Recommend a sub for use with Kef XQ10's... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My setup for years has been Polk LSi7's paired with a Polk DSWmircroPRO 2000 8" sub. I recently switched to Kef XQ10's. I like the imaging and detail of the Kef's better, but the bass is a bit thin. As they are new, I know there will be some break-in time, but I'm unsure if they will ever be able to compete with the LSi7's in terms of bass.

Even with the LSi7's, my setup could very occasionally rattle off a bit on excessively deep tones. While the LSi7's didn't break a sweat, the microPRO seemed the tiniest bit underpowered to me. Don't get me wrong, things sounded great overall, but it was almost as if the bass capabilities of the 7's made up for the periodic limitations of the smaller sub, failing only to do so when tones dropped significantly.

With the Kef's, however, the paring of the microPRO seems to make for just a generally thinner sound overall. The Kef's don't strain or break up, they remain admirably clear, detailed and rich, but overall, there is a lushness and richness missing from the sound of this setup... You can hear it working when things get deep. Additionally, the rattly moments of the microPRO are more apparent now.

I'm thinking a more powerful sub is needed to smooth out and enrich things. Can anybody suggest something that might pair better with the Kef's?
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 01:23 PM
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I went from LSi9 to Kef Q300 - certainly a lateral move rather than an improvement, but someone offered more than I paid for the Polks so I had no problems booting them off the shelf smile.gif There is no mistaking the impressive bass from the '9s.

You really want to pair a subwoofer with the room, not necessarily your speakers. What is the cubic footage of the space you are attempting to fill, what kind of receiver is driving the Kefs and what is your budget? With this information you will undoubtedly find several people willing to help you choose what is best.

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post #3 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply!

The receiver is a Denon AVR-1613. It's a 2.1 setup, just the Kefs and the sub.

The room is roughly 950 square feet with a 25 foot ceiling, however only about half the room is a straight shot to the ceiling, as the other half is under an open mezzanine. The speaker setup is in the open portion of the room, with the high ceiling. Polished cement floors, and lots of hard reflective surfaces- all the furniture is that hard tobacco crackled leather, and the mezzanine utilizes large panels of glass on a frame as guardrails. Essentially the space resembles a Restoration Hardware showroom, because that's what the girl was going for, ha ha. An additional complication is a modern criss-cross open staircase that goes straight up three more levels... So plenty of sound pitfalls.

The good news is this space has meant I can generally get away with smaller speakers, as a little sound goes a long way in here. The bad news is that even detailed speakers can get muddled fast. I've been impressed with the XQ10's ability to remain detailed, clear, and transparent thus far... I just wish the overall sound was lusher and thicker. I'm hoping a better sub (and a little break-in time for the Kefs) will perfect things...
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 02:19 PM
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Read through this thread. This gentleman's space is similar to yours. Personally I think the recommendations are overkill, but I'm not a boomer type of guy (you can skip pages 3-4, its just a bunch of roosters in a friendly **** fight smile.gif ). For the space in the room and for 2 channel use I would recommend (of course) one that I just purchased, SVS SB-1000 10" sealed subwoofer, but with the high ceiling a ported model, perhaps up to 12" might do better, I honestly don't know. The SB-1000 is a very nice sub in a small package, it fit my needs perfectly. SVS companion to this is the PB-1000, slightly larger and ported, FYI. Since you have an AVR and can be flexible with crossover configuration you have an advantage over me, and are well on your way to a very nice 2.1 system.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 02:35 PM
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I have the NHT B12D subwoofer, and I am sold on it.

It is a sealed design with a very large power amplifier, and as a result has a very linear frequency response and is very powerful.

It costs $700, and to get a better one you might spend a lot more.

I also like the fact that it is a 14-inch cube, which is much smaller than the typical 12-inch sub.

It also has a wonderful piano black finish, if that matters.

Some area rugs and drapes in strategic places will probably tame the acoustics a bit.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Read through this thread. This gentleman's space is similar to yours. Personally I think the recommendations are overkill, but I'm not a boomer type of guy (you can skip pages 3-4, its just a bunch of roosters in a friendly **** fight smile.gif ). For the space in the room and for 2 channel use I would recommend (of course) one that I just purchased, SVS SB-1000 10" sealed subwoofer, but with the high ceiling a ported model, perhaps up to 12" might do better, I honestly don't know. The SB-1000 is a very nice sub in a small package, it fit my needs perfectly. SVS companion to this is the PB-1000, slightly larger and ported, FYI. Since you have an AVR and can be flexible with crossover configuration you have an advantage over me, and are well on your way to a very nice 2.1 system.

Correction. The SB-1000 is a compact 12" sub. smile.gif

I think with the size room you have, a bigger sub is warranted. A few questions:

What is your budget?
Are you limited on sub size?
Is this mainly music? Or HT usage as well?
Have you considered dual subs?

