Vandersteen Sub woofers v Rythmik Subs


I really love the idea of the Vandersteen Subs where they are connected with the mains via extra speaker cable off right and left channels off the main amplifier, which is supposed to provide better bass transition from the mains while keeping the signature from the main amplifier. My question is with Vandersteen coming out with the SUB THREE and the price going significantly higher, I was wondering if there are other subs for less that you could integrate in the same way. (Most subs seem to rely on the line level input which is just a sub-woofer RCA going from the pre-amp to the amp on the sub). Can this same Vandersteen set-up be achieved with other subs?
I picked Rythmik since they are known (in the home theater community anyway) for being one of the best bang for the buck subs and the most "musical" of the bunch. (between Hsu, SVS, PSA).
And could I possibly achieve even greater sub-woofer nirvana since I could get an 18" for around $1500? Vandies only have 3 eight inchers.

I am a Vandersteen fanboy and I would like to support RV whenever I can, but don’t know much about my other sub-woofer options so looking for some feedback. Doesn’t even have to be related to Rythmik necessarily. If you know of other subs that can integrate the same way I want to know about it!

Thanks
bstatmeister
Well, the 'magic' of the Vandy sub system is that the subs integrate with the crossovers(-the subs compensate for the 6db decrease the crossover applies). I don't think there are any other manufacturers that can do the same.
I own a set of HSU subs and run them in parallel with the speakers in my office. The sound is good, but not as good as the Vandies.
And, remember a larger (18") driver will not be as efficient as an 8" driver. 

Thanks for that input. My main focus is definitively being true to the music. The minute that I hear bloated, boomy bass I would want to chuck that subwoofer out the window. I guess I am sticking with Vandersteen. Thanks again.
Hi bstatmeister,

Here’s an excellent alternative if you want state of the art bass response and your room can accomodate this system in your room.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/audiokinesis-swarm-subwoofer-system/

I was considering buying 2 very good subs (Vandersteen, REL or JL) a few yrs ago but bought a distributed bass array system instead based on a lot of in room bass response research I read online and the numerous very good reviews of the Audio Kinesis bass system.
At first listen in my room, I was amazed at the quality of the bass produced and how well it integrated with my main speakers. 2 yrs later, I’m still extremely pleased and I don’t believe 2 or fewer conventional subs would be capable of producing this level of quality bass response in my 23 x16 foot room.
This is a great option if you prefer bass that is tonally accurate, natural but still able to go as deep and impactful as .the recording calls for

There’s only one other person on this forum that I’m aware of who uses a distributed bass array sub system. I forgot his user ID but I remember we both agreed on another thread that it’s hard to overstate how well this concept actually works in our rooms.

System Pros:
-Performs and integrates well with virtually any brand and type of main speakers.
-Performs equally well for both music and home theater sources.
-Gives good bass response throughout the entire room, not just at a single’sweet-spot’.
-Relatively affordable at about $3,000 for the entire bass system: 4 subs and a 1,000 watt class AB amp. About the same price as 2 high quality conventional self-powered subs.

System Cons:
-Requires the space in your room for four 3 foot tall subs with about a 1 sq. ft. footprint.
-Requires a precise and time consuming setup procedure for sequentially locating the exact position of each sub in your room for optimum results. It took me about 2 hrs with a friend assisting to setup my 4 subs. Once this initial positioning process is completed, however, no further work is needed unless you move your system to another room or house.
-Depending on your room, concealing the speaker wires could be difficult. I drilled a hole underneath each sub and hid the wiring in the crawl space underneath my living room. A real pain the ass but probably something I won’t be doing again anytime soon.

Just an alternative option you may want to consider.

Tim
@noble100, you have completely blown my mind...And I am sober right now and have been for months...

And to think about a month ago I bought a (almost vintage) in mint condition SVS PB12 Plus/2 sub in matte black grittex finish with the 900 watt bash amp and dual 12.3 upgraded woofers
specifically cause I could wire it up to speaker wire posts on vintage gear, and the seller was just 30 miles from my place! So no shipping costs! And you guys and gals for that matter, have educated me in a way in terms of bass management that will last a lifetime.

