PSB Alpha Subsonic 5 vs. MartinLogan Dynamo - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Any opinions on the PSB Alpha Subsonic 5 and/or the Martin Logan
Dynamo, mostly for 2-channel music (jazz, classical, rock) but also
for blu-ray movies, to be connected via my receiver's LFE output?

They are both outdated models. The Subsonic 5 has been replaced
by the 5i. The Dynamo has been replaced by the Dynamo 500. I
don't know how similar the new models are to the old, but it's the
older ones I may have an opportunity to purchase.

Both subs seem to review well, but I haven't been able to hear either
in person yet.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 06:24 AM
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Both are capable subs, but you get more bang for buck going with an ID brand like HSU, SVS, eD, or Epik.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I guess I should check those brands out. From the reviews I have read it sounded like these two were actually more bang for the buck, but (a) the reviews were mostly old, and (b) perhaps I didn't find the right reviews. I guess what I really should did is actually listen to some of these subs.

I had originally thought that I should eschew 10-inch subs since my mains already have 8" woofers (see http://www.infinitysystems.com/home/...?prod=CS994002 ) but I have come to believe that factors such as the size of the driver and ported-vs-sealed architecture don't in themselves matter all that much, it's just how they sound. Would you guys agree?

When I actually get the sub I'll have to deal with stuff like the small/medium/large mains setting on my receiver. Up to now I've been avoiding that.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 02:20 PM
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Overall design is what matters with a subwoofer. A few questions:

What are your listening habits? % HT vs % Music
How loud do you listen to your system?
How large is your room?
What's your max budget?

With all that, forum members can make some specific recommendations.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuc View Post

Any opinions on the PSB Alpha Subsonic 5 and/or the Martin Logan
Dynamo, mostly for 2-channel music (jazz, classical, rock) but also
for blu-ray movies, to be connected via my receiver's LFE output?

They are both outdated models. The Subsonic 5 has been replaced
by the 5i. The Dynamo has been replaced by the Dynamo 500. I
don't know how similar the new models are to the old, but it's the
older ones I may have an opportunity to purchase.

Both subs seem to review well, but I haven't been able to hear either
in person yet.

I suspect the Martin Logan is the better sub for music and worse sub for HT, but neither one is a substantial HT sub.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

Both are capable subs, but you get more bang for buck going with an ID brand like HSU, SVS, eD, or Epik.

This is generally true when comparing to MSRP; but frequently the discounts you can push dealers to put them into the ID range for bang-for-the-buck.

Especially when the OP is considering older models (i.e either used or old stock the dealer would likely get rid of for cost or less).

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post #7 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post
Overall design is what matters with a subwoofer. A few questions:

What are your listening habits? % HT vs % Music
How loud do you listen to your system?
How large is your room?
What's your max budget?

With all that, forum members can make some specific recommendations.
1) I watch movies rarely. I watch broadcast HDTV more frequently (but still not a whole lot, averaging less than an hour a day) but I really don't know how much of what I watch has 5.1 audio and what fraction of that puts anything significant in the .1 channel. I don't need or want the house to shake, but I do want to hear what should be there in the audio mix.
I listen to music most days, primarily jazz. Sometimes I stream KCSM-FM over the internet at a paltry 64 kbps.

2) I'm not sure how to answer the loudness question accurately. I don't have a sound meter. I would guess I listen at softer levels than most people on this forum. I don't "crank it." Someone in the same room speaking at normal volume can usually be heard over the music.

3) The room is 12' wide and about 16' deep, with the back wall partially missing and open to other rooms. The sub will have to go near the front-right corner, under a desk, on hardwood. I realize this is not ideal, but there it is. Also, for WAF-related reasons the sub should probably be black and its dimensions should be no more than 17" x 25" and no more than 19" (23" in a pinch) tall.

4) It's not a question of budget so much as of value. This will be my first sub and I don't want to spend much more than $200 to start. Maybe later I decide to spend more when I know what I'm doing. That was my strategy when I purchased my low-end Polk RM7-Center channel speaker. (I guess I should be saving up for an Infinity Kappa Video to match my Emit-R tweeters, but I'm not at that stage yet.)
Then again, I strongly considered snapping up a used Mirage BPS-400 for twice that amount, even though it would have been too big for my 17"x25" space. I also strongly considered a new BIC V1020 or V1220 but decided I could probably do better.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-27-2010, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I ended up purchasing a used REL Q100E for $150. That will do
for while while I decide what I might want to do in the long run.

That model won a bunch of awards a dozen years ago so I figure
it must be at least somewhat capable. I can't find much about
it on the internet, except it got good reviews at audioreview.

operating instructions: http://www.rel.net/q-operating-instructions.pdf
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