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Front ported or rear ported monitors for my room?
Old 14th February 2010
  #1
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Front ported or rear ported monitors for my room?

I have my Paypal account built up and I'm just about ready to buy another pair of monitors. I rely on my Tannoy PBM 6.5's for the majority of my mixing and I'm quite used to them but I need more low end than they provide. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy new Yamaha's. I've listened to the HS80's and HS50's extensively at the store and since my objective is to bring some accurate bass into my monitors I was looking at the 80's. However they're rear ported and I'm in the corner of a small room. The control room is 9 x 9 and my desk is placed at the front corner of the room. This places the right monitor right in the corner. The room is treated pretty well, the space is deadened. Would it be better to get a front ported speaker instead of the HS80 which is rear ported? How does that affect the bass? I've never heard the MSP7 but I know the ports are in the front. I think the A7's too. Will front or rear port be an issue that should decide this for me?
Old 15th February 2010
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Old 15th February 2010
  #3
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Some people say a rear ported speaker is more consistent from low to high volume, others say it doesn't matter. Others says ported speakers suck alltogether because of the smearing of time domain/phase issues. How do we know what would work best in your room? Duh... so many factors to consider.
Old 15th February 2010
  #4
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So it's a dumb question? There's no rule of thumb to go by? My description of the room doesn't help?
Old 15th February 2010
  #5
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This is the room. There would be a 2nd set of monitors on the desk. The first set are on stands lowered to head level. Does ported (rear or front) or non-ported make any difference at all in this scenario?
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Front ported or rear ported monitors for my room?-room-setup2.jpg  
Old 15th February 2010
  #6
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Sound doesn't come out of a port.

Adding a port to a speaker cabinet can lower its resonant frequency, and will change the low end rolloff characteristics of that speaker.

If you want a full range monitor system, buy full range monitors or integrate a subwoofer.
Old 15th February 2010
  #7
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I see. So I have the concept all wrong. It always seemed to me that ported cabinets added more natural low frequency but it probably just adds more inaccurate low frequency or decreases the amount of accuracy. I won't worry so much about ports and just find the best full range monitor I can afford.
Old 15th February 2010
  #8
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It's not always innacurate.

There are many examples of great sounding ported (and passive radiator, etc.) speakers.

It is a cheaper way to get a speaker of a certain size to play lower. A bigger cabinet, larger drivers, etc. can bring lower frequency response without the fixed resonance and the steep rolloff.
Old 15th February 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
I have my Paypal account built up and I'm just about ready to buy another pair of monitors. I rely on my Tannoy PBM 6.5's for the majority of my mixing and I'm quite used to them but I need more low end than they provide. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy new Yamaha's. I've listened to the HS80's and HS50's extensively at the store and since my objective is to bring some accurate bass into my monitors I was looking at the 80's. However they're rear ported and I'm in the corner of a small room. The control room is 9 x 9 and my desk is placed at the front corner of the room. This places the right monitor right in the corner. The room is treated pretty well, the space is deadened. Would it be better to get a front ported speaker instead of the HS80 which is rear ported? How does that affect the bass? I've never heard the MSP7 but I know the ports are in the front. I think the A7's too. Will front or rear port be an issue that should decide this for me?
I can definitely understand your desire for more low end, and a more accurate low end, but I believe you're barking up the wrong tree. Your room will have much more influence on the bass response than whether you choose to go with front ported or rear ported speakers.

You describe your room to be 9x9, with what I'm assuming are 8' ceilings--almost a cube. This means that the modes occurring along each dimension will be nearly identical, exacerbating any problem frequencies. This does not mean the room is unusable, but it may be challenging without some serious treatment, especially in the low end.

What do you mean when you say your room is "deadened?"? I'm assuming that means you feel that you have a lot of absorption going on. But, this information is useless without relating it to frequency ranges. Far too many people throw up a bunch of 2" auralex, clap their hands, hear no flutter, and declare the room "dead". Meanwhile, their low end is a mess. Worse yet, they "trust" the room even more, thinking that it is now "accurate". I'm sure you can see where I'm going. There's a wealth of info out there regarding acoustics and room treatment, on this forum, other sites, etc. I'd suggest investing your time/efforts/$$ there first.

Once you get your room sorted out, you can spend hours obsessing over speaker designs. This is a complicated field, to say the least, and getting more so each year with more in the way of electronics and DSP/"room correction" being introduced into speaker designs. As to ported or not, front or rear, passive radiators, sealed enclosures, sub or no sub, there are benefits and tradeoffs to them all, both in frequency response, phase/time-domain behavior, and efficiency.

