Divine Bass!

By Brent Handy
Contributing Writer
May 10, 2023

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While touring, I am constantly looking and listening for the best products to use in church sound systems. Many contractors offer "Install" products. But frankly, many of them are sub par in my opinion. There are a few great manufacturers who only change the handles, flyware or finishes on speakers. But others are not suitable for concert sound. Concert sound seems to be the trend in the modern church production. This is a first in a series of technology reviews and how-to's provided by manufacturer's. I think that you'll find this information helpful in understanding the new gear on the market, and maybe some older gear that you may never have
heard of before.

Rhino Acoustics is a company that you probably have not heard of. They do not have a huge presence in the church technology or pro sound magazines. They are not a huge conglomerate with many lines or equipment models. Rhino makes two models of subwoofers (the B-One and B-Two), with a third one to be released soon (the B-Three. How can it not sound good with a name like B-3?).

I spoke with David Lee about the company, it's products and how the Bassmaxx subwoofers fit in the competitive church market.

David was involved in the home theater installation business. He developed a dissatisfaction for the quality and quantity of low frequency reproduction available in the marketplace. David developed an interest sub designs. Prior to posting a message about the subject on an audio website, he received an E-mail from Johan van Zyl. Johan was in South Africa, experiencing the same frustration. Since 1988, Johan had been developing sub horn technology. He was designing systems out of his passion for music. The two conversed. Johan said that he could design what David was wanting. Not long after David told Johan that they could start a company and market it, a miraculous chain of events lead Johan to Texas. The two met, built some prototypes, and immediately began Rhino Acoustics. The rest is history, albeit unknown to you until this moment. Rhino's Bassmaxx subs are the best subs that I have ever heard, and quite possibly the best subs for your church worship center or youth center, bar none.

And now a quote by Johan van Zyl, from "The Founder's Message", on the company's website (www.bassmaxx.com): "In cases where things seem almost impossible, God can perform bigger miracles than we can imagine. The Bible says, "I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13.) I don't think we realize the power and absolute truth of this scripture. The Bible is as true for today's believer as ever before. If we live in humble submission and truth before God, we will experience great things. I developed BASSMAXX technology and the design software, resolved design problems and overcame many obstacles by praying for answers and trusting in God to provide them. The Bible teaches us that, "If any man lacks wisdom, he should pray to God for wisdom and it shall be given to
him". To this I say "AMEN". Ask me. I know."

I had no idea that Johan believed in Jesus Christ as his Saviour. Well that was just icing on the cake for me. Not only are these subs designed and built in the USA, not only do they sound fantastic, they are designed by Christians.

Subwoofer shoot-outs across the nation reveal what sound reinforcement companies have banked on. Bassmaxx subs deliver higher fidelity, higher efficiency, and a longer throw, than any other sub topology. Sure, not everyone leaves smiling and drop jawed, like...competing manufacturers.

The Bassmaxx subs are so efficient in operation that you can actually use one Bassmaxx sub for every two double 18" sub systems. The Bassmaxx subs do not have resonances, high harmonic distortion and overtones associated with traditional front-loaded subs in the near-field. The reason is that multiple smaller sources coupling with no wave guide create a convoluted wave. It is not focused over distance. Bassmaxx uses multiple horn mouths coupled together, providing for a single coherent wave from a single source, that is focused and detailed over distance.

While the science is highly guarded, the technology may be generalized. There is a very long horn inside of a "Box-Free" cabinet. That sounds like a complete contradiction but it is not. The horn is not in a sealed box. This eliminates the rapid roll-off of frequencies. You will notice that this is common in other designs. You will hear the kick, but not much defined, musical bass. There is no box resonating used to increase or sustain bass output. The driver maintains it's loading across the bass spectrum, yielding the response mentioned above, because the box is not

Have you ever been on stage and listened to your current subs? Have you listened to how much bass comes from the back of the cabinet? Some manufacturers have placed an extra driver in the rear of their cabs, out of phase, to offset the rear firing bass. Bassmaxx systems are 9dB down in the back from the front of the cabinet. Considering 10dB is half in volume, that is an amazing feature. Imagine dropping your onstage subwoofer bleed to almost half. Wouldn't that make mixing easier, cleaner?

The only place that you should consider locating any sub woofer is on the floor. There is acoustic coupling with the floor, and in some cases the walls, that is beneficial to the dispersion of the bass waves. There are some unfortunate instances where flying the sub is the only option. Bassmaxx subs will be offered in a flying, arrayable format to meet those needs. But remember that you will need twice as many subs in the air, as you would normally use on the floor. This is due to lost coupling. This will also require amplifier power and more expense.

David Lee quickly emphasizes that sub placement is crucial. You should consult a contractor and/or experienced engineer. There are room dimensions and boundary angles, finishes, etc that provide reflection points and null points. There is a science to it folks. That's for another article.

David sees the Bassmaxx fitting in well with the modern church market. He recalls the traditional church of the past. The large churches of early America, with ornate artwork, stained glass windows, huge pipe organs, etc. Feeling the 32Hz wave of the pipe organ was part of the listening experience. That power, depth and energy is gone from modern services. He would like to hear that dynamic energy return in todays music productions, and provide a way to reproduce it.

Today's seekers are not like any other generation. The modern seeker is technically advanced, attends concerts, may have a high-end home theater system, etc. The youth of today have a higher quality sound system in their car than most 30-40 year olds have in their home. The kids know what real bass is, what it sounds and FEELS like. David believes that the ability to provide a professional presentation and/or worship experience is condusive to reaching the youth and young adults of a generation that is entertainment hungry. Why not provide the same production values, with the same gear that is used in the entertainment industry?

I agree with that point. I also maintain that the production does not validate the message. If used correctly, it is a tool to attract, relate and deliver a message. Don't take my word for it. Go experience it for yourself. Visit some other churches with a capable system and staff. Make note of the demographics. The next time that you are in a home electronics store, concert, or IASCA car finals show, see if those same people are there. You would be surprised.

Rhino Acoustics, Inc.
2010 Commerce Street, Houston, TX 77002-2314


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