Budget subwoofers discussions, opinions and questions thread - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 2962 Old 04-20-2012, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

The gold standard for subwoofers is:

Low, Loud, Flat, Clean

In the Sound&Vision test of the frequency response of the 12 inch Cadence, output at 63Hz is about 22 db higher than output at 20Hz, and still 13db down at 30Hz vs output at 63Hz. That certainly is nowhere near flat. And makes the Cadence more of a midbass module.

As you are aware, SVS subs actually measure quite close to flat as they should.

The Energy S10.3 measured much flatter than the Cadence. So, it is not mostly about the amount of bass available at 20 Hz, but rather bandwith uniformity. That is one reason CEA 2010 places so much empahsis on output from 20-31.5Hz and from 40-63Hz.

Still doesn't make the Cadence any less a sub woofer than the Energy since it still has more output at 25 hz than the energy. It will sound much more powerful than the energy thus making it better for HT.

Flat with limited output is of limited use. Who cares if it's flat from 10-1khz if it doesn't put out any volume.

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post #62 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 08:25 AM
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Energy S10.3 is $199 at Newegg just for this weekend.

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post #63 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Energy S10.3 is $199 at Newegg just for this weekend.

Shows $229.00?
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post #64 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 10:31 AM
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Ok, I am very weary in a good way from researching a "budget" sub. I have a new Sharp 60 inch 3D 835U mounted on the wall. Right below is an entertainment cabinet with a new to me Boston center VR12. Each side are Boston VR965's that I have had for years that I really still enjoy. The towers have powered subs inside but not really that strong for movies. The set up is downstairs in a great room style configuration in the corner of a family room. To the left is an extended area to the rear of this level that leads to the rear yard. Approx. 20 feet to the left of the setup and 3-4 feet on the right to a wall. There is a staircase in the middle of the downstairs, open kitchen and a living and dining room on the opposite end of this level. The total living area downstairs is approx. 1200 sq ft. The ceilings are 10 ft. Yesterday, I hooked my sons old Polk PSW10 in the short corner of the setup. The TV and all speakers are within close proximity to each other. The PSW10 was unimpressive most of the time and really only noticed when a HBO movie turned up loud and I really enjoyed it (1st Xmen movie) Right now, the PSW is a good deal as it is free. But the color of the cabinet is lighter and there is a silver trim which I don't like.

Here's my question:

I have narrowed it down to 4 subs. I know they range as much as $100 but just for argument sake, say all are the same price and given the above but limited information. Tell me what to buy because I can't decide and even harder as I have a subwoofer although not rated very high generally speaking. No offense.

1 Acoustech Plantinum PL-200
2 HSU STF-1
3 Energy S 10.3
4 Premier Acoustics PA-120

Oh, 95% television/movie watching but my real passion is music but generally listen through headphones on my IPhone. I love loud rock, classic rock, etc. etc. Thanks in advance for any opinons.
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post #65 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

Shows $229.00?

Subtract the $30 for using promo code EMCYTZT1533 and you get to $199.

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post #66 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

The total living area downstairs is approx. 1200 sq ft. The ceilings are 10 ft.

If the area truly is 12,000 cubic feet the answer is none of them. That is a humongous amount of space to fill, which will require an equivalent subwoofer (or, quite honestly, subwoofers). The reason the other sub seems invisible is because of the cavern-like atmosphere it's being asked to fill. I'm afraid you'll need an awful lot to rectify that.

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post #67 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Subtract the $30 for using promo code EMCYTZT1533 and you get to $199.

Thanks Jim.

