Sub advice needed: Seaton, SVS, PSA, Rythmik for 3800 cu ft dedicated theater space - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Sub advice needed: Seaton, SVS, PSA, Rythmik for 3800 cu ft dedicated theater space

I have moved into a new house – with a dedicated custom theater space in the basement. I think everything sounds great right now – although my existing sub (an Elemental Designs A3-350) now has a dead amp – but I am getting it repaired. But this has prompted me to decide it is time to upgrade my sub channel to bring on par with the rest of my system, and my beautiful new space.

I have done a lot of research and read a lot of threads, so I am not coming in without background. But I would love to hear from some of the really knowledgeable members on this forum (and some of the vendors as well).

In an attempt to be as thorough and efficient as possible, let me setup the background.

Space: I have a dedicated home theater room that is windowless, dark and relatively tightly sealed. It is 19’ wide x 23’ long x 8’8” high. The screen wall is on the front wide wall. 15’ back from the screen wall is a 16” platform for the second row (platform is 8’ x 19’ x 16”). The platform is solidly constructed and filled with insulation, and does not resonate (at least I can’t hear it). I calculate it to be roughly 3785 cu ft of space. 3572 cu ft if you back out the space the platform takes up (I don’t know if you are supposed to do that or not).

As I thought about it during construction, I believed that the natural place for subwoofers would be along the back wall on either side of the rear row (I took pictures of the areas). So there are two coax connects (that terminate in RCA’s in the media closet) in the two back corners. The room is not sound proof – but it is resistant to sound transference. The ceiling is hung on an Auralex RC-8 channel system, all the drywall is 5/8” thick, double-layered with green glue, recessed cans have backer boxes, wall boxes have putty pads, ceiling and walls are insulated with mineral wool, door is solid core with an acoustic seal threshold. Supply and return to the HVAC system using acoustic ducting, and I have not heard any sound transfer through the HVAC. For the most part – only a small amount of sound (mostly mild hums from the bass unit) transfers to the room directly above – which is the formal living room (which no one is typically in). The room is carpeted with thick carpet and premium 10lbs pad. It is otherwise not yet acoustically treated – but I plan to do so with some DIY treatments. The left rear corner (when facing the screen), foundational corner of the house (the left wall and rear wall are foundation walls). The right wall is shared with the media closet, and the mechanical/storage room. Front wall is half foundation, and half shared with the rec room. I have attached pictures of the space for reference (and showing the two back corner areas for the subs).

Equipment:
Speakers: B&W Nautilus 803 (R+L), B&W CDM-CNT (Center), Definitive Technologies BPX (surrounds), Definitive Technologies BP2X (rear surrounds)
Amp: Sherbourn PA 7-350 (350w RMS x 7 channels)
Sound Processer: Onkyo TX-NR805 (using pre-amp outs). I currently use the Audyssey MutiEQ XT and cross all speakers at 80hz.
Bass Management: Velodyne SMS-1 (this is a “new to me” addition to the system). I bought it to help manage and integrate multiple and mismatched subs (at least until I upgrade my processor to something with Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 and SubEQ).
Projector System: Sony VPL-HW55ES, VAPEX 120” fixed frame 1.1 gain screen.
Video Processors: DVDO Edge Green, and Darbee Darblet
Sources: DirecTV HD DVR HR-21, PS3 (blu-ray player and media streamer), PS4, Xbox 360, Toshiba HD-DVD (yes … I still have one).
Subwoofer (current): Elemental Designs A3-350. Original eD driver replaced with Infinity Reference 1260 12” 4 ohm single voice coil driver (nice sound improvement). Powered with 300 watt class D amp. Enclosure is ugly – but nicely built and braced. If you need a reminder on the specs see here: 18" W x 20" H x 20" D – port is 4” diameter.

Budget:
Open within reason. The cost of single Seaton Submersive HP+ is the top end. But I love getting good value, and I am happy to spend less.

Plan: Given room setup, I would like to add one nice sub to a rear corner, and pair it with the A3-350 (placing it in the other rear corner). Later, I would add a second twin upgraded sub and either sell the A3-350 (I don’t think it will fetch much), or move it to the front and perhaps use wireless connectivity to feed it signal.

Viewing/Listening Habits: I am 40% TV, gaming and sports (think well shot event TV presentations … Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, etc.); 40% Blu Ray and HD DVD movies and concerts; and 20% music (mostly classic rock on high quality downloads, SACD and CD).

