Quality over quantity - is this a true upgrade? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quality over quantity - is this a true upgrade?

A few years back I picked up a pair of Klipsch RW-12D subs for my basement HT setup. The room they're in is 23' wide and 14.5" deep with two large hallways / openings to either side of the screen (so output has more than just the volume of that area to fill).

I have toyed with both up front vs. positioning one on a sidewall and I do like having the second sub to smooth the sound across the listening area. One issue is the non-optimal positioning along the side/back wall which makes me want to move it back to the front, however the "kick" of having the 2nd sub closer to the listening position is fun. Part of the challenge with this arrangement is localization of higher frequencies which can be a bit distracting or immersive, depending on who you ask!

I may have the opportunity to pick up a Paradigm 2000SW. Since front positioning is preferred anyway, it would take less room than the two Klipsch subs. It's obviously way more powerful than both of them combined. To me it seems like a worthy upgrade at the potential expense of not all seating positions being served equally?

Thoughts?
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Invincible View Post
A few years back I picked up a pair of Klipsch RW-12D subs for my basement HT setup. The room they're in is 23' wide and 14.5" deep with two large hallways / openings to either side of the screen (so output has more than just the volume of that area to fill).

I have toyed with both up front vs. positioning one on a sidewall and I do like having the second sub to smooth the sound across the listening area. One issue is the non-optimal positioning along the side/back wall which makes me want to move it back to the front, however the "kick" of having the 2nd sub closer to the listening position is fun. Part of the challenge with this arrangement is localization of higher frequencies which can be a bit distracting or immersive, depending on who you ask!

I may have the opportunity to pick up a Paradigm 2000SW. Since front positioning is preferred anyway, it would take less room than the two Klipsch subs. It's obviously way more powerful than both of them combined. To me it seems like a worthy upgrade at the potential expense of not all seating positions being served equally?

Thoughts?

Hi,

I have several thoughts, for whatever they may be worth. First, if you can get a better sub than the ones you have now, that would be great. But, your Klipsch subs are ported and the Paradigm is sealed, so the Paradigm subwoofer will actually not produce as much low-frequency output as your two Klipsch subs. There is a pretty good description of the difference between ported and sealed subs in Section VIII of the Guide, linked below.

Second, if you like what your Klipsch subwoofers are doing for you and you just want more of it, I would look for a way to get that in a ported sub. If you buy a better ported sub, with a somewhat similar tuning point, say no more than about 3 or 4Hz lower than the RW-12D's, you may be able to integrate all three into your system. Something that occurred to me, before I looked up the Paradigm sub, was that you could run the most powerful subwoofer on the front wall, and the two less powerful Klipsch subs on the side walls. But, they would all need to be ported (or sealed) in order to prevent cancellation from occurring. And, as noted above, the port tunes can't be too far apart.

Something else I thought of from your post is that, if you like the immediacy and "kick" of having a sub on the side wall, but you don't like the localization which results, why not make the sub up front play a little louder than the nearfield sub? That might give you the best of both worlds, and it also aligns with the idea of a more powerful sub up front with subs on both side walls. That should also increase the immediacy of the bass sounds and sensations without corresponding localization.

Alternatively, of course, you could just dispose of the two Klipsch subs and buy the best ported sub you can afford. But, in a room that size, and especially where you are already used to the sound and tactile feel of ported subs, I would probably stay with ported.

I hope that some of this helps!

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I have several thoughts, for whatever they may be worth. First, if you can get a better sub than the ones you have now, that would be great. But, your Klipsch subs are ported and the Paradigm is sealed, so the Paradigm subwoofer will actually not produce as much low-frequency output as your two Klipsch subs. There is a pretty good description of the difference between ported and sealed subs in Section VIII of the Guide, linked below.

