Sub buying advice requested for the size of my room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-11-2010, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I've read a lot of subwoofer reviews/threads here and elsewhere...and am getting ready to buy -- but I want to make sure I get enough sub for my space.

I am looking for a replacement of a very old Cerwin Vega sub in my home theater (aka family room). I have def tech front/center satellite speakers, Mirage Omnistat surrounds, and a Sony ES receiver.

My room is 20' wide (solid wall on left but open via 1/3 partial wall to kitchen on right) x 15' deep x 8' high.

rough drawing of room and current sub location:
+------SUB-------- TV --------------------------+--------> to kitchen
|
|
|
| 15' +-----
| |
| |
+------------- S O F A -------------------+
20'

It being Christmas time, my budget is a bit constrained and am looking for maximum value (max $500 but preferably less)

Usage will be about 50/50 music and video.

I've been seriously considering the Hsu STF-2 but read in a forum that someone called them and they were told that it might not be enough sub for the space which would take them to a more expensive Hsu like the VTF-2 MK3.

Other subs I've been considering are BIC PH-200, DefTech ProSub 800 (or maybe 1000), Emotiva 10 or 12, and Velodyne Impact 10 or 12.

Do you have any recommendations for me? I would like low end to be 20-25Hz (or better).

By the way, I have a friend who can get me 50% off MSRP for Mirage, Klipsh, Jamo, and Energy if any of those are worth considering (I haven't considered them seriously so far because reviews seem to tag them as being boomy for music).

Will the STF-2 work?

thanks!

Tim
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-11-2010, 04:49 PM
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That type of open space is likely too big for the STF-2. I have a STF-2 in a similar size open space and had to supplement it with a second sub.
A VTF2 Mark 3 would probably be sufficient.
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-14-2010, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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For $270 shipped, I am very tempted to go with the Bic Acoustech PL-200.

What will I miss if I go that direction? Extension below 22Hz? Musicality?

My existing sub is crap -- a 15 year old Cerwin Vega that buzzes pretty bad above 25% gain and very boomy.

I'm thinking that the PH-200 would be a huge improvement!

.... thinking about it more.... Emotiva 12 at $429 is tempting for better music performance
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-16-2010, 03:33 AM
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In the under $300 range, individuals in this forum like the BIC PL-200 and Lava LSP12. Check the respective threads on how to get the best price. If one of these is not sufficient, you can always purchase a second subwoofer later.

You could try the Emotiva Ultra 12 but might also need to purchase a second sub later.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-16-2010, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments.

I've read a lot about the PL-200 but am now shying away from it because of comments saying they are better for HT and not great for music. I'm thinking the Lava may have the same problem. I really want to avoid "boomy-ness".

This is driving me to consider a higher price point -- up to around $500 and a sealed enclosure or tuned ported for better performance with music.

Room is 20x15x8 (2400 cu ft) but is open to kitchen which adds at least 50% more.

Current Contenders:

Emotiva 12 $429
Hsu VTF-2 Mk 3 $509
Outlaw LFM1 Plus $549
Epik Legend $499
ED A5s-300 $550
SVS SB12-NSD $550
Chase 10.2 $400 (just learned about this one -- can't find any reviews)

Seems like all of these are well regarded...

The more I read the more indecisive I become!

So -- does anyone have any strong reaction (good or bad) to any of these subs?????

by the way, I'm not a bass head -- I don't need to shake the whole house (WAF) -- but I want clean bass for both music and movies.

thanks!

Tim
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-16-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timt67 View Post

The more I read the more indecisive I become!

I was in the same boat 2 weeks ago, couldn't make a decision. The more I read the more indecisive I got. I will share my own short list I came up with before reaching a decision, Hsu, SVS, ED and CHT. I had to pick one so I ended up getting a Hsu VTF-3 as it was on sale at the time. Let us know what you decided on and good hunting....
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-16-2010, 01:11 PM
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In that room I would go for the Hsu VTF2 or Outlaw LFM-1 Plus. Just forget about all the sealed subs, they would definitely be leaving some bass nulls in there, as they wouldn't be enough to adequately pressurize your room. Some other subs to consider in that class are the Rythmik FV12 and the Elemental Designs A3-300.
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-17-2010, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I had not heard/considered that regarding sealed subs before.

