SHOOTOUT! Epik Empire vs HSU VTF-15H vs CHT CS18.1 vs Rythmik FV15 vs eD A7s-450 - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:21 AM
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Excellent work guys! That obviously took a TON of time to do and put together. I really have to commend you both on the writing style, video, and measurements of the review. You did it differently as compared to past reviews and it really put a lot of credibility around your process and your purpose for creating the review. Very nice work.

I currently own a pair of A7S-450s. I have to say your output numbers are pretty much spot on to what I'm seeing. I pick up an additional 2 to 3 db or so with Duals, but I found it amazing that our numbers were so similar especially in the Hulk scene. Very cool.

I can't really disagree with you giving the A7s-450 the most bang for the buck , especially if you buy two at the same time ($800).

As far as sound quality goes, as you guys stated, all of these subs sound great and in particular at peak volumes. For me, I couldn't be more pleased with it's sound quality; tight, deep, and most certainly couch shaking. Sound quality by nature is just so subjective. I believe you when you say that you thought the other subs had better sound quality, but someone else could say the exact opposite. It also depends on the type of music you listen to, etc. etc. I'm stating the obvious here guys and not trying to discount your findings...just sayin'

I would however have to disagree with you regarding the build quality being secondary in importance. I'd say build quality is most definitely a selling point! Ever try and remove the driver? As you stated, this thing is a beast at 140lbs weighing in 20 to 30lbs more than the other subs. eD is known to 'over brace' their subs, and the a7s is no exception. Are you perhaps throwing in your experience with reliability into this category? I agree with you on the grills, but I'd say that was more aesthetics than build quality.

As far as WAF being secondary in importance...would probably have to agree with you there as well. However, eD's new finishes (gloss black, red, etc.) may help with that some. I will say the DAF (Dude Acceptance Factor - sorry about that) is very high. Those silver 18in drivers I think are the most impressive of the bunch. When the grills are off and you've got a pair on the front stage of your theater...they just 'visually' scream output. Certainly, a wow factor in my theater!

The last point was the extension being secondary in importance. I would tend to agree with you there as well. That's just how sealed subs behave, without an eq. I will say this though; because the a7s-450 (with its 18in driver and 1300watt amp) has the most output and presumably the most headroom, the a7s would handle eq better than the rest as well. Using eq will lower overall headroom, but because there's an ample amount of headroom in the a7s, it does really well at it. In my room, I'm flat to around 10hz with Audyssey on. When I acheived those output numbers they were all with Audyssey on. Also, for those subs in the test that already use eq to achieve their FR curves you showed, applying more eq would potentially reduce output/headroom for them as well.

So, based on your findings and my experiences with the a7s-450, I'd say I made the right choice for my preferences!

Again, great job guys.
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post #62 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:25 AM
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Great job ! Mods should make this a sticky!
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post #63 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc View Post

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun doing this. I certainly know how time consuming it is to do a shootout with multiple subs.

If you haven't already, would be somewhat interesting to see the FR's with the correction numbers applied (think someone else asked the same Q), though I'm not sure how accurate the RatShack meter is below 20hz.

BTW, curious, are you now selling the subs you're not keeping?

Great point... so could these subs actually be getting better extension than they are being given credit for here?
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post #64 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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After reading the shootout I re-read it, factoring the actual observable results against the entirely subjective opinions. In this way I feel I was able to get a good idea of the real similarities and differences. Based on this I now know which subs I would be interested in and which I would not be, and so I thank the bros for providing some very useful information!
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post #65 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:33 AM
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I know I was giving you guys a little crap for the delays but now I understand why. I gotta tip my hat to a fantastic job, guys. Bravo!
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post #66 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:34 AM
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Fantastic write up.

My wife was about to task me with chores around the house, and I told her I first needed to read an article that I had been waiting weeks to read. Heh.

Couple of quick q's. Apologies if you already addressed them in the FAQ. Didn't see that off hand.

-What receiver or pre pro were you using and what speakers?

