Sub suggestions


Hi all,

I've decided to go with a new sub - finally. As of now I'm running Reference 3A de Capo BE's powered by an LSA Statement integrated and have an ancient Velodyne 8" CHT sub.

What're good recommendations for a sub-$1000 (new or used) sub or pair of subs? I listen mainly to jazz, folk-rock, and occasional good rock and ambient techno on a mix of cd and vinyl, but nothing too heavy in the bass area. I have a small, small listening room for the next few years, but have bass traps.

Thank you
simao
Vandersteen V2Q subwoofer...

they are sealed enclosures that are designed differently; they have superior first order crossovers: and they are built differently in that they utilize three 8-inch small drivers instead of one larger unit for greater power-to-weight ratio and better diaphragm control.

NOTE: the HT version is a DIFFERENT model (V2W) than the 2-channel model (2WQ)

Two versions of the 2W subwoofer are available, each engineered and optimized for specific situations.

The 2Wq receives its input from the power amplifier and is designed to maintain maximum sonic continuity between the subwoofers and main speakers in all music and home theater systems where a crossover can be inserted between the preamplifier/processor and the main power amplifier.

The V2W accepts line-level inputs exclusively ["LFE"] and is designed for home theater systems with integrated processor/amplifier units where the bass is handled by a line-level subwoofer channel.

Google the great reviews. These include:

(1) AUDIOPERFECTIONIST

http://vandersteen.com/media/files/Reprints/2wqReviewAudioPerfectionist.pdf

".... Best Value

In my opinion, the Vandersteen 2WQ is the best subwoofer available for reproducing music regardless of price, and the price is a mere $1,250 each! If that’s not a bargain, I’m a bad shopper. I have four 2WQ subwoofers and they’re not on “long term loan;” I bought them. I want the best possible performance and I’m willing to pay for it, but if the product that offers the best sound quality also costs less, I won’t complain...."

(2) AUDIOPHELIA

http://www.audiophilia.com/hardware/2wqsub.htm

(3) SOUNDSTAGE

http://www.soundstage.com/video/revequip/vandersteen_theater.htm

highly recommended.
Very hard to beat the SVS SB-1000 (http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb-1000) for the money. Though I think the SB-2000 (http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb-2000) is the better value.

Get one first. You can always add another one later.
My brother uses the LSA statement integrated with a pair of Martin Logan Summits. He uses a REL and loves it. I also use REL with my Dynaudio Contour 3.0's. The REL hooks up off the MAIN amps output so it gets the same signal as the main speakers this gives you seem less integration. A used REL B2 or B1 would be great. Some of the new RELS are great also.
Hi Matt,
The REL hooks up off the MAIN amps output so it gets the same signal as the main speakers this gives you seem less integration.
There's more to getting seamless integration than using speaker level connections. Speaker level or line level connection is way down the list of concerns for getting good integration. Besides, the speaker level signal that reaches the main speaker's drivers isn't the same one that reaches the subwoofer's driver(s); remember there's an amp in the way in the subwoofer.
I'll second the SVS SB 1000s. I bought a pair delivered for under 1k, and they're tremendous. Great company, great product. Highly recommended.
I agree that the SVS looks like a great value.

One thought FWIW:

I once owned deCapos (not BE). To my ear, they were a bit rolled off on top and unusually extended in the bass (for a stand mount). The result was a well-balanced, extended (rather than full) range speaker. IMO, they weren't a great candidate for subwoofers because they were that unusual small speaker designed for neutral response and balanced accordingly at the frequency extremes. I'd think the top end would go a bit dull if you use a sub to enhance the bottom end.

I'm not sure at all that this would apply to the BE, but I personally wouldn't use a sub with the original deCapo.
The sub I have now - the Velodyne 8" CHT - adds a bit of umph! and some bass depth; I have the volume set pretty low and the crossover set higher than it should. Still, it comes across as muddy and slow at times. The BE tweeters do brighten things up more than the original tweeters did, so I'll be happy with a faster, more smooth sub.
So - if I went with the SVS sb 1000 - should I get ported or sealed? My listening room is fairly small.
02-11-15: Simao

"So - if I went with the SVS sb 1000 - should I get ported or sealed? My listening room is fairly small."

If music is your main focus with this rig, the the SB1000 would be the better option. If HT, the the PB1000.

Personally, I would go with the SB2000.

Bill
Yes; music would be 95% of my listening. HT almost nothing. Again, ported or sealed?
Sealed, even better if your speakers are sealed too, not ported.
"Again, ported or sealed?"

Sorry. SB = Sealed Box, PB = Ported Box

So sealed most likely will yield better results for music, IMO.

Bill
Thanks for clarification, Willland. SB1000 ordered today. Thank you all for helping me along with this. i've had my old Velodyne for 15 years now. i feel like im having an audio component divorce.
"the speaker level signal that reaches the main speaker's drivers isn't the same one that reaches the subwoofer's driver(s); remember there's an amp in the way in the subwoofer"

So Bob, What other connection to the sub do you recommend for proper integration? And for your info, the REL is not connected with speaker level inputs. It uses a advanced cable that connects to your amplifiers main outputs, that way its receiving the same signal as your main speakers. I have never liked any sub that uses a unbalanced or balanced connection from a pre amp or integrated amp. I love my REL because I never have to touch it, regardless of what I'm listening to it sounds phenomenal!
I think this might be a good option for me as well. I am switching my HT to downstairs and want to make the upstairs for mostly music. I have The Piano finish PSB Imagine T's that I want to get dual subs to match. PSB does not offer a sub in Piano Black for some reason, so the SVS in piano black looks like a winner.

