Magico Subwoofers

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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#1
1) Has anyone compared in a familiar system the sound of a Q-Sub or S-Sub to the competitors such as JL Audio Gotham or Velodyne DD-18+ or REL No. 25 or REL G1 or REL Studio III (available used but no longer in production) or Seaton Submersive or Seaton F18 or Paradigm Sub 2?

2) Can someone who owns or sells Magico subwoofers please tell me if they can accept speaker level inputs (which is the REL connection method)?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#2
Hi Ron,

Have not heard them, I have certainly been told by people who have tried it/bought it and compared it...there kinda is no comparison to something like a Velodyne DD18+ one-on-one.

That said, in the end, given the enormous impact of room acoustics...you still might well end up better with 2 'lesser' subs than 1 mighty QSub

For me, I have had such great success with the Velodyne (though i admit it has taken an Auralex, 4 Ultra 5s, 5 Artesania Dampers and 150lbs of dead weight, plus a Sablon Audio Ref Power Cord to get there)...that i have not bothered to consider the QSub particularly given that it costs some 4x-5x more...but i would love to try it being a bass freak, and would imagine (like the Krell Master Ref Sub before it which was dual 15" cones facing away from each other in a 400lb aluminum block) that it could really rock.
 
Last edited:

Elberoth

Member Sponsor
Dec 16, 2012
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Poland
#3
Ron,

I wonder what makes you prefere the high level input over the line level input in a sub ?

Using high level input makes you add the distortion of your main amp and the subwoofer amp.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
#4
I don't believe I have ever heard anyone recommend placing the input to the sub on high level Ron. I am curious as to why you would ask though.

Tom
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#5
This is another topic on which which it is difficult to develop a consensus. But in fairness like everything else the implementation of either technique may be more dispositive than the technique itself.

To answer your question:

1) I love my REL Stentor III. It has worked well for me with the high level input which i tap from the speaker terminals on my amplifiers. Of course this is only one data point, and I have not done a comparison with the other technique.

2) REL knows subwoofers and their people have decided that their speaker level method sounds better. Velodyne, Martin-Logan and Mark Seaton all offer high level inputs. JL Audio does not.

3) It makes some sense to me that using the high level input allows the subwoofer amp to inherit the character of the main amp. I believe that Gary at Genesis and Kevin at Evolution Acoustics utilize this technique as well.

4) Using speaker level inputs solves the subwoofer connection problem for people whose pre-amps do not have two sets of outputs.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#6
This is another topic on which which it is difficult to develop a consensus. But in fairness like everything else the implementation of either technique may be more dispositive than the technique itself.

To answer your question:

1) I love my REL Stentor III. It has worked well for me with the high level input which i tap from the speaker terminals on my amplifiers. Of course this is only one data point, and I have not done a comparison with the other technique.

2) REL knows subwoofers and their people have decided that their speaker level method sounds better. Velodyne, Martin-Logan and Mark Seaton all offer high level inputs. JL Audio does not.

3) It makes some sense to me that using the high level inout allows the subwoofer amp to inherit the character of the main amp. I believe that Gary at Genesis and Kevin at Evolution Acoustics utilize this technique as well.

4) Using speaker level inputs solves the subwoofer connection problem for people whose pre-amps do not have two sets of outputs.
+1

I have actually done an 'AB' with my REL sub with the output from the recommended high level input ( from the speaker terminals on the amplifier) and the line level. IMO, the loss in SQ from the line level was quite profound! The line level was clearly ( to my ears) losing information and the sub seemed to have less "punch". YMMV.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
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#7
I would only use speaker level if I had no alternative (and yes I have done so in the past). But it sounds like another religious debate...

On topic, Rythmik offers models with speaker-level inputs, and I like mine as well or better than several other much higher-priced subs I auditioned a few years again (B&W, JL, Paradigm, Velodyne, etc. -- but not a REL; I heard one but not long enough to comment, and unless they are extremely good or very bad I find them harder to compare than regular speakers).
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#8
1) Has anyone compared in a familiar system the sound of a Q-Sub or S-Sub to the competitors such as JL Audio Gotham or Velodyne DD-18+ or REL No. 25 or REL G1 or REL Studio III (available used but no longer in production) or Seaton Submersive or Seaton F18 or Paradigm Sub 2?

2) Can someone who owns or sells Magico subwoofers please tell me if they can accept line level (speaker level) inputs (which is the REL connection method)?
Line level is not speaker level. If the subwoofer has a XLR true balanced line input any one can implement a speaker level input with a few resistors that can be even located in the XLR plug. This "speaker level" method is known to transmit the "flavor" of the power amplifier to the subwoofer - some people will say it is a good thing, others will strongly with it.
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#9
+1

I have actually done an 'AB' with my REL sub with the output from the recommended high level input ( from the speaker terminals on the amplifier) and the line level. IMO, the loss in SQ from the line level was quite profound! The line level was clearly ( to my ears) losing information and the sub seemed to have less "punch". YMMV.
Interesting. What was the power amplifier?
 
