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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:25 pm 
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I have always listened in a 2.1 speaker configuration but last night when I was listening to some largely acoustic music (old Bruce Cockburn) I switched the sub off to compare 2.0 with 2.1. Given the nature of the music, there wasn’t a lot of low frequency information and to my pleasant surprise, I felt that the mids were more pleasing (detail and dynamics). The overall presentation was an improvement as it was more engaging. Is this typical? Is my sub correctly set up? Does anyone use their sub selectively, depending on the music? I was in the camp that a well-integrated sub will always be beneficial (and I thought mine was well integrated) but now I’m not so sure.

Focal Electra 1008 be’s
JL Audio E110 sub, crossed over at 80 hz.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:56 pm 
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"Well-integrated" is the operative word. Subs are a mixed blessing. Not only do they have to match the speakers, they also have to integrate into the room. A tall order. So unless you are using some computer driven device to do the integration, integration will be a challenge.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Given that a properly set-up subwoofer (or subwoofers) reduce intermodulation distortion in the main driver, and given that Bruce Cockburn sounds more realistic with the sub out of the system, your sub may not be integrated into the system as well as it might be.

Another possibility is that you were using the subwoofer's crossover to route 80Hz and up signals to the mains, and that, as is more often the case than not, the sub's crossover is of low quality with the result that your mains are distorting less without the sub, not so much because of the sub but because of its cheap crossover components.

A third possibility is that using a mono sub is itself a compromise and that with ALL the frequencies being output in stereo, you are hearing all the music in stereo, including LF harmonics of which you may not even be conscious, that are homogenized by a mono sub.

A fourth possibility is that all of these are factors.

My own "YMMV" experience over many years is that (1) stereo subs always sound better than a mono sub; (2) that the quality of the crossover is of enormous importance; and (3) that it's well-nigh impossible to optimally integrate one or more subwoofers into a stereo system without the benefit of a suitable calibrated microphone and associated measurement software.

Good luck experimenting!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:25 pm 
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I run Martin Logan Odyssey's with 2 x Depth I subs. I run the subs all the time. It gives the sound better foundation and let's the soundstage bloom.

A few years back I had 1 depth sub I ran dead center between the logans. I sold it at one point to raise some funds for something, big mistake. I vowed right then to buy 2 subs since I had always read two are better than 1 sub.

Got the two subs and it definately is way better than a single sub. I think your sub may not be set up properly. I also have a fully treated room with ASC tube traps 16 inches round by 78 inches high in all 4 corners that may play into it as well.

Have you thought about a 2nd JL Audio sub?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:41 pm 
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Very selectively, as in hardly ever. I seem to be always aware of it, I think some of it is psychosomatic though.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:11 pm 
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For scale and ambient cues they are essential regardless of the music or main speakers. IMO 2 is the minimum and should be run mono regardless of how many used.

HT subs destroyed the concept for most audiophiles as it is the basis of their first and last impressions. They dragged up some "one thump wonder" from the basement and haphazardly attached to the "big rig" with disastrous results.

I was fortunate that when I was around 16 I met Mike Wright giving a demo of his glass top coffee table subs at a HiFi shop in North Bay. What Michael did was simply connect John Curls active crossover and another amp to whatever the dealer had hooked up. I remember it like it was yesterday as side one of Crime of the Century imprinted on me a sonic benchmark.

IMO a single sub is a fools errand.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:37 pm 
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IMO a single sub is a fools errand.[/quote]

I totally agree. Once you hear 2 subs over a single sub, there's no going back.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:47 pm 
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dr.joe wrote:
Given that a properly set-up subwoofer (or subwoofers) reduce intermodulation distortion in the main driver, and given that Bruce Cockburn sounds more realistic with the sub out of the system, your sub may not be integrated into the system as well as it might be.

Another possibility is that you were using the subwoofer's crossover to route 80Hz and up signals to the mains, and that, as is more often the case than not, the sub's crossover is of low quality with the result that your mains are distorting less without the sub, not so much because of the sub but because of its cheap crossover components.

A third possibility is that using a mono sub is itself a compromise and that with ALL the frequencies being output in stereo, you are hearing all the music in stereo, including LF harmonics of which you may not even be conscious, that are homogenized by a mono sub.

A fourth possibility is that all of these are factors.

My own "YMMV" experience over many years is that (1) stereo subs always sound better than a mono sub; (2) that the quality of the crossover is of enormous importance; and (3) that it's well-nigh impossible to optimally integrate one or more subwoofers into a stereo system without the benefit of a suitable calibrated microphone and associated measurement software.

Good luck experimenting!


Great observations and suggestions. I did the “sub crawl” when I set the sub up but maybe it is time to get back on the floor. I will lower the crossover since the standmounts go down to 46Hz at -3db. 80hz may be too high to let some of the Focal goodness come out. Also, I would be surprised if the JL sub’s crossover is crappy, as they tend to rate well.

-- 11 Mar 2018 01:48 --

MOON wrote:
I run Martin Logan Odyssey's with 2 x Depth I subs. I run the subs all the time. It gives the sound better foundation and let's the soundstage bloom.

A few years back I had 1 depth sub I ran dead center between the logans. I sold it at one point to raise some funds for something, big mistake. I vowed right then to buy 2 subs since I had always read two are better than 1 sub.

Got the two subs and it definately is way better than a single sub. I think your sub may not be set up properly. I also have a fully treated room with ASC tube traps 16 inches round by 78 inches high in all 4 corners that may play into it as well.

Have you thought about a 2nd JL Audio sub?


