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Adding subwoofer for stereo playback


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Thinking of adding a REL T/5i subwoofer to flesh out the bottom end of the Moth Cicadas. This will be for stereo playback only, no HT, in a small room (146 cu ft). Anyone, have any experience integrating a sub with the Moths? Or with the REL subwoofer? 

Edited by morphsci
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i have been using a sub with my Alerions for four or five years. i copied Mike’s choice of an HSU Research STF-2 (he used/may still use with his Cicadas). it is ported but never seems out of time alignment (no “speed” issue i’ve heard about for some ported). i originally had the crossover set lower, maybe 50-60hz, but in the last year ramped it up to 80-100hz and noticed an improvement in the low end integrating into overall presentation (i continue to change my volume setting on the sub probably once a month, never feel like i have it right). in my current speaker positioning, the sub location has mostly disappeared but not entirely. that’s been my main issue and recently i have been thinking about making a switch to a more mid-tier sealed sub myself... either from HSU (ULS-15 MK2) or SVS. the REL you linked looks like another comparable option. my room is also pretty small, you definitely don’t need to push a ton of SPL from the low-end to get a dramatically fuller sound from these full range speakers.

knowing both your speakers and your power amp... basically i recommend you go for it and it will make a huge difference and most importantly allow the lowther drivers to focus on what they do best... mid range glory. it is going to feel like something you should have done years ago. that’s certainly how i felt.

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Not with either of those two, but when I first discovered audiophile equipment, I ran my Spendor S3/5a speakers with a small Jolida integrated amp and a Sunfire Subwoofer.  A couple lessons learned, but the biggest one is the difference between longer cable runs (the sub's crossover can relieve whatever amp is driving the Cicadas from having to amplify those lower frequencies) vs having a less accurate crossover point (the Cicadas probably have a lower frequency roll off that can be -- very roughly -- matched with the sub's crossover), so spend some time researching both.
The Sunfire had a nice feature called "variable phase" which basically adjusted microdelay.  It definitely made integrating easier.

Also, where the crossover point is very important -- the lower the better.

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Jim. I've always read that placement of the subwoofer isn't that critical. I myself have found this to be wrong. I'd say play around with placement, crossover frequency and level. I've had several systems with subs, and have usually found that in the case of front firing subs, lining up the the driver with my monitors has produced a more aligned and natural sound. Room corner placement can help with A/V systems, but IMO is too wooley for music only systems. In general a sealed sub is better for music as well. As Bryan stated, I think the "more is better" idea grabs you at first, because you're hearing all this bass you've been missing, but I think eventually you'll find yourself setting the crossover higher, and the level lower. Every room/system is different, and it's not a quick dial in, but keep playing around and you'll get there.

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I have a REL R-205 sub that looks like a similar size. I use it for HT duty with Gallo wall speakers. I haven't tried it with the Cicadas and very little with music but I think it would be a good fit with the Cicadas. It isn't slow and bloated from what I can tell. Makes me want to try it with the Cicadas now, although I would have to use the tape out on the Moth passive pre.

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All good information and I agree with all of it. I plan to spend a lot of time tweaking the sub placement, crossover point and level. I have a copy of the Stereophile review of the Cicadas which has a nice set of measurements to start from. I wish the sub had a continuous phase adjustment but it just has a switch, a minor quibble. I am still trying to decide if I want to go with the T/5i (Down firing 10” woofer) or the T/7i (10” front firing woofer and 12” down firing passive radiator). Not a huge difference in either price or size between them. I have always liked the REL approach to subwoofer design, especially for stereo uses so I will likely go that route since I should just try them. I am just not sure which one will work better as I have relatively little room to move things around much as you can see in the floor plan below.

 

JMN_Office_Plan.thumb.jpg.f23defb20d25d3b7cea126ccd6fa3bcf.jpg

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13 minutes ago, Dusty Chalk said:

Yeah, if you have the freedom to move the sub closer or farther away, that’s the same thing as continuous phase on the Sunfire.

Yeah, I actually did know that but I totally forgot. 🤦‍♂️ Thanks for refreshing my aging memory.

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I've had good results using the old subwoofer/listening spot trick.

Put your sub at your normal listening spot, put on some music with lots of info below 100hz and move around the room listening for the most balanced bass.

Where it sounds best is a good place to place the sub.

 

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Jim - don’t know if this will help for future integration but I wanted to correct myself, my sub crossover is a little lower than I had stated, currently at ~75hz. Alerion is spec’d down to 70hz. 
 

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