ML Subs and EQ

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Jan 3, 2005
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Anyone have any experience with how the Descent or Depth couples to the room? I have heard that due to the driver layout of the ML with three drivers that you have less nulls and peaks than with conventional subs. What experience do you guys have in comparing these subs to conventional bass reflex or single driver subs?
Subs are one of the things that is very personal. As much as I love their speakers I do not like their subs had one and actually sold it and spent alot less$$ on a SVS and just love it.
This is a tough question to get a definitive answer and like Taz said it is somewhat subjective. Ok now have said that pile of crap, my personal experience is somewhat limited but it may shed some light and I hope others will respond too.

I had, still had but in my bedroom a small M&K sub that I tried to incoporate with my Sequel II's and then my CLSiiZ's. In the corner it was too "boomy" so I moved to approximately half way down the side wall. The "boominess" was still there but not as obnoxious, as it was in the corner. After a few hours of critical listening over a few days what be came apparent was that the M&K was just too slow. It is hard to explain but put it this way, it seemed to lag a bit which I think added to the heaviness/thicckness of the bass. I had other issues with this sub but I will not go into it unless someone asks.

I have a Depth now for the last few months and the difference is amazing. It literally took about a month to break in which I think maybe about 20 to 30 hours. What I have is bass that is non-directional-non-locatable. You can not tell where it is coming from which is how it is supposed to be. In my pics you can see it under a small table which is about half way down the length of the wall where the M&K was and now the Depth. It took some time to "tweak/tune" it but it is excellent. I wish I had a little more room for the bass waves to move but that will be in time.

BTW, when I put the spikes on the Depth it was just a bit too tall for under the small table so...........................the table is now in another room. :rolleyes:

I hope this gives you a little idea.

Hello Taz,

Just interested in knowing why you didn't like the ML sub. Could you explain further?

I am thinking of upgrading my sub in the future and I am always willing to hear the pro's and con's for different brands.
I had the Depth and really thought the sound was hollow in the low freq. It was very fast in the upper end but IMO it lost a lot the lowerer it got. Also had a lot of trouble with setup. Could not get it in the right spot. It was very picky. IMO it is due to the multi direstion of the drivers. Like I said subs(bass) to me are even more of personal preferance then any other piece of gear. The first thing most people notice about sound is bass. Good or Bad. I also think bass still sounds better with bigger drivers. If you look at the best sub makers you will not see many 8" and 10" drivers. IMO to really get that full bass sound you can not beat a great 12" driver The SVS is the cheapest piece of gear I own and probally the best value. It is fast and tight enough for music and will just blow you away in HT. With HT my ML passed the vibtration test with no noice with the SVS I could no longer here it but could feal it all the way through my body and a picture fell of my mantle! Also as a company their service is off the charts. Also will give you honest advice not just sell you the most expensive product. All they do is subs and do them well check there feedback on forums and reviews. Their fans are more loyal then us ML addicts.
I´m using the Grotto...

Hola Chicos...well here is the clue: quality versus quantity. There are many subs today on the market. They produce decent low freq. for home theater, but a sub for audiofreaks like us, they are very difficult to get. Tunning the room or sub placement is a difficult task. Why is this? Because if we get good low freq. energy, the bass player or the bass drum is too heavy and very forward from the scenario than the other musicians...right? So we have to adjust the level and the low cut very carefully. Typical the cut around 50 to 60 Hz for most ML speakers. We should sense the lower notes, the bass notes, or drums, organ, and the harp lower notes..not hear them, feel them yes. It is very difficult. I invite you to go to listen live music (not amplified) and listen carefully how the bass notes are projected in the theater or where you are. Churches are great for live organs. We can listen a very low notes, but if your room is shaking, this is not right unless it is a sound effect. I hope you understand my point here. I know bass is very important, but too much is not my liking. Now, if you like it, it is O.K. It is your system and your liking. ML produces one of the best sounding subs and really works fine even with my CLS IIz. It is the Grotto model. It has a control for the standing waves at 25Hz plus minus 10 dBs. You can tune your room very easy with this sub. I have not read anybody who uses it and it is one of the cheapest from ML. Retail price is $ 995.00. and really it is one of the best in the market too. Hope this can help!
Happy listening,
I started with the grotto first and that could not fill my room at all. I will agree that in a small room for music that could be a nice sounding sub
I have discovered over the years that most women do not like bass, loud or excessive bass even less. They are not much for a screeching high end either - only important if you live with a woman.

