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Is a subwoofer for music a good idea??

 

justin
Unregistered guest
i have standmount speakers which go down to about 45-50hz.i feel my system lacks low end punch,specially at lower volumes. now i need to know if:
1. a subwoofer for music is a good idea in the first place
2. will buying a budget sub($400) really add sufficient low end
3.is there much info in music below 40 hz
4.will i lose imaging if i add a sub to my 2 channel set up

all you experts out there, please help.
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 87
Registered: 12-2003
Your standmount speakers may say they go down to 45-50Hz, but that is probably under optimal conditions. You're system would definitely improve with a self-powered sub (such as a PSB Subsonic 5, which lists at about $450, but can usually be found at around $350.

Since true subwoofers are basically non-directional in sound, it will not adversely effect the imaging. In fact it will add depth, make the soundstage feel larger, and let your speakers play what they do best.

Depending on the music, there can be a lot of musical info under 50 Hz. If you set your crossover at 80 Hz your regular speakers should perform much better with the subwoofer doing the heavy lifting, as your amp struggles far more driving low frequencies than higher ones.

If your budget was slightly more flexible, HSU is having a sale on the excellent VTF-2 at $449 with free shipping.

If you set it up correctly you will hear an enormous difference.

HSU has some good experts to help you on their 800 number. But it is pretty easy to set-up.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2004
What Gregory failed to mention is the affect low frequencies have on your room, which if adverse, can smear the mid/highs and make your system actually sound worse, not better.

A room with a 24' wall can only accomodate 25hz for instance. Anything below that will create pressure modes and only distort.

Many of the mini monitors are well designed for smaller rooms if they only go down to say 60hz. If that were the max low a room will accomodate, sub woofers will just ruin what musical enjoyment you get and get you in trouble with your neighbors :-)

BTW if subs do work with your system, in your room, it is of benefit to place them, not in the corners, but either on the side walls (beside listening position) or mid way at the head and rear walls. With four, do both (see study: http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/multsubs.pdf
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 101
Registered: 12-2003
Sure--any speaker that is poorly placed (particularly subwoofers) can and do have an adverse effect on sound.

My point about corner placement of speakers was meant as something to try, as corners boost bass response. This was without a subwoofer.

I never said to place the subwoofer in the corner, except maybe for an inexpensive subwoofer that doesn't go down to 30 Hz with low distortion at sufficient volume. Inexpensive subwoofers almost never go down to 30 Hz at 90 db's with less than 4% distortion. They will say in their specs that they go down to 25 Hz, but they don't say at what SPL and at what distortion level. Most will have astronomical distortion levels at 25 Hz and sound awful.

Subwoofers need to be moved to where you get optimum musical pleasure. Obviously if they are poorly placed and you don't use an SPL Meter to balance your system you will get bad results.

Some people are lucky and they get good sound while accidentally placing their subwoofer and speakers where they want them.

SPL Meters are invaluable in optimizing your system.

Nothing I mentioned goes against what Floyd Toole writes in the various speaker articles that he and his co-engineers wrote at the HK website.

If a person has small speakers with little output and they want a subwoofer to get lower frequencies, they will have to adjust the subwoofer to be compatible with the speakers so they don't smear the sound or overpower the sound.

Floyd Toole writes about his RABOS system for subwoofers and he uses them all the time in the Infinity line that he is responsible for at HK.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2004
[Gregory]
Point of order :-)
Exciting a room mode (pressure area, from build-up of sound energy, esp. in corners, or wherever two planes meet) does not produce realistic low frequency reproduction from your system.

Exciting that energy by placing speakers in such a zone creates distortion instead: the illusion, if you will, of 'more bass'. It is the these room mode anomolies that interfer with accurate playback from even revealing speakers in the first place. You just make it worse.

Perhaps that is why the conclusion of study in question in this discussion for most effective placement of woofers is to avoid the corners. To place them rather at mid-wall between corners. When side wall, in line with listener.

Technically speaking, it puts one on either side of a primary low -0 pressure zone that tends to occur mid-way between opposing planes in a rectangualar room, tending to cancel out the high pressure zone against the wall/floor plane. Likewise in the other direction, justifying the use of four woofers by placing the other two midway at front and rear walls. All the room treatment devices in the world will not accomplish that, and without deadening the room when used in excess.

The 'boom box', or large trunk mounted drivers of auto systems, producing that huge 'boom' in very low frequency cannot be identified as any particular instrument in the band, or orchestra.

In such a system, or exciting room modes by placing drivers in them, as well as selecting components for your system with specific distortion characteristics ('warm', 'bright', 'bass punch', etc.) is using the system as though it were an instrument in the band, or orchestra, for creating the sound 'you' want to hear.

Imagain some guy on stage with an electronic aparatus that provids a mushy, cardboardy low frequency 'thump'. That is the person who uses their system to 'enhanse' the musical presentation.

Such also is the sound engineer who overmixes, in or out, up or down, or worse dials in that *&%$# expander attempting to create an illusion of space because he mixed out all semblence of texture or realism. That contribution, even when successful, smears the detail and subtlty of the musicans playing that would have otherwise been audible through the playback system.

It causes me lose respect for musicans who will stand for it, perhaps because they essentially are in it for the paycheck (too), betraying the age old cultural struggle between art and commerce.

Anyway, if one's motive is to reproduse through their playback system, as accurately as possible, whatever made it onto the disk of what the musicans created, then different decisions will be made in the selection of source material for, the componets of, and the setup of, that system in the room.

Many naive and inexperienced 'audiophiles' have yet to realize that, generally speaking, there is not that much low frequency infomation on most albums in the first place.

The bass player does not always play in the lower octives, and that wanna-be engineer will mix it out, or down, if it was ever mic'd properly in the first place; ditto for the drummers bass drum, or kettle drums of the orchestra.

If a vocalist is involved, the whole band may get mixed down to feature the money personality. The same for the virtuoso musician.

In those instances, all you can do is replace the disk with something you like that is more honest, better engineered, and gives you something 'live' to enjoy in your home (system permitting :-)
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 103
Registered: 12-2003
The only thing that is important is making sure the lower frequencies are balanced with the rest of the frequencies, in both volume and low distortion.

Most people are buying surround sound systems--not stereos.

There are lots of posts written here by people who have attended all types of concerts, from rock, blues, jazz, to orchestral, chamber music, etc. Many have complained about poor bottom-end performance, whether in movie surround or music.

Any recording engineer that castrates the music by de-nutting the lower end for whatever reason should be sued for malpractice.

If there were no lower end information, then there would be no sound coming out of the subwoofer. The speaker only plays the signal given it.

Read the following from Floyd Toole who is one of the top two or three loudspeaker gurus and currently runs the Infinity Div at HK and is Kevin Voeck's (formerly of Snell, now at Revel) boss:
______________________
Floyd Toole:

If you experiment with the positions of full-bandwidth floor-staspeakers you may notice that several
things are changing at the same time, and they may not be agreeing with each other. For example, a
speaker is moved out into the room, it may sound spatially more "open" and natural sounding.

