Sn2 &Kef ls50 + sub

Just recently I decided to swap over my tannoy xt8f for Kef ls50 given the tannoys are a little boomy in my 4mx5m living room. Now I’ve had some good results with the kefs which seem very musical with great midrange and imaging but are lacking a little on the bass side .
So my thinking was to maybe add a sub into the equation namely a rel or svs . I’ve spoken to two Naim dealers this morning and both have had different views on wether I should or shouldn’t add a sub. one guy said ’ no you should get rid of the naca5 as it’s rubbish change to audioquest and get new floorstanders ’
The other guy was 'yeah but the rel s series is what you need but it’s trial and error wether it will sound right in your system ’ now I can see both points within reason but it seems like they want me to spend way more than I need too ? Also the wiring is slightly confusing with the rel as opposed to svs subs .
Any help and info on this topic would be greatly appreciated as I’m at a loss as to which direction I nee to take here .
Many thanks

I would be sightly surprised personally if a change of speaker cable from NAC A5 tamed boomy bass. I’d actually be surprised full stop if any half decent speaker cable had that effect. I guess the dealer might not have been saying that though, if it’s the advice to go with floorstanders to add the bass back rather than a sub? I would treat cabling as a different issue

1 Like

I would drop the dealer who says NACA5 is rubbish, it looks like they are just max’ing a sales/money grab.
Are you sure it was Naim dealer - name & shame methinks.

1 Like

At first sight the Rel wiring info is a bit confusing, but it’s been covered here on quite a few threads recently, and their recommended high level connection is perfectly do-able in a Naim system.
It’s true that inregrating a sub into the room so that it works well is not always straightforward. You should certainly be prepared to spend some time moving it around the room to see what works, and if nothing works well, be prepared to give up the idea. Then different speakers might be a preferable option.
I would also consider BK subs. They are competitively priced as they sell direct to the public.

1 Like

Basically his words were firstly you need floorstanders to give the extra bass, and to ditch the naca5 as it’s rubbish and there are a lot better cables out there, also don’t use subs with Naim gear !!
Not what I expected but hey if that’s what his views are then that’s that. Not what I’d call helpful tbh.

1 Like

Yes, sorry, I think I misread your post originally. Got it now, I would treat cable choice afterwards. And agree with Mike-B it’s an extreme suggestion from an authorised Naim dealer I think.

Re sub or floorstanders, how much freedom on positioning of your existing speakers and listening position do you have? Have you tried all you can in that area first?

1 Like

Definitely one of my local naim dealers but I’m not the type of person to name and shame as I’d doesn’t necessarily reflect his colleagues opinions either. I agree that his tactics were obvious and wanted a bigger sale .

1 Like

Maybe trying the ls50 a bit closer to wall but I’d expect the bass would become boomy as they are out into the room by around 45-50 cm

Ok, the Tannoys are a floorstanding design, sounded boomy. The LS50s a bookshelf that sound great, if bass light. Might well be worth trying a sub, a recent thread was very positive on here about adding one, albeit a very high end REL into a very nice Naim system! I’ve never tried one myself, but finding a helpful dealer who’s willing to bring one over to try, might be an idea.

Also give moving the LS50s back a bit a try. I did consider them at one point, listening to a pair, and seem to recall they need space to work. But it is very cheap to try moving them about a bit :slight_smile: I like to try moving them to extremes, to hear what “bad” sounds like, before moving them to more intermediate positions.

What’s your budget? We all like spending money by proxy :wink:

1 Like

I’ll try moving them around later today after work and see if moving back a little improves the bass to ideal levels . If not I’ll see if it’s possible to get one on loan from a dealer. I haven’t a shortlist as such but REL KEF AND SVS subs I’ve looked at seem to be the most mentioned on this forum ,and dare I say it other platforms :flushed: . Thanks for your input by the way :+1:t3:

I have a similar size room and use PMC 25.21i. I am considering subs and contacted Rel for advice - Rob Hunt. He suggested the S series were more than I needed and, instead, suggested a pair of T7x or T9x. I’m very likely to order a pair of the T9x.

1 Like

No worries, I’m sure others will be along with other advice too. I liked the LS50s, ended up with Neats, for silly reasons. I don’t think the LS50s are known as being bass light, from the brief look at the Tannoys, they’re 50l floorstanders though, so I’m not surprised you’re missing some bass :slight_smile:

1 Like

The solution to this is to use a sub and use a DSP connected to the sub to sort out the room’s primary bass resonance modes.
This involves using the low level connection to the sub (or a much more expensive sub with a built in DSP) and usually involves avoiding using the high level connection to the sub (which can actually make things worse in the same way as using the low level connection without using a DSP) - the exception here is subs with an integrated DSP when the high level connection can be used.

I have personal experience of designing and using such a system, and will give you details of how to set this up when my concentration is a little better.

