• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Stereo Amp + Big Floorstanders or AVR + Subwoofer + Floorstanders/Bookshelfs.

Slyman

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
23
Dear audioscientists

I'm making this thread mostly to entertain what your ideas are of an ideal (budget) setup upgrade. My current rig consists of NAD c326bee amp, Mission 753 floorstanding speakers and a B&W ASW600 subwoofer. The system sounds pretty good however the current issues is:

1) I think (not sure) that the Mission 753 is kinda harsh in the treble whilst not having so much bass. It's a very precise speaker but it doesn't sound so "warm" or "open". Its excellent for acoustic/folky/classical sounding music though i listen to lots of hip hop and electronic music. In other words: In general i want to upgrade speakers.

2) The subwoofer is hard to integrate properly. In the manual it says that its best kept low-cut at the -6db of the satellites speakers, which is 40 hz, so currently its low cut to 40hz and with its volume kinda low it hardly does any difference in the sound beside an occasional rumble (i don't like it loud enough to vibrate the living room). It doesn't high-pass the satellites properly when using its internal crossover so i'm left with using the sub-line out from the amp to it and then supporting the natural roll off of the Missions.

This i think leaves me with 2 choices:

1) Buy floorstanders with bigger bass capaticies (8" drivers?). Even though the Mission go down to 45hz +- 3db its sound is not to "open" and "bassy". A current choice would probably be the Wharfedale Linton 85th... Or if i save more money the Polk R700.

2) Buy an AVR that has bass management (low pass to sub, high pass to satellites). Just a used budget one. Then i wouldn't even need to upgrade to Floorstanders but could probably do with just bookshelfs (Wharfedale 12.1, Polk R200 or the like).

What do you guys would think the pros and cons are? One the one hand with just the stereo amp and two good floorstanders that maybe go down to 35hz +-6db wouldn't that be good enough for music? Do i really need that 20-35hz even though it would mean that i use a second hand budget AVR? Even with the AVR i still need to find the right volume, phase settings etc. causing inconsistencies which the first option is without? To surpass the Mission 753 how much money would i even need to spend in order not just to sidegrade (they are from 1992)? Or is a subwoofer just that vital as for example It takes the Linton preference score from 6.0 to 7.8? Is a sub and AVR just necessity?

What are your thought? What would you do?

EDIT: Forgot to tell room correction is done in either case and moving around the sub isn't possible due to looks.

Looking forward to hear your answers!
 
Last edited:

fpitas

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 7, 2022
Messages
1,963
Likes
2,199
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
To do subs right, you use multiples and carefully place them to minimize room modes. In that case it has little to do with bass extension, and more to do with the fact you can optimize their placement for bass, independent of the mains.
 

MarkS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
521
Likes
641
Room correction. That's likely your biggest issue.

One sub is enough if you don't need smooth response at mulitple listening positions.

Simplest path: spend $2500 on a Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 (what I did).

Cheaper but less user friendly: miniDSP components with a crossover and Dirac.
 

Head_Unit

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
967
Likes
476
EDIT: Forgot to tell room correction and moving around the sub isn't possible :~)
What do you mean by "room correction"? I think you mean treatment? If you can't move the sub around, and you have "not so much bass" then it seems very likely to me your speakers and/or sub are in bad spots.
--> You need a good room EQ system like ARC or Audyssey XT32 (had good results with both) or Dirac (which I haven't used but is similarly sophisticated technology).
- Download a simple spectrum analyzer (RTA=Real Time Analyzer) app, play pink noise from YouTube or something,* get a crude idea of your current low frequency response. Post screen shots!
- It is also quite possible your sub and speakers are interfering with each other. Setting crossovers without measurement is pretty much a fool's errand, hence another reason for room correction software.*

- PICTURES of your room and setup would likely stimulate understanding more.
- Speaker specifications are meaningless (says this loudspeaker engineer and sometime marketing whore er, shill with shame). Even if a reputable manufacturer shows a frequency response curve, you cannot compare to another manufacturer. They all have different measuring hardware, software, and physical setups.

