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  1. #1
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    budget subwoofer

    for anyone who has seen my two other threads, i'm considering adding a subwoofer to my planned system. i'm putting together just a simple budget system to listen to music in my room (home and college). i'm not sure which receiver will be used. the speakers are Energy C-200's.

    so i'm considering adding a subwoofer to the equation. so far what i've found to have good reviews in my price range are:
    Sony SA-W2500
    Polk Audio PSW10
    Infinity PS28
    Evidence MKII

    do any of you have experience with these, or opinions on others?

    as you can see, i'm putting my budget at about $200. also, in this range, would i be better off buying new or used?

    thanks.

  2. #2
    Charm Thaiô
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    From that list i'd go with the polk. The only other one i'd consider is the infinity but i wasn't impressed with either of the infinity subs i've owned in the past.

  3. #3
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    Velodyne VX-10

    I bought this sub a few years ago and it's really great value for the money. The mrsp is/was about $299.00 new but if you do a thorough search you can find these new in the neighborhood of $130 - $200.

    If watts are big deal to you then you might not like it cause it's only about 100 watts. I bought from Tweeters (when it was still in business) and I compared it to all the other subs in the room...from Polk, Mirage, Focal, and Martin Logan.

    I thought the Velodyne was the best under $500.00 sub in the room.Of all the other subs in the room that I listened to that evening only the Martin Logan outperformed it. But that's just my opinion.

    Good luck with your shopping.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would get this Energy Sub. Its a good budget sub.

    http://www.amazon.com/Energy-ESW-8-S.../ref=de_a_smtd

    This Boston Acoustic's Sub is a good deal as well with more power at 250w RMS.

    http://www.4electronicwarehouse.com/...-midnight.html
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  5. #5
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    ok, if my speakers are recommended for up to 125 watts, i'd imagine i don't need a sub over 125 correct? aside from that, i guess i'll need to find out what receiver i'll be using to determine the wattage necessary.

    also, do company's products tend to work better together than mixing? like would the Energy sub be a better match with my energy speakers, or does this not really make a difference/personal opinion?

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    The recommended max power of your speakers has nothing to do with the power output of a sub. High power for a sub is a good thing. It takes a lot of power to produce good clean loud bass. All subs come with a volume control. Don't worry about the max power of your speakers. Minimum power for your speakers would be more of a concern. You can use a 200wpc receiver with speakers rated at 125wpc max. Subs have their own built in amp.

    Those Energy and Polk sub's are a good deal. Especially for a small room.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you can find a good deal on a good used sub then do it!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  8. #8
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    should i be looking for a certain driver size? obviously the larger the size the more bass usually, but do smaller drivers tend to sound better in smaller rooms? or is a larger one simply unnecessary in smaller rooms

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    8-10" sub. I looked on audiogon and good used subs are out of your price range.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgibsong002
    should i be looking for a certain driver size? obviously the larger the size the more bass usually, but do smaller drivers tend to sound better in smaller rooms? or is a larger one simply unnecessary in smaller rooms

    For a small room, all you need is an 8" sub. I would rather buy a good 8" sub than a lesser 10".

    Are you doing hometheater? If not, your Energy 200's should provide decent bass for a small room. You may want to wait and see how the 200's sound before buying a sub.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven

    Are you doing hometheater? If not, your Energy 200's should provide decent bass for a small room. You may want to wait and see how the 200's sound before buying a sub.
    its mainly music only. i'm going to try out the 200's first, but the sub is going to be a christmas list idea, so i'd like to start looking now. i'd imagine the 200's should be fine, but i'm sure they're not quite the same as a decent sub. i could be wrong.

  12. #12
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    cgibsong002

    Well, if you get a sub that's too much for the room size then your gonna have to turn down the volume on it otherwise your just gonna overwhelm the music and the room acoustics.

    The Velodyne VX-10 is a 10" rear ported sub and it goes down to 25HZ as best as I can recall the spec. I found that this particular sub liked to be nearer a corner with the back of the sub about 18" from the back wall and 18"-24" from the side walls.

