Home Theater without subs?

F

felipe

Audioholic
I’ll probably get some flack about this, but Ive been put into a situation where I can no longer have subs in my setup :(. What to do? Well, I waited for a sale, and purchased the floorstanders in my speakers series. The result? Well, lets just say that I’m really not missing my subs all that much. Granted, the bottom octave isn’t as present as with my subs, but my enjoyment of the content I watch and listen to hasn’t diminished ( my subs were SVS SB 1000 Pros in case you were wondering )

Once I re-dialed and re-tuned everything with the floorstanders in place, the overall cohesion and SQ was on point :). Like it was mentioned earlier, the “bottomish” octave isn’t as present or impactful ( I get usable response to about 35hz in room with the floorstanders), but it’s IMO enough to satisfy most movie content.

Is there anyone else here running a setup w/o subs? If you are, how satisfied are you? Share your thoughts…or ask questions…I can take it lol ;)
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Senior Audioholic
Hi,

I have several setups that do not use subs, and use full range tower speakers. And by full range, I'm saying they hit 30hz comfortably in the room. I'm not saying they go to 20hz with authority, they do not. But for my needs and 99% of the content that comes through them, 30hz and up is all they need to do. This is not a huge challenge for many tower speakers and they don't even have to be expensive to do it. So because of this, I do not use a sub (or subs) in several setups of mine through the house because not every room is a dedicated theater room or music room, but every single room with any sort of media access has a pair of speakers, stereo, at the very least, and I make sure they're full range from 30hz and up.

We watch plenty of movies, TV, shows, stream, etc, on a single stereo setup of full range speakers every day. My kids do not need a sub to watch their stuff. And I don't want to hear their sub when I'm listening to something in another room. ;)

I'm very happy with and without subs. It depends on the setup and my content and purpose. For critical music and/or movie listening, I want subs. However, it also depends on the music greatly. Lots of music has no information below 30hz practically and so if you don't listen to music that is heavy with natural or synthetic sub bass, then you really don't need a sub for everything unless you just prefer it. Now, with movies, especially big titles, I want subs... lots of subs. I want them hot too.

The other day, someone pressed a button or two (kids...) and the AVR and towers on the living room TV stopped doing anything and so the TV speakers were playing. The kids and the wife were all asking what happened and why it sounds so thin and how they can't understand it and its muffled and just doesn't sound good anymore. Without knowing they've listened to full range speakers for years now and without knowing it developed a taste for enjoying full range audio even in their every day TV content that you normally don't think of for audio quality purposes or just in general a rich full experience with. Needless to say they don't care if I have big tower speakers, they fit in the room much better than bookshelves (on stands, which can be knocked over too easily, wires dangling up high, etc), extend farther into bass than bookshelves, and don't have to have subs (even smaller subs take up important floor space) to get to 30hz nicely. So it's just way easier to incorporate full range audio into a room with two floor standers, than to use a sub with any other speaker combos. The exception would be taking two small subs and stacking the bookshelves or floor standing speakers on top of them in a fashion they cannot fall over or get knocked over to get a "true" full range that can go deeper than 30hz (depends on subs and room and placement obviously). But still, it's just way easier to place, deal with and listen to towers for all content. The moment you add a sub it puts more wires, more need on the source gear (unless you want to deal with high level inputs, etc), more foot print floor space soaked up, etc.

In non-dedicated rooms, towers rule.

