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brett_s
10-10-2010, 06:34 PM
This is probably more orientated towards the home theater crowd, but I figured there still would be plenty of knowledge from this group.

I recently upgraded my main speakers from CF150 to a set of XPL200a. The XPL are much better for stereo listening. However for home theater use, they don't have the impact of the 15" woofers of the CF150. I think adding a powered subwoofer would really help out for home theater use.

Can any of you recomend a series of subwoofers that is perhaps a couple of years old. Basically, I don't want to spend big dollars on a brand new subwoofer, but if I could find (or make based upon recomendations) a subwoofer that would compliment this system, it would be would be great. I don't want the cheap sounding "rattle and distortion" subwoofers that I often hear. I just want that deep impactful bass to go with the beautiful sound of the rest of the system.

Does any one have any suggestions on what is a good "value" especially in the used market. I'm likely looking for something under $300, which is why used or fabricated is the most likely scenario.

Brett

brett_s
10-11-2010, 04:48 PM
anyone?

What about something like the L8400P. From what I've read you can find these reasonable at times, especially if they are refurbed.

Any other models?

BMWCCA
10-11-2010, 10:09 PM
I've heard the CF150 and I've read others' opinions of the XPL200As usually in comparison to the L7s that I do own. Is it possible you've mistaken boomy bass for true bass response and/or don't have enough power pushing your XPLs? Their power requirements are listed as 200WPC continuous and 800WPC peak. Have you tried bi-amping them? Granted I'm not really a fan of sub-woofers per se but especially with systems using such fine woofers already like the XPL-200A and the L7s. It would seem most sub-woofers would be a step backwards in bass reproduction, especially given your price constraints. :dont-know:

brett_s
10-11-2010, 10:55 PM
BMWCCA, you are likely correct on all acounts. The CF150 boomy base (not clean, just boomy) actually worked alright for home theater use. The XPL is much tighter and no doubt I could use some more power, especially in a biamp configuration, but the budget doesn't allow it. That's where I thought I could kind of "cover the gap" with a powered subwoofer for HT use.

As for a set up, I'm using a Cambridge 640R reciever, which is rated at 100 x 7 (its supposed to actually deliver this according to some tests I read). I needed to go the AV route and replace the seperates because it was just far too complicated/intimidating for the family to use. The CA is rated at 120 in stereo mode and there were some british tests that said it was in excess of 165. It replaced a B&K reference 200 watt per channel amp with a yamaha front end and actually sounded much better in stereo mode than the seperates(before this was a yamaha htr5250 which wasn't even in the same ballpark). I compared it head it to head against the Marantz 8xxx,marantz 6004, Rotel AV, Elite, Integra, and a bunch of other ones and it by far was much more musical and powerful. So although it is a AV receiver, it's not a horrible slouch either.

For the new speakers, I could deffinetely use a biamp setup with active crossover, but it just aint going to happen anytime soon. $$$$$

Hence, my search for a powered subwoofer. Maybe my logic is flawed on this and I'd be open to hear that also.
Brett

JuniorJBL
10-12-2010, 08:58 AM
In that price range it would seem that almost all would be "one note wonders".
Musical subs really do come at a cost.
When I built my sub1500's and found the PE deal for the woofers, after the amp, crossover and drivers it was still about $1700 per pair! So that was a great deal compared to single Array 1500.:)

It would probably be best to watch CL for any "good deals" and as was said above maybe just a higher powered amp for the XPL's.

Check TiDome's thread on his XPL's.

Don C
10-12-2010, 09:20 AM
The XPL200s simply do not need a subwoofer. The XPLs have a forward midrange that tends to dominate their sound and de-emphasise the bass a bit, but the bass is definitely there. I used these speakers for several years, the best thing that I ever did to them was having another member here paint the midrange domes with aquaplas. It surprised me that what the main difference was afterwards, the bass was always there, but with the midranges fixed, the bass was much more obvious. You might want to do a search and ask around, see if anyone is still doing the aquaplas treatment. Just a huge improvement. The improvement from bi-amping was very subtle in comparison. The aqualpas makes them sound like just like high end B&Ws or Revels.

brett_s
10-12-2010, 12:21 PM
alright, maybe this thread has veered a bit from the orginal idea, but I am curious now.

Three questions for the group about the previous posts.

1. When you say have the midrange dome aquaplas'ed are you referring to the 115h-1 (6.5") mid or the 3" titanium dome. Both are listed as mid frequency, so I just wanted to be sure. I'd be hesistant to do anything with the Ti domes, but i do see 115h-1 available for cheap on a regular basis. It might be an interesting experiment. Has anyone else tried this and who does it?

2. The common theme I hear is "more power". How much power would you folks recommend for these speakers? 200 per ch? 300 per ch? 400 per ch? What does this do at lower listening volumes, or is it pretty much no different untill you crank it up? I may have to borrow some amps from friends and experiment a bit, but an idea what i should be looking for would be helpful.

3. Bi-amping the XPL. Is there any benefit to passively biamping the XPL or is it only when you go the active route and bypass part of the low frequency crossover.

I'd love to hear any thoughts and oppinons.
Brett

JBLAddict
10-12-2010, 03:14 PM
it sure reads like the 3" mid was aquaplas treated, which I thought MUST be a typo:confused: I had the pleasure of recently hearing TiDome's XPL200A with the DX-1 hooked up and was just stunned at how great the Ti HF/MF combo was, sweet, airy, articulate, yummy:p This exact combo is the XPL's claim to fame, so why anyone would in essence "replace" the 3" Ti dome to make it sound like a muted B&W is beyond me?