1 Like

Thankyou , still trying to get my head round all the connections . It seems there are several different ways to connect sub to amp/ speakers . I’m looking for a straight forward connection from the sub outs on the supernait 2 to the sub. I’ve just looked at the svs sb1000 pro which I think has DSP settings via a Bluetooth app to android/AOS mobiles.i could be wrong though :flushed:

OK, a bit more concentration available today,

In essence there are 3 ways to connect the sub and 2 ways to integrate the sub into the sound of the system:

1 Use speaker cables [simple sub, no DSP]
The ‘high level’ inputs of the sub are connected to the back of the speakers. Two wires go to the terminals of on speaker, one wire goes to the positive terminal of the other speaker.
This cannot be used with ‘Bridge Mode’ amplifiers such as the NAP500.

2 Use long interconnect cables [simple sub, no DSP]
Two long interconnect cables are used between the sub out (RCA) connectors on the amp to the ‘low level’ inputs on the sub.
The interconnect cables each need a 100Ω resistor connected in line with the central core conductor at the amp end of the cable (sometimes known as a resistor ‘slugged’ cable).

1a & 2a [More advanced sub, WITH a DSP]
These are connection types 1 and 2 but using a sub that has an inbuilt DSP to process the signal and optimise the sub to the room, so they have the advantages of integrating the sound in the same way connection type 3.

3 Use short interconnects and a DSP / Line Driver box (e.g. DSpeaker antimode or miniDSP 2x4)
Two short interconnect cables are used between the sub out (RCA) connectors on the amp to the inputs on DSP box. Either one or two longer interconnect cables go to the ‘low level’ inputs on the sub. These cables can be normal interconnects and do not require additional resistors in series.
This allows the DSP to much better integrate the sound from the sub into the sound from the rest of the system.

In the case of the first two (1 & 2, without a DSP) ALL the lower bass frequencies are equally emitted by the sub. If the room response is uneven (and almost all are!), then some bass frequencies will appear much louder than others - this occurs are the resonant frequencies of the room (these frequencies are known as the room modes).

Using a DSP to integrate the sound
If a DSP is used (as in connection type 1a, 2a and 3) to process the signal to the sub it can reduce these uneven frequencies until they are in line with all the rest of the bass, so giving a much more even bass response. This way the bass ‘room correction’ can be done without degrading the music signal to the critical midrange frequencies where our ears are much more sensitive to any disturbance of the sound.
Having a DSP is the best way to use a sub.

1 Like

Well after driving the ls50s for about a week I’ve decided to put the tannoys back . The ls50s compared to the tannoys are lifeless cold and totally lack bass , good sound stage if toed in slightly but in all honesty I couldn’t justify spending on a sub with the kefs. I’ll have a play around with positioning the tannoys to see if I can achieve a happy medium . Kefs will be switched back to home theatre duties and if it turns out the tannoys bass cannot be tamed them new speakers will be on the cards . I’d like to thank everyone for there help and input .

1 Like

Thanks for this very well written summary. I am currently using solution number 2 and it works quite well on the subwoofer side (also double checked with measurements)

I have a bass hump in my speaker and was thinking using the high level connection, however the cabling would look messy and i am gonna avoid it. The bass hump is due to the room but mostly is the result of the ported design of the speaker. My idea is to try to cut off the signal to the speaker at a certain frequency above the bass hump in order to let the subwoofer reproduce any signal below, say 80hz.

I would be interested on your take on using an active crossover in conjuction with a sub to achieve this. I have my eyes on something like a KS231 by Sublime Acoustic, but am not sure if this is technically the best solution to my problem.

Of course i cannot move the speakers and the listening seat, they are both already optmised as much as they can within their space.

Using a sub to cure a problem of too much bass from the speakers is an interesting strategy! Have you considered choosing speakers that better match your room, or changing the room layout?

Hey Chris,

it is “just” a bass hump but i would not say that there is too much bass overall. I am using the subwoofer to get bass at lower frequencies, not to have more of it. There are certain bass heavy tracks where it appears, it is not so much of a problem otherwise and is a compromise i can live with. The subwoofer crosses over well below this “problematic” frequency range.

I have not considered any other speaker because i am overall very happy with almost every other aspect. As far as i understand every ported speaker will have this hump at some frequency range so it is a matter of luck as to whether the hump would be a “suitable” frequency in my room. Maybe it would suffice to reduce the affected frequency range by 3db with a DSP (f.e. with Roon) and it would already be enough to make it less noticeable.

It would be interesting to try a sealed design for sure, just to put things into perspective.

The room layout is as it is and already optimised for music listening in a living space. I am quite lucky that it works as well as it does. I am just looking into some more optimisation, therefore my question.

I’ve looked at the K231, and I have a few comments on the circuitry in respect of the SQ potential of the SN3:

I think that there is considerable risk that the audio quality of the K231 won’t be up to the standard set by the SN3 or the rest of your system. I base this conclusion on 3 factors:
1 Use op op-amps rather than discrete component amplifiers
2 The type of signal capacitors in use are generally not particularly well regarded in respect of sound quality (I certainly wouldn’t use them as signal coupling capacitors in any of my designs).
3 The type of potentiometers in use are generally OK but not to the standard of the larger ALPS ‘Blue’ as used by Naim

Whilst there’s nothing in principle to stop you taking this approach, you will need a very high quality electronic crossover.

Have you tried blocking the ports in the Harbeths? If not, try it and see if it ameliorates the bass ‘hump’.