Bass is a dude thing and a H.T. thing, something I've liked in smaller and smaller quantities as I age.

Nice to see M/L address bass tuning in their latest speaker.
Taz, what SVS sub are you using? I respect this company, but I have never heard of anyone that preferred it to a ML sub. Can you contrast your experience with each sub especially in the mid and upper bass. How big a room do you have? Thanks for your imput.

OK. Now I'm getting pi$$ed off. All this sub-woofer talk has left me wanting to get one (or two :D ). After looking at the SVS website and realizing that their prices are within my reach (not right now, but hopefully soon), I've got the "gotta have its" and bad. I'm jones'n for my next fix. I've just upgraded my pre and my power conditioner to PS Audio products and blew a bunch of cash (well credit that hasn't been paid off yet). I think a Depth or Descent are out of the near future and just too pricey right now (let alone the fact that my wife would actually kill me).

Taz, I'm interested in any more information you can post on your experience with your Grotto and Depth vs SVS (see attyonline post).
The ML Descent subwoofer is excellent. IMO, the Descent has a wonderfully clear and clean and powerful bass sound. It is super fast and spacifically manufactured to seamlessly blend in with all electrostatic speakers, especially ML speakers. I have a small HT room, 11' x 12' x 8'. The Descent is almost in the center of the room, just under the plasma TV. Nulls and peaks? I only hear smooth, clear percission bottom around the whole room at once and simultainously. I am hear to tell you, just one Descent with it's three tri-force, 10" all servo-powered 400 w/ch (800w/ch peak) woofers are simply awsome. It is very adjustable i. e., Crossover Frequency (40, 70 Hz), Phase (0, 90, 180, 270), Level and 25Hz Level Control (+/- 12 dB). It did take some teaking though, to find just where in the room, was the optimal spot was, for this very fast subwoofer.

Not too many sub's can keep up with electrostatic panels, but the Descent can and has the power to sustain the low - lows (18-150 Hz +/- 3 dB) with beautiful musical ease. I tried out a CD of, Ray Brown - "Super Bass" to audition the Descent, before I purchased. IMO, it not only blew me away but, it blew away all of the competion in the Descent's price range. I auditioned it with a pair of Ascent i... The Descent sold itself to me. IMO, the Descent subwoofer was the only subwoofer to really hang in there with Ascent i's. IMO the other sub's (M&K's) could not come close. Descent a great subwoofer for the price.
Kruppy said:
let alone the fact that my wife would actually kill me.

Until she is casing you around the house with a knife you haven't gone too far yet. You'll be surprised how much the wife can take before that happens! :eek:
My room is about 16*24 for 16' ceilings. When I bought the Grotto it did well at low levels but did not have the power to fill the room. It fell off drasticly at low levels but did do the upper end well at low volume fast and tight. This sub IMO is perfect for a small office or bedroom to compliment some bookself speakers. The Depth I was very disappointed in at the price. I could not get it placed right it always seemed to be directional. The only place I could get a good sound was in the middle of the room.(WAF not good). Also believe it or not I good not get it to crossover well with my claritys I tried different crossovers and could not find one that did not have a measurable valley. As with the grotto the bass was fast and tight in the mid to upper range and the bottom was weak and lacked punch but there was no wow factor and for that amount of money I wanted one. Like when I hooked up my ML's:) The SVS just blew me away I have the 20-39 PC-Plus. I hooked it up and wow! It improved even more after breaking in. Setup was easy a put it into a corner and have not moved it since then. The bass is tight and powerful and goes beyond low(blocked to 12hz open at 20hz) Those are the specs and I got better than that metered. It will blow you away in HT and is very strong with music. If it has week point it would be the upper bass but really that only with a port blocked to extend the low. The other factor is $$$ it was great to buy something that impressed with out breaking the grand mark. I am hooked I am trying to decide whether to add a second or sell it and get to of the ultras. Just read some of the reviews I have not found a bad one.:D
socialxray said:
Until she is casing you around the house with a knife you haven't gone too far yet. You'll be surprised how much the wife can take before that happens! :eek:

