I'm looking to purchase a subwoofer to augment my Sonus faber Domus Grand piano speekers. My room is about 8'h x 14 x 18 or 2000 cubic feet. My listening is pretty much exclussive to music, and my tastes range from jazz to rock to orchestral to - some - folk. I would prefer a smallish unit. My budget can range up to about $2000. I'm auditioning the REL305, and have followed their setup, and while the bass is okay, I hear a lot of distortion at higher volumes. Any suggestions for a better sub for music?
hmmm.... I would look around the net to see what people are saying and what deals you can find. For my taste I would have to say the MPS Subwoofer.
The key to a good subwoofer experience is not just getting a good subwoofer, but placement and/or equalization can make a passable one sound OK and a good one sound bad.
SVS SB12-Plus for $700-800 is my recommendation.
Your speakers start at 30HZ, which is pretty low by any standard. Almost no music really gets down much below that level. However, given that you seem to want more, maybe it's the room itself that needs help? Bass traps and such might be more what you need? You could have plenty of energy, but just too much bouncing around and cancelling itself out.
If you go with a sub, I'd try and find one that has the lowest possible crossover point. Many I've seen crossover at around 60 or even 85HZ, which would not be ideal for you. I assume you've already set your demo sub as low as it can crossover. Also, one with a dedicated microphone and setup system would be important to dial it into such a layout.
I WISH I "needed" subs to "fill in" below 30HZ heheh! Maybe some day...
Something to consider when adding a sub.
If you cross over a sub at a higher level than the main speakers are capable of, you must attenuate or eliminate the signal to mains in that region, otherwise, you will be doubling the reproduction of sound the that region.
For example, let us say your sub begins generating sound from 90 Hz down to 25 Hz. And your mains are receiving the full range source signal and are generating sound from 4KHz to 35 Hz. You are now generating the source signal from 90 Hz to 35Hz twice. Once with your sub and again with your mains.
This is generally not considered a good thing for the realistic reproduction of sound/music.
Many subs are equipped with xo's which are adjustable and are used to match the point the where the mains stop reproduction of the source signal and sub begins to take over.
In many cases, depending on the capabilities of the mains, it is advantageous to use the sub up to 100 Hz, as this will 'relieve' your mains of the work required to reproduce the low level sound, and thus improve their performance in the mid and upper frequencies, delivering an overall higher quality reproduction the the music from your speakers.
Last night I turned down the cross-over to about 27hz, and also lowered the volume or gain, that really helped. Then I repositioned the speakers: I bit further apart, one closer to the corner, a bit of toe-in and that also gave an improvement in base and soundstage. Okay now for the embarassing part; I had the interconnects between the CD player and integrated amp "pointed" in the wrong direction. Flipping them 180 also improved the sound - but maybe not the bass. . So then I turned off the REL and the difference with and without was not very important. I think I'll slow down on this subwoofer and learn to use/position etc. my new system before dropping lots of money on something that may not be necessary.
You're in luck! The current issue of Stereophile includes the current "Recommended Components" listings.