Thinking of upgrading from a VTF15h -- is it worth it? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been thinking of upgrading my sub - currently a HSU VTF-15h. I was thinking of a SVS PB13-Ultra or Rythmik FV15hp. My question was: if I don't listen that loudly, would I notice a benefit in upgrading subs?

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post #2 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 01:00 PM
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Adding a second VTF-15h would be FAR more noticeable.
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post #3 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake18 View Post

Adding a second VTF-15h would be FAR more noticeable.

I agree with blake. Hsu makes a great sub and going dual subs is almost always better than a single, you get smoother bass across the LPs. And like he said I don't think you would notice a benefit equal to the money spent, especially since you don't push your subs hard. I think the best bang for the buck is buying a 2nd HSU.

 

But the other two subs are nice.:rolleyes:

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post #4 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I should have mentioned that there's no way that WAF will let me get away with duals. So I guess the question is, if I never push my VTF-15 anywhere near its limits, would I notice anything by switching to a better sub?

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post #5 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post

I should have mentioned that there's no way that WAF will let me get away with duals. So I guess the question is, if I never push my VTF-15 anywhere near its limits, would I notice anything by switching to a better sub?


Maybe a little better SQ with the ULTRA? but I admittedly have not listened to the HSU. Their freq response is pretty much the same. From about 27hz on down in 1 port tune the ULTRA is like 2 HSU’s though.

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post #6 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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If your budget will handle it and you're limited to one subwoofer, go with the SVS PB13-Ultra and yes, you'll notice a big difference.
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post #7 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post

I should have mentioned that there's no way that WAF will let me get away with duals. So I guess the question is, if I never push my VTF-15 anywhere near its limits, would I notice anything by switching to a better sub?

That does change things. I think the Ultra would be my choice.

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post #8 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by steve nn View Post

Maybe a little better SQ with the ULTRA? but I admittedly have not listened to the HSU. Their freq response is pretty much the same. From about 27hz on down in 1 port tune the ULTRA is like 2 HSU’s though.

Granted... I've never owned a VTF-15h, I did audition it at Hsu Research offices about a year ago while visiting my in-laws in Orange Co. California. I felt the VTF-15H is a good performer, but didn't find it any better than my VTF3-HO, as far as sound quality is concerned. Sure... it appears it plays louder than the VTF3-HO, but I didn't find its "sonic" quality better.

Now... I recently had a 3-subwoofer setup running in my movie room (2 VTF3-HO's + 1 VTF3-MK4) which I thought would be "it" for me in that room... UNTIL I picked up a pair of SVS PB-13 Ultras smile.gif

Not only did the dual PB-13 Ultras outgunned the 3-VTF3's I had in that room thoroughly, but I also find the Ultras sonic quality more accurate for both music and movies. So, if I was to pick 1 sub and I was considering the PB-13 Ultra or the VTF-15H, I would say... save and get the PB13-Ultra, no doubt.
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post #9 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 07:59 PM
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+1 ^ Great info thanks Luis.

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post #10 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post

I should have mentioned that there's no way that WAF will let me get away with duals. So I guess the question is, if I never push my VTF-15 anywhere near its limits, would I notice anything by switching to a better sub?

If you are considering PB-13 Ultra; you can have the same or probably better performance (if pushed hard) in under $1500 with Rythmik FV15HP and save $500-600. You are getting virtually the same performance in either case.

For performance/price sake; I'd stick with FV15HP. If my pocket allows spending $2000 on PB13 Ultra; I'd add 400-500 and rather go for JTR Cap 2400.

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post #11 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 08:28 PM
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If you aren't pushing the 15H, I don't see the benefit in changing to a sub with more output. Tell the wife if you can get another sub you will buy her a $500 purse or shoes... and get another 15H. The benefits of dual subwoofers over a single is legit. smile.gif
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post #12 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Luis5150 View Post

Granted... I've never owned a VTF-15h, I did audition it at Hsu Research offices about a year ago while visiting my in-laws in Orange Co. California. I felt the VTF-15H is a good performer, but didn't find it any better than my VTF3-HO, as far as sound quality is concerned. Sure... it appears it plays louder than the VTF3-HO, but I didn't find its "sonic" quality better.

