$1000-1500 Subwoofer Suggestions and Thoughts - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Subwoofer of Choice
Definitive Technology 8000 1 9.09%
Paradigm Seismic 110 0 0%
Other ( please specify) 10 90.91%
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I've got some questions. I'm a little new to the home theater world. Most of what I watch are concert DVD's, and I was looking to upgrade my system. I have a Acoustech (BIC) PL-200 Subwoofer. I got it from Amazon with my speakers(Atlantic Technology 2200 series, super deal). And I don't know a whole lot about what's important for subwoofers.

1) How important is frequency response? (and what's a good number to look for)

2) How much power is good to have?

3) Does continuous or peak power matter most?

4) And do specs really tell me a whole lot?

I was interested in getting a new Subwoofer around $1000-1500. Size isn't a big issue. And the room is 14X10.
I always liked good sound, and have been continually becoming more obsessive. And so every Christmas I'm always asking for some upgrade! The Paradigm Seismic 110 seemed like an option, as did the Definitive Technology SuperCube 8000 or Reference model. Any thoughts?
And is it a good idea to buy used? On ebay I found a "lightly" "perfessionally" used Paradigm Seismic 110 for $1099, and a factory refurbished Definitive SuperCube 8000 for $1049. Are either of these must buy deals?
Full System:
Oppo BDP-105
Marantz SR6007
Atlantic Technology 2200 7.1(FR,FL,C,4 SR)
Acoustech PL-200

Thanks very much!

EDIT: Alright, so I certainly don't know much about PSA or Rythmik. Have you guys had personal experiences with these more "Branded" subs verses these you are mentioning?

If so, what are the differences?

How much of an improvement do you think I would notice in upgrading what I already have, the PL-200?

In your opinion, is it worth a $1000+ verses what I have, or should something else be higher prioritized and essential to my setup?

And don't worry about footprint, as long as I can fit it, I wouldn't care if it was a monster. I just care about quality!

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Old 10-02-2013, 10:56 PM
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For right around the same price as those two subs you could get a XS30 from PSA. I have two of them, they're a great sub and could fit your requirements nicely.



And for $150 more you could get it in a really nice veneer finish.

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Old 10-03-2013, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

For right around the same price as those two subs you could get a XS30 from PSA. I have two of them, they're a great sub and could fit your requirements nicely.



And for $150 more you could get it in a really nice veneer finish.


+1 solid choice wink.gif
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:21 AM
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For your room size, the XS30 would be awesome, and will extend into the single digits. For a bit more money, two XS15's or a Rythmik FV15HP are great choices as well. Any of these options will put you in a different league than the two subs you mentioned.

As for your questions:

1. Frequency response is meaningless without knowing how the measurement was done, and at what output levels. Take manufacturer numbers with a mountain of salt, and only trust third party measurements like data-bass.com.

2. Amp power is only one part of the equation - max output is what ultimately matters.

3. See previous answer.

4. It is possible to make very accurate assumptions on how a sub will perform based on the characteristics of the driver, cabinet design and amp. But measurements provide definitive answers.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:54 AM
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Rythmik F25 is nice too
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:08 AM
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Definitive Technology SuperCube 8000 or Reference model

Stay away from anything and everything that is labelled Definitive Technology and is described as a subwoofer.

The subs mentioned by others are great ones but your room is very small and they have a large footprint. Though bass is never enough but placement will be an issue. I reckon you look at 2 subs with smaller footprint. They will be easy to lug around and will help deal with room acoustics more effectively to give you a more balanced response over a larger listening area.

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Old 10-03-2013, 08:04 AM
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I would go with a sealed sub in that small room...XS30 or F25 would both be solid choices. However I prefer multiple subs, so I would look into dual XS15's or dual SB12NSD's. I think you will appreciate a smoother response over sheer output.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

I would go with a sealed sub in that small room...XS30 or F25 would both be solid choices. However I prefer multiple subs, so I would look into dual XS15's or dual SB12NSD's. I think you will appreciate a smoother response over sheer output.

+1

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Old 10-03-2013, 09:25 AM
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The acoustics of your listening room are very important. In my last residence, one decent sub in the right front corner was satisfactory.

In our current house the living room is a nightmare. Major null at the listening position. Things improved greatly with multiple subs. My wife is very tolerant of big black boxes in the living room. Basshead made good recommendations: dual XS15's or dual SB-12 NSD. The 5 year warranty on the SVS' is appealing, but so are the 15 inch drivers in the XS-15
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

The acoustics of your listening room are very important. In my last residence, one decent sub in the right front corner was satisfactory.

