In need of some advice regarding a new sub - AVS Forum
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Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers > In need of some advice regarding a new sub
Acaps's Avatar Acaps 06:02 PM 07-07-2014
Hi everyone, I am in the process of purchasing a new sub for my home. I am selling off a piece of gear that I no longer need (NAD M25 amp) and will use the funds to upgrade from my current sub which is a HSU VTF2 (10 years old). Here is some info on my current set up/room:

Room: a non-dedicated family room that opens to the kitchen. The family room is 24' by 23' with 10-15' high vaulted ceilings.
Gear: Marantz 7008 receiver, Oppo blue ray player, PS4, Paradigm Studio 100 V2 mains, CC570V2 center, 4 Paradigm in ceiling as surrounds.

I have the room wired for two subs, currently using the HSU which is positioned near a wall to the rear left of main seating position. My preference is one sub to replace my current one. The spot that I have available is somewhat out of main view and can accomidate a larger sub without getting the wife too fired up. If I go with a second, I don't think I can get away with two large sized subs as it will be much more exposed to plain view in the room - and much more $ i'm assuming.

My major problem is that I'd like a sub that produces quality bass that "hits you in the face" during action sequences. I am looking for a better expeience while watching movies at home - and new sub seems like a logical upgrade to help this happen.

My max budget is probably around $1500, although spending under a grand would be nice. Use is about 80% movies, 10% gaming, 10% music. I will be making a purchase this month, hopefully by next week.

I have done some reading - originally thinking the HSU VTF15 (got a great professional review) would be great. The more I read, I see some other players such as SVS, Rythmik, PSA to name a few, but I have no personal experience with these ID companies. DIY is probably out of question as my handiness has limits

Any advice you can provide would be great. Thanks

rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 06:25 PM 07-07-2014
Dual SVS PB-2000 is the minimum I would go for in that room. I believe HSU has the VTF-3 MK4 on sale so dual of those would do well too. If you can swing a little more, dual PSA XV15SE is a great option. If you can only fit one sub, I would probably look at the Rythmik FV15HP.
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 06:33 PM 07-07-2014
VTF15h is about the best you can do for a grand. I think the FV15HP is worth the extra expenditure though. The new company Reaction also has some really killer looking subs for around $1k.
fmalitz's Avatar fmalitz 06:40 PM 07-07-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acaps View Post
Hi everyone, I am in the process of purchasing a new sub for my home. I am selling off a piece of gear that I no longer need (NAD M25 amp) and will use the funds to upgrade from my current sub which is a HSU VTF2 (10 years old). Here is some info on my current set up/room:

Room: a non-dedicated family room that opens to the kitchen. The family room is 24' by 23' with 10-15' high vaulted ceilings.
Gear: Marantz 7008 receiver, Oppo blue ray player, PS4, Paradigm Studio 100 V2 mains, CC570V2 center, 4 Paradigm in ceiling as surrounds.

I have the room wired for two subs, currently using the HSU which is positioned near a wall to the rear left of main seating position. My preference is one sub to replace my current one. The spot that I have available is somewhat out of main view and can accomidate a larger sub without getting the wife too fired up. If I go with a second, I don't think I can get away with two large sized subs as it will be much more exposed to plain view in the room - and much more $ i'm assuming.

My major problem is that I'd like a sub that produces quality bass that "hits you in the face" during action sequences. I am looking for a better expeience while watching movies at home - and new sub seems like a logical upgrade to help this happen.

My max budget is probably around $1500, although spending under a grand would be nice. Use is about 80% movies, 10% gaming, 10% music. I will be making a purchase this month, hopefully by next week.