And yes, music is paramount to me as I have upgrade the headshell wires, cartridge, stylus, tonearm wires, platter mat, upgraded and hardwired the phono out on my turntable, and added NOS 6DJ8/ECC88 Telefunken West Germany with diamond mark matched pair tubes in my phono preamp too.

@bstatmeister, that’s a damn good question...Sorry I wasn’t as much help to you as you have been to me!



The Martin-Logan BalancedForce subs have the ability to use a speaker cable input.  I have been wondering how that might compare to RCA or XLR input.  Anyone ever try this?
05-07-2018 4:04pmHi bstatmeister,

Here’s an excellent alternative if you want state of the art bass response and your room can accomodate this system in your room.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/audiokinesis-swarm-subwoofer-system/

I was considering buying 2 very good subs (Vandersteen, REL or JL) a few yrs ago but bought a distributed bass array system instead based on a lot of in room bass response research I read online and the numerous very good reviews of the Audio Kinesis bass system.
At first listen in my room, I was amazed at the quality of the bass produced and how well it integrated with my main speakers. 2 yrs later, I’m still extremely pleased and I don’t believe 2 or fewer conventional subs would be capable of producing this level of quality bass response in my 23 x16 foot room.
This is a great option if you prefer bass that is tonally accurate, natural but still able to go as deep and impactful as .the recording calls for

There’s only one other person on this forum that I’m aware of who uses a distributed bass array sub system. I forgot his user ID but I remember we both agreed on another thread that it’s hard to overstate how well this concept actually works in our rooms.

System Pros:
-Performs and integrates well with virtually any brand and type of main speakers.
-Performs equally well for both music and home theater sources.
-Gives good bass response throughout the entire room, not just at a single’sweet-spot’.
-Relatively affordable at about $3,000 for the entire bass system: 4 subs and a 1,000 watt class AB amp. About the same price as 2 high quality conventional self-powered subs.

System Cons:
-Requires the space in your room for four 3 foot tall subs with about a 1 sq. ft. footprint.
-Requires a precise and time consuming setup procedure for sequentially locating the exact position of each sub in your room for optimum results. It took me about 2 hrs with a friend assisting to setup my 4 subs. Once this initial positioning process is completed, however, no further work is needed unless you move your system to another room or house.
-Depending on your room, concealing the speaker wires could be difficult. I drilled a hole underneath each sub and hid the wiring in the crawl space underneath my living room. A real pain the ass but probably something I won’t be doing again anytime soon.

Just an alternative option you may want to consider.

Tim
Wow, thanks Tim, I had no idea a product like this was out there and at a comparatively low price to boot. Here are the things I would worry about: the WAF (yep the WAF strikes again for this one)
Integration with the mains - Does it do it the way the Vandersteens do with an external cross-over that lowers the output 6db? Also the Vandersteens keep the signal in the analog realm. Is my understanding of the AudioKenesis that a DSP would be involved to manage the bass? If so, I think that would turn me off. I want that signal as analog as possible.
AFAIK, nobody integrates subs the way Vandersteen does it.  Even the REL, which takes a speaker-level feed from the amp, doesn't offer a HP filter for the mains.  Every other sub I am aware of, if they offer speaker level inputs, it is to run the entire signal through the crossover within the sub's plate amp.  And the quality of those crossovers can vary widely.  That's why most prefer to use line level connections for the subwoofer and do the HP filter elsewhere (preamp/processor, external crossover, etc.).  Vandersteen is the only sub that takes the signal from the main amplifier without taking any power from it, and leaves the HP filtered signal alone once it is run through the Vandersteen resistor or M5-HP crossovers.
Accused fanboy but IF you are running Vandersteen mains, the whole shooting match of Sub and Main have been developed to work together especially impulse FFT in the Anechoic chamber....
RV ( on the way to Munich ) would probably emphasize the analog nature of the approach, not a big fan of digital
the new sub 3 comes with 11 band analog EQ
iF you run AMROC ( or other tools on your room ), there will be many, many nodes.
DSP algorithms tend ( note my careful choice of word ) to goal seek ultra flat, which ends up lifeless.
you might also not a Vandersteen bias in EQ ranges ( cut vs boost ), there is thinking, logic, physics behind that )
preserving the transfer function by running thru the main amp is important, but it is understandable why other steep slope manufacturers don’t care as they hacked the transfer function out the window :-)
jim T got it too, but he is unfortunately dead
swarm has a ton of  theoretical and practical merit, with obvious WAF issues, you can get similar some would say better results with two subs because there is a narrow sweetspot anyway ( see Jim Smith book )
have fun in your search !!!!!!

