Adding a subwoofer to two channel music system

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WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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Hi Doug, not still not arrived. Post seems to be crawling at the moment.
Certainly is. NHS sent me out a screening appointment dated 30th November... I got it on the 30th December, the actual appt. was for 8th December! Seeing I had missed that appt. they sent another one out on the 12th December which arrived on the 31st December, that appt. was for the 23rd December! You couldn't make it up :D
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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Certainly is. NHS sent me out a screening appointment dated 30th November... I got it on the 30th December, the actual appt. was for 8th December! Seeing I had missed that appt. they sent another one out on the 12th December which arrived on the 31st December, that appt. was for the 23rd December! You couldn't make it up :D
Ok they've arrived. Just after I called Analogue Seduction for a tracking reference. First impressions are a bit mixed. At the moment, I'm getting the impression that they definitely do their job of attenuating volume but I'm not sure that they aren't strangling the sound a bit. I've got a crude db app on my phone so I suppose a pretty basic test would be to try and compare the sound at the same spl. I'll tell you how I get on.
 

WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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Ok they've arrived. Just after I called Analogue Seduction for a tracking reference. First impressions are a bit mixed. At the moment, I'm getting the impression that they definitely do their job of attenuating volume but I'm not sure that they aren't strangling the sound a bit. I've got a crude db app on my phone so I suppose a pretty basic test would be to try and compare the sound at the same spl. I'll tell you how I get on.
(y) I never found them anything other than completely transparent. The resistors used in these are selectively matched pairs.
 

robdmarsh

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I'm sure you're right, it's probably a psychosomatic thing. When you move what you would normally hear at a certain point on the volume dial it does strange things to your brain. I suppose it would pretty easy to do a blind test with this using a blindfold and another person. I might just do that for the fun of it.;)
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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I've read about the benefits of adding a sub for music (not really interested in home theatre tbh) but up until recently had been skeptical. However, I know they can be small and discreet and still make quite a difference. What are people's thoughts bearing in mind I have an amp with no sub out (but it does have 2 pairs of speaker binding posts)? Thinking about something like Rel t5i (budget £350 ish).
A sub for stereo sound is definitely a plus. I own them for two systems.

In my living I have configured it to extend just below the lower roll off frequencies of my main speakers, so it can scoop up everything below that point. Here it is really a 'lazy sub' since my main speakers cover quite a bit, but It definitely adds a dimension to everything at the bottom frequencies in movies and 'some' music.

In the master bedroom I have a sub to generate slightly more presence at the lowest frequencies the main speakers handle. It feels like one system, it is not noticeable in the sense of 'there is a sub', quite pleasant for listening.
 
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WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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I'm sure you're right, it's probably a psychosomatic thing. When you move what you would normally hear at a certain point on the volume dial it does strange things to your brain. I suppose it would pretty easy to do a blind test with this using a blindfold and another person. I might just do that for the fun of it.;)
Could be brain/eye tricks. I did try cheaper versions before the Rothwell's which definitely changed the sound, hopefully Rothwell quality is still as good as it was.
 

WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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I notice by the way you're not a subwoofer man. Have you ever had a sub in your system?
No, never, Rob. I've had floostanders and whilst I may miss the visceral chest thumping bass I find my current speakers play better with my room. Not something I would completely rule out in the future, but room treatment may be required.
I do have a sub with my cheap Pannie surround sound.
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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No, never, Rob. I've had floostanders and whilst I may miss the visceral chest thumping bass I find my current speakers play better with my room. Not something I would completely rule out in the future, but room treatment may be required.
I do have a sub with my cheap Pannie surround sound.
up to 40hz – really deep bass. 40–60hz – deep and punchy. 60–80hz – low punch. 80–120hz – high punch.

Getting a 'kick' from bass or a 'chest thumping bass' is probably more a quest into the mid and upper bass frequencies of a loudspeaker woofer, and less in a sub. If an example of a song that should deliver what's subjectively described can be given, it might make things more clear to also deliver in that region.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Wharfedale arrived today, along with a Denon PMA-6000ne. Took all of ten mins to install, did a sweep test track (there's a countdown track on Spotify and qobuz) so I knew my Elacs were OK to 45Hz thanks to a big room resonance. Set the sub the 1/3 volume and the lowest pass filter, so it's only working under the main speakers. The room and the sub are dead below 30Hz, nothing properly audible (my hearing is fine, can easily hear to 20Hz on my headphones, and could with previous JR sub. It adds a bit of grunt on bass heavy tracks, it would be good for organ music if that's your bag. For £130 it's a keeper.
 
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SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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up to 40hz – really deep bass. 40–60hz – deep and punchy. 60–80hz – low punch. 80–120hz – high punch.

