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A friend of my after reading my comments about the EdgarHorn installation in Vegas (in here) asked me why do I think the bass in Bruce’s room behave as it behaved. I tried to think about it. Some of those thoughts intersect with some other projects that I am currently involved and as a result I decided to dump some of my explanations in here.
First of all let me make clear that although the bass in Bruce room was unspeakably more interesting then any other bass in Vegas but it still was not the bass that I would consider “as good as it could be”. From an absolute perspective it has the “round” character. Also, It did not sound like “cloud” but instead it was bouncy like a ball. Nope, it did not have the “rubber” quality (like many of them do) but still it has that “roundness” and was sounding inside of the room, filling the room but not filling the “space”. It “lived” in the room but it was not the part of the room’s live, however, I have to admit that for what it did it did quite well. From a certain point of view it did sound like a typical bass horn.. and I am not a big fan of ULF horn-loaded bass section… To visualize this sound pretend the you hear the old Quad upper midrange with that “kinky front” and then project the same front to the LF – you will have the sound of EdgarHorn bass or the sound all those vintage dipole Tanoys…(actually EdgarHorn bass is better… because it less attractive and less “strawberrysh”)
So, why the EdgarHorn in that room, incorporating all bass horn misery, was able to go away with it and get all together OK result. The answer is the simple – the damn lucky room.
Before I go further I have to say that I have no idea what Bruce has in that bass horn and how it was used. However, my comments are not necessary about the Bruce’s system but rather about a genetic application that Bruce Edgar use, deliberately or not.
The Edgar’s room was featly small; perhaps 0.3cec at 300Hz, but his entire suite has 2 rooms. The second room (with another system) was right next to the listening room. Also there was a bathroom attached to the listening room and the second room I think because walls were the walls between the rooms of the same suite then those walls themselves were not as solid and the wall between the suites. Therefore, and considering that we are taking probably about sub-100Hz, the LF section radiated pressure waves that operated not only within the listing room but rather across the entire suite, as those flimsy walls were not impediments for the sub-100Hz. Also, if those walls were soft enough (and they were located in the very middle of the suite) then they might act as a far-fetched damper. Only this could explain that the excessive amount of LF was not annoying but was very nicely spared across the room and by the room. (My system in my room enjoying the very same effect: I listen in 5 walls contrite room but one of the long walls is a very-very soft wall with a very-very-very large (>400 feet!!!) corridor behind that soft wall. I placed my LF section right across this long soft- soft wall and this is why I have no typical bass problem in a small room. However, I do not used the bass horns but rather the mass-centric line-arrays and they act slightly differently) Anyhow, that soft-wall island (or damper) in the Bruce’s room was very affective and VERY useful.
Another factor that luckily clicked-in in that room was the delays. Once again I do not know what Bruce used but I am pretty confident that he did not use any time delays for his MF section but juts dumped his LF section in the room and said: “it will be good enough”. Were there any LF delay problems in the room subjectively? Yes they were. I can only estimate that it was ~ 10mc and I am not telling by circulations or by logic but with what I heard. (I played a lot with time delay machines and know what I hear). But here, is where the irony of the Bruce’s room kicks in again: It problem with delay did not sound bad, quite opposite.
(I have to say that I am not the person who proposes that the time alignment at LF and ULF does not mater, as many people do. It is important but unfortunately it is imposable to do by any none-barbarian methods therefore we just create for ourselves those different justification subscribing why the LF time alignment “might be excused”)
So, why despite to the fact that it was mistimed it still sounded OK. The answer is: because Bruce overloaded the room with bass. Look how it worked:
1) The system injected into room an extra ~6db at sub 100Hz (I do not think that those sub are linear in that room and most likely the has +6-8dB at 40Hz)
2) The bass caught by that the wall-island and begin to be spared in the island’s softness
3) The spreading effectively prolonged the reverberation time in the room
4) While the “old” sound still somewhere within –20-30dB being consumed by the island the “new” sound come but it is not a normal sound but that “flowery” sound with a synthetic, “round Quad‘s front”.
Also, many other factors should be taken under consideration. For instance the Bruce LF section is heavily EQ and it would be necessary to know how it was done. It would be nice if it was sitting at the transition slop form the bottom BU I do not think he has a sensitively to do such a things. From a different perspective he use 100000000 watts SS amp… ;-) I really do not know hat the sensitively of that LF section, and particularly it’s anechoic sensitivity, I do not know what deriver he uses.. and so on….
I think it would be educational to hear this LF section with a correct volume lever, but “something” suggests me that I should not sound as good as it was in Vegas (unless it will be in a very large room). Unfortunately whomever I know how has Edgar’s LF section are unspeakable idiots (this is sort of distinctiveness of EdgarHorns – whoever I know who own them are the scumbags that deserve to be castrated without anesthesia) but if you have chance to verify what I proposed then do it. You might find it very educational and since you “get how it might be done” then you might use those skills creatively and deliberately
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche