Where are the subs?


In listening to the Bach Toccata and Fugue BMV 565, I was struck by how well the organ pedal notes are reproduced since I moved my primary setup to another room. I complemented myself on a fine job of integrating the Velodyne HGS-10 subs with the KEF Ref 1s, using 40 Hz low-pass with 24 dB/octave. But as I thought about it, I didn’t recall connecting the SMS-1 bass manager to the Ayre KX-5 Twenty preamp. I checked. The subs were not connected. The Ref 1s alone where reproducing that satisfying bass. Amazing for stand mounted monitors. I sure as hell didn’t expect that. To confirm, I played the Saint-Seans 3rd Symphony. Same result. Makes me wonder if I need bother connecting the subs.
Ag insider logo xs@2xdbphd
The room acoustics matter so much.

People don't believe me, but the right configuration can make your speakers sound huge. I'm not at all surprised.


Best,

E
Are you certain you're not actually hearing the first harmonic of each pedal tone? We don't hear 16Hz, we feel it.
I'm not certain at all, just surprised by what I heard from stand-mounted monitors.  It was not that subtle more-felt-than-heard sense the KEF Ref 107/2s are capable of.
db
as above, below 30Hz we feel it. Good to see you here.
Happy Listening!
dbphd, better room for bass. If you want the most out of your subs put them right in the corners and cross them over higher, 100 Hz at least.
Play with it. It might take some work to get it sounding right but I am sure you can make further improvements not just in the bass but the lower midrange also. 
Using the long port, KEF states it can get to 30Hz in-room at -6dB, so not much of a surprise.

However, audio <40Hz that needs real power is best handled by a subwoofer.

Despite the specs. I highly doubt your 10” sealed subwoofer can get to 25Hz anechoically.

Play the opening scene of the movie Edge of Tomorrow, that is an amazing test on the bass extension of your setup, it goes down to 10Hz (start with the volume low to prevent potential damage).
Hello dbphd,

     I'm glad you're enjoying your system so much in a new room.  However, I believe your initial experiences in your new room are more a fortunate combination of factors than something you can rely on experiencing on a consistent basis with a larger sample size of source material.
      Your  Kef Ref 1 monitors, I'm assuming on speaker stands, are excellent speakers with exceptionally good bass extension for a monitor type speaker of about 40 Hz.   As you know, The Bach Toccatta and Fugue BMV565 has deep organ notes that likely require the full bass extension of the Kef's bass drivers at times.
     I would highly recommend utilizing your Velodyne HSG-10 subs and your xover in your system.  Not only because you'll be gaining the capacity of high quality bass reproduction of most of the bottom octave in any music (16-32 Hz) but also because you'll be relieving the Kefs of the burden of trying to reproduce bass frequencies at their woofers' physical limits of about 40 Hz.  
     There's also the added benefit of relieving your amp(s) from needing to supply the significant power the Kefs would demand when attempting to reproduce bass frequencies near their limits.  You'll notice the Kefs have an improved sound quality performance from the mid-bass through the midrange and treble with a greater sense of effortlessness when you add your subs and xover back into your system.
     You may also notice overall system performance improvements by raising the low-pass cutoff frequency a bit.  
   
     If you'd like state of the art bass response in your new room, utilizing 4 subs in a distributed bass array configuration would provide it.

Tim
  
The 14' X 19' room used for HT as well as music has a 100" projection screen, and two HGS-15s with SMS-1 bass manger that can make you feel pressure on your chest.  Unfortunately, both need repair, so the only functional subs in the room are two HGS-10s that are not connected.  I'll reconnect the HGS-10s, but really need to haul the HGS-15s to LA for repair.
It's great to get a pleasant and unexpected surprise once in awhile.The room is so important!I'd be interested to know your impressions with and without the subs. 
wait a few weeks before you try to put the subs back in...the room and set up are certainly crucial, but there is only so much deep bass those speakers can put out...
Hello dbphd,

That’s perfect! Get the 2 HGS-15s repaired and prepare to be amazed. If you’re using this room for ht and music, using all 4 positioned in a distributed bass array(DBA) will provide sota bass response for both.
This DBA concept works extremely well in virtually any room and with any pair of main speakers. I assure you that the results will stun you.
I use an Audio Kinesis Swarm 4-sub DBA system in my 23’ x 16’ foot room for both ht and music and it’s been a true revelation how well it works for both. Here’s an Absolute Sound review of the Swarm system that describes the performance improvements it provides very well:

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

Since you would be using a custom DBA system with four self amplified subs with individual settings for volume, xover frequency and phase, the proper positioning and settings configurations of each sub would be a bit more complex and time consuming but well worth the effort.
You also have the option of just purchasing a complete AK Swarm 4-sub system for $2,800 if you don’t want to bother getting your 2 subs repaired. The system consists of four 4 ohm subs with a 10" aluminum long-throw woofer that are each 1’wide x1’deep by 28"tall and weigh 44 lbs. A 1K watt class AB sub amp/controller is also included that allows for setting the volume, xover frequency and phase of all four subs as a group.
These relatively small subs would be positioned around the perimeter of your room with the drivers facing and just a few inches away from the wall. Each sub has spikes and the speaker connections are on the bottom. This improves the WAF since they look like solid wood pedestals or end tables when viewed from inside the room. My room has a crawl space below so I cut a small hole underneath each sub and was able to have no speaker wires visible.
But either with a complete kit DBA or a custom setup, I know you’d be thrilled with the results.
If you’d like to learn more about the DBA concept, just google ’distributed bass array system’. Those written by Dr. Earl Geddes and Dr. Floyd Toole will provide the most scientific and detailed explanations of how and why the concept works so well.


Tim
Good fronts under power don’t need the sub to bring the bass. Tune the sub below the fronts, way down. Listen and bring it up to complete not cancel the bass in the fronts. 
A common misconception.

Scroll up and read cal, scroll up and read.
Buy a real quality sub , the new Svs SB 3000 at$995 
will beat anything under $1500 once dialed in. And has a great app
and I owned several very good subs from REL, JL Audio 
who else will give you free shipping ,45 day return with Free return shipping ,  and a 5 year parts and labor warranty  just check it out .

Here’s what’s  interesting to me: Your post was simply to observe and marvel. Many thoughts and recommendations on how to improve your sound with new investments, changes in system, and  and specific brand recommendations. What you are experiencing, it appears, is the assumption that you wanted advice, new gear, or ways to improve upon it.  I have experienced the same thing w/ room-gear interaction and it’s  truly remarkable... reveling and sharing those moments is what it’s all about. Sometimes we miss the forest for the trees.

Happy listening!


audioman58,

     No single sub, no matter how good or expensive, can compete with the bass performance of a 4-sub distributed bass array system.  Even a pair of top quality subs will not match the performance of a 4-sub DBA system.  
     Since dbphd has a 100" video screen in this room for ht, I think it's safe to assume he has multiple seating positions in this room for friends and family enjoying ht together with him. 
     It's possible to optimize bass response using a single sub but only at a single listening position and the bass response will be poor at most other positions in the room.  However, a 4-sub DBA system would provide excellent bass response throughout dbphd's entire 14' x 19' room.

Tim
I agree with dbphd.  I am going to be adding a pair of F12 Rythmik subwoofers to my system to exactly the same thing.  I tried to like the REL subs, but could not hear what a lot of audiophiles claim to be incredible.  Since a REL T/9i is rated at 28 Hz at -6 db, I have been told it is lucky to play down to 35 Hz.  That is woofer territory.  However, perhaps that is why they blend in so much.  However, if you can't hear that much of a difference why bother.  I don't want to hear a boomy bass sound take over my system.  I just want to hear all of the frequencies available on a recording.  There is a lot of music recorded that gets down below 24 Hz and I want to hear it.  I will try to set up my subs at low volume so they will not stand out and blend with my towers.  I talked to Brian at Rythmik and he explained why he came up with his Direct Servo technology.  I also talked to a highly respected speaker manufacture and he told me the Rythmik subs are the most musical subs he has ever heard.  This is why he builds custom subs using Rythmik drivers and amplifiers.  Just hope I will be making the right decision.
The organ is introduced in the Saint-Seans 3rd symphony by a pedal note that is more felt than heard, and the big KEF Ref 107/2s reproduced it nicely.  That note is entirely missing with the KEF Ref 1s, and likely to remain so even with the HGS-10s.  I suspect it will take the HGS-15s to recover it.  But I rarely listen to that symphony, more often Bach, Corelli, Mozart, Bill Evans, or Miles Davis, all of which are covered well by the Ref 1s.  I am committed to implementing the four subs, but I do wonder if it's worth the bother to hear such rare notes.

