Single Seaton SubMersive HP vs. HSU VTF-15H DualDrive for a large open room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently putting together the home theater for the living room and have been set on buying 2 HSU VTF-15Hs to cover the large area. After reading through the Arkansas GTG thread, I have been considering other "high-end" options. The set-up will be divvied 50/50, movies/music.

The main living room is about 3,300 cubic ft. but it's completely open on two ends, a kitchen at ~3,500 cubic ft. and another, much bigger, open room with a staircase and a ceiling ~30 feet high. I am only concerned about covering the main living room of course, but i'm sure it's openness presents a problem.

It seems the SubMersive HP and sealed Captivator are arguably the most capable options, but they are also much more expensive than even 2 VTF-15s. On one hand, I know 2 HSUs would be better at covering the big space, and it would provide an overall smoother bass response. On the other hand, I am really intrigued by the performance results of the SubMersive for both music and movies. The SubM is actually a bit more than my original budget (which was set at <$2,000) but I am willing to consider it if the added cost is well justified.

Note that the budget is certainly of concern, and I would be able to save over $600 going with the HSUs (I live near their HQ so I can save on shipping and pick them up directly.) This $600 would go towards building a HTPC as I already have money allocated towards acoustic treatment and such. I also have a Denon 4311CI receiver, so the 2 VTFs can be configured more thoroughly with it's dual bass management capabilities. Also note that if I were to go for a single SubMersive, I would not be able swing for a second SubM at a later date. The reason is this set-up is for the parents and i'm sure they wouldn't feel comfortable dropping $5,000 on just bass. I do however want the absolute best performance for the money. So the choice is either 2 VTF-15Hs (or comparable dual-drive subs for the same $) or a single SubMersive HP.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 03:41 PM
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I think you would be better off with a pair of CHT VS18.1's if you're willing to pay the difference in shipping costs over the HSU's. These will get you a lot more below 30hz, since you will pretty much have to run the HSU's in max output mode.

https://www.chasehometheater.com/ind...d=1&Itemid=135
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 03:52 PM
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Knowing the seating and potential sub locations may affect recommendations. If they will place it nearfield and will concentrate on making 3 or 4 seats sound good then I'd get a Submersive HP. (Actually if the size and finish were acceptable to them a ported Cap may be the best single sub option for them).
If they want to have a larger sweet spot then dual VTF-15h's.
Good luck,
Tim
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I think you would be better off with a pair of CHT VS18.1's if you're willing to pay the difference in shipping costs over the HSU's. These will get you a lot more below 30hz, since you will pretty much have to run the HSU's in max output mode.

https://www.chasehometheater.com/ind...d=1&Itemid=135

More performance per dollar with the VS18.1's but at this stage of their lives I'm assuming aesthetics plays at least a moderate if not major role in their decision making. Especially in a living room vs. a dedicated HT or media room
Tim
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

More performance per dollar with the VS18.1's but at this stage of their lives I'm assuming aesthetics plays at least a moderate if not major role in their decision making. Especially in a living room vs. a dedicated HT or media room
Tim

That's for the OP to decide. The performance for dollar is there, and that's all he was asking about.
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post #6 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 08:11 PM
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How many audiances will you have? If you are mainly with your family, multiple subwoofers might be the only solution. I personally recommend the following articles as a start:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...r-1-0?page=0,0

BTW, I own a 1kW SubM for 1+ year which is served for an open space around 5000 cu-ft including a dining room and a balcony. It performs pretty well for one-man audiance, but I still have the hunger to update to 2 SubM HP. You might finally find either one SubM HP or two pieces of something else may not be enough for a 6500+ cu-ft space. :-)
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 08:31 PM
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I was in the same boat as you are about 3 days ago. Large room, needed oomph, 2k budget. Up to 2500 would have been ok too, but I decided to go for the HSUs after doing tons of reading.

