MONITOR AUDIO LTD.
Mr Martin, In your opinion, which brand, or should I say style of smaller sized subwoofer would pair up well with these speakers? I have been researching bookshelf style speakers, and the sonic characteristics of the RX1 would be perfect for my small "man cave", but I do not want to overwhelm them with too much bass. I'd like just enough to fill out the bottom end. Thanks! P.S. Space is at a premium so I cannot step up to a larger speaker pair that would have more bass. A hide-away subwoofer would fill the need.
I had this problem years ago with my late, lamented Radio Shack (yes, really!!) LX-5 based systems (4 happy family's...2 with my crossover tweeks, then I moved 3 of them to PSB Alpha's). They needed support in the mid bass region, so they wouldn't strain to deal with frequencies they really couldn't deliver...
The answer I found was the Energy (then XL) S8 sub. A nice little box that left the heavy lifting to the satellite speakers to do what they did best, without intruding and minus the typical ringing and muddy boost that comes from small tight subs trying to be bigger than they are (or need to be?). In a small room, or with a family that was new to the concept of full sound, that last bit of bottom would be wasted, so I wanted to make them listen in, instead of tune out...these sound like a much higher quality speaker, but with the same issues. (BTW, will be looking for them this weekend, thanks!)
The price was right too...in case it doesn't suit your taste, you aren't burnt the way we used to get touched up for a grand+ on a small room system...
Man, I gotta find my roots again...that was waaay more fun than stressing every choice, and taking a haircut every time I got it wrong!
I am an audio dealer so please take my advice for what it's worth (it's free and you get what you pay for). I always believe that second and third opinions (or more) are helpful, so don't listen to just me, make the decision for yourself after careful research.
Monitor Audio themselves make a nice small sub in the Radius series that uses an 8" driver and a 100 watt amp for about $600, and is a nice complement to the RX1's. It's also quite compact and available in the same (almost) finishes as the RX1's so you could match your system too. Otherwise, sub-only companies like Velodyne and REL have always made compact high quality subwoofers. I'm not a fan of hidden subwoofers vs box subwoofers, because they typically cost more and don't sound as good, but you could try Velodyne's SC-600IW (in-wall) with the matching amp. The combo costs a little over $1000 (with speaker wire and install accessories) and if you're worried about matching frequencies, the amp has a 5 channel EQ with a microphone that can help you tailor the sound however you like. Otherwise, if you have ceiling space, the SC-600IF/IC (in-floor/in-ceiling) is a larger 12" sub designed to be hidden from view and built in to a floor or ceiling. It uses a REAL 12" driver and I've used them on many occasions with great results.
The suggestions above are good. I would ask a few questions first: What is your budget? What size defines "hide-away"?
CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC
Mr Martin I have just ordered a Pair of RX1's to replace the Vector V10's (They are far too sharp) I am still using the V10's as rear speakers and the V20 as a center. My Amp is a Denon AVR 1911. Source is a Creek Evolution CD Player and I will be adding a turntabIe in the near future. I also have replaced the Sub VW8 with a Paradigm DSP 3400. Yep I love bass that you can feel rather than hear. I will also be changing the center V20 to the Apex A40 as tonally this should match the RX1's better than the V20. I listen to far more music than watch movies. My music is mostly in the form of 70's style rock, all forms of Jazz, Classical guitar and the occasional symphony or Concerto. According to some reveiws the RX1's should not be paired with warm electronics, I would value your opinion on the above setup.
Thanks in advance for your expert views
Just wondering if the PS Audio P-200 Pre & A-100 Pwr combo would be a suitable match to the RX1. I am quite wary of the warning not to partner the Rx1 with "warm electronics". The PS amps sounds pretty warm to me. I am looking for lots of details and good bass definition. Currently using Axis L28 speakers (Australian) & CD players are CAL Icon Mk2 and the newer Audiolab 8200CD. All wired with Kimber TC4, PBJ and Hero. Would appreciate any advise.
Firstly for a little extra I would go for the RX2 I have recently upgrade and it is a far better speaker. I dont think that partnering the RX1 or 2 with warm electronics is a problem but it really depends on your room acoustics. To my ears the RX's are very neutral so if you have a bright room go for warm electronics and Vica Versa. If its Bass definition you're after definitly go for RX2 you wont be dissapointed
Thanks for the recommendation. The Rx2 is slightly wider and deeper compared to my present speakers, and 5 cm shorter. I am considering the Rx1 as my present set up is too high for my sitting position. The other consideration I have is that the speakers are only about 18cm from the rear wall; my current have front firing ports whereas the RX1 & 2 have rear firing ports. I have heard the Rx1 with some budget China made integrated amp & CD (forgot the brand) and they sound pretty decent, even in the bass region for the speaker's size. I am banging on the fact that my PS amp (100W Class D) is 7 times the price of the shop's & would be even better as noted in the review that the RX would benefit from better anciillary equipment. The Rx2 as you say would be far better in the bass and I have no doubt although I have not heard them. Maybe I should go for 18" or 20" stands instead of my current 24".
I have the RX2's sitting about 30cm from the rear wall. I do use the port bungs as I have a rather large subwoofer (Paradigm DSP 3400) so I am not lacking in Bass. Having said that sometimes late at night I remove the bungs and switch of the Sub as not to disturb my neighbours. This in no way effects the sound but does allow the full Bass of the Speaker to come through and it is prettty decent. I am driving the speakers with a Yamaha RX V3800 receiver (140W into 8 ohms) as the speakers are 6 ohms this would give about 200W of power. My source is a Creek Evolution CD Player. Please listen to the RX2 before you pull the trigger not only are they better in the Bass but better alround. I have them Bi-Wired on the advice from Monitor Audio. It does make a difference especially in the top end.
I wrote this review a while ago, but I don't recall suggesting that you avoid warm electronics. In fact, I suspect warm electronics, if not muddy, would work well here.
Hi Tom, Oops you're right. I must have read that comment in another review. Looks promising then. Thanks.
What I did not mention is that I live in an apartment so have to listen at realistic levels
I recently had the opportunity to audition the Spendor SA1 and A5 at home. To my surprise they both sounded quite bright. From reviews and owners of these speakers thay are not bright speakers at all. I heard them several times with Class A amp and they sounded beautiful.
I am beginning to suspect there is some unfavourable interaction between my PS Audio pre-pwr and these speakers. I read somehwere that caution must be exercised with class D amps. I fear the Rx1 or 2 maylikewis be too aggressive as my amps are now considered bright instead of dull / mellow. I listen at low levels (night time levels) and many speakers seem to perfrom their optimum at 'normal' to loud levels.
Wondering if I can get away by listening to the Rx1 at my current low levels and mating them with subwoofer instead. Does anyone have any experience with the PS Trio amps ? Which speakers will work well with them ?