Question Bitten by the bug - Subwoofer advice needed

ephraim

Standard Member
I appear to have been bitten by the AV bug, and am looking to put together my first AV setup having spent the last few years with a cheap soundbar. Having fallen down a hole of ever escalating costs, I'm keen to seek help, in the hope that I might find some way to satisfy the desire for toys whilst not leaving myself in debt forever.

So far my setup consists of 4 Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers, 2 at the front and 2 at the rear. I am planning to add the matching centre speaker. The receiver is a Denon AVR-X2600H. My room is about 5m20 x 3m70 and is a typical living room with the usual clutter that comes with that (L-shaped sofa, computer desk in one corner, some assorted bookshelves). The floor is laminate, with a large rug between sofa and TV.

I would like to add a Sub to the setup, but am finding the options bewildering and the choice paralysing. I have a particular space behind the sofa that would fit up to a 60cm x 60cm unit, and a space to one side of the sofa that could accommodate a 30cm x 30cm sub; but beyond that my options for location are limited. I'm mostly looking for movie and TV use for sci-fi and action movies being the majority; but I also listen to music in the room, although rarely in the optimal seating position and usually streamed from Spotify. My budget has a hard upper limit of £500, but would be much happier around the £300 mark. If the sub has a wooden finish, and especially a walnut colour, that gets bonus points.

Help me to not make a terrible choice, please!
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member

ephraim

Standard Member
Thanks! I'd been eyeing the BK choices. The Monolith appears to be over budget, by at least £100. The P12 (non-PR) seems to come in within budget, and is probably the default choice currently.

I'm not wedded to a new sub, but I guess second hand depends very much on availability
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
They do sell on ebay and sometimes have b stock which are as good a new for a decent saving but at the moment some models including Mono's and the 300 are not listed due to shortage of parts due to covid. Worth keeping a lookout though.


There is a few walnut XXLS400's on there just over £500, a great sub just that it does not go quite as low as the Mono. I have one in my Lounge setup in a room 8m x 5m and it works just fine in there, the 400 is especially suited to music though but is perfectly ok for movies as well.

Second hand is fine I got mine for £240 off the classifieds on here about a year ago.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
No more b-grade BK subwoofers. :( They said to one member that those de-value their brand/products so from now forward it`s new BKs or SVS PB1000/SB1000 in the 500£ mark.

@ephraim you are so close your upper limit with these prices that i would consider again cause you are making long term purchase. When in doubt always pick the best you can afford, no "what if.." thoughts later. If you aren´t in hurry wait 2-3weeks until P12-PR is available. As you described action/scifi movies being priority you get that extra grunt for the important 20-30hz range for a few extra bucks compared to sealed versions. The PR version is basically "Mini-Monolith" as you can imagine the passive radiator as a port. It´s just a way to keep the cab size smaller (50litre vs. 95litre on Mono) and another benefit is no port noise. It won´t give you similar output as Mono which also digs bit deeper, but with refrigerator sized cabinet! It´s quite evident that PR adds that little extra which is missing from regular P12/XXLS400 which has been called bit soft in the low end compared to even older SVS sealed woofers. But you get it in same size and with your favourite finish!

Prices in walnut:

Monolith 300w FF - 525£ / DF 530£
P12-300SB-PR - 535£
XXLS400 - 515£
P12-300SB - 455£
 
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TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
No more b-grade BK subwoofers. :( They said to one member that those de-value their brand/products so from now forward it`s new BKs or SVS PB1000/SB1000 in the 500£ mark.
Thats a shame, as they were a good way to get a top sub for cheaper. I can see why they have done it though, as they must have been losing money due to number of people opting to buy b grade over full price. To be honest, I got one and have not been able to find anything that would indicate it was b grade. Wonder what they'll do with any b grade stock going forward.
 

ephraim

Standard Member
@kbfern - secondhand holds no fear for me - I guess I'll keep an eye on eBay and the classifieds here.

@Gasp3621 - thanks for the thoughts. Is the Mono an improvement on the PR? I've got the space, in one specific location in my room. I can hurl myself down the slippery slope and find the extra £30-35, if it really will make that much difference. I had discounted the Monolith because the non-plus link on their page was directing to the plus page and I hadn't noticed that was the case - and so thought it distant from my budget at all.

