Do you think you need a subwoofer?

Why almost any one needs subwoofers in their audio systems?

I talk with my audio friends about and each one give me different answers, from: I don't need it, to : I love that.

Some of you use subwoofers and many do in the speakers forum and everywhere.

The question is: why we need subwoofers ? or don't?

My experience tell me that this subwoofers subject is a critical point in the music/sound reproduction in home audio systems.

What do you think?
I lived with the Thiel CS6s for about a year (Krell 400cx/KCT amp/pre)and found that there were times when I wanted to have that last bit of extension. The CS6s are rated down 3dB at 27 Hz. Almost a year ago I ordered Thiel's SS2 sub with the passive crossover and after setting it up and letting thelectonics settle in, the soundstage opened up on all recordings. The sub does not make itself known, but in addition to the wider stage, whenever there are footfalls in a "live" recording (Cowboy Junkies) is a good example, I can now hear and feel them as if they were present in the room. On Saint Saens Organ Symphony the low pedals energize the room solidly, but again only when called for. As I said, the sub is audibly transparent with the CS6s, just there when it is needed, in fact when I turn it off and just listen to the mains alone, there isn't much apparent difference in extension of the bass, but the soundateg is smaller and those last few Hz are not there at the tactile level. I think the main challenge is to take the time to fine tune the sub so that it is "not heard" and just picks up where your mains leave off.
The reasons for a sub with monitors is obvious. More and better bass, when they are integrated properly.

For "full range speakers" which only start to roll off at 32hz or below, unless you want to hear airplances taking off in home theater applications, or are an organ nut, I believe that the best use of a sub is when your full range systems create bass problems in your room because the location of the main speakers creates very uneven bass response. You can roll off the bass at a ligher level and put the sub in a location that doesn't exacerbate the problems inherent in the room size.

The problem with using a sub with any "fast speaker" is proper integration. This is especially so for speakers with little inherrent bass, say those that are down 3 db at 60 to 100 hz. This requires a sub that is equally fast in the overlapping frequencies. Very hard to find, especially with panels and electrostats.

Life is a trade off. :-)
Here are two articles that you might find very interesting. They go a little beyond what is normally touched on here in the forum.

Read THIS and THIS

I've intergrated my 15 inch Velodyne sub to my NHT3.3 main speakers (which are -3db@ 23hz) by setting the sub crossover at 45hz just like the article says, and it works GREAT.

Easy, and quick reading ... soon the student will be the teacher.

Good Luck, Dave
It depends on your listening preferences too, if you like to listen at high volume levels like i do, and you want clean, pounding bass, then you definately need a sub (or two), if you like listening close range at low volume levels, then you probably don't. my 2 cents
As full integration of subwoofers is quite difficult and because most subwoofers cannot keep up with many midrange drivers and tweeters, I would seek to avoid them. But because these same problems bedevil full range speaker designers, there is no easy advice to give.

For a long time I had Beauhorns with a single driver. They were great from about 65 Hz to 13k Hz. I finally found subwoofers and an amp that would keep up with them using a high pass filter on the subwoofer amp starting at 40 Hz and the natural roll-off of the Beauhorns. It looked good on instruments and was satisfying, but when I got the Acapella LaCampenellas, I realized that there was much missing from about 125 Hz to 50 Hz. But with the Acapellas I don't have house shaking frequencies below about 28 Hz.

So the answer to your question is both absolutely you need subwoofers and absolutely no subwoofers are impossible.
I think this does not belong in the analog forum.
You have a lot of time on your hands. The DD series subs from Velodyne sure are easy to setup and can keep up with just about any speaker made,If not any. Look at the Velodyne web site.

