I use REL S series subs. How much bass and at what level you want determines the size of sub as much as room size. Your room is large enough for quite large subs but since your main speakers will play at a reasonable but not overpowering level [I have older 805s] there is no need for very high output ones. Two are better than one but one good one will work very well. Hsu is also good, there are several others that work well. I have found that the flexibility of the RELs is very helpful and any will work in your room. Avoid their T series. Cross them over very low and you will be surprised at the improvement in sound quality.
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Thanks for the suggestions. Another question I have is right now I'm actually in a 13 x 14 1/2 room. I have them set up on the long wall (6ft away) and sit 6 feet back. When I move to the new 17x15 room I will be setting them up on the short wall (15ft) and will have the speakers about a 1/2 foot more off the wall, and will be sitting about a 1/2 feet more back (setting them up using the cardas method) Am I going to lose much volume going into the new larger room? I like to listen pretty loud at times. (85-90db) I hope my 805s will be good enough for the room. Right now they sound great in the 13 x 14 1/2ft room.
Yes, I believe so. I use Spendor SP-1s with my 2 Stadium subs most of the time in a 13'x35' room with a Cardas set up on the short wall. I play them quite loud at times with a 300 wpc amp. I run my main speakers full range, if you use the REL crossover you can gain a little volume increase at the cost of some signal degradation but I don't think you will need it.
I disagree with crossing them over very low, assuming you are seeking fidelity. You said you like to listen pretty loud and your room will be bigger than before, so the demands on the speaker will be greater. The 805 is a small driver speaker and it is not capable of producing clean bass.
B&W quotes this for the 805S:
2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<1% 100Hz - 22kHz
<0.5% 150Hz - 20kHz
Unfortunately, they don't quote a distortion spec at 40Hz. You probably wouldn't buy the speaker if they did. Having two 10" drivers in the 802 will get to 70Hz. The big 15" driver in the 801 gets to 50Hz.
My suggestion is to employ bass management and relieve the 805 of bass duties. The 805 will sound cleaner with the bass removed.
I use a single 12" sub in my 17' x 17' x 10' room. Music is generally less demanding of subwoofers than modern film so you can get by with a less capable sub for a music only system.
Totally disagree, modern film is sound effects plain and simple. My HT set up is quite satisfactory for BLue Ray etc but I would never tolerate it for music. I have at least 6 pairs of speakers sitting around that are better than the ones I use for HT but I just don't bother. I use two Hsu 10" subs for HT and they are quite satisfactory. Have a pair of 12" Hsu as well besides my Nelson Reed 1204s that use 4 12" Volt drivers each , I might use them if I had a very large room. HT is trying to emulate movie theater sound, which in my experience is truly awful, worse than in the days of Altec Lansing.
Not all subs are created equal, two good ones would be more than enough. I spent 11 months in DC some years ago, the system I took was the 805's with the 2 Hsu 10" subs, sounded quite good. I ran the 805's full range, they were intended to be used that way and used an electronic crossover to roll off the subs. One good sub will work as well, bass is non directional at low frequencies.The 805 is an exceptional speaker and it and a good sub or subs can compete in everything but sound level with very expensive speakers.
Here is a good one, there are also 2 Stadium 2 subs for $2000 which is a very good deal if it is in your price range. You can buy one wad look for another at your leisure.
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REL Storm Sub-Bass System
Asking $730.00 obo
New Retail $1695.00
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Description (REL Storm)
This is a great SUBwoofer! It has been the foundation of my high-end audio system for years. It has usable output down to 18 Hz! It is very musical and accurate - not that one-note bass you get with some subs. When I first considered a subwoofer for my full-range system, I looked at all the big brands of the time, but the way that the REL sub-bass systems integrated into the system, providing that stronger foundation that was seamless (plus it didn't intrude on the rest of the sound like those others tended to do) was the clincher. What the Storm does do for the rest of the sound is simply amazing - it snaps imaging into better focus, pulls in more of the recording space so everything sounds more real and "there" - it's like making a significant upgrade to your system.
When deciding between the two "affordable" REL models, the Storm and its smaller sibling, the Strata III, I was able to perform an extended listening session with my system and in my room. I found the Storm to be smoother; it played deeper, with more weight, but didn't sound bloated - I was able to get the sound I wanted at a quarter volume on the Storm panel, as opposed to over half-volume for the Strata III.
Set-up was super-easy: simply put it in a corner, switch the phase for the loudest sound; decide on front or sidewall orientation based on which sounds loudest, then pull diagonally out into your room until the sub lock with your room (typically, up to a couple inches) - again the sound becomes louder and goes deeper. Then set the sub frequency and level to taste. REL provides excellent instructions that detail this procedure.
How does it all sound?
- What Hi-Fi? said that the Storm "...delivers thunderous low-end energy with jaw-dropping agility and control." They awarded the Storm their Best AV Speaker.
