List of budget subwoofers ($300 and less) - Page 40 - AVS Forum
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post #1171 of 1219 Old 09-02-2014, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Houston View Post
Hi, New Friends!

Is it better to post my information and request for subwoofer advice here, or should I start a new thread?

Dave
If its for a subwoofer that costs around $300 or less this is the place.
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post #1172 of 1219 Old 09-02-2014, 06:36 PM
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Cool... here's my story.

A couple of decades back, give or take a few years, I was a serious audiophile. Then life (including a wife and kids) intervened, and listening to music became a much lower priority.

I just got an HD TV, and I decided to cobble together a more modern viewing/listening experience. I recently bought a refurb Marantz SR7005 AVR from acessories4less.com.

From my audiophile days, I have a pair of Acoustat 2+2 electrostatic loudspeakers, and a highly modified Hafler power amp to run them. I know these pieces can make good music.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up a Cambridge Soundworks center channel speaker and a Polk PSW50 subwoofer. I hooked everything up, using a pair of small JBL bookshelf speakers to make a 5.1 surround setup.

Well, the speaker setup wanted the sub at +8 dB, and at any kind of volume levels, it’s making a scraping sound. I can duplicate the sound by pressing in on the top of the cone, so I think the driver is torn.

I went back and set up the speakers again without the sub, and it sounds pretty good. But when I played the attack scene from “Pearl Harbor,” I could tell something was missing without the sub.

So here I am. Here’s my key information:

Budget: I guess my budget is $500 or so. I’m having a bit of buyer’s remorse about the $700 I spent for the receiver, though, so $300 would be better.

Size requirements: For those of you who don’t remember, the Acoustats are about 20 inches wide and 7 feet ten inches tall. Any subwoofer I can afford will be visually insignificant by comparison. Still, while I can probably make a 2-foot cube work, two boxes that size might result in a loss of conjugal privileges.

Room size: Pretty big. About 22 by 28 feet the way I measure, with the back six feet of the 28 open to downstairs. The vaulted ceilings probably average 12 feet tall, so I calculate over 6000 cubic feet.

Listening habits: mostly TV and movies these days. Trues to my audiophile days, though, I expect music to sound like music. The Acoustats reproduce transients very well, so I think the sub would need to be fast, too. I generally listen at moderate volume levels, never anything like in the movie theater. When I listen to music, I tend more toward chamber music and jazz rather than 130 dB rock concerts.

Thanks for lending your expertise!

Dave
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post #1173 of 1219 Old 09-02-2014, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dave in Houston View Post
Budget: I guess my budget is $500 or so. I’m having a bit of buyer’s remorse about the $700 I spent for the receiver, though, so $300 would be better.

Size requirements: For those of you who don’t remember, the Acoustats are about 20 inches wide and 7 feet ten inches tall. Any subwoofer I can afford will be visually insignificant by comparison. Still, while I can probably make a 2-foot cube work, two boxes that size might result in a loss of conjugal privileges.

Room size: Pretty big. About 22 by 28 feet the way I measure, with the back six feet of the 28 open to downstairs. The vaulted ceilings probably average 12 feet tall, so I calculate over 6000 cubic feet.

Listening habits: mostly TV and movies these days. Trues to my audiophile days, though, I expect music to sound like music. The Acoustats reproduce transients very well, so I think the sub would need to be fast, too. I generally listen at moderate volume levels, never anything like in the movie theater. When I listen to music, I tend more toward chamber music and jazz rather than 130 dB rock concerts.
Houston, we have a problem. A big one I'm afraid, and it's your room size.

First off, if you're ceilings average 12' then you're closer to 7400 ft^3 of total volume. You would need to spend probably 5x your projected budget in order to even get a decent amount of bass in a cavern that size, and that doesn't even account for the quality of the sound. To achieve output and precision it would require quite a bit more cash. Realistically it might be better not to spend anything now and try to save up enough so what you ultimately get would actually stand a change in that room. And think duals at a minimum.

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post #1174 of 1219 Old 09-03-2014, 04:52 AM
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Houston, we have a problem. A big one I'm afraid, and it's your room size.

