Question (another) sub choice thread


Hi all, I'm after some advice.
I recently upgraded my living room speakers from B&W 684s to 805Ns. The sound is much improved but, as I knew I would, I lost a fair amount of bass.

System is 2.0 currently, and the room is 3.5m x 4.5m with a permanently open door (I mention that as, if I'm thinking about pressurising the room I'm going to have to do the whole house!). Amp is a Sony STR-DB940 - I'm currently going through a phase of buying hi-fi that I used to have :) Amp upgrade is probably in my future and I'm thinking either class D or used Krell or Classe. Neither of those will solve the bass problem though. The floor is wood floating over concrete.

This room is a living room and houses the TV. We mostly watch TV shows (very few movies) and listen to music. For movies I have a dedicated HT. I want something that's "musical", so 12" is probably the largest I want, but I know that if I get something I'll be disappointed if it doesn't go low too.

I'm going to run some REW sweeps before and after getting any subs, and I'll probably grab an antimode to help integrate them. I'm also considering a BFD if it's needed.

So I'm looking for something to fill in the bottom end. I've been looking at the BK subs, as well as the XTZ 12.17 edge. The BKs are winning for me at the moment due to the high WAF with the cherry veneer. I'm struggling to decide because:

1) I've never heard the BK subs so I'm buying blind. While I know they're very highly regarded I don't know how my expectations line up with other peoples.
2) I probably want two subs, so that they sit nicely either side of my TV unit. 2 x xls400s is in budget, 2 x XTZ 12.17 is pushing it. And I keep going up the various ranges, so 2 x XTZ isn't far from a used DD12, but that's out of my price range for what is essentially a second system.
3) ideally something the size of the the XLS200 would be perfect but I could probably squeeze in the XLS400 (which means the PB12-300 or PB12-300 PR would also fit). Alternatively I could run a pair of monoliths and use them as speaker stands with some auralex isolation platforms under the 805s.

Given the price is similar across the range, and the performance of the BKs is specified as the same for most of their subs - lower than 20Hz - it's hard to make a call. I know, I know: call Tom.

Does anyone have any experience of running dual, matched BK subs? I'm interested in knowing what the in room response is like and what frequency they go down to.

Are there others that I should be looking at? As I mentioned I'm not prepared to go the prices of a sunfire, a velodyne, or an SVS. Of those three velodyne are the only ones that'll fit in with the decor.

Thanks, sorry for the long rambling post


Well-known Member
You're talking about some pretty serious kit for a second system there! What's your main system if you don't mind me asking?

I'm currently part way through integrating a BK Monolith into my 2.0 system that is primarily for music. I'll update you later in the weekend. My room is pretty much the same size as yours, although I do shut the doors.

You mention not wanting to go over a 12" driver for music but I'm very sceptical there is any real basis for this. I know Tom Vodhanel of PSA considers this a complete myth for example, and from a theoretical perspective I'm struggling to see why it would be the case.


Main system is a nearly all B&W 7.1 set-up:
802N for Front LR, HTM2N center, and 4 x 600 S3 for the rears. Sub is a Velodyne DD15
Classe CT-SSP processor and CT-5300 power amp (plus another little 100wpc class T power amp for the surrounds). Source is a PC running Jriver with MadVr. It looks and sounds great. I get meaningful output down to about 7Hz in there. It's a small, sealed room: 2.8m x 4m.

Usage is split almost exclusively between movies and TV with movies in the HT and TV in the living room.

Someone on here is selling a PSA 3000i dual 15 so I'm tempted to grab that, stick it in the HT and then put the DD in the living room, but that's a pretty big sub for a living room and I'm concerned about placement for a dual opposing driver sub. The only space I have for it is between the amps and the PC, with a driver pointing at each pile of electronics. I know it's only air, but >10Hz vibrations from around 6 inches probably isn't good for sensitive electronics.

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