How much subwoofer output capability do you need in your system?

kbfern

Distinguished Member
image_preview2

Looking at the CEA figures at 2m the output does not rise much from 25hz up where the 12.17 keeps going up till 50hz then just drops of a bit.

So like you say the 12.17 has a bit more slam so could be the better sub to go for. Just need confirmation on final landed price including additional import duty and uk vat.
 

mfur

Standard Member
Hello,

just registered because of last few responses about Monolith THX 10 vs XTZ 12.17 EDGE.

I am facing exactly same dilemma selecting between those two. Price is almost the same for me. I have been doing almost obsessive research on them for the last few days including translating multiple private reviews on XTZ sub from IT/DE/GR among others.

My first pick was XTZ EDGE as numbers look great on paper with also quite a few very positive professional reviews. However, currently I'm strongly leaning towards Monolith.

What made me doubt XTZ the most are that nearly all reviewers that had opportunity to test XTZ vs other subwoofer they already had or ordered for test (PB-1000, BK Monolith among others) decided for the other one and sent XTZ back.

Letting amplifier issues in past series of XTZ 12.17/10.17 that generated a lot of returns aside, I found multiple reviews that scared me. Exposed issues:
  • port noise. Few reviews exposed it on multiple levels. One reason is that XTZ has two ports, relatively small box and most common way of running it with left port opened and right sealed (most low-bass extension). So we are left with one smaller port than usual that according to another post (I think here on avforums in XTZ thread) is quite long and not reinforced at some critical points, leading to resonances
  • smoking and smelling subs. Few posts on that issue. Perhaps users were completely overdoing it and there are no high-pass filters. Perhaps running EOT intro on loop or something silly. But some posts explicitly noted that they were not doing that. But that can't be done to Monolith from what I read.
  • amp running hot. driver visibly making too much effort on low frequencies. Probably consequence of relatively small box and high amps.
  • lack of musicality. Muffled sound then compared to other subwoofer in some audio samples that reviewer listening to.
  • "cheated" SPL measurements. XTZ has two ports. SPL at various frequencies were apparently measured in different configurations: one open, other open, both open. So SPL numbers available online are not achievable in real world. Compromise is needed and there are no measurements in reference mode (left port open)

On the other hand, I had a hard time finding any negative reviews on Monolith 10. Only thing I can remember was that mid-bass is not as chest-pounding. Everybody praised build quality, low port noise, no resonances and integration with main speakers for music (if DSP-introduced delay is dealt with).

If space was not an issue, I'd go for Monolith THX 12. I'm not sure if one THX 10 will be enough for my 35m^2 space - it is on edge according to THX specs. And I'm also not sure whether I will be willing to go dual in the future so I'm still torn between 10 and 12.

I appreciate any other input on the topic. It would be of course perfect if somebody that listened to both could chime in..
 

highdefinitely

Standard Member
If space was not an issue, I'd go for Monolith THX 12. I'm not sure if one THX 10 will be enough for my 35m^2 space - it is on edge according to THX specs. And I'm also not sure whether I will be willing to go dual in the future so I'm still torn between 10 and 12.

I think 1 x 10" Monolith THX Select sub for 35m² is stretching it a bit. Regardless of my preference for two (and more) subwoofers for the many reasons explained, I think that 1 x 10" isn't quite enough for a room of that size (how high is the ceiling btw.?).

It's all subjective in the end and the bass response may be plenty for you, but for a truly immersive home cinema experience, I'd prefer 2 x 10" Monoliths at a minimum, better 2 x 12" Monolith even.

The 12" Monolith is a beast - you could also go for one 12" and see if that satisfies you and buy another one later on.
 

mfur

Standard Member
Thanks for quick response.
My room is 9.3*3.6*2.4m. Room is divided into kitchen and living room; ~3.6m from seating position is projector screen going down and virtually separating the spaces (at the point where picture was taken).
Ceiling is at angle at the seating position, which I suspect provides big bass boost and also making a volume of room slightly smaller (calculated ~73m^3). Not yet sure whether this angle is good or bad thing.
Sub in picture is currently near right corner right by the couch - in this position, there is a problem with THX 12 but 10 fits. This position has a comfort benefit that I can set gain directly on sub directly from couch. So I wouldn't like to exclude this position. But perhaps better one might be below right speaker in corner created by chimney (where bunch of plants now are).
This will be my first proper sub in house, I only have car audio experience. Current temporary sub is old Infinity PS-8 (budget 100W RMS 8") that only gets down to 48Hz in practice where I suspect one of room modes is. Despite that, I'm currently quite happy with amplitude and linearity of 48-100Hz response (except 48Hz peak), but there is nearly nothing below that. FR was taken with S10+ smartphone which is relatively accurate but of course not any reference.
 

