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Down Firing Subs vs Front Firing Subs

Rummaging through my collection of odd speakers that I have accumulated over the years for testing purposes, I recently came across an old Front Firing Sub which brings us to this latest post….

Originally I was going to discuss a completely different topic, but changed my mind. The purpose of this change will make sense hopefully within the next 30 days when something of greater significance in the world of Premium Audio is intended to come to be….. More on that in roughly 30 days (hopefully)!

In the meantime, getting back to this posting….Down Firing Subs vs Front Firing Subs. In testing the down firing sub it became rather apparent just how weak this can be in comparison to the front firing version. Just like how surround sounds keep evolving luckily for us so has the sub woofer.  I tested an old 6.5″ down firing 75 watt powered sub. Despite the engineering department having the great foresight to elevate this sub and have it be attached to a matching wooden board, the sound is still virtually non-existent. With the volume on the sub turned up 3/4 of the way, the crossover set to maximize just how low of frequencies were to be delivered to this sub woofer and of a course a quality sub cable and the volume on the receiver turned up 1/4 of the way there was almost no trace of bass.

No trace at all had it not been for me resting one hand on the woofer while it attempted to shake the walls and floor with some good old fashioned 80’s metal. The result? No shake worth bragging about and definitely no boom. To be certain I tried Nicki Minaj’s Super bass and some other track of hers and a Rhianna tune. Each time the result was sadly the same. At this point I know what you are thinking. You are thinking 1/4 of the way is not enough power. Without the sub plugged in my 10″ two way speakers had plenty of bass. So much in fact, that I had to reduce the bass level to avoid distortion. With the sub I tested with the 10’s and also tried a pair of 5 1/4’s and each time the sub failed to go boom.

Any powered front firing sub I test with results in powerful deep bass. If you can find it there is something actually better than a front firing sub. The best subs are actually a combination of both a front and down firing sub driven at the same time. My old dual 6.5″ (two identical size woofers) with a 320 watt powered amp, now that’s a sub! It had one woofer down firing and the other of equal size as a front firing sub. Turn that sub up just a 1/4 of the way and its presence is well known.

So the point of this post is to pay a little more to get a lot more. Down firing subs are really not so great so why not get a front firing sub instead?