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View Full Version : Subwoofer or No Subwoofer?...That is the Question.



Storm
11-25-2006, 06:37 PM
Hey there fellow audio nuts.

I have been thinking about adding a subwoofer into my current setup, but have concerns as to if I should.

Are subwoofers truly for audiophiles? Do they pump real bass or do they add to the existing bass?

My current setup is below. Please let me know if I should scrap the idea or add a subwoofer to this system. The subwoofer I am thinking about adding is the version one PARADIGM SERVO 15 subwoofer.

Thank you in advance.

I hope to learn alot from this thread.

:)

-Storm

grumpy
11-25-2006, 08:00 PM
Done right, a sub (or several) can make for a more engaging listening
experience. Can also be a pain to "do right". Ten people will tell you ten versions
of what "done right" is.

-grumpy

Shane Shuster
11-25-2006, 10:00 PM
Hey there fellow audio nuts.

I have been thinking about adding a subwoofer into my current setup, but have concerns as to if I should.

-Storm

What specifically is wrong with your setup that you don't like? How demanding of your hifi are you? To sub-woofer or not is a set of compromises that without set goals may or may not work for you.

Robh3606
11-25-2006, 10:14 PM
Are subwoofers truly for audiophiles? Do they pump real bass or do they add to the existing bass?

Hello Storm

I run E-145's as my midbass driver so I have to have subs for the last octave. I get decent bass to 40 hz out of them from the room gain but below 40 forget about it. To answer your guestion it depends on what your gear is actually doing in your room. Do audiophiles want clean response to into the low 20's Hz range?? The answer is yes some want all the way to 16Hz and some even lower. The question is what do you want?? What kind of music do you listen too?? Is there content there and what are you getting in your room now?? As I see it there is a lot going on in the 20-40Hz range and have been surprised many times by content in that octave. So I want reasonable response there. You have to decide what reasonable response means to you. Like Grumpy says there will be 10 people telling you how to "do it right".

Rob:)

Zilch
11-25-2006, 10:14 PM
These are the type of speakers that do it all and don't need a subwoofer. Case in point - I just picked up a PARADIGM REFERENCE SERVO 15 SUBWOOFER and hooked it up to the setup with these same exact speakers. The subwoofer puts out too much bass. I love the natural bass that these speakers bring forth - not the over use of bass that a subwoofer brings.

This subwoofer is Paradigms leading subwoofer and retailed for $1500.00. Thank goodness I did not purchase it new - this baby is going on eBay in a couple days.


:dont-know

Rolf
11-25-2006, 11:46 PM
For me a system that give notes to between 20-30 Hz is more than enough. My 4343's do that. I believe down 3db at 30Hz.

When I (a few times in a year) play church organ, I miss the deepest notes.

My brother has a subwoofer, a large Revel (15") with 1000W amp. When I listen to his system (witch is excellent) it does not sound natural when the sub is on. To much, and I never hear this kind of bass on a concert, and the concert is my reference. His reference is different, as I am sure many other have different references, and I respect that. We all want THAT kind of sound, and that is good. If not we would all have the same equipment. (Boring)

In a setup for movies ... well that is another thing, but I am not so into that. I do not even use a center, but the "phantom mode". That leaves only 4 speakers left when I watch a move. Plenty for me. (Us).

Hope this little story helps.

Tom Brennan
11-26-2006, 10:05 AM
Subs are good IF they can dynamically track your mains and IF they are dialed in right. You shouldn't be aware a sub is in the system until it needs to "speak".

SEAWOLF97
11-26-2006, 10:16 AM
On Mythbusters they built a 51inch sub. Put out 162db at 16 hz for about 8 seconds before it self destructed. Powered by a Mercedes diesel.

Maybe not a goal to shoot for ??:blink:

JBL 4645
11-26-2006, 10:29 AM
On Mythbusters they built a 51inch sub. Put out 162db at 16 hz for about 8 seconds before it self destructed. Powered by a Mercedes diesel.

