Need to get educated on Rythmik and HSU: recommendations for Newbie - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 01-26-2013, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I've searched the forums and needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed. So I decided to just start a new thread.

I think I have a pretty good home theater with the exception of a high quality subwoofer. I have DefTech Mythos Towers with matching Center and Surrounds. I use an AV Receiver (with ARC) as a preamp, which feeds an external amp (170x5 with all channels running). Here comes the huge weak link: a Mirage frx 10 inch sub. It is definitely better than nothing at all, which I found out when the fuse blew a week ago. But obviously, it's not what I want long term.

I've had plenty of experience with ported subs with the above mentioned Mirage and various car subs over the years. I think I'm ready for some good clean, tight bass that is usually achieved with a sealed box. I've read many different discussions over ported vs. sealed on here, and I think I'm in the camp of accurate bass is accurate bass. The system will be used for HT about 60% of the time. The listening area is large. It is an L shaped room with about 75' spans on the long sides and 35' on the width. On the back side it opens up to a kitchen, so it is really about 75' x 75'. Also, 10' ceilings. Oddly, the acoustics seems pretty decent. Probably because the area is all 90 degree angles and the ceiling it flat not cathedral. I also have hardwood floors throughout.

I don't need to have chest caving bass, but I would like to have something respectable. Local shops have been trying to sell me things like the DefTech supercubes, Paradigms, and Velodyne Optimums. They all sound respectable, but I have heard a lot about internet direct subs. Problem is that I don't know much about the different brands. Since I will basically be buying blind, I wanted to get some feedback from the folks on here.

I have been looking at two subs primarily, but I am open to suggestions. I'd like to stay in the $1,200 range for now if possible.

1) Rythmik D15se - I like the finish and the fact that it is downfiring (mainly due to less opportunities for accidental damage). Rythmik is given great reviews and seems like a can't miss. Also like the fact that it has RCA outputs to add a second sub at a later date if wanted. I due have concerns of only having a 370W amp, but I'm not familiar enough to know the sensitivity on the subs. Price today is $1,049

2) HSU ULS-15 (rosenut finish) - The rosenut finish is nice and it has the wireless connectivity, which makes placement more flexible. I'm assuming the wireless would allow for 2 subs to run off of one signal for later expansion option. Has more power than the Rythmik and I've heard good things about this sub as well. Price today is $1,199.

I also looked at the SVS SB-13 Ultra, but at $1,599 i couldn't see it being $400-$500 better. Could it be half again better than the above two? I'm not sure it'd be even as good, considering the posts I've read.

I mentioned finish first on the two above choices, but finish is not critical, but naturally I'd like something that looked nice too. Hope I wasn't too long winded, but wanted to give as much info as possible. Thanks.
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post #2 of 32 Old 01-26-2013, 02:16 PM
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Wow, big room, but you seem to have reasonable expectations. I like both the subs and companies you mentioned but I have to say the Powersound Audio XS30 might be the best value for your room. That said, the finish may not be what you are looking for.
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post #3 of 32 Old 01-26-2013, 02:44 PM
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If I were looking at reasonably priced, nice looking 15"s, these are the ones I would settle on. Your room is much too large for either sub though, so I would only get one with the intention of adding at least one more, if not more. I have the ULS-15, I love it, but I think the Rythmik would be great as well. I would go with whichever looks nicer to you. The problem is you may have to run them pretty hard to get any decent bass sound in that room, this is not good for sound quality or long term reliability. My advice is to eventually get two of either one, or better yet four. I am not saying this as a bass head, I am saying this from the perspective of moderate volume sound quality.
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post #4 of 32 Old 01-26-2013, 03:03 PM
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Nearlfield placement of the subwoofer near the listening position would really help. It would give you the tactile feel and it would help in not pushing the sub too hard. The wireless option of the Hsu ULS sub really could assist with this. As someone who has four sealed 15" subs in my room powered by a 3K watt amp, I can tell you that more sources (subs) in a large room is a must (I want two to four more 15" subs in my roughly 7,000 cu sq ft space). You simply are not going to pressurize a room the size of yours, but I believe you already know this and seem to have reasonable expectations. Start with one, but definitely keep your option open for multiples.
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-26-2013, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Nearlfield placement of the subwoofer near the listening position would really help. It would give you the tactile feel and it would help in not pushing the sub too hard. The wireless option of the Hsu ULS sub really could assist with this. As someone who has four sealed 15" subs in my room powered by a 3K watt amp, I can tell you that more sources (subs) in a large room is a must (I want two to four more 15" subs in my roughly 7,000 cu sq ft space). You simply are not going to pressurize a room the size of yours, but I believe you already know this and seem to have reasonable expectations. Start with one, but definitely keep your option open for multiples.

