Martin Logan 13A's and a subwoofer pairing question.

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iluvboxing

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Personally, for me, best bang for the buck for a high quality subwoofer, I would check out the subs from PSA and Rythmik. I think you would end up getting higher quality, better sounding subs for less money from either brand than you would get from SVS, REL, or ML. And if 90% or more of your listening is with movies, sealed is not the way to go. Get a pair of decent sized (15” or greater) ported subs. You will not regret this decision.
Rich,

I caution you against speaking absolute terms. How is sealed not the way to go for movies specifically? No one can say factually that a sealed sub, adequately designed, with proper amplification will not deliver. I ask because, since the age of 17, I have preferred the sound of sealed subs for all applications. Second, consider a company like REL. Their products are sealed subs and outperform a large sector of the subwoofer market. Some prefer ported subs, while others prefer sealed subs. I am in the second category because I want accurate and deep bass.

Best,

iluvboxing
 

iluvboxing

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I 'was' using a REL high level connection directly off my center channel amp (Parasound A31). IOW, there was the speaker cable that ran to my ML Illusion center, and a separate REL cable that ran to my REL T/9i center sub. You would either need to talk to REL or spend some time on the REL How To's page to figure out how to connect your Rotel.

Also, the reason I mentioned 'I was using'..... is that I'm in the middle of an amp upgrade and moving from my A31 (and A23+), to a five channel Anthem P5. The P5 isn't yet installed as I need to pull a new circuit in to support it (it requires two separate AC circuits)... so I haven't yet confirmed the REL connection to the new P5.

Following is a good article about why REL recommends this configuration.

Center Channel Speakers Are Center Stage in REL 3-D
Bdh55,

What's influencing you to move from amps designed by the legendary John Curl in favor of the Anthem amp. I ask because arguably, the Parasound is a better-designed product.
 

Omuracada

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OK, so I got everything up and running and positioned just they way I wanted. I then ran ARC on both the 13A's and each Sub. I then listen to my system for 24 hours and outside of the reflection points I have to address the bass did appear to be tighter. I then ran DIRAC and left my 13A's as large. I have eslx's for my surrounds(I know overkill) and after running DIRAC, I noticed the clarity of my system was 10 fold(especially with my surrounds) however it tempered my bass a little too much. Not horrible by any means however I notice if I up the decibels for the subs on my amp by one or two it hits my sweet spot. I wonder if I should do what TTOCs mentioned and use a mini DPS to make the subs appear as one for DIRAC. Again not horrible as is and if I was not a hobbyist I would feel it sounds better then going to the theater. As for the subs I have to say that after leaving the SVS 3000 sealed and going to the 1600x's I am now officially sold on using only sealed subs for theater. That was not me a couple of years back, however I just love the midbass a lot more now than I do getting to the lows. For me it just sounds a bit more realistic. I am VERY happy with these subs and they will be staying for sometime. I again thank everyone for thier assistance and feedback.
 

ttocs

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OK, so I got everything up and running and positioned just they way I wanted. I then ran ARC on both the 13A's and each Sub. I then listen to my system for 24 hours and outside of the reflection points I have to address the bass did appear to be tighter. I then ran DIRAC and left my 13A's as large. I have eslx's for my surrounds(I know overkill) and after running DIRAC, I noticed the clarity of my system was 10 fold(especially with my surrounds) however it tempered my bass a little too much. Not horrible by any means however I notice if I up the decibels for the subs on my amp by one or two it hits my sweet spot. I wonder if I should do what TTOCs mentioned and use a mini DPS to make the subs appear as one for DIRAC. Again not horrible as is and if I was not a hobbyist I would feel it sounds better then going to the theater. As for the subs I have to say that after leaving the SVS 3000 sealed and going to the 1600x's I am now officially sold on using only sealed subs for theater. That was not me a couple of years back, however I just love the midbass a lot more now than I do getting to the lows. For me it just sounds a bit more realistic. I am VERY happy with these subs and they will be staying for sometime. I again thank everyone for thier assistance and feedback.
I wouldn't change much of anything right now. You might want to wait a bit for all the new stuff to be used for a bit.

