Decision time: HSU VTF-15h (2) or CHT VS-18.1 (2) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 518 Old 11-16-2011, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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My space is roughly 25x21x7.5h. After reading all kinds of threads, reviews at I decided to land upon these two for price/performance ratio. This will be only HT setup. I have no idea which pair to go with. So here I will ask for some advice last time before I simply flip a coin.
Which one? Why?
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post #2 of 518 Old 11-16-2011, 12:15 PM
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There's plenty of information on this site - as well as professional reviews on Audioholics and elsewhere - on the VTF-15H. By all accounts, it is an impressive sub. Duals should be pretty satisfying.

The VS-18.1 is reportedly also quite potent, but it's substantially larger than the VTF-15H. Check out the review* on the ChaseHomeTheater forum from a new owner of two VS-18.1s. He upgraded from quad MFW-15s and, so far, he's very happy with the move.

(*No, it's not a professional review, but it will provide some insight into how these subs perform.)

Happy shopping, and enjoy whatever subs you do end up buying!


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post #3 of 518 Old 11-16-2011, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post

My space is roughly 25x21x7.5h. After reading all kinds of threads, reviews at I decided to land upon these two for price/performance ratio. This will be only HT setup. I have no idea which pair to go with. So here I will ask for some advice last time before I simply flip a coin.
Which one? Why?

For that kind of money I wouldn't flip a coin.

I haven't heard the cht subs. I do own a pair of 15H's which i'm quite happy with.

I do have a real graph of my room posted in the HSU thread. I don't recall any real life graphs of cht duals.

A concern of mine was the treatment of an owner here on this forum. I wouldn't have wanted to go through that. Very unprofessional, nor would I want to deal with him over the phone. Who can say if it would happen to you?

I haven't seen any posted pictures of cht subs that looked well finished imho.
For some, looks aren't important however for me quality is in the details and pride of manufacture. HSU enjoys a great reputation, cht less so.

I'm sure others can offer a different opinion, maybe guys that have heard both.

YMMV.
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post #4 of 518 Old 11-16-2011, 02:23 PM
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...waiting for popcorn to finish.....


In all seriousness, I have not heard either but you can probably not go wrong with either set-up.

As stated above, the HSU has been well vetted.

As far as CHT, it is a brand new product, but it has also been heard in a recent sub shootout and fared pretty good against some top tier competition.

Read this referring to these two subs from an experienced poster with no dog in the hunt(he also talks about the new finishes):

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...30&postcount=5

For the whole thread:
The results were pretty consistent across all attendees.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1368326

Again, are these professional reviews: No.
Was the HSU a single in one shootout and the CHT duals in the other: Yes
Were they heard in 2 different rooms: Yes.
Were there actual charts done of the VS 18.1:Yes(see thread above)
Were there several people there that had experience with many subs including the HSU: Yes

Like I said, I bet you won't be disappointed no matter what you decide; just read all you can and also maybe PM some attendees to avoid all the inevitable posturing and vitriol that usually accompany these types of threads.

Good luck..

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post #5 of 518 Old 11-16-2011, 03:08 PM
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I was in your exact situation about 2 months ago. I looked very hard at the VTF15H, SS 18.T, FV15HP, PB13U, and the Captivator. My room is roughly 9000cubic feet and is open to the rest of the house. I was 90% set on ordering a set of the VTF's until a great deal popped up on a like new set of the CHT 18's. I figured given the (minimal) investment, I'd be crazy not to give them a try. I'm not the least bit disappointed. My room is filled with very tight, musical, quality, pounding bass. I've hit consistent 120+db at the LP with both music and movies in my room.

Very few have heard the new VS18.1 in person. Although I own the sealed version of the 18's, the output of the new ported VS's are spec'd to be far greater than that of the sealed version. I can say for sure in your room size I highly doubt you'd be dissapointed with even the sealed version of these subs - I can't even imagine the output of the ported model.

With that said, I don't think you can go wrong with the Hsu or CHT subs. I've also heard a few Hsu subs and was impressed with the overall build and sound quality. I don't have a personal preference toward sealed or ported really, as I've been impressed by subs on both sides of the fence. +

I'll soon be shopping for a sub setup for my basement, which is a bit over 5k cubic feet. On my shopping list are a pair of the VS18's as well as a passive captivator. I'd really LOVE to hear these subs in person as that would probably make my decision a bit easier.

