Outlaw LFM-1 EX vs PSA XV-15 - AVS Forum
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been doing a lot of research into my next subwoofer purchase, and I think I have narrowed it down to either the Outlaw LFM-1 EX and PSA XV-15.

My room is an irregularly shaped open living room and kitchen that is approximately 3,500 cu. ft. It is also connected to a hallway, and a staircase, but 3,500 cu. ft. is a slight overestimate to account for this. My usage will be 80% movies and 20% music. Currently, I have a Klipsch RW-12D, which is okay, but it struggles with the size of the room, and I'm looking to get clean sub-20hz extension, which the RW-12D can't do.

While I don't have a set budget, like everyone else, I'm looking to get the best value for my money. Also, space is an issue, and both of the subs that I'm considering are pretty much as big as I can accommodate. Before you guys suggest other options, here are some reasons why I have ruled out other models:

- HSU: The VTF-15H is too big for my space, and beyond the tuning options, it doesn't seem to offer anything that the XV-15 can't do. The VTF3.4 seems to be a slightly better version of the LFM-1 EX, but the fact that it is side-firing makes placement a problem. Also, I live in CA, so the sales tax reduces the value of HSU's offerings.

- Rythmik: The LV12R is new, so there aren't any 3rd party measurements available yet, but the size of the enclosure suggests that it will lack the output and extension of the Outlaw or PSA. The FV15HP is too big, and more than what I want to spend. Rythmik is an attractive option, but it's too bad that they don't have a ported model in between the LV12R and FV15HP.

- SVS: While the trial and double free shipping is nice, the PB-12 NSD performs poorly against the Outlaw and PSA according to the measurements on Audioholics.

Therefore, I'm down to either the Outlaw LFM-1 EX and PSA XV-15. I had been leaning towards the Outlaw because I can place it flush against the wall since the ports at the bottom. However, the PSA is 2" shallower in depth, and I gave PSA a call this morning, and they told me that I only need about 2"-2.5" of clearance for the port. As a result, the footprint will be similar for both subs.

If I go with the Outlaw, I plan it run it in 1-port mode. In this mode, the Outlaw is on par with the PSA at 16-20hz, but the PSA has a 2-3db advantage at 25hz and up.




I have a slight concern that the THD+N% numbers are almost double on the PSA at 16 and 20hz. Does this mean that the Outlaw will be cleaner at these frequencies? If so, will this difference be audible?

Also, if my goal is to get the flattest response down to 16hz, will either sub have an advantage achieving that? I live in a townhouse and share a wall with a neighbor, so I can't crank it up to reference levels. Will Audyssey be able to handle either one the same, or will the Outlaw be easier to calibrate because it has a flatter max SPL curve to start with?

Finally, the last consideration is the price. At regular prices, the Outlaw is slightly cheaper ($738 vs $799), but the bigger driver and better warranty on the PSA makes it a toss-up. If the Outlaw is on sale and I can get it for $650 shipped, I'd snatch it up. As is, I'm pretty torn between the two options. Has PSA ever ran a sale in their short history? Which sub do you think will give me the best performance? Keep in mind that I can't crank up the volume too much, so the extra output of the PSA is not that useful in my current situation.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:54 PM
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I have had both dual outlaws and dual XV-15's and they are both good subs and surprising are pretty close. I would suggest the PSA for the fact that Tom and Jim are great to deal with and IMO the PSA is a better sub and assembled in the USA along with excellent customer service.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:01 PM
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you need to add 1.5db to xv15's numbers due how the mic was plced in relation to the driver during testing. there will be no difference in soundquality since those distortion figures are low order which wont be audible. both are good subs tho...
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:28 PM
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If you are after clean sub 20 Hz extension, the VTF3 would be better than either, but like you said, not a good value proposition with sales tax. The Outlaw does deep bass cleaner, but not by a huge amount. Picking between them I would go with the Outlaw, I think it may be using a better driver, and potentially has better sound quality. One thing is, deeper frequencies penetrate walls more easily, so it might not be a great idea to chase after sub 20 Hz in that situation. It takes a lot of loudness below 20 Hz to perceive anything because of how insensitive humans are to deep frequencies, and at that point that you can get any kind of tangible deep bass at all, your neighbors will hate you because of how loud the whole system has to be to take you there.

