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MaxxBass from Waves for smaller speakers

Last response: in Home Audio
February 27, 2011 3:56:59 PM

I always wondered about this but is it popular to use MaxxBass from Waves for smaller bookshelf speakers? I do think that MaxxBass makes the speakers sound much bigger without overdriving the woofer. MaxxBass® uses psycho-acoustics to calculate precise harmonics that are related to the fundamental tones of sound. When these harmonics are combined, it creates the effect of lower, deeper frequencies.

Here is a video about MaxxBass.

My Cakewalk MA-7A studio monitors use MaxxBass and it does make the speakers sound much bigger than they are it does put alot of low bass around 30hz or so since when I use TrueRTA and played around 30hz it actualy plays it. Without it it doesn't play that low that well. Roland calls it the Bass Enhancer but really it is MaxxBass.

This is what Roland says about the Bass Enhancer.

What is the Bass Enhancer?

The Bass Enhancer found in the MA-7A Stereo Monitors lets the user hear bass frequencies not normally audible through speakers this size. The Bass Enhancer is a DSP chip programmed using psychoacoustic principles that converts low frequencies into a series of overtones which the human ear cannot distinguish from the original low frequencies. This allows the listener to perceive bass frequencies outside of the normal range of the speaker cone, without over-driving the woofer. With the Bass Enhancer, the MA-7A Stereo Monitors offer a strong low-end in a very compact set of reference monitors.

February 27, 2011 9:00:19 PM

its a pretty neat concept.

there are three ways of making it work.
the first wont sit well with many people because the general principle is deceiving.
but if a speaker wont play 40hz when you ask it to.. you could try to turn up the power to make the speaker move in and out more, but if the speaker distorts (distorts the bass or a different frequency) then the next way to try and get 40hz from the speaker is to play a lower bass tone.
maybe the speaker will move in and out at 20hz without distorting the low frequency (or any of the higher frequencies)
therefore you could use that 20hz and mix it with a higher frequency to create a perceived 40hz

the other method is more complicated because it involves using the speaker box as a horn.
the speaker resonates frequencies inside extremely fast and manipulates the air like shaping clay or putty.
the final result is a 'mold' or 'box-horned' output that has the resemblence of the desired frequency.

imagine if you shouted across a canyon and could hear an echo.
that means you could send out a bunch of weird noises that make absolutely no sense if you listen to them individually.. but the final result once it bounces back and is heard as an echo is actually a complete sentence (or paragraph).

its like taking a bunch of ingredients and mixing them together to make something that tastes totally different than anything that was put into the mixing bowl.

the third method is really simple because it uses method one and method two at the same time to really boost the output.

if you purchase one of those maxxbass pieces of hardware, you are going to have to dial it in yourself.
that means trying one method or the other.
because if you rely on a 'preset' box size, you might have very low results.
and if you rely on a 'preset' low frequency to mix with a higher frequency, your speaker might distort and that is unwanted.

however, the hardware might use a feedback sense to determine what the speaker is capable of and therefore detect distortion and automatically choose a different 'tune' to get a good final result.

they might have taken the time to have each knob adjust the parameters and allow you to dial it in yourself.

its definitely not a fake idea.
just look at bose with their one inch speaker in a 7ft wave tunnel with their famous bose wave radios.
those things put out enough bass that can rattle something.
February 27, 2011 10:14:48 PM

Well my monitors has just one switch I press and it turns on or off the MaxxBass feature. I think that Roland has already adjusted the crossover low frequency that the speakers can't play and made it sound good and flat response since studio monitors are suppose to sound flat. I was just wondering that if this feature is popular that's all.
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February 28, 2011 12:24:40 AM

from an unknown point of view.. i dont see why people wouldnt use it if it makes the speaker have a wider frequency response.

it would have to cause unwanted results, like too much bass, before anybody would turn it off.

i dont know if all of those bose cubes use something simliar to this or not.
but if they did, that doesnt mean people knowingly use the feature.

it would be interesting to note if anybody else knows of other products that do the same.

i seen the video and i'm actually wanting to research the maxxbass for car audio.
i dont have a subwoofer in my car, and the stock speakers distort if i ask them to play any bass lower than 80hz without a severe rolloff.
it would be welcomed if it works.

because when i finally put amps in my car, i am really wanting to make the front speakers a 3-way setup.
and if that piece of hardware can make my front woofers play lower, that would really help give a stronger sense of bass detail with the subwoofer.

rolling off at 40hz is such like a feather compared to rolling off at 30hz
it would help me get a sense of being completely surrounded by bass rather than instinct telling me that the bass is coming from the trunk like an ocean wave.
i like to call it a feeling of being 'unbolted'

i think the THX console that comes with the x-fi soundcards uses the same type of processing.
that might just be my cheating ports making 'noise' with the air to help me hear well down to 28hz and lower.

the speaker isnt distorting when asking for that note using trueRTA
but it lacks amplitude without the bass boost.
but when i use the bass boost, i can hear a difference in the tone of the frequency.

see i can turn up the radio really really loud without the bass boost and play 28hz
i couldnt listen to higher frequencies though because they would be screaming at like 105dB
so i turn the volume back down and turn on the bass boost.. then i can hear 28hz much louder, but with a different color.

its not all bad.
i have used the bass boost turned on while calibrating my equalizer to help the midrange and treble line up flat with the far left of the frequency response.

this is my frequency response with the equalizer and THX bass boost enabled:

here is another frequency response of just the equalizer and bass enhancer:

here is the frequency response without the equalizer:

you can certainly tell a difference between how flat it is.

i took that frequency response and used DRC digital room correction and it gave me this result:

it looks so strange because the line isnt as flat, but i think it sounds more lively and humble with the digital room correction enabled.

