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Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

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Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby hrpschd » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:17 pm

Hi

I have been experimenting with integrating Hauptwerk with the small (14 rank) pipe organ at the church where I work. I am now beginning to prepare a budget proposal to the church to permanently install a Hauptwerk setup as an integral part of their pipe organ.

In my testing I have been using two dry sample sets: Velosovo and Caen, and using selected ranks to augment the real pipe ranks fairly successfully. The room is a A-frame type nave that seat about 350 people, and fairly dry; a little reverberation when empty, but hardly any on Sunday mornings. The pipe organ sits in the center of the chancel and speaks over the heads of the congregation. Most Sundays we have about 250 parishioners at the traditional service. I have 4 Behringer Truth 2031A speakers placed on the back wall of the swell chambers. The organ console connects to my MacBook via a 4 channel audio interface, which I am recommending be replaced by an 8 channel interface when a subwoofer is added to the system. Right now I disable the 32' Hauptwerk stops in order to avoid damaging the Behringer speakers.

My question is what kind of subwoofer do I need that can balance this system -- preferably a powered subwoofer, but something that can handle sustained low pedal tones, not just sudden thunderclap type effects. Budget is always a factor, but I understand this may be the most expensive part of the system.

Thanks for your input.

Nicholas Good, CAGO, MM
Topeka, KS
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby brooke.benfield » Wed May 02, 2018 2:58 pm

Hi hrpschd;

You won't hurt the Behringer monitors by feeding the 32' stops to them. They are -3dB @ 50 Hz so nothing truly low will reach the speaker cones. You definitely need to have them involved with the 32' stops to cover the harmonics.

I have 56 of the same monitors you have and 14 M-Audio SBX-10 subwoofers (555 seat church). The M-Audios are -3dB @ 20 Hz but still are doing some useful work @ 16 Hz (opinions will vary on that).

If you can afford it take a look at the Definitive Technologies powered subwoofers. They have some models that can produce a real 16 Hz waveform.

There are a number of discussions here on the forum regarding various powered and DIY builds of subwoofers worth reading.

Keep us informed on how your project turns out.
Brooke Benfield
Organist, Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Portland OR
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby sonar11 » Wed May 02, 2018 5:12 pm

You may not "hurt" the Behringers, but it's still better for the audio sound quality, and easier on the amps to disable low frequencies that are being sent to a sub. So if the sub is handling everything from 16hz to 80hz, I would definitely EQ the Behringers such that they only have to amplify sounds >= 80hz and up. The amps in the speaker will have more power available for the rest of the sounds, and then there is no overlap of frequencies being played by 2 different speakers (causing muddy and boomy sound) in that range.
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby Romanos » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:13 pm

It depends on what your budget is and what type of room you have to accommodate the woofer. Woofers come in all shapes and sizes. If you are up to the task and want something with real oomph, check out a housewrecker. There are various configurations and you could do a simple 2cone setup that would give significantly more oomph than most commercial subs (which will likely be very necessary in a large worship space vs the typical living room). A local Walker organ has a custom built sub that I believe may be a derivation of a house wrecker to fill that sanctuary. It is very large, but that one woofer is sufficient to fill the space. You'll get the best bang for the buck that way but it will involve some sweat equity which may or may not be possible. Otherwise, DefTech and SVS present some nice options. If you are limited on space, perhaps an SVS conical sub (or two) might be great options. I used to play on a (new 2014) rodgers in a small 250 seat sanctuary with 15' ceilings. There were two 15" subs with rectangular ports (one in each back corner of the sanctuary) that were each in cabinets roughly 2'wide x 3'high x 4'deep and while they produced the low tones technically, it certainly wasn't a convincing or visceral experience. I'd advocate for a little over-engineering (which you can then back off) rather than disappointment. The last link has been built by a forum member and it apparently kicks butt and takes names for 32's but is a little slow for 16 and above. I believe Drew is planning on one of these for the lowest of the low and a different sub for the 16's. (So there's another option, two subs, each with different tasks.)

a few links to peek at:
https://www.svsound.com/products/pc-4000
https://www.svsound.com/products/pb16-ultra
http://www.decware.com/newsite/HWK15.html
http://www.organexpressions.com/spk_resonounce.htm
https://billfitzmaurice.info/THT.html
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby scottherbert » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:27 pm

Romanos, do you have personal experience with the Housewrecker? I have considered it for my home, but all I hear about is how good it is in churches and large venues. I don't need power, only low and accurate.

~S
"Life is just a dream, it is in death that we truly awaken!"
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby Romanos » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:11 pm

scottherbert wrote:Romanos, do you have personal experience with the Housewrecker? I have considered it for my home, but all I hear about is how good it is in churches and large venues. I don't need power, only low and accurate.

