One XXLS400, or Two XLS200's in this room?

sadanorakman

Standard Member
Just Moving into a detached bungalow, and will buying an Onkyo 818 for it's Auddyssey XT32, to replace my 8-ish Year old Yamaha DSPAX750.

I currently Use B&W 685's Fronts, HTM62 Centre, and M-1's For Rears. The 685's sound truly fantastic to my ears... The most musical, airy, natural speakers that I have ever owned. The Centre and rears are fair enough for the money, and they match the timbre of the fronts well so I have no urgency to change them (Cannot put much larger speakers up anyway due to 'her indoors'!).

Anyway the crux of my post is that I currently have a NAFF NAFF NAFF old Eltax 12" Sub, which is so SLOW and only seemingly capable of producing one horribly reverberating-note. It's a bit better with it's port blocked with a pair of socks, but it still truly stinks!

My current room is a 4mtr by 5 mtr simple rectangle, and I get truly terrible room-mode issues wherever I stick the Eltax. I'll get loads of bass in one place, then no bass 3 ft away from that spot... this repeats all over the room!

So, with the following irregular shape of the new room (see floor-plan), I wonder if I would get sufficiently few room-mode issues to risk buying just one BK XXLS400 and placing it in one of the three 'blue' locations in the diagram, or if I should instead opt to buy two BK XLS200's and place them in any of the three 'blue' positions numbered.

the Onkyo 818 should auto-integrate one sub just fine, but I guess will do nothing for any room-modal issues (other than EQ any frequency peaks and troughs out at just the main-ish listening position). If I go for two subs, I think I will have to manually get them playing together nicely first, and only then run Auddyssey.

What are people's thoughts please? one XXLS400, or two XLS200's in this scenario?
I want sealed sub(s) so that they are tight and fast with music, as my eltax is as flabby and slow as a sub could possibly ever get, and I want best bang for my pound on new equipment, so it will definitely be BK. it's for a 50/50 Music/Movie split, and the room is not massive so I don't need monolith levels of bass on-tap.

(projection screen in red) New room is only approx 11ft deep (3.4mtrs) and about 21ft wide (6.4mtrs) right into the bay, so it's pretty small:


 

sadanorakman

Standard Member
Please don't be shy to have your two penneth...

  • Would you start with just one XLS200 in one of the above positions, then use REW or similar to see where the nuls are in the room, and then maybe look to buy a second XLS200 if it was necessary.
  • Would you instead just go for one XXLS400, and hope that it will integrate suitably into the room on it's own?
  • Would you try to work with the existing Eltax to try to identify where the Nuls are to see if a two sub setup would be necessary in the first place before buying any of the above?
I just read a post saying that if a room is twice as long as it is wide or tall, then this is almost as bad as having a square room... this explains why my current room is so poor... 2.4 mtrs tall, just under 5 metres long... doh! the new room doesn't have any ratios approaching 2:1 I think.

I'm eager to hear your respected opinions! Many thanks in anticipation, Craig
 

Wilseus

Novice Member
I'd get a single XXLS400 (or a Monolith; they are far from slow or flabby) and possibly add another one later.
 

sadanorakman

Standard Member
Thing is, my current naff Eltax is about as large as the missus would reasonably stand... and that is about the size of an XXLS400.
I really like the idea of one or two XLS200's, as they are only about one cubic foot each, so would fit in without issue, but a Monolith is just absolutely Mahoosive... It would only go in position 3 in my diagram, with a glass top on it to act as a coffee table, and if it then didn't integrate OK there, I would be truly stuffed! The room is certainly not big enough for two of them, that's bonkers... She'd go absolutely bezerk! (Not that I can afford to drop a grand on a pair of subs anyway).

Thanks for your feedback Wilseus!!! I guess you like your bass loud!
 

Wilseus

Novice Member
Thing is, my current naff Eltax is about as large as the missus would reasonably stand... and that is about the size of an XXLS400.
OK that's fair enough, I just didn't want you to not get a Mono simply because you'd heard that it wouldn't be any good for your purposes.

I'd still be inclined to get a single 400. Two 200s won't go any deeper than one. I'm sure it'll perform well in one of those three places if you experiment. It certainly would not hurt to experiment with your Eltax. It's ported I presume, if so you could try to tame the boominess by blocking the port. This will not harm it. If you still have room problems after you get a BK an Antimode will help. I would have thought that a single XXL400 + Antimode would wipe the floor with two XLS200s and work out at about the same price. Lastly, don't forget that you can always send the BK back if you are not happy.

Thanks for your feedback Wilseus!!! I guess you like your bass loud!
Not particularly, but I do like it deep and controlled :)
 
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sadanorakman

Standard Member
Thank you... I must confess, I'm a little worried about going for a 10" driver in a one cubic foot box, as my experience with car subs tells me it would probably have to work pretty hard to go low enough for proper lfe booms, and the distortion would then be considerable compared to say the XXLS400.

