Ask the Editors: Can I Use Definitive Technology BP9040 Towers with a Subwoofer - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 50 Old 02-13-2017, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Ask the Editors: Can I Use Definitive Technology BP9040 Towers with a Subwoofer

Michael Dembo wondered if it's possible to use Definitive Technology BP9000 series speakers in a bass managed system where they are set to small. The short answer is yes, but click the link to read more: http://www.avsforum.com/ask-editors-...ers-subwoofer/
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post #2 of 50 Old 02-13-2017, 07:25 PM
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This is an interesting article. I always wondered if lots of people preferred active speakers with built-in subwoofers in their tower speakers, and if so, did they enjoy having additional external standalone subwoofers to compliment that in their home theater systems. Also, if you got 2 subs in the towers already, would having 2 more external ones add much to the performance? 4 subs is a lot, even if they're small.
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post #3 of 50 Old 02-13-2017, 09:42 PM
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If you don't already own the speakers, this seems like an inefficient way to direct your budget.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bruckheimer Fan View Post
This is an interesting article. I always wondered if lots of people preferred active speakers with built-in subwoofers in their tower speakers, and if so, did they enjoy having additional external standalone subwoofers to compliment that in their home theater systems. Also, if you got 2 subs in the towers already, would having 2 more external ones add much to the performance? 4 subs is a lot, even if they're small.
Like another member has mentioned, those aren't really "subwoofers" in the DT towers, but are actually powered woofers. I can see why something like that would be good for strictly stereo listening, since your receiver won't have to put any power into the woofers, it will be able to drive the mids and tweeters more efficiently.
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post #5 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Like another member has mentioned, those aren't really "subwoofers" in the DT towers, but are actually powered woofers. I can see why something like that would be good for strictly stereo listening, since your receiver won't have to put any power into the woofers, it will be able to drive the mids and tweeters more efficiently.
Not only is that splitting hairs, but the presence of a LFE input tips the scales toward calling them integrated powered subwoofers, instead of powered woofers. Semantics at this point, or if you prefer to look at it from another perspective... it's context. You get to choose whether use them as subs or as powered woofers.
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post #6 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
If you don't already own the speakers, this seems like an inefficient way to direct your budget.
This discussion is not about how the speakers perform overall. But let's say we went down that road... the BP9040s overall performance is in line with its price point, irrespective of whether the woofers are amplified or not.

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As to the question 'can you use them with separate subs', the answer is yes. A separate question is whether the integrated sub renders external subs unnecessary, and the answer to that is maybe. They are only 8" drivers, so they're not going to go as low or as loud as 'real' subs. They also can't be optimally placed, as where they go is dictated by the midrange and high frequency element. That said, many might find them fine by themselves, especially apartment dwellers. As a starter system that might never get expanded upon they're not a bad choice. If I was putting together a full system from scratch with subs I wouldn't use them, though, as you could get a better overall result for the same price with subs and bookshelves.
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post #8 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
This discussion is not about how the speakers perform overall. But let's say we went down that road... the BP9040s overall performance is in line with its price point, irrespective of whether the woofers are amplified or not.
That missed my (poorly communicated) point.
I didn't mean that as a comment on the overall value of those speakers.

I mean that when you have solid subwoofers, buying speakers with integrated powered subwoofers doesn't make a lot of sense.
Assuming you bought speakers that deliver an equivalent value, except focused in higher frequencies, then you would be investing in the part of the speaker you use - not the part that gets disabled by the crossover.

In addition, you have the advantage of placing the subwoofer(s) for the best in-room bass response, rather than in the best place for LCRs.

Aside from those issues, I'd also question the value of comb filtering introduced by investing in the additional bipole drivers. People are entitled to prefer that, but they should compare before buying. For movies, watch out for dialog intelligibility.

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post #9 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
That missed my (poorly communicated) point.
I didn't meant that as a comment on the overall value of those speakers.

I mean that when you have solid subwoofers, buying speakers with integrated powered subwoofers doesn't make a lot of sense.
Assuming you bought speakers that deliver an equivalent value, except focused in higher frequencies, then you would be investing in the part of the speaker you use - not the part that gets disabled by the crossover.

In addition, you have the advantage of placing the subwoofer(s) for the best in-room bass response, rather than in the best place for LCRs.
I get that a lot. Apparently I can be a bit dense.

The option still exists to use the LFE inputs of the BP9040s and treat them like actual subs. Can't do the optimal positioning thing, but you certainly can use the powered subs, even if you apply a high-pass filter to the speakers. And as a rule of thumb, 3 subs are better than 1, even if two of the subs are co-located with the speakers and not as capable as the optimally positioned sub.

