Wow. I feel like I just got beat up—really takes it out of you getting blasted by sound for 12+ hours.
Where to start-thanks to everyone for coming from all over. Craig Chase drove 900 miles across the midwest. Mark Seaton and Jeff Permanian came from Chicago. We had some guys from KC and Michigan. Good turnout and about right for the size of my room. We had some good food in pizza and BBQ. Thanks to all for donating money to cover food and drink; you made my wife happy!
I thought Mark, Jeff, and especially Craig did a good job of staying out of our way. I think it is very informational and helpful to have some reps/owners at a GTG, but you also need to stay on track and get through what you want to accomplish without getting sidetracked by any cool toys they may bring. The three guys stayed upstairs most of the night other than when we played through the CHT, JTR, and Seaton Sound offerings. Mark has some EQ on his Submersive HP that comes with the product, and Jeff helped place the JTR Growler.
Here is the interest thread leading up to the GTG: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1349742
Each person who attended the meet has been asked to write up their subjective impressions of each of the subs, hopefully each will take advantage to share their experience from the day. Most of the attendees were able to be there all day but some had other responsibilities that had them show up in the afternoon. Some subs will have more scores than others, as you will see by the scoring charts.
The GTG attendees were:
Archaea – Dual Captivator Pros (Behringer EP4000)
KCNitro07 – BIC F12
desertdome – Dual MCCA MFW-15 Turbos, Quad MFW-15 Sealed Dual Opposed (Dayton SA 1000, Seaton sound modded amps for the Turbos)
kwarny – DIY Rythmik (F15) (A370)
HuskerOmaha – Dual Cinema F20s (Sampson SX1200), Dual CHT 18.1 (SA1000)
nebrunner – DTS-10 + JTR Growler (Behringer EP4000)
Dr. Spankenstein – eD A7s-450
Stormwind13 – CHT SS 18.2 (Dayton SA1000)
Craigsub – Dual CHT VS 18.1 (Dayton SA1000)
Mark Seaton – Seaton Submersive HP
The attendees that would be there all day had first priority on the front row and bar seats, and then the front row was prioritized for those that are active on avsforum and have heard a few subs to give their subjective thoughts.
There were a few other guys there, but I’m not sure if they are on the forums. Please post if you are, and I apologize for missing you!
People moved in and out from the bar seating in the middle.
If you want to see more information on my room and the build of it for any reason-a link to my build thread-http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=19646954. My room is approximately 4000 cubic feet to fill. It was interesting seeing the difference in filling that space. 3-20A circuits were available for the two racks and for plate amps on the front wall. We didn’t have any electrical issues.
QUESTIONS FROM INTEREST THREAD:
Funny how you set up a GTG but can not get anything extra done even though you try hard. Here were our original questions and comments in italics.
What do different alignments sound like?
(MFW driver: Vented, Sealed DIY, F-20?)
Sealed DIY wasn’t able to be EQd so comparisons and subjective comments may be hard to do.
Do people prefer more midbass output or low bass output?
Attendees should be able to comment.
Does EQ make a difference in listening?
All of the subs, other than the Sealed DIY MFWs Dual Opp were EQd using REW v5.
Can attendees tell if EQ is on/off?
We were not able to test this with all of the attendees-we ran out of time.
At what volume do capabilities start to make a difference?
We didn’t do a structured test for this question, but we did crank a few of the larger subs with Open Range and other content.
Does location make a difference in listening?
Were not able to swap between MFW Sealed Dual Opp and the single subs all used the same location.
What does unlimited bass sound like? (8 MFW-15's and two 18.1's)
Didn’t do this.
Playing the VS-18 and the CS -18 together, and other sealed + ported mixes and see what people think. Test the theory that the same design is better than mixed. Cross the ported sub over at a higher frequency. See reactions.
Do attendees prefer the effect of nearfield subs +/- usual placement (wall locations) and with what type of bass output?
Some attendees sat near the subs for short period of times. Otherwise, this wasn’t tested.
What do attendees prefer for different subs for the crossover freq?
We used 80hz for the crossover frequency in all tests.
Ask attendees on the difference in sealed/vented/horns musicality vs HT use and which they preferred.
Attendees should be able to answer this and it is reflected in their scores.
Ricci Comments and Suggestions from Interest Thread
Does anyone who will be there have the ability to run REW? Do you have a decent EQ unit available supported by REW? MiniDSP, DCX, BFD, etc? I hope yes.
Desertdome ran the REW and used the EQ unit-Steinberg MR816x with J River Media Center he will discuss later.
