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Author Topic: Thinking Sub  (Read 796 times)

djwaudio

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Thinking Sub
« on: October 23, 2016, 11:15:21 pm »

I was in a hifi shop yesterday and heard a nice setup that incorporated a sub very well.  The sub was a JL Audio (didn't catch the model) and it was very smooth, I was impressed enough to rethink my stance on subs. 

I'm running B&W 802Ds and while they're full range, I like the way that sub pressurized the room at lower volume. 

As I set out to do some research on a good sub for the 802s, can anyone share experiences with them and recommendations for units to look for.  Do I need all the fancy alignment that is incorporated into the high-end boxes?
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 05:50:18 am »

I would look at the REL Subwoofers. IMHO they are the best bang for the buck and unlike some other Subs don't have a "one note bass" sound to them.
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Thomas W. Bethel
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djwaudio

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 01:35:12 pm »

Ahhh, thank you. I knew there was another brand I needed to check into.

12" or 10"
ported or sealed...
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 06:27:41 am »

Ahhh, thank you. I knew there was another brand I needed to check into.

12" or 10"
ported or sealed...

Best to let your ears make the final choice...
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

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Celebrating 22 years in business in 2017

ArtSta

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2016, 02:03:28 pm »

Do I need all the fancy alignment that is incorporated into the high-end boxes?

Definitely. And it’s not that easy.

I do not use 802D, so I cannot be particularly helpful with recommending sub for them, but I spent enormous time for testing and integrations (including measurements) and one might consider my experience useful.

First of all if you don’t really need them, do not waste time. Otherwise you will spend a lot to choose one that integrates well and then to integrate it.

In general (and this is quite of generalization) subs are good for rooms with less than optimal acoustics, they allow to tune results by introducing more options to position them, but in exchange to a more work required to accurately time align them (it is as painful as accuracy of a pot on sub that usually is not that good).

But the first real hard task is to choose one. Questions that come to mind are: what size, ported or sealed, etc? From scratch I would definitely choose the one offered by vendor for exact mains model if there’s any available. That way you save time by easier integration in terms of crossover and spl levels. I am not aware of B&W offerings for your speakers, but I would check that and definitely go that route (if there are no specific requirements that dedicated gear is not able to fulfil, or dedicated subs are unexpectedly subpar).

If there’s no dedicated sub, things are getting tougher. It’s very likely that independently from vendor of your choice you’ll be forced to find and tune a dedicated crossover (if you set subs to go higher than your mains can- not recommended, but sometimes useful when room has some deficiencies) or at least lpf (if you set subs to start working where mains cut off-recommended in most cases). A real pain. I haven’t found a sub’s built in crossover/lpf that worked well (to match mains factory characteristics) enough for my ears. With this you can go digital, but it will make amplification yet another step of difficulty.

Things got even more complicated if you prefer sealed subs and your mains provide quite high pressure levels. This is where subs size matters, but even then in most cases you will end up with integration that will work correctly at limited range of levels. Closed (EDITED: was ported) subs definitely work better for smaller rooms too, so if you prefer ported designs for some reasons (most people behind critical listening I know prefer closed ones for a reason) but have kind of small room you’re going to have kind of tied hands. On the other hand in bigger room you’re also under constrains- subs setup must be well-thought too.

I have a luck of running triple mains/sub setup that allows me to run mains in their full range with a subs lpf'ed, subs at their whole range with mains with a higher hpf than default (than factory designed rolloff), and mains only. Although all modes are available at a fingertip (my console with monitor controller is custom- it is a byproduct of my previous setup with two separate rooms and separate speaker sets) I rarely run subs for critical listening despite custom filters design (my mains are -6dB at 38Hz by default and my room is quite good: +-3db 20Hz-300Hz with a controlled decay times and no electronic correction). I can still hear the integration in action- it still requires some work, it’s not that neutral as I wanted it to be. I mostly use subs in two cases: when I suspect something is going on when mains are unable to show and when I want to impress some less experienced people (subs are adding a little in bottom when tracks are really well produced with those octaves in mind, it looks like a little more hmm euphonic for some).

The question you might ask why I went route with subs (and why not a dedicated ones for my mains)? This is a good question ;).  Well, we all have these limited resources and abilities to listen to what we are willing to. I also thought that it would take less time, really.
I think that dedicated subs for my mains are really excellent in terms of integration. Unfortunately I was not able to listen to such dedicated setup in my room. My current setup is more of a workhorse, subs are going much lower (sometimes it’s needed) and I prefer definitely sealed ones.  I also don’t think that I would be able to get that frequency response from any reasonable (economically too) real full range mains. It all of course doesn’t end on FR, it rather begins there. Finally, my room was built around this setup and it’s hard to beat argument.
These are my reasons. And experiences.

Good luck with your journey! You’re going to need it.

Art
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djwaudio

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 08:50:01 pm »

Art, thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience.  It closely resembles mine, and adds some good insight. 

One thing you mentioned is adding some subs for inexperienced listeners, being euphonic.  Yes, everyone loves some good oomph don't we?!

My system and room sounds incredibly realistic to me when I get the volume up and have a decent recording.  I'm afraid so many records are off in some way and listening at low volumes, I'm wanting some of that support.   

The sub that I heard at the hi-fi shop, I believe was sealed.  Perhaps this is what caught my attention. It seemed to integrate so well with the mains.  I think it was a JL Audio eSub. 

Every other sub I've ever heard seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.  More later. Thanks again!

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ArtSta

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2016, 01:39:07 pm »

Art, thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience.  It closely resembles mine, and adds some good insight. 

One thing you mentioned is adding some subs for inexperienced listeners, being euphonic.  Yes, everyone loves some good oomph don't we?!

Actually I found pant legs moves more exciting ;)

Every other sub I've ever heard seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.

I suggest you to get more familiar with servo stuff.

Art
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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2016, 05:56:08 am »

I've always liked the idea of Brian Big Bass Gardner, finalising or checking the work on that obscure mono speaker under the desk on the left side of the floor blah blah ...

It really is, what you are used to. Once your perception and it's success outside the studio is tried and tested, then you are set and locked in  8)


Ciao'
Kayo
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djwaudio

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 04:17:26 pm »

Actually I found pant legs moves more exciting ;)

I suggest you to get more familiar with servo stuff.

Art

I found these subs this week, and giving them a long look...  Direct Servo technology.

http://rythmikaudio.com/technology.html
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radardoug

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 06:00:20 pm »

Hmm, I think they have been drinking at the bullshit fountain!
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djwaudio

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 01:37:47 am »

Care to elaborate, Doug?  I'm none the wiser, and would appreciate your perspective. 
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 06:03:27 am »

I think you will be surprised if you listen to these and then something very good like the REL subwoofer. IMHO
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Thomas W. Bethel
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djwaudio

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Re: Thinking Sub
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 02:36:42 pm »

I did listen to a Rel recently and liked it very much.  My complaint with it was that it was reaching too high into second and third octaves even at it's lowest filter settings. 

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