Best subs under $1000? Paradigm suggested, pros/cons of each? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 12-10-2010, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm replacing my current home theater setup, and have settled on some Focal speakers. I fell in love with them on first listen with my sample CD, and the other speakers I've listened to in the same price range (Chorus 716V as L/R speakers, CC700V center and 705V's as surrounds) just haven't impressed me the same way. Their bass leaves a bit to be desired, but their upper-end detail is superb. So I need a good subwoofer to fill out the bass deficiencies.

A handful of people have directed me away from Focal's subwoofers for bang-for-the-buck, and one who has worked in the A/V business for 20 years suggested that I look to three Paradigm subwoofers for my budget: DSP 3200, UltraCube 10, and SE (Special Edition). The Cube is about $1K, and the others are about $800.

I'm unsure whether I'll be able to make it back out to the "local" Paradigm dealer's shop before I want to make my purchase, so I was hoping you guys might be able to help steer me in the right direction. What are the pros and cons of these three subs? I get the impression that the UltraCube is designed to minimize footprint-per-bass, and that I'd be paying a price premium for the small size. I don't mind a larger sub, and if I can get equal-or-better sound for $200 less, I will.

These speakers will be used for music and movies. They'll probably be used for music more often, but when playing music, we're usually around the house doing stuff, so it's when we're watching movies that we're sitting still and paying closest attention to the sound.

Thanks!

Erik Harris
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-10-2011, 10:23 PM
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bump...I'd like to also hear what people have to say about these

gung did you ever decide on a sub?
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-10-2011, 11:05 PM
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Are you limited on size or just those three? There are LOTS of excellent (probably much better than what you're looking at) from the Internet Direct brands here such as SVS, HSU, Epik, Elemental Designs, etc. If you truly need a small footprint, take a look at the SVS cylinder subs.

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post #4 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 12:30 AM
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Well, the HSU VTF-15H is barely OVER 1k shipped, so its not technically in your price range, but i think it merits consideration. I'm absolutely in love with mine.

Klipsch RF-62 L/R, RC-62 C, Energy C-100 SL/SR, HSU VTF-15H, Marantz SR5003.

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post #5 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 03:14 AM
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Hsu VTF15H and Chase Home Theater 18.1 and Epik Empire.
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 03:58 AM
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do some reading...you'll answer your own questions
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinkler View Post

Hsu VTF15H and Chase Home Theater 18.1 and Epik Empire.

only one of those is under $1000.00 (and I'm not even sure of that) after shipping costs
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post #8 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post

Are you limited on size or just those three? There are LOTS of excellent (probably much better than what you're looking at) from the Internet Direct brands here such as SVS, HSU, Epik, Elemental Designs, etc. If you truly need a small footprint, take a look at the SVS cylinder subs.

X2. The subs from these companies is where I started my search when looking for a sub back in December. I ended up with a Hsu but all are solid candidates.
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 05:48 AM
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Rythmik F15, absolutely excellent with music and darn good with movies too!
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewbacca121 View Post

Rythmik F15, absolutely excellent with music and darn good with movies too!

yes but not even close to under $1000.00 shipped
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post #11 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 06:52 AM
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I may start a different post for sub recommendations but I was just curious what people thought of these Paradigm subs vs ID brands in the $500-$700 range (b/c I can get the Paradigm subs at a pretty good discount). My new system will consist of a pair of Studio 20s for fronts, cc-590 for center, and adp-390s for surrounds. I will be doing like 80% movies/tv/games vs 20% music. I was just curious what people said about these Paradigm subs and if one might pair with my system better then a 3rd party brand. Thanks!
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post #12 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

yes but not even close to under $1000.00 shipped

Your kidding $899 plus $90 shipping is more than a $1000
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post #13 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 07:56 AM
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There is never much feedback on the name brand subs other than don't buy one, buy a Hsu, Elemental Designs, Epik, SVS, Rythmik instead.
There are a couple of Paradigm specific threads in the subwoofer section, maybe if you cross post there you can get some better feedback.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #14 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 08:02 AM
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You have a ton of choices and the best thing to do is contact Hsu, eD, and Epik and have them size subs for your space. Keep in mind that you'll be getting quotes for sealed and ported subwoofers and that they have a different sound. Speaker purely in generalities and assuming equal quality a sealed box will sound slightly tighter but give up action movie rumble.
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post #15 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 09:00 AM
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Another vote for the Rythmik F15. Should be the best choice for music around your budget.
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post #16 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewbacca121 View Post


Your kidding $899 plus $90 shipping is more than a $1000

I thought shipping was over $200 but maybe that's to Canada
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post #17 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

I thought shipping was over $200 but maybe that's to Canada

$90 to MIchigan
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post #18 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 12:13 PM
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Speaking from experience that the Paradigm DSP-3200 is an awsome sub. I was a little concerned because it is a ported sub but after testing it I no longer have any pre-concieved notions about subs with correctly tuned ports. A friend of mine picked up a DSP-3200 for $500, while testing Transformers DTS-MA soundtracks the bass was extremely powerful and composed all the way down to around 20hz. One track I like to use to test out subwoofer preformance is "Worried Shoes" by Karen O and the kids. This song requires a sub to be able to sustain very subtle changes in extended bass notes. The DSP-3200 handled this track with great finess, bringing the songs emotionaly ominous meaning to the surface.

With that said I think the ID sub the resembles the Paradigm DSP-3200 the closest is the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus. These two subs have almost identical specifications and based on the positive reviews of the Outlaw I would consider it a direct competitor to the Paradigm DSP-3200.

