Official HSU ULS-15 Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't own this sub, but am very close to buying one (probably three). With that prospective purchase in mind, I thought I would start the official thread (my 9 to 5 job remains terrifingly quiet).

A few initial thoughts as a non-owner.

1. Hsu is general, and the ULS-15 in particular, does not seem to get credit/respect in these forums compared with SVS, JL Audio, Submersive, etc. Any thoughts on this?

2. I think the ULS-15, but also the Rythmik DD15-SE (and Sunfire if you can accept a smaller driver) monopolizes a high value, high quality niche of strong SQ, premium finishes, reasonable size. The commercial competitors:

A. JL Audio Fathoms, Earthquake, Velodyne - More expensive
B. SVS - Larger
C. AV123 - Having organizational issues
D. Seaton Submersive, Epik, ED - No premium finishes

Any thoughts on the ULS-15's place in the market?
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post #2 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 06:42 AM
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Ok. I have one ULS in a 3,100 cufeet room.

1. The ULS is the best sounding sub I have heard to date in SQ...Also for its size and price.... I have not heard a more powerful, or with as much extension, sub yet.
2. I have not heard a Rythmik sub.

The amount of low clean bass this sub produces is amazing...For music, especially pipe organ, it is definately awesome.

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post #3 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchuva View Post

Any thoughts on the ULS-15's place in the market?

Also, other HSU alternatives; namely the VTF-3, Mk. 3. Less expensive, and technically larger, but depending on where its going the design might actually be better. For instance, my VTF3, Mk. 3 fit in a corner behind my couch and fires across the back of the couch.

In practice, and positioned length-wise against my wall, it takes up less (usable) space than most of those other subs you listed because it sticks out less than most of those other subs you listed would.
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post #4 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 12:34 PM
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I would like to hear everyone's input regarding the ULS-15 vs. PC13/PB13-Ultra. I know I have started a thread before regarding this topic but I have yet to come up with a conclusion. I CANNOT hear these subwoofers prior to buying them and thus must rely on people's opinions/comments.

Basically, it came down to the ULS-15 sounding "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra while the PC13/PB13-Ultra has more output than the ULS-15.

My question is, does the ULS-15 really sound "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra? I know it's a matter of sealed vs. ported but the question still stands valid due to their fairly equal price points.
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post #5 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Kain View Post

My question is, does the ULS-15 really sound "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra? I know it's a matter of sealed vs. ported but the question still stands valid due to their fairly equal price points.

I'm going to guess if you have the room to accommodate the PB13-Ultra, that it would be the overall better sub. To me, those subs are for different markets. The ULS-15 is for someone who needs either a smaller sub or wireless. PB13-Ultra is bang for buck for someone who doesn't need wireless or isn't concerned about size. I would have probably gone with that sub had I had the space for it and extra money.

Also though, I'd definitely want to know what one primary uses their system for. If you're like me, 75%+ HT, 25% or less music, then a heavy hitter makes a lot of sense. But if you only listen to mostly music... I'd focus more on a sub known for being musical.
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post #6 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

I would like to hear everyone's input regarding the ULS-15 vs. PC13/PB13-Ultra. I know I have started a thread before regarding this topic but I have yet to come up with a conclusion. I CANNOT hear these subwoofers prior to buying them and thus must rely on people's opinions/comments.

Basically, it came down to the ULS-15 sounding "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra while the PC13/PB13-Ultra has more output than the ULS-15.

My question is, does the ULS-15 really sound "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra? I know it's a matter of sealed vs. ported but the question still stands valid due to their fairly equal price points.


Are you going to neuter the PB-13 by running it sealed all the time?
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post #7 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

My question is, does the ULS-15 really sound "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra? I know it's a matter of sealed vs. ported but the question still stands valid due to their fairly equal price points.

IMO, yes.....but that needs qualifying....If you do not require the output of the Ultra, and I have not heard the Ultra in its sealed configuration.

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post #8 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

I'm going to guess if you have the room to accommodate the PB13-Ultra, that it would be the overall better sub. To me, those subs are for different markets. The ULS-15 is for someone who needs either a smaller sub or wireless. PB13-Ultra is bang for buck for someone who doesn't need wireless or isn't concerned about size. I would have probably gone with that sub had I had the space for it and extra money.

Also though, I'd definitely want to know what one primary uses their system for. If you're like me, 75%+ HT, 25% or less music, then a heavy hitter makes a lot of sense. But if you only listen to mostly music... I'd focus more on a sub known for being musical.

