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  1. #1
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Dreaming of a Sub

    It's been a few weeks since I've seen someone ask for subwoofer recommendations. I'm dreaming of getting one again. Maybe itís time to start researching for real.

    My priority is musicality, not volume. And to be honest, I doubt I need (or can afford) real low extension. Iím dreaming of something to pair with Studio 20ís for music. Primarily for Jazz and Classical. Iím much less critical for listening in other genres, and I really donít care if I Ďfeelí the base hit my chest during movies. I want to be able to hear the string bass, not the cannons. But, I want the string base to sound like a string base.

    So, a 10Ē sealed sub, target price $400-500? Iíd consider used but it would have to be in good shape. Iíd consider a kit if it were easy. What should I investigate? I have little listening experience with subs. Is there significant musicality to be gained by saving up more $$ first (with the Studioís as a reference point)?

    The others : Studio 20ís, Studio CC-470, Titans (rear).

  2. #2
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    I'm similarly situated (have Studio 20's, CC-470 & SA-10R's and am looking for a musical sub in that price range). The following are on my short list: Onix Rocket ULW-10 - new $499; Onix Rocket UFW-10 B-stock - ~$399 and Dayton 10" Titanic MKIII - new $500 assembled / $350 kit. Another which has captured my interest is Martin Logan's relatively new Dynamo; it's a little more money though at $599. All are sealed and are reputed to be "musical." The ULW-10 has the inside track, so far.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Here ya go: happy bidding...
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=5779127794
    If you could get this for $500 you'd be stealing it. I have not heard a better sub that didn't need building from the ground up for only $500.
    There's a 15" Titanic as well.

    I built one for my folks last year and I was surprised when destroyed my Paradigm PW-2200. It slightly outperformed the Paradigm for movies, despite not going quite as low on paper, it just performed better in room..(wasn't as boomy either, but room placement might have been the cause to be fair to the PW-2200). For music, it wasn't even close, the Titanic is just a superior unit, much cleaner, sharper, faster attack. You'd easily be paying $1000 or more for a sub of this calibre.

    A few months back I would have recommended the Adire Rava as well, but they've climbed a bit in price. Might be able to find one used though...
    If you know where to find a 2.5 to 3.5 cubic foot cabinet I could recommend an even better, and much cheaper 15" woofer. It's quite large though.

    Jasmit: I haven't heard the Onix subs, but I really have to recommend against the 10" Dayton Titanic if you're going to use it for home theater. It'll sound really good in a stereo setup taking over the bass as it's very musical, but it won't go quite as low as many other $350-$400 subs out there, and for double duty with home theater, I'm not a big fan of it. Splurge for the 12" if you can, it's a much, much better unit.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    When I added a sub, the biggest improvement that it made to my system was with acoustic music. It allowed my system to better render the full range of the instruments. The extra punch with bass heavy music, and action pics was an added bonus.

    I use a 12" sealed sub (the Adire Audio Rava) that used to sell for $400, but was recently replaced by a model that lists for double that. The street prices for the Rava II have not come out yet (I would guess that the street price will be somewhere closer to $600, but that's totally speculation on my part), and Adire's retailers have not yet taken delivery on the units yet. You might be able to find used Ravas on ebay or Audiogon.

    Another advantage of using a sub is that you have much more placement flexibility, and can better work around any acoustical problems. The main speakers are rarely located where you hear the most balanced bass at the listening position. A subwoofer allows you to position the unit for maximum bass reinforcement or where it has the least pronounced acoustical problems.

    If you have a small to medium sized room, then sealed subs generally work better with the room's boundary reinforcement, which tends to amplify the lower bass frequencies. This occurs because sealed subs have a more gradual rolloff at the low end, and this rolloff drops at roughly the same rate as the gain at the low end caused by the room. In smaller rooms, this results in a more even and fuller sounding bass.

    No matter what you do, I'll make my usual recommendation to also get a parametric equalizer with your sub. With bass, the type of sound that you get depends every bit as much on the room as the sub itself. A parametric equalizer allows you to correct for room induced problems like large peaks at specific frequencies that make the entire bass range sound excessively boomy. The lowest priced parametric EQ out there is the Behringer Feedback Destroyer. Do a search on the forum for previous threads discussing how to use the BFD.

    In addition to the aforementioned subs, other sealed models that you should look out for include B&W's 10" ASW600 ($500) and 12" ASW650 ($700), and Atlantic Technology's 12" 422 SB ($600) and 10" 212 SB ($400). Another mail order model that you should consider is Acoustic Visions' 10" MRS-10 ($450), which supposedly has equivalent performance to the Adire Rava in a smaller downfiring design. (see review below)

    http://www.acoustic-visions.com/~aco...ed/mrs10.shtml

    I recently heard the 10" Martin Logan Dynamo, and it does have a decent musicality to it, but in the demo room where I listened to it, the unit did not quite have the same depth that my sub at home has. But, the box is very compact and it has a listenable sound that seems like it would fit easily integrate with a pair of Studio 20s.

  5. #5
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    A couple other odd questions while I start researching... My room is about 20X13ft, kind of a loft arrangement with the left long wall open. Viewing is along the long axis. Spousal approval factor would dictate an invisible sub, but I haven't found one in this universe, yet. The next level of compromise would be to locate the sub behind the listener (~6 ft behind) with the mains about 12 ft in front. This wouldn't be bad because then a larger sub is more doable. Theoretically, you don't locate low frequencies well. But, this seems a little extreme. My receiver has a LFE cutoff at 90Hz. What do you think about that placement?