Maybe not a goal to shoot for ??:blink:


Mission Impossible this sub will self destruct in 8 seconds! :D

Get yourself a few JBL 4645C 18Ē subs that will make the Saturn V sound real enough in Apollo13!:applaud:

Rolf
11-26-2006, 11:09 AM
On Mythbusters they built a 51inch sub. Put out 162db at 16 hz for about 8 seconds before it self destructed. Powered by a Mercedes diesel.

Maybe not a goal to shoot for ??:blink:

What the he§# are you talking about? MYTHBUSTERS at the Discovery Channel? What does that has do do ... in any meaning .. ???

timc
11-26-2006, 12:21 PM
I Agree with grumpy. If a sub is good enough and is correctly adjusted (almost never happens) It can be a possitve experience. However if your not sure the sub can keep up, leave it.


Tim

Titanium Dome
11-26-2006, 03:33 PM
But the caveat is that you have to know what you want and when you want it.

I tend to prefer 12" and 14" subs, dialed in for specific duty. I do have a B380 with a 2235H in it, but it's not amazing, and it can sound flabby. The LE14H-x family makes a fine, articulate sub and a great low frequency transducer, just don't ask it to do both at the same time. The HTPS400 convinced me that a rigid 12" in a sealed cabinet can be an amazing sub when set up right.

For movies, some guys like dual 15s or 18s, and in the context of movie special effects they can be pretty cool, but their musicality is suspect as far as I'm concerned. For music I like it nice and tight, not loose and sloppy.

JBL 4645
11-26-2006, 05:00 PM
I Agree with grumpy. If a sub is good enough and is correctly adjusted (almost never happens) It can be a possitve experience. However if your not sure the sub can keep up, leave it.


Tim

Agreed thatís why Iíve been using JBL 4645 sub bass professional for the past 8 years, not a single dayís problem with it, and Iíve had SPL db levels up to 120dbc on damn! Now thatís cinema quality!:applaud:

Tom Brennan
11-26-2006, 05:02 PM
"For music I like it nice and tight, not loose and sloppy."

Do you imply that 15s and 18s must be loose and sloppy?

JBL 4645
11-26-2006, 05:12 PM
In all the years that Iíve been listening and feeling the tightness of depth abyssal low end from the JBL 4645 18Ē no why is she loose in any way, which is one reason I opted for an 18Ē in the home cinema, 12Ē not to bad itís good for some parts of the audio spectrum very good. But for kick slam and depth I need an 18Ē JBL 4645 to give a little credit for the control 5.:applaud:

So in no way are they loose and sloppy, unless you have been drinking the previous night before!:blink: :D

timc
11-27-2006, 01:04 AM
"For music I like it nice and tight, not loose and sloppy."

Do you imply that 15s and 18s must be loose and sloppy?


I think what he means is that for many purposes you cant cutof a 15" or 18" high enough. And if you do the tend to sound slow. 12" for the 40hz+ and 15"-18" for the sub 40hz maybe. Thats how i read his post. Correct me if im wrong.

JBL 4645
11-28-2006, 02:57 AM
I hope to learn alot from this thread.

-Storm

LOL:blink:

you spelled "A lot" totally wrong for starters, tell you what. Go back to college clearly youíre just a big head. And donít you dare speck down to on the other thread like that Iím far older than you, one thing I have learned which you clearly havenít! Is, respect for my elders plain and simple!:biting:

hjames
11-28-2006, 04:24 AM
LOL:blink:

you spelled "A lot" totally wrong for starters, tell you what. Go back to college clearly you’re just a big head. And don’t you dare speck down to on the other thread like that I’m far older than you, one thing I have learned which you clearly haven’t! Is, respect for my elders plain and simple!:biting:

Wait- WHERE ARE THE WET COMMAS in your sentences!! RUN ON!!

BTW (thats short for By The Way, for you oldsters)
on the internet no one knows you are a dog, er, a fish, er ... an Elder!

We talk webyears here as a sign of status - I've been online since the early 90s - how senior are you to THAT, fishyboiy?

JBL 4645
11-28-2006, 04:44 AM
Wait- WHERE ARE THE WET COMMAS in your sentences!! RUN ON!!

