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post #1 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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my trusty soldier that's been with me for the better part of a decade went down on me this past weekend. It was one of the early generation vtf-2's and I think I purchased it new from dr. hsu back in the early 00's. Anyway, I'm now trying to figure out what to do ... I'm leaning to buying his new vtf-3 MK4. My question to all of your subwoofer guru's is what to do with my current vtf-2. I know that it's the amp that went down on it. I have opened her up and I have a standalone Carver 400x amp that I hooked directly to the woofer terminals inside the cabinet and the driver still works. Is hooking this sub up that way a viable option? The Carver can be bridged mono to deliver ~ 500 watts or thereabout and I'm not currently using it in my system so I'm thinking it might make a decent sub amplifier however, I wasn't sure if I'd be losing anything by doing this. I'm pretty sure I can button the sub back up just as tightly as she was before and just run it off of my external Carver amp but didn't know if the plate amp that came with my vtf-2 was tuned or eq'd specifically for this sub and obviously the Carver wasn't or if the plate amps just essentially throw power to the sub just the Carver will. Of course, typing this and thinking about it I assume I would lose the functionality of being able to set the freq range and sub output that's located on the plate amp? So basically, that's where I'm at ... sub died, going to order a new one however can I still use this one as I have described above with my external amp or do I just dig a hole and bury her?
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 07:42 AM
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You could

1. Buy a new plate amplifier, measure the cut out and speak with one of Parts Express online sales consultants, he would adivse you want plate amp to ger.
2. Use the Carver and use the AVR crossover functions.
3. Send the plate amp to a repair shop or ask HSU if the have suitable replacement plate amplifiers
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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i called hsu and spoke with one of their tech's who told me that they no longer sell the plate amp that fits into that particular vtf-2 but they could send what they're using today however I would have to cut the box to get it to fit just right. i'm not very handy when it comes to cutting straight lines etc. so i'll probably not go that route. I just didn't know if the sub would still sound good if i leave it connected to my external Carver amp or if it would sound horrible. I am using a Sunfire TGIV preamp so I assume just by setting my mains to large or small would be sufficient enough for the bass management with regards to freq range that would be sent to the sub however, I would lose the capability to dial it in precisely unless I'm just not seeing the menu setting on my preamp that lets me get a bit more precise than just saying large or small speakers etc.

...has anyone else every done this as far as using an external amp in a powered sub by bypassing the internal plate amp of that sub? I just didn't know if this was something common that folks do or again, if I just need to let the old vtf-2 go.
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 08:48 AM
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why not send the amp off for repair and use the carver until it is fixed?
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post #5 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 08:56 AM
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...has anyone else every done this as far as using an external amp in a powered sub by bypassing the internal plate amp of that sub? I just didn't know if this was something common that folks do or again, if I just need to let the old vtf-2 go.

We do it all the time with DIY SW’s.. use a outboard amp. It will not have Q implemented like HSU implemented in the amp you hade though. Some outboard amps do have Q control to a degree and of course many plates do to a degree. You could pick up a mini or another option for Q but then you’re looking at $$ considering new amp and Q. You might want to consider a new sub factoring in everything or go with the new HSU amp?
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah, i'm pretty certain i am going to buy a new hsu sub i just hate to throw this one away if it's still of use. Since the cabinet is in good condition and I assume the driver is as well i thought it might make a good second sub assuming using the Carver didn't make it sound sloppy which would take away from the sound of my system.
...speaking of sending the plate amp back to see if they can repair, what typically goes out on them? Could it just be a capacitor has gone bad or most likely more issues than just that? Is there a way to test a capacitor that's on the board to see if it's good ... i have a multimeter but i'm betting that's not going to tell me if a capacitor is good or bad etc.
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pinkeye View Post

yeah, i'm pretty certain i am going to buy a new hsu sub i just hate to throw this one away if it's still of use. Since the cabinet is in good condition and I assume the driver is as well i thought it might make a good second sub assuming using the Carver didn't make it sound sloppy which would take away from the sound of my system.
...speaking of sending the plate amp back to see if they can repair, what typically goes out on them? Could it just be a capacitor has gone bad or most likely more issues than just that? Is there a way to test a capacitor that's on the board to see if it's good ... i have a multimeter but i'm betting that's not going to tell me if a capacitor is good or bad etc.

