I know this subject has been raised on the old site but I would be grateful for feedback from anyone who has used a subwoofer with a Nova.
I’m happy with the sound I receive from a Nova Dynaudio S40 setup but wondering if the addition of a subwoofer would improve matters.
I would demo at my dealers but this is a 120 mile round trip.
I listen to a full range of music.

The generic response is that a sub often “improves matters” when the matters are lack of bass from smallish speakers. Those Dynaudios are pretty nice, so I suspect that what you’re missing is the piece below 40Hz.

I recommend a sub that has a remote, as each piece of music can ‘need’ a different amount of supplementation. And one that’s in a sealed enclosure - those typically are better for music vs ported models that are more home-theaterish.

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I’ve had a Q Acoustics Reference 100 for several years and find that it does add to my enjoyment of music. It’s tied with my Castle Stirling using the high level input straight from the Naim speaker output.
It’s set up to be subtle not boomy or a bass box like a boy racer in his Nova!!!.
I set the frequency at 45hz to just add boost at the bottom end

I am using Naim Star with Dynaudio S40 also. Are you intending to get same brand sub like Dynaudio Sub 6 with its built-in DSP for S40 profile or going for a true subwoofer manufacturer like JL Audio?

I use two subs (REL R-328) as a stereo pair with my Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum. Yes, a sub brings a lot to the table. Something like a REL – designed for two-channel (non-HT) systems – integrated via the high level inputs will improve those S40s a lot. Getting the integration (phase, xover, gain) dialed in correctly is key. Best to have your dealer help. You won’t need to change things for different music. A sub for music isn’t for LF effects, it’s for bass extension for the speakers you have, and once dialed in should sound right for everything without adjustment.

formerly RaceTripper

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Your dealer may be able to show you how the sub works in his room, but that will tell you very little about how it will sound in yours. Interaction with the room being a much bigger factor than matching with your electronics.
I ran an NSub with my Superuniti (predecessor to your Nova) for a while, and it worked pretty well with small floorstanders in a modest sized room. Will your dealer allow you a home demo?

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Velodyne are great - profiles and remote control to help room/system integration. It makes various noises and sets itself up.
when you switch it off is when you notice the sound becomes 2D

Thanks everyone for your responses it’s obviously worth a trip to the dealers.

It’s best to use either a self calibrating sub, or a DSP interface box (Antimode or miniDSP) with a calibrated instrumentation mike to properly integrate the sub into the system. You also need to take the group delay into account when positioning the sub in the room, as that greatly affects the signal integrity through the crossover frequencies.

Thanks Xanthe, more to this than I first realised.

If you aren’t trying to integrate with a multi-channel digital system, It doesn’t have to be that complicated. With something like a REL using high-level inputs you can get excellent results without all that. I have two in an all analog setup, that was dialed in with the help of my dealer. It sounds excellent for everything from solo lute or violin music, to jazz, to rock, to large scale orchestral music. What you are talking about is more often applied to home theater systems than to dedicated music systems.

This has nothing to do with ‘Home Theatre’ systems, and everything to do with music reproduction.

The problem with trying to integrate a sub into a system without using a DSP is the way a sub excites the room resonances (well unless your room has no parallel walls or is more than 27m minimum dimension!). The DSP can be used to implement filters to reduce this effect. A further benefit which is very occasionally needed is that if the sub has to close to the listening position an extra delay can be programmed in (the ideal position is about 1 to 1.5m closer to the listener than are the main speakers); The delay (hence position) needed can be checked using the ‘minimum phase’ plot in the software you use to setup the sub (e.g. REW, Dirac or proprietary software for the DSP of the sub).

Are you talking about integrating a DSP into the signal path to get a sub integrated? Where are you implementing DSP filters? If this is so critical then why doesn’t REL implement it?

My ears tell me my setup sounds just fine. Is it analytically perfect? Perhaps not. But I have also heard analytically calibrated systems and rooms that sounded dead and lifeless, and I wouldn’t listen to them for very long before getting tired of them. I let my ears be the judge and what I have sounds great.

That’s exactly why I don’t put the DSP in the signal path to the main speakers and only in the signal to the sub.

REL may not incorporate a DSP into any of their subs, but plenty of other manufacturers do (e.g. Dynaudio, Velodyne, Paradigm and Focal amongst others).

Due to the way the ear/brain combination works, it has low accuracy at low frequencies in absolute terms, hence it’s impossible to be certain that a sub “sounds fine” without comparing it to the results when room correction is applied to the sub (N.B. not to the signal to the main speakers).

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