At the end of the day, yes, a Captivator or a Submersive would be vastly better subwoofers than the HSUs. No doubt about it, but you won't get the same FR that the 2x HSUs will give you, and 2 Caps or Subms. would be doubling your budget.

There is ALWAYS something better out there. Go with what your gut is telling you (i am assuming its telling you to get the HSUs). The HSUs aren't bad Subs, they are good but they can't touch the big boys when it comes to performance.

But I was looking at the BEST within my BUDGET, that would give me the best results for my room, which nearly everyone here told me was multiple Subs.... so the HSUs were the ones...


good luck


Ray

And btw. I haven't gotten them yet. I will get them on Thursday. I will make a thread about how I feel about them shortly after and possibly a video clip. So if you want to see my reaction about 2x HSUs in a large 4500^3 concrete basement, open to many smaller storage rooms and a staircase, then wait for my response.

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post #8 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post


That's for the OP to decide. The performance for dollar is there, and that's all he was asking about.

No worries man, I'm just providing a different perspective than you. Since he mentioned a Cap S, SubM, and VTF15 but not a ported Cap I assumed big ported subs were out (whether the issue is size or finish).

Otherwise my earlier ported Cap recommendation or your VS 18.1's would be better in all those cu.ft.
Tim
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 10:32 PM
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For large space you will need 2 subs. I had 1 very high end sub but I wasnt happy until I got a second one. Now I'm more than satisfied.
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 09:01 AM
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Personally, first I would check with your parents and show them pictures of the different subs to see if they have a preference. Second, explain to them the sizes of each sub and if possible, use cardboard cutouts or something else to show them. Even knowing the dimensions, many people are shocked at the size of some of these subs when seen in person. Then check to see how many placement options you have for the different size subs. Your parents may narrow down the choices for you because of size and aesthetics. I would also see if there are any members local to you that you could listen to some of the options and see them in person and check to see if there are any ID companies near you or audio retailers that offer in home trials. If you can get an in home trial, get some measurement gear to measure the room response and test different possible locations.

For 1 vs 2 subs, every room and situation are different. Personally I have a single submersive in a fairly large / open space (total 8000+ cu-ft) and have a fairly flat response from the sub down to about 10hz across multiple seats. I am getting a second to get a more even response across a larger area and for slightly more headroom, but I have been very pleased with the performance from a single. My biggest issue is the speaker response around the crossover.

You will probably have a better chance to get an even response across multiple seats with 2 subs, but that may depend on how many placement options you have. No matter what you choose out of all the options discussed, if you take the time for proper setup, you should get great performance.

-Mike
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post #11 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raehza View Post

And btw. I haven't gotten them yet. I will get them on Thursday. I will make a thread about how I feel about them shortly after and possibly a video clip. So if you want to see my reaction about 2x HSUs in a large 4500^3 concrete basement, open to many smaller storage rooms and a staircase, then wait for my response.

I'm very interested in reading your thoughts, please let me know when the time comes!

I appreciate the input from everyone. Aesthetics do play a role and in that regard, I prefer the SubMersive to the Captivator. They seem to share comparable price-to-performance but the Captivators also seem to have a very long wait-time, so i've basically ruled out that option. 2 subwoofers wouldn't be a problem either. Going that route, I think 2 VTF-15s or piano black Rythmiks would look nice in the living room.

I haven't done thorough research on the CHT subs but was kind of turned off by the results as well as the dramatic discussion of the company in the most recent GTG thread. Granted, it seems there might of been clipping anomalies with the amp, and also those CHTs shouldn't be expected to perform equally to the other subs costing 3x as much. Doing a little bit more research, they do look quite interesting for the price and it looks like my decision has been made a little bit more difficult. If I went this route, I would probably step it up to dual SS-18.2Ps. With the amplifiers, it would only be a little more $ than the SubM HP. Any opinions on how two 18.2s would fare against a single SubMersive? The CHTs are however, the most physically unappealing of the bunch in my opinion, but that's not a huge issue if they can provide significantly better results.

