Maggies and subwoofer integration

I'm running a Schiit Saga+ into a B@K EX 422 Sonata, into MG-1 maggies. Wanted to add a subwoofer, and was wondering if by just using the second output on the Saga+ to the line level input of the Velodyne Sub I have, would just be adding bass heft to the MG-1's, as there's no built in crossover in the Saga+?

I would optimally want the Sub to takeover from around 60HZ, and aleviate the bass duties of the maggies.

Would it be a waste of time and no real benefit? Would running the signal from the B@K directly to the subwoofer be any different regarding the delineation of the frequency duties?

Thanks in advance for your help. 


You want to go as high as you can for crossover point, 80 Hz is even better. The more you can relieve the main speakers the less distortion.

Yes, you can run full range to the sub, so either output will work but also, you can use a single cap to create a high pass to your Maggies which would be beneficial and easy to do.  Just need to know the amp input impedance.

Make sure your sub is fast enough for the Maggies. I use a KEF KC62 sub with my LRS+. I have the crossover at 50 Hz. 

The only issue I have ever seen with "speed" is not "speed" but bad room integration.  Unfortunately we get fooled into thinking the specs tell us anything about how the system is performing in room, and it's a hot mess when actually installed.

Measurements, bass traps and EQ on the subs are the tools you need. I can make any 15" sub with decent output sound fast enough.

Thanks for your replies, but I'm still curious about the benefit of adding a sub if it's just augmenting the full range, and not taking over bass duties entirely off the maggies. 

I have yet to hear a speaker that doesn't benefit from subwoofers. Subwoofers add width to the soundstage. It's the foundation of the sound for me.

A sub should work out fine once you get it adjusted for the situation.  Every room and setup is different, so you'll want to experiment with placement, gain levels, low pass levels, and polarity.  I'd hesitate to go any higher than 80hz as a low pass set point ...that's about the range where most male vocals start.  The higher you go, the more vocal range that the sub will be covering (usually not ideal), and the easier it will be to locate the sub as a source.  

My subwoofer is set at 50hz to cover just the lowest octave or so.  Its set at very low gain levels, and the polarity is reversed.  It just augments the bass of the main woofers that run ~ 30hz to works really well in my situation.  

I'm running 2 Rel T/7x subs with a pair of 1.7i Maggie's. Both sets of speakers are powered directly from my PS Audio BHK 250 Amp. The RELS are fast enough to keep up with the Maggie's & integrate seamlessly. One sub worked well, but using two made a huge improvement. 

Thanks guys. Definitely a subwoofer adds and enhances the soundstsge. I'll probably set it to 50-60HZ and low gain as possible. Don't want it bloated and boomy. Plus 11x13 room in an apartment. 

@erik_squires Couldn't agree more about 'speed' in subwoofers. Speed=bandwidth and subwoofer bandwidth requirements are low. What does matter is room integration, but also the ability of the woofer to stop. Brakes, if you will. Mistuned subwoofers ring -they continue on after the signal stops. We know this as 'boom', lack of control. In filter theory this is 'Q' or the quality of the filter. A Q of .707 is maximally flat, a Q of 1 gives a 3dB peak about an octave above the F3. To the ear,  a system tuned with a Q of about .8-.9 sounds about right. REL T-series woofers are tuned with a lower Q than most, thus they sound tighter and 'quicker' because of the lack of overhanging resonance, and better in music applications.  Home Theater oriented subwoofers tend to have a higher Q which serves movie sound effects better. Really cheap Home Theater subwoofers are all boom because that's easy to do and initially impressive. But none are good for anything if the room acoustics are ignored.

Thanks guys. Definitely a subwoofer adds and enhances the soundstsge. I’ll probably set it to 50-60HZ and low gain as possible.


THe subwoofer only works if it’s integrated well, and setting it as low as possible is just proof it’s not integrated well. Don’t walk on eggshells for fear of ruining your main speaker sound. Do it right. Measure, EQ and get your bass to a reasonable level, often 3db higher than your mains with a descening slope from 16Hz to 80 Hz about 1-2 db per octave.

Go for broke and don't stop until it sounds GLORIOUS.  Don't settle for a small incremental improvement.

I don't have the option to set slopes with my system. No external crossover or DSP. I'll be just adding the subwoofer via the Schiit Saga+ extra output, and try to integrate as best as possible with the maggies. Possibly bass traps if needed or sound dampening in the future. . 

another strong vote for rel sub pairs, using the high level (speaker) connection -- wonderful match easy to integrate

but in a small 11x13 room, a single rel should work fine

parenthetically, i recently tried (due to the all the youtube talking heads' groundswell) a pair of svs micro 3000 subs... with their fancy cellphone control app etc etc... these subs only use preamp level inputs, there is no option for a speaker level connection -- this experiment lasted all but 48 hrs, the cute lil svs's were unceremoniously kicked to the curb, back in went my rels  

My understanding is that the more distributed bass sources you have, the smoother the in-room bass.

