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?


I agree with dlcockrum above - Finding the best placement positions for your speakers and listening position is the no-brainer place to start. It is by far the least expensive solution suggested and may have the greatest benefit. If this doesn't fully solve your problem, it should at least help it and make it that much easier to solve with one of the other suggestions above.

If you are indeed sitting in a null, a sub isn't really going to help you, just compound the problem. I was amazed in my own system using the meter how I could make my music sound so much better just by moving speakers and listening position a matter of inches. There are many test CD's sold for this specific purpose and they have simple instructions on how to test your room. You might actually solve your problem in 5 or 10 minutes, or at least go a long way towards doing so. Good luck.
I'm sure you can find a good sub at or below $500. Successfully integrating a single sub by ear is another matter. I've spent a good portion of the last two years fine tuning subs in my system and, IMHO, a sub controller is virtually essential. A stand alone device (like my Velodyne SMS) will start at app. $450, then add the cost of a sub. You could also use an HT receiver with Audyssey which might get you to the same place for a bit less money, but I don't know if that would appeal to many folks on this site.

So last night, I decided to double check my wiring and while the speakers were not out of phase, I did have the bired spades, with the bottom two spades attached to the tweeter. Argh.... Anyway, from some listening last night, the bass was definitely more pronounced, even when played at low volumes.

I have a lot to learn -- I knew that black spade connected to black output, red to red, but I did not think it mattered which set of spades went to the speakers as long as one of the cables went to the tweeter and one to the midrange/woofer...

Bass is still not what I would like in the long run, but definitely improving....
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Here is what happened -- I have the Jolida 302 amp bi-wired to the quads with Wireworld oasis speaker wires that have 2 connections on the amp end and 8 on the speaker end. With the speaker cables approaching the speakers, I accidentally inverted the connections and thus connected the top cable (+ and -) to the low frequency terminals and the bottom cable to the high frequency terminals.

Does that make sense? When I first set up the system, I guess I did notice that I was connecting the cable upside down, and that I had the high and the low frequency connections reversed. In your opinion, would that account for weaker base?