Thoughts on powered sub with passive three piece (sub-satelite) system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1 Old 12-06-2012, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Wanted some thoughts on my situation, a bit wordy, but this is also the audio chat area, right?

I decided to get a new 2.1 system for my 15x15x8 front room with TV that has a 6' wide opening to living room, dining and kitchen open floor plan (another ~600sq ft.)

Previously I had for music the Boston Acoustics Subsat6 system driven by a NAD 2100 amp. I later hooked TV into it with switch box and finally in last year got a Pioneer 1021-k receiver.

The Subsat6 is two 4.75"W x4.5"D x8.0"T sealed boxes with a 4" driver (actual is smaller, surround roll OD is 3.5") & tweeter with a highpass filter of unknown freq.
The passive sub has two internal 6" drivers, ported for an effective acoustic bandbass (not electronic) filter. It was well/better regarded in its time relative to other 2.1p systems. (see report about it on page 25 of this pdf)

The subsat6 speakers turned bad in the last year(s), buzzing distortion. I assumed they were blown and getting a new driver a hassle. But not a big problem for low level TV listening, so I tolerated them.

(Music for the home was handled by my home studio monitors in spare bedroom - Event 20/20bas. I have spent 15yrs listening to them frequently, both nearfield and home filling. I really like them.)

So I decided to get a new 2.1 system for the front TV/music room - 2.1 as I still wanted small bookshelf speakers.

In my upgrade quest I ordered and had delivered the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus with the plan to soon decide on new bookshelf speakers.

While the sub was being shipped I found the only problem with the BA satellites was the foam surround on the 4" drivers had rotted. I ordered a refoam kit and had both the 4" drivers repaired before the sub arrived and in process/distraction I put off my bookshelf speaker purchase.

I re-calibrated the repaired subsat6 with the Pioneer 1021-k MCACC and was pleasantly surprised how good is sounded and when I turned it up comfortably loud and it went moderately deep too. Not perfect, not deep by today's standards, but back to meeting my needs.

Except I had this quite large unopened Outlaw box in the room (and was wondering if the box location would affect calibration of the subsat6, ha ha).

I thought about sending it back, but also realized it was the only opportunity to see what a good sub would do for me.

I installed Outlaw sub near same corner as the passive BA sub. Set to BA fronts (including its sub) to small, XO at 80hz. Calibrated fine, sounded reasonably good/smooth. No strange and only relatively minor EQ adjustments, etc. Gave the extension as expected.

I also tried disconnecting passive BA sub and calibrating – calibration forced the satellites to small and auto-set XO at 150hz (I didn’t need to manually set this time). It seemed a bit less rich, like some mid/upper bass was missing – but this was most likely physiological and/or some muddiness due to passive and active sub interacting may have been fixed - I also mentally struggled with the 150hz XO being higher that I wanted. Does the calibration auto set the XO correctly?

So this brings be back to my questions:
1. Any advice on integrating the subsat6 with the outlaw, should I use the BA passive sub or will it cause more phase/integration issues? I also don't like the XO so high. I'd be OK with 100hz, but not 150hz.
2. Should I just continue with my original plan to buy a new 2.1 system and get some nice small bookshelf speakers? (like Cambridge Audio S30, etc.) Will this be an improvement to the subsat6?
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