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Do subs wear out?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by godzilla, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. godzilla

    godzilla
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    My REL strata is now 8 years old and I've noticed recently that it occasionally makes distorted "cracking" noises when playing very bassy scenes as featured in Blade 2, Titan AE and virtually the whole of LOTR!

    TBH I only noticed this after Prestige Audio recalibrated my Denon AVC A1-D with an spl meter etc after they installed my Sim2 HT300. They did the THX thing and switched all the bass to the sub and I think raised the sub output by 3db.

    This certainly lead to an increase in bass, but as I said, on very demanding discs, the driver seems to give up!

    Would an upgrade to, say, a Velodyne CHT 15 be the answer? I'm having to watch LOTR at less than -20db to stop the sub cracking and I've turned the sub channel output back down to "0 db"!

    thanks for your advice.
     
  2. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    What you need to remember is that the Strata I and II's internal amps are not very big - 60w.

    I too found the same issue with my Strata II, of course it depends how hard you've driven it in the past;)

    My advice would be to either go for the CHT 15 power buy, or alternatively the Paradigm Servo 15.

    I've gone through a couple of sub changes recently:

    For several years I ran a Strata II in conjunction with a Q-Bass 50, then recently swapped to 2 x REL Storms.....finally I've ended up with a single Servo 15, which frankly blows the RELs out of the water.

    And it feels like it's almost impossible to "clip" this sub.....it's almost bottomless.

    Nuff said:D
     
  3. godzilla

    godzilla
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    thanks, I guessed as much. Looks like the plastic is going to take another caning!
    Why did you choose the Servo 15 over the Velodyne?

    Does anyone have any idea where I can read a comparison between the Paradigm and the Velodyne?
     
  4. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Not sure that you can get a side by side comparison.

    Reasons for going Paradigm?

    Well it's cheaper than the Velodyne CHT 15, and on paper, the specs are better (it goes lower!).

    As to which is better is a subject for debate, CHT 15 owners and Uncle Eric will likely say there is little difference between the 2, but I for one will stick by my Servo 15. (I don't believe the CHT 15 goes to 17hz but someone correct me if I'm wrong).

    You just have the hassle of dealing with a frankly incompetent Richer Sounds if you want the paradigm, but go through mail order and you shouldn't have a problem.:D
     
  5. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    I suspect it's more to do with the size of driver than the amp - a 10" driver can only do so much. I could be wrong, though, given that even REL's big subs use 10" drivers (albeit doubled up).

    It's just that in order to push the air around as much as you need to for those particularly bassy scenes (try Independence Day with the volume cranked, any scene where one of the motherships is rumbling about - talk about subwoofer pain!) a 10" driver is forced to move awfully far in and out - and there's only so far that it'll go.

    I've found this out to my disappointment with my shiny new £1100 ATC Concept 2 subwoofer. It's a fantastic subwoofer - goes very deep, is very fast, and integrates beautifully with my mains - but when I play movies like Titan A.E. and Independence Day I have to be careful about what level I set it at or the poor wee 9" driver just starts farting. It's actually not so bad, as I hate overblown bass (I don't just mean "boomy" bass - even gorgeous clean bass 'a la Velodyne HGS gets on my nerves very quickly if the level's too high) and with the subwoofer level set to a sensible level on the amp it does just fine, and sounds great. Just the right amount of bottom end punch and growl for my tastes. :) I just don't like the fact that if I really wanted to, I couldn't crank up the bass without it sputtering about... :( (And for a sub of that sort of price range, I suppose I expected a bit more...)

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  6. Oli

    Oli
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    I have a similar problem with my Rel Stygian, its old, but can be fantastic... Just with the dynamics of DVD you have to be careful with levels!
     
  7. Jim Robson

    Jim Robson
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    Dunkyboy said " I have to be careful about what level I set it at or the poor wee 9" driver just starts farting." Ha, ha, ha! :devil: I have this vision of your little sub blowing raspberries of protest at you, from its hidden corner in your a/v room, when you demand too much of it!

    Regards

    Jim :p
     
  8. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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  9. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    Hmm, I have a hunch my problem is mostly to do with my room. It seems my listening position just happens to be the location of a huge bass suckout - anywhere else in the room and the bass is hooge, but sit down in the sweet spot and it disappears... :( I'm still experimenting with positioning but I doubt I'll find anywhere that really cures it. Where it is now is about as good as it'll get I reckon. I'd love to see how a Storm would perform in my room, by comparison. It is possible that the Storm would go louder without farting due to its bass reflex port (ATC are big believers in sealed boxes).

    Dunc
     
  10. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    To be honest, with hindsight I wouldn't consider getting a Storm now - for the price, the Servo 15 blows everything out of the water.

    I had 2 Storms in my set-up, which brand new would cost somewhere in the region of £1600. A single Servo 15 (at £500) blows them both right out of the water with ease.
     
  11. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    More than that - a new Storm III is, what, £900 these days? Pretty steep...