I've been using a pair of RELs (Q150e and Q108II) for years with excellent  results paired with a couple of different main speakers and amps. REL's "High Level" input of course keeps the mains full range, puts a benign 100,000 ohm load on the amp (crowded speaker posts on the amp, but good connectors and it's fine), and the subs are easy to adjust for crossover point, phase, and level. Bought both subs used at different times for 200 bucks each. So it would seem that Vandy (nice company, I've owned a pair of 1Bs) clearly isn't the only company with "amp power" connections. 
wolf - As I commented, the REL has some things in common with the Vandersteen subs, but some prefer the HP filter option with their main speakers for a variety of reasons.  For those folks, the REL is not a good option.
Hi tyray,

     Sorry about detonating your gray matter, I hope it wasn't too painful.  I think, if you just stuff the blown out bits back in your cranium, you should be fine.
     Good bass response is harder to attain in most rooms than good mid-range and treble response.mainly because bass sound waves are extremely long (with deep bass sound waves often being longer than any dimension in your room) while mid-range and treble sound waves are much shorter and more directional.  
     Good mid-range and treble response can usually be attained at a specified listening position by properly positioning your main l+r main speakers and utilizing wall treatments at the first reflection points.  
     In my experience, a distributed bass array system is definitely the best method for optimizing bass response in a given room.  Butt I believe it's still possible for you to get good bass response results in your room by using your single SVS sub as long as you only want to optimize the bass response at a single listening position.
     This can be done using the following method:
1. Hookup your sub and place it at your desired listening position.
2. Play music that has good and repetitive bass.
3. Walk around your room in a systematic manner listening for an exact spot where the bass sounds the best to you.
4. Once this spot is located, reposition your sub to this exact spot.
5. To test results, sit at your designated listening position and repay the same music.
     As you would expect, bass response will be improved as additional subs are added to the room. Of course, there's a practical limit to the acceptable number of subs in a room.  Scientific experiments have consistently proven that  measured in-room bass response only improves marginally beyond the use of 4 subs in a room. 
     This is the reason the Audio Kinesis Swarm system consists of 4 subs.  You could start with your single SVS sub and add subs if you felt the need. I'd suggest following the positioning method I described above for each sub added.

Good luck,
 Tim  
     
Dr Tim
love the brain salad surgery!
Richard Vandersteen agrees "the more subs the merrier.....however, if only one....I'd Vandersteen it.
Richard Vandersteen agrees "the more subs the merrier.....however, if only one....I'd Vandersteen it. 

Yeah, I figured I'd probably need to RV it to get what I want (and I also have the 2C's so would be a great match all the way around) I just thought I would put the feelers out in case there were any other musical subs that could get me the same type of sound/integration without having to spend so much. RV is hard on my wallet!
The Audiokinesis swarm makes sense, but then if you could put 4 or more subs of any brand in your room, you would probably get the same result. The whole idea is to balance room aberrations.
As I posted in other threads, the new Vandy sub is probably going to make the 2wq prices drop. So, you might be able to pick up a pair with less impact on your wallet.
FWIW, I still own a pair of 2w subs. They function as they should and that despite being more than 20 years old. I asked Johnny Rutan if I should send them in for a checkup. He said if they work, don't worry.
Mr. V. really builds his speakers to last.
Bob
"Wow, thanks Tim, I had no idea a product like this was out there and at a comparatively low price to boot. Here are the things I would worry about: the WAF (yep the WAF strikes again for this one)
Integration with the mains - Does it do it the way the Vandersteens do with an external cross-over that lowers the output 6db? Also the Vandersteens keep the signal in the analog realm. Is my understanding of the AudioKenesis that a DSP would be involved to manage the bass? If so, I think that would turn me off. I want that signal as analog as possible.

