Help 2 Klipsch SW-115 or 1 VTF-15H - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 05-21-2012, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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My question is Will I miss much in performance if I go with 2 Klipsch SW-115 subs instead of 1 VTF-15H? The SW-115 seems to be a step in the right direction for Klipsch and the specs look similar to the VTF-15H. Will the 2 hertz and the 600 short term watts make a big difference in the real world or would the HSU really have the wow factor?

My budget is $1500 and my room is 5000 cubic feet. It is 80% percent home theater and I would like the height of the sub to be 22 inches or smaller for maximum screen size. I currently have a Klipsch RF 7 II 5.1 system.

Thanks for any input!! This is my first post after many years of visiting and catching the upgrade bug.
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post #2 of 45 Old 05-21-2012, 11:26 AM
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I think I would go with the Klipsch subs. I think the Hsu could go a bit deeper, but with 5000 cubic feet to fill, output and smooth room response should take a priority. A single SW-115 vs the VTF15h would without question go to the VTF15h, but two SW-115 is a different story.
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post #3 of 45 Old 05-21-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

My question is Will I miss much in performance if I go with 2 Klipsch SW-115 subs instead of 1 VTF-15H? The SW-115 seems to be a step in the right direction for Klipsch and the specs look similar to the VTF-15H. Will the 2 hertz and the 600 short term watts make a big difference in the real world or would the HSU really have the wow factor?

My budget is $1500 and my room is 5000 cubic feet. It is 80% percent home theater and I would like the height of the sub to be 22 inches or smaller for maximum screen size. I currently have a Klipsch RF 7 II 5.1 system.

Thanks for any input!! This is my first post after many years of visiting and catching the upgrade bug.

I would give the nod to dual Epik Empires. $1,499 plus shipping. These are tried and true. You get 4 X 15 inch drivers plus 1,200 watts.



http://epiksubwoofers.com/empire.html
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post #4 of 45 Old 05-21-2012, 10:33 PM
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I haven't heard the empire, but I agree with spyboy, 4x 15 inch drivers >> the klipsch.
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post #5 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guy's, I should of mentioned that the subs are going behind a screen wall. The Epics look like an awesome option but I'm not sure they would work in my room design. The sub seems to be the hardest part of the entire theater build and equipment purchases for me to figure out. I guess that's why I left it till last.

Is there a general rule of thumb based on cubic feet of room? Will more numbers of the same sub make up for some of its weakness or do you just get more of the same? Do they start to sound tighter because they are not alone and don't need to work as hard, can they sound deeper for the same reason?

Now that AVS is a Klipsch dealer I can get the great pricing that I've enjoyed for the rest of my equipment. I could buy a third SW-115 later if two didn't do the trick or maybe I should be looking at higher priced options based on a 5000 cubic foot room?
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post #6 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

My budget is $1500 and my room is 5000 cubic feet. It is 80% percent home theater and I would like the height of the sub to be 22 inches or smaller for maximum screen size.

If you can swing an additional $38, IMO you should consider dual SVS PB12-NSD subwoofers.

Tremendous performance...x2!
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post #7 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

If you can swing an additional $38, IMO you should consider dual SVS PB12-NSD subwoofers.

Tremendous performance...x2!

You should get 5% off the price of the second sub, so it would only be $1499.55 for the pair

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post #8 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 12:48 PM
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Honestly I think I would rather have the Klipsch SW-115s than the PB12s. I haven't seen measurements for them, but looking at the design and specs, these like like some subs that Klipsch got right. Hopefully Audioholics can get one to measure.
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post #9 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Honestly I think I would rather have the Klipsch SW-115s than the PB12s. I haven't seen measurements for them, but looking at the design and specs, these like like some subs that Klipsch got right. Hopefully Audioholics can get one to measure.

From the klipsch website:
MAX ACOUSTIC OUTPUT: 121dB @ 30Hz 1/8 space, 1m. I dunno if that's peak or rms, but I'll assume it's rms.

