POLL - Help me pick subs please! - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which sub combo do you recommend for me?
3 Rythmik DIY FV15HP (12 Hz Port mode use) - $2300 (+wood) 1 5.26%
2 LMS 5400 18" Sub enclosures w/ a single SpeakerPower Plate Amp - $3200 (+wood) 14 73.68%
Submersive HP+ Master/Slave Subwoofer Pair - $3900 3 15.79%
2 JTR Cap S1 Subs - $4600 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2013, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for some subs for my living room (1800 cu ft), which is open to the kitchen in the back. Since this is for the living/movie room, I want them to blend into the room so my location options are 2 up front flanking the TV (front firing only so not Submersive HP+(nor F2)) and subs in up to 3 end table positions, which I do plan to sub crawl to find best positions. I posted briefly asking for advice (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/newestpost/1481418) and it was primarily recommended to go with SI18 or Dayton18HO. However, after researching the subs, I don't have enough room for lots of lesser subs and would like to maximize the quality output with fewer subs. My focus is on solid, near 10 Hz high-quality output near reference level for 95% home theater. As an aside, my next upgrade will likely be the JTR Noesis speakers so I do want some subs that will be able to keep up.

So with all of the options out there, these are the ones I keep coming back to and have added these to the poll. I have considered others but doubt I would deviate from one of these 4, not even for DO SI18 or Dayton 18HO.
  • 3 of the Rythmik FV15HP (DIY versions) built as down-firing end tables with port towards wall. Obviously this is the value leader of this poll and should sound great. And based on data-bass.com, this sub should be able to hit low and loud in 1-port mode. This is for my living room and so I doubt I would be playing too loud but I worry that the Rythmiks won't have enough horsepower. Then again, I don't think I'm a bass head like some on here with 8 and 16 subs...at least I hope I'm not.
  • 2 LMS 5400 18" subs with a single SpeakerPower plate amp (SP1-4000) that I would use to drive both subs, even though the subs would be separated in different locations within the room depending on what sounds best given placement limitations. I could see myself adding another LMS 5400 and plate amp down the road if needed but I hope I'm not that much of a bass head. Regarding other amp choices, I've looked and I know I could save money with a pro amp but I'm willing to pay for quality and I like that these are quiet and I wouldn't have to deal with the always-on pro amp situation.
  • Seaton Submersive HP+ master/slave subs - This is the sub that got me started down this path when I came to AVS researching a new sub. This would likely be more than I would need for my room (well, all of these options really) but I would rather 2 than 1 to even out room acoustics.
  • 2 JTR Cap S1 subs - These are beasts for theater and have a small enclosure for their capabilities so I would definitely have some flexibility in placement. Most expensive option here but also one of the least intrusive on the room due to size.

I'm leaning towards the Rythmiks or LMS subs. The Rythmiks would be nice and would save me money. However, if they don't absolutely blow me away, I might have that thought in the back of my head that I should have gone with the LMS 5400s; which is sort of where I'm at. Funny thing is, the Rythmiks might also be overkill for me but so few people post about them that I don't know, so I have doubt. If I didn't have my doubts, I would have already bought the Rythmiks and wouldn't have this poll.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope you've taken part in the poll.

David
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:43 AM
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if you want a big performing 18, but want to save some money, the uxl might be worth taking a look at: http://www.istonline.ca/mach5_uxl_18.html

otherwise, go for the dual ultras.

I think you can solve the "always on" amp problem with a 12v triggered relay for $20 such as this one: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_176719_-1

that would open the door to using pro amps, which as you know are where the value is. inuke with dsp, cerwin vega, value leaders, but require a $20 fan mod.

or, the crown xls2500 could be used. it looks pretty good (at least to my eye) and the fans apparently never come on except in extreme cases and even then, they aren't that bad. $535 plus free shipping on amazon right now. one bridged to each sub would give you quite a bit of power.

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I was a little surprised to see that result even if it wasn't statistically meaningful. smile.gif Well, I think the saying "resistance is futile" applies as I too have been broken down and will apparently be going with several dual-opposed SI 18 subwoofers powered by a SpeakerPower amp. Originally I was against the Dayton and SI because a single one didn't seem to have the low teen output that the LMS5400 and even Rythmik FV15HP. For anyone else looking in the future, here is why I changed my mind:

