subwoofer for music?


Hi all

My Speakers are the neat ultimatum mf5 which claims to have specs of

MF5 response @ +/-3dB is 28Hz - 40kHz. The typical - 6dB point in the bass is 22Hz. (from BOB of neat)

Can a 6.5" driver get that low?? Proacs and PMC also have specs that go that low! While speakers with drivers of 12" only gets to 30+hz usually...not sure why

I dont feel a lack of bass from the speakers, but having a sub that can fulfil both role of music/movies and help my system to get down to 20hz will be awesome! (will set the crossover at 35hz or less)

However i will have a subwoofer regardless because i will use it for theater, and the pv1d just does not cut it for movies. So therefore im looking for a sub to be used for music and movies with budget as low as possible.

Will 2 subs help stereo imaging? I would much prefer a single sub for convenience .
Room is 8m(6m usable) x4m. So after reading some info, here are some choices that is within my budget (but i would prefer to spend as little as possible)

-jl audio f113

-twin velodyne spl 1000 ultra

-jl audio f112

-bower wilkin db1

-velodyne dd15 (not plus version)

-twin jl audio f110

-mk 350 mk2

-rel r528

I heard about SVS and KK and paradigm subs, but they are a pain to get in my country

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks all :)
nieveulv
The reason for your confusion about the low end extension of small-woofer systems is that the frequency response specs rarely indicate how much acoustic output they can support at those lower frequencies. For example, a 6.5" driver and a 10-12" driver may each play a 30Hz tone but the latter can play it much louder. Note that the drivers in the subs you list are larger than 6.5".

Also, you should consider using a much higher crossover than 35Hz for several reasons.
1. Crossover roll-offs are gradual. A 35Hz crossover will have minimal attenuation one octave down and, with your speakers, have little effect.
2. Raising the crossover will transfer more of the LF power demands to the more able sub, reducing stress and IMD in your main speakers.
3. Raising the crossover and getting a sub with decent EQ will make placement easier and integration smoother.

However, how do you intend to connect and crossover the subs?
Will 2 subs help stereo imaging?
I don't think there is any notion of imaging at bass frequencies. However, a pair of subs has the potential of creating a smoother response over a wider area than a single sub assuming you can place the subs appropriately.

The JL Audio and Velodyne DD series are very good choices. Both have equalization.
01-02-14: Bob_reynolds
Will 2 subs help stereo imaging?
I don't think there is any notion of imaging at bass frequencies.

Really? Well I have a notion of it because I hear the imaging pop into 3D when I get subwoofers integrated properly. It's not that subs image all by themselves; it's what they do along with the mains. There's something about reproducing strong fundamentals and room energy that provides a better foundation for the overtones handled by the L-R speakers, and that improves imaging and soundstage.

BTW, YES, you can get strong, deep bass from 6-1/2" woofers. I have a pair of Mirage M5si's, which have two 6-1/2" woofers, one facing forward and one back. The cabinets are large--50"h x 18"w x 8"d, or about 7,000 cu. inches. You can't make a categorical statement based on driver diameter. Stiffness and weight of the cone plus driver excursion (how much air does it displace?), and cabinet volume are all part of the equation. Fed enough power, my Mirages can make deep, loud bass.

With Stereophile's test CD I have verified that my 6-1/2" woofers take me flat down to 29 Hz and are still usable/audible to 26 Hz.

If you look into the OP's speakers, you'd find that each column is packing at least 3 woofers--one forward facing and additional internal ones making an isobaric arrangement. Since the speaker is discontinued it's harder to determine the exact alignment, but they either fire downward into the plinth (as in other Neat models) or the energy exits via the rear port. At any rate, isobaric alignments are capable of quite a bit of bass, and at good volume.

To the OP: I recommend a pair of JL Fathom F110s or F112s, whichever your budget can allow. Integrating a single sub can be full of compromises; integrating a matched pair is relatively easy and does more to improve imaging as well. It also doubles the low bass they can reproduce. I'd go for a crossover frequency of 40 Hz.
Main benefits of two subs is smoother response across the room plus of course twice the drive for the lowest octaves, which benefit the most from additional power and drive.

Crossing over to subs for lowest octaves also helps take load off main amp and speakers and generally results in better performance there than otherwise as well.

