Archaea's Kansas City Blind Subwoofer Shootout 2012 - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 09:11 AM
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Great stuff guys and considering the subjectivity of what something sounds like and what subs actually do in a system, it is not surprising that there would be so many incorrect assumptions and differing opinions.

I think this blind test indicates that just about any of these subs in the right quantity, placed and powered correctly in a treated space, would provide a really good LFE foundation for a system.

Again, nice work and thanks for the fun read.

HToM

"Well, la di fricken da."!
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post #92 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Avarice_ View Post

The fact that some identified [sub d with] "port chuffing" on a sealed unit is curious; as is the perceived mechanical noise. Can the iNuke 3000 push that driver beyond xmax? We don't know the T/S of that particular driver but I don't believe the iNuke puts out any more power than the Dayton amp. Was it hooked up stereo 8 ohms each or some other config?

Tesseract67 spent the night with me again on Sat night. We did 2-3 hours of testing the next day to see what happened. The Inuke nor subs were never overdriven during the music section - we played back through most everything with the saved Inuke DSP config and everything sounded fine including the really low Bass I Love You song -though we did recognize that mechanical sound during the 100-20hz sweep that some people referred to. (I think that sweep is mixed a little hotter than the rest of the music and the 20hz end too much requirement from the subs). We initially suspected the room when testing with Tesseract, but I did the same testing with Luke to a lesser degree with his HSU subs on Sunday evening just for fun. We hooked up the HSU's, reran Audyssey, looked over response curves, listened to some demo material etc. The HSU never made any mechanical noises at the 20hz side of the sine sweep and so it wasn't my room walls or any object vibrating. Back to the CHT subs --- When we were testing these subs we did it the exact same way as the meet(as best we could do after the room had changed (subs went home, seating back to my normal setup etc)). At any rate with the identical Inuke DSP applied from the meet results, and Audyssey rerun over the top from the new seating postion (same area as original Audyssey run) the Inuke amp was only showing two signal lights out of four with occassional tapping of the third signal light during the 100hz to 20hz sine sweep - so it should have had quite a bit more power regardless and I think that fault lies on the subs/extra boost at 20hz that they couldn't handle. No clip light ever lit up on the sweeps at the same volume tested during the meet.

Now - as to movie clips - during some of the heaviest bass movie scenes with our Sunday testing the clip light was on solid. When the clip light is on and the subs are making a bad sound - it's anyone's guess. The aforementioned skadoosh scene being the worst offender that we demoed on Sunday. Bad noises/clipping/bottoming/whatever was indeed occurring during the skadoosh scene. Amp/Sub/Both? Fault - unknown, but the amp at least was out of headroom. We can't blame it all on the amp though - the Inuke overall was of benefit to Sub D in my very strong opinion and I believe in Tesseract's opinion too. The DSP filter we applied on Friday night using the omnimic assisted in creating a darn flat FR graph to 20hz (added 4dB to 20hz as one filter) before Audyssey was ever run. Auddyssey actually lessened the flatness of our FR graph we determined in testing the next day (to CHT benefit because it gave up a dB or two at 20hz). As I mentioned, I do honestly feel strongly the Inuke was of benefit to the CHT subs -- at least very much so for music, and depends on your perspective for movies. It enhanced the low bass, and without that and using the Dayton amp for some demos on Sunday - we both felt the 18.1's sorta got lost and were underwhelming in my bass hungry room. (Rember the comments from the original KC meet about how everyone felt their subs really underpreformed in my room?) So take all of this in stride, but you can rest assurred the amp did drive to clipping on the skadoosh scene and potentially other movie scenes as the inuke amp apparently didn't have enough guts at 8ohm stereo to drive the subs at the levels demanded on the most heavy LFE scenes. I'm being brief here, but we have FULL FR test data, exact inuke config, and FR graphs captured over several hours of playing on Sunday showing both 1) Dayton amp FR graph alone, 2) dayton amp FR graph with 25hz bass boost, 3) Dayton amp following Audyssey calibration, 4) Dayton amp following Audyssey calibration with 25hz bass boost, 5) Inuke amp with dsp, 6) Inuke amp following Audyssey calibration. We also spent this time listening to the subs on the same demo material auditioned for the group the day before. The room was obviously different with most of the subs gone at that point, but it is what it is. I wanted to validate the results as much as Tesseract67 and we confirmed what we already knew - the test results were accurate and there were no setup mistakes made on race day that would affect the scores.

The 18.T is the least expensive subs in the lineup (currently available for purchase) by a very large margin. They performed well in line with their cost, but they obviously didn't win the meet. For the music clips the following day I thought they sounded "good". Of course during our Sunday listen session I didn't listen to them immediately after the Cap Pros and Submersives, and immediately before the Cap Sealed etc. In reality you can't expect a $450 subwoofer near it's limits to compete with a $1500-$2500 subwoofer that has plenty of headroom remaining. The compra would have been more fun with four of them to help avoid overexertion by either the amp, subs, or both. Where were you Technosponge?