I have found after calibrating the system, using the current equipment, that most of my TV watching is at -20 to -15 db on the Onkyo’s volume knob. For movies -15db to -12db seems like it is plenty loud. Music -20 to -17 again seems plenty loud. Summary – I don’t listen at anywhere near reference levels for anything but a “hey check this out” demo of the system. NOTE: I assume because of the power of the Sherbourn amp and efficiency of the speakers, Audyssey cuts all the channels by between -8 db and -10 db, and also cuts the LFE channel by -11db. I dial up the LFE channel by +4 db to add a bit more bass back into the mix.

I put a premium on tight, quality bass, versus absolute SPL or "chest slap". Although the later is not a bad thing.

Constraints: I don’t want something crazy radical looking (i.e., a giant upright wall of 18” or 15” woofers). I could potentially be talked into an SVS cylinder solution, and I understand their pluses – but it seems like it would look weird to have a something that looks like a carpeted water heater in the room (I am sure it would sound great though). I am fine with relatively regular looking black box (it doesn’t have to be a fancy finish – and black is preferred). One thing causing me pause on an SVS PB-13 Ultra is just how friggin’ heavy that thing is – and how hard it will be to get it into position.

Candidates:
  1. Seaton Submersive HP+ -- amazing word of mouth, and I really like the idea of being able to add a slave unit later at a relatively low cost (provides a lot of value). This is a “I buy this and never think subwoofers a again” type of purchase – which has its own sort of value. But given my relatively quiet listening habits (compared to other AVS'ers) is this overkill?
  2. SVS PB13-Ultra – I think one of these, plus the eD would be all the base I would ever need. Hate the idea of how heavy and unwieldy it is. But it may be the best solution.
  3. SVS PC13-Ultra – solves the heavy and unwieldy problem above. But replaces it with a “that kinda looks strange” problem
  4. SVS SB13-Ultra – Buy one now, and a future twin later. I LOVE the form factor and it gets great reviews, but will the in room extension be enough.
  5. Power Sound Audio – XS30se. I love the value proposition here, and the how similar the design is to the Seaton. But will it be enough in terms of extension? I suppose I could always just do two (for less than one Seaton). I also really like that the owner answers the phone and works directly with you.
  6. Rythmik – great reviews and word of mouth – but I have not really explored.
  7. Funk – I have taken them off the list as I think I would just go Seaton if I decide to spend this level of money
One concern I have having been burned by Elemental Designs untimely death. I don’t want to be stranded with a worthless warranty and no support. But I think the above companies are all very stable, so it is less of a concern.

Sorry for the lack of brevity -- but I wanted to be thorough. Thank you in advance for all your assistance.
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Last edited by Skrill; 06-30-2014 at 11:46 AM.
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post #2 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 11:41 AM
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^^ Wow! You've really done your homework! That is a great list to choose from. Most people would be thrilled with any and all on that list, even the Funk you took off your list.

That being said, I'll list my preferences from those you are considering:

1. SubMersive (sealed) -- how could anyone possibly go wrong here?
2. FV15HP (ported) -- simply impressive all the way around (see data-bass.com).
3. PB13-Ultra (ported) -- terrific output at 25 Hz and below (see data-bass.com).
4. XS30se (sealed) -- sometimes referred to as a poor man's SubMersive, but there is absolutely nothing poor about it (I own the XS30 and am thrilled to have it).
5. SB13-Ultra (sealed) -- An amazing sub for its size (I own this one too and am a huge fan of its capabilities), but for your room and listening habits, the above subs will provide more output.

Really, there are no wrong answers here. These are all top rung subs.
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post #3 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 11:49 AM
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I agree with dsrussell. However, for the price of a Submersive I'd take a pair of FV15HP's in that size room any day of the week over it. I have duals in an open 5000 cu ft living room and the bass is punishing. Don't forget about JTR Caps as well.
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post #4 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for this advice. I have not yet contacted Rythmik -- but I plan to do so (esspecialy after your high praise -- and Rythmik recommendations that I have received through PM).

