Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED*

Posted by: kordeo

Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 10:26 AM

For you MUSIC LOVERS, do you think a subwoofer with the m-80's makes (would make) a big difference in your listening pleasure?

I think the general consensus is that the m80s have great bass, but than I read the odd comment about people not realizing what they were missing until they got a sub. I don't wanna be missing out!

p.s. I listen to mostly rock along the lines of groups sounding like Coldplay, U2, Switchfoot etc. No pipe organ music yet :P Feel free to comment on your own experience with your own music and personal bass taste.
Posted by: alan

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 11:09 AM

Hi kordeo,

I followed your suggestion and deleted the other thread so visitors won't be confused.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 11:15 AM

Hi. I'm not voting since I have M22 and not M80. But my best guess from being a member of this forum for a year is "Not really much value in it."
Posted by: Capn_Pickard

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 11:34 AM

I didn't vote, since I don't have the M80s, but I find the bass on my M60s to be punchier, more musical and less boomy than when my sub (an Hsu STF2) is turned on. There is definitely less bass without the sub and the room doesn't appear to be "full" of bass sound when it is just the M60s, but locality of the bass is improved (which is a good thing, I think, for musical selections where a localized bass is not objectionable).
Posted by: alan

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 11:47 AM

Hi Cap'n,

Welcome back--I meant to post when you popped up earlier.

Your experience with the M60s with and without your sub running is interesting, and I would have predicted that, because while the M60s have very good bass output, their output and extension is not quite up the M80s, so a sub definitely enhances M60 performance with music or home theater.

I voted "worth it" above because I like the enhanced output and extension of the EP500 with my M80s for classical works with big bass drums and for Wurlitzer pipe organs, etc. However, used on their own with the EP500 switched off, the M80s have terrific bass with music. Still, the sub does enhance things because of the added extension and output.

Alan
Posted by: alan

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 11:50 AM

Cap'n, I totally misread your post. I think sometimes because of room modes or perhaps running the sub a bit "hot", the articulation of, say, stand-up acoustic bass is perhaps a little more precise with the sub off.

So ignore some of my blather about "predicting", etc.

Alan
Posted by: bdpf

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 11:54 AM

I didn't vote but contrary to the others, I have the M80s but not a sub, LOL! I find the M80s to have a very good bass on their own for most music. IMO, it all depends on what you're looking for and what you're listening to. For rock music, if you are looking for "chest pounding" bass drum, you might want to add a sub, if you are looking for less pronounces but maybe more accurate bass, you might very well find that the M80s do an excellent job. In the end, you will need to try both scenarios and see for yourself if it is worth it for you to spend the extra $$$.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 12:42 PM

I prefer to use a sub to fill out the bottom end, but the M80s do have excellent bass without one.
Posted by: grunt

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 01:04 PM

I voted ďNot really much value in it.Ē

I have gone for weeks running just my M80s because I turned off my EP500 and forgot to turn it back on until something I know well, usually a movie, is played and I realized something is missing.

Thatís not to say there isnít a noticeable difference when the EP500 is on itís just not IMO a very big difference. In other words had I purchased my M80s strictly for music and not also for movies I wouldnít waste the money on getting a subwoofer.

Much of my music listening at home is while Iím up and doing things. Since Iím moving around I donít get any great benefit with most music using the surround channels and because of horrible room modes that can only really be effectively corrected near my seating I find the subwoofer to inconsistent as I move around the house.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 01:15 PM

For majority of my music listening I use the ep500, but could easily live without it. For Movies I couldn't imagine going without
Posted by: radtek2

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 01:19 PM

I did not vote either. I have M80's paired with an SVS sub. I agree with bdpf it depends on what I'm listening to, what kind of mood I might be in grin a lot of variables are involved, CDs, Vinyl, SACDs, how much coffee I've consumed! But thinking back on my listening sessions lately most have been without the subwoofer being incorporated, or in the case of 5.1 SACDs the sub is used in a recombine setup via an Outlaw ICBM. Oh-oh! I'm starting to ramble again so....
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: grunt
... I find the subwoofer to inconsistent as I move around the house.


+1. Same here. If I'm a 1/2 floor away, such as when using the tread mill, then all I can hear is the bass from the sub-woofer, so I turn it off.
Posted by: Worfzara

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 04:25 PM

I don't find I need a sub with my M80's. Actually, I have the sub turned off when listing in STEREO mode. The M80's give me all the bottom end I need.

I suppose if you are listening to Hip Pop or as Alan said Pipe organ, it could add a subtle enhancement.

For my EP500 I have to be careful not to run it too hot if I have it on for music. Too much EP500 for music does not sound natural. However, this is usually not the case for movies.

Remember, much of this can depend on your room characteristics and seating position.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 08:58 PM

Quote:
I listen to mostly rock along the lines of groups sounding like Coldplay, U2, Switchfoot etc.

