Budget subwoofers discussions, opinions and questions thread - Page 104 - AVS Forum
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post #3091 of 3100 Old 01-06-2015, 10:27 AM
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I would definitely disagree with your conclusion that there isn't much difference between the $200ish subwoofer options and the $500-600 level. The SVS PB1000 mentioned above as well as slightly pricer options like Rythmik LV12R and HSU VTF-2 Mk4 will signficantly outperform the "budget" options. Not just in terms of sheer output, but also deep extension, linearity of the performance (many of the cheaper subs have a "peaky" response with a lot of output in the mid-bass to make them sound loud but without deep extension) and the quality and accuracy of the bass (cleaner, lower distortion).

Given the room size, and the fact that you don't duals, I would invest in the best subwoofer you can afford.

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post #3092 of 3100 Old 01-06-2015, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtz9 View Post
You give room size as "20' x 18' (not enclosed)"

so 2 things there-

Ceiling height matters- your actual cubic volume could be 2520, 2880, 3240, or 3600 cu feet with 7, 8, 9, or 10 foot ceilings.

And the "not enclosed" is a pretty huge deal... if it's largely open to other areas then the cubic footage of those areas counts too as far as pressurizing the air.
Kurt,

Thanks for the reply. Sorry for the blunder. I'm an ashamed engineer. The ceiling height is 8'. As far as the "enclosed" piece, what I meant by that is that it is the front room in my basement. I live in a typical 3 story Chicago home (if that means anything). So the staircase leads down to it without a doorway to close off to the upstairs and there is a small hallway from that room that leads to another few rooms. See the picture attached.

Thanks for your opinion on the subs listed. I heard others make comments about the PB1000.

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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
I would definitely disagree with your conclusion that there isn't much difference between the $200ish subwoofer options and the $500-600 level. The SVS PB1000 mentioned above as well as slightly pricer options like Rythmik LV12R and HSU VTF-2 Mk4 will signficantly outperform the "budget" options. Not just in terms of sheer output, but also deep extension, linearity of the performance (many of the cheaper subs have a "peaky" response with a lot of output in the mid-bass to make them sound loud but without deep extension) and the quality and accuracy of the bass (cleaner, lower distortion).

Given the room size, and the fact that you don't duals, I would invest in the best subwoofer you can afford.
My apologies for the "inference". I didn't mean to say that there wasn't a difference between $200 and 500 subs. My intent was that the landscape and opinions were varied and that my perception (for what it's worth) was that I couldn't discern differences - in opinions, not subs. Those who are more audiophile-minded are certainly better equipped to make those comments. I am not one of those.

So if we're looking in the $500 range, it sounds like the PB1000 is the way to go?
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post #3093 of 3100 Old 01-06-2015, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotbuck View Post
Kurt,

Thanks for the reply. Sorry for the blunder. I'm an ashamed engineer. The ceiling height is 8'. As far as the "enclosed" piece, what I meant by that is that it is the front room in my basement. I live in a typical 3 story Chicago home (if that means anything). So the staircase leads down to it without a doorway to close off to the upstairs and there is a small hallway from that room that leads to another few rooms. See the picture attached.

Thanks for your opinion on the subs listed. I heard others make comments about the PB1000.

Thanks for the diagram... that's not horribly open at least... if that optional den has doors closed.... ideally you could put a door on the hall out of the room but understand that'd probably not happening just for better bass.



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Originally Posted by gotbuck View Post
My apologies for the "inference". I didn't mean to say that there wasn't a difference between $200 and 500 subs. My intent was that the landscape and opinions were varied and that my perception (for what it's worth) was that I couldn't discern differences - in opinions, not subs. Those who are more audiophile-minded are certainly better equipped to make those comments. I am not one of those.

So if we're looking in the $500 range, it sounds like the PB1000 is the way to go?

As someone who recently went through exactly the line of thinking that starts with "They've got to be insane if they think an $800 sub is 8 times better than a $100 sub" I'll tell you a story here in a second... but first, yes, at $500 the PB1000 is the only sub I'm aware of in its class.

You'd need to get into the $600-800 range for some of the Rythmik/Hsu/bigger SVS offerings beyond that.... and you may want to, or not, depending.... anyway see below if you don't mind a long story-




Ok, so I started out with upgrading sound in a relatively small room upstairs- an 1800 cubic foot, (12x14x8) room that could be entirely closed off with doors.


For the upstairs room I got a Dayton 1200 for $99 shipped on sale, everyone telling me what an amazing bang/buck it was, and how I'd need to spend at least $500 (the PB1000 in fact) before I really took any sort of huge leap forward in sub performance.


And...I was pretty happy with it. It sounded good and for the price it really really sounded good.



Shortly after though we decided to upgrade some stuff downstairs though, including the sub system. That room was much bigger.

Our living room downstairs is a HUGE space not because the living room itself is huge (it's no bigger than your space... but it's fully open to the rest of the first floor, meaning it's really about 3x the volume of your space... and also open to the stairs/upstairs hall/loft area, making it 4x the volume of your space).


At first I was just thinking eh, ok, so do I need to get a Dayton 1500 instead? Or maybe a pair of 1200 or 1500s?

But folks kept insisting I just didn't understand what 'real' subs could do, and for that space, wow, I needed like 4 18s. (which is insane if you price it out with commercial subs)


Anyway- I was put on to the fact that SVS and PSA both offer risk free home trials of 45 and 30 days respectively, where they pay shipping both ways.


