Are the BK Gemini II subwoofers good for music?

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi folks,

I've been toying with the idea of adding a subwoofer (or two) back into my main system. I used to have a Monitor Bronze W10 sub paired with Bronze 5 floorstanders, but could simply not get the two to blend well, so eventually sold the subwoofer and kept the speakers. I have now upgraded to the Silver 200s, which have a similar amount of bass depth and weight...but it's left me thinking.

I have toyed with the idea of getting two BK Gemini II subwoofers and running them in a dual setup with the pre-out on my Rotel A11 Tribute amplifier. But the question remains: is the Gemini II actually good for music, or is it mainly useful for movies? I guess another way of asking this is: is the Gemini II quick and punchy?

The reason I am considering these is because of their price, size and the option of a walnut veneer to match my speakers. I'd rather have two smaller subs than one large one too. Will a pair of Gemini II's cut it, or should I consider something else?

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

Foothealer
 

gibbsy

Moderator
RELs are very good indeed for music, very quick and flexible. Although a little more expensive two REL T5i would make for a brilliant little set up. Maybe the smaller Tzero will suffice.


 

FootHealer

Active Member
RELs are very good indeed for music, very quick and flexible. Although a little more expensive two REL T5i would make for a brilliant little set up. Maybe the smaller Tzero will suffice.


Thanks, Gibbsy. I am aware of Rel's good reputation for making subwoofers that are great for music. My concern is that these have a -6db rating only a few Hz below that of the speakers I have(-6db at 38). I imagine that would make them difficult to blend with the speakers, with plenty of overlap and little further extension. That is my concern with the Gemini IIs, as I cannot find a measured frequency response for them. My other option is to splurge on two BK Doublegems, which they say go down to less than 20Hz at -6db. Ideally I'm hoping for something that can fill in the gap below 40Hz.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
I'd look at xls200 as a minimum with your setup.

Edit: just seen you're thinking of 2 of those.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I'd look at xls200 as a minimum with your setup.

Edit: just seen you're thinking of 2 of those.
Hi, and thanks for the advice. I am a little restricted with space, and cannot have one large sub, but have space for two little ones. The Gemini II and DoubleGem require about the right amount of floor space. I think the XLS200 or above would be too large.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Hi, and thanks for the advice. I am a little restricted with space, and cannot have one large sub, but have space for two little ones. The Gemini II and DoubleGem require about the right amount of floor space. I think the XLS200 or above would be too large.

Gotcha, I would also look into some kind of room calibration for that setup.

Minidsp or similar.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Its a room correction hardware/software, something you'd want with 2 subs.
Sorry...I meant that is affect the sound itself? I like to listen to a lot of music using purely analogue components, and am concerned a DSP may affect that quality in a negative way.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Here’s an example of what minidsp (nanodigi) did for my studio monitors. Not the easiest to set up but worked well, the Dirac version is even easier I think and more automated, iirc for integrating subs antipode is also often recommended. Note the Anthem amarX range are often quoted on here as being good to use a Preamp’s or sometimes two channel integrated due to their ARC room eq system and also that they don’t sound too bad with music compared to many AVRs.

Before is red and after is green one one speaker. Note the bass null at about 65hz that is sorted out and also the other minor peaks and dips that are also rectified. Sounds better as well. You can also use it to shape the profile if you like a bigger left/right slope or a smiley face profile or a bbc dip these can be added.


left seat nanodigi setup 15_02_20 by A H, on Flickr
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Here’s an example of what minidsp (nanodigi) did for my studio monitors. Not the easiest to set up but worked well, the Dirac version is even easier I think and more automated, iirc for integrating subs antipode is also often recommended. Note the Anthem amarX range are often quoted on here as being good to use a Preamp’s or sometimes two channel integrated due to their ARC room eq system and also that they don’t sound too bad with music compared to many AVRs.

