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Poll: Do you use a subwoofer? (Explain why/why not)

Do you use a subwoofer? (Explain why)

  • Yes

  • No


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Joined
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#61
Linkwitz LXminis only go down flat to about 50 Hz. Added the 2 dipole woofer sections from the Linkwitz Orions that the LXminis replaced, Full bass down to 25-30 Hz restored. No brainer.
 

StevenEleven

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#62
I use two subwoofers. My floorstanders are pretty flat but only useful down to about 50 hz. I cross over to the subs at 80 hz. As I understand it in most cases my brain can infer the lower fundamental if it hear the harmonics from 50 hz up but I like the kick of hearing the fundamentals at lower frequencies (esp. bass down to 41 hz (low e string on acoustic or electric bass) or even lower organ notes and synthesized low frequency effects below 40 hz in modern music).

I understand that many older recordings are not going to give you that 40 hz fundamental anyway but just about all modern recordings seem to. I added the sub capability mostly for music enjoyment but it does come in handy for HT stuff as well.

It was probably a mistake but my first sub was an SVS SB-1000 and the second (which I got later to smooth out the response in the room) was a different brand and model, a Martin Logan Dynamo 700. Both decisIons were price-driven with unusual discounts at the particular points in time. Having the two subs does seem to smooth out the bass in the room quite a bit though. The SVS is pulled out a little and the Martin Logan is a little closer to the wall. I have them level matched at my listening position. While I can feel the Martin Logan vibrate a little the SVS just sits there like “is that all you got?” so I have to put my ear up to it to make sure it is doing its thing (which it is).

The solid low frequencies are pretty seductive. It seems like this was the single best thing I could do to add to the fidelity and euphonic effect of my system for my preferences.

Also of course the subs crossed over at 80 hz take a big load off of my modest floorstanders and my modest A/V receiver. So in that way the subs paid for themselves to some extent since I didn’t have to buy a more powerful receiver or more bass-capable floor-standers.

And that’s the story of my life!:)
 
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digitalfrost

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#63
Yes.

I listen at the desktop, like the computer desk. I've never owned a dedicated CD player, always PC. While I tried stupid stuff like floorstanding speakers on the desk in my youth, it always restricted the size of my speakers.

Subwoofers solve a lot of problems. You can keep your speakers small, and still have bass. Also: Bass-management. Like even if you do not do any kind of DSP or anything, it still allows you to play around with volume, positioning and maybe some boost settings.

Also: You got the bass covered, even if you switch speakers. We all know bass is much more room dependent than anything else, so keeping the bass question out of the equation offers a lot more piece of mind and options when choosing speakers.

Being a PC user, it has been a hassle for me, in the sense that I needed multichannel for years. Always two stereo outputs, two amplifiers. A lot of products except you to be a stereo-only user. But I would never go back.
 

greyscale

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#64
Have 2 SB1000 subs to fill out the lower end for KEF LS50s.
 

ernestcarl

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#65
I'm perfectly happy listening to audio with or without a sub. Without the sub, though, you are definitely going to miss some low notes. When just listening to a podcast, audio book, watching talking heads on youtube, or when studying etc. there is mostly no need for a sub so I turn it off. No need to waste electricity.
 

BDWoody

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#66
I have a pair of older Hsu Research SW10 subs (the cylindrical ones) that I have in a mainly paradigm theater (Studio 40's as the LR), and I have a Velodyne DD12 paired with my LS50's in my office.

It takes the load off the rest of the speakers, smooths out the bass response in the room, and gives me that proper feeling in my stomach and in my ass when a good bass rumble comes rolling through.
 

GrimSurfer

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#67
and gives me that proper feeling in my stomach and in my ass when a good bass rumble comes rolling through.
That's the chilli.

 

BigVU's

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#68
Subs - may have the biggest impact on a system? Debatable maybe? throw a sub into any 2 channel set up and its night and day to me... whether at the computer, in the car or listening to tunes on the main system... and obviously HT arguably isn't HT with out one.
 
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#69
no sub(s) yet, but maybe in the future. My bookshelf speakers goes down to 34Hz so no urgent need right now.
 

GrimSurfer

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#70
Have a pair of subs with 13" drivers to support a pair of stand mounted two-ways (whose response falls off a cliff from 70 Hz). The subs are setup to be unobtrusive... more filling-in the bottom than making their presence known.

Nothing fancy but it seems to work well enough in my ~14x24x8 ft space.

no sub(s) yet, but maybe in the future. My bookshelf speakers goes down to 34Hz so no urgent need right now.
My [insert name of reasonable quality British two-ways here] are advertised as going down to 48 Hz but the graphed performance shows that they start to roll off at 70Hz. So there's not much below 50 Hz, other than the ink on the spec sheet. ;-)

This is a function of volume and driver size, which over rules anything that the front port (or the advertising department) can deliver.

YMMV and all that stuff but you may be surprised in how much you've been missing when you get a sub or two.