Given the above, I voted no value. Most rock will have no bass below 40Hz. and the M80s reach below that.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/29/10 09:52 PM

Kord, no vote, but my thought would be inclined toward no higher than "not much". If you're not going to listen to symphonic or other music with very low bass from instruments such as pipe organs or large bass drums, there's very little that the M80 doesn't cover well. On the type of music that you mention the lowest "standard" instrument note would be 41.2Hz on a double bass. I've found in my room that even the M22 can give usable, although low, output there. The M80 should be fully satisfactory.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 03:32 AM

I'm seeing more and more 5 string basses in rock bands now. That low B goes down to 30.87 Hz.

The poll needs a "depends on what you're listening to" choice. For most things I prefer no sub. Even when turned down, I find that the sub makes most things too boomy. There are however, some songs where the sub is an absolute must have. For instance, on AKUS live Disc 1, Track 12 "Forget about it" When the electric upright kicks in, the EP 500 makes the room vibrate without being boomy; sort of a goose bump moment. The M80's just don't give that same feel. Yet on the same disc, Track 9, "Stay" with a standard upright bass, the EP500 makes it sound boomy.

Of course, this is in my room, YMWY.

As others have said, for movies a good sub is a must.
Posted by: kordeo

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 09:20 AM

Sounds to me like a lot of it has to do with your music selection, your taste, and your room. Interesting conversation. Man, I better stop posting now, I like being 'buff' wink
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 11:05 AM

Here is an interesting story from the Friday night of the anniversary weekend:

After the dinner was done and the bar staff was sick of us, Jakeman invited people to his "cottage". When we arrived, he mentioned he had just received a pair of M80 V3's.

When they were set up, the assembled crowd listened intently. At one point the massive sub was turned off. While you could hear the difference it made in some pieces of music, it was by no means needed.

At different points, people wandered over to the sub to make sure it was off!!! The bass was that strong from the M80's alone.

Those in attendance, feel free to chime in!
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 11:43 AM

I have run for a while my M3 and my EP350 as stereo mode and since i have my M80, i can tell you i have rediscover all my music in the bass departement.
Posted by: Worfzara

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 12:18 PM

Originally Posted By: BBIBH
Here is an interesting story from the Friday night of the anniversary weekend:

After the dinner was done and the bar staff was sick of us, Jakeman invited people to his "cottage". When we arrived, he mentioned he had just received a pair of M80 V3's.

When they were set up, the assembled crowd listened intently. At one point the massive sub was turned off. While you could hear the difference it made in some pieces of music, it was by no means needed.

At different points, people wandered over to the sub to make sure it was off!!! The bass was that strong from the M80's alone.

Those in attendance, feel free to chime in!


This is a good point, when we were on Ian's dock a couple of weeks ago, he had a live band going through just M80's, no Sub, atleast none that I could see.

And it sounded just awsome!
Posted by: a401classic

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 01:53 PM

Originally Posted By: BBIBH
Here is an interesting story from the Friday night of the anniversary weekend:

After the dinner was done and the bar staff was sick of us, Jakeman invited people to his "cottage". When we arrived, he mentioned he had just received a pair of M80 V3's.

When they were set up, the assembled crowd listened intently. At one point the massive sub was turned off. While you could hear the difference it made in some pieces of music, it was by no means needed.

At different points, people wandered over to the sub to make sure it was off!!! The bass was that strong from the M80's alone.

Those in attendance, feel free to chime in!


+ 1. Of course my method of testing to see if the sub was on was completely ineffective wink smile
Posted by: Capn_Pickard

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 02:09 PM

Originally Posted By: alan
Cap'n, I totally misread your post. I think sometimes because of room modes or perhaps running the sub a bit "hot", the articulation of, say, stand-up acoustic bass is perhaps a little more precise with the sub off.

So ignore some of my blather about "predicting", etc.

Alan


Yeah - I read my post again and I wasn't very clear. In an attempt to say it more clearly:

With a sub, there is more bass, and the room sounds fuller, although the bass tends to be a little bloated and amorphous.

Without the sub, the M60s are punchy and musical (notes are clearly articulable, as opposed to just a deep drone sound). It certainly doesn't go as deep, but for some music, it is preferable, as the sound stage seems a little more clear.

Comparing the "punchiness" - without a sub, it's like getting hit with a closed fist. With a sub, it's like getting steam-rolled by a bull-dozer made of pillows. The force might be the same, but the effect is different.

And thanks for the "welcome back." It had been too long.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 02:45 PM

But doesn't turning the sub down help?
Posted by: fredk

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Worfzara


This is a good point, when we were on Ian's dock a couple of weeks ago, he had a live band going through just M80's, no Sub, atleast none that I could see.

And it sounded just awsome!


The bass was being pushed through separate amp/monitors on stage, or so I was told.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Capn_Pickard
Originally Posted By: alan
Cap'n, I totally misread your post. I think sometimes because of room modes or perhaps running the sub a bit "hot", the articulation of, say, stand-up acoustic bass is perhaps a little more precise with the sub off.

So ignore some of my blather about "predicting", etc.

