If your budget will stretch to about $750 for a used sub, there are very few subs that are more musical than the Vandersteen 2Wq. However, Vandersteen recommends that this sub be used with a fairly full-range main speaker, i.e., one that has pretty flat response down to about 40 Hz. I think your Studio 100's meet that criteria, but you might want to check.
The 2Wq sub(s) utilize a passive crossover between the preamp and the power amp which allows impedance matching with your power amp, and the result is virtually seamless blending between the main speakers and the sub. The 2Wq has a dial that allows you to adjust the "Q" (amount of damping), and because the 2Wq is a sealed design, you get very tight, clean, musical bass.
I completely agree there are few subs "more" musical that the Vandersteen at that price. For a subwoofer "as" musical as the Vandersteen also take a look at the REL subwoofers while you're shopping. They are a lot more versatile; and easier to setup and integrate with your system. Depending on your budget consider the Stratus II, Stratus III, Storm or Storm III. Maybe even a Stadium II or III.
At the $800 to $1500 used price range, I would recommend the Bag End Infrasub 18" subwoofer first. Extremely tight and musical sub that faithfully reproduces down to 8Hz. Not many subs out there can even go down to 20Hz much less 8Hz. You can find a used one here usually for about $800.
Next would be the Triad Platinum 18 inch sub. Musically just a step down from the Bag End.
I've auditioned the Bag End for several weeks and really enjoyed it's presentation. I had no idea a sub, especially an 18 inch sub could be so tight and yes musical.
I ended up going with the Triad Platinum because it's sonic were also quite good but it had a few more configuration bells and whistles.
The REL subs are supposedly highly rated but they are typically in a higher price category.
The sub is the most controversial component for music systems so get ready for many varied opinions.
The Vanderteen and REL are pitch accurate and very musical as they have multiple small drivers and are very "fast".Not sure if the Bag End would be as quick and musical.I have heard though that the Revel sub has a big driver (15"?18"?) but it is also very good for music.So many subs out there do well with HT but not music.If your budget is tight an HSU or NHT Sub One seems pretty good for dough.
Go to AdireAudio.com. Look up the sub named RAVA. Do a search on AudioAsylum.com for the RAVA sub as well as Hometheaterforum.com. Become impressed. Become excited. Purchase the sub. If you don't like it you can return it within 30 days (check that out for sure). It has received rave reviews across the net and the owner and creator Dan Wiggins is highly respected in the subwoofer and speaker circles.
I am thinking of Paradigm Servo-15..any ideas about this subwoofer??
The Servo 15 is in another league compared to the REL or Vandersteen...the minor league. Don't fall into the trap of matching the aesethics or names of the product line.
Sorry if my comment is blunt...
Aram....with the bass response of your Studio 100's, unless you listen to quite a bit of organ music or something along those lines, your mains already have PLENTY adequate bass response for vitrtually ALL types of music. Possibly you may want to think about upgrading you amplifier to a unit more inclined towards a solid bass region instead of a subwoofer. Just a thought. Sometimes adding a subwoofer can be a nightmare instead of a dream come true.
Check out http://www.artofsound.com . They make great sounding subs for music. I am getting one in the next few weeks. This sub not only sounds better than a Rel, it looks better, too. I would highly recommend this sub.
I have to agree with kgb540. The Paradigm 100s have a LOT of low end extension and they remain tight and musical all the way down. I'm a big fan of organ music and yet when I listen to music on my HT system (which uses 100s) I turn the sub off.
Have to take gentle exception to our brethren who endorse the Vandersteen. True, it is musical but it isn't very dynamic and it is an absolute bitch to set up. The fact that you feel the need for a sub with a pair of 100s suggests that you like your bass to be pretty dynamic. In that case, the Paradigm Servo-15 is pretty clearly a better choice, IMO, than the Vandersteens. A REL would be even better if you can find the cash.
Just another POV and, like the others, worth exactly what you paid for it. :)
Good luck and do let us know what you decide.
Robo made a typo. The link is www.artofsound.net
So good..so many replies..I am pleased..
REL is also a good choice but it is too expensive..overpriced..I won't pay a penny to REL..I am in UK and REL is so expensive here and Servo-15 is only 500£ ..I mean that is 730 USA $..but even the cheapest REL is around 600 £..Most of the British hi-fi products are overpriced..don't pay a penny to them..lol..shall I tell you something?Paradigm Studio 100 beats B&W 802 and B&W is for around 8000 $ but the Paradigm is only 2300$..Paradigm is unbeatable !!!!
for me bass quality is more important than bass quantity..I listen to ethnic jazz and ethnic music..so bass must be DEEP and TIGHT ..
I agree with you that Studio 100 is really good at the bass..but how low can it go??frequency range is specifieed as 39 hz and it also writes that low freuency extension is 25 hz..so which one am I to believe??Can the Studio 100 really go down to 25 hz??I am confused about it..
I also heard that adding a subwoofer might also be a nightmare so I am very cautious about it..
so I still want to hear more from you...thanx....
Aram....help us a bit, what does your system consist of (electronics)??? Possibly this info may help out too.
