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Help choosing Subwoofer that is Audio rather than 'AV' focused

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

I am looking to add a subwoofer into the mix with my Denon HU.

I am looking for an active sub with a good frequency range to connect via existing pre-outs.

 

My main point is that all subs I come across seem to be more AV 5.1 focused.

 

I may use this for AV, but will be mainly for audio. 

 

Are there any brands / ranges that are more focused on audio than AV ?

 

any help / comments appreciated......

post #2 of 32

I have been out of 2 channel for a while, but REL was always well regarded by 2 channel audio enthusiasts.  

post #3 of 32
I would also try velodyne subs
post #4 of 32
Oh and also Vandersteen subs
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 

 

Aha, i've spotted a couple of REL subs on ebay.  Had never heard of them before but will investigate them further.

Cheers

post #6 of 32
REL and Vandersteen are overpriced.

What is your budget for the sub?

What kind of Denon model do you have? What kind of speakers? How big is the room?
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

I should have explained a bit more about my planned system.

 

Its not needing to be an expensive model.  Velodyne look way too expensive for the ones i've seen.  Havent found any Vandersteen yet (i'm only really looking 2nd hand)

There are, however, a couple of REL Quake models on ebay currently sitting at around £50

 

HU is just an old Denon UD-M50 unit, paired to a couple of 6Ohm Eltax Sympony speakers.

I will be replacing the Denon in the coming months with better amp (or surround if it still has good 2ch oupout).

 

The room will be about 15 x 12ft with a large open archway leading into a dining room, my signature taste is to have a warm rounded sound with good sub-bass.

 

One other sub i've been looking at is the Eltax Atomic A-8.2 purely because it would match up with my speakers.  Again it looks spec wise like its more tailored to film go boom though......

 

All these are around the 100W in power as i've worked out that is probably adequate for my needs (I have no knowledge which to base this on though so could be completely wrong)

post #8 of 32

cel4145 is right. Usually REL subs are expensive, but if you can pick one up on a bargain, they are a quality sub.

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Peanuts View Post

I should have explained a bit more about my planned system.

Its not needing to be an expensive model.  Velodyne look way too expensive for the ones i've seen.  Havent found any Vandersteen yet (i'm only really looking 2nd hand)
There are, however, a couple of REL Quake models on ebay currently sitting at around £50

HU is just an old Denon UD-M50 unit, paired to a couple of 6Ohm Eltax Sympony speakers.
I will be replacing the Denon in the coming months with better amp (or surround if it still has good 2ch oupout).

The room will be about 15 x 12ft with a large open archway leading into a dining room, my signature taste is to have a warm rounded sound with good sub-bass.

One other sub i've been looking at is the Eltax Atomic A-8.2 purely because it would match up with my speakers.  Again it looks spec wise like its more tailored to film go boom though......

All these are around the 100W in power as i've worked out that is probably adequate for my needs (I have no knowledge which to base this on though so could be completely wrong)

I'm a definite sub aficionado--I have a 12" compact sealed sub in my desktop setup and dual 18" sealed subs in my living room. That statement is just wrong. The only major difference in choosing a sub for music vs. HT is that you can get way for music with a sub that rolls off starting at 30hz since most music doesn't go below that, whereas a better optimal low end response for an HT system is solid extension down to 20hz given all the low frequency movie content. Otherwise, a good sounding sub is a good sounding sub.

Now, wattage alone for a sub is meaningless by itself since the sub driver size, the size and design of the box, and the sensitivity of the sub driver all are important for the maximum volume a sub can achieve. Then how much sub you need is based on the size of the room (volume) and your listening volumes. Subs start distorting near the maximum volume, so you want a sub with more headroom than maxed out.

Given the size of your room, if you want to be able to crank up your Denon, you should probably should look for a high output 8" ported sub, or a sealed or ported sub in a 10" or larger.

Given the limitation of your budget, I definitely would look at the used market. And anything you can buy new for £50 is by no means a quality subwoofer, no matter which way you look at it. Since it is not important to match the sub with the speaker brand, like it is with speakers, you should get the best sub you can for the money.
Edited by cel4145 - 3/14/14 at 6:31pm
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks mate, I appreciate the time you've taken to put that together.

 

Rather than cranking up the volume though, I would probably prefer a quality rich sound at normal or slightly loud levels.

 

There are a few I have narrowed down my search to based on what I can find used at reasonable price, some of which dont seem bad options (I think) - 

 

Wharfedale SW150

REL Quake

REL Q200E

Mordaunt S308

Tannoy SFX

 

Are any of these what you would consider good quality for my needs ?

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

========================================================================================================================================================

One other sub i've been looking at is the Eltax Atomic A-8.2 purely because it would match up with my speakers. Again it looks spec wise like its more tailored to film go boom though......

