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Music-only sub

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Steerpike, Oct 5, 2005.

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  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike
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    I am looking to buy a sub under £500 purely to add a little bottom end to my Proac tablettes 8 signatures (I use a Musical Fidelity X v3 pre/power and DAC). My main concern is get this extra without messing up the sound I already get from the Proacs which are very fast and transparent. I only want to hear music and don't really care how convincingly a sub can reproduce the sound of depth charges.

    I have seen a lot of postings in favour of BK XLS 200s and the bigger one (thingammey?), as well as favourable comments about the Velodyne and SVS models. The problem is I have not seen a professional review of the BKs or a particularly music-focussed review of the others. I am also tempted by an Axiom 175 or even 350 from Canada, but am reluctant to buy something not professionally reviewed or auditionable (if that is a real word.)

    What would be my best bet? I can see the argument that you can't really go wrong with BK at £279, but is this really going to add anything to a decent hifi? Would I be better letting the children starve for a bit and buying a REL Stampede? Or worse.
    :lease:
     
  2. alexs2

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    I can sympathise with your views/requirements for a sub that does music well....I've owned and tried quite a few recently,whilst upgrading from a Kef initially,via a REL Q201E,and tried a couple from B&W,plus M&K and a few assorted others before settling on the SVS which I now have.

    I wanted one that not only did all of the usual AV tricks,but was good enough,and fast enough,to do justice to Quad ESLs and triode amps....the SVS does that very well,and much better than I'd expected it to,and IMHO,if it can keep pace with,and integrate with a set of electrostatics,it's good enough for any dynamic speakers......so do take a look at the SVS models in your price range as well as the others you've mentioned.
     
  3. Knyght_byte

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    if you consider REL, you want the ST range rather than the Q range....

    the Stampede is a good little sub, but it depends on the level of volume you play your music, if you play it louder sometimes you might find its worth the extra for the Strata5......i own the Strata5 and bought it more with music in mind than movies.....most music subs can thump in movies as well, but a lot of movie thumping subs fail on music.....
     
  4. Ian J

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    Unfortunately I don't think that the SVS PB-10, which is the only model in Steerpike's price range will be suitable as it only has low level connectors.

    I'm not sure that many would recommend a Velodyne in a music application either which leaves the large or small BK from the list or something like a second hand REL Storm.

    The XLS200 would be very suitable for the application and although it has never been submitted to the "professional" magazines for review there are many enthusiastic owners on this forum and I'm sure that one would be happy to offer you a demo.
     
  5. alexs2

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    My point exactly....a lot of AV related subs seem to have a degree of overhang,or lack of speed in responding to particularly music material,and my own findings agreed very well with what you've said.

    It is very important to try as many as possible in your own home,as room interaction and positioning are perhaps some of the most important problems with subs.
     
  6. 30CenturyMan

    30CenturyMan
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    They would be wrong not to. :suicide:

    I would say a Velodyne is a perfect choice for a music application. Especially the sealed designs.
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    By all means listen,but the cheaper ones do leave a bit to be desired in terms of speed.
     
  8. 30CenturyMan

    30CenturyMan
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    Ahh, speed - that old chestnut.
     
  9. alexs2

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    Well...if listening to music is a priority,then you want something that keeps up adequately with the music,and isn't left behind almost.

    The OP has already said that this is one of his prime requirements,and few things destroy the sound of a decent stereo system better than slow,disjointed bass,no matter how good the extension might be.

    A listen to a truly good,active system with electronic crossovers and properly EQ'd bass will convince you of the attributes of "that old chestnut".
     
  10. 30CenturyMan

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    I must bear that in mind. :D
     
  11. binbag

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    I have been working through my CD collection since getting my XLS200DF. My last sub got in the way of the music - so I left it off - this one has opened it up and there is a whole layer of music that my Q35.2's were unaware of.

    As I've said before everyone talks about the power of this little sub but I was more impressed by its grip.
     
  12. recruit

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    I think Scott3 has had quite a few of those, good systems that is... ;)
     
  13. alexs2

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    I'm absolutely sure he has....
     
  14. PJTX100

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    I've never been disappointed by the XLS200 (FF :thumbsup: ) in terms of music but it's the first sub I've owned so perhaps I'm easily pleased...PJ :D
     
  15. Ian J

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    I think that Mr Scott has forgotten the part of the question relating to the £500 bit and if he were to offer his HGS-18 to Steerpike I would happily tell him to bite his arm off :D
     
  16. Jase

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  17. Timbo21

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    You may be able to get a Strata 5 second hand for £500. I think the Stampede is a bit lacking in turms of gain.

    The Strata 5 is very good with music & easily works seemlessly (which is what you definitely want for music) with satellites & bookshelfs.

    T.
     
