For stereo, definately no. You should not only have the same brand, but also the same model.
For home theater it depends, if you have one in front, and the other at the back of your room it can work well.
I don't have experience with the specific experiment here, but I suspect that - if you're crossing to the subs at/below 80, 90, 100hz, it will probably be fine. As the x-over point moves North from there, issues may well arise.
Ideally they would have to be the same or very close. How they will work in practice is anyone's guess. I wouldn't be afraid to mix similar models from the same company, but from different companies is chancy. I use a REL Stadium 11 on one side and a mark 111 on the other and would be willing to substitute my REL Storm for one if necessary. Why not look for a used B&W if you are happy with its performance?
I use two different subs in my home theater system one in front and one in back. One is a 10 inch and one a 12. It sounds great. I use the same subs in my stereo system. They actually match the subs in my main speakers.
Depends on your goal. I go for bass impact in my home theater so I suspect mixing models or even brands might be fun there. However in my high end audio system I go for seamlessness of main speakers to subwoofer. I use a REL and tap the speaker outs, as REL suggests. The result is often spectacular and even funny. Turning on the subwoofer makes the system sound as if the main speakers just got better. Virtually everyone says "I don't hear the sub" until I turn it off! In my audio system, were I to add a second sub, I'd want the same make and model.
Thank you all for your responses. I want to use this for a high end two channel system. The current subwoofer from B&W is no longer made thanks to the new modernized, 22nd century high tech look replacement versus the nice looking real cherry wood finish on my current old B&W 850 sub. I have not had any luck finding another one on this side of the pond, Germany.
That is why I posed the question; I am starting to realize that I must look at other brands. I crossover at 35hz right now.
I use an active PSB for centre chan. Custom enclosures with McIntosh 12 in. drivers driven by sub amp(and parametric eq)for front ch., and a PSB passive 2 ch. sub on rear ch. No issues at all. Surprisingly lots of low end info on rears and centre. Not boomy, tubby or loose low end. Verrry extended thanks to EQing.
Not only different brands but different generations, technology. Sounds great with music or movies. In the end, there is nothing like a test drive, as many well meaning people offer honest advice but your ears will make the final decision.
I will be able to test a drive a DD15 this weekend for a week and thus hope to find if I can match it with the system. Thanks all.
I agree that if you are searching for the BEST fidelity use the same brand and model. Different brands or models may yield very good results but in obtaining the best sound use matched models.
My tests results are utterly f*&(*&^%%&*%&ng awesome, to say the least. I am using a Velodyne DD15 along with my Nautilus ASW 850 sub. Both are sealed acoustic suspension, both are rated at 1000 watts (the velodyne could spike up to 3000 watts). I used the initial settings from the B&W sub that is hooked up to a Velodyne SMS-1 subwoofer equalizer. I have spent literally years perfecting the current settings along with lots of room treatments, professionally measured and lots of DIy stuff.. I used the left preout to run the new Velodyne sub and used the right preout to run the right sub, well it was already on the right channel.
My observations are based on running a crossover at 40hz, and then equalizing volume (note: never leave other velodyne equipment on when using the same type of remote, otherwise you will adjustung two subs, easy if you have two of the same, a big pain when you have two different).
I aligned the sub the same way as I did the other one, facing inwards on the outer sides of the speaker, so both subs are facing each other from across the room and right on line where the bass drivers are on the N800's. Because I am using such a low crossover and bass loses directionality when cut down low, superficial adjustments were not that crucial to balance the sub to the other one, at least for now. I do get some room loading now when played loud. My turntable does not rumble nor does it pick up some the deep bass notes (an attribute to the Clearudio MontBlanc turntable rack and the Transrotor mass loaded turntable).
I think I could be happy with these two different subs. Does it break audiophile norms of having the same equipment? Yep. If I did not do this for myself, I would always be wondering. It can be done as long as the principal foundation of the subs are the same, I guess. I am no sub expert, there are plenty out there who are and are way above my pay grade, but, beleive me, this sounds good to me and my wife and music is just better all the way around. I will have to clamp down on the smaller bits of adjusting other parameters, but for the most part I am about 90% dialed in.
Just curious - Have you ever tried crossing an octave higher?
IME, the room usually does its nastiest work in this region. Check out the FR readout from the RTA function on the SMS-1 up through 100hz. If your room is anything like mine, it won't be pretty. A little PEq juice from the SMS will help your subs work wonders, though.
I feel that crossing anywhere above 60Hz is for HT only, the lower the better. I use 25Hz on my RELs. SUB woofers should operate below the range of the woofer.
From my experiences, having the crossover set between the low bass frequency up to the 2x that frequency yields best results. My speakers are rated to 32hz, I have settled on a 52 hz crossover, because that was the smoothest on the spectrum plot. My room had one suckout that was handled with the moving my sitting position to precisely the best location between the front and rear walls. With both subs, that suckout is mostly eliminitaed. Aerosmith, Lick and a Promise and Rats in the Celler, two songs I use to test my sub setup sound great, the double kick from the bass drum is hard and pronounced, it was before, but not as much now, and before, I had to turn the volume up on the sub to get to the level of impact I wanted. Now, it is all there in spades. In regards to my tuning technique, I am always conservative on vloume so as not to make the sub known or be heard per se.