I am really not trying to stir a flame pot -- so please excuse the question if it ruffles feathers. One concern I have is the bad taste that I got with ID in dealing with the now defunct Elemental Designs. I am a bit concerned with Rythmik as I don't have much background on their corporate history or customer support. I am also a bit wary of their amp warranty (only 2 yrs). My amp has gone bad on me twice with my eD -- and both times it was after the short warranty period. I like that SVS is as old and solid as the day is long -- and has its long 5-yr warranty on the amp. PSA has the same warranty, and Seaton at least warrants the everything for 3 years.

Can someone give me some background on Rythmik?

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Last edited by Skrill; 06-30-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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post #5 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:17 PM
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I personally have seen no issues with amps from Rythmik. Or perhaps so few that I don't even recall. And they have been around long enough for this issue to come up if it was going to imo.

As far as SVS being a solid company is legitimate as far as warranty/stability.

The PB13 Ultra has absolutely incredible 16-30 Hz output, and does so with VERY low distortion. Having said that, if two are not in the budget, you will be served much better with dual subs.

You can't go wrong with:

Dual FV15HP...most bang for the buck
Seaton Submersive.....only go this route if you see yourself adding another, otherwise the FV15's will be much stronger imo.
PB13 Ultra...only go this route if you see yourself adding another...same as above
JTR Captivator....one would likely be similar to or better than dual FV15's but duals provide smoother bass...if you end up with two of these, don't forget to install seat belts.
Dual XV30..another option to consider.

AVR:       Yamaha RXV-375

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Sub:       (2) PSA XV15se

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post #6 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:19 PM
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^^ no issue on my Rythmik amp after almost 2 yrs.
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post #7 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:29 PM
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I've had 4 different Rythmik subs and have yet to experience any issues with the amplifiers. I recall one issue a while back and Brian was quick to identify the problem and ship that customer a replacement amp right away. I've been a frequent lurker on the Rythmik thread for some time now and have witnessed nothing but positive outcomes from customers. I'm trying not to be biased here just honest.
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post #8 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrill View Post
Thank you both for this advice. I have not yet contacted Rythmik -- but I plan to do so (esspecialy after your high praise -- and Rythmik recommendations that I have received through PM).

I am really not trying to stir a flame pot -- so please excuse the question if it ruffles feathers. One concern I have is the bad taste that I got with ID in dealing with the now defunct Elemental Designs. I am a bit concerned with Rythmik as I don't have much background on their corporate history or customer support. I am also a bit wary of their amp warranty (only 2 yrs). My amp has gone bad on me twice with my eD -- and both times it was after the short warranty period. I like that SVS is as old and solid as the day is long -- and has its long 5-yr warranty on the amp. PSA has the same warranty, and Seaton at least warrants the everything for 3 years.

Can someone give me some background on Rythmik?
These are good questions, Skrill. I'm not sure how long Rythmik has been around, but I think over 10 years. PSA is a relatively new company, but Tom Vodhanel was the "V" in SVS and has been designing great subs for a long time. I have no doubt they will be here for as long as Tom wants to remain in business. No, the Rythmik warranty isn't the best (SVS and PSA gets a big pat on the back here, they have the best warranty in the business … it takes away a lot of worry in buying from an I.D. company). Any and all companies will have amps that belly up. It's how a company handles this kind of problem that's the key. All those listed have great reputations in customer service.
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post #9 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:52 PM
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I've had my Rythmik F12 and F15 powered (on) 24/7 for the past 5+yrs without a hiccup. If I were to have a problem, I expect Brian to handle the issue promptly and by all accounts, that has been the case.
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post #10 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:57 PM
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The force is strong with Rythmik. Lot's of solid options mentioned here. Good luck with your decision.
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post #11 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Dual XV30..another option to consider.
The FV15hp edges the xv30se performance based on databass numbers for less plus I do not think the xv30 is attractive. Buy it right the first time, get the dual passive JTR Captivators and an external Behringer iNuke 6000 amp.
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post #12 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvuong View Post
The FV15hp edges the xv30se performance based on databass numbers for less plus I do not think the xv30 is attractive. Buy it right the first time, get the dual passive JTR Captivators and an external Behringer iNuke 6000 amp.
+1 dual passive Captivators and an iNuke. Biggest bang for the buck right there.
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post #13 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 03:56 PM
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I second the votes for dual Caps, but keep in mind this setup is going to run him about $3,700 not even including shipping for the Caps. Dual Rythmiks will run you roughly $2,700 shipped and provide gobs of output and extension down to 12hz in his room. I'm all for doing it right the first time and I have had to learn the hard way. However, he stated that he values his dollar and if he can spend less and be content he's all for it. We aren't talking about a small difference here in price between the Caps and FV15HPs'. It's $1000 not even including shipping for the Caps.
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post #14 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 04:08 PM
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^^^With that said would I have dual caps if I could afford it? Hell yeah!
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post #15 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 04:37 PM
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To whom it may concern : Since the O.P. took care in researching top-of-the-line subs and the sub makers, I'm sure he may have considered the outstanding JTR Caps and Orbit Shifters (just as he did the highly respected Funk Audio subs). But the Caps were not on his list. Not only that, the O.P. doesn't listen at reference levels and if a "heavy and unwieldy" sub such as the PB13-Ultra is a concern, what would he think of the Caps? I'm sure we could mention several other subs as well, such as the Hsu VTF-15H, PSA Triax or D.I.Y. builds, but what is the point? The O.P. made a list of A-plus subs he is considering and why. I suspect that list was cut down from a longer list, and he's looking for input from those that have these subs or have auditioned them.
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post #16 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 05:03 PM
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I think you can go with Dual F15HP, sealed version of the FV15HP.