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Very best,
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Agreed. I would have to say that there are a whole lot of situations out there where people would have been better served with the bass of tower speakers than subwoofers. You get smoother bass since the low-frequencies are emanating from two different points in the room, and you get much better integrated bass since the end-user is not tasked with calibrating the subwoofer. Many people do not do a great job of blending the sub in with the main speakers. Tower speakers can often do it perfectly. A lot of people think they need subs, but they very rarely take advantage of the headroom or bass extension that subs can provide. I also think that a simple pair of tower speakers has a better spouse approval factor than two bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer. Subwoofers rank pretty low on the spouse approval factor scale.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Senior Audioholic
My Mirage OM-6’s have usable output down to 25hz. The specs claim 20hz but that’s a bit optimistic. Each speaker has a front and rear firing 5.5” midrange and 1” pure titanium hybrid tweeter with dual 8” subwoofer drivers powered by an internal amplifier that was originally 150 watts RMS / 600 watts peak but was replaced by a former Mirage engineer with an OM-200 amplifier module that outputs about double the nominal power but peaks at 800. The gain control for both towers is set at 50% with the low frequency EQ adjustable from +3dB to -3dB I leave it at 0. These have no issues running full range and for most content that I’ve tested them on they perform beautifully.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I'd consider it with the right speakers, but don't own 'em at this time, something like a set of five JTR 215RTs would be nice. Cheaper to stay with subs for me, and no reason to get rid of them.

ps Why did you have to get rid of yours?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
High-end Audiophile-grade towels from Wal-Mart to prevent my 3 vacuum Robots from hitting my speakers. Oh I have seen them try their best. :D
"Speakers" eh? Got the old Advent double stack type thing, eh? :) I hate those roomba things, had a roommate who insisted on using one....until I disabled it and booted him.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
"Speakers" eh? Got the old Advent double stack type thing, eh? :) I hate those roomba things, had a roommate who insisted on using one....until I disabled it and booted him.
Oh those robots work. I love them. That’s why I have 6 robots in my house. I don’t know where the dirt comes from, but those robots keep picking them up.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Senior Audioholic
Oh those robots work. I love them. That’s why I have 6 robots in my house. I don’t know where the dirt comes from, but those robots keep picking them up.
Same here, I run two of them and they just keep on finding it
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Same here, I run two of them and they just keep on finding it
I'm not saying they don't work, they're just super annoying. When I want the vacuum on, I'll do it myself. Plus they wouldn't handle exposed cabling very well.....and would bump into good stuff all the time....just annoying.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Nice, what are those towers again?
RBH SVT towers.

My main HT room has FIVE RBH SX-T2R towers so I don't need any subwoofers for my HT room either. :D

That has always been my philosophy - buy "Towers of Power" so that I don't need subwoofers. :D
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
RBH SVT towers.

My main HT room has FIVE RBH SX-T2R towers so I don't need any subwoofers for my HT room either. :D

That has always been my philosophy - buy "Towers of Power" so that I don't need subwoofers. :D
That's a good philosophy! Those are beautiful speakers but not your average towers of course!
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
That's a good philosophy! Those are beautiful speakers but not your average towers of course!
You're right. They are the "Last speakers I will ever need to buy" type. :D

Plan -- Save --- Buy your "Last speakers I will ever need to buy".
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yeah they're a combination of a speaker and sub stacked....so you're still using subs.....
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Senior Audioholic
Realistically, a sub has to be separate and powered, from a passive tower (with exceptions, but they're rare)

With lots of content, few subs contribute much, because a lot of TV content, srtreaming content, etc.Are not using synthetic sub-30hz effects. The wont' be missed.

Unless you're big into synth music, or orchestra , such (and its your bread & better), having a sub isn't missing anything. You can playback nurmous test CS's just to be sure, so that you're comparing two similar setups.

Very best,
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Is there anyone else here running a setup w/o subs? If you are, how satisfied are you? Share your thoughts…or ask questions…I can take it lol ;)
Surely you can't be serious?!? I am serious, and don't call me Shirley!

I think you're really asking about a setup with no subs and mains that don't go below about 35 Hz.

It depends on the mains and the movies. I tend to watch a lot action and sci fi movies with a lot bass. 35 Hz is marginal for these types of movies (just my opinion, if someone else is okay with it more power to em).

Part of the reason you don't miss the bass that much is that the SVS SB 1000s didn't have that much to begin with! You underestimate the power of the dark side of real bass! (that's just a little Audioholics sub smack talk ;))(you did kind of ask for it)

I'd have to concede, though, that getting subs to play nice with bookshelves at the crossover can be a challenge. Soooo, where I'm going with this is that the monster RBH towers are actually near the top of my upgrade wish list for the one system I have that is not too restricted by space and WAF issues.
 
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