Supercube III owner, should I keep it, or look elsewhere? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-30-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Long time forum reader.... first time posting! Excellent forum!

Ok, so I recently upgraded my much loved 12" sub to the much smaller yet more powerful Supercube III from Definitive Technology. It was a $400 semi-blind buy because through the years I've yet to read any negative comments on anything made by Def Tech from any publication. And after reading over the specs I figured it was a safe bet.

Subjectively (as I have no means of accurate testing), after lots of tweaking and finding the right spot and angle I find that it's a remarkable little subwoofer. But the more I read this forum the more I'm second guessing myself. I've read it being called mostly a "mid-bass module," and I honestly do hear what they may be describing. We are talking about a 10" cube after all. Sounds mostly above 30hz but really kicks where it counts, especially far more than it has any right to for its size.

Now for the money, lots of folks here seem to particularly like Hsu's STF-2. If there are owners here who have extensively tried both subs please chime in. I have until the 12th of July to return my Supercube.

I'm curious as to the following:
• How do the sound levels compare between the two?
• How much deeper can the Hsu go? I'd like to feel the kick of a bass drum and Jedi force-pushes in my chest (Phantom Menace, chapter 2).
• How resistant against distortion is the Hsu in comparison? I've driven the Supercube quite a ways when testing it and I've yet to hear much if any serious distortion.

So the situation is this... I very much like the Supercube. If I had only spent $200 I wouldn't be posting this. So on a $400 budget, what would you do? And in all due respect, no brand loyalty bias or snobbery please, I just want solid suggestions from actual users of the subs they're recommending with honest and well grounded comments.

So here are a few options that I'd be down with (and anyone please tell me if any are good or bad ideas):
• Mirage Omni-S10 (I've demoed the smaller S8 which I was impressed with. I know it's the same driver as the Energy version but I'm nervous about the issues people have had with the electronics in the Energy sub so I'd be willing to fork over the extra cash for something more reliable.)
• Hsu SFT-2
• Anything better $400 can buy?

What I'm looking for is tightness, quickness, accuracy, musicality, and depth that extends below 30hz that I can feel. Not looking to recreate an earthquake, just refined bass that's great for both movies and music.

My movie room is not big (about 12x15 give or take). Any help would be awesome. Many thanks in advance!
-AL
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-30-2012, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I should also add that my floor is carpeted, and the STF-2 is a down firing sub. Not an issue?
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-30-2012, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, how's Hsu with returns and general customer service, as well as reliability with the internal components?
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-30-2012, 11:18 AM
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When I shopped in 2008, I listened to a Supercube at a local B&M store. I also listened to Ultracube from Paradigm at a speciality store and a couple compact Velodyne subs. I can't 100% remember which model Supercube, but probably the III since its MSRP was $699 which was about my budget. I definitely did not like the Supercube as much as the Paradigm. When I started lookind at ID brands, I zeroed in on the SVS SB12-plus (now updated to the SB12-NSD) because I wanted a compact sub. However, since I primarily use it for movies, I managed to find room for the larger SVS PB10-NSD (since discontinued). I am very happy I did that whenever I watch a movie. The bass from the ported PB10 goes much lower than any of the smaller sealed subs I tested.

Long story short, here is a thread comparing one persons experience with the PB10 I have and the STF-2, and he liked the STF-2 better!

http://forum.hsuresearch.com/showthread.php?t=2337

For the current sale price of $319 plus $43 shipping, definitely go for the STF-2, especially if you primarily watch movies.

Just my opinion, YMMV.

Oh, depending on your room size, you may want to consider even going up to the VTF-1 MK2 sub. Definitely email HSU. They are usually great with helping you sort through their offerings for your situation. The VTF-1 is about $500 shipped, but it might be worth it.

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post #5 of 17 Old 06-30-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. Yeah my room isn't big at only 12x15 give or take, and the Supercube III has no problem filling it so I don't think I'll be needing anything larger than a good 10".
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-30-2012, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandronArtifacts View Post

• How much deeper can the Hsu go? I'd like to feel the kick of a bass drum and Jedi force-pushes in my chest (Phantom Menace, chapter 2).

the raw numbers of the SC3 were measured here: http://www.hometheater.com/content/definitive-technology-mythos-gem-speaker-system-ht-labs-measures

"The SuperCube III's close-miked response, normalized to the level at 80 Hz, indicates that the lower –3-dB point is at 46 Hz and the –6-dB point is at 28 Hz. The upper –3-dB point is at 103 Hz using the LFE input.—"

so the STF2 is going to do a lot better. Hsu is usually pretty accurate with their specs (that is, their actual performance isn't far off from what they spec), and the STF2 has a -3dB at 27Hz, so definitely the Hsu has an edge in the deep bass region of 30Hz.