- What Video Magazine awarded the Storm as a "Best Buy", and had this to say about the Storm: "This box is brilliant! It reaches frequencies that other boom-boxes leave behind. ... You feel the moon exploding [in Start Trek] rather than simply hear it. Fabulous. ... Overall, this is a phenominal performer. Once heard, the bass produced by this mighty REL Storm is not easily forgotten."
- Home Entertainment Magazine and Home Cinema Choice each awarded the Storm a Best Buy, and British Hi-Fi awarded the REL Storm the Best Subwoofer.
I'm only selling because we've moved and I've got the itch to start from scratch with a completely new room.
This unit comes with original power cord, the 10 meter high-level Neutrik interconnect, Operating Instructions and original color brochure.
I've rated this a 7 out of 10 for age and a few tiny blemishes that are not easily seen, but I'd rather be conservative.
Thanks for looking.
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Nemesis, in many cases there's not much cost difference between 10" and 12" subs. I suggest you but a good 12" sub. You can add another one later if you find it necessary. By "good" I mean one capable of clean output of the frequencies and levels you desire. There are two web sites that have nice archives of subwoofer measurements so you make an educated choice.
My 12" JBL LSR4312P is not a powerhouse. For many films I would want to have a second one. But for the music I listen to at the typical levels I listen at, it meets the needs perfectly. There was no reason for me to spend more.
Nemesis, you can look here for subwoofer measurements:
In general, the larger the cabinet and driver is the sub will be able to player lower and louder. Ported designs will also play lower and louder compared to sealed box designs. However, a ported design has a natural 4th order (24dB/octave) bass rolloff; a sealed design is 2nd order (12dB/octave). So a sealed design will rolloff more gradually. Sealed designs typically have better group delay than ported designs. Group delay is said to influence what we perceive as "speed" of a sub. Some subs provide foam plugs to convert the cabinet design.
Look at the SVS PB13-Ultra for comparisons with its ports plugged and not.
The setup is much more important to the final results than the sub itself. Regardless of the sub, you still have to do a good setup to realize its potential. With that in mind you might consider digital room correction at some point for dealing with room modes.
Best of luck. I think you'll find that adding a sub brings a whole new dimension to your audio enjoyment.
As usual, I largely agree with what Bob R has said. He represents one major school of thought, Stan represents the other. However, you eventually have to pick your own school.
You can really add 3 major benefits by going to a sub or multiple subs:
1) Deeper and/or louder & cleaner bass response - because a sub is specifically designed for the task.
2) Smoother bass response via optimized placement of the bass generator. The subwoofer can be moved closer to the wall reducing certain cancellation effects, especially with multi-sub placement. Bass specific Digital Room Correction devices also allow for smoother bass by EQ of the bass signal headed to the subs.
3) Improved performance of your main speakers by relieving them of bass requirements. This is probably quite applicable to your B&Ws.
The "cost" of these benefits is trying for perfect integration and minimizing "intrusion" into the signal path.
Stan's approach gets (partially) benefits #1 and #2, but some argue that it is the only way to minimize the "cost" of adding a sub. The signal path can stay "pure" with no new devices between the signal and your speakers.
Bob's approach goes full-out for all 3 benefits, but you've got to actively cross your mains, which means an active device between your pre and power amp. Bob also favors subs (SVS) which maximize deep clean output capability while Stan favors subs (REL) that are designed to minimize bass bloat at the expense of extension and output capability.
Pick your poison - then pick your subwoofer.
I should add one or two more things. I've heard a lot of RELs, but never SVS, so this observation is from test data only (FWIW):
The less expensive sealed 12" SVS subs actually test quite well for reduced "bloat" (though not up to REL standards) while the less expensive RELs have so little extension/output that they are really woofers, rather than subwoofers. For music, some would say that that's a distinction without a difference. Others would disagree.
I use two 12" Rythmiks which are somewhere in between.
Also, I own a pair of Verity Parsifal/Encores. The Parsifal monitor is spec'd to 55hz (not too far from your 805s). When you mate the monitors to the Encore woofer cabinets, the internal passive x-over occurs at 150hz. When I asked Verity why they chose to do this, they pointed out the "dynamic" benefits of lifting the load off the monitors, even though they can go much lower.
If you choose to cross subs anywhere near this high actively, you'd need to run 2 subs in stereo. In this case you'd also have the benefit of addressing the room issues between app 100hz and 125hz (in my room), which I find most annoying of all. You can address this range with placement and/or DRC of your subs and/or bassbusters (which would allow a lower x-over point).
I pulled the specs for the 805 and I don't believe that B&W quotes a crossover spec for these speakers.
The active device between pre and power amp is an active crossover (like the NHT x-2 I use) that allows you to divert the low frequency info from your main amp (and the 805s) to your sub(s).
As I noted in my post, if you move your crossover frequency much above 100hz, you should use 2 subs run in stereo.