Almost all movies have music in the soundtrack...
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post #19 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 12:25 PM
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Have you listened to the SVS PC12-NSD DSP or HSU VTF-2 MK 3? I was looking at those and wondering how they compared to the dsp-3200.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoncrete View Post

Speaking from experience that the Paradigm DSP-3200 is an awsome sub. I was a little concerned because it is a ported sub but after testing it I no longer have any pre-concieved notions about subs with correctly tuned ports. A friend of mine picked up a DSP-3200 for $500, while testing Transformers DTS-MA soundtracks the bass was extremely powerful and composed all the way down to around 20hz. One track I like to use to test out subwoofer preformance is "Worried Shoes" by Karen O and the kids. This song requires a sub to be able to sustain very subtle changes in extended bass notes. The DSP-3200 handled this track with great finess, bringing the songs emotionaly ominous meaning to the surface.

With that said I think the ID sub the resembles the Paradigm DSP-3200 the closest is the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus. These two subs have almost identical specifications and based on the positive reviews of the Outlaw I would consider it a direct competitor to the Paradigm DSP-3200.

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post #20 of 29 Old 01-11-2011, 07:47 PM
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Mac13, Unfortunately no...I have been trying to decide between these same subs myself. I am using the Paradigm DSP-3200 as a reference point for preformance and the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus seem to be the closest in specifications.

Almost all movies have music in the soundtrack...
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post #21 of 29 Old 01-12-2011, 05:01 AM
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Have you considered something like this?

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/psho...66&ctab=5#Tabs

T6

Clearwave 4TSE and 4CC build thread
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post19489740
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post #22 of 29 Old 01-14-2011, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac13 View Post
bump...I'd like to also hear what people have to say about these

[Erik] did you ever decide on a sub?
Mac,

I went for something a LITTLE more expensive than I had originally planned on (shipping bumps it up over $1K), and bought an Hsu VTF-15H. It's more subwoofer than I need, and buying it required a small leap of faith, since I can't test-drive one at any store within 2500 miles, but I don't regret the purchase at all.

I'm very happy with it.

Erik Harris
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post #23 of 29 Old 01-14-2011, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post
only one of those is under $1000.00 (and I'm not even sure of that) after shipping costs
I upsold myself on the VTF-15H, but I was also considering the highly rated VTF-3 MK 3, which is under $1000 shipped. I decided to go with the more expensive one primarily because so many people on this forum claimed that the 15H offers more than $179 of additional "value" for that additional cost... plus, I'm a tech geek, so I'm naturally a sucker for an upsell.

Also, the Epik Empire is indeed under $1K after shipping ($799 + $139 s/h, at least to the US east coast). I decided that Hsu was a safer "leap of faith" than Epik after talking to a handful of people, but I suspect I'd be happy with either one.

Erik Harris
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post #24 of 29 Old 01-14-2011, 06:15 PM
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Congrats on the HSU sub.

I used to live on King St. in old town. Moved to Oregon 18 months ago.
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post #25 of 29 Old 01-14-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac13 View Post

Have you listened to the SVS PC12-NSD DSP or HSU VTF-2 MK 3? I was looking at those and wondering how they compared to the dsp-3200.

Mac- Hello again .

The Outlaw subs I have found are great matches with Paradigms as someone above stated. If my memory serves me correctly and I got my Outlaw exactly one year ago- The Outlaw LFM-PLUS is basically an HSU 2.3 with power approaching the Hsu 3.3. The Outlaw LFM-EX is basically the HSU 3.3 with a little more power. Of course both were designed by HSU, may have been built at the same factory and are pretty much HSU's with an Outlaw logo IMHO.

I have the PLUS and it works amazingly with my setup. Granted you have different Paradigms than I do. Anyhow, I keep it in Max Extension mode (one port plugged) and it is amazing, deep and tight with 2 channel vinyl AND equally amazing with Blu Ray and the Hi Def codecs.

I also owned an SVS cylinder previously and wasn't very happy with it personally. When the Outlaw came the SVS left with some young guy who I sold it to. Nothing against SVS at all, they are a great company and have great service, I just found the Outlaw sub superior in every way. Maybe that is a testament to Hsu? I could buy an Hsu and drive over to their store and pick it up in person and avoid s&h but still went with the Outlaw.
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post #26 of 29 Old 01-14-2011, 11:22 PM
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Which SVS cylinder did you have?

-Jason

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-Not your average sub build
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post #27 of 29 Old 01-14-2011, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post

Which SVS cylinder did you have?

25-31 PCI if I remember correctly? Tuned down to 20 or 22 by SVS. Definitely not SVS top of the line but, cost more when I bought it than the outlaw did 18 months later.

Again, nothing against SVS at all, they treated me GREAT. The owner even called me personally to talk about my needs before I purchased and my budget. I just ended up thinking it was a bit boomy, especially with music. I'm constantly thrilled by my Outlaw.
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post #28 of 29 Old 01-15-2011, 07:17 AM
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Thanks for the input! I have kind of scaled back on the subwoofer research as I need to get a receiver first but I will keep all of this in mind. Sounds like I really need to take a look at Outlaw when it comes time for me to buy though
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post #29 of 29 Old 01-16-2011, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac13 View Post

Thanks for the input! I have kind of scaled back on the subwoofer research as I need to get a receiver first but I will keep all of this in mind. Sounds like I really need to take a look at Outlaw when it comes time for me to buy though

Mac sorry for the delay I was out of town over the weekend but, I DID answer you a little while ago in the $400-$500 sub thread in more detail!
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