Question Sub recommendation and placement advices pls

inonefly

Active Member
I've been watching movies with my hifi setup for years and finally decided to go for a 5.1 system for better movie experience. Current setup:

Dynaudio Contour S3.4 LE fronts
Devialet 400 (in HT bypass mode for movies)
Denon X3500H
Dynaudio Contour SC center​

I'm looking to get a pair of MA Silver or Gold FX for surrounds. But subwoofer is what I don't know much and not sure what I should be looking at in terms of spec and features etc. Looking to spend GBP 500-750, can stretch to 1000 if needed for step up in performance/feature that my room (or setup) really requires. I close all the connecting doors when watching movies, room is 4.6x6.8m.

I'm doing some research but would really appreciate some advice and recommendations on the sub:

1. what size/power should I go for and what's must have features for a sub? Specific model recommendation would be great.

2. Looking at below room diagram, I have the rack at one corner that I can not move because the HDMI cable is under the floor and come out from the corner. I marked 3 position that I think might be option for the sub and for now I prefer position A, it is within easy reach of the rack for cabling. Position B is next to the sofa, I will probably want to use wireless kit for it. Position C is also easy for cabling but the sub will be next to a glass door which might not be ideal for sub? So which position is ideal and I should look for a sub to match the room and placement I'm thinkning of?

Room.jpg
 
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Conrad.

Active Member
Assuming the room is 4.7m x 3m (you missed the second dimension in your post) and using REWs room sim, something like a BK monolith would give you a decent response in A and C, much less so in position B.

If the glass door is a sealed UPVC type then I wouldn't worry too much about it, only if it's a loose single glazed thing then you might get excessive rattling.

C gives you corner loading which will improve the low end response, although only really down to the port tune if you get a ported sub (ported subs are designed - tuned - to play down to a certain frequency, usually 13 - 18Hz, below that their response drops sharply), lower if you get sealed. But that's a good sized room so sealed would probably work out more expensive.

A few extra questions:
- What's your movie/TV/music/gaming balance?
- What are you looking for, just a fuller sound or teeth rattling bass?
- Do you have the ability to measurements? You'll need a calibrated Mic and a computer. MiniDSP Umik-1s are the usual mic to use.
- Is size and/or finish an issue, are you looking to keep the sub compact or can you go big? For most subs, bigger boxes go deeper.

With that budget the recommendations are likely to come as: BK XXLS400, Monolith and Monolith+, SVS PB or SB 1000/2000 and the Arundel Sub 1.
 

inonefly

Active Member
Assuming the room is 4.7m x 3m (you missed the second dimension in your post) and using REWs room sim, something like a BK monolith would give you a decent response in A and C, much less so in position B.

If the glass door is a sealed UPVC type then I wouldn't worry too much about it, only if it's a loose single glazed thing then you might get excessive rattling.
Thanks so much for the reply. Already some additional research for me to look further!

Sorry, room is about 4.6x6.8m iirc. The glass door next to point C is the old wood frame 12 squares type of door and need replacing. I have double medium thickness curtain in front of the door as I think it’s bad for reflection in hifi setup, not sure about the sub.

I thought I can use the AVR ‘s built in Audyssey to tune the system? But you mentioned REW, do I need this in order to tune the sub - meaning audyssey is only good for the 5.0 speakers?

For the additional questions:
- What's your movie/TV/music/gaming balance?
A: this setup will be 100% movies. For music I’m only using the Devialet and fronts.


- What are you looking for, just a fuller sound or teeth rattling bass?
A: fuller sound would be the starting point I guess, so Quality over quantity for now.

- Do you have the ability to measurements? You'll need a calibrated Mic and a computer. MiniDSP Umik-1s are the usual mic to use.
A:I have none atm but if needed I can invest. Ideally I can just use the AVR but if not, will look into the cost.

- Is size and/or finish an issue, are you looking to keep the sub compact or can you go big? For most subs, bigger boxes go deeper.
A: not very picky but will certainly have to consider the WAF.
 

Conrad.

Active Member
That's a big room. In which case position B gives a significantly better response than the other two places (in REWs room sim). Once you make your choice you can try it in all three places and see which sounds best, that's the advantage of something like REW (and Audyssey) is that you can visualise the response. I would suggest a long RCA to test before investing in the wireless option.

You're right, Audyssey will do the full 5.1. I don't use a receiver so I always forget about it. Having the ability to manually measure and tweak is useful, but you don't need to worry about that just yet.

I think you can exclude the 12" sealed subs in that size of room, unless you're prepared to go dual. The Denon has dual sub out so that would work. I still think the XXLS400s might struggle. A Monolith+ should definitely be on your list. Whether you get Down Facing or Forward Facing (DF/FF) will depend on the floor type, presence of children and animals, and the dimensions you have available. *** are longer and DFs are taller. There's not much in it. Some people have been known to put glass tops on them and use them as side tables.

