Subwoofer suggestion to Integrate w/ Meyer HD-1's

As I have been breaking in my new Meyer Sound HD-1's I keep thinking a sub would improve things (their response is flat to 40 Hz and within +/-3db at 32 Hz). They do double duty in the Home Theater so the LFE stuff is somewhat lacking and the bottom octave seems to be missing on music tracks as well. I am thinking it will get better as the drivers loosen up but I don't know if it will be enough. I once heard some Quad ESL-989's that I thought were full-range until a REL sub was turned on that was crossed over at about 30Hz. The Quads seems to be more effortless and the room was "loaded" with sound. I am wondering if I will notice the same thing with my monitors.

The details most people leave out:

--My room is approx. 17'd x 28'w x 9’h and I don’t have a ton of floor space available.

--Other equipment is a Denon 5910 with Upgrade Co. signature mods, Bel Canto Pre3 or a Odyssey Candela Tube pre, a Boston Acoustics Pre/pro that
may all be replaced soon with a Meridian g68 or 861.

--In addition to TV and movies, I listen to a lot of music. About 50% of the time you’ll find live Grateful Dead (I have most Dick’s Picks and many other live recordings in addition to newer DSO live recordings) in the player. The remainder is pretty randomly split between bluegrass, acoustic and electric blues, acoustic and electric jazz, reggae, Motown, rock (mostly from 60’s and 70’s), jam bands, and folk/singer-songwriter stuff. I do not listen to classical, electronic, rap or pop music.

--Budget is as little as I have to spend to do it well. I guess that means I would like to spend $2000-3000 (used) but if I need to spend more to make things integrate and work right I can go quite a bit higher.

REL is great, but pricey. Their best unit, the Strata III is no longer in production. However, ACI subs are similar and about half the price while retaining all the quality. They are quick and musical. I just purchased one myself...a Force XL. They also give you a 30 day money back guarantee so you can try it in your home. Otherwise, people say good things about the Sunfire and Pinnacle subs. I think those lean more to the HT application and REL and ACI lean more to the music system application. Let me know how it goes. Best, Todd

My two cents....


You are best to stick with the same manufacurer. Meyer make studio quality gear. This is very different from audiophile speakers and I doubt this will integrate well with anything but a studio grade sub.

Firstly, your speakers are capable of very high ouput levels - something which is expensive and hard to to achieve accurately between 20 and 40 Hz on a sub. So get a studio grade high output sub to match.

Secondly, studio grade monitors generally tend to have excellent transient response and tightly controlled bass. This will give you the impression of a "lack of bass" if you are used to hearing your music collection on audiophile speaker designs with copious warm bass (a big selling "wow" feature in competitive floor demos and, after all, audiophile designers are only giving customers what they want/demand).

After a while of listening to Meyer HD 1's you may find you gradually get used to the "lack of bass" and realize that the bass sounds markedly different on each and every track. Instead of mush you should be able to clearly hear the individual notes in the bass guitar riff or double bass loop (even with heavy drumming and music over the top).

There are three ways that audiophile speaker designers make bass appear stronger...

1) higher signal or boost in the bass frequency response (often a bump between 80 and 100 Hz) using tuned reflex ports
2) a higher Q or more resonant design (bass notes sound stronger because they do not decay as quickly)
3) higher amounts of harmonic distortion (often as a result of choices 1 and 2 above)

None of these commmon audiophile speaker design approaches (which sound very pleasant/impressive) are very useful/popular with studio engineers that need to make decisions on how to adjust & precisely EQ the bass response when mix/mastering. (They want to know what is actually in the source music rather than have a sound tailored to their taste)

Here is a test for you; Try some organ music! I suspect you will discover that copious amounts of resonant bass in the source music will result in lots of resonant room shaking bass coming out of your HD 1's (at least this is the way it should be - if it doesn't then as they say "Houston, we have a problem!")
Thanks Shadorne,

I am concerned that the X-800's might be too much for my space. Am I wrong?