I had used a fully balanced passive 80 Hz 24 dB high-pass Marchand filter between the Ayre preamp and amp with the subs low-passed at 80 Hz 24 dB, but I'm not using that either.  
The HT setup includes four LS50 surrounds that are currently inactive.  I do like the simplicity of just a pair of speakers.
I’m not shocked either.   Recently put in full blown home theater , room is treated and fronts are full range.    Room is critica.    Same speakers in a different room with same electronics they sound bass shy.   However I. The basement theater they hit 20hz down 3db no problem.    Dunlavy sc 5s
Recently added a REL S/5 Sho.  Connected it via the high output option.  It did add some additional bottom but more than that added a spaciousness to all my music that wasn't there before.
I had similar experience when putting new (old B&W) bookshelf speakers in my office. Surprising amount of bass compared to older B&O. I added my Velodyne Servo 1200 back in old settings, new location. Way too much bass. After I got it proper, the sub is adding just a little bit, you are unaware it's on until you turn it off. You probably can get that slight but unobtrusive extension also.

Same thing with rear surround, most people have them too loud. Most of the time you should not be aware of them, until, turn therm off, the image crashes to the front.
Hello dbphd,

I think you made a great decision by opting to give the DBA concept a tryout in your new room. I’m retired and have the time and interest in assisting you if you’d like. I just have a few questions for you:
I know you’re using the Kef Ref 1s on speaker stands in your new room but do you also own a pair of Kef Ref 107/2s?
Does your new room have wall to wall carpeting?
Is there anything located below this new room-basement, crawl space, another room?
Have you decided on whether you’re going to have your HGS-15s repaired and create a custom DBA system or purchase and utilize a complete DBA system kit like the Audio Kinesis Swarm for $2,800?
     As I stated previously, either a custom DBA (consisting of two 15 and two 10 self amplified subs) or the complete kit Swarm DBA ( consisting of four 10" passive subs and a sub amp/ control unit) will provide excellent bass response in your room that will extend down to 20 Hz.
     However, I think you should be aware right from the get go that the custom DBA setup and configuration will be more cumbersome, elaborate and time consuming than the Swarm DBA setup would be. This is due to the individual configuration of the volume, xover frequency and phase necessary on each Velodyne sub as compared to the single configuration of setting these controls once on the Swarm for all 4 subs as a group. Remember, this is a trial and error process in which you will set the volume and xover identically on all 4 Velodyne subs, listen and evaluate, make small adjustments and keep repeating this process until you're thoroughly pleased with the results.  This process would be the same with the Swarm DBA system but the fine adjustments to the settings would be much more convenient.

     larry5729 stated: " I don’t want to hear a boomy bass sound take over my system. I just want to hear all of the frequencies available on a recording. There is a lot of music recorded that gets down below 24 Hz and I want to hear it. I will try to set up my subs at low volume so they will not stand out and blend with my towers."
Some good points. The bass quality produced by a 4-sub DBA system is the opposite of boomy, it’s very detailed, smooth and natural but, when the content dictates, the bass can also be very powerful,dynamic, impactful and felt as well as heard.
     Overall, I perceive a sense of effortlessness, naturalness and ease to the bass response of the 4-sub DBA system that I believe is due to two facts: 1. There are 4 subs contributing to the total bass output, not just 1 or 2, and no single sub is being driven anywhere close to its limits, and 2. There is constantly a large reserve of power available to deliver powerful bass impact and dynamics instantly as the content requires. I never have the sense the bass system is being taxed, stressed or even close to clipping.
I’ve had my Swarm DBA in my system for about 4 years now. I’ve been consistently amazed by the amount of sonic content that exists in the 20-40 Hz range and how satisfying it is to hear and feel it reproduced in high fidelity. Of course, I knew it existed and was important on music and movies but it was a bit stunning to discover it also exists in abundance on my Xfinity cable hd tv broadcasts and even on numerous tv commercials. It’s just a bit of added fun.
     I’ve learned that the key factors in seamlessly integrating a 4-sub DBA system with my main speakers were the proper positioning of all 4 subs and the setting of the volume and xover frequency precisely on the sub amp/control unit. The precise setting of the volume and xover frequency proved to require a lot of trial and error experimentation and was the most time consuming portion of my DBA setup and configuration, even though these controls only need to be set once on the sub amp control unit for all 4 subs.
     My goals were to not constantly hear the bass contributions of the DBA system and for it to only be active when the music or ht content required it. I was also aiming for the bass from the DBA’s four 10" dynamic cone drivers to blend or integrate seamlessly with the full range output from my Magnepan planar-magnetic main speakers, which are very fast and detailed but only have bass output that extends down to 35 Hz. My experiences using 1 and 2 subs was that the bass seemed to lag behind my main speakers and the bass seemed to be disconnected. I found the Swarm sounded best integrated in my system with a xover of 40 Hz, a bass volume of just under 50% with all subs run in mono and configured as ported (with the port plugs removed).
     I sometimes find it a bit difficult to accurately describe just how exceptionally close to a state of the art bass system a properly configured DBA system actually performs but I’m very confident it would only take a single in-home audition in their system and room to convince virtually anyone.