There will be 1 or 2 primary listening positions, but of course, additional seating is aplenty and when people are over, it would be nice to be able to wow them with audio/video exhibits. The reason I am enticed by the SubM is that they seem to consistently score an A+ for both music and movies, both of which are of equal importance in this home, perhaps with a slight preference to music. I'm looking for something that is accurate, detailed, and clean for music but can also play loud, deep and pound the chest when a movie is played. Extreme output is not a priority but for movies, I don't want a lack thereof. Right now i'm leaning more towards the SubM but still a little concerned it might not be suited for such a room. Alas, it seems my ultimate wants and desires for this set-up are constricted by budget, and a tradeoff must be made.

So to sum it up, i've narrowed it down to several different options:

1. 1x SubMersive HP at ~$2,500
2. 2x HSU VTF-15H at ~$1850
3. 2x CHT SS-18.2P + 2 Dayton amps at $2,990
4. 2x piano black Rythmik F15HP at ~$2,900
5. 2x Rythmik FV15HP at $2,700

I included the F15HPs as a dual sealed option, but not sure if they would be less than stellar for movies. And to re-iterate, the added savings of around $1,000 with the HSUs would be allocated towards an HTPC.

decisions decisions...
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post #12 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 07:34 PM
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Which Arkansas gtg thread have you been reading?

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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2011 KC Sub Shootout
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post #13 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopaddiction View Post

1. 1x SubMersive HP at ~$2,500
2. 2x HSU VTF-15H at ~$1850
3. 2x CHT SS-18.2P + 2 Dayton amps at $2,990
4. 2x piano black Rythmik F15HP at ~$2,900
5. 2x Rythmik FV15HP at $2,700

I included the F15HPs as a dual sealed option, but not sure if they would be less than stellar for movies. And to re-iterate, the added savings of around $1,000 with the HSUs would be allocated towards an HTPC.

decisions decisions...

I believe the VTFs including shipping will put you around 2100...

For your room size and based on the choices above, I'd go with the FV15HP. You'll need ported subs in that size room to get you good output down low. They are the strongest (most output) ported subs on that list.
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post #14 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 08:08 PM
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I have two of the CHT 18.2's and can say that you will not be disappointed with music and movies. I've had many commercial and DIY subs (including a massive IB) and my current setup works perfectly in a dedicated room. It is simply hard to beat a massive displacement sealed sub system.

JP
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopaddiction View Post

I'm very interested in reading your thoughts, please let me know when the time comes!

I appreciate the input from everyone. Aesthetics do play a role and in that regard, I prefer the SubMersive to the Captivator. They seem to share comparable price-to-performance but the Captivators also seem to have a very long wait-time, so i've basically ruled out that option. 2 subwoofers wouldn't be a problem either. Going that route, I think 2 VTF-15s or piano black Rythmiks would look nice in the living room.

I haven't done thorough research on the CHT subs but was kind of turned off by the results as well as the dramatic discussion of the company in the most recent GTG thread. Granted, it seems there might of been clipping anomalies with the amp, and also those CHTs shouldn't be expected to perform equally to the other subs costing 3x as much. Doing a little bit more research, they do look quite interesting for the price and it looks like my decision has been made a little bit more difficult. If I went this route, I would probably step it up to dual SS-18.2Ps. With the amplifiers, it would only be a little more $ than the SubM HP. Any opinions on how two 18.2s would fare against a single SubMersive? The CHTs are however, the most physically unappealing of the bunch in my opinion, but that's not a huge issue if they can provide significantly better results.

