Adding a subwoofer

April 12, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

2 comments on “Adding a subwoofer”

  1. As far as I have understood the inherent problems of room modes the best way to minimize these bass-effects is to build an array or a swarm of multiple subwoofers. Another concept follows the idea to have two arrays of subwoofers (one at the front wall the other at the rear wall) and to control the rear array in that way that room modes are nulled at the listening spot. Thus I liked to see PS Audio non-full-range compact speakers (down to some 60 Hz a frequency that our ears couldn’t localize) and PS Audio active subwoofer with sophisticated DSP including measurement tools for correct setting of delays. I have an analogy here: for getting the best from the grooves of your vinyl records a lot of technical (!) fine tuning (azimuth, VTA, tracking force, anti-skating force and impedance setting etc) is mandatory. A similar technical set-up procedure should be available for subwoofers. Those who want the given listening room acoustics and the more or less unwanted reflections of the sound waves to play the major role might however still endlessly move their speakers and subwoofers.

  2. In response to Paul from San Jose who asked whether he should add a subwoofer to a system with KEF R11 speakers…a resounding Yes! For all the reasons Paul outlined in the video. I can relate because I also use KEF R11’s (with a PSA front end of Regenerator, PST, and Directstream into a custom-built high current amp). The sub is powered and gets its signal from the speaker terminals of the amp. In my very small room (1460ft3; nearfield) and likely with some room gain, the KEF’s deliver 30Hz with 26Hz a few dB down. With hi-fi taste and a mid-fi pocket I looked around and settled on an SVS SB-1000 Pro sub that with its app controls and some very precise placement measurements for KEF’s and sub from [email protected] and a tube trap delivers at least 25Hz (Audio Control SA-3052) of gorgeous, precise bass. I set the crossover between 45-50Hz. When you tidy up the bass it ‘releases’ the mids and highs. Now, I don’t want to listen without the sub – one of the best audio decisions I’ve ever made. Go for it.

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