Subwoofers: are they really necessary for home audio?

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I have two speakers for music listening and the give me a good bass, do I really need a subwoofer, or as I read around here, multiple subs to get a really good bass?

Anyone has a good experience with subs listening to vinyl?
I think the sound very strange... To me they are more usefull for movies, not music, but maybe I'm wrong...
 
Depends what you listen to, and how capable your mains are of strong clean LF as low as the program material that needs it. Listen to string quartets, girl and guitar acoustic or most jazz, most of the time and you probably would see little benefit from adding subs. Listen to NIN at volume, and yes, they add a great dimension.

I have a friend with a pair of Maelstrom 18" units in his 2ch system and it sounds awesome. I'm personally going with 6, but mine is combined 2ch/HT.

I find that people who say subs sound weird (or choose your own adjective) probably haven't heard a well integrated sub/subs.
 
To provide some context here, the OP has another active thread asking for help with room mode problems where lots of people are suggesting distributed subwoofers to stop that. Murillollirum, it seems strange to say that they "give me a good bass" when you've already told us that you have a bass problem.
 
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Your saying they sound strange suggests that you've experienced 'thumpers'. As you have implied, this is not hifi.

In the hope I can add a little perspective, I don't believe you need to 'hear' the subs as such. They don't even need to be as large as your mains. Eg: I also have 15" mains woofers although I use these for their midrange properties. I use 12" subs and they are not 'necessarily' louder than the mains for what it's worth.

Their effect is as important at low levels as it is at high levels and it isn't 'necessarily' about bass extension and furthermore, multiple subs is not the only method of getting good bass... but it is practical and within the reach of most as well as being effective. It's all about smoothing over the room so to speak.
 
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Balerit, I'm sure I can relate to the subs you're referring to and I totally agree. It sometimes seems a shame that the room augmenting woofers that some of us use are referred to as 'subs', but there you go. I'd have to assert that they're a completely different animal.
 
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TQWPs sounds good (I used to run Metronomes with FE108ESigmas). I have MLTLs in my garage and listen to them as I build my latest waveguides. Most satisfying.

I listen to my fair share of older rock. I think the thing I most like about distributed woofers is the smooth response. They don't boom, but each bass note is reasonably equal to the next. This way I don't have to cringe when a particular bass note is coming. I also don't need to be disappointed when a bass note should hit but fails to show. It's pretty much all there and hits as hard as it should, but nothing particularly stands out. I've always wanted this but have never been able to achieve it until I started using distributed woofers..
 
I don't think a really good sub should rattle the windows, just reproduce LVF when it is part of the music. Otherwise, you should not even hear the subs.

I agree, when rock music was recorded there was no such thing as subwoofers and therefor no need to go low. I guess with the advent of movie surround sound they developed such systems for movie theaters. I remember watching The Battle of Midway circa 1975/6 in London that had this earth shattering surround sound that shook the whole building.
 
There is no place for subwoofers in hi-fi. They seem to be a fad from car nuts with distorting subs.

this is wrong , subwoofers are a good way to extend bass response of your system and they avoid the use of big cabinets , it´s up to you to mesure system response and find the best way to use it (them).

Some people are stupid and use subwoofers at extreme levels
 
If the listeneing room has not got lots of soft furnishing and a thick carpet, adding more than one loudspeaker that produces low frequencies adds to the listening problem because one experiences troughs and peaks of intensity as one moves around the room. That is caused by phasing errors from more than one sound source.
A rock band produces sub sonics. A bass drum produces sub sonics as do bass rigs. So, yes we do need a sub unit or a good imagination!
 
If the listeneing room has not got lots of soft furnishing and a thick carpet, adding more than one loudspeaker that produces low frequencies adds to the listening problem because one experiences troughs and peaks of intensity as one moves around the room. That is caused by phasing errors from more than one sound source.

It's caused by room modes. "soft furnishing and a thick carpet" does nothing substantial at frequencies <100Hz.
 
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