-Did you adjust the subwoofer trims/output levels on the receiver end as you swapped out

- Did you run any of the subs "hot"?
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post #67 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:37 AM
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Great job! I like your presentation. You picked five very good commercial subs to test. There's a lot more choices now to pick from in the 1-1.5K for subs than just a few months ago. I'm just curious to know if you had only one sub that you could keep out of this group, which one would that be? Anyways, it looks like they are all great value for the $, just pick based on your needs.
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post #68 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:41 AM
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I enjoyed the shootout quite a bit. Unfortunately, I think what you guys did falls a bit short because you do not identify which you would keep if you could have only one. Most of us will not buy 5 subs in order to select one, and you did. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering.
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post #69 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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I believe they are sending them all back, and choosing a sub at a later date.
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post #70 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madaeel View Post

Thanks for reading!

... And thank all of you for:

1- Your non nitpicking subs evaluation
2- Not being contradictory on your opinions
3- An unpaid effort (the most important thing!)
4- ...and for sharing it with the community!
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post #71 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:47 AM
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Great work guys!!! I really agree with your thought process and no nonsense approach. And, as unfortunate as it may be, I agree with your dicision to not post any ratings or personal favorites. It would only give the fanboys ammunition to scream "bias".

It really is too bad that folks can't discuss these topics like adults...
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post #72 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominguez1 View Post

....but I found it amazing that our numbers were so similar especially in the Hulk scene. Very cool....

Post like this, make us think that this shootout deserve more to be called The Ultimate.

Forget about the pro thing (in the FAQ)... you did a great job and we really appreciate that.
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post #73 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:51 AM
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Wow... Great job guys. I can't imagine the effort it took to put this together. This was worth the wait. Now enjoy the Superbowl.

Life is good.
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post #74 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:53 AM
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The interesting thing is that I actually want their subjective opinions. They provide some when they rate sound quality (often with a single sentence) so why not indulge us with their favorite?

I do not own any subs by any of these manufacturers.
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post #75 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgascoig View Post

I enjoyed the shootout quite a bit. Unfortunately, I think what you guys did falls a bit short because you do not identify which you would keep if you could have only one. Most of us will not buy 5 subs in order to select one, and you did. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering.

then get the sub you think they liked the best
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post #76 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAC View Post

It really is too bad that folks can't discuss these topics like adults...

+1

For whatever reason, some AVS'ers seem to feel compelled to use others' findings as validation (or perhaps vindication) that they made the right choice for themselves - a logical fallacy in its own right. Usually coupled with personal attacks, put-downs, and overall rude behavior.

It's a shame, especially when you consider that at the end of the day, we all share this same hobby - a commonality that differentiates us from 99.9% of "normal folks."
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post #77 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgascoig View Post

I enjoyed the shootout quite a bit. Unfortunately, I think what you guys did falls a bit short because you do not identify which you would keep if you could have only one. Most of us will not buy 5 subs in order to select one, and you did. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering.

Their descriptions are fairly good for the most part. But, it would have been nice if they could have expanded on "different". Far too often they use that word to describe the difference between subs. That description really isn't helping anyone.

Hopefully, they will chime in and expand a little...


*EDIT*

Btw, this is only a MINOR nitpick and in no way criticism. I really do appreciate all the time and effort that went into this testing.
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post #78 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:02 AM
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...and maybe to do another one

Do a raffle!

1- Open a "Donate Account" for the shootout...

2- Establish a cheap price for the "tickets" (just each donation, i.e. $1-$5 or so). Maybe you can opt to give more opportunities for those who donate more.

3- Announce winners, and ready for the next!

----
I like the house also. Best wishes to you and your families.
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post #79 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

Great point... so could these subs actually be getting better extension than they are being given credit for here?

Following are the correction factors. As you can see, it's not that significant until you get down below 25-30 Hz. It would not be that much work for one of us to plug the numbers from the shootout graph into a spreadsheet and re-calculate (such a "blank" spreadsheet already exists, there is a link on HTS). To sum up, I think because of this calibration factor these subs are dropping off somewhat lower than it appears. To the testers: please don't take me as being critical or nit-picking what you did. Getting all those subs in the same location in the same room, and taking all those readings is the valuable part. Any monkey with a 'puter and excel (like me) can come along after the fact and manipulate the data from there, to suit my preference.

