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post #1 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Recommendations for dual subwoofer config?

I am refreshing my TV room over Black Friday and am looking to set up a 5.2.4 configuration, mostly for movies/TV with some occasional music/video games (in that order)... and am wondering what will be the best subwoofer setup for my preferences.

To be transparent, I am already leaning towards going with a pair of RSL speedwoofers, but am open to be talked out of it . I currently own a pair that I use in a larger space (for music) and have loved them. However, I see a lot of people point to the Monoprice Monolith 10s as the best ~$500 budget HT sub and wanted to know if anyone has any experience/thoughts on using them in a dual setup vs. the RSLs... or anything else I should take a serious look at? Most of the comparisons I have seen between these two are standalone comparisons, but I feel like the RSLs really shine in dual+ (and I'm not concerned about the power rating difference... which I could understand swaying some votes for the Monolith in other cases).

The layout relative in the room will not be symmetrical (TV+seating will basically be on one side of the rectangle), so I was planning on going w/ a dual setup to mitigate that a bit and get more even bass, most likely dual 10s. The room is under 400sqft (+8' ceilings).

I am not concerned about the power difference since I know dual RSLs will have plenty of power for the space. Outside of that, the biggest thing I see in favor of the Monolith seems to be the extension. With a dual setup, how much am I losing out on by not having subs that go as deep? I have read some people claim HT audio doesn't usually go below 40hz often (with "meaning"). Also, perhaps relevant, is that the new seating will have a couple soundshakers installed. Anything else to consider between the two? (other than size/form factor, which favors RSL in my case, but that's not a deal breaker).

I really am a fan of how tight and controlled the sound from the RSLs and think that would translate really well to a lot of action scenes, etc (IE: gunshots in John Wick, etc)... and I want to keep as much of that as possible, but not clear on what I could be leaving on the table (a bit more bottom end, etc?). I have owned/liked others subs that extend deeper on paper (IE: LFM-1 EX, etc), but (IMO) didn't sound as good/clean as the RSLs... and the RSLs have no problem shaking the walls when it is called for.

FWIW, I will be testing some movie content on the RSLs shortly, but because the final setup will be completely different, I wanted to get some other thoughts before I commit to anything.

TL;DR; Comparing and contrasting dual RSLs vs Monolith 10s (ignoring RMS power), primarily for HT, in 400sqft room... and others to consider?

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post #2 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:22 PM
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IMO it's dual Monolith 10" over dual Speedwoofer 10S, no question. The Monoliths will have much greater overall output, significantly better extension, their THX certification means they should sound just as tight and controlled" as the RSLs, and they offer ported/sealed tuning flexibility.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:23 PM
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The RSL is a good performing punchy sub,,, but they fall off pretty hard below 30Hz. The Monolith 10 will not only have at least as good of sound quality but will dig much deeper. For movies that often these days play well below 30Hz i know what my choice would be.
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by indebtbassfreak View Post
The RSL is a good performing punchy sub,,, but they fall off pretty hard below 30Hz. The Monolith 10 will not only have at least as good of sound quality but will dig much deeper. For movies that often these days play well below 30Hz i know what my choice would be.
Thanks for the replies.

So the Monoliths really are that good?

I know the RSLs are a couple years old, but I have viewed them as a budget competition killer (in their areas of strength). Though, I am not concerned about the output between the two. Are the monoliths as punchy/controlled in that >30hz range?

I guess another part of what I'm wondering is how important is it that a subwoofer can hit subsonic levels (how much of it impacts the sound vs. feeling the sound and/or just hearing reverberation, etc)? ...and if that is partially mitigated with soundshakers/buttkickers/etc.

Can the Monoliths hang with the RSLs in musicality/control?

EDIT: also, any info w/r/t what is required for THX sub certification? Poking around online, but having a hard time locating info that isn't really dated, beyond that it means extending down to 20hz.

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post #5 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:41 PM
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Pretty much every post i've read on the three different Monoliths 10/12/15" subs have indicated yes that they are very good performing subs that have low distortion and are clean sounding. Add to that deeper extension and it becomes a two-fer lol. Once you get into a sub that can hit 20Hz it brings a whole new and better movie experience especially when delivered with low distortion. Just adds weight to those scenes where those frequencies are.

