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BK XLS200 DF MkII - mini review

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

  1. andyvvc

    andyvvc Active 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 Well-known 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 Active 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 Active 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 Well-known 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 Active 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 Well-known 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 Active 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 Active 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?
     
  10. phier

    phier Member

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    Hi,
    is this sub good combination for b&w m1 set or should i look for something else? thanks
     
  11. phils_wicked

    phils_wicked Active Member

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    I hope so, mine is being delivered tomorrow and used with some M1's.
     
  12. phier

    phier Member

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    well im bit dissappointed, i was told by BK that P12-300 is better then xls200. xls200 is better for the music and P12-300 for movies.... so this is exactly what i didnt want to ... to buy 2 subs...

    is there any other brand/ model that can outperform both P12-300 and xls200... price doesnt matter.

    my satellites are B&W m1 mk1, AVR HK 645; and room is about 27m2

    thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  13. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy Moderator

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    If price doesn't matter then I'm sure you'll find plenty of subs that'll outperform anything BK has to offer for both movies and music.

    Take a look at JL Audio/Paradigm/MK/XTZ

    As a start for some high end subs!

    Paradigm Signature Sub2 Subwoofer
     
  14. phier

    phier Member

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    can u suggest any specific model? i was thinking about b&w pv1 ...ok the price limit i was thinking was 500-1000 pounds
     
  15. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy Moderator

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    The PV1 is a nice sub but for the RRP (£1200 GBP) it can certainly be bettered. Its more of a lifestyle sub as opposed to an out and out performance/££ subwoofer.

    For your budget maybe have a look at something like this...

    SVS PC12 Plus Subwoofer Black

    However saying that and no disrespect to your existing kit but the M1's aren't going to be greatest speakers in the world for music/film (I've had them in a 5.1 and currently use some as rears) and so for me it would seem a pointless task spending so much on a subwoofer, unless you plan on upgrading the rest of your kit in the near future?

    If not the I'm pretty confident you'd be more than happy with a BK XLS400 for nearly a third of the price. I've heard it in some pretty decent home cinema and stereo systems and its always sounded very good so should have no problem at all with your existing kit.
     
  16. DrHarvey12

    DrHarvey12 Active Member

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    @phier

    If you are considering a BK XXLS 400 might be worth speaking to some of the guys on the BK XXLS 400 forum.

    BK XXLS400 Thread

    This guy seems very happy with his dual BK XXLS 400's and that would be within your price range.

    Speaking as somebody with dual BK Monolith Plus' if you want to shake your entire lounge they will do the job pretty nicely ;). I've been perfectly content with their musical performance too although I am using an Antimode for them.

    I don't think you can go too far wrong if you get a decent 12" with a 400w + amplifier like you tend to find on the BK / SVS models in this price range. You can always turn down a subwoofer if needed but it is nice to have some extra power on tap when the neighbours go out and you are in "that" mood :D.
     
  17. phier

    phier Member

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    hello,
    in that case what is the better 5.1 setup then b&w m1?

    thanks
     
  18. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy Moderator

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    I could probably list 100+ speakers/systems that would outperform the m1's.

    It all depends on how much you want to spend, the size of speakers you can fit, personal preference etc etc.

    If you're happy with the m1's then I'm 99.9% sure you'd be happy with a BK xls400 or similar for music/movies. If you had B&W 802D's then I'd agree you'd want to be looking at something a little higher up but an xls400 or two will be more than suffice!
     
  19. phier

    phier Member

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    well i wanted speakers with the similar physical size as m1, so are there still competitors? whats benefit of xls400 over xls200 - only power?

    For the hifi music i have b&w 805s and musical fiedelity nuvista m3. For the home theater i was looking for something with the similar size as m1.

    thanks
     
  20. DrHarvey12

    DrHarvey12 Active Member

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    The BK XXLS400 has a 12" driver and what they refer to as a 400 watt continuous amp.

    The BK XLS200 has a smaller 10" driver and a 275 watt continuous amp.

    So I would say that it's the woofer size as well as the more powerful amplifier that are the main upgrades of the 400 over the 200. The BK XXLS400 will play lower at higher volume than the BK XLS200.

    Given that they are both sealed subs both should be fine for music if you are even planning on using the subwoofer to listen to music. The XXLS 400 will be better for films given the larger driver area and more powerful amplifier.
     
  21. phier

    phier Member

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    so is there any other sub that can outperform both 200 and 400 ... in similar price category .. or something more expensive but around <600 pounds... or let say something that will match quality of b&w m1 satellites. thanks
     
  22. Dean

    Dean Well-known Member

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    The BK XXLS400 is certainly not outmatched by the B&W M1s so not sure why you want to spend more, but if you really want to than perhaps the SVS SB200 with it's 500W DSP Sledge DSP amplifier is worth considering.
     
  23. phier

    phier Member

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    no im just looking for something that can match b&w m1
     

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