Advice on adding a sub to my system

Hi all,

After a year with my system, I am thinking of adding a sub (and a DAC, but that conversation is ongoing in another forum...) I have a system I love, almost: Jolida 302 tube amp, Quad 21l2 speakers, and a Music Hall CDP 25.2. Speaker wire is wireworld and silver copper interconnects for the cdp.

One piece of the sound I don't love is that I feel the sound is thin at times, especially at the lower end. Detail is good enough for me, and the soundstage is fine, I just wish the music had a little more presence and richness.

What would I need to get this given my current equipment. Is this just a limitation of my current speakers?

If I had a sub, I would really like to keep it under 500, but is this what I need?


It will be tough (impossible?) to find a sub for $500 that will do your system any favors. Stay clear of the typical HT subs in that price range, they are boomy and don't integrate well for music. My advice is hold off for now and save your pennies to get a used REL Storm III (~$1000) when your budget allows. Run it off of your amp's speaker outputs to the sub with the supplied REL hi-level cable. You will be much happier with the results.

In the mean time, try placing your speakers closer to the corners or walls and see if that helps fill in the lean-ness.

Good luck.
Thanks -- I have them around 2 feet off the wall as recommended. Are there any tubes that can use in the Jolida 302 that would improve the bass performance?

I don't know anything about tubes, but I will tell you that manufacturer's recommendations for speaker placement are baselines at best. They simply can't recommend best placement for the variety of rooms that their speakers will find themselves in.

Chances are that you have your speakers and/or listening chair in a bass null. Go to Radioshack and get an ANALOG (the one with a needle and old style analog dial) sound pressure meter and a test CD and take readings at different speaker and listening chair positions. If you have never done this, I GUARANTEE that you can improve your frequency linearity (and imaging) significantly and you will probably end up with both the speakers and your listening chair at very different positions than they are now.

There is no amount of equipment changes that can approach the positive benefit of finding the best placement positions for your speakers and listening chair in your room.
Keep an eye open for the HSU 1220/1225.I believe these offer a crossover/amp and a pair of subs.Many will debate the merits of stereo subs,but it is my preference and is more uniform in its'bass performance.