Usually over time the caps go bad, sometimes the drive transistors do too. It shouldnt be that big of a repair honestly...any local electronics repair shop should be able to fix it. It boils dow to how much the repair cost versus the value of the sub.
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Usually over time the caps go bad, sometimes the drive transistors do too. It shouldnt be that big of a repair honestly...any local electronics repair shop should be able to fix it. It boils dow to how much the repair cost versus the value of the sub.

^ +1 Good idea!.. as long as they don't charge you $35 to talk to them biggrin.gif Even so, it still might be worth it though.

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post #9 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 10:07 AM
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How much would they charge you for their new plate amp? Also, I wouldn't throw it out. You could probably still sell it. Someone would give it some DIY love.
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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i guess i'll let someone look at it in case it is something simple but considering this is a first gen vtf-2 that i bought new back in early 00's i guess i should just be happy she last this long.
...they told me $240 for their new plate amp but that it wouldn't fit and i'd have to cut out the hole a bit to make it go in. Considering that would be $240 and knowing that the driver is some 12 years old, the way my luck would work is that would end up going out and to replace that is another $150 or so ... thinking of that, i'm probably best to just buy a new one. do You guys like the vtf-3 mk4? i figure if i'm getting a new one i might as well upgrade while i'm at it and that sub looks to be more than what i had by a decent margin. i wonder if their roasewood cabinet looks as good in person as it does on their site or if it looks cheap when you're up on it ... anyone seen one in person?

i would still like to maybe incorporate what i have left using this external Carver amp if you guys think that would be ok and won't end up causing damage to my amp?
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post #11 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 12:41 PM
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I think you're doing the right thing getting a new sub. Your time is valuable and there's a decent risk you'll waste time and money and end up with a mess.
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post #12 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 12:59 PM
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Time for a new PSA Sub. You are in the range of a XV-15 or a XS15. I had dual XV-15's for a bit and they were fantastic. Treat yourself, subs have come along way since you bought yours. Tom and Jim from PSA are great to deal with, best in the biz.

Or as most said, you could have it repaired, but what fun is that wink.giftongue.gif
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post #13 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 01:02 PM
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I think you're doing the right thing getting a new sub.

Yeah lets go shopping!

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post #14 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 02:00 PM
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A new VTF3 would be so far beyond a old first generation VTF2 that it would be a much better road to take. I haven't seen the Rosenut finish in person, but even the basic satin black is very nice. As for the old VTF2 driver, you could probably sell it or use it for a car sub. It could still be good for a long time yet.
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post #15 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the input guys! I was so happy with my hsu I just assumed I would be happy with their newer products as well (unless they have started cutting corners etc.) ... I'll have to look at the PSA's, I'm not familiar with them. You mentioned Tom and I see they're in Ohio ... this wouldn't be the same Tom that's with SVS would it? Did he move on or is PSA part of SVS?

I saw the rosenut finish so since we're talking $800 or so I'm trying to use whatever avenue I can to up the spouse approval factor and thought the rosenut finish might work haha
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post #16 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkeye View Post

Thanks for all of the input guys! I was so happy with my hsu I just assumed I would be happy with their newer products as well (unless they have started cutting corners etc.) ... I'll have to look at the PSA's, I'm not familiar with them. You mentioned Tom and I see they're in Ohio ... this wouldn't be the same Tom that's with SVS would it? Did he move on or is PSA part of SVS?

I saw the rosenut finish so since we're talking $800 or so I'm trying to use whatever avenue I can to up the spouse approval factor and thought the rosenut finish might work haha

Yup Tom started his own business Power Sound Audio.
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post #17 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 03:10 PM
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^ Yes worth checking out. http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/power-x

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post #18 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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^ Yes worth checking out. http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/power-x

I've been looking at his site as I'm aware of Tom's reputation on this forum as well as other forums. I definitely do not question the build / workmanship of his subs nor their performance however, the one thing I have decided is to move away from a downward firing sub. My old vtf-2 is a downfiring sub and at my old house it wasn't an issue as my room was carpeted but the place I'm at now has hard wood flooring and I was getting some kind of weird clapping sound out of it when I first moved. I ended up getting a piece of carpet to fit under it so that the sub was firing into that instead of my wood floor and that got rid of this "phenomenon" . One reason I had moved up from hsu's current vtf-1 & 2 models is that those are down firing but the vtf-3 is side firing so I'm hopeful that I will be able to ditch the piece of rug once and for all. The PSA 15's look to be downfiring subs which I'm trying to get away from :-/
...that Cordovan finish they offer in some of their models looks awfully nice though!
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 03:37 PM
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We do it all the time with DIY SW’s.. use a outboard amp. It will not have Q implemented like HSU implemented in the amp you hade though. Some outboard amps do have Q control to a degree and of course many plates do to a degree. You could pick up a mini or another option for Q but then you’re looking at $$ considering new amp and Q. You might want to consider a new sub factoring in everything or go with the new HSU amp?
Yep........sound advice. (pun intended)

