2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?
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  1. #1
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    2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    I recently added a REL T/5i sub to my system and have been very happy with the results. Integration was a breeze with my Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution monitors and I am now more engaged in my music than ever. So of course being a typical audiophile, I got to thinking if 1 sub sounds this good will 2 sound even better? The challenge is my room. Its very small at 9' w x 10' l x 9' h. The back wall is about 3' high, above which it opens up to the rest of my house. I have bass traps in this room. Right now, using just 1 sub and spending a lot of time positioning my speakers, my freq response from 20-1000hz is +- 2db with a -4db dip at 200hz and a +4db hump at 40hz. Not perfect but my system still sounds amazing.


    I know the general consensus is a second sub will sound better but I am concerned with the size of my room. Will adding a second sub in such a small space over power it or will it actually help to smooth out nodes? Also can someone describe what benefits I would get with 2 subs versus 1?
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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    Adding a second sub doesn't really have any drawbacks, only benefits. Bass will not become overpowering, but since each sub only has to output half of the total bass required driver excursion and distortion is lowered. The biggest benefit will be in getting smoother bass output throughout the room since having multiple subs reduces the room's bass nodes. Naturally this is assuming that your added sub is of comparable quality to your current one.

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    Thank you audio.bill. I will be adding the same model REL sub. So should I place the second sub in a different location than the first? By different I mean, different than the mirrored opposite of the first?
    8TB NAS >> Wireless N >> CAPS Zuma Music Server >> JRiver MC >> Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable >> Musical Fidelity V-Link USB Converter >> Acoustic Zen MC2 SPDIF RCA cable >> Luxman D-06 CDP/DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution speakers

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    You have to experiment with location but definitely spread them out in the room. Since you plan on adding the exact same model you could consider setting them up as two mono subs, each only receiving one channel's input. In that scenario you would want each sub symmetrically placed near that channel's main speaker. Not sure whether that's recommended or even possible with REL subs since I know that their connection scheme is different than most others. I'd suggest discussing it with your REL dealer for their recommendation on what connection setup and placements would be most commonly recommended.

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    REL subs can be set up as mono. Alright I will save up my pennies to add another sub.

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    That's gonna take a lot of pennies!

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    Quote Originally Posted by audio.bill View Post
    That's gonna take a lot of pennies!
    yeah, maybe for Xmas my kids get a sub!
    8TB NAS >> Wireless N >> CAPS Zuma Music Server >> JRiver MC >> Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable >> Musical Fidelity V-Link USB Converter >> Acoustic Zen MC2 SPDIF RCA cable >> Luxman D-06 CDP/DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution speakers

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    Quote Originally Posted by tboooe View Post
    yeah, maybe for Xmas my kids get a sub!
    Absolutely agree with Audio Bill regarding multiple subs. I don't quite understand your layout, though. It sounds like your "room" is acoustically part of a much bigger space. Sound waves, especially bass, don't care about half walls, so if my understanding is correct, your room is quite a bit larger than 9' x 10'.

    One thing you might think consider is using different subs to compliment your Rel. As Bill says, with multiple subs, each one has an easier job. There can be benefits in smoothing bass response by varying subwoofer sizes, damping factor, cut off frequency, etc. in addition to placing them to minimize room modes. This approach does not require mega buck subs to work--toss in an 8", 10", and/or maybe even a 15".

    Here are a couple articles on the approach:
    https://mehlau.net/audio/multisub_geddes/
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxg...Ums/view?pli=1
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxg...tHX09aTzA/view

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    Quote Originally Posted by ACHiPo View Post
    Absolutely agree with Audio Bill regarding multiple subs. I don't quite understand your layout, though. It sounds like your "room" is acoustically part of a much bigger space. Sound waves, especially bass, don't care about half walls, so if my understanding is correct, your room is quite a bit larger than 9' x 10'.

    One thing you might think consider is using different subs to compliment your Rel. As Bill says, with multiple subs, each one has an easier job. There can be benefits in smoothing bass response by varying subwoofer sizes, damping factor, cut off frequency, etc. in addition to placing them to minimize room modes. This approach does not require mega buck subs to work--toss in an 8", 10", and/or maybe even a 15".

    Here are a couple articles on the approach:
    https://mehlau.net/audio/multisub_geddes/
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxg...Ums/view?pli=1
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxg...tHX09aTzA/view
    Thank you for the reply. My room is basically 9x10' but the wall directly behind me is only 3' tall. On the other side of that short wall is my much larger family room and kitchen.

    My only concern is how difficult it will be to integrate the second sub. I have read that it can be pretty hard to do and an EQ is recommended?
    8TB NAS >> Wireless N >> CAPS Zuma Music Server >> JRiver MC >> Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable >> Musical Fidelity V-Link USB Converter >> Acoustic Zen MC2 SPDIF RCA cable >> Luxman D-06 CDP/DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution speakers

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    Re: 2 subs for 2-ch only system in a small room?

    Quote Originally Posted by tboooe View Post
    Thank you for the reply. My room is basically 9x10' but the wall directly behind me is only 3' tall. On the other side of that short wall is my much larger family room and kitchen.

    My only concern is how difficult it will be to integrate the second sub. I have read that it can be pretty hard to do and an EQ is recommended?
    Here's how I did it--it took an afternoon.
    1. Do subwoofer crawl: Place 1st sub in your listenening chair, put on bass-heavy music (I used Mel Brown), crawl aroind the room on your hands and knees and listen for the best quality and quantity of bass. Put 1st sub in this position. Repeat with 2nd sub and so on. You may want to do this when you're alone in the house, as anyone obsrving you will be sure you've gone bat-s?$t crazy!

    2. Use REW or equivalent to see your peaks and nulls.

    3. Adjust subs to get a fairly flat response

    4. Pick a frequency that is a peak and adjust each sub to minimize the peak

    5. Check the repsonse again.

    6. Quit when you're satisfied with the sound

 

 
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