However,the bass may be less powerful, or less even. Bass usually becomes more potent as a speaker is moved close to a wall, and even more so in a corner. However, the corner is the worst location for all other frequencies. This is the sort of thing that has led to the popularity of subwoofers, which can be located where they produce the best sounding bass, while smaller speakers can be located where they deliver the best sound and imaging for the bulk of the audible spectrum. Nowadays, there is another option, equalization.

After years of questionable experiences with equalization, modern technology has provided us with the tools do it properly. This enables customers to locate the loudspeakers where they need to be for their broad duties, and then to use measurements and equalization to smooth out the bass response at the best position.

Separate subwoofers still have advantages, because they allow us to optimize the woofer location. In
general, a single subwoofer tends to work best when located on the floor in a corner. Experiment with the left or right front corners in an asymmetrical room, to see which is better. Adventurous spirits may want to try multiple subs. Move a subwoofer from a corner only if it improves a serious room resonance (boomy bass).

What about the wires? First, the longer the run from the amplifier, the larger the wire needs to be, eg.12-14 gauge. If you can, hide them in walls, through attics and basements/crawl spaces or under carpets. Wall-to-wall carpet is acoustically excellent, and a thick felt or foam underlay can be sliced to hide a multitude of wires. Flat wires are available for running up walls. Double-check the polarities (red and black) of connections at the amps and at the speakers: a reversal damages both sound and imaging.

Where do we put the listeners? Just as for a loudspeaker, the worst seat is in a corner. The best seats will be a few feet out into the room -- experiment while listening to music. The common situation of the sofa against a back wall is unfortunate, as there is a strong likelihood of excessive or boomy bass, and poor imaging. Equalization, or moving the subwoofer, can help the bass problem. Imaging can be improved by placing some sound absorbing material behind the head, e.g. a thick fabric wall hanging, some fabric covered fiberglass board, or even some cushions will do nicely. The wall behind the head is like a big acoustical mirror -- not a good idea.

Now, we are almost done. We need to aim speakers so that the best sound gets to the important seats.
Most speakers have wide enough dispersion to cover large horizontal angles, but others don't, and
some are like acoustical flashlights. Get someone to angle the speakers while you listen, or move yourself around. A recording of broadband pink noise is a good test signal. It should sound similar in the importabt seats.

None of this is very difficult but, like many things in life, a little extra effort at the beginning can pay off handsomely in long-term satisfaction. And the best thing of all is that most of what we have discussed costs little or nothing.
 

New member
Username: Kegger

Post Number: 45
Registered: 12-2003
so basically if your speakers are lacking the base
you desire, yes you may add a subwoofer to improve
the low end of your system.many people do!

you may have to adjust it a little to get a the
desired result.majority of the time with a descent
subwoofer you make a nice improvement.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2004
[Kegger]
My desire is to hear what is on the CD, as accurately as possible. So many of them have little to no low frequencies recored. Either from poor engineering, mixing, mic placement, etc., or the music itself has no instruments playing in the lower octaves.

Hearing what bass that IS in the music (when adequately recoreded :-) definately enhanses listening enjoyment. But if you attempt to ariticially manufacture bass frequencies with your room pressure modes, or your system, you only succeed in further degrading the music the artists made.

But I come down on the side of 'true to the original', rather than the side of participating in the making of the music ---as too many engineers, mixers, and producers do.
 

New member
Username: Kegger

Post Number: 46
Registered: 12-2003
fred i would agree with that but if your speakers
poorly produce low frequencies you either should
purchase new speakers or ad a subwoofer to handle
the low frequencies that your speakers do not do
very well if at all.

obviuosly the addition of a subwoofer is cheaper
than buying new speakers that can produce the
lower frequencies.

and inturn you adjust the sub according to your
music taste.

if you like it natural than adjust it so it will
only improve on what you allready have.very low

if you like more base than you can turn it up to
suit your needs.

if you purchase extremely expensive speakers than
you can get a fairly even frequency response from
20hz to 20khz but most speakers can't go that low
so the addition of a subwoofer to get those "when
they are actually produced in the music you listen to" frequencies is a nice addition.

yes most of the time there is not much in the lower frequencies but when it is there i want to
hear it.
 

New member
Username: Edison

Post Number: 253
Registered: 12-2003
A sub will add more punch to the sound, and give rhythm to fast music with heavy beats. Pop and jazz especially benefit from one. It's like putting cusshiony sponge under your carpet to make it luxurius.

Try a test at home and decide for your self - speakers are subjective. Return it if you don't like it - make sure no re-stocking fee.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 7
Registered: 01-2004
[Kegger]
We agree.

Though without dealing with the issue of seamless integration of woofer frequency range to monitors bottom end. I mean you want some overlap, but not so much. Can you find a sub that will range so little that it will pick up where the monitors left off? Usually the monitors go as low as they can (too low for a good balance) because they are not designed for subs to be added, though the Circuit City sales'man (no women in the audio dept) will lie. But thats what you get for thinking its so easy that you can shop there :-)

If they were designed for woofers they would sell because they would go as low as even 100hz, I imagaine. Probably more like 200hz.

The PSB big guys XO at much lower than typical full range box speakers. They have been referred to a 'a mini monitor atop a sub woofer', which makes them superior to most others that xo much higher (250 hz ?).

But on a superficial level, I guess, yea, adding subs, even loosly, obviously will extend the range of monitors. But at the same time give the audiophile a whole new set of issues in dealing with the lower frequencies affect on the room, and subsequently (no pun intended) the room on the mids and treble.

You don't want this alleged improvement by extending the range to make the system sound worse, and it will if those issue are not dealt with. Unless of course your listing room is the size of 3-car garage.

In bedroom size listening enviroments a listener should stick with monitors that only go to 60-70 hz: to maximize non-fatiguing mucical enjoyment. The mids and highs can be very 'live' and realistic with the proper system in the smallest rooms.

The bass craze is not a rational phenomenon. Its a grunt competition. Someone always wants to go one better, driving the girls crazy (not in a good way).

Boom! Boom! Boom! Exactly what instrument in the band is making that noise? None. Its amplified distortion. To the max. More! Bigger! Grunt, grunt. Frued is turning over in his grave :-)
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 8
Registered: 01-2004
[James]

People are subjective. Speakers are things. Their evaluation can be subjective, or objective. Subjective if you opt to believe in recreating the music to taste. Objective if you seek 'true to the original', 'live' sound in your listening room.

'Specs do not matter, its how it sounds' is the motto of the Subjective approach --and it helps sell very expen$ive inferior gear with lousy specs.