    Thing is, I need my sub to be musical more than anything else. My plan was to spend a grand or so on a sub because I want it to sound *perfect* with music (I'm *very* finicky about my music, and doubly so about bass). I reckoned if the ATC sub sounded anything short of perfect with music, I'd give up on the whole "musical sub" idea and I'd sell it and get a CHT-15 (or Servo-15 if I could be bothered with Richer Sounds, which is doubtful) to be used just for movies, as I would imagine the Velodyne and Paradigm are both considerably bigger and stronger for movies (15" servo-controlled forward-firing vs. 9" down-firing, no contest :) ), but probably not so good with music.

    Thing is, as much as I am disappointed about the ATC's lack of big-bass headroom for particularly demanding movie soundtracks, I'm in love with its sound! It sounds really great, for both movies and music. It just disappears, filling in those really low notes with ease, and it goes so deep without difficulty.

    To be honest, I pine for an HGS-15 but I never could've afforded it, and I'll just keep that in the back of my mind as a long-term upgrade plan. I would like to have a demo of it with music, as the last demo I had of an HGS (a 12") was in a terribly set up system and didn't give me much of a chance to try music. I have yet to be convinced of servo-controlled subs' abilities with music...

    Dunc
     
  12. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Unless it's in 5.1, there are very few CDs that I like playing with the sub, I prefer it without to be honest (but then my floorstanders go pretty low anyway).

    So it doesn't bother me that the Servo 15 isn't good for music. Some people say it is, some say it isn't - personally I don't think so, but then mine's set up for movies:D
     
  13. godzilla

    godzilla
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    I had a look on their website and couldn't find it...

    Smurfin,
    Now that the Velodyne can be had for £685 through Eric, would you have gone for that over the Paradigm? Has anyone heard both togther?

    thanks
     
  14. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    In a word no.

    £185 is alot of money, and like I say the CHT15 doesn't goes as low as the paradigm.

    That said, I am obviously a servo 15 owner so I would say that:D

    Not sure if there's been a shootout between the 2 (servos are impossible to demo, the velos almost as difficult unless you go to eric direct), but if anyone has a CHT15 and lives in Cambridge then I would be quite willing to host it :)

    Any takers?
     
  15. Guest

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    Smurfin


    Really?

    I cant imagine listening to my CD's without my sub.

    Interesting.


    Adzman
     
  16. Guest

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    dunkyboy

    Blimey!.....that's another interesting one.

    Interesting to read of your comments regarding your ATC sub.

    Adzman
     
  17. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    It's not really that interesting an opinion as my experience of servo subs is meagre to say the least - one demo of an HGS-12 in a setup that was decidedly not very good. :)

    All I mean is, I couldn't say one way or the other. I'm just a bit sceptical is all, I guess. I would imagine the whole servo feedback mechanism would introduce phase inaccuracies relative to the original signal, which could potentially ruin a sub's ability to "disappear" into the soundstage... no?

    Dunc
     
  18. Rob

    Rob
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    If this is the case, I think you would be disappointed with the Servo 15. The Rel STs are undoubtedly better in this respect. Getting a sub that goes low, and is musical can be a tough call.

    Richer Sounds do have a 2 week money-back offer, so you can get your money back if it didn't suit. Failing that, there are enough people here looking for one, so you will easily be able to sell it on. Best thing is to try one out for yourself.

    Rob.
     
  19. BK Electronics

    BK Electronics
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    Unfortunately speakers like everything else wear out. The Th/Sm parameters of your Vifa drive unit in your strata will have changed considerably, as the suspenstion would have reduced loosing it's grip and punch. Below resonance the loudspeaker willl start to exceed it's linear excursion and bottom out and this will be the noise you are hearing. A good experiment would be to close the seal off somehow and play the problem cd's, dvd's. A sealed enclosure will suffer far less with excessive excursion.

    Also, anyone who has fed the Strata Th/Sm into a software package will know that the port was longer than needed. Why, who knows?.
     
  20. micb3rd

    micb3rd
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    One of the reasions subwoofers are ported lower than needed is a longer port meas a lower tune and a lower tune provides more protection against bottoming.

    That is why the huge Adire Audio tempest DIY boxes are oftern tuned in the 16-20 hz region to get maximum bass form very deep down.
     
  21. Guest

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    dunkyboy

    Alas, i'm no expert on the sub front although i remember reading a piece from Nic Rhodes (Hello Nic:) ) in which he states that the efficient servo circuits are hard to engineer right, which means that it is left to the experts to ponder over.

    I suppose you could call Velodyne an expert sub company.

    I have played Rap, Rock, Drum & Bass, Pop, R&B, House, Techno & many others, and have yet to be left feeling peed off about how the HGS handles the bottom end of the tree.

    I've also learned that sub positioning is crucial to what you get out of the box, so when i have my lounge decorated & finished, it will be interesting to see the differences in performance from location to location...(and the effect it has on my back!!!!!!)

    I've heard lots of systems where the bass is way to boomy, which is something that i really try to avoid...

    It's fun to sit there and tweak, fiddle & adjust.:)

    Adzman
     
  22. uncle eric

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    Did someone say Velodyne. Don't start me off :D
     
  23. Guest

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    Eric


    Once upon a time...............................

    :)

    Adam.
     

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