Is my room too big?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by EriX, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. EriX

    EriX
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    Hi

    I have just moved house and have finally been able to set up my speakers in a square on configuration as opposed to in the corner of the room. I was also looking forward to being able to plug my sub (yamaha yst-150) back in as it is a detached house. When I plugged it in, power only no signal, it makes farting and rumbling sounds continuously, unaffected by xover, volume, phase etc settings. I've opened it up to see if there was anything obviously wrong that could have happened in transit but can't see anything. So, I am now in the market for a new sub.

    My other speakers are a bit mix'n'match but I am quite enjoying having 5.0 now as opposed to 3.0 for the last few years. Fronts are mission 701s and an Eltax Centre HT2, rears are eltax bipolar HT2s. My room is 7m x 3.6m total but it is a combined living/dining room, the listening area is about 4m x 3.6m. Is it the total volume of the room that needs taking into consideration or just the listening area?

    Would a 309 be sufficient for my setup or would I be disappointed and be better saving for a larger sub?

    I have read all the threads on the gemini the 309i and a few others. I have come to the conclusion that I fancy the 309i over the gemini, especially if Forum Hifi have stock of it for £174 delivered. The only thing is should I consider the larger bk xls200 as the room is quite large and I've seen suggestions for other people with similar sized rooms that the 309i or gemini wouldn't be sufficient.

    Any other suggestions and comments are very welcome.

    Eric
     
  2. kstrain

    kstrain
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    Consider the entire volume: you'll find the sound goes there :) . That is 2/3 the size of my room, which a Monolith goes some way to filling ....
    Think big :smashin:

    Ken
     
  3. Nimby

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    A powerful sub can easily be turned down. A small one can rarely be turned up so easily.

    In theory it is the distance between the subwoofer and the listener which is most important. (inverse square law)

    However this distance is usually dictated by room size due to the way the subwoofer, speakers and seating are normally arranged.

    The larger the room the more powerful the subwoofer needs to be just to reach the listener at suitable levels.

    Most film fans like to feel the effects of low frequencies. So again the larger the room the more powerful the sub needs to be.

    You can easily prove all of this for yourself if you walk slowly away from a subwoofer or your speakers while they are playing. It quickly sounds boring unless you turn up the volume to match.

    If you can place yourself at a suitable distance from a subwoofer during a demo in a shop you can judge whether it is powerful enough.

    It's no use standing a few feet away for a demo if you are actually going to sit 5 meters (or 15 feet) away at home.
     
  4. kstrain

    kstrain
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    To correct one technical detail:-

    At the room mode frequencies (~25 Hz to whatever in his room) and lower the inverse square law does not apply (in theory). At low frequencies the pressure changes everywhere in phase and by the same amount, room modes are standing waves which can be represented as travelling waves going in both directions (with very little power flow at low frequencies). Another way to say it is that inverse square law only applies in the "far field". Moving to higher frequencies (well above sub range) the dependence comes closer and closer to inverse square, as the absorption of sound at surfaces increases.

    Everything else you said is, as usual, correct.

    So as not to confuse the OP: all the conclusions and recommendations were correct.

    Ken
     
  5. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Ken

    Interesting information. Thanks. :)
     
  6. EriX

    EriX
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    I love this site, the information available is always great :D

    I think I would not be sat more than 3m from the sub (this gives a number of possible positioning options too).

    I understand that the total volume of the room plays a part by absorbing the sound. I would love to buy a monolith, only it costs about as much as the rest of my system put together! and is a little out of my price range, also it looks to be about as big as my dining table :eek: I have gf approval to spend about 200 and could probably get away with getting an xls200 if I need to.

    I know any opinions are only guesses by the fact that the room will play a large part in any sub's effectiveness but I would appreciate comments on the following questions.

    Assuming all the details given above, and that I don't need hugely loud levels (I'm not sure what reference level is but it sounds loud):

    1. would a MS 309i be powerful enough?
    2. If a MS 309i isn't powerful enough would a xls200 be enough?
    3. Is there a big enough difference between the 309i and the xls200 to warrant £130?
    4. Am I better off saving my money for now and trying to save for a monolith? Ideally I would not have to go with such a big and expensive beast but I've seen recommendation that no sub is better than a badly suited one.

    I have been learning recently, in a number of different areas, that trying to save money in the short term by buying a cheaper alternative is often false economy and I find myself disappointed and buying the better option in the end anyway leaving me to have to sell on at a loss the original unsuitable equipment.

