Adding a subwoofer question

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by danDo, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. danDo

    danDo Agent

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    Hi all,

    I am completly new to any kind of audio besides that which came out of my TV sets and portable radios. There is a long story involved, but the short story is that I have a Bose acoustimass 10 setup in my almost finsihed HT in my basement. The wires have been run and there is really no option of removing them to replace with somehting else. I add this last statement because about 2.5 weeks ago I found this site and read a lot of the bose opinions and replies of "get rid of them and get something better" is not going to be helpful.

    I am actually happy with the sound coming out of the speakers themselves. The theater area is relativly small (~14'x12') and it is not completly enclosed. More of a back wall that the couch rests against and a "L" shape wall facing it. Kind of like(I hope this works):

    ----------wall----------|
    ..SR.....couch......SL....|
    ..........................|
    ............................|
    ............................| W
    ............................| A
    ..R........C.........L......| L
    W| pull down screen...| L
    A|............................|
    L|............................|
    L|TV, DVD player, etc...|
    ----------wall-----------


    [EDIT]Bah, looks like crud, but I think you get the idea [EDIT]
    The sound is a VAST improvement over what I had previously, so I am happy, with one exception: I would just like to feel the bass more... or at all. I have everything set up to get the maximum out of the system. The acoustimass module needs to be ~2" away from a wall to hear the bass and that is all you get, the sound of bass. You don't feel it at all. I am not looking to have my teeth rattle or boot shake, but even a little something would be better than nothing.

    So, I was looking at the "subwoofer out" on the back of my receiver (Yamaha HTR-5730) and wondering if I could buy a small subwoofer(read inexpensive), plug it in, and use the acoustimass to just drive the 5 speakers? I read on this forum that I definatly do not want a "real" subwoofer driving my speakers as they will quickly go the way of the dodo bird. Would I be able to get more of a feel of bass from this setup than my current setup? If so, any recommendations on a decent, inexpensive sub?

    Lastly. If, down the road, I decide to replace the bose speakers, can I use the thin wire that came with the system or would I need to attempt to pull larger speaker wires for them? My gut instinct is to use larger speaker wire, but though I would ask as long as I was typing this up.

    Thanks for any and all help.

    Dan
     
  2. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Dan;
    I'm not going to ride you about using an Acoustimass system. Far too many people here forget that listening is very subjective and if it sounds good to you, then that's what matters.

    I do have some suggestions for you, but I'd like to know what your idea of 'inexpensive' is for a subwoofer. Depending upon the room height, assuming its average (8' to 12'), with a small to medium-sized room, you should be able to get away with a sub in the range of $250.00 - $400.00. If this is more than you're willing to spend, you might need to re-set your expectations. If this is in your range, I have a few suggestions for you.

    If (as I assume) the Acoustimass system is just getting powered from your speaker outs on the Yamaha, you can most certainly use the sub pre-out to route the ~100Hz and lower signal to a powered sub. I'm not sure what crossover settings the 5730 has, but I would shoot for 80-100Hz for this setting once you do incorporate a powered sub.

    In regards to your speaker wire question, the thicker the gauge, the less strain you're putting on your receiver to power the speakers with. I'm not sure what gauge wire comes w/the Acoustimass setup, but if at some point you do decide to swap out the Bose cubes for other speakers, I would strongly suggest replacing it with at least 16 awg (gauge)wire, possibly as large at 12 awg. Remember, the thicker the gauge, the less strain on the amp and the smoother it can provide the speakers with an unadulterated signal.

    When you have an opportunity to provide the budget constraints, I'll fire some suggestions your way and info on each... -TD
     
  3. darek

    darek Auditioning

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    Is the Acoustimass connected to the sub out jack on your receiver or is that jack free? If it's free then I'm assuming the Acoustimass is powering your speakers with it's own internal amp(s) and is sending the high frequencies to the satellites and the low frequencies to it's internal subwoofer. In that case you probably could hook up another sub using the sub out jack on your receiver and set all the speakers to small. Try it and let us know how it works out. [​IMG]
     
  4. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't seen an Acoustimass setup, but I imagine the sub has a built-in crossover where the speakers are connected and the sub unit has wiring to the speaker outs of the receiver.

