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To Sub or Not to Sub - That is the question...


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Keith E F

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Posted May 11 2004 - 03:13 PM

First post - and complete noob, so forgive me...

I have up to $3K to spend 5 speakers. I say five because my wife *really* doesn't want a stand alone "black box" in great room and the two in-wall rear centers are already a done deal... actually, she's not that thrilled about towers on either side of the TV...

So, I would really like to get two towers that put out some bass when I am watching movies - my mix will be 50/50.

I am leaning towards Paradigm at this time - but I need to know if I am making a mistake buying speakers that have the bass units built in, ala the Studio 100s or even something like Cambridge SW Newton T500 (yea, I know... I know...)

So sell me one way or the other - I want to do this right the first time, or at least the best I can do w/ my budget.

Thanks in advance
Keith

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted May 11 2004 - 03:45 PM

Personally, I'd find a way to keep the subwoofer/bass production away from the tower speakers. Use the towers to handle bass down to 80 or 60Hz, then let the subwoofer take over from there. Expecting some tower speakers to be able to produce bass similiar to that of a subwoofer, is asking quite a bit.

I'd look for ways in which you could conceal a subwoofer in your area so that it's possible to go forward with purchasing one. Also, you could then go with a good set of bookshelf speakers and used on-wall brackets for mounting or some decorative stands to place them on. This should keep your area nice and neat and plase your wife's desire for a neat room, too.

I once lived through what you are facing right now. As a compromise, I used in-wall speakers installed in on-wall MDF cabinets to enhance the sound and make them sound the way speakers are intended to sound. I was able to pait the units to match our walls. I then only ohad one sub which was concealed under the edge of my desk. This worked fine for about 3 years.

However, I wanted more. A few months back, I built two shiva-based subs and was less transparent in my methods of hiding them by selecting spots tha were good at concealing. I then desired new front speakers. I was honest with my wife and indicated that the on-wall/in-wall speakers were just a "stepping" stone and they've outlived their useful life. When I presented my choices, my wife didn't care for the black ash cabinets, but liked the idea of those with cherry veners.

I was then able to convince my wife how important audio and movies were as a hobby in my life. My wife was the in agreement with my speakers that I desired to purchase.

I installed the speakers a few weeks back and over-all, my wife is pleased with what I selected.

Trust me, life is too short to live without some good gear. Make sacrifices if you have to on a temporary basis. However, don't accept those temporary choices as being permanent. Heck, I know of plenty of people who have flawless living rooms, but they rarely get used - heck my home is such an example. Also, my wife understood that our family room was one in which we used to enjoy movies and relax, so it was easier convincing her that I needed 40" tower speakers in there as opposed to our living room.
"My reality check ... just bounced"

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Jason Brent

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Posted May 11 2004 - 06:31 PM

Get a stand alone sub.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Chris A H

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Posted May 12 2004 - 05:06 PM

I'd get a stand alone sub also. If you ever decided to change out your mains you have to toss the subs out as well. If they are seperate you have more choices in combining the best possible speakers with the best possible sub.

I had WAF issues as well, and convinced her that the sub could be a piece of furniture as well as a sub. I now have a SVS PB1-ISD in the tan-granite color that works wonderfully in the room's decor and sits next to my couch as an end table. With some of the nicer wood finishes you might find something to please her.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted May 12 2004 - 05:26 PM

Stand alone sub. The problem with "integrated subs", is that then you have uncontrollable constructive and destructive interference around the room due to the two low freq generators. The results is nasty peaks and valleys in bass response around the room. Not flat freq response (or even close). Not that two stand alone subs aren't a bad thing, but the best place for a single sub, or 2 subs, is extremely different than for towers.

Paradigm Studio 100's? They don't have integrated subs, do they? Good speakers. Review over at Stereophile.com somewhere.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#6 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted May 12 2004 - 07:12 PM

Separate sub.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#7 of 17 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted May 13 2004 - 01:26 AM

Go with a separate sub. Take a look at the SVS PB-1+. You can have it stained in different finishes and turn it in to a great looking end table which your wife may approve of.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Keith E F

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Posted May 13 2004 - 02:11 AM

Thanks for the input guys - that is pretty much what I figured the general response was going to be after searching through the archives for a few days...