First off, if you're ceilings average 12' then you're closer to 7400 ft^3 of total volume. You would need to spend probably 5x your projected budget in order to even get a decent amount of bass in a cavern that size, and that doesn't even account for the quality of the sound. To achieve output and precision it would require quite a bit more cash. Realistically it might be better not to spend anything now and try to save up enough so what you ultimately get would actually stand a change in that room. And think duals at a minimum.
I would agree it is probably a waste to get something now. The only option I see is the Premier Acoustic PA-150, it has a very high output and would fair a little better in that room. You could probably get it for $400, but I have seen it on sale for $350, use the make an offer feature on this site: http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/c...pid=1825&sc=28

Here are the measurements for the sub: http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=48&mset=46

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post #1175 of 1219 Old 09-03-2014, 05:22 AM
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Houston, we have a problem. A big one I'm afraid, and it's your room size.
Well, that’s disappointing.

The room is quite large, but I’m just sitting 10 or 12 feet from where the sub(s) would likely be located. What I hear you saying is that in your experience, even though I generally listen at moderate volume levels,the volume of the room is just too much to overcome. That being the case, there’s nothing in the $500-ish or even $1000 neighborhood that you would recommend adding in to the mix.

It’s not really a matter of saving up more money. I’m thinking of retiring soon, and it’s more a question of how much I’m willing tospend from my accumulated savings. (I guess I could just plan to work another week to buy subwoofers…)

Thanks, Jim, for your insight.

Dave
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post #1176 of 1219 Old 09-03-2014, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Houston View Post
Well, that’s disappointing.

The room is quite large, but I’m just sitting 10 or 12 feet from where the sub(s) would likely be located. What I hear you saying is that in your experience, even though I generally listen at moderate volume levels,the volume of the room is just too much to overcome. That being the case, there’s nothing in the $500-ish or even $1000 neighborhood that you would recommend adding in to the mix.

It’s not really a matter of saving up more money. I’m thinking of retiring soon, and it’s more a question of how much I’m willing tospend from my accumulated savings. (I guess I could just plan to work another week to buy subwoofers…)

Thanks, Jim, for your insight.

Dave
If you can place them nearfield and youre only concerned with how it sounds at the listening position then you can find something in your budget. Accuracy isnt cheap though. Did you ever use the Polk PSW505 sub? How did you like it?
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post #1177 of 1219 Old 09-03-2014, 07:33 AM
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Did you ever use the Polk PSW505 sub? How did you like it?
The sub I had wasn't PSW505. It was Polk PSW50. From the Polk web site:
PSW50 powered subwoofer was part of the RM3300, RM5300 and RM5400 systems and was also available as a separate item.


The PSW50 powered subwoofer features:
  • Dynamic Balance subwoofer driver for deep, low distortion bass
  • High and low level inputs allows easy connection to any system
  • Volume level control allows you to optimize performance with any main speaker and room acoustics
  • High current amplifier with auto on/off circuit
  • Overload protection circuitry for safe, high volume performance
I think I still have the two sats around someplace, but I don't know where. It's been a couple years since I had the sub set up, and I don't really remember what it sounded like.

Thanks!

Dave
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post #1178 of 1219 Old 09-03-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dave in Houston View Post
The room is quite large, but I’m just sitting 10 or 12 feet from where the sub(s) would likely be located. What I hear you saying is that in your experience, even though I generally listen at moderate volume levels,the volume of the room is just too much to overcome. That being the case, there’s nothing in the $500-ish or even $1000 neighborhood that you would recommend adding in to the mix.

It’s not really a matter of saving up more money. I’m thinking of retiring soon, and it’s more a question of how much I’m willing tospend from my accumulated savings. (I guess I could just plan to work another week to buy subwoofers…)

Hang around here too much longer and you'll end up working for the next 6 months to pay for your HT habit...

If you're willing to consider a budget of $1000 one subwoofer to consider would the the Reaction Audio PV15X. It should have solid output by virtue of its configuration. The guy who owns the company was a musician for a few decades, so I would imagine it sounds pretty good in that regard.

