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Which subwoofer should I buy?

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I've been looking for a subwoofer (and an amplifier) for my speaker system, Sharp XL DK255, but I am unsure of what exactly to look for in a subwoofer. Any resident audiophiles want to fill me in? :)

 

I only know the basics of what to look for in audio equiptment, mostly as far as headphones. Also do I need to look for anything special with regards to an amplifier? Or are they pretty much straight forward?

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It's perfect! Though I'd rather the color be blue, to match my computer's color scheme.

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It's perfect! Though I'd rather the color be blue, to match my computer's color scheme.

Ask any elderly matron to take it to her hair stylist for a blue rinse :P

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Winapp, I have found that the Creative series, though a tad expensive, has sounded excellent in the ones I got in the time past.

 

Of course, having a good sound card also helps, as does going into the media player & under advanced, changing the Equalizer settings to raise the very last bar to 100%, then the bar preceding it to 70%, then the bar preceding that one to 40%.

 

This will increase your treble end, & make the sound a little cleaner.

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Now, there are a few things to know about subwoofers:

 

- Larger speakers carry sound further with the same wattage. A 100 Watt 10 inch speaker will carry the sound further than a 100 Watt 6 inch speaker. Bigger speakers push more air!

- Higher quality subs use higher quality components for their woofers & electronics.

- Generally speaking, the higher the watts for a sub, the more bass it outputs.

 

Bose, Creative, Harmon Kardon, & others will generally sound pretty good. I like Creative myself.

There are other cheaper setups that include names like Logitech, that you may be pleased with.

 

I would visit a sound bar at either your local Staples, Best Buy, or Sam's Club.

I always like to listen to setups before I buy.

 

I personally ran my computer audio through my home stereo to gain better sound, bass, & fewer wires.

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Well I only need a subwoofer and an amplifier, I've had the speakers for quite some time.

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Is this system to be used with your computer, or is it your "home" sound system so to speak?

 

Meaning my sound system is in my front room, and it's a straightforward hi-fi system without surround sound and nothing to do with my PC.

 

Is "surround sound" part of your set-up or future requirements, because then you be talking about a different amplifier compared to a 2 channel amplifier.

 

How big is the room this sound system is being used in?

 

The size of the room is relative to how "big" you want to go power wise with the amp and sub woofer. It's easy to overdo the power output and the depth of base the sub woofer can produce, and end up with a sound which is too much for the room size, consequently sounds awful, and in the process spend an awful lot of money you don't need to.

 

You can achieve really good sound in a small room by buying "budget" equipment, which wouldn't be improved by buying mid-range gear.

 

Hi-fi equipment is one of the best examples of diminishing returns there is. You can double your budget to get an improvement of maybe 10 - 15% in the quality of the sound.

 

How near are your neighbours? :lol:

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I'm using it with my computer, connected with a RCA/3.5mm cable - the neighbors share my wall, however they have a tendency to blast terrible music louder than I can (without a subwoofer)

 

Never been against a little sound warfare.. me gusta mucho creepy.png

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I'm using it with my computer, connected with a RCA/3.5mm cable - the neighbors share my wall, however they have a tendency to blast terrible music louder than I can (without a subwoofer)

 

Never been against a little sound warfare.. me%20gusta%20mucho%20creepy.png

You are an older and less technical version of me when I was 16

 

My neighbours also shared a wall, and they shared their T.V. at Full Volume.

I made a little high frequency oscillator which I accurately tuned to the I.F. frequency of their 405 lines Monochrome T.V.

I knew I was accurately tuned when I their sound was obliterated by a horrendous whistling shriek.

They quickly turned down the sound and I turned of my transmission before the G.P.O detector system could identify me as a source of illegal transmission.