Not saying that there aren't a gazzillion other options and approaches out there, obviously I'm aware of the existence of many other speakers and subs and approaches to putting together a good system. Anyhow, I'm not gonna review the BP9040s here but so far my experience with 'em (and I'm using subs including the SVS PB16-Ultra with 'em) is that they deliver performance in line with their price. Also, aesthetically they are winners.

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post #10 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Sure, but the option still exists to use the LFE inputs of the BP9040s and treat them like actual subs. Can't do the optimal positioning thing, but you certainly can use the subs, even if you apply a high-pass filter to the speakers. And as a rule of thumb 3 subs are better than 1, even if two of the subs are co-located with the speakers.

Not saying that there aren't a gazzillion other options out there, obviously I'm aware of the existence of many other speakers and subs and approaches to putting together a good system. Anyhow, I'm not gonna review the BP9040s here but so far my experience with 'em (and I'm using subs) is that they deliver performance in line with their price.
Agreed. My point wasn't really intended for you, but for people considering what speakers to buy.
I'm not sure that I'd intentionally go down the road of integrated subs + subs, although it can be made to work well if you find yourself there.

A fair point that it might actually turn out for the best.
Aside from the bipole aspect.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bruckheimer Fan View Post
This is an interesting article. I always wondered if lots of people preferred active speakers with built-in subwoofers in their tower speakers, and if so, did they enjoy having additional external standalone subwoofers to compliment that in their home theater systems. Also, if you got 2 subs in the towers already, would having 2 more external ones add much to the performance? 4 subs is a lot, even if they're small.
I ran a pair of BP7002 for a handful of years with out a separate Subwoofer, didn't sound bad. I decided to sell them and purchase a pair of SVS Pb 2000 subs and reinstall my 20 year old Bp6. To me, the overall sound, mid/low end opened up and have never been happier. The quantity and quality of bass I currently have is not really comparable to the BP 7002.
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post #12 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 07:12 AM
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Well I have a pair of 7006BP for sale lol they sounded great with the 2 velodyne subs I was running BUT placement is key deff. Now I'm using the Proto type towers my friends company is making with 3 subs and Man O Man NYTS BUT even running one in back with the Def Tech towers in front was really good.
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post #13 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 08:39 AM
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The thing with the def tech towers is there are 2 woofers, and 4 radiators per pair, thats a lot of air moving around so placement is not such an issue as it evens out coverage rather well.
Similar to the benefit of 2 subs, No subcrawl to find the sweetspot.

My 8060 built in crossover is 120hz and the speaker goes down to about 38hz comfortably, granted the drop starts in the 50's
so without my svs sub, I can still adjust a lot of gain in the chest thump bass area between 40-120 hz with the built in 300 watt amp.
for me, this is a nice adjustment to have.

as for home theater, a sub is a specialty driver in a large box, dedicated to those power hungry frequencies that most towers just can't do.
I cross this at the speakers bass "peak" of 60hz (recommended by svs)

the 9000 series have intelligent dsp bass control for improved blending

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The thing with the def tech towers is there are 2 woofers, and 4 radiators per pair
Those passive radiators function just as ports do, so the output is going to be the same as a pair of eight inch loaded ported subs.

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That's one way to look at it. The other is that you can't put them in the sweetspot.
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Those passive radiators function just as ports do, so the output is going to be the same as a pair of eight inch loaded ported subs.

That's one way to look at it. The other is that you can't put them in the sweetspot.
Q: How are speakers not like politics? They're always a compromise.
Mark - Always look forward to your reviews. As a very happy owner of a 5.1.2 Atmos system in my family room with Definitive 8060 towers and center who is considering setting up a full on home theater in a bedroom I am certainly interested in the 9000 series. I do wish you were reviewing the bigger 9060 or 9080's, though - I didn't really love the 8040 or 8020 towers, it seemed as though the smaller mid drivers weren't quite balanced right with the tweeters and the bass, but the 8060's sounded almost perfectly balanced and much better overall.


About powered woofers, maybe my ears are used to that particular sound, but every time I listen to price-competitive direct radiating speakers (Martin Logan Motion, B&W CM, etc.) they sound "thin". And when a subwoofer is added (for music at least) they still sound thin, just with good bass thump, but not as well balanced as my BP 8060's.


Not sure what the objection to powered woofers in the towers is, though. For music, just about everything can be played full range with no sub, but if you want to add a sub (for movies or deep bass music), you can cross it over lower (maybe 60 HZ) so it blends better with the sub, and you can still put the sub in its optimal placement. Though I think the "optimal placement" argument is overstated - Unless you are planning an ultimate audio room with no placement constraints, there are usually not too many places a decent sized sub can really be placed in most home environments. At least with powered towers, you can spread the bass around in multiple locations and STILL put an additional sub wherever you think is best.


