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post #1 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all -

I need help deciding on a sub for a large, 20x20 room with 12 foot vaulted ceilings.

Here are some specifics...

- 50 / 50 split for music vs movies
- $1700 budget
- Smaller is better

My wife has barely consented to getting a sub in the room, but with conditions. Specifically, it can't be huge (which I know is relative). We've been to some home theater stores and she likes the looks of the B&W PV1D. However, I'm concerned that dual 8' won't come close to being adequate for such a large room - plus I haven't been able to find many reviews on the PV1D.

As much as I would love a huge HSU or SVS ported sub, there's just no way she'll let me put in something the size of an end table. I'm looking at the SVS SB13-Ultra, and even that's going to be a tough sell at 17x17x17.

Any thoughts on PV1D vs SB13? She's already agreed on the PV1D so I can easily go that direction. Just wondering if I should really be trying for the SB13 - or something else (suggestions welcome!!). I'm guessing the SB12 would be too small for 20x20 room...

Any input is greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 07:38 AM
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The SB12-NSD may be too small for that room, but IMO it will be significantly better than the PV1D* which, to be fair, is really cute. smile.gif

Sounds like what you really need the SVS SB13-Ultra. cool.gif

-- Edit --
*According to the specs (PDF), the PV1D is rated to 7.5Hz @ -3dB "on reference axis". That's quite an incredible claim for a subwoofer with a 150W RMS amp, dual 8" drivers and an enclosure that measures 13.5" x 10.6 x 14.1".
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post #3 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jkillion77 View Post

My wife has barely consented to getting a sub in the room, but with conditions.

Any input is greatly appreciated!!

Indeed, the WAF is a powerful force. Now you get to practice your negotiating skills. Yes, the WAF is a powerful force but it's not the only force present in the room. The trick is to work on it so there's an understanding of what you want vs what she wants and how the two of you can reach this mutually agreed upon compromise.

In a room that size, you'll need a couple if not three subwoofers to deal with the negative influences of the room's acoustics. One sub will not make it in a room that size and will leave you forever wanting more. The point, you'll have to deal with the WAF force or give up any dreams of you having a worthwhile subwoofer sound system.

Agreeing, the specs for the B&W PV1D are hugely overly optimistic. +/-3dB at 7.5Hz.........eek.gif.........Sure!

My take, go with a sealed body subwoofer but you'll need a pair of them. If going with small and unobtrusive, yes that's a subjective call but the best I'm aware would be a pair of SVS, SB12-NSD's. Another to consider would be a pair of Rythmik, F12's. Both recommendations consist of very capable subs in a small form factor. Both recommendations are at or under your stated budget of $1,700.00.

Based on the physical appearance of the PV1D, you may find your wife accepting of a pair of SVS, PC12-NSD's which are also inside of your stated budget. You should find the three recommendations to have sufficient headroom to give you the in home theater experience and not be found to be overwhelming to your wife.

As encouragement, all of use married types deal with the WAF and do the best we can to integrate our needs with our wife's needs. And yes, it's a tough road to hoe that filled with pitfalls and landmines that can blow up and create trouble at home but with tact and patience, it's a marital conflict that is not insurmountable.

Hope the above helps and good luck. wink.gif

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post #4 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the recommendations. As much as I'd love dual subs, there's no way my wife will go for it. However, I talked with her about the SB13 and she sounds good with that smile.gif

So let me ask... Why are there so few reviews on the PV1D? When we were at the Modia Home Theater store, the sales guys there were literally raving about the PV1D - telling us it was THE sub to get. Ok, I get sales guys are looking to make a sale, but they were going on and on about how amazing the sub was. Even when telling them it was a 20x20 room, they were quite convincing the PV1D would not disappoint.
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post #5 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, just saw this thread on putting the sub in a built in... http://www.avsforum.com/t/1320773/placing-subwoofer-inside-cabinet-to-hide-bad-idea


I hadn't even considered that. We are actually have a custom wall-to-wall built-in cabinet made for this room. Now that sounds enticing.... If the sub was built in, I could do dual PB12's - one on each end of the built-in - for less than the price of the SVS SB13-Ultra. I'm guessing two PB12's would be better than one SB13?
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post #6 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jkillion77 View Post

Ok, I get sales guys are looking to make a sale, but they were going on and on about how amazing the sub was.

