Bass Response Tuning

Since most of you will be listening in enclosed or semi-enclosed rooms, you will be subject to the phenomena of standing waves. Basically these waves are peaks or dips in the overall bass response, which are caused by reflected waves that bounce off walls either reinforcing or canceling the original forward radiating wave at the listening position. This section is primarily focused on dealing with the MMMiniOne and MMOne, however, while it is true that the MMMiniTwo, MMTwo and MMThree allow for adjustments to compensate for these effects, it is always important to properly place the loudspeakers initially to ensure optimum response before performing fine tuning adjustments.

Probably the quickest and most direct way for finding the ideal placement of your loudspeaker for optimum bass response is to follow the theory of reciprocity. This concept basically suggests that both the listener and the speaker must be placed in neutral zones for flat bass response. The most ideal placement is of course for the speaker and the listener to be at opposing ends of the room, directly against wall surfaces. This may be fine for bass, but it is not practical and will yield terrible soundstage presentation. Therefore, using some of the room placement suggestions mentioned in the section called “Initial Placement”, place the loudspeaker in the approximate area where you would like to position your listening chair. Using several selections of music, find tracks with bass information ranging from drums and pipe organs to acoustic bass and synthesizers and proceed to walk around the general area where you would like to potentially place the speakers. Once you have found a zone where everything seems to lock in to place, then proceed to mark this spot with some tape. Repeat this process for the other speaker. After you place both speakers at the marked spots, you should notice a fairly neutral presentation at the listening position.

If there is too much bass in the presentation then try moving the loudspeakers away from the wall boundaries to limit the amount of reinforcement that these waves are receiving. In some situations this may be impossible due to furniture placement. In addition, there may be cases where there are no wall boundaries to blame. If this is the case, keep the speakers where they are and perform the test as mentioned above, but now you will be walking around to find your seated position. If the seated position forms a less than ideal listening triangle, go to the page called “Maximizing Image Focus” and try to optimize the new arrangement. If the bass is too weak, then move the speakers closer to the wall boundaries. Once again, if you are limited by furniture placement or if your wall boundaries are too soft or even nonexistent, then simply perform the above mentioned test to obtain stronger bass presentation.