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post #1 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Need help deciding on a sub to buy. I tried searching and reading different specs but it is all a foreign language to me. I will try to follow guide lines to posting for help. I have a few subs in mind and will list them further down. Not sure if it matters if I get a down or front fire sub, ported or sealed. (see room dimension below).

1. Budget - Up to $800 max. Prefer to keep it closer to $600 but I want a good sub but could possibly buy a second in a few months if that would be best. My job is seasonal, but no problems investing more in a couple months when more cash is coming in.

2. Size requirements/limits - If I go with just one sub I can go with just about any sub. If I go with two subs then size may factor cause I only have a few places I can set the sub unless it's possible to set one in the open area in a L shape room. Figure 12" would be best but I am not opposed to another size as long as it is in budget.

3. Room dimensions - Roughly 3,500 cubic ft. L shape room in 1/2 basement with concrete floor with thin indoor/outdoor carpet clued to floor. Walls are concrete all the way around (basement underground). The main area doubles as my bedroom and Media room (I guess I can call it that). The main area is roughly 20'5" (L) x 13'5" (W) x 7'3" (H). The front wall is restricted by bathroom door on left and stairs on right. My desk and tower computer take up the center. 42" TV sits on desk shared with FR & FL speakers. Center speaker is under desk along with AVR. Love seat sits on short wall (L side) wall is shared with a door to the left of bathroom that enters into laundry room. On the right wall (first half of room) I have end table and recliner. The recliner I move to center when watching a movie. Behind this area is the bedroom half of room. The BR & BL speakers are toward back wall with bed in the middle. Chest along right side of wall. I sometimes Watch movies in bed too. So I basically try to set speakers up for middle of the room as viewing. This way I can lay at end of bed or have recliner in front of bed. OK, now the open area to the left (L shape room) is roughly 20' x 10' except for the the far right wall extends into the laundry room a couple feet on about 1/3 of the wall for the L shape bar. This area doesn't get used much except for some work out equipment and L shape bar along far back wall (never use bar anymore since I moved my room downstairs). I can put a sub in this area if it will help or even work. Current sub is located next to love seat right were the room opens up. Basically sits on the corner of that L shape wall and faces into middle of main room (were the recliner sits when I watch movies).

4. Primary uses - 95% Movies/TV with a little music once in a while if i'm in the mood while on the computer. By the way the 99% of all viewing content is displayed from computer. Computer has a dual TV tuner for recording TV. Movies/shows are stored on about 11 TB of space (need to add more soon). This way I only hook up blue ray when needed since space is restricted in that area.

5. Listening habits - Varies depending on what I watch and my mood. Meaning I would like the sub to be able to handle all types of movie listening habits (if that is even possible). I like in your chest base but can't always crank the system. Have Family members is other part of house too. Actually I just got this surround system so I am in the early stages of the surround/base buzz. My brother loaned me his old Klipsh RW10BK sub which has given me the bug to upgrade now rather then wait until he wants this sub back. More on that down below. From what little I have been able to gather from searching I want a sub that can do the lower Frequencies. Well I guess this would fall into I want the best sub I can get within budget question (Which we all want).

6. Appearance requirements - Just the basic black sub will be fine. As long as it isn't ugly as hell I'm good with it. This is a pretty private area of my house and only family members use it.

7. Timeframe - Delivered by end of the month.

Subs I been considering so far: Let me know if I over looked a sub that fits my budget.
(no particular order)
1. HSU VTF-2 MK4 ($596) http://hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html
2. HSU VTF-3 MK4 ($798) http://hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk4.html
3.Outlaw LFM-1 PLUS ($620.39) http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html
4. Outlaw LFM-1 EX ($738.85) http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfmEX.html
5. SVS SB12-NSD ($649.00) http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd#.URFdHqXC0VE
6. SVS PB12-NSD ($769.00) http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb12-nsd#.URFdPaXC0VE

Prices are delivered as far as I know. This is were I am at a stand still. Just not sure how to choose between these? At one time I was leaning toward and ready to buy the VTF-3 MK4 but then I started thinking about the price (I have other components to buy too) and that maybe a smaller cheaper sub would be just as good and I could always get two if that would give me better sound also. What do you think? If it were you (with my limited budget and room dimensions) which sub would you buy?