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kbfern

Distinguished Member
@mfur I like you have been searching round like crazy between the two subs, had it not been for the low low price of the 12.17 right now I probably would not even considered it anyway.

In the last hour I have been in touch with XTZ and they were down to under 10 of the 12.17 black gloss so the rest will be gone quite soon I am sure. I don't like to buy under pressure so I have stepped back in consideration of the points you have raised which I have seen myself in recent days with my search.

As I am wanting a pair I feel I am better off with the 10" THX ( can afford the 12" at £1k ea but don't want to spend £2k on subs for the lounge) Will probably order over the next day or two when the frenzy has calmed a little.:)
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
As a matter of interest how would a single 12" THX and a single 10" THX sound together, would they integrate well or would the sound be unbalanced.

That way I could get 1 of each for under £1400 possibly if that was a big improvement over 2 x 10".
 

highdefinitely

Standard Member
@mfur
Pictures do say more than a thousand words. Looks like the listening area of yours is substantially smaller than the room in total. While you do have to consider the whole room for bass response / standing waves, I think that you could get away with a single 10" Monolith in your specific case.

Simulation of a retangle is complex enough when you take the million and one different materials and dampening factors into account. When you have to consider angles and other factors, it quickly becomes mission impossible, hence only measurements and listening in the actual room can tell you what the best position of the subwoofer is and if one is enough.

Compared to what you have now, even the "small" 10" Monolith is going to be a major upgrade. I'd say order one and see if you're satisfied with the bass response. You can always buy another one later on should it not suffice.

I really like the 12" and 15" Monoliths, but if you don't have the space for them, that's just how it is. The 10" is a very capable sub, too, especially for the price.
 

highdefinitely

Standard Member
As a matter of interest how would a single 12" THX and a single 10" THX sound together, would they integrate well or would the sound be unbalanced.

That way I could get 1 of each for under £1400 possibly if that was a big improvement over 2 x 10".
I'm a believer in having identical subwoofers in a multi-sub environment.

Thing is, getting bass right is difficult enough (especially in an untreated room), hence you don't want to add more factors to the equation.

Sure, it's the same manufacturer with a likely similar sound profile (which isn't the right word in the Monolith's case, as they are strictly linear), but there are differences and unless you have the equipment to equalize them independently (and put a lot of time and effort into it), I'd avoid it. But that's just me.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
As a matter of interest how would a single 12" THX and a single 10" THX sound together, would they integrate well or would the sound be unbalanced.

That way I could get 1 of each for under £1400 possibly if that was a big improvement over 2 x 10".

Not ideal, the 10" is going to struggle with the 12" if you go balls to walls and i couldn`t live with two different looking subs. Looks ridiculous in living room. Did you have square room, maybe you could then have a look with REWs room sim as you don´t need to measure anything?! If one sub would give you decent response without huge suckouts then the F18 would be mental, but i fear you wouldn´t want to watch movies anymore in your dedicated room. :laugh:

Saying that you also have dedicated room the dual 10" Monos should be fine for the casual listening.. Shame they couldn´t offer further discounts.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for quick response.
My room is 9.3*3.6*2.4m. Room is divided into kitchen and living room; ~3.6m from seating position is projector screen going down and virtually separating the spaces (at the point where picture was taken).
Ceiling is at angle at the seating position, which I suspect provides big bass boost and also making a volume of room slightly smaller (calculated ~73m^3). Not yet sure whether this angle is good or bad thing.
Sub in picture is currently near right corner right by the couch - in this position, there is a problem with THX 12 but 10 fits. This position has a comfort benefit that I can set gain directly on sub directly from couch. So I wouldn't like to exclude this position. But perhaps better one might be below right speaker in corner created by chimney (where bunch of plants now are).
This will be my first proper sub in house, I only have car audio experience. Current temporary sub is old Infinity PS-8 (budget 100W RMS 8") that only gets down to 48Hz in practice where I suspect one of room modes is. Despite that, I'm currently quite happy with amplitude and linearity of 48-100Hz response (except 48Hz peak), but there is nearly nothing below that. FR was taken with S10+ smartphone which is relatively accurate but of course not any reference.