I'm not in a huge hurry, I'm looking to buy at the end of the month if possible.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@kbfern - secondhand holds no fear for me - I guess I'll keep an eye on eBay and the classifieds here.

@Gasp3621 - thanks for the thoughts. Is the Mono an improvement on the PR? I've got the space, in one specific location in my room. I can hurl myself down the slippery slope and find the extra £30-35, if it really will make that much difference. I had discounted the Monolith because the non-plus link on their page was directing to the plus page and I hadn't noticed that was the case - and so thought it distant from my budget at all.

I'm not in a huge hurry, I'm looking to buy at the end of the month if possible.

I think it would make difference if you listen very loud and crave the most impact. It comes in a pallet and i think there is little extra shipping cost, not much but little. I urge you check the video below by AVF member so you see the massive size so it won´t come suprise then as it´s really not small box! Always tough to give any definitive answers as people have different tastes/expectations. The P12-PR behind couch probably fairly close to listeners and the fact that you don´t own sub, perhaps haven´t even heard real quality sub before means that it should be more than plenty!

Only thing i`m bit worried is the placement anywhere ideal. We could check that with program if you tell your room dimensions, length x width x height and where is your main seating position (exact distance from rear wall to your head and from side wall, closest left or right if you don´t sit center). Also tell the exact spot where the sub would go. Easiest is probably draw this all on paper and upload here.

 

ephraim

Standard Member
I am not one of life's great artists, regretfully. And the scale is a bit (a lot) wonky. But hopefully this contains the relevant info. May be worth mentioning that the rear "wall" is mostly a window from the cabinet with the rear right speaker on it to the right hand wall.
20210215_171948.jpg


I don't plan to play anything super loud as the house is semi-detached and I quite like my neighbours.

ETA: Thank you all for the thoughts and the help, it really is appreciated
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Forgot to say that room needs to be rectangular, not sure is this any help as you have the recess at the front. What @Conrad. say? Otherwise it would look like this and suprisingly the low end looks much better with "room is sealed" part not crossed.

Sounds like P12-PR would be more than fine then, but up to you.

sub at rear.png


sub at rear 2.png
 

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Conrad

Moderator
That's not too bad of a response.

If you have the option to move the sub a little to the left so it's a bit closer to the double door you might improve the smoothness a little.

I would think that duals for the P12 at some point in the future is going to a much easier sell than dual monoliths. It's a good sized room but as you're not playing too loud I think either would work.
 

ephraim

Standard Member
Awesome! Thank you both. It looks more and more like the P12-PR might be the best choice. Still spending a bit more than I had hoped, but ain't it always the way?
 

Davekale86

Well-known Member
I think if your going to go upto £500 I’d be looking at the Q Acoustics QB12 got some really good reviews if I had that much to spend that’s what I’d be spending my money on though it’s not meant to be easily accommodated 👍
 

ephraim

Standard Member
Ooh, that's an interesting alternative that I hadn't considered. I think at the moment my preference is still the P12-300SB-PR because I like the aesthetic and the reviews are stunning. But, there is an issue around availability. And that's quite a big thing. If I can't buy it, then it might as well not exist! I plan to call BK later in the week to ask about expected stock, and that'll inform my decision.

The alternatives are probably the SVS PB1000, the BK XXL400, the XTZ 10.17 and now the QB12. The only thing that worries me about the latter is the lack of really low end grunt.
 

Davekale86

Well-known Member
Ooh, that's an interesting alternative that I hadn't considered. I think at the moment my preference is still the P12-300SB-PR because I like the aesthetic and the reviews are stunning. But, there is an issue around availability. And that's quite a big thing. If I can't buy it, then it might as well not exist! I plan to call BK later in the week to ask about expected stock, and that'll inform my decision.