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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post #93 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 09:25 AM
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^^
a suggestion - paragraphs would be very helpful
much easier on the eyes & brain to comprehend

thanks, I am interested in your posts but they are very difficult to read as written

Steve
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post #94 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

...The DSP filter we applied on Friday night using the omnimic assisted in creating a flat FR graph to 20hz before Audyssey was ever run. Auddyssey actually lessened the flatness of our FR graph we determined in testing the next day (to CHT's benefit).

I may have missed it in the initial "setup" post but I thought the idea was to only have Audyssey manipulate the FR? Was this PEQ tweaking w/ the iNuke amp done to level the playing field (presumably since the integrated amp entrants had matched dsp programs)?

Could you point out which FR plots represent the two sub systems which had external peq applied (Cap Pros and 18.Ts, correct?)

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post #95 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:03 AM
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I had to be a ninny. For music I thought some subs sounded great and then the cap pros were even better but not fantastic or perfect so I could not give it a 3 but it was definitely better. Then some subs were not great (2) but definitely better than the a okay (1) I heard before. Maybe I should of gave the Klipsch a 1/2 on some clips. I still think the Orbit Shifters should of got a 3.5 on BHD . I didn't have the precision, especially in the dark, to do 2.2 or 2.8 haha. If my check mark crossed the grid it was a 0.5. I doubt rounding down hurts the score since if it couldn't make the higher box then it wasn't good enough.

It's funny to see that each of my music scores equal 8 and how the fun factor has an indirect correlation with accuracy. If we dropped the fun factor that would line up well with my ranking of the subs for music. At least I'm still undecided if ported or sealed was better. Greg brainwashed me with sealed subs and since he lives closer to me I became a sealed lover haha.

I now know why you never hear the VLF on BHD since your amp shuts off everytime. I guess plate amps are better . I think Greg will agree after Saturday night haha.

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post #96 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:05 AM
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I just wanted to say that the CHT and HSU were at their limits during movie playback. The HSU has a limiter and you have to really overdrive to get a bad sound, it just gracefully bows out doing what it can but not bringing unwanted attention. Nobody else has commented on it, but I felt the Klipsch was producing harmonic distortion, while not sounding really bad, gave it an appearance of having more output. Maybe that was just me though. Knowing Archaea's room I was afraid of this but it is what it is. Couldn't have just a JTR/Seaton meet and no other big boys wanted to play. It also seemed to me that the mfw-15's were getting just slightly stressed on a couple demanding tracks. You have to realize that Archaea shut his amp off three times on the movie playback with the Cap Pro's. I stressed to him that many at the meet not familiar with these subs would not realize just how tough his room is.
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post #97 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:09 AM
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I have a suspicion that the Inuke amp doesn't really like 2ohm loads even if it is spec'ed for them.
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post #98 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:10 AM
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To Archea and crew...

Amazing job. You have taken subwoofer testing to an entirely new level.

Life is good.
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post #99 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Avarice_ View Post

I may have missed it in the initial "setup" post but I thought the idea was to only have Audyssey manipulate the FR? Was this PEQ tweaking w/ the iNuke amp done to level the playing field (presumably since the integrated amp entrants had matched dsp programs)?

Could you point out which FR plots represent the two sub systems which had external peq applied (Cap Pros and 18.Ts, correct?)

I'm interested in seeing the FR graphs identified/matched with what subs they are as well.
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post #100 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

I have a suspicion that the Inuke amp doesn't really like 2ohm loads even if it is spec'ed for them.

I haven't had time to really push the '3k-DSP I have around here, but from what I've seen and others have reported it comes down to current vs. time. Too much current, too long and it will protect. I don't believe Archea had set up any high pass for the 15Hz tune, and any of the really deep content below 10-14Hz will be driving close to the DCR of the driver. The skadoosh scene made every sub tickle it's amp or driver limits to my ears, of course the limits sound rather different in each sub.

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post #101 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:20 AM
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Good job guys...Sounds like a good and humbling time was had by all. I'm curious who had the best accuracy at matching the subs? Buckaman?
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post #102 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:23 AM
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I really liked what Avarice did with aggregating everyone's thoughts on his subs, so I'm gonna do that for all the comments, as it'll help me sort out this whole thing. First, the score sheet.



And, desertdome's aggregate of people's guesses:

Sub A (Hsu VTF-15) – CHT 18.T, Hsu VTF-15, Hsu VTF-15, Cap Sealed, Hsu VTF-15, CHT 18.T, Cap Sealed, Cap Pro
Sub B (JTR Cap Pro) – Cap Pro, Submersive, Submersive, Hsu VTF-15, Cap Sealed, Cap Sealed, Orbit Shifter, CHT 18.T
Sub C ( Seaton Submersive) – Cap Sealed, DIY, Cap Pro, Submersive, Orbit Shifter, DIY, Submersive, Submersive
Sub D (CHT 18.T) – Hsu VTF-15, CHT 18.T, DIY, DIY, DIY, Hsu VTF-15,Cap Pro, Hsu VTF-15
Sub E (JTR Cap Sealed) – Orbit Shifter, Orbit Shifter, Cap Sealed, Orbit Shifter, CHT 18.T, Orbit Shifter, DIY, Orbit Shifter
Sub F (DIY MFW-15 Dual Opp) – DIY, Cap Pro, CHT 18.T, Cap Pro, Cap Pro, Submersive, CHT 18.T, DIY
Sub G (JTR Orbit Shifter) – Submersive, Cap Sealed, Orbit Shifter, CHT 18.T, Submersive, Cap Pro, Hsu VTF-15, Cap Sealed