10.0 -37.20
11.2 -32.88
12.5 -27.15
14.0 -23.29
16.0 -20.63
18.0 -18.69
20.0 -17.04
22.4 -15.40
25.0 -13.69
28.0 -11.99
31.5 -10.44
35.5 -9.08
40.0 -7.97
45.0 -6.99
50.0 -6.09
56.0 -5.39
63.0 -4.84
71.0 -4.29
80.0 -3.76
90.0 -3.25
100.0 -2.93
112.0 -2.69
125.0 -2.41
140.0 -2.20
160.0 -2.07
180.0 -1.97
200.0 -1.83
224.0 -1.69
250.0 -1.60
280.0 -1.44
315.0 -1.27
355.0 -1.05
400.0 -0.80
450.0 -0.67
500.0 -0.62
560.0 -0.55
630.0 -0.55
710.0 -0.58
800.0 -0.52
900.0 -0.28
1000.0 0.00

Note, these numbers apply to the model of RS meter shown in your pictures/videos where only one meter was present. The other analog meter shown has a slightly different set of correction values.
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post #80 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trolly View Post

then get the sub you think they liked the best

With their comments about each subs i have a very good idea wich one they liked the best but ill keep it for me..lol....and its understandable that they dont want to say it...and i think its nice this way!...imagine if they say wich one they would pick the DRAMA it would cause again here!.......
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post #81 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a/v HD fan View Post

+1

For whatever reason, some AVS'ers seem to feel compelled to use others' findings as validation (or perhaps vindication) that they made the right choice for themselves - a logical fallacy in its own right. It's a shame, especially when you consider that at the end of the day, we all share this same hobby - a commonality that differentiates us from 99.9% of "normal folks."

agreed, and there's already such a post on this page. I like the way you put it, it's just a hobby. And it's all relative! Any of the subs in this test are capable of putting out bass that will blow away what 99% of households have for a HT or stereo system. On the other hand, there are other offerings out there, as well as DIY projects that are at least a notch or two up from the subject units here. It's all just in good fun.
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post #82 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:16 AM
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Ethan/Adam - you guys are the bomb! You rock my mind!
I've spent over 2-3 hours going over this great to read/watch thread, and will spend a lot more referring to it. It was a ball to absorb, with all the info you put into it.
What I was most surprised with, is the very close similarity of all the subs with FR and SPL - close to 5db differences. But I really appreciated your perceived differences in sound quality, and impact.
Your intros should be trade marked! I think each manufacturer would like to showcase these. The unboxing sequences I think could be sped up in key-stone cop sequences - would be hilarious, but it's nice to see what to expect. I did like the underware shot of Madeel - you trying out for a plumbing job?
The video of excursion was hard to discern, didn't see much more than 1/2" in any of the movies, too fuzzy. I think your statements of max output says it all. Speaking of that, you guys are INSANE! Can you hear me? - I SAID CAN YOU HEAR ME??? Guess I'm just a wimp, when I get about 110db, I start to head for cover.
Finally, you're review for CS, pluses/minuses and recommendation seems very thoughtful, and unbiased - this will definitely become a sticky! And your conclusions are worth paying for. Great job, and can't say how much it's appreciated. You might post your return experiences, and how much that cost you in time/money.

I bet you just started a resurgence in the subwoofer industry. The economy appreciates your stimulus!
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post #83 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serge71 View Post


With their comments about each subs i have a very good idea wich one they liked the best but ill keep it for me..lol....and its understandable that they dont want to say it...and i think its nice this way!...imagine if they say wich one they would pick the DRAMA it would cause again here!.......

Exactly
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post #84 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trolly View Post

then get the sub you think they liked the best

It's not that I will buy whichever is their favorite. I have been reading posts here for months trying to decide what to get and have changed my mind many times.

Since my Martin Logan sub downstairs is now acting up and is ready for the graveyard in my garage next to a dead REL T1 I may be buying two.