You don´t need the sub by the couch so that you can "set the gain" near by. You run the receiver setup with slightly higher gain to get negative trim for "subwoofer level" and then you can tweak the sub from your receiver menu safely while laying on couch. You would get probably bit more impact with the sub next to you, but i wonder does it locate easier there as many members who had sub at rear of room felt they needed to add 2nd for best blend/room filling bass.

Have you listened how the sub sounds in the front corner, perhaps you could do some quick measurements too? If the front corner sounds great then i would lean toward 12" model as you are already second guessing yourself so long term the 12" THX would keep you happy, with 10" model there could be those "what if" thoughts and then you end up upgrading later losing money.. The 15" model is so massive that it`s too much for most people in normal living rooms, however the 12" is still possible in that spot and it would be so dramatic upgrade!
 

mfur

Standard Member
@mfur
Pictures do say more than a thousand words. Looks like the listening area of yours is substantially smaller than the room in total. While you do have to consider the whole room for bass response / standing waves, I think that you could get away with a single 10" Monolith in your specific case.

Simulation of a retangle is complex enough when you take the million and one different materials and dampening factors into account. When you have to consider angles and other factors, it quickly becomes mission impossible, hence only measurements and listening in the actual room can tell you what the best position of the subwoofer is and if one is enough.

Compared to what you have now, even the "small" 10" Monolith is going to be a major upgrade. I'd say order one and see if you're satisfied with the bass response. You can always buy another one later on should it not suffice.

I really like the 12" and 15" Monoliths, but if you don't have the space for them, that's just how it is. The 10" is a very capable sub, too, especially for the price.
Thanks for your reponse.

I'm still very tempted by 12" Monolith, especially considering current 750€ price vs 530€ for 10" - seems steeper discount.
But with 12" I'd be giving away option of current near-field placement, which might turn out to be the best (as I don't have proper sub yet, I can't measure low range FR for different placements). Near-field placement might allow me to run sub at lower levels.
Do you have personal experience with both 10 and 12 version? I certainly like much lower distortion, extension below 20Hz and output levels of 12" on paper - but I have no idea how those translate to real-world experience. Specifically distortion - are higher values of 10" at high volumes readily perceptible? If it turns out that 10" is indeed slightly underpowered for my usage I might run it on higher levels - would distortion/lower sound quality at high output be apparent vs same level on 12"?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that Gasp, at the moment I have a 10/12 combo in my lounge but only for the last 2/3 months that I got the 10 from my brother at bro rates as he was selling other kit and the 10 did not sell so cost me not a lot. It sounds ok tbh but I am looking at upgrading from the 10/12 BK's and was thinking a pair of the Mono 10 THX would be an improvement but just how much of an improvement.

I have been spending last few days looking at all these alternatives which also included dual 12.17 XTZ which I have now ruled out as they will all be gone now I suspect.

Just a shame Monouk aren't letting us have access to the 12 Mono's as at their prices (750 euro's each) I would have gone for those to be sure.

Can't check with REW as my room is oblong and an alcove in one corner and a cut out bit in another corner.

I will decide over next 2 days whether 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 depending on if I can get a deal on 12's.
 

highdefinitely

Standard Member
@mfur
I have actually heard the 12" Monolith in action at a friend's house (not the 15" that I ordered myself - hah!), but I don't know the 10" Monolith. I'm basing my views on the "objective" CEA 2010 numbers, although to be fair, that can only give you a rough idea about the potential performance of a subwoofer. How it will sound in a room is a whole different matter.

The problem is that nobody knows the answer to your latter questions, because bass is a very subjective matter. Sure, there are objective criteria like linearity of bass response in the room, max SPL, distortion numbers and so on, but what may sound good to me may be too tight and anemic to you and vice versa.