Your "40% Blu Ray and HD DVD movies and concerts; and 20% music (mostly classic rock on high quality downloads, SACD and CD). " will thank you for it

I have the F15 (non HP version) in 1300 room and I have yet to max out its capabilities
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post #17 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvuong View Post
The FV15hp edges the xv30se performance based on databass numbers for less plus I do not think the xv30 is attractive. Buy it right the first time, get the dual passive JTR Captivators and an external Behringer iNuke 6000 amp.
The FV15hp has a advantage from 22-48hz, the XV30 has the advantage from 50-125hz on max burst output.

The XV30 fairs better in the component thd test and has much less compression and long term power. Not to mention it was capable of a 120db sweep, where the FV15HP was not pushed further then a 115db sweep during compression testing.

I do agree with the last part of your post about the JTR Captivator is the best option.
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post #18 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 05:45 PM
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The XV30 has its fair share of compression, I wouldn't go so far as to say it performs better than the FV15HP in that respect. One thing to remember is that the FV15HP was tested in a configuration (a configuration which it would not normally be operated in) where it has an upper roll off at 80 Hz. Of course, that does not stop PSA from using those numbers on their website, again deliberately misrepresenting competitors' performance, a customary practice for them. When you factor that in, plus the fact that the XV30 has zero features and is hideously ugly, it is plainly not a serious competitor against the FV15HP.
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post #19 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
The XV30 has its fair share of compression, I wouldn't go so far as to say it performs better than the FV15HP in that respect. One thing to remember is that the FV15HP was tested in a configuration (a configuration which it would not normally be operated in) where it has an upper roll off at 80 Hz. Of course, that does not stop PSA from using those numbers on their website, again deliberately misrepresenting competitors' performance, a customary practice for them. When you factor that in, plus the fact that the XV30 has zero features and is hideously ugly, it is plainly not a serious competitor against the FV15HP.
Comparing 115db vs 115db the XV30 has much less compression, better long term power, and less thd. It is definitely not as attractive and has less amp features(most of those features can be had with a 100.00 mini dsp anyway). PSA uses the data that is available....the FV15 max burst testing had to of been tested via LFE in or the numbers would of rolled off past 80hz. So it looks like it was tested both ways during different tests. You are just mad that PSA stepped up the Power X line and they are producing some solid results.

Edit*

I also find it funny you call the XV "hideous" but yet you recomend a JTR sub with no mention of its look and both standard finishes are similar. Lol

