All IMO - forget subs for real Hi Fi , they are too much a compromise. My money would be on a better amp
Think tracls like Ageispolis (Aphex Twin) and Oi-1 (Biosphere) - They reduce small speakers into a shivering wreck at anything approaching high volume.
But why do you think subs are a compromise? Large full-range speakers are essentially a sub with a set of two-ways on top...
My initial thought was simply for a better, more controlled amplifier but if you had the same issues with the Lingdorf then maybe not.
It would seen to me that your Dali's can not handle the deep bass, fitering it out using dsp is a nice idea but hardly plug and play.
A simple solution would be to use a subwoofer that provides filtering for the main speakers, but most of these operate at line level, not possible with the Arcam.
Personally if there are bass issues I would go for the Artist 6 and either a matching Adam or BK subwoofer. Neither are tiny though but as you are well aware 'tiny' does not do big bass.
There is huge scope for tuning such a system, the Artist6 offers extensive control over bass and hf levels and the matching Adam sub gives you the option of filtering the bass to the main speakers via a 85 hz high pass filter.
If you are going to play material with outrageous bass levels this will at least stop your main speakers from being overdriven in the low bass.
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The sub route is appealing to me now. I can afford to do that this year rather than waiting... I don't mind a bit of fiddling
If it doesn't suit, then in Spring I can bring plan B into action and go with new speakers.
The miniDSP is fairly cheap too, so I can test the theory with my existing BK XXLS 400, then pick up another sub if it works well...
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+1 on that, although I find the filtering/crossover abilities of the ARTist 6 sub a little unclear on their web site. Perhaps you know the answer to this? Speficially they list "variable upper frequency barrier control (50-150Hz)" and "switchable 85Hz high pass filter" as 2 separate features. I'm confused by this - surely the high-pass filter should follow the setting of the barrier control into the sub woofer, perhaps with small overlap, as opposed to always being locked at 85Hz?
Elsewhere they list "adapt the input level and crossover frequency settings for the best performance" as a feature which doesn't exactly clarify things...
Also note that the sub is rated at 140W RMS with a 7" driver, as such it seems a little underpowered against the BK XLS200 not to mentions its big brother the XXLS400. I've got huge respect for Adam and their products but I wonder why they designed such a small sub (relatively speaking) to go with this range. Perhaps it's enough and the BKs, in practice, are simply overkill?
Looks interesting and reading through I like the fact you can adjust on the fly and listen to effects of each crossover characteristics i.e Butterworth/Linkwitz-Riley types as well as your own.
You may have seen this paper but i'll link it anyway, it may be of use.
Not sure it applies, but it's interesting,anyway
I have Spendor in my head, but the one that I *really* think you should have (the A9) is a bit expensive. Get the sub
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I find Quantic Spectroscopy's "Cyanide Diffusions" EP good for testing speaker's ability to follow voluminous rather than just deep bass >) As for that Aphix Twin track, my Arros don't flinch but I suspect your idea of "loud" is different to mine!
Subs - I've heard one or two convincing setups & many more that don't in that the bass became detached & very dependent on what's being played. I've read too many posts in various forums about the difficulty of integrating subs well - some get lucky, others less so.
Although I listen to bucket loads of electronica, I also listen to lots of acoustic & classical so want my system to reproduce that sort of material faithfully, be exciting & rewarding - to me at least, this involves tight bass with only a hint of boom on bad recordings - there is nearly always some compromise in the lower registers - the smaller the better.
"Large full-range speakers are essentially a sub with a set of two-ways on top..." absolutely - no dispute there but such speakers are designed as a whole where the X-over point & phase is carefully integrated (we hope!) & the port dimensions sorted. Subs are designed to work with a wide variety of speakers with some degree of adjustible filtering. Some combinations will work beautifully in one room but the same combo won't in another. Although others will disagree, it just seems like hard work or luck. Unless a huge issue for you, I'd suggest upgrading to larger Dali's later on - I recently heard their stand-mount Epicon 2 - their bass & dynamics where pretty satisfactory! With their dedicated stands, they are over £4k. I'm sure Dali do cheaper options if you must stick with the devil you know!
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The operation of the artist sub is quite straightforward in practice, though the information on the web and elswhere is not clear.
The sub is line level input only and has a variable control of the high frequency roll off which can be set to best blend with your main speakers, it can be set anywhere from 50 to 150hz and is used in conjunction with the level control. For most serious standmounts or compact floor standers this is likely to be set in the 65 - 85hz range for best results. Just like any other subwoofer.
In addition the sub offers a passthrough, so that you can drive pre-amp to sub then sub to main speakers, much tidier wiring in some situations and again, not unusual. What it also has is a switchable filter on the main speaker outs (the passthrough) that filters out everything below 85hz so that the main speakers are not required to handle the low bass. This is much less common.
In the case of the OP it might be the case that the Dali's can not handle the low bass so would do better with it filtered out so that the sub handles everything below 85hz.
With regard to the rating of the Artist sub, it is important to realise that this system is designed as a general purpose system for less critical applications, there are bigger subs that will match perfectly performance wise and of course something like the XLS400 will be fine, though fithout the filtered outputs for the main speakers.
The Artist series is not meant for truly critical use, top of the line A series or entry level S series are much more serious speakers.
I shall try the sub option first, with my existing sub, strangely I have had few problems integrating so far. Maybe I will upgrade speakers next year. Might keep my eye out for 2nd hand.
Epicon 2 are indeed standmounts though, and I am aiming only at floorstanders...So Epicon 6 would be the ideal...but PRICEY!
Also the 2's lose the dual tweeter array that I so love on my Ikons...If I stay with Dali it will be to more with the dual tweeter.
So it's Mentor 6/8
The Epicons are definitely gonna be out of my range, unless I can find an old damaged pair
I was just about to order the miniDSP when I realised I had an old Yamaha E-800 sitting in a box.
So as a first step to how the miniDSP might help, I shall plug that in and use as a Pre-amp with the Arcam powering the Dalis and the sub connected to the LFE, and then set the fronts to "small.
It's very limited in that the bass-crossover is fixed at 90Hz, but it will give me a better idea.
90 might well work perfectly, the 80hz "omnidirectional" thing is a complete fabrication, what actually matters is the frequency with respect to how close the speakers/sub are together, there's a formula defining the relationship but I've forgotten it...
Good luck with the sub route!
I no longer stick to the devil I know like I used to. I heard a pair of Totem Hawks about a year ago - they really broke the spell, sounded very, very underwhelming & their Sttafs even worse with overblown & slow bass! I'm eying up a pair of Naim Ovator 400s - may try them as I've heard them in shops where they sounded brilliant. I never ever thought I'd consider anything by Naim but...
No idea why, but the sub won't kick in.
It's either my old Yammy is knackered, or it actively needs an LFE signal?
Or I need to RTFM
The way I see it, so long as the length of the waveform is longer than the distance beteen sub and speakers, then I'm fine.
So it's approx 3.8 metres long at 90Hz
I am fine (if and when I can get it to work).
there ya go, good luck getting it to work!!
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