Great sub that doubles as coffee table - AVS Forum
Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers > Great sub that doubles as coffee table
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 02:05 PM 10-21-2013
Bart HT.png 38k .png file My options are limited because of WAF conditions. Just one sub, period. It has to be black, be no deeper than 22 inches and look like a coffee table (or be unobtrusive).

Budget is no more than $1,150. I’d like to spend less and buy sooner, but I can wait till next year if I have to go to the top of my range.

I am looking mainly at Rhymik, the 12-inch ported LV12R, the F12 signature edition (piano black) and the 15-inch DF signature Edition (piano black).

Power Sound Audio, the XS15 and XV15, are my other options. No piano black for either PSA sub, but they are both down firing and look unobtrusive enough. The ported PSA is about as a big as a sub as I could get.

My new addition has a combined living room/kitchen that doubles as a home theater. The space is 16W x 24L x 8H. (See diagram. The letter S is where the sub would go.)

I am a regular here, so the only thing I am struggling with is: how much sub? My AVR is Denon 4311. Speakers, 7 Noble Fidelity in-walls (really nice and go pretty low for inwalls).

I almost never listen at reference level and rarely watch movies without my wife. We don’t do a lot of action, but I defintely want the headroom for the rare occasion. My habits run 10% movies, 30% TV and 60% music (jazz, classical, rock in that order).

I want a sub that is “musical” and I lean toward sealed, but I want oompth when the occasion merits. So ported is an option despite the much larger size. I just wonder if I really need to spend the money for a 15-inch sub given how infrequently I will need it to ring hells bells. But I want to make sure my room is adequately pressurized, even if I am just listening to jazz.

(Right now I am temporarily using a cheap Energy 10.3S, which does a surprisingly decent job for a $200 sub.)

Other options I’ve discounted:

-The Hsu VTF-15H. Love to get it, but it’s way too deep. My HT cabinet only sticks out 22 inches.

-The SB-13 Ultra. I have one of the original SVS circular subs in my secondary HT and it’s great, but I can’t get a tube for the living room. The SB-13 Ultra is too expensive, and frankly, I hate the new grills on the Ultra and the SB12 and PB12.

Attached: Bart HT.png (37.6 KB) 

PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 02:36 PM 10-21-2013
My first thought is a Rythmik F15HP or E15HP as you ware looking for something for primarily music. Unfortunately, the piano black versions are well above your price limit. I have two of the E15HPs and they are nice looking, compact, and the matte finish would be close to your budget including the shipping.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 02:58 PM 10-21-2013
I can get the Rhymik 15-inch signature edition, D15SE, for $1,150 delivered in piano black. Bit taller than I would like, but the nicest looking coffeet-table style sub I have seen. Most of our friends, who are not audiophiles, would have no idea it's a sub.

I haven't actually looked at the F15HP or E15HP, but they would work well and a matte finish is fine with me. Not sure what the difference is between them and the D15SE, except for perhaps a bit more low-end power.

I can go over my budget, but only if I wait a lot longer than I would like. Got a lot of college costs and other things coming on line soon and things will be tight for a while. Wish the Hsu wasn't so deep, though Rhymik is my preferred brand. The PSAs have a big edge in price, though.
basshead81's Avatar basshead81 04:46 PM 10-21-2013
PSA XS&XV15 make really nice end tables and they offer 6 different veneer options.

its phillip's Avatar its phillip 04:54 PM 10-21-2013
I dunno how deep the LFM-1 EX is, but it would probably work just fine as a coffee table. It's even got a plexiglass top smile.gif
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 04:58 PM 10-21-2013
Are those really the XV15s? They look huge next to the couch. Probably why I was thinking the sealed version.

The price on those subs is more easily within my reach in the next three months, but for some reason I have been stuck on getting a Rhymik. I am sure both would be great, but like everything else on this forum, I wonder if I am going to "miss" something with one unit or the other. The truth is almost certainly no.