Aram, it is room loading that extends the bass response of the speakers. The only way to know the response in your own listening space is to get out the trusty Rat Shak SPL meter and measure it. In the case of my HT room, which is medium-sized and has a rather high ceiling, the 100s are down about 3db at 30Hz. With the sub engaged, the room is essentially flat to 25Hz and down 3db at 20Hz. That's gotta be enough bass for anybody!
I use Yamaha MX-1( 200 watts at 8 0hm) and again Yamaha CX-1 as preamplifier.....
Aram you are going to get bunches of votes for Rel and Vander.... If you get a chance log on to Madisound.com Disscussion forums. scroll down to Scott's thread "Peerless XLS sub", there you'll see a very nice musical sub. If you need the specs log on to mad's catalogue peerless etc.
The MX-1 is a real nice amp. Good match with the Studio 100's. You may notice a slightly warmer sound and deeper low-end with an Aragon 8008BB. You may also want to consider bi-wiring your speakers too. The extra guage of cable may yield some deep bass improvements.
Some say that when you bi-wire you lose a bit at the soundstage..is that true??
I got very good results from biwiring my 100s. Also from using a power conditioner.
Bishopwill what were the differences when you bi-wired them??did you have any negative results??
I think the biggest change I noticed was that the bass became tighter and better controlled. There was some improvement in midrange clarity, too.
No negative impact unless you consider the cost of a set of good biwire cables. OUTCH!
Bishopwill, with my MX-1 amplifier I have A and B speaker terminals .Normally I only use A terminal..If I want to bi-wire do I have to put the B terminal on as well??On Paradigm website they recommend not to..what do I have to do??
Nothing to be gained by doing that. If you buy a set of pre-made biwire cables, they'll have a single pair of connectors on the amp and end two pair on the speaker end. They'll be labeled High and Low; be sure to connect them correctly.
Aram, I have heard nothing but good things about the musicality of MJ Acoustics Subs. Seem to be very good value for the money. They're made in the UK. www.mjacoustics.com
You may also want to check out M&K subs - I've heard them and they all fall under the fast, tight and low qualifiers.
thanks for the info for Acoustics subs..I looked them on the net..they look good..light and powerfull..
I can't believe that!!how can a tiny 8.5 kg subwoofer go down to 15 hz!!..this subwoofer is cool!!
Several British magazines have reviewed it favorably against the similar REL Q150E (which is rated at 20 Hz I believe - though at about -6dB).
My only concern would be room size. My room is 27' x 14' with 8' ceilings and several large doorways. I contacted the owner of the company, Phill Mason, and he said the Pro 50 would suffice in my room, but if I was really playing things at high levels and lots of movies and wanted greater impact he would go with the Pro100.
I am looking for a sub that seems to be similar to what you're looking for. I would like a musical sub (and for occasional movies - but my thought is that if it's great for music, it couldn't be bad for HT), that doesn't take up a lot of space, and is around the $500 price point.
To this point I'm looking at the MJ Pro 50, M&K V75 and the REL Q150E - which is getting a little past my budget. The M&K's and REL's are readily available here. The MJ subs are not in the US yet, but I can still get the Pro 50 to my door for a little over $500.
Let me know how your search goes.
Yes this subwoofer looks lovely..It is just 9 kg..I have Paradigm Reference Studio 100..these speakers have enough bass ..what I need is the bass extension down to 20 hz..I don't want a powerful subwoofer..I want something extremely musical..so MJ subwoofers,the P50 looks like a good solution but I am still worried if a subwoofer would blend seamlessly with my main speakers..that is the main issue..If I were 100 % sure I would buy them tomorrow..but I also saw a guy's system on the net..he was using a subwoofer with Wilson X-1..can you believe it??and he was happy with the sound..
with REL ;the Q series are for HT..I would not use them for music..they are small and compact but they are mainly for HT..they tell so on their website.
by the way you have a big room so why don't you go for Paradigm Servo-15??
I'm pretty much set on either the MJ, REL or M&K. All tight and musical. If you're concerned about seamless blending, consider this info I'm using:
REL cutoffs can be set down to 20-25 Hz
MJ Pro 50 can be set down to 40 Hz
M&K down to 50 Hz
Depending on your mains bottom end, the REL may offer a more seamless blend since you can set the cutoff below your mains low end dropoff. If you can't set it at or below, the chances are greater for 'boom' and localization.
I'm trying to limit myself to the $500-600 USD range, which puts the REL slightly out of reach for me.
Yes I know the cutoff points and I wonder why they don't keep that point as low as possible..I just don't understand..If I use a subwoofer I intend to cut it off at 35 hz..that ios also a bit confusing..my Paradigms have the 39 hz frequency range and then it says that low frequency extension is 25 hz..so I think it can go as low as 25hz but I am not sure how low it goes in my room..so if I have a subwoofer I will have to experiment with it..I wish the Pro 50 had a lower cutoff point.why don't they have the point as low as possible??
REL is also too expensive for me..
I would think that the setting of the cutoff will also depend on other things like room acoustics, amp, etc.
I'm also not sure how they specify that cutoff, but I imagine it is a -3dB point.