There are plenty of fantastic speakers out there, in almost every price range, and you can get as tweaky and expensive as you like. But, until you take on the less-exciting, more (seemingly) abstract task of getting your room under control, you may be wasting your $$.

Best,

T
Old 15th February 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedpenn View Post
I can definitely understand your desire for more low end, and a more accurate low end, but I believe you're barking up the wrong tree. Your room will have much more influence on the bass response than whether you choose to go with front ported or rear ported speakers.

You describe your room to be 9x9, with what I'm assuming are 8' ceilings--almost a cube. This means that the modes occurring along each dimension will be nearly identical, exacerbating any problem frequencies. This does not mean the room is unusable, but it may be challenging without some serious treatment, especially in the low end.

What do you mean when you say your room is "deadened?"? I'm assuming that means you feel that you have a lot of absorption going on. But, this information is useless without relating it to frequency ranges. Far too many people throw up a bunch of 2" auralex, clap their hands, hear no flutter, and declare the room "dead". Meanwhile, their low end is a mess. Worse yet, they "trust" the room even more, thinking that it is now "accurate". I'm sure you can see where I'm going. There's a wealth of info out there regarding acoustics and room treatment, on this forum, other sites, etc. I'd suggest investing your time/efforts/$$ there first.

Once you get your room sorted out, you can spend hours obsessing over speaker designs. This is a complicated field, to say the least, and getting more so each year with more in the way of electronics and DSP/"room correction" being introduced into speaker designs. As to ported or not, front or rear, passive radiators, sealed enclosures, sub or no sub, there are benefits and tradeoffs to them all, both in frequency response, phase/time-domain behavior, and efficiency.

There are plenty of fantastic speakers out there, in almost every price range, and you can get as tweaky and expensive as you like. But, until you take on the less-exciting, more (seemingly) abstract task of getting your room under control, you may be wasting your $$.

Best,

T
I did have an experienced engineer guide me a little. He helped me identify reflection points and treat those areas. But I wouldn't say it has been professionally treated. It certainly is a ton better than before I treated it. But I will have to read up some more on acoustics and try to identify and resolve any lingering issues. Thanks.
Old 15th February 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
I did have an experienced engineer guide me a little. He helped me identify reflection points and treat those areas. But I wouldn't say it has been professionally treated. It certainly is a ton better than before I treated it. But I will have to read up some more on acoustics and try to identify and resolve any lingering issues. Thanks.
Check out anything posted by Ethan or Glen on the forum, as well as Ethan's web site. John Sayers also has some great resources posted online. Google away
Old 16th February 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedpenn View Post
Check out anything posted by Ethan or Glen on the forum, as well as Ethan's web site. John Sayers also has some great resources posted online. Google away
Thanks. I've already watched 3 of Ethans videos today. I'll google Sayers. I'm going to be searching specifically for info on treatment of small rooms.
Old 16th February 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousfun View Post
Sound doesn't come out of a port.

Adding a port to a speaker cabinet can lower its resonant frequency, and will change the low end rolloff characteristics of that speaker.

If you want a full range monitor system, buy full range monitors or integrate a subwoofer.
Wrong. Sound below mechanical crossover (not the same as the speaker's crossover circuit) does in fact come out of the port. Put your hand in front of it when playing a passage with a lot of lows at moderately high volume. You can feel the air move. Moving air = sound. Sound definitely does come out of the port.

Putting a rear ported speaker in a corner is asking for trouble, as the output of the port will be horn loaded and amplified out of proportion.

You should avoid corner placement anyway, it causes low end buildup.

As a general rule I avoid rear ports, even when the speakers are properly positioned on stands, away from the walls.
Old 20th February 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Wrong. Sound below mechanical crossover (not the same as the speaker's crossover circuit) does in fact come out of the port. Put your hand in front of it when playing a passage with a lot of lows at moderately high volume. You can feel the air move. Moving air = sound. Sound definitely does come out of the port.

Putting a rear ported speaker in a corner is asking for trouble, as the output of the port will be horn loaded and amplified out of proportion.

You should avoid corner placement anyway, it causes low end buildup.