What I would suggest is this.
1.Place all of the subs in the same location when you listen to them, or as close as you can anyway.
Every single sub was placed in the same position as noted by the pictures. All dual subs were placed in the same position as well. The only sub that wouldn’t fit there was the DTS-10. The DTS-10 had the distance setting modified for EQ in J River Media Center, as well as some of the other subs (Growler, F20s). The JTR Growler was placed in the same position as the singles.
2.Have everyone listening try to remain in the same seat throughout the day as much as possible.
6 seating positions were static throughout all of the graded subs. The rest were interchanged with who was available or wanted to sit or stand.
3. Use the same program material for all subs.
The same material was played for each setup.
4. Pick one seating location to make measurements from. Take an REW frequency response measurement of each sub from this same location at a similar drive level.
As you will see by the pictures, the ECM8000 never moved from its microphone stand perch-sitting directly between HuskerOmaha and Archaea seating positions. Levels were matched and the subs were run approx 3 db hotter than the mains—each setup was reviewed for levels.
5. Use the REW sweep and auto eq function to generate eq settings to flatten each subs response. Try to get the responses roughly similar. It doesn't have to be perfect. You just don't want radical 10db differences in response shape. If there are wild variations in response amongst the subs this is what will be heard and this does not necessarily indicate how the sub can perform optimally.
Desertdome used RTA instead of sweeps and will discuss later.
6. After applying the suggested EQ settings take another response measurement with REW to show the effects.
Desertdome took pre-EQ and post-EQ graphs for each sub after filters were applied.
7. At this point level match the sub to the mains. It does not matter if you want to run the subs flat, 6db hot or even 12db hot, or whatever you want. Just make sure that each sub is set similarily.
We ran 3 db hot….desertdome will have numbers but I believe on average subs were 77db and mains 74 db with the pink noise.
8. Throw on the demos and pop open a cold brewski. Enjoy. Be careful with the level on the smaller subs.
We didn’t pop open any brewskis until late in the night-pop was plentiful though. We didn’t push the BIC F12 too hard though the owner swears it could handle quite a bit more!
Desertdome (Michael) will thoroughly explain all of the EQ in his post; since I can’t even figure out how to run it after watching it all day. This includes seat responses, before and after EQ charts, etc (assuming they are all saved properly!)
Mark Seaton helped Michael check things out prior to the start of the subs regarding level matching and checking out the room response across all of the seats.
We had many initial questions for those remembering our interest thread that did not get addressed, but I think everyone had a ton of fun…definitely worth it in my book to attend and host these.
After some initial delays in leveling out all of the speakers and interfacing the Steinberg and J River Media Center with the HTPC we were ready to rock.
We got started with actual playback at 11am and stopped around midnight. Testing was NOT blind. I'm not sure how one would even be able to do this properly, using the same position or subs, with all other factors considered.
Here is the material played through the subs and the rough timestamps for those interested. Some of these were modified as we realized we could cut some material to make the GTG faster but still keep the majority of the bass content in each.
Master and Commander:Cannon1:41(1:36-3:17)
Tron Legacy: Grid 1:14(23:36-24:50)
Transformers: ROTF: Sideswipe 0:22(6:39-7:01)
War of the Worlds: Pod 2:10
Iron Man: Jericho Missile0:36
Flight of the Phoenix1:52
Transformers: DOTM: Bumblebee Highway Flip0:40(1:07:30-1:08:10)
Incredible Hulk: Street Fight/Cop Car2:50
Fellowship of the Ring: Opening 1:00(3:26-4:26)
How To Train Your Dragon1:25 (8:00-9:25)
Black Hawk Down: Irene1:05
Cloverfield: Statue of Liberty Head/Street2:27
Battle L.A.: Bus/Grenade/Gas Station1:38
Red Cliff: Fire/Boats2:15(1:39:40-1:41:55)
Pomp & Pipes: The Vikings0:20
Pete Balasco: Deeper1:18 (1:01-2:19)
Eagles: Hotel California 1:11(0:30-1:41)
Black Light Syndrome: Duende0:25(5:25-5:50)
Kid Kudi: Day n Night 0:28(0:55-1:23)
Deadmau5: Ghosts n Stuff0:30(1:16-1:46)
Basstronics: Bass I Love You0:45(0:19-1:04)
We played Open Range (raising the volume quite a bit) for a few of the heavy hitters (1:42:45-1:46:54).
