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What’s minimum wattage for good bass?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by ExoMale, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. ExoMale

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 9, 2016

    Posts: 2,644

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Will be down to the source of my music, but my pc speakers were never designed to be great and were cheap and so the base lacks and aside from my computer use, I like to connect my iPhone for my music which is where the ‘source of music’ comes in.

    My Alexa echo has base, but not loud enough for when out the room and so I want to replace my pc speakers instead.

    I want cheap, but what number should I be looking at for nice sub bass? Haven’t got space for a home cinema in my office area as that was an idea I had..
     
  2. Kei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 24, 2008

    Posts: 2,224

    Location: South Wales

    Truly, it isn’t so much down to power but size of the transducer. (Speaker cone) I can shake the house on a mere 35 watts using a pair of old celestion speakers that have 12” woofers. Their size is what gives them the ability to produce a fairly decent quantity of bass on little power. A big cone can move a lot of air compared to a smaller one or even multiple smaller units. Bass & compact don’t go hand in hand. You can have only two of these:
    Small, loud, low

    Small and loud means no real low frequency performance. Small with decent low frequency performance means you can’t have loud. To have loud and good low frequency performance means it’s got to be pretty big.

    The room in which they are playing also plays a big part. The bigger the room, the bigger the speaker needs to be to be able to properly fill the room with a full bodied sound. There are cheats to help enhance low frequency performance like putting the speakers into the corners.
     
  3. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 6, 2016

    Posts: 5,037

    And throw in "cheap" you won't get good deep clean bass for cheap nor small box.

    For a good sub you're looking at at least 10" ideally 12" and £400 minimum

    As for power more is better but it depends on the design of the sub, room size and demands. If you have room that is 6000 sq feet it's for action movies, sub 15hz response and for reference levels you're looking at thousands of pounds. But if it's a small compact room stereo system not too demanding on SPL then £300 will suffice.
     
  4. danoliver1

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    Location: manchester

     
  5. danoliver1

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 24, 2005

    Posts: 2,663

    Location: manchester

  6. hornetstinger

    Soldato

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    Posts: 5,037

  7. danoliver1

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 24, 2005

    Posts: 2,663

    Location: manchester

    He said cheap! you have listed subs between £450 and £2500. Hes also happy with the base from his echo so he not actually looking for a high end sub.
     
  8. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 6, 2016

    Posts: 5,037

    £450 is cheap for a sub, that's a good area to start from. I wouldn't waste my time with anything less as a cheap sub will degrade the sound.

    I wouldn't go less than a bk gemini, that will be fine in a small.room

    If he'ss on a budget but second hand.
     
  9. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,119

    He does mention sub bass, which you're only going to get from a decent subwoofer. When he says cheap, that means different things to different people. As above £450 is considered cheap for a subwoofer, but to someone who is maybe used to buying cheap 2.1 speakers, it's certainly anything but cheap.

    You've also got to factor in expectations. Expectations of someone used to what a decent subwoofer sounds like is going to be a lot higher than those who are used to PC speakers. Someone who is used to proper hifi will call pretty much every PC 2.1 speaker set, rubbish. To someone who has cheap PC speakers, the Aego M will be quite an improvement. Except for used though, then there's not much chance of getting hold of them.

    We really know to what 'cheap' means first.
     
  10. JasonM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,059

    The issue with typical 2.1 speaker setups is the satellite speakers (left and right speakers) are to small to cope with mid range sounds. So what typically happens is the base is covered (by the sub) and the higher sounds are covered, however the mids are not accurate.

    In my office I do run an Edifier 530 that is a 2.1 system, however I have replaced it's satellite speakers with larger desktop speakers, this gave a far more balanced sound (especially mids) with the sub only providing fill in. This system is fine to listen to when programming / working in office, however it's no comparison to my separates system down stairs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  11. ExoMale

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 9, 2016

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    Location: Gloucestershire

    thanks for replies.

    sorry i meant cheap as in under £100 ha.

    i have had variations in sub types over the years, my best was a home cinema system i had made up of separates, the sub was an 80w mission one and was really nice, the tall boys and satellites/center i had were all 80w pioneer ones, it was all powered from an old sony AV receiver and it was quality, but then i had a laptop, so no real need for pc speakers, so this setup was for movies and music, however the speakers are just to be used with my pc mainly with no movie watching due to location which also rules out home cinema again as i did contemplate again.

    i have had bassy and weak bassed or no bass speakers pc speakers, but they were all below the £30 mark and were meh after awhile, the 2.1 i have now are C world essentials, admit-tingly using my computer for music is louder than my phone with the speakers, but loud isnt always good with poor bass.. as for the alexa, that has good bass, but using bluetooth for phone its not as loud as if i just had the radio playing, so again as i mentioned it could be a source thing, that being said, connected them to an only sony mini hifi and was very loud and so much bass.


    i am mainly looking at pc speakers, but dont want to pay too much just for a brand? 40w total of creative labs i think they were with 12-24w for sub wasnt as good as i thought once, i know its mentioned its more about the quality and size of the sub, but wattage needs to play some part to it and these speakers i think were £50 at the time....

    i dont want ground breaking bass, i just want some nice bass from a decent set of pc speakers than are not costing lots because of brand, so i dont know minimum spec i should look at.
     
  12. hornetstinger

    Soldato

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    Look at second hand should be able to get semi decent one for £100
     
  13. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,119

    If you're looking at 2.1 speakers, then for £100, the best available is Harman Kardon Soundsticks III. The look of them is somewhat marmite; you either like their funky styling or you don't. For 2.1 PC speakers they have good sound if you don't mind the styling.

    If you really don't like the styling, then Edifier C2XD would be the next choice. After those there isn't anything else that I'd personally consider. Everything else for similar money or less is varying degrees of cheap and nasty.

    Stereo speakers will get you better sound quality, but obviously, without the subwoofer, not as much bass punch. Depends what is more important I guess, more bass or better sound quality. Edifier R1600T III are good stereo speakers for £100, or maybe a pair of passive bookshelf speakers, such as; Wharfedale 9.0's from Richer Sounds for £50 and a small SMSL SA36 amp off the jungle site for £45.
     
  14. JasonM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,059

    Totally agree with all of above, everything you have said there gives at least the beginnings a good quality sound. Those Edifier R1600T III go down to 30Hz that's reasonable.
     
  15. Schizo

    Don

    Joined: Feb 19, 2008

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    Location: Home

    I have a very old REL Qbass subwoofer,replaced the speaker with one from bk in Southend on sea and it's superb,cost me the price of a new speaker and I'm very happy with it,don't use it much but when I do it's nice with deep bass.
     
  16. Howling

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 14, 2008

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    Over 9000.

    (someone had to)
     
  17. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 6, 2016

    Posts: 5,037


    No they don't how can those stand mouth t speakers produce lower bass than my full towers which have one 6.5" driver and three 8' woofers???

    Typical response of standmount is about 50hz
     
  18. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,119

    The specs are inconsistent. Not a chance can they go down to 30Hz with that size cabinet and 4" woofers; more like 60Hz. Wharfedale 9.1's are rated at 50Hz with 5.25" woofers and are a fair bit larger.

    Dodgy specs aside, if powered speakers are preferred over passive speakers + amp, then the R1600T III are decent speakers for £100.
     
  19. JasonM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,059

    I tend to agree with you, looking at them again that figure is most likely wrong. You can sometimes get reasonable bass from smaller speakers however, I have some Yamaha towers with dual 6.5" drivers and Yamaha say they go as low as 30Hz.
     
  20. hornetstinger

    Soldato

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    What is +/- figure because if 10 then would at 30hz it's 10db down