Studio subwoofer recommendation

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Now that I look back at that review, it's not the most objective or scientific, to say the least. I didn't realize that the frequency chart was Yamaha's but I realize now that it looks familiar. When I was researching monitors, I kept seeing rave review after rave review of the HS8s and people kept saying how accurate and detailed their low end is. Now that I've looked into the Presonus Eris E8XT a bit, it seems like they would give me similar performance at a lower price point. They are also front ported, which is huge because I'm close to a wall, plus they have more flexibility in terms of their bass management, as you mentioned. I'm going to look into what Kali and Adam have to offer in my price range but it looks like I'll probably end up going with the Presonus.

I actually have a Dayton Audio DSP-408 that used to be installed in my car that I can use for my studio, so I should be able to integrate whatever sub I end up with. I also have Peace EQ on my PC so that gives me some flexibility. What I need to figure out is how I want to set everything up, since I have 2 different systems with 2 monitors each, a Subpac and a subwoofer. I'm thinking I'll probably mostly use the Subpac for production and the subwoofer for DJing and casual use, while still being able to reference my mixes with it from time to time.
Good to hear you have the Dayton DSP. That is exactly what you need. That being the case, you don't really need the PreSonus Eris E8 XTs, but they are very good. I have tried a bunch of monitors, and they are very good ones. The front porting isn't really an issue, since ports don't need that much room to work, a couple inches will do. You will need to give your speakers some rear space anyway, just to make room for the cables (unless you get cables with 90-degree terminations), and that should be enough space for the ports to work.

I have been toying around with Peace EQ a bit myself lately. I don't know how it could help you unless you can assign its EQ curves to specific channels. I know it can do that in standard surround sound setups, but can it do that with a pro-audio interface? Those tend to one have two-channel output. What kind of audio interface are you using?

One thing, I had to look up the Subpac, and if I were you, I would take it out of music production. It looks like fun, but the problem is how do you level match something like that with the rest of your sound? There is no way to do that since it doesn't actually produce sound. Again, you may be facing the dilemma of how much bass is really in your mix? I could see something like a Subpac making it seem like there is more bass than there really is, which is bad for content creation, especially in bass-heavy music. On that subject, when you get the sub, do you have a way to level match it with the speakers? It will be important to get that right. If its level is too high with respect to the speakers, the mix will be light on bass, but if its level is too low, you will have more bass than what you intend.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I don't need infrasonic bass, so the ULS-15 looks like a good choice. Good to hear that the criticism of Monoprice is overblown. I'll still keep the Monolith 12 on my short list. What do you think about the Monolith 10? It's in stock right now and it's only $500 shipped. Looks like it uses the same amp as the 12 and has the same build quality. I've been thinking more about the setup of my room and I think going with a smaller sub might be okay since I'll be using it mostly for DJing and it will probably be set up right next to me. Although my room is about 3000 cubic feet in total, it's L shaped and my production and DJ setups are side by side on the long wall in the long section of the L. That section is 22 x 11 x 8, so a little under 2000 cubic feet. As long as the bass sounds good in that section of the L, I'm not too concerned with what it sounds like in the other section.
If I were you, I would stay away from the Monoprice 10 unless you can get multiples. It is not a mid-bass monster. To give you some perspective, the ULS-15 mk2 has about 10dB more mid-bass headroom than the Monoprice 10. That is a full tripling of SPL, so you need to get three Monoprice 10s to do what a single ULS-15 mk2 can do in mid-bass! The Monoprice 12" is a significantly higher performer in mid-bass than the Monoprice 10", even though they share the same amp and same driver motor. The difference is cone area, enclosure volume, and port size. Larger size = greater efficiency. The Monoprice 12" nearly doubles the output ability of the Monoprice 10".

I hate to open this can of worms for you, but placement will be critical in getting a neutral response from the bass. Room acoustics always wreak havoc on the bass response. You need to get the sub in a place where it will give you the flattest response. Hopefully you have the means to measure the response, then you can use Peace or your DSP to actually EQ the room mode peaks out.

There may be ways for you to use the sub for both DJing and content creation simultaneously. These subs have more than one input. Why not use them for both systems?
 
A

Abyde

Enthusiast
Good to hear you have the Dayton DSP. That is exactly what you need. That being the case, you don't really need the PreSonus Eris E8 XTs, but they are very good. I have tried a bunch of monitors, and they are very good ones. The front porting isn't really an issue, since ports don't need that much room to work, a couple inches will do. You will need to give your speakers some rear space anyway, just to make room for the cables (unless you get cables with 90-degree terminations), and that should be enough space for the ports to work.

I have been toying around with Peace EQ a bit myself lately. I don't know how it could help you unless you can assign its EQ curves to specific channels. I know it can do that in standard surround sound setups, but can it do that with a pro-audio interface? Those tend to one have two-channel output. What kind of audio interface are you using?

