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

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
0
0
Dallas, Texas
#21
Caesar,
I know what you want. Bass is the final frontier and it's really challenging to achieve in most systems. I agree, to some extent, with Lavigne. If I may paraphrase, he contends that bass incorporated as a complete system sounds better than simply tacking a pair of subs onto a 2 channel full range system.

Where I disagree, has to do with complexity and who is best suited to integrate the bass into system. I don't think it's even worthwhile to try a pair of subs or more unless one is willing to use a crossover, some EQ and delay. Subs aren't different from any other driver in a speaker. Speaker manufacturers spend a lot effort EQing their design with analog parts to get all the drivers to cohere. The sub and bottom end of the full ranger need a crossover for the bass to sound natural. Otherwise a compromise must be struck. The specifics will depend on the system, but there will be a less than desirable outcome without these basic elements.

Also remember that very low frequencies don't always sound best in the same position as the R/L speakers. That's why you often times see subs up against a frontwall or a little further away from the seated position as the R/L speakers. These setups with speakers at various distances from listening position DO cause audible incoherence in group delay between the different speakers. This group delay difference really cannot be corrected with an analog crossover. Analog crossovers simply can't delay a signal with enough time or precision to best achieve smooth time domain behavior. IME, the best sub integration involves software and a DAC with more than 2 outs.

I know you want a simple solution. I think the best option for your situation would be a Revel Rhythm2. Larry greenhill wrote a review in this month's Stereophile. It's advantage over other subs is that it has a built in crossover with an excellent AtoD so that delay, crossover and EQ could be dialed in for the main speakers and sub. It's an interesting product for someone like you who probably doesn't want a media server but wants a much more sophisticated method of incorporating an external sub. You should check out the review. It's not online yet so you need a hard copy for 2/15 Stereophile.
Michael.
 

Peter Breuninger

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Jul 20, 2010
1,231
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0
#22
Caesar,

I misunderstood the thread, I though you were looking for subs. I didn't know you had them already. Can you share pics of the room that show the size and scope of the install?
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,933
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36
#23
Caesar,

I misunderstood the thread, I though you were looking for subs. I didn't know you had them already. Can you share pics of the room that show the size and scope of the install?
Hi Peter,


No subs yet. Just shared prior experiences. Still looking for solution.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,093
23
38
#24
Caesar,
I know what you want. Bass is the final frontier and it's really challenging to achieve in most systems. I agree, to some extent, with Lavigne. If I may paraphrase, he contends that bass incorporated as a complete system sounds better than simply tacking a pair of subs onto a 2 channel full range system.
thanks for the 'to some extent'.:)

Where I disagree, has to do with complexity and who is best suited to integrate the bass into system. I don't think it's even worthwhile to try a pair of subs or more unless one is willing to use a crossover, some EQ and delay...........
Michael.
which becomes a question of the solution potentially being worse than the problem which is one of the compromises I referred to. and becomes a matter of personal listening culture, trade-offs, and priorities. I do agree that the actual coherence part is possibly technically solvable with your approach. I still think a ground up design (with the same extension) will sound better overall than tacked on subs regardless of how dialed in the subs are.

but coherence is not everything......it's just really important. and if you have gone to the end of the earth with signal path and analog source purity compromising that to solve the last bit of coherence issues is a tough question. or maybe it's just a matter of how much complexity one is comfortable with.
 
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prerich

New Member
May 21, 2012
232
0
0
#25
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

I believe Dallas is right in situation Caesar. Someone else gave you a possible solution as well using the miniDSP.
I've heard your speakers before at a show and while I was/wasn't impressed (the speakers impressed - it was the music used-electronica that turned me off), the last thing they lacked was bass (bass was subwoofer like)!!!! Those MBL's can pound and the crossover used in them is very unique. It sounds like you are wanting the subs to "copy" the bass that's in 101e's instead of "moving" all bass from a specific point from the 101e's to the subs (but smoothly and naturally). Does this sound right? What are you using for a subwoofer might I add?

P.S. i would love to hear those again with something else (Ben Tankard's Drummer's Dream would be nice ;) ).
 

prerich

New Member
May 21, 2012
232
0
0
#26
Caesar,
I know what you want. Bass is the final frontier and it's really challenging to achieve in most systems. I agree, to some extent, with Lavigne. If I may paraphrase, he contends that bass incorporated as a complete system sounds better than simply tacking a pair of subs onto a 2 channel full range system.

Where I disagree, has to do with complexity and who is best suited to integrate the bass into system. I don't think it's even worthwhile to try a pair of subs or more unless one is willing to use a crossover, some EQ and delay. Subs aren't different from any other driver in a speaker. Speaker manufacturers spend a lot effort EQing their design with analog parts to get all the drivers to cohere. The sub and bottom end of the full ranger need a crossover for the bass to sound natural. Otherwise a compromise must be struck. The specifics will depend on the system, but there will be a less than desirable outcome without these basic elements.

