Reccomendation for equivalent replacement for MFW-15 in a Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings! Up until a couple days ago, I have been very happy with the performance of my MFW-15 in my home theater setup.
Unfortunately, it started the dreaded constant hum. Even more unfortunate, it is a v1 amp. I am still going to try murrel's cap replacement fix, but my hopes are not high.

So, as a backup plan, I want to start researching a replacement. As mentioned, I was really happy with its performance in my home theater, so I'd like to find something with similar performance. I'd also like to find something that I could buy and receive within the next few weeks.

Right now I am still figuring out the budget, but I'd say there are a couple budget categories I am looking at:

Category 1: subs < $600 (not sure if there will be anything)
Category 2: subs < $1000

So, my ideal would be if there are any options in Cat 1, but realistically, I should be able to get something from Cat 2.
I only really need similar performance, so right now my preference is for the lowest price sub that fits the bill.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 09:30 AM
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Have you considered doing the Turbo kit upgrade for your MFW-15? I did it and it sounds awesome.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 10:21 AM
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Based on reports to date, the PSA XV-15 ($799, shipped) should be comparable to, if not better than, the MFW-15.
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Are you running one or two subs in your system? The standard is a two sub system.

Are you using a room analyzing program like "OmniMic" or "REW" to get the best out of your room's acoustics.

My suggestion, before upgrading you sub or subs, take a couple of months to acquire a room analyzing program and see what you can do to get the best out of your possibly failing subwoofer amplifier.

Just curious, is the hum related to a newly created ground loop due to newly added equipment connections or dissimilar power outlet connections?

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post #5 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 11:17 AM
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I think the odds are really good that the amp is causing the hum. With the MFW-15 it's a question of when not if the amp will fail. You could do the cap fix but it would just put off the inevitable. Best to sell or upgrade with the Turbo kit ( which is more like having two MFW-15s.)

I did the cap fix on my v2 amp and it gave me a year more of greatness. But, even though the hum didn't come back it started producing some odd white noise. It would get pretty loud. I've had the Turbo kit for a couple of weeks and love it.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 11:50 AM
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The standard is a two sub system.
I know it can desirable for a number of reasons to run two or more subs, but when and according to whom did dual subs become a "standard"?
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by StimpsonJCat View Post

I think the odds are really good that the amp is causing the hum. With the MFW-15 it's a question of when not if the amp will fail. You could do the cap fix but it would just put off the inevitable. Best to sell or upgrade with the Turbo kit ( which is more like having two MFW-15s.)

I did the cap fix on my v2 amp and it gave me a year more of greatness. But, even though the hum didn't come back it started producing some odd white noise. It would get pretty loud. I've had the Turbo kit for a couple of weeks and love it.

Agreed. That is sound advice. Are there any other affordable plate amp alternatives at PE for the MFW-15? Or potentially use an external amp? The OP seems happy with the sub, no sense in spending money if he can replace the amp for $200 or so.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Are you running one or two subs in your system? The standard is a two sub system.

Are you using a room analyzing program like "OmniMic" or "REW" to get the best out of your room's acoustics.

My suggestion, before upgrading you sub or subs, take a couple of months to acquire a room analyzing program and see what you can do to get the best out of your possibly failing subwoofer amplifier.

Just curious, is the hum related to a newly created ground loop due to newly added equipment connections or dissimilar power outlet connections?

-

I don't think you understand the history of the MFW-15. The amp will fail. It is just a matter of time, and all the things you recommend, while good advice, does not really address the real issue which is a faulty amp.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 12:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

I know it can desirable for a number of reasons to run two or more subs, but when and according to whom did dual subs become a "standard"?

I didn't save the search info but recently I did surf the web to find out more on your above question. Many acoustical studies have been done regarding multiple sub setups and the benefit more subs have on smoothness of sound quality. Personally, I've verified the veracity of the claim by doing measurement of just the left sub being on, both subs being turned on and just the right sub being turned on and definitely there was a difference at many differing locations on the measurement graph. I also did many, many measurements over several days where the parametric settings varied; phase, volume, frequency cutoff, et cetera.