All these are around the 100W in power as i've worked out that is probably adequate for my needs (I have no knowledge which to base this on though so could be completely wrong)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm a definite sub aficionado--I have a 12" compact sealed sub in my desktop setup and dual 18" sealed subs in my living room. That statement is just wrong. The only major difference in choosing a sub for music vs. HT is that you can get way for music with a sub that rolls off starting at 30hz since most music doesn't go below that, whereas a better optimal low end response for an HT system is solid extension down to 20hz given all the low frequency movie content. Otherwise, a good sounding sub is a good sounding sub.

========================================================================================================================================================

 

I guess i've always assumed it was much easier to make a sub sound adequate for films than music, based on all the sub £100 Home Theatre Surround Sound packages out there.

Having played music through one, it was the worst thing i've ever heard.  Films on the other hand were also bad, but bearably so.

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Peanuts View Post

I guess i've always assumed it was much easier to make a sub sound adequate for films than music, based on all the sub £100 Home Theatre Surround Sound packages out there.

Yep. They definitely suck. Just like computer multimedia cheap speaker/sub packages suck. LOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Peanuts View Post

Wharfedale SW150
REL Quake
REL Q200E
Mordaunt S308
Tannoy SFX
Are any of these what you would consider good quality for my needs ?

I'd have to roughly guess. I do a lot of research when evaluating subwoofers, and I'm not familiar with those particular models. All of those brand subs would be overpriced new here in the US compared to the current Internet direct models we have available.

I do know that REL does make good quality subwoofers. Good guess those are good subs.

One thing is to consider the age. The thing that goes out on subs over time is rarely the drivers; it's the amplifier. So research any older subs and try to see if they have a history on the Internet of a lot of amp problems. And if you buy a really old sub and the amp goes out, might be impossible to replace. So one two or three years old might be a safer bet than one 8 or 10 years old.

Otherwise, look at reviews. CNET says the Wharfedale SW150 is OK.

The Mordaunt S308 is only a 80w amplifier with an 8" sub. Probably not very powerful for even an 8".

The Tannoy SFX looks like it was part of a £200 5.1 set. It's frequency response is listed to be -6db down at 45hz. That means it may not put out bass much lower than a set of large bookshelf speakers. I'd probably pass on it because it's likely geared to be more of a midbass module to make up for the fact that the satellites in that speaker set probably have no midbass of their own.

Finally, it looks like your Denon has a left/right set of RCA pre-outs on the back. So that's the best way to hook up the subwoofer. Make sure the sub you pick has left/right RCA inputs.
post #13 of 32

Rythmik is usually considered an audio-first brand, while their main lineup of subs are flat to 14Hz, they are not high excursion subs (servo limited, and also only about 1.2 inch peak to peak excursion, vs say 3 inches from a pure HT woofer like JL or TC subs) also they are very inexpensive compared to the industry benchmark Velodyne DD series, which run $3000-5000 IIRC. Rythmik subwoofers start at $599, and the most expensive subwoofer is in the $1200 range I believe. There is no built-in processor, so you will have to EQ with a processor/receiver, but for the price IMO they are a steal. They are considered benchmarks in sound quality, and I would say the Rythmik F12 I have sounds (and measures) cleaner than my JL Fathoms but of course, output is much lower.

 

Their website: http://rythmikaudio.com/products.html

 

Also you can see their measurements at hometheatershack, example here:

 

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-tests-archived/5756-diy-rythmik-audio-direct-servo-12-sealed-56l.html


Edited by astrallite - 3/14/14 at 11:44pm
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 

So...................

I managed to pick up an old Velodyne CHT-8R for £30 on gumtree which I was pleased about as its in A1 nick.

 

My question is now regarding the connections.

 

I am still connecting at this time to my 2 channel Denon amp via the Pre-outs.

I also have the option to connect via the Speaker level inputs on the sub.

 

I am aware I will only get a LFE channel by connecting to a x.1 amp, so is there any difference for me in which way I connect ?

 

Or is there any benefit in having both connections at the same time ? (I only had this idea after reading up on the REL recommendation of having both high and low level inputs connected simultaneously, although presumable to get both 2 channel and LFE)

post #15 of 32
That looks like a beast of an 8" sub biggrin.gif

If your Denon UD-M50 pre-out adjusts the sub volume along with the speaker volume, I would use it over the speaker level connections.

The LFE connection on an AVR is where all subwoofer content is routed, not just the .1 in 5.1 or 7.1. The LFE channel (it's confusing in how the names are used) that is the .1 in mulitchannel output is content specifically geared toward a subwoofer in DVD and Blu-Ray. So you need an AVR for that. However, my understanding is not so much extra, new bass content as extra emphasis on existing bass content that is available in the 5.0 (or 7.0) channels. So I don't think you probably lose any sound, just extra bass emphasis. So turn your sub up until you get the bass that you want smily_headphones1.gif
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