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Thread: Changed my mind on subwoofers for music

  1. #1
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Changed my mind on subwoofers for music

    For the longest time now I have been of the opinion that subwoofers for music only cause too many problems to use for two channel listening. I thought that a subwoofer would smear the image and over presentation of the music. But with me not ready to move to larger floorstanders yet I needed to augment the low end of my Dyns since my new house has a listening room roughly twice the size of my last room. I could think none other than a subwoofer to do this, and some of you guys use them as well to augment smaller speakers or you Magnepan owners that need to add the few last octaves to your system. Well over the last few days I have been working on a new project to add some much needed low end to my system. I first wanted a Martin Logan Dynamo after hearing from people that they are very good for music, in fact some of you guys use one and I almost got one on Ebay last week when I discovered the evil side of Ebay but I won't get into that again. So I went on with life and the other day I got the Christmas add email from Parts Express and they had subwoofer DIY packages on sale, you buy the woofer and they will throw in the Knock down enclosure for half off, they also had some of their plate amps on sale very cheap so I thought what the heck I will give the sub thing another shot. I order the Dayton 8" HO subwoofer Knock-down enclosure package and a Yung 300 watt plate amp. I also got 2 pounds of poly stuff and speaker spikes and all the other stuff needed to finish it. All in all it came to a little over $300 for all of it, not bad for something that I just wanted to try to see how it worked. Over the last few days I have been working on the sub and got the enclosure put together, the Knock down enclosures that Parts Express sells are first rate, they have more bracing than any retail sub I have ever seen. I put a good sanding and paint job on the enclosure and last night i got the poly fill installed and put the woofer and plate amp in place. After setting it in the right spot and playing with the 3 volume, crossover, and phase knobs I got everything balanced and blended. All I can say is wow, they have came a long way with driver technology since my days in car audio and this thing shows it. It is not even starting to get broke in yet and it is putting out very tight bass and is easily keeping up with the Dyns speed wise. I know most people would think an 8" subwoofer would be too small to be usable but this thing is built well enough that that does not matter and the driver is one of the best I have heard for music in a sub. There is no smearing of the image or soundstage, there is no issues blending with the Dyns. So far I am very happy that I took a chance and tried this, I think I have changed my views on subwoofers for music. If they are set up properly and dialed into the system they can be a very good addition in order to get you the last few octaves of bass. I tested the sub and while the bass is very tight and controlled it hits 25 hertz without issue and probably lower which is surprising for an 8. here is a picture of it setting next to one of the Dyns

    Changed my mind on subwoofers for music-wp_20131107_06_58_43_pro.jpg
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  2. #2
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    I will flip the sub on when I run my Clearfilds, but not when running with the Dyn 82s.

    The Dayton project sounds like a good deal if it ends up competing with $600+ Subs.

    What is the other sub in the picture? Had you never hooked that one up to the 2ch?

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Congrats on the sub! Is it ported or non ported?
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    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    The other sub in the picture is my highly modified JBL e-250p and it is a ported design that is definitely built for theater use not music. I did try it once a long time ago and figured out real quick that it is not fast enough and tight enough for music duty. The Dayton sub is a sealed design and with the very strong cross bracing it has 2 pounds of dampening material(poly stuff) in it and it is tight as tight can be and very musical. I would say that this sub to me competes with a lot more expensive subs maybe even more than $600 when it comes to music reproduction. In fact I heard a system a while back with a Martin logan Grado sub which is probably the best I have heard for a music sub and I can say that this sub is keeping up with it in the being musical department and it has only been running for a few hours so its not broke in. It might not have the shear output of some of those over $1000 subs but it has enough for me and the levels that I listen and really it does great for an 8". I just wonder how it will do once broke in. I will say that either way it is way worth the money spent.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
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    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
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  5. #5
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    Glad you finally found a sub that fit your needs because I always felt your setup would benefit by having one. Nice finishing job too.

