Subwoofer Choice/Placement help needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-01-2014, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer Choice/Placement help needed

Hey everyone,

I've been lurking here for quite a while and trying to find a good thread that pertains to my particular issue, but I have been unsuccessful. My question pertains to the sound quality and placement of subwoofers in my great room (which will be doubling as a movie room for the time being until I can finish one in my basement). This is a new construction home, so I do not have the ability yet to be able to test my configurations or see how much bass I get in the room. I'm concerned with how much bass I might potentially lose due to the open floor plan and no wall exsiting behind my main listening position and my couch.

The layout of my room is attached below:

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You will see the approximate locations of my speakers relative to my fireplace, couch, and tv in the attached image. My setup currently consists of the following:

Denon 4520ci receiver
2x Polk RTiA7
1x Polk CSiA6
4x Polk 80F/x RT (ceiling speakers)
(subwoofer or subwoofers(2x) undetermined at this time)

My great room is 15x19(x9' ceilings) and the room opens up another 20-22 feet behind the main listening position (couch) into a breakfast area, kitchen, and sunroom. Will I lose all of my bass into those areas due to there being no planned wall behind the couch? Will I basically need 2 subwoofers to be able to get a decent enough bass response/sound in the main listening position? Is my proposed positioning of the subwoofers good? Will I lose the effect of the lower range of frequencies (80-200) from my RTI A7s?

I would likely be in a 1 subwoofer situation for a short time while I save for an additional sub. I'm also open for subwoofer recommendations. Fortunately since the 4520 has the SubEQ HT, it should make adding an additional sub (if necessary) a bit easier.

Any help in making me feel better about my open-concept new home would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks! Ryan
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-01-2014, 11:56 PM
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I have a very similar floor plan as you do with the TV in the same place but my L shaped couch facing the tv and the longer part running down the left wall and couch although I dont have a side sunroom off the dining room area

I am ordering a HSU VTF 15H (15" woofer) in rosenut finish tomorrow after hem hawing around about whether a VTF-3 MK4 (12" woofer) would be enough to fill my movie watching needs in approximately 4800 cu ft of continuous space of 3 rooms living room, dining room and kitchen back to back with the dining room about five feet being right behind the couch

I sent my ideas for speaker placement to Dr Hsu who recommended the 15" HSU VTF-15H and that I place it in the left corner of room (facing TV) to the left of a large 10" HT console and side towers that the 65" Panasonic is set in.

I have been using a Pioneer Elite SVX 70 AV receiver with 2 Martin Logon Motion 40s on each corner of the console and a Martin Logan Motion 30 Center Channel. Too much sheetrock and joists going the wrong way issues to run up above behind the couch back speakers so I have no real plans to add the rear speakers and have finally decided which sub to buy. Ive had the setup since December but its time to add one sub for now.

They are big MOFOs about 18' wide, 27" long and 26" tall but it will fit in either corner or actually in several other places (unless wife freaks out whens she sees how big they are). Anyway after seeing the recent Thor movie and being blown away by the bass she ok'd the sub... I've convinced her to think of it as an end table or night stand with sound. lol. I hope the rosenut finish reasonably matches the Black Cherry Martin Logans I have.

Im actually quite pumped because at 59 years old this is the first individual sub Ive ever owned. Looking forward to watching Batman Returns, War of the Worlds, Avatar and many others and hoping the entire 2 story 25 year old home does not shake rattle and roll when watching movies in the downstairs living room/tv room.

Good luck
Carl in Houston
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post
I have a very similar floor plan as you do with the TV in the same place but my L shaped couch facing the tv and the longer part running down the left wall and couch although I dont have

I am ordering a HSU VTF 15H (15" woofer) in rosenut finish tomorrow after hem hawing about whether a VTF-3 MK4 (12" woofer) would be enough to fill my movie watching needs in approximately 4800 cu ft of continuous space of 3 rooms living room, dining room and kitchen back to back with the dining room about five feet being right behind the couch

I sent my ideas for speaker placement to Dr Hsu who recommended the 15" and that I place it in the left corner of room (facing TV) to the left of a large 10" HT console and side towers that the 65" Panasonic is set in.

