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Adding older Hi-Fi Subwoofer to new Monitors (Neumann Kh80) in music studio?

Slyman

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Dear knowledgeable audiopeople

Unfortunately because of pressure from my S.O. (which many of you might be familiar with) i'm too rearrange my living room 2.1 system at the same time i'm considering upgrading my studio monitors for my music studio.

I've planned to upgrade my Presonus Eris E5 to the Neumann Kh80, and then until i have the money for the neumann 750 subwoofer, i'm consindering adding my older B&W ASW600 subwoofer to the studio setup.

However when adding an older Hi Fi sub there comes two questions at hand: (1) Will it be a neutral extension of bass using the internal crossover from sub? The Kh80 goes down to about 60hz, so if i set the crossover at 80 and adjust appropriate subwoofer volume would it be considered flat in the bass region and not hurting the excellent frequency response of the KH80? The goal is to use these to mix and master music. And (2) The sub takes RCA input/output only. Would it be good to go from soundcard -> Line to RCA cable -> Subwoofer -> RCA to Line cables -> Kh80? Does this cause any problems of adding RCA in otherwise modern jack/XLR connections?

I hope this question can be to some use in general discussion of adding older Hi-Fi subwoofers to studio setups and thanks in advance!
 

Matias

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Dear knowledgeable audiopeople

Unfortunately because of pressure from my S.O. (which many of you might be familiar with) i'm too rearrange my living room 2.1 system at the same time i'm considering upgrading my studio monitors for my music studio.

I've planned to upgrade my Presonus Eris E5 to the Neumann Kh80, and then until i have the money for the neumann 750 subwoofer, i'm consindering adding my older B&W ASW600 subwoofer to the studio setup.

However when adding an older Hi Fi sub there comes two questions at hand: (1) Will it be a neutral extension of bass using the internal crossover from sub? The Kh80 goes down to about 60hz, so if i set the crossover at 80 and adjust appropriate subwoofer volume would it be considered flat in the bass region and not hurting the excellent frequency response of the KH80? The goal is to use these to mix and master music. And (2) The sub takes RCA input/output only. Would it be good to go from soundcard -> Line to RCA cable -> Subwoofer -> RCA to Line cables -> Kh80? Does this cause any problems of adding RCA in otherwise modern jack/XLR connections?

I hope this question can be to some use in general discussion of adding older Hi-Fi subwoofers to studio setups and thanks in advance!
Maybe consider getting an UMIK-1 microphone to measure your room and perfectly integrate the sub. If your are mixing and mastering you better have your response corrected too, so both uses are good.

As for connection, maybe use XLR splitter to connect balanced to the monitors (important), and use an XLR to RCA cable for the sub? Your even use a 4 channel audio interface and low pass the subwoofer outputs in software?
 
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Matias

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Or buy a cheap RCA low pass filter before the sub.
 
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Slyman

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While studio subs generally have a crossover built-in, HiFi subs do not. This is probably calling for bass management on the PC.
Or buy a cheap RCA low pass filter before the sub.
The ASW-600 (my subwoofer) have a built in crossover luckily.

Maybe consider getting an UMIK-1 microphone to measure your room and perfectly integrate the sub. Is your are missing and mastering you better have your response corrected too, so both uses are good.

As for connection, maybe use XLR splitter to connect balanced to the monitors (important), and use an XLR to RCA cable for the sub? Your even use a 4 channel audio interface and low pass the subwoofer outputs in software?
Yes indeed a microphone and measurement would be optimal and will be done down the line. Regarding frequency i am just wondering as starting point if the crossover from sub would mess up the linearity of the low-bass of the monitor to the sub-bass of the subwoofer? Like are Subwoofers designed to be fairly neutral and controlable with a volume knob from 20hz up to the crossover point?

As for now though, is it that important to run balanced input to the monitors? I mean does the signal gets degraded by the Jack to RCA back to Jack conversion in any noticeable manner? It would make my life easier just to buy line to rca cables.