I'm considering the PC13-Ultra not the PB13-Ultra so size is quite the same. I listen to movies/music 50/50 but I concentrate on better sound for movies more than for music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Are you going to neuter the PB-13 by running it sealed all the time?

I never said anything about running the PC13-Ultra in sealed mode. I'll be most likely running it in 15Hz mode.
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post #9 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

Ok. I have one ULS in a 3,100 cufeet room.

1. The ULS is the best sounding sub I have heard to date in SQ...Also for its size and price.... I have not heard a more powerful, or with as much extension, sub yet.
2. I have not heard a Rythmik sub.

The amount of low clean bass this sub produces is amazing...For music, especially pipe organ, it is definately awesome.

Do you have any problems with reaching reference levels for movies with a single ULS-15 in your room?
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post #10 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:12 PM
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I was surprised that there was no offical thread about the ULS-15. I remember there are a few who owns one or four of these on the board. Maybe a hand full? From personal opinion the ULS-15 is a bit pricy compared many popular ID brands. The wireless option is not a big deal or a strong selling point. Even though my Dragon might not have more output or go deeper, but it's is priced $200 less. That's all for an 18" driver. I know, the size of the driver doesn't mean much. Maybe that's another reason why the ULS-15 is not so popular. There are other ID brands that will perform just as if not better at a lower price.

Why buy three when you can have one with the same output? One Epik Conquest. That's only if you the space for it. When I was looing for a ID subwoofer, the ULS-15 was on the bottom of my list. The VTF3.3 was more attrative.
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post #11 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

I'm considering the PC13-Ultra not the PB13-Ultra so size is quite the same. I listen to movies/music 50/50 but I concentrate on better sound for movies more than for music.

Perhaps if you're talking about footprint, but that's about where the size comparison stops. The ULS-15 definitely does not resemble a water heater.

If movies is your preference, go with that SVS if you can afford the space and the eye sore (my opinion on that latter). I visually could accept the box subs, but those huge cylinder subs look pretty horrid to me.
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post #12 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

Do you have any problems with reaching reference levels for movies with a single ULS-15 in your room?

With a single ULS you won't get to reference levels in a 3,000 cufeet room.Not from 10hz-80hz. In fact very very few commercial large subs can do that, if any.

However it is very good and clean sounding, and as I said before for the price vs performance vs size there is nothing I know of that comes close...

The experience is nice beacuse of the clean and powerful the low bass sounds, which becomes even more appreciated when listening to pipe organ music or some movie content of very deep passages...

Cacimar Hernandez
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post #13 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchuva View Post

I don't own this sub, but am very close to buying one (probably three). With that prospective purchase in mind, I thought I would start the official thread (my 9 to 5 job remains terrifingly quiet).

A few initial thoughts as a non-owner.

1. Hsu is general, and the ULS-15 in particular, does not seem to get credit/respect in these forums compared with SVS, JL Audio, Submersive, etc. Any thoughts on this?

2. I think the ULS-15, but also the Rythmik DD15-SE (and Sunfire if you can accept a smaller driver) monopolizes a high value, high quality niche of strong SQ, premium finishes, reasonable size. The commercial competitors:

A. JL Audio Fathoms, Earthquake, Velodyne - More expensive
B. SVS - Larger
C. AV123 - Having organizational issues
D. Seaton Submersive, Epik, ED - No premium finishes

Any thoughts on the ULS-15's place in the market?

You may want to take Sunfire off your list. Amp failures seem all too common and Sunfire charges a flat $450 for you to return the sub to them and fix it regardless of what is wroing. I don't know if Sunfire has a local repair option for buyers in Singapore.

My thoughts on the ULS-15s place in the market is that it was released at a time when Rythmik was being picked up by Ascend. I think that Rythmik has a slight edge in sound quality, probably due to the servo, and is also less expensive.

Just a case of bad timing for HSU. With the difference in price and probable slight advantage in sound quality, the ULS-15 is facing very stiff competition.

Fit and finish edge goes to HSU ULS-15 and wireless is a nice feature, but I wonder how much of a deal-maker it is.
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post #14 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

With a single ULS you won't get to reference levels in a 3,000 cufeet room.Not from 10hz-80hz. In fact very very few commercial large subs can do that, if any.

However it is very good and clean sounding, and as I said before for the price vs performance there is nothing I know of that comes close...