Before is red and after is green one one speaker. Note the bass null at about 65hz that is sorted out and also the other minor peaks and dips that are also rectified. Sounds better as well. You can also use it to shape the profile if you like a bigger left/right slope or a smiley face profile or a bbc dip these can be added.


left seat nanodigi setup 15_02_20 by A H, on Flickr
Looks smooth :) My room has a large bass hump around 50Hz. It would be nice to iron that out.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Imagine room response when you add 2 subs, deffo look into room calibration.
So, without room calibration, is it unrealistic to use two subs? Would one better if I don't want to go down the DSP route? I'm afraid I don't know much about subwoofers.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Hi, and thanks for the advice. I am a little restricted with space, and cannot have one large sub, but have space for two little ones. The Gemini II and DoubleGem require about the right amount of floor space. I think the XLS200 or above would be too large.
Of those 2 subs I'd go with the double Gems. But to throw a curve ball at you Also look at the SVS SB1000Pro. It has both high and low level conne.ctions (same as BK subs), but also has a 3 band Perimetric EQ (PEQ) built in. It's sort of like a "lite" version of a MiniDSP. Allowing you to boost (or reduce) specific frequency ranges to potentially reduce nulls and peeks in bass. I know @Mr Wolf has had some success using the PEQ's in his SVS subs.

 

FootHealer

Active Member
Of those 2 subs I'd go with the double Gems. But to throw a curve ball at you Also look at the SVS SB1000Pro. It has both high and low level conne.ctions (same as BK subs), but also has a 3 band Perimetric EQ (PEQ) built in. It's sort of like a "lite" version of a MiniDSP. Allowing you to boost (or reduce) specific frequency ranges to potentially reduce nulls and peeks in bass. I know @Mr Wolf has had some success using the PEQ's in his SVS subs.

Hi,

These look great. Little over budget if I get two, but it may well be the ticket, as I don't know if I'm keen to start using external DSP units that cost nearly as much as my amplifier and seem a bit tricky to set up. Might save up and get two SVS like these.

Thanks folks. You've been a great help.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Hi, and thanks for the advice. I am a little restricted with space, and cannot have one large sub, but have space for two little ones. The Gemini II and DoubleGem require about the right amount of floor space. I think the XLS200 or above would be too large.

The XLS200 is a good bit better in all areas then the already impressive Gemini.

(I’d usually consider the Gemini for very small floorstanders or, of course, standmounts).

Unfortunately, BK seem to be unable to manufacture any more until the end of October.

Definitely worth the wait in my opinion.

The 200 is also the same size box except for the additional 1.8 inch depth.

If you can fit a pair of Gemini’s then two 200s are much the same.

But as I say, appreciably greater extension and general mass for music, and even more so for films and tv series that need it.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
The XLS200 is a good bit better in all areas then the already impressive Gemini.

(I’d usually consider the Gemini for very small floorstanders or, of course, standmounts).

Unfortunately, BK seem to be unable to manufacture any more until the end of October.

Definitely worth the wait in my opinion.

The 200 is also the same size box except for the additional 1.5 inch depth.

If you can fit a pair of Gemini’s then two 200s are much the same.

But as I say, appreciably greater extension and general mass for music, and even more so for films and tv series that need it.
Hi,

Thanks. I didn't realise they were the same size. They're a bit more pricey, but since they are not making them at the moment, there would be plenty of time to save.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, both are perfectly swift enough for music. That’s is the best thing about them.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Hi,

Thanks. I didn't realise they were the same size. They're a bit more pricey, but since they are not making them at the moment, there would be plenty of time to save.

The extra £100 or so is spent on a much more upmarket driver and a considerably more serious amp.

The difference is obvious. 👍

The only problem is getting the drivers delivered I’m told.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
The extra £100 or so is spent on a much more upmarket driver and a considerably more serious amp.