If you get the sub in the right place and well integrated there's no reason you shouldn't use it for stereo as well. It'll reduce the load on your amp, and on your speakers, allowing them to focus on the areas they're better at.
 

Conrad.

Active Member
One other option, have you considered DIY? There's plenty of help and kits out there now, people that will make the panels for you, all you need to do is decide what you want (not easy, but again, there's lots of help), buy and build. I'm oversimplifying, but it's not as hard as it once was.

There's the potential for much better performance from a smaller budget.

It's harder to do in a non-dedicated room as the finish often isn't as good a nice wood veneer, but it can be. And if it's tucked out of the way next to a couch it might not matter so much.
 

inonefly

Active Member
Just checked out the Monolith+, fits my budget and seems good spec to me (still learning on the sub to tell the differences other than power). My room is concrete floor with laminate flooring, so I assume DF will be fine? If not much difference in performance I think I'd go with DF as it feel safer and maybe easier to tune if I place it at position B?

Do I need to play with REW room sim before I decide on a sub or it's for more experienced user? then maybe I should just get a sub to get started? Think I prefer a fast sub without much boom in the room (maybe also depends on placement?), I'll do more reading on Monolith+ but is there any other recommendations that I can also considering?

Will go for a single sub and branded sub this time as I think it's easier to tune and less chance to go wrong. :p

That's a big room. In which case position B gives a significantly better response than the other two places (in REWs room sim). Once you make your choice you can try it in all three places and see which sounds best, that's the advantage of something like REW (and Audyssey) is that you can visualise the response. I would suggest a long RCA to test before investing in the wireless option.

You're right, Audyssey will do the full 5.1. I don't use a receiver so I always forget about it. Having the ability to manually measure and tweak is useful, but you don't need to worry about that just yet.

I think you can exclude the 12" sealed subs in that size of room, unless you're prepared to go dual. The Denon has dual sub out so that would work. I still think the XXLS400s might struggle. A Monolith+ should definitely be on your list. Whether you get Down Facing or Forward Facing (DF/FF) will depend on the floor type, presence of children and animals, and the dimensions you have available. *** are longer and DFs are taller. There's not much in it. Some people have been known to put glass tops on them and use them as side tables.

If you get the sub in the right place and well integrated there's no reason you shouldn't use it for stereo as well. It'll reduce the load on your amp, and on your speakers, allowing them to focus on the areas they're better at.
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
A slight curve ball, and does just tip the budget... but you've got very decent speakers, and i think they maybe deserve a better sub. The 400 and Monolith are very good but better is available (I owned the 400 a while back)

This is well worth a look, especially based on your criteria of fast without boom (to be honest the Sub1 would probably be ok but might struggle a little big to properly pressurise in that size room)

 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
On another note, personally, the integration between the surrounds you mention and Dynaudio is unlikely to be the happiest.... they're tonally very different. I would suggest something a little more neutral sounding would be better, or maybe hunt out some of these (I used to use them with a Focus 110 and Centre setup - with the aforementioned BK Sub!) Audience 42 W - Buy Audience 42 W discontinued speakers
 

Conrad.

Active Member
The Sub 1.5 is a nice choice and should be on your list, if the budget allows. I only suggested the Sub 1 as it's within budget.

DF should be fine on the floors you've mentioned. I think they would only not be recommended on carpeted floors, but I'm not entirely sure.

The sound of the sub that you're describing (fast, without boom) is much more a property of the integration between sub and speakers than the sub itself. You could put the most expensive, best measuring sub in the wrong place in the wrong room and it'll sound dreadful. Auto EQ, Inbuild PEQ and such will help, but placement is the easiest way to maximise what you've got.

I don't fully agree with the disparity between sub and speaker quality. You'll get a different sound signature with more expensive subs, but there's nothing to say that the sub should cost x% of the value of the speakers. I think there are people on here with Monolith's and Kef Blades, for example (I might be wrong there). Again, if well integrated, the handover from mains to sub should be seamless. We're a lot less sensitive to timbre matching and tone at the lower registers.

BK have a decent returns policy as well, so if if doesn't sound good you can send it back, for the pain of having to do so of course.

REW room sim is dead easy to use. Download REW and install and run it, click on the room sim button in the header, and then enter your room dimensions. You can then add as many subs as you like with the checkboxes and just drag them around. The predicted response changes in real time based on the sub and listener position. Try it and if you have questions, post here or PM me. It's not 100% accurate as it doesn't know where all the furniture, cupboards, rugs, pictures, etc, in your room are, but it's pretty close.
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
The Sub 1.5 is a nice choice and should be on your list, if the budget allows. I only suggested the Sub 1 as it's within budget.
Apologies, I hadn't seen that you had already mentioned it! BK are indeed good subs, but personally, I think you can get more musical, admittedly for more money!
 

