Installing subwoofer in stereo system

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roycymru

Guest
Hi

Looked in the FAQ and it doesn't answer my query therefore would be grateful if someone could please advise. My basic set up is Rotel 1062 amplifier and Quad 11L speakers. I like the sound but sometimes feel like it could do with more bass. I could upgrade the speakers, but I also want to consider adding a subwoofer as an option. I think this is possible but am not entirely sure as I can't find details on how to do this. Therefore can someone first please tell me if this is possible? Secondly, if so, how would I connect the subwoofer to my amp? Finally, are there sub woofers which are more suited to this set up, and if so, which ones?

Thanks
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
Welcome to the forum.

You are lucky because the Rotel has preamp outputs, which means you can hook up a sub with a stereo phono lead or using the high level inputs on some subs which attach to the same terminals as your main speakers. The choice is yours, but it's not really important at this stage.

It's not so much a case of matching the sub to your existing setup, but more to your budget, room size and how large a sub are you prepared to accomodate.

Fill in the blanks and the suggestions will roll.

Russell
 
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roycymru

Guest
Thank you for the prompt response.

Luckily it sounds straight forward. Therefore onto the next stage! Can anyone recommend a subwoofer (£300 or less) that would blend well into my system (CD player is Arcam CD73T)
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
This. Predictable, I know, but it's a big forum favourite and an equal to plenty of high street names retailing for £500-600.

Russell
 
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chris_harris

Guest
I've just added a sub to my stereo setup with Quad 11L's. I got a REL Quake in the end after auditioning. I'm sure there are better and louder subs out there but the REL seemed to gel more with the quads, i borrowed a BK xls200 and it couldn't really keep up. It played deeper and had more impact than the quake but i didn't find it very musical.

Setup was a breeze, sub between the telly and left speaker, high level input took a few hours of tweeking and listening to get it how i liked it.

Depends on the room size but i would look at the BK gemini, the Quads are fast tight speakers and need a sub that can keep up.
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
I cannot argue with your direct experience but would offer some general thoughts for consideration:

Often the case with trying to balance a subwoofer with small speakers for stereo music is that the sub is allowed to play too loud. The subwoofer draws attention to itself which spoils the feeling of rhythm and speed. Even placing the subwoofer badly relative to the speakers (or room modes) will drag the attention away from the music coming from the speakers

A quality subwoofer can play both louder and deeper with lower distortion than a "woofer". A decent subwoofer will take time to play really low notes properly compared with a comparatively weak "woofer". Deep notes have very long waves and take time for the attack to grow to a maximum then decay back to nothing again.

Meanwhile the sub"woofer" pretender plays lots of harmonics with the true fundamentals masked by the more audible distortion components. This effect is exaggerated when trying to match smaller speakers. These require a high crossover point to seamlessly join any sub's response to that of the speakers.
The false harmonics can be played much quicker than clean, low frequency fundamentals.

I had the same problems when trying to match stereo subs to my Linn Kans. Small changes in the subwoofer's positions would affect their output which would slow the music. These subs would manage 20hz at full power. When properly positioned they were lightning fast on bass guitar and percussion. It took two subwoofers to achieve this with each sub placed very close below each Kan. The smaller the speakers and/or the higher the crossover the greater the need for two subs IMO.

Having said that all this; your own findings are perfectly valid for your own system and room and ears. Nor have I heard either of these particular subwoofers myself. :)
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
Damn! Beat me to it.

So, just illustrate the elloquent post above; My rather sizable ported 12" driver sub sounds lightening quick with music compared to my old sealed 10" sub, which was VERY similar to an XLS-200.

The differences made, have been my increase in knowledge of correct set up and adjusting to the distinctly different nature of lower distortion & deeper bass. Without either of these, it would sound bloated and leaden in comparrison.

Once you've got it, you won't go back.

Russell
 

Nash__

Active Member
Can i be so bold as to broaden the thread. i am about to add a stereo integrated & dedicated CD player to my setup and also wondered how i could use the sub for 5.1 and 2.1. The fronts would be permanently connected to the stereo amp and the stereo amp connected to the pre-outs on my denon 1907. Currently my BK is connected to the sub out on my denon so how can I use the sub without disconnecting and re-connecting each time. Do i need a splitter or something?