There will be 1 or 2 primary listening positions, but of course, additional seating is aplenty and when people are over, it would be nice to be able to wow them with audio/video exhibits. The reason I am enticed by the SubM is that they seem to consistently score an A+ for both music and movies, both of which are of equal importance in this home, perhaps with a slight preference to music. I'm looking for something that is accurate, detailed, and clean for music but can also play loud, deep and pound the chest when a movie is played. Extreme output is not a priority but for movies, I don't want a lack thereof. Right now i'm leaning more towards the SubM but still a little concerned it might not be suited for such a room. Alas, it seems my ultimate wants and desires for this set-up are constricted by budget, and a tradeoff must be made.

So to sum it up, i've narrowed it down to several different options:

1. 1x SubMersive HP at ~$2,500
2. 2x HSU VTF-15H at ~$1850
3. 2x CHT SS-18.2P + 2 Dayton amps at $2,990
4. 2x piano black Rythmik F15HP at ~$2,900
5. 2x Rythmik FV15HP at $2,700

I included the F15HPs as a dual sealed option, but not sure if they would be less than stellar for movies. And to re-iterate, the added savings of around $1,000 with the HSUs would be allocated towards an HTPC.

decisions decisions...

I'm not really sure I follow why you would skip over the the dual VS-18.1's for $2100 delivered, as they are stronger then the HSU's below 30hz. If you did go with the SS18.2's I would consider a single pro amp to power both subs, like this one

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=245-652

Don't think it's putting out less power then the dayton sub amps, they dont come close to 1000 watts at 4 ohm. You could also add a MiniDSP with this option for less then the pair of dayton amps.
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post #16 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Which Arkansas gtg thread have you been reading?

Whoops, I must of combined your name with "Kansas" to somehow come up with Arkansas, stupid mix-up haha. But i've been reading through the one on here as well as on the CHT forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominguez1 View Post

I believe the VTFs including shipping will put you around 2100...

For your room size and based on the choices above, I'd go with the FV15HP. You'll need ported subs in that size room to get you good output down low. They are the strongest (most output) ported subs on that list.

HSU's HQ is about an hour south of me so i'd be able to pick them up and save on shipping. That would require 2 trips though as the car would only be able to fit one package. How are the FV15HPs for music?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I'm not really sure I follow why you would skip over the the dual VS-18.1's for $2100 delivered, as they are stronger then the HSU's below 30hz. If you did go with the SS18.2's I would consider a single pro amp to power both subs, like this one

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=245-652

Don't think it's putting out less power then the dayton sub amps, they dont come close to 1000 watts at 4 ohm. You could also add a MiniDSP with this option for less then the pair of dayton amps.

Well I took your suggestion and saw that they were offering a more capable model (I believe?) for a little bit more money, with the 18.2s still being within range of the other options I listed. If you feel the step up from the 18.1s to the 18.2s isn't worth a few hundred $ more, i'd like to hear why. Appreciate the heads ups about the amps.
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 08:53 PM
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Being in a very large room, you wont get any room gain from the sealed subs. The ported option is simple plug-and-play, fill your room with flat to 20hz. If you get the miniDSP and feel comfortable measuring and applying boost, you can get similar result from the sealed subs with lower extension, and more output higher up. You still wont match the ported subs near their tuning point for output, so if you want a flat response the extra output higher up isn't really worth much, you just have to decide if trying to go really low is worth it.

You could also run the vented subs off the same amp/miniDSP setup, as long as you set a 20hz high pass filter on the miniDSP before firing up a movie. A lower powered amp would be recommended for the pair of ported subs

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=245-650
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post #18 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 11:32 PM
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Another thing you could possibly consider is DIY to find a middle ground in price between a pair of HSU VTF-15's and a couple of Submersives (should you decide you need two subs)

At first glance this might seem unfeasible, but I assure you it'd be easy to put together (plug in and play) and with a $300 omnimic you'd come out with the best frequency response of anything discussed --- tailored specifically for your exact room needs.

Here's an incredible DIY setup that would be plenty capable of filling your big room.

