Combining a sub-woofer with Bookshelf Speakers

So my speakers are small Cabasse Galiote bookshelf model. Great sound, but little bass. I've been working to combine a REL (Q201E) sub-woofer with them.

The Galiotes technically reproduce 70-20KHZ, but the frequency response curves, as far as I've been able to find them ( the speakers are 30+ years old) suggest there's little below about 100HZ. So I set the roll-off at max (106HZ, I believe) and reduced the Hi-Gain to a very low level (to avoid 'boom').

I'm listening, and it sounds good to me. But does anyone else have experience trying to do this type of thing?

Let me know any thoughts.
follow the instructions in the rel manual to the letter

they work...

my educated guess is that your crossover freq is too high - there is a slope to the cutoff filter...
Yea, turn the OX point all the way down, 30-60. Set the gain to 12
Listen... Continue to raise the XO until you get the boom, then, lower it. until it goes away.

It’s a little to high, just like jjss49 said. Now to get a tad more punch, you could increase the gain, and you won’t get the boom...

Placement, to far from the mains with one Sub can be a little tricky. I would try center, forward (10-20") on the sub first. I push it back (away from the seated position) until the timing if off (muddy) then pull it towards your set until it blends MB to BASS. About an inch at a time. The low mids should be very clear. Phase shouldn’t be an issue with one bass unit, if you don’t get to far from the mains... A big room and a bookshelf can have issues to.. They can disappear to good sometimes..Best used in smaller rooms, and closer to the seated position..

Have fun..


Bass can be localized above 80 Hz. Cross over there, turn the sub volume to zero, set the system to play bass centric music at a listening level, then turn up the sub slowly until you hear it. Then turn down the sub slightly until it disappears. 

      Do what tgrisham and the others suggested and use 2 subs instead of just 1.  The bass from 2 subs will sound about twice as good as the bass from a single sub and the subs will integrate more seamlessly with your bookshelf speakers.  Also use the 'crawl method' to locate each sub, first sub#1 and then sub#2.

Post removed 
I know, add 4.. LOL he's working with ONE!

If the OP wants to hear and feel the bass, at the seated position.

Bass the center. Ya won't ruin the whole reason for the small footprint, to begin with..

Bass everywhere is OK at best...Good yes, best NO...

A  nice nugget is to beard the stand on the bookshelf. 

Increase the bass in the lower regions.. can be tricky...But can look neat
with a little thought..on the baffle visual...

Thanks, all!

Noble100: I'm following your advice and getting a second sub; should be here in 2-3 weeks.
jjss49 and Oldhvymec: Trying your advice out. The manual is a bit confusing, as it is written to cover a number of different models with different controls.
Tgrisham, following your advice. Can you say what you mean by 'bass can be "localized" at 80HZ. Does this mean that at 80HZ and above you can tell where the Bass is coming from? and below that, it's not directional?
Oldhvymec: not sure what you mean by " beard the stand". can you say more? (BTW, I have the speakers on wall-stands). Also not sure about 'baffle visual'?

Regards :-)

Hello gasbose,

I know you’ve made good decisions and are on the right track for attaining better overall system performance and enjoyment. Here are the things I suggest for best results:

1. Position each sub precisely in the room, and in relation to your listening seat, utilizing the ’sub crawl’ method. You can google it for details but I’m willing to describe this effective method if you have a lack of results.
     Hopefully, the perimeter walls in your room are free of room decor, or can be rearranged, to allow positioning each sub along the perimeter of your room walls to achieve the best sounding bass at you’re listening seat.  It's difficult to predermine exactly where each sub's optimum position will be, you're ears will be the deciding factor and even a few inches difference will result in the bass sounding better or worse to you.
2. ’Bass can be "localized" at about 80 Hz’ means that humans are generally incapable of determining where sounds or musical notes are coming from when their frequencies are below about 80 Hz but we’re very adept at determining where sounds or musical notes are coming from when their sound wave frquencies are at or above about 80 Hz. You’re correct, this is due to the perceived directionality of sound waves in direct proportion to their frequency.
3. The goal is to set the level and crossover frequency controls on each sub as low as possible with the bass still sounding good to you: powerful, dynamic, smooth, fast, detailed and natural. This is really a matter of your preferences and will likely be the most time consuming step in the setup process. I recommend recruiting an assistant to slowly adjust the controls as you determine optimum settings from your listening seat.
4. Best midrange, treble and stereo imaging results are typically achieved by placing bookshelf speakers on stands that raise the tweeters to near ear level when you’re seated. They are then positioned in the precise room positions, and in relation to your listening seat, that results in the optimum perceived midrange, treble and stereo imaging performance. Moving the speakers a few feet away from the wall behind them also typically results in better overall performance. This, again, is a matter of personal preference.

These are the main points I thought would be useful but I’ll post again if more come to mind.

Best wishes,
Thanks, Tim (Noble100)

Yes, my speakers are on wall stands with tweeters at seated ear levels. I'm experimenting with cross-over levels and gain...

I'll read uo on sub crawl... my living room is irregularly-shaped, with a dining area and a staircase leading off one side. Not sure if this is good or bad...

Thanks for the encouragement!

I used a REL Q150e by itself for a while and it worked perfectly in my large-ish listening room, then added a Q108MKII which made things even better...the secret to great sub sound is actually really simple...move the sub around (first making sure the phase is correct) until it sounds good. Done.
Hello G,

    Wolf has experience and understands the many performance benefits of two subs over just one well.  It does take some time to optimally position and calibrate two subs but it's well worth the effort, I think you'll be very pleased with the results.  Use the sub crawl method to position both and you'll know exactly where to move each sub around to.

Thanks, Tim!

I've got limitations on sub positioning as my system is in the living room. But I'll certainly experiment as much as I can.

Hello gasbose,

      Unfortunately, that's a common problem.  My combo music and HT system is in my living room, too.  I needed to locate four 1'x1'x28" subs around the perimeter walls of my room when I purchased an Audio Kinesis Swarm distributed bass array system.  
     I just decided to place all four in the positions they sounded the best and rearrange the room decor after with my wife's assistance.  Positioning all four wasn't as disruptive to the room decor as I originally thought.  You may also find it's less difficult than you anticipate to accommodate the two subs in your room. 
    understand, the precise positioning of both subs are critical for optimum bass performance results.  Utilizing one sub, with a protective surface or covering on the top, as an end table may help blend them in to the room decor.

Best wishes,