So this is two large of space eventhough the sub would be in a tight corner with two walls on each side about 3 feet away and the listening/viewing area is 8 feet away. It sounds like one big 1200 sq ft space but right in the middle is a large staircase. If you exclude the rear bathroom and laundry and the complete opposite end of this level (LR, Dining), the family room and kictchen is maybe 800 sq ft or less. The family room is nearly a perfect rectangle and 16 x 32 with all the speakers in the opposite corner. There are interior walls. I understand what your saying and really appreciate this topic. So my options are keep what I hooked up yesterday and appreciate the sub on movies when turned up fairly loud or spend a lot more money or mutliple subs which is not an option right. If you had to pick one of these because you won one in a drawing, which one would you pick? Do you have any other recomendation in the budget space that would come closer to filling the room than the ones I offerd? Thanks again and I do sound a little desperate. LOL
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post #68 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

Ok, I am very weary in a good way from researching a "budget" sub. I have a new Sharp 60 inch 3D 835U mounted on the wall. Right below is an entertainment cabinet with a new to me Boston center VR12. Each side are Boston VR965's that I have had for years that I really still enjoy. The towers have powered subs inside but not really that strong for movies. The set up is downstairs in a great room style configuration in the corner of a family room. To the left is an extended area to the rear of this level that leads to the rear yard. Approx. 20 feet to the left of the setup and 3-4 feet on the right to a wall. There is a staircase in the middle of the downstairs, open kitchen and a living and dining room on the opposite end of this level. The total living area downstairs is approx. 1200 sq ft. The ceilings are 10 ft. Yesterday, I hooked my sons old Polk PSW10 in the short corner of the setup. The TV and all speakers are within close proximity to each other. The PSW10 was unimpressive most of the time and really only noticed when a HBO movie turned up loud and I really enjoyed it (1st Xmen movie) Right now, the PSW is a good deal as it is free. But the color of the cabinet is lighter and there is a silver trim which I don't like.

Here's my question:

I have narrowed it down to 4 subs. I know they range as much as $100 but just for argument sake, say all are the same price and given the above but limited information. Tell me what to buy because I can't decide and even harder as I have a subwoofer although not rated very high generally speaking. No offense.

1 Acoustech Plantinum PL-200
2 HSU STF-1
3 Energy S 10.3
4 Premier Acoustics PA-120

Oh, 95% television/movie watching but my real passion is music but generally listen through headphones on my IPhone. I love loud rock, classic rock, etc. etc. Thanks in advance for any opinons.

With that HT area in that big of a space, I think your safe best is the sub with the maximum SPL output: the PL-200. It will be a big improvement over the PSW10. If you can stretch your budget even a little further, the PA-150 at $350 is a step up in output from the PL-200. Here's what one AVS member says who had dual PL-200s and prefers his single PA-150 better.

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post #69 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

With that HT area in that big of a space, I think your safe best is the sub with the maximum SPL output: the PL-200. It will be a big improvement over the PSW10. If you can stretch your budget even a little further, the PA-150 at $350 is a step up in output from the PL-200.

+1

Given your situation this is perhaps the best option.

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post #70 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

+1

Given your situation this is perhaps the best option.

Thanks everyone. One last question. The Pl200 seems like it has more power than the PA150. What am I looking at? Yes, the PA 150 looks like a monster. Thanks
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post #71 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

Thanks everyone. One last question. The Pl200 seems like it has more power than the PA150. What am I looking at? Yes, the PA 150 looks like a monster. Thanks

I think they have the same RMS power. It's the difference between a 15" driver with a larger enclosure versus a 12" in a smaller one. You get more output. Check out the data here in this table and look for the PL-200 and PA-150. You'll see that the PA-150 has more maximum output (measured in decibels) at a variety of frequency ranges. Then this table of short term averages across a frequency range, show the PA-150 with more output again.

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post #72 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I think they have the same RMS power. It's the difference between a 15" driver with a larger enclosure versus a 12" in a smaller one. You get more output. Check out the data here in this table and look for the PL-200 and PA-150. You'll see that the PA-150 has more maximum output (measured in decibels) at a variety of frequency ranges. Then this table of short term averages across a frequency range, show the PA-150 with more output again.