Because I didn't know how long the subs would need for break-in, I kept track of how things sounded for about double what they actually needed before doing any serious changes. Around 50 hours is when i got a sense that they were pretty settled. This can be very different for each system because I might be listening at a different volume than you, so it might take longer, or less time.

I do highly recommend using miniDSP to Group the subs! I use a miniDSP 2x4HD which has some extra stuff that the regular 2x4 doesn't have, like more delay for example.

When using REW and the like, it's really important to note all settings with the measurements. If not, a week later you won't know what you're looking at. I know, I've been there.
Scott
 

Robert D

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OK, so I got everything up and running and positioned just they way I wanted. I then ran ARC on both the 13A's and each Sub. I then listen to my system for 24 hours and outside of the reflection points I have to address the bass did appear to be tighter. I then ran DIRAC and left my 13A's as large. I have eslx's for my surrounds(I know overkill) and after running DIRAC, I noticed the clarity of my system was 10 fold(especially with my surrounds) however it tempered my bass a little too much. Not horrible by any means however I notice if I up the decibels for the subs on my amp by one or two it hits my sweet spot. I wonder if I should do what TTOCs mentioned and use a mini DPS to make the subs appear as one for DIRAC. Again not horrible as is and if I was not a hobbyist I would feel it sounds better then going to the theater. As for the subs I have to say that after leaving the SVS 3000 sealed and going to the 1600x's I am now officially sold on using only sealed subs for theater. That was not me a couple of years back, however I just love the midbass a lot more now than I do getting to the lows. For me it just sounds a bit more realistic. I am VERY happy with these subs and they will be staying for sometime. I again thank everyone for thier assistance and feedback.
I really like my sealed Martin Logan BF 210.

So you have your fronts set to large (full range)? Did you try different crossover points for them and compare? What crossover point is the sub set at?

Im going to test my mains again today running full vs crossed over at 60 HZ. This discussion got me to doubting myself.
 

Rich

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Rich,

I caution you against speaking absolute terms. How is sealed not the way to go for movies specifically? No one can say factually that a sealed sub, adequately designed, with proper amplification will not deliver. I ask because, since the age of 17, I have preferred the sound of sealed subs for all applications. Second, consider a company like REL. Their products are sealed subs and outperform a large sector of the subwoofer market. Some prefer ported subs, while others prefer sealed subs. I am in the second category because I want accurate and deep bass.

It’s pretty well accepted among home theater enthusiasts that a ported sub provides more output in the deep bass than a comparable sealed sub. To quote SVS, another popular subwoofer manufacturer: “Simply put, if you want the most room-energizing, gut-punching, floor-trembling cinematic experience possible, a ported subwoofer will deliver greater dynamic output at the lowest frequencies vs. comparable sealed models.” Whether or not you prefer the sound of a sealed sub, unless you can measure a fairly flat frequency response in your room down to 20 Hz. and below, at reference levels and with low distortion, you aren’t getting “accurate and deep bass.” Every room is different, but in general larger volume spaces need more output down low and often sealed subs don’t deliver it.

Let’s use REL as an example, since you mentioned them. Their Predator has a 15” woofer and a 1000 watt amp. It’s down 6 dB at 20 Hz. The PSA TV1512 has a 15” woofer and 960 watt amp. It’s down 3 dB at 14 Hz. That’s a huge difference for home theater impact. Oh, and the PSA is several hundred dollars less expensive.
 
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iluvboxing

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It's pretty well accepted among home theater enthusiasts that a ported sub provides more output in the deep bass than a comparable sealed sub. To quote SVS, another popular subwoofer manufacturer: "Simply put, if you want the most room-energizing, gut-punching, floor-trembling cinematic experience possible, a ported subwoofer will deliver greater dynamic output at the lowest frequencies vs. comparable sealed models." Whether or not you prefer the sound of a sealed sub, unless you can measure a fairly flat frequency response in your room down to 20 Hz. and below, at reference levels and with low distortion, you aren't getting "accurate and deep bass." Every room is different, but in general larger volume spaces need more output down low and often sealed subs don't deliver it.