I have done some reading - originally thinking the HSU VTF15 (got a great professional review) would be great. The more I read, I see some other players such as SVS, Rythmik, PSA to name a few, but I have no personal experience with these ID companies. DIY is probably out of question as my handiness has limits

Any advice you can provide would be great. Thanks
The whole point of adding a second sub is uniform coverage--not more bass. Any good sub in your budget wil make plenty of bass for that size room. Adding a second woofer allows for lower levels in each woofer, meaning less distortion. The second woofer means wherever one sits, the bass is fine.
When you say you want a quality sub that will hit you in the face, you make me question whether your want want quality. The subs should be inaudible unless the material calls for big hits. Even then, the bass should appear to come from the satellites, not the woofer, if set up correctly. My 22cu ft sub kicks like a real cannon but it's mostly unnoticeable on most program material. Want lots of muddy bass? Use a higher x-over. This is like car audio guys who always favored quantity over quality! Only teasing a bit, but I have seen this many many times. Are you using the crossover in your processor? If so, defeat the woofer's lo-pass. You'll get much better bass;only use one crossover--not both.
Good luck,
Frank
Acaps's Avatar Acaps 06:40 PM 07-07-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post
Dual SVS PB-2000 is the minimum I would go for in that room. I believe HSU has the VTF-3 MK4 on sale so dual of those would do well too. If you can swing a little more, dual PSA XV15SE is a great option. If you can only fit one sub, I would probably look at the Rythmik FV15HP.
I have been thinking that doing one (HSU VTF15, PSA XV15SE, SVS), now then possibly adding a second somewhere down the line depending on their size (can't be too large). What are the thoughts of one Rythmik FV15HP versus two lesser priced subs, such as the SVS, HSU, or PSA options in the $600-$900 range? I am sure I can budget for the Rythmik if one FV15HP is far superrior to the sub $1K options and it delivers what I am looking for. I doubt that I have $ or the wife would allow me the space for a second FV15HP. Thanks
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell 06:55 PM 07-07-2014
Acaps: I'll have to disagree with fmalitz. The reality is, your family room volume is almost 7,000 cu. ft. That means your room is considered "Extreme" (anything over 5,000 cu.ft.), and that doesn't include the kitchen volume that is wide open to your family room. Your poor Hsu VTF2 has worked its heart out for you. I'd give it a badge of honor.

Yes, the Hsu VTF15 will be a big improvement over your VTF2 (check out data-bass.com). No doubt about it, but there is only so much a single sub can do for you. It would be the same situation for any subwoofer in that price range. A budget of $1500 now, and another $1500 when funds are available is probably required to give you the kind of bass that will "hit you in the face", unless you can place it near-field. The good thing is, you can buy one now to see how it fares, then save for a second one if you think it's not enough (and talk the wife into it … good luck there). A second sub not only helps smooth out room modes, it will give you from 3-6 dB greater output.

Other excellent ported subs that I'd consider in that price range would be:

Rythmik FV15HP (check out data-bass)
PSA XV15se (check out data-bass)
PSA XV30Fse (check out data-bass)
Reaction Audio PV 15x (newly released)
SVS PB12-Plus (since you specified SVS, but I'd look at the PB13-Ultra @ 2 grand ... again, check out data-bass)
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell 07:20 PM 07-07-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acaps View Post
I have been thinking that doing one (HSU VTF15, PSA XV15SE, SVS), now then possibly adding a second somewhere down the line depending on their size (can't be too large). What are the thoughts of one Rythmik FV15HP versus two lesser priced subs, such as the SVS, HSU, or PSA options in the $600-$900 range? I am sure I can budget for the Rythmik if one FV15HP is far superrior to the sub $1K options and it delivers what I am looking for. I doubt that I have $ or the wife would allow me the space for a second FV15HP. Thanks
The Rythmik FV15HP isn't exactly small . But it's one heck of a sub. There are several others I've mentioned above that I think you should be looking at as well.

It's difficult for me to say how one FV15HP would compare to two XV15se's (I don't own either), but I'd give a good nod to two PSAs over one Rythmik.
chalugadp's Avatar chalugadp 02:01 AM 07-08-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmalitz View Post
The whole point of adding a second sub is uniform coverage--not more bass. Any good sub in your budget wil make plenty of bass for that size room. Adding a second woofer allows for lower levels in each woofer, meaning less distortion. The second woofer means wherever one sits, the bass is fine.
When you say you want a quality sub that will hit you in the face, you make me question whether your want want quality. The subs should be inaudible unless the material calls for big hits. Even then, the bass should appear to come from the satellites, not the woofer, if set up correctly. My 22cu ft sub kicks like a real cannon but it's mostly unnoticeable on most program material. Want lots of muddy bass? Use a higher x-over. This is like car audio guys who always favored quantity over quality! Only teasing a bit, but I have seen this many many times. Are you using the crossover in your processor? If so, defeat the woofer's lo-pass. You'll get much better bass;only use one crossover--not both.
Good luck,
Frank
I couldn't disagree more with most of what you posted. 7000cuft is a huge room even if its not open to other areas. With your budget there isn't a commercial sub that's going to give you the bass( the op) your describing. Two or more sub's do even out room response and modes but if he wants to play reference level sound from 18-90hz one hsuvtf15 or PSA, or svs under 1500 isn't going to achieve it.

