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3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
When looking at a product line of speakers and and making a decision to pair with a subwoofer, what differences will one hear if one speaker goes lower than another?

For example, i'm pondering these: https://www.genelec.com/theones#features

The lower frequency limits are:
8331 - 58 hz
8341 - 45 hz
8351 - 31 hz

Given that these are expensive to start with, i'm edging towards the smallest pair, but what am i losing if i have them hooked up to a subwoofer instead of a larger pair?

Let's say that we have each of the models hooked up to the same brand/make of subwoofer and it's a really good "fast", "clean" (insert hyperbole word here) sub and that the crossovers in each subwoofer are tuned for the speaker atop it, and the room is well treated, calibration has been done, bla bla.

What differences will i hear if the sub takes over at a higher or lower frequency? If i don't care about how loud we're playing why would i not just go with the cheapest one and a good sub, particularly if i'm going to have multiples of them in a surround sound (ambisonic) array?
  • Last Edit: 08 October, 2017, 04:46:35 PM by BearcatSandor
Music lover and recovering high end audiophile

  • 40th.com
  • [*]
Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #1
45 and 58 are not useful for a subwoofer.  Into the 20s is.  And if that, then something like this

https://40th.com/jb/gfx/02_settings_sw.png

demonstrates how something that goes into the 20s is good.  Gut-wrenching good.  Something that stops (or worse) an octave or two above that, is not good.  It's not a subwoofer, anyway.

RTL, and see you have a subwoofer already.  But you don't mention what the subwoofer is. If the subwoofer goes into the 20s I would not worry too much about those, so long as you keep the subwoofer output low enough that you can't locate it by sound.  That might rule out 8331.
  • Last Edit: 08 October, 2017, 08:03:13 PM by 40th.com

  • KozmoNaut
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #2
Keep in mind that the lower frequency response is not the only difference between those speakers. The maximum SPL (and thus headroom) is also greater on the larger speakers. Depending on how loudly you want to play, you should factor that in as well. If you don't care about maximum SPL, even the smallest of those speakers would work with a sub. -6dB at 58Hz means I would probably put the crossover at 80Hz, if you can use a 24db/oct LR crossover. If you have to use a softer slope crossover, you may have to use 100Hz instead, and you may be able to localize the sub by ear, which isn't optimal.

Personally, I would go for speakers with a -3dB response down to around 50Hz (or lower, if possible). Not necessarily to get the crossover point as low as possible, but to give me more flexibility in choosing a crossover point. The usual recommendation is 80Hz, but depending on your room, it can be beneficial to choose a slightly lower or higher frequency. In my room, 70Hz turned out to give the best results.

Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #3
@40th.com I don't have a subwoofer yet, the one i was alluding to was hypothetical. Though they look a little strange, these are not subs, they are single point monitoring (bookshelf-ish) speakers. I'm thinking that you realise that, but your wording was a little confusing.  Yup! I know that the 20hz -30hz range is an awesome place to be.  In fact, i'm looking at a sub that can provide usable audio at 16hz.

@KozmoNaut This speaker brand has an integrated dsp room correction system, so the cross over in the sub will be chosen digitally. That means it makes sense to select a speaker that gives it some room to change the crossover depending on what room it's in (in case i should move home or something).

That said, the specs on the smallest pair (8331) are listed with a low end of 45Hz - 6 dB and a variance of 1.5dB down to 58 Hz.  I don't have an SPL graph for them, but might one make a reasonable guess that they would perform within the -3dB at 50Hz that you state? If i have a twisted 3-layer hexagon of 16 speakers (when i win the lottery) of these for a 3rd order ambisonic array, that i might get enough depth and dB levels from the sheer number of them?  Granted, playing loud is not a goal. I value my [remaining]  hearing. I'll put the W channel though the sub, and the xyz through the 8331 monitors.
Music lover and recovering high end audiophile

Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #4
When looking at a product line of speakers and and making a decision to pair with a subwoofer, what differences will one hear if one speaker goes lower than another?

For example, i'm pondering these: https://www.genelec.com/theones#features

The lower frequency limits are:
8331 - 58 hz
8341 - 45 hz
8351 - 31 hz

Given that these are expensive to start with, i'm edging towards the smallest pair, but what am i losing if i have them hooked up to a subwoofer instead of a larger pair?

Here are some recommendations from a reputable Subwoofer manufacturer (SVS)

Tiny 'satellite' speakers: 150-200 Hz.
Small center, surround, bookshelf: 100-120 Hz.
Mid-size center, surround, bookshelf: 80-100 Hz.
Large center, surround and bookshelf: 60-80 Hz.
Very large center, surround, bookshelf: 40-60 Hz.
Tower speakers with 4”-6” woofers: 60 Hz.
Tower speakers with 8”-10” woofers: 40 Hz or Large/Full-Band (i.e., full-range).

From: https://www.svsound.com/blogs/svs/75366339-digital-bass-management-a-primer

How do these recommendations fit with your plans?



Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #5
That fits just fine actually, thank you. 

Is there any reason to believe the idea that sending frequencies to the (slower?) subwoofer is detrimental compared to keeping as much as possible in the (faster and more point-source than a subwoofer?) monitors and that's why bigger monitors are better, or is that just audiofoolery?  
Music lover and recovering high end audiophile

  • ev13wt
  • [*]
Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #6
If you use the measurment software and mic you get with the ones and one or two Genelec subs (maybe you need to order it separately), it will be fine?

There is a difference between a "one note cheap consumer sub" and a Genelec sub integrated using Genelecs SW.

That said, 45Hz sounds like a nice xover point.


  • ev13wt
  • [*]
Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #7
In fact, i'm looking at a sub that can provide usable audio at 16hz.

Show me that sub :)

16Hz is fan subwoofer territory.  Or are we talking about some huge wall of drivers with 5000W?

  • KozmoNaut
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Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #8
In fact, i'm looking at a sub that can provide usable audio at 16hz.

Show me that sub :)

16Hz is fan subwoofer territory.  Or are we talking about some huge wall of drivers with 5000W?

A pair of DIY Sonotube subs with 18" drivers and enough power behind them should be able to do it.

  • ajinfla
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #9
In fact, i'm looking at a sub that can provide usable audio at 16hz.

Show me that sub :)

16Hz is fan subwoofer territory.  Or are we talking about some huge wall of drivers with 5000W?
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/L12_specs.html
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12SE_specs.html
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: 3 speakers in a product line, same subwoofer. Lower Differences?
Reply #10
This is the one that i'm looking at specifically. https://www.genelec.com/studio-monitors/sam-studio-subwoofers/7380a-sam-studio-subwoofer

Thanks for all the responses so far. I appreciate this board a lot.
Music lover and recovering high end audiophile