HSU VTF-3 mk4 question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Very close to pulling the trigger on an HSU VTF-3 mk4, but the depth of it concerns me a bit.

Will the ports being ~2" from a wall have any negative effect? This is my preferred location where the driver will be firing into a corner about 3' away.

I could also put it against the wall lengthwise so the driver is pointing toward the couch. Or toward the wall.

Been racking my brain over this, the svs pb12-nsd and outlaw lfm-1 ex. Seems like this one is more "musical" and might have a higher quality of sound from the reviews. But really want a tight bottom end for movies as well. Any thoughts between those is appreciated too.

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post #2 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 06:31 PM
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Get the EX. Shadyj is a regular member on AVS who gives good advice and has personal experience with the EX and the VTF-3 series:

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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I have the VTF3 mk3 and the LFM-1 EX, they are mostly alike, and the differences are minor. The differences between the VTF3 mk3 and mk4 are pretty minor also. The down-firing ports are not a con unless the carpet is so thick they become blocked, you will want to have a little clearance for them. I would say the VTF3 has a slight advantage on paper that may not actually make a difference in practice. The VTF3 has more port volume than the LFM-1 EX which means it should be capable of more output at its tuning point. However, I can't tell the difference between the two, although I haven't tried pushing them hard enough in an attempt to notice any difference, because at that point they are both pretty loud, more than loud enough for me. I guess if I had to choose I would go with the VTF3, but only because of a few extra features and larger ports, but, like I said, in practice they are a lot more alike then they are different.


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post #3 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 07:18 PM
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Being an ex owner I'm inclined to say get the ex but in my effort to not promote my gear ill say get the vtf...its got more tuning options like the q.











...but still the ex...get it

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

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post #4 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Being an ex owner I'm inclined to say get the ex but in my effort to not promote my gear ill say get the vtf...its got more tuning options like the q.

I know. I have the EX, too, so I'm biased.

But in this circumstance, the main reason I said to get the EX is because the wall placement issue the OP is concerned about doesn't matter. I assumed that the OP already knew that the EX is a downfiring sub with the port on the bottom. Will do just fine where he wants to place it.

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post #5 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I know. I have the EX, too, so I'm biased.

But in this circumstance, the main reason I said to get the EX is because the wall placement issue the OP is concerned about doesn't matter. I assumed that the OP already knew that the EX is a downfiring sub with the port on the bottom. Will do just fine where he wants to place it.

I did know it was a down-firing sub, but I have zero experience with them. I have a tile floor. Does that help or hinder a down-firing sub? I think I prefer the design of the EX as well to any of them. Very clean looking and 1" shallower, so I assume close to wall placement is more irrelevant.

But back to my original question..is there some rule of thumb for space between a wall and ports on a sub? I've read a bit and never heard of anything referencing that.
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 08:33 PM
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The Outlaw is a great sub, but the real advantage of the VTF3 over the Outlaw is not the extra features so much but the wider and much longer ports. That is a pretty substantial extension advantage, the VTF3 is flat all the way down to 16 hz where the EX is down by 3 db at 16 hz, according to the audioholics review. 3 db is a doubling of power; physically speaking a pretty serious addition in headroom. But from a sensory perspective, its hard to perceive a a change like that in such a deep frequency. Like I said, I haven't been able to hear a difference, but then again I haven't really tried looking for one.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The Outlaw is a great sub, but the real advantage of the VTF3 over the Outlaw is not the extra features so much but the wider and much longer ports. That is a pretty substantial extension advantage, the VTF3 is flat all the way down to 16 hz

Interesting, because HSU lists the VTF-3 MK3 as -1db at 18hz, and then with the MK4, 16hz with no +/- listing. Supposedly it's the same port size. Does that means it's flat at 16hz, or have they chosen not to list the db amount? We know HSU lists VTF-15H the same way as the MK4 with 16hz and no +/- designation, and we know it is not flat down to 16hz due to the Audioholics review. Meanwhile, the previous VTF-3 MK3 review by Audioholics would suggest that the 16hz point would be either -2db or -3db.

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post #8 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I am just now learning about what makes a good sub good. But I have no idea how the dropoff at the lower frequencies correlates to real life sound. And I am just as interested in a good reproduction of mid-bass.

