• To directly access the forum, ensure your bookmark url includes /forum.

Auditioning speakers

Musicraft

Wammer
HiFi Trade
Jun 18, 2008
8,010
383
113
Derby
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Definitely not! There is so much more to a speaker than bass.
Yes, it will be noticeable but for all the wrong reasons.

I disagree. As I've said before with all things being equal a subwoofer is the most important component. Ideally frequencies up to 90Hz should be unburdened from the mains and this LF burden passed on to a subwoofer to deal with.

I believe to achieve 'realism' requires power and even if the mains go down to 20Hz a subwoofer should still be incorporated because in my experience a subwoofer can inject power into and energise a system like no other component can.

The goal is to effectively align, calibrate, dial in a subwoofer so that the subwoofer integrates seamlessly with the mains and disappears into the soundstage with a deep, sharp, tight fisted, fast and powerful punchy sub bass.

Eg. system below featuring KEF Reference 3's and dual JL Audio Fathom f112 v2's , JL Audio CR-1 active subwoofer crossover has a crossover point set @ 90Hz -

jl audio dual fathom f112 v2 CR 1 kef ref 3 1.jpg

No power. No depth. No depth. No body. No body. No soul to the sound.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rdale

Rockchild

Formerly Radiant Red 🎶
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2011
9,541
11,663
193
Launceston UK
AKA
Jonathan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I disagree. As I've said before with all things being equal a subwoofer is the most important component. Ideally frequencies up to 90Hz should be unburdened from the mains and this LF burden passed on to a subwoofer to deal with.

I believe to achieve 'realism' requires power and even if the mains go down to 20Hz a subwoofer should still be incorporated because in my experience a subwoofer can inject power into and energise a system like no other component can.

The goal is to effectively align, calibrate, dial in a subwoofer so that the subwoofer integrates seamlessly with the mains and disappears into the soundstage with a deep, sharp, tight fisted, fast and powerful punchy sub bass.

Eg. system below featuring KEF Reference 3's and dual JL Audio Fathom f112 v2's , JL Audio CR-1 active subwoofer crossover has a crossover point set @ 90Hz -

jl audio dual fathom f112 v2 CR 1 kef ref 3 1.jpg

No power. No depth. No depth. No body. No body. No soul to the sound.
What happened to clarity and texture? In your photo, those speakers are designed not to have to use subwoofers and at the price they are, why should or would you need to spend extra.
I’m not saying that subwoofers are not a benefit but at what price.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hiesteem

Friendly Ghost

Newbie
Wammer
Dec 17, 2018
99
59
38
Antwerp, Belgium
AKA
Casper
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I understand that better speakers will give the most benefit.
I do appreciate the dealer bringing it up, it is not because of personal gain for him. The sub he was mentioning would be 1500€, where I am considering to spend a lot more on speakers.

I'll need to look up how REL subs work though, as there does not seem to be any frequency filtering involved (the speakers keep playing the low frequencies)
 
  • Like
Reactions: hiesteem

rdale

Wammer
Wammer Plus
May 21, 2009
2,276
1,182
178
Gran Canaria, Spain
AKA
Richard Dale
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I understand that better speakers will give the most benefit.
I do appreciate the dealer bringing it up, it is not because of personal gain for him. The sub he was mentioning would be 1500€, where I am considering to spend a lot more on speakers.

I'll need to look up how REL subs work though, as there does not seem to be any frequency filtering involved (the speakers keep playing the low frequencies)
I use a pair of REL TX5 subs with a pair of standmount speakers, and even these second from the bottom of the REL range have seriously clear powerful bass in a small to medium room. As well as the bass, subs also improve the midrange solidity, texture and imaging. I personally believe pairs of subs are best, along with acoustic treatment in the form of bass traps to alleviate room modes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: deggie

Amormusic

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 27, 2018
2,526
1,726
168
UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I spent quite a while and tried quite a few different speakers on the end of my amp around Christmas time. My original request was floorstanders - the dealer threw me a curve ball and stuck some Harbeth C7ES-3 XD standmounts on the end...

Wow! That is one amazing pair of speakers, and one you should definitely have a listen to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hiesteem

DomT

Food and coffee and rock n roll
Wammer Plus
Jul 23, 2019
7,539
5,263
183
Nottingham
AKA
Dom
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks for all the concerns, I will offcourse demo at home before buying!
A curveball by one of the dealers on Friday: it might be a bigger improvement to include a sub, then change to floorstanders.
What are your thoughts in this? I hadn't considered a sub, but can understand that it might have a big impact.
I would think that upgrading to better speakers would be a first step and a sub can follow at a later stage.
Maybe some wammers are happy with their subs but I always have heard the speakers and sub separately rather than having an integrated sound. I would just find a decent pair of speakers that you like and avoid subs as it just adds an unnecessary complication.
 

