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How important is the .1??

flew21

Established Member
Hi all...
I have the speakers listed in my sig below set up in the lounge in a 5.1 configuration. (602's are in the bedroom - so the rears are the 600's, fronts 604's and 600 center, monolith sub.)
Just playing around with ideas and out of interest really, was wondering what the effect would be of routing all bass to the fronts (an option on my ancient Yamaha amp) and doing away with the sub altogether.
This would mean the girlfriend gets back some of the space I've taken over with my "OTT setup" (her words - NOT mine!;)), but at the expense of a dedicated LFE channel.
Of course I can just change the settings and try it - but can someone let me know what the actual difference to what I'd be hearing would be - am I right that LFE is more than just bass??
And is this something that my DM604's could handle or not?
Many thanks for the words of wisdom.:smashin:
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
The 604s won't go anywhere near as low as the Monolith.
So as you go lower, you'll hear the same (vastly increased distortion aside) but quieter and quieter until they run out of steam altogether .
Then you won't hear anything, as they just can't reproduce it.

Then there is the advantage of a sub lightening the load on your amp to consider.

Simplest way is to just try it and see what you think, but it seems a shame to have such a good sub and not use it imo.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
It does depend on the film, your main speakers, listening levels and room size/location IMHO. In my old house I didn't even have a sub as it was a semi with paper thin walls and grumpy older neighbours, who would complain even at 6pm let alone late night listening. Once I moved to a detatched house I've progressed through bigger and bigger subs (KEF1000>BK XLS200>BK Monolith>maybe SVS of some description one day :devil:).

However, I watched a film this weekend and forgot to turn on the sub (sacrilige I know :D), but as it was more a romance film, it wasn't really noticable. Had I done this when I watched Terminator 4 or other similar 'action' films I may have spotted the difference. My mains aren't huge, though they do produce a decent amount of bass for their size, so you can manage without, but it does detract from certain films if you're missing that really low end (like 40Hz and down) IMHO.

If your amp is set to crossover to the sub at perhaps 80Hz, then this means that not only LFE will come out of the sub, but the low end from the centre (mostly where they 'pan' the bass in music) and the fronts will be redirected to the sub. Depending on the bass response of your speakers and the room acoustics, this might give a better result leaving your mains with less work to do so they can sound better without trying to reproduce the very low end.

Bottom line is, why not just try it out and see if you can live with it (using a fairly bassy soundtrack to show up the difference).
 

Zorba_8

Established Member
I've tried a similar tinkering and found that for general music listening the sub wasn't necessarily needed as my floor standing speakers were able to produce the frequencies cleanly, however there was a massive gap when watching an action film and it was sorely missed.
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
This would mean the girlfriend gets back some of the space I've taken over with my "OTT setup" (her words - NOT mine!;)), but at the expense of a dedicated LFE channel.
How large is your girlfriend? Is she taking up space that could be devoted to an even better LFE experience? Have you considered equipping her kitchen better to keep her from interfering, etc, etc. I think we should be told....

At the risk of bringing down the fury of accepted forum wisdom, an alternative to growing a pair could be a smaller sub. You'll loose the ultimate depth and SPL of the Monolith, but in 95% of circumstances you probably won't notice much difference if you had a look at the likes of an easier to hide XXLS-400 (for instance) and you will still completely stuff the bass the B&Ws can offer. If you don't mess with EQ, it might even get you better bass than the Monolith <ducks and runs for cover>:D

Russell
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
Have you considered equipping her kitchen better to keep her from interfering, etc, etc. I think we should be told....

:laugh:

Yep, works for me :smashin:

You keep your sub, she gets that nice new fridge or oven etc.

At the risk of bringing down the fury of accepted forum wisdom, an alternative to growing a pair could be a smaller sub. You'll loose the ultimate depth and SPL of the Monolith, but in 95% of circumstances you probably won't notice much difference if you had a look at the likes of an easier to hide XXLS-400 (for instance)

I like that advice.
The difference is only when you're pushing it big time imo.

If you don't mess with EQ, it might even get you better bass than the Monolith <ducks and runs for cover>

Makes sense too.

But there's no way I would ever trade down if I could avoid it.

If I was the OP, after sorting out the keeping the Monolith issue, I'd be looking to do another deal for an EQ box :devil:
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Only if you prefer pretend sub-bass.
Do you forget that we have both at one time or another had PB13s in our rooms? I'd only place it in my top five and no, I'm not counting my sealed twins as two of the five. It's hard to better as an off the shelf sub for it's price, even with what the exchange rate has done to that recently, but it's not the ultimate anything.