In our current house the living room is a nightmare. Major null at the listening position. Things improved greatly with multiple subs. My wife is very tolerant of big black boxes in the living room. Basshead made good recommendations: dual XS15's or dual SB-12 NSD. The 5 year warranty on the SVS' is appealing, but so are the 15 inch drivers in the XS-15

PSA also has a 5 year warranty too wink.gif
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:52 AM
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@ Player3: There will be a HUGE difference in sound quality, depth, and SPL with any of the subs that were mentioned by the members in this thread. The PL-200 is a good sub for $300, but it can't even compare or compete with $1k - $1.5k internet direct sub companies, and the PL-200 was never meant to compete on that level anyway. Internet Direct sub companies are recommended a lot cuz there is no middle man they have to pay to sell their product, you buy straight from them. Meaning that you get way more product for the money than you ever could at a Best Buy or HH Greg. A lot of the ppl that work for those companies are professionals and very tech savvy and they know sound, bass, and subwoofers.

You would even notice a huge upgrade just by moving up to something like the Rythmik LV12R at $587 delivered. I do think you should consider 2 subs if you have the room for them 2 - $600 - $800 subs would be awesome in your room. Also if your room is sealed I would also recommend a sealed sub like dual PSA XS15s. If your room is open to other areas of the house you probably want to go ported and then something like dual PSA XV15s would be good.

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Old 10-03-2013, 10:49 AM
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I went from a SC 8000 to a SVS PC12+. The SC 8000, while pretty good for its size is WAY over priced. For $1000 you can do so much better. My PC12+ was an outlet model at $1049 and it is so much better than the SC 8000 it's almost hard to believe.

I'm a firm believer now in buying subs for sub manufacturers. WAY more sub for the money.

So, you can't go wrong with any sub from one of the main manufacturers, SVS, PSA, HSU, Rythmik or HSU.

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Old 10-03-2013, 11:16 AM
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For a multiple sealed subwoofer setup, I might suggest getting a couple of these Dayton Titanic 4 kits. They are using some pretty heavy duty drivers and will likely have very high sound quality as well as some big output. Two of those would be well under your $1500 limit and sound great. You do have to do a tiny bit of assembly, but, for maybe and hours worth of assembly time needing only a screwdriver and some glue, you save $150 over the assembled version! That makes those kits a great value. Another good option for that room would be a pair of Hsu VTF3 mk4 subwoofers. Since you are in a small room, you don't really need a ported sub to hit deep frequencies, but the VTF3 has a great deal of adjustability, it can be run in sealed or ported configurations with various levels off roll inbetween. You can have the choice between a flat frequency response, or more of an emphasis on deep frequencies or more punchy mid bass frequencies or whatever you prefer. It is using good drivers so the sound quality will be great as well.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Well thanks so much guys! Appreciate you all helping me out here.

Alright, so my Marantz SR6007, says it can be "upgraded" to do 7.2. And I'm not sure how much it costs to do that. It has like a preamp for that or something, but as of now It can only do 7.1. Is it worth going through all that to get two subs? (basically if you were me, would you do it?)

(my room is a bedroom, there's a door, but it isn't sealed. and there's a decently large inlet up above the door)

And talk to me about sealed verse ported, is there benefit to either? If so, which is better for what?

Thanks again!

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Old 10-03-2013, 11:08 PM
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You don't need to upgrade your AVR to accommodate dual subs. Just use a Y-splitter on the sub out.

There's plenty of info on sealed vs ported - just do a search here or Google.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
It has like a preamp for that or something, but as of now It can only do 7.1. Is it worth going through all that to get two subs? (basically if you were me, would you do it?)

In your shoes, I'd always go for dual subs regardless of the room size, not for SPL, but for more balanced response in most part of the room. And I would always go for ported, call it my bias. To match the output of a ported sub near its tuning frequency, you need at least two sealed subs keeping every other thing constant. Moreover, sealed subs have a gradual roll off, where as ported subs drop like a brick below their tuning frequency depending on room. Sealed subs are less power efficient compared to ported ones.

Anyway its personal preference. If your room is small, even sealed subs will give you ample punch down low. As to the 7.2 question; you can add any number of subs using y-cables even with 7.1 avr. The only gripe is there is a limit, not for the subs, but the pre amp signal. Normally 4 subs off one pre out shouldn't be a problem. Any more, and your pre amp level my drop, for which you will have to add a signal booster/bump box. But that also depnds on avr to avr.

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Old 10-04-2013, 04:39 PM
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As for dual subs in a room that small I don't think you need dual subs. IMO you'd be better off with one really awesome sub than two lesser subs. I get really good bass response in a slightly larger room with just one sub.

