Try a sub a third in the back

I’ll share something I stumbled upon in the off chance it transforms your listening experience as it did mine. I purchased a rel s/510 while they were on sale to replace a lesser sub. First, the sub is remarkable. I thought it would just add bass extension. I had no idea it would improve the sound stage so much. But now I had 3 subs with absolutely no space in the front of the room to place the third. I planned to sell it. If you like to tinker like me with your system, you probably would have had the same thought I finally did: connect the third sub for the hell of it. In part, the idea was inspired by the long and very good article someone on here linked to about subs: that talks about putting a sub at the back of the room for HT. The lower the frequency, the more non directional the sound. So, having a sub behind me should be okay in a two-speaker setup. The worst that might happen, I thought was that I might shake my house off it’s foundation. But what happened was absolutely unexpected. The sound in the room became amazingly three dimensional. This is not hyperbole. I have a good system and especially with the new Rel sub, there was good width, height, and depth to the sound. But the effect of adding the third sub was to double or triple the depth into the room. I didn’t believe it so I turned the rear sub on and off, repeating the songs. I’ve done this for a week because sometimes new experiences don’t hold up over time—a product of wishful thinking. This one has lasted. I will describe the change this way. Without the rear sub, the vocals were centered, other instruments were placed around the front of the room—some further away than others. Adding the rear sub stretched the centered voice in front of me from 2d to 3D, like someone was in the room, or better, I was in the vocalist’s room. Imagine taking a photo of the singer and stretching it into a 3-dimensional figure in front of you. It’s like that. Although my previous system had good depth before, with the third sub it sounded like I was swimming in the music. there was an exceptional separation of the instruments around and over me not just in front of me. I won’t go on because results will vary. But if you like to tinker and you have a third sub in the house, give it a go. I hope it turns out as holographically for you as it did for me. (Details: I connected the Rel using the line in from my power amp and two RCA outs on my Dac (it also has XLR outs that I use) to connect the other subs.)


@oldhvymec Thanks for the suggestion. I'm saving this into my "subwoofer" file. Until I move into a new room (it's built but kids are still in it with their game stuff) I won't be adding a fourth sub or make other sub changes.



2-4 of these work better.. Very Rare.. 1000 watts all night 5000 watt burst. Very low distortion too. Under 5% <15hz - 150hz optional 250hz.

@dbphd  Bass management is the best way to add subwoofers by a long shot. People should understand that you do not have to buy a theater processor to get it. There are several stereo processors that have complete bass management systems from companies like Anthem, Trinnov, DEQX and MiniDSP. There are many more digital sources now than there are analog and the capabilities of digital preamps far exceeds that of analog ones. Conversion to digital at high rates is “invisible.” A turntable sounds just like it always sounds except you get the benefits of bass management, room control and EQ.

They are tuned to the room through, Putty Pinching. Perfect integration without digital correction.. Pretty cool actually. 50-100 sand bags worked the best. The slot glued to the floor so to speak.. Ceiling will work too. :-)

oldhvymec, this seems an interesting technique which I know nothing about. Is it possible to explain a bit further or provide a reference or a link to this method? 


For years I used a single REL  a few feet BEHIND the listening position, along a long wall, near a corner(speakers are projecting from the short wall).  Much more convincing than the traditional corner behind one of the front speakers.  YMMV.

I imagine DSP would provide even "better" integration. I just go by ear. 

Still have the REL in the back, but with a 2nd opposite side. One of these years I will spring for the other 2 for a proper DBA. 

Rear placement sounds more realistic in my particular living space arrangement. Also less obnoxious. I have 2 old made in England B3's. Big bulky boxes, compared to modern REL's.