  6. #6
    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    The other sub in the picture is my highly modified JBL e-250p and it is a ported design that is definitely built for theater use not music. I did try it once a long time ago and figured out real quick that it is not fast enough and tight enough for music duty. The Dayton sub is a sealed design and with the very strong cross bracing it has 2 pounds of dampening material(poly stuff) in it and it is tight as tight can be and very musical. I would say that this sub to me competes with a lot more expensive subs maybe even more than $600 when it comes to music reproduction. In fact I heard a system a while back with a Martin logan Grado sub which is probably the best I have heard for a music sub and I can say that this sub is keeping up with it in the being musical department and it has only been running for a few hours so its not broke in. It might not have the shear output of some of those over $1000 subs but it has enough for me and the levels that I listen and really it does great for an 8". I just wonder how it will do once broke in. I will say that either way it is way worth the money spent.
    I upgraded my old PSB Subsonic 5 sub to a Rythmik LV12R which is a ported design similar to the PSB. However, thats were the similarities end. The LV12R has got to be one of tightest/musical subs I have ever heard. For bass articulation, it would stand shoulder to shoulder with any sealed sub you want to throw at it. Its simply that good.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    That's good. Its very rare that a ported design can hold a candle to a sealed design when it comes to musical ability and tightness. Usually a designer will use a ported design in order to get higher output levels. There are ported designs out there that defy this logic but not many. I can only think of a handful as most ported designs are optimized for theater duty not music.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
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    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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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db View Post
    I upgraded my old PSB Subsonic 5 sub to a Rythmik LV12R which is a ported design similar to the PSB. However, thats were the similarities end. The LV12R has got to be one of tightest/musical subs I have ever heard. For bass articulation, it would stand shoulder to shoulder with any sealed sub you want to throw at it. Its simply that good.
    I heard lots of good things about the Rythmik LV 12R and I am sure it is an excellent sub as you described. I am just browsing (not in the market yet) any info on good subs and I am looking into the LV 12R. Do you have to run the so-called complicated room equalization software when you first connect it to the receiver, or it is like a plug and listen sub? The reason I asked is because I don't like to run any complicated room correction software for any sub!!! I listen to 2 channel stereo music currently with a Polk sub PSW 505 and the sub is fairly good and I am just wondering what significant improvement the LV 12R would make to the bass articulation. I like the musical bass to be clean, punchy and yet tight, without any boominess. I would use the sub 70%/30% for music and HT. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by ken88; 11-14-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    For music a non ported sub is the way to go. Take a look at the Martin Logan Dynamo 700 and 1000 or a used ML original dynamo. Others to consider are used Velodyne SPL subs Optima series, the newer velodyne EQ Max and the Rhytmik F12 which is sealed. I like Velodynes because the come with a remote control to change the settings.

    I have an Original Dynamo sub and it is very musical and integrates well with my Magnepans.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
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    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
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  10. #10
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
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    Great assesment and conclusion, I really like the info on why some subs are built for HT and others work well for music. Just like many on here, we have a seperate HT and 2ch setup due that the speakers that may work well for HT don't always cross over to great sounding speakers for music.
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  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken88 View Post
    I heard lots of good things about the Rythmik LV 12R and I am sure it is an excellent sub as you described. I am just browsing (not in the market yet) any info on good subs and I am looking into the LV 12R. Do you have to run the so-called complicated room equalization software when you first connect it to the receiver, or it is like a plug and listen sub? The reason I asked is because I don't like to run any complicated room correction software for any sub!!! I listen to 2 channel stereo music currently with a Polk sub PSW 505 and the sub is fairly good and I am just wondering what significant improvement the LV 12R would make to the bass articulation. I like the musical bass to be clean, punchy and yet tight, without any boominess. I would use the sub 70%/30% for music and HT. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    If you do not equalize the sub(whether through measurements in room and manual correction via a analog EQ) it will not sound very good at the seats. Subs MUST BE eq'd for the room. There is no way to properly calibrate it with the other speakers without doing so.

    Auto calibration and correction makes it easy, somewhat accurate(based on the system), and is an improvement(sort of) to doing it the old fashion way. It certainly saves time. It takes MultiEQ XT32 about 20 minutes to do everything, and it takes me a couple of hours to do it manually with measurements and analog EQ.
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  12. #12
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoveryone View Post
    Great assesment and conclusion, I really like the info on why some subs are built for HT and others work well for music. Just like many on here, we have a seperate HT and 2ch setup due that the speakers that may work well for HT don't always cross over to great sounding speakers for music.
    I have two separate multichannel system for my music and my HT, but not for the reasons you state.

    I choose to separate my systems because what works for HT is a compromise to music(in some small way) and visa versa for a music system on HT.

    Most movie soundtracks (Disney, Lionsgate, and some New Line are the exception) are mixed on highly directional front speakers, and a array of surround speakers. When you play multichannel music on this system, there are certain artistic mixes that will not work on this setup. 2L's Divertimento comes to mind. It is recorded with the instruments and musicians placed around a soundfield 5 channel microphone, and it designed to be played back on 5 identical speakers and a sub. When you play a movie on my 7.1 multichannel music system, some rear effects appear much too close to the ears than with my HT system. By creatively using the delay, you can overcome this problem, but to me that is just more processing that is not needed.
    Sir Terrence

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  13. #13
    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    For music a non ported sub is the way to go. Take a look at the Martin Logan Dynamo 700 and 1000 or a used ML original dynamo. Others to consider are used Velodyne SPL subs Optima series, the newer velodyne EQ Max and the Rhytmik F12 which is sealed. I like Velodynes because the come with a remote control to change the settings.

    I have an Original Dynamo sub and it is very musical and integrates well with my Magnepans.
    I challenge your assertion of ported subs verses non ported sub for music/home theater purposes. Go an audition an LV-12R. Like I said, this unit wil stand shoulder to shoulder with any sealed sub you want to throw at it. During some of the scenes in Iron Man, I actually heard pitch changes during some bass heavy explosive scenes. It wasn't compressing because I was not driving it hard at the time. Hearing that made me try it for music and its bass articulation never fails to impress me.

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