Subwoofer drivers - (largely regarded as 'the best' DIY driver)
$925 x 2 for the LMS-5400 drivers
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-666

Subwoofer cabinets - (you could do it cheaper than this possibly, but lots of people are using elemental design for their cabinets and having good success)
$450 x 2 for a couple custom elemental designs braced sealed cabs

Amp and DSP
$450 for a Behringer Inuke DSP 6000 - (DSP is awesome and 3000 watts per side)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...nuke-nu6000dsp

Total price is more than you were looking at, but capability is so much more than either a dual pack of HSU or a "single" Seaton Submersive.

Total price is $3200 + $300 more for a omnimic

= $3500 --- $1000 more than you are talking about, but fantastic results. The LMS-5400's can be downgraded to a $500 ish driver or something equivalent for about half price on each driver if you didn't want to go all out on the 'best' drivers. Then the price is right at about $2600 total (including the omnimic!) You'd need a buddy to show you your way around using the INuke DSP and the omnimic, or we could walk you through it here. It's not nearly as daunting as it might seem.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout
My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-05-2012, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Another thing you could possibly consider is DIY to find a middle ground in price between a pair of HSU VTF-15's and a couple of Submersives (should you decide you need two subs)

At first glance this might seem unfeasible, but I assure you it'd be easy to put together (plug in and play) and with a $300 omnimic you'd come out with the best frequency response of anything discussed --- tailored specifically for your exact room needs.

Here's an incredible DIY setup that would be plenty capable of filling your big room.

Subwoofer drivers - (largely regarded as 'the best' DIY driver)
$925 x 2 for the LMS-5400 drivers
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-666

Subwoofer cabinets - (you could do it cheaper than this possibly, but lots of people are using elemental design for their cabinets and having good success)
$450 x 2 for a couple custom elemental designs braced sealed cabs

Amp and DSP
$450 for a Behringer Inuke DSP 6000 - (DSP is awesome and 3000 watts per side)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...nuke-nu6000dsp

Total price is more than you were looking at, but capability is so much more than either a dual pack of HSU or a "single" Seaton Submersive.

Total price is $3200 + $300 more for a omnimic

= $3500 --- $1000 more than you are talking about, but fantastic results. The LMS-5400's can be downgraded to a $500 ish driver or something equivalent for about half price on each driver if you didn't want to go all out on the 'best' drivers. Then the price is right at about $2600 total (including the omnimic!) You'd need a buddy to show you your way around using the INuke DSP and the omnimic, or we could walk you through it here. It's not nearly as daunting as it might seem.

+1 for the DIY option. However, I don't think the iNuke will cut it for those in that large room. The LMS eats up power...I'd think you'd need at least 2 ep4000s, or preferably a clone amp. But then, you'd lose the EQ DSP option. You may not need it however if your AVR has Audyssey. At any rate, it starts to get pretty expensive. Don't get me wrong, the LMS is a great option, it's just a pricey one compared to other DIY options.

Check out the Custom Elemental Designs Subwoofer Thread. You will see a list of custom subs with pics/links/pricing etc. of each custom build.

I recently bought a build through eD using Mach 5 21in drivers. I'm having very good success with them...if you have room for BIG subs.
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-06-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Another thing you could possibly consider is DIY to find a middle ground in price between a pair of HSU VTF-15's and a couple of Submersives (should you decide you need two subs)


At first glance this might seem unfeasible, but I assure you it'd be easy to put together (plug in and play) and with a $300 omnimic you'd come out with the best frequency response of anything discussed --- tailored specifically for your exact room needs.


Here's an incredible DIY setup that would be plenty capable of filling your big room.

Subwoofer drivers - (largely regarded as 'the best' DIY driver)

$925 x 2 for the LMS-5400 drivers
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-666

Subwoofer cabinets - (you could do it cheaper than this possibly, but lots of people are using elemental design for their cabinets and having good success)

$450 x 2 for a couple custom elemental designs braced sealed cabs

Amp and DSP

$450 for a Behringer Inuke DSP 6000 - (DSP is awesome and 3000 watts per side)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...nuke-nu6000dsp


Total price is more than you were looking at, but capability is so much more than either a dual pack of HSU or a "single" Seaton Submersive.