I think an alternative which is likely superior to both is this Dayton opposing driver kit. I'm guessing its drivers are probably better than the Outlaw driver. It won't take a lot of effort to assemble, all you need is a screwdriver and some glue and maybe an hour of assembly time. I think its overall performance will knock out both the Outlaw and XV15 handily. The only advantage with the Outlaw and XV15 would have over it is around their tuning points, roughly 20 Hz, but it won't be a huge advantage and below that point the Dayton dual driver kit would have a lot more extreme deep bass output (although probably not enough for a tangible effect). It's a bit more expensive when you add shipping, but overall it will likely have better sound quality, less distortion, less compression, more linearity, and more output. For me, an easy choice over the Outlaw and PSA subs.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:45 PM
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The SVS PB12-NSD actually has a hair more output than the PSA and Outlaw at 20Hz with much less distortion, but the Outlaw and PSA have it beat at 30Hz and up. That said, I would probably go for the Outlaw over PSA in this case; it plays a bit cleaner and costs a bit less after shipping.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

The SVS PB12-NSD actually has a hair more output than the PSA and Outlaw at 20Hz with much less distortion, but the Outlaw and PSA have it beat at 30Hz and up. That said, I would probably go for the Outlaw over PSA in this case; it plays a bit cleaner and costs a bit less after shipping.

no it does not...read my prior post. you need to add 1.5db to the xv numbers. I am willing to put money down that below 25 hz you can not hear the distortion differences between all 3 subs. its the higher order harmonics thats audible. infrasonic bass is felt, not herd.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:22 PM
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basshead, if the XV15 has any gains from facing the woofer at the microphone, they are unlikely to be at 20 Hz. The gains you are trying to add come from when the microphone is facing the acoustic emitter. At 20 Hz, the emitter is largely going to be the port, not the woofer. In fact, if the original tests were done with the microphone facing the port, you may actually lose a slight amount of SPL in those CEA tests at 20 Hz by having it face the woofer. 20 Hz waves are so long and penetrating that I doubt orientation has any humanly perceivable effect. It funny you should mention 25 Hz as a point where they won't have any differences, because data-bass shows that the XV15 is sixth order harmonic distortion limited at that point, which is a 150 Hz sound. Having 150 Hz compose 10 percent of a 25 Hz sinewave playback may well be audible. However I would agree with you that that would not be noticeable in any normal material.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:30 PM
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My usage will be 80% movies and 20% music. Currently, I have a Klipsch RW-12D, which is okay, but it struggles with the size of the room, and I'm looking to get clean sub-20hz extension, which the RW-12D can't do.

You most likely have seen this graph but just in case.. I would opt for the XV myself considering if the EX is in the one port tune it would not benefit in over-all performance although better to the left, but at what level??


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I think an alternative which is likely superior to both is this Dayton opposing driver kit. I'm guessing its drivers are probably better than the Outlaw driver.

Interesting! I dunno.. I tried the MKIII 15” kit out for a few months and was impressed. The extension wasn’t anything to write home about in my room, but it went plenty loud from 24-25Hz up and held it's composure.. I fear the same with the RS2012K but I can’t be sure. It wanted to drop at about 28Hz. Of course it would be different in a different room.

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Old 07-16-2013, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by steve nn View Post

You most likely have seen this graph but just in case.. I would opt for the XV myself considering if the EX is in the one port tune it would not benefit in over-all performance although better to the left, but at what level??

You posted the graph with the EX in 2 port mode, but yes, I have seen both. From what I understand, 2 port mode gives the EX a bit more headroom and results in a ~3db boost from 25-63hz, but sacrifices low-end output. The PSA chart looks like it is the best of both worlds, i.e. the same performance as the EX if you could somehow operate it in 1 port and 2 port modes simultaneously. That's why, for similar money, I'm leaning a bit towards the PSA.

My only concern here is if it would be difficult to knock down the XV-15's response at 50hz while retaining the output levels at 20hz and below. Looking at the basic frequency responses below, is Audyssey going to have an easier time getting one sub flat vs the other?


