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Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two) (Read 831 times)
Dave1210
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Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
05/16/14 at 03:14:02
 
Until recently I would never have considered a sub for my 2 channel audio system, but I have heard some setups w/subs recently that have me thinking otherwise.  

I am considering a REL subwoofer and would connect it via the high level (speaker) inputs (I assume this wouldn’t be a problem with the ZMA or any other Decware amp, because the input impedance on the sub is 100,000 ohms).

The T-7 or T-9 have been recommended as good starting points.  Does anyone have experience with these or other similar subs?  Are you using one sub or two for your setup?

Any tips and/or watch outs would be most helpful.  The world of subs for 2 channel audio is new for me (my previous experience is big, boomy home theatre bass).

Cheers!
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patshrews
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #1 - 05/16/14 at 05:46:36
 
Hi Dave,
I added a single 12" sub to my Torii IV. I first connected the sub to the speaker level inputs, but there was a terrible hum, like a ground loop. I then connected it with the low level RCA's and all the noise went away.
Hope this helps and would like to hear your experiences.

Pat
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Torii Mk. IV
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DBC
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #2 - 05/16/14 at 14:03:25
 
Dave,

I've been experimenting with Subs on music play in the home environment now for 20 years. Have had at least 8 different high quality subs over that time with as many as 3 Subs in a room at the same time. All with mixed results until my current HSU configuration using their Mid Bass Module.



As Dave states ground loops can be a problem but I have encountered them using both speaker level and line level connections. I currently use speaker level connections with great success. Good news is you can solve ground loop issues with a little work as I write in this thread.

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1360355711/0#0

It's a long thread but I explain in detail how to set up a Mid Bass Module for music and why I think this does so much more for music than a Subwoofer. In a large part it goes against the traditional "Group Think" on Subs but I have never had better low end extension, focus & integration.

I've gone over the top with two Mid Bass Modules and two ULS-15" Subs from HSU. Provided you place and hook up one Mid Bass Module as I describe you will not be sending it back.
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« Last Edit: 05/16/14 at 15:52:21 by DBC »  

Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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deucekazoo
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #3 - 05/16/14 at 14:14:50
 
Actually I run 4 10". If you are looking for a sub make sure its sealed. I noticed sealed are better than ported for music. But if it was me I would also look at the WO32 from Decware. You can build it your self or have them build it for you. Add one of those external sub amps (not a plate amp) and you would be in the same price point as the REL subs. This is what I have, two WO32s, and the bass is perfect for music. I have them crossed over at 60hz and they blend in perfectly.
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DBC
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #4 - 05/16/14 at 15:03:48
 
I fully agree with deucekazoo on using sealed subs for best music performance.

Check out this interactive chart:

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

Adding a quality sub to your system will help but as you can see from the chart there is very little content below 50 hz when playing most music.

This is why the Mid Bass Module is so effective. It augments seamlessly the 50 to 200 hz range where there is a lot of guitar, bass guitar, drums, etc. Everything in this frequency range becomes more focused & dynamic.

The Mid Bass Module also provides great Mid Bass for listening at low to moderate volumes. This chart explains what happens to the human perception of Bass Levels as the volume is reduced:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/sound/earcrv.html



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Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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deucekazoo
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #5 - 05/16/14 at 15:51:14
 
DBC,
Thanks for that chart. Nice to see where instruments fall, but hard to believe that nothing goes above 20K. Did not know that.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #6 - 05/16/14 at 15:56:27
 
The fundamentals don't go above 20khz, but the harmonics and how they interact go much higher.
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« Last Edit: 05/17/14 at 17:36:16 by Lonely Raven »  
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Dave1210
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #7 - 05/17/14 at 01:12:51
 
All…thanks for the information and perspective so far.  Keep it coming…

Pat…what brand/model sub are you using?

DBC…I have never heard of HSU before.  Thanks for all of the information (links to other posts).  I also visited the HSU website to check things out.  

Anyone out there using REL subs with your Decware amps?  Do you also have hum issues using the high level inputs?  

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maddog07
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #8 - 05/18/14 at 01:38:45
 
second, third, fourth... most of what has been said here so far.  I have had much better success with sealed subs and getting them to blend with the main speakers.  Ported subs can be a real pain.  You can usually get a ported unit to blend, but it will likely have to be in a location where not only your significant other will NOT allow it, but you wont' like it either.  Sealed subs seem to work in more locations.  
You can not go wrong with HSU subs..  the sealed ULS-15 is probably about the best value going in subs.  And they can be hooked up wirelessly... so no hum problem possible from that connection.  I think you would be quite impressed and pleased with a HSU.
Sealed Velodyne's work well too... I have two of them - they have remote control capability if that's important to you.  Allows some on-the-fly flexibility you can't get from most subs.  I think Definitive has some remote controllable units out now too.  I have had a couple of their subs(passive radiator designs technically).  They had tremendous output capability in the 40-50hz range, but tended to be a little lumpy and uneven response overall in my room.  Worked well, well made and no problems with them though.  I would judge them to be more home theater oriented for crashes and explosions.  I found the HSU and Velodynes better, to my ears, for music.