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Old 10-04-2013, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Ahh now I'm torn. Not sure whether to do dual subs or one shake the house sub.

And using a splitter doesn't degrade sound quality? That surprises me!

So if you guys had the choice,

Would be PSA, HSU, Rythmik, or SVS?

I get the impression Rythmik is all about function. And PSA seems similiar. Does that equal better sound quality for your buck do you think?

So far, I'd definitely say the HSU and SVS are the most attractive looking. Not to say sound isn't most important, but those wood finishes are attractive.

Any experience with the HSU ULS-15, or SVS PB12 Plus or PB13 Ultra?

Anybody know anything about those SVS Cylinder Subs? Interesting design!

See, I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, loud or low and all. All I know is with the PL-200, I want more of everything!

Again, thank you guys. I know I have a lot of questions, but I don't have a home theater store around, so this is helping a whole lot! biggrin.gif

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Old 10-04-2013, 05:54 PM
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If you can stretch a little the JL Audio E Series could work.

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Old 10-04-2013, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post

Ahh now I'm torn. Not sure whether to do dual subs or one shake the house sub.

And using a splitter doesn't degrade sound quality? That surprises me!

So if you guys had the choice,

Would be PSA, HSU, Rythmik, or SVS?

I get the impression Rythmik is all about function. And PSA seems similiar. Does that equal better sound quality for your buck do you think?

So far, I'd definitely say the HSU and SVS are the most attractive looking. Not to say sound isn't most important, but those wood finishes are attractive.

Any experience with the HSU ULS-15, or SVS PB12 Plus or PB13 Ultra?

Anybody know anything about those SVS Cylinder Subs? Interesting design!

See, I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, loud or low and all. All I know is with the PL-200, I want more of everything!

Again, thank you guys. I know I have a lot of questions, but I don't have a home theater store around, so this is helping a whole lot! biggrin.gif

So you didnt like the look of the PSA XS30 in cordovan cherry? BTW PSA has 6 different finish options for the XV15, XS30, and Triax. All of the subs mentioned in this thread are beyond house shakers. SVS and PSA have the best warranty at 5yrs...HSU has a 5yr warranty for extra coin, Rythmik is 2/5yr amp/driver. All 4 companies make great subs, start by emailing each company and doing some research. JL Audio and Paradigm is overpriced but they make some good subs too. I would stick with Internet Direct for the best performance and sound quality vs price.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Player3 View Post


Anybody know anything about those SVS Cylinder Subs? Interesting design!

I have the SVS PC12+. Upgraded from a def tech Super cube 8000. It was like night and day and I thought that the SC did pretty well above 25hz. I really like the cylinder design. It's easy to place. I have mine in the front right corner and people who come into the room, which is always kind of dark, never even notice it. Another thing I like about it is I can face the back plate out so that if I need to make any changes I don't have to reach behind it or in the case of the Plus and Ultra, models which have the LCD displays, pull it out to see the display.

They're lighter, less expensive but still have similar output and sound. I think they're great. The cylinder design was the main reason I went with SVS.

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Old 10-05-2013, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

As for dual subs in a room that small I don't think you need dual subs. IMO you'd be better off with one really awesome sub than two lesser subs. I get really good bass response in a slightly larger room with just one sub.

Have you heard a dual sub setup before? Because it does help smooth the in-room response across a wider seating area and can offer noticeable SQ improvement.

Meanwhile, a 14x10 room is probably under 2000 cubic feet. Even an SB12-NSD could have enough max output in that size room for many people, and two of them certainly.

So if by "really awesome sub" you mean one with more max output, not going to really matter unless the OP is a major basshead who wants to rattle his brains or wants the bragging rights of the extra volume that will probably never be used. Instead, he should focus on achieving the better low end extension and the SQ.

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Old 10-05-2013, 01:53 PM
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So if by "really awesome sub" you mean one with more max output, not going to really matter unless the OP is a major basshead who wants to rattle his brains or wants the bragging rights of the extra volume that will probably never be used. Instead, he should focus on achieving the better low end extension and the SQ.

+1

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Old 10-10-2013, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Great, thanks. I think I'll start emailing these companies and figuring things out.

Another question, how does one get adequate power to their sound system?

Now I don't know a whole lot about this, but the SVS PB13 says 1000 watts continuous, and 3600 peak. Does that mean I need an available 3600 watts of power?! eek.gif

I was gonna have an electrician come out and test how much power I was getting.

My Marantz is like 115 watts per channel, on 7 channels. Again, does that mean I need around 800 watts for it?

