Subwoofer recommendations (~$300) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer recommendations (~$300)

So I hate doing this (making a thread that I'm sure has been beaten into the ground a million times) but I was hoping that I might get some new information and/or find out about sales that might be running now.

This sub will be paired with a Fluance ES-series surround sound system.

So far I've almost clicked order on the NXG BAS-500 and/or the OSD PS12, both of which seem to have received fairly solid reviews, but I haven't found any direct comparisons between the two and don't know what else is really out there at this moment. I did read through the <$300 subwoofer thread to get some more ideas but that thread was a bit overwhelming considering my very limited knowledge of the subject, plus it doesn't really help 100% since I have a somewhat flexible budget (I could go a bit over $300 if there's something worth the extra) and doesn't list out subs that may be in the $300 range due to a current/upcoming sale.

edit - I've also been eyeing the BIC PL-200 for $330 on amazon as a strong contender.

So what would you folks recommend? Go with one of the two noted above or something else entirely? I realize I could save up and get myself into the $500 range where quality really increases... but I'm not looking for an audiophile setup (not that a $500 sub would be audiophile grade anyway) - I just want something that would sound good, provide strong/clean bass, and not hurt the bank account too much.


Details:

Budget - $300, but this is a bit flexible.

Size requirements/limits - pretty flexible here as well. Size isn't too significant of a concern (No WAF to contend with )

Room dimensions - I'll get actual measurements tonight, but it's a fairly small room... probably in the range of 12x14 w/ maybe 7.5' ceilings. I wouldn't be opposed to spending a bit extra now for something that will fill a bit larger room as I hope to move into a new place with (hopefully) a larger living room in the next year or so.

Primary uses - probably 75% tv/video with 25% music? I don't currently use my living room setup for audio too often but as I get better equipment this might change.

Listening habits - Current living in an apartment so not too loud but as noted above I may be moving sooner than later so listening habits may change and volume may increase.

Appearance requirements - N/A, anything goes, once again no WAF to deal with.

Timeframe - would prefer to buy something sooner than later but I can wait...

Last edited by intel8052; 07-25-2014 at 10:48 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intel8052 View Post
Budget - $300, but this is a bit flexible.
Define "a bit".

The real subwoofers start around $500.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 06:03 PM
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 07:15 PM
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There's a really nice thread that has been stickied up top started by Jim Wilson that should answer your question. The search feature is your friend 😁

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post #5 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 12:40 AM
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Blown Away by Cadence CSX-12 MKII

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...k-ii-subwoofer

It feels a lot sturdier to the BIC and I'd imagine it's a bit louder and more accurate given the size difference and how well the cabinet is made. Myself and Sound & Vision agree that it's on par (in terms of blind testing, not to computerized frequency tests) with $1,000 subwoofers from well-respected brands. Of course, it isn't a REAL subwoofer because it doesn't go below 35hz, but the average human ear, in my experience, can't hear too much below that frequency anyways. I get plenty of tight, gut-punching, thrilling bass from my $200 (open box) subwoofer. It shakes the entire (big) house during explosions. You can still find it for around $250-300 shipped new on eBay.

If you have the money and are particular about the low end, go with the $500+ real subwoofers. If you don't mind some compromise to save $300+, get the Cadence.

Last edited by sk5987; 07-26-2014 at 01:20 AM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 08:03 AM
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my suggestion

I recommend the Infinity Primus PS410.


http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...cm_cr-mr-title


I am highly impressed with this subwoofer, and if you search the internet, you're going to find nearly nothing negative in it's reviews. You'll find my own review on amazon. I have this hooked up in my basement where I work out and listen to all kinds of music, and this is head and shoulders better than any other $300 sub I had before.


Not sure if you want to consider it a drawback (I don't), but you won't find this sub on Infinity's website, so they no longer produce them.

Last edited by quircky; 07-26-2014 at 08:09 AM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback all! Definitely very helpful and showed a few options that I had been neglecting so far (some of those just out of the $300 budget range that I would have missed since Jim's budget thread doesn't list those). Now I'm back to researching all over again



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Define "a bit".

The real subwoofers start around $500.
I know
"a bit" was originally intended to be $300+$50, or maybe $300+$100 if there was a sale going on... I mean, if I could pick up a real subwoofer on sale for $400 I'd very strongly consider it, but for not-so real woofers I'd like to keep it in the $300 range.

