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Not sure what to do about sub replacement

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
So, last year I finally got some money together to put together my very first home theater. I Polk monitor 60's and 20's front and back, and a Polk center (forget what model.) My subwoofer is an old Acoustic Research 100W down firing 10" ported sub. It has been with me for many years, and is pretty trashed. It makes a bad popping sound during peaks in subwoofer volume, such as explosions. I think it's time to think about replacing it. Crossover is being handled only by my Yamaha receiver.

I do however, have an olllld Adcom GFA2, which is 100WPC sitting around collecting dust. Can I:

1. Try the Adcom to power the sub instead of the sub's internal amp, to rule out a blown sub amp?
2. Use the Adcom to power a new passive sub? (is it powerful enough?)
3. Simply buy a brand new, powered sub.

If option 3, should I be looking at another placement, or sub type to optimize the sound? This will be used 80% for home theater and games. Also, I only have a budget of less than $300 for a sub, so I'd like to get something that is good value.

My layout is attached. The room has a carpet floor.

post #2 of 29
Can that Adcom handle 4 ohm loads? You could take a pair of car sub enclosures, and with the right woofers have a nice pair of sealed subs. They wouldnt go extremely deep, but would sound pretty good.

Otherwise I would wait until the Klipsch RW12D is on sale for $300 again, it happens every couple months

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078

Your currentl placement is also not ideal at all for a single sub. If you had a pair of subs in each front corner, that would maybe be a good spot for a third sub, but not for an only sub.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'd rather have two subs, but I have no space up front for it with the towers. Would dual subs in the rear be any good, or would that back left corner cause too many problems? Would I see any sort of benefit from running two smaller less powerful 10" subs, rather than a larger 12" sub? The room, I figure, is probably around 2300c/f.

As for the Adcom, I'm not sure- I'd have to check the specs on the back, but I'd rather not chance it and kill the Amp- it's sort of an heirloom. ;-)

I'll keep checking newegg for that Klipsch. I've been reading that it's a good deal.
post #4 of 29
If you pulled your M60's forward another 6" how much room would you have behind them?
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
If I pulled them far enough forward I wouldn't have enough space to get out of the room past that right side couch, lol! The room would actually be better if I flipped my layout 180 degrees around, but not sure if my wife would go for it. :-D

I think my only options are upper left corner, or either rear corner.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

Yeah, I'd rather have two subs, but I have no space up front for it with the towers. Would dual subs in the rear be any good, or would that back left corner cause too many problems? Would I see any sort of benefit from running two smaller less powerful 10" subs, rather than a larger 12" sub? The room, I figure, is probably around 2300c/f.

Your much better off going with two smaller subs than one larger subwoofer.

Two or more subwoofers dramatically reduces standing waves as well as providing better bass at all listening levels.

Here's a terrific analogy of an A/C window unit versus central air.
The window unit (single sub) will deliver blasts of cool air at one spot, with little at others.

When it comes to bass, the goal is smooth and even at all listening locations.

A second sub in a different location enhances the odds of getting great bass.
post #7 of 29
I think you have more than 2300 cu ft unless you have a 4 ft ceiling. That sub is in a really bad place. You are losing a lot of energy in that wide open space to the right. The rear left corner would be much better. I recommend the RW12 and it is on sale now at Newegg for $299.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

I think my only options are upper left corner, or either rear corner.

I would put the second sub in the upper left corner.
If that's not feasible, than put it in the left rear corner.

Remember to move your subs at least 12 inches away from the walls.
That will help to keep them from sounding "boomy."

THE BOTTOM LINE: Two subwoofers are ALWAYS better than one and four subs is the optimum number
of subwoofers to have, in your HT regardless of its size and shape.
post #9 of 29
I don't think he's gonna have 2. He is talking about fixing one or buying a new one.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
I would have two if I could get two smaller ones at $150 apiece but forget that. Might as well start with one decent one and add another later. I could probably fit the sub in the upper left or bottom left corner so ill try that first but it won't be 12 inches from a wall.

I noticed that there is a 10" klipsch on newegg for $179. Obviously not as capable down low, or as powerful, but at that price I could entertain the thought of two subs.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

I would have two if I could get two smaller ones at $150 apiece but forget that. Might as well start with one decent one and add another later. I could probably fit the sub in the upper left or bottom left corner so ill try that first but it won't be 12 inches from a wall.
I noticed that there is a 10" klipsch on newegg for $179. Obviously not as capable down low, or as powerful, but at that price I could entertain the thought of two subs.

The 10" JBL on newegg for the same price is a much better sub
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

Might as well start with one decent one and add another later.

I strongly urge you not to use a subwoofer until you can afford to get two.

Consider this analogy of an A/C window unit versus central air.
The window unit (single sub) will deliver blasts of cool air at one spot, with little at others.

When it comes to bass, the goal is smooth and even at all listening locations.

Also consider that two or more subwoofers dramatically reduces standing waves as well as providing better bass at all listening levels.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

I would have two if I could get two smaller ones at $150 apiece but forget that. Might as well start with one decent one and add another later. I could probably fit the sub in the upper left or bottom left corner so ill try that first but it won't be 12 inches from a wall.
I noticed that there is a 10" klipsch on newegg for $179. Obviously not as capable down low, or as powerful, but at that price I could entertain the thought of two subs.
Then get a Bic F12 for $198 now and one later.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat4843 View Post

I strongly urge you not to use a subwoofer until you can afford to get two.
Consider this analogy of an A/C window unit versus central air.
The window unit (single sub) will deliver blasts of cool air at one spot, with little at others.
When it comes to bass, the goal is smooth and even at all listening locations.
Also consider that two or more subwoofers dramatically reduces standing waves as well as providing better bass at all listening levels.