    Just like blackraven said, an 8"-10' subwoofer should do for your intended use in a small room requirement.

    As far as tuning the subwoofer to the speakers and room acoustics...try as I may to make a subwoofer disappear without pinpointing it's source of sound has been a futile experience for me...but you can certainly have lots of fun trying to find the best spot for it.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    For a small room, all you need is an 8" sub. I would rather buy a good 8" sub than a lesser 10".

    Are you doing hometheater? If not, your Energy 200's should provide decent bass for a small room. You may want to wait and see how the 200's sound before buying a sub.
    I agree, for most music my sub really doesn't add that much. My room is smaller and my mains really produce enough bass for anything but the lowest of bass. Now if home theater is in your thoughts that changes things since LFE tracks off of dvd and blue rays are pretty dynamic in content and might take a little more of a sub to fill the room but for music use that kind of bass is not necessary and usually just muddies things up with overlly boomy bass.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
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  14. #14
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    i guess i'll really need to take a good listen to the energy's before deciding on a sub. i really can't picture a pair of speakers pounding out too much bass, but i guess that's the difference between computer speakers and quality bookshelves.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    CG, as Harley said, a sub should disappear seamlessly into the music and not be heard. Most people set their subs way too loud and think that the bass is fantastic. I set my sub so that I can barely hear it and then turn it down 1 more notch. Now Home Theater is a different animal and subs are made to be heard.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    CG, as Harley said, a sub should disappear seamlessly into the music and not be heard. Most people set their subs way too loud and think that the bass is fantastic. I set my sub so that I can barely hear it and then turn it down 1 more notch. Now Home Theater is a different animal and subs are made to be heard.
    i think i understand what you're saying. i've never really used a quality system obviously, but i'd imagine a good subwoofer in a good system would overall just give more feel to the sound in the room. like you can't really distinctively point out the sound from it, but you can feel it and the sound isn't quite as full without it. is that kind of what you mean?

  17. #17
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Exactly!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  18. #18
    Rob_a rob_a's Avatar
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    Re:

    forgive me if I repeat anyone elseís posts but this is what I did with my sub. Since Iím always on a budget regardless if I need to be or not. I looked for a powered sub system with good power for the cheapest price I could find. I came across an Infinity 8" in a powered box, nothing fancy. I took the speaker that was in it out, and replaced it with a better sub. I think I paid $80 for the Infinity (used) and $90 for sub, a Dayton ref. series at partsexpress. So in the end I paid less roughly $170 for a nice sounding unit.
    HT system:
    Marantz SR7001 receiver
    Emotiva UPA-2 Amplifier
    Adcom GDV-870 DVD-A/CD player
    Yamaha S1800 DVD/SACD player
    Panasonic DMP-BD60K blu Ray player
    PSB Image series speakes s/s
    Dayton RSS210HF 8" reference sub
    Hitachi 46" HD projector screen

  19. #19
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    BR is right, most people have the level on their subs way too high. My subs are low enough in level that they are really not noticed most of the time. When I play a movie at high volume it can seem like my house may need some structural reinforcement. Explosions and other sound effects are sometimes scary in their intensity. I've got jump factor up the ying yang.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  20. #20
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_a
    forgive me if I repeat anyone elseís posts but this is what I did with my sub. Since Iím always on a budget regardless if I need to be or not. I looked for a powered sub system with good power for the cheapest price I could find. I came across an Infinity 8" in a powered box, nothing fancy. I took the speaker that was in it out, and replaced it with a better sub. I think I paid $80 for the Infinity (used) and $90 for sub, a Dayton ref. series at partsexpress. So in the end I paid less roughly $170 for a nice sounding unit.
    That does not always work, as drivers are entirely enclosure specific. Which means it's a toss whether you get terrible results or good ones. Ideally you would pull out the amp and make your own enclosure having entered driver specs into a program such as winISD or bassbox. I'm curious as to what you have done in that regard, did you simply swap drivers without any further consideration?