Hi bstatmeister,

1. WAF- I think the waf, along with concerns about fitting 4 subs physically in their room, are the biggest obstacles most people think of when considering using a distributed bass array system.
I can just describe my experiences with my use of the Swarm and hope it helps you a bit.
I am fortunate in having an understanding wife who also enjoys listening to music and ht through my system. If your wife is less understanding, I’d suggest trying to get her involved with discussing your system and let her make some choices about the music you listen to and the ht you play.
The optimum position of my 4 subs in my 23 x16 foot living room turned out better than I expected, too. Two of my subs are located along my room’s front 16 ft. wall, each about a foot in from each 23 ft. side wall. Each sub is also mostly hidden from view by my l+r main speakers (6 ft. tall by 2 ft. wide Magnepan panels) that are positioned about 3 ft. in front of them.
My other two subs are located along each 23 ft. side wall about 3 ft. in from the 16 ft. rear wall, one on each side. One sub is mostly hidden from view behind an end table while the other is out in the open but my wife likes how it looks like a wooden art gallery pedestal and she usually has a vase full of fresh flowers on it.
2. Mains integration and DSP- The Swarm’s supplied 1K watt class AB amp only accepts l+r unbalanced rca signal inputs and cannot accept speaker level inputs as the Vandersteens can. I don’t view this as a negative, however, since the analog rca inputs result in a seamless integration with my main speakers
There is also no DSP, microphones, room analysis software or digital equalization involved with the Swarm bass system. The signal remains in the analog domain from input to output. But each sub does have its output lowered by 6db by design.

Hoped this helped a bit,
Tim
Hi Tim,
I have a vintage $30 Scott AM FM Stereo 355R receiver and a $50 KLH Model 17 pair of speakers that I purchased at the ’antique shop’ years ago that has been sitting in my ’Hi-Fi storage closet’ that I had planned to restore but never got around to. They were to be for my garage setup. You know, so I can get rid of the ole ’boom box’ I use when working on projects out there. When I saw the SVS PB12 Plus/2 sub for sale on ebay I had a ’flashback’ of the time I had owned one before and sold it and wished I hadn’t after the fact later. Not to mention it had the rare dual down firing 12.3 woofers too! Yep, it was a pure impulse buy, but I knew it would work with my Scott receiver. So there won’t be any ’sub crawling’ going on in the garage. I’ll put it in a corner and fine tune it there.

@bstatmeister, On my main rig I have dual Power Sound Audio (vented) V1801’s. I ended up buying them because they:

1) Were used and at a good price for the both which came to a total of $300 off the list price, if new.
2) I got the full as if new 5 year warranty.
3) Free shipping.
4) 60 day trial period with shipping paid by PSA upon return in the 60 day time frame.
5) American made which I’ve found is much easier to deal with if something goes wrong with your sub (or any other audio item) you can ship it directly back to the manufacturer where the only thing they do is build subs for PSA, instead of sending it to a dealer cause Rythmik (or any other sub manufacturer) subs are built in China, and you hope and pray that ’Johnny tech’ has the requisite experience and parts to work on your Rythmik sub.
6) PSA has a trade in and trade up policy which helps PSA in keeping your business.
7) Customer service is second to none.
8) PSA has a ton of information and free software on how to fine tune a sub and sub placement on their AVS Forum for PSA subs.

I don’t know of any other sub manufacturer that has such generous purchasing and warranty policies.

I did some digging into the Vandersteen subs and I seems they are built to last a long long time! Which is very rare indeed and also are American made. I think you’ve made the right decision. Check and see ALL of what policies RV has, you will never know until you ask. Also ask if there is a history of certain times of the year RV may have sales on his subs. You might get a good price on that Sub Three you want after all, especially if you want to buy 2.

