Sub recommendations to reinforce PMC Twenty-23's

Good evening all. Has anybody used a sub alongside a pair of PMC’s ? If so, what sub would you recommend and how did you feed the signal (High level or low level).

The PMC 20.23 is a full range speaker (down to 30Hz) if you need to reinforce the bass for music, there’s something wrong with your room setup.

What size is the room, how is it furnished, how is it setup, have you analysed the frequency and time responses?

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Xanthe, have u ever experienced a sub?
They like to work better with full range speakers.
I used to have a Linn 5150 sub (read large) with Linn 5140 speakers
Added low frequencies but made the treble sparkle and added a lot to the overall quality of the sound.
I think a sub with small standmounted speakers may be more difficult to get right
My 2c

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Yes I use a sub.
I also have considerable experience in calibrating a sub to work properly with a room, accurately integrated in both the time and frequency domains, using both instrumentation and aural optimisation in tandem rather than just relying on guesswork trying to set it up exclusively using my ears.


Hi! My room is medium to large in size. The issue is that the bass sounds better with smaller drivers but due to my musical tastes, I would like to go extremely deep and add a physical presence top my music.

Isn’t your ears that count, not mathematical equations? Thank you for passing on your experiences :slightly_smiling_face:

OK, in that case, if you want to get true ‘physical’ presence (rather than the bass frequencies in music) you’ll be looking to feel the sound i.e. you’ll be looking for infra-sound and a sub with response down to 10Hz or even below. They are available but have little to do with music reproduction they’re more for home theatre use on a LFE channel.

Ears alone don’t have enough discrimination to be able to set all the interacting parameters accurately when setting the various factors needed to align the crossover of a sub and integrate the sub and crossover response into the acoustic properties of the listening room. Hence it’s necessary to use both an instrumentation microphone and your ears.


It does not have to be sub bass to feel the music. A high quality dedicated sub can work wonders for a pair of high end speakers that comprise of small sized mid bass drivers. If I could afford to spend several thousands on a pair of speakers then I would not even contemplate this route.

Typically when using the expression to ‘feel’ the music, people are talking about feeling the vibration in their chest cavity. To do this fully you need to have a system that reproduces frequencies down to about half the chest resonance frequency (typically 25Hz for males), this suggests an essentially flat response down to 12.5Hz (which will typically mean -6dB @ 10Hz).

Of course you can compromise with a system that only goes down to 2/3rds of chest frequency and that will still give quite a reasonable effect, but that’s still -3db @ 17Hz (and typically -6dB @ 14Hz). If you are somewhat limited in funds this is probably a very sensible compromise.

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Do you have any subwoofer recommendations ? Great for music.

Incidentally, the ‘in room’ response of my system is effectively flat down to 16Hz (-3dB), but I still don’t generally ‘feel’ the music unless I turn the sub up to ridiculous levels (such as 10dB above the level of the main speakers!).

There are such a range, and an equally wide range of prices.

If you are sensitive to timing of bass in the music then I’d very strongly recommend using a sealed box rather than a sub with a reflex enclosure.

I would also very strongly recommend using a DSP to integrate the sub into the room as otherwise you are likely to encounter some degree of artificial excitation of the fundamental room modes (this is often heard as a degree of ‘one note bass’).

The B.K. P12-300SB and XXLS400 have quite a good reputation at the lower priced end of the market.

In each case, unless you’re familiar enough with acoustic to properly understand room resonance problems, I’d very strongly recommend driving them via a DSPeaker ANTI-MODE 8033S-II to do the crossover and room integration.

Cheap subs for the most part aren’t the answer. I’d recommend either REL, or JL. REL are relatively easy to integrate. Do you have a budget?


is the DSPeaker Anti Mode 8033SII - better than the mini DSP 2 x 4 ?

can you elaborate please…


This is a topic I’m also interested in. Once the Corvid lock down has abated, I want to resume my search for new speakers. PMC are on my list, but I was also considering quality stand mounters augmented by a (small) sub. I like the way small speakers seem to disappear but would miss the bass. Can I have my cake and eat it?

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yes - if you are willing to work for it :grinning:

If you’re willing to pay for it. ProAc’s smallish D20R will totally do the disappearing act it set up right

ProAcs are definitely on my shopping list along with Neats, ATCs, Kudos etc etc. I’d just started to plan auditions when the lock down kicked. My listening room’s quite compact (12’x13’) and it would be way too easy to overload the bass. That’s why I was interested in this thread. Subs seem to have had a lot of bad press in the past.