If your sub isn't noticeable except on cannon shots its not being used properly or you need to watch some action movies. Gun shots, helicopter and planes, explosions, etc.

If you want great bass at that price come to the dark side of diy subwoofers. Post a thread there and you will get all the help you need.
bear123's Avatar bear123 06:12 AM 07-08-2014
FV15HP. Start at the top or you will upgrade soon. Someday, if the itch for bass hits again, add another and you will never look back.
fmalitz's Avatar fmalitz 08:26 AM 07-08-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post
I couldn't disagree more with most of what you posted. 7000cuft is a huge room even if its not open to other areas. With your budget there isn't a commercial sub that's going to give you the bass( the op) your describing. Two or more sub's do even out room response and modes but if he wants to play reference level sound from 18-90hz one hsuvtf15 or PSA, or svs under 1500 isn't going to achieve it.

If your sub isn't noticeable except on cannon shots its not being used properly or you need to watch some action movies. Gun shots, helicopter and planes, explosions, etc.

If you want great bass at that price come to the dark side of diy subwoofers. Post a thread there and you will get all the help you need.
Thank you for your input. My listing area is 2800 sq ft. Not sure what the cu footage is and I don't care. With no subs at all, my large front towers will easily plumb the depths of cathedral organs or special effects. When I add a Sunfire True Sub, a Totem Storm (both compact but powerful subs) or my 22 cu ft BIG sub, I don't get much more bass--just more uniform. Then again, as you implied, maybe I'm not experiencing bass as it should be...in your opinion.

I think I know my stuff but maybe not as well as you. You be the judge. For the record, I am Frank Malitz. Google that name along with my stage name, Magic Frank (I'm a professional musician for 50 years) or The Gigologist. I've published over 30 articles on pro-sound. I've been in anechoic chambers and labs from McIntosh to even Bose to Canton in Germany, not to mention at AR, a/d/s/, Apogee, Advent, Klipsch, and too many others to name. I'm the founder of Onkyo USA and I virtually single-handed developed the Integra brand.

I've consulted for many companies and speakers were my specialty. I still rep many famous brands and I'm proud of my relationships. I meant no harm but here's what I've found through the years: the great majority of subwoofer users, car and home (I was the original chief judge for IASCA in the Chicago area and was the first to employ the original Audio Control 3050 RTA for analysis of car audio systems) love boom (sorry for the syntax; I do tend to run on). Very few love deep true accurate bass.

In any event, I cannot tell you the times I've found uneven coverage in listening rooms. Having repped Sunfire for 10 years (I was the original rep here) and M&K as well, I've spent a lot if time with subs. Let's take my opinion out and consider this advice: ignore forums because most are simply offering up opinions to validate their decisions! Listen and decide. Place the subs correctly using your ears or the reciprocity method. Listen and decide. I never played around much with subs below $1200. Most are capable of good performance in a room of that size. My original Earhquake 12 incher (or any 10" True Sub from the old Sunfire) wil shake my entire home. Get two. Be happy.

By the way, I'm one of maybe three depots worldwide that repairs, modifies and upgrades Sunfire products. Check the forums. Never had an unhappy client--ever. Listen and decide. Peace.
chalugadp's Avatar chalugadp 10:13 AM 07-08-2014
Sounds like you have had an amazing life Magic man but you are not helping the op much. Remember his criteria was for great bass that he feels in a large room for under 1500. Your Sunfire products are too pricey for that. You should come over to the diy threads. You would enjoy the subwoofer talk.

Did a little research on your sunfire sub. Here's some measurements from Home theater high fidelity

Maximum output, using a combination of 20 Hz, 31.5 Hz, and 50 Hz, was 110 dB. Putting the subwoofer in a corner would add a few more dB, bringing it in right about at the manufacturer specification of 116 dB.

