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Low Frequency Extension Cabs, aka : Subwoofers

The lowest two or three octaves are among the most challenging to reproduce. The range of 20 Hz to 100 Hz requires ever more power and cone area as you go both lower and louder. Exponentially more. If 80 Hz is just over 14 ft. long, then 40 Hz is over 28 ft. long and 20 Hz is a remarkable 56.5 ft. long! It is difficult to reproduce these frequencies, especially at high SPL, without introducing unwanted artifacts, or distortion.

Over the years smaller nearfield monitoring systems have been complemented by adding a subwoofer to help reproduce frequencies outside the main speakers’ capabilities and allow for this otherwise un-heard content to be observed. This approach has had varying success, owing to the need to know how to set them up correctly, as well as having some understanding of room acoustics and placement of loudspeakers in a room.

Many subwoofers, even professional designs, lack the ability to articulate with precision the signal going into them. They merely put out a lot of low frequencies in a non-distinct rumble. Some notes are blurred, others barely present and still others are too loud, and in short the user is playing a guessing game. This is partly why subwoofers have a less than stellar reputation.

At Augspurger we prefer the term Low Frequency Extension Cabinet, as it describes much more what our intent is. With today’s modern recording chains and digital playback it is easy to create true stereo across all audible frequencies – 20 Hz to 20kHz. We feel it is imperative to offer the same high-quality, articulate, clean and dynamic performance from 20 to 100 Hz as we do for all the octaves above 100 Hz. It’s redefining what a subwoofer should do.

The traditional “add a subwoofer” approach is no longer a valid approach as the act of summing all low frequency content of both left and right channels into mono, only to be reproduced by a single device defeats the artist’s intentions. Taking this approach means everything below the sub’s crossover point (usually between 85 and 120 Hz, or 3-4 octaves of information) is not being referenced correctly. Stereo musical content extends all the way to 20 Hz.  Did you all hear that? Please let us say it again: Stereo musical content extends all the way to 20 Hz! A single sub is not going to give you stereo info.

Many Augspurger systems already go down quite low, typically below 40 Hz and ma,ny below 30 Hz, without adding additional cabinets. But for many, having the ability to resolve all the way down to 20 Hz is essential, and having it dynamically available means adding in two LF cabinets under each main cabinet and powering it with a very large, high quality amplifier. True full-range stereo sound reproduction. So, please don’t ask us for a single sub on your Augspurger system! It’s just not right.

 

 

 

 

 

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