Pioneer HPM-60 or dedicated sub [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-14-2013, 09:08 AM
Hello all!

I am looking into upgrading my home theather system. My amplifier is a Yamaha DSP-A3090, which is old but still holds it's own. bic america center channel speaker, Pioneer HPM-60 loud speakers for the mains, then the rears are a pair of Polk T15 bookshelf speakers. For the most part I am happy with this set up, but the HPM-60's are aging and I would really like to have more bass reproduction. These pioneers actually do quite well on bass (they do have 10' woofer) but I am wondering if a dedicated (budget) sub would out do them noticeably.

Please keep in mind that I am far from an audiophile and this may seem like a dumb question. I just do not want to spend the 200-400 dollars on a sub if the main speakers I currently have would be comparable.

08-14-2013, 09:53 AM
I think I should first explain the meaning of the term SUB woofer. It's not the same as the woofer in your main speakers.

To start with, most speakers have a woofer. It's designed to only go down just so far in the audio spectrum, no lower. Most good mid/full sized speakers can handle most of the audiable range for most music with aplomb.

HT, and some organ/synth music can put demands for more low-end extention on even good speakers.

That's where SUB woofers come in handy. They are designed to take over below where your main speakers fall off, not add to the bass your current speakers offer.

Now, you can mis-adjust them so they overtake your mains and give an overly bassy, blosted sound to your system but that's not an option I would recommend, but personal tastes vary.

harley .guy07
08-14-2013, 10:33 AM
It almost seems like you are wanting to use the subwoofer to take over for the bass section for your aging Pioneer speakers. If this is the case I would say I would rather put the money that you would put in to a cheap subwoofer and just retire the Pioneers and look for a quality affordable floorstanding speaker. Subwoofers in the price class that you are looking in are ok for theater but rarely are good with music since they are more tailored to home theater use. Now if theater is your main concern then that would be fine but remember that unless you cross over the main speakers either with the subs input/outputs or using some internal crossover in your receiver which some models have you are still going to be running a full range signal to your Pioneers and if they are aging as you say they are they are still going to have the same wear on them as if the sub was not there, the system will just have added low end from the sub. markw is very right in that preferably you should never use a subwoofer to totally do the low end of your main speakers but it should be used to add to the frequency response that your main speakers already have. Example - if your main speakers frequency frequency response is 40 hz - 20 khz then adding a sub should not add anything above the 40 hz that the main speakers cover but make the system now go down to 25 hz or lower so that now the mains with the subwoofer now have a summed frequency response from 25 hz - 20 khz. That is basically what ideally you should be after. I do know that the low end on movies is much more dynamic and low hitting than any music normally is with exception of organ tones on classical music which by itself is a small part of all the music out there and me having a sub in my system and love when watching a movie and getting moved and vibrated by my sub hitting hard with a thunderous effect in a movie a good subwoofer should be able to handle both extremes. Most of the subwoofers in your price range will be good at one or the other but there are only a couple in this price class that can handle both. I know because my JBL subwoofer required me to do extensive modifications in order for it to perform at the level it does now.

08-14-2013, 11:11 AM
thank you both for the great responses. my system is typically used for home theater, but is used for music on occasion. You are correct that I was looking to replace the bass output of the pioneers. if I were to take your suggestions, I would need to get floor standing speakers that have the woofer. I am confused however because when I have gone to stores, like say Best Buy, the floor standing speakers definitely do not have a woofer, but more 2-4 6 1/2' speakers in unit. were I to purchase one of those, I would then need the sub to provide the bass (I would think so anyway).

08-14-2013, 11:14 AM
An example of what I mean are the klipsch KF-28 floor speakers. I shop online and this type of speakers is predominantly what I find. So again, in this instance, I would then need a sub correct?

08-14-2013, 02:31 PM
Those HPM-60s are not bass ahy speakers. They are old school,, big woofer, big box speakers. They really don't make them like that anymore.

Nowadays they are made more for upper/mid accuracy than to emphasize that range like they did in the old days.

You might want to look at vintage speakers, say from JBL. Verwin-Vega!, the DCM KX series, Radio Shack Mach 1s, or even your Pionerers big brothers, the HPM-100 which were akin to the famed JBL L100.

There are current speakers outthere with dual 6 1/2 or 8" woofers but they might not be found at Best Buy or be cheap.

Again, you will find that a subwoofer can sound muddy if pushed too play at too high a frequency.

If you really, really want a cheap subwoofer to experiment with, this ( will serve you well and not break your bank. I have one of these and it's well worth it.

harley .guy07
08-14-2013, 06:45 PM
Yeah I'm sorry I don't think sometimes that years ago there were affordable speakers out there with 10 and 12" woofers that could do full range loudness. Really what has happened is that most speaker companies have found that smaller drivers are more refined and can provide more musical output with their design. The speakers of the 70's and 80's where full range for sure but they can not match up to the refinement and overall musicality of what is out there today from companies like Dynaudio, Revel, and the like. But there are still companies that believe in the super sensitive full range speakers with big drivers and big cabinets but most of the ones still left are expensive and way past your budget(Klipsch heritage for instance). They are way past your budget and not worth the money in my opinion. You might want to listen to markw and look at well built vintage speakers that can do what you want them to do. But I will say that through my years listening to speakers I have never thought that driver size is any indicator at their ability. But if you like the vintage sound of these style of speaker s then you need to look at possibly re coning yours and liking them. adding a sub will just add to the theater aspect.

08-15-2013, 05:42 AM
I would consider buying a pair of BIC bookshelfs for the front speakers to match your Center channel and then buy a sub. BIC America Home audio - CNET Reviews ( 01533_124014)

Klipsch and Polk make some subs in the $250 range if you are on a budget - Buy online electronics & appliances at Vann's home electronics store | (

Here is a BIC sub, its big- BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer: Electronics (

Here is a user review of the BIC DV series-

BIC Speaker Review - Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums (

08-15-2013, 09:30 AM
It sounded to me that if I did that, it would cause the sub to have to do all of the lows and that with budget subs like the F-12 or Polk PW505, they would struggle? Is that accurate? I would love to just pick up a couple bookshelf speakers, but it didn't sound like that was an option.

08-15-2013, 09:53 AM
It sounded to me that if I did that, it would cause the sub to have to do all of the lows and that with budget subs like the F-12 or Polk PW505, they would struggle? Is that accurate? I would love to just pick up a couple bookshelf speakers, but it didn't sound like that was an option.

The BIC DV62's go down to 43hz and the FH65B's go down to 40hz so the sub could be crossed over at 40-45hz.

Or you could keep your current speakers and just add a sub like this-

STF-2 Subwoofer ( or the BIC sub

08-16-2013, 09:32 AM
There ARE some holdouts of the, big woofer, big box school of thought still being made. See HERE ( I can't say that I've heard 'em but the brand is respected and they do come in within your price range.

08-16-2013, 11:02 AM
I saw those bad boys on the BIC web site. I would love to hear them. They certainly are reminiscent of the speakers of the 70's. I had some Altec Lansing's with 8" woofers and a pair of Canon TLS with 10"'s.

08-16-2013, 11:19 AM
I'm still pushing a pair of JBL L-26s, 10" 2 ways from '75 or so. ...with a Marantz 2230.

08-17-2013, 04:35 AM
Those bic speakers look perfect. if I got those, would I no longer need a sub? I did not see any info on the frequency response of those.

08-17-2013, 04:36 AM
thanks for all of the help everyone!

08-17-2013, 05:46 AM
I did not see any info on the frequency response of those.From the link: Frequency response: 33-19,000 Hz (3 dB)

From reading your posts here, I don't think you would need a sub with these.