As for bipolar main speakers, you are trading more precise imaging for a broader sweetspot and more lifelike soundstage, but I think the imaging argument is overstated as well - unless you sit in a very small "sweetspot", the imaging breaks down on direct radiating speakers, so you are pretty much enjoying your music by yourself. And if you listen in multichannel the center speaker provides precise imaging anyway. And while vocals may benefit from super-precise stereo imaging, orchestral and acoustic instruments spit sound out in all directions, and therefore are arguably more accurately reproduced by bipolar speakers.
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post #16 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alfa1 View Post
Mark - Always look forward to your reviews. As a very happy owner of a 5.1.2 Atmos system in my family room with Definitive 8060 towers and center who is considering setting up a full on home theater in a bedroom I am certainly interested in the 9000 series. I do wish you were reviewing the bigger 9060 or 9080's, though - I didn't really love the 8040 or 8020 towers, it seemed as though the smaller mid drivers weren't quite balanced right with the tweeters and the bass, but the 8060's sounded almost perfectly balanced and much better overall.
I will review the BP9060s. I have an Atmos system with both BP9040 and BP9060. 9040s are the surrounds.

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post #17 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 11:48 AM
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I will review the BP9060s. I have an Atmos system with both BP9040 and BP9060. 9040s are the surrounds.
Great! I look forward to reading your review.
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post #18 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I will review the BP9060s. I have an Atmos system with both BP9040 and BP9060. 9040s are the surrounds.
Here is where using the woofers as subs will really come into play, while still a small driver, having the 4 of them working at once will help immensely with placement issues.
While I still run separate Subs, I can't see myself ever getting away from full range towers (which is how I have mine set up) in as many locations as possible.

I think you'll enjoy that setup Mark.
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Here is where using the woofers as subs will really come into play, while still a small driver, having the 4 of them working at once will help immensely with placement issues.
While I still run separate Subs, I can't see myself ever getting away from full range towers (which is how I have mined set up) in as many locations as possible.

I think you'll enjoy that setup Mark.
Just remember the three P's of bi-poles....
Placement, Placement, Placement....
Using the DT 8000/9000 series is not different than say running SVS Prime towers or similar, set to large. Bass extension and output will be similar, provided you have a decent AVR/amp.

And it goes against the common internet wisdom of not running speakers as large +sub = double bass.

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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Not only is that splitting hairs, but the presence of a LFE input tips the scales toward calling them integrated powered subwoofers, instead of powered woofers. Semantics at this point, or if you prefer to look at it from another perspective... it's context. You get to choose whether use them as subs or as powered woofers.
Not really. There are no "sub" frequencies being produced by the powered woofers. They offer no better, and in many cases, less extension than competing towers of similar price.

I think that for some the powered woofer will be all they need, but for most they would be better off with less expensive speakers and a pair of decent "real" subs for the same or less. Unless they absolutely want BP speakers for some strange reason.

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Ask the Editors: Can I Use Definitive Technology BP9040 Towers with a Subwoofer

I'm still confused a little, is it best to run the 8000/9000 series as large or small if I use a separate 12" sub? I currently have them as large and I assumed this would just use my separate sub as the lfe channel, is this a bad move?

*Disregard, I got my question answered.

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I'm still confused a little, is it best to run the 8000/9000 series as large or small if I use a separate 12" sub? I currently have them as large and I assumed this would just use my separate sub as the lfe channel, is this a bad move?

*Disregard, I got my question answered.
If you set them to large your AVR is sending the full range signal for those channels to those speakers, including frequencies they may not be able to play at meaningful levels. DefTech says the response of the BP9040 is 22hz-40khz, but without any +/- db figures, so it's essentially a meaningless spec. If 22hz is -20db, it's not really playing 22hz at a volume you'll be able to use. The +/- 3db figures would tell us a lot more about the behavior of those speakers.

If your speakers can't play relatively flat down to 20hz or so, you should be running them as small and crossing them over where they start to roll off (or higher depending on the behavior of your room and the driver complement of the speakers, if you have the same drivers handling bass and midrange you certainly want to cross them over higher to reduce midrange distortion from massive excursion to hit the bass notes).

Running a speaker that can't hit the lower limit of the Audible frequency as 'large' means that there's going to be audio data missing in your system's reproduction of the sound (unless you also set the subwoofer to double up the bass from the mains below a set low-pass, which some people like to add extra oomph down low, but can imbalance the sound).

The .1 LFE channel is its own thing and holds audio data that isn't present in the other audio channels.
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post #23 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Those passive radiators function just as ports do, so the output is going to be the same as a pair of eight inch loaded ported subs.