    Second, I've actively avoided learning about subs for fear that I'd spend money I didn't have…So, I'm not clear on how they get hooked up. I believe, the LFE out on receiver (Yamaha V800) is only active with DD or DTS. How would one connect for 2-channel + HT? Do the Main signals go to the sub and then back out? Will the sub switch inputs?
    Last edited by noddin0ff; 06-07-2005 at 07:10 PM.

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    Theoretically, you don't locate low frequencies well. But, this seems a little extreme. My receiver has a LFE cutoff at 90Hz. What do you think about that placement?
    I'm starting to flip-flop on this sub 90 Hz frequency localization thing. I've helped setup 3 systems in the last week, all crossed over below 80 Hz. Yet we can clearly hear the location of the sub at times. Didn't matter where we put it. When behind the sofa, it was immediately noticeable with music, not so much with ht. I don't know if it's a volume mismatch of just a few dB's because of reflection, harmonics in the localized range that your ear is picking up, or what, but even down at 50 Hz or so we were placing the sub. At first I thought it was the Velodyne's fault, but the same experience with a B&W and PSB subs too. I've always just stuck my subs in between my mains, and never really had a problem, but right now my sub is off on one side...I have it crossed below 60 Hz and I don't hear it, but my room or placement might be the reason why...some experimentation in your room will likely be required.

    You'll have to decide though, is it really worth it to you to have the sub in the most inconvenient place in the room just because you don't want to be able to localize it? Depending on your spouse, it might be easier to just live with it....
    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    Second, I've actively avoided learning about subs for fear that I'd spend money I didn’t have…So, I'm not clear on how they get hooked up. I believe, the LFE out on receiver (Yamaha V800) is only active with DD or DTS. How would one connect for 2-channel + HT? Do the Main signals go to the sub and then back out? Will the sub switch inputs?
    On my old RX-V795a, the low frequencies were still fed to the sub for music unless I turned all processing off as I recall. You might not find it's quite as loud as the dedicated .1 channel fro DD or DTS, but it's still there.

  7. #7
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    What would be a decent primer on the web for sub-placement and calibration?

    Avia vs VE? ...for audio set up

    Thanks for the excellent advice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    What would be a decent primer on the web for sub-placement and calibration?

    Avia vs VE? ...for audio set up

    Thanks for the excellent advice.
    I'm in the minority here I think, but I actually prefer the VE disc. Not that both are all that great for audio, but I just found it to be a better package. Either will do what you need.

    For a primer on sub-placement and calibration...Don't have any links off the top of my head, but you should do a few searches here on sub placement and the Behringer Feedback Destroyer (or BFD).
    If you can't find anything searching (we've discussed this a bunch in the past, I know it's there somewhere) hopefully Wooch or someone can redirect you.

    For placement, the best trick I've heard of to date is quite easy. Place your subwoofer at your normal listening position and play some bass intensive music (not just punchy techno). You could also use test-tone sweeps, but I prefer music so you can compare it to the rest of the audio spectrum too. Then walk around your room listening to where the sub sounds the best. Place the sub at that location...

  9. #9
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    noddinoff- i see your bidding on the partsexpress sub on ebay. good luck! i think it's a great deal if you get it under $475!!

  10. #10
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Darn! I hope one of you got it. This was my first attempt at eBay. Some furious last minute, penny ante going on. I mistyped with 10 seconds left and lost. At least I didn't bid $36,000 by accident. Must have been the adrenaline. Winning bid at $356. Ah well, it was exciting. Thanks for the heads up Kex! Maybe next time.

    On the plus side, I now don't have to explain to my wife why there's going to be a large and mysteriously heavy box showing up at the door.

  11. #11
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    I know what you mean about the Ebay excitement! I still have some Def Tech PM100s sitting unused on my end table in the living room because I was just curious to see how much the bidder above was willing to spend. I still got it for a great price ($100 and list is $350), but have no use for them right now.

    The $356 on the 12" MKIII is a pretty darn good price. I wonder how often Parts Express puts their kits on Ebay- I'll have to keep an eye out.

  12. #12
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    I hate to disappoint but

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z
    I wonder how often Parts Express puts their kits on Ebay- I'll have to keep an eye out.
    Not very often, I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen any of the Titanic kits up on auction and I've been watching for over a year since I built my folks the 12" version.
    Very low return rate on those.

    However, the do have display/demo units and send some out for reviews etc, so keep watching.
    You have greater likelihood of seeing just the woofer/amps on special.

    Speaking of which, MCM electronics has a 250 watt plate amp on for $50 right now...match that with the 12" Titanic, or better still, the 15" Dayton Quatro and you're set.

  13. #13
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Looks like I get another chance to test my mettle on ebay!

    So...everything I've read says great things about this sub (Titanic 12" kit). Just out of curiosity, What does one get for more $$ in the world of subs. Veneer? I never paid attention to the finer aspects of sub sonics. If I can pass on lower and louder, is there anything to be gained with an imaginarily larger wallet? The Dayton 12" is among the more expensive from PE. Don't know much about the amps. What makes a tight, musical sub tight and musical (restricting dicussion, of course, to sealed subs only)?

    Any comments to preemptively alleviate buyer's guilt appreciated!

  14. #14
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    do yourself a favor and at least look at the triad silver sub. 12" sealed cabinet, great amp, and easily the best integrating sub i've ever heard...I'm a music FANATIC and I don't want a sub that sounds "boomy". I want it to integrate to my speakers perfectly and portray a depth to the music, not just add low end.

    This sub Should be VERY high on your audition list.

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