Do I need to add an Epik Empire Sub to a Definitive Tech BP-8040ST 5.1 system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 07-03-2012, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been doing a lot of research to build a 5.1 surround sound system for my house. My living room is 20’ by 26’. First, as a result of all the great things I have read about the Epik Empire sub, I have gotten my heart set on incorporating it into my system. I then narrowed my search down to Def Tech’s BP8040ST 5.1 system. The BP-8040ST’s already has a sub built into them and I have read many reviews where people have stated that they provide more than enough base. Does anyone have firsthand experience with this? Of course I am looking for a good amount of base but not enough that it creates a muddy effect. My though is that the Empire will add better base on the lower end that the BP's will not be able to since they are pushing 8" subs. I’m still on the fence with the BP8040ST’s because they are Bipolar and being the novice in audio that I am, I am not sure if this is the way to go. Is there a better line of speakers that I should go with so that I am not spending money on the subs build into the BP’s when I plan on incorporating the Empire into the system anyway? Please feel free to give advice on whether the BP’s are a good choice and if so should I add the Empire. Thank you.
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post #2 of 37 Old 07-03-2012, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

I have been doing a lot of research to build a 5.1 surround sound system for my house. My living room is 20’ by 26’. First, as a result of all the great things I have read about the Epik Empire sub, I have gotten my heart set on incorporating it into my system. I then narrowed my search down to Def Tech’s BP8040ST 5.1 system. The BP-8040ST’s already has a sub built into them and I have read many reviews where people have stated that they provide more than enough base. Does anyone have firsthand experience with this? Of course I am looking for a good amount of base but not enough that it creates a muddy effect. My though is that the Empire will add better base on the lower end that the BP's will not be able to since they are pushing 8" subs. I’m still on the fence with the BP8040ST’s because they are Bipolar and being the novice in audio that I am, I am not sure if this is the way to go. Is there a better line of speakers that I should go with so that I am not spending money on the subs build into the BP’s when I plan on incorporating the Empire into the system anyway? Please feel free to give advice on whether the BP’s are a good choice and if so should I add the Empire. Thank you.

Couple things. I would go with a dedicated subwoofer for the bass below the 50-60hz range. Deftech is notorious for overstating their specs. Now I like Deftech speakers, but if you go bipolar, you really need the right speaker placement to get the best sound, and that often means pulling the speakers out 24" or so for the walls, and being able to be flexible with placement. For movies the bipolar speakers are actually quite good if you have the placement flexibility. For music, I don't find them to be as good as say an Ascend Accoustics speaker.

What receiver do you have? I would recommend a model that has Audyssey MultiEQ that will allow you to incorporate the Deftech speaker and Epik sub seamlessly.
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post #3 of 37 Old 07-03-2012, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I do not have a receiver yet, thanks for the tip about the MultiEQ. I am a little concerned about the BP's not sounding good with music because I do plan on using them for music, maybe 20% of the time. The speaker placement should not be an issue as far as the 24" away from the wall, although I would rather be able to put them closer. Thanks for the info.
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post #4 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 07:14 AM
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the new deftech line of speakers are great for music and movies alike.I own the 8060-st's and they sound great with all types of music.If you are worried go and listen to them with some music you are familiar with...smile.gif
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post #5 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

I have been doing a lot of research to build a 5.1 surround sound system for my house. My living room is 20’ by 26’. First, as a result of all the great things I have read about the Epik Empire sub, I have gotten my heart set on incorporating it into my system. I then narrowed my search down to Def Tech’s BP8040ST 5.1 system. The BP-8040ST’s already has a sub built into them and I have read many reviews where people have stated that they provide more than enough base. Does anyone have firsthand experience with this? Of course I am looking for a good amount of base but not enough that it creates a muddy effect. My though is that the Empire will add better base on the lower end that the BP's will not be able to since they are pushing 8" subs. I’m still on the fence with the BP8040ST’s because they are Bipolar and being the novice in audio that I am, I am not sure if this is the way to go. Is there a better line of speakers that I should go with so that I am not spending money on the subs build into the BP’s when I plan on incorporating the Empire into the system anyway? Please feel free to give advice on whether the BP’s are a good choice and if so should I add the Empire. Thank you.

