Budget subwoofers discussions, opinions and questions thread - Page 109 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:53 AM
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On the cheap...

Installed OSD (OutDoor Speaker Depot) IWS-10 10" Pro Series Cinema In-Wall Subwoofer ($80), paired with Compact 100W Subwoofer Amplifier OSD-SMP60 ($70)



Sounds really good, better than I had expected.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:13 AM
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Thank you for creating this thread. I thought I would be able to narrow down my options by reading other people's situations but I now have too many browser tabs open with too many products choices and still have no clue what would be a good one to buy.
I have a 17x15x9 living room, where I want to have my home theater system but with the open floor plan, the living room is combined with Kitchen and Dining adding more cubic feet. Imagine an L shaped area where the living and kitchen is in the "I" part of the "L" area with dining space in the "_" part of the "L". Hope this makes sense.
I received a suggestion to go with Martin Logan 700W. Since I am a newbie, I dont even know if $600 price tag is 'normal' cost of a subwoofer or not. I am totally clueless but would prefer to get the most bang for the buck.
My usage will be to watch movie (75%) and music (25%). This would be my first home theater subwoofer so I wont be able to tell the difference between a good one and a better one.
I look forward to your suggestions...hopefully not too many to confuse me, prefereably in the 'lower' price range.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
Thank you for creating this thread. I thought I would be able to narrow down my options by reading other people's situations but I now have too many browser tabs open with too many products choices and still have no clue what would be a good one to buy.
You're quite welcome. I started this thread for situations just like yours.


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Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
My usage will be to watch movie (75%) and music (25%). This would be my first home theater subwoofer so I wont be able to tell the difference between a good one and a better one.
Maybe, maybe not; hear what a good subwoofer can do just once and you might not go back to anything else. Be that as it may...

The open floorplan is your nemesis, given that a subwoofer will try and fill all of it. You don't mention budget but since you're posting here I assume it's $300 or less? If so, scroll back through the last 8-10 pages and you'll probably find a few different models mentioned more than once. Concentrate your research on those and that will help narrow down the choices. Anything in this price range will struggle filling an open concept environment, but if you go into it knowing that you should be fine.

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Old 01-15-2016, 07:56 PM
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You don't mention budget but since you're posting here I assume it's $300 or less?
If it has to be a $500 one that would be a good fit, I would prefer to go with it as I am not going to switch or upgrade.


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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post
If so, scroll back through the last 8-10 pages and you'll probably find a few different models mentioned more than once. Concentrate your research on those and that will help narrow down the choices. Anything in this price range will struggle filling an open concept environment, but if you go into it knowing that you should be fine

Because I haven't experienced other subwoofers, I don't fully understand what 'filling' a room means. How would it sound if it is 100% filled vs 75% filled (? I sound dumb, don't I)


So far, I picked up these names from previous messages but again, I am willing to increase my budget if I have to. I am not looking for a 'perfect' one and I wont be upset with something that an audio expert would identify and point out. An above average sub is what I am looking for...certainly not in the high tier.


BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
Bic Acoustech PL-200 Subwoofer
CSX-12 Mark II
Acoustech H-100 Cinema Series 500-Watt Front-Firing Subwoofer,
Klipsch Sub-12HG Synergy Series 12-Inch 300-Watt Subwoofer
Premier Acoustic PA-120


A car analogy if it helps


Base model Toyota Camry
Popular model Toyota Camry
Fully loaded Toyota Camry / Base model Lexus
Popular model Lexus
Fully loaded Lexus


I would go with the Popular model Toyota Camry - gets me all necessary features + few bells and whistles to clearly distinguish from base model. Don't know if that helped
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
If it has to be a $500 one that would be a good fit, I would prefer to go with it as I am not going to switch or upgrade.
Famous last words. Are we taking bets on this one?


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Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
Because I haven't experienced other subwoofers, I don't fully understand what 'filling' a room means. How would it sound if it is 100% filled vs 75% filled (? I sound dumb, don't I)
Dumb? No, just not exposed to the physics behind it perhaps.


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Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
So far, I picked up these names from previous messages but again, I am willing to increase my budget if I have to. I am not looking for a 'perfect' one and I wont be upset with something that an audio expert would identify and point out. An above average sub is what I am looking for...certainly not in the high tier.

BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
Bic Acoustech PL-200 Subwoofer
CSX-12 Mark II
Acoustech H-100 Cinema Series 500-Watt Front-Firing Subwoofer,
Klipsch Sub-12HG Synergy Series 12-Inch 300-Watt Subwoofer
Premier Acoustic PA-120
The Sub-12HG and PL-200 are perhaps the best of that bunch, but if you want a one-and-done you should consider the Rythmik LV-12R. While a bit outside your $500 budget, it easily represents a subwoofer that could satisfy all your needs.

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Old 01-15-2016, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
Because I haven't experienced other subwoofers, I don't fully understand what 'filling' a room means. How would it sound if it is 100% filled vs 75% filled (? I sound dumb, don't I)
Subwoofers push air in the room, and so their effectiveness is directly tied to the volume of the room.

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A car analogy if it helps


Base model Toyota Camry
Popular model Toyota Camry
Fully loaded Toyota Camry / Base model Lexus
Popular model Lexus
Fully loaded Lexus


I would go with the Popular model Toyota Camry - gets me all necessary features + few bells and whistles to clearly distinguish from base model. Don't know if that helped
Now adjust that a bit. You have a boat on a trailer. If a very small boat that doesn't way much (small sail boat), a Camry would be OK for pulling it a few miles back and forth to the beach so you can get it in the water. But if you have a heavier boat with outboard engines, it could be a real strain for the Camry to do the job, and you might need a small truck or SUV. So size of room determines power/size of truck, just like when pulling a boat

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Old 01-16-2016, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post
The Sub-12HG and PL-200 are perhaps the best of that bunch, but if you want a one-and-done you should consider the Rythmik LV-12R. While a bit outside your $500 budget, it easily represents a subwoofer that could satisfy all your needs.
Thanks. This helps narrow down. I'll check it out. In my original post, I had asked about the Martin Logan 700W. How does the Rythmik compare to MartinLogan? Is wireless sub the way to go? or is it more pain than gain?
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
Thanks. This helps narrow down. I'll check it out. In my original post, I had asked about the Martin Logan 700W. How does the Rythmik compare to MartinLogan? Is wireless sub the way to go? or is it more pain than gain?
The RBH I-12 is $500 or less and a very nice sub. For a budget of $500, that would be a very strong option to consider.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:06 PM
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While I am checking out for a sub, I am also in the market to get a good AV receiver and center speaker. If there is any thread that provides info on these, please direct me to it. Range - around $300-400 for each. I understand that this is a subwoofer thread and you'd wish to keep it that way.


For AV receiver - I stream a lot so, wifi capability is a must and few HDMI ports. I don't have too many devices that need HDMI but that could change
For Center speaker - My home comes with 4 ceiling speakers and I have come to understand that center speakers help with dialogues while the other speakers help with surround sound. The distance between my front ceiling speakers is less than 4 meters. I read in one of the avs forum thread that I don't need to bother with a center speaker if the front speakers are less than 4-5 meters apart. Look forward to your guidance.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
Thanks. This helps narrow down. I'll check it out. In my original post, I had asked about the Martin Logan 700W. How does the Rythmik compare to MartinLogan? Is wireless sub the way to go? or is it more pain than gain?
I had the opportunity to review the ML 1500X, which is the bigger brother to the 700. I thought it was an excellent subwoofer, so if the same design philosophy went into both chances are it too will sound nice. However, you're comparing a sealed 10" unit to a ported 12". That's more apples-to-oranges really. I suspect the Rythmik would have the advantage in virtually all categories.

Wireless definitely has it's benefits, given that a subwoofer can be finicky about location, but few people use it in the real world. There's no inherent reason not to, it's just most opt for cables instead.

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Old 01-16-2016, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgetbuyer View Post
While I am checking out for a sub, I am also in the market to get a good AV receiver and center speaker. If there is any thread that provides info on these, please direct me to it. Range - around $300-400 for each. I understand that this is a subwoofer thread and you'd wish to keep it that way.


For AV receiver - I stream a lot so, wifi capability is a must and few HDMI ports. I don't have too many devices that need HDMI but that could change
For Center speaker - My home comes with 4 ceiling speakers and I have come to understand that center speakers help with dialogues while the other speakers help with surround sound. The distance between my front ceiling speakers is less than 4 meters. I read in one of the avs forum thread that I don't need to bother with a center speaker if the front speakers are less than 4-5 meters apart. Look forward to your guidance.
This thread is dedicated to budget subwoofers, so for questions regarding receivers it's better to open a new thread in that particular forum area.

