What should I upgrade?

Hi everyone!

I have a Bel Canto s300 (300 watts @ 4ohms) driving my Magnepan 1.6qr's. I'd like to get more defined low end throughout the volume spectrum.

Which choice is best and why?

1. Upgrade to the s500 (500 watts)
2. Add a JL Audio f112? subwoofer to existing setup.
3. Add room acoustic treatments, etc. (walls are wood, floors are cork.) *If choosing this option what is recommended?

PS. I use a Bel Canto Dac3 and stream from Mac ibook G4 via Airport Express using glass Toslink or hardwired via USB.

"Audiophile in training"
Sorry I forgot to mention I have a pitched roof. on one sid it starts at 8ft and goes to 12ft. there are also 7 exposed wood beams that run along the ceiling. Where would I place bass traps and/or acoustic panels?
I believe that a pitched roof with beams on the ceiling will actually help break up any unwanted bass modes.

Before we worry about bass traps, perhaps we should get some bass first ; )


You need one Jl Audio F 113 or two of the smaller F 112 which are magnificent subwoofers.

Your room is huge, and the Maggies 1.6 are really too small for this size room 3.6 would be better,

More power couldn't hurt either it depends on how loud you play and how far away from the speaker you are.

The JL audio subs are really fast and blend well with these types of speakers, one of my customers had this subwoofer with a pair of $45,000.00 Scaena loudspeakers and the woofer could blend with this speaker which is really fast as well.
what cables are you using? more power would be great, two subs would be great, sure. but i would make sure that you're getting all the bass you can out of your system first to see where you stand.

i've never owned maggies and i don't know how sensitive they are to cables, but all the speakers that i've owned have been very responsive to different cables, particularly where bass is concerned.

i would think that the s300s would be able to get close to getting the lowest bass out of those speakers at low volumes, but (at least in my experience) that assumes that you've got good speaker cables and power cables on your components.

in my system, power cables on the components are as important as speaker cables for bass. recently i just got some nice (cryo'ed, for what that's worth) adapters to allow the use of 15amp power cables on c7 connections (those little 2-holed connections found on playstations and mass market electronics) and the difference on both my ps1 cd player and my hd cable box was great - the primary benefit being more bass. the two components had already been using a ps audio punch cable, which was a night and day difference over the tiny, stock cables, but using an even bigger/better cable was another jump.

so i would make sure all that is in place before spending tons on new amps.
Wow! I want to thank everyone for their advice. It sure is appreciated!

Re: Cables

Kimber Kable 4vs (15ft pair) for speakers (banana plugs).
Kimber Kable Timbre XLR interconnects (amp to dac).
Wireworld USB
Van den hul toslink.

Any reccommendations for speaker cable that will increase the bass??