The alternatives are probably the SVS PB1000, the BK XXL400, the XTZ 10.17 and now the QB12. The only thing that worries me about the latter is the lack of really low end grunt.
For me it would be the QB12 no doubt but the BK has good reviews too if you can’t get the Bk then I’m sure the Qb12 would be a good alternative 👍
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Ooh, that's an interesting alternative that I hadn't considered. I think at the moment my preference is still the P12-300SB-PR because I like the aesthetic and the reviews are stunning. But, there is an issue around availability. And that's quite a big thing. If I can't buy it, then it might as well not exist! I plan to call BK later in the week to ask about expected stock, and that'll inform my decision.

The alternatives are probably the SVS PB1000, the BK XXL400, the XTZ 10.17 and now the QB12. The only thing that worries me about the latter is the lack of really low end grunt.

P12-PR all day if size is issue, PB1000 would be likely even better in some ways but the black ash isn´t pretty. It has stronger low end with smaller driver than most 12" competitors, has been most popular 500$ range product quite long all over world and new PB1000 Pro seems to be coming so if you aren`t in rush i think it´s going to be awesome knowing SVS. :)

I would steer away from Q Acoustics subwoofers. They don´t have the same knowledge as dedicated subwoofer manufacturers. Also lot of amp failures for all of their subwoofers, short warranty. QB12 was sold 400£ long time, now it´s 500£. 👎
 

Davekale86

Well-known Member
P12-PR all day if size is issue, PB1000 would be likely even better in some ways but the black ash isn´t pretty. It has stronger low end with smaller driver than most 12" competitors, has been most popular 500$ range product quite long all over world and new PB1000 Pro seems to be coming so if you aren`t in rush i think it´s going to be awesome knowing SVS. :)

I would steer away from Q Acoustics subwoofers. They don´t have the same knowledge as dedicated subwoofer manufacturers. Also lot of amp failures for all of their subwoofers, short warranty. QB12 was sold 400£ long time, now it´s 500£. 👎
Seem to have a bit of hate for Q acoustics there the reviews for the Qb12 can’t be wrong surely? Each to their own I guess if I had that sort of cash for a sub I’d be getting the QB12 no doubt
 

Conrad

Moderator
I'm sure it's a capable sub but on paper there's no contest.
BK has two drivers (one passive radiator), more powerful amp and it covers a much wider frequency range.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Seem to have a bit of hate for Q acoustics there the reviews for the Qb12 can’t be wrong surely? Each to their own I guess if I had that sort of cash for a sub I’d be getting the QB12 no doubt

No hate, just don´t see any reason to pay 500£ for product as competitors offer better ones. :) Just look how many SVS SB1000 was bought in short time. They could have bought QB12 too, but come on SVS is most known manufacturer for subwoofers and Q Acoustics is small british brand known from budget speakers. FYI i have owned QA speakers and still recommend if tight budget and WAF is important. Lot of their subwoofers from 3000 and 7000 ranges has had amp failures with in and just after warranty has expired, then it´s 150-200£ for new amp. With BK you can repair them after 10years under 100£ due to class a/b amps and the support/service is very different. SVS has 5year amp warranty, BK and QA 2years i think. Look the FR below. No mention of -3db either. This would put off most people who are more serious about spending 500£, the speaker brand alone would probably do it too.
  • Frequency range: 28 Hz - 300 Hz
 

Davekale86

Well-known Member
No hate, just don´t see any reason to pay 500£ for product as competitors offer better ones. :) Just look how many SVS SB1000 was bought in short time. They could have bought QB12 too, but come on SVS is most known manufacturer for subwoofers and Q Acoustics is small british brand known from budget speakers. FYI i have owned QA speakers and still recommend if tight budget and WAF is important. Lot of their subwoofers from 3000 and 7000 ranges has had amp failures with in and just after warranty has expired, then it´s 150-200£ for new amp. With BK you can repair them after 10years under 100£ due to class a/b amps and the support/service is very different. SVS has 5year amp warranty, BK and QA 2years i think. Look the FR below. No mention of -3db either. This would put off most people who are more serious about spending 500£, the speaker brand alone would probably do it too.
  • Frequency range: 28 Hz - 300 Hz
I wouldn’t call £800 budget for 5.1 speakers yet there are some out there who spend that on their subwoofers never had and SVS so can’t compare but specs are not everything I’d definitely not rule out the QB12 just because of the specs 👍
 

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