BTW (thats short for By The Way, for you oldsters)
on the internet no one knows you are a dog, er, a fish, er ... an Elder!

We talk webyears here as a sign of status - I've been online since the early 90s - how senior are you to THAT, fishyboiy?

No but I can smell a WET FISH USA shemale a mile off! Yikes!:barf: :barf:

hjames
11-28-2006, 04:55 AM
No but I can smell a WET FISH USA shemale a mile off! Yikes!:barf: :barf:

This is your idea of a snappy comeback - ??

Where do you GET this stuff - meds wearin' off? Porno talk is not civil in a public forum.

Calling me Eddie Izzard - the nerve of this guy!!

JBL 4645
11-28-2006, 05:17 AM
This is your idea of a snappy comeback - ??

Where do you GET this stuff - meds wearin' off? Porno talk is not civil in a public forum.

Calling me Eddie Izzard - the nerve of this guy!!


Long

Mate, your spot mate this person is a real shemale! How could you tell it was a shemale Yikes I hate shemales!:o: :barf:

Storm
11-28-2006, 08:57 AM
This guy does not contribute or ask any questions. All this person does is harass and post silly threads.

Please either ban him or kick him off for good!

Read the silly posts he writes - please.

Thank you.

-Storm.

JBL 4645
11-28-2006, 09:08 AM
This guy does not contribute or ask any questions. All this person does is harass and post silly threads.

Please either ban him or kick him off for good!

Read the silly posts he writes - please.

Thank you.

-Storm.

LOL nothing compared to silly American threads about the silly government we here in the UK and Europe donít care about your silly threads you little git! You decided to come on my thread and start BASHING IT! So if you canít take the heat for BASHING me first off, STFU you silly little wanker!:biting:

Storm
11-28-2006, 09:25 AM
Seriously.

There is a difference between government threads and a silly thread no one responds to except yourself about a cinema that 99 percent of us threaders dont even care about.

Go back to your doctor and bring these threads with you. You are the one that needs help.

I am not bashing at all, just stating a matter of fact opinion. Do you know the difference?

:o:

Thank you.

-Storm

JBL 4645
11-28-2006, 09:33 AM
Tell you what stay far, far away from me OK! And Iíll stay far, far, far away from your threads deal!

Storm
11-28-2006, 09:37 AM
You started bashing my thread first mate most threads I see on here I ether read and donít respond but you had to start bashing it didnít you!!!!!



If you call bashing outright openly discussing the fact that the thread has no purpose - then be it.

I guess you can't teach old dogs anything!

:)

Moderators - Is there anybody out there?

I started this thread, so can you close it. I got my answer and now it is being used to harass me.

Thank you.

:p

Robh3606
11-28-2006, 10:09 AM
I will give you each one public warning and that's it. Take this sophmoric behavior off this forum now. It will not be tolerated.

Rob:)

Mr. Widget
11-28-2006, 08:54 PM
These are the type of speakers that do it all and don't need a subwoofer. Case in point - I just picked up a PARADIGM REFERENCE SERVO 15 SUBWOOFER and hooked it up to the setup with these same exact speakers. The subwoofer puts out too much bass. I love the natural bass that these speakers bring forth - not the over use of bass that a subwoofer brings.

This subwoofer is Paradigms leading subwoofer and retailed for $1500.00. Thank goodness I did not purchase it new - this baby is going on eBay in a couple days.
I am not familiar with your Paradigm sub, however most subwoofer demonstrations like most surround sound demonstrations are overly exaggerated... what I am getting at is that most Hi-Fi shops and even most trade shows tend to jack up their settings so that you really hear what they are contributing. In a properly set up sub for a system that already has extension down to 40 or 50Hz, the sub will hardly be missed when it is turned off... turning it on and off should be quite subtle for most music... in some cases it should have no impact on the sound at all and with some music the effects of the added sub will be far less subtle.

What I am trying to say is that if you get the feeling that there is too much bass due to the addition of a sub, you are probably correct, turn down the power to the sub... that said, there isn't a vintage system out there that won't benefit from the subtle improvement that a properly set up, high quality sub can bring.