    Many thanks

    Eric
     
  7. EriX

    EriX
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    Oh you buggers, I can't believe I'm trying to sort the finances for a monolith now! I've found a pic in another thread and it's huge!!

    (if anyone has any opinions/answers to the questions above I'd still like to hear them.)

    Thanks

    Eric
     
  8. sdb123

    sdb123
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    Have a read of this it may help.
     
  9. sdb123

    sdb123
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    Given the size of your room, ideally it would seem the bigger sub the better.

    I went from an XLS200 to an SVS SB12Plus, which was a great improvement. If I had the space to accomodate a Monolith I would go for it.
     
  10. Morb

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    I am not sure but i think the monolith is about the same size as my PB12+, with the finnishes available from what i have seen it looks very nice also. Although it is rather large you can blend it in to the room, and even use it as a table aslong as you don't put any liquids on it just incase.

    All of my time buying av and anything else i have learnt it is better, for me atleast, to wait until you can afford something that offers a good value/performance. By waiting i have saved money in the fact i didn't have to buy something to fill the gap inbetween. Sure you might be missing out for a bit but it makes up for it in the long run imo.

    The monolith will certainly fill your room and provide you with plenty of bass. Saying all that it might be worth trying to get demos of the smaller subs in your room, you might find this is just right for you. As with anything like this i would suggest if possible to try to listen to any possible purchase as what we all want in the end is a matter of personal perspective.

    Hope you find what your looking for, i have a feeling a new BASS head is going to be created. :devil:
     
  11. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
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    kstrain, well corrected, that looks like an extract from my paper on closed field acoustic behaviour. Exciting read!

    Dupe...
     
  12. AngelEyes

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    I think the PB12 is quite a bit bigger (in volume) IIRC. Sorry too lazy to dig up the relative dimensions :)

    Adam
     
  13. Morb

    Morb
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    NP i was to lazy to look them up myself :rotfl: , well if it is smaller i can only imagine it would be easier to blend it in.
     
  14. marcstang

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    I just got the XLS200 and my livingroom is approx 5.8m x 4.5m with an attached open plan dining area of an additional 4m x 2.7m.

    I find that the xls comfortably fills this. Granted, I don't turn it up to earbleeding volumes but I do love to be able to feel my bass. The sub is about 3m from the sitting position and it sounds awesome.
     
  15. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Notwithstanding that subwoofers may fail to follow the inverse square law to the nth they do fall off very rapidly with distance in quite ordinary domestic rooms. :devil:

    Is this paper in the public domain? :)
     
  16. kstrain

    kstrain
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    I'm not sure how to advise on this more usefully than my vague, enthusiastic post above. Giving numbers (e.g. volume of a Monolith is 3~4 times volume of an XLS200) probably does not help very much.

    Consider, however, that it is really hard to get an extra few dB out of a small sub by improving driver technology beyond something that is already half-decent. On the other hand the Monolith should easily get about 10 dB more undistorted acoustic power than an XLS (being higher efficiency, due to the larger volume). So if you are familiar with something roughly "XLS sized", you already, probably, have a fairly good idea of the potential, and the Monolith can be expected to do that much more, which may or may not interest you (I can't tell that, of course!) This ignores any unique factors concerning your installation, but my guess is if you got to listen to both in your room you would choose the larger!

    I've built a few subs, and I worked for many hours on a design before realising that the Monolith is really great value for money so bought it instead of making one. Its "bass/£" ratio is high (probably ~3x the XLS200). If you are like me and like to keep things for many years, rather than always change and upgrade etc. (oh I am so much resisting a second Monolith) the extra 40% is a wise investment.

    Ken
     
  17. KelvinS1965

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    My living room is about the same size as the OP's. I'm very happy with the XLS200 having upgraded from a KEF PSW1000. If I could have squeezed in a Monolyth I would have done, but I already have a Monolyth sized guitar amp in there and all the usual furniture, so it wasn't really an option.

    Believe me I pondered for weeks if there was any way I could fit in a Monolyth. At least in my case if I ever do figure out a way of doing it then my XLS could be moved into my conservatory (AKA screen 2).:devil:
     
  18. Member 96948

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    If ear splitting volumes aren't required, then the XLS-200 may well serve you well enough. However, if deep bass at any volume is your aim, then it's got to be a Monolith all the way.