I have been using a Pioneer Elite SVX 70 AV receiver with 2 Martin Logon Motion 40s on each corner of the console and a Martin Logan Motion 30 Center Channel. Too much sheetrock and joists going the wrong way issues to run up above behind the couch back speakers so I have no real plans to add the rear speakers and have finally decided which sub to buy. Ive had the setup since December but its time to add one sub for now.

They are big MOFOs about 18' wide, 27" long and 26" tall but it will fit in either corner or actually in several other places (unless wife freaks out whens she sees how big they are). Anyway after seeing the recent Thor movie and being blown away by the bass she ok'd the sub... I've convinced her to think of it as an end table or night stand with sound. lol. I hope the rosenut finish reasonably matches the Black Cherry Martin Logans I have.

Im actually quite pumped because at 59 years old this is the first individual sub Ive ever owned. Looking forward to watching Batman Returns, War of the Worlds, Avatar and many others and hoping the entire 2 story 25 year old home does not shake rattle and roll when watching movies in the downstairs living room/tv room.

Good luck
Carl in Houston
Thank you for your post! Your layout definitely looks quite similar. If you don't mind, and remember, I would be curious to see how that recommendation works out for you! Good luck with the 15!
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 03:54 PM
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That's at least 5000-6000 cubic feet of space to fill with bass.

I have about 4800 cu. ft. and have 4 PSA XS15s...they're still not quite enough (for me, probably would be enough for most though).

You definitely should go with ported subs...as big and as many as you can afford!

I'd start with dual XV15ses from Power Sound Audio and see where that got me.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
That's at least 5000-6000 cubic feet of space to fill with bass.

I have about 4800 cu. ft. and have 4 PSA XS15s...they're still not quite enough (for me, probably would be enough for most though).

You definitely should go with ported subs...as big and as many as you can afford!

I'd start with dual XV15ses from Power Sound Audio and see where that got me.
Yikes!! I appreciate the feedback - any thoughts on my proposed locations? Mostly the one behind the couch.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 04:04 PM
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With a room like that, it's hard (read:impossible) to say until you get them in the room. Your proposed locations may work out great....or, not so great.

Corner loading (placing the subs in corners) is a good way to gain some output and extension via room gain. Stacking 2 in the one corner might be the way to go. Spreading the subs out usually gives smoother response over a wider seating area, but....like I said, hard to say until you get 'em in the room and do a
.

What's your budget for subs? What are your expectations and listening habits?
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 04:09 PM
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Without the sunroom, it looking like around 5,000 cf ... with the sunroom maybe 7,000 cf. Is the main area open to the sunroom?

My SVS PC12+ has no problem providing the low frequencies for my living room and dining room, which total 4,000 cf.
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If there's no door to close off the sunroom, you may need a second sub, although I would guess that a single SVS PB or PC 13Ultra behind the couch there, might suffice.

SVS would be happy to send you any of there subs for a no obligation 45 day audition ... I'd try one of those ported Ultras in that location behind the couch - it's sort of in the mid-point of the three areas - and go from there. If you're not happy with the sub, they'll refund your money and they'll pay for the return shipping as well.

MartinLogan Motion 40s / 30 / LX16s
Marantz SR5007 / UD5007
Emotiva XPA-3
SVS PC13ultra

exercise room: MartinLogan LX16s / Dynamo700
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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
With a room like that, it's hard (read:impossible) to say until you get them in the room. Your proposed locations may work out great....or, not so great.

Corner loading (placing the subs in corners) is a good way to gain some output and extension via room gain. Stacking 2 in the one corner might be the way to go. Spreading the subs out usually gives smoother response over a wider seating area, but....like I said, hard to say until you get 'em in the room and do a sub crawl.

