Which subs to audition (B&W CDM-NTs, Denon AVC-A1SR)

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by clived, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. clived

    clived
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    I'm picking up a Denon AVC-A1SR and a pair of B&W CDM-NT1s tomorrow, which will give me CDM-7NTs as the front pair, the 1s at the rear and a LCR600 centre.

    Sevenoaks are offering to let me try out a sub or two to find one that suits. Obviously I'd like to try to get it right in the first one or two shots, so some advice would be appreciated.

    So, if you were both a) me and b) a seasoned sub user, what would you chose. The limitations for the moment are that Sevenoaks have to sell it (obviously if I don't find anything I like, I'll look further afield), it has to cost less than £900. The room isn't huge, (17'x12') but it is open plan into the rest of the downstairs.

    I'm currently thinking B&W 650 / 675, or REL Strata (or maybe Storm at a push) III, but I guess M&K VX100 or MJ Acoustics Pro 100 could also be on the list - any of you had back to back experience of any combo of these?

    Cheers, Clive
     
  2. installer09

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    I went for the Strata 111 , got lucky and picked up a new cherry one for £600 ,( it had a couple of little scratches on it ) I find it goes really well with the rest of the system , very good with music too.
     
  3. Smurfin

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    I've owned the following subs at one time or another:

    REL Q-Bass 50
    REL Strata II
    REL Storm I
    REL Storm III.
    Paradigm Servo 15.

    Without any shadow of a doubt the paradigm blows the competition out of the water with ease, and it costs a mere £500.

    The drawback is that they're only available from Richer Sounds and their customer service can be frankly poor.

    Do a search under "servo 15" and you will find LOTS of threads (and half of them will be arguments between Velodyne/Paradigm owners;) )

    Don't get me wrong, the RELs I've listed above are all good subs (especially the Storm III, it really is a class piece of kit and this can sound stunning in a well-integrated system), but frankly they pale into insignificance vs the giant servo 15:D
     
  4. Harold Corbet

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    Well, thats smurfins view and he's just as entitled to his as I am with mine.
    I had two Paradigms, both Servo 15's and both died on me.
    Get an M&K, they are quality. Shame I can't say that about the two servo 15's that died.
     
  5. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Any servo is obviously covered by the manufacturers warranty - it's still a no brainer imho.
     
  6. installer09

    installer09
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    I thought the servo 15 sounded very unrefined compared to the rel , ok for home cinema , but with music I thought it was awful.
     
  7. Smurfin

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    Anyone who says it's just "ok" for home cinema needs their ears cleaning out!;)
     
  8. stranger

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    was in richer sounds the other day and they had paradigm pw2200 subs and centre speakers in, so they must be shipping again. the sub is about 2/3rds size of a servo-15 with a12" driver and a massive port at rear, 250rms750 w peak amp. £360.00 or thereabouts, must be worth an audition.
    by the way I have a servo-15 and am more than happy with it.
     
  9. uncle eric

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    Hi Ken,
    As subs go down in size/internal volume, they need ever increasing power amplification.
    As an example, the little Velo SPL 1000 is around a 1 foot cube. Due to the restrictions in overall size hence driver size, it employs a 750 watt RMS amp that peaks at some 1500 watts :eek:
    This little thing goes down to 24Hz (dead chamber measurements not room boosted) which is going some for something this size.

    As can be seen, this amplifiaction is a far cry from the 50 watts used by the Quake or MJ 50 etc.
     
  10. stranger

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    hi eric, I posted the information for people who canot afford the excellent value velodynes on the powerbuys and who might be contemplating wasting money on 'farters' like the quake etc. as you prbably know I have three paradigms which I'm more than satisfied with and I rate the little pdr10 a better bet than a quake I also believe the paradigm 2200 will flatten any of the rel Q series (excluding old Q series) and are much better value albeit taking up more room.

    ken.
     
