Any thoughts on more Bass?
March 4, 2015 5:52 PM   Subscribe

I have a Bose 28 series home theater system. Before anyone starts jabbing me lets just know it was a gift and I am tryin gto work with it as best as possible.

In the past I have had the bass box in the same room as the four acoustimass speakers and it all sounded just fine.

But, in my new house I just cant find a place for the bass box, which is also where all speakers tie in and where you connect to the "system"

So, it sounds really lame in the living room with the four speakers and little or no low end.

I realize there is probably nothing I can do in this configuration, but thought I would toss it out here as my only resort for some feedback.


posted by silsurf to Technology (6 answers total)
There should be a center speaker too. You have that, right?

You need the subwoofer with that setup. There has to be somewhere to put it, like in a corner or behind the sofa or under a table. It can go anywhere.
posted by w0mbat at 6:26 PM on March 4, 2015

Is it possible that it got damaged in the move? I've had speakers go bad they gradually sound worse.
posted by notned at 7:26 PM on March 4, 2015

Its less about the bass box than the wiring. If I put it in the living room I have to drill more holes in my floor and re-route the cables to it. Just kind of at the end of my tether on doing that, it will be the fourth time I have done it in the last five years.

The center speaker is in the same room as the bass box, that room sounds better than the living room with the four acoustimass speakers at the moment.

The truth is I should just start over, but I have the acoustimass speakers all wired into the attic and the next step is to move onto a wireless system I think.

BUt..if there is some way I could introduce some bass into the living room it would all be good for now. We use the system very little, mostly for my 21 month old girl who loves to dance. It is more for me than anyone else.
posted by silsurf at 7:41 PM on March 4, 2015

You're up against the laws of physics, here - low/bass frequencies are larger waveforms than mid or high frequencies, which means that you need to move comparatively more air molecules, which in practice is done by a combination of a larger speaker plus a certain volume of air inside a speaker cabinet. Your little cube speakers simply can't produce much bass, if you tried you'd probably blow them up, and if you're powering them via the dedicated connections on the acoustimass bass box, there's undoubtedly an active crossover inside the box that prevents bass frequencies from getting to the little cube speakers in the first place.

If you want more bass in the living room, you need a speaker that will produce bass in the living room. You don't have that now, the speaker that will produce bass is in another room.

In short: "Any thoughts on more Bass?" Yes, put the bass speaker in the same room as your other speakers. However much of a hassle this is, you can't cheat your way around it.

There are other home stereo subwoofers that you could theoretically connect to your system, but they're going to be just as large if not larger than that Acoustimass bass box, so that doesn't solve anything, plus more wiring complications.

Honestly, your setup kinda sounds like a wreck, with wires running every which way, back and forth between rooms, and it's not at all clear what you're trying to accomplish. It sounds like maybe you want to have the same music or movie audio playing in the living room and another room simultaneously, and you're trying to kludge together a solution by splitting up the Bose system. This isn't working, because the Bose system (and all other similar surround sound systems) are meant to work together as a complete system in one room, both acoustically and electronically.

So, yes, I'm sorry, you should start over. Set up your Bose system in the living room as per the owner's manual/installation guide (and as w0mbat points out, that Acoustimass bass box can go almost anywhere in the room, there has to be someplace you can put it.) Now whatever you're listening to or watching in the living room will sound right.

Then look into ways to get the sound into the other room. Maybe you could take advantage of the holes you've already cut; the Bose system seems to have a way to add a second zone to the system if you buy some Bose powered speakers. Or some kind of wireless setup, which can be relatively cheap. And if all this is really out of your budget, then honestly you and your family should temporarily resign yourselves to either silence and/or different music in different rooms (you could buy a super-cheap portable system so you can at least play CD's or listen to your iPod/phone in the other room, if silence isn't an option) until you can actually afford to buy the components or system you need to do it right.

You're using the wrong tools for the job, and continuing down that path is just more headache. If you can't bang in a nail with a crescent wrench, using the other end of the crescent wrench isn't the solution, buying a hammer is.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:50 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

thanks all, I was expecting pretty much what I got. I will start over when I have a chance for sure, like I said for now my 21 month really does not mind the lack of bass.

Thanks very much!

posted by silsurf at 12:45 PM on March 5, 2015

Why don't you try using a butt-kicker/bass-shaker thing? They're small and bolt on to the underside of your sofa, giving a bass rumble that you feel rather than hear - could be quite effective - I'm looking into them at the moment. Not too pricey if you get the ones that don't need an extra amp and just plug directly into the speaker output of your existing amp.

Also, try flipping your sofa upside down and seeing whether (if you open up the underside lining) there's enough space to fit your subwoofer. Inside my sofa, there's a lot of dead space where a sub woofer could possible fit. It won't give you the optimum sound output but would be better than watching an action movie with tinny sound.
posted by guy72277 at 12:11 AM on March 6, 2015

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