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Confused over subwoofers - help!

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Jona, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Jona

    Jona
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    Hi Guys,

    This is my first ever post - so be gentle with me!

    I have recently been considering buying a subwoofer for installing into my lounge (which is approx. 4 x 5 metres - with plasterboard walls). My existing equipment is: -

    TV: Phillips 32PW9763 (32” with approx 11 in-built speakers, none of which are now used!)
    AV Receiver: Yamaha RX-V800RDS (100w per channel)
    DVD Player: Pioneer DV-535
    Centre Speaker: Paradigm CC-370 (was recommended in reviews & is v.impressive)
    Front speakers: Paradigm Monitor 5 floor standers (bought them to match CC370 – but find them bland)
    Rear Speakers: Linn Nexus (left over from previous hi-fi setup)

    Before starting on all this home cinema stuff, I had always thought of myself as being pretty knowledgeable about hi-fi (have had a mainly LINN system for many years). However, it has become clear to me that it’s a whole different area, which I need to learn about all over again.

    In February I went to the Bristol show and headed directly to the VIBE room which I remembered as being impressive the year before. I listened to the Alpha I and the Alpha II. The alpha I was too weedy, but I was quite impressed by the more expensive Alpha II (£400). After finding it great with blockbuster movies, my only concern was whether it would be subtle enough for other material. It has been given 5 stars by at least one magazine, but I have found it hard to find any further reviews.

    I also went next door to the REL room and heard the Q150E. Unfortunately, the material being played was very different from that in the VIBE room, so therefore I found it very difficult to compare the two. If anything, the REL seemed rather flat, but I assumed that it wasn’t set up properly as REL always win every award going, don’t they?

    Anyway, I discovered the AVFORUMS site quite by chance a few days ago and was well pleased with myself because I thought that finally I would be able to end my confusion. Unfortunately I was wrong. Although I now feel much more knowledgeable (having read many threads), I also feel even more confused. I concur with the other contributor who said that he was now too scared to buy a subwoofer!

    Before I discovered the forums, I had made my mind up that either the VIBE or the REL would be my choice (I would of course visit my local dealer for a proper listening). However, I have slowly become more convinced that Uncle Eric’s deals on the CHT-10 or 15 are the way to go.

    Problem solved, you might think:smashin: – but no:thumbsdow:. I stupidly read the threads about the Gallo Nucleus Micros partnered with the MPS150. I had seen these at the Bristol show, but hadn’t taken much notice of them as they looked too ‘quirky’ and after all, I was only looking for a sub, wasn’t I?

    After much consideration, I now wonder if I would be better replacing my hotchpotch of speakers with the Gallo sub/sat system (which I have now convinced myself are 'cute':kisses: rather than 'quirky':D). The advantages would be that all the speakers would match (both sonically and esthetically) and the sub is tailor-made to match the frequency-response of the subs. An added benefit would be that my wife would be happy with the freed-up space in the lounge!

    My questions are: -

    - Has anyone any views on the VIVE Alpha II? Incidentally, it comes with a lifetime guarantee which I thought sounded a good feature.
    - Most magazine reviews seem to praise the REL’s (quake or Q150E). However, the forums seem to tell me that the opposite is true. Should I ignore magazines from now on?
    - Looking back at the show, I seem to vaguely remember that Velodyne sub(s) were used with the Moon equipment. Anyone remember if this is true and if so, which model(s)?
    - The forums tell me how great the Gallo speakers are, but from what I have read of the specs, the associated subwoofer does not seem to go very low. I do not want to shell out £1375 for a full Gallo 5.1 system and still end up with bass that is (presumably) not much deeper than my current speakers. I find it a bit odd that in threads that discuss subs in general, the lower a sub goes, the better it is liked. But with the Gallo sub no-one seems that bothered that it doesn’t go very low. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, but I’m just confused about why this is.
    - Has anyone tried out a combination of the Velo CHT-10 (or CHT-15) with the Gallo subs? Would this give the best of both worlds (small subs + deep bass), or would the more cohesive (albeit less deep bass) of the totally Gallo system be better?
    - If I go for the totally Gallo system, am I going to find I am disappointed in comparison to my existing speakers? I am particularly worried about replacing my existing chunky Paradigm CC-370 centre speaker with a tiny 4” ball!