I had a similar problem with my old HSU plate amp and had the same consideration as my Parasound A-51 has a channel not being used. Before I implemented the A-51 into subwoofer service I thought it best to inquire both with Parasound and HSU. This is what Richard Schram wrote back and was echoed by the tech dept at HSU.

"The Hsu sub amp could have a compressor in it that reduces power output
as the frequency descends to keep the sub from over-excursion. It could
also include specific EQ to optimize its performance in its enclosure.
If it has neither you can use it with another amp. I suggest you check
with Hsu about your specific model. 3 ohms won't bother the A 51

bst rgds,
Richard"
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post #20 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkeye View Post

I've been looking at his site as I'm aware of Tom's reputation on this forum as well as other forums. I definitely do not question the build / workmanship of his subs nor their performance however, the one thing I have decided is to move away from a downward firing sub. My old vtf-2 is a downfiring sub and at my old house it wasn't an issue as my room was carpeted but the place I'm at now has hard wood flooring and I was getting some kind of weird clapping sound out of it when I first moved. I ended up getting a piece of carpet to fit under it so that the sub was firing into that instead of my wood floor and that got rid of this "phenomenon" . One reason I had moved up from hsu's current vtf-1 & 2 models is that those are down firing but the vtf-3 is side firing so I'm hopeful that I will be able to ditch the piece of rug once and for all. The PSA 15's look to be downfiring subs which I'm trying to get away from :-/
...that Cordovan finish they offer in some of their models looks awfully nice though!
The XV-15's have a base plate.
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post #21 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 04:21 PM
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One reason I had moved up from hsu's current vtf-1 & 2 models is that those are down firing but the vtf-3 is side firing so I'm hopeful that I will be able to ditch the piece of rug once and for all.

Totally understand.. another HSU it is. I hear it’s a good sub. With all the down-firing subs I've had they were always placed on carpet. I’m a little/much surprised you had such a extreem problem on the wood floor though. Once I actually put a piece of oak ply under a cheap down-firing sub just to see if I could get a better response out of it. I really didn't give it a chance though, (didn’t even measure) maybe 20 minutes and then I gave it away. What a heap! rolleyes.gif
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post #22 of 38 Old 07-10-2013, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkeye View Post

I've been looking at his site as I'm aware of Tom's reputation on this forum as well as other forums. I definitely do not question the build / workmanship of his subs nor their performance however, the one thing I have decided is to move away from a downward firing sub. My old vtf-2 is a downfiring sub and at my old house it wasn't an issue as my room was carpeted but the place I'm at now has hard wood flooring and I was getting some kind of weird clapping sound out of it when I first moved. I ended up getting a piece of carpet to fit under it so that the sub was firing into that instead of my wood floor and that got rid of this "phenomenon" . One reason I had moved up from hsu's current vtf-1 & 2 models is that those are down firing but the vtf-3 is side firing so I'm hopeful that I will be able to ditch the piece of rug once and for all. The PSA 15's look to be downfiring subs which I'm trying to get away from :-/
...that Cordovan finish they offer in some of their models looks awfully nice though!

According to some of the experts around here(not me smile.gif) downfiring, side firing, front firing makes little difference for performance. The downfiring can help mask harmonics and slightly reduce the potential for localization when placed nearfield. Also as mentioned the psa subs originally came with a base plate...with the increasing costs on materials such as mdf, the base plate was removed, but still can be added for a additional cost. The XV15 was only 799.00 shipped 2mo ago with a base plate. Now they are 899.00, but is still a great deal for the performance and sound quality. Also some b stock versions will be available shortly that will still come with a 4yr warranty. However if you are content with HSU I am sure the VTF-3 MK4 will serve you well and its still on sale.
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post #23 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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According to some of the experts around here(not me smile.gif) downfiring, side firing, front firing makes little difference for performance. The downfiring can help mask harmonics and slightly reduce the potential for localization when placed nearfield. Also as mentioned the psa subs originally came with a base plate...with the increasing costs on materials such as mdf, the base plate was removed, but still can be added for a additional cost. The XV15 was only 799.00 shipped 2mo ago with a base plate. Now they are 899.00, but is still a great deal for the performance and sound quality. Also some b stock versions will be available shortly that will still come with a 4yr warranty. However if you are content with HSU I am sure the VTF-3 MK4 will serve you well and its still on sale.

