Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Subwoofer 101

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Subwoofer 101

    I've never owned a subwoofer. I primarily listen to acoustic music such as classical, jazz, and film scores. I realize that a subwoofer is probably important for genres that feature heavy electric bass and kick drum. But how useful is a subwoofer with natural room recordings of acoustic instruments?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    320

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Depending on your main speakers and where you would end up setting the subwoofer crossover, you may be surprised at how much musical data will end up going to your subwoofer. It can easily include vocals and many instruments.

    A subwoofer can give you additional low frequency extension that many speakers, even floorstanding towers, cannot reproduce. Or allow you play louder with less low frequency distortion. Or smooth out the in-room frequency response to give you a more balanced and accurate sound. And typically adding a subwoofer (or more) does all three.

    However integrating a subwoofer(s) into a 2-channel system very well / optimally can be difficult, especially when trying to use specific electronics that you like, so in most cases one focuses on optimizing their 2-channel system without any subwoofers.
    Neko Audio
    Authorized Dealer: AC Infinity, Acoustic Zen, APC, Audeze, Bryston, Devialet, Dirac, Elite HTS, Fortress Seating, JVC, LG, LUMIN, Magico, Ortofon, Prism Sound, RME, Samsung, STAX, Trinnov, Vivid Audio, & more.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Quote Originally Posted by NekoAudio View Post
    Depending on your main speakers and where you would end up setting the subwoofer crossover, you may be surprised at how much musical data will end up going to your subwoofer. It can easily include vocals and many instruments.

    A subwoofer can give you additional low frequency extension that many speakers, even floorstanding towers, cannot reproduce. Or allow you play louder with less low frequency distortion. Or smooth out the in-room frequency response to give you a more balanced and accurate sound. And typically adding a subwoofer (or more) does all three.

    However integrating a subwoofer(s) into a 2-channel system very well / optimally can be difficult, especially when trying to use specific electronics that you like, so in most cases one focuses on optimizing their 2-channel system without any subwoofers.
    Thanks. I have two sets of speakers in two rooms, using the A/B speaker function on an ancient Pioneer amp that weighs a ton. I use an equalizer for one set of speakers, via the tape monitor function, and the EQ unit includes an output specifically designed for introducing a subwoofer into the chain. I'm guessing I would want a self-powered sub-woofer, based on what I've read, that can connect via RCA cables.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    778

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    That was way over my head, but thank you!

    I see that Amazon has come Klipsch subwoofers on sale. They appear to connect with standard RCA jacks, and appear to be self-powered. I wonder if they would work with my aforementioned setup (tape monitor loop using EQ unit with subwoofer outs).

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    I took advantage of a 50% off sale and got a nice Klipsch 10" subwoofer. I have it more or less against the wall between the two speakers, beside a credenza. It sounds really good. I listen primarily to acoustic genres such as jazz, classical, and film scores, and it works perfectly for my musical interests.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oregon Coast / N. Texas
    Posts
    3,268

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    For me, for music:

    The main reason for using Subs is not for more bass it's to add "dare I say it" a presence to your room. As you set it up, on 95% of music, if you can hear the sub, then it's too loud, turn it down -- either the crossover frequency or volume, maybe both. I know, its counter intuitive.

    Also, I find that 2 subs is the way to go in a system. Again, a common thought is bass is non directional and it's mono yada yada yada. All I know is, 2 sound much much better than one.

    If a sub is for home theater then - yes you will hear it and one is fine, but that's a totally different set up and use.

    Enjoy and it takes some time listening to get it set up right.
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

    Workshop: Naim ND555/2 PS, VAC Master Pre, VAC Sig 200iQ, Border Patrol pre/power, Avant Garde Duo Mezzo XD, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Shunyata IC/SC, Shunyata Typhon QR/Triton V3/Sigma PCs.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Quote Originally Posted by the professor View Post
    For me, for music:

    The main reason for using Subs is not for more bass it's to add "dare I say it" a presence to your room. As you set it up, on 95% of music, if you can hear the sub, then it's too loud, turn it down -- either the crossover frequency or volume, maybe both. I know, its counter intuitive.

    Also, I find that 2 subs is the way to go in a system. Again, a common thought is bass is non directional and it's mono yada yada yada. All I know is, 2 sound much much better than one.

    If a sub is for home theater then - yes you will hear it and one is fine, but that's a totally different set up and use.

    Enjoy and it takes some time listening to get it set up right.
    I agree with everything you wrote except for the two subwoofers part. The aesthetics of the room will not allow for two subwoofers, and my enjoyment of music is influenced by the visuals.

    I don't have a home theatre system, and even if I did, I do not watch action/adventure movies, so I don't need assistance with explosions.

    I have the crossover set moderately, as should be the case with the styles of music that I listen to. And I agree, the work of the bass is primarily carried by the speakers. The subwoofer adds low-end ambience which creates a more realistic sound.

