Help selecting the "Right" Sub - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 08-08-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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A few weeks ago I bought a set of Mirage Nanosat 5.0 speakers, and now I’m searching for the perfect sub to go with it. Was looking at $300 subs, and quickly realized that they will not provide me with the sound I want to watch movies.

I have a 15X23X10 room with 2 hallways that open up to the kitchen/dining area. I would like to use the sub for 60% HT, and 40% music.
So I decided to spend about $500 and settled on the HSU VTF2-MK4, but realized that it may also not be enough. I raised the budget to $800, and started to consider the VTF3-MK4, but I’m not crazy about the side firing. It really creates a problem with the positioning of the furniture (I was advised to keep it in front of me, since I have to cross it around 120Hz), and worried about my two toddlers having an easy access to the speaker after removing the grill.

I later learned about the SVS PC12-NDS, and started to consider it, until I learned that it is not as adjustable as the HSU VTF series. So here are my questions. Will the loosing of the “Q control”, if selecting the PC12-NDS, create a significant problem being that I have to cross it so high? Will the lack of control be such that I will be better off selecting the VTF2-MK4? I looked at the possibility of selecting the VTF-15H, but because of the size and price, it is out of reach. Any other suggestions?
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-08-2012, 06:15 PM
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2 vtf 2.4's? Lol.

butter and jelly please.
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post #3 of 22 Old 08-08-2012, 06:44 PM
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I would suggest looking into the Outlaw EX as its just as good or better as the HSU VTF3- MK4.

Link: www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfmEX.html

Its a down fire & ported sub. Excellent IMHO
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your suggestion pukemon, but at $1200 ($600 each) is a lot more than I can afford.
I know that at this price point I will not be able to get the perfect solution, but I want to make sure that I don’t purchase something I will later regret. So given my small speakers and medium-large listening area, will I be better off with what may be an under power sub (VTF-2MK4), or the SVS PC12-NDS?

I considered the Outlaw, as per skally’s suggestion, but the lack of the “Q control” (same problem I noticed on the PC12) made me think of other choices.

I also thought of getting some type of equalizer or processor that would help the PC12, but not sure if there is such thing, how easy it will be to set-up, and if the cost is of it will be over $100 (I’m trying to keep both items at $800 max. Any other suggestions?
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt75 View Post

Thanks for your suggestion pukemon, but at $1200 ($600 each) is a lot more than I can afford.
I know that at this price point I will not be able to get the perfect solution, but I want to make sure that I don’t purchase something I will later regret. So given my small speakers and medium-large listening area, will I be better off with what may be an under power sub (VTF-2MK4), or the SVS PC12-NDS?

I considered the Outlaw, as per skally’s suggestion, but the lack of the “Q control” (same problem I noticed on the PC12) made me think of other choices.

I also thought of getting some type of equalizer or processor that would help the PC12, but not sure if there is such thing, how easy it will be to set-up, and if the cost is of it will be over $100 (I’m trying to keep both items at $800 max. Any other suggestions?

Personally, I don't think you'll be missing out on q control. Let's you customize your bass a bit. And the outlaw is a very good suggestion. Dr. Hsu had a hand in helping design and many people have been pleased with it.

butter and jelly please.
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 05:24 AM
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You may have to do a little more research on the HSU "Q" control as I have no personal experiance/knowlege with that, other than reading a little up on it as all. It sounds as if it gives just a little more control with differnt set ups but to how much.... your quess is as good as mine. You can check with members here on AVS in the HSU fourm to get thier opinion.

I have around the same size & challenging situation as you do. My HT area is 15x25x9 with open area to kitchen in the back portion ( as the kitchen is the same size with 15ft ceiling). As P-man quoted 2 vtfs... hes right! Either choice you make I do believe you will be better off with duals! Just buy 1 now and as time & money allows then you can add the second. I have the Outlaw EX and PA-150 sub that fills the room but then again I am looking into getting the HSU VTF-15 sometime in the future as well.

