Subwoofer placement – an uncomplicated guide

Paul McGowan writes:

We’re working on adding the magic of a subwoofer, properly implemented and setup; a magic that if you don’t have a pair setup properly you’ll just never understand what it’s about until you do.  I can write and wax about it endlessly but until you actually get it right in your system, you can only just imagine.

One issue that is a negative for having subs that go this low is it makes a very few recordings unlistenable – or certainly unenjoyable.  The problem you run into is that some recordings were either mastered without a sub or, for whatever reason, they just contain a lot of LF garbage that makes listening to them less than great.  I have perhaps 3 out of several hundred in my CD collection that are like this, and it’s a small price to pay for all the ones that shine with the proper LF extension.

So now that we have our subs connected, either through high level speaker inputs or low level line inputs, it’s time to get started.  I am going to assume we have a stereo pair, one for the left and one for the right.  I would start by placing them halfway between the rear of the main speaker and the rear wall and halfway between the outer edge of each speaker and the side wall.

Don’t worry about toe in of the woofers – at lower frequencies it won’t make much difference – although I do it because I sit and stress over the fact the woofers don’t “look” right when they are pointing straight ahead and, as an admitted symmetry freak, I just get jiggy about such things.

Once these are placed, it’s time to turn them on and tomorrow we’ll learn about the number one rule of subwoofer setup.