So I figured what the hell, I'll see what all the fuss is about.


I ordered a PB2000 from SVS ($799) and I ordered -two- XV15ses from PSA ($900 each, $1699 if you buy 2).


The PB2000 came first.... and when I tried it downstairs.... meh.

For comparison sake I brought my Dayton 1200 downstairs by the way.

The SVS maybe sounded a little better than the Dayton... but not by all that much. (which I give a lot of credit to Dayton for by the by)


So while I was waiting on the PSA subs to arrive it was suggested my problem was that space was just insanely too big for one PB2000 to handle (and the "You need 4 18s!" folks had plenty of I told you sos there)


To test this I decided to try the PB2000 in the small room upstairs where I'd previously been quite happy with the Dayton 1200.


I had downloaded the free Bass Demo disc, vol 1, that's available here... and after some tuning I did some testing...

Through the first 7 tracks on the disc I was thinking "ok, this definitely sounds much deeper, and it does sound better by quite a bit... but still, $800? naah...."

Then I got to track 8, the plane crash from Flight of the Phoenix.


The experience was... very.. visceral.

The way I describe the difference between the Dayton and the SVS is this-

If you closed your eyes and listened with each...

the Datyon sounds like a very high quality recording of a plane crash.

The SVS feels like you are IN a plane crash.


Finally I got to experience the night/day difference folks kept insisting made these crazy expensive subs worth it.


PS- I kept the PB2000 in the upstairs room, even though I never intended to upgrade that room at all.



And the downstairs? totally different story.

I got the two PSA 15s... and again, the space was just too big.

Now, this time you could definitely tell/feel a difference between these 2 and just running the Dayton 1200....

But on the "feel" scale, if the dayton is a 1... and the SVS in the small room is a 10.... the dual PSAs in the big room was maybe a 5.

It was nice... nicer than the Dayton certainly... but NOT $1700 nice.

I was hoping for about twice the SVS money I'd get a similar experience in the big room to the SVS in the small room, and I just didn't.

So back they went.


Getting that 10 in that huge downstairs space would've run at least 3-5 grand (other than going DIY subs, which wasn't happening).

So I gave up on that goal, and I've got a pair of Dayton 1500s going in there.... (that 1200 ended up sold to a friend).

they'll still sound very good, I just won't get that "feel"...and if I want that I can go upstairs for it.




So long story short (too late!)-- Yes, there really IS something to the paying a lot more for the better subs thing.

The SVS delivered an experience the Dayton entirely lacks.

But if it's really worth it or not will depend on what your budget and space allow, and how much that feeling/difference is worth to you.

And again the Dayton subs are a HELL of a great bang/buck item if you can live without that deep 'feeling' bass.
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post #3094 of 3100 Old 01-06-2015, 11:28 AM
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No need to apologize! Researching A/V is complicated and it's often difficult to know where the "bang for the buck" starts to run into diminishing returns as you spend more money. I was just trying to correct the statement that "the more I look, the murkier the return on investment looks in that price tier over say a good $200 sub."

In fact, I think that the jump from the $200-300 budget tier to the $500-600 tier (generally considered the starting point for "quality" subs) is in fact one of the biggest "bang for the buck" jumps you will find. It's not a subtle "audiophile only" difference but one that any moderately discerning listener should notice immediately.

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post #3095 of 3100 Old 01-06-2015, 02:00 PM
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Thanks for the advice and great responses guys. VERY much appreciated. One last public opinion question. Choosing between the PB1000 and the Outlaw LFM 1+ (B-stock) at the same price, what do you do?
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post #3096 of 3100 Old 01-06-2015, 02:57 PM
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Never mind

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post #3097 of 3100 Old 01-08-2015, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotbuck View Post
Thanks for the advice and great responses guys. VERY much appreciated. One last public opinion question. Choosing between the PB1000 and the Outlaw LFM 1+ (B-stock) at the same price, what do you do?
I'd go with the LFM-1 Plus

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post #3098 of 3100 Old 01-10-2015, 03:13 PM
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Hello!

Forum noob here, quick question:

I recently upgraded my surround speakers (center, Polk CSi A4, fronts Polk RTI A1 and using Polk TSi 100s for my surrounds) and am still using a sub I bought 8 or so years ago - a Dayton SUB-120 (which I think is the model before the SUB-1200 came out?). It sounds fine, but I haven't really heard anything else in a controlled setting to judge if I'm "missing" out with the newer speakers.

I've been looking around, and many suggest/recommend the BIC PL-200 for $300, and while that seems like a great sub, I'm wondering the real world benefit of upgrading. I don't care about loudness so much as quality sound.

My living room is 14' x 17 with 9' high ceilings, is unable to be really closed off from the hallways, and using a 5.1 receiver that provides 100 watts per channel.

Let me know if I can provide any other information.

Thanks for the help.
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post #3099 of 3100 Old 01-10-2015, 03:20 PM
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I should add that I am aware that I have and am going for very much an entry-level system - what my budget allows is ~$300.
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post #3100 of 3100 Old 01-10-2015, 05:55 PM
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I should add that I am aware that I have and am going for very much an entry-level system - what my budget allows is ~$300.

If the 120 is similar to the 1200 I'd say no, you won't get anywhere near $300 worth of "better" from the Bic.

Save up until your budget allows for a real upgrade to something like an SVS PB1000 or Rythmik LV12R in the 500-600 range.
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