Will adding this Sub help or hinder my Setup? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-05-2010, 12:19 PM
My dad offered to give me a Polk Audio PSW110 Subwoofer he only used for 1 week for free.

Current Setup:
Front: Paradigm Reference Studio 100s V.2 (around $2,000 a pair)
Center: Paradigm Reference Stuio CC
Surround: Older Polk Audios
No Subwoofer atm
Receiver: Onkyo TX-DS797 ($900 Receiver in 2004)

Free Subwoofer
Polk Audio PSW110 ($250 msrp) 10" 100w RMS

Worth adding, or stay 2.0/5.0 channel for now?

EDIT: If I use this free sub, I plan on buying a Behringer Feedback Destroyer (Parametric Equalizer)

Mr Peabody
01-05-2010, 04:04 PM
I personally think it would have a tough time keeping up with your receiver but it may at lower volume or if the room is small. For free though I'd give it a try.

01-05-2010, 04:30 PM
The Studio 100's put out some nice bass. I don't think it will add much to 2ch audio but for HT use it will add to your enjoyment, Just don't turn it up too loud or else it will sound muddy and boomy.

the hand of boredom
01-07-2010, 06:02 PM
As blackraven mentioned, the Studio 100s will have very good low frequency output. Try setting all your speakers to 'large', this will keep only the LFE material going to the sub. When setting up, you may find it useful to set the crossover frequency very low, perhaps as low as it goes (60Hz). This will save the amp from having to juice frequencies the 100s are already well-capable of.

Setup. Listen. Decide. It's free.

01-07-2010, 06:31 PM
I agree with raven and boredom. My guess is that the Paradigms would handle the lower frequencies better by themselves than the Polk sub would. I think it would take a higher quality sub to make it worth your while to run it under your Paradigms but you may as well give it a try. Your ears will be the judge.

01-07-2010, 07:43 PM
According to the specs, the PSW110 can go as low as 32 Hz. It might be worthwhile, as long as you keep the sub crossover low and the sub output low.

harley .guy07
01-07-2010, 08:01 PM
I myself agree but I would probably only use it for home theater because for music I would say your 100's should put out very clean tight bass and I am afraid that the polk sub might just muddy things up and not be able to keep up with the 100's for music quality and overall clean output capability. But what the hell for free I would play around with it and see what it can do

Mr Peabody
01-07-2010, 08:05 PM
If you will be connecting the sub to the LFE output on the receiver a very low frequency cut off setting will not be correct. When connected to LFE the sub should either be set to "bypass" to bypass the internal crossover or all the way up if no bypass available. The LFE is the .1 and contains content that will not be in the other channels. Then the crossover is controlled inside the receiver Many of the receivers I've seen won't allow crossover adjustment on sub. Usually when one of the other speakers are set to "small" you can set that crossover and everything below that point will go to sub, that's a good reason to keep all that can handle it set to large. The LFE (.1) crossover, or response, is mixed into the soundtrack.

With this being said, I don't use my sub or processor for music, other than DVD or BD, so things are probably different when setting up for music. Hopefully the receiver will allow for both set ups.

01-07-2010, 09:07 PM
If the sub can't be connected in such a way that it stays out of the way of the superior front speakers, it seems like a bad idea. In a music setup, a sub can fill in some very low frequencies and add a little value even if it's not that great of a sub.

01-12-2010, 05:35 PM
So I have the Polk Audio PSW110 subwoofer now, but I'm unsure if it is a benefit or hinderence to my system.
(See 1st post for system specs)
I have a Galaxy Digital SPL meter & Tripod I've been using to take some measurements (I also have a Behringer BFD, that I have not used yet)

I tried some Test Tones, I set my sub equal with my mains @ 50hz and ran tones from 28hz to 125hz and compared SPL with and without the sub.

Tone - 2.0 / 2.1
28hz - w/o 75 with sub 63
31hz - w/o 74 with sub 67
36hz - w/o 74 with sub 71
40hz - w/o 74 with sub 70
50hz - w/o 75 with sub 75 Starting tone, I set both equal at this tone.
63hz - w/o 77 with sub 75
71hz - w/o 79 with sub 74
80hz - w/o 86 with sub 77
89hz - w/o 77 with sub 70
100hz - w/o 68 with sub 70
111hz - w/o 67 with sub 66
125hz - w/o 75 with sub 71

Thoughts on those readings?
Are there other tests I can run to determine if the sub is helping or not?
(I did a listening subjective test, and it sounds similar lol)

--Using REW with my sub I can see the SPL drops around 30hz with this sub depending on where I am in the room. I have not used REW with my mains, nor do I really know how lol.

