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  1. #1
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    Anyone used sub with tube power amp or int?

    When I listen to my system I don't feel I need a sub, the sound is balanced. However, some time back I brought my Krell gear in and hooked it up for a friend to hear and noticed I have been missing some bottom end. Of course, Krell is capable of going very deep anyway. But I wondered if a sub was added would it just reproduce more of the frequencies already heard via the tube amp or would the internal amp of the sub be able to actually play lower frequencies not reproduceable by the tube amp? I mean is the preamp sending the low bass and the power amp not reproducing them or are they just not there? This is sort of a general question and assuming your source can reproduce down to 20Hz, when using an all tube system, where do you think the bass is rolled off or lost? I've heard some tube amps have some impressive control of the bass response but I gather it's a common character of tube power amps not to be able to go as low as solid state.

    hope from this rambling you can understand what I'm trying to get at, any thoughts? I certainly don't need to reproduce more of the frequencies I already have. But if that low end is in the chain some where, it would be worth filling it in. If this ever happened for me personally, I'd need either more, or, another room though.

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I can't help you with well experienced advice, but what I've noticed with tube amps is that they produce(or make you imagine) more bass around 70-100hz. Could it be possible that higher bass is masking your lowest notes?

    Since I'm still ampless, I had to play with my tube pre. The only thing I could do was to connect it with a CD player and my sub.
    What I can honestly say this that my REL played much tighter thru BAT than my tube integrated. But I need to tell you that my REL is hooked up thru speakers binding posts from my tube integrated, while it was hooked up thru SE outputs from my pre. Also, my sub doesnt go below 30ish so not sure if this can help you in anyways, but I'm curious if you have also noticed about higher bass frequecy. If so, do you think that could be the reason?

    JRA

  3. #3
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo

    Since I'm still ampless, I had to play with my tube pre. The only thing I could do was to connect it with a CD player and my sub.

    JRA

    Jay, you're priceless. Try hooking bare speaker wire into the steel grating of a toaster, it should shower you in a cascade of electrifying music. And make sure to use quality cabling.

    Seriously, when do the new toys come?

  4. #4
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    JRA, I don't believe the higher bass frequencies are hiding anything. My Adcom 5400 has a bass hump and you could still tell low end. As I say, the CJ sounds nicely balanced. I don't miss anything while I'm listening but when going to something like my Krell you really hear those lower registers on discs that have it. The CJ sound doesn't hit you as being rolled off. But in comparison to the Krell on same source material you can then tell there's more extreme lower frequency information.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
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    Hi Mr. Peabody,

    If the sub is fast enough and the crossover frequency and db slope is set correctly a sub can add a lot of weight to the J-LO, I mean bottom-end, and oddly enough it can improve soundstaging. But if the sub is slow it will screw things up. The sub has to be fast, and most aren't. The REL is very good. A friend of mine runs Martin Logan Monoliths and was using a Carver Sunfire sub, which just wasn't quite fast enough for the Monoliths which are stats. He got the new sub from Martin Logan and it is very fast - sounds great. Check out the Fathom F113 from JL audio. Got a cracking write-up in the Absolute sound from Robert Harley. Its expensive though, about 3K.

    Not more than half an hour ago I just watched in misery as an Audio Research EC-4 (circa 1974) tube electronic crossover went for $400.00. It has a compliment of 6 12AX7s and sounds great. I badly wanted to buy it but I need something else right now so had to excercise restraint.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Dunno but ...

    Tube apps in general don't have a great rep for bass reproduction -- yes, I'm sure there are many exceptions. I've never used a tube power amp or integrated, (why the heck would I want to given my Monarchys). On the other hand I'm not convinced by tube preamp conveys the bass quite as well as my former passive to my self-powered sub; this could be just my imagination, though.

    My thought is that using a self-powered sub of reasonable quality -- or possibly two subs -- is an option versus bi-amping. The subs can serve both to (a) increase power handling of the combination of speakers, as well as (b) increase the wattage available to the system. I got a lot more out of my former Magneplanar MMGs using a sub with both low and high-pass filters at 80 Hz. If you want to crossover higher than 80 Hz you ought to have two subs, of course, to preserve the full stereo effect.

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