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Subwoofer Advice

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by d.waters, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. d.waters

    d.waters
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    I have been reading with interest about the latest subwoofers in this Forum and whether or not to have 2 subwoofers is recommended. I am finding it difficult to understand some of the things that have been said.

    My main system consists of 3 M&K K7s, 4 M&K K4s and 2 M&K VX-100 subwoofers. I have a Denon AVC A11SR amp. My bedroom system includes a Def Tech Pro80 sub/sat system with a Pioneer VSX 1014 Amp. All of this kit (except the upstairs amp which is fairly new) has been running for about 3 years.

    I got a second sub for the main system to balance the bass. The subs are at either side of the room near the wall and in front of the left and right speakers. They seem to perform well. In my bedroom, the only place I could put the sub due to furniture was in the rear left hand corner. Unfortunately, I can often hear where the bass is coming from (even though you're not supposed to be able to) which is one reason I got the second sub downstairs.

    I am likely to change my downstairs amp this summer, probably for a Pioneer AX5AI (because I like the performance of its little brother upstairs), but I am tempted by some recent price reductions on the AX10AI. However, I would like to understand subwoofers a little better, as I am tempted to make some changes there also.

    I placed the downstairs subs where they are because I didn't know any better and because it seemed a good idea to spread them out (to me anyway). I have not spent very much time setting them up, but they seem to perform well. Noting recent comments on this site about it being difficult to set up 2 subs. I have just tried out the opening sequence to Star Wars Ep 2 a few times, with both subs and then with each one on its own, and I didn't notice any distortion (other than a shaking door!). It definately seemed to have more impact with both subs on. For reference the amp was at -23dB and both subs had their own bass levels set at +3dB. I would be grateful for any clarification on how I should have set this system up, particularly if it will improve it.

    My other point is a question regarding the subs themselves. I have been impressed by the positive comments regarding the BK XLS 200s. Given their larger drivers and amp (the VX-100 only has an 8" driver and 100 Watt amp), would I find 2 of these to be better than my 2 M&Ks? Noting of course that the M&Ks listed at around £800 each, whilst the BKs are less than £300 each. Or is it still a case of 'you get what you pay for?'

    When I originally demoed my M&K system, I really wanted an array of MJA Pro 50s or 100s (because the 50s had just come out, they were getting good reviews and they were very inexpensive compared to the M&K - also the K9 sub which went with my system was not too brilliantly reviewed at the time and seemed overpriced). Anyway, the demo MJA didn't seem to perform very well, the K9 was as expected and the VX-100 was definitely better, so I got that.

    Sorry for the long post, but I would like to understand subwoofers a little better, with specific reference to placement and the quality of other types compared to mine (particularly the M&Ks). I cannot house a very large sub, so I am only really interested in the compacts.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    In general you do get what you pay for but with certain caveats as BK subs are sold directly to the public by the manufacturer and thus cut out the chunk that the retailer would take whilst M&K rightly or wrongly is promoted as a premium product and costs that bit extra than it's natural competitors.

    Having said that the VX-100 is a good little sub and was the Home Cinema Choice sub of the year a few years ago and I doubt whether you will notice any improvement by changing to the BK, especially as your listening levels aren't particularly loud.

    All speakers interact with the room that they are in to a certain extent but subwoofers interact far more than other types. It is possible that if a pair of subs are poorly placed the bass from each one will cancel the other out. This is simple to ascertain as when you switch one of them off the bass will increase. There are several placement options including stacking the pair, having one at the rear of the room and the way that you have them. I have only ever listened at length to a pair of subs set up the way that yours is and it worked just fine.

    If compact size is a must I wouldn't bother changing what you have for a pair of budget subs but in a higher price range I would consider a single Velodyne DD-10 which is in a class above the M&K

    What is the crossover in the bedroom setup set too as you may be able to cut down on the localisation effect by lowering the crossover.
     
  3. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    I agree with Ian, moving to a couple of BK's would be a sideways step at best. With more money then the Velodyne DD and SPL range open up to you (in fact a single DD12 or DD15 would probably do the trick in a very small package) or there are options like Sunfire and a few others.

    If you can justify that sort of expenditure then a trip to your local dealers would be appropriate, if not then just be happy with what you've got and consider getting teh Velodyne SMS-1 unit when it's released in a couple of months. A forum search will turn up the relevant information on that. :)
     
  4. d.waters

    d.waters
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    Thank you for your replies - they were helpful.

    Ian - the bedroom sub crossover is set as recommended in the manual (ie at about 2 o'clock). I think it equates to about 120 Hz. With that system, however, I have always been under the impression that the sub was the weakest part, and it may be a good idea to change that, or is it that it would be more sensible to get a newer sub/sat system?

    With respect to the M&K subs it's nice to know they are still well regarded. I'll look at that SMS-1 when it's out. However, if I were to change the subs, would there be a cheaper alternative, either as a single unit or 2 compacts that could at least equal the VX-100s than the Velodyne DD range?
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I used to have Def Tech Pro Cinema satellites and I set the crossover in my amp to 80Hz which worked quite well. I had a REL Storm sub but that shouldn't make much difference and it may make the bass less directional.

    I doubt whether you will get significant improvements in sound quality by changing your M&K subs for any other compact design much below the DD-10 cost and I wouldn't bother with the Velodyne SMS-1 or it's cheaper relative the BFD unless you are unhappy with the sound produced by your subs.
     
  6. d.waters

    d.waters
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    Having now thought about it for a bit, I will probably upgrade the K7s in my main system for M&K 850s, and use the K7s to upgrade my bedroom system, probably along with one of my VX-100 subs (I may sell the other). I would dearly love one of those SVS PB12-Ultras, as a new sub for my main system, but it is just too big. I think the M&K 860 is one of the subs M&K intend to go with an 850 system. Does anyone know anything about these?
     
  7. Andywilliams

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    Hi Dave
    The m&k 850s also have the m&k v850 subwoofer which is supposed to be ok but you can get better for the money.If size is important the b&w asw750 would be a good choice both subs retail for around £1200 but you should be able to get some discount.I think recruit off this forum did own the v850 so would be able to give a true count of its performance.Or just get the pb ultra-2 like me :) .
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  8. d.waters

    d.waters
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    Thanks for that Gonzo - I was actually looking at the 860. It seems to be a new one from M&K and the amp in it is twice the size of the 850. I know what you mean about the SVS, but unless I can actually put it in an understairs cupboard (which is not a good idea), I don't have anywhere to put something that size - and I'm not allowed to have one of the cylinders!
     
  9. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    d. waters. :hiya:

    This is very true and common statement; also try and place one sub bass on top of the other, and use a Y lead coming from the sub bass LFE output with two more longer rca leads going to a dual EQ and have the outputs left and right from the EQ going to the two sub bass speakers. :thumbsup:

    And this should make setting up a faster and resulting in positive steps to getting spot on in the room. :thumbsup:

    Good luck… and May the force be with your home cinema. :clap:

    I am a former cinema projectionist. :) [​IMG]

    Ashley… :
     

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