What subwoofer for Wharfedale Diamond 220's?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Joetpayne, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Joetpayne

    Joetpayne
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    Hi,

    I have just bought some Wharfedale 220's and am looking to find a subwoofer which would extend the lower end of their sound. I will only be listening to music, so hopefully need something which is tight, accurate and not to boomy. I would like it to go relatively low as I listen to quite a lot of jazz and classical music and have just found that the 'bass' instruments aren't quite as pronounced as I would like them to be! I also don't have a processor :eek: , so any crossover adjustments would need to be made on the back of the subwoofer.

    I am generally open to any price, though something cheap would be preferable. I am looking at the Wharfedale sw150 at the moment which seems to have generally good reviews...

    Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    Joe
     
  2. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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  3. Joetpayne

    Joetpayne
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    The problem is that I need high level inputs as I don't have a dedicated subwoofer output on my amplifier... Otherwise, yes, the gemini would be great!
     
  4. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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  5. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    He's got a 2000 cu foot room. Gemini isn't enough. For music should be fine with XLS200. Or maybe dual XLS200, for L/R bass.
     
  6. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    Ah well, the '2000 cu ft room' part wasn't stated. So not the Gemini as it would struggle severely.

    You could add XLS400 to the list
     
  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Even a 10" sub is massive compared to the 5" drivers in the Diamond 220. Keep in mind you don't need ultra-deep bass for most music. There is a very rare instance with music in which you might need to go deep, and certainly for actions movies it helps to have deep bass response, but generally for most music, the goal is not to go especially deep but merely to move more air at deeper frequencies.

    The Diamond 220 have a rated bass of 56hz at -3db and 45hz at -6db. That gives you the range where you want to set the Crossover on the Subwoofer. Then experiment with the level on the Sub Volume Control until you feel you have the best blend between the Front and Sub.

    You could have Stereo Subs, as someone suggested. Because you are driving the directly off the Amplifier speaker terminals, you could feed one Left and one Right Sub. Though because low bass like this is onmi-directional, it is not really necessary to have Stereo Subs.

    Generally, for music like this, the Subs should be close to the speakers to give a consistent and cohesive sound, though that's just my opinion.

    The Diamond 220 are about £200/pr, so I'm not sure spending £1000 to £2000 on Subs is justified. I suggest that if you could find decent 8" (200mm) Subs even they would enhance the music greatly, but a smaller Sub like this would have to be chosen carefully. You don't necessarily have to extend the bass down to Sub-30hz, though certainly nothing wrong if you do.

    Then the consideration is Forward or Front Firing Subs, or Down Firing Subs. The general preformance is about the same, but in a small space I think there is an advantage to Down Firing. But it is really just personal preference. In a larger space with more distance between you and the speaker, it doesn't matter much.

    Some examples, this modest 8" Wharfedale Sub is rated down to 30hz at -3db, I think you can expect close to 25hz at -6db from that. That should be fine for most music, though admittedly as Subs go that is nothing special -

    http://wharfedale.co.uk/product.php?pid=37

    Same specs on the Wharfedale 10" Sub -

    http://wharfedale.co.uk/product.php?pid=38

    The above are the UPC models, the SPC 10" Sub is only rated down to 35hz at -3db, but should perform down to 30hz at -6db, which is fine.

    The BK Electronics XLS200 Sub is a 10", FF or DF, 275w amps, rated at 17hz at -6db, and priced at £315 each in a wide variety of cabinet finishes. .

    I will note that there is some cosmetic appeal to the DF Subs, because they fire down at the floor, you can't see the driver, When you look at the cabinet from 3 sides, all you see is wood, on the 4th side you see the Plate Amp that controls the Sub.

    http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/XLS200.htm

    http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/XLS200-DF.htm

    The BK XLS200 is also a Sealed Sub, so more likely to give tight controlled bass that would be more desired for a music system.

    Lastly you have to consider how much this is going to cost you. Two XLS200 is about £630/pr.

    For £699 you can have a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 240 floorstanding with 2x6.5" bass drivers, 35hz at -6db. The larger Diamond 250 with 2x8" bass drivers has rated response down to 32hz at -6db and is priced at an average £999/pr.

    £200 plus £630 for two Subs is a total investment of £830. The Monitor Audio Bronze 6 (34hz) and the Dali Zensor 7 (35hz at -6db) are near that price range. Though you could go with One Sub to start with and see if you like the results, you can always add a second later.

    Still, many people prefer Bookshelf/Sub over Floorstanding. It is a personal preference, there is no right or wrong.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  8. Joetpayne

    Joetpayne
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    Thanks Steve - a lot to think about here. You're very kind to post such a detailed answer - I suppose I wouldn't really want to spend too much north of £250/ £275 - so to that extent, which of those you have suggested do you think would be the best bet in general?

    Thanks again.
     
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Though over your budget, I think the sealed BK XLS-200 would do a good job, just a single Sub connected to both the left and right channels.

    The XLS-200 comes with a special cable that allows you to connect the speaker terminal of the amp to the Sub.

    The cable looks like this -

    BK Electronic - Speaker Level Leads

    Remember, these come with the Sub.

    The bulky connector goes to the Sub, and snaps into a SpeakOn connector which is at the top right viewing the Sub from the back. The wire doesn't have to be exceptionally big because the current is very low. The impedance of the Speaker Level Input is very high, so it add virtually no additional load to your amp.

    There are lesser smaller Subs that could work but if you really want the best for a reasonable amount of money, then at £315, the BK Electronics XLS-200 is a pretty good deal.

    Remember it comes in Front Firing and Down Firing. I think cosmetically the down firing are nicer. I've been told the performance is virtually the same. One deciding factor would be what is under your floors. If it is a baby's bedroom, best get Front Firing, but if it is nothing of consequence, then Down Firing has its appeal.

    Also, the XLS-200 is a very popular starter Sub, so there may be some available used from someone who upgraded. That might bring it down more in your preferred budget range.


    Steve/bluewizard
     

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