Pick one or more Reference level subwoofer(this is just for fun) - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which sub has reference capability at 2 meter
Pardadigm Signature sub 2 8 14.04%
SVS PB Ultra 13 8 14.04%
PSA XV 15 1 1.75%
HSU VTF 15 H 1 1.75%
PSA XS 30 2 3.51%
Chase VS 18.1 2 3.51%
DYI ULX 18 6 10.53%
LMS 5400 Ultra 18 5 8.77%
Rythmik FV 15 HP 6 10.53%
Funk FW 18 5 8.77%
Outlaw LFM 1-EX 3 5.26%
JL Audio E 110 0 0%
Other 10 17.54%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 28 Old 06-02-2014, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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We are always talking about reference level, which subs to buy, what to look for and , so on. I thought it would be interesting to see which subs people consider reference level subs. I will define the criteria that I thought would be useful to define a sub as reference level later on. This is just for fun and is not a who's better thread, or one dimensional poll on how low a sub goes. Feel free to list other subs that I have left out. Please keep it fun!

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post #2 of 28 Old 06-02-2014, 09:17 PM
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My "Other" picks would be Seaton and JTR.
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-02-2014, 09:36 PM
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For my goals one does not exist, I mean just one sub to cover reference at all my frequencies wanted.
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post #4 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Reference level for a subwoofer is one of the hardest things to achieve in a HT. Most HT need multiple subs to reach this goal and this can still be hard to accomplish due to room size. Most people also don't listen at reference level and use a -10 to -15 setting on the avr. In larger rooms it is possible to approach reference level without putting you hearing in jeopardy. Some obvious contenders I could not find data on so they were left off the list.

The criteria that I thougt would be a good comes from Audioholics: http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-room-size.

Reference Level (dB) from 31.5Hz to 63 Hz with no greater than -6 dB @ 25 Hz



In the article , they used a distance of 4 meter and were establishing a guide to match subwoofer to room size. Everyone knows the number of 115 db for the subwoofer but, where in the FR and how do you include the redirected bass. Using CEA data they seemed to come up with a great guide to match the subwoofer system with the room size.

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post #5 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

Reference level for a subwoofer is one of the hardest things to achieve in a HT. Most HT need multiple subs to reach this goal and this can still be hard to accomplish due to room size. Most people also don't listen at reference level and use a -10 to -15 setting on the avr. In larger rooms it is possible to approach reference level without putting you hearing in jeopardy. Some obvious contenders I could not find data on so they were left off the list.

The criteria that I thougt would be a good comes from Audioholics: http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-room-size.

Reference Level (dB) from 31.5Hz to 63 Hz with no greater than -6 dB @ 25 Hz



In the article , they used a distance of 4 meter and were establishing a guide to match subwoofer to room size. Everyone knows the number of 115 db for the subwoofer but, where in the FR and how do you include the redirected bass. Using CEA data they seemed to come up with a great guide to match the subwoofer system with the room size.

I wonder how people come up with these things. I mean 31.5hz is leaving to much bass out of the picture. This spec is better suited for a commercial theater. Having said that any commercial grade subwoofer could hit this spec like the JBL subs in theaters. My old very cheap horn loaded 18's could hit the spec as well.
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I wonder how people come up with these things. I mean 31.5hz is leaving to much bass out of the picture.

Keep in mind that this is outdoor testing. As a result, you can't reasonably expect flat response down to 3Hz at reference level. OTOH, throw something like the FW18.0 in room (which barely makes the Bassaholic Extreme cert at 25Hz), and you've got yourself a building block for a system that can credibly dig down to 10Hz and below.
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post #7 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve1981 View Post

Keep in mind that this is outdoor testing. As a result, you can't reasonably expect flat response down to 3Hz at reference level.

My question is why go through all this with outdoor testing when in fact cinemas are indoors! I don't even care if it is outdoors, that spec is still crap. THX has 20hz as the -6 dB point so I would think one could use that at least. If that is the spec then there are two on the list that can hit 109 dBs at 20hz which is 6 dBs less than 115 dBs. The Chase VS and the SVS. The FVP-15 misses it by less than a dB.
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post #8 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

My question is why go through all this with outdoor testing when in fact cinemas are indoors!