The PB12-NSD's audioholics/data-bass testing shows 105.9dB 2m GP rms. +6dB from 2m to 1m gets you 111.9db. Adding another 12dB for going from 1/2 space to 1/8 space gets you 123.9dB. If the klipsch numbers are peak instead of rms you could add another 3dB for peak values and that would get you 126.9dB for peak dB @ 1m 1/8th space for the PB12-NSD.

I could be wrong on those numbers of course, but hopefully I'm right

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post #10 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 02:12 PM
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It is hard for me to recommend the Klipsch in this scenario since it has not been tested vs the other subs (via someone like Josh Ricci).

I would almost say to get one VTF-15H now and perhaps a second in the future.
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post #11 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 02:38 PM
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One guy compared the SW115 to the Klipsch RW-12D in the same room. He said:
"The bass (on the SW115) was not as tight or musical as the RW-12D, but it was much louder in the same room."

Not a good sign.

I would go with something tried and true. If you have spoken to Epik and they told you you can't use dual Empires with your screen wall, I would go with dual SVS PB-12NSD.



That is what an excellent sub should look like. The PB-12 NSD also sports a very high quality 400 watt amp. The same wattage as the Klipsch. The PB-12 also weighs 66 pounds in a much smaller box. This indicates a better cabinet.

You get 45 day unconditional return rights with SVS as well as a full 5 year warranty on both the driver and the amp.
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post #12 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 02:41 PM
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I'm a Klipsch fan and love their products but it is hard to recommend the SW 115 over the HSU VTF-15. I've heard too many good things about the HSU sub. I don't own the HSU sub but if I do decide to upgrade one day, I will look seriously at the VTF 15.

Klipsch Synergy 3 speakers (LCR & surrounds)
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post #13 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

From the klipsch website:
MAX ACOUSTIC OUTPUT: 121dB @ 30Hz 1/8 space, 1m. I dunno if that's peak or rms, but I'll assume it's rms.

The PB12-NSD's audioholics/data-bass testing shows 105.9dB 2m GP rms. +6dB from 2m to 1m gets you 111.9db. Adding another 12dB for going from 1/2 space to 1/8 space gets you 123.9dB. If the klipsch numbers are peak instead of rms you could add another 3dB for peak values and that would get you 126.9dB for peak dB @ 1m 1/8th space for the PB12-NSD.

I could be wrong on those numbers of course, but hopefully I'm right

Measuring methods make a difference here, we can see that from Paul Apollonio's different measurements for the Rythmik FV15HP to Josh Ricci's. I don't think you can compare whatever Klipsch did to what Josh does, so I wouldn't regard that comparison as valid. Just looking from the SW-115 designs, I would guess its tuned higher then the PB12. However, with a similar amount of power, a larger driver, a slightly larger enclosure, and Klipsch's propensity to use higher sensitivity drivers, I would have to guess that the Klipsch would have more output overall. I could be wrong though. Klipsch has been fairly willing to send their stuff in for third reviews, and from what I understand they have a good relationship with Audioholics, maybe if we get lucky we can see Josh review the SW-115.
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post #14 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 03:32 PM
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Based on the box dimensions and port configuration, that enclosure is either 3.5 ft3 tuned to 30hz, or 3 ft3 tuned to 25hz (depending on whether the port only runs across the bottom, or goes up the back) . Either way, it is very small for a 15" driver, which is why they give a max output at 30hz in 1/8th space spec. It looks like an impressive sub, but it is to small to be anything serious just like most non ID subs.
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post #15 of 45 Old 05-22-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

One guy compared the SW115 to the Klipsch RW-12D in the same room. He said:
"The bass (on the SW115) was not as tight or musical as the RW-12D, but it was much louder in the same room."

Not a good sign.

I would go with something tried and true. If you have spoken to Epik and they told you you can't use dual Empires with your screen wall, I would go with dual SVS PB-12NSD.



