To Doug Schneider,

I have read with interest your reviews on two speakers that I’m considering purchasing for 90% two-channel music listening: Revel Performa3 F206 and GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R.

Here is my quandary: I was also considering adding dual subwoofers (SVS SB-3000) to the Revels. I’ve listened to both speakers at my local dealer and liked what I heard. Obviously, the Tritons went deeper in the bass. My question to you is: How hard is it to blend subwoofers into a room? Or is it more desirable to have the built-in subs? My current room is 15’ x 24’ with a 7’ ceiling. It also has a few detents under stairs, etc. It’s a basement setup.

Thank you for your reply and keep up the informative articles. I, for one, appreciate them very much.

Best regards,
Tag Williamson
United States

I believe that if you can get one or two subwoofers to blend perfectly with the main loudspeakers, you can achieve better overall performance compared to loudspeakers alone, regardless of the speakers’ size or price. One reason is that a great subwoofer can go deeper in the bass with higher output and lower distortion than almost any loudspeaker in the world can. Another reason is that you can optimize the positioning of a separate subwoofer or subwoofers in the room for the best bass performance, and you can optimally place the loudspeakers for the best imaging and overall tonal balance. This isn’t insignificant -- what’s good for bass isn’t always what’s good for the rest of the sound. Finally, for those worried about how cabinet resonances color the sound, woofers are the main culprits in this regard, so having them do most of their work separate from the higher-frequency drivers is probably a good thing.

The big problem is that perfectly blending one or more subwoofers with main speakers isn’t that easy; however, it’s also not impossible and there are more ways to do it today than ever before. One writer who’s had great success with this is Diego Estan, who writes on this site, but has also been writing articles about subwoofers on our SoundStage! Access site. The first article he wrote was about his experience going from one to two subwoofers. The latest one is on subwoofer setup for beginners. On August 1, he’ll have another subwoofer-setup article, focusing more on advanced setup options. I encourage you to read his articles to see if you can get enough advice there to allow you to figure out if integrating a sub with speakers is the way you want to go. . . . Doug Schneider