Conrad.

Active Member
Apologies, I hadn't seen that you had already mentioned it! BK are indeed good subs, but personally, I think you can get more musical, admittedly for more money!
That's the problem though, there are always better subs, and if there aren't, there are always more subs!
Dual? Triple? Where do you (I) stop.
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
That's the problem though, there are always better subs, and if there aren't, there are always more subs!
Dual? Triple? Where do you (I) stop.
I stop at one, as that's all the space that I have.
 

PaulDavidThomas

Active Member
I bought the arendul sub1’s blind. I’m happy with them. I got two, one for each corner. I emailed them and asked if they had any ‘customer returns’ of cosmetically faulty. They did and I got a decent discount. I could not see one fault on either of them. Boxed and as new.
 

inonefly

Active Member
I will do more readings on the mentioned subs, but for the sub1/1.5, other than larger driver (14" vs 12") what improvement will I gain compared to the monolith (seeing all three are 500w rms)? Sub 1.5 is much over my budget, not sure I'd want to take more time saving up, much prefer to get one in the next few weeks so I can enjoy the 5.1 system and build up experiences before next upgrades.

I wanted the MA surrounds because these are easier for placement and also looks better for wall mounted (not sticking out too much) but I did worried about the tonal different. Since you mentioned, I had more thinking and looking at my room, I think if I can find a suitable swing mounting hardware then I might be able to use Dynaudio bookshelf as the surrounds so the sound signatures are as close as possible. The audience is discontinued so I'm thinking maybe the new Emit M10, very compact and got good reviews.



A slight curve ball, and does just tip the budget... but you've got very decent speakers, and i think they maybe deserve a better sub. The 400 and Monolith are very good but better is available (I owned the 400 a while back)

This is well worth a look, especially based on your criteria of fast without boom (to be honest the Sub1 would probably be ok but might struggle a little big to properly pressurise in that size room)

On another note, personally, the integration between the surrounds you mention and Dynaudio is unlikely to be the happiest.... they're tonally very different. I would suggest something a little more neutral sounding would be better, or maybe hunt out some of these (I used to use them with a Focus 110 and Centre setup - with the aforementioned BK Sub!) Audience 42 W - Buy Audience 42 W discontinued speakers
 

inonefly

Active Member
Thanks. Will download REW and play with it.
So I think the process is to use REW to simulate the positions I prefer see which is best, then put the sub in action and run Audyssey to measure and optimise? think my AVR has Audyssey XT32, is it a good one and does it produce the graphics or tell me whether the result is good?

Just played with my dad's Onkyo 807 last week, very old AVR and when run Audyssey, it tells the individual speakers +/- db but nothing else.


The Sub 1.5 is a nice choice and should be on your list, if the budget allows. I only suggested the Sub 1 as it's within budget.

DF should be fine on the floors you've mentioned. I think they would only not be recommended on carpeted floors, but I'm not entirely sure.

The sound of the sub that you're describing (fast, without boom) is much more a property of the integration between sub and speakers than the sub itself. You could put the most expensive, best measuring sub in the wrong place in the wrong room and it'll sound dreadful. Auto EQ, Inbuild PEQ and such will help, but placement is the easiest way to maximise what you've got.

I don't fully agree with the disparity between sub and speaker quality. You'll get a different sound signature with more expensive subs, but there's nothing to say that the sub should cost x% of the value of the speakers. I think there are people on here with Monolith's and Kef Blades, for example (I might be wrong there). Again, if well integrated, the handover from mains to sub should be seamless. We're a lot less sensitive to timbre matching and tone at the lower registers.

BK have a decent returns policy as well, so if if doesn't sound good you can send it back, for the pain of having to do so of course.

REW room sim is dead easy to use. Download REW and install and run it, click on the room sim button in the header, and then enter your room dimensions. You can then add as many subs as you like with the checkboxes and just drag them around. The predicted response changes in real time based on the sub and listener position. Try it and if you have questions, post here or PM me. It's not 100% accurate as it doesn't know where all the furniture, cupboards, rugs, pictures, etc, in your room are, but it's pretty close.
 

inonefly

Active Member
Did you buy 2 together or separately? if later what improvement you noticed going for two instead of upgrading to the 1.5 or maybe higher model?

