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Do I need a sub, or do I have a setup problem?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi - First post here. I didn't find any threads that really addressed this problem, so I'm hoping for some help.

Setup: I'm running Boston VR2 front speakers with Boston CR57 backs, and an RCA center that I got at a garage sale. The receiver is a Denon AVR-786, Zenith DVD/CD player, which is connected via optical to the receiver. No sub.

Problem: Even turning up the bass all the way on the receiver, the low-end coming out of my system is super weak. I've noticed it for a while, but decided to try it out last night on several CDs. Also tried switching from 5.1 to Stereo (I figured that, since I don't have a sub, Stereo might work better - it didn't). In summary, I'm not getting enough bass out of my system to satisfy me, especially considering that I've maxed out the bass level on the receiver.

Question: So, do I just need to break down and get a sub because my front speakers aren't capable of producing significant low-end sound, is there something wrong with my setup, or is there an entirely different reason I'm not considering? I'm even thinking about selling my speakers to replace with a matched 5.1 or 7.1 set, but I'd want to say within the $500+/- range if I did.

Many Thanks!
John
post #2 of 9
Boston VR2 are very nice speakers but they only go down to 41hz. If you want more bass you should definitely get a subwoofer.

You should also look at replacing your center channel with a Boston VR center. There are a couple VR12 centers on ebay right now.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BOSTON-ACOUS...item256b836264

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Boston-Acous...item1e6a5b58f5
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks. So you don't think there's anything wrong with my setup, etc.? Would an amp do the trick just as well as, or better than, a sub?
post #4 of 9
If you want more bass get a powered subwoofer, that's what handles the low frequencies.

What are you willing to spend for one?
post #5 of 9
Buy a sub, it will take the stress off the receiver and the speakers.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhngm View Post

Even turning up the bass all the way on the receiver............

.................I've maxed out the bass level on the receiver.

So you don't think there's anything wrong with my setup, etc.?

Even though you don't have a sub those speakers should still produce some reasonable bass for you. Sounds to me like something else is probably amiss. Are your front speakers set to LARGE (or Full-Range)? And is the AVR configured as having NO SUB connected?



Quote:
Originally Posted by jhngm View Post

.........an RCA center that I got at a garage sale.

As an aside, I wouldn't even use this. Set your AVR up as having NO CENTER.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
SIVADSELIM: (Kind of Blue was one of the CDs I tested last night; I figured that if the low-end sounded weak on that, then something is going on.) Yes, fronts are set to Large, with No Sub selected.

The center definitely seemed to help with dialogue in TV/movies, but I can't say whether I had the receiver set as having no center before I added it. So, if it was set as having a center while I actually didn't have one, would dialogue have been really difficult to pick out, and should dialogue be better now without a center (and set at no center) than with this RCA? If so, is the RCA really that bad? I just figured that for something like dialogue, what's the harm in having a cheap center?

AFROGT: I would really rather not spend anything on a sub right now; missed a golden opportunity at Christmas! When I do, I'd be interested in something pretty affordable. I've never owned a sub, so I don't know what to look for, what price-point would be sufficient, or what to pair with these speakers. Completely in the dark, here.

Anyway, thanks for the input!
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhngm View Post

do I just need to break down and get a sub because my front speakers aren't capable of producing significant low-end sound

That. You're not going to get room shaking low end from two pair of 6.5 inch drivers. As for maxing the bass EQ, all that's going to do is potentially blow your woofers from over-excursion.
Make sure the cabs are wired correctly for polarity, so that they aren't cancelling each other out, and be sure they aren't further than two feet from the rear wall, so you don't get wall reflection nulling. But a sub is the only real solution.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhngm View Post

SIVADSELIM: (Kind of Blue was one of the CDs I tested last night; I figured that if the low-end sounded weak on that, then something is going on.)

Great CD but no low-end powerhouse by any stretch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jhngm View Post

The center definitely seemed to help with dialogue in TV/movies, but I can't say whether I had the receiver set as having no center before I added it. So, if it was set as having a center while I actually didn't have one, would dialogue have been really difficult to pick out, and should dialogue be better now without a center (and set at no center) than with this RCA? If so, is the RCA really that bad? I just figured that for something like dialogue, what's the harm in having a cheap center?

Well, experiment. But you sort of answered your question. It's a "cheap center". Mismatched for your front speakers.
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