Close to making a purchase... looking to narrow choices - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-02-2012, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all! First off, thanks to everyone for the scads of helpful information in these forums. I've found an amazing breadth of info here, and so many members willing to share it. I've read a lot here, researched other sources online, and narrowed my choices.
I started with a budget of $4-500, so before any of you particularly insane people out there (you know who you are) begin suggesting I should build a subwoofer igloo and live inside that, I've already done the growing outside my original budget to what is feasible.

I'm looking for recommendations considering these habits and my set-up/acoustics:
I tend to listen at Moderate volume, Low late at night, with occasional bouts of Loud-but-not-insane volume.
Importance, in order: Music, HT, Gaming
I place a strong emphasis on tight, controlled bass first, then extension, and last headroom. I've read that ported subs have more extension at the expense of clarity. True? ..or it depends?
(no WAF issue)

Condo Acoustics:
15' x 20' room with a 3' doorway to 7' hall, and 8' ceilings
2 windows on one wall, opposite hallway
2nd floor, linoleum on concrete
My Set-up:
A/V receiver - Denon 3310ci, 7.1
R/L - B&W 685 C - B&W HTM62 Surround - B&W M1
Heights - ancient Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble III (placeholders)
Subwoofer - ancient 250W Cambridge Soundworks 12" (deceased)

Here are my candidates, listed from most expensive down. I'm leaning toward the lower half due to budget issues.

SubPrices.png

Rythmik Audio is nearby, so I was thinking to ask if I could go there and give a listen. Any tips for listening to and evaluating subs outside your own space? It seems trickier than fronts.
I also took note of the Rythmik F12 and the SVS PC12-Plus, but those are definitely out of my price range. Also the HSU VTF-1 MK2 and the STF-2, but I don't think those would cut it for my space.
Are there any mainstream brand subs that even belong in this conversation? (for similar price/quality ratio)
Note: I included the B&W primarily because it matches my speakers.

Denon AVR-3310ci
Front: B&W 685
Center: B&W HTM61
Surround: B&W M1
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G10
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-02-2012, 11:02 PM
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Looked into Paradigm Studio Sub 12?
Paradigm have always Made good subwoofers and the studio sub 12 surely will give you everything you want!
Dual voice coil drivers and sealed enclosures make tight bass musical bass yet deep bass!
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-03-2012, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I did look into Paradigm a couple years ago when I first started considering an upgrade. I can't remember why they didn't make my cut. I'll take another look at that 12... can't hurt.


And I just looked at my post... lotta crap I put up there all at once. I guess I should boil it down... 3 main questions:

• With my strong emphasis on tight, controlled bass first, then extension, and last headroom, where would you be leaning?.

• Do ported subs have more extension at the expense of clarity? Or is it not that simple?

• With Rythmik Audio being near me, I was going to see if I could go give a listen. Any tips for listening to and evaluating subs outside your own space? Like what you try to listen for, and what you should ignore; do you treat them like listening to mains?

Denon AVR-3310ci
Front: B&W 685
Center: B&W HTM61
Surround: B&W M1
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G10
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-03-2012, 07:40 AM
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I can't see the image you posted (photobucket is blocked at my office) but given that the Rythmik F12 is out of your price range, I'm guessing you're looking at a range of, say, $600-$800. In that range, I'd consider:
- SVS PB12-NSD ($769, shipped)
- LFM-1 EX ($649 + shipping)
- HSU VTF-3 MK4 (currently on sale for $659 + $99 shipping)
- Outlaw LFM-1 Plus ($549 + shipping)
- SVS SB12-NSD ($649, shipped)
- SSA Rumba 12 ($549 + shipping)

Paradigm's Studio Sub 12 is a great sub, but it retails for ~$2,800 (up here in Canada, anyway).
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-03-2012, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, those pesky work rules.

