2.1 Integration

In process of upgrading components and have question. Currently have 2.1 system, music only, SVS Ultra bookshelves and SB-13 Ultra sub.

How well do the bookshelves and sub integrate if the sub is connected to pre-amp out and integrated amp does not have any bass management. I know the SVS sub does have the high/low pass filters but the bookshelves would still be receiving lower frequency signals. Or is it better just to utilize an integrated amp or separate pre-amp with bass management capabilities. Currently use a Denon AVR-591 that I will be replacing with a different integrated amp. 

Thanks in advance.

I've used an SVS SB-12NSD for about 4 years, both with standmount monitors and with big speakers.  Avoid the high-pass in the sub, as it will likely affect the transparency of your signal to the bookshelves.  Send full-range signal to the bookshelves, and start by crossing in the sub pretty low, trying 45 Hz at first and then 60 Hz to see if things get too wooly.  If you can locate the sub in space with your eyes closed, then you have its level or crossover too high.

Have fun!
How loud you listen and the amount of bass in the music you listen to will determine whether or not you should drive the speakers full range. My recommendation is to always use bass management with stand mount speakers (and the vast majority of floor standing speakers, too). The high pass filter built into the sub has distortion orders of magnitude less than the distortion produced by the woofers in the stand mount speakers. Woofer distortion can quickly exceed 20%.

Doing a sub setup "by ear" can easily lead to poor results. To really know what is going on in your room with your speaker system you need an SPL meter and a disc of bass test tones. You can download test tones from the Real Traps web site.

In order to utilize external bass management an integrated amp must have both preamp output jacks and main amp input jacks. The majority of integrated amps do not provide both.

Parasound seems to be one of the very few manufacturers that provide bass management for 2 channel systems. HK used to have a nice unit, but it I didn't see it at the Harman Kardon site today.

You might enjoy reading some of the white papers from Harman, specifically "Getting the Bass Right":

Thank you for the useful input.

I was considering one of the Parasound components in my research. Been very cautious in considering driving the bookshelves full range but am definitely open to all possibilities. I do enjoy and listen to electronic and soundtrack music but do most of my listening to jazz.

Thank you also for link to the HK research paper. Will have to study it.

Thanks again for everyone's input.