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B&W 802D, Is there a need for a sub?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I had an old Klipsch sub that I used with my new 802D's. Set the cross over at 40 Hz. Then the sub died and the system sounded much better without it.

Do I need a sub for music? Don't care about shaking the house during movies. My tastes range from blues, metal, progressive rock to acoustic (no organ music or classical). Anyone know what the frequency is for the bottom note on a bass guitar?

If I did get a sub, I guess it would have to be very good below 40 Hz, since my speakers are rated down to 36 Hz. Any recommendations (Velodyne, Hsu, B&W)?

I have Emotiva 600W mono blocks and I room corrected the sound with my pre amp. Did I gain any low end? Theoretically, my speakers could go very low, if supplied enough power. I have a test disc that supplied a 10 Hz signal and I could see the woofers move. I also noticed that during movies, my amps would show 400+ amps during some movie scenes.
post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

I had an old Klipsch sub that I used with my new 802D's. Set the cross over at 40 Hz. Then the sub died and the system sounded much better without it.

Do I need a sub for music? Don't care about shaking the house during movies. My tastes range from blues, metal, progressive rock to acoustic (no organ music or classical). Anyone know what the frequency is for the bottom note on a bass guitar?

If I did get a sub, I guess it would have to be very good below 40 Hz, since my speakers are rated down to 36 Hz. Any recommendations (Velodyne, Hsu, B&W)?
 

You don't need a sub for music but a good sub can be helpful IMO. But I wouldn't look at any of the one's you listed because from I have seen you get a lot more sub for your buck by going internet direct. I would recommend looking at SVS, Power Sound Audio, Rythmik and HSU. All of them make excellent subs and have very good customer service. Also some have free shipping and in home trial periods.

 

I would also experiment with crossing over at 60 or 80 Hz. The subs that these companies offer are very good for movies and music and it would be worth letting them handle the bass load. 

post #3 of 35
There are very few speaker systems that can't be made to sound better with a well integrated subwoofer. Just don't overdo it. I used to own a pair of 802 matrix speakers and they definitely appreciated a little help from a subwoofer.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox 
I have Emotiva 600W mono blocks and I room corrected the sound with my pre amp. Did I gain any low end? Theoretically, my speakers could go very low, if supplied enough power. I have a test disc that supplied a 10 Hz signal and I could see the woofers move. I also noticed that during movies, my amps would show 400+ amps during some movie scenes.

Your amps showed 400+ amps during movie scenes? How do you know this? How loud do you listen? Room size? Seated distance?
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Your amps showed 400+ amps during movie scenes? How do you know this? How loud do you listen? Room size? Seated distance?

watts...watts...watts...smile.gif
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
I guess what I am looking for is someone who has B&W 802D's or equivalent speaker and their experience with a sub. I would think It would take a really good sub (and $$$) to improve on my speakers.

The 400+ amps during movies ia a guestimate. The LEDs that show power usage lit up (
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Watts, My bad, Just purchased a car battery today and got cold cranking amps on my mind. My speakers are 12 feet apart and 12 feet from listening area, with about 8 feet of room behind me. Room has carpet, base traps and sound absorbers throughout the room (home made semi rigid fiberglass).
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

Watts, My bad.

I highly doubt your amp supplied 400 watts to the speaker. With 400 watts you would reach 112 dB SPL peaks at a 3 meter distance. Something tells me you don't listen at 112 dB peaks or close to it. 112 dB is deafeningly loud and can result in permanent hearing damage within less than 40 seconds of exposure.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

