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Best subwoofer for music for my Swan M200 MKIII speakers/PC/room set-up? (Pics inside)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to upgrade my PC audio system by adding in a quality subwoofer and would like some recommendations for which subwoofer would be best to invest in for my set-up and needs.  I have Swan M200 MKIII speakers on 36 inch speaker stands located 4 and a half feet apart on either side of my computer desk and they're run through the onboard sound on my ASUS P9X79 WS Motherboard.

 

The room measures 21 feet 5 inches in length, 12 feet 9 inches in width and the ceiling is 9 feet tall.  Most of the time I'll be sitting in front of my computer at my desk so the speakers will be a little under 4 feet away from me on either side.  Here are a few pictures of the room and my set-up (these were taken a year ago but the set up now is more or less the same).

http://i.imgur.com/SaY1hfa.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/kATF1aQ.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Jgl0uDz.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/IVHNjGp.jpg

 

I'm going to be using this 90% for music, and while I do watch some TV/movies on my PC, the purpose of the subwoofer is not for a home theater set up.  Basically I want to add extra bass and volume to my sound system while still retaining high end sound quality.  I’m not an extreme basshead and only 30% of the music I listen to is hip-hop/bass-heavy, but it would be nice to get a subwoofer I could really feel and that would rattle the pictures on the walls…or, for example, make a song like this really pop, something I believe a quality subwoofer would help substantially.

 

My subwoofer budget is ideally under $400 but I'm willing to make an exception up to $500 if it's absolutely heads and shoulders above the rest in quality.

 

These are the 9 subwoofers (mostly) under $400 that I've found highly recommended after a few hours of research tonight, but I'm not at all sure which would be the best to go with for my setup and needs so any help/advice would be much appreciated.  Also, if there's another option not listed here that would be better I'd be very open to considering that as well.

(not in any particular order.)

 

1. HSU STF-2 - $375 new

2. BIC Acoustech PL-200 - $329 new

3. Klipsch RW-12d - $325 used (discontinued)

4. Outlaw M8 - $249 new

5. Elemental Designs A2-300 - $215 - $250 used (discontinued)

6. SVS SB-1000 - $499 new

7. SVS PB-1000 - $499 new

8. Emotiva X-Ref 10 - $399 new (discontinued - can't find any links to used ones for sale)

9. Paradigm PW2200 - $430 used (discontinued)

 

The other thing to take into consideration is I'm not sure how to hook up the Swan M200 MKIII speakers to the subwoofer/my PC.  Some of the options I've seen for how to hook up speakers such as these with a subwoofer and a PC seem quite complicated and pricey, and while I don’t want to go with a cheapo way that will degrade the sound quality any, I also don’t want to spend hundreds on simply connecting the speakers/subwoofer and PC, either.

 

So, with all this taken into consideration, what would be my best option?  Thanks in advance for any help!

 

P.S.

Given the pictures of the room above, what would be the best placement for the sub?  I was thinking under the center of the desk but maybe some more experienced audio pros could help me out there as well.

 

post #2 of 27

I would like to know too as I'm a also a M200MKIII user :)

post #3 of 27

Sealed subs work very well for music due to lower cycle delay, the trade-off is output. Rythmik has some ported servo subs which is a bit of combination of both, the start-stopping ability of sealed with the output of ported. If you can squeeze enough budget to get an entry-level Rythmik you'd be golden. Otherwise, there are some nice deals on ebay/craigslist.

post #4 of 27

Of the ones you listed, the HSU one gets the best reviews from what I've read.

post #5 of 27
Not sure about some of your used choices, but the SVS subs are the best out of that list that are available new. For an equivalent sub to the PB-1000, you would have to look at the HSU VTF-1. The SVS subs are also nice because you can demo them in home for free (free shipping both ways), they have a 1 year trade up policy, and the warranty is full five years driver and amp.

The SVS subs also have an 80hz high pass filter on the line output, allowing you the option to crossover your speakers higher than their low frequency rolloff. I think that's important, because otherwise when you buy a sub, all you will be doing is filling in where the speakers are starting to drop off in bass. With that 80hz option, you can let the sub take over some of the midbass output from the speakers, and, because the sub has a separate gain (volume) control, you can even add some emphasis to that midbass.

For nearfield usage for 3 or maybe 4 feet away, any of those subs should have enough max output. For filling your whole room well with bass, the 8" subs would be challenged and likely struggle. As subs near their max volume distortion tends to go up, so better to have enough sub for the room since your budget seems to allow for it.

The RW-12d was frequently selling for $300 or less, so I think you are getting ripped off a little paying more than that.

