BK XXLS400 or Monolith? Pls help me decide

Not Audiophile

Standard Member
I'm moving into a bigger house and want to buy a better sub for the movies. I haven't measured the room yet, I'm waiting for the keys. I've seen the living room, it's medium sized for a 3-bed house.

The sub needs to be a downwards firing and up to £500.

I have a dilemma XXLS400 or Monolith?

Could you please see the below and help me decide?

My set up:
Amplifier: Yamaha DSP-AX763
Front: Wharfedale Diamond 9.1
Rear: Wharfedale Diamond 9.0
Centre: to follow
Current sub: REL Q200E

Pro's I found so far fo each:

Monolith:
- Deeper bass! I don't mind if it's a little bit slow and not good with music
- I mainly watch TV & films

XXLS 400:
- Better & more punchy higher bass (based on forum opinions). It would integrate better with my front speakers. I'm going to set crossover on 80 Hz
- Higher chance I won't need AntiMode (no bass reflex, easier to position)
- Smaller (wife would be happy) & easier to position correctly. Monolith migh need to stay in the corner
- Less risk of a complaint from neighbour (semi-detached house)

It's quite easy to guess what you will recommend. Please however note I could accept the bad sides of Monolith for the sofa shaking movie effects. The question is - Is it a bad idea in my case?

Thanks for advice in advance!
 
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Wilseus

Active Member
The mono is not "slow" and it is good with music, so its bad sides aren't particularly bad. Also, if you block the port when listening to music it apparently then sounds like the 400. Obviously though, that's going to be a pain if the mono is the DF version.
 
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sergiup

Distinguished Member
If you can physically accommodate both, then it comes down mostly to whether you'd use it more for movies or music. Since you say movies, then a Monolith would probably suit you better.

They're actually surprisingly good looking, so it'll be easier to put it outside a corner without it looking out of place. The actual size difference between an XXLS400 and a Monolith isn't that huge, it's mostly taller (which makes it even more table-like!) and a tad longer. Put a nice cover or something on it and a vase / flower pot and I think it might be more accepted (I'm serious).

I don't think integration will be a major issue with the Mono, unless you have a particularly difficult room etc; unless you're actually going to really turn it up loud, the Mono won't "seem" any louder than the XXLS400, it'll just rumble lower. It's also not that much "slower" than the XXLS400 - then again this is a pretty subjective observation anyway.

Worst case scenario (and it really isn't that bad) you could get a Behringer device to tweak either sub's room issues to some extent - that's about £50-£70 second hand, and someone friendly with a laptop, SPL meter and happy to run REW for you.
 

bluedroog

Well-known Member
For me, I actually prefer the 400. However in your case I think you’d be best served by the Monolith.
 

Not Audiophile

Standard Member
What a surprize! I was sure that XXLS400 would be recommended because of front bookshelf speakers. Do you think it should integrate well? Is 80 Hz crossover OK?
 

hoppaz

Well-known Member
Not Audiophile said:
What a surprize! I was sure that XXLS400 would be recommended because of front bookshelf speakers. Do you think it should integrate well? Is 80 Hz crossover OK?

I would go with the principle of ported speakers with the ported sub option so the mono would be my choice. Note that the higher the frequency crossover the easier it will be on the amp section of your AVR so you could try 80 hz but try 100hz and see what sounds best. Note dedicated .1 lfe tracks contain upto 120hz of .1 info.
 

mikelj

Well-known Member
hoppaz said:
I would go with the principle of ported speakers with the ported sub option so the mono would be my choice. Note that the higher the frequency crossover the easier it will be on the amp section of your AVR so you could try 80 hz but try 100hz and see what sounds best. Note dedicated .1 lfe tracks contain upto 120hz of .1 info.

I think the last comment could be slightly confusing. Yes, LFE tracks can contain frequencies up 120Hz but this is unrelated to the crossover at which the frequencies from your speakers are diverted to the sub. For example, say you have a 5.1 sub-sat system and decided to set the crossover at 100Hz. All frequencies below 100Hz that would normally be sent to your 5 speakers are now reproduced by the sub. However the .1 track is independent of your speakers and your sub will reproduce this channel all the way up to 120Hz. Hence the sub is actually reproducing the LFE track in addition to all frequencies below 100Hz intended for your speakers.
 

Not Audiophile

Standard Member
.1 track is independent of your speakers and your sub will reproduce this channel all the way up to 120Hz. Hence the sub is actually reproducing the LFE track in addition to all frequencies below 100Hz intended for your speakers.

I would think so, too. Thanks buddy.
 

Porl

Standard Member
You may buy the xxls400 and spend the next year wondering what if... :lesson:

I went straight for the mono and have'nt spent even one minuite wondering if the xxls400 would have been better.

SWMBO said "its not that big" when I unpacked mine, I did let her pick the colour and I think that helped it in being accepted into our home.
 

Wilseus

Active Member
You may buy the xxls400 and spend the next year wondering what if... :lesson:

I went straight for the mono and have'nt spent even one minuite wondering if the xxls400 would have been better.

SWMBO said "its not that big" when I unpacked mine, I did let her pick the colour and I think that helped it in being accepted into our home.

Exactly my experience. :thumbsup:
 

Razorclam

Well-known Member
Porl said:
SWMBO said "its not that big" when I unpacked mine

And this was exactly my experience. :thumbsup:
 

Wilseus

Active Member
Agree with you on the size. If anything I was a tiny bit disappointed, especially with the size of the driver: a 15" one would have looked a lot more imposing! ;)
 

Porl

Standard Member
Agree with you on the size. If anything I was a tiny bit disappointed, especially with the size of the driver: a 15" one would have looked a lot more imposing! ;)

Yes if a 15" was offered by BK I would have waited and saved for another year to get that instead. But when I visited their workshops they seemed very laid back and content that they had the right products already.

BK 15" :lease:
 

hoppaz

Well-known Member
I think the last comment could be slightly confusing. Yes, LFE tracks can contain frequencies up 120Hz but this is unrelated to the crossover at which the frequencies from your speakers are diverted to the sub. For example, say you have a 5.1 sub-sat system and decided to set the crossover at 100Hz. All frequencies below 100Hz that would normally be sent to your 5 speakers are now reproduced by the sub. However the .1 track is independent of your speakers and your sub will reproduce this channel all the way up to 120Hz. Hence the sub is actually reproducing the LFE track in addition to all frequencies below 100Hz intended for your speakers.

I was pointing out a fact. I never said to set the sub to one crossover and his speakers to another. Crossovers aren't a sheer drop of a cliff. They are gradual.

With his ported bookshelf speakers it maybe worth cutting the frequency higher and let the dedicated sub with the dedicated amp produce (a better, less bloated) LF signal. It also means the AVR isn't working as hard. Things to consider.
 

mikelj

Well-known Member
I was pointing out a fact. I never said to set the sub to one crossover and his speakers to another. Crossovers aren't a sheer drop of a cliff. They are gradual.

With his ported bookshelf speakers it maybe worth cutting the frequency higher and let the dedicated sub with the dedicated amp produce (a better, less bloated) LF signal. It also means the AVR isn't working as hard. Things to consider.

Thanks for clarifying. I didn't think I inferred that the OP should set the sub to one crossover and his speakers to another, I just though that the reference to the LFE channel containing frequencies up to 120Hz might confuse the OP, since it's the relationship between the frequencies reproduced by the mains/surround channels (depending on speaker configuration ) and the sub that we're talking about, not the LFE channel.
 

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