Subwoofer upgrade - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-13-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I'm new to this forum. 10 years ago I got my first 5.1 setup with all Cerwin Vega speakers. The sub has always been terrible. I upgraded the front and center channels to Polk's and they are decent. I'm looking at the Hsu VTF-2 MK4 or the Lava LSP12. The difference ib price is $250 but I don't mind spending the difference if it's worth it. Also, I'll need a 25 ft sub interconnect.Thanks for any recommendations you may have.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-13-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyfree111 View Post

Hi, I'm new to this forum. 10 years ago I got my first 5.1 setup with all Cerwin Vega speakers. The sub has always been terrible. I upgraded the front and center channels to Polk's and they are decent. I'm looking at the Hsu VTF-2 MK4 or the Lava LSP12. The difference ib price is $250 but I don't mind spending the difference if it's worth it. Also, I'll need a 25 ft sub interconnect.Thanks for any recommendations you may have.

Either will be an improvement. There is almost no published test data on the Hsu, and very little on the Lava. From what I could find, they look roughly similar in bass extension, but the Hsu had more power available, so might well play at a higher SPL.

I couldn't find the Hsu return policy, but they probably have something similar to Lava, as they only sell direct on line. Lava gives you 30 days to return if you don't like it. It may be possible to demo both, return the one you prefer less.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-13-2012, 01:06 PM
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There is published data on the Lava, here. They won't be similar in extension, the Hsu will go much deeper, it has a larger cabinet and is tuned much lower.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-13-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyfree111 View Post

Hi, I'm new to this forum. 10 years ago I got my first 5.1 setup with all Cerwin Vega speakers. The sub has always been terrible. I upgraded the front and center channels to Polk's and they are decent. I'm looking at the Hsu VTF-2 MK4 or the Lava LSP12. The difference ib price is $250 but I don't mind spending the difference if it's worth it. Also, I'll need a 25 ft sub interconnect.Thanks for any recommendations you may have.

The LAVA measures more like a mid-bass module than the HSU. Don't hesitate to get the HSU, it is clearly worth it.

For you cables Monoprice just can't be beat. I just purchased dual 12 foot RCA cables suitable for use with subwoofers for less than $5.00 eek.gif
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-13-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks I appreciate the advise. Mono cables are indeed great value. Lava just sent me an e-mail for the LSP12 at $287.69 shipped, so I'm thinking it's less than half the price of the Hsu. Hmmm...Tempted for sure!
The Lava may be good enough for my needs since I still need a new receiver ( looking at Yamaha RX-A720 or 820) and surround speakers too. My wife hates wires and won't allow me to put holes in the wall so I'm scratching my head at what to do for surrounds. Contemplating the Polk wireless surrounds but so many mixed reviews ( can't use the microwave!!).
BTW, the Lava also seems smaller than the Hsu which may work out better since it's my living room. Planning to place the sub in the back corner of the room with the sub firing directly into my sofa.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-13-2012, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

There is published data on the Lava, here. They won't be similar in extension, the Hsu will go much deeper, it has a larger cabinet and is tuned much lower.

I would agree, but there's no published test data on the Hsu. The closest I could come was a test of a system that included a VTF-2 mk3 passive, but the tests were not complete:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/reviews/homeTheaterMagHb1ReviewMar2007.pdf

They would seem to confirm that the VTF-2 is tuned lower, though. I'd like to see max SPL vs frequency, and THD on both, that would be helpful, guess I'm not going to find it today.

If the OP wants smaller over quality extension, he'll pick the Lava and put up with less performance.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 06:09 AM
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http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/lsp12-subwoofer - Lava LSP-12 - drops off substantially below 35 Hz

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/189521/hsu-research-stf-2-subwoofer-test-review - STF-2 review by Ed Mullen

The Hsu STF-2 will blow the Lava away between 25 Hz and 35 Hz.
The Hsu VTF-2.4 will blow the STF-2 away between 20 Hz and 30 Hz.

A number of individuals in this forum have upgraded from the BIC PL-200 (well regarded under $300) to the STF-2 which they felt was much superior to the PL-200. Others have upgraded from two STF-2s to the Hsu VTF-3.4 which they felt was much superior to two STF-2s.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 12:06 PM
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Like everyone else has said... go with the HSU VTF-2 MK4

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyfree111 View Post

Thanks I appreciate the advise. Mono cables are indeed great value. Lava just sent me an e-mail for the LSP12 at $287.69 shipped, so I'm thinking it's less than half the price of the Hsu. Hmmm...Tempted for sure!
The Lava may be good enough for my needs since I still need a new receiver ( looking at Yamaha RX-A720 or 820) and surround speakers too. My wife hates wires and won't allow me to put holes in the wall so I'm scratching my head at what to do for surrounds. Contemplating the Polk wireless surrounds but so many mixed reviews ( can't use the microwave!!).
BTW, the Lava also seems smaller than the Hsu which may work out better since it's my living room. Planning to place the sub in the back corner of the room with the sub firing directly into my sofa.

If you are using your system for home theater, the lower the better. I'm sure the Lava will be OK for certain movies but for many out there you will miss out on all the low booms and rumbles.
If the footprint is an issue for you SVS makes a great down firing cylindrical sub that would be comparable to the HSU, better then the Lava.
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/cylinder/pc12-nsd

Though I'm not sure what your budget is... you can normally find a used SVS on Craigs List for under $500.

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