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post #20 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 06:53 PM
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Does THD or the "small" difference between these subwoofers even matter considering that you would rarely be in the 115 db range ?
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post #21 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 07:47 PM
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Does THD or the "small" difference between these subwoofers even matter considering that you would rarely be in the 115 db range ?
No, but I am just pointing out that the FV15HP is not a higher performing sub which was mentioned a few posts back. The XV30SE was capable of a 120db sweep, mentioned by Ricci as "in the company of the highest performing commercial subs tested". Both subs are solid at their price points and will have enough clean headroom for most. I am a fan of both as I have mentioned several times in the past.
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post #22 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 07:54 PM
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A lot of people on here get hung up on max output numbers. I get it that it's a solid indication of how you might be able to determine how a subwoofer will perform. Should it be the deciding factor in what subwoofer you purchase? No, but that's just me. Multiple people on here are recommending dual Caps. Why? Because they have the most output, but cost significantly more than what the OP really needs in his size room. Sure, they have a huge advantage in output, but can they dig as deep as the Rythmik's do and do so cleanly? I have my reservations about that, but I will keep those to myself. I'm not an expert, nor do I claim to be. I understand the logic in getting the biggest subwoofer one's budget will allow, but in this particular situation in this size room is it necessary to go dual Caps? No! I happen to own dual FV15HP's, so I am trying my best not to be biased, but they are on the OP's radar. In my opinion they offer the most bang for the buck based on the OP's listening habits and room size.
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post #23 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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All ... thank you again for all your advice. Thank you dsrussell ... I am indeed not really interested in Caps + outboard pro audio amps or a similar solution. Nor am I interested in XV30's (too big) or Seaton FPs (same reason). I want a certain elegance to the solution (think ... heard and not seen). And I don't have a wood shop or the time for DIY -- so that is out as well.

From what I can deduce -- there is a lot of fanfair around the Rythmik FV15HPs -- and they fit the bill for all of the qualities I am look for (tight bass, adequate output, understated presence). I will speak to Rythmik -- but I am concerned as to the amp warranty (when the other higher-end subs I am considering all have longer warranties).

For those with PB13-Ultras -- how tough are they to get moved into position?

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post #24 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Comparing 115db vs 115db the XV30 has much less compression, better long term power, and less thd. It is definitely not as attractive and has less amp features(most of those features can be had with a 100.00 mini dsp anyway). PSA uses the data that is available....the FV15 max burst testing had to of been tested via LFE in or the numbers would of rolled off past 80hz. So it looks like it was tested both ways during different tests. You are just mad that PSA stepped up the Power X line and they are producing some solid results.

Edit*

I also find it funny you call the XV "hideous" but yet you recomend a JTR sub with no mention of its look and both standard finishes are similar. Lol
You are right about the burst testing of LFE, the Rythmik does not seem to roll off. As for the features, you are wrong, you do not get the kind of features the Rythmik has with a MiniDSP, except for the parametric EQ. And to effectively employ the features of the MiniDSP, you would need to get it with a umik mic, and a MiniDSP + mic is $200. Features on the Rythmik you can not get with a miniDSP: high level inputs, XLR inputs, a plethora of extension settings, variable tuning, and of course, a feedback correction system. You are not quite right about THD, in fact I might give the Rythmik an edge there. You are not correct about long term output either, and Data-bass.com makes it very easy to compare them in that respect. As for compression characteristics, again, you aren't looking at the results closely; the XV30 never touches 120 dB in the maximum long term sweep. It just barely touches 120 in burst output tests. It no more warrants a 120 dB long term output sweep than the FV15HP.

As for the aesthetics of the JTR sub, I can overlook that due to the performance of the beast, which will be on another level from the Rythmik or PSA sub.
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post #25 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
You are right about the burst testing of LFE, the Rythmik does not seem to roll off. As for the features, you are wrong, you do not get the kind of features the Rythmik has with a MiniDSP, except for the parametric EQ. And to effectively employ the features of the MiniDSP, you would need to get it with a umik mic, and a MiniDSP + mic is $200. Features on the Rythmik you can not get with a miniDSP: high level inputs, XLR inputs, a plethora of extension settings, variable tuning, and of course, a feedback correction system. You are not quite right about THD, in fact I might give the Rythmik an edge there. You are not correct about long term output either, and Data-bass.com makes it very easy to compare them in that respect. As for compression characteristics, again, you aren't looking at the results closely; the XV30 never touches 120 dB in the maximum long term sweep. It just barely touches 120 in burst output tests. It no more warrants a 120 dB long term output sweep than the FV15HP.

As for the aesthetics of the JTR sub, I can overlook that due to the performance of the beast, which will be on another level from the Rythmik or PSA sub.
Please post the graphs and comparison charts and explain your findings in greater detail. Also I did not say you get ALL of the features of the hypex amp with a mini dsp and throwing the mic into the equation is moot. Rew and a mc imo is a must for any setup.

PS I will be patiently waiting for you to back up your claims.