i think DRC really changed the phase of the frequencies, which allows more details to be heard.
the amplitude might not be as flat, but there are greater details to be heard with the digitally corrected impulse file in the convolver.

i guess that is what i get since DRC is free.
the next step would be to get some of the same phase correction, but also adjusting the amplitude so that the frequency response looks flat.

but perhaps that is when all of the sounds start to sound exactly the same and its hard to hear everything because it is all at the same level of loudness.
i havent made it that far yet to know if its said to be true with my system.
i have heard it in the past.
it sounded like everything was coming from a tin can and was impossible to hear the details because there was something else playing, with one sound drowning out the other sound until it was all just noise.

in the back of my mind, i know there are people who feel the same way about equalizers.
they dont want to calibrate the EQ because they dont want the sound to be washed out.
but i think that is why the perfectly flat frequency response then has spikes that go up and down.

i think its possible that the reason why everything was washed out was because of phase problems.
opposing phased soundwaves will cancel eachother out.

so the final note needs to be an interleaving of the variables.
if you strive for perfect, eventually the entire room will pressurize and you wont hear anything at all until the air itself moves back and forth like a speaker.
and that is when you are really feeling the sounds with enough pressure to rob the air from your lungs.

audio is very detailed because you can over-do it.

my calibration microphone fell off of my lap.. so i cant play with my frequency response any further until i get a new one and have it's frequency response calibrated.

do you have a calibration microphone to visually see the difference your bass feature is causing?
i mean, its not hard to tell that there is a severe lack of bass.
but it would be well to know that the feature is under-doing it or over-doing it.

perhaps you could check out BBE processing.
i know that it is a bass processor.
i dont know if it helps other frequencies.
but BBE processing is another brand name to help you in your search of popularity of use.

some televisions have BBE processing.
some car radios have BBE processing.
i dont know if there are any home receivers or boomboxes that use the processing.

i think audio processing is wicked and highly complex.
its astounding how much time and effort has been put into development.

maybe you could browse through the list of winamp plugins to see if any of them offer a feature similar to the maxxbass feature on your speakers.
that would bring you closer to more people that are using it.
if you find a plugin that does work similar, you could post on the winamp forum and ask who uses the plugin.

but i apologize.
are you wondering if there are other people using the specific maxxbass feature with your speakers.. or maybe the maxxbass pieces of hardware.. or simply anything of the same processing type under any brand name?
February 28, 2011 12:36:51 AM

Well I was just wondering if people use MaxxBass for there home speakers using the MaxxBass 102 or so. Or does alot of people have powered speakers that has MaxxBass? All I know that MaxxBass doesn't change the frequency balance so that's really good. It's not like a normal bass boost. Normaly bass boosts just turns up the bass frequency on the EQ but MaxxBass doesn't do that. So the EQ is set to flat with MaxxBass it's still totaly flat just has more fuller sound so it sounds like a bigger speaker.

I don't think Bose uses this though since I have heard of Bose speakers and they don't sound like they use MaxxBass.

My monitors has MaxxBass and I can hear the difference when it's off and on. The speakers itself doesn't have much low end so it lacks the low end so having the MaxxBass feature on it makes the bass come out fully like a big speaker does.
February 28, 2011 1:01:48 AM

well i seen in your first post that you said your speaker has a button for the feature.
i didnt know if you were posting about the technology and the process or the specific brand name.

popularity would come at the cost of the same processing technology under different brand names.. which is why i mentioned THX console and BBE processing.

so you say bose will never admit to 'branding' the technology maxxbass?
7ft of tunnel and a 1 inch speaker with bass loud enough to rattle the doors on an entertainment center is quite an accomplishment.
the same can be said for any small speaker pumping large amounts of output.

if it isnt widely known.. i think this thread will be an easy place to start.

i'll be checking back to see if anybody has a hardware box of the maxxbass.
i really want to go read about the car audio one.
i googled it, but havent clicked on any links yet.

i'm not a fan of small speakers unless there is a wall of like 20 of them.
i believe (and certainly know) that there are sound pressures mixed into songs that are added to expand the overall affect.
but i do know that small speakers can be pleasurable because they dont have to bounce loads of soundwaves off of the walls like big speakers do.
and that can amount to a higher quality listening experience as long as you dont take into account the sound pressure.

with that said.. i believe low-end extension is a must have.
and anything that offers to extend the low-end should be welcomed.

but what is truly amazing.. based on method two, is that you can have a subwoofer box naturally tuned for 40hz and then use sound processing to make the speaker provide output lower than the tune of the box.

the product could be a very real heart-warming addition to hundreds, or even thousands, of prebuilt subwoofers in home theaters around the world.
especially if you can squeeze out some lower extension than the 40hz or 35hz that the subwoofer box is tuned for.

people just dont know what they arent informed about.
things could be much more better with what they already have when brainiac technology like this is added.

i just cant emphasize enough about the amount of intelligence put into the research and development of acoustics.
the improvements are remarkable enough to literally change a person's life (and their daily lifestyle).
February 28, 2011 2:08:31 PM

using overtones to 'hear' lower bass isnt the same as listening to a pure low frewuency hertz signal, this is why maybe it snot as popular? again colouring is an issue.

the MAXXBASS is similar to the SRS audio sandbox. even thuogh it is 'supposed' to be better with it on, if u have good speakers you can kind of see the fault in its post processing and will eventually go back to pure/no effect settings.
March 4, 2011 6:36:16 AM

Well I know that MaxxBass doesn't change the frequency balance so I thought it doesn't really add color. Also I don't think it's like SRS since SRS has more of the echo sound and it sounds different. I have heard how SRS effects sound like and it does sound different.