Because it's a level playing field that helps to minimize extraneous factors and improve repeatability of results.
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I don't even care if it is outdoors, that spec is still crap. THX has 20hz as the -6 dB point so I would think one could use that at least. If that is the spec then there are two on the list that can hit 109 dBs at 20hz which is 6 dBs less than 115 dBs. The Chase VS and the SVS. The FVP-15 misses it by less than a dB.
Then your results/ratings are biased towards vented subs. The Paradigm Sub 2 and FW 18.0 can't meet those marks, and I wouldn't expect that a SubM HP is going to either. OTOH for 10Hz and below power, I'd take any of those over the PB13, FV15HP, and the Chase VS18.
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post #9 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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That is the fun part about this thread. Most of us don't have a criteria for Reference level for a subwoofer other than the 115 db. number. It is not an easy task to achieve a reference level system in the HT, lol. It will take multiple subs and a fairly flat frequency response. You can have monster subs for 10-20 Hz. but not maintain the high spl in the 31-63 Hz region. CEA does consider the 31.5 to 63 Hz a key performance area for a subwoofer. Also the amount of deviation down to 25 Hz. Even using this criteria most HT don't meet Reference standard. This may not be ones goal and the ultra low stuff may be what you are looking for. On the other hand, manufactures pay attention to these numbers if they are having their sub verified by 3rd party testing.. It is just like in school, you want to know what will be on the test, lol.

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post #10 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 09:44 AM
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I think it will be difficult for most of those subs to be close to reference over a reasonable frequency range.  However, there are a good handful that would provide playback capability up to 5 or 10 below reference from 16-80 Hz for a reasonable cost if using duals.  Although i am still working on getting mine dialed in and setup properly, I am close to -5 from reference over this range with XV15's at 3m.  Currently, -5 from reference playback down to 16 is adequate in my main LR, considering my normal max listening volume is -15.  This still allows some wiggle room to run the subs hot or have a house curve.

 

Perhaps a better question would have been which dual sub setup is capable of reference level playback.  Tough to do with a bunch on the list that are under $1k shipped.


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post #11 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 10:24 AM
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I agree with bear123 and MK. I think duals are needed to play at volumes around reference level. I chose other and would choose either dual Submersives or dual Captivators.

I also believe that some of the subs on the list in duals could play around reference ok like the Chase, HSU, PS Audio, LMS, and ULX subs as long as people don't run them too hot. That's where lots get into trouble; running +6-10db hot on the subs while trying to play at reference.

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post #12 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve1981 View Post

Because it's a level playing field that helps to minimize extraneous factors and improve repeatability of results.
Then your results/ratings are biased towards vented subs. The Paradigm Sub 2 and FW 18.0 can't meet those marks, and I wouldn't expect that a SubM HP is going to either. OTOH for 10Hz and below power, I'd take any of those over the PB13, FV15HP, and the Chase VS18.

I was replying to the 31.5hz to 63 hz spec which I don't agree with at all. I do like the testing of subs outside but not for comparing reference levels in rooms except if one knows there room gain profile than they could figure it out with Ricci's tests. I have a 8x18 IB setup so I would not pick any of these at all because I get god output to 4hz! Here is the proof and my mic even sucks down low! These are WOTW scenes.





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post #13 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 11:23 AM
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Why would the same high spl level be easier to tolerate in a larger room than in a smaller room? I have seen this document before that seems to agree with that assessment.


http://www.merging.com/uploads/assets/Merging_pdfs/FinalCheck/ATSC%20A85%20-%20Loudness%20Recommended%20Practice.pdf
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In larger rooms it is possible to approach reference level without putting you hearing in jeopardy. Some obvious contenders
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 11:25 AM
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Why would 100 dbs be different than 100 dbs?
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post #15 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 11:38 AM
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As noted, "reference" is the playback level you prefer to listen at, assuming the system is properly calibrated. However, no system I've ever measured outside my own has been properly calibrated. People crank the low end. +6dB is the least bumped and +10dB is the most bumped I've noted with more people closer to the latter setting. So, if you bump the SW channel by +10dB and listen at MVL of -10dB, you're asking your sub(s) to give reference level playback.

Still, reference level must be defined to keep the discussion focused. After thousands of posts on the subject spanning more than a decade on these forums, the reference benchmark BW is 5-120 Hz. The reference level at the seats of total dBSPL is 115-121dB peaks with measured averages around 25-30dB below that.

I've collected a couple of dozen posted in-room FRs by members who had a subwoofer that had been measured at GP by credible people and compared them and averaged them. The rooms they were measured in varied from around 2,000 cubes and closed to over 6,000 cubes and open to the floor plan.

This collected data was my guide to creating preset curves to affect the GP naked response of the subs I've built over the years to assure a final flat FR in-room. The GP response of the sub should simply be a mirror of the average room gain profile curve and when it is, the result is a flat response to minus infinity. Of course, the in-room FR will roll off at the extreme low end because the combined roll off of the amplifier and all components upstream will dominate the first octave or so.

The mirror response to your specific room gain profile will vary slightly from the average and can be achieved through signal shaping to manipulate the GP response or by choosing a driver like the LMS Ultra that would probably result in a GP FR that works with most room gain profiles.

