Want More Bass

Got a new Rogue Audio tube amp and preamp. (88 and 66 magnum). Used to have a solid-state integrated that seemed to have more bass output. Now, with my speakers (and these components), I long for deeper bass. (My current speaker's bass response is rated at 50hz.) My previous experience with a tube integrated also seemed light in the bass at lower volumes. I listen more at lower volumes than at higher volumes.

So... what are my options:

1. find a new speaker that goes deeper? if so, what is recommended? Budget $3000 max. Needs to be a slim tower design due to room constraints. (Room is 11x17 and speakers are on the 17' wall. Music preference is mostly indie rock, small group jazz and electronica.)

2. add a sub? the preamp has two outs, so I could use interconnects from the preamp. if so, what is recommended. Budget for a sub would be sub $1500.

3. Other suggestions?

Thanks all for your help.
Add a sub.
Speaker Suggestions --

Based on deals I've seen on Audiogon --

1) Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home -- $2,400

2) Monitor Audio Gold Reference 60 + Center -- 3,200

3) Silverline Sonata -- $3,195

4) Revel F-30 -- $2,495

5) B & W Nautilus 804 -- $2,850

For reviews of these speakers, go to WWW.Ecoustics. Com
and load the names into the search engine.

You can also read customer reviews at WWW.Audioreview.com
by going there and doing the same thing.

I've heard all of these speakers, they all have slightly
different sounds, but are all enjoyable, all offer big
"bang for the buck" -- especially at those prices, and
are all full range speakers offering bass down into the
mid twenties.

Happy hunting.

Recommended Sub --

If you can push your budget a little, I recommend getting
a used Revel B-15.

Also, on B & W Speakers. If you like the sound of B & W's,
I would recommend pushing your budget a little and moving
up to the Nautilus 803's. It is a small jump in money,
but a big jump in quality and you get tighter and more detailed bass. However, I still recommend listening to the other speakers on that list. When I auditioned Sonus
Sabers against B & W head to head, I favored the Grand
Piano over B & W until I got to the B & W 803, which costs
a lot more money. Hope that helps.
without knowledge of your speakers...the most cost effective way to add bass is a sub...and since you will be sitting in the sin wave of the sub...its pretty much a no brainer....I could recommend some floorstanders...but chances are u will still want a sub any way...there is HSU,ADIRE(rave),Sunfire,Rel,etc...
also...for bass heavy music...I prefer solid state...a sub will also add depth to your monitors...the adire model is actually the "rava" or "rava se"...good luck
If you are going to try to add bass by adding a Sub-woof,
I highly recommend that you give that sub-woof a thorough,
in-home, demo. It is my experience that it is really hard
to find a sub-woof for less than 2,000 that will give you
musical low-end sound and it is extremely hard to get the
crossover and phase to match your speakers at all volumes.
It is my opinion that you will be much more satisfied by
a full range speaker that will leave all but the extreme
low end and home theatre sound effects to your main speakers with crossovers that have been designed, matched
and tuned by an expert.

Having said that -- this is why I recommend the Revel
B-15 Sub-woofer. It offers a nice mechanism for setting
the crossover, etc. and it is one of the few I've heard
that can offer accurate detail and musical low end.

Just my suggestions.
This is the beginning of tons of recommendations for subs. Certainly, a good course for you to take. I use the Sunfire Architectural 10" front firing subwoofer. Fast, powerful, deep extention AND small. Most people think of HT when they think of Sunfire, but this baby, as well as the Architectural Signature is designed, specifically for 2 channel listening. I love mine. Can be found, new, for, just, under $1k (the Architectural). peace, warren
My brother uses the Rogue 88 to drive N.E.A.R. 50Me II's in a room about the same size as yours. This combination outputs all the bass most people find desireable. The N.E.A.R.'s are also a slim tower design. Based on the good match with the Rogue amp, along with excellent bass performance, I think the N.E.A.R.'s should be considered. You should be able to find a pair in the $1,200 to $1,500 range used. In a former system I used Linn Kan II's with a REL Stadium II sub. I then went to the N.E.A.R.'s without the sub and was very pleased with the results, especially after some minor tweaking.
Why did you switch to tubes?
Do you like the rest of sound except bass quantity or the bass is your main consern?