To a first approximation, a dipole can be thought of as two monopolar bass sources 180 degrees apart in phase, and separated by a path length. Thus, to a first approximation, two dipoles are comparable to having four monopolar sources, distributed in phase as well as spatially.

Therefore, imo, a single monopolar bass source - a single subwoofer - is unlikely to be as smooth in-room as two dipoles. I think the discontinuity is likely to be audible.

Imo you need more than one subwoofer in order to approximate the in-room bass smoothness of two dipoles. Two subs intelligently distributed are approximately twice as smooth in-room as one, and four subs intelligently distributed are roughly twice as smooth in-room as two. Imo they do not have to all be identical.


dealer/manufacturer and distributed multi-sub advocate

Never but never use a sub with magnepan i have all mine live magnepan the mg20 the 3.7 the lrs and now the 1.7i. magnepan have the most natural instrumental low you can imagine. The most people wants a pump low and thats full the complete room thats the most wrong low you can get. There is a video at youtube from wendell he explains exact what bass must shoot be. The amp is the most important equipment with magnepan there it go's wrong in the most times.

What's the worst speaker or stereo set-up you've ever seen? Intergrate a subwoofer with maggies ;)

I’ll counter that 90% of the time I’ve heard subwoofers they were not well integrated, so of course I’m not surprised that adding a subwoofer to a maggie by most sounds bad.

The issue IMHO is the TCO (total cost of ownership) of a sub is a lot higher than expected. Placement, measurement and EQ as well as acoustic treatments are often all needed to get to done. Most consumers want to drop the subwoofer in a convenient place and set the volume and call it a day.

I will say though, that subwoofers are often the last step on a list, not the first, that audiophiles should consider. Make sure your room is as well treated as you can stand. Often this tilts the balance towards the bass and makes a lot of speakers sound much larger. THEN if you still want a sub go get one. You’ll be in a much better place. Be prepared to get bass traps in the corners or soffits, and have a flexible EQ solution for the sub, whether built in or by using a miniDSP.

I can’t repeat enough that good room treatment will make most speakers sound much larger and more dynamic.



I completely agree that careful integration seems to be the exception. 

Also, I am always skeptical about integrating subwoofers with planar speakers. The planar speakers are so fast and most subwoofers are so slow. It would be really challenging to do it well. Doesn’t Didn’t) someone offer planar sun woofers? 

The planar speakers are so fast and most subwoofers are so slow. '

My HSU subwoofer is as fast as any planar, when well integrated.  When poorly integrated it's a hot mess and not worth the electric bill.

I have the 1.7i in my main system but use a sub in my 2.1 bedroom system (mainly used for home theater) with the LRS+.

I would suggest trying a sub which allows you to pick a slope (I use 24 db/octave) and has variable phase (I found 90 degrees works best in my room).  
The funny thing is that except for earthquake type effects, I found the bass from the LRS+ (using my old Adcom 545 II) to be more than adequate for watching movies.

Great success with LRS+ and pair of REL T/Zero MKlll in small room...with guidance from Duke and Johnny R

I use a Rolls SX45 crossover.  Preamp out from my Pioneer SX-1250 goes to SX45.  Hi pass from SX-45 back to Power amp in on the Pioneer.  Low pass go to a pair of REL subs.  Speakers are Magnepan 1.7i.  I set the cutoff around 100 Hz.  The Rolls has a 12 dB/octave rolloff.  Only frequencies above ~100 Hz go to Maggies, everything below to the subs.  So in my case, the Maggies are completely relieved of low bass duties.  You would need preamp out/main in, tape loop, or external processor connections to use the Rolls.

@audiokinesis is probably the most expert in this subject. He has successfully integrated subs with planar speakers for many.
While many think you need room EQ for subs, in my experience, just setting the position, low pass filter, and volume properly yields the best results.

That's the route I'll be taking anyway if at all after experiments. No crossovers or added/replaced components at the moment. To begin with, these maggies might be gone soon as the right one is not great,and refurbishment is as expensive as new ones, and I most definitely don't have the patience and time to perform it myself. 

let’s not confuse generalities with specifics:

-- sure sub swarms of 3-4-5 subs work well, but in the op’s 11x13 room it might just be overkill...

