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Some subwoofer advice needed

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by thespian, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. thespian

    thespian
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    Hi - firstly, I am not an audiophile, nor do I have a big, dedicated home cinema system. I have just purchased a Panasonic 28PS5 and use the digital out of my Sony 725 DVD player to get 5.1 surround. The issue is that the TV ignores (or seems to) the .1 channel, so there is no bass response. I spoke to some chaps in my local specialist hifi store about whether I could still attach an active sub to the dvd player - they thought so, then showed me some subs costing £200 which were the size of a small armchair. I figured this may be overkill!

    As an experiement, I noticed in the Argos catalog that they had a small sub (50-70 watts) made by Acoustic Solutions. This appeared to be the exact same sub sold by Richer Sounds as the Eltex Thunder 8 for £49 - same price as Argos. So, being an experimentalist and knowing of the Argos 14 day money back policy, I purchased one to see if the theory works. It does!

    Now, I haven't really spent a great deal of time setting it up but the low range constant "rumble" adds some LF depth to the TVs surround output and you can pretty much feel spaceships flying round in Attack of the Clones.

    The advice I need is this: should I stick with the experimentation model or would I now be better uprgading to the Eltex Atomic 8.2 for £80? For one, it has a higher power output and an auto off feature but for another, it comes in silver (same as the tv) and is only 5cm all round bigger than the current one which is 25cm all round. What exactly does the higher power output translate into? Louder effects? More room shake? Or does it just allow for better quality without distortion?

    As I mentioned, I don't really want a "super-duper" system - I really wanted something to just add that extra "umph" and give dvds the .1 channel they were missing.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The power ratings of subs don't mean a great deal on their own as the original 40 watt REL Q Bass was an excellent sub whilst there are many with megawatts that are terrible.

    If you are happy with the sub that you have I would stick with it as there is no guarantee that by spending a little more you will gain any noticeable difference.

    Auto off causes more problems than it solves and you are better off without it.
     
  3. thespian

    thespian
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    Thanks for that - does that mean that when the dvd player is off, even if the sub is plugged in, the amp won't be doing anything hence not consuming huge wattage? That was the only reason for the auto off thing, so I could leave it plugged in and it should go into standby.

    Also, is there a good guide to setting a sub up? Levels, what is distortion etc? The Sony 725 test signal seems to deliver a consistant level which doesn't really imply how a sub feed would act in the real world - or does it? Do subs basically receive a constant feed to produce the low level ambience?
     
  4. Clabs

    Clabs
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    Hi Thespian! I agree with what Ian wrote but so far as the Eltax Atomic 8 goes, if you can buy from Argos or Richer, why not go get one and hear the difference for yourself? That is the only way you will answer your question and as both places offer 14 day no quibble money back, there is nothing to lose!

    Mark
     
  5. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Not necessarily. If the AV receivers bassmanagement is configured in certain ways, the subwoofer might still be active in stereo mode (e.g. listening to the radio), even the DVD player is off. See also below.

    If there is no signal present at the subwoofer output of the AV receiver then the sub will go to sleep after some time (while in auto-mode). Any signal present will wake it up.

    Use a setup DVD (with test-tones for all channels) and level them using a SPL meter.

    There is no constant feed, sub's receive the LFE (from .1 soundtracks) or, where applicable, bass from speakers configured as SMALL (as influenced by the AV receiver's bassmanagement).
     
  6. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    I don't know if your interested but I may be thinking of selling my Eltax Atomic 10.2 very soon, seven months old, no scratches, silver. Give me a PM if your interested. I'll sell it for roughly the same amount you could buy the 8.2 for.
     

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