Also remember that very low frequencies don't always sound best in the same position as the R/L speakers. That's why you often times see subs up against a frontwall or a little further away from the seated position as the R/L speakers. These setups with speakers at various distances from listening position DO cause audible incoherence in group delay between the different speakers. This group delay difference really cannot be corrected with an analog crossover. Analog crossovers simply can't delay a signal with enough time or precision to best achieve smooth time domain behavior. IME, the best sub integration involves software and a DAC with more than 2 outs.

I know you want a simple solution. I think the best option for your situation would be a Revel Rhythm2. Larry greenhill wrote a review in this month's Stereophile. It's advantage over other subs is that it has a built in crossover with an excellent AtoD so that delay, crossover and EQ could be dialed in for the main speakers and sub. It's an interesting product for someone like you who probably doesn't want a media server but wants a much more sophisticated method of incorporating an external sub. You should check out the review. It's not online yet so you need a hard copy for 2/15 Stereophile.
Michael.
I agree with you again Dallas!!!
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,856
46
48
London
#27
Michael, so the choice one has is:

1. To integrate subs like JL or Velodyne with a software and a MCH dac using crossovers
2. To use a hardware like Deqx or minidsp or trinnov either after the source or after the preamp to add the sub
3. To use the Revel rythm2, which requires neither of the above 2? Is that what you are saying?

But you prefer, in order, 1, 2, 3?
 

mojave

New Member
Oct 29, 2010
251
0
0
Elkhorn, NE
#28
which becomes a question of the solution potentially being worse than the problem which is one of the compromises I referred to. and becomes a matter of personal listening culture, trade-offs, and priorities. I do agree that the actual coherence part is possibly technically solvable with your approach. I still think a ground up design (with the same extension) will sound better overall than tacked on subs regardless of how dialed in the subs are.

but coherence is not everything......it's just really important. and if you have gone to the end of the earth with signal path and analog source purity compromising that to solve the last bit of coherence issues is a tough question. or maybe it's just a matter of how much complexity one is comfortable with.
This statement doesn't make any sense to me. Adding the proper subs to a system and integrating them is a "ground up design" when done properly, regardless of who is making the profit on the subs and/or integration.

You Evolution Acoustics bass towers use four 15" Acoustic Elegance drivers for each channel with active crossovers to the speakers. You have controls for tweeter, bass filter, bass level, bass quality, and bass extension, and phase (I think). These adjustments have to be made on four different amplifiers for the sub towers. These controls are limited in their granularity and indicate that there is no "ground up design" because two people can get completely different results based on the use of the controls. Evolution Acoustics builds subs and allows the user some controls to tack them on. ;)

My subwoofer system also consists of four 15" Acoustic Elegance drivers for each channel mounted in an infinite baffle manifold. My drivers have some benefits over yours including higher sensitivity, lower Fs, and lower impedance peak. My main speakers are line source speakers with a response down to 17 Hz in room. I use Class D amplifiers for the subs with a flat response to DC and no phase shift in the bass region. With an active crossover, I can integrate each subwoofer manifold perfectly with the mains using infinitely adjustable parameters (slopes, levels, Q, linkwitz-transform, boost, parametric EQ, etc.). The result is perfect phase and integration for my room better than any manufacturer combination. I'll take my "tacked on subs" any day over a limited manufacturer system. :)
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
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0
Dallas, Texas
#29
Yes. I have experience with 1 and 2. I think they are all good choices and superior to running subs on top of the main R/L. Of course, 1 is by far the best method.

Michael, so the choice one has is:

1. To integrate subs like JL or Velodyne with a software and a MCH dac using crossovers
2. To use a hardware like Deqx or minidsp or trinnov either after the source or after the preamp to add the sub
3. To use the Revel rythm2, which requires neither of the above 2? Is that what you are saying?

But you prefer, in order, 1, 2, 3?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,093
23
38
#30
This statement doesn't make any sense to me. Adding the proper subs to a system and integrating them is a "ground up design" when done properly, regardless of who is making the profit on the subs and/or integration.

