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Stan; Depends on your speakers / and does the pre have two main outs? The Rel subs fill in very well.(Storm/ or above) Also depends on how big the room is/ do we play loud?/might need 2 subs. Downside- the work on placement. (To pressurize the room)The Rels work best with good mains that have bass of there own.
i tink this is a *great* way to go. many ridiculously-priced hi-end speakers are in fact monitors & subs, even if the *monitors* are huge, in their own right. and, a truly full-range speaker in one box can present placement problems of its own, that can actually be made easier w/a monitor/sub system. ie - sometimes soundstaging has to be compromised for optimum bass responce, or wicw-wersa.
regarding subs, i'd recommend two, regardless of room-size, or how loud ewe like to listen. yule definitely get better soundtage results, placement/integration w/the monitors will be easier, and, whatever wolume ewe listen at, the distortion will be lower, cuz each sub will be outputting at a lower level for any given db-level as one sub playing at that level. as to which subs, i'm partial to the vmps, as they're passive, which gives ewe the choice of x-over configuration and amplification. and, it will *still* be less $$$ than two powered subs, for anyting even remotely approaching the quality yule get w/the vmps, imo. i recommend the marchand deluxe xm-9 x-over - wery transparent, & wery flexble - ewe should be able to mate the vmps (or any good passive sub, for that matter) w/pretty-much any speaker w/this x-over. for amplification any decent used solid-state power amp will be fine.
i've had long-term success w/a pair of thiel 3.5's (these speakers, flat to 20 hz, still had the total presentation improved w/my subs), and my current speakers, meret re's. if yure unfamiliar w/the re's they use the same drivers, & were designed by the same guy that designed the artemis eos'. short-term use has seen proac tablettes, nht super-ones, and totem arrows all successfully integrated into my system.
I agree with avgguy with the exception that you shouldn't overlook the REL Strata (one model below Storm), depending on room size. With any of them, allow it to break in and then you'll need to spend some time with crossover and volume. It's worth the effort. Also, depending on the full range speakers you're auditioning, the monitor/sub combo may provide better bass extension.
I've just done what you've asked about, that is, added a subwoofer to my monitors. It was (and probably still is ongoing) definitely a difficult task to integrate the two together. I bought a Monitor ASW 210 as a closeout deal, since they've got a whole new and presumably improved lineup. You have to adjust the phase (big differences), crossover level, and gain all separately, which just takes time and repetition. Did I mention repetition? Be prepared not to like one of your favorite pieces of music anymore (at least for a long time). I only listen to music thru my system. While having just monitors were great, the bottom end fullness is now absolutely fantastic. (and so is jennifer lopez - WOW)
I think Doug Sedon is spot on in recommending two subs. I'd LOVE to get two, but those money trees are notoriously finicky to harvest.
Of note, I found that another Doug, Doug Blackburn, over at soundstage.com has some great articles on subwoofers for music that makes some great reading. If anyone else has any other good articles, I'd love to hear about them.
Not to hijack your thread, Stan, but I'd like to troll for some advice about the scientific theory (not just by objective listening) of an "optimum" crossover frequency...any help?
re: optimum x-over frequency, i've heard it said that it should be an octave higher then the -3db point of the monitor. my monitor's frequency response is to 40hz, so i should theoretically set the x-over to 80hz. but, w/the flexibility of the marchand - besides having separate wolume pots for both low & hi-pass, there's a wolume pot for the x-over point - i get good integration w/the x-over set to 60hz, only 1/2 octave above the monitor's lowest response. as the marchand's x-over slope is a rather steep 24db/octave (also maintains correct phase), i tink this allows a bit lower x-over point. the marchand's x-over points can be changed w/inexpensive plug-in modules, so ewe can experiment. i'd suggest starting low, and working your way up if there's a suck-out at the x-over frequency that can't be adjusted for w/the wolume control for the x-over frequency. i also found it helpful to use an old, cheap adc spectrum analyser/pink noise generator to check the adjustments of the x-over wolume pots. as my subs are much more efficient than the monitors, i *gnu* i'd have to start w/the subs' wolume backed off ~4-db; this turned out to be correct. but, i also discovered that the x-over point wolume pot had to be backed off 2db to get the flattest room response. this leads me to believe that i could prolly get away w/an even lower x-over point of, say 50hz, but as everyting integrates so well now, i'm not planning on messing w/it any time soon.
hope this helps, doug s.
Hi Stan, I own a pair of ProAc Tablette 50 Signatures matched to an NHT SW3P subwoofer and am very happy with the combo.
Integrating the sub with the monitors can be pretty tricky depending on the limitations of your room and its contents, but it is well worth the effort. With every speaker change, cable change and component add-on, I've had to adjust the volume and crossover of the NHT SA-3 amp. I do all the adjustments by ear, whatever sounds right to me. I believe the crossover is set to somewhere around 40hz. Since I listen to a lot of acoustic type music, I try not to let the sub intrude too much on the purity of the ProAc's midrange.
Audition some subs if you're able. I agree with the people suggesting the REL subs. I want to get one, or even TWO some day myself. Strata or Storm, it doesn't matter to me. Good luck and have fun.
i tried a rel strata - one-note-thump was my experience. my brother-in-law could never get it to integrate well w/his proac 1.5's - ruined the midrange transparency, regardless of which option used on the rel's built-in electronics... he bought it used, let me try it, sold it in a week...
ymmv, doug s.