I noticed in your system you use a sub with your ATC's which have similar freq. response as the Meyers. How is that working for you?
The Bluesky Sub15 might be worth a look, too. It measures very well.

The sub integrates well but ultra LF bass is always a mess because of any room. In my case I needed a PEQ to tame bass room modes (room modes not just from the sub but from the mains also). This is not ideal but it is practical (idealy it is better to plaster every square foot of the room wall spaces with massive bass traps rather than EQ down the modal bumps in the main signal with notch filters). I do have four monster sized corner traps and they do work to create a larger sweetspot with more even bass around the room and better clarity in the lower mid but they are pretty much ineffective below 60 Hz (biggest benefit seems to be 100 to 1000 Hz but I haven't confirmed this with precise measurements).

Specifically I run the sub up to 90 Hz and the speakers full range and then use a PEQ to EQ ONLY the sub to get a reasonably flat room response - in all honesty it is still far from ruler flat! It is probably the best compromise as the primary signal from the speakers being nearly full range leads to some good room bass modes whilst the sub more more than helps fill in any nulls due to its different position from the mains. This setup leaves me with copious bass (way too much) which then allows me to apply notch filtering to the sub wherever there are room modal peaks.

It is easiest to start out with way too much bass and then tame room modes. If you lack bass and have a problem with nulls then you are stuck with moving the main speakers around for the best compromise (as you can't boost nulls - a null being a null means it ain't there at the listening position!).
Thanks! Do you use your ears to adjust the EQ or do you use some sort of analyzer?
I bought a couple of organ music CD's and these do go pretty low. I bought a JL Audio F113 though to help out with the LFE channel in my home theater and I hope it adds to the music party too.
Thanks! Do you use your ears to adjust the EQ or do you use some sort of analyzer?


I use a plot of pure test tones witha Ratshack meter to get "reasonably" flat (+/- 5 db in room) and then I use music to fine tune overall bass. Spanish Harlem by Rebecca Pigeon is a good track for testing mid bass...all the bass notes should sound even and equally loud.

After this a variety of music will generally tell you if you have it right....some stuff will remain too bass heavy (like Hip Hop and some "atmospheric" style jazz) whilst some stuff my remain a little bass anemic (like much rock from the 60's). Once you have it right then the majority of music (all genres) will sound good. They key to bass is even bass notes on the bass guitar or double bass....all too often, even in demo systems I have heard emphasis on certain notes due to room modes that should not be there. The emphasis can be both pleasing and impressive (room modes can easily add 10 db or more to some bass notes) but often it ain't what the artist intended when playing the riff!

There is an enormous amount of detail in the bass - most peope have no idea that this exists as they never bother to get big box speakers and massive sub and they don't bother to deal with room modes and acoustics. A lot of this is WAF related. I was one of these people for many years, typical 6 1/2" woofers was my standard fare, and I thought I had a perfect system until I got some even bigger box speakers...15" sub and 12" main woofers (I was shocked that bass was so wildly different on each track and I didn't know it). For me there is NO truth in the statement that big woofers are slow...only big cheap poorly constructed woofers are slow.

Try Elephunk Let's get it started" or Rolling Stones Jump Back CD "Beast of Burden" and "Miss You" or Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman" from Bob Ludwigs recent remaster "Hot Rocks" or Keb Mo "Better Man" or Dirty Dozen Brass Band "Cissy Strut".....bass is wonderful - so much timbres to enjoy ....there is an entire world of music down there in the last couple of octaves...but you don't clearly hear much of the last two octaves with a wee 6 1/2" woofer (most WAF friendly audiophile designs), as it pumps out lots of harmonic an IM distortion that cloud everything, notes may be there but timbre and detail usually gets lost/muddled.
The sub has EQ and so does my Meridian so I am using the G68's and leaving the eq on the sub flat.