Used sub that fits my needs?

john_dikeman

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Dec 9, 2015
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Hello all!

I'm new here and I'm curious if anyone has suggestions for a subwoofer that would fit my situation.
Ideally I'd rather get something used, perhaps an old model, that I could pick up locally, ie Belgium or Netherlands.

I am currently running Focal Aria 906 speakers with an Arcam A18 FMJ integrated amplifier. It's a relatively small room and I think, because of my girlfriend, I can basically only put it in the corner. These speakers sound very good down to around 55hz. I believe... I guess I haven't measured them. But the bass sounds quite good already.

I'm looking for something with good sound quality above all else. Don't need huge, slamming bass. I listen to a lot of jazz and classical, but also hip hop, funk, a bit of everything. But in all cases, accurate, musical bass is what I'm looking for.

I've been snooping around for some older JM Lab/Focal subwoofers thinking that might fit the bill but curious if anyone else had suggestions. Those show up between 100-300 euros fairly often around here.

Any suggestions are most welcome.
 

john_dikeman

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Dec 9, 2015
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Thanks for the info.

To be honest, I'm such a NOOB I don't understand too much of that. Other than it does look like there's a decent output down to around 55 - 60 hz.... (?) But my main point is that these are decent speakers that sound great quite low, so I don't need a sub that is focused on 60 hz and up. I could imagine some surround sound systems are like that...?

But I'm here to learn! Any suggestions for a sub based on that data, fire away!
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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Hello all!

I'm new here and I'm curious if anyone has suggestions for a subwoofer that would fit my situation.
Ideally I'd rather get something used, perhaps an old model, that I could pick up locally, ie Belgium or Netherlands.

I am currently running Focal Aria 906 speakers with an Arcam A18 FMJ integrated amplifier. It's a relatively small room and I think, because of my girlfriend, I can basically only put it in the corner. These speakers sound very good down to around 55hz. I believe... I guess I haven't measured them. But the bass sounds quite good already.

I'm looking for something with good sound quality above all else. Don't need huge, slamming bass. I listen to a lot of jazz and classical, but also hip hop, funk, a bit of everything. But in all cases, accurate, musical bass is what I'm looking for.

I've been snooping around for some older JM Lab/Focal subwoofers thinking that might fit the bill but curious if anyone else had suggestions. Those show up between 100-300 euros fairly often around here.

Any suggestions are most welcome.
I would also suggest a small REL subwoofer...either the T-Zero or T 5i. They are known for being musical....👍
 

john_dikeman

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Dec 9, 2015
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For instance I see a Focal Electra SW 900 for around 500 euros nearby. I could maybe get it a bit cheaper. Or should I just go for a SVS SB1000?
I've been reading very good things about those.
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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737
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For instance I see a Focal Electra SW 900 for around 500 euros nearby. I could maybe get it a bit cheaper. Or should I just go for a SVS SB1000?
I've been reading very good things about those.
They are both excellent products which I am sure you will be happy with. Remember the sub is only giving you 'sub bass' from say 25Hz to 55Hz... so you will feel it as much as hear it. For music (as opposed to home cinema) then you should not go over the top. Less is more......🙂
 
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john_dikeman

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Dec 9, 2015
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They are both excellent products which I am sure you will be happy with. Remember the sub is only giving you 'sub bass' from say 25Hz to 55Hz... so you will feel it as much as hear it. For music (as opposed to home cinema) then you should not go over the top. Less is more......🙂
In that case should I be looking at even cheaper options? I wouldn't be upset if I spent closer to 100. Not upset at all.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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What about a REL Quake Mark 2? I see that locally for 200...
That is an older design but an excellent one... and if in good condition it would be ideal!
Here is one guy's opinion....

 

john_dikeman

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Dec 9, 2015
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Noob question about the Quake.

I see it only has a mono RCA input. The Arcam amp I have doesn't have a dedicated sub out, only a stereo pre-amp out. If I just connect the left to the Quake will it default to a mono signal?
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Noob question about the Quake.

I see it only has a mono RCA input. The Arcam amp I have doesn't have a dedicated sub out, only a stereo pre-amp out. If I just connect the left to the Quake will it default to a mono signal?
Good question. The LFE input is for home cinema use only.
You can buy a 'splitter' cable with 2 RCA connections on one end and a single RCA on the other. Connect the two to the pre amp outs and the single to the sub. Check on Amazon....
Although on many recordings low bass is actually mixed as mono it is probably better to use both pre outs so you get the correct voltage level...especially if the sub turns on automatically when it senses an audio signal.
If you use the high level input, you actually connect to the speaker terminals of your amp. This is REL's preferred connection method.
 
