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modemfish's picture
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Subwoofer - what should i do

Hi i'm looking to add a subwoofer to my system.

Current set up is i have two kef LS50's hooked up to a sonos system diven by a sonos connect amp.

So my thoughts have been - buy a sonos sub or perhaps a used B&W PV1 budgetwise circa 500-600 GBP.

I would like to add a little extra kick (bass wise) to the system/

What would you do. Or would i get better improvements via a better amp source - i.e Sonos coonect to DAC to better amp.

Certainly if i went this route then the Sonos sub is out.

Looking for suggestions.

Thanks Mike

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

It'd be a sub, for my money. I think everyone that has the room for one, should have a sub. hi fi speakers on their own, whether standmount or floorstander, don't have the ability to create the rich, deep, textured sound of real music. They need the help of a well-integrated sub for that.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

Agreed. Back in the day where hifi spks uswd 12in bass drivers no. But modern slim designs will always struggle to create that depth

Yamaha V2065. MS Mezzo 5.1 Panasonic 42. Sony BD. Garrard 86SB. WD Live TV. SkyHD.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

If you was looking at dropping £600 I would get REL T5/7.

if you look around on the net you can get them, link below 

http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebuttonz/speakerssubs/subwoofers/rel/index.shtml

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

modemfish wrote:

Hi i'm looking to add a subwoofer to my system.

Current set up is i have two kef LS50's hooked up to a sonos system diven by a sonos connect amp.

So my thoughts have been - buy a sonos sub or perhaps a used B&W PV1 budgetwise circa 500-600 GBP.

I would like to add a little extra kick (bass wise) to the system/

What would you do. Or would i get better improvements via a better amp source - i.e Sonos coonect to DAC to better amp.

Certainly if i went this route then the Sonos sub is out.

Looking for suggestions.

Thanks Mike

I'd go for a better amp. The LS50s are by all accounts outstanding speakers (I haven't heard them) which will give you big rewards if driven by a high quality amp. I've heard of people driving LS50s with amplification costing getting on for £5000+. With a better amp you'll probably find that you won't need a sub. Another advantage of improving the amplification is that you'll get more clarity and detail in the top and mid-range too. A sub won't give you that. You could even devote all your budget to a power amp and use the preamp stage of the Sonos Connect. I did this experiment last week, replacing my Sonos ZP 120 (= Sonos Connect in old money) with a ZP90 going into my Cyrus X Power. The difference was night and day.

If you're happy to buy second hand, you could find a decent Audiolab or Cyrus power amp (common as muck on eBay) within your budget.

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:

modemfish wrote:

Hi i'm looking to add a subwoofer to my system.

Current set up is i have two kef LS50's hooked up to a sonos system diven by a sonos connect amp.

So my thoughts have been - buy a sonos sub or perhaps a used B&W PV1 budgetwise circa 500-600 GBP.

I would like to add a little extra kick (bass wise) to the system/

What would you do. Or would i get better improvements via a better amp source - i.e Sonos coonect to DAC to better amp.

Certainly if i went this route then the Sonos sub is out.

Looking for suggestions.

Thanks Mike

I'd go for a better amp. The LS50s are by all accounts outstanding speakers (I haven't heard them) which will give you big rewards if driven by a high quality amp. I've heard of people driving LS50s with amplification costing getting on for £5000+. With a better amp you'll probably find that you won't need a sub. Another advantage of improving the amplification is that you'll get more clarity and detail in the top and mid-range too. A sub won't give you that. You could even devote all your budget to a power amp and use the preamp stage of the Sonos Connect. I did this experiment last week, replacing my Sonos ZP 120 (= Sonos Connect in old money) with a ZP90 going into my Cyrus X Power. The difference was night and day.

If you're happy to buy second hand, you could find a decent Audiolab or Cyrus power amp (common as muck on eBay) within your budget.

 

I really don't think you will get deep bass from the LS50s and yes I have heard them, they have 5.25inch drivers and cabinets are not large, frequency response is 47Hz–45kHz. The main complant of the LS50s is lack of bass.

So my rec. is get a sub if you want deeper bass.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:

I'd go for a better amp. The LS50s are by all accounts outstanding speakers (I haven't heard them) which will give you big rewards if driven by a high quality amp. I've heard of people driving LS50s with amplification costing getting on for £5000+. With a better amp you'll probably find that you won't need a sub. Another advantage of improving the amplification is that you'll get more clarity and detail in the top and mid-range too. A sub won't give you that. You could even devote all your budget to a power amp and use the preamp stage of the Sonos Connect. I did this experiment last week, replacing my Sonos ZP 120 (= Sonos Connect in old money) with a ZP90 going into my Cyrus X Power. The difference was night and day.

If you're happy to buy second hand, you could find a decent Audiolab or Cyrus power amp (common as muck on eBay) within your budget.

An amp will not create bass that was not there before. A 'better' amp will only tighten up the bass, so the bass might appear to have lessended due to decreased 'boominess' and that is only if the existing amp is defficient.in the first place.

The KEFs are presumably good speakers, but they are still small monitors having the limitations of their design and would not be designed to give exceptionally low bass anyway, only as accurate as possible down to a certain frequency point, so they would benefit by having a sub to finish off the system.