Since soundtracks do not encode any single frequency at 0dBFS, the 115dB benchmark used by most posters is incorrect. The effects we love to play over and over are complex combinations of an infinite number of frequencies. It's the summing of those frequencies, added to the high frequency playback of the 5 or 7 or more satellites that result in 115 to 121dB total dBSPL on the SPL meter.

Keith Yates measured subwoofers outdoors with and without 2 or 3 satellites and the difference was as much as 9dB (IIRC, please see the Way Down Deep articles) from just playing the effects through the subs vs subs plus front 3.

The ultimate test of where you stand vs reference level playback is then found by comparing the digital version off the disc vs the accurately mic'd version of your systems playback in SpectrumLab, which shows FR non-linearities, distortions of the harmonic kind and bandwidth capability.

GP measurements results are purely a comparative data set that can only be used to compare different subs that a specific person has tested as to their performance from 10-100 Hz. Those results can only loosely be extrapolated to in-room reference level playback of complex, full BW content. IOW, what a sub 'hits' at 20 Hz at 2M GP with CEA 2010 standard allowable THD vs whatever other sub is pretty much irrelevant to the question of which of those subs will give reference playback.

99f1d8e977589f5f2543db58fa4596a4.jpg

Reference playback of the Red Death Dragon crashing to earth in HTTYD. The digital version (see the 60 Hz hum) vs the mic'd @ the LP version reveals whether or not the sub or multiple subs are providing reference playback with compression, harmonics, truncation of BW, FR linearity or not.

In my experience, GP results just do not provide enough data to tell you all of that in advance of placing the sub in your room, calibrating it and playing HTTYD at 0dBRL.
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post #16 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 11:48 AM
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Bosso, would you mind sharing what the cost would be of having such measuring capability, as well as the hardware and software requirements?  Thanks 


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post #17 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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That was great info Bossobass. Yes, the GP and in room response can be dramatically different. Then on top of that, the additions of a multi-channel playback system. This thread was meant for fun and to generate discussion on reference level playback and reference levels HT system. There are many combinations of subs that can be used to achieve a reference level HT setup. I used the CEA data since it is so popular and can be used for a loose comparison of subwoofer systems. Thank again for your input.

MK, the range of 31-63 Hz is just the standard used by CEA and for the purposes of this thread.smile.gif

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post #18 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

That was great info Bossobass. Yes, the GP and in room response can be dramatically different. Then on top of that, the additions of a multi-channel playback system. This thread was meant for fun and to generate discussion on reference level playback and reference levels HT system. There are many combinations of subs that can be used to achieve a reference level HT setup. I used the CEA data since it is so popular and can be used for a loose comparison of subwoofer systems. Thank again for your input.

MK, the range of 31-63 Hz is just the standard used by CEA and for the purposes of this thread.smile.gif

I understand what is being used but there are many, many horn loaded 18's out there that can hit that spec and we would not run them in our theaters. I actually had two in my room for a total of $700 and I could hit higher peaks from 25hz and up than many of my systems. They lacked the low end indeed but still produced lots of output 110 dbs with the pulse server room scene. My 13hz tuned LLT's produced the same 110 dBs(running the same loudness) but had much more visceral effects. The midbass was crazy with those two horn's. I did own 4 18.2's at one time as well.
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post #19 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Amedreda, the intensity of the sound = Energy/ Time + Area. Think of it as having a cup of pellets thrown at you in a small confined space compared to a larger space. The particles will be more focus in a small area and also, distance to the MLP play a significant role. A sound travels, the intensity decreases. That is where the loss of 6 db. comes from with doubling the distance. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/u11l2b.cfm

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post #20 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I understand what is being used but there are many, many horn loaded 18's out there that can hit that spec and we would not run them in our theaters.
I'd daresay most folks on this forum would be pleased as punch to have the output capabilities of an Othorn 5100 (although probably in a more attractive form factor). No, it won't please folks that want to build a system that extends into the single digits, but for most folks (i.e. the general readership of AH), there's no question it represents an extreme level of performance. As always, YMMV.
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post #21 of 28 Old 06-03-2014, 01:00 PM
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I agree but DIY is not for all. Dual DTS-10's was not enough for me in my room, within it's range it was but I wanted more.
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post #22 of 28 Old 06-04-2014, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I understand what is being used but there are many, many horn loaded 18's out there that can hit that spec and we would not run them in our theaters. I actually had two in my room for a total of $700 and I could hit higher peaks from 25hz and up than many of my systems. They lacked the low end indeed but still produced lots of output 110 dbs with the pulse server room scene. My 13hz tuned LLT's produced the same 110 dBs(running the same loudness) but had much more visceral effects. The midbass was crazy with those two horn's. I did own 4 18.2's at one time as well.