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by indebtbassfreak View Post
Pretty much every post i've read on the three different Monoliths 10/12/15" subs have indicated yes that they are very good performing subs that have low distortion and are clean sounding. Add to that deeper extension and it becomes a two-fer lol. Once you get into a sub that can hit 20Hz it brings a whole new and better movie experience especially when delivered with low distortion. Just adds weight to those scenes where those frequencies are.
Thanks... and I assume people generally recommend the ported version for HT, but would sealed make more sense considering I am not concerned about output in this space?
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:47 PM
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I currently have two Monolith 10's in my HT and yes, they are pretty amazing. I did have a Monolith 15 in the room but the amp went bad so I threw the two 10's in there and they really fill the room (and several others) with bass during movies, but are always controlled and clean. Those two coupled with my BOSS mini riser makes watching movies a real experience!
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post
Thanks... and I assume people generally recommend the ported version for HT, but would sealed make more sense considering I am not concerned about output in this space?
No. The Monoliths are supposed to have a very clean sound, almost Rythmik like from what I've seen(not heard them myself). The ported will just have more energy for blockbuster action flicks.

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post #9 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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No. The Monoliths are supposed to have a very clean sound, almost Rythmik like from what I've seen(not heard them myself). The ported will just have more energy for blockbuster action flicks.
I am not sure more energy is what I would prefer. In general, I have been under the impression sealed subs have a cleaner and more controlled sound (where other factors are the same) and that the main drawback for sealed was that they aren't as power efficient w/r/t output and that ported subs have more potential to sound 'boomy' (or 'sloppy'... but that might be too strong of a word). Is that line of thinking off in this context?
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:02 PM
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If you have about a $1k budget for two subs, I highly recommend going the DIY route. Get two of the 18" ultimax subwoofers with flat packs. They're easy to assemble. You can run both off a single amp with DSP. Given your budget, you should be able to get a Crown or QSC instead of the budget Behringers. Given the high xmax, you can easily make those flat down to 15-20Hz with DSP. The lower extension you go, the lower your overall headroom, but with two of these monsters, you will have plenty of output.
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:04 PM
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Modern ported subs have come a long way for many reasons including driver technology and design. The Monolith 10 will be very articulate for music and movies. But will have the ability to perform better under 35Hz for movies. This doesnot mean any increased boomyness which most of the time is caused by poor set up. It is one of the best $500 subs you can buy short of DIY.

I have a pair of one of the very best "sealed" subs you can buy period,, and have just placed my order for two "ported" from the same company. I've always been a sealed guy but ported has come a long way!!
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post #12 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bjaurelio View Post
If you have about a $1k budget for two subs, I highly recommend going the DIY route. Get two of the 18" ultimax subwoofers with flat packs. They're easy to assemble. You can run both off a single amp with DSP. Given your budget, you should be able to get a Crown or QSC instead of the budget Behringers. Given the high xmax, you can easily make those flat down to 15-20Hz with DSP. The lower extension you go, the lower your overall headroom, but with two of these monsters, you will have plenty of output.
I like the way you think, but I think this would be overkill for my needs . While the room is a bit under 400sqft, I'm only using about half of that for the TV/seating/speakers.

Power/output is not a concern for me. I would definitely prioritize SQ > SPL since I'm expecting output to be sufficient with any decent dual sub purchase.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post
I am not sure more energy is what I would prefer. In general, I have been under the impression sealed subs have a cleaner and more controlled sound (where other factors are the same) and that the main drawback for sealed was that they aren't as power efficient w/r/t output and that ported subs have more potential to sound 'boomy' (or 'sloppy'... but that might be too strong of a word). Is that line of thinking off in this context?
You're currently using ported subs and seem to be quite satisfied with them. If anything the Monoliths will have less distortion and sound "cleaner" than the RSLs. Plus you can always plug the port and run it as a sealed sub if you want.
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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You're currently using ported subs and seem to be quite satisfied with them. If anything the Monoliths will have less distortion and sound "cleaner" than the RSLs. Plus you can always plug the port and run it as a sealed sub if you want.
Very true, but I also don't have a sealed RSL to compare it against . Plus, I was taking size into account as well. Something on the smaller side give me more placement flexibility.
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:29 PM
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OP, your resistance to the strong case being made for the Monolith 10" over the Speedwoofer 10S suggests that you'd really just rather have a pair of 10S. Assuming that this is the case, IMO you should go with the 10S and enjoy.
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post #16 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post
I like the way you think, but I think this would be overkill for my needs . While the room is a bit under 400sqft, I'm only using about half of that for the TV/seating/speakers.