I hope this helps.

tyray
“RV is hard on the wallet”...

omg that is funny, I will let the frugal Dutchman know....

funny ( pucker story ) when our 7’s were being delivered the truck driver had to surf the pallet jack with brake down a short but steep section of the street. As we looked down the hill, the driver asked me “ new speakers, huh ? Expensive? I said all the stuff on that single pallet is about a new Corvette... driver grinned and said He$$ yes I can do it !!!!
they arrived safely

have fun
My main speakers are in front and to the sides of a gas fireplace that protrudes nearly 2 feet into the room (Klipsch Heresy III horn speakers so the fireplace has zero effect on the tone, and they’re 7 feet apart). The corner made by the fireplace behind the left one has the smaller REL Q108II downward firing sub. That little corner is GREAT for that sub...a fake plant sits on top of it (I care). The larger sub is to the right near a corner, but I have vinyl "spikes" and long enough cables on it that I can move it around...put it in the window for outdoor subbing, move it closer to my listening spot, more toward the corner...this works as all recordings are a little different and the possibility of tripping over it exists. However, having the 2 subs on the same page (not in stereo) makes for great sound in my room, which is maybe 20X30 feet with a very tall sloped ceiling.
gdnrbob stated:
" The Audiokinesis swarm makes sense, but then if you could put 4 or more subs of any brand in your room, you would probably get the same result. The whole idea is to balance room aberrations."

Hi Bob,

Correct, a distributed bass array system can be constructed using virtually any 4 subs. The concept is based on the proven theory that multiple generation points of bass sound waves (subs) in any given room significantly reduces the number of bass standing waves existing in the room. This results in more accurate and smoother bass response throughout the majority of the entire room with fewer points in the room that have peaks (exaggerated bass) and nulls (lack of bass).
It’s a choice the user must make: do they want to go all out using 4 of the best subs or a more reasonably priced set of 4 very good but smaller subs that are specifically designed for use in a distributed bass array configuration.
I’ve never heard an ultimate array system using 4 large hi-end subs but would certainly like to.
      After using the Swarm system for the past 2 years, I tend to doubt an ultimate bass array system would sound more accurate, natural or life-like but I do believe it would likely produce more bass. I know I don’t desire more bass either for music or ht in my current system.

Tim
Hi again good folks here, can you all expand on the type of headroom the Vandy’s have? How do they sound when everyone is away, you’re the only one there in the house and you really crank them up playing the best recorded music stuff you have? I was very intrigued after chatting with you folks here and checking out the Vandy website...Thanks
@tyray - When my system was working properly (until last September), I would often crank it. Having a basement Man Cave and a solid old house means I can crank it whenever I want. The 2Wqs work the way a good sub should - they are invisible, and unintrusive, just making it seem like your mains are putting out gobs of deep, clean bass when there is bass in the music. Take some Bjork tracks, crank the volume up, and sit there with a silly grin on your face as the bass pressurizes the room (this is with a pair of 2Wqs, btw). Yes, you will have to batten down anything that can rattle in your room, as light fixtures and other small items will vibrate when there are loud bass notes in the signal. Even with all that output, they never muddy up the upper bass, mid or treble. To me, the 2Wqs are the Goldilocks of subwoofers under $2K apiece. That’s why I am trying so desperately to get everything working again rather than scrapping the 2Wqs for more conventional subs.
Take some Bjork tracks, crank the volume up, and sit there with a silly grin on your face as the bass pressurizes the room (this is with a pair of 2Wqs, btw).
When I crank just my 2C's I already get the silly grin. I imagine if I hooked up a pair of 2wqs, the grin might turn into a permanent deformity :0

@bondmanp ,
What is wrong with your system?
bob
Rythmik Audio warranty:
5 years warranty on driver and 2 (or is it 3?) years on electronics.
30 day satisfaction guarantee.
Customers pay for returns.

Rythmik Audio dealer(s):
As far as I can tell, only 1
ASCEND ACOUSTICS, INC.
1062 Calle Negocio Suite G
San Clemente, CA 92673

Vandersteen warranty:
1 year warranty, however Vandersteen subwoofers are known to last for decades without any problems.
For returns see below.