That is what an excellent sub should look like. The PB-12 NSD also sports a very high quality 400 watt amp. The same wattage as the Klipsch. The PB-12 also weighs 66 pounds in a much smaller box. This indicates a better cabinet.

You get 45 day unconditional return rights with SVS as well as a full 5 year warranty on both the driver and the amp.

"One guy" is just not a very good source. Don't take this as disrespect, but that guy's opinion is basically worthless. As you well know, there is a lot of people who don't know how to properly set up a subwoofer. There is also a lot of people who don't know what a good subwoofer sounds like- anyone who describes a sub as musical or unmusical is already suspect on that score. I would be very surprised is the RW-12D was somehow a better performing sub.

Also, the SW-115 is not much larger than the PB12, the volume measurements approximate to 8000 cubic inches vs 8400 cubic inches, and since the SW-115 weighs a few more pounds, the weight seem proportionate, so your cabinet argument doesn't work.

Usually internet direct subs have a big advantage over brick-and-mortar retail subs, but I think that angle is being oversold in this case. As the OP said, just judging from the design decisions, the SW-115 is a step in the right direction for Klipsch. Of course, we won't know for sure until it is fairly measured. Another thing is, the PB12 isn't exactly an output monster. In Ricci's tests, it does get handily outperformed by the Outlaw LFM-1 EX. I think a better alternative for the OP is to get two LFM subs and orient them for front-firing. My own experiments using the Outlaw for front-firing effect were very positive, I thought they sounded great that way and preferred them in that orientation. Even considering that though, I think the SW-115 might still be capable of more output than the Outlaw subs, if not quite the depth or flat frequency response.
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post #16 of 45 Old 05-23-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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shadJ thanks for your response and looking up the specs, It looks like many sub's are in the same ballpark based on the info found at the mentioned web sites. Obviously I would give a ID sub the nod to have the best performance. It looks like for the price though the SW-115's might be worth a roll of the dice. AVS is now an authorized Klipsch dealer and I hope to get a great deal similar to the rest of my RF 7 II system. Do the ID guys hold tight to the MSRP?

I have a lot to learn when it comes to setting up and dialing in subs to best perform in my environment. After reviewing the info on this sub could you see any potential pit falls that I might run into when I start to use the more advanced tools like a sub EQ?
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post #17 of 45 Old 05-23-2012, 04:04 PM
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You can get the ID guys to budge on their prices by doing stuff like multiple item purchases. But if it's just one thing, I don't think they would be willing to move the price, unless you just missed a sale or something. They do have a little flexibility.

For setting up and dialing in subs, there are a lot of great resources here and elsewhere. You need to pay attention to the bass management on your AVR for starters. If you buy multiples, you will need to do extra stuff like make sure they are in phase. If you want to make it simple, get an AVR with Audyssey multiEQ XT32, that does a whole lot of bass management tweaking for you if you have two subs, but that is only available on a few pricey AVRs. It's worth looking up though, and might benefit your entire system too, not just the bass. If you want more output, place the subs close together, but if you want smoother response, place them further apart- I would recommend you experiment with placement a bit, but I know you are restricted to behind the screen. For the SW-115 specifically I don't see any particular area that needs concern. Remember though, I don't have any experience with it, I am just speculating based on the design and specs, so I can't give you any guarantees.
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post #18 of 45 Old 05-23-2012, 04:26 PM
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I wonder how long before the SW-115s drop in price like the 12d? I wouldn't mind picking up a pair to play around with.
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post #19 of 45 Old 05-23-2012, 05:36 PM
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I doubt these subs will ever hit $300, the SW-115 is a lot more sub than the 12d.
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post #20 of 45 Old 05-24-2012, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I would contact Mike here at AVS now that they sell Klipsch products. I was pleasantly surprised at the price and it’s a big factor in why I will probably pull the trigger on two very shortly.


