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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, some details about my current 2.1 setup. I have a Yamaha RX-V667 receiver leading to a Carver C-1 preamp and a Heathkit AA-1640 amp. The speakers themselves are Ohm F's, and my current subwoofer is a Klipsch... something (it doesn't seem to have an obvious model number on it, and the box/manual are lost to the ether. Was around $400 new a few years ago.)


The Ohms perform very well for most things, but they tend to distort if I'm playing a bass-heavy track with the volume turned up. They're also older than I am, so I'd like to go easier on them and let them do less low-frequency work. I had the idea of buying one subwoofer for each speaker to take over their low-frequency duties. Pass the full-range signal from my receiver through a 2-way line-level crossover, and the low frequencies would go to the new subs, and everything higher would keep going to the Ohms.


First, is that a good idea? I like the idea of stereo subwoofers - it seems like it would be great for songs where the bass content is actually different between the left and right channels, and might be nice to give a little bit more direction to explosions and other effects in movies. (Not sure if that would work out though since movies tend to use the LFE channel for bass, and the LFE channel would probably just end up getting mixed equally into the left and right channels in a 2.0 speaker setup).


Is there no real benefit to having separate left and right subwoofers? Would I just be better off telling my receiver to treat the Ohms as 'small' speakers so they don't have to work with low frequencies, then buying one nicer subwoofer instead of two subs that each cost half as much?




My responses to the 6 questions in the 'how to ask for advice' sticky:

1. Your budget. I don't have a hard budget in mind, but I think I can justify spending around $1500 (total) to myself. If I can get something significantly better if I spend a bit more, feel free to mention it.
2. Size requirements/limits. No really hard limits. My current sub is 19x14x16. Something around that size or a bit bigger is no problem. If you want to recommend something a lot bigger, go ahead and suggest it, and I'll see if I can figure out how to rearrange the room to accommodate it.
3. Room dimensions. 12' deep, 8' tall, 24' wide (2300 cu. ft.). One open doorway on the far right of the front wall.
4. Primary uses. Roughly 50% music, 45% movies, 5% gaming.
5. Listening habits. I like my bass deep, tight, and loud. If drums and explosions can make me feel like I'm getting punched in the chest, that's great.
6. Appearance requirements. I don't care what it looks like as long as it works.
7. Timeframe. I'd like to have this wrapped up within the next 2 weeks.


All that said, I live in the Boise, Idaho area, and I would prefer to buy locally so that returns are easy, just in case I'm not completely enamored of how things sound once they're all set up. I'm not ruling out buying stuff online, I'd just rather avoid it if possible. If all the best stuff is only available online, I'll just bite the bullet and give it a try.


Thanks for taking the time to read this wall of text!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesemoo /forum/post/20819768


First, some details about my current 2.1 setup. I have a Yamaha RX-V667 receiver leading to a Carver C-1 preamp and a Heathkit AA-1640 amp. The speakers themselves are Ohm F's, and my current subwoofer is a Klipsch... something (it doesn't seem to have an obvious model number on it, and the box/manual are lost to the ether. Was around $400 new a few years ago.)


The Ohms perform very well for most things, but they tend to distort if I'm playing a bass-heavy track with the volume turned up. They're also older than I am, so I'd like to go easier on them and let them do less low-frequency work. I had the idea of buying one subwoofer for each speaker to take over their low-frequency duties. Pass the full-range signal from my receiver through a 2-way line-level crossover, and the low frequencies would go to the new subs, and everything higher would keep going to the Ohms.


First, is that a good idea? I like the idea of stereo subwoofers - it seems like it would be great for songs where the bass content is actually different between the left and right channels, and might be nice to give a little bit more direction to explosions and other effects in movies. (Not sure if that would work out though since movies tend to use the LFE channel for bass, and the LFE channel would probably just end up getting mixed equally into the left and right channels in a 2.0 speaker setup).


Is there no real benefit to having separate left and right subwoofers? Would I just be better off telling my receiver to treat the Ohms as 'small' speakers so they don't have to work with low frequencies, then buying one nicer subwoofer instead of two subs that each cost half as much?




