4 cheap subs or 1 really, really good one? - AVS Forum
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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EDIT:  Didn't want to bump the thread, so I thought I would say thanks in an edit.  I read every post twice, thanks for all the info/recommendations!:)

 

Hey, long time lurker first time poster.  Just wanted to say that this is a really cool site and I've soaked up a lot of good info, although some of what you guys say goes right over my head and out the window...

 

My theater space is in the living room, which is open to 2 hallways and the kitchen/diningroom.  Dimensions are 23 x 28 x 9 ft.  My current system is a HTiB, the Yamaha YHT-399.

Anywho, about my question, I am not much of a high-end connoisseur and so was wondering if I would be able to significantly appreciate the difference between these two sub configurations.

 

4x Yamaha YST-SW012

 

Or,

 

1x SVS PB13-Ultra

 

The HTiB comes with one YST-SW012, so I would only need to buy three more.

 

This would be for 90% movies, 10% music.  I don't really need earth shattering bass, just looking for what I need to give movies some presence in my large space.  Is the PB13-Ultra  more sub than I can even appreciate?  My budget isn't infinite, I can't actually afford the PB13 just yet, but if it's totally worth it I can wait on the Yamahas' and save up.

 

I probably come across as a caveman, but please have mercy and grant me more knowledge. :(

 

Thanks for your time.

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Old 03-19-2014, 08:43 AM
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I prefer multiple subs, but they have to something decent. That being said going from the Yamaha to a PB13 is like going from Kia to a Ferrari. How about settling for a pair of SVS PB-2000's, HSU VTF3.4's or PSA XV15's? This makes more sense imo then either option in your case. A pair of either units can be had for 14-1500.00.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

I prefer multiple subs, but they have to something decent. That being said going from the Yamaha to a PB13 is like going from Kia to a Ferrari. How about settling for a pair of SVS PB-2000's, HSU VTF3.4's or PSA XV15's? This makes more sense imo then either option in your case. A pair of either units can be had for 14-1500.00.
x2
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:49 AM
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What he said.... With that budget you would just be fooling yourself by having 4 of those Yammys, BUT I don't necessarily think the PB13U is your answer either. I would go with 2 SVS PB2000's or 2 HSU VTF-15H's.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:33 AM
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+1 to all of the above, just get two good ones. With a $2k budget, you could get four decent ones, three pretty good ones, two very good ones, or one great sub.

Decent subs (around $500): SVS PB1000, Hsu VTF1, maybe (probably) Reaction BPS 212 Turbo.

Pretty good subs ($600- 700): Hsu VTF2 mk4, Rythmik LV12r, SVS SB2000, Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.

Very good subs: ($800- 1000): SVS PB2000, Hsu VTF3 mk4, Outlaw LFM-1 EX, Hsu VTF15h, probably Reaction BPS 215, .... PSA XV15 (just to keep basshead81 at bay)

The more subs you have, the likelier you will end up with a flat frequency response, which is to say, the bass will sound more even though out the room and essentially more accurate. So a good argument could be made for three or even four subs (not those Yamahas though, those things will be awful.) You will want an SPL meter to insure the best placement of that kind of multiple sub system though.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:35 AM
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While I have only a single sub for music and a single sub in another room for movies, I don't have multiple seats to worry about and my room volume is much less than yours. Those single subs (SB13-u and XS30) provide me precisely what I was looking for, and, for what it's worth, I don't listen at reference volumes. Reference levels or not, each of my subs shake my walls, my seat and myself convincingly. However, you have about 5,800 cu. ft. to fill, that's a lot of volume. I assume you'd like solid bass to be provided at multiple seating locations and not just at one position. This almost always calls for multiple subs. The list provided by Shadyj in each price category are excellent choices for you to begin your research. If it were me, I'd be looking at two very good subs, with the possibility of adding a third later if two can't smooth out the room modes adequately for all of your seating locations.

Note: Shadyj's comments about Reaction subs (where he says, "probably") were stated as such because this is a new company and their subs haven't been tested or reviewed yet. I think most here, including Shadyj, would be highly surprised if Reaction subs were not very good to excellent in its price category.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
4 cheap subs or 1 really, really good one?
2 good ones.
Quote:
... My theater space is in the living room, which is open to 2 hallways and the kitchen/diningroom.  Dimensions are 23 x 28 x 9 ft.
~5,800 cu.ft. - that's a really big space.
Quote:
... This would be for 90% movies, 10% music.  I don't really need earth shattering bass, just looking for what I need to give movies some presence in my large space.
As others have suggested, dual:
- HSU VTF-15H or VTF-3 MK4
- PSA XV15
- SVS PB-2000, PC12-NSD, PC12-Plus
- Outlaw LFM-1 EX

Save up for one now, then save up for another one later on. smile.gif
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confuserd View Post

Hey, long time lurker first time poster.  Just wanted to say that this is a really cool site and I've soaked up a lot of good info, although some of what you guys say goes right over my head and out the window...

