What does a subwoofer add to the music ?

gasolin

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What does a subwoofer add to the music ?

Shure more and deeper bass thats obvious,besides that what does a subwoofer add to the music ?

If i where to add a subwoofer to my system i wouldn't buy anything expensive, i don't want boomy bass that makes my shelf in my kitchen rattle (i wanna hear it more than feeling the bass)

I would like a little more extension (if i add a subwoofer to my system, more than bass in a car kind of bass) and more high end feeling as when listen to big floorstand speakers that has a clean deep bass without sounding boomy


No matter how loud i try to play, my tius ez don't make my shelf in my kitchen Shake, Rattle and Roll, they don't go depper then 57 hz at -3 db , -11-12db at 40hz so 40-45hz -3d shouldn't be difficult to acheive
 
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Many modern subwoofers chase depth, but in doing so they end up lacking in other areas. And that's regardless of price, so even those ridiculously heavy, fancy looking expensive things won't always cut it as they've been designed to extend the bass of large loudspeakers - it'll still sound like you're listening to a sub in the system.

The goal is to NOT sound like there's a sub in the system. The sub needs to be a natural extension of the loudspeaker, so when you're listening, it just sounds like you're listening to the speakers. If I were doing that at home, I'd look at some used Miller & Kreisel (original American ones, not the newer Danish ones post 2008) as they go pretty cheap now, and blend in extremely well with any loudspeaker, especially smaller standmounts. You'll naturally get more depth as most are designed to be flat to 20Hz in-room, and while you won't be bombarded with ridiculous amounts of bass, you will get a fast sounding, punchy bass, a sound more associated with a loudspeaker.
 
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elliswils

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OK, there are some on the Forum who say and or think I'm a bass head. Not true but I advocate for a sub on all systems whether it is in a car, bedroom or living space.

Loudness is not how to drive a sub or get the best out of it.

There is a lot of misconceptions about subs. They do fill out the music you hear and can make a good system sound fantastic but they can also make very little difference e.g., a bad recording, in this instance ones that did not bother to record bass very well or at all (most things recorded in the 1970s...) can't be saved! Also the amp driving the sub makes a huge difference and even high end amp outputs can struggle to bring the best out of the sub.

The first question is ported or sealed. IMHO ported are a little muddier and sealed units are tighter sounding but prone to rattle when either is driven hard but it is a matter of choice/preference. What music do listen to and how do you like it to sound?

I would recommend a completely manual set sub, no app driven room compensation etc. (this will draw some criticism) so you make the decisions and not AI. There is a ton of information on YouTube etc.

If you are going to invest in one (or two, I run 'stereo' subs on my main system), they should have a range at least into the low 30Hz at 3db and into the twenties if you can afford it.

There's a lot to chose from. I would strongly recommend you take your amp into the shop and try the different subs out using your amp and music you know well and can therefore use to judge how they sound.

WHF have a list of tracks to test a sub, or used to, I don't think I can post links here but one of the Moderators will point you in the right direction. I would recommend track 6, Fantasy by XXX from their first album and King Imagine Love Theme (on Bandcamp) to test the subs in the shop. I have a pay list on tracks that feature bass, and no not thumping crazy stuff (although I do have some of that too) so if you want other tracks I can offer some suggestions as many here can and will.

Most people who invest in a sub, never ever go back...

Enjoy!
 

Kenneth Fernandes

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A crossover management interface is all you need on the amp side. So, you could seamlessly extend the low frequencies from your main speakers to the sub-woofer with the right cut-off depending on the speaker's and sub-woofer's frequency response. Also, the volume on the sub-woofer can be individually adjusted to your liking and the track being played.
 

Integralista

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Hi Gasoline, pls share more info about your current setup, size of room, where are your booksherfs (are they bookshelfs?) placed (stands...)? Amp? Music preference.?I assume you use Triangle Titus EZ, am I right? BR. Juraj
 

gasolin

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First of all im not at all looking for an expensive subwoofer, if i would look for one it would be used although argon (danish) made a small 6" i would like to listen to for under 300 euros


Mission 778x ,Denon DCD-700ae,Denon DR-M33, Argon TT, Sommer Cable WOWLED 12 awg (micca ?) speaker cable and Triangle Esprit Titus EZ on isoacoustics stands

If i where to get one it's for nearfield BUT it doesn't have to be super loud, i don't think i ever got my titus ez to 100db at my listening position

Medium sized room, speakers are rated for no more than 20m2

Music

Sting,pink floyd,depeche mode,kraftwerk,pet shop boys,erasure,cilent circle,fancy,diana krall, bb king, george benson.