Second, if you like what your Klipsch subwoofers are doing for you and you just want more of it, I would look for a way to get that in a ported sub. If you buy a better ported sub, with a somewhat similar tuning point, say no more than about 3 or 4Hz lower than the RW-12D's, you may be able to integrate all three into your system. Something that occurred to me, before I looked up the Paradigm sub, was that you could run the most powerful subwoofer on the front wall, and the two less powerful Klipsch subs on the side walls. But, they would all need to be ported (or sealed) in order to prevent cancellation from occurring. And, as noted above, the port tunes can't be too far apart.

Something else I thought of from your post is that, if you like the immediacy and "kick" of having a sub on the side wall, but you don't like the localization which results, why not make the sub up front play a little louder than the nearfield sub? That might give you the best of both worlds, and it also aligns with the idea of a more powerful sub up front with subs on both side walls. That should also increase the immediacy of the bass sounds and sensations without corresponding localization.

Alternatively, of course, you could just dispose of the two Klipsch subs and buy the best ported sub you can afford. But, in a room that size, and especially where you are already used to the sound and tactile feel of ported subs, I would probably stay with ported.

Oh, and yes, I do have the nearer sub a few db lower than the front as I noticed that helped.

I hope that some of this helps!

Regards,
Mike
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the insightful reply. I will definitely give the guide a read. I'm realizing that I've only ever had ported subs. I've heard *of* sealed units but I don't live-and-breathe audio tech; I tend to try and enjoy what I have so it's just not something that's crossed my mind to even look at on the Paradigm. I'm a pretty big Klipsch fan but have auditioned the Paradigm 75F/85Fs and liked what I heard in the 85s. I imagine the 95Fs are even better, and topping my list for future upgrades. As such, I had been thinking of low end and keeping things 'in the family' but perhaps other than cosmetics matching, there isn't much reason to do so? That and I suppose fulfilling what Paradigm would consider to be their fully rounded experience of that particular line.

Truth is, I am quite happy with my dual setup. A barely used 2000SW popped up on my radar which got me thinking.

As much as adding a more powerful sub out front would be, the reality is I'd be selling the two Klipsch to help fund a newer purchase. The other reality is, the rest of my speakers need way more attention in the upgrade department than my subs at the moment.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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The experience trying to read that guide on my phone last night wasn't great, so I'll tackle it again when I have some time on a computer.

Another thought jumped into my head though: The 2000SW - even the lightly used one I have my eye on - costs over twice as much as 2x of the new Defiance X15s (ported). Hrm...

Skimming a few posts, it seems people tend to prefer ported for HT applications and sealed for music. I'd say 90+ % of its use would be movies/tv, however, I'd like to do more listening once I get my fully upgraded setup.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:35 AM
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Just my 2 cents,

A Paradigm 2000SW is very pricey sub and I would say to anyone looking at this sub new to get 2 Rythmik F15HP's at a lower price. But that is for someone looking for a sealed 15" music Sub.

For you I would stick to ported subs as you are mostly HT and your room is not closed off. I bet for the price of the used Paradigm you could get 2 really good subs that would out perform both the Paradigm and sealed Rythmik's.

Finding a great deal is good but it does not seem like a sub for your setup. Your getting a great deal on a sports car when you really need a couple good jeeps.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:47 AM
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Guessing you are in Canada and the "deal" you are seeing is on Canuck audio.
Saw this as a better option but I would talk down the price as it's an older model.

Keep looking and do not rush because the retail price is twice the price of the selling price.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Blacklightning View Post
Guessing you are in Canada and the "deal" you are seeing is on Canuck audio.
Saw this as a better option but I would talk down the price as it's an older model.

Keep looking and do not rush because the retail price is twice the price of the selling price.
I appreciate the advice.

Yep, in Canada. I didn't stumble on it there, but I do see the same unit posted there as well. I had been looking at Paradigms for a few reasons: 1, aesthetically matching the rest of the Prestige line I am leaning towards and 2, I have a good relationship with my dealer, be he still couldn't quite get to the price of that 2000SW.

But you're right - I'm rushing for no reason. Especially since I'm mostly happy with my 12"ers.

