"This speaker doesn't need a subwoofer". And why it does.

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HifiEnthusiast

Active member
May 16, 2021
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Last week I met briefly with the REL team who were doing demo’s at my dealers store, a very expensive speaker set-up was demo’d with and without a sub, and then a pair of subs, the difference was very noticeable.

I have to say I am a convert and will add one (or two) to my system in due course.
Welcome to the club! Which speakers was it? Some large floorstanding or just bookshelfs?
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
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Welcome to the club! Which speakers was it? Some large floorstanding or just bookshelfs?
The store had some big ATC stand mount speakers on small stands plus some KEF reference speakers and 3 REL subs dotted around the room, the subs were connected one at a time so that you could hear the changes.

I was told which subs were being used but to be honest I have forgotten, the only number I remember was that the recommendation was to get a REL 5 as it would work very well with the ATC SCM 7’s I have on order.
 
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AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
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I have decided to use my 2.1 Harman Kardon receiver for the second setup at the master bedroom with Madison bookshelves. It connects the dots really well and the HK with dedicated output handles the sub better than the Denon from the 90s, much tighter.

Weird thing with my old LCD TV is that it surprisingly has a sub and rca output too. But it apparently only works when the feeding input is the scart connector.

Or it is just plain damaged.
 

AndyCC72

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2021
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Just wanted to add that in my opinion adding a sub ( or two) is NOT like a loudness button because you are adding low frequencies that your speakers are not capable of! It adds an extra octave at the bottom of music and that is why you enjoy it more. Also at low levels ALL equipment needs a lift in the bass because of our hearing…
Totally agree, adding my two Rel T5I’s with my LS50’s improved the system no end. Improvement at lower volume levels was one of the biggest advantages.
 
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MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
adding low frequencies that your speakers are not capable of! It adds an extra octave at the bottom of music
Something is better than nothing however ideally the potential of a subwoofer/s should not wasted. As much if not all of the bottom two octaves should be unburdened of the mains and this LF burden passed on to a subwoofer/s to deal with. This will reduce distortion in the mains as the subwoofer/s will do a much better job in this range.
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
room size, listening tastes and a whole lot more. Mine produce bass that's felt as much as heard even in a large room, so I'm out.
It's not that the loudspeakers don't need a subwoofer it's more a case of a system as a whole benefiting from an effectively aligned, calibrated and dialled in subwoofer/s.

Even systems which have large high sensitivity loudspeakers can benefit from a subwoofer/s.

A subwoofer is the most important component.

eg. Tannoy Arden Legacy loudspeakers with dual JL Audio E-112 subwoofers -

jl audio tannoy e112 pic..jpg
 
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AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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What I especially like is how a good sub handles the dynamics of an upright bass together with a good main speaker in Jazz. It just gives a bit more floor and a slightly deeper sense of presence.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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It's not that the loudspeakers don't need a subwoofer it's more a case of a system as a whole benefiting from an effectively aligned, calibrated and dialled in subwoofer/s.

Even systems which have large high sensitivity loudspeakers can benefit from a subwoofer/s.

A subwoofer is the most important component.

eg. Tannoy Arden Legacy loudspeakers with dual JL Audio E-112 subwoofers -

View attachment 2464
Absolutely! Point about setup is the most pertinent here. Hence why I may come across as anti sub, since most will not take enough care to setup properly.

Also... which Tannoy speakers don't need a sub? 😂
 

AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
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If there is something wrong in a good setup, it is usually in the recording or mix.

Practical examples:

An interview on tv in a small non treated room where the space an mic distance creates an ackward unwanted layer which can easily be altered in post.

Some music is kind of designed for the use without sub as they are mixed to kind of make normal speakers pump. Then a sub only adds another huge rock. Not really my cup of tea, but fortunately these tracks are rare.
 

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