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BK XLS200 DF MkII - mini review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by andyvvc, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. andyvvc

    andyvvc Member

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    Righty then. I've only had this for about a week, and i suspect the unit is far from broken-in yet (maybe had about 20 hours of play from it so far - mainly movies)

    I have to say i was disappointed at first. My old Wharf SW150 seemed to be just as powerful as the BK when i first hooked the XLS200 up. However, after a few hours of getting the speaker broken in a little (and tweaking the settings/gain etc) the BK seems to be getting a lot better.

    I've left it on the old SW150's granite plinth, but mounted the spikes onto the underside of the BK. It didnt take much to adjust the spikes - the unit is now very stable.

    I have re-run the YMPAO setup mic on my Yamaha amp, and this ended up setting the sub quite low compared to the wharf 10.7 fronts. So this was the first thing i had to alter. I've set the sub to the same level on the amp as my centre speaker, and have then increased the gain on the sub until it produces a louder thud than the 10.7s (with LFE set to BOTH on the amp). Ive then set the LFE to SUB only, and think im in a good starting place - gain on the sub is about 2/3 of the way up (its competing with the 10.7s bass capabilities which drop to 30Hz so they are pretty damn good).

    After watching a few more movies, i have to say i am very impressed with the BK. It has taken quite a bit of fiddling to set it up, and still isn't broken in yet. But despite this, the sub seems to create a less boomy, far tighter bass note than he old SW150 did. Blu Ray with HD Audio seems the most impressive - some of the bass notes that get hit are loud but my ears aren't hearing any boomyness - just a nice, solid bass note that clearly drops lower than the 10.7s or even my last sub.

    It's early days (and i still dont fully understand the 'phase' knob!) but im really beginning to enjoy the XLS200. At only 2/3 gain (with my main speaker volume waaaay quieter than reference levels) the sub still impresses. Once i have given it some more time to bed-in i will increase the levels and see how much plasterwork damage it can cause :thumbsup:
  2. kempez

    kempez Active Member

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    What size room do you have? 2/3 is quite high on the XLS200, mine isn't even at 1/2 and produces a lot of bass. I've found phase works best for me at 180º, but it's room dependent.

    I would say 20 hours is not near enough, mine took at least twice that to bed in.
  3. mfife

    mfife Member

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    What's your crossover point?
    Volume wise 2/3 of the way is too much (you could damage the sub). I think your speakers are too large for your sub, or conversely, your sub is too small for your speakers. The 10.7s are plenty of speaker and you'd need a much bigger and more powerful sub to back them up. For instance you say they go down to 30Hz (though how well they do at 30Hz is another matter). The xls200 goes usefully down to about 27Hz. You can see the problem can't you?
  4. andyvvc

    andyvvc Member

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    Crossover is set at 80Hz - speakers all set to small, LFE to sub.

    Just had a look - currently set to 2 o'clock position, so not as far as i thought. LFE set to 'Filter OUT' and phase currently at default '0' (but i will have to experiment with this)

    Room is about 6x4 but with an archway into the dining room which effectively means i'm missing one wall.

    I think the Yamaha audio setup has failed to set the sub to a level that matches the front speakers (its the same config level as the centre on the settings which is oddly lower then the two 10.7s)

    I'll have to have a fiddle with the amp somemore to balance the sub better.

    I thought the xls200 could drop to 17Hz according to the BK website (granted this is at reference levels). It certainly seems to offer more bass than the 10.7s even at about the 12 0'clock position... maybe my idea of a sub shaking the room at low volumes is misplaced :blush:
  5. KUBBY

    KUBBY Active Member

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    Hi Andy.

    You don't want the sub to be conspicuous,ie banging away like some sort of bass drum.It should support the mid and lower bass of the main speakers and then re enforce the bass by taking it cleanly lower than the main speakers.

    That is where you get the feeling of the sound.

    Have another look at the Manual.it confirms this when it describes how to use the gain control.

    Still a few hours for it to loosen up yet,though.:)


    K.
  6. andyvvc

    andyvvc Member

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    I've re-run the Yamaha audio setup with the mic. It has again dropped the sub far lower than either of the front speakers - the result being i have to drive the gain control on the sub to about the 2 o'clock position for it to offer more bass than the fronts.

    I've re-tweaked the sub's level on the amp up to that of the fronts. This results in the gain only needing to be a fraction over halfway to offer more oomph than the fronts. I may need to dial this back yet further as the sub beds in. As Kubby points out, the sub should be supporting the mid and low end of the fronts - not destroying plasterwork :facepalm:

    Im also only running the amp volume at -23dB. I believe reference level is 0dB on the Yammy...so i still have a lot of volume to play with. I suspect i will be tweaking this sub for the next few weeks ! :laugh:
  7. kempez

    kempez Active Member

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    A 10" 250watt sub won't shake the room at low volumes. It will provide excellent punch and some more low end thump but it won't shake the room. At medium volumes you'll start feeling the bass and higher it will punch you right in the gut!

    I wouldn't have the gain turned up above 50% personally, as stated above you risk ruining the sub.

    I use my MS906i's on 80Hz crossover with the YMPAO setup and it detects them correctly. The xls200df integrates really nicely at this level and found it frees up the floors to really kick at the lower mid and upper bass ranges.
  8. PsyVision

    PsyVision Member

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    Hmmm... this is interesting to me. I noticed in my manual for my XLS200 that you shouldn't put the gain up too high yet initially this was the only way that I could get a good output from the sub.

    I too have a Yamaha paired with some B&W 685 and 686 rears and the sub volume was set very low on the Yamaha with the sub gain turned down low as described in the manual. I have since increased the output volume from the amp and the gain is probably just passed 12 o'clock. My crossover is at 110Hz and the sound blends nicely with the mid and bass of the fronts.

    I haven't had it long so it may need bedding in more. It is my first 5.1 sub although I have a KRK studio subwoofer too and the XLS200 is very crisp when compared. I am sure I'll make more adjustments over time to the sub settings though.
  9. andyvvc

    andyvvc Member

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    I have a feeling that the manual suggests not turning the gain up too high on the assumption (which it doesnt state) that you are using near reference volume levels. I very rarely get anywhere near that level of volume.

    However, testing the sub with the amp level set at 0 (no positive of negative level increase) and the gain knob set at 12 o'clock - sod all seems to happen at low volume. Push the amp to -20dB and hell starts to break loose. -10dB and i need to turn the gain DOWN a lot!

    As i normally only push about -25dB volume level, my tests have shown a 1 o'clock gain position works well. If i drive the volume up, the gain needs to come down quite a bit to correspond.

    ....still cant fathom the phase knob. 0, 90, 180 - it sounds identical to my ears? What should this do - equalize for room distortion or something?

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