Will sub's be encouraged in a 2-channel set-up with the FR30's?

Paul - I’m on the fence of getting a pair of REL sub’s to enhance my Focal Maestro Utopia’s, which I’ve enjoyed for 5 years now, OR…wait to demo your FR30’s and see if they will provide that low-end I believe I’m missing out on (due to your videos)…or will you still recommend suns with the FR30’s.

Thanks. Jimmy

Paul always recommends subs in a system as outlined in his recent book ‘Audiophile’s Guide The Stereo’.

If PS Audio’s plan remains the same, they too will be making subs.

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I was a two channel snob for ever. Then I got a rhythmik sub… then another. I can’t imagine life with out subs. I’m currently using a swarm from audio kinesis 4 small subs placed 4 different walls in my room. having 4 apparently eliminates room modes. I’m able to run any of my speakers with very low powered amps. So in my opinion any speaker can benefit from subs.


And yet, the PS Audio speaker name is, full range.

This is in no way a contradiction.

Subs are about integration of LF in a given space as much as, if not more than, bass augmentation.

Rooms housing “Full Range” speakers can benefit greatly from the addition of one or more subwoofers.


I can see many “full range” speakers needing more base integration within a room. I’ve always had some of the better Infinity speakers with specific base controlling features and never felt a need for more integration.

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I predict the official position will be, “All speakers can benefit from the addition of one or more subwoofers, but you certainly will not need subs with these FR30s”

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Yes, or maybe “the FR30 may benefit from the addition of one or more subwoofers depending on an abundance of negative acoustic properties in your listening room.

Subs are always needed for the most complete full range sound and least impact of room modes. Room modes always exist and can only be reduced in impact, never eliminated. The physical location in the space for the mains for best imaging is very rarely the same as the best locations to smooth room modes.

I believe one could argue don’t make the mains full range. The bass there could do more harm than good.

I’m running into this currently and one of the drivers (pun intended) to go search out new speakers. There is a slight peak on my mains which is only made worse by adding subs but I cannot determine a way to get the mains to calm down. Maybe bass traps right near the radiators? Still experimenting… but ultimately I want new speakers anyway. Everyone talks about integrating the subs to the mains (which would really require notch filters). What about knobs on the mains to integrate the subs. Few speakers allow for this.

I’ve found it’s so much vastly less effort to drive the subs the same high level signal as the mains to blend them. REW is your friend to measure amplitude, xover and as important if not more so, phase/delay.

I start out measuring each sub independently to get a ‘picture’ of the response, then both together, then add the mains and dial in each sub phase to smooth the response as much as possible. Then the final touch is convolution filters!

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Something that is addressed by my Infinity bass controls. No need for subs here…image|666x500

Get 2 Rel Subs. You won’t regret it with any speaker.


According to Paul:


From my experience also with speakers much bigger than the FR 30, the fact that they go down deep doesn’t mean much in practice. Reason is, that it would be pure luck with very low chance, if they would cover the area of the frequency needed, at the place they are positioned for soundstage reasons. Even if, they’d quite sure produce a noticeable suck out at another frequency around.

Even if you’re able to flexibly position a sub in the room, you’re only able to flatten its response at a prioritized frequency +/- 5-10 Hz. To get it flat enough in its whole spectrum, the sub must additionally be EQ’able. Otherwise you have to work against remaining peaks with decent room treatment.

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I’d be willing to bet that a large majority of those who do have a couple of subs don’t actually achieve that flat response in their rooms.

Really flat is certainly quite impossible, but without noticable peaks from 20-100Hz and just one or two noticable dips not more than 10Hz wide is achievable and quite “flat” audibly.

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Or even better 4!


A good piece on why sonic clarity is more desirable than a flat frequency response.


I’m not advocating the use of subs to achieve a flat frequency response. I understand a truly flat speaker may not actually sound musical. I’m just saying (as is Paul about his FR-30’s), I don’t feel my speakers need external subs. My speakers have the capability for multiple EQ woofer adjustments and it works rather well. It allows me to concentrate placement that’s ideal for the mid range and tweeter, then compensate for the bass output for a less than ideal woofer placement. Everybody’s system could be made “better” by some change, enhancement, or augmentation, but despite my system being in an 800sf room, I don’t have issues with it’s bass reproduction (and I am into percussion).