General SUBwoofer Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by shotgunshane, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Even lazier: plop the two subs on either side/behind of the couch, who cares about the rest of the room.
     
  2. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    @purr1n Do I need to Y cable both sides to feed the monitor? or is the load side insignificant?
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Just one side from the sub would be good enough. In fact, you really can't do it any other way. It's possible you might not need the Y splitter. I am just surmising. I don't know the details of the 300 series sub, that is if its a dual VC driver or not.

    Controller LEFT out --> Y splitter --> "L" in and "R" in of LEFT subwoofer
    LEFT subwoofer "L" out -> LEFT JBL Monitor input

    Controller RIGHT out --> Y splitter --> "L" in and "R" in of RIGHT subwoofer
    RIGHT subwoofer "L" out -> RIGHT JBL Monitor input
     
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  4. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    I was thinking: Bifrost 2 Left >"Y" XLR into L+R Sub input
    Sub out L+R >"Y" XLR into 305P MKII input
    I know some D amps do not like running without a load but I guess we are before the amp on these line outs.

    EDIT: I emailed Harman tech support for the final word.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  5. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Shot in the dark, but wondering if anyone has any experience with either the Focal Electra SW 1000 Be or Focal Sopra SW 1000 Be (which appears to be identical)? They use a 13" W-cone woofer.
    Horrifically overpriced at full retail ($4,799), but as I'm considering a pair of Electra floorstanders utilizing the same W-cone material in the woofers and midrange, and I can get a single or pair of closeout Electra subs for a song, I'm curious. So far, the main qualms I have after reading the spec sheets and manual is the the lowest LPF is 50Hz (given the towers are +/- 3dB down to 35ish Hz) and the only way to change settings is via remote, which makes me a little nervous about longevity.

    Don't care so much about SPL given I'm renting and mostly listen at low volumes. More interested in sound quality and resolution, and blending with the mains. Mostly interested in Rhythmik otherwise (likely F12G paper cone), as JL is too expensive and something about REL bugs me.
     
  6. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    That 50hz LPF limit sounds like a problem to me. Unless you get an external crossover i don't see this going well.
    My subs have a low point 40hz on the dial but with measurements it turned out to be quite a bit higher. Integration with the mains which rolloff steeply at 60hz was not possible without an external crossover.
    Maybe one of those subs that you feed with highlvl from your amp and the passes over to the mains. But i always had concerns about transparency.
    I use a minidsp Shd Studio as crossover/dirac that's connected to two dacs that go to speakers and subs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  7. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I believe most of the bigger Hsu Research subs have a low pass adjustable down to 30Hz at 24dB/octave.
     
  8. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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  9. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I found a lot of interesting information in this whitepaper but the connection methods, both recommended and trashed by the author, seem to be a bit problematic. According to the author, connecting subwoofers using high level (speaker) inputs is the worst possible way of doing it.
    That may be, but REL Acoustic build their entire design around high level connections. That is the only way they recommend connecting subwoofers. I heard the REL based two channel setup with good imaging and great bass extension where the subs were "invisible" until you turned them off.
    I certainly do not know what is the right way, but I do not like the idea of introducing external crossover points. The theory is all good, cut the mains where the subwoofer is taking over, but I would have to be convinced that such a system would actually sound better than extremely simple,minimalistic design used by REL.
    I am getting a pair of SVS SB-1000 next week, owned them before, and talked to the SVS support how to try what is called "stereo bass" in two channel system, if such a thing even exists. They recommended using single channel speaker connections for each side.
    Most likely you can have a great sounding setup with both line level, and speaker level connections. That's why I find the paper useful, but a bit too dogmatic.
     
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  10. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    I got great results with his method, so much so that I haven’t had the desire to mess with it for months. This is with stereo subs and digital crossover. But of course there are more ways to a great result i just could not manage it without using a crossover, i tried for literally months using the natural roll off of the speakers. As soon as the crossover was in place it was night and day even without bass management from Dirac. Got the sound that i was craving really quick so i am not worried about an extra crossover at all. The effect of proper driver integration can not be understated imo.
     
  11. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    SVS has an option to act as an external crossover for the main speakers: line level outputs to high pass the signal to the poweramp, a fixed 80 Hz 12 dB/octave high pass filter. In my setup: RME ADI-2 DAC -> SVS line-out->Bryston poweramp.
    I am planning to compare it to the straight speaker level input. There are just too many variables. For some speakers the natural roll off may work, or not.
     