If that's the case you should get either sub or the speaker that goes deeper with bass and have higher efficiency.
You may also vary some room arrangements that may(or maynot)become neccessary after changing amplification components.

For the sub I'd recommend buying a pair of such so you can select much higher crossover point(upto 80...120Hz) letting your speakers and amps work only from midrange or upper bass region. You can get used pair of Vandersteen 2WQ for arround $2k. There might be a need of faster subs and I'm sure that for the budget there are and I'm the one to give another option to consider for further posts.

P.S. For anyone who does not know the author's speakers it only takes to click on his system to find out. In this case it is not neccessary to speak about it Nth time as it already said.
I found the Rogue 66 Mag preamp simply horrible in the botton octaves, rolled off by maybe 50hz, soggy/loose until ~160hz. If you want true deep bass your speakers have to go, but no matter what killer bass speaker you buy won't create what it's not fed, unless you buy speakers with built-in sub amps, of course. I would pesonally ditch the Rogue 66 before looking for new speakers....
Thanks all. I AM fearful of the sub-speaker integration difficulty. My speakers are Linn's and I don't want to spend the $ on the Linn Sizmik sub. I like the REL Strata III sub, but am thinking that a full-range pair of speakers might be a better way to go. (I'd rather not deal with the cabling either.) I really could go either way but which is easier and which is better... I really hate fussing!

Was thinking of the following: Vandersteen 2CE sigs (but they may be too wide physically).

Rogue recommends the Vandersteens. In Montreal last month I heard them and many other good things running on tubes, such as: Verity Audio, Focus Audio, Meadowlark Audio.

I do, however, find it hard to belive that my pre-amp could be at issue... I did a lot of research and never heard about any complaints with the low-end output of the sixty-six.
If you happy with the sound of your speakers as they are aside from a desire for greater lower frequency response my suggestion would be for you to add a quality subwoofer to your present system. I have owned Sunfire and REL subwoofers, different models of each, and believe that for sheer bass output the Sunfire line is the better choice, but the REL line will integrate better with your Linn speakers.

A cautionary note:
Once you start with subwoofers, it is hard to go back. They are very addictive
Believe that your preamp is the issue, for it is or at least very well could be to blame, partly or fully. I've tried nearly a dozen modern preamps lately, tubes and SS, active and passive, the 66 was the worst of the lot in terms of bass performance, and the difference was not at all subtle. Try a cheap Creek passive for kicks if you would like to find out just how much you're missing down low (assuming your source has high enough output to drive your amp).
If you like all aspects of your current system except the bass then adding a sub is probably the most logical approach. Getting bigger main speakers may give more bass, but you'll still be using the same amp, with its power limitations, whereas with a powered sub like a REL the REL's internal solid state amp takes care of the power hungry low frequencies.
I own a strata 3 and I love it ... best thing I ever added to my system. Perviously my system had great imaging and great vocal reproduction, but wasn't very involving. With the sub comes scale, dynamics and very, very deep bass .. deeper and cleaner than I've heard from any floorstander under $2000 (not that I've heard that many).
I had Vand. 2Ces in a 12 X 14' room and could never play them at more than low-mod. volume. They are a good sized speaker that can easily "overload" a room that size. That said, the 2Cesigs are excellent speakers with good bass, but they do benefit from being pulled out a bit from the wall behind.

