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  1. #1

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    Default Bass; and the fine line between quality and price

    As stated in my thread a few days ago, I managed to put together a pretty good sounding system for a pretty low cash layout. I ended up having a system that plays really clean down to a guess freq of around 60-70hz. Speakers are rated to 30hz but......I need a subwoofer. I had some idea's regarding what I was looking for; and most of them turned out to be fantasy. Bargains and clean 20hz playback are really never found in the same sentence. A long time ago, I had a powered subwoofer from Kenwood that I thought sounded good at the time. (I was younger and liked boom style bass) Now however I am pretty far away from that. I want quality reproduction of frequencies down to around 20hz at modest listening levels. No need for “reference” volume. If I want it as loud as a live band, I'll go listen to a live band.

    So, after researching many subs to look for on the various bargain sites (used), I am seeing a distinct pattern of brands that stand up to the test of time and almost always are highly recommended for listening to music. Unfortunately for me, these brands come at a very high price. I almost puked while exploring the HSU Research website. They don't have anything that they would call “musical” under $900.00. SVS and Energy seem to follow suite. Hell, even Polk subs that are considered musical start at $700. Everything within a reasonable price range new seems to be aimed at home theater. I have no interest in home theater. My NAD integrated is only 2 channel anyway.

    Anyway, it seems I am chasing a ghost here. I have found a few old Velodyne subs here and there but they are really old (1012 series) and are rated really low in RMS power. I have listened to systems at friends houses and am now convinced that quality really is important for music. They all had your standard home theater set up with the accompanying lower level Polk. Infinity or Boston 10-12” subs. They were fine when we were watching movies but when we tried music they turned into boom boxes.

    My issue then is finding a sub that will cover all the lower frequencies; to anyone who doesn't know, a standard piano at A0 is around 27hz. Bass strings hit down around 30hz. So now you can see the problem. I'm almost ready to just accept the fact that I may have to actually spend a few dollars to complete this system. I guess I can look it from the point of view that I saved so much money on the rest of the system, I can now afford to spend more on the subwoofer. It just seems that old subs don't stick around. They have either been beat to death or just plain worn out. Not to mention, it seems when someone gets a good sub, they keep it indefinitely. So basically, I am open to any ideas anyone might have. Thanks for reading my rant, Alan.

  2. #2

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    Used VMPS subs will get you what you are seeking for a "bargain" price. Very hard to come by.

    If I were you I would look at the DIY route.

  3. #3

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    I think a few members tried to convince you of this when you first joined. There are no giant killers in the subwoofer world. There are quality subs that are reasonably priced, but you're still going to pay for it. This is part of the reason that for lower end subs, I always tend to prefer the 8" versions. They often have more control and avoid the boominess that cheap 10"/12" subs often have, but sacrifice the depth of the bigger ones. I'll trade overall frequency over sound quality all day long.
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    Hello Alan and welcome to the Polk forum, I enjoyed your first post here. We don't get first posts like that here very often and it was a refreshing change of course. With that said, please pay very close attention to these 4 aforementioned letters. VMPS.

    I would strongly urge you to listen to any other sub first with music. I have personally heard plenty of highly regarded subs that quite frankly would drive me knuckin' futz if they found their way into my system.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  5. #5

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    There isn't a fine line between quality and price, it's a chasm. You can get an inexpensive sub, like most start with for 2 or 300 new, and wonder why you bought the thing in the first place. The other choice is to skip lunch for a year or 2, get a good sub, and convince yourself it was worth it.

    Good luck on your search, and welcome to Club Polk.

  6. #6

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    Either find something used for a great price or maybe consider DIY. The Dayton Audio Reference subs are low distortion triple shorting subs with quality and performance that you might find in $800-$1000 systems. www.partsexpress.com is your friend!