I've read references to "pressurizing the room" -- but I really don't know what that means!


Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

In that room I would go for the Hsu VTF2 or Outlaw LFM-1 Plus. Just forget about all the sealed subs, they would definitely be leaving some bass nulls in there, as they wouldn't be enough to adequately pressurize your room. Some other subs to consider in that class are the Rythmik FV12 and the Elemental Designs A3-300.

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post #9 of 15 Old 01-14-2011, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I finally made my decision and went with the Emotiva 12!

I was really torn on which way to go and decided that $429 shipped for the Emotiva seemed like good bang for my buck (decided to stay under $500) and I liked the relatively small size and sealed enclosure (for musicality). Plus there are a lot of positive reviews here and at Audioholics (their review on Jan 2 raved about it).

I ordered it Tuesday night, it shipped Wed, and I received it by lunch today (Fri)! (FedEx ground from TN). Emails with order status and responses to questions were received very quickly.

It was well packaged -- double boxed. The finish is a beautiful smooth black satin. It is close to a 15" cube. It came with both metal and rubber spikes.

I haven't had much time to play with it so far (long lunch!). I set the gain knob to 50% and I went through the auto setup in my Sony ES receiver. It set the gain on the sub to -15db! So of course I manually turned it back up to 0db. I'm not sure where I should keep the receiver setting for sub gain but for now I will use 0db.

I have watched segments of a few movies (9, Star Trek 2009, Star Wars V) and some music (Bach organ, Bass I Love You, the Ultimate Bass
Sample Disk (low electric bass riffs) - Cornell Bellows Jr, and some deep bass techo I found on Rhapsody).

The verdict so far? Sounds great and I need to glue down a bunch of stuff in my house! (lots of vibration on some notes)

I ordered a 35' cable so I can do a subwoofer crawl (haven't done one before).

I can't really give an objective opinion because I have not heard quality subwoofers in a real listening environment to compare. The Emotiva is MUCH better than the Cerwin Vega that it is replacing -- so that makes me happy so far :-)

Tim
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-14-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timt67 View Post

I set the gain knob to 50% and I went through the auto setup in my Sony ES receiver. It set the gain on the sub to -15db! So of course I manually turned it back up to 0db. I'm not sure where I should keep the receiver setting for sub gain but for now I will use 0db.

I don't know much about Sony's auto setup, but I'm assuming it set it to -15db since the sub gain was too high... and by turning it back up to 0, the sub is running loud relative to the speakers.

You should turn down the gain on the sub amp and re-run the auto setup... well, if you want the sub and speakers calibrated to the same level that is...
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-15-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

I don't know much about Sony's auto setup, but I'm assuming it set it to -15db since the sub gain was too high... and by turning it back up to 0, the sub is running loud relative to the speakers.

You should turn down the gain on the sub amp and re-run the auto setup... well, if you want the sub and speakers calibrated to the same level that is...

I second the above.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-16-2011, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

I don't know much about Sony's auto setup, but I'm assuming it set it to -15db since the sub gain was too high... and by turning it back up to 0, the sub is running loud relative to the speakers.

You should turn down the gain on the sub amp and re-run the auto setup... well, if you want the sub and speakers calibrated to the same level that is...

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post #13 of 15 Old 01-17-2011, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

I don't know much about Sony's auto setup, but I'm assuming it set it to -15db since the sub gain was too high... and by turning it back up to 0, the sub is running loud relative to the speakers.

You should turn down the gain on the sub amp and re-run the auto setup... well, if you want the sub and speakers calibrated to the same level that is...

Annnnnnnd, one more vote for good measure.

Interesting how we buy these big subs and never turn the gain above 1/3!

Upgraditis Anonymous
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-26-2011, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nlpearman View Post
Annnnnnnd, one more vote for good measure.

Interesting how we buy these big subs and never turn the gain above 1/3!
So true! I run dual Emotiva Ultra 12's and both gain knobs are at 1/4 or 9 o'clock!
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-28-2011, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattroatl View Post

So true! I run dual Emotiva Ultra 12's and both gain knobs are at 1/4 or 9 o'clock!

I adjusted my gain back down as suggested...

Quattroat: How would you describe the difference between running a single Emotiva Ultra 12 vs. two?
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