Thanks for your answer.
 
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freemansteve

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It's not really hifi, but is S.O.-friendly, being compact, and a pair is cheap enough - https://www.qacoustics.com/products/3060s-active-subwoofer

Has built-in class-d (claimed 150W), and volume and rolloff controls - it's not hard to match to main speakers I found. Not proper low bass, but it does add some bass E-string and kick-drum feel, even though it rolls off sharply below 40Hz.

After some fiddling, the problem I had when trying to "get it right" by measurement, was that when you play a variety of tracks, you find that 'idea'l setting doesn't feel right for many tracks so you inevitably end up finding a compromise that works for most of your music collection - which is OK. The worst thing is endless fiddling in the search for non-existent perfection, and I guarantee that will not impress one's S.O.....

Anyway just saying it's a consideration, that in my case, reduces the chance of a divorce :)
 

HarmonicTHD

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For your Studio application you want a flat frequency response so your bass mix is correct. Something which is not possible by manually fiddling with the sub cross-over and volume knob. You would need a DSP eg MiniDSP and eg an UMIK measuring mike to align the sub to the room and to the KH80 using either REW or Dirac alignment software. To your question: Yes you can use the old sub if you invest ca 200 to 300 USD for the DSP and the mike.

However in my humble opinion, it defeats a bit the purpose of the KH80 which have a DSP built in and are meant to be used with the Neumann MA1 measuring mike and alignment software. So buying a MiniDSP for an and old sub seems a bit of a waste of resources. My recommendation: Either use the KH80 without the old sub or go a completely diffferent route and use monitors without DSP built in. Those are usually much cheaper and for the savings you can easily buy the MiniDSP and UMIK measuring mike.

I run the full KH750 and KH80 aligned with MA1 in my small home studio.
 
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Slyman

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It's not really hifi, but is S.O.-friendly, being compact, and a pair is cheap enough - https://www.qacoustics.com/products/3060s-active-subwoofer
Haha that is indeed a smooth subwoofer! Thanks for the recommendation.

For your Studio application you want a flat frequency response so your bass mix is correct. Something which is not possible by manually fiddling with the sub cross-over and volume knob. You would need a DSP eg MiniDSP and eg an UMIK measuring mike to align the sub to the room and to the KH80 using either REW or Dirac alignment software. To your question: Yes you can use the old sub if you invest ca 200 to 300 USD for the DSP and the mike.

However in my humble opinion, it defeats a bit the purpose of the KH80 which have a DSP built in and are meant to be used with the Neumann MA1 measuring mike and alignment software. So buying a MiniDSP for an and old sub seems a bit of a waste of resources. My recommendation: Either use the KH80 without the old sub or go a completely diffferent route and use monitors without DSP built in. Those are usually much cheaper and for the savings you can easily buy the MiniDSP and UMIK measuring mike.

I run the full KH750 and KH80 aligned with MA1 in my small home studio.
Thanks for your answer. I support your opinion and your answer definitely makes sense. How do you like the KH750+KH80 combo? :~)
 

HarmonicTHD

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Thanks for your answer. I support your opinion and your answer definitely makes sense. How do you like the KH750+KH80 combo? :~)
Like it very much. Again, keep the Neumann recommendations in mind for room size and listing distance. For me it was easy to setup and adjust to the room. I wanted an integrated system which measures very well and not a system made up of individual components so I rather can spent the time on music production and less on system setup. Yes that comes at a certain price. (As described above one can certainly setup a system of about equal performance at less cost by investing time into selection and setup - been there done that and it is fun, but tedious in the long run for me - therefore the decision for the Neumann set). Also looked into Genelec which measure equally well and are easy to setup, but the small form factor speakers exhibited all a faint small hiss when idle. For me that was not tolerable sitting so close to the speakers and also using the desk as an office desk and I did not want to switch off the speakers manually when I wanted peace and quiet.
 
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