Tim
My main speakers are 3 dB down at 20 Hz and I really need no bass reinforcement for audio use, but most of today's movies have artificially enhanced bottom end for impact so I use a pair of powered subs (3dB down at 16 Hz)  and cross the mains over at around 80 Hz.  But playing organ music with 16 Hz content and no subs on is no issue with the mains alone.

BTW, everyone should grab a test Cd at least once - the ones where they play increasingly low tones for a few seconds each so you can see whether your speakers are really reproducing the tones or not. Very interesting results in many cases.
Very very few speakers can reach their -3db point at realistic volume at the listening position. Maybe at a foot away at very low volume. 
Hello wspohn,

     I'm just curious what source material you use that contains organ music with bass extension down to 16 Hz?

Thanks,
  Tim
I bet you are running a hefty power amplifier!  People might be surprised what their main speakers are capable of given the right power from a quality amplifier.   
In my previous system running very good dual 6-1/2" woofer ported tower speakers and 150 quality watts at 8 ohms (225 watts @ 4-ohms) and the bass slam and depth was amazing!  Absolutely no need for subwoofers which is a preferred solution IMHO. 
In summary- Power to the mains!  
Hello avanti1960,

     I agree with you in general that most good quality speakers will benefit by being fed more power from a quality amp.
     However, there's an inherent problem with attaining high quality bass response performance from a pair of tower speakers; namely that the bass, midrange and treble transducers are all fixed in position, typically in a vertical alignment.
     Most owners will position their towers in relation to their listening seat in a triangular configuration, with the speakers 6-8' apart and the listening seat placed carefully at the midpoint between the speakers with the seat positioned at varying distances away from this midpoint depending on owner preference.  The idea being this will provide optimum stereo imaging at the listening seat with the assistance of precise speaker toe-in adjustments.
     This is a fairly effective method for attaining good midrange and treble response and a good stereo sound stage image at the listening seat.  The problem is that the bass drivers cannot be independently positioned for optimum bass response at the listening seat.  This results in your statement, of "Absolutely no need for subwoofers which is the preferred solution IMHO," being an opinion that is not supported by the facts.
     The truth is the bass response performance a tower speaker user attains at his listening seat is dependent on luck.  The odds that two tower subs positioned for optimum midrange, treble and stereo imaging at the listening seat will also provide optimum bass response performance positioned in the exact same position are extremely low. 
     You should consider yourself lottery winner lucky for apparently attaining both with your tower speakers.  The moral of your experience is that you got extremely lucky. I'd suggest refraining from formulating or extrapolating any opinions beyond this fact since they will lack any value.

Tim
noble, I reluctantly gave away the KEF Ref 107/2s because I didn't want to ship them.  The floor is carpeted as is the wall behind the speakers and about 5' of the ceiling above the speakers.  It is a second floor room.  I will try to reconnect the Velodyne SMS-1 bass manager and HGS-10s tomorrow and rerun the acoustic room correction.  For now I'll leave the low-pass at 40 Hz 24 dB/octave without high-pass.  May also connect the Technics SL 1200 Mk 2 and Ayre Pxe phono stage.   
Hi dbphd,

     I hope the recipient of your gift was appreciative of your largesse, quite an impressive gift!
     The DBA concept is designed with either a hard surfaced or a carpeted floor and untreated walls and ceilings in mind.  The free reflections of bass sound waves off room boundaries increase the number of bass modes (bass peaks and dips) in the room and, therefore, are considered beneficial.  I'm not sure if and to what degree a carpeted wall and partial ceiling will effect the performance of a 4-sub DBA system.    My room has full carpeting on the floor but no other room treatments at all.
     I wasn't familiar with the velodyne SMS-1 bass manager so I read this older review:
https://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_12_4/velodyne-sms1-digital-drive-sub-manager-12-2005-part-1.html

     It's an interesting product.  My overall impression is that the SMS-1 and the DBA system have the same goal, to achieve accurate natural and smooth in-room bass response, but through different methods.  It strikes me that the SMS-1 method is trying to simulate digitally what our brains do naturally with the DBA method.  