All IMHO of course.:)

Russell
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Only if you prefer pretend sub-bass.

You stick to your music and we'll have the real stuff thank you :p :rolleyes: ;)

You forget sir, I have owned the sub you do, and I replaced it. Do you think I would replace it with something inferior? When you get yourself a proper sealed sub, then we can talk :D

Anyone else notice this trend in subs:

Cheapest tat, all ported designs
Low end, mostly ported with the odd sealed sub
middle ground, a mix of sealed and ported designs
High end, still a bit of a ix, but with a lot more sealed designs in there
Very top end, where you will find more sealed designs than anywhere previously.

IMO, sealed is by far the best, if you do it properly and accept the fact that free performance boosting comes at a cost.

I have offered to bring my sub down and put my money were my mouth is :smashin:. If you want, I'll lend it to you for a couple weeks and let you demo it, should such an offer interest you, but once I get the finish done, it wont be going anywhere again :D

You might also ask members Prize78 and SMK if my sub has any low end grunt, as they have both heard it, and possibly, another member (swiftpete) will get a listen this weekend as well.
 
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Nimby

Distinguished Member
Those who think their speakers are producing clean bass are listening to harmonics. Of course the harmonics sound clean and fast. Almost any speakers can play the harmonics. Even a shoe-box-sized speaker can do bass if you like listening to harmonics. The fundamentals are completely absent. Or so far down in the noise as to be worthless.

Nobody twists your arm or forces you to own a subwoofer. Certainly not a big subwoofer. It's a personal choice. It's not about the bass. It's about realism. It's about reproducing everyday sounds as your ears expect them to sound. It's about little things like car doors slamming. About the background traffic and trains in films and TV series. It's about living colour in the sounds you hear. It's about power that makes you flinch and duck. It's about grinning like an ape. Or being very afraid.
 

nonumb

Prominent Member
Agree with what has been said - losing the monolith would not be a good thing.

Having said that your 604s are pretty good in the bass department. I'd say it wouldnt be too bad for music but for films it'd be a big loss.
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
I find a lot of ported designs suffer from colouration, in both speakers and subs. My speakers seem to do well with cabinet colouration even though they arent decidedly high end, and I think that has something to do with lack of cabinet, they are small speakers after all in the grand scheme of things.

When it comes to subs, the colouration from larger cabinets can sometimes be too obvious, and one of the strong points of the Ultra was a distinct lack of any of that colouration. However, you can go to far, and even in real life there are harmonics. Some of them should be there and what the Ultra does is strive for accuracy to such a level that I think it gets slightly robbed of the sound quality. Of course, the quality issue with the ultra isnt because its quality is bad, because its not, its just that its too clean and sounds to be missing something to my ears. One driver in a very large cabinet ( size being relative to the particular driver) leads to a very depth focused sound, which at some point becomes to clean or empty further up in the bass content.

I dont think its any coincidence that the Ultra is sold as a sub to match a full size speaker setup, because the speakers sound changes with size too, and some of life's harmonics etc, are produced by the speakers so the sub doesnt have to and it can concentrate on going deep and doing it cleanly. The M&K subwoofers have a different focus, and that is to add the upper bass sound in there becasue the speakers they are designed to work with are sats, and its those doing the very clean sound in that case.

I believe there should always be some distortion, after all, even your ears distort sound given enough welly. We like a certain amount of distortion and to have non is like having your favourite meal, but having it made without any of the ingredients that are bad for you, in doing so you will also rob it of some flavour. For me, this is what lead to my replacement of the Ultra. My sound now sounds just as deep to me, and it certainly seems to pressurize my room just as much as the ultra did, but it also has more upper bass that the Ultra just sounds to be missing. To boot, it sounds more articulate, has more detail and texture, sounds cleaner and is considerably more musical. There is no detectable (to my ears) cabinet sound, which being sealed is helped out massively, and all in all its giving me everything I ever thought I would want. Ive not heard better, but besides the MK's Ive not been lucky enough to listen to many subs costing more than 1k

Like you say Nimby, the small things like car doors are what seem to make the real difference, and to me my setup never sounded so good, and it brings a whole new level to films. Thunder and distant thunder has always been very hard to get right in the home, but its never sounded so realistic. A door slam move more air than than most subs, and the difference is clear when your subs ability increases. For me, the .1 channel is the bottom of the building that is your HT, its the foundations. Get the foundations right and your on your way to an impressive build, and the more substantial those foundations, the better. With the right subs, your speakers will also sound much better, and most people when starting out, dont realise a good sub isnt just about good bass, its about how that good bass also affects the rest of your system too, and its a surprisingly large amount.
 