Yes, I have. There have been a couple that have popped up on CAM but typically wrong province. I am also considering floorstanders but given the considerable extra cost, it makes sense to source the second sub but I may also just play around again with the sub positioning and settings.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Here is the frequency response curve. As I said, I crossed the sub over at 80Hz but based on the chart, is that where it should be?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Location: Grande Prairie, AB, CA
MOON wrote:
I run Martin Logan Odyssey's with 2 x Depth I subs. I run the subs all the time. It gives the sound better foundation and let's the soundstage bloom.

A few years back I had 1 depth sub I ran dead center between the logans. I sold it at one point to raise some funds for something, big mistake. I vowed right then to buy 2 subs since I had always read two are better than 1 sub.

Got the two subs and it definately is way better than a single sub. I think your sub may not be set up properly. I also have a fully treated room with ASC tube traps 16 inches round by 78 inches high in all 4 corners that may play into it as well.


I ran my Vantages for the last couple years with my old Mirage BPS-150's in a left-right mono configuration. Essentially, both subs got the processed mono LFE signal off my Cambridge A/V receiver. The Vantages are a vented box (looks like a transmission line), and are phase-shifted 90 degrees as expected. The BPS-150 are a sealed box, so would not possess that same phase shift. I hated the set-up. I tried using the left-right preamp ouputs, but the Cambridge would not allow full range main output, the lowest crossover I could get was 40Hz.

I ditched that arrangement (I already had the BPS-150's, I didn't buy them for this purpose) and went to a single Balancedforce 210. I positioned the BF210 on a sidewall 3 feet in front of the Vantages. I then connected it stereo left-right off the Rogue Cronus for audio and LFE off the Cambridge. I used one of my old car audio test CDs from decades past that had pure tones in 1Hz increments from 20-100Hz and mapped the Vantages for output between 20 and 50Hz using an Audio Control SA-3055 RTA with the mic taped onto my chair at head-height. The tuning frequency of the Vantages was 35Hz, just as Martin Logan specified. I crossed the BF210 over at 30Hz and used the 35Hz tone to sweep the adjustable phase knob until it reached maximum SPL output, meaning the Vantage woofers and the BF210 were in-phase at the listening position. Then by ear I adjusted the output of the BF210 just a bit to taste (it was pretty close after phase setting).

The end result is beautiful. The sub delivers authority, even though the crossover is so low, and let's the Vantages deliver the lion's share of bass, all without the typical muddiness of a subwoofer. I used to hate the old arrangement with the BPS-150's so much that I listened solely to Vantages. Now, the BF210 is an integral part of the audio system. I think a large part of the problem was the BPS-150's only had 0-180 degree phase adjustment, and nulls abounded in my listening position. The BF210 is set for 100 degrees.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:04 am 
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I run 3 JL Audio Fathoms and with most of the music I listen to, I barely know they’re in the system at all. Having 3 subs spread out in the room helps to tame standing wave issues (Distributed bass array theory). Also, as my mains are very full range themselves, I crossover the subs at 50hz for music. The volume control and adjustable phase control on each sub was calibrated using measurement mic and software to provide the smoothest room response before utilizing room correction. Finally, I use ARC room correction from my Anthem processor to correct room anomalies below the Schroeder frequency (200 hz and below). This combination provides the best subwoofer integration I have ever had. Very musical and discrete generally but very good extension and power with the right program material. Overall, adding subwoofers to a system, while worthwhile, is neither simple, nor cheap. It’s easy to see why most people give up on them for music.

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Last edited by spinaker01 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:22 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:07 am 
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Location: St.Catharines, ON, CA
80Hz might be a little high.
see
Subwoofer Setup by Bob Katz on the Google.

it's a good read.

Gary


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:00 am 
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Location: Bouctouche, NB, CA
Using B&W 803 diamonds D2 and a Paradigm Studio Sub 12 here, the sub is only plugged in for movies. I find the bass from the sub is too rough. It'll exaggerate delicate bass notes too much and cover up the extra "finesse" that the 803D2 will give me in the low end. I know that the quality of the sub may not be on par with the speakers though, but it's still not considered a bad sub. For movies it's a different story, it seems to blend in perfectly for recordings that have a dedicated LFE track.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:07 am 
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Location: London, ON, CA
MOON wrote:
IMO a single sub is a fools errand.


I totally agree. Once you hear 2 subs over a single sub, there's no going back.[/quote]

I dunno... think it is equipment specific.

I used to use 2 Rel G1's with my Acoustic Zen Crescendo II's and now I have sold one off. The AZ's are flat down to close to 22hz so I cross the single Rel in at 35Hz and it takes away any room nodes...no need for stereo sub in this case.

But, I do believe their is a generalized argument for stereo or multiple mono subs .


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:56 am 
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Location: Owen Sound, ON, CA
Yes, I have a pair of JBL B380 subs driven by a pair of bridged Bryston 4BST's where my mains are Acoustat 2+2's driven by McAlister Audio OTL-195-SE monoblocks. My McAlister Audio MA-10B preamp has multiple outputs. I'm using one output to drive the OTL's and Acoustat's directly. Another output drives a Sumo Delilah active crossover set at 50 Hz. Low pass goes directly to the Brystons. High pass goes to an Aragon 2004 mkII amp which drives a pair of ADS L810's for background listening instead of runnings those 32 output tubes to cut down on power consumption. Subs are run in true stereo mode. For the most part I use the subs but occasionally when listing to solo guitar or chamber music, I don't turn them on. I set the system up this way as the crossover is not in the signal path to the Acoustats. The subs only come in to augment the bottom octave where the Acoustats roll off naturally. I can tell when I'm given a crappy recording to play back where the bass is artificially boosted to accommodate those blue tooth boom boxes. It's not very pleasant.

Thank you,

JBLman (& Acoustat man) :D


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