Odd. I can see your image insert, but I can't see the one I included of my layout. I cannot see it in Chrome, but the image shows in Explorer. And yet your image DOES show in Chrome.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 05:44 PM 10-21-2013
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

I dunno how deep the LFM-1 EX is, but it would probably work just fine as a coffee table. It's even got a plexiglass top smile.gif

I looked at Outlaw a few years ago because they were contracting with Hsu, if I recall, but I promptly forgot about it. Certainly would do the trick in terms of looks and performance, but like the Hsu subs, it's on the cusp of too deep at 24 inches. I want to place the sub at least 2 inches from the wall and I can only come out to the 24-inch or 25-inch mark at most.

Seems to me the PSA would be a much better value as wellas the Rhymik ported box, but the ported box I assume needs more clearance for the rear-facing ports. The most clearance I could give it is 5 inches.
Janibrewski's Avatar Janibrewski 05:52 PM 10-21-2013
To me WAF and Coffee Table screams MartinLogan Descent i. Also as musical as you'll find. You'll have to go used, but with new ML subs arriving very soon, I'd expect you'll be able to find one around your budget pretty soon. 19.9" deep.

As I've learned here, MartinLogan subs can't touch SVS, HSU, Rhythmik, et al for bang to buck ratio, but they are piece-of-furniture beautiful.

jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 06:12 PM 10-21-2013
Here is a photo of my living room/ home theater.

My wife first told me, janibrewski, that she wouldn't mind whatever sub I bought for the new space so long as it was just one. So I moved my SVS 20-39PC cylinder sub into the spot now occupied temporarily by the Energy 10.3. The SVS has sat in the same spot for 10 years and rarely gets used now since it's in my basement. My wife won't watch TV down there anymore because our new main floor is so much nicer. (I only go down there to exercise - my son uses the cellar for Xbox and PS.)

Well, my wife took one look at the SVS and said no way. Heck, she likes how the Energy looks and wants me just to stick with that! (No way, no how; I bought it for my 2-channel Focal/JM Lab setup in my lightly used attic).

In any case, I don't have to focus mainly on looks. The MLs might look better, but the sub I get just has to look good enough. Performance is criical, So Rhymik and/or PSA is pretty much certain unless something else in my price range pops up.
Janibrewski's Avatar Janibrewski 12:54 AM 10-22-2013
Basshead81 - those look great to me.

LOL Jeffbar - when I first heard of cylinder subs, I thought they'd be perfect, what with the smaller footprint. No way my wife would be happy if I brought a couple of those home.
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 04:24 AM 10-22-2013
The PSAs that Bass has are the older style base (which look much better than the newer ones with the feet IMO) I think he said you could still order those for an extra 100.00
I'm wondering how long the Rythmik D15s will be available as I think they are phasing out that amp and driver. If you notice the page for the F15, they no longer have any prices listed. That was what I was originally going to to buy before I went the E15 route. I like the piano black too, but could not justify the considerable price difference.

Like the OP, I was also looking for a sub with a small footprint. The E15s are slightly under 19" deep including the grill.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 09:17 AM 10-22-2013
PoppaC, what is the size of your HT room? And do you think you get enough pop for the occasional movie with your sub?

I prefer sealed and think any Rhymik or PSA 15-inch would work, but there's always that nagging worry of missing a few deep-down notes on music and soundtracks.

My space sounds big. It's an L-shaped area, the bigger part 24 x 12 x 8 and the smaller part (dining room) 12 x 12. That's 3,100 sf and 1,150 sf. Yet appliances, kitchen cabinets, breakfast bar, ET unit and sectional couch eat up about one-third of the bigger space. The entire area doesn't feel very big when you stand in it. Not cozy-small or large and airy. Comfortable.

