Sub recommendation to augment Klipsch La Scala's ???

I have Klipsch La Scala's Heritage Series and love them.  But am looking for a musical sub to augment them in the lower registers.  Must be musical, fast, and dynamic to keep up and give me the visceral kick drums I'm looking for.  I listen mostly to Jaz / Blues / Classic Rock. 

I'm thinking ported in Liew of sealed configurations.  I tried my Revel B15 sub pair and it was OK bot even with significant xover work didn't really integrate well with the speed and dynamics of the La Scala's.

Thanks in advance.


I have never owned any but know a few that have, a horn loaded sub should have an easier time integrating with your LaScalas.
Maybe something like this if you are a DIY person.


There are a lot of great options for "musical" subwoofers.

What size is your room?  What's your budget?  Do you have a preference in terms of connections (speaker/RCA/XLR)?  Music only or music + movies?  Any placement / WAF issues?

Ported subs can be as good in a music only system, but my first choice would be a sealed sub(s) for music.  Rythmik's servo controlled subs are great for music.  Without knowing more it's hard to say which one would be best.  I have two SVS SB13 Ultra subs in my main music system and am very happy with those and wouldn't hesitate to recommend SVS.  I have two Rythmik F25 subs that I use for home theater.  I would use those (or maybe just one) for music, but I can't due to space/placement issues in my room.  They are too big to fit where I would want them for music.
Fast and small, or like a fretless bass player, who wants speed and nimble in the box. That would be multiple or single 10’s in a single box. You need drivers that can go low, but still have a high acceleration factor (it’s a driver spec). This will not happen with 12" drivers and can barely happen with 10’s.

When I wanted to do stereo with subs -right, and have subs that could work with ANY two way and match up as seamlessly as possible, I went with TWO (one per side) of the Velodyne optimum 10 subs.

High powered, matched to the individual main speaker locations, sealed, nimble, and fast enough. With high enough output. Closest match for the ’best attempt’ I could find on the market, at the time -and available to me. Still regret selling them.

So, some set of "known for their quality of articulation" 10" high powered subs (2 required) is a good place to start looking. 12" is too large, and slow.... 8" too small and struggle to get the tunes out, so you loose dynamic articulation and have a smaller dynamic window of linearity in all areas,...where the klipsh speakers definitely do not suffer dynamic issues.

12" subs would be a better match for dealing with high bass levels for ~full~ dynamic capacity matching with the klipsch speakers, yes, but speed, no. Articulation matching up, no.

A pair of tens for the attempt, it is. This is likely the closest for obtaining satisfaction --for the very vast number of times you turn the system on.

Forget ported subs, leave that to home theater which is about pushing the sub as hard as can be, and articulation is down on the list of requirements, most times.
Importantly, when Doing this, i was only interested in leaving the mains speakers, what ever they might end up being, and being changed out many have them be unhindered and running full rage with no signal degradation from external crossovers or anything.

This means the subs carried all the matching up work. so the given 10" sealed subs had to do all the heavy lifting in the matching up part. maybe multiple 12" in a sealed box. Two subs like that. Under driven subs  can go a long way to help keeping dynamics clean, delineated, and nimble. that's big and expensive (think JL fathom, gotham, etc) and was not my intention at the time.

Thanks for the input guys.  My room is 15x19x9 and this is a music only system.  And yes I like to listen at higher volumes than I most likely should but the live / dynamic experience is a primary driver for me.

I have tried my Revel B-15's (pair) and even dug my old B&W 800-ASW's (pair) out of the closet.  Of course both are sealed designs but do not have the slam / speed needed for the horn La Scala's and tend to smear the lower mid base.  I have used the 5 pole parametric EQ's on the B-15's to limit the xover region with a steep slope and have tuned with my RTA for no dips / spikes.  The RTA tells me that the La Scala's in my room are 3db down by ~40Hz and due to their size I have very limited positioning options AND everything above ~50Hz sounds and measures nearly perfect + good soundstage etc. so moving them is really not an option.


You are getting into the area of ’the impossible match’ Horn loaded dynamic and fast bass, and trying to couple that with subs issue.

Which is exactly where you are.... Tricky. Tricky at best ...and money and intelligence needs to be wisely paired and thrown at it.

