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#251742 - 03/15/09 05:48 AM To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer?
Captain4105 Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Southern California
Using this forum has been extremely helpful to me. I read on a few occasions that subwoofer technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. Mine is about 30 years old and is driven by a separate 130 watt sub amplifier especially made for my model (which has a 12" cone). Alan recently mentioned in a post that the purpose of a sub is to "move air." This was in response to a question about subwoofer "boominess." Alan mentioned that the boominess was a result not so much on the part of the sub but rather the main speakers. It's the lower end of he mid-range and upper bass from the main speakers that affect boominess. This statement, although a rather general one, did not address the older technology which presumably is embedded within my sub system. So the question is...if sub tech has improved and come a long way over the last two decades, what are the improvements and how will I benefit by purchasing say an EP350 to compliment the M60's I plan to buy? I haven't auditioned any subs and don't really know how recent technology would differ. Mine seems to get down to 25HZ and rumbles pretty well. I use it for music more than anything else. All comments are welcome and any opinions and suggestions are appreciated. I have a 15X16 room with 8-12ft high sloping ceiling rising toward the speakers at the highest point....Thanks...Lee

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#251747 - 03/15/09 09:43 AM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: Captain4105]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Linearity, excursion, power handling.

Linearity is the ability of the driver to move in and out along exactly the same path. The better the linearity, the more accurate the sound prduction.

Excursion is how much the driver can move in and out. Your driver will have less than 10mm of excursion and may well have as little as 5 or 6mm. The more excursion a driver has, the more air it can move and the louder/lower it can go. There are now drivers with 30+mm or excuresion.

Power handling. The lower the note you want to reproduce, the more power it takes. 130w is fine for anything in the 40Hz range, but is probably not enough juice for stuff in the 20s unless you have a very efficient (read large) sub design. Drivers being inefficient devices produce a lot of heat. The better a driver is at dissipating heat, the more power it can take (within its excursion limits).

 Quote:
Mine seems to get down to 25HZ and rumbles pretty well.

Have you measured your sub's output? If you do, I think you will be surprised.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#251766 - 03/15/09 11:32 AM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: fredk]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Are you looking to use your sub for HT?

If so, then I would highly recommend upgrading, I thought the same as you till I started comparing some subs to my old one. I think your old sub won't cut it with only 130W, my 13 yr old 200W 10" couldn't even make it's self heard or felt when run in conjunction with a mid-line SVS PB12-NSD. I even tried comparing the EP400, a little 8" to my old one and the EP400 chewed it up and spit it out when just listening to music, for HT I think I had more rumble with Ol' Betsy.

I was able to turn my old sub on and off without affecting the sound quality nor the feel of the music or movies I tried out, with any of the newer subs I auditioned, even the little Paradigm DSP3100 put my old timer to shame. I ran test tones through my old sub and found it was able to play into the mid, to lower 20hz range, but with very little authority in doing so.

The newer subs out there can hit much lower and stay linear in doing so, it really adds much more to your movies and I have found music to have much better bass quality.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#251770 - 03/15/09 11:43 AM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: jakewash]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Back in 1999, I bought Kenwood 10", 350 watt sub for my brand new DVD system. At the time, I was happy with it. Explosions sounded like explosions, and I could rattle the china in the kitchen. Boom! Yay.

But over a few years, I went through 3 or 4 sets of speakers, trying to find something that wasn't there. After getting my M22's, I still had the problem. After much discussion with the fine folks here, we came to the conclusion that the problem was probably my sub.

So a few years back I upgraded to an SVS PCi+ 20-39. I had sort of thought that a new sub would just make the explosions louder. It did do that. But It also brought a whole new level of bass-definition to my system. Explosions still sound like explosions, but the delicate bowing of Yo Yo Ma on his cello now have texture and sweetness. The difference was night and day.

I am a very firm believer now that if you have a system that needs a sub (most do... even my M80's), it's important to spend the money on a good sub. Because it does matter.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251839 - 03/15/09 10:05 PM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Captain4105 Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Southern California
All your answers have been most helpful. I better understand the mechanics of subwoofer operation and the need to upgrade. Your personal experiences have convinced me to look into a compatible sub for the M60's. It seems all of you have read and responded to my posts and questions. You must know me pretty well by now. Any sub suggestions for a mostly music listener in a 15X20 room?

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#251851 - 03/15/09 11:04 PM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: Captain4105]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

What's the budget?
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#251853 - 03/15/09 11:58 PM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: Wid]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
Captain,
My neighbor was shopping for a sub, so I tagged along (big mistake for my wallet ;o), bringing one of my two 120w 10" KLH Costco subs to compare to nicer subs. Like Peter, I always thought boom was boom and did not need to be clean. Compared to the 10" Paradiqm, mine had a thump, but no clarity or depth, as Peter described. While my buddy loved the sound, he hesitated a long time due to the price. The shop owner, a nice guy, realized he was not selling a new sub. He mentioned he had a used Servo-15 a customer had traded in, that he would sell for $350. Holy Moly. I NOW knew what a real sub sounded like! When my friend was finishing up his purchase transaction, the owner could see my drool, he mentioned he had one the same subs as a second at his house, until his new Signature series sub came in. He'd be willing to sell that one to me for $350 as well. I jumped on it with glee. Trouble is, that raised the bar big time for the new set of three fronts I wanted to buy. I found Axioms and decided I not only needed M60 or M80's, but 4 QS8's as well! (the wallet challenge part ;o)

The moral to the story. Take your sub down to your local HT shop and plug it in comparing it to a nice 10" or 12" sub. Then ask him if he has any used subs peolple traded up from that he might have. :o) worth a try to get a LOT of sub, for not as much money! ;o)
end of essay...
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

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#251854 - 03/16/09 12:18 AM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: davekro]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Nice deal, dude! Congrats!
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#251893 - 03/16/09 11:26 AM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwooofer? [Re: Ken.C]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Lee, what sort of price range are you willing to look at?

Here are a few of my suggestions (no particular order) depending on your price range:

EP800 $2400
EP600 $1800
EP500 $1200
EP350 $800
Hsu ULS 15 $1300
Hsu VTF3Mk3 $700
Hsu VTF2Mk3 $600
Hsu STF2 $400
SVS PB13-Ultra ~$1700
SVS PB12-nsd $600
SVS PB10-nsd $400
Paradigm DSP3100-3400 $300-$800

My preferences are for Axiom, SVS and Paradigm. I feel the Axiom's, Paradigm's and SVS PB13 Ultra(I have heard many of them) are more musically oriented. The Axiom, Paradigm and SVS PB13 Ultra have a very flat response that works very well with music and HT, no bumps in FR to contend with.


Edited by jakewash (03/16/09 11:32 AM)
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#251894 - 03/16/09 11:30 AM Re: To Keep or Buy a state-of-the-art Subwoofer? [Re: davekro]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
That is a great deal. The Axiom subs seem to get good praise and the DSP chips (some models) looks to be a real benefit over the more typical amp+box approach. But there are many others you can find on this forum that make very good subs. Your budget will drive this more than anything, as price is almost unlimited on the high side, but the floor for quality is not. The used option is very good, but check it out first. It is easy to abuse a sub and drivers are mechanical devices so be sure it works before you buy.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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