Let's use REL as an example, since you mentioned them. Their Predator has a 15" woofer and a 1000 watt amp. It's down 6 dB at 20 Hz. The PSA TV1512 has a 15" woofer and 960 watt amp. It's down 3 dB at 14 Hz. That's a huge difference for home theater impact. Oh, and the PSA is several hundred dollars less expensive.

Rich,

I am not sure if you missed what I said in sentence three intentionally or unintentionally? Here's what I said, "No one can say factually that a sealed sub, adequately designed, with proper amplification will not deliver. "I never questioned whether ported subs produce more extension and output (in some, but not all cases).

Instead, the point was to challenge the absolute you put forth in your initial statement that sealed subs do not deliver in all scenarios. The fact that REL, a manufacturer of sealed-designed subwoofers is a market leader is a testament to that. It demonstrates that many home theater enthusiasts prefer accurate and deep bass over the alternative. I would add that Martin Logan's many Balanced Force subwoofer customers are yet another example.

Best,

iluvboxing
 
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ttocs

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I'm getting prepped for getting things back together again. So I did something I've wanted to do for a while, test what really happens with my speakers when using the Bass Control (BC), and/or, setting the speakers as Large or Small. The lowest XO my processor provides is 40Hz, so this is what I test tonight.

I measured the 13A setup as Large with three different Bass Control settings of 0, -5, and -10 which is what I had been using in my setup with the stacked pair of subs and rear sub. I also measured these three Bass Control settings with the speaker setup as Small and an XO of 40Hz.

The plot below shows the reduction in SPL output with the various setting combos. Solid lines are when the 13A is Large, dotted lines are when it's Small. Black is BC=0, Blue is BC=-5, and Red is BC=-10. And remember, the Bass Control is a shelf filter that raises or lowers the output but then it levels off at that output, so that's why the solid blue and red lines level off and continue down to under 20Hz.
220621-01-BassControl-vs-Small-XO40.jpg


I'm doing this so I can see where the rolloff begins, and how low the output will be as the frequency drops to 20Hz. By tuning using various crossover settings along with the Bass Control, we can get the rolloff to begin pretty close to exactly where we want - within the limitations of the processor - and also play with slopes and shelf levels. All of this should help with blending subwoofers as we see fit.
 

Fidji99

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Proper set-up, placement and properly applied DRC is in most of the cases the real difference between 2 setups. Not Ported vs Sealed [if you are in the same quality ballpark]

@ttocs I also use MiniDsp/MSO as a simulation tool and then punch in the gains/delays/PEQ into the AVP manually, one AD/DA conversion less. I have experimented with bass knob on ESL13 but never got to the resuts I wanted, steep crossover for stereo below 50Hz seems to be the best option, relieves ESL woofer section enough and my HT optimized Sub placement blends nicely.
 
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Northy

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According to who? John Hunter of REL disagrees.
I said to do that in the presence of a capable/super high quality sub like 210/212. I have experienced with my own ears. There is a lot of bass information from 80 to 450 (or whatever frequency the panel hand off to the woofer). If you let the woofer just play those frequencies, you get this beautiful, unstrained sound. You let the components do their part where they are designed optimally. Now if you do not have one of the afore-mentioned subs, of course your run the panels full range. Again, it is all subjective. What works for me may not work for you. So do not take it personally and enjoy whatever works for you.
 

ttocs

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@ttocs I also use MiniDsp/MSO as a simulation tool and then punch in the gains/delays/PEQ into the AVP manually, one AD/DA conversion less. I have experimented with bass knob on ESL13 but never got to the resuts I wanted, steep crossover for stereo below 50Hz seems to be the best option, relieves ESL woofer section enough and my HT optimized Sub placement blends nicely.
Yeah, so many variables from room&system to room&system. Each of us will need to tinker with the puzzle before us to make things work out the way we each like.

When I began forming the current setup, I experimented quite a bit just to find out what would be acceptable from a performance aspect and also aesthetically. Even so, as time went on I kept thinking of other little tweaks I wanted to try, which is where I am today. I want to try cutting off the lowest frequencies a little more from the 13A than what is currently being cut off.