From what I see in 2 port the FV15HP is full compressed during the 115db sweep around 20hz. Meaning it is no longer increasing output. The XV30 is still increasing output everywhere in the FR during the 115db sweep which is why a 120db sweep was performed. Even during the 120db sweep the XV30 is showing a increase in output everywhere in the FR except the 22-30hz range. So yes the XV is the clear winner.

Now comparing component thd.

The FV15hp in 2port is pegging 40% 3rd order thd on the 115db sweep by 24hz.

The XV30 is only showing 20% 3rd order thd during the 115db sweep by 24hz. On the 120db sweep thd is below 12% from 30hz on up, that is solid performance imo.



Looks like it just touches 120db ltp around 100hz?

And lol @ your comment about being able to look past the JTR subs asthetics due to its performance capability. Shows your true colors and some...stay classy my friend.
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post #26 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Skrill View Post
All ... thank you again for all your advice. Thank you dsrussell ... I am indeed not really interested in Caps + outboard pro audio amps or a similar solution. Nor am I interested in XV30's (too big) or Seaton FPs (same reason). I want a certain elegance to the solution (think ... heard and not seen). And I don't have a wood shop or the time for DIY -- so that is out as well.

From what I can deduce -- there is a lot of fanfair around the Rythmik FV15HPs -- and they fit the bill for all of the qualities I am look for (tight bass, adequate output, understated presence). I will speak to Rythmik -- but I am concerned as to the amp warranty (when the other higher-end subs I am considering all have longer warranties).

For those with PB13-Ultras -- how tough are they to get moved into position?

CT
Hi Skrill. I'm sorry that this thread has turned into yet another anti-PSA campaign by a well known anti-PSA poster, then followed with charts by PSA defenders. Sadly, it's a far too common occurrence.

I will give you a few comments on the subs I own and know very well, and some I researched but haven't heard:

SVS SB13-Ultra: It's the smallest subwoofer by far in the group listed. It is a 17.5-inch cube with a perforated metal grille that arches out another 3 inches. Some people like this grille (such as me), but others don't. It sports a 13-1/2 inch driver that is massive. The driver for the PB13-Ultra is the same 13-1/2 inch diameter, but a bit more massive and a bit longer. I think JL Audio and SVS are the only companies that use a massive 13-1/2 inch driver. I got my SB13 in piano black, which I really like. It gives a real sense of elegance to the subwoofer. Performance wise, it is outstanding for music, and that's in a 3,500 cu. ft. area that's rather open. And that's exactly how I use it (for music only). I've tested it for movies and found it to be a surprisingly good performer and is a bit more detailed than my XS30, but it doesn't have the slam and wall shaking capability of the XS30.

PSA XS30: While this is a fairly large subwoofer, it packs a lot of wallop in its 23.5" W x 22.5" H x 18" D cabinet. I found this sealed design to be quite a powerhouse in my 3,400 cu. ft. area, and that area is fairly open as well. It hits very hard. It shakes the walls, floors, seats and myself (and it sits on a wood floor over a concrete slab). It's a 15-inch dual opposing driver design, which means there is almost no vibration from the cabinet. In a small subwoofer shootout, the attendees had one of these and it drew some rave reviews, even from a Seaton SubMersive owner. The newer model, the XS30se uses a better driver than mine (although I'd hardly call mine shabby), so the newest models will perform even better, especially for music (I consider mine as a solid, but not exceptional, performer for music). I chose the standard black sand-textured finished and I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did. One can choose different wood finishes for an up-charge.

Rythmik F15HP: Although I haven't auditioned this sub, I've read nothing but great things about it. In one of the major subwoofer shootouts it had a dozen attendees sitting up and taking notice. No, it couldn't outperform the Seaton or JTR, but it impressed a lot of bass-heads.

Seaton SubMersive: Again, I've never auditioned this sub. Obviously it's the king of the hill in sealed design. As you already know, nothing but superlative praise from anyone who has ever heard it, and thats for music and movies. It's the sub all others (sealed or ported) are judged by.

SVS PB13-Ultra: Once again, I've never heard it, but from everything I've read and from people who own this beast, it will do nothing but impress.

