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A Borrowed Coat
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Joined: Dec 24 2011 - 8:10am
B&W 685; sub or no sub?

I have just purchased a pair of B&W 685s (which are positioned on B&W Stands), a Pro-Ject 1.2 Turntable with a Blue Point #2 cartridge, and a Marantz PM5004 about 2 weeks ago.

They are used in a room approximately 14' x 14' with a 9 to 10' foot ceiling.

I am really enjoying the set-up so far but the one thing that seems to be lacking is sufficient punch at the low-end.

Should I buy a single or two ASW 610s or ASW 608s to compliment my 685s?

I don't listen to a lot of bass heavy music and when I am listening to music that really doesn't dip into the lower hz range (Iron & Wine) there is no problem. Yet, for other music I would like to hear the bass drum hit just a little more or for it to have more presence. Right now it sounds like I am listening to a great quality speaker but I don't feel or experience it quiet as I would like.

I know bass is not good sound; I think my Etymotic Hf5 canalphones sound pretty great.

Any suggestions, tips or general feedback about the setup?

*I am listening to a mix of vinyl, cds, and eventually a DAC for WAV/Apple Lossless/high bit rate AAC files.

bierfeldt
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Congratulations on your new system

The fact you think the bass is a little lacking on those 685's is not a shock.  When you look at the specs, the frequency response only goes down to 49hz which is going to miss the lower range of a bass drum. 

Both the 608 or the 610 are going to give you the frequency response you are looking for.  Which one you choose is going to be driven entirely by your personal preference.  I personally just bought a set of the B&W M-1's and passed on the B&W subs.  I ended up getting a Mirage Omni CM-08.  It was a little less expensive and frankly, I thought it sounded more....musical.  Personal preference though.  Listen to several in your price range and pick the one you think blends best with those 685s.  Not sure where you bought the 685's but BestBuy dislays all the equipment your mentioned in the store near me and has probably a dozen other subs to listen too. 

Regarding one sub or two, I have looked into this extensively.  It really depends on your room.  I find that depending on the listening location, the bass can get a little washed out.  My room is 11x15 and it is a corner chair that is the problem.  I am thinking about getting a second one but need to get a better pre/amp amp or integrated amp first and am still shopping.  That being said, low frequency waves are not really directional so it is not critical to get a second sub if you are getting good sound from all of your listening locations.  Start with one and if you want a second you can always add it.   

Good luck. 

commsysman
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Bass

Almost NO speaker for under $5000 can deliver great midrange quality and get the low end right. One of the few that can is the KEF Q900, which is pretty darn good.

But , since you have very good speakers that only go down to around 55 Hz, the perfect answer for your situation is a good subwoofer. Those speakers have no real bass, and a lot of music is going to cry out for some help with the bass.

I recommend the one I have, which is very very clean and linear from 30 to 60 Hz and has an extremely powerful amplifier; the NHT B12D, which normally runs $699. It is more than adequate for my room, which is larger than yours. The B & W subwoofers you mentioned are undersized and seriously overpriced IMO; not what you need.

The B12D will give your music the foundation it needs by filling in that gap between 30 and 55 hz and provide a relaxing natural bass sound when the music needs it. Highly recommended.

 

FYI...for reference...I am using the B12D with Gallo Acoustics CL-3 speakers and driving the system with an Audio Research LS-26 preamp and Bryston 3B-SST2 amplifier.

 

 

 

A Borrowed Coat wrote:

I have just purchased a pair of B&W 685s (which are positioned on B&W Stands), a Pro-Ject 1.2 Turntable with a Blue Point #2 cartridge, and a Marantz PM5004 about 2 weeks ago. They are used in a room approximately 14' x 14' with a 9 to 10' foot ceiling. I am really enjoying the set-up so far but the one thing that seems to be lacking is sufficient punch at the low-end. Should I buy a single or two ASW 610s or ASW 608s to compliment my 685s? I don't listen to a lot of bass heavy music and when I am listening to music that really doesn't dip into the lower hz range (Iron & Wine) there is no problem. Yet, for other music I would like to hear the bass drum hit just a little more or for it to have more presence. Right now it sounds like I am listening to a great quality speaker but I don't feel or experience it quiet as I would like. I know bass is not good sound; I think my Etymotic Hf5 canalphones sound pretty great. Any suggestions, tips or general feedback about the setup? *I am listening to a mix of vinyl, cds, and eventually a DAC for WAV/Apple Lossless/high bit rate AAC files.

A Borrowed Coat
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Joined: Dec 24 2011 - 8:10am
Connection

Looking at the NHT-B series they seem to be good subs. Yet, I am not sure they could be connected to my Marantz PM5004 as it does not have a sub out or audio out on it (except for the recorder 1 & 2).

I am willing to look at other subs; the B&W ASW seemed to be the easiest to configure for my system however modest it may be. That being said I am not just looking for the easiest way out but even if I were to upgrade my amp I would still upgrade within the Marantz line e.g. PM6004, PM8004 which still have no sub outs or line outs as far as I can tell.

For around the price of 1 NHT-B12 I can get 2 B&W ASW610 or 2 B&W ASW608. Still, if the NHT can be configured for my system and is better than having a sub for each speaker then I am more than happy to take the recommendation.
 

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