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Old 01-28-2016, 03:49 PM
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It's so great to see this thread still going. I was hoping I wouldn't have to post anytime so soon after my last question but alas, this developing hobby has proved quite the demanding mistress..
OK, so based on some good feedback from earlier (thanks to Bond 007!), I picked up two Energy s10.3's and those beauties proved to be quite the joy combined with my Energy take classics. Clean and uniform bass with both music and movies. Unfortunately, we just moved into a house with a beast of a living room. I've taken the liberty of attaching my layout below:







Excuse the mess. We are still in the "living from the boxes" and setting up stage of the moving process.

As you can see, I'm dealing with a buttload of room here. So I have the sound-stage localized on the right side of the room where the TV is and the subs are located in such a way to have minimal cabling across the room (emphasis on "across". The wife was OK with the cables as long as they ran along the walls) Having attempted my best to work with this new arrangement, I'm trying to resist the upgrade itch (especially as current finances indicate wifey will not be having it) and see what I can do to maximize the bass response and general sound quality. The issue is that with past settings the bass has become more sound and less feel (probably to be expected considering the space we're dealing with). While the sound is still adequate, I've started to feel like I'd like to try for more. That "punch in your gut" bass if you will.

Are there suggestions to sort of reasonably push this dual sub arrangement to the limit? I mean I currently have the gain set at the 11 position but Audyssey is setting it at a channel level of -9db, which is definitely holding me back from setting it any higher considering the -12db maximum. Does it appear like I have finally hit the limit of this budget arrangement? (Crossing my fingers for a "No")

Concerning the placement, I know there remains the near field alternative, and as an option what do you think of placing the sub beside the central pillar (the one behind the couch)? I've read that mid-placements of the sub is supposed to be the death of bass (the pillar is in the center of the room) but I wanted some clarification. I am also considering placing the subs on both sides of the right couch rather than in front (shown above) to achieve a stronger bass effect.

In case I've finally hit the ceiling of budget functionality, is there a single sub-woofer alternative that would properly pressurize this space? I'm thinking one because I'm not sure swapping 2 subs for another 2 in the $1000 bracket would fly.

Of course as usual, I'd really appreciate any other suggestions in the critique of my arrangement (even the speakers) so as to expand the sound-stage as best as possible as I truly appreciate all the suggestions given in this forum. Right now I'm just considering my options and I know the setup is considerably small but I can at least start planning for better if necessary (even if it takes a while to implement).

Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:25 PM
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Does the setup have to be shoved into that corner of the room?

Seems like the TV is mounted pretty high too?

Anyway, the important part is the subs of course -- given the huge space, what I would do is try placing the two subs in "end table" locations at opposite ends of the couch. Then the whole couch would be pretty nearfield to the two subs and you wouldn't have to worry about pressurizing the whole space as much.

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Old 01-28-2016, 04:52 PM
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i would move at least 1 sub to the corner and the other in the area next to the love seat and couch
i think corner loading helps

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Old 01-28-2016, 06:15 PM
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"Sigh". Yeah I had to enlist some "professional help" to mount the TV (due to the fact that the house had steel studs instead of wood) and they assured me that the TV was adequate at that height (especially with the forward tilt). I unfortunately discovered after the fact that the height wasn't ideal and honestly wasn't too thrilled about going through the mounting process again. To make myself feel better, I had a couple of visitors sit down and it appears they were comfy with it (no neck strain issues) and it also got the wife vote (as did the corner placement, which seems to agree with her decor "vision") so, I've made peace with it. The distance from the primary couch sort of compensates for the height as it's about 12 feet away (give or take) and the couch is soft so it sinks back allowing for some incline. Lol. Heh..yeah as you can see I've had to really process my way into coming to peace with it.

Anyway, just so I'm clear, batpig do your end table locations refer to the opposite ends of the right couch (as I mentioned earlier)? Just checking if it's similar to mdram's suggestion with one sub corner loaded and both subs facing the left side of the room. I think I'm feeling that idea.

Also the -9db channel level remains adequate right? I mean I keep hearing conflicting info about -/+3db but it's fine as long as it remains below -12db correct? I've read how people seem to keep trying to get the channel levels close to 0, is there a reason for this?

Thanks again.
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:27 AM
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I have a hunting camp that needs some sound. The building is rectangular and 50+ feet long and I'm wondering if I can get away with putting a sub in a room on one end, with mains out in the living area at the opposite end of the camp? This will be a budget build using diy class d amps (120+ watts clean at 4R, 220+ clean at 2R) and is 100% solar/battery bank powered. The system will be used for music only, no TV in there at all.

