Bass over excursion or port noise - Turn Down For What?

I have had the S1 Pros for some time now and feel that this is very important to bring up. I have done many tests with the S1 Pros as well as a few gigs and have noticed something that I touched in my S1 Pro Review post, but now I would like to talk directly about my findings. 

I feel this data is very important since this unit is being advertised as a PA system and also includes Bluetooth. 

For those of you who are live performers this issue probably will never affect you. 

The S1 Pro has great bass response for rock, county and most pop music... but when it comes to really low frequencies the S1 bottoms out and sounds rather bad. 

Case and point... play the popular dance track “Turn Down For What?” and you will exactly what I mean (I had this song requested at the last gig I did). In this test you will hear what I am talking about way before you see the red signal lights flicker.... the bass sounds distorted. I am not sure if the sound I am hearing is the woofer distorting or really bad port noise. 

BTW I have three S1 Pros and they all behave like this, so I am pretty sure it is not a defect in the units.

I really think this needs to be addressed. 

The S1 Pros do this with other songs as well as when we watch certain movies with a lot of this low end information in the audio. 

If this new system wasn’t made for prerecorded music playback I wouldn’t really this issue is that critical, but it is. None of the other speakers in the Bose Portable PA line up have a real issue with these low frequencies... if they can’t reproduce the frequencies well they just don’t try too hard. I am sure this is due to some internal circuitry... 

Perhalps this could be fixed with a simple firmware update. 

Again, this will not affect most of you... just those who plan to use it as a PA for a small dance (especially if you play curtain tunes). 

BTW at the gig I was referring to above I ran my mixer through a F1 sub... how I got around the bad sound from the S1 Pros while playing “Turn Down For What?” was I engaged the HPF on the F1 sub... I tried just turning down the bass on the eq on the S1 Pros but the rumbling sound was still there... 

I do realize these are small speakers, but you should’t have to tiptoe around on the playlist of the night. 

 

Original Post

Hi JD,

I ran the through my SoundCraft Ui16 so I could take a look at the track you mentioned (Turn Down For What?). Most of the time it looked like this.

A closer look.

That's just information.

I just ran the track via Bluetooth to the S1 Pro and ran the volume up to point of seeing red flickers.  The S1 Pro handled it gracefully; no earth shattering lows, but nothing objectionable.

jdbassentertainment.com posted:
✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

BTW at the gig I was referring to above I ran my mixer through a F1 sub... how I got around the bad sound from the S1 Pros while playing “Turn Down For What?” was I engaged the HPF on the F1 sub... I tried just turning down the bass on the eq on the S1 Pros but the rumbling sound was still there... 

Double checking your signal path:

  1. Mixer to F1 Subwoofer
  2. F1 Subwoofer was set to HPF (High Pass Filter)
  3. F1 Sub LINE OUT to S1 Pro

Is this the setup where you were getting bad sound from the S1 Pro?

There should have been very little below 100 Hz going to the S1 Pro

ST

Attachments

Photos (2)

Hi JD,

I just set this up using https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMUDVMiITOU (the same track from which I got the screen shots in my post above)

Here's the signal path.

  1. Computer via USB to PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL (USB interface)
  2. PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL to Soundcraft Ui16 (Mixer)
  3. Soundcraft Ui16 to F1 Subwoofer
  4. F1 Subwoofer was set to HPF (High Pass Filter)
  5. F1 Sub LINE OUT to S1 Pro

I turned everything up to clipping, and I couldn't get anything that sounded like what you said below.

jdbassentertainment.com posted:
✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

The S1 Pro has great bass response for rock, county and most pop music... but when it comes to really low frequencies the S1 bottoms out and sounds rather bad. 

Case and point... play the popular dance track “Turn Down For What?” and you will exactly what I mean (I had this song requested at the last gig I did). In this test you will hear what I am talking about way before you see the red signal lights flicker.... the bass sounds distorted. I am not sure if the sound I am hearing is the woofer distorting or really bad port noise

✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄
Then I tried it with the F1 Subwoofer EQ set to THRU. Even then, it didn't sound bad.

Please post a recording. Let's get to the bottom of this. Sorry, the pun was irresistible.
Thanks,
ST

Hi JD,

Thanks for the video. You're right, that sounds bad. And it's not what I hear from my S1 Pros.

What's your Bluetooth source? Have you tried using the same source and same track with a different receiving device?

ST

Hi again JD,

jdbassentertainment.com posted:

BTW the signal chain I am using is just Bluetooth...

OK - I was thrown by the following in your original post.

jdbassentertainment.com posted:
✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ -

BTW at the gig I was referring to above I ran my mixer through a F1 sub... how I got around the bad sound from the S1 Pros while playing “Turn Down For What?” was I engaged the HPF on the F1 sub... I tried just turning down the bass on the eq on the S1 Pros but the rumbling sound was still there...

That's why I did my second round of tests using the F1 Subwoofer.

In my first round, I ran the track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMUDVMiITOU 

on my computer and connected via Bluetooth to the S1 Pro.

Hi JD,

Are you getting the same distortion even when you route the signal through the F1 Subwoofer exactly like this?

  1. Source to F1 Subwoofer - Input 1 - LINE INPUT
  2. F1 Subwoofer set to HPF (High Pass Filter)
  3. F1 Subwoofer - Input 1 - LINE OUT to S1 Pro


Also, please try your set up with this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMUDVMiITOU

Let's eliminate as many variables as possible.

Thanks,

ST

ST, thank you for your quick reply and tests... 

The song sounds the same on you S1 pro as mine...  Perhaps this was not a good track to use for a test . I will have to do some more tests with a different song tonight and post another video...

