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Subwoofer for home use...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Subwoofer for home use...
rarara
Never had a seperate sub in my life, but am missing a bit of bottom end (compared to the same tunes on my IPOD through phones) so maybe its time but need some advice.

Lounge consists of listening stereo for playing IPOD/DAB/CDs etc as well as having decks+mixer connected. Generally the sound is decent (given that it is wooden floors so not acoustically great) from a pair of wall mounted JBL Control 1 Pro's.

Stereo has a RCA out for a subwoofer, so does that mean my only option is an active sub? And is that the best option?

I am just looking for a bit of sound enhancement without annoying the neighbours too much, so are there and small/affordable sub options that would suit?? thanks hmmm.....
Neo
SVS SB13-Ultra is awesome. I did a lot of research on hifi forums and reviews and these came out tops for reasonably priced subs, and only $1,600. So I got 2. Very musical and they go very deep.
rarara
Neo wrote:
reasonably priced subs, and only $1,600. So I got 2.


hmmm..... waah
Blairio
check out the:

Yamaha YST-FSW050BL2 Subwoofer

It should be no more than 120 dollars, and work well with your control 1's.

My son uses one with his quad lite speakers and Cambridge audio amplifier, and it adds useful bass without being overpowering.
rarara
yamaha looks ideal (and hopefully a good match to my yamaha stereo), and seems to be available close-by for £69 so worth a punt w00t
peripatitis
Neo wrote:
SVS SB13-Ultra is awesome. I did a lot of research on hifi forums and reviews and these came out tops for reasonably priced subs, and only $1,600. So I got 2. Very musical and they go very deep.


at 1600 a piece they should go deep in the ground and they propably will if you use two of them in a reasonable room..
listentoaheartbeat
Nubert subwoofers are hidden gems. I used to run two of the larger ones to support my O300s and they did a great job. Tight response, low distortion, easy setup. Check out the nuBox AW-443: https://www.nubert.de/nubox-aw-443/p1593/?category=81
Don T
Not exactly cheap (Ok, not even remotely cheap), but one of the best subwoofers I have ever heard was a pair of Martin-Logan "Descent".
Technologear?
Yes, an active sub would be easiest with that RCA out. Look for additional functions on the active sub, like a volume knob, crossover point knob switch, maybe a phase one too. This enables you to balance the level of the sub with your system.
Worth investigating what comes out that RCA: line level or volume controlled level? Crossed over output only or full mix?
I'm old school and use a completely separate component hi-fi system based on PA system principles. My 18" passive JBL sub is powered by a 600w amp, fed by a dbx crossover set at 80hz. Everything up from 80 sent to another power amp that runs my Ram monitors. It can get mighty loud but I have it all balanced evenly so it just sounds full.
Balancing the sub volume with the monitors is crucial, bass should be inferred, felt, not heard or noticed. Most systems crank the bass up so it's very noticeable, which is too high for my preference. I like only noticing a sub after its turned off during playback, and your initial response is "what happened? It doesn't sound as good now"
Blairio
Technologear? wrote:
Yes, an active sub would be easiest with that RCA out. Look for additional functions on the active sub, like a volume knob, crossover point knob switch, maybe a phase one too. This enables you to balance the level of the sub with your system.
Worth investigating what comes out that RCA: line level or volume controlled level? Crossed over output only or full mix?
I'm old school and use a completely separate component hi-fi system based on PA system principles. My 18" passive JBL sub is powered by a 600w amp, fed by a dbx crossover set at 80hz. Everything up from 80 sent to another power amp that runs my Ram monitors. It can get mighty loud but I have it all balanced evenly so it just sounds full.
Balancing the sub volume with the monitors is crucial, bass should be inferred, felt, not heard or noticed. Most systems crank the bass up so it's very noticeable, which is too high for my preference. I like only noticing a sub after its turned off during playback, and your initial response is "what happened? It doesn't sound as good now"


+1. It is surprising how little support from a subwoofer a reasonably balanced monitor set up needs. Here in the uk Richer Sounds used to offer pretty modest active Gale subwoofers (8" or 10" ) that provided the missing half octave on a few project studios I know.

Earlier in the thread there was mention made of running dual subwoofers. The idea of running subwoofers in pairs is an odd one - if the intention is to reproduce the origin of the low frequencies in the sound stage (e.g. left, centre, right). It only makes sense in big spaces, since the wavelength of lower frequencies can exceed the dimensions of a 'regular' room. At 20hz the wave period (peak to peak) is 17 metres. Under these conditions bass information effectively becomes omnidirectional unless in a large space. Overtones could be placed, but not the fundamental frequency.
listentoaheartbeat
Blairio wrote:
Earlier in the thread there was mention made of running dual subwoofers. The idea of running subwoofers in pairs is an odd one - if the intention is to reproduce the origin of the low frequencies in the sound stage (e.g. left, centre, right).


Not odd at all. The main benefits of properly arranged stereo subwoofers are:
  • Crossover frequencies of around 100 Hz can be realized while preserving the stereo image for low frequencies, vastly increasing the overall headroom of the system.
  • Shared load allows for higher listening levels while keeping distortion low.
  • The room response is often favourable, reducing the effect of room modes.
  • Recordings with interchannel time differences for low frequencies can be properly reproduced.
Blairio
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Blairio wrote:
Earlier in the thread there was mention made of running dual subwoofers. The idea of running subwoofers in pairs is an odd one - if the intention is to reproduce the origin of the low frequencies in the sound stage (e.g. left, centre, right).


Not odd at all. The main benefits of properly arranged stereo subwoofers are:
  • Crossover frequencies of around 100 Hz can be realized while preserving the stereo image for low frequencies, vastly increasing the overall headroom of the system.
  • Shared load allows for higher listening levels while keeping distortion low.
  • The room response is often favourable, reducing the effect of room modes.
  • Recordings with interchannel time differences for low frequencies can be properly reproduced.