    Dayton Audio RSS315HF-4 12" ~ $150

    Pick an amp to meet your budget and need:
    Dayton Audio SPA500 class A/B 500 Watt ~ $210
    or
    Dayton Audio SPA250 class A/B 250 Watt ~ $125
    or
    Yung SD300 300W Class-D ~ $99

    Unfinished 2 Cu ft sealed enclosure/ flatpack ~ $73
    http://www.diysoundgroup.com/subwoof...flat-pack.html

    Others that have built this sub:
    http://stories.parts-express.com/sto...2/redirect.htm
    http://stories.parts-express.com/sto...9/redirect.htm
    http://www.ohio.edu/people/schneidw/audio/zaph_sub.html
    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/subwo...ealed-sub.html
    http://www.zaphaudio.com/archives.html

    Here is a build of the HF version w/ added passive radiators- RSS315HF-4:
    http://ugc.parts-express.com/profile...F6/profile.htm
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  7. #7

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    Ah! VMPS, now see? Thats an avenue I had not looked at- or better yet, the idea of an externally amplified subwoofer. That definitely opens a few doors of the mind. I think I became a little frustrated with the idea of spending so much on a single speaker. These subs cost more than a good set of towers. Having read pretty much all the literature on the different web sites for all the different subwoofers, it seems that most customers want high volume AND clarity when a sub is used for music. This requires huge amounts of power and, drivers big and powerful enough to handle that power. This, by nature of the size and complexity of the equipment, results in a high price. Check. I get it. I am looking into the DIY route. I am quite handy and don't see it as an issue. The problem is that I am restoring an old sailboat and that makes me quite lazy in the remaining time I have. It doesn't take much energy to browse and read. Plug and play is always nice.

    Dskip: They did and they were right. The whole point in that other post was that the equipment was pretty good for the price paid. I don't want to play in the big leagues. I don't find value in spending thousands of dollars on a piece of equipment that I consider an accessory to the main speakers. Apparently I was wrong, but I found it difficult to believe that it took so much to reproduce sounds 20-30hz. This kind of information only becomes apparent when you actually try to do it. Looking over the subs available from Polk for example, a few subs will reproduce notes in that range. The little Polk DSWPRO440wi hits 25hz. Thats why I was considering the DSPRO line in my first post. I think I had another sub listed as well but it quickly became apparent it would not do as I listened to it.

    I have found quite a few subs that will play into those frequencies but they are pretty much not recommended for what I want to use them for. I think even on this forum I was told to look at the micropro series. Thats where my frustration came from. :) I kinda got blindsided by the consensus that musical subs were rare in the lower price ranges. Perhaps they are. However, at the same time I believe that many things in the home audio world provide very small gains for a not so small price. Don't get me started on cables......anyway. I now know for a fact, that in my opinion I don't like the sound of the lower priced subs I have listened to. They satisfy a lot of people though. I am not one of them. We were listening to some contemporary jazz today and there was a wonderful double bass solo. The RT600's just couldn't follow the sound the way it was meant to be heard. It was accurate enough, we could hear the intricate sounds of the fingers on the strings. The problem was when it got real low the speakers couldn't reproduce the sound because the sound got thin. As I said in my first post, I will most likely wait for something to come along at a price I feel is fair and demo this stuff. I already learned what I do not like. Now I just have to find what I do. As you may have noticed, I didn't want to start another “what do you think of this” post. There are plenty of them already and I read as many as I find. It's pretty obvious that only a higher priced sub will do. The trick seems to be finding an older one that has lost its premium price but not the premium sound. All I'm doing is documenting my travels as I learn more about this. Maybe someone else wants to find the same thing and I can save them some time. Someone mentioned in the first post a rabbit hole...yeah, no kidding. If this critical listening thing keeps up, I may find myself looking at $500 speaker cables. More to follow, Alan.

  8. #8

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    Yeah,just researched VMPS. Ended up at audioC and just had quite the sad read. No, I don't think I'll be finding many of those speakers on CraigsL. There is a reason that they are rare. People keep them.

  9. #9

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    Alan, you appear to have missed a post, check out the info WLDock posted. In a sealed enclosure and with proper room placement, that would be a very musical sub with plenty of headroom.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #10

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    Alan- you could have bought my VMPS sub 2 weeks ago. Had it on the forum here before polkfest and locally on CL. Sold it last week sadly but have something better coming I hope.

    They are definitely worth keeping your eyes open and looking for them within a reasonable driving distance. Good luck in your search and patience will reward you.

  11. #11

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    Your problem Alan, as I see it anyway, is your ears have matured far ahead of your wallet. Not a bad thing. The RT600's as good as they are also have their limitations. Some of the subs mentioned above should suit you well however at a pretty low price.