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john_dikeman

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OK, I checked the manual for the Quake...

It says this:
The high level, unbalanced, dual channel (stereo) input is via a Neutrik Speakon connector which is
connected to the power amplifier’s left and right channel speaker terminals. This has the advantage
of ensuring that the REL receives exactly the same signal as the main speakers. This means that the
character of the bass from the main system is carried forward into the sub-bass. This is a very
important point and together with the REL’s Active Bass Controller (ABC), ensures far superior
system integration of the sub-bass with the main system.

So I would need to get a cable that connects via the speaker terminals of the amp and terminates in a Neturik Speakon connector. Then I'd have this and the speaker wires plugged in via the same terminals in the amp. Is that right? Would that not effect how much power is being sent to my speakers?
 
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Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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737
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OK, I checked the manual for the Quake...

It says this:
The high level, unbalanced, dual channel (stereo) input is via a Neutrik Speakon connector which is
connected to the power amplifier’s left and right channel speaker terminals. This has the advantage
of ensuring that the REL receives exactly the same signal as the main speakers. This means that the
character of the bass from the main system is carried forward into the sub-bass. This is a very
important point and together with the REL’s Active Bass Controller (ABC), ensures far superior
system integration of the sub-bass with the main system.

So I would need to get a cable that connects via the speaker terminals of the amp and terminates in a Neturik Speakon connector. Then I'd have this and the speaker wires plugged in via the same terminals in the amp. Is that right? Would that not effect how much power is being sent to my speakers?
That is correct. The correct cable with Speakon connector is supplied with the sub...make sure it is included! It will not affect the power to your speakers because the sub input is such a high impedance it presents no extra load on the amplifier. 👍
 
Thanks for the info.

To be honest, I'm such a NOOB I don't understand too much of that. Other than it does look like there's a decent output down to around 55 - 60 hz.... (?) But my main point is that these are decent speakers that sound great quite low, so I don't need a sub that is focused on 60 hz and up. I could imagine some surround sound systems are like that...?

But I'm here to learn! Any suggestions for a sub based on that data, fire away!
The use of a subwoofer is of paramount importance because with all things being equal a subwoofer is the most important component. I believe to achieve 'realism' requires power and even if the mains go down to 20Hz a subwoofer should still be incorporated because in my experience a subwoofer can inject power into and energise a system like no other component can.

For eg. picture below shows Bowers & Wilkins 802D2's which are perfectly capable of good quality deep low frequencies. However this system features a pair of JL Audio Fathom f112 v2 subwoofers are in use with a crossover point to the main speakers set at 80Hz, so the 802D2 speakers are relieved of the need to produce deep bass. It’s a good starting point as it relieves the main speakers of the bottom two octaves (20Hz - 40Hz and 40Hz - 80Hz) which lowers distortion in the main speakers. The Fathom f112 v2's do a much better job in this region. As a result the system is more transparent and dynamic from bottom to top, at low volumes as well as at higher volumes and the space in the original recording is much better defined than the 802D2's's on their own.

1640900632431.png

Bottom line is don’t waste the potential of your sub/s by using a low or lowish crossover point. Try and unburden the mains of the of fq ‘s up to 80Hz and preferably and ideally have the sub/s work just above at a point of 90Hz. If the amp, pre amp or the sub/s don’t offer high low pass filter then look at utilising an external crossover.

Once all the pieces are in place the goal then is to effectively align/calibrate/dial in a subwoofer so that the subwoofer integrates seamlessly with the mains and disappears into the soundstage with a deep, sharp, tight fisted, fast and powerful punchy sub bass.
 
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john_dikeman

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Dec 9, 2015
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Thanks for all the info!
So, I'd actually pulled the trigger on the Rel Quake, was supposed to pick it up Wednesday, and the seller wrote and said when he turned it up loud there was a weird hum. So I cancelled that sale.
What's still around that I'm considering:

BK XLS200
BK XLS300, slightly out of my price range
another Rel Quake
Rel Q150

Musicraft: I saw a video on the ol youtube recently that said you could use a capacitor to make a high pass filter for speakers. You know anything about that?
 
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