Which subwoofer would you recommend for my audio configuration ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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My speaker configuration:

 

  • Front LR: Monitor Audio PL200 or GX300 (decision will be made after a final comparative listening of these 2 tower speakers)
  • Central:   Monitor Audio GXC350
  • Rear LR:  Monitor Audio GXFX

 

As you would have guessed, this is a HT, and it will be used both for cinema and music (50/50%).

 

The room is dedicated to HT. It has a rectangular shape. Its dimensions are: L=6m, W=4.5m, H=3m. The ceiling is flat, there is only one access door, no windows, and the surfaces are acoustically treated.

 

I listen to classical, opera and jazz music. I watch any kind of movies and concerts.

 

Any recommendation for a subwoofer which will provide all desired effects when watching action movies and, at the same time, be musical enough for the kind of music I listen to?

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post #2 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 01:58 PM
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SVS PB 1000, Rythmic LV12R, Outlaw LFM 1 EX, and HSU VTF 2 MK4 are good subs to start with. All are internet direct sub companies. Prices range from $500 to $600 plus s/h. Many here will say 2 subs are better if your room is big enough.

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post #3 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 02:41 PM
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Need to have a budget.

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post #4 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Need to have a budget.

 

No budget limit.

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post #5 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius1 View Post

No budget limit.

Dang! That's nice to have. With that I can only send you to some different manufacturers which all have their own threads.
PSA Triax
SVS PB13 Ultra
Rythmik FV 15 or F25
JTR subs
Seaton subs

Most likely at least two of whatever you choose.

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post #6 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderDelarg View Post

SVS PB 1000, Rythmic LV12R, Outlaw LFM 1 EX, and HSU VTF 2 MK4 are good subs to start with. All are internet direct sub companies. Prices range from $500 to $600 plus s/h. Many here will say 2 subs are better if your room is big enough.

I was going to agree with this post until I saw you had not limit on your budget. :eek:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post


Dang! That's nice to have. With that I can only send you to some different manufacturers which all have their own threads.
PSA Triax
SVS PB13 Ultra
Rythmik FV 15 or F25
JTR subs
Seaton subs

Most likely at least two of whatever you choose.

So now I agree with this post! :D 

 

Have fun with your choice. You can't go wrong. 

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post #7 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 08:43 PM
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I can't wait for the day I can start a thread and say - "no budget limit." One can only dream.

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post #8 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 09:20 PM
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With no budget limit, I would go with four SVS PB13-Ultras. One in each corner. smile.gif

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post #9 of 21 Old 12-08-2013, 09:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Need to have a budget.

No budget limit.

You fellas didn't check out the speakers the OP is considering did you?!? biggrin.gif

Here: http://www.ultraaudio.com/index.php/equipment-menu/398-monitor-audio-platinum-pl200-loudspeakers, and: http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=395:monitor-audio-gold-gx300-loudspeakers

Morbius1, considering your 50% music use and room size, I would go for the clean, accurate and flexible Rythmik F15HP, X 4 in piano gloss black: $5472 (shipped in the US).
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius1 View Post

Any recommendation for a subwoofer which will provide all desired effects when watching action movies and, at the same time, be musical enough...
Accurate is accurate. The notion that any sub is good for this and not good for that is pure myth. The only difference between the needs of HT and that of music only is that music only can get away with a 35 to 40Hz f3, while HT is best served with a 25Hz or lower f3.
Decide how much SPL you want, go to the data-bass.com site, use the charts to find those which have the f3 and SPL capability you're looking for. If your room's longest dimension is 15 feet or so you'll get cabin gain, so a higher f3 is tolerable, making sealed subs viable choices. If the room is larger cabin gain is off the table, so you can't fudge with f3, and ported may be more appropriate. Finally, two smaller subs will always work better than one larger one of the same total output capacity. The output of two subs is 6dB higher than that of one, that of four is 12dB higher than that of one, so you can incorporate that into your calculations.
Lastly, with subs handling the content below 80Hz there's nothing to be gained by having mains that go lower than 60Hz, and for that matter 70Hz is sufficient. For the same price as floorstanders you can get bookshelves that will work better in the bandwidth where your mains are actually used.

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post #11 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post


You fellas didn't check out the speakers the OP is considering did you?!? biggrin.gif

Here: http://www.ultraaudio.com/index.php/equipment-menu/398-monitor-audio-platinum-pl200-loudspeakers, and: http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=395:monitor-audio-gold-gx300-loudspeakers

Morbius1, considering your 50% music use and room size, I would go for the clean, accurate and flexible Rythmik F15HP, X 4 in piano gloss black: $5472 (shipped in the US).