Vandersteen dealers:
Are all over the US

I have no doubt that the AudioKinesis Swarm Subwoofer System sounds just as glorious as Tim describes, but for me and just me I don’t have the realestate (Tim you lucky guy!) nor do I like speakers with sharp edges as my bare feet, toes, shins, calves and when I may have little ones over, somehow are drawn to sharp edges like a magnet!

I stand corrected - as far as having dealers or 1 place for manufacturing the subs for also being the place to send for repairs, Vandersteen has dealers spread out over the US. Hence you can throw your subs in your vehicle and drive to the dealer for any repair work and save a heck of a lot of shipping cost and worry from shipping! You also can audition those SUB THREE subs before purchasing too! To me, Vandersteen wins again, hands down.


Vandersteen has a five year warranty on their speakers and subs as long as you send in the special warranty card within the allotted time after purchase.

@gdnrbob -
A sordid, unhappy, long story, some of which can be found here:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/vandersteen-2wq-subwoofers-with-m5-hp-crossovers-help-needed

I think you posted on that thread, btw. I am still working on resolving this. I suspect the amp is the problem, but I am far from certain. The new amp internals are surely burned in by now, and I am less than thrilled with it when run full range into my Ohm Walsh 2000s, which I know can produce pretty good, deep bass in my room without a subwoofer. I may have a 64 lb. paperweight on my hands. Worse, I don’t really have the money for a new amp (at least not one I would want to own long term). I have tried another amp, but it was vintage, and I could not find the input impedance. I am working with Johnny Rutan at Audio Connection to figure all this out. He has offered to stop by my house with an amplifier and see what happens, so I am waiting for him to have an evening when he has some free time. But it has been a very frustrating 6 months. I miss my rig. :-(


KLH 17 is a very good speaker !
Vandersteen sub will annihilate anything from Rythmik. It's musical and tuneful and integrates well with many speakers and rooms. It's as good as the best out there. It's not even fair to compare the two.
@invictus005 - I am not disputing what you say, but I am curious as to how you arrived at your conclusion.  I love my 2Wqs, but the Rythmik clearly has some fans here.  Have you compared the two?
I happen to own them both and neither one obliterates the other.  They are different paths to the same goal. 
I happen to own them both and neither one obliterates the other. They are different paths to the same goal.
How do you implement the Rythmik sub? Do you use the line level in from the preamp/receiver subwoofer output?
I have tried it both ways and in the end I prefer the speaker level inputs like I was used to with the Vandersteens but in the end it is what you prefer.  
I guess I am confused about the differences in the way you configure the Rythmik via the speaker binding posts compared with the way the Vandy does it. I know you have to put in an analog high pass filter between the amp and the preamp in order for the bass to be correct once it gets to the vandy. Can you do this with the Rythmiks, as well? Or do you just send the full signal in? if you do send the full signal in is it proceeded digitally in the on-board amp? I guess I am still fuzzy on the filtering/signal processing options and what the pluses and minus’s are for the different types.
With the Vandersteen method the high pass filter goes between the preamp and amp so the signal from the speaker terminals is already filtered.  Whether you run the Rythmik's from the preamp's outputs or the speaker terminals the signal is passing to the mains full range and you use the crossover in the subs to limit the signal it sees.  You can buy aftermarket in-line filters to mimic the Vandersteen effect if you choose. Harrison Labs FMOD's are the most common.  Never tried it that way so can't tell you how it would sound.  In both of my systems I am running the mains full range and crossing in the Rythmik subs at the bottom limits of their frequency range.  
I am the other distributed bass user that Noble mentioned . I use 4 REL Q201e subs in my room . The front subs are under the main speakers a set of Ohm Walsh 2.2000 sat. I use a high pass cap in my tube mono blocks to pass 50 hz and up . I take the sub signal from the amps and send them to a passive volume control to set the gain structure to my DSPeaker antimode 2.0. From the DSP witch functions as a crossover and room correction device  the DSP has 4 outs 2 XLR and 2 single ended . the front subs run passive and use a crown XLS 2502 amp  .The rear subs use the internal plate amps set to LFE witch bypasses the subs crossover network . With this setup I have full control of the bass volume and crossover through the DSPeaker while  using the high level signal .     
@enginedr1960 - So, if I read your last post correctly, you compensate for roll-off below 50Hz with the passive pre? Does it have enough gain for this purpose? I guess that is possible if it is a transformer based volume control, but I thought passive volune controls were mostly attenuators. Or, perhaps the DSPeaker is where you get your subwoofer signal gain from? Please ’splain it to me.
One thing I have not seen mentioned yet is that the Vandersteen 2wq/M5hp system actually improves the sound of the main speakers by relieving them of the job of producing deep bass. The rest of the spectrum is cleaner sounding. It really makes a big difference. I run the Vandersteen 3a signature's with two (stereo) 2wq's and it is a very satisfying full range experience. 
@sonicjoy - Yup, that was kind of a given as far as I was concerned.  Note only is it helpful for the main speakers, but lowers the burden on the amplifiers significantly.  All good reasons for a HPF for the mains.  That alone might steer me away from REL and Rythmic and towards Vandersteen.  That said, no crossover is 100% transparent.  The M5-HP is very good, but not as good as no crossover at all.  You have to way the pros and cons of adding another dividing network to your system.  For me, it is more than worth it for the incredible bass the 2Wqs put out.
bondmanp . The sub signal  from the amps is attenuated by a Axiom audio passive pre amp then the signal is sent to the DSPeaker the DSP is driving the sub amps . I rum my subs in stereo . The only ADA conversion happens below 50 hz the rest of my signal is all analog . if you are in Manhattan and want to hear the system PM me .
I guess I'm on my way to a distributed bass system.