Now the ones you linked to on the other hand. Well. That's an interesting looking proposition.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:33 PM
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I had been looking at Paradigms for a few reasons: 1, aesthetically matching the rest of the Prestige line I am leaning towards and 2, I have a good relationship with my dealer, be he still couldn't quite get to the price of that 2000SW.

Now the ones you linked to on the other hand. Well. That's an interesting looking proposition.
I'm a big Paradigm fan myself. 20+ years ago they made some really good subs for music at a great price point. They were my go to for high end subs. Now a few smaller ID companies are putting out subs that out perform at a fraction of the price. The "Sub 1" and "Sub 2" were the last special subs that Paradigm made that I feel a person with more money would buy as it packs a huge punch in a small foot print. All the Paradigm subs are WAYYYYY over priced and even with the standard 10%-25% off you can get ALL THE TIME in store they are still pricey. Paradigms DSP tech is something that was added after they dropped their Servo Tech but for $150-$200 you can add better DSP to any sub and/or use your AVR for free.

Have you looked into SVS (Canada)? The price-per-performance is not as good as it use to be (Still better than Paradigm, just not as good as Rythmik or PSA) but it's easy to get in Canada. Some dealers in Canada might have HSU subs, also look into that.

I hope you find what you are looking for but I would not spent $2000cdn on any 15" sealed sub. I paid $450 used for my 15" sealed Paradigm Servo-15 and I now plan to go dual so I will be getting dual Rythmik Subs... some day.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:44 PM
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Quality over quantity - is this a true upgrade?
When it comes to bass, quantity is quality.

It takes about 32watts to push 32 18's to 1mm excursion, but it takes 3200watts to push 1 18 to 32mm, and both are the same SPL.

The higher quantity will do 1watt x 32 all day long, a single cone won't handle 3-4kW for very long... (and with lots of distortion.)
The heat and distortion will be zero because it isn't being taxed, that holds true even if the subwoofer is a 8" Sony Xplod.

Excursion/power is your enemy.
Cone quantity/area is your friend.

But better drivers are substantially better sounding in lower quantities or equal quantities. That said, there are limits to that rule of thumb on both sides of the fence...

Additionally, as the quantities start approaching 8-64, the bass smooths out and the localization approaches uniformity as the subs are literally everywhere after a particular point, both nearfield and farfield.

The only downside is that high quantities are also expensive, require many boxes, floor space, and wiring.
But it is technically better in every regard.

Bass only has 3 properties:
Hz, SPL and distortion.

and as per above, the higher quantities will have little distortion and max spl, at the same time, for any given Hz. (More or less...)
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:02 PM
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On a side-note, many people think cone-speed is tightness. That is not true.

Power makes the cone move faster.
When the cone moves faster for a given Hz, the excursion and SPL increases.

Conversely: the higher the excursion, the faster the cone is moving for a given Hz. Which requires more power (and heat and distortion).

Or conversely again: If the SPL increased, then the cone moved faster and further, which requires more power (and heat and distortion.)

Ignoring power and cone speed, the only other way to "get loud" is to have higher sensitivity drivers and more total cone area.

Moving from 1 sub to 2 subs, is +6db. Or... a 75% power-reduction for the same db (and a lot less excursion, heat and distortion. i.e. all good things!)

That holds true for each doubling of the cones until the drywall cracks or the ears rupture. But that's what volume knobs are for, turn it down. Just because a Lambo can do 200mph doesn't mean it can't stop at a red light or that it must burn from light to light at full acceleration. That isn't to say it ain't still fun though!

A high quantity of cones will also have excellent dynamics/tracking and headroom; as it won't be thermally or mechanically compressing. You'll get the full dynamics up to fairly-high db's...
Giving that sense of effortlessness that everyone desires.

When someone says they want a tighter/more musical sub, what the really mean is: that they want a better driver or a bigger sub or more subs... (they just don't know it yet. )

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Old 11-04-2018, 04:00 PM
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Check out electronicsforless in Canada they carry SVS. Also they currently have the PB12 Ultra for $1500 cdn
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the information & suggestions. I'm learning a lot! I'll keep this thread updated as I make my decision.
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