     The SMS-1 approach is attempting to smooth or even out bass peaks and dips in a room through room analysis using test tones and mics, digital conversion and processing along with parametric equalization.  It's more proficient at reducing bass peaks than boosting bass dips since boosting all bass dips of various frequencies and decibels needs to be done more judiciously to prevent overstressing the sub or subs.
     The DBA approach is attempting to smooth out bass peaks and dips in a room through creating more peaks and dips and relying upon the proven psycho acoustic principle of our brains summing and averaging these peaks and dips which results in a perceived accurate and smooth in-room bass response.  It's equally proficient at reducing bass peaks and boosting bass dips since boosting all bass dips of various frequencies and decibels requires no increased bass output from the sub or subs.
      I'm certain the 4-sub DBA system works like a charm without any mics, room analysis, room correction software or hardware, parametric equalization and room treatments.
     I've never used or heard a 4-sub DBA system configured through an SMS-1 and utilizing room correction so I'm not certain how well this method would work.
    Since I know for certain the 4-sub DBA works extremely well without room correction of any type, however, my opinion is there's no need to complicate the 4-sub DBA configuration and setup by using it.
     If you have the time and inclination, you could try it both ways and determine which setup you prefer.....in the name of science, of course.
     I know from personal experience that using two 15" inch subs is capable of providing very good bass response at a single designated listening position, even without using DSP room analysis and room correction through parametric equalization.
     I don't know whether two 10" subs utilizing the SMS-1's room correction is capable of providing very good bass response at your listening position.  But my concern is that these subs may be overdriven and overstressed if the SMS-1 detects numerous large bass dips(more than -3db down at a frequency) at your listening position.
     Have you made a decision on whether you're going to get your 15" Velodynes repaired or just invest in the AK Swarm? 
    I'd suggest hooking up your turntable and phono stage but waiting until you have 4 subs before bothering with the SMS-1.  I really believe, if you properly position and configure all 4 of your Velodynes in a custom DBA or use the 4-sub Swarm DBA, you'll agree there's no benefit in using your SMS-1.

Tim
Tim, I will have my HGS-15s repaired, but it takes planning. I’m 83, so I need help to put them in the back of the station wagon, then they need to be hauled to LA within a day or so, a two-hour drive from Santa Barbara. I have several SMS-1s, so I plan to us both the HGS-15s and 10s. Running the automated SMS-1 acoustic room correction is easy, but you can spend hours manually tweaking acoustic parameters if you wish.

I’m skeptical of your last sentence. The Ayre preamp connects to the SMS-1 which connects to the subs. I never use subs without acoustic room correction.
@dbphd, the DBA concept and what you can accomplish with your SMS-1 are pretty much one and the same. Use what you're comfortable with or try both and see what you prefer. I have used the DBA concept with 4 subs for a few years now. No room correction was ever part of the equation, didn't feel the need for it. I am trying out a line array concept now that member mijostyn recommended and find this method useful too. IIRC, he uses DSP in his setup, but again I do not. Ultimately I think the use of 4 subs will make a nice difference in your system.

BTW - was at the show in Long Beach yesterday and ran into Doug. Had a nice time. I'll be heading to LA in the next coupe months so I'll try to make a point of stopping by.
I'd enjoy a visit from you.  I have two setups: (1) Ayre 5 Twenty series digital hub, preamp, and amp with KEF Ref 1s, and (2) Senore microRendu, Ayre Codex, and Ayre A7e amp with LS50s.  Lots of Parasound stuff boxed to sell; beginning to wonder about setup 1.  I think we're a year or two down the waiting list for Casa Dorinda.  Perhaps a pair of KEF LS50s arrayed with a pair of Velodyne HGS-15 and a pair of HGS-10s would satisfy my audio needs.
Post removed 
dbphd:
    "I’m skeptical of your last sentence. The Ayre preamp connects to the SMS-1 which connects to the subs. I never use subs without acoustic room correction."