Sub A: Dual HSU VTF-15H
Music Score: 72 (6th place)
Movie Score: 365 (6th place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub A: My score shows it to be smooth accurate lacking a bit in depth and was “great” for music.
I didn't love this sub. I may have even scored it a bit higher then I would have it it wasn't the 1st sub I heard. The only clip I gave it a fantastic was the john mayor song as I felt it represented the kick drum and bass guitar well. Again I think I may have over rated this sub at 41 overall. I do believe this is a sealed box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Music/Movies Score (/)

Sub A: (8/42)


I wrote that I thought I could feel BHD on movies a bit. Someone said there is a 20hz and a 8hz? on speclab of this. I wonder if we ever felt the 8hz. I couldn’t feel anything on Vikings (Poop and Pipes from the Omaha GTG). Initially I thought maybe these were the Caps. I wrote tons of guesses through the night, but you can’t really finalize WHICH SUB you think it is until you have heard them all. Guessing seems futile.
I thought this sub was overall OK for movies. Nothing really wowed me, nothing sounded terrible. I was kidding on my sheet about chuffing. I didn’t hear any all night, but at the levels we were listening (115-120 Hz average?) in my seat…how could you. Bunk. I initially voted this as ported, but after hearing the rest, could be a lower sealed sub. The output didn’t appear to match that of several others, leading me to think of them as smaller drivers or less displacement per science. I’m sure I’m an idiot on this one.

Guesses (in order of my fake confidence): 1) HSU, 2) Cap Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub A- I thought this sub sounded ok for music and movies. It didn't seem to do anything special but sounded fine for most of the music movie clips. Going with HSU

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub A: Now were talking. Much better than the Klipsh. The music clips were much clearer and punchier and the bass didn't linger. One of the best subs of the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub A was a step up from the Klipsch in extension and every other characteristic especially for music, but I was not blown away at any point with the movie clips. I found myself hoping that there were much better subs in our future and that was indeed the case. I still felt it was a solid sub and I did not feel like it did anything wrong. Nor did I think any of the subs ever really put out a bad sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub A - These subs were with Sub d and the Klipsch in not sounding very accurate. Many notes were smeared together and the music just didn't seem enjoyable. For movies they performed much better and I had many ok to great ratings with even 4 fantastic ratings. I indicated on my score sheet that it sounded the best with the Book of Eli, Drumline, Iron Man, and Matrix Revolution clips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub A: For music, while I found it smooth and accurate with good depth, it just seemed subdued hence the lower "fun" rating. It did well on the lower end of the spectrum, but thought it lacked punch higher up. (CapS?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub A - I gave this mostly 1s and some 2s. I disliked this for music. It sounded inconsistent throughout the frequency range and somewhat bloated but much cleaner than the Klipsch. It was okay for movies but lacked the impact or tightness. I guessed ported. It sounded like the JTR Cap Pros from the Omaha GTG.

Sub B: Dual JTR Captivator Pro + Inuke DSP3000
Music Score: 93 (3rd place)
Movie Score: 504 (4th place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub B: As I said I had only heard one of these subs before and I am 99.99% sure this was the sub I had heard. I am wiling to say this was one of my favorite subs of the night. It may not seem that way in my score. I would love to own a sub like this. It was smooth it was accurate and played deep with music. I gave it and overall score of 66. I really liked this sub so instead of gushing over it. I'll just tell you what I didn't like about it. I scored it ok on the John Mayor clip as it just didn't really sound that good to me. I felt the Skadoosh could have been better and I didn't think it handled black hawk down as well as it could have. Personal opinion I feel it was a fantastic sub. BTW I said it is Ported as it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Sub B: (12/51)

This thing dominated music. I really hope it isn’t the Cap Pros because I’m going to be the butt of jokes and feeling stupid for months until Archaea forgets I say this (he won’t). These were BY FAR the best to me for music. Destroyed the music. Perfect. Articulate. Fun. Of course I think they are sealed, because sealed subs are the BEST FOR MUSIC, right? Man, I hope I’m right on at least that. Did I mention these absolutely "beast mode" the music?
The reason I feel these may be the caps or ported, was during the movie sections, I felt TONS of air movement by my legs. I felt these did pretty solid overall. There was a weird part of BHD where the bass cut out for a few seconds. I looked at Kwarny during it to my left and he noted it too. Amp issues? They were a little boomy at times, but overall very nice. I like these. What are they. Archaea is so mean.