In his large room you are not going to get the full 6db gain. He is 80% movies. Peaks at reference for movies are 115dbs. One 2000 dollar plus sub will struggle during todays bass scenes. If he wants to feel the shuttle takeoff in Enders game and have even room response then he needs two of the sunfires. Thats 4k.

For 1k he can have two diy subs that can hit 115dbs without breaking a sweat. The hsu, svs, psa, single subs would get demolished by the two diy subs. Now if his heart is set on commercial thats fine. Just realize that you are going to need more cash to achieve your desired result
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell 11:02 AM 07-08-2014
Frank: Impressive credentials, indeed! And welcome to the madhouse of AVS, where you should feel right at home. There are many audio professionals that post regularly to this website (I, not being one of them). Hopefully you'll remain a member and continue giving insight.

However a listening area of 2,800 sq. ft. (my entire home is 1,750 sq. ft.) would equal over 22,000 cu. ft (with 8-foot ceiling height), which is the size of a small theater. Then again, I'm not rich . So I will assume that you meant cu. ft. (that's width x length x height) and not sq. ft. The O.P. has a large room (over 7,000 cu. ft.) that is open to the kitchen area, so we could be talking a volume of 8,000 cu. ft. or more. As chalugadp and I indicated, that's a lot of volume to fill for any single subwoofer, especially in the O.P's price range. Theaters use many professional subwoofers and even the best theaters don't reach much below 25 Hz, if that. Theaters need output and not necessarily frequencies lower than 30 Hz. Any decent HT would put most commercial theaters to shame because they can plumb the depths (some down to single digits) with good output, simply because of a much smaller room volume. Put the best home theaters in the volume of a regular commercial theater and it's going to struggle big time. See the following article about subwoofers vs. room size: http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeak...ofer-room-size

All that being said, it depends upon what one wants from a music system or HT system. How loud is it played? Reference levels? Near reference levels? Or is the person satisfied with dB peaks in the mid to upper 80s, and perhaps on occasion the lower 90s dB (me for instance)? Any of the subwoofers mentioned will perform very well in a 2,800 cu. ft. area (a medium size room). But once one goes to a large room (3,000 - 5,000 cu. ft.) then we're talking about a fairly powerful sub or multiples to fill that volume. As I stated, "extreme" rooms are over 5,000 cu. ft. and simply require more "woofage". And if your room is actually 22,000 cu. ft. (I don't think Audioholics has a name for that size room) and you're getting output of 25 Hz and BELOW at around 100 to 105 dB in that cathedral, I want to know your secret!
Acaps's Avatar Acaps 08:06 PM 07-08-2014
I was able to sell my NAD amp this afternoon so I have the funds for my sub upgrade. The more I think about this, it really comes down to:

Purchase one larger sub that is at the top of my budget (thinking under $1700 - Rythmik?) and be done. I don't see the combination of the wife approving another larger box in our family room and an additional $1700 to spend on a second sub anytime in the near future

OR, I purchase a slightly smaller sub (PAS XV15se, Reaction, HSU, SVS) for under $1,000 and hope that it fulfills my needs/wants (impressive, quality bass mainly in HT….I know I have a very large room) - knowing that I can probably swing a second sub in the future.

Really has me thinking, does one larger, "better" sub outperform two smaller units? I'm running a Marantz 7008 so I can definitely do it. Do I just go max budget on one and hope to heck I'm satisfied?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell 08:34 PM 07-08-2014
Two good subs will usually outperform one great sub is the common consensus here, although not shared by all (what is?). PSA is running a summer promotion in that they will provide free shipping both ways for two of their subs ... the XS15se (sealed design) and the XV15se (ported design). This is for a 30-day trial period, so you can try it out. If it isn't the right sub for you, then you are out nothing (once they refund your money for the sub itself). SVS has this policy for all of their equipment and it's a 45-day trial period. Reaction Audio has free shipping to your home and a 30-day trial period. Hsu has no free shipping, but their subs are priced accordingly, and the trial period is 30 days. I think it's the same with Rythmik (no free shipping), but you should check. Both PSA and SVS have the best warranties (5 years unconditional).

