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Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice

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Posted on December 29, 2016 at 20:06:23
RandyB&W
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Need Help with Subwoofer Choice
Hi, all. I purchased a Rythmik L12 subwoofer earlier this month. I use it for a music only 2 channel set up. Typically, volume is at 1:00, phase delay is at zero, and crossover is at 50-55Hz. I have not run this unit hard at all. The L12 had worked fine until it failed tonight. All of a sudden, hardly any sound came out of it, and I only was able get a bit of sound if I turned both the cross-over and volume up, which is not my preference. I am returning it as I'm within the 45 day audition period.

So, now, I'm looking for another sub for my 9x10x8 room which is treated with corner traps, bass traps, etc., from GIK. I don't feel comfortable purchasing another sub from Rythmik, and I wonder whether subs from other manufacturers who build them in the Far East consist primarily of really cheap components. JL Audio would be great (USA made), but they are very expensive. I think a 12" sub would be a minimum size, but I'm open to suggestions. Your help and advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

BTW,I saw a new SVS SB12-NSD on Amazon for $399 with manfacturer's warranty.It's the recently discontinued predecessor of the SB-2000. Any opinions on this sub? I know it's made in China, but most of them seem to be these days.


 

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RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 29, 2016 at 20:13:22
fantja
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Hello Randy-

REL is the best in the business. Seek out the older models, as they were, built in the U.K. Like everything else, the newer models are made (in part) in china.

Sunfire would be a close 2nd for best subwoofer. Happy Listening!

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 29, 2016 at 21:32:24
Jack D II
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You should consider HSU. HSU makes a lot of subwoofer for the money.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:11:17
AbeCollins
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I owned the REL Storm III which is a rather hefty down-firing subwoofer. I drove it off the amp speaker terminals which is very common for REL subs (rather than using line level outputs from a preamp or LFE from a processor).

I had the REL in a fairly large open concept family room / dining room area in my first home before I got married. As a single guy I had the freedom to put my stereo and AV stuff anywhere I pleased!

That room had a vaulted ceiling and carpeted floor and a major 'bass suckout' issue so I thought the REL would help. It helped but I learned that I didn't like the indistinct imaging or soundstaging of lower notes with a down-firing sub. The bass was there but it wasn't 'fast, agile, or snappy'. And it came from no particular direction or all directions.

I ended up placing the REL on it's side so the woofer was firing at me directly, rather than at the floor. It actually sounded better that way.

When we downsized and moved to our new place my home office became one of my listening rooms. I believe this room is about the same size as yours (10 x 12 x 10h) so there's not a lot of volume (cubic feet) to 'pressurize'. I'm getting outstanding bass w/o a sub just through speaker placement and room enforcement. Depending on where I place my speakers relative to the walls I can get more or less bass. In fact, I can get too much bass!

What I'm getting at is, I'm not sure why you need a sub. Everyone has their preferences but I would consider experimenting with the placement of your B&W speakers and your listening position.

As an aside, I have come to understand my preference for NOT having a sub at all. They complicate setup, require more cables, take up extra space, require fine tuning to sound seamless (and rarely do sound completely seamless). My answer? Just get bigger main speakers, properly placed, with a hefty amp.

Good luck!

P.S. I'm talking about a 2-ch stereo setup above. I WOULD own a decent sub for Home Theater duty.... explosions, car crashes, thunder and gun fire, etc. ;-)




 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:27:56
John Elison
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I really like my Rythmik Servo Subs.

I've used subwoofers for 20-years and I never had a problem obtaining seamless integration. I always placed my subwoofers behind my listening position and I always thought they augmented deep bass perfectly. Four months ago I bought a pair of Rythmik Servo Subs and placed them right next to each of my main speakers. They sound tighter and cleaner--more transparent than my old subs and they still integrate seamlessly. I wouldn't be without subs. They almost double my listening enjoyment.

I guess we all have different opinions. To each his own! YMMV, etc.

Happy New Year!

John Elison


 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:34:58
AbeCollins
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Well, I'm just not a subwoofer guy. Never had great luck with them but maybe you know a thing or two about making them sound right. Or maybe you're a bass freak at heart. ;-)

Wishing you a great 2017!



 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:55:12
SgreenP@MSN.com
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Abe....no - the idea of just loading up on low end for the subs is wrong. The idea is to smooth out the whole spectrum. You really shouldn't hear a sub (s). It should just make the mids and highs better.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 12:35:24
AbeCollins
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I just know they don't sound as good to me as having larger main speakers to begin with - except for the H.T. setup. Just my preference for not having subs in the 2-ch system. I really don't need subs for my smaller listening room.