BMWCCA
10-12-2010, 09:05 PM
BMWCCA, you are likely correct on all acounts. The CF150 boomy base (not clean, just boomy) actually worked alright for home theater use. The XPL is much tighter and no doubt I could use some more power, especially in a biamp configuration, but the budget doesn't allow it. That's where I thought I could kind of "cover the gap" with a powered subwoofer for HT use.

I'm familiar with your problem and your budget. When I "popped" for the 4345s I already had plenty of Crown power amps. They may not compare in some respects, or specs, with what many here would consider "big" amps worthy of your situation, but I'm using a Crown DC300A-II for the bottom end of my 4345s. I intend to use one of my PS-400s and either amp is routinely available in the $200 range. I've paid half that for a gently used 400 from a DC-area studio. My active crossover is an Ashly XR1001 I purchased for $125 in great shape. All I'm saying is you can probably work out a passive bi-amp setup for about the price of the sub that might not help. :dont-know:

Don C
10-12-2010, 09:53 PM
It's the Ti dome upper midrange that needs the auaplas, not the 6.5 inch mid woofer. With the the aquaplas the midrange is still very transparent, it just doesn't draw so much attention to itself as the untreated Ti does. In my opinion, it is more accurate with the aquaplas, not less so. I'll admit that I sometimes miss the extra bite of listening to some loud brass with the original system. But I don't miss the listening fatigue.

Slare
10-12-2010, 11:07 PM
I ran L7's with a Carver M1.5t amplifier and there was still a clear benefit from using standalone subwoofers for home theater. I liked to run the L7's crossed at 40-50Hz for HT use. However, I always ran them full range for all music, and still do the same with my P-series stacks. Subs for HT modes only.

All those rumbling movie scenes with 20-35Hz stuff takes a ton of power and really beats up the bottom end of a L7 or XPL200 type speaker. Feed them big power and it becomes very easy to overdrive them with the very inconsistent LFE content of some movies. Offloading that to a standalone sub frees up your mains and AVR power to work better, the sub can be positioned in the best way possible, the driver is designed for sub duty, and it spares the risk to your precious mains. Money well spent imho.

I would not hesitate for a moment to add a $300 sub to a XPL200 system, but I would only use it for home theater. Used, you might be able to find a good HSU, SVS, or Elemental designs sub, but they are not common. Most of the popular consumer stuff in that price range (Velodyne, Klipsch, Polk, etc.) isn't worth bothering with.

Some suggestions:

HSU VTF-1
BIC VK-12
Elemental designs A3S-250

If you are able to build it yourself, you can feed your AVR sub out into any number of affordable pro amps feeding a monster dvc or pair of svc subs and this can be done quite affordably given pro amps are dirt cheap used and a solid pair of 12" or single 15" sub is not that expensive.

I run a pair of Elemental design 15" subs in 3.0cuft sealed boxes powered by a Behringer EP2500 pro amp for HT, no commercial solution will touch it for the money invested, and they will keep up with the PS stacks no prob.

BMWCCA
10-13-2010, 06:47 PM
All those rumbling movie scenes with 20-35Hz stuff takes a ton of power and really beats up the bottom end of a L7 or XPL200 type speaker. Feed them big power and it becomes very easy to overdrive them with the very inconsistent LFE content of some movies. Offloading that to a standalone sub frees up your mains and AVR power to work better, the sub can be positioned in the best way possible, the driver is designed for sub duty, and it spares the risk to your precious mains. Money well spent imho..

I can see your point.
All the more reason I love my 4345s. When my daughter is watching her favorite movie (Transformers) I can't tell if it's the soundtrack or a freight train going by on the track across the field from me! I suppose the 18" 2245H just makes this a competent all-around system whether listening to music or playing a movie. :D

hjames
10-13-2010, 07:33 PM
I can see your point.
All the more reason I love my 4345s. When my daughter is watching her favorite movie (Transformers) I can't tell if it's the soundtrack or a freight train going by on the track across the field from me! I suppose the 18" 2245H just makes this a competent all-around system whether listening to music or playing a movie. :D
Well, we do fine the same way with the 4341s and the B380 as a TV/Movies sub - 3 x 2235 in a room works pretty well!

BMWCCA
10-13-2010, 09:55 PM
Well, we do fine the same way with the 4341s and the B380 as a TV/Movies sub - 3 x 2235 in a room works pretty well!Uh-oh, does that mean I should have a B460 in my system?? ;)

hjames
10-14-2010, 03:48 AM
Uh-oh, does that mean I should have a B460 in my system?? ;)

Only if you like the crowding ... makes you sit closer to your honey!:D

rgrjit8
10-25-2010, 05:32 PM
I recommend that you tread carefully with buying a sub for the XPLs.
Maybe you can borrow one to see what it does for you.

I always felt sure I was missing something when I read the XPLs specs, down 3db at 55 hertz I believe. So I scrounged up a crippled Velodyne 18 series 2. The amp/accelerometer was screwed so I hooked it up to a crossover and a 600 watt Crown amp. Add three XPLs as LRC and I was smugly content that I had the best HT setup in my hick county.

One day I was listening to some kind of crash, bang, thump movie and smirking with pride at the low frequence output. I glanced at the equipment rack to check the meters and saw that I hadn't even turned on the sub amp.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if I even know what good bass response is.
Yeah, the Velodyne holds it's own in movies with galaxies exploding but most of the time it's presence isn't even noticeable. (as it should be, but I had dreamed of something more.)