I had heard about near field placement and I actually have a perfect spot for a sub within the seat groupings. I certainly don't expect to pressurize the room, nor do I want to. I have my truck to bass out in. But it would be nice to feel some rumble and shake. Really want accurate reproduction and some rumble. Like I said before, don't need the bass punching me in the chest, but a tap would be alright. I think you and I are on the same page. I think some folks here are a lot more extreme about it than I am.

Right now I'm leaning toward the HSU ULS-15 because of the wireless placement option. But I'm certainly open to other options. I'll also call Rythmik, HSU and any other solid options prior to purchasing, so the companies can chime in with their solutions.
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-27-2013, 09:13 AM
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I had heard about near field placement and I actually have a perfect spot for a sub within the seat groupings. I certainly don't expect to pressurize the room, nor do I want to. I have my truck to bass out in. But it would be nice to feel some rumble and shake. Really want accurate reproduction and some rumble. Like I said before, don't need the bass punching me in the chest, but a tap would be alright. I think you and I are on the same page. I think some folks here are a lot more extreme about it than I am.

Right now I'm leaning toward the HSU ULS-15 because of the wireless placement option. But I'm certainly open to other options. I'll also call Rythmik, HSU and any other solid options prior to purchasing, so the companies can chime in with their solutions.

All of these are great choices in my opinion and as many have said (2) eventually or more will offer balance and headroom throughout especially a larger room. I am currently using ULS-15 in dual drive and my room is very small by most standards on hear and they absolutely sound great with punishing LFE when needed compared to just the (1) ULS and I only stepped up by the urging of some on hear. The only things I had problems with and it was very minor was the wireless option can be finicky if there are other frequencies abroad and not going with rosenut lol!!!!
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post #7 of 32 Old 01-27-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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All of these are great choices in my opinion and as many have said (2) eventually or more will offer balance and headroom throughout especially a larger room. I am currently using ULS-15 in dual drive and my room is very small by most standards on hear and they absolutely sound great with punishing LFE when needed compared to just the (1) ULS and I only stepped up by the urging of some on hear. The only things I had problems with and it was very minor was the wireless option can be finicky if there are other frequencies abroad and not going with rosenut lol!!!!

I just emailed HSU to get their thoughts on it. Gave them as much info as I could, so a lot more than on here. The wireless feature will probably either make or break my decision. I have an exterior door that will prevent me from running wire to a side wall application. Thankfully, I don't have a lot of RF devices, so I doubt there would be an issue.
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post #8 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I basically botched this thread a little bit. Not sure where I remember the numbers from, but the room dimensions are 25 X 38 X 10h. After speaking with both HSU and Rythmik, they both suggest their ported designs, the VTF-15H and the FV15HP. Anyone have any further thoughts or things to consider.
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gator Bait View Post

I basically botched this thread a little bit. Not sure where I remember the numbers from, but the room dimensions are 25 X 38 X 10h. After speaking with both HSU and Rythmik, they both suggest their ported designs, the VTF-15H and the FV15HP. Anyone have any further thoughts or things to consider.

I am not surprised. A ported sub has more output at the tuning frequency for a big room but if you still like the idea of a smaller sealed sub, I still think you can make this work with near field placement and being open to having multiple sealed subs.