Musicraft

Wammer
HiFi Trade
Jun 18, 2008
8,010
383
113
Derby
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
What happened to clarity and texture? In your photo, those speakers are designed not to have to use subwoofers and at the price they are, why should or would you need to spend extra.
I’m not saying that subwoofers are not a benefit but at what price.

With the mains unburdened of frequencies of up to 90Hz there is less compression distortion, current is not being sucked out of the amplifier at LF's, etc.

As I've said before bass is foundation of sound and the stronger the foundations are the better everything else above will be supported. Clarity, texture, etc. can all greatly improve irrespective of the mains. A subwoofer is the most important component -

jl audio dual e112 tannoy arden legacy.jpg
Dual JL Audio E112's supporting Tannoy Arden Legacy satellites

jl audio dual gotham g213 mcintosh mains.jpg
Dual JL Audio Gotham g213 v2's supporting McIntosh XRT2.1K satellites
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tarzan and tuga

Musicraft

Wammer
HiFi Trade
Jun 18, 2008
8,010
383
113
Derby
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I always have heard the speakers and sub separately rather than having an integrated sound. I would just find a decent pair of speakers that you like and avoid subs as it just adds an unnecessary complication.

A sub/sat pairing becomes an unnecessary complication and a distraction due to improper integration. The goal is to effectively align, calibrate and dial in a subwoofer so that the subwoofer integrates seamlessly with the mains and disappears into the soundstage with a deep, sharp, tight fisted, fast and powerful punchy sub bass.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tuga

hifinutt

Wammer
Wammer Plus
Dec 23, 2007
14,937
3,355
208
midlands , , United
AKA
phil
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
oh my gosh ... using subs with ardens !!! i only use eatons and they certainly dont need subs .. however rick you are more experinced than I in these matters !
 

DomT

Food and coffee and rock n roll
Wammer Plus
Jul 23, 2019
7,539
5,263
183
Nottingham
AKA
Dom
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
A sub/sat pairing becomes an unnecessary complication and a distraction due to improper integration. The goal is to effectively align, calibrate and dial in a subwoofer so that the subwoofer integrates seamlessly with the mains and disappears into the soundstage with a deep, sharp, tight fisted, fast and powerful punchy sub bass.
The fact that a sub needs to integrate, by definition, is a distraction when there are speakers that you sell that are perfectly fine without a sub woofer. It’s also another box in the room that may need to be placed in an inconvenient location. Have you seen the OP’s photos of his lounge? He has enough challenges with the room as it is.
 

Rockchild

Formerly Radiant Red 🎶
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2011
9,541
11,663
193
Launceston UK
AKA
Jonathan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Maybe some wammers are happy with their subs but I always have heard the speakers and sub separately rather than having an integrated sound. I would just find a decent pair of speakers that you like and avoid subs as it just adds an unnecessary complication.
The fact that a sub needs to integrate, by definition, is a distraction when there are speakers that you sell that are perfectly fine without a sub woofer. It’s also another box in the room that may need to be placed in an inconvenient location. Have you seen the OP’s photos of his lounge? He has enough challenges with the room as it is.
Agreed. The fact that a 12k floorstander speaker needs a sub is a red flag or room is wrong.
No problem having subs but a speaker of that sort (Kef) is designed to run without.
 

Rockchild

Formerly Radiant Red 🎶
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2011
9,541
11,663
193
Launceston UK
AKA
Jonathan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
With the mains unburdened of frequencies of up to 90Hz there is less compression distortion, current is not being sucked out of the amplifier at LF's, etc.

As I've said before bass is foundation of sound and the stronger the foundations are the better everything else above will be supported. Clarity, texture, etc. can all greatly improve irrespective of the mains. A subwoofer is the most important component -

jl audio dual e112 tannoy arden legacy.jpg
Dual JL Audio E112's supporting Tannoy Arden Legacy satellites

jl audio dual gotham g213 mcintosh mains.jpg
Dual JL Audio Gotham g213 v2's supporting McIntosh XRT2.1K satellites
Yes Rick, we would all love rooms like that but we are in the real world.

