Adding a small musical sub to a home theater

It seems that many of the advanced HT setups here with multiple subwoofers use identical subs.

I have a single powerful sub, an 80kg SVS PB12/2+, which has dual 12 inch woofers and 1,000W. It’s so loud that a neighbor a few houses down the street mentions that he can hear it. Although its 20 years old, I’m reticent to change it as it has always being satisfying although perhaps not as accurate as a small sealed sub.

During the Black Friday sale, I got a good price on a sealed SVS sub, the 3000 Micro. Had it shipped to a relative in the USA and just carried it home in a suitcase. It cost roughly 2/3 the price in Singapore. The idea is to use it with just my two front Wharfedale speakers in pure direct mode

It’s a tiny little thing. It’s sealed, has 2 opposing 8 inch woofers and 2,500W peak, 800W RMS.

Will be integrating it into my HT setup soon. I’m hoping with Dirac & DLBC, I can integrate both the PB12/2+ and SB3000 Micro without issues. Might even hook up a 3rd SVS PB10 that I’m not using as a 3rd subwoofer. The fourth subwoofer output on my Denon 3800H is already connected to a Buttkicker mini, so I can have maximum 3 discrete subwoofers.

I realize that having such different subs, even though they are the same brand, may create integration problems, but am hoping that Dirac and DLBC will solve them. Thoughts?

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It will be much more challenging to integrate the 3 diff subs w diff headroom and signature. But it’s possible with the know-how and tools. Maybe DL/DLBC can do a good job?

Placement is most critical, to minimise big/wide band dips. I would place them in a way that the big dips are minimised. Start from this first. I will try placing the smallest sub near field

Subs Time Alignment
This is synonymous w placement and key. Besides optimising your subs’ combined FR, make sure your subs are time aligned. Is DLBC capable to time align the 3 subs?

Managing Headroom of the lowest output sub
Your 3000 micro w likely run out of headroom faster than the other 2 subs and will bottom out faster. Good to set a hpf on this sub so that it does not need to do low bass duties.

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Certainly my hope is that, given the cost, DL/DLBC will time align, set crossovers and adjust output such that everything will sound perfectly integrated without the tedious sub crawl for placement. This is so that I don’t have to spend hours with a Mini DSP and REW getting multiple subs aligned and working. Plus if it handles higher frequencies well and ART (when eventually released) removes room imperfections by cross cancelling reflected waves, then everything would be good.

The 300 Micro should have plenty of power, but it won’t say, produced 110db at 20Hz that the PB12/2 can because its specced from 23Hz. For HT, I hope it will produce more of the mid bass slam that everyone talks about. While being more musical for most music when used with the PB12/2 suppressed.

There must surely be some skepticism that mere software can do all this, but with the progress of AI throughout the world, maybe those PhD maths boffins at Dirac have figured it out. Only time will tell as I journey through this DIRAC path…

What AVR are you using?

I had that sub, doesn’t integrate well with the subs, you can consider using it in near field?
Very musical but stops at around 40Hz or so… Nice sub for bookshelf speakers to fill up the bottom a bit…

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Using REW is most likely needed for time alignment of the 3 subs. U can’t run away from that bro to get good time alignment. :slightly_smiling_face:

I would take 3000 micro’s specs digging up to 23hz w a pinch of salt. It’s only 8inch driver.

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I have to agree with the bros here…It is not going to blend well in your case. 2 “over-empowering” subs will easily “dwarf” the micro sub. Make it near field is your best bet which of course isn’t your original intention.

Denon X3800H

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The main point is to add a musical sub when I’m just using the two front speakers in pure direct mode. It will be up front, near the speakers as the big SVS is already nearfield. However, I am also hoping that Dirac/DLBC will integrate it when everything is on

I appreciate your skepticism over DLBC, but its not impossible. Note that the new series of Denon/Marantz have four subwoofer outputs, all with independent level and delay settings. Essentially, these new receivers have a Mini DSP 2x4 built in. Is it possible for DLBC to time align the four subwoofer outputs? I don’t know.

As for whether the SVS 3000 Micro can produce 23Hz with two 8 inch drivers, note that the similarly designed KEF KC62 can go down to 11Hz with two 6.5 inch drivers. The question is at what output levels… Several reviews of the KC62 have indeed measured 11Hz output, but at low levels suitable for music… certainly not for HT… but 11Hz output is there. Note that both the KC62 and 3000 Micro are new designs with dual drivers back to back and powerful amplifiers.

