What size sub do I need for Aeons?

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mondoribo

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Interested in a sub to go with a pair of Aeons. This is for a 2 channel system, music only. The room is 14x25 with vaulted ceilings. You could say (like a dealer I spoke with) that the Aeons are undersized for this room, but they still sound great and I couldn't afford to spend more at the time. I have heard the Descent at a good dealer, set up properly with a pair of Aeons. I have also heard a Depth, and the Velodyne DD-12 at another dealer, without any special setup. I am also interested possibly a used Rel Strata or Storm. So (after making a short story long) my question is, do I need to shell out for the Descent (which sounded great) or can the smaller ML Depth or REL Strata (or Storm) e.g. put out enough to work well with the Aeons and still fill the room? It also occured to me that I could probably find 2 used Stratas on Audiogon for less than the price of the Descent.
Thanks for your help.
Jon

System:
Martin Logan Aeons
Rotel RC-1070 preamp
Rotel RB-1080 amp
 

SugarMedia

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Good question Jon,

I have the same speakers as you, and have considered getting a sub at some point in time. So I'll be curious as to what others say.

As a side note, I had audtioned the Rotel amps that you have, and found them to be underpowered on the AeonI's. Once I switched to an amp with more power (Musical Fidelity A5), I noticed a huge increase in bass response.

Regards.
 

Jeff Zaret

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A comment here.
I had the RC-1070 and still have the RB-1090. I think the RB-1080 should be "ok" for the Aeons. I do believe they are not as demanding as the Sequels or the CLS which do "ask" a lot of an amp.
Having said that one of the biggest changes in sound I achieved was changing the preamp to tubes. It seemed as though I gained more power, which is not true, but in comparison the volume settings are much less than with the other preamp.
Now, as far as subs, I have a Depth that I use with my CLSiiZ's and I have no issues with enough bass.

Just a comment and only 1 cent this time. :D

Jeff
 

aliveatfive

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In a medium size room, Depth will give you all you need. In addition, Stereophile's comment that Depth does not give you accurate bass location is hogwash. (I've had one for about 16 months and I'm completely satisfied. Used with Ascent Is.)
 

garmtz

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I think you cannot go wrong with any of the Velodyne Digital Drive series subs. They have eq built-in, a 1250W amp and servo control. I have heard them improve a system with JM Lab Grand Utopia. They are some of the fastest and most distortion-free subs I have heard, besting the ML subs easily.
 

mondoribo

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Great. Looks like I'll have to demo multiple subs AND look for a tube preamp ;>) . The Rotel amp I am using seems to have plenty of power. If I turn the volume up to the "9 O'clock" position its a good listening volume. 12 O'clock its blasting, and I haven't dared turn it any louder than that. But the idea of a tube preamp is intriguing, if there any good value, spouse friendly solutions available.
I was also wondering if there was an advantage having multiple drivers that fire in different directions. Could this compensate for "dead spots" in the room better than a single front or down firing sub? I have some bad spots. If I play a test tone tone (e.g. 70-70 Hz) and walk around the room with the SPM, I see swings of up to 15 dB, but I guess this can be normal.
I also get a kick out of what different dealers consider an "audiophile" sub. One dealer dealt with only Martin Logan and REL. Others push Velodyne. Another dealer, where I bought my present system (but doesn't carry ML anymore), suggested the Sunfire True Sub, Jr. as a good, cost effective solution (i.e. lots of power and two 8" drivers).
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Jon
 

DTB300

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I agree with Jeff on the Tube Pre with the SS Amp. I cannot afford to run Tube Amps (purchase and tube rolling/maintenance), so I went with a nice Tube Pre and like the sound I get from my setup - the bottom line. But YMMV and you should really audition all the items to see what you think about the sound compared to what you already have.

Dan
 
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EricE

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DTB300 said:
I agree with Jeff on the Tube Pre with the SS Amp. I cannot afford to run Tube Amps (purchase and tube rolling/maintenance), so I went with a nice Tube Pre and like the sound I get from my setup - the bottom line. But YMMV and you should really audition all the items to see what you think about the sound compared to what you already have.