That's one way to look at it. The other is that you can't put them in the sweetspot.
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they are still a port on either side, giving a large area effect

and hehe, speakers are definitely like politics, we all have a wrong opinion, according to someone else

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Thanks!
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they are still a port on either side, giving a large area effect
The large area looks impressive, but they don't push any more air than a port does, or a port on either side. They have a lot of area because they have to in order to have the same resonant frequency as a port that has a far smaller area, due to the length of the port duct.
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I have the smaller BP 9020's I use as fronts as part of a 7.4 setup. Before I bought my sub I used just the towers set to large. It sounded pretty good for music and movies considering there wasn't a sub hooked up. I now have them set to small with a HSU VTF-15H MK2 and it sounds unbelievable!

I would say if I had it to do all over again I would have saved up, skipped 9040/9060 and bought the 9080's in the first place though. Although when an affordable 9.6 capable receiver is produced I plan to get the 9080's and slide the 9020's to wides. Fingers crossed!
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post #27 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Using the DT 8000/9000 series is not different than say running SVS Prime towers or similar, set to large. Bass extension and output will be similar, provided you have a decent AVR/amp.

And it goes against the common internet wisdom of not running speakers as large +sub = double bass.
Actually it is different since the bass response has adjustment to it, and since bass management is hugely effected by your room, the adjustability can have it's benefits. Even with a 80 or 100hz crossover there are still frequencies being played by those powered woofers, and since those higher bass frequencies are more localizable, the adjustment can have a real benefit.

Yup, I never did get the Large + Sub = Double bass thing, I guess people forget that LFE is a separate and discrete channel.

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post #28 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Giants0691 View Post
I have the smaller BP 9020's I use as fronts as part of a 7.4 setup. Before I bought my sub I used just the towers set to large. It sounded pretty good for music and movies considering there wasn't a sub hooked up. I now have them set to small with a HSU VTF-15H MK2 and it sounds unbelievable!

I would say if I had it to do all over again I would have saved up, skipped 9040/9060 and bought the 9080's in the first place though. Although when an affordable 9.6 capable receiver is produced I plan to get the 9080's and slide the 9020's to wides. Fingers crossed!
Yeah, i listen to the 9080x's / CS-9080 center with SR-9080 surrounds with a Dolby Atmos movie this last weekend and it sounded really good. No need for a separate subwoofer with the 9080's as far as i was concerned. I was also surprised how good the height module worked on the fronts only. I wish i had the room and money!

Living room; Samsung PN60F5300B Plasma TV, Marantz SR5008 AVR, Sony UHP-H1 UHD Blu-ray, Definitive Mytho 2's fronts-wall mounted, Definitive Pro Center 1000 speaker, Definitive Di 5.5R in ceiling for surrounds, RSL speedwoofer 10s , Comcast Xfinity HD DVR box.

Garage; Sherwood RX-4105 2 channel stereo receiver, Samsung DVD-C500 CD player, Klipsch KG 2.5 med Oak speakers
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post #29 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
they are still a port on either side, giving a large area effect
To add to Bill's reply, the PRs (just like a port) operate over a relatively narrow bandwidth at the bottom of their range. When they're using max excursion, the driver will be barely moving so they don't effectively 'add' any cone area.
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post #30 of 50 Old 02-14-2017, 06:45 PM
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I have the previous gen 8060 towers along with a Klipsch RW12D sub (see signature for the complete rundown).

While the built in subs in the 8060s are decent on their own, they don't compare to a standalone sub. Setting the towers to large while setting the LPF of the Klipsch sub to 80 hz yields great sound quality.

Oh and one other thing. I just recently replaced an Onkyo TX NR3008 with a Marantz SR7010 for 5.1.2 using two ceiling bounce DT A60s on top of the 8060s. While there is some overhead ambiance, the A60s are easily one of the worst AV purchases I've ever made, they are that terrible. I've heard Atmos/DTS:X with two and four overhead speakers and they completely outclass every two and four ceiling bounce speaker array I've ever heard.

So if anyone is considering a 5.1.2 system using two front ceiling bounce speakers, don't bother because it doesn't make that big a difference.

Marantz SR7010; Samsung UN55D7000; Panasonic PT-AE8000U; Panoview 92" screen; Definitive Technology BP-8060ST; Definitive Technology A60; Definitive Technology CS-8060HD; Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 350; Definitive Technology SR-8040BP; Klipsch Reference RW-12D; Buttkicker Wireless; Belkin PF60; Pioneer Elite BDP62FD; Toshiba HD-A3; PS3 60 GB; PS3 120 GB slim; Xbox 360 S with HD DVD drive; Wii; Wii U 32 GB; Xbox One; PS4; Logitech Harmony One; Beats Studio 2.0 Wireless (matte black)
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