One thing, I had to look up the Subpac, and if I were you, I would take it out of music production. It looks like fun, but the problem is how do you level match something like that with the rest of your sound? There is no way to do that since it doesn't actually produce sound. Again, you may be facing the dilemma of how much bass is really in your mix? I could see something like a Subpac making it seem like there is more bass than there really is, which is bad for content creation, especially in bass-heavy music. On that subject, when you get the sub, do you have a way to level match it with the speakers? It will be important to get that right. If its level is too high with respect to the speakers, the mix will be light on bass, but if its level is too low, you will have more bass than what you intend.
I have a MOTU M2 which has 1/2" and RCA outputs but they are tied to the same output channel so I wouldn't be able to EQ the sub separately with Peace EQ. I would be able to EQ the whole system together but I'm sure I would get better results by using the Dayton DSP.

Reference songs are the key to using the Subpac for production and mixing. I just A/B my tunes with others in the same genre and I've had great results so far. It's especially good for things like making the sub bass and kick play together well. I also make sure to play my tunes on various other systems to make sure they translate. So far it's been an absolute game changer.
 
A

Abyde

Enthusiast
If I were you, I would stay away from the Monoprice 10 unless you can get multiples. It is not a mid-bass monster. To give you some perspective, the ULS-15 mk2 has about 10dB more mid-bass headroom than the Monoprice 10. That is a full tripling of SPL, so you need to get three Monoprice 10s to do what a single ULS-15 mk2 can do in mid-bass! The Monoprice 12" is a significantly higher performer in mid-bass than the Monoprice 10", even though they share the same amp and same driver motor. The difference is cone area, enclosure volume, and port size. Larger size = greater efficiency. The Monoprice 12" nearly doubles the output ability of the Monoprice 10".

I hate to open this can of worms for you, but placement will be critical in getting a neutral response from the bass. Room acoustics always wreak havoc on the bass response. You need to get the sub in a place where it will give you the flattest response. Hopefully you have the means to measure the response, then you can use Peace or your DSP to actually EQ the room mode peaks out.

There may be ways for you to use the sub for both DJing and content creation simultaneously. These subs have more than one input. Why not use them for both systems?
Thanks for the advice. Looks like the Monoprice 12 is definitely the way to go between the two.

I'm well on my way down the wormhole when it comes to room acoustics lol. When I finally decide on a sub, I'll definitely be doing the sub crawl to try and figure out placement. The reason I said it would be next to my DJ setup is because I don't have a lot of other space for it in the room right now. I'll probably have to rearrange the room to get optimal sub placement.

I probably will use the sub for both DJing and content creation but since I have the Subpac for production and I'll most likely have to rearrange my room to get a flat response, I'll probably mostly use it for DJing at first. I have a Dayton Audio imm-6 calibrated measurement mic that I can use to measure the response, so we'll see what happens.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I have a MOTU M2 which has 1/2" and RCA outputs but they are tied to the same output channel so I wouldn't be able to EQ the sub separately with Peace EQ. I would be able to EQ the whole system together but I'm sure I would get better results by using the Dayton DSP.

Reference songs are the key to using the Subpac for production and mixing. I just A/B my tunes with others in the same genre and I've had great results so far. It's especially good for things like making the sub bass and kick play together well. I also make sure to play my tunes on various other systems to make sure they translate. So far it's been an absolute game changer.
I have an MOTU M2 myself, great unit! Not easy to score unless you have patience. If you can make the Subpac reliably translate your mix into an intended sound, then I suppose you have found a way to make it work. I do think that a subwoofer calibrated to your system will give you a more honest representation of what you are making.
Thanks for the advice. Looks like the Monoprice 12 is definitely the way to go between the two.

I'm well on my way down the wormhole when it comes to room acoustics lol. When I finally decide on a sub, I'll definitely be doing the sub crawl to try and figure out placement. The reason I said it would be next to my DJ setup is because I don't have a lot of other space for it in the room right now. I'll probably have to rearrange the room to get optimal sub placement.

I probably will use the sub for both DJing and content creation but since I have the Subpac for production and I'll most likely have to rearrange my room to get a flat response, I'll probably mostly use it for DJing at first. I have a Dayton Audio imm-6 calibrated measurement mic that I can use to measure the response, so we'll see what happens.
The Monoprice is a great sub. It is very large and heavy for a 12" sub though. At that point, you might consider a Hsu VTF-15h mk2. It's a higher performer without being much larger or heavier, although it does cost a bit more. Both of those subs are big though, so make sure you have the floorspace before pulling the trigger. You might do a size mock-up using the spec'd dimensions to see where they could fit. You might also think about two smaller subs instead of one larger sub. That might be easier to find spots for, and it should also reduce frequency response wonkiness from room acoustics. Two VTF-2 mk5s or Monoprice 10"s would be pretty good.

Hearing that you have a measurement mic is good news. Use that in conjunction with REW, and you may end up getting a decent bass response by finding the optimal placement and also taking out peaks with Peace. Remember that it's not a good idea to try shoring up dips in the response with EQ. What you want to do is shore up nulls with placement and then trim peaks with EQ.

Let us know how it goes!
 

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