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Subwoofer suggestions

rlal

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I was thinking to add a high performing sub to my current setup. My current setup is Salk Silk towers, Rythmik 12 inch sealed subwoofer made by Salk ( thicker cabinet wall and more bracing than Rythmik stock models) and two infinity book shelf speakers as rear surround speakers. I don't use a center speaker. I tried few center speakers and I never got a good match with my Silk towers.
My AVR is Arcam 850. I was pretty happy with performance except for bass.

Can you guys suggest me a good subwoofer which will improve the performance? I am planning to add one more sub with my present subwoofer. Please see my room layout.
In general I like tight or refined bass and not room shaking bass. I am more interested in music (mid bass slam) than movies. But I do enjoy good bass in movies.
Does ported sub can be good and be very fast like a sealed sub and with out port chuffing?
Basically looking for a fast subwoofer with good mid bass. Please let me know you suggestions.

Do I need to look for sealed sub or there are good ported subs which are musical? Please let me know.

Thanks
Rlal
 

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Tweakybiff

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I defer to the more technical people on this forum on this topic, but personally I love love love Rythmik. I used to be a Velodyne guy, but that company went through some tough times, including familial espionage! They seem to have been revived somewhat of late. I have never had any ports on any of my Velodynes or Rythmik subs. The thing about Velodyne and Rythmik, is the negative feedback loop mechanism that greatly enhances bass response. Perhaps there are other companies out there that use the same mechanism, and I would love to know about them! What I certainly can recommend is getting 2 subwoofers, and keep them close to the front speakers, and use a high and low pass crossover. I currently use a pair of Velodyne 1812s, and a pair of Rythmik G25HPs.
 

JeremyFife

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rlal

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Thanks for your reply. So you set high and low cross over on the sub or on the AVR?
I am planning to add one more so that it become dual. I am thinking of getting a high performance sub with my present 12" sub from Rhythmik.
 

DVDdoug

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I can't make a specific recommendation.

It's not really clear what you are unhappy about or what you're trying to improve. Do you want more bass, deeper bass? What happens now when you turn-up the bass?

Does ported sub can be good and be very fast like a sealed sub and with out port chuffing?
Both designs can be good.

All speakers are compromises. As s generalization, you can make a sub go deeper and stronger by adding a port. For that reason, most pro subs used for live or DJ music are ported. But below the tuning frequency the cutoff slope is steeper for the ported speaker.

At some point the curves cross and the sealed box puts-out more bass. With an active sub, EQ can be built-in to boost & extend the lower frequencies, and that works better in a sealed speaker with a more gradual slope. Of course that requires more amplifier power. In the smaller space of a home or recording studio that may be a better compromise as long as the driver is big-enough and you have enough power.

(I built a pair of ported 15-inch subs.)

Basically looking for a fast subwoofer with good mid bass.
Mid-bass is, of course, easier to get than deep bass I don't know what gives the impression of "fast". The actual velocity of the driver depends on frequency and amplitude. At higher frequencies and higher-output it has to move faster. So woofers/subwoofers move a lot more slowly than midranges & tweeters, and the midrange & tweeters handle the "transients".

And to me, "tight" means restricted.
 

Keith_W

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A couple of points, if I may :)

Firstly, you listen to your room as much as you listen to your sub. Sometimes, even more than the sub. This means that it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to position your sub properly and integrate it with your speakers. It needs to be aligned in volume, phase, and time, and the only way to do this properly is with measurements and DSP. I would like to ask you what steps you have taken to optimize your current sub integration and whether your current subwoofer location has been well chosen.

There is no such thing as a "fast" subwoofer. Subwoofer "speed" is not a function of the subwoofer, but how well integrated it is with the system. Subs are typically delayed with respect to mains, and if the delay is excessive, it will sound disconnected and "slow". In my system, the subs are time aligned with DSP using Acourate. The dynamics and slam have to be heard to be believed. In fact I think everyone on ASR who DSP's will tell you that the improvement is phenomenal if it is done correctly.

Re: ported vs. sealed subs. I personally prefer sealed. Subwoofers are hard enough to manage without the added complication of an uncontrollable and out of phase rear wave interfering with the front.