You guys rock. The PA-150 looks like the best in the general budget although the highest price I have been looking at. Not sure I want to go that high as this little adventure started with a new TV upgrade. You know how that goes. Edit: Can get it shipped for $369.00. Seems reasonable?
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post #73 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 03:29 PM
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Have you considered nearfield placement? That means placing the sub within 4 feet of the listening position. I've experienced the benefits of nearfield placement in a really large room. With nearfield placement you don't need to pressurize the entire space.
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post #74 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 05:00 PM
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Have you considered nearfield placement? That means placing the sub within 4 feet of the listening position. I've experienced the benefits of nearfield placement in a really large room. With nearfield placement you don't need to pressurize the entire space.

Although the total listening position is only 10 feet away, one small side couch is 3-4 feet away. This setup is really in our face because the room from the main couch to the TV and 2.5 setup is 8-10 feet away total. I see what your saying though. Don't you think just the change from the PSW10 to a PA150 or 120 or even the PL200 would be a huge improvement. BTW, the current setup sounds really good for what it is at this point. I just can't stop my obsession at this point to finish the 2.1 setup. I know they offer "make an offer" for the PA 150 but I don't want to be a low baller as this is not my intent. I was thinking offering $325. I can get the PA 120 for $299 less 15% discount with shipping I think. That to me is still a huge upgrade to the PSW10 as well.
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post #75 of 2962 Old 05-05-2012, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

Although the total listening position is only 10 feet away, one small side couch is 3-4 feet away. This setup is really in our face because the room from the main couch to the TV and 2.5 setup is 8-10 feet away total. I see what your saying though. Don't you think just the change from the PSW10 to a PA150 or 120 or even the PL200 would be a huge improvement. BTW, the current setup sounds really good for what it is at this point. I just can't stop my obsession at this point to finish the 2.1 setup. I know they offer "make an offer" for the PA 150 but I don't want to be a low baller as this is not my intent. I was thinking offering $325. I can get the PA 120 for $299 less 15% discount with shipping I think. That to me is still a huge upgrade to the PSW10 as well.

Acoustic Sound Design sells on Ebay, too, so they have a price in mind for both the PA-150 and PA-120. I've read that the PA-150 is $349 (follow this thread starting here). Not sure about the PA-120.

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post #76 of 2962 Old 05-06-2012, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

Although the total listening position is only 10 feet away, one small side couch is 3-4 feet away. This setup is really in our face because the room from the main couch to the TV and 2.5 setup is 8-10 feet away total. I see what your saying though. Don't you think just the change from the PSW10 to a PA150 or 120 or even the PL200 would be a huge improvement. BTW, the current setup sounds really good for what it is at this point. I just can't stop my obsession at this point to finish the 2.1 setup. I know they offer "make an offer" for the PA 150 but I don't want to be a low baller as this is not my intent. I was thinking offering $325. I can get the PA 120 for $299 less 15% discount with shipping I think. That to me is still a huge upgrade to the PSW10 as well.

Going with the PA150 should make a substantial difference. I am saying that you should try nearfield placement both with the PSW10 and anything else you might buy. Again, with nearfield placement you don't need to pressurize the entire space. There is a big difference between having the sub 10 feet away, and having it 2 feet away.

It costs nothing to experiment with nearfield placement. So, it is always a good place to start if it is an option. Of course, some people simply can't deal with having the subwoofer so close to the listening position for a variety of reasons, not the least of which could be spousal acceptance.
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post #77 of 2962 Old 05-06-2012, 09:26 AM
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Going with the PA150 should make a substantial difference. I am saying that you should try nearfield placement both with the PSW10 and anything else you might buy. Again, with nearfield placement you don't need to pressurize the entire space. There is a big difference between having the sub 10 feet away, and having it 2 feet away.

It costs nothing to experiment with nearfield placement. So, it is always a good place to start if it is an option. Of course, some people simply can't deal with having the subwoofer so close to the listening position for a variety of reasons, not the least of which could be spousal acceptance.