My responses to the 6 questions in the 'how to ask for advice' sticky:

1. Your budget. I don't have a hard budget in mind, but I think I can justify spending around $1500 (total) to myself. If I can get something significantly better if I spend a bit more, feel free to mention it.
2. Size requirements/limits. No really hard limits. My current sub is 19x14x16. Something around that size or a bit bigger is no problem. If you want to recommend something a lot bigger, go ahead and suggest it, and I'll see if I can figure out how to rearrange the room to accommodate it.
3. Room dimensions. 12' deep, 8' tall, 24' wide (2300 cu. ft.). One open doorway on the far right of the front wall.
4. Primary uses. Roughly 50% music, 45% movies, 5% gaming.
5. Listening habits. I like my bass deep, tight, and loud. If drums and explosions can make me feel like I'm getting punched in the chest, that's great.
6. Appearance requirements. I don't care what it looks like as long as it works.
7. Timeframe. I'd like to have this wrapped up within the next 2 weeks.


All that said, I live in the Boise, Idaho area, and I would prefer to buy locally so that returns are easy, just in case I'm not completely enamored of how things sound once they're all set up. I'm not ruling out buying stuff online, I'd just rather avoid it if possible. If all the best stuff is only available online, I'll just bite the bullet and give it a try.


Thanks for taking the time to read this wall of text!


Rythmik FV15 HP $1323 SHIPPED

HSU VTF-15 $1018 SHIPPED

eD A5-350 $800 SHIPPED

Epik EMPIRE $940 SHIPPED


If u up your budget another couple $100 u can the crownd favorite JTR CAPTIVATOR 1000 for around $1700 SHIPPED

yes all the good stuff is mostly only available from ID(internet direct) companies

don't bother with best buy and the likes.
 

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I've not really heard much one way if the other about the captivator 1000. The passive Captivators with your choice of amp, EP4000 or otherwise, are much more known and touted around here by their respective owners. The two have Captivators have different drivers (with the pasive Captivators being more capable) though I don't know how much different they sound. Jeff's idea, as I understand it, was to better match the typical amp power that people are using with the Captivator passives to a specific subwoofer that would provide the full effect he intends to convey with the Captivator line, because 1000 watts isn't really enough to make the standard 7,200 watt peak passive Captivator's driver sing. Boiling it down --- you get a slightly less capable subwoofer driver, but possibly a better sound if you only are going to push the standard Captivator ~1000 watts to the cabinet. I'd be curious to hear one, but haven't yet. MKTheater is buying a set and will soon be posting his opinion on the mostly unreviewed Captivator 1000. I have a single EP4000 amp and two Captivator Pros (passive) and can easily hit 125dB from the listening position in my 3500 cubic foot room...so my 800watts per channel at 2 ohm stereo on the standard Captivators seems quite effective even a low power levels. BTW I love my pair and subjectively believe the Captivator is the single best subwoofer I've ever heard.


Now off of the Captivator and onto your request as I'm not sure the Captivators addresses your specific needs, nor in plurality of them --- your budget. You are saying you want 50% music, and you never said you wanted the earth to tremble under your feet. Typically most will say a sealed sub sounds the best for music, but what is your current opinion of your Klipsch unit. That will go a long way to helping us direct you further.


If you want two subs hooked up to your mains through line level for music you'd be using full band output and then crossing over the subs and mains using the the sub's plate amp. I think that idea would work and be valuable, but there is no need for a sub that digs low for left and right duty because music typically never goes below ~30hz. Are you happy with your Klipsch sub now? If you are happy with the sub now and just want smoother response across the room, and don't need deeper frequency reproduction, but rather just want more volume and more smoothness than you maybe a candidate just to buy two more Klipsch units and call it a day. The Klipsch 12D-RW unit is often $350 bucks and is a reasonable bang for buck in most instances. It won't dig super deep, but you've never made that a requirement. If you are unhappy with the depth of your current Klipsch unit then don't even consider buying more -- you won't be digging deeper, just smoothing out and going louder.

http://slickdeals.net/newsearch.php?...%5D=9&q=rw-12d


I think about 3 identical sealed subs may be your best scenario to fulfill this unique requirement --- assuming you stick with this idea. As to what sub I don't know. Your budget and requirements are atypical. This could get interesting. If the Epik Empire had high level inputs (speaker level inputs) I'd say up your budget and pick up 3 Epik Empires or for a lesser budget 3 Epik Legends (assuming the Legends preform like the Epik Empires). I really like the Epik Empires for music and overall they are a good sub though I subjectively don't think they hit that 'deep' in either instance I've heard them.