Hello Raul,I have full range speakers and dont feel the need for a subwoofer,but if i had moniters that did not reach down low ,it would drive me nuts not to have a sub on a lot of the music i listen to,then again on other music it would not bother me,i like to hear whats on the recording!I tend to get a stupid ear to ear grin when listening to well recorded low freq. right now my sub is being unused!
Actually, this is a great analogue question - Most RIAA equalizers are designed for roll off about the same place as a full range speaker. Here's the wierd part - records can and do go lower. I would be curious if anyone knows why this is even though the spec's for the RIAA say otherwise - maybe the gain/db matching is different? I think subs have more to do with your own ear and the music you prefer: undertones and overtones plus the way the music is engineered are very important. If you're listening to Living End or Charles Mingus you'e going to want one. If you like cello chamber music you are as well. However the only two good subs I've heard with crossover's that work and don't detract or overly color upper frequency output are the Paradigms and the REL's (this only holds true for the Paradigms if you have their speakers as well). Haven't heard Merlin's though. Otherwise if you are using papercones or something, other than Merlin's, I would just stay away, because generally it seems to me speakers in that $4000-$10000 range are better quality anyway. In the under three grand range I really haven't heard anything better than the Paradigms, a point of some contention, but I think it's held up by the fact that every salesperson I've seen posting anonymously here and on positive-feedback has a pair. The Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Farber's and Opera Piega's of the world have enough extension as it is. The Velodyne's to me just seemed to make an under-enthusiastic whomp-whomp sound - a real one note wonder. Of course if you're in a condo or apartment, why bother? A little tube integrated and a pair of bookshelves will fill up your room well enough. With analogue, it will be musical and satifying.
I have Quest Z's Martin Logan's and the els panels crossover
at 150HZ .The speakers have frq down to 28HZ.I use to own a
Sunfire Signature Sub. and I wish I would have kept it.Well it was great for entertainment on movie tracks,but it added
more to every recording.The sub brought back the fullness
and proper timbre to the whole orchestra,and also gave every recording its proper depth of field,BUT the Sunfire was used when I had small mini monitor Paradigm speakers.
So do I need a sub now I DON'T KNOW?
You have been chastised by the Category Police and redeemed by Biomimetic! Jolly Good!
All I want to say is there are those who have told me they "hate bass" or that they "dont care about bass" and that bass "always messes up the sound". My opinion is that if you listen to certain kinds of music with little bass content you might be safer without a sub. But going by music I have heard live, most contains at least bass harmonics that fill out the sound. Much music will sound like it has no foundation without solid bass. It seems that some are looking for a sublime listening experience that can exclude bass but is realistic in most other ways and others find solid bass fundamental when trying to recapture the original "event".
In some rooms (like mine) a 'fullrange' speaker can sound bloated because of room effect and tailoring a sub (or pair of subs) can be a better compromise.
I see you are the guy with all those beautiful turntables that makes some of us salivate like certain dogs when the bell rings. With my little monitors -or- with my 2-way "fullrange" floorstanders I usually use my subs (in my very modest setup). You have a very impressive system and you have a sub, yet you dont really show your bias on this subject. What do you think?
You have not heard the DD series subs from velodyne.
They will change the way subs are made.

Dear Stevecham: +++++ " the soundstage opened up on all recordings. +++++ "

This is a plus when we installed the subs. If we haven't then we are loosing this characteristic.

+++++ " I think the main challenge is to take the time to fine tune the sub so that it is "not heard" and just picks up where your mains leave off. +++++ "

THis is our challenge whe we installed the subs. We ( José and I ) take around six months to settle in right on target.

Dear Steve I never had the opportunity to hear your speakers/subs combination but I'm sure they give you a lot of musical pleasure.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Newbee: +++++ " The reasons for a sub with monitors is obvious. More and better bass, when they are integrated properly. +++++ "

As Steve told us ( wider soundstage ) the use of subs are not only " more an better " bass, there are other important sound reproductions improvement when you use it.

+++++ " I believe that the best use of a sub is when your full range systems create bass problems in your room because the location of the main speakers creates very uneven bass response. +++++ "

THis is issue is very interesting, I never think about.

You are right: life is a trade off.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Tbg: You tell us, too, the trouble to integrate the subs with the main speakers and like I already told: this is our challenge. But I think it is worthwhile. The Beauhorns: I never heard it but I read very interesting things about.

+++++ " So the answer to your question is both absolutely you need subwoofers and absolutely no subwoofers are impossible. " +++++

I really like your answer and tell us everything about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Dave : Tks for the links.
Try your system with two subs instead only one and try a crossover at: 80Hz, " listen " and decide.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Readster: The use of subs depends on many issues, like you say. I will try along this thread to explain: why we need it.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Tim: Yes, you are right: Velodyne DD series.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Dear Psychicanimal: Biomimetic give you an answer about and I will try, along this thread, that the use of subs are essential for the analog sound reproduction.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Raytheprinter: +++++ " ,i like to hear whats on the recording " +++++.