From looking at the plot I posted above, as a starting point, I would still set the Bass Control at -10dB, but I'd use a 40Hz crossover in the processor. Above 60Hz there is virtually no change (ok, 1 or 2dB) in the output from the 13A from what I'm used to, but below that the subwoofers would be providing a lot more output, at least +10dB more up to 30Hz.

This type of setup is vastly different from what I'm used to, which is to have the speakers setup as Large and use no correction other than ARC that's built-in to each speaker and sub. So, this will mean also changing the miniDSP scheme. So I have some pondering to do.

Hey, if it works, it works. Plus I learn a bit more.
 

Rich

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Rich,

I am not sure if you missed what I said in sentence three intentionally or unintentionally? Here's what I said, "No one can say factually that a sealed sub, adequately designed, with proper amplification will not deliver. "I never questioned whether ported subs produce more extension and output (in some, but not all cases).

Instead, the point was to challenge the absolute you put forth in your initial statement that sealed subs do not deliver in all scenarios. The fact that REL, a manufacturer of sealed-designed subwoofers is a market leader is a testament to that. It demonstrates that many home theater enthusiasts prefer accurate and deep bass over the alternative. I would add that Martin Logan's many Balanced Force subwoofer customers are yet another example.

Best,

iluvboxing
I didn’t miss your statement; you just never finished it. Will not deliver what, exactly? Linear bass down to 14 Hz. in a large room? Well, yes, there are a few, like the JTR RS1 and RS2 that are linear to 16 Hz. and probably lower with room gain. But these are $3300 to $4800 each. Most people don’t want to spend that kind of money on a single sub. You are basically arguing against my statement in terms of me making it an absolute. That’s pedantic, but ok. I’ll admit that there are plenty of people that are perfectly happy with sealed subs for home theater, and that there are even rare occasions where these subs are capable of accurately reproducing the low frequency effects of a movie soundtrack in a particular room. It is clearly the exception though and not the rule, among serious home theater enthusiasts. You go over on AVS, where the focus is less audiophile and more home theater, and look at all the home theaters people have built with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment. The overwhelming majority of them use ported subs. Rythmik, JTR, Seaton Sound, SVS, PSA, HSU, etc. are common. REL is rarely mentioned, despite your contention that they are a “market leader.” Why? For the same reason as in the comparison I showed you between the REL and the PSA. The same reason as the comment from SVS that I quoted above. Comparing like to like, you are going to get deeper, more accurate, and more dynamic/impactful bass from a ported sub, in terms of accurately reproducing a movie soundtrack.

You seem to be hung up on that term: “accurate and deep bass.” Yet you’ve shown no data or examples of how any well-built ported sub gives less accurate or deep bass than any comparable sealed sub. Only your subjective impressions that you prefer sealed. If your sealed sub doesn’t produce adequate output down to 20 Hz. and below, then you aren’t accurately reproducing most modern movie soundtracks. Regardless, I think you and I will just have to agree to disagree, as we aren’t going to change each others’ minds. I have enjoyed the discussion, though. The bottom line is, whatever sub you choose, if you are happy with it in your room and your system, then you made the right choice.
 

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I didn’t miss your statement; you just never finished it. Will not deliver what, exactly? Linear bass down to 14 Hz. in a large room? Well, yes, there are a few, like the JTR RS1 and RS2 that are linear to 16 Hz. and probably lower with room gain. But these are $3300 to $4800 each. Most people don’t want to spend that kind of money on a single sub. You are basically arguing against my statement in terms of me making it an absolute. That’s pedantic, but ok. I’ll admit that there are plenty of people that are perfectly happy with sealed subs for home theater, and that there are even rare occasions where these subs are capable of accurately reproducing the low frequency effects of a movie soundtrack in a particular room. It is clearly the exception though and not the rule, among serious home theater enthusiasts. You go over on AVS, where the focus is less audiophile and more home theater, and look at all the home theaters people have built with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment. The overwhelming majority of them use ported subs. Rythmik, JTR, Seaton Sound, SVS, PSA, HSU, etc. are common. REL is rarely mentioned, despite your contention that they are a “market leader.” Why? For the same reason as in the comparison I showed you between the REL and the PSA. The same reason as the comment from SVS that I quoted above. Comparing like to like, you are going to get deeper, more accurate, and more dynamic/impactful bass from a ported sub, in terms of accurately reproducing a movie soundtrack.