You almost require multiple fast pro sub drivers (light cones, massively efficient) in an infinite baffle in wall design, in order to match up. But that gives timing issues re matching up.

You are reaching for the last bit of infinity which troubles you by demanding infinity in return.
From EQ’g many a kick drum and I mean many, I have never needed to mess below 40 HZ
i would add some meat at 50 HZ
overly hyper flat bass EQ rarely sounds good....

have fun

i used a stacked pair of LaScala for my PA in a Punk/Rockabilly band...
@tinear123 --

From what you describe above, and also given your prior experience with a more typical hifi-segment of direct radiating subwoofers (in conjunction with your current main speakers) there’s no doubt in my mind you need to go with a pair of horn subs (or other efficient pro-style large-driver (18"+) iterations). These are likely to complement your all-horn La Scala’s the best way possible, and will give you the sufficient headroom, power and way-of-delivery needed here.

DIY horn sub solutions, if you’re up for the challenge, sport a variety of options, like the builds from "lilmike" and "Ricci" over at the Avsforum (mostly tapped horns), as well as Bill Fitz Maurice’s THT sub and other varieties of his (mostly FLH’s). Pre-assembled iterations could include the tapped horns of Danley Sound Labs - TH-50, TH-115 and TH-118(XL) in particular. The latter two options here don’t extend notable below some 30-35Hz, but are more efficient (at least 105dB’s). The TH-50, fitted with a 15" driver, gets you 20Hz (at 97dB’s efficiency) to also excel with Home Theater duties and most any music material, while obliterating most any direct radiating alternative you’d care to find. And then imagine what a pair of them can achieve (only 4 of these were used in a very large IMAX venue in Chicago, just to give you an idea..).

I’m having a pair of lilmike’s MicroWrecker tapped horns (also w/15" drivers) build for my home setup, and they are closely inspired by the DLS TH-50 just mentioned above, with the same tuning frequency (22Hz) and efficiency. They take up 20 cubic feet per horn, and are to augment all-horn main speakers not that distantly related to your La Scala’s. The force multiplier of a suitable 15" in such a tapped horn is about factor 3, so the equal to 2x18" direct radiating units. Even so the tapped horn sound will likely be felt more viscerally and effortless by comparison.

Why horn subs, not least a pair? Because your main speakers are horns, all-horns at that, and because a pair (or more) will give you a smoother distribution of bass. In reality this is less about obliterating power than integration, coherency and natural (musical) presentation, but the former trait (i.e.: power in abundance) is not trivial. Most audiophiles are more or less conditioned to believe that more SPL/air radiation area "than needed" is excess baggage, so to speak, but it’s the whole point in the effort to attain an effortless and more natural presentation.

@phusis Thanks for the information on horn subs.  Very interesting and I'll look up some of these designs and investigate more closely.
What’s your budget ? The new JL Audio are very good 
always buy a pr if possible for it balances out the room.
sysgy subs have apps and room correction for $2k for 2 
very musical and fast, Klipsch use cheap woofers ,that and their Xover ii not on par with their cost .i owned several .i rebuilt them
a total revelation once good Xover parts are used. Its s beyound me how they can chargeso much  ,Bob criterium May sell 15 inch 
upgrade drivers for them , for they are nothing special.
the Titanium mids, and I assume tweeter is Titanium ,thehereseys
i just sold had Titanium tweeter,and mids. Great potential 
Here is one for you the HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP SubwooferCheck out their reviews online I have had one for a year now and this thing goes down low and is very fast, you can't go wrong.
I agree with audioman58. Get a pair of subs.  
Must be musical, fast, and dynamic to keep up and give me the visceral kick drums I'm looking for. I listen mostly to Jaz / Blues / Classic Rock.
Are your two B-15s in the corners behind the La Scala's? Why not fill the other corners with the B&Ws slaved from the B-15s?

Two B-15s should be more than enough subwoofer. I don't buy into the speed and musical aspect. In my experience speed is usually associated with sub placement.

Along with location, poor optimization and EQ control hinders integration or musicality. Kick drum timing is often an issue with polarity which can vary from track to track on the recording recording itself.