  18. 30CenturyMan

    30CenturyMan
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    :D

    Ian, I was aware of the £500 limit, but your comment seemed to imply that Velodynes in general were the wrong choice for a music only system. :devil:

    It is a shame that the SPL series are so expensive as they are perfect for this sort of application.

    Another good choice would be the B&W ASW675, but again, it's just slightly out of reach.

    If I were looking to spend £500 on a subwoofer, I would be looking at the 2nd hand market. Jase's recommendation is the best so far. :smashin:
     
  19. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Not everyone thinks that they are perfect for music applications and I'm sure that I remember reading somewhere that someone bought one without demoing and tried and tried to get along with it but found it slow, sloppy and not especially articulate.
     
  20. 30CenturyMan

    30CenturyMan
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    Ian, allow me to quote your good self... :D

    A nice quote from John E Johnson's review...

    "What surprised me is the quality of the bass coming from these small boxes. Velodyne's latest drive design technology, plus that 1,000 watt amplifier, produces a bass quality that rivals much larger designs from other companies. At common loudness settings (100 dB), they sound almost like the HGS subwoofers."

    But as we have already established, the SPL series is out of reach on this occassion, unless the 2nd hand route is an option.
     
  21. Steerpike

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    I'm very grateful for so many people taking the trouble to reply. I was wondering if anyone had any experience of axiom products. I sent them a query email asking which of their products they thought most suitable. They sent a very helpful answer recommending their EP500 and enclosing links to 3 reviews.

    http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/loudspeakers/AxiomEP500reviewp1.php

    http://www.hometheatersound.com/equipment/axiom_ep_500.htm

    http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/loudspeakers/axiomaudioep500ep600p1.html

    It costs £717 delivered in the UK which seems reasonable value for money bearig in mind the size and power. But I'm not sure I want to abandon my budget for a product I'm unsure about, and it's a bit big.

    I thought the reviews were interesting but a little frustrating: none of them makes any comparison with SYS, Velodyne or HSU subs; or REL for that matter.

    On the subject of velodyne, I noticed this review http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/displayreview.php?reviewid=5473 which says in no uncertain terms that the velodyne is no use for music.

    The same group test gave the MJA 200 as winner, but said the B & W PV1 was best for music. The B& W is a long way over my budget though, and I'm not altogether sure I could get that much for the kids.
     
  22. Ian J

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    I don't know of any forum member who has an Axion sub and I think it true to say that most of us had probably never come across the name until reading a lengthy and argumentative thread from a forum across the pond a couple of weeks ago. The thread is now deleted but it did prompt Ilkka to order the bigger 600 for evaluation and he will hopefully be reporting on it here soon.

    When I mentioned earlier that I didn't think that Velodynes were particularly appropriate in a music application it was actually the CHT series that I was referring too as even the name (Classic Home Theater) gives away it's intended use. I'm not sure about the SPL range but Scott3 does have a good ear for these things.

    My suggestion in your price range and for your application would be a second hand REL Storm. They are excellent performers and due to the flexibility of connection options they are one of the easiest subs to integrate well with any type and sized speaker. I have owned one of the original Storms and a mark 3 version and they were both excellent.
     
  23. Steerpike

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    Very interesting, Ian.
    There's a storm 3 on ebay expiring 9pm tonight and currently at £304. What would you say was a realistic maximum. I am conscious that an awful lot of stuff seems to go for too high a price on ebay- a new storm 5 is after all £1000.
    Sorry to pester you but how would you say a storm 3 would compare with a BK XLS 200, or indeed the bigger BK model? If i can't get the storm which of the BKs would be better for music?
     
  24. binbag

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    As it's a sealed enclosure the XLS should have it over the Monolith which is ported. Tom at BK confirmed this for me when I placed my order.
     
  25. Ian J

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    £300 for a Storm 3 is good value bearing in mind the price of a new one and I sold mine for £500 a couple of years ago.

    I think that the Storm would easily outperform the BK XLS200 as there is no substitute for size ( as they say) and it would be unreal to expect a £279 compact subwoofer to rival a £900 or £1,000 much larger model even allowing for the dealer margin.

    I haven't heard the Monolith and whilst I don't doubt that it would go louder and probably deeper than a Storm I can't speak for it's nimbleness which is what is all important to you.
     
  26. 30CenturyMan

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    What about the obvious choice, the Proac ER1?

    I know it's pricey at £1K but Vickers HiFi are selling a cherry one for £795.

    Any good?
     
  27. MADMAND

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    You can't speak for it at all if you have not heard it.
     
  28. Ian J

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    He didn't "speak for it" but merely made a suggestion
     
  29. 30CenturyMan

    30CenturyMan
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    :rolleyes:
     
  30. MADMAND

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    I was refering to your comment on the monolith.
     
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