Any subs with a better performance to size ratio than Velodyne HGS? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 01-20-2010, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey, folks. I piecemealed a home theater for my parents this past Christmas. Overall, they were pretty thrilled, with one caveat. My mother freaked when she saw the subwoofer - I got a great deal on a used HSU VTF-2 MK3. Waaaay too big at 22X15X23. The sub sounds amazing right now, but I promised her I would continue to search for a smaller sub to replace the HSU.

I will probably go with a used unit as my budget is roughly $500. The sub will be used more for music than HT, so it is important that it be musical. I would also like it to be able to output cleanly down to 25hz. I know, I know... size, performance, price - you can only have two out of three is the adage. In scouring Audiogon, Ebay, Craiglist etc., it looks like a Velodyne HGS-12 will fit the bill. I frequently hear it referred to as musical, goes down to 25hz and it is only 14X15X14". The going price seems to be between $5-600, shipped for a used model. Would this model be a good choice and are there any other used subs I should keep an eye out for?
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post #2 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 09:52 AM
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At 13" cubed and 116 dB at 16 Hz, these are hard to beat. See if you can find a used one around, but be forewarned, they are subject to problems. Rita's Vintage Audio can straighten them out though.



http://www.hometheatersound.com/equi...rsignature.htm
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post #3 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 10:48 AM
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116db at 16hz...at 50%THD.
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post #4 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 11:04 AM
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I happen to like the HGS series Velo's. I still have an HGS-18 sitting in a closet. I owned the 12 before that, and thought they both sounded great.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #5 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 11:11 AM
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You can choose 2 of these 3

1. Big Performance
2. Small size
3. Low price...


Small size and big performance will mean big money
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post #6 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S View Post

116db at 16hz...at 50%THD.

No, <10% distortion.
http://sunfire.com/manuals/True%20Su...e%20Manual.pdf
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post #7 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 11:18 AM
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I also own a HGS-12 and still enjoy it. See if they will take $500.

@ Goon

He already said that in his OP. Pay attention now ya hear?

Quote:


I know, I know... size, performance, price - you can only have two out of three is the adage. In scouring Audiogon, Ebay, Craiglist etc., it looks like a Velodyne HGS-12 will fit the bill.


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post #8 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hometheatergeek View Post

I also own a HGS-12 and still enjoy it. See if they will take $500.

@ Goon

He already said that in his OP. Pay attention now ya hear?

I prefer glancing things over and jumping to conclusions jeez ha
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post #9 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

No, <10% distortion.
http://sunfire.com/manuals/True%20Su...e%20Manual.pdf

Yes it out performs dual pb-13 ultras

I also have an ep4000 that puts out 4000w according to its manufacturer
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post #10 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

At 13" cubed and 116 dB at 16 Hz, these are hard to beat. See if you can find a used one around, but be forewarned, they are subject to problems. Rita's Vintage Audio can straighten them out though.



http://www.hometheatersound.com/equi...rsignature.htm

If you don't care about any SQ.
There is no one that raves about the SQ of any Sunfire subs.

The HGS is in another league in SQ.
Sure, you can get good output in small package, but that's what you will get output...

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post #11 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 02:13 PM
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The HGS series is still very potent for their size.

The JL Audio subs have the HGS series beat in SQ and are comparable in size.

There will be a new DD series released this year. Hopefully they will raise the bar as they have fallen behind as any product would with as long as a life cycle.

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post #12 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S View Post

116db at 16hz...at 50%THD.

At least!

I like the little Sunfire cubes, but you can't beat physics. If you are that space restricted they can do OK for HT use.

I thought I remember someone measuring the amp as well, putting out more like 600w RMS despite the claimed multi-kilowatt claim.

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post #13 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmst3 View Post

If you don't care about any SQ.
There is no one that raves about the SQ of any Sunfire subs.

Says you:

From the link I included:

So how does it sound?

The quick answer is that the Sunfire Signature Subwoofer sounds great. One of the best DVDs for testing sound (and picture, for that matter) is Disney's Dinosaur. In the chapter 1 attack by the Carnotaurus, the entire concrete slab of my house shook like the battle was taking place in my living room. The chapter 9 migration to the nesting grounds is even more convincing as the brachiosaurus bangs across the screen. Best of all, James Newton Howard's orchestral score has the "you-are-there" perspective that you only get when the bottom octave is reproduced truthfully.

Then I tried a blockbuster, the most whomping, bass-busting, house-rattling DVD of all time -- Final Fantasy. At THX reference level, forget it. The bass was more profound than a 64-foot organ pedal. Neither my ears nor my house could take it, yet there was no sound of turmoil from the Sunfire -- just clear, clean, loud sound. The Fifth Element, Starship Troopers, Mission: Impossible, Galaxy Quest, all the usual suspects sounded real and unstrained with seemingly endless headroom.