    I should make it clear that I won’t have the funds for such purchases immediately (as I’m still saving up), but I find it better to ask the questions in advance, as once I have the money in my hands it is tempting to make a hasty decision which I might regret later!

    Finally, I’d like to thank you all for the previous postings I’ve read which got me to this stage. I may be more confused, but at least I’ve not made the mistake of choosing a VIBE/REL sub without knowing all the other available alternatives.

    Best regards,
    Jonathan. :eek:
     
  2. uncle eric

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    Hi Jonathan,
    Welcome to the forums.
    The subs used in Redlines room were indeed Velodynes.
    They were a pair of SPL800's (600 watts each) and were used in conjunction with Moon amplification, CD and AVI Pro nine standmount monitors.
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Blimey, where does one start answering that lot. :D

    Firstly there seems to be a direct correlation between a manufacturer's advertsing budget and the number of stars that it receives in a review.

    Mention has already been made today of Juboy who swore by his award winning REL Q150 until he heard a Velodyne CHT10 at half the price that he paid and he is now a happy member of the Velogang.

    If you went to the Bristol show on the Sunday you might have bumped into us as we were were haunting the Gallo room where they had a set of Gallo Micros singing sweetly along with the MPS150 sub.

    I've never heard you Paradigm speakers so can't comment but I did like the Gallos and for reference I use M&K Professional speakers.

    Our gang also spent some time in the Velodyne room as we heard a rumour that they had plenty of beer left. Unfortunately the twin subwoofers attached to the end of all that expensive Moon gear were the SPL800 which although fine subwoofers have not been the subject of a Power Buy and quite frankly were not what I wanted to hear.

    The best thing for you to do when it comes nearer to the time to part with your cash is to pop down to North London and have a listen to uncle eric's Gallo set up and make your own mind up whether they offer a significant improvement over your current speakers.

    The final question that I can answer is whether anyone has Gallo speakers with a Velodyne subwoofer. The answer is yes but I can't remember who it is so you had better hope that he spots this thread.
     
  4. Jona

    Jona
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    Eric,

    Thanks for the swift reply. Now that I know something about Velodynes (from your posts), I wish that I had taken more notice of them whilst at the show. Still, there's always next year - if I can wait that long!:devil:

    I must admit that I was impressed by the sound in the Redline room and sat there for quite a while. The only snag is that since I spent a fortune on Linn kit (may years ago), I vowed never to spend so much again. Not sure I'll be able to keep to that promise.

    Out of interest, I know that you're based in North London, but how far are you from Pinner (I visit my parents occasionally down there)?

    Thanks,
    Jonathan.
     
  5. Apocalypse

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    Jona - You are obviously a person of high intelligence and class as you use Paradigm speakers, welcome to the club :clap:

    No sarcy comments Ian J :nono: :)

    Why don't you wait for the latest shipment from Paradigm to arrive on these shores (should be any week now) and choose from their incredibly cheap studio reference range.
     
  6. Jona

    Jona
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    Ian,

    Thanks for your reply which was very useful. Sorry I waffled on so long in the original post, but I wanted to make an impact on my first post! :D

    I'm afraid I would have missed you at Bristol as I went on Friday (hoping to avoid the weekend crowds). It was pretty busy on Friday, so not sure whether I made the right decision or not.

    I agree that a trip to Uncle Eric's may be the only sensible route. If I do so in the future, I'll just have to make sure I only listen to gear up to a certain price point. I always find that once you've listened to the most expensive then it is very difficult to buy anything different!

    Jonathan.
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Apart from the fact that sarcasm just isn't in my nature, I agree with the above quote anyway :smashin:
     
  8. Jona

    Jona
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    Apocalypse,

    Thanks for your comments about Paradigm speakers. I must admit that whilst I've been very impressed by the CC-370 centre speaker, the monitor 5's are very wishy washy (I think they've been replaced by a new model now).

    Secondly, when I bought the monitor 5's, they were shop soiled and therefore came with no info. I therefore e-mailed Paradigm asking them if it would be wise for me to install spikes at the base (as they sit directly on the carpet othjerwise). I am still waiting for an answer a year later!

    Still, at least I've learned my lesson about buying things without auditioning them first. I guess with every manufacturer, they have their good speakers and their not so good ones.
     
