Matching Subwoofer to Speakers?

Philosophil

Member
2013-09-16 6:58 pm
I'm considering either buying or building a subwoofer, but have little experience with such things. I'm used to owning more traditional floor standing speakers that have relatively good bass extension as they are. In my secondary systems, for example, I have a pair of JBL L5's in one (home theater) and a pair of Boston Acoustics A400's in another (PS4). I enjoy both as they are and haven't felt the need to add a subwoofer to either system.

In my main audio system, however (living room), I have a pair of JBL LSR32 monitors that I absolutely love (easily the best speakers I've owned to date), but I'm wondering if they might benefit from some bass supplementation. If I did add a subwoofer, should I try to match the sensitivity level of the JBL's, or is that less important in subwoofers? Also, are there any other specs I should be conscious of when trying to match a sub to the JBL's?

Thanks (and apologies for the naive nature of my questions :)).
 
You don't need to match sensitivity because subs have built-in amps- I'd recommend Rythmik's servo subs for matching the LSR32s, which are reputedly fantastic speakers. Better still is to use multiples- there's a LOT on the web about multisub, but the key is that it smooths bass performance, in addition to allowing for exceptionally clean performance since each unit needs to do less work. You can adjust the per-sub cost downwards if you go this route, I've recommended the inexpensive Dayton pre-built subs with a distribution amp as an inexpensive way to implement this (can be done for <$600 all in with 10"s or 12"s and 3-4 subs)
 

Philosophil

Member
2013-09-16 6:58 pm
Thanks, badman. That was helpful and much appreciated. The Rythmik's sound interesting, but with the low Canadian dollar the price would be significantly higher on this side of the border.

Does anyone have experience with the subwoofer kits that are available at Creative Sound Solutions?

Also, I have an older set of Sound Dynamics speakers with blown tweeters. I don't have the specs on any of the drivers, but they are three way speakers with 12" woofers. Would I be able to use those 12" woofers as drivers in a subwoofer, either passive or active (perhaps a sealed box with a plate amplifier), or would I be better off with a dedicated kit?
 
Anyone used/using the Scanspeak 13" Sub woofer revelator 32W/4878 with a 3" voice coil ?

The last sub I built was probably the best sounding, during early 1970's; using a Westrex 15" Woofer with a 3" coil, for cinema; a unit purposely for a large folded horn. The mice had it's cone. At that time it was rated only 60 Watts but for a horn, the acoustical output was a magnitude above today's smaller cabinets.
I'm rather taken to large voice coils for sub woofers, the modern ones have outstanding power handling. Anyone building such ?

rich
 
I have not but am a big fan of ss having them in full range factory speakers. Nothing to subwoofre level.

The SS13 shes real looker https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.c.../scan-speak-32w/4878t-revelator-13-subwoofer/

Some will argue you can obtain similar performance elsewhere for a fraction of its cost

Correct; European stuff is generally more pricy; however I'm a firm believer in large voice coils do give a better more dynamic bass than smaller ones. The power rating is a real plus. One isn't going to zap them without a fight. There is a track by Emerson Lake Palmer which does show up crummy bass units, thinking of that particular number.

richy
 

wintermute

Administrator
Paid Member
2003-08-03 11:43 am
Sydney
Also, I have an older set of Sound Dynamics speakers with blown tweeters. I don't have the specs on any of the drivers, but they are three way speakers with 12" woofers. Would I be able to use those 12" woofers as drivers in a subwoofer, either passive or active (perhaps a sealed box with a plate amplifier), or would I be better off with a dedicated kit?

That depends on how deep you want to dive into this :D If you are willing to learn how to measure the T/S parameters, and then to model an enclosure, you can find out at least to a degree if these drivers will be suitable. It probably wouldn't hurt to just have a listen to them with the blown tweeters in your room and see if you like the sound of the bass as is. If you do, then you probably can't go too wrong... if you don't, then you need to work out is it the drivers or the implementation...

The advantage of going with a kit is that it has (hopefully) been well designed and sorted and you can just build and use. Not as much of a challenge but maybe the best if this is your first foray into speaker building.

Tony.
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Subwoofers are the devil's third favorite child. :D

They can do wonders, and lead you down the road to madness. The biggest problems are placement and room tuning. The best place may not be the most aesthetically pleasant, and properly tuning the room and adjusting the bass EQ is something no one wants to do.

Subwoofers are a lot crankier and fussier than stand alone speakers due to the depth of frequencies they excite. Go down low enough and a room will ring much like a bell. You end up with muddy, horrible sounding limp bass without some sort of bass traps already in place.

With the traps, adding a subwoofer and correcting it's foibles via room correction or EQ are a breeze.

We just had a demo here for the San Francisco Audiophile Society. I don't speak for them but it was really easy to hear the difference with and without bass traps. Also moving the couch a foot made a large difference in overall bass balance.

The point is, if you are serious about adding bass, be aware you'll need to look into all of this, or you may find a partial solution worse than no solution.

Best of luck,


Erik

I'm considering either buying or building a subwoofer, but have little experience with such things. I'm used to owning more traditional floor standing speakers that have relatively good bass extension as they are. In my secondary systems, for example, I have a pair of JBL L5's in one (home theater) and a pair of Boston Acoustics A400's in another (PS4). I enjoy both as they are and haven't felt the need to add a subwoofer to either system.

In my main audio system, however (living room), I have a pair of JBL LSR32 monitors that I absolutely love (easily the best speakers I've owned to date), but I'm wondering if they might benefit from some bass supplementation. If I did add a subwoofer, should I try to match the sensitivity level of the JBL's, or is that less important in subwoofers? Also, are there any other specs I should be conscious of when trying to match a sub to the JBL's?

Thanks (and apologies for the naive nature of my questions :)).
 
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