Everything was fine and I was all set to order the VTF-3 and then you had to say that - haha
...I hadn't thought about the downfiring aiding in masking the harmonics and localization. I know the vtf-2 I had was just that ... it being downfiring you really had no idea where the sub was sitting in the room unless you saw it. Now you have me worried that if I do go for a sub that fires out the side or front that might change and I might lose some of what I had. Maybe I should stick with a downfiring sub and just learn to love my piece of carpet. Back to the drawing board I suppose. I assume those are the better options in this price range? hsu and psa? Hsu is offering me a bit of a discount since I was a previous customer and my old sub broke etc. What about the downfiring vtf-2? is that a decent alternative or would the psa's blow it away?
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post #24 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 07:10 AM
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The PSA sub will have more output, but unless you are trying to play reference levels I do not think there would be much difference. The XV15 would be more like the VTF-3 with slightly deeper extension, both will have good sound quality...the main difference is 500watt rms 15" vs 250watt rms 12" sub. PSA has 5yr warranty on both amp and driver, HSU is 2 &7.
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post #25 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 07:27 AM
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Maybe I should stick with a downfiring sub and just learn to love my piece of carpet. Back to the drawing board I suppose.

Nothing wrong with a nice piece of carpet under a sub, in my mind anyway. If it’s your perception that it helps (I’m not saying it doesn't) it’s worth it imo for better extension.

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post #26 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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...well let me ask you guys this. My listening tendencies lean more toward the music side of things than the movie side. I'd say i'm at about 75% music 25% movies so a really good musical sub is first and foremost paramount when it comes to the sub that I choose. That is one reason I fell in love with my current hsu, i really just thought it was a very musical sub that didn't get in the way of my Kappa 8 mains ... it just blended so well, completely seamless. I can only assume the the current line of hsu's will still share this attribute ... what about the PSA's? Are they more of a movie sub or are they every bit as musical as the hsu's? My room isn't anything huge ... probably about 15' x 18', it is an open floor plan so it's not just a box however, where the sub is place is in a corner. The old hsu I had did a good job of filling the room but I did think some of the lower octaves could be a bit more pronounced but not by much. Anyway, i guess i'm just kind of thinking outloud ...

also, i meant to add that my ceilings are just standard 8' ceilings so again ... my room isn't anything extreme as far as size / high ceilings are concerned etc.
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post #27 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 08:01 AM
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...well let me ask you guys this. My listening tendencies lean more toward the music side of things than the movie side. I'd say i'm at about 75% music 25% movies so a really good musical sub is first and foremost paramount when it comes to the sub that I choose. That is one reason I fell in love with my current hsu, i really just thought it was a very musical sub that didn't get in the way of my Kappa 8 mains ... it just blended so well, completely seamless. I can only assume the the current line of hsu's will still share this attribute ... what about the PSA's? Are they more of a movie sub or are they every bit as musical as the hsu's? My room isn't anything huge ... probably about 15' x 18', it is an open floor plan so it's not just a box however, where the sub is place is in a corner. The old hsu I had did a good job of filling the room but I did think some of the lower octaves could be a bit more pronounced but not by much. Anyway, i guess i'm just kind of thinking outloud ...

also, i meant to add that my ceilings are just standard 8' ceilings so again ... my room isn't anything extreme as far as size / high ceilings are concerned etc.

A good sub will perform well with music as it will with movies.. remember there is a lot of music in movies. That being said, some like the sealed desighn better for music and movies. PSA offers both designs for the customers discretion.

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post #28 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 08:26 AM
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...well let me ask you guys this. My listening tendencies lean more toward the music side of things than the movie side. I'd say i'm at about 75% music 25% movies so a really good musical sub is first and foremost paramount when it comes to the sub that I choose. That is one reason I fell in love with my current hsu, i really just thought it was a very musical sub that didn't get in the way of my Kappa 8 mains ... it just blended so well, completely seamless. I can only assume the the current line of hsu's will still share this attribute ... what about the PSA's? Are they more of a movie sub or are they every bit as musical as the hsu's? My room isn't anything huge ... probably about 15' x 18', it is an open floor plan so it's not just a box however, where the sub is place is in a corner. The old hsu I had did a good job of filling the room but I did think some of the lower octaves could be a bit more pronounced but not by much. Anyway, i guess i'm just kind of thinking outloud ...

also, i meant to add that my ceilings are just standard 8' ceilings so again ... my room isn't anything extreme as far as size / high ceilings are concerned etc.