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I have had both dual outlaws and dual XV-15's and they are both good subs and surprising are pretty close. I would suggest the PSA for the fact that Tom and Jim are great to deal with and IMO the PSA is a better sub and assembled in the USA along with excellent customer service.

Yeah, these two seem like they're really close, which is why it's not an easy decision.
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I think an alternative which is likely superior to both is this Dayton opposing driver kit. I'm guessing its drivers are probably better than the Outlaw driver. It won't take a lot of effort to assemble, all you need is a screwdriver and some glue and maybe an hour of assembly time. I think its overall performance will knock out both the Outlaw and XV15 handily. The only advantage with the Outlaw and XV15 would have over it is around their tuning points, roughly 20 Hz, but it won't be a huge advantage and below that point the Dayton dual driver kit would have a lot more extreme deep bass output (although probably not enough for a tangible effect). It's a bit more expensive when you add shipping, but overall it will likely have better sound quality, less distortion, less compression, more linearity, and more output. For me, an easy choice over the Outlaw and PSA subs.

Thanks for the alternative suggestion. It looks interesting but the dimensions are just too big for me to fit it anywhere.

Thanks for everyone's input so far. If I do go with the Outlaw, it would have to be at a sale price, so I guess I'll wait another month or so to see if Outlaw runs a sale. Otherwise, I will just pull the trigger for the PSA at $800.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:24 PM
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basshead, if the XV15 has any gains from facing the woofer at the microphone, they are unlikely to be at 20 Hz. The gains you are trying to add come from when the microphone is facing the acoustic emitter. At 20 Hz, the emitter is largely going to be the port, not the woofer. In fact, if the original tests were done with the microphone facing the port, you may actually lose a slight amount of SPL in those CEA tests at 20 Hz by having it face the woofer. 20 Hz waves are so long and penetrating that I doubt orientation has any humanly perceivable effect. It funny you should mention 25 Hz as a point where they won't have any differences, because data-bass shows that the XV15 is sixth order harmonic distortion limited at that point, which is a 150 Hz sound. Having 150 Hz compose 10 percent of a 25 Hz sinewave playback may well be audible. However I would agree with you that that would not be noticeable in any normal material.

Shady, Josh Ricci even said so...you seen his post. why are you always tryin to knock psa? every chance you get...its endless.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:34 PM
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You posted the graph with the EX in 2 port mode, but yes, I have seen both. From what I understand, 2 port mode gives the EX a bit more headroom and results in a ~3db boost from 25-63hz, but sacrifices low-end output. The PSA chart looks like it is the best of both worlds, i.e. the same performance as the EX if you could somehow operate it in 1 port and 2 port modes simultaneously. That's why, for similar money, I'm leaning a bit towards the PSA.

My only concern here is if it would be difficult to knock down the XV-15's response at 50hz while retaining the output levels at 20hz and below. Looking at the basic frequency responses below, is Audyssey going to have an easier time getting one sub flat vs the other?


Yeah, these two seem like they're really close, which is why it's not an easy decision.
Thanks for the alternative suggestion. It looks interesting but the dimensions are just too big for me to fit it anywhere.

Thanks for everyone's input so far. If I do go with the Outlaw, it would have to be at a sale price, so I guess I'll wait another month or so to see if Outlaw runs a sale. Otherwise, I will just pull the trigger for the PSA at $800.

I dont see how the Outlaw would even be a consideration unless on sale based on the fact that PSA has more output, a 5yr warranty, top notch customer support, american made, and the owner(s) came from svs. Tom V. is the V in SVS.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I dont see how the Outlaw would even be a consideration unless on sale based on the fact that PSA has more output, a 5yr warranty, top notch customer support, american made, and the owner(s) came from svs. Tom V. is the V in SVS.

