Emotiva X-Ref 12 Subwoofer Listening Session
For all of the listening sessions the Emotiva X-REF12 was placed in the front right corner of the room firing into the corner about 4 inches from the walls. This places the subwoofer a little over 4 meters from the primary listening position. I have determined this to be the best available single subwoofer placement in the room for most units. Audyssey was run on the system to allow it to integrate the X-REF12, which was then followed by a check and recalibration of the subwoofer and speaker levels prior to the listening sessions. The X-REF12 had the low pass filter disabled the EQ defeated and the flat preset enabled for the listening session.
Blu-ray: Queen - Rock Montreal & Live Aid
This concert performance captures Queen when they were near their peak performing nearly all of their classic hits. The audio here has been re-mastered and while somewhat limited by the recording technology of the time the result is still a very engaging and full mix. The X-Ref 12 seemed to be well at home here providing the underpinnings of the drum set, bass guitar and even the low register of the piano when called for. There is nothing of much depth on this Blu-ray disc but what is there is ample, smooth and has a nice old school analog, “round” tone to it, in other words, plenty of information to gauge the subwoofers abilities with well crafted musical compositions. The X-Ref 12 deftly followed the bass lines and provided a hearty kick drum thump throughout. During the sections involving the piano the X-ref 12 lent the right amount of support to the sound to flesh out the bottom range but without calling undue attention to itself. When I cranked the volume up a bit the Emotiva was able to keep pace and maintain its composure with this concert performance.
Ever since seeing
this movie at the theater I have been a fan of it for its action packed and
entertaining mix of comedy, eye candy and general fun.
The overall audio track is not quite at what I would consider as the pinnacle of sound engineering, but there is plenty of red meat during the action sequences for any subwoofer to get a workout. The master playback volume was set to -15 as is usual for new subwoofer evaluations. The movie starts off with AC/DC jamming in the background followed quickly by small arms fire and a loud explosion. The X-Ref 12 did well here providing the short percussive blasts of the small arms and the big rumbling explosion of the IED without distress but the large explosion seemed less impressive than I remember from watching the movie on my reference system. During the Jericho missile sequence the X-ref 12 provided a nice presentation but it seemed to have less rumble or room shake than usual. ( I have heard this scene used as a demo on a ton of systems.) Later on when Stark emerges from the cave in the prototype Ironman suit I heard what sounded a slight overload from the X-Ref 12. Not anything distressing but an extra doubling to the sound like it was heavily limited. During this part there is little to no masking content and there is very loud bass in the 25-35Hz range. It is a tough test for any subwoofer system. Throughout the rest of the movie the X-Ref 12 provided the various rumbles, booms and ominous drones where appropriate with gusto. Some of the loudest parts probably engaged the limiting on the X-Ref 12 and seemed like they were missing the very deepest bass. The X-Ref 12’s limiting and compressor circuits are very effective at preventing it from making any offensive noises so even if the X-Ref 12 had run out of headroom it simply produced the bass to the best of its abilities and without calling attention to itself. The large >4200cubic foot room size involved and the output volume asked for are very taxing to smaller subwoofers so that being the case adequate protections and overload limiting are a strong plus as is seen in the X-Ref 12. A single X-Ref 12 could not quite provide the deep extension and “scare” factor that I am used to from my reference system in such a large room but it acquitted itself well providing an enjoyable experience and a strong effort from such a tiny subwoofer.
I always suggest using multiple subwoofers whenever possible to even out the response and provide more headroom anyway and with the small size and the as delivered price of $599, multiple X-Ref 12’s should fit into many subwoofer shoppers rooms and budgets.
You want it where your head is at the listening position.
that's what I have been doing,I must have misunderstood your post
With the microphone and subwoofer both on the ground
so you're saying it's better to put the calibration mic on the floor for sub calibration ?.
You want it where your head is at the listening position.
Essentially yes but your listening placement and other boundaries and objects also matter. This is why groundplane measurements are done the way that they are. With the microphone and subwoofer both on the ground in theory you only get one perfect reflection of energy from the ground through the bass range. This is known as half-space and provides basically 6dB of gain over a reflection free anechoic environment. If you were to raise the microphone the subwoofer, or both away from the ground you would start to see some response changes due to the distance from the boundary represented by the ground.
so you're saying it's better to put the calibration mic on the floor for sub calibration ?
I have 2 Emotiva ultra 12 subs,one on the front wall facing into the room,and one on the rear wall facing into the room,each is about 5 feet from a corner,and I have a Auralex gramma under each one,
and I use a Anti-Mode 8033,I have always put the mic on a tripod in the main seating area at ear level.