But, to sell though, the same reviewer will rave about about the specs.. if they are worth mentioning, and not detrimental to his cause :-)

One's intelligence realizes there are (at least) two sides to every issue. I believe we get smarter by exercising more than one idea at a time in our thinking.

(God save us from those who believe they need not bother.)
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 105
Registered: 12-2003
Obviously specs matter--even more so with speakers where distortion and frequency response curves can be all over the place. The measurements of the speaker you buy will be quite different from the measurements of the speakers after they interact with your room.

Obviously moving the speakers around and/or your listening position along with making sure your room is not too live or too dead (acoustically speaking--of course).

But I am a strong believer of the following credo based on musings of a number of America's best audio and electrical engineers:

Founded by Tom Nousaine in 1990,the group has been around since the middle 70s and is "home" for Tom Nousaine, Dave Clark, Arny Krueger, David Carlstrom, all audio innovators. Later additions have been David Ranada and Floyd Toole among many others. They are responsible for inventing and marketing the ABX double blind switchbox

THE BASICS

Double blind testing is the foundation of our beliefs.
Researching the limits of human perception is our goal
Objective testing and subjective listening tests is the method

______________________________________--

What Really Matters?

Three Things:

1. Sound quality of the source material
2. Loudspeaker performance
3. Acoustics of the listening environment, including setup and calibration


Everything else is a distant 4th place!
 

New member
Username: Disco_stan

Post Number: 40
Registered: 12-2003
Since you guys are talking about speaker placement and such, have you tried the methods from Cardas?
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 106
Registered: 12-2003
No--but it probably involves buying Cardas cables, wires, and interconnects :-)

I generally take speaker advice from the great speaker engineers--if possible.

But if you have a link, I would be willing to peruse it to see if it is anything different, interesting, and sensible. Or if it is just a method to maximize the use of wire and cables :-)

"Achtung--you should bi-wire everything. You should even ground every component you own with my wire. Place speakers as far apart as possible--you'll use more wire :-) This is the Cardas method :-) Wire we are at it I was only teasing
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 107
Registered: 12-2003
Fred-- I agree that it is essential to get a good subwoofer. There aren't many available at the Circuit City and Best Buy stores--if any. There are only a few good inexpensive (which is a relative term) subwoofers--like from PSB, SVS, HSU--and these run from $300 on up. Below $300 it is more likely you will do more sonic damage unless you just want a grunt and a boom for videos. The HSU VTF-2 is now on sale at $449 delivered. And Dr HSU knows subwoofers. All good subwoofers should be able to set the crossovers accurately at anywhere from 60hz, 80 Hz, 100 hz--maybe even up to 120 Hz. And they should be able to play at matching volumes with your other speakers and be set to cut off when distortion gets above 1-2% maximum. The problem with most inexpensive subs is that they will say they go down to 25 or 30 Hz, but they omit that the distortion will be astronomical and the frequency response graphs will be rather bumpy.

You can get great Ascend speakers that have almost ruler flat frequency response down to 80 or 100 hz. And they are about $330/pr. How a speaker will interact with your room is another story. But I'd rather start off with a good product that plays with very low distortion and without accentuated frequencies. That is a rarity--and humorously, so many people are used to listening to exaggerated midranges and low-midranges, they mistake that for bass response and enjoy that sound.

Also peoples ability to hear well varies.

But it is an amazing thing to watch when someone that has listened to boom boxes and speakers that they thought were good are suddenly confronted with great speakers that are well-balanced and even have good off-axis sound. Another world opens up. Unless of course, they are so used to having boosted frequencies and certain distortions that they don't like what great reality sounds like--or at least a very accurate reproduction of a cd or lp sounds like.

C'est la vie.
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 83
Registered: 12-2003
I am with Fred.

It is high frequency, initial, transients that allow you to distinguish one instrument from another. Also, there are very few musical instruments that go below 40 Hz. And when they do (e.g. double basses) you do not actually hear their fundamental frequency. This is particularly true of of bass guitar and piano. The only real floor-shaking musical instrument is the organ.

Perhaps it can be summed up by saying a sub is a good thing when it provides neutral bass extension.

One way to fix it is to connect the sub at speaker level. It will then extend the bass, and take the load off the main speakers, allowing them to work better where they come into their own, above the crossover frequency. The LFE channel is so often used for pointless and tiring duplication of low frequencies. Where the recording engineers know what they are doing, it can produce startling special effects, but they are infrequent, that is their value. When recording engineers don't know what they are doing, there is often some psychiaitric disorder at work (agreed) and, if you just like sound and music, you are better off with no sub at all.
 

New member
Username: Kegger

Post Number: 47
Registered: 12-2003
as we all know music can be very sujective what
sounds good to one person may not sound good to
someone else.

the problem that i have with most of todays speakers is the lack of larger drivers in them.
just like someone else had posted on one of the
other forums it is very difficult for an 8" or
6.5" driver to get the low frequencies like a 12"
woofer based system does.

i beleave that is why many people choose to go with a subwoofer because you can buy the smaller
more accurate speaker,find a place to put it and
to afford it.

i personally like very accurate music but i also
enjoy a good bottom end when the music calls for
it.i also like to play pretty loud.

all of this can be very hard to achieve without
either spending a whole butload of money or maybe
cheating a little with purchasing a smaller set
of speakers that you really like the way they
sound but lack the low end you enjoy so you add
a sub.

i am running smaller klipsch and jbls with an a/r
sub amp powering to rockford 12"drivers in a
front firing cabinet.with a h/k reciever and an
external amp.

yes it took some tweeking but i am very happy
with the sound i am able to produce.

there are actually 2 subs that are fairly descent
that you can use from best buy or other stores.
either the klipsch or the velodyne and they are
reasonably priced."in my oppinion"
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2004
[Gregory]

Do you represent HSU? That would account for your bias.

I have to take issue with your price based evaluation for any (audio) product. There is always someone to make and market an expenseive product for the person who wants the most expensive.

I met an audiophile who actually believed his huge (way to large for his room) towers were better 'because' they cost more. He looked almost hurt at my suggestion that is NEVER the case (with anything).

In like manner, there is always someone that will make good looking trash for the guy who goes for the cheapest.

Were that it was that easy. But its not. I guess what makes you an 'audiophile' is doing the work to uncover the truth in audio. It is a constant struggle between being bombarded with marketing strategies, their priests of audio, the magazine reviewer 'connoisseurs of coloration' ('specs do not matter, its how it sounds', grrr), and your own experince in your listening room.

The audiophile spoken of above confessed that he could only listen for a few minutes at a time before feeling completely fatigued and oppressed. After spending thou$ands.

As you suggest (I think) an accurate bass REproduction (NOT production :-) sub woofer, or Full Range speaker with accurate lower register, is the more difficult, as opposed to upper mid and treble being the eastiest to achieve realism with your system in your room.