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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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shold350
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #9 - 05/19/14 at 10:19:59
 
I went with a HSU MBM12 on a recommendation from DBC and have been very happy with result. I am running a Rachael amp with a pair of 944's. The room is about 12x12 and the sound is amazing. HSU markets mainly into the home theatre realm I think, but the quickness of the MBM brings bass guitars to life like I have never heard on a standard sub. I hope you find what suits your ear but I would say to to check out the HSU products for sure.
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Decware SE34I.3 Rachael amp, Decware ZBS source selector, Denon 300F TT with Ortofon 2M red cartridge, Oppo BDP 105,HSU Mid Bass Module 12 MK2, MG944, Decware ZSTYX speaker cables, Decware silver reference interconnects, LG 60" plasma
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Dave1210
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #10 - 05/19/14 at 12:11:10
 
All...thanks again.  Prior to the post I was thinking REL all the way (particularly b/c they recommend using the high level inputs to get the character of the amp), but now it seems I have a few more options to consider.  

I am still thinking I want to connect via the high level inputs on a sub.  I don't have a traditional pre-amp (PS Audio DAC) with sub-woofer outputs and I don't feel great about a Y connector.  I also want the sub to have the same character of the ZMA.  It seems that HSU is marketing towards the home theater crowd b/c they say only use the high level inputs if you must, but sounds like you guys are using the high level inputs with success.

I never even considered Decware subs.  You don't hear much about them.  I am definitely not in a position for a DIY project at this time, but I'm sure I could contact Bob and see what my options would be.  I think I would need the amps built into the subs for WAF (I'm already getting dirty looks with my current setup).  The HSU wireless system really is a nice touch, especially if you have a large room and really want to go for it with subs all over the place.  

For me, this is all about the music (I am done with HT for the foreseeable future).  I really just want to extend the frequency of my mains and form a greater foundation with bass.  I might just bring in a few subs and let my ears make the decision.  Thanks again for all of your help!  

EDIT:  To get a sealed REL sub, you are in it for a small fortune because you need to step up to the Gibraltar series.  The G2 starts at just over $3K.
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« Last Edit: 05/19/14 at 12:41:41 by Dave1210 »  
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DBC
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #11 - 05/19/14 at 15:14:40
 
Dave1210 Wrote:

Quote:
I am still thinking I want to connect via the high level inputs on a sub.  I don't have a traditional pre-amp (PS Audio DAC) with sub-woofer outputs and I don't feel great about a Y connector.  I also want the sub to have the same character of the ZMA.  It seems that HSU is marketing towards the home theater crowd b/c they say only use the high level inputs if you must, but sounds like you guys are using the high level inputs with success.


With all due respect to Dr. Hsu (HSU Owner & Sub Designer) my ULS-15's sound great connected via speaker level connections.

Quote:
The HSU wireless system really is a nice touch, especially if you have a large room and really want to go for it with subs all over the place.  


I have not used the HSU wireless system that came with my USL-15's so can not comment on bass quality going this route. With regard to multiple subs and their placement it's been my experience placing the subs along the same wall as your mains yields the best results. I have used multiple subs along different walls and cancellation can be a real issue and not worth the hassle.

Quote:
For me, this is all about the music (I am done with HT for the foreseeable future).  I really just want to extend the frequency of my mains and form a greater foundation with bass.  I might just bring in a few subs and let my ears make the decision.


I once had a full surround sound system. I now use my Decware 2-channel system for music and HT and both sound great. If you have the ability to place your mains where they sound best a 2-channel system can sound very good on HT. If you are going to slam your speakers into corners or up against a wall then neither will sound all that good.

Quote:
EDIT:  To get a sealed REL sub, you are in it for a small fortune because you need to step up to the Gibraltar series.  The G2 starts at just over $3K.


This is why the HSU ULS-15 is such a bargain. For a big sealed sub it has a relatively small footprint. Velodyne's are nice but my old 18" sealed Velodyne cost more than the pair of HSU's and the two HSU's produce noticeably better and more uniform bass in my room.

My Velodyne had a remote volume control and I thought I might miss that. Turns out I pretty much just leave the sub volume alone on all music material with the pair of HSU's.
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Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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patshrews
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #12 - 05/19/14 at 18:41:05
 
Dave,

I was using a Velodyne servo controlled sub, but the amp went out suddenly, so I had to replace the amp and driver. I went with an Eminence Lab 12, and a BASH 300 watt amp. I don't need a lot of power for my listening area, and this amp provides plenty of bass with headroom. I think this a great "bang for the buck" set up. Parts Express also sells a pre-cut enclosure that gets great reviews. Here's the links-

http://www.parts-express.com/bash-300s-digital-subwoofer-plate-amplifier-300w-rm...

http://www.parts-express.com/eminence-lab-12-professional-12-subwoofer-speaker--...
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ZYGI
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Re: Thinking About Adding A Subwoofer (or Two)
Reply #14 - 05/21/14 at 13:55:56
 
Dave,

Danny Richie from GR Research touts his subs are the best sounding out there. I do not doubt that one bit. I've built a couple of subs using his drivers and the Rythmik amps. They are quite pricey however....

Zygi
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All Decware amps and sources, Turning Point Audio speakers
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