What is the best product to blend Subwoofer with your speakers? Only DSP low end

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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#1
If you are only interested in blending the subs with your system and not full DSP, what are contenders for the best product out there? Or are all products for this purpose commodities, since you do not hear, but only feel those low frequencies?
 

prerich

New Member
May 21, 2012
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#2
If you are only interested in blending the subs with your system and not full DSP, what are contenders for the best product out there? Or are all products for this purpose commodities, since you do not hear, but only feel those low frequencies?
Well what are you using ;)? I think the miniDSP line has some excellent product out. I myself, I use REW filters and JRiver PEQ - but in my case, the computer is the prepro. I use MathAudio EQ for the mains and I got a decent curve using both.
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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#3
Well what are you using ;)? I think the miniDSP line has some excellent product out. I myself, I use REW filters and JRiver PEQ - but in my case, the computer is the prepro. I use MathAudio EQ for the mains and I got a decent curve using both.
MBL 101 is the speaker, which has a pretty robust bass response. I haven't decided on the specifics, but at least 2 large subs to start out with.
 

dallasjustice

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Apr 12, 2011
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#4
If you are only interested in blending the subs with your system and not full DSP, what are contenders for the best product out there? Or are all products for this purpose commodities, since you do not hear, but only feel those low frequencies?
What do you mean by "product"? Are you talking about software or hardware? Are you talking about a full standing speaker with built in sub? I'm confused since there's so many ways subs are incorporated into full range speakers.
 

Peter Breuninger

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Jul 20, 2010
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#5
I would think the last thing I would do with MBL 101E MKI or MKIIs is to add a sub. Why would you want this? Do you have a bass node issue? I have owned and tested both versions, the bass is tighter and lower on the MKII but the MKI was very satisfying.
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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#7
I would think the last thing I would do with MBL 101E MKI or MKIIs is to add a sub. Why would you want this? Do you have a bass node issue? I have owned and tested both versions, the bass is tighter and lower on the MKII but the MKI was very satisfying.
Hi Peter,

I think it's all room dependent. I have heard 101's mk1 with subs. In a nutshell, subs are a huge improvement to the already phenomenal MBL time machine. Although the 101 already has an incredible bass response down to low 20's, good subs take it down to very low teens, allowing to hear more of the original acoustical environment. But in addition to lower bass response , the system sounded more musically transparent (not the stupid, annoying resolution of artifacts that people mistake for transparency), they also cleaned up the midrange and highs, improved image specificity in the soundstage, made the 101 even more dynamic, and of course allowed for the bass lines to be followed better, allowing to get into the music even more .

I could go on and on analyzing, but overall realism improvement is incredible. It's like paying $8-10k for $50k of electronics. From what I have heard, other than getting the right amps that can properly power the 101 beasts, I can't imagine a better upgrade.

And for guys who already have the101 mk 1 and love it, and yet are discouraged to going to mk 2 because of the hassle factor of moving and selling large speakers, this is a no-brainer move.
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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#8
What do you mean by "product"? Are you talking about software or hardware? Are you talking about a full standing speaker with built in sub? I'm confused since there's so many ways subs are incorporated into full range speakers.
Hi Dallas,

All I am trying to do is to take the signal from my preamp out and send it to the subs, in addition to sending it to the amplifiers. So I am looking for the subs to augment the bass response that the amplifier/ speaker is already creating.
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
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Dallas, Texas
#9
Hi Dallas,

All I am trying to do is to take the signal from my preamp out and send it to the subs, in addition to sending it to the amplifiers. So I am looking for the subs to augment the bass response that the amplifier/ speaker is already creating.
Okay. Is your system source digital or analog? Can you describe it?

I strongly feel the best solution always requires a crossover on both the R/L speakers and the sub. You will always get smoother phase at the crossover and hence more even bass. If you have a computer source it's best to use a MCH DAC. But you can still do a crossover of sorts with a 2 CH DAC IF you have a JL Audio sub with E.L.F. function.
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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#10
Okay. Is your system source digital or analog? Can you describe it?

I strongly feel the best solution always requires a crossover on both the R/L speakers and the sub. You will always get smoother phase at the crossover and hence more even bass. If you have a computer source it's best to use a MCH DAC. But you can still do a crossover of sorts with a 2 CH DAC IF you have a JL Audio sub with E.L.F. function.
System is pretty standard: Good old cd player and analog sources going to a preamp, going to an amp, going to speakers. Thanks
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,095
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#11
I think the question is whether you find a stand-alone equalizer to blend the subs and 101 Mk1's, or a subwoofer pair with the correct high pass filter that will most closely match the slope of your MBL's lowest octave. if you can find a subwoofer with the right high pass filter it should be easy to hook up assuming your pre has multiple outputs.

always with this direction you are looking for minimal compromise, but know that compromise you will. and that is due to the fact the 101 Mk1's are designed to be full bodied in the lowest octave, and most any sub is also designed to do the same thing. so doubling frequencies is almost inevitable. the question becoming how to get the least doubling.

you might ask MBL what sub have they seen that works the best. they might have a good answer, and they might not want to get involved at all. but it won't hurt to ask.