So let's keep it simple: if you have the space for the 12", buy it. If you don't, buy the 10" instead. You should be fine in both cases, but the 12" is the better subwoofer with a higher ceiling and more "reserves" - so if you have the space for it, it should be first choice.
 

mfur

Standard Member
You don´t need the sub by the couch so that you can "set the gain" near by. You run the receiver setup with slightly higher gain to get negative trim for "subwoofer level" and then you can tweak the sub from your receiver menu safely while laying on couch. You would get probably bit more impact with the sub next to you, but i wonder does it locate easier there as many members who had sub at rear of room felt they needed to add 2nd for best blend/room filling bass.

Have you listened how the sub sounds in the front corner, perhaps you could do some quick measurements too? If the front corner sounds great then i would lean toward 12" model as you are already second guessing yourself so long term the 12" THX would keep you happy, with 10" model there could be those "what if" thoughts and then you end up upgrading later losing money.. The 15" model is so massive that it`s too much for most people in normal living rooms, however the 12" is still possible in that spot and it would be so dramatic upgrade!
Thanks for your input, appreciated.

Setting the gain via remote is certainly possible but takes much longer in a way I know right now - going through several menus etc. Takes more than a few seconds vs satisfying turn of the physical knob in fixed position the reach of hands. But I will study remote again - perhaps there is a quicker way (Sony STR-DN1050).

The placement by chimney aligned with front speakers (B&W 602 S2) is certainly looking very promising. I will indeed move current sub there and measure it - but as it only goes down to ~45Hz, I won't get all the data I need.

15" is massive! Even in chimney/plants position it would exceed available space if turned towards center of the room. I have a feeling that this orientation will be the best, as furniture might come between sub position and listening position (room is just being set-up. Audio first :)).
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your input, appreciated.

Setting the gain via remote is certainly possible but takes much longer in a way I know right now - going through several menus etc. Takes more than a few seconds vs satisfying turn of the physical knob in fixed position the reach of hands. But I will study remote again - perhaps there is a quicker way (Sony STR-DN1050).

The placement by chimney aligned with front speakers (B&W 602 S2) is certainly looking very promising. I will indeed move current sub there and measure it - but as it only goes down to ~45Hz, I won't get all the data I need.

15" is massive! Even in chimney/plants position it would exceed available space if turned towards center of the room. I have a feeling that this orientation will be the best, as furniture might come between sub position and listening position (room is just being set-up. Audio first :)).

You shouldn`t need constantly tweak the sub though. From the Sony menu probably under speakers, speaker levels, subwoofer level. That receiver doesn`t eq the sub so that is slight worry, won`t flatten the peaks. Consider Antimode 8033 Cinema later.
 

mfur

Standard Member
You shouldn`t need constantly tweak the sub though. From the Sony menu probably under speakers, speaker levels, subwoofer level. That receiver doesn`t eq the sub so that is slight worry, won`t flatten the peaks. Consider Antimode 8033 Cinema later.
I'm mainly adjusting the gain for music vs movies. I'm sure I could set a shortcut for that.
Didn't know that receiver doesn't eq the sub. Hard to find info on what it actually does.. Are you certain of that? That's indeed worrying. I guess that I just got lucky with current relatively flat response in first tested position. That would be further argument for getting two 10" instead of single 12"..
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that Gasp, at the moment I have a 10/12 combo in my lounge but only for the last 2/3 months that I got the 10 from my brother at bro rates as he was selling other kit and the 10 did not sell so cost me not a lot. It sounds ok tbh but I am looking at upgrading from the 10/12 BK's and was thinking a pair of the Mono 10 THX would be an improvement but just how much of an improvement.

I have been spending last few days looking at all these alternatives which also included dual 12.17 XTZ which I have now ruled out as they will all be gone now I suspect.

Just a shame Monouk aren't letting us have access to the 12 Mono's as at their prices (750 euro's each) I would have gone for those to be sure.

Can't check with REW as my room is oblong and an alcove in one corner and a cut out bit in another corner.

I will decide over next 2 days whether 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 depending on if I can get a deal on 12's.

For sure the dual Mono 10`s are step up. They are very similar to BK Monolith if we look the performance so two of those vs. one XXLS400 and one XLS200 should be good step up especially below 30hz there is lot more output and with ported you get the extra rumble and impact. They probably still have some return period if for some reason you would still crave more.. Very sad to hear they can´t offer the 12" model. I assume Chris can´t drop much more than 100£ from the 999£ price even if you buy two from him?