Hello dbphd,     
     Millercarbon , clio09 and myself all have experience using 4-sub DBA systems in our rooms and know there's absolutely no need for mics, room correction or bass room treatments.
     However, it seems you're determined to use the SMS-1 with room correction in your new room.  I agree with clio09 that you should use what you're comfortable with but I'm not as confident as clio09 that you'll accomplish the same results from either a DBA with no room correction and a master SMS-1 for your two 15s and a slave SMS-1 for your two 10s (see the bottom of page 10 on your SMS-1 manual for setup instructions on this).
     As I stated on my last post:
     "My overall impression is that the SMS-1 and the DBA system have the same goal, to achieve accurate natural and smooth in-room bass response, but through different methods. It strikes me that the SMS-1 method is trying to simulate digitally what our brains do naturally with the DBA method.  
      The SMS-1 approach is attempting to smooth or even out bass peaks and dips in a room through room analysis using test tones and mics, digital conversion and processing along with parametric equalization. It's more proficient at reducing bass peaks than boosting bass dips since boosting all bass dips of various frequencies and decibels needs to be done more judiciously to prevent overstressing the sub or subs.
    The DBA approach is attempting to smooth out bass peaks and dips in a room through creating more peaks and dips and relying upon the proven psycho acoustic principle of our brains summing and averaging these peaks and dips which results in a perceived accurate and smooth in-room bass response. It's equally proficient at reducing bass peaks and boosting bass dips since boosting all bass dips of various frequencies and decibels requires no increased bass output from the sub or subs.
      I'm certain the 4-sub DBA system works like a charm without any mics, room analysis, room correction software or hardware, parametric equalization and room treatments."

      However,I've never used or heard a 4-sub DBA system configured through an SMS-1 and utilizing room correction so I'm not certain how well this method would work.  
     The reason I'm skeptical is because it seems to me that the two methods would be working against one another.  The DBA concept is based on producing numerous more bass peaks and dips in the room while the SMS-1 room control concept is based on reducing as many bass peaks and boosting as many bass dips in the room as possible.  
     I hope the net effect of this dueling bass response concepts results in an overall positive result but, having no experience using both at the same time, I really have no idea what the results will be.
     Hopefully, you'll have your two 15s repaired by the time the experienced clio09 arrives for a visit and you guys can figure out a good solution.  I'd love to join in and help out but I'm in Indiana and have no plans to be in L.A. anytime soon.

     Good luck and please repost here detailing how things worked out.

Thanks,
  Tim
Tim,

I appreciate your advice. Tony’s visit is motivation to haul the HGs-15s to LA for repair.

As I’m sure you’re aware, an SMS-1 emits a series of pulses through the subs that are captured by its microphone, evaluated, and equalization applied that mainly cuts peaks without amplifying valleys. The process can be for one or multiple subs, so I see no downside in using it. On the other hand, the SMS-1 remote includes an equalization defeat button making it trivial to try the array both with equalization and without.

I had a Marchand 4th order 80 Hz fully balanced passive high-pass filter built for use between the Ayre KX-5 Twenty preamp and VX-5 Twenty amp that I’m not now using. I might want to install that and set the low-pass to 4th order 80 Hz. I’ll trust Tony’s listening judgement on that.

db
@dbphd, We may have spoken about this before so forgive me if I am repeating myself, but have you tried a 100 Hz cut off? Does your Marchand have a high pass cut off as well or are you running the Kef’s full range?

I think for Casa Dorinda the system I would like to see you use is the Ayre 5 Twenty with the Codex, Sonore, and LS50s. Add 4 subs to that and be done with it.

Won’t head down that way until late July so that should give you enough time to get the subs repaired.
dbphd:
"As I’m sure you’re aware, an SMS-1 emits a series of pulses through the subs that are captured by its microphone, evaluated, and equalization applied that mainly cuts peaks without amplifying valleys. The process can be for one or multiple subs, so I see no downside in using it. On the other hand, the SMS-1 remote includes an equalization defeat button making it trivial to try the array both with equalization and without."