The experience is nice beacuse of the clean and powerful the low bass sounds, which becomes even more appreciated when listening to pipe organ music or some movie content of very deep passages...

Where have you placed your subwoofer? Near-field or far-field?
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post #15 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hksvr4 View Post

Why buy three when you can have one with the same output? One Epik Conquest. That's only if you the space for it. When I was looing for a ID subwoofer, the ULS-15 was on the bottom of my list. The VTF3.3 was more attrative.

A couple of things....two or more subs will help the overall room FR. Secondly, sound quality may be more of a premium.

Once you have excellent sound quality, you can get more output by using more of the same subs. If you go for output first, you can not add sound quality (other than room FR) by adding more subs.

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post #16 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

My thoughts on the ULS-15s place in the market is that it was released at a time when Rythmik was being picked up by Ascend. I think that Rythmik has a slight edge in sound quality, probably due to the servo, and is also less expensive.

Just a case of bad timing for HSU. With the difference in price and probable slight advantage in sound quality, the ULS-15 is facing very stiff competition.

Fit and finish edge goes to HSU ULS-15 and wireless is a nice feature, but I wonder how much of a deal-maker it is.

My thoughts exactly.

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post #17 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

With a single ULS you won't get to reference levels in a 3,000 cufeet room.Not from 10hz-80hz. In fact very very few commercial large subs can do that, if any.

However it is very good and clean sounding, and as I said before for the price vs performance there is nothing I know of that comes close...

The experience is nice beacuse of the clean and powerful the low bass sounds, which becomes even more appreciated when listening to pipe organ music or some movie content of very deep passages...

Can you enlighten us as to how far you think the Rythmik F15 with 370 watt amp falls behind the ULS-15? Can you point to test figures to back up any statements?
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post #18 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Fit and finish edge goes to HSU ULS-15 and wireless is a nice feature, but I wonder how much of a deal-maker it is.

I think the feature's huge, and other sub makers would be wise to be scrabbling to add it. Are there any other subs in this price range that have that feature? That one feature allowed 3-4 possible locations for that sub in my living room, whereas pretty much all other subs only had 1 feasible location.

I'm trying to talk my dad into going ULS-15 because he has a great hidey spot for it on the other side of the room where it'd be very difficult to get a wire to. He has WAF issues like many of us do (my mom, in this case).
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post #19 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Can you enlighten us as to how far you think the Rythmik F15 with 370 watt amp falls behind the ULS-15? Can you point to test figures to back up any statements?

I have not heard a Rythmik...that is why I say "that I know of" meaning: from what I have tested.

I believe however that curtis have said that the Rythmik does not have as much output as the ULS...
I have a ULS and the driver has lots of clean excursion spyboy...But I wont argue with someone who does not own one.

Cacimar Hernandez
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post #20 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

I would like to hear everyone's input regarding the ULS-15 vs. PC13/PB13-Ultra. I know I have started a thread before regarding this topic but I have yet to come up with a conclusion. I CANNOT hear these subwoofers prior to buying them and thus must rely on people's opinions/comments.

Basically, it came down to the ULS-15 sounding "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra while the PC13/PB13-Ultra has more output than the ULS-15.

My question is, does the ULS-15 really sound "better" than the PC13/PB13-Ultra? I know it's a matter of sealed vs. ported but the question still stands valid due to their fairly equal price points.

I'm in the exact same situation as you. Trying to decide between the Ultra, ULS-15, and any other similar subs (feel free to add to my list!). My usage is also roughly 50/50 music/movies, maybe a tad more on the music side.

I, too, don't think I can hear the subs before buying, unless I find someone nearby that has them (nearby = 1-3 hour drive, unfortunately).

I currently have an STF-2, and while I'll stand by it as being a great entry-level sub, it simply isn't cutting it now that I've upgraded my mains. I want more impact and more clarity, which means spending more, hence looking at the ULS. I agree about not caring about the wireless connection and small-ish footprint; those aren't selling points for me. I do like the finish on both the subs though, so a nice finish is a must-have IMO at this price.
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post #21 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon View Post

I think the feature's huge, and other sub makers would be wise to be scrabbling to add it. Are there any other subs in this price range that have that feature? That one feature allowed 3-4 possible locations for that sub in my living room, whereas pretty much all other subs only had 1 feasible location.