As a general rule I avoid rear ports, even when the speakers are properly positioned on stands, away from the walls.
It does seem logical that rear ported would exaggerate the cornered speaker issue. That's why I asked the question in the first place. I'm rearranging my room this week and placing the desk in the middle with head level at approximately 38 to 40 % from the front wall. I believe my existing treatment will prove be adequate once I do this but I'll find out for sure. I'm still going to want to buy a second set of reference monitors and I think I'll stay away from rear ports. Maybe Event ASP6 or something similar. The room is small so I should probably stay away from anything too big.
Old 20th February 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Wrong. Sound below mechanical crossover (not the same as the speaker's crossover circuit) does in fact come out of the port. ...
Sorry, no.

This is not low frequency sound, or anything other than puffs of air, like from a bellows or a puff of wind.

Again, a port lowers the resonant frequency of the system (speaker, box, air), and has a different roloff slope than a sealed cabinet speaker or other designs.

If it's actual bandpass content, it is a really, really, really........................................................really bad speaker design.
Old 20th February 2010
  #16
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peat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Moving air = sound. Sound definitely does come out of the port.
wrong.

moving air = particle velocity
sound = fluctuations in air pressure
Old 15th May 2010
  #17
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Ideally, in the back of the cabinet would be a black hole and in the front a driver that perfectly replicated the entire audio spectrum. Ported is less than ideal to allow waves out. You honestly think that if you covered up the driver that no sound would come out the port? <.< I'd like to see a test of that...while it could be possible to diffuse the sound into a puff of noise? through chambers, I doubt cheap monitors are built that way.

I just think nobody wants to hear the inside of the cabinet "resonate." unless its to make your speaker bang loud. Having no port would be the best option; the driver should be doing all the work with sound coming straight at you. This is why double driver, push pull subwoofers are so accurate and have no rumble.

If you wanted to change the resonate frequency as it affects driver and cabinet vibration in a closed cabinet you'd just scale it up or down to a spot where it matters least I guess. I'd rather have that than a bass port.
Old 3rd August 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousfun View Post
Sorry, no.

This is not low frequency sound, or anything other than puffs of air, like from a bellows or a puff of wind.

Again, a port lowers the resonant frequency of the system (speaker, box, air), and has a different roloff slope than a sealed cabinet speaker or other designs.

If it's actual bandpass content, it is a really, really, really........................................................really bad speaker design.
when i put my hear next to the port i hear all the lows of my AV40's? and the air moving feels very much vibration-ish, now it could be the fact that they're m-audio av40's and they are what you described as really bad speakers or that i'm missing something here, i'm not trying to pi sides just understand
Old 3rd August 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Some people say a rear ported speaker is more consistent from low to high volume, others say it doesn't matter. Others says ported speakers suck alltogether because of the smearing of time domain/phase issues. How do we know what would work best in your room? Duh... so many factors to consider.
Bass reflex (ported) speakers suck mostly because they add signal in the low end (look up "Helmholtz Resonator" - that's what they are) and then response falls off a cliff below the port tuning (vs a more gradual fade out as with other enclosure types which is more natural sounding and truely extended). By defenition this is not hifi. They are popular and have become pro and home standards because of 2 things - they make for really nice response graphs (apparent low end extension) and they tend to be smaller then other enclosure types for the same drive unit. The best spec to check for a speaker is square wave response (which 99% of manufacturers do not provide - F response graphs are easier to make look ideal and pretty).

... but just try finding a pair of new monitors that aren't bass reflex (original Mackie HR8 series were passive radiator - a related design but a bit better; my advise is to go with, if at all possible, acoustic suspension aka sealed, or at least aperiodic such as vintage Dynaco A series passives; or, ideally, transmission line/TQWT, of which there are only a couple options available, and all I've seen are passive) so you probably have to deal with ported.

Port on the front or back is mostly a matter of how close to a wall (or corner) the speakers are as the main consideration for this choice is the speakers baffle step effect (or lack thereof - some speakers compensate for placement relative to a wall - check the manufacturer lit). There are other factors but generally, if they're right up against a wall/corner (or very close) rear ports are a no no, but if out further in the room (3 ft + from a wall, further for a corner) well designed rear ports can be an acceptable way to compensate for baffle step.

Also this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedpenn View Post
I can definitely understand your desire for more low end, and a more accurate low end, but I believe you're barking up the wrong tree. Your room will have much more influence on the bass response than whether you choose to go with front ported or rear ported speakers.

You describe your room to be 9x9, with what I'm assuming are 8' ceilings--almost a cube. This means that the modes occurring along each dimension will be nearly identical, exacerbating any problem frequencies. This does not mean the room is unusable, but it may be challenging without some serious treatment, especially in the low end.
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