PERFORMANCE COMPARISON TABLE

Cabinet Driver Extension (Hz) Low Bass Output, dB* Mid-Bass Output, dB* Bass Quality Mid-bass Rating
MartyCube 460HO 18 117 120 Good Average
MartyCube UM18 18 118 119 Good Average
MartyCube PA460 18 109 122 Excellent Excellent
MartyCube TBW100 18 116 126 (128) Excellent Excellent
MartyCube SAF184.03 18 117 125 (128) Excellent Excellent
             
Mini-Marty 460HO 16 118 120 Good Average
Mini-Marty UM18 16 120 119 Good Average
Mini-Marty PA460 16 112 120 Excellent Excellent
Mini-Marty TBW100 16 115 126 (128) Excellent Excellent
Mini-Marty SAF184.03 16 117 125 (128) Excellent Excellent
             
Full Marty 460HO 14 116 120 Good Average
Full Marty UM18 14 119 119 Good Average
Full Marty PA460 14 110 118 Excellent Excellent
Full Marty TBW100 14 114 126 (128) Excellent Excellent
Full Marty SAF184.03 14 116 125 (128) Excellent Excellent
             
21-Cube PSS555-8 17 115 125 Excellent Excellent
21-Cube SAN214.50 17 119 127 (132) Excellent Excellent
21-Cube 21SW152-4 17 118 128 (133) Excellent Excellent
21-Cube 21DS115-4 17 119 129 (132) Excellent Excellent
21-Cube NSW6021-6 17 120 127 (129) Excellent Excellent
             
21-BTS Series PSS555-8 17 116 125 Excellent Excellent
21-BTS Series SAN214.50 17 120 127 (132) Excellent Excellent
21-BTS Series 21SW152-4 17 119 128 (133) Excellent Excellent
21-BTS Series 21DS115-4 17 120 129 (132) Excellent Excellent
21-BTS Series NSW6021-6 17 121 127 (129) Excellent Excellent
             
21-Full Marty PSS555-8 15 117 125 (125) Excellent Excellent
21-Full Marty SAN214.50 15 121 127 (132) Excellent Excellent
21-Full Marty 21SW152-4 15 120 128 (133) Excellent Excellent
21-Full Marty 21DS115-4 15 121 129 (132) Excellent Excellent
21-Full Marty NSW6021-6 15 121 126 (127) Excellent Excellent
             
MBM-18 PA460 25 114 122 (122) Excellent Excellent
MBM-18 TBW100 25 123 127 (129) Excellent Excellent
MBM-18 SAF184.03 25 123 126 (129) Excellent Excellent
             
21-MBM PSS555-8 26 123 (123) 128 (128) Excellent Excellent
21-MBM SAN214.50 26 124 (127) 128 (130) Excellent Excellent
21-MBM 21SW152-4 26 126 (127) 129 (130) Excellent Excellent
21-MBM 21DS115-4 26 127 (127) 130 (133) Excellent Excellent
21-MBM NSW6021-6 26 126 (129) 127 (130) Excellent Excellent
             
Marty-15 UM15 16 113 116 Excellent Average
             
Devastator PSS555-8 17 120 (120) 131 (131) Excellent Supreme
Devastator SAN214.50 17 121 (124) 132 (136) Excellent Supreme
Devastator 21DS115-4 17 121 (122) 133 (136) Excellent Supreme
Devastator NSW6021-6 17 122 (126) 133 (137) Excellent Supreme

 

NOTES

Low Bass Output (low 20’s Hz range) and Mid-Bass Output (70-100Hz range)*

These are rough limits based on usable driver excursion and/or amplifier voltage limits of the Behringer NX lineup. With higher voltage amplifiers, greater output may be possible in some cases (this is particularly true for the LaVoce drivers which are only available in 8 Ohm). With a more powerful amplifier, the maximum output is the number in parentheses.

“Low Bass” ratings for MBM’s is output in the 30Hz region.

Bass Quality and Mid-bass Rating

These are subjective ratings independent of the output level.

Where is the frequency response of each sub?

GSG does not provide a “frequency response” for each subwoofer because a simple frequency response provides virtually no information about the capabilities of the subwoofer. By applying EQ, the frequency response can be easily manipulated into just about any shape desired.

What really matters is where the driver runs out of excursion capability (which tends to be the limiting factor on the low end) and where the driver runs out of power handling (which tends to be the limiting factor on the upper end). Sometimes, the amplifier will be the limiting factor. In our revised table, we have attempted to show the limits for each driver/sub combination as well as provide some insight into where the amplifier may be the limiting factor.

In some cases, what actually matters even more than the actual output is the efficiency of the subwoofer; this is particularly true for the Devastator, which has tremendous mid-bass efficiency in addition to its extreme potential output and contributes to its “kick in the chest” capability.

Most folks EQ their systems for a relatively flat response, or a somewhat rising low bass. This means that in almost all cases the sub will hit its limits on the very low end first, such as may be experienced with some low end effects in movies. For music and most other movie bass, a higher output upper end means more potential output and a more “dynamic” sounding system.

So, as can now be seen, subwoofer performance isn’t as simple as a frequency response. We wish it were!

Reading the Table

Output levels in the table above are estimates in "2pi space", which is roughly the output that the subwoofer will provide outdoors at a distance of one meter. SPL in a room will be higher (see Room Gain).

Differences of 1-2dB are not really significant, neither are differences of 1-2Hz in extension.

Room Gain

In room, SPL will be higher depending on room size. Some rooms have a lot of room gain, others do not.

For a small room, room gain is typically around +3-5 dB at 30HZ, and +6-8dB at 20Hz.

For a medium size room, room gain is typically around +2-3 dB at 30HZ, and +5-6dB at 20Hz.

For a large size room, room gain is typically around +1-2 dB at 30HZ, and +2-3dB at 20Hz.

Multiple Subwoofers

Two co-located subwoofers provide roughly +6dB, two non-co-located subwoofers provide roughly +3dB.

Four co-located subwoofers provide roughly +12dB, four non-co-located subwoofers provide roughly +6dB.

Eight co-located subwoofers provide roughly +18dB, eight non-co-located subwoofers provide roughly +9dB.

Multiple subwoofers have the added advantage of smoothing out peak and dips in the frequency response caused by room modes.

It is almost always better to use two medium subs vs. one mega-sub if space and placement allows.

Movies

Reference Level movie output is approximately 125dB at 31.5Hz according to Dolby Atmos specifications.

GSG recommended Reference Level movie output is 125dB at 18Hz (after room gain is included).

Overbuilding a system by approximately 6dB will make it sound stronger and cleaner.

Games

Any system that achieves reference level for movies will be sufficient for video games.

Music Levels

"Highly Compressed Pop Music" has peaks of approximately 110dB SPL even at a Very High Level.

"Orchestral Music Concert" has peaks of approximately 116dB SPL.

"Very Loud Music" has peaks of approximately 120dB SPL.

"Extremely Loud Music" has peaks of approximately 126dB SPL.

"Rock Concerts" have peaks of approximately 130dB SPL (front row Metallica show for example).

Music Extension

In room, subwoofers will provide a couple of Hz extension below the tuning frequency of the cabinet.

Examples of required extension:

- 32-foot pipe organ (16Hz)

- Some digital effects in synthetic bass tracks (16Hz)

- Lower limit for just about all Dubstep, EDM, Trance (20Hz); very little content from 20-27Hz

- Lower limit for just about all music as well as the lowest note on an 88 key piano (27Hz)

- Lower limit on a 5 string bass guitar (30Hz)

- Lower limit for most other music (38Hz)