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Have Aerial 10T and CC3, need advice re sub and surrounds

500 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  aerialman
I have an aerial 10T and CC3 setup and am thinking of adding a sub. Is the SW12 really worth more than $2000 over the Velodyne? I had read that 2 velo 18s could possibly do better in a 3200 sq ft, strangely arranged room, than the single SW12 if I were going to spend such an amount? any thoughts?

Also, My assumption is that the SR3s are unbeatable. however, the issue of price also comes into play here. Can anyone suggest a pair of surrounds which will sonically match the Aerials AND sound good?

In both these cases, I already have working equipment (M+K v-125 sub and Atlantic mini-surrounds), so I am not in a huge rush to get it all at once and can probably swing it in the future if the consensus is that the SW12 and SR3 are really the way to go.

Thanks a lot!!


hamilton williams
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I dont care for the sr3s only b/c I think with discrete multichannel soundtracks di/bi polar speakers arent really necessary and for multi channel music they are certainly not preferred. I prefer direct radiating surrounds. I think the sw12 is just amazing. heres what Id do in your situation- this comes down to my own preferences so dont simply rely on this alone:

get the sw12. I dont know what processor you use, but Id tell it you have large mains and Id run the left and right interconnects into the sw12. The sw12 has its own xover. Id xover the signal at around 50-60hz. then run the "high pass" right and left out to your amp that powers the 10ts. now you have a very musical system up front (for location Id probably put the sub either to the inside or outside of one of the 10ts). Then Id try a little experiment. first Id tell your processor you have no sub at all- this sends all the bass to the large mains- your sw12+10 system- it can handle the bass. then try locating the m&k sub in a corner and using it for LFE only (this depends on your bass management). see how the system sounds both ways. You might like it this way.

with this setup you can still use your m&k sub which is very good for lfe I think and enjoy the musicality of the aerial sub all the time. btw- the aerial sub is not just musical this thing displaces a ton of air. my sub is not near any wall, my room is about 4000 cubic feet and the sub's volume control is set to 1/4 of the maximum and it moves so much air that you can feel the air in your lungs move. One other thing, you have noted and it has been pointed out by others about price. It is expensive. We can debate things like fit & finish, of course the aerial sub is excellent, and R&D, etc. Bottom line, its an amazing sub. Could an experienced do it yourselfer like some that visit here equal its sonic result, probably. I know that in my case, I lack that knowledge and wanted the right sub to match my 10ts. I think the sw12 is it.

btw- I dont care for the velo solution b/c I think you already have one sub that would do nicely in the lower ranges. The velos- IMHO- arent so good at doing music. my MO is get the best full frequency music reproduction possible and this will translate to a supurb home theater experience. If you have questions about the sw12s abilities you could always call aerial acoustics. they post their phone number on their website. It was also reviewed in SGHT and Im cynical about magazine reviews but this guy couldnt stop gushing, more so than usual.

best wishes,


[This message has been edited by aerialman (edited June 17, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by aerialman (edited June 17, 2000).]
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Since you already have 10T's you know that the Aerial's excel at music. IMHO if the speaker can do music right it can do HT.

We have the SW12's (pair (I know my wife questions my sanity on a regular basis)) and we have some older Velodynes. The HSG series is better than my velodyne FSR series.

With that said the SW12 is an amazing speaker. I have had them going on four weeks and am still tweaking them.

I have found that they are very tight (for lack of a better term) and can handle all sorts of complex music.

For example, I can now clearly hear where I have room modes. We could never do that before.

We have ours wired up as Jerry laid out. We use the MC1 and have played with various set ups.

For music it is amazing that you can bring the signal from your processor into the SW12 and back out into the amp and have the sub blend in so well.

You can also use one for both front channels. It is true that having two (if your room permits) does work better, especially on music.

We decided to keep our Velodyne's since we would not have received much for them in trade.

As I write this I have the LFE and front channel left going into the left front SW12 (yes you can do that and it does work). I then daisy chain the LFE from the front left SW12 to the right front SW12 from the front right SW12 into the right rear Velodyne and then to the left rear Velodyne. Sounds good. Not louder, better.

I think the CC3 and SR3's are arguably the best speakers of their type on the market. Haven't heard them all but they are very good.

We have SR3's on our walls. I am in the process of adding rears and since they are behind me will be adding direct radiating speakers for the rears.

I prefer the SR3's on the sides. Your milage may vary.

I have never purchased an Aerial product that I have been disappointed with.

There are some minor issues with the remote on the SW12 (some other remote signals will cause it to respond).

