Should I upgrade my Sub-woofer? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-14-2020, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Should I upgrade my Sub-woofer?

Hi all,

I've been enjoying my sound system for a while now, on a daily basis.. man.. I love this thing. Anyway, I'm still rocking my first ever decent sub-woofer - a Klipsch SW-450 that I picked up for practically nothing during the model's close-out discount. To me the sub was incredible at first and is obviously more than what the average Joe will ever have in his home. However I also realize that there are much nicer subs out there - some with corresponding price tags. To my ears, my sub-woofer rates a 2 on a scale of 1-3, or also a 2 on a scale of 1-4. What I'm considering upgrading to is something in the $500 range, which IMO will be a 3 on a scale of 1-3, or a 3 on a scale of 1-4.

As I've enjoyed my system for some time now and have upgraded different pieces along the road, I'm now starting to think that maybe my sub-woofer is my weakest link. There are a few areas in the system that need addressing IMO: I would like to pick up a nice 4K/HDR AVR in the near future; I will finally be purchasing a 4K/UHD Blu-ray player around the end of this year in the form of the PlayStation 5; and then there is the sub. To be honest, it will probably come down to replacing either the sub or the AVR next. Obviously a 4K capable AVR will make my life a little easier, but isn't really necessary. At the same time.. I live in an apartment still, which is probably the main reason I'm still "satisfied" with the sub. I honestly have to keep it turned down so low that, at least with music, my tower speakers are definitely "out-bumping" the sub-woofer. My thought though is that the sub is filling in the gaps down low where the towers can't go, even if it's turned down a good bit. I just don't want to turn it up because then the bass will be too much for neighbors (hell, probably already is lol). I do turn it up a little when watching a good movie during reasonable hours on the weekend.

All this said, I'm mostly curious about a more capable sub's ability to play lower frequencies with umph, and I wonder if that ability will be noticed and enjoyed, even if the volume on the sub is set to a very low level.

Do you guys think it would honestly be worth upgrading for me? Or should I just wait until I have a house because, right now, I probably won't really notice a difference? Will the fact that a more capable sub can play lower frequencies really be not only noticeable, but appreciable, during "reasonable" SPL-level listening?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 6 Old 02-14-2020, 10:23 AM
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The low frequencies are what go through walls like they are not even there.

If you keep your sub so low that the speakers are outputting more,
I am not sure why you would consider a sub upgrade.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-14-2020, 10:32 AM
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$500 for a good quality sub might be a bit too low. Being in an apartment doesn't help the situation. The SW-450 appears to be a capable sub. If I were you I would spend my money elsewhere, at least until you have somewhere you can appreciate a better sub without neighbors. Possibly going separates with a nice processor. If your Marantz has 5.1 inputs you can use it for amplification until you decide on amps.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-14-2020, 01:08 PM
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Sw-450 isn't that good. Only get a down to 28hz...IMHO you would be lucky to get 25hz with in room extension... You need a sub that can produce infrasonic frequencies...

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk5.html
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-14-2020, 02:42 PM
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Although I certainly understand the upgrade itch, especially with respect to improved LF/ULF performance, I think I'd exercise patience if in your situation despite the fact I believe you will enjoy a sub upgrade more than a component upgrade.

Reason one, your in an apt so you will have limited ability to enjoy the benefits now. Reason two, no telling if your future house/listening room will align with the sub you upgrade to today. It might be possible that adding a second sub of the same in your future room would do the trick, but how do you know for sure? Basement, great room, wood floor, concrete, listening distance, vaulted ceilings? All will play a factor in deciding the right sub(s) when the day comes.

So unless you know where you will be moving and have good insight on the future room, I'd just save and research. In the mean time you can live vicariously through the others on AVSF. Like me.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-17-2020, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Sounds good. You basically told me what I thought I'd hear - that it just isn't worth it unless you can turn up the volume.

I simply wondered if the lower frequency abilities of a nicer sub would still be appreciable in my current situation.

Thanks guys,
pH

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