Adding extra subs is generally a good idea. But it needs to be accompanied by a plan to get them integrated with the system. This is even more important than the choice of sub itself. Provided you do not buy a completely incompetently designed sub, you should be OK. But before you spend any money, you should ask yourself if you have done all that you can to squeeze out every last drop of performance from your current setup, because it is possible that what you need might be free (better placement of the subwoofer).
 

terryforsythe

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I am looking for very tight mid bass slam
Typically, the subwoofer handles the low bass and the speakers handle the mid bass, depending on your crossover frequency.

I plugged my speaker ports. This reduced their group delay in the low frequencies and helped me to get better phase alignment with my subwoofer. This provided more bass impact in my system. The caveat is that plugging your speaker ports means the speakers won't play as low, so you may need to use a higher crossover frequency. I use 100 Hz and a 48 dB/octave slope.

I recommended to another person to try this, but his speakers did not respond well to the ports being plugged. So, it may or may not work for your system. How well it works also may depend on how much crossover tuning adjustment you have in your system. Also, be aware that if you move the crossover frequency too high with not a steep enough of crossover slope, the subwoofer will lose transparency and the bass will sound like it is coming out of it rather than in the sound stage. This depends on the crossover frequency, crossover slope, subwoofer placement, room characteristics, etc. So, you may need to experiment a bit.
 

Beershaun

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Id suggest 2-3 things depending on your current setup.
1) get a second rythmik 12. It will add 3db to your sub output and allow you to position both your subs in your room to eliminate a room mode at your listening position that is affecting your frequency response and reducing some bass output.
2) do the "sub crawl" method of finding out where is the best location in your room to put your subwoofer to minimize your room mode at the listening position.
3) incorporate room correction software into your setup. DIRAC or equivalent. You didn't mention if you are using Dirac or not on your Arcam.

An additional but more expensive step you could take after all of the above is to upgrade your AVR to one with dual independent subwoofer outputs.
 

terryforsythe

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I will also add that even after the above adjustments, I still was not completely satisfied with my mid bass (single 6.5" woofer in each speaker). I removed my passive crossovers and went all active. This helped significantly in my system, improving bass impact and dynamics. I now am very happy with my system.

But, this is going deep down the rabbit hole and is not a reasonable course of action for most people. I needed to keep my speakers instead of replacing them because they are the best aesthetic match to my family room I could find, and the aesthetics are extremely important to the boss (a.k.a., my wife).
 
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rlal

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I can't make a specific recommendation.

It's not really clear what you are unhappy about or what you're trying to improve. Do you want more bass, deeper bass? What happens now when you turn-up the bass?


Both designs can be good.

All speakers are compromises. As s generalization, you can make a sub go deeper and stronger by adding a port. For that reason, most pro subs used for live or DJ music are ported. But below the tuning frequency the cutoff slope is steeper for the ported speaker.

At some point the curves cross and the sealed box puts-out more bass. With an active sub, EQ can be built-in to boost & extend the lower frequencies, and that works better in a sealed speaker with a more gradual slope. Of course that requires more amplifier power. In the smaller space of a home or recording studio that may be a better compromise as long as the driver is big-enough and you have enough power.

(I built a pair of ported 15-inch subs.)


Mid-bass is, of course, easier to get than deep bass I don't know what gives the impression of "fast". The actual velocity of the driver depends on frequency and amplitude. At higher frequencies and higher-output it has to move faster. So woofers/subwoofers move a lot more slowly than midranges & tweeters, and the midrange & tweeters handle the "transients".

And to me, "tight" means restricted.
Thanks for your reply.
I am using Dirac live and after calibration I never tried to increase the volume level on sub. I will try it.
Tight bass I meant good heavy bass. I don't like room shaking bass or any rumbling/vibrations.
 
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rlal

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A couple of points, if I may :)

Firstly, you listen to your room as much as you listen to your sub. Sometimes, even more than the sub. This means that it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to position your sub properly and integrate it with your speakers. It needs to be aligned in volume, phase, and time, and the only way to do this properly is with measurements and DSP. I would like to ask you what steps you have taken to optimize your current sub integration and whether your current subwoofer location has been well chosen.