    Physics intervenes when it comes to truly deep frequencies and which ever way you look at it, a big sub just sounds better. It'll reproduce everything an XLS-200 can with less distortion and then add an extra 10Hz of extension at the bottom end. Trust me when I say, it's well worth saving for.

    Click the link in my signature (and then the link to the 360 degree panorama) for a look at what a Monolith looks like in a 6x4m room. Most people (and I mean audio ignoramouses) assume it to be a table.

    As such, my previous XLS-200 sized sub, always looked like a small speaker. It required hiding. The Monolith, by comparrison is treated as a piece of furniture. With coasters, drinks get put on it and it's utterly inert in use and I drive it at high volumes. My previous small sub, used to walk around on my laminate floor.

    Save the money, or to put it in context, don't go to the pub for two Friday nights.

    Russell

    PS. It's not as big as an SVS PB-12. Well, not quite, but all the ugly bits are on the back which can be parked against a wall.
     
  19. d.waters

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    Russell

    I've just been looking at your set up - is your Monolith the Cherry or Oak finish (apologies if you've already said this somewhere)?

    Thanks
     
  20. Member 96948

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    Oak.:)

    I'd say it looks a bit lighter in real life than the pictures and not so orange. For instance the PMCs are more the colour of a cricket bat (they're maple) and not so yellow.

    Russell
     
  21. d.waters

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    Thanks Russell

    It looks very nice, and your room is roughly the same size as mine. I decided I wanted a big box sub (to replace my M&K VX-860) and am looking at how best to 'disguise' it. You've done a good job!
     
  22. Member 96948

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    Cheers Dave,

    The only rider I'd add, is that big subs are less than easy to position. If you're going to go for one, thenI'd take a long hard look at EQ devices like the BFD/SMS-1. They're a massive benefit as regards extracting the best performance from any sub.

    Until you have one, you may not yet have heard the best from your 860. It's just a thought and potentially a cheaper upgrade that'll apply to all future subs you may possess.;)

    Russell
     
  23. d.waters

    d.waters
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    Thanks for the advice Russell, but I'm not altogether sure what the EQ devices actually do. Any chance of a simple explanation?

    (Sorry to the OP for this little bit of thread hijacking)
     
  24. TopMeTom

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    To the OP,

    my room is similar in size to yours,almost the same.I had a velodyne cht-10,ok,went to a svs sb12+ hmm no different to the velo,then went to the monolith,AWESOME. the room has a lot to do with it,with the bigger sub you actually feel the bass instead of boomy rubbish.
    Get the best(biggest)you can afford you wont regret it!
     
  25. EriX

    EriX
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    Thanks to all of you :)

    (I am currently limited to work only internet access while I wait for the new house to be activated)

    I think I'm going to end up with the monolith, as I said, and it was echoed by a following post, that it is worth waiting and going for the best I can afford as it is definitely a long term investment. If I was to go with something smaller I think I'd always be thinking "I wonder what this would have sounded like with a monolith".

    I have a couple of placement options, even for a piece of equipment so large.
    Russ: thanks for the pano, I was looking at it last week when I was looking for a picture of a monolith in situ to gauge it's real size. It's a bloody beautiful piece of kit too. (btw Russ where on earth do you go drinking??!!!)

    I was watching The Tuxedo last night, and though I've always been impressed by the amount of bass from the 701s I definitely felt there was something missing.

    Time to juggle finances and potential delivery times.

    Eric
     
  26. EriX

    EriX
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    Right! I hope you're all happy! I've gone and ordered a light oak DF Monolith :thumbsup:

    Should arrive on the 8th as I have booked a day off and spoken to the nice people at BK so it arrives on that day.

    Need to get down the gym so I can move it when it arrives :eek:

    I'll let you know how I get one when it arrives.

    Thanks all for your help :clap:

    Eric
     
  27. Member 96948

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    May I compliment you on your purchase and refined taste in having purchased the oak one.:)
    Why? You Buying?:beer:

    Russell
     
  28. EriX

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    I was wondering if you were suggesting that 2 nights in the pub would cost £400! :eek:

    Though you could have meant £100 for the difference between the XLS200 and the monolith.:confused:
     
  29. Member 96948

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    It was the price difference.:)

    Russell
     
  30. AngelEyes

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    Are you sure Russell? This isn't some cry for help is it? If you have a drinking problem you know I am here to support you... as long as you are buying anyway ;)
     

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