To any audiophile, I suggest: listen to 'live' sounds, and recall as best you can while listening. Compare to what your system/room is providing. You need no one to do that for you. And if you do not do it yourself, then do not refer to yourself as an audiophile.

A revealing system will not only provied a holographic sound stage in your living room, but realsim that causes your imgaination to see the musician playing (whatever istrument you focus on). The sqeek of a finger on a string of a guitar, or stand up (or electric) bass.

It being obvious when the drummer hits the small tom-tom, then the larger one again. A tight, quick slam of a bass drum kick. You can feel the skin vibrate, and detect it was hit with a mallet, not a stick.

Often being startled at what you hear, as though something just happened IN your room (especially with well engineered live recoardings). At times you even go to the window to investigae a sound you thought came from outside (which is a little embarassing :-)

And most importantly, even at 'live' levels, you can listen for long periods of time, totally involved, without experiencing that all too well known distortion producing fatigue.

Until you get there, keep seaching. Even if you have to save up for some components. Just leave the top end gear, and especially cables, to the last. 'Its the speakers, stupid': selected for their suitablity to the environment in which they will be operating, and their proper set up. Then a distoriton free amp to power them.

At that point you will be perplexed and astonished by the emphasis placed on other gear (esp. cables), and an endless supply of over priced useless tweaks.

The true audiophile knows this process can take years. But when you put your gullibility, and suseptibilty to deception aside, and your own ears to work, its a straight line, and a shorter distance, to the goal of 'true to the original' audio reproduction in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

(I personally spend a lot of time at the www.linkwitzlab.com site for its offering of knowledge and truth in all things audio. It is definatly a valuable educational tool --- especially for the DIY personality)
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 10
Registered: 01-2004
[Matt]

Yes. It worked (Cardas speaker setup model) when I was using PSB Stratus Gold's ('the mini monitor atop a sub woofer') Full Range box speakers: to get rid of 'bass boom' in my medium size room. (Confessing I was at his site, as though expensive cables was any solution for audio problems :-)

In trying many models, I also discovered many of them seemed to have in common a general configuration of placement along diagonal lines from corner to corner of a rectangular room.

That is, if you draw a line from left-front to right-rear corner, then the other side, and place them along those lines at appropriate speaker separation (6'-8', depending on speker and room size) for unilateral triangle with the listening position.

I mean, if you do not know what else to do, you could try that fist.

But then I disvoverd the many advantages of dipole speaker designs. Especially 2/3 way active XO/EQ open baffle designs (as Audio Artistry, Gradient Revolution).

Being directional, as opposed to the 360 degree radition pattern of the cabinet enclosed dynamic driver, for not exciting those pesky room modes in the first place. Plus seamless integration at all frequency stages, and a wide 'sweet spot', and ease of setup.

I then sadly (they are not that easy $ to come by) filled a dumpster with acoustic treatment devices (and regainded my 'residential' environment atmosphere :-)
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2004
[Gregory]

I biwire from amp to Treble/woofer connections on speaker panels. Otherwise a copper 16 awg (speaker) cable is good for 8', a 12 awg for 30'. So I suppose you could double up an 18 awg for a 30' run if that is all you had (?) ... just extra work, and poorer aesthetics.

Otherwise, I find a well constructed IC at Radio Shack, or XLR's Cobalt Cables (online). See FAQ / Q37 / at http://www.linkwitzlab.com/faq.htm

Its just that expensive 'hi-end' cables are still just a wire connecting two components. They cannot offer the sonic characteristics of a speaker, as they are so often described as providing (by the selfishly motived, or the deceived).

Yea, they can sound different, but those subtle variations will not lead you to the accurate playback of the source material. Again, 'its the speakers, stupid'. Their selection, as appropriate to the enviorment in which they will operate, and setup. Then a distoriton free amp to power them. Once there, you will be amused at all the hoopla over cables, tweaks, and even top end gear.

Anyway, my 'audio guru' is Siegfried Linkwitz www.linkwitzlab.com He designed the Audio Artistry line of 2/3/4 way, active EQ/XO, open baffle dynamic driver systems. His renowned 'Beethoven' ($38k) was selected Speaker of the Year by Stereophile magazine. Which, by the way, the sonic characteristics of which can replicated with a DIY 'Phoenix' design (plans available on the site) for as little as $4k. Or his 'Orion' single panel design (w/o separate subs) for $6k fully assembed, including amps.

I use the commercially available 'Dvorak' now, but with his matchable DIY 'Phoenix' woofers. All of which is close enough, that even it will be the last speaker I ever buy. Finally :-) ...unless of course I win a Sweepstakes and end up with a MUCH larger listening room :-)
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 108
Registered: 12-2003
Fred--

I don't have any monetary axe to grind to HSU, Linkwitz, PSB, or any manufacturer of AV equipment. I am not in the audio business on any level.

Well, I don't have the inclination, desire, maybe ability, nor time to build my own equipment. I'd rather pay someone that builds a product I like better than I could and spend my extra time attending concerts, playing cello, and doing other things that I enjoy.

I mentioned excellent $330/pr speakers and a very good HSU subwoofer at $449 and that makes me a high end snob? You're the one with monetary issues my friend--not me. Maybe you are the one that sells plans for loudspeakers and other DIY products or is somehow monetarily involved in the audio industry.



I own a chemical company and have played the cello since I was 8 years old, well enough to have made all county and all-state orchestra in NY state. I was accepted and attended the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan in the 7th grade and have toured with orchestras in the US and in Europe. I know what live music sounds like and go to concerts frequently. I am used to hearing tuba's, string basses, tympani, etc. Excuse me if I'd rather hear and feel them as I do when playing in an orchestra or attending a concert.

I had the pleasure on Wednesday night of attending a concert in Charleston, SC at the Gaillard Auditorium sitting third row center at a Yo Yo Ma chamber music concert with two violins, a viola, Ma on cello, and a lady playing an instrument called the Pipa (like the Oud, a short-necked lute-like instrument) of the mideast of music that mostly originated on the "Silk Road"--from around Armenia, Azerbaijian, Teheran, to China. Even amazing arrangements that mimicked Klezmer music.

The times I talk about monetary issues on this site is usually spent advising people where to get equipment they want at a cheaper price.

I was making a statement on the difficulty of buying a self-powered subwoofer that performs well under $300. Where did you get the notion I was rating any product by price? I said I never heard a very good subwoofer under $300 and that makes me your whipping boy? Sorry for whatever financial insecurities you have or your DIY or die attitude.

I bet there are plenty of people on this site that have never heard an excellent self-powered subwoofer that wasn't considerably more expensive than $300 too.

As far as the other issues--they speak for themselves.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2004
[Gregory]

Whoa! was it something I said :-) I guess sensitive artists need to work on their self esteem (more than others, that is).

