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#405807 - 06/26/14 06:23 PM How important are Sub's in HT
oakvillematt Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 159
Loc: Oakville, Canada
I upgraded to the LFR1100 that has the HP speakers that can go pretty low. But I do have a cheep Mirage Sub kicking around. I am wondering if the LFE channel will sound as good coming from the fronts or if a sub is pretty much a must to have?

Then you get into 1 sub or 2. A big sub or several smaller ones. I'd like not to spend too much but this game seems to be getting expensive for me.
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#405809 - 06/26/14 06:48 PM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 981
From what I read all over the net, subs (preferably 2 or more) are pretty well essential for proper HT sound reproduction. I agree.

Most speakers, unless stratospherically priced, cannot equal the output & low freqs of a decent powered sub or two.

Furthermore, the sub(s) take the load off the amp/receiver as the LFE is handled by the subs' amps thus allowing only the mids & highs to be driven by the amp/receiver.

For me, bookshelves, each with its own sub, is the most cost effective approach. Others prefer towers & sub(s)...

TAM

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#405811 - 06/26/14 08:49 PM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: exlabdriver]
oakvillematt Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 159
Loc: Oakville, Canada
Here is where I start to question that general logic.

Originally Posted By: exlabdriver
From what I read all over the net, subs (preferably 2 or more) are pretty well essential for proper HT sound reproduction.

Most speakers, unless stratospherically priced, cannot equal the output & low freqs of a decent powered sub or two.

Furthermore, the sub(s) take the load off the amp/receiver as the LFE is handled by the subs' amps thus allowing only the mids & highs to be driven by the amp/receiver.

For me, bookshelves, each with its own sub, is the most cost effective approach. Others prefer towers & sub(s)...

TAM


So, logic would break your statement down into several parts.

I will agree that movies and the general HT require that you reproduce down into the lower octaves where a Sub will do a far better job than the average speaker can. The spec for a THX speaker I have been told is that it can reproduce down to the 80hz. And the THX sub can take over from that cross over point and below. But that is a pretty open point as most decent speakers sold today can do that. Maybe not the small micro bookshelf ones, but most decent sized speaker.

So you look at Axioms M2 and it's pretty good down to 70hz. But a movie needs to get down to what?

So then you look at your comment on stratospherically priced speakers. Well, compared to the M2's the LFR1100 would be considered very expensive at over 10x the cost. And the frequency and loudness of the speaker justifies the cost. It can easily get down to the 32hz mark without too much sound loss.

Then I compare it to my Mirage PS8 subwoofer that is spec'd 29~100hz. So in comparison to the M2's that can work down to 70, the larger M80, M100 or LFR1100, you are only out by a few hz from what a common sub will produce. Even Axiom EP350 only does 26hz.

So going for a larger sub that gets down to the 16hz, or 12hz is far more overkill than any movie will generally produce.

So then you get to your point, you split the power off to another amp channel. Yes, except with the LFR you are already going to a dedicated 4 channel amp to power the two speakers, so you put next to no taxation onto a receiver. And Axioms own ADA1500 is only 300w with 5 channels driven. So my Anthem at 250w isn't too far off. You are right its not 800w like an EP800.

So comes the other question, if you are offloading the deeper base to a sub, then why bother with a tower speaker at all as you are never using the low frequencies.

But then again, a part of me says that if you can get the receiver to still give the sound to your fronts, and supplement the lower freqencies with a sub then you are getting like 2+2 subs in your fronts are acting like a cheap sub and then you have the 2 real ones. I guess it comes down to the ultimate question of how does it sound?
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#405813 - 06/26/14 10:46 PM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
And how many people....
If your seat is in a good spot and the only seat that matters the towers may be enough.
Only one of my subs is more capable than my towers (until co-located) but I've noticed improvements in overall SQ while losing certain qualities when compared to or using 2/3/4 subs.
I still run full range without subs more often than not. Most satellite, PS4 and late late night movies are without subs and I'm quite happy.
When we're watching new releases or concerts subs are on and towers crossed over at 80.
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#405815 - 06/27/14 12:05 AM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 981
Using logic, I kinda figured this out over 20 years ago & I went with bookshelfs & subs ever since. I never saw the reason to have towers when the bottom end is more effectively handled by decent subs. Then with the advent of AVRs where crossover filters can be set & are often recommended to be set at 80 Hz, what is the point of having all of those expensive woofers in the towers? They are hardly working as most of the bass is filtered out & IMO, a waste.