Widget

Shane Shuster
11-28-2006, 11:37 PM
I am not familiar with your Paradigm sub, however most subwoofer demonstrations like most surround sound demonstrations are overly exaggerated... what I am getting at is that most Hi-Fi shops and even most trade shows tend to jack up their settings so that you really hear what they are contributing.Widget

I would add that most sub-woofers in the shops use a 15" in too small of a box. Most use eq on the plate amp which makes the problem worse and in the case of sealed boxes looses most of the advantages of using a sealed design in the first place.

I think that may be why some people think 15 and 18 inch woofers can't be musical. Also the small woofers may sound "faster" because they are not putting as much sub 30hz energy into the room.

Its seems like most of the speaker designs noted for tight, fast bass never have much lower bass. (Altecs, Klipsch, bookshelf speakers, ect) If you had a Valencia or Model 19, waved a magic wand, and it was the exact same speaker but magically had flat response down to 25hz. I wonder if owners of the speaker wouldn't like it anymore because the upper bass didn't stand out anymore.

Storm
11-28-2006, 11:44 PM
So, you guys are saying better to sell the subwoofer?

You are right about the tight bass and the comparison to a subwoofer. The subwoofer more often than not puts out too much bass and like you said, it is very flat.

Thank you for all of your guys' help.

I have this sub in my system right now, but will take it out and put in on eBay within a couple days.

:)

-Storm.

Shane Shuster
11-29-2006, 12:34 AM
So, you guys are saying better to sell the subwoofer?
I have this sub in my system right now, but will take it out and put in on eBay within a couple days.
-Storm.

Take any audio related internet advice with a huge grain of salt. A lot of advice is treated as being universal when it isn't. A good percentage is also out right wrong and only used to sell you more audio products.

I think its best to come up with your own ideals about what your system should sound like. The hard part is knowing what to change to get it there. Just buying products that are "better" is counter productive.

Personally I wouldn't live with Valencias because they don't match what I want my system to sound like. I don't like the lean bass and quite a few other things they do. But I learned from the speakers I"ve tried which helps to know what to change to reach the sound I want.(hopefully!) It helps cut through the propaganda and the things that don't apply to me or my room.

Storm
11-29-2006, 12:47 AM
Shane -

What speakers do you use?

Why don't you like the Valencias?

-Storm.

Robh3606
11-29-2006, 07:28 AM
Hello Storm

Before you banish it to E-Bay how steep are your crossover slopes??? I had a similar problem with my subs and my mains. I was getting more room gain and LF extension than I thought I would from my mains and the only way to not have a bass peak using the rolloff from the box tuning and the 12Db slope in the sub network was to cut in the sub too low. I ended up using 24Db slopes on both sides. Then it worked fine. Don't know if you want to consider this or not.

Rob:)

Chas
11-29-2006, 10:53 AM
Hello Storm

Before you banish it to E-Bay how steep are your crossover slopes??? I had a similar problem with my subs and my mains. I was getting more room gain and LF extension than I thought I would from my mains and the only way to not have a bass peak using the rolloff from the box tuning and the 12Db slope in the sub network was to cut in the sub too low. I ended up using 24Db slopes on both sides. Then it worked fine. Don't know if you want to consider this or not.

Rob:)

I have had similar issues too. Why don't you keep the sub for a while and experiment a bit? Placement location heavily influences sub performance too.

Did you cut-off the low frequecies to your Altec system and match the freq. to your sub?

Lots of stuff to think about....it's all part of the fun.:p

coherent_guy
12-08-2006, 09:41 AM
I have found that a sub-woofer is not only useful simply in the reproduction of very low frequency musical tones. They can reproduce the ambient acoustic sound or feel of a room that may exist on a recording. For example, The Trinity Sessions by the Cowboy Junkies, which was recorded in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Canada, with a Calrec Ambisonic microphone. When the song Mining For Gold begins, there is silence, yet you can hear and feel the venue, the space or the atmosphere within the church, almost a shuddering movement of air reaching up from the sub-sonic. The woofers are pumping away madly yet there are no instruments playing, and this is on a CD, not a record and turntables "woofer warble". The song is sung acapella by a woman so the sub is not reproducing voice or instruments. Turning off the sub removes the realism of the space that was captured on this recording. There are many recordings that have similarly captured this room acoustic sound or feel that I believe is only revealed with a good sub-woofer or other specialized low frequency speaker system.