Do they need to go on front wall both or can you put one at front left and 2nd at rear right example (or opposite)?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I'm mainly adjusting the gain for music vs movies. I'm sure I could set a shortcut for that.
Didn't know that receiver doesn't eq the sub. Hard to find info on what it actually does.. Are you certain of that? That's indeed worrying. I guess that I just got lucky with current relatively flat response in first tested position. That would be further argument for getting two 10" instead of single 12"..
Yep i remember someone talked about this with the Sony on US forum. It´s really no suprise as that Sonys software can´t compete with the likes of higher Audussey versions (Denon&Marantz). That unit is budget machine nearly. But as i said you can buy Antimode 8033C, it`s kind of plug and play device, which you setup once and leave be. If you are not happy what you hear then consider that little box! For speakers you have few options to play with Sonys room eq (bit off-topic):

D.C.A.C. EX provides three different curves derived from the EQ/cal results: Engineer, Full Flat, and Front-Reference. The first is designed to cleave to Sony’s listening room standard; the others are selfexplanatory. In this particular instance, I found I preferred the last, as it provided a very subtle brightening/clarifying effect, and not much else. Full Flat seemed a bit too bright, while Engineer was very similar to FrontReference in my setup.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I am waiting on Chris re 12's it will depend on what he comes up with tbh I am hopeful though, we shall see.

Preferred is both on front wall either side of tv with my Mono 365T's sitting on top, running a sub cable to the rear will be a bit awkward.

Actually thinking about it I have an unused speaker cable bare ends (can put a phono plug on it?) running front left to rear left of the room so it might work with front right for 1 sub with rear left for the other. However I would only do that if they deffo don't work with both up front
 

mfur

Standard Member
Well took some time and moved sub to other potential location and listen / measure it.
Also re-measured sub at original location. Initial measurement was for fronts + sub together.

What I heard and measured when using sub only.. it's terrible. Room modes in full effect I guess. Eye opening. Looks like I will have to look into stuff like Antimode etc. and seriusly consider two subs. Getting off topic now.
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Well took some time and moved sub to other potential location and listen / measure it.
Also re-measured sub at original location. Initial measurement was for fronts + sub together.

What I heard and measured when using sub only.. it's terrible. Room modes in full effect I guess. Eye opening. Looks like I will have to look into stuff like Antimode etc. and seriusly consider two subs. Getting off topic now.

You need to run the auto setup of your Sony with the mic if you moved the sub new location so you get the levels and distance (=delay) correct.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I am waiting on Chris re 12's it will depend on what he comes up with tbh I am hopeful though, we shall see.

Preferred is both on front wall either side of tv with my Mono 365T's sitting on top, running a sub cable to the rear will be a bit awkward.

Actually thinking about it I have an unused speaker cable bare ends (can put a phono plug on it?) running front left to rear left of the room so it might work with front right for 1 sub with rear left for the other. However I would only do that if they deffo don't work with both up front
Definitely worth experimenting. :) You can also order new cable from amazon (amazon basics sub cable) for pocket money.. And they have return option..
 

mfur

Standard Member
You need to run the auto setup of your Sony with the mic if you moved the sub new location so you get the levels and distance (=delay) correct.
Shouldn't this be irrelevant for single sub frequency sweep with EQ/calibration/phase matching off?
I also measured sub with those things on and off - same result. You are correct, receiver do not seem to EQ the sub unfortunately.
I will recalibrate just to be sure.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Not thinking about the cost of a new cable just thinking I already have a spare unused decent quality speaker cable running from front of room where receiver is to back rear, run under wood flooring. It would be less of a ball ache just to attach a single phono to each end than run a fresh new cable around the room periphery front to back approx. 27ft long.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Shouldn't this be irrelevant for single sub frequency sweep with EQ/calibration/phase matching off?
I also measured sub with those things on and off - same result. You are correct, receiver do not seem to EQ the sub unfortunately.
I will recalibrate just to be sure.

It has the wrong information now as in your sub at your couch where it isn´t anymore and if you moved it to front near mains then you need to recalibrate. Keep us posted how it sounds after. That Sony calibration should only offer 1 mic placement so it takes probably 5-10min max. Hope you have some tripod for the mic and do not keep it close to rear wall, at least 0,5meters away from walls at the MLP!
 

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