That's called "overselling." And telling somebody something isn't going work, stating the obvious, won't close the deal. tongue.gif

If being limited to one sub and your stated budget of $1,700.00 with smaller better than larger, the SB13-Ultra is about the best thing happening. At this price point and quality level, most here will agree that it's truly next to impossible to say what the best single sub is going be for your room as they're all great performing subwoofers.
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post #7 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 02:20 PM
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I use a HSU VTF-3 MK3 which fires downward... has a custom topper and drape and blends well into the room. Not only did it pass the interior decorator test, they didn't even know there was a sub in the room until the first movie.
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post #8 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
When we were at the Modia Home Theater store, the sales guys there were literally raving about the PV1D - telling us it was THE sub to get. Ok, I get sales guys are looking to make a sale, but they were going on and on about how amazing the sub was. Even when telling them it was a 20x20 room, they were quite convincing the PV1D would not disappoint.
It's a 150W sub with dual 8" drivers. How much are they asking for this thing, and did they say *why* it was so amazing?

-- Edit --
A quick Google shows it retailing for $1,700 USD or £1,200. That's absurd! eek.gif
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post #9 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdelena View Post

I use a HSU VTF-3 MK3 which fires downward... has a custom topper and drape and blends well into the room. Not only did it pass the interior decorator test, they didn't even know there was a sub in the room until the first movie.

Great idea. Something to be considered.
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post #10 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jkillion77 View Post

So let me ask... Why are there so few reviews on the PV1D?
Because there's no replacement for displacement. Assuming equal excursion capability two eights are equal in displacement to one twelve. For $1700 you can get a pair of fifteens, if not eighteens. Or a whole bunch of twelves.

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post #11 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 06:14 PM
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If an 8" sub had that much output at that frequency and the output was significant then that subwoofer would be God. On this forum I have seen some incredible builds that took a lot of time from many very experienced engineers and I dont think any of the subs were considered flat to 7 hz at a reasonable output.

What I would do is ask what she does and what she doesnt like. Then test those boundaries. Think of it as selling to your wife. if she says size is the issue then show her something really big then see what she says. At that point move down from there. This gives her a point of reference plus it makes it seem like your compromising and sh is the one who isnt. Good luck.
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post #12 of 36 Old 03-16-2013, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Petden View Post

If an 8" sub had that much output at that frequency and the output was significant then that subwoofer would be God. On this forum I have seen some incredible builds that took a lot of time from many very experienced engineers and I dont think any of the subs were considered flat to 7 hz at a reasonable output.
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post #13 of 36 Old 03-17-2013, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jkillion77 View Post

Wow, just saw this thread on putting the sub in a built in... http://www.avsforum.com/t/1320773/placing-subwoofer-inside-cabinet-to-hide-bad-idea

I hadn't even considered that. We are actually have a custom wall-to-wall built-in cabinet made for this room. Now that sounds enticing.... If the sub was built in, I could do dual PB12's - one on each end of the built-in - for less than the price of the SVS SB13-Ultra. I'm guessing two PB12's would be better than one SB13?

A single SB13U is not going to handle that much space I'm afraid. I have one sitting not 5 feet from me as I type this, so that's something I can personally attest to. It was designed for small/medium sized rooms because it relies upon the gain you get from them. You're room is almost 5000 ft^3, so you would definitely need something different.

A pair of PB12's would probably do quite well for you, certainly better than a single PB13U. The only thing with enclosing any subwoofer is to ensure adequate ventilation for the amp - since they are cooled strictly by convection you can't full enclose them. The amp on my SB13U seems to run pretty cool, so it probably doesn't need a tremendous amount of space, but it will definitely need some.

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post #14 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 08:39 AM
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How about a pair of IB subs in the ceiling to the attic or floor to basement?
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post #15 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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So a few updates....

1) I was wrong on my room measurements, it's actually going to be 20x15 (with 12-14 ft vaulted ceiling) - so approx 3600 - 4200 sq feet.