Good luck and I'm sure you'll enjoy either choice thoroughly.

Andrew


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post #6 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there anyone in GTA (Ontario) with a pair of CHT vs or ss subs? If so please PM me if you dont mind giving me a demo to make this decision a little bit easier.
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post #7 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 06:04 AM
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I replied to your PM.


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post #8 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

There's plenty of information on this site - as well as professional reviews on Audioholics and elsewhere - on the VTF-15H. By all accounts, it is an impressive sub. Duals should be pretty satisfying.

The VS-18.1 is reportedly also quite potent, but it's substantially larger than the VTF-15H. Check out the review* on the ChaseHomeTheater forum from a new owner of two VS-18.1s. He upgraded from quad MFW-15s and, so far, he's very happy with the move.

(*No, it's not a professional review, but it will provide some insight into how these subs perform.)

Happy shopping, and enjoy whatever subs you do end up buying!

I'm the guy that eljay is referring to.

I've had my VS duals for about a week and I totally love em. I'm positive you'll be happy with either the HSU's or the VS's, you can't go wrong either way. Just a matter of figuring out what works best for you.

If you'd like to read more on my new VS's, here's the link for you.

http://www.chasehometheater.com/foru...ead.php?t=4705

Good luck with your decision, and be sure to follow up when you've made up your mind.

Thanks!

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post #9 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post

Is there anyone in GTA (Ontario) with a pair of CHT vs or ss subs? If so please PM me if you dont mind giving me a demo to make this decision a little bit easier.

Sputter, has dual vtf's and resides just outside the GTA...and was kind enough to afford me a demo recently....

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post #10 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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^^ yeap. Already getting sutup with demos for both. Curious to see and hear these subs.
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post #11 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post

^^ yeap. Already getting sutup with demos for both. Curious to see and hear these subs.

Lucky you. I'm curious to hear how they compare, please do share!


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post #12 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy p View Post

Sputter, has dual vtf's and resides just outside the GTA...and was kind enough to afford me a demo recently....

You and Steve had the hard work lol. I didn't have to move squat.
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post #13 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 03:04 PM
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How a 18.2 do against dual 18.1?
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post #14 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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The VTF-15H was designed by Dr. Hsu, who is practically a legend in the ID subwoofer world. Hsu Research has garnered favorable reviews for a decade now, and the company has stood the test of time. There are several new companies now in the subwoofer market, and many of those are mentioned frequently here on AVS. These new companies all seem to offer good performance specs, but rarely have any pro reviews to back them up. I personally place much more value on a series of good pro reviews than the internet hype, since many of the GTGs, Shootouts, etc. seem to include people who have some sort of relationship with one or more of the companies involved, which to me is suspicious at best. Stick with the name brands, or gamble with the new guys, I know which way I'd go!
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post #15 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

The VTF-15H was designed by Dr. Hsu, who is practically a legend in the ID subwoofer world. Hsu Research has garnered favorable reviews for a decade now, and the company has stood the test of time. There are several new companies now in the subwoofer market, and many of those are mentioned frequently here on AVS. These new companies all seem to offer good performance specs, but rarely have any pro reviews to back them up. I personally place much more value on a series of good pro reviews than the internet hype, since many of the GTGs, Shootouts, etc. seem to include people who have some sort of relationship with one or more of the companies involved, which to me is suspicious at best. Stick with the name brands, or gamble with the new guys, I know which way I'd go!

Putting aside all personal biases (if that's even possible), do you really believe that the HSU is likely to out-perform a VS18? I'm not talking about cabinet finishes or fine-tuning options and such. I'm just talking about which sub can play deeper and louder. It's not likely to be the HSU. I'd bet everything against it.
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post #16 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

Putting aside all personal biases (if that's even possible), do you really believe that the HSU is likely to out-perform a VS18? I'm not talking about cabinet finishes or fine-tuning options and such. I'm just talking about which sub can play deeper and louder. It's not likely to be the HSU. I'd bet everything against it.

Deeper? I believe the VS18 specs are 23hz to 200hz +/- 3db, while the Hsu specs are down to 16hz with its variable tuning. Louder? At what level of distortion, etc., and just how loud do you need? The Hsu has several good reviews under its belt, I'm still waiting for the first pro review for any CHT sub. And don't worry, I won't be bothered by your personal bias.....
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post #17 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:10 PM
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The VS18 is tuned to 16Hz, FWIW.