I have found that asymmetrical parametric settings also improve the quality of measurement graphs. As you know, once set up and running, other than play time, it don't cost nothing to play with parametric settings.

(It does help to keep notes so one can see where they came from in their sojourn of changed settings)

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post #10 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

I didn't save the search info but recently I did surf the web to find out more on your above question. Many acoustical studies have been done regarding multiple sub setups and the benefit more subs have on smoothness of sound quality. Personally, I've verified the veracity of the claim by doing measurement of just the left sub being on, both subs being turned on and just the right sub being turned on and definitely there was a difference at many differing locations on the measurement graph. I also did many, many measurements over several days where the parametric settings varied; phase, volume, frequency cutoff, et cetera.

I have found that asymmetrical parametric settings also improve the quality of measurement graphs. As you know, once set up and running, other than play time, it don't cost nothing to play with parametric settings.

(It does help to keep notes so one can see where they came from in their sojourn of changed settings)

-

Great but this does nothing to address the OP's issue or questions. Unless you have a pair of dual subs you recommend in the sub $600 range or sub $1000 range that will improve upon what he has now (we are not even sure if the OP can have or wants dual subs).
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by StimpsonJCat View Post

I think the odds are really good that the amp is causing the hum. With the MFW-15 it's a question of when not if the amp will fail. You could do the cap fix but it would just put off the inevitable. Best to sell or upgrade with the Turbo kit ( which is more like having two MFW-15s.)

I did the cap fix on my v2 amp and it gave me a year more of greatness. But, even though the hum didn't come back it started producing some odd white noise. It would get pretty loud. I've had the Turbo kit for a couple of weeks and love it.

Agreed. That is sound advice. Are there any other affordable plate amp alternatives at PE for the MFW-15? Or potentially use an external amp? The OP seems happy with the sub, no sense in spending money if he can replace the amp for $200 or so.

I read about some V3 amps if you can find one anymore but I don't recommend replacing the amp with one that isn't designed for this sub. Even the external Dayton SA1000 amp that comes with the Turbo kit has been modified for the MFW-15 box and new driver.

My thoughts were if he is going to spend $800 or more to get a new sub that compares to the original MFW-15 then why not get the upgrade. Which is closer to the SubMerssive in performance than the stock MFW-15.
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I don't think you understand the history of the MFW-15. The amp will fail. It is just a matter of time, and all the things you recommend, while good advice, does not really address the real issue which is a faulty amp.

Sorry if I didn't make the intent of my comment clear. I was simply suggesting one use this transition period to improve their personal understanding of subwoofers, measuring gear and how a subwoofer (and settings) interacts with a room's acoustics. If it helps, agreeing with you, I was good with the concept of the Amp failing and was making an effort at moving past this point. I'm just using this as an excuse to encourage others to improve their ability to better integrate a subwoofer system, before buying new subs. If one didn't know how to properly integrate an old system, they're darn sure not going be any better at dialing in a new system. And as we all know, sometimes we have to go backwards to go forward.

Currently, rather then go out and buy replacement subs, I've purchased recording gear, learned how to use REW (properly configure and read graphs), replaced the driver/radiator combination in each of the subwoofer boxes and spent a couple of weeks playing with it all to learn how placement and parametric settings (including overruling Audyssey's recommended settings) affect overall graph quality; personal learning curve.

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post #13 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I don't think you understand the history of the MFW-15. The amp will fail. It is just a matter of time, and all the things you recommend, while good advice, does not really address the real issue which is a faulty amp.

If it helps, I was good with the concept of the Amp failing. I'm just using this as an excuse to encourage others to improve their ability to better integrate a subwoofer system, before buying new subs. If one didn't know how to properly integrate an old system, they're darn sure not going be any better at dialing in a new system. And as we all know, sometimes we have to go backwards to go forward.