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I go to a school filled with engineers, but my focus lies with software rather than hardware, although we do some wicked stuff to eachother here. My friend (lives off campus in an apartment) wrote a java program to flood out his neighbor's router when he (the neighbor) was torrenting, because the torrent was on the same band as his wireless headphones :lol:

 

Now I'm filled with wicked ideas involving parabolic reflectors.

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Not a lot of information to go on there Winapp.

 

The best thing you could do is to visit a local hi-fi shop and ask them for some guidance.

 

It really is important how big your room is, as a small sub woofer could create great sound in a small room whereas a huge model could create bass notes you would never hear properly as the room isn't big enough to resolve them.

 

Do you want to buy an "Active" or a "Passive" sub woofer?

 

An "Active" sub has it's own built in amplification whereas the "Passive" variety has to be connected to an amplifier.

 

Have a read of these links, and they might give you some idea as to what it is you want in relation to your room and set-up, and then find a hi-fi dealer who will give you some guidance and most importantly let you hear what different sub woofers can do.

 

Subwoofers - Active and Passive:

 

Getting the Best from Your Sub Bass System:

 

How to Hook Up Subwoofers to an Amp:

 

Shopping for Subwoofers on a low budget, some thoughts: (A great article)

 

I'm not trying to blind you with science here Winapp, just trying to show you why you need to do some proper research before you go out and spend money, and I would never buy any sound equipment without hearing it first.

 

After you get some sound advice (no pun intended) then start shopping around for the best deals.

 

Hope that helps.

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I always do research, but audio equiptment is one place where I had no idea where to start. Thanks for the links Dennis! I don't know the squarefootage of my dorm room, but it isn't huge, that's for sure. :lol:

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Winapp, no need to get technical here.

 

I just got a Philips Magnavox system, 120 W per side from walmart years ago for about $211 & ran my computer audio through it.

That, coupled with a sound card with a good EQ, such as Creative, & it sounds like a dream.

 

Aiwa is another great sounding name.

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Wow, I forgot all about Aiwa. I haven't seen that brands' name since the 80s.

I had an Aiwa system I got from Walmart years ago.

I believe it was a 1996 model, 40 watts per channel, 4 channels, with subwoofer out, & it was a great sounding thing. Especially paired with a 100 W JBL 10 inch sub. Interestingly, this was about $300 back then for 40 W speakers...

 

That unit worked great for years, till I accidentally killed it by playing around with a 24 V power source & touched something to an audio in that backfed 24 V through the stereo & fried the NEC logic chipset. Excellent sound though, & never had any trouble with it until then.

 

So, I kept the speakers for future projects, & threw the old system away. I now have a 120 W per side Philips Magnavox that is great, as well. This one was only $200 or so, for 3 times the Watts...

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Aiwa made great tape decks, and spookily enough I bought my Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck at the same time, and at the same price, and at the same shop (Richer Sounds, Newcastle) as the guy in this article.

 

http://www.hi-fi-insight.com/aiwa-ad-s950-tape-deck.html

 

We could have been in the shop at the same time.

 

Deck's long gone, but all my taped albums remain. (They might come in handy one day)

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I miss TEAC reel to reels.

 

I have one (or two?) in my music studio

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Music studios :huh: All the work I've done for production companies has been digital. (except in the cases whereby we needed to use portable cameras, that was recorded on tapes.) But we always backed up to analog, just incase.

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We're usually 100% digital but have and use the r2r for fun and fidelity

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There was something in the TV studio from the late eighties I liked to play with. I think it was called Genesis Act edit: 3 or something. You could use it to route video feeds into eachother (this was before switch boards had built in PiP functions and the like) Many times, I fed BGR (a solid color background feed) into some noise, then fed that into itself to create cool feedback loops. It looked really cool and trippy.

 

HOLY CRAP:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Microtime-Digital-Video-Effects-System-Genesis-Act-3-/380188347436

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Any BK Electronics subwoofer (LINK), like Gemini or XLS200. I've XLS200 in my home theater and it's been gooooood (paid ~450€ for it).

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