  9. #9

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    For mine it has always been tuning the subs to the room where they have been complimentary to the sound but definitely not aggressive. If, very occasionally I hear the subs enriching the midrange down to the bass, I know they are set right, but, the caveat is I know what to listen for & anybody else would not notice this on a casual listen

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    thumbsup Re: Subwoofer 101

    Quote Originally Posted by bzr View Post
    For mine it has always been tuning the subs to the room where they have been complimentary to the sound but definitely not aggressive. If, very occasionally I hear the subs enriching the midrange down to the bass, I know they are set right, but, the caveat is I know what to listen for & anybody else would not notice this on a casual listen
    This is basically where I am. I have played around with the settings and relative volume. Lately, I have had the frequency set at around 100 Hz, and not pushing the volume too high. I have played with the phase switch but I can't hear a difference.

    I have always associated subwoofers with the kid in the adjacent car at the red light blasting something with heavy electric bass and kick drum. So what has really surprised me was how much of difference the subwoofer has made for symphonic music. I listened to Debussey's La Mer, the Ormandy version, and the Everest LP with Antill's Corroboree and Ginastera's Panambi. It was like hearing these albums for the first time.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Now listening to Bernard Herrmann's White Witch Doctor, the RCA suite conducted by Charles Gerhardt. The lows are stunning!!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    3,080

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo Beater View Post
    I've never owned a subwoofer. I primarily listen to acoustic music such as classical, jazz, and film scores. I realize that a subwoofer is probably important for genres that feature heavy electric bass and kick drum. But how useful is a subwoofer with natural room recordings of acoustic instruments?
    What are your main speakers ...?
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    I have found that on stereo records in which the bass is mixed to one side, such as Mingus Ah Um, Cal Tjader's Several Shades of Jade, and Vince Guaraldi's 1960s Fantasy albums, I prefer to extend the range of the subwoofer much higher, to compensate for the poor mixing choice by the producer or engineer.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Lotus Land
    Posts
    33

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    What are your main speakers ...?
    I have two sets of speakers in two rooms, coming out of the same amp.

    The room with the subwoofer is the larger of the two rooms. I have two Bose Series I speakers on pedestals. The blonde grilles and wood casings, combined with the pedestals, look amazing with the mid-century modern design of the house and furniture. And as we all know, it is essential that hi-fi components have the right aesthetics in order to sound good.

    In the reading room, I have a pair of B&W bookshelf speakers mounted on the wall. I listen at low volumes in this room, and I'm fine with simply cranking the bass on the amp when listening at low volumes. There is no subwoofer in this room.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    140

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Sometime after being advised by Acoustic Frontiers (2015 dedicated room design) that most single box main speakers were incapable of producing true low end, and then reading the attached article, I incorporated a JL Audio F212v2 subwoofer and CR-1 active crossover into my audio system. I had been somewhat reluctant to do this because for years I thought putting a relatively lost cost CR-1 between my source equipment and main speakers would destroy the benefits of the high end equipment in my audio system.

    Instead what happened after dialing the CR-1/F212 in with the help of JL Audio T/S, the main speakers midrange and highs noticeably improved because they and the stereo amp no longer had to try to produce lows below 30-40Hz, and the bass became a truly visceral low end extension of the main speakers. The subwoofer sounds like an integrated part of the main speakers sound field.

    Soundoctor - all about subs
    ________________________________
    Len
    Acoustic Frontiers Acoustic Design; Raidho D3; JL Audio F212v2; EMM Labs DV2; EMM Labs XDS1v2 (transport); JL Audio CR-1; Ansuz Mainz8 D-TC; JRDG 625s2; Solidtech ROS; Nordost & Ansuz cabling & resonance control.
    http://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5013

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,311

    Re: Subwoofer 101

    Moved to new thread
    Amplifiers: Hattor AMRG Trans, Tube Active Stage | MBL 8006 B | McIntosh MP100
    Vinyl: Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird | Technics SL-1500C | AT VM740ML
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD | Falcon NW PC | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 | Roon & HQPlayer
    Headphones: Woo Audio WA22 (2nd Gen) | A&K SE-200 | Abyss Diana Phi | Focal Clear MG | Audeze Euclid
    Speakers: KEF LS50 Meta w/S2 | Rythmik L12 (x2)
    Other: Oppo BDP-105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

AudioShark forum is a leading forum site for High End Audio Discussion, Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater System Discussion, Best Home Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater Installation Discussion etc.

The AudioShark forum was created for sharing the passion of high-end Audio. We have Audiophiles from all over the world participating and sharing their knowledge. From novice to experts, you will find a friendly environment for discussing about High End Audio, Stereo System, Home Theater System, Home Stereo System, Home Theater Installation, Amplifiers, Speakers, Subwoofers, Integrated System, Acoustic treatments & Digital Room Corrections and many more.

At AudioShark, we also have incorporated an exciting Marketplace where members can peruse terrific buys on used gear, as well as meet dealers and discuss the purchase of new gear.

We are as crazy about this hobby as you are! So come on in and join us! Audioshark.org the Friendliest Audio Forum!

Industry Participation Disclosure : The owner and administrator of Audioshark is the owner of Suncoast Audio LLC in Sarasota Florida. Suncoast Audio has a full brick and mortar presence in Sarasota with several great show rooms with many world class brands. More information can be found at http://www.suncoastaudio.com

Audioshark is a community of like minded individuals. Audioshark welcomes participation from all manufacturers and owners of all brands and products. It is our belief that online forums provide a community of like minded audiophiles and music lovers to encourage the growth of this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely,
The Audioshark.org Team

Subwoofer 101

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •