100% Music Sub, 2500 cu ft, ~$500, ported or sealed? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Question 100% Music Sub, 2500 cu ft, ~$500, ported or sealed?

I tried to be as explicit as possible in the title. I'm looking for some advice on whether I should stick to the "sealed sub for music" line of thought, considering my room size and budget.

Budget: $500 (this is really on my high end, but I realize this is entry-level for a real sub)
Use: 100% music (ok, maybe a tiny bit of HT down the road, but don't want to spec for that whatsoever)
Room size: ~2500 cu ft.
Pairing with: Audioengine A5+s
Requirements: Must have R+L line level inputs to pair with the A5s (so HSU STF-1 and 2 are out)

My concern is that a sealed sub at this price point will not be adequate for my room size. But what is more important, getting a sealed sub for better musicality, or getting a ported sub to properly fill the room?

The SVS SB-1000 ($499) is probably my top choice right now for a sealed sub, but doesn't seem to match my room size. Maybe I should go for one of the HSU VTFs? What do you think?
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post #2 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmath View Post
I tried to be as explicit as possible in the title. I'm looking for some advice on whether I should stick to the "sealed sub for music" line of thought, considering my room size and budget.

Budget: $500 (this is really on my high end, but I realize this is entry-level for a real sub)
Use: 100% music (ok, maybe a tiny bit of HT down the road, but don't want to spec for that whatsoever)
Room size: ~2500 cu ft.
Pairing with: Audioengine A5+s
Requirements: Must have R+L line level inputs to pair with the A5s (so HSU STF-1 and 2 are out)

My concern is that a sealed sub at this price point will not be adequate for my room size. But what is more important, getting a sealed sub for better musicality, or getting a ported sub to properly fill the room?

The SVS SB-1000 ($499) is probably my top choice right now for a sealed sub, but doesn't seem to match my room size. Maybe I should go for one of the HSU VTFs? What do you think?
I think it is important to understand that a sealed sub is not inherently better for music than a ported sub. More accurately, it is simply that a ported sub has an unnecessary output advantage below 30 Hz which requires a much larger cab. You don't need double or triple the output at 20 Hz that a ported sub provides on movies if you only are using the sub for music. This leads to higher cost and again, a larger cab that is just not needed.

So the reason a sealed sub may be preferred for music is simply because they can usually be kept smaller and less expensive. For $500 the SB1000 is probably a great, indepently tested, safe choice from a company with a great reputation for quality products, great service, and great warranty. I can't think of a better all around option at that price point.

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post #3 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 06:12 PM
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Rythmik Audio LV12R for $599 (shipping included). Also check on the Rythmik Audio clearance section for an used LV12R for $524 (shipping included).

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post #4 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 06:16 PM
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If you didn't need the R+L inputs I would say look at Reaction Audio's BPS 212 - the 200W version. However, since you do need them the SVS is the way to go.

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post #5 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enricoclaudio View Post
Rythmik Audio LV12R for $599 (shipping included). Also check on the Rythmik Audio clearance section for an used LV12R for $524 (shipping included).
A great option if you can move up your price point. Rythmik makes amazing subs.

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post #6 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 08:20 PM
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+1 to the LV12R for $524, shipped. Failing that, the SB-1000.
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 08:58 PM
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The LV12 gets my vote.
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post #8 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan611 View Post
If you didn't need the R+L inputs I would say look at Reaction Audio's BPS 212 - the 200W version. However, since you do need them the SVS is the way to go.


They have L+R RCA inputs.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 04:20 AM
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He was referring to R+L speaker inputs. So he can run his speaker cable from the amp to the sub, sub to L and R speakers. NOT RCA inputs.


Sent from my phone, excuse the typos 😝

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post #10 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 06:58 AM
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The A5's have RCA outputs. That means you CAN use subwoofers with RCA input. In fact with your setup using speaker wire is very less than ideal.

With that said for $500 max look at reaction audio bps-212, if you can spend over $500 rythmik isnt a bad choice
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post #11 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan611 View Post
He was referring to R+L speaker inputs. So he can run his speaker cable from the amp to the sub, sub to L and R speakers. NOT RCA inputs.


Sent from my phone, excuse the typos 😝
He is referring to L + R Line Inputs (RCA) not Speaker Level Inputs. The Audio Engine A5+ speaker combo is active, so no speaker level inputs over here. The A5+ has variable RCA (L+R) output so you can connect a subwoofer.



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post #12 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 07:03 AM
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Then the OP has a lot more options. I've never heard of that system so I just assumed they were like any other speaker. Nice to learn something new.

In that case the Reaction is a great value.



Sent from my phone, excuse the typos 😝

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post #13 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
The LV12 gets my vote.
+1

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post #14 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Yes, enricoclaudio is correct, needs to have R+L line level inputs (which seems to be very common, just wanted to rule out the few subs I've seen that have only LFE input). I forgot to mention that size is a consideration as well, but a secondary one. I don't think I want to go bigger than 18" in any dimension.

This is the first I've heard of Rythmik, but I think I could spring for the LV12R if it is truly a better choice than others. Reaction Audio BPS 212 is also intriguing. So I think it is down to:

SVS SB-1000 $499 shipped
Reaction Audio BPS 212 (300W) $499 shipped
Rythmik LV12R $599 shipped

I will dig into the specs and reviews more. Thanks again.
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 10:53 AM
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It's difficult to make a recommendation on those three subwoofers since I've never auditioned them. But I'll make my best guess on what I have read and what I might choose.

SB-1000: SVS has the best warranty and perks (including free shipping both ways within the 45-day trial period). I just don't think it will fill your room the way you hope.

BPS-212: This Reaction Audio subwoofer has dual-opposing 12-inch drivers which would be much better at filling your room and would be a good choice for both music and movies.

LV12R: The Rythmik is a bit beyond your initial budget, but since you stated 100 percent music, I can't think of a better or more accurate subwoofer at this price point.

For music only in your room size, it's the Rythmik. In case you may want to watch movies as well later down the line, I'd go for the Reaction Audio. However, since SVS allows you free shipping, it wouldn't cost anything (except the time on waiting for a refund and the time involved in packing it back up), you might consider auditioning this sub to see how it fairs. If it doesn't make the grade, you can always purchase the Rythmik or Reaction Audio subs.
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 11:18 AM
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I have had nemours subs, I had a BIC F12, Dual Outlaw LFM -1's, Dual PSA XV15's, Dual XV30's and now I went to Dual PSA Triax's and the first thing I had noticed was that how good music is now. Everybody has their own preference, but for me, I am sticking with sealed. Also you could look at the Dayton subs kits at Part Express. Right around your price range.

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post #17 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post
I have had nemours subs, I had a BIC F12, Dual Outlaw LFM -1's, Dual PSA XV15's, Dual XV30's and now I went to Dual PSA Triax's and the first thing I had noticed was that how good music is now. Everybody has their own preference, but for me, I am sticking with sealed. Also you could look at the Dayton subs kits at Part Express. Right around your price range.
True, but some of that could be the driver used more then being vented. You should hear one of the new ported SE models...music went to a whole new dimension in accuracy imo. That makes me believe that the servo driven LV12 is probably a very articulate sub even being ported.
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post
I have had nemours subs, I had a BIC F12, Dual Outlaw LFM -1's, Dual PSA XV15's, Dual XV30's and now I went to Dual PSA Triax's and the first thing I had noticed was that how good music is now. Everybody has their own preference, but for me, I am sticking with sealed. Also you could look at the Dayton subs kits at Part Express. Right around your price range.
True, but some of that could be the driver used more then being vented. You should hear one of the new ported SE models...music went to a whole new dimension in accuracy imo. That makes me believe that the servo driven LV12 is probably a very articulate sub even being ported.
I will start off, I don't want to start any battle on ported vs sealed. I made this comment in another thread awhile back and it set off a small war I just wanted to chime in what I have found with my sealed vs the many ported I had. The Triax is a very good with a ton of power so I mean it is kind of Apples to Oranges from my previous subs. Certainly something you really have to spend allot of time with to get your preference. IMO or I may be wrong, but there is still better value and certainly more output to be gained with a ported.
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post
I have had nemours subs, I had a BIC F12, Dual Outlaw LFM -1's, Dual PSA XV15's, Dual XV30's and now I went to Dual PSA Triax's and the first thing I had noticed was that how good music is now. Everybody has their own preference, but for me, I am sticking with sealed. Also you could look at the Dayton subs kits at Part Express. Right around your price range.


I agree with this.... In the last 15+ years I've gone though a lot of subs and when discussing entry level products, the stereotype of sealed being better for music tends to hold true, at last it did for me. It is difficult to tell how much of this was due to the product and how much to it's integration, though sealed is often easier to integrate as well.


With more premium products the stereotype does not hold true... I currently use two passive radiator subs, which if you believe what you read, are even less optimal for music than ported, but you wouldn't believe it if you heard them. They use Acoustic Elegance drivers.


If you're considering a product from a product line (say Rythmik) talk to them about what you're giving up going with ported vs sealed within their product line. Most vendors will steer you the right way.....

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post #20 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 11:22 PM
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After picking up two LV12R's for my boss/buddy and setting them up for him I think they are a great sub for the money. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking for a sub under $600.

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post #21 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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The LV12R seems almost perfect... but it is just too big. I don't have any crazy restrictions on size, but that is one giant entry level sub (over 20" in two of its dimensions!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
However, since SVS allows you free shipping, it wouldn't cost anything (except the time on waiting for a refund and the time involved in packing it back up), you might consider auditioning this sub to see how it fairs. If it doesn't make the grade, you can always purchase the Rythmik or Reaction Audio subs.
I do like this idea, especially considering the Reaction BPS 212 is backordered 2-3 weeks.

Now I am torn between the SB-1000 or PB-1000 @ $499 or the SB12-NSD @ $629. I just wish I knew how much room size really matters.
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post #22 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 06:20 AM
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I think best SB should would be suitable in that room, SB2000 or SB12 NSD for music only. Music doesn't require much of a powerhorse of a subwoofer, generally I run the music sub a bit cold in both systems. In fact for the HT, 2 channel mode is set to -3dB. Also being sealed better for music (I've had both)

You could get dual's if you want to try stereo l/r bass, I wouldn't mind doing that in the Hifi if I get another SB12+

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post #23 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 08:44 AM
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Go with a sealed sub like the SB1000 within your budget. A sealed sub won't sound any better on music(unless you think a port tune of 17 Hz affects music), BUT, there is no reason to get a large ported cab at a higher cost to get more output for movies if the sub is for music only. Stick with sealed since they are smaller and cheaper than a ported equivalent. There will be little, if any, output difference above 40 Hz.

If you consider exceeding your budget, take a look at the SB2000 which will have a little bit more output at $699, or the PSA XS15se with a lot more output at $799.

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post #24 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 09:17 AM
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Jmath: Ported subs will be bigger and have more output at their tuning frequency. The smallest ported sub that SVS makes (not including their cylindrical designs) is the PB-1000. It's 15" W x 18.4" H x 18.4" D not counting the grille, and weighs 60 lbs. It's also within your $500 budget.

Matching room size vs. subwoofer size/type is a key element in bass enjoyment. Your room size falls into the medium size volume. If it is open to other rooms, it may fall into the large size volume. For music, the PB-1000 may be enough depending upon how loud you listen to music, what type of music, and what you really expect from a subwoofer. However, we are all different and we all listen at different levels and to different music. Most people here seek reference or near-reference levels and want to feel room pressurization. Most here will also recommend multiple subwoofers. The reason for multiples is solid. It allows for a more even bass response in a wider and deeper area within the room (your seating positions), and all rooms will have peaks and nulls (sometimes severe).

Sound difference. I have found that the comparable subwoofers I have auditioned (all sealed designs) sound similar with most types of music, however, I could easily judge which sub I preferred with certain pieces of music I listen to. Sealed vs Ported would, I assume, sound similar as well, but that doesn't mean you would automatically prefer sealed over ported. You may or may not -- each person is different.

Someone mentioned here (and I'm paraphrasing) that getting a sub isn't a means to an end, it's the beginning of a long journey.
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post #25 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Very informative comments dsrussell, bear123, and fatbottom. It's sounding like room size is a pretty important point, more important than sealed vs. ported. That means that the SB-1000 is out.

Update:
I was about to pull the trigger on the SB12-NSD at $629, but when I got to the checkout page, I saw that I live in a state where sales tax has to be collected! That would push the price to ~$673, which I just can't swing.

So now I think I will grab the PB-1000, and maybe trade up to the SB12-NSD if any cheaper scratched units turn up on the outlets page.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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post #26 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 03:06 PM
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So now I think I will grab the PB-1000, and maybe trade up to the SB12-NSD if any cheaper scratched units turn up on the outlets page.

The PB-1000 is a very good subwoofer, so I don't imagine you'll be disappointed. Enjoy your new toy!

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