I share this statement with you and is one of the reasons: why we need subs. I know well your Paradigms ( nice sound ) and maybe you have to try hard again for integrate your unused sub.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Biomimetic: +++++ " I think subs have more to do with your own ear and the music you prefer: undertones and overtones plus the way the music is engineered are very important. " +++++

As we can see over this thread, there are many reasons for what we need or don't need subwoofers. Your statement is one or two reasons about.

+++++" . The Velodyne's to me just seemed to make an under-enthusiastic whomp-whomp sound - a real one note wonder. +++++ "

Well, this true if you choose a wrong croosverpoint/phase/gain ( volume )/room location. I can tell you, for sure, that with the HGS and DD Velodyne series that does not happen.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear 76 doublebass: +++++ " ,but it added
more to every recording.The sub brought back the fullness
and proper timbre to the whole orchestra,and also gave every recording its proper depth of field. " +++++

These is something that the subs can give almost anyone.

+++++ " So do I need a sub now I DON'T KNOW? " +++++

You already give you the answer.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Blkdar: +++++ " . But going by music I have heard live, most contains at least bass harmonics that fill out the sound. " +++++

THis is other of the reasons for to have subs.

+++++" In some rooms (like mine) a 'fullrange' speaker can sound bloated because of room effect and tailoring a sub (or pair of subs) can be a better compromise. " +++++

I can see that you agree with Newbee and here again is where the subs can be used.

Tks for your words about my audio system.

Yes, this is my time: I will try to explain what are my bias and experiences about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Are we communicating in English? If so, I don't understand what is being said.
Raoul, stereo subs are essential for *music* reproduction. I recall one day I was dusting my equipment and mistakenly hit the "mono sum" switch in my modded Marchand X9-D. When I played the music something was missing and the soundstage smaller. When I found out and operated the subs in stereo mode it was stunning. So much for the single sub theory...

And yes, I have achieved TOTAL seamless integration with my Modwright Swans mini monitors and a pair of humble NHT passive subs. Steve Rothermel, speaker designer for Ridge Street Audio witnessed this.

Psychicanimal: I agree with you about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear friends:

Why it is important the use of subs on our home stereo audio systems ?

Well, for we can hear what is on the recording ( analog / digital / any ) we need a series of links ( audio items ) to build the whole chain for the music/sound reproduction.

All the links on the system chain are important and all of them have their particular distortions that put the " colors " to our " audio pictures ".

In this audio chain, in the analog case , the most imperfect links are at the front end: phono cartridges and the speakers. Here is where we have a lot of distortions ( of any kind ) because these audio music " translators " are truly an imperfect ones against electronics ( for example ). So, for me, these are the " tweak " links on the audio chain.

In this forum all of us already learn how to improve the cartridge link for a better music/sound reproduction ( less distortions ), but not many of us take care about the speakers distortions, other than the room interaction, that really " color " the final sound that we hear.

Why we take care about: VTF, VTA/SRA, Overhang, resonance tonearm/cartridge, SUT or not SUT, unipivot, air bearing, cables, tubes or not tubes, SS, DAC's, CD transports, and the like when all what we do can be corrupted at the end of the audio chain with full of speakers/room distortions.

Where the subs can help us ? :

Intermodulation Distortions: Almost any three ways speaker ( all two ways/one way ) has it's crossover frecuency ( low driver ) between 150Hz and 450Hz. I can assume that any of ours speakers system goes down flat ( at least ) between 60Hz to 20Hz.

What does that means ?, well that a single driver has to reproduce frecuencies/harmonics from 20Hz/60Hz to 150Hz/450Hz. With that kind of frecuency range here exist a great intermodulation distortions that put it's " color " on the sound reproduction.

You have to imagine that that single woofer/driver has to reproduce, at the same " time ", a 30Hz frecuency along a 350Hz frecuency: here is where exist that IM that gives heavy distortions in what we hear ( there is no perfect driver: moving coil, electrostatic, ribbon, etc.. The speaker designers has to choose the best " trade offs ", but the distortions are there. ): less clarity, less resolution, less precision, less natural balance, less pitch, les, less, less......., and this is what we are really hearing: LESS MUSIC.