I uderstand the artistist temperament. It is from that vulnerability to suffering that passionate music finds expression. I have the greatest respect, which should be obvious in my being so protective of their art, and striving to hear it, in all its subtlty, as accurately as possilbe, in the playback system. Rather than so barbarically presume to contribute to that sound so eloquenlty produced, with the various components to suit my 'subjective' taste. The less sensitive engineers, producers, and mixers, do enough damage, in my opinon. Cudos though to the faithful who record as accruately as the current technology will allow. Bravo. Shame on the rest :-)

If you re read what I said, without allowing a defensive mechanism to participate, I believe you find me less hostile, accusatory, or in any way averse to the use of sub woofers in my speaker system.

Contrere, I have a pair of double 12" dynamic drivers (in push-pull confituratin) mounted in open baffle cabinets in my system. I keep them in a radius with the main panels (same distance from, and directed toward the listening position (as is aesthetically, and physically, possible), next to the side wall.

One on either side of the primary -0 pressue mode that typically occurs midway between oposing planes in a rectangular shaped enclosed environment. Thus tending to canel out the negative affects of the high pressure build up where the perimeter planes meet (wall/foor and wall/ceiling).

They deliever an accurate 'live' bass reading down to the lowest frequency my room will support (24hz -longest wall 24'). As well enhance the performance of the main panels significaly. Its just that low frequency extension can likewise be a deteriment to the sonic capability of the system/room. So my recommendation is: when, and if, approriate, as other factors enter into the acousitc complexity of sonic enegy produced in enclosed environments.

BTW, I have spent much time in the soft cover edition of: 'The Master Handbook of Acoustics' (Everest) McGraw-Hill. I found a used one in good condtion on Amazon.com.

The problem is, it incited me to acoustic treatment solutions, when in the end, the only vialble, practicle, and aesthetic solution came when I converted to a dipole speaker design. The products of that mania ended up filling a dumpster.

I do feel better off though with the understanding that came with the knowlege of how acoustic energy acts, and reacts, in the enclosed environment.

Also, though I am a building designer, I am not so good at building (other than handy work around the house). Electronics, 'forget about it'. No way you could legitamatly call me a DIY person. But I have the greatest respect for them as well.

My woofers ARE the Linkwitz 'Phoenix' DIY design, but I had a local cabinet maker build them, and even install the drivers. I wanted them for their capability. And price. The matching Dvorak counterparts run about twice as much, and come in a larger cabinet. The Phoenix are designed for as small an enclosure as possible, without comprimise of course, and they are well matched to the commercial units of the same designer. I had his personal word on it. So went for it, and still glad a couple of years later.

Cello, huh? Pablo Casals. My introduction to that magnificant instrument, in the mid sixties. I have Yo-yo's 'New York Album'. A sonic masterpice, as well, by the way :-) Suitable as a reference album for eavaluting one's system and set up.
 

New member
Username: Disco_stan

Post Number: 41
Registered: 12-2003
Gregory-
Yea sure thing, Cardas do have placement methods on their site, http://www.cardas.com/insights/index.html
this link should work. I have no experience with this method and I would like to know what you think. And also if you know of any other methods to mention.
 

New member
Username: Disco_stan

Post Number: 42
Registered: 12-2003
By the way Gregory, Fluance DB-150 subs aren't bad, I purchased one myself for $200 and they can handle high levels of solid undistorted clean solid bass.
 

bass_lover
Unregistered guest
in answer to the topics question yes it is a good idea to buy a sub, I have 5 and they sound good and deap.(yes they are all cheapoes)
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 109
Registered: 12-2003
[Gregory]

"Whoa! was it something I said :-) I guess sensitive artists need to work on their self esteem (more than others, that is)."

[Gregory]

"Do you represent HSU? That would account for your bias."

"I have to take issue with your price based evaluation for any (audio) product. There is always someone to make and market an expenseive product for the person who wants the most expensive."

Then you immediately segue into a quasi- biblical prodigal son story where you hip this lame rich guy ( I guess a straw horse stand-in for me)to the truth--which you just happen to have. :

"I met an audiophile who actually believed his huge (way to large for his room) towers were better 'because' they cost more."


Yes--It was BS ad hominem attacks based on your own sensitivities and maybe your self-esteem issues. I never wrote anything like that about you whether i disagreed with you or not. You were the one that made comments on me, making up BS on how I rate components on money --I said I NEVER HEARD GOOD SUBS UNDER $300, not that they don't exist. That is a statement of my experience--I have never criticized anyone on this site for buying within their budget--I applaud it. No one should potentially mess up their life by buying more than they can afford whether in AV, housing, car, or whatever. People who do that are either obsessed or have self-esteem problems.

The reason I mentioned my cello playing and orchestral experiences was simply to illustrate that I am very familiar with live sound, probably more than most here on a performance level and a considerable amount on a concert attending level.

I haven't played on a regular or professional basis in ovr 20 years--I just play occassionally with some members of the Charleston Symphony some chamber music occassionally for fun. No money in it for me. Just the pleasure of playing with small groups of good musicians and appreciating the interplay of instruments.

Matt--I never heard the Fluance subs. Glad you enjoy them.

Bass-Lover--what are the "cheapo" subs you enjoy so much? I'd like to know. Maybe listening to them will alter my opinion. Maybe having 5 of them makes the difference. Everyone hears differently and their environments are different.


Fred-- Anyway I hope we drop this. Our opinions and certain facts should stand on their own without negative personal comments.

And if you want to hear a great recording--get the Emerson quartet playing with cellist rostropovich on a performance of the Schubert Quintet. The first two movements are particularly amazing.






 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 86
Registered: 12-2003
This is a potential conflict situation. I read careless words from Fred, and Gregory, reasonably enough, feels he should explain/defend his position.

Please cool it, Fred. There is some serious and interesting debate here. It would be too bad if it goes up in flames. I have been reading Gregory's posts for some months and it is actually generous of him to volunteer info on his background and point of view; this helps people make up their own minds on a stated position. Gregory does not work for HSU, is not a prima donna.

My 2c is that subs are not for real music, unless you are into late romantic orchestral, or organ. Casals, Rostropovich, etc. never played anything a medium-range bookshelf speaker cannot handle. Subs come into their own in movies, rendering earthquakes, explosions etc. Or compensating for very restricted bass in multiple can-sized speakers, which is the cheapest route to surround sound (and all you get in "in-a-box" systems). That's OK, but it is not the best solution for accurate rendition of recorded music.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 13
Registered: 01-2004
[John A.]

That is nice, that you defend your friend. I wonder how he feels about that though :-)

Are we talking about subs as some other phenomenon than as 'speakers designed to better express frequencies from say 1-200hz and/or to extend below typical monitors range of say 70-40hz'?

where their being detached IS convenient for custom placement, especially in non rectangular rooms, where the primary -0 pressure mode may not lie at the center of the room, and therefor between a pair drivers intended for bass frequencies, placed in proximity of moniotors, or main panels.