Don't think I'm not watching my back.... ;)

Push my wife...I don't think so. The kids do their fair share of pushing her. I don't want to be that last straw.

Taz and Robin, thanks for the additional info. I wish I had the money to burn.
Taz, thanks for the reply. With a 16' ceiling, you have a huge amount of cubic feet to fill for a sub and the SVS does the job. Its great when you get top notch performance at a bargain price.
Just my 2 cents -

Stereophile reviewed the Depth a while back. (Don't recall who did the review.) The only major criticism was that bass was detectable (location-wise) from the sub. Mains used in the review were not ML. I'm using a Depth with my Ascent is. Bass in my set-up is prominent and absolutely directionless. By this, I mean that bass comes from any point in the room (where it was in the original recording) and not specifically from the sub. I've been completely satisfied with this sub and recommend it.
if you hear it...

Hola...the bass notes from a sub should no be heared by the user, unless its cut frequency is setted too high and that´s why you can hear it. As I said before, bass it is a matter of taste. We should perceive the bass notes from the sub, not hear them. If you can hear them, (coming from the sub) the level is too high also. But again, it is a matter of taste. To my liking, the bass notes must come from the instrument...where it is located at the stage, not from the corner of our room.
Happy listening and trust your ears!
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When concidering Bass sound, I always harken back to my youth...
When I was in a Rock n' Rock band. I realize, that a live band is completely different than a HT system... but, When my friend, Mark, was playing his, Rickenbaucher, Bass guitar, plugged into his huge Ampeg Bass amplifier stack (four 12" drivers), we had some adjusting to do, in order to balance the tone volume and power of his Bass guitar. The challange was to blend his bass guitar harmoniously with the drums, rythem, and lead guitars and my Vox Jaguar organ plugged into my Vox stacked amplifier (two 12" drivers). It was alot of work but great fun too.
It's kind of like, my ML home theater, some tweaking is a must to make each peice blend together hamoniously to produce a tranlucent high quality of musical / effects - sound. IMHO, the bass is very important and the ML "Descent" subwoofer has really accomplished this, for my ML system. Enjoy....

i had a veloydyne HGS18 which i though was a excellent subwoofer but it just lacked something when listening to music. I have a pair of SL3's which i have placed around 54" out form the rear wall and 30 inches from the side walls. i sold my HGS and purchased two Depths and i haven't been sorry, i placed one behind each speaker like martin logan recomends and i am using a Lexicon MC12 which has stereo outputs for sub and a LFE output which i am using a Grotto. the sound i am achiving from this setup has to be one of the most enjoyable i have very had. i will not look back and I am not sorry for buying the Depths and Grotto. the bass is so clean and right for music and very exciting for movies.
I wanted to add, that in setting-up my, ML Decsent, I had to make the choice not to use the metal spikes. The reason was, this subwoofer is just so powerful. My home is a single floor, raised wood floor house. The sub-floor is 2 3/4" plywood, which is covered by padding & capeting. The Decsent with the spikes on, conducted to much bass power to the sub-floor, consiquently distubing other family members in other rooms, with-in a 25 foot radious, of the HT room. The Decsent works beautifully though, even without the spikes, continuing to deliver smooth, beautiful bass at all times....