HSU VTF-15H vs. Rythmik FV15HP vs. ED A7-350 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been looking for the perfect fit for my 8500 ft^3 great-room that opens to a hallway and a stairwell. I'm 90% Home Theater. Budget is flexible, but I'm not prepared to pay much more than $3K.

Given the space, I believe ported is the way to go. Given my room, I can handle up to 2 Subwoofers. Looking for something in Black to match the room. Think I can handle this size of the subs considered, but no bigger!

So the volume of space is super-high, and I'm looking for HT, so output is a big key for me.

The new contenders are the HSU VTF-15H and the Rythmik FV15HP. They are the frontrunners for me. They are both darn close to the ED A7-350 in terms of driver, size and appearance, so I'll include it as well.

Size (with Grill & Feet)
HSU - 26" H x 27" D x 18" W (added 1 for feet and grill)
Ryth - 26" H x 26" D x 18" W (no feet included, added 2 for pad that will likely be required)
ED - 32" H x 24" D x 20" W (no feet included, added 4 for pad that is inlcuded)

Verdict: Pretty close. Not much separation here. ED a bit bigger.

HSU - 1400 W short term, 350 W continuous
Ryth - 600 RMS class H patented servo controlled
ED - 1300W

Verdict: Unclear to me how to interpret this. Not sure if the 1300W for ED is comparable to HSU's 1400W or 350W. Rythmik is in the middle, but again, don't know how to compare with HSU. Note this is Rythmik's high power version, vs. stock version at 370W.

HSU - 15 woofer, very low Q (0.25)
Ryth - 15" high excursion, aluminum
ED - 15" subwoofer, under-hung motor, 30MM one way Xmax

Verdict: Hard for me to compare here. Rythmik's key differentiator is Servo Control, which is supposed to improve accuracy, but it has been suggested in some posts that this accuracy might come at the cost of output. Some say accuracy is important in sub-woofers, other seem to suggest that you can't hear distortion at near-subsonic levels anyway. HSU seems to have tons of love, admiration, and respect on the board. Key differentiator is focus on engineering. Hard to directly translate this into performance (thought see next section).

HSU - CEA2010 peak output capability from 40-100Hz, 121dB @ 31.5Hz, 118dB @ 25Hz, 114dB @ 20Hz
Ryth - no info
ED - No info, but has been in the market for a long time.

Verdict: Again, difficult for me to say. At the end of the day, the most important factor is to really fill up my room with heart-thumping bass.

For HSU, CEA measurements have been impressive, similar/higher than SVS PB-13U. Some folks doing the calculations have disputed these numbers, but others are suggesting that HSU's configuration is producing this superior result. Mathematically I can see how low-Q would increase efficiency, but don't really understand what this means to performance. Seems unlikely that HSU would lie about the output numbers, as it will be easy enough to reproduce these results.

I have no reference for the Rythmik. Here is what Brian from Rythmik says Naturally, customer would compare this with PB13U. Ours is slightly smaller. However, that is intentional because it makes the maximum output extension to 18hz, just between the 3-port tune and 2-port tune of PB13 Ultra. If we can improve sound quality of sealed subwoofers with servo, we can also do that with vented subs Not a very direct answer. Hard to interpret, but didn't sound too positive.

The ED has been out for a long time, but I don't think it has been reported to be on-par or better than SVS PB13U

HSU - Satin black or Rosenut (+$120)
Ryth - Black oak
ED - Matte Black (veneer for +200-250)

Verdict: Rythmik wins. Like the Black Oak finish. Nicely crafted.

HSU Balck Satin not as nice as the Black Oak. Don't like the exposed triangular ports on the HSU. All these subs are big, but i think the exposed ports will make it stick out even more.

ED last with the Matte Black.

Price for 2x (2 units plus shipping)
HSU - $1936 (1658 + 278) from HSU DualDrive webpage is not up yet, but base price is $1658
Ryth - $2552 (2278 + 274) (no feet or pad included)
ED - $2400 (2400 + 1) (comes with free pads worth $130)

Verdict - HSU the clear winner here

Rythmik appears to be the leader in sound quality and appearance. Not clear how much better or important SQ will be as compared to HSU. HSU may be the output king, and the best value at $616 less than the Rythmik. HSU has feet included, which I think would elevate the need for a pad???, so would likely need to buy 2x pads for Rythmik for another $100-200. Based on price, probably leaning toward HSU.

Would love to hear others thoughts.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:34 PM
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You know its funny, because i was pretty much set on an A7-350 before the Hsu Released, now im fairly certain im going to get the Hsu, primarily because of the price difference, weight savings, and better warranty.

I love eD and if i had 2k+ to spend on a sub i would be all over their higher end subs.

The Rythmik i just find difficult to believe is going to be able to match the output of the Hsu or the eD with only 15mm of xmax.

Between the eD and the Hsu its really two different beasts. I've done extensive research on the eD and its really designed towards and is a Home Theater beast. I'd be willing to bet it would beat the Hsu handily in low end extension, especially below 20hz or so. Above that? Im fairly certain the Hsu would win.

Really i think the Hsu is going be the better all 'rounder sub if you listen to music, and play video games etc. If i had a dedicated home theater, i'd probably pick up the eD's.

Honestly i think with you picking up 2 of any of those subs you're going to be doing VERY well.