There is no such thing as a "fast" subwoofer. Subwoofer "speed" is not a function of the subwoofer, but how well integrated it is with the system. Subs are typically delayed with respect to mains, and if the delay is excessive, it will sound disconnected and "slow". In my system, the subs are time aligned with DSP using Acourate. The dynamics and slam have to be heard to be believed. In fact I think everyone on ASR who DSP's will tell you that the improvement is phenomenal if it is done correctly.

Re: ported vs. sealed subs. I personally prefer sealed. Subwoofers are hard enough to manage without the added complication of an uncontrollable and out of phase rear wave interfering with the front.

Adding extra subs is generally a good idea. But it needs to be accompanied by a plan to get them integrated with the system. This is even more important than the choice of sub itself. Provided you do not buy a completely incompetently designed sub, you should be OK. But before you spend any money, you should ask yourself if you have done all that you can to squeeze out every last drop of performance from your current setup, because it is possible that what you need might be free (better placement of the subwoofer).
Hi Keith_W,

Thanks for your suggestions. I have experimented with position but not all the locations available. I like your suggestions to try all the options to extract last drop of performance.
I have not tried all options. Since my setup is in a living room I have not tried a lot with the position of the sub. I was depending on DIrac for the integggration.

I will explore the option of DSP.

Thank you.
 
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rlal

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Id suggest 2-3 things depending on your current setup.
1) get a second rythmik 12. It will add 3db to your sub output and allow you to position both your subs in your room to eliminate a room mode at your listening position that is affecting your frequency response and reducing some bass output.
2) do the "sub crawl" method of finding out where is the best location in your room to put your subwoofer to minimize your room mode at the listening position.
3) incorporate room correction software into your setup. DIRAC or equivalent. You didn't mention if you are using Dirac or not on your Arcam.

An additional but more expensive step you could take after all of the above is to upgrade your AVR to one with dual independent subwoofer outputs.
I am using Dirac. I ahve note tried subwoofer crawl as my setup is in living room. However I have tried moving it but may be not explored all the
possible positions. I will try it and check with REW. Dirac in my Arcam AVR is not very flexible to only check the subwoofer alone. It will check all speakers.
Hence I will try REW.

Arcam AVR was expensive and it didn't have independent subwoofer outputs. I know Anthem and Japanese brands have this option.
However I like Arcam sound.

Thanks.
 
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rlal

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Typically, the subwoofer handles the low bass and the speakers handle the mid bass, depending on your crossover frequency.

I plugged my speaker ports. This reduced their group delay in the low frequencies and helped me to get better phase alignment with my subwoofer. This provided more bass impact in my system. The caveat is that plugging your speaker ports means the speakers won't play as low, so you may need to use a higher crossover frequency. I use 100 Hz and a 48 dB/octave slope.

I recommended to another person to try this, but his speakers did not respond well to the ports being plugged. So, it may or may not work for your system. How well it works also may depend on how much crossover tuning adjustment you have in your system. Also, be aware that if you move the crossover frequency too high with not a steep enough of crossover slope, the subwoofer will lose transparency and the bass will sound like it is coming out of it rather than in the sound stage. This depends on the crossover frequency, crossover slope, subwoofer placement, room characteristics, etc. So, you may need to experiment a bit.
I think I need to look at options you mentioned. I have never tried those options and never played with slopes.
 

Tweakybiff

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Thanks for your reply. So you set high and low cross over on the sub or on the AVR?
I am planning to add one more so that it become dual. I am thinking of getting a high performance sub with my present 12" sub from Rhythmik.
Out of the box, the Rythmik subwoofers only have a low pass crossover. This allows the main speakers to run full range, while the subwoofer substantiates and extends the bass. While this is fine, it is not ideal. Adding a high pass crossover relieves the main amplifiers from having to do the low bass, which is the most taxing thing for an amp to reproduce. This will also relieve the main speakers from having to do low bass too. The result is a more cohesive sound, and one that the more technical people may say is more accurate. I think it is best to have the high pass and low pass set by one device, but it will depend on the particular setup. Some companies are more accommodating about subwoofers than others. Emotiva and Parasound are usually pretty good about subs. Personally, I use Bryston 10B XLR crossovers.
 

