acts to cancel out the initiating sound.

                  I know that we don't like being told that our technology can't solve some problems, but in this matter we have to face reality. If you want your profound bass system to impress you, face it towards the outside world with no reflecting wall in between, but don't get too far away from it!

                  John Reimer

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by arie v View Post
                    Hi,

                    I have already dealt with the issue of lower bass response in this organ, on the other thread you started on this organ.

                    One problem with this organ is the lack of voicing controls. You will never get what you out of the organ because changes are not possible.
                    Thanks for getting involved here Arie! I see you did mention that the lower bass is weak in that thread, and that it was set that way to avoid internal speaker/amplifier overload when on full organ. I didn't interpret that to be what I'm observing here. I'm also unsure if that bass-weakening you talk about applies to the audio line outs—wouldn't it make more sense to limit the bass going only to the internal amplifier? It seems strange to limit the entire organ, rendering the 32' stop useless with external speakers, just to avoid overload with the internal speakers (which I disconnected, by the way).

                    I wouldn't call the bass below, say, 32hz weak, I'd call it missing...

                    I know you want me to give up on trying to improve this organ. It's the only one I have and I have no budget to get another, so anything I can do, no matter how small, would be nice I don't think it's unreasonable to try and get my lowest octave on the 32' stop audible/feelable. Perhaps the room is the limitation based on the speaker I'm using, part of the reason I'm asking around in this thread.

                    But if the room size is the problem, why is it not so much of a problem to get room shaking bass in small room with a home theatre setup (as jbird mentioned) and what about those conditions can I not replicate in my situation?
                    Last edited by rjsilva; 06-27-2016, 06:30 PM.
                    Viscount C400 3-manual
                    8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                    Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by j reimer View Post
                      We have already been told that the room currently being discussed is TINY. I sent the original post about very low bass sounds not being possible in small rooms. It is basic physics, due to reflection from the walls, which acts to cancel out the initiating sound.

                      I know that we don't like being told that our technology can't solve some problems, but in this matter we have to face reality. If you want your profound bass system to impress you, face it towards the outside world with no reflecting wall in between, but don't get too far away from it!

                      John Reimer
                      I continued on this topic because the notion you can't have good bass in a small room seems cloudy. Real world experience questions this. If basic physics means it's impossible to project really low bass in a tiny room, how is it that I just performed a test where I cranked the pedal channel and used the lowest notes of the 32' stop and heard and felt bass, including a bit of wall shaking and vibration?

                      The issue though is that I really had to crank it. To such a level that the rest of the organ stops would be absolutely ear piercing and massively out of balance. It's like the lowest notes of the 32' stop should be about 10x louder.

                      That would suggest that Arie is right, again Maybe they reduced the bass so severely that the 32' stop effectively became useless even on an external audio system...? It seems to me I need some means to boost the <30hz frequencies, a lot.

                      I really do appreciate everyone's input on this!
                      Viscount C400 3-manual
                      8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                      Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Hi,

                        My opinion of the C-400 and other models in that line, was that the design was half baked. Too many stops, too little hardware, limited polyphony, compromises in the audio mixer section, stop mixing and balances, and so on. Viscount in those days, very much wanted to build and sell organs based on price, or should I say the lowest price.

                        The company I worked for in 1990 had one on the floor for awhile. Even with some modifications and a 12 channel audio external system hooked up to it, never got interested in playing it much. Just was not terribly musical as an instrument. Perhaps if it could have been voiced, it may well have been a likeable instrument.

                        I always thought the first generation Viscount digital organs were better musical instruments than this line. But they had more technical problems. In the late 90s they came out with the Prestige line which was much better.

                        AV

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                        • #42
                          Viscount C400 3-manual
                          8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                          Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                          Comment

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