None of these subwoofers are light (the small SB13 weighs 92 lbs.), but that's what furniture sliders are for (they have them for carpets and wood or tile floors), and they make handling these beasts pretty easy. I have the SVS on carpet sliders and the PSA on wood sliders. And whichever subwoofer you end up choosing from your list, you can be assured that it will an excellent performer.
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post #27 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 11:22 PM
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What you have missed from those measurements is for their top sweeps, both subs were throttled to their max output. Just because Ricci attempted to run a 120 dB sweep for the XV30 sweep for the XV30 doesn't mean it could actually accomplish that. In fact it did not, and topped out at 119.466 from what I can see. Keep in mind, the long term output sweeps are what is used for both the compression measurements and THD measurements. So when talking about the maximum performance here, we can disregard the uppermost 'sweep level' between these two since they are both so close.

Look closely at the THD charts for both subs, they both go over 40% at about 24 Hz. Now look at the compression charts for both subs; at 24 Hz the FV15HP actually has slightly more output then the XV30 at this point, but starts rolling off around this point. Here the XV30 is skyrocketing with THD but still offers output, even though that output is all distortion. Whats worse is the XV30's max output plateaus just a bit around 20 Hz and just below, however just above 20 Hz, fifth order harmonic distortion really starts to take off.

The take away from this is when both subs are pushed below 24 Hz, they both start getting into some fairly severe harmonic distortion, but the Rythmik's advantage is its output reduces as distortion rises much more so than the XV30. The XV30 doesn't get any louder, but does get a lot dirtier at the deepest frequencies of its reproduction. If you absolutely need me to say something nice about PSA, its performance isn't bad, especially for the price, however it simply is not as good as the FV15HP, and PSA's claims of superior performance on their website is revealed as garbage by anyone who knows how to read those measurements.

I'm not going to post any charts because to illustrate these points, you would have to overlay their respective compression sweep charts and THD sweep charts, and I don't have the tools to do that presently. Maybe someone else can.

The PB13 Ultra is much cleaner than either. If I were after the best deep bass performance, it would actually be the best choice.
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post #28 of 88 Old 06-30-2014, 11:46 PM
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One more thing, I didn't really address your comments about their compression differences. Let's examine the compression differences briefly: the FV15HP exhibits some compression from 30 Hz to 15 Hz at the uppermost 5 dB of its output. The XV30 starts losing its shape before that point, compare the 110 dB sweep to the 115 dB sweep. The 120 dB sweep is mostly just upper bass output and is fairly non-linear at that point. If Ricci had posted a compression magnitude chart for the XV30 it would be more clear, but it can be seen in the sweeps. The XV30's basic shape is mostly flat from 30 hz and above, with only a small rise. However, at the last two sweeps, it does deform, with upper bass output eventually doubling from the basic response, and 25 to 50 Hz getting squeezed out entirely. At maximum output sweeps, the overall shape of the response of the Rythmik is much less affected by compression than the XV30, and it can only be said to outperform the XV30 in this respect.
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post #29 of 88 Old 07-01-2014, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Skrill View Post
For those with PB13-Ultras -- how tough are they to get moved into position?
Hi Skrill,

Once the PB13 is in room, it's not so bad to move it around; I managed it by myself a few times testing out different locations just walking it the old fashioned way; furniture sliders as mentioned above would presumably make it much easier. In terms of carrying it around, it's obviously a two person job, but not too bad. The only caveat is getting it up a flight of stairs, which sucks. I sold my PB13 a couple months back, and getting it back out of my basement was an agonizing process.

As a side note, I do live in your neck of the woods and own a Funk 18.0SE; I know it's not on your list any longer, but a demo could be arranged if you're interested in getting a taste of what a top shelf sealed sub can do.
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post #30 of 88 Old 07-01-2014, 05:49 AM
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You can not fairly compare the FV15 115db sweep vs the XV30 120db sweep. Again the XV30 was still increasing output across the entire FR on the 115db compression sweep so a 120db sweep was performed. Yes it only hit 119.4db(wow how terrible ), which is several db more then the FV15. Starting to loose its shape and being fully compressed in a certain FR is a big difference.

Also I like how you use the 120db sweep to compare thd but yet is not a 120capable sub? Again it is not a apples to apple comparison to compare thd @ 120db for one sub vs 115db on another. That simply shows your unwillingness to accept that the PSA sub is a solid performer.

What you are doing is resorting back to your typical anti- PSA tactics. Pretty lame in my book.

I find it funny no matter how well any PSA product performs, you will simply resort to your usual strawman debates to belittle any PSA product. So there is no point in ever having another discussion with you. Bickering over the internet and derailing thread after thread has become long in the tooth and past the point of old.
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