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Hello allucard and bdp24,
I don't doubt that both the REL HT1205 and Rhythmik L12 are very good subs that work vey well in your systems. There are also other very good subs currently available that run the gambit from relative bargains to quite expensive.
However, the OP Hans has expressed an interest in considering the 4-sub Audio Kinesis DEBRA bass system with the four subs positioned around the perimeter of his office in a distributed bass array (DBA) arrangement. The 4-sub DBA concept is a new one to Hans and many others, which is why many of the recent posts on this thread have concerned the concept's explanation, its effectiveness and possible further refinements.
In the spirit of educating others on the DBA concept, both of you mentioning alternative very good reasonably priced subs that Hans could consider using raises a very good point and relates to other important advantages of using the 4-sub DBA concept: its flexibility and scalability. I believe anyone considering a DBA system should be aware of these for best results.
Its flexibility is demonstrated by the fact that effective custom DBA systems can be created using any subs an individual prefers. Its scalability is demonstrated by the fact that the actual in-room maximum bass power, impact and dynamics can be increased and decreased according to the subs utilized as well as adjusted by the setting of the volume and crossover frequency controls.
The essential main requirements for an effective DBA system are that four subs be used and that they're properly positioned in the room. There is a vendor offering an effective DBA system utilizing only three subs but it requires professional positioning of the subs based on a proprietary computer program.
The acceptable actual subs utilized in an effective custom DBA are less restrictive and can range from using small DIY subs containing 8" drivers, like clio09 uses, to using the largest and most expensive subs available.
I also wanted to make sure Hans understands the practical distinctions between installing and configuring a 4-sub custom DBA system versus a complete kit DBA system like the AK SWARM or DEBRA systems. The main method of seamlessly integrating a sub or subs into one's system are the proper setting of the Volume, Crossover Frequency and Phase controls.
With a custom DBA system, using traditional self-amplified subs, all three of these settings are required to be set individually on each of the four subs. With a complete kit SWARM or DEBRA DBA system, using passive subs amplified by a separate external amp/control unit, all three of these settings are only required to be set once for all four subs as a group on the amp/control unit.
Another option, if you're handy and up for it, is to buy the same sub amp/control unit the SWARM and DEBRA kits use and build four passive subs of your choice. This would allow the setting of controls once for all four subs but it could be either more or less expensive than the cost of the SWARM or DEBRA complete system, depending on the exact sub components chosen and the dollar value you designate for your own labor.
Ok. After reading through these postings and researching the many resources kindly provided here, I am still a newbie but at least not a complete newbie!
The absolute best advice I got from this forum was to just go and listen to whatever you are considering.
I went to the local shops and demoed subwoofers in single and pairs (unfortunately no shop in the Boston area had a Swarm or DEBRA system set up).
In the many different sized and shaped listening rooms (and after extreme sticker shock learning how much things actually cost in these rooms!),not only did I hear the difference between single vs. paired(?) subwoofers, but actually started to better understand the more technical writings on subwoofers.
So after about an hour making the poor sales persons nervous while I kept getting up and moving one woofer here, the other there, sitting down and listening, getting up, moving subwoofers again,...the DBA system now makes sense to me on many more levels.
Tim - I really appreciate your staying the course with this thread! Definitely learned a lot!
So for those of you enjoying your DBA systems, any suggestions on creative speaker cable management?
Looking around my office room, I can't imagine how to route the additional cables without making a big trip hazard out of the room.
Should cables be as short as possible yet still reach? Or can long cables be used to route along the walls?
Should cables not be placed under carpets?
Floor suspenders for cables?
I'm glad you went out and listened to subs at local shops in your area. It's a very good method of gaining knowledge and experience, getting an idea of costs, an understanding of sound quality performance differences between sub brands and sizes as well as determining what you like.
The truth is that a pair of good quality subs, properly positioned and configured, would provide very good bass performance in your office at a single designated listening position such as your desk chair behind your desk. You could also save some money by buying a pair of good quality subs online with a free 30-day in-office trial period.
The main advantages of using the Audio Kinesis DEBRA 4-sub DBA system are that the bass will not only be even faster, smoother, more detailed, more powerful, more effortless, with better dynamics and more natural sounding overall than a pair of good subs but it will also sound like this throughout your entire office, not just at your desk chair.
Duke has often stated something like: "2 subs will sound twice as good as 1 sub, 4 subs will sound twice as good as 2 and 8 subs will sound like good grounds for divorce to a lawyer." The 4-sub DEBRA does cost more than many pairs of subs would at $2,800 and requires a bit of a leap of faith to even try but it'll perform better and the risk is mitigated by James and Duke offering a free in-home trial period.
Of course, it's completely your decision whether you're satisfied with very good bass response at your desk for a reasonable price with a pair of good quality subs or you're willing to spend a few hundred dollars more and achieve exceptionally good bass response throughout your entire room by using the 4-sub DEBRA. I'm fairly certain both options would provide bass that blends very well with your main speakers.
Most of your questions/concerns you posted about wiring and cables are addressed on the thread I started awhile ago on the DEBRA system linked below.
The DEBRA's supplied sub amp/control unit has dual speaker output terminals, labelled as A and B, and this thread details how the final sub cabling hookups are done in a series/parallel method:
Attach a single wire from the amp’s speaker A’s pos. output terminal to Sub#1’s pos. input terminal.
Attach a single wire from the amp’s speaker A’s neg. output terminal to Sub#2’s neg. input terminal.
Attach a single wire from Sub#1’s neg. input terminal to Sub#2’s pos. input terminal.
Attach Sub 3 & 4 using this series/parallel method on the amp’s speaker B’s output terminals.
I planned out all the wire lengths (with a small margin of error inches added to each) and ordered single, high quality and low gauge speaker wire along with the sub system for a very reasonable price from AK's James Romeyn in Utah. Once the ideal locations for the subs was determined, I drilled holes in my room’s carpeting and subflooring to the crawl space below, and was able to hide all of the connecting wires.
Each sub comes with a set of 3 brass spiked footers for positioning on carpeted floors. These raise each sub about a half inch off the floor which allows the clearance for the running of speaker wires to each sub's input terminals located on their bottoms.
If you don't have a crawl space or basement located below your office to run and hide the wires, there are other options for doing so such as running them behind baseboards, inside the walls or through a drop down ceiling or an attic. Another idea is to run the wires in a plastic conduit that could be attached to the top of your baseboards in a matching color so that it appears to be a part of the baseboards. You could probably do it yourself but it may be easier and less frustrating just to hire an electrician to do it. I'd suggest avoiding running them underneath wall to wall carpeting mainly because it seems too permanent to me and you may have future ease of access issues to the wiring.
- 138 posts total