Heck, my little 10-inch Energy does a fine job with music and solid job with movies for its size. The SVS tube was much more potent in pressurizing the room, so I figure the sealed and ported subs I am looking at will more than adequately do the job.
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 11:09 AM 10-22-2013
I have an open floor plan and the living room is opened to the kitchen, dining room, hallway and foyer. I estimate about 6000-6200 Cu feet. I also have an arched ceiling with the peak being 12-14' (estimate)

I have three subs currently. The two Rythmik E15s which are up front between the mains and the TV, and an Epik Empire which is on the left wall fairly close to the sofa. Shortly after I got the Rythmiks I downloaded some test tones to check response. The tones between 15hz-22hz vibrated the walls to the point it sounded like the whole house was "groaning". I could put my hand on the wall behind the sofa and feel it vibrating. My wife was in the master bedroom with the door closed and came in and complained that it knocked a picture off the the wall in the bedroom smile.gif

Honestly, I would start with one sub and look at adding a second later on as funds permit. I started out with a puny little polk 12" sub in the living room, switched to the Empire about two years ago and then added the Rythmiks about a month or so ago. I went sealed so I could keep the Empire in the mix. I don't listen to music or watch movies at anywhere near reference levels.

I think most guys here will agree that multiple subs are the way to go if you have a large space to fill. I do know that Rythmik will give you a discount if you buy two subs, or buy one and buy a second one later on.

I had originally wanted to go with two PSA XS-15s, but they were out of stock at the time I was ready to buy. I was also looking at the SVS SB13 Ultra, but just could not bring myself to drop 3K for a pair of those.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 12:00 PM 10-22-2013
Unfortunately, 2 subs is a no-go. Second sub would be just 4 feet from the dining room table and 2 1/2 feet from a person sitting in the nearest chair. My wife nixed.

I had our architect design the home addition with space for 2 subs (unkown to my wife), but a city inspector nixed a key element of the design and the HT room had to be altered. It's a long, complicated and irritating story that resulted in no more space for a second sub.

So my best option is to buy the single best looking, best-performing sub I can find in a compact size for roughly $1200, give or take. Not easy when I need a 15-inch driver and it has to look good, too!

BTW, I saw in another post of yours that you wish Rhymik and/or PSA had a logo on the front. Heck, no! That's what I like about them. Great for WAF. (-:
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 12:40 PM 10-22-2013
Well, even one 15" sub will be a good upgrade, and once you get it in place you have plenty of time to plead a case for a second smile.gif

As I had said, my search was similar to yours as I wanted something no more than 21" high and 22" deep so it would not stick out too far in front on the TV stand as was not taller than the stand. I went with the E15 VS the F15 as it has a slightly smaller cabinet, and gives up very little in terms of output.
beastaudio's Avatar beastaudio 07:34 AM 10-23-2013
You guys need to upgrade your wives, then upgrade your subs.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 07:52 AM 10-23-2013
Hah. My wife did say I was obsessed with subwoofahs (cue up mimicking of Boston accent) and I did detect a little jealousy. But she's a doll and worth her weight in ... Subwoofers! She even said I don't have to worry about how deep the sub is anymore. (-:
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 06:35 AM 10-24-2013
very tactfully remind her that this is an obsession that will keep you at home, and if you are broke you won't have any money to spend on another woman.

If she smacks you with a frying pan, you did not hear this suggestion from me smile.gif
popalock's Avatar popalock 07:37 AM 10-24-2013
Originally Posted by jeffbar View Post

Hah. My wife did say I was obsessed with subwoofahs (cue up mimicking of Boston accent) and I did detect a little jealousy. But she's a doll and worth her weight in ... Subwoofers! She even said I don't have to worry about how deep the sub is anymore. (-:

How much does your wife weigh? Might not be able to get all that much sub for a trade-in...


In your title you say "coffee table." You should build this yourself.

I read a post (url=]here[/url]) of a gentleman claiming that it cost him under $100 to build!

Throw in a small amp, DSP for EQ, a Mic for taking measurements and around $5-600 later you have a coffee table monster that will totally win the wife over.

More importantly, the knowledge and experience you will gain by going the DIY route will increase your understanding/obsession/love for subs!

My two cents.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 11:01 AM 10-24-2013
I am down to a PSA XS15 or XS30, or a Rythmick D15SE or E15HP.

I thought about dyi, poppa lock, but I don't have the time or inclination, especially after spending 40 hours refinishing and repainting my ornate dining room table set.

My wife is not too difficult. She has signed off on any of these choices. I want Rythmik because I am music first and I would like a piano black finish to make the sub really blend in well with our newly built family in our recent home addition. The Rythmiks are also more compact.

