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Do I need a subwoofer?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Blindman, May 25, 2005.

  1. Blindman

    Blindman
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    My partner and I demoed (amongst other things) a set of Quad 21Ls/11Ls/Quad centre to go with an Arcam AVR300, which we are going to buy. We are also getting the Quad sub on trial. The thing is, my partner is unconvinced that we need the sub! Our room is 13' by18', we will not be playing it at excessive volumes (our children sleep above), the main sub use will be for movies. Are there any particularly good DVDs for demoing subs to convince my better half? Or do we maybe really not need a sub, given the volume restrictions and bass response of Quad 21Ls?
    Please help :lease:
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You will probably get as many people saying that you need a sub as those saying that you don't but if you have already made arrangements for a home demo of the Quad sub you can decide for yourself.

    My own opinion is that a sub is very worthwhile if you want the full on home cinema experience to go with Jerry Bruckheimer type action films, even at lower volumes, but not everyone watches action films.

    It is one thing turning up the wick and listening to Darla tapping on the fishtank at reference level but you should make sure that most of your sub testing is with the type of films that you will normally be watching and at your normal film listening levels.
     
  3. russraff

    russraff
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    What I would say is that if you are getting a sub, then the need for floorstanders isn't all that great. You could save money by getting another pair of 11L's and a pair of stands rather than 21L's. I wouldn't go back to floorstanders after listening to a bookshelf/sub combo - I find the smaller speakers to have more pace and less bloat than floorstanders.
    Like Ian said, though, each to their own. You could try listening to some (stereo) music with the 21L's sans subwoofer and then with the 11L's + sub and hear which is best. A good piece to test a sub, and the rest of the system, is a chapter in the extended (dunno about the standard edition) of Return of the King. It's called "Lighting the Beacons" and it has a wonderfully full musical queue that will really test the sub's subtleties beyond outright slam. Gandalfs dialogue should be clearly heard, too "Hope is re-kindled". I prefer the DD track to the DTS one, but try both. If you have the DVD of course.

    Russell
     
  4. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Russraff, that's a complicated one that brings up all sorts of other things to consider. My preference is bookshelves + sub for movies but I'd rather have some floorstanders as most of my use is for music which enable far more flexible bass-management through an AV receiver.

    In response to the original question, a badly setup sub will make everything sound much worse. A well setup sub will make it all sound much better. You don't necessarily need the extra depth/power/control that a sub can provide but once you've heard it done right it's very difficult to go back (as with all things hifi related). :)
     
  5. pwood

    pwood
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    A sub can be very beneficial at low volumes so my answer would be get one.
    Given your concerns regards volume perhaps you could get the dealer to allow a home demo. I reckon the smaller speaker route would be a cheaper alternative but floorstanders do look tidier for alot of folks.

    You could try the Quads with different subs as subs dont need to be of the same manufacturer and savings could be made. Try the REL QUAKE as its really good with music and movies provided PAIN volume is not required ( and yes I've got one)
     
  6. JUS

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    Blindman,

    Although I have spent thousand on my HC for what I think is my own enjoyment my 6 year old daughter and her mates use and enjoy my HC more than I do. So I think the Darla test would be a good and relevant one :D ..if not now due to their age then I'm sure it won't be too long.

    My fav test is the start of LOTR - Fellowship....the dropping of Saurons ring and the bass wave that follows. Also for music Outkast Speakerboxx the intro is slow but very low...low enough for a good sub to make your shirt flap!
     
  7. russraff

    russraff
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    If he doesn't choose Bird Eye Maple, then there's something wrong with him!!!

    Russell
     
  8. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    If you are getting home demo of the Quad sub. Why not try some other makes.

    I know Rel will do home demos, & things like the Stampede/Strata subwoofer will give you a subwoofer experience you can use at low volumes without shaking the foundations (although many members would not think this good). I was using some old tannoy mercury large bookshelfs which did alright in the bass department, but when I heard films & music wth a sub (even a small one) I was definitely sold. Personally I found the Quad sub a bit boomy, which is not good since I live in a terrace & have 2 young children, so I opted for a Rel, which I found to be very tight & not earth shattering (again not what many would want). But if you can demo at home you can try with & without
    & make your own decision. :)
     
  9. Shin Akuma

    Shin Akuma
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    Sub will give you more slam then 21L speakers But with 21L speakers used as large on your preamp you will get Stereo Bass, on the other hand with Subwoofer it is mono, Stereo Bass is quite nice and offcourse you will be saving some £s because you won't be buying sub, I believe 21L can go down to 35hz which isn't bad but not as low as L subwoofer.
    Trail is a best thing to do. Goodluck.
     
  10. samhain

    samhain
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    Good Point !
     
  11. Blindman

    Blindman
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    Thanks very much guys- I'll try the REL's as well! As regards finish, I'm sorry, but it has to be the piano black! :thumbsup:
     

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