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#2022384 - 01/27/13 08:12 PM Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Question:

How many of you have subwoofers that can handle the lowest "A" on your digital?

Here is the "Hertz" range for all 88 notes in the chart below:

http://www.pianoworld.com/pitch.htm

Just noticed that my Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers (with subwoofer) only goes as far as 31Hz, which means there are three notes that do not get reinforcement from my subwoofer to actually sound them with fully resonating bass, i.e., the lowest A, A-sharp, and, B.

Have tested the Klipsch setup at the V-Piano and it is interesting to note that I do not have the full and resounding bass resonance on the three lowest notes, as it is the next "C" and above that the subwoofer can handle.

Please keep this in mind when buying speakers for your digital as you will need to be able to handle at least 27.5Hz (or, lower) to hear the fundamental frequencies of the lowest bass notes.

So, does your current speaker system handle 27.5Hz, or, lower?

Extra note:

Low "A" test on the Kawai EP3:

[19 seconds of silence before playing starts]

https://www.box.com/s/s82l507tkqhgzyn4db0j

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#2022387 - 01/27/13 08:20 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: pv88]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
From my research, most speakers (hi-fi, not monitors) do not go to 27.5Hz, alone. You need the subwoofer to get you there. I believe that is why many (including DP dealers) suggest getting a subwoofer first, then adding speakers.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2022393 - 01/27/13 08:30 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: scorpio]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Originally Posted By: scorpio
From my research, most speakers (hi-fi, not monitors) do not go to 27.5Hz, alone. You need the subwoofer to get you there.


The subwoofer I have (with the Klipsch satellite speakers) only handles 31Hz, as I may have wrongly assumed from the start that this Klipsch subwoofer (or, any subwoofer) would handle the lowest notes on the piano, although this is apparently not true.

You can actually hear that the lowest three notes (A, A-sharp, B) do not have the full bass resonance as does the low "C" which is the next neighboring note, as the lowest three are obviously thinner in sound without the full impact.

Keep this in mind if you buy the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers with subwoofer.

Do check the specs before buying.

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#2022404 - 01/27/13 08:43 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: pv88]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1694
Loc: Portugal
It's an interesting question as to whether most acoustic pianos resonate at 27.5 to around 40 herz. I wouldn't have thought they do - it certainly doesn't sound as if they do. It sounds as if the harmonics of the lowest notes on most pianos I've played (perhaps it's different with full length concert grands) are the predominant components of the tone, not the 'true bass' or fundamentals.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2022410 - 01/27/13 08:50 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
I noticed the discrepancy in the Klipsch subwoofer after having played the lowest "C" on the V-Piano with different silver string presets as the low "C" resonates very powerfully with full harmonics and the remaining three notes (B, A-sharp, and, low A) do not have this. My ear immediately picked up on the three thinner sounding notes with far less bass "oomph."

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#2022411 - 01/27/13 08:50 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3825
Loc: North Carolina
Don't misunderstand the specs.

That speaker doesn't stop at 31 Hz. It works all the way down to 0 Hz. Virtually all speakers do.

The low-end spec (in this case, 31 Hz) means that the speakers output has dropped to 1/2 at that point ... if you believe the specs ... and if the (unknown) test conditions are in any way relevant to your own use case.

It will drop off even more at lower frequencies. But there's still enough to meet a piano's requirements. Pianos don't put out much energy at the low end. Most of the energy in in the harmonics.

You don't need a subwoofer. (Well, you don't need a real subwoofer, the kind that goes down yet another octave.)

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#2022422 - 01/27/13 09:12 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: pv88]
Bob M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 208
Loc: North Carolina
pv88, toddy is onto the answer. You do not have to produce 27.5 Hz on your 2.1 system in order to "hear" the low A. And a string vibrating at 27.5 Hz produces very little of what the human ear hears, even from the largest pianos. Your brain combines the higher frequency overtones of the note so that you "hear" the fundamental tone or pitch. Fascinating! Google "the missing fundamental" or go to this link :

http://homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~karchung/Phonetics%20II%20page%20thirteen.htm

I always wondered how those Bose compact stereos create the illusion of "big sound"--now I have stopped worrying whether my gear is rated to the lowest frequencies. Of course, what a person likes to hear is subjective--I'm sure my console does not produce much of the lowest frequencies but I am very happy with the tones in the lowest octave.
_________________________
Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333

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#2022425 - 01/27/13 09:16 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: pv88]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
Also keep in mind that the lowest frequency spec'd on your speakers could be a - 3dB down point, or a -6 dB point, or a -10 dB point, or really anything at all. You have to look at the entire spec, not just what the low end of the FR number is... and Klipsch doesn't provide a tolerance, so it's one of the cases where it really could be anything.

At any rate, if you want to reproduce the bottom notes of a piano at anywhere near the volume level that you can get out of a real piano, I doubt any 2.1 multimedia speaker system is going to do it. The "subwoofer" in that Klipsch is only 6.5". But I have to say I'm very happy with what I get out of the JBL PRX625 with its two 15" woofers, the low end sounds killer! I don't gig with it often, because it weighs 60 lbs.

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#2022439 - 01/27/13 09:34 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: pv88]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3825
Loc: North Carolina
Finally, someone owns a real woofer. And recognizes that a 6.5" speaker is not a subwoofer (nor even a woofer). smile

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#2022441 - 01/27/13 09:39 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Looks like the Sennheiser headphones I have cover the lowest bass notes easily as they are rated down to 14Hz. As for the V-Piano, it tends to sound somewhat better with headphones as compared to speakers. Actually, neither headphones/speakers improve upon the "Vintage II" presets.

