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Subwoofer advice needed

At this moment I have the NAD C388 and B&W CM10 s2 speakers.

They sound fine, but I somehow I like the port on the back closed. This gives the most accurate bassnotes, but at the same time the very lowest end is missing a little bit (I think). Subwoofers just go quite a lot deeper.

I have been looking at fairly affordable subs that have a good match with my main speakers and I narrowed it down to the SVS SB-1000 and the SVS SB-2000. I deliberately opted for a sealed enclosure because I like the sound more.

I'm a bit tight on space and doubt between 2 sb1000 subs or 1 sb-2000. For some reason putting 1 sub in a pure stereo setup sounds wrong to me, but maybe I'm mistaken.

With some creativity I can place the SB-2000 next to my right speaker (corner), but placing 2 sb-1000's is a quite a challenge and also not wife proof I'm afraid..

Would love to hear your opinions. Should I just stick with the single SB-2000 and be happy with it, or should I go the (almost impossible) 2x SB-1000 route or maybe there are even people saying "buy 2 or buy none". I'd love to hear the opinions!

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #1
Quote
For some reason putting 1 sub in a pure stereo setup sounds wrong to me, but maybe I'm mistaken.
Deep bass is "non-directional",  it's usually bass is centered in the mix (identical in both channels), and typically there is only one subwoofer output from your receiver (or computer, etc.).    However, it looks like those subs have a built-in crossover so you may have a bit more flexibility. 

With multiple woofers/subs there is more opportunity to minimize the effects of standing waves but there are (almost) always compromises and most home systems use only one sub.

Quote
They sound fine, but I somehow I like the port on the back closed....

...I deliberately opted for a sealed enclosure because I like the sound more.
Of course you should go with the sound you prefer.    But, you can make a good speaker either way and there are lots of design factors & compromises and lots of ways to make a good speaker (and even more ways to make a bad speaker :D) ).    
 

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #2
Thank you DVDdoug,

Good to hear 1 sub is a good option. 2 subs would be a serious hassle to fit because I have a huge fishtank that is situated with the CM10's footprint in mind and a little extra space around them, so fitting one sub is already a challenge.

The living room is quite large, but I just cannot lift the aquarium and shift it some inches to the left. It weighs around 1500 kilo's.

PS, my amplifier (C388 NAD) does have stereo subwoofer pre-outs. So that is taken care of.
Every quality subwoofer I know has stereo inputs so that is not a problem.

 

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #3
Just to let you know. I've been to a good hifi store where I have bought my CM10's and NAD and I ordered the B&W DB4S subwoofer. Quite a new model. A bit (a lot!) above my initial budget, but it's so damn advanced compared to the average subwoofer. No dials and switches, everything happens inside the amplifier via a bluetooth connection. You can set a lot more parameters.

Only problem left... I have to wait till wednesday or thursday before my sub arrives  :-[  :-[

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #4
Subwoofer placement -- choosing where you put it/them -- is actually important, and significantly affects the results.  If you have no time or inclination to find the optimal spot systematically, a corner is often recommended as the default, as it 'activates' the most modes in a room.


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Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #5
Thank you. I know placement is important, but I in fact have only one position that is realistic.
It is a corner indeed. If I place it somewhere else my main speaker ends up in the corner and I think that is not the best position for a fullrange speaker to go.

The DB4S does have a calibration system. I hope this works good enough to overcome any room problems. Until now I have had little problems with my listening room, apart from a fibrating window above the door that needed some silicone sealant.

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #6
Actually

1) One sub is a bad idea, or a good one for poor performance with stereo music in a real room..
2) If one sub, used below 60hz, nearfield, as in as close as possible, is the best position.
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #7
At this moment I have the NAD C388 and B&W CM10 s2 speakers.

They sound fine, but I somehow I like the port on the back closed. This gives the most accurate bassnotes, but at the same time the very lowest end is missing a little bit (I think). Subwoofers just go quite a lot deeper.

I have been looking at fairly affordable subs that have a good match with my main speakers and I narrowed it down to the SVS SB-1000 and the SVS SB-2000. I deliberately opted for a sealed enclosure because I like the sound more.

I'm a bit tight on space and doubt between 2 sb1000 subs or 1 sb-2000. For some reason putting 1 sub in a pure stereo setup sounds wrong to me, but maybe I'm mistaken.

With some creativity I can place the SB-2000 next to my right speaker (corner), but placing 2 sb-1000's is a quite a challenge and also not wife proof I'm afraid..

Would love to hear your opinions. Should I just stick with the single SB-2000 and be happy with it, or should I go the (almost impossible) 2x SB-1000 route or maybe there are even people saying "buy 2 or buy none". I'd love to hear the opinions!

Hello Fairy,
Only one sub is needed. HiFi (audiophile) stores want to sell more than one component for obvious reasons, their profit. Just get one.

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #8
Actually

1) One sub is a bad idea, or a good one for poor performance with stereo music in a real room..

Agreed, if more than one listening seat is involved.   One sub is  likely not the best possible situation with just one seat, but it's likely better than nothing.

Quote
2) If one sub, used below 60hz, nearfield, as in as close as possible, is the best position.

By what metric(s)?


(NB actually determining 'best', objectively, requires in-room measurements)

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #9
I'm setting up my sub. You can even select your main speakers if they are B&W.