All this led me to music via the DVD Sade Live. I had recently seen the lady and the band, and I was curious to hear how well the Sunfire would stand up to Paul S. Denman's subterranean bass guitar and Trevor Murrell's synthetically enhanced bass drum. On the song "Cherish the Day," Denman lays out for the first two minutes of the song, while Murrell kicks the bass drum hard. On lesser subs, when Denman finally joins in, it is difficult to differentiate between the bass guitar and bass drum. The track is a real test of a sub's resolving power. And the Sunfire handles it with aplomb, effortlessly making the distinction perceptible.

Finally, I tried some film scores on CD that have orotund bass. The first cut on the Mission: Impossible 2 CD [Hollywood HR-62244-2], "Sleeping Beauty" has literally breathtaking bass, and it was reproduced with more authority than with any other sub I've heard. Another great test disc for bass is Christopher Young's film score for Set It Off [Varese Sarabande VSD 5779]. Track 2's tympani came blaring through with stentorious power.

Crossed over at 40Hz and controlled by the Lexicon MC-1's processing, the Signature never sounded disjointed or inappropriate. Sunfire does a good job offering alternatives for mixing the subs with your speakers. It will accept line-level or preamplifier outs, and you can control phase, crossover frequency and level. But beware the flat/video contour switch. It changes your low-end roll-off from 18Hz to 30Hz. Since some will use the Signature's internal crossover system, I tried it as well. With a lot of careful balancing, I was rewarded with a seamless bond with the other speakers. The process took me a few hours to tweak. Through the Lexicon, it took about 15 minutes. Both results were superb.
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post #14 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

Says you:

From the link I included:

Uh huh.
Ya, and when was the last time you ever heard a bad subwoofer review?

I am guessing never...

I have heard them side by side for a direct comparison, but they do well for how small they are. They are well suited for HT if you are space restricted.
They are amazing for their size, but everything has its limits.
I have also heard plenty of Velos, they are in a different league.

Don't take my word for it. Try demoing them side by side in an A/B setup, then you will know what I mean.

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post #15 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 05:08 PM
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^^ agree Jp

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post #16 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 05:18 PM
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I have a friend who owns that Sunfire sub. I made him play the Finding Nemo Dora tapping scene in his theater. He did not know why(I used this scene as it does not dig deep so good subs can play loud and clear). He thought it sound great then I brought him over to my theater and let it rip. He asked me if I thought something was wrong with his sub and I said yeah, you have the wrong kind. He just smiled. They are cute though. I can fit them inside of the mouth of one of my Danley's.
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post #17 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

No, <10% distortion.
http://sunfire.com/manuals/True%20Su...e%20Manual.pdf

You cant go by what the manufacturer says. I would like to see a third party verify this claim. Otherwise, I call shenanigans on that.
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post #18 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank171 View Post

You cant go by what the manufacturer says. I would like to see a third party verify this claim. Otherwise, I call shenanigans on that.



There is probably no audio electrial designer more respected in the industry than Bob Carver. There have been several magazine publications that back his claims and find that the Signature performs better than speced.

For example, Julian Hirsch found it to go lower and flatter and perform better than any sub he had ever measured.

To tell the truth, I am more inclined to believe Bob's reputation and writings of the various publications than a bunch of Internet guys.
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post #19 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

There is probably no audio electrial designer more respected in the industry than Bob Carver. There have been several magazine publications that back his claims and find that the Signature performs better than speced.

For example, Julian Hirsch found it to go lower and flatter and perform better than any sub he had ever measured.

To tell the truth, I am more inclined to believe Bob's reputation and writings of the various publications than a bunch of Internet guys.

If it was THAT amazing to outclass multiple pb13 ultras, the JL audio 113 and the seaton submersive all while being compact I THINK it would be the worlds most renowned sub. I understand that you like your sub, I am sure it is a good sub but lets be realist, no sunfire sub has ever been tested to go over 105dB at any level of distortion.
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post #20 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 06:06 PM
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I doubt many that buy the Sunfire Sub expect it to extend itself to the levels of those other subs in large HT environments.

It's a cute sub for a cute room.

Good ability for it's size, but by no means the end all for those with large HT rooms.

I think in terms of small size and great performance, the JL F113 is probably, at this moment, the closest to achieving both.

The others, I believe are just slightly larger overall, but may hold an arguable performance edge over the F113.

As has been stated, you can't beat physics.

Unless you're an audiophile with golden everything, of course.
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post #21 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

To tell the truth, I am more inclined to believe Bob's reputation and writings of the various publications than a bunch of Internet guys.

Like I said, don't believe us dumb internet guys that know nothing and have owned nothing.