There are several posts and reviews on this site you might want to do a search. We posted up a review a couple of weeks ago that has some detail in it that you might find useful.

I predict that the people that own this sub will have nothing but good things to say and those that have not heard it will tell you that it is The Emperors New Clothes, since no sub should cost that much http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Thanks very much for the quick responses!!

jerry, you suggested I stick with the M+K for the LFE. I was hoping to use the SW12 for the LFE along with the M+K (or just move the M+K upstairs). My impression is that the the SW12 is one of the best LFE subs out there--if I wire the 10Ts thru the SW12, as you suggested, do I get all the LFE info if I turn off the sub in the pre/pro? I guess that would take care of the music and the movies!

As you have suggested, I have heard that it may very well be better to get direct radiating surrounds and was thinking of the Aerial 5s as a possible solution. this might in fact work out better as i have some placement issues with such a tall surround as the SR3.

(CAUTION--Boring newbie room description follows!) If you can imagine a rectangular room 16x25 ft , I'm using the right half and projecting on the short wall (16 ft) with a couch separating the halfs and facing the short wall. Behind the projection area (Left part of room) there is a room opening along one of the side walls (6ft wide passageway) then an open staircase. The short wall opposite the screen is a fireplace with open arches on either side leading into another room. On the ceiling in the middle of the room, running along the short axis (parallel to the screen), is a shallow (8inches) i-beam which cannot be moved. The rear speakers would have to butt up against the I-beam.

I am concerned that with the SR3s on the wall abutting the I-beam we would lose a lot of the "dipole nature" (whatever that means) of the SR3s, thus lessining their value in my particular situation. I guess another alternative is to mount them in the corners? But then they would extend below the beam and project into space.

So, maybe the direct surrounds are the way to go. any other thoughts on that?

Chuck, I have read your previous posts and have really learned a lot!! you have shared your setup experience in a detailed way and it is a great resource. I guess that you feel that the SW12 is truly superior to the Velos--true? how about one SW12 vs 2 velos? That said, even if they were equal, would the parametric equalization on the SW12 make it the winner?

Steve, thanks again for your input. Even with all my questons and the expense, I am inclined to do the SW12. Rightly or wrongly, I came to the conclusion years ago that 1. Cheap is no value and 2. do it right the first time and then maybe (that's MAYBE) I will decrease my obsession level about how I COULD have done it. If you have any thoughts on the Aerial 5s vs the SR3 I'd appreciate knowing as well.

finally, let me say that this is a great forum and is made so by everyone's participation. While I have spent a lot of time reading (and reading between the lines), because of the input I have gotten here I truly believe I have done everything right to date. The Aerials are simply superb and the "seamless soundstage" is absolutely true, even with my Ref 20 and Outlaw amp (i know, i know). The Dila projector (Purchased from Alan at AV Science) is great, especially for my multi-purpose room. I had an ISF tech I know come by just for fun the other day and he was amazed--"Just like a CRT" (well, almost, I guess). this is a great forum!

thanks a lot!!

[This message has been edited by ham (edited June 17, 2000).]
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You can do both with the SW12. There are two line in ports on the SW12. If you get one SW12 and run your left and right fronts into it then your LFE will need a place to go, so to speak. This is where Jerry's idea comes in of using your M&K for LFE.

If you had two SW12's you could take the left front channel into the left front SW12 and then take the LFE out from your processor into the open line in on the left front SW12. On the line out one wire goes to the amp, the other wire goes to the open line in on the right SW12. The right SW12 also has the right front channel into it. The right front only has one line out to the amp for the right front channel.

You'd have to experiment about turning the sub off in the prcoessor. What would concern me there is how your processor handles LFE. What does it do with LFE data if you don't have a sub configured?

If you want to go with one SW12, you can take the front left and right channels into the single SW12. If you run full range from your processor you will get low frequency if your processor sends full range to the front channels.

In this setup you might want to consider Jerry's idea of using the M&K for LFE.

I am in the process of picking up some used Aerial 7A's which are a better speaker than the 5's.

You might want to test out direct radiating speakers versus the SR3. The SR3 can be either dipole or bi pole.

I can't get my mind around your room situation but I think I would try to get a dealer to let me test these two alternatives before I did anything. I have learned that with good equipment there is frequently not a right or wrong way to do things, but rather it's what sounds good to you.

The SR3's are amazing speakers in their own right and are designed for surround.

Dipole means the sound comes out two sides of one speaker and is out of phase. This creates a more diffuse sound and makes you feel more imersed in the sound. Bipole is the same but in phase. When mounted on the side the sound emmenates from around and to the side of you and does not radiate towards you. Bipoles make the sound more focused.