I'm trying to talk my dad into going ULS-15 because he has a great hidey spot for it on the other side of the room where it'd be very difficult to get a wire to. He has WAF issues like many of us do (my mom, in this case).


SVS will be releasing its 16 inch sealed sub with wireless. Release probably for the Christmas shopping season. With the already stiff competition from Rythmik, the SB-16 is going to make things even more difficult for HSU.
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post #22 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

SVS will be releasing its 16 inch sealed sub with wireless. Release probably for the Christmas shopping season. With the already stiff competition from Rythmik, the SB-16 is going to make things even more difficult for HSU.

All that being true, I'd sweat the most if I was Rythmik, ..... not SVS or HSU. Rythmik still seems to have much further to go to even have parity with either SVS or HSU from a business model perspective.

Sounds like they have a great start though with their first retail model subs.
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post #23 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

SVS will be releasing its 16 inch sealed sub with wireless. Release probably for the Christmas shopping season. With the already stiff competition from Rythmik, the SB-16 is going to make things even more difficult for HSU.

I am looking forward to the SB-16 and SB-13, but I think the 16 is going to be a fair amount more money than the ULS-15.

I have been critical of SVS in terms of sound quality in the past, but from hearing the latest Ultra, they have come a long way. I still think Hsu as the edge though...especially per dollar.

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post #24 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I have been critical of SVS in terms of sound quality in the past, but from hearing the latest Ultra, they have come a long way. I still think Hsu as the edge though...especially per dollar.

I certainly agree with that last statement. I occasionally peer through my window shade to see if the cops are coming to get me for the $629 retail I paid for this mammoth VTF3.3. I could have paid a few hundred more for more or less the same overall quality of sound.

I like the Rythmik, ULS-15, and the top SVS's, but ouch those prices make me hurt a little bit! I have the money, just a little too tight to let that much fly out of my wallet.
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post #25 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 03:47 PM
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While I think a single ULS-15 is quite nice given it's size, the ULS really shines when used in multi-sub configurations. Two/three/four or more ULS-15's certainly challenge some of the biggest and baddest subwoofers on the planet in terms of performance and flexibility in a subwoofer system (based on customer feedback), while being very reasonably priced in multi-sub configuations. The truth is that there are tradeoffs in any subwoofer design, but provided that one has the money, multiple sealed subwoofers can be a real treat that is hard (if not impossible) to match with a single larger ported subwoofer.

In our demo room, we have two ULS-15's spaced equidistant from the main listening position, in the back left/right corners. I am able to set the crossover on the receiver as high as 150Hz without being able to localize the ULS's from the main listening position (which is only 6 feet away from the subs!), all while maintaining a flat upper bass response. The dynamics and bass quality in this setup are simply awesome, by far the best sound we've ever had in our demo room for both music and movies. And then reality sets in, and I have to set crossover at 80Hz to demo single subwoofers to customers...

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post #26 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 04:14 PM
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I was debating between the ULS-15 and the Rythmik 15. I'm at 60/40 movies/music. 12' x 20' room in basement that opens into another 150 SF or so. Townhouse, so not really planning to listen at high levels. Pulled the trigger on the ULS-15 last night.

For me, the deciding factor (on the blind faith assumption that both are comparable from a sound quality standpoint) was fit & finish. Not a fan of the piano black (I went with the espresso finish on the ULS-15). Wireless was also nice, but not a primary consideration, as I don't plan to use it right now but you never know when that feature might come in handy.

Certainly more than I thought I would spend when I first started researching various options, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Heck, I've never owned a sub before so I should be ok with anything half decent. Wife thinks I'm insane, but she's getting a new kitchen so figured this was a good opportunity to splurge a little on myself.
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post #27 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 04:19 PM
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The available finishes on the ULS are very nice.

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post #28 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Fit and finishes are important to me also (I like the Piano Black) and that is what stops me from the Rythmik. Cost is what stops me from the Fathom. Is the sound quality difference in the Rythmik or the Fathom significant?
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post #29 of 2713 Old 04-23-2009, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gchuva View Post

Fit and finishes are important to me also (I like the Piano Black) and that is what stops me from the Rythmik. Cost is what stops me from the Fathom. Is the sound quality difference in the Rythmik or the Fathom significant?

IMO, the sound quality of the ULS-15, Rythmik, and Fathom are very close.

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post #30 of 2713 Old 04-24-2009, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

With a single ULS you won't get to reference levels in a 3,000 cufeet room.

What about in a 1,639 cubic feet room?
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