Does your budget allow you to purchase the def tech surround system and a subwoofer? If your budget allows for it and that is what you want, I would suggest to see if you can find somewhere to listen to the towers (maybe Best Buy but not sure if they carry them) and add a subwoofer in to find out how it sounds. I don't think that would be ideal because I imagine that Best Buy would not carry an Epik sub but you get the idea of what I'm going for. I did not know much about the def tech towers, so, after going to the website it seems that the reason for having built in subwoofers is to eliminate the need for the stand alone subwoofer (well, that's what it says on the website smile.gif) that is why I asked if your budget allows both. If you are going to get the subwoofer anyway, perhaps you could just get a different set of towers that excel at at high, mid and some lower frequencies (full 3 way speaker) and let the subwoofer do what it does best, especially if you are going with an ID sub which I bet is a monster...or you could get the def tech 5 speaker setup and give them a try and if you decide you'd like to get the sub, you could do that too. That's just my two cents.
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post #6 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

The BP-8040ST’s already has a sub built into them and I have read many reviews where people have stated that they provide more than enough base.

My question is; What is enough bass?

When I had my first set of dual subs, I thought, "man, this is it!!!!" But for my system, they were not the right subs, an Onk 290rms sub and an Energy 200rms sub, 10" and 8" respectively.

The way I like to watch movies, my subs bottomed out often and I didn't even know what was going on, I just jumped on the horse and rode it.

Then I got an Empire and threw those other two in the garbage (well, not really:)). Suddenly, a sub with real power, able to handle anything an audio track could throw at it, very nice. Now, the system sounds like a real "Theater".

I now have dual Empires in a 15.5 x 26 room, I have way more than enough power. My gain is set at 1/3, I run LFE from the AVR and are set at -2. During certain movies, where the final explosions are "da bomb", I'll set the gain up to 1/2, take the LFE up to +12 and almost literally bring down the house, wow, what an experience.
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post #7 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 11:06 AM
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I have an all def tech tower 7.1 system (BP-8040ST's as side surrounds) and IMO you MUST have a stand alone sub/subs for HT. I cross all 7 channels at 50hz to let the towers handle the mid-bass ( I enjoy the more directional mid-bass) and allow my subs to handle the rest. I wouldn't be very happy watching movies with out the subs on the low end rounding things out. In the end only you can decide if the bass from the towers is enough for you or if you need a stand alone sub.
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post #8 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 04:35 PM
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For a room as large as yours I would be looking at speakers with much greater dynamic capability, and yes you definitely need subs. Those speakers only have 3.5" mid-bass drivers, and the powered woofer is crossed to low to make a real difference when used with sub.


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post #9 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input, much appreciated. Yes if I get the Def Tech BP-8040ST towers I will be incorporating the recommended CS-8040HD(center) and SR-8040BP (surrounds) to complete the 5.1 setup. Adding the Epik Empire sub would is also a consideration as previously stated. I think that there are a few other important points I need to make to explain my situation. First off I am very much a novice when it comes to audio equipment. I am in the military currently deployed trying to shop online for a system that I can set up when I get home. I’m trying to get as much info as possible so that I can purchase it online and have it shipped to my house before I get home so that I can set it up as soon as I return, I am trying to do this without listening to any of the equipment before I buy it. I do understand that this is very risky for several reasons. On another important note, My TV is mounted in the top corner of my living room. This adds some difficult challenges with how the sound will be directed to the listening position. I figured Bipolar speakers would help in this case but I could be wrong. I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the speaker choices. After reevaluating my living room I see that it may be a challenge to get the BP’s 24” from the wall and I am still not sure how to wire the Epik up since the BP’s already get wired for the .1 in the 5.1 setup.
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post #10 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Ultimately what I am looking for is a 5.1 system that will sound really good in my 20' by 26' living room with the TV mounted in the corner (this is where the TV is and is staying). Budget around 3K. I’m pretty much sold on the Epik Empire for the sub, so a center channel, towers and surrounds are what I need. So many choices with me not being familiar with audio equipment at all and I do NOT want to do the BOSE in a box thing. Please help. I know I sound like an infant but when it comes to audio I am, that is why I am reaching out for help.
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post #11 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Directed at thebriman-
How did you wire the standalone sub to your system since the BP's already have the .1 in the 7.1 system wired to them? Do you think that there is a huge difference between the bp-8040st's, bp8060-st's or even the bp8080-st towers, have you listened to them? If so, is it worth the money to upgrade to one of them?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebriman View Post