The difference is obvious. 👍

The only problem is getting the drivers delivered I’m told.
Hopefully they'll get new stock in soon :) Thanks for the info, Paul7777x. Much appreciated. If I do go down this route, it'll likely be one or two XLS200s, perhaps with a miniDSP.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Hopefully they'll get new stock in soon :) Thanks for the info, Paul7777x. Much appreciated. If I do go down this route, it'll likely be one or two XLS200s, perhaps with a miniDSP.

I'd start with 1 sub first, then add minidsp if you think your room is not playing very nice.
And then in the end would add another one if I still find bass lacking.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Here’s an example of what minidsp (nanodigi) did for my studio monitors. Not the easiest to set up but worked well, the Dirac version is even easier I think and more automated, iirc for integrating subs antipode is also often recommended. Note the Anthem amarX range are often quoted on here as being good to use a Preamp’s or sometimes two channel integrated due to their ARC room eq system and also that they don’t sound too bad with music compared to many AVRs.

Before is red and after is green one one speaker. Note the bass null at about 65hz that is sorted out and also the other minor peaks and dips that are also rectified. Sounds better as well. You can also use it to shape the profile if you like a bigger left/right slope or a smiley face profile or a bbc dip these can be added.


left seat nanodigi setup 15_02_20 by A H, on Flickr

Don't wish to drag this thread too far off topic but I'm interested (and concerned) about correcting the in-room 65Hz null. Would it be true to say that, to correct the 65Hz null, you are applying a 12dB boost? If so, that's a lot of extra power feeding the bass/mid driver. Does this impact significantly on max. volume, cone excursion and/or audible distortion?
 

Alex P79

Active Member
I don’t know if I’m too late for you, but I use two BK Gemini IIs in a stereo only system and I think they are very good. They replaced a much larger ported Tannoy subwoofer that took many years of repositioning and adjusting to get it to blend. In contrast the BKs took minutes…

I use them with Naim/Arcam electronics and Tannoy or Piega Floorstanding speakers depending on what I fancy. The subwoofers are wired in stereo (line level) and positioned just behind the speakers to minimise phase issues - I have tried alternative positions but despite the idea that bass is supposed to be difficult to locate, positioning the subs away from the speakers to where bass output was greatest also seemed ’dislocate’ the sound image - at least to my ears so I prefer them next to the speakers - remember this is a 100% music only system - HT applications may work best with bass spread around the sound field.

I like the Geminis because of how they sound, but also because of how easy they are to set up and the digital display on the amplifier really helps with this - the crossover can be set accurately to every 3hz or so. To my ears the 10inch driver seems plenty quick enough and the 150 watt amp, for music use, has sufficient power - the display has VU metres via LEDs and they rarely flash at all - the lowest of the indicators is 30 watts. One caveat is that for HT use I also use another Gemini II in another system and when watching films such as Tron Legacy, the VU metres really do light up! The stereo only BKs are used in a room 6.5 X 3.5 metres.

I know they are different beasts but music use I prefer my smaller sealed dual BKs to the single ported 15inch Tannoy I had before. Much less boomy and easier to integrate. In fact I am contemplating adding two more and stacking them as per the REL 4 pack/6pack systems - the advantage of this approach is I could set individual gain/crossover/phase for each unit in the stack (can’t do that with the Double Gem - 1 amp for 2 drivers) and I could even fire the top unit upwards, giving an extra height dimension to the bass output. This would have the added benefit of evening-out the bass response on the vertical plane.

Regards
Alex
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Don't wish to drag this thread too far off topic but I'm interested (and concerned) about correcting the in-room 65Hz null. Would it be true to say that, to correct the 65Hz null, you are applying a 12dB boost? If so, that's a lot of extra power feeding the bass/mid driver. Does this impact significantly on max. volume, cone excursion and/or audible distortion?

Agreed it’s quite a big jump but these are active monitors that have a 150w amp (350w burst power) for the woofer only, plus I don’t listen loud (75dB ish) and the gain pot on the rear of the speakers is set to about 30% so should not overdrive the speakers. But thanks for pointing out as other situations may differ to mine.
 

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