about 8 feet of room behind me.
That will give a bass null centered around 35Hz. With music you probably wouldn't notice it, but with HT it would kill a lot of what a sub's producing. That may be why you didn't find one beneficial. If you have only one sub it should be in the back of the room to eliminate that null.
Quote:
If I did get a sub, I guess it would have to be very good below 40 Hz, since my speakers are rated down to 36 Hz.
One of the main reasons to use subs is to take the load off the mains. IMO if you're not crossing over at 60Hz or higher you're not getting enough benefit to make them worthwhile. You're also not going to get enough out of subs to make them worthwhile unless they have a combined displacement at least twice that of your mains woofers. With four eights in your mains that means no less than a pair of twelve inch loaded subs, and ported at that, as your room is too large for a good result with sealed.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
I am not an expert but isn't watts/decibels a function of the frequency. It takes a lot of watts to produce an audible 40 Hz tone. Isn't that why some subs come with a 1000 watt amp?
I am probably wrong with the wattage estimate. The amp has LED's that show power output. During normal listening I don't see any indication. The only time I have see the LED's light up is when there is a large low frequency scene as in some action movies.
Edited by smallpox - 1/4/14 at 11:22am
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Very interesting. So to get any benefit from a sub, it would require two very good 12" subs ($6000 to $8000) and would not significantly improve listening to music.

The reason I got the 600 W mono blocks was to insure that the 802D's were not limited by power. I am not convince that the amp from a sub would unload my amp/speakers.
post #12 of 35
The short answer is it depends. The 802s will be able to go down to 30-35 hz, but it will depend on your room. In my case I used to have an MK 350 sfx and made a world of difference when i replace it with a DB1. With bass guitars or with drums the subwoofer does play an important role. if I were you I would talk to dealer to have a demo on your setup. My B&w delaer did that. Sometime this year I will demo the 805s in my setup as I am considering them as surrounds,
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
Where did you set the cross over?
post #14 of 35
This thread question is simple to answer.

Yes. Without question you need at least a pair of high quality subwoofer. If you want inferior bass, stick with the 802d with subs.

Check out the 2 channel audio thread on this subject of 2.0 vs 2.1
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post

The short answer is it depends. The 802s will be able to go down to 30-35 hz, but it will depend on your room. In my case I used to have an MK 350 sfx and made a world of difference when i replace it with a DB1. With bass guitars or with drums the subwoofer does play an important role. if I were you I would talk to dealer to have a demo on your setup. My B&w delaer did that. Sometime this year I will demo the 805s in my setup as I am considering them as surrounds,

The 802d will go down to 30-35hz but not at reference volume and you cant reposition the main speakers for best bass response. Position mains for best stereo image and get subs for positioning for best bass response.

B&W knows this which is why they dont build subs into their mains.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

I am not an expert but isn't watts/decibels a function of the frequency.
It is. Power density increases by 3dB (doubling of power) with each octave lowering of frequency.
Quote:
So to get any benefit from a sub, it would require two very good 12" subs ($6000 to $8000)
That's at least five times what you'd need to spend.
Quote:
and would not significantly improve listening to music.
True, unless you listen at levels high enough that your four eights aren't up to the job.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

The 802d will go down to 30-35hz but not at reference volume and you cant reposition the main speakers for best bass response. Position mains for best stereo image and get subs for positioning for best bass response.

B&W knows this which is why they dont build subs into their mains.

Like I said it depends on the room. The other issue is whether the room is properly treated. Even with finding the best position for image and bass response the treatments do play a critical role...
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I don't think it is worth it to me to add subs.
post #19 of 35
I am kinda late to the party here, but even with the system you have I think adding a sub or two is good idea.
After all, you are leaving 20Hz on the table and while the merits of 20Hz extension can be debated this sub gets very good reviews for sound quality and it is an output monster.
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FV15HP.html
Piano black is only $1500 + shipping
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
I ended up ordering 2 12" sealed and 1 13.5" sealed subs from SVS. Free 45 day demo, no charge for shipping either way. The SVS sub trial was a no brainer. The rep said that there was not much musically below 40 Hz, but his sub would produce better lows than my B&W 802D's. We'll see (or hear).

The rythmic rep insisted I needed 2 15" sealed subs with a $125 a piece return if I didn't want them.
post #21 of 35
Good move, I think. Actually the B string on a 5 string electric bass is at about 30 hz but there isn't much musical content below that. The sub will make a startling difference in sonics. No question about that. Just don't overdo it. A little support is all you need.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

I guess what I am looking for is someone who has B&W 802D's or equivalent speaker and their experience with a sub. I would think It would take a really good sub (and $$$) to improve on my speakers.

