Best subwoofer for music? (around $300) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 06-08-2014, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for a Subwoofer for a music only system.

 

The system will consist of either a pair of Paradigm studio 20's (v4), or a pair of NHT Classic three's.

 

My budget is around $300 for the sub, and I have no problem buying a used subwoofer.

 

Since I do not have much experience regarding musical subwoofers (as apposed to "boomy" subs for HT) any and all advice would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 46 Old 06-09-2014, 04:19 AM
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IMO, you should consider upping your budget to $499 and getting a well-rated SVS SB-1000. The prices includes shipping and free return shipping within 45 days. Try out the sub, and if you like it you're set; if you don't, return it and the in-home demo costs you $0.

Here's a review of the SB-1000: SVS PB1000 and SB1000 Subwoofers.

For $329, the Reaction Audio BPS-212 might be worth a look. Shipping is included, and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee on it. Reaction is a newer, but promising Internet-direct subwoofer company.

You can also peruse this thread for some ideas: List of budget subwoofers ($300 and less)
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post #3 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 04:03 AM
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The SB-2000 would be great, but does cost more. The HSU STF-2 often goes on sale and is worth a look also.
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post #4 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

The SB-2000 would be great, but does cost more. The HSU STF-2 often goes on sale and is worth a look also.

I have owned both the STF-2 and the SB2000. Don't waste any time considering the STF-2 for music. Pony up for the SB2000, it's in a different league. Repeat, don't waste your time on an STF-2 while there are SB2000s available, not to mention SB12NSDs heavily discounted.

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post #5 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

I have owned both the STF-2 and the SB2000. Don't waste any time considering the STF-2 for music. Pony up for the SB2000, it's in a different league. Repeat, don't waste your time on an STF-2 while there are SB2000s available, not to mention SB12NSDs heavily discounted.

The SVS sub is nearly $150 more than the HSU, so one would of course deduct that its an all around better sub. The OP clearly stated his budget, which is $200 less than what the SVS goes for.
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post #6 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Since the speakers I will be using already extend down to ~ 50Hz, do I really need such a beast of a subwoofer to cover such a small frequency range?
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post #7 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 11:31 AM
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With the crossover at ~80Hz*, your sub will be handling bass frequencies from ~30Hz (or lower) to x-over. You want a sub that will have good output and play flat and cleanly (and "musically") throughout that range.

A less-expensive sub may do the trick, but it may not.

(*FWIW: The Studio 60v4s in my HT set-up - which I use for movies and music - are crossed over at 80Hz. Even though they dig pretty deep - deeper than the Studio 20s - they can't deliver the same sort of bass that a good sub or pair of subs can.)
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post #8 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Is this true even for music? (that the crossover point of the subwoofer should be set around 80Hz even though the stereo speakers extend lower than that)

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post #9 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 11:44 AM
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It doesn't *have* to be set at 80Hz, but since bass becomes non-localizeable at ~80Hz, there's no reason not to set it there and take full advantage of a good sub's superior bass-reproduction capabilities.

This is especially true, IMO, if your mains are bookshelf speakers with a single and relatively small bass (or mid-bass) driver.
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post #10 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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So, if the subwoofers crossover is set to ~ 80 Hz, should the speakers also be crossed over at ~80 Hz? (high pass).

 

(My current amplifier doesn't have settings to adjust the crossover point of the speakers.)

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post #11 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 11:51 AM
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If you can high-pass your speakers in your current amp, sure. (I'd try 70-90Hz and go with the setting that sounds best overall.)
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post #12 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post

The SVS sub is nearly $150 more than the HSU, so one would of course deduct that its an all around better sub. The OP clearly stated his budget, which is $200 less than what the SVS goes for.

I definitely understand that, but I'm sharing best practices, having already wasted the $360 I wasted on an overrated, inferior piece of hardware that I later gave away.

The OP is serious about music if he's talking Paradigm Studios and NHT Threes. I am, too, and I say the OP needs to up his limits by what is in reality a very small amount. That amount is minuscule compared to the difference in quality and, consequently, the OP's enjoyment of music.

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post #13 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

I definitely understand that, but I'm sharing best practices, having already wasted the $360 I wasted on an overrated, inferior piece of hardware that I later gave away.

The OP is serious about music if he's talking Paradigm Studios and NHT Threes. I am, too, and I say the OP needs to up his limits by what is in reality a very small amount. That amount is minuscule compared to the difference in quality and, consequently, the OP's enjoyment of music.

The HSU STF-2 is a very good sub and one of the most "musical" inside the $500 price range.