It's official, I'm jealous. :rolleyes:

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post #12 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 10:10 AM
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The best-sounding sub I have found for my application is the NHT B12D, which is only $800 in gloss piano black.

It is a sealed acoustic suspension design, and is very clean and accurate. There are certainly others that go lower, but I value its freedom from distortion and large power amplifier.

It would not be big enough for a VERY large room, but may be good for the room mentioned.

I am using it with Vandersteen Treo speakers ($6500), which have pretty good bass extension on their own, but can use a little help with the lowest organ fundamentals etc.

Two nice bass tests:

-The Dorian CD recording of Jean Guillou at the organ of St. Eustache in Paris (lowest organ notes and huge cathedral reverberation times).
Dorian 90134

-The 20-bit Vanguard CD recording of The River and The Plow That Broke the Plains by Stokowski (some of the loudest lowest bass drums I have ever heard; thunderous and yet clean)
Vanguard SVC 1 (Super Bit Mapping).
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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First, many thanks to all those who contrbuted by their answer to my query.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

Morbius1, considering your 50% music use and room size, I would go for the clean, accurate and flexible Rythmik F15HP, X 4 in piano gloss black: $5472 (shipped in the US).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

...Finally, two smaller subs will always work better than one larger one of the same total output capacity. The output of two subs is 6dB higher than that of one, that of four is 12dB higher than that of one, so you can incorporate that into your calculations....

 

So, I have 2 recommendations to go for more than one sub : 2 or even 4 !  I am certainly going to take this into consideration. However, while, I have mentioned that budget was not a constraint, space definitely is !  Have you noticed the dimensions of my room in my OP ?  It's not that large, and this is why I had initially thought that one sub would be enough. I could go for 2 subs, but 4 seems a little more difficult.

 

2 more questions :

 

1. If I go for 2 subs, where would you recommend that I position them, rather in the front corners or in the rear corners ?

2. At what height should the subs be positioned ?

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post #14 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 02:27 PM
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Take a look at the Seaton Submersives. There is a pricing promotion in effect now for units provided with an amp that can power a slave unit (one without a dedicated amp). A master and a slave unit provides all of the output of two powered units for significantly less cost than two powered units. I can't imagine you having a need for more output than what two of these would provide.

To answer your question the subs go on the floor, best positioning is trial and error. Try them up front first if you prefer and see how it goes.
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post


Dang! That's nice to have. With that I can only send you to some different manufacturers which all have their own threads.
PSA Triax
SVS PB13 Ultra
Rythmik FV 15 or F25
JTR subs
Seaton subs

Most likely at least two of whatever you choose.

 

I noticed that another forumer, GIEGAR, suggested the Rythmik FV15 too. Must be an excellent sub...

 

However, some other people (not from this forum) suggested that I consider Velodyne, especially their DD-15.

Does any one know about how the Velodyne DD-15 might perform in my environment, and how it could compare to the Rythmik FV15 ?

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post #16 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius1 View Post

I noticed that another forumer, GIEGAR, suggested the Rythmik FV15 too. Must be an excellent sub...

However, some other people (not from this forum) suggested that I consider Velodyne, especially their DD-15.
Does any one know about how the Velodyne DD-15 might perform in my environment, and how it could compare to the Rythmik FV15 ?

If your going to spend what the Velodynes cost you'd be better off with a pair of Seatons or JTRs. The Velodyne DD series are really good subs but not for the price compared to what else is available for much less.

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post #17 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


Accurate is accurate. The notion that any sub is good for this and not good for that is pure myth. The only difference between the needs of HT and that of music only is that music only can get away with a 35 to 40Hz f3, while HT is best served with a 25Hz or lower f3.
Decide how much SPL you want, go to the data-bass.com site, use the charts to find those which have the f3 and SPL capability you're looking for. If your room's longest dimension is 15 feet or so you'll get cabin gain, so a higher f3 is tolerable, making sealed subs viable choices. If the room is larger cabin gain is off the table, so you can't fudge with f3, and ported may be more appropriate. Finally, two smaller subs will always work better than one larger one of the same total output capacity. The output of two subs is 6dB higher than that of one, that of four is 12dB higher than that of one, so you can incorporate that into your calculations.
Lastly, with subs handling the content below 80Hz there's nothing to be gained by having mains that go lower than 60Hz, and for that matter 70Hz is sufficient. For the same price as floorstanders you can get bookshelves that will work better in the bandwidth where your mains are actually used.

