Single or multiple subs

discman -- Tue, 06/03/2008 - 18:44

I'm about to replace a broken subwoofer. I'm wondering if I should get two less expensive subs or one big one? My budget is $3k.

Steven Stone -- Tue, 06/03/2008 - 22:41

With multiple subs you can place them so your room's worst resonance peaks and dips are reduced.

The final goal is smooth even bass response. Two subs have a much better chance to achieve this goal.

A second advantage of two subs is that neither has to work as hard as a single sub to achieve the same SPL levels. Less output equals lower distortion.

Finally with two subwoofers you can run true stereo if you wish. I do this with my Lexicon MC-12 HD processor and the results are more convincing and better integrated bass response than with a daisy-chained mono subwoofer signal.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

ericjbl (not verified) -- Sun, 01/10/2010 - 18:28

Hi Steve, I am rather new to home theater and I find myself in a strange situation. When I set the switch of my sub to the LFE position I hear higher frequencies coming out of the sub and it bothers me. The problem disappears when I set the switch to Normal which uses the sub's internal crossover. I very much prefer the sound in the Normal setting even when watching movies ( bass goes lower and is more tactile than in the LFE setting). I understand that LFE is a special/discrete channel but I find the Normal setting is much more enjoyable. Am I wrong in leaving the switch in the Normal position all the time?

ivan (not verified) -- Sun, 01/24/2010 - 09:26

Two subs(or more) in a system gives you much greater integration. Richard Vandersteen uses a hand wound capacitor type crossover, or a more expensive battery powered device, inserted between the preamp and power amp, rolling the bass out of the mains thus freeing your amp from the requirement of playing the power draining low frequencies. And because you set the level control at the efficiency of your main speakers, you know it is always correct. plus you can electronically adjust the apparent size of the box with his Q control...and these subs in pairs, including the crossovers, come in just under your stated budget. Steven mentions the Lexicon MC12. With this unit or any other SSP you would set front stage as large, no sub, and in music you essentially have a true full range speaker, while in film, the LFE is diverted to both subs, again bypassing the electronic corssovers in the processor. With a pure stereo preamp, the benefits are identical. Your amplifier will work more easily, and your sound will be much fuller. And these guys don't boom. They just play music.

sheepherder -- Wed, 06/04/2008 - 06:06

Consider REL subs with your budger you should be able to get two excellent subs for both music and movies.

Sheepherder
Shenandoah Valley, VA

Robert Harley -- Wed, 06/04/2008 - 09:55

Steven's right about the two subs being better than one, for exactly the reasons he states.

dougy -- Sat, 08/02/2008 - 02:57

I vote for 2 subs. I use two Dayton 10's in my HT, and two 12" Velos with my 2-channel music set-up. Both systems achieved smoother bass response with two subs than with just one. Plus at least 3 dB greater bass output.

manuel mercado (not verified) -- Sat, 01/23/2010 - 15:45

I have a Snell QBx subwoofer that has a set of high level speaker wire inputs with 2 line level inputs, one each for use with or without the internal crossover.  I connected satellite spkrs to the high level inputs but i get no sound thru the satelllites no matter which of the line level jacks i used. The sub does have sound. I set the crossover at 90 and the phase at 0. Other subs i've used have speaker wire inputs from "Amp to sub " and from sub to satellite spkrs. Is this sub not made to be used as a sub/sat system, and if so , what is the point or use for the high level speaker inputs. I don't have the manual. Any insight you can provide would be appreciated.

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