ORDER OF SUBS PLAYED
We were attempting to go from lowest expected performance (output, sound quality) to highest. We varied from this a bit-the F20s were already in the basement and so we started with those-I actually thought this was nice to give you a high output benchmark to then go back to the smaller subs to get an idea of how to rank. We also moved the JTR and Seaton subs up a bit since Jeff and Mark had to get on the road.
DIY Dual Cinema F-20 (lilmike designed)
BIC America Formula F12
Elemental Designs A7s-450
Motor City Custom Audio Dual MFW-15 Turbos
Chase Home Theater SS 18.2
JTR Speakers Dual Captivator Pro
Seaton Submersive HP
Chase Home Theater Dual VS 18.1
Danley Sound Labs DTS-10 + JTR Growler
We also played around with the Quad MFW-15 Dual Opposed after these, but Desertdome had to run (wife had a baby 48 hours prior) and the EQ and one of the four subs were kaput. Everything but the Quads had REW run and filters and EQ applied to subs prior to playing-again Desertdome has the information and we will post it as soon as we can.
Technosponge was a great help. He had his camera equipment and was snapping photos all day. It made things go easier and smooth. For whoever holds one of these down the road-make sure to delegate certain things. With him worrying about documenting pictures, I had less to worry about as well as desertdome. He took pictures of the sub sizes next to the Hulk BD disc case, wide stage shots of EACH setup, and numerous pictures of everyone during the GTG. It was great. I will post some pictures and I think he is planning on having a flickster or similar link with the HQ shots.
I think he has numerous photos of the room as well.
I attempted to have attendees give a pre-audition ranking, and then grade each sub on WAF and build quality. My instructions must have sucked—as Archaea and I looked over the material early Saturday morning, the numbers were all messed up.
ATTENDEES: Please make sure to note your observations of WAF and build quality in your thread responses.
The rankings were compiled from excel fill in the blank sheets. Archaea, Kcnitro07, and I tabulated and averaged the numbers via excel last night. It was 4am, so if you see an error please let me know so I can check it out. We double checked it, but accidents can happen.
I wanted to use a similar ranking strategy to the KC GTG, so that we can start to have similar ways to report results. Though I wanted to be different with a 1-10 scale of course.
(clips)2-my computer may match it
3-is that a 6" sub?
4-not bad, I could live with this
5-getting close to buying
7-welcome to the big boy league
8-impressive. How do I order?
9-I need to have it
As you can discern from the number of ratings, some people weren't there at the beginning and missed the first sub or two. With the DTS-10 and Growler, as I'm sure it will be poured over later, something was wrong.
The Growler sounded fine, but the DTS-10 has something wrong with it as far as we could figure out that night. We didn't have time to pull and look at the drivers. We applied the first 4 filters recommended, then ran the EQ. Mark and Jeff may have still been there watching it. Well, anyways, the DTS10 sounded off, really off. We even restricted it later to HPF at 15 and a LPF at 30 and something was still wrong. Sounded like a bad driver. Others can offer opinions. That is why most didn't rate it, I left the ones in that did.
|Clips||M/C||Tron Grid||T2 Sideswipe||WOTW||Iron Man||FOTP||T3-Bumblebee||Hulk Cop||FOTR||HTTYD|
|Clip||Black Hawk Down||Cloverfield||Battle LA||Red Cliff||Poop/Pipes||Pete Balasco||Eagles||Black Light Syndrome||Kid Kudi||Ghosts N Stuff||Bass I Love You|
Clip Averages and Overall Highest Score Average
|Clips||M/C||Tron Grid||T2 Sideswipe||WOTW||Iron Man||FOTP||T3-Bumblebee||Hulk Cop||FOTR||HTTYD||Black Hawk Down||Cloverfield||Battle LA||Red Cliff||Poop/Pipes||Pete Balasco||Eagles||Black Light Syndrome||Kid Kudi||Ghosts N Stuff||Bass I Love You||AVG||MOVIES||MUSIC|
Sorry for the decimal breakdown, but I wanted to separate the CHT subs so there was a 3 and 4 and not a tie.
You can see the average overall, and then for music and movies on the far right.
Technosponge is working on pictures and Desertdome will post EQ as soon as possible.
I will put my evaluative thoughts down in a later post.
This event was awesome. I'm happy I did this, and Mrs Omaha isn't as pissed as I thought she would be. Thank you Craig for the vodka. She cracked it open tonight.
I wrote down my comments with each setup; in order of playing-- and I'll transcribe them here:
Tron not as impressive as I remember with my CHT 18.T.
