Subwoofers - Need and Setup

Stereophile’s measurements indicate excellent bass response, but the response is down -20dB at 10Hz.

Correct me if I am wrong but 10hz at a high SPL is where you start to get negative anatomical effects. A lot of air is moving at that point and I wonder if even spontaneous pneumothorax can occur.

Edit for this link: COLUMN: Low-frequency sound is silent, but it can kill you

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As I mentioned above, I have a subwoofer which specs 8 Hz to 95 Hz ±3 dB.

For pure nonsense sake I have passed sine waves of 20HZ and below to the subwoofer. It unquestionably produces a tremendous amount of energy at 10Hz, frighteningly so, and you feel as if you can count the excursions per second as the 18 inch driver does its job. The physical sensation is amazing.

Also interesting is how some of the tones, just a Hz or two apart, will resonate in the space while others do not.

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I saw one of Paul’s videos about subwoofers last year and I bought one Rel T/5i to add to my 2-channel system. My listening room/office is on the small size, so I did not want anything over the top bass wise. Honestly, since the room is small, placement was very limited and it is kind of hidden. Not sure if I just got lucky or what on the placement, but I find the added bass very enjoyable and worthwhile to my set up. I cannot really tell where the bass is coming from, but know by just using my ears it has blended into the mix very well. As I recall, that is what Paul said you are looking for when adding a sub to your system.


Today I spent many hours listening to and enjoying the Vivid Giya Spirits. They were being driven by MBL Reference level amps and preamp. The source was an MBL N31 DAC CD player with the Roon card option in place.

A. I have no idea why they say the woofers are 9 inch. They are easily much larger than that.

B. I have never heard better Bass from any speaker ever. They were simply amazing. There is absolutely no need whatsoever for subs.

C. The rest if the sound was as good as it gets. These speakers are amazing. We kept turning up the power as we had basically unlimited power. I stopped turning it up as it never ever showed any strain whatsoever. You could easily hurt yourself with these speakers if you can’t control yourself.

D. I was really impressed.

Now I am home listening to my old system with the substitution of an MBL N31 for my Gryphon Kalliope DAC. I am enjoying my Wilson Yvettes and REL subs completely. As good as the Spirits are I am pleased to say what I already have is what I want and need. I’m good.

If you don’t believe the Spirits can do very low and powerful bass I understand. But you won’t understand the truth until you hear them yourself.
My sub and Yvettes combination get me close enough to where I can relax and enjoy. But oh my goodness I know where I will go next if I need or want a change.


Probably because the manufacturer says they are 8.9 inches :slightly_smiling_face:

Specs from their site: Bass: 2 x C225-100, 225mm alloy diaphragm with 100mm voice coil in 45mm gap

No one is saying these speakers don’t have great low bass or that these speakers aren’t some of the best. For me I’m pretty sure if these speakers could produce 10Hz the manufacturer would let everyone know.

Nice to know that you just heard them. I don’t think anyone else has posted their experience. Now I would like to hear them; maybe in 2022.

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Fun review!

I have not heard these speakers, but would enjoy doing so.

I do not recall anyone stating they do not have excellent bass response, only that they are unlikely to go down to 10Hz with meaningful power.

Even though they produce plenty of bass, they may well need a subwoofer(s) for a system incorporating these speakers to sound its best. Subwoofers’ primary use in an audiophile’s system is to smooth out bass response by canceling nulls and peaks, not by adding more bass. This is a room issue, not a main speaker issue.


Sounds as though you had a good day, call that exceptional as no cash was exchanged. It is always a welcome audition that reinforces your current choices. Yvettes and REL, sweet.

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We heard the song off Pink Floyd’s The Wall that starts off with incredible bass. The building shook. The windows in the front of the building vibrated. We walked 50 feet to the back of the building and the hanging ceiling was rattling LOUDLY. I don’t know what kind of Individual would feel the need to augment this.

Elk, my friend, I need You to listen to these yourself and tell me subs would help. :laughing:

You go to a music event once in a while, spend a few hours there, have fun and come back with a memory of the event! At home, you listen for a few hours every day or every other day. Loud music is environmental noise! I can only think of it like binge-drinking as opposed to the occasional glass!

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I tend to locate speakers 5 feet out into the room for imaging. Even though my Sonist Audio speakers are reportedly down -3db at 28hz, I could easily hear that notes were missing when playing organ music or something like Boz Scaggs “Thanks to you”, so I added 2 subwoofers (1 at a time). I have the subs set to not play above 35hz for music and not play above 50hz for movies. I normally cannot hear the subs, and they seem to fit seamlessly, but admit it did take some time (ok, alot of time) before finally getting everything just right. I could not get the 1 sub to blend properly and the sound was just off. I had a feeling that a 2nd sub would be needed, and once the 2nd sub was in, I was finally able to get the system to blend properly. For me, it was about adding bass extension without ruining everything else in the process.


Adding subwoofers to an audiophile system is not about shaking the room; an inexpensive home theater sub will easily rattle the windows.

Again, one adds quality subwoofers to a good system to even out nulls and peaks generated by the main system to obtain the flattest bass response obtainable in the room. This almost always requires placing a subwoofer or two in different locations than the main speakers.

Room shaking bass is cheap and easy. Flat, precise, tight, nuanced bass is difficult and can be expensive.