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Thread: To subwoofer or not...?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 4,225
    I'm Shaun.

    Default To subwoofer or not...?

    Hello you lot. Most of you know that our current system is based around a Cambridge CXC CD transport into an Audiolab MDAC. Preamp is a Prima Luna Prologue Three while the power amp is a Prima Luna Dialogue Premium. Loudspeakers are Spendor S3/5R2's. Now the sound we are currently getting from this is one of the most natural and realistic we have ever owned but it excels mainly on jazz and vocal. Yes OK, we do listen to a lot of this kind of music but maybe 70% of our listening is electronic mainly by the likes of Shpongle and Eat Static. This is where you guys come in. The Spendor's lack bottom end as you would expect and that lowest bit of depth is missing. Would a small secondhand sub make things OK..? Or, would it just completely bugger it all up. I used to sell REL subs back in the day so I am aware of how to set these bloody awkward things up but given that our little cottage is exactly that, little, is there any point...?

    Cheers guys.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: glasgow

    Posts: 2,313
    I'm tony.

    Default

    Its difficult to get a sub to intergrate, tried it with 57s and my SP1s....couldn't get it to work.

    as a possible alternative have you considered supertweeters?

    Dont ask me why but they improve the bass, my son uses them on his frugels to great effect.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Plymouth, UK

    Posts: 313
    I'm Barry.

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    Unless you are very lucky, to integrate a sub with your main speakers for music you will need some form of sub eq and crossover, which will likely work out more expensive then the sub. You could always buy a cheap av amp with eq/crossover built in to listen to bass heavy music, but even then you will probably need separate eq for the sub and a speaker switch.

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2013

    Location: Rotherham

    Posts: 313
    I'm steve.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    Hello you lot. Most of you know that our current system is based around a Cambridge CXC CD transport into an Audiolab MDAC. Preamp is a Prima Luna Prologue Three while the power amp is a Prima Luna Dialogue Premium. Loudspeakers are Spendor S3/5R2's. Now the sound we are currently getting from this is one of the most natural and realistic we have ever owned but it excels mainly on jazz and vocal. Yes OK, we do listen to a lot of this kind of music but maybe 70% of our listening is electronic mainly by the likes of Shpongle and Eat Static. This is where you guys come in. The Spendor's lack bottom end as you would expect and that lowest bit of depth is missing. Would a small secondhand sub make things OK..? Or, would it just completely bugger it all up. I used to sell REL subs back in the day so I am aware of how to set these bloody awkward things up but given that our little cottage is exactly that, little, is there any point...?

    Cheers guys.
    Iíve had a few subs over the years and have had results from hopeless to reasonable. How well a sub works depends very much on the room and where in the room you can place it to avoid exciting the inevitable standing waves. Iíve probably spent the best part of 40 years trying to get a perfectly balanced and extended bass in my living room.
    Imo a sub is no substitute for a decent pair of floor standing speakers on their own, Iíve tried quite a few with varying degrees of success, Iíve recently finally got it right to my satisfaction with a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 40s which are definitely here for the duration.
    If you think you want to try a sub Iíd suggest you try a relatively small one, the most successful attempt I had to get a good sound with a sub was with a BK Gemini 2, it has a light 10Ē cone with good speed and decent extension and an infinitely variable filter frequency rather than a stepped one which is more versatile, cab is not too big so not an eyesore and there are loads of finishes to suit your decor.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 10,638
    I'm Jerry.

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    Subs can work well, I have 2 smallish Jamo SW200 (8 inch drivers, 150W) which integrate well with my rather bass light Podium speakers.

    Well worth a try imo.
    Jerry

    TIDAL Hifi streaming >> Acer laptop >> Wyred4Sound Recovery USB Reclocker >> Halide Bridge USB converter >> Topping D30 DAC +LPSU >> Herron VTSP-2 preamp >> Trigon TRE50M monoblocks >> MBL 116f speakers

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Much Wenlock

    Posts: 857
    I'm Gary.

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    I have found that using the high level inputs is vastly superior to low level.

    Gary
    It is easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission

    Rules are meant for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 4,225
    I'm Shaun.

    Default

    Thanks guys. I was always of the opinion that subs and equalisers were shite and what was really needed were floorstanders. Just about every time I have used stand mount nearfields I have ended up back with floorstanders but this room is just not big enough. I'll give it a think.

    By the way though, a sub would not be needed for all listening only the electronic stuff and then just to fill in the lowest sounds.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Plymouth, UK

    Posts: 313
    I'm Barry.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    By the way though, a sub would not be needed for all listening only the electronic stuff and then just to fill in the lowest sounds.
    Best bet, try a second hand sub connected to the high level inputs, you might get lucky.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 725
    I'm Svend.

    Default

    Shaun, I've been mulling over this same question for about a year now. Similar kind of situation as you -- small room, stand mount speakers (KEF Ref. 103.2), hardwood suspended floor, etc. Given all the potential pitfalls of adding a sub in this room (esp. potentially boomy bass from being relegated to the corners of the room....that WAF thing ) I have been hesitant to pull the trigger on this. I decided that the best way to go, for now, was to optimize the other components for best bass response, and also deal with the speaker-stand-floor interface, and then see if more was needed. This has yielded some significant improvements, esp. having the CD player modded with new discrete op amps and other tweaks, adding better interconnects and speaker cables, and creating a more solid connection between speakers and stands, and stands to floor (this is still a work in progress, but I am a believer now that I've made a few changes). Speaker placement has helped a lot as well.

    Bottom line -- there may be things possible with your present setup that can improve things. In other words, getting the basics right, and tweaking what you've already got. I still have some work to do with my system, and may end up with a sub at some point if it still doesn't satisfy.

    I'll be watching this thread with interest to read the experiences of others.

    Best,
    Svend

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 725
    I'm Svend.

    Default

    I just read this excellent article on subs from a local audio shop. Some very good, common sense advice here:

    https://www.planetofsoundonline.com/...eid=d3d4ce2fa3

    And then there are some helpful comments from Paul McGowan of PS Audio in his Ask Paul video series:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...7pcDDvBrGLCCnr

    He has at least four episodes on subs, and I won't all post here...just scroll through the list to find them. But here's one about small rooms:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3FUgaxEzyk

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