Ultimately, I am looking for tight, musical sub that will allow me to really pick apart the low frequency instruments and sounds in music and movies as well as good bottom end for LFE effects that you can feel. I do not want pure SPL at the expense of muddy bass, although a good flat loud output is of course desirable.

Seems like there is A LOT of info out there on just how good Hsu subs are with clarity in music and just plain sounding good. It's essentially the reason I have been focusing on them. I have not heard much about the Outlaw, but it seems to be a close runner up to the Hsu 3.4, and maybe very similar sounding (which is promising). But it is down firing and that may be the thing that pulls me toward it.

Nearly sold on the VTF3.4 to play it safe with the reviews, but just concerned over the placement of the speaker. If it is OK for the ports to be pretty close to a wall, I'll probably get it.

So I guess I'd like to know more about speaker placement in a sub relative to a wall.

Actually, I may just have answered my own question...if the Outlaw is down firing and there is a floor right there, it probably doesn't matter at all if the ports of the Hsu are near a wall.

I am curious about a down-firing sub into tile. Is that recommended, not recommended, or doesn't really matter? Do you get a better quality to the sound if the sub fires out into the air or into the corner of a room?
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millerrh View Post

Actually, I may just have answered my own question...if the Outlaw is down firing and there is a floor right there, it probably doesn't matter at all if the ports of the Hsu are near a wall.

Except the Outlaw is designed to fire into the floor. The HSU may not be designed with the placement you have in mind. Have you consulted the manual on their website? HSU may have answered your question about already. If not, you could call HSU and I'm sure they would help.

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post #10 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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They don't mention it in the manual. They do say place the sub within a foot of a wall for better bass response, so maybe all is well. I can pull it out slightly if I need to, it's just going to stick out further than I'd like.

Another option is parallel with the wall with the driver pointed at the seating position. Do you guys find better bass if the driver is pointing at you or it doesn't really matter since bass is pretty non-directional?
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 10:21 PM
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I believe the hsu has the ports in the rear. You'd want at least 3 inches of clearence for them as pete suggested (hsu man).

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-05-2012, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Interesting, because HSU lists the VTF-3 MK3 as -1db at 18hz, and then with the MK4, 16hz with no +/- listing. Supposedly it's the same port size. Does that means it's flat at 16hz, or have they chosen not to list the db amount? We know HSU lists VTF-15H the same way as the MK4 with 16hz and no +/- designation, and we know it is not flat down to 16hz due to the Audioholics review. Meanwhile, the previous VTF-3 MK3 review by Audioholics would suggest that the 16hz point would be either -2db or -3db.

Pete has said the VTF3 mk3 was underrated in that spec, but I don't think he ever said why. Anyway, multiple third party tests have shown shown that the VTF3 is basically flat to 16 hz in extension mode.

As for the VTF15h, I don't disbelieve Hsu's own claims about its FR, nor do I disbelieve Audioholics. I think Hsu's website FR is its basic FR in extension mode, and it doesn't differ too dramatically from audioholic's testing until high volumes are used. Sound and Vision's own testing agreed with Hsu's measurements initially, so its not as if Hsu is using a misleading spec. I think that truly is what they measured. It's max clean output FR is another story, but again, Hsu isn't using that graph on their website. On the other hand, I think a good case has been made against their claim of 1400 watt short term power spec on their website. I think Hsu listed that because they (rightfully) think some ignorant people judge subs by their amp wattage alone, which is, of course, a dumb way to gauge a sub's performance. Nonetheless, they should change that, in my opinion.

Personally, from what I have read, I don't consider the VTF15h to have any worthwhile infrasonic bass if room gain doesn't help, but in the upper 20s and above, the thing is a 120 db monster. I do think it is probably the best sub you can get for $1k new though.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Pete has said the VTF3 mk3 was underrated in that spec, but I don't think he ever said why. Anyway, multiple third party tests have shown shown that the VTF3 is basically flat to 16 hz in extension mode.