Alan


Yeah - I read my post again and I wasn't very clear. In an attempt to say it more clearly:

With a sub, there is more bass, and the room sounds fuller, although the bass tends to be a little bloated and amorphous.

Without the sub, the M60s are punchy and musical (notes are clearly articulable, as opposed to just a deep drone sound). It certainly doesn't go as deep, but for some music, it is preferable, as the sound stage seems a little more clear.

Comparing the "punchiness" - without a sub, it's like getting hit with a closed fist. With a sub, it's like getting steam-rolled by a bull-dozer made of pillows. The force might be the same, but the effect is different.

And thanks for the "welcome back." It had been too long.

I agree with you here Capn.
I like the sub for any speaker, but only to pick up the very low end beyond the speaker's range to play.
For music, you won't miss much that the M80 doesn't play but orchestral material and certainly pipe organs need a sub to get any volume from the source content.
Posted by: Capn_Pickard

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 09:29 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
But doesn't turning the sub down help?


Actually, probably not. I used Auddysey (sp?) to calibrate the speakers, so I think the volume is inthe right place. It's more about the flabby nature of a 10" driver as opposed to a 6.5" one, I bet. Just turning down the sub doesn't readjust my crossover settings and I don't run a sub+main setup, so the M60a don't play any of that low end (even at lower volumes).
Posted by: grunt

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Capn_Pickard
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
But doesn't turning the sub down help?


Actually, probably not. I used Auddysey (sp?) to calibrate the speakers, so I think the volume is inthe right place. It's more about the flabby nature of a 10" driver as opposed to a 6.5" one, I bet. Just turning down the sub doesn't readjust my crossover settings and I don't run a sub+main setup, so the M60a don't play any of that low end (even at lower volumes).


Not sure of your exact situation but it sounds like mine which is caused room mode peak around 20Hz, a null around 50Hz and another peak around 90Hz. When running the sub I get the same bloated amorphous bass but while running only the M80s I get more of a punch. If I run both I get the bloat and the punch but the bloat tends to win out. However, when I used the SVS AS-EQ1 to EQ my sub the bass tightened up so I got both punch and rumble out of the subwoofer alone. YMMV and all that.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 10:13 PM

Adrien, my thought is that turning the sub down, or more precisely, leaving it at a properly calibrated and balanced level rather than setting it "hot", does result in less "flabby" bass. The reason being that the very low bass notes handled by the sub are neither "tight", "quick" or "musical" in themselves. Those qualities in bass instruments result from the harmonics which are handled by the speakers, not the sub. Playing the sub at too loud a level with respect to the speakers results in the "flabby" fundamental being unnaturally prominent compared to the "musical" harmonics.

As has been suggested before, it's interesting to listen to what comes out of a sub with the usual receiver crossover setting of 80Hz or lower remaining in effect, but with the speakers simply disconnected so that what's heard is almost entirely the fundamentals in a bass-heavy passage.
Posted by: DaMagicman

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 09/30/10 11:52 PM

I prefer to listened to the M80s with sub just because I like boom boom sound.
Posted by: PTPlayers

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 10/01/10 08:30 AM

Morning , this topic is floating around on another thread on whether you prefer 2.0 or 2.1 and personally i prefer 2.0 esp with the M80's as they do have great bottom end.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 10/01/10 09:48 AM

I just forget about calibration concerning the sub. I turn it down a bit and I'm more satisfied with the overall sound. Less boominess, but I still get the LFE, and I'm using M22's.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 10/01/10 11:04 AM

We usually run our subwoofer a little too hot the first time. After few time we realise turn it down a bit give us a better soundstage and overall better bass
Posted by: Riker

Re: Sub with M80's for music? y/n poll *REVISED* - 10/01/10 08:33 PM

When I had my Energy Veritas 2.3s, I had to use my EP500 with a xover of 70hz to get any bass action going on. Of course with that high of a xover, the bottom end in music was not quite as thight as bass coming from mains like M80s.

About a month ago I replaced my Veritas with a pair of Acoustic Zen Addagio towers. They also have 2 x 6.5 drivers but have a transmission line design with a large front port, they are also 48" in height and deliver outstanding bass response, so much so that I have turned off my EP500 for music playback. Now to be fair, after some more experimenting and with the advice of the great people on this forum, it was concluded that I was sitting in a bass null, which did not seem as aparent with the Veritas because they did not go as low as the Addagio, not even close. So, as mentionned before in this thread, positionning of both speakers and sitting location plays a HUGE role in weather or not you use a sub with your M80s, or other large and capable towers. Now that I have my seating 12" from the back wall as opposed to the 4 feet previous, the bass is absolutely amazing without a sub.

The only downside of me moving my couch from 4 feet to 12" from back wall is now the QS8s are ahead of me by about 2 feet. It's not ideal, but I can't move them back any further, I have listened to a few movies that way and it's not that bad, the QS8s with their quadpolar design still give a very satisfiying surround experience. For really critical movie watching, I'll just move the couch back to where it was.