+Please advise I will be taking down the video on youtube... you may want to take down yours concerning this test song. 

Hi JD,

jdbassentertainment.com posted:

ST, thank you for your quick reply and tests...

The song sounds the same on you S1 pro as mine... 

Okay - that's a relief.

Perhaps this was not a good track to use for a test . I will have to do some more tests with a different song tonight and post another video...

Sure, I'll hang tough 'til I hear more from you.



+Please advise I will be taking down the video on youtube... you may want to take down yours concerning this test song.

I posted the videos here (not on Youtube). You can do that too, up to 100 MB, as an attachment.

Here's another test you can do at your end.  When you've got the S1 Pro distorting like that, run the LINE out to your F1 Model 812 and see if the distortion is there too. If you hear the same distortion on the F1 Model 812 the we can eliminate "Bass over excursion or port noise" on the S1 Pro as the problem.

ST

BTW after listening to your test videos I decided to listen to the song “Turn Down For What?” On a good pair of headphones... after doing so I realized that it was recorded with a overdriven sounding bass.... I am a bit embarrassed... that being said I am standing by my claims since I have heard what I am describing in many other instances. This is why I decided to use one of my own songs to do a new test... I know the way it’s supposed to sound! The track I chose is one of my oldies released in 1999... it shows very well what I have been talking about especially when played after the right after the L1 Compact... 

In my test video you can hear what I have been speaking about. The S1 Pro tries to reproduce all the frequencies leading to loads of distortion... where as the Compact plays back just the frequencies it can reproduce well... like the punchy kick and higher 808 notes and and ignores the very deepest 808 notes... resulting in a pleasing listening experience. 

I feel that do to it’s small size and limited bass output the S1 Pro and it’s users would benefit greatly by reacting the same way as the Compact when playing back these types of bass notes. 

I do really like the S1 Pros, but I think they would be much more “bulletproof” in the field if this was fixed, allowing the user to play any audio without distortion.

Like I said perhaps a firmware update could fix the problem... ???

HI JD,

I got a chance to listen to your song through my S1 Pro and then I did some more listening tests.

Here's a shot from the analyzer.

There is a LOT of low end content.

And when I pushed the S1 Pro beyond its limits, there was distortion. I was able to get more clean volume out of it with the song you first mentioned:  Turn Down for What

Let me go back to your lead post.

jdbassentertainment.com posted:
✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

For those of you who are live performers this issue probably will never affect you. 

Agreed.



The S1 Pro has great bass response for rock, county and most pop music... but when it comes to really low frequencies the S1 bottoms out and sounds rather bad.

Case and point... play the popular dance track “Turn Down For What?” and you will exactly what I mean (I had this song requested at the last gig I did). In this test you will hear what I am talking about way before you see the red signal lights flicker.... the bass sounds distorted.

You've determined that there was a problem with the track you used for that example.  It sounded fine when I used a different source for the same song.

I am not sure if the sound I am hearing is the woofer distorting or really bad port noise.

I do really like the S1 Pros, but I think they would be much more “bulletproof” in the field if this was fixed, allowing the user to play any audio without distortion.

✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

You can push the S1 Pro beyond its limits. That's not unique to the S1 Pro. And as with other loudspeakers, when it distorts, we know it's time to turn it down.

You can get more clean low-end volume from the L1® Compact than the S1 Pro as you demonstrated with your video. But you can make the L1® Compact distort if you push it hard enough.

We've talked about this internally. Concerning port noise; loudspeakers with ports will have port noise and within the limits of what the S1 Pro is engineered to do, most people will not hear it.

The S1 Pro is engineered to deliver great sound in a small, versatile unit. It does that. And when we go beyond its capabilities for bass,  it's time to consider adding an F1 Subwoofer or switching to F1 Model 812s.

jdbassentertainment.com posted:

I do really like the S1 Pros, but I think they would be much more “bulletproof” in the field if this was fixed, allowing the user to play any audio without distortion.

Like I said perhaps a firmware update could fix the problem... ???

We'll take that as a suggestion. Thank you.

ST

Attachments

Photos (1)

Hi JD,
I'm a new owner of an S1 Pro system and have come across your thread while searching for a solution for the same thing.

I've found the bass distortion/port noise increases when the S1 Pro:
is on battery power (only slightly);
is sitting flat or mounted on a tripod.

The bass distortion/port noise decreases when the S1 Pro:
is on AC power;
is in the tilt-back/monitor position.

It seems the auto-EQ boosts the bass when the speaker is placed flat rather than tilted back.

Source: MacBook Pro connected through Bluetooth (Ch3)
Track: Streetgirls by Tocadisco
S1 Pro Ch3 level: 8/10 (6 o'clock position with the speaker standing flat)
iTunes volume: Approx 9/10
MacBook volume: 50%

I found minor improvements when playing with the levels - higher on the S1 Pro, under 90% on iTunes and controlling the overall volume with the MacBook's master volume seemed to give the best results.

Adjusting the EQ in iTunes brought huge improvements in volume.
I set the following:
32Hz -12dB
64Hz -6dB
125Hz -3dB
250Hz+ flat
With these settings, I was able to max out the volume on my MacBook without experiencing any muddiness. Obviously, having the EQ set like this also reduces the bass at lower volumes.

In the near future, I will connect the S1 Pro to my DBX DSP to see if a limiter will allow me to max out the volume without bass distortion or port noise.

Add Reply

Likes (1)
cruzluis0318
Having trouble signing in?

We recently updated our sign-in procedure and if you have old sign-in data cached, this can create a problem. Please:

  1. Clear your browser cache and cookies
  2. Then close the browser (not just the window)
  3. Open the browser and try again
Thank you

Please make sure that your profile is up to date
×
×
×
×