Help choosing a subwoofer

Posted by: SJM

Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/22/16 03:30 PM

I have another post about my recent order of M60 speakers and the 160 center channel, but I thought I'd start a new one so the title will elicit more interest. thanks for those who weighed in on that prior post.

I want to order a subwoofer with this package, but am unsure to go with the 500 with DSP, or the 350. I did consider the 400, but for $110 more, you get a lot more sub. I read about the miniDSP that will allow me to control the sub by placing it between my receiver and the sub, then applying software to get the control I'd want ( The unit is only about $150, but I wonder if that will do the same to the 350 as what happens with the 500.

Today my room is 12' deep, 20' wide, with vaulted ceiling for average of about 9'. But in the future I may move and the room could shrink or grow in size.

Which of these options would you suggest?

Buy the 350 and try out the miniDSP?
Buy the 500?
Or, should I still consider the 400?

Thanks so much for your help!

Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/22/16 03:38 PM

I will tell you what I know about bass. You start with one sub and within a short time you want 2 and then you want bigger ones. I started with an 8in and thought I had the world by the ass, then I got another 8 , then I built a 10 and then another 10 and this summer I will probly build a couple 15's . I also have a minidsp but you must use something like REW and a decent microphone to measure your subs so you can adjust them with the minidsp. Take baby steps and start with a decent sub. Buyers remorse is a pita.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/22/16 04:01 PM

500 and the mini dsp. Here's why. You want the most sub you can afford. I have the 350, but am very, very lucky to have a lot of room gain to get me down to 20 Hz flat. I wish I had sub 20Hz bass for movies.

Even though the 500 is dsp controlled (actually the 350 has some dsp as well), it cannot be adjusted for your room. It is there to get the best output from the sub before the room boost some frequencies and sucks out others.

The Minidsp will allow you to adjust for the peculiarities of your room. In my case I had a HUGE wide (big ass?) 15db peak at 54 Hz that definitely effected the sound in my room. I used REW to measure the room and fed the filters suggested by it into a Behringer feedback destroyer (not quite as good as the minidsp) to considerably improve my sound.
Posted by: brendo

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/23/16 01:15 AM

Dear SJM as both Fred and Socketman have said go big or get stuck with the upgraditis bug. I as well suffer from not enough subwooferage.
For just classic rock, Pop music, soft rock and that kind of listening your M60 Vp160 combo will be awesome. If you like classical, Jazz, newer pop music and movies you'll want at least the EP500.

The D.S.P. in the EP500 is for its own tunings control, to benefit your Audessey or A.R.C. MINIDSP etc. So that what ever frequencies it reads doesn't deviate to much. Only 1.5 Db range from it's signal.
The MiniDSP is regarded as the best on the market right now, but you have to get one of the UMIK or similar to use it.

As Socketman said go slow and find your needs or wants first, Though beware don't jump in with a small sub that only goes a little lower than your towers. As most of us ADD more subs or go bigger, then realize we should have just done the big lower frequency one in the first place.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/23/16 06:23 PM

I have a much larger speaker than your M60. I did try out the M80 and found that for some of the music that I listen to there was what felt like a lacking in the bass produced. That left me with two options: to either have to meddle with the settings on the receiver to turn up the bass for some songs and back down for the rest, or to get a larger speaker that produces more bass at the volume I was listening at.

I tell you this as speakers and your hearing are fickle. You will find that the Axiom speakers are absolutely horrible to your beloved music collection. They reproduce sound very accurately and reveal how well the recordings are and if they were mixed for speakers that fudge the sound with a large low frequency bump. An example of that is some of my recordings of the Rolling Stones. Sounds empty or hollow unless you crank up some more bass into the recording.

I have had quite a few smaller subs that I didn't pay all that much money for, and vowed never again to get something that simply was not up to task. The down side to that is a financial hit. But I figure it's better to hurt once and get something that meets my needs for really the rest of my life.

I bought two EP500's. For the most part with most music the addition isn't that noticeable as it just fills in. For movies, it makes the world of difference. You need to pressurize the room. mine is 15x16x9.

I have friends who own a single 15" SVS and to my opinion it sounds more muddy than my 12" sealed units. I would not go vented again.
Posted by: SJM

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/23/16 10:59 PM

I decided to order the EP-500 along with the M60 and 160 center channel. They will arrive next Friday, and I can't wait to hear them. I have all day Saturday to set them up and tweak/play as my wife will be out the entire day.

Something nice to drink,a lot of patience, and beautiful music...sounds like a great day!

Thank you everyone! I'll post my impressions after a few days of listening.

Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/24/16 07:14 AM

Posted by: cb919

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/25/16 06:50 PM

Sounds good, enjoy your glorious Saturday. I have a (now older) EP500 and it is a wonderful thing. I wish I could have a day free in my HT, but unfortunately I made the mistake of raising my kids on a good AV setup and am no longer in control - except for calibration and fixing of course!

Posted by: fredk

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/28/16 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By MarkSJohnson

We do a good job of getting people to spend more money don't we.

Let us know how the EP500 works out for you sjm.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/28/16 07:14 PM

Just ordered an EP500 for a pair of M100s to replace an Epik Legend. Looking forward with anticipation!
Posted by: SJM

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/29/16 09:44 AM

You guys were indeed very good at getting me to spend more money! smile Actually, I decided to upgrade my system a lot more. I purchased a Parasound Halo P5 preamp and Halo A21 amp this weekend, with Timber connects. The preamp is cool because it has a bypass that allows me to use my old 5.1 Pioneer Elite receiver for movies, but when listening to music the Pioneer is off and I'm only on the components. I told the salesperson I wanted a WOW experience if I spent the money, and I certainly got that. Even my wife said the difference in sound was amazing. Can't wait to here them with the Axiom stuff arriving this week. WAY over budget, but what the heck!

I also purchased an Audioengine B1 Bluetooth DAC, which is supposed to allow 24-bit streaming to the system. I'm using Total Audio, and the sound is amazing!

I know the Parasound aren't the high-end, but for me they sound great. Baby steps, right?
Posted by: SJM

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/29/16 11:14 AM

Sorry, meant to say that I'm sending Tidal Audio from my phone to the B1 and getting amazing sound. The phone uses AptX, so the stream is CD quality.

Posted by: AAAA

Re: Help choosing a subwoofer - 02/29/16 05:08 PM

You only live once! Congrats. smile