Thanks Spyboy, I have been doing this a little. Everytime I think I need a new sub, I channel surf a movie like last night and Godzilla was on with Mathew Broderick and the base seemed controlled but at the same time full. Still leaning toward the PA 150 but the price of the 120 or something comparable is better for the "spousal acceptance" but she trusts me and she has no understanding of this nor wants any. She has been out of town this week and has not seen or heard the PSW10 hooked up so I'm thinking of removing it as she comes home today so my argument for the PA-150 is more compelling. "Honey, we still need a subwoofer" Hehehe.
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post #78 of 2962 Old 05-06-2012, 10:14 AM
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Still leaning toward the PA 150 but the price of the 120 or something comparable is better for the "spousal acceptance" but she trusts me and she has no understanding of this nor wants any. She has been out of town this week and has not seen or heard the PSW10 hooked up so I'm thinking of removing it as she comes home today so my argument for the PA-150 is more compelling. "Honey, we still need a subwoofer" Hehehe.

If she enjoys watching movies, the PA-150 will be very impressive once you get it. Just be sure to demo it for the first time by picking out one of her favorite movies from the four to five star movies on this list: The New Master List of BASS in Movies with Frequency Charts.

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post #79 of 2962 Old 05-06-2012, 11:27 AM
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Sounds like a setup to me. I like it!
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post #80 of 2962 Old 05-09-2012, 11:11 PM
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Hi Jim. First off, thank you for putting together this thread. For someone new to building a HTS, this thread was very useful.

I am still in the product selection phase of building my HTS and looking for places to save a few dollars in order to get as many toys as possible. Working with a CI, I have settled on the Denon AVR 3312 and SpeakerCraft AIM7 Twos for my 5.1 speakers. What sub would you recommend for an 18x23x8 room? Looking for something in the $250-350 shipped range.
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post #81 of 2962 Old 05-10-2012, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Jim. First off, thank you for putting together this thread. For someone new to building a HTS, this thread was very useful.

You're welcome. I'm glad you found it helpful.


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What sub would you recommend for an 18x23x8 room? Looking for something in the $250-350 shipped range.

3300 cubic feet is a sizable area to fill. To do that effectively would require more subwoofer then $350 can buy, but I can think of a few options close to your price point that might be worth looking into...
  • Priemer Acoustic PA-150 {use Coupon Code TV15 to get a 15% discount}
  • Cadence CSX15 Mark II {let me know if you're interested in this one - I can give you the name of someone who'll be able to provide a discount code}
  • BIC PL-200 {just like the PA-150 if you use Coupon Code TV15 you can get a 15% discount}
  • Acoustic Audio HD-SUB15
What might work better in your case is getting duals instead. That would enable you to gain additional output and even out the sound, all at the same time. If you opt to go that route a few worth considering are...

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post #82 of 2962 Old 05-10-2012, 01:28 PM
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@samp81

If you are seriously considering the Cadence CSX15II, you might want to wait a little longer because Josh Ricci is testing it for Audioholics. Then you should be able to compare the CSX15II to the PA-150, (both are ported 15 inchers). Hopefully the numbers on the Cadence CSX15II will end up on the data-bass so you can make some direct comparisons.

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=systems&type=0

Just so you know Josh is a very highly respected subwoofer tester, that's why he is now doing subwoofer reviews for Audioholics, complete with outdoor ground plane testing...
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post #83 of 2962 Old 05-11-2012, 10:45 AM
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3300 cubic feet is a sizable area to fill. To do that effectively would require more subwoofer then $350 can buy, but I can think of a few options close to your price point that might be worth looking into...

This was the most valuable part of your response. I have received recommendations for a Subs in other post for Epic, SVS, and other subwoofers in the $500 range. The one thing I had not heard was why those subs other than "they perform great.". Getting something that is best for my space/setup is more important to me than price.
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post #84 of 2962 Old 05-11-2012, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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This was the most valuable part of your response. I have received recommendations for a Subs in other post for Epic, SVS, and other subwoofers in the $500 range. The one thing I had not heard was why those subs other than "they perform great.". Getting something that is best for my space/setup is more important to me than price.