Stereo imaging gradually becomes less of a phenomena at lower frequencies, but I would expect some benefit there as well, especially if subs are crossed over in a manner that offloads more rather than less of the bass. So its less of a benefit at lower frequencies, but not completely a non issue, yet one that alone probably would not carry as much weight but can only be better and not worse with two subs rather than one.

So you can see that using one big sub rather than two smaller ones is a decent option still that works perfectly well for many even though there may be tangible benefit still in many cases with multiple subs.

In the case with seemingly fairly full range speakers already like the OPs appear to be, probably only larger and more powerful subs capable of substantial output 30 hz and below will be off benefit.

Many smaller subs are designed to supplement smaller monitor type speakers with limited bass extension already. These will add little if any value if used with good quality more full range speakers already. So larger good quality subs that use larger drivers (12 inch or larger most likely) are probably needed for true benefit and good ones will also tend to cost more accordingly. Check out frequency response specifications or even better any published measurements if available to help confirm that a particular sub has the low end extension and response needed to add value to an already mostly full range system.
"You can't make a categorical statement based on driver diameter. Stiffness and weight of the cone plus driver excursion (how much air does it displace?), and cabinet volume are all part of the equation. Fed enough power, my Mirages can make deep, loud bass."

Here's a categorical statement: If all of those other parameters are equally optimized, the larger driver is capable of producing lower, louder bass. The dual 7" drivers in my Paradigms come no where close to matching what I get from the dual 10" drivers in my B&Ws, with or without adding subs.
Agree with Kr4.

You can make general statements about the capabilities of larger drivers over smaller. Of course not all speakers/subs that use a particular size driver are created equal, but in general larger drivers have more ability to deliver extended low frequency response than smaller ones. Multiple drivers also help. Its basic physics that is well documented and fairly easily understood compared to many things in "high end audio".

01-03-14: Kr4
"You can't make a categorical statement based on driver diameter. Stiffness and weight of the cone plus driver excursion (how much air does it displace?), and cabinet volume are all part of the equation. Fed enough power, my Mirages can make deep, loud bass."

Here's a categorical statement: If all of those other parameters are equally optimized, the larger driver is capable of producing lower, louder bass. The dual 7" drivers in my Paradigms come no where close to matching what I get from the dual 10" drivers in my B&Ws, with or without adding subs.

Of course that's true, "all else being equal," but no such premises were part of the original statement. More radiating area is its own reward; it's why I have Maggies. Still, the other factors I mentioned are significant and can tip the scales one way or another. The deep bass that comes from a JL F112 is only partly because of its 12" diameter. It's also because of its extreme excursion capabilities, driver stiffness, magnet strength, and the high power in the built-in amp.

BTW, the Neat Ultimatum MF5 has at least *three* 6.5" drivers per tower, which totals nearly the same radiating surface as a 12" driver. Properly tuned to a large enough cabinet, this can account for the Neat's excursion down into the 20s. My Mirages do that too, but most 6.5"-based towers don't.
Johnnyb53, you are talking about specific examples, as I did, and not about the general statement. All those variables do apply but each one can be discussed in terms of its contribution.

Designers choose different drivers based on excursion, stiffness, magnets, mass, etc. and depending on the application. When it comes to woofers, larger is not always better but, unless the implementation is incompetent, larger will be capable of louder, deeper and/or more efficient output.
thanks all for the information, it was soo useful. With my budget, i reckon i should get 1 12" instead of 2 10". So ii can buy another 12" as an upgrade instead of changing 2 subs at one :D

Btw the neat mf5s have 2 6.5" drivers in isobaric and not 3. The mf7s are the one with 4 6.5" drivers :)

The neats do go low!!
Neat's own product description says:
The visible main drive unit handles bass and midrange and is isobarically loaded by similar drive units located inside the cabinet.
So if there are isobarically loaded drive units (plural) inside the cabinet, I figure
there must be at least two 6.5" drivers inside the cabinet plus the visible one mounted on the front baffle, for three total. I'm figuring it might be similar to this.

You're probably right to go with a 12", because your towers go so low to start with. You might even consider the Fathom F113 for a deeper and fuller reach.
Why is SVS a pain in your country? SVS only does mail order! What country are you from?
REL is outstanding for music. I used Velodyne also but it was not suitable for music, it's hardness was tiring.
REL & JL are the two best in my humble opinion. They're both "fast"--i.e. they can be set to be in near perfect phase with the speaker, they are both very musical, and they both go down to the bottom. Here's where they differ: The JL offers way more meat & body, and REL subs are more resolute with less body. If you listen to bass heavy music than JL is absolutely the way to go. If you listen to music without any extreme emphasis bellow 100hz, then you can consider a REl sub as well. Personally I prefer JL over REL
REL are very cheaply made and over hyped.
"REL are very cheaply made"

JK, can you expound on that?

