Did I really need a sub woffer in the first place?

I recently added a subwoffer which I thought would enhance the sound of my 2 channel music system. I have a Rotel amp (380 watts) with the matching Rotel preamp and Rotel CD player and Energy Veritas 2.4 speakers. I bought a REL Britannia B1 subwoffer to enhance the bass.

Well now that I have it set up I'm not that happy with what it adds vs what I spent ($1,850). I'm wishing I would have put that money toward a turntable instead.

Wondering if maybe I've just got it set up incorrectly - there are so many adjustments like Mode Switch used to set the phase and to bypass crossover for Low Level input. Also has these switches:

Lo Level
Hi Level
Fine Roll Off
Coarse Roll Off

For an additional $100 the stereo shop will send a guy over to 'tune' the system. Wondering if I'm just throwing good money after bad and maybe I'll cut my losses and sell it here on the Audiogon classified section.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


By the way - I love my Subwoffer I have in my home theatre. Could'nt watch an action movie without it.
other than for films...your energys are fine...get a turntable
Like so much of marketing "just put it anywhere" is a cruel lie when it comes to two channel stereo. In home theater, just hook the thing up and the receiver does the rest with a dedicated channel and a volume match. A little boom just makes the show more exciting! Not so with two channel.
I would be wary of a dealer who took your money and then wants to charge you for "fixing it". First, I would get on the internet (like you are doing} and get some basic information on set up procedure. Measure your room size and see what frequencies are most likely to produce standing waves. Cross over as low as you can and move up slowly. until the "hole" fills. A reasonable starting position is against the wall 1/3 the length of same.

I tried a sub with my full range speakers (not Energy) for a while, wasn't worth the time and effort as my speakers sound great without it...had to give it a try though.

I moved the sub to the hometheater where it gets a strong workout at movie time as an extra rear sub.

Proper subwoofer setup is an extremely time consuming endeavor. I have two and it took months using both listening and frequency response tests with an SPL meter to find the best location for optimal performance.

Try several locations around your room starting with in a corner behind your main speakers for maximum room loading and enhancement. Then move it forward away from the corner to reduce output. Try the other side. The, exactly between and level with your main speakers. Move it backwards towards the rear wall from that point. Believe it or not, a matter of inches is all it takes sometimes. Have faith, it will work wonders.

There are some great online guides to proper subwoofer integration, I will post the links later today when I get done with work.

Nonetheless, your Energy Veritas are rated 30-20kHz and are capable of really deep bass response when room loading is added in. You may get beter overall peformance by upgrading your amp and preamp without a sub.

For $2k + whatt you get for your current combo, you might want to consider other brands better than Rotel. I owned a Rotel 980BX amp and 990(?) preamp 5-7 years ago. They were great for the money, but not the weak on soundstage, depth, and spatial information. The sound also favored the "dry", hard, and lean side of the spectrum. Part of this could have also been the low end B&W speakers I had.

Check out Odyssey, Bryston, Monarchy, McCormack and other fantastic amp makers who fall in that price range. The difference will be HUGE. But, try a different preamp forst, I found Rotel's pre's to be the bigger weak link.
Have you looked at your room acoustics? My system used to require a Rel Storm, but after I treated the room, my speakers do just fine. It made a world of difference.

You might see if you have some nulls that are weakening your bass response. For me, a 30hz dip (more like a bottomless pit) made kick drums sound like they were 50 ft behind the rest of the band.
This speaker is not designed to work with a sub woofer.

The 5 way Veritas 2.4 dual ported design is known for an impressive and weighty base. Energy do not state their THD figures but they do say that 25% THD is acceptable in a high-end speaker and that they do even better than that. I suspect that the ports are tuned somewhere in the 20 to 40 Hz range and account for the amazing bandwidth of these speakers.

This is an excellent design to get all that low end bandwidth, however, the tuned ports, which bring these amazing LF benefits, might bring some drawbacks when you add a very high-end dedicated sub woofer.

See this article on pros and cons of tuned ports;


There is no doubt that the REL 12" woofer should do an extremely accurate job over the ultra low frequencies, after all, it is dedicated just to that task alone and nothing else.