  • When I originally started looking for a new sub (single mind you), the Submersive was one of the primary subs compared in all posts and get togethers, at least on the non-DIY forums. It was said to have great sound, single digit output, and beautiful build quality. Well after reading that a DO SI18 subwoofer was comparable to the Submersive in output and sound quality, I started to take notice.
  • It was pretty clear from my reading that multiple lesser subs was better than a single powerful sub to even out how the sub interacted with the room's acoustics.
  • I gravitated towards the Rythmik subs because they were universally reviewed as having great sound quality. My only question was would even 3 Rythmik subs have the output I wanted when some people have 8 and 16 subwoofers on this forum (granted that those people are nuts smile.gif). Also, further reading showed that some didn't like the more analytical/dry sound of the Rythmiks although the different damping factors on the servo amps should allow that to be tailored somewhat. What finally put the Rythmiks out of contention for me was some posts (http://www.avsforum.com/t/1466880/dual-rythmik-fv15hp-s-upgrade-to-diy/0_100) about people going from Rythmiks to the DIY subs and liking the sound quality and especially enhanced output.
  • So then I was really leaning toward a pair of LMS 5400 subs (would have added a third later) as I wanted solid low teen output and sound quality without having 8 subs in my living room. Then I read that some with 2 of the LMS 5400 weren't really satisfied with the sound and instead of going for 4, they decided to switch to DIY 18s...and were happy with the output and sound quality.
  • Finally, I read through the SI 18 thread and ran across people that had sold Submersives or JTR or LMS 5400s and went with the SI 18s although they went with more subs than the previous systems. All seemed happy with the output level, depth of output, and my primary concern, sound quality...calling the sound a little more heavy than the drier Rythmik (as one put it). Several others said they likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference if a blind test was done between a DO SI18 and a Submersive.

So those are the reasons that I finally decided to go with 3 dual opposed boxes as end tables in my living room. I should be purchasing in the next month or two and plan to go with a SpeakerPower SP2-8000, which is a beefy rack mount amp that will have more than enough to power all 3 DO boxes and enough left over if I want to add 2 more subs later. I decided on the SpeakerPower amp as it is powerful, quiet, made in the USA, made for subs, and has a standby (30w) feature. For those that aren't familiar, SpeakerPower also powers the Submersive and JTR subwoofers among others.

Thanks again for the feedback LTD!

David
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:36 AM
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Sounds like you've thought this through smile.gif lol

Will look forward to the build pics! wink.gifbiggrin.gif
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:51 AM
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I was one of the offenders who was not satisfied with 2 LMS Ultra's and made a switch to multiple drivers of different brands. A friend of mine wound up doing quad LMS Ultra's and the difference between a pair he started with and the Quads was huge. I get more output and slam out of my multi driver system but admittedly the quad LMS Ultra's take the prize for SQ. Another friend of ours has dual Submersive HP's and recently added a pair of dual opposed Dayton RS18's and his system is sick. He has finally lost the itch to upgrade to LMS Ultra's but he feels the Quad LMS is still the SQ champ.

The SI 18's are excellent subs, I have 4 my-self. For shear bass output for movies they are hard to beat but to say they equal the SQ of a driver that is considered one of the best is stretching it a bit wink.gif

If I had to do it over again I would have kept my LMS Ultra's and just added another pair for Quads, I have never heard better bass than that.

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Old 08-24-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Well when I made my last post it was 3 votes for the Submersive and 1 for the pair of LMS 5400s. Now it is 8 for the LMS 5400 and still 3 votes for the Submersive. Interesting.

Thanks for the feedback MJaudio. So what if I were only able to fit 3 easily and a 4th may or may not be an option? Would you still recommend 3 LMS 5400 (down firing end tables) over 3 dual opposed SI18 subs (6 total) for sound quality and output (order of importance for me)? Since I'd be using the same amp (SpeakerPower SP2-8000) the cost difference would be $1362 shipped for the SI18s vs $2777 for the LMS 5400s. For as long as I plan to have them, I'm okay with the difference although adding a fourth would start to get crazy on the price difference. But isn't crazy what this forum is about? smile.gif
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:18 PM
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Really it depends on the room, some rooms 2 or 3 LMS Ultra's will be insane but if you have a huge room with not a lot of gain then 6 SI 18's might be more satisfying. From a pure SQ standpoint the LMS Ultra is a no brainer, one of the lowest distortion subs ever made. That doesn't mean the SI is no good, I really like them and from a budget and SPL standpoint using more does lower the overall distortion if the sub system.

As an example I have 4 SI 18's along with 8 dual opposed 12's and 8 dual opposed 10's for a total of 20 sealed drivers in my room. I can beat the hell out of the room and it sounds outstanding but if my system is a butchers knife my friends quad LMS Ultra is a surgeon's scalpel but that surgeon has Hercules like arms. Neither my system or our other friends system with the dual SubM's and quad Dayton RS18's can match the accuracy and detail of the quad LMS Ultra's, that's what the extra money goes for, not SPL or ULF's.

The room I had my LMS Ultra pair was about 4000 cuft and had 2 big open hallways to the rest of the house. A pair was almost good enough, good enough for 95% of the people out there but I wanted just a little bit more. I am thinking a 3rd might have just been enough in the room but I know quads would have been the end all and my upgradeitus would have been over.

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Old 08-24-2013, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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3 sounds like it would probably be enough for my not so large room (14x16x8) and open in back to larger room. More room details including a picture (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/newestpost/1481418).

You made the point that the dual opposed had more slam than the LMS5400, can you speak to that? And is this something EQ could address as I have a MiniDSP? Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:13 PM
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You ave a pretty good size room because you have to factor in the kitchen with the 11ft opening. All rooms are different though and placement is very important.