M/C, WOTW, FOTP very impressive. Felt the low flip of the airplace in FOTP, WOTW ground rumble was seat moving.
Plays 20-40 Hz very emphatically but higher bass feels muddy and misplaced.
Would egg crate inside enclosure help?
I felt the F20 had amazing output for the cost. The size is limiting in my room, and my wife is making me get rid of them. With some EQ and some more placement and crossover options, I think these would make a great value for someone looking for output.
BIC America F12
It would make a good mouse pad.
EQ at 1 db below F-20 (72 db pink noise)
Tactile but probably need duals unless a smaller room
Battle L.A.-precise popping of spacecraft but not the output I would want
Red Cliff - precise banging of drum, stands out and is blended perfectly
Bass I Love You - better than I expected, blends well with mains
Really? Surprised at the tactile feel of this sub. Duals would do it for a bunch of non-AVS members.
Set to 28hz ext on movies, 14hz ext on music
Sideswipe scene: Guns on flip sound great
FOTP: actually could hear low roll but very quiet, guy falling is quick and decays fast
Hulk - better than BIC
Driver is moving @ all the right times, and actually quite the extension, but cannot feel the bass. My room is probably too big, need duals
Kid Kudi: Excels and can feel the whole range: very smooth and good feeling to it
It must be a different feeling. On a few scenes I liked the sound, on most I couldn't feel A THING.
Sideswipe guns scene: more punch, more impulse, first sub to show it
WOTW: low rumble sounds good but not precise enough
Bumblebee flip: can hear clearly the whole range, best so far of subs tested on this
FOTP: low roll-starting to get where I'm used to
Hulk: Can feel the footsteps, but can not feel the hulk scream prior to the run
LOTR: 1st sub to do the sweep and ring drop justice on opening scene
HTTYD: first sub to get you that feeling of hearing the bass from the wings, need more feeling on the large hits and the main crash
Battle LA: nice popping of engines and good output
Red Cliff: Consistent and solid on explosions and drum
Blends really well with music. Might hang on too long to notes but being picky
Kudi: Great extension across notes in this song
Bass I Love you: first sub to give me that LFE feeling
I was actually impressed at the musicality and blending of the eD. I thought overall it wasn't too bad being a single and all. The eD seemed to be a bit muddy on a couple of the film scenes, but was a solid music sub. Would have liked to have duals to compare to the CHT sealed.
Michael used subdudes and cheated so this sub results should be thrown out
Transformers scenes: best tactile feeling to date
Not as crisp as eD but great output
Hulk: steps are precise and the scream has nice loud output
Irene:BHD: First sub to get the helicopter blades LFE feeling
Battle LA: Popping sound good but prefer the eD treatment of material
Explosions in material loud and precise. Nice!
Organ Music: First time I felt something on the crappy poop/pipes tract
Deeper: Hits hard but doesn't feel as extended as the eD
Kudi: Good response but still doesn't feel as deep as the eD
These were placed on subdudes so they should be excluded! These were good, but when I heard the 1 of them at desertdomes house it was more impressive. Maybe the room was too big. Still a great option if you have them. More precise than the F20s.
CHT 18.2 Sealed
M/C: Cannons sound good and succinctnot the F-20 output but much cleaner, can differentiate the sounds better
FOTP: guy falling and hitting ground precise
Hulk: Scream is best to date, really feeling it
HTTYD: Wing flapping is good/great on last shot of fire into large dragon mouth
Red Cliff: Opening second has hit hardest of all of them to date: drum is filling the room but not overdonesubtle yet accurate
Deeper: Clean and Deep. Exactly what I expect this to sound like
Kid Kudi: Felt some subsonic I think for first time
Bass I love you: Not as much excursion as Turbos but seems to hit higher bass fine
I like the 18.2 more than my 18.T. Why? Who knows. More discussion and thought on this later. What to do what to do. Great musicality, great blending, boomy on a part of Red Cliff but didn't hear anything else I didn't like. Tight bass. I like the Eminence driver sound apparently, since the SubM was my favorite followed closely by the 18.2.
JTR Dual Cap Pros
M/C: Noticed footsteps above more than 18.2.