So what exactly are standing waves?
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

So what exactly are standing waves?
Nothing that have anything to do with the topic at hand.
What is pertinent are room cancellation modes, where the distances between the sub, the walls, ceiling and floor, and you, will result in response dips in what you hear at different frequencies. This explains exactly how it works, though it's not easy for the layman to understand:
http://www.padrick.net/LiveSound/CancellationMode.htm

By using more than one sub, placed at different room locations, the cancellation modes excited by each sub will occur at different frequencies, smoothing response throughout the room. The more subs used the smoother the response, although diminishing returns set in pretty heavily beyond four subs.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Nothing that have anything to do with the topic at hand..

Not sure why you would say this, standing waves have a lot to do with the topic at hand.

There's this guy that said, and I quote "A general rule with subwoofers is to use twice as many as you think you will need. Dual subs placed asymmetrically reduce standing waves and yield the smoothest response"

But maybe you know something Russ Herschelmann doesnt know.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

Not sure why you would say this, standing waves have a lot to do with the topic at hand.
Standing waves are the product of room dimensions, and are primarily addressed with room treatments and EQ. Boundary cancellation effects are primarily addressed via sub placement and multiple subs.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat4843 View Post

four subs is the optimum number of subwoofers to have, in your HT regardless of its size and shape.

That is not true at all.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post

That is not true at all.
+1. Generally speaking you won't realize much of an improvement by using more than four subs, but that doesn't make four subs an optimal number. You can realize perfect response with one sub, but unless you have a room that verges on anechoic you'll only get that perfect response in a small percentage of the room area.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well all this being said, I can only really do two subs in this room anyway, both of which would be in corners- so optimal placement above all else, isn't an option for me. So, in my above setup, would i benefit more by getting two smaller subs rather than one larger one, given X amount of dollars? Or should I spend the money on something bigger now, and buy a second one down the road?

I'm also not opposed to assembling my own flat-pack sub, but don't want to deal with matching drivers to cabinets and amps and stuff.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

Well all this being said, I can only really do two subs in this room anyway, both of which would be in corners- so optimal placement above all else, isn't an option for me. So, in my above setup, would i benefit more by getting two smaller subs rather than one larger one, given X amount of dollars? Or should I spend the money on something bigger now, and buy a second one down the road?
I'm also not opposed to assembling my own flat-pack sub, but don't want to deal with matching drivers to cabinets and amps and stuff.

It depends.......Can the two smaller subs dig as deep as the bigger sub and can you apply some type of eq to get a flat response at the spot you sit at? Two subs can help with nulls, but they can also hurt some Frequencies combined. I built a THT sub ( Thanks Bill) and tuned it flat at the seating position. Then I added two Outlaw subs stacked in the other corner available and the performance suffered. There was some very large dips in the graph where it seemed like they were cancelling each other out. I have not tried tuning the outlaws with the THT and I will not either (THT is too good for them) as I am selling them. The phasing was correct too. Also, these measurements were taken with REW and I just looked to see if I have the file saved and i don't. I am not a pro at tuning either so it could have been an operator error as well. If you can move your sub to the left corner like others have stated chances are that the bass will sound better. The klipsch sub that people are mentioning is actually not that bad of a sub. I have it in my living room and it sounds pretty good.
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
I think I'm leaning towards the Klipsch then, and just one at this point. It seems to be really highly recommmended at this price point (~$300).

Funny thing, the other day I went to move my sub around and begin testing different locations, and the damn thing crapped out. Simply won't output anything now, and just hums instead. Perfect timing!
post #23 of 29
Yeah I would order it before the sale ends if I were you. Put it in the left corner and call it a day. If you ever feel like getting a second sub try to invest in an eq for them. REW is a free program but you will need some measuring tools. I think it is real fun to play with and can give you something to do.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
I actually do have a high quality mic that I use at work, but it's a cardiod pattern and not sure it would work well for measuring a room. Could I use the little dinky calibration (spelling?) mic that came with my A/V recever?
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

So, in my above setup, would i benefit more by getting two smaller subs rather than one larger one, given X amount of dollars?
Yes, assuming you're not going too small and/or too cheap. IMO don't go smaller than a twelve unless it's a very high quality ten. Eights, fageddaboutit.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Yes, assuming you're not going too small and/or too cheap. IMO don't go smaller than a twelve unless it's a very high quality ten. Eights, fageddaboutit.
Is that humor I detect? That may be a first. Are you drinking this early? biggrin.gif
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeromax View Post

I actually do have a high quality mic that I use at work, but it's a cardiod pattern and not sure it would work well for measuring a room. Could I use the little dinky calibration (spelling?) mic that came with my A/V recever?
What kind of receiver?
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
It's a Pioneer VSX-820
post #29 of 29
Yes. That is the purpose of that mic. I suggest you read the 820 manual and use it. If you use it properly it should be very helpful.
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