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Need nice, "musical" sub with speaker level inputs for bookshelf's... or some advice.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So here's the deal. A few years ago I bought the Paradigm Studio 20's (V.3), which I really like. I picked up a Paradigm PS-1000 (V.3?) because my roomate at the time had one and the thing slammed. A cheap Pioneer A/V receiver did the trick for a while. Recently I noticed that there was no life in my system (which I have and always will use for 2 channel stereo - 90% music, 10% HT). I started looking for ways to bring life back to my speakers, which at least at one point, had glowing reviews across the board.

I've been looking at new subs, because the bandpass design on the PS-1000 can be pretty muddy, slow and inaccurate, yet deep and loud. I've been looking all over online and decided that, since I use my system mostly for music, a nice, sealed sub in the $750-$1200 would be accurate enough to round out the 20's. I didn't really want to buy a sub without auditioning (SVS, HSU, eD, Epik, etc.) so I looked around and narrowed it down to a Paradigm Monitor SUB 12 and a Velodyne Optimum 12 - both $1000. Today, while looking around for subs, I stumbled upon a used Rotel RX-1052 stereo receiver, and on a whim picked up the Paradigm SUB 12 to end my indecision.

Wow, the Rotel made a HUGE difference in the Studio 20's. Only problem is that there are no pre-outs for a sub. That leaves me with choosing a sub with speaker level inputs, which, of course, the Paradigm Monitor SUB 12 doesn't have. The Velo does, but I wasn't thrilled with it all around. After screwing around, I managed to get the SUB 12 hooked up via the zone preouts on the Rotel (different volume control) and decided that it majorly sucks in my room, which is about 20x 15. SUB 12 is going back. I set up the PS-1000 again via speaker level inputs and noticed that I actually kind of like the sound - decent midbass and occaisional deep beastly growl, but I have to turn it down so it won't crapify the music. It's still too inaccurate to do my new system justice.

So, where do I go from here? I want a musical sub in the 20-100Hz range, with speaker level inputs (which knocks out a lot), that can both slam deep and not look like a giant coffee table box hybrid. Does such thing exist? Can I somehow convert my Rotel speaker outputs to RCA? I'm no longer sold on sealed. A smaller, nice looking cabinet would be nice, but I've realized that physics may not allow the big enough sound I want without some extra size, ports or even a radiator. $1300 is my absolute max.

Sorry for the long winded explanation. Anything helps.
post #2 of 9
Speaker level inputs are a rare thing now a days. Are you opposed to a pair of compact subs? I am a firm believer in dual subs for improved system integration and frequency response. I think a pair of these Dayton T1003A 10" Subwoofers would do the trick for you. Its a 14" sealed box. The driver used is very high quality, and the amp is extremely reliable (I've had a sub with one of these amps for 9 years). You will get nice, clean, punchy output.
post #3 of 9
I know you didn't like the Velo Optimum. But try the MiniVee 10. It integrates very well with mains. It's very musical. Audition one and see.
post #4 of 9
For music application, sealed and with speaker level inputs, your definitely looking at a single brand and that is Rythmik.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by qguy View Post

For music application, sealed and with speaker level inputs, your definitely looking at a single brand and that is Rythmik.

Rythmik F12 pretty much covers everything that he needs and for the price range as well.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedris View Post

I know you didn't like the Velo Optimum. But try the MiniVee 10. It integrates very well with mains. It's very musical. Audition one and see.

This doesn't make any sense. They both share the same driver. If anything, the optimum would integrate better due to its built in EQ.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Thanks for the responses. It's been a bit of a pain dealing with this situation because there was a 15% restocking fee on the Sub12. Like an idiot, I assumed that the Rotel RX-1052 had preouts that would work for a sub without checking before purchasing. Alas, there is no way to configure any of the preouts to share volume control with speaker outputs. Why they did that I'll never know. A GREAT sounding receiver nonetheless. I must say, however, that Rotel tech support kinda sucks.

My solution: Picked up a speaker level to line level converter from a car stereo store. This is apparently what is done nowadays for this situation. After breaking in the Sub 12 it started to sound better. I ended up reluctantly cranking up the bass almost to max to my Studio 20's (which are surprisingly capable of some powerful bass) and lowered the crossover on the sub (which CLAIMS in-room extension of 16hz). So far, the system miraculously has come together! I'll keep it as is for now, until I get sick of having a little box hanging out amongst a maze of wires and think about your suggestions again. Rythmik is very tempting...

Thanks again, all.

Chris
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCGDG View Post

Hi all. Thanks for the responses. It's been a bit of a pain dealing with this situation because there was a 15% restocking fee on the Sub12. Like an idiot, I assumed that the Rotel RX-1052 had preouts that would work for a sub without checking before purchasing. Alas, there is no way to configure any of the preouts to share volume control with speaker outputs. Why they did that I'll never know. A GREAT sounding receiver nonetheless. I must say, however, that Rotel tech support kinda sucks.

My solution: Picked up a speaker level to line level converter from a car stereo store. This is apparently what is done nowadays for this situation. After breaking in the Sub 12 it started to sound better. I ended up reluctantly cranking up the bass almost to max to my Studio 20's (which are surprisingly capable of some powerful bass) and lowered the crossover on the sub (which CLAIMS in-room extension of 16hz). So far, the system miraculously has come together! I'll keep it as is for now, until I get sick of having a little box hanging out amongst a maze of wires and think about your suggestions again. Rythmik is very tempting...

Thanks again, all.

Chris

Have you tried PBK your Sub12? PBK makes a world of difference.
I have a pair of Studio 60v5 powered with Integra DTR 40.3 and just recently picked up a Sub12 to go with the system. This is my first serious sub and my main reason for picking Sub12 is simply based on its stellar reviews here and online (was thinking about SVS and Axiom for awhile but I wanted a matching sub to my mains). Long story short, right out the box, it sounded underwhelmed until I PBK'ed it (and also replaced a normal RCA cable with a serious sub cable), the system comes alive and kicks some butts.

My room is 24x18x11, open floorplan with the kitchen, but Sub12 seems to be able to fill the air quite adequately. At one point, while I was setting it up, I thought I might need dual sub for this room, but it turned out not to be the case.

Also, the sub has not even broken in yet. Only have about 15 hours under its belt. Yes, I'm one of those believers in "break in period" based on my experience.

Note: regarding cable, some of my friends didn't agree with me that cable makes a difference esp. for subs. but it did for me..
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post

Have you tried PBK your Sub12? PBK makes a world of difference.
I have a pair of Studio 60v5 powered with Integra DTR 40.3 and just recently picked up a Sub12 to go with the system. This is my first serious sub and my main reason for picking Sub12 is simply based on its stellar reviews here and online (was thinking about SVS and Axiom for awhile but I wanted a matching sub to my mains). Long story short, right out the box, it sounded underwhelmed until I PBK'ed it (and also replaced a normal RCA cable with a serious sub cable), the system comes alive and kicks some butts.

My room is 24x18x11, open floorplan with the kitchen, but Sub12 seems to be able to fill the air quite adequately. At one point, while I was setting it up, I thought I might need dual sub for this room, but it turned out not to be the case.

Also, the sub has not even broken in yet. Only have about 15 hours under its belt. Yes, I'm one of those believers in "break in period" based on my experience.

Note: regarding cable, some of my friends didn't agree with me that cable makes a difference esp. for subs. but it did for me..


Just noticed a minor difference. Studio Sub12, not Monitor is what I was talking about.
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