A sub may also be deemed necessary due to the human ears low sensitivity to low frequency tones. We cannot hear these frequencies until a certain SPL threshold is crossed. Look at the classic Fletcher-Munson "equal-loudness contours":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher-Munson_curves

Note that the threshold of audibility of a 20Hz tone is far above that of tones at 100Hz and above. This is why a four inch "woofer" can be said to reproduce 20Hz but is otherwise inaudible. On Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, made famous in the move 2001: A Space Odessey, the Opening contains some very low rumblings before the horns begin that can be completely missed because they are both low in frequency and level. Other than large horn loaded woofers, sub-woofers may be capable of producing the acoustic output necessary to make these sounds clearly audible. A typical 12" 3-way speaker is not capable of doing this. Of course a sub-woofer can be over used and ruin ones music, but I don't feel they should be dismissed as useless for that reason alone. Whether or not they are necessary may be subjective, but I feel they are very useful when used appropriately. In the Home Theatre environment, let's remember that a sub is connected to the LFE, Low Frequency Effects channel, not an ultra low bass music channel. Booming and thumping is the name of the game under those circumstances. To me, apples and oranges.

mikebake
12-08-2006, 10:57 AM
The subwoofer more often than not puts out too much bass

-Storm.
I don't understand; you can't turn this sub down until the level is correct?

mikebake
12-08-2006, 11:01 AM
I have found that a sub-woofer is not only useful simply in the reproduction of very low frequency musical tones. They can reproduce the ambient acoustic sound or feel of a room that may exist on a recording. For example, The Trinity Sessions by the Cowboy Junkies, which was recorded in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Canada, with a Calrec Ambisonic microphone. When the song Mining For Gold begins, there is silence, yet you can hear and feel the venue, the space or the atmosphere within the church, almost a shuddering movement of air reaching up from the sub-sonic. The woofers are pumping away madly yet there are no instruments playing, and this is on a CD, not a record and turntables "woofer warble". The song is sung acapella by a woman so the sub is not reproducing voice or instruments. Turning off the sub removes the realism of the space that was captured on this recording. There are many recordings that have similarly captured this room acoustic sound or feel that I believe is only revealed with a good sub-woofer or other specialized low frequency speaker system. .

Good post; the effect you mention is definitely there. It would be interesting to know what the mic captured; could have been the ventilation system or a distant subway!!

Steve Schell
12-08-2006, 11:41 AM
I agree with coherent_guy's coherent comments on all points. There is extreme low frequency contant in many (perhaps most) recordings that are most often not reproduced. Even on a simple recording like solo guitar there will be subsonic effects that add greatly to relism if reproduced well. It can be humorous sometimes, as a system with true low frequency extension will reveal artifacts (motor noises, subways, etc.) that the recording and mastering engineers likely never heard while monitoring on bandwidth limited systems like 604s.

The modern trend toward extended lows in home theatre has given subwoofers a bad reputation, as most subs flail small direct radiators through wild excursions, generating high distortion percentages. This distortion along with the tendency to run them too loud causes the sub to draw attention to itself and muddy up the sound- yuck.

Well designed horn subwoofers can deliver high SPLs and effortless dynamic swings with very low distortion; the tradeoff is that they are very large. The 15Hz. exponential flare subs I have built offer 108dB sensitivity from 20 to 80Hz. from a single 15" driver, but have volumes of 100 to 128 cubic feet. I recently discovered an equation by Frank Massa that allows the calculation of cone motion of a horn driver at a given frequency and output. According to this equation, my sub should be able to produce an acoustic watt (loud!) at 20Hz. with .080" of peak to peak cone motion. I am currently using an Altec 515-16G driver which has a rated maximum excursion of .150", so this is well within its capabilities. This cone motion would produce barely a peep from a small driver direct radiator sub. Also, assuming an efficiency of about 25%, the horn sub will produce the acoustical watt with four watts of amplifier power.