Now... I recently had a 3-subwoofer setup running in my movie room (2 VTF3-HO's + 1 VTF3-MK4) which I thought would be "it" for me in that room... UNTIL I picked up a pair of SVS PB-13 Ultras smile.gif

Not only did the dual PB-13 Ultras outgunned the 3-VTF3's I had in that room thoroughly, but I also find the Ultras sonic quality more accurate for both music and movies. So, if I was to pick 1 sub and I was considering the PB-13 Ultra or the VTF-15H, I would say... save and get the PB13-Ultra, no doubt.

When I walked away from my last post I got to really thinking about things. Being SQ is so important to me now, I’m very carful in the drivers I go with now in DIY or ID. I’m willing to pay a premium because I’ve tasted the goods and really like it. I was trying to be as honest as I could be though, I have never listened to the HSU-15H. It’s always been my suspicion that the ULTRA’s SQ would/will outshine the HSU in a favorable manner, but left it at that. Knowing I need no reason to swap subs out, SQ is a big reason, and I retract my last post to a degree. I do have a little experience with the past and present ULTRA/s/2 options and have found the SQ very admiral, so concerning the ULTRA I understand where your coming from.

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post #13 of 42 Old 11-11-2013, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by steve nn View Post

When I walked away from my last post I got to really thinking about things. Being SQ is so important to me now, I’m very carful in the drivers I go with now in DIY or ID. I’m willing to pay a premium because I’ve tasted the goods and really like it. I was trying to be as honest as I could be though, I have never listened to the HSU-15H. It’s always been my suspicion that the ULTRA’s SQ would/will outshine the HSU in a favorable manner, but left it at that. Knowing I need no reason to swap subs out, SQ is a big reason, and I retract my last post to a degree. I do have a little experience with the past and present ULTRA/s/2 options and have found the SQ very admiral, so concerning the ULTRA I understand where your coming from.

Indeed... and you know what, the difference wasn't subtle either. It was pleasantly shocking smile.gif needless to say I am super happy with the PB-13 ultras.

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post #14 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 08:03 AM
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I would also consider the PSA XV-30. With dual 15" drivers, I imagine it would outpace the PB-13 Ultra. It's also $600 less. There is also a Seaton SubMersive in the classifieds for $1900, which would handily outpace the PB-13 Ultra.

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post #15 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 08:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

If you aren't pushing the 15H, I don't see the benefit in changing to a sub with more output.

If not pushing the benefit of a 90HP Yamaha outboard, if the transom will handle it, why upgrade to a 225HP Yamaha outboard? The answer, because a 225HP Yamaha is much more fun than a 90HP outboard and why push a 90HP engine in the first place? And the answer comes back, because it's fun.

Hobbies are not about rational logic. Hobbies are about emotion. Bigger, badder, faster, kicking butt on the field of honor. Why push a small subwoofer when it's ill equipped to do what we all really want; big bass that let's you know, who's your daddy? Let the Big Dogs run. And if the WAF will allow, go for the Big Dog sound cause you know you want to. biggrin.gif

As was recommended, go with a FV15HP and when you have broken down your wife's resolve, as suggested, get a second one and if parenthetically, you cannot get a second subwoofer, go with the Ultra.

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post #16 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by blake18 View Post

Adding a second VTF-15h would be FAR more noticeable.
+1, as so doing with proper placement will give much better in room response. That's a much greater concern than just having the ability to go louder, especially if you don't need to go louder anyway. I'd even consider going to a pair of twelves rather than one fifteen.

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post #17 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

If not pushing the benefit of a 90HP Yamaha outboard, if the transom will handle it, why upgrade to a 225HP Yamaha outboard? The answer, because a 225HP Yamaha is much more fun than a 90HP outboard and why push a 90HP engine in the first place? And the answer comes back, because it's fun.

