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Whats the best Sat/Sub combinations or Separates ?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by mug, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. mug

    mug
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    Hi

    I have around £450 to spend on Home Cinema speakers. I'm not sure what to get though. Basically I am after sound quality over looks and size. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    p.s I am after fronts, rears, sub and a center.
     
  2. Cool-hand

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    Do you have an amp or receiver already?

    If so, what model...
     
  3. mug

    mug
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    I'm gonna buy a Marantz 6200 real soon. There's an excellant deal at www.avland.co.uk its going for £379 !!!
     
  4. Kirk

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    I am looking at getting the Mission FS2 AV package. All in for less than £400! from many places, try empiredirect for a start.

    I am delay my own purchase for a week or two as I think that Mission are about to release the FS1 pack, they certainly look the mutts...I just wanna see some reviews and maybe get a listen for a plump for the older FS2!
     
  5. MikeK

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    Mug,

    If looks and size don't come into it, then seperates every time mate!

    With £450, while it's not a huge amount, you can certainly get a decent setup, especially when you look at some of the special offers around at the moment.

    There's quite a few actually, but one of the better ones IMO (if it's actually available) is the Wharfedale Diamond AV3 pack at QED - around £270. That would leave you around £180 for a subwoofer - there's quite a few available, but have a look at the matching subs from Wharfedale (get the A model though, the the others don't have the auto on/off) - never heard them personally though, so I can't recommend from experience.
    Have heard the other Diamonds though, and overall, I'd say they are as good as anything else you are are likely tio get for that price, and better than most.

    Don't overlook Richer Sounds though - they often have stuff on offer at very good prices - just the ticket if you aren't too bothered about looks and things being the very latest model etc etc.

    Get a listen first if possible (as always) - a 6200 deserves something decent. No point buying a great budget amp, and then selling it short on the speakers (just as there's probably no point buying a 6200 and expecting it to perform as well as a TAG when driving this or that exotic speaker setup).
     
  6. Ian J

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    I have no argument with the Wharfedale speakers but with respect, £180 won't buy you a subwoofer. There are "mid woofers" at that price that masquerade as sub woofers but many of them are worse than having no sub at all.

    Give a thought to buying a better quality sub second hand. Recently there have been a couple of REL Stratas for sale in the classifieds at £225 which are leagues better than the buzz boxes on offer new.
     
  7. Mitch2000

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    Confirming MikeK's response on the Wharfedales. I've just setup the package and they sound great. Ordered from Wharfedale screen 8.3 in maple from QED last thursday and they delivered the next day. Also bought Powercube 8A and its not bad either. Probably not the best Subwoofer for the money (£140) but it matches the other speakers and thats what the wife liked.
     
  8. kevenh

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    The Powercube 8 was at qed-uk.com for approx £112
    The 'A' is for auto standby, so this one is missing that feature! imho not worth paying for any way.


    The range is 40Hz to 170Hz! Which, I think, is the point Ian J is making!

    Also has a variable crossover, and a phase change button. Corr!

    Its the sub I have, and being the only sub I've owned I'm pleased with it.
    But being older and wiser since I've been lurking around here, I may've spent more, or bought 2nd hand.

    Oh! For me, size was important, :blush: to. PC8 = 345 x 295 x 295
     
  9. MikeK

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    Well, I suppose it depends on your expectations really - no argument that expensive thousand quid subs will be better in absolute terms than a more modest and affordable 200 quid unit (they should be, or what would be the point). Some people would say that there are no decent speakers below a grand either, and if an AV amp is less than that, forget it :)
    As with many things, pay more - get more (though it's not always the case).


    However, that doesn't mean that anything without a REL or M&K badge on it is crap, far from it.
    If all you want a subwoofer for, is to fill in the bottom end for movie soundtracks (explosions, spaceships etc etc) then there are certainly 200 (ish) quid models around which will do that. Some of the cheaper units do have buzzing issues, but this isn't necessarily restricted to cheap subs - in many cases it's inaudible in normal use anyway, although there have been instances I've read about where it was a definite annoyance to the user. As ever, get a demo if possible.

    If you have a critical ear, and have a high quality music system into which you want to integrate a subwoofer, then you may well have to re-assess your requirements.
    And yes, it's always possible to get some secondhand bargains, if you have the time and are prepared to travel etc etc - but in many cases, it's buyer beware!
     