I was curious to see how well you liked the Mirage Nanosat 5.0 speakers? I have herd good things about them but have never had any experiance with them. In a room your size I was also curious to how well them filled the room??
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the fact that the Outlaw is down firing, but I’m concerned about the quality. Being that Dr Hsu helped develop it, it feels like by selecting the Outlaw, I will be selecting the Navy brand of The Gap; or the Toyota of the Lexus. Any thoughts on that? I guess I still have to look a little more into the “Q option” benefits, but so far I have not seen comments on the difference that it makes.
The Outlaw and the SVS seem very similar to each other, but because of the SVS option that within the year I can upgrade to a higher end model (the CP12-PLUS), and have a wonderful tech-support, I’m tempted to go with them. Any thoughts why the Outlaw would be a better choice for my system than the SVS CP12-NDS?
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post #8 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Getting a second sub (of either manufacturer) may certainly be an option in the future, especially if we will be moving to a larger home. I just don’t want to have to wait until I get the second sub in order to begin enjoying the sound.
In regards to the Mirage question, I just got them and don’t have a sub to really get the entire experience. So it is hard to tell. They seem to play fine. The problem I’m facing now, is that they only go down to 110Hz, and will need to have the sub in front of me to compensate. I wish I would have been able to select a larger/better set of speakers, but to the wife was either this, or Bose.
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Getting a second sub (of either manufacturer) may certainly be an option in the future, especially if we will be moving to a larger home. I just don’t want to have to wait until I get the second sub in order to begin enjoying the sound.
In regards to the Mirage question, I just got them and don’t have a sub to really get the entire experience. So it is hard to tell. They seem to play fine. The problem I’m facing now, is that they only go down to 110Hz, and will need to have the sub in front of me to compensate. I wish I would have been able to select a larger/better set of speakers, but to the wife was either this, or Bose.
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt75 View Post

I also thought of getting some type of equalizer or processor that would help the PC12, but not sure if there is such thing, how easy it will be to set-up, and if the cost is of it will be over $100 (I’m trying to keep both items at $800 max. Any other suggestions?

What receiver do you have? If you have a receiver with Audyssey MultiEQ or better, your receiver already has some sub EQ capability built in.

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post #11 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I have the Denon 2313ci. So if I understand correctly, you are saying that variable tuning on the Sub is not necessary because of the Audyssey? If so, which sub would you select (Outlaw or SVS) and why? Thanks for your input!
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post #12 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt75 View Post

I have the Denon 2313ci. So if I understand correctly, you are saying that variable tuning on the Sub is not necessary because of the Audyssey? If so, which sub would you select (Outlaw or SVS) and why? Thanks for your input!

He's saying that an equalizer isn't necessary as your receiver has one (albeit not a GREAT one for the sub channel). The variable tuning is a entirely different concept.
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post #13 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Sdiver2489. I don't understand how relevant are many of the features/specifications, and I’m worried about making the incorrect decision. Would you know how much does the HSU variable tuning series affect the audio quality?
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post #14 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt75 View Post

I have the Denon 2313ci. So if I understand correctly, you are saying that variable tuning on the Sub is not necessary because of the Audyssey? If so, which sub would you select (Outlaw or SVS) and why? Thanks for your input!

What Sdiver2489 said. Audyssey will automatically EQ to the sub to a certain extent. The Q tuning would give you some additional selective EQ control. EQs like the Mini DSP would give you more control than the Q tuning in the HSU amp, but then you also would have to buy a separate mic/mic preamp or SPL meter and learn how to use the mic and the Mini DSP (some significant learning curve).

There's no doubt that the Q tuning is a nice extra feature to have.

But if the downfiring design of the Outlaw would serve you better, know that there are many happy EX owners out there. Also, two or three times a year, Outlaw tends to discount the EX a little down to about $600 with free shipping. So picking up a 2nd one later on would be cheaper than a second VTF-3 MK4, if you are patient enough to wait for sales.

Your questions are answered:
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post #15 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 11:17 AM
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Thanks Sdiver2489. I don't understand how relevant are many of the features/specifications, and I’m worried about making the incorrect decision. Would you know how much does the HSU variable tuning series affect the audio quality?

It doesn't really effect audio quality, it just lets you adjust between pure output and increased bass extension. The more sealed generally the more bass extension but less output.
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post #16 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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It doesn't really effect audio quality, it just lets you adjust between pure output and increased bass extension. The more sealed generally the more bass extension but less output.

So the difference between the Outlaw or the PC12-NDS and the VTF3MK4, is that the HSU is able to adjust between pure output, and increased bass extension. In the case of the PC12 is set to Increased Bass, and the Outlaw to pure output. Correct?
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post #17 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 11:51 AM
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So the difference between the Outlaw or the PC12-NDS and the VTF3MK4, is that the HSU is able to adjust between pure output, and increased bass extension. In the case of the PC12 is set to Increased Bass, and the Outlaw to pure output. Correct?

