Are 5 mono subs or 1 sub for each of the 5 channels better?

Durbutt wrote:
> I'm soon going to buy a DD home-theater system. i like a lot of bass so, I
> will be considering 5 Subwoofers.
> It will be manily used for DD and DTS programs. DD and DTS require
> full-range surrounds, so is it in fact better to have a subwoofer for each
> channel (total 5 subs)? The NHT VT-2s already have a sub built into each, I

So what is best: 5 mono subs or 5 subs, one for each channel?

The arguement for having a subwoofer for each of the 5 channels is that bass below 80Hz is directional, and having a separate sub for each channel will dramatically improve the sound quality. Very few AV processors will do this sort of bass management for you, so an external multichannel crossover will be required. This is an added hassle and expense.

The arguement for feeding 5 subs all the same signal is more maximum SPL at lower frequencies. This setup is much simpler. Also if you choose to EQ your bass you can get by with only one equalizer and not 5!!! Another point is that if you put half of the subs in separate corners, and if you believe that bass is directional, then you will not be able to localize direction of the bass. Also with a distributed layout of 5 subs, the effects of room modes will be reduced.

So which option is better? Directional sub output or maximum SPL with a sensible EQ'ing option? Considering that the AC3 LFE channel is +10dB higher than the other channels, 115dB SPL will be the output at the 0dB reference level. Now just try to play a 20Hz tone at 115dB with one sub!!!

I feel the combined SPL solution is far superior.

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