2) I was going to at least audition the B&W PV1D since my wife actually likes the look of it, but the only local dealer said that once the box is open there's no return option :/

3) The biggest sub I've shown my wife that she will be ok with is the SB12, which is 14 x 14 x 14.

4) I'm interested in in-wall sub, such as Triad - but my sub budget is $1600 (can probably up to $2K, but that's it). From what I've read, getting decent bass from an in-wall sub will be quite a bit more than 2K.


Given that the largest my wife is agreeing to is SB12, that's quite a bit less than my budget of $1600 - 2K. I know saving money is typically a good thing, but in this case the savings will just be reallocated to dining room table (or some other wife project wink.gif As much as I would love to go larger or go dual, it just won't happen.

Is there a better option that is the size of SB12 or smaller?
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post #16 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 01:35 PM
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negotiate her up to the size of a seaton submersive- find one used for around 1500- prepare to be happy.
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post #17 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 01:43 PM
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In reply to point:

2) Many good dealers will allow for in home auditions of showroom stock. If the dealer has a PV1D on display, talk to them about letting you audition it at home. A couple of dealers I've dealt with will allow for this during the time the shop is closed (overnight, over a weekend, etc). Also advise them that an in home audition is essential for your decision, and not being able to see how the sub performs in your home means they are guaranteed not to get the sale.

3) A) How good is your wife with a measuring tape? 14"^3 isn't all that much different than 17"^3 in a ~4,000 ft^3 room. Buy the Sb13U, put it into the room, and see if she notices.
B) How about multiples? Dual SB12's are going to get similar performance to a single SB13 above 30hz.

4) "In-wall" leaves open several options beyond just the Triad/JL/Wisdom route, such as an IB installation (as mentioned above) or a simple framed cutout with a traditional sub sitting in a different location and playing through the cutout. For an example of how a fellow AVSer did this, look here.

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post #18 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkillion77 View Post

Is there a better option that is the size of SB12 or smaller?

The price, size, output and lower extension combination the SB12 has makes it's one of the best deals out there, but probably not in your case I'm afraid. A 4000 ft^3 room will overwhelm it, and essentially render it mute. The SB13 would certainly do a better job, but even that might struggle when playing the deepest/loudest bass passages. Dual SB12's maybe, but if you're contemplating a single one I'd suggest saving your money. I honestly don't think it will be able to do much in such a large space.

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post #19 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jkillion77 View Post

My wife has barely consented to getting a sub in the room, but with conditions. Specifically, it can't be huge (which I know is relative). We've been to some home theater stores and she likes the looks of the B&W PV1D. However, I'm concerned that dual 8' won't come close to being adequate for such a large room - plus I haven't been able to find many reviews on the PV1D.

As much as I would love a huge HSU or SVS ported sub, there's just no way she'll let me put in something the size of an end table. I'm looking at the SVS SB13-Ultra, and even that's going to be a tough sell at 17x17x17.

I think your wife's real concern isn't so much the size of the sub but how it will impact the aesthetics of the room. In other words she thinks a large sub will look ugly in the room, whereas a smaller sub will look acceptable.

To address this (and get a bigger sub at the same time) you could hide the sub in a cabinet like what you mentioned earlier or as someone else suggested, get a down firing sub which can be disguised as an end table. Basically integrate the sub into your room decor rather than have it as a standalone piece. If you can swing that then you can achieve some good bass performance.

If you can't then yeah get a smaller sealed sub but be prepared to adjust your bass expectations. By the way how loud do you listen to your movies/music?
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post #20 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

A single SB13U is not going to handle that much space I'm afraid. I have one sitting not 5 feet from me as I type this, so that's something I can personally attest to. It was designed for small/medium sized rooms because it relies upon the gain you get from them. You're room is almost 5000 ft^3, so you would definitely need something different.

So far no one has asked jkillion77 what are his bass expectations. Certainly a small sealed sub isn't going to deliver the bass for spirited levels of playback, but still I'd say having a sub is better than no sub. Imagine just relying on your mains to deliver the bass for that size room. If he adds a small sub I think it still can add some weight to the music/movie, though not as much as the members here expect.