As for the VTF15h, I don't disbelieve Hsu's own claims about its FR, nor do I disbelieve Audioholics. I think Hsu's website FR is its basic FR in extension mode, and it doesn't differ too dramatically from audioholic's testing until high volumes are used. Sound and Vision's own testing agreed with Hsu's measurements initially, so its not as if Hsu is using a misleading spec. I think that truly is what they measured. It's max clean output FR is another story, but again, Hsu isn't using that graph on their website. On the other hand, I think a good case has been made against their claim of 1400 watt short term power spec on their website. I think Hsu listed that because they (rightfully) think some ignorant people judge subs by their amp wattage alone, which is, of course, a dumb way to gauge a sub's performance. Nonetheless, they should change that, in my opinion.

Personally, from what I have read, I don't consider the VTF15h to have any worthwhile infrasonic bass if room gain doesn't help, but in the upper 20s and above, the thing is a 120 db monster. I do think it is probably the best sub you can get for $1k new though.

Well, I think Illka's data on the VTF-3 MK3 is pretty close to the Audioholics, too. Maybe a little flatter.

Still, it's interesting to me that HSU chose to leave the +/-db rating off starting with the VTF-15H model. I think they knew it wasn't going to look as good, so they changed their spec listing practices. Even before that, just listing the - db point with out the upper end of the range is playing a little with numbers. The minus db point by itself is rather meaningless. After all, the X-Ref 12 could legitimately claim a -1db at 25hz; it's just that the +1db point for that would be 27hz

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 10:51 AM
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I don't disagree with what you guys are saying. But I think you are nit picking HSU's 15H marketing a bit here. They have had Don Keele verify their testing of CEA2010, they put there frequency response measurements right up on the their site, and have sent it off for multiple reviews and testing. People get way caught up in the +/- numbers when they have no idea what their room will do to that smooth line and the low end roll-off. I have to tame my low end with the minidsp on my pair.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

I don't disagree with what you guys are saying. But I think you are nit picking HSU's 15H marketing a bit here. They have had Don Keele verify their testing of CEA2010, they put there frequency response measurements right up on the their site, and have sent it off for multiple reviews and testing. People get way caught up in the +/- numbers when they have no idea what their room will do to that smooth line and the low end roll-off. I have to tame my low end with the minidsp on my pair.

I agree. Room acoustics and placement will have a big impact.

BTW: Those graphs for the VTF-15H weren't up on the website last November (I just verified through the Wayback Machine). You are giving credit for HSU for having testing done, when the credit probably should go to Audioholics for their review last February which apparently stimulated HSU to share third party testing

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post #16 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I agree. Room acoustics and placement will have a big impact.

BTW: Those graphs for the VTF-15H weren't up on the website last November (I just verified through the Wayback Machine). You are giving credit for HSU for having testing done, when the credit probably should go to Audioholics for their review last February which apparently stimulated HSU to share third party testing

Could be why they put them up I don't know. Makes sense though.

Its too bad Ricci wasn't doing the testing when it was done. I really like how he displays the CEA2010 Max clean spl (dB) with passing THD+Noise going down to 10hz and the way he handles reviews overall. Looking at the drivers and enclosures it would make sense to me that the 3.4 would be catching up <20hz with both in extension mode max output. As far as giving audioholics credit for that review, I will pass.

Sorry to go OT

"Another option is parallel with the wall with the driver pointed at the seating position. Do you guys find better bass if the driver is pointing at you or it doesn't really matter since bass is pretty non-directional?"

It doesn't really matter where the driver is pointing up, down, sideways... Where it is facing can change how it loads the room, you would want to have it where it gives the best bass response. As far as down firing subs the surface it is placed is not going to affect the long wavelengths from a subwoofer. If on a hard surface can always put a throw rug below it if you are inclined to do so.

As far as port distance goes this is from the 3.4 manual on the site.

• Always maintain 3 inches clearance between the port hole on the back of the subwoofer and nearby surfaces.

On a flared port would want to keep it away from a surface at least the diameter of the port since the airflow is expanding as it is leaving the port. If it is a flat edged port would need more distance ~2x port diameter.
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

Could be why they put them up I don't know. Makes sense though.

It doesn't really matter where the driver is pointing up, down, sideways... Where it is facing can change how it loads the room, you would want to have it where it gives the best bass response. As far as down firing subs the surface it is placed is not going to affect the long wavelengths from a subwoofer. If on a hard surface can always put a throw rug below it if you are inclined to do so.

As far as port distance goes this is from the 3.4 manual on the site.