Prize78

Prominent Member
Like you say Nimby, the small things like car doors are what seem to make the real difference, and to me my setup never sounded so good, and it brings a whole new level to films. Thunder and distant thunder has always been very hard to get right in the home, but its never sounded so realistic. A door slam move more air than than most subs, and the difference is clear when your subs ability increases. For me, the .1 channel is the bottom of the building that is your HT, its the foundations. Get the foundations right and your on your way to an impressive build, and the more substantial those foundations, the better. With the right subs, your speakers will also sound much better, and most people when starting out, dont realise a good sub isnt just about good bass, its about how that good bass also affects the rest of your system too, and its a surprisingly large amount.

Have to agree with you here. IMO, a good sub adds to/enhances the realism of the soundtrack. As has already been said, it's not just about balls out power, but it's the subtleties where you really notice it. It envelops the listener, and then, when required, smacks them in the face. I commented on another thread last week, that the skadoosh scene in kung fu panda, actually made me jump, and i knew what was coming. I've never had any sub before, make me jump. When you get a good powerful sub, you don't stop grinning when things like that happen. They can be incredibly atmospherical too. Horror films aren't my thing, but i'd imagine a few 'make you jump' moments would be fully exploited with a very capable sub.

Just my opinion. :smashin:
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Have to agree with you here. IMO, a good sub adds to/enhances the realism of the soundtrack. As has already been said, it's not just about balls out power, but it's the subtleties where you really notice it. It envelops the listener, and then, when required, smacks them in the face. I commented on another thread last week, that the skadoosh scene in kung fu panda, actually made me jump, and i knew what was coming. I've never had any sub before, make me jump. When you get a good powerful sub, you don't stop grinning when things like that happen. They can be incredibly atmospherical too. Horror films aren't my thing, but i'd imagine a few 'make you jump' moments would be fully exploited with a very capable sub.

Just my opinion. :smashin:

I agree too with this. Good subs lend weight and (perceived) realism to many movies, regardless of explosions and guns; some of my favourite moments in movies have been where the soundtrack is quite restrained, yet the subwoofer adds another dimension.

I went to Currys last weekend for another 3-D demo. They turned up the all-in-one system to an ear splitting level; the salesman said "don't you just love the bass?" - to which I bit my lip and asked him to turn it down. I wanted to tell him it sounded **** but I was in Curry's after all and most of them in there wouldn't know what a decent sub was if it smacked them in the face.

For the record - sealed for me every time. SVS ported subs offer good bang for buck (though somewhat eclipsed in these stakes by BK), but you simply cannot beat a decent sealed sub for poise and agility.
 

Aerial Man

Established Member
Another supporter of sealed subs here. Once intergrated properly, nothing else sounds quite as amazing.
You ported fans can keep your all out and relentless low end rumble, being shaken in your seat is cool and impressive for a few months until you get tired of sheer SPL and want something more pleasing to the ear.

Nothing comes close to the buzz you get from an hours shut eye listening to your favourite music, thats an experience on an entirely different level. And you can still feel enough spl to satisfy in that department.
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
Nothing comes close to the buzz you get from an hours shut eye listening to your favourite music.

I think you forgot to attach your smiley but I saved the last one for you. ;)

:boring:

The sealed sub is the 2-stroke to the ported sub's four stroke. :lesson:

The two stroke had the advantage on paper but who rides a 2-stroke any more... except moped fans in snorkel jackets trying to recreate the past? :rotfl:

I prefer a hot air balloon myself. :p
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Sealed is the prestige GT to a ported's stripped out racer. The racers are fun, but you ultimately prefer to live with the GT car - Aston Martin anyone?
 

roaduck

Established Member
Yeah, I'm full of it :D

I think what you are referring to with the SVS PB13 is dry, very well damped bass which to me, listening to loads of gigs and blues and reggae on PA Bass stacks outside and inside plus studio amps and monitors sounds a bit "unnatural" to me. I want speed, slam, transient attack, negligible overhang and more even-order harmonics.I'm not that bothered about ultimate extension - that's why I wanted the Eminence LAB12 Monolith sub with the bigger amp for a bit less distortion and more headroom.