You can be serious about music with $200 speakers. Money is not the end-all-be-all of listening enjoyment. Measurements aside, each person is going to have a subjective view on what sounds good to their ears. Just becuase a pair of speakers cost $20,000 doesn't mean they are the best.
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post #14 of 46 Old 06-10-2014, 02:29 PM
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I use a Paradigm Monitor SUB8 with a pair of Paradigm MilleniaOnes' for my computer room music setup. They are utterly incredible for the price. You can get a SUB8 for not a lot more than your budget after the usual 25% off or so, or going used. Also keep in mind you can PBK calibrate that SUB 8 which will make a world of difference.
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post #15 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post

The HSU STF-2 is a very good sub and one of the most "musical" inside the $500 price range.

You can be serious about music with $200 speakers. Money is not the end-all-be-all of listening enjoyment. Measurements aside, each person is going to have a subjective view on what sounds good to their ears. Just becuase a pair of speakers cost $20,000 doesn't mean they are the best.
Hm, you're repeating the same words I read when I made the mistake of buying my STF-2. Have you owned one and compared it to other subs at its approximate price? I really wish somebody had been there to warn me. I'm trying to be the guy I needed to hear from, right before I wasted that money.

As for $20k speakers, it's something of a straw man that you're attacking right now. Nobody said that price is everything, but you do get what you pay for. If the OP paid a little extra for an SB1000 or SB2000 or an SB12-NSD, he'd have a better listening experience. It would be money well spent and I say this from my own personal experience with the hardware in question. On what are you basing *your* assertions?
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post #16 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post
Hm, you're repeating the same words I read when I made the mistake of buying my STF-2. Have you owned one and compared it to other subs at its approximate price? I really wish somebody had been there to warn me. I'm trying to be the guy I needed to hear from, right before I wasted that money.
I have owned the STF-2, yes. Wasting money? Just becuase you felt it was YOUR mistake, doesnt mean its everyone elses. Again, its all opinion. You may think it was not as good as anything else, and thats fine...you are entitled to that opinion. But again, you are comparing an ID sub that is $150 less, with specs that are not nearly as good as the SVS. I agree, the SVS is better, but to completely dismiss the HSU seems a bit rash. What if all he can do is $300? I gets irritating when every time someone has a clear stated budget, there is always a small crowd trying to "upsell" them.

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As for $20k speakers, it's something of a straw man that you're attacking right now.
Im not attacking anything. I made an astute observation that is pretty commonly known.

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Nobody said that price is everything, but you do get what you pay for.
In most cases i would agree. But not in all. Is a $20k speaker $17K better than a $3k speaker? In what way?

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If the OP paid a little extra for an SB1000 or SB2000 or an SB12-NSD, he'd have a better listening experience.
Possibly, but thats not for you or me to decide. You pushed your opinion on him a bit aggressively, and thats why i chimed in.

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It would be money well spent and I say this from my own personal experience with the hardware in question.
Again, your opinion.

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On what are you basing *your* assertions?
What assertion?

Last edited by jaeelarr; 06-12-2014 at 10:07 AM.
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post #17 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 10:54 AM
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Hahaha. Never mind, friend. I've supplied the OP with my advice based on my own experiences. The ball's in his court and our conversation is done. Cheers!
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post #18 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Fist of all, thanks to everyone who is posting, I really appreciate the advice!

From everyone's input so far it seems like the SVS SB2000 is the best choice for music with the SB1000 coming in for a close second. However, these subwoofers are almost 100% more than I would like to spend on a subwoofer, and are even more expensive than I paid for my speakers (which I purchased used).

The Reaction Audio sub (BPS 212) is much closer to my desired price range, and if it is in the same (or a similar) class to the SVS subwoofers, than I think I should pick one up ASAP before they're gone. If anyone has any experience with Reaction subs please let me know!!
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post #19 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
Fist of all, thanks to everyone who is posting, I really appreciate the advice!

From everyone's input so far it seems like the SVS SB2000 is the best choice for music with the SB1000 coming in for a close second. However, these subwoofers are almost 100% more than I would like to spend on a subwoofer, and are even more expensive than I paid for my speakers (which I purchased used).

The Reaction Audio sub (BPS 212) is much closer to my desired price range, and if it is in the same (or a similar) class to the SVS subwoofers, than I think I should pick one up ASAP before they're gone. If anyone has any experience with Reaction subs please let me know!!
Reaction Audio Subs

I think the Reaction Audio sub for your budget is a good way to go. Can't always get what you want for what you want to pay, though....and finding a used sub is another option but when I thought of going that route found very few worthy candidates.

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post #20 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 01:21 PM
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I have not heard it, but I would definitely go with the Reaction Audio BPS 212 at it's current price. I would expect it to sound as good or better than anything else you could get at that price.