Convenient as well as for driver arrangment in Full Range towers. For instance, to use a pair of 12" drivers in push-pull confituration (one firing to the rear) leaves the placment of mid and tweeter drivers an issue due to space constraints. Subs reslove that issue easily.

What I am challenging here is the notion that sub woofers have any other function, regardless of how they may be thought of, or used, than a means to express normal bass frequencies in music and/or film.

There are woofers designed to extend and enhance even 'normal' subwoofers. Intended for those unique needs you mention of getting the full impact of say organ music, or crashes and explosions.

As well as challenging your inference that the small drivers, of say a two way monitor, is the most practile way to express frequencies anywhere below 100hz accurately.

I believe talented designers agree that a well made 10-12" driver (not cheap), or even a pair (since those frequencies are about 'moving air') is better suited, and when integrated into the system, whether as a tower, or a sub, actually improve the performance of the 6-8" driver typiclly used in monitors, at the mid range.

Key to the design though is obviously the cross-over. If the monitors continue to go down to say 60hz, and the subs range above, perhaps well into 1-200hz, balance will lost in the resulting empahsis of those frequencies in the overlap.

But then this is all predicated upon the the goal being to achieve accurate bass reproduction to fully express what has been recoreded on the source material. Not for the purpose of adding bass boom into into the environment because someone thinks 'its cool' to rattle the windows to demonstrate 'I've got bass!', which is adolesanct nonsense, right.

For what it is worth...nothing personal, and no offence, please :-)

(BTW, if you are going to make public your objections to how I express myself, it would be fair, I believe, and a courtesy, to be specific in your complaint. What exactly did I say that you feel is offensive? Then, if I agree, I can correct myself. As for him, well, that is between him and me, right?)
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 14
Registered: 01-2004
[Gregory]

I will appreciate it if you will just ignore my presence on the forum in future, or at least keep your responses to yourself. I promise I will do the same.

For the record: I do not, nor have I ever had any bad feelings about you personally, nor have I wished you any ill will. But it is obvios that I upset you significanly. I wish I did not, but I am still not responsible for your behavior, only mine. And the truth IS: no one is responsible for how we feel but ourselves. I choose to feel OK even about this but will keep my promise for your benefit.
 

New member
Username: Disco_stan

Post Number: 43
Registered: 12-2003
Gregory-
What cd is the Emerson Quartet recording you recommended on? The, Schubert: Cello Quintet (with Mstislav Rostropovich or Schubert: The Late Quartets and Quintet (with Mstislav Rostropovich. Or is it both?
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 88
Registered: 12-2003
Justin has speakers that go down to "45-50 Hz", and asked the following specific questions. I give my responses. And I assume we are talking about an active subwoofer.

1. a subwoofer for music is a good idea in the first place

It depends on what you listen to. With your existing speakers, a sub will extend the bass by nearly an octave. But if you listen exclusively to string quartets, there is nothing in that octave: the lowest note is C, 64 Hz. Also, no human voice goes that low.

2. will buying a budget sub($400) really add sufficient low end

It will certainly make a difference, mostly for orchestral music. Also, if you want bass "punch" (your word) rather than neutral bass "extension", you can turn the sub gain up, and it will make a big difference. Some people apparently like augmented bass, but it is not hi-fi. The low notes on a bass guitar used in rock/pop are mostly not deep, but loud.

3.is there much info in music below 40 hz

Some, but not much. See e.g. What's in your Music. If you listen to orchestral music, the biggest gain you will hear is from the persussion section. Or organ (concert, not chamber), if there is one.

4.will i lose imaging if i add a sub to my 2 channel set up

No, not if you set the crossover to about 80 Hz or less, where you cannot perceive the direction of the source of sound. You also have to take care to avoid phase problems.

Further comments.

For two-channel, and for music, the best option is to connect the sub at speaker level, so there is no frequency overlap, then choose the crossover frequency to allow the sub and the mains to complement each other. This can also improve the performance of the main speakers, and allow them to deliver more clean volume: otherwise they struggle with the lowest frequencies, and use most of their energy doing the best job they can at the low end of their range. An active sub will also take a lot of load of the amp/receiver, and that can reduce distortion if that ever becomes a problem in loud bits.

However, for HT 5.1 the sub channel is a discrete channel, "LFE" for "low frequency effects". Some recording engineers use that channel to great effect, while others screw everything up by giving you the low frequencies twice, sometimes amplified. Some just ignore it. There are some really fine DVD-Audio dics recorded in 4.0 or 5.0.

A modest sub with a 10" driver and a 100 W amp need not be expensive can be a good thing for music. You have to take care with how you install it. With your speakers, Justin, such a sub could be a good investment. If your existing speakers went down, instead, to 35-40 Hz, then it would probably not be worth it.

BTW, to respond to Gregory and Matt. I have a perfect EMI LP of a tremendous performance of the Schubert quintet, Chilingirian Quartet plus Jennifer Ward-Clarke. I have not heard the CD. Some great soloists just cannot do chamber music, they always want attention, and use the other players to get it. But cellists are special, and even the young stars like Isserlis seem to have their egos under control. It's the guest violinist you should be wary of. If anyone thinks they don't get "classical" music they could do worse than try the 2nd movement of the Schubert String Quintet in C. It is so beautiful it is scary. There is also a good, cheap, Naxos CD, and the second movement from that was played pretty well complete at the end of the amazing film Conspiracy.
 

New member
Username: Kegger

Post Number: 49
Registered: 12-2003
john a.

i agree with what you said in the last post but
your first post seemed to say the opposite that's
allright because your last post got it pretty good.
-------------------------------------------------
anyways yes the original poster said his speakers
went down to about 45-50 hz yes but what size are
those drivers and how much of the low end has
rolled off by then.let alone that they really
produce that.


i think that is what some people are trying to
say is that most speakers have a hard time really
going that low let alone lower.and thats where
the sub comes in.

also most recievers and preamps nowadays you have
bass management and can cut off the low end at
say 100hz to your speakers and let the sub handle
the rest.that way you don't just add bass.

evan when playing 2 channel analog music i get
these adjustments on my h/k and it makes things
a lot less time consuming to get it right.

so yes a subwoofer can very well improve your 2
channel music listening.
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 91
Registered: 12-2003
KEGGER,

Thanks. Yes, we agree. I think my two posts of Jan 9 and 11 say much the same thing. Maybe I misunderstood what I said I was agreeing with on Jan 9.

Personally my main speakers go to 40 Hz at -3 dB. I have no bass management in stereo. So if I bring in the sub by connecting at speaker level, then there is just a bit more from big percussion etc. but it is marginal, and not worth the fiddle. REL subs allow you to switch between the two ways of connecting. They are out of my league, unfortunately. So I leave the sub for mutichannel surround only. It makes a difference there, but very little on two-channel.
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 92
Registered: 12-2003
BTW I get to 40 Hz with small speakers on stands (65 Hz) plus matching, passive subs, one for each channel. I think the fixed crossover is 120 Hz. This was a KEF special. It works well. I don't think it is an option with current models.
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 110
Registered: 12-2003
Matt-- The Schubert Quintet in C recording on Deutsche Grammophone with Rostropovich as the second cellist with the Emerson quartet. Should be very easy to find online if you don't have a mammoth cd emporium nearby--like tower records.