  9. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    Touche you git, touche :)
     
  10. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    I run the Gallos with a CHT-15, and prior to this used the MPS-150.
    For music i still think i preferred the Gallos-MPS pairing... combined they just sounded right, giving a performance that matched my floorstanders without taking up the space. With movies i found the MPS a little too lightweight, and as the system in the family room is used mainly for movies i elected to go to the CHT-15, which i much prefer. That said, my room seems to swallow most sound under 30Hz, so it maybe that in the right room the MPS would have more than met my needs.


    My plan after the new amp arrives is to re-introduce an MPS to the front two Gallos via it's high level connections...the best of both worlds....
     
  11. James45

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    I don't know where this 'lightweight' opinion of the MPS-150 has come from, i cannot speak highly enough of this sub. it may not be able to cause damage to your internal organs like the HGS-18 but then again it uses a 10inch driver in a very small enclosure.
    what it can do is simply stunning. it is built like a battleship, its not just a big wooden box, its endlessly pleasing on the ear with music, movies and games and can make my floor and walls shake if i want it to. you would have to offer me something pretty damn special to get me to swap. actually it would have to include the letters hgs.:devil:
     
  12. EvilMudge

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    Monitor 5s, wishy washy? Sounds like amp trouble. Though they do sound better on spikes. Given proper amplification these babies have set an entire wing of a university halls of residence (one that has been bombed and survived no less) shaking.:D

    However I can't honestly say a bad word against the Nucleus Micros, unless you like to sit quite far out of the sweetspot. They can't get around the beaming effect that a single comparatively large driver has at high frequency. Which is where the Due comes into it's own.

    If you want to get rid of the Monitor 5s I'll give you a good offer for them.:cool:
     
  13. Jona

    Jona
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    Tyefi,

    Thanks for your comments which were most helpful. It sounds like I won't be disappointed by either of the subwoofers. I think the final decision will have to be based on a listening test of both, once funds allow. See also my reply to 'James45' which might explain why I was (perhaps mistakenly) keener on the CHT series.
     
  14. Jona

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    James45,

    Regarding your comment:

    "I don't know where this 'lightweight' opinion of the MPS-150 has come from"

    After reading what you said, I went back and looked at the reviews I had read of the MPS-150 on the anthonygallo web site. There is a review by "Home Cinema Choice" which states that the frequency response is 40hz-160hz. It's possible that this is what I was remembering. Looking back at it, I think they meant to say that these are the crossover settings. I have now looked at the specs given by Gallo themselves and they say the frequency response starts at 24hz. This seems much more sensible! In fact, it compares well to the 23hz figure of the Velodyne CHT-10.

    Looks like I need to read things more critically from now on!
     
  15. paulfd

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    Like tyefi, I also run Gallos, only 3 front at moment, with CHT 15. I personally love it (and them) both for music and cinema. Finances permitting I'll be replacing my current old Yamaha rears later on this year with another 2 Micros. My room is similar size to yours so should be OK. Word of warning, the CHT is not a piece of wife friendly equipment; it's big , available in black only and extremely noisy :D.

    My personal advice, see if you can visit uncle eric in North London and have a listen. His Gallos set-up in his front room is quite impressive and should give you a better indication of what to expect at home rather than a purpose built dealer's listening room (in my humble opinion).

    Rgds
     
  16. HotblackDesiato

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    James i think it's more to do with my problematical room acoustics than the MPS sub itself...as i note, with music, i still think _with the Gallos sats_ it has the beating of the CHT...to my ear at least.
     
  17. Jona

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    Paul,

    Thanks for your confirmation that the Gallos should work in my size of room. My wife has always been very good about my habit of buying large boxes over the years, so maybe it's time I gave her a break and went for the 'friendlier' MPS-150! Will take her along to a demo (when funds allow) for a final confirmation.
     
  18. Jona

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    Evilmudge,

    Thanks for the info and the offer for the Monitor 5's. I'm very tempted, but if I sell those then it means I'd have to start on the Gallo route immediately, (which I'm not in a position to do yet if I want to stay married), so reluctantly I'll have to decline for now.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  19. EvilMudge

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    Jona,
    no time limit mate, would love to have another pair no matter when.
     

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