BK xls200 or brw-10 recommendations

yoggie

Standard Member
Due to helping a friend move house I have aquired a set of MA BR5's (if I want them). I would be looking to set these up in a 5.1 system which would mean buying all the other components. With this in mind I popped down to my local hi-fi dealer who recommended that I try and stick with the same speaker manufacturer throughout. They recommended BR-LCR centre, br-fx for backs and the brw10 sub.

I have no real problem with the centre and I plan to use a v.old set of mission speakers as rears for now.

The main problem is the sub am I best sticking with a MA sub as recommended or is there an advantage to be gained going via another route. The BK range appears 'interesting' to me particulary the xls200. The main problem is that I would be unable to demo them. How do you think they would match up. Or am I better looking at other options i.e m.s kef rel?.

My room is 18' x 13' x 8' high aprox and I would prob be using it 70/30 split movies to music (in that order).

My main objective is to get a few ideas for possible auditions hence my worry with the BK option as I appear to have to buy blind.

Obviously this is the subwoofer forum but I have been recommended spending around 400-500 on the amp from Denon, Onkyo or Yamaha. Does this appear right for these speakers is this overkill or should I be looking at spending more,(I could stretch up to 600 max). Again I will be asking for demos so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Keeping the answer reasonably sub specific, whilst I'd whole heartedly agree with keeping (at least the front three) speakers the same, there is no audible reason for the sub to so restricted.

The frequencies a sub reproduces are basically character free with the speakers reproducing the high frequencies of any given sound that gives it it's tonal quality. If you find a sub to have a tonal 'character' it is as a result of a poor design outputting high levels of audible distortion.

Unfortunately, the BRW-10 is probably one of the worst measuring subs ever seen, with a frequency response that drops like a stone from about 45Hz down, whilst offering significant levels of distortion in the process at even moderate volumes.

It might seem odd to dismiss a product on the grounds of measurements, but subs cove a very limited range of easily measurable low frequencies. A lot can be told about a subs likely performance, to a far higher degree than might be possible with speakers. Though whilst not a totally definitive pointer, it is possible to use the well known on-line sub field tests to weed out the non contenders.

The Finnish sub tests are particularly useful as they allow side by side comparison of the BRW-10 here and XLS-200 here.

If you need any help with the interpretation, don't be scared to ask.

Russell
 

yoggie

Standard Member
Thanks Russ, very helpful and confirms my thoughts that I was being slightly led up the garden path with needing a tonal match on the sub.

Being very new to multi speaker set-ups I find it hard to comprehend some of those graphs a few questions.

I have started looking just at the frequency response graphs I presume I want something to go as low as possible within reason on a nice flat line? I don't fully understand the max & min crossover (could you explain please). What frquency range should the sub be operating up to.

I then looked at the distortion levels which I think I can understand, what other graphs should I be looking at?

With my limited knowledge I can see what you mean about the BRW-10 giving poor results. Would I therefore be right in thinking that something like the SVS PB13-ultra20HZ is very good on paper?
 

jagr

Active Member
The BK xls200 sub is a very good low priced sub. I have used mine with these amps Yamaha 757, Pioneer 2016, Onkyo 805 and now with my Arcam 350.

I have also changed my speakers from Kef Q1 to B&W 602 S3 and now have MA GR10 and it has kept up with all of them.
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
I have started looking just at the frequency response graphs I presume I want something to go as low as possible within reason on a nice flat line? I don't fully understand the max & min crossover (could you explain please). What frequency range should the sub be operating up to.
Flat is good, but steadily falling isn't bad either as long as it is broadly straight - look for a smoothly falling response as phenomenon known as room gain will prop the response up toward flat anyway. What's of interest is the power compression graph as it indicates the sub's ability (or lack of) to maintain a consistent response at increasing volume and/or accommodate dynamic peaks.