As an aside I've always liked the big BBC designed monitors that were powerful (they sounded much bigger when you turned them up - not just louder), balanced, clear and non-fatiguing like the big Spendors, Rogers and Heybrooks - they could rattle the windows without any boom, sibilance or peakiness at all and you didn't even need to shout over them at well over a 100 DB because they sounded so even.

The best examples were not polite but ruthlessly revealing without the rough edges - that is a very hard balancing act to pull off and very few speakers do.

I had 91db/watt Heybrook HB3's with 300 watts of VTL tube monaural power amp going into each of them and they never sounded flustered, compressed or shouty - that is the sound I'm still looking for.

I have three subjective but harsh tests for my loudspeakers:

1/ Does it sound like a real piano is playing in an adjacent room with the door shut when just the stereo is on?

2/ Does recorded voice of family or even on the news / films sound like a real person talking aloud in an adjacent room?

3/ Can one tell for example what the left channel is doing whilst sitting directly in front of the right channel - eight to twelve feet to the right of the left speaker?

It's strange hearing real life bassy sounds on a big sub Moonfly.

The other week I was watching a film with a couple of friends and it was just a normal Hollywood drama - no big names - nothing special (can't remember the title) and one of my guests remarked "What's that noise?" and it was just somebody walking across the floorboards of a room normally and he heard and felt it - it literally adds realism and the scale of real-life sounds - it's not just the whizz bang effects of blockbusters and heavy rap that are important but everyday sounds like wind noise and cars starting up in a Eastenders episode for example.

Big waves, Rainstorms and Humpback Whales have infrasound too and if you put on one of those new age chill-out cds used for meditation and massage for example - it is exceptionally soothing and the deep and slow bass undoes my jangled nerves.

Does anybody use their sub for deep relaxation in a similar vane?
 
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roaduck

Established Member
When I need a proper kip I move my bedroom into the enclosure. ;)

I have a pull-out bed-settee in my PC/AV room and some of the time I don't make it to the bedroom.
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
I think what you are referring to with the SVS PB13 is dry, very well damped bass which to me, listening to loads of gigs and blues and reggae on PA Bass stacks outside and inside plus studio amps and monitors sounds a bit "unnatural" to me. I want speed, slam, transient attack, negligible overhang and more even-order harmonics.I'm not that bothered about ultimate extension - that's why I wanted the Eminence LAB12 Monolith sub with the bigger amp for a bit less distortion and more headroom.

As an aside I've always liked the big BBC designed monitors that were powerful (they sounded much bigger when you turned them up - not just louder), balanced, clear and non-fatiguing like the big Spendors, Rogers and Heybrooks - they could rattle the windows without any boom, sibilance or peakiness at all and you didn't even need to shout over them at well over a 100 DB because they sounded so even.

The best examples were not polite but ruthlessly revealing without the rough edges - that is a very hard balancing act to pull off and very few speakers do.

I had 91db/watt Heybrook HB3's with 300 watts of VTL tube monaural power amp going into each of them and they never sounded flustered, compressed or shouty - that is the sound I'm still looking for.

I have three subjective but harsh tests for my loudspeakers:

1/ Does it sound like a real piano is playing in an adjacent room with the door shut when just the stereo is on?

2/ Does recorded voice of family or even on the news / films sound like a real person talking aloud in an adjacent room?

3/ Can one tell for example what the left channel is doing whilst sitting directly in front of the right channel - eight to twelve feet to the right of the left speaker?

It's strange hearing real life bassy sounds on a big sub Moonfly.

The other week I was watching a film with a couple of friends and it was just a normal Hollywood drama - no big names - nothing special (can't remember the title) and one of my guests remarked "What's that noise?" and it was just somebody walking across the floorboards of a room normally and he heard and felt it - it literally adds realism and the scale of real-life sounds - it's not just the whizz bang effects of blockbusters and heavy rap that are important but everyday sounds like wind noise and cars starting up in a Eastenders episode for example.

Big waves, Rainstorms and Humpback Whales have infrasound too and if you put on one of those new age chill-out cds used for meditation and massage for example - it is exceptionally soothing and the deep and slow bass undoes my jangled nerves.

Does anybody use their sub for deep relaxation in a similar vane?

You've hit the nail on the head there, and after reading that I can tell you understand exactly where I'm coming from. Like Ive said previously, the mark of a truly excellent sub IMO, is not one that just impressed when the aliens attack etc, but one that makes you notice subtle effects you never knew where there previously as well. I know Nimby understands this too :thumbsup:
 

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