Guesses: (IOOMFC): 1) Submersive HP, 2) Cap S

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub B- I liked this sub a lot. There was some very clean reinforcement filling the rooms. Nice, clean, and deep. SMOOTH-CLEAN. Going with Seaton

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub B: Not as good. Other than the Klipsch and sub D, this was my least favorite. Not bad on music but didn't seem as tight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub B was a step up from A in extension and accuracy for music. I felt like I was finally able to hear what the music bass tracks really sound like with a great sub. An even bigger step up was how it handled the movie clips. At that point I was glad I had come. More output, extension, and more grins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub B - These were my favorite subs overall. They were extremely accurate and dynamic. I really liked it for music and it performed well for most movies. It seemed like it didn't extend as deep and lacked output on the Black Hawk Down clip. Although the scoring is the same for music as G and similar to a few others, I felt these subs were were completely at a different level for music. The double bass in Diana Krall's Peel Me a Grape sounded the most real on these subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub B: I really liked this sub, very smooth and accurate, with excellent low freq. output. It was a really fun sub and in retrospect probably should have gotten a 3 in the "fun" factor rather than the 2 I gave. This sub was "great" down the board with some "fantastics". I think what kept it from being the top, was that, in my opinion, it was a bit too forward in the upper bass region. (Too much of a good thing?) This sub seemed to have a lot of headroom which is why I'm guessing OS? I could certainly see myself with this sub and, with it's headroom and some tweaking, would probably be all I would ever need barring winning the lotto and building an outrageously large HT. (OS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub B - I gave it mostly 2s and a few 1s. It sounded much better on music. It was much cleaner sounded but I wish it would of had a little less overhang on music. I enjoyed it for movies since it sounded cleaner and restored the missing impact I have not heard yet. The one flaw noted was the lack of extension and deep output. BHD was major downer. I guessed it was a sealed sub. It had a familiar sound to me also from the Omaha GTG.

Sub C: Dual Seaton Submersive HP
Music Score: 98 (1st place)
Movie Score: 512 (2nd place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub C: Nothing really jumped out at me about sub C. I didn't have any notes on it. I thought it was a pretty good sounding sealed sub that played both loud and deep. It was good with music but didn't wow me on the movie clips. I did give it some “fantastic” points as it did play these clips with authority. Overall it was pretty clean but it just sounded a bit different then what I would have liked. Again I think it was a sealed sub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Sub C: (10/58)

I was really happy with these. I felt they had great depth (more output?) on music and were fun. Again, felt like a sealed sound during music. Music is really the thing I felt I could qualify differences on with all of the subs, the movies I was clutching in the dark for something. During movies, I have no f@#$#@ clue what was playing. I can’t figure out why. It had the highest output to this point on HTTYD, and the Hulk had the nice shock wave on the cop car scene where they launch into each other and break the marquee on the theater. Nice. Are these our DIY?

Guesses (IOOMFC): 1) Dual Opposed MFW-15

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub C-More impact than B for me on movies. I liked it for music as well. Impact was nice. Guessing JTR Cap Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub C: My favorite on music and awesome for movies too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub C was the most distinct of the day for me. It sounded the most different and I am not sure if that was what made it my favorite but there you go. It had noticeably more output across everything which influenced me as well. It was really accurate and smooth with lots of output down to the bottom of the sweep that went down to 20 Hz. It had a very punchy feel to it and great dynamics. I felt as though I could hear more distinctly the individual bass notes. The output and shaking of pants and a bit of pressurization effect made it my favorite by a long shot for movies. Gunshots had a real pop to them. I could go on and on about this one. It is the sub I would have taken home had the subs identity been revealed to us after the tests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub C - This sub was more accurate that A. It extended deeper and had better dynamics with some of the movie clips. I thought it sounded quite good on music, but coming right after B it didn't sound as accurate. It had the most low output on Bass I Love you and was shaking the projector. This sub was the biggest inigma in that it performed fantastic with some clips, but was just ok with other clips. It seems like it has the potential to sound better with a little more setup or EQ. It sounded fantastic on Black Hawk Down, Master and Commander, Hulk Sonic Cannons, Book of Eli Gunfight, Iron Man Jericho, and U571. However, I rated it as just Ok for War of the Worlds. I thought it was lacking in the low bass on War of the Worlds. It was one of three subs (along with B and G) that had the best dynamics on the Book of Eli Gun Fight clip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub C: This was the gem for me. Tops across the board in music and many "fantastics" in movies. Hearing Sub B actually helped me grade this one. While it didn't have the output of Sub B, it had more than enough. Where Sub B was forward in the upper bass region Sub C was more balanced in my opinion. It was those improvements that helped push it to the top. (SubM?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub C - This sub was alright. It was somewhat bloated on music but the notes seemed louder. I would of rated it higher for movies due to the perceived extra output but the extra decay kind of killed it for me. It was the first sub to get 3s (hulk for fun, and BHD for extension). I guessed sealed. It also sounded familiar to me from the Omaha GTG.