My current setup which is all on loan from my brother cause he doesn't use it but I plan on buying all new components very soon.
Yamaha RXV557 (upgrading to Dennon 2113CI after all speakers are replaced, may wait till new models come out and catch it on clearance)
Klipsch RW10BK sub. This does a decent job and has given me the base bug. I know I am missing lower base and the port noise is a bit much at times. I would like smoother in your chest base that doesn't rattle the bar glasses to much.
Klipsch RB-61II fronts. (actually plan on ordering these today and all other speakers will be added soon to match)
Klipsch RC-25 center. (this will next item to replace after I get the new fronts & sub)
Klipsch RF-15 backs. (these were my brothers fronts but I can not use anything but bookshelf speakers as fronts so I put them as rear for now)

If any of that matters. Plan on the sub to be used with the Denon 2113ci and Klipsch RB-61II 5.0 or possibly 7.0 with the RS-42 as surrounds. If any of this matter, just trying to be thorough.

Thanks a bunch in advance. I really am confused and want to order sub soon.

Denon X4000
Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
BenQ W1070 projector
106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 12:48 PM
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Hi Soupy,

I don't think that 35000 cu ft is right... that'd be huge ... might want to check that smile.gif

All of those subs are great performers, and all 3 companies you've listed get lots of love here. I'd also take a look at the offerings from Power Sound Audio . It's a newer company, but it's run by veterans in this field, and reviews of their products (although still limited) are absolutely glowing. I would have no problem ordering from them, if I was in the market.... which I'm not... because I went with 2 VTF 3 mk 3's. smile.gif in a MUCH smaller space than your 35000 cu ft. wink.gif
Actually, it's a 12 x 14 ft room, with 8 ft ceilings, but doesn't seal off from the rest of the house... but my HSU twins never fail to fill the entire space with great bass, and always give that 'grin factor' when the low notes hit.

ps... get some shelf liner for the bar glasses.... you'll need it. With any of the above. eek.gif

...what a long, strange trip its been.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will look into Power Sound Audio. I edited my room size, I meant 3,500 cubic ft. I rounded up a tad for stairs & laundry room witch has a vented door. Not sure how the vented door effects the area. When I measured I broke the bar area into two rooms because the bar is deeper then the rest. Here is the dimensions if anyone wants to check my math ceiling is 7'3" all the way around. 20'5" x 13'5" (main area) 10'4" x 7.11" & 12'9" x 9'1". Like I said it is one L shape room but the bar does recess a bit back into the laundry room. the rest of that wall is a brick fire place so actually that is what gives the bar a recessed look.

I assume it would be safe to say my room is 3,000 - 4,000 cubic feet. If my math is anywhere close to correct. smile.gif

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Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
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106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I took a quick look (a longer look doesn't tell me much since I don't understand what I am reading) at the Power Sound Audio XV15. I guess we can add it to the list. Will the larger 15" driver be better then say the HSU VTF-3 MK4? I guess at this point since everyone says they all sound similar should I just be looking at which sub is going to fill my room better and which will go the lowest? I don't understand extensions, etc. This is why I need you guys to help. If they are all very similar then why shouldn't I pick the cheapest?

Thanks again!

Denon X4000
Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
BenQ W1070 projector
106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
True Depth 3D glasses (pair)
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 02:19 PM
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For $800, it really comes down to the PSA XV15 and the Hsu VTF3 mk4. The Outlaw subs are good but are mostly a older version of the VTF3, and the SVS subs are not on the performance levels of any of the others. The XV15 has a better warranty and more mid bass output in the 40 to 50 hz region. The VTF3 has more features and a finer finish. If you wanted to save money in the meantime and get a better setup over time, one thing you could try is getting a VTF2 now, and get another one later. Two VTF2s would be better than any one of these. You could also use a Outlaw LFM-1 Plus with a VTF2 since they are so much alike, and sometimes the Plus goes on sale for $500 shipped, so you could get a VTF2 now and add a LFM-1 Plus when it goes on sale, that would make for a killer setup at a great price.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Shady J, That is kinda one way I was looking at it before and why I started questioning my original choice on the VTF3. I was thinking if I can save $200 now (put toward open box center or something) and get the VTF2 maybe it's all I need & if not when I get back to work (self employed contractor) when it warms up then buying a matching sub isn't a huge deal. The other reason I started thinking that is reading how people are saying two subs are better then one (just hope I am capable of setting them up properly).

