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So, how would I hook up a sub? Studio Monitors
Old 24th August 2007
Gear Addict
Kubilay's Avatar

So, how would I hook up a sub?

Forgive the extremely noob question:

I'd like to add a sub to my NS-10s, to help avoid the all-too-common "whoa, I did not know I had this much oooomph in there" situations... The chain at the moment is:

digital out - DAC-1 - Hafler P3000 - NS-10

Where the hell would I feed the sub from? Could I just use the unbalanced DAC-1 outs to feed the sub? (The balanced outs are feeding the Hafler.)

I'm assuming powered subs usually want to see a full stereo mix and do the "merge low-end information from two channels into one" internally?

I'm also assuming I could switch the sub in and out by simply powering it on and off, yes?



PS: Any brilliant ideas on where to put the sub in your average small, cramped project studio?
PPS: Any brilliant recommendations for not-very-expensive powered subs?
Old 25th August 2007

Depends on the sub.

They all come with a booklet. A lot of them will take speaker-level inputs as well.

Consider getting two (left and right)


Old 26th August 2007
Gear Addict
Kubilay's Avatar

Got my sub. Went for the "Bluesky Sub 8 Universal active subwoofer"... Seemed to be the right balance between affordable (around $400 street) and promising (no ports, which never seem to work properly in affordable speakers, plus BlueSky has a good reputation... couldn't get myself to look at a Samson or M-Audio, just never had luck with the budget brands.)

At first hooked everything up through the Sub 8 as instructed by the manual, leaving the bass management to the Sub 8 built-in electronics:

DAC-1 analog outs - Sub8 - Hafler - NS10s

BAD idea....

The Sub8 smeared the transients and seriously worsened the stereo image in the signal passed through to my beloved NS-10s. Also, no matter where I set it, the crossover neutered the low end that the NS-10s do have, making the whole signal sound silly separated around the crossover point.

After all kinds of experiments nixed this option, I decided to try to feed the Sub8 from the DAC-1s unbalanced out, while leaving the Hafler connected to the balanced outs. After a few adjustments using sine sweeps from 30-300Hz to finetune the 'crossover frequency' at which the Sub8 kicks in (and using the "built-in" bass drop-off of the NS10s as the "crossover" on their end), MUCH better!

While I have no extensive experience with subwoofers, the Sub 8 itself sounds very nice (focused, with no discernable distortion or 'flapping'.) But those $2 ICs, or whatever is doing the bass management and signal pass-through, do blow. Pretty hard.

Well, all is well that ends well. I got my missing octave for under $400, and haven't compromised the excellent imaging and transient response of my NS10s. But frankly, after this experience I'd never consider a BlueSky system if I'd ever want to complement my NS10s with fuller-bandwidth monitors.

Just thought I'd report the final outcome.

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