May 30, 2010
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#11
Did the 'AB' with both of my amps...one ss and one tube. Tube amp is the ARC D70Mk2 and the ss amp is my modded Rowland model 8T. Same result with both-- the amp speaker connection ( REL's preferred method) to the REL was better, IMO.
I have also owned both - INHO great amplifiers, but with a strong bass signature. Probably this way the sub is less intrusive with the overall system balance.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#12
I have also owned both - INHO great amplifiers, but with a strong bass signature. Probably this way the sub is less intrusive with the overall system balance.

I agree, the sub was chosen to work well within my small room and with these amps in mind. Nonetheless, it still took me about a month to completely dial in the sub..so that it is effectively seamless with the mains.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#13
Can anyone post something actually responsive to either of the questions I asked in the opening post?
 

SCAudiophile

Active Member
Sep 11, 2010
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#14
Can anyone post something actually responsive to either of the questions I asked in the opening post?
I'd like to know the answer as well Ron as I've been pondering subs to get me solidly below 21 Hz again for pipe organ and other types of music where there is true content down in that region. I've just scoured the Magico site, the single review on the Q-SUB and cannot seem to find these facts, a product manual or anything.

I'm also a big fan of the REL high-level input method for 2-channel integration going back quite a few years when I did extensive A/B with various subs that I've owned. The REL approach (mimic'ed by a couple of other vendors now) used to get me the most tightly integrated and temporally correct (to my ears) bass and sub-bass. I'll keep looking as well...if you find anything on this topic, please PM me or reply here. Thanks!
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
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#15
Why not just contact Magico?

The S-SUB does not have a speaker-level input on the back. I can't tell on the Q-SUB but strongly suspect the same. Since virtually all active subs include an amplifier as a single unit with crossover and low-level electronics before it, the speaker level inputs simply use a resistive divider to reduce the signal to line level before applying it to the same signal chain as the line-level inputs. Your REL may work differently or not, but if you want to use speaker-level inputs into a line-level sub input, all you need to do is to use a simple passive divider (you can buy inline attenuators, passive gain/volume controls, or build your own).

Off-topic: Integration problems usually imply the phase and gain is not right at the crossover point. If you don't have a AVR or processor that handles this there are numerous other ways (passive, active, analog and digital) to better integrate the sub and mains. But, it generally takes measurements to get it right, usually a taboo subject on WBF... Using speaker-level inputs implies the mains are run full-range, not generally optimal for sound (higher distortion in the mains and greater difficulty getting the smoothest in-room frequency response in the bass region due to physical placement and interaction with the subs), any distortion and frequency response changes (magnitude or phase) at the main speaker terminals is passed on to the sub, and noise is higher due to the attenuation at the sub's input.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#16
Thank you for your post, Don.

I always wondered about that! JL Audio and Wilson Audio are adamant about feeding the line-level inputs of their subwoofers a speaker-level signal but why isn't the answer your easy answer?

I have the Electronic Visionary Systems discrete resistor attenuator devices, and they would be just fine to attenuate the speaker level signal. Of course resisting down a high-level signal is a very inelegant solution.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#17
Thank you for your post, Don.

I always wondered about that! JL Audio and Wilson Audio are adamant about feeding the line-level inputs of their subwoofers a speaker-level signal but why isn't the answer your easy answer?

I have the Electronic Visionary Systems discrete resistor attenuator devices, and they would be just fine to attenuate the speaker level signal. Of course resisting down a high-level signal is a very inelegant solution.
This is exactly what the REL does. It has to take the high level, lower it to drive its own amplifier. THis is done internally but it is the exact same method.
 

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#19
Just because REL is better with speaker level input, does not mean the others will be; it's good you have those devices to experiment.

Ron are these subs for the music room or home theater? If they're for the music room I have to point out the Pendragons play to 16hz. There isn't too much of a benefit to adding subs as L & R augmenters if the Pendragon's very powerful amps and 16hz reach are as good as they should be. What I would do is go for immersion factor by using a Swarm. It may be helpful to cross the Pendragons higher if the room isn't responding well, and let a swarm take over a little bit lower octaves where they'll have a better average of peaks and nulls.

2. The S-sub has line level inputs, and the Q-sub appears to have the same set of inputs. Maybe they can be ordered differently but I wouldn't expect it.
 

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#20
Of course resisting down a high-level signal is a very inelegant solution.
And, I have to say, I don't believe this to be true at all unless you're looking at the back of the subwoofer. Speaking for the quality of the inputs this has no bearing in itself, it's simply up to the amplifiers qualities after. Most will do exactly as Frantz is saying, internally reducing the signal down.
 

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