Thanks Bill, for a really instructive post !

 

I'll go to the site you suggested and try to do the calculations...

Please bear in mind that I am rather a newbie and this is the first HT that I build. However, I wish to do it the right way and this is why I ask many questions !

 

I think that I understand your last remark regarding the subs handling the sound below 80Hz. This would mean that, in Hifi mode (stereo music only), I would use the 2 fronts speakers in combination with the sub(s), that is in a 2.1 (or 2.2 in case of 2 subs), by selecting the 2.1 mode on the preamp/processor. Am I understanding you correctly ?

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post #18 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The best-sounding sub I have found for my application is the NHT B12D, which is only $800 in gloss piano black.

It is a sealed acoustic suspension design, and is very clean and accurate. There are certainly others that go lower, but I value its freedom from distortion and large power amplifier.

It would not be big enough for a VERY large room, but may be good for the room mentioned.

I am using it with Vandersteen Treo speakers ($6500), which have pretty good bass extension on their own, but can use a little help with the lowest organ fundamentals etc.

Two nice bass tests:

-The Dorian CD recording of Jean Guillou at the organ of St. Eustache in Paris (lowest organ notes and huge cathedral reverberation times).
Dorian 90134

-The 20-bit Vanguard CD recording of The River and The Plow That Broke the Plains by Stokowski (some of the loudest lowest bass drums I have ever heard; thunderous and yet clean)
Vanguard SVC 1 (Super Bit Mapping).

 

I like your post, commsysman !

 

Probably because, coincidentally and without knowing it, you reminded me some great moments I had many years ago when, when I was living in Paris, I had the opportunity to listen to Jean Guillou performing at the organ but this was at St. Sulpice. St. Sulpice is another Paris church with an extraordinary organ and a remarkable acoustic. In fact, it has not one but 2 organs, and some sequences of the Da Vinci Code movie were shot there.

 

Back to the main topic, thanks for suggesting these recordings. I will try to get them.

 

Now, besides the organ and drums, I believe that the double-bass goes low in frequency too (say, below 35Hz). Of course, jazz music makes an extensive use of the double-bass, but would you have any suggestion for specific recordings to test the bass produced in the sound from the double-bass ?

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post #19 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius1 View Post

Have you noticed the dimensions of my room in my OP ?  It's not that large, and this is why I had initially thought that one sub would be enough. I could go for 2 subs, but 4 seems a little more difficult.
It's not about the volume, it's about the quality of the sound. But as for the floorspace issue, that's where using four smaller subs to realize at least as much output as two larger subs comes in.
Quote:
1. If I go for 2 subs, where would you recommend that I position them, rather in the front corners or in the rear corners ?
Experiment.
Quote:
2. At what height should the subs be positioned ?
Experiment. In theory nulls created by ceiling bounce would be reduced by having the subs 3 feet or so above the floor. Few do so, as they tend to be obtrusive enough on the floor. In any event measuring the room response is critical to get the best possible result.

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post #20 of 21 Old 12-09-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

It's not about the volume, it's about the quality of the sound. But as for the floorspace issue, that's where using four smaller subs to realize at least as much output as two larger subs comes in.

Only drawback to 4 smaller subs is that the OP would likely be giving up frequencies below 20hz. While not many movies or music go that low there is content out there. Especially for movies. Some really nice ULF in some.

So if floor space is limited and you still want 4 subs, then 4 SVS PC12+ or PC13 Ultras would be killer and neither of them takes up more than 18 square inches. 4 tuned to 15/16hz in a room that size would get you good output down to about 10hz or so. Maybe even lower.

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post #21 of 21 Old 12-10-2013, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius1 View Post



So, I have 2 recommendations to go for more than one sub : 2 or even 4 !  I am certainly going to take this into consideration. However, while, I have mentioned that budget was not a constraint, space definitely is !  Have you noticed the dimensions of my room in my OP ?  It's not that large, and this is why I had initially thought that one sub would be enough. I could go for 2 subs, but 4 seems a little more difficult.

1. If I go for 2 subs, where would you recommend that I position them, rather in the front corners or in the rear corners ?

I recently bought an inexpensive sub to replace another inexpensive sub. Wasn't too crazy about the new one - so on a whim I hooked both of them up.

No contest. What I didn't like about the new one - low frequency boominess in my room - completely disappeared. I even had to increase the gain which to me, seems strange. How can one sub sound like there's too much bass (actually resonance) and then with two subs have to increase the amount of bass?

At first, one may wonder what the difference is - but the more you listen, the more you realize, it's a much better way.
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