The Outlaw is a consideration because it is substantially cheaper when it is on sale, and the fact that the extra output of the PSA isn't that useful for me in my current living situation. But, yes, I do agree with you that the PSA is a better performer and a better value at regular prices.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:47 PM
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The Outlaw is a consideration because it is substantially cheaper when it is on sale, and the fact that the extra output of the PSA isn't that useful for me in my current living situation. But, yes, I do agree with you that the PSA is a better performer and a better value at regular prices.

so better warranty, being american made, and customer service has no value?
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

The SVS PB12-NSD actually has a hair more output than the PSA and Outlaw at 20Hz with much less distortion, but the Outlaw and PSA have it beat at 30Hz and up. That said, I would probably go for the Outlaw over PSA in this case; it plays a bit cleaner and costs a bit less after shipping.

no it does not...read my prior post. you need to add 1.5db to the xv numbers. I am willing to put money down that below 25 hz you can not hear the distortion differences between all 3 subs. its the higher order harmonics thats audible. infrasonic bass is felt, not herd.

I doubt mic placement will gain you 1.5db at 20hz, but I could be wrong. That said, there was no need to be rude and condescending.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:47 PM
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You posted the graph with the EX in 2 port mode, but yes, I have seen both. From what I understand, 2 port mode gives the EX a bit more headroom and results in a ~3db boost from 25-63hz, but sacrifices low-end output. The PSA chart looks like it is the best of both worlds, i.e. the same performance as the EX if you could somehow operate it in 1 port and 2 port modes simultaneously. That's why, for similar money, I'm leaning a bit towards the PSA.

My only concern here is if it would be difficult to knock down the XV-15's response at 50hz while retaining the output levels at 20hz and below. Looking at the basic frequency responses below, is Audyssey going to have an easier time getting one sub flat vs the other?

Ah! but I do now smile.gif both! No I don’t see any problem. Well actually if you look at the line on the lower tuned mode regarding the EX is where I see a problem although nothing drastic.

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Old 07-16-2013, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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so better warranty, being american made, and customer service has no value?

Don't want to argue semantics, but I just said the PSA is a better value at $799 vs the Outlaw at $738, and that statement factors in the better warranty, customer service and American parts
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:58 PM
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I'd probably go with the XV15. Although Ricci was able to get both subs to produce port noise at high levels, I would imagine the PSA would have less port noise than the LFM-EX in 1 port mode. In 2 port mode, I'm sure they would probably be similar in port noise, but the PSA has a lot more output at 16hz giving it the edge.

When the LFM-EX could be had for $550 on sale back in the day, it was the best deal around. Unfortunately, that shipped has sailed...
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:00 PM
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I dont see how the Outlaw would even be a consideration unless on sale based on the fact that PSA has more output, a 5yr warranty, top notch customer support, american made, and the owner(s) came from svs. Tom V. is the V in SVS.
Some more history...Tom and Ron Stimpson (the first S in SVS) used to get advice from Dr. Hsu (who designed the LFM) before going into business to compete against him. In fact, the one of first subwoofers that Ron and Tom collaborated on together used parts from a Hsu subwoofer. smile.gif Documentation of that subwoofer build used to be on the Secrets of Home Theater site.

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Old 07-16-2013, 06:06 PM
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I doubt mic placement will gain you 1.5db at 20hz, but I could be wrong. That said, there was no need to be rude and condescending.

i was not being rude.

here is ricci's post on the subject.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467970/honest-discussion-psa-xv15-vs-hsu-vtf-3-mk4/60#post_23205772
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd probably go with the XV15. Although Ricci was able to get both subs to produce port noise at high levels, I would imagine the PSA would have less port noise than the LFM-EX in 1 port mode. In 2 port mode, I'm sure they would probably be similar in port noise, but the PSA has a lot more output at 16hz giving it the edge.

When the LFM-EX could be had for $550 on sale back in the day, it was the best deal around. Unfortunately, that shipped has sailed...

Good point regarding the port noise - that's one of the things that irks me about my RW-12d. Ricci's review does mention that 1 port mode will increase port noise.

Yeah, it's too bad that they're not available at $550. I still think that they are good value at $600 or even $650, but would rather spend a little more for the PSA if the Outlaw isn't on sale.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:11 PM
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I'd probably go with the XV15. Although Ricci was able to get both subs to produce port noise at high levels, I would imagine the PSA would have less port noise than the LFM-EX in 1 port mode. In 2 port mode, I'm sure they would probably be similar in port noise, but the PSA has a lot more output at 16hz giving it the edge.

When the LFM-EX could be had for $550 on sale back in the day, it was the best deal around. Unfortunately, that shipped has sailed...

