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#674912 - 08/13/03 10:44 PM Subwoofer for piano?
TomWms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 4
First off, thanks to all who've filled the archives with lots of thoughtful advice. It's been very educational.

I'm getting a digital piano for my daughter to learn on and for the rest of us to enjoy as well. There'll be no mixing, but I do want a sound that will inspire her. I'd like to use good monitors (but small and discrete for a living room setting) and wonder if a matching subwoofer will add to the richness of the sound.

For my monitor/sub budget ($700 max) I've found the Event TR5 monitors with the S250 sub and the M-Audio BX5 monitors with the SP-8S sub. Any thoughts? The room is about 13x20.



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#674913 - 08/14/03 11:41 PM Re: Subwoofer for piano?
JimM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/02
Posts: 200
Loc: Northern California
I added an 8" powered subwoofer that claims to be responsive to 30 Hz to my Yamaha CVP900 piano but didn't hear much effect. This may be due to the fact that I already was using two Cambridge 3-way bookshelf supplemental speakers with 8" woofers. On the other hand, it's possible that the piano samples just don't have that much energy in the low-frequency domain where a sub works best. You might see how it sounds with other instruments, like pipe organs. Most electronics stores will let you bring speakers back if you don't like the way they sound.

I've used both Event and M-Audio monitors in other applications and preferred the Events. However, you have to sit in the "sweet spot" for studio monitors to sound good. That may not be the best approach for your piano. I find that I enjoy my piano's sound more when it appears to come from "inside" the piano, which for me meant putting the speakers on the floor under the instrument.
Mason and Hamlin BB, Clavinova CVP900

#674914 - 08/15/03 08:20 AM Re: Subwoofer for piano?
TomWms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 4
Thanks Jim.

So I'm curious why you tried adding a subwoofer. Did you feel like some of the bottom end was missing with your original setup? The small monitors I mentioned only claim to reach the mid 50Hz range using their 5.25" woofers. This may still be ok, though.


#674915 - 08/15/03 12:38 PM Re: Subwoofer for piano?
JimM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/02
Posts: 200
Loc: Northern California
I already had the unit so just wanted to see what would happen - I wasn't unhappy with the low end response as it was. It makes something of a difference with bass-heavy sounds but not enough to warrant buying one. With the small woofers you're considering it probably makes more sense.
Mason and Hamlin BB, Clavinova CVP900

Kawai Superb Stage Piano and Controller
#674916 - 08/30/03 08:02 PM Re: Subwoofer for piano?
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
Tom: did you buy the monitors? the sob-woofer?
How do they sound?

#674917 - 08/30/03 10:17 PM Re: Subwoofer for piano?
TomWms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 4

I got a pair of M-Audio BX5 powered monitors for about $300. A sales rep from M-Audio told me that the matching subwoofer is being replaced with a new model (SBX) in September, so I held off on the subwoofer purchase.

As it turns out, I couldn't be more pleased with the sound I'm getting from the monitors. I fully expect the Event models would have been similar. The low end is very rich and clear. The improvement over the built-in Roland FP5 speakers is so dramatic that I would encourage anyone to spend the extra few hundred dollars to get the full piano sound that the instrument is capable of producing. Not even my studio-quality headphones compare.

I will likely try the SBX subwoofer if I can pick it up locally with the option to return it. Or I may consider this sub with another pair of BX5s hooked up to the television. But the low end piano sound is quite good as it is now and seriously doubt that adding a sub would be worth another $400.



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