Beginner question - cheap components

I found my way to a Youtube video by Paul where he explains subwoofer concepts. He mentioned that he welcomes questions from non customers, which I am. Rather than contacting the company directly I thought I might reach out to the forums.

A few years ago I decided to take the first step up from cheap computer speakers. I purchased a Topping VX1 amp: Topping VX1 DAC, Amplifier, Headphone Amp | Voll Audio along with Voll 44 speakers: Voll B44 (V2) Passive Bookshelf Speakers (1 Pair) | Voll Audio

I was never that pleased with the sound and I suspect I that I should have added a sub to give this setup a fighting chance.

My question is - given my equipment, what is the best value for money sub that would round out the system?

Voll sells this sub: (can’t post link - go to the speaker section: Voll S8 8″ Subwoofer) however I am willing to go second hand. Are there any close competitors? If so, what models are recommended?

Many thanks!

Is your budget for this sub around $250 (the price of your mentioned sub)?

that’s right

Save your money and get a real sub. http://www.rythmikaudio.com/L12.html

Welcome, @Deedy !

Hi Deedy. This is a slippery slope that many of us in this forum (if not all) have been down. Probably the best advice is to find someone you trust, listen to a sub or possibly a new system that may be a bit out of your range, but if you like what you hear go there and never look back. The most important thing is that you get joy from what you have. It doesn’t have to be the best in the world and cost 100K, but it has to make you happy every time you sit down to listen.

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Good advice.

Thank you Allen, I am definitely susceptible to the gear slippery slope. I decided a while back that for audio, I would not do it. My room is small and I rarely play music loud.

It only became an issue when I played a console game through a modern TV and it sounded much better than my current setup. (PC Monitor with these speakers + amp)

Will a sub even move the needle here?

My thought is borrow a sub from a friend or go to a company/dealer that lets you try equipment out for a time and find out. The other alternative, which I have always followed, is to find someone I trust, who knows what I have, and ask for their thoughts. I didn’t have a sub for a long time. But a friend came over, listened to my system, and said that I needed one. So I got two (!) and it ended up being a really good decision. No regrets, no desire to do anything else.

Maybe try Crutchfield. I believe they have a 90 day return policy (although that may be different for speakers) and they have a number of subs that have been discounted to within your price range.

Is there an issue with idle power usage for subs?

I can get this unit relatively cheaply: YST-SW215 - Features - Speakers - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha USA

How does it compare among the entry level subs (in particular the Voll Voll S8 8″ Subwoofer | Voll Audio)

You can never go wrong with Yamaha, they are by far the music specialists, they make music instruments, sponsor music events, produce recording equipment and hifi and high end gear.

Yamaha sounds very good for the budget and what is very important: it is reliable!
None of my Yamaha gear ever broke down, my EUR 500 Yamaha MSP active speakers are 25 years old and I hooked them up to a EUR 1800 DAC/Pre Amp and they sound wonderful. That so called “high end” DAC/Pre Amp was kaput after just 1.5 years. What does better sound quality and " high end" mean? - if it annoys you, as you will need to ship or take it for repair, have nothing to listen to while it is in repair and have to worry if it will happen again.

If you can get that Yamaha: Go for it.

If you are in the USA, I can recommend Accesories4less as a good place to purchase equipment at discounted prices. They have some good choices in your price range:

A subwoofer will make all the difference in the world, especially in a small space with “monitor”-type speakers that have limited low-frequency capabilities.

The entire frequency response of your system will benefit from a quality, well integrated subwoofer.

Stretch your budget and buy the best you can afford second-hand. This forum, Hi-Fi Shark and Audiogon are my favorite places to shop for pre-loved gear.

Have fun shopping!

http://shopgoodwill.com

You can find powered subs there all the time, to include Klipsch and Yamaha. There’s always some risk; you might get something broken. But I’ve had good luck personally. As always, YMMV.

Mike

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Yes, a sub will make a lot of difference esp with the small bass drivers of your monitors. Subs are a bit tough as they also fall a bit into the “get what you pay for” category, but given your system in cost and performance, I might recommend the following subs. I have to admit, I wouldn’t normally suggest these, but within the limits of your budget and current system, they might perform well. I’ve had some experience with the Polk and Klipsch and they perform well at moderate levels.
If you decide to step up (to something like a Sprout system or the like) you would probably want to upgrade the sub(s) as well.

I almost forgot.

https://www.parts-express.com/

I’m pretty sure this is where PS Audio sourced the drivers to upgrade the IRS V bass towers last year. They sell some real budget stuff that performs above what you’d expect. And they’re Dayton proud!

Mike

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Thank you. Is this Klipsch sub better or worse than your recommendation? Klipsch Sw-350

I think either would work fine. The 10" has the copper-spun driver if that’s important. 8" is a little more compact and may time better with the 4" woofers in your mains.

For a tight budget, this is a pretty good sub for about $150 that I can recommend. I use one in my secondary HT system. It is much better than the $100 Monoprice sub that gets recommended in budget sub shootout reviews. I went through two of the Monoprice and both developed an annoying hum I could not get rid of - sent them back. Then I got this one and its been good. The 10” AA sub is just $120ish. Other than the Monoprice, I have not compared it to other budget subs. This gives me what I need in that system so it’ll stick around my many years.