Thanks!

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Old 10-10-2013, 07:06 PM
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Almost all the subs mentioned have built in amps, so you don't need to worry about amplifiers for them. You would just feed them from the "sub out" or .1 channel on your receiver. In your size room, unless it is open to the rest of the house, I would recommend one of the sealed Rythmiks..either the 12 or the 15. I think if you can find the proper placement, one might be more than enough. If you decide you need more, it would be easy to add another down the line and still stay well within your budget. If you can get a B-stock 12 it would come in under $600 each.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks very much^^

Alright guys, I've emailed them all. Each responded.. I gotta say, I'm hard pressed.

They all seem so good! And the customer service.. biggrin.gif

Such quality.. and such passion in myself, and then friendly, thorough responses from their customer service... makes me wanna buy a sub from each of them! Ha!

If you have any remaining suggestions or thoughts, or anything to sway me to pick one, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks again. biggrin.gif

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Old 10-15-2013, 02:16 PM
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Each has their strengths and weaknesses...so it comes down to what your want. If you are someone that likes to push the limits of your systems volume, you'll want maximum spl. If you listen at lower levels you'll want what will go the lowest with the most accuracy. If music is your main concern, you'll want the tightest, most accurate sub...if HT is your main concern, you'll want what gives you the most tactile sensation. Maybe I'm just confusing you more biggrin.gif But if you could answer some of those questions, we might be able to guide you in what would be best for how the sub will be used.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Let's see,
1) 70% of the time I'm watching concert DVD's.
2) 25% of the time I'm listening to CD's.
3) 5% of the time I'm watching movies.
I probably listen to my sound system at least an hour a day on concerts and music.

Now, I probably would watch movies more often, but my center channel seems to distort from dialogue occasionally. It doesn't do this really when I listen with Audyssey, but when I use the DAC's in my Oppo it does. I will mention, that on the Oppo, I have the center turned down to about -7db, and the left and right -3db, with surrounds at 0db. And, I never hear distortion on my concert DVD's. It's always super clear, which confuses me. (I know that's a little off topic, but my point is, I may start watching movies more if I can get that figured out! smile.gif
And well, I do like to push my system, sometimes. But that could be relative, I'm not sure what my Marantz and speakers are capable of. But my sub now, runs out of bass and gets flat during some live performances at high volume, but during movies, seems to have ample amounts of bass. In which case, I'm just looking for higher volume, more impactful, deep, accurate bass. Basically, because of limited experience, I don't know what I'm missing out on. I do know my sub seems to struggle with drum kicks, but does better with bass guitar. So I'm not sure what that's about.
I would like a sub that can impress me no matter the source, but I would like to be most impressed with concerts. (FYI, the concerts I listen to 90% of the time, are U2. Which to my experience, can be very demanding, fast paced, bass lines and drum kicks. I wanna feel it all without running out of gas at even reference volume on my Marantz.)
On my receiver, I have the LFE turned up 10db because my Oppo actually says in the manual that it turns it down 10db to avoid distortion. (so 0db I guess), and then my BIC PL-200 is at about 75- 80% out of it's max for bass volume when I'm at at 0db, and when I turn my receiver to 15db LFE (so I'm assuming, 5db overall) It's at about 60% of it's max for bass volume. Hope that makes sense!

But again, I say all that, in hopes that this helps you guys help me! wink.gif

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Old 10-15-2013, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Have you heard a dual sub setup before? Because it does help smooth the in-room response across a wider seating area and can offer noticeable SQ improvement.

Nope. And I don't need it in my room. I get a nice even response across all four seats in my small room, so a second sub would add little to smoothness only add output, which I currently don't need.
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

So if by "really awesome sub" you mean one with more max output, not going to really matter unless the OP is a major basshead who wants to rattle his brains or wants the bragging rights of the extra volume that will probably never be used. Instead, he should focus on achieving the better low end extension and the SQ.

No by "really awesome" I mean one that sounds better, has less distortion, more headroom, deeper extension and better build.

You can spend $1000 on two pretty good subs or spend $1000-$1200 on one really good sub that will have all the above over the pair of subs.

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:02 PM
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Well since 95% of the usage will be some sort of music (in some form), I would recommend the Rythmik. IMO nothing can compare to a good servo controlled sub for music. (I like them so much I have 2 of them) It will give the most accurate, tight bass response with lower distortion levels than other designs. I'm still not sure of the output you'll need because I was a little confused if you were listening loud or just running the sub really hot (need a fellow Oppo owner to help with that). I'm guessing a sealed design would keep up, but if you have any doubt, go with the ported model.
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