I started with a single REL Storm sub and really enjoyed it.
Later I built two very heavy cabs for a couple Rythmik 12" kits connected at speaker level and it was a significant improvement over the Rel. I experimented several locations and setups also using measurent help and ended using them in stereo taking line in from my pre. While the xo wasn't 100% transparent it relieved my tube amp and speakers from attempting to reproduce up to 80Hz which was worth the tradeoff. This was another significant step up in sound.

Later I experimented with a multiway DAC and created digital xo to drive the subs and main amp directly from the DAC. Now my system is fully active with digital linear phase xo and room correction. No going back!

And I'm considering adding a couple additional Rythmiks. Rythmik kits allow for custom cabinets that make it easier to disguise or integrate into the decor.

FWIW, in his approach Geddes recommends one of the subs to be elevated from the floor so not all subs are exciting vertical modes from the same position (the floor). For this either a small sub or a custom installation is ideal (no way to raise my 50kg subs 2 meters off the floor!!).

Glad to see this approach discussed here.

bondmanp- Yes no filter in the signal path would be ideal but as you say the M5hp is very transparent. So much that I can not tell the difference. All I know is that the whole system sounds much better with the subs and filters than without. In fact I just tried a comparison with and without a week ago and its a dramatic improvment in the upper bass and midrange clarity. It removed a bit of boxiness in the 3a sig's upper bass. I can certainly live with the filters in place.
 Also I really like the adjustable q on the subs. It really helps with taming the room response. I also position the subs next to the mains well away from the walls and corners. I have found that I don't like subs in corners. It just makes them boomy.  I feel I get better time blending with mains as well with the subs in or even forward of the plane of the loudspeakers. These speakers and subs are time and phase correct top to bottom. Makes for great imaging. Very holographic.

lewinskih01- Funny you should mention elevating the subs as I have just begun experimenting with that concept. Trying to come up with something put under them. Tried milk crates about 10 inches high. Did seem to slighly reduce a bit of boominess in my room. I do want to keep trying different positions. I will also try raising just one.

