Help! Sub choice for under $900: Rythmik vs Hsu vs Epik (yet again) - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
amp2777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
HT newbie/dummy here.. I recently started setting up my HT system and currently have the following:

LCR - Ascend Sierra-1
Surrounds - Ascend HTM-200SE
Receiver - Onkyo RC-180
BD/DVD - PS3

However I am getting confused with the subwoofer choices. My room is 2800 cuft (24'x13'x9') with wooden flooring and not much treated apart from large area rug. The listening area is across the width and 3' right of center length-wise, and my listening is 70% movies/TV and 30% music. Music fidelity is definitely important and I do like that chest thumping, coach-shaking LFE, although not to the extent where everything shakes.. Now the hard part: ideal budget is $900 shipped, but as is typical, there can be some leeway.. After reading a lot of forums, I think, I have narrowed the choices to

1. Rythmik F12/F15
2. Hsu VTF-2 MK-3/VTF-3 MK-3/VTF-15H
3. Epik Empire
4. 2 Emotiva Ultra Sub 12

Here are my questions:
1. What is reference level for subwoofers? I listen to most movies/music at around ~60-65 db currently (75db/85db just too loud to listen to). So at my level, do I need to worry about 110-115 db sub output? If not, what level of sub output I need to worry about?
2. Although higher-price choices are clearly much better than lower choice ones, I really want something that I am going to use - meaning, even at limits, if 115 db output is not useful, do I even need VTF-15H? Or am I getting this wrong?
3. As I understand, sealed subs are cleaner and more accurate than ported ones, but have less output. So given my circumstances, should I go with Rythmik F15/Epik Empire (which might be somewhat equivalent to VTF-3.3 in terms of output)? Or 12" sealed sub would suffice (with an option of buying second in future, if needed)?
4. I also threw in 2 Emotiva Ultra 12s, since they seem to have clean output till 25-30 Hz, good form factor and might be better in overall sound balance. The flip side is, of course, that I can probably start with one higher-end 15" driver for now and buy another one later. The question is, how do 2 Emotiva ultra 12s compare against say 1 VTF-3.3 or 1 F15?
5. Related question is: if I buy 2 subs, should they be the same model or different ones are okay - both ported or both vented?
6. Do I need separate amp for any of these?
7. Lastly, anything I am missing in the choices?

Help much appreciated..
amp2777 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 09:34 PM
Member
 
96redformula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I was in that same spot trying to decide for several weeks. I went with the Rythmik FV15. I received it today, set it up, and it is beyond expectations. I would highly recommend Rythmik if you are on the fence. All my questions have been answered by them within 15 minutes via PM, shipping time was excellent, and the product is great for both HT and music. Check the comparison shootout they did on the EPIC/HSU/eD/CHT/Rhythmic.
96redformula is offline  
post #3 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 10:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
shadyJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 6,496
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked: 490
For your room size I would go with a Hsu VTF15h or Empire. The Rythmik F15 would be great, but in your room I think you would want at least two. The Rythmik FV15 would be good and have output comparable to the VTF15 and Empire, but it does cost a little more. I am advising you to get the big subs not because they will get big SPL, but because they have the best chance of pressurizing your room, so there isn't any bass nulls. In a bass null, which typically occurs in the middle of the room, you would hardly hear any bass at all, even if the subs were at their maximum output.
shadyJ is online now  
post #4 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 10:35 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cschang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 14,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 70
The bass quality of the Sierras is excellent.....and going with Sierras, you went with quality over quantity.

Do the same with the sub...Rythmik.

-curtis

Owner of Wave Crest Audio
Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
Help beat breast cancer!

cschang is offline  
post #5 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
amp2777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for all the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

For your room size I would go with a Hsu VTF15h or Empire. The Rythmik F15 would be great, but in your room I think you would want at least two. The Rythmik FV15 would be good and have output comparable to the VTF15 and Empire, but it does cost a little more. I am advising you to get the big subs not because they will get big SPL, but because they have the best chance of pressurizing your room, so there isn't any bass nulls. In a bass null, which typically occurs in the middle of the room, you would hardly hear any bass at all, even if the subs were at their maximum output.