~S


I don't have experience with it at home however from what I understand, most subs physically cannot move enough air to truly represent the lowest 32' octave whereas this sub can. It is always possible to build the machine and then back off the gas, so to speak, to get the effect without overwhelming yourself. Honestly, if I had the woodworking skills I'd try one out at home without any hesitation, but that's just me. I have a SVS PB-2000 that I like however even with that (and it goes down to 17hz and has 800 watt amplifier and a much higher peak) I'd be happy with more oomph. Not more decibels, but more presence.

To draw an analogy, I conceive of it this way: you can put two cars head-to-head in a 0-60 drag. Let's say, a Corolla sport edition and a souped up Mustang. You can back off the Mustang and pace them the same, but obviously the Mustang will be able to get to speed MUCH easier even if you aren't flooring it since the engine will simply be designed for it. To put it in more organ terms, I've heard loud gedeckts and soft tibias. They are similar in construction and yet very different. One obviously has more presence then the other even though they can be voiced to have a similar volume. A brass party horn and a hodded tuba might have the same decibel level but they have very different qualities to the tone/presence they provide. You can push small subs to their limits but they still wont have the "presence" of larger subs that aren't driven as hard.
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:13 pm

As always I'd add the Rythmik Audio subs to the discussion. They are musical and models go up to double 15" and 18" units. The ported models have extra output but a pair of sealed models would be ideal in a medium size sanctuary.
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby Romanos » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:18 pm

jkinkennon wrote:As always I'd add the Rythmik Audio subs to the discussion. They are musical and models go up to double 15" and 18" units. The ported models have extra output but a pair of sealed models would be ideal in a medium size sanctuary.

It's interesting you mention them. I was checking out your site and saw you mentioned them. Went reading on their site. They are the only subwoofers (commercial) that I have ever seen advertising output at 12hz. Amazing. I've seen a few state 15 (maybe 14) but never 12. They look to be quite formidable.
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby brooke.benfield » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:32 pm

12 Hz is impressive but check this out:

https://bagend.com/wp-content/uploads/2 ... D10E-I.pdf

They have many other models in their "Infrasub" line. It only takes money....lots of it.
Brooke Benfield
Organist, Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Portland OR
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby Romanos » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:36 pm

If I was going to spend looooots of money I would either
a.) do an infinite baffle setup into an attic/basement
or go even further and do a
b.) rotary woofer (also infinite baffle, technically). If I was doing a large church installation I'd go with a rotary woofer. It's the only type of sub that can truly move air like a pipe.
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:09 pm

Here is my Rythmik Audio sub's response in my home. It's clear that the response is good down to 10 to 12Hz. The microphone is a calibration mike that has not been calibrated in a lab. I used the sub's parametric equalizer to increase the levels between approximately 40 and 80Hz. The absolute values of SPL displayed are meaningless in this graph, but they are relatively correct minus whatever response error exists with the microphone. I haven't checked, but the response bumps below and above 16Hz may relate to the room dimensions.

Image
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby scottherbert » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:32 am

jkinkennon wrote:Here is my Rythmik Audio sub's response in my home. It's clear that the response is good down to 10 to 12Hz. The microphone is a calibration mike that has not been calibrated in a lab. I used the sub's parametric equalizer to increase the levels between approximately 40 and 80Hz. The absolute values of SPL displayed are meaningless in this graph, but they are relatively correct minus whatever response error exists with the microphone. I haven't checked, but the response bumps below and above 16Hz may relate to the room dimensions.

Image

Impressive! But which one do you have?

~S
"Life is just a dream, it is in death that we truly awaken!"
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby jkinkennon » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:06 pm

Here's the exact model, though I went the custom route and built the enclosure to their plans.

http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F15HP.html

EDIT: I ordered the H600XLR3 amp which has two XLR inputs. BTW they have ported models that would be a good choice for larger spaces where the max output is more important. There are dual 15" and new 18" designs that were not available when I purchased/built my sub.
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Re: Advice on subwoofer for pipe organ + hauptwerk setup

Postby organtechnology » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:12 pm

jkinkennon wrote:Here's the exact model, though I went the custom route and built the enclosure to their plans.

http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F15HP.html

EDIT: I ordered the H600XLR3 amp which has two XLR inputs. BTW they have ported models that would be a good choice for larger spaces where the max output is more important. There are dual 15" and new 18" designs that were not available when I purchased/built my sub.


I also really like this sub from Rythmik Audio. Recommend them highly.

Thomas
Complete VPO systems powered by Hauptwerk™. Real Wood Consoles, PC or MAC Computer Sound Modules, Audio for Home or Church.
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