...ah, but you edited out the rest of my point:

" It only makes sense in big spaces, since the wavelength of lower frequencies can exceed the dimensions of a 'regular' room. At 20hz the wave period (peak to peak) is 17 metres. Under these conditions bass information effectively becomes omnidirectional unless in a large space. Overtones could be placed, but not the fundamental frequency."

For PA or sound reinforcement system in large space, I agree with you. But as the listening space becomes smaller, lower frequencies stop behaving like point sources.

Maybe that's why even higher end home cinema and 5:1 setups have only one subwoofer?
listentoaheartbeat
These benefits apply to studios and living rooms as well. Not so much at 20 Hz, but as I mentioned increasing the crossover frequency to around 100 Hz is part of the concept.
dubonaire
I have a different suggestion which may not immediately appeal to you. Get a good set of floor standers. In most cases you'll end up with a much more integrated sound than a 2.1 system. A well designed room-suitable set of floor standers will work better than trying to get the sub properly tied in to the main speakers. I have an amazing set of custom 2-way transmission line floor standers that have amazing and very clear and deep bass extension. My neighbours regularly complain. An often overlooked element is the signal path, especially the power amp. The amp-speaker relationship is critical. I have a pair of valve monoblock amplifiers driving them and the bass definition is amazing. In many cases the woofer is just not driven properly.

Compared to studio gear the price to achieve this is not that ridiculous. if you develop a long term plan, which is what I did, you'll be very happy with the end result.
Blairio
dubonaire wrote:
I have a different suggestion which may not immediately appeal to you. Get a good set of floor standers. In most cases you'll end up with a much more integrated sound than a 2.1 system. A well designed room-suitable set of floor standers will work better than trying to get the sub properly tied in to the main speakers. I have an amazing set of custom 2-way transmission line floor standers that have amazing and very clear and deep bass extension. My neighbours regularly complain. An often overlooked element is the signal path, especially the power amp. The amp-speaker relationship is critical. I have a pair of valve monoblock amplifiers driving them and the bass definition is amazing. In many cases the woofer is just not driven properly.

Compared to studio gear the price to achieve this is not that ridiculous. if you develop a long term plan, which is what I did, you'll be very happy with the end result.


Crossovers, unless they are very well designed and really compliment the mechanical characteristics of the drivers concerned, result in speakers with significant non linearities around the crossover frequency. Furthermore, if they are not built using matched components, then all sorts of weird artefacts creep in. Certainly for domestic hifi, the fewer crossovers (and hence drivers) the better. Introducing a subwoofer is effectively adding another crossover, as well as another driver.

Your hifi comprising good transmission line 2 way speakers and powered by valve mono blocs, sounds very attractive to me. Some years back I auditioned a pair of Bose multi array speakers, each comprising 9 full range drivers (no crossovers to worry about). They excelled in the midrange, and higher frequencies, but the bass was merely adequate. I wonder if there are any full range driver based systems available now that perform better.
listentoaheartbeat
Agreed, full range speakers are preferable in most situations, especially for music reproduction.
dubonaire
Blairio wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I have a different suggestion which may not immediately appeal to you. Get a good set of floor standers. In most cases you'll end up with a much more integrated sound than a 2.1 system. A well designed room-suitable set of floor standers will work better than trying to get the sub properly tied in to the main speakers. I have an amazing set of custom 2-way transmission line floor standers that have amazing and very clear and deep bass extension. My neighbours regularly complain. An often overlooked element is the signal path, especially the power amp. The amp-speaker relationship is critical. I have a pair of valve monoblock amplifiers driving them and the bass definition is amazing. In many cases the woofer is just not driven properly.

Compared to studio gear the price to achieve this is not that ridiculous. if you develop a long term plan, which is what I did, you'll be very happy with the end result.


Crossovers, unless they are very well designed and really compliment the mechanical characteristics of the drivers concerned, result in speakers with significant non linearities around the crossover frequency. Furthermore, if they are not built using matched components, then all sorts of weird artefacts creep in. Certainly for domestic hifi, the fewer crossovers (and hence drivers) the better. Introducing a subwoofer is effectively adding another crossover, as well as another driver.

Your hifi comprising good transmission line 2 way speakers and powered by valve mono blocs, sounds very attractive to me. Some years back I auditioned a pair of Bose multi array speakers, each comprising 9 full range drivers (no crossovers to worry about). They excelled in the midrange, and higher frequencies, but the bass was merely adequate. I wonder if there are any full range driver based systems available now that perform better.


My speakers were made by this guy. They are not the most elegant cabinets but he sonically knows his stuff. He designed my speakers specifically for electronic music and he does this trick of stacking extra magnets on the woofer voice coils. He tweaks the crossover network values based on your set up and listening experience.

http://www.adelaidespeakers.com

I have a Rogue Audio Perseus Magnum pre-amp into a pair of Cayin 880 mono block amplifiers. I mix vinyl into this through a Condessa discrete solid state mixer. It's amazing, and it costs a lot less than quality studio gear.

Stuff by Mika Vainio, Funckarma, Masayoshi Fujita, Jan Jelinek, Tod Dockstader, Vladislav Delay, Plaid and so many others sounds amazing.
Technologear?
Dubonaire- love your setup! Thanks for the speaker tip, I'm in WA so getting a pair made and shipped is reasonable
I'm a rotary mixer fan too, got a Rane Empath
dubonaire
Technologear? wrote:
Dubonaire- love your setup! Thanks for the speaker tip, I'm in WA so getting a pair made and shipped is reasonable
I'm a rotary mixer fan too, got a Rane Empath


Give him a call and talk to him about your needs. He's a really nice guy.
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