So you could essentially try out a sub from SVS and PSA without risk. The only risk from Reaction Audio is the cost of shipping it back if you decide you don't like it.

In any case, you should contact each subwoofer maker and talk them personally.
sevenz's Avatar sevenz 07:29 AM 07-09-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
Acaps: I'll have to disagree with fmalitz. The reality is, your family room volume is almost 7,000 cu. ft. That means your room is considered "Extreme" (anything over 5,000 cu.ft.), and that doesn't include the kitchen volume that is wide open to your family room.

Other excellent ported subs that I'd consider in that price range would be:
Rythmik FV15HP (check out data-bass)
PSA XV15se (check out data-bass)
PSA XV30Fse (check out data-bass)
Reaction Audio PV 15x (newly released)
SVS PB12-Plus (since you specified SVS, but I'd look at the PB13-Ultra @ 2 grand ... again, check out data-bass)
+1 on the analysis that your room is HUGE..... Will recommend u to take the Rythmik FV15HP or maybe XS30SE or XV30SE.

U shld read up the reviews on FV15HP and its measurements on databass. Impressive. Im personally using Rythmik and i must say that its bass quality is really good for its price point.
JimWilson's Avatar JimWilson 07:14 PM 07-09-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acaps View Post
My major problem is that I'd like a sub that produces quality bass that "hits you in the face" during action sequences. I am looking for a better expeience while watching movies at home - and new sub seems like a logical upgrade to help this happen.

My max budget is probably around $1500, although spending under a grand would be nice. Use is about 80% movies, 10% gaming, 10% music. I will be making a purchase this month, hopefully by next week.
That is a problem indeed. Realistically, $1500 will not even get you close to bass able to 'hit you in the face' in a room the size of yours. It would require an awful lot of horsepower to do that I'm afraid, further complicated by the fact you only want a single unit. Something like an Orbit Shifter is what you need to accomplish such a feat.
Gmash's Avatar Gmash 09:10 PM 07-09-2014
Two of these for $1800 (with the discount for duals) should make a dent in that room and not be much of a compromise.

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/products/pv-15x
JT78681's Avatar JT78681 06:48 AM 07-10-2014
I think he can get some slam with one big sub if he has it nearfield. It can hold him over until he saves enough cash for a second one later on down the road. If he were to get an FV15HP I would run it in two port mode for the extra output until he gets two then he can switch to single port mode and take advantage of the extension it offers.
JT78681's Avatar JT78681 07:12 AM 07-10-2014
If you are looking to spend less though I would consider the PSA XV15se or HSU VTF-15H.
Acaps's Avatar Acaps 11:23 PM 07-10-2014
It sounds like if I'm willing to spend 1500ish, that the Rythmik is the way to go. I can definitely swing one of the Rythmik fV15hp's. Or buy something in the 800-1000 range knowing a second is on the horizon? Two Rythmiks may be a tough sell on the wifey
JimWilson's Avatar JimWilson 06:26 AM 07-11-2014
The FV15HP is a beast, and if you're getting a single subwoofer that's certainly a good one to get (other than the Orbit Shifter). If you can find placement options for two Gmash's suggestion merits consideration. Reaction Audio subwoofers seem to offer quite a bit of value, and those have the potential to provide significant output. A pair of them with $500 watt amps would be a few hundred over your budget though.
Acaps's Avatar Acaps 10:41 PM 07-11-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmash View Post
Two of these for $1800 (with the discount for duals) should make a dent in that room and not be much of a compromise.

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/products/pv-15x
I haven't heard any feedback on these subs yet - would the reactions be a better bet than two PSAXV15's or two hsu vtf15s?
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 11:21 PM 07-11-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acaps View Post
I haven't heard any feedback on these subs yet - would the reactions be a better bet than two PSAXV15's or two hsu vtf15s?
I'm a big fan of Hsu's subs, but that Reaction subs looks pretty hardcore. I'll be honest, if I had to choose from a VTF15h and the PV 15X, I think I would take a chance with the Reaction sub.
dsrussell's Avatar dsrussell 11:50 PM 07-11-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acaps View Post
I haven't heard any feedback on these subs yet - would the reactions be a better bet than two PSAXV15's or two hsu vtf15s?
Well, Reaction Audio is a new I.D. company, but feedback will be coming soon. Jeremy of Reaction Audio just sent a sub out to Josh Ricci, so I would expect a report at data-bass to be out in a few weeks. Jim Wilson will also be receiving some Reaction Audio equipment to review sometime next month.