You seem to be hung up on that term: “accurate and deep bass.” Yet you’ve shown no data or examples of how any well-built ported sub gives less accurate or deep bass than any comparable sealed sub. Only your subjective impressions that you prefer sealed. If your sealed sub doesn’t produce adequate output down to 20 Hz. and below, then you aren’t accurately reproducing most modern movie soundtracks. Regardless, I think you and I will just have to agree to disagree, as we aren’t going to change each others’ minds. I have enjoyed the discussion, though. The bottom line is, whatever sub you choose, if you are happy with it in your room and your system, then you made the right choice.

Amen to that, folks, at the end of the day, it is the music that moves you with emotions. it does not matter how you are recreating it.
 

Omuracada

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I really like my sealed Martin Logan BF 210.

So you have your fronts set to large (full range)? Did you try different crossover points for them and compare? What crossover point is the sub set at?

Im going to test my mains again today running full vs crossed over at 60 HZ. This discussion got me to doubting myself.

Yes I spent a good amount of time (even before these subs) testing different crossovers for the 13a's and honestly it was a tough call between setting crossover to 40 or keeping them at large. In the end I feel I get the best output keeping them set to large. I do plan to run DIRAC with them set to small with a 40 crossover however as mentioned I am going to let the system run for a couple of month before I make any drastic changes.
 

Fidji99

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Yes I spent a good amount of time (even before these subs) testing different crossovers for the 13a's and honestly it was a tough call between setting crossover to 40 or keeping them at large. In the end I feel I get the best output keeping them set to large. I do plan to run DIRAC with them set to small with a 40 crossover however as mentioned I am going to let the system run for a couple of month before I make any drastic changes.

Always good thing to do is do a crosscheck vie REW, you have UMIK, so this should be no extra cost for you. Especially in bass region - it all sounds nice and good, but REW can identify issued that are still there, and you can target them and bring it to another level.

I also you use DRC extensively for bass region, it is day and night between DRC on and off. But it is another level up, once I do manual adjustments to DRC proposals [never worked with DIRAC, only AUdyssey and Optimizer]
 

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What influenced you to move away from the two Parasound amps to one Anthem amp?
No issues with the Para amps I pulled out. It was simply that I needed some rack space. The plan was to gain one open rack space by combining my 2 channel and 3 channel amps into a single 5 channel amp. Of course while I did combine my 2 and 3 channel amps into a single 5 channel amp... the Anthem amp is so big it doesn't fit in my rack, which meant I gained two open rack spaces (the Anthem is in a new rack behind my front wall)....
 

BDH55

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Bdh55,

What's influencing you to move from amps designed by the legendary John Curl in favor of the Anthem amp. I ask because arguably, the Parasound is a better-designed product.
Actually, I moved from amps designed by the legendary John Curl (Para JC-1), to amps designed by the legendary Nelson Pass (Pass XA160.8)! :LOL: That upgrade basically started me down the path of other upgrades, including collapsing my two Para amps into a five channel amp to gain some rack space. I did consider the Para A51, which is also a beast and well reviewed. In the end however, my main focus is on my two channel rig, not my home theater rig so that's where I put most of my attention. That said, I think if you take a good look at either the Anthem P2 or P5 amps (or the MCA series for that matter), there is a lot to like about all of them...
 

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Actually, I moved from amps designed by the legendary John Curl (Para JC-1), to amps designed by the legendary Nelson Pass (Pass XA160.8)! :LOL: That upgrade basically started me down the path of other upgrades, including collapsing my two Para amps into a five channel amp to gain some rack space. I did consider the Para A51, which is also a beast and well reviewed. In the end however, my main focus is on my two channel rig, not my home theater rig so that's where I put most of my attention. That said, I think if you take a good look at either the Anthem P2 or P5 amps (or the MCA series for that matter), there is a lot to like about all of them...
Papa Pass sure knows how to design amp circuitry. He says jokingly that he leaves bread crumbs for the brain to follow the music. It is not everybody's cup of tea, but if you like that sound, you cannot get enough of it specially if you also use Pass preamps.
 
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