Generally speaking, I would estimate that you would want the cutoff on the sub set somewhere near where your speakers roll off to about -6 dB or so. Any higher and I would imagine you are likely to get too much energy in the room at that frequency.
I would imagine your speakers are -3dB at 39 Hz and -6dB somewhere below that (perhaps 35 Hz). The MJ cutoff at 40Hz is probably borderline for you. However, the other factors involved may or may not make it acceptably 'disappear' in your system.
For the pricepoint, I think the MJ is most likely a steal and would be worth a shot for you to try, especially since it's about half the cost of the REL. I would suggest you find a shop that might let you demo the MJ.
I'm not sure about other subs, but at this price point, I doubt there are others that have the same musical performance as the MJ and REL. The only other that comes to mind is the Monitor Audio ASW100? Also with a cutoff at 40Hz and also cheaper than the REL. Or perhaps you can find a used Q150E or an older model like the Q100? Check the cutoff specs first though.
what are your main speakers Chris??
I went to a hi-fi shop today..they sell MJ..I told him that I have Paradigm 100 and he said for Paradigm the mj50 would not be enough..he told me that the MJ Pro 50 would not keep up the pace with Paradigm..he suggested something bigger..so I think I would go for Servo-15 at the end but I am still not sure..by the way in UK the Servo-15 is just for 750 $ ..so it is cheap...
My mains are Snell E.5s.
If the dealer will let you home demo the MJ, I would try it. All the reviews I read said the unit has very impressive output for its size/amp rating.
using a subwoofer is okay, but there are great differences between them. The most subwoofers are for home-cinema or for deep bass. High-end subwoofer are making not so deep frequences, they are constructed for subsonic bass. That's a sort of bass you cannot hear, but the space and the contour of the instruments and voices is much better then before. There's a link for you: www.audiophysic.de
Their you can see a high-end subwoofer, it cost about 2000 Euro, but it's the best of the best (i read it in high-end magazine).
I think you are right..I have to demo the MJ subwoofer..I will visit the shop again..Your mains are not so good..I now understand why you want to have a subwoofer..If you ask my opinon you should change your speakers..I don't know how much you payed for the Snells but if you can buy Paradigm Studio 100 they will really give out ample bass..
Sascha I know Audio Physic..they are famous but for me they are a bit expensive....
Aram, a few things: 1) If you can't get to the bi-wiring right away, you should use a jumper cable instead of the connectors that come with the 100's, 2) I auditioned the Paradigm subs and wasn't too impressed since the bass seemed flabby to me -- though great for HT, and 3) You may not need much more oomph so a smaller sub-woofer, say 8 -12", might be just enough to do the trick so long as it gets down to 20Hz -- anything real big might be hard to match since you already have good bass. I own the 100's and found all that to be true, at least to my ears. Good luck. Remember that for frequencies below about 200 Hz, standing waves (which are largely dependent on room dimensions and either reinforce or reduce sound levels at various frequencies) make a huge difference so please be sure you can audition at home.
Actually, I think the E.5s have very good bass. Accurate, fast and fairly deep. There are a lot of false perceptions on bass. Many coming from some units that lack in low frequency response and are peaked up in the higher bass regions to give the impression that they go low. My only reason for getting a sub is to cover the range below 35 Hz, and mainly for HT.
Ozfly are you bi-wiring your Paradigm 100's??I am thinking of bi-wiring them as well..about the jumper cable;I heard that before as well..I think I am going to use a quality cable instead of those jumpers
Yes I am. I'm using them generally for home theater and am currently running them from a sunfire amp which has both a voltage and current output to the mains. I am hooking the mid/tweeter to the voltage? and the woofer to the current? -- maybe it's the other way around. Sounds quite good. Much better than when I used the supplied jumper from Paradigm. For your system, I suspect that a single out that is then split for two speaker inputs would be quite acceptable. Basically, for each channel, you can use either 1) one cable with a single amp connection that is then split and offers two speaker connections or 2) two cables -- you just connect both together at one of your amp outputs (i.e., both into your A right and two more into your A left).
Will I have to put the B channel on (which is not recommended) as well if I want to bi-wire with another single run of my current speaker cable ?
No reason to as far as I know. Let's say that you have four separate cables: Woofer Left (WL), Tweeter Left (TL), Woofer Right (WR) and Tweeter Right (TR). You can hook the amplifier ends of WL and TL to your Left A output and the amplifier ends of WR and TR to your Right A output. There are many fine cables that offer one input to the amp with two separate outputs to the speaker. You may also be happy with high quality jumpers -- hook the speaker cable to the woofer and the jumper from woofer to tweeter inputs. Good luck.
I want to ask you something..If I bi-wire I will use 4 runs of the same cable but I will have to put both A and B speaker terminals on because I use the cables with plugs fitted on..So does using both A and B terminals together degrade the sound?
I hope that better audio tech minds than mine are "listening" in to correct me; I don't believe that running A & B would degrade the sound at low to moderate volumes, but I do think you may be running a risk driving your amps at higher volumes. You may wish to e-mail or call your amplifier company to verify.
This post may be old but I must say Bag End are INCREDIBLY musical! My room is 20x12x9'.