A better bet? That is a couple of excellent subs to best, but since Jeremy is a musician, I'd expect them to be pretty darn good. But I'll wait until the report and review to make any judgment.
niccolo's Avatar niccolo 02:10 AM 07-12-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
I'm a big fan of Hsu's subs, but that Reaction subs looks pretty hardcore. I'll be honest, if I had to choose from a VTF15h and the PV 15X, I think I would take a chance with the Reaction sub.
I'm curious, beyond wanting a newbie to take a gamble on what seems like a potentially promising product, what's the basis for the performance assessment of the Reaction subs? It's not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely curious.
Gmash's Avatar Gmash 02:24 AM 07-12-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acaps View Post
I haven't heard any feedback on these subs yet - would the reactions be a better bet than two PSAXV15's or two hsu vtf15s?
As the others have said, they are a new product that will be tested by Data-Bass soon, but at least on paper they seem formidable. Compared to the Hsu they appear to have a higher quality driver, more powerful amp (also the option for a 1000 watt version at extra cost) plus a cabinet made in the USA. They seem like a good fit for that large space you have. Contact Jeremy at Reaction, I hear he's easy to talk to. Or ask some questions in the Reaction thread, he's usually pretty quick to respond.
Gmash's Avatar Gmash 02:36 AM 07-12-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
I'm curious, beyond wanting a newbie to take a gamble on what seems like a potentially promising product, what's the basis for the performance assessment of the Reaction subs? It's not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely curious.
You can predict somewhat by looking at the components used. I'll quote from a post by Jeremy, the owner of Reaction.


Quote:
We just sent one to Josh Ricci of Data-bass.com to receive a full
battery of CEA 2010 testing.
He probably won't get to it for a week or two, but we did speak on
the phone.
He seemed optimistic, based on the sheer displacement capability of
the driver (Over 2.75 inches peak to peak travel), the size of the
enclosure and the powerful 1000w amp. That should be enough to
put it in the top tier of commercial ported subs. The only variable I
see is that the Dayton, being a class AB amp may do better on long
term sweeps than on the burst. However, the Dayton did very well in
the CHT VS-18.1 tests with Paul Appolonio a few years back. And
that was being run at 500w into 8 ohms.
That being said, if it ranks well among the XV15, FV15 hp, PB-13U
and VTF-15 but doesn't come out with the best numbers of the
group, that is good company to be in as all are excellent subs and I
would be honored to just have it rank well among them.

FattyMcButterPants 06:39 PM 07-17-2014
Well I was in this same spot a few weeks ago, and your decision here really depends on what you value most. My research showed all companies (Rythmik, PSA, Reaction Audio) offer exceptional bang for the buck. So for me it came down to some other categories. I will state right now that I ended up with dual PSA xv15se's and may be biased in this regard.

Just based on specs I tend to think Reaction may be the highest bang for buck, but of course we don't have measurements so it's pure speculation on my part. I have also seen comments from customers that illustrate Reaction is still a new company, and going through some minor growing pains (long lead times and slow customer service response). If these things are not a problem for you, they very well might be the best value for ID subs. The owner does seem like a standup guy, and owners LOVE his products.

Rythmik's FV15hp might be the most highly thought of ID subwoofer on these forums (aside from JTR and Seaton). It's quality in the $1500 bracket remains un-surpassed and seems to hang with some of the $2000 subs (svs pb13 ultra). They are also well known for good service, and I have never heard a bad word about them. If you can stretch to this you will never regret it. Only problem is the price and size stretch your limits, and you could only get one.

PSA, imo obviously, provides the best customer service around. Just go chat with the owner Tom V on the website, you will quickly see what I mean. I value customer service, and for me, PSA represents the best hands down (even over my dealings with SVS). I kinda hate myself for sounding so biased right now, but I am impressed by PSA in every aspect, and now see why they developed such strong customer support in a short amount of time.