Michael jackson,santana,jimi hendrix,bob marley, metallica,iron maiden,black sabbath,ac/dc,u2,queen,dire strait,phil collins

Rolling stones,the beatles, ccr, abba,a-ha

Someone replied to an older subwoofer thread, then it just continued for a few replies and i wanted to ask a little more about a subwoofer

I think it's like going from a pair of dali oberon 1 to the 5's or from the 3 to the 7's in turns of bass, nothing crazy but noticeable

Also my question is: what a subwoofer would add to the music (when it's not surround bass. pa bass or bass in a car im asking,thinking about)
 
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podknocker

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The reason subs exist is because you cannot build a floorstander to dig out the very deepest bass sounds. I've heard my favourite tunes in HIFI shops with and without a sub and it's much more revealing with a sub and gives you more of what the band/artist recorded in the studio. I was really impressed and it is a more accurate reproduction of the music. The problem is many living rooms, including my own, are not big enough to allow a sub to strut its stuff and the lower registers can become overwhelming. Bass should underpin music, not dominate it. Also, living in a flat is not the best place to use a sub and it's a bit antisocial to have these things thumping out, disturbing others through the paper thin infrastructure. Bass can travel a long way and you can hear these things from miles away, particularly when there's a fair in the local park or a gig nearby. I find traffic noise annoying and bass sounds banging away are just as annoying.
 
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Stuart83

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A sub can add in the right kind of bass if it's missing and of course running it "properly" and seamless is best as it's usually there to add bass definition not over extend it.

I've had a few and never found their incorporation as good as a pair of large decent floorstanders without a sub as you mention.
Floorstanders that incorporate the lower end themselves always sound naturally better without overdoing things to me.

After a few swaps and changes arriving to fyne audio f502's which I love the sound of there is literally nothing for a sub to do.

I've found them useful in smaller systems that need the extra depth as in systems that dont its obviously taking away from the speakers natural set response and flavour.

A good pair of bookshelf speakers can have their lower frequencies extended to almost sound like the large full size floorstanders people are usually try to emulate with a decent sub set up right.
It's not hard just a little experimenting needed to get it how you want it.

I will say though, I find nothing wrong with those who like huge bass as a former part time djay (now it's just for fun) it's what people would turn up for.
Some kinds of music depend on deep air punching bass to be heard right and become much more enjoyable.

I used to run two subs the teenager way, just to rattle the windows when matching beats djaying but then I got into enjoying a purer more accurate representation of the music which (to me) took large floorstanders to achieve thus putting subwoofers to bed for me with my main hifi system.
(But that's a personal preference I much prefer 2 channel hifi)

But in another room with smaller QA 3050I which also don't really need a sub either with music there is an improvement with films where I find them most useful in terms of movie SFX.
 

abacus

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The sub should not be identified until it is turned off and you realise how much it was providing.
A sub will work with any speaker and if it doesn't, then you have not set it up correctly. (Subs are also ideal in small rooms as you can place it an ideal position to get round the standing waves)
Subs for Hi-Fi work with the speakers, whereas in Home Cinema they have their own dedicated channel.
Unless you are using a passive sub (Which are few and far between) there is no need to take your amp to the dealer, as subwoofers have their own dedicated amps built in.

Bill
 

Integralista

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Hi Gasoline,

First, positive infos: your Triangle speakers are very good. I use french speakers for 25 years (Leedh Audio, Triangle and Cabasse). Triangle Titus are small ones but very good ones. Also Mission 778x is solide musical amp comparable with Rega Brio except phono mm preamp which is better in Rega.
Than may be surprise for you: Triangle Titus are on so high sonic level, which is non conplementary with some cheap subwoofer. Triangle are very expresive, truth speaking and show any weakness in your system. But when paired correctly they will realky sing. I do not know Malmo sub 6. But I know in detail Rel, SVS, KEF and Velodyne subwoofers. I have tried some of them. Based only on sound quality, I have selected Velodyne SPL 800 Ultra. I have tried at home complete sortiment of Velodyne except DD, which are fenomenal but expensive😪. There was significant change in sound with each change I made regarding Subwoofers. SPL800 is extremely fast and dynamic. (LIKE Cabasse or Triangle speakers!) I use them two, one per each chanel. But my room in house is more than 40m². Such room consumes a lot of bass. Velodynes are very good. No step back for me. For your room and speakers I recommend a combination with smaller Velodyne or SVS, nothing worse. Or you are punished with fast airy mids and highs and slow and moody -boomy bass. This can sound awful. So pls. think twice and try to hear your selected sub at home. Good sub will improve every aspect of the sound: bass, mids, hights, imaging, transient speed...And your Mission 778x has solide preout, which I recommend to use with good sub, not high power input on sub from speakers or amp. Preamp here will sound better. Than pls use similar quality of RCA cable as for your CD player. And finaly vibration control: good isolation below sub is essential. I use granite plates below...🙂
 

