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Old 03-31-2010   #72
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 64
Talking Re: Stereo subs - Do they rock or is it overkill?

Originally Posted by Dr.Venkmann View Post
Unless you are fortunate enough to own truly full range speakers you should acquire a quality sub as you are missing a great deal of foundational music information if you do not. I have owned several subs and have settled on the Sunfire Junior MkII as the one for my 15 x 20 living room. Sub(s) take some care and precision to integrate perfectly into the sound field and response of your main speakers but are indispensable if your music runs the gamut down to the final audible octave of 20Hz -- and a surprising amount of orchestral, electronic, new age and rock does have information in that range.

There is also a guttural impact to these bass notes that is missed entirely or distorted by even some so-called full range speakers that may grouse and grumble mightily trying to achieve those notes -- and may do so -- but in their efforts can over-power the room with bass the next ocatve or two upwards giving boominess we all have heard too often at Visions etc.

There is no better cost-effective measure to audibly improve your sound system that to insert a sub. Equal money spent on amps, preamps and sources -- let alone snake-oil high cost cables and cords -- will not improve your sound one iota in comparison. These things may make your system sound different but not better. The sub will make it better. So If your source is capable of grabbing 20Hz and feeding it into your system, you owe it to yourself to hear it and the sophisticated textures it will bring to your collection of music.

Best wishes,
Dr.Venkmann (Ret)
Yes, it always amazes me how many so-called "audiophiles" completely lose their perspective when establishing their priorities.
While they no doubt have heard from credible sources, and know deep in their pea pickin' hearts that speakers are by far the place to concentrate the quest for quality, and that does include subwoofers. Yet they will re-gurgitate the marketing hype (con job) on rip off cables. Subwoofers are especially useful as augmentation for so many of today's speakers, many of which have relatively small woofers, and also turn out to be necessary for full impact of movie sound tracks, the special effects of which tend to be in the very low bass region, typically even lower than most musical instruments. Some effects have lower and louder bass than the largest pipe organs! Remember the Tyrannesaurus Rex in "Jurassic Park"!! While my speakers have relatively large (12") woofers, I also have 18" subwoofers. With around 5,000 watts total (courtesy of my old friend, Bob Carver), I and my friends are provided a visceral experience with the right movies. Yet they are NOT boomy, they are there when needed. Like when I show "Jurassic park"! I have been exhorting true audiophiles to find their way in the mental maze of BS, get their head screwed back on after being twisted by marketing hype of profiteers, consider audio's true priorities, and spend the money on speakers that they would otherwise waste lining the pockets of the con artists who are appealing to their insecurities, one-upmanship, and elitism. Perspective and priorities, and skepticism.
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