Question Alternatives to Monolith?

MoFoHo

Member
Hi all bass heads. I'd like to ask you some advice. I'll start by copying my post from the Monolith owners thread....

"Well, my Monolith+ has started just popping its cone for fun now. :(
Not a normal 'bottoming out' kinda sound (I won't forget that in a hurry) but a slightly less frightening sound. It occurs during loud passages, sure, but my Mono+ never bottomed out unless pushed extremely hard.
Any ideas what could be causing this? Constantly 'riding the volume control' is just no fun :(
Along with sticky relays, noisy amps, inoperative power switches and blown (peerless) drivers, I'm starting to really tire of this now. I've spoken with Tom, always a gent, and he'll get back to me with some ideas.
We upgraded our Mono to a plus in August 2015. How long is the warranty on the components?"

'Sigh'. I'm genuinely gutted. Me and my son have watched a movie on the big screen screen/sound system every Friday night since as long as I can remember. It's become an institution!
I really love the sound, the sheer scale and power of the Monolith+. But the constant worry of the cone bottoming out is just soul destroying. I have to have the volume control handy, not that I could react fast enough anyway.
I know BK are a great company, they've always been so nice on the phone, especially Tom, a pleasure to deal with.
But I have to admit I'm considering alternatives. But what are they? What can even come close?

I'd prefer something in light oak, so it matches my Monitor Audio GS speakers. My room is actually rigged up with cabling for front left and right stereo subs in fact (I used to have twin Monoliths!), and I'm wondering if 2 slightly lesser (sealed?) subs might be 'safer' than the ported sub I have now. My amp can certainly run 2 subs, and did it extremely well.
Are there any subs in BKs range that could make a good 'double team'? I'm just thinking out loud here, and would welcome any suggestions.
Please?
 
Last edited:

DrHarvey12

Well-known Member
Hi @MoFoHo

I know we briefly discussed this in the Monolith thread but I thought I would just put in my suggestions here in case anybody else wants to weigh in on them or recommend something else entirely.

First off - did you have a budget in mind for the subwoofer (s)? Would you prefer going dual sub or happy to stick to one?

With the above notwithstanding and since you mention the Oak finish there is this used PB13 Ultra at the Movierooms:

SVS PB13 Ultra Subwoofer

Being an SVS it should be pretty unflappable and they are built extremely well. Being a PB13 Ultra it is going to do things to your room (well house......well street probably) that the BK Monolith Plus can only dream of. If you are looking for awesome bass then this will have it in spades.

Otherwise I think you may struggle for a light oak finish so you will probably have to settle on a gloss black or similar.

In which case the PSA S1500 would be a decent upgrade over the Monolith Plus. It's a 15" sealed design and again, should be extremely well built and very hard to bottom out during even fairly demented volumes.

Otherwise the SVS PB2000 would be a slight upgrade as far as volume and depth goes when compared to the Monolith Plus but with a 5 year warranty and again, generally unflappable performance I don't think you would need to worry too much about "riding the volume control" although everything will have a certain limit to it.

Alternatively the Arendal Sub 1.5 or the 2 if you are prepared to spend a bit more should also be viable and fantastic alternatives.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
DrHarvey gave you great recommendations there.

But i would still like to think about the Monolith problem more, cause it sounds little strange. How loud is the master volume when you watch movies (example -15db)?

Are you using Audussey Dynamic EQ which may overdrive your subwoofer? If YES, then turn it off and try again.

What is your subwoofer level if you go to menu speaker levels? It should not be -12db. This same problem has occured to some people if the level is wrong. It should be around -6db to near 0db. If it`s too high, you need to lower the gain from the subwoofer back panel and run Audussey again.

Have you changed the subwoofer distance at the setup menu afterwards what Audussey gave? There is a reason why it`s not same as speakers, even if the sub would be at same distance.
 

MoFoHo

Member
DrHarvey gave you great recommendations there.

But i would still like to think about the Monolith problem more, cause it sounds little strange. How loud is the master volume when you watch movies (example -15db)?

Are you using Audussey Dynamic EQ which may overdrive your subwoofer? If YES, then turn it off and try again.

What is your subwoofer level if you go to menu speaker levels? It should not be -12db. This same problem has occured to some people if the level is wrong. It should be around -6db to near 0db. If it`s too high, you need to lower the gain from the subwoofer back panel and run Audussey again.

Have you changed the subwoofer distance at the setup menu afterwards what Audussey gave? There is a reason why it`s not same as speakers, even if the sub would be at same distance.

Hiya, thanks for the replies good people. @DrHarvey12 that PB13 looks a beast!

We typically watch movies between about -15db and -10db.
Yes we do use Dy Eq, and I'm well aware this gives a significant bass boost to the LFE. (but please see my closing paragraph)
The subwoofer level is set at -11db by Audyssey. On the Monolith itself, the volume pot is about 11 o'clock. I could lower the subs volume pot, this will cause Audyssey to raise the sub output level more. I haven't made any changes to other Audyssey settings.

I'll see what ideas Tom from BK has. I did consider suggesting 2 lesser subs, 2 x P12-300SB-DFs or something? Are the sealed subs 'safer'? Would 2 'lesser' subs be equal to a single Monolith?Perhaps the driver has failed in some way, and is just 'bottoming out' far more easily than it should?

The strange thing is, until a week or so ago, everything was running great. No settings have been changed at all. It's as if suddenly the Monoliths driver has become very easy to overdrive or something. Since upgrading to the Mono plus amp and driver, the darn thing just seemed rock solid. I really don't know whats happened? I will, of course, be also carrying out a full processor reset, and possibly carry out the Audyssey calibration to see if it is a problem with my amp.
 
D

Deleted member 598831

Guest
Having heard a mono/mono plus, the PSA s1500 will blow it out the water without you worrying about bottoming out the driver, something that can happen easily with a ported design without the ideal cab design or filter in place, or even just being driven too hard.

Give Ricky at Kalibrate a ring, as he "may" have a demo s1500 available.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Movies Podcast: Star Trek in 4K. Is the new boxset worth it?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom