2-channel music only system ... Could I benifit by adding a sub-woofer?

It's been a very long time since I last posted here on the Polk Forum ... but, I'm back :)

I have a moderate 2-channel audio system with the following equipment:
___________________________________

Onkyo A-9050 Integrated Amp

2ea) Onkyo M-282 Power Amps (One powering the front speakers and another one powering the rear speakers)

Onkyo C-7030 CD Player

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver (For streaming MP3 music from my computer and steaming 'Spotify' internet music)

Polk RTiA7 Floorstanding Speakers (Fronts)

Polk RTiA3 Bookshelf Speakers (Rears)
__________________________________

Since I only listen to 2-channel stereo music with this system, do you think I might benefit from purchasing a small powered 10" sub-woofer such as the new Polk HTS 10 to add to the mix?

Thanks,
Ron

2-Channel Audio
Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
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Comments

  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    BTW ... The listening room is about 18' x 20' with 10' ceilings
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 16,826
    A sub would kinda help a bit as the space is a bit large and a sub can really help take some of the load off the RTi's
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,699
    Drop everything and pursue some SDA goodness. No need for a sub and thank me later :)

    Seriously though, the first thing I'd do is remove the RTiA3s from the mix and focus on just 2 channels. The 3s may be messing with the room cohesion and reflections. A sub could help, but I think you'd do better by getting your rig to it's pinnacle to define it's deficiencies before going that next step.
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    Thanks for the reply ... Well, this system really sounds good to my old ears, but I may think about getting a sub that's not too big.

    I was thinking the smaller Polk HTS 10 might be just the ticket to add just a little more bass to the music without overpowering it with 'boomyness' ... is that a word? :)
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,343
    I absolutely believe in a sub for 2 channel. I was running a pair of SVS SB2000's until recently. I sold one and am going to move to something along the lines of the SB-16 Ultra, or a pair. There is no substitute for a good, high powered sub to take on the lowest register duty.

    I was running the pair in a 12x12 room. With proper room treatment the sound was great.
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,677
    edited March 2018
    You want a sealed sub for music. Look at Velodyne, Rythmik, SVS or HSU. I'd also suggest you up the quality of your source. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Since you didn't mention the cables you're using I'll assume they are generic. If so, that's another area to upgrade.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

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  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    I am using Signal RCA cables
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,677
    Better than generic, but you can do better. What about your speaker cables?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    16 AWG copper stranded .... Can't remember the brand name.
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,677
    Yeah, you can definitely do better.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited March 2018
    F1nut wrote: »
    You want a sealed sub for music. Look at Velodyne, Rythmik, SVS or HSU

    I used to have a pretty large Adire Rava sub a long time ago. I was really happy with it.

    OuStMlv.jpg


    I used these old Pioneer amps to power the music system:

    zitPaKa.jpg






    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    The main speakers were a set of Pioneer HPM 1500's

    Had 15" woofers in them
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 2,055
    A sub would put less stress on your AVR, but those RTI A7's dig almost as low as the HTS-10, providing they're properly powered. If you're looking to strictly add to the lower freq range of your current system, I don't think you'll see a noticeable improvement.

    There are better choices of subs out there.
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    Thanks rpf65 ......
    I don't have an AVR ... Just a 2-channel audio system with 2ea 100 watt per channel power amps. (100 watts per channel to the front speakers, and a separate 100 watts per channel going to the rear speakers)

    You might be right .... maybe I don't even need a powered sub since this system is purely for listening to music ..... no movies
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,420
    Even a two channel system benefits from having a sub. What I have found is if the speakers are trying to produce both the mid range and deep bass, neither one is very clear. Once you put in a sub to handle the deep bass, the mids are able to take care of what they need to and the sub handles the rest, making everything much clearer.

    Make sure you get a sub that goes below what your speakers can handle, getting one that produces what the speakers can do on their own is useless.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 1,280
    How do you have two channel listening setup with front AND rear speakers? Did you use RCA splitters to send 2ch data to both amplifiers? I can only imagine having two channel sound from in front and behind you has got to sound awful
    2 Channel - Major reduction complete

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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,439
    Sure, you can benefit by adding a subwoofer, but it would have to be a decent one. Also, of more benefit would be stepping up from the MP3 source your using and at least get into cd quality lossless formats like flac or apple lossless. Throw in a quality dac and some decent cables and you might be surprised.

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  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    stangman67 wrote: »
    How do you have two channel listening setup with front AND rear speakers? Did you use RCA splitters to send 2ch data to both amplifiers? I can only imagine having two channel sound from in front and behind you has got to sound awful

    Here is how my system is wired ...
    FxpEIa4.jpg

    As you can see, the L/R RCA cables come out of the integrated amps 'pre-out' into power amp #1 L/R audio-in .... Then from power amp #1 L/R audio-out into the power amp #2 audio-in.

    L/R speaker cables from the #1 power amp go to the L/R front speakers and L/R speaker cables from the #2 power amp go to the L/R rear speakers.

    So, the #1 power amp drives the front speakers, and the #2 power amp drives the rear speakers.

    The power amp section of the integrated amp is not used.


    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,979
    heck, even I am using a subwoofer. Don't tell my horns 'n' tubes buddies, tho' ;)

    38047648301_210f62724a_h.jpgDSC_9751 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,165
    edited March 2018
    Turbota wrote: »
    BTW ... The listening room is about 18' x 20' with 10' ceilings

    Some folks will never get it's about the space and positioning, not the speakers. Just because you have a speaker with specs of +- 3dB 20Hz to 20kHz, does not mean they will play at +- 3dB at ALL frequencies in your space.

    A well dialed in sub can help supplement low frequencies so you aren't missing or just get a hint of them.
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  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited March 2018
    BTW ... These 2 powers amps I use both have an 'adjustable input level' knob on there back panels (see photo above) so if I want a little less volume on the rear speakers, all I have to do it turn the #2 power amp's input level knob down slightly.

    Kinda works like a 'fade' setting on a car stereo where you have front and rear speakers, and you can adjust the fade so as either the front or the rear speakers are louder .... such as; maybe you want the front door speakers slightly louder than the rear speakers ... adjust the fade setting.
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,979
    I'm not sure if it's a good idea or a dumb idea for me to ask why you are using four loudspeakers and four channels of amplification for a two channel system?

    I am probably missing something obvious.

    :)
  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,417
    I don't know what to call it, but what you have is not a 2 channel system. Sell the rear potion of the system & invest that money into upgraded cables & a real subwoofer.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,137
    SACD quadraphonic maybe.
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I'm not sure if it's a good idea or a dumb idea for me to ask why you are using four loudspeakers and four channels of amplification for a two channel system?

    I am probably missing something obvious.

    :)

    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,677
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I don't know what to call it, but what you have is not a 2 channel system. Sell the rear potion of the system & invest that money into upgraded cables & a real subwoofer.

    ^ THIS ^
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • JaybeezJaybeez Posts: 713
    My 2 channel room has about 1/2 of your cubic footage, and benefits greatly from a sub. I dial it in about 60 hz. with pretty low gain.
    For my listening pleasure, I just want a touch of very low end when it's present in the source material.
    Jesse's recommendation is spot on. I do also agree that selling the back half of your system will help create a more "pure" 2 channel experience as well as providing funding for other things.
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  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I don't know what to call it, but what you have is not a 2 channel system. Sell the rear potion of the system & invest that money into upgraded cables & a real subwoofer.

    I don't understand what you are saying when you tell me I don't have a 2-channel system?

    So, a 2-channel system can only have a left and right set of front speakers?

    Then adding a left and right rear set of speakers makes my system a 4-channel system? .... My audio system is not dedicated "surround sound" .... It's basically what you would have in a generic car audio system (set of front speakers and a set of rear speakers) .... but it's still 2-channel (L/R) audio.
    _________________________________

    BTW ... I can turn off my rear speakers and just listen to the front pair ... but the music sounds better coming out of 4 speakers instead of just 2 (I've listened to it both ways).

    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    DaveHo wrote: »
    Sell the rear potion of the system & invest that money into upgraded cables

    I am using "Signal" RCA cables already ... I think they are of good enough quality for my listening.

    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,979
    edited March 2018
    F1nut wrote: »
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I don't know what to call it, but what you have is not a 2 channel system. Sell the rear potion of the system & invest that money into upgraded cables & a real subwoofer.

    ^ THIS ^

    That's what I am thinking -- frankly.

    Semi-cogent story. Long, long ago, I had a good friend who thought he had a nice hifi, straight from Stereo Discounters: Pioneer SX-650 receiver and four store-brand three way sealed box monstrosities with white woofers. He thought he was on top of the world.

    We took him to Soundscape one day. His Pioneer and four monkey coffins was replaced by a Yamaha CA-810 integrated amplifier and two Polk Audio Monitor 10s. The difference was stunning to him (in a good way).

    His brother inherited the Pioneer and the four boxes -- and was thrilled. :)

    (He also replaced a Technics DD tt and A-T cartridge with a much nicer JVC DD deck, a SME arm and a Grado G1 -- that helped too ;) )
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    mhardy6647 ...

    Well, in my case, I don't have an expensive "Audiophile' type music system, but there is nothing wrong with the quality of the (4) Polk speakers I now have, or the quality of the Onkyo components I am using.

    All I am saying is that to my ears, my system with it's 4 speakers running sound better to me than it running just the 2 front speakers ... It just sounds more "open" with 4 speakers, if you can picture that.

    The only reason I started this thread was to ask if I might benifit from adding a powered sub-woofer ... or since my system is not a home theater type system, maybe it would not be worth the money to purchase a sub.

    That's why I am asking you experts.
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
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