The 2Ces bass also benefits from the control of a good SS amp. I would suggest tubes in a pre-amp, but a SS amp for better bass control. The McCormack amps work great w/Vandersteen speakers, and can be had pretty reasonably used-- or new for that matter. Just my 2 cents worth. Good Luck. Craig
I agree with Socrates
Get a sub, dude, and be happy.
Sub..VMPS Larger Subwoofer will solve your problems I think..
If you just changed amps, & are now bass-thin, isn't the problem obvious? Your speakers are obviously up to the task; they were working fine previously weren't they?
But if you're really stuck on keeping that amp, then try tweaking it. Tube roll. Try out different upgrade AC cords. Try different interconnects / speaker cables, for better synergy. Try shelving, cones, pucks, footers, & etc.
But forget the subwoofer!
Bob, I think your right about forgetting the sub woofer but for a different reason. One of his statements, that no one has keyed on, is his preference for low volume sound. One of the ancient studies about human hearing shows that we tend not to hear the presence of low frequencies at low volumes to the same degree that we hear the mid-range/highs. For a long time recievers and intergrated's included a tone contour control which implimented the Fletcher Munson curve (which has since been somewhat discredited - I believe because of the high end emphasis, not the low end). This provided for a increase in the bass which automatically diminished (the added emphasis) as the volume was increased until you had a flat frequency response signal at the output.

As I see it, if the poster adds a sub and tunes it for typical low volumes he'll be very unhappy when he increases the volume as the sub will then become overbearing. I'm not sure that full range speakers will make that much difference, but there are some full range speakers that do present a more balanced and resolved sound at lower volumes, however his room placements might make implementing full range speakers somewhat problematic.
I want to add to your thought about low volume listening and the KEY point in this case turs the AMP and the AMP only. Less-likely speakers are not rated conservatively and I feel the case is that speakers now don't even rich 65Hz and starve for more power.
Seems to me there are two key lines from the original post.

1. "(My current speaker's bass response is rated at 50hz.)"

So, based on their own rating, these speakers are missing the lower octave.

2. "Got a new Rogue Audio tube amp and preamp. (88 and 66 magnum). Used to have a solid-state integrated that seemed to have more bass output."

Here is a common complaint with regard to tube amplifiers,
they have a tendancy to be weak [or flabby] in bass. Tube
proponents often give up deep or tight bass for reputed
advantages in the sound of "tube mid-range."

Now, this brings up another point. Already, some posters
are counseling cable and power cord adjustments to give
this system more bass when the speakers themselves are
rated to only go to 50 Hz. This, IMO, is how people get
duped into blowing a lot of unneccessary money on cables.
Cables will not produce low bass in speakers that are not built to accomodate it.

Here is another key line from the original post:

3. "Used to have a solid-state integrated that seemed to have more bass output."

We can deduce that the former amp was better at maximizing
the speakers' bass down to its rated 50 Hz, while the tube
amp is having trouble.

The first thing I would advise is getting speakers capable
of producing the lowest octaves of bass, or as close as
possible given the price constraints. That's why I suggest
full range speakers.

Second thing; I would consider a change in amps. If the current amp is having trouble producing base down to 50 Hz
and you want more bass, I question whether you will be happy
with this amp.

3rd: It is nice to have a sub-woof for the lowest tones
and home theatre effects, but it is hard to find sub-woofs
that can do more than "thump." Further, it is hard to
tune them into the system unless you can set the crossover,
level, and phase perfectly.

For this reason, I also suggest getting full range speakers, to lessen your depedance on the sub-woof.

IMO, it is better to buy speakers with bass already integrated in a way you like, and there's a better chance
you will be happy with the crossover and phase, as well
as a better chance of having speakers that can make music
with the lower octaves rather than simply "thumping."

By all means, get a sub-woof -- after you find full range
speakers and an amp that can drive them. After you've
found a pair of speakers that can produce bass at least
into the mid-twenties, an amp that can drive them, and
a sub-woof that can give you detail and not just "thump" --
see if you still want to try to get wires to do this for
you instead of the components that are designed for and
capable of doing these things. If so, and you still have
money burning a hole in your pocket -- THEN -- experiment
with some wire and cable.

That's my suggestion.

some posters are counseling cable and power cord adjustments to give this system more bass
Naysayer has obviously never experimented with cabling to improve system synergy & has no idea of what this can do, yet advises against it. Hogwash...
Try moving your speakers closer to front wall. I think the reason tube amps don't work well with modern speakers is because of smaller enclosures which, for the most part, produce "less" bass. People didn't want two BIG speakers, and I do mean BIG, in their living room when the big change from mono to stereo came along. If you look at old of houses with mono speakers, you'll discover most speakers were shoved against a wall.