You Evolution Acoustics bass towers use four 15" Acoustic Elegance drivers for each channel with active crossovers to the speakers. You have controls for tweeter, bass filter, bass level, bass quality, and bass extension, and phase (I think). These adjustments have to be made on four different amplifiers for the sub towers. These controls are limited in their granularity and indicate that there is no "ground up design" because two people can get completely different results based on the use of the controls. Evolution Acoustics builds subs and allows the user some controls to tack them on. ;)

My subwoofer system also consists of four 15" Acoustic Elegance drivers for each channel mounted in an infinite baffle manifold. My drivers have some benefits over yours including higher sensitivity, lower Fs, and lower impedance peak. My main speakers are line source speakers with a response down to 17 Hz in room. I use Class D amplifiers for the subs with a flat response to DC and no phase shift in the bass region. With an active crossover, I can integrate each subwoofer manifold perfectly with the mains using infinitely adjustable parameters (slopes, levels, Q, linkwitz-transform, boost, parametric EQ, etc.). The result is perfect phase and integration for my room better than any manufacturer combination. I'll take my "tacked on subs" any day over a limited manufacturer system. :)
hard to argue with that claim. wonder what you mean by 'limited manufacturer system'?

you could be right....or not.

can't tell from your description whether your speaker 'system' is your own design or a commercial product. I looked at some of your posts and see no pictures. sounds like you use some sort of PCM crossover/dsp for the whole system and not a passive crossover. sounds very ambitious.

too bad we don't live closer together so we both check out the actual performance of each others speaker systems; I know I'd enjoy hearing yours.

cheers.
 
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Dec 20, 2014
201
1
18
#31
I have a good friend who is really into this room tuning, bass correction etc. He uses a fully integrated system using a pc as the digital source from which he does the room correction tuning, then he feeds this into digital, and then into three way cross-over less main speakers, and two passive subs - again without cross-overs. It was possible as a result of being all digital which allowed for crossovers in the digital domain without recourse to analogue circuits to do the frequency splits.
I was impressed with the top to bottom evenness of the sound, in particular the bass which was very deep and articulate. I would add that being digital it seemed to be a tad matter of fact but I guess that is the price of accuracy.
I think the only product that I have come across that may fit the bill is the Rives Parc. Likewise can I just add that I recall speaking to someone at REL, and his view was that one should simply run the subs of the speaker at line level.
 

CGabriel

Industry Expert
Nov 1, 2013
587
0
16
WA, USA
www.shunyata.com
#32
Hi Peter,


No subs yet. Just shared prior experiences. Still looking for solution.
Hi Caesar,

We just finished installing a 2 sub system into our reference room. In this case we were using the superb Aluminous all aluminum subwoofers. Whatever sub you choose, whether it has an integrated xover and amp or not, I highly recommend getting the XTZ Pro room analyser. This is a very reasonably priced measurement device that gives you a wealth of information about speaker response and room acoustics. We were able to precisely set the sub acoustic level and cross-over point to match the main speakers in less than half an hour. Then using its time alignment feature we were able to determine that we needed to move the subs 222mm forward of the main speakers to achieve perfect time alignment.

You could spend hours, days and weeks doing this by ear and never achieve the equivalent alignment. The sound was glorious and perfectly integrated. There was no audible hint that a sub was being used in the system.
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,554
0
36
NY
#33
. . . .I don't think it's even worthwhile to try a pair of subs or more unless one is willing to use a crossover, some EQ and delay. Subs aren't different from any other driver in a speaker. Speaker manufacturers spend a lot effort EQing their design with analog parts to get all the drivers to cohere. The sub and bottom end of the full ranger need a crossover for the bass to sound natural. Otherwise a compromise must be struck. The specifics will depend on the system, but there will be a less than desirable outcome without these basic elements. . . . .
Michael.

Thank you!
 

zztop7

Member Sponsor
Dec 12, 2012
750
0
0
Edmonds, WA
#34
I have a good friend who is really into this room tuning, bass correction etc. He uses a fully integrated system using a pc as the digital source from which he does the room correction tuning, then he feeds this into digital, and then into three way cross-over less main speakers, and two passive subs - again without cross-overs. It was possible as a result of being all digital which allowed for crossovers in the digital domain without recourse to analogue circuits to do the frequency splits.
I was impressed with the top to bottom evenness of the sound, in particular the bass which was very deep and articulate. I would add that being digital it seemed to be a tad matter of fact but I guess that is the price of accuracy.
I think the only product that I have come across that may fit the bill is the Rives Parc. Likewise can I just add that I recall speaking to someone at REL, and his view was that one should simply run the subs of the speaker at line level.
The above system may sound great, therefore this is not a criticism. I am going to make a statement which might be correct or incorrect. Please comment on the following:

1} pc/digital source is balancing the time arrival of the different frequencies to the ears in the room.

2} QUOTE from above: "then he feeds this into digital, and then into three way cross-over less main speakers, and two passive subs - again without cross-overs" end quote.
Therefore, >>>all drivers [passive subs included] are receiving ~20 - ~20,000 because there are no limiters [crossovers]<<<.
Thus, these drivers are having to work outside of their sweet spot.

Correct, Incorrect, Something different?

zz.
 
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