Elemental Designs is gone as a company, so if the amp fails, you might have no way of buying a replacement.

You'll need to experiment with placement yourself since room acoustics play havoc with bass output and your ears are the best tester. You can do something called the sub crawl (yes, they are serious, and it make sense).
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Not sure about some of your used choices, but the SVS subs are the best out of that list that are available new. For an equivalent sub to the PB-1000, you would have to look at the HSU VTF-1. The SVS subs are also nice because you can demo them in home for free (free shipping both ways), they have a 1 year trade up policy, and the warranty is full five years driver and amp.

The SVS subs also have an 80hz high pass filter on the line output, allowing you the option to crossover your speakers higher than their low frequency rolloff. I think that's important, because otherwise when you buy a sub, all you will be doing is filling in where the speakers are starting to drop off in bass. With that 80hz option, you can let the sub take over some of the midbass output from the speakers, and, because the sub has a separate gain (volume) control, you can even add some emphasis to that midbass.

For nearfield usage for 3 or maybe 4 feet away, any of those subs should have enough max output. For filling your whole room well with bass, the 8" subs would be challenged and likely struggle. As subs near their max volume distortion tends to go up, so better to have enough sub for the room since your budget seems to allow for it.

The RW-12d was frequently selling for $300 or less, so I think you are getting ripped off a little paying more than that.

Elemental Designs is gone as a company, so if the amp fails, you might have no way of buying a replacement.

You'll need to experiment with placement yourself since room acoustics play havoc with bass output and your ears are the best tester. You can do something called the sub crawl (yes, they are serious, and it make sense).

^He knows more than I do above subs.  What's up Cel :beerchug:

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

^He knows more than I do above subs.  What's up Cel beerchug.gif

Thanks for the nod smily_headphones1.gif

Yeah. I'm a little bit of a sub enthusiast. Didn't used to be that much of one until I heard really good subs smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 27

I see plenty of good advice is given here, especially the subwoofer crawl. I would like to add that since you have wood flooring, you'll also need to factor in costs of coupling/isolation and maybe a rug or two. If you don't, then expect unwanted mechanical vibrations and boominess.


Edited by brunk - 2/27/14 at 10:09am
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

I see plenty of good advice is given here, especially the subwoofer crawl. I would like to add that since you have wood flooring, you'll also need to factor in costs of coupling/isolation and maybe a rug or two. If you don't, then expect unwanted mechanical vibrations and boominess.

If he gets a good sub, all it will take is a piece of carpet to keep the sub from moving around; shouldn't be a ton of vibration.

Boominess is not related to that so much as placement with good subs--more of how it interacts with room boundaries.
post #10 of 27

the OP still needs to know how is he going to connect his speakers to his sub. 

 

One way you can do this is;

 

-Find a subwoofer that has line in and line out (like mines) . So your pc will go line-in to your sub, and line-out to your speakers.

 

-Connect your sub to your pc via subwoofer out (should be orange). Problem is that not all programs will use the sub. For music, I have to use jriver media center and tell it to send audio to the sub and set up the crossover frequency. For gaming, I found that the sub works. 


Edited by imeem - 2/27/14 at 11:07am
post #11 of 27

Just an observation from the first pic, your speakers are not positioned properly for any of the chairs in that room.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by imeem View Post

-Connect your sub to your pc via subwoofer out (should be orange). Problem is that not all programs will use the sub. For music, I have to use jriver media center and tell it to send audio to the sub and set up the crossover frequency. For gaming, I found that the sub works. 

I looked into that a couple of years ago, and I even talked with a tech support guy for one of my sound cards. Apparently, that sub channel in Windows is meant to be used with multichannel audio, not for 2.1. So if you enable that even with movies and games, then the sound mix can be weird because you aren't getting the center and surrounds. Maybe things have changed with Windows 8X and it's improved now.
post #13 of 27

I would forget the Klipsch and the Emotiva- I had both in one form or another and they sounded boxy and low fidelity. A friend has a SVS and it sounds amazingly clear and deep. I really loved my Velodyne HGS I had (eBay for those as they are discontinued).

post #14 of 27

I like how OP pretty much names all the heavyweight subs :tongue_smile: Good luck, I'd get the M8 just cause it's the cheapest (or a pair of Dayton 1200s), after that I'd check out SVS or Hsu

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post

I like how OP pretty much names all the heavyweight subs tongue_smile.gif Good luck, I'd get the M8 just cause it's the cheapest (or a pair of Dayton 1200s), after that I'd check out SVS or Hsu

How about dual Dayton SUB-1500s. That would shake the room. LOL
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