Thanks for the tip, I'll email them see if they have any available, might just buy one blind as well.
I bought the arendul sub1’s blind. I’m happy with them. I got two, one for each corner. I emailed them and asked if they had any ‘customer returns’ of cosmetically faulty. They did and I got a decent discount. I could not see one fault on either of them. Boxed and as new.
 

Conrad.

Active Member
A larger driver will be capable of moving more air so will, in theory, give more output across the frequency range for the same input. Factors like driver sensitivity, port tune, and cabinet size make a big difference though. so the sub 1.5 should go lower and longer but it’s not guaranteed.

amp power alone is also only useful to a point. Again, all the properties of a driver and the cabinet can have a big effect. The same driver and amp in a different size, differently tuned cabinet will perform very differently. There are apps to model that but it’s not something I’ve ever done, or you need to do.

as for the auto-eq, I only have a limited understanding there. I use manual EQ with various tools but I believe xt32 is the better version of Audyssey, which is better than onkyo’s auto eq but it might not be as good as Dirac and won’t be as good as something like Anthem’s arc genesis. It’ll get the job done though and if you’re prepared to buy a mic and take some measurements you can adjust to your own taste.
 

Gasp3621

Well-known Member
I will do more readings on the mentioned subs, but for the sub1/1.5, other than larger driver (14" vs 12") what improvement will I gain compared to the monolith (seeing all three are 500w rms)?
Well there is one professional review for Sub 1 where they used Monolith as comparison in the listening test (music).

"Compared to the already old, but good standard compared to its’ size, the BK Monolith, the Arendal’s tone is clearly more precise and punchier, but at the same time more lusciously pleasing. Partly the reason for this is the absence of all redundant sounds, such as whiffs and puffs even with challenging material. Where a shelf speaker’s speed runs out when playing Infected Mushroom, the subwoofer is just starting to warm up. Especially in its’ size range its’ tight but dynamic sound impresses."

For movies in mind (action/scifi) Mono+ has edge (over sealed Sub 1) when it comes to deep bass as the ported cab is stronger near the port tune. But as the review suggest they sound quite different. With Sub 1.5 you would have plenty of deep bass and you can also run it as sealed if you wish so. But we still need to keep in mind that Monolith measures great and has been very popular long time, you rarely hear anything negative from it. Bang for buck is very strong on that one and no doubt it offers satisfying movie experience for low bucks. Sub 1.5 costs nearly twice as much as M+ so not easy choice.

SVS PB2000/PC2000 is also option offering similar performance as Sub 1.5, even bit more deep bass output with lower price tag. If you ask Arendal they claim Sub 1.5 sounds better, but they have different design goals. :)
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
I will do more readings on the mentioned subs, but for the sub1/1.5, other than larger driver (14" vs 12") what improvement will I gain compared to the monolith (seeing all three are 500w rms)? Sub 1.5 is much over my budget, not sure I'd want to take more time saving up, much prefer to get one in the next few weeks so I can enjoy the 5.1 system and build up experiences before next upgrades.

I wanted the MA surrounds because these are easier for placement and also looks better for wall mounted (not sticking out too much) but I did worried about the tonal different. Since you mentioned, I had more thinking and looking at my room, I think if I can find a suitable swing mounting hardware then I might be able to use Dynaudio bookshelf as the surrounds so the sound signatures are as close as possible. The audience is discontinued so I'm thinking maybe the new Emit M10, very compact and got good reviews.
Not sure if you've seen these.... For Sale - Dynaudio Audience 42 Sat on wall speakers
 

inonefly

Active Member
Personally I think a 400 will be too small in that room, better to wait and put the cash towards the sub you want.

Have you seen this: For Sale - Paradigm Sub 1
Don't know if it's a good price or not.
Thanks for the advice, I ‘ll keep looking for a suitable sub. The Paradigm One is unfortunately way over my budget. I contacted Arendal CS and they suggest both the sub 1 and 1.5 will be fine for my room, I think I might go for a sub 1 because it’s more compact and from what they described the difference between sealed and ported sub I’m leaning towards a sealed one.
 

Gasp3621

Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice, I ‘ll keep looking for a suitable sub. The Paradigm One is unfortunately way over my budget. I contacted Arendal CS and they suggest both the sub 1 and 1.5 will be fine for my room, I think I might go for a sub 1 because it’s more compact and from what they described the difference between sealed and ported sub I’m leaning towards a sealed one.
Arendal didn´t mention the new models? They should be announced this week most likely as one member said mid October they start taking orders in. New 12" ported and sealed model. See pictures and some info here:

 
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inonefly

Active Member
Thanks, will have a read.

But no they didn’t mention the new model but mentioned that there will be a price bump due to the exchange rate. :eek:

Arendal didn´t mention the new models? They should announced hopefully this week. New 12" ported and sealed model. See pictures and some info here:

 

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