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shnabz's picture
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Subwoofer Recommendations?
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Hello,

 

I'm building a 5.1 surround sound in my living room.

It is tiny and rectangular.

I need help picking a subwoofer.

I have a 2ch 150watt power amp, 75watt/channel @ 4ohms, or mono switch (8ohms).

I would like a passive subwoofer suitable for a small room.

I am not all that fussed on mid-range punch, id prefer something that i can feel rather than hear, really deep bass.

As always, quality over loudness.

 

 

Thanks, Mike

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

First, give the exact dimensions of your room, including height.

You say you want to build a 5.1 system, so I'm not clear what you are doing with a stereo amplfier??

I am also not sure why you want a passive, as opposed to active subwoofer?? A passive subwoofer is powered from the amplfier of an all-in-one surround sound system. Such a system usually consists of five surround speakers, surround-sound amplfier, passive subwoofer, and disc player. With a passive subwoofer, you cannot use another amplifier to drive it. Other than that I know absolutely nothing about passive subwoofers, and most of the people of this forum wouldn't know about passive subwoofers either. Having a passive subwoofer implies that one is using an all-in-one surround system. All-in-one systems wouldn't be my cup of tea, but then again, I gather that very many of them are sold at John Lewis, Currys, Argos etc. All the subwoofers that are discussed on this forum here are active. An active subwoofer receives an Low-Frequency information signal from the separate surround-sound amplifier, but the subwoofer has its own built-in power amplifier and so needs an external 3-pin power socket.

And if you are keeping the stereo amplifier, how will you power the other three loudspeakers?

Budget???

shnabz wrote:

I am not all that fussed on mid-range punch, id prefer something that i can feel rather than hear, really deep bass.

Lastly, I'd be utterly amazed, falling-off-the-chair-with-my-mouth-open amazed, if you could get really deep bass from a passive subwoofer. Especially in a small room. On different occasions I've used the same subwoofer (both the Tannoy TS12, see review here http://www.whathifi.com/review/tannoy-ts-12 and the SVS PC12-Plus) in my bedroom, in the kitchen and in the parlour, and both the Tannoy and the SVS definitely gave their best performances in the largest room, the 18'2" X 14'3" X 10'6" parlour.

shnabz's picture
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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

Hello

Thanks for your response.

The dimensions are 13ft by 9ft, and the height is 8ft.

I have 3 stereo amplifiers, they will power all 5 speakers

I have 1 spare channel that would suit a passive subwoofer quite nicely.

An all-in-one-surround system isn't my cup of tea either, that's why i'm building this new setup, to replace my existing one from John Lewis, Currys, Argos etc.

 

Son_of_SJ wrote:
I'd be utterly amazed, falling-off-the-chair-with-my-mouth-open amazed, if you could get really deep bass from a passive subwoofer.

My friend, a passive subwoofer performs no differently from an active subwoofer! The only difference is that an active sub has the amp built into it, usually with a crossover and controls.

 

Son_of_SJ wrote:
Especially in a small room.

How big or small a room is does not depict how deep bass can go, it's more about dimensions. For example, it's difficult to get deep bass in a square room because of 'standing  waves'. However I can indeed assure you that you can get deep bass in small spaces with a passive subwoofer, for example a car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjOQUQ6ch3s

 

Any who, do you or anyone else know of an appropriate passive subwoofer I could buy?

 

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

Passive subs are more difficult to integrate properly as explained here:

- PASSIVE SUBWOOFERS:

"Passive subs may be mono or stereo and contain no amplification. A mono passive subwoofer contains two woofers or a single woofer with a dual voice coil. A passive low pass filter feeds the woofer/s. Some passive subs contain a passive high-pass for output to the main speakers.

Another type of passive sub is one in which no filters are contained. In this case, the user generally needs to supply an electronic crossover and a power amplifier.

Considering a passive subwoofer? They can cost less and can be worthwhile if they are designed to be used with the speakers you already have. But it is difficult to adjust a passive sub's output or crossover without sonic problems, (unless using a separate, electronic crossover). They will blend properly only with speakers they were designed to work with. Passive subs draw power from your system and bass requires a lot of power. Unless your amp/receiver has plenty of reserve power you might well run out of power when adding a passive sub. Consider passive subs only if;

A) They are offered as an option by the manufacturer of your main speakers.

Dirol You really know your stuff (or have competent help) 

C) You just need to add some inexpensive bass punch to a pair of small speakers and you're not very picky. Powered subwoofers cost more, but offer far better value.

D) You have an extra amplifier and the ability to bi-amplify to the passive subs."

Apologies if you already know all this. 