    A lot of good older gear people hang on to, they know what it will cost to replace that quality in todays dollars. Just be careful of some older Velo subs, they have had their share of dogs too. Also remember when looking at subs, a passive subwoofer means it has no internal amp and requires you to purchase one separately so that's an added cost to consider. Keep an eye out for any used Rel subwoofers, very musical, same with Revel subs.

    Also, and just like with speakers, pay little attention to watts and more to current. It's current that is needed to start and stop the drivers, along with a good design and quality components. That's the boomy or flabby sound you may hear in some subs, the driver not stopping when the signal does. Of course room placement may play into that as well along with setup issues.

    There's more to this audio thing than meets the eye. Good audio anyway. We like to say "everything matters" because as you will soon find, it does. We also subscribe to the fact that good sound can be had at any budget. Thing is, that definition of good sound changes as we age. Take your time and pounce on the deals when they come up, audio is a journey, not a race. Good luck to you, and welcome aboard.

  12. #12

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    Quantity or quality, pick one; you don't get both on a strict budget. It's just a fact. You can go used and save, but if you want that bottom octave, and you want it done cleanly/accuartely/powerfully, I'd look at $800 as a reasonable budget.

    FWIW, I run an SVS PB12-NSD (new version) with Harbeth monitors (down 3dB @46Hz) and have been very satisfied. I believe it was $769 shipped. I have the SVS crossed at 50Hz, and it blends beautifully, digs to 18Hz @ 3dB down.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 11-04-2013 at 09:50 AM.

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  13. #13

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    Here's a dated review of Tom Nousaine's regarding a pursuit to replicate lower frequencies of "organ passages of Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra on Delos & from Opus One's Cantate Domino . . . & the 10-Hz black-powder cannon shots on the Telarc of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture."

    http://www.nousaine.com/pdfs/Subwoof...g%20Enough.pdf

    Nousaine tested a great many subs, here are a couple of versions of his "sub list":

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...hl=en_US#gid=0 *2012

    http://www.snapbug.ws/images/tnsubtest.jpg

    I happened to score a Velodyne FSR-15 off Audiogon within 60 miles of nowhereville, for < 28% MSRP. I don't use it with 2 channel (RTiA9s); but Nousaine's article above includes the FSR-15, which has always had a spot in his top 10.

    Perhaps tonyb can pull out his "musicality meter" & report on the FSR-15? (emoticon for schlit-eating grin)

  14. #14

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    Keep an eye out for used Velodyne SPL series subs, I found them very musical.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  15. #15

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    Here is an alternative, read my thread on " bass expierament on rta 12c, s" in vinttage speakers! Solved my bass issues and with all the "musicallity" I ever wanted. Never could there with subs even some nice M&K's. This seems so far to be the best way for me.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Keep an eye out for used Velodyne SPL series subs, I found them very musical.
    +1. I found a 1st series spl1200. Sounds tight and fast with any kind of music I through at it. Just have to watch for the amp humming. If it does happen, most repair places and change out the bad caps

  17. #17

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    I always found sealed subs to sound better for music. VMPS subs show up every so often on CL and others even here in the flea market. (Al, you'll need 100 posts to look there though). A couple of used M&K subs I've used sounded decent for music, of course these were old M&K sealed subs(12") American made too. Alan, if you aren't looking to dig past 20hz., I'm sure you'll find something that will work within your budget. Welcome to CP!

  18. #18

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    used rel t-7

    they sound as good as they look
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  19. #19

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    Used Martin Logan sealed subs are cheap and musical

  20. #20

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    WL: Yeah I've been looking around on PE for quite some time. They do seem to have some pretty serious hardware that's affordable on an enlisted mans salary. I think at some point I may put together some bookshelf speakers just to see how well they turn out. Pretty good site and easy to navigate. The end result of those kits can be found on Amazon from time to time.

    On a side note, I am putting together a soundbar setup (Polk 3000) for my television and was really unimpressed by the tiny subs most of those kits come with. (Our TV speakers are horrible. $1500 and they attach headphone sized speakers on these things....) So today I found a new PSW505 for a little over $100. Couldn't pass it up for that price. Definitely a bargain and “so I'm told” is not horrible. I'm setting it up with the TV but may play with it on the 2ch and see what I can do with it. In my opinion a properly set up subwoofer should not stand out as the dominant sound so maybe, being that it will play down to 23hz at low volume levels, it will stand in while I test out other subs. Who knows, maybe it will grow on me. Somehow I have become a poster child for Polk as I now have Polk speakers everywhere.