If you have a budget of 3k you might consider 3 of the hsu's

Klipsch RF-62 L/R, RC-62 C, Energy C-100 SL/SR, HSU VTF-15H, Marantz SR7008.

"All speakers sound good when you're on a coke binge in the middle of an orgy." - Heebdawg16
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:17 AM
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I looked at all of these options too. I bought the HSU VTF-15H and haven't looked back. I'm really happy with it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:36 AM
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Not sure why SVS isn't on your list.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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Old 11-16-2010, 07:38 AM
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Rythmik FV15 performance. Add 2dB for FV15HP.

Originally Posted by Rythmik View Post

FV15 is big:18"(W)x24"(H)x24"(D) just for the enclosure. Back panel control/heat sink adds 1" and the grille adds 1". My guess is most customer will leave the grille off. FV15 has two tuning options: 18hz and 12hz. For max output, we would recommend 18hz tuning. The rumble filter switch now serves as the purpose of setting up the required filter to match these two tuning modes. Two driver/amp options:
  • Regular FV15: DS1501 black aluminum cone driver with A370PEQ2 amp, with introduction price of $999 on black oak, and
  • FV15-HP: DS1510 black aluminum cone driver with H600PEQ amp, with introduction price of $1199 on black oak.

Here is the max output comparison between FV15 18hz tuned (red), FV15 12hz tuned (orange), and F15 (yellow). This is typical with all vented subs, not just ours. HP version adds 2db more output than the regular version.

I have been working on this for sometime now. Naturally, customer would compare this with PB13 ultra. Ours is slightly smaller. However, that is intentional because it makes the maximum output extension to 18hz, just between the 3-port tune and 2-port tune of PB13 Ultra. If we can improve sound quality of sealed subwoofers with servo, we can also do that with vented subs. In rooms with difficult modes below 20hz, it is advised to use vented subs instead of the sealed subs. With respect to F15, FV15 with the same amp option would have 5db more output than F15 at 20-40hz. I have been listening to these subs for 6 months now. The sound quality is crisp and articulate. Only when we do a side-by-side comparison, one can hear the difference in the very bottom end for room ambience. So this would be recommended for those likes to have more output and is 80%-100% HT.

I would recommend customers to pick FV15HP first as A370PEQ2 does not have the decal of "/1" and "/2" on the rumble filter switch to indicate the position for 2 port tuning and 1 port tuning. On the other hand, H600PEQ does. The temporary solution is to put a sticker on it so that customers don't get confused. However, that is not as neat as I'd like and we are currently makeing A370PEQ2 amp with that "/1" and "/2" decal and that would be 2 months before they arrive.

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Old 11-16-2010, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Today 07:36 AM
Jinjuku Not sure why SVS isn't on your list.

SVS was my orignal choice, but the Price/Value of these other subs seems to be better. i know the xmax is high in the SVS, but i've never really understood how a 13" can outperform a similar "15 woofer. 2x SVS PB13U would be significantly more expensive near $4K.

nith, any idea how to read this graph vs. the HSU reported readings? Not sure how this was measured. Looks like 20 HZ at 109 +2HP = 111 vs. 114 for HSU, but no idea if they are comparable measures.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:25 AM
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Not sure if Rythmik's graph is one or two meters. If 2 meters, it's comparable to both the Hsu and the PB13 in output. The Hsu numbers are 1 meter and 6db should be subtracted when comparing to the PB13( and possibly the Rythmik). If you can wait AH will have comparable CEA2010 numbers for both the Rythmik and Hsu in their shootout and from the chart I'm guessing they are going to be very close. After all, the boxes are nearly the same size. The Hsu driver might be more efficient or have more xmax, but the Rythmik has more power. That 600 watts probably has 3dbs of peak headroom. The Hsu claims 6dbs of peak power, which I'm told is possible, but definitely not the norm.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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Old 11-16-2010, 05:53 PM
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Ah yes, the good old A7-350. You will find little if anything on this sub. I wrote the only (if you can call it one) review I can find. Not a pretty sub, not inexpensive, but most definitely a powerful HT sub that isn't bad with music either.

What other gear are you putting this with? Make sure your mains and amps can keep up with these bad boys. Any of these subs will please you I am sure.

As an owner of a ED A7-350 with about the same space situation as you, I have to say the A7-350 is more than enough for me. I can feel it (not hear it) outside over 70 feet away when played at reference level with the house closed up. And my neighbors feel it as well. They've told me. I really try and keep it down after 10 pm and before 10 am. Two would be overkill on output, but would really be nice to even out some small nulls in the room.

The A7-350 weighs 215 pounds, 850 watts RMS and peaks over 1300 Watts on a bench test. I read the Hsu was about 100 pounds lighter and the amp is 500 Watt RMS lower although the peak watts are similar? If the Hsu offering is equal in output and low extension then that is really something.

If that is so, then go with the Hsu. I would.
Lower watts by 500 RMS
Smaller enclosure
100 pounds lighter
Lower price
Same output and lower extension?

I have my doubts because of watts and weight difference but what do I know.

Good hunting!
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:09 PM
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All good options. Just note that if you are looking at the HP version of the Rythmik it has the DS1510 driver which has 20mm Xmax (not 15mm).
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:39 PM
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Any updates from the OP? Are you going to be making a decision?

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