Subs for electrostatics

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  • 02-02-2006, 03:25 AM
    jtgofish
    Subs for electrostatics
    Finding subs that integrate with electrostatics is notoriously difficult.Most sound too boomy and slow.I have made up one that uses an RCF L15/554k 15 inch in the RCF recommended ported box.A friend is using this with his ER Audio stats which are superb but can sound a bit thin.He is using a standard Chinese sub amp to drive this [150 watts].As these are really PA speakers and 100db sensitivity some e.q. is needed.The sub amp has a 6db boost at 35 hz which works well.The improvement is staggering-the sonic picture is now complete.
    This sub amp also works well with my vintage Tosshiba SS30 speakers [the best dynamic speakers I have heard],and yet all other subs I have tried with these just can't keep up with their speed and dynamics.
    I'm guessing why these RCF woofers work so well is probably due to their sensitivity,restricted excursion and cloth surrounds[always better than rubber]-although they are an expensive and highly regarded model.

    JT
  • 02-02-2006, 04:42 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jtgofish
    Finding subs that integrate with electrostatics is notoriously difficult.Most sound too boomy and slow.

    Nope, integrating a sub with a electrostatic is straightforward as long as you are willing to leave the audiophile myths behind, most of the problems with integration stem from a lack of knowledge rather than any specific issues relating to stats in. Most subwoofers do not have a high pass filter, which I think is a necessary feature for successful subwoofer integration. Most of the issues folks encounter when integrating subwoofer with stats arise out of the broad overlap between the stat and the subwoofer operating bandwidths which leads to unnecessary and/or excessive midbass boost.
  • 02-02-2006, 08:55 AM
    JoeE SP9
    No boom at all
    I have been using ES speakers since 1985. I have never had any problem integrating a subwoofer with any of them. I have always used an external electronic crossover with high and low pass filtering and bi-amped. I agree with the theaudiohobby. Boomy/tubby bass with an ES sub system is almost always caused by overlap. I use 85Hz as a crossover point between my subs and my ES panels and I have not a hint of boom or tubby sound. The transmission line subs I am currently constructing to replace the sealed boxes should be even better as they should be flat to about 18Hz if my figures are correct. This low end is achieved with no equalization at all. They are also relatively efficient.:cool:
  • 02-02-2006, 09:13 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Hi Joe,

    which transmission line Subs are you constructing, at 18Hz flat with no equalization, it looks quite juicy ;) .
  • 02-02-2006, 02:18 PM
    jtgofish
    Very interesting.Things like the Quad ESL 57s have always had a reputation as being very difficult to match with a sub.Hence the development of open baffle dipole type subs ,which according to established thinking,seem to be the only type worthy of consideration.Could this be another audiophile myth?
    The point I was raising related to using high sensitivity woofers as subs-something no commercial domestic hi-fi companies[except maybe Klipsch] have addressed.
    Also another friend has the ER audio stats and has tried all sorts of subs with them including Focal drivers in a transmission line.None have seemed to integrate or sound right-certainly not even close to the RCF.


    JT
  • 02-02-2006, 03:56 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    I have been using ES speakers since 1985. I have never had any problem integrating a subwoofer with any of them. I have always used an external electronic crossover with high and low pass filtering and bi-amped.

    I will respectively disagree. I've tried active subs using low pass filtering with Acoustats dating back to '77. My objection was related to the sub's different radiation pattern, not boominess. I tried settings down to 50 hz or so and was never satisfied.

    That's why I enjoy the SL U-1s - they respond down to the twenties without augmentation.

    rw
  • 02-02-2006, 04:02 PM
    Florian
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I will respectively disagree. I've tried active subs using low pass filtering with Acoustats dating back to '77. My objection was related to the sub's different radiation pattern, not boominess. I tried settings down to 50 hz or so and was never satisfied.

    That's why I enjoy the SL U-1s - they respond down to the twenties without augmentation.

    rw

    Ditto here! Bass response down to 18Hz :p:p
  • 02-02-2006, 04:20 PM
    Geoffcin
    I have no problem intergrating a sub with my maggies
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jtgofish
    Finding subs that integrate with electrostatics is notoriously difficult.Most sound too boomy and slow.
    JT

    My Velodynes cross over at 40hz, and I've achieved a measured 20hz-20khz in room. I also have over 105dB of dynamics available across that range, and NO panel speaker can claim to be able to do that independantly.
  • 02-02-2006, 04:26 PM
    Florian
    I know 3 that can :)

    But you wont get a perfect integration, eventough the Maggies are slower for a panel speaker.
  • 02-02-2006, 04:27 PM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Florian
    I know 3 that can :)

    But you wont get a perfect integration, eventough the Maggies are slower for a panel speaker.

