HSU VTF-2 MK4 vs SVS SB12-NSD: for music and HT - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-02-2012, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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You may have seen the thread that compares the bigger models. Since that thread is beyond my league, I thought I would start this. My use is 50/50 for music and HT or may be more for music. Please note that the pros and cons are purely based on my needs so they are subjective. I am leaning towards the SVS SB12 but if the bias seen in the other thread on PB13 Ultra also applies to the low end SVS subs i.e HSU subs are better for music, then I have to reconsider my options.

I have already returned the STF-2 as I was not impressed by the STF-2 compared to my 10 yr old Sunfire Junior. I dont want to return another HSU sub. I also returned the SVS SB10 last year, again not much better than my 10 yr old sunfire junior. So I want to be 100% sure this time.

SB12-NSD link
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd#.UENe4aB3f1Q
Major "pros": 35 lbs, smaller foot print
FR plot is available at SVS web site and there is also a professional review at Audioholics conforming the response claimed by SVS
Better packaging (double boxed)

HSU VTF-2 MK4 link
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html
Major "cons": 64 lbs ( I guess that is just the sub), bigger foot print. Shipping weight may be even more.
No FR plot at HSU web site. There is a review online by HT Mag but it is not an exclusive review of the sub.
As per that review, the upper -3db point is 122Hz which is much lower than SB12, if I want
to use smaller speakers and a higher cross over
Based on the STF-2 I got, I could say it is a lousy packaging. Single flimsy box with only corner foams.


But if the VTF-2 Mk4 performance for music is night & day better than that of SB12, then I could consider. Outlaw LFM-1 Plus is another option. But I guess they are basically the same subs.
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-02-2012, 07:32 AM
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Mupi,

It may be a reference vs. preference thing. I'll bet your 10 year old sunfire junior sub frequency response looks more like an Epik sub frequency response than a SVS sub frequency response.


The HSU ported box you mentioned will have significantly more output than the sealed SVS towards the 20hz end of the spectrum.

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post #3 of 22 Old 09-02-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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To me output at any frequency is not a primary requirement as I listen at very low volumes. Most people here may not listen at -30db after calibrating with Audyssey smile.gif

If it is all "preference", then the entire discussion about HSU subs being better for music may just be subjective and could be ignored. Since that opinion seems to be more prevalent, I thought it could be objective. I cant find the FR of my Sunfire sub. I dont think Sunfire posts the FR like SVS or Epik. Heck they dont even say what the 3db point is. The specs say 22-100 Hz, greater than 107 db peak SPL (including room gain) from 25 to 100 Hz. I have not measured significant output at 28Hz or below. Like I mentioned before, I listen at low levels. I measured a peak of 89 db at 45Hz. Here are some measurements of the sun fire true sub junior at main LP without any room correction. No correction applied to thr Radio Shack digital SPL meter.

25 Hz - 63 db
28 Hz - 74 db
31.5 Hz - 82 db
33 Hz - 84 db
36 Hz - 87 db
38 Hz - 84 db
40 Hz - 85 db
42 Hz - 88 db
45 Hz - 89 db
47 Hz - 86 db
50 Hz - 85 db
53 Hz - 83 db
56 Hz - 82 db
60 Hz - 77 db
63 Hz - 75 db
67 Hz - 75 db
71 Hz - 72 db
74 Hz - 81 db
77 Hz - 83 db
80 Hz - 82 db


Got tired of typing. Dont have the plot as I uninstalled REW and also dont have the .txt file on this PC. I did those measurements several years ago. There is a big suck out at some 70Hz. I have not measured after running Audyssey or Antimode 8033. I dont think that suck out will change much unless I change the sub position or the seating. I am waiting for my Infocus IN72 projector to die so that I can change the layout of my room smile.gif

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1421233/infocus-in72-still-running-after-6000-hrs/0_20#post_22238347
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-02-2012, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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BTW, I cant get the FR of the Epik legend from their web site but it is also flat from 20 to 200 Hz more or less like the SVS SB12. So I am not sure if there is any difference in the FR between the Epik Legend and SVS SB12. I would say the FR of my Sunfire True Sub Junior is more like that of the Emotiva X-Re12 i.e drops below 30Hz. I did get the Emotiva Ultra 10 & 12. It was also not like night & day compared to the tiny sunfire. As you can see, I have tried some options in the market that meet my weight requirement (primary requirement) and so far nothing has been significantly different below 30Hz. I am hoping that the SVS SB12 would cut it.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1075618/your-subwoofer-picture-thread/1960_20#post_22220304
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-02-2012, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

