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I'm going active! (2.1?)
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Active as a forum user, I mean (now I should insert one of those smileys, I guess... Wink; yeah, there it is).

I've known the mag since the nineties (no "Sound and Vision" back then), lost it out of sight (not many bookshops selling it in rural Belgium), and picked it up again since it's available electronically. I've been following the "readers digest" of the forum, the hot threads on the homepage of the site, since a couple of months. It is fun to read, and even informative from time to time!

I'd like to finally start a thread myself. I recently auditioned the B&W PM1's, and was moved by their cohesive sound and sheer musicality. Being so small, they are a bit light in the bass, though - compared to decent floorstanders, that is.

So my question is: should I go for a pair of floorstanders, to cover a greater part of the frequency spectrum? Or could I stay with the speed and imaging of the PM1's, and add in a sub (PV1D?), to serve the lower registers? The latter solution looks more living-room-friendly, and might be more flexible to get the bass right (position, DSP, ...). Or would I mud up the sound, adding a sub?

I'm not into home theatre. So, no argument pro sub there. It's all about two channel (or 2.1) music.

The budget would be up to 4000 EUR (cables excl.). Not decided on source or amp yet.

Looking forward to your opinions and experience.

Cheers

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Hi DocG

What electronics did you audition PM1's with?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Musicraft (Derby) - Specialist Hi-Fi, AV & Multimedia dealer

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?) RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

MUSICRAFT wrote:

Hi DocG

What electronics did you audition PM1's with?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Hello Rick,

I heard them with a Cyrus set-up (CD8SE + 8XP).

The PM1's were then compared to the Monitor Audio GX200. Though I could obviously appreciate the richer bass, I felt like losing a lot in speed and agility.

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Subs in hifi?

:cheer: Hi, everybody!

My post got kinda lost (I'm on page 3 already, without a real reply - no offence, Rick. Might have been the title, too). So let me freshen up my question:

Is there a place for a sub in proper hifi? Is it a good idea to complement the precision and imaging of good standmounts with a sub for the lower octaves? Or am I better off with floorstanders?

I was once told by a dealer: 'the bigger the speakers, the bigger the problems' (positioning etc.). Maybe that could be overcome with a 2.1 set-up? Which might also better blend in; I plan to listen in the living room...

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

Erik

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

I use a subwoofer with stereo speakers and I think it is the best way to get the low notes.

To get the kind of response you get with a subwoofer you would need expensive floorstanders and a powerfull amplifier.

My system is well integrated and the bass sounds like it comes from the bookshelf units.

My speakers are Monitor Audio RX1s with the ports bunged and my subwoofer is a sealed home made unit using a 10inch RE Audio 18mm excursion driver and a BK Electronics BSBPV 500 watt amplifier. Total cost of my sub is about £ 420 and is far better than anything ready made at that price.

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Thanks for your reply, Coll.

Now, I have some more questions, like:

1. Did you have any issues positioning the sub? Had to move it around the place (booming, standing waves, ...)? Put it somewhere in between the bookshelves, or can you just toss it in a corner?

2. How do you 'blend' the sub with the MA's? Do you use an RCA to the sub (via a preamp out) or speaker wire (in parallel with the RX1s)? And at what frequency do you set the crossover?

Thanks again,

Erik

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

DocG wrote:

Thanks for your reply, Coll.

Now, I have some more questions, like:

1. Did you have any issues positioning the sub? Had to move it around the place (booming, standing waves, ...)? Put it somewhere in between the bookshelves, or can you just toss it in a corner?

2. How do you 'blend' the sub with the MA's? Do you use an RCA to the sub (via a preamp out) or speaker wire (in parallel with the RX1s)? And at what frequency do you set the crossover?

Thanks again,

Erik

My sub is near one of the stereo speakers on the floor, it is not in a corner it is up against the back wall about 8ft from the corner. It seems just fine where it is I did not try other places because where it is it is the only place it can go really. So I suppose I was lucky that it worked well where it is.

I use the high level input on the sub amp so the wires come from my main amp to the speakers in decent cable and to the sub amp in light cable which was supplied with the sub amp.

Balancing was easy I did it by ear at first but the I purchased a cheap sound level meter and a test disc with warble tones to set it up. I found that the settings were almost identical to those by ear.

The crossover is at about 70 hz which believe it or not is where the MAs start to drop off although I do have the port bungs in. I get an almost flat response down to 30 hz but this is not because the sub driver is so good it is because my sub amplifier is set to give 6 db boost at 25 hz.