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post #1179 of 1219 Old 09-03-2014, 06:41 PM
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If you're willing to consider a budget of $1000 one subwoofer to consider would the the Reaction Audio PV15X. It should have solid output by virtue of its configuration. The guy who owns the company was a musician for a few decades, so I would imagine it sounds pretty good in that regard.
If I decided to spend $1000 or so, do you think the PV15X would be a better choice than two less expensive units like the Premier Acoustic PA-150?

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Hang around here too much longer and you'll end up working for the next 6 months to pay for your HT habit...
That's what I'm afraid of...
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post #1180 of 1219 Old 09-04-2014, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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If I decided to spend $1000 or so, do you think the PV15X would be a better choice than two less expensive units like the Premier Acoustic PA-150?
That depends upon what your ultimate goal is, and how many placement options are available to you.

The PA subs would more then likley have an advantage when it comes to total output (volume essentially), but they won't extend as deep. The RA sub probably has better overal sound quality. Frankly, in a room the size of yours a pair of PV15X's should be considered the minimum, unless you happen to be sitting right on top of them, but I realize from a financial standpoint that's not feasible.

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post #1181 of 1219 Old 09-04-2014, 10:40 AM
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If I decided to spend $1000 or so, do you think the PV15X would be a better choice than two less expensive units like the Premier Acoustic PA-150?
Look into the Power Sound Audio XV15SE. Dual PA-150s would have the advantage above 50hz. The XV15SE should perform as well or better in the 40hz to 50hz range, and then easily out perform the PA-150s in the below 40hz range--you are going to want that low end bass for movie watching. The Reaction Audio PV15X could do as well or better than the XV15SE. Hard to know. We have output performance measurements of the XV15 (earlier model of the XV15SE) and the PA-150 from the same reviewer who is well-respected for his detailed measurements, so much easier to know how the PSA and Premier Acoustics subs compare.

The PSA sub is not going to reach reference level movie theater volumes, but at moderately loud volume levels, the XV15SE should perform very well and will be an incredible upgrade over your Polk sub. Check with Power Sound Audio (they have a live chat mechanism on their website). They'll be honest with you about whether or not the XV15SE would work in your room for your listening volumes. PSA is well known for good customer service and providing good advice to potential customers.
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post #1182 of 1219 Old 09-04-2014, 10:49 AM
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Frankly, in a room the size of yours a pair of PV15X's should be considered the minimum, unless you happen to be sitting right on top of them, but I realize from a financial standpoint that's not feasible.
That's not necessarily true. HSU used to rate their VTF-3 MK3 as good in rooms up to 6,000 cubic feet. I have run the Outlaw EX in a room that size (similar sub), and it performed at levels that I belive that the average consumer would be very happy with (people I know were impressed with the EXs performance) even though the subwoofer enthusiasts on this forum and serious bassheads would want more. Based on Dave H's listening volumes as expressed, something like the PSA XV15SE could provide a very good subwoofer experience at moderately loud volumes.

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post #1183 of 1219 Old 09-06-2014, 09:35 AM
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I currently have one PSW505 with a 7.2 system. My room is about 15'x17'. I'm fairly happy with the PSW505 but I want to add a second sub. From what I have read it is usually a good idea to to pair the same 2 subwoofers. Apparently this provides the most even sound and better imaging. To me it looks like the PL-200 is a better sub and it is about the same amount of money. Would anyone have an opinion about how the PL-200 would pair with a PSW505? Getting two PL-200s is not an option
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post #1184 of 1219 Old 09-06-2014, 09:44 AM
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I currently have one PSW505 with a 7.2 system. My room is about 15'x17'. I'm fairly happy with the PSW505 but I want to add a second sub. From what I have read it is usually a good idea to to pair the same 2 subwoofers. Apparently this provides the most even sound and better imaging. To me it looks like the PL-200 is a better sub and it is about the same amount of money. Would anyone have an opinion about how the PL-200 would pair with a PSW505? Getting two PL-200s is not an option
Take a look at the NXG NX BAS-500.
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post #1185 of 1219 Old 09-08-2014, 05:20 AM
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Take a look at the NXG NX BAS-500.
I will. Any opinion on running these 2 different subs together? Anyone?

Thanks!
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post #1186 of 1219 Old 09-08-2014, 05:22 AM
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I will. Any opinion on running these 2 different subs together? Anyone?