    From what Dan was saying, it looks like the sub pre-out is free, so he definitely should be able to use it and configure it appropriately with the Yamaha's crossover settings. -TD
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You might check out the Dayton sub from PartsExpress. It seems to be king in the
     
  6. danDo

    danDo Agent

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    Sorry for the late reply... when I got home from work yesterday the UPS truck was in the driveway with our new projector. Well I am sure you know what my last night was all about. Unfortunatly I will have to return the 4805 because my wife sees rainbows [​IMG]


    Anyways... yes the sub woofer jack is completly unused right now. As far a budget goes, if I wait 3-4 months the $250-$400 range sounds like it will work for me.

    From what you all are saying, it seems that I can definatly hook up the sub w/o any problems, I will just need to make sure I fiddle with the receiver to send it all out the sub port.

    Recommendations of models would definatly be helpful. If anyone knows of a general guide to audio on line or in book format I would love to learn a bit more. I am an EE, so it does not need to be audio for dummies. I took the digital route not analog so I am very well out of pracice.

    Thanks for your help so far.

    Dan
     
  7. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's a my top short list of sub options between the $200-$400.00 range (click on name to open URL for product:

    Rocket ULW-10 White Shadow Maple or Walnut finish Subwoofer

    There's a good review of it here. It's a bit over with shipping, but very good reviews on it.

    Dayton TITSK-10K 10" Titanic MKIII subwoofer kit

    If you have minimal skills with power tools (e.g., cordless drill or old-fashion flathead/crosshead screwdrivers and hammer), the Dayton TITSK-10K 10" Titanic MKIII subwoofer kit for $358.80 w/free shipping may be one of the best deals available. This particular kit is supposedly quite simple to assemble in less than an hour and has had very good feedback. There's a good review of it here.

    Cambridge SoundWorks Newton SeriesĀ® P200 Powered Subwoofer (refurbed)

    Cambridge SoundWorks (CSW) has an eBay store in which they sell their returns and refurbished products, fairly often you can find the P200 there. Out of 4 or 5 items I've purchased from there, all of them looked brand new and were about 30-45% cheaper than buying them new from CSW. This is a nice sub with good numbers that comes in at about $336.00 b/f shipping, approx. $20.00 more with. Excellent return policy and service w/CSW, too. More detail on it can be found directly on Cambridge Soundworks website here.

    I'd feel pretty confident saying you'd be happy with any one of these in your system. I'll supply some information on how you can set your receiver up with these later as well. Look at the links for each and related reviews for background on each. You can also do a search on AudioReview.com to get user feedback on them. -TD
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Dan: I was checking out the .pdf manual for the Acoustimass 10 system, and buried on one of the "setting up" pages (p.10) is a rather inconspciuous note which says make sure to connect the RCA plug of the "system input cable" to the LFE/sub out connector of your receiver. And p.13 lists the proper receiver settings-all speakers are set to large, sub on.

    I don't believe that such a small subwoofer will produce much-if any-subsonic bass whatever way it is connected. But until you buy a true subwoofer, maybe using the sub out jack (with the receiver set to "yes-subwoofer") will squeeze out a bit more bass.
     
  9. danDo

    danDo Agent

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    LanceJ,

    I did not realize that there was a newer one, but I have the acoustimass 10 seies II system. There is no RCA plug on the bose system, just the speaker wires from the receiver to the bose box and then from the box to the speakers.


    Tom,

    Thanks for the links. I am currently up to my armpits with a 1.5 year old so I will have to wait until tomorrow or monday to check them out.
     
  10. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    You're lucky that's all you're up to your armpits in... [​IMG]

    As you mentioned, it would likely be 3-4 months before you could do this, so take your time in researching this when possible. I'll see if I can update you w/some info on the setup process for you Yammy later and if you have any questions on those suggestions or others, lemme know... -TD
     

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