 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 13:03:35
Mick Wolfe
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+1 for HSU. Extremely versatile and reasonably priced. Also like my REL T-2 (8" driver) in a small room set-up.... similar in size to the room mentioned. Of course, the T-2 is long gone from their line-up. They do offer a very small 6" sub that might be just the ticket (or not) in a small room. Lots of choices to ponder.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 14:02:08
fantja
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Keep us posted- RandyB&W

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 17:40:40
RandyB&W
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UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. The Rythmik is being returned and, in its place, I've ordered the JL Audio e110. FWIW, the folks at Rythmik so far have been accommodating with the return process. I will keep you posted. The e110 should be here next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will have been an excellent choice.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 17:42:51
ABliss
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I just replaced my old Canton 12" sub in the HT room with a HSU ULS-15 MK2.
I never really used it when playing stereo, which was 90% of the time, but this HSU is sealed and suppose to be their most musical, so I decided to give it a serious try and hooked it up using a pair of balanced Blue Jeans cabled directly from my preamp second set of outputs.

I have not been a sub guy for stereo either, and always believed like Abe, that larger speakers were better, thats why I have Tannoy DC10Ts with 10" drivers. I must say however, this HSU has changed my thinking.
It has added a depth and fullness to the sound stage that I can't believe I have been missing before. It also seems to improve the upper frequncies.
I have the crossover set right where the Tannoys roll off, so it just
Chimes in when it has something to say.

This system is in a larger room than you are setting up, so for your room, which is the size of my dedicated tube room, I would suggest a nice 8" sub, like a Monitor Audio radius 360. I have one with some satilites in the office and its a good quality little sub. You can usually find them used very reasonably priced.

Good luck and have fun.

AB.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 17:54:16
RandyB&W
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Hi, Abe. I want a sub because the B&W N804s don't really dig down in the lower regions as much as I'd like. Their FR is around 45Hz, so I'm likely more of a basshead than I thought. I've played around with speaker placement and it has helped some, but the laws of physics are such that the last bit of "oomph" is not going to come from a 6.5" driver. In any event, when the Rythmik worked, I found that running it to to cover the lower regions while the speakers ran full range really upped my enjoyment of the listening experience. I thought about bigger speakers, but I like mine, except for the lack of the last bit of bottom end that a sub provides. I'm already using an amp having 225 wpc, and that's not the issue. So, there ya have it.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 30, 2016 at 22:06:24
pictureguy
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HSU Research:
I live in SoCal and went to their 'HQ' to purchase mine and saved the shipping $$$.

mine is 4 or 5 years old and performs perfectly.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 31, 2016 at 05:34:32
John Elison
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I am a bass freak! However, I adjust the volume level of my subs using a recording of a string bass going up and down the scale. I set the subs' volume so the string bass is the same loudness across the board. This seems to allow my subs to blend seamlessly with my main speakers, but when deep bass exists in the music, it is pleasantly there to be heard. This setting also seems to work perfectly for DVD movies, which can have powerful bass.

Best regards,
John Elison

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 31, 2016 at 11:55:38
AbeCollins
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I'm already using an amp having 225 wpc, and that's not the issue.

I'm not suggesting that your amp is an issue but you might be surprised that some 50wpc amps can 'kick ass' in the bass department compared to some 250wpc amps.... even within the same brand.

For example, my baby Krell KSA-50s was a wonderfully sweet sounding amp with some heavy duty bass grunt. On the other hand, my Krell KAV-2250 was a grainy and harsh sounding beast that was comparatively on the bright side.

Another example here. My AES/Cary SixPac monoblocks with 50wpc of EL34 tube power were significantly more robust in the bass and lower mids than my more costly and more powerful CJ Premier 11a at 70wpc.

In any case, I'm sure you are aware that there's more to bass than subwoofers.

Happy New Year!


 

Interesting , posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:17:46
G Squared
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In my set up the sub volume is at 9 O'clock for music and 3 O'clock for movies. Love my Rythmic sub for both

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 31, 2016 at 14:11:53
RandyB&W
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Yep, I know there's more to a sub than just bass. Increased bass response was my initial desire, but I discovered that generally a sub smoothed out the sound while giving greater dynamic impact.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on December 31, 2016 at 18:15:02
airtime
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Contact Rythmik because they have replacement plate amps. If not go over to Madisound and get a Hypex plate amp. you will not have the direct servo feedback thing buy you will still have a decent sub.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 1, 2017 at 07:02:04
airtime
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Like my little Sherwood S-5000. At a mere 22 watts tons of wonderful mid and bass if you need it.

Hey Abe, remember all that money I had to spend. I decided I don't want anything. I'm just going to finish up with cables and a nice stereo rack.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 1, 2017 at 08:00:37
John Elison
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Now that I have direct-servo, I wouldn't want to live without it. It really improves bass performance. There is a sensitivity switch to reduce servo control and the difference between hi and low sensitivity is quite noticeable. The servo tightens bass very noticeably.

I would recommend sticking with Rythmik and having the subwoofer replaced under warranty. That's exactly what warranties are for. Sometimes good products break. My first TASCAM DA-3000 DSD recorder was dead on arrival but I didn't give up on TASCAM. I simply had it replaced under warranty.

