do i *really* need a sub?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean Patrick, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    ok, before sending this to the newbie forum, hear me out.

    for a few years i've had a 5-speaker dolby digital setup in an apartment with the LF sent to my mains (10 year old DCM's that sound sweeter and sweeter every year i have them). but there was always that "kick" i knew my system was missing, mainly with bass and the overall sound quality.

    so this week my wife and i finally moved into our new house and i was eager to get a subwoofer to finally get that extra kick to the sound. little did i know that i would get that kick WITHOUT a sub...

    After setting everything up in the new (larger) living room, we watched a dvd tonight (X Men) with the SAME receiver/dvd settings as we had in our apt....

    and the sound was PHENOMENAL. More than phenomenal. It was breathtaking.

    Some scenes had the bass surging through our chests like only the loudest theatres could, and this was without a subwoofer. Dialog sounded clear, loud, and part of the mix, like it does in the best theaters. This sounded like a completely different sound system, but it was still just my meager HK AVR75, and still without a sub.

    I think my old apartment (3rd floor/thin walls and floors) was sucking all the fidelity from my sound....Could the acoustics in my new living room make it unnecessary for a sub? I can't imagine more bass unless getting a sub meant just separating it from my main speakers for more discreet audio.

    I guess what i'm asking is...could there be "proper" 5.1 sound with the bass being sent to the mains w/o a sub? i sure like what i heard tonight. i even put Fight Club in later, and i thought my house was going to explode (I even went outide to see if people would hear it, luckily the walls outside were silent even during the plane crash scene).

    and in a lot of ways, i'm afraid to change anything (i love what i heard tonight).

    anyway, any comments/help appreciated, i am still open to buying a sub, i know you guys have a lot more knowledge than I do about these things, that's why i posted here instead of the basic forum.

    thanks
     
  2. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    You know how good it sounds now...Just think how good it will sound with a dedicated powered sub for the LFE. Get a SPL level meter and calibrate (entire system) for a full balanced sound. Good luck!!

    PS...Power/Balance make a great combo!!
     
  3. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I'd need more information on your speakers to say for sure. But I highly doubt they have any real sub 30hz output and the 30-40hz output likely won't be stealer. That plane crash with is so different when played with a quality sub that can play down to 20hz with authority. There is a lot of 20hz info in that scene you'll be missing with just towers. Very few movie theatre have bass that can come even close to a good HT sub (they are just too big to pressurize).

    However, that being said, it's tough to get a really good sub cheap. Subs with enough lowend output for HT in moderately sized rooms don't really start until around $500USD with the exceptional performers in the $1500-$2500 range.
     
  4. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    that's the thing, i don't have a lot of money to spend and a $750 subwoofer is out of the question (about to buy a 16:9 finally)......

    I guess i'm just wondering if i'm crazy for NOT getting a sub right now, since i'd be getting a relatively cheap one anyway ($500) and wouldn't want much more bass than i heard tonight *without* a sub (and i like my music and bass LOUD, and it was actually louder than i am used to!!!).

    maybe if i get a decent sub and re-configure my speakers to my receiver (large/small etc) that would make a difference? I would like discreet bass with a sub if it didn't mean deafening bass (which would be the next step up from what i heard tonight) :)

    thanks guys

    sean
     
  5. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    There's not to many spks ($$$$$) that can play as low as a great dedicated sub. If there is, you could probably buy 4-5 subs for the amount of the spks. Good luck!!
     
  6. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I agree, I've never heard a system that didn't need a sub. I have on the other hand, met people who didn't need a sub. [​IMG]
     
  7. shankar

    shankar Stunt Coordinator

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    You don't have to spend $750 for a good powered sub. I have the AR S112PS sub I got for $130. The Sony sub has had tremendous response and it is less than $200 at best buy. Try those.
     
  8. Norman Short

    Norman Short Stunt Coordinator

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    Recommend you spend a little time with your current setup and check out different DVDs and music. Obviously your new room has improved the acoustics and your system has room to breathe now. That improvement is probably not trivial and it's hard to judge one improvement while you're still in euphoric glee with the new one. Every time I've upgraded, whether it be by equipment or a new room (built a dedicated room last year) it seems phenomenally better than the old sound at first. And it *is* better, make no mistake. But you will grow used to the new improved sound and you'll end up wondering if a sub really could make an improvement. Luckily if you buy a sub at SVS, and I'm sure at least some of the other manufacturers as well, you can try it out and you're only out shipping costs if you don't think the improvement worth the dollars. With SVS you have 45 days to decide if you want to return the sub. Most people only return a sub when they decide to spend yet more money and upgrade, such as the exodus of people from the CS line to the CS+ when it came out. Nothing wrong with the CS, but some people just wont sit on their laurels with possibly better output on the horizon.

    At the $500 range, I'd recommend either the Rava from Adire audio or getting a 25-31CS or a 20-39CS and a plate amp from partsexpress.com I believe you would find that your regular speakers have more room to breathe if they aren't saddled with the LFE track and all the bass from the regular channels as well. I am not familiar with your brand of speakers so I can't say whether you're really getting everything you would like at the bottom octave of sound, or the output for big effects sounds such as explosions. You wont know until you try.

    Norman Short
     
  9. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Listen to Norman, well put.
     
  10. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    i really appreciate all of your help guys. I will probably buy one now (after i get the new TV).

    are you guys familiar with the Harmon Kardon AVR75 receiver? will a sub like the Sony (will probably go the cheap-but-decent route for now) fit that receiver ok?

    thanks again for talking me back into getting a sub.
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    If you can spend more I'd strongly recommend doing so. On the cheap you could get an SVS 25-31CS ($369 and way beyond the Sony). Then to power it either of these plate amps would do:
    250W ($130)
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...=9388&CATID=43
    160W ($80)
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...=9387&CATID=43
    The first one is supposed to be shipping with the boost disabled which is good. The second is not. The page has a PDF file that explains how to modify the boost by simply changing 2 resistors. If you can solder or know someone who can it's a really simple and cheap matter to make the modification. You could also ask Parts Express if they will make the change for you, I seem to remember post that said they are willing to do so.
    For either amp, I'd get the boost changed to 1dB at 25hz.
    Or just get a SVS 25-31PCi at $550.
     
  12. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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