Hobbies are not about rational logic. Hobbies are about emotion. Bigger, badder, faster, kicking butt on the field of honor. Why push a small subwoofer when it's ill equipped to do what we all really want; big bass that let's you know, who's your daddy? Let the Big Dogs run. And if the WAF will allow, go for the Big Dog sound cause you know you want to. biggrin.gif

As was recommended, go with a FV15HP and when you have broken down your wife's resolve, as suggested, get a second one and if parenthetically, you cannot get a second subwoofer, go with the Ultra.

-

Easy for you to say bee, you have pretty much committed to upgrading to almost every ID company since joining this forum, and are still rocking the Klipsch's. wink.gif

We don't know room, sub placement, frequency response, listening levels, if he can measure, other equipment.... In fact all we know is he doesn't turn up sub loud, and everyone says drop $$ on more output. Perhaps $2000k could be better appropriated in the A/V experience.

If his wife won't allow two large subs, maybe she will allow two smaller sealed subs. If output is not a concern, well frequency response should be. I am on the bass is bass bandwagon though. I find frequency response and time domain with low distortion outweigh driver topology in sq but ymmv.

This post by bossobass pretty much sums up my findings to give some perspective from where I am coming from.

"Not only do like (analog) instruments have differences in FR, different players can change the FR of the same instrument by the way they play it.

Before Van Halen attained platinum popularity, they opened for Ted Nugent when he was a headliner. Early on, Eddie was doing a sound check when Nugent happened to walk in and was blown away by the "sound of Eddie's guitar". Nugent asked Eddied if he could play the guitar and Ed said "Sure, here ya go". Nugent said "After a few minutes, I realized that the guitar sounded like Ted Nugent… it wasn't the guitar, it was the player".

Of course, that example involves an electric instrument. With a violin, the difference in presentation can be extremely obvious when the same violin is played by different musicians. In that case, where the players and listeners are in the same positions, HD, delay/phase, dispersion, reflections and all of the nuance items people get hung up on are irrelevant. The relevant and dominant differences are attack, vibrato and frequency response, or, more correctly, spectral content, which I see as FR. The attack, vibrato and spectral content is what changes when different musicians are coaxing sound from the same instrument.

By 'clean', I mean that we are assuming playback of recorded sound and attack, decay and non-linearites are equal. For many DIYers, systems are built that absolutely coast with acoustic music playback. This eliminates all non-linearities except for FR non-linearity.

It's been said many times; the rooms influence will completely swamp the nuance list most labor over. So, if there's a G2G and none of the full bandwidth subs are pushed beyond their limits and content/placement/FR is basically the same, what is the result? People guess wrong at which sub is which because of biases. That's because there is no difference.

Now, if one sub rolls off at 35 Hz and the other is flat to 10 Hz and playback with content to 10 Hz is used, only a deaf person will miss which is which. Distortions are easily detected as in when one sub simply cannot handle the playback level that other subs can and those choices are easy as well.

So, If the low Q, short throw driver-to-500 Hz is crossed at 80 Hz and has the same FR at the LP as the mid Q, long throw driver-to-100 Hz which is also crossed at 80 Hz, there's no chance blind listeners will tell which is which with any consistency, assuming 'clean' operation. When pushed, the former will change FR to favor its top end advantage (with limiters, otherwise it will make bad noises) and the latter will not and the difference in FR will be easy to discern.

The trouble begins when the listeners explain what they're hearing. Air, space, tight, muddy, authority, thin, fat… all those adjectives that don't have anything to do with why there's a difference, are thrown around until your head explodes.

I would like to note that all of this is a learned art. For most listeners, cranking the bass 10dB hot is a good thing. Remember, as mentioned earlier, that running the sub hot is changing the FR, because, as in any discussion of transient response, the whole systems bandwidth is the FR and thus the transient response. My point is that focussing on the subwoofer driver because it has a wider bandwidth on the top end and/or higher sensitivity is irrelevant when the crossover is set to 80 Hz or thereabouts. Keeping the FR flat and affecting small bumps in slices of the sub bandwidth is normally completely lost on the average listener. As you experiment with subs, you find that you can discern smaller and smaller changes in FR.