If you spend enough time here you'll find a distinct bias towards certain brands. A lot of the reason is warranted, because some of the companies in question do represent a true value, but often times it misleads people who don't have a depth of experience into thinking those are the only options (especially when they're presented as such). There's also a few with a headstrong opinion regarding what constitutes acceptable; for them it means the ability to rattle fillings from your mouth, and anything less is unacceptable. Deep, rich bass is definitely addictive -- a disease a lot of us suffer from, myself included -- but eating has has a certain significance too. Not everyone's financial situation permits that type of purchase, which is precisely why I started the "budget" series of threads. There are those who simply can't afford something elaborate and all encompassing, and I fully understand that perspective. It was an unfilled need, so I decided to try and rectify that.

Getting back to your specific situation... you have competing circumstances; a room on the larger side, but a budget on the smaller side. That combination will generally result in a purchase that doesn't really provide the output or extension you'll need. A big space requires output (volume), and to properly render all the sound effects you need extension (depth) as well. The bigger the space the more of both you'll need. Buy something too small and the room will overwhelm it, essentially making what you did spend a waste of money.

Brands like Epik, SVS, Hsu, Rythmik, et al have products that not only can play loud, they can play deep. But they don't fit in everyone's budget. Other companies -- like Cadence and Premier Acoustics -- make subwoofers that can play just as loud, or in some cases louder, but they don't go as deep. They also don't cost as much either.

There are options available to fit nearly anyone's situation, but personal expectations have to be managed if the budget is not commensurate with the needs; in essence, something has to given. You do have a few different options to choose from though, so your back is not against the wall. I would only caution you against getting something too small. In that case the probability of being happy with your purchase is very slim.

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post #85 of 2962 Old 05-11-2012, 12:00 PM
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If you spend enough time here you'll find a distinct bias towards certain brands. A lot of the reason is warranted, because some of the companies in question do represent a true value, but often times it misleads people who don't have a depth of experience into thinking those are the only options (especially when they're presented as such). There's also a few with a headstrong opinion regarding what constitutes acceptable; for them it means the ability to rattle fillings from your mouth, and anything less is unacceptable. Deep, rich bass is definitely addictive -- a disease a lot of us suffer from, myself included -- but eating has has a certain significance too. Not everyone's financial situation permits that type of purchase, which is precisely why I started the "budget" series of threads. There are those who simply can't afford something elaborate and all encompassing, and I fully understand that perspective. It was an unfilled need, so I decided to try and rectify that.

Getting back to your specific situation... you have competing circumstances; a room on the larger side, but a budget on the smaller side. That combination will generally result in a purchase that doesn't really provide the output or extension you'll need. A big space requires output (volume), and to properly render all the sound effects you need extension (depth) as well. The bigger the space the more of both you'll need. Buy something too small and the room will overwhelm it, essentially making what you did spend a waste of money.

Brands like Epik, SVS, Hsu, Rythmik, et al have products that not only can play loud, they can play deep. But they don't fit in everyone's budget. Other companies -- like Cadence and Premier Acoustics -- make subwoofers that can play just as loud, or in some cases louder, but they don't go as deep. They also don't cost as much either.

There are options available to fit nearly anyone's situation, but personal expectations have to be managed if the budget is not commensurate with the needs; in essence, something has to given. You do have a few different options to choose from though, so your back is not against the wall. I would only caution you against getting something too small. In that case the probability of being happy with your purchase is very slim.

Well said Jim. I am to going through this same delimma. It so hard to pull the trigger on something in my budget when it seems the alternative is really not that much more (but in real dollars is double).
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post #86 of 2962 Old 05-11-2012, 12:29 PM
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There is a really old saying:

"You can't have your cake and eat it too." In other words, if you settle for a budget subwoofer, you get to choose your compromise.

Brands like Epik, Outlaw, SVS, HSU cost more for a reason. Even though it is beyond your budget, you might be interested in the following review of the HSU VTF-3MK4. The reviewer was so impressed by the VTF-3MK4, that he made it his reference subwoofer.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/reviews/vtf3mk4WSR.pdf

Dr. Hsu also designs subwoofers for other companies, not the least of which is Outlaw.