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#2022448 - 01/27/13 09:45 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Pretty sure very little actual energy in low note on the piano is in the fundamental frequency. It's mostly the harmonics. Otherwise our speakers would do much worse at representing it than they do.

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#2022473 - 01/27/13 10:04 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
Originally Posted By: pv88
Looks like the Sennheiser headphones I have cover the lowest bass notes easily as they are rated down to 14Hz.

at how many dB down?

The best Sennheisers, the HD800, are only 3 dB down at 14 Hz. Unfortunately, they cost $1500. ;-)

At any rate, yes, you can get lots of bass out of small drivers in a headphone, since the output levels are so low, they don't need to move much air (i.e. they would be pretty much useless if they weren't directed right into your ear canal).

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#2022511 - 01/27/13 11:25 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Here is an example of the low "A" being played in context of a real concerto, as it appears that Gyro never did get around to demonstrating any of his "concerto" performances on his Williams digital:

[19 seconds of silence before playing starts]

https://www.box.com/s/s82l507tkqhgzyn4db0j

Also, the resonance and decay is very good on the Kawai EP3 as the low A sounds very full with decent sonority.

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#2023141 - 01/28/13 11:26 PM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: pv88]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1336
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I recorded my PX-350 "Grand Piano Concert", low "A", bypassing loudspeakers, straight into a soundcard.

Analyzed spectrum with Audacity, linear frequency plot. Results (* = harmonic):

Frequency (Hz) Level (dB)
2.691650 -39.150024
5.383301 -65.072296
8.074951 -62.196373
10.766602 -60.485279
13.458252 -57.731060
16.149902 -54.396046
18.841553 -58.861359
21.533203 -60.499825
24.224854 -44.113499
26.916504 -36.500988 *
29.608154 -40.888565
32.299805 -58.613850
34.991455 -63.060375
37.683105 -71.717613
40.374756 -70.804306
43.066406 -68.449219
45.758057 -62.736332
48.449707 -56.880455
51.141357 -38.490273
53.833008 -29.661631 *
56.524658 -33.416801
59.216309 -59.693230
61.907959 -57.321259
64.599609 -58.147289
67.291260 -67.900688
69.982910 -67.600990
72.674561 -60.603504
75.366211 -50.914921
78.057861 -33.693363
80.749512 -22.516109 *
83.441162 -24.377993
86.132813 -42.158592
88.824463 -58.042770
91.516113 -65.257164
94.207764 -69.707100
96.899414 -56.537148
99.591064 -55.817043
102.282715 -49.083015
104.974365 -32.362888
107.666016 -17.900251 *
110.357666 -17.545877 *
113.049316 -30.912169
115.740967 -47.269100
118.432617 -58.042248
121.124268 -66.189240
123.815918 -62.979458
126.507568 -68.093140
129.199219 -59.167812
131.890869 -42.953117
134.582520 -27.787729 *
137.274170 -26.056885 *
139.965820 -35.940960
142.657471 -54.008938
145.349121 -62.478085
148.040771 -67.888054
150.732422 -67.665939
153.424072 -66.114731
156.115723 -60.035522
158.807373 -46.143494
161.499023 -24.068861
164.190674 -20.731262 *
166.882324 -29.725271
169.573975 -53.313942

So everybody is _very_ right -- the energy in the fundamental is considerably smaller than the energy in the harmonics, down more than 10 dB.

. Charles

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#2023290 - 01/29/13 06:29 AM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5Hz) vs. subwoofer capacity [Re: Charles Cohen]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3650
Loc: Northern England.
"the energy in the fundamental is considerably smaller than the energy in the harmonics, down more than 10 dB."

Just like a real piano. And real pianos have some notes that come out stronger than others for various reasons.

27 cps would annoy your neighbours dreadfully! If you hear a thinner version of a good fundamental (Bottom A is notoriously bad, and hardly gets played) then - be happy!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2023291 - 01/29/13 06:36 AM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: MacMacMac]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Finally, someone owns a real woofer. And recognizes that a 6.5" speaker is not a subwoofer (nor even a woofer). smile


No, but if you put enough of them together you can move a lot of air. I use two Bose 802's on jobs and the bass response is excellent. I have 16 x 4.25" or 4.5" speakers in that system.

I've worked with bass players who use two 802's as their set up.

I have thought of buying a small sub woofer for my N3 for those times when I'm not using headphones. It would be nice to have a little more bottom at softer levels ... and then I'd have to worry about the cat destroying the cloth grill work. smile
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#2023292 - 01/29/13 06:39 AM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: Dave Horne]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2207
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
It would be nice to have a little more bottom at softer levels


Looks like you want one of those IAC buttons!

Greg.

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#2023295 - 01/29/13 06:44 AM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: sullivang]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
It would be nice to have a little more bottom at softer levels


Looks like you want one of those IAC buttons!

Greg.


A 'Loudness' button. I had one on my Dynaco PAT pre amp back in the 1960's. It was a kit and I assembled and soldered it up myself.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#2023298 - 01/29/13 06:55 AM Re: Lowest "A" (27.5 Hz) vs. speaker ranges [Re: pv88]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2207
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Yes, a glorified loudness button. I suspect that the IAC adjusts the EQ automatically as the volume control is adjusted though, either continuously or in steps.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (01/29/13 06:58 AM)

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