    Tony, I don't know about the maturity thing. I'm just cheap. :) I understand what your saying though about our perceptions on sound. 25 years ago I wanted LOUD. I remember putting speakers all over the place in my rec room so that I could be “surrounded by sound”. Ohms be damned. I think I even had a 6” woofer glued to a ceramic flower pot. Somehow Pink Floyd's Echo's sounded really good to me at max volume coming from all angles. I like to believe that when I went to the Division Bell concert, it sounded the same...now I see things differently of course. I really enjoy my simple stereo setup and I don't enjoy jet blast volume anymore. Regarding the current; horse power behind signal. I think this is sometimes referred to when people compare my NAD amp to that of a $100 JVC. My 35 watts smokes their 100 watts. Am I following this correctly?

    Stevei; Yes those SVS subs are monsters. I don't see them for sale used very often. I can find Velodyne subs all day long but SVS either are so good no one lets them go or by volume, not as many to sell. I'm hoping to run in to one eventually. This sonic quest that I am on is turning out to be quite fun. I find that I am back to enjoying music- something I haven't done to this degree in a long time.

    4X: thanks. Something new to read.

    The sealed vs ported debate seems to be going strong. As usual it would seem. I have always thought that sealed speakers sound more refined and controlled. But if I remember correctly, it takes much more power to do so. I am curious to fiddle around with the new psw505 regarding how the port effects the placement of the box. Sealed subs seem to be easier to setup being you don't have to factor in port location in relation to walls and floors.

    One thing that I am a bit confused over is what makes a sub musical? The ability to accurately reproduce the sounds it is fed? Driver speed? I think this goes back to subs “designed more for home theater” and subs that are not. Unfortunately for people like me the manufacturers don't say “use this sub for music” or “this sub is not advised for music reproduction”. I guess that would make it to easy. But then again if thats the way it was, the PSW505 should do well because Polk says, and I quote

    “ More than a mere brute, the PSW505 is equally at home reproducing all the subtle nuance of a plucked string bass as it is belting out a rocke's roar. Full-featured and over-powered, the PSW505 will rock your world and tick off your neighbors.”

    Misspelling and all... But we know differently. Right? Many of the acclaimed Velodyne powerhouses are not only ported, but rated at 36hz or so on up. Well outside the range of a “Sub” woofer. Please, someone clarify this. :) As you can tell, I am more interested in the discussion so that maybe I can learn a thing or two. Not to mention this knowledge will be helpful in ruling out some of these older subs before I buy them and then have to re sell them. More to follow, thanks, Alan.

  21. #21

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    Alan, in Audio as with many other industries, marketing hype is ....well, hype. I would consider user reviews from people who actually own the product or have had experience with it in some form or fashion. People who know what they are doing anyway.

    What makes a subwoofer musical ? A subwoofer that can keep pace with the music, not sound bloated/boomy or draw attention to itself. Granted many reviews of subwoofers that are negative stem from poor placement, poor crossover settings, or simply trying to overdrive them.....asking them to go lower than they were built to go. Many audio magazines have reviews of subwoofers too by people who know how to set them up. Those too can be tricky due to reviews are sometimes candy coated due to paid advertisers products being the one reviewed. Right here on this forum, we candy coat squat, it is what it is. Many members have or have had a variety of subwoofers in a variety of systems, different rooms, etc. I would take their recommendations over many others you will find on the internet.

    There's a lot of B.S., misinformation if you will, about audio. Good sound and how to get it at any price bracket. Since audio is so subjective, it's kinda unavoidable too. The more we know about you, your budget, listening habits, the room you'll use, the better we can steer you to the right products so you won't have to buy stuff and send back constantly. Make sense ?

    Since we have been covering subwoofers, I'm going to throw a curve ball at you. Since you like your music to play in the 20 hz realm, have you even thought about getting speakers that can play there ? Don't know how big your room is or how much room is available for big floorstanders, but us old farts have a saying. No replacement for displacement. Same can be said for subwoofers, but especially speakers. That is if you like that forceful concert like sound, obviously not for a computer rig in a small office. Something to think about anyway. Have yourself a good night.