My theater space is in the living room, which is open to 2 hallways and the kitchen/diningroom.  Dimensions are 23 x 28 x 9 ft.  My current system is a HTiB, the Yamaha YHT-399.
Anywho, about my question, I am not much of a high-end connoisseur and so was wondering if I would be able to significantly appreciate the difference between these two sub configurations.

4x Yamaha YST-SW012

Or,

1x SVS PB13-Ultra

The HTiB comes with one YST-SW012, so I would only need to buy three more.

This would be for 90% movies, 10% music.  I don't really need earth shattering bass, just looking for what I need to give movies some presence in my large space.  Is the PB13-Ultra  more sub than I can even appreciate?  My budget isn't infinite, I can't actually afford the PB13 just yet, but if it's totally worth it I can wait on the Yamahas' and save up.

I probably come across as a caveman, but please have mercy and grant me more knowledge. frown.gif

The above comparison makes it very easy. It actually nets out to be: "What do you want, 4 each 8 inch 99 dollar subwoofers or one SOTA 13 inch diameter $2,000 subwoofer?

The general question is a little tougher! ;-)

In the absence of standardized subwoofer performance test results such as the ones found at http://www.data-bass.com/systems, we are kind of on our own.

One basic rule is the ability of a subwoofer to reproduce clean bass is primarily dependent on how much air it can linearly displace. This is dependent on cone area and linear stroke. Cone area goes up with the square of cone diameter, and the maximum possible linear stroke goes up with cone diameter or even faster than cone diameter. Thus a subwoofer driver's ability to cleanly displace air goes up with at least the cube of its diameter. Bottom line is that a larger diameter driver is strong advantage.

This table shows how the estimate of maximum linear displacement goes up with diameter:

Diameter Diameter Cubed
4 64
5 125
6.5 275
7 343
8 512
10 1,000
12 1,728
13 2,197
15 3,375
18 5,832
24 13,824
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:15 PM
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I would go with one great sub.  Since you say that you don't have the money for the PB13-Ultra, why not get the PC13-Ultra instead?  It has nearly identical performance, costs $300 less, and is much easier to move, both because it is much lighter, and because it is an easier shape to grab onto.  It also takes up less floor space (though it is taller).  (The "magic" is in the shape; a curved surface is inherently stronger than a flat one, so the sides of the tube can be thinner while having equal strength, so there are less materials used, which is cheaper, and shipping is reduced [because with less materials, it weighs less], which also makes the price cheaper, since shipping is included in the price.)

 

 

You cannot have a subwoofer that it too capable.  If the output with the normal tuning is vastly more than you need, you can tune this subwoofer (there are instructions and all you need included with it) for even deeper response.  But giving the huge dimensions you give for your room, you may need all the output you can get.

 

And this way, if you have or acquire the audiophile disease requiring an upgrade, the upgrade path is simple and efficient:  Just buy a second subwoofer just like this one.

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Old 03-19-2014, 01:49 PM
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I've got a Yamaha it's bloody awful. I wouldn't want four of them even if they're free.

I have a SVS SB Ultra 13.

Guess which one do you think I prefer?
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:51 PM
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Start with the end in mind.  What do you want to end up with in the end, and start out on a path that gets you there, buying one sub at a time if necessary.  Maybe four PSA XS15's would be your ultimate perfect system.  Or maybe four SVSPB1000's.  Or as others have mention dual midpriced subs like the PB2000's, XV15's etc.

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AVR:       Yamaha RXV-375

Display:  Panasonic  TH-50PC77U

LCR:       Hsu HB1.2  HC1.2

Sub:       (2) PSA XV15se

Blu Ray:  Sony BDP-S5100

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Old 03-19-2014, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confuserd View Post

Hey, long time lurker first time poster.  Just wanted to say that this is a really cool site and I've soaked up a lot of good info, although some of what you guys say goes right over my head and out the window...

My theater space is in the living room, which is open to 2 hallways and the kitchen/diningroom.  Dimensions are 23 x 28 x 9 ft.  My current system is a HTiB, the Yamaha YHT-399.
Anywho, about my question, I am not much of a high-end connoisseur and so was wondering if I would be able to significantly appreciate the difference between these two sub configurations.

4x Yamaha YST-SW012

Or,

1x SVS PB13-Ultra

The HTiB comes with one YST-SW012, so I would only need to buy three more.

This would be for 90% movies, 10% music.  I don't really need earth shattering bass, just looking for what I need to give movies some presence in my large space.  Is the PB13-Ultra  more sub than I can even appreciate?  My budget isn't infinite, I can't actually afford the PB13 just yet, but if it's totally worth it I can wait on the Yamahas' and save up.

I probably come across as a caveman, but please have mercy and grant me more knowledge. frown.gif

Thanks for your time.

How about 2 of these?

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-2000#.UyofloXUCdA

Solves a lot for you IMHO.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:10 PM
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Four subs, yes. Four of those, no. You can certainly find four $500 subs that will have higher combined output than the one SVS, and with four subs you can place them to almost guarantee smooth response throughout your room. Read this:
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/multsubs.pdf

To cut to the chase go directly to page 28.
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