Where it concerns subwoofers, transient response is dominated by the LPF of the crossover. Assuming clean operation, subjective differences are differences in FR called a myriad of irrelevant things. That's my experience. Any evidence to the contrary is welcomed.

Bl^2/Re is not a metric I use. Sensitivity, motor strength and top end capability are parameters that will change each other... a dog chasing its tail. Balance is the key and, as Nousaine said long ago, "Bass is bass"."

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post #18 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 09:20 AM
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This is why I wish more blind qualitative shoot outs between subs would be done. Lets see if bass is bass in a setting where the FR is about the same. Sadly, as far as I know, that has never been properly performed in any of these meets yet.
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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

Easy for you to say bee, you have pretty much committed to upgrading to almost every ID company since joining this forum, and are still rocking the Klipsch's. wink.gif

Oh, so now I'm a tramp? tongue.gif Yeah! Well, the sex was great and it's high time to make an honest man out of me. tongue.gif

(I had a boatload of intrinsic issues to work through and fortunately, I've come to the end of that sojurn.)

Working through these intrinsic details and gaining an education in the process, is the only reason I'm still rocking with the Klipsch subs.

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I would like to note that all of this is a learned art.

Agreed. What better way to learn then when using gear worth a Tinker's Damn? I understand that it's the artist and not the gear but just saying, we're talking about rocking out, not creating the music the rest of us folks rock out to. My philosophy, always go with the biggest and baddest one can afford. Nobody I know has ever said: I sure wish I had bought the cheap stuff. And nobody I know has ever introduced their pride and joy as: here's the toy I paid far too much for. Most introduce their toy for it's big, bad features, not for it's practical factors. The people I know, if they had the money, will buy much further up the food chain. Most folks limit their purchases to what they can afford. Few if any limit their purchases to what's reasonable and prudent.

Think of it the presentation in this way; here's my puny subwoofer. I could have purchased a subwoofer who's output would have been four times, if not more, than this subwoofer, but I decided to be prudent and buy this puny little subwoofer that's more than adequate for my needs. Sorry, gay or straight, that kind of talk gets your man card snatched away. biggrin.gif

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post #20 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 09:35 AM
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This is why I wish more blind qualitative shoot outs between subs would be done. Lets see if bass is bass in a setting where the FR is about the same. Sadly, as far as I know, that has never been properly performed in any of these meets yet.

They are difficult and can be more work than play. I say go for it and host your own!
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post #21 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

We don't know room, sub placement, frequency response, listening levels, if he can measure, other equipment.... In fact all we know is he doesn't turn up sub loud, and everyone says drop $$ on more output. Perhaps $2000k could be better appropriated in the A/V experience.
 

Wow, even BeeMan didn't go into his measurement routine, which I think he should have, so here you go:

You can't get "better" until you know what you have. For <$100 and a bunch of time, you can introduce yourself to a whole new aspect of this hobby and, perhaps, improve what you have to the point that you don't really need an "upgrade." 

You get started here: post #275

Generally, though, two subs are better than one.

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Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #22 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 09:47 AM
 
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Wow, even BeeMan didn't go into his measurement routine, which I think he should have, so here you go:

Sorry. tongue.gif

(three subs and REW)

...biggrin.gif

(the rational was more complex and keeping it pithy, based on what I know and what the poster posted, he's WAF limited to one subwoofer and has the budget for an Ultra. To me, it's a no-brainer.)