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

Hello again shnabz,

(By the way, that was an informative posting by CnoEvil immediately above; it's good to have the arguments, some of which I wasn't fully aware of, marshalled coherently.)

Well, your room is on the small side maybe, but I certainly wouldn't call it tiny!

Ah, you have three stereo amplifiers, hence you want to use the spare channel that will not be driving the 5 surround speakers t to drive the passive subwoofer, I understand now! Smile

Yes, the thing about passive subwoofers is that they must have an external amplifier. My experience of passive subwoofers is quite limited, and confined to the budget end of the all-in-one systems that I mentioned earlier, say costing up to about £300, and the (passive) subwoofers they contain have generally, compared to more powerful active subwoofers, been very poor. I don't know what an all-in-one system that cost, say, £1,500 would sound like. My Tannoy TS12 subwoofer that I mentioned earlier contains an amplifier of 500 watts; to make the same physical structure passive would need that same 500 watts to be provided by an external amplifier, I don't know how powerful your stereo amplifiers are?

That was an, ah, interesting link about the reaction of the young woman in the car! I even fed the video to my television and sent the sound to my large Eltax S35 speakers.Unfortunately on the youtube recording, I heard a fair amount of distortion, but not much really deep bass. Certainly I've heard plenty of car audio systems, which I suppose would probably have passive rather than active subwoofers, produce impressive amounts of boomy bass, but as to how actually deep it is, I'm not at all sure. There may be something fundamentally different about sound production in a car as opposed to in a normal domestic room. But I'll abide by my statement about great surprise if you could get deep bass from a passive subwoofer in a normal room. And I certainly got better performance from my own active subwoofers when they were in larger, rather than smaller, rooms.

But no, I don't know of any passive subwoofers, I'm afraid. All the ones that I would come across would be tied into all-in-one systems, and intended to be used with that system's surround receiver. I don't know of any stand-alone passive subwoofers that would accept an external amplifier, sorry. Try google? Maybe someone else from this forum might know, but it's maybe a tad unlikely. And you've still not stated your budget for a passive subwoofer.

While I'm here, how will you get the signals from your Blu-Ray player to your stereo amplifiers? The only way that I can think is if you use analogue connections to go from the 5.1 analogue multichannel outputs of your Blu-Ray player to go to the line-level inputs of your stereo amplifiers. The only problem is, that would need a Blu-Ray player with 5.1 multichannel outputs, and they are few and far betwen and tend to be a bit expensive. Have you such a Blu-Ray player already? If not, the cheapest ones that I can think of are the Panasonic DMP-BDT500 and the Samsung BD-F7500, which both cost around £250.

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

I've just come across this thread, on this very forum, which might interest you! I've not read it all the way through, but the title sounds like just what you want! http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/big-bass-in-small-room-utopia

 

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

Hello again Son_of_SJ,

Well...maybe not tiny, but yes the room is considerably smaller than the one i'm currently living in.

Yes maybe I did not explain my situation in enough detail in previous post. Basically, i'm running 3 Alesis RA 300 studio amplifiers. The each have 300 watts. I also have a firewire interface soundcard, with 8 analogue outputs. (Presonus FireStudio Project). I'm running software (on my bluray drive equipped PC) called XBMC, this will allow me to output 7.1 or less to my soundcard, which feeds analogue TRS to my amplifiers. I would have purchased an AV receiver but since I already have capable equipment I may aswell save the money! I mainly use my soundcard and equipment for music production.

The, erm, young womans reaction was indeed interesting lol. Like her, I also want to feel the bass!

You will have heard distortion because obviously the low quality microphone used to capture the video will not pick up such low frequencies, it will however pick up things vibrating which is probably the "distortion" your referring to. I chose that video because you will never be able to hear the low freq's, but was hoping that the womans reaction might confirm how deep the bass is.

Try this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VK4IAAFrPo

The window flex clearly shows DEEP bass.

It's easier to get deep bass in a car because there's not as much air to move. Just need subwoofers with alot of linear excursion, and power ofcourse Smile

 

I think I may have to buy a subwoofer from a car audio website, and build my own box, it will be way cheaper.

 

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

Give me your exact budget, the make and model of the amplifier you would use to power the passive subwoofer and and size constraints for the subwoofer.

 

Thanks,

Alex

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RE: Subwoofer Recommendations?

Hi there, don't buy a car sub, buy peerless xls 10:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Peerless-XLS10-Subwoofer-P830452-Loudspeaker-Speaker-/111159784032?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Speaker_Parts&hash=item19e1a3b260

 

very very high quality unit

 

if you want bigger/small driver then let me know I'll help you. 

 

If you need hel designing a box post a comment I'll help you. 

 

Alex

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