Mr Peabody
01-12-2010, 08:31 PM
It looks like you must have set the mains to "small" when doing 2.1. You should keep the mains in "large". 2.0 should be at least equal, I don't see how you could get a lower SPL unless mains were set to small or maybe the sub is out of phase with the mains.

01-13-2010, 07:25 AM
It looks like you must have set the mains to "small" when doing 2.1. You should keep the mains in "large". 2.0 should be at least equal, I don't see how you could get a lower SPL unless mains were set to small or maybe the sub is out of phase with the mains.
It's very possible that the location of the speakers vs sub in his room could account for the differences he displayed.

Had he set the mains to small I'd expect the mains to show much lower SPL below 50Hz than he experienced.

I've experienced setting full-range speakers to "small" and crossing over to a good sub can noticeably improve imaging, soundstage and midrange performance (really anything above above 150 Hz or so up to 2k-3k Hz) of the full range speakers - but would only recommend doing this if the sub is equal or better than the speakers at reproducing bass. You reduce excursion and distortion which has material affect on pace and timing and resolution (among other benefits). The trade-off is the difficulty incorporating a sub into a speaker system - it's not easy and if not done properly will introduce problems that offset these other gains.

That said, I'm not 100% convinced that mademperor's sub is going to be as accurate as his speakers in this case...not by any stretch. That sub isn't known for its musical accuracy - at least not at the same level as his speakers - I'd just run the Studio's full range for music and leave the sub for HT duty - or at least set the receiver's crossover to 50 Hz or less if possible...

01-13-2010, 02:03 PM
I took some new measurements in response to some of the replies. I still the Fronts & Sub equal @ 50hz but increased SPL to 80db this time.
SPL meter used is a Galaxy 140 on a Tripod.
The crossover is NOT adjustable other then changing Fronts from Small to Large when a Sub is enabled.

I did a comparison now with Fronts set to Both Small & Large and Phase 0 and Phase 180
(See my 1st post for system details and last post for previous values)

Freq - No Sub//Sub-Frt Sm // Lg ## Sm//Lg
--------------------- Phase 180 ## Phase 0
028hz - w/o 79 with sub 67 // 67 ## 68 // 68
031hz - w/o 77 with sub 71 // 71 ## 74 // 74
036hz - w/o 78 with sub 75 // 75 ## 77 // 77
040hz - w/o 77 with sub 75 // 75 ## 79 // 79
050hz - w/o 80 with sub 80 // 80 ## 84 // 84
063hz - w/o 82 with sub 81 // 80 ## 86 // 86
071hz - w/o 91 with sub 79 // 79 ## 87 // 87
080hz - w/o 82 with sub 82 // 82 ## 94 // 94
089hz - w/o 82 with sub 78 // 78 ## 87 // 87
100hz - w/o 73 with sub 68 // 68 ## 80 // 80
111hz - w/o 67 with sub 72 // 72 ## 67 // 67
125hz - w/o 79 with sub 76 // 76 ## 79 // 79

From these numbers I suspect:
--Phase 0 is where I want to be since it equals a SPL gain at all Freq
--Setting my Fronts to either Small or Large is irrelevant for me, maybe this setting is broken.
--This sub sucks compared to my mains, since it won't go as deep as the mains. (See rew in my last post)

Should I keep this sub, or go w/o?
Any other Objective tests I can do?

Mr Peabody
01-13-2010, 06:24 PM
Forget the sub. Set to large is what I thought we should see. Which means the sub really isn't doing anything. I guess some of those wild dips/peaks at certain freqs must be room effect. I have to give you an "A" for research.

01-14-2010, 04:23 AM
Eeek. No xo in the receiver - that brings back memories - several years ago most crossed over at 90 Hz or so...that was brutal. There's something going on in your room or the frequency you are matching with your mains is in the middle of a nasty peak because even at a 12 dB/octave crossover you should notice a waaaaay bigger difference than 4 or 5 dB between setting the speaker small vs large. In my system at 30 Hz for example, my mains are down over 30 dB when set to small vs what they're at when set to large.

There's no nice way for me to put this - that sub is not very good for music, and is just not in the same ballpark as your studios. Those were made to compliment smaller, entry level bookshelf Polk speakers, not big Studio 100's.

01-15-2010, 02:32 PM
I bought a SVS PC12-NSD

Goodbye PSW110 Polk Audio. It's been fun, but you were pathetic :17:


01-15-2010, 02:35 PM
Guess you don't mess around. Enjoy your new toy!!!

Mr Peabody
01-15-2010, 11:00 PM
You'll love that baby.