The max/min lines show the frequency response of the sub with it's crossover set to maximum or minimum. In an AV system, only the max line is of real interest as the amp will be performing the crossover duties. Look for the peak output of the sub to continue smoothly horizontal to the end of the graph. A sub that rolls off above or worse, in the typical 60-100Hz crossover frequencies will be adding it's own lack of output on top of the amps crossover, giving potentially inconsistent results through the crucial crossover region.

I then looked at the distortion levels which I think I can understand, what other graphs should I be looking at?
The total harmonic distortion graph is simple - the lower the better at all frequencies.

The THD by component shows what preportion of the individual harmonics make up the THD at a given level. Even order harmonics are less audible than odd order and are therefore preferable. So, at 20Hz you'd hope the 2nd order (40Hz) to predominate over the 3rd (60Hz) harmonic. As can be seen, the BK produces a lot less odd order components than the MA, but it has to be read in conjunction with the frequency response graphs - The MA's 3rd harmonic overtakes the 2nd at approximately 20Hz, but it's actual output at that frequency is so low, you wouldn't hear the 20Hz fundamental, but the obvious 3rd harmonic produced at 60Hz would be clearly audible. Not good.


With my limited knowledge I can see what you mean about the BRW-10 giving poor results. Would I therefore be right in thinking that something like the SVS PB13-ultra20HZ is very good on paper?
It isn't just good, it's near bloody unbelievable for the price.;)

I am slightly surprised that nobody has picked up on the slightly high 3rd order distortion above 40Hz, but overall distortion is so low until well above 100dB, that its a minimal gripe - we're taliking about not a lot of very little if you catch my drift. There are lots of people trying to dream up reasons why the Ultras aren't the best at something or other, but these reasons are inconsequential given the price or just problems that any other sub with such a flat frequency response would suffer too, once you get it in room.

Russell
 

Repton

Active Member
Due to helping a friend move house I have aquired a set of MA BR5's (if I want them). I would be looking to set these up in a 5.1 system which would mean buying all the other components. With this in mind I popped down to my local hi-fi dealer who recommended that I try and stick with the same speaker manufacturer throughout. They recommended BR-LCR centre, br-fx for backs and the brw10 sub.

I have no real problem with the centre and I plan to use a v.old set of mission speakers as rears for now.

The main problem is the sub am I best sticking with a MA sub as recommended or is there an advantage to be gained going via another route. The BK range appears 'interesting' to me particulary the xls200. The main problem is that I would be unable to demo them. How do you think they would match up. Or am I better looking at other options i.e m.s kef rel?.

My room is 18' x 13' x 8' high aprox and I would prob be using it 70/30 split movies to music (in that order).

My main objective is to get a few ideas for possible auditions hence my worry with the BK option as I appear to have to buy blind.

Obviously this is the subwoofer forum but I have been recommended spending around 400-500 on the amp from Denon, Onkyo or Yamaha. Does this appear right for these speakers is this overkill or should I be looking at spending more,(I could stretch up to 600 max). Again I will be asking for demos so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance

can definately recommend the little XLS200! Great Sub! for the price.:smashin:
 

yoggie

Standard Member
:thumbsup: Cheers for the info guys, very helpful.

I think I have a better understanding of the graphs now - thanks Russ.

Hopefully I should finish work earlish tomorrow so I am planning on visting a couple of dealers and getting some demos arranged w.r.t. the amp situation. At least now I am not worried about ordering the BK without hearing it first if that is the route I finally to go down.
 

bertha

Well-known Member
The BK xls200 sub is a very good low priced sub. I have used mine with these amps Yamaha 757, Pioneer 2016, Onkyo 805 and now with my Arcam 350.

I have also changed my speakers from Kef Q1 to B&W 602 S3 and now have MA GR10 and it has kept up with all of them.

Hi jagr (sorry to the OP for going off topic slightly) - I currently have the BKxls200 with the Onkyo 805 and the Kef Q1s and have been sniffing around for a speaker upgrade - how would you compare your B&Ws to the Q1s? Do you use these mostly for movie or music?

Thanks kindly

Bertha
 

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