I went from a large ported sub (VTF-15H) to multiple sealed subs and I am very happy with my decision. I am getting more output, extension, and much smoother bass response. But I have four subs.

And again, you seem to have realistic expectations. You have a touch choice to make, I would look into the PSA XS30 and give them a call.
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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At the end of the day, I want it to be accurate. I'm not an audiophile, but I like nice clean music. I won't sit and listen for little things in music, but I don't want to be bothered with distortion and other foul things coming at me.

I'm leaning toward the VFT-15H because I simply cannot afford 4 subs. Someone has been PM'ing me about the Rythmik being worth the extra money over the HSU. So I don't know. I have the space for the ported sub. It's just tough going blind on a purchase.

I looked up the PSA and it seems pretty remarkable. I'll research that one a little more too.
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post #11 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 07:20 PM
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If music is important to you go for the F15, but for your large room, the FV15HP should be better for both music and movies given the size of your room.
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 07:38 PM
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Someone has been PM'ing me about the Rythmik being worth the extra money over the HSU.
^ fanboy

It's up to you really. If you want to spend $1000 get the VTF-15H. If you want to spend $1400 get the FV15HP. The Rythmik probably is a bit better, but it should be at its price point. Without auditioning both of them in your room you will never know, but I think you would be happy with either choice.

Life is hard, be harder.
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post #13 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 08:00 PM
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I have an Rythmik FV15 and it really is an outstanding sub. My room dimensions are a tad smaller than yours but my room gets filled with lots of bass. Your money, your call.

Jeff
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post #14 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 08:31 PM
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I just got the Hsu VTF-15H and that thing is a monster. Make sure you have room to put it. Really it's freaking huge. 20130128_211630.jpg 1841k .jpg file
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post #15 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 08:36 PM
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I just got the Hsu VTF-15H and that thing is a monster. Make sure you have room to put it. Really it's freaking huge. 20130128_211630.jpg 1841k .jpg file

Congrats!!!!

They do take up a lot of room, don't they. Nice room.

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post #16 of 32 Old 01-28-2013, 10:52 PM
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I would pretty much agree with what some of the other guys are saying to go with a FV15HP over the two subs you were looking at. If you're set on a sealed sub though the new XS30 from PSA is an awesome sub. I have dual XS30s myself. Here's a link to a great write up from a XS30 user, its a worth while read.
http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-audio-subwoofers/64133-power-sound-audio-xs30-first-impressions.html#axzz2JLR9WxJE
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post #17 of 32 Old 01-29-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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The sub purchase is down to a 2 sub race, unless something new hits my plate. I'll either be getting a Rythmik FV15HP or the PSA XS15. Basically, I've narrowed it down to a sealed and ported option.I'm sure the PSA option would end up a dual setup over time. So I have to basically decide do I want one ported sub, or 2 sealed subs (for a little more $$). Since I'm doing this blind, I'm really just trying to decipher all the info on the boards and reviews. I have to admit that I am intrigued by PSA and their new subs, and Tom has been awesome to speak with.
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post #18 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 12:15 AM
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I started off much like you, first I was going to get the XS15, and then after talking a little to Tom I was going to go with the XV15, but that was right around the release of the XS30. It hadn't officially been released yet but Tom said to hold off on the XV15, and I'm glad I did! I have dual XS30s and absolutely love it! If you're willing to spend the money I think you'd be crazy to go with the XS15 over the XS30, unless the size of the sub doesn't work for you.
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post #19 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I started off much like you, first I was going to get the XS15, and then after talking a little to Tom I was going to go with the XV15, but that was right around the release of the XS30. It hadn't officially been released yet but Tom said to hold off on the XV15, and I'm glad I did! I have dual XS30s and absolutely love it! If you're willing to spend the money I think you'd be crazy to go with the XS15 over the XS30, unless the size of the sub doesn't work for you.