I totally agree with your desire to improve low frequency performance; the better it is, the better the music is. I sure love what my system does there.
 

Peter Breuninger

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Jul 20, 2010
1,231
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#12
Hi Peter,

I think it's all room dependent. I have heard 101's mk1 with subs. In a nutshell, subs are a huge improvement to the already phenomenal MBL time machine. Although the 101 already has an incredible bass response down to low 20's, good subs take it down to very low teens, allowing to hear more of the original acoustical environment. But in addition to lower bass response , the system sounded more musically transparent (not the stupid, annoying resolution of artifacts that people mistake for transparency), they also cleaned up the midrange and highs, improved image specificity in the soundstage, made the 101 even more dynamic, and of course allowed for the bass lines to be followed better, allowing to get into the music even more .

I could go on and on analyzing, but overall realism improvement is incredible. It's like paying $8-10k for $50k of electronics. From what I have heard, other than getting the right amps that can properly power the 101 beasts, I can't imagine a better upgrade.

And for guys who already have the101 mk 1 and love it, and yet are discouraged to going to mk 2 because of the hassle factor of moving and selling large speakers, this is a no-brainer move.
Please don't base this on an idea or a set up that is not in your room. MBLs 101Es do not need subs. Call Jeremy Brian at MBL NA, ask him. If you want MKIIs, a special built exact tolerance and famous set, PM me. I might consider letting this very special low mileage pair go to the right guy.
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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#13
Please don't base this on an idea or a set up that is not in your room. MBLs 101Es do not need subs. Call Jeremy Brian at MBL NA, ask him. If you want MKIIs, a special built exact tolerance and famous set, PM me. I might consider letting this very special low mileage pair go to the right guy.
Thanks, Peter. I just got a huge dopamine rush thinking of the MK 2's in my room, but with several systems already, my wife will literally kill me if I buy new speakers at this point.

As for "needing" the subs vs. improving the sound with the subs, that's a whole other discussion...
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#14
Hi Peter,

I think it's all room dependent. I have heard 101's mk1 with subs. In a nutshell, subs are a huge improvement to the already phenomenal MBL time machine. Although the 101 already has an incredible bass response down to low 20's, good subs take it down to very low teens, allowing to hear more of the original acoustical environment. But in addition to lower bass response , the system sounded more musically transparent (not the stupid, annoying resolution of artifacts that people mistake for transparency), they also cleaned up the midrange and highs, improved image specificity in the soundstage, made the 101 even more dynamic, and of course allowed for the bass lines to be followed better, allowing to get into the music even more .

I could go on and on analyzing, but overall realism improvement is incredible. It's like paying $8-10k for $50k of electronics. From what I have heard, other than getting the right amps that can properly power the 101 beasts, I can't imagine a better upgrade.

And for guys who already have the101 mk 1 and love it, and yet are discouraged to going to mk 2 because of the hassle factor of moving and selling large speakers, this is a no-brainer move.
One of the few times I find myself agreeing with you :) ... I would however replace MBL 101 with any speaker (especially) full range. There are obvious exceptions ... Gen 1.x , MM7 or other similar beast may likely not need a sub otherwise ...
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#15
I think the question is whether you find a stand-alone equalizer to blend the subs and 101 Mk1's, or a subwoofer pair with the correct high pass filter that will most closely match the slope of your MBL's lowest octave. if you can find a subwoofer with the right high pass filter it should be easy to hook up assuming your pre has multiple outputs.

always with this direction you are looking for minimal compromise, but know that compromise you will. and that is due to the fact the 101 Mk1's are designed to be full bodied in the lowest octave, and most any sub is also designed to do the same thing. so doubling frequencies is almost inevitable. the question becoming how to get the least doubling.

you might ask MBL what sub have they seen that works the best. they might have a good answer, and they might not want to get involved at all. but it won't hurt to ask.

I totally agree with your desire to improve low frequency performance; the better it is, the better the music is. I sure love what my system does there.
Not correct. You will not "double" frequencies by using a sub. Your very own MM7 have a full range main speaker and what is after all a sub ... No doubling.

@Peter

People could say the same for speakers such as the Wilson Alexandrias or the Magico Q7 .. Adding a sub or better at least a pair bring those speakers' already superb performance to a much higher level. Heard both with and without subs ... To use an audiophile cliche: Night and Day :D

That is not to say that it is a walk-in-the-park kind of thing to integrate subs with any speaker. It will require a lot of work, reading, measuring (yes MEASURING) and learning. The results will always be better than without subs. Objectively and subjectively.
 