I just thought I'd add my 2 cents because 34 Hz is awfully low for bookshelf speakers. Most three way floor standing speakers would do well to kiss 30 Hz. So if you're quoting a spec, it might be a very optimistic number from the marketing department (they all too frequently overlook how much of a dB drop occurs at that freq.)
 
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#71
My B&W Signature 805 are really small minimonitors that go down to 56hz. That is a +-2hz 56-22k hz spec I think -6 is 42hz. I use a Velodyne HGS 15 to fill the bottom end and I use a Behringer DSP1142P (on the sub only) and REW software to EQ out room modes and optimize the crossover point. Included graph below.
x over.jpg
 
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GrimSurfer

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#72
My B&Ws are rated at 60-22k Hz +/- 3 dB. The reality, looking at the frequency response graphs for my speakers, is that there is 6dB difference from 60 to 200 dB (a "plus or minus 3 dB" spec means that the variance can be as much as 6 dB in absolute terms).

I initially set the sub at about 120 Hz with a 12 dB/octave roll off. This frequency was higher than many would do (80-100 Hz appears to be the norm) but the math checked out. Anyhow, it got things close enough where REW and a bit of fiddling turned a ski slope into a reasonably level playing field in the near field. (Room modes are another matter, LOL).

So I guess the point is that the raw numbers listed in my speakers' specs are only as accurate as the tolerances support. A +/- 3 dB from the mean adds up to a 6 dB variance. If that variance lies within the narrow classical bass range (16-256 Hz), then adding a sub or two may make more of a difference than one may think. But it's difficult to determine that until you get into the raw numbers, which can be determined from the response graphs.

Now there are some people on the forum that don't need to worry (as much) about such things because they have very good three ways or really good active monitors that actually can deliver flat response down to the 30 Hz range. In such cases, and particularly for music, a sub or two may not make much of a difference. Lucky them!
 
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Cosmik

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#74
Despite favouring DSP and active amplification, I am quite retro in terms of the speaker boxes themselves: large, sealed 1970s monkey coffins. Bass is very good and, of course, goes all the way down with a roll-off of 12 dB per octave.

This is different from bass reflex which, below its resonant frequency, rolls off at 24dB per octave and also (so I am told) loses control of reproduction of lower frequencies altogether because the cone is not being restrained by air in the box. It also takes time to 'get going' and time to stop, smearing transients in the process (it's fine with constant tones, though). The bass performance of the speaker is not 'better' than a sealed speaker of the same size, merely modified with a 'rumble hole' at a slightly lower corner frequency - but at the expense of losing everything below that. Of course it needs a subwoofer.

The sealed speaker always surprises people when they see headline frequency response figures that don't look as spectacular as the tricked out BR speaker, yet they hear deep, 'sweet' bass.
 
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#75
I just thought I'd add my 2 cents because 34 Hz is awfully low for bookshelf speakers. Most three way floor standing speakers would do well to kiss 30 Hz. So if you're quoting a spec, it might be a very optimistic number from the marketing department (they all too frequently overlook how much of a dB drop occurs at that freq.)
I have done some test with REW and the specification seems to be accurate. But I have some room problem that I like to fix.
Skärmavbild 2019-09-08 kl. 08.02.33.png
 

Krunok

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#76
I initially set the sub at about 120 Hz with a 12 dB/octave roll off. This frequency was higher than many would do (80-100 Hz appears to be the norm) but the math checked out. Anyhow, it got things close enough where REW and a bit of fiddling turned a ski slope into a reasonably level playing field in the near field. (Room modes are another matter, LOL).
I would be very interested in seeing the math that supports the decision to set XO at 120 Hz.

It would also be interesting to see those REW charts as well.
 
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GrimSurfer

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#77
I have done some test with REW and the specification seems to be accurate. But I have some room problem that I like to fix.
View attachment 32888
My guess is that your bookshelves are ported and pretty close to a wall/corner, as the REW plot.

@Krunok I'll dig thru my laptop files and post what I kept. I recall taking [email protected] from the B&W graphs, then adding these to similarly derived figures from my sub manufacturer to determine where the crossover would be the smoothest/flattest. Will post the traces though. MTF.
 

Matias

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#78
Currently no subwoofer, but as soon as I get a dedicated room I will add 2.
 

Krunok

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#79
My guess is that your bookshelves are ported and pretty close to a wall/corner, as the REW plot.

@Krunok I'll dig thru my laptop files and post what I kept. I recall taking [email protected] from the B&W graphs, then adding these to similarly derived figures from my sub manufacturer to determine where the crossover would be the smoothest/flattest. Will post the traces though. MTF.
If spec "60-22k Hz +/- 3 dB" is correct I would stick to 80Hz XO point (or even 60Hz) to help energize the room with mains as well in addition to 2 subs. As long as your mains can play 60Hz with decent SPL and THD that makes IMO. LF Linearity should anyhow be dealt with DSP.
 
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