    Slower in what respect?

    Perfect compared to what?
  • 02-02-2006, 04:39 PM
    Florian
    I retract my statement. We will only fight and argue and get nowhere. If you would like to discuss this, please PM me. In my opinion, there is no subwoofer that can match a panel, and that many panels out there have more then enough bass power but will only reveal it in dedicated audio rooms build for the speakers.

    -Florian
  • 02-02-2006, 05:04 PM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Florian
    I retract my statement. We will only fight and argue and get nowhere. If you would like to discuss this, please PM me. In my opinion, there is no subwoofer that can match a panel, and that many panels out there have more then enough bass power but will only reveal it in dedicated audio rooms build for the speakers.

    -Florian

    And in my opinion you are wrong. Except for the part about panel speaker having enough bass. In my opinion many DO for the most part. Unless your into organ music, or bass heavy techno. Still, I have an excellent recording of a drum solo with dual kick drums that will knock you over if I play it at concert level. Can't do that with just a panel speaker....
  • 02-02-2006, 05:17 PM
    Florian
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    And in my opinion you are wrong. Except for the part about panel speaker having enough bass. In my opinion many DO for the most part. Unless your into organ music, or bass heavy techno. Still, I have an excellent recording of a drum solo with dual kick drums that will knock you over if I play it at concert level. Can't do that with just a panel speaker....

    Thats ok, i will agree to disagree. In my opinion you have not heard or felt the right panel speaker yet and that is why you disagree. There are not many, but there are a few that will play below 20Hz and exessive output in the low 20's that when setup right shake the foundation of your house. I have heard it and many of my friends have heard it, but these were not Maggies.

    -Flo
  • 02-03-2006, 06:30 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I will respectively disagree. I've tried active subs using low pass filtering with Acoustats dating back to '77. My objection was related to the sub's different radiation pattern, not boominess. I tried settings down to 50 hz or so and was never satisfied.

    That's why I enjoy the SL U-1s - they respond down to the twenties without augmentation.

    rw

    Key point to note here, a low pass filter alone will not do the trick, a low pass as well as highpass filters are required. Without a high-pass filter there will be a broad overlap in midbass, and that overlap may be problematic for a variety of reasons.
  • 02-03-2006, 02:55 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    Key point to note here, a low pass filter alone will not do the trick, a low pass as well as highpass filters are required. Without a high-pass filter there will be a broad overlap in midbass, and that overlap may be problematic for a variety of reasons.

    One of us is confused as to what that means. I use the term low pass according to the definition as found in Wikpedia:

    A low-pass filter is a filter that passes low frequencies well, but attenuates (or reduces) frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency. It is sometimes called a high-cut filter, or treble cut filter when used in audio applications...Electronic low-pass filters are used to drive subwoofers and other types of loudspeakers, to block high pitches that they can't efficiently broadcast...

    My low pass filter is selectable from 50 to 120 hz. I tried rolling off the woofer as low as 50 hz. (No output above that). As opposed to:

    A high-pass filter is a filter that passes high frequencies well, but attenuates (or reduces) frequencies lower than the cutoff frequency. The actual amount of attenuation for each frequency varies from filter to filter. It is sometimes called a low-cut filter; the terms bass-cut filter or rumble filter are also used in audio applications. ..Such a filter could be used to direct high frequencies to a tweeter speaker while blocking bass signals which could interfere with or damage the speaker.

    I see no reason to block the low frequencies with my subs. As for overlap, I don't have any sub subs.

    rw
  • 02-03-2006, 03:46 PM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    One of us is confused as to what that means. I use the term low pass according to the definition as found in Wikpedia:
    ...

    A high-pass filter is a filter that passes high frequencies well, but attenuates (or reduces) frequencies lower than the cutoff frequency. The actual amount of attenuation for each frequency varies from filter to filter. It is sometimes called a low-cut filter; the terms bass-cut filter or rumble filter are also used in audio applications. ..Such a filter could be used to direct high frequencies to a tweeter speaker while blocking bass signals which could interfere with or damage the speaker.

    I see no reason to block the low frequencies with my subs. As for overlap, I don't have any sub subs.

    rw

    Confused definitely not me :) , as the definition of of high-pass filter as defined by wikipedia is precisely what I and JoeE SP9 had in mind, the high-pass filter is for the benefit of the main speaker, it blocks low frequencies from the main speaker, without which the stat receives a full range signal and there will definitely (at least in most cases) be an overlap of some of the operating bandwidth of the sub, for smooth integration redirection of the bass frequencies away from the main speaker to the subwoofer is required, the same principle in operation in conventional 2-way speaker designs.
  • 02-03-2006, 05:19 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    Confused definitely not me :) , as the definition of of high-pass filter as defined by wikipedia is precisely what I and JoeE SP9 had in mind, the high-pass filter is for the benefit of the main speaker, it blocks low frequencies from the main speaker, without which the stat receives a full range signal and there will definitely (at least in most cases) be an overlap of some of the operating bandwidth of the sub, for smooth integration redirection of the bass frequencies away from the main speaker to the subwoofer is required, the same principle in operation in conventional 2-way speaker designs.