Always maintain 3 inches clearance between the port hole on the back of the subwoofer and nearby surfaces.

On a flared port would want to keep it away from a surface at least the diameter of the port since the airflow is expanding as it is leaving the port. If it is a flat edged port would need more distance ~2x port diameter.

I actually ended up finding that, and can spare 3" if i need to. Need to have some room for cable entry there. So how does the EX get away with having the port so close to the ground? Seems like the physics are not adding up. Also, I feel like the 3.4 will allow me to tweak and adjust to taste more. Reading about how much of a difference changing the Q value gives people is making me like that one more still.

Of course I like the look of the EX better with its hidden driver and more wall-agnostic placing factor. But the fact that I have tile floors means not a direct placement. Was hard enough to get the wife to agree to a large sub (I'm still pretty sure she doesn't know yet what she agreed to) but the pillows and throw rugs are her deal.

What happens when a down-firing sub is placed on a hard floor? Why is it this is not recommended? And what is up with the EX port so close to the ground when that is not recommended?
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 08:48 PM
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I have had my Rosenut 3.4 for about a month and I am very happy with its performance, with the different tuning modes and Q control it is easy to get great sound out of it with either music or movies.

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post #19 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millerrh View Post

What happens when a down-firing sub is placed on a hard floor? Why is it this is not recommended? And what is up with the EX port so close to the ground when that is not recommended?

As Luke explained, that's 3" is what HSU recommends for the VTF (apparently, it's in the manual). The EX is designed for placement on the floor using the included spikes and discs (which have felt on the bottom, making it easy to slide the sub on a hard surface).

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post #20 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

As Luke explained, that's 3" is what HSU recommends for the VTF (apparently, it's in the manual). The EX is designed for placement on the floor using the included spikes and discs (which have felt on the bottom, making it easy to slide the sub on a hard surface).

Excuse my ignorance of sub design (just learning about all this), but it seems like the purpose of a port would be the same regardless of the sub and that you'd want to ensure consistent clearance. I just find it interesting one sub fires 1" into the ground and another requires a min of 3" and was hoping to understand why.

I will of course follow mfg's recommendations, but just trying to understand what seems to be inconsistent recommendations/designs. What is different about the EX port that makes that OK? Does it suffer at all from being too close to the ground?
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post #21 of 22 Old 01-06-2012, 10:06 PM
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Actually, the EX is closer to 2" off the ground (it has huge cone metal spikes).

I would imagine the amount of clearance is partially dependent, too, on the port size and the amount of air moved by the particular driver displacement.

But no. It doesn't seem to suffer, or I'm sure someone in the Outlaw owners thread would have tried lifting it and found it better by now, and everyone else would be finding ways to lift their sub off the ground more. However, they have discussed how placement of the sub on deep carpet can be a problem.

One advantage of the downfiring EX is that it hides port chuffing more. The VTF-3 is known for more audible port chuffing when it is pushed.

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post #22 of 22 Old 01-07-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Actually, the EX is closer to 2" off the ground (it has huge cone metal spikes).

I would imagine the amount of clearance is partially dependent, too, on the port size and the amount of air moved by the particular driver displacement.

But no. It doesn't seem to suffer, or I'm sure someone in the Outlaw owners thread would have tried lifting it and found it better by now, and everyone else would be finding ways to lift their sub off the ground more. However, they have discussed how placement of the sub on deep carpet can be a problem.

One advantage of the downfiring EX is that it hides port chuffing more. The VTF-3 is known for more audible port chuffing when it is pushed.

Actually the VTF3 is much less likely to chuff than the LFM-1 EX, seeing as how its ports are larger and look like they have greater flaring as well. I haven't ever heard the LFM-1 chuff though. I have managed to make the VTF3 chuff, but I could only notice it by playing deep sine waves at high volumes (by the way, that is not something you should do to any sub at any more than a short burst, as that is basically the hardest thing for a sub to do. It heats up the voice coil and amp real fast, and it could potentially bottom the sub out). Also I was facing the ports at the time. On regular material in a placement with ports facing away from the listening position, you would never hear the ports chuff, even at very loud volumes. Chuffing is something you don't have to worry about with these subs. Front-ported subs is where chuffing can become more of a nuisance.
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