I found out that with Phase 0, the sub seems to cancel out the main speakers and with 180 degrees they work together.

How is this possible when the speakers are lined up perfectly next to each other?
My speakers are not out of phase, + to +, - to -.

I have exactly 30 minutes of experience with subs so bare with me :)

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #10
Agreed, if more than one listening seat is involved.
It has nothing to do with seats and everything to do with mono (one sub) having zero chance of reproducing inter-aural spatial effects/lateralisation etc, as has been covered many times here, including many AES links by your truly. Einstein rules of insanity applies.

By what metric(s)?
All. Nearfield = zero modal problems at seat. Nothing to "correct" (and/or "incorrect" elsewhere).
Only issue might be phase due to propagation delay vs the mains, but the lower you cross, the less that matters as the low pass filter of the sub will automatically introduce a delay...and it will all appear in the frequency domain at given crossover, so easily measured (though not necessarily heard, depending on Q of any notch).

Please read, there are links to over 40 studies compiled https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/conferences/?elib=17270

Loudspeaker manufacturer


Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #12
I certainly got significantly more even bass response in my very sub-optimal (ha ha) living room by adding a second identical subwoofer. The crossover point (24db/oct L-R) is at 70hz and I've applied room correction EQ based on REW measurements.

I did try running them as stereo subs for a short while (they're equidistant from my normal listening position), but it didn't give any improvement that I could discern. However, my Driverack DSP doesn't support seperate EQ on each output channel, so I'd like to upgrade to a more powerful model at some point, and try individual EQ on stereo subs in the future.

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #13
So a takeaway from this is that for example in a regular home theater, if you have two subs and those fancy new receivers with 2 sub outputs, it's better to actually run the subs as stereo by passing through the front L and R channels, and routing the LFE channel to those as well, than to connect the subs to their respective outputs? AFAIK those two sub outputs are still mono, only independently equalized.

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #14
So a takeaway from this is that for example in a regular home theater...
HT primarily involves mono bass, like most pop music, but unlike some forms of stereophonic music, mainly acoustic. So the takeaway is to apply the concepts to ones own needs and preferences
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #15
Agreed, if more than one listening seat is involved.
It has nothing to do with seats and everything to do with mono (one sub) having zero chance of reproducing inter-aural spatial effects/lateralisation etc, as has been covered many times here, including many AES links by your truly. Einstein rules of insanity applies.

By what metric(s)?
All. Nearfield = zero modal problems at seat. Nothing to "correct" (and/or "incorrect" elsewhere).
Only issue might be phase due to propagation delay vs the mains, but the lower you cross, the less that matters as the low pass filter of the sub will automatically introduce a delay...and it will all appear in the frequency domain at given crossover, so easily measured (though not necessarily heard, depending on Q of any notch).

Please read, there are links to over 40 studies compiled https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/conferences/?elib=17270

We can consider two questions: whether one sub in a system is better than none, or whether multiple subs are better than one.  An auxiliary issue would be, are the main speakers 'full range' or not? 

The 2006 Wilson/Meridian review that you cite considers the literature of multiple subwoofers versus one (and to a degree, full range mains versus limited mains).  It  doesn't really consider none vs one, which was something I addressed above.   The OP thinks 1 sub in a stereo setup 'sounds wrong' but I would say it's likely better than no sub, given that it offers more flexibility in locating the LF source  (that said, the OP's personal situation appears to preclude most locations, and it could be that his limited placement options  'sound wrong', but many factors could be in play ) .  I don't question that multiple are able to offer better sound than one.

The paper reviewed what we knew in 2006 about how to provide uniform bass across a listening area (i.e., taming modal issues) and how to provide low-frequency spatial information  ('stereo bass' -- i.e, a system where subs are receiving different signals). I don't see in it a recommendation for nearfield subwoofer placement.    It does favor multiple subs for addressing both issue  -- at least two to allow 'presentation of spatial information' . If anything , the review appears to find the most promise in a system with 5 full-range loudspeakers + DSP.

It is however unclear to me from that review whether 'stereo bass'  matters in typical-sized consumer rooms.  It's not something that gets cited a lot as a 'must have', even now 12 years later. (For decades during the analog era,  bass was 'summed to mono' in commercial releases anyway. )  If it *is* a goal, then we need at least two LF sources and they need to have some left-right side-to-side separation.  I certainly don't dispute that.  But I'm honestly not sure I have ever really experienced 'stereo bass' in a home setup.     I'm curious to do so.

I haven't read all the cited references, except for the Welti/Harman-originated ones I'm familiar with from years ago.

Re: Subwoofer advice needed

Reply #16
We can consider two questions: whether one sub in a system is better than none
No, not unless you want to Strawman or Red Herring the discussion.
The discussion is about a sub or subs.

I don't see in it a recommendation for nearfield subwoofer placement.
That was my recommendation and for the stated reasons.

It does favor multiple subs for addressing both issue  -- at least two to allow 'presentation of spatial information' . If anything , the review appears to find the most promise in a system with 5 full-range loudspeakers + DSP.

I haven't read all the cited references
The latter is very important to the former, as there are results about perception of spatial info related to room modal excitement as well.
We've been over this many times before as the search engine will attest to.
There is also the caveats of individual preferences and needs for bass SQ based on music types/HT etc.
Not a one size fits all scenario. YMMV
Loudspeaker manufacturer

 
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