    Ok, so you are not referring to controlling the subs behavior alone. I am loathe to compromise the resolution of my U-1s by introducing more more cables and active stages just to achieve a half octave or so lower response (below 25 hz) or adding hearing damaging levels to the equation. My former Acoustat 2+2s don't even come close to the neutrality or resolution level that the Sound Labs achieves.

    rw
  • 02-06-2006, 05:02 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Transmission line subs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    Hi Joe,

    which transmission line Subs are you constructing, at 18Hz flat with no equalization, it looks quite juicy ;) .

    They are my own design. They are approximately 9ft long folded tubes.http://forums.audioreview.com/images/icons/icon6.gif
  • 02-06-2006, 05:07 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I will respectively disagree. I've tried active subs using low pass filtering with Acoustats dating back to '77. My objection was related to the sub's different radiation pattern, not boominess. I tried settings down to 50 hz or so and was never satisfied.

    That's why I enjoy the SL U-1s - they respond down to the twenties without augmentation.

    rw

    I have alway used 2 subs positioned close to my panels. This way the differing dispersion patterns are about as significant as with ESL's having built in woofers.http://forums.audioreview.com/images/icons/icon6.gif
  • 02-06-2006, 06:18 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    I have alway used 2 subs positioned close to my panels. This way the differing dispersion patterns are about as significant as with ESL's having built in woofers.http://forums.audioreview.com/images/icons/icon6.gif

    Like I said, it's not the same to me. I always used full range Acoustats, not the hybrid flavors.

    rw
  • 02-07-2006, 03:48 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Like I said, it's not the same to me. I always used full range Acoustats, not the hybrid flavors.

    rw

    Truth be told, the old original Model 3's were my favorites. They needed no sub! In my old room they were flat to 32Hz. They are just too wide for my present room.
    I have been thinking of some 2+2's. Their radiating area being greater than the 3's I should get exceptional bass. I have never been completely satisfied with subs. On the other hand using an external crossover allows me to use a crossover point lower (85Hz) than most hybrids use. The 2's do sound very very good without low end reinforcement but for solidity a sub is a must. Thank you very much for making me consider spending more money on this managable insanity we call a "hobby". Also, ditching the subs would give me room for more LP's and CD's. Hoorah!!
  • 02-07-2006, 03:50 PM
    Florian
    Same here, i have tried subwoofers on my .5 Maggies (my first good speaker) and couldnt stand it. My big Ap's dont need subwoofers so it doesnt really matter to me. But from the systems i have heard, may they be planar magnetic, electrostatic or ribbon there is not a single one that has worked with a subwoofer, well those that needed one.

    -Flo
  • 02-07-2006, 03:59 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Florian
    Same here, i have tried subwoofers on my .5 Maggies (my first good speaker) and couldnt stand it. My big Ap's dont need subwoofers so it doesnt really matter to me. But from the systems i have heard, may they be planar magnetic, electrostatic or ribbon there is not a single one that has worked with a subwoofer, well those that needed one.

    -Flo

    If I was only into chamber music and other lighter types of music the Model 2's would be more than sufficient. I just need some "kick butt" bass in regular doses.
  • 02-07-2006, 04:15 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Truth be told, the old original Model 3's were my favorites.

    I confess a sweet memory of my first stats, the original model X, a three panel design back in '77. They were the predecessors of the Model 3 with the direct drive tube amps.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    I have been thinking of some 2+2's. Their radiating area being greater than the 3's I should get exceptional bass.

    That was my experience for over twenty years.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Thank you very much for making me consider spending more money on this managable insanity we call a "hobby".

    Sorry for fanning the flame. ;)

    I use subs in my two HT systems where they work very well. It's just that for music, I have been long spoiled by the utter coherency of a full range design.

    rw
  • 02-07-2006, 04:30 PM
    Geoffcin
    What is your opinion of the old Magnepan Tympani ?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Like I said, it's not the same to me. I always used full range Acoustats, not the hybrid flavors.

    rw

    The reason I ask is that I'm finally getting around to repairing my old Magnepan III's, and I was toying with the idea of using them as "bass re-enforcement" panels.