Kevin B - No, the Paradigm Studio 100's do not have a integrated sub, my compare and contrast in this case would be the Monitor 90Ps. So the Monitor 90Ps and no sub or the Studio 100s and a sub...

I have also listened to the CSW T500s and while they seemed to do really well with HT, I wasn't too crazy about music only.

Funny thing about the internet and forums in general - they always end up costing me more money! haha


Cheers Guys,
Keith

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted May 13 2004 - 02:31 AM

Quote:
Funny thing about the internet and forums in general - they always end up costing me more money! haha

Actually, quite the opposite is true. While it appears you might be laying out more money up front, it is actually a cost savings. Had you gone ahead with a purchase without any input, you might have been very unhappy with the sound - then, you would have sold off what your purchased at a loss and purchased the gear you should have gotten from the beginning.

See, it's actually a cost savings in the end. Posted Image
"My reality check ... just bounced"

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted May 13 2004 - 12:58 PM

Quote:
Funny thing about the internet and forums in general - they always end up costing me more money! haha

Where do I sign up for "upgradeitis" anonymous? Posted Image
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ...

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   John F. Palacio

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Posted May 14 2004 - 02:58 AM

Quote:
...my wife *really* doesn't want a stand lone "black box" in great room and the two in-wall rear centers are already a done deal... actually, she's not that thrilled about towers on either side of the TV...


1- You have a "difficult" wife.
2- No HT is complete without a separate sub.
3- If she has her way you'll face more dilemmas in the future.
4- I would hate to be in your shoes.

[rant]GOOD LUCK![/rant]
Best regards.

John
Freelance Video Control Engineer

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   DanielKellmii

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Posted May 14 2004 - 03:20 AM

Would and infinite baffle sub be possible? All you need is to cut a hole in the wall or ceiling and put some covering and everybody would be happy. There would be no big box in the room, and you would get incredible bass. Do a search on the cult of the infinitely baffled.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Keith E F

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Posted May 14 2004 - 10:35 AM

Hey John:

1) Hardly - hahahaahaha
2) OK, that's the reason for the question
3) Doubtful
4) You don't know a thing about me or my shoes!

I am still laughing over this one. Thanks for the help... I think...

But you'll have to forgive me if I don't get my panties in a buch over not being able to have the "ideal" sub in the "ideal" position in our great room... hahahahaha Posted Image

Cheers,
Keith

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Johnny_M

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Posted May 14 2004 - 11:00 AM

tell your wife your getting a sub, don't let her tell you what to do!!

ps, a sub is a beautiful thing, for the love of everything holy in this world, get the boom boom box!


Johnny

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted May 14 2004 - 01:00 PM

Seriously, in the process of you getting the sub that *you* want, get her a rock. Whenever I plan on an unhideable HT purchase, I always get my wife some jewelry or something. She's happy, I'm happy, we're both happy. Posted Image
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ...

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted May 14 2004 - 01:36 PM

Quote:
...my wife *really* doesn't want a stand lone "black box" in great room and the two in-wall rear centers are already a done deal... actually, she's not that thrilled about towers on either side of the TV...

Sadly, we only have one life on this earth. Sorry, I don't believe in reincarnation. I find it sad that we have to have a room so "preserved" that we can't enjoy it with a few toys.
"My reality check ... just bounced"

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Keith E F

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Posted May 14 2004 - 07:25 PM

Wayne -

Ah, it's not that sad at all - certain things are a compromise others are not. I, like most of you (I am sure) have other, possibly more expensive hobbies than A/V.

I simply want a solid set-up; and I lurked here for a while and searched and searched the archives - I almost bit on a nice deal from CSW, but figured I should ask some of the experts first because the in speaker sub didn't seem ideal to me.

I am by nature, a car guy (sorry Posted Image) - you guys are A/V gurus; we all have our things...

So in the midst of relocating, building a new house, work (I travel globally) and working on my other toys - getting the most for my money is all I am after - you guys helped me make the decision.

And I do appreciate the opinions and the information that you hard core guys have posted here, the archives have helped quite a bit.

Cheers,
KEF


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