I have what I believe to be a great HT compromise - large bookselfs (M22s) perched on its own sub. Unlike most, I cross them at 60 Hz as they are very capable down to that freq. In fact Audyssey hears them at 40 Hz in my room.

If you want to see what bass content is mixed into movie soundtracks, check out what the bassheads (I'm not one) have measured over the past while to see what you & I are missing. There are over 500 pages so it might be wise to start on the last page & work back:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-subwoo...ncy-charts.html

IMO, if you can't get down to ~20 Hz or so, you are probably missing out some dynamic content in movies...

TAM

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#405817 - 06/27/14 12:42 AM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4415
Loc: Marion, IA
It is late, I am tired, but let me chime in a little...

Some recent (last year or so) movie soundtracks have encoding for below 20Hz.

It doesn't matter if you have three 6.5" woofers in each speaker, they still aren't as efficient at the LFE as a 12" or large subwoofer.

Yes, you *can* set your front speakers to some crossover below 80Hz and get a nice lower frequency effect for movies. Heck, a lot of music lovers don't use a sub and still "feel" things like bass drums and such just fine... Those are generally in the 30-40Hz range for most music. (FYI that I have my fronts set to go down to 40Hz and the subs still start kicking in around 80Hz. That is with two 12" subs in 4cuft boxes each, shhhhhh... Don't tell anyone that my fronts are set at 40Hz.) I love how it makes things sound in the room.

I know of nobody with a home theater that doesn't have a sub, and there is very sound reasoning for it. It seems illogical to set your tower speakers to "small" and crossover to "80Hz" as usually recommended even with tower speakers, but it usually does sound better offloading the massive air pushing to a larger woofer than you are going to find in most tower speakers and those subs have their own power to make it happen.
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#405819 - 06/27/14 01:17 AM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
You gotta do whats right.
Listen to your speakers.
If you feel the need to buy one sub buy two.
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#405821 - 06/27/14 05:07 AM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
Serenity_Now Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 144
Loc: PEI, Canada
Ok, I'll bite.

There are oodles of movies with subsonic frequencies present. There is a master list of bass soundtracks floating around somewhere. Some below 10hz.

Unless were talking wilson alexandria xlf, or the like, you will not get the tactile pressure wave out of a tower speaker that a quality sub can produce. Imo, the low frequencies are what makes a real HT experience. When you can feel the robots blast in woth, you are "in" the movie. And I dont mean a light rumble, I mean guests un-initiated look at you with fear and joy in their eyes at the same time.

I think you may be a little gun shy after dropping the cash on the lfrs, but dont fret. Buy a quality sub, or better 2, later when you can. So far you have the foundation for a great system. You can always decide once you get settled in your new space. smile
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#405825 - 06/27/14 08:16 AM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6730
Loc: PEI, Canada
Well, you've heard the science and the opinions. Everyone agrees. I'll chime in as well.

There are two things in my HT that make me smile. One is the soul touching clarity in music when you play an exceptionally recorded album. The other is the feeling you get when the sub woofer changes things from a 'sound experience' to an "OMG I feel like I am really there" experience.

Surround sound is nice but most often it is just not the draw dropping experience that a good sub can provide.
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#405828 - 06/27/14 09:20 AM Re: How important are Sub's in HT [Re: oakvillematt]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4415
Loc: Marion, IA
Or get bass shakers for tactile!

Ok, just kidding there. Not slamming bass shakers for your seats at all (I have them AND 2 subs), but by the time you buy the shakers and an amp, you are on your way to a sub that you would enjoy more between the two.
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M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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