People looking for maximum bang for the buck have zeroed in on the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus, and the LFM-1EX because they don't suffer from the common problem of behaving like mid-bass modules. Just a week or so ago, the LFM-1 Plus was on sale for $499 delivered. No where near twice the price of the PA-150.

If you haven't registered for the Outlaw Secret Sale, you have about 24 hours:
Register here so you can see what is on sale starting Monday:

http://www.outlawaudio.com/7MayGate....m_medium=email

Scroll down until you see the registration.

If you decide that you simply can't pay more than about $350, the PA-150 has a lot of output in the mid-bass.

Having said that if you read the following summary on the PA-150 you will see the following: "There is a single 4 inch flared vent on the back of the enclosure tuned to about 25Hz which should be low enough for light to medium duty home theater applications."

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=48

The following graph shows the frequncy response of the PA-150. Tons of mid-bass.




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post #87 of 2962 Old 05-11-2012, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

There is a really old saying:

"You can't have your cake and eat it too." In other words, if you settle for a budget subwoofer, you get to choose your compromise.

Brands like Epik, Outlaw, SVS, HSU cost more for a reason. Even though it is beyond your budget, you might be interested in the following review of the HSU VTF-3MK4. The reviewer was so impressed by the VTF-3MK4, that he made it his reference subwoofer.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/reviews/vtf3mk4WSR.pdf

Dr. Hsu also designs subwoofers for other companies, not the least of which is Outlaw.

People looking for maximum bang for the buck have zeroed in on the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus, and the LFM-1EX because they don't suffer from the common problem of behaving like mid-bass modules. Just a week or so ago, the LFM-1 Plus was on sale for $499 delivered. No where near twice the price of the PA-150.

If you haven't registered for the Outlaw Secret Sale, you have about 24 hours:
Register here so you can see what is on sale starting Monday:

http://www.outlawaudio.com/7MayGate....m_medium=email

Scroll down until you see the registration.

If you decide that you simply can't pay more than about $350, the PA-150 has a lot of output in the mid-bass.

Having said that if you read the following summary on the PA-150 you will see the following: "There is a single 4 inch flared vent on the back of the enclosure tuned to about 25Hz which should be low enough for light to medium duty home theater applications."

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=48

The following graph shows the frequncy response of the PA-150. Tons of mid-bass.




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Thanks Spyboy, I am registered and got my "Key" instructions yesterday. So under $500 for the Plus 1 is a steal and never look back? I think thats what yor saying.
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post #88 of 2962 Old 05-11-2012, 08:26 PM
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Hey guys, new to speakers and such here, just wanted a little advice.

This summer I'd like to turn one of the unused rooms in my house into a small HT and music listening room. I would say I can go up to at least $300, maybe $500 or more, it depends. I'm going to be listening in a room with about 800 cubic feet, hardwood floors at the top of the house. It's main purpose will be to hang out and listen to music in the room, then watch movies at night. I would say it will be 80% music, 20% HT. I listen to electronic music only, mostly Drum and Bass, Dubstep and some other facets of EDM.

Any help would be great!
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post #89 of 2962 Old 05-12-2012, 05:58 AM
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I would say I can go up to at least $300, maybe $500 or more, it depends. I'm going to be listening in a room with about 800 cubic feet, hardwood floors at the top of the house. ... I would say it will be 80% music, 20% HT.

Given that the room is small (which suggests a sub with a small form factor) and that the sub will be used primarily for music, IMO one of these might work:

Emotiva X-Ref 10
- 13.625" (h) x 12.625" (w) x 13.625" (d)
- $499, shipped

SSA Rumba 12
- 16" (h) x 16" (w) x 16" (d)
- $549 + shipping

SVS SB12-NSD
- 14.6" (h) x 14.2" (w) x 14.2"(d)
- $649, shipped


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post #90 of 2962 Old 05-12-2012, 05:27 PM
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Thanks for the help, hopefully I'll put it to use sometime in the near future.
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