As far as having more slam it doesn't have anything to do with dual opposed, it has everything to do with driving 20 sub drivers. It also help that my room is on the second floor so the room bounces like a trampoline compared to my buds Quad LMS which are on a concrete slab. The LMS does have an advantage in a dual opposed configuration though, it will significantly help keep the enclosure stable. The LMS requires a heavy box just to keep it from moving around, the force a high excursion sub weighing over 80lbs is really something.

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Old 08-24-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Gotcha, I didn't realize you were comparing to your 20 various-sized subs. smile.gif Any slam difference when comparing your friend's quad LMS setup with your other friend's dual Submersives and DO Daytons?

Well, now I'll consider 3 of the LMS-5400 as down-firing end tables. And I'm sure my boxes will weigh way too much because I over-engineer **** and will be putting a concrete or granite top on the end table.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:49 PM
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My friend with the dual SubM's and Dayton's made an interesting point, he said his system measures exactly the same as the quad LMS using a Omnimic but it doesn't sound the same. His system sounds insanely good an now that he added the pair of dual opposed Daytons his upgrade bug has subsided but there still is a tonal difference. He now knows that measurements don't tell the whole story, the LMS Ultra is just the best sounding driver out of all the subs we have.

One thing about a ultra low distortion driver like the LMS Ultra is it doesn't sound as loud as it measures. Distortion adds volume so the lower the distortion the more you want to turn it up if that makes sense.

I am playing with some Aura 1808 motors with the TC tops which are close to the TC Pro 5100. These subs sound great but I will probably eventually go back to the LMS Ultra's once I don't want to upgrade anymore. The only subs I would probably consider over the LMS Ultra is the RE XXX 18 in an IB. I had a XXX 18 and that sub hits lower than anything including the LMS but needs a ton of power. I don't recommend the XXX 18 for your application though as the box needs to be huge, that is why IB i an excellent application for it. You should check out Japandaves IB using the XXX, it is insane. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432588/7-x-re-audio-xxx-18-subs-infinite-baffle-sub-ultimate-ib-build

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting you mention IB. I have a screened in porch on the other side of the left wall and it has a roof that would allow me to have an IB with almost 10,000 liters of space. I just modeled 4 of the XXX 18 in WinISD (Blue) with 1,000w each vs 3 of the LMS 5400 (Black) with 2,000w each. The XXX are pretty impressive...but how would the sound quality be in comparison to the LMS5400?

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:39 PM
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A good person to ask would be JapanDave as he also has 3 LMS Ultra's if I remember correctly but he says the XXX 18 in the IB is better. Ricci who tests all the subs also uses XXX 18's, I think his are all sealed and dual opposed and he has about 8 of them.

I have only had a single XXX 18 and if I could do an IB I would do it with that sub. It would be hard for me to really comment on the SQ differences though since I didn't have the XXX and LMS at the same time. The XXX is an incredible sub to not only hear and look at though. Here is a pic of the XXX 18 next to a Dayton RS 18 and Maelstrom-X 18:


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Old 08-25-2013, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Well after this comment from JapanDave, I think I'll pass on IB since he is after all using a Dirac super EQ. It will just be easier to EQ the sealed, plus the only IB option I have is to the left of the listening position so not optimal. So I'll have to consider 3 of the LMS 5400, 3 dual-opposed SI 18s, or maybe even 3 Rythmik FV15HP. Decisions, decisions.
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A lot better. After setting it up correctly , bass is no longer muddy, is much more controlled and resonance seems to be a lot better. I am still experimenting with alternate EQ options and I will post my findings.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:51 AM
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an interesting head to head would be the ultra against a pair of b&c 18sw115's. about the same money either way.

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Old 08-25-2013, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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LTD - am I missing something? Looking at the specs on the Parts-Express site, the 18sw115 seems more like a woofer than a subwoofer with a claimed freq response starting at 35 Hz, plus it only has 14 mm xmax. Not sure how even two would compete with a LMS 5400 down low.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:12 PM
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Dayum, those XXX 18's are almost a grand apiece. Whoa!
Xmax is 54mm though. Crazy.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Electric Wiz View Post

Dayum, those XXX 18's are almost a grand apiece. Whoa!
Xmax is 54mm though. Crazy.

I just installed my RE-XXX last weekend. That driver makes most all other drivers look like toys. Mine is in 8.0CF sealed box. I don't have everything measured and adjusted out, but threw some boost down low and this sub hits deep. Between this 18 and all my other subs, I don't see upgrading subs for a long time.

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Old 05-21-2014, 03:15 PM
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congrats mike.

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Old 05-21-2014, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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By the way, I ended up with 3 LMS 5400s powered by a single SpeakerPower SP2-8000 amp. I then bought a pair of UXL-18s that I need to build the boxes for soon. Since I had more subs than I had amps, I had to buy another SP2-8000, which should be here any time. Then that will put 4000w per LMS-5400 and 2000w per UXL-18. I will have 2 LMS-5400 subs up front, 1 LMS-5400 in an end table at the back right of the room, and a UXL-18 under/behind each couch on the left and right sides of the living room. So the bass in my room will be coming from all sides.

And I just got a MiniDSP NanoAVR to dial in the subs and speakers.

David
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