A HT without a Sub? Comments.

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Chad Viro, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Everyone:
    This is another general question I am wondering about. As I mentioned in another thread, I am going to be moving into a new townhouse soon and will, more than likely, be purchasing the SVS PB1-ISD.

    In your opinion, would a HT system be pointless if you did not have a sub? Or could the HT speakers provide enough bass to get bye?
     
  2. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    Only if your front and surround speakers are full range (i.e. flat frequency response = 20Hz - 20KHz) you may not need a sub. You could still use one for the LFE channel in this arrangement.
     
  3. MattBu

    MattBu Stunt Coordinator

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    I had a 4.0 home theater for a year, and I thought it was fine. I don't really feel that I've picked up THAT much with the center channel, the sub gives more low end, but nowhere NEAR the extra amount of bass that everyone on here would have you believe. I guess it depends on your front speakers, I have B&W 602 S2s, so it's not like I had some huge things.
     
  4. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    I disagree..........a center, which is 70% of HT output, and sub are very important in HT, until you have a good one of each I guess you don't know what your missing, which is fine by me.
     
  5. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    I would have to say that it is quite important. You can phantom a center fairly well, but when you're missing the low end, you're missing all the impact of the tracks.
     
  6. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Chad,

    As I also indicated in my response in your other thread, I'd rather have sound "quality" over sound "quantity." With that being the case, I'd find a receiver that has "midnight mode" to perform a bit of compression on the sound. This would allow you to still enjoy the some good action with the movies - without shaking the pictures off the walls of your neighbors.
     
  7. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    It's not pointless, but it usually does help. My mains's reach into the lower 30Hz range. When I watch movies late at night, I usually turn off the subs and run my mains full range. It still sounds wonderfull and it would probably satisfy most people.
     
  8. Johnny Ayala

    Johnny Ayala Stunt Coordinator

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    Like corn flakes w/o the milk...peanut butter w/o jelly.....turkey w/o dressing...get the idea? [​IMG]?[​IMG]
     
  9. Chris A H

    Chris A H Stunt Coordinator

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    Up until two weeks ago when my SVS PB1-ISD arrived I had a 5.0 system for 12 months and I thought it was fine due to multiple 8" woofers rated to 32Hz.

    Now I know what I was missing!

    It's a whole new level of enjoyment. Low stuff that I never knew was there comes jumping out at you. All the folks who post how this scene or that scene "shook the walls" are not kidding and I can now relate.

    My kids are also enjoying it more than I ever expected. My 7-year old daughter today while watching Swan Lake Barbie (not a bad version of the Tchaikovsky SL ballet music) had cranked it up a bunch and when I went in to see why she was playing it so loud she says "I like it better with the big notes that come out of the subwooooofer!" My laugh for the day!

    Get a sub!!!!!
     
  10. Matt Odegard

    Matt Odegard Stunt Coordinator

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    Get a sub. You'll feel what you've been missing.
     
  11. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I have full range front speakers and thought movies sounded fine until I got a sub. I quickly found out what I had been missing. As far as center channels, I also think it is as important as a sub. Phantom center is distracting to me.
     
  12. JasenJ

    JasenJ Agent

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    But is all that extra bass accurate?

    I broke down and measured test tones with my Radio Shack SPL meter yesterday. To my surprise, I was getting good bass response (-4dB) down to about 30Hz, and then dropped to about -10 dB at 20Hz with my old pair of Paradigm 5se Mk IIs - which are rated +/- 3dB down to 50Hz with ~6" cones. The very bottom end certainly dropped off, but it was still quite audible and measurable.

    I believe this is because due to my room setup I have a big bass amplifying hump in my freq. response. I'm sure with a sub I could crank the volume on the lower end. But so what? Yes, loud bass is fun. I guess if that is what's important then a sub is important.

    Maybe I'm just feeling subwoofer envy. [​IMG]

    - Jasen.
     
  13. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Is your speaker?

    A sub which is designed to play low is going to have much less harmonic distortion than an average speaker struggling under 50hz. The SPL your measuring from your speaker doesn't mean it's accurate. A good accurate sub can easily be had for around $400, a Hsu STF-2 comes to mind. And since many get self-powered subs, you'll take the heaviest loads of your amp which can possibly allow your speakers to draw a cleaner more powerful signal for the higher frequencies.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I think you can get by without one, but you will be missing out somewhat. The difference will be noticable.


    This is an unusual comment, especially with the speakers you have, since I feel they are very light on bass. What sub did you get? Have you calibrated your sysetm with an SPL meter? What about placement of the sub? A good sub should have given you a TON more extension than the 602s.
     
  15. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input, everyone. Really appreciate it. Considering I am still new to HTs, what are your opinions on the base emmitted from the axiom M60ti speaker? poor/average/above-average? just curious!
     
  16. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    Like Britney without cleavage . . .

    Actually, I think you can enjoy movies just fine without a sub if the mains have decent response and you're not playing particularly loud. But there's no question that if you want it to really sound great, a good sub is a requirement.
     
  17. MingL

    MingL Stunt Coordinator

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    Some speakers do measure loud on the SPL meter on deep bass test tones. But the meter will not show THD and other distortions.

    So say a 30hz tone measures 80dBs on the meter, but what we don't see is that there's tons of 60hz harmonics and othe distortion thats contributing towards the SPL reading on the meter too. Not so clean bass now, right?
     
  18. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    I have a pair of Boston VR-950's. Rated down to 63hz. They sound great and on some music they put off good "mid bass". It isnt true bass, or real bass. I dont have a center Channel, My surrounds arnt hooked up, and I need a new DVD player, but you know what my priority is right now? A good SVS sub.
     
  19. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Right now I don't have my sub and I'm definitely missing it. Even at quiet levels, there's that well rounded bottom end missing. My mains are set to large now, but don't go that low (Studio 60's)

    Also, in my new house, that center really, really helps for off center viewing. HUGE difference.
     
  20. JasenJ

    JasenJ Agent

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    Point taken.

    I just picked up a pair of Paradigm ADP-170 surrounds. Should I swap them out for a sub (PDR-10) or do surrounds add more to the "theater" experience? Right now I feel I'm really missing out on all that surround sound more than tight deep bass. (Of course I want both and hope to have them eventually. But any opinions on which to do first?)

    - Jasen.
     

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