Eh hem!...Subwoofers... What do ya know?

Subwoofers are a thing.  A thing to love.  A thing to avoid.  A misunderstood thing.  

What are your opinions on subwoofers?  What did you learn and how did you learn it? 


The CLSII are a new experience for me. Hard to describe but the notes just seem to have so much precense and air. When I first got them and started playing them my wife and daughters came out and sat and listened, they were wowed. My current speakers are the Vandy 5a, Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III HSC and a recently aquired pair of Mezzo Utopias but the CLS panels are what made them come out and listen. The Vandys have terrific bass and great detail but they dont do well with rock. When I play jazz or blues they are great. As to the power, my main system is comprised of:
Musical Fidelity M6PRE
Musical Fidelity M6PRX amp
Denon DP80 in custom plinth with 12in Jelco and Ortophon 2M Black
Mytek Brooklyn Dac +
Nuc running Roon
Rega Apollo as a transport

I am running the Utopias in a second system with a Levinson 27 and an audible illusions pre
Everytime i hear a rig with a sub for 2 channel, i can HEAR the subwoofer, its not a balanced / natural tone to my ears. I know this can be tweaked but i have yet to hear one that i liked. Golden Ear, Martin Logan and other speakers that have self powered subs do a better job at integration than an external unit but i still always HEAR a sub in the room. I do have a sub for cinema but when listening two channel i prefer a passive speaker configuration.

I’ve always been able to hear where they are . And thats not good . Its the room and the placement  and its the equalization. I am happiest I’ve ever been after duke and tim shed some light on dukes swarm . Its incredible. What it did to my mains and the whole room is beautiful. Unfortunately not everyone  is going to have room for 4+ subs.   A single high dollar sub would cost as much but not be able to compete sound wise. 
Everytime i hear a rig with a sub for 2 channel, i can HEAR the subwoofer, its not a balanced / natural tone to my ears.

And this is the problem for me, who bats for team sub. Most subwoofers are not integrated well.

When they are, they are magic, when not, they call attention to themselves.

When speakers and subs are done correctly with moderate room treatment and EQ they all disappear. The benefit of the sub seems to improve the performance of everything, not just percussion and movies, and extend the dynamic range apparently to infinity.

So, what to advise a music lover who just wants good sound?  That is the question.  Get a big enough speaker, and you end up with the same issues. Get naive or poor room EQ, with poor room acoustics, and you end up with a frankenspeaker effect.


What a bunch of total bass freaks!

My magnepan 3.6’s drop off at 30 Hz and sound great.

Bass quality has a lot to do about power amp quality. You can not be a cheapskate.

How much musical info is below 30 anyway?

To hear sound below 30 you need way too much volume. That would disturb my neighbors below.

And the peaks, valleys, and echo slap are too much to deal with.

Multiple (4 or 5) subwoofers ruin the bass sounstage.