The outlaw allows you to seal some of the ports which is basically the same as the HSU's VTF. The SVS has only one port and therefore cannot be variably tuned. It is designed for maximum SPL with maximum "flat" extension.
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post #18 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt75 View Post

I like the fact that the Outlaw is down firing, but I’m concerned about the quality. Being that Dr Hsu helped develop it, it feels like by selecting the Outlaw, I will be selecting the Navy brand of The Gap; or the Toyota of the Lexus. Any thoughts on that? I guess I still have to look a little more into the “Q option” benefits, but so far I have not seen comments on the difference that it makes.
The Outlaw and the SVS seem very similar to each other, but because of the SVS option that within the year I can upgrade to a higher end model (the CP12-PLUS), and have a wonderful tech-support, I’m tempted to go with them. Any thoughts why the Outlaw would be a better choice for my system than the SVS CP12-NDS?

I see your point in comparing but I personaly can say the Outlaw EX is high quality... built VERY well. As far as Dr. HSU having a hand in the deveolpment, its hard to say how much. I mean maybe he mentioned to go with a larger cab or port ?? lol Rumor has it that he had a hand in the develpment on the Bic - Pl series too, then then again how much?? wink.gif

TO be quite honest eighter the Outlaw EX, HSU or SVS you will be very happy with. As Sdiver2489 has mentioned the PC12-NDS only has one port ( on top ) as it does not have the option such as the Outlaw. The SVS PC12-NDS seems like a great sub as I have never herd of anyone complaing about it thou.
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post #19 of 22 Old 08-09-2012, 06:03 PM
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Supposedly a lower Q will give you tighter bass, but at the cost of some extension. I haven't heard the adjustable Q though, I only have some mk3s which are a previous generation. I'm sure you'll be pleased with any of these subs. I would get the ones that afford you the most protection curious childrens' hands, so I would get a down-firing box sub- I think the cylinder's woofers are a bit exposed in that respect. Because your cross-over has to be so high, I might get two subs and locate them with the left and right mains, otherwise you will have localization where the sub draws attention to its position. Or you could just get more capable front-stage speakers with better extension and lower the crossover. Or you could do both (I would do both, but then I do love my bass). Btw, I am sure the VTF2 is not underpowered.
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post #20 of 22 Old 08-10-2012, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your help!
I now understand how the LFM-1 EX is the better sub at that price range; but I really enjoyed SVS costumer service, and their "bill of rights" offer great benefits. So I think I will choose the sub that goes on sale earlier. The Outlaw LFM-1 EX is currently at $748 with shipping, so for the price it seems like the SVS is a better deal.
The SVS currently has a PC12-Plus at $1099, and it is a lot more than I was planning to spend, but it is really, really tempting. What to do?!?!?!?!?!
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post #21 of 22 Old 08-10-2012, 08:47 AM
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Their bill of rights doesn't really offer much that these other internet direct companies don't, its just a way to market their customer service. You will get the same treatment at Hsu, Rythmik, and Outlaw, they just don't present their standard customer service in such a gimmicky way. Although I have argued about this extensively before, I don't think the PB12 NSD is a competitive sub when it offers so much less output than the Outlaw, although it does have lower distortion. Some down-firing subs you ought to take a look at are from a new company called Power Sound Audio, they look like killer subs at their price point.
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post #22 of 22 Old 08-10-2012, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Their bill of rights doesn't really offer much that these other internet direct companies don't, its just a way to market their customer service. You will get the same treatment at Hsu, Rythmik, and Outlaw, they just don't present their standard customer service in such a gimmicky way. Although I have argued about this extensively before, I don't think the PB12 NSD is a competitive sub when it offers so much less output than the Outlaw, although it does have lower distortion. Some down-firing subs you ought to take a look at are from a new company called Power Sound Audio, they look like killer subs at their price point.


Thanks Shady. I was never able to see the warranty length on the Outlaw. Do they also offer the 5 year electronics and woofer warranty? How about the price guarantee for 60days? I would be so upset to have to pay $750 for a sub, and a few days later they lower it to $549.
In regards to the link you showed me, the subs look great. I just wish there would be some type of review to confirm that the subs are really as good as they look on paper.
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