I was thinking maybe I could build a front loaded horn sub tuned to 16-18hz using an Infinity 1262w, as those are cheap enough... and FLH boxes can help with efficiency and extension and SPL... Then put it in the back of the camp out of the way.

I have diy 6.5 inch Cornu spiral horns as my mains (LOUD! Mid bass tears your face off and upper extension is sweet!) on 3/way active crossover and will be running separate amp to the sub.

I don't have space for a big box in the living area. Do you think I can get enough from a sub from 20-26 feet away from the mains to make this work?

Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a hunting camp that needs some sound. The building is rectangular and 50+ feet long and I'm wondering if I can get away with putting a sub in a room on one end, with mains out in the living area at the opposite end of the camp? This will be a budget build using diy class d amps (120+ watts clean at 4R, 220+ clean at 2R) and is 100% solar/battery bank powered. The system will be used for music only, no TV in there at all.
You want to put a budget subwoofer 50' from your mains? Frankly, I don't see that working at all.

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Old 01-29-2016, 07:23 PM
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Actually the mains would be about 25 feet from the sub. I realize the subs are cheap, thats why I want to use them. But they aren't helpless just because they are cheap! Its a hunting camp and will be visited only 12-18 days each year. Just need some tunes playing at moderate SPL levels in it during daylight hours and I'll be happy. Hence a low buck install...

To help overcome the distance from subs to mains, I was thinking about building a (BIG!!!) FLH box for either 1 or 2 of the cheap 1262w drivers, since FLH designs when well engineered can boost efficiency and SPL levels considerably. They may provide the most bang for the buck over most other horn designs, properly designed. Only downside is they are huge boxes, but I have space for HUGE in the back of the camp.

Thats what I hoped to talk about.... a solution... I'm not shopping for drivers, but thanks for your input.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:57 PM
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Please i need some help choosing a new subwoofer. I know almost nothing about subs, i would prefer one that is just plug and go.

I like a lot of bass; where everything is vibrating and chest thumping. I currently have a Bic f-12 which i use in a 28.5 x12.2 x8.5 living room. The Bic F-12 has served me well for about a year but every now and then i hear an annoying sound from the subwoofer, which i believe is port noise. Its so distracting and i want to get rid of it. I'm hoping a better sub-woofer wont have this problem.

My budget is $500 but i can do $600 if there's a better subwoofer for my space. After some research the SB-1000 seems to be the best bang for buck, its the lightest "budget" subwoofer i have found, i dont live in the US so i have to either Air freight (1 week) or Sea Freight (2 months) to my location. However i have read that ported subs are better for movies which is what i use my HT 95% for. As i haven't heard what a "good" subwoofer sounds like i dont know if i'll be able to tell the difference between a sealed or ported subwoofer or if the additional cost for shipping a ported sub is worth it. I have received a lot of good advice on AVS and i dont mind paying extra and waiting 2 months if a ported subwoofer is really the way to go. I eventually plan on getting a second sub of whatever i get so i would really like to stay within my $500 budget.

Thanks for all your help and advice.

Living Room: Marantz AV7702, (1)Crown XLS1500 & (5)Crown XLS1000. Mains-Monitor 75T, Center-CS2, Surrounds-(4)TSx110B, Ceilings-(4)620-RT, BIC F12. Projector-Benq HT1075, Elite Screen 106",Bluray-LG BP550 & LG BP440, Amazon Fire TV, DSTV HD PVR, Wii U.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:50 PM
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Please i need some help choosing a new subwoofer. I know almost nothing about subs, i would prefer one that is just plug and go.

I like a lot of bass; where everything is vibrating and chest thumping. I currently have a Bic f-12 which i use in a 28.5 x12.2 x8.5 living room. The Bic F-12 has served me well for about a year but every now and then i hear an annoying sound from the subwoofer, which i believe is port noise. Its so distracting and i want to get rid of it. I'm hoping a better sub-woofer wont have this problem.

My budget is $500 but i can do $600 if there's a better subwoofer for my space. After some research the SB-1000 seems to be the best bang for buck, its the lightest "budget" subwoofer i have found, i dont live in the US so i have to either Air freight (1 week) or Sea Freight (2 months) to my location. However i have read that ported subs are better for movies which is what i use my HT 95% for. As i haven't heard what a "good" subwoofer sounds like i dont know if i'll be able to tell the difference between a sealed or ported subwoofer or if the additional cost for shipping a ported sub is worth it. I have received a lot of good advice on AVS and i dont mind paying extra and waiting 2 months if a ported subwoofer is really the way to go. I eventually plan on getting a second sub of whatever i get so i would really like to stay within my $500 budget.

