I am looking for two new subwoofers and a DSP solution to manage multiple subs for my home theater. I want to replace the two old Energy EPS-150 subs behind the listening position to match my Danley Sound Labs DTS-10 in the front corner. My Marantz AV8801 has Audessey MultiEQ 32 and Sub EQ for simple bass management and room correction with output for two subwoofers. Right now I am running the two Energy subs as a summed pair off of one sub output and the Danley off of the other output. My system is used for about 80% movies and 20% audio. The room has some unique challenges because of the large 10,100 cu ft size, all dipole speakers, bright acoustics (no room treatments because of WAF), and unbalanced sound gain from the glass block wall on the left with open access to 7,000 cu.ft. on the right.
I had originally planned on two DTS-10's in the left front corner and rear left corner against the glass block wall, but my wife objected to a second purchase after I built the first. I know the DTS has ringing issues (that I plan to tame with a Behringer Pro-1124) and it's response curve is rough at the higher LFE frequencies. I hope having the new subs so close to the listening position will create a near field response that flattens out the sound. Here is the overall layout: 39 ft x 49 ft area, 8.5 ft to 14 ft ceilings, all open:
My speakers are all Martin Logan:
Front Center Theater (1st generation with 3 tweeters)
Front R/L Requests (bi-amped)
Front Wide R/L Aerius (bi-amped)
Front Height R/L Scripts
Side R/L Clarity
Rear R/L Scripts
Rear Center Theater i
My associated equipment is:
Marantz AV8801 Processor with SMART 3CX DSP (phantom center rear channel)
1 Adcom GFA 5503 and 8 Adcom GFA 555II's (highly modified and updated)
QSC RMX 4050HD with Behringer Pro-1124 DSP (DTS-10 sub)
Oppo BDP 93 Blu Ray player with Darbee Darbett
Hopper DVR Satellite dish with four WD 2TB external hard drives
JVC HM-DSR 100u 8-head DVHS and Nakamichi CR5A Cassette
Roku XDS Media Streamer on TWC 30/5 mips Roadrunner
Rotel RT-940 Tuner with Weingard HD7082P FM/AM/HDTV hi-gain antenna
Denon DP60L, Ortofon 2M Black, Project Tube Box S preamp, Kimber PBJ leads
Pioneer Kuro Pro-111FD Plasma (new IC boards and ISF calibrated)
Panasonic PT-AE4000u projector, Elite Dual Opsprey projection screen
Kimber, Tributaries, Audioquest, Furutech, Canare and Belden Cables
Middle Atlantic, Furhman, Panamax and Tributaries power conditioners
Zone: 6 Sonos players, 2 Adcom GFA-6006 amps, 2 Niles SL-1230 amps
10 Proficient C850's, 8 Def tech AW650's and 3 Polk Atrium Sub-10's
I'm running 400w bi-amped on the Front R/L and Wide R/L, 600w bridged on the Center and 200w on all the surrounds. The DTS-10 is using 1,300w x 2 (one channel for each driver in reverse polarity), Everything's powered by eight dedicated 20 amp circuits (6 on positive phase for analog amps and subs with 2 on negative phase for digital video and source equipment). I work as an Integrator and do small to medium sized home theaters. I've taken the design classes at CEDIA from Floyd Tool at Harmon and Anthony Grimini, but am only now looking into the proper use of multiple subs, DSP bass management, and planning to learn REW.
I live near HSU and visited their offices. I was very impressed with the VTF 15H and it really slamed my body. However, Dr. Hsu's demo room is very small compared to my location and I don't know if my experience was applicable. I have read data-bass.com and comments on AVS Forum, Audioholics and Home Theater Shack about SVS, PSA , and Rythmic, but most of the owners have rooms much smaller than my application.
I can't afford a full D-Box motion control system, don't want to rip open and reupholster the sofas for Clark Synthesis transducers, and Butt Kickers would raise my seating too high to match the custom side tables. What I need is a pair of subs that will generate tactile energy at the main seating position, SPLs in a large environment and integrate with my DTS folded horn, and fit within a $1,500 - $3,000 total budget. I know that's a wide price range, but while saving a couple hundred dollars really helps, spending $2,000 on something that's going to end up on audiogon/craigslist within a year or two is a waste of money too.
I might consider over $3,000 for the "PERFECT SUB" (Seaton Submursive, PSA Triax, JL Audio F113, JTR Orbit Shifter) but would have to purchase one now and the other at a later time. Besides 4K and HDMI 2.0 are coming up and I have to start saving to update my old projector. In a perfect world I would have Hill Plasmatronics with all plasma tweeters (my avatar) for 2 channel and all Danley Synergy horns and TH812 Rock Monsters subs for Home Theater. But for now I'll be happy with replacing the old Energy subs!