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
Desktop: CBM-170 SE | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | HK 3390
Headphone & Portable HE-400 | K612 Pro | HP150 | DX50 | E12
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies, so far!

To answer to cel4145's questions...

Budget is somewhat flexible, as cheap as possible would be nice, but let's say an MSRP of under or around a thousand US. I'm pretty good at scrounging deals (I picked up the Kef's BNIB for $795 total), so I intend to realistically pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $150-$400, depending on whether it's a deal on a new sub, a used one, what the original MSRP is, etc. etc.

As for size, I'd like the overall footprint to be as small as possible, just for aesthetics. That said, I can definitely get away with something larger than the microPRO which is roughly a 12" cube... That 14" NHT B12D sounds great, assuming it has the power I need. If I were to go for something truly large in size, maybe a wireless option?.. When I was building the Polk setup three or so years ago, it seemed wireless subs didn't get as much respect on the forums as their wired counterparts... Lately I seem to see a lot of good reviews, so maybe the tech has gotten better?

I listen to probably 60/40 HT to music.

Dual subs... Right now, the sub is next to the credenza, and being that it's a good-looking piece of equipment, it doesn't offend. I don't have enough room on the other side of the credenza for a matching sub, due to the stairs to the mezzanine. That said, if we're talking about a small wireless option, then two subs would definitely be an option... I could place them on either side of the couch.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 03:42 PM
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Look into subs from HSU Research, SVS Sound, Rythmik, Outlaw Audio, and Power Sound Audio. If you research on the AVS subwoofer forum, you'll find that these are the most popular brands because they are Internet direct vendors. Their subs are easily price/performance values equal or better than traditional speaker company subs that cost twice the price MSRP. However, not going to find much for $150 to $400 from them. Seems like you need a high output sub for that space which means big 12". The Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX is on sale at the moment. But it is big. And more than your budget.

Wireless? There are some good wireless solutions, but they cost more money that it sounds like you are planning to spend with your budget. The Outlaw wireless kit is supposed to be very good.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 05:12 PM
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Thanks for correcting me cel, somehow I brain farted to the Velodyne Minivee, which was another contender for my space.

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Seriously considering the dual sub solution... How would I wire that? Just use two LFE cables and a splitter? My receiver only has one subwoofer LFE input...

Thanks again for all the great advice and options. Seriously cool forum.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 07:31 PM
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Yep. You just need a splitter running from the LFE output. Even many receivers that sport 5.2 or 7.2 in their description just have an internal splitter, with no real advantage over using an external.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 07:38 PM
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All you need for dual subs is an RCA "Y" cable . Depending on your room best placement is to have the subs at opposite ends of the listening area. What I found works best is front right/ rear left. Dual subs real work great in my experience. The subcrawl is highly recommended, though I have never done it since I have limited options so I went with the default fall back position I mentioned above.


Richard
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 09:54 PM
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Sorry to tell you this but the kef xq sound signature in thin compare to the Polk Lsi even with subs. The kef will be more detail and image better but the Polk is warmer and has that lush smooth tone that I found very pleasing. I have a full 5.2 xq upstairs and 2.1 Polk lsi in office down stairs where I do most of my listening.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-10-2013, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datranz View Post

Sorry to tell you this but the kef xq sound signature in thin compare to the Polk Lsi even with subs. The kef will be more detail and image better but the Polk is warmer and has that lush smooth tone that I found very pleasing. I have a full 5.2 xq upstairs and 2.1 Polk lsi in office down stairs where I do most of my listening.
I actually just returned from listening to a pair of XQ10's with proper hours on them paired with a 12" sub... My buddy's setup. The sound was well-rounded, rich and lush, yet laid-back, with superb imaging and detail... I'm confident now I'll be able to get the sound I'm looking for out of mine once they are broken in, and I get a larger (or dual setup) sub paired with them... It's clear I won't be able to get away with the 8" woofer micropro 2000 like I could with the LSi7s though...
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-11-2013, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE with solution...

Turns out I didn't need a new sub, but a more powerful receiver. Talked to one of the local Kef dealers, and he mentioned that to fill out, the XQ10's need plenty of power. The Denon AVR-1613 was only putting out 75 watts, so I picked up a Pioneer SC-1522-K (great deal at Costco, as I'm sure many of you know), which puts out 130 watts, and now everything is copacetic... Now the little microPRO 2000 can effectively fill in the extreme low ranges, and there's no bass-gap or thinness. Just lush, rich tone, and plenty of tight, musical bass... Without losing any of that great Kef detail and imaging.

I might still upgrade the sub for those super extreme HT moments when it does rattle a bit (ieven with the LSi7's, that was an occasional issue), but the overall sound is where I want it now... I figure a new sub can wait... Plus, I'll probably experiment with weighting the top first. I think the rattling is due to it "walking"...
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