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post #18 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Avarice_ View Post

The VS18 is tuned to 16Hz, FWIW.

Fs of 21.4hz, specs say 23hz +/-3db, FWIW. Until it's actually tested then the whole "FWIW" is a moot point!
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post #19 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:20 PM
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I'm no where near as knowledgeable as most folks on these forums. As I stated earlier in this thread, I'm loving my new VS18's that I got last week. The other day I messed with the built in eq on my Dayton SA1000 amp to try and flatten out my response. I've tried using REW years ago and just don't have the patience for that sort of thing. So I'm sorry to say I don't have any graphs. I played test tones from 16hz all the way up to 100hz, and my in room response from my duals was pretty good. These are the numbers I got for each test tone. LP was about 12 feet away. In a room that is about 10,000 cubic square feet.

16hz = 80
20hz = 84
25hz = 87
31.5hz = 86
40hz = 78
50hz = 79
60hz = 79
70hz = 84
80hz = 79
90hz = 80
100hz = 80

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post #20 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Fs of 21.4hz, specs say 23hz +/-3db, FWIW. Until it's actually tested then the whole "FWIW" is a moot point!

Buy one and test it! Though, granted, we still won't have a "pro" review....but it'd be better than nothing.

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post #21 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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Buy one and test it! Though, granted, we still won't have a "pro" review....but it'd be better than nothing.

No thanks, at $1245 delivered for a single sub and Dayton amp I'd rather have my twin Outlaw EX subs ($1098 delivered on sale). That's just my preference, for the OP my advice still stands, a sure thing or a gamble (or a coin flip)!
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post #22 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Deeper? I believe the VS18 specs are 23hz to 200hz +/- 3db, while the Hsu specs are down to 16hz with its variable tuning. Louder? At what level of distortion, etc., and just how loud do you need? The Hsu has several good reviews under its belt, I'm still waiting for the first pro review for any CHT sub. And don't worry, I won't be bothered by your personal bias.....

That's big of you, but why would I have any personal bias? I don't own or do I have any intention to own either sub and I, unlike yourself, have no bones to pick with either company. As far as the HSU reviews go, I seem to recall a very thorough, fairly poor professional review by Audioholics which was even redone to double-check the accuracy. In that review it was concluded, and I quote, that "the HSU subwoofer is not up to the task of handling low frequencies below 20 Hz." To me, that says a lot about a subwoofer that is supposed to play down to 16hz.

Meanwhile, the VS18 seemed to fair very well in comparison with a couple of the best subs out there, the Captivator and the submersive, in the Omaha showdown. I do know first-hand what a great sub the Captivator is. If the VS18 can be even remotely favorably compared with the Capitvator, that says something right there.
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post #23 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:34 PM
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Going by specs alone, there is no way the VTF15h subs are going to keep up with the VS18 with regard to output, and probably not extension either. If that is your primary criteria, I would go with the CHT sub. As for the Hsu, it has an amp which was made for it, with limiters and protection, and it will also probably look nicer, not to mention it is a lot cheaper. You'll probably want to EQ the CHT sub since it only comes with a generic amp, if only to keep it from overloading, and that will be an added cost. To get around it maybe your receiver has a 20 hz low pass filter that can be applied.
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post #24 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

That's big of you, but why would I have any personal bias? I don't own or do I have any intention to own either sub and I, unlike yourself, have no bones to pick with either company. As far as the HSU reviews go, I seem to recall a very thorough, fairly poor professional review by Audioholics which was even redone to double-check the accuracy. In that review it was concluded, and I quote, that "the HSU subwoofer is not up to the task of handling low frequencies below 20 Hz." To me, that says a lot about a subwoofer that is supposed to play down to 16hz.

Meanwhile, the VS18 seemed to fair very well in comparison with a couple of the best subs out there, the Captivator and the submersive, in the Omaha showdown. I do know first-hand what a great sub the Captivator is. If the VS18 can be even remotely favorably compared with the Capitvator, that says something right there.