That being said I'm really starting to rethink my plans and may stretch the budget to the $500-$550 range (and just wait a few weeks before buying). I figure it will be a better long-term investment to do it that way rather than trying to be cheap now and spending more money in a couple years. I guess that begs the question - what ~$500-$550 woofers would you recommend if I decide to go that route? I haven't done any research in that price range yet so I'm completely at a loss where to start, haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmash View Post
Will have to look into it a bit more, looks pretty decent though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan611 View Post
There's a really nice thread that has been stickied up top started by Jim Wilson that should answer your question. The search feature is your friend
I did search quite a bit (avs forums and google). I mentioned that I did already read that thread by Jim and was hoping I'd be able to find a bit more guidance here (as opposed to just a list of subs) and was also hoping to find any current deals that might be available.. I'm assuming Jim doesn't update that every time a $300+ sub goes on sale in the $300 range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk5987 View Post
Blown Away by Cadence CSX-12 MKII

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...k-ii-subwoofer

[snip]

If you have the money and are particular about the low end, go with the $500+ real subwoofers. If you don't mind some compromise to save $300+, get the Cadence.
Thanks, will definitely be checking it out. If the cadence is $400 and I could get a 'real' subwoofer for $500-$550 I might go with a real one... but if it's a $400 vs $700 decision I'd probably go with the cheaper option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quircky View Post
I recommend the Infinity Primus PS410.


http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...cm_cr-mr-title

[snip].
Definitely not a drawback that it's not manufactured anymore (as long as any warranties would still be honored but Infinity should something fail) but I'll have to look into that one a bit as well.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 09:55 AM
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The Cadence won't run you more than $300 shipped on eBay for a new one.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk5987 View Post
The Cadence won't run you more than $300 shipped on eBay for a new one.
I'm always a bit leery of buying equipment like this on Ebay, but then again the only retailer on amazon is "car audio dealers" so probably not much better than buying from a similar named retailer on ebay. One thing I did notice though is that all the ebay ads note a 1-year warranty while the amazon ad notes a 2-year warranty.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 11:50 AM
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I agree with what Alan said. IMO the quality of sub that you get at around $500 is well worth the extra cash, even if you have to wait a little longer and save up. I would look the SVS PB1000 ($500) or HSU VTF-2 MK4 ($560) or for $460 the HSU VTF-1 MK2.

A lot of people here (including me) have spent much more money upgrading to better subs because they tried to save a little cash in the beginning only to find they wanted or needed more sub. Like I said earlier, if you can't stretch the budget now I would suggest waiting and saving, it's worth it (IMHO).

Also consider that SVS has free shipping and a 45 day trial period so it might be worth ordering one and seeing if it's what you have in mind when you think bass.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post
I agree with what Alan said. IMO the quality of sub that you get at around $500 is well worth the extra cash, even if you have to wait a little longer and save up. I would look the SVS PB1000 ($500) or HSU VTF-2 MK4 ($560) or for $460 the HSU VTF-1 MK2.
The Hsu Variable Tuning Frequency (VTF) models offer owners the choice of emphasizing either deeper bass (extension) or louder upper ranges (headroom). Hsu claims all subwoofer designs must trade one for the other. Taken from their web site for the VTF-1 MK2, least expensive model in their VTF line:
Quote:
Harnessing the unique Variable Tuning Frequency port technology (VTF), each port uses the air generated from the long throw woofer to dramatically boost the deeper frequencies. Both ports have enormous flares to virtually eliminate port noise and distortion.

The reason for variable tuning is that all subwoofer designs, especially consumer-level subwoofers, involve tradeoffs in design. You cannot have a small subwoofer that goes very low, plays very loud and costs very little. Traditionally, the engineer decides what tradeoff he or she thinks is best for the consumer. The consumer has to take it or leave it.
More information at http://hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-1mk2.html for your consideration. So many products from so many venders eager to get our attention! Choosing components can be a long process to analyze and discuss with others. It's a journey. Enjoy the ride.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 08:33 PM
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If you're moving up to $500 look at the Reaction 212.

http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/...ered-subwoofer

If course at $600 you get to the Hsu VTF-2.4, and the Rythmik LV-12R.

But then for $800...$1000

You get the point. Decide on your budget and stick to it. There are some good options at each level.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-26-2014, 11:03 PM
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I would recommend posting a new thread with your new budget ($500-$550), you'll get a lot of great recommendations!
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-28-2014, 08:00 AM
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In terms of sheer bass output. My $500 Option is the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus on sale right now for $499 shipped.

For $600 I like the Outlaw LFM-1 EX on sale right now for $599 shipped.

Both of the outlaw are can be tuned similar to the HSU VTF-'s Their design is similar to older generations of VTF's I believe.

LFM-1 Plus direct competitor is the HSU VTF-2 and the LFM-1 EX competes with the HSU VTF-3
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-28-2014, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intel8052 View Post
I'm always a bit leery of buying equipment like this on Ebay, but then again the only retailer on amazon is "car audio dealers" so probably not much better than buying from a similar named retailer on ebay. One thing I did notice though is that all the ebay ads note a 1-year warranty while the amazon ad notes a 2-year warranty.
Most of the sellers are audio equipment dealers with good reputations who just happen to sell on eBay as well. I don't know about buying used speakers from individuals on there, but buying new equipment from big dealers who offer a good return policy (on top of eBay's decent return policy if the item is not as described) is a good choice, IMO.
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