Thanks for all your help and advice.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:38 PM
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Did some more reading, found some excellent past posts on gain matching vs level matching and finally got the answers to what I now see was a basic question. Turns out one of my subs had lower SPL readings even at the same gain position. Interesting how far a little gain adjustment could go. Moved my subs setup nearfield, ran Audyssey and now the bass sounds dramatically better...and I haven't even run the subs hot yet! This has been quite the education. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:14 AM
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Rhythmik LV12-R.
Thanks but its currently out of stock till early feb. Is there any other sub that i can get just in case the LV12R is out of stock for longer?

Living Room: Marantz AV7702, (1)Crown XLS1500 & (5)Crown XLS1000. Mains-Monitor 75T, Center-CS2, Surrounds-(4)TSx110B, Ceilings-(4)620-RT, BIC F12. Projector-Benq HT1075, Elite Screen 106",Bluray-LG BP550 & LG BP440, Amazon Fire TV, DSTV HD PVR, Wii U.
Bedroom:Marantz SR5009, Mains-Klipsch R-14M Monitor, Sub-Monoprice 8", TV-LG55LB7200, Bluray-iVid BD780, WDTV, Sennheiser RS170, DSTV HD, QNAP TS-269-Pro.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:46 AM
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Did some more reading, found some excellent past posts on gain matching vs level matching and finally got the answers to what I now see was a basic question. Turns out one of my subs had lower SPL readings even at the same gain position. Interesting how far a little gain adjustment could go. Moved my subs setup nearfield, ran Audyssey and now the bass sounds dramatically better...and I haven't even run the subs hot yet! This has been quite the education. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!
Moving the subs most likely had a bigger effect than the gain adjustment.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:47 AM
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Thanks but its currently out of stock till early feb. Is there any other sub that i can get just in case the LV12R is out of stock for longer?
Not really. Order one today.
It will be worth the wait.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:33 AM
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Moving the subs most likely had a bigger effect than the gain adjustment.
You're right, it did actually. The bass got much louder after moving, and drove my Audyssey-set channel settings higher which allowed me to lower the gain back to the usual 10 o' clock position on the subs to achieve -6.5db. Gain matching the subs balanced it out and locked it in at -3db still leaving me room to run it hot if I wanted.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually the mains would be about 25 feet from the sub. I realize the subs are cheap, thats why I want to use them. But they aren't helpless just because they are cheap! Its a hunting camp and will be visited only 12-18 days each year. Just need some tunes playing at moderate SPL levels in it during daylight hours and I'll be happy. Hence a low buck install...

To help overcome the distance from subs to mains, I was thinking about building a (BIG!!!) FLH box for either 1 or 2 of the cheap 1262w drivers, since FLH designs when well engineered can boost efficiency and SPL levels considerably. They may provide the most bang for the buck over most other horn designs, properly designed. Only downside is they are huge boxes, but I have space for HUGE in the back of the camp.

Thats what I hoped to talk about.... a solution... I'm not shopping for drivers, but thanks for your input.
25 feet is certainly more doable than 50, so you're getting to a more workable situation. Horns do indeed have prodigious output, so you're probably good from that standpoint - and assuming the expectations aren't too high given you're there less than 3 weeks of the year - but based upon your description of how you want to set things up I'm envisioning speakers on one side, subwoofer on the other and people in the middle. If so I just don't see how you would ever be able to blend them. The image I have in my head shows a wall of sound coming from one side and a wall of bass from the other. Seamlessly blending such disparate sources of sound strikes me as impossible.

What you might want to do is start a new thread in the DIY section. Some pretty sharp guys hang out there, and if what you want to do is possible someone there will know how best to proceed.

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Old 01-30-2016, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Please i need some help choosing a new subwoofer. I know almost nothing about subs, i would prefer one that is just plug and go.

I like a lot of bass; where everything is vibrating and chest thumping. I currently have a Bic f-12 which i use in a 28.5 x12.2 x8.5 living room. The Bic F-12 has served me well for about a year but every now and then i hear an annoying sound from the subwoofer, which i believe is port noise. Its so distracting and i want to get rid of it. I'm hoping a better sub-woofer wont have this problem.