Dan
I guess that is the popular concensus on the board. Tube Pre with a SS Amp. I got that suggestion many moons ago but have only enjoyed the benifits in the last couple of years since the BAT purchase. There is no turning back now :D
 

DTB300

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Don't get me wrong here...I would love to own some nice Tube Amps and be able to afford the initial purchase and upkeep, but have kids almost ready for college and anyone in that situation (Jeff?) can relate. So I live happily with what I have (glad to have my current system) and do not sit wondering what if.

Dan
 

kach22i

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Does the Rotel pre-amp have dual outputs to run your signal though?

If you piggy back the signal to the subwoofer with speaker wires you will degrade the stereo imaging.

The money you would be spending on a good subwoofer would be better spent on a good tube pre-amp in my opinion.

I had solid state electronis (Rotel) in my Aerius based system for 12 years, this summer I went tube - oh baby I love the tubes. :D
 

Jeff Zaret

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THe Rotel did have dual "pre" outs so I could run one to the amp and the other to the sub. My tube does not and I "Y" the output and to me there is no difference in sound. In fact it sounds better. I know spec-wise it should not but if you think about it this is the better way to do this in my situation. Why use a crossover from the sub and lose everything that I wanted when I purchased the tube pre????

Yes Dan college age kids are killing my budget for more toys. As I think I have already stated my daugther is affectionately known as the "wallet leech" :eek: My son who is older borrows money in larger increments so he doesn't help either :(

Jeff
 

kach22i

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Jeff Zaret said:
THe Rotel did have dual "pre" outs so I could run one to the amp and the other to the sub.
I'm not sure if there is a way to verify this without actualy setting it up (manuals have been known to be wrong) and conducting an experiment..............but sometimes dual preamp outputs are not setup on the same variable output/volume control. My old Carver CT-17 was setup with a remote room location output and a extra fixed output, and could never be matched up to work "as one" with the main output.

Depending on your room, setup and the subwoofer- adding a sub could make the speakers sound slow. Also because the overall tone of the music is biased towards the base the top end can sound rolled off or unbalanced somehow. I'm sure setup right adding a sub can be great, however I was unable to get to that point with mine.

My sub serves it's role in the H.T. setup which is seperate from my 2-channel setup (they share a room though). Turntable rumble (and foot falls) may also be injected into the listening landscape with a subwoofer.
 

zaphod

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EricE said:
Does anybody know about Jon Foulks and his IB setup?
Are those Monoliths?

Now that last pic has got to be one amazing sounding IB setup.
Monolith III's actually :)

yep. i found pictures of his site through the IB cult pages, ihe's been a member here since June, but i suspect he hasn't been reading, what with all the IB sub chatter.

i'd like to hear his experience with having the logos behind the acoustically transparent screen - does it really work?
 

Jeff Zaret

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kach22i said:
I'm not sure if there is a way to verify this without actualy setting it up (manuals have been known to be wrong) and conducting an experiment..............but sometimes dual preamp outputs are not setup on the same variable output/volume control. My old Carver CT-17 was setup with a remote room location output and a extra fixed output, and could never be matched up to work "as one" with the main output.

Depending on your room, setup and the subwoofer- adding a sub could make the speakers sound slow. Also because the overall tone of the music is biased towards the base the top end can sound rolled off or unbalanced somehow. I'm sure setup right adding a sub can be great, however I was unable to get to that point with mine.

My sub serves it's role in the H.T. setup which is seperate from my 2-channel setup (they share a room though). Turntable rumble (and foot falls) may also be injected into the listening landscape with a subwoofer.
I believe the outputs to be the same but at this point for me the point is moot. I no longer have the preamp. I have a Conrad Johnson pre now and life is different and much better sound-wise!

Jeff
 
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EricE

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zaphod said:
Monolith III's actually :)

yep. i found pictures of his site through the IB cult pages, ihe's been a member here since June, but i suspect he hasn't been reading, what with all the IB sub chatter.

i'd like to hear his experience with having the logos behind the acoustically transparent screen - does it really work?
I'd like to pick his brains too with the IB. My front wall is ideal for a IB setup as the black panels on either side only have sonex right now behind them then drywall. I could put IB subs on either side of the screen BUT my screen is also a DIY painted drywall screen. I'm afraid that the IB subs would crack the drywall.
 