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post #21 of 45 Old 05-24-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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shadyJ I feel I'm much better informed on the decision with all the help here. I know it's a crap shoot buying something that hasn't been reviewed yet but it's good to know that some more knowledgeable than me don't see any glaring issues.

I was able to demo the SW-115 briefly at a (somewhat) local store. I can see why Klipsch might have neglected this segment of the market in the past. It's a big box for any room that isn't a dedicated theater. It also looked a bit out of place next to all the hi end cabinet finishes of the reference line. It sounded good to me with the limited material that was played and the guy at the store said people have been very happy with them. I lack any experience to be able to judge how they perform against the subs mentioned here but hopefully there will be some third party reviews soon.
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post #22 of 45 Old 05-24-2012, 12:50 PM
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I would buy ID sub as they are more bang for the buck.
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post #23 of 45 Old 05-24-2012, 02:42 PM
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R.Power you'll be doing this message board a favor by letting us know what you think of them after you get them in place. Since they are newer subs, your experience will count for something, and in my opinion these subs might deserve more attention as one of the few B+M subs that may actually be competitive in performance to internet direct sub makers. That is a trend that should be encouraged.
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post #24 of 45 Old 05-24-2012, 05:54 PM
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I just put a Klipsch SW-115 in my basement theater. My wife had surgery yesterday and is still recovering but I should be able to play around with the new sub tomorrow morning. It replaced a Velodyne DEQ-12R. I have heard a few dozen subs in the last few years so I may be able to offer some insight.

My initial thoughts can be found here:

http://community.klipsch.com/forums/t/163817.aspx
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post #25 of 45 Old 05-27-2012, 05:46 AM
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Please note: I have no test equipment other than my 5 senses. This review is purely opinion. Enjoy!



I finally had some time to play with the sub and its settings. I have it dialed in pretty good so far but I may try to tweak it a little to see if there is a more favorable setup possible. The only changes I made to the Auddyssey settings was that I turned the gain up to -3. I would definitely classify the SW-115 as a big subwoofer, but after looking at it for a few days, it doesn't seem to be as big as I initially thought. As of right now I am having the same issue as another person with on-axis response being a bit low. I sit about 15 degrees off-axis and the sub sounds great. Where my wife sits, directly in front of the sub, there is a considerable drop in decibels. While this may be a problem for some, it is great for me because I don't have to hear "Can you turn it down a little? It's too loud." This could be a problem with the room itself but I never noticed with the previous sub. I never critically listened to the old sub, though.



The first few video clips I tested are clips I have heard on many peoples' systems. They were all in the Dolby TrueHD format. The first clip was The Art of Flight, a video funded by Red Bull about extreme snowboarders. The scene labeled "Alaska" shows people heli-boarding fresh snow with a techno/dubstep sound track playing in the background. With the RF-82 II and RC-62II front sound stage the sub blended really well. There is no deep bass here so it gave me a chance to listen for 30-50 Hz response. In the past I felt 15" subs could not sound as "fast" as a smaller woofer. However, the SW-115 had no issues here.



The next clip was the Dolby Labs' Dolby Spheres Trailer. It is a computer generated clip to show off the discrete channels of a 7.1 system. The surround effects are pretty good as all the multicolored spheres bounce onto the screen from behind the viewer. The LFE track plays rather low. The SW-115 played the clip with authority. The bass was fast and as tight as the Klipsch SW-110 and other smaller subs I have heard from Velodyne, Paradigm, and PSB.



Affter hearing those two scenes, it made me dive into my DVD collection to re-watch a few of the movies I have seen many times. The next two movies were standard DVDs and their accompanying Dolby soundtracks. First was the scene in Transformers where the chopper labelled 4500X makes its way to the USAF base. I turned the system up a bit for this scene to hear what the sub could do. (I am sure it was well below a reference level.) The SW-115 created enough pressure in the room that it caused the door to the laundry room to pulsate. Not rattle from the bass. But actually open and close with the change in air pressure! The old Velodyne DEQ-12R could never do that!



