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Sub for music only? (1 Viewer)

Wvtvguy

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I've only recently been looking into audio equipment so I apologize if I say something ignorant. I have the Pioneer BS22 speakers & they sound pretty good to me. They're set up in a fairly small room & provide plenty of sound for my needs. However, there's always the itch to improve.

Would a sub be really beneficial for just listening to music? Any recommendations?
 

Jason Charlton

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Most music purists would prefer to have two full-range tower-style speakers and no subwoofer to listen to 2-ch music in "pure" or "direct" mode (i.e. no bass-management or other processing), however that's likely to be a much pricier path to "improve" your system, and not everyone shares that passion for audio purity.


Looking at those bookshelf speakers, they don't offer a whole lot of low-end, so adding a subwoofer would likely result in a noticeable improvement.


But... what are your speakers connected to? If an AVR, does it have a subwoofer pre-out? Also, what sort of budget would you be looking at? There are budget models for
 

Wvtvguy

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This is my first setup. Everything pretty much entry level. Onkyo 7030 CD player, Sony STRDH130 2 channel receiver, & the Pioneer speakers. Next year I'll probably look to upgrade. I know I'll upgrade the receiver. I was just curious if my money would be better spent on a sub or simply getter better speakers.

Opinion on the benefits of a sub are pretty varied I've found.

I listen to some older rock, 60's & 70's r&b / funk, & jazz. Occasional classical music or soundtracks. Strictly CDs right now.
 

schan1269

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Get a bigger pair of speakers. Something with a 6 inch, or larger, woofer.

There are subs with high pass(speaker level inputs/outputs) crossovers*.

However, the vast majority of music is best served with "just a large pair of speakers". Also...larger speakers tend to be more efficient than smaller speakers, and add to that Pio AJ are more inefficient than most. More efficient means greater overall volume...and dynamic range(which this, specifically, is probably more what you are after). Your speakers, by a large margin, determine the overall enjoyment of your system...than anything else.

*a high pass in a subwoofer typically has an 80hz net crossover, regardless what you do with the frequency knob(typically marked 40hz to 150hz). If what I am suspecting is correct...that you aren't happy with the overall speaker dynamic (small speaker, sounding like a small speaker)...yes a sub will help. But...a larger speaker will accomplish the other 95% much better. (conversely, the smallest speakers in any of my systems is the 90s era Polk S6. I listen to tons of music in straight stereo. Every speaker I own plays down to 40hz, with a couple pairs of my towers capable into the 30s)
 

Phil A

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If you like your present speakers, you can look at a Rel sub. They have two sets of inputs. A regular low (line) level for HT and a high (speaker) level with its own crossover and volume control and you cross it over below where the mains drop off. I own 4 of the older ones. Two in the main system, mainly for music (and I have full range speakers) and I have another in a 2-channel only system and another in (like my main system) a mixed AV system.
 

Phil A

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The Rels I have as noted are older models (2 Storm IIIs crossed over at 22HZ) in the main system, a Strata III in a 2-channel system and a Q150 in another integrated system. I set them up with a one third octave RTA (but there are cheaper solutions). Some of them on the used market can go for below $500. Here is an example of one (and I don't know the seller - there are others on Audiogon too). In a room bass frequencies will sum, so you don't want your subwoofer and mains producing the same frequencies and potentially producing a bass bump. Here's what the back a Rel Q150 looks like - http://www.hifidatabase.com/static/gallery/5/6165-1837-IMG_0452.JPG
 

Wvtvguy

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Thanks for all the responses!! I at least have some directions to look in now.
 

andySu

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It takes two/four subs to tango. You can try with one sub but you'd only be chasing your tail around in circles. Multiple subs placed around the room will even out the frequency response for a better, tighter bass with minimal gaps over a single sub that may or would be missing a few frequency notes in some seats, this is common in all homes and it can only be combated with multiple sub/s.


Full range speakers single 12" or 15" with horns will give that rock music the heavy metal demands and the classical music should shine though and be more controlled over smaller speakers but nothing wrong with smaller ones if you want to take an expensive route with DSP crossovers and amps that would be expensive to run groups of speakers sub bass bass mid mid-range and high range horns for wider dynamic range handling with far less distortion.


Plenty of good PA speakers on ebay new or second-hand in good working order. You'd get that bass mid feel from full-range chesty feel like, at a cinema or night-club.


There are many possibilities to chose from.
 

ArmSC

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Wvtvguy said:
I've only recently been looking into audio equipment so I apologize if I say something ignorant. I have the Pioneer BS22 speakers & they sound pretty good to me. They're set up in a fairly small room & provide plenty of sound for my needs. However, there's always the itch to improve.

Would a sub be really beneficial for just listening to music? Any recommendations?

If you feel that the BS22's lack low end then yes you could get a sub to help out with that. I think that getting a sub could also help them sound better depending on the gear that you have. For example if you are running them off of an AVR you will be able to cross the lower frequencies from going to the BS22's. This IMO seems to help them play clearer as they are not struggling to reproduce the low frequencies that the small 4" drivers struggle with. That being said the BS22's are not known for their stellar upper end performance so you still might be chasing the upgrade.


Depending on what you want to spend adding in a sub could be a good way to go. I personally like 2.1 systems but there's nothing wrong with a good set of towers if you have the money/space for them.
 

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