  21. #21
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Audio Amateur you asked the exact question as I was going to ask. I know this dayton driver pretty well and it is a vast improvement to the infinity woofer but I would ad that you could probably get even better performance building your own enclosure out of mdf of good thickness(at least 3/4 inch if not 1") and brace it well. then dampen the walls with a dampening material to keep standing waves at bay. When designing the enclosure keep in mind that you will need to have allready picked the woofer you are going to use so you will know the enclosure volume that you will need to get the best performance out of it and build the enclosure and pick a amp that will power it to the best of its abilities. One thing as well to keep in mind is that you can play around with the sub after installing the driver as far as using acousta stuff and by adding more you basically dampen the enclosure and trick the woofer into thinking its in a bigger enclosure or take some out and it will work in reverse. Play with the acoustical stuffing untill you get the bass performance that you are looking for. that would be my recommendation as that most mass market cheap subs use sub par woofers with enclosures that are not braced and have no damping in them what so ever and have underpowered amplifiers in them that probably would not last very long if asked to power a better woofer. Just my opinion.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
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  22. #22
    Rob_a rob_a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    That does not always work, as drivers are entirely enclosure specific. Which means it's a toss whether you get terrible results or good ones. Ideally you would pull out the amp and make your own enclosure having entered driver specs into a program such as winISD or bassbox. I'm curious as to what you have done in that regard, did you simply swap drivers without any further consideration?
    we are talking budget, not high end. Yes I could have built a new enclosure but this box was already built for the size I wanted, made out of ĺ MDF, solid bracing and acoustic sound foam included, all the work done already. To my surprise, this swop sounds very good, better then I was expecting.
    HT system:
    Marantz SR7001 receiver
    Emotiva UPA-2 Amplifier
    Adcom GDV-870 DVD-A/CD player
    Yamaha S1800 DVD/SACD player
    Panasonic DMP-BD60K blu Ray player
    PSB Image series speakes s/s
    Dayton RSS210HF 8" reference sub
    Hitachi 46" HD projector screen

  23. #23
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Sometimes using an allready existing design and swapping out the subwoofer can work if you luck out and find a subwoofer that has a strong amp, a well built enclosure, and the weakest link is the driver. I have seen this done before with good results its just a rarity to find and existing design that has a enclosure volume that is exactly what most aftermarket subwoofer need to sound their best. Plus if it a ported sub then you also need to look at the port size and length to make sure that the tuning is right or it will not sound right. But like I said I have on very few occasions seen all these things line up and work.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  24. #24
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    Just based off your options you have listed - I purchased the Polk Audio PSW110 for $249 from BestBuy and received $50 back when it came on sale a week later. My sister has the Sony, and I bought my dad the Paradigm DSP3100 for $299.

    The Sony is very sad.... It just barely fills the lower end with a sloppy mess. It's auto feature is also weak, during a movie you will hear it click on and off throughout depending on if its a dialogue scene or an action scene. You can turn this feature off, but it makes you ask why even have it? For the $80 she spent on it though, she seems to be happy. That is also taking into consideration that even $50 more was not an option in her budget.

    I LOVE my PSW110. In my opinion is was worth every penny over the Sony. It's accurate most the time, but can seem a tad muddy during metal crap (Ramstein for example). Turned up it can get way to loud and will definitely rattle a house.

    The Paradigm however, makes my sub look weak... I am still more than happy with my sub, but I can definitely notice an improvement with the Paradigm.

    So considering my limited exposer, I would say stay away from the Sony and perhaps lean towards the Polk.

    I haven't heard the others, I just know I love mine.

  25. #25
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    So what do you guys think? should i invest in a subwoofer or is it not really worth it for music listening?

    i'll also be hesitant getting the polk after you mentioned that its muddy with metal, which is what i listen to (Rammstein being one of them).

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