  11. Phil Hinton

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    Smurfin,

    I read with interest your points regarding the servo 15 and I am pleased you are happy with your purchase. I only last week heard one for the first time in someones Home system. It is very good, and at £500 would possibly add it looks like good value for money.
    Now for everyone that doesn't know I own a Velodyne CHT-15, I am very happy owner and it is better than the Rel storms i have owned over the last 5 years. However I dont think you will find many posts were I give my opinion and then rubbish someone elses, which is what you have done here. Giving your opinion is one thing, but to then come out with comments like "it's a no brainer" or "Pales into insignificance against the big 15" or "needs their ears cleaned out" is silly and of no evidencial value to the original poster.
    Lets look at this post a little more carefully, the original poster wants a good quality sub, and is obviously a music first type of person because of his chosen B&W speakers. So from that I would sumise that he wants something musical as well as good with movies. Which brings us to Installers point regarding the servo 15. I run some tests on the servo 15 with some of my favourite music types, and was very disapointed with it's musical performance. It struggled with fast changes in frequency and did not sound as dynamic as it sould have done for being servo based( maybe it was a bad sub batch, there tends to be a few of those). With movies yes it was good with the bumps and bangs, but again in my opinion it lacked the total depth of soundfield(and i am not talking about depth in HZ) it just didn't seem to add that well to the main set of speakers. But for £500 it far outperforms any model under that price point, and is value for money. But it certainly is not the be all and end all that you try to make out it is. Again I am glad you like your purchase, but remember that differnt people like differnt things, and making swweping comments on every subwoofer question about the servo 15 which you tend to do, just makes you look silly really.
    So what would I recommend?
    Well its all my own opinion, but with such quality speakers I would have to say for musicallity try the Rel Storm MK3, stentor, or stadium, I think Charlie has a top end Rel for sale in the classifieds with would suit the B&Ws in terms of musicallity, and not to bad with movies either. There is the CHT15 which is very musical,dynamic and good with movies. Also look at the B&W sub range, again very good overall subwoofers. Or for a bargain, but frought with Customer service hell and possible reliability issues, but still a good bargain(just not THAT good) try the servo 15 on for size, but you wont get a demo of one mind.
     
  12. Smurfin

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    Phil

    Re-read my post: vs the subs I HAVE heard (i.e the RELs), then yes they DO pale into insignificance. They don't even come close.

    My comments make me look stupid? Stop trying to patronise me.

    Your servo 15 demo is inconclusive, as it was in a completely different environment to your own CHT-15.

    For a valid comparison, they need to be heard in the same environment with the same equipment.

    I remain unconvinced that the CHT-15 is superior to the Servo 15, there are independant tests out there which have compared the 2 and the CHT-15 doesn't come close.

    Of course, until I hear them both side by side I cannot deny or verify this.

    Anyone in Cambridge with a CHT-15? Would be only too happy to put these 2 beasts through their paces side by side.
     
  13. Phil Hinton

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    I'm sorry but at what point did I say the CHT15 was better? And where in my post did I mention what was better than the next thing? Its called giving a balanced opinion. everyone knows you own a servo 15:rolleyes: God you seem to mention it every five minutes around here. So what? Its not the best sub in the world, yes its a fine performer, yes its a bargain, but for gods sakes its not that good!! Especially for music.

    But besides that give the guy your so called vast knowledge on REL's you have owned, and then tell him you dont know how to intergrate them as well as some, but then thats the trick isn't it;)
     
  14. Smurfin

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    You didn't say that the CHT 15 was better, however all of your comments implied it.

    Ask any Servo 15 owner and they would agree that they are far superior for Av purposes than the RELs, and in my experience that is so.

    Re: well integrated subs. The best integrated sub I've ever heard was Ian J's Storm, but I would still maintain that the Servo 15 beats this hands down. My sub, with constant tweaking over the last few weeks is now integrated (from the main listening position) as best as I can get it, although it's still not ideal being at the rear of my room.

    I'm well aware that the Servo 15 is not the best sub in world, where exactly have I said or implied so? For the price, however, I do not think it can be beaten.

    Look forward to the next episode of the Smurfin Witchhunt.;)

    Merry Xmas Phil, c u in the new year:D
     
  15. Big_AL007

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    Surely if Smurfin wants to say what he did then so be it and people can make their own minds up about the comments he makes.
    Frankly I dont think the forum users need such a high degree of patronisation, most of them have brains.
    After all opinion's are like a***holes, everyone's got one :D
     
  16. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Sorry, but at no point was i patronising, just stating I am sick of the SERVo 15 comments and also the velodynes fan club. *** there are loads of quality subs out there and the original poster wanted some ideas of what he should be looking for not the Smurfin Servo show, or the HGS show, or anyother" mine is bigger than yours comments" which this forum now reeks off!

    What ever happened to balanced opinions and suggestions.?
     
  17. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The question was "What capable sub can I buy from Sevenoaks" and the second answer was all about a sub that one couldn't buy from Seveoaks. I'm sure that people can make their own minds up about the validity of his answer but his post (and that of Big_Al) are hardly of constructive use to the original poster.

    Also of limited use to the original poster is my observation that Big Al spends quite a lot of time following Smurfin around and agreeing with him. Is there something going on between you two that the rest of us ought to know about.
     
  18. installer09

    installer09
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    RALMAO
     
  19. Big_AL007

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    LOL, if there was it would be nothing that you ought to know ablout.
    To be honest Ian my 5 year old makes more sense than what you have just said, frankly its boring to make posts and have to justify them.
    Was not aware that there are cetain forum members who youare not allowed to agree with, clearly you have an issue with Smurfin as your comments else where have shown.:

    Dont bring me in to it thanks. Right back to BMW.CO.UK to find new motor :D
     
  20. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    :D Says it all really:rolleyes: Off you go to that other site as its obvious you have nothing constructive to add here then.
     