Mojomike, I wouldn't call that review poor at all, most of it was quite positive. It just disputed the measurements put out by Hsu, and it was found not to have any serious sub 20 hz extension. Also, if you think the sub is a poor value, name one sub that measures better for less than $1k shipped.
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post #25 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Mojomike, I wouldn't call that review poor at all, most of it was quite positive. It just disputed the measurements put out by Hsu, and it was found not to have any serious sub 20 hz extension. Also, if you think the sub is a poor value, name one sub that measures better for less than $1k shipped.

The sub is not a poor value. That review actually thought the sub to be considered an excellent value and I tend to agree. I just happen to be one of those guys who want strong output down into the teens, especially from a big sub.

As far as finding a sub that seems to do just about as good as the HSU for a lot less dough, take a look at the new review in Audioholics for the Outlaw sub. I agree with floridapoolboy that a pair of those should be pretty potent.
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post #26 of 518 Old 11-17-2011, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

I personally place much more value on a series of good pro reviews than the internet hype

I'm the opposite. I rather believe the average AVS guys than "Pro reviews" from companies that get paid from advertisement.

I do agree about the "internet hype" though. I usually wait until a lot of people/reviews accumulate before taking them seriously.
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post #27 of 518 Old 11-18-2011, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NumLock View Post

... I rather believe the average AVS guys than "Pro reviews" from companies that get paid from advertisement.

I do agree about the "internet hype" though. I usually wait until a lot of people/reviews accumulate before taking them seriously.

Yup, there's nothing wrong with non-professional reviews. And I agree that it's a good idea to let them accumulate to the point where there are enough of them to provide a balance of opinion (good, bad or neutral).

I also think it's important to keep in mind the sources of the reviews. For example, I would put more weight on reviews from people who, among other things:
- have owned and/or experienced several different subs;
- have HT rooms roughly similar in size to mine; and
- have put some thought, effort and detail into their reviews.

One should not be driven by obsessive naysayers to dismiss numerous thoughtful, positive, non-professional reviews about any company's products.


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post #28 of 518 Old 11-18-2011, 06:48 AM
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The EX was beaten by the 3.3 in the S&V mag a couple years ago, the 3.4 is even more powerful than the 3.3, and the VTF-15H is more powerful than the 3.4 by several dbs.

People are confusing the outlaw vs the HSU, but the fact is that the HSU does not use the same ports, amp, or driver. The look similar, but looks are sometimes deceiving.

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post #29 of 518 Old 11-18-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

The EX was beaten by the 3.3 in the S&V mag a couple years ago, the 3.4 is even more powerful than the 3.3, and the VTF-15H is more powerful than the 3.4 by several dbs.

People are confusing the outlaw vs the HSU, but the fact is that the HSU does not use the same ports, amp, or driver. The look similar, but looks are sometimes deceiving.

The S&V review tested the Turbo SVS, which added to the subs capabilities. It was so funky looking, however, that it was discontinued! The EX was rated the best buy dollars to db champ by S&V, and that was at MSRP. When on sale the EX is, IMO, the best deal going, which is why I own two of them. The latest review just confirms what I already knew, I bet they will sell a boat load if they do a Black Friday sale. At under $1100 delivered twin EX subs are slightly more than the price of a single VTF-15, and way less than the CHT.

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...fm-1-ex-review
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post #30 of 518 Old 11-18-2011, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

The VTF-15H was designed by Dr. Hsu, who is practically a legend in the ID subwoofer world. Hsu Research has garnered favorable reviews for a decade now, and the company has stood the test of time. There are several new companies now in the subwoofer market, and many of those are mentioned frequently here on AVS. These new companies all seem to offer good performance specs, but rarely have any pro reviews to back them up. I personally place much more value on a series of good pro reviews than the internet hype, since many of the GTGs, Shootouts, etc. seem to include people who have some sort of relationship with one or more of the companies involved, which to me is suspicious at best. Stick with the name brands, or gamble with the new guys, I know which way I'd go!

Using your logic, do consider consider JTR and Seaton Sound to be companies that are "suspicious at best"? Compared with Hsu, both are relatively new companies (albeit they are very respected subwoofer designers) whose products do not have any "pro reviews." At the recent Omaha GTG, both Jeff and Mark were at attendance and both of their products were highly regarded. Do consider the attendee's praise of the Captivators and Submersive "suspicious at best?"

FWIW - I do agree subwoofers that are reviewed by the likes of Josh Ricci would make me feel better about purchasing a subwoofer. However, that would severely limit our choices if we only bought subwoofers based upon the presence of such reviews.

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