If you read any manufacturer specifications on their speakers they never " write " the value of the IM or harmonic distortions, they tell us the frecuency range and how is flat on that range but never " talk " about distortions. I think that you know that when we have a speaker frecuency specifications, say: 28Hz to 22kHz +,- 3db, that is a very nice spec, that speaker low driver don't stop at 28hZ it's goes a few hertz below that frecuency with heavy harmonic distortion that increase the IM distortion of the sound reproduction of that driver and these additional distortions have a severe degradation in the reproduction of the MUSIC.

What happen when that low driver is free from those frecuencies ? ( main speakers: monitors or full range, it does not matters. My main speakers are flat to 22Hz and only 5db +.- at 18Hz and I have benefits with the subwoofers integration to my system ), below 80Hz ( this is the crossover frecuency that we find the best point to start to blend a subwoofer. Mines are at around this 80Hz frecuency: 78Hz,yours ( I think ) will be around that frecuency. ):

SUDDENLY the " lights are on ", your music/audio " life " its born: the mid bass is clean, the midrange is clean, the highs are clean: high resolution every where ( the distortions are almost gone ), and now you can really hear for the first time the MUSIC through your home stereo audio system: what a pleasure!!!!!.

This is truly a discovery for all of us that cares about MUSIC. We really discovery what kind ( quality/quantity ) of audio system we really have ( now we can do any evaluation of any audio item, not before. ) and where to work for a future improvements.

Now that we already settle in the subwoofers ( self powered ) with our main speakers ( yes, it is a hard work to do. We need at least: very good ears, love for music, experience with live music, patience, time and good muscles. We have to work with: location of subwoofers and the main speakers too, phase, crossover frecuency, volume/gain. We need two subwoofers not one and this issue is critical. TIP: avoid the common asumption that the crossover point should be at the low frecuency flat response of the main speakers, example: the speakers are flat at 40Hz, then you choose 40Hz for the frecuency crossover between the subs and the speakers, this is a great mistake: remember that we use subwoofers not only for a better and extended low bass but for a better midrange/midbass too. So, the frecuency crossover will be over that 40Hz: not at 40Hz or below 40Hz. ), we have others advantages:

- better quality low bass ( you can have at least one more octave ) and mid bass ( quantity? : you choose it: volume/gain ) ). Now we can heard the " foundation " of the MUSIC ( and its harmonics ) and this single issue is stunning for the pleasure to hear any kind of music. Now, we are nearest to the " real MUSIC ", nothing less.

The first time you can hear the subwoofers right blended on your stereo home audio system: YOU NEVER COULD LIVE WITH OUT THEM AGAIN, ANY ONE CAN, period.

- An improvement in the soundstage reproduction in all parameters: deep, front/side location, wide of the stage, etc...

- the main speakers amplifiers works best ( less distortion, more headroom, less chance of clipping, less amplifier stress, etc...) with out to handle the frecuencies range that now are handle by the dedicated subwoofers amplifiers. This is important for an SS amplifier but for the tubes ones is a must.

- Now the low bass frecuencies are handle for a dedicated driver that was build with specifics characteristics for to work in that frecuency range and this low bass driver is matched with an amplifier ( self powered subwoofers ) that was build with specifications that mates excatly what the low bass drivers needs about: frecuency response, output impedance, damping, power, etc..... You can't ask for more!!!

- Not only the IM distortion goes down but the harmonic distortion of the low driver of your main speakers goes down too, Btw, the whole harmonic distortion goes down, because ( in the case of my Velodyne's less than 0.5%: with's yours? ) ) the harmonic distortion of a well self powered designed subwoofer is usually " very low ". This means ( again ) less coloration: MORE MUSIC.

Btw, and this is not the subject on this thread ( sorry ): We choose Velodyne because after test/research, Velodyne was the only subwoofer manufacturer that answer our questions ( web site, e-mails, reviews ) about harmonic distortion ( and other parameters )on their subwoofers ( no, this was not the only subject for we decide for Velodyne but was an important one ).

I remember ( example ) that I ask to Revel ( three times ) which was the harmonic distortion of their subwoofers at 20Hz and 40Hz at 90db, 100db and 110db of SPL, they give me many answers but never were specifics about, I assume they don't know it.

Check the manufacturer specifications about for: REL, Revel, Aerial, Wilson, etc,... and you can't find it. Who cares about? : You and me that cares about M U S I C , want to hear M U S I C and needs to be nearest to the M U S I C .

