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Would adding a Sub to a 5.0 system improve overall clarity/soundstage?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by Gimpymoo, 25 Nov 2021.

  1. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 May 2005

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    Location: Nottingham

    Does it take away the "heavy lifting" of the other speakers or does it add to them?

    Currently have:

    4 x Monitor Audio Bronze 2
    1 x Monitor Audio Bronze Centre

    Does a sub make much difference other than adding punchy bass?

    My only experience with a sub is my Logitech Z5500.. Me thinks that is not a fair representation of what a sub does in a home theatre setup.
     
  2. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2016

    Posts: 7,476

    It frees up demands on your avr. Your speakers will not be able to handle full range so the sub takes over the low stuff 80hz and below.

    It'll improve dynamics.

    Buy a good sub it's one of the most import speakers in home theatre. I would also recommend two so it flattens response


    That Logitech is designed to go loud but it doesn't go low.

    What is your budget?
     
  3. Alexrose1uk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Apr 2004

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    Location: Milton Keynes

    It depends on how your AVR/low pass filter is configured and subwoofer is connected; typically you will configure a cutoff at a point the speakers are starting to struggle to allow the speakers to focus on doing what they do well; this also allows more power to the speakers to be focused on the middle and treble range potentially enhancing them as they're not sinking power into the bass frequencies; whilst the Subwoofer does the heavy lifting. It does depend on how you've got it configured though, it is also essentially possible to run the Subwoofer off the same output as the speakers; in which case the subwoofer and the speakers can essentially be trying to transmit those bass frequencies. Typically this doesn't sound as good though as the Subwoofer bass and speaker bass will not always be in sync, and the speakers will likely struggle much more easily with lower bass frequencies.

    Typically the best way to think of a subwoofer in a proper AVR setup is that, with the Subwoofer off, your sound will still sound normal, just lacking 'weight' with the subwoofer off, when you turn the subwoofer on, the sound range will 'fill out'; and the bottom will come alive.

    Typically your subwoofer cut (dependent on your speakers) is somewhere around the 60-100Hz region, so with the Subwoofer off, you will still have all your mid bass, mids and treble, you just won't have the very bottom end. It not only adds extra punch; it can often go considerably lower; and considerably cleaner (AKA proper bass rumble you can feel, and not just fart/distortion you hear)

    At one point during moving out I had to get rid of the nice subwoofer I had at the time; NOTHING felt quite right without it after having got used to one; I wasn't able to get anything anywhere nearly as nice; but I put a subwoofer back into the setup in my new place as soon as the wife would allow me to; it added immensely for games and movies, and was beneficial for a lot of music too.

    A good subwoofer will allow you to hear and feel things a cheap subwoofer or most speakers just cannot.

    If your budget isn't too high, check out BK Subwoofers; they are typically VERY good for the price compared to larger brands; partially because they mostly build for other firms, and thier own designs they sell direct.
    Example review:BK P12-300SB-PR Subwoofer Review | AVForums
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2021
  4. Gimpymoo

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    Location: Nottingham

  5. lucid

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    Where your budget is limited, buy a good used sub. You'll get far more performance for your money. But if your budget is £250, and you don't want to buy used, then at least spend up to your budget.

    I think the Polk is great value for people with a £100 budget who can stretch to £130. For someone with £150 then I'd recommend te Wharfedale SW150. It has a bigger amp and that means it will play with greater control.

    Where the budget is £250 then I think you really have to consider the BK Gemini II. It's a sealed box sub which means it's tighter for music, and it will dig deeper than either the Wharfedale or the Polk thanks to the quality of its components. The additional power it offers helps with authority.
     
  6. hornetstinger

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    I wouldn't get those polk

    Wharfedale sw-150 isn't bad dual should be budget starter system. Just don't expect it to shake the room
     
  7. Gimpymoo

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    Would you go two of the Wharfedale Diamond SW150 or one BK Gemini II?
     
  8. Haze

    Mobster

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    BK = win
     
  9. hornetstinger

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    Neither I'd get dual JTR RS2. Lol

    Sw-150 isn't bad. Decent budget sub. Just that I think should spend more. I'd get the best single sub you can now then buy another a bit later on.

    Bk have good build. Gemeni is ok but it's only 10" sealed box
     
  10. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

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    What would you recommend?
     
  11. Alexrose1uk

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    One of my old friends picked up the BK Gemini after I recommended him BK previously. He's been very happy with it for what it is, in a reasonable sized room.

    It won't be up to the levels or weight of a BK Monolith or XLS, but it'll be head and shoulders above a cheap sub, and it sounded decent when I last heard it.
    Not quite up to the levels of the heavy duty Quad Sub I used to have, but that was hundreds of pounds more, with a larger amp and bigger speaker cone.

    I miss that sub!
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2021
  12. lucid

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    Your question is reasonable, but it presumes that there are lots of alternative and as-good/better choices at the two price points. Personally, I thing the SW-150 and the Gemini II are the two front runners at their respective prices.

    The Wharfedale is bass ported, so it may have the edge in terms of outright volume, but would lose out to the sealed-box Gemini in terms of precision and the ability to render more complex bass. The Gemini is an altogether more sophisticated bit of kit with its dual mode input, but if you're only going to run it with the subwoofer out connection from an AV receiver then that functionality is skipped and the two subs end up operating in the same way.

    One thing to say is that neither sub is going to flap your trouser legs with earth-shattering bass. You'd need to spend a lot more money for that. I think you also have to consider the room size. In the world of subwoofers these two are at the smaller & lower-powered end of the scale. They're still a lot better than the Polk, but then again neither is a 15"+ driver with 1000 Watt amp for £2,000, so if you've got a big room or it's open plan then it would be wise to start with some room dimensions rather than price. These are subs for small living rooms.

    Of the two I'd still favour the Gemini II though. The company making it doesn't sell through dealers. You buy direct; and that means the price isn't loaded with the dealer profit margin. For £250 you get something that would probably retail for closer to £400 if it was available through the retail channel. Compare that with the SW-150. It has been around a while too, and so Wharfedale have managed to get the price down from its original 2004 launch price of £250, but even at £150 the dealers/resellers are still making a profit on the sale, so how much - or how little - does the SW-150 really cost to make?


    Now that's an interesting question. I guess the £250 budget limit is out the window then? :cry:
     
  13. Gimpymoo

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    :cry::cry::cry:

    Thing is, even if I did go £300, not sure it gets a better single sub.

    But yes, in that regard, are two **** subs better than one good one.

    Room size is very average.
     
  14. 200sols

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    Just hope you dont get a buzzing BK sub, the problem has been around for years and is still happening, very annoying.
     
  15. hornetstinger

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    Yeah this issue still seems a common one. There appears to be two types, crossover buzz and power supply hum.
     
  16. 200sols

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    Replaced my xxls400 with an SVS, no buzz now. Sadly cant recommend BK subs anymore because this problem has not been sorted for over a decade now and customer service and response via emails etc is quite slow.
     
  17. hornetstinger

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    That's a shame they still have these issues as for the money they're good value.

    Why on earth would a company keep on using the same unreliable plate amps?
     
  18. willhub

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    My BK Mono + does have some very quiet buzzing, but I can't really hear it unless I put my ear up close (less than 30cm away from sub). I got the sub second hand too so this Mono+ must be a good 7 years old.