Hello dbphd,

     I have been looking through the SMS-1 manual.  I was under the impression its corrective equalization did both, cuts bass peaks and amplifies bass dips or valleys.  I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just that I remember a section warning that trying to correct dips/valleys of -6 Db or more could result in overdriving or stressing a sub. But now that I'm thinking about it, it could have been referring to manual adjustments and you could be right that the automatic equalization will not attempt to amplify dips/valleys this large.  
     If this is true, I think it's a positive factor in determining how well a 4-sub DBA and MS-1 combination will actually perform.  I'll leave it to you and Tony to figure out.
     I've just started reading the manual section, starting at the bottom of page 10, on  using multiple subs and how to utilize multiple SMS-1s in a master-slave configuration.  You owning multiple SMS-1s could be very useful.  
    I'm currently thinking connecting both of your 15s on one SMS-1 as a master and connecting both of your 10s on another SMS-1 as slaves might be the best way to set your system up.
     I've also been thinking about the best method for distributing your subs in your 19' x 14' room.  Can you tell me which wall you have your 100" screen mounted on, a short wall or long wall?  And whether you're willing to move the screen and reconfigure your room if it would result in improved system performance?
     Here's an example explaining why this could be important.  You guys may discover that the bass sounds better in your room with the 15s positioned about 8' apart along a 14' wall than along a 19' wall.  The reason could be as simple as the very long deep bass soundwaves (a 20 Hz wave is about 56' long, a 30 Hz wave is about 38' long and a 40 Hz wave is about 28' long) require an extra wall reflection for the entire length of the complete soundwave to exist in the room and be processed by our brains as a deep bass tone.  The 56' 20 Hz soundwave would be launched from the front 14' wall and need to travel the length of the room's 19' length, reflect off the rear 14' wall, travel the 19' length of the room again and reflect off the 14' front wall and travel another 18' toward the rear wall before our brains even process this now complete soundwave to be recognized as a 20 Hz tone.  This is just sort of 3 reflections for the soundwave to be heard.  If the sub was placed along a 19" wall, the same 56' long 20 Hz wave would require almost exactly 4 reflections to be heard. 
     Will this make any difference in the perceived bass quality either with or without room correction?  I'm not sure but you guys will probably be finding out.
    The ability to turn the SMS-1's equalization on or off as a remote function is extremely convenient and another positive factor in determining just how well a 4-sub DBA and multiple SMS-1 combination may actually perform.  
     Things are certainly looking good.  The results should be very interesting. 

Thanks,
   Tim 
Is there a link to Audio Kinesis Swarm installation and setup instructions?
Tim, the speakers are on the 14' wall, an HGS-15 in each corner, an HGS-10 behind each speaker.  The carpet on the wall and ceiling are for video projection, not audio.

Tony, as I understand your suggestion for Casa Dorinda the audio chain would be Sonore microRendu to Codex USB DAC to KV-5 Twenty preamp to VX-5 Twenty amp to KEF LS50s.  Or maybe the QX-5 Twenty digital hub instead of the Codex?  It takes either ethernet or USB, and I'd guess the DAC in the QX-5 might be superior, but Gary at Ayre can provide guidance on that.  The preamp feeds the SMS-1 that controls the four subs.

The Marchand is a fixed high-pass 80 Hz 4th order filter with the particular virtue of being fully balanced and passive.

db  
@dbphd, I wasn’t aware of the QX 5 Twenty having that capasbility. I would certainly go with that over the Sonore/Codex combo.

I was just on the Marchand website looking at their parametric EQ for a project. Interesting choice on the passive version. Just curious, was there a specific reason for that?
@clio09, Charles Hansen had warned against inserting the active Bryston 10B crossover between the Ayre preamp and amp, and it turned out for good reason.  The sense of the music flowing without electronic intervention was compromised.  Ayre places great emphasis on balanced circuitry and zero feedback, so I consulted Gary at Ayre who thought the fully balanced passive high-pass Marchand filter would not compromise those attributes.

I started with a stripped down setup that has neither high nor low pass, and just Roon as a source.  Are you suggesting I replace the KFE Ref 1s with LS50s for the Casa Dorinda setup -- actually, I've thought LS50s supplemented by a sub array might be a good way to go.

db 
Yes use the LS50s with sub array.

Interesting on the passive filter. I may look into it, although I have been very happy with the Beveridge RM-3 active crossover.

dbphd:"Tim, the speakers are on the 14' wall, an HGS-15 in each corner, an HGS-10 behind each speaker.  The carpet on the wall and ceiling are for video projection, not audio."

Hello db,
     That's all good news since there's no need to reconfigure your room's video or audio orientation.  Interesting you use carpet for video projection.
      Another decision you and Tony need to make is the best positioning and distribution of your two 15" and two 10" subs in your room.  I thought it might be useful for you guys to know the details of how I positioned my 4 subs in my very similar sized room (23'x16'), with my main speakers and video display also along the short wall in my room,
 and then include some final advice.  An important difference to keep in mind is that I have four identical 10" subs and you'll have two 15" and two 10" subs.