I am not in the category, but some of the 'internet guys' around here have engineered and designed some of world's best drivers and designs. Some of the guys here ARE the guys that work for companies like Velodyne, SVSound, Epik, TC Sounds, Audyssey, Danley Sound, Rythmik, Elemental Designs, etc. And many of the guys here have HT setups that are in the 10s and 100s of thousands of dollars and have tried more subs than many even know exist.

I am sure Bob Carver is VERY knowledgeable as well. But, you have to remember he is going after a very specific market segment...micro subs.
If he built and 18" driver in a 24" cube with 2500w it would do well. But he is not after that market, it is very crowded there.

EVERY design is a compromise and EVERY design has its limits.
You can't overcome physics, the trade off is in a cube that small you are going to get the limitations of that design. It is plain and simple.

I am not knocking them or anyone here that owns them. This is not a personal attack on anyone, just facts.
They do well despite their size, that is for sure. I am just telling it like it is. There is a price of that small size. Big bass is about moving lots of air. The less surface area, power, etc. you have the less you move. My iPod earbuds can go to 20Hz, but they can't fill more than my ear canal with bass. If you try to make them play larger than they are you get distortion and plenty of it. I can design a driver of any size go down to whatever freq you want. The problem lies in how much SPL it can do it at without melting down or yielding tons of THD.

But, like I said why take our word for it. Take a listen for yourself.

What is even more interesting about subwoofers is that many people actually prefer more distortion and interpret that as a fuller sound, especially for HT.
It makes the movie effects sound more robust. And if you have nothing to compare it to you don't know it.
When one gets used to that sound and compare to something like a servo-based setup on a Velodyne or Rythmik they often think they are not as loud or don't sound as good. Then when they are tested they find out that the THD is 30-80% on the low end, which is not uncommon at all.
I remember when I compared one of my first subs, a Velodyne CT-120 to an HGS-15 for the first time, what a different world! The rest is history, a dozen or more subs later....

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post #22 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

I am sure it is a good sub but lets be realist, no sunfire sub has ever been tested to go over 105dB at any level of distortion.

Think again.

117.3@ 31.5 Hz and 107.8 @ 25 Hz in this test, and I've seen better.

http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_...signature.html
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post #23 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

Think again.

117.3@ 31.5 Hz and 107.8 @ 25 Hz in this test, and I've seen better.

http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_...signature.html

That is in room without an THD numbers. When people talk output they mean annoeric. Room effects the sound too much to get max volume measures inside...jeez.
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post #24 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

Think again.

117.3@ 31.5 Hz and 107.8 @ 25 Hz in this test, and I've seen better.

http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_...signature.html

FYI, I don't think those were distortion limited figures.

That was long before the standards that we use today to level the playing field.

All the tests we do are outside. In room you may get gobs of gain down low. Real output, anechoic, is not even close to those levels.

Sorry man, you can't beat physics.

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post #25 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 08:07 PM
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That review is extremely outdated by subwoofer and review standards. They mention 117db at 31hz but that's with no THD %.

My IB can do the 116@16hz<10%THD you mention. But that's four 18" drivers with 27mm xmax in an enclosure large enough to not strangle deep bass. Very few subs can achieve that performance level.
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post #26 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 08:09 PM
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To the OP -

If you can find an HGS 12 for your chosen budget, it would be a very nice subwoofer. It performs well, and is good looking with the gloss black finish (if it's in good shape).

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #27 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 View Post

To the OP -

If you can find an HGS 12 for your chosen budget, it would be a very nice subwoofer. It performs well, and is good looking with the gloss black finish (if it's in good shape).

Definitely!

The HGS series (used) is a hell of a lot of bang for the buck.
I have seen them go for ridiculous prices.

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post #28 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post

Think again.

117.3@ 31.5 Hz and 107.8 @ 25 Hz in this test, and I've seen better.

http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_...signature.html

BTW, if you are interested in learning how real testing is done;

http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...explained.html

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post #29 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

That is in room without an THD numbers. When people talk output they mean annoeric. Room effects the sound too much to get max volume measures inside...jeez.

I included the link to the User Manual that specifically noted that the 116 dB INCLUDES room effects. Not my fault you didn't follow though and look at it. jeez.

As for THD numbers, that's just one test. Not my job to find every test for you guys to ignore. I was just addressing the volume issue.

As I noted I've seen better numbers in other publications. I can personally attest to the fact that the FR changes whether you put the woofer or radiator toward the room.

As for designers and manufacturers' of other sub being on this site as "Internet Guys," are you one of them and if not, why are you speaking for them? They can step up for themselves.
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post #30 of 52 Old 01-21-2010, 09:57 PM
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why are you guys even trying? are you new here?

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