My Salon2, 802D2, Orion3, and Philharmonic 3 speakers (all have very good bass response) all sounded much better with multiple subs + Audyssey Dynamic EQ and much worse without the subs and without Audyssey Dynamic EQ.

My subs are two Funk 18.0 and five RBH SX-1010N.

That is my experience.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallpox View Post

I ended up ordering 2 12" sealed and 1 13.5" sealed subs from SVS. Free 45 day demo, no charge for shipping either way. The SVS sub trial was a no brainer. The rep said that there was not much musically below 40 Hz, but his sub would produce better lows than my B&W 802D's. We'll see (or hear).

The rythmic rep insisted I needed 2 15" sealed subs with a $125 a piece return if I didn't want them.

Wow, free shipping both ways on 3 subs? That is a great deal.

I also have a feeling that the subs will produce much better bass than the 802D.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Wow, free shipping both ways on 3 subs? That is a great deal.

I also have a feeling that the subs will produce much better bass than the 802D.

I agree but the businessman in me wonders at what price they could sell the speakers if they didn't send an assortment for review so that the customer could pick one and send the rest back at their expense.. That is a very expensive way to do business and requires high margins. Shipping costs, potential damage issues, testing, refurbishing and repackaging. That stuff isn't free. Perhaps not having dealers is enough to cover it.
post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
I will let you all know how this works out.

There is no middle man, so shipping 200 lbs of subs is their cost of business. If a dealer marks it up 20 %, that is $300 on a $1500 sub, so maybe eating the cost of shipping isn't that bad. SVS started this policy 7 months ago. Apparently, it works for them.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I agree but the businessman in me wonders at what price they could sell the speakers if they didn't send an assortment for review so that the customer could pick one and send the rest back at their expense.. That is a very expensive way to do business and requires high margins. Shipping costs, potential damage issues, testing, refurbishing and repackaging. That stuff isn't free. Perhaps not having dealers is enough to cover it.

Well, if the policy continues - then it's worth it. I would think the vast majority of subs shipped won't be returned - the average person wouldn't know what a bad subwoofer sounds like and considering these are generally excellent subwoofers, the rate of return is probably very, very small.
post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
Do I need a sub with B&W 802D's? I got a free demo from SVS (free shipping both ways) to test it out.

Results of my trial with a SVS SB13 ultra (sealed, 13.5" woofer, 1000 Watt amp) are:

Kinda, sort of, not really, maybe.

No need for sub
1. The sub did not add any low end to my system. The system could get down to 20 HZ (+/- 3 DB) with or without the sub.

Yes I need a sub
1. The frequency response from 20 to 70 Hz was very flat with the sub (+/- 3 DB @ a crossover of 50 Hz). Without a sub, there was a +7 DB spike centered at 38 Hz and a -7 DB suck out centered at 45 HZ.
2. The B&W 802D's did not like a 85 DB signal in the 20 Hz range (rattles). Not to mention that the 600W monoblock was pushed to its limit.

Am I going to keep the sub? Maybe.

I did the test with a radio shack sound level meter with a calibration curve supplied by SVS. The test tones came from TrueRTA. I was able to get a flat response by adjusting the volume of the sub and by adjusting the cross over. My room has bass traps in the corners, absorbers at the 1st reflection points, diffusers at the back of the room (albums pulled out in an irregular pattern), carpeting, blinds and heavy drapes over the windows, cloth couch, irregular shaped room with a slope ceiling.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by airgas1998 View Post

watts...watts...watts...smile.gif

Milliamps, milliamps, milliamps?
post #29 of 35
Depending what you listen to, some musical instruments to get pretty low. I would be very careful pairing a sub with the excellent 802d. Else you'd risk screwing up the aural qualities of these great speakers. Here's a quick reference on the frequency of various instruments....

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm
post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 
One interesting thing about this sub is that the cone is made out of the same material (rhonacell, sp?) as the 802D's woofers. Does that mean they are sonically similar? maybe.
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