I guess in a way they do have a conclusion, they're all worth getting depending on what you prioritize. To me that seems like a bit of a cop out. In the spirit of real world, real dudes, etc... There should also be a real "when my wife makes me return 4 of these..." section.
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post #85 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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One thing that stands out immediately to me is just how similar the results are for all the subs. Look at the graphs, and it's clear that the biggest factor is the room. This is the limitation of in room testing, and while it colors each sub equally, it tends to override subjective evaluations. Since no one will be using their new sub in that particular room I think more attention should be paid to output and extension, build quality, fit and finish, amplifier capability, etc. These are the areas that I found most interesting, and which will help me the most in choosing a new sub.
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post #86 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:25 AM
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I don't see it as nit-picking... It is valuable to have the correction factors.

But where I come from, we say that what is equal, advantage no one (sorry it is a literal translation.)

Maybe because of that is that some readings does not match experience... or maybe is because the readings will never be the same as experience!!

Thanks vitaminbass for this list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminbass View Post

Following are the correction factors. As you can see, it's not that significant until you get down below 25-30 Hz. It would not be that much work for one of us to plug the numbers from the shootout graph into a spreadsheet and re-calculate (such a "blank" spreadsheet already exists, there is a link on HTS). To sum up, I think because of this calibration factor these subs are dropping off somewhat lower than it appears. To the testers: please don't take me as being critical or nit-picking what you did. Getting all those subs in the same location in the same room, and taking all those readings is the valuable part. Any monkey with a 'puter and excel (like me) can come along after the fact and manipulate the data from there, to suit my preference.

10.0 -37.20
11.2 -32.88
12.5 -27.15
14.0 -23.29
16.0 -20.63
18.0 -18.69
20.0 -17.04
22.4 -15.40
25.0 -13.69
28.0 -11.99
31.5 -10.44
35.5 -9.08
40.0 -7.97
45.0 -6.99
50.0 -6.09
56.0 -5.39
63.0 -4.84
71.0 -4.29
80.0 -3.76
90.0 -3.25
100.0 -2.93
112.0 -2.69
125.0 -2.41
140.0 -2.20
160.0 -2.07
180.0 -1.97
200.0 -1.83
224.0 -1.69
250.0 -1.60
280.0 -1.44
315.0 -1.27
355.0 -1.05
400.0 -0.80
450.0 -0.67
500.0 -0.62
560.0 -0.55
630.0 -0.55
710.0 -0.58
800.0 -0.52
900.0 -0.28
1000.0 0.00

Note, these numbers apply to the model of RS meter shown in your pictures/videos where only one meter was present. The other analog meter shown has a slightly different set of correction values.

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post #87 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Look at the graphs, and it's clear that the biggest factor is the room.

This is a big plus for me, as my room is open much like this one. Seems most have dedicated/sealed rooms, and can enjoy the benefits of room gain. I don't believe I can get those same benefits substantially with my open arrangement. Nice to see who gets that deep extension in that kind of environment.
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post #88 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:33 AM
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First post is a great but damn it took for every to load while flying

I have simply one thing to say about this test....You guys went beyond what I thought you would do. 100% impressed, its how tests should be done. Granted some of the room issues do show up (Null around 45Hz which is common) but pictures of build qaulities, measurements of in room performance takes time and so I just want to say thanks for the hard work. I now understand why results took awhile and I would be you struggled with the idea of posting subjective opinion.

The data supports what I have been posting about designs for a long time too so that makes me happy

Thanks for a good read on a flight to Detroit!!

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #89 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:35 AM
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Great thread! I read/watched from top to bottom. I laughed at the intro videos for each sub.

I think the take-away here is that it's easy to get caught up in all the nit-picking, but when you compare each model, it's apparent that they are all quite capable. Kudos to all these ID companies for making such great products. Just think if we all had to choose subs from the typical retailers (gasp!!).

Side-note: Thanks for re-affirming my Empire purchase and my statements that "it digs really deep".
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post #90 of 1241 Old 02-06-2011, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

One thing that stands out immediately to me is just how similar the results are for all the subs. Look at the graphs, and it's clear that the biggest factor is the room. This is the limitation of in room testing, and while it colors each sub equally, it tends to override subjective evaluations. Since no one will be using their new sub in that particular room I think more attention should be paid to output and extension, build quality, fit and finish, amplifier capability, etc. These are the areas that I found most interesting, and which will help me the most in choosing a new sub.

You make a valid point. And, considering that quality of sound is subjective to preference...
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