Good luck,
John Elison

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 1, 2017 at 12:59:08
Dave_K
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John,

Which amp did you get with your F12s? I have the Class AB 'XLR3' amp and it doesn't have any control over the servo. It would be interesting to measure the distortion spectrum at the two settings.

Dave

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 1, 2017 at 13:47:34
John Elison
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Hi Dave,

My F12SE servo subs have the A370PEQ3 amp. It has three sensitivity positions for servo control. I keep my subs set to a low frequency extension of 14-Hz with servo damping set to Hi just like the picture below. It responds to very deep bass in this position. In fact, it performs like a ported speaker. If I set the servo to low damping it performs like a sealed enclosure and doesn't respond to the very low frequencies. Sometimes I use the rumble filter to eliminate the low frequencies instead of changing the servo damping. For example, I sometimes need the Rumble filter to prevent woofer pumping with my AT-ART7 high-compliance cartridge. I don't get any woofer pumping with my medium compliance DL-S1 cartridge.



 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 06:26:01
Dave_K
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I have those switches too. They control the bass extension filter, which is a HPF used to trade off extension vs. max output. The switch labeled 'FREQ' changes the corner frequency of the filter and the switch labeled 'DAMPING' changes the Q of the filter. "LOW" = high Q, "HI" = low Q. Low damping/high Q gives you a couple dB more output and a faster roll-off, high damping/low Q gives you flatter output with a slower roll-off but less peak output. You can see the response curves of the nine different combinations at the link below.

In my room, 28Hz and HI damping measures the best, because it matches the room gain. But 20Hz and MED or HI damping sounds best. With the filter set at 28Hz, some of the very low frequency ambient information is lost on some recordings. And with the 14Hz setting it can be a little too much due to room gain.

I don't think these controls affect the servo at all.

Dave

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 07:01:47
John Elison
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Okay! Thanks! I don't know why I thought they were servo sensitivity controls. I've been playing mine at 14-Hz high damping and they sound good like that.

Thanks!
John Elison

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 07:07:20
airtime
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The one consistency I have noticed about subs is their plate amps tend to die easily.

I myself am in the process of setting up stereo subs and I am trying to plan ahead for that future problem. I'm investing a reasonable amount keeping that in mind for future plate amp replacements.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 07:45:42
John Elison
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Wow! I didn't know the amps failed. My 20-year old Cambridge Soundworks subs are still going strong. I just got tired of them and I wanted to try Rythmik servo subs. They gave me a 10% discount presumably for buying two. That was a nice surprise.

My Rythmik servo subs have been turned on for four months and they are still going strong. I hope they don't fail. I wonder if the high failure rate is because people try to play them too loud. I have always tried to maintain a natural balance in the loudness between my subs and my main speakers. I don't want exaggerated bass; I just want deep, tight bass when the music calls for it.

Best regards,
John Elison

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 11:24:19
airtime
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Come on don't be that critical. Yeah, I also have been using one Keiger for something like 10 years now. I have two 12 year old Paradigm subs. One plate amp blew while the other has been on daily for over 12 years in my HT. So what?

What I am saying is I don't have much faith in any of those amps. I'm only taking the stance that amp replacement is something that should always be considered when buying a sub.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 12:35:57
RandyB&W
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Yes, good products do break. However, it's kind of scary when it does so a little over two weeks in. After looking at various other makes, both Chinese manufactured and those made here, I decided to go with the JL Audio e110. Yeah, it's quite a bit more than I expected to pay initially, but it seems I rarely have had good luck with Chinese made audio gear or Motorola cell phones. I just don't know wny. So, I'll give this a shot ... bought it from Crutchfield with a 60 day return/$10 return shipping charge. Worse comes to worse it goes back and I move on. We shall see.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 2, 2017 at 13:00:34
John Elison
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Well, I've never considered it and I don't plan to now. I already bought my subs so I'll deal with it if and when the time comes. If you're concerned about plate amplifiers failing, buy a passive sub and buy an external amplifier of your choice. I'm not concerned about it.

Good luck,
John Elison

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 3, 2017 at 07:20:16
airtime
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Ahh, buying a new plate amp every few years if needed gives me something to do now.

As I get older I'm not as critical of my system. I seem to be in more of a listening mode now and not a collecting and tweaking mode.

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 3, 2017 at 08:15:30
John Elison
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Tell me again what subwoofers you own that you need to replace the amplifier every two years. If I ever need to buy new subwoofers, I will steer clear of those.

Thanks,
John Elison

 

RE: Need HELP with Subwoofer Choice, posted on January 3, 2017 at 15:50:52
Dave_K
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JL Audio is a smart choice. The Fathom F113 is the best subwoofer I've ever heard by a long way. I drooled at the prospect of stereo F113s but just couldn't justify paying that much for just an octave and a half of sound. I very briefly heard one of the E-subs at a dealer and it sounded great, but I was auditioning speakers so I didn't listen long before asking them to turn it off. Rythmik offers a fair bit more performance per dollar, but size for size I think JL Audio offers more performance.

 

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