All what I post here are my own experiences and that's what I like to share with all of you.

It works for you?, maybe. I think that you have to try if your speakers are not self powered or headphones.

Imagine how could your Wilson's, Dynaudio's, Karma's, Sonus Faber, Dali's, Merlin's, Martin Logan's, Aerial's, Spendor's, Harbeth's, Thiel's, Alon's, Talon's, Paradigm's, JM Labs, Epos, Avalon's, Boston'S, B&W, Magneplanar's, Proac's, Quad's, Revel, Totem's, etc, etc..... sound.

Better than that: don't imagine, try it.

I can tell you that it works for me and that I'm extremely satisfied with the subwoofers integration in my home stereo audio system. Really I'm. !!!!!!


Best regards and enjoy the music.

Hey, Black Adder - I happen to agree with you (and thanks for the thumbs up on the system, btw) - room shape, etc. is very important, and the overtones/undertones make the most difference in musicality of presentation. I have no real bias, except for a slight one towards tubes. Natural vibrato, order of harmonics, and an infinite power slope I think makes for flatter response no matter what - I run my sub through my tube preamp, and it opens it up substantially. I dial it down to about 50Hz, which is enough in my mostly wood and stucco bungalow to give the undertones you're talking about. But you know, if someone told me they had a pair of Paradigm S4's, which are a bookshelf speaker, and they liked it with a Cary SLI-80 or the 300SEI, with no subwoofer, I would believe them in a second. I really wouldn't be surprised if a speaker that fast on a flatter power slope would produce a fair amount of undertone/overtone - it's just physics. I'm not sure about how the internal speaker crossover effects this, but I'm beginning to think it's more the quality of parts and manufacture than whether it's a first or third order crossover. Not such a zealot about Paradigm really, I actually prefer paper cones, but some of the more euphonic speakers can make me a little depressed - prettiness and color are nice, but they only get you so far. You need the extra taughhtness and speed to get the true harmonic structure. It's a trade off, and subs add another piece that can make it better or worse. Plus, the Paradigms with metal cones can get glarry if you aren't careful. Then I turn around and ask, Hey, has anyone listened to a DTS disc on their tubes? It sounds amazingly great. No really. Try it. I have no idea why. I think it's the extra gain in DTS and the flatness of response. Also, I wonder if anyone has any experience with supertweeters? For the record, no I haven't heard the DD Velodyne's, and the room I gave them a listen in was dreadful. The Velodyne sound still wouldn't have mixed with the rest of my system very well, either way.
Excellent post!!!!!
Dear Biomimetic: It happen that I use supertweeters in my audio system.

Take a look:

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear friends: There are other improvemenst when you mate subwoofers to your home stereo audio system, example:

Usually the location of the speakers in our room ( with out subs ) is a " compromise " ( trade off ) between the best performance at the bass against the best performance at the mid/high frecuencies ( only in a few cases the location is with out any " trade offs ". ), when we integrated the subs in our audio system we can have the best of both " worlds " and you will be in " heaven ".

Now you can really know how good ( or not ) is not only your audio system but any single audio item: cartridge/tonearm/cables/TT/preamp/amplifier/CD, and now you can detect any sound reproduction performance problems in those audio items and try to fixed/exchange: now and only now ( not before ) you can say " this is the best cartridge or tonearm or SUT ,etc.. " that I ever heard.

When your subs are settle-in in your system you don't have only a great high resolution system but a truly full range audio system in favor of the M U S I C .

Really, you don't know what you have ( the great potential of your system that right now you are loosing. It does not matters what you have. ) till you have yours: subwoofers. It is a pleasure that you can't imagine !!!!!!

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hello Raul,I agree that i did not spend a lot of time or effort with integrating my sub in my 2 ch. system,im sure some room treatments are needed for low freq. in my room,also i lack a long IC to play around with placement,,.would i be wasting my time trying it again before im able to treat my room with bass traps?
Dear Ray: As I already post the integration of the subs in any room is not an easy task and almost always we need to do some room's treatment but always is wortwhile every effort about.

Never is a wasting time to try again with the subs: you have to try and after that you will do the room treatment, not before.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I regard the "subwoofer" not as a separate speaker system, but as part of the main speaker system...the part that the manufacturer left out because of size and cost. Naturally this means that every main speaker has its "own" subwoofer driven by the same channel signal with appropriate electronic crossover.