mondoribo

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Found a TAD-150 tube preamp locally through Audiogon. The owner let me bring it home to try it out. Went back and forth between it and the Rotel SS preamp for an hour last night before I got shut down (kids bedtime), but will continue today. With some recordings there is a noticeable difference. Definitely a richer sound with more bass coming through. I am guessing I'll end up writing this person a check for the TAD and keep my Rotel preamp as a glorified audio hub because I still need to run the line level CD signal to the whole house amp and to the HT amp in another room, and the TAD has no line level outputs. I'm wondering if I need that sub after all. But I might just bring one home for a demo anyway :D
 

risabet

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A great little pre-amp

mondoribo said:
Found a TAD-150 tube preamp locally through Audiogon. The owner let me bring it home to try it out. Went back and forth between it and the Rotel SS preamp for an hour last night before I got shut down (kids bedtime), but will continue today. With some recordings there is a noticeable difference. Definitely a richer sound with more bass coming through. I am guessing I'll end up writing this person a check for the TAD and keep my Rotel preamp as a glorified audio hub because I still need to run the line level CD signal to the whole house amp and to the HT amp in another room, and the TAD has no line level outputs. I'm wondering if I need that sub after all. But I might just bring one home for a demo anyway :D
You can't go wrong with the TAD-150. I have had mine for 3-4 months now and it is a true giant killer. Both the phono section and the line stage are nice, very quiet, highly dynamic, treats the music very well. I am going to replace my current amp with a pair of TAD-1000 mono amps as the PS is 15-20 years old and I have had a long love of tube amps. These should make a nice combo with the Clarity's, and any upgrade M-L's in the future.

Don't understand others complaints about the cost of tube amps. Tube amps are no more expensive then equivalent SS amps initially, you don't have to roll, though it is surely fun, and output tubes will last 2-3000 hrs before replacement, about 2 years on average, so the amortized cost for 8 6550's/KT88"s is about $100.00 per year, certainly more than SS, but not ridiculous.
 

mondoribo

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Thanks to everyone for their input. After adding the tube preamp (TAD-150) and getting some nice improvements, I finally got around to auditioning a Velodyne DD-10 sub in my room. The room is 14'x25' with vaulted ceilings. Since the best sub positions were at the complete opposite side of the room from the preamps/amp, I had to rig some long cables as well as bring a TV into the room. (It became clear to me that Velodyne designed this EQ stuff to be easily calibrated with a HT, not necessarily in a 2 channel setup). Anyway, it took a while to understand the nuances of the Velodyne EQ software, but at the end I was pretty impressed. With the Velo volume at 0, the Aeons had a nice flat response down to about 35 Hz, well below the 43 in the specs. With the Velo on and bass turned up to match the level of the speakers, there were a couple of room resonances at about 42 and 63 Hz that stood out. Moving the sub from a position about 3 ft. from the wall out to about 6 feet (still spouse-friendly positioning) gave a much flatter response, but didn't make the room resonances completely disappear. Using the EQ though, I was able to get it pretty flat from 25 Hz up, with some tailing off at 20 Hz and nothing lower. This profile was much better than the "flat" example they give in the manual. It was important to play with the crossover slope settings to achieve this. The phase and polarity were good to start with. Saved the settings and listened to some music. The velo definitely added something, but the superlatives that reviewers use to describe this sub did not come to mind. Just seemed to fill in the deep end nicely. (By the way, the crossover was set at 70 Hz). I was very impressed with the EQ part, but am thinking maybe a DD-12 would sound better. The DD-10 was working very hard at high volume levels. Anyway, I will demo a Depth next week sometime, but after thinking about this I don't think I should be in a hurry to make a decision. Some others have suggested multiple subs, e.g. a pair of ACI Force subs, or a pair of Onix ULW-10s. This might flatten out the room modes a bit without EQ and definitely push more air than a single 10" Velodyne. So many possibilities.
On an unrelated topic, the TAD-150 does not have any line level outputs, and I need to run my CD player to a second preamp for the whole house system. Would putting high quality Y-adapters such as http://www.monstercable.com/productPage.asp?pin=655
on the CD player outputs degrade the signal?
Thanks for your help and advice.
Jon
 

garmtz

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8 x 5 m is a pretty big room... The DD-10 is not designed to fill these kinds of spaces, you need a bigger model for that.
 
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