Which others are made well and how?

Thanks.
"REL is very cheaply made" is an opinion very few people share and I have a feeling it's just Johnk spewing garbage. Many people have chosen REL subs as a cost no option solution. For m particular room and system, the REL B2 has served me extremely well and it will for many years to come.

I would give every sub in your price range a fair shake. I did and it worked out for me.
Johnk have you actually ever seen or heard a REL? Sure doesn't seem like it based on your comment/post.
BEing cheaply made and sounding good/being highly functional are not mutually exclusive.

For example, though not inexpensive in the minds of many, it could be argued that the OHM speakers I prefer are cheaply made compared to many others, especially those that cost a lot more. Still, despite searching and listening hard, I have not heard anything yet that makes me want to part with the OHMs. Its the value proposition for the sound I want and get with them that keeps me there.

I do not know which subs are or are not made better than others. Have not done the research. If others have, please share.

Thanks.
Rel are very cheaply made?

You gotta love hit and run posts. I have a Rel T1,and love it. Hey johnk, what do you have?
I think I can sort of get the "REL is cheap" sentiment if you're a person who listens to bass heavy music. The truth is the g1 & g2 fail miserably when you try to feed them bass heavy music. Where they excel is for those people who listen to acoustic, symphonic or even rock, and are just looking to fill in the bottom octave. So by no means is the REL cheaply built, it's just not purposeful when it comes to bass heavy music. I do like the REL design, and like it over the JL design to a degree. But in the end I love the menacing looks of the JL's. When you look at them you know they can blow your socks off.
My trusty old REL Q150e is built like a tank and cost over a grand when new (13 years ago), although I bought it a couple of years ago so cheaply it's embarassing...but I can say mine was "cheaply bought." It covers lower bass amazingly well in my room thus obviating the need for another one, and it does this with headroom to spare. I think some use more woof than required and this leads to actually needing a digital processor to compress and limit things.
"Fill in the bottom octave" indeed. It's all about level..if you have a large room and like to listen loud, get more capable woofage. I listen to all sorts of stuff, including bass heavy recordings (Example: Peter Washington's bass on Bill Charlap's "Somewhere" is recorded hotter than ZZ Top ever was, and can get yer woofer to dance), and although I could wheel in a pair EAW 18" subs that can unweave the socks on any JL and cause your house to collapse, my leetle REL is more than capable of kicking bass around my listening room to a degree that is musically satisfying and plenty loud, if necessary.
OP last word of advice: do lots of research. Unlike Speakers, demoing isn't enough with subwoofers. You can have that $36K 18" Magico subwoofer, and it can sound like shit in your room. You need to go online and read as many reviews and figure out which sub looks like it works best in your room. Even having an in-home demo is probably not enough since you most likely wouldn't have enough time to properly set it up before it had to go back. Moral of the story, do loads of research before you make your purchase.
One would be surprised how even bass proficient speakers can become more or less anemic in particularly (bass-)problematic rooms, which hereby becomes detrimental to the overall sonic performance. A friend of mine uses a pair of S.P. Tech Revelations (on of the later iterations), not by any means a meager performer in regards to bass, but his living room has necessitated, or rather given room to a pair of Electro Voice cinema sub's (2x18" per side), and though this approach may initially seem like shooting sparrows with ship cannons the result is immensely impressive. There's really nothing like BIG bass units (15"+) in large inclosures to handle the lower frequencues.

(scroll down for a picture of his setup)
http://www.hifi4all.dk/content/templates/nyheder.asp?articleid=2979&zoneid=1

Myself I'm also thinking of adding not only one but a pair of subs to assist my main speakers, especially in light of what is also mentioned above on what a well-integrated pair of subs can do to enhance the rest of the frequency spectrum. DIY solutions are considered as well as some pre-manufactured dittos.

Which brings me to address the OP in suggesting a pair of Earthquake's MiniMe FP10. This is relatively fast sub with subjevtively very little overhang, and moreover there's power to spare + they are relatively affordable.