Thanks

The integrated amp i am adding is the H/K stereo legend package

thanks for any help:smashin:

Oh & BTW the BK works very well with my current setup and hope it will for my forthcoming.
 

jeepjunkie

Novice Member
Personally I would have though a sub for a serious music system is a big no-no... it will never sound quite right...
 

Nash__

Active Member
Personally I would have though a sub for a serious music system is a big no-no... it will never sound quite right...

The sub really adds punch without overemphasising. Even my existing setup via AV amp sounds reasonable. But that doesn't answer my question unfortunately, anyone shed some light on how to share a sub over 2 amps?
 

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
But that doesn't answer my question unfortunately, anyone shed some light on how to share a sub over 2 amps?
if I'm reading it correctly you just need to use the high level connection and run that to the speaker terminals on the stereo amp (along with the front speakers). You should find your sub has high level and low level gain settings so you'll need to set each individually. Note that the av amp crossover will not be in this chain so you have to set the crossover on the sub as well. If you have the mk2 xls200 then I believe it has seperate crossovers for low & high, if you have the mk1 as I used to then you'll have to manually change the crossover each time you switch between stereo and AV mode.

Cheers
Matt
 

Nash__

Active Member
if I'm reading it correctly you just need to use the high level connection and run that to the speaker terminals on the stereo amp (along with the front speakers). You should find your sub has high level and low level gain settings so you'll need to set each individually. Note that the av amp crossover will not be in this chain so you have to set the crossover on the sub as well. If you have the mk2 xls200 then I believe it has seperate crossovers for low & high, if you have the mk1 as I used to then you'll have to manually change the crossover each time you switch between stereo and AV mode.

Cheers
Matt

Cheers Matt, presumably that would that mean that the connection between the av amp and the sub would stay the same (phono). Sounds a bit messy though don't you think. I must admit in the eagerness to achive decent stereo sound I had forgot about my sub - is there a stereo/integrated amp that has a sub out socket.
My BK is the MkII and doesn't have seperate crossovers only seperate gain????
 

Nash__

Active Member
Cheers Matt, presumably that would that mean that the connection between the av amp and the sub would stay the same (phono). Sounds a bit messy though don't you think. I must admit in the eagerness to achive decent stereo sound I had forgot about my sub - is there a stereo/integrated amp that has a sub out socket.
My BK is the MkII and doesn't have seperate crossovers only seperate gain????

According to another thread on a similar topic here i can use the Neutrik connection to my integrated - after re-reading the BK manual it does actually state this:rolleyes: :smashin:
 
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roycymru

Guest
Thanks for the suggestions. I have some listening to do. Regarding connecting to my Rotel 1062 amp. This amp also has 2 sets of speaker outputs. Rather than connecting to the pre-amp output would connecting the subwoofer (high level inputs?) to the second set of speaker outputs give better "phasing"? Thanks
 

Nash__

Active Member
Thanks for the suggestions. I have some listening to do. Regarding connecting to my Rotel 1062 amp. This amp also has 2 sets of speaker outputs. Rather than connecting to the pre-amp output would connecting the subwoofer (high level inputs?) to the second set of speaker outputs give better "phasing"? Thanks

Good question, would also like to know if any benefit would be gained:smashin:
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
The only phase effects that I can imagine with high level connections is any phase change due to internal crossovers in an active subwoofer. Since most active subwoofers have a phase adjustment this control can be used to minimise phase effects relative to the main speakers. Since phase controls are usually left at "0" then phase can't be much of an issue.

The disadvantage with high level connections is that the speakers must run full range unless the subwoofer's internal crossover is used. Most users would avoid this because the cheap passive components and gentle crossover slope are not likely to offer very high sound quality.

Stereo amplifier Pre-outs also limit the user to a full range speaker signal with the subwoofer underpinning the bass from the speakers. (unless an active stereo crossover is introduced into the system) Without an active crossover there is likely to be considerable overlap between the speakers and subwoofer's output.