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post #23 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 10:28 AM
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If he has the budget for an Ultra, more power to him. But I still think there is tremendous value in measurements. As do you, I know. ;)


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Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #24 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 10:32 AM
 
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If he has the budget for an Ultra, more power to him. But I still think there is tremendous value in measurements. As do you, I know. wink.gif

Agreed. Without the ability to measure room acoustics, nobody will ever know what's what with what but when the wife has spoken, a man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.....get it while he can. The point, before the wife has changed her mind, hit the send button and deal with the details later. tongue.gif
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post #25 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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;)Thanks for all the responses -

To answer some of the points raised:

- for the foreseeable future two subs are out , even smaller ones. That's the concession I gotta make to WAF right now
- sub is in in the corner. This was a) the spot reccomended to me by avs when I initially was looking for a sub and b) as it turns out by happy coincidence, the best spot aesthetically
- listening habits are 75% tv, 24% movies,1% music. Again never loud
- I don't have any measuring gear. I've thought about it, but since there's not a lot I could do tl treat the room (WAF) I never pulled the trigger
- rest of head are songtower fronts, selah center channel, boston acoustic in wall surrounds, denon 4311 and oppo 103

If I'm concluding right: It sounds like given the above, i *may* notice a SQ benefit by gutting with an Ultra, but it's most likely not going to be worth the 2K (given I don't push my current sub)

What I need is a way to A/B the Ultra to the VTF in my room. I suppose I could order one from SVS, but I'd feel guilty sending it back for the above...feels like I'm cheating them somehow.

Check out my WAF approved living room theater....now featuring a Submersive!

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1526916/my...-1-living-room
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post #26 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 11:20 AM
 
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Being that I've gone over to the "Darkside," I'm not qualified to give you a rational reason to stick with what you have. That's going be your call.

To be as helpful as possible, ask yourself this, if you buy a lesser subwoofer and go to a buddy's home, who has a much greater subwoofer sound reproduction system, ego wise, are you going feel comfortable sharing with him why you went with a lesser subwoofer when you could have gone with equal to or better than his subwoofer system? And if after listening to his system blow the doors off the place and you get in your car to go home, are you going go away with regrets? Your emotional response to my above contrived scenario, in my opinion, is the answer you seek.

(if I'm wrong, tear this note up and throw it away)
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post #27 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post


What I need is a way to A/B the Ultra to the VTF in my room. I suppose I could order one from SVS, but I'd feel guilty sending it back for the above...feels like I'm cheating them somehow.

Call SVS, I think they would have no issue. That is why they offer the free home trial. If its better you will keep it. Business is business. Good luck.
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post #28 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 12:21 PM
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Perhaps this is a crazy thing to ask but are you unhappy with what you currently have? I mean $2000 worth of unhappy?

 

If the answer to that question is yes then I agree with Beeman, pull the trigger and buy the Ultra (or at least demo it) and don't look back.

 

If the answer is no then sit back, relax and keep enjoying what you have and hold onto the $2000 and wait for something to pop up that you really want. 

 

Personally I'm a guy who is easily drawn to the "bigger badder want to upgrade to it" mentality but my budget usually legitimately keeps me in check. So I often find myself asking that simple question: "Am I happy with what I have?" Because even if I have the budget I won't just throw away money upgrading something if I am happy with what I currently have. If I'm unhappy….. that's a different matter entirely.

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post #29 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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And then there's the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing in that one doesn't know what they're missing, if they don't know what they're missing.

My wife, she's a happy camper. She doesn't come here daily getting fed a constant diet consisting of all the good reasons in the world, why she shouldn't be happy. On the other hand, I know why our system doesn't make me happy, because it lacks the "smile" factor and I want that smile factor and after thirty-two years, I know my wife likes the smile factor also. She's more reserve about these sorts of things than I so I boldly step-up and swing the bat and share the results, because I'm that kinda guy. tongue.gif

The subwoofer system we're going be upgrading from, is a perfectly good subwoofer sound reproduction system that has been dialed in and is pert-near flat. More than good enough. But it doesn't hit you in the gut the way that's expected and it doesn't dig deep enough, the way that's expected but it's better than all the HTiB, out there.

So, my opinion, if all one wants is a HTiB and their expectations don't exceed that of a HTiB, then they should stay with what they have and if one likes to stand outside and experience the crashing sound of rolling thunder, then they should cut the BS, buy what they know they want (or something as close as fiscally possible) and be done with the conundrum.

In my opinion, life can be if you let it.

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post #30 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 12:43 PM
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My advise: stay away from this forum if you are happy with your system; otherwise, eventually you will upgrade.
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