It has much more to do with price than footprint. I'd love to have the luxury of 2 XS30's, but that $800 can go towards other home improvements. I was wanting to be around $1,000 so the XS15 is a huge upgrade and I could add a 2nd down the road. I quite honestly am not as hardcore as most on here, and there's nothing wrong it, but my money can definitely got towards other "needs". I've budgeted for some "wants". One XS15 will be a huge updgrade over my small 10", which can already vibrate the kitchen cabinets when corner loaded. I also like the idea of having a smoother overall bass response from a dual setup versus one XS30.

From the initial response from folks about the PSA Power X series, I will be hard pressed to buy a Rythmik over a PSA setup. But I'm still keeping my options open, as Rythmik has such a time tested reputation and large following for a reason.
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post #20 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 11:36 AM
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The sealed F15 from Rythmik is in the 1000 price point.
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post #21 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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The sealed F15 from Rythmik is in the 1000 price point.

Yes, but I'd likely need a 2nd over time. So about $1,400 vs $2,000ish. Not doubting the Rythmik at all. It may be a superior sub, and from what I hear from a lot of people is exactly that. I'm more of a value guy, so would 2 PSA XS15's and $600 for say a water softner or gutters vs. 2 F15s. Just trying to maximize my $$$'s. Which is why the DefTechs, Paradigms and Velodyne's are out of the picture.
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post #22 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 06:39 PM
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i would get the best one i can buy, it removes the "What if scenario ?" Buy one F15 and fix the gutters and softeners and once funds allow get another F15 , this way you would be saying "Eventually..." rather than "What if "

Also you may just actually need one subwoofer as the F15 is a huge jump from a single 10 inch. I had a 12 inch M&K and it was still a huge upgrade to the F15
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post #23 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 07:04 PM
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If that's the case he might as well spend the extra $150 and go with a XS30 over the F15. The XS30 will have more output. There will always be that "what if" I just bought dual XS30s and love them but I still think maybe I should have bought one JTR Captivator S1 for basically the same price and add a second one a year down the road. I haven't seen any numbers as far as output on a F15, I highly doubt its really going to have any big advantage over the XS15 if any.
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post #24 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 07:29 PM
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i would get the best one i can buy, it removes the "What if scenario ?" Buy one F15 and fix the gutters and softeners and once funds allow get another F15 , this way you would be saying "Eventually..." rather than "What if "

Also you may just actually need one subwoofer as the F15 is a huge jump from a single 10 inch. I had a 12 inch M&K and it was still a huge upgrade to the F15

Great advice. You really can't go wrong with Rythmik. I bought 1 FV15. And I previously had a Paradigm PS1200. The FV15 was a MASSIVE jump in quanity and quality. Will I buy another in the future? Not sure, but I started out in the right direction.

Jeff
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post #25 of 32 Old 01-30-2013, 09:24 PM
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I'm certainly not going to put down a Rythmik sub because I think they make great subs, but I don't believe the F15 would have any output advantage over a XS15. And it would cost roughly $250 more then a XS15. So what would that extra $250 get the OP. I would go with the XS15 if it was my money. And if he was to buy one now and another down the road he would be saving $500 with two XS15s over two F15s.
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post #26 of 32 Old 02-02-2013, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Just pulled the trigger on an XS15. It should be here next week. I'll put it in a nearfield placement, so the one will be plenty to play with for now. I also have an AudioEngine wireless kit in the mail. I went with the best bang for the buck I could. I know there are a lot of Rythmik fans out there, but I just couldn't justify the price difference. I'm still waiting on my ARC equipment, but when everything is in I'll try to get some charts up.

One of the other biggest reasons for going with PSA was Tom himself. While Rythmik certainly seemed competent in customer service, PSA was on a totally different level. After conversing with PSA and even HSU, I felt like they wanted me to buy their product because they were proud of their gear, not because they wanted to make a sale. With Rythmik, I felt like they didn't really care one way or the other if I bought from them. Not a big deal for most, but I have no doubt that Tom will be there to give me personalized, expert advice in a timely fashion. It made a difference.

