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Huge B&W Fronts - Do I need a sub?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by lhalha, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. lhalha

    lhalha
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    Excuse me if this is a little off topic... Pls advise where else to post if so...

    I have as front speakers, 2 B&W DM220s - mid to late 80s vintage but they are huge (well about 90cm tall by 50 deep) and sound great. They have 2 10 inch drivers and nice tweeters which have recently been serviced...

    Now these speakers are not short on bass. But I do have to have the bass control turned up a little on the amp to get that satisfying rumble. I'd rather not do this as it muddies the midrange too much and makes dialogue hard to hear...

    Bassy action scenes (such as the avalanche in "XXX" if you are unfortunate enough to have seen that movie) positively shake my room.

    Is there any benefit to me addding a subwoofer to the setup? I am wondering, will this clean up the sound at the front, as it will remove the lowest freqs from the speakers and leave them with less to do?

    And if so, will I need a big sub to bottom out the big sound of my big fronts?

    I am running an HK AVR4550 and never get the volume above -15dB

    Cheers

    lhalha
     
  2. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Well assuming you are using an AV amp, you are missing out on optimum sound as the .1 of the 5.1 is normally sent to a dedicated sub woofer.

    If you put a sub in, you will be able to turn down the bass tone control on your amp which will give you a more natural sound for both music and movies yet you will still get that room-shaking bass in action scenes from movies.
     
  3. aliflack

    aliflack
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    might be worth finding out just how low the b&w speakers go - could be you are actually missing out on a lot of bass that a sub could provide...
     
  4. jeff-o

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    Try a frequency sweep with your mains and see where the bass starts to drop off. You may find that it drops sooner than you think, but then again I haven't heard your speakers, either.

    Also remember that cranking the bass puts more of a strain on your amplifier, so getting a separate powered sub will take some of that stress away from your amp.

    AND it's fun to impress your friends with a big, black (or cherry, it's your choice) box that shakes the house!
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    irrelevant of whether the speakers are big enough and go low enough, you are missing an entire portion of the soundtrack without a sub. Even if I had flat to 15Hz full range speakers on all the 5 main channels, I would still want a sub.

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  6. lhalha

    lhalha
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    Thanks to all fo the comments...

    So even though I have the speakers set up with the "no sub" option enabled on my amp, are you saying that this does not mix the .1 part of the soundtrack into the mix that I hear? So that I am only hearing what I would always hear from the fronts, even if I had a sub connected?
     
  7. buns

    buns
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    No, there is a good chance you are mixing in some of the LFE channel into the fronts, but this isnt the right way of doing it. Some wont subscribe to this arguement, but that is a bit like using a 'virtual centre'..... quite simply, it just cant and wont be as good as doing it properly im afraid

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  8. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    According to B&Ws website the DM220 and DM220i ? is it one of these range from 53hz to 20Khz +- 3db.

    So, at best, even if everything is fully redirected to your fronts, without it loosing any of the bass you will loose everything below 53hz, or if not loose then it won't help your speakers to sound good.

    So get a sub, or borrow a sub if you can to have a home demo and you can decide for yourself :)

    Oh and in case i'm looking up the wrong speaker take a peek yourself and hunt down your speaker at http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.backcatalogue

    Steff
     
  9. jeff-o

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    Aha, so you are missing out, then. The range between 20 Hz and %0 Hz is what will really make the room shake! Now you have an excuse to go get a sub! Yay!
     
  10. bamber

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    I use B&W Nautilus 800s without a sub at present. They are far better than the 802/803s which I used previously.

    I have heard the 800s with a B&W ASW 850 sub and it was better again (tested with Movies only).

    I would like a better quality sub than the ASW 850, possibly something from SVS :) .
     
  11. GJC

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    *Move to Subwoofer Forum?*
     

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