You may have seen the thread that compares the bigger models. Since that thread is beyond my league, I thought I would start this. My use is 50/50 for music and HT or may be more for music. Please note that the pros and cons are purely based on my needs so they are subjective. I am leaning towards the SVS SB12 but if the bias seen in the other thread on PB13 Ultra also applies to the low end SVS subs i.e HSU subs are better for music, then I have to reconsider my options.
I have already returned the STF-2 as I was not impressed by the STF-2 compared to my 10 yr old Sunfire Junior. I dont want to return another HSU sub. I also returned the SVS SB10 last year, again not much better than my 10 yr old sunfire junior. So I want to be 100% sure this time.
SB12-NSD link
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd#.UENe4aB3f1Q
Major "pros": 35 lbs, smaller foot print
FR plot is available at SVS web site and there is also a professional review at Audioholics conforming the response claimed by SVS
Better packaging (double boxed)
HSU VTF-2 MK4 link
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html
Major "cons": 64 lbs ( I guess that is just the sub), bigger foot print. Shipping weight may be even more.
No FR plot at HSU web site. There is a review online by HT Mag but it is not an exclusive review of the sub.
As per that review, the upper -3db point is 122Hz which is much lower than SB12, if I want
to use smaller speakers and a higher cross over
Based on the STF-2 I got, I could say it is a lousy packaging. Single flimsy box with only corner foams.
But if the VTF-2 Mk4 performance for music is night & day better than that of SB12, then I could consider. Outlaw LFM-1 Plus is another option. But I guess they are basically the same subs.

Hmm, not sure exactly what you are loooking for. The PB10 nsd should have a very noticable difference down low over the Sunfire and was known to be quite musical as well. The SB12nsd will have similar output to the PB10nsd and should sound a bit tighter overall with music. That said the PB10 will still have more output below 30hz. The Hsu will sound great with music and should dig deeper than the SB12nsd as well.

While a bit heavy, I think the PSA XS15 would be a nice sub worth considering
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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You mean the SB10?. I didnt get the PB10. 15" sub would be out of the question due to the weight. 12" ported subs are also going to be heavy for me . The main reason I am considering the HSU VTF-2 MK4 is due to the opinion in the other sub that HSU subs are better than SVS for music. I am not sure if that opinion applies only to the SVS PB13 Ultra and the HSU VTF-15H or if it applies to the low end subs also. Hence I started this thread as any discussion of the low end subs in that thread would be a digression.

BTW after browsing through my photos, I just realized that I in fact bought the SB12-NSD (last year model) and still didnt find it dig deeper than my tiny sunfire. So I have to think twice before I order this year model. But I read that there has been some improvements to the new SB12-NSD?

Ignore the messy wires. It was still an "experiment"



]
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 12:25 PM
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Do you like the punch of the sunfire? The HSU subs are pretty smooth as a type of sound they produce. The sunfire is more punch and decent with spl due to their small size. You might want to look for a bigger sunfire model.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 01:29 PM
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If you are trying to recreate the sound of the Sunfire, you are not going to be able to do it with a SVS or Hsu sub without some major EQ tweaking. The Sunfire sub is all upper bass and mid bass, it's not doing any deep bass contrary to whatever you think. It's tiny driver would need a ridiculous amount of excursion to match the deep bass output of any of these ID ported 12" subs. I am sure you are not after a flat FR. If I were you, I would go for at least a couple smaller sealed subs, like a couple of these Rumba 12s. That will at least get you a smooth frequency response throughout your room from which you can shape to get whatever response pleases you.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

You mean the SB10?. I didnt get the PB10. 15" sub would be out of the question due to the weight. 12" ported subs are also going to be heavy for me . The main reason I am considering the HSU VTF-2 MK4 is due to the opinion in the other sub that HSU subs are better than SVS for music. I am not sure if that opinion applies only to the SVS PB13 Ultra and the HSU VTF-15H or if it applies to the low end subs also. Hence I started this thread as any discussion of the low end subs in that thread would be a digression.
BTW after browsing through my photos, I just realized that I in fact bought the SB12-NSD (last year model) and still didnt find it dig deeper than my tiny sunfire. So I have to think twice before I order this year model. But I read that there has been some improvements to the new SB12-NSD?
Ignore the messy wires. It was still an "experiment"

]

Ok, SVS never released the SB10nsd. In not sure you are going to find a better moderately priced compact sub that is light weight and has the deep bass extension of the sb12nsd. How about the Rythmik F12 or PSA XV15? The only issue would be the weight of the Rythmik and the size of the PSA.

