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King99
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Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

Hi,

I am planning to add a subwoofer to my two channel system, which features two small bookshelf speakers. I'm looking to spend around $600. It's use will be strictly for my dedicated two-channel audio system so I want something suited to this, not home theatre. Also, I'm running an integrated amp. How would I connect the subwoofer? Thanks!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

It would depend on the subwoofer. You can use high level "speaker" inputs or the low level "line" input(s).

jackfish
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

SVS PB12-NSD or HSU VTF-3 MK3
Two very musical subs that can be integrated into a variety of systems.

King99
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

Thanks! My integrated amp doesn't have a low level line input. It does have inputs for a second set of speakers though. Would I connect speaker wire from this second set of speaker inputs in the amp to the high level "speaker" inputs in the sub?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

Your integrated amplifier has inputs for speakers? Are you certain?

jackfish
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

King99, I know what you mean. You would run speaker wire from the 'B' speaker outputs on your integrated amplifier to the speaker level inputs on either the SVS or HSU subwoofer. Should work great!

What bookshelf speakers and integrated amp do you have?

King99
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

Yes, that's what I meant. Thanks! I'm currently running an Exposure 2010S integrated with Tetra 120U bookshelves. Beautiful mid-range, but it's missing some good bass to make it perfect.

bifcake
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves


Quote:
King99, I know what you mean. You would run speaker wire from the 'B' speaker outputs on your integrated amplifier to the speaker level inputs on either the SVS or HSU subwoofer. Should work great!

What bookshelf speakers and integrated amp do you have?

I don't think I agree with that. The A speaker outputs on the integrated will drive the bookshelves full range, rather than utilizing the crossover on the sub. This will lead to less than optimal integration. Seems to me that only the A speaker outputs should be used. The cable should lead to the sub's speaker level inputs, set the crossover to the appropriate value and lead the cables from the sub's speaker level output to the bookshelves.

This setup will allow you to utilize the sub's crossover to integrate your satellites' frequency response to blend with the sub.

jackfish
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

That's why I asked what the bookshelf speakers were. Depending on the low frequency extension of the bookshelves it is OK to run them at their full range and set the sub crossover to a level that accommodates that. I have Rock Solid monitors driven full range that integrate very well with a sub that has a cutoff that picks up where the monitor's low end drops off.

The Tetras are beautiful loudspeakers and could be considered to run full range off the 'b' speaker outputs with either the SVS or HSU set to crossover at 50 Hz. Try it both ways, but I bet one won't be able to tell the difference.

Welshsox
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

Jackfish

How do you feel that your bookshelves and sub compare to floorstanders in terms of dynamics ?

I can see that bookshelves have execellent mids and highs but do lack power and presence, does the sub really make up for that ?

Alan

jackfish
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

My B&W Rock Solid monitors are actually mounted on the walls in my exercise room. Their rated frequency response is 75Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB and are reported to have a bass extension to 50 Hz when wall mounted. They will also take a lot of power, being rated for 150 watts RMS and sensitivity is 90 dB. I'm driving them with a vintage 100 wpc receiver. Alone they are quite astounding speakers, producing very clean highs, realistic midrange and bass that is unheard of in such a small package. When cranked you can feel the air being pushed by the port 8 feet away. I now have an AR S112PS subwoofer which has a 120 watt amplifier, is set to crossover at 80 Hz, can deliver bass down to 20 Hz and the combination works very well. When I first got the Rock Solids guests would comment about the unbelievable bass they produced, now with the sub the system is reinforced and should deliver 30Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB. Its not my primary listening system, but helps keep me motivated while I'm sweating to the oldies.

Elk
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Re: Advice on subwoofers for small bookshelves

It depends on which two-way speakers and which floorstanders are being compared.

Two-ways can have lots of power and punch, and plenty of floorstanders are wimpy.

I know this doesn't help much in a way.

Everything else being equal, two-ways offer greater clarity and presence to an equivalently priced floorstander, which will tend to have more "power" as they have another driver.

Throw a sub into the mix and overall things are probably pretty equal if the same money is spent. I personally would tend toward a floorstander rather than a two-way/sub combination as I think one gets a bigger bang for the buck. I also don't like the idea of using a sub for increased punch/dynamics - I think of a sub's purpose as increasing frequency response - although this alone provides more energy of course.

As you like the sound of a very powerful amp, I would look for a efficent full-range floorstander that can provide the oomph you seek.

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