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5.0 or 5.1 surround sound


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#1 of 6 mthibod

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Posted January 02 2013 - 04:41 AM

Hi, I have an older 5.0 surround sound speaker setup and am trying to figure out if it is worth it to get a sub-woofer to go to a full 5.1 setup. My main speakers are Tannoy, Mercury M4's with this spec: Drivers: … high frequency 25mm (1") soft dome … low frequency 2 x 165mm (6.5") coated paper cone * Frequency response: 32 - 20,000 Hz * Crossover Frequencies: 2,700 Hz, 500 * Power handling: 70 watts (10 – 100W) * Sensitivity: 91 dB (2,83V/1m) * Impedance: 8 ohms The main contains 2 6.5" cones. One 6.5" handles the mid-range and the other handles below 500Hz. I've read that subwoofers are meant to give you better response in the below 40Hz range. Hopefully getting as low as 20Hz. But, when I look at some of the average subwoofers just on BestBuy, the frequency responses are like 35Hz-150Hz. But my existing tower speakers already go down to 32Hz. What is the point of a sub-woofer that does not go lower than my tower speakers? If I understand this right, my current main speakers have a lower 6.5" cone that go from 32-500Hz. Does anybody out there understand what is the benefit of getting a subwoofer with a frequency response that starts at 35Hz? There are even subwoofers out there that start at 40Hz. Thanks, Mark

#2 of 6 schan1269

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Posted January 02 2013 - 05:03 AM

Where your "subwoofer starts" is the job of the AVR. Modern(since 2008) AVR have bass managment so you(or the onboard Audyssey/YPAO/MCACC etc) pick what the subwoofer does. I prefer AVR with multiple crosovers... HK/Onkyo/Denon/Anthem Which in your case "may" make the most sense over AVR that use single point(Yamaha/Pioneer/Elite). So...yes your speakers will work with "modern 5.1" because of a modern AVR's bass management.

#3 of 6 Jason Charlton

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Posted January 02 2013 - 06:39 AM

Originally Posted by mthibod 

...figure out if it is worth it to get a sub-woofer to go to a full 5.1 setup.


IMO, it's always worth it to use a subwoofer and go 5.1 vs. 5.0.


The lower frequencies draw the most power from your amp.  Using a smartly set crossover and subwoofer to relieve your mains from having to do the "grunt" work will benefit the rest of the frequency response from your mains.


I suppose if you had absolute top-of-the-line powered main speakers with large built-in subwoofers the line may be blurred slightly, but I am a firm believer in using the right tool (or speaker) for the job.


In terms of the "specs" on subs you're finding at BB, that's not the best place to shop for quality subwoofers.  Manufacturers of decent speakers (like Polk, Klipsch, etc.) don't make very good subwoofers.


Check out SVS, Hsu, Epik, and Lava to start.  There are lots of others - check out the other threads in this forum for more ideas.


If you can provide a budget, we can offer specific options.


Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#4 of 6 Robert_J

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Posted January 02 2013 - 10:22 AM

Frequency response: 32 - 20,000 Hz

What's the deviation on that measurement? + or - 3db or 10db? My speakers are basically flat to 35hz because that is where the enclosure is tuned to. My subs are flat to 15hz and -3db at about 12hz. My speakers have 100w or so pushing them. My 15" subs have 800w on each. Bass requires power and a receiver can't provide the power required for some of today's action movies.

#5 of 6 schan1269

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Posted January 02 2013 - 10:31 AM

"What's the deviation on that measurement? + or - 3db or 10db?" There is no way to know that. Those were made 1998-2001. Being Tannoy, I'd say -6...at worst. I've found them on 6 different "digest" sites and they all say 32-20,000 with no additional info. Likely Tannoy didn't provide it.

#6 of 6 gene c

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Posted January 02 2013 - 11:05 AM

"Does anybody out there understand what is the benefit of getting a subwoofer with a frequency response that starts at 35Hz?" Not much unless it's pared with simple satellite surround speakers in a casual setup. I like to think 30 hz is the highest low frequency a subwoofer should have. " There are even subwoofers out there that start at 40Hz." Sounds more like the famed "Bass Module" to me. But again, if you're just looking for a little added low end for a fairly simple bedroom/kids room then 40 hz is still better than nothing and can add a little something to the over-all enjoyment of the system. Frequency response is only one reason to get a powered sub. It will also allow you to use your receivers bass management capabilities to take some of the strain off the receivers amplifier. It offers better placemnt options to get the best bass response your room has to offer and it gives something else for Audyssey MultEQ XT to adjust if your receiver has Audyssey MultEQ XT. But adding an "average" 35 hz subwoofer to those Tannoy's would be considered criminal activity around here. Get a pre-built 23 hz or lower model, look for a quality subwoofer in "kit" form or ask Robert to help you build a real subwoofer (12 hz!...:eek: . There are several threads on the subject. Give them a read. BW, I recently picked up some Infinity IL50's with a 10" powered subwoofer (or so they call it) and I have the crossover set to 60. They're listed at 32-22,000 hz +/- 3 db.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 





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