Beershaun

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I am using Dirac. I ahve note tried subwoofer crawl as my setup is in living room. However I have tried moving it but may be not explored all the
possible positions. I will try it and check with REW. Dirac in my Arcam AVR is not very flexible to only check the subwoofer alone. It will check all speakers.
Hence I will try REW.

Arcam AVR was expensive and it didn't have independent subwoofer outputs. I know Anthem and Japanese brands have this option.
However I like Arcam sound.

Thanks.
Since you are running Dirac, have you looked at the target curve it is using and adjusted the bass up? For example, we know the preferred in room frequency response target is a gently downward sloping line from low frequency to high. So you would want your target to have the bass frequency 3-4db higher than the mid point of the curve. If Dirac is targeting a flat in room response you definitely want to adjust that.
 

mj30250

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In my experience, as long as you are starting out with a well-engineered sub and have the ability to equalize it, little improves bass quality more than adding a second identical sub, properly positioned. It's difficult to position subs (especially multiple) without the ability to measure your room. REW + a mic (UMIK-1 is popular) is an invaluable investment. As has already been mentioned, you'll also gain headroom. Perhaps audition an additional Rythmik.

I've gone through (and still have several in various setups) many subs over the years, including Outlaw, Neumann, SVS, Hsu, and Monolith, and my favorite by a fair amount are dual PSA TV2112Ms, which use custom B&C pro drivers that offer massive mid-bass headroom. These integrate with my main speakers incredibly well and help provide exceptional and seamless music reproduction in my room. Here is their in-room response after Audyssey XT32 (no curve beyond the room gain):

FR.png


PSA uses the B&C drivers down to 15" size subs in both sealed and ported options.
 
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rlal

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Since you are running Dirac, have you looked at the target curve it is using and adjusted the bass up? For example, we know the preferred in room frequency response target is a gently downward sloping line from low frequency to high. So you would want your target to have the bass frequency 3-4db higher than the mid point of the curve. If Dirac is targeting a flat in room response you definitely want to adjust that.
Dirac target shape is like you mentioned with a small slope. However my problem is the sub is showing lot of dips or the measured response is not that great. In general I modify the target curve by 3dB max so that it stress amp that much.
 
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rlal

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In my experience, as long as you are starting out with a well-engineered sub and have the ability to equalize it, little improves bass quality more than adding a second identical sub, properly positioned. It's difficult to position subs (especially multiple) without the ability to measure your room. REW + a mic (UMIK-1 is popular) is an invaluable investment. As has already been mentioned, you'll also gain headroom. Perhaps audition an additional Rythmik.

I've gone through (and still have several in various setups) many subs over the years, including Outlaw, Neumann, SVS, Hsu, and Monolith, and my favorite by a fair amount are dual PSA TV2112Ms, which use custom B&C pro drivers that offer massive mid-bass headroom. These integrate with my main speakers incredibly well and help provide exceptional and seamless music reproduction in my room. Here is their in-room response after Audyssey XT32 (no curve beyond the room gain):

View attachment 367391

PSA uses the B&C drivers down to 15" size subs in both sealed and ported options.
I do have a Umik1 with calibration done separately. I use that mic while using Dirac.
I have tried REW before. I will try to use it again to measure the response and try to optimize the location of sub.

I will look in to PSA subs.

Thank you.
 

Battlebeast

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I do have a Umik1 with calibration done separately. I use that mic while using Dirac.
I have tried REW before. I will try to use it again to measure the response and try to optimize the location of sub.

I will look in to PSA subs.

Thank you.
Your best option would be another Rythmik F12.

Better yet if you have the budget and time to wait would be a pair of these -https://www.harbottleaudio.com/cassini-tradition/112t
or https://www.harbottleaudio.com/cassini-tradition/115t. Of Funk audio which work with Harbottle.

As for PSA- not a fan. Really gives me DIY built in a garage vibes.
 
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