To reach the ultimate deep bass for HT, DYI is the way to go. Using the CEA data for the subs that meet the reference criteria for this thread will get most people a great HT experience and most likely good output to 15 Hz if at least two subs are used in the HT. The LMS 5400 sub did not make the reference list of sub but, it is a HT monster on the low end.

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post #23 of 28 Old 06-04-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

To reach the ultimate deep bass for HT, DYI is the way to go. Using the CEA data for the subs that meet the reference criteria for this thread will get most people a great HT experience and most likely good output to 15 Hz if at least two subs are used in the HT. The LMS 5400 sub did not make the reference list of sub but, it is a HT monster on the low end.

Correction, it is DIY smile.gif not DYI. I only tried DIY because of Ed Mullen from SVS explained to me what I needed. What happened was I used to use 3 SVS 16-46CS+ subs and the low end in my room was great(12hz). I tried 2 folded horn subs and the spl was so awesome it literally created tons of energy in the room. The SVS subs could hit 115 dBs on certain scenes but the horn subs were hitting over 126 dBs and pinning the meter. It was great. After a while I missed the 12hz of the SVS but wanted best of both so I emailed SVS for some answers. I explained what I liked and he told me to get 8 16-46CS+ or ultras or DIY. This is where the 4 LLT's entered my life.
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post #24 of 28 Old 06-04-2014, 12:50 PM
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I reached single digits in my room with my CHT subs, they needed a boost down low but my room was 2100 cubes at the time. Without the boost I was flat to 12hz. I have good room gain as well.
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post #25 of 28 Old 06-04-2014, 01:57 PM
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Here were my CHT subs response with no EQ and then with EQ and boost.





Here were my response with my eD system(12x12)



I don't remember if I used boost for that or not but probably not with the cliff after 6hz.

Here is the response of my IB



Spec lab of WOTW plane crash scene with the eD system



Spec lab of WOTW plane crash scene with the IB.



The difference is 10 dBs at 5hz!
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post #26 of 28 Old 06-04-2014, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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IB is a great option. No sub box can equal the space of the IB sub. lol. Even rasing the low end on passive sub is OK. The only requirements are enough driver excursion and power for the most part. Building a HT is like building a house, budget, size needs, looks and some other things. Just like building a house, after you have it there are a few thing you could have done different, lol. There is no one system that will work for everyone. I may do a DIY sub this summer, then I will have to figure out what to do with it, lol. I really don't need more at this point. I do like passive subs where you pick your own amp, PEQ, DSP and things.

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post #27 of 28 Old 06-04-2014, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

IB is a great option. No sub box can equal the space of the IB sub. lol. Even rasing the low end on passive sub is OK. The only requirements are enough driver excursion and power for the most part. Building a HT is like building a house, budget, size needs, looks and some other things. Just like building a house, after you have it there are a few thing you could have done different, lol. There is no one system that will work for everyone. I may do a DIY sub this summer, then I will have to figure out what to do with it, lol. I really don't need more at this point. I do like passive subs where you pick your own amp, PEQ, DSP and things.

Yeah, me too. If you look at the differences in responses from the 3 systems you would see a difference of 3 hz. However, the difference in boost to get there varied and the subjective effects on the room are different as well. The sound quality are all excellent and I can not tell one from another except that visceral low end. Of course for my room I made sure I had enough for my needs from each system. In a large room the IB might be the only choice for the low end(from my systems).
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post #28 of 28 Old 06-05-2014, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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The subs that would have hit the Reference criteria of CEA at the 2 meter measurement are HUS VTF 15, Rythmik FV 15 HP, SVS PB 13 Ultra and Chase VS 18.1. The SVS PB 13 had the smallest deviation of all the sub. Kudos to SVS. The highest percentage was the category of Other. When I was looking at the CEA data three things stuck out to achieve reference playback in the HT: 1.) Need for multiple subwoofers, 2.) the use of EQ to shape the response of the subs and room, 3.) Appropiate subwoofers for the room size.

The CEA measurement represent real and relative data to compare subwoofers. The Reference standard and CEA data is relevant when used correctly. Some subwoofer were not included sine there is no CEA data on the subwoofer. There may be other criteria that one may choose in selecting a subwoofer. All of the subs in the poll are outstanding in their appropiate application. The Reference Level standard is a major consideration when developing a HT and knowing your goals. It should also be mention that a great HT can be put together that don't meet the Reference Level standard. Achieveing this standard was one of my goals. Prior to posting the results today, I did not know all of th subwooefers that would meet the poll criteria.

Klipsch RF 7 based HT 7.4, Pioneer SC 35, Acurus Five 200 amp, Chase SS 18.2(2), VS 18.1(2), Samsung BDP F 7500, Asus/My Book Live HPC 4 TB

Yaquin VK 2100 amp, McIntosh XR 5 speakers, Samsung BDP F 7500
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