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post #21 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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In terms of sound quality (precision & accuracy) does anyone know how close the Reaction Audio BPS-212 is to either of the SVS subwoofers?

Last edited by sdl2282; 06-12-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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post #22 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
In terms of sound quality (precession & accuracy) does anyone know how close the Reaction Audio BPS-212 is to either of the SVS subwoofers?
Use the link I gave you to the Reaction Audio thread, if anyone has personal experience with both that's the place to ask. I'd say they're in the same league generally. BTW assume you mean precision, precession is something completely different....

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post #23 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
In terms of sound quality (precision & accuracy) does anyone know how close the Reaction Audio BPS-212 is to either of the SVS subwoofers?
According to JimWilson, who has reviewed both subs, the SVS is more accurate.

Post 15

Reaction Audio BPS 212 "Turbo" vs SVS SB1000 - please advise
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post #24 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 04:39 PM
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According to JimWilson, who has reviewed both subs, the SVS is more accurate.

Post 15

Reaction Audio BPS 212 "Turbo" vs SVS SB1000 - please advise
Jim has not been able to review a Reaction sub yet.

I have one of those "non-Turbo" 212's. I can't compare it to a more expensive one. (Maybe I should take to my friend's place - though that might be complicated as his system has balanced connections.)

I can compare it to a Dayton 1200 and a cheap Polk sub.
Let's just say the Reaction can shake our small house when using test signals. I have to turn the thing way, way down. I was using both the Polk and Dayton at the same time. With the Reaction, I was just listening to the 212 alone. Adding/listening to 212 plus the Dayton or the Polk didn't make much difference to me, so I just listened to the Reaction even when I had the others in the room.

It sounds much more full than the others - meaning its output from the lowest frequencies up to its higher frequencies limit. (Sorry, I'm not much of a descriptive writer.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
In terms of sound quality (precision & accuracy) does anyone know how close the Reaction Audio BPS-212 is to either of the SVS subwoofers?
I own the SB-1000. Given that you were thinking of a $300 budget, I would say go with the Reaction Audio sub.

BTW: How big is your room? And do you like to crank your setup? Sub performance is tied to the volume of the room.

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post #26 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
Jim has not been able to review a Reaction sub yet.

I have one of those "non-Turbo" 212's. I can't compare it to a more expensive one. (Maybe I should take to my friend's place - though that might be complicated as his system has balanced connections.)

I can compare it to a Dayton 1200 and a cheap Polk sub.
Let's just say the Reaction can shake our small house when using test signals. I have to turn the thing way, way down. I was using both the Polk and Dayton at the same time. With the Reaction, I was just listening to the 212 alone. Adding/listening to 212 plus the Dayton or the Polk didn't make much difference to me, so I just listened to the Reaction even when I had the others in the room.

It sounds much more full than the others - meaning its output from the lowest frequencies up to its higher frequencies limit. (Sorry, I'm not much of a descriptive writer.)

Thanks for that info!
Yours is the first review of the BPS 212 that I've seen from someone who actually has one.
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post #27 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
Thanks for that info!
Yours is the first review of the BPS 212 that I've seen from someone who actually has one.
Reaction Audio Subs

abd1 post # 737

Aarghon post # 747
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post #28 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
Reaction Audio Subs

abd1 post # 737

Aarghon post # 747
First of all, wow, quoting line and verse, you really know your scriptures... I mean AVSforum.

Unfortunately post # 737 is about a BPS 212 "Turbo", and in post # 747 the reviewer is listening to heavy metal, this is not (IMHO) suitable material for testing the dynamics and accuracy of a high-end subwoofer.
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post #29 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sdl2282 View Post
First of all, wow, quoting line and verse, you really know your scriptures... I mean AVSforum.

Unfortunately post # 737 is about a BPS 212 "Turbo", and in post # 747 the reviewer is listening to heavy metal, this is not (IMHO) suitable material for testing the dynamics and accuracy of a high-end subwoofer.
What hi-end subwoofer? You're talking $300! Heavy metal can be demanding as can other types of music...suum quique.

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post #30 of 46 Old 06-12-2014, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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What hi-end subwoofer? You're talking $300! Heavy metal can be demanding as can other types of music...suum quique.
If the BPS 212 can be compared to the SVS SB-1000 (perhaps not equal, but in a similar class) than I would call it a high-end subwoofer.

Also, listening to a single genre of music is never a good way to test a subwoofer, especially if it's rock music where the bass is not overly dynamic, and never really goes below 30Hz.

Last edited by sdl2282; 06-12-2014 at 10:08 PM.
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