The dealer that recommended subs to the op best get round there then and sort 😊
 

Musicraft

Wammer
HiFi Trade
Jun 18, 2008
8,010
383
113
Derby
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
perfectly fine without a sub woofer. It’s also another box in the room that may need to be placed in an inconvenient location. Have you seen the OP’s photos of his lounge? He has enough challenges with the room as it is.

The quality of LF and possibly also the extension and the overall performance of the system can be improved with a subwoofer supporting the system.

Btw, so far we've successfully by managed to incorporate sub/s into all kinds of environments. eg. SCM50ASLT's and with a C4 Sub in the back right corner in the packed living room of a terrace house. Complications and distractions all eradicated through the proper and diligent use of abracadabra :) -

atc scm50, sca2, c4 system 1.jpg
atc scm50, sca2, c4 system 2.jpg
 

Musicraft

Wammer
HiFi Trade
Jun 18, 2008
8,010
383
113
Derby
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Agreed. The fact that a 12k floorstander speaker needs a sub is a red flag or room is wrong.
No problem having subs but a speaker of that sort (Kef) is designed to run without.

Sorry to say but even though those speakers have good LF however they don't have the extension and also are not capable of producing anywhere near quality of LF's and ultimately are not as capable of supporting the system as a whole as well the Fathom f112 v2's.
 

Rockchild

Formerly Radiant Red 🎶
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2011
9,541
11,663
193
Launceston UK
AKA
Jonathan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Sorry to say but even though those speakers have good LF however they don't have the extension and also are not capable of producing anywhere near quality of LF's and ultimately are not as capable of supporting the system as a whole as well the Fathom f112 v2's.
You can always improve on any Speaker Rick but at what cost.
Going back to the ops original dealer suggestion, don’t you feel that his current speakers would be the weak link if using a sub?
If the dealer hasn’t visited or heard the system in his room, I fail to see how recommending subs would be even suggested.

We will all agree to disagree but well integrated speaker drivers are designed to work in all areas with its given cabinet design.
Of course a sub can bring something to the party but I’m not convinced of your theory after spending time with various well known designers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hiesteem

Iceman 16

Wammer
Wammer
Oct 31, 2010
1,990
2,188
158
Swansea
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
A sub/sat pairing becomes an unnecessary complication and a distraction due to improper integration. The goal is to effectively align, calibrate and dial in a subwoofer so that the subwoofer integrates seamlessly with the mains and disappears into the soundstage with a deep, sharp, tight fisted, fast and powerful punchy sub bass.
Agreed. The fact that a 12k floorstander speaker needs a sub is a red flag or room is wrong.
No problem having subs but a speaker of that sort (Kef) is designed to run without.
I have these KEF’s and for the size of my room I don’t think need a sub. Their bass is perfectly fine for me and it can thump on my chest and rattle some of our furnitures. And I’m not a bass nut or a young spoiled brat that always impress friends with room shaking bass.😀. As you’ve already mentioned Jon home demo is a must. 👍
 

uzzy

Grumpy Old Git
Wammer
Apr 16, 2006
8,108
3,951
158
NN38TA Northampton
AKA
David
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I have been in the game for many years. I love bass. I have never had a bass sub. I chose speakers that did it for me without a sub.

Now I understand that there are space constraints on speaker size but even having said that my old Gale 401s many years ago were not large, they did not object to be being pushed up a against the wall and they produced a great bass response (some would argue that their bass response is even better as it is a sealed box so no port problems to deal with).

For me personally I doubt I will ever use a Sub as the faff factor is beyond me at my advanced years ..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rockchild

tuga

. . .
Wammer
Aug 17, 2007
12,723
5,167
173
Oxfordshire, UK
AKA
Ric
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
oh my gosh ... using subs with ardens !!! i only use eatons and they certainly dont need subs .. however rick you are more experinced than I in these matters !
As @Musicraft explained adding subs has four advantages:

  • flatter response at the listening spot
  • lower harmonic distortion in the bass
  • lower intermodulation distortion in the range cvered by the woofer
  • higher max SPL
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Musicraft

deggie

Wammer
Wammer
Feb 12, 2011
6,857
2,316
158
edge of birmingham
AKA
keith
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Well i use a rel t5 with my mabon floorstanders ...its very nice indeed , well integrated you dont know its there .
phil hifinutt has heard it , with no adverse comments ..........phil may well comment later.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hifinutt

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
108,229
Messages
2,291,725
Members
69,197
Latest member
night_tripper