Often what makes a good recording is the engineering/miking of the performance. Bad engineering will ruin the greatest performance.

I must have heard at least 5 versions of this--most are recorded poorly. Of course, the piece--partcularly in the first 2 movements is so inspired that even a mediocre recoding is worth having instead of going without.
 

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 111
Registered: 12-2003
Fred--

You're a trip. I write: "Anyway I hope we drop this. Our opinions and certain facts should stand on their own without negative personal comments.:

and you respond:

[Gregory]

"I will appreciate it if you will just ignore my presence on the forum in future, or at least keep your responses to yourself. I promise I will do the same."

So do you leave it at that? No.

"For the record: I do not, nor have I ever had any bad feelings about you personally, nor have I wished you any ill will. But it is obvious that I upset you significantly. I wish I did not, but I am still not responsible for your behavior, only mine."

And I guess you feel when you wrote about me being a shill for HSU and that you have to take issue with my price based evaluation for any (audio) product was a compliment, or based on somethinh I had written.

"And the truth IS: no one is responsible for how we feel but ourselves. I choose to feel OK even about this but will keep my promise for your benefit."

Well if I kick you in the shins or elsewhere unprovoked I think I would bear responsibility. We are responsible for what we write--my feelings are fine. You didn't address what you wrote about me, you addressed how you thought I felt.

[Gregory]

"I will appreciate it if you will just ignore my presence on the forum in future, or at least keep your responses to yourself. I promise I will do the same."

I have been chatting with people on this forum with no problems until now. I will conrinue to do the same. I have had no problems conversing with others before your arrival and will have no problem blanking out your posts.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 15
Registered: 01-2004
[Gregory]

I see you are still at it. Cannot you hear yourself.

 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 97
Registered: 12-2003
"No one is responsible for how we feel but ourselves".

The motto of the sociopath through the ages. You claim you care nothing for the views of others, but wish for their responses to yours. I have some news: there are other people in the World.

Have a nice day.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 16
Registered: 01-2004
[John A]

I see you (and your friend] do not know what you are talking about in the field Psychology either (as Audio, though you are not above plagerizing what you hear from others. Do you think the author, especially, or 'others' generally, do not notice)

And: 'Me thinks thou (and especially your friend) dost protest (and enjoy indulging in this kind of strife) too much.'

You 'have a nice day' too. I know you are sincere in the gesture (not).
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 98
Registered: 12-2003
There is no plagiarism in anything I have written or said, here or elsewhere. I should be delighted to learn of any instance which might be interpreted otherwise, especially from anyone imagining himself to be the true author. One always seeks to avoid misunderstanding.

"Plagerizm" may be a different issue, depending on what it means.
 

justin
Unregistered guest
John.A.,thanks for getting the thread back to its original purpose,(which seemed to have got lost in the greg Vs fred bout),i.e,giving me subwoofer advice!
kegger,my speakers are Cadence ARITA.i would be surprised if anyone in this forum has heard of them,let alone heard them!www.cadenceaudio.com/speakers.html
perhaps that will give you an idea of my subwoofer requirements.
additionally john.A.,how will the subwoofer take up the bass load of the speakers when used through the speaker levels,if the subwoofer ( like the rel quake,which i'm considering)does not have high level outs ,only imputs.
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 20
Registered: 01-2004
[Justin]
BTW your gratitue is misplaced with John A for ending that bout of interpersonal strife. A quick review of the posts will show that it was I who directed it toward its end by addressing the issue instead of answering the strife tit for tat, as it were.

Anyway, 40hz is pretty low, and yes, not very much in music, and especially the many poorly engineered recordings, get that low. Also, the smaller typical listening room in the home is not capable of dealing with anything below 60-80hz anyway. So it is just as well that a driver does not issue frequencies below the rooms capability in the first place. It just creates an acoustic energy build up as pressure zones, or room modes, that distorts all other frequencies and seriously degrades playback of the upper ranges.

The advantage of sub (or integrated) woofers is that a well made, larger driver, will have a greater excursion, and thereby move more air at the lower frequencies. If you can see how far it moves (and it is very visible ---at times perhaps a 1/2 inch) then you will understand how the smaller mid/woofer combo driver just is not capable of moving that far.

Also, since the larger one can be seen to move so far, it can be unsertood how the smaller driver not receiving a signal lower than it is capable of expressing will then in fact perform better in the range it is better suited for (above say 100-200hz).

The trick is to not over-do, though it is in fashion in some circles to have a bass 'boom' accompany music in playback. But if you cannot identity the instrument initiating those frequencies, then you can know it is merely amplified distortion.

But how sweet it is when bass is accurately expressed in music that contains it :-) When you can hear a quick, tight, thumping kick of a bass drum, or the resonant vibration of wooden standup bass in the lower octaves, along with the aqueek and snap of the strings against the artists moving fingers, and so on.

Though much of this can be witnessed with quality monitors, powered with a distortion free amp, when appropriately sized and setup in even smaller rooms (when playing well engineered, sonically superior source materail, that is).
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 104
Registered: 12-2003
Justin,

Your are welcome. The REL Quake, like most active subs, has an input for two channels (L and R) from the receiver/amp, and an output for two channels (L and R) to the main speakers. It is good choice - as I said, it is one of the few makers that allow you to switch between that speaker-level connection and the line-level (pre-amp) level (just one low-level signal) - the latter, using the "LFE" channel, is more usual with home theatre.

REL themselves advocate the speaker-level connection for music, your original question. There is some info on the web site www.rel.net

Here is a useful link posted by valeem on another thread:
http://www.homecinemachoice.com/articles/faq/lfeconnection/connecting.shtml
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 105
Registered: 12-2003
Justin,

Thanks for the link. I had not heard of Cadence before. They look very impressive. Apart from the missing bass, how do they sound?
 

justin
Unregistered guest
fred, i'm at peace with all you folks out there and appreciate all advice,truly.my room is small,around 150 sq ft. will a quake be too much for my room to take??
john.A.the site shows the quake with only some kind of high level inputs( nuetrik speakon input!!!), no high level outs.
the cadence speakers are really well built right from the high tech composite cabinet material to the drivers and the WBT terminals. no corners cut. the sound is as impressive as the tech.very clean mids and highs.i got the speakers after listening to much higher priced B&W and dynaudios.
please demo one if you have the opportunity.
 

justin
Unregistered guest
fred, i'm at peace with all you folks out there and appreciate all advice,truly.my room is small,around 150 sq ft. will a quake be too much for my room to take??
john.A.the site shows the quake with only some kind of high level inputs( nuetrik speakon input!!!), no high level outs.
the cadence ARITA speakers are really well built right from the high tech composite cabinet material to the drivers and the WBT terminals. no corners cut. the sound is as impressive as the tech.very clean mids and highs.i got the speakers after listening to much higher priced B&W and dynaudios.
please demo one if you have the opportunity.
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 106
Registered: 12-2003
justin,

Ah, yes, I forgot. That single connector on the REL sub is an input AND an ouput at speaker level, for two channels - a composite cable. It is very good. All RELs definitely have high level connections both from the amp and to the speakers. They are desigened with that as the first priority. If you have a small room and want a sub, the Quake is a good choice. Wish I had one.

