Do you use a subwoofer with music? Why or Why Not?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Flyingbase, Aug 29, 2018.

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Do you use a subwoofer when listening to music

  1. Yes, Bass is a must

    92 vote(s)
    55.1%
  2. No, Speakers only for me

    66 vote(s)
    39.5%
  3. No, But I plan to

    7 vote(s)
    4.2%
  4. Yes, But I am unhappy with the result

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  1. Flyingbase

    Flyingbase Active Member

    Messages:
    107
    I know the use of a sub woofer is highly subjective (and opinionated) but I am curious to why some to use or not use subs?

    Personally I do much prefer a sub tuned so the only acoustic evidence of its presences is an extension into the lower frequency range and more authority when listening to intentionally bass heavy music such as rap, edm, or club. With out a sub many songs in these genres seem to be too thin
     
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  2. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,447
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I use a pair of NHT W2 subs with my Magnapan MGIIIa speakers, but only run them from 47hz down. they blend perfectly and add low end solidity to some genres of music. I do run them full time with a NHT X1 crossover powered by a Acurus A200 amp.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
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  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,771
    Location:
    MI, US
    I want to, but have no wall space to add subs. What really interests me is a distributed bass array (usually four subwoofers), plus, I would want sub-20Hz response if I an going to go through the bother of installing and tuning the subs.

    I've read that the best way to tune subs is so they are not heard--in other words, nothing stands out as being bass-heavy, but once you turn them off, you feel as though something is missing.
     
  4. Flyingbase

    Flyingbase Active Member

    Messages:
    107
    I agree with your description of how they should be tuned totally. I only want to know the sub is there if its a song where most of the musicality is in the bass region. I've found that I notice my sub is turned off or on the most in classic rock, besides of course edm, rap, etc, With the addition of a sub I was able to hear much more of the bass players intricacies and the rock organs depth
     
  5. SWL3600

    SWL3600 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    Twin Lakes, WI
    I use horn loaded subs tuned at/below where my speakers roll off (36hz). I also use a Mini-Dsp HD 2x4 to control them. This was big.

    I've over the years had several DR subs. SVS, Velodyne, Klipsch, EV etc. They have their place but it's not in a two-channel system for music only. It wasn't until I integrated horn loaded bass into my system that I realized the hype was real. It's clean, tight, natural sounding bass that isn't boomy. No rumble and not artificial sounding.

    The only real downside is that they are BIG and there's no way around that. Compromises can be made....to a point....but they're pretty much gonna be big no matter what.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  6. FONSguy

    FONSguy Super Member

    Messages:
    2,424
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    My speakers don't need help on the bass. 2 KEF 104aB's per side with 315 RMS/channel works just fine. I HATE boomyness, but they do go deep.
     

     

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  7. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,635
    Yes, but I also run my speakers full range with my bass.

    Sounds better.

    So there....:rflmao:
     
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  8. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    I use a sub to produce the low frequency notes that sometimes gets under-produced by a typical amplifier and speaker set-up. You can adjust the level of bass feel and thump. You can get a nicely toned result at low volume with the right settings, and you can literally get a wall pounding, room filling sound result with the right settings and music.
     
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  9. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Messages:
    16,084
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Wildcat is 100% correct about a properly adjusted subwoofer(s).

    There are very few "full range" speakers that are flat to 20Hz in any room. If you're talking stand mounted there is little to no possibility of flat response to 30Hz let alone 20Hz.

    There is a reason why most all out assaults on the speaker state of the art include their own powered subwoofers. They need them produce true deep bass to the 20Hz area. True deep bass provides a foundation to music even if there is no actual music in that frequency range. This is especially evident with most classical music and most live recordings. If a decent sub sounds boomy it's almost always because it's not properly integrated.

    FWIW: I've been running two 12" TL subs for more than 20 years.
     
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  10. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Super Member

    Messages:
    2,963
    Location:
    Northern California
    Yes I use my subs when listening to music. I also leave my mains full-range, as they do contribute quite a bit of bass.
     
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  11. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,501
    Location:
    Aggieland
    My speakers don't do the very lowest octaves so I use a sub that cuts in where my mains peter out, and even then it's not very obvious. It adds a foundation that the mains alone cannot supply. It's really only noticeable when it's taken out of the circuit and even then only on certain music.
     
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  12. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I don't need to run a sub for music as my main speakers, Aerial Acoustic Model 8, have a 10" woofer in a 61 liter rear ported box tuned to 19 Hz.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Superampman

    Superampman AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,871
    Location:
    Kitchener, ON.
    If you're turning up the bass with tone controls, then you need subs.
     
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  14. Superampman

    Superampman AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,871
    Location:
    Kitchener, ON.
    Those ARE subs.
     
  15. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    eh...I define a subwoofer as a separate box with a large woofer in it.

    I define the Model 8s as a 3-way speaker. :)
     
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  16. winters860

    winters860 Super Member

    Messages:
    4,155
    Location:
    Dirtbag, Ohio
    I am absolutely of the belief that seperate subs are certainly the best no-compromise solution for music

    I'd throw in a few cavaets, though:

    First, there should be multiple subs - at least two. Second, you'll need better EQ than a plate amp provides. Break down and buy a DSP with an output for each sub. Third, inexpensive home theater subs ain't gonna cut it. If somebody tells you that there's a sub under $400 that, by itself or in multiples, is worth trying for music, then this advice goes against my experiences.

    In short, if you can't do distributed bass with high-end subs and a speaker management system, skip subs entirely and focus on a pair of mains that offer enough low frequency reproduction to be a satisfying consolation prize.
     
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  17. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,972
    Yes and no depending upon system.

    Main system upstairs measures flat (actually slight room rise) to ~28 hz using single large dipolar electrostatic panels. I get phenomenal definition on concert bass drum "twacks" and synthesized bass.

    Good enough and exceptionally neutral sounding.

    Stats in HT are much smaller and require assistance from a pair of powered subs. This was a much trickier system to optimize for the most linear measured response as there are more variables. Unlike the main system, I am limited in placement but experimented with dozens of combinations of high pass, low pass, sub level and parametric EQ settings. Settled on high pass at 60 hz, low pass at 50 hz with two selective bands of attenuation using the processor's parametric EQ.

    Neutral across the bottom three octaves except for about +3 db at 50 hz and -2 db at 30 hz.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  18. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    Can't imagine any system that would not be improved by the integration of high quality subs. Linkwitz says the most accurate bass comes from OB's and I'd have to agree.
     
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  19. House de Kris

    House de Kris Loud-n-Deep

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, I use subwoofers for music. Why? Because I like to make as best attempt as possible to achieve a full range response. And before you ask, I use tweeters for music as well. Why? Again, to attempt to achieve a full range response. I'll also throw in for free that I use midranges and woofers for music as well.

    I would probably not be addicted to dub today if I never owned a system with a subwoofer in it.
     
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  20. FONSguy

    FONSguy Super Member

    Messages:
    2,424
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    Anyone have a list of recordings that HAVE 20 hz material in it?
     
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