Small Sub / Big Room / Primarily Music - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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So my conundrum... Have a large room which is the primary living area. Wide and high -- and probably acoustically horrible, since marble floors (there will be an area rug). Room is about 5400 cu ft and has openings to the dining room in back and a pass through to the kitchen as well as open hallways.

As it is the main living area WAF is important, and large box subs won't work. Additionally, while I should be having tower speakers, because they would have to be about 10ft apart (ent ctr 8 ft wide base cabinets), and the listening area is about 6-8 feet, am not sure that towers will be a good solution, where is book shelfs will be able to place on the base cabinet and therefore closer together.

Room Layout:
Great Room - Audio.pdf 78k .pdf file

Listening habits are probably 80% Music (Classic/New Rock, Jazz) and 20% TV/Movies. And not at reference level. I want the extension to here the bass guitar and kick drum, but don't necessarily feel the need to have the room pressureized -- feel the kick drum in my chest or make the room shake when a rocket launches.

So basically am looking for the best sub in a small package (probably 14" cube largest) that will give me clear, tight, musical bass, enough output to satisfy me musically, will sound decent for movies.

Would try to keep the spend ideally around $500, but it it was an exponential (instead of incremental difference), probably could justify 8.

My thoughts based on reading hear:
SVS SB12-NSD / $649.00 - Closed, small cabinet, Piano Black problably helps the WAF. Top end of the size spectrum, is a single one enough to give me what I describe above in the room.

Rythmic F12 - Larger than I want and more $$ as well -- probably out of the running, unless this is the one option that gets the job done.

Def Tech Supercube ii -- Small package, on sale ($399 I think) -- could possibly justify 2 based on the size and price point. Realize that these generally get bashed here, and don't fulfill the specs. Not sure how 2 of these would compare to a single SVS or Rythmic

Hsu / Outlaw / Epik -- Seems like the SVS would be a better choice given the size/music constraints that I am looking for -- although appreciate the suggestion.

I realize that my limitations on size factor in this big a room, prevent a "true" pressurized subwoofer experience. Given the limitations, am trying to find the best choice.

Current equipment: Denon 2112ci, Polk 5 jrs (front), Polk CsiA4 (Ctr on order), Polk Rci60 in ceiling (surround). Looking at replacing the front soundstage at some point in the future -- currently considering PSB Image B6 and Aperion Versus Grand Bookshelf.
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File Type: pdf Great Room - Audio.pdf (78.3 KB, 22 views)
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 09:51 AM
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In the following list, the Super Cube II didn't fare very well.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvieXs2IbzIfdFB1dVFtLW5HeF9yb1o2TjIyU2F1Unc&hl=en_US#gid=0

Average output from 25-62Hz only measured 96.9 db and at 25Hz could only produce 85db.

On the above spreadsheet, the Super Cube II is on line number 171. Not a very good showing.

I would lean towards one SVS SB-12 NSD for now and start to save for another smile.gif
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy 
I would lean towards one SVS SB-12 NSD for now and start to save for another smile.gif
+1.


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post #4 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 10:05 AM
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Also check out the 16" cube Rumba 12 if it is not too big for you. I have the svs SB12 and it is an awesome sub for such small size.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 07:54 PM
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You have 5400 CF of space to fill, want a sub that's around 14" cubed and only have $500 to spend on it? Unfortunately, I don't think such a thing exists. The SB12-NSD is widely regarded as a very nice sub, but I suspect your room will rendered it virtually mute. Same with the Rumba 12. Your one saving grace is it will be used mostly for music, which isn't as demanding as HT (the genres you mention generally aren't, anyway). It might be worth trying one of them, but I wouldn't be surprised if it struggles to a degree that makes it noticeable.

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post #6 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 08:31 PM
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With a room that large, 1 sub, that small isn't going to cut it. My PB12-NSD can't cut it in my 4500 ft^2 concrete basement. Your room is much larger, and open to even more rooms.

If you want to "feel' the music, than you have no choice but to go large. Anyone that says otherwise hasn't had the opportunity to try ti for themselves.