What's your budget for subs? What are your expectations and listening habits?
My listening habits are probably around 60-70% tv/movies, 30-40% music. I plan on running speakers to other locations on the first floor as well for music listening, or in some cases having the sound available for football games, etc.. so if the lower frequencies carry a bit (since I know they will), that does not bother me in situations where I'm entertaining people. I'd really like to have a decent punch at lower frequencies for movies, etc. I like to feel the bass a bit.

Budget is another story. I initally planned on spending less than $1000, but now I'm almost just stretching the budget slightly and considering going with something like a SVS PB-12 ($1400) and then getting a second one down the road if I see the need and have the budget.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude04 View Post
Yikes!! I appreciate the feedback - any thoughts on my proposed locations? Mostly the one behind the couch.
Yes definitely behind the couch would be a great place to begin ... kind of in the middle of everything. That's more or less how mine is and it's working out nicely.
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MartinLogan Motion 40s / 30 / LX16s
Marantz SR5007 / UD5007
Emotiva XPA-3
SVS PC13ultra

exercise room: MartinLogan LX16s / Dynamo700
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TomC1315 View Post
Without the sunroom, it looking like around 5,000 cf ... with the sunroom maybe 7,000 cf. Is the main area open to the sunroom?

My SVS PC12+ has no problem providing the low frequencies for my living room and dining room, which total 4,000 cf.
Attachment 145873

If there's no door to close off the sunroom, you may need a second sub, although I would guess that a single SVS PB or PC 13Ultra behind the couch there, might suffice.

SVS would be happy to send you any of there subs for a no obligation 45 day audition ... I'd try one of those ported Ultras in that location behind the couch - it's sort of in the mid-point of the three areas - and go from there. If you're not happy with the sub, they'll refund your money and they'll pay for the return shipping as well.
Just going off base measurements I think I'm finding the following, and yes, the sunroom and everything is pretty much open:

Great Room: ~2600cu/ft
Kitchenette/Breakfast: ~1300
Kitchen: ~1350
Sunroom: ~1750

Total: ~6900-7000... WOAH.

So this almost guarantees me needing 2 subs..
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude04 View Post

Budget is another story. I initally planned on spending less than $1000, but now I'm almost just stretching the budget slightly and considering going with something like a SVS PB-12 ($1400) and then getting a second one down the road if I see the need and have the budget.
Excellent strategy :-)

MartinLogan Motion 40s / 30 / LX16s
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-02-2014, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomC1315 View Post
Without the sunroom, it looking like around 5,000 cf ... with the sunroom maybe 7,000 cf. Is the main area open to the sunroom?

My SVS PC12+ has no problem providing the low frequencies for my living room and dining room, which total 4,000 cf.
Attachment 145873
For the OP, everyone's idea of how much bass is enough differs, and for some it differs a lot.
I have a PC12+ AND a Def Tech SC8000 in 1650^3ft, sealed off and I run out of headroom in movies with a lot of 20hz and below content. For me to be fairly well satisfied I would need at least another PC12+.

To be completely satisfied I think I would need a pair of PC13 Ultras or Rythmik FV15HP. Perhaps a pair of HSU VTF15 or PSA XV15SEs would do it as well.

So, get as much subwoofer as you can the first time and then add more later.

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Well I just off the phone and ordered the VTF 15 H from HSU in rosenut finish . It should be here next Wednesday. Will let you know how it goes. I'm a newbie to the subwoofer world as this is the first one I have ever purchased and Dr. Hsu and his staff have been very helpful in analyzing my situation and answering all my questions. Im sure I will have more when the VTF 15 arrives.

Any specific cables you guys would recommend?. They said a shielded RCA would work fine and even suggested Monoprice but I would think I could get what I need at Radio Shack or Best Buy which is a mile from my house.

Now I am going to break the news to the wife. Lol.