Sub D: Dual CHT SS-18.1 + Inuke DSP3000
Music Score: 60 (7th place)
Movie Score: 361 (7th place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub D: Oh where to start on sub D? It seemed to have the least output of all the subs tested. But I really liked it for what it was. Where some subs wowed me with their output this one was completely different. We started each test off with a sweep I believe it was 100hz to 20hz. One of the two subs had what sounded like a port chuffing near the end of the sweep. Other then that everything in my mind was telling me this was a really good sealed sub. I was thinking it sub sounds fantastic on music. It was very dynamic. Again overall it was not as loud. Where some subs would just power through a clip this one could really play soft sounds as well as show some meat to its bones on the hotter tracks. I really think this is the HSU sub or a sealed that just didn't have as much power as the other amps. I honestly don't know what all amps were used so that could be the case. But for now I'm not only sticking with ported I am going out on a limb to claim it as an HSU even though I had never even seen an HSU product in person before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Sub D: (7/47)

These fared the lowest on the music to me. I felt their depth was the weakest, but otherwise they were smooth and had a nice sound to them. I say their depth was the worst, because they were the only ones I heard that made a weird sound on the 100-20Hz sine sweep. Around the bottom of the sweep, I heard a mechanical rattle. I thought it came from the sub(s), but maybe it came from something in the room…pretty sure it was the sub though. I thought they blended well with mains, I started getting annoyed with the subs being hotter than the mains in some clips/tracks (SEE DUBstep), but these didn’t overpower. These sounded like my CHTs I just sold in sound imaging……
For movies these were weird. I had a few clips where the sounded great, but also a handful that were just OK. These didn’t have as much output as all of the other setups except the Sub A and the Klipsch they topped to me in my spot. I’m basing my guesses here on my perceived lower output ability in Archaea’s room (vs my GTG).

Guesses (IOOMFC): 1) HSU or CHT

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub D-Not a big fan of this one. Muddy, peaky, and not very impressive overall. I thought Skadoosh scene bottomed it. I'm guessing MFW dual opposed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub D: I didn't like this sub very much. Music was boring not much impact with movies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub D was a huge let down compared to C. The lack of output was the most disparaging quality. It did nothing wrong but I did not find myself smiling. This may have more to do with the lower perceived output than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub D - This sub was my least favorite. At the levels we were listening at (-10dB) it was distorting the whole time. It wasn't very articulate and and lacked in dynamics. I think we had the levels to high for this sub or maybe Audyssey had done something. At any rate it hurt my ears from the beginning with the 100-20 Hz frequency descent clip.This was the first sub I thought was ported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub D: This sub was smooth, with ok accuracy and good depth; a fun sub. It' s that lower accuracy that I think caused it to not rate as high in movies as some of the others. I just didn't feel I was getting the definition between the notes like I did with some of the others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub D - This was a downer. I hated it for music, especially repetitive beats or music with constant lines. Movies sounded better but it seemed some range of the frequency band missing. It sounded similar to Sub A but with less extension. I guessed horn first but changed it after the next round since I forgot there was another ported sub in the mix.

Sub E: Dual JTR Captivator Sealed
Music Score: 94 (2nd place)
Movie Score: 518 (1st place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub E: When I first heard this sub I really thought it was the orbit shifter and part of me still does. It was the first sub that really hit me in the chest. It sounded good with just about anything we through at it. I rated it second on the point system and Its pretty much a tie for my front 3 anyways. I do think this is either the OS or the Submersive but I could be completely wrong and I would be ok as long as I find out what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Sub E: (10/59)

This sub cranked in output. I’m sure it was the combination of following D’s lower output ability, and the fact this just had some great output. The music was solid, fun, but I thought these sounded a bit hollow on some tracks like my F-20s have sounded. Horn? I’m sure not because I’m a bad guesser. The 100-20 Hz sound wave was freaking intense. Maybe the loudest of the night. Where this really shined was the movie tracks. Output in spades. I kept thinking these were the Orbit Shifters and I might as well stick with that.

Guesses (IOOMFC): 1) Orbit Shifter, 2) Submersive HP

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub E- Liked it for music a lot. Movies were also impressive and had good feel and impact but a bit subdued. Guessing Cap-S

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub E: 2nd best for music, liked this sub a lot too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub E was very good overall and sounded the most similar to sub C for me. I liked it better for the movie clips than for music. Not writing a lot on this sub but don’t let that fool you because I enjoyed the heck out of it especially since it came up right after Sub D. I wrote fewer notes as the day went on even though I liked the last three subs very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub E - This sub was the lowest scoring of group A. However, like the rest of group A it didn't receive a single "ok" vote from me. All my votes were "great" or "fantastic." It was very accurate, but seemed to lack some in the deepest portions of the clips. I gave it 17 great votes and 8 fantastic votes for movies. For music I scored it fantastic on accuracy, but felt it was a little below Sub B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub E: Also a very nice sub, with a fitting overall rank of 3 in both music and movies. It had a similar sound to Sub C, but lacked the output. (DIY?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub E - This was another setup that disappointed me for music. From the start I thought it had more extension. I was actually surprised that I ended up enjoying these for the HT clips. For HT, every clip seemed mostly clean but with more impact than any other setup. There was still a slight bloat. I ended up guessing horn since I was so baffled.