Even at lower output levels, one F15 would not be enough? One of the reasons I like F15 or Empire over FV15/VTF-15H is form factor. And then I can probably buy another F15 in an year or so, if needed. But yes, FV15 is nice sub - really a step-up from something like VTF3.3 and definitely more musical than VTF-15H..

Another related questions: does Empire have clear edge in output below 25 Hz compared to F15? Also any reliability/support issues with Epik? (Sorry, kind of unknown brand for me..).
amp2777 is offline  
post #6 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
amp2777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

The bass quality of the Sierras is excellent.....and going with Sierras, you went with quality over quantity.

Do the same with the sub...Rythmik.

I did read about your choice with Sierra and F15. Do you think, at moderate levels, one F15 can produce enough thump for movies at say, 8' or so ? Again I don't mean room shattering (like Hsu subs), but definitely something one can distinctly feel.. Thanks.
amp2777 is offline  
post #7 of 96 Old 05-24-2011, 11:10 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cschang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 14,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by amp2777 View Post

I did read about your choice with Sierra and F15. Do you think, at moderate levels, one F15 can produce enough thump for movies at say, 8' or so ? Again I don't mean room shattering (like Hsu subs), but definitely something one can distinctly feel.. Thanks.

I used to have a VTF-3.3...the F15 gives up nothing to it IMO, and in my setup, the quality of the bass matches better with the Sierras...very seamless.

My room is about 2300^3ft, yours is a bit larger, but you will be more than fine.

-curtis

Owner of Wave Crest Audio
Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
Help beat breast cancer!

cschang is offline  
post #8 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 05:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
kesando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Queens, New York
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Both Ryhmik and Hsu will provide Subs with quality and quantity of bass. You seem to like the F15. Go with it and if it's not enough, Pick up another next year like you mentioned.
kesando is offline  
post #9 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 06:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
enricoclaudio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked: 167
One F15 will be more than enough in that room. Also it's the best match with your Sierras 1 speakers. I'm running one F12SE in a 2800 cu ft Living / Office / Kitchen open space and it's amazing.

Best Regards,

Enrico Castagnetti
Rythmik Audio

 

My Multimedia Room Gallery

enricoclaudio is offline  
post #10 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 07:06 AM
Member
 
ralfale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So how do you guys describe the bass of Hsu vs rythmik ?
ralfale is offline  
post #11 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 10:23 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cschang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 14,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralfale View Post

So how do you guys describe the bass of Hsu vs rythmik ?

In my case, the VTF-3.3 vs the F15.

The F15 is cleaner and noticeably less overhang.

That isn't to say the Hsu is bad. They still make some of the best sounding subs I have heard...it's just that the Rythmik sounded better.

-curtis

Owner of Wave Crest Audio
Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
Help beat breast cancer!

cschang is offline  
post #12 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 10:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
monomer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: up north
Posts: 1,767
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by castaño View Post

One F15 will be more than enough in that room.

I agree with this statement. Though the sealed Rythmiks may not be the greatest SPL monsters around, they are certainly not SPL weaklings by any means, and are especially effective with the vibration/rumble stuff way down low.

On a side note, I believe that earlier suggestion that one can simply "power" their way out of a bass null isn't accurate at all and I would argue that increasing SPL levels (beyond proper calibration levels) can actually make the situation worse by having no effect on a full null while yet greatly adding to the overboosting of the peaks, just making a bad situation worse.

"For deep bass, the listener is not really listening to the speaker, but rather, is listening to the room as it is being played by the speaker."
Juicy
Doggie Jabber
monomer is offline  
post #13 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 10:53 AM
 
runnin''s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 42
I don't know if you've seen the 5 sub basement shootout on this forum, but 2 knowledgeable guys put some subs through their paces, including the HSU VTF15H and the Rythmik FV15 which is the more expensive ported 15 by Rythmik.