I went from a 12 inch PB12 to two 15 inch HSU VTF 15hs and it's like night and day. Even ONE 15h is able to pressurizer my room way more than the PB12.

Size matters. The bigger the room, the bigger/the more subs you need. Period.


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Projector: AE7000
Screen: 5x12 Wilson Art Laminate Designer White
Receiver: Denon 2112Ci
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 08:47 PM
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Good luck I don't see it happening.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

You have 5400 CF of space to fill, want a sub that's around 14" cubed and only have $500 to spend on it? Unfortunately, I don't think such a thing exists. The SB12-NSD is widely regarded as a very nice sub, but I suspect your room will rendered it virtually mute. Same with the Rumba 12. Your one saving grace is it will be used mostly for music, which isn't as demanding as HT (the genres you mention generally aren't, anyway). It might be worth trying one of them, but I wouldn't be surprised if it struggles to a degree that makes it noticeable.

Thanks Jim, this is helpful feedback (and unfortunately kind of what I expected). So my next question is, will I really not here/feel anything in a 6-8 ft field placement (I don't think this qualifies as "near-field" based on what I've read). Will I get more or less with one of these subs then I would say from 2 good quality towers. I realize am not going to get a true home theatre experience in a room this size, without doing at least 1 (if not 2) 15" subs. If I am understanding, if I am unable/unwilling to go big enough to the room, not worth it to do a sub at all (in which case would need towers)...

Is no sub (with towers) better than an underpowered sub (with bookshelves or towers)? or is it a wash -- regardless will be decent for music (although lacking at the bottom end) and somewhat hollow for home theatre?
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 11:45 AM
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For music you could probably get away with some good sized towers, but HT is a different story. There are portions of the soundtrack that will not play on anything other then a subwoofer, so that part of a movie would be completely absent and would ultimately diminish the overall effect.

The problem with a subwoofer is that the only boundaries it understands are physical in nature, so everything between your walls and ceilings it will try to pressurize. If you get a sub that's too small to do that you'll end up driving it so hard you risk damage, so the less then stellar bass output you'll probably get at your listening position isn't the only potential issue. Proximity could mitigate that issue to some extent, but more then likely a smaller sub would struggle regardless.

The Epik Legend employs two drivers, and is within your price range, but it's not diminutive. That might do better in your space then a single driver sub would, but the WAF may not be what you need.

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post #10 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon777 View Post

Thanks Jim, this is helpful feedback (and unfortunately kind of what I expected). So my next question is, will I really not here/feel anything in a 6-8 ft field placement (I don't think this qualifies as "near-field" based on what I've read). Will I get more or less with one of these subs then I would say from 2 good quality towers. I realize am not going to get a true home theatre experience in a room this size, without doing at least 1 (if not 2) 15" subs. If I am understanding, if I am unable/unwilling to go big enough to the room, not worth it to do a sub at all (in which case would need towers)...
Is no sub (with towers) better than an underpowered sub (with bookshelves or towers)? or is it a wash -- regardless will be decent for music (although lacking at the bottom end) and somewhat hollow for home theatre?

That size room will always demand more speakers and sub with that being said a sub is better than no sub unless we are talking the 8inch variety which IMO is a mid bass module and not competitive with real MBM's.
I usually don't understand the size restriction in large rooms because you would not mount a 24inch LCD on a wall in a room that size as you would not expect a dorm room sub to do the job.
You can do small subs ( a wall full of them ) but they still have issues with anything under 35Hz with any authority and a good set of towers will hit 40 to 45Hz so the gain on the small subs are minimal.
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

The Epik Legend employs two drivers, and is within your price range, but it's not diminutive. That might do better in your space then a single driver sub would, but the WAF may not be what you need.

I would be willing to increase the budget, but everything I am hearing, is that it doesn't matter unless willing to go with a larger form factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I usually don't understand the size restriction in large rooms because you would not mount a 24inch LCD on a wall in a room that size as you would not expect a dorm room sub to do the job.

The room has other uses besides home theatre (I know that is sacrilege, but is reality), and a 2 ft cube is hard to find a home for without sticking out like a sore thumb (again I know WAF is a dirty acronym, but it is the reality)...