Thanks!
I would probably just grab another PSW505, or keep saving up for something better like a SVS PB-1000.

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post #1187 of 1219 Old 09-08-2014, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I will. Any opinion on running these 2 different subs together? Anyone?
Generally speaking, you don't want to use disparate subwoofers. Integration can be difficult, and sound quality between them will vary, so what you'll often get is a less than coherent bass response. Both being ported will make it a bit less challenging to balance them, but since each will have a different frequency response you can expect mixed results.

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post #1188 of 1219 Old 09-08-2014, 03:28 PM
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Gentlemen,

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience. I watched a couple of movies over the weekend, and I can imagine how much better they would have been with more bass. I've about reached the conclusion that for my room, I'm going to have to spend more than I'd hoped, but I still haven't worked up enough enthusiasm to actually pull the trigger.

Dave

Last edited by Dave in Houston; 09-09-2014 at 08:15 AM.
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post #1189 of 1219 Old 09-11-2014, 09:58 AM
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Generally speaking, you don't want to use disparate subwoofers. Integration can be difficult, and sound quality between them will vary, so what you'll often get is a less than coherent bass response. Both being ported will make it a bit less challenging to balance them, but since each will have a different frequency response you can expect mixed results.
Thanks Jim (and Transmaniacon)! I so want to get better lower bass (below 30Hz). Having another PSW505 will not do that for me but it sounds like a real hassle to get a different sub.I like the PSW505 a lot for home theater but not as impressed with music. Does the PSW505 still come with a BASH amp? The one I have has one but this is not listed on product information anymore.
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post #1190 of 1219 Old 09-11-2014, 10:01 AM
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Thanks Jim (and Transmaniacon)! I so want to get better lower bass (below 30Hz). Having another PSW505 will not do that for me but it sounds like a real hassle to get a different sub.I like the PSW505 a lot for home theater but not as impressed with music. Does the PSW505 still come with a BASH amp? The one I have has one but this is not listed on product information anymore.
If you want lower bass, you need to save up for something in the $500 range, but you can also sell your 505 to recoup some of the cost later on. I haven't heard anything about it not using a BASH amp, feel free to email Polk though and ask.
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Thanks Jim (and Transmaniacon)! I so want to get better lower bass (below 30Hz). Having another PSW505 will not do that for me but it sounds like a real hassle to get a different sub.I like the PSW505 a lot for home theater but not as impressed with music. Does the PSW505 still come with a BASH amp? The one I have has one but this is not listed on product information anymore.
The NXG goes lower and is more accurate than the 505. Sell the 505 and get 2 NXG for $520 and you will have much better bass.
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post #1192 of 1219 Old 09-11-2014, 01:29 PM
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Earthquake Sound FF6.5. I really didnt want to scour this thread for it (as the search says its i here somewhere), but anyone have any encounters with it? It goes for ~$200 on Amazon and its a neat looking thing (almost a trap horn design but smaller). Yes, i know...physics, small enclosures...i know. Just want to know more about it thats all. Thanks.
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post #1193 of 1219 Old 09-11-2014, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Earthquake Sound FF6.5. I really didnt want to scour this thread for it (as the search says its i here somewhere), but anyone have any encounters with it? It goes for ~$200 on Amazon and its a neat looking thing (almost a trap horn design but smaller). Yes, i know...physics, small enclosures...i know. Just want to know more about it thats all. Thanks.
You'll probably be hard pressed to find much information on them, because almost nobody seems to buy anything from Earthquake. For sure, you won't find any reviews; those folks were one of the worst companies I ever had the misfortune of working with to try and secure a review unit. I got stuck dealing with one of the most apathetic people I've encountered to date, and after almost a year of jerking me around I finally threw in the towel. I fully understand why there's a darth of Earthquake info - they apparently don't want anyone to get their hands on those subwoofers, not even customers it seems. Caveat emptor.