  22. #22

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    My SPL velodyne is sealed not ported. I am not sure of the specs but, I could have sworn the spl1200 and the ultra both go below 20. My legacy focus speakers go below 20 also to the point Tonyb was making.

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    Unless a sub is poorly designed, the main reason a sub may sound poor is due to poor placement or integration as our ears are much less sensitive to distortion at low frequencies.

    Ported designs generally are tuned lower, which can present a problem if the speaker is tuned around 20hz. Our listening rooms add gain to the bottom end, as for how much depends on the size and shape of the room, and where the sub is placed within the room.

    Here is the response of a speaker tuned to the low 20's.



    Now add in room and boundary gain.



    A sealed design tuned to @ 40hz.



    Now with room and boundary gain.



    This is why ported subs are generally better for HT as most like the extra boom at the bottom end. But sealed can sound more "musical". I'd like to add more on placement, DSP, and multiple subs, but can't at this moment.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    IMO, large (12", 15", 18") low inductance, low distortion sealed subs make a nice compromise in output, control, and integration.
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    Eh, when it comes to subwoofers, there's nothing short than a million of them that fail to hit those bottom octaves and sound flabby trying to do so. Good subs cost more than a few hundred bucks imho. For a small area like a small office, that's another story. But living room size, you need a good sub, anything less will probably disappoint.

    That said, everyone should read up on tips to get the best performance from your sub. From placement, to crossover settings, volume control, line level or speaker level inputs, ported or sealed, receiver settings, etc. Especially if your just getting back into the game, receivers and subs have come along way since the Beatles. Most complaints about subs stem from them not handling music as well as HT.....in spite of the marketing hype. Get the right tool for the right job.

  26. #26

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    Agree Tony, proper calibration, while a PITA, is worth every minute spent.

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    Agreed on the displacement comment. I'm still waiting for the ported 12” to get here. I'm actually looking forward to experimenting with it. Though it may have to wait a minute or two. I'm still working on setting up my speakers. Been trying to fine tune the image. (starting another thread) The acoustics of my room seem to really bolster the RT's. While adjusting things for the image, I kept noticing that when sitting in the “spot”, the bass really seemed to dig pretty low. No where else in the room does it hit the low notes the way it does in my listening position. It has made me wonder, just how much support do my main speakers need?

    I think one of the first things I will experiment with will be setting the subs crossover to pick up somewhere around 45-50hz and below only. I don't think it will require much gain or sub volume to do the trick. I actually think it wouldn't take much to become bass heavy. Which is not what I want. I have a roll of amazon basics 16awg wire that I'm using to set everything up. So its OK if I have to cut and reattach things all over the room. I have a friend who has volunteered to move the sub around while I listen for the best placement- while staying IAW the WAF. Once we get everything right, I'll cut the 10awg wire and secure it all permanently. At .85 cents a foot, it will do until I begin experimenting with higher quality cables and interconnects. Kimber 4PR and PBJ's should do without getting ridiculous.

    This all has brought up some points that others may have some insight on. The fact that I rarely listen to music really loud, combined with the fact that I am almost happy with the bass response of the RT's, has me wondering just how much sub do I really need. The room is fairly large, 16x30 with vaulted ceilings. The listening position is in the middle, looking into the narrow part. I'm about 3' off the wall and my speakers are 1' off the wall in front of me. I'm beginning to think maybe a high powered smaller sub would suffice. My picture will become more clear when I play with the ported 12”. I'm trying to keep it somewhere near the main speakers but do to the layout of the room, I may not be able to. Worse case it will end up to my right, at the end of the room on the same plane as the RT's. Best case, it ends up slightly to my right, in between and on the same plane as the RT's. Anyway, time to create another post. More to follow, Alan.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Keep an eye out for used Velodyne SPL series subs, I found them very musical.
    I can surely attest to your statement...running a dual pair of the SPL-1200's with the the Anti-Mode 8033 EQ has proved to be a marvelous combination. For both HT & 2 channel music I couldn't ask for any more. They are extremely hard to find used though.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

  29. #29

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    "the right tool for the right job" tonyb Oh how right you are.

    Well, after a few days of moving the psw505 around the room and album after album testing the limits and compatibility of the 12” woofer with my room and mains I have come to some conclusions.