Here are the dual sub combinations that I have considered (2 subs in order of total price)
CEA-2010 (source: data-bass.com and PSA 3rd party)
111.9______119.7______118.2____1x12" 1-port____350w____$1,425 HSU VTF-3
107.4______117.8______114.8____1x13" 3-port____500w____$1,499 SVS PB-2000
116.6______125.1______121.8____1x15" 1-port____500w____$1,518 PSA XV15
116.9______122.8______120.4____1x15" 2-port____350w____$1,848 HSU VTF15
116.6______131.2______126.7____2x15" 0-port____725w____$2,183 PSA XS30
116.6______125.1______121.8____1x15" 1-port____500w____$2,277 PSA XV15 (3 subs)
112.2______121.3______117.9____1x12" 1-port____800w____$2,649 SVS PB12+
121.0______129.3______126.1____2x15" 1-port____750w____$2,658 PSA X30f
121.2______126.9______124.5____1x15" 1-port____600w____$2,770 Rythmik FV15HP-XLR2
_n/a________n/a________n/a_____2x15" 0-port____800w____$3,062 Rythmic F25
120.5______125.3______123.3____1x13.5" 3-port__1000w___$3,000+ SVS PB13U (used)
111.9______122.5______117.9____2x18" 0-port____2000w___$3,400 LMS 5400u QSC 5050 (used)
116.5______125.2______118.9____Danley DTS-10 AKA: The FRANKENWOOFER!
The XS30's fit my sub locations nicely and strike me as a real value at about $2,100 for 4 x 15" drivers and 1,450w combined power (sort of the poor man's Seaton Submursable HP). The XV30's with ports might play louder/deeper but would need to lay on their sides directly behind the sofa and I'd have to build a custom table to sit over them. I do have two 2"x10"x8' planks of solid Zebra Wood and solid Maple I've been saving for a special project that would fit the bill nicely.
Built in DSP EQ, 180% variable phase adjustment and adjustable crossovers would be nice, but if I can find a Sub DSP solution like the Velodyne SMS-1, miniDSP 10x10 or DBX Driverack 260 that will manage multiple subs, that would work too. I picked up a Driverack PA2 for the integration with my Mac computer but it only handles 3 paired subs and can't adjust variable phase 0 to 180, so it's probably going back.
I thought about DIY and have a table saw and all the tools to build my own sub (except clamps - you never have enough clamps). The DTS-10 was a flat pack, fun to build and a breeze to assemble. So I looked into the TC Sounds LMS 5400 with a QSC 5050 amp. I try to avoid pure Class H switching amps like iNuke/Behringer because of all the noise they feed back onto the power lines in my house affecting my other equipment. However, getting a pre-made sub where a competent (and talented) electrical engineer has had the chance to custom DSP the amp to the driver is a real blessing.
I know that ported subs might work better in such a large room to fill all the space but my main listening position is 4-6 ft away from the rear subs so near field response will predominate over room gain for the mid to upper LFE. Sealed subs might also be easier to EQ flat and integrate with the DTS-10 folded horn. They will have a shallower roll off slope which could allow the Danley to pick up the extreme ULF and really shine. (without having REW'ed the room, I'm just guessing here, so if you have actual experience with this issue please let me know).
I am leaning toward PSA because all of the great help that has been provided by Tom Vodhanel in answering my questions about integrating multiple subs with electrostatic speakers in a large room. Although you don't pick a sub on customer service alone, his commitment to go above and beyond helping his customers speaks well for a long term relationship as a user. If I start specifying his products for my client's systems, his dedication to service will be invaluable.
If you have a LARGE ROOM 5,000-10,000 feet AND have OWNED one or more of these subs, I would really appreciate your experience and suggestions!
ABA Home Theater
Basic Construction: Slab floors, glass block, 3/4" ply sheared walls make room reflective:
High ceilings and large unobstructed space make LFE difficult but minimize room modes.
All glass windows/doors and glass block have recessed blackout shades for daytime viewing:
Front right wall opens into a patio area, Danley DTS-10 will be in front left corner.
Requests R/L (bi-amped), Theater Ctr, Aerius wide R/L (bi-amped), Scripts height R/L
Denon DP60L with Ortofon 2M Red and phono amp, Theater center, recessed rack
Glass block wall on left reinforces sound, while open wall on right eliminates room gain.
Rear wall: Clarity side-R/L, Scripts rear-R/L, Theater-i rear-Ctr (SMART DSP for center rear)
Right side is completely open to larger space:
Glass sliders recess behind walls and are usually open to den area.
This is a lot of volume to pressurize between 10 to 30hz with only 3 subs!
View of theater area from 50 feet away in den. Only locations for subs acceptable to wife
are front left (DTS-10) and behind sofa. After 13 Martin Logans and they Danley, she
doesn't want to look at amy more speakers.
Here is spot for two new subs against the back wall. The Scripts sit on the old
Energy EPS 150 subs so we don'y make mounting holes in the grass wallpaper.
I could also modify these and put them under the rear table as mid-bass modules.
I might consider building two DIY subs like I did with the Danley DTS-10 but don't know enough about speaker design to make an informed decision (and at $800+ LMS 5400 is an expensive experiment).