I myself use a Behringer CX2310 24dB/octave active crossover between my Mission 753Fs and my 4 x 15 IB subwoofer.

Lightening the bass load on a speaker is a good idea for several reasons. Increased dynamics, removal of high distortion bass and minimising of intermodulation and doppler distortion. The speaker amplifier has an easier time since it doesn't have to drag the speaker bass cone back and forth. A decent subwoofer can usually produce much lower distortion bass than most affordable speakers of any reasonable size.
 
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roycymru

Guest
The only phase effects that I can imagine with high level connections is any phase change due to internal crossovers in an active subwoofer. Since most active subwoofers have a phase adjustment this control can be used to minimise phase effects relative to the main speakers. Since phase controls are usually left at "0" then phase can't be much of an issue.

The disadvantage with high level connections is that the speakers must run full range unless the subwoofer's internal crossover is used. Most users would avoid this because the cheap passive components and gentle crossover slope are not likely to offer very high sound quality.

Stereo amplifier Pre-outs also limit the user to a full range speaker signal with the subwoofer underpinning the bass from the speakers. (unless an active stereo crossover is introduced into the system) Without an active crossover there is likely to be considerable overlap between the speakers and subwoofer's output.

I myself use a Behringer CX2310 24dB/octave active crossover between my Mission 753Fs and my 4 x 15 IB subwoofer.

Lightening the bass load on a speaker is a good idea for several reasons. Increased dynamics, removal of high distortion bass and minimising of intermodulation and doppler distortion. The speaker amplifier has an easier time since it doesn't have to drag the speaker bass cone back and forth. A decent subwoofer can usually produce much lower distortion bass than most affordable speakers of any reasonable size.


Hi. Thanks for the detailed response. I don't want to go to the expense of a Behringer CX2310 24dB/octave active crossover. Therefore to clarify are you recommending using the pre-amp output from my amplifier rather than the hi-level output? To muddy the water I am looking to buy an REL subwoofer. These have a "Neutrik Speakon" input (whatever that is!). Is this type of high level input less likely to suffer from the problems you highlight? I would be grateful for a definitive view of what you think (any anyone else for that matter) is the best way to connect up.

Thanks
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
I'm afraid I'm probably the last person on earth to ask about setting up a REL.

There are plenty of REL fans here who can guide you.
 
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dwain100

Guest
The only phase effects that I can imagine with high level connections is any phase change due to internal crossovers in an active subwoofer. Since most active subwoofers have a phase adjustment this control can be used to minimise phase effects relative to the main speakers. Since phase controls are usually left at "0" then phase can't be much of an issue.

The disadvantage with high level connections is that the speakers must run full range unless the subwoofer's internal crossover is used. Most users would avoid this because the cheap passive components and gentle crossover slope are not likely to offer very high sound quality.

Stereo amplifier Pre-outs also limit the user to a full range speaker signal with the subwoofer underpinning the bass from the speakers. (unless an active stereo crossover is introduced into the system) Without an active crossover there is likely to be considerable overlap between the speakers and subwoofer's output.

I myself use a Behringer CX2310 24dB/octave active crossover between my Mission 753Fs and my 4 x 15 IB subwoofer.

Lightening the bass load on a speaker is a good idea for several reasons. Increased dynamics, removal of high distortion bass and minimising of intermodulation and doppler distortion. The speaker amplifier has an easier time since it doesn't have to drag the speaker bass cone back and forth. A decent subwoofer can usually produce much lower distortion bass than most affordable speakers of any reasonable size.

This is true, the speaker cleans up considerably, also the amplifier is less stressed at lower frequencies, again IM reduces electronically. The main drawback I have found with this is the stereo midbass can dissapear (depending on your cut-off) and the mid bass becomes mono with an ovbvious source. It can then become quite difficult to integrate a large heavily damped 12"or 15" slow moving bass driver with with such a setup, but it can be done. A dsp phase invariant crossover obviously helps.
 

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