Matching with a horn sub when your already tight on space? Not exactly sure how but Magico seems to do well with a sealed box with their Ultimate One's. 

While Revel's B-15 Optimization procedure is quite dated it offers much more control than many of the suggestions here. I wouldn't use Revel's suggestions of Y connectors and high pass filter. Are you using their LFO devise and disc or a 1/3 octave RTA?

Good luck with it.
If i can find another sub like mine I might just do that too...I have Heresy III and they sound great with my sub , but one sub can't really keep up as the volume increases... its tricky to find the right level for a single sub
What ever you do get one with an internal crossover build in. It will make thing cheaper and easier. 

Sadly very few modes have this feature. JL e line or subs does. I am sure there are others too. 
I remembered reading this a while back. Not cheap when you add the amp/crossover, but maybe you can get some ideas from someone who had to figure out the same problem you are having.
@ m-db
The B-15'd were not in the corners but I am going to make another run at them this next weekend.  I think I may have over EQed then using my RTA software taking out the impact at the leading edge of low notes which presents as slow or smeared.  Regarding connection configuration I did not use "Y" connectors but was considering it this time around.  I want the La Scala's to run full range direct from the Coincident Franky-II's and my PS Audio BHK pre only one set of outputs.

@ acman3
Great idea!  Funny I spoke to Greg at Volti just the other day.  That would be a great solution but much too expensive at present.  I looked at his complete system last year and even found one on the used market for $15k but just out of reach when I could get the new La Scala's at just under $8k.
Update...  Just read in the PS Audio BHK Pre manual that I can use both the RCA and XLR outputs at the same time.  Thus no "Y" connection as I can run the XLR to the B-15's and of course the standard RCA to the lovely Coincident Franky-II's feeding the La Scala's full range.  Much better solution than PSA->B15->Franky->La Scala.

Thanks @m-db for making me stop & think!

Smooth bass = "fast" bass, because it is the peaks which decay slowly.  These peaks are inevitable and are caused by room interaction.  You can move the sub and re-arrange the peaks (and dips), but you cannot eliminate them by positioning alone.  The best you can hope for is to find the "least bad" position. 

One approach which works well is to use multiple small subwoofers distributed asymmetrically.  Each produces a different room-interaction peak-and-dip pattern, and the sum of these multiple dissimilar peak-and-dip patters is significantly smoother than any one alone.  Unlike EQing a single sub, this improved smoothness holds up throughout the room, rather than being confined to a small area with the response actually made worse elsewhere.

In the bass region, speakers + room = a minimum phase system, which means that the frequency response and time-domain response track one another.  Fix one and you have fixed the other.  So when we use a distributed multisub system to fix the frequency response, we have simultaneously fixed the time-domain response. Therefore, a good distributed multisub system is quite "fast", integrating well with systems like Klipsch Heritage series and Edgarhorns when setup correctly.

 This may be somewhat counter-intuitive, but the in-room smoothness (and therefore "speed") increases with the number of intelligently distributed bass sources.  So two subs are twice as smooth as one, and four subs are twice as smooth as two.  You can find anecdotal evidence of this trend in reading posts by Maggie and Quad owners (dipoles have inherently smoother in-room bass than monopoles and therefore sound "faster"):  Most Maggie and Quad owners who try a single sub end up ditching it and going back to no sub because the discrepancy sticks out like a sore thumb, while most Maggie and Quad owners who try two (or more) subs keep them. 

The ear/brain system actually has poor time-domain resolution at low frequencies, but very good loudness-domain resolution.  If you eyeball a set of equal-loudness curves, you will see that they bunch up south of 100 Hz, which means that a relatively small change in SPL sounds like a large change in loudness.  In fact a 5 dB change in SPL at 40 Hz sounds like as big a change as 10 dB at 1 kHz!  This is why making the effort to improve the smoothness in the bass region can give very large subjective benefits. 

It doesn't matter how fast a subwoofer starts out - by the time your brain begins to register the pitch of the bass note, the room's effects are all over it.  Sure there are audible differences between different subwoofers, but the biggest improvement arguably comes from solving the biggest problem, which is room interaction.  The elephant in the room IS the room.

Imo, ime, ymmv, etc.