I would echo other posters views that a sub is almost essential in a lot of systems with smaller speakers, if a full frequency range is required.

A word of caution though, subs can be tricky to set up and positioning can be critical to avoid unwanted areas of bass reinforcement or null points.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

Overdose wrote:

An amp will not create bass that was not there before. A 'better' amp will only tighten up the bass, so the bass might appear to have lessended due to decreased 'boominess' and that is only if the existing amp is defficient.in the first place.

Yes, this is precisely my point: the amp (the Sonos Connect) is "deficient in the first place", because it doesn't deliver sufficient power or provide suffieicnt control to drive the speakers at lower frequencies (or at higher ones, for that matter). My post was based on my own experience of replacing the power amp stage of the Sonos Connect with a significantly better power amp.

I speak as a happy Sonos owner of many years: Sonos does some things brilliantly, but the power amplification isn't of hi-fi standard.

You also need to think about the effect of adding a sub to this set-up. You'll end up with decent low bass, but the rest of the frequency range, from mid-bass up to the top end, will be a mess: an fine speaker driven by poor amplification. 

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:

Overdose wrote:

An amp will not create bass that was not there before. A 'better' amp will only tighten up the bass, so the bass might appear to have lessended due to decreased 'boominess' and that is only if the existing amp is defficient.in the first place.

Yes, this is precisely my point: the amp (the Sonos Connect) is "deficient in the first place", because it doesn't deliver sufficient power or provide suffieicnt control to drive the speakers at lower frequencies (or at higher ones, for that matter). My post was based on my own experience of replacing the power amp stage of the Sonos Connect with a significantly better power amp.

I speak as a happy Sonos owner of many years: Sonos does some things brilliantly, but the power amplification isn't of hi-fi standard.

You also need to think about the effect of adding a sub to this set-up. You'll end up with decent low bass, but the rest of the frequency range, from mid-bass up to the top end, will be a mess: an fine speaker driven by poor amplification. 

 

I see what you mean then a audition is the way to go then. I would try a Creek A50 which is about £700, if that is too much then maybe a Pioneer A50 £500.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

BigH wrote:

I see what you mean then a audition is the way to go then. I would try a Creek A50 which is about £700, if that is too much then maybe a Pioneer A50 £500.

[/quote]

I agree: it'll be an interesting experiment to audition the amp solution and the sub solution against one another.

Another option would be to connect the Sonos's analogue outs to a power amp. Candidates in the OP's budget would be the Musical Fidelity M1 PWR or the Audiolab 8200P.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:
Another option would be to connect the Sonos's analogue outs to a power amp.

He has a Connect:Amp, it doesn't have any analogue outputs. It does have a subwoofer out, so you could audition a Sonos sub against a non-Sonos one.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:

Overdose wrote:

An amp will not create bass that was not there before. A 'better' amp will only tighten up the bass, so the bass might appear to have lessended due to decreased 'boominess' and that is only if the existing amp is defficient.in the first place.

Yes, this is precisely my point: the amp (the Sonos Connect) is "deficient in the first place", because it doesn't deliver sufficient power or provide suffieicnt control to drive the speakers at lower frequencies (or at higher ones, for that matter). My post was based on my own experience of replacing the power amp stage of the Sonos Connect with a significantly better power amp.

I can't comment on the amplification quality of Sonos, but even if it were lacking, the sound from the KEFs would if anything, appear to have more bass due to lack of control over the bass driver in the KEFs. They would sound 'woolly' or boomy. A better amp (and I'm not suggesting it doesn't need one) would only tighten up the bass, not give a deeper response. That is only going to be achievable with bigger drivers, ie a sub.

Edit: In addition, using a sub with the Connect amp, might give the system a bit more headroom with the KEFs, but I don't know if there is any sort of frequency cutoff going on in the Sonos to allow this to happen.

 

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

The_Lhc wrote:

He has a Connect:Amp, it doesn't have any analogue outputs. It does have a subwoofer out, so you could audition a Sonos sub against a non-Sonos one.

I stand corrected! I was thinking of my ZP100s, which do have analogue outs.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

Overdose wrote:

A better amp (and I'm not suggesting it doesn't need one) would only tighten up the bass, not give a deeper response. 

Agreed. The OP's words were: "I would like to add a little extra kick (bass wise) to the system". I guess my eyes were drawn to the word “little”.

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

He has a Connect:Amp, it doesn't have any analogue outputs. It does have a subwoofer out, so you could audition a Sonos sub against a non-Sonos one.

I stand corrected! I was thinking of my ZP100s, which do have analogue outs.

Yes, I've always thought it was an odd decision to remove them from the ZP120.

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RE: Subwoofer - what should i do

matt49 wrote:

 

 

Overdose wrote:

A better amp (and I'm not suggesting it doesn't need one) would only tighten up the bass, not give a deeper response. 

Agreed. The OP's words were: "I would like to add a little extra kick (bass wise) to the system". I guess my eyes were drawn to the word “little”.

 

 

Yes, mine were drawn to extra and bass. Blum 3

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