I have an all def tech tower 7.1 system (BP-8040ST's as side surrounds) and IMO you MUST have a stand alone sub/subs for HT. I cross all 7 channels at 50hz to let the towers handle the mid-bass ( I enjoy the more directional mid-bass) and allow my subs to handle the rest. I wouldn't be very happy watching movies with out the subs on the low end rounding things out. In the end only you can decide if the bass from the towers is enough for you or if you need a stand alone sub.
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post #13 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 11:39 PM
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There are so many options and opinions when you arent auditioning and determining your preferences. This is just one example of something that I think would be better from top to bottom then the deftech's.

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15494-wharfedale-diamond-107-tower-speakers-pr.aspx

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15503-wharfedale-diamond-10-cm-center-channel-speaker-ea.aspx

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15509-wharfedale-diamond-dfs-bi-pole-surround-speaker-pr.aspx

The Empire is definitely a good sub, and you will likely be happy with it, you should also research a ported sub like the HSU VTF 15, which will be stronger below 40hz

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html
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post #14 of 37 Old 07-04-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

Directed at thebriman-
How did you wire the standalone sub to your system since the BP's already have the .1 in the 7.1 system wired to them? Do you think that there is a huge difference between the bp-8040st's, bp8060-st's or even the bp8080-st towers, have you listened to them? If so, is it worth the money to upgrade to one of them?

I just run speaker wire to each tower and cross them over @ 50HZ. The onboard DSP sorts things out internally. The sub out (.1) is split out to the subs. I currently have the BP-8060ST's in the front and they are imo a significant step up from the 8040's. I haven't heard the 8080's but have heard they aren't as big a jump as the 60's are from the 40's but still better none the less. The money is all up to you. If you don't need a powered sub in each or even some of the channels then these would be a tough sell. They can be difficult to integrate in a room/with a subwoofer. I knew what i was getting into with the purchase and have been very happy. Not to say i wouldn't be just as thrilled with JTR's or an ED cinema set-up which would have been my other option. I do know I would never pay retail or close to it for any of my speakers. I waited patiently and hit sales whenever they came up. Most I got for ~ 40% off.
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post #15 of 37 Old 07-05-2012, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

There are so many options and opinions when you arent auditioning and determining your preferences. This is just one example of something that I think would be better from top to bottom then the deftech's.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15494-wharfedale-diamond-107-tower-speakers-pr.aspx
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15503-wharfedale-diamond-10-cm-center-channel-speaker-ea.aspx
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15509-wharfedale-diamond-dfs-bi-pole-surround-speaker-pr.aspx
The Empire is definitely a good sub, and you will likely be happy with it, you should also research a ported sub like the HSU VTF 15, which will be stronger below 40hz
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html

These look beautiful and you are the second person to recommend the HSU sub in place of the Epik. Have you listened to these wharfedales? Thank you for the response.
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post #16 of 37 Old 07-05-2012, 12:48 PM
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These look beautiful and you are the second person to recommend the HSU sub in place of the Epik. Have you listened to these wharfedales? Thank you for the response.