In regards to the "musicality" of the Svs subs vs the HSU, I think its more a matter of personal opinion and the room the sub is placed in. I own two of the previous gen SB12nsds as well as a PB12plus and always found them to sound "great" with music. I recently added an AS-eq1 and and It really tightened up the bass in my room. It is really amazing how detailed they sound now.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If you are trying to recreate the sound of the Sunfire, you are not going to be able to do it with a SVS or Hsu sub without some major EQ tweaking. The Sunfire sub is all upper bass and mid bass, it's not doing any deep bass contrary to whatever you think. It's tiny driver would need a ridiculous amount of excursion to match the deep bass output of any of these ID ported 12" subs. I am sure you are not after a flat FR. If I were you, I would go for at least a couple smaller sealed subs, like a couple of these Rumba 12s. That will at least get you a smooth frequency response throughout your room from which you can shape to get whatever response pleases you.

+1

I forgot about the Rumba 12. That's another great option.
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post #11 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If you are trying to recreate the sound of the Sunfire, you are not going to be able to do it with a SVS or Hsu sub without some major EQ tweaking. The Sunfire sub is all upper bass and mid bass, it's not doing any deep bass contrary to whatever you think. It's tiny driver would need a ridiculous amount of excursion to match the deep bass output of any of these ID ported 12" subs. I am sure you are not after a flat FR. If I were you, I would go for at least a couple smaller sealed subs, like a couple of these Rumba 12s. That will at least get you a smooth frequency response throughout your room from which you can shape to get whatever response pleases you.

Sure my tiny sunfire cant go too deep as already shown by my measurements. So I am not thinking that it is doing any deep bass. I know for sure that it cant. I am also not saying that I am trying to recreate the sound of the Sunfire. You also made an assumption that I am not after a flat FR. Who is not after a flat FR? You are making too many assumptions about my requirements smile.gif

In my current set up, I dont get a flat FR as there is a big suck out around 70, which I guess room correction is not going to completely eliminate. Using 2 subs may get rid of that suck out. Anything I get below 30Hz with a new sub is an added bonus for HT. For music I dont use Audyssey at all. I just use the Antimode 8033 for the sub and also an external digital EQ (Behringer DEQ2496). So I can always tame down below 30Hz for music if the low end of SVS or HSU is not desirable for music.

As the title says, I am not looking for options other than the 2 I have mentioned. What I am trying to gather is if the HSU sub is going to be better than the SVS sub for music, since such an opinion seems to be prevalent in the other thread that compares the bigger models from the same brand. I have looked at other options like Epik Legend, Rythmik F12 etc. They are all way too heavy for me. The only reason I included the HSU VTF-2 MK4 is because of the opinion in the other thread that HSU is better than SVS for music. I didnt want to discuss about low end models in that thread.

When I tried the last year model of SB12-NSD, for movies, I just didn't feel that it was going any deeper than my Sunfire. I hope the drop in the SPL below some 30Hz as seen in my measurements of Sunfire is probably due to the limitations of the sub and not a suck out below 30Hz. If I have a suck out below 30Hz at my main LP, I have to try 2 subs or try another LP or another location for the sub. I am basically screwed if I have a suck out below 30Hz in the main LP. The manual sub measurement is too laborious. I have to get a lap top and try the automatic measurement using REW. But to check if I have a suck out below 30Hz, I first have to get a sub that has audible output below 30Hz smile.gif
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kesando View Post

Ok, SVS never released the SB10nsd.

Yep not the SB10. I got the last year model of SB12-NSD.
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post #13 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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No Rumba12. It is 75lbs. Shipping weight may be like 85lb.

Looks like SB12-NSD is the only option considering the fact that there is no post yet claiming that HSU VTF-2 MK4 would be better than the new SVS SB12-NSD. May be there will be such posts after the long break ends smile.gif
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post #14 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

No Rumba12. It is 75lbs. Shipping weight may be like 85lb.
Looks like SB12-NSD is the only option considering the fact that there is no post yet claiming that HSU VTF-2 MK4 would be better than the new SVS SB12-NSD. May be there will be such posts after the long break ends smile.gif

I don't suspect that you will see such a post. The SB12nsd is a great music sub as is the HSU. That said, the sealed nature of the SB SHOULD give it an advantage as far tightness while the HSU will have more output down low. Which is more important to you?

The New SB12nsd won't sound much different than then the previous version according to SVS. Perhaps the HSU is your best bet though that sub is quite large compared to the SVS
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post #15 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 02:59 PM
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If you had an SB12-NSD and found that it was not to your liking, then the worst thing to do would be to buy it again. The new SB12-NSD will play very similarly to your older one--there hasn't been a revolution in its frequency response. You can find this frequency response as reported by the manufacturer and by a third party.