Here's a sweep tone, turn the volume way down, put in the middle (like 100-200 Hz) turn the volume up to medium loud, rerun. "Bass Test - Frequency Sweep and Burst"

A wider range sweep just FYI for anyone interested. Don't get the volume too loud unless you enjoy replacing tweeters. "35 Sine Tones *For Audio Engineers*"

*you could use this, which cuts out the mids and highs so you don't blow your tweeters.
"Pink Noise Black Screen (8 hours continuous) 888 Hz LPF"
(1) Turn the sub off. Play the noise. Move balance left, center, right. Center balanced should be noticeably louder; if not your speakers may be out of phase (reversed polarity) with each other. If so fix (check all the wiring is + to + and - to -) and move on to
(2) Turn the sub on, rerun. With the sub on the bass should be louder. Experiment with the Phase 0 or 180 however this is not definitive as the satellite and sub responses plus the crossover highpass and lowpass filters all affect this.

P.S. the non-horn speakers I've heard play the loudest without turning into distorted hash were Monitor Audio Silver 300s at Upscale Audio, driven by a PrimaLuna integrated (whichever was like $2k in 2019). Even handled live Motorhead without flinching.
 
OP
S

Slyman

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
23
What do you mean by "room correction"? I think you mean treatment? If you can't move the sub around, and you have "not so much bass" then it seems very likely to me your speakers and/or sub are in bad spots.
--> You need a good room EQ system like ARC or Audyssey XT32 (had good results with both) or Dirac (which I haven't used but is similarly sophisticated technology).
- Download a simple spectrum analyzer (RTA=Real Time Analyzer) app, play pink noise from YouTube or something,* get a crude idea of your current low frequency response. Post screen shots!
- It is also quite possible your sub and speakers are interfering with each other. Setting crossovers without measurement is pretty much a fool's errand, hence another reason for room correction software.*

- PICTURES of your room and setup would likely stimulate understanding more.
- Speaker specifications are meaningless (says this loudspeaker engineer and sometime marketing whore er, shill with shame). Even if a reputable manufacturer shows a frequency response curve, you cannot compare to another manufacturer. They all have different measuring hardware, software, and physical setups.

Here's a sweep tone, turn the volume way down, put in the middle (like 100-200 Hz) turn the volume up to medium loud, rerun. "Bass Test - Frequency Sweep and Burst"

A wider range sweep just FYI for anyone interested. Don't get the volume too loud unless you enjoy replacing tweeters. "35 Sine Tones *For Audio Engineers*"

*you could use this, which cuts out the mids and highs so you don't blow your tweeters.
"Pink Noise Black Screen (8 hours continuous) 888 Hz LPF"
(1) Turn the sub off. Play the noise. Move balance left, center, right. Center balanced should be noticeably louder; if not your speakers may be out of phase (reversed polarity) with each other. If so fix (check all the wiring is + to + and - to -) and move on to
(2) Turn the sub on, rerun. With the sub on the bass should be louder. Experiment with the Phase 0 or 180 however this is not definitive as the satellite and sub responses plus the crossover highpass and lowpass filters all affect this.

P.S. the non-horn speakers I've heard play the loudest without turning into distorted hash were Monitor Audio Silver 300s at Upscale Audio, driven by a PrimaLuna integrated (whichever was like $2k in 2019). Even handled live Motorhead without flinching.
Thanks for an elaborate and informative answer! This is definitely something to work with. I perhaps hoped the answer would be that other speakers would sound more bassy but yeah the room placement, nulls, etc. it wouldn't necessarily be different with new speakers. Time to investigate!
 

FeddyLost

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
628
Likes
455
What do you guys would think the pros and cons are?
I'd look at possible solutions in REW Room sim.
If you can't even move your sub, then it looks like you -in fact- have fixed placement of speakers.
Just try out different F3 and sub augmentation with crossover on/off and see if something changes.
There is a real chance that you will see that big 3-way standmounts are better than towers. Or not.
Especially with sub.

PS 20-35 Hz are
1) usually not very informative in music (depends on your material)
2) most probably it's already your pressure zone, below lowest main mode, unless you have big hall for listening
So i'd not bother very much about 20-35 Hz until everything higher is ok.
 
Top Bottom