-- someone who hasn’t heard maggies with subs well integrated, well they simply haven’t heard this... doesn’t mean it can’t be done... many here, including myself, have done it (myself many times in own and friend's systems)

let’s also not confuse 'something won't work' with 'some folks just aren't able to make something work properly"  -- there is know how, and effort, involved in many aspects of this pursuit -- getting subs to work well with any top flight speaker is but one aspect... maggies are no exception, yes they are fast -- but are top wilsons focals magicos atc’s slow? don’t think so...

@jjss49 wrote: "sure sub swarms of 3-4-5 subs work well, but in the op’s 11x13 room it might just be overkill..."

Multiple subs might very well be impractical in this case because of space constraints, or cost, or for other reasons. But assuming they’re affordable and the individual subs are small enough to be practical, there’s a somewhat counter-intuitive consideration that arguably comes into play:

The smaller the room, the worse the room-induced peak-and-dip pattern in the bass region. And therefore, the smaller the room, the more room for improvement from the greater in-room smoothness of an intelligently-distributed multi-sub system.

Audiophile ingenuity can often find a way where there seems to be none. I have a customer who was in an even smaller room, and the issue was, how to shoehorn four small (but not tiny) subs into his very limited space. Then he read my setup guidelines, wherein I said something like "bonus points if you can elevate one of the subs so that it’s closer to the ceiling than to the floor." He very creatively asked me if more than one sub could be placed up near the ceiling. Yes! So he ended up with three subs atop shelves in his small room, and the fourth one on the floor.


I'm using cheap used Sony subs with Maggie 3.7i as that's all the budget I had left. I've found that a setting of about 50 Hz works well and keeping the sub volume low to avoid bloat works fantastic. Even my musician friend are surprised at how well they integrate.

And yes you do need a sub with Maggie's.

Sounds good Johnto. Kind of similar to my approach and the experiment I'll be undertaking. 50-60HZ and low volume to begin with. Take it from there. I'm definitely not a bass-head and want this room to be the classic, acoustic, Jazz room vs my other room with  harder music. But came upon a great deal for this Subwoofer, and said to myself that it can't hurt to try it with speakers like maggies. 

@margaretha I agree with you on not using subs with Maggie's,  but just with the larger panels.  I've owned 2.5R's all the way up 20.1's.  With the right amps, (2) never felt i was Bass deprived. For music listening,  IMO,  there is no better bass than a large panel Maggie. With all that said,  you will need a sub for the smaller panels.

@johnto if you're using cheap subs with your Maggie's,  what are you using to power them?

A friend of mine dropped by 2 weeks ago to listen to my main rig. We eventually listened to the smaller LRS+ system in my office with the KEF KC62 sub (room is 12x11x9. He was asking me about the sub because he thought the integration with the LRS+ was amazing. I laughed at that because I really do not know too much about subs.

However, what was important for me was that these comments were coming from someone who served as a recording engineer, microphone builder, and musician. If I get an OK from him, I am good. A year or 2 prior I had terrible feedback from the same person on the same room but with different speakers and no sub. I made drastic changes after that feedback.

Small room = Magnepan LRS+ | KEF KC62 sub

BTW - one should ask why Magnepan make DMW sub panels when so many other subs are available.

BTW2 - I am currently listening to the great KCRW radio station on the FM dial with an incredible tuner. The DJ is Sly Stone’s daughter Novena Carmel. She has been playing really bass heavy tunes this morning. It sounds incredible in my small room with the LRS+ and KC62. I cannot believe I do not have fatigue with all the bombast.

I just want to add my two cents to this discussion - I have been a Maggie owner since 1982. I now own two systems I my home based on Maggie’s. My main system now is my Maggie 1.6 QRs (modified by Peter Gun - new wood frames and propritary crossover) and The Swarm ( 4 subs designed by Duke - AudioKinesis ). The subs match the speed of the modified Maggies ( powered by my Krell K 300i integrated) beyond my wildest expectations. Note The Swarm came with their own amp - I feed the Krell preamp out to this amplifier - DaytonAudio - everything is  adjustable - crossover point, eq, phase, gain. You can match this to your room - no problem. My second system are Maggie 1.7i s with a DMW panel. This system runs with a Krell 550 and a separate Son of Ampizalla pushing the DMW. 

Both Maggie systems benefit from the extra bass support. But I must stress The Swarm added to the older modified Maggie 1.6 QRs is amazing. My rooms are the same size - 17’ by 20’. Whatever Maggies you own - add some bottom end!! You will never have regrets. Just add quality subs.

Happy Listening


I also run my Maggies (MMGs) through a B&K EX-442 Sonata. I’m using a Rythmik F12G sub. After lots of back-and-forth, I settled on 80 Hz for the crossover (it was either 60 or 80 for me). With the room EQ/DSP I run it integrates very well when the distance setting is done right. My PLP is about 14 away from the speakers so I need to add distance to my sub setting (about 7.3 feet to be exact). I’ve found it’s largely a timing issue. Frankly, I don’t know what a 50 Hz crossover and real low gain is going to do for you. I’ve tried it and it didn’t seem to add much to my listening experience. YMMV.

