View Full Version : woofer size

08-13-2015, 06:06 AM
What is the perfect woofer size for standard sized living rooms? I find that about 10 to 12" is the maximum otherwise it gets boomey and you don't hear the precise note that the musician is playing. YOu just hear more of a thud. I thing 15" would be too large...Any opinions out there? Joe

08-13-2015, 07:39 AM
WAY too many variables to make any blanket statement. The woofer is only one part of the speaker. Even with a 12" driver a subwoofer may still be desired, especially for movies. So if a sub is in the mix, a smaller main woofer might be preferred.

In a conventional 3-way design, I find that an 8" woofer tends to blend best with the midrange and produces the best balance and image. That's why they generally use an 8" in the big 4-way designs. Good examples of 8" 3-ways that exceed the sum of their parts are L86, S38, E50, PT800, etc. Even in a 2-way, a good 8" driver can blend very well. There are also some fine examples of 10" 3-days that perform very, very well (but also need a sub).

So the best answer to this question has to be: it depends.

08-13-2015, 08:19 AM
I generally agree with Rd's response in post 2.

In my 14x16 livingroom there are 3 sets of speakers , 2 are large.
(250Ti & Ohm Walsh F's)

But the set that get used mostly are bookshelves of 10 inch woofer - 2 ways.
(ESS AMT 10b's)

It generally depends on my listening position in relation to speaker placement/coverage.

and while many decry the use of EQ, it can be handy for better tuning to the room.

Don C
08-13-2015, 08:35 AM
...It gets boomey and you don't hear the precise note that the musician is playing. You just hear more of a thud. I think 15" would be too large...
A room mode can sound like that, there are lots of ways to find and correct the room mode and the result can be fantastic, smooth but strong bass that doesn't thud or overwhelm the rest of the music.
I'm finding that while a 14 is great, I still want to upgrade to 15 inches.

Lee in Montreal
08-13-2015, 11:39 AM
I find that about 10 to 12" is the maximum otherwise it gets boomey...

Hmmm... My 18" 2245 sure doesn't sound boomy... :D

08-13-2015, 05:07 PM
Hmmm... My 18" 2245 sure doesn't sound boomy... :D

Mine either!

Utter nonsense. The eighteen in the 4345 can be as gentle a the bowing of a cello but impart much more realism in my small room than anything else that's ever been there. For over fifty-years my main listening system was the 15-inch D130 in an 030 system. Nothing booming about that one, either. The boomiest I've ever used were my L112 and their 12-inch woofer when they were used too close to the floor. :rolleyes:

08-13-2015, 05:26 PM
Hmmm... My 18" 2245 sure doesn't sound boomy... :D
My 4 15's don't either!

08-14-2015, 05:45 AM
Well, for my two channel rig I use an Open Box design, with JBLs handling the top and the mid and the two fifteens per channel on the bottom are never even challenged. Or sometimes just use my 4311s or my 4301s for close listening. That system is tube driven and lives in my master bedroom area (approx. 14'x16')

On my movie rig, I have a kind of Cabaret style system, using 2205s for low, instead of E140s, the rest is similar to Cabaret with the addition of slot tweets. Center channel is 2 - E110s with a 2370/2425 in the center, again, but with 2 slots above. I know I am not going studio monitor quality as some have the privilege of doing, but I am using what I have and enjoying every minute of it. My subwoofer in my movie rig is a 4 - fifteen JBL (re-coned 2235) and 2 - ten JBL biamped affair with 3kW (two kW on the fifteens and one kW on the tens) on it. OH, and my movie rig rears are single E110 and bullets using the 8K XO which was designed for the bullets.

So, I am using 6 - fifteens, 6 - tens in a 16' by 26' room, which is actually open to the rest of the house (kitchen, dining area, storage, washing, etc. representing almost double that area) and I am not experiencing anything but pure bliss, even when I decide to shake the floor a bit and turn it up with a CD running. Even at a whisper when the cones do not even seem to ever move, there is no reason to question my choices much further. It works for me!

The earlier answer certainly applies ... "It depends." on so many factors! There is no way to produce one simple, perfect answer to such a question.

Edit:Hell, I returned home and remembered that a few months back I employed a really beat up (well used for many, MANY years, but still "functioning" even if it no longer matches original specs - it is worn out and probably has a Resonance in the low 20s due to .... well, you know.) E155 in an eight cubic foot enclosure, vented around 25 Hz. Running a 300W plate amp, from around 25Hz to 80Hz. NOthing special, just sublime!

Add one 18" worn out bass guitar driver to the mix and as I said I never "hear" a moment of regret. As far as the sub systems, I only feel them and enjoy them