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Yes definitely behind the couch would be a great place to begin ... kind of in the middle of everything. That's more or less how mine is and it's working out nicely.
Attachment 145881

Attachment 145889
Curious if the wood base and add on there or does the SVS PC13 come like that?

I'm considering ordering and SVS Ultra PC13 and then compare it to the HSU VTF 15H that is coming in on Wed July 9th and then decide. May not be a fair comparison in that the SVS is a much more expensive sub as the HS cost 1142 including 143 shipping.


Does the SVS come with the rosewood looking base that somewhat resembles thee Martin Logan Motion 40 Speakers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post
Curious if the wood base and add on there or does the SVS PC13 come like that?

I'm considering ordering and SVS Ultra PC13 and then compare it to the HSU VTF 15H that is coming in on Wed July 9th and then decide. May not be a fair comparison in that the SVS is a much more expensive sub as the HS cost 1142 including 143 shipping.


Does the SVS come with the rosewood looking base that somewhat resembles thee Martin Logan Motion 40 Speakers
The rosewood colored platform you see is a DIY project of mine. I found these round pieces of wood @ Home Depot ... they measure just under 18" in diameter and are plain wood. I stained mine to match my dark cherry speakers and painted my son's black to match his. I'm not sure if Home Depot still sells them or not ... they are available on Amazon ("Snavely Internatl ZPRLR0118 Edge Glue Pine Round") for about $15.

The stain I found matches the ML dark cherry quite well (Varathane wood stain - "Cabernet" finish).

I inserted 4 cone shaped spikes into the bottom of the platform for a good grip and maybe a little isolation effect, and screwed a 14" diameter piece of carpet onto the top for the sub to rest upon and turn easily for accessing the amp display in back.
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I am very happy with how it turned out ... a nice little addition to a fantastic sub.

MartinLogan Motion 40s / 30 / LX16s
Marantz SR5007 / UD5007
Emotiva XPA-3
SVS PC13ultra

exercise room: MartinLogan LX16s / Dynamo700

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post #16 of 19 Old 07-08-2014, 10:17 PM
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Well the HSU VTF 15H is supposed to be here tomorrow.

Any suggestion about subwoofer cables?
Is Audioquest subwoofer cable a waste of money?

I believe the sub come with rubber feet. Since I have a hardwood floor that the sub will be placed on in the corner is there any reason to set the 4 sub feet on carpet slider like you put on the bottom of a couch or heavy furniture to make it easier to turn around to get to the controls in back or will that make the 100 pound sub move when it vibrates? Any suggestion here?

Ive heard of some people drilling holes in a heavy marble slab they got from Home Depot and use the carpet pegs that come with some speakers that are normally used on carpet floors and just make the 4 hole big enough so that the 4 will fit snugly into them. It something like a Plith?? That misspelled I am sure. Is there any reason to do this with a heavy sub (100 lbs) on wood laminate floors?
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A standard single RCA cable will work just fine. The feet that come with the Hsu will work fine on laminate flooring. If you want to add furniture sliders underneath as well (the type for wood), I see no problem in this. That 100 lb. beast won't go anywhere, but with sliders it's easy to move when needed. I have carpet sliders under my SVS (because it's on carpet) and wood sliders under my PSA (because it's on wood). Makes cleaning easy.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude04 View Post
My listening habits are probably around 60-70% tv/movies, 30-40% music. I plan on running speakers to other locations on the first floor as well for music listening, or in some cases having the sound available for football games, etc.. so if the lower frequencies carry a bit (since I know they will), that does not bother me in situations where I'm entertaining people. I'd really like to have a decent punch at lower frequencies for movies, etc. I like to feel the bass a bit.

Budget is another story. I initally planned on spending less than $1000, but now I'm almost just stretching the budget slightly and considering going with something like a SVS PB-12 ($1400) and then getting a second one down the road if I see the need and have the budget.
+1 for VTF15. Or even the ULS15. Great subs.

Another sub u shld explore is Rythmik FV15HP.
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