I however have a large room, which is why I want dual subs do decrease the dead zones.
Matt, the point I was trying to make is that the connection approach is down on the list of concerns. Matching level and sub placement in the room are much more important than how the sub is connected into the system.

I'm familiar with the REL philosophy -- they are designed as sub-bass speakers to augment the bass of essentially full range speakers and thus, speaker level connections is the obvious choice. There's nothing better or worse with this approach. There's nothing advanced about their cable. They do use a specific, fairly uncommon, connector. And as I said before the signal reaching the driver in the sub IS NOT the same signal as that reaching the drivers in the main speakers, but this is a detail of arguable sonic consequence.

However, using speaker level connections with less than full range speakers exposes the disadvantage of bass augmentation versus bass replacement. With less than full range speakers it's possible to create a cleaner, i.e., less distorted, speaker system by high-passing the main speakers and letting the sub handle the bass chores.

Which connection approach works best for any situation will depend largely on the capability of the main speakers.
" as I said before the signal reaching the driver in the sub IS NOT the same signal as that reaching the drivers in the main speakers"

Cannot not DISAGREE more with this statement. When the Sub is connected by using the MAIN amps output taps all the sub is getting IS the signal! What the Amp does with it after that is not relevant! The point is ...that the signal received is from the MAIN amp just like the main speakers. Try and integrate a sub any other way....it wont. And subs are used by all people you have small monitors to big electrostas and everything in between. I never liked any sub until I added the REL with this connection. Bob, using a subwoofer as you described is for listening to HOME THEATER! NOT 2 channel HIFI.
I've seen your 2 sub system BOB ....I rest my case.
Matt, please read the post carefully. There is nothing to disagree with. The *driver* in the sub does not receive the same signal as the *drivers* in the main speakers. However, the sub's *amplifier* does receive the same signal. That was my point. If you believe that the amp in your REL sub is so transparent (it certainly isn't that expensive) that the sonic characteristics of your amp are passed through unscathed, that's fine. But, it doesn't seem very plausible to me.

The point is ...that the signal received is from the MAIN amp just like the main speakers. Try and integrate a sub any other way....it wont.
That's obviously not true.

I'm glad you were able to get the integration you wanted with your REL sub. Many people do. But I think you are drawing a false conclusion that the connection scheme is the reason.

Bob, using a subwoofer as you described is for listening to HOME THEATER! NOT 2 channel HIFI.
Again, obviously not true. When you have some time research pro subs used in recording studios. You will not find a speaker level connection on any of them. They understand bass management. They understand the importance of letting the sub handle the bass load.

In the HiFi world, Vandersteen uses speaker level connections with his sub. He also uses a high pass filter with his essentially full range speakers as he understands that doing so will yield a less distorted speaker system.
Matt, what case are you resting? Sorry, I don't follow.
Matt,

To clarify:

Bob's quote - (and your reprint of it) - states that the signal reaching the DRIVER in the sub in not the same as the signal reaching the drivers in your main speakers. Assuming that you are using a powered sub, he is correct. The input signal routed by the speaker level REL connector to the sub goes first to the sub's internal amp and the output from that internal amp goes to the driver in the subwoofer.

If you're using a passive subwoofer and not bi-amping, then the drivers in both subwoofer and mains would see the same signal. The trade-offs in doing that are significant.

Some folks prefer the REL speaker level arrangement and claim that "capturing" the characteristics of the main amp in the input signal for the subwoofer amp has benefits (and I won't argue that one way or the other), but that's not the same as saying that all the drivers see the same signal with this set-up.
When I was running a sub in my 2 channel system the Vandersteen Sub swq or whatever its called now sounded very good. Used them in a pair and as a single sub. They were musical, quick, stable and went deep. It integrated well in to the system musically. With that said they hook up differently (directly to the amp with filters removing the bass from the mains being restored by the subs). So to get them right you have to play around with them with the temporary adjustable crossover from Vandersteen. When you figure out the exact location of the crossover point for your system you get the x1 crossovers and plug those in for use in your system.

I would be still using them now but I simplified the system they were in from 2 mono block VTLs (3asigs) with the two Vandi subs. Later got a pair of Mod 5s for a couple of years. Eventually, heard something I liked better in Von Sweirkerts that I have been happy with for the 3 years, now my system is as complicated with 3 amps as it ever was. The Mod 5s seem to go as low as I need them to with a vertical bi-amp set up. VSA Mod 5s in the 2 channel and VR 3s in the ht system.

For another sub I like SVS and use one of their cylinder subs in my HT. Sounds very good but not as good on music as the Vandersteens did but the movie bass is stunning.
Bob, I have seen your other posts revolving around subs and must say well done and well said. You know what you are talking about.
Marty, thanks for the clarification.

Bam, thanks for the kind words.
Check out Outlaw Audio. Even though their subs are not much money, they do a good job.
SEALED OR maybe bandpass little 8" woofers from likes of M&K,SVS, n other highly touted smaller woofers, n focus on effective setup, acoustics n EQ'ING! .i say.
EASILY 99% OF SETUPS COULD USE LOTS OF HELP IN THESE AREAS!! Cant tell u how many even expensive high end sub applications ive run into, even in hiend retai AV salons, where sub is just ON and thrown into the mix!
Anyway, small subs for small spaces, n gradual rolloff fits better here. If you read reviews on subs, look for reviewers refering to quick, tightly controled musical subwoofers! prob not gunna be far off from there in ur budget
...and yet there is no holy grail or must have option out there that destroys all others! So you got options.