The reasons for having a subwoofer are (1) to use a larger diameter driver appropriate for LF (or, the same thing, to enable use of a smaller driver for the main woofer) and (2) keep the LF cone excursions out of the woofer.

I think that the issue of "slow" subwoofers is overdone. Low frequency sounds are inherently "slow" and the subwoofer is properly reproducing them. For example: a sixteen foot organ pipe is slow...its sound develops slowly to its full volume/tone. A tuba is slower than a piccolo.
Eldartford, I disagree with you a bit on the slow issue, only because I suspect that those folks who raise the issue are using the subwoofer in the mid and upper-range of bass frequencies, probably with poorly designed or shallow sloped cross-overs so you have a 15" cone producing the same sound at the same level as an electrostat, panel, of small mid-range drivers (as in mini monitors), the end result of which is likely to be a muddy upper bass and perhaps even lower mid-range.

I would agree that using a sub to fill in the bottom octave or so of a full range speaker system, using a cross over with sharp slopes, should cause no problem whatsoever, in fact it would be ideal. Optimally the full ranges speakers bass would not need to be attenuated at all - the cross over would only roll off the subs top end.

At least that has been my experience..........
Newbee...SW crossover frequency depends very much on what your particular subwoofer can do. Based on quite a bit of experementation I have also concluded that the type of music being played also has a big effect, so I have crossovers that enable me to change frequency with the twist of a knob. For some classical music I let the Maggie 1.6 take it from 50 Hz up. For some massive pieces, such as theatre organ, I run the SWs up to 200-300Hz, and there is no doubt that it is better.

An interesting test that I have run is to play white noise and sweep the X/O between 40 Hz to about 400 Hz and higher. With my rig there is no audible change in the sound up to about 300 Hz, which tells me that I have the levels well matched and that the SW (a 12" and a 15" for each channel each driven by their own amp) are not out of gas at 100 Hz. Of course my SW systems are custom designs that have been extensively tweeked, and my results may differ from those using off-the-shelf SW.
Dear Eldartford and Newbee: I suggest that you read carefully the links that Davehrab post here it can instruct about.

Btw, remember that the integration of subwoofers it's not only for a better ( quality/quantity ) bass but for a better midrange too.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Dear friends: I wonder why many of the " regulars " on this forum decide ( till today ): " stay away " on this extremely critical subject for the analog music/sound reproduction.

Share with all of us your knowledge and points of view about, in that way all we could receive related audio benefits.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Rauliruegas...I read the links you recommended, and find little with which to disagree. In particular, discussion of the "slow bass" myth is exactly consistent with what I said in my earlier posting. I have been designing, building, tweeking subwoofers for several decades.

The overlaping X/O frequencies for SW and Mains is not important in my opinion. There will be some overlap anyway because of the finite filter slopes, and some electronic crossovers make provision to boost or cut response at and around the X/O frequency so as to optimize integration.

My present SW design is taylored for use with planar speakers, Maggie MG1.6. To that end I used a lot of cone area so that excursion would be small like the planars, and I stacked the 12" and 15" SW drivers and located them directly (several feet) behind the Maggies, so that the SW "plays through" them.
"Integration" is (dare I say it) perfect.
I am using a stereo pair of Sunfire Signature subs with my MG3.5 which is used full range and is bi-amped using a Marchand XM126s electronic xover. I have been able to obtain seamless integration of the subs with the maggies after many weeks of experimentation and frustration.

To fully recreate the recording space you need the lower octaves even if the recording involves instruments sans the lower registers.

I was surprised at the improvements in detail and ambience retrieval with increased delicacy as a result of the subs on all types of recordings.

Adding a second sub to complete the stereo pair, improved the overall presentation markedly (some folkes claim that low bass is nondirectional and thus one sw is sufficient, but a stereo pair improved everything). The subs also made the overall presentation more articulate and dynamic.
I agree - I only have one on the left channel (where LFE for DVD's is) and with music it really needs to be in the center between the two other speakers or else it sounds not so great. Like, who knew bass players never crossed the stage?

Raul - How do you like your supertweeters. I only get up to about 22000-ish. Is it tiring?