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post #16 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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Are you not pleased with your SB12-NSD? It doesn't seem like you really know what you want. It seems like you want a small sub (not to heavy) that's equally good for music and movies on a $600.00 budget. I don't think you're going to find that. It seems like the HSU might out peform the SB12-NSD, but you keep complaining about big foot prints and heavy subs.
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post #17 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 04:23 PM
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Mupi,

Have you considered the Epik Empire?

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post #18 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auditor55 View Post

Are you not pleased with your SB12-NSD? It doesn't seem like you really know what you want. It seems like you want a small sub (not to heavy) that's equally good for music and movies on a $600.00 budget. I don't think you're going to find that. It seems like the HSU might out peform the SB12-NSD, but you keep complaining about big foot prints and heavy subs.

Well I dont have the SB12-NSD anymore. I returned it last year. It was the older model. I am not very particular about the price. $600-800 is ok. Weight is the restricting requirement than price. Once I restrict the weight, automatically I am limited to small subs i.e small foot print. I am not looking for subs that go down to the low teens. If it can play 25Hz to 30Hz with decent output (unlike my Sunfire) I will be ok. VTF-2 is a downfiring sub. I did try the STF-2 and when I ran the Antimode with STF-2, there was too much vibration due to the closeness of the driver to ground. I could put the VTF-2 on the side to avoid this issue.

The SB12 goes down to the low 20's and seems to have a lot of output from 25-30Hz compared to my Sunfire. I presume the old SB12 also has a similar FR. But it just didnt feel like it was going much deeper than the Sunfire. Same with the STF-2 or Emotiva Ultra 12/10.
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Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Mupi,
Have you considered the Epik Empire?

wow too heavy smile.gif Plus I see all the issues with the amp for Epik subs in general.
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post #20 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando View Post

I don't suspect that you will see such a post. The SB12nsd is a great music sub as is the HSU. That said, the sealed nature of the SB SHOULD give it an advantage as far tightness while the HSU will have more output down low. Which is more important to you?
The New SB12nsd won't sound much different than then the previous version according to SVS. Perhaps the HSU is your best bet though that sub is quite large compared to the SVS

Well I like tightness and also decent output between 25 to 30Hz for HT. That combination probably does not come in a small size. I am not looking for a lot of output at 20Hz. The SB12 plot shows that it has decent output between 25-30Hz which is where my Sunfire is lacking.
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post #21 of 22 Old 09-03-2012, 04:36 PM
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2 things...1) you listen at lower volumes, so you don't need a monster sub to get a good response down low...BUT, at lower volumes our ears are less sensitive to low frequencies. That might be why nothing is really satisfying you. You are never going to get pressurization at those low volumes unless you are running your bass levels so hot they will overpower the rest of the spectrum and sound boomy. Nothing wrong with listening at lower levels, I do it most of the time myself (music @ -30 and movies @ -20 on average).
2) your sunfire is made for a very specific placement, so you are not getting the most out of it where it is. They are designed to be placed in a corner at an angle with a driver "facing" each wall (of course not directly, the drivers will be at an angle to the walls) You will find you get a lot better overall FR and the low bass will improve drastically. Someone commented above about the sunfire''s size making it incapable of deep response. While that is true for extremely low frequencies, it uses drivers with HUGE excursion and an amp with tons of equalization to make up for the tiny size. Room response will vary, but it should be able to hit the low 20s with proper placement at the levels you use.
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post #22 of 22 Old 09-04-2012, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile2k View Post

2 things...1) you listen at lower volumes, so you don't need a monster sub to get a good response down low...BUT, at lower volumes our ears are less sensitive to low frequencies. That might be why nothing is really satisfying you. You are never going to get pressurization at those low volumes unless you are running your bass levels so hot they will overpower the rest of the spectrum and sound boomy. Nothing wrong with listening at lower levels, I do it most of the time myself (music @ -30 and movies @ -20 on average).
2) your sunfire is made for a very specific placement, so you are not getting the most out of it where it is. They are designed to be placed in a corner at an angle with a driver "facing" each wall (of course not directly, the drivers will be at an angle to the walls) You will find you get a lot better overall FR and the low bass will improve drastically. Someone commented above about the sunfire''s size making it incapable of deep response. While that is true for extremely low frequencies, it uses drivers with HUGE excursion and an amp with tons of equalization to make up for the tiny size. Room response will vary, but it should be able to hit the low 20s with proper placement at the levels you use.

I have bass traps at the corners of the room so I can only put the sub in a corner some 12" away. i.e the height/depth of triangular OC 703 bass traps in the corner is 12" . So the side walls will not be very close to the drivers. Would that still work? As you can see in the measurements, I am not getting much below some 30Hz. Those measurements were taken with the sub between the center and front right speakers. Will try the corner location and see what I get.
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