I agree...however the test tone used to generate the chuffing would not likely be experienced with source content. Yes the EX for 550.00 is a smoking deal. I would probably have a pair of those at that price. smile.gif
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:13 PM
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I'd pay the $150 difference in LFM sale price vs the PSA just for the reduced port noise...

I hate port noise...that's why my sealed setup pulls most of the weight for my HT smile.gif
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:51 PM
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I'd pay the $150 difference in LFM sale price vs the PSA just for the reduced port noise...

I hate port noise...that's why my sealed setup pulls most of the weight for my HT smile.gif

I hear ya...I have driven my xv15's extremely hard at low frequencies and never had any port noise.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:53 PM
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Shady, Josh Ricci even said so...you seen his post. why are you always tryin to knock psa? every chance you get...its endless.

If you want an appeal to authority, send Josh a PM asking him about how much SPL advantage will be had by having the woofer face a measuring microphone at the tuning point of any ported subwoofer.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:04 PM
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If you want an appeal to authority, send Josh a PM asking him about how much SPL advantage will be had by having the woofer face a measuring microphone at the tuning point of any ported subwoofer.

Na honestly its not that deep...I get it the xv15 is a 50hz butt humping turd, that compresses after 5min of run time. I admit it, I wasted my money buying these pieces of insdustrial finished ****. I can not variable tune nor do I have any q or peq controls...wtf was I thinking. I should of went to the school of ShadyJ Tech U where I would of quickly learned HSU is the best thing since sliced bread. I probably would of wound up buying dual drive ULS 15's so I could hear them woofers clack and bang at 15hz during reference playback. That really adds to the sound effects during action movies...smile.gif
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:30 PM
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I hear ya...I have driven my xv15's extremely hard at low frequencies and never had any port noise.

I've owned dual LFM-EXs and I played them in 1 port mode. I generally never heard port noise...of course I was also running my FTW21 sealed setup at the same time.

 

The only time I heard port noise were scenes that were very similar to sine wave sweeps, and those were the loudest frequencies. A good example is the scene in the movie Pulse when they walk down the hallway into the control room near the end of the movie.

 

Have you or other XV15 owners ever heard that scene on your XV15(s)? Did you hear port noise while playing at or near reference?

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dominguez1 View Post

Have you or other XV15 owners ever heard that scene on your XV15(s)? Did you hear port noise while playing at or near reference?

Josh Ricci's review on Audioholics specifically mentions that port noise is audible during this scene. But I'm sure that pretty much every ported sub will do this.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:50 PM
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Josh Ricci's review on Audioholics specifically mentions that port noise is audible during this scene. But I'm sure that pretty much every ported sub will do this.

Nice! Good catch!

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:53 PM
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I've owned dual LFM-EXs and I played them in 1 port mode. I generally never heard port noise...of course I was also running my FTW21 sealed setup at the same time.

The only time I heard port noise were scenes that were very similar to sine wave sweeps, and those were the loudest frequencies. A good example is the scene in the movie Pulse when they walk down the hallway into the control room near the end of the movie.

Have you or other XV15 owners ever heard that scene on your XV15(s)? Did you hear port noise while playing at or near reference?

well I ran my xv15's up to 113db playing a 15hz test tone and herd no port noise so idk. I have also done full sweeps at max output with rew and never herd any port noise. I peaked over the back of the sub while it was playing those levels and still herd nothing...just felt lots of air coming out. My subs are nearfield and I never hear port noise at reference volume...never have at any frequency. Maybe I have not played the right source content yet...dunno.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:03 PM
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well I ran my xv15's up to 113db playing a 15hz test tone and herd no port noise so idk. I have also done full sweeps at max output with rew and never herd any port noise. I peaked over the back of the sub while it was playing those levels and still herd nothing...just felt lots of air coming out. My subs are nearfield and I never hear port noise at reference volume...never have at any frequency. Maybe I have not played the right source content yet...dunno.

It's probably the alternating frequencies that the pulse scene demands as opposed to a gradual sweep or steady sine wave in your tests. That pulse scene would have low frequencies where the ports can't keep up (high air flow), alternating with frequencies where they can keep up. The combined sound is a rapid chuffing sound.

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