The wharfedales are very smooth both on and off axis, giving a wide open soundstage, with good detail and solid dynamics. These are very "musical" speakers, that should be able to handle your room assuming you arent going to be trying reference levels from 20' away (if so you should be considering horns). I am not a fan of the BP deftechs, so to me they dont even compare with the wharfedales. The HSU, being a ported sub, will not depend on room gain to raise the low end of its response like the Epik will. Your room is to big for this effect to take place.


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post #17 of 37 Old 07-05-2012, 03:05 PM
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For a room as large as yours I would be looking at speakers with much greater dynamic capability, and yes you definitely need subs. Those speakers only have 3.5" mid-bass drivers, and the powered woofer is crossed to low to make a real difference when used with sub.

+1

The BP-8040ST make no sense to me if you are willing to buy a sub like the Epik Empire or HSU VTF-15H. The small 8" subs in those towers can't come close to the output of one of these two 15" ones. So you would be paying for a lot of feature that you probably would not use. Meanwhile, there are a lot of awesome tower speakers out there in the same price range that don't have built in subs, where you would get all the speaker performance usage for your money. I've just seen too many people that have bought towers with subs, and later on stopped using them. I would bet that if you could compare the BP-8040STs without their subs engaged with other towers in the same price range, you'd find speakers you like better.
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post #18 of 37 Old 07-05-2012, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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The wharfedales are very smooth both on and off axis, giving a wide open soundstage, with good detail and solid dynamics. These are very "musical" speakers, that should be able to handle your room assuming you arent going to be trying reference levels from 20' away (if so you should be considering horns). I am not a fan of the BP deftechs, so to me they dont even compare with the wharfedales. The HSU, being a ported sub, will not depend on room gain to raise the low end of its response like the Epik will. Your room is to big for this effect to take place.

I have done some research on the Wharfedale 10.7’s and I have read some really good things. As you mentioned (or maybe implied) they work well for music but I am having a little trouble getting info on how they perform for movies which is what I am primarily setting up my system for (80% movies and 20% music). What do you think?
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post #19 of 37 Old 07-05-2012, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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+1
The BP-8040ST make no sense to me if you are willing to buy a sub like the Epik Empire or HSU VTF-15H. The small 8" subs in those towers can't come close to the output of one of these two 15" ones. So you would be paying for a lot of feature that you probably would not use. Meanwhile, there are a lot of awesome tower speakers out there in the same price range that don't have built in subs, where you would get all the speaker performance usage for your money. I've just seen too many people that have bought towers with subs, and later on stopped using them. I would bet that if you could compare the BP-8040STs without their subs engaged with other towers in the same price range, you'd find speakers you like better.

Very good advice cel4145. Much appreciated
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post #20 of 37 Old 07-05-2012, 10:30 PM
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I think they'll do great depending on your desired volume level. How far back are you sitting, how much power are you running, and what volume level do you intend to listen at? As long as you arent going to push them past their limits they will be great HT speakers, and this is true for every speaker you consider as your room is pretty large.
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post #21 of 37 Old 07-06-2012, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I think they'll do great depending on your desired volume level. How far back are you sitting, how much power are you running, and what volume level do you intend to listen at? As long as you arent going to push them past their limits they will be great HT speakers, and this is true for every speaker you consider as your room is pretty large.

Thanks for the quick response. I don’t have an AV Receiver yet but I am shooting for one that provides about 130W per channel (still trying to figure that out). I may purchase an amp to power the towers but I am not sure if that will be necessary. My couch is placed almost in the center of the living room (maybe slightly back from center), probably about 16’ from the TV. My wife and I don’t listen to excessively loud music/movies but I would like to have the system to crank it up a little for a more intense experience if I choose. One question I have is will these speakers perform well being about 12” from the wall? As you can probably tell I am completely new to all this so thanks again for all the help.
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post #22 of 37 Old 07-06-2012, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

Thanks for the quick response. I don’t have an AV Receiver yet but I am shooting for one that provides about 130W per channel (still trying to figure that out). I may purchase an amp to power the towers but I am not sure if that will be necessary. My couch is placed almost in the center of the living room (maybe slightly back from center), probably about 16’ from the TV. My wife and I don’t listen to excessively loud music/movies but I would like to have the system to crank it up a little for a more intense experience if I choose. One question I have is will these speakers perform well being about 12” from the wall? As you can probably tell I am completely new to all this so thanks again for all the help.