  21. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Just to clarify Ian and I have discussed the above comment, no problem as far as I'm concerned.

    Oh and Ian, there's nothing going on between me and Big_Al, I know him from this and another forum, that's all.
     
  22. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Actually Phil, so am I. But I think you'll find the servo 15 comments are generally made in response to the overwhelming velo-fanboys on this site.

    Anyway, I'm fed up of being at the centre of these arguments, so adios all, have a good Xmas:)
     
  23. clived

    clived
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    If I'd have known I was going to stir up this much fun, I'd have made up a similar question and asked it earlier! :)

    Seriously, thanks for the comments so far - very interesting. On the one hand it was nice that THX1138 read the question - he's right, I am at least as concerned about music as movies, and yes, to start with, a Sevenoaks purchase is my plan. However, don't let that stop the rest of you coming up with other ideas (oh, too late, you have!) as if I'm not happy, I will look elsewhere!

    I also forgot to mention the degree of WAF required. I though this would favour something smaller (like the B&W 675) but she could instantly see the "getting a peice of glass made to put on top so we can put 'things' on top of it" potential of the Strata III - so I've bought one of those home to try - I'll let you all know how I get on! Talking of which, I've got a whole load of kit to go and unpack :)

    Clive

    P.S. If Al is a scary monster, I'll let you all know tomorrow after the very nice man has taken some speakers off my hands! :)
     
  24. petrolhead

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    Boys Boys, come on.

    Phil you have a CHT15, so does Allan, I believe. You heard a Servo15. Was that at a mates house? Would he lend it to you?

    My idea is that we get together with the Servo15 and the velodyne and do a back to back comparison either at yours or Allans house (Hope you don't mine this suggestion Allan).

    Let me know

    Peter
     
  25. Big_AL007

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    LOL me very nice man :D
    I dont eat humans now, not even mods :D
    So when you coming up Clive ?? no probs like as I aint been busy so far this weekend, except scouting for de beamer :D
     
  26. clived

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    Results so far... inconclusive!

    I wasn't aware that the REL ST series is designed to be placed in the corner of the room - might cause me an issue. I'd say I got "ok" results last night, but Sevenoaks couldn't find the manual for the Strata, so I was a little in the dark - I had the generic REL set up guide from their web site, but it would have been nice to know exactly what the controls are! Hopefully they'll find it today!

    Has anyone had real success using a REL ST series sub against just one wall, not in the corner? Am I right in thinking that many other subs are less fussy about placement? Also the guide suggested that the sub should be behind the main speakers - something that would also cause me pain. I know the set up isn't quite right at the moment, as I can definately sense that the sub is to my right - although it is pretty close to the listening position (about a meter) so this might be part of the problem....

    Clive
     
  27. uncle eric

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    Clive,
    REL advise all their subs to be placed in corners.
    The argument for corner placement is the percieved higher output of the sub due to boosting of the subs lower octaves.
    This occurs because corner placement is the best way to "charge" room resonances. It can also be said that because of this percieved increase in efficiency, the sub will not be working so hard, hence distortion levels will be lower.
    All good arguments so far.

    As usual, the old phrase, "There's no such thing as a free lunch" comes into play.

    While corner loading does some things well, its negatives far outweigh its positives IMO.

    Charging the room in this way, often emphasizes the dips and peaks of a given room making the response of that room very poor.

    While the human ear is more sensitive to frequency response errors at higher frequencies (around 1kHz-8kHz seems to be our peak) we are still able to ascertain the sonic imbalance that causes boominess due to this raised or depressed response.

    Now here's the weird part. These dips and peaks (or uneven response) will not always be audible due to the fact that some program material will not contain the particular frequencies that are affected by these peaks and dips in a given room.

    The easiest way to avoid a multitude of problems (and to limit others) is to place your sub where possible either side of the centre speaker and away from corners.

    Subwoofer integration is a very tricky business and while acceptable results can be achieved in minutes, most people never actually get to hear their sub/sat system integrate at its best.
    The slightest adjustment/movement will often give a disproportionate result.
     
  28. petrolhead

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    My Strata III is in the middle of the soundstage and performs well if thats any help
     
  29. Guest

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    Just wondering why no one has recommended the B&W CDM sub:confused:

    Let me tell you it is a very good unit for the money, perfectly matching your main speakers and works well on both movies and music:)

    And I would suggest that you try corner positioning first. If it exaggerates the room modes then you can try positioning elsewhere, but you will probably find some kind of anomily whereever you place it.

    Regards

    Michael
     
  30. uncle eric

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    Indeed you will but you will find less away from corners.
    Unless of course you have a TACT system like Michael.
     

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