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You'll probably be hard pressed to find much information on them, because almost nobody seems to buy anything from Earthquake. For sure, you won't find any reviews; those folks were one of the worst companies I ever had the misfortune of working with to try and secure a review unit. I got stuck dealing with one of the most apathetic people I've encountered to date, and after almost a year of jerking me around I finally threw in the towel. I fully understand why there's a darth of Earthquake info - they apparently don't want anyone to get their hands on those subwoofers, not even customers it seems. Caveat emptor.
Good to know.
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post #1195 of 1219 Old 09-12-2014, 07:59 AM
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You'll probably be hard pressed to find much information on them, because almost nobody seems to buy anything from Earthquake. For sure, you won't find any reviews; those folks were one of the worst companies I ever had the misfortune of working with to try and secure a review unit. I got stuck dealing with one of the most apathetic people I've encountered to date, and after almost a year of jerking me around I finally threw in the towel. I fully understand why there's a darth of Earthquake info - they apparently don't want anyone to get their hands on those subwoofers, not even customers it seems. Caveat emptor.
Thanks for the info Jim.
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Just to plug the Bic V-1220 for those looking for an inexpensive sub. I've had an array of budget subs over the past several years. I've owned the Bic RTR EV1200, Dayton sub-1500, NXG NX-BAS 500, JBL SP150, JBL SUB150P, Polk PSW10, Pioneer SW-8, Pioneer SW-8MK2. Currently I own the Dayton sub-1200, Klipsch sub-12 and Bic V-1220.

With all that being said, the Bic V-1220, which I've owned for around 2 years, is an outstanding value and performer. For around $175 it's an overachiever for budget subs. My test for subs as of late has been the grenade scene in the movie WWZ. The V-1220 actually has a surprisingly impressive ability to reproduce this demanding scene. Even compared to the much more expensive Outlaw LFM-1 Plus, it doesn't lag that far behind.

The Outlaw will output more and with more extension, but doing this in 1 port mode results in some pretty nasty port chuffing. The V-1220 isn't that far behind reporducing this scene, but does so without any of the extreme chuffing. For the money, the V-1220 would be my #1 choice of any sub that I've heard or owned in the budget category.
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post #1197 of 1219 Old 09-12-2014, 06:54 PM
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Interesting stuff.
I owned a Bic F12 and most people that compare it to the Bic V-1220 prefer the F12.
I've heard the NXG NX-BAS 500 and it put my F12 to shame.
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post #1198 of 1219 Old 09-12-2014, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting your experience with all those different subwoofers. I'm sure someone reading this thread will appreciate your insight. I always encourage everyone to do precisely what you did, so hopefully that will motivate others to do something similar.

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post #1199 of 1219 Old 09-13-2014, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post
Interesting stuff.
I owned a Bic F12 and most people that compare it to the Bic V-1220 prefer the F12.
I've heard the NXG NX-BAS 500 and it put my F12 to shame.
The NXG sub was a pretty good sub overall, but is nearly $100 more than the V-1220. I don't feel it's $100 better sub. When I tried the NX-BAS 500 with the grenade scene, it also sounded very distressed and there was some annoying port noise. It seems it's very similar to the F12 in design.

The NX-BAS 500 only says it's 500w peak, but never lists the RMS watts. I would guess 150-200w RMS. Auto on/off on the NX-BAS-500 was also really poor. Took a lot to wake it up and 15-20 seconds with lack of signal would shut it off.
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post #1200 of 1219 Old 09-13-2014, 02:56 AM
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The NXG sub was a pretty good sub overall, but is nearly $100 more than the V-1220. I don't feel it's $100 better sub. When I tried the NX-BAS 500 with the grenade scene, it also sounded very distressed and there was some annoying port noise. It seems it's very similar to the F12 in design.

The NX-BAS 500 only says it's 500w peak, but never lists the RMS watts. I would guess 150-200w RMS. Auto on/off on the NX-BAS-500 was also really poor. Took a lot to wake it up and 15-20 seconds with lack of signal would shut it off.
The grenade scene doesnt seem like a very worthy test of the overall quality of a subwoofer. The NXG may have port noise when stressed to the limit. I dont know. My buddy doesnt usually listen at very high volume and Ive heard it mostly with music. In a music application the NXG is noticeably more accurate. That and the fact that it plays lower than the F12 makes it worth the extra money to me.
The auto on/off problem is fairly common among subwoofers in general and can easily be overcome simply by leaving it on all the time.

Last edited by Bond 007; 09-13-2014 at 04:59 AM.
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