Tron: Equal to 18.2
Sideswipe: hit good, cannons not as good as 18.2 but the cut down the middle of the car was more audible
WOTW: Asphalt breaking sounds amazing. Best so far
FOTP: Barrel roll is solid, haven't felt impressed yet
Bumblebee: Same as 18.2 on roll
Hulk tackle: best so far: you can feel the soundwave that breaks the theater marquee
FOTR: nice wave
HTTYD: best main scene and wing flapping so far
Red Cliff: Solid drum level even to 18.2: best ships crashing sounds so far
Deeper: hit all notes clean with extra oompf
Music overall: surprised how much I liked this, still prefer the tactile nature and the better letting go of notes the 18.2 has, but I could definitely live with this given its awesome treatment of movie material
Better at music than I thought they would be. Definitely feel like they have output to spare, even when we played Open Range at 118 db. I wouldn't go louder other than to show off. Open Range was very impressive. The Hulk scene was freaking amazingthat shock wave seems hard to reproduce in my room. M/C best of the subs.
Seaton Submersive HP
M/C- great explosions. Awesome
Sideswipe: cleanest and deepest extension on slow mo to date
WOTW: solid and awesome range, no complaints
Battle LA: popping of spaceship tight, crisp
Red Cliff: Drum precise and good
Deeper: By far the best demo of this track tonight
Eagles: hits HARD
Kudi: bliss. Perfect
Ghosts: Solid: The 18.2 matches it on this song.
FOTR: Finally heard the cleanest sweep of Sauron with his hammer, the ring drop, and the sweep was impactful for the first time
My favorite overall sub. Felt the deepest extension. Cleanest sweeps with slow-motion. Music was expectedly tight and precise and filled the room. That little box didn't seem to vibrate at all and definitely the best looking and WAF approved sub of all of them.
CHT Dual VS 18
WOTW: Deep crater falling in felt awesome and blended well with other sounds
FOTP: great rumble and sustains when needed
Sonic Cannon: good rhythmic feel: drivers moving rhythmically and precisedidn't watch this or grade it with others (extra clip)
HTTYD: like JTR feel on this
Red Cliff: impactful opening-wow! Tied for best with JTR. Heard higher explosion frequencies I had not heard earlier
Book of Eli: awesome and machine gun fire is money. (extra clip)
Hulk: Scream: check, Shockwave tackle: check-felt the best of all on this scene
Another example of a great reproduction of the Hulk track; better than my sealed favorites. Great on movies, I liked the SubM and 18.2 better on music, but only slightly. I think people are going to like this new offering. Really a quality product, great look and good feel on repetitive material
I didn't rate the Quads or DTS10+Growler because the EQ and or setup was off and it was late.
This GTG was really fun for me because I got to meet some cool guys, explore my newfound hobby more, and see what sounded the best to me in my room.
We used Cherry amps for the front stage but truthfully I didn't really notice a difference. I won't be upgrading my amp power ability. Unless desertdome tells me I need too! I didn't really experience any fatigue from listening until the 8th or 9th hour about when we got done with the VS pair. The SHO-10s seemed to get good reviews for their ability from attendees.
I would be happy with the top 4 rated setups. The JTR and CHT vented subs I could live with, but I know I prefer sealed overall. If I never listened to music, I see the value of the VS 18s and the Caps. They both did a great job with material. On a couple tracks the JTRs had more than the CHT setup; I'm also wondering if break-in on new VS drivers would have helped. The CHT vented duals played the best on the Hulk track to my ears and was probably my favorite clip on those.
My favorite setups were the Submersive HP and the CHT 18.2. (though I might have given the edge to the JTRs over the 18.2). I will be more than likely changing up my sub setup. I will try my Dual CHT 18.T setup front firing. If that doesn't get me the same response the 18.2 did in our GTG (with Audyssey off and re-EQ), then I will sell my 18.T along with the F-20s.
I will be getting either dual CHT 18.2s or dual Submersive HPs. It all depends on the value and deal I can get at the time.
Like I said earlier, Craig, Mark and Jeff all have wonderful products and were great guys in person. I have no doubt all three would take care of you if you buy their products. They are honest, smart about their hobby/profession, and informative.
Picking from any of their 4 offerings would be easy if you are just starting out-I don't know how you would be disappointed with what they bring to the table in home theater audio.
I look forward to discussions later.
My scoring is below (minus DTS10/Growler):
|Clips||M/C||Tron Grid||T2 Sideswipe||WOTW||Iron Man||FOTP||T3-Bumblebee||Hulk Cop||FOTR||HTTYD||Black Hawk Down||Cloverfield||Battle LA||Red Cliff||Poop/Pipes||Pete Balasco||Eagles||Black Light Syndrome||Kid Kudi||Ghosts N Stuff||Bass I Love You||AVG|