Would be interesting to try the swarm idea with the Vandersteen subs and crossover implementation. All the subs would maintain the sonic signature of the main amp that way.
The Audiokinesis Swarm review by The Absolute Sound refers to Geddes.  Earl Geddes published his approach:  https://mehlau.net/audio/multisub_geddes/

For the brief time I had the Rythmik and Rel together I tried his approach and got close to what he described. He calls for summing up sub frequencies and all subs playing the same mono signal, and also some location guidelines and says 3 subs should suffice. My listening area is in my living room so aesthetics are an important consideration and Geddes location guidelines didn't fit into the aesthetics (in my room). Since I can't maximize the potential from 3 subs in mono I'm hoping 4 subs in stereo will be enough to achieve similar results. Worst case I could go to 6 subs! 😨

BTW, note Geddes says he needs little output from the third sub. So a much smaller sub would work, making it easier to conceal in the decor.

Another implication of Geddes approach: if you allow you main speakers and subs to play the low bass in parallel you effectively have 2 additional sources of bass (the main speakers) so it would help achieve those goals. Whether your system sounds better like this vs relieving the mains and amp from reproducing low bass is for each to decide.

Cheers!

Setting up the distributed bass system in my room was one of the best upgrades I have done . I run my subs in stereo .The front subs play louder then the rear ones . The key to not having optimum placement is using the DSPeaker antimode 2.0 to control the crossover and room correction . 


The sub farm is an interesting concept, but I suspect phase coherence may leave a lot to be desired.

Phase coherence will determine the quality of the bass. The farm concept will definitely smooth out the level or quantity, but at the expense of phase or quality. DSP would be mandatory.

Vandersteen makes excellent products, but some of the sub parameter choices seem odd.

First rolling the bass off before sending to the sub requires additional EQ in the sub and EQ means more phase shift.

Since there is no phase control, physical positioning is critical. IMO, both a phase control AND a phase invert are mandatory.

The XO is limited in frequency selection and will have a rather large range. eg, a 55k input will xo @ 132Hz and a 100k input will xo @ 73Hz, almost an octave! IMO, step size should be about 10Hz for subs.

A bunch of dip switches in the circuit are a very bad idea. NO connector is inaudible.

It appears the filters are 1st order which sum in theory, but may not so well in practice.

For a saga on sub integration see http://www.ielogical.com/Audio/SubTerrBlues.php/ and http://www.ielogical.com/Audio/#SmallestThings for my passive XO design. C = 1 / ( 2 * π * f * R )

I have used the 2W quite successfully to fill in what smaller monitor main speakers lack in the low bass - still own one, though not currently in any of my systems.

I don't need a sub for my main system (20Hz capability) but nonetheless added a couple of Hsu VTF-15H Mk 2 to that system for bass reinforcement in video use ad I have been impressed with them for both clean bass and adjustability.

I've thought about putting the 2W in the Martin Logan CLS system, but it is a challenging thing to get a sub that augments an electrostatic panel and is fast enough to match them.  One of these days.....
Interesting ......RV might be the only designer who cares about phase....

the 11 EQ frequency were picked for probable room nodes, not 1/3 octave or every 10 HZ

for those with M5-HP: the 7 filters while not inexpensive do offer an upgrade path

yes in theory a DIP switch has a sonic thumbprint, the M7 amplifiers eliminates that and a host of other issues, I can attest, the combo is sublime....
Some subs have controls to allow for phase correction. My Rel had some adjustability in this regard, and the Rythmiks offers plenty. Of course one needs to be able to measure and adjust and have plenty of patience to get right, but well worth it in my opinion.

Audio always entails tradeoffs. The best speaker design also includes tradeoffs. The trick is to wisely pick which tradeoffs are ok to let go. In my experience the sonic signature of a connector is orders of magnitude less important than getting room acoustics right, and getting sub 80Hz right is key to good room acoustics.
Absolutely right! Low bass is the hardest and most important thing to get right. Especially in smaller rooms with dimensions less than the wavelength of the lower frequency's. Until you solve the room issues in the low bass it will be very hard to get the rest of the spectrum to sound good. Standing waves will muddy up the mids and highs. I am still working on that myself as I have just moved and in a new room with (interesting) new issues.  
What you guys need to consider is the thinking outside the box.
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