Here's the setup procedure I used:

1. Disconnect the main speakers

2. Sub#1 is hooked up and placed on its back (driver facing the ceiling) at the normal listening position. Music is played that has good and repetitive bass.

3. Walk around the perimeter of the room, starting at the front right corner of the room and walking counter-clockwise, to]determine exactly where the bass sounds best to you (most accurate, detailed and natural).

4. Place sub#1  at the spot you determined the bass sounded best.

5. Sub#2 is hooked up and placed on its back at the primary listening position. With sub 1 & 2 playing, continue walking from sub#1 around the perimeter of your room counter-clockwise to determine the next spot where the bass sounds best to you.

6. Place sub#2 at the spot you determined the bass sounded best.

7. Repeat this procedure for sub#3 & #4.

Small positioning adjustments may need to be made for each sub due to avoiding furniture and the WAF.

8. Once all 4 subs have been positioned, reconnect the main speakers and verify the sound is to your liking.  If not, start over from the beginning.                                                                                                                     

     Since you're setting up a custom DBA system, utilizing two 15" and two 10" self-amplified subs rather than my four identical 10" subs, there's a need for you and Tony to decide the specific order of positioning your subs; there are multiple options:

Option1: Position your two 15" subs first as subs #1+#2 and your two 10" subs last as subs #3+#4.   This option would likely result in the two 15" subs placed near the front of your room and the 10" subs near the rear of the room.

Option2: Position your two 10" subs first as subs #1+#2 and your two 15" subs last as subs #3+#4.   This option would likely result in the two 10" subs placed near the front of your room and the 15" subs near the rear of the room.

Option3: Position your 15" and 10" subs in an alternating pattern starting with a 15" sub as sub#1, a 10" sub as sub#2, a15" sub as sub#3 and a 10" sub as sub#4.  This option would likely result in a 15" and a 10" sub placed near the front of your room and a 15" and a 10" sub placed near the rear of your room.

Option4:Position your 15" and 10" subs in an alternating pattern starting with a 10" sub as sub#1, a 15" sub as sub#2, a10" sub as sub#3 and a 15" sub as sub#4. This option would likely result in a 15" and a 10" sub placed near the front of your room and a 15" and a 10" sub placed near the rear of your room.      

    If you and Tony don't feel up to moving your heavy subs around to try all 4 options, I wouldn't blame you. My opinion is that option1 has the best chance of working well.  You could place both 15"s along your front 14' wall, one at each end and below your video carpet.  Place a 10" on each 19' wall on either side of your listening seat and about the same distance back from the front 14' wall as your listening seat.  The 10"s may also work well on opposite ends of the rear 14' wall,  with each 1-2' in from the corners.

    Another configuration I think would likely work well is a 15" sub in the middle of each of your front and back 14' walls and a 10" sub in the middle of each of your 19' side walls.

     I'd  avoid placing any of your subs in a corner.  They'll produce more and louder bass in corners but avoiding corners, even by 1-2', will produce higher quality bass. 


Tim

Tim, light from projection can splash beyond the screen. The purpose of the dark carpet (could be dark non-reflective paint) is to control that splash. We achieve a superb 100" video image. I’ve boxed up all the stuff for surround, but four LS50s are still on the side and rear wall.

This afternoon I discovered I could select disc 2 of the Price/Vickers Aida on Roon, so I played selected tracks from the two discs, first using the microRendu, Ayer Codex, and Amp 7e with LS50s, then using the 5 Twenty digital hub, preamp, and amp with Ref 1s.  Unlike my usual baroque and jazz, Aida showed the clear superiority of the Ref 1s.  Whether the superiority would hold with sub arrays added I don't know. 
Good Morning DB,

     If you and Tony don't screw things up, anything that sounds good now will only sound better with a 4-sub DBA SMS-1 bass system incorporated.  You'll hear Price/Vickers Aida sounds even better, with all the musical content from about  20-40 Hz you were not hearing suddenly mixed back in and reproduced in high quality and with seamless integration with your Ref 1s...……….IF you and Tony set the volume and crossover frequency just right, which most likely means as low as possible without compromising bass impact, bass dynamics and seamless integration.


No pressure,
    Tim