Sub F: Dual MFW-15 DIY Dual-Opposed + Modded Dayton SA1000
Music Score: 88 (4th place)
Movie Score: 431 (5th place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub F: I don't want to bash a sub but if there was one I didn't care for it was sub F. Thats all I really want to say about it. I'm pretty sure it was sealed and I gave it a very low score of 37. Sorry if you are a fan/owner. From where I was sitting it just didn't do anything for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Sub F: (10/54)

I also enjoyed these subs on music. I thought they were the best blending of the night (a bit less output than others, comparable to D feeling?) so I felt they blended well. If that doesn’t make sense, well, Archaea asked for subjective comments. I think they are pointless after last night, but I’ll type random thoughts anyways.
I felt these were airy, solid, nothing bad but nothing really stood out. I haven’t been guessing ported or sealed have I for a while. Well, that is because I have no freaking idea at this point in the night. I just kept writing sealed or ported based on air movement at my legs. I know, totally bogus reasoning but besides music with B, I had nothing to go on. This <15hz and wanting sealed before the GTG, and now seeing that I can’t tell, may have me selling my Pi-18s and Clone amps if I see the results and decide to be rash. I need the DIYers to keep me keepin’ on!!!

Guesses (IOOMFC): 1) Cap Pro, 2) CHT

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub F- Seemed a little boomy in midbass but played well during music. Movies were also done well, just missing something I couldn't put my finger on. Guessing Chase subs

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub F: 3rd best for music, maybe the best for movies along with sub C I think this is the Caps Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub F was excellent for music and I almost rated it as high as sub C but changed my mind at the last second. That is how close some of these rankings are and many of the subs sounded similar to me near the end of the meet. Maybe I was starting to get a little bit of listening fatigue or was just tired. I liked these almost as much as Sub E for the movie clips so overall very good performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub F - This sub was a very close third behind B & G. On movies it was just 2 points behind Sub B. It lacked a little depth for music, but was very accurate and enjoyable to listen to. Any explosions on the movie clips were extremely quick, but didn't hit quite as hard as E or G. I'm not sure how to describe it, but the explosions seemed to have an immediacy or suddenness to them that almost startled me even though I had already heard the clips by now and knew what to expect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub F: This was, to me, a musical sub, hence it's number 2 rating in that category. It's only draw back was it was a little light in the upper bass range. That lack of upper bass, however, helped it in some of the movie clips as it deemphasized some of the more over the top clips with a lot (too much) upper bass in their tracks. (CHT?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub F - I enjoyed this setup for music and HT. It was probably my second favorite setup for music. It had a slight bloat compared to B. It was equally as good for HT but maybe missing some extension to E and G on BHD from (not much though). I guessed sealed. Compared to it E, the presentation seemed weaker but cleaner.

Sub G: Dual JTR Orbit Shifter
Music Score: 87 (5th place)
Movie Score: 511 (3rd place)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Sub G: Like Sub E it was a beast! I am not sure what had more output E or G but they both were fantastic at giving you that slam in the chest feeling. I was a bit confused when it came time to vote if it was ported or sealed as I really couldn't tell. It was very tight. It played really low but had excellent slam. I voted horn but the more I learned about what subs that were in attendance it got me thinking it was the Submersive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Sub G: (11/60)

Last sub of the night. Maybe we saved the best for last?!?!?!??!?
Music it was right behind B, the only difference in I felt B had more depth. Man, I really hope B isn’t the Cap Pros. Please. Please.
These things rocked. Great way to end the night.
I felt these were sealed. Man, I’m a basketcase.
These were my favorite on movies by a nose. I was digging what they were putting out. Good output, no faults I heard, many positives.

I changed a few of these from my sheet or added a 2nd possibility after Archaea scanned them immediately after the GTG. Archaea will yell at me for that. Whatever, he wasn’t blinded! This is hard to decide what I think.

So, what did I learn? Well, if all of my guesses are wrong, than either I should find another hobby, should have saved money to buy either G or B or E based on my observations, or build out my DIY stuff and see how it compares at a future GTG?

Guesses (IOOMFC): 1) Cap S

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuckaman View Post

Sub G- Boom! These seemed to really do well on music and offered a good sounding bass drum on the John Mayer clip I noted. My favorite on movies. Good impact and really liked the Hulk sonic cannon scene. JTR OS is my guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Sub G: Solid sub, I was beat by this time and can't remember much specifics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Sub G was one that I felt did not draw attention to itself at first but maybe I mean that in a good way. I thought it was good for music but lacked a little punch. Again, for some people you might want a sub that blends in very well and does not draw attention. As we moved on to the movie clips the sub really shined and I became more and more impressed with it. I simply loved this sub for movie clips and at this point it took quite a bit to get my attention after a full day of listening to very high quality subs. Great extension with lots of pant flapping capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

Sub G - These subs actually scored the highest for me on movies, but I chose B as my favorite due to its music accuracy. Actually my music score tied with B on these subs and revealed a limitation in that the scoring for music didn't allow me to delineate the preference I had for B. These sounded different on movies than B (and all other subs) and seemed to have the greatest dynamics and variations in texture during the movie clips. It immersed me in the action more than any of the other subs. Every vibration, explosion, bang, thump, boom, or even the constant bass was beautifully rendered. This sub is the only one to receive all Fantastic scores from me for movies. I had given many other Fantastic ratings, but this sub was like going from 16 to 24 bit color. There was just more resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wlelandj View Post

Sub G: This sub sounded similar to Sub D, but with less output, which lowered the fun factor. Like sub D, I feel it's lower accuracy score hurt it in some of the movie clips with a lot of information going on at the same time.
(Hsu?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

Sub G - This was another presentation I enjoyed. It seemed a little off with music but gets my third choice for music. It had a fairly clean presentation for the HT clips. It seemed that the extension was there with the best especially after BHD. I guessed sealed.