Currently, rather then go out an buy replacement subs, I've purchased recording gear, learned how to use REW (properly configure and read graphs), replaced the driver/radiator combination in each of the subwoofer boxes and spent a couple of weeks playing with it all to learn how placement and parametric settings (including overruling Audyssey recommended settings) affect overall graph quality; learning curve.
I'm all for using REW & whatever EQing to give the FR you desire, but this have nothing to do with the OPs issue. You can't get rid of a bad amp hum with any of your suggestions.
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post #14 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by StimpsonJCat View Post

I read about some V3 amps if you can find one anymore but I don't recommend replacing the amp with one that isn't designed for this sub. Even the external Dayton SA1000 amp that comes with the Turbo kit has been modified for the MFW-15 box and new driver.

My thoughts were if he is going to spend $800 or more to get a new sub that compares to the original MFW-15 then why not get the upgrade. Which is closer to the SubMerssive in performance than the stock MFW-15.

Turbo kit makes a lot of sense. Doesn't sound like you can touch that performance for $800 and you are basically getting a brand new sub.
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post #15 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StimpsonJCat View Post

You can't get rid of a bad amp hum with any of your suggestions.

Agreed.

I was working off the OP's comment when they posted; "So, as a backup plan, I want to start researching a replacement." And properly integrating new subwoofers into a room's acoustics is germane to getting quality sound out of a new subwoofer system and as encouragement, should be a part of this subwoofer replacement based research.

Post amended to be more accurate as to what I was responding to in my above.
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post #16 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by StimpsonJCat View Post

I'm all for using REW & whatever EQing to give the FR you desire, but this have nothing to do with the OPs issue. You can't get rid of a bad amp hum with any of your suggestions.

Agreed.

I was working off the OP's comment when they posted; "So, as a backup plan, I want to start researching a replacement." And properly integrating new subwoofers into a room's acoustics is germane to getting quality sound out of a new subwoofer system and as encouragement, should be a part of this subwoofer replacement based research.

-
Ok, I'm with you on that.
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post #17 of 23 Old 02-01-2013, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BakaKuma View Post

Greetings! Up until a couple days ago, I have been very happy with the performance of my MFW-15 in my home theater setup.
Unfortunately, it started the dreaded constant hum. Even more unfortunate, it is a v1 amp. I am still going to try murrel's cap replacement fix, but my hopes are not high.

So, as a backup plan, I want to start researching a replacement. As mentioned, I was really happy with its performance in my home theater, so I'd like to find something with similar performance. I'd also like to find something that I could buy and receive within the next few weeks.

Right now I am still figuring out the budget, but I'd say there are a couple budget categories I am looking at:

Category 1: subs < $600 (not sure if there will be anything)
Category 2: subs < $1000

So, my ideal would be if there are any options in Cat 1, but realistically, I should be able to get something from Cat 2.
I only really need similar performance, so right now my preference is for the lowest price sub that fits the bill.

Thanks!

You have been happy with the MFW-15 then go with the Turbo Kit. I have had 2 of these in the past and they do double the output of the original MFW. The Turbo Kit makes a fantastic sub and is a Seaton design. Ordering info here http://www.seaton-sound-forum.com/post/MFW15-Turbo-Upgrade-5986296 & http://motorcitycustomaudio.com/Repair.htm
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post #18 of 23 Old 02-02-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies and info!

After reading up on the turbo kit, it is definitely high on my list now. My only real concern is where I will put the external amp, but I could probably get creative and find space that is not objectionable to the wife, and out of reach of the toddler biggrin.gif

I'll also look into the PSA XV-15 suggested. Any other suggestions?