  10. Ian J

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    I used the word "buzz" to describe the noise made by the midwoofer and not any electrical humming noises.

    A subwoofer should operate below 80Hz as above that the sound becomes directional. Many of the very cheap subs don't go much lower than that.

    Subwoofer is a word that's meaning has changed in recent years. It used to mean a sub bass speaker which filled in the lower octaves below a full range speaker.

    Nowadays it means the large speaker that accompanies satellites and seems to have nothing to do with sub bass.

    In my opinion a good pair of full range front speakers without a subwoofer is preferable to cheap satellites and a mid woofer at the same price.
     
  11. MikeK

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    In some cases, you may well be right.

    However, in my experience, even modestly priced subwoofers (and I entirely accept your point about some "sub" woofers in sub/sat combos being little more than just a normal bass speaker) with a reasonable driver of sufficient size and a sufficiently powerful amplifier to drive it, housed in a suitably designed and constructed cabinet, can produce depths of bass which only a few floorstanders can achieve, and even then, only when driven by suitably powerful amplifiers.

    True, a run-of-the mill 6" or even 8" driver driven by a weedy 50W PMPO amplifier in a very small box will always struggle to produce deep bass - and is unlikely to better most floorstanders, but get to very good 8" units and good 10-12" ones, driven by decently powerful amps (100W rms for instance), in a properly sized and constructed cabinet and it's a different story. Even a moderately well designed and constructed subwoofer like that will outperform all but the very best floorstanders for depth of bass. Quality of bass is another matter though, but it's arguable that it's not as important per se for movie use as it is for music - who knows what a spaceship passing overhead really sounds like anyway, or a depth charge and so on. Room boom can be a problem though, especially with ported designs stuffed into corners, although it's not necessarily cheap units which can suffer from this - essentially that's a room/location interaction issue (unless the sub manufacturer has used massive amounts of EQ in a poor attempt to mask the limitations of a very sub-standard design, and they do exist, as Ian says)
    Of course, if you can have quantity and quality at the same time, then so much the better.

    For music use though, if you are very serious about your music and hifi, you'd have to think carefully before comitting to a subwoofer of any type IMO, and even then, it's likely that only best will be good enough. The delicate stereo soundstage you've spent a wad of cash and a pile of time and effort creating can easily be upset by the introduction of a subwoofer - and it's in this application where I'd agree with Ian - top class performance in a critically listened to music environment won't come in the form of a £200 subwoofer - if only it did :( .
     
  12. Wilf

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    Could someone confirm that Marantz amps ( at least 4200,5200)are not suitable for sub/sat combies like the FS2 AV/eggs etc as there is no variaable cross over. Its fixed at 80, giving a hole in the sound as the sats only go down to Approx. 120. Appoligies if this has been covered many times but I'd like it confirmed. Is it this simple?
     
  13. MikeK

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    Standard Dolby spec states the xover should be 120Hz.
    THX spec the xover as 80Hz.
    Some manufacturers may have added parts of the THX spec (not necessarily to THX standards though) in an attempt to improve the flexibility of their designs - things like adjustable x-over (typically 80,100 or 120, although some of the latest designs are even more flexible). Don't know of any models with an adjustable xover which don't at least give the option of the standard 120Hz though.

    I don't know for sure if the Marantz models mentioned xover at 80 or 120, but if this parameter is not adjustable, then it should be set at 120Hz - if it isn't, and it's not adjustable, then as I understand it, that would be contravening the Dolby spec.

    You could try mailing or phoning Marantz for confirmation - may end up a fruitless exercise though :).
     
  14. Wilf

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    Thanks MikeK

    Should have looked this up before:blush:Marantz amp is fixed xover at 100Hz so it is in between Dolby+THX spec.

    I am still concerned with the abilities of some sats to get under 100Hz!
     
  15. Ian J

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    I used to have Def Tech sats with a Q Bass sub and Marantz 6200.

    There was a definite dip at the lower mid / upper bass range which I cured by getting changing the speakers and amp.
     
  16. Wilf

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    OK I am not happy that the sub/sat /marantz will be fine. I think:blush:
     

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