I listen to primarily music(80/20) and my XV15's perform flawlessly with both. I was originally going to buy sealed since all my prior subs were ported and a bit sloppy for music...however after further research I didnt feel a pair of sealed subs would give me the output I wanted down to 15hz since my room is open. I do not regret my choice one bit...running at reference level, There is no port noise and they stay tight as a drum. Now I am not trying to steer you away from HSU, if they have served you well in the past, I see no reason to change.
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post #29 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

I listen to primarily music(80/20) and my XV15's perform flawlessly with both. I was originally going to buy sealed since all my prior subs were ported and a bit sloppy for music...however after further research I didnt feel a pair of sealed subs would give me the output I wanted down to 15hz since my room is open. I do not regret my choice one bit...running at reference level, There is no port noise and they stay tight as a drum. Now I am not trying to steer you away from HSU, if they have served you well in the past, I see no reason to change.

Interesting ... I didn't realize the XV15 would dig down to 15Hz ... is that a realistic, feel-it in the seat of your pants 15Hz that you can notice out of the sub from your listening position or do you need to be like a foot or two from it? I only see one port on the XV15 so I'm assuming there's no max extension mode / plug up a port to get what you want i.e the hsu's? A ported sub doesn't bother me in the least just because that's what i had and I was very impressed with it (again, assuming it's a clean ported sub like what I'm used to) ... i also like being able to get the output from my sub in case I want to put in a blu ray and feel the t-rex coming down my hall
...i'm curious, have you ever owned or have you demo'd / listened to a hsu sub to compare with your PSA's or any others etc.?

Since I am looking, to keep my list as short and concise as possible ... Am I in a good place to just keep it to either hsu or PSA or are there any others in this price range I need to consider? As I'm researching, I just want to make sure I'm looking at the best etc. So hsu & PSA really all I need to look at to get what I want?
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post #30 of 38 Old 07-11-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkeye View Post

Interesting ... I didn't realize the XV15 would dig down to 15Hz ... is that a realistic, feel-it in the seat of your pants 15Hz that you can notice out of the sub from your listening position or do you need to be like a foot or two from it? I only see one port on the XV15 so I'm assuming there's no max extension mode / plug up a port to get what you want i.e the hsu's? A ported sub doesn't bother me in the least just because that's what i had and I was very impressed with it (again, assuming it's a clean ported sub like what I'm used to) ... i also like being able to get the output from my sub in case I want to put in a blu ray and feel the t-rex coming down my hall
...i'm curious, have you ever owned or have you demo'd / listened to a hsu sub to compare with your PSA's or any others etc.?

Since I am looking, to keep my list as short and concise as possible ... Am I in a good place to just keep it to either hsu or PSA or are there any others in this price range I need to consider? As I'm researching, I just want to make sure I'm looking at the best etc. So hsu & PSA really all I need to look at to get what I want?

I have measured 113db @ 15hz with dual XV15's...however that is with both placed nearfield within 6ft of the main LP. Yes the room feels like its going to fall apart and the windows are going to blow out lol. I have herd one HSU sub and it was a older model, I believe a Turbo? I
I think it sounded good...I have also listened to many other subs ranging from polk, velodyne, paradigm, kenwood...etc. I have been the most satisfied with PSA. What was the final factor in deciding to do business was the customer service. Tom V originally a former owner of SVS is amazing to deal with. He will go out of his way to make sure you are satisfied and happy with your purchase. Never once has he put down any other product, but he simply tells it like it is. Tom always responds in a timely manner and if a problem with your sub ever occurs, he is quick to resolve the issue. I also like how he posts cea 2010 output numbers for each one of his products. There is no hiding anything with PSA, its all laid out on the table.

Another good company to look at is Outlaw audio if you want to stick with a down firing sub...Again all 3 companies mentioned make good products. I think your deciding factors should be biased towards budget, warranty, and customer service. All 3 will excel in performance and sound quality. Matter of fact I have not herd any body complain about sound quality with any ID company....ie SVS, Rythmik, PSA, HSU, or Outlaw.

here is a max output graph of the xv15's before any eq was applied in room.



here is a graph after adding a mini dsp.

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