subwoofer Bass in Systems


I believe one of the challenges of our hobby, is that we are scarce and therefore have limited exposure other systems. It is at least true for me. I am a member of a local Audiophile club who used to do system hop days and looked forward to those. I do get to drop into a local high end store and know the owner and on a few occasions each year, give a 20 min listen to their ultra high end 100-300k System.

I have met a few people through buying and selling via Craigslist and those past system hop days and have been had several people spend some time listening to my systems.

Most people i've met and heard their systems do not use a subwoofer with full range or monitor speakers.

So, this recent visit a person came by and really seemed over-whelmed by the bass in my system. to keep this short and on the way to my point, my system components are

#1-Celestion SL700 , Revel B12 subwoofer, Plinius SA100 Mk III amp
#2 -Celestion SL600 Celestion System 6000 subwoofers, AirTight ATM-3 monos, powering the SL600s.

I prefer the Celestions, because to me they are boxless sounding and of course they are well known for their imaging and mid-range clarity.

I like that idea and the idea of the subs to provide what the Celestions lack, bass.

My systems are set up with the sub output fairly low, when i hear some smearing of the mid-band, I step off and down off the subwoofer level.

My listening reference is what i would expect to hear in a live setting. I expect to somewhat feel the bass note, or at least know within that instrument there is weight and some heft.

To my point, at least half of the persons who have heard my system have always commented on the bass level, and being a good host I adjusted it down to their preference. This last visit, i kept the bass level at what this visitor had me drop it to and listened for an evening after he left.

At this particular level, it is best described that there was a bass player or bass note within songs, but it was blended in within the same level of the other instruments or voices. To me, it wasn't right, and I feel, personal preference or not, it isn't what would be considered a natural real level.

So, finally to my point of discussion to you all, my only thought is, a lot of us in the hobby put together their systems without the consideration of the lower end sub or bass frequencies, or have smaller monitors not capable of it, or lack sufficient power to run a full range to obtain a level of subass or bass. Maybe it is their living space or neighbor set up where they can't have low bass. I am not saying anyone is wrong, but also see in terms of audiophile marketing , i see the least amount of focus on bass. Bass is a big marketing point in home theater, for which I am not interested in, but again not 2 channel audio.

Again, having heard other persons systems, it is my experience that priorities are elsewhere, which in my opinion, I want the entire spectrum of audio.

Am I in the minority here ?

Your thoughts would be very welcomed

Good Listening
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128justlisten
I prefer bass being added as it seems to make to sound more complete if you will. I am currently running Magnepan 1.6qr with dual Rythmik Audio F15HP subs and could not be happier, in my opinion the Rythmik subs are very fast and they go `low` 14hz. My wife even approved.
I never heard the full spectrum of sound until I added a REL Britiania series 10" sub to my Dynaudio Contour 3.0's. There is a lot of low level information that you will never hear with most main speakers. I don't like sub woofers they never seem to integrate and your always tweaking with the volume. Not so with the REL! I set it and for get it.Simply awesome, I love this REL sub.
I agree with you as I have used a sub on and off. Right now there's no sub in my system and I kinda miss it. There is a lot of information and nuance that you just can't get with speakers that only go down to 40Hz or so.
I'm with you. I love bass that loads the room enough to hear and feel. I have struggeled to get that in my family room. I just recently found that the same subwoofer I had been using with one particular preamp and amp configuration sounds completely different with a different amp connected in the system. I never moved the sub or changed the gain on the sub, just changed the amp---and the sub is connected to preamp the way it was before via rca cables!!!!!. From this experience, I learned that many of the subs I've owned (and sold )were better subs than I ever got to hear, but they were not matching well with the gear I had at the time and therefore I never got to hear what they could do when performing to their true potential. That's a disappointment. System matching often makes this hobby a bitch. But yes, I love a good bass foundation to all my music. To me, it's a must to make music more involving.
Yea Pkbkr999 I had a Rythmik F15HP-SE and sold it because it didn't give me the bass I expected for its size. My conclusion based on my recent experience is that the problem was not the sub, but simply a case of the sub not being a good match with my preamp and amp, probably an impedance mismatch.
I was never happy with subs until I got an amp with bass management. Now I'm a big fan of subs which as one member put it liberate the higher range. Fidelity is better in the upper range plus lower range is full. No downside.
I'm with you as well Justlisten. I have a pair of ACI Titan subs (self-powered, 12" driver) which I will always use whatever my mains might be. The bass can always use some help, even if just to smooth out the hills and valleys.
Love my old REL Q150e...100% behind the REL concept...signal from the amp, leave the main speakers alone, etc. RELs can be amazing and lead to a better life with more general happiness, cleaner dishes, and sudden unexpected financial wealth.
In my experience a sub also exposes you to an another area of music playback that can be plagued by poor recording techniques. "Oh! This recording would be so much better if the low frequencies weren't (......)", fill in the blank.

It just limits the number of recordings that go into the "Wow" category. But then, those that do, are a little higher up in "Wow"
I'm selling two subs that I liked very much with the monitors I was using for the past 6 months. I'd play none one or two and enjoyed two the most. I finally went back to floorstanders (Wilson Witt II's) and tried each combination, and really don't feel the need for subs anymore. Guess I can spend a little on room treatment.
you did not get a lot of bass out of your Rythmik F15, thats odd, I have more than anyone could ask for, maybe it the fact that I have them with Maggies, which obviously are a little light on the low end. I have enough bass to rattle the foundation!
I had a problem with integrating subs into my system. Bass is a hard thing to get right. I purchased Evolution Acoustics MM2's which have amped woofers integrated in the speaker. That solved all problems. Excellent sound
I run two JL E112s and would never concider going with out subs again. Using the digital crossovers that are built in.
I'm in the subs plus Audyssey camp. In my case, I use a pair of 12" Rythmik subs with Ohm 100s or Magnepan MMGs. I just let Audyssey do its thing and seamless integration is never an issue. Bass is sufficiently extended that none of my music meaningfully tests the lowest limits of the system (I need cinema material for that). Bass is also notably clean and articulate, leading to a more detailed sounding midband.

I know this approach isn't everyone's cup of tea, but its my preferred solution for full range listening.