Now here is the big question.... Is two VTF2's going to be that much better to warrant the extra space and the long term higher price? If not then I would rather just spend the extra $200 now. Who knows I might be happy with just one VTF2 anyway. This is the kinda of thinking that makes buying a sub a harder decision then it probably needs to be. See the down firing VTF2 is what got me thinking about the concrete floor etc. opening up more confusion for me. I just don't know these things being a complete newbie.

So now I need to figure these questions out. I can narrow the decision to the HSU VTF3 MK4, PSA XV15, or the HSU VTF2 MK4.

Denon X4000
Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
BenQ W1070 projector
106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 03:44 PM
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Get the best sub you can the first time. You may, or may not, be able to add a second later, but you will have done the best you possibly can now., and you'll never wonder "what if... ".

As to which one, the PSA or the HSU... I think the HSU will have a lower extension ( it'll play lower notes), and the PSA would have higher output (can play louder) within it's effective range. ( the HSU has a larger range /goes lower and the PSA can play louder) You pick which one matters more to you and go for it. Either choice will be fine. better than fine... they're both outstanding performers, and you'd be well suited whichever one you choose.

IMO, YMMV
Joseph

...what a long, strange trip its been.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soupy1970 View Post

Shady J, That is kinda one way I was looking at it before and why I started questioning my original choice on the VTF3. I was thinking if I can save $200 now (put toward open box center or something) and get the VTF2 maybe it's all I need & if not when I get back to work (self employed contractor) when it warms up then buying a matching sub isn't a huge deal. The other reason I started thinking that is reading how people are saying two subs are better then one (just hope I am capable of setting them up properly).

Now here is the big question.... Is two VTF2's going to be that much better to warrant the extra space and the long term higher price? If not then I would rather just spend the extra $200 now. Who knows I might be happy with just one VTF2 anyway. This is the kinda of thinking that makes buying a sub a harder decision then it probably needs to be. See the down firing VTF2 is what got me thinking about the concrete floor etc. opening up more confusion for me. I just don't know these things being a complete newbie.

So now I need to figure these questions out. I can narrow the decision to the HSU VTF3 MK4, PSA XV15, or the HSU VTF2 MK4.

The advantages two subs give you is mostly a better room response, ie more even bass sound throughout the room. You do get a bit more output, but more output isn't the chief advantage of two subs. I would say if you have a wide seating area, go for two subs. Dual subs isn't hard to setup, just come back here for setup advice.

However, if this setup is intended more for the benefit on one listening position, go for a single powerful sub, that can be dialed in to give you powerful bass for one spot.

Your concrete floor isn't going to be a factor, so don't worry about that.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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You both make good points. Looks like it is between the two HSU subs. I have a little thinking to do. I would rather have the lower notes just so I am not wondering if I am missing something. Right now I'm back to leaning toward the VTF3. My only concern now is my current location would put the left firing sub pushing into the side of my love seat. I have a few inches to spare between the sub & seat. I could possibly put it along right wall behind the seating area a few feat toward the back speakers. If I buy a second sub later these would be my two ideal placement positions. No room at all up front unless I swap my end table out for a sub but not sure if putting a lamp or setting a drink on the sub is good. I tried doing a quick sub crawl earlier and really didn't hear any difference in any location. I bought a used Radio Shack analog SPL but I'm still learning how to use it.