One other drawback of a horn sub like this is the path length, which produces a 15 millisecond delay. This is clearly audible on transient material, and needs to be corrected by applying a delay to the rest of the system. Mother Nature doesn't make things easy!

Hoerninger
12-08-2006, 12:10 PM
... the tradeoff is that they are very large.

... One other drawback of a horn sub like this is the path length, which produces a 15 millisecond delay.

This is clearly audible on transient material, and needs to be corrected by applying a delay to the rest of the system.

When building such a horn, money and place is probably not much an issue. If you choose four instead of one 15 inch woofers, you can reduce horn length. The big horn can be devided into four parts, which makes them easier :( to handle.

In Paragon XXL I choose two 15 inch speakers per side.
___________
Peter

Titanium Dome
12-08-2006, 12:36 PM
Steve

Very interesting post. Would you say size and delay are the only challenges with a sub horn? (Assuming one had the money and technical resources to do it right.)

coherent_guy
12-09-2006, 09:31 AM
. . . mikebake's point is well taken, there can be many extraneous sounds and other noises that comprise the background sounds in an environment. As Mr. Schell points out, some of that is pure garbage, is humorous at times, and apparently overlooked by the recording engineers (thanks for your comment Steve, I'd love to hear your horns, and it seems I almost could from where I am outside Chicago, given your accomplishments in the acoustic sensitivity and SPL areas!!) So much for the trend towards small studio monitors (and flailing subs!) Are you saying mikebake, that what I refer to is all acoustic garbage, and/or the effect does not exist? Regardless, a good sub has revealed things on albums I never heard previously, and I personally enjoy low bass. That may not be important to some, so be it.

I've been wondering given all the new subwoofers out there, particularly ones with eight or ten (or less) inch drivers, if some breakthrough in driver technology occurred. Cone excursion has increased certainly, but as Mr. Schell points out, the only thing that really changed is our standards (well, some of us) on what is good sound and acceptable distortion levels. Subs get away with much by having their distortion harmonics rolled off outside of their tiny passbands. Or is much of a small subs output what is called "doubling"? Alas, horns are impractical deluxe (I think my first apartment was 128 cubic feet overall!) but I wonder what a large excursion driver flexing it's surround would produce in acoustic watts in a horn like Mr. Schell describes. It seems that horns remain impractical in many environments, certainly in the home, or are they just being overlooked?

SEAWOLF97
12-09-2006, 10:07 AM
. . I think my first apartment was 128 cubic feet overall

Hope you meant square feet, I can just see your stereo system in a 5x5x5=125cf foot place (does that include kitchen and bed ??) and that they were "nearfields":)

Steve Schell
12-10-2006, 09:16 AM
Hoerninger, multiplying the cone area and enlarging the throat is a practical way to shorten a horn and reduce the size and the length of delay in milliseconds. I am not convinced that the performance will be as good in terms of output level vs. distortion as the longer horn though, as the driver loading is reduced and the drivers are less shielded from loading variations from mouth and room reflections. My sub has a path length of 1/3 wavelength at 20Hz., which I regard as a minimum for really good performance. Having said that, I have heard 9' path horn subs using an 18" driver and 1:1 throat area that still sound very good.

Titanium Dome, I can't think of any other challenges off hand, but the size and the delay are enough to give one pause (pun intended). The sound quickly sweeps one away and makes one forget the difficulties though. The way I have dealt with the size is to build the boxes narrow and tall, using the space up to the ceiling that is most often wasted anyway. My current sub has a footprint 29" by 93" and sits flat against the wall. It looks imposing but doesn't intrude on the room space too much, really.

