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Adding Subwoofer to the existing 2.0 setup

Mogami Cables

robin3989

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Hello Forum members!

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I currently have a 2.0 setup, S.M.S.L SA-98E (Class-D 2 channel Amp) driving a pair of Fluance SX6 Bookshelves. I purchased them in 2016, and have been regularly listening. I decided to buy S.M.S.L SA-98E as it was a small but powerful Class-D amp and my cousin was in China at that time, who helped me get the amp. Now that i started to feel i'm missing the low frequencies as the SX6 Bookshelves can't go any lower than 50 Hz, i'm planning to add a subwoofer to the existing setup.

Before posting this, i have spent hours of reading on the subject "subwoofers" and finally decided to get BIC Acoustech H-100ii 12-inch sub that appears to be VFM and highly capable sub for regular use. Initially when i decided to get a SUB, i was looking at 8-inch ~100W subs for less than 20k, but eventually extended the budget to 35k. My room is small (11x13 ft) and i listen to music everyday and watch movies only on weekends. I stay in Kochi, and i don't know if there is a place to audition BIC Subwoofers. I was much more inclined towards Polk HTS10 & 12, but these subs do not have High level speaker inputs, but S.M.S.L just has the speaker outputs. Most of the reviews say, H-100ii is better than F12, so i have ignored F12 as well.

I am posting my questions, hoping FM's provide their invaluable answers.
1) Does H-100ii fit my room, or simply an overkill?
2) S.M.S.L SA-98E is a Class-D amp, though small i have heard it does generate distorted output. Does the amp easily drive the bookshelves and sub clean?
3) Where in Kochi, Kerala can i go experience the sub / buy directly from a dealer?
4) I checked with ProAudtioHome and they confirmed that they do not have H-100ii, they only have F12 & PL-200ii. The product is available for import in cart2india. Buying from this online site is safe?
 

Nitin K

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Hi Robin,

Welcome to the forum. While I have never heard Bic Accoustics but there are a lot of FM's who own them & can guide you better with respect to spl in the room. As long as your amp supplies good clean signal to your sub then it shouldn't be an issue. Besides the sub being powered will reduce the load on the amp which in turn will power the Fluance bookshelves more efficiently.
Pls check your cables & speaker wires too since they too can lead to noise & distortion. The BIC pl 200ii has got good reviews but pls check if they have the high level speaker inputs you are looking for. All the best.
 

sijusid

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Hello,
Although speaker level connection works best, you can use any sub which has line level input and output, which is very common for all modern subwoofers.
Line level connection (rca) from your source to sub line level input. Then from your sub line level out to your amp line level input. Your sub will control the crossover to your amp. This will also reduce the load on your amp. You will have to spend some time with sub gain and crossover to get a perfect blend, but is definitely possible.

BIC subs are good. I won't consider buying online, unless you are certain about the online place and genuine review/feedback are available.
 

Nitin K

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Hello,
Although speaker level connection works best, you can use any sub which has line level input and output, which is very common for all modern subwoofers.
Line level connection (rca) from your source to sub line level input. Then from your sub line level out to your amp line level input. Your sub will control the crossover to your amp. This will also reduce the load on your amp. You will have to spend some time with sub gain and crossover to get a perfect blend, but is definitely possible.

BIC subs are good. I won't consider buying online, unless you are certain about the online place and genuine review/feedback are available.
Hi Robin,

Totally agree with what Siju has said, risky buying blindly online unless the site is credible like Amazon. Cart2India reviews on Amazon are not very reassuring. Pls try to audition it somewhere personally.
 

Nitin K

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Also if you are ordering online from a reputed seller then pls see that the subwoofer conforms to the Indian voltage of 220 - 240 volts
 

msaab90

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Hello,
Although speaker level connection works best, you can use any sub which has line level input and output, which is very common for all modern subwoofers.
Line level connection (rca) from your source to sub line level input. Then from your sub line level out to your amp line level input. Your sub will control the crossover to your amp. This will also reduce the load on your amp. You will have to spend some time with sub gain and crossover to get a perfect blend, but is definitely possible.

BIC subs are good. I won't consider buying online, unless you are certain about the online place and genuine review/feedback are available.
Hi, The sub Robin is interested in BIC Acoustech H-100ii does not have a line out. Although it does have high level connections. Most of subwoofers in budget range do not have line out option, infact none of the three subs mentioned in his initial post have this option. The best option in this case is high level integration of the subwoofer.
 

msaab90

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Also look into the used market, you might find a good sub at bargain price.
 

robin3989

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Hello All,

Thanks a lot for all your replies. As i could not find BIC Acoustech H-100ii anywhere else, i decided to look for alternatives purely for music listening. Like i already said, i use the 2.0 stereo system for music listening 95% of the time. After reading several posts, i came to the understanding that sealed subs are preferred for music and brands like, SVS SB series, REL perform better for music.

Also as mentioned in the original post that i have only the speaker level output from the amplifier, i was thinking between SVS SB1000 and REL T5/I, they both accept high level input. Particularly, REL insists using the speaker level inputs so as to enable the SUB perfectly blend with the main speakers. Both SVS & REL Subwoofers are currently available in a store at Kochi, and i was able to audition REL T7/i and SVS SB2000 from the shop. SB2000 was way too powerful and it's presence was felt solid. However REL T7/i was very fast and at one point the bass didn't feel like produced by the sub, but it was just there in the room.

I have now made up my mind to buy REL T5/i, since my listening room is small and a 8" sub would be sufficient for listening at low volume levels.