IMHO, I suspect that the tuned ports on the Veritas 2.4 might be masking any audible benefits of a more detailed/accurate ultra low frequency output that you might get from the dedicated REL sub.

BTW I had some Energy Pro 22 speakers in the past - awesome speakers!
Had a abudddy with 35hr @3db B&W's.Though mostvacousticn music you here will not go below low not of electric bass or 40 hrz a sub made his system just right.The problem wioth sun\bs is that good accurate bass is expensive and folks want "to hear thge money" but remember the name of the unit is SUBH-woofer.Do what darkmobeius says and try to get it done relatively quick.You have an excellent sub so that's not the problem but try going into dealer and saying "Hey I dropped some serious change on the Veritas AND the Britania.Now you want to hook me for set up?Telll this to the manager or owner and say you plan to get a table and cartidge and many reputable dealers would charged just nominally for delivery and properly set up and took ity back if they were the ones who said "This wil do "X" and it is not doing it so if they want your table,cartridge,cable biz plus the homne theatre you were thinking of they should backl it up.Tell them you doidn't bring it hhom tom take it for a spin like some 16 year old at a car dealership wanting to take a Pourrsche out for a half hopur you bought it bev\cause they said it would deliver.Under these conditions play hardbvall and try to get a 30 day return.If hi-end dealers want to survive they should back up the goods and servioce other wise Best Buy or CVircut City could just move the box out he door just as easily as and "audiophile salon".I hope it is just plafcement and tuning because I beleive in subs and just like toe-ing justas fgew inches can make a set of speakers snap into focus things will work out.Not just because of the bottom octave of music but to givbe foudation and to "pressurize" the room (soething I believe in though some find it snake oil.Not all all speaker need subs but if your speakers aren't rated to 25hrz or below (most pele can't hear either exterme of 20 to 20Khrz.But before you dump it work it.
With my speakers, Vmps RM 40's, I use a sub only to augment the bottom octave so I have it crossed over at 45hz. It only adds a bit of weight to the lowest lows. The sub does not work much most of the time but it is worth it to me and wouldn't want to be without it as I like to have all the weight of the bottom octave.

Every room with walls in about any house will have modes and these are worst in the bass region. To pay someone to tune it may not be that bad of an idea if you don't know how to do it yourself. Don't expect to hear alot of extra lows because you have a sub. For music with truly full range speakers it's only there to augment the low lows. It's a very expensive thing to do adding a good sub.
Some folks have some good points here.. first, Rotel is good BUT.. a really great pre and power amp, or a passive pre and a high end power amp could really surprise you with bass improvements. Of course that avenue is not cheap. Also as Chazzbo states, the use of a SUBwoofer is to augment those very bottom octaves and really should not stand out calling attention to itself. I have found with my Rel-based Rega Vulcan than placement firing upward, backward, downward, frontward, and also moving unit sometimes by inches makes differences in sound. Very necessary for me is the placement of the sub's feet on mod squad soft shoes.
put your sub where your listening chair is then get down on the floor & crawl around the room until you find where the bass response sounds the best then put your sub there.

it works pretty good.
Ask dealer for a 10 meter long interconnect.
Place sub in all different locations.
Make sure that the crossover on the sub is in the right ballpark before you begin.
In each location get volume level about right, then play with crossover, then play with voume again, then teh phase, then the volume again.
90% science and 10% art.

Good luck!
Bigjoe and Bignerd100,

I am confused. Which is better?

Putting the sub in Breuning11's listening chair and crawling around on the floor while ajdusting phase and volume for each position.


Sitting in the listening chair and moving the sub all around the floor while changing phase and volume for each position.

The crawling around the floor sounds slightly faster to complete (don't have to move the sub), however, if Breuning11 has a better half and she finds him crawling around the floor with his sub-woofer sitting in his normal chair listening chair ....isn't their a chance she will think he has gone mad?
Either will work but there are more often than not less than four places in a room that you (or more importantly, your wife) can live with the sub. A ten meter cable will give you the freedom of movement to put it anywhere in the room.

Good luck!