Power/output is not a concern for me. I would definitely prioritize SQ > SPL since I'm expecting output to be sufficient with any decent dual sub purchase.
If it's overkill, save a couple hundred bucks and go with the 15" subs. I have a 15" sealed, and with DSP on my Behringer amp gives me flat extension below 20Hz with the SQ benefits of sealed. If the subs are for HT, you want the extra extension that a 10" simply won't provide.
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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OP, your resistance to the strong case being made for the Monolith 10" over the Speedwoofer 10S suggests that you'd really just rather have a pair of 10S. Assuming that this is the case, IMO you should go with the 10S and enjoy.
It's more the comfort of the known vs. the concern of the unknown... but if you look at posts after the first one, I don't know if it's fair to say I was resisting... just a couple follow up questions and then questions about ported vs. sealed w/r/t the Monoliths...

...like I said at the start, I'm open to be talked out of the RSLs... just not blindly .
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post #18 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 01:41 PM
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I understand the reluctance, but since no-one is championing the RSLs it seems odd not to let that option go.

Anyway, I apologize if I've misunderstood where you're coming from on this, and since I've said my piece I'll politely bow out of this thread.

Whatever subs you end up with, I sincerely hope they make you happy.
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Just throwing it out there, but would dual Monolith 12s in a <200sqft (<1600cf) viewing area set in a <400sqft (<3000cf) room be a waste/insane?

After looking at some more reviews/charts, it seems like the RSLs excel at the lower mid bass punch that I really enjoy and the M10s are a touch weak in that area (but have better extension)... the M12s seem to be strong in both areas, based on what I've since read.

If I had to choose, I think I would definitely prefer the punch over rumble (as a generalization, to a degree)... and would prefer to keep the costs down to a reasonable amount (waiting on BF deals either way), but is this overkill if I'm not looking to blow out my windows/eardrums .

...or might I be best served plugging up one or both of the Monolith 10s to improve mid-bass punch at the cost of some extension output?

(If you haven't noticed, I can suffer from some paralysis by analysis ...)
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post #20 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 03:37 PM
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Just throwing it out there, but would dual Monolith 12s in a <200sqft (<1600cf) viewing area set in a <400sqft (<3000cf) room be a waste/insane?

After looking at some more reviews/charts, it seems like the RSLs excel at the lower mid bass punch that I really enjoy and the M10s are a touch weak in that area (but have better extension)... the M12s seem to be strong in both areas, based on what I've since read.

If I had to choose, I think I would definitely prefer the punch over rumble (as a generalization, to a degree)... and would prefer to keep the costs down to a reasonable amount (waiting on BF deals either way), but is this overkill if I'm not looking to blow out my windows/eardrums .

...or might I be best served plugging up one or both of the Monolith 10s to improve mid-bass punch at the cost of some extension output?

(If you haven't noticed, I can suffer from some paralysis by analysis ...)

Going with the 12's definitely wouldn't be a waste, as having multiple subs will provide better frequency response but will share in the load in terms of the overall calibrated SPL for LFE.
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 03:40 PM
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Go with 15 inch subs . Nothing lower
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-20-2019, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Go with 15 inch subs . Nothing lower
Ya'll are crazy .

I mean that in a good way, but for context, I should probably mention I had an Outlaw LFM-1 EX sub in the room before (which has since been repurposed in an office) and usually didn't find that was particularly lacking in output for my typical listening levels... but SQ/punch and more consistent frequency response (based on location in room) are the main areas I am looking to improve.

I certainly won't mind having some more output as well, but I think dual 15s is really going to be more than I need... and probably would have a much harder time placing them without taking over the room (aesthetically, etc), unless sealed.
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-24-2019, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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JFYI for anyone following this or may stumble on it later... but tested some movie/HT content on my 2.2 setup with the RSLs and now better understand why people were steering me away from them for my 5.2.4 setup.

While I love them for music, the drop off for the dual RSLs is much more apparent watching movies. Comparing the RSLs against just one LFM-1 Ex and it was clear what they were missing (even though for music, I much prefer the RSLs).

Anyway, I'll be targeting the Monolith 12s over BF... unless there is some other crazy BF deal that makes me think twice (I'll be keeping an eye on SVS/HSU/PSA/etc as well).
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