I prefer that type of setup, that is SR3's on the side. Your mileage may vary.

I don't think the SW12 is a question of quantity but more of quality. The Velodyne's are excellent speakers. They play low and loud. What the SW12 does that is better is music. The bass is accurate, precise and tight whereas the Velodyne is loose and unfocused. The SW12 will easliy play as loud as you can stand it. I would not hestitate to recommend one SW12 over two Velodyne's.

Some people like that type of bass, we prefer the tighter more accurate type of bass. A good test for this sub is the final battle scene in the 1812 overture and for a movie the opening 10 minutes of The Fifth Element. If you use these make sure The Fifth Element is in Dolby 5.1.

Yes, if I were looking at two Velodyne FSR series versus one SW12 , I'd go with the SW12. It's a much better speaker IMHO. I kept our two Velodyne's cause i would not have gotten much on trade in.

If you get the SW12, I'd try Jerry's idea of using the SW12 for front channels and the M&K for LFE. I picked up that idea on this forum from Steve and Jerry and they were right, it does sound better having multiple subs. Not louder, better.

I am still learning this product so I can't accurately comment on the equalization. It's amazing that it has that feature. We have room modes (that I can now clearly hear thanks to the SW12) and we need to figure out the best way to handle them. It's going to take some more research on our part.

I think we may end up doing some room treatment of some sort.

I think the flexibility of the SW12 is really something special. It really allows you to blend it in with virtually anything.

I have been alternating between different setups. Each time I change something I learn something else about sound that helps me make our system better.

Something I have noticed in my travels with this hobby is that when you have good products they seem to last longer and you have more options as you go forward. The 10T's are a case in point.

Good to hear you are having a good time http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

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What can I say?? I only have three SW12s!!! The Aerial sub is worth its weight in gold, get it!! You won't be sorry. Now I have a dedicated specially built room so I fit in four Aerial 10Ts, but unless you have that luxury and space, stick with the surround speakers, and Aerial makes excellent ones which will match your front Aerial speakers, which is critical!
My setup includes the Aerial 8's for fronts, CC3 for center,SR3's for sides, and just added one SW12 {replaced a Velodyne FSR-15}. The Velodyne was impressive but the LFE's never seemed to seemlessly integrate with with the rest of the soundstage. My wife did not like it very much. People kept saying "wow listen to that subwoofer". The SW 12 plays just as loud, but integrates the LFE seemlessly into the soundstage. Now your ear does not pick out the subwoofer seperately. It just hears the sound as a whole, and my wife hasn't made any comments like "if you don't turn down the volume on that **** subwoofer, I'm going to leave" since the changeover. In fact I had to ask her if she liked the new Sub, and she replied that she hadn't noticed it. Is this a WAF or not!!

I located it between the CC3 and an 8 per M. Kelly's recommendations and connected it to my New Krell HTS with a Cardas Quad XLR interconnect. Have'nt taken the time to setup the SW12 EQ yet. By the time the sub is broken in maybe I'll have figured it out.

You concern about how the SR3's would sound with one of them located on an I-beam in the middle of room {large open space behind it} was a great concern of mine too, since my room setup compares somewhat to yours. The dipole emits a very good wall of sound on the open side. I don't even notice the lack of the wall on the sound field. The aerial speakers are just terrific. The back wall is 12 ft behind the seating area. M.Kelly recommended 2 direct radiator speakers in this application where the speakers are more than 5-6 ft behind you.

The tendency of the SW-12 to pick up stray remote energy and change its volume accordingly can be neutralized by using the display on-off button after setting the volume. Never had a problem after discovering this.

Hope these inputs help you somewhat.

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I dont have the time right now to fully explain this but- if you want do to do all the bass through the sw12- then you could simply have your processor do it- you know leave the 10ts as large and run the sub output to the sw12. i would try it like this and as chuck and I have outlined, with the exception that if youre gonna use the 1 sub you dont need to run a seperate cable for the sub out. I dont know what processor youre using but most processors, when you tell them no sub, they route the bass to the large speakers. if youve told the processor you have large left and right- and take the interconnects from the processor to the sw12, use the sw12s xover and then output the high pass from the sw12 to the 10t amps, youre accomplishing your own "bass management" and youre letting the 10ts and their amps "breathe" a little easier. my preference for setup would be xover between 50-60hz (you have to experiment- audio is time consuming b/c you have to experiment) and then depending on how loud you listen choose between the slope. if you listen real loud then Id choose the 12db/octave (2nd order) xover- if you are like me and dont really listen too loudly then go with the 1st order 6db/octave.

- Jerry
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