Thanks,
Robin R
 

raghupb

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@robin3989
How big is the room? REL T5/i may not pressurize the room if it is more than 120 sft.
I've tried this at my place. Of course my living room opens into a dining area.
Have the T9/i at home. It is a very good sub for the money, assuming you have budget for it.
T7/i is only marginally cheaper than T9/i

If the dealer has a demo piece, try getting a home demo before committing.
Cheers,
Raghu
 

raghupb

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REL T5/i is an 8" bottom firing sub.
When I tried it in my room/setup it made its presence felt, but could not pressurize the room.
My journey from 2.0 to 2.1 is detailed here:

I did borrow a REL T5/i from dealer for a couple of days before committing on a bigger sub.
Try to convince the local dealer to facilitate a home demo of T5/i

Cheers,
Raghu
 

robin3989

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REL T5/i is an 8" bottom firing sub.
When I tried it in my room/setup it made its presence felt, but could not pressurize the room.
My journey from 2.0 to 2.1 is detailed here:

I did borrow a REL T5/i from dealer for a couple of days before committing on a bigger sub.
Try to convince the local dealer to facilitate a home demo of T5/i

Cheers,
Raghu
Good to know that you have tried T5/i before going for a bigger sub. The dealer doesn't have a demo T5/i piece. He has to bring the product from REL India distributor before delivering it to the customer. So, currently he places the request only if a customer is willing to buy.

I placed the order, but did not make the full payment yet. I have decided T5/i based on 1) Listening levels - weekdays, i spent around 30 mins of music listening in the night and usually at low volume levels 2) The room is small 140sqft. and 3) The most important - BUDGET!

I have to say that your quest to find the perfect sub was a really interesting read. I can say, i'm a bit more informed now about subwoofers and their role in reproducing low frequencies required for the entire setup to sound full range! Thanks for sharing your experiences.
 

mpw

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At low volume levels larger subs are better...IMO

But in a smaller room you might have made a good choice..

Njoi the music !
 

robin3989

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REL T5/i arrived Saturday evening.

Inside the Box:
Power cable, neutrik speakon connector, REL T5/i, user manual. Well packed, extra attention needed to ensure that the top side is cut open first to easily access the power cable and speakon connector. Being heavy, i tilted the box upside down so the subwoofer will stay on the ground and the box can be safely lifted. REL is a well built product, however care should be taken to extend the life of glossy piano finish.

Setting up:
Yesterday, I connected the sub to the high level output of power amp using the provided Neutrik speakon connectors and played the recommended Track 4 - Sneakers (Columbia CK 53146) for about 4 hours. I placed the sub in the front right corner behind the FR main speaker. I was also adjusting the sub position so, the pressure can be felt from the listening point but it's not that punchy. I have currently set the crossover at 12'o clock and the volume is somewhere between 10-11'o clock.

Listening Experience:
REL does add some body to the songs and this can be identified only by turning the sub off while listening and realising the same tracks going thin. Sometimes, there's no clue to even find if the sub responds at all, several times i go check if the sub is powered on or if the connections are all intact. This makes me feel that the sub is not positioned properly, or if the cross over/hi level aren't set correctly. Like i already said, the listening room is not in cuboid shape, so some fine tuning is needed. Can someone tell how many hours of playing bass heavy songs at medium volume levels will help break-in the driver? I'm expecting that the listening experience will improve once the driver is broken-in.

To find the perfect spot, i also tried placing the sub in the listening position and walked around the room to see if i can the sweet spot. Unfortunately this method didn't work, i could not hear any difference anywhere in the corners at all. @raghupb, or any REL T5/i owners please help on improving the overall sound.
 

Weathered

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You would not want to "feel" the sub's "presence" as a seperate component of the speakers chain. The sound emanating from speakers & sub combo should be cohesive. In a way what you felt about missing the body of the sound when you turned it off is a good sign to begin with.
 

aeroash

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Listening Experience:
REL does add some body to the songs and this can be identified only by turning the sub off while listening and realising the same tracks going thin. Sometimes, there's no clue to even find if the sub responds at all, several times i go check if the sub is powered on or if the connections are all intact.
What you have described is a perfect sub for music. A sub should add body (read: stage and depth) without being able to pinpoint its location. A music sub is not meant to be punchy ( unless that's what you were going for, to begin with). I have no experience with REL, but from what I have read, you have described the characteristic of REL precisely. REL owners should corroborate this. Think of the sound of the sub as luxurious, rather than SLAM, BAM, WHAM!
 

aeroash

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To find the perfect spot, i also tried placing the sub in the listening position and walked around the room to see if i can the sweet spot. Unfortunately this method didn't work, i could not hear any difference anywhere in the corners at all. @raghupb, or any REL T5/i owners please help on improving the overall sound.
This takes 'trained ears'. You should know what to listen to. I was in a similar dilemma, but as time goes by you learn to 'Listen'. Audiophile tutorials online, mostly, are for audiophiles, they assume that you already have trained ears, once you do, it's easy. Have patience!
 

sijusid

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Even from my limited listening experience with REL, the sound description by you seems to be matching what i felt too.

REL is known for their musicality and are
known for blending in to your main speakers. However, since it's by an high level connection, do ensure that setup is proper, especially for crossover and gain. You will require some trial and error and information on low end of your main speakers to set the crossover correctly.

You may have to keep the gain slightly on higher side (past 12 o'clock)- my guess looking at your room size and sub size.

Don't worry about experimenting. Keep experimenting and i am sure, you will get one setting which will work for you..
 

robin3989

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There are some videos by REL on YouTube for their subs...



Thanks Siju! The last video particularly is very helpful. I'll send a photo later today showing my room and the setup. I'm now starting to think i would have achieved better results if i had a normal cube sized room. I currently have the sub too close to the wall, i will pull it a few inches away diagonally to see if they results improve.
 
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