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Recommend me a Subwoofer to compliment bookshelf speakers!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, I have done quite a bit of research regarding adding a powered sub to my speaker setup. Currently I am using a Maverick Audio A1 connected to a pair of Cambridge s30's. I absolutely love how they sound but coming from an old Logitech 2.1 with an 8" sub I think its only natural to want a little more punch. Basically I have narrowed it down to a 10" as I think a 12" will overpower and lack the clarity I desire. This setup will be used primarily for music with an occasional movie. I was originally looking to purchase the psw505 from Polk but decided it was overkill for a 2.1 system. 

 

So far my search has led me to:

 

Polk Audio psw110: While right in my price range, despite the great reviews on amazon I have read very mixed opinions when being used primarily for music. 

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-10-Inch-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B000P0528K

 

Polk Audio psw111: A little bit more expensive than the 110 but allegedly much more crisp for music (also the same price point as the hsu sub)

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-PSW111-Subwoofer-Single/dp/B000P0528U

 

HSU stf-1: seems to get a lot of praise from pretty much anyone who owns on. Made in the USA, but a little more expensive than the psw111 when shipping is factored in.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-1.html

 

Anyone have any first hand experience with any of these? Can anyone throw some other options out there? Both the psw111 and the stf-1 will be stretching my budget by a small margin that's why I really like the price point of the psw110. Thanks in advance for any help!

post #2 of 5

I know the Polk subs. IMO they are not worth what you pay, except for the PSW505.

 

I would recommend the Chrysalis Starfire 10 if you can find one. Little known line but it's made by Velodyne. Strikes a good balance between tonality and impact and would be perfect for a musical system in a smallish room. I don't have one myself but a friend does, and it is every bit the sub my PSW505 is at half the price (when he bought it, I have no idea what either go for right now).

post #3 of 5

I once used REL T5 with my Martin Logan Vista. It fast enough to catch up with electrostatic panel. So it will have no problem with your speaker

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherTime View Post

Basically I have narrowed it down to a 10" as I think a 12" will overpower and lack the clarity I desire.

Internet myths. A 12" driver will not "overpower" your setup. You set the gain on the sub to integrate it into your setup. And 12" subs are not inherently inferior in quality to smaller subs. They just tend to cost more to make to get the equivalent SQ (more materials to make a larger driver and the necessary bigger enclosure), and yet they will beat up the smaller sub in that situation in terms of better dynamics and deeper low end extension. However, in the <$300 price range, economies of scale may make a mass produced larger sub cheaper to make than a smaller sub, or a company may be selling it closer to cost. For instance, as Roboturner913 pointed out, the PSW505, a 12", is a better sub for the money than the other Polks you are considering, and it often goes on sale for around $200.

I've owned the S30s before (nice speakers) and have owned various subwoofer setups from $100 to $1500. There's a definite improvement in quality as you go up. Remember with a subwoofer you are buying a big speaker cabinet, a big speaker driver AND an amplifier.

The AVS subwoofer forum (AVS is to home audio as head-fi is to headphones) has a budget subwoofer discussion thread focused on <$300 subs. You might want to go there, research, and ask questions. Read the first post for a link to a list of <$300 subs.
post #5 of 5
One more thing. Look for a sub with speaker level inputs and outputs. Then you can run the speaker level output from your MA A1 to the sub and it will pass the speaker output onto the speakers. That will allow you to control the volume of the sub and the speakers with the A1.

Or you can use the tube preout to the sub, but I'm guessing you might be using that for something else?
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