In any case, I’m not looking for 23 Hz output from the 3000 Micro as I already have 110db@20Hz blasting nearfield from the big subwoofer. Perhaps the 3000 Micro might add some mid bass slam, but its main purpose is musicality for 2 channel music when the receiver is in pure direct mode

For HT, I’m hoping that the 3000 Micro will add some mid-bass slam. It does have substantial output above 60Hz

However as I noted in the original posting, the main idea behind this is to add musicality to my bass when I am in 2 channel pure direct mode. In that mode the large subwoofer would be off and only the LR and 3000 Micro would be driven by the amp.

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A comparison in size of the two subwoofers. The bigger one has only 200W more power than the smaller.

Hi Sammy, congrats on the new sub.

Regarding the use of front speakers in Pure Direct mode with the SB3000 micro, iirc Pure Direct means full analog direct , with no digitizing of input, no DSP ie no Dirac /audyssey. This also means no bass management, so the 3000 micro will not be integrated and playing. I may be wrong.

One possible way to obtain what you described, is to run a pair of stereo RCA from the LR front pre out to the 3000micro. Use the SVS app to fine tune the low pass, and cut any peaks with the PEQ, and get the best blend with the wharfedale fronts.

After that, when you run Dirac, it just detects the wharfedale + 3000 micro as a large speaker with good bass extension.

This way you will get the 3000micro playing with wharfedale in Pure Direct analog mode.

Happy experimenting!

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Thanks Gavin, I’m using the LFE+Main setting on the Denon that sends L+R to the sub even in Pure Direct.

I note that @Desray discouraged use of this setting in one of his guides, but with careful adjustment of the LPF, it works quite well

Just as a small note, for most music, like @Cash, I absolutely love Auro3D. It’s incredibly immersive like nothing before. However for those sultry female vocals and a capella singing, sometimes pure direct gives me a tiny bit more detail and nuance

It’s a solid sub with tight bass, so no loss if you can’t integrate it…
The output under 40Hz will disappoint you if you have those larger subs…
But for those in apartments, looking for a little more oophm, it’s not bad

If this is the case, then its fine. I assume only one of the SW (LFE Pre-out) will be used for Direct/Stereo mode while the other SW2 output is used by your SVS PB12

I am using DLBC with 2 different subs and I like the results compared to my previous stock Dirac Live - per Dirac’s own literature “Bass Control In Dirac Live” found on their FAQ page:

“One of the main goals of Bass Control is to let the user position their sub-woofer(s) anywhere in the room and still get a good result”

I also like to use only one subwoofer (the Arendal) when listening to 2-channel music via my external DAC in analogue direct mode (i.e. no DIRAC or digital processing in the AVR), and route the full stereo signal to the Arendal using the AVR’s Zone 2 analogue output connected to a DI box (stereo RCA summed to mono XLR), and am satisfied with the results. The Arendal and Hsu are separately connected to the AVR’s discrete subwoofer outs for DIRAC to do its magic in all other listening / HT.

Happy experimenting! Curious to hear more about your experiences with the Micro3000 as well :slight_smile:

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The Denon X3800H has four sub outputs, all individually programmable in terms of delay and one sub out can even be put into bass shaker mode, which I do. DLBC can control crossover, time alignment etc individually for each sub out. Although, the main purpose of the 3000 Micro is 2 channel music, I am hoping that controlled by DLBC, it will also improve the mid bass slam in full HT operation. My big sub is nearfield just a few inches behind my listening position so having the small sub up front might improve the waves hitting my chest (I hope). Although the 3000 micro is small, it does have two 8 inch drivers and peak power of 2,500W. Being tested to hit 106-110dB at mid bass frequencies, it may have an effect on mid bass slam. We will see….

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Thanks for your experience. I haven’t quite decided how to hook it up so your experience is useful. I believe that the Denon receivers in pure direct mode set to LFE+Main simply output L+R through all four subwoofer outputs. If that is the case, all I have to do is turn off the big sub when listening to pure direct, while using the 3000 Micro’s built in DSP to tame low frequency room modes as the 3000 Micro has 3 built in parametric equalizers.

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