So if jkillion77's constraint is WAF, then he just has to work within that constraint and adjust his bass expectations accordingly.
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post #21 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 06:38 PM
 
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The price, size, output and lower extension combination the SB12 has makes it's one of the best deals out there, but probably not in your case I'm afraid. A 4000 ft^3 room will overwhelm it, and essentially render it mute. The SB13 would certainly do a better job, but even that might struggle when playing the deepest/loudest bass passages. Dual SB12's maybe, but if you're contemplating a single one I'd suggest saving your money. I honestly don't think it will be able to do much in such a large space.

One question I keep struggling with regarding the one sub, two sub question. Should one go with one uber-killer sub or two lesser subs of an equal price as the killer sub.

As an example, upgrades included, in a 3,500 cuft room, open to other areas, should one go with a Funk Audio, 18.0C ($2,290.00) or two Rythmik, E15's; $2,448.00? I can't seem to get an answer to fall from the tree on this one as my gut tells me that the two Rythmiks is the better way to go as the overall output for the two choices is about the same.

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post #22 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post


One question I keep struggling with regarding the one sub, two sub question. Should one go with one uber-killer sub or two lesser subs of an equal price as the killer sub.

As an example, upgrades included, in a 3,500 cuft room, open to other areas, should one go with a Funk Audio, 18.0C ($2,290.00) or two Rythmik, E15's; $2,448.00? I can't seem to get an answer to fall from the tree on this one as my gut tells me that the two Rythmiks is the better way to go as the overall output is about the same.

IMO, it's a headroom question between 1 and 2 quality subs for a set amount of money.

 

If the 2 subs get you enough clean output for your listening preferences, then those 2 will always be better than one because you can take advantage of FR smoothing inherent with multiple subs.

 

However, if the 1 sub has more output than the 2 combined, and the 2 subs do not have enough clean output for you, than I would sacrifice FR smoothing for clean output. The feeling of not being able to play at the levels you really want to me is far worse than a lumpy frequency response.

 

And in reality, it's hard to justify a sub system that 'sounds great', but doesn't play loud enough for your preference. IMO, the two are hand in hand. A sub system that has ample output for your listening levels will trump one that can't play at those levels, but have a flatter response, IMO.

 

The HUGE caveat that makes things virtually impossible to know what the right choice is in the beginning, (in Beeman language) "one does not know what one's clean output preferences are until one's actually experience that clean output in one's own room".

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post #23 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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IMO, it's a headroom question between 1 and 2 quality subs for a set amount of money.

If the 2 subs get you enough clean output for your listening preferences, then those 2 will always be better than one because you can take advantage of FR smoothing inherent with multiple subs.

However, if the 1 sub has more output than the 2 combined, and the 2 subs do not have enough clean output for you, than I would sacrifice FR smoothing for clean output. The feeling of not being able to play at the levels you really want to me is far worse than a lumpy frequency response.

And in reality, it's hard to justify a sub system that 'sounds great', but doesn't play loud enough for your preference. IMO, the two are hand in hand. A sub system that has ample output for your listening levels will trump one that can't play at those levels, but have a flatter response, IMO.

The HUGE caveat that makes things virtually impossible to know what the right choice is in the beginning, (in Beeman language) "one does not know what one's clean output preferences are until one's actually experience that clean output in one's own room".

The WAF is a powerful force indeed so you can bet, with both of us watching, there's no way I'll get to listen at the levels I desire. I don't see either choice having headroom issues. I see the output as roughly the same and as we all know, two subs give better smoothing over one but how can one not want a Funk Audio 18.0C in their room? That Bee guy sounds like a smart guy. tongue.gif

"...lumpy frequency response." Now that was funny. biggrin.gif

Now?.........I'll just sit and contemplate.............ssssssssssssssss
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post #24 of 36 Old 03-18-2013, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

One question I keep struggling with regarding the one sub, two sub question. Should one go with one uber-killer sub or two lesser subs of an equal price as the killer sub.

As an example, upgrades included, in a 3,500 cuft room, open to other areas, should one go with a Funk Audio, 18.0C ($2,290.00) or two Rythmik, E15's; $2,448.00? I can't seem to get an answer to fall from the tree on this one as my gut tells me that the two Rythmiks is the better way to go as the overall output for the two choices is about the same.

Individual circumstances are the deciding factor, and there are many...