Yet the E15 is almost $1450 after shipping, about $300 over my budget. The D15se is $1150 but has the smallest amp on my list.

My gut says XS30 for sealed sound, dual drivers and output. Plus Tom V is a joy to deal with. Price is great too. But the sub is big and more plain in regular black and I don't want to disappoint my wife. She won't say anything but we have a really nice looking family room for the first time since buying our house 15 years ago.

Tough call. I'm the one smacking myself with a pan, poppac, and it's damn heavy because I picked it myself! I do all the cooking in my house, but with the new addition, I can listen to my setup while I cook. The breakfast bar and stove are directly in front of my speakers and temporary sub!
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 02:27 PM 10-24-2013
I would not pay the large difference for the piano black for the E15. If you go with the matte black, it's 1237.00 shipped.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 06:09 PM 10-24-2013
I looked at the Matte. Bet it looks darned good too. Yet Ascend is selling the E15HP in gloss for $1250 and $108 shipping. total $1358, or $100 less than Rythmik's website.

So just $121 more for piano black.. The sub, if I buy it, would sit right next to a custom built ET unit painted a sort of piano or lacquer white
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 07:56 PM 10-24-2013
Well, if it's only 121.00 difference then the piano black would be a decent choice.
MemX's Avatar MemX 06:08 AM 10-25-2013
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 07:33 AM 10-25-2013

Pretty darned cool, but I am all woodworked out after refinishing my dining set. My wife would also freak out if she got an, ah, rumble up her leg during a movie. (-:
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 07:36 AM 10-25-2013
emailed Brian at Rythmik. He recommends the E15HP for my situation instead of the D15Se. Now I have to decide if I go piano black or matte, then pick between the E15 and PSA's XS30.

Tough choice and Brian and Tom V have been both very helpful. Much respect to both men. Who knows, I plan to replace my SVS sub in the basement. Maybe I will end up owning a sub from both companies at some point ...
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 08:10 AM 10-25-2013
At least you are down to two choices instead of five or six...

No piano black option on the PSA, correct?
Your previous size restrictions are no longer in effect?

As you know I have two E15s which were a good choice for me due to their compact size and my placement options.

If I was just choosing one sub though I would go with the XS30. If/when my Empire dies, that's what I'll be replacing it with.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 08:28 AM 10-25-2013
I have been researching subs since our home addition was built in May 2012, but overruns and the cost of building a home theater into the addition (9 speakers, 9.1 avr, new HDTV, bluray, Harmony, etc) prevented me from buying until now.

No piano for the XS30 but I am not sure I need it. My ET unit has a piano like white, but it's not as shiny or glossy. From what I see online, the matte (Rythmik) or satin (PSA) would both look fine.

The tiny Angelic figure on my left shoulder says get the Rhthmik for looks and compactness (and performance of course) to please my wife. The little devil on my right shoulder says get the XS30 for its beastliness.

The one concern I have about the XS30 is firing into the walls of a 4-foot aperture. Wonder if maybe a front-facing sub would work best in my location.
jeffbar's Avatar jeffbar 09:05 AM 10-26-2013
E15HP in black piano, it is. I built cardboard boxes to match the shape of the two finalists, the E15 and PSA XS30. I was going to go with the PSA in razor-thin call, but my wife balked when she saw the size.

Just as well. I have been lusting for an Rythmik for two years anyway. I know I will love it. Gonna reconfigure my secondary home theater in the basement and see if I can get an XS30 for it next year.

Hey, poppaC, how many inches are there between your E15 and the back wall? I can give about 3-4 inches of clearance before it starts to stick out too much.
PoppaC's Avatar PoppaC 12:57 PM 10-26-2013
8" but only because I have the front of them flush with the front of my TV stand. Pretty sure you could put them with 3-4" from the wall and it would not matter.

Hope you enjoy it and currently taking bets on how long it will be before you decide you need a second one smile.gif

Post a pic when you get it in place.
Tags: Rythmik Audio Lv12r , Hsu Vtf 15h Subwoofer , Svs Sb13 Ultra Piano Gloss 13 Inch 1000 Watt Powered Subwoofer , Rythmik Audio F15 Subwoofer
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