My budget is $500 but i can do $600 if there's a better subwoofer for my space. After some research the SB-1000 seems to be the best bang for buck, its the lightest "budget" subwoofer i have found, i dont live in the US so i have to either Air freight (1 week) or Sea Freight (2 months) to my location. However i have read that ported subs are better for movies which is what i use my HT 95% for. As i haven't heard what a "good" subwoofer sounds like i dont know if i'll be able to tell the difference between a sealed or ported subwoofer or if the additional cost for shipping a ported sub is worth it. I have received a lot of good advice on AVS and i dont mind paying extra and waiting 2 months if a ported subwoofer is really the way to go. I eventually plan on getting a second sub of whatever i get so i would really like to stay within my $500 budget.

Thanks for all your help and advice.
The SB-1000 is not the solution to your problem. It's a great subwoofer, but it isn't the the unit one thinks of when they say "vibrating and chest thumping" bass. Your room is almost 3000 cubic feet so even the PB-1000, which has a lot more output, won't provide those sensations in a room that size.

The LV12R is quite possibly the best option given your circumstances. If the projections of early February availability prove true it means in a week or two. It would be far wiser in the long run to wait a short while for something that works then hastily get something now which you'll regret afterwards.

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Old 01-30-2016, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by shyyour View Post
Please i need some help choosing a new subwoofer. I know almost nothing about subs, i would prefer one that is just plug and go.

I like a lot of bass; where everything is vibrating and chest thumping. I currently have a Bic f-12 which i use in a 28.5 x12.2 x8.5 living room. The Bic F-12 has served me well for about a year but every now and then i hear an annoying sound from the subwoofer, which i believe is port noise. Its so distracting and i want to get rid of it. I'm hoping a better sub-woofer wont have this problem.

My budget is $500 but i can do $600 if there's a better subwoofer for my space. After some research the SB-1000 seems to be the best bang for buck, its the lightest "budget" subwoofer i have found, i dont live in the US so i have to either Air freight (1 week) or Sea Freight (2 months) to my location. However i have read that ported subs are better for movies which is what i use my HT 95% for. As i haven't heard what a "good" subwoofer sounds like i dont know if i'll be able to tell the difference between a sealed or ported subwoofer or if the additional cost for shipping a ported sub is worth it. I have received a lot of good advice on AVS and i dont mind paying extra and waiting 2 months if a ported subwoofer is really the way to go. I eventually plan on getting a second sub of whatever i get so i would really like to stay within my $500 budget.

Thanks for all your help and advice.
RBH I-12. It retails for $500, but you may be able to get a discount if you contact Brian at RBH. Brian gave me a very nice discount on mine. My room is of similar size (2700 ft^3) and the I-12 sounds very nice. It's comparable in output (slightly less) and extension to the SVS PB12-NSD in my room. The I-12 is also easily the best looking sub in this price range. Mine is glossy red burl finish, curved cabinet, curved grille and an aluminum driver. It is multi-ported (3), so you can run it in ported or sealed configurations. It's a very accurate sub with a very linear frequency response. It sounds great with everything I've thrown at it.

The Rythmik LV12R is a little more expensive ($569) than the I-12, but it's a well established, highly recommended sub in this price range. The servo amp is it's strong aspect, with many people really enjoying the musical ability of this sub. It's a very generic looking sub, with just a basic grille covering the entire front, devoid of any badges and the cone is made of treated paper. The LV12R has three extension settings, but it's noted that at it's deepest setting, the sub's extension does go to 19Hz, but "drops off a cliff" after that.

I think either of these subs would serve you well and perform well enough in your room, but after my time with the I-12, I can't imagine paying more for the LV12R. Both would be a huge step over the Bic F12. Neither of these subs are going to give you earth-shaking bass in a 3000^3 room, but if you add a second later you would be in business.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:45 PM
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I just bought a used Hsu VTF-1 for $150. This is not the MK2 model, it is the older version.

The only info I could find on this model is an orphaned page on Hsu's site, with broken link to the owner's manual, but the only difference I can see from the MK2 page is the absence of a sealed tuning configuration.

Presumably that means that the original shipped with only one port plug and maybe has different electronics, driver, or cabinet, but similar design. There does not seem to be any tuning control on either amp, just port plug(s).

Anyone have any additional info?

I plan on just putting a sock into a plastic bag and stuffing that in the other port, but might not even need plugs either. Tuning multiple subs in an irregularly shaped room is a challenge. Not expecting a 200 watt amp to bottom out the driver just because I plugged the port and expecting similar performance to the MK2, but would love some more info.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:09 PM
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What you might want to do is start a new thread in the DIY section. Some pretty sharp guys hang out there, and if what you want to do is possible someone there will know how best to proceed.
I'll get some help with my horn design for sure. Thanks for your help Jim!
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