They measured a 2.8 db average higher output from the Rythmik, but the Hsu hit harder. SQ wise they were very close.(So I would expect the Hsu to outperform the F15 based on this) I bought the VTF after reading this and many other write ups, and it pressurizes my 3400 sq ft open room with ease. I've actually de-tuned it for my wife's sake. But when I first auditioned it out with sub 20 Hz material and known bass movie tracks, it rattled dishes in my kitchen, shook my gas fireplace, rattled cupboard doors and a pocket door in another room. Crazy bass. Some of this was with sub 20Hz organ music, and I found with music in general this thing is really accurate.
runnin' is offline  
post #14 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
amp2777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for all the advice so far! It does seem like, for the output level I need, one F15 or VTF3.3 should be sufficient. Also F15/VTF3.3 would have similar output levels. VTF-15H is nice, but currently looking at output needs and WAF the other two are better choices for me.

Any advice on Empire for questions above, would be helpful as well, esp because Empire has good form factor, while output seems higher than either F15 or VTF3.3.
amp2777 is offline  
post #15 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 11:29 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cschang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 14,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

They measured a 2.8 db average higher output from the Rythmik, but the Hsu hit harder. SQ wise they were very close.(So I would expect the Hsu to outperform the F15 based on this)

Can you explain your thoughts here?

Sealed subs generally have better sound quality than ported.

-curtis

Owner of Wave Crest Audio
Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
Help beat breast cancer!

cschang is offline  
post #16 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 11:30 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cschang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 14,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post

On a side note, I believe that earlier suggestion that one can simply "power" their way out of a bass null isn't accurate at all and I would argue that increasing SPL levels (beyond proper calibration levels) can actually make the situation worse by having no effect on a full null while yet adding to overboosting of the peaks, just making a bad situation worse.

I agree.

-curtis

Owner of Wave Crest Audio
Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
Help beat breast cancer!

cschang is offline  
post #17 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 11:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
kesando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Queens, New York
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 31
To the OP, have you considered the HSU ULS15 single or dual drive? I would say the SVS SB13 is worth a look too but is more comparable to the F15HP and F25 in price and mabey performance too. Just giving you a few more choices. All in all the Rythmik F15 seems like a solid choice. Were you going the SE route?
kesando is offline  
post #18 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
amp2777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando View Post

To the OP, have you considered the HSU ULS15 single or dual drive? I would say the SVS SB13 is worth a look too but is more comparable to the F15HP and F25 in price and mabey performance too. Just giving you a few more choices. All in all the Rythmik F15 seems like a solid choice. Were you going the SE route?

Well, both ULS-15 and SVS SB13 seem to be out of my current price range. F15 and VTF-15H (and Epik Empire as well considering shipping costs) are really at the outer limit of my price range. I would rather buy another sealed sub in an year's time..

Abt F15, currently I am looking at matte black, since I can live with not-so-nice finish and save 150..
amp2777 is offline  
post #19 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 01:30 PM
Senior Member
 
chriskekow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Do not forget the cht
18.1..good price and adding a second is cheaper.
chriskekow is offline  
post #20 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 02:42 PM
 
runnin''s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Can you explain your thoughts here?

Sealed subs generally have better sound quality than ported.

I was explaining the thoughts of the 2 reviewers in the basement shoot out. They really thought that the HSU SQ was very close to the Rythmik, though as I said, it was the ported Rythmik model. These two subs had the best SQ of the bunch, and that included some sealed models. I don't know how they came to this conclusion, but at the very least the Hsu subs do quite well against sealed in a given price range.
runnin' is offline  
post #21 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 02:50 PM
Senior Member
 
chriskekow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

I was explaining the thoughts of the 2 reviewers in the basement shoot out. They really thought that the HSU SQ was very close to the Rythmik, though as I said, it was the ported Rythmik model. These two subs had the best SQ of the bunch, and that included some sealed models. I don't know how they came to this conclusion, but at the very least the Hsu subs do quite well against sealed in a given price range.

Best sq is subjective especially when u look at the source material being used
chriskekow is offline  
post #22 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 03:38 PM
 
floridapoolboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: florida
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
You would do well to stick to subs that have had at least one favorable pro review. The ID sub world has gotten crowded with newbie manufacturers selling unproven products. Caveat Emptor when dealing with them!