Total price is $3200 + $300 more for a omnimic


= $3500 --- $1000 more than you are talking about, but fantastic results. The LMS-5400's can be downgraded to a $500 ish driver or something equivalent for about half price on each driver if you didn't want to go all out on the 'best' drivers. Then the price is right at about $2600 total (including the omnimic!) You'd need a buddy to show you your way around using the INuke DSP and the omnimic, or we could walk you through it here. It's not nearly as daunting as it might seem.

This setup just possibly got significantly cheaper depending on your finish options. Forum member and friend Luke Kamp sent me this link to another avsforum member who has started making flat packs for people at very near cost. You can buy a braced subwoofer box designed specifically for the LMS-5400 for just over $115 bucks. The box would need to be finished but you could find your own cabinet maker or body shop to veneer or paint the box.
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/flat-packs-1/subwoofer-flatpacks.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominguez1 View Post


+1 for the DIY option. However, I don't think the iNuke will cut it for those in that large room. The LMS eats up power...I'd think you'd need at least 2 ep4000s, or preferably a clone amp. But then, you'd lose the EQ DSP option. You may not need it however if your AVR has Audyssey. At any rate, it starts to get pretty expensive. Don't get me wrong, the LMS is a great option, it's just a pricey one compared to other DIY options.


Check out the Custom Elemental Designs Subwoofer Thread. You will see a list of custom subs with pics/links/pricing etc. of each custom build.


I recently bought a build through eD using Mach 5 21in drivers. I'm having very good success with them...if you have room for BIG subs.

I'm farily confident the Inuke DSP 6000 would be plenty powerful, the reason I think so is that I heard a pair of LMS-5400 sealed in equivalent boxes at avsforum member TJhub's wisconsin get together, and they were each powered by an EP4000. It was plenty capable and he was running each sub at 8ohm bridged. We turned the AVR up to -10 and Terry told us that he'd never listened to his setup that loud. The EP4000 amps weren't being taxed at all. The Inuke DSP 6000 could be run bridged to 4ohm with each sub running 8ohm individually. That'd be plenty of power for most, but you are right that there would be additional capability untapped. My own experience between the EP4000 and the little brother Inuke DSP 3000 was that they were pretty similar with only a small 1 or 2 dB advantage to the EP4000. I actually preferred the Inuke DSP3000 to the EP4000 on my JTR Captivator Pair because of the excellent DSP - depspite the slightly lower max spl.

Here is some discussion on wiring a lms-5400
http://www.avsforum.com/t/821418/decided-tc3000-now-which-amp

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post #21 of 22 Old 06-06-2012, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

This setup just possibly got significantly cheaper depending on your finish options. Forum member and friend Luke Kamp sent me this link to another avsforum member who has started making flat packs for people at very near cost. You can buy a braced subwoofer box designed specifically for the LMS-5400 for just over $115 bucks. The box would need to be finished but you could find your own cabinet maker or body shop to veneer or paint the box.
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/flat-packs-1/subwoofer-flatpacks.html

I've always been intrigued by DIY and have looked into it extensively for speakers in the past.

2 LMS 5400s installed in those boxes with a Sanway LG Clone amp for a hair over $3,000 seems to provide for insane value. Thanks for bringing those flat packs to my attention, once I can generate more funds to upgrade my own personal speakers, I will probably go that route.
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post #22 of 22 Old 06-06-2012, 07:14 PM
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Big space, two seats. I would go with a ported captivator. I also think they look pretty cool. Cooler than two Hsu plopped together or spread around. One sub placed correctly and EQ'ed well can sound fantastic especially for just a couple seats. Just my .02

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