I spent a long time researching drivers for my subwoofer, because I wanted a sealed small cabinet and a musical sound. It may seem strange using a car subwoofer driver but the make I purchased is highly rated for music and I discovered that many people use them in home music subwoofers.

So be carefull if you buy anything ready made as some subs are not really good enough for music.

BK Electric subwoofers are very good and if you want a ready made I would look at them.

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Thanks again, Coll. I must admit I had never heard of the brand. Already had a short look at their website, and sent a mail to inform about dealers (or probably more likely: a dealer - if any...) in or near Belgium. Looks intriguing, for sure. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

Erik

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Hi, DocG.

I'm in a similar position at the moment, and if I buy standmounters it will be with a sub. I know some don't like the idea of a sub for music, but I feel there's too much missing without one.

I've been looking at the XTZ 99 series, the B&W CM1 and PM1, Kef R100, PMC DB1i and a few others. With all but the XTZ and B&W I'd be looking at third-party subs, which worries me a little!

Of course, you could also go the Active route, with the much-debated AVIs being the obvious choice. Not sure about the Active alternatives, but I'll be surprised if someone better informed doesn't chime in shortly.

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

DocG wrote:

Thanks again, Coll. I must admit I had never heard of the brand. Already had a short look at their website, and sent a mail to inform about dealers (or probably more likely: a dealer - if any...) in or near Belgium. Looks intriguing, for sure. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

Erik

I have spent some time on this subject, at present in the UK you can only buy the previous models of the current production line i.e SR, SE etc but this is no bad thing as I was told be someone at RE in USA that the only differences are cosmetic to the SRX and SEX models and they are as good sound wise, you can buy them here. I have the SR10 dual 2 ohm. You can of course buy the SRX and SEX models etc from Europe or USA. But you cannot get the Pro versions anywhere at present because they are not sold on the internet. I have it on good authority that a UK agent may soon be appointed and then you will be able to purchase all current models here.

If you require help on building a sub look here and here.

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Hi DocG have you seen my last post

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Yes, I have, Coll.

From Belgium to the UK is still quite a trip to hear a subwoofer. And I don't feel like buying over internet without auditioning (as you might understand).

A DIY subwoofer is an adventure I frankly don't dare to go for. My technological/electronical baggage is, well, non-existing.

So I hope to get an address of a dealer within reach from where I live...

Anyway, I'm more and more convinced that a standmounter - subwoofer combo is the way to go!

Erik

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

bigblue235 wrote:

Hi, DocG.

I'm in a similar position at the moment, and if I buy standmounters it will be with a sub. I know some don't like the idea of a sub for music, but I feel there's too much missing without one.

I've been looking at the XTZ 99 series, the B&W CM1 and PM1, Kef R100, PMC DB1i and a few others. With all but the XTZ and B&W I'd be looking at third-party subs, which worries me a little!

Of course, you could also go the Active route, with the much-debated AVIs being the obvious choice. Not sure about the Active alternatives, but I'll be surprised if someone better informed doesn't chime in shortly.

Hello there,

Of the options you cite, I only heard the PM1s (stunning!); XTZ, nor PMC are available anywhere near where I live.

For AVI I'd have to drive 240+ km, so not realistic either...

Still not decided yet, but I guess PM1s + a PV1D would make a good start!

Erik

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Hi DocG sorry I misunderstood your post thought you were thinking of building a sub.

I'm sure the B&W PV1D is good its just that I know from my own experience that building your own gives better value per £.

I would still urge you to consider the BK Electric range as they sell direct and therefore offer considerable value plus they are very good for music as well as home theatre.

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

I just "headhunted" some more people with experience ànd an opinion on the subject via another thread, and invited them to join here. I hope you can find me here, guys! :wave:

Now, SpursGator, your statement [in this other thread]: "In general I hate subwoofers and think you should avoid them" is a good one for a pro-con debate. Can you comment on why you hate(d) subs, and why you decided to finally go for one after all?

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RE: I'm going active! (2.1?)

Coll wrote:

Hi DocG sorry I misunderstood your post thought you were thinking of building a sub.

No prob, Coll. But a Belgian writer stated: "Self-knowledge is the beginning of all whisdom". I am not confident enough nor skilled to bring that to a happy conclusion! Though I really admire people who are up to it... I think it sounds better still, knowing you built it yourself!

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