I would stretch the budget and get the Rythmik FV-15 over all the others, based on reputation and the great Audioholics showing!
floridapoolboy is offline  
post #23 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 04:07 PM
Member
 
96redformula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

You would do well to stick to subs that have had at least one favorable pro review. The ID sub world has gotten crowded with newbie manufacturers selling unproven products. Caveat Emptor when dealing with them!

I would stretch the budget and get the Rythmik FV-15 over all the others, based on reputation and the great Audioholics showing!

Rythmik got a stellar review from audioholics.com ....... They seemed to like the FV15 better than the VTF-15h
96redformula is offline  
post #24 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 04:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kesando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Queens, New York
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

You would do well to stick to subs that have had at least one favorable pro review. The ID sub world has gotten crowded with newbie manufacturers selling unproven products. Caveat Emptor when dealing with them!

I would stretch the budget and get the Rythmik FV-15 over all the others, based on reputation and the great Audioholics showing!

I dont think the OP wants a large ported sub. Even though the F15 hasn't been reviewed I'm sure its a quality sub. When I bought my SVS PB12 plus, I hadn't seen many reviews. Yet it was nice to see how well it did in the Audioholics shootout as well as Sound and Vision and HT secrets. You couldn't go wrong with either (F/FV15) in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chriskekow View Post

Best sq is subjective especially when u look at the source material being used

I agree
kesando is offline  
post #25 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 04:38 PM
 
floridapoolboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: florida
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
After reading that the OP was looking at Hsu VTF-15 I didn't think the Rythmik FV-15 would be out of consideration. Between the two I'd go Rythmik.
floridapoolboy is offline  
post #26 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 04:44 PM
 
runnin''s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by chriskekow View Post

Best sq is subjective especially when u look at the source material being used

Well yeah. It's just what they did, and it's another set of results that many found beneficial. Laying a sub on it's side in a parking lot (as some testers did) is not real world performance.

But to each his own. BTW, the thread starter has picked both sealed and ported and he admits to 70% movie listening, which is where ported designs shine. But I agree that the FV15 is too much $$.
runnin' is offline  
post #27 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 04:51 PM
 
floridapoolboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: florida
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
The FV-15 is $150 more than the F-15 in black oak, $170 more than the Hsu. Not too much when you look long term, I think it would best both of those. Music quality close to the F-15, with movie performance better than the Hsu, IMO, based on Audioholics.
floridapoolboy is offline  
post #28 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 05:03 PM
Advanced Member
 
vitaminbass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
If you make the best choice now, and considering your moderate desired listening levels, I don't see where you should need to spend the money on a 2nd sub later, unless you are trying to smooth response in a difficult room.

"I don't need that much" is not a good reason to compromise with a smaller or lower output sub. "Don't want to spend" or "don't have the room" are valid.

You are much better off having extra headroom (capacity) and not using it, than having a loud bass scene take you by surprise and bottom out your sub.

Sealed subs are great for their high accuracy (music) and for the fanatics that are really concerned with ultra low frequencies (under 20 Hz). Sealed subs shine with HT and value.
vitaminbass is offline  
post #29 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 05:32 PM
Member
 
MasonS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Az
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You have a tough decision to make amp2777 but in the end you should be happy with whatever sub you choose. None of the ones mentioned are bad subs at all.

Start narrowing down your choice by price, size, look, qualities ect ect. There are a ton of subs that everyone here will point you too and will be amazing in their own right. You have to do whats right for you though. Just be steadfast in your choices/decisions and make sure you are placing emphasis on the qualities you want out of that sub. Go from there and happy hunting!
MasonS is offline  
post #30 of 96 Old 05-25-2011, 05:41 PM
Advanced Member
 
bo130's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by 96redformula View Post

Rythmik got a stellar review from audioholics.com ....... They seemed to like the FV15 better than the VTF-15h

Audioholics also recently posted an article defending Bose, too. My respect for them has decreased significantly with that & and the unprofessional goof they hired to do the VTF-15H review.
bo130 is offline  
Reply Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off