Originally Posted by mthomas47
That was a good post. If you ever have time, I would still be very interested in your subjective impressions of the three different subs you tested. Since we both have ported Ultras to use as a baseline, I think that your subjective impressions would be particularly interesting. And some others on the thread might feel the same way.
Please allow me to use an automotive analogy. Let's take a Mustang GT, Corvette, and Viper. From an objective perspective, one will certainly have the most HP to weight ratio, another the fastest 1/4 mile time, another the highest top speed, and another the greatest acceleration. Things to also consider may be dealer support, resale value, etc. In any case, most would agree that these are all great cars. But which factors determine which one is right for you and the one you would purchase? Then there's the "subjective" side to contemplate. Which one is most visually appealing, which one has the greatest fun factor, which one is the most ergonomic, which one the most comfortable for everyday use, which one has the most pleasing exhaust note, etc.
Now back to subwoofers: It was early on that I realized I was not looking for the sub with necessarily the best numbers...i.e. the greatest output (loudest) or the greatest extension (lowest FR)...but rather the combination of factors that would deliver the effect/sound/aesthetics/performance that were important for me. This is the epiphany I referred to in my previous post. The choice becomes much easier/simpler when these factors are known from the onset. So for me, the Ultra was the sub of choice by a relatively small margin.
Objectively speaking, in my 4800 cf space, all the subs have more than adequate output and headroom to easily pressurize my room and satisfy "my listening levels"...typically -20 to 0dB...never beyond reference. In terms of extension, I don't have the desire to chase single digits. My happy zone is in the 15Hz-20Hz region +/- 3dB which these subs easily achieved in my room. Then there's the tactile response of mid-bass slam. Again, all the subs provided all the sensation I needed and wanted...particularly in my second row which is on a riser. At this point, I don't have a desire for a nearfield sub or tactile transducers. In summary, all the subs met my objective performance requirements equally in that all excelled and exceeded them.
This then led me to my subjective decision elements. My priorities were in no particular order...
The Ultras replaced PB-2000's and probably had an advantage. I really like the sound signature of the 2K's. With the same DNA/Pedigree, the Ultra just had more of what appealed to me with the 2K's.
Size and dimension ratio:
Based on my ideal placement and location options below my projection screen, the Ultras dimensions just happen to "fit" better physically and aesthetically.
Fit, Finish, and Visual Appeal:
Friends and family voted in favor of the Ultra. I agree and admittedly a fanboy of the metal grill.
My decision was based on establishing/understanding objectives going in...therefore, making the decision simple. In the end, for my case, the science balanced out (for my needs) and a couple of subjective items tipped the scale. Sorry...nothing really complex or revealing.