Excellent point Eldertford. And I agree that most manufacturers leave them out because it shows the weakness of their overall construction - crossovers, etc, or weakness of integration of materials (both if you are really unlucky). When this happens the mids and tweeters or the sub come off as more colored when listening to different Hz frequencies individually. Better to have a family sound, I think, and stick with the same products in speaker implementation.
Dear Eldart: +++++ " I regard the "subwoofer" not as a separate speaker system, but as part of the main speaker system...the part that the manufacturer left out because of size and cost. " +++++

I agree with you. It is always more " confortable " to design speakers with out that low end octave. So, they give us what they want not what we need, well: not what the MUSIC needs.

Like Stevecham told us, the name of the game is: "Integration" .

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Gmorris: +++++ " . I have been able to obtain seamless integration of the subs with the maggies after many weeks of experimentation and frustration. " +++++

Always is a hard work for the seamless integration of the subwoofers: test and error experimentation.

The Maggies are wonderful main speakers and I never heard along with subwoofers, but I can imagine.

+++++ " To fully recreate the recording space you need the lower octaves even if the recording involves instruments sans the lower registers. " +++++

THis is absolutely true. I agree, too, with any single word about the advantages of two subs instead only one.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Eldartford, I would like your opinion on something because you have had experience with a wide variety of sub types, development, and placement in different systems – not just one or two purchases in their own system. This is in regard to all-in-one designs, like my Vandersteens, where the subs are separately powered, driven, and integrated into the same cabinet as the other drivers. As you know these incorporate a high-pass filter just before the amp inputs and, ultimately, the lower end is passed to the subwoofers and the rest to the three-way drivers (woof, mid, tweets) above. This makes these speakers easier to drive than some, but what do you think about the sonic tradeoffs of such a design? I have had subs previously, but really did not care at all for the extra space required, additional connections, placement concerns, etc., etc. Realizing that there are always trade-offs to be made, I chose practicality (if you can call the cost of these speakers as practical), possibly over function. I will note that the sub section performance of the Vandys was very good, at least to my ears, once the speakers were positioned properly (which took some time). But, after I had the 11 bass band contours adjusted, the lower bass seems to integrate perfectly and seamlessly. Wondering your impressions of such an approach and what one may or may not be sacrificing with these over separates, especially in terms of conveying the information on analog recordings. Not looking for a critique of these particular speakers themselves (there’s plenty of those to be found) but, rather, the approach. Much obliged!
Dear Eldartford: +++++ " I run the SWs up to 200-300Hz, and there is no doubt that it is better. " +++++

I can't imagine this situation ( maybe because I don't have enough experience with the Maggies ). Which are the frecuency limits of your SWs ?

Regards and enjoy the music.

Hello Raul and others,

I understand that you advocate using stereo subs.

My question is this: Can you provide detailed instructions on how to hook up two subs in stereo?

For low level hookup - Do you send only 1 channel RCA cable to each sub?

Can you run REL subs with speakon connectors in stereo?
Dear friends: This is something that could help you to integrate the subs to your main speakers:

- first you have to find the best place for your main speakers.

- you can do that with the whole system " on ": speakers/electronic crossover/subs. Then choose the crossover point: 80Hz ( it is a good point to start ) and turn " off " the subs volume/gain and listen to your main speakers that now are working from 80Hz and up.

- listen and listen and listen through your main speakers and move them ( if neccesary ) till you find the best mid/high frecuency response performance.

- then do the same with your subs: alone ( main speakers off ) till you find the best room interaction with.

- now, with the whole system " on " : listen and listen and listen till you identified problems with the seamless integration of the main speakers/subs, that is the target.

- here you have to " play " with small changes in: crossover frecuency, phase, volumen/gain, room treatment and very small changes in the site of the subs/main speakers, till you " done ".

This is only a way to do it and give me the best results to integrate subs, not only in my system but on severals others systems. Sure you can do it in a scientific way. There are no absolute rules here, the only one is: " test and error ".

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hey - Goatwuss - The best way with stereo subs is an extra set of outputs on the preamp via RCA - usually I set the volume on the sub to a certain level (using it as gain) then the preamp can be used as a master volume control. And then ditto Raul's set-up instructions.
Dear Goatwuss: From your preamp: left output to your left side sub and right output to your right side sub .

About your REL question: my english is really bad and I can't understand what you mean.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Biomimetic: About your superteeters question: no, it is not tiring. I think that, like the subwoofers, in many audio systems the integration of STs is a must to have too.

Regards and enjoy the music.