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post #103 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Avarice_ View Post

I may have missed it in the initial "setup" post but I thought the idea was to only have Audyssey manipulate the FR? Was this PEQ tweaking w/ the iNuke amp done to level the playing field (presumably since the integrated amp entrants had matched dsp programs)?

Could you point out which FR plots represent the two sub systems which had external peq applied (Cap Pros and 18.Ts, correct?)

Cap Pro's and CHT 18.T's both had some DSP in the iNuke that the whole group apparently went through on Friday night and collectively agreed on. When I asked Archea about the EQ on the iNuke (I arrived in town from CES around midnight Friday and was not at Archea's on Friday), they said the EQ gave a flatter response as measured at the listening area the night before. This was the starting point from which Audyssey did it's thing. No EQ was applied after Audyssey was run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

I'm interested in seeing the FR graphs identified/matched with what subs they are as well.

Remember the curves the guys took were and average of all seats, and give a general indication, but not direct measurement of what each listener heard. Maybe Archea will have some time to post some measurements with his Caps showing the measured variations across the seating area we used with Audyssey run on the pair.

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post #104 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I know there are some questions and suggestions --- Mark had a a good one he sent me through PM about measuring the SPL levels in the rear of the room compared to the seating position and comparing frequencies to see just what frequencies were triggering our SPL meter peaks. Also yes, the Inuke amp dsp was engaged on the only two passive subs that didn't have any native EQ built in. All other subs had EQ built in by the vendor, and this was done to level the playing field somewhat. Both Cap Pro and 18.1's like their midbass bumps and so we knocked that down a bit and tried to flatten out the response some to more equitable expectation with the other models.

In the end - Audyssey was overall the frequency keeper, because we ran Auddyssey the same way every time and the DSP on the Inuke was used previous to Audyssey's engagement. I know some of you aren't fans of Audyssey. It's what we did and what we (as enthusiasts - not speaking for Mark and Jeff) had both ability and volunteers to do. If some other EQ solution was preferred, we didn't have any volunteers to man the helm....I'll probably be updating information in existing posts and helping to flesh out details for the next few days. The original baseline posts will also be updated with information, and I'll be adding some pictures shortly... I want to get the rest of the scoreshhets loaded too, and put up the max spl peaks and the individual FR graphs. As you know - this is a major project and I kinda put the conclusion out there before documenting the story - so bear with me a bit while I continue to put the puzzle pieces in place.

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post #105 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

[b]
Did anyone else notice how well the MFW-15 dual opp fared? Anyone surprised? Leads me to think my DIY build, with much better drivers, in that design would fare well in another blind test..guess we will see....

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Avarice_ View Post

I noticed and, frankly, am not terribly surprised. I think most everyone would agree that it is entirely possibly to build a sealed sub that is competitive with the high-end commercial offerings for a fraction of the cost.

Emphasis on sealed for the lower degree of difficulty with regard to DIY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

And how about those MFW DUAL OPP, admit it folks, most of you liked them and rated them well. Give DIY some love you bandwagon fanboys.

Minor point... The MFW-15s in that box size sounds rather different without the Quattro amp which was listened to in the comparison. The stock Dayton SA-1000 driving the 4 MFW woofers would have shut down multiple times during the demo, and the response is quite different. Big amps might have produced some very audible overload/bottoming of the drivers.

The MFW-15 boxes and an amp with no EQ thrown to Audyssey would have made for a rather different result. It would be interesting if desertdome and/or you can do some experimentation and comparisons with them back at your place. No question they sounded quite good with a bit less capability than the leaders of the pack.

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post #106 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:02 AM
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This is rapidly become my most favorite thread on this entire forum or, at least, in my top 3 all time favorites!

Archea,
I can't even begin to express my gratitude to you for taking on this task and following it through like this. The research, organization, overall effort, and the willingness to accommodate so many folks at your home say a tremendous amount about you in my book. I know this does not cover it but THANK YOU for doing all of this!!!!!

Mark and Jeff,
I've been very proud to own your products and really enjoy them. For you two gentlemen to go out of your way like this (again) to have your products at the meet, help out and still trying not to influence others speaks volumes about both of your characters and the confidence you have in your products! Many thanks to both of you!

To all that attended and participated in the blind test,
You guys freggin ROCK!!!!! Thank you all so much for doing this! It makes for a very entertaining read to say the least and I think you guys showed a lot of guts putting your blind subjective comments on a forum like this.
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post #107 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Orbit Shifter damage to my kitchen grout! -

Jeff and Mark recommended me some good tools to chunk it all out and start over. :P ha -- well well well. ha.








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post #108 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:06 AM
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He could have named it Grout Shifter! LOL
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post #109 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:10 AM
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Are you sure those were the Orbit Shifters? I remember dragging your blue cat around upstairs and he kept digging his back claws into the grout. I can believe the 1st and 4th photo are from the Orbit Shifters but you can clearly see the lines from the cats claws in the 2nd and 3rd picture.

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post #110 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:25 AM
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good lord that sub is something lol

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 #111 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:26 AM
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To Jeff P.