In summary, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these. PSA just suited me best, and I think factors like that are where the main differences lie.

Happy hunting!
niccolo's Avatar niccolo 06:52 PM 07-17-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by FattyMcButterPants View Post
Well I was in this same spot a few weeks ago, and your decision here really depends on what you value most. My research showed all companies (Rythmik, PSA, Reaction Audio) offer exceptional bang for the buck. So for me it came down to some other categories. I will state right now that I ended up with dual PSA xv15se's and may be biased in this regard.

Just based on specs I tend to think Reaction may be the highest bang for buck, but of course we don't have measurements so it's pure speculation on my part. I have also seen comments from customers that illustrate Reaction is still a new company, and going through some minor growing pains (long lead times and slow customer service response). If these things are not a problem for you, they very well might be the best value for ID subs. The owner does seem like a standup guy, and owners LOVE his products.

Rythmik's FV15hp might be the most highly thought of ID subwoofer on these forums (aside from JTR and Seaton). It's quality in the $1500 bracket remains un-surpassed and seems to hang with some of the $2000 subs (svs pb13 ultra). They are also well known for good service, and I have never heard a bad word about them. If you can stretch to this you will never regret it. Only problem is the price and size stretch your limits, and you could only get one.

PSA, imo obviously, provides the best customer service around. Just go chat with the owner Tom V on the website, you will quickly see what I mean. I value customer service, and for me, PSA represents the best hands down (even over my dealings with SVS). I kinda hate myself for sounding so biased right now, but I am impressed by PSA in every aspect, and now see why they developed such strong customer support in a short amount of time.

In summary, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these. PSA just suited me best, and I think factors like that are where the main differences lie.

Happy hunting!
That seems very fair and I imagine will be helpful to the OP. Any reason you didn't include Hsu and SVS on your shortlist?
FattyMcButterPants 07:51 PM 07-17-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
That seems very fair and I imagine will be helpful to the OP. Any reason you didn't include Hsu and SVS on your shortlist?
I actually did consider them, most post was getting long and I didn't wanna bore people to years, but now that you ask....

I actually pulled the trigger on a couple of close out special SVS pb12-nsd's earlier this year. I listened to them for about three weeks, decided I wanted more so I initiated the return process (top notch service btw, they really do take them back no questions asked). My 6k cu ft room was just too much for the nsd's. The next jump in their ported models is the 12+ line, which is pretty darn expensive. And a quick look at third party measurements shows svs doesn't stack up very well in regards to output for the dollar. They excel in a lot of other regards, just not there. In house measurements for PSA show the xv15se actually outperforming the svs plus line in many regards, for hundreds of dollars less, a much smaller foot print, and far less weight! I know some people will cry foul on this comparison, but third party measurements have matched their in house data within error for all instances I am aware of (original xv15, xs15se, and xv15se), so i feel it's somewhat valid to compare. Just seemed like more value to me, and I suspect Josh Ricci will confirm this in the coming months.

HSU is a little different story. Their VTF15 is a great product, and seems worthy of consideration no doubt. In fact I had been pretty set on it for my next upgrade as it is probably the most flexible product in the ~$1000 price range, but I just wouldn't make use of the features. Having owned an outlaw lfm1-ex for the past few years I've come to realize that plugging ports just isn't for me. Big room requires big output, and I need all the help I can get! In two port open mode the VTF15 and XV15se are pretty comparable, but the XV15se is $120 less or so, and quite a bit smaller. Again, the value seemed too good to pass up.

Overall the value on the xv15se seems pretty high to me, which drives nearly every decision I ever make (must be the engineer in me, it's annoying to be sure). I'm an outlier on this forum in that I could swing something like dual JTR Caps (or more), but I find more pleasure in value than I do in getting performance at all costs. Throw into that Tom V's EXCELLENT service across the board (he even came into the office on July 4th to troubleshoot an amp issue I had, and kept constant communication with me on his website chat throughout ), and I simply can't recommend a sub company higher than Tom's PSA company.

So there is my logic tree, for better or worse. I would not have regretted any of the other choices, all of these companies are flat out awesome in my dealings, and I would recommend all of them. What a great time to be a bass enthusiast!
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