The implementation of “pseudo subs” into existing surround sound formats
This is another concept of mine that I feel is worth mentioning. To be clear this is not a new surround sound, but rather a new approach to existing surround sounds to make them sound even better. This can be used with any surround sound format (from 3.1 all the way up to 22.4 and above). I refer to it as the implementation of “pseudo subs” into existing surround sound formats. The idea is simple really…if the speakers you are using are small speakers why not enhance their sound without really taking up much more space? With that being said, I want to make it clear that any surround sound using medium to large size speakers will not benefit much (if at all) from this concept. For further clarification I refer to a large speaker as an 8″ or larger woofer and a medium speaker as a 5 1/4″ or 6 1/2″ woofer.
Who is going to benefit from this setup you may ask. The answer is someone using or about to use small speakers and does not want to use powered sub woofers either do to the additional cost or because they do not believe them to be necessary. For those of you whom have not already read my book: “Customize your home theater….” I make mention in one chapter to what I like to refer to as a “pseudo sub.” I define a “pseudo sub” as a regular speaker being modified to be used just like a passive sub woofer would be.
As I write this, I think of my dad. I think of him because he has a pretty nice, yet traditional surround sound (5.0). He is one of those people who believes that powered sub woofers or even sub woofers are too overbearing for music and not needed with movies. He is not a believer in natural sound meaning he would want to keep the bass and treble set to flat to hear the music and movies the way they were originally intended. Instead he turns the bass up and adjusts the treble as needed. His speakers are large and therefore more than capable of reproducing a wide range of sound including bass. This is precisely his argument for why subs are not needed. Up until recently he was using old school 12’s for the main speakers and switched to modern high end speakers that are tall and slim by design with dual mid’s for bass. In his case this new concept I am about to reveal to you would not be of use with his main speakers, but would definitely further enhance his rear speakers and possibly his center channel too.
The beauty of this new concept is that it does not require wire splicing and re-amplification of any kind (like so many of my other surround sounds). Also it does not require a huge expense (in most cases). I say in most cases because there are people (such as myself) whom have old school speakers that are just sitting around waiting to be played again, but have been replaced with a modern smaller speaker setup to conserve space or simply because they were told this is better than what they had before. For those who have these old speakers laying around you can rejoice in knowing that thanks to this posting those speakers can be found to have a purpose again! You can also use passive sub woofers in place of large speakers if you have them lying around too. Your only additional expense if you have these speakers to use will be in purchasing speaker selector boxes and speaker wire (unless you have that laying around too, which perhaps you do).
So here is the concept; each satellite speaker (small speaker) is lacking in bass on its own, but does a good job of spreading around sound rapidly thru the room so why take away the sound movement by replacing them with larger speakers and why add the at times overpowering bass that a powered sub woofer brings? Here is the solution for you…. instead of hooking up your speakers directly to your surround sound receiver, why not connect a speaker selector box to where the speakers would normally connect to? Now I know what you are thinking…you are thinking I am just trying to get you to buy more speakers. Quite the contrary, I can assure you; I want you to use your existing old large speakers to further complement your existing home theatre setup. Now if you choose to purchase large speakers here, that’s fine too, but remember you do not have to use this setup, no one is making you spend the money, that decision is on you and you alone.
Getting back to this extraordinary concept all you do is connect all the speakers (small and large) to the appropriate speaker selector boxes. You want to have each small speaker also have a large speaker to go with it. The large speaker will need to be aimed at the wall and not towards the seating area like normal. To further enhance this sound you will want to temporarily cover over the mid (if it has it) and the tweeter to the large speaker cabinets. This will help to muffle the sound so you pretty much only hear the bass output from the large woofers. How I do this is I take a piece of cardboard that I trim down to fit and poke holes in the cardboard so that the removable speaker covers (grills) can hold the cardboard in place between the grills and the speaker cabinets. Most speaker covers (grills) push into a hole into the front of the speaker cabinet to hold them on. The holes in the cardboard will allow the cardboard to fit over the part of the speaker covers that go into the front of the speaker cabinet. This is temporary since the cardboard can be easily slid off of the speaker grills. No tape or glue will be needed for this which means you will not in any way damage the speakers.
As a result of doing this each speaker can play at the same time. This means you will still hear the sound from the small speakers, but will also gain a little bit of boom from the large speakers. Best of all the boom will come from the proper direction in the room so it will sound like it should. You will have to experiment with the volume level since you are using more speakers and will most likely have to turn it up some. I would recommend you keep the speakers on the small setting in the receiver settings and not changing them to large. As an added bonus, now that you have these larger speakers you can have them double up as speaker stands for your small speakers to rest on. This will only decrease the floor space of your room marginally (if you were already using speaker stands) and will eliminate the need for putting holes into the walls to mount the small speakers. In the end this is a trade off well worth considering.
-As always, this has been another idea created and written by me (Anthony Di Chiaro) – owner of Premium Audio. This is yet another example of how we go “Way beyond home theatre” by not just selling stuff online, but by providing you free information to make your setup better than the rest. 10/30/16