I understand that the monlith is a very fine sub, and people say it is certainly fast enough to keep up... I'm just not sure I could really go for a cabinet that very large in my modest lounge. (and besides I'd just have to tend towards the plus version at 500W and that very fine driver it has!)

I really wasn't planning on an antimode, as I understand Auddyssey XT32 is more capable of integrating the Sub than using an antimode... If I was going to have a receiver with very basic Auddyssey that wouldn't correct for the sub, or only at a very low resolution, then an antimode would be right on the shopping list.
 

Wilseus

Novice Member
I hadn't considered Audyssey. But yes, in that case you won't need an Antimode.
 

mfife

Active Member
It is not important that you're getting uneven bass around the room. What's important is what the bass is like in your listening/viewing position. I'd suggest going for a single 400. It will go deeper than 2X200's and with more autthority.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Audyssey xt32 is sufficient to take care of any room modes. It will also help with broadening your choice of sub location although I would suggest picking a spot with the best (natural) room response and then apply Eq. This leaves you with what sub, as others have said go with the bigger one. This way you can always add another (if required) when/if budget and WAF acceptance is granted.
 

sadanorakman

Standard Member
It is not important that you're getting uneven bass around the room. What's important is what the bass is like in your listening/viewing position. I'd suggest going for a single 400. It will go deeper than 2X200's and with more autthority.
Thanks mfife. It is important to me to get the most even bass. In my present room, the bass response is great for two seats, ok in another, and absolutely rubbish in the remaining two. As I walk across my room or stand up from seated, the bass response changes wildly... This is not at all acceptable to me. I'm hoping it's just down to a perfect storm of dimensions in my current room, and that my new room will be a lot kinder response-wise.

I totally hear what you are saying about the 400 going deeper though... I had a nagging doubt that one or even two 200's would go deep enough for me. Thank you!
 

sadanorakman

Standard Member
Audyssey xt32 is sufficient to take care of any room modes. It will also help with broadening your choice of sub location although I would suggest picking a spot with the best (natural) room response and then apply Eq. This leaves you with what sub, as others have said go with the bigger one. This way you can always add another (if required) when/if budget and WAF acceptance is granted.
Mi55ion, Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. I am not currently experienced with Auddyssey, because I have never owned a receiver with it built in. I cannot however see how it could possibly fix the fundamentaly fixed physics of a room... If a sound wave of a given frequency eminating from a fixed position bounces off of several walls, there will naturally be areas where those waves either cancel one another out, or combine to create a greater amplitude... basic constructive and destructive interference... Anyone Comment on this please?

I understand that Auddyssey makes adjustments in both the time domain as well as the frequency domain. I can therefore see how it can artificially correct a soundstage for one position in the room... e.g. an area covering say several adjacent seats, but there is no way it could possibly correct for every seat in the room. It is likely therefore to worsen the listening experience in tertiary seats because it is artificially correcting the output for the primary listening seats.

This is why I am very vexed about deciding whether I should go for a second Sub to even-out the response of the new room. My current room couldn't be any worse... I just don't know if my new room will be kind enough to allow me to get away with only one Sub.

I guess it would be good to know how many others here have really had to revert to multiple subs because they just could not stand the response of a single one in their room?

Thanks again!
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
sadanorakman said:
Mi55ion, Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. I am not currently experienced with Auddyssey, because I have never owned a receiver with it built in. I cannot however see how it could possibly fix the fundamentaly fixed physics of a room... If a sound wave of a given frequency eminating from a fixed position bounces off of several walls, there will naturally be areas where those waves either cancel one another out, or combine to create a greater amplitude... basic constructive and destructive interference... Anyone Comment on this please?

I understand that Auddyssey makes adjustments in both the time domain as well as the frequency domain. I can therefore see how it can artificially correct a soundstage for one position in the room... e.g. an area covering say several adjacent seats, but there is no way it could possibly correct for every seat in the room. It is likely therefore to worsen the listening experience in tertiary seats because it is artificially correcting the output for the primary listening seats.

This is why I am very vexed about deciding whether I should go for a second Sub to even-out the response of the new room. My current room couldn't be any worse... I just don't know if my new room will be kind enough to allow me to get away with only one Sub.

I guess it would be good to know how many others here have really had to revert to multiple subs because they just could not stand the response of a single one in their room?