I am definitely interested in taking a look into one of the room analyzing programs as well. I am always up for learning and improving my knowledge. With my initial sub, I used a more manual process of SPL meter and low frequency sweep to place and calibrate the sub. I am sure a program could improve on this. That said, I am very happy with how my sub performs in my current setup, so my priority is getting it replaced smile.gif The hum is so loud that I can't stand to have it on even when watching something, and everything sounds so empty without those lower frequencies!frown.gif
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post #19 of 23 Old 02-02-2013, 08:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BakaKuma View Post

That said, I am very happy with how my sub performs in my current setup, so my priority is getting it replaced smile.gif The hum is so loud that I can't stand to have it on even when watching something, and everything sounds so empty without those lower frequencies!frown.gif

The above comment definitely qualifies as a contradiction of terms. tongue.gif

It's also sad when that happens. A well loved and respected sub goes on the blink.

(Honey! The sub is toast, I need a new sub!) (Whistling emoticon goes here)

Allow me to be the Devil's advocate in my recommendation. Power Sound Audio, XS30. Dual 15" drivers. Now that's what I'm talking about. biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 23 Old 02-02-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Haha, yea, I suppose "performed" is a more appropriate word there! tongue.gif

I've been waiting for my ancient TV (only 720p!) to go on the brink so I can convince my wife we need a new one as well ... but not so much as a burned out bulb on that one yet! At least with the sub the defect is very noticeable to her wink.gif
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Haha, yea, I suppose "performed" is a more appropriate word there! tongue.gif

I've been waiting for my ancient TV (only 720p!) to go on the brink so I can convince my wife we need a new one as well ... but not so much as a burned out bulb on that one yet! At least with the sub the defect is very noticeable to her wink.gif

Sorry to read that. About the middle of last year, literally, a day before the Olympics began, our 46" big screen died at the hands of my wife turning the television on. The power relay failed. Oh darn! I immediately went into crises management mode, did some quicky online research, visited our local Best Buy (twenty-four miles away) and within a few hours, being that the Olympics was going start the very next evening, I made the heroic husbandly effort to get a 60" screen into our living room for my wife's viewing pleasure. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Gee, and now we need a new AVR with HDMI connections because that's what the TV uses and boy, that center channel sure is hurting the overall sound quality. eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

I figured I'd just go for it while she was still in shock over the television. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

As the saying goes; "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." tongue.gif

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post #22 of 23 Old 02-02-2013, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BakaKuma View Post

Thanks for all the replies and info!

After reading up on the turbo kit, it is definitely high on my list now. My only real concern is where I will put the external amp, but I could probably get creative and find space that is not objectionable to the wife, and out of reach of the toddler biggrin.gif

I'll also look into the PSA XV-15 suggested. Any other suggestions?

I am definitely interested in taking a look into one of the room analyzing programs as well. I am always up for learning and improving my knowledge. With my initial sub, I used a more manual process of SPL meter and low frequency sweep to place and calibrate the sub. I am sure a program could improve on this. That said, I am very happy with how my sub performs in my current setup, so my priority is getting it replaced smile.gif The hum is so loud that I can't stand to have it on even when watching something, and everything sounds so empty without those lower frequencies!frown.gif

The Turbo kit offers a great upgrade and you don't have to explain to your wife a new box as you are simply updating/fixing it. That said, as Turbo Kits keep shipping, you may see more guys selling their functional original amps for around $100 on the MCCA section of my forum. Is your MFW satin black or one of the veneer finishes? Does the finish/aesthetic hold much value in your application?

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"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood..." Daniel H. Burnham
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post #23 of 23 Old 02-02-2013, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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The Turbo kit offers a great upgrade and you don't have to explain to your wife a new box as you are simply updating/fixing it. That said, as Turbo Kits keep shipping, you may see more guys selling their functional original amps for around $100 on the MCCA section of my forum. Is your MFW satin black or one of the veneer finishes? Does the finish/aesthetic hold much value in your application?

True, I think a "repair" may be a easier sell to her!
I have a satin black. I like how it looks, but overall I tend to be for function over form, so I am not picky in that regard.
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