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  12. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    That could certainly work but it might end up being a bit inflexible. For example there might be a room mode at 80hz that messes with things. Setting the crossover just below that could take away some boominess(rather have the mains pump energy into it than the subs) and since it sounds like you’re not into using dsp on the subs that kind of flexibility probably is warranted. But having options is never a bad thing, if it doesn’t work out you can still look into a different crossover. Digital crossovers are the shit.
     
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  13. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I spent my 14 days of mandatory self isolation setting up two SVS SB1000 closed subwoofers to play nice with Totem Hawk speakers.
    Not having much choice where to position the subs in the living room I experimented a bit with putting them next and outside of the speakers, the only two variables being the subs position vs the corner walls and how far back from the speakers. The next thing was isolation from the floor, I ended up removing the subwoofer feet and standing them on 1" thick, 2" squares of Sorbothane. That actually worked very well most of the very annoying vibrations just disappeared.

    Having a number of connectivity options I went with the REL and PS Audio recommendation for high level inputs.
    The low end of Totem Hawks by spec is 32Hz, but I do not believe they came even close to it in my room. With adequate power, the Hawks have very well controlled and extended base but not that low. I ended up with roughly 55-60HZ crossover setting which gave me full appreciation of low registers of church organs without any boomy stuff in mid-bass.

    But it was just a basic hygiene, the difficult part was coming.
    I listen mostly to classical music, and Kann Cube with Campfire Vega is the only setup that gives me fully satisfactory experience across the frequency spectrum, details, sound stage etc.. All the details I need, prominent bass but in a way that reveals the texture and richness of the lower end artifacts. That was my goal post for setting up the subwoofers.

    I was going back and from with the crossover and volume, and through many recordings, and still unable to get the level of clarity and details of the bass section I get with Kann Cube and Vegas.
    Here comes RME- ADI2 DAC. I was deliberately not using and DSP setting up the subwoofers but what closed the deal for SB1000 was when I added 5dB boost at 120Hz to the same EQ setup I used to tame the treble. Now it is almost as good on technicalities as Kann Cube with the Vegas but of course the experience of listening to a good bass in a room makes it even better.
    Just few days ago I put my Totem Hawks and Bryston 4BSST on sale, but the pair of SB1000 made me reconsider.
     
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  14. uncola

    uncola Friend

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  15. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I am going to keep this setup. Adding and integrating those two subwoofers added so much to the enjoyment of listening through speakers that it would be difficult for me to give it up now.
    I added some finishing touches like putting the subs on inexpensive Pyle platforms, they isolate well from the floor but the tops are very stiff and the subs are placed on the 2x2" sorbothane feet.
    The effect of putting the subs on the platforms is audible, extending good bass control to the lower registers. SVS subs have pretty flat frequency response and now, listening to some church organ recordings with really deep bass, I can hear more texture behind the lowest frequency tones.
    I ordered UMIK-1, not easy to get in Canada and I am planning to do some measurements, first in my life. I am sure it will be complete garbage, but it should be fun.
     
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  16. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I am tempted to use miniDSP 2x4 balanced to high pass the main speakers, it would be super easy and inexpensive solution but have some concerns regarding the AD/DA conversions. Or maybe I am missing something. Let's say I spent money on a really good DAC, applied my preferred filters and then run the analog output through the miniDSP DA/AD conversions before sending it to the power amp and subs. Doesn't it defeat the whole purpose of a good DAC?
     
  17. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    I think the benefits of the high pass filter and EQ far outweighs the small gains of a better DAC, since you will be ultimately limited by the AKM DAC in the miniDSP.
     
  18. Dr J

    Dr J Friend

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    I went through a few years of figuring out how to get EQ and room correction to a 2.1 system with a few different setups along the way. Never considered using a high level inputs as I was bent on getting active monitors, so cannot comment on that.

    In any scenario, the biggest impact and the first thing to do is to figure out the placement of the speakers, SWFR and listening position; the integration of the speakers to the SWFR by phase, level and cross-over frequency setting; plus possible (major) room treatments like bass-traps in the corners or e.g. built into/under the couch. Or resonators built on top of/into the wall, cupboard, ...