I'm really thinking I should just get the VTF3 and if needed just bite the bullet on another later. I'm going to play with room placement a couple days with current sub before I buy. Think I will move my big Chest over in the bar area to open up that right wall. I really don't use the bar area anymore so it's probably better suited being hidden over there anyway.

Head Spinning!! confused.gif

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Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
BenQ W1070 projector
106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-05-2013, 11:37 PM
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Try the sub in each location and see where it sounds the best. Use the SPL meter to figure out the frequency response of the placement. Switch it to the C-weighting to do these tests. What you will want to do for the SPL meter is play back some test tones like some of these. Hsu subs come with a demo CD that also has test tones on it. Place the SPL meter at your listening position, and write down the dB for each tone at each placement. Remember not to change the volume knob when you move the sub between any of these tests. If you have a laptop with a decent audio interface, you can plug the SPL meter in it and use a free program called Room Equalization Wizard that makes these charts for you. Use the sub where it has the flattest frequency response. Then run your receiver's room correction EQ, if it has it, that should flatten out the FR a bit more, although it still won't be perfect. Getting another sub later will mean an even flatter frequency response. The more subs you add, the flatter it gets, the more headroom you have, distortion is lowered, and the better it sounds.

By the way, you can use the sub as an endtable, but I would cover the sub with some kind of table cover in case you spill your drinks. At very high output levels it will vibrate a little bit.
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-06-2013, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ShadyJ, I have more questions for you. Which one of those test tones you linked would be best for testing current sub? What should I be looking for on the SPL meter (highest dB per location)? I will check out that program you mentioned. I do have a laptop but I think my PC is located close enough I should be able to reach it with cable from SPL meter.

I'm going to put in a order from Amazon for a cheap $13 Tripod to mount the SPL meter to. I'm going to add some extra cables to the order to bring price up to free shipping. What kind of cable should I be using for the VTF3 especially if I go with two? Currently using a sub cable that will go back to my brother when I return his sub. Just wondering if I should be getting RCA cables or sub cables with some Y adapters or what?

Denon X4000
Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
BenQ W1070 projector
106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
True Depth 3D glasses (pair)
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-06-2013, 02:20 AM
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You will need a cable with male RCA ends. Most of these cables are like that. You don't need anything fancy, so don't spend over $10 for a sub cable unless you want something pretty, there won't be any difference in sound quality between any of these. Just get the length you need.

As for the tones, you will want to playback individual sine waves, from 16 hz to maybe 90 or 100 hz. For each frequency tone, write down the reading you get from the SPL meter. Yes, you will want to place the sub in the location where you get the most SPL, but where you get the most SPL overall the frequencies, not just one or two frequencies. Actually, here is something that might be a bit better for this, its a sine wave test tone generator. I would use tones in increments of 5 hz, except at the lower end of the spectrum, from 16 to 25 hz I would use tones in increments of 2 hz, so start at 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, and then 30, 35, 40, 45, and so on. You can use finer increments if you want a better idea of the frequency response, it all depends on your patience for tedium.

Depending on what Radio Shack SPL meter you have, you will need a correction table for it to know the true SPL. These meters aren't quite linear. Here is one such table, this is for the analogue meter. I don't know what model SPL meter you have, but there is surely a correction table for it out there somewhere.

The sub you have now is no substitute for the sub you are going to get, you might get a rough idea how those locations will play with bass, but to know for sure you will need to run these tests on the sub you will end up with.

One more thing: tones are very hard on subs if you play them loudly for long periods, especially for deep frequencies. Don't just blast a 20 hz tone and leave it running because you like how it makes your windows rattle, the voice coil will get hot quick for that kind of use, and it could melt or the amp could fry. Don't run these tones loudly for too long.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-06-2013, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks you have been a big help! My SPL meter is Radio Shack analog 33-2050.

Denon X4000
Klipsch KLF-10 Fronts
Klipsch KLF-C7 Center
Klipsch KLF-C7 X 2 Surrounds
Dual HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subs
BenQ W1070 projector
106" Antra fixed Screen
3D powered by AMD home built computer
True Depth 3D glasses (pair)
SainSonic 3D glasses (pair)
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