If you have correctly set up a monolith it will sound good. If you correctly set up any of the following subs correctly it will trash the monolith in all areas. KK 808,12012 Paradigm Sub 12,15,Sub1/2 JL Fathoms/Gothams the list goes on.
But as you have been told set your sub up properly first.
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Thats a punchy comment - the monolith is a well designed sub with the box allowing in essence / measured flawless bass performance to 30hz if you want a flat response - In the right room only! like all subs / speakers they are only as good as the surroundings! No amount ot technology can change laws of physics with regards to sound waves
Subs you have reco'd are designed differently, with the odd exception - to try and squeeze good low end performance out of small boxes. Not saying they dont perform well, I have very limuted experience.
I was keen on the DXD's from KK but they have one major flaw in my eyes - they use switching power supplies and amplification. From that I would be drawn to the JL Audios - as they have proper torodial transformer based power supplies in their subs. For the money you get linear power supplies in BK Subs as well - that I like very much and I feel is a very good thing.
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I don't think its punchy at all. The BK subs cannot be beaten for the cost by anyone.
your 400 sounds great but if you replaced it with one of the ones I listed it will be a massive improvement as I know you will take the time to calibrate it properly.
Yes a rubbish room can have an adverse effect
Well your right in that those subs have supposedly had a lot of design gone into the drivers and other important elements - where as the bk subs are using general speakers you can buy for not a lot of money. You would expect design to have gone into these drivers as well but in comparison to a JL Audio driver with 10 patents etc there is no comparison. I dont doubt they are a lot better considering all factors
My 400 is an average sub at best - it has flaws - its not braced that well, and I think you get distortion at certain frequncies which will be inherent in the design. This manifests in directionality - but I cant confirm this until my room is better treated.
The monolith is different though - its a simple case of mathematics and box size to be the flat response. You wouldnt expect to have the same problems with it in the right environment - providing its braced well etc.
BK dont recommend it for music though so again its not perfect
Whilst I dont mind the monolith size I wouldnt say no to something smaller. I've attached an antimode, run the YPAO (which does EQ the sub) and placed it in the best position that I can. Little more one can do in terms of setting it up.
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If you have measured the subs resposne using REW or similar and found the best position in your room then fair play you have done the right thing - I assume by the best place you have measured and found the spot that has the least nulls - most even frequency response.?
There are more things you can do still.
Firstly is measure the combined left speaker and sub, the combined right speaker and sub to make sure you have the correct phase selected on the dial on the sub.
If this is wrong you will get a suckout/ null through your cross over frequency which is very bad ? You would not be able to test this by ear but it will adversely affect things if its wrong. Quite often one side reads better than another but you can tell quite easily by the readings if the sub is out of phase with the speakers. I think most modern receivers do put the sub in correct phase but I would not trust this and check to make sure.
Secondly you can check the receiver has selected the correct distance to put the sub in correct time alignment with the speakers - I linked to this a few posts back - using the dvd ticking sound and adjusting the sub distance so the ticking stops ansd starts at the same time for both the sub/speakers
I would check to see if YPAO EQ on the sub is actually adding anything or eqing for the sake of it (Quiet often the case - YPAO is a basic paramtric eq which will more than likely create more problems than do good). Contrary to popular belief you actually want to eq as least as possible - small changes of + - 3db or so are in audible so its additional processing thats not needed.
Lastly again using REW you can analyse the frequncy response of your main speakers and sub to select the best crossover point - this way you know for sure you are selecting the right crossover. Not in a null or not in a peak. This is pretty impossible by ear - its just a guess.
PS I assume with the antimode you have attached it - then run its auto setup? There has been no mention of that? This obviously needs doing before you run YPAO
Also I would advise you use the same sub cable to the antimode as you use to the sub. QED Signature sub cables are particularly good
Thanks for suggesting further tweaking options. If I ever get the time I might be interested in REW but haven't to date. Yes I did manage to remember to run the Antimode setup. It made a difference.
Rew will show you just how horrifically bad acoustically your room is and just how little YPAO is actually doing. It attempts to alter sections of the freq reponse but inbtween those it has no effect - thats why Auddessey and ARC are better systems
REW shows you things you cannot tell by ear - its especially useful for subwoofer placement, integration and more
I would advise everyone learns to use it - its free as well
I know what REW is just have never had the time nor interest to run it. Don't even own a microphone. I'm satisified with the antimode and YPAO, though I acknowledge that YPAO is not the most highly regarded as far as subwoofer EQ is concerned. It only EQs down to 30hz and on some versions does not EQ the sub at all.
You do have a mic - the mic that comes with the antimode you can use - or you can use a standard radioshack spl metre - you must own one of these otherwise how do you check your levels? That is a must own piece of kit for everyone surely.
To use the antimode mic you do need a mic amplification kit which DSPeaker sell - I would try and buy it through BK though is it will be cheaper. The postage cost from France is expensive - I have bought one. You also need a mic calibration file which you can get from the DSPeaker website, You copy the files and save as a doc - the REW accepts it. I use it even though I dont have an anitmode any more - I bought an additonal mic - its omnidiorectional and is good enough
EQing down to 30hz in YPAO means nothing - if you have a Parametric EQ point at 30hz and 50hz for example - but you have a peak at 40hz it will bring downn 30hz and 50hz to compensate for 40hz. This is very wrong!!!
Where as Audessey and ARC will set an EQ point, width or Q and level for the correct frequencies that need the EQ.
This is what the antimode does aswell hence why I suggested turning the bass EQ of YPAO off its probbably doing more harm than good.
I've forgotten how many filters there are on the YPAO but i think it checks every third of an octave. I didnt know you could use and ordinary SPL meter or the stick that came with the anti mode. That helps, since i've got both.
Whilst I check the levels and manually adjust to 80db I would wager that the percentage of AV receiver owners that do the same is in single figures.
I'm currently thinking about upgrading my surround sound system after having a 10odd year old all in one 5.1 Sony system. I'm thinking it's about time I upgraded and did it proper.
I'm new to all this and was thinking about the Focal Dome 5.1 system but then after reading some reviews it came to my attention that I would be better off placing a few more £££ and getting something that will last me for awhile and sound great.
My room is about 3m wide and 4m long, would you recommend a 5 or 7.1 system? Also would you suggest A10's for all corners and 1 A40 or the 3xA40's for the front? Also thinking of pairing it with a lx83 amp. This will 99% be used for movies
If you can afford, and properly mount, the A40s over the A10s then they are more capable speakers. I'm selling my last two A10s this week so that I can move to A40s all around.
7.1 is fine if the speaker placement is correct but frankly I've never derived that much benefit from surround backs. 5.1 works fine for me but that is just personal taste.
Thanks for the advice. I take it the a40's can be mounted vertical or horizontal? I'm thinking L&R fronts fixed to the wall vertically, centre horizontal under the tv and then thinking 2xA10's for the backs because I will have to mount them high above the window and point them down. Think I'll keep an eye out for second hand to keep the costs down
Yes if you are going to wall mount them then you can orientate them as you please. With hindsight I'd have just bought five A40s. The A10s are fine for surround duties.
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