It seems like there is no real solution without going bigger, so need to go back to drawing board and figure out a way to work that in -- likely to one of the corners...
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jon777 View Post

I would be willing to increase the budget, but everything I am hearing, is that it doesn't matter unless willing to go with a larger form factor.

How about dual smaller subs? That would help with output and would even out the sound to boot.

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post #13 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

How about dual smaller subs? That would help with output and would even out the sound to boot.

That's a good suggestion, but here is another alternative (if you can't squeeze two subs in):

I went through nearly the same thought process for a room that is very similar in size and with the very same furniture arrangement that you have depicted. (BTW, I went with towers, but my seating places the listening position 10' from the speakers, which are also 10' apart). We do have a few more pieces of furniture though. Have you depicted all of the furniture in your room or is there more in that big space?

Since WAF is also huge for me, we decided that we are going to pursue the custom route and have a large 18" sub built to function as an end table (it will likey fire toward the front of the room, but can fire into the side of the couch to remove the large woofer form view to please the wife--down firing may be an alternative for you as well). It will sit on the left side of the couch (which is set up just like yours) with a lamp on top of it. Obviously this will be far more costly than what you were originally discussing, but if you decide to up the budget, this may be an option. It may not be the best location for the sub, but I really don't have the flexibility of a dedicated room, and you appear to be in the same boat.

One last point, music is also my primary concern, but I want usability for home theater as well.

Best of luck convincing the other half that "more" and "bigger" is what you need.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 07:57 PM
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Instead of going custom, could you use one of the larger subs as an end table?

I have the two larger Outlaws, EX and Plus. Either one would make an acceptable end table. They do have some vibration, however. The EX much less so than the Plus, which can really dance.

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post #15 of 18 Old 06-15-2012, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

How about dual smaller subs? That would help with output and would even out the sound to boot.

Dual smaller is certainly a possibility. Definitely if I stick to bookshelves for the mains. And not replacing the front soundstage right away would allow for more budget flexibility. And dual smaller would give more options for placement -- likely on the same wall as the TV, but one on the right and one on the left. That was actually one of my original thoughts with the Supercube(s), but doubling up there won't help if they can't hit the true lower end of movies, I guess.

If I were to go to a larger cabinet/speaker -- would certainly lock me into a single, as I won't be able to justify 2 18-20" cubes -- and placement would likely be the corner to the right of the TV -- no option for a subwoofer crawl.

A faux-end table is probably not a realistic option for my situation...
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-15-2012, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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So if to do this, I need to start looking at options, in the $1200 -1300... Would

2 x SVS SB12-NSD ($1300)
2 x Emotiva Xref-12 (on sale ($1200))

If I go with a single larger amp:
Hsu VTF-3 MK4 (the rosewood may add to the WAF) - -$799)
Hsu ULS-15 ($1100-1200)

other singles or pairs I should be looking at?
given the room layout, and having more flexibility in positioning with 2 (if 1 large, would likely go in the far right corner), am I better off with one larger or two smaller?

Also reminder, that 70-80% of listening is music...
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-16-2012, 07:51 AM
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FWIW, I'm in a bit of the same spot you are. Almost 5500cf basement and needing some decent low output. While my primary need is for quality when listening to music, I also have a need for oomph in HT. I have resigned myself to go ported, I have neither the room layout nor the budget for 2-4 decent sealed subs. For now at least the top of the list is the Rythmik FV15HP based on various GTG and shootouts performed by AVS members, and I'm braced for the ultimate possibility that I will need to find the room for two.

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post #18 of 18 Old 06-16-2012, 11:09 AM
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Rumor has it Emotiva has some of the Ultra 10's, predecessor to the X-Ref 10, for sale, new, with full five year warranty, for $279. Very small footprint. Going to need a lot for your application, but four small footrpints may sound better than two medium-small footprints.

Just a thought.

WIth all of your openings, you're going to have to have a monster. When I first looked at it, I didn't take into acount all the openings and how large they were.

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