Integralista

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Hi, do not make hadache from some magazine measurements. Same was valid for my old Leedh Flirt columns. In theory. In practise, when combined with very good vacuum tube pre/power sound was amazing. Friend with Dynaudio Contour speakers was crying after comparison. Back to topic: characteristic of Triangle on hights is just characteristic- just to avoid shouty transistor amp with aggresive hights. Not so difficult. Reg low frequency set up: your small bookshelfs play well above some 70-80 Hz, not lover. You need cut between sub and speakers around 80Hz, not lover. But this you do not see in this "specialist" german Stereo mag. The best at the end is to try several cut out frequencies, move in steps by 2-3Hz. And listen. Listen the same 2-3 songs. And compare by your ear. Also position of sub matter a lot. In my case, both subwoofers are close to main speakers. Distance speaker-ear is nearly same like with main speakers. Reg loudness, start from low values and go up till sound is full and coherent. For this you do not need any measurement mic. It needs only a bit of training. Regards.
 

gasolin

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Hi, do not make hadache from some magazine measurements. Same was valid for my old Leedh Flirt columns. In theory. In practise, when combined with very good vacuum tube pre/power sound was amazing. Friend with Dynaudio Contour speakers was crying after comparison. Back to topic: characteristic of Triangle on hights is just characteristic- just to avoid shouty transistor amp with aggresive hights. Not so difficult. Reg low frequency set up: your small bookshelfs play well above some 70-80 Hz, not lover. You need cut between sub and speakers around 80Hz, not lover. But this you do not see in this "specialist" german Stereo mag. The best at the end is to try several cut out frequencies, move in steps by 2-3Hz. And listen. Listen the same 2-3 songs. And compare by your ear. Also position of sub matter a lot. In my case, both subwoofers are close to main speakers. Distance speaker-ear is nearly same like with main speakers. Reg loudness, start from low values and go up till sound is full and coherent. For this you do not need any measurement mic. It needs only a bit of training. Regards.
You,i can do sub crawl or adjust the bass in volume so you just are able to hear it and then a half or hole notch down

what do you mean by this?

Not like a surround system or system as in hifi shows with sometime 3-4 meter distance to the speakers (or subwoofer)

Nearfiled like studio monitors or in a small recording studio, the sub doesn't have to play from half across a big room (or in a big room), max spl shouldn't be a problem
 

My2Cents

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You,i can do sub crawl or adjust the bass in volume so you just are able to hear it and then a half or hole notch down



Not like a surround system or system as in hifi shows with sometime 3-4 meter distance to the speakers (or subwoofer)

Nearfiled like studio monitors or in a small recording studio, the sub doesn't have to play from half across a big room (or in a big room), max spl shouldn't be a problem
Sub woofers are about 'feeling' the sound.
They are not typically designed as 'subtle bass enhancers'. They became popular with the advent of home theater, movie 'rumble' and EDM bass heavy type music.

'Dialing one in' to be 'subtle' is almost impossible and one would probably do better just purchasing some other speakers.
Sub woofers are designed to be onmi directional/mono devices that can be placed anywhere in the room and therefore are not 'near field' devices.
Even in a studio/mixing room they get switched on and off a lot... often used to simply 'check that the bass is OK' (unless one is mixing 5.1, 7.1, Dolby Atmos, Rap, EDM, House etc.).
I think that you are barking up the wrong tree.
I very rarely use my sub anymore as my floorstanders (in a treated room) produce plenty of tight, clean bass when listening to the likes of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure etc.
The sub (even when set to 'very subtle' mode) just adds a low layer of bbuuumphhh ..... that does nothing to enhance the music.
 
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gasolin

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I know they are directional/mono devices but have to be 80hz or lower (crossover), not like you typical cheap pc speaker with tiny front,main speakers that can't play any deep voices and therefor the sub also has to play some of the midrange

Nearfield is usage close to where you sit, not far away form the listning position