As long as your speaker choice is either sealed or front ported, you should have fewer placement issues. The Diamonds are a great buy as are most of the Wharfedale lineup.

Power will always be a concern with a large room. That is why most folks tend to go with high sensitivity speakers in such cases. But you are not the typical reference level listener so 130W/per channel should be fine. I would still strongly recommend an amp for the front 2-3 and let whatever receiver you choose power the rest.



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post #23 of 37 Old 07-06-2012, 06:56 AM
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Thanks for the quick response. I don’t have an AV Receiver yet but I am shooting for one that provides about 130W per channel (still trying to figure that out). I may purchase an amp to power the towers but I am not sure if that will be necessary. My couch is placed almost in the center of the living room (maybe slightly back from center), probably about 16’ from the TV. My wife and I don’t listen to excessively loud music/movies but I would like to have the system to crank it up a little for a more intense experience if I choose. One question I have is will these speakers perform well being about 12” from the wall? As you can probably tell I am completely new to all this so thanks again for all the help.

With 130 watts at 4 meters the 10.7's will be capable of 99 db, assuming your room doesnt add anything back to the equation (note these are 6 ohm and will actually pull a little more power from the receiver then the claimed 8 ohm power rating), so we can say 100db capable. Reference level is 85 db with peaks up to 105db, so you would be limited from full reference peaks (there would be some compression at full reference peaks). You would also need a 95db sensitive speaker to reach this without any compression. 1' from the wall will be fine, even though it isnt ideal.

Dont over think all the technical mumbo jumba, these will likely be more then satisfying for your needs.


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post #24 of 37 Old 07-06-2012, 07:21 AM
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Agreed. A good AVR with those speakers will likely be sufficient for your needs.

Also, don't get too caught up in the receiver wattage specs numbers game. Some receivers are more overly optimistically spec'd than others. 5 or 10 watts difference in what the manufacturer advertises may not result in any real world usage difference, and even then, 5 or 10 watts difference is negligible in actual volume output. For example, the Denon 3312 and Onkyo 1009 are fairly close:

http://www.hometheater.com/content/denon-avr-3312ci-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures
http://www.hometheater.com/content/onkyo-tx-nr1009-92-channel-network-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

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post #25 of 37 Old 07-06-2012, 07:38 AM
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Most people are not going to listen to sound at reference level. That is really loud smile.gif

Agreed with the others, don't overthink this. If you only have 12" to play with to your walls, I would avoid the bipolar Deftech's.

I can't speak for the Wharfdale speakers, but what is your budget?
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post #26 of 37 Old 07-06-2012, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Total around $3,500. I’m looking at around 2K for the towers, center and surrounds. I still need to get a receiver, and sub. Sub around 1K maybe a little less or a little more depending on what I choose. This leaves me around $500 for my receiver which I don’t think will cut it so I will probably end up in the 4K range when it is all said and done. Oh ya, and I may end up buying an amp but still working that out.
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post #27 of 37 Old 07-07-2012, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I know that this is the speaker thread and not the subwoofer thread but you all have been very helpful and I need some help with my sub decision, so please forgive me for crossing threads here. After carefully reading the Kansas city sub results and the two brother’s shootout, I am at a standstill between the Epik Empire and the HSU VTF-15H. I’m sure I would probably love both individually but I can’t seem to make a decision. The Epik is about $79 cheaper (shipping included) than the HSU which is not an issue. The HSU is a little larger but has a better finish (I'm not too concerned about the size). The HSU seems to have more controls on the back (which to be honest I still don’t completely understand their roles) and the HSU is ported but allows me to plug the ports for a more sealed like performance. Most of my use is going to be for HT. I also would like to have the freedom of putting the sub just about anywhere it fits in my living room without worrying about how it will affect the sound of my system, I believe the Epik would give me this freedom over the HSU but the Epik doesn’t seem like it will perform on the lower end as well as the HSU. If you were me, all things considered, which would you choose? Now I’m taking a vote.
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post #28 of 37 Old 07-07-2012, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