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
351
1
18
#16
Hi Peter,

I think it's all room dependent. I have heard 101's mk1 with subs. In a nutshell, subs are a huge improvement to the already phenomenal MBL time machine. Although the 101 already has an incredible bass response down to low 20's, good subs take it down to very low teens, allowing to hear more of the original acoustical environment. But in addition to lower bass response , the system sounded more musically transparent (not the stupid, annoying resolution of artifacts that people mistake for transparency), they also cleaned up the midrange and highs, improved image specificity in the soundstage, made the 101 even more dynamic, and of course allowed for the bass lines to be followed better, allowing to get into the music even more .

I could go on and on analyzing, but overall realism improvement is incredible. It's like paying $8-10k for $50k of electronics. From what I have heard, other than getting the right amps that can properly power the 101 beasts, I can't imagine a better upgrade.

And for guys who already have the101 mk 1 and love it, and yet are discouraged to going to mk 2 because of the hassle factor of moving and selling large speakers, this is a no-brainer move.
What subwoofer do you recommend to go with 101? Q18?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,095
25
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#17
Not correct. You will not "double" frequencies by using a sub. Your very own MM7 have a full range main speaker and what is after all a sub ... No doubling.
wrong. the bass towers of the MM7's are part of a complete integrated full range system. the main towers are not 'complete' by themselves.

@Peter

People could say the same for speakers such as the Wilson Alexandrias or the Magico Q7 .. Adding a sub or better at least a pair bring those speakers' already superb performance to a much higher level. Heard both with and without subs ... To use an audiophile cliche: Night and Day :D

That is not to say that it is a walk-in-the-park kind of thing to integrate subs with any speaker. It will require a lot of work, reading, measuring (yes MEASURING) and learning. The results will always be better than without subs. Objectively and subjectively.
I'm not saying that subs cannot help a full range speaker improve the overall performance envelope of the system. or even that they cannot improve it to a much higher level.

so we agree on that part. I'm not dissing everyone's efforts with subs added. I'm just saying that if you have a full range speaker system already designed to descend to the bottom octave that adding a subwoofer will involve compromises; however pleasing the final result might be.....compared to a system with the same frequency capabilities designed from the ground up as coherent.

let me come at this from the other direction. let's assume that Wilson made a two tower system based on the XLF's and Magico made a two tower system based on the Q7's. the main towers could be redesigned with a different driver complement, and the bass towers would be active with adjustments. these two tower versions were completely developed for seamless coherence.

why would you do that? why do people add subs to the XLF and Q7?

would these speaker systems be less compromised? more coherent? than a full range XLF or Q7 with added subs?

of course they would. there would be less holes and overlaps of frequencies. easier system integration (more uncompromised signal path) with electronics.

that is all I'm saying.

I also think that these full range speaker systems are more coherent (less holes and overlaps) by themselves than with subs. the difference might be slight with the best of the added subs, but it's there. it might not show up on all music, but when pushed hard you would hear it. not to say that the whole performance package is not much better with subs added.

when I listen to the MM7 main towers only without my bass towers about 50% of the music sounds somewhat normal; but 50% is clearly missing something. that is because the main towers are rolled off dramatically (even though they do extend almost to 20hz) to attain seamless integration. if the main towers sounded 'right' by themselves they could not integrate. and it's more than just the crossover, it's also the choice of drivers. so it's not a casual effort to really get ultimate integration. it's a ground up deal.

so when I say compromised, I mean compromised compared to no friggin compromise. to the best of the designers ability.

and I'm not claiming that any speaker system is perfect. just that as a system has progressively more and more dynamic capability and frequency extension, coherence becomes ever more important.
 
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caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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#18
One of the few times I find myself agreeing with you :) ... I would however replace MBL 101 with any speaker (especially) full range. There are obvious exceptions ... Gen 1.x , MM7 or other similar beast may likely not need a sub otherwise ...
Hey Frantz,

I think we recently agreed on the luxury thing, and now on this, so I think we are on a roll! :) :)

(which reminds me, I wanted to get back to Microstrip in that thread, and provide some rationale for that declaratory statement, but I have had so many things going on and constant interruptions)

As for changing out the system, I know there are many excellent systems out there, and I am pretty obsessive, but I am truly happy now.

Cheers!
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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36
#19
What subwoofer do you recommend to go with 101? Q18?
I don't know. I am interested in at least 2. And unfortunately, I can't swing 4 now. I am going to re-read the "What's the best subwoofer thread" in the subwoofer forum. From what I recall, people were pretty down on Rel and high on JL Audio and some others.
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,933
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36
#20
Please don't base this on an idea or a set up that is not in your room. MBLs 101Es do not need subs. Call Jeremy Brian at MBL NA, ask him. If you want MKIIs, a special built exact tolerance and famous set, PM me. I might consider letting this very special low mileage pair go to the right guy.
Hey Peter,

I imagine you are a very busy guy with a long list of projects. And you may have a great room for an MBL, placing them on the long wall, with hard reflective surfaces behind them, but if a couple of subs come your way and you got the time, throw them in. (Heck, those subs from the Perfect 8's may work great, if you still have them.)

It might be a waste of time, but it also might be revelation, as it was for me.
 

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