I would like to ask why the powered Captivators weren't demo'd? Being an Owner of the powered Captivator, I can testify it is a flat out beast! By using the iNuke DSP3000 it appears that you were only powering the Caps with 1500 Watts. I am very curious how the powered version with the 4000 Watt amp would have fared? I am also curious how the powered Cap compares to the Cap S. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

Jason
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post #112 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:40 AM
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[quote=Mark Seaton;21501479]Minor point... The MFW-15s in that box size sounds rather different without the Quattro amp which was listened to in the comparison. The stock Dayton SA-1000 driving the 4 MFW woofers would have shut down multiple times during the demo, and the response is quite different. Big amps might have produced some very audible overload/bottoming of the drivers.

The MFW-15 boxes and an amp with no EQ thrown to Audyssey would have made for a rather different result. It would be interesting if desertdome and/or you can do some experimentation and comparisons with them back at your place. No question they sounded quite good with a bit less capability than the leaders of the pack.[/QUOTE]

Mark and others-

We've been meaning to do this for sometime following the GTG in October.

We plan on placing them in the exact same spots and orientation as the October GTG, and running them through their paces with the stock amp and then the modded amp.

Just have to find the time!
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post #113 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Orbit Shifter damage to my kitchen grout! -

Jeff and Mark recommended me some good tools to chunk it all out and start over. :P ha -- well well well. ha.

Have you checked your homeowner's policy for "earthquake" damage?

Insurance companies might have to start asking an extra question for their underwriting:

Is your house located on a flood plain?
Do you store flammable liquids in the house?
Do you currently own or plan to own Orbit Shifters?

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post #114 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlm9 View Post

To Jeff P.

I would like to ask why the powered Captivators weren't demo'd? Being an Owner of the powered Captivator, I can testify it is a flat out beast! By using the iNuke DSP3000 it appears that you were only powering the Caps with 1500 Watts. I am very curious how the powered version with the 4000 Watt amp would have fared? I am also curious how the powered Cap compares to the Cap S. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

Jason

There just wasn't room in the van. The powered version might have done a little better but the listen level was -10db. The Captivator S trades db's above 20hz for db's below 20hz.
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post #115 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matman1970 View Post

Have you checked your homeowner's policy for "earthquake" damage?

Insurance companies might have to start asking an extra question for their underwriting:

Is your house located on a flood plain?
Do you store flammable liquids in the house?
Do you currently own or plan to own Orbit Shifters?


Kansas City lies on a major fault line.

Jeff's Fault.

Avarice
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post #116 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 12:02 PM
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Wow! How much fun was that!

What did I learn?

It appears I have expensive taste in subwoofers and I am not alone. My top picks line up fairly closely with the price tag associated with them. I have confirmed that I prefer a sealed design but also that it is very difficult for me to distinguish the difference at least this go round.

What will I buy?

Not sure yet with a budget of around 4K max. My subjective notes state my clear favorite as the SubM but duals will blow the budget. My other top 2 subs are the Cap S and the OS. Can I go with just one OS and hope I can find the correct placement for it? On the other hand dual Cap S would give me placement options and be within budget of around 4K. It is a tough choice between these 3 amazing subs. Or just add more Rythmik's to my room. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I will update the thread if I make a decision but I would love some input if anyone has something helpful for me to consider.
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post #117 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 12:13 PM
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I bought a couple OSs last week. I don't regret not waiting until after the meet but I wish I had participated in the meet now and then learned what my blind preferences had been. I know I'll be more than happy and guilty of overkill. Had I waited to see the results, I might have ordered a couple sealed Caps just cuz they scored so well and are a much tidier form factor. Congrats again to all involved!...........helluva great job! Time and effort applauded!

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post #118 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Wow! How much fun was that!

What did I learn?

It appears I have expensive taste in subwoofers and I am not alone. My top picks line up fairly closely with the price tag associated with them. I have confirmed that I prefer a sealed design but also that it is very difficult for me to distinguish the difference at least this go round.

What will I buy?

Not sure yet with a budget of around 4K max. My subjective notes state my clear favorite as the SubM but duals will blow the budget. My other top 2 subs are the Cap S and the OS. Can I go with just one OS and hope I can find the correct placement for it? On the other hand dual Cap S would give me placement options and be within budget of around 4K. It is a tough choice between these 3 amazing subs. Or just add more Rythmik's to my room. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I will update the thread if I make a decision but I would love some input if anyone has something helpful for me to consider.

Jedi, I put this in the other thread too but unless I am reading it wrong you scored the ported Cap better than the sealed for both music and movies.
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post #119 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 01:14 PM
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Wow guys, thanks for all of your hard work! This thread truly is an enjoyable read. I have been leaning toward dual Submersive HP's, but now am considering a single orbit shifter as well. I have space for either approach, but from a practical sense if I ever had to service something, I can't imagine what I would do about moving the giant 177 lb orbit shifter after I got it into it's final resting place. Having duals might be a better option as well. I guess I can't go wrong either way. Thanks again for putting this together! It really helps bring some quality products to the limelight to get the attention that they seem to deserve!

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post #120 of 848 Old 01-16-2012, 01:18 PM
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A+ guys.
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