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post #7 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm definitely leaning towards returning my Supercube, but again, if I try it out and it doesn't blow the Supercube out of the water (to my tastes) and I decide to return the Hsu, I'd be out nearly $100 for total shipping. Do they provide printable return labels? I know it sounds like a safe bet to just buy the STF-2 but it's a ~$100 gamble. Eeesh I almost wish I'd never read anything online. wink.gif
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 01:53 PM
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I have had both. No contest. The HSU stf 2 is way better.
And having nothing to do with specs( output, reach), ..it simply sounded so much
better. Cleaner, tighter, faster, more musical, more punch.
The only thing that I can say about the supercube is the size. If the size is not a factor, it is just not a contest.
And with HSU being on sale, it's just not a contest.H
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Lol. Hear ya loud and clear.

Yeah, size is no issue at all. I only got the Supercube on impulse because of Deftech's reviews on publications (for which Deftech plasters lots of ads on I might add... coincidence?).

Whatever happens, I think I'm definitely returning my Supercube. Looks like there are a lot of other better options. In fact, I'm looking at the Energy S10.3 right now at newegg for $190 and free shipping! Seems even THAT one is better than the Supercube from what I've read in this forum. I might just save the money and go for that. Not that I'm avoiding the HSU, but $190 is just too tempting... any thoughts?

Thanks so much again guys for your input.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 03:24 PM
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I say just go for the Hsu, unless money is really tight. With a sub, it is better to get the best one you can instead of doing it in step wise upgrades. You see, once you experience real bass, you get this urge for more. With the Hsu you should be satisfied for at least a little while...... rolleyes.gif

Oh, Def Tech is obviously a very large and respected company, with many great speakers and fans, but they do have a tendency to exaggerate the specs on their equipment a bit more than other companies. ID brands like SVS and Hsu have been very open to 3rd party reviewers and their products will deliver what they claim, for the most part.

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post #11 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

I say just go for the Hsu, unless money is really tight. With a sub, it is better to get the best one you can instead of doing it in step wise upgrades. You see, once you experience real bass, you get this urge for more. With the Hsu you should be satisfied for at least a little while...... rolleyes.gif
Oh, Def Tech is obviously a very large and respected company, with many great speakers and fans, but they do have a tendency to exaggerate the specs on their equipment a bit more than other companies. ID brands like SVS and Hsu have been very open to 3rd party reviewers and their products will deliver what they claim, for the most part.


+1
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Lots of votes for the Hsu, as expected. smile.gif But with the Energy S10.3 for $190 shipped... hmmmmmm. It's not the money is that tight as the $400 budget was my max, but that deal for the Energy is just too sweet. Heck, I wonder if two S10.3s would be a better buy than the STF-2? Gaaaaaghhhh PULLING MY HAIR!!!!
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-01-2012, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandronArtifacts View Post

Lots of votes for the Hsu, as expected. smile.gif But with the Energy S10.3 for $190 shipped... hmmmmmm. It's not the money is that tight as the $400 budget was my max, but that deal for the Energy is just too sweet. Heck, I wonder if two S10.3s would be a better buy than the STF-2? Gaaaaaghhhh PULLING MY HAIR!!!!


The S10 is a sweet deal but post 8 should have swayed you to HSU.
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-02-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I saw that the $190 deal was going to end last night plus a $16 one year extended warranty so I had to think fast... so I jumped on it. It just made pure economic sense, especially with the extended warranty thrown in. I'm sure the Hsu would have been a spectacular sub, but for half the price I got a pretty darn good one... not a match for the Hsu I'm sure, but still far better than my Supercube, which is all I really needed.

Truth be told, I honestly like the Supercube a lot. It pumps out more bass than it has any right to for its size. It's classy and beautifully designed, but at the end of the day, if you close your eyes, the performance just isn't proportional to its price tag. In my opinion it's a great sounding sub... but only for its size.

On a side note, a couple years ago Costco was selling separately the 8" front ported, down-firing sub that used to be bundled with the Energy Take 5.1 classic (piano gloss finish) for a measly $130! At the time my dad was on the market for a sub and I told him to jump on it immediately. We were both stunned by the quality of the bass, and from that experience, I can honestly say that after spending a lot of time with the Supercube III, I can conclude that even the Take 5 Classic sub had far tighter and deeper bass. Now from what I understand is that the S10.3 is even way better than the Take 5 Classic sub! If that's true, than that's all I need and I'll be super happy.

