No bass in the cinema …

No bass … why on earth not ?

Quite recently I attended a new cinema build/instal on behalf of an installer, faced with no bass and a hacked off customer as a result.  We met and exchanged pleasantries, in a slightly awkward manner, as the customer’s view was “why wasn’t the acoustician brought in earlier ?”.
What the client meant was:
Here we are in a now fully finished and decorated room of rather awkward shape, I’ve done my money, and I’m expecting it to work, instead of which we are talking about ripping things out, adding other things and of course spending more money to make it work.
When, it seems, if you had sought assistance at the design stage, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

Seems almost logical when you put it like that !  But …

Dealers/installers tend to only seek help when all else has failed, when the room is complete and decorated, when the customer is complaining, and when the system just refuses to sound any good no matter what, and there’s no bass.

On this particular occasion however, about half way through he first cup of coffee, and with music playing through, what was otherwise a nice instal in a nice room, I went through the door into the area behind the fixed screen. The Left/Centre/Right speakers were mounted on a decent sturdy riser running full width of the screen, with power amps nice and close to the speakers. All looking really good so far, until….
I spot two subs, mounted on the same riser between the front L/C/R main speakers.
Mmmmm …  I traced the speaker cables from the subs back to their amplifiers, switched them off and disconnected them, then repositioned the subs in the correct place.  After re connecting, and switching back on I re entered the room from behind the screen, and was visually met with a sea of “mouth hanging open” faces. No bass having been transformed into plenty of bass !

no bass cup-of-coffee jpg image It took less than the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, to re instate bass and gain a happier customer !

But it should never have happened.  No it jolly well shouldn’t. This stuff is truly fundamental and I for sure have rammed this information down installers throats for years. Put the subs in the wrong place and you’ll probably have a lack of bass.  It’s simple.

Not only fundamental stuff, but stuff which, after a number of years installation experience surely any installer should have cottoned on to, without the additional previously mentioned educational attempts.

At this point it would be easy for some one as cynical as me to assume that no one actually gives a shit !.
More so, as in this death defyingly daft example, there was still more to do to get real performance out of the system. However the evidence is pointing to the installer being quite happy with a final payment cheque and a mediocre system. Rather than representing the installed brands in their best possible light, representing himself in the best possible light and representing the whole industry in the best possible light, while, giving the end user something really special as against “just ok”.