    Even if you cannot do room treatments and freely choose the locations, just moving things by 1ft can make the crucial difference. And for that the REW and UMIK is a great toolkit. MiniDSP has good basic application notes for using them in combination. Also, need to understand a bit of basic acoustics like standing waves to e.g. understand why that pesky dip does not go away no matter how much I throw EQ at it. Here my usual recommendation for starting to read up on this topic: http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/room-setup-speaker-placement/.

    After you get the response as good as it gets with the placement, then it is time to EQ.

    For me, the EQ solution depends on if you value the convenience, least budget or the last 5-10% of sound quality.

    This is a good list of different EQ-solutions: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ral-subwoofer-advice-thread.8785/#post-285193

    I can vouch for the DSpeaker Antimode 2.0 and 8033. Had both, still using the 8033 in the home theater setup. Very easy and effective for room correction.

    I ended up going in the direction of not sacrificing the quality of the DA conversion in my DAC (Yggdrasil) for the sake of convenience or budget savings. If you put the MiniDSP in the chain, it's AD/DA conversion limits the sound quality. May or may not crimp your DAC and overall sound quality, depending on the rest of the chain.

    My solution was active subwoofer and speakers that operate fully in analog domain incl. the cross-overs in the SWFR that then feed the speakers, plus room designed for audio with room treatment, plus using the SWFR and speaker simple analog level, bass roll-of etc. adjustments. Removing more or less the need for room correction. It's not perfect and may re-visit doing a bit of EQ in the the streamer but still in the digital domain before DA.

    Source->digital->DAC->analog->SWFR with analogue filters, switches->speakers, with analogue switches

    A much less complex solution would be to use the MiniDSP NanoDigi to do the filtering, room correction etc. in the digital domain before feeding the signal to two DACs, one for the speakers and one for subwoofers. Still a bit convoluted and not so budget friendly.

    Source->digital->NanoDigi eq->digital->DAC1->analog->SWFR with analogue filters, switches
    +
    NanoDigi eq-->digital->DAC2->analog->speakers, with analogue switches

    Still simpler would be to have only one DAC in the above setup, or in your case remove the NanoDigi and do the EQ in RME- ADI2 , take the line out analogue output from it and split it to subwoofer and speakers with a simple analog Y-cable (check input/output impedance ratio is low enough) and insert something like the AntiMode 8033 room correction (the less expensive small box) or MiniDSP for the subwoofer specific fixes. The speaker fixes would be done in the NanoDigi or RME. Probably would work pretty well. And starts to be rather budget friendly. With the con that the subwoofer has that extra AD/DA conversion. But maybe not so audible if only for lower bass?

    Source>digital->DAC EQ->analog->(8033/MiniDSP w. AD/DA)->analog->SWFR with analogue filters, switches
    +
    DAC EQ->analog->speakers, with analogue switches

    Simplest and most budget friendly but more time consuming and maybe not so perfect result would be to just do the EQ in the RME, have the DAC line-out split to SWFR and speakers or via the the SWFR and fiddle around with the placement and whatever analogue filter settings there are in the SWFR and possibly speakers.

    Edit: pressed post too early...
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  19. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    That's pretty close to what I was thinking of doing, except I will do the balanced output from RME ADI-2 DAC to power amp and the SE line out to subwoofers. . What is tricky here is that miniDSP will do AD/DC conversion as well for the speakers, pretty much destroying my DAC analog output. I am not sure if this is better than just doing without the speakers high pass.
     
  20. Dr J

    Dr J Friend

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    Perhaps I am missing the point and/or do not understand the setup. Where in the chain in is the MiniDSP?

    I thought it would go like this

    Source -> digital -> RME with equalization for speakers -> balanced analog line level -> power amp -> high level -> speakers
    +
    RME (with equalisation for speakers) -> single-ended analog line level -> MiniDSP -> single-ended analog line level -> subwoofer.

    I am assuming the for the speakers and subwoofer the EQ is mostly on different frequency bands and the RMEand REW would not mess with each other. Or you can fix it in the MiniDSP with reverse EQ for the SWFR. And that the RME EQ is flexible enough for the speaker EQing needs.

    I am also assuming there are the usual level, cross-over, and phase controls in the subwoofer.

    I may be missing something as I am not familiar with your equipment.

    Edit for typos
     

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