Getting a 'kick' from bass or a 'chest thumping bass' is probably more a quest into the mid and upper bass frequencies of a loudspeaker woofer, and less in a sub. If an example of a song that should deliver what's subjectively described can be given, it might make things more clear to also deliver in that region.
I'd suggest that the frequency of a kickdrum to feel it in your chest is as much due to sub 40Hz too. You need a big driver to generate those kinds of SPL at those frequencies, I've only ever felt it at live gigs. The heart beat on the opening track of Breathe on dark side is a good test. I tried out my JL sub using it, and disconnecting the main speakers, there wasn't much of a difference tbh, most 9f the volume was being provided by the sub, not the main speaker. Bottom E on a bass guitar is 42Hz, not many home audio systems can replicate the punch of the bottom end of a bass that you'd feel stood in front of a 500W Ampeg!
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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I'd suggest that the frequency of a kickdrum to feel it in your chest is as much due to sub 40Hz too. You need a big driver to generate those kinds of SPL at those frequencies, I've only ever felt it at live gigs. The heart beat on the opening track of Breathe on dark side is a good test. I tried out my JL sub using it, and disconnecting the main speakers, there wasn't much of a difference tbh, most 9f the volume was being provided by the sub, not the main speaker. Bottom E on a bass guitar is 42Hz, not many home audio systems can replicate the punch of the bottom end of a bass that you'd feel stood in front of a 500W Ampeg!
It would be really hard to replicate the feel of a live performance at home due to the high db levels to which volume and impact play a huge role in feeling the variations of frequencies besides hearing them, also the array of speakers and various source points contribute. The highest reachable compromise is getting some of that illusion in another way. Think about speakers which highlight certain frequencies, not necessarily having a flat response. Maybe even think about seat-kickers to feel the bass like in cinemas but it might be a little uncanny.

Andrew Robinson has reviewed a pair of Magnat speakers which seem to bring kind of that illusion and perform really well with certain rock concert recordings. He mentioned them as speakers he would have built when he would have the freedom to do so. I would personally also add projection rearwards so it wil sound a bit more 3D if only for this illusion.The set might be a tip, but given its character it is probably not that allround and might be disappointing in other genres like singer / songwriter, jazz or anything else.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTW1xsE1ey8
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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I'd suggest that the frequency of a kickdrum to feel it in your chest is as much due to sub 40Hz too. You need a big driver to generate those kinds of SPL at those frequencies, I've only ever felt it at live gigs. The heart beat on the opening track of Breathe on dark side is a good test. I tried out my JL sub using it, and disconnecting the main speakers, there wasn't much of a difference tbh, most 9f the volume was being provided by the sub, not the main speaker. Bottom E on a bass guitar is 42Hz, not many home audio systems can replicate the punch of the bottom end of a bass that you'd feel stood in front of a 500W Ampeg!
You said you had Rel before and it was a nightmare to set up. How was it a nightmare and did you give up?
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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Mine are far enough away not to be annoyed :)
Bass does not necessarily mean louder volumes.....
let's change locations

Mine are not annoyed, or at least.. never heard any complaints for multiple years. Homes are well sound isolated. Maybe I shouldn't ask them as well, a minor factor of tolerance on two sides is probably at play. Altough.. nah, just kidding, don't play really that loud. :)

His comment about feeling the bass was more of a thing here. When bass creates or should create 'feelable' pressure it is most likely quite at some level.

I almost never listen to the harder styles of rock or dance music at high levels, mostly jazz, singer songwriter stuff. A walking bass line in Jazz is slightly a different thing. A little support with a sub is still great for that.
 
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SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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You said you had Rel before and it was a nightmare to set up. How was it a nightmare and did you give up?
Search for subwoofer crawl. It will explain the process of setting up a sub so that it in phase with the main speakers, my mistake and poor memory, it was a JL Acoustics sub I had, which had an infinitely variable phase adjustment. Then setting up crossover and volume, all of which I was doing by ear. As soon as you move anything, you've got to repeat the process. I didn't give up, because I'd invested so much money in the system, and when it was done it sounded awesome.
That said, now that I've rearranged my room, it's quite different. The Elacs go pretty deep anyway and there's a noticeable boost around 45Hz from the room. The wharfedale sub seems to work OK at its lowest crossover setting, and about 1/3 volume, and the phase switch set to 0°. I'm really impressed with the system, it seems to continue to surprise me how big it sounds, whereas in the past I've had more expensive systems that were slightly underwhelming. The Elacs are well known, but this entry level Denon punches well above its weight.
 

robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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Search for subwoofer crawl. It will explain the process of setting up a sub so that it in phase with the main speakers, my mistake and poor memory, it was a JL Acoustics sub I had, which had an infinitely variable phase adjustment. Then setting up crossover and volume, all of which I was doing by ear. As soon as you move anything, you've got to repeat the process. I didn't give up, because I'd invested so much money in the system, and when it was done it sounded awesome.
That said, now that I've rearranged my room, it's quite different. The Elacs go pretty deep anyway and there's a noticeable boost around 45Hz from the room. The wharfedale sub seems to work OK at its lowest crossover setting, and about 1/3 volume, and the phase switch set to 0°. I'm really impressed with the system, it seems to continue to surprise me how big it sounds, whereas in the past I've had more expensive systems that were slightly underwhelming. The Elacs are well known, but this entry level Denon punches well above its weight.
I love my 800ne. Which Elac speakers do you have? I think Elac speakers are great.
 

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