I am not in the market for speakers, but will look out for Cadence and take an interest. Wonderful to think where they are made; quality materials. Cadence should make a sub. Reading their profile, I somehow think Cadence would go well with REL. They will certainly connect OK, you should not worry at all about that..
 

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 27
Registered: 01-2004
[Justin]
Is your room too small?

Of course that is a complicated question. But a basic fundamental is a factor of 565 divided by the longest dimension of the room, which will give you the maximum frequency that will 'fit' in the room (565/D=F).

Any lower frequency will not make a full cycle. That is, its cycle will longer than 13', and will therefore create room mode anomolies casusing distorion of all other frequencies if not treated in some way with very cumberson, and expensive, acoustic treatment divices that may, or may not work.

Sorry. That in a nut shell is the curse of cabinet enlosed speaker systems, and their affect on the enlosed environment, due to their 360 degree radiation pattern.

Many audiophiles that reach this level of understanding tend to cross over to dipole ESL, planer, or open baffle systems (Maggies, Martin-Logan, Audio Artistry, etc.) because they tend not to excite these room mode anomolies in the first place, due to thir directionality by way of a figure 8 radiation pattern, firing to the rear, as well as to the front.

I personally do not perceive the sub woofer as a speaker attachement, accessory. Rather, there are Full Range systems, and those that do not (usually by design) do not extend to the low end of the bass range.

It is not uncommon for Full Range systems to use detached woofer cabinets. Then the upper bass/mids/treble cabinet can be located for best sound stage and control of reflections, while the lower bass drivers can be located next to side walls, or wherever else works best in their particular environment.

See the woofer placementstudy at www.linkwitzlabs.com /Links

See: The Master Handbook of Acoutics (Everest) in paprback from McGraw-Hill
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 47
Registered: 12-2003
justin,

The speakon connector is used to make a connection directly from amp/receiver to the subwoofer. REL say this is the best way to connect using the High Level method.

As far as sourcing a good quality Neutrik speakon cable is concerned you should be able to get one from your REL supplier if it's not included with the subwoofer already. It usually comes as a 10m length to aid subwoofer placement. It is designed primarily to ensure an air tight connection to the subwoofer for good long term signal flow.

To give you an idea of how to use the connector I will describe from the leaflet I received with my BK subwoofer which uses the same speakon connection as REL.

High Level Speakon connector wired as follows:-

Red lead to right output of amplifier
Yellow lead to left output of amplifier
Black lead to any one of the amplifier negative outputs.

Hope this helps?
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 48
Registered: 12-2003
Also the REL Quake is designed primarily for use in small to small/medium sized rooms.
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 49
Registered: 12-2003
Oh, and to connect the speakon plug to the sub just insert and twist until it locks. If only they were all so easy.
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 108
Registered: 12-2003
valeem,

Thanks. So I was wrong on Jan 14 in telling Justin the REL Q has a speaker out.

Then, how does the speaker signal get from the receiver to the speakers through the sub crossover if their are no "speaker out" terminals on the sub?
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 50
Registered: 12-2003
A speaker out being a seperate set of terminals to connect a subwoofer to speakers. Then I would say no, but then again its not necessary you just connect the sub to the amp for the best stereo performance. It works great!
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 51
Registered: 12-2003
The speakers get their signal by also connecting to the amplifier at the same terminals. You just set the crossover at the frequency where your speakers bass falls off and the gain/volume you set by ear so enabling the sub to underpin the mid-frequencies of your speakers and not overpower them.

I really have no experiance of using subwoofers with speaker outputs as the BK is my first subwoofer.
 

Confused in Mpls.
Unregistered guest
Have a 10 year old Velodyne Sub with speaker level inputs/outputs as well as line level inputs/outputs. With my older Onkyo rcvr I had no choice but to use sub speaker level inputs. Sub instructions recommended this because of the non-bypassable crossover in the sub. Just purchased a new Onkyo strs-800 rcvr and wanted to use the line-level LFE output. Was somewhat shocked by the lower bass output for music dvd's. Seems like bass output is o.k. for movie dvd's. From reading other posts it seems that the problem is that I have a crossover in both the recv and the sub! I guess I have to make a decision on what I will listen to the most (music?) and go back to the speaker level sub inputs for this older Velodyne sub...to get the big bass I was used to? Yes...I have tried the combinations of small/large in the recv set-up for the speakers as well as experimenting with the different rcvr cut-offs. I don't think going to a newer sub will be the solution (short of going to an REL sub which I saw mentioned...to allow me to switch between hook-up modes?).

Sorry for the long post...
 

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 109
Registered: 12-2003
Confused,

I can't help you - it is problem, and you just have to try things and decide what you like. The whole idea of an LFE channel is not really what you would choose from a hi-fi point of view, for music. It is the movie mixes with very low frequency sounds that make it worth having, and then only because most home theatre/cinema systems are based around small speakers all round.

To make things worse, I find a big difference between DTS and Dolby Digitial as regards how loud the sub plays. At least on most DVD discs. I think the recording mixes vary between those two formats, and sometimes the difference between the formats is different on different discs. When I re-connect my sub at speaker level, a lot of that problem disappears. Also the DD booming bass (I prefer the DTS sound) goes away if I choose "All small plus sub" in receiver bass management. But then the sound is less full, less satisfying on a really good recording.

That probably does not help much, except to show you are not on your own. When you say "music dvds" do you mean DVD-Audio discs?
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 52
Registered: 12-2003
If my previous posts have confused anybody then I am sorry. The setup connection I mentioned previously is for use with subwoofers that use the speakon high level method which connects a subwoofer to an amplifier, and I believe not sub to speakers, as those manufacturers that use speakon connectors don't recommend connecting from subwoofer to speakers.

Hope that makes it clear.
 

New member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 53
Registered: 12-2003
justin,

If you could find the extra cash for the HSU sub that Gregory mentions then I would go for that one as buying direct gives you much more value. Everything I've read about HSU sub's tells me you probably won't get a better sub for your money.

The REL Quake is a nice little sub but I feel that it's only when you enter their ST range that their sub's become great for music use.
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