Coherent_guy, lean out your window and I'll crank the system up B^) . I certainly agree that extended low frequency response adds much to playback of good recordings. In the region where the energy is transitioning from that which is heard to that which is felt, the sensations are tactile and primal. Can't agree that narrow band subs have their distortion products filtered out, though. Their input is certainly band limited, but any distortion products generated by the device will be present in the output. Little Best Buy type subs often sound to me like their distortion products are louder than the fundamental.

One tiny sub that actually seems to work pretty well is the little self-powered Carver cube. My partner Rich has one, and we have used it at two shows where the small demo room did not permit use of the big sub. It doesn't hold a candle to the horn sub on loud stuff, but doesn't embarrass itself either.

coherent_guy
12-10-2006, 01:07 PM
Seawolf, I failed to mention my first "apartment" was in an upscale complex called Sunset Bay Dept. of Corrections, so the figure given was square feet, you are correct. Did you know that Bose had the contract to provide sound systems to the tenants there? There was the industrial version of 901's in the day room, and an Acoustimass five inch sub tucked under every cot, did you know that the specs for it's size was based on that requirement? Your point on voluptuous sound is well taken, I always prefer twin peaks. . .

Steve, I only suggested that subs may benefit from the affect of reduced distortion due to restricted bandwidth, I have read about that more than once and it seemed to have possibilities to me. As you mention, very low frequencies are felt rather than heard and I'm a firm believer that size does matter in those circumstances. I also believe that a large woofer will not have problems keeping up with say a 50 Hz signal, given they are used up to 800 - 1200 Hz, so the notion of large woofers being slow is questionable. Also see the picture JBL displayed showing a 15" woofer tracking a sine wave, why did they not do this for a mid or high frequency driver? Or anyone else? I will say my brother's Martin Logan electrostatic speakers are seemingly faster than moving coil drivers, but I just obtained my first LE85's ever, having never heard any either. I can't believe those tiny diaphragms in that magnetic circuit can't track a music signal very well. But I digress. . . What time should I open my windows, it's cold here now and I can't keep them open all the time. I'm wondering if the weird low frequency rumbling heard in some parts of the western U.S. are not a government experiment, but might find their source in some mad horn scientists work??

All subwoofers are not intrinsically muddy, boomy, or slow, if one is hearing that something else is likely the cause. The Paradigm sub is highly respected from what I've heard and at the very least you should not have much trouble selling it.

bone215
02-03-2007, 01:36 PM
I just read this post all the way through. To the original poster, yes to the question of whether or not to sub, definately yes. Both for stereo music and movies. I do not agree with many that subs that play well for home theater are different than subs that play well for music. A good sub should be good for both. I have found that in order to provide good sound at a decent level at low distortion levels, multiple subs work best in my room. I use 3 subs, I feel based on my listening experience that I have them tuned in relatively well and over all it depends on the source material. Sometimes I wonder if all the subs have been shut off as there is no low end and then next source comes up and there is the bottom end. Yes they should be unobtrusive and you must take care what sources you use for set up, including sine waves and warble tones and what ever the A/V receiver (if you are using one) has available for set up. In the end, set up to be pleasing to the ear is the best approach.
If the source materials have the low stuff you will hear it. Yes the opening of Zaruthustra is quite nice, I think one version was measured to be 30Hz. Some of the movies have significant sound tracks with levels as low as 5Hz (War of the Worlds). Significant subwoofage is required for that level of reproduction in the home. My two JBL S120PII's measure down to 25Hz and I have output at 18Hz with my ACI Titan II. All are 12" sub woofers. I find that with a nice set up of subwoofers it adds so much to both music and movies that I can not think of going back, regardless of the "stated" frequency response of the main speakers.
One of the set up guides from REL stated a good approach, bring the subwoofer up from the bottom - meaning slowly bring it up under the main speakers so that it blends well. Boominess may mean placement issues from standing waves and that sort of thing.
enjoy the quest . . . .

invstbiker
02-04-2007, 08:09 PM
I recently added an HSU Sub to my 4343 system and have it dialed in for the under 30 hz freq's that I was missing (or could not hear) Stricktly 2 channel. All is well now. Stormy, I'm in Carefree if you want to take a listen-you bring the beer...:D