I know that this is the speaker thread and not the subwoofer thread but you all have been very helpful and I need some help with my sub decision, so please forgive me for crossing threads here. After carefully reading the Kansas city sub results and the two brother’s shootout, I am at a standstill between the Epik Empire and the HSU VTF-15H. I’m sure I would probably love both individually but I can’t seem to make a decision. The Epik is about $79 cheaper (shipping included) than the HSU which is not an issue. The HSU is a little larger but has a better finish (I'm not too concerned about the size). The HSU seems to have more controls on the back (which to be honest I still don’t completely understand their roles) and the HSU is ported but allows me to plug the ports for a more sealed like performance. Most of my use is going to be for HT. I also would like to have the freedom of putting the sub just about anywhere it fits in my living room without worrying about how it will affect the sound of my system, I believe the Epik would give me this freedom over the HSU but the Epik doesn’t seem like it will perform on the lower end as well as the HSU. If you were me, all things considered, which would you choose? Now I’m taking a vote.

I had the same choice as you and went with the VTF-15. My reasoning was the lower extension and flexibility (tuning options) with the VTF-15, and it did seem like the Epik had more amp issues. That said Epik is a great deal and the owner seems to resolve issues quickly. It is a tough choice for sure and you really can't go wrong either way, but HSU has been doing this a long time and has a stellar reputation and great customer service.
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post #29 of 37 Old 07-07-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip6414 View Post

I know that this is the speaker thread and not the subwoofer thread but you all have been very helpful and I need some help with my sub decision, so please forgive me for crossing threads here. After carefully reading the Kansas city sub results and the two brother’s shootout, I am at a standstill between the Epik Empire and the HSU VTF-15H. I’m sure I would probably love both individually but I can’t seem to make a decision. The Epik is about $79 cheaper (shipping included) than the HSU which is not an issue. The HSU is a little larger but has a better finish (I'm not too concerned about the size). The HSU seems to have more controls on the back (which to be honest I still don’t completely understand their roles) and the HSU is ported but allows me to plug the ports for a more sealed like performance. Most of my use is going to be for HT. I also would like to have the freedom of putting the sub just about anywhere it fits in my living room without worrying about how it will affect the sound of my system, I believe the Epik would give me this freedom over the HSU but the Epik doesn’t seem like it will perform on the lower end as well as the HSU. If you were me, all things considered, which would you choose? Now I’m taking a vote.

I was also looking for a new sub a few months back (looked at Hsu and Epik and others) and got a the VTF-15H. I went with the Hsu for its tuning options and aesthetics (it just looks really awesome smile.gif) and I don't regret my decision one bit. If you decide to get a Hsu, you can go into one of the Hsu threads in the subwoofer forum and Dr. Hsu can assist with the best placement and tuning options for your room.

I have had the sub for a few months and I'm still messing with the tuning options. I know folks have suggested a Denon receiver so if you haven't gotten your receiver yet, I do recommend a Denon as well since it has Audyssey, which has great sub calibration. If you pair Audyssey with an ID sub like a Hsu or Epik, I think that would be an awesome setup.
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post #30 of 37 Old 07-07-2012, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I’m feeling pretty good about my setup which it looks like will be Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 (Towers), 10CM (Center) and Diamond DFS (Surrounds) with an HSU VTF-15H Sub. I now need to research an AV Receiver. I’m still considering whether or not I need an Amp to power the front 3 speakers. I think I may wait until I get it all setup and see how it performs because I’m planning on getting a pretty good receiver that may be able to handle the equipment. Basically what I am saying is my budget for a receiver is around 1K so this may be sufficient to do the job.
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