Thanks so much to everyone for your input. You all definitely helped put my situation into perspective, even though I ended up not buying a Hsu. wink.gif
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-02-2012, 06:57 PM
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Congrats on your purchase. Getting a good deal is always so satisfying.

Let us know how it sounds when it arrives and post pics.

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post #16 of 17 Old 07-04-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Man I've forgotten how much I love Newegg. I placed the order Sunday night (waaaaaaay past business hours) and it was shipped the next morning. Tuesday afternoon (yesterday) it arrives at my door. That's the kind of free shipping I like. smile.gif

So I set it up, ran the auto-cal on my receiver topped off with manual tweaks to override some of the automatically generated settings that were wrong... and ooooooooooh man! This thing eats my Supercube III for breakfast, spits it out of its bottom firing ports, and eats it again!!!!! And for $190 shipped, I'm REALLY happy.

This sub is one of those that have a continuously variable phase knob (don't know how much more useful this type of control is compared to a simple +/- switch), but this particular one is unlike any I've seen. Rather than having adjustment variables between "0" and "180", it is continuously variable from "-180" to "0" to "+180". Very odd. While I was making final adjustments I wondered if Energy's "-180" actually meant "0" and their "0" actually meant "90" (making it in line with most other variable phase switches I've seen). Turns out (at least to my ears) the center position "0" seemed to blend best with the rest of my speakers. Running the THX optimizer bass tone swoop is extremely helpful here to find the right setting to achieve the flattest response, as well as the right crossover cutoff point. When the tone kept going deeper and deeper into the sub-frequencies, it was like the S10.3 was saying, "Pshhhh.... is that all you got? Put on Iron Man or the 2nd chapter of Attack of the Clones on Blu-ray and I'll show you what I can REALLY do!" ...

...So I did....

Well, my couch literally lifted itself off the floor (with me still sitting in it!), flipped over 5 times before flying out the window after the explosion! The entire facade of my house is scattered all over the street. After regaining consciousness I climbed up the stairs (what's left of them) to the movie room, where I discovered a 5 foot crater where the subwoofer once stood. I looked everywhere but I couldn't find it. It actually ended up stuck to the roof in my attic as its dual bottom ports caused it to fly out through the ceiling like a rocket.... ok I'm exaggerating a little on that last sentence... the sub never really made it past the first ceiling.

But seriously, all kidding aside, for the price, this sub is a real champion. The crossover override is also a nice touch, letting my receiver alone do the bass managing. I'm surprised at how large it is compared to what I imagined it being for a 10". The cabinet is no smaller (actually it looks bigger) than my old Sony 12" monstrosity. Bottom line, I think this was a smart purchase given the steal of a price.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-30-2013, 09:56 PM
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wd,
Regarding
"The SuperCube III's close-miked response, normalized to the level at 80 Hz, indicates that the lower –3-dB point is at 46 Hz and the –6-dB point is at 28 Hz. The upper –3-dB point is at 103 Hz using the LFE input.—">:

If you look at the actual SC3 response curve published in the Home Theater review you'll see that at precisely the -3 dB point the curve immediately flattens out and remains flat virtually down to just about 30 Hz at which point it undergoes a major slope change and dives down from there such that -6 dB is reached rather quickly at 28 Hz. I have the SC3 deployed as the 8th speaker in a direct radiating 7 speaker Definitive Technology system and I'm quite satisfied with the SC3 for the .1 channel and with the overall blend in my system.
My take is that -3 dB, or half volume, with regard to speaker response curves is just a common and rather minor blip in the response landscape ski-slope. Either Definitive Technology and the large number of apparently satisfied SC3 purchasers aren't hearing things they need to hear, or the SCIII is simply an excellent subwoofer that fills the lowest octave need of bass-weak systems quite satisfactorily.

In particular, I have a test CD with a bass sweep curve with voiceover every 3-4 Hz from 160 Hz on down to 20 Hz which confirms extremely strong (throat rattling) SC3 output from 50 down to just below 35 Hz; that's more than enough for me.
PS - I really can't detect any "sub-33 Hz super-distortion" whatsoever, listen as I might for it when the test CD plays, so I'm a happy SC3 camper!
Ted
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