Thanks again!
Maybe i didn't read it properly, I missed the part you had concerns about bass response at multiple seating locations. I'm by no means an expert in this area and hopefully some of the more clued up members can go to the technicalities of it all but I do know however that Aydessey xt32 calibration takes multiple readings, does some number crunching and then averages the results for those locations. Its been a while so can't recall what the results were like in other seating locations but remember it worked extremely well for the primary spot. I understand your dilemma and agree for a smooth overall bass response dual subs have the advantage over a mono assuming all things are equal and they can be placed optimally. A single (higher quality) sub will dig deeper with lower distortion but does require a bit of luck as far as placement is concerned.(Could add a second one later if required, no?) Depends what you consider more important and how you want to go about in achieving it i reckon. From what I've read the pros recommend 4 subs, one in each corner of the room but for obvious reasons this ideal is seldom reached by most enthusiasts who instead choose a compromise be that a single higher quality sub or smaller dual subs. Since this is primarily an area for enthusiasts that have a bias for low distortion deep bass, the kind that wobbles your guts whilst providing a full body massage during the movie in their living rooms, its not surprising to find the response you've had so far as most choose the mono sub route. But as you say, if you're willing to lose some of that depth in favour of a more balanced sound across the room then may be the advice given isn't right for your needs.
 

sadanorakman

Standard Member
Thank you for a very considered, well-balanced answer Mi55ion.

I think I've now poo-Pooed having one or two XLS200's, because I just don't think they will go low enough with low distortion.

People keep telling me to buy a Monolith... They might just be right, as although it is massive, it would make for a good couch-side table with a toughened glass top added on silicon pads... That may be more acceptable to the missus than a smaller sub that cannot be used as a piece of furniture! I would then be severly limited as to where it would fit though, so if I had bad room nulls, I would be back to square one!

Maybe I should start by just taking my naff Eltax 12" with me, and try it in different locations to see what Nulls there are in the new room... then I can decide whether I can get away with just one sub, or will really need two to smooth out the room response.

So do people think that a monolith is REALLY fast enough for fine music, or should I just go for an XXLS400 and not have quite as much volume on tap???
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
So do people think that a monolith is REALLY fast enough for fine music, or should I just go for an XXLS400 and not have quite as much volume on tap???
In my experience, it's good & fast enough as long as it's EQ'd (that'll be the same with all subs though). The Monolith won't just give you volume, it'll give you more usable lower response as well - it's down to whether you want that response and can accommodate the increased size.
 

Arcam_boy

Distinguished Member
I'm currently in the same situation as you although mine is purely for music so I don't need to shift masses of air like you do for films.

I was planning on going with a single XLS400 but having measured up I can only accommodate an XLS400 if I put it the opposite side of the room to my speakers, beside the sofa. From reading up its better to have the sub between the two speakers so I'm going to opt for two XLS200's to go between my speakers and the cabinet. They should still help my speakers out and provide a little more low end grunt. I'm sure it'll take plenty of tweaking to sound right but will hopefully be worth it :)
 

gingerone

Well-known Member
I'm in the process of upgrading from an xls200 to an xxls400, although I have a small room and the xls200 sounds great I can't help feeling I'm missing out on a bit of low end grunt
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
gingerone said:
I'm in the process of upgrading from an xls200 to an xxls400, although I have a small room and the xls200 sounds great I can't help feeling I'm missing out on a bit of low end grunt
No space for the Mono+?
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
I'm in the process of upgrading from an xls200 to an xxls400, although I have a small room and the xls200 sounds great I can't help feeling I'm missing out on a bit of low end grunt
If you're looking for low end grunt, definitely try to fit a Monolith in. It'll make your ears go funny at frequencies below what the XXLS400 could - that's the best endorsement I can come up with :smashin:
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
The Mono+ isn't that much more, consider saving up a little while longer, at least you won't get that 'what if?' feeling eh?

When you say small, what size room?
 

gingerone

Well-known Member
Got a good deal on a 400, if I was buying new or could find a second hand mono I would have gone for the mono without question :)
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Reading the reviews on here, maybe throw an SVS SB12 NSD in to the mix - SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer Review Comments | AVForums.com - UK Online

It would be what i'd order, but I need something to act as a coffee table as well....

I'm currently in the same situation as you although mine is purely for music so I don't need to shift masses of air like you do for films.

I was planning on going with a single XLS400 but having measured up I can only accommodate an XLS400 if I put it the opposite side of the room to my speakers, beside the sofa. From reading up its better to have the sub between the two speakers so I'm going to opt for two XLS200's to go between my speakers and the cabinet. They should still help my speakers out and provide a little more low end grunt. I'm sure it'll take plenty of tweaking to sound right but will hopefully be worth it :)
Mark - a lot of what I read reckons that if using 2 subs, placing them at opposite ends of the room can work well.... interested to read where you were advised against putting the sub at the opposite end of the room - with a decent EQ in your amp I was under the impression that it didn't really matter. We're moving soon and that is pretty much my only option!
 

Goldenbone

Active Member
I logic'd myself up to buying a mono+ - based on the usual fallacy that ill regret not going for the biggest option (having decided to upgrade my Gemini). I'd probably have been just as happy with a xxls400, but the mono is a beast.. glad I chose it in the end
 

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