In a nutshell, these are what I am looking at (your recommends marked):
Power Sound XV15 $799 +0 s/h = $799
*1 SVS PB12-NSD $769 +0 s/h = $769
Power Sound XS15 $749 +0 s/h = $749
*3 HSU VTF-3 MK 4 $659 +100 s/h = $759
*2 Outlaw LFM-1 EX $640 +90 s/h = $739

{ B&W ASW610 $650 +54 tax = $704 }
*5 SVS SB12-NSD $649 +0 s/h = $649
*4 Outlaw LFM-1 + $549 +71 s/h = $620
HSU VTF-2 MK 4 $549 +63 s/h = $612
Rythmik FV12 $549 +45 tax = $594

I'm not familiar with the Rumba, I'll give it a look. But your recommendations are spot on. So you tthink the SVS has a tighter sound than the HSU or Outlaw? Better for music?

As for the Paradigm, looks like that came from one of those people who want to put me in an igloo. wink.gif

Denon AVR-3310ci
Front: B&W 685
Center: B&W HTM61
Surround: B&W M1
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G10
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-03-2012, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofrog View Post

I place a strong emphasis on tight, controlled bass first, then extension, and last headroom.

If those are the qualities you're looking for the PSA XS15 has them all, so you might want to give it some serious consideration.

If you take yourself too seriously expect me to do the exact opposite
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-03-2012, 07:56 PM
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What about paradigm dsp-3400?
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
So you tthink the SVS has a tighter sound than the HSU or Outlaw? Better for music?
My older, BASH-powered PB12-NSD wasn't particularly well-suited for music (IMO), but word is that the new PB12-NSD is much more controlled and tighter-sounding. How it stacks up against the other two subs, I can't really say, but you don't really see complaints from HSU or Outlaw owners saying that their subs are sloppy when it comes to music.

That being said, JimWilson's recommendation seems to nail your requirements nicely. PSA is a newer company, but it has SVS-sourced pedigree, and the buzz on both i) the subs that have been sold to date and ii) the customer service is very good.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

If those are the qualities you're looking for the PSA XS15 has them all, so you might want to give it some serious consideration.

Oh, that's right, you're putting the XS15 through its paces now, aren't you? So with my considerations would you recommend a sealed sub in general?

I'm looking forward to reading your review. Maybe I can make myself hold off from buying for a couple weeks til you're done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by youngaudiolover View Post

What about paradigm dsp-3400?

I looked into Paradigm again and the 3400 in particular. From what I've read it doesn't look like it would quite offer what I'm looking for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

That being said, JimWilson's recommendation seems to nail your requirements nicely. PSA is a newer company, but it has SVS-sourced pedigree, and the buzz on both i) the subs that have been sold to date and ii) the customer service is very good.

Yeah, looks like it would be a reasonably small leap of faith to go with PSA.


Denon AVR-3310ci
Front: B&W 685
Center: B&W HTM61
Surround: B&W M1
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G10
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofrog View Post

Oh, that's right, you're putting the XS15 through its paces now, aren't you? So with my considerations would you recommend a sealed sub in general?

I'm an acoustic suspension junkie, so I guess you can probably figure out what my answer to that question is... tongue.gif

For as long as I can recall I've favored precision, accuracy and detail over all else. SPL (total volume output) means nothing to me, clarity and dynamics do. It's just my own proclivities. In order to satisfy those needs I've always turned to acoustic suspension. That's not to say bass reflex can't exhibit those qualities, because a properly designed unit probably can, just not to the same level that a sealed sub can. At least not for me.

The XS15 has proven to be quite a remarkable bargain; articulate, deep and with the ability to provide a surprising amount of volume while maintaining it's composure. Personally I think PSA has done a remarkable job, especially when you consider it's $750 delivered to your door. I suspect you'd have a really hard time beating it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofrog View Post

I'm looking forward to reading your review. Maybe I can make myself hold off from buying for a couple weeks til you're done.

My review should be out within 2 weeks. AAMOF, I working on it as we speak... I mean type. smile.gif

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