The next movie was Tom Cruise's War of The Worlds. I picked the scene just after the lightning storm when the machines wake up for the first time. Again I was impressed. Not only does the SW-115 have more presence in the room due to its ability to play lower than I was used to, but its ability to do it rather effortlessly is impressive. The sub never felt stressed or its dynamics compressed.



I switched back to Bluray to watch the remastered scene from Jurassic Park where the T-Rex escapes its pen for the first time. If my parents would have had the same home theater system I have now, I would have crapped my pants as a kid. The level of dynamics the LFE track has in this scene is impressive. The breathing and growling if the T-Rex shakes the whole room. When I watched the movie as a child it was all about what your eyes saw on our 25" TV screen. Now it is about the emotional connection you make with the characters as the stomping of the dinosaur shakes you in your seat!



The last scene I watched a few times was DTS's DTS Paint Symphony. The bass in this track can make a less powerful sub distort. When the director turns on the "Master Audio" switch and the bass kicks in, it isn't a particularly pleasing bass note. I have heard the Klipsch SW-110 and SW-112 distort here. The SW-115 did not. In defense of the smaller subs that can't play this track with authority, they were probably too small and underpowered for the rooms they were in.



My older DEQ-12R subwoofer is a great sub. A sub I really like. I am glad I still have it in my upstairs living room system. However, the SW-115 is a good addition for my basement system. It can do everything the smaller 12" subwoofer can do. But it can play lower and louder with no signs of distortion or compression. The sub blends very well into my system but can really pound out the bass notes when it needs to. I am sure I could over drive the SW-115 but my ears, wife, and house's foundation would not appreciate it. I give the SW-115 two enthusiastic thumbs up! I was willing to sell it if I didn't like I didn't like it. That won't happen any time soon.
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post #26 of 45 Old 05-27-2012, 07:29 AM
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^^^I agree with the size thing. It's good sized, but it's not huge. I have had mine for a couple months and I like it. I'm sure there is still some tweaking I can do to get it to sound better, but it blends very well with my system and goes deep. I did end up turning it down because I was hearing a rattle of sorts. I'm not sure if it was the sub or something else in my living room, but I'm guessing it was something in the room. I really don't have much to compare it to as I've only owned one sub previous to this, but I can say that I really like how it sounds. I would like to get a second one in the future and put it on the other side of the room, but I'll probably wait on that until I can get an AVR that will do all of the sound work for me with 2 subs.

Turn it up!
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post #27 of 45 Old 05-30-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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You2slo, Thanks for the great review!! It sounds like this sub is a great buy and will get some attention from the ID guy's after the third party reviews. I feel much better informed with your help.
I was concerned with finding nulls in my room with my limited placement options. Sounds like you may have discovered one also. I'm hoping having two sub's will solve this in my setup.

shadyJ thanks for the Audyssey XT32 suggestion. I've been reading up on it today and I'm definitely going to go for the upgrade. If I understand it correctly I can always put the SW-115's together in one spot going to one sub pre out and integrate a different sub in a different location with the other sub pre out if needed. From the comments here though I think the SW-115's will be enough for my needs.
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post #28 of 45 Old 05-30-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Power View Post

If I understand it correctly I can always put the SW-115's together in one spot going to one sub pre out and integrate a different sub in a different location with the other sub pre out if needed.

This is true. Audyssey will then treat them as a single subwoofer. BUT if you do that you will need to make sure they are level matched and in phase manually, so it will still be worth it to at least get a SPL meter.
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post #29 of 45 Old 06-10-2012, 12:21 PM
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post #30 of 45 Old 04-04-2013, 02:32 PM
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I have a 115, and it sounds great. I even ordered a second one. Those that are comparing subs to the MSRP price of the 115 haven't shopped around. You can definitely get it for much less than that, so bang for buck is there.

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Reply Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

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Klipsch Sw 115 Front Firing Subwoofer , Hsu Vtf 15h Subwoofer

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