Thank you everyone who helped me in this decision. I know a lot of you pushed Rythmik and for good reasons, but I believe PSA was the best choice for me in the end.
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post #27 of 32 Old 02-04-2013, 02:50 PM
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Just pulled the trigger on an XS15. It should be here next week. I'll put it in a nearfield placement, so the one will be plenty to play with for now. I also have an AudioEngine wireless kit in the mail. I went with the best bang for the buck I could. I know there are a lot of Rythmik fans out there, but I just couldn't justify the price difference. I'm still waiting on my ARC equipment, but when everything is in I'll try to get some charts up.

One of the other biggest reasons for going with PSA was Tom himself. While Rythmik certainly seemed competent in customer service, PSA was on a totally different level. After conversing with PSA and even HSU, I felt like they wanted me to buy their product because they were proud of their gear, not because they wanted to make a sale. With Rythmik, I felt like they didn't really care one way or the other if I bought from them. Not a big deal for most, but I have no doubt that Tom will be there to give me personalized, expert advice in a timely fashion. It made a difference.

Thank you everyone who helped me in this decision. I know a lot of you pushed Rythmik and for good reasons, but I believe PSA was the best choice for me in the end.

Congrats on your purchase and more importantly stepping back and making up your own mind. I don't own a psa sub but Tom appears to be all class from the couple chats I've had with him on these boards.

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post #28 of 32 Old 02-08-2013, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I got my XS15 today. Still need to do a lot of work on the HT in general. ARC still hasn't come in yet for one. Quick hook up with little playing and I don't quite know what to think. Subtle is a word that comes to mind. I can see why folks love sealed subs. It was not super loud, but it was quite noticeable. I watched the Dark Knight and was amazed at how smooth and deep the sound was. I will need to get more hours on it and break it in, and I have not tried near field placement yet. I'm waiting on some items from monoprice to come in.

So real early first impressions, the size of my room will likely require a 2nd sub, but very serviceable as is. Bass is tight and deep. Once I play with the crossover and gain, I should get some good output out it. Again, the bass was smooth. Xover was set at 80hz and reproduction sounded great considering lack of proper setup. NO REGRETS!!!!!
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post #29 of 32 Old 02-14-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Still no ARC yet, but I was able to move the sub to near field via AudioEngine W3 wireless transmitter. I tried out the wireless prior to moving it and could not tell an audible difference between wired and not wired. I'm not as discerning as most on here, but the wireless seemed to work very well, even after the near field placement. The receiving transmitter is roughly 15ft or more from the sending unit. The signal is blocked by the entertainment unit and a couch. I also have about a half dozen wireless networks that populate on my computer and a NuForce wireless DAC in path of the signal. No issues with the wireless. It is only rated to 15hz, but that should cover most content that is played. Knowing there are bassheads here and that they likely have content purchased to allow them to go deeper than 15hz, this limitation may affect your decision. I'm not sure how the ARC will make data available, but if I can provide a response readout graph, I will post.
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post #30 of 32 Old 03-10-2013, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Update on the Sub. I will be getting ARC this next week.....I hope. However, the XS15 seems to be broken in for the most part. It was kind of weird to me, because it's my first new sub. One day I was listening to some vocal music and I realized that I had to turn the sub down on my AVR setting. Ever since that day, the setting has remained at least 5 points lower for normal listening. I will end up getting at least one more sub to balance out the stage area. I won't rule out quads down the road, but I don't thing I will need them. Point being, if you buy an XS15 and don't like the output, make sure you give it time to break in. SQ has improved as well.

Now for the wireless setup, it's still working flawlessly. Maybe the ARC will show if it's dropping below 15hz, but for me I don't care. Plus 1 transmitter would support a quad setup. I am thoroughly happy with Power Sound Audio. I know there are a bunch of Rythmik fans out there, but don't let them deter you from considering Power Sound Audio. Absolutely love the sub, and this is with no ARC. Also, big fan of the near field placement via the AudioEngine wireless setup.

I will be back when I have the ARC setup.
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