Clearly, I'm in strong disagreement with those who say you can't successfully integrate a sub with Magnepan speakers.  

I do wish people would be more direct with their opinions. 😉

One can definitely integrate subs into a Maggie setup. To each his own, but there are genres of music that I feel need the punch, and I use subs with box speakers too. 

Being a big REL fan (I run a swarm of 5 at times - it's a massive room) I think there are some misunderstandings about what subs are supposed to do with music.  It's different with home theater where it's supposed to give you the boom of the explosion.  REL subs add a spatial quality, almost more air than boom, and they shouldn't really be setup so that you can "hear" them.  

That's one reason why I like the swarm approach - several set at low gain creates a subtle strength behind the music that I prefer to pushing one sub harder. 

I also have 2 DWM panels that I'll include in the mix sometimes, but if I had to choose between REL subs and DWMs I would take the subs. 

To address the OP: I think your favorite genres might be part of your analysis here.  If you do like a bit more of the phat sound (as I do), I would suggest you see if you can go to at least 2 subs - see if you can run them stereo (i.e. left speaker signal to left subwoofer, right to right).  While upgrading subs to avoid HT-focused versions will help improve sound, relatively cheap subs are still good in a multi-configuration and you want to keep the gain on them relatively low -- you don't want to be able to detect where the bass is from. 

It's all about experimentation and personal preference.  There just isn't any "right" when it comes to sound preference in audio. 

Time to open a can of worms :)

One of the reasons we purchase Maggies is for the transparency and neutrality of the music we listen to, getting rid of the inherent sound signature of the box. I’ve not owned smaller panel Maggies, 2.5r and up to 20.1’s. I would imagine there would be a need for a sub for the smaller Maggies, 1.7 and under, not saying in all cases but given the smaller size of the panels they may need that extra bottom end. IMO adding a sub to the larger panels counter acts the whole point of going box-less. Maggie bass will not shake the glasses off the shelves, but they will reproduce the sound of the instruments in the way they were recorded. At the risk of opening another can, Large panel Maggies require tons of good clean power and current and to say my 50 watt tube amp does fine with my 30.1 panels is like saying my Pinto does fine on the Autobahn, the Pinto will get you there, but where is the pleasure of driving the Autobahn. I love large Panel Maggie bass with high powered amps that are capable of driving them. Fast , articulate and natural, that is how I describe Maggie bass. Adding a box defeats the whole point. A high end sub, no matter how much you spend is not going to sound like a Maggie.

Enjoy the Music

Large panel Maggies require tons of good clean power

No question. I 100% agree. My Maggies never *really* sang until they were actively biamped with 2 amps rated at 500w into 4 ohm (doubling from 8).  Getting those active crossovers out of the picture was a game changer. 

the transparency and neutrality of the music we listen to, getting rid of the inherent sound signature of the box

It’s possible you’re crossing over at too high a frequency? No question I can still hear the detail and agility of the Maggie bass panels. RELs don’t bloat that way.

That said, to each his own. My mother liked ice cubes in her wine. People put ketchup on $50 steaks. I like depth to sharp drum strikes.

Check out Mike Powell's site, "The OCD Guy".  He seems in touch with matching subwoofers to planar's.  With Quads, I have never heard a subwoofer keep up with them.

I have a pair of LRS and use the big HSU VTK-15h MK2 and it works very well for me. I recommend, and am able to cross over my LRS at 80hz.  I use a Oppo 205 source and am able to set the crossover point.  People  say that Magnepans  don’t need a sub but I disagree. At least regarding the LRS anyway. In my room the LRS have about as much bass as two transistor radios.  With good tuning and setup they sound awesome.  I recommend a sealed sub not ported. My HSU has both options but I always run it sealed with both ports closed.  The trick is less is more. If you run to sub set to high it draws attention to itself but if tuned properly it disappears. I suppose everyone’s rooms and systems are all different but for me it works great.  I noticed that with the LRS if run full range and playing anything moderately loud with heavy bass the panels will distort, the 80hz high pass is the cure for that.

@arnold_h the LRS would fall under the small panel category as needing a sub, no disagreement there. 

Just noticed the question my subs they are self powered 12"Sony that go down to 20 Hz that I picked up on CL for $30 each. They integrate well with my 3.7i. I run them off the RCA taps on a Pass pre with the XLR going to the amp. The key is setting the sub volume low to avoid boom and overhang.