Price obviously jumps to the top of the list, as does the aforementioned WAF aspect. Personal wants should be thrown into the mix as well -- sound quality, extension, certain features, etc. -- are very critical to most such decisions. So are aesthetics; do you want high gloss paint, wood veneer, matte/flat finish, something else perhaps? Most purchases are strongly influenced by their appearance (houses, cars, cloths, your partner even).

Given your situation it seems you can discount total output, since either will provide more than you're likely to use. Both will probably extend to the mid teens without much effort, so depth is a wash. Sound quality is probably excellent with both, so it's a tie there as well. That doesn't really leave too many other factors to differentiate between them.

One thing that is frequently overlooked with the one vs. two argument is that duals aren't automatically a panacea with regards to room modes. It's not as simple as buying two subs, dropping them anywhere and magically all the nulls disappear. Placement matters whether you have one or two subs, so unless your room allows you the flexibilty to find a good home for both of them you may ultimately create more problems then you solve.

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post #25 of 36 Old 03-19-2013, 05:16 AM
 
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eek.gif I hit the back button! eek.gif

The short version, sans an unlimited budget and a cooperating trophy wife, we're all dancing on the "point" of a pin.

The forum's collective question; which subwoofer to choose dilemma, strongly reminds me of the well known Abbot and Costello routine: "Who's On First?"

In our personal space, for room smoothing benefits, measurements show, we "need" three subs, the wife wants zero subs, WAF coupled to a (due to room layout) congested 15' X 22' room size and normal budgetary constraints, allows for two quality subs or one killer sub when in truth, our room needs three quality subs, not one or two quality subs; first base. tongue.gif

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post #26 of 36 Old 03-19-2013, 05:59 AM
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Family room?

Ever consider stealth design? Hide a sub in a gutted piece of furniture?
Coffee table, end table, plinth?

Ottoman sub? wink.gif

ottoman sub.jpg 68k .jpg file

You could start with one sub and add with a mix/match approach.
Google Images is a great inspiration for ideas...
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post #27 of 36 Old 03-19-2013, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

eek.gif I hit the back button! eek.gif

Oh sure, that old excuse. I think you had too much last night... tongue.gif

If you take yourself too seriously expect me to do the exact opposite
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post #28 of 36 Old 03-19-2013, 06:23 AM
 
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Oh sure, that old excuse. I think you had too much last night... tongue.gif

....biggrin.gif

One of the miracles of modern technology, an ale/beer glass that automatically refills itself.

....tongue.gif

As a three sub solution, one should consider the possibilities judiciously mixing and matching various subwoofers, brings to the conversation table. As an example, two lesser subs (lesser being smaller), coupled with one powerful (larger) sub, so as to capably fill in the bottom end, yet one has benefit of the room smoothing three subs bring to the measuring equation.

Think SVS, PC13-Ultra as due to it's small footprint, for the ease one might have hiding it behind a large corner placed reclining chair. Coupling this beast with a pair of lesser subs like a pair of Klipsch, RW-12d's, the three sub combination will aid one in obtaining crazy smooth mid-bass; 30Hz - 80Hz with a -12dB crossover slope above 80Hz. And the intent of the powerful deep bass a stand alone PC13-Ultra is capable of, is for the <25Hz duty.

The idea being, if one can hide just one subwoofer, the WAF rockets in a positive direction. The idea being, to achieve an excellent FR graph without benefit of WAF destroying room treatments. The idea being, an added "POWERFUL" sub makes up for the multitude of sonic sins, smaller or lesser subs leave behind.

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post #29 of 36 Old 03-20-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I have no idea if this is possible, but I'm going to talk with my builder about putting a pair of SVS PB12's in the ceiling. Our ceilings are 12-14 ft, each side sloping downwards. I know you can get specific in-ceiling made subs, but no where near the price of a pair of PB12's. I'm curious if it will be possible to have the ceiling support dual 70 lb boxes, but since it's new construction I'm hoping they could build something.
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post #30 of 36 Old 03-20-2013, 09:31 AM
 
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Short of hanging them out in the open, doing what you suggest, I would suspect be the same as moving your subwoofer system to the attic as you'll be pressurizing both your attic and your sound room.
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