yes three subs -- One for left and right duties outside your mains, and then one where you like it for LFE duty (nearfield, behind your couch, front and center, corner loaded?) Some one will likely say bass frequencies are omnidirectional and you don't need to worry about stereo placement, but I don't believe that wide rooms cater well to a single sub. Even if it isn't the low frequencies I am hearing in my wide room, if I only have a single sub on one side of the soundstage my music and movies seem very heavily weighted to that side (wide room and hot sub LFE levels probably have everything to do witht this). I've found that two subs do the trick for me, - I just use the LFE outs, but I too have always toyed with the idea of running my The mains (L&R channels) full band and using subs - just never got there, and when I tried it with a Yamaha CV218V (not ideal because I just put the 2 18" box under the center channel and so lost the L/R seperation this idea would promote) I didn't prefer the sound over just running my LFE outs to the subwoofers I had at the time (the SVS PB13 Ultra pair) Matching subs will really be mostly required to make this work. It'll be interesting to see what others suggest.
 

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If aren't against buying used you can get a lot more sub for $1500. There have been several Seaton SubMersives, JTR Capivators, and SVS PB13 Ultras for sale here and on Audiogon that will fit within your budget. As an example, there were 2 two-week old Capivators (black oak none the less
) for sale here on AVS just a week ago. He was asking $1500 each so you could have gotten one for ~$1400.


Otherwise I can't recommend anything that fits your requirements that haven't already been mentioned.


If you really listen to 50% music, and are a critical listener, it is widely suggested that you stick with sealed subs (or subs that have a sealed mode such as the Hsu and Ultra).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses so far, everyone!


Archaea, you brought up some good points, so I'll address those first. I thought to look on the bottom of my Klipsch, and that's where the model number was hiding. It's a Klipsch Sub-10. For the music I listen to, it will not go loud enough without distorting, can get a little boomy, and doesn't have decent output as low as I'd like. I am much less critical about bass when watching movies, though, and I'd say this does an okay job for the kind of stuff I watch. Not great, but I don't think I'd be looking for a new sub if all I cared about was movies. Hopefully this helps clarify what I'm looking for in a subwoofer, and maybe that will change what people recommend.


In light of this and counsil's advice, it sounds like I want a sealed subwoofer for the best music performance. Would a pair of the Rythmik F12 or F12G (not sure what real difference there is between them) be a good option? I've had Rythmiks recommended as better overall for music, and a pair of those comes in at around $1600 shipped, which isn't bad. I'll go check out the Rythmik thread, but would be interested in hearing what you guys have to say about how they might work for my particular use case.


Thanks!
 

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I think two sealed 12's might leave you a bit wanting, output-wise. Sealed Rythmiks also have a different sound than most ported subs like yours and have seemed less "impactful" for HT to some people who made that switch.


Personally I think dual Empires would work well for you if you can fit them, sound quality close to the Rythmiks (I've heard both) and lots of output. If you can spend a little more the Cap or two sealed 15" Rythmik's would work also(check out the E15 if you want a smaller box). Rythmik also has an F25 (two 15" drivers in a single enclosure) which would be under your budget.


I like the idea of three subs, its what I settled on in a room a little larger than yours. The idea is to get sufficient output without any of the subs working too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, dpc716! I've been PM'ing with bearchan, who has both an F12 and F15. He said he hasn't noticed much difference between them, except the F15 is maybe just a little louder. I looked at the specs on the Rythmik website, and the only differences I saw was that the F15 was bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Their frequency response curves looked pretty much identical.


I'm not against spending an extra $100 per sub if the upgrade from the F12 to the F15 is worthwhile, but there doesn't seem to be much difference between them, at least as far as I can tell. I'll go see if the the Rythmik thread has anything to say about that.


I'll look into the Empires too, but it looks like they're on backorder now, and I'm hoping to wrap this up in the next week if I can, so they might not be an option for me.
 

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From the Rythmik site:

The main difference between our 12" and 15" subwoofers are size and output. Both have the same amount of power. Due to the larger radiating area of the 15" driver, 3 dB more output on continuous signals can be achieved. Dynamic output for short bursts can be as much as 5 dB greater. For bass frequencies, a difference of 5 dB will sound almost twice as loud*.
 
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