Also, you might try "tube rolling."
Bob ... why must you always flame people who disagree with you ? I also have found that cables can improve a system that I'm already happy with, but will not rescue a system which I'm fundamentally unhappy with.
On the contrary, I've done many cable experiments.

Awhile back, I connected $10,000 speaker cables to the front door of my house. Within moments, I noticed a difference. A close inspection revealed that I have
the only mahogany door in the neighborhood that is completely free of grain and the middle of the door seems to be pleasantly liquified. A week later, after some break in time, I heard a rumbling coming from under the house. Sure enough, where before there was only dirt, I now have a brand new basement!

But seriously, I don't know everything, but I do know
the difference between adding *CAPABILTY* to a system and a *TWEAK.* I seldom confuse the two.
Amen, Rsbeck. The suggestion is ridiculous.
Thanks again for all the great comments and advice. - - - I repositioned the speakers back closer to the wall and now I have some more bass... at med-high volumes. I still would like more bass at low to med volumes. Is this a tube thing? Now I have the Rogue tube separates... prior to that I had a Redgum solid state integrated (which had bass at all volume levels), prior to that I had a Jolida tube integrated which only had bass at higher levels. So is my issue with no real bass at lower levels a tube thing in general? - - - Sometimes adding a sub (and switching it in at low volumes) makes some sense to me, except that I'd hate to be switching it on/off all the time or adjusting it frequently. The idea of a more full-range speaker that goes lower than my current speakers sounds the best to me right now (and I can sell my current speakers and upgrade, versus forking out addl $ for a sub.) My question then is, if I get a new pair of speakers that go deeper, will I still get less bass at lower volumes? My latest fav speaker after much research (but not audition) is the Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rod- - - Lastly, I have suspended hardwood floors... is it that the bass frequencies in the room get "excited" only at higher volume levels and create the illusion of more bass? - - - Thanks again for your comments.
Vertewax, You definitely need larger speakers if you want more bass at lower volumes. It's the physical property of the cone size and the cabinet design that is not going to provide you any more than the physical limitation. Try at least 10" bass driver. Proac response 2.5 has tons of bass. Even the KLH horn speakers or triangle speakers has good bass response. Try to audition larger floor standing speakers then you can fulfill your "bass" itch.
It's the Rogue....
Vertewax --

Please do this before you decide on your next speakers.

Contact Sumiko, who imports Sonus Faber, and find
out the Sonus Faber dealer nearest you. Listen to
that line of speakers, especially the "Grand Piano Home."


Next, go to Madrigal's site, find out the Revel Dealer nearest you and listen to the F-30. (They have a dealer
locator where you load in your zip code).


Next, go to Monitor Audio's site and find out the nearest
Monitor Audio dealer -- they also have a dealer locator.


Before buying your next speakers, listen to a lot of
different ones in and above your price range.

When you go into a dealer, tell them you are looking
at speakers between $3,000 -- $10,000. Listening to
high end speakers is the only way to get educated
and I believe it will help you appreciate the sound of
the speakers I am recommending for you to audition.

To my ear, speakers like the Sonus Faber Grand Piano
Homes sound very close to speakers I've heard going
for twice the price -- same with Revel F-30 and Monitor
Audio Gold Reference 60.

Another great thing about these speakers is that they
are very efficient, which means you won't need a
mammoth amplifier to get great sound from them,
but you can also grow into them when you want to
move up to a better amp -- they will only sound that
much better.

This way, you can avoid another all too common trap
I find on these audio web-sites. The guy who buys a
great speaker, then thinks it is crap because he
doesn't have the amp to drive them. Those kinds of
speakers are best left to folks on higher budgets who
can afford the types of amps necessary -- and it isn't
necessary to get a hard to drive speaker to get really great sound.