    First off, the Polk PSW505 gets some really high reviews on sites that are frequented by “regular people”. When looking for a sub to compliment a future sound bar for my television, I read things like “really musical for the price” and “surprisingly, this subwoofer sounds equally good with music as it does home theater”. So, mind you, I had no illusions that a sub from Polk, retailing for $599 could compete with the “not so regular” expensive world of HSU and the like. I was however, quite surprised at just how good the PSW505 DID sound when properly set up and positioned correctly for certain kinds of music. More on that in a minute. Maybe I had the idea that I could save some money and have the 505 pulling double duty as a soundbar sub for the TV and a "good enough" sun for reinforcing the low end of the RT600's.

    One of the first places I tried to place the sub was on the inside of the left speaker, 14” from the wall, port to the rear. The bass was flat and did not carry any resonance even when there should have been. However, it sounded really really good when I would stand off to the right of my centered listening position. The first night we went through the popular 80's (I know) soundtrack with Depeche Mode and the like. I was actually taken aback by it. The bass was clean and very accurate. Even at “I can't hear what your saying!” volume. The transition between the RT600's and the sub were transparent to my ear. The sub did not identify itself at any normal listening volumes. At high volume, some port chuffing could be heard when I approached the sub. Though this was expected. I have not heard many subs that don't do this at high volume. The bass was slightly sloppy when the volume went to really high but at that level, I don't think many systems for mere mortals would survive. By that time my 1” tweeters were starting to sizzle a bit. The problem was that when seated in my favorite spot, the bass became mono and lost it's detail. I have found that this happens with the RT600's as well on certain tracks if I sit to close to the wall. Bad room acoustics. I also found that the RT600's didn't need much reinforcement above 70hz. That seemed to be where the sub would have to take over.

    Having said that, I started to move the sub around. Eventually, I settled on placing it off to the right of the right speaker, angled in a corner, port facing in. This seemed to give me decent integration with a good combination of accurate bass and extension. (and it just happens to be right next to the TV) I would still get some occasional drone during certain tracks but overall, it was the best for the room.

    Over the last few days I listened to a lot of Jazz, Michael Brecker and Charlie Parker's albums stood out. I played a bunch of blues, Lucky Peterson's Move and basically everything BB King ever did. Ran the full gamut of Roger Waters and even threw in some more modern, darkwave music by Lycia in for good measure. For what I paid for it I was impressed. It rarely became “boomy” (such a word?) and maintained pretty good composure through most of my music and I found myself forgetting about the sub and enjoying the music.

    But....I did find myself going back to the original purpose of this thread. Everything was great right up until I started digging into my classical collection. Specifically, Orchestra. I broke out a really good album called “The Planets” composed by G. Holst and conducted by C. Dutoit. The specific track was op.32-5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age. Well, this track brought old age to the Polk. Somewhere after 5 minutes, there is this huge, deep sense of something huge descending on you. The Polk is rated to 23hz and I'm sure the corner placement accentuated this but the track has got to be sub 25hz and really powerful. It descends down on you and continually gets louder and deeper until you have reached the absolute bottom. The little Polk gave it a good shot. It followed the octave down until there was no sound, only a thick presence. The Polk's driver started hitting it's mechanical limit's and couldn't give anything more. It was loud enough that it instantly broke my concentration and made me look in the subs direction. Check mate had been reached. I have exceeded the limits of this subwoofer. I really love that part of the movement and have heard it demolish most subwoofers at reference level. I kinda knew what would happen to the PSW505 but I figured why not. Oh, well. I guess it's time to move up a few rungs on the price ladder. I have been really impressed by Polk as of late but I wonder how the DSW series would handle that situation. I am still looking for used SPL's and HSU's but anything worth buying doesn't stay for sale for long- or they want 90% of MSRP for a 5 year old sub. I don't think any of the older, ported CH series Velodyne's that are all over